On the 2nd January 2014 I sat down and wrote this post. In it I outlined what I hoped 2014 would bring our little family. That week I had handed in my notice to work, something which was scary and exciting in equal measures and I had no idea how it would work me working freelance and for myself. I also wrote about how I was determined to try and lose weight and to change my lifestyle, something which I have never been able to stick to before. It's now the 1st January 2015, the start of a New Year and time to say goodbye to 2014.
What can I say about 2014? It was a truly special year. We had no significant milestones or events, but we have grown as a family and it has been really exciting. I feel like I have learnt so much about myself and where and who I want to be. When I handed in my notice I had no idea what to expect but it turns out it was one of the best things I ever did. I work harder than I ever have before, way more so than in my old job where I could more often than not switch off
This year I have done 99% of my Christmas shopping online. In fact, I think I have only stepped foot in the shops once. While I love shopping and enjoy a good browse around the shops, there are two things which make shopping more of a chore and less of a fun day out- little people and crowds. Since having Mads and LL shopping isn't as fun as it used to be. It usually involves lugging the buggy around the shops, hitting shoppers in the shin and bribing them to stay in their sets with sugary treats. Everything takes twice as long and while they are pretty good, it just isn't a pleasurable experience like it once was.
Add to that Christmas shopping crowds (is it just me or does anyone else get so angry?) and I just prefer to stay clear of the shops from December onwards. For the last few years we have done most of it online but this year is the first year where I can genuinely say 99% of our purchases have been online.
I have had a Paypal account for years, using it as part of my eBay account and to buy things online securely and quickly. In fact wherever possible I use my Paypal account online, as it is easy and efficient to safely purchase goods. I also use it a lot in my freelance work as a quick way of sending and receiving money with ease. Therefore when Paypal asked if I wanted to write about their service, I was more than happy too as I genuinely use it an almost daily basis.
We don't go mad on Christmas presents but it does all mount up, especially as we have Mads birthday on Christmas Eve. Here are just a few of the bits and pieces we have bought via paypal, obviously I can't show you them all because I don't want anyone to see!
One big thing we have done this year is we are upgrading Mads and LL's play kitchen. We have got them lots of gorgeous wooden play food from GLTC, ELC and Amazon to name a few. Their play kitchen is their number one toy so I hope they will both enjoy some new bits for it. Aside from this the one thing Mads has been asking for if someone asks 'what she would like from Father Christmas' is a 'Big Buzz.' She is obsessed with Toy Story and so we have bought her the talking Buzz Lightyear and asked other family members to get the other characters- she is going to be so excited to open it on Christmas Day, I cannot wait to see her face.
We have also bought her a One Direction Harry doll, which makes me cringe a little but she again asked for this and who are we not to make a three almost four year old happy on Christmas Day?! Plus we have bought them some little bits of clothing, like these super cute hats. We have also treated friends and family, like these gorgeous stacking rings for my little sister. They say giving is better than receiving and this is deinitely true- I love to think carefully about what gifts to get my loved ones.
Thanks so much to Paypal for making our Christmas so much easier. It's given us more time to enjoy things as a family, such as days out, Christmas baking and other fun stuff. This weekend is our wedding anniversary and we are taking the girls ice skating and out to lunch- normally we would be rushing around last minute trying to buy presents!
Paypal is running a ‘Win Christmas with PayPal’ competition where if you choose to shop with PayPal, you could win what you spent on your Christmas shopping back up to £1,000!
All you need to do is visit www.paypal.co.uk/winchristmas to register yourself, and then every transaction with PayPal is an entry in to the draw. Paypal is also running a series of amazing giveaways on its Facebook page. Just visit Paypal on Facebook and upload your best Christmas Moments to enter. Good luck!
Find out more about the Paypal campaign on twitter using the hashtag #paypalmoments.
NB. Thanks to Paypal for working with us this Christmas, all thoughts and opinions are my own.