Monthly Archives:

December 2016

Completed My Goodreads Reading Challenge 2016

Goodreads Reading Challenge

I’ve really enjoyed all the extra reading I’ve done this year, thanks to my Goodreads reading challenge. I first pledged to read a book a month but, by May I’d read 12 books! I changed my pledge from 12 to 40 and I’ve ended the year having read a total of 42 books.

I’m really pleased to have completed my 2016 challenge. I’m going to challenge myself to read 45 books in 2017.

Wish me luck!

In 2016 I read the following books:

Goodreads reading challenge

 

Goodreads reading challenge

Goodreads reading challenge

Goodreads reading challenge

Goodreads reading challenge

Here are some stats about my challenge that I found interesting

Goodreads reading challenge

Goodreads reading challenge

Goodreads reading challenge

If you’re challenging yourself on Goodreads next year, I’d love to be friends on there 🙂

Mini Felt Tree Decorations

Mini felt tree decorations

We bought a lovely wooden advent calendar, with little drawers, from Homesense last year. I love how it looks, but it’s not very good for an advent calendar. The drawers are tiny. Mini felt tree decorations

Last year I bought some troll keyrings, tattoos and other small things. that I have totally forgotten about, to put in the drawers! It took ages trying to find things small enough to fit and, after spending a couple of hours checking Amazon for small toys, I gave up.

I decided I’d make mini felt tree decorations, to put in the drawers. I bought the girls a mini tabletop Christmas tree each. They took it in turns to open the drawers and added the felt tree decoration, for that day, to their Christmas tree.

I also bought 24 Emoji tattoos to put in the drawers, because, like most children these days, they love Emojis!

The girls were surprised and delighted when the first drawer was opened. We bought some battery operated LED lights for each tree. They looked lovely when all the decorations had been put on.

Making them wasn’t easy, at all!

I got ideas from Pinterest and made them without a pattern. Making them so small made it very difficult. It took me nearly 2 weeks, making a couple each night when they were in bed.

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I think their favourite decorations were the Minion and Kevin the carrot (although, he hasn’t got arms and legs like Kevin!)

mini felt tree decorations

Making Mocktails with Princes Juices

Fruit Mocktails The girls had great fun making some deliciously fruity mocktails recently. We were sent some Princes fruit juices and a selection of fruit so we could get creative with the flavours.

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Keeping Energy Bills Low in Winter

Keeping energy bills low

When I woke up this morning, there was a thick frost outside. The heating was on but I was still tempted to turn it up a bit. I don’t cope well with being cold and I seem to be colder than everyone else. When I’m wanting the heating on all day, they’re wanting the door open because it’s too hot. I even went to the doctors in the summer because I thought something was wrong with me! I’m cold all the time.
I’d love to turn the heating up but I don’t want to increase my energy bills. They’re too high as it!

I blame the tumble dryer for the majority of the electric usage. It’s made me lazy. I can’t remember the last time I put washing out to dry and we have it on nearly every day. Sometimes 3-4 times a day.
We have 2 girls who seem to generate a huge amount of laundry for some reason. I suspect that when they’re sent to tidy their room, they put clean washing in the dirty laundry basket so they don’t have to sort through it and put it away!

New Year Resolution

I don’t usually make New Year resolutions but this year I’m going to make just one. I’m going to do my very best to lower our energy usage.

The first thing to go is the dryer. Not literally, I’m keeping it but we’re not going to use it unless it’s an emergency. We have a great clothes horse we can use instead.
When it’s too cold outside, I’ll put it in the shower room while the clothes dry. When it’s a bit warmer, I’ll put it on the patio which has a cover over it. The clothes can still dry even if it rains!

It’s not all the fault of the dryer, though. There are other ways I can make changes to help reduce the monthly cost.

Instead of turning the heating up or having it on for longer, I’ll add more layers so I can get toasty and everyone else can be comfortable.
I’ve got a long woollen housecoat that I’ve had for years. It’s really warm so I’ll start wearing it more often. Also, Ant bought me a wonderfully soft blanket for Christmas. I was going to pack it away with the Christmas stuff but it’s just too nice and warm to stick in the loft while it’s still cold outside. I’m going to use at nighttime while I have a coffee and watch TV.

cutting energy bills

 

Premier Bathrooms has more hints and tips to help you reduce your energy usage which in turn reduces your bills.

 

This is a collaborative post

Our Christmas Day – We’ve Been Spoilt!

We’ve been spoilt!

Christmas 2016 has been wonderful. We’ve all been thoroughly spoilt by family and friends. I am a little sad, though, Ella’s 9 now and I felt a definite shift in the magic. They’re all growing too fast and I really noticed it on Christmas day. It didn’t feel as magical as it usually does. I’m putting it down to them all growing up and it makes me sad.

Christmas day 2016

 

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Christmas Day mess – the best mess there is :o)

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Ella’s presents

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Kaycee’s presents

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Aiden’s presents

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My presents :o)

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Ant’s presents

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Christmas day 2016

 

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Thank you to everyone who bought us such thoughtful gifts and who came to spend time with us. We loved seeing you all :o)

Previous Christmases

2015
2014
2013

Our Christmas Eve photos

Christmas Eve Photos

We had a wonderful Christmas Eve. As usual, we did a buffet tea and had some of the family around. It was lovely to see everyone and they all seemed to have a good time.
I totally forgot to take photos so these are ones that Ella took :o)

Christmas Eve Photos
Kaycee and Ella’s book advent books, the last mini felt decoration and our activity advent which was to open the Christmas Eve presents, have hot chocolate with marshmallows, sprinkle reindeer food and put a drink and cookies out for Santa.
Christmas Eve Photos
Ella and 2 of her brothers
Christmas Eve Photos
Our gorgeous Grandson, Damien 🙂

 

Christmas Eve Photos
Gemma and Nettie

 

Christmas Eve Photos

 

Christmas Eve Photos
My mum, Bethany and Kieron

 

Christmas Eve Photos
Jervais

 

Christmas Eve Photos
Bethany and Kieron

 

Christmas Eve Photos
Tina

 

Christmas Eve Photos
Bethany, Kieron and Phil

 

Christmas Eve Photos
New Christmas pjs 🙂

 

Christmas Eve Photos
Our new Christmas mugs. LOVE them 🙂
Christmas Eve Photos
We have a huge family who all buy us and the kids presents. This was before Santa had been!

Christmas Wishes & A Happy New Year :o)

Christmas Wishes

 

christmas wishes
Christmas Wishes

Christmas wishes from my family to yours.

We wish you a Merry Christmas;
We wish you a Merry Christmas;
We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Good tidings we bring to you and your kin;
Good tidings for Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Oh, bring us a figgy pudding;
Oh, bring us a figgy pudding;
Oh, bring us a figgy pudding and a cup of good cheer
We won’t go until we get some;
We won’t go until we get some;
We won’t go until we get some, so bring some out here

We wish you a Merry Christmas;
We wish you a Merry Christmas;
We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Please feel free to right click and save this image. You may use it freely 🙂 Merry Christmas!

There’s another free Christmas image here

 

Let It Snow Scrabble Ornament #24XmasCrafts

Let It Snow Scrabble Ornament

 

I can’t believe it’s Christmas Eve already! For our final #24XmasCraft advent tutorial, we made a Let It Snow tree ornament using Scrabble tiles.

You will need:

  • Scrabble tiles
  • Card or stiff paper with a Christmas design printed on one side (not pictured)
  • Fake snow
  • Ribbon
  • Glue – I found a glue gun worked best

Let it snow Scrabble tree ornament

Draw around the scrabble tiles as in the photo below.

Let it snow Scrabble tree ornament

Cut out the card.

Let it snow Scrabble tree ornament

Stick the Scrabble tiles onto the plain side. I found using a hot glue gun worked best.

Let it snow Scrabble tree ornament

Bend each row apart so you can glue in between the tiles.

Let it snow Scrabble tree ornament

Glue the ribbon to the back. If you want to cover the ribbon, cut another piece of card, the same size as before and glue it to the back, over the ribbon.

Let it snow Scrabble tree ornament

Put glue on the top of each row and sprinkle the fake snow onto the glue. When the glue is dry, hang on the tree.

Let it snow Scrabble tree ornament

I hope you’ve enjoyed our #24XmasCraft advent tutorials. We had great fun making everything.

Merry Christmas and a very happy new year 🙂

To see all of the 24 tutorials, check out my Pinterest board

Paper Plate Angel #24XmasCrafts

Paper Plate Angel

 

Here’s our penultimate Christmas craft tutorial and we’re going to be making paper plate angels. It’s another easy craft for little hands 🙂

Paper plate angel

You will need:

  • A paper plate
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Card for the hair and face
  • A silver pipe cleaner
  • Glitter glue
  • Sticky tape

Paper plate angel

Cut a triangle piece out of the plate to make the angel’s body.

Paper plate angel

Cut a circle for the face and a piece of hair out of the card. Draw the features on the face.

Paper plate angel

Stick the face to the hair then stick the face and hair to the body.

Paper plate angel

Stick the body onto the other piece of the plate which will be the wings.

Paper plate angel

Make a halo using the silver pipe cleaner.

Paper plate angel

Stick the halo to the back of the angel using sticky tape.

Paper plate angel

Decorate the angel’s dress and wings with glitter glue and allow to dry.

Paper plate angel

 

Paper plate angel

 

It’s our last #24XmasCrafts tutorial tomorrow and we’ll be making another scrabble Christmas tree ornament.

To see all of the 24 tutorials, check out my Pinterest board

Paper Star Chain #24XmasCrafts

Paper Star Chain

We love all things glittery and this paper star chain is no exception. It’s very easy to make and looks pretty when hanging on the wall or door.

paper star chains

You will need:

  • Paper
  • String
  • A pencil
  • A mug
  • Glue
  • Glitter
  • Sticky tape

paper star chain

Draw around the mug on a piece of paper and cut out the circle. Fold it in half then fold it in half three more times. Draw a line at the top from corner, as in the photo and cut along this line.

paper star chain

Open up the paper and you will have a star. Now decorate the star with glue and glitter.

paper star chain

Stick the string to the back of each star using sticky tape.

paper star chain

Hang on the wall or a door or anywhere you like, really!

paper star chains

 

Only 2 more to go! Tomorrow we’ll be making paper plate angels.

To see all of the 24 tutorials, check out my Pinterest board

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