BLOGMAS DAY 24: 'Twas the Night Before Christmas...

Well here we are, the final post of BLOGMAS 2016, but we all know what that means...CHRISTMAS EVE! I feel like this day is almost as good as if not better than Christmas Day itself! I love that moment when everyone comes in from work/visiting people and knows that finally, everyone is home together with nothing to do but spend time together! AMAZING! After a few wonderful days of visiting various friends and family in Newcastle and Durham, it is so nice to have had such great times seeing everyone and now to just spend time at home, very very heartwarming! Mum has finished work, Dad is continuing to cook up a storm and Faye is still in her spot on the sofa and as I sit here typing up the final BLOGMAS I can't help but feel overwhelmed with festive feelings and joy! 

Mum just did one of her fabulous Christmas Eve traditions of letting us open our new Christmas pyjamas in time for dinner and watching a Christmas film! I just love this cosy little tradition each year and there is nothing better than all sat with a drink in hand whilst watching a festive film! This years choice is "The Muppets Christmas Carol" I mean, does it get more Christmassy that that?! I love the smell of the house this year! My Dad has been cooking up a storm for the past two days and there is a wonderful concoction of gingerbread and roast dinner as we get some bits and pieces to eat this evening! 

As I sit here, gin & tonic in had, surrounded by family and wonderful decorations for Christmas I just want to say a HUGE thank you for taking the time to read my NevNYC BLOGMAS posts for the past month! I couldn't have done this without you all and hearing how much you enjoy them has only encouraged me to do these everyday! It has been such a difficult but fun challenge to get a blog post up everyday but it has only made me even more excited for this Christmas! I can't believe how fast it has gone! I will be back before the New Year to do a final blogpost of 2016 but in the meantime I hope tonight you are with loved ones, celebrating your life and all those that are in it. I hope you take time to relax, and be in the present. I hope you take time to reflect upon and look forward toward. And most importantly I hope that you have a wonderful and magical Christmas!

"Merry Christmas to all, and to all, a goodnight!"

I had to finish off my "Christmas Song of the Day" section with my favourite Christmas song of all time...
Christmas Song of the Day: THE CHRISTMAS SONG - NAT KING COLE

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BLOGMAS DAY 23: 10 Perfect Christmas Day Games!

One of my favourite things about Christmas Day is the Christmas party games and board games! There is nothing like a bit of healthy competition after lunch! Usually with full stomachs after everyone has had a nap, and copious amounts of champagne, we crack open the board games! Usually there is a board game that is the new hit of that year and Mum or our neighbour Debi cracks it out on game night! But one thing I have also loved doing in recent years is PARTY GAMES! Nothing is funnier than when everyone is a bit squiffier after one to many gin & tonics, than playing party games! If this is something you havent seen or you are looking for a new one to play this year I thought I would round up some of my favourites I've seen or played! 

1. Antler-Swing
This one we played last year and it was honestly one of the funniest games I've played at a party all you need is:

4 Tennis Balls
2 Pairs of tights
1 Bottle

You're going to want to put a tennis ball in the end of the foot of each pairs of tights. Place the bottle on the floor in between two people standing behind a line that is equal distance from the bottle. Each person places the tights on their head using the waistband, leaving the tennis balls in the tights hanging side by side. With hands behind your back your aim is to knock over the bottle with the tennis balls!

2. Malteaser Run
This one is a game that was hilarious watching people participate in! My friend Carly last year uploaded videos to Facebook of her Grandad playing and it was hilarious!
All you need to play is:

A handful of Malteasers or any candy in the shape of a ball
1 tape measure

Any number of people can play this game but all you need to do is to have two people holding each end of the tape measure. The person holding the beginning of the tape measure wants to hold the end up to their mouth whilst the person holding the tape measure holder end is to roll a malteaser down the tapemeasure into the other person mouth. The aim is to get the malteaser into the recipients mouth without it fall off of the tapemeasure itself. Whoever can do this successfully with the longest distance of tapemeasure, wins!

3. Poop the Potato!
This game I haven't actually seen before apart from on a video that went viral this year! All you need is:

2 teams
1 potato per player
2 buckets

After splitting the teams, place a bucket at equal distance on the opposite end of the room to each team. Each player places the potato between their thighs! The aim is to drop the potato into the bucket at the otherside of the room without using their hands. Hands may only be used to readjust the potato if it is falling! Whichever team gets all their potatoes in the bucket first, wins!

4. Forfeit Pass the Parcel
A British childrens party classic but made funner with this addition! All you need is:

1 parcel wrapped more than 6 times (the more layers of wrapping, the longer the game)

Everyone is to sit in a circle and with one person overseeing whilst also being the DJ. The DJ plays music and everyone begins to pass around the parcel. Once the DJ stops, whoever has the parcel must unwrap one layer of the wrapping. You do this until the prize in the middle has been opened. To make it more fun, you can add a forfeit to each layer, make it festive by putting things like, "Must eat a spoonful of mint sauce", "Make a whipped cream beard on their own face" etc, you can really have fun with this game! Instead of forfeits you can add a little prize with each layer, the possibilities are endless!

5. Who Am I?
I LOVE this game, although it can be a long one!
All you need is:

A sticky note per player
Additional cellotape if needed

Each player must write a character/celebrity/significant figure down on a sticky note and stick it to the forehead of the person sitting to their right. Make sure that they aren't able to see who you have written! Use additional cellotape or medical tape to stick down the sticky note. Once everyone has someone written on their head, everyone must roll a dice. Whoever rolls double goes first and they are able to ask the rest of the group questions in order to guess who they have on their forehead. The aim is too guess correctly. However the questions must only be responded with yes or no. For instance they cannot be "Is the person male or female?" but instead you could ask "Is the person female" to which everyone must respond with yes or no. And so on. Whoever guesses correctly first, wins!

The next five games are board games that I highly recommend playing on Christmas Day if you have them! Warning: Cards Against Humanity is recommended for 17+  

I hope this post helped in planning what festive fun you and your family might get up to on Christmas Day! I highly recommend any of the games above for some fun and games! If you have any recommendations I would love to hear what games your guys play by commenting on the blogpost or by sending me a message on social media! Or if you play any of the games above a little bit differently, let me know!!! If you play any of the games above please tag me your images and videos on social media at @nevnyc or by using the hashtag #nevnyc as I would LOVE to see them!

Check back tomorrow for the FINAL BLOGMAS post! I cannot believe tomorrow will be the last one!!!!

HAPPY BLOGMAS DAY EVERYONE!

Christmas Song of the Day: ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU - MARIAH CAREY

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Luke Antony Neville

Hey Guys! I am a 22 year old British guy, living in Brooklyn, New York. This place is crazy different from my small hometown of County Durham, England, so I thought what better way to record my new life here in America than by making a blog!! NevNYC is a little break from your day with the intention of bringing a smile to people's faces. I'm on a wild wild adventure and I can't wait to bring you guys along with me! 

Luke
NevNYC

BLOGMAS DAY 22: Gingerbread Cookies

I mean what is more festive to bake during the final week in the run up to Christmas than GINGERBREAD! This week I was over at one of best friends from university, Lauren and we decided it would be super fun to decorate some gingerbread cookies! Now Lauren is like me in that we both LOVE Christmas so the idea of baking and blasting Christmas/Musical songs was the perfect way to spend the afternoon! We had been looking for a quick & easy recipe for gingerbread dough and came across this recipe that was so easy to make on its own as well as being able to increase or decrease the ingredients depending on preference. This is the recipe that Lauren and I went for!

Gingerbread Biscuit Dough

- 350g plain flour
- 175g light brown sugar
- 125g butter (room temperature)
- 1 egg
- 4 tbsp syrup
- 3 tbsp ground ginger
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tbsp baking powder

1. Firstly pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and lay some greaseproof paper on a baking tray

2. Chuck the plain flour, cinnamon, ground ginger and baking powder into a bowl. At this point you can add more or less ginger depending on your preference. Add in the butter and mix it all together until you have a breadcrumb consistency. 

3. Add in the sugar, whisked egg and syrup and mix it into the breadcrumb mixture until it forms a dough. You can use your hands at this point to make the dough to really ensure that all the mixture is a part of the dough.

4. Place the dough in clingfilm and place in the refrigerator for 15 - 20 minutes. 

5. Take the dough out of the fridge and roll out the dough onto some flour. 

6. Cut in your shapes, whether it be a gingerbread man or if you are attempting a gingerbread house! 

7. Place on greaseproof paper on a baking tray and bake for 12 - 15 minutes until golden brown. 

8. Remove from oven and leave on baking tray for 10 minutes before removing to cooling tray. 

Note: These cookies do expand. And with our remaining dough, we decided to attempt a big gingerbread man!

9. Once cooled, decorate to your fancy! 

I had the best Christmassy afternoon with Lauren, and thank her and her family for letting us make a mess of the kitchen! It was so nice to catch up and sing out hearts out over baking!!! SO SO FESTIVE!

Last night Faye & I went for a pre-Christmas meal with our grandparents, Granny Sue and Grandad Mike. It was so nice just to catch up with them and chat about everything that has been happening since we last saw them back in June! It really is crazy how time flies and how much we have all changed! Lovely to see them!

Christmas Song of the Day: I WISH IT COULD BE CHRISTMAS EVERYDAY - WIZZARD

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BLOGMAS DAY 21: Last Minute Christmas

Now although I have been enforcing BLOGMAS onto everyone's social media homefeeds for the last 21 days, I know that not everyone is into Christmas as much as I am. However, Gino doesn't need to know this  ;). I have however seen a few people who do in fact love Christmas write things such as "I don't even feel Christmassy yet" or "Christmas is this weekend and I haven't done anything remotely Christmassy", well don't worry in this last-minute Christmas Guide I will be giving you plenty of suggestions to do within the next 4 days to get you right into the Christmas and festive spirit! 

GET ONLINE
This first suggestion I know you may be like...what? But online you can find all sorts of inspiration to get you right into the festive spirit! Over on YouTube you have many a YouTuber doing "VLOGMAS" which is a video diary a day from the 1st to the 24th of December! For the past three years I have watched so many different VLOGMAS' and they honestly make me feel SOOOO Christmassy! Here are a few you should most-definitely check out!

Zoella - VLOGMAS 2016

The Anna Edit - 4 Weeks of VLOGMAS

SACCONEJOLY's - Daily Vlog Channel

Jasmine Rossol - Christmas Videos 

If watching YouTube isn't your thing then there is plenty blogs you can get your Christmas inspiration from, whether you are looking for recipes, homeware inspiration, decoration ideas or gift guides!

BONJOURLUCE - One of my all time favourite bloggers with a beautiful website dedicated to making your life that little bit more wonderful. This Christmas Lucy has made the perfect Gift Guide after having tried the products out herself. It really is the perfect way to recommend gifts to us readers and I completely trust her opinion! Check her out, you will not be disappointed!

WISHWISHWISH - Carrie over on WISHWISHWISH has the perfect Christmassy Day Out recommendations alongside some cheeky Christmas DIY posts, I highly suggest checking out her website for the perfect Instagram feed and some posts that you can't help but want to read and then try out yourself!

THEANNAEDIT - Okay so I know that essentially this blogpost is turning into an expression of love for Anna and her posts however I really feel Anna grasps what Christmas really is about, good ol' festive fun. Check out her gift guides, vlogs and recipes for the perfect lazy Christmas day in at home! I'm currently sat drooling at these orange cookies!

 

WATCH SOME CHRISTMAS FILMS!

Okay everyone knows that a sure-fire way to feel Christmassy is to whack on a Christmas classic! To go even further why not go down to your local newsagents at pick up the Christmas Radio Times, in there you can scroll through the TV listings for Christmas and I can guarantee you will be able to find at least one of your favourites! If not, here are 5 Christmas films that are well in my TOP 10 Christmas Films:

CATCH UP WITH FRIENDS

This for me makes Christmas so special and I am loving getting all my catch-up plans in order now that I am home! Organise a little Christmas Dinner with your friends, you can either head out to a bar or restaurant or have a little cook-out at one of their houses! Before leaving New York I had so much fun with friends at Jess's house we all just brought booze and some nibbles and had a grand old time! 

AVOID SHOPPING MALLS/CENTRES

I know one place that completely kills my buzz for Christmas, although I know for some people, it makes Christmas, but that is shopping centres. There is nothing like a bustling crowd pushing and shoving around all the stores to try and grab last minutes gifts and presents. Why not try online shopping, around this time of year a lot of online stores will do great shipping and returns offers and you can check out many gift guides to find that perfect gift for that special someone! Check out my BLOGMAS 2016 Gift Guide!
 


BAKING

I love nothing more than a house that smells of good home cooking and baking. To get yourself in the festive mood why not organise a baking day with family, friends or even on your own. Nothing gets your more festively frustrated than attempting a gingerbread house! 

OR MAYBE...

You're just not into forced festive fun! And that's okay! I'm someone who loves making the whole month a big massive celebration of the year, but I know plenty of people who just enjoy having Christmas Day itself to sit back, relax and enjoy the day off! However you celebrate, enjoy yourself!

I hope you all have a wonderful last few days in this run-up to Christmas!

HAPPY BLOGMAS DAY EVERYONE!

Christmas Song of the Day: SLEIGH RIDE - ELLA FITZGERALD

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Luke Antony Neville

Hey Guys! I am a 22 year old British guy, living in Brooklyn, New York. This place is crazy different from my small hometown of County Durham, England, so I thought what better way to record my new life here in America than by making a blog!! NevNYC is a little break from your day with the intention of bringing a smile to people's faces. I'm on a wild wild adventure and I can't wait to bring you guys along with me! 

Luke
NevNYC