Win! Tickets For The Festive Gift Fair 2018


It is now officially October, and so I think I am now safe to mention the word Christmas. I know that some people totally ban the word until Bonfire Night has come and gone, but for others, now is the time to start planning and preparing. This includes people who get paid monthly and may only have to paydays before the man in red arrives, those with lots to buy for, or even those like me, who have a child with a birthday the week before Christmas and so it is a very expensive time.

If you are making that list and checking it twice, the annual Festive Gift Fair that takes place at  the Birmingham NEC on the 15-18 November, is a great one stop destination for all things Christmas. Now in its 23rd year, the fair is one of the most popular Christmas Shopping events in the UK. with more than 325 stores that cater to all tastes and needs. There are special fair discounts on the day to make your money stretch just that little bit further, there is also a present creche where you can drop off your bags as you continue to shop.

The Fair is also about food and entertainment.  The organisers say

The festive atmosphere is always fantastic and there’s even more this year with NEW icicle lighting throughout the hall and a NEW Victorian bandstand where LIVE Bands will take centre stage. While browsing the stalls, let the music get you into that Christmassy mood and be entertained by Santa himself, Stilt walkers and Pantomime characters.

There are also a wide range of food stores selling all manner of festive fair to totally treat the tastebuds, as well as Champagne and festive fizz.

You can buy your tickets by clicking here.

Competition Time.

I have ten pairs of tickets for this year’s Festive Gift Fair which you can win by entering below.

UK Entries only.

Festive Gift Fair Competition


The Messiah At The Birmingham Rep – Anarchic Brilliance

You have probably seen ‘The Greatest Story Ever Told’ in one form or another, but it is a safe bet that you have never seen it performed like this before. The Messiah is an hilariously funny retelling of the birth of Christ performed by a cast of three, two inept actors and a rather exasperated opera singer. It has it all, slapstick comedy, a mangled script, wonky sets and a literal star that seems to have a mind of its own. It is, without doubt, the funniest thing you will see on stage this year and I absolutely loved it.

Hugh Dennis is Maurice ‘Bromsgrove’ Rose, the pompous head of a very small, traveling theatre company. Small, in that it only has one other member, Ronald Bream (John Marquez). Together with their guest star, opera singer Mrs Leonora Fflye (Lesley Garrett) they are staging their own version of The Messiah. It is gloriously, uproariously bad, so bad it is brilliant in fact, with one liners that come thick and fast, costumes that make you laugh out loud (all I will say is Herod’s nose!) and a birth of the Messiah scene that will live long in the memory. But, as the hapless thespian’s perform the most sacred of plays, their friendships start to fall apart. Will they even make it to the final scene?

The cast of The Messiah are just incredible. The always funny Hugh Dennis is almost the straight man as Maurice, with delusions of grandeur far above his tiny theatre company. The census scene, complete with the audience participation, is a particular high point of his performance as he loses it as his idea for audience participation descends into chaos,  I also loved his Joseph ( you know where I’ve been, I’ve been making a sideboard) too. John Marquez as the hapless, slightly lunatic Ronald is side splitting, with his mangling of the script (just listen to him pronounce Bethlehem), funny facial expressions and asides raising laugh after laugh from an audience clearly enjoying every minute. I dare you to watch Ronald as one of the three kings trying to jump onto the revolving stage and keep your face straight. It’s impossible.

Lesley Garrett is an absolute revelation. Her beautiful voice of an angel is clearly fitting in this scenario, and even in the midst of all the mayhem her ‘Silent Night’ is stunning. But it is her comic timing and deadpan expression that really impresses. Her Mrs Leonora FFlyte is a brilliantly realised character, especially when she has to take on the role of the third king, leading to suitably hilarious results.

Side splitting brilliance, The Messiah will have you leaving the theatre with your sides hurting. A must see!

The Messiah

Birmingham Repertory Theatre

Until 27th October

Click here for ticket information

Airport Style: How to Get It Right

When air travel was first initially opened to the public, passengers would dress up in their absolute best. During this golden age of air travel, the change to fly up in the sky was almost as exciting as the destination. Today, it is just another means to an end, but that doesn’t mean you should stop putting in effort to look good. It is no secret that we feel great about ourselves when we think we look great, which is why nailing your airport style should be a must on any stylish woman’s to-do list. You don’t have to push through in a sweaty mess, by following this guide, you can get your airport style right the first time:

Pack Smart for Easy Travel

To pack smart, you need to not only think about how garments go together, but how you can pack your bags so that you can get through airport security with ease. If you only have your carry on for your trip, the quality of your travel wardrobe becomes more important. Try to choose items that only go together so that you have the maximum number of outfit choices, and then keep all liquids and electronics in easy-to-reach areas.

Wear Layers to Accommodate Fluctuating Temperatures

If you are traveling from a cold country to a warm country or vice versa, it can be very beneficial to wear layers to accommodate the fluctuating temperatures. To accommodate different temperatures, wear an:

  • Undershirt and sports bra for comfort
  • Blouse or over shirt
  • Cardigan or coat

The more layers, the more opportunities you have to be the right temperature in any situation.

Have an Airport-Approved Beauty Pack to Refresh

If airlines make you sweat and even cause your acne break out, then bring a small beauty pack of face wash and moisturizer. It isn’t recommended you do this on the plane, of course, but cleaning up afterward in the bathroom can help you stay looking fresh and polished.

Know Airport Policy to Survive Delays

Delays can turn even the most experienced traveler into a nightmare. Rather than let things you cannot control cause you so much distress, know your rights and airport policy beforehand. For example, knowing you can claim compensation on reasonable expenses made during a delay can help you recoup some of the costs. This applies whether you are flying first class or on a budget airline like Ryanair. If they do not give you a voucher for a free drink or meal, remember to keep your receipts. If your delay exceeds 1.5 hours, you can take these receipts and contact FairPlane to see if you have a compensation claim. If you do, you can get the mandated compensation cost and either all your expenses back or at least some of them.

Airports are a familiar face to travelers. You almost always have wait times, and therefore it is up to you to make the most of the experience as you can. Dressing up and knowing how to stay comfortable can help you feel great and enjoy yourself so much more during any pre-boarding wait or layover you have.


A Month With Buckt (And A Huge Discount Too!)

Have you heard about Buckt? Buckt is the UK’s only ticket and activities subscription box and is based specifically around events in and around the city of Birmingham. Every month, you will get a box through the post that contains at least five mystery experiences, ranging from concerts and gigs, to cultural activities like stately home visits, to fun for the more adventurous – locked rooms, go karting, rock climbing, basically the activities could be anything. You then either book online or ring the activity directly and book onto the activities for you and your partner. It basically sorts out a whole month of date nights in one foul swoop. Clever eh!

So how does it work? Well, first you subscribe to Buckt. The usual cost is £25 per month, per couple, so it costs just £12.50 each person. As the activities cost around £50 per person, this is quite a saving, even if you choose not to do everything. Once you have signed up you receive your book with your activities listed in, and the booking details, you then have up to two months to book and enjoy the activities. It is that simple.

Buckt is ultimately created for couples, but I have tried some of the activities with my son, including a coach trip to London that is booked for this Friday through Snap. You can also add friends to most bookings, particularly good for this month’s Halloween selection which may work well as a bigger group.

Other activities I have planned are tickets to see a Michael Jackson tribute act in Birmingham next week, and we have enjoyed a tour of the Jewellery Quarter museum, a place I had walked by on many occasions, but had never actually visited. Buckt introduces you to places you may not have experienced, and really takes the hard work out of thinking of something to do at the weekend.

Buckt Flash Sale

For one week only (22nd – 29th October) you can get your Buckt box subscription for the month of November for just £6.25, which is 75% of the normal RRP.

Yes that is five activities for 2 people for just £6.25, there are no hidden costs or fees.

To sign up


Sign up, adding the code FASHIONMOMMY625

You will receive your box in early November.