Saturday, 18 December 2010

20 Christmas Questions.

I saw this over at Little Tin Bird and couldnt resist having a go myself.

1.WRAPPING PAPER OR GIFT BAGS?...Its always wrapping paper but if I was super organised it would be gift bags!
I hate wrapping and try to get Scott or the girls to do as much as possible for me.
I buy thise huge 10 metre rolls from Asda and have one design each for my 3 children so that i dont have to write endless gift tags as well!!
 2.REAL TREE OR ARTIFICIAL?...Artificial for my house thank you. It just seems so sad that so many trees lose their lives to decorate houses when you can get perfectly replicas. Oh yes I hate the needles falling everywhere too.

 3.WHEN DO YOU PUT UP THE TREE?...Usually some time around mid-december, although I was a little later than usual this year because I was unwell last week and couldn't start shift furniture around to fit the big tree in (I was in serious jepordy of becoming the worst mother ever last year after having 2 small trees instead of our usual big one).

 4.WHEN DO YOU TAKE THE TREE DOWN?...As soon as it starts to annoy me, if We're having a party for New Year at our house I'll take it down beforehand but leave everything else up, if not usuall sometime during the first week of January.

 5.FAVOURITE GIFT RECIEVED AS A CHILD?...That would have to be my bike when I was 9 years old. I got a bike and my brother got a really snazzy go-cart, we went out to play on them as soon as we could after opening our presents and everyday afterwards, but on new years eve we had really heavy snow that lasted until April (We lived in Germany at the time) so We didn't get out to play on them as much until springtime. 

6.HARDEST PERSON TO BUY FOR?...No one,if I'm stuck what to buy someone I just get them a gift voucher for an appropriate shop...simples!

 7.EASIEST PERSON TO BUY FOR?...As above everyone is easy for me! But I do enjoy buying presents for children mostly, I just love looking around toy shops choosing games,puzzles, books etc

8.MAIL OR EMAIL CHRISTMAS CARDS...I send very few christmas cards as I think its a terrible waste of resources when I can easily say 'Merry Christmas' on Facebook or in an email, but there are some people who We always send cards to, its just a case of me remembering to post them!!

 9.FAVOURITE CHRISTMAS MOVIE...It has to be 'The Snowman' it makes me cry without fail every single year. Also christmas wouldn't be christmas for me if I didn't get to see the 'Father Ted' christmas special...classic comedy!!

10.WHEN DO YOU START SHOPPING FOR CHRISTMAS?...I'm always without fail on the last minute at christmas, this year though more so than ever due to extreme skintness!!
So I still have the majority of my shopping to do, but I'm hoping that will be tomorrows task.
 11.HAVE YOU EVER RECYCLED A CHRISTMAS PRESENT?...Myself, Kia and Mica tend to keep hold of unwanted gifts until one of us has a birthday present emergency, so yes I have recycled.

I love the great selection of cheeses everyone seems to have in their fridge at christmas. I love the middles of 'Terry's Chocolate Oranges', I love bread sauce, blue quality street and those party mix packs of pretzels!

 13.LIGHTS ON THE TREE-COLOURED OR CLEAR?...We have a mixture of blue and clear this year...I just love lots and lots of lights, more is most definitely more as far as I'm concerned. 
 14.FAVOURITE CHRISTMAS SONG?...I love them all but my all time favourites wuold have to be...
1.'Fairy Tale of New York' by The Pogues and Kirsty McColl.
2.'A Spaceman Came Travelling' by Chris De Burgh.
3.'The Power of Love' by Frankie Goes To Hollywood

 15.TRAVEL AT CHRISTMAS OR STAY AT HOME?...Scott works right up until the afternoon of Christmas eve so even if We did want to go away it wouldn't really be practical. Luckily most of our family live nearby so We all get together at some point over christmas.
When I'm very rich though I'm going somewhere hot and sunny for christmas!!

16.ANGEL,STAR OR RIBBON ON TOP OF TREE?...We have a lovely jewelled star this year, bought for us by our middle daughter Mica.

17.OPEN THE PRESENTS CHRISTMAS EVE OR MORNING?...What Christmas eve!!! no chance although as a child I'd have jumped at the chance to get my hands on my pressies early!
Stockings opened when everyone gets up then presents after breakfast.

18.MOST ANNOYING THING ABOUT THIS TIME OF YEAR?...People who cant resist the urge to buy buy buy!!!
Even as a non religious person it annoys me that christmas has lost a lot of meaning for a lot of people.
To me christmas is all about family and enjoying one anothers company.

 19.WHAT DO YOU WANT FOR CHRISTMAS THIS YEAR?...Nothing really, I tend to get things if and when I want them throughout the year. 

 20.TRADITIONAL COLOURS (RED AND GREEN) OR OTHER COLOURS?...We have lots of new decorations this year and they are mostly in jewel shades of turquoise,purple and bright pink, but theres some silver and blue and green in the mix too.A lot of our old decorations got damaged in the shed this year so We've had to buy new ones.

I know I know I'm a bit of a christmas misery...its become a standing joke in our family!
I do enjoy it, I just hate the whole fuss and frenzy that goes with it.

Have a go and post your 20 answers and please link back to mine.

Em xxx

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Advent Swap Catch Up.

I've been so busy over the weekend that I haven't had a moment to post about my latest advent swap goodies.
And of course now...I'm not 100% sure that I'm going to get them in the right order!

On Saturday I got this teeny CK purse which is possibly the sweetest little purse ever!
I'll have to hide that from all my girls I think.

On Sunday I got a big sparkly bath bomb from Bomb smells dee-licious and I'm saving it until I get an evening where I can relax in the bath with a book!
I've already hidden this from Evie as she loves bath bombs and always manages to work her way through any that herself, me or her sisters get!

 Then yesterday I got more CK goodies, this time pretty tissues which are stashed in my crochet basket for the inevitable winter sniffles, although will I be able to bring myself to wipe my nose on such prettiness??

Dont they all look pretty together..I'm loving this swap more and more everyday.

I know I'm a day behind but I'll catch up with today and tomorrows gifts tomorrow.
Em xxx

Friday, 3 December 2010

Advent Swap Day 3...and a Houseguest.

Wow its the 3rd of December already...its going by so quickly!
Today I opened this little beauty.

As soon as I begun to open it I could smell it and as coconut is one of my favourite scents I was very happy with this.
I don't know how I'll ever be able to bring myself to use it though..its just so sweet.

My Mum is a very lucky lady at the moment, She is in New York with my sisters Jody and Hermione, they left from Leeds airport where there was lots of deep, cold snow yesterday morning and arrived in NYC which is apparently unseasonably warm at the mo!!
Anyways in exchange for some Reese's Peanut Butter Cups I agreed to look after my Mums very lively little dog Harry.

Here he is...don't be fooled by those big sad puppy eyes, he is a demon.
I took him to the shop last night (it was an emergency dash for crisps and chocolate) and he sat outside and barked at everyone and everything the whole time I was in the shop.
I could see everyone looking at him and tutting etc and the lady behind the counter commented to me that she had no idea who he belonged to and she sounded oh-so disapproving...I had to admit he was with me...aaaaargh the embarrassment of being in charge of the naughtiest dog in South Yorkshire.
He is quite endearing in his own way and for some reason Coco likes him and she's usually less tolerant than me!!

Em xxxx

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Advent Swap Day 2.

A very quick post tonight as I have loads of episodes of 'The Archers' and 'Emmerdale' to catch up on!
But I had to show you all my lovely lovely present for day 2 of the advent swap.

Cute little Gisella Graham box.
Thank you Lynda its gorgeous, I cant wait to see what I get tomorrow.
Em xxx

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Advent Swap Day 1.

Well here it is the 1st of December!!
Yay!! its nearly christmas!!!
Eeeek I'm nowhere near organised...I have 2 presents bought so far!

Anyway today was the start of Laa Laa's advent swap, which is the most exciting advent thing I've done since..well since I last had an advent calendar of my own.

So without further ado I present gift number 1...modelled unopened by my nephew Elliott and opened by Evie.

Yummy German gingerbread...mmmmmmm sent by my swap partner Laa Laa.
And you'd all be proud of me because I distracted the children long enough to hide it away from them!!
I've since eaten it and yes I did share it...I just wanted to enjoy my share with a hot cup of coffee.

Keep cosy.
Em xxxxx

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Cold Then Cosy!

We finally got our share of snow today and Evie had a day off from school, she spent a good few hours this morning building a snowman with her friends and running about in the snow.
Then later on just before sunset I went for a walk with her. First we went to look at her snowman but some mean spirited misery had knocked it down and put a cigarette out on it.
So we carried on up to the field at the top of the hill where we live and Evie had a good run about in lovely untouched snow!!

Later on Evie and Mica went sledging with some friends and came home looking like two snowmen as the snow was falling thick and fast again, I think We've had about 6 inches of it this evening!!

Whilst they were out sledging I got some good hooky time in and finished this big piece of snuggliness!!

Evie and Coco snuggled up together until bedtime!!

Keep cosy.
Em xxxxx

Monday, 29 November 2010

Bookworm - More Recent Reads.

I seem to have read loads recently, I think its the weather...theres nothing nicer than sitting snuggled under a blanket with a good book and a hot cup of coffee!!
Soooo I better get on with this latest list.
1.Jackie Collins 'Poor Little Bitch Girl'

 I think over the years I've read almost everything Jackie Collins has written and enjoyed most of it, I did feel her last few books were getting a bit formulaic but this most recent one seems to be a return to form.
If you're familiar with JC you'll know what I mean, if not her books are always a mixture of glamour, thrill seeking, murder, mystery and um..other things!!
I love her books because even though they are usually pretty predictable they're a decent easy read that dosen't tax my brain too much!!

2.  Emma Donoghue 'Room'

I think this was short-listed for the Man Booker Prize, but what ever it was an amazing read.
Told in the words of a 5 year old boy who believes that the small room he and his mother live in is the whole world and that everything he see's on the television is make believe.
When his mother decides he is old enough to know the truth everything changes for both of them.
It is the story of the mental stresses placed on both the boy and his Mother after a series of traumatic events that change both their lives.
I read this book in a day I just couldn't put it down and after I'd finished it I felt I don't really know how to describe it...pretty emotionally drained though.
The ending of this book I thought was perfect, it just rounded off the story so beautifully.
The author says she took inspiration from a very famous criminal case that is similar to the scenario in the book but I wont say anymore and spoil it for anyone who wants to read it.

3. Karl Pilkington 'An Idiot Abroad'

I read this because I'd been told the TV series was very very funny and I missed it.
One of the great things about having a Kindle is that you can download previews of books you fancy reading and read the first couple of chapters before you decide whether or not to buy it, which is what I did with this.
Anyways...this really was a funny book and since reading it I've watched quite a few clips from the show on youtube.
Its basically the travel journal of a very reluctant traveller (Karl Pilkington) who has to visit various wonders of the world, meet with several interesting characters, and partake in a few strange activities.
He stays in some horrendous sounding hotels and eas all manner of weird and not-so wonderful food and all because Stephen Merchant and Ricky Gervais think it will be funny!!
It makes for very very funny reading but certainly didn't inspire me to visit any of the places he went to I just felt sorry for the poor guy but couldn't help but laugh at him too!!

4. Caroline Smailes 'In Search Of Adam'

I bought this book for my Kindle for 99p a while back and read it when I wanted something quite short to read.
I stayed awake until I'd finished it as it was another unputtdownable read and it just left me feeling shell shocked afterwards.
It is the story of a young girl whose mother commits suicide at the start of the book and the neglect, abuse and indifference she suffers throughout her childhood and young adulthood.
It is not one of those non fiction real life stories of suffering (sorry to sound cynical about those sort of books but I just can't enjoy them) but a very good work of fiction that explores the feelings of a young girl as she really struggles to cope with the endless amount of crap that life throws at her.
The ending is horrbly inevitable and I sat for ages after I put it down with tears running down my face.
I'd definitely reccomend it but I'd advise a box of tissues too!!

5. Philippa Gregory 'The Other Boleyn Girl'

If you know me at all you'll know I love my historical fiction and this one didn't disappoint!
It was yet another one that I just couldn't put down.
The story of Mary and Anne Bolelyn sisters at the court of Henry VIII, everyone knows the story of Anne Boleyn but her sister Mary is a relative unknown.
She was apparently mistress to the king before his head was turned by Anne.
Once Anne is in pursuit of the king and the chance of becoming queen Mary takes a step back and helps further Annes cause which in turn will further the fortunes of their family.
Anne comes across as a concieted, devious and thoroughly unpleasant woman in this story but I really couldn't help but feel for her as she approached her downfall.
If you are a fan of Philippa Gregory or historical fiction  you'll love this one...the only problem I have when I read historical fiction that is based on fact is that I end up spending hours browsing the internet for more information on the real life characters!

Happy reading.
Em xxxx

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Birthday Bonanza.

 Another day...another stack of goodies!
This time birthday presents from my lovely family and friends...

A bagful of CK gooness, a beautiful hand knitted scarf,lime and bergamot perfume,notebooks and smellies,Yankee candles, a silk scarf decorating kit and a book about the 'Huskar Mine Tragedy' and children working in Victorian mines.

There were also some Thorntons chocolates but me and Evie scoffed the lot earlier in one go!

Lots of pretty cards including some lovely handmade ones.

 And this card which is my most special and the one that I'll put away and keep forever.

And still to come next week I'm getting this from Scott.

 Added to all that I had a million phonecalls and a billion messages on Facebook wishing me a happy birthday and a lovely sunday roast cooked for me by my sister Ruby.

Keep warm and cosy.
Em xxxx

Saturday, 27 November 2010

A Package All The Way From Canada.

I won the giveaway at Clara's Crochet Room and have been very excited to see what my prize was as Clara wasn't telling!!
Anyway yesterday afternoon it arrived and Woweeee it was full of all sorts of treasures...crafty bits and pieces, christmas decorations, a cute little book, some pretty wine glass charms, a cosy scarf and a very handy bag!!!!

 Thank you so much Clara, theres nothing like a parcel full of goodies to cheer you up!

We got a slight sprinkling of snow last night...but by this morning it had just about gone...we only have icy roads now.
Evie and Me had to go out and leave our footprints in it last night before anyone else did!

 Em xxxx

Friday, 26 November 2010

Snail Mail Swap.

I recently took part in the interesting 'Snail Mail ' swap arranged by Em at Mousy Brown's House. If you've never looked at this blog before I really recommend nipping over there now to check out Em's amazingly inspirational crafting and her beautiful photography.

Anyway back to the swap...Em requested a swap partner for each month of the year and an idea of what We would like to swap, I requested november as I knew I'd be away on holiday in october and I wanted to make the main part of my swap some treasures I'd found in Tunisia.

I tried hard to stay away from what I'd call 'touristy tat' for my swap parcel although as always I managed to bring plenty of it back to clutter up my house even more.
I bought bits and pieces in shops in the non touristy parts of town and the soap was sold 'under the counter' by a young man at our hotel handmade by his mother!

Em sent me one of her amazing papercuts...I think if you look closely you can see the absolutely incredible detail on it!

 I'm now trying desperately to find a frame that does it justice!!
After telling Em I liked to travel and hated to be cold she thought the warm welcoming sight of a fire would cheer me up!!!
There was also some beautiful crochet flowers which Evie appropriated to hang in her bedroom!

And a lovely lovely card with hydrangeas on the front which just happen to be one of my most favourite flowers.
What can I say but 'thank you' to Em for organising such a fun and unique swap.
Also I have to say thank you to her for sending me some photos of my parcel that I sent to my hurry to get it sent (chaotic and dis-organised as ever) I forgot to take any pictures and I really can't take credit for such beautiful photography.

Have a nice weekend.
Em xxx