Monday, 31 December 2012

Looking back, looking forward

2012 has flown by in a bit of a whirlwind for me.

This year, my husband turned 40. We've been together for 20 years now. We had a wonderful celebration with family and friends and climbed to the top of a windy hill with our son and daughter. We ate an amazing star wars chocolate cake and taught our daughter and her friends how to DJ.

We danced in the fields outside a castle at Camp Bestival, stayed in an Airstream caravan and explored a magical wood full of fairy lights and toys at the End of the Road. We have made some great friends and our children have made great friends too. There has been lots of running around with glow sticks whilst we sat around in deck chairs drinking wine. We rode in a horse drawn carriage at Chatsworth House while a brass band played Christmas carols. I danced like a loon with my husband at an Orbital concert and had achy hips for a week afterwards lol.

We discovered Studio Ghibli films as a family and have had many happy hours watching them, cuddled up on the sofa.

I've never felt so tired in my life. I've been doing two jobs, studying, been a carer to my mother in law and a mother to my children. I've not really had the time or energy to be a good wife and I havent had any time to care for myself. So I know that needs to be my focus for next year. Think about how I can cut down my levels of work and stress and spend quiet, quality time with my family. My sons turns three next year, so I'm hoping that I might (fingers crossed) get a bit more sleep at night, which will help too.

We have some exciting plans for next year, going to a couple of new music festivals with the kids, going to see the Stone Roses in London with my husband, going to the Lake District in February. But I'm also hoping for a little bit more peace, quiet and ...time. How I'm going to make that happen I'm not sure yet, but I will try.

Wishing you a very happy night tonight and a peaceful new year xxx

52 weeks of happy

Hello, hope you all a lovely Christmas! Ours has been a mixed one, lots of fun on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day but my other half has had the man-flu and it's been raining a lot. So we have spent a lot of time indoors, going a bit bananas!

I'm not quite sure which week I'm supposed to be on, I know I am a bit behind though...

Here are my four happy things this week, joining in with Little Birdie's project.

1. Big red bus

I picked up this wooden bus in a charity shop for £5 and it's been a massive hit with my son. He has been going on lots of little adventures with it and it is so sweet to hear him chatting to all the little men inside.

2. Little blue person

I saw this Fisher Price figure in the shop last week and it was like being transported in a time machine to when I was my daughter's age and used to play with my Fisher Price school house. I dont have it any more, so I had to pose her in my daughter's Sylvanian house instead.

3. New tea mug

I saw this mug in TK Maxx and bought it for myself as a wee gift. The message on the mug is a good one for me, it's something I struggle with sometimes.

If you look behind my mug, you will see my Snowman plate. Did you see the Snowman and the Snowdog? I thought it was great. And the documentary about "How the Snowman came to life" had me in tears.

4. Yellow scarf

This lovely yellow scarf is from Seasalt and is super snuggly. I'm hoping to have lots of outdoor adventures in my yellow scarf in 2013.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Daddy's Christmas beer

My husband and daughter have got really into watching the football together. They support Birmingham City, and the fans are affectionately known as Bluenoses. Or not so affectionately if you are an Aston Villa fan.

Anyway, they were going off to watch the footy yesterday, so we made him a bottle of "Bluenose Beer". I think that this idea is on pinterest with a red nose version, but I tweaked it a bit.

This will probably be my last post before Christmas as I expect I will be peeling sprouts this evening. So if you are reading, have a wonderful Christmas with your loved ones xxx

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Giant Christmas baubles

I have a lovely friend who is an artist and has helped us to set up a "ladies craft night". It sounds very prim and proper but is really an excuse to make something pretty, drink cocktails and then sing karaoke. I've met some great new friends through this, it's very therapeutic and it's fun to have a go at making things again. I do a bit of drawing with the kids at home and at work, but it takes a bit of courage to have a go at making something in front of adults!

Anyway this time it was my turn to host and we made giant Christmas baubles, out of vintage maps, old comic books (I found a great pile of old Beanos at the charity shop!), a 1970s star trek annual and wallpaper samples.

Here is a collection that was made by myself and my friends. Each one is about as big as large melon, so fairly big.

I had intended to hang them up from the ceiling, but I actually quite like them piled up, so they have stayed there.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Sunday cinema club: the Christmas Edition

So what are your favourite Christmas films?

For me, I have three. The first one has to be the Muppet Christmas Carol. Christmas doesn't really begin until I have watched this film, with my husband, with my children, with my friends. It's just one of those traditions that has to happen. I think that Michael Caine is just fantastic as Scrooge  and Kermit is a perfect choice for Bob Cratchitt.

This is my favourite song from the film and makes me cry each time I hear it. I just know that Christmas is around the corner.

My second film which I only watched last year with my friend and our daughters, was Elf. Just so funny and sweet.

And finally, Nativity. To be honest I thought that this film was going to be dreadfully cheesy and to be honest, it is. But in a good way. You would have to have a heart of ice not to chuckle at this film. I have heard that the new one isn't as good, so I'm planning to introduce the rest of my family to it this year.

And I've just remembered another one. The new Muppets Movie. Have you seen it? It's not a Christmas film, but it is so, so funny. The musical score is written by Brett from the Flight of the Conchords and the whole thing is like a long episode of this, but obviously suitable for kids. My daughter has been singing this song at the top of her voice and do you know what, the lyrics are just perfect. I've got everything that I need, right in front of me....

A beautiful song for Christmas

Phew...thank goodness. Ive finished work for Christmas. That means no reports or essays to write, no studying, no school runs, nothing at all for two whole weeks.

I've had a fantastic time this month, hosting a craft night and making some great Christmas decorations, going out with my husband to dance to our favourite band from when we first met and last weekend we went and stayed in an amazing old manor house in the Peak District. Which is why I haven't done any blogging for ages. Sorry.

I heard this song last night and it sent shivers down my spine. It feels just perfect for this time of year so I wanted to share it with you. It is a beautiful song by The Unthanks, called the King of Rome. Enjoy and have a wonderful Christmas xxxx

Saturday, 1 December 2012

A visitor arrives...

Every year on the first of December, we have a little visitor from the North Pole.

His name is Elvis the Elf and he has been visiting our children for the past five years.

Inside there is a little note, praising them for good things they have done during the year and giving them one little task that Santa would like them to try hard at.

This is just one of the little Christmas traditions that we do with our kids. What do you do with your family?