christmas time…

…it’s certainly upon us now, this year has gone so quickly yet it’s hard to believe this time next week we’ll all be sat around stuffing our faces, unwrapping presents and sharing time with our loved ones, usually involving a board game in our house. I thought I should update you with my festive endeavours, if you are a friend of mine don’t continue reading as it will spoil your Christmas surprise. When it comes to prezzies I keep a list in my phone through the year if I think of things for people so The Husband and family have been fairly easy to buy for and I must admit the majority of this has happened through online shopping. It’s warm, hassle free, often cheaper and I get to become best friends with the postman and post office workers as I’m popping in after work to collect the packages which were attempted to be delivered while I was at work. The Husband absolutely hates wrapping and has been thrilled by the gift wrap option from Amazon, all he had to do was write the gift tag, already attached to the beautiful grey and red ribbon wrapping under the tree ready for the 25th. We do need to go and physically buy a few things this weekend I’m just hoping we make it out alive.

I stripped back the Halloween Wreath I created a few months ago and used off cuts from our Christmas tree (it needs a slight trim so it didn’t completely block the television) and wove them round the base and added a few spare baubles I didn’t want on the tree this year and a ribbon to finish it off and I think it looks rather lovely against our new blue front door, which is not only less draughty, noisy and unreliable than the previous it looks so much better than the boring white door we had before.

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I visited Castle Howard with my mum a few weekends back and we got a little carried away with new bauble buying, a selection are below and I’ve also purchased a new table runner for the dining table, apart from the real Christmas tree everything else has come back out of the boxes stored in the loft. I do love chevrons and I saw a link to a gold glitter chevron table runner on the Rock My Style blog a month back, I decided to find one independently and bought mine for half the price directly from China, it arrived quicker than some things posted within the UK do too.

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We’re not hosting Christmas this year but I still like to make and bake some things to take with me or in case people come round, which leads me to the kitchen. This year I have made candles and hot chocolate mix for my friends presents, using old jam jars and soya wax and pine and coconut spice fragrance bought from eBay I’ve decorated them up with ribbon, tissue paper and tags made from air dry clay. Stamped with letter stamps and cut using cookie cutters, they could do with some glitter or paint so might be more extravagant next year but they do the job for this year, including a special one for my friend who recently had her first baby. I’ll be making caramel shortbread and rice krispie cakes for my father in law as part of his present, taking a Bailey’s induced cheesecake round to my friend on Monday, making some little chocolate treats I found the recipe for on Rock My Style blog and hopefully taking on Paul Hollywood’s marzipan and mincemeat couronne recipe from the other night this weekend. Oh and possibly getting the cookie cutters back out for some gingerbread action if I find the time, I think Christmas has hit me this week so it’s all guns blazing.

Any of you making or baking presents and treats over the weekend or are you giving your Christmas cake its last ‘feed’ before the big day? I hope the pictures and ideas get you into the Christmas spirit if you’re not already there.

halloween wreath


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It seems to me quite an American tradition to have a wreath on the front door for a holiday celebration, not something you see much in the UK but I really like the concept. Letting your neighbours and visitors know the mood and celebrations happening in the house and brightening up your front door. So I decided to construct my own for Halloween. I coincided a wire frame and using burlap to create a base but I found the pre-made twig effect wreath and thought that would still be an ideal base to change the wreath for Christmas and Spring. I bought a garland of fake autumn leaves, dried fruit and some little cute plastic pumpkins.

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I started by threading the garland round the wreath frame then I began to add the detail. I was tempted to add felt flowers and ghouls but as it’s exposed to the elements I stuck with items which would be more robust. If your front door is more sheltered then perhaps add fake cobwebs for a more spooky look or fresh flowers for a more seasonal feel. I bought florist wire to attach the dried fruit and secure the garland more confidently to the frame.

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Now it’s up on the front door waiting for the kids to knock for sweets on Friday night, I love how it’s brightened up our plain white PVC door and I’ll update the blog in the coming months when I change the design on the frame to fit for Christmas and Easter holidays and I’ll go into more detail of how I put them together.