I had INTENDED to call this post 'Catching Up' but since that is the furthest i can possibly be in any sense of the word, i changed my mind and settled on 'Keeping Up' instead. I have just had a mild, blind panic on laying out all of the Christmas presents i have squirrelled away over the past two months or so. By blind panic i mean, the sudden realisation of all of the things i have to wrap in precisely…5 days. All of which i am working. One of which will be a ten hour shift whereupon afterwards i shall be fit for nothing other than a cup of tea and a slice of spelt toast with stem ginger curd. I daren't even think of the food shopping. Actually scratch that, food shopping is all in hand and most of which shall be completed on Monday evening after work. Which means Monday evening is out for wrapping too. Oh bugger.
This is what happens when you work in retail you see. Okay well this is what happens when I work in retail. Christmas starts way, waaay back in August - work prep-wise at least. Which in theory you'd think would make me an super-duper organised Christmas bunny. NEVER. If fannying around was an olympic sport i'd hold a platinum medal. I don't even know if that exists! Safe to say the busier i get at work, the less i want to go anywhere near a shop when i'm not at work. But i get there - somehow it all has a knack/miracle of all coming together in time! I thought we'd have a little catch up ahead of the big day and that i'd let you know what else has been GOING on around these parts. Are you comfy?
Since we returned from my BIRTHDAY galavant to Edinburgh; i have sort of been thrust head-first into Christmas - legs stuck out and flailing helplessly. Days and weeks have merged into one and my working week has been a little erratic. But we have enjoyed making our little somewhere Christmas-sey. I'm not an 'all out Christmas eveywhere' sort of Deck the Halls-er. Our little attic is teeny TINY, so we always get a real Nordic Pine tree but opt for a much more realistic 3ft one. We have collected ornaments in our few years together and so each year we I add a few more and this makes for a little traditional tree of handmade, wooden and keepsake-y kind of decorations. As we have such huge and massive windows in our main room, i picked up some beautiful red and white paper decorations which i have hung in the centre of each one. A string of rose-y red paper chains, a baby Poinsettia and a million festive scented candles and we are good to go! My very favourite candle this year is Lilyflame's ''Warm Welcome''. It's sweet but not too sweet and a little bit of a change from the clove-y/cinnamon scent that every Christmas candle seems to smell of. Hop over to thier sight to get your fix HERE. But word of warning: It's impossible to just buy one candle. I'm currently coveting their 'Blue Hyacinth' for after Christmas! But to tell you the truth i'd be happy to have any of their candles on my little window ledge!
I love dressing for COLDER weather and rare days off have all been about the brightest and biggest of pom-pom hats and mittens to match! I love to layer - is that WEIRD?! I like to think i am a bit of a pro. The Mr can often be heard exclaiming - 'How many tops do you have on?!' I relish pulling my tights up as far as they can go, slipping on some fair-isle socks and sneaking a vest, a long sleeve tee and throwing a smock dress over the top. Life is only complete when i can throw a cardigan or jumper over the top and then slide into my sheepskin coat, a hat and some gloves. Then and only then can i leave the house safe in the knowledge that i'll be WARM enough. For the girl that has the spacial awareness of a fly in a match box, it's a good job Winter dressing is my thing. Nobody needs to see my bruise-y knees and elbows!
This year we are having Christmas Day at our little ABODE - just the two of us. I'm hoping we'll squeeze in visits to both sides of the family in and around Christmas too though. It's exciting to plan our own little Christmas Day: Lemon-ey and rosemary roast chicken, goose fat roast potatoes, sprouts, red cabbage, honey-roast parsnips and carrot and swede mash. I just can't wait! The Mr EXCELS at anything roast-dinner related and so i am quite happy to help prep and leave him to work his Christmas-sey magic come Christmas Day. I am still undecided what to make for Christmas morning breakfast though. At home my dad would always be on toast DUTY. It was always thick white flour-y bread, served hot and spread thickly with salty butter and distributed among us all along with strong, sweet tea whilst we tore into our presents. Maybe we might go for toasted brioche and Christmas jam. I haven't told the Mr but if it's mild and dry, i might see if he FANCIES a little drive to find some snow - maybe into the Lakes. We can go armed with a flask of hot chocolate and a couple of minced pies. Because what's Christmas without frost or snow?!
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In other much less-EXCITING and far more MUNDANE news:
* My beautiful birthday PRESENT to myself landed this morning and it is all that i imagined! By a sweet little company called 'Vintage Style Me'. It is handmade from the most pretty William Morris 'Strawberry Thief' fabric and i cannot wait to wear it with some black opaques and my Christmas present from the Mr: Some beautifully soft black leather Chelsea boots and of course my sweet little sheepskin gilet. That could be my Christmas Day get-up sorted i think.
* We I've been sort of getting a little bit ADDICTED to 'Inside Tatler' on BBC Two. Such an interesting programme all about behind the scenes at one of oldest magazines. It's a magazine i pick up from time to time and i love to see how it all works behind the scenes. It's really interesting and has been my go-to watch each night with a big floral mug of camomile and honey tea just before bed.
* I spent a good hour and a half RESEARCHING/googling Christmas puddings today. That's an unhealthy amount of consideration given to a pudding isn't it? I only want the best for us. I can't decide which to opt for after our Christmas Day dinner and wish i'd got my bum in gear and made one this year. We usually try a few out before-hand but this year we are severely un-organised in the pudding department.
* I've been pretty much LIVING off my 'Super Duper Hero Chocolate and Banana Porridge' recipe i posted HERE lately. When i am so busy at work, it takes moments to make in the morning and really keeps me going until lunchtime. It's well worth a try if you've got a sweet tooth like me!
* I've also been TOYING with my hair colour. I've been a pale baby blonde for as long as i can remember. Now it takes a little helping hand to keep me this light and my natural colour is probably much more mouse-y. Lately i have been thinking about toning it down and letting my natural colour come through…the thought is in equal parts both exciting and terrifying though. I am thinking of a balyage - a natural base colour with slices of blonde through and lighter toward the ends. A bit like THIS What do you think?!
* I've got an EXCITING couple of collaborative posts with the lovely lot at Loaf over Christmas for your pretty faces. So i've been enjoying getting creative of an evening too and can't wait to share the results. If you haven't heard of Loaf, pop over and say hello HERE. They make the most wonderful beds and furniture and it's safe to say if every single thing in our home could be from there, it definitely would be! We've particularly got our peepers on their Bagsie sofa and sweet little matching Love-seat HERE .
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Now it's your TURN! What have you been up to?! Are you ready for Christmas? Have you got five million days off from school, work or college? If so i shall choose to ignore that part! What have you all been up to lately? I'd love to know!
I'll be BACK with you for a little 'Wonderful Wednesday' action next week - cripes the last for 2014! How did that happen so fast?! But until then i shall WISH you a lovely weekend of shopping, wrapping and spending time with your loved ones. Tonight the Mr and I are off to watch the beautiful Fiona Clayton Band and Mylittlebrother at The Brickyard! We've been looking forward to it for aaaages and it'll be jolly nice to have the Mr standing next to me and not on the stage for a change!