Saturday, 31 December 2016

Happy New Year

Today is the last day of 2016, so I wanted to take the opportunity to wish you a happy New Year!
I really do appreciate everyone who stops by this little corner of the blogsphere to read my words. The internet is almost saturated with blogs of all different kinds, so the fact that anyone finds there way to my blog, or even seeks it out, is amazing to me. So I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you, yes you, for reading, whether you've been reading for five years, five weeks or the past five minutes; I appreciate and love you all - I hope you'll stick with me for 2017 and beyond...
Happy New Year!

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

weekend #52: Christmas

As quickly as Christmas came, it went.
The older I get the more I realise that looking forward to the event is often just as exciting and magical as the event itself, which is why I made every effort to just enjoy this year, to live in the moment and not focus on capturing every moment for posterity. So, this post may be a little lighter on photos than regular readers have come to expect from me, but don't let that fool you - I had an amazing Christmas!

I've been feeling so tired and run down in the weeks leading up to Christmas that I decided in advance that I would spend Christmas Eve in my PJs, having a shower before dinner only to get dressed into another pair of PJs, and that's exactly what I did - it was bliss!
I started the day with a banana, strawberry and kale smoothie, hoping to not only boost my immune system but also in a futile attempt to lessen the effects of all the food I planned to consume over the coming days!

Throughout the day, Tom and I cleaned and tided, made an ox heart stew in the slow cooker (for him not me #yuk) and were visited by family we wouldn't see on Christmas Day itself; this included a visit from Tom's sister and her gorgeous new cat, Blu...
Growing up, my family always had a dog and two cats but my parents don't have cats now; I do miss them, so it was great to stroke, play with and cuddle little Blu for a few hours. 

After showers and dinner, Hubs and I settled down on the sofa (in our Christmas PJs) and watched TV...

...And when Hubs retired to bed earlier than me (standard), I played Santa by putting out our presents.

Christmas morning started the same in our house as I'm sure it did in many across the world, with presents...
We got some great gifts :)

For me, Christmas Day is one of only two days throughout the year when it is acceptable to eat chocolate for breakfast (the other being your birthday!)...
We spent the rest of the morning watching Despicable Me 2, which surprisingly neither of us had seen before.

Once dressed in our Christmas jumpers, we headed over to my parents' house as they were hosting this year, where I discovered Izzy loved her Christmas gift from us, albeit a little too much :( 
Poor Rudolph!

This year, as an alternative to the traditional prawn cocktail starter, my mum decided to buy these seafood shells and they were bloody delicious...

Next came the main event...
Don't they all look festive with their cracker hats on? Incidentally, I got a yellow hat in my cracker :)

After pudding (traditional Christmas pudding and brandy sauce for me and mum, and gingerbread cheesecake for the men) and far too many After Eight Mints, Hubs, mum and I headed out for a walk with Izzy...
It was super windy and every step felt like climbing a mountain (that'll teach us to fill our bellies to bursting)! I think the fresh air did us some good though as when we got back to mums, we watched the minions movie, but both mum and I fell asleep so missed the middle section of the film.

Later than usual because the day seemed to fly by, we had some Christmas tea, which included leftover turkey, ham, sausage rolls, prawns, crab, salad, cheese, crisps, and mini pizzas...
I had such a lovely day with some of my favourite people. This year has been full of dark times but for these few days at least I focused on the light and the love in my life, and I felt all the better for it!

I hope you had a great Christmas too.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

weekend #51

It got very festive here this weekend!

As Friday night was my work Christmas party, Saturday started much later than usual and a lot more blurry eyed than usual! I spent the first half an hour of my day on the phone to the bank trying to sort out fraudulent activity on my account (for the second time this year I may add) and the next 50 minutes on the phone to my mum, catching up as she's been away on a cruise for the past five days. After a cuppa and some toast I decided to get cracking with my gift wrapping...

I got about half done before it was time to get dressed and head out for a Carols by the Christmas Tree event in our local town. It was soooo cute and got both of us in the festive mood, especially Tom who took advantage of the free mulled wine and mince pies being handed out...

Once home, we tucked into king prawn fajitas followed by delicious hot chocolate...
We then spent the night completing the rest of the wrapping, before collapsing into bed around 11pm.

We got a longed-for lay in on Sunday...

Then spent the morning doing chores and preparing and cooking the roast dinner ready for the arrival of my parents and a suitably-festive Izzy at 1pm...

Before the sunset, we headed out for a walk with Izzy...

Have a great week!

Thursday, 15 December 2016

it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

I know, I must be the last blogger in the whole world to share their Christmas decorations for 2016,
but alas, this is what I'm here to share with you today, via a mash-up of daylight and evening photos.
Last year, we'd only lived in our home for about 10 weeks when I decorated for Christmas (you can see last year's display here), so this time around things seems to fit better; the house itself is more lived in and I feel as if I know the spaces and how we use them better than I did 12 months ago. 

HALLWAY

We only have a small hallway, so there's not much space to decorate but I am happy with these festive touches...

LIVING ROOM


Last year we opted for a traditional Norway Spruce, but our new build home was far too hot for the poor thing and there were many bare branches by Boxing Day, so this year we've opted for a smaller Nordmann Fir in the hope that she'll last until our New Year's Eve party...
We also bought a new stand with a bigger reservoir, so we won't need to top the water up on a daily basis.

Around the rest of the room, I've placed a few festive bits 'n' pieces...

This year we have these Ikea shelves above the sofa (which I still love); I added the fairy lights back in October (fairy lights are totally an autumn/winter decoration not just for Christmas, in my opinion), but to make it feel a little more Christmasy, I bought this Nordic pompom garland, which I got from Wilko :)

KITCHEN DINER

When we saw the floor plans for our home, I dreamed of having two trees at Christmas time, so I have the real one in the bay window and another artificial one by the French doors. This tree has a set of red lights and a handful of decorations, including our treasured, handmade L and T, which were gifted to us a couple of years ago by the beautiful Kelly.

And that's it!
If you'd like to know where any of the items above are from, just let me know :)