Blogmas – I Missed a Few…

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I’d had it all planned out, all the posts for the whole of December and I was doing so well up until last weekend when I had a few impromptu days of visitors and spending time with friends that catching up on Blogmas was nearly impossible.

It isn’t often that I have last-minute plans and lose a few days of blogging but it was really nice to spend time with friends who I haven’t seen for years and spend the time catching up over a few glasses of wine, eating lovely food and just spending quality time together.

Then, before I knew it, Christmas was upon us!  I worked Monday and Tuesday, zooming home after work each day to finish writing cards and wrapping presents that I had forgotten about, packing a bag for myself and Roxy and travelling to my friends on Christmas Eve to spend Christmas Day there.  I headed back on Boxing Day, then gathered some things, had a shower and drove to my Mum and Dads house to have our Christmas with my brothers, sister in law and my niece and nephew.

I had a really lovely time seeing the kids open their presents, spend time chatting with all of the family and eating lots of lovely food, including lots of cheese (sorry Dad!) before arriving home and heading to bed.

On Friday I had to go to work but the day was easy and quiet with only a few of us in.  It was the perfect atmosphere to get all of the loose ends tied up and ready for Januarys payment to be made.

I got home from work around 4:20pm and cleaned the house and tidied up before heading to bed early, both Roxy and I were shattered!  I was up early on Saturday and whizzed the hoover around as my brother, sister-in-law, my niece and nephew were popping by before heading back to London.

It has been a hectic, mad and brilliantly fun festive period but I am so glad that we only do this once a year!  I’m now on count down to the New Year!  I have so many plans and ideas for the New Year and I can not wait to get everything underway and started!

How was your Christmas?  I hope you all had fun!  what are your plans for New Year’s Eve?

Blogmas – Christmas Day

Happy Christmas! I’m sorry I have been quiet on the blog front for the past few days, I had a few unplanned but really lovely days that were spent with visiting friends!

I hope you all have a lovely day! Much love to you all and your families and friends! Xxx

Blogmas – Surprise Saturday

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It’s another Surprise Saturday and I’m really surprised about a few things, number one being that it is the last Saturday before Christmas and the second, that I am pretty much ready for the day itself!

I got the last of my gifts purchased and am waiting on delivery so I can get them wrapped, the cards are written (the few that I send) and waiting to be hand-delivered, all of the decorations are up and, yesterday, I had my first Christmas Celebration with my friend who is going to be away over Christmas visiting family!

I had a really nice day yesterday, my car passed its MOT so I collected it in the morning and then went to get some food for dinner.  It is a bit of a tradition now that my friend and I have our Christmas before he goes away.  We spent the day preparing dinner, talking, playing games (mainly Dobble), setting up my Wii, watching Christmas films and eating lots of lovely food!

I prepared prawn cocktail for starters then had a roast dinner before tucking into a dessert of cherry pie and ice cream.  The main course consisted of mashed potatoes, roast potatoes, Yorkshire puddings, roast carrot and parsnip, cauliflower, sprouts and a Quorn Roast.  It really was the best day!

How are your plans coming along?  Have you had any Christmas celebrations yet?  Let me know in the comments about what you have been up to, I’d really love to hear about it!

Blogmas – Wishing Wednesday

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What is on your wish list for Christmas?  It’s always something that I am asked by family and friends both for my Birthday and for Christmas and usually I don’t really have any solid ideas of anything that I want and never really have an answer for.  Over the past few years, I have compiled lists using Amazon Wish List to add things to that I see and like so that I can answer this question fairly easily, either by scanning the list or just sending the list to people for them to pick something from.

A few things that I am wishing for this year are new earrings, clothing, a necklace, a tin opener and a cheese grater as well as a few items for the home including a multicolour chandelier.  On my list are a ton of dinosaur-themed things from jewellery to t-shirts as I love dinosaurs, there are rainbow coloured items and items that have an ethnic feel to them too.  I also have on there some fragrance and body care items, makeup and incense/room scent things too. (My Wish List in case you were wondering!)

When we were little, my brothers and I used to be so excited to get the Argos catalogue and prepare our lists for Santa, often circling almost every item on the page!  I still get a bit excited to look through Christmas gift guides, especially the Boots and Superdrug ones but the catalogues are becoming a thing of the past as the internet gains even more momentum in the shopping area.  A lot of the times, when I stumble over something that I like, which gets added to my list, it is often found because I was looking for something else that I intended to buy and I often wonder, if I wasn’t such a big user of the internet and shopping sites, whether I would have any kind of wish list at all…

What is on your wish list this year?  Let me know in the comments!  I’d love to hear all about your Christmas wishes!

Blogmas – Top 10 Christmas Films

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If you have been reading my Weekly Roundup’s recently you will have read that I have been watching a few Christmas films over the past few weeks.  Today for my Blogmas Top 10 I am sharing my favourite Top 10 Christmas films!

  • Elf
  • Arthur Christmas
  • The Snowman
  • Polar Express
  • A Christmas Carol
  • Bad Santa
  • Call Me Claus
  • Santa Claus The Movie
  • Love Actually
  • Christmas Chronicles

What are some of your favourite Christmas films?  I’d love to know of any that I could add to my watch list over the festive season so let me know in the comments!!!!

Blogmas – Wishing Wednesday

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It’s another Wishing Wednesday post for Blogmas and today is all about gifts for family.

When I give gifts to people I like to give things that are meaningful and thoughtful rather than some present you can get on a 3 for 2 offer in the supermarket, especially when it comes to giving gifts to family members.

I sit down and write a list of people who I would like to buy for and then think about things that they like to do, hobbies they may have or things that interest them which seems to work really well regardless of the age of the person you are buying for.

Google can be a great help in finding options, for example, if a family member really enjoys gardening then I search for “Gifts for gardeners” or “Gardening gifts” to see what is available before heading to the shops.  I find that this approach can give you lots of ideas especially if the interests are something you have no clue about.

One of my favourite things to do is to create a hamper or gift basket of similarly themed items, I’ll take the example of gardening… I would buy some seeds, both vegetable and flower seeds, some gardening gloves, a gardening trowel, a garden-themed mug and maybe a notebook with an outdoors print (like leaves) for those all-important growers notes and package it all up in a seed tray or rubber trug.  My Mum and Dad go away a lot and the other year I put together a wash bag of goodies for my Mum to take away with her or that she could use at home during a pamper session, I put lots of travel-sized products in there (shampoo, conditioner, shower gels, deodorant) and added other things like a face mask, hand cream, body lotion and perfume for her.

Another thing you can do is speak to other family members and all chip in to get one gift or gifts along a similar theme.  My Dad loves to paint so one year I bought him a watercolour travel paint set and my brother bought him some new paintbrushes in a canvas roll.

With the littles in the family, I like to buy them something creative or that will help them learn.  I bought them watches last year that were designed for kids and helped them to learn how to tell the time, I decorated some wooden pencil cases with gems and their names on them which they could use for their favourite pencils.

I’d really love to tell you what I have got for my family this year but I don’t want to spoil their surprises!

What are you getting for your families this year?  I’d love to know so leave me a comment!

Blogmas – Tinsel Tuesday

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I can’t believe we are already 10 days into December!  How on earth did that happen?  I’m back today with my 10th Blogmas post which is all about the room decorations!

I love getting the room made up for Christmas, not just getting the tree out, up and decorated, but adding other festive touches to the space as well.  I’m not a keen fan of tinsel so don’t own any, but I love other decorations!

Before putting any decoration up, I first like to put away a few of my everyday ornaments and have a good clean everywhere, damp wiping all the surfaces before getting the polish out (it’s literally the only time the polish comes out of the cupboard!) and then re-organising the shelves.

Once I have made space, cleaned and tidied I then make a start on making everything festive.  I love to run fairy lights along the shelves and add small pegs between them to clip Christmas cards and small decorations on to.

Excess baubles look brilliant displayed in large, clear glass vases along with holly and other greenery.  To keep the greenery watered I like to place a small glass jar of water in the centre before arranging the baubles around it to hide it.

Paper chains are another favourite of mine and I tend to choose white printer paper to make them, cutting strips around 10 cm long by around 1.5 cm wide.  Making them while watching a Christmas film makes the task seem to fly by.  You can pick up cheap, pre-cut sets in places like pound shops, all you need to do is make them.

I’ve not hung anything from the ceiling in my home as the ceilings are quite high and I can’t reach but in other homes I have lived in I have hung pretty decorations up that spin and twist when a breeze catches them.  I do hang things from my main lights in the living and dining area of my house though.

I love snow globes and have a few that I dot around in spaces that I have made tidying up, and other Christmas themed ornaments go out to.

I also love to get all my festive scented candles out and light one in the evening when I am home from work each night just to make it feel even more special.

What decorations do you put up in your rooms?  Let me know in the comments as I’d love to know!

Blogmas – Merry Monday

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It’s now the second Monday in December and I am back with another Merry Monday Blogmas post!  Today’s post is all about dinner planning!  Hopefully, by now you will have an idea of who will be coming to Christmas dinner and have a list of guests along with any dietary requirements so we can start to plan the meal!

Christmas dinner in my house tends to be a lot like a traditional roast dinner but with a few extra special touches.  I don’t eat meat so serve either a nut roast or some kind of meat-free main, such as a Quorn Roast as an alternative to meat.

I have a look at food magazines and Pinterest to get an idea of things that I would like to serve for starters and dessert, and I also use store magazines (Asda and Tesco both do brilliant magazines with some really lovely recipes).  Once I have decided on the starter and dessert I print out or cut out the recipe, write out a list of ingredients and then file the recipe away safely.

Next on my agenda is to write out all of the ingredients for the main course that I want to serve, things like potatoes, carrots, peas, Brussel sprouts all go on the list.  I then think about all of the extras that go along with the meal – gravy, other condiments, drinks, garnish, cream and other things.

Once I have a full list made up I then check the cupboards and assess what I have and what I need to stock up on.  By this point, my list looks awful and is full of crossings out and notes that I have made beside things.  When I have an idea of what is needed and I have checked all of my cupboards I then re-write the list out tidily so I can understand it at a glance when I take it shopping!

I like to calculate the amounts of things I will need so I look at how many people I will be cooking for and make calculations based on roughly what a portion of each vegetable and other food is, then multiply it by the number of guests before adding on an extra portion (just in case anyone else may come).  Once I have all of this figured out I then make a start on buying all of the ingredients that are either frozen or won’t go off.  I leave buying the fresh vegetables, cream and other perishables until nearer to Christmas Day.

Have you decided on your Christmas Menu?  What will you be having?  I’d love to hear about your food plans in the comments!

Blogmas – Sparkle Sunday

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It’s the first Sunday in December and also the first Sunday of Blogmas!  Sunday’s on the blog for December will now be known as Sparkle Sunday which will be about Christmas fashion!  Today’s entry is all about my fashion choices for Christmas Eve!

For many Christmasses, Christmas Eve has been a day of getting up really early and hitting the shops to get the Christmas vegetables and any other Christmas food and drink items that may have been forgotten or that need to be bought last minute.  I normally choose my most comfy, easy to wear clothes to run these errands and along the way I pick up some new, cosy pyjamas, socks and slippers.

Once I get home I have a shower, wash my hair and face and apply some lovely scented body cream before sliding into my new pyjamas.

The day is spent preparing all the vegetables for Christmas dinner and cooking some things, like the mashed potatoes, which can be heated up on the day.  Once all the preparations have been made, and the table has been laid, all the presents are wrapped, I sit on the sofa with a glass of bubbly and snuggle down with Roxy to watch Christmas films until bed time.

Pyjamas are the best thing on Christmas Eve as they are cosy and warm, easy to move about in and make me feel really Christmassy.  I love fleece or brushed cotton pyjamas and with so many different styles and prints available it often doesn’t feel like you are wearing pyjamas.  And if you have anyone popping in unannounced, you can chuck a jumper over the top and not feel too underdressed or self-conscious!

What are your go-to fashions for Christmas Eve?  I’d love to know so leave me a comment!