Even though it’s not actually Christmas yet, it feels like December has been the longest month. In my last post I mentioned that we’ve all been ill – recovery time has been slow, and now Daisy seems to have stepped things up in the teething department. My previously chilled out little lady has turned into a howling, frustrated, rosy-cheeked little thing, which means that blogging time is still pretty limited. Once I’ve got the kiddos settled in the evenings, tidied up and got comfy on the sofa, the only thing I’ve felt like doing is getting my craft on, and watching back-to-back episodes of Fringe (if you haven’t heard of this amazing series, you HAVE to check it out) with the Husband.
While I’ve been limiting my internet time, I’ve managed to do a little bit of baking and quite a lot of crochet – I decided this year that as many presents as possible were going to be either handmade by me, or bought from other craftspeople. I made my friends boyfriend a tin of homemade biscuits, which included Nigel Slaters Christmas flapjacks – chewy, oaty, fruity little squares of heaven drizzled with chocolate. You can use pretty much any oats in a flapjack recipe, but I really rate Jordans rolled oats. I love them as a brand, as they fit in with my continuing ethical efforts (they support countryside preservation) and their amazing range of granola, breakfast cereals and cereal bars are ace. When I was pregnant, I used to get through boxes of their granola with natural yogurt and honey – it was one of the only things that didn’t make me feel horrendously sick!
We’ve spent quite a while decorating the house this year, and as it was our first year with a proper porch and front garden, I decided I wanted to put something a little festive outside. I found two small fir trees in Wilkinsons, and after rummaging in the garden, I constructed a wreath from a ready-made base, some ivy (growing on our fence), a bit of holly (tucked under our fuschia tree) and bits of a table decoration from Asda. I’ve never been all that good at floristry or flower arranging, mostly because I’m too pernickety and get frustrated if things aren’t exactly right, but I actually found making the wreath quite therapeutic. Weaving the ivy in and out, tucking the berries on…. that said, it might just have been a fluke!
We’ve been finding new (to us) decorations, and also exclaiming with joy over uncovering old ones. I try to buy a new one every year, and this year I found some in my favourite homewares shop, Flo and Stans – they do amazing vintage and kitsch bits and bobs, so I knew I’d find something ace in there. I’m loving how our little lounge looks now (apologies for the photograph quality – the light was awful!), and one of my favourite things to do in the evening is curl up on the sofa, light a festive candle and watch TV. As much as I love all of those minimalist, clean, white Scandinavian design houses, I have way too much stuff to live like that!
|Banister decorations courtesy of Benjamin.|
|Handmade card from Ooh La Lapin|
|Finding old favourites – this is my one and only example of machine embroidery!|
|Candles, candles, candles.|
|Hurrah for festive mugs!|
|Vintage baubles from Flo and Stans.|
We also went last weekend to take Benjamin to see Father Christmas at our local garden centre, and despite waiting for almost two hours, I’m so glad we did. He was absolutely thrilled, and adored seeing the donkeys and reindeer, and I always love wandering round looking at the little Christmas ornaments (although I do tend to get nervously sweaty palms – a four year old and £75 mechanical decorations do NOT mix….).
|Daisy decided to be in charge of the umbrella.|
|Beautiful twinkly mechanical ornaments.|
Apart from the mad festive preparations, I’ve also managed to find some great bits on eBay, dye my hair and drink loooooots of tea…..
|Lovely vintage magazines, newspapers and books found for pennies on eBay.|
|Dying my hair red, vintage market finds, amazing knitted turbans, tea galore.|
|Handmade doll from Ooh La Lapin, extra goodies in my package, paper decorations, a homemade wreath.|
There’s a good chance I won’t get to blog between now and January, so I’m going to sign off by saying a very merry Christmas and a happy new year to you all. Thank you for reading, and for all your comments – and I promise to try and blog a little more frequently (or at least regularly!) in the new year. Have a wonderful time!
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Jordans cereal – I wasn’t paid, but they sent me a box of porridge, and some nutty bars, which were very tasty indeed.