Life, Lately | Christmas 2017

Thursday 28 December 2017

So, how did Christmas 2017 treat you? It was a fairly peaceful one for us, well, as peaceful as you can get with a very excited two-year-old!

We kicked off our festive holiday with an epic wrapping session - a pot of good coffee, a Christmas film on the TV and getting cosy, making our way through mountains of gifts to wrap - it took hours! The next day, a visit to Santa at Wheatcrofts.

It’s the first time we’ve taken Theo as we felt he was a bit too young to get much out of it last year. They go all out with the festive dressing of Santa’s grotto and this year they had singing, animatronic reindeer which Theo was fascinated with. Going in to see his hero was a bit overwhelming for him - he didn’t cry like some children but he was very quiet with massive eyes! He really wanted to show Santa his Christmas jumper though, and said thank you very nicely for his present, so I hope that he enjoyed it - he’s still talking about when he met Santa now!

We also went to the Farmers Market and picked up some local cheeses because we tend to have lots of cheese boards through the Christmas week.

On Christmas Eve, we went over to my mother in law’s house, she holds a big supper that tends to be absolute chaos now there are so many grand kids! But they had a blast running around together.

When we got home, we made sure Theo had left a mince pie and a drink for Santa, and his ‘reindeer food’ he made at nursery by the back steps. As soon as he was asleep, we raced to get all his presents piled up under the tree and give Santa a helping hand by popping his Christmas stocking at the end of his cot!

The morning itself and the husband and I were bursting with excitement. We were awake a little before Theo and put the festive cartoons on to start the day off. When he did wake up, he was immediately taken with the chocolate Santa sticking out of his stocking. He took quite a while to get past that! There was so much waiting downstairs for him but he was just fascinated with that one thing!

We all had new pyjamas as a present on Christmas Eve, which is a family tradition I was keen to establish this year. Then we went downstairs to discover that Santa had been. Once we’d helped him with a few, Theo soon for the hang of opening presents. We made a pot of coffee and spent the morning watching him enjoy his gifts.

He got lots of cars and dinosaurs (both current hot favourites), a lot of new books like the Amazing Machines series and anything we could find by Julia Donaldson (this is also a gift for us, as we get tired of reading the same books night after night!), a large wooden rocket playset with all the astronauts, a pop-up Circus play tent, some sticker books and a Balance Bike to help him learn to ride. It took so long that we didn’t actually open anything ourselves as it was time to get dressed and ready to go over to my sister in law’s house then.

She’d bravely volunteered to host Christmas again this year and she’s the type of person who’s super organised so we really didn’t have much to do apart from turn up with some wine. It is lovely to be so well looked after, and she’s a great host but I think we missed hosting a little bit, so we may try and host it next year. It was lovely for Theo to be able to spend time with his cousins as it made the day far more exciting for him. They were eager to show us what presents Santa and brought and all had a great time playing together. The meal was delicious and she even had Christmas crackers from Joules, which I didn’t know you could get!

It was a lovely, noisy, laughter-filled Christmas afternoon and a delicious meal, just perfect. When we got home, there was a mini disaster. I went to put Theo in his room, and I couldn’t open the door - the actual ceiling had fallen in!

The plaster in there is really old (it has lime and horsehair in it from Victorian Times). It’s the one area of the house that hasn’t ever been re-done over the years, and I guess with having the heating on lots lately, it dried out and gave up the ghost! There was plaster dust, bits of ceiling and plaster everywhere. We had to put Theo to bed in our room and try a bit of an emergency clean-up - not such a relaxing way to spend the evening!

When we finally sat down that evening, we were pretty wiped out and we realised that we hadn’t opened any of our gifts! We had a very sleepy fireside unwrapping session before staggering off to bed. For the rest of the break, we had people round to our house for food, visited friends for lunch or went out and met other friends who were back in Nottingham for Christmas - basically, it all revolved around food, which I think is about right for this time of year!

I was lucky enough to get some great gifty bits and pieces, including a few beauty bits that I can’t wait to try…

The husband usually gets me something from Molton Brown as I absolutely love their stuff, and this year it was the Deep Conditioner. It smells heavenly and is just the thing to give my dried-out winter tresses a boost. It’s my ritual to have a deep bubble bath on a Sunday or a Wednesday night, do a face mask, pile on a hair mask and just relax, so I can’t wait to give this a try.

Typical ‘Parisian’ style has long been an obsession of mine. I love the idea of beautifully made basics, neutral colour palettes and the timeless sophistication of that style. So when I spotted ‘How to Be Parisian’ by xxxx a while back, I was intrigued. I’m not very stylish innately so I like the idea of formulas for looking chic, and hopefully there will be some useful information in here. Who knows, perhaps it will encourage me to finally take the plunge and embrace a capsule wardrobe.

My move towards trying to attain Parisian chic will probably be helped by these two gifts - this beautiful slim black leather and metal belt from Reiss, and this classic navy cashmere jumper from John Lewis. Both are classic items that I know I’m going to love forever. I really want to focus on having less clothes, but classic ones, this year.

The Charlotte Tilbury Instant Eyes Palette is one I've been coveting since it launched but was struggling to justify.

I already own so many palettes and I don’t use them much, as I rarely have time at the moment to really spend on doing my makeup, but that means this was an ideal gift and one that I’m very impressed my husband managed to get right on his own! It’s a thing of beauty and I adore it!

Coffee is something my morning can’t start without and also something that we make a ritual of at the weekends, so this set of Whittards world coffees was an amazing present. I love to discover new favourites and the packaging here is so pretty! I also love this Bodum French Press Travel Mug. It’s the perfect thing for any addict of quality coffee as you can add your freshly ground coffee of choice, add water, steep, press and then switch to the travel mug too to take it out with you - how clever is that?

A couple of other beauty bits I got were this Jimmy Choo Flash perfume. Now, I am extremely fussy when it comes to scent. There’s only about five I really like and I wear the same few in tight rotation, so when I opened this I did suspect I may not love it - but to my surprise, I really do! It’s got pink pepper (which is a note I love), tuberose and white floral notes. I would say that it smells sophisticated - the perfect scent for a big meeting at work!

This beautiful vase from one of my favourite shops, Oliver Bonas will be a gorgeous addition to the house.

I also have a major obsession with wash bags - I own more than anyone would ever need, and yet I always want more! So I loved this gorgeous set from Isabella Scott - a large, clear sided bag with black affiant trim and a chunky gold zip, a smaller white one with black paint splatters and a slim, flat metallic gold one. I definitely don’t need these but I love them!

And it wouldn’t be Christmas for me without two things - gin and chocolate! Hortus is actually my personal favourite gin and I adore this winter spice variety. I got a bottle last Christmas and it disappeared so fast!

Then chocolates and treats including this fab Reese’s selection box and some spicy tamarind - I’m obsessed with this stuff and it’s so hard to get hold of! I first tried it when our friend brought some back from the Philippines, where he’s living at the moment - it’s so addictive. I don’t know where the husband managed to track this down but I highly approve!

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas break and that 2018 brings you all the new adventures you hope for x

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