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My Xmas Memories by Anne-Marie

Anne-Marie is a Digital Marketer by day but spends most evenings working on her fashion blog The Twenty Sumthin’. After graduating from University in London, she headed to discover a “hotbed of creativity and opportunities” in Manchester.  It's that time of the year again. You can almost smell it in the air - Christmas is well and truly here! I always have fond memories of Christmas and love reminiscing about this special time of the year. Some of my earliest memories are Christmas related and it’s as if as it was yesterday that I'm wearing a bright coloured ensemble and posing awkwardly for the instant camera. Looking back at these images, whilst completely hilarious, I'm so glad and thankful for these memories. I remember this one time, I was roughly 8 or 9 and I really really wanted this Makeup-Set that came with their own bedazzled press-on Nails. So imagine the glee when I actually got it that Christmas. So there is me, happy as Larry posing in my special Christmas Outfit for the camera like the happiest little girl on earth! I think it’s a testament to my mother to have made Christmas such a special day, year after year.

To thank her and to bring a smile to her face, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to team up with the Arndale to give her a day she won’t forget. Just like her daughter she loves a spot of shopping and good food, so what better way than to spend a day at the Arndale in Manchester. To fuel us with that much needed energy for the day, a lovely Breakfast is an absolute MUST. Luckily, there are so many good options in the Arndale, though I do lovee Ginos ‘My Coffee & Deli Bar’ – on the lower ground floor of Ginos Pizza & Prosecco bar in Manchester, situated in Arndale fashion retailer Next. The Nutella Croissants are just divine and were the perfect start to the day.

Next…and by that I literally mean we ventured to her favourite store in the Arndale, possibly the world: NEXT. – Speaking about memories, I have plenty of memories spending a good chunk of my adolescence giving fashion advice to my mother as she’s trying on the latest trends in Next. It was so lovely, just like best friends I was eagerly picking outfits for her. And if I do say so myself, I may have found her the perfect outfit for Christmas. Let me just say, its purple, sparkly and very, very festive!

Getting a new wardrobe is always lovely, but what also matters is good skincare. Out of all the traits I inherited form my mother, taking care of your skin is possibly one of the strongest. We both love a good pamper session and are fanatics when it comes to lotions and potions. What better way to head to the only place in the Arndale that completely embodies everything skincare and wellbeing than LUSH. I know that my mum has been talking about tackling her dry skin and how she couldn’t really find anything on the high street that could her. At this point I feel like I should mention that I’m quite certain that she never actually set foot into a Lush store, so imagine her surprise at all the colours and the fragrances in the air.

The girls at LUSH were so kind and prepared a nice little treatment platter for her, giving her an idea of the perfect skincare routine for dry skin. She absolutely loved the whole process and we walked away with plenty of knowledge and LUSH’s ‘Gorgeous Moisturiser’ – I mean if its good for a Princess, it’s perfect for my mum. After that amazing pampering sessions, it was time for food. Because we were so impressed with the lovely atmosphere and the über-gorgeous Décor at Ginos, we opted for a spot of lunch at Ginos My Pizza & Prosecco Bar located in NEXT. The day just screamed for some Pasta & Pizza!

After another spot of shopping in NEXT, we didn’t venture far and headed to the ground floor to Costa Coffee. Coffee breaks are such a ritual for me and my mum, we rarely go a weekend without meeting up for a quick ‘Latte & Flat White’. – The perfect ending to an amazing day. As we were leaving I felt quite nostalgic and reflective, it’s not every day that we spend an entire day together, making me realise that Christmas is such a special time of the year where it indeed brings you closer to your nearest and dearest. My #Xmasmemories wouldn’t be complete without the gem that is my mother!