Thursday, 11 December 2014

The past week...

December seems to be disappearing at top speed. How can it only be 2 weeks to Christmas, and only 3 weeks left of 2014?
In the past week we have chilled a bit with all the dizzying creative buzz of the first week of the month, partly through choice, partly through being unwell.
Its been a complete mixed bag of a week: we had a particularly chilly day at the park with friends, getting muddy and numb toes, but the kids had a ball (and evidently didn't feel the cold as they sooked on ice lollies!!). Our local park has the usual chutes and swings,but also walled garden, known to the kids as "the secret garden" which has been enchantingly decorated in a theme of Snow White and the 7 Dwarves for December.  The shelter at the rear of the garden had 7 little beds, 7 pairs of wellies on the shelf, a Christmas tree and decorations and a couple of Christmas tree shaped mug-trees with 7 mugs.  Kiddo and his pal decided to set the mugs and teapots up as a tea-shop and served us Mum's tea, hot chocolate and smoothies. We were their customers and they thoroughly enjoyed being 'servers'. I can honesty say I enjoyed their beverages despite their extortionate prices... I was even more impressed by the sweeping up and tidying up of the shop before he closed for the night - he doesn't do this at home!

The front door wreath was made. I started out with baubles and candy canes and fabric, but in the end I decided that less is more and paired down my wreath this year.

Rustic and simple

We made a start on Christmas cards - 1 was made before the penguin got a glitter bath... the rest are still waiting to be made (thankfully its only the cards for the Grandparents that are 'in progress').  I have mine all written, must remember to get stamps!!! I don't send many cards to be honest, just to family and some friends (generally those that I don't see very often), Hubby and I don't give each other cards, we have sent e-cards for the past 6 years since I got my eco groove on (but I have kept all the cards he gave me prior).

The foodie gifts are now under way.  We made chocolate disks with fruit (cranberries) and nuts (pistachio) and choc starts.  We made more than required, of course, and have now completed the quality checking of all the spares....

We made no-cook fudge, covered in festive holly sprinkles. Sadly, it did not go to plan. The only way to describe this tray of festive looking butter, is "gantin", or possibly, "howlin" or "bowffin" and most definitely "boggin".  Despite 800g of icing sugar, and 200g of condensed milk, ALL we could taste was the 200g of butter...UGH! Dislike! Upside, there was half a can of condensed milk was delicious off the spoon, My dentist awaits me....

Kiddo and I have been in cahoots with my sister and my nephews creating our gift for our parents, which has been interesting, fun, slightly chaotic and so cute. Can't wait to see the end result.

We had our family trip through to Edinburgh planned for Monday.  It was a perfect day weather wise: sunny, cold, dry and no wind. Hubby was on his day off, but unfortunately, Kiddo was loaded with the cold and running a temperature.  Most people would probably wrap their child up warm and go anyway, but experience has taught us that this is not the approach to take with Kiddo. Despite perfect weather, had we gone it would have been an utter disaster and a thoroughly miserable experience for all - not quite the family day we had in mind. The best thing was to hunker down and postpone. So we are now going next week and hoping that Mother Nature gives us a break in the weather to take my child ice skating.
In lieu of our family day to Auld Reekie, I took the opportunity to nip into town to get some bits and pieces whilst Kiddo was snuggling on the couch with Hubby.  I hardly go into town anymore, its in quite a depressing state.  Our town used to be vibrant and busy, filled with lots of independent shops, selling unique and interesting wares. Over the years it has become a 'clone' town; the same homogenised High Street  as much of the rest of the UK - High St banks, bookies, amusements, charity shops, pound stores and To Let boards.  The shopping centre is filled with the usual stores : Boots, Argos, Marks, River Island, Claire's Accessories etc etc, but I took a wander off the High Street and found 3 new places - a clothing and jewellery shop with really original pieces not at crazy prices, a gift shop (which was closed on a Monday but keeked through the window and have since been on their Facebok page) and a waffle cafe with waffles and pancakes and crepes.  That was just one street. My town has many streets off the High Street that have little gems of tea or coffee shops, indy retailers, artisan bakers and proper grocers selling local produce.  It was actually a pleasure for a change to go shopping.

With all the hustle and bustle surrounding December as a whole, there is something special at this time of year, with the dark afternoons and mornings, that when its just candles and twinkly lights. There is a sense of peace and little bit of magic in the air.

The tea lights we got at the Edinburgh Christmas Market circa 2006

Early one morning, just me and coffee.

This morning it finally snowed, but it didn't lie.  Keeping fingers crossed for more snow, building snowmen, snowball fights and sledging. Hey, a girl can dream!