Our Christmas 2017

I know, I know, it’s been well over a week since it was Christmas Day. But the blog is mainly for looking back on our memories over the years and the fact I took a blog break, I have to keep this safe on my little blog and even write about it in January. Christmas has been lovely. We could enjoy it a bit more this time because I was off all throughout the festive season and wasn’t back to work until the new year. This was such a nice break that it was hard to get back into the swing again.

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Our Christmas 2016

I don’t know what you thought of this year but I think it’s the year that has flown by the quickest. How are we nearly at the end of 2016? It’s crazy. I am already planning New Year’s Eve. Thank god I am off on Friday which means I can do the shopping then without any rush and get organised. It’s not back to work until Tuesday then which is a nice break.

Our Christmas this year was amazing. It was the first Christmas where Matthew finally understood the whole magic of Santa coming and all. He was so excited you could see it in his face.  I planned everything well ahead this year and had it all organised to the ground. Presents were bought and wrapped tucked away in their sacks two weeks ago.

I was working up to Friday last week but luckily Christmas Eve fell on a Saturday this year. We spent the morning doing a bit of cleaning, as you do. I could be cleaning up after Chloe every minute, the second she puts something in her mouth, it’s guaranteed there will be crumbs on the floor. After lunch Chloe went upstairs for lunch time nap and Matthew and I decided to bake some Christmas biscuits. They turned out really nice. It’s a bit of a tradition now each year. We added some icing and sprinkles to make them even tastier.

The rest of the day we watched a few movies and the kids played. When 4pm came along, we started opening up a few presents. These were presents from mummy and daddy so Matthew wouldn’t get confused. I even had the wrapping paper different to Santa’s one.  Dinner was the typical German dish which is potato salad and sausages. Just before the kids went to bed, Matthew and I put the board out for Santa and his reindeers. This contained a carrot, milk and a Ginger nut biscuit.

Christmas morning was full of excitement. We all got dressed first before heading down to see if Santa had been. Matthew couldn’t wait to see if he visited or not. Thankfully he did and he ate most of his biscuit, drank the milk and the reindeers ate half of the carrot. Matthew said to me “But the reindeers didn’t eat all of the carrot”. So I explained to him that they have to stop in so many houses that they couldn’t possibly finish the whole carrot.

We unwrapped a few presents before going into the kitchen to have some breakfast. It was Irish breakfast. Not the healthiest. I actually had this down for St Stephen’s Day on my Christmas menu but anyway. Chloe doesn’t like it yet so she had cereal instead. Matthew loved it on the other hand. As it’s so filling, it meant we only needed something small for lunch and before we had the big Christmas Day feast.

After breakfast we went back to the living room to unwrap the remaining Christmas presents. I honestly can’t wait until the recycling truck is coming tomorrow morning to collect the bin. It’s amazing how much wrapping paper and particularly how many boxes it creates. The kids were definitely happy with their presents. Chloe’s favourite one has to be the buggy and her new kitchen from IKEA. She already cooked us lovely meals with it. Matthew’s favourite toy is the Blaze Monster Dome Playset and his Kidizoom Camera. He can finally take his own photos and do so much more with it. He loves it.

Christmas Day lunch was crackers with cheese. Chloe never ever eats her lunch and she hates sandwiches but she does eat them in creche, typical. But she ate a lot of the cheese and crackers, in fact she loved them. There was not much left for mummy and daddy.

The evening time was busy for me cooking up the Christmas dinner. Most of it was frozen so I just had to throw it all into the oven which was handy, or the vegetables I just simply had to boil. In fairness the kids ate a good bit. There was a lot to choose from. The main dish was duck. With it came brussel sprouts, German dumplings, mash potatoes, carrots, pigs in blankets and roast potatoes.

The rest of the evening was spent with testing out the new toys and watching one or two movies. Complete chilled out Christmas we had.  St. Stephen’s Day wasn’t any different to be honest. We went for a walk around the estate so the kids could get some fresh air and just get out of the whole madness of toys. Chloe loves going around on her Smart trike but I think I may have to take off the bit around it soon because she is getting too big for it. I am trying to get Matthew to ride his bike more but I wish I invested in a balance bike in the first place. He would get way more fun out of it.

As for me, I received my Christmas present a bit earlier. Hubby bought me an All in One Acer PC. People who follow me on Instagram might have seen it. It will make blogging so much easier. I also treated myself to a new Fitbit Charge 2. I had the Charge HR before and I was already on my second one for free but the charging on it breaks so easily. This one is way better.

How did your Christmas go? Did your kids get all the presents they wanted?

The Christmas Tag 2016

I was so happy to see another tag in my Bloglovin Feed this morning. People who know me, know that I love a good old tag. First I thought this is the same one I joined two years ago as there was hashtag going around with it at the time. But this one actually has different questions in it, which is really exciting.

If you would like to join in as well, feel yourself tagged.

What’s your favourite Christmas movie?

As a child I used to love watching “The Singing Tree”. It’s a German fairy tale. Since living with my hubby though, we have developed of watching “National Lampoons – Christmas Vacations” each year. This was the first movie we watched together when we first met eight years ago . (anniversary tomorrow)

Have you ever had a white Christmas?

Oh yeah for sure. When i was a child, we used to get snow all the time in Germany. I was out on my sleigh or my skis in the back yard of our house or sliding down the hill behind our house which was located beside a graveyard. It’s a shame how global warming has changed the weather. It really makes Christmas more special when it’s snowing.

Where do you usually spend your holiday?

When I still had family in Germany, I spent it over there and hubby and I spent one Christmas together in Germany with my mum too. It’s nice to spend it in your home you grew up in. This year will be our first Christmas together in the new house. Hopefully we are going to make lovely memories.

What is your favourite Christmas song?

It has to be Fairytales of New York but my second favourite Christmas song is Stop the Calvary.

Do you open any presents on Christmas Eve?

Yes, we do. In Germany we celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve. Christmas Day is just another day for us really. It all happens on Christmas Eve. Usually we all sit together for some tea and cake at around 3.30pm and come 5pm we start opening Christmas presents. In Ireland now we do half and half. So whatever the kids get Christmas Eve is from mummy and daddy and what’s in their sack the next morning, is from Santa.

Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?

I only can because I watched Santa Clause the Movie two days ago. Blitzen, Donner, Rudolph, Cupid, Prancer, Dancer, Dasher, Vixen and Comet.

Which holiday traditions are you looking forward to this year?

Baking Christmas biscuits with my oldest, listening to Christmas songs and watching Christmas movies.

Is your Christmas tree real or fake?

Our Christmas tree has been fake for the last seven years but back in Germany we ALWAYS had a real tree. We would only get it a few days before Christmas and it goes up the day before Christmas Eve.

What is your all time favourite holiday treat/food/sweet?

Potato salad with sausage. Typical German dinner that we have on Christmas Eve with eggs and gherkins in it of course. mmmhh  For the treat it has to be Stollen. I hate Christmas pudding/cake and mince pies.

Be honest, do you like giving or receiving gifts better?

To be honest, I prefer giving especially when I have surprise gifts lined up for the family that were not on the list. As a child I obviously loved receiving.

What is the best Christmas present you ever received?

That’s a hard one because I received so many lovely gifts over the last twenty years, if not even longer. One I can remember for definite is my Nintendo DS I received years ago from my mum. I got so much each Christmas, my grandparents and mum were very generous. Another present I loved getting a few years ago, is a pan set from my mum. I am still using them now. They are just brilliant and compatible with our induction hob.

What would be your dream place to visit for the holiday season?

New York… I love New York. I have been to New York a couple of times but never around Christmas. Hubby has and the photos looked amazing.

Are you a pro present wrapper or do you fail miserably?

I love wrapping presents. The only thing I hate is, when you get the wrapping paper that is really thick. It’s hard to wrap it nice then.  But I use the whole lot, stickers and ribbon.

Most memorable Christmas moment?

I have a lot memories from celebrating Christmas as a child with my grandparents/mum around on the floor opening presents, handing out the present to them. I was always so excited when the time came when you open up the presents. My mum always got me amazing presents and I would have never had an idea.

What made you realise the truth about Santa?

My grandad used to dress up as Santa. I was never explained as a child whether Santa was real or not. As I got older, I suppose I figured it out myself. I remember really well each year after tea and cake, he would knock on the door and make huge noise and leave the bag of gifts sitting outside and leave. I was always too scared to go and check. haha

What makes the holidays special for you?

Being off work and spend time with the family around the Christmas tree and being able to go for a few family walks together.

First Ever Christmas Play

Last Thursday I left work early. I wasn’t sick, the kids weren’t sick. It was something way more exciting than that. Matthew had his first ever Christmas play in creche. First I haven’t even thought of how much of a big deal it was until I talked to all my mummy friends. No doubt I had to leave early and go and see it. There were different session on for each room. Matthew is now in the pre-school room his one started at 3pm.

I left work at 2.15pm on Thursday to head down to the creche which is a 20 minutes drive from work. I haven’t even had any lunch yet so while on the way there, I stopped in a petrol station to buy some crisps and a chocolate bar and fuel myself up.

I was the second parent to arrive. I was on time, yay for that. In the hall way they all the little chairs lined up for the parents to sit on. Your bum just about fits onto it. But it’ s a creche after all, you wouldn’t expect them to have a stash of grown up chairs stored somewhere. I sat down in the first row as I planned on taking a few photos. I ended up taking barely any because it was so cute watching Matthew in the play.

As we all arrived, the children came out. They were dressed as Christmas trees, birds and  a star. Matthew was one of the reindeers. He told me about it a few days beforehand.

He was a bit shocked, even surprised at first that I was there watching him. Mummy is normally at work, what’s going on? The Christmas play was amazing and all children did really well. They remembered all their parts and the singing was brilliant. To teach a bunch of four year olds is pretty hard I’d imagine.

When they were finished, they all went over to their mummy’s and daddy’s. Matthew came over to me with smiles and I told him how good he was. He was very happy and then invited me to come into his room for the parents and children’s Christmas party. They had chocolate biscuit cake, mince pies, biscuits and cup cakes ready for us. The kids were sitting in the middle at the table digging into their cupcakes. It was a lovely afternoon. And Matthew got to go home nearly an two hours early so we collected Chloe from her room and had some play time at home.

Did your kids have a Christmas play in creche/nursery/school this year? What role did they play? 

My Top 6 Christmas Jumpers 2016

Are you all ready for National Christmas Jumper Day on Friday? I decided to wear the same one I wore last year which I bought in Penneys/Primark. It’s a reindeer with bells on it that ring. I am actually dreading wearing it because it’s knit. It’s so warm in it. I am heading o ff to our Christmas Party as well which is in Sligo so there is no way I am wearing that all day when driving up to Sligo.

I am bringing you the top Christmas jumpers today I found online. So I have done a bit of research on this you might even say.  I was surprised at how difficult it can actually be to find Christmas jumpers online.

From left to right… 

Mistletoe Christmas Sweatshirt

Long sleeve crew neck Christmas sweatshirt in grey with novelty reversible sequin detailing. Have the sequins one way and they reveal ‘Say Yes to Mistletoe’ in red and white. Turn the sequins the other way to reveal ‘Say No to Sprouts’ in silver and white.

Spotted on the Matalan website

Fashion Union Novelty Sheep Christmas Jumper

Get super christmassy with this cute novelty sheep christmas jumper from fashion union. Featuring a basic crew neckline, long sleeves and a knitted finish, this babe is a must have in the festive season. Simply pair up with your favourite jeans and boots to complete your festive, casual look!

Spotted on the Next Clothing website

ASOS CURVE ‘I Only Do Morning’s on the 25th of December’ Christmas Jumper

A bit of a twist. Instead of having festive a picture on the jumper, having some writing on this. I like the look of this jumper and it’s more of an oversized one. The good thing about it is that it’s not knitwear.

Spotted on the ASOS website

Christmas Holly Jolly Bauble Jumper

You’ll look so sweet wearing this jumper – you’ll rival the sugar plum fairy. So you can knock her off her perch at the top of the tree and feel super-snug doing it thanks to the soft, lightweight knit. The glittering bauble design is fun and festive, featuring a ‘Holly & Jolly’ slogan to help you create Christmas cheer wherever you are. Team with your favourite skinnies and some heels for a perfectly polished party outfit.

Spotted on the George Asda website

Elf Costume

Before you consider buying the ultimate Elf Costume, which comes complete with a Peter-Pan collar and real buttons for ultimate effect, there are a few things you must know. To be an elf you must:
1. Answer your phone saying: Hi I’m Buddy the Elf, what’s your favourite colour?
2. Agree to an elf’s diet of the four main food groups; candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup.
3. Smile, smile, smile, smile, and ALWAYS smile. Make sure it’s the cheesiest Christmas smile you have.
4. Say the word ‘Fantastico’ in every sentence.
5. Offer hugs to EVERYONE.

Spotted on Funky Christmas Jumpers

F&F Calories Slogan Long Line Christmas Jumper

Get in the festive spirit this season with this fun Christmas jumper from F&F. In a longer line length for a comfy, relaxed silhouette, the jumper comes in a super soft finish for cosy wear. The jumper features the slogan Christmas Calories Don’t Count on the front in glittery sequin lettering. The jumper is finished with a sparkly Merry Christmas! label sewn into the neck and an accompanying festive gift tag.Round neckSits below the hip.

Spotted on Tesco’s clothing website

Are you planning to wear a Christmas Jumper this year? Have you got one for the whole family?

Our Christmas Tree #NationalChristmasTreeDay

As today is National Christmas Tree Day, I thought I would share our Christmas tree with you. Today, the 8th December, is the official day where you are supposed to put up the Christmas tree. We were a week early though, as probably so many others. With kids you just want to put up the tree earlier because they get so excited. In saying that when we didn’t have kids yet, we setup the tree at the beginning of December too. It makes the room look so much nicer and the atmosphere is so cosy.

Where I am from we normally have a real tree but since living in Ireland, I adapted to getting an artificial one. At least we don’t have the hassle of cleaning up all the needles and cutting down the trunk. This used to be an absolute nightmare. My grandad did it for my mum as we lived in the same house as my grandparents so we would have two tree. Now I know it could be a lot easier these days.

We bought our first artificial tree together in 2009. It has been going since. We wanted to buy a new one this year but because we were so busy with other stuff, we decided to have this sticking around for another year. Who knows, next year we might actually get a real one. I like the smell of real trees.

Since the tree the colour scheme had always been the same. Again I planned changing it around a bit this year but I just got no time. So it is still red and silver baubles which have a mix of matt, sparkly and glittery baubles. I bought these originally from Homebase. They are still going strong seven years later. With that we had two different lights. Multi colour and white lights. This year I decided to change it. I wanted warmer lights so I picked 240 warm lights from Woodies. They were reduced last week.

I don’t have many other ornaments on the tree but the ones I do have, I hang up each year again. Hubby got a bauble for Matthew when he was only a few months old. It’s from the Me To You range. Then that year he was born, he got a silver train from his grandparents. I think it’s supposed to be good luck when you buy the baby silverware.

The year before we had Matthew, hubby and I traveled to New York for a few weeks for work. If you have been to New York before, you probably know how brilliant it is for shopping. I could be shopping around there everyday. We went to the M&M store multiple times. And the one time I picked up two M&M bauble for our tree. The one with the hat on top is a nice touch I think. Something different other than a naked bauble.

Last but not least I put up this wooden reindeer again. I received it from a Secret Santa I was part of. It was actually from the Facebook group Into The West Bloggers Network. The girl who got picked this up for me and I think it’s so cute. You can actually move its legs too.

Underneath tree we now have a Christmas train going round and round since last year. I picked this up for Homestore and More. Unfortunately only the main train is only working. Matthew played with the trailer and broke something off and I can’t get it fixed now. You can’t blame a boy for playing with his trains I guess. All we need to do now is fill it with lots and lots of presents. I have ordered a few more bits online now and have only two more things to get. Then it’s to the wrapping.

Have you put your tree up yet? Do you decorate different each year?