Tuesday, 10 December 2019

10th December

I saw this simple 'candles in a jar' idea on Sadie's blog a couple of weeks ago and decided I needed to copy it before I burned the house down! I've had the candles for years, they were left over from a Christingle service while I was at school and it would seem they burn a lot quicker than normal candles - ask me how I know. Yesterday I put some on the tray and within a very short time they'd burned down without me realising and set a couple of the fake holly leaves on fire! Good job I was in the room when it happened. Bone dry fir cones, flammable holly leaves and a wooden tray does not make for a good outcome. So they've been relegated to the mantel for display purposes and the pillar candles I normally use have taken their place.
This Feather and Down set is an accidental gift to myself. I bought it for Amy but we were chatting at the weekend and she said these days as soon as her head hits the pillow she's out like a light so she's obviously got no need for it. Not like me. I can really struggle to sleep some nights so I've kept it for when I need that (psychological) helping hand. There's a pillow spray, sleep balm, shower cream and body butter which "all contain a blend of relaxing essential oils to encourage a restful night's sleep". 
I went on line to look for another gift for her and chose an eye shadow set but they didn't have it in store and I really wanted to get the little add on gifts finished today. I declined their offer to order it in and picked some make-up brushes and cleanser instead. She's always buying brushes so I'm sure they'll come in handy.  
Still on the make up theme we chose this for Sienna from Amy and Tom. Sophie paints her nails and when she comes here she'll sit and play with my make up for ages. I have a feeling we'll all be made up to the nines on Boxing Day when they come over.
And this is the aftershave I chose for Tom. Didn't really have a clue what I was doing here so I just went for a Ted Baker set which has a choice of 3 fragrances. Graphite Black, Sterling Blue and Vintage Amber. 
And finally, I picked up these for the Toddler's party next week. 
So, today I think I can definitely say I've bought everything I need. Oh, I need to show you this. As well as being an avid Zombie fan Mark loves watching anything to do with Vikings and is always telling me he's sure he's of Viking descent - highly doubtful with the surname we have. But I'm a kind wife so I've indulged his fantasy and bought him this. I did think about a helmet but to be honest the thought of him sat in the recliner with his feet up and 2 horns sticking out of his head is too much for me to bear so the glass won. 
Right, that's all I've got to show you I think. Hope you've all had a good day. xx

Monday, 9 December 2019

9th December

Tom's routine in the morning now includes opening a door on his Advent calendar. Only today, number 9 had been well and truly taped shut by Amy. Seeing him struggling to open it was really funny. We always work to the last minute on school mornings so he couldn't spend more than a few seconds trying to get into it and in the end he had to give up, threw it on the sofa and said "she's taped the bloody door shut". Just wait til he finds number 24 is missing. 

Toddler group was good this morning. It's the Christmas party next week and the lady who's been there for years asked me if I was dressing up. I said I'd buy some antlers to wear and would she like some. She's 87 but said "yes please, I can be daft as the next person". I assume that's me she's talking about lol. I love these older ladies who are still up for a bit of fun. I hope that'll be me in years to come. 

We stayed chatting afterwards and I didn't get home til gone 1pm. I'd not been in long when Mark popped out to get the car cleaned so I lit some candles, sat down with a brew and then did a bit of blog reading and my on line shopping order, all undertaken in peace and quiet. 

Apart from that it's been a pretty uneventful day. Hope yours has been a bit more exciting. xx

Sunday, 8 December 2019

7th December

Amy came home yesterday for an overnight stay. It was a last minute decision but her timing was perfect because when she rang I was just putting the trees up so she was able to help decorate them.

Hard to believe some of our decorations are now nearly 20 years old and when Amy went to hang this bauble up, even she stood still and took stock that she's only a few weeks left of being a teenager. I can remember going to the Christmas shop in Uppermill for this bauble all those years ago. I googled to see if it was still open but it shut in 2016 when the owners retired. 
She set up some Christmas songs and surprised me by knowing the words to most of them but she says they're on loop at work so she's hearing them in her sleep lol. We sang our way through the task in hand with a brandy hot chocolate for me and a passion fruit lemonade for Amy and of course mince pies. The ones I bought are lovely and much better than what I make. I might add a spot of brandy to some to give them a bit of oomph but it's not really necessary. 
Then a bit of big sister skullduggery took place with Tom's Advent calendar. One or two chocolates have been eaten and replaced with cheeky notes, a couple of doors have been taped shut and Number 24 has been moved to Number 1 so he'll have to hunt to find that. I can't wait to see his face when he tries to figure out what's gone on lol. 
I've kept things very simple this year with just a few white and silver ornaments on the radiator shelf, the 3 Kings on the mantel and the Advent candles on a tray on the coffee table. Some years I feel the need to bring the outside in and I have greenery everywhere, other years I prefer a more pared down look. What I like is that it's not until I start doing it that I decide which way it's going to go. It's very much an 'in the moment' feeling rather than a plan. 
I went to church this morning while Mark dropped Amy at work. She's got a long shift today 12-9pm, quite possibly longer as she never seems to leave on time, then it takes her about an hour to get home if she catches the bus. If she finishes really late she'll get a taxi and is home in about 10 minutes but it costs her an hours wage so she doesn't do it very often. 

Nothing planned for this afternoon, so I may find a cheesy Christmas film and watch that. 

Hope you've all had a nice weekend. xx

Friday, 6 December 2019

6th December

I took this photo Wednesday morning. Isn't that sky wonderful. We were back to grey, wet and miserable on Thursday and it's the same today. 
When Mark took Tom to cadets last night I quickly nipped out to take a photo because you get a better view when my car's not on the drive. For me this is 'Lagom'. 
Mum's of teenage lads will relate to this I'm sure. Tom has been combing his hair this week - without being told to! Yes, I know. The metamorphosis is taking place lol. And this morning when I half jokingly asked him if he wanted aftershave for Christmas he said yes. My boy is definitely becoming a young man. 

It was wrapping day today. I'm under instructions from Amy to be environmentally friendly this year. Blimey, these little snippets she throws out every now and then don't half get me in a tizz at times. Anyway, my efforts for her are recycled brown printed paper, odd Christmas cards that I've had hanging around for years, string instead of ribbon and at the last minute I'll add some greenery from the garden instead of bows.
I've got paper and trimmings in the wardrobe from previous years so I also used them. No point buying new when I've already got some. Aunty got ribbons, bow and a tag. At 95 she'll have done more recycling in her life than Amy could ever imagine. Although ask her if she recycles and it's unlikely she'd really know what you meant. But ask her if she's ever had to make do and mend and if she still lives by that rule and she'd give a resounding Yes. Without fail she hands me the ribbon and bow off her gift every year so I can use them again, bless her. I used to just bin them but with all this talk of recycling I do actually re-use bows and gift bags these days. That would definitely get me a Brownie point from Amy.
The mammoth wrapping session that had grown in my head over the days actually boiled down to wrapping just 11 presents in reality. I'd like to say it was enjoyable but Mark was upstairs cutting his hair which is usually a 5 minute job. However, the clippers weren't working properly, so instead of wrapping gifts to the gentle sound of Christmas carols, I wrapped them to an hour's worth of buzzing, swearing and him walking backwards and forwards trying to find the right tool to fix them. That, my friends is life at Number 38! 

This afternoon we went into town where I did a bit more shopping and then we went for coffee and cake. I chose rhubarb and custard and a pot of Earl Grey. 
Hope you've all had a lovely day. Our tree is going up tomorrow so brace yourselves for that because no doubt the way things are going that will also be a palaver and done with gritted teeth.  xx

Thursday, 5 December 2019

5th December

Tom seemed a bit better this morning and when I asked if he was up to going in school he said he thought so. Bless him. He makes it easy for me to decide when to keep him off because when he says he's not well I know he really means it. 

We had to cancel the get together last night. My friend and her daughter were sat in A&E all day or rather in a corridor because it was so busy. After numerous tests that showed blood in her urine, a possible infection and the concern it could be appendicitis they were told the hospital didn't have the resources to admit her and that if they stayed they'd have to wait in the corridor for at least 12 hours before they could process her. She said it was horrendous. Ambulances were queued up outside and patients were lined up on trolleys wherever they could fit them. So they made the decision to go home and were given painkillers. What a joke, only it's not funny at all is it. 

I dropped the gifts off today and a few other bits which has cleared Amy's room quite a bit so I've been in there cleaning, sorting and tidying up and I can see the floor again now.

I went on the Tesco website to book my Christmas delivery slot but they've all gone. Might be for the best actually. I could probably do with making sure the dates on things are long enough and that I get everything I need or if not, the substitutes I want. I've written my shopping list so will start buying a few bits this weekend. I definitely want to get my hands on some chocolate orange profiteroles because they sound so yummy. 
Image result for tesco chocolate orange profiteroles
I'm all set for my wrapping session tomorrow. Hoping to get it all done and then on Saturday I think I'll get the trees up. I'm trying to keep it quite understated this year with just the trees and candles but when I open the boxes and remember what I've got that might change. 

Hope you've all had a lovely day. xx

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

4th December

Tom's off school today. He's had a really bad cough for a few days but last night it got worse and when I went in to check on him he was sat there bright red, sweating and burning up - still with the Xbox control glued to his hand though!

There's obviously something going around because he was telling me that in the history exam yesterday loads of people were coughing, which then turned into a bit of a game where non-coughers started to join in until it got so bad the exam had to be stopped while the teacher had a word with them all. Of course, Tom being Tom then spent the rest of the time trying not to cough in case he was removed from the hall. 

Apologies to any German teachers out there, but today's exam is German which is a GCSE he has no intention of taking so I made the decision to keep him off. I'd rather he went in for science and geography tomorrow, although to be honest I'm genuinely not bothered about Y9 mocks. I've said it before and I'll say it again, there are too many exams in schools these days.

Mark was out today which meant a bonus day at home so I decided to get the stocking fillers wrapped. When we were little our stocking gifts weren't wrapped but Amy still likes to rip paper off as many things as possible so I opt for the middle ground and wrap them but there's no ribbons, no bows and no tags. I save all that for their main presents. 

The obligatory socks are in there but with a difference. Amy has a pair of dog paw ones, you can buy all different animals, zebras, tiger, cats etc. and Thomas has a pair of gaming ones. I got the animal ones from E*ay and there are photos of people wearing them which I think look really freaky but no doubt she'll love them. 
Amongst other bits and pieces, I've bought this book for Tom and this sweet little decoupage dog for Amy. I've had a flick through the book and if it doesn't put Tom off at least he'll know what he's letting himself in for. 
I think I'm out with my friends tonight but it's touch and go at the moment as one of them text this morning to say she was sat in A&E with her daughter. I've still wrapped their gifts and written their cards because if we don't get together today, we will at some point. I remembered I'd cross stitched the gift tags and spent a good 10 minutes trying to find them. That's what happens when I do things in advance I forget or don't know where I've put them. Anyway, I chose a present for one and a stocking for the other. 
Hope you've all having a good day and your Christmas plans are going well. xx

Tuesday, 3 December 2019

3rd December

I can't decide whether I live a life of routine or a life of monotony but while I'm pondering that question, today is Tuesday so that meant shopping, followed by a coffee at Mum's ;)

First job was to find an Advent Calendar. Not as easy as you'd think and the ones I did find were expensive and hadn't been reduced. The cheek of it - don't the stores know it's 3rd December and apart from me, who forgot to buy one, who else wants an Advent Calendar 3 days late! Giving Thomas a Lindt or Thorntons one would be like giving a donkey strawberries so my very own cheeky elf got a cheeky elf one instead, the other option being My Little Pony. 
I picked up some stationery for Sophie as a small wrap up to go with her money and also some for my niece. What girl doesn't like a lovely new notebook at Christmas. I know I do. It looks much nicer in real life, and the design is understated but classy. 
Not sure you can make the words out, but if not it says 'Lagom' - Swedish for "not too much, not too little, just enough". In reality Lagom simply translates at moderate or just enough but I like the longer version. I should have bought myself one because that's basically the principle on which I live my life. I am a real life Goldilocks. 
I needed some gift tags for Sienna's present and spotted these. I have no idea which one to use because I think they're all really cute with sparkly stars in their tummies that you can shake. I may just do a lucky dip because I'm sure sticking one of each design on would be considered just a tad OTT, even it's it's Granny doing it! 
My niece and my nephew (brother and sister), turn 16 and 21 this month so I braved the crowds in the card shop and pushed my way to the back of the store to find these. Not much choice as a lot of stands have given way to Christmas but they're fine. I'm practical enough to know it's what's inside the card that's more exciting than the card itself. 
We're having baked potatoes for tea tonight. Not so long ago Mark wouldn't have considered this a meal, and I certainly wouldn't get away with putting cheese and beans on his, but as long as I load his with chili he's happy. 

But for now, I'm having a brew, a tunnocks teacake and a flick through my book. You can tell which cup I use the most can't you. 
Hope you've all had a lovely day. xx