07.12

Cider-with-Rosie-Christmas-crafts-9

So we’ve officially been in our new home for two and a half weeks now, and we’re so so happy here! I’ve been sharing lots of updates on Instagram, but now that we’ve finally been blessed by the Internet Gods and have fibre internet (Praise be!! It was like living in the dark ages until a couple of days ago…), I thought it was high time I actually did a bit of blogging!

Now that the bulk of the unpacking is done, and we’re down to just the odd box here and there that I just can’t quite be bothered to tackle, I’ve been able to turn my attention to all things Christmas! I’ll be honest and say that I’ve cheated at my Christmas shopping this year and done literally all of it online. Though is that cheating? Or just really sensible, when you’ve got a toddler with limited patience for being strapped into a pushchair and wheeled round the shops, and it costs about as much to park in Guildford as it does to have stuff sent out? And in any case, online shopping is my jam. No crowds, hassle free, and you can do it whilst soaking in a hot bath. Winner.
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I’ve had visions in my head, and a ‘to do’ list running on my phone, of what crafts and activities I can do with Ottilie this Christmas for a good few weeks now. Now, baking is one thing but I’m really not a naturally ‘crafty’ person. My artistic ability is limited to being able to take a half decent photo, and that’s about it. But I honestly can’t wait to get involved with all manner of crafts as Ottie grows- painting, collaging, potato stamping- I’m ready!

We’ve managed two little crafty activities this week, one with great success (hello home baked gingerbread decorations hanging on our kitchen tree!) and one…less successful!

I thought it would be fun to order some Christmas foam stamps and print our own wrapping paper…but it turns out I massively overestimated my 15 month old’s ability to carefully dip a stamp into paint and press it onto the paper!

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What she of course was really into was dunking her entire hand into the paint, and the smearing paint on herself, me, the cans of beans I was using to weigh down the paper, the table, and then splatting so much paint onto one single patch of paper that it turned into a sodden mess. And she had a great time doing it!! Until she decided to see what poster paint tastes like and then that particular activity came to an abrupt end.

The wrapping paper has sadly been consigned to a cupboard, and maybe we’ll tackle that particular activity for next year’s Christmas…

Oh and don’t even talk to me about the fact she’s not wearing an apron. I forgot until it was too late and she was already covered in paint. I know I know…

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^^ More ‘paint splattered crime scene’ than festive wrapping paper, isn’t it? ^^

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What did turn out really well though were our little gingerbread decorations! I made the dough during Ottie’s lunchtime nap, and then let her stamp out shapes and then have a go and squiggling royal icing over the biscuits once they were cooked and cooled. She loved it! And tasting all the dough, naturally…

She does ask to eat them from the tree approximately eight million times a day, so I made some extra plain ones too that she’s allowed have one of as a post-dinner treat. Though we did lose one of the tree decorations to that naughty white and brown dog of ours who decided to help herself one evening!

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^^ Absurdly proud of those little stars, knowing that Ottie made them (mostly) herself <3 ^^

I promise I’ll share more photos of our new home soon! Hope you’re all having a magical December so far :)

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15.12

Cider-with-Rosie-Broadway-market-6

A   V I S I T   T O   T H E   M A R K E T ,   &   F A I R Y   L I G H T S   A L L   A R O U N D . . .

I thought perhaps we’d begin this week with week with a walk-through of the weekend just gone, since it was an especially lovely and joyfully festive one. That sound okay? Okay, let’s get started…

~ ~

That right there, in the cover photo, is the greatest grilled cheese I’ve ever eaten. It came courtesy of Morty & Bob’s in Netil Market this weekend, where Tania, Freya and I met for lunch on Saturday afternoon.

So good in fact, that Molly looked on longingly whilst we ate…

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The girls had been raving to me about those grilled cheese sandwiches for months, and so there was never even a question of ordering from any of the other food trucks at the market. In fact, I have no idea what else there was on offer, because we made a beeline for those sandwiches the moment we arrived at the market!

We placed our order and waited patiently (kind of…) for our lunch to arrive, waking up with coffees from the little coffee truck just next to our seats.

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The sandwiches arrived having crisped to perfection, and inside, along with the molten cheese, were garlic and truffle mushrooms that took the proceedings up to a whole new level.

I ate mine dipped in a little sriracha, and it was a dream. You *must* go, if you’re ever over in the direction of London Fields!

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The rest of that afternoon was spent cosied up on Freya’s sofa, drinking hot chocolate and tea and eating doughnuts and talking talking talking until I felt like we’d held our very own sisterly therapy session.

All this, by the light of Freya’s sweet Christmas tree and to a soundtrack of Michael Buble’s festive album. Pretty perfect, if you ask me.

~ ~

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Sunday Jason and I spent rushing around like a pair of headless chickens- buying and decorating our own lovely tree, visiting family, sorting out the house for the arrival of the puppy in a couple of weeks time, and nipping over to visit her and her littermates too!

The pups are six weeks old now and were *full* of beans. In fact, I spent most of the visit with at least three puppies mountaineering up my jumper at any one time!

Which is my ultimate favourite way of spending a Sunday afternoon, let it be known…

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We did manage to spruce up the house ready for Christmas too, in between all that puppy snuggling.

Baby poinsettias are now dotted here and there, candles are lit in every corner, and I scavenged the loft for every set of fairy lights we own to use around the house.

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And *now* it feels like we’re finally ready for Christmas! Just no-one ask me how many gifts I’ve yet to get sorted, alright?

p.s. If you’d like to see more of how this December’s been panning out, you might like my YouTube channel! Subscribe to stay up to date with my videos, if you’d like :)

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05.01

Cider-with-Rosie-oeuf-en-cocotte

Oh, it feels so good to be back at my laptop after so many days away! As much as the past couple of weeks have been gloriously relaxed and indulgent and all that, I really am happy to be finding some sort of normality again, and to be getting myself back into a routine. A routine that doesn’t involve going to bed at gone 1am, waking late, eating cheese until I feel sick, and then starting all over again…;)

I hope you all had the greatest of Christmas breaks! Ours was just wonderful- almost two weeks straight of time spent with our families, amazing food, indulgent drinks, and a dedication to relaxation that bordered on obsessive ;) That’s not to say it was a particularly lazy one though! That little spaniel of ours, forever demanding long walks through field and forest and yet *another* evening game of fetch-the-toy up and down our hallway put paid to that! I’m kind of learning though that for both Jason and I, relaxation doesn’t come in the form of doing less, it comes from concentrating more on being in the moment. Less time being distracted by phones and emails and inner monologues, and more time focusing on each other.

All this was made 100 times easier by the realisation that kept washing over us both, time and time again during this Christmas, that this will be our last Christmas before we become husband and wife. We spent most of the past couple of weeks playing the ‘this time next year…’ game, and feel sort of giddily impatient for the summer to roll around so I can just change my name already! But, in the spirit of not rushing through these exciting months (savouring the moment, fighting our impatience, and all that…) we’re doing our best to not wish away these final few months of being engaged. Though really, can you even believe it’s coming up a year since we got engaged in Edinburgh back in April?! Where on earth have the past few months disappeared to!

But hey! I’ve been sidetracked from Christmas! Below are a few photos from the various Christmas days went spent with family during the past couple of weeks. Between my family and both sides of Jason’s family, we had a fair bit of celebrating to do! Which is fine by me, since family time is the best time, always and forever!

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What I wore {on Boxing Day!} :: Cardigan || Shirt (c/o) || Trousers

^^ Boxing Day this year was spent at my Mum’s house, eating bubble and squeak and ham braised in cider and, you guessed it, more cheese! My Godparents were there with their dog Freddie, and he and Teddy both behaved themselves impeccably. Surprisingly so, to be honest- we’d expected there to be a whole lot more chaos! We were proud of Ted for not minding a jot when Freddie took up residence in his bed, and both dogs were rewarded with plenty of chicken scraps. Well, it is *was!* Christmas! ^^
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^^ Wreaths make me so very happy. Can’t we just leave them up all year round? ^^

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^^ Oeufs en cocotte, as cooked by Jason’s Stepmum. She’s the most amazing cook and host- we always leave their house feeling full to the point of bursting! ^^

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Christmas morning this year, as with every year, started with a long walk that served both as a way of tiring Teddy out, and as a sort of warm-up for the day of feasting and merry-making that lay ahead of us. And this year, as with every year, we were running half an hour behind schedule so had to walk the route at an uncomfortably fast pace. I say this every year, but maybe this will be the one in which we learn time management? Who am I kidding! If we manage to turn up to our own wedding even vaguely on time, I think most of our guests will faint with surprise! ;)

The route-march of a morning walk made the breakfast of eggs, bacon, and cups of tea my Mum had waiting for us at her house all that much more satisfying. And really, you can’t beat a bit of hazy winter sunshine on Christmas Day morning, can you?

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What I wore :: Dress c/o Boden || Boots

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One of Jason’s gifts from my Mum this year was a pretty special one. After my Grandma died a couple of years ago, whilst we were sorting through the beautiful little cottage of treasures and memories she left behind, my Mum came across an old silver hip flask that’d belonged to my Granddad. It hadn’t been touched for as long as I’ve been alive (some 24 years) and my Mum can’t even remember when her Dad bought it, so it’s a vintage treasure through and through.

My Mum and I colluded a few weeks ago about giving the hip flask to Jason for Christmas (Mum was worried that he’d not like how many dents and scratches there are in it, and I assured her that he’d love it all the more because of them!), so we were pretty excited for him to open it. It was a pretty special moment, made even more special given that this is a kind of landmark Christmas for us. I have it on good authority that next time Jason takes Teddy out on a particularly frosty weekend, he’ll be bringing along a drop or two of sloe gin in his hip flask for good measure ;)
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And that was our very drawn out and totally blissful Christmas, rounded up into one concise little post! Did you have a wonderful break? Aside from the traditional festivities, how did you spend your time off?

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17.12

Christmas-Cider-with-Rosie-RosieReynolds

There are few things in the world I find more disappointing than the weather being overly balmy on the day we go to buy our Christmas tree. For me, Christmas tree shopping should be done wearing at minimum of four layers and two pairs of socks and the trees themselves should be coated in a fine layer of frost. In past years, it’s been so very warm and bright that I’ve peeled off coat, gloves, scarves and hat by the time we’ve even looked at one single tree!

This year however, tree day was everything I could’ve hoped for. Crisp, frosty air. Crisper, frostier trees. A bright but watery sun sat low in the sky. Robins landing on Christmas tree branches, and looking like they’d come straight from the front of a Christmas card. The sort of day where you’d like to conjure up a never-ending cup of mulled wine to drink from all day…and whilst we’re conjuring, maybe we could make one that never goes cold too?

We got up bright and early on Saturday morning to go and pick out our Christmas tree, after we’d heard rumours that the garden centre where I’ve bought Christmas trees for no less than 23 years had severely underestimated demand and were running low. Panic stations! We beat the weekend crowds and found a plentiful enough supply, and after much deliberation, came away with a tree that I’d say is at least 30% too large for our living room. I’d like to just say though that the ludicrous size definitely was *not* all my doing- Jason was totally behind the Giant Christmas Tree decision too! Oh, and it’s not the one I’m holding in these photos here…it’s a good 2 feet bigger!

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What I wore :: Cashmere hat {c/o Brora} || Parka coat {c/o Boden- the warmest coat I’ve ever worn, & it’s on sale now too!} || Fairisle jumper || Tartan scarf || Jeans || Hunters

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We came home, warmed up with tea and an early lunch of hot dogs, then got to tree decorating. Jason was in charge of lights, I was bauble-manager-in-chief, and Teddy pottered around us trying to eat stray branch cuttings and making surprise lick attacks on our faces whenever we crouched down to his level to tinker with the tree.

Info- we made a call and went ribbon-free this year. I know. It’s been a pretty major decision making process ;) The ribbon’s not been put to waste though- I used it to make a simple garland for the stairs, along with the baubles that were left over after decorating the tree.

And here she is!

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There’s nothing quite like the glow of Christmas tree lights, is there?

Merry-less-than-a-week-to-go everyone!

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Posted in CHRISTMAS, CHRISTMAS TREE, FAMILY, JASON, LOVE, WINTER

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