Enjoying the holidays!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. If you're lucky like us then you still have some time off work to enjoy before the new work year begins, we're spending it relaxing together :) Playing cards, watching movies, visiting family and friends, reading and sleeping... Lots of sleeping :)

Our christmas day was lovely, after we opened our little gifts to each other we spent christmas morning preparing the veg for dinner and setting the table. 

Al's parents came over about half 2 and we had a lovely meal together and just relaxed for the afternoon. After driving them home we watched bad santa.

I really love how we did christmas this year and we intend to keep that balance as our family grows. Christmas for us is about spending time with family, good food and chocolate, the tree and pretty decorations and a few thoughtful gifts. Making sure the gifts don't become the main event I'm sure will be harder as our son gets older but we'll do our best!

Cara LOVED christmas this year, she got piles of turkey, cuddles and attention and the fire was on nearly all the time so she was in her element! She has really become quite attached to my belly, I think she's excited to meet her little brother :) She often cuddles up to my belly, putting her arm round it or just purring at it! I think it's the cutest thing ever.

*but don't worry we'll be careful when babys little just incase...

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas :)

It got really cold!!! Strangely it's kinda warmed up now (about 8 degrees during the day) but it still feels very wintery with the sun not coming up at all until half 8 and it getting dark again at 4... Good news though - tomorrow is the winter solstice, the longest night of the year and from then on the days are getting lighter and longer again :) 

We don't mind the short winter days in our house, we try and change a bit with each season. Winter evenings are mostly spent snuggled up on the sofa watching movies with the fire on, baking and cooking comfort food, I read more and we just try and enjoy the cosiness :) I think if you embrace winter, dress for it, prepare for it and expect it to be long dark and cold then you can enjoy it more instead of just wishing it away. Which would be sad because it really is a beautiful and necessary part of the year :)

On Saturday we went and picked out our christmas tree YAY! I so badly wanted a real tree this year and wandering about the farmers field in the icy cold picking out our tree was just magical :) He cut it down right in front of us and carefully wrapped it and put it in our car - I was like a child I was so excited! Once it was up in our living room I thought it was so pretty I wondered if it even needed decorations LOL

We decided decorations were needed but opted for simplicity so you can still see a lot of the tree, just twinkly lights and baubles, and of course our over sized star :)

There won't be piles of gifts under our tree this year, just a few small ones for each other. We feel so blessed this year to be so happy, so in love, healthy and have our little son that we just found it so hard to think of anything else we want! I've handmade some special wee gifts for my friends and sisters and baked treats for the neighbours, Al's work and Al's parents. Al finishes work tomorrow until the 2nd and we are going to spend every minute together, for us this christmas really will just be about good food, laughter, keeping cosy by the fire and spending time with people we love. I'm so excited about it :) 

Plastic plant pot revamp!

A few weeks ago we bought £20's worth of 'hard to kill' house plants. I always kill houseplants, they look great for the first month then spend the next year just begging to be put out of their misery LOL The very knowledgeable lady in the shop gave me a few hints though so maybe these ones will last a bit longer, who knows? Here's what she said -
  • Remember house plants come from the rainforest originally (thats why they don't need full light) so watering them with cold water will shock the roots, always use warm water.
  • Water regularly, like not just when they look dry, once a week ish.
  • Spray them with a mister whenever you remember to stop leaves drying out.
  • Windowsills are not always the best place because of the big change in temp from day to night, most houseplants like as steady as possible temp so keep away from radiators too!
  • Feed them.
They needed re-potting but we only had ugly plastic ones and being frugal and environmentally conscious we didn't want to buy new ones. DIY time :)

These paint samples we had from the living room where the wood burner went in, you don't actually need the masking tape, I was going to do something arty with it but decided not to.

Give the pots a good sanding with a fine grit sandpaper. I recommend cleaning them first not just banging them out like I did, my desk was covered in soil and a few bugs...

Paint away :) I think its easier to use a brush than these little applicators, they are kind uneven... You'll need at least 2 coats but they dry pretty fast, by the time I had done the 6th pot the 1st one was ready for a 2nd coat.

Then get re-potting :) I love how the purple really makes the green leaves stand out.

If you have any houseplant hints I would LOVE to hear them. I decided this year that even if they only last the winter and I have to buy new ones each year it's still worth it. They make the home feel so much more fresh and I know they're doing the air quality good, especially important over winter and when baby arrives (we've got a few picked for his room/our room when he's born).

P.S - Im having a little issue with my blogger account could someone please tell me if in their blog reader, a picture comes up next to my new post snippet and does it say noreply@blogger or my name and email? Thanks very much :)

Christmas Happiness Revolution!

10 things that are making me happy

It's nice to see this banner again - it's been far too long! I have been very happy and have kept focused on all the small things that are making me happy but actually writing them down in a happy list seems to give them the recognition they deserve and its fun - you always feel happier after doing a happy list! So come on and join in!

Just think of 10 things that are making you happy this month, write them down and grab the banner above for your post! Lets forget about the negatives for a minute, turn off the news and give some attention to all the good things in our lives!

The 10 things making me happy this month are...
  1. Our wood burner :)
  2. New house plants, they seem to beautify and freshen up the house at the same time :)
  3. Knowing Hubby and I have chosen our sons name but keeping it a secret and not telling anyone until the day he's born :)
  4. The local butcher and green grocer we discovered in the village over, such good quality local produce and cheap too!
  5. When Al talks to our baby boy and he kicks in response :)
  6. The look on Al's face when No.5 happens :) :) :)
  7. Cara, especially when she sleeps on me with her paw on my bump - hugging her future torturer and best friend lol
  8. The fresh icy winter air :)
  9. Music up loud in the house to sing and dance to daily :)
  10. The (brand new, never used!) juicer I bought from a charity shop for £5! Makes gorgeous apple and carrot juice, perfect for boosting winter veggie/vitamin intake and keeping colds away :)
Don't forget to leave a comment with whats making you happy or a link if you did a list so I can add you to the revolutionaries and people can come find you for a positivity kick!
*This months revolutionaries*

Pregnancy Photo Shoot :)

 I'm so excited to share these photos with you, my wonderful hubby Al took them yesterday and I LOVE them so much, he is so talented he captured this moment in our lives so beautifully. I will always cherish them and the memories of being pregnant with our first son. He has been such a joy to carry over the last 32 weeks, giving me the loveliest most magical experience of my life and it just amazes me that this journey will get even more incredible when he's born :)

Pregnancy photo from a journey to a dream

He started kicking here and I can't help but get all excited when he's moving around :)

We had to include a few shots with the stunning toys we got from smiling tree toys, I just love them so much! 

These last 2 were taken up in our baby room, you can see a bit of the book shelves we put up but I'm saving the nursery photos for another post when I have more and it's totally finished :) 

My sealed pot challenge...

This year I joined SFT and about 56 others from around the world in her sealed pot challenge. You seal a pot and fill it with change over the year and open it on the 3rd December. Heres how I made my pretty pot last year :) We chose not to put ALL our money in it since we use change for milk and little things and didn't want to increase our outgoings but we did put all our small change in and a few pounds and fivers towards the end :)

So on the 4th of Dec, with the rain battering against the window, I sat cosy by the fire counting. Lovely way to spend an hour or so on a rainy cold day :)

So the grand total is....drum roll.... £52 and €25! We were pretty happy with that and it will go towards extra special food and treats over christmas time :) 

If you didn't join in last year I highly recommend it, it's fun being part of a global saving scheme and seeing how everyone did and what they're going to spend it on. Just head over to Saving For Travel's blog and tell her you want in - simple!

How we're keeping toasty warm this winter

We have fire!!! Happy happy happy!!!

It did look like this for a while... We did the monkey work ourselves to save money,
left the installation to the pro though! 
The wall is going to be the light purple colour (inside heart) once the plasters all dried

Great draw and not one bit of smoke out into the room :)

It was so lovely to finally be burning from our wood pile that we've been adding to for months! There was a slight 'new oven' smell to it so we've had the windows open to flush out any bad fumes but I think they'll be gone in a day or so. Even with the window open a few inches it's as warm as the radiators heat! It did cost a fair bit to have it installed but with our cheap wood it'll only take about 2-3 months to pay for itself then we'll be saving loads. To be honest even if the cost were the same I think we'd have one, I definitely feel warmer looking at a real fire.

I love this last photo - Cara meeting her new best friend :)

Maternity leave begins :)

Baby boy is getting big now! Not a little pea anymore, kicking and wriggling so much. I still smile every time :) 

It feels a little strange to be finished work already but I really feel like it's the right thing to do. I knew I didn't want to get to that exhausted stage before I started taking it easier, I wanted to stay feeling vibrant, happy and relaxed for as long as possible and when you work with 3 and 4 year olds for 10 hours a day its only a matter of time before your energy supply would start to fail. I'm at 30 weeks now and I have started noticing a bit of tiredness creeping in at the end of a busy day or after climbing stairs in a hurry so I think it's perfect timing. 

My plans for maternity leave until our son arrives are

  • Do my prenatal yoga everyday and walk/swim a few times a week
  • Get plenty of sleep (even if that means cheeky day-time naps!)
  • Sew - baby sling, cloths and wipes, bedding, blankets etc
  • Cook super healthy meals and snacks with lots of fresh veg, protein and fiber
  • Hand make christmas cards and gifts (and post in time!) 
  • Spend time with my friends on their days off and Aine who's on maternity with her new baby girl :) 
  • Read my Ina May birthing book again that Al bought me
  • Spend more time blogging and taking photos, sharing this amazing part of my life with family and cyber friends :)

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