Saturday 24 December 2016

All is Calm

On the build up to Christmas this year I have been mainly focused on creating some precious memories for Lily. She is at that wonderful age when she is beginning to understand what it is all about, so excitement levels have been reaching pretty high.
The last week of Pre-School was such a joy. A Christmas dinner, a party, Carol singing at a nearby care home and even a bus ride into the local town to see the big man himself. It could have been very easy to get carried away in a flurry of tinsel, so all the more reason to take some time out from the festivities to enjoy one of our favourite walks.

The air has been still and damp and the ground so muddy we had to wear our wellingtons instead of our walking boots. Of course, that also meant we were able go splashing in the puddles.

Today has been a lovely, family day. We treated ourselves to a delicious lunch out beside the fire at one of our favourite 'proper old style' pubs, listened to Christmas music and watched The Snowman all the way through for the first time ever. While this evening, Lily has been excitedly looking out of the window for a glimpse of Santa's sleigh before leaving out mincemeat shortbread, Whisky and, of course, a carrot for Rudolph.

The next few days we will be spending our time at home, with family and relaxing. Possibly enjoying a glass or two of wine.
However you are spending it, I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas.
J. X

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