Cider-with-Rosie-birthday Victoria-sponge-cake   Birthday-presents

Cider-with-Rosie-Birthday-presents   Cider-with-Rosie-Jason-and-Fizz

Rosie-and-Jason Lighting-birthday-candles



On Saturday we celebrated my sister’s 15th birthday! I made her a triple-layer Victoria sponge cake upon request, which very nearly ended up sliding right off its stand and onto my lap in the car on the way over to see her. (Totally serves me right for being too busy Instagramming.) The jam was slipping and sliding and oozing right out of the cake and off the stand. We called it a ‘javalanche’. Get it? Like jam…avalanche? Yes? (No-one thought the term was as smart or funny as I did.)

For Cesca’s birthday, we bought her a new dress to wear for her party on Saturday evening. It turned out to be most inappropriately short, which in hindsight was kind of predictable because it came from short-skirt-mecca…Hollister. Still, Cesca loved it! Of course she did, she’s 15! You should know that that dress gained me many sister points, and lost me a few daughter ones. But hey! Happy birthday little lady! 15 is going to be a good year for you, I can feel it. Also, you’re so mature! I don’t know many 15 year olds who’d ask for Malala Yousafzai’s autobiography for their birthday. It makes me super proud of you. And also kind of embarrassed, because I probably asked for something silly like new pyjama bottoms and mascara for my 15th birthday. When you’re a super powerful politician/academic/business woman, spare a thought for your dear old sister who failed all her maths GCSE mocks and had to have special tuition and still gets all flustered when asked to tell the time, won’t you?

Last on the agenda of things to talk about: new shoes! Do you remember when, months and months ago, I found and began wearing an old pair of loafers that were my Grandma’s? And that I loved those shoes to pieces, which didn’t take much since they were kind of in pieces anyway? Well, a lovely company named Chatham Marine got in touch with me just recently and asked if I’d like a pair of shoes, and they had in their selection a pair of loafers almost identical to that beloved pair of my Grandma’s! So I asked if I might have a pair to replace my worn out old Grandma-shoes (that’s what Jason and I call my Grandma’s old loafers), and now this new pair are my new favourite favourite shoes to wear! Hooray! Thank you thank you Chatham Marine, both for the darling shoes themselves, and for enabling me to keep wearing ‘Grandma shoes’ for a good many years to come. It really does make me ever so happy.


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*Image found via Pinterest, original source unknown.

1. The sound of heavy rain on the roof and windows. It’s been constant this week, and I’ve not minded a bit.

2. Wrapping gifts for sweet friends and family. I’ve built quite a stockpile of ribbon and paper over the past few Christmasses, so am having fun mixing and matching this year.

3. The feeling of cold, bracing wind on my face whilst out walking with Teddy. I like to stop and stand facing the wind with my eyes closed, and just concentrate on how lovely and rejuvenating it feels.

4. Time spent catching up with my number one lady. I don’t think there’s anything so wonderful as talking through your worries and concerns and joys and successes with your best friend in all the world.

5. Finding Ben & Jerry’s peanut butter cup ice cream for half price in the supermarket, and bringing it home to have as a late-night treat with Jason. We ate a little last night, and oh maaaan. It’s good stuff.

6. Watching Miss Congeniality, and hearing Jason laugh along with it even though he moaned when I put it on.

7. A fruit bowl stocked full of huge, vivid green apples, and lots of teeny clementines.

8. Sliced avocados with warm lentil salad, and spelt crackers dipped in hummus. Yum.

9. The sound of Jason’s key in the front door, when it feels he’s been out of the house for about a million hours. Mostly because I’m excited to see him, but also because we don’t eat dinner until he gets home, so…

10. A shaft of moonlight coming in through a crack in our bedroom curtains last night.

What’s made you happy this week? :) And what do you have planned for the weekend? I’m going to catch up with my sis tomorrow (she’s turning 15, yikes!) and will be baking her a little cake in the morning. Then on Sunday we’re off to Guildford to eat our way through my birthday! Hooray for weekends! And birthdays! And cake!

Happy Friday, everyone!


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 Can you believe the date today? The 19th. The 19th! December goes at double speed, I swear. Like in the Sims, when you could speed up time to make the boring work hours go quicker.

Life lately’s not been particularly exciting, but it has been pretty cosy. I’ve been working double time to get ahead of myself for Christmas so I can take time off without feeling guilty, and also making many a trip into town for last minute gifts, and sellotape, and gift cards, and ribbon, and all those other things that catch you out at this time of year. Here’s what life’s looked like round here just lately, in a small life of verbs…

Eating // cheddar, bacon and red pepper quiche, but wishing it was a giant iced mince pie.
Drinking // tea (only ever half a cup at a time though, since I keep letting them go cold forgetting I put our microwave into the loft at the weekend so can’t heat them back up again)
Loving // my new moccasin slippers, kindly sent over by Surfdome. They’re the cosiest things I’ve ever worn on my feet, and I’m sad whenever I have to take them off to put on outside shoes.
Making // steak and chips, and gingerbread biscuits.
Feeling guilty for // treating myself to a new pair of shoes, just days before my birthday and Christmas. But they are crazy gorgeous, so I don’t feel *too* bad…
Wearing // two cardigans at once, most days.
Reading // Christmas cooking magazines, like Jamie’s and the Good Housekeeping Christmas Cookbook (my favourite).
Craving // chinese food. Specifically, duck rolls with plum sauce and plenty of cucumber.
Watching // Homeland, and dreading watching this season’s final episode. I’m not sure I’ll be able to handle the tension…
Debating // whether to go to an extra Pilates class or not this evening. I know it’d do me good, but I still ache so badly from Tuesday’s class so my enthusiasm isn’t great…
Listening to // a whole lot of Mumford and Sons.
Looking forward to // my birthday on Sunday! And brunch. And steak.
Learning // all sorts of pointless trivia, from Jason. Did you know that the smallest country in Europe is Andorra?
Working // hard to keep our house tidy and cosy and clean, since there are double the amount of people than normal living here right now.
Enjoying // baths, at any hour of the day.
Anticipating // seeing my best friend later on today! I haven’t seen her in weeks!
Finding // my favourite shampoo in the shops after weeks of searching, and feeling grateful since it’s the only thing that keeps my hair from puffing up into a giant frizzball.


I hope you’re all having a lovely (not too stressful) last week before Christmas!


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- Go for a walk around the village with Jason and Teddy, admiring all the pretty Christmas lights…and the gaudy ones too.

- Make some honey roasted pecans and cashews for Christmas Day afternoon snacking.

- Tie a piece of ribbon onto Teddy’s collar, to make him look so pretty and festive.

- Persuade Jason to watch The Holiday with me, preferably on Christmas Eve!

- Take a candlelit bath whilst watching A Christmas Carol and drinking peppermint hot chocolate.

- Remember how lucky I am to have a lovely home, and a man who loves me more than anyone in the world, and a little furry sidekick.

- Buy some pretty red string or super fine ribbon, to go with my red, white and green wrapping paper.

- Make gingerbread, and decorate them with white icing and coloured sprinkles.

- Try and do a little Pilates over the holiday period, even though term ended last night and I don’t really like practising at home.

- Spend a day wearing comfy clothes (slippers, pyjama bottoms, a thick knit jumper) and *not* going online at all.

- Put any change I have into charity collection boxes, whenever I come across them.

- Experiment with ways to make orange-cinnamon-hot-chocolate.

* What’s on your holiday/Christmas/festive season to-do list? :) *

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