The pursuit of...My Top 10 Festive Holiday Films

I love this this time of year.  Not just for the obvious christmas festivities and fun but when you have time off from work you can also really enjoy all the other holiday moments around Christmas and New Year.
Whether that be taking a trip to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, Ice Skating at the plethora of venues that London has to offer, visiting the Christmas markets or simply staying in with loved ones and watching all the bank holiday movies.

Watching festive old films always takes me back to my childhood.  I remember taping them off the TV onto VHS tapes so I could watch them over and over again! (who remembers going to woolworths and buying 90min and 120min blank VHS tapes and feeling so excited about all the stuff you could record!!).

There's nothing better than settling down with a takeaway and a nice cuppa and watching a nostalgic movie!

Luckily, I have been able to catch a few this year and it got me thinking about what my personal favourite of Top 10 films to watch at this time of year would be.

Here is my list below (in no particular order!):

1. Bedknobs and Broomsticks

This film/musical I watched over and over again when I was younger and I always wished I had a flying bed like it! Angela Lansbury is great in it as a practising young witch in olden day London. I used to beg my parents to take me to Portobello Road so I could sing the song from the film there!

2. Home Alone 2 - Lost in New York

It's not christmas for me unless Home Alone 2 comes on! This really is such a festive feel good movie and for me is the best one from the franchise.  Set in a wintry New York, you have idyllic Christmassy scenes of a snowy Central Park, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree and of course The Plaza Hotel. The perfect Christmas movie!

3. Planes, Trains and Automobiles

I love all of Steve Martin's films. My favourite of his is definitely Father of the Bride but a close second is this one with John Candy.  It just makes me laugh out loud everytime I watch it....and I have seen it lots of times.  It tells the story of the duo trying to make it home for christmas (or was it thanksgiving?) after a snow storm cancels all flights.  It has quite a sad, touching ending too which makes it all the more lovely. 

4. The Holiday

I wasn't really a big fan of Kate Winslet or (Jude Law for that matter) until I saw this film and it made me really like them both.

Again another really festive, heartwarming film where two women swap homes and continents for Christmas.  I love Cameron Diaz in this and the chemistry between her and Jude Law's character was really quite believable.  I'm always happy when I see this film on over the holiday period.

5. Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory

One of my favourites and it has to be this original with Gene Wilder (sorry, the newer Johnny Depp version is just too dark and weird!) This is one of the classics that I had on VHS that I watched over and over again during my summer holidays.  Even now when I watch it I can recite lines from it verbatim.
I remember when I was younger buying Kit Kat's and opening them really slowly pretending that there was a Golden Ticket inside!!- A couple of years ago even my dad actually bought me some Wonka bars and Everlasting GobStoppers as a Christmas present! Love it!

6. Big

Another golden oldie and not necessarily a christmas film per se but one that normally comes on during the festive holiday period.  

Again a much loved one for me and Tom Hanks was brilliant as the kid who got his wish to become an adult.  I love the scene at the end where he is walking towards his house as a 30 year old adult and as he gets closer and closer we see that he has returned to a 12 year old boy with his now too big clothes hanging off him. And of course the famous scene in the NYC toyshop FAO Schwarz, where Tom Hanks plays Chopstix on the electronic foot-operated keyboard.

 A great film.

7. Splash

This film was actually on the other night which is a rarity as this film only comes on once in a blue moon.  A true 80's classic again starring Tom Hanks. I love Daryl Hannah as the mermaid who falls in love with a human and goes in search of him in New York City.  The scene of her eating Lobster in a restaurant with the shell still on while all the other diners stare in horror is hilarious!

9. Four Christmases

I really like Vince Vaughn's comedic style (he's also brilliant in The Break Up) and in this film where him and Reese Witherspoon's characters end up visiting both sets of parents in one day it's a truly festive film.
It has some real laugh out loud moments - the installation of the satellite dish, the re-enactment of The Nativity play, the bouncy castle scene...
This is one of my new favourites.

9. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

If I have to think of one film that sums up my childhood is this one.  Ok,... I never had a flying car or anything and my dad wasn't a mad inventor (!) but this was the one movie that we all used to watch as a family over and over again.  Even now, again I can recite all the words and the songs whenever I watch it and it's so nice to see my nephew loving this film in the same way that we used to.  A true classic!

10. Back to the Future

Yep, the story of Marty Mcfly and Doc Brown travelling through time makes my top 10 list of holiday movies.  You really don't get films like this anymore that can stand the test of time.

So these are the films that I like to watch over Christmas.  Not all of them are 'Christmas' films but they definitely get me in the festive spirit!

Hopefully we'll get to see a couple of these on our screens on New Years Day, so grab a takeaway and snuggle up!!

Love, Ivy George x

The pursuit of...The end of 2014

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas everyone!!
Doesn't the big day go quickly?!....and now it's the big countdown to the New Year.

I had a fabulous day spent with my family - it's always a big occasion and my aunts and uncles normally take it in turns to host it.  This year it was held at my parents house and there was 18 of us all together! I was in charge of the table decorations (above), stuffing, mulled wine and pigs in blankets!!!

Since Christmas Day itself I have been relaxing, catching up on all the festive movies on the TV.
I hit the sales today with a visit to Lakeside and got a few bargains - I must admit I'm not a lover of the sales....

I'm now turning my attention to the New Year where I have lots of exciting things happening....It will be a year of opportunities and big changes for me and hopefully I will get to bring you all on the journey with me...!!

Have fun everyone and in case I don't manage a post before the new year:


Love, Ivy George x 

The pursuit of...Home Baking (Part V)

I'm terrible at letting my fruit go to waste - especially bananas, where I very really get through a whole bunch by myself.
But rather than throwing those sad looking over-ripened bananas in the bin, I quite often make banana bread/loaf/cake (there's so many different variations, I'm sure they are all the same thing!).
It is so quick and easy to make - within minutes, you have a very tasty, moist, healthy cake that is perfect as a quick energy snack or for breakfast with a cup of tea,

Here is my recipe.


  • 125g Butter
  • 150g Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 3 very ripe small bananas (mashed)
  • 190g Self Raising flour
  • 60ml milk


1. Grease a standard sized loaf tin and set aside.

2. Melt butter, sugar and vanilla in a saucepan over a medium heat.

Step 2  (excuse the state of my cooker...the sugar went EVERYwhere!)
Step 2 
3. Remove from heat and add the mashed bananas, mix well.

4. Add the egg. Mix well.

Step 3

Step 3 & 4 with the mashed banana and egg added into the butter mixture
5. Stir in the flour and milk.

Step 5
6. Pour into the prepared tin and bake at 170C/ Fan 150C/ Gas 3 for 45 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.

Step 6

Then Voila! One yummy banana bread is ready. Stick the kettle on and enjoy with a cup of tea! :-)

What's great about making this cake (bread/loaf etc!) is that it fills your whole home up with a cosy, festive baking smell. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg for an even more festive hit!

This is a delicious moist cake, with little scrumptious gooey banana bits that is just perfect during these late winter nights.


See more of my home baking posts below:

Ginger Cake (Part I)
Fruit Scones (Part II)
Chocolate Cake (Part III)
Soda Bread (Part IIII)

Love, Ivy George x

The pursuit of...Fabulous editorials - Vogue Paris

Sometimes you come across a really fabulous editorial in a magazine that really stands out and makes you appreciate the hard work and attention to detail that must have gone into it.

In this months Vogue Paris, I completely fell in love with their edit titled 'Panoplies' which has models dressed eerily (and completely believably I must add) as Barbie dolls.

Each doll is boxed and clad in the designers representative SS15 collection with matching accessories dotted around the box.  The attention to detail is amazing!

Photographed by Giampaolo Sgura and modelled by 'doll face' models Magdalena Frackowiak and Elisabeth Erm, this was one spread where I actually spent ages poring over and savouring - I so want one of those dolls!! 

I wouldn't be surprised if the designers themselves took inspiration from this and decide to bring out limited edition dolls from their collection....Barbie Dolls for adults, who wouldn't want one?!!!

Below are some of the pictures from the editorial for Vogue Paris that was styled by Claire Dhelens & Celia Azoulay.  My favourites are Ralph Lauren (above), Chanel, Dior, and Valentino.

Love, Ivy George x 

The pursuit of...Shoes, Sparkle and Festive Fun!

I love shiny accessories! Whether its patent, embellished or metallic, like a magpie, as soon as I see the twinkle, I am all over it!
When I saw these metallic silver shoes in Zara, again, it was LOVE at first sight for me.  They looked almost like a slick, shiny bullet or dart and looked fabulous with my skinny black cigarette pants.

As I am so fussy, I opted to buy them online as the pair I tried on in store had a few (minor!) scuffs on them.
They finally arrived yesterday in all their glory and they are even more shinier (yay!!) - they are so reflective, I could probably use it as mirror too! (I joke!...sort of...)

These shoes are definitely a statement shoe and deserve to take centre stage of an outfit. 
I will be wearing these with a pared down monochrome outfit - i.e. black skinny jeans and a white shirt or my trusted black cigarette pants (which I love!) with a slouchy off the shoulder jumper in either black or muted grey.

By the way....Happy December!!
I was busy putting up my Christmas decorations last night so I was surrounded by sparkle everywhere!!
I ended up putting up my tree whilst wearing these shoes and singing along to Christmas songs at the top of my voice!....I was having a great time!....might have had something to do with that Baileys on the rocks I was also drinking!....ahhh I do LOVE Christmas!! ;-)

Have you got into the festive spirit yet?

Love, Ivy George x

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