Friday, 21 December 2012

Christmas Organisation - Christmas week!

Well done people.  Christmas is almost upon us and you've survived! You have survived the shopping, the crowds, the office parties, the Christmas concerts and god knows what else.  I truly hope that now we can all take some time and enjoy the festivities stress free.  I know I'm an advocate for being organised, but only because I personally enjoy it.

Even if you aren't organised, it isn't the end of the world.  Just enjoy yourself and know that you are going to make the most of this fabulous time.  No one will care if you forgot the pigs in blankets or if you didn't make your own Christmas crackers.  Those things don't make memories.  So, laugh loudly, love freely and do whatever makes you happy this Christmas.  Take photos, be gluttonous and cherish your family.   So now, why not take a moment just for you, pour a glass or mug of your favourite festive tipple and melt into the sofa for a while. 

I wish you all wonderful Christmas time, and I hope the New Year brings you all that you hope for.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

If you can't say anything nice...

As a parent I hate being judged by others.  Being measured by their standards, having my decisions and choices judged and questioned.  It makes me feel sad, doubtful and sometimes even ridiculously angry. I know I shouldn't care. I know in my heart that I have considered all my decisions at length and with great care. I know that each decision I make in terms of parenting is based on what I truly believe is best for my daughter.

So when I learned how awful and hurtful it can be to be judged, I decided I would try my best not to judge and not to interfere with the parenting decisions and choices of others.  I stood by the motto of;

"If you are happy, I'll be happy for you."

I have a bit of a problem though, and it is causing me to re-evaluate a friendship.  I thought that having children would have brought us closer together, but if anything it makes me want to break away from this friendship altogether.

The problem is, I'm doing something I promised I wouldn't do.  I'm judging my friend. Her actions make me angry.  Really angry.  I suppose you are wondering what she has done that is so terrible, so awful that I would consider ending friendship?  I promise you it is nothing awful or terrible. She doesn't beat her child, she doesn't endanger them or anything so extreme as that. Just let me try and explain.

Since my friend has had her child, she complains constantly to anyone who will listen about how she needs time away from her baby. She has gone out every weekend since her baby was born, leaving her child with her parents Fri-Sun so she can get drunk. She has openly and desperately appealed for babysitters on Facebook because she needs someone to babysit because she hasn't had time away from her baby for "days".  She says things openly about her baby stealing her social life.  You get the idea.

I know she loves her child, I don't doubt that in the slightest.  I just can't understand the change in her.      She is a lovely, kind person.  Yet it comes across now that she views her baby as a burden. She acts very selfishly, as if the baby is an inconvenience. I am by no means saying she shouldn't get out and enjoy herself.  Everyone deserves some time to themselves, but her partying seems excessive.  Especially considering she was never a party animal before she was pregnant.  Knowing how fast Holly's first year has gone, I worry that she will miss so much of her baby's precious days. The baby days are so short, they will be over before she knows it.  As much as I enjoy a night out and time to myself, I have plenty of years ahead of me for more, and I had plenty beforehand too. I personally feel she is missing out on so much.

I think another reason it bothers me is because I have many other close friends battling with infertility and would move heaven and earth to have what she has, and she doesn't seem to appreciate how very lucky she is.  I feel totally shitty for writing all this, but my feelings of anger towards my friend have been growing over the last few months. The way she talks about her child like some kind of inconvenience. It bothers me so much.  If I have to be 100% honest, I'd go as far as to say that I think she wasn't ready to start a family. There, I've said it. I feel like a horrid person for judging her.

My problem is, I cannot talk to her and listen to the things she says and hold my tongue much longer. How she raises her child is no concern of mine and I don't think I have any right to tell her off.  One thing I know is that she isn't the person I thought she was.  So I don't think I can be her friend anymore. I don't want that kind of influence in my life, or my daughters.

So what do you think of this situation? Am I a rotten judgemental bitch from Hell?  Do I need to keep my nose out and my mouth shut?  Have you experienced anything similar with a friend, and what would you do if you did? Please help, I'm lost here...

Monday, 10 December 2012

It's Christmas!

It seems t'is the season to get tagging, and I have been tagged in this Christmas cracker by the loverly and fabulously festive Sonya Cisco.  So without further ado, strap on your Santa hats and hang on to your elf's about to get very Christmassy all up in this blog!

What's your favourite thing about Christmas?

Can I say ALL OF IT?  That is really what I would say (well apart from busy shops and psychotic last minute panic shoppers with a death wish).  If you are absolutely going to force me to choose then I would say decorating the tree.  Or hearing Carols sung by a real choir  (it gives me goosebumps).  Also, I'm sure as Holly gets older I will love seeing her open her presents.  Last year she was 9 days old on Christmas day so we haven't experienced that yet.  I'm already excited to see how she reacts this Christmas!

What is your favourite make-up look for the festive season?

I do love make-up but I tend not to go for really bold make up.  I wear make-up regularly so probably a little bit of a variation on the normal.  I like pin-up make-up, so for Christmas day I'll do some winged eyeliner and red lips (that is as bold as I get).  I might pop on some false lashes.  I don't wear those ridiculous huge ones, the natural look ones are good.  I have short eyelashes so even those make a subtle difference and don't look fake.  When I wear them people always ask what mascara I'm wearing!  I get the ones from e.l.f cosmetics, they are great and only cost £1.50 a pair!  They are the best ones I've ever tried (and I've tried loads)!  Then some red or black nail polish and I'm done!

Real or Fake trees?

I am a lover of real trees.  They look and smell wonderful.  I have had one every year since I've had my own home.  This year we have an artificial tree as Holly is now walking and I'm worried about her choking or being poisoned by the needles.  I would be terrified of Holly pulling  a 6 foot tree down on top of herself.  Maybe next year we can consider a real one again.  We'll see!  Want to see our fake tree?  Here you go!

Not bad for a fake?

Giving or receiving presents?

Giving is the best!  I can't tell you how fun I find it!  I enjoy it so much I start my Christmas shopping in January!!  I like to make a list of who I need to buy for and then I have fun daydreaming about what I could get them.  I can get a bit obsessed!

Do you open your presents in the morning or evening?

I've always done it in the morning.  Although we always open one gift at midnight on Christmas eve.  Just as a treat.

What's your favourite Christmas film?

There are so many to choose from, it is so hard!  Not a fair question! *shakes fist*

A few of my favourites are It's a Wonderful Life, A Muppet Christmas Carol, Scrooged and Meet Me in St. Louis.

What is your favourite Christmas food?

Seriously, what's with the unfair questions?  I can't pick just one!  Are you nuts?  My favourites are Turkey, roast potatoes, pickles, cocktail sausages, ginger biscuits, quality street, do Chocolates count as real food?

I hate sprouts and Christmas pudding though. Disgusting!

Well now I'm done lets see who's been naughty or nice and landed themselves on my Christmas tag list...

Leopard Print Mommy

365 Pearls of Wisdom

My Mills Baby

Christmas Organisation Week Two - What are you wearing on Christmas day?

I won't be going to a work Christmas party this year, so I've not had to dig out the old faithful little black dress this year after being disappointed by the dresses I've seen in the shops.  I have to say I'm quite relieved about that.  However, I still need to find a dress or outfit that is appropriate for Christmas Day.

On Christmas Day as I have cooking to do and taking care of a baby I tend not to get overly dressed up for Christmas Day.  It is also far too time consuming spending time getting glammed up just to stuff myself with turkey!  A bulging gut isn't the best accessory for a fancy frock!

I don't think my legs look particularly good in trousers and it is hard to find nice ones in my length as I am a bit of a short arse, so I like a nice knee length dress.  I tend to opt for a plain block colour dress and jazz it up with some bold accessories or shoes.  So this is the outfit I'm considering for Christmas Day.  I'd love to know what you think.

The Dress

A simple black dress.  It has a bit of stretch to accomodate Christmas over-eating.

The Jewellery

Some blingy earrings to add a bit of sparkle to the plain black dress.

Similar to the earrings.

The shoes

These aren't my exact shoes, but very similar.  Not had a chance to take a pic of mine yet.  I call them sitting down shoes! As I can only wear such uncomfortably high heels when I know I won't be walking far!  I'll probably wear my slippers when I'm up prepping dinner, but after that it is my statement shoes all the way.  I think they really add glamour to a plain outfit!

That's it! What do you  think of my choice.  I think it is quite glamourous without making a huge effort.  No Bridget Jones knickers necessary!

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Christmas Organisation Week Three - The Freezer is your friend

So come Christmas Day (although pretty much the whole of December) you are going to be very busy.  Especially if you are the host or hostess.  You are probably going to have a lot of people to feed while still being expected to be sociable and calm and downright perfect.  It can be pretty difficult, so when I think things are going to get on top of me I try to pre-prepare as much as I can. You would be surprised just how much you can prepare well in advance of Christmas Day. So below is a list of some of the Christmas Day essentials you can prep early or freeze to make the big day as stress free as possible.

We all know Christmas puddings can be made in advance, but if you also make Mince pies they can be frozen.  You can take out however many you need at the time and heat them through in a moderate oven and just dust with icing sugar before serving. Rum or brandy butter can also be frozen.

Parboil potatoes (to roast) for five minutes, drain and cool. Freeze when cold. You can do the same with wedges of carrot and parsnip, but parboil them for just three minutes, drain, cool and freeze. Boil Brussels sprouts for two minutes, drain and run them under the cold water tap - this preserves their bright green colour. Drain well and freeze when cold. If nothing else it will save you some room on the stove and will be a few less pots to wash on the big day!

Cranberry sauce, bread sauce and fresh sausage meat can all be frozen too.

In addition to all these Christmas dinner staples, you can make and freeze some other festive treats on standby to save you cooking from scratch over the rest of the festive season. Make some hearty soups, slow cooker stews or maybe even some curries.  

Even marinade some chicken breasts and freeze for quick lighter meals.

It really does help to do this type of prep in advance.  Why shouldn't you get the chance to relax and enjoy the festivities like everyone else?

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Christmas Organisation Week Four - Christmas Lights

No doubt, if you haven't put up your Christmas tree you will be doing it soon. The lights and baubles will be coming out of storage.  You will no doubt spend more time untangling strings of Christmas lights than actually putting up the tree.  I know I used to. It didn't matter how carefully I wound them up, they always tangled. So to save you time and stop you tearing your own hair out in frustration by the time next Christmas rolls around I'll share my simple tip on how to store your Christmas lights, tangle free.  If you don't already do this you will be amazed how simple it is!

All you need is some cardboard.  Simply wrap your lights around, it and you are all done.  Didn't I tell you it was ridiculously simple.  You can wrap them around a few other things too.  A cardboard tube from an old kitchen towel or even a coathanger would work.  Hope this saves someone a lighting related mental breakdown next year...


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