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Happy Christmas!!!

Happy Christmas everyone!

I hope you have some truly happy times over Christmas and much joy and peace in the year 2014 to come!

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There are many lovely Christmas things I would like to tell you about …

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We decorated our tree with two of L’s work colleges, along with our own mulled wine and festive snacks …

I’ve been finding (with a little help from the husband!), sewing, sticking, painting and wrapping Christmas gifts for friends and family …

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I held a Gingerbread Party for my friends and my sisters …

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… we had so much fun decorating gingerbread men that my friend A and myself had made!

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My personal favourite was Eve – complete with a little red apple in her hand! Go C!! 😉

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I cooked up a two course Christmas meal just for my hubby and I, with inspiration from the latest Masterchef The Professionals Series … although thank goodness I’m not being judged on the final result!! 😛

(Pickled Beetroot with Grilled Goats Cheese and Walnuts, followed by Shin of Beef braised in Red Wine, with Bacon-wrapped Potato Cakes, Roasted Shallots and tenderstem broccoli.)

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I baked, fed with brandy, iced and decorated three Christmas cakes for friends and family …

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And we got to attended the lovely Christmas wedding of two wonderful, God-loving friends and celebrate with their blood and church families!

My faithful little camera broke and although L thankfully has one he never uses, it is taking quite a bit of getting used to – hence the lack of photos! 😛 Our internet connection is also playing around, so I can’t always upload/download things when I want to …

If this was not the case, you would have had more photos and blog posts from me … I miss talking to you!

My first resolution for next year: learn how to use L’s camera so it takes photos I like!!

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Have times of much love with your families, peace in the midst of trouble, happiness in the small things, joy in the greatest gift of all time and the hope of things to come!!

Our love,

Mr and Mrs Moose

Mince Pies

Many times in the last few months, not to mention over the last number of years, I have expressed my opinion on mince pies being in the supermarket far too early … I have said that you shouldn’t eat your first mince pie of the season until it’s December.

Yesterday I ate my first mince pie for this Christmas.

I know! I know! How inconsistent can I be, right?

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But these weren’t any ordinary mince pies! No shop-bought or Mr Kipling varieties here!

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These were homemade mince pies, which I made with my three sisters. The pastry was made by my youngest sister T, who makes melt-in-the-mouth short crust pastry.

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The mincemeat we used in the pies was made by my older sister J, who chopped the apples, finely sliced the almonds and stirred in the currants herself.

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We rolled out, cut out, filled and topped each mince pie between the four of us.

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They were dusted with icing sugar as soon as they came out of the oven – or Aga in my family’s case … wish I had one of those to keep my flat toasty warm! 😉

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We ate the mince pies in front of the cosy wood burner, while they were still warm and fresh out of the oven, while sitting on the hearth-rug and chatting.

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Mince Pie Heaven!

Now don’t you think I’m forgiven for eating my first mince pie before the 1st of December?!

Meet …

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… Rosie the Owl!

I finished sewing Rosie last night and at the end of November she will be going home to a small friend of mine who’s going to turn three!

Rosie has flappable wings, button eyes, a beak that lifts up and down and cute heart buttons on her front. She is also soft and cuddly and hopefully just the right size for little hands.

I’m sure that Rosie will get a new name all her own and I hope she’ll be a part of many exciting adventures created by G!

Until then, I’m enjoying having Rosie’s cute face around and am starting on some owl-friends for my niece and god-daughter.

So grateful to my lovely honorary-mum for the wonderful pattern, adapted with the help of brilliant advice from hubby and friends! 😉

The Lord Of The Rings

Yesterday night L and I finished reading a book I’ve been reading out loud to us for a while.

Not just any book, mind you.

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We finished reading The Lord Of The Rings!

I first bought this book about 4 years ago, on a mission to read classic books that most(ish) people have read/watched or at least know the basics of. The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings were some of the first I picked up in charity shops or in this case, a read and return shop – yeah, this one never got returned and exchanged for a different book!! 😉

I was about 1/2-2/3rd through The Hobbit when I went home for Christmas with L, just a couple of months after we started dating. He got a sicky bug while we were at his parents and I offered to read to him – what about The Hobbit?

That was the start of a tradition for us and after finishing The Hobbit we started on The Lord Of The Rings. As any of you who have read this book will know, it’s quite a hefty volume and quite a bit more involved than the lighter Hobbit!

We have been reading this book together on and off for the last 3 1/2 years, with other books sprinkled in-between … it is well-travelled, well-loved, a little worse for wear when you look closely … but it has brought us so many hours of enjoyment!

I can honestly say that The Lord Of The Rings is one of the best books I have ever read!! I don’t know if I would have had the self-discipline to slog through the slightly heavier middle bits, but thanks to reading it with L, we have conquered!!

Smiling

Here are two things which have really made me smile this week, despite a number of things which have made me very sad …

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L bought me a dozen red roses for our anniversary – not just any red roses, but my very favourite shade of red and my favourite kind of roses!

How can I not smile?!

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I made my hubby a Cherry Pie!

I’ve cooked and baked many things for L, before and during our marriage, and one of the sung favourites has been a Cherry Pie! What’s not to love?!

I am told I inherited my Grandmother’s skill for pastry, so let’s bake!! 😀

What has made you smile this week?! 🙂

Slow Start

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The New Year is supposed to be a time for fresh starts – in life and on our blogs. I think my life wasn’t listening when that announcement was made. Either that or it’s being deliberately contrary. Or maybe both.

That’s why you haven’t seen me in a while.

The first week or so was ok; getting back into the swing of things after Christmas, getting back on top of housework, registering for some courses, getting excited about new cooking ideas. The normal kind of stuff.

Then the doctors surgery or the pharmacy messed up the prescription timings of some medication I take. They say you have to be off it for a good number of days before you feel a difference … in my case, make it the same evening. I had no medication for four days, so that nicely wiped out a week to two weeks for me.

Right, let’s start again. L and I went on our church weekend away, with lots of teaching and some really good conversations with people. What better way for a boost?

I was so exhausted from the weekend that I caught a really bad coldy-fluey thing, which I am still fighting as I write … bye bye to another two weeks.

Enough is enough! I have a life to live, a husband to care for, photos to take, a blog to write, food to cook … oh yes, and a house to clean … ! 😉

This weekend we are going to be travelling up country for the christening of our nephew, which will be a lovely time to see family. After that, I plan on being around a lot more, so prepare yourselves!! 😛

I have a question for you:

Is there anything particular you would like me to write about?!