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My Xmas Memories by Danielle

Danielle is a Cheshire-based blogger promoting body positivity and a healthy lifestyle. She founded KIHT, a women’s fitness and lifestyle brand, after working for ten years as designer for various high street brands.

What’s the first thing that springs to mind when you think of Christmas?

For me straight away its family, all the amazing Christmas’s we’ve had over the years and the fun of spending a few days together, just us, laughing, playing games and enjoying each others company!

So when The Arndale in Manchester asked if I’d like to be involved in their Christmas campaign all about spending time with family and your loved ones, I immediately said yes!

The first task was to go through some Christmas memories and pictures to find an image from a Christmas that stands out to you! So on a cold and dark Tuesday evening I went round to my Mum's house and spent the evening rummaging through boxes of old photos crying with laughter and reminiscing about some of the amazing things we have done as a family over the years.



It took me a long time (hours!!) to pick out my pic, there were so many to choose from! But the one I’ve gone for is one of my most standout Christmas memories as a child! And here it is! Me and my bro happy as can be!

At this point I 100% still believed in Father Christmas and for me, Christmas morning was sooooo exciting I could barely sleep with the anticipation of what was to come! The first and most exciting sign that Father Christmas had visited our house was the stocking hung on my door, the night before it was empty, Christmas morning and it was full of goodies! And after opening these, racing downstairs with my brother and both demolishing the pile of presents we both had, its safe to say we were loving our Christmas! But wait!!! We had one more gift each, it was hidden somewhere in the house! All we had to do was follow and solve the clues to find it. Beyond excited about the final gift, we rushed all over the house following the clues from room to room, even finding one clue on our cat's collar! We were lead to the dining for our final clue to find footprints from Father Christmas leading from the chimney and under a cover two brand new bikes!!!!

This is one of my most magical memories of Christmas as a child. Now, as an adult, I adore my parents for making these moments so incredibly special! So when asked by the Arndale who I wanted to thank and take on a day out into Manchester, it was, of course, my wonderful Mum!



Wow, what a fun-filled day the Arndale had planned for us! We met for breakfast at Gino’s Deli which is a great spot for any coffee lover! We devoured our croissants and fruit over lattes and made our plans for the day. We headed straight to the warmth of the Arndale with a mission to look for some winter boots, which we both wanted.



After a little shopping, we stopped off in Costa for a quick refuel of coffee before heading off to Boots for our NYX makeovers. My Mum was a little nervous, as she doesn’t really get her makeup done, or wear a lot, so she let me go first!!! We had Becky do both of our makeovers and she was amazing at understanding what you wanted and making us both look beautiful for the rest of our day! I picked up some great products too as was in need of some bits for my brows and also an eyeliner. My Mum absolutely loved having her makeup done and looked amazing!!



After we had finished our makeovers and feeling super glam, we headed back to the shops for a little browse before lunch. I accidentally (not really) bought two pairs of boots! Whoops! I blame Topshop for having such an amazing offering this season!



For lunch, we headed to Gino’s in Next ready for some food. What better way to celebrate than a cheeky glass of fizz and a toast to our fun day out. We tucked into some delicious Italian food for lunch, a garlic flatbread to start and some calamari (my mums fave!) This was followed by pasta for me - I had the tomato and basil penne pasta, which was absolutely delicious! My Mum went for the Aubergine Parmigiana and wow were we both stuffed after we had finished!! The food was yummy and super filling, just what we needed after a busy morning!




After lunch, we headed over to Lipsy to finish our final bit of filming with the team and had a giggle at being filmed as we browsed through their party dresses and chatted about all things Christmas and parties.

Feeling a little shopped out we decided to head over to Thomas Sabo to have a look at their jewellery. We both were fancying a little treat and November is both of our birthdays and today was all about treating ourselves, so why not! After spending some time browsing and trying on lots of their jewellery we both made up our minds. (It takes me ages!) My mum went for a beautiful star necklace, as it's near my birthday my Mum also bought me a necklace for my birthday and I got myself a little bracelet. It was such a lovely thing to do together.

Super happy with all our new purchases we nipped to Starbucks for a drink and a quick cup of tea before heading home!



We had such a fun day together and loved every minute of it and I cannot wait for Christmas and many more excuses to spend some time with my Mum! I just want to say I feel incredibly lucky to be able to have these amazing opportunities to share with my Mum and a huge thank you to Manchester Arndale for making our day so special and memorable! Roll on Christmas!!