A Very Happy Christmas to One and All

Merry-christmas-quote

Wishing everyone a very merry Christmas full of love and joy!

This Week’s Favourites

This weeks faves 23:12

Hello there, First of all I just wanted to say a big thank you for all your lovely supportive comments on my previous post. It’s very comforting to know that I’m not the only one to be hit by bloggers block! How are you all bearing up under the Christmas stress? I finished the wrapping last night and today has been a mad dash (in the pouring rain, of course!) buying new shoes for the boys, haircuts for all the kids, and packing our bags for three nights away. We leave tomorrow morning and although it feels strange not to be spending Christmas at home, we are all very excited to be trying something new. We (hopefully) have a fun packed few days ahead and I’ve been cramming the suitcases full with fancy dress outfits, Black Tie attire, wellies and swimming costumes.

It may be a day late but I wanted to take a few minutes to do my weekly round up:

 

1. It seems like ages ago now, but Cameron was off school with a tummy ache last Monday. Once I’d finished work in the morning, we played quite a few boardgames including Junior Monopoly.

2. Luckily he had recovered by the following day and was able to do a reading in church at his school’s carol service.

3. Amaryllis = Christmas and ours is now in full bloom.

4. Christmas wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the big guy in red himself. The boys were happy to pose with Father Christmas (a really good one this year who took his time to chat to all the children individually) but Clemmie preferred to stay close to Mummy.

5. She did manage to divulge that she wants a dolly for Christmas and enjoyed the visit to the playground afterwards.

6. Another festive tradition is making gingerbread biscuits. I buy the dough ready made from the Swedish food shop, so much easier than making your own. I had planned to buy some writing icing to decorate them but the kids managed to eat every single biscuit before I had time. Note to self: Buy two batches of dough next year.

7. As we’re away over Christmas (it’s my dad’s 70th birthday on Christmas Day no less so we’re going to stay in a hotel for three days), we enjoyed a traditional Swedish Christmas lunch with my parents, sister and family and the in-laws yesterday.

8. Clemmie and her cousin are only six months apart in age and get on really well, chatting away in a mixture of English and Swedish. It will be lovely to spend three solid days together over Christmas.

9. And finally I just had to share my latest purchase with you – the Nars At First Sight eye and cheek palette. My mother-in-law bought me a voucher for Space NK for my birthday and this week I managed to nab the very last palette in stock!

Right, back to the packing it is and in case I don’t get a chance to post in the next couple of days: A very merry Christmas to you all! X

When words don’t come easy…

8162305610_6a001c7874_h

Somewhere between the Christmas stress, starting a new job and a couple of exhausting nights looking after a sick toddler, I seem to have temporarily misplaced my blogging mojo. It’s not that I’m short of ideas or inspiration, I just haven’t got the energy to sit down and string the necessary words together. Tomorrow is the last day of school for the boys before Christmas and I’m sure the two week break will do us all good. At the moment, even getting out of the house on time in the mornings is a struggle, let alone keeping on top of the Christmas preparations and all the usual household tasks that mount up, regardless of whether it’s the festive season or not.

So, for tonight this is all folks. I hope to return in a few days with something more interesting to say! In the meantime, hope you all have a great weekend. X

This Week’s Favourites

This Week's Faves 15:12

My lovely husband offered to wash up even though he cooked dinner so I’m earlier than usual with my ‘weekly favourites’ post. It’s been a great week – busy but not stressful – and even though there are only nine (!!) days until Christmas I feel quite organised and in control (a definite first for me!). So without further ado here is the roundup I know you’ve all been waiting for!

1. I finished off the last Christmas shopping this week and of course no trip into town is complete without a Gingerbread latte at Starbucks to keep the energy levels up.

2. Cameron’s school Christmas concert was a delight: the children looked angelic and sang so beautifully it almost brought a tear to my eye!

3. Casper was not to be outdone and sparkled as Roman in his school nativity the following day.

4. As I mentioned in my last post we have put up all the Christmas decorations and I’m already dreading taking them down in the new year. January and February are my least favourite months and the house always seems so dark and dreary when the Christmas lights are packed away.

5. The little nativity set is a favourite with the children who love playing with it and moving the figures around. I don’t mind as long as it all stays on the mantlepiece!

6. The Christmas tree has a real mix of old, new and homemade decorations. It’s not perfect by any stretch of the imagination but there’s plenty of time for an immaculate tree when the children have grown up.

7. We went to a 1960s theme party last night so I wore false eyelashes for the very first time. Luckily my friend was on hand to help with hair and makeup as I think I would have struggled to glue them on by myself.

8. All ready to go in my 60s dress bought on eBay for £20! I didn’t take any pictures at the party but there were some fabulous costumes, includng Twiggy, Audrey Hepburn and the 1966 World Cup winning England football team.

9. After last night’s party a lazy Sunday was in order. I’m trying to make more of an effort to sped one-to-one time with the boys so Cameron and I went to the cinema this afternoon to see the new Disney film Frozen (and I managed to not fall asleep!).

Hope you all have a fantastic Sunday evening! X

We’re getting there…

r-CHRISTMAS-QUOTES-large570

The tree and all the decorations are up, the Christmas cards have been written and posted, the presents have been bought (and some are even wrapped). Apart from a couple of minor mishaps (nephew’s present going missing in the post and granddad unknowingly buying the same gift for Casper that I had already ordered), this year’s festive preparations have (dare I say it!?) been remarkably plain sailing.

The hardest thing this week has been getting the kids up in the morning and delivering them to school on time. Having notched up no less than six Christmas concerts between them in the last week, they are just plain exhausted and in need of a break from the daily routine. This weekend could not have rolled around soon enough but at least there are only five more days of school to go and most of the after school activities have already finished for the term.

On a different note, I’m after some Christmas movie tips. My all-time favourites are Love Actually and The Holiday but my husband finds them too soppy (can’t think why?!) so I’d like to find some films that we can enjoy together. Do you have a favourite Christmas movie?

Have a great weekend. X

Post note: I just realised that The Holiday is on TV tonight – yay! – and husband is out at a Christmas party – double yay!

Currently Coveting #15: The Perfect New Year’s Eve Dress

New Year's Eve dress

A dense blanket of fog has covered our part of the world all day, making driving difficult and halting some flights in and out of London. It has been cold, damp, grey and miserable so I’ve cheered myself up by looking online for the perfect New Year’s Eve dress. I don’t actually know what we’re doing for New Year yet – we have been invited to a 1920s themed party, which sounds fun, but it’s grown-ups only and finding a babysitter is proving rather tricky…

Last year we had some friends and their children over for a three-course dinner and it was one of the best New Year’s Eves I’ve had for a long time (I’m almost ashamed to admit it but since having children I’ve been known to go to bed before midnight on December 31st…) But I think that even if you’re ringing in the new year in the comfort of your own home it is nice to dress up and wear something special. I would be more than happy to step into 2014 in any of these little numbers.

{All dresses from Anthropologie. Clockwise from top left: Eclat dress, £178; Honeyed Lace dress, £178; Cabled Garonne dress, £138; Orla Kiely Oasis Hearts Dress, £348; Amalie dress, £198; Glissade dress, £128}

This Year’s Christmas Card Trauma…

Xmas photos

You know the saying ‘Never work with children or animals’? Well, the first part of that statement certainly rang true last week when I spent two separate afternoons trying to get just one decent picture of the children in their Santa hats to use for a Christmas card. Despite bribing them with promises of sweets (bad mummy, I know..) getting the three of them to all look at the camera and smile at the same time proved rather challenging, to put it mildly…

If one wasn’t picking their nose, the other was sticking their tongue out or the third was tickling/pinching/pushing their siblings. It was actually easier when Clemmie was baby, as at least she stayed in one place instead of climbing all over the sofa and her brothers. I came close to giving up but I know how much our friends and relatives (many of whom live abroad) appreciate these cards. In the end it was worth persevering as I did get one (yes ONE) usable picture. Jazzed up with a bit of fake snow and a red border it does the job, even if Cameron looks like he wants to be anywhere but in the picture (that’s a pre-teen’s prerogative I suppose..)

Xmas card final

This year’s Christmas card from the Anderson family. I hope the recipients appreciate the hours of hard work that went into it…

This Week’s Favourites

This Weeks Faves 8:12

I could really do with an extra five (child free!) hours in the day at the moment. Despite my best intentions I still haven’t wrapped ANY of the Christmas presents and each day more packages are arriving in the post and added to the towering pile of cardboard boxes in the laundry room. I feel like one of those compulsive shoppers who keep keeps buying more and more stuff but just hiding the unopened bags in the cupboard (except none of the purchases are actually for me). Tomorrow I really must start opening the boxes and wrapping a few each night…

But first here is a quick recap of my week:

1. I’m doing most of my Christmas shopping online but I did venture into town earlier this week and stumbled across a cute Christmas market in the church yard, complete with traditional stalls and..

2. ..an old-fashioned cart selling hot chestnuts. I’ve never actually tried them (if anyone has – are they nice?) but they smell gorgeous.

3. The advent stars in our kitchen windows are switched on every afternoon as soon as it starts to get dark. I love how they make the room feel all warm and cosy and always miss them when they come down in January.

4. It was a very busy weekend for us and one of the highlights was the Christmas concert which Casper’s Beaver Scout group put on last night. Casper and his friend dressed up as The Proclaimers and gave a sterling rendition of their hit I’m Gonna Be (500 miles).

5. This morning we got up early to go to The Swedish Church in London for the annual St Lucia celebration. The boys dressed up as ‘stjarngossar’ (star boys) and Clemmie was a tiny Lucia. We all sang Christmas songs before going down to the church hall for gingerbread biscuits, coffee and juice.

6. I know I’m biased, but have you ever seen a cuter Lucia? Clemmie was very brave and stayed at the front of the church for the whole concert. My baby is growing up!

7.. Counting down the days: We lit the second advent candle today, not long to go now!

8. My husband and I also had a taste of this year’s Glogg (a bit like mulled wine but nicer, in my opinion!) before dinner.

9. We rounded off the weekend by heading over to our friends’ house to celebrate their daughter’s third birthday with this yummy red velvet cake. The perfect end to a great week!

We also finally bought our Christmas tree today, so the kids and I put the decorations up when we got home but the lights aren’t on yet so I haven’t taken any pictures. It’s on my list for tomorrow along with the wrapping and writing the Christmas cards…

Hope you have a great evening! X

‘Tis the Weekend to get Christmassy

Xmas 2

{A white Amaryllis from our local florist, which will hopefully flower in the next week or so}

The Friday night calm has once again descended over our house and the children are watching a DVD before bedtime. We have started to add the first festive touches to our house, keeping it fairly simple so far, but this morning my husband was dispatched to the loft to bring down five huge boxes so by tomorrow there will be no holding back on the Christmas cheer! We’re hopefully buying the tree on Sunday (a little bit late for my liking…) so that too will be ready by the start of next week.

Have you gone all out on the Christmas decs yet or are you still exercising some restraint?

Xmas 1

{I planted some wintery flowers last weekend which take pride of place on our front doorstep along with a small Christmas tree decked out with twinkly fairy lights}

DSC_0348

{White paper advent stars hanging in the windows. They look beautiful lit up at night}

DSC_0359

{The advent candle holder again, with some red Christmas ribbon tied around two of the candles}

DSC_0368

{The children’s wooden advent calendar sits on the mantlepiece in the playroom and each night a drawer is magically filled with three chocolate coins. Apart from this morning when I forgot and had to sneak the chocs in while they were having breakfast}

Getting into the Christmas Spirit

Poor Clemmie has got tonsillitis so it was a day at home for us today, curled up on the sofa in front of CBeebies while I did my best to boost the country’s economy by pressing the ‘click to buy’ button on my computer more times than I care to remember. We did venture out to pick up some antibiotics from the chemist and I couldn’t resist snapping some pictures of the lovely Christmas displays in the shop windows. Our village is pretty all year round but it really comes into its own at Christmas time.

IMG_5501

IMG_5500

IMG_5507

IMG_5505

IMG_5504

IMG_5503