Monday, 12 December 2016

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like....

There really is no getting away from it now, Christmas is on its way. Cards are arriving through the letter box, gifts are being hidden in strange places and the bottle of Baileys has been broken into so it is now official.
It is such a magical time of year.
The build up started for us a couple of weeks ago when we wrapped up warm and went to visit the reindeer. We love to do this every year and it's becoming a bit of a family tradition now. They are such gorgeous, friendly creatures and with those huge brown eyes they are impossible to resist.
The advent calendar was hung on the first of the month and is the first port of call every morning for a chocolatey treat for Lily. I really should get one for myself another year.
Last week, after being inspired by Sadie's gingerbread house, I decided to have a go at making a simpler version myself. I found a recipe and  template online and was pleasantly surprised by how it turned out considering it was my first attempt. Of course, I had my very willing assistant to help with the decorating so there were an awful lot of sweets that didn't make it anywhere near the icing, but it was a lot of fun to do and that is the whole point. Fun. We will definitely be doing this again next year.
We have really enjoyed seeing all the Christmas lights and decorations around and about and at the end of the week we took a trip to Liverpool. It was such a treat. The lights, store window displays and festive atmosphere really did all go towards making it very magical, and to top it all off there was a fairground for children and all the sights, sounds and enticing aromas of the Christmas market. We came home with a large bag of gifts and feeling very festive indeed.
Also this week I returned home to a beautiful card on the doorstep. I signed up to Amy's card swap again this year and was partnered with the lovely Cheryl at My Little Piece Of England. A gorgeous hand made card. Isn't it beautiful? Thank you so much, Cheryl.
Yesterday we decorated our tree and, so far, the cat has stayed away. Let's see how long that lasts. I hope it all stays in one piece until after the festivities.
The wreath is now in place on the front door and this week I will be bringing more greenery into the house for some finishing touches, making more lists, wrapping gifts and writing cards.
I think I might just have another glass of Baileys.
J. X

56 comments:

  1. Ah you are very welcome lovely. I adore your gingerbread house, it looks fabulous. I am a Bailey's girl myself, cheers and enjoy xx

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    1. Thank you Lisa. We had the best time. Cheers! X

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  2. Looks like your holiday preparations are well under way. Came as a shock to me at the weekend to realise there are only two weeks to go . . . good job we don't do much Christmassing at bag End!

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    1. Don't do much Christmassing!? Well, a lot has changed in the last week. Your house is looking wonderful. X

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  3. What a Christmassy post, I loved the reindeer and gingerbread house. One of our cats bats the baubles at the bottom of the tree, so far that's all thank goodness xx

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    1. Our tree is still standing Cheryl. So far so good. Thank you so much, again, for the card. X

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  4. It looks like Christmas has started in your house. I'm impressed by your gingerbread house, I've only ever put them together from kits before, I've never made my own. The card from Cheryl is lovely, so pretty. We used to have a cat and he was fascinated by the Christmas tree, every morning, without fail, we'd get up to baubles all over the floor and the tree on its side and we'd have to start dressing it all over again.

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    1. I was surprised at just how easy it was to make the gingerbread house. It was very easy to eat too. The tree is still standing....for now. X

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  5. looks like a wonderful time.. that tree looks cool and my kids would have gotten a kick out of meeting a real reindeer

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    1. I get a kick out of meeting them too! I just pretend it's for Lily's benefit. X

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  6. Enchanting, such a lovely uplifting post. The gingerbread house and all your wonderful activities are a joy.

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    1. We're definitely enjoying Christmas this year. X

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  7. Lovely Christmassy pics. - the anticipation has begun.
    xx

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    1. Ooh! it has. I'm getting excited. X

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  8. Tree decorating will have to wait until the weekend as my eldest son asked if he could be home from uni to help. I sort of thought that he'd grow out of that, but I am secretly pleased that he hasn't ☺

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    1. Worth the wait I think. How lovely for you to decorate it together. X

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  9. Beautiful. I love your gingerbread house!

    Now I want to go to Liverpool, we haven't been for ages, I want to go to Lady Lever for my birthday so maybe we can take a detour for some lunch.

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    1. Liverpool has definitely made a big effort for Christmas this year. X

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  10. What a lovely cheery post, I really love your lantern with the lights in. I love Baileys but have none in at the moment,I think they do it in different flavours now, which do you prefer? xx

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    1. Thanks Marlene. I've always loved Baileys, especially at this time of year. I have to say the original is my favourite. X

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  11. It all looks lovely Jules, I especially like your gingerbread house and would never have guessed you'd not made one before.

    I bet Lily is really looking forward to the big jolly man arriving isn't she. You've certainly made some lovely memories for her and I'm sure visiting the reindeer will be one that stays with her forever.

    The card you received from Cheryl is beautiful, much better than one that came through the post here today that's for sure! xx

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    1. Thank you Suzanne. The gingerbread house was very quickly demolished. I will definitely making another next year. With not having a Christmas cake it was nice to have something to decorate.
      Lily is getting very excited now. She's just reached that age where she understands what is happening. I really do hope she has some lovely memories of Christmas as she grows up. X

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  12. You really are embracing Chrustmas and all the traditions. Just love this post so heart warming. Enjoy the rest of the run up and the day itself Jules. Happy Christmad to you and yours. X

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    1. Thank you Selma. A very Merry Christmas to you and yours too. X

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  13. My youngest has the week off and today is the at she is attempting to make a gingerbread house! I have been instructed to avoid the kitchen area! With marking and a learner to visit I should keep from under her feet. Hope he enthusiasm extends to clearing up!! x

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    1. As I was making it I really wished I had a bigger kitchen. I hope it turned out OK. X

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  14. oh dear it is so LOVELY!!!
    i never saw such beautiful tiny house before

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  15. Popped back to have a look at the Christmas card, it really is beautiful. A fun swap.

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    1. It is isn't it? And a fun swap to be involved in. X

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  16. Your pictures are lovely. And Cheryl's card is gorgeous

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    1. Thanks Sol. It is a beautiful card. X

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  17. This time of year is so gorgeous, everything about it.

    Your GB house was perfect! I love it. Everything about it. See how easy it is? And addictive!

    xx

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    1. It was easy, which surprised me. It tasted pretty good too. X

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  18. I am so glad you enjoyed joining in the swap! Thank you for taking part and for sharing your card with us all. Happy Christmas!!! p.s. love your gingerbread house too!

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    1. Thank you Amy. I've really enjoyed it. Thanks again for organising this. X

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  19. Looks like you are all ready for Christmas! Love the ginger bread house; your helper did a good job decorating it (and sampling the decorations is all part of it, isn't it?)! My daughter and I visited the reindeer, one year; it was a lot of fun. Hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas.

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    1. We are almost ready apart from some food shopping, although we don't go crazy so I will do this quickly on Thursday evening. Wishing you and your daughter a happy festive season. X

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  20. A lovely post, Jules. I'm glad that your Christmas preparations are going well in your house. The gingerbread house looks beautiful and I'm sure a lot of fun to make and decorate with the help of a little assistant! Our teenage granddaughter says she's going to make one during the holidays. Love the card you were sent by Cheryl. One to treasure.

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    1. The house was a lot of fun to make and decorate, even though the decorations were disappearing thick and fast! The card is beautiful. Definitely one to treasure. X

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  21. What a delightful, festive post. The reindeer are beautiful and it must be so exciting to visit them. Your gingerbread house and Cheryl's card are very special. Glad to hear you have broken out the Baileys - after all it is important to enjoy all the preparations.

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    1. Thank you. We do enjoy visiting the reindeer, probably myself the most. I do like a glass of Baileys at this time of year. It serves to help with the preparations of the season. X

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  22. Beautiful Christmas photos. Love the card received. Beautiful!

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  23. So enjoyed your beautiful photographs and all the joys of the season you and yours have been enjoying. That is a wonderful handmade card...truly special!

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    1. Thank you Vee. We have been enjoying it this year. The card is beautiful. I was lucky to receive it. X

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  24. Hi Jules,

    Your handmade Christmas card from Cheryl is just beautiful! That is a special treat, for sure. I enjoyed your post -- I love the picture of the reindeer! I'm not aware of anywhere here in the U.S. where we can visit them. Your gingerbread house is darling; I do miss those days when our son we little and enjoyed things like that.

    Thanks for your visit and I hope you and your family have a Very Merry Christmas!

    Hugs,

    Denise

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    1. Thank you Denise. The reindeer are from Scotland. It's so nice to be able to visit them. A very Merry Christmas to you and yours. X

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  25. You and me too, re the Bailey's! Mind you, you deserve it more with that Gingerbread house - you have take the rest of the year off for that brilliant masterpiece. I did a previous post saying I was sticking at the gin bit of the gingerbread, oops now I am sounding like a complete alcoholic!!! What a lovely post, and a very special hand made card. Nice to meet you here through Amy's Card Exchange.
    Merry Christmas to youWren x

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    1. Ahh! You can keep your gin. I'll stick with Baileys. ;-) Thank you for stopping by. Have a very Merry Christmas. X

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  26. You've been doing lots of festive things to get you in the spirit of Christmas! I'd love to visit reindeer :) The gingy house looks great, and will scent the room all season. I used to make these with my kids, but now we prefer to eat the cookies instead (I never let them eat the house!). I love the illustration on the card with the short verse. Amy's card exchange is a mellow, but very welcome swap. Merry Christmas! and thank you for visiting mine

    Wendy xox

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    1. Thank you Wendy. Unfortunately, there will be no more scent from the gingerbread house as it all got eaten! The card is really beautiful, Cheryl is very talented. It was such a lovely swap to be involved in. Have a wonderful Christmas. X

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  27. The gingerbread house looks so good, I love your card from Cheryl. Merry Christmas.

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    1. Thank you Josie. A Merry Christmas to you too. X

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  28. A very merry Christmas,have a lovely time. Love and best wishes from our house to yours xxx

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    1. Thank you Lisa. A very Merry Christmas to you all too. Xx

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