As I sit here writing this I am still feeling the affects of drinking way too many cocktails at a Christmas party last night, and I am watching White Christmas for the very first time!
It’s the ultimate Christmas cliche isn’t it? Christmas parties, festive hangovers and idyllic lazy afternoons watching Christmas films and feeling like its just ‘the most wonderful time of the year’. However, what you don’t see is the inevitable Christmas overwhelm that I have now come to expect every year. My husband loves Christmas and says it’s his favourite time (and day) of the year………………..well I mean you would wouldn’t you if you if it literally landed on your lap with virtually no effort whatsoever! That’s how it is most years, I sort ALL the presents (even for all his side of the family), I sort everything we get for our boys, I organise all of the food and treats………Oh and then I obviously cook dinner most years ( although thankfully I am not this year as we are at the in laws on the day). That generally leads to an annual Christmas meltdown for me at some point, normally fairly close to the big day, when I realise I haven’t got everything I need, haven’t wrapped anything and realise I haven’t got something we need for the actual dinner. Anyway you get the general picture.
Yet on good ‘ol social media everyone is literally Christmassing the shit out of life, putting their decs up as early as possible, having all their pressies wrapped by December 1st and their food order slot booked, and so can sit smugly back and take time for themselves to get their Christmas nails done, order their party dresses enjoy the wonderful festive season in all it’s glory.
Well it’s certainly been a while since I have been on here!
It’s not like there hasn’t been anything going on for me to write about it’s more like I haven’t had the urge to write, but lately that has been changing. So rather than bore you will loads of catch up posts I thought I would do a quick run through everything that has been going on.
So this year I have had more hospital imput for my M.E/ Fibromyalgia than I have over the last 8 years since being diagnosed. Finally I managed to get physio treatment for the Carpel Tunnel in my left hand which has helped ease some of the numbness at least. I have also been referred onto a pain management course due to start late September for 7 weeks and I hope that helps me with at least pacing any activity I do ( I am absolutely rubbish at saying ‘No’ to anyone and generally end up overdoing things and then crashing afterwards!). The course will run me up to almost Christmas when I have been told I may get referred onto an exercise class suitable to help with my illness.
I was invited recently to the Smiggle in Bluewater to open the next window on their Christmas advent calendar and see what treat could be waiting for me.
Anyone that has been to a Smiggle store will know it’s an explosion of colour and a total must for all stationary lovers. The store there is not huge but is very well stocked with both lots on the shelves and underneath the display tables. So I cannot see you having any trouble getting a particular item you may be after.
At the moment they have lots of their fabulous Christmas Advent Stockings, that retail at £28. That may sound a little extravagant but is in line with Lego or even Yankee candle (if you buy yourself one).
However, the goodies that are in the advent would cost around £40 if they were bought individually. So a bargain when you consider that and also a great alternative to just more chocolate.
This year I vowed I would be super organised and to be honest I have been ‘more’ organised but still find myself sitting now a week away from the big day with a huge ‘to do’ list and the panic is starting to set in.
I know this year a lot of people seemed to be putting their Christmas trees and decorations up towards the end of November and although it was nice to see the pictures I am a true December girl and mine always go up in the first weekend or week in December. However, I did start present buying mid November in an attempt to get ahead.
At the end of November I was lucky enough to attend the Ideal Home Show at Christmas which was a first for me. My friend and I had a fab time, bought lots of Chrismassy bits and pieces and had our first mulled wine of the season. It really did get me into the Christmas spirit and gave me lots of ideas for pressies along the way. The place was beautifully decorated and we had groups of carol singers and performers helping with the Christmas spirit.
This I am very excited about and thankfully only have a week to wait. This years Ideal Home Show at Christmas will be taking place at Olympia London for the first time ever. The UK’s biggest Christmas exhibition will be open from the 25th – 29th of November to provide everything you could possibly need in the run up to the festive season, from over 600 exhibitors showcasing top Christmas shopping inspiration, a plethora of celebrity appearances and a Christmas bandstand hosting live entertainment……………c’mon you Christmas lovers what more could you need?
When your children are young it’s easy to get ideas for Christmas, lets face it their lists normally have absolutely everything except the kitchen sink on them. Every time they see an advert for something they want it.
However, when they get older it gets a little more difficult. My boys are now 16 an 14, they have all their gadgets either bought as gifts or saved for and bought by themselves. That makes finding something to get them for Christmas that not only do they want or need but that doesn’t cost an absolute arm and a leg. I have definitely found that as they have grown up their pressies have got smaller and smaller in size yet the value has increased tenfold!
My youngest is in need of a new portable TV for his room ( something they have both been allowed from the age of 13 as we live in a small house and I do not want xbox and 2 smelly teens constantly fighting over who’s turn it is in my front room! so shoot me now for being a bad mother, but that’s how it is here.) So I have a main present for him and that can be easily filled out with DVD’s, CD’s, a boardgame or two, some clothes and treats.
My eldest though is much more difficult as h has his game station, tv, Ipod and docking station, phone and all the usual trappings. When I have talked to him about some ideas he has just asked for a few DVD’s and that’s it!! NOT Helpful, and I do not agree with giving my children money on these occasions as I tend to ask family to give them money so they can save for the bigger items when they want them. So I have had really had to dig deep for ideas and trawl the internet and shops looking. I was looking mainly for what would be a ‘main’ pressie for him.
First of all I am publically declaring that I DETEST my hair! I was obviously last in the line for hair and ended up with an auburn (used to be bright ginger) naturally frizzy curly mop that I can do nothing with.
However, in saying that we all have to make the best of what we have so I apply anti frizz and curl defining cream to help make it more curly and less of a ‘just plugged myself into the electric’ look. I occasionally straighten it which in all honesty I prefer however, it is such a palava and takes so long that I just cant be bothered unless it’s a special occasion.
My hairdryer is just a little small travel one with one speed and an open nozzle, I know this doesn’t help me much but due to my muscular pain I cannot hold anything heavier for any length of time before it gets too sore and uncomfortable.
I have always wanted a proper camera, you know the ones you see people with and envy greatly. The ones that look like a proper camera with a real lens and everything!
This is something we have been promising ourselves for a few years now but has been totally out of our price range. We have always made do with a compact point and shoot and then totally regret it as the quick pics end up blurred or the zoom is never good enough for close up pics or the on the move pics.
But this weekend we actually did it. We went and got our ‘grown up’ camera. It is a Nikon D3100 DSLR style with it’s seperate lens. We feel very lucky as both our parents gave us enough money at Christmas to splash out on this otherwise we still would not have it!
You like it? We went on a recommendation from my brother as we actually had no clue what we were looking for. But this one allows us to take pictures, video, great zoom capacity and lots of gadgets which is exactly what we wanted.
So at the moment I have only looked longingly at it and turned it on, but I am determined after setting my 2014 Goals that I will not let this gadget rot in it’s box. I will be going through the instructions ( something I never do) and start taking FABULOUS pictures.
I’m a crafter of sorts as an avid knitter and have actually done quite well on this run up to the festive period earning a few extra Christmas pennies.
However, I’m not the greatest one for handmade decorations, my forte is more in the cooking side of things giving homemade treats as part of family presents.
I did recently though attend a Christmas craft evening in a local church hall with a good friend of mine. The idea was to make some items that would easily be replicated at home to use over the Christmas period.
There were four tables set out to make a wreath, a table decoration, a glass filled with flowers, and cards and I managed 3 out of the 4 on offer. Everything that you needed was included in the small fee ( only £8) and they even supplied us with a cuppa and a cake!!
So not to be outdone by the others that looked as though they knew what they were doing here’s my efforts:
My favourite thing I made was definitely the wreath. It turned out pretty well even if I say so myself! Using the fresh cinnamon sticks and dried orange pieces with star anise made it smell amazing. I would definitely have a go at this again next year myself as it was actually much easier than I ever thought it would be.
It’s that creepy time of year again where ghosts and ghouls come out to play.
I obviously cannot talk for everyone but I have always loved celebrating Halloween since having the boys. I have a gorgeous picture of them as little wizards when they are only about 5 and 3 years old. We always had a party with friends and their children and then we went out en masse for a bit of Trick or Treating! We have always used the kids as an excuse to have a party anyway.
Like any 12 yr old he jumped at the chance of getting his pressies early. So everything was set for the Sunday.
Pressies in the morning,
His birthday treat ( a Young Driver lesson)in the afternoon – will do a post on this another time!
His birthday meal at his fav Indian restaurant in the evening.
To say he had a great day was an understatement! His driving lesson was a real surprise and a huge hit. We were able to enjoy a full day all together. I was so glad he made the decision to enjoy it early as the Monday was a complete washout- OH at work and youngest at school, OH was late in and we didn’t do his cake until almost 9pm!!! However, he had quite a few visitors bringing him more cards etc so he was still centre of attention ( generally what he craves anyway).
So now he has had the experience the Queen has every year- 2 birthdays!
Now over a week later I’m thinking I may not survive this this one’s teenage years if the last few days are anything to go by……………..