04.01

IMG_5336 IMG_5349

We did it, our first proper grown up Christmas where WE were the hosts! I’m still kind of in shock that I’m an actual real life adult with a toddler, but now that I’ve hosted Christmas and cooked lunch for 11? Well that’s it. Feeling pretty swish these days ;)

In all seriousness though, we had the best time having Christmas with our family in our new house. Jason and I worked out that this was the first time in eight (or is it nine? I lose track…) years of being together that we’ve stayed in one place for the whole of Christmas Day, and it was so lovely!

And having Ottie running round was just the best, she was such great entertainment all day as she opened up parcel after parcel of beautiful gifts and said ‘wooowwweeee’ each time. In typical toddler style of course, her favourite thing to play with at the moment, despite our living room now looking like a JoJo Maman store, is the jam funnel that she goes and pinches from the kitchen cupboard every morning after breakfast. She likes to carry it round and shout into it like it’s her own mini megaphone, and it’s hilarious and deafening in equal measure!

IMG_5352 IMG_5354 IMG_5342

Silk Spotty Blouse (now on sale!)

If you can believe it, this was the one and only photo of Ottilie and I from the whole Christmas! And isn’t it a corker! ;) It was taken right at the end of our meal, when Ottie had just woken from her glorious two and a half hour nap and arrived downstairs just in time to polish off a portion of peanut butter and chocolate pie!

Speaking of food, this was my first vegan Christmas, and honestly I barely noticed a difference! My favourite part of Christmas lunch has always been all the veggies anyway (Brussels sprouts! Braised red cabbage!), and my Mum makes the most delicious veggie stuffing so was in charge of that this year.

The only thing I ‘missed’ was that normally I’d eat myself until I was almost sick on cheese late in the evening, but as I’m not a major fan of most vegan cheeses (though want to make some nut cheeses this year, Tania raves about them!) this year I just had a few crackers and the tasty vegan garlic and herb cream cheese that Sainsbury’s sell, and then went all out on the chocolate instead!

For dessert I made Minimalist Baker’s chocolate and peanut butter pie, and it was amazing! I’d absolutely make it again, though with just a touch more sweetness added to the pie filling as it was ever so slightly too savoury from the peanut butter for my taste.

IMG_5243 IMG_5363 IMG_5368 IMG_5360

Our Boxing Day was quiet and slow to start, with plenty of coffee brewed and rounds of toast made and panettone eaten by my husband who might be panettone’s biggest fan.

My Mum and her partner Rob had stayed the night at ours, and once we all were up, dressed, and ready to go, welly boots and thick coats were donned and we all wandered up the lane to stretch our legs and burn some energy off the dogs who’d been thoroughly treated with leftovers the day before!

IMG_5408 IMG_5425

You know what goes great with a Boxing Day walk? A hip flask of two year old homemade sloe gin!

IMG_5438 IMG_5447

We stopped for a good twenty minutes to give these darlings some Christmas cuddles, which is basically my favourite part about every dog walk these days! There are a couple of young horses in the field just up the lane from our house and they’re the sweetest, most affectionate little things. I could honestly stay there all day!

IMG_5443 IMG_5411 IMG_5455 IMG_5329

Oh, and last but not least a photo from my birthday! Which is three days before Christmas and so I always forget about it all together in the hustle and bustle of preparing for the festive season, but I actually remembered to take a quick, very awkward outfit photo this year!

I’ve been telling everyone I’m 27 all year, for some reason, which is unfortunate given that I actually only turned 27 two weeks ago. But hey! I’m thinking of it as gaining a year! I spent most of my day working on a really fun last minute project that came in the week before Christmas, and then got spruced up and headed out for a pizza and cocktails with Jason later in the evening. It was perfect.

~ ~ ~

I hope you all had the very best Christmas, and a wonderful start to the New Year too!

0 Comments
Posted in CHRISTMAS, COUNTRYSIDE LIFE, FAMILY

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

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.
  Cider-with-Rosie-Christmas-crafts-2

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!

Cider-with-Rosie-Christmas-crafts-8 Cider-with-Rosie-Christmas-crafts

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…

Cider-with-Rosie-Christmas-crafts-5

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

Cider-with-Rosie-Christmas-crafts-6 Cider-with-Rosie-Christmas-crafts-7

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!

Cider-with-Rosie-Christmas-crafts-10

^^ 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 :)

0 Comments
Posted in CHRISTMAS, CHRISTMAS TREE

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

17.12

Cider-with-Rosie-Royal-Albert-Kings-College-Carols-10

H A R K   T H E   H E R A L D   A N G E L S   S I N G . . .

A few months ago, my Mum messaged my sister and I to let us know that, as a Christmas treat, she’d booked us all tickets to the King’s College Choir carol service at the Royal Albert Hall.

We’ve all loved the King’s College carols for as long as I can remember, and they’ve been part of our Christmas celebrations always.

Cider-with-Rosie-Royal-Albert-Kings-College-Carols

We arrived into a London early in the evening, and found it to be unseasonably mild yet seasonably sparkly.

Fairy lights lit up the trees along the roadsides, and wreaths hung on almost every front door we passed as we made our South Kensington station over to the Albert Hall. Dinner was eaten on the hoof, and comprised of a selection of M&S’s finest treats…

Cider-with-Rosie-Royal-Albert-Hall-Kings-College-Carols Cider-with-Rosie-Royal-Albert-Kings-College-Carols-2

I always feel as though the Royal Albert Hall is kind of hidden. It seems to be tucked away so well that it only appears at the last moment as you walk towards it, lit up though it is with warm orange lights.

Though of course, the lights outside were nothing to what was within…

Cider-with-Rosie-Royal-Albert-Hall-Kings-College-Carols-2 Cider-with-Rosie-Royal-Albert-Hall-Kings-College-Carols-3 Cider-with-Rosie-Royal-Albert-Kings-College-Carols-3

We took our seats in the hall, and, like almost everyone else there, spent a good ten minutes or so gazing in awe and snapping photo after photo of the beautiful trees either side of the organ.

It looks like scene from Hogwarts, don’t you think?

Though perhaps that’s just because I’m rereading HP and the Philosopher’s Stone at the moment, and have just got to the description of Great Hall and its twelve sparkling trees lit up with golden bubbles and real fairies…

Cider-with-Rosie-Royal-Albert-Kings-College-Carols-6 Cider-with-Rosie-Royal-Albert-Kings-College-Carols-4

We found songsheets tucked between each of the seats and so warmed up our voices with a little discussion about our favourite Christmas carols, whilst the Philharmonic orchestra began to warmup on stage.

At 7.30 on the nose, the lights dimmed, and the King’s College choristers stood up ready to sing in the centre of the stage, with the Philharmonic choir to their left and right.

The opening notes of ‘Joy to the World’ began, and what followed was just…magic.

Cider-with-Rosie-Royal-Albert-Kings-College-Carols-9

Choral music often leaves me with a lump in my throat, but hearing it live like this was something else.

The voices of the choristers, some of whom looked so little they can’t have even reached a double-digit age yet, were so beautiful and angelic and haunting that my hair prickled and goosebumps came up on the backs of my arms.

The music seems to wrap around you, in that space, especially if you take a moment to close your eyes and feel it ringing around the hall.

Cider-with-Rosie-Royal-Albert-Kings-College-Carols-7

My favourite pieces from the night were ‘O Holy Night’, which was played with the full orchestra and has been my favourite piece of Christmas music for as long as I can remember, and ‘The Shepherds’ Carol’ which is my Mum’s favourite piece but was a new one to me.

The evening ended with three carols for us all to join in on- O Come All Ye Faithful, Good King Wenceslas, and Hark the Herald Angels Sing. As we all sang, I noticed so many of the families sitting around us leaning closer to one another, heads on shoulders and hands holding hands.

Cider-with-Rosie-Kings-College

It made my throat tight, hearing 5000 people singing those familiar songs with their messages of love and peace, and feeling the festive spirit in the room.

It truly was something special.  

After the concert finished, Mum, Cesca and I nipped back across to Embankment, and then walked the final way back to Waterloo across the river, which, as I’ve said so many times before on this blog, is my favourite thing to do in London when I’ve got a little time on my hands.

Cider-with-Rosie-Royal-Albert-Hall-Kings-College-Carols-4

It was a pretty perfect evening, all in all.

0 Comments
Posted in CHRISTMAS, FAMILY, LONDON

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

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…

Cider-with-Rosie-Broadway-market-4
Cider-with-Rosie-Broadway-market-7

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.

Cider-with-Rosie-Broadway-market Cider-with-Rosie-Broadway-market-3 Cider-with-Rosie-grilled-cheese

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!

Cider-with-Rosie-Broadway-market-2 Cider-with-Rosie-Broadway-market-5

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.

~ ~

Cider-with-Rosie-Christmas-decor-4

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…

Cider-with-Rosie-Christmas-decor-2 Cider-with-Rosie-Christmas-decor-5

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.

Cider-with-Rosie-Christmas-decor Cider-with-Rosie-Christmas-decor-6 Cider-with-Rosie-Christmas-decor-7

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 :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
1 Comment
Posted in CHRISTMAS, CHRISTMAS TREE, HOME, LIFE LATELY

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Read from the beginning >