Sunday, 28 December 2014

Christmas Week

I hope you all had a splendid Christmas with loved ones around you.

I have had a lovely Christmas starting on Christmas Eve. As always my friends from school reunite to celebrate the year. It's an opportunity to catch up with everyone who has been scattered across the country and, this year, the world. It's great to hear the tales of dancing in Disneyland, German language courses and beautiful new nephews. Everyone is following their dreams. They are all individual to them and so exciting. As these stories were recounted there was a palpable enthusiasm in the room. I'm so happy and proud to have such motivated, inspiring friends.

Next stop was Christmas day which was spent with my immediate family. I love giving gifts and had spent time picking out ones that my family would appreciate. The smiles definitely showed the time was worth it. The biggest smile has to go to my Mum who ever since I can remember has been asking for a holiday to Scotland. My present to her is a long weekend in Edinburgh, but she'll have to wait until October as that's my next little bit of time off. I can't wait!

Jump forward a couple of days to Saturday and I received my Mum's present. I knew we were going to London and personally wasn't that fond of the 6am train journey. However this was forgiven when it turned out we were going to see Charlie and the Chocolate factory. The chocolaty magic was definitely there and I was astounded at the many effects used. Well work a watch even for big kids like me!

And to today, the last day of Christmas week. A long walk as the sun was setting with my brother and Ben. I live in such a fantastically beautiful part of the world and I should remember this. Above are the photos of the walk.

Hope you had a fantastic Christmas.
Kate x

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Christmas Traditions Tag

Christmas Sunset walk from 2 years ago
The lovely Danielle from Underland to Wonderland tagged me in a Christmas traditions post. As Christmas seems to have crept up ever-so quickly and I haven't shared any of it over on the little space of mine, I though it was a wonderful way to give you an insight into my Christmas. Hold on tight it's a whistle stop tour...

1. When does Christmas start for you?
The second I finished work yesterday. I'd really been counting down this year and the drive home I stuck on some Christmas tunes and started to relax. However as I work in schools, it seems to have been Christmas since October. Everywhere is covered in glitter and all I've been hearing are Nativity play songs.

2. What is one Christmas film you have to watch?
I have to say I'm not a great film and I have no real tradition here. This year I have managed to see Nativity for the first time and the classic Snowman. My friend introduced me to Love Actually and this might be my favourite, but I haven't squeezed it in yet.

3. Do you bake a Christmas cake or buy one?
Neither. My Grandma has always baked us one, but I have to admit to not liking it. I'd much rather ice cream or some chocolaty goodness.

4. When do you put up your Christmas tree?
It went up yesterday. The last couple of weeks have been manic so I haven't got around to it. I'll be decorating it tomorrow... along with the many other last minute things I have to do!

5. Do you have a real or fake Christmas tree?
Fake. It lives in my brothers wardrobe for the rest of the year. When I was younger we used to have real ones and they now live out in my garden.

6. When do you start playing Christmas music?
November? I love both carols and Christmas pop songs and so they're on as soon as possible. I'll stick them on to motivate me to do my work. I've even been listening to them as I workout too! I also do some surprisingly "good" renditions of them.

7. Do you use the same Christmas Decorations each year or buy new ones?
The same, but we usually buy one new one each year. Our Christmas tree seems to show a history of the family with a few childish homemade decorations, some coordinating ones, some treasured gifts and some recently crafted ones. A bit of a mish mash, but I love it!

8. How do you spend Christmas Eve?
With friends. We always convene with oodles of food and play silly party games. It's lovely to get together and share gifts and time over the predominately family time.

9. Advent calendar or no advent calendar?
Yes, yes, yes. My Grandma always gives me one. This year It's Peppa Pig. Yes I am a mature, adult member of society!

10. Do you leave a snack out for Santa and his reindeer?
Not any more. I'm usually out late on Christmas Eve and fall into bed so leaving a snack is not high on my agenda and with no small children in the house it's not a necessity.

11. How does Santa get into your house?
No idea, you'd have to ask him. He is magic after all!

12. Mince Pies, yay or nay?
Only when warmed slightly and with a good dollop of cream.

13. Snowballs, eggnog or mulled wine?
None of the above. I'm not a massive drinker and none of these tickle my fancy.

14. What scents remind you of Christmas?
Cinnamon, gingerbread, mulled wine, pine, chocolate orange.

15. How do you spend Christmas Day?
Get up (a little bit later than I used to) and find my stocking. Then go downstairs and unwrap pressies. Create a random outfit from gifted clothing and dress in this. Eat breakfast (anything goes on Christmas day right?) and then travel to my Grandmas. We usually have a hot chocolate whilst opening presents from the rest of my family. Then back home for dinner, crackers etc. In the afternoon we usually have a chill in front of the TV for a while and then catch the sunset whilst all walking the dog.

Thanks Danielle. Feel free to give this tag a go.
Kate x

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Little Things: Seven

This week has been pretty grim. I've been feeling under the weather for the past 3 weeks and lost my voice for 3 days (special to my boss for laughing). Does anyone else get into a bit of a slump around this time of year? You supposed to be all excited for Christmas, but there's still 3 more days to work (yes I'm on a countdown). As I've lost my mojo a little this week I've really had to work hard to appreciate those little things that make you smile:
  • Having a parent tell you how much they appreciate what you're doing and that their child is loving your gymnastics club. 
  • Taking the time to have lunch with my Grandma. A warm bacon and cheese toastie served with a hot chocolate was just what I needed when the weather was dull and grey and I was snuffly. 
  • Spending Saturday evening baking gingerbread men, women and ningas with 2 of my best friends. I am the proud own of a range of gingerbread cutters and we made full use of them. With the gingery smell still lingering we snuggled under a duvet to munch our way through our makings. A simple Christmassy evening with lovely company.
  • The small kindness of a Christmas card. The effort of hand writing in your best handwriting, using a special pen (bonus points for gold or silver). The crooked handwriting of a child. In a digital world we can forget the importance of putting pen to paper and sending a card to those we love.
  • A wonderful sunset as I finished my shopping on Sunday evening. Driving home whilst taking sneaky peeks at the beautiful pinks and orange slashes across the sky was such a beautiful way to end the day.
  • Having a friend send me the recipe to a hot toddy because he knew how ill I was. That's all it said just a recipe and no explanation, but I really appreciated it!
What has kept you going this week? And do you have any magical cures for losing your mojo?