Thursday, 13 December 2012

Tag, Your IT... A Christmas Meme :)

I have been tagged by the Lovely Leyla over at This Day I Love to take part in a Christmas Meme. I am super excited about doing this as A) Its my first ever tag!! and B) I absolutley LOVE Christmas!! So let's getting cracking...
1. What is your favourite thing about Christmas?
For me there isn't a particular 'thing' that I like, but the whole season in general - I love going into shops or driving in my car and hearing Christmas songs play and I love walking down the street and seeing all the pretty twinkly lights on the houses. There is a happy / festive atmosphere in the air and people generally appear to have woken up on the merry side of the bed!
I now also have my little girl which has put a completely different meaning into Christmas for me... I love to make new traditions with her, I love seeing her face when she sees the 'pretties' as she calls them (Christmas Lights) I love watching her laugh and dance to the Christmas songs that I used to laugh and dance to when I was younger, I love that she believes... :)
2. What is your favourite make up look for the season?
I don't really wear make up and when I do I tend to enrol a friend to do it for me as I am just rubbish! I do however like to keep it pretty natural.

3. Real or Fake tree?

I always say I would love a real tree however my house is pretty teeny tiny and I don't think I would have the space to put one so we have a fake tree. I used to have a lovely pre lit one and then I got a kitten who decided to climb up the tree, knock the tree, sleep in the tree, fall out the tree and break all the branches on the way down... so now I have an ordinary green tree! Me and hubs have said we may look for a pre lit one in January sales for next year!

4. Giving or Receiving presents?

Definitley prefer to give, I start my Christmas shopping wayyyyy early as one, it helps to spread the cost and two (and most importantly) it gives me plenty of time to buy things that I know people with love / use / appreciate and joy. I will search high and low to find the 'perfect' gift.

5. What is your favourite Christmas film?

I absolutley love, ELF - Its SSSSSAAAAAAAAANNNNNNTTTTTAAAAA :) (To anyone who has ever seen it that should make sense? To anyone who has not then go and watch it immediatley!)

6. What is your favourite Christmas food?
Chocolate... now I know Chocolate isn't really a 'Christmas' food but Christmas seems to be only time of year where its perfectly justifiable to demolish half a tin of celebrations, eat the full contents of a selection box to yourself or complete a full terry's chocolate orange... Serioulsy no one batters an eye lid... after all it is Christmas and in January you will diet, eat fruit, exercise, drink plenty of water, start taking vitamins (or at least thats what I tell myself each year) so why not make the most of it...

That's it from me - I will now be tagging

Mum in a hurry
Crazy with twins
SAHDandProud (feel free to skip Q2 lol)

Merry Christmas!

Oh and here is my cat in the middle of my old pretty tree...


Tuesday, 11 December 2012

You don't buy a nice home... You make one!

In 2007 my then boyfriend (now husband) decided to buy our first home, we were both young and to be honest its scary how easy it was to do, this was just before the credit crunch and we literally just walked into the mortgage office off the street with no deposit, no savings and relatively low wages and we were handed a large sum of money!
Anyway we always thought our first home would be exactly that and that it was a step onto the property ladder, wow how wrong were we?! What with the recession, house prices going down, no one lending any money I would say we are no better off now than if we were first time buyers.
So the actual point of this post? Well this house was always meant to be for just us two and to be honest its a lovely little house for a young couple (hence why we bought it) but we're not just a young couple any more, we are married, we are parents, we are a family. I keep talking about how I would like a new house, a bigger one, a family one, a nicer one when actually it dawned on me... you don't buy a nice home, you make one!
So yes, I would like a bigger house, I do feel we have outgrown this one as a family, but the fact of the matter is that it will not and can not happen in the forseeable future so rather than moan about it I decided to be grateful for what I do have and to start turning this house into a home! Starting with a list of each room and what actually needs doing in it - My husband and I are very good at starting jobs and then never finishing them so the house often looks like a scene from DIY SOS and probably doesn't help to the cluttered feeling that lurks in every room.
We have started with our bedroom, which since the 'spare/junk' room became the babies room as become a dumping ground! This room in a word is horrible, it's where things get hidden in order to make the rest of the house look tidy! well not anymore! Today my hubs stripped the walls and at the weekend we will be sugar soaping and painting them. We will then get measured up for a new carpet - once all that is done we will look at new furniture - our old wardrobes broke so we currently have our clothes hung on a rail :( I'm hoping to introduce a shabby chic type feel to the room. With regards to the clutter once we have proper wardrobes again we will be able to find everything a place or alternatively sell, bin or put in the loft!
So thats the plan so far, I figured we are better off tackling one room at a time and not worrying about the others just yet as it would just be far too overwhelming not to mention costly!
Now off to look at colour charts / bedding / furniture etc :)
Thanks for reading xxx

Monday, 10 December 2012

Online Friends

On Saturday as part of the activity advent calendar me, hubs and bubs went to the German Christmas Market in Leeds, where we met up with some of my friends and their kiddies. On the drive home from Leeds I sat in the car and thought about how enjoyable the day had been and how nice it was to catch up with friends, but these friends aren't people I met through work or who I used to go to school with. I hadn't met them through local baby groups or even through another friend of mine, they were all friends that I had met online.  

Back in January 2010 my husband and I decided we would try for our first child, not really wanting to disclose this information to anyone close to me I searched online and came across a baby forum - I joined up and started posting, reading other people's posts, I joined in with the virtual celebrations when someone got their 'BFP' (positive pregnancy test) and sent virtual hugs to those who didn't and without realising it I was forming friendships.
In August 2010 I fell pregnant this meant I could 'move over' to the 'Due in May 2011' forum - People slowly joined and sadly some people left but over the next 9 months we would compare pregnancy symptoms, share bump photos, discuss hospital bags, nursery themes, for some of us it was our first baby, for others it was their second, third, fourth and more! We decided to pair up as 'Bump Buddies' and when one of us went into labour we would text our bump buddy and they would share it with the group - I remember after having my baby logging on and seeing so many posts and messages from my 'friends' wishing me well, telling me they were thinking of me, guessing the sex of the baby etc. I was that overwhelmed that I copied these messages and printed them off for bubs memory box.
Once the babies had all arrived it was a lot harder to get online and post therefore someone created a secret facebook group, a place just for us that we could access at anytime with ease (the joys of smart phones) - So we headed over and suddenly all these 'usernames' had real names, and real faces! (My god they were actual people!)  I was also close to a number of the women I had met while trying to get pregnant, some of whom who had already had babies, some were still pregnant and some were still waiting for the BFP and so another group was also formed (the ladies I spent the day with on Saturday were from this group). To this day (19 months on) I still talk to these people almost every single day and they truely have become some of my greatest friends - I have been on so many meets now that I have lost count! these have ranged from shopping centres, to restaurants, to soft play, to birthday parties, to baby showers, to house meets, to hen nights and on mums nights out!!
I feel really lucky to have made so many great friends, we share so many different ideas / exchange tips / offer advice and listen to one anothers rant - I am really pleased that I logged on to that baby forum that day :) xxx 

Friday, 7 December 2012

Winter Wonderland

So me hubs and bubs have spent the last five days at Center Parcs, Sherwood Forest. This is the second year running we have been in December (so does that make it a Christmas tradition?!) I have been to Center Parcs several times and at different times of year however I have to say Christmas there is just so magical - the whole forest is converted into a Winter Wonderland and the atmosphere is so merry and festive :)
On Wednesday night we met Santa, his woodland workshop is amazing, it has real reindeer outside and the biggest Christmas tree you have ever seen! Bubs was a little unsure of meeting him but she didn't cry so thats a bonus!
There's lots of different activities to do while at Center Parcs but it can become quite pricey, so I took some bits and bobs along with us and organised some Christmas crafting for bubs and my friends kiddies to do in the lodge (these were also our advent activities) - one afternoon we all wrote letters to Santa and then threw them on the open fire so they would go up into the air and to the North Pole  for him to see and on another afternoon we made salt dough decorations - the kids loved doing this and getting messy with all the paints.
Every morning we went swimming, again bubs loved this, she was walking around the shallow pool all by herself and splashing and giggling, she also loved the flumes and the wave machine!
During the festive over load mummy also got the chance to relax and spent the evening at the twilight spa - absolute bliss! We have been home a few hours and already we are pricing up visit for next Christmas!
I'm desperate to sort through my photographs but I have photos spread across three different cameras (mine and hubs phones and then our actual camera)so it will be a long process! I will update a couple once it is sorted tho!
Happy Friday everyone, hope you all have a lovely a weekend! xxx

Saturday, 1 December 2012

24 Days Of Christmas...

First of December is finally here - yippeee. As I have previously mentioned in my blog I have decided that this year I will make my daughter an activity advent calendar. This is something I have been working on for a few weeks now and I have been searching the internet for fun, christmassy activities and also looking locally at what events are on and finally I have come up with our 24 activities. My daughter's godmother made her a gorgeous advent calendar last year that she will keep forever, so I have popped little slips of paper with a different activity on in each pocket. Mummy guilt did get the better of me tho and I have also put a chocolate coin in there too! Anyway here is the finalised list of activities - Happy December everyone!! xxx
1. Decorate the Christmas tree
2. Village Christmas light parade
3. Go on a magical winter wonderland holiday
4. Write a letter to Santa
5. Visit Santa and his reindeer
6. Make a salt dough santa decoration
7. Make Grandma and Grandad a Christmas card
8. Visit a Christmas market
9. Decorate a lonely tree
10. Visit the Brown's Christmas craft fair
11. Deliver Christmas cards to all your nursery friends
12. Bake Christmas cookies
13. Go to the Chirstmas concert at the village church
14. Turn playroom in Santa's grotto
15. Watch the brass band play
16. Take part in the Yuletide treasure trail
17. Make a food hamper to donate to the food bank
18. Receive a very special video message
19. Make a ginger bread house
20. Go and look at the Christmas lights
21. Christmas movie night
22. Village Christmas family disco
23. Bake mince pies for Santa
24. Track Santa on Norad and enjoy your cosy box!



Getting Organised for 2013!!

Ok... so I know we still have a month left of 2012 however today I made the decision to get myself organised ready for 2013. My husband and I tend to muddle through from one situation to another (or so it feels like it). So for 2013 I am taking it back to basics. Today while in the pound shop I saw some A4 week view diaries, so I picked one up, along with some sticky notes and a couple of highlighters and the plan is this...
Firstly I am going to make a list of everyone's birthdays and any upcoming special occassions (such as weddings / christenings) and write them all in the diary. I'm also going to pop a sticky note on the first of every month with a quick overview of whose birthdays are coming up that month.
I will also put a sticky note the month before any 'one off' costs may be due - such as car tax or mot etc.
Then of course I will write down all my bills / payment dates etc. (I find check lists quite therapeutic and love nothing more than putting a line through something or putting a tick next to it - loser alert?!)
I am also going to have a look at my debts and form a plan on how to reduce them and all over payments will again be documented in the diary... but more on that another time (maybe?) Savings will also be documented as I plan on putting £10 a week away for next Christmas, also thinking of collecting some saving stamps throughout the year for the Christmas big shop? we'll see!
And finally I will make a list of all the people I need to buy Christmas presents for as you never know I may find something perfect for them throughout the year...
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