Saturday, 31 December 2011

Friday, 30 December 2011

Advent Swap Goodies

I want to start the new year afresh here on my blog so I am just doing some post Christmas catch up blooging to show you the rest of my advent swap goodies from the lovely Sue over at @home.
Sue and I were lucky enough to be partnered twice in a row, once for the cupcake swap and then the advent swap and it has meant that i have been able to get to know her a little better over the past few months. I know that Sue is taking a little blogging break at the moment and is planning to show you what I sent her soon but if you can't wait then I will be adding some pictures to my facebook page so pop over and take a look.

Day 16

Some sticky notes invaluable for lists etc.

Day 17

a gorgeous heart shaped soap - I love the wrapping on this and don't want to take it off.

Day 18

Another yummy chocolate treat - which I had to share again - funny how the kids didn't want to share their advent chocolate.

Day 19

This Christmas bauble which when opened contained...

the sweetest glass ladybird charm
which I now have on my new phone and some delicious chocolate coins.

Day 20

Now the whole of Sue's package smell divine as she had bought me a bath bomb from Lush which I opened on the 20th, there is no photo I'm afraid but I had the most heavenly scented long hot bath that night!!!

Day 21

A sweet hand painted Robin 

Day 22


another of Sue's truly brilliant glass miniatures - this time a Christmas tree....

here are all three of them together with Sue's cupcake in the background.
I can feel a collection of these coming on!!!

Day 23

I really couldn't capture this on camera but it is a heart map mobile with one of Sue's glass beads on the end

I could imagine these working really well for Valentines or anniversaries 
with a special place picked from the map.

and finally

Day 24

Some too pretty to blow your nose on CK tissues....

I've thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the advent swap again and would just like to thank the lovely Lynda over at hookin' with laalaa for organising the swap and to Sue for being such a wonderfully brilliant swap partner. 
Thank ladies you made my Christmas extra special...

A Christmas Round Up

Although I haven't posted on my own blog over Christmas it has been wonderful to see all your lovely posts about what you have been up to,  the gifts you have received and your hope and dreams for 2012.

Our Christmas was a lovely quiet family affair with just the 5 of us, and this year there wasn't any of the stress that I normally feel on Christmas Eve as all the presents were wrapped and hidden beforehand and the table laid ready for Christmas day.

We kept busy decorating gingerbread Christmas trees


 We had an enjoyable Christingle service at our local church and it was nice to take some time out from all the excitement.
After a tasty KFC we watched video's sent directly from the big man himself, where we found out if we had been naughty or nice. Luckily everyone passed (phew!!)

The rest of the evening was spent keeping track of Santa on Norad, setting out the Christmas sacks and wearing our homemade Christmas pyjamas.

Everyone (including me) was in bed and asleep by 12.30 and up again at 7.30 to see if Santa had been....

He was very generous this year bringing lots of techno gifts, I was lucky to receive an Ipad and there were also an Ipod,  a Playstation, a netbook and a camera as well as Fireman Sam toys for a huge Fireman Sam fan.

After we had opened our presents Paul cooked up a scrumptious breakfast of smoked salmon and scrambled eggs and later he also served us with a tasty turkey Christmas lunch.
The rest of the day was spent getting to grips with all our new technology and building the town of Pontpandy.

Later I shall be posting about the rest of my advent gifts from Sue from @home.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

He's behind you....

Yesterday after a a hearty full English brunch to celebrate Paul's birthday last week the kids and I headed off to the local village hall for the Pantomime. There was lots of booing and hissing when the King Rat the baddie came on and quite a few "he's behind you"'s too.

 Tomas was rather fidgety and I was quite glad we were sat at the back as he was in and out and under his seat quite a lot!!!! I think he enjoyed it though and he joined in quite well with all the audience participation.
The ladies that run the village hall always put on a lucky dip and the children love have a few go's, Tomas was thrilled with his Thomas train, Noddy book and soft frog toy, Jack unfortunately was caught between the boys 8-10 and the mens boxes and ended up with some shower gel, and rather unusual aftershave samples, one named Mouse??? and some good old hankies!!! Rachel relieved me of the notebook I won from the ladies box but was less chuffed with the Warner hotel shower cap, well you can't win them all can you!!! 

Today we popped over to my Nan's to share a Christmas lunch with her, my parents and my nephew. I took over some scrumptious homemade mince pies which I made last night.

Am I the only strange person that eats the raw pastry leftovers. 
Mmmm don't answer that one needless to say that I didn't quite make as many as the recipe suggested but the fresh out of the oven ones tasted delicious if I do say so myself!!
The children received lots of lovely gifts but I forgot to take my camera so no family shots today :(

My Nan still uses a film camera and it was funny when she took a couple of pictures of the kids and Tomas asked if he could see them!!! Definitely a child of the digital age!!!

We finished the evening off with a meal out at a local Indian restaurant and feeling completely stuffed came home to watch the brilliant Eddie Izzard in Lost Christmas and Just Henry. 

Finally I thought I would leave you with a picture of my latest Christmas make, another cushion.

 I also saw this one on Kirsty's 365 days of pinterest creations blog and decided I needed to make one, I'm getting quite a collection going, and I really want to try the Christmas top one and the printed ones too so watch this space.....

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend it's only one week till Christmas you know!!!!

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Advent Swap Goodies Day 8 - 15

Christmas is now only 10 days away - how did that happen???
It's been another busy week here what with school productions, birthdays, coughs and colds but I thought I'd would just update you all with more of the wonderful goodies that I have received in my advent swap from Sue

Day 8 - I now know what to do with my stale bread and burnt toast with this ingenious bread bird feeder.

 Day 9 - another one of Sue's incredible creations a glass Christmas pudding -  I love this!!!

Day 10 - red and white paper chains - this should keep the kids busy!!!

Day 11 - a purple bejewelled mirror

Day 12 - a delicately stitched notebook

Day 13 & 14 - somehow I missed a day so had to open two what yummy surprises!!!

Day 15 - some extremely cute cross stitch button patterns and some buttons to cover...

I'm really enjoying seeing what everyone has been getting this year and have found some wonderful new blogs along the way and even some new crafting ideas for next year!!!

Saturday, 10 December 2011

When Tomas met Santa...

Today Tomas and I ventured out into the cold afternoon to see if we could visit Santa in his grotto at The Little Baddow History Centre.

As we arrived Santa pulled up his beard (lol)

and together with his elf came to say "hello".

We saw the North Pole

The reindeer

and Santa's grotto which was beautifully and naturally decorated.

Tomas wanted to bring these huge pine cones home with him.

Initially Santa thought that Tomas was a girl and gave him princess hairbands but a little while later the elf realised what had happened and we received a boys gift too. Luckily Tomas is too young to realise and was quite happy with his presents.

Tomas took a ride in Santa's sleigh

and amazingly it started it snowing!!!

Hope you all had a lovely weekend .......
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Wednesday, 7 December 2011


Anyone else have the feeling that December has arrived and decided that its wants to got at double the speed of the rest of the year!!!
My plans of daily blogging to show off my advent swap gifts and Christmassy makes doesn't seem to have happened so this is an update of what we have been up to this past week....

 Day 3 of the Advent Swap and Rachel wanted to take some pictures of me opening my gifts, looking at my hands I could really do with some handcream in this parcel.....

but wait it's even better than handcream it's chocolate, that will take my mind off my dry old hands
unfortunately I had to share with the rest of the family !!!!

Day 4 was this beautiful green and gold star bunting to brighten up my dresser. Tomas wanted this for his room as Rachel has put up the Cupcake bunting that Sue sent for our last swap in her room but I managed to persuade him to let me put it up in the orangery as long as I promised to make him some for his room...

Day 5 and I waited until the kids were at school to open these latest gifts as they are just a bit too eager to nab them for themselves.....I'm still not sharing!!!
and in today's package was a shiny cupcake keyring

Day 6  inside today's package was this delightful little fella - how cute is he???

Day 7 and we are already a week into December I can't quite believe how quickly it's going, next week is a full on week of school this and that's and then the kids break up and then and then it's Christmas!!!!!
I'm trying really hard this year no to flap about things, but the time is going so quickly and there is still so much I would like to do/make/finish/start/blog/photograph the list just goes on...I've decided that I will do what I can but if it doesn't get done then it's not the end of the world....there's always next year!!!
In today's package there were lots of lovely card making bits and pieces some of them Christmassy which I will save until next year!!!
So that is me up to date with my advent swap gifts from sue a crafts@home don't forget to pop over to Sue's blog if you would like to see what I have sent her too.

As some of you know I have also been trying to do an advent activity with the kids each day, which I have to confess hasn't been easy to keep up, what with after school clubs, homework, dinner, tired toddlers and bedtime we have managed to do some of my planned activities this week but not all. I think this idea has migrated here from the USA and works great if you are homeschooling and your kids are a few years apart but when you are trying to think of things that will please both a three year old and two teens then its hard I can tell you. What has been funny is that although the older two moaned at having to watch Home Alone 1 again (a big favourite in this house and already watched several times since the end of November in anticipation of Christmas)when I hadn't organised anything yesterday they were the first to ask "what are we doing today"......
So far we have 
1.listened, danced and sang to Christmas music
2. written letters to Father Christmas
3. supposed to have put small trees up in bedrooms - this didn't happen due to a party and illness yuk!
4. Put up the BIG Christmas Tree - fun but quite stressful at times as Tomas thought you could put 5 ornaments on one branch and the older two had a case of silly - itus!! I have been really good though and have only re- arranged the branches that had two or more ornaments on them and have added some wired bows.
5. we didn't do anything tonight but I had written on the calendar "Carol's 8pm" and Jack thought we were going carolling but we weren't I was going round a friends for the evening I think he was a little disappointed!!! 
6. half heartedly watched Home Alone, everyone went off and did something else and Tomas decided he was too tired and asked to go to bed! 
7. tonight we made magic reindeer food ready for Christmas Eve, someone tried the oats, someone tried the sprinkles and someone used up all my lovely fine glitter!!!!

I also wanted to spend each day before Christmas either showing you something that I had made or bought to decorate the orangery to make it more Christmassy, so with the tree now up and each windowsill starting to fill up with bits and bobs I can show you a few more things.
I spied this snowglobe in our local TK MAXX  back in November and just couldn't resist - I do love a snowglobe!!!
I've also been following a 365 pinterest blog written by Kirsty which shows a make a day from her Pinterest boards I liked some of them so much I just had to make my own....
I made this reindeer cushion from a charity shop skirt and some felt I also added a lovely red glittery felt nose as Rudolph is a big favourite in our house. 

Today I almost finished a christmas tree cushion which I will show you all tomorrow.....

Right must get on as the older two are at the school concert tonight and I want to wrap some of their presents while they're out as they have already been confessed to having had a snoop around!!!!
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