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… And she’s back!

Happy New Year to you!

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I hope you are having a good start to 2015?

L and I spent our New Year’s Eve at home with colds … but we had champagne and watched fireworks out of our back window! 🙂

One of my New Year resolutions – that’s right! I’ve made too many more than one! 😛 – is to get back to blogging. I miss writing, sharing my photos and keeping in touch with you guys!

Last year was a hard one for many reasons, which was mostly the reason for my silence. But here I am at the start of this next year – with more-than-plenty of challenges coming, that’s for sure! – but with exciting things happening and new things to experience! I can say without a doubt that I will say many silly things, do too many crazy things and take many many more than I need photos!! 😉

One new experience for this year – for both you and me! – is that I will be writing about the hard, dark things as well as the easy, bright things. I hope that this doesn’t scare you away, but just helps to bring a realistic slant to my blog.

I hope you’ll join me for the ups and downs of 2015!

Have you got new – exciting or scary! – changes happening this year?

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

Date Nights

The best kind of evening.

L, me, cooking together, wine, music, a good film, time …

That’s what I call a good date night!

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We cooked a favourite of ours – Jambalaya – and enjoyed some white wine.

Does anyone else think there’s something a bit special about drinking a glass of wine while cooking?!

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The Jambalaya was delicious (just as we knew it would be, but still good to note … 😉 ) and then we watched the second half of the latest Sherlock Holmes film.

We’ve watched it before, but we’re kind of Sherlock Holmes fans …

Ahhh, now that was a lovely evening!

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.

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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!

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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 …

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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 …

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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!! 😉

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?! 🙂