Memories of London & Getting Festive for the Holidays / Carmen Varner // Travel Influencer, Blogging Coach, Social Media Consultant


Memories of London & Getting Festive for the Holidays

This post is sponsored by AMARA but the content & opinions expressed here are mine.

Memories of London, England

I just got back from a remarkable trip to London. This California girl marveled at the wintertime festivities throughout the city. Although the sun sets by 4:30 PM, London comes to life at night. Christmas decorations light up the sky, as tourists stop dead in their tracks to gawk at the vastness of it all, myself included.

The Oxford Street Christmas decorations made me oooh & aaah. Carnaby Street? Don't even get me started! Live music, delicious food, & Christmas cheer awaits at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland. There are heaps of holiday decorations around the city. It feels like every barbershop has a tree & every brewery has some sort of tinsel or bauble. 

But what happens when you head back home to sunny San Diego? What happens when you're back in the land of the 71°F/22°C December days when you finally acclimated the 2°C London afternoons? What happens when the holiday cheer & decor isn't as prevalent? Do it yourself!

When you're used to holly jolly holidays & you're not satisfied with the number of sparkly lights in your life, simply create your own festive heaven. Add a Multicolor Pom Pom Garland to your tree for a bit of colorful cheer. 

Of course, I chose the London double-decker bus decoration. We rode on the second story of the bus nearly much every day we were there. It's one of the best ways to see the city & get the lay of the land. There's even a red telephone box decoration, which is fitting since I took a photo in the telephone booth too! These ornaments make for long-term London travel memories that I can remember year after year.

Although I'm hankering for a piping hot Americano (a great way to warm up your hands from the frigid London air), it's not necessary quite yet in San Diego. Instead, I whipped up a festive-looking iced matcha latte with a fancy glass straw. The straws come in a set of four with a cute little brush to clean them with.

I'll never be able to recreate the smell of the London pubs — that mix of beer & hot food & people congregating together to shelter themselves from the drizzle of rain outside. But instead, I can reflect on the good times with a Maison Jardin Candle in Yuzu Rose Stonecrop or any of AMARA's other candles, like this Victorian Earl Grey candle.

Now I'm trying to get back into the groove of things. Adjusting back to the Pacific Time zone is rough. I feel exhausted even after a good night of sleep, but I'll recover soon enough. Time to organize my emails, write some posts, & get back to business. At least I have the London memories, the photos, the videos to enjoy!

Save money for your next trip. Get $40 in travel credit if you sign up for Airbnb. Fred & I used Airbnb during our trips to Paris, London, Tijuana, & more. 

How are you getting festive this season? Have you visited London?

* Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by AMARA. As always, all opinions are 100% mine aka Carmen's. Learn more about my disclosure. :]


  1. Voluspa candles are honestly the best and my favorite candles! London is so beautiful, isn't it? The pub's are so lively and great for socializing and just having a drink. I can imagine how festive and great the atmosphere must be during the holidays. I'm glad you enjoyed your trip, your photos are lovely xx

    Sending light & love your way,

    My Lovelier Days

  2. Your trip sounded amazing! I can't wait to visit London, especially around Christmas time!

  3. Sounds like it was such a fun trip! Hope you can get into the holiday spirit at home with all the fun stuff! Happy Holidays!

  4. Love London and I’m totally inspired by your post to visit during the holidays. So magical.

  5. London sounds like it would be the perfect place to spend the holidays with all the decor! I live in sunny Tucson, so I understand about bringing holiday cheer to your surroundings!

  6. I'd love to go to London around Christmastime!! I'm glad you had a good time!

    Effortlessly Sophisticated

  7. My boyfriend and I were only in London for a very short while, during a 10 hour layover in between our fight to Greece this May. But we LOVED it! It was the perfect "rainy" and cold London night, too. Would so love to go back around Christmas time, that sounds awesome.

  8. So lovely. The glass straw is actually beautiful! Lovely shots :)

  9. Very nice looking very cute

  10. I wish to travel to London soon. I bet it's as beautiful as your pictures suggest!

  11. Omg London would be absolutely beautiful to see during the holiday season. Id love to see all the beautiful decorations and festive activities.

  12. Oooh I bet London is gorgeous this time of year. I hope to go sometime in the next couple years!

  13. Definitely. London is very photogenic. :]

  14. Yessss all about that holiday spirit. :]


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