Archives

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!

P1010050

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

P1010098

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 …

DSCF6962

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

DSCF6969

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

DSCF6971

DSCF6976

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

P1010026

P1010045

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.)

P1010095

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

P1010083

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!!

DSCF5625

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

Advertisements

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?

DSCF6937

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

DSCF6940

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.

DSCF6939

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.

DSCF6941

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

DSCF6942

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! 😉

DSCF6948

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.

DSCF6951

Mince Pie Heaven!

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

Meet …

DSCF6832

… 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! 😉

Games Night!

L bought me a board game for my birthday!

One that was fun to play with just the two of us. Enter Smallworld.

DSCF6820

I love the fact that my husband, knowing we both enjoy board games, suggested we find one that would work well when it was just the two of us playing – a gift of fun and a gift of time.

This particular game you can play with up to five people, so to learn the rules and have some fun, tonight we invited round some friends and got stuck in!

DSCF6817

I love having people round at our home, feeding them yummy snacks, giving them a good time and playing a stonking good game!!

Thank you for a wonderful birthday present L!

Forest School!

In September I was thrilled to be asked to help out with a local forest school for pre-schoolers!

I’d been hearing about it since March, as a friend of mine, C,  was going along and helping to look after a mutual friend’s (M) little girl while said mutual friend was running the sessions. It sounded like lots of fun! Maybe I was a tiny little bit jealous … 😉

C and her husband have just adopted a gorgeous little one of their own, so I now get to go along with M’s awesome girl G!

Both little G and forest school are amazing and so much fun!

Here are two things I’ve made while helping (playing) at toddler forest school …

DSCF6669

A couple of weeks ago we painted pictures with mud and blackberries – I got more messy then G, who did a nice picture of “splotches”! 🙂 Just in case you can’t tell what my masterpiece is, this is an owl. One mum told her toddler it was a pussy cat …

1393630_10151608091632391_69105207_n

This last week we made mud sculptures – so many good opportunities to get messy in the name of learning!! 😉

I decided to make a mud-face on a tree – I set out to make a rabbit but quickly decided I was making a moose!! 😛

One dad and his kid made this incredible dog, complete with lead, eyes, tail … dad worked hard to conceal his disappointment when kid insisted on taking dog for a walk … bye-bye dog sculpture!

I love being out in the woods and fresh air with lots of little people who treat every new find of an acorn or a mud puddle as an incredible discovery! The joy on one little girl’s face when she got completely covered in mud, head to toe, after stomping and splashing around in lots of gooey, messy, brilliant mud!! 🙂

Now I just need to work out a good excuse for how come I couldn’t avoid stomping in the mud and I’ll be a happy girl!! 😉

About Bank Holidays and Fun on The Beach!

There’s this standing joke among us British. Well, not a joke maybe … more an ironic truth? A pessimistic reality? A soggy certainty I think about sums it up.

DSCF6046

It always rains on the bank holiday weekend. The May and August bank holidays are looked forward to as a long weekend where workers get the Monday off and the kids get a day off school, a weekend for fun, family and food … and usually failed plans. The weather just seems to know everyone wants to be outside having fun, so rains, usually hard.

DSCF6024

We always plan for gorgeous weather … and are almost always disappointed by rain. Somehow, when it comes to bank holidays, we seem to have developed a national unquenchable optimism.

DSCF6031

This bank holiday weekend has so far been fantastic! Blue skies, nice breezes, blazing sun and not a rain drop in sight – perfect! I reckon that gives us at least a 10 year renewal on our optimism lease! 😉

My best friend R and I went to our favourite sand beach and had fish and chips by the sea! The chippy (fish and chip shop for the uninitiated 😉 ) claimed to serve the best chips in the South West – I haven’t run a taste-test on every chippy in the South West, so I can’t say for sure, but they were very scrummy chips, especially with a good helping of salt and vinegar – yum!! 😀

We leaned against the sea wall, chatting and watching the sea and the other people enjoying themselves on the beach. Somehow, while watching the really little kids exploring and discovering, you can’t help but see it all through new eyes yourself. No to mention how cute some of those little kids were … 😉

We couldn’t resist taking our shoes and socks off and enjoying the feeling of warm sand running between our toes … then the water just seemed to beckon … it looked so fresh and inviting … so we just had to go paddling!! It.Was.Cold. The first time the waves washed over our feet it was chilly, but good but the next few times and we could feel our feet going numb! After not very long we retreated to the hot sand to dry off, but hey, we did it, ok?! 😛

I took a conservative number of photos and got sunburned – two things which hardly ever happen!

Thanks for a lovely time R! 🙂

Tomorrow L and I are going for a picnic BBQ and walk in the woods with friends, so the weather better stay good … or else … well, hopefully something I won’t have to come up with, because of course it’s going to be brilliant weather on a bank holiday Monday!! 😀

12 Pictures of My Christmas

DSCF5565

A month or so ago I mixed up a Christmas cake for my Grandparents – Apricot and Brandy, from a brilliant recipe that let’s you choose your own combination but still comes out wonderfully moist!

DSCF5571

I wrapped the cake and fed it twice with brandy, keeping it the dark bottom of my wardrobe …

DSCF5643

… and tonight, after a minor-ish slip-up :P, I covered and decorated the cake ready for delivery tomorrow!

DSCF5609

On the 9th of December we had friends round for Mulled Wine and Mince Pies …

DSCF5613

… and to help us put up and decorate our Christmas tree – a tradition we love repeating every year, so much fun!!

DSCF5611

We had a Lady of Light!

DSCF5614

I grew a tinsel beard … as you do! 😉

DSCF5616

Our tree-builders relaxed with a glass of L and I’s special home-brew Mulled Wine – a little more potent than the ready-bottles but oh-so-yummy! 😛

DSCF5625

Our lovely Lady of Light made us gingerbread cookie decorations to hang on our tree – a really sweet and thoughtful Christmas gift!! Maybe I’ll just go and have a little nibble … 😉

DSCF5622

S took a Christmas photo of my hubby and I for us! 🙂

DSCF5641

Some close friends of ours are getting to adopt kids next year, so for D’s birthday party (which being on the 22nd December always feels like the start of Christmas to me!), they asked us each to bring an ornament to put on their tree, which they can tell their kids came from their friends – what an awesome idea is that?! I am so excited that they are soon to become parents and loved making a tree decoration for them!

DSCF5642

A few nights ago I settled into a three-hour plus marathon of present wrapping! I genuinely enjoy wrapping presents, but when it comes to Christmas, even I need to do the wrapping with the company of a film! 😉 I chose Magnolia – if you haven’t watched it: do!!

DSCF5650

For my last photo, because I’m a die-hard believer in a Baker’s Dozen (notice the mention L?!) … by tomorrow evening this little pile of presents will be sitting underneath my lovely in-law’s Christmas tree, waiting for the morning …

Have a very Happy Christmas and a most Blessed New Year!!!