Thursday, 12 December 2013

"Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store" #ShareAdvent

This was the starting point for my Sectret Santa project. I am Santa to a friend who has recently started a dress making course and loves to stitch. When I came across this old sewing stool, I knew that it was the perfect opportunity to make the most of what I'd picked up at The Button Boutique's furniture restoration class and to create something unique which (I hoped) my friend would love.
I'll be writing about this stool's journey once I've finished sprucing it up, so watch this space!

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Childhood Memories #ShareAdvent

As a grown up, you don't get to visit Santa in a party dress (unless it's a seedy office party Santa and, thankfully, my office is Santa-free). This photo brings back memories of the Christmas parties we used to go to with my mum and dad and their friends' families. Just look at my brother's little smile in his braces and bow tie -  what a cutie!

Monday, 9 December 2013

The Joy is in the Giving #ShareAdvent

Sharing experiences and making memories. This is the general theme for my Christmas gifts this year. M and I had already decided that we would put money aside for a 2014 holiday, rather than buy expensive presents. Last year, I bought my brother an voucher for Airkix, an indoor skydiving centre in Manchester. We had a brilliant day together, crashing into the walls of the air tunnel. 

I've decided to book another experience day for my brother this year. This time, we'll be going skiing. EEK! We're both complete novices and neither of us fancy booking a ski trip before we've had a little practise. Much as I'm sure I'd enjoy the hot chocolates and snug fires that often seem to accompany ski holidays, I have visions of spending most of a trip crawling around on the snow, being unable to get back up on my skis after toppling over, face first. To try to remedy this, I found a one hour taster session and decided that it would be a perfect chance for us to face our fears together! I've also booked theatre tickets to see Miss Saigon when it opens next year. I'll team this with an overnight hotel stay and my mum and I will have a girly date to look forward to. Really looking forward to watching them open the gifts, and planning creative ways to package them.

Who's left on your Christmas shopping list? Maybe you could treat them with a bit of quality time, tied with a big red ribbon, naturally!

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

"Dance like there's nobody watching" #ShareAdvent

This photograph was taken at my friend's wedding in October. These girls are my dancing queens and if The Proclaimers' 500 miles gets a play, you'll see us start to dance like happy idiots to a routine which we adopted while in Kavos for our post A-levels holiday (oh, yes!), much to the amusement of our relatives at every wedding we've been to together. 

It's been a while since I had my dancing shoes on, but this Saturday I'll be out with these gorgeous girlies for a night of birthday celebrations and I cannot wait!

Cosy Christmas Jumpers

Christmas is a-coming! My high school friends and I have cooked a Christmas dinner for each other every year since we were 18. It's another of my favourite Christmas dates. We've dressed in our finery, we've dressed in comfy slobs. This year, it's the year of the Christmas Jumper and so, I am jumping quickly and excitedly onto the Christmas Jumper bandwagon.

There's lots of Christmas jumpers around, ranging from a £10 supermarket novelty knit to ones that cost upward of £80 that you'd feel you ought to wear through to the following Christmas! I'm not necessarily budgeting myself at the low end, but certainly don't plan to spend silly money, either. Those extra pennies could be spent on mince pies and mulled wine, for goodness sake! Here's a selection of the ones I looked at.

Festive Red
A Little Bit Louder

Will you be wearing a Christmas jumper this year? I've now got to decide which one I'll buy, before they all sell out!

Sunday, 1 December 2013

"Joy To The World" #ShareAdvent

Today, I baked my very first Christmas cake* to the beautiful sounds of Sufjan Stevens' Christmas Joy. The whole house was filled with delicious baking smells. We sipped a tipple of brandy, and caught up with Australian MasterChef while kittens slept on our laps. Best of all, I got to Skype with my best friend who is travelling for eight months. This was the perfect Sunday Joy, all the way from Kuala Lumpur! 

*I'll share my recipe soon. I'm so proud - it definitely looks edible and smells amazing!
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