Friday 21 December 2012

Festive Yuletide Witterings

Talk about awkward...

The Princess has just given me her letter for Father Christmas. At the age of nine, she's still a firm believer and I am over the moon. I love and embrace her innocence. 

Not sure how anyone can believe, when the beard is this bad!!!
This was the Prince at his pre school Christmas party today.

Trouble is, now I've seen her letter to Santa, I've realised we've not bought her ONE thing from her list and we've finished (and overspent on) our Christmas shopping. It would appear she's forgotten about the items she mentioned two weeks ago. Oh frickadoodledoo.

And so this is (nearly) Christmas. And what have you done?

I have taken the children to a Christmas party and they got their faces painted.

I have reflected on pre-school Nativity plays past:

Five years ago

..and present:


I have fallen in love with our Christmas tree which isn't dropping a needle. It smells gorgeous. It's been up since December 1st. I get so sad when it's time to say goodbye (tragic soul, huh).

The Christmas shopping wasn't always plain sailing...

And I've had a lovely parcel that the lovely Lucy at sent me ALL the way from Australia.

She and I are obsessed with vintage Ladybird books.

I squealed. I actually squealed!

The Husband and I met when he lived in Banbury...

And Lucy also made me these cute cards and gift tags below:

Do hop over to her blog, it's lush. Thanks very much Lucy. You are one of my favourite bloggy lady birds...

Today I have been all about the charity. The charidee. The cherry tree.

Coat, cardie and skirt all cherry tree items

Less than £15 in total darlings. 

The coat was a tenner from British Heart Foundation.
The brooch was a gift from
Photo taken by The Prince this afternoon

My Nan bought the coat for herself. It's originally from Debenhams. Sadly she died nearly three years ago and hadn't even worn the coat. I feel closer to her every time I wear it. This Boxing Day will poignant as it was three years ago on December 26th that I last saw her. We held hands, as always when we chatted, and I thought I'd see her again in the New Year. I didn't.

Anyway, so she lives on every time I wear the red coat. The cardie is from the Cats Protection League and cost me £2. It's originally Per Una and I love it. Muchly. It has an embroidered bicycle and everything. The skirt was about £2.50 and I wear it a lot.

Photo by The Prince

Photo by The Prince
(trigger happy)

My other cherry tree purchases: The Santa hat for 20p from Scope. We love a Santa hat, don't you?

And this vintage 100 per cent wool duffel coat from St Michael. I love it on The Prince so much. £4! A steal!

Ignore the white icing on the side. No, ignore it I said.

Afternoon beach picnic

Oh, his shirt is second hand too. Land of Boden don't you know...
I also bought this Accessorize purse from Scope the very day mine broke. My zip went and all the money fell out (I say ALL the money, like I am the Queen....oh hang on, she never carries dosh).

It caught my eye and cost me £1.

 It's brill. What is more fab is that they are still selling them in Accessorize for £16 and mine is brand new. Bargainous!

I discovered this fact about the purse still being in stock when I was in Monsoon this week and having a lovely chat with the assistant. We were both giggling about how we discovered the truth about Father Christmas. She was 11 and one of the teachers at school was saying how you can have good and bad lies. A good lie example the teacher gave was Father Christmas. Well, the Monsoon assistant was gutted. She stormed home and demanded to know the truth. And cried from shock.

And me? My own "discovery story"? Weeeell................

'Twas the night before Christmas and I was ten years old. I remember feeling the excitement as the tingle of expectation shivered down my spine. After the carol service and mince pies by the fire, I kissed my parents and siblings goodnight and went to sleep with my eyes shut tight.

Around midnight, something made me wake. I heard a noise on the landing outside my bedroom. It was Him, I knew it. Should I leap out of bed and ask for a ride on his sleigh? Could I pat his reindeer and gently feed them a carrot, while burying my head in their soft, smooth fur? Could I hug Saint Nick, marvel at his rosy cheeks and sparkling eyes and then boast to my friends that I'd actually met him?

I didn't know what to do. I was literally quaking in my bed. I heard the rustling of wrapping paper, footsteps padded up and down and I couldn't breathe.

Slowly, and very quietly, my bedroom door opened. I shut my eyes as tight as I could, and held my breath, for fear he would not fill my stocking with gifts if he knew I was peeking. I lay as still as I could and heard a sackful of presents land swiftly at the foot of my bed.

Then Father Christmas left the room but I heard him still outside my door. He had more to bring to me, I could feel it.

 I heard him creep back into my room but dropped something heavy and he said, in an exasperated whisper: "Oh BUGGER it."

This wasn't right. Father Christmas didn't swear... I slowly opened one eye, as carefully as I could.

And lo and behold, in front of me, picking up the doll which he had dropped from a shiny new pram, was my dad in a pair of Y-fronts.

At first I thought he must have been helping Father Christmas bring in all my presents, but slowly yet surely, realisation dawned on my disappointed, naive little face. My illusion was rudely shattered. 

What was worse, I don't remember - realising that Santa didn't exist, or seeing my dad swearing in his kecks - but I didn't let on for another year or two as knew my lovely dad would be deeply disappointed.

Rule number one - Santa NEVER drops a present, and more importantly, he certainly NEVER uses rude words.

Here I am on that said Christmas still recovering from the shock, with my brother Robert and sister Anna.  I loved that doll and pram for many years.

(Am a bit ashamed now, hence the smaller font...anyway, the awkward thing was that after we stopped giggling from swapping our stories, we suddenly noticed a mum walking out of the shop with her daughter who was about ten. And I had a terrible niggling feeling that the little girl may have just listened to every word.)

(......still, I guess she can turn it into a funny story when she is older, about how she "discovered". That's what we told ourselves anyway as felt MORTIFIED).

Merry Christmas everyone and thanks for following my blog. I don't do adverts or giveaways or promotions so I flipping love it when people come across my humble dronings on. Cheers!

Saturday 15 December 2012

Christmas Time, Mistletoe and Vom...

Evening all! Before I showcase my cherry tree treasures, it's time for an update. And maybe the above picture which hangs in our hallway should actually say: Chaotic Life at the Seaside...

What do you want to hear about first? How I did my back in last Saturday and have been hobbling and bent over like an old woman? How I was in so much pain on Saturday afternoon I thought I would be sick? How I am getting through more frozen peas than David Haye on a trolley dash at Iceland?

Or what about how we had to endure a disastrous 2.5 hours to Stratford Upon Avon on Sunday for Christmas dinner with the inlaws (Stratford is about half way). Probably the WORST day to travel when one is so ill with chronic lower back pain. My leg was numb and I had pins and needles in my right buttock (TMI but I was seriously bad when we set off).

To make things worse, we were an hour into our journey when the Prince decided to projectile vomit all over every single garment he was wearing, as well as the floor. Marvellous. Utter precision.

Cue The Husband, frantically trying to pull over on a busy dual carriageway, and me desperately trying to get out of the car to drag the kid out before he carried on. But realising I couldn't even lift my leg out of the car. Or bend over to get him out of the car seat.

So I started crying (from the pain and frustration). The Princess started crying (she has a sickness phobia and was freaked) and the Prince chundered some more. Then he started crying. All Cried Out? Alison Moyet, you have nothing on us, believe me.

We entered the pub and felt fraught, stressed and sick of the journey we'd had (if you'll pardon the pun). We carried the Prince inside, wearing a small pair of red Mickey Mouse pants, a scarf wrapped around his body and his sister's pink sheepskin mittens covering his feet.  In subzero temperatures too. A comedy moment and we looked like The Odd Family (whoever they

But when we entered the pub and saw this, all felt calm and bright.

Smiling through the pain and drugged up
(me, not the Princess)

The mother in law had kindly stopped to buy the Prince some new clothes on the way as they arrived before us and the drinks in the pub were on ice and everyone was lovely (mother in law had explained the situation. Our life always contains an element of chaos it seems.)

After lunch we walked around and visited Shakespeare's birth place:

Peeking through the window!

Peeking through other people's windows too. Naughty.

In other news I have been busy eating cheese and drinking wine. Which means I am having interesting dreams.

Also been enjoying beach walks.

Wrapping a zillion presents.

Trying to work from home and meeting tight deadlines, with a three-year-old who has other ideas. Believe me it is VERY hard.

Look. At. Face.

I always resort to bribery and temptation to get peace and quiet.

Licking his lips (he hasn't tried them yet...)
Look at me, like the Childcatcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang...
 Drinking cocktails with one of my bezzy mates. On a school night. Yikes.

And walking off the hangover the next day (and walking off a gargantuan pub lunch.)

Enjoying our advent calenders.

Mine isn't a chocolate one. I have had the same advent calender for YEARS! I flatten it under the mattress and use it the following year. I love it.

On December 1st, we noticed the Prince had eaten chocolates from about eight windows and was also clutching another handful, which he was fiercely denying. Very cheeky!

I've been busy making Christmas cards, although only ones I can hand deliver, as decided not to post any this year and instead donate money to charity. Royal Mail are charging too much for stamps and I am cross.

A card topper

Loving my Christmassy cherry tree Ladybird books.

Such wonderful illustrations. Perfect Christmas!

In other news, I am currently obsessing over a cake stand I saw in a cherry tree shop window. We drove past it yesterday and the husband heard me go "Ohhhhhh!"and for a second he thought I was leaping out of the car while he was driving at 30mph for the sake of a cake stand. Perhaps I would have, if my back had allowed it.

I went back today and it's still there in the window. But it's £12. And it's not even a fancy brand. A bit steep, surely.

I really REALLY want it but I will not pay £12 for it. It's fair to say I do my bit for charidee so I shall bide my time and then go in and make an offer if it's still there. It has pink roses on it and everything.

My brother Rob flew in from Chicago yesterday and stayed with us. We attended a Christmas carol concert where the Princess was singing a solo to kick start the show. She sang the first verse of Silent Night before all the other children joined her. There were 250 parents there and as it was my belated grandfather's favourite carol, I shed more than a tear. In fact I had to squeeze myself to stop myself from blubbing. I was so proud of her. How brave my girl is.

Also my sister heard her baby's heart beat for the first time yesterday and it was as strong as a train. That lovely chugg chugg sound! (By the way, thank you, all of you for your very kind messages and texts. Means a lot to know how thoughtful you are!)

It's so exciting as I'd been getting broody for another baby in the family for a while (although not convinced I could actually be faffed to go through it all over again) and now I just can't wait to be the doting Auntie Gem. I just love the way a newborn baby smells. I am as excited as if it was my own!

Oooh and here are my two cherry tree purchases. Homemade pinnies from Scope. Different days. £1 each.

I have plans to Annie Sloan these chairs in spring. Each one will be an individual ice cream shade. Can't wait!

And so to bed. I have yet more ice on my back and need more painkillers. I shall update you on the cake stand in due course.

Sunday 2 December 2012

Shouting it from the roof tops!

My gorgeous sister and best friend in the whole wide world is pregnant! I can finally tell EVERYONE!!!!!!!

I am so excited I can barely breathe!!!!!

She and her man are of course completely and utterly over the moon.

Imagine how lush their baby will be with these genes!

She absolutely dotes on my two children and she will make an amazing mum.

My kids have grown so much since this!

(seems only yesterday she was a baby herself!)

Love from a very chuffed Auntie Gem.