Saturday, 29 November 2014

Portsmouth: The Victorian Festival of Christmas

As refreshing as it is to create new traditions, it can be just as lovely to keep some past ones.  For three consecutive years now, I have been making my way to The Victorian Festival of Christmas at Portsmouth Dockyards - an event running this year from Friday 28th November to Sunday 30th November, 10am - 6pm.  So, if you're anywhere near the area, tomorrow is the last day of admission.. although there's always next year!
















Although I've gone most of my life with a camera glued to my side, this was the first year that I have approached Christmas with a DSLR camera, which so far I've found makes each experience all the greater!  Upon arrival, we made our way towards the smell of fish and chips, however by the time we'd finished eating and adjusting to our surroundings, we walked out of the cafe/restaurant to see one of the most beautiful skies imaginable.  The burning, warm colours of the sky seemed to contrast perfectly with the cold, steely colours and materials of the marine setting below.



The obvious thing to do when visiting the Victorian Festival of Christmas at Portsmouth, is to take a boat trip.  The second most obvious thing to do is to wrap up very, very warm!  The boat trip was both entertaining and informative, as the narration blaring from the speakers on the boat was pretty funny.  Humour aside, I learned a huge amount more than I thought I would as we glided past numerous ships with facts filtering their way through the speaker - for example, did you know the UK alone eats four million bananas every three days?  Because I sure didn't!  Knowing that the wind chill factor in Portsmouth is greater than surrounding areas from my own experiences, I opted to wrap myself in multiple layers - as briefly shown on my Instagram.  We're talking thermal vest followed by a lace vest, covered by a GAP sweater and all of that heat sealed in with a Ralph Lauren puffa jacket.  I bought my Ralph Lauren fur-hooded jacket last year and I can't see myself investing in any other jacket purely for warming purposes now, as nothing could compare to the warmth of this feather-filled jacket!  The grey jodhpurs are a past season style by Zara and the knee-high boots are by Carvela, as shown in a previous outfit post.  Finally, the red cashmere gloves offer a much needed pop of colour to an otherwise dark look, and were purchased last winter in Germany.  

HMS Warrior, Portsmouth Dockyards
There was such a lot to look at and learn about at Portsmouth's Victorian Festival of Christmas and so you can't help but return home with facts spinning around your mind.  The dockyards at this event take on a strong sense of historic pride, which can only be a good thing.  There is nothing greater than visiting somewhere and being presented with not only great sights, but also some information to back up those sights.  A photo of a ship becomes much more and a simple line of sight through the lens of a camera is no longer 2D.   

Needless to say, it was very cold.  I mean, really cold.  I'm probably not the best person to ask to assess the weather considering I'll declare it freezing until the temperature is over 20oC (causing obvious problems living in the UK at the best of times)!  Nevertheless, as we glided along on the boat and my hood was nestled around my head, everyone was excitably taking photos of the surrounding views and warm drinks were taken around on a tray available for sale, I couldn't help but tell myself off a bit for having initially moaned about the cold weather.
































Returning to the Christmas theme, after we had filed out and off the boat and reached our starting point once more, the Christmas theme was evident from the very beginning.  From Victorian-themed dressing to Christmas carollers, if I wasn't already feeling festive, I certainly was after spending a few moments at the dockyards!  I can't remember the last time we had a white Christmas here in the UK, meaning it must have been at least a good few years ago.  Thankfully, the snow machine shooting out realistic snow (helped along by a natural Portsmouth wind), helped me to imagine how lovely it would be to have a white Christmas once more.  It was certainly a lovely touch..  

 






Obligatory photo by a point of interest!  When you see historic sights, it's so easy to run your eyes over them with little assessment and quickly return to modern living.  It's only when you stare long and hard at something for a considerable length of time and imagine how many lifetimes those historic items/settings must have seen, that you truly appreciate them for what they are.  My blog focusses predominantly on the 'bright and beautiful' and so before you view some of these photos as an unusual fit for A Glass Of Ice, I've love you to open your mind to how they may also be bright and beautiful in an admittedly less conventional way.

HMS Victory, Portsmouth Dockyards
     

 









There are so many separate spaces to The Victorian Festival of Christmas, that it could be easy enough to miss out on some features.  It was only towards the very end of the day that we stumbled across the beautiful ferris wheel, as shown above, and a series of more Christmas market stalls selling interesting items such as festive wooden ducks wearing hats, knitted Christmas pudding tea cosies and intricate decorations to hang on the tree.  Just as the announcement came through the speakers that the event was closing for the day, we had also discovered a food van selling delicious sugared donuts, which we ate straight from the paper bag.  There really is so much to explore and discover at the dockyards, and one final surprise even came at the end for us as we were leaving, that was delivered in the form of a beautifully illuminated HMS Warrior.  Christmas is here! 

HMS Warrior, Portsmouth Dockyards

With love,

Gabrielle x


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102 comments

  1. Great festival!
    http://elsecretodemistercloset.com

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  2. The festival sounds amazing - we went to the Victorian Christmas festival in Brighouse today :)

    Lizzie's Daily Blog

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    Replies
    1. I know, I saw your post on the festival! Have a lovely weekend!

      Gabrielle x

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  3. I'm always in awe with your writing! Love reading your posts and I love your photos!

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    1. That is so lovely to be told Katherine, thank you so much!! :)

      Gabrielle x

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  4. Such a great festival! You captured the day's events perfectly...love the pictures.I so enjoy this time of year especially participating in our holiday traditional events. It looks as though you had an amazing time despite the cold weather. Yum to the sugar doughnuts!

    Keisha xo
    www.chrysalisgals.blogspot.com

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    1. I'm so glad you think so, it was a lot of fun to take these photos! I couldn't agree with you more, this time of year can be really wonderful and YES to doughnuts! ;)

      Gabrielle x

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  5. LOVE LOVE LOVE all of these pics! LOOKS like a super fun night! Gorgeous carousal and cute snowman!!! Looks like you had the best time! Happy Holidays!
    kisses
    xoThe Beckerman Girls

    www.BeckermanBlog.com

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    Replies
    1. I'm glad you appreciate the carousel too - I love all of the bright colours!! Hope your week has been going well!

      Gabrielle x

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  6. The pictures are gorgeous and it looks like a really lovely outing, Gabrielle! And I love that you are posting more pictures of yourself here, just stunning!

    Reflection of Sanity

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    1. I truly had a wonderful time there and thank you ever so much for your kind words, I've been a little slack in sharing photos of me before now haha, for sure!

      Gabrielle x

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  7. A couple of my friends went to this! It looked like fun, love your coat! x
    www.lexiealexandra.com

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    1. Oh I wonder if I happened to see any of them without realising! ;)

      Gabrielle x

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  8. It does looks pretty cold, so it's a good thing your dressed up quite warm ;) I really love the photos, I'd love to check the festival out :D

    xxx

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    Replies
    1. It was FREEZING! I hope you manage to check out the festival next year, it's certainly worth the visit! :)

      Gabrielle x

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  9. Really nice photos. Sounds like you had a lovely time!
    It looks so cute and festive!

    http://essentialmustela.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. Thank you Jana, anything 'Christmassy' is good in my book!

      Gabrielle x

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  10. Portsmouth Looks Gorgeous & The festival is Gorge I love Christmas time! :-)
    Serene xoxo

    http://www.imserenel.wordpress.com

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    Replies
    1. You and me both - Christmas brings so many amazing events!

      Gabrielle x

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  11. Sounds like such an amazing time! & also really lovely photographs! So Christmassy too. I love it!

    www.beyondthevelvet.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. So glad you like my photos, it was a lot of fun to take photos here with so much going on!!

      Gabrielle x

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  12. Replies
    1. Thanks very much, Alice!

      Gabrielle x

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  13. You are so gorgeous dear. It is really statring to feel like Christmas there. Happy first of December. :)


    WHATKENNYHEARTS.COM
    FOLLOW ME ON BLOGLOVIN
    LIKE WKH ON FACEBOOK

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thanks ever so much Kenny, that's kind of you to say! Happy December!

      Gabrielle x

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  14. the sites to see are so cool!! thanks for sharing!!

    Animated Confessions

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    Replies
    1. Totally agree with you, I'm so glad you've enjoyed the post!

      Gabrielle x

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  15. Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by Leanne!

      Gabrielle x

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  16. Oh my, Gabrielle. This Victorian festival looks amazing! I wished I could visit one too. I can imagine the cold but it looks so beautiful. Glad that there were warm drinks to keep you warm and fuzzy!

    Jo
    Jo's Jumbled Jardinière

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    1. Thank you for this lovely comment, Jo! It really was incredibly cold, but nothing a hot chocolate couldn't fix! ;)

      Gabrielle x

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  17. Beyond beautiful!
    Kisses from Miami,
    Borka
    www.chicfashionworld.com

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    1. Thanks for your comment and have a great weekend!

      Gabrielle x

      Delete
  18. That looks like a great festival and no I had no idea you guys ate that many bananas! I have a Michael Kors parker and it is really warm. I love it.

    Allie of ALLIE NYC
    allienyc.com

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    1. Yeah this was also news to me haha! Your parka sounds lovely, I also used to have one by MK by lost the belt somewhere along the line!!

      Gabrielle x

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  19. Great photos and it seems like you had a lot of fun!
    Kisses

    www.kelpasdiary.com

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    1. Thanks for your comment, girl!

      Gabrielle x

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  20. Amazing photos. Love it :)



    http://kapege23.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thanks very much, so nice to be told!

      Gabrielle x

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  21. It sure looked like you're pretty warm and toasty with the help of the thick coat and gloves. It's always good to stay warm in this cold weather. I wish I could see some snow this time since I'm here in Paris for a while. Hope you're enjoying a great weekend =)

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    1. This is my go-to look for when I know it's going to be freezing cold haha! I'm hoping for some snow as well and I've no doubt Paris would look beautiful covered in a blanket of snow!! :)

      Gabrielle x

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  22. It looks so Christmassy and fun. The pictures are lovely too! It's a little hard to feel Christmassy today as its 75 degrees right now:) still I'm thinking it's the day to set up the tree!

    www.hollandsreverie.blogspot.com

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    1. I'm so glad you've enjoyed this post and I can imagine 75 degrees would certainly dampen the festive spirit at first! I hope you had a wonderful time setting up your Christmas tree! :)

      Gabrielle x

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  23. Thats sounds and looks fabulous! The photos are amazing :)

    \ Indigo Lights

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    1. Thanks so much for your comment, have a great weekend!

      Gabrielle x

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  24. It looks like you spent there amazing time, I love festivals like this one! And you have amazing hair, Gabrielle ;)

    http://crafty-zone.blogspot.com/

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    1. I'm also a massive fan of interesting festivals and thank you, that's super sweet of you to say!!

      Gabrielle x

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  25. Wow, so beautiful pictures. *__*
    Lovely greets Nessa

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  26. A Victorian Festival sounds so interesting and really unique! What a lovely tradition :) fabulous photos too!

    Heather x
    http://heatherrrrm.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. The tradition started about three years ago and it'll be staying put if I have anything to do with it! ;)

      Gabrielle x

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  27. Great Festival!!! Amazing pics and.... you have a wonderful eyes babe!!!

    Kisses, love Paola.

    Expressyourself

    My Facebook

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    1. Paola, you're so lovely for saying that - thank you! You've made my day!

      Gabrielle x

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  28. Was wondering what that was after seeing your photos! Loving these photos. It looks like so much fun, yet so cold. I hope you didn't take a boat trip when it was that cold! The carousel looks so awesome lit up like that. Looks like you had such a lovely time!

    Denise
    www.fashionloveletters.com

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    1. It was certainly cold, however just as you have said - fun! We did take a boat trip and we turned into ice cubes because of it haha ;)

      Gabrielle x

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  29. Ooh this festival looks so nice! This reminds me of a winter light event called Garden Glow that I went to recently.

    http://itsjpei.wordpress.com/

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    1. Garden Glow sounds lovely - I'll have to look into that! :)

      Gabrielle x

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  30. I adore anything Victorian! These pics are lovely and this festival looks fabulous! T. http://tickledpinkwoman.blogspot.com

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    1. AH, you're a girl after my own heart! Thanks for stopping by, Tina!

      Gabrielle x

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  31. I totally agree with you about keeping old traditions <3

    http://www.thestylishbipolar.com

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    1. I'm glad someone else feels the same way!

      Gabrielle x

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  32. Wow Gabrielle!! I didnt even know that there was such a festival!! And my god, it's colourful and beautiful!!!! It's so so good to learn about different cultures and norms!! :) And gosh, you do seem like you had a blastin' time!!! <3

    http://anshul90.com

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    1. I'm happy to have introduced you to the festival and you're right, it's so very colourful! Thanks heaps for stopping by Anshul and I hope your week is going well so far!

      Gabrielle x

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  33. Looks like so much fun! We can't believe Christmas is coming!

    M + K

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    1. I know what you mean, it seems to have crept up all of a sudden.. although, I'm not complaining! ;)

      Gabrielle x

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  34. Wow it's so beautiful! It's so great to see what festivals are going on in other parts of the world. Can't wait for Christmas now :)!

    Tina
    www.justatinabit.com

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    1. I know what you mean, I love to read posts by other bloggers on the festivals they've attended!!

      Gabrielle x

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  35. This looks marvellous, so beautiful. I hope you have a gorgeous week doll..Happy 1st of December :) xx

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    1. Thank you Kizzy! Happy December!!

      Gabrielle x

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  36. This looks like a perfect winter adventure!
    Edita
    www.pret-a-reporter.co.uk

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    1. That's a nice way of putting it, and it definitely was!

      Gabrielle x

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  37. wow!! what wonderful pics!!

    http://fashi0n-m0de.blogspot.it/

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    1. Thanks heaps Enrica, have a lovely weekend!

      Gabrielle x

      Delete
  38. It's always good to keep some traditions. After all, we cannot just leave them behind as if they never meant anything, especially if it's something we've done for quite some time. I love these photos!

    TRENDGALORE
    BLOGLOVIN

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    1. I couldn't agree with you more, they can hold a certain amount of warmth after a while! Have a wonderful weekend!

      Gabrielle x

      Delete
  39. What a lovely travel post! I adore your cute mittens by the way. The sugared donuts look delicious!! xo~ Lena

    www.felinecreatures.com

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    Replies
    1. I'm glad you've enjoyed this post and thank you, they're actually gloves although mittens would have been warmer haha!

      Gabrielle x

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  40. Replies
    1. Thanks a million, that's so lovely of you to say! :)

      Gabrielle x

      Delete
  41. I love things like this, we have a German Christmas market in Leeds and I can't wait to go!

    Corinne x
    www.skinnedcartree.com

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    Replies
    1. That sounds wonderful, I hope you have a fantastic time!

      Gabrielle x

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  42. Hello beautiful Gaby! Thanks for sharing your visit to the beautiful dockyard. Loved all the pictures you took and to me they were ALL bright and beautiful just like you! I wish I was closer so I could also enjoy all that... maybe next year! We never know what life holds for us so all we have to do is dream about it:-) And girl, I didn't know you UK people could eat so many bananas!!!!! lol. It seems like the Victorian Festival of Christmas was a fun place to go and I am glad you enjoyed it very much. BTW, love everything you are wearing and the red gloves are super cute! You look adorable as always and did you buy any of that cotton candy because it looks super good! Beautiful post Gaby, you only knows how to transport people to places with your beautiful writing. Thanks for sharing my friend, Jeannette

    www.msjeannieandhercloset.com

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    1. I'm so glad you've enjoyed this post Jeannette and thank you for this lovely message! You're so right, dreaming can never be a bad thing! I didn't buy any of the candyfloss and I'll forever regret that haha - the doughnuts were happily enjoyed though! ;) That's so amazing to be told, thank you.. that has well and truly made my day! :)

      Gabrielle x

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  43. OH wow the photos are amazing. I wish it was snowing here. So jealous!
    Have a fabulous week!

    xx Cissy
    www.idreamofbunnies.com

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    Replies
    1. I wish it was snowing here too haha.. for now snow machines will do - fingers crossed we both enjoy a white Christmas!

      Gabrielle x

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  44. Aww this looks so lovely! I would love to go there and take loads of photos though :D

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    Replies
    1. I know what you mean, there is definitely a lot to photograph there!

      Gabrielle x

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  45. What a fun tradition to bring in the holiday season! You looked super cute and cozy in your outfit too! Great photos!

    be the plebeian

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    1. Thank you, this outfit is my go-to look for very cold weather! I hope your Christmas has got off to a good start so far Jasmine!

      Gabrielle x

      Delete
  46. Victorian culture is so interesting and I miss regular injections of British culture since I moved away from the UK. That coat looks so cosy and love the gloves! Also, beautiful photography, especially the lights reflected in the water- stunning!

    Rachel xx
    http://www.thedailyluxe.blogspot.com

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    1. I totally agree with you, there's always more and more to learn about that time as well! Have no fear Rachel... you can get your UK fix through my blog! haha ;)

      Gabrielle x

      Delete
  47. Wonderful pics! Your look is perfect for these cold days! Really amazing, honey.

    ♘ www.sugarpopfashion.com ♘

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    1. Thanks ever so much Stella, it can be quite hard to dress well without compromising warmth!!

      Gabrielle x

      Delete
  48. Amazing post and pics!

    http://bellemelange.net/blog

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  49. Beautiful pictures! This looks like a fun plan for the holidays.
    ~Tatiana
    http://www.weshopinheels.com

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    1. It really was and it's definitely one of my favourite festive traditions!!

      Gabrielle x

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  50. You look so beautiful and happy! <3


    Fashionably,
    http://wingsforliberty.com/

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    1. That's really lovely of you to say, thanks you very much!! :)

      Gabrielle x

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  51. Wonderful pictures!

    http://beautyfollower.blogspot.gr

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