Tuesday, 24 December 2013

A Christmas Wish

Everything's all lovely and jolly in our house.  We're happily waiting for the arrival of Santa and any gifts he may bring.

But I also feel a tinge of guilt for feeling so happy because my dearest friend is having the worst possible Christmas imaginable.

In September she lost her husband to suicide leaving her and their 5 children to deal with the aftermath.

For her Christmas will never be the same again.  That's not to say that they won't enjoy it again in future years but this year in particular is going to be exceptionally tough.

So - on Christmas day I'm going to take a few minutes to just be thankful that I have my family around me and remind myself that THAT is what Christmas is all about. Family - and friends.

To Carly - I may not be with you sweetheart but you and the children are ALWAYS in my thoughts and I love you more than you'll ever know.  We have a new star in the sky looking down on you - Matt.

My Christmas Wish


That each day will become a smidgen easier for my friend and she will find the strength to go on with each new day knowing that she is loved.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Much love. Bex x



Sunday, 22 December 2013

Elf on the Shelf - Days 10 - 13

Day 10

Those cheeky elves were obviously feeling much better because they wrote on the bathroom mirror.

Luckily they chose a lipstick that went out of fashion in the 90's and I have no idea why I even own it!!



Day 11

Back to Mr H's turn and what do boys like to do? Build Lego!

So Mr H managed to incorporate our new Space Shuttle Lego set into tonight's set up!

(In fairness to him when we bought it we did buy it with us grown ups in mind!!)


Day 12

Its been very tiring for the Elves so they were due a day of rest so they settled down to watch some DVDs with popcorn.

Peppermint was over at the DVD player working the buttons whilst Jolly had control of the remote!

Excuse the photography - a quick dash with the phone before they got moved!


Day 13

Time for a bit of intellect from the Elves.  They found my supply of scrabble tiles that I use for crafting and spelt out 'Christmas Nearly' on the floor of Miss R's bedroom.

They turned out to be a welcome excuse for her not to tidy her room in case she touched her elf.  Hmmm - we're being played here I think!




Final thoughts

Only a few more nights left until the elves return to their home in the North Pole.

But I leave you with this...


The other day - whilst the girls were at school, I moved the elves back to the mantelpiece.  I did this with the kitchen tongs so as not to touch them.   
GET A GRIP HOLIDAY - IT'S NOT REAL!!!


Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Elf on the Shelf - Days 8 & 9 and an Elf Emergency

Day 8

In a stroke of artistic genius I had to hand it to Mr H today - an excellent effort with Hama beads!



Uh-oh


The unthinkable happened today - Little Miss L's elf, Peppermint Tinker got touched!

Miss R was trying to get to the picture for me to iron it and knocked the elves and then she picked them up which was witnessed by Miss L.

A very distraught child ensued.

Would Peppermint lose her Christmas magic?


Fear not dear reader - being a great Mummy I googled what the appropriate action was for a touched elf (yes - I actually googled it!) and found that if the child sprinkles cinnamon around the elf at bedtime it will give them enough Christmas magic to get back to the North Pole to see the Elf Doctors.

So that's what we did!!


When Mr H saw on the computer that I had actually looked up what to do he was more than a little bemused.  When I thought about it afterwards I tend to agree but what does any girl do when they need help in an emergency?

  • a) phone their Daddy; or
  • b) consult Mr Google!
Disaster had been averted and peace restored in the the Holiday house!

Day 9

Given that Peppermint would have spent the previous night in Elf hospital having her Christmas magic restored it seemed only right that they didn't get up to mischief this evening.

Instead, Peppermint took a well deserved rest in a box of tissues looked over by Jolly.


And very importantly - a Certificate of Health from here


Phew!  I think tomorrow the elves may get a day off ;)

Bex x






Sunday, 15 December 2013

Elf on the Shelf - Days 6 & 7


Day 6

How was Mr H ever going to compete with my genius from yesterday?

This is how.

Buckaroo




Not a bad effort today.

He decided a game of Buckaroo was in order.  It was quite amusing to watch him attempt to balance the elves on it without it bucking.

In the end I rather smugly (its a horrible trait of mine but what can you do?!) suggested that he leave it in the bucked position like they were riding a bucking bronco.  He conceded.


Day 7

I had this next idea after seeing something similar on Pinterest.

The thought process in my head went something like this....

"wow - I could build an AMAZING tower out of Weetabix (or own brand equivalent - we're not made of money ;) ) It will be massive - the elves can reside on different levels. I can build a mini staircase that they will have used to ascend to the top levels"

What I got was this....

This photo was taken after the children had eaten the other Weetabix which were left out.  I didn't just get one out - honest!



Its more difficult than you would ever imagine to build even a one storey structure from Weetabix.  In the end I gave up and went with them having strewn them across the tray (I'm not silly - Weetabix make a lot of crumbs and I didn't want to have to clear those up!) to give the illusion that the Elves were trying to 'help' set out breakfast.

I challenge you to build a Weetabix tower!  Go on - try!

Bex x



Friday, 13 December 2013

Elf on the Shelf - Days 4 & 5


Day 4


So - what were the elves to get up to this evening?!!

It was back to Mr H's turn to put them somewhere.  He was out for the evening so I sent him a gentle reminder text to do it when he got in so it was a complete surprise to me to see what he had done when I eventually arose from my slumber the following morning.




They had built themselves a ladder out of red raffia and some little golden pegs and were climbing up to the lights!!


We had to leave them dangling in the middle of the lounge like this all day because we're not allowed to touch them!

Day 5


Right - this was turning into a bit of a grudge match between me and Mr H and so this is what we found our elves doing this morning!




The girls couldn't find them at first since no-one needed the loo downstairs but Daddy discovered them when he went to get something from the bathroom.

The girls thought it was hilarious! (although Little Miss L is slightly worried about how she can go for a wee after school!)



Challenge on Mr H!

Bex x


Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Hello Jack Frost

I just wanted to share these pictures of my drive to work today.

It was just so pretty (and to be honest - pretty friggin freezing) that I had to stop and take some photos.

Only had my phone with me so not the best piccies ever but not bad (thanks Mr Nexus 4!)










People sometimes moan about living in Ashford - but when we have such beautiful countryside right on our doorstep I think we're pretty lucky.

Elf on the Shelf - Day 3


Well - today it was back to my turn after Mr H's pitiful attempts yesterday and this is what those cheeky elves got up to...





They tried to wrap the tree in loo roll!


The kids were horrified when they came down at how cheeky their elves had been ;)



Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Elf on the Shelf - Day 2



This is what happens when you ask a man to partake in the magic that is Christmas.

It goes something like this....


Me to Mr H - "darling, wouldn't it be just lovely if we took it in turns to move the elves around the house and help spread the magic of Christmas to our little children?"

Mr H - walks to tree, picks up elves and plonks them down in the nearest available space in the hall.





Not quite what I had in mind but hey ho!

Bex x


Monday, 9 December 2013

Christmas Pudding Pom-Poms






I started making these a few months ago but decided to hold off on posting about anything Christmassy until now!

These are great for making with the kids, Rosie loves to do it.

She was given a knitting and needlecraft kit for her birthday which included a plastic pom-pom maker (new to me!) but you can use the 'traditional' methods of pom pom making - a cereal box!



And then the best bit - embellish!



All that's left to do now is to add some ribbon and hang them from the tree :)

Bex x






Elf on the Shelf - The Arrival!



OK - so I was supposed to do this on 1st December but the kids were so happy with their MANY advent calendars that I decided to leave it for a few days.

Besides - I wanted to be truly READY!

Last year when we got our Elves they just 'arrived' - I didn't do anything in particular to mark their arrival - I just stuck them in the tree for the kids to find.

THIS YEAR - (I have too much time on my hands!) - I have done a letter from Santa to send with them.

I found this great Santa headed paper you can download here which I printed onto some 'posher' paper.


I then cobbled together a little letter with a bit of a ditty and printed it out.



Having decided last night was 'the' night for them to come I then promptly forgot so this morning while the girls were having their breakfast I had to quickly hide them!

So - they ended up in their trees again!  Unoriginal - but still exciting for 2 small children.

I just loved seeing their faces when they realised their elves were back!



MUST remember to move them tonight!

Bex x


Friday, 6 December 2013

It's not Christmas without....

"Christmas won't be christmas without any presents" grumbled Jo.

But Jo was wrong.

Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without...........(wait for it.......)


PERRY COMO!!




Each and every year I HAVE to listen to Perry Como whilst putting up the Christmas tree and have a little drink of Sherry (obviously this latter part has only been since I've been a grown up - my parents weren't THAT type of parents!)

Also a teeny tiny bit of Johnny Mathis which always makes me think of my Pa!





Given my musical tastes you could be forgiven for thinking I'm a pensioner rather than a lady in her 'early' 30's!

I wonder whether my girls will be listening to this when they're grown ups with their own families or whether they'll remember Michael Buble playing as their Christmas background music?

What would Christmas not be Christmas without for you?

Bex x



(For those who are wondering - the quote is from 'Little Women')
Thursday, 5 December 2013

Chalkboard Christmas Art

Thought I'd share this with you.




I used the childrens' chalk board and my Chalk Board Pen to do a little picture.  If only I was actually artistic.  I'd love to be able to do fancy writing etc.

I would have used normal chalks - but I HATE the feel of them.  You can actually sharpen them if you want to do a nice little drawing but I'd have to wear some kind of industrial gloves to hold them with ;)




I like the idea of changing the picture and wording each day - perhaps with a Welcome message for visitors.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Bex x



Wednesday, 4 December 2013

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

Less is more!


Not a phrase that comes to mind in our house when it comes to Christmas decorations.

Like thousands of families around the world we finally put up our Christmas tree on Sunday 1st December.  Lots of friends hadn't even held out until December this year with trees popping up in my Facebook news feed from mid November. Now - I LOVE Christmas but I do think you need to wait until December before putting up the tree.


I can't remember the last time we had a real tree - I'm guessing I was quite young. I've been really wanting to have a real tree but for the size I want it would just be too expensive (plus I fear the mog would climb it!)

This year we bought a new fake tree. A 7ft beast - I love it.


In my head it's decorated beautifully in a Scandi style much like this.....





What I actually have is this....




And I love it. Miss R (6) decorated it all by herself (I did the lights) and it contains nearly every ornament we own. (I say nearly because she saved some for her own tree - read on dear reader!)

Long gone is the colour coordinated themed tree of our childless days - now our tree is covered in lots of homemade ornaments from nursery and school and lots of garish glittery baubles. 

Homemade decorations


I really can't stand it when people who have kids won't let them decorate the tree - unless you are Christian and are celebrating a religious holiday then Christmas really is for the children and I love that Miss R has expressed her creativity on the tree.

Not to be outdone both girls decided they would like a tree in their bedrooms.  Miss R has plenty of space but poor Miss L has a tiny room - but she loves her little tacky tree and decorated it ALL herself. Can you tell?!

Miss R's tree on the left and Little Miss L's tree on the right. Tasteful huh?!




Saturday, 23 November 2013

Letters to Santa

I'm not sure where the tradition of writing to Santa comes from but now here in the UK there is a specific address provided by the Royal Mail where you can write to him and receive an actual reply (or not if some of the news reports last year are anything to go by!).  You can't visit a garden centre without seeing a Santas Postbox.

I've never posted a letter to Santa

Don't get me wrong - I've written to him LOTS (yes - when I was a child, not NOW!) but I never 'posted' my letter in the traditional manner.

I'm not sure why? Perhaps my Mum and Dad didn't want to fork out on a stamp (sorry Mum and Dad) so instead I have always burned my letters on the fire!  I did ask Mum where our little tradition came from and she didn't know - she did it as a child too.

Growing up my family home had an open fire and each year I would write my letter to Father Christmas with my list of things I would like, in my best hand writing, and then we would throw it onto our roaring log fire.  I would then proceed to run outside to watch the 'words' coming out of the chimney and floating off to the North Pole (a childs imagination is a wonderful thing!).  I distinctly remember calling back to Mum and Dad that 'yes' I could see the words floating off in the sky.

Because it was something that I did it is now a tradition that I have carried on with my two girls.

Luckily my parents still have a log fire (different house) and so off we toddle after the letters have been written, around to Grandma and Grandpas to burn our letters for Santa!



Is it just us that does this?  Do you have a specific tradition regarding sending letters to Santa?


Rosies letter burning its way to the North Pole

Please note - this tradition does not work on an electric or gas fire :)

Bex x