Blogtober – Top 10 Things I Love About December

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Its the 5th day of Blogmas and unfortunately I couldn’t think of a snazzy name for my “Top 10” series so we are stuck with it just being called Top 10.  Today’s Top 10 is a list of all the things I love about December!

  • Frosty mornings
  • Hot chocolate with marshmallows and whipped cream
  • Christmas films
  • Crunchy leaves
  • Twinkling lights
  • Buying and making gifts
  • Fluffy socks
  • Christmas decorations
  • Clear, star scattered night sky
  • The promise of snow

What are some of your favourite things about December?  Let me know in the comments!

Blogmas – Tinsel Tuesday

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Another day in my Blogmas series!  Tinsel Tuesday’s are all about decorations and today I want to talk about the Christmas tree.

I am really liking where the whole Christmas tree and decoration thing has been going for the past few years.  Gone are the days when everyone’s Christmas tree was decorated in a very similar way and was fairly traditional in terms of styling.  Now, choosing and decorating your tree is done in a way that fits with your decor or personality and there is no right or wrong way to decorate it, once you have chosen from the plethora of styles, colours and materials the tree can be made from.

I have seen trees made from driftwood that would look perfect in a scandi styled room or if you were a keen beachgoer or surfer.  Some trees have been made from marabou feathers which would look amazing in minimalist, duo-toned rooms, coloured trees that fit in with a more eclectic taste and the more traditional ones that are just lovely anywhere you want to put them!

Personally, I really love a white or black tree with brightly coloured baubles and trinkets festooned all over it.

Baubles are another thing that seems to be changing and becoming less traditional.  There are so many different options to choose from – clear baubles with snow globe effects added into them, doughnut shapes, avocados, cute characters, alongside the more traditional ball or drop-shaped ornaments.  There is pretty much a decoration to suit any taste!

I have tiny dinosaurs that I hang on mine which were made from small children’s toys.

I love how diverse the whole tree choosing and decorating thing is becoming and love to see my friend’s trees when I visit as no two will ever be the same!

Here are some of my top tips for decorating whichever type of tree you choose!

  • Test the lights before adding them to the tree (this saves so much faff if the lights turn out to be defective.)
  • Add the lights to the tree first, turn them on and arrange them so that you have the lights evenly spread across the whole tree.
  • Add any lengths of things next – things such as tinsel or ribbons and arrange them as evenly as possible between the lights.
  • Add bigger baubles and ornaments, keeping the majority to the lower part of the tree.  If using a few different colours I always attempt to not have 2 of the same colour hanging in close proximity to each other.
  • start placing smaller trinkets further toward the top of the tree and bring down to mingle with the bigger baubles.  I try to alternate bigger decorations with smaller ones as I get further down the tree.
  • Have fun with how you decorate and let your personality be seen!  Remember there is no right or wrong way to decorate your tree!

What sort of tree and decorations or colours are you going for this year?  I’d love to hear about what sort of tree or decorations you have chosen and why in the comments!

Blogmas – Merry Monday

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This is the first “real” post for my Blogmas series!  Merry Monday posts will be focusing on preparations for the big day itself so expect to see lots of useful lists and hints here each Monday!

Today’s first Merry Monday post kicks off with a list of things to gather before preparations can get underway!

  • Christmas cards
  • Pens
  • Mailing stamps
  • Gift wrap
  • Sellotape
  • Scissors
  • Gifts
  • Any supplies needed if making any gifts or cards
  • Packaging

In this first week of December I tend to sit down and write out lists for the following

  • Friends and family to send cards to along with addresses if needed
  • Present recipients and gifts already bought
  • Meal attendees (if cooking on the day or in the days prior or post Christmas)
  • Decorations needed
  • Other Christmas supplies needed (such as gift wrap)

By the end of the first week I aim to have all my supplies gathered and lists made ready to make a start on things in week 2!

What do you like to try and get done in the first week of December?  I’d love to hear about your preparations in the comments!

Its Beginning to Look a Lot Like Blogmas!

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I honestly can not believe it is the 1st of December today and have no idea of where the past few months have gone!  Working in payments means that I am processing work from the previous month (November) for payment in January so I never feel like I live in the current month so I’m sure that has something to do with it!

Blogmas is a tradition undertaken by many bloggers where we challenge ourselves to write a Christmas themed post each day on the run-up to the big day, and even in the days past Christmas, right up until New Year’s Eve, and I am going to attempt to do Blogmas right here on this blog!

I have a few different blog posts ready to share and they fall into different categories, heres the categories for you!

  • Merry Monday
  • Tinsel Tuesday
  • Wishing Wednesday
  • Top 10 Thursday
  • Festive Friday
  • Surprise Saturday
  • Sparkle Sunday

To see what sort of things I will be sharing pop back each day and have a look!

Are you taking part in Blogmas?  If so, leave your link in the comments as I am planning to share a post with all my readers about the Blogmas participants!

What I Did – How I Celebrated Christmas

Roxy and I got up super early on Christmas day more because I’d gone to bed at 9:30 the night before rather than down to excitement.  I made a coffee then we started to open the pile of presents that Sam had left for us.

 

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Roxy waiting patiently to open the presents
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My gifts from Sam

After we had opened our presents I finished of the gifts for my niece and nephew and packed the gifts to take to Mum and Dads.

At 7:30 I started to get ready to go to Mum and Dads, first I tonged my hair and clipped it up to set then got dressed and did my make up.  While I was finishing my makeup Dad text and said I could come down when I was ready.

I left the house at 10 after packing the car with their presents but had to turn round whan I was half way there as I had forgotten my medication.  I arrived at theirs just before 10:30am.

We had a coffee that Dad had made, and waited for my little brother, Richard, to arrive.  In between him arriving and present opening Mum, Dad and I made crumpets for breakfast and were in the middle of eating them when Richard arrived.

We opened our presents after breakfast, Mum loved the bullet journal I had been working on for her, and Richard loved the candle I had made for him (I will be sharing all the presents I made in a future blog post!)

We sat and chatted and watched Arthur Christmas before we had dinner which was really nice.  we ate around 3:30pm.

Dinner was lush, I don’t eat meat so Mum had bought and cooked a lovely walnut, cranberry, sweet potato and spinach nut roast thing for me, we had roast potatoes, roast parsnips, sprouts (my fav!) and carrots with stuffing and a yorkshire pudding!  It was really lovely and super filling.

Once we had eaten dinner we went and sat down and watched “What We Did on Holiday” which has got Billy Connolly in it.  Sam and I were texting through it as he was in London with his family.

After the film we had pudding  – Sticky toffee pudding and custard – it was amazing!

Not long after, I came home and Roxy and I chilled for a bit, watched tv and then went to bed!  It was such a lovely day!

How I Decorate My Table

Decorating the table for Christmas dinner is one of the last things I do decorating wise and today on the blog I’m going to share with you how I decorate my table for the day.

I took these photos a few days ago, Sam came round for Christmas dinner as he will be spending the day with his family and I will be with mine.  We decided to have our own Christmas dinner celebration before the day itself… our “Merry Not Christmas” celebration.

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This is the view of my dining table from the living room.

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As there were only 2 of us eating Christmas dinner I chose to seat us opposite each other, the big space between us would be utilised with dishes of veg and the condiments.

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I chose to decorate the table with my glittered deer ornaments, a cute little Christmas tree from Asda, pompom fairy lights, tiny baubles and these lovely vintage glass mushroom and pine cone decorations that were given to me by my Mum.

I used old beer bottles as candle holders either side of the deer and Christmas tree.

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The crockery and cutlery are from Asda and I really love how festive they look together.

For our dinner I cooked roast parsnips, roast potatoes, carrots, peas, mashed potato, sprouts, stuffing and a mediterranean nut roast which I served with gravy and mint sauce.  For dessert we had toffee pecan roulade.

How are you decorating your table for Christmas?

How To Create A Welcoming Atmosphere

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Photo by Matej on Pexels.com

Christmas is a time for families and friends to get together which means a lot of guests and visiting going on.  I’ve compiled a list of tips to help you create a welcoming atmosphere when you have guests arriving.

  • Make sure the entrance way and hall are free from clutter.  Easy ways to do this are to have a designated place for shoes, boots, coats and other outdoor accessories (like umbrellas).  If needs be, move items to bedrooms just for that period of time.  Clear mail as it arrives, put junk mail into the recycling bin, bills and other items can be stored neatly in a file or box elsewhere in the house.
  • Make sure the house is warm, not too hot or cold but at a temperature where if you are wearing a thin cardi or jumper that it feels comfortable.
  • Keep tv volume down, or turn it off completely and play some background music quietly instead.
  • Light candles, choose a scented one to fill your home with a lovely scent and add a few unscented ones to create relaxing pools of light.
  • If possible, light your home with lamps and festive lights instead of glaring ceiling lights.  This will create a lovely warm atmosphere.
  • If you know when your guests are arriving make sure the kettle has been filled and boiled so that you can quickly make your guests drinks and spend less time waiting for the kettle to boil away from them.
  • If you are serving wine or other drinks make sure they are cooled and have ice already made.  Put the glasses out ready to serve the drinks in.
  • If you want to serve snack items, such as peanuts, mixed nuts and dried fruits or chocolates, place in small bowls and dot them about the room in easy to reach places like on window sills or on the coffee table.
  • Plump up any cushions you may have on sofas, shake out any blankets or rugs and re-fold them, brush down the seats of the sofa to make them look neat and tidy.
  • If you have magazines or other items out, if possible put them away or stack them neatly so they are not in the way of guests who may want to put drinks down.
  • When your guests arrive, greet them at the door, take their coats (and shoes) and hang up, offer them a beverage and show them through to the main room you will be using.

Remember, your guests are there to see you so relax and enjoy their company!

How do you create a welcoming atmosphere for your guests?

Christmas – The Final Preparation

I like to have a check list of things that I run through around a week before the big day – it gives me time to re-assess what needs doing, what has been done and anything that may have been overlooked.

Here’s how my list normally looks

Presents and Cards

  • All cards written and sent (the last day for UK mail to be sent in time for Christmas is 18/12/18)
  • Presents bought (list names)
  • Wrapped (cross through names)
  • Presents still to buy (List Names and items next to names)
  • Check if you need more paper, sellotape or tags

House

  • All decorations put up
  • Clean and mop floors
  • Hoover – especially under the tree (live or fake, both shed!)
  • Damp wipe surfaces and dust
  • Tidy all main rooms guests will use
  • Keep sink and kitchen sides clean and clear
  • Make sure there are crackers for the table
  • Check candles and candle holders if you are using candles as part of the table decoration
  • Check that you have a lighter or matches that work!
  • Create a Christmas song playlist – I use Spotify.

Food and Drink

  • Run through menu and write a list of items needed (regardless of whether you think you have them!)
  • Go through list and check items you have got and cross off what you already have
  • Check drink levels –  wines, spirits, beer, pop, juice, non alcoholic drinks (buy more if needed)
  • Check party food (crisps, nuts, nibbles, cheese, crackers, chocolates and buy if needed)
  • Make sure you have basic food (salad, bread, butter, soup, beans etc, again buy if needed)

Other Shopping

  • Check toilet roll supply
  • Foil
  • Cling film
  • Kitchen Roll
  • Washing Up Liquid
  • Antibac spray
  • If you have a pet, make sure you have enough food for them
  • Stock up on batteries

If I think of any more then I will be sure to add them to this list!

What are your final preparation check list items?