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My Sisters In December.

on Wednesday, 10 December 2014.

It's December.  December.  I can not quite believe that we are on the final month of the year, but the tree is up, the Christmas songs are on the radio non stop, and we are getting really excited about the big day.  December has already proved to be really hectic and as we get towards the latter part of it, it only seems to be getting more so with the inevitable Christmas parties, festive play dates and getting organised for the holiday season.

My girls have been so full of character this month.  With each passing day they become more interactive with each other, and it makes us laugh so much.  They have a really unbreakable bond, they look out for each other and they love each other deeply.  Mads will constantly ask LL if she wants to come for a  'sleepover' in her bed- they lie together under the covers and read books or play with the iPad.  They also have a really caring side where they will get their special toy for the other one if they are crying or sad- both of them do it and it is so sweet to see.  The other day at one of Mads friends birthday parties, they sat in a circle playing Pass the Parcel and I looked over at LL had her little teeny arm round Mads and was stroking her back. It made me get tears in my eyes, and one of the other Mum's commented to me on how cute it was.  Indeed whenever we are out, they often get little old ladies stop and smile at them as they run about together hand in hand.

But for all the sweet moments and sisterly love, they really do argue nowadays.  LL can let out the most high pitched shriek when she doesn't get her own way and Mads will try and wind her up and not let her have things.  They are like a pair of old hens, they literally squawk and shout at each other, and LL very occasionally tries to push Mads which obviously doesn't work as she is a lot bigger than her.  At the moment these little outbursts don't happen too frequently and so it makes us laugh as we get a glimpse into the future of what they will be like as they grow.

Our photos for this month were another last minute job.  At the weekend Mr E was away and the girls and I went to a birthday party.  We arrived home in the afternoon and they were clutching their little party bags so I ran inside and grabbed my camera and took these photos in front of my house.  Not exactly the most glamorous or exciting location, but I really like them because it's my favourite kind of light.

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I take photos of my girls together most days, even if it is just with my iPhone.  But as it is December and it's been a whole twelve months of 'Siblings' here is a little recap of a year of photos of my two little ladies- just click on the month to see the whole post and the rest of the photos...

 

 

1-sibling-january

January 

1-sibling-february

February

1-sibling-march

March

1-sibling-april

April

1-sibling-may

May

1-sibling-june1

June 

1-sibling-july

July

1-sibling-august

August

1-sibling-september

September

1-sibling-october

October

1-sibling-november

November

1-sibling-december

December

 

*****

    This month I am sending you on to have a look at lovely Jess and her even lovelier twosome, while you are there be sure to link up- my linky tools subscription still isn't working properly!

 

Inspired Cosy Living Room Accessories.

on Tuesday, 09 December 2014.

A couple of months ago now we updated our living room.  We got rid of the awful 80's Artex, added ceiling spot lights and gave the whole room a paint and a refresh.  We decided on a retro mustard and purple theme, with the centre piece being our large mustard feature wall with it's Orla Kiely wallpaper.  It's definitely not to everyone's taste but I really love it and still couldn't be happier with it.

Now that Winter is here, I find myself wanting to nest and get our house even cosier.  The arrival of the Christmas Tree has made me hunt for festive accessories or just accessories to make us feel cosy and snuggly when we are inside.  I constantly love to update our home, but it's only small, so until we can work on our next project, doing mini tweaks to our other rooms has to suffice!

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A few months ago I worked with eBay on a fabulous project and was one of the first people to try out their new colllections tool.  I along with two other bloggers was on the eBay homepage for a few weeks, which definitely was one of my better claims to fame.  (Unless you count once speaking to Nicky from Westlife on the phone or having a pint spilled on me by Liam Gallagher)  The collections are a great way of finding inspiration, especially at this time of year.  They are also a great way of putting together a wishlist of items you would like.  Hopefully Mr E is reading this and taking note as these are a few of the bits I would love for our living room.

1 ebay

1.  First up this Orla Kiely retro style radio has been on my wishlist for absolutely ages.  I work from home and our living room is where my little desk is, so I would love this to have some tunes in the background, especially festive ones at the moment!  I just love it- the pattern, the style, the wood panelling- everything!

2.  This stags head would look perfect on our wall, and the natural wood colour means it would pretty much go anywhere.  Plus at the moment we could decorate him with tinsel to make him extra festive.    Mr E doesn't really like the whole stags head theme, although I did manage to sneak one into our recent bathroom makeover, so you never know!

3.  This super cute den tent from Ferm Living is just fantastic.  The girls would love this and I like it because with it's mustard detailing, it would totally match my living room.  They have a little teepee which they use all the time, but I love the fact we could put some fairy lights on this and snuggle up with lots of cushions and read Christmas books or watch festive films. 

4.  Finally I love this little table, with its yellow bottom, it would look great in our room, and I could put all of my newly required festive candles and trinkets on there.

 

There are other items in my collection too- including this rather fab floor lamp from Habitat.  We have been after a floor lamp for ages, as unfortunately where we sit in the evening has a ceiling spotlight shining directly on to us, and this one is gorgeous.  I love the industrial feel and at £40.00 its an actual bargain!

a habitat floor lamp

There's lots of other bits and bobs in my collection and I am constantly updating it too.  I really enjoy looking for home interior inspiration on places like pinterest and also via eBay collections.  We hopefully have a few exciting home projects happening next year, including putting the girls into a joint room, changing Mads old room back into a study and also a possible extension- so do follow along with my collections to find out more!

If you are like me and want to win a lovely little eBay voucher to spend on some home accessories, or whatever else that takes your fancy just follow the instructions below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

NB: This Collection is part of an eBay competition that is running over December and if you Follow you will be in with a chance win an eBay voucher to the value of £20. The winner will be chosen at random from their eBay ID and notified by the 5th January 2014.

{The Ordinary Moments 14} #46 'Melted Snowman Cookies and while Daddy is Away.'

on Sunday, 07 December 2014.

This weekend Mr E has been away- on Friday he went up to Manchester for a long overdue 'boy's weekend' with his old school friends.  He doesn't go away very often, so part of me was actually looking forward to a bit of time to myself in the evenings to relax, eat copious amounts of chocolate and watch what I want to on the television, while also having some quality time just myself and my little ladies.

For all the occasional hard days, for the most part they are pretty laid back and well behaved, especially as they thrive on a quiet pace of life and a weekend with not many plans.  On Friday we had a play date with our besties, before snuggling down for the evening watching Christmas films.  They both received a letter from Father Christmas and the look of excitement on Mads face when she listened to what he had written was just so sweet.  When I went to bed and went into Mads room to kiss her good night, she just looked so peaceful and cute, that I picked her up still asleep and put her down in our bed.  She never normally goes in our bed, in fact I can count on one hand the amount of times she has and it is normally because she is poorly, but I just couldn't resist.  It was lovely to have some company and to enjoy a night of one on one cuddles with my biggest girl, we snuggled all night long and at one point she whispered that 'we are best friends forever' which really made me emotional.

This year we have done nearly all of our Christmas shopping online with Paypal and it means that we have time to be able to do things like have lazy weekends baking, plus letting Mr E get a break for away for the weekend.  I hate Christmas shopping, I am not good with crowds and I get stressed, so it's great to be able to buy all our bits online with just the click of a button.  On Saturday night I spent a lovely night snuggled up on the sofa and I did most of our present buying which was easy.

Then on Saturday we had a lazy morning which again was most welcome.  We have a tradition in our house around Christmas time where we 'make' melted snowman biscuits.  These little guys are so easy to make, even for me, both the girls love them, and especially love to decorate them.  We decided to do this in the morning and we all had a great time together.  I love how random things end up becoming little family traditions and both Mads and LL were so pleased making their snowmen.  If you want to make them yourself it is incredibly easy- you just need some biscuits (or make your own if you are fancy), icing sugar and water to make the icing, white marshmallows, something for the buttons and edible decorative writing icing.  Just put icing on the biscuit, stick your marshmallow on the top, wait for it to set and then decorate to your hearts content.  Such a simple and easy idea for little ones and guaranteed to raise a Christmas smile.

Then in the afternoon we went over to Mads first ever nursery party, a joint one for two friends of hers which she was so excited about.  She loved running around with her little chums and I loved watching her chatting away to people I hadn't seen before.  She also made sure she included her sister in everything and two people even commented to me on how sweet they were together as while they were playing Pass the Parcel they sat their with their arms round each other.  They make me so proud of how they are together, although they are also fighting and having little arguments more each week!

Then today, Sunday, we are meeting our friends for a morning of soft play (at the weekend- we must be mad!) and a long overdue catch up before hopefully Mr E will be home in the afternoon sometime.  While we would of course rather he was at home with us we have also enjoyed having some time just the three of us, and have hoped that Daddy has enjoyed some well deserved time off- he works so hard, working all day and then coming home and working most evenings, plus looking after us so well that he most definitely needs a break.

It wasn't an entirely ordinary weekend in that one member of our team was missing, but it was ordinary, quiet and very much needed.  And as I often say, it's the ordinary moments that are sometimes the sweetest and make you realise just how lucky you are.

melted snowman cookies 1

melted snowman cookies

melted snowman cookies 2

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas 2014...

on Tuesday, 02 December 2014.

Every year we like to have what we call 'our festive day.'  Put simply this just means we prepare our house ready for Christmas and we start to get excited about the big day.  The day starts off at our local garden centre, which is always really Christmassy, and the girls choose a new decoration for the tree.  This is my favourite part of the day as I like to think when they are ready to move out many years from now, they will take with then a whole host of memories and sentimental value attached to these inevitably tacky ornaments.

After the serious decision of choosing a decoration, we stop in the garden centre for lunch.  We go there a fair bit, in fact most weeks, but somehow when Daddy is with us it feels a lot more special.  There of course is always cake, before we head home excited and fuelled to put up the tree.

Tacky Christmas music will always be put on, along with the heating to make it cosy and warm inside.  I will always light a candle or two as well.  We then get down to the matter in hand, a bauble always gets trodden on and broken, and we remind ourselves each year about which decoration we had the year before that.  This year we were a little worried about the tree, as Walter and Jesse our new kittens are quite partial to a hanging trinket or two, but so far all is well and the Christmas tree has survived.  

Each year I pack the girls a festive box- inside this year there was a new pair of Christmas PJ's, a book each (from last year), a reindeer biscuit, and of course Father Christmas and Fairy, our knitted toys who make an appearance every year.  The excited look on their faces as they open these boxes really does bring home just how exciting Christmas is when you are little.  It certainly is true that it is oh so magical when you watch it through a child's eyes.

Then it's time for a little nap, before all snuggling on the sofa to watch a Christmas film.  This year it was Mickey's Christmas.  Snuggling up on the sofa, in darkness except for the twinkling fairy lights shining on the tree, there is literally no where else I would rather be.  

December is my favourite month of the year- not least for all the festivities, but for the fact that it is our wedding anniversary on the 20th and of course Mads birthday on Christmas Eve.  We welcome it excitedly and there is nothing better than to celebrate it's arrival than with our annual festive day.

Here is our festive day 2014 in a few photos and a little video...

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I had to dress them in their matching Christmas Next jumpers I bought them a few weeks ago- they are so cute.  They had a great time picking out their decorations at the garden centre.

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Mads decoration for this year- a little felt deer.

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LL's is a slightly more blinged up, glitzy deer.

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The piece de resistance- putting the star on top of the tree.  I remember so fondly doing this with my Dad each year so it makes me feel sentimental watching Mads do it with her Daddy.

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Opening their festive boxes.

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They got new matching Christmas PJ's in their boxes this year- Mads has a reindeer on hers and LL has Father Christmas.

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I love this photo of my happy ladies.

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A spot of bed jumping before nap time.

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Mr E rarely takes photos but he managed to capture this one of myself and my big girl- I love it so much.

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We spent ages wrapping up their books ahead of the 1st December.  This year we are doing a book advent, I rewrapped some of last years books, bought a lot from charity shops and also bought a few special new ones too.

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A couple appropriately named books that we wrapped up, the Madeline's Christmas is for my Mads to open on her birthday on Christmas Eve. I have been collecting them for months and can't wait to see their faces each evening as they open them.

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We also have this little reindeer who is looking after some little surprises- sweets, little tiny prizes like keyrings, minature figures etc.

 

And here is a little video of our day...

 

 

(Our festive day 2013)

(Our festive day 2012)

 

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