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Mumspiration #2

From how to find your inner zen despite all that wrapping and decorating to what to wear on Christmas day, this is my pick of the best clicks to help keep you sane this season of peace, goodwill and panic buying.

one/ Here's a welcome distraction from all things festive - for a frank, warts-and-all take on motherhood, check out the performance poetry of the brilliant Hollie McNish. She is just so damn cool. Her writing on everything from the infantilisation of women to immigration flows eloquently with an energy and a pulse that's very inspiring. Watch this performance of the clever 'Embarassed' on You Tube and you will be hooked.

two/ Tis the season to try and make the house Christmassy and perfect and then... let go of the need for control (as the kids jump on the blow up santa and pull down the lights). Find out how to practice living in the moment in this wonderful blog post from Zen Habits.

three/ After all that wrapping, you deserve a treat! So why not purchase a lovely little something to wear. If you're beach bound this winter, this gorgeous scalloped bikini is my current favourite. For chillier seasonal style, this A-line tan suede skirt would look amazing with flat black ankle boots, and a roll neck jumper, and is a total bargain considering it's real leather. Perfect Christmas day outfit perhaps?

four/ Menu planning, using this Jamie Oliver book as a guide, has helped me simplify and organise my busy life (as a cook for five people). I now use the recipes as a guide rather than sticking to them religiously. And plan my food shopping accordingly. His latest book Everyday Super Food, is definitely on my Christmas list!

five/ Living in the tropics, where seeing giant snowmen decorations underneath the blazing hot sun has felt somewhat ironic, I'm in need of some Christmas inspiration in the run up to our UK trip. I'm not really a fan of plum pudding so this Nigella Lawson cake (pictured above) is my idea of the perfect Christmas day desert. Curling up on the sofa with some delicious treats and a stack of new cookbooks will be my holiday passtime of choice (when the kids are hopefully either playing with their new toys or tucked up in bed). I'm keen to try these sweet potato fries with garlic avocado aioli, this chai hot chocolate (which happens to be vegan) and these homemade fruit and nut chocolate bars. Plus I'm looking forward to watching at least a couple of the Christmas movies on this list.

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