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Friday, 19 December 2014

Christmas Calories

After being so unwell last week, and having the appetite of a mouse, I found I'd lost six pounds.

And that's great, a loss is always exciting when you've been big for so long, but it wasn't exactly the way I wanted to lose the pounds. And I've felt like I've been struggling to lose anymore recently. Even having a few days where I've felt bigger and bloated and really self-conscious.

One thing I am a bit worried about is Christmas and all of the food that goes with it.

This time last year I'd eaten about a million mince pies by now, but I want to enjoy Christmas sensibly. And this infographic from Water Babies is going to help me do it!

*PR Collaboration

What's in Bill's Christmas Stocking?

Just a quick little video sharing what we've popped in Bill's stocking this year. You'll have to excuse how snuffly I sound - I was still really poorly when I filmed this on Saturday!

It may inspire you if you need some last-minute ideas to grab this weekend!

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Our Christmassy Home

I feel like my blog has drifted for the past month. I've just had to focus my energy elsewhere, because, as important as this piece of the internet is to me, it's still just a hobby and an outlet. But my goodness it's soothing to write something and share something new and...happy!

Our home is just such a big source of joy for me right now. It used to be a place I'd pull up to and feel a little desperate at how much work it needed. And, at first, I just thought that this was because the living room was finally decorated and so we had somewhere to hide-out as a family. But it's more than that.

In the last year we've done the living room, yes, which was no small job in itself when fireplaces needed removing, along with plastering and carpets and tons of other things, but we've actually achieved a lot.

The outside of my house is pretty and quaint. And I have heard people call it the "pretty green house", which makes me feel very chuffed indeed. The garden was overhauled, and while it's full of bracken and leaves, I know it will be beautiful again next year, with the blooms and the lovely play area for Bill. We've had a new fence put in at the back to keep nosey parkers out. We've had a new shower installed. And rooms rearranged. We cleared out the garage and hired a skip. We made so many tip trips.

And it's really home.

It's a place I want to rush back to every day, so I can stroke my little boy's head, and laugh at my cats, or curl up under that favourite fleecy blanket with Mark and watch something together (we started watching Olive Kitteridge last night and it was amazing - FYI).

Anyway, I've rambled. You can tell I've missed blogging. I meant to say, here is our lovely home, all set for Christmas. I forgot to take snaps of other things like our wreath and our 'Santa Stop Here' sign outside, but you'll have to forgive me, I'm a little distracted at the moment.

Our tree isn't real, but it's huge. And it makes me very happy. Even if a certain little boy keeps stealing the decorations so he can play with them.

The cross-stitched decoration was made by my mum, to mark the year William was born - 2012. And the crocheted star is from my gorgeous friend Collette who blogs over at Inked Hibiscus.

This decoration has a mistake. Can you spot it? Yup, my name is now CHRLOTTE/CHALOTTE, we can't decide which. We bought this to mark our first family Manchester Christmas Market trip together, and we noticed but hadn't the heart to ask for a new one. Plus, we knew we'd giggle and remember every year, and somehow that misspelling means more than I could imagine.

William gets a new decoration every year, which we're collecting up for him to have when he flies the nest. This one was from my grandparents.

The old chalkboard reindeer is back, with a Christmas countdown. That number is even smaller now!

Collette made this beautiful snowflake and jingle bell garland too! She's such a good-hearted and wonderful person.

We didn't do Elf on the Shelf, because it's kind of impossible to get that creative when you leave the house so early in the morning. But maybe one year we shall start. I know it's a Christmas Marmite, along with when the tree goes up, but I have never minded what people have as Christmas traditions so long as they are happy and spreading the Christmas spirit. For now, these two are just being cute on the mantle.

Had to be done.

I was raised Roman Catholic, as was Mark, but we're both fairly lapsed as our belief is in being good and kind-hearted people over anything else. But I do think Bill should know what Christmas is in celebration of. This nativity scene was passed on to me by my beautiful grandma. She knows I love things like this and I gasp every time I take it from the box, each year, because it takes me back. It also sings 'Hark the Herald Angels Sing' and Bill seems to think it now belongs to him. Dem animals.

I saw this mistletoe at Waitrose and it cost me £3.00 and has made me happier than I can actually express. I won't lie - look away now if you hate cutesy stuff - but I love pulling Mark under it and kissing him. I don't exactly need an excuse but my God it's like something out of a rom-com. Cringing? Yeah. Sorry.

I can't wait to get home to this tonight.

Festive Fire Competition Entry
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