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!

Buying-a-Christmas-tree Buying-Christmas-tree-Cider-with-Rosie

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

Cider-with-Rosie-Christmas-tree Robin-on-Christmas-tree Sunglare-Christmas-tree Winter-tea-Cider-with-Rosie

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!


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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Tuesday was our first full day in Edinburgh. We woke up kind of early (well, early for us, at least) and had a light breakfast of fresh fruit, juice, yoghurt and granola in the hotel before heading out to explore the city. The hotel we stayed in was called the Nira Caledonia (I’m going to write a little more about it in a separate post) and was in Edinburgh’s New Town (about a 15 minute walk from the Royal Mile). We actually really loved mile-or-so walk from our hotel into town! It stopped us feeling too sluggish from all the amazing food we ate whilst we were in the city, and the area of town our hotel was in felt peaceful and tucked away compared with the hustle and bustle of the city centre. We’d recommend it in a heartbeat! But I’m getting ahead of myself though…

Cucumber-water Mussels

After a couple of hours exploring the Royal Mile on Tuesday morning (including a stop to book tickets for a tour of Mary King’s Close, some hat-trying-on, and a little tweed shopping) we headed to The Crafter’s Barn for lunch. We’d given the restaurant a miss whilst scouting for a place to eat dinner the previous night, but decided it looked way nicer than we had initially thought when we walked past it the next day! And we were so glad we went in! The meal we ate there was some of the nicest food we ate in Edinburgh (and we ate at a lot of seriously good places!) and was pretty reasonably priced too. Jason ordered mussels and a glass of Chilean merlot that I ended up drinking half of (unwittingly sharing the Dutch courage Jason so badly needed for proposing later on that day!) and I ordered two smaller plates- haggis and Quail’s Scotch eggs, and spicy braised chorizo.

The whole meal came to £24- no bargain, but not bank breaking either! The Scotch eggs especially were super delicious, and Jason told me afterwards that even though he was too nervous at the time to really appreciate his mussels (too busy making sure I didn’t accidentally find the ring box in his jacket pocket!) they were really very tasty! ;) Oh and as a side note- that restaurant is Instagram-heaven! Drinks served in mason jars, exposed lightbulbs hanging from the ceiling, distressed wood tables- you name it, they have it!


 ^^ This is the face of a very nervous man. Not that I knew so at the time. I was completely oblivious to his nerves and stressing, and was just really enjoying my lunch! ;) ^^


^^ Yolk porn ^^


After we’d finished lunch, we walked up the hill (another one! Edinburgh is the hilliest place I’ve ever been!) and queued up to get tickets for the castle. We’d been so keen to get to the castle, and it didn’t disappoint! If you go, I’d really recommend taking one of the little guided tours round the castle. They’re included in the price of the ticket, leave every 25 minutes or so and are way more engaging than a standard audio guide. We also totally fell in love with the Edinburgh accent whilst we were in the city, so the tour was a great excuse to listen to it for a solid 20 minutes! ;)


^^ It was breezy though, as you can see from the mess on my head. ^^

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After we’d taken our little guided tour and wandered around a few of the specific sites of interest, Jason suggested we go to a little balcony that our guide had told us had some of the best views of the city. Not realising Jason was trying to get me to go somewhere beautiful and quiet so that he could propose, I said ‘Let’s go and see the prisoner of war dungeons first!’! So my poor nervous man had to traipse around the dungeons behind me for another 15 minutes, whilst I read all about the history of the prisons and tried to understand why Jason didn’t seem interested in it at all! We’ll need to go back to the castle next time we’re in the city, just so that Jason can get chance to appreciate it properly!

After we’d finished touring the dungeons, and I’d made Jason wait *again* whilst I stopped to buy water (he told me afterwards he couldn’t believe how difficult it was to get me to the little balcony where he wanted to propose!) we went out to the viewpoint to admire the city. And then, right there in the sunshine and the breeze, overlooking the whole of the city, Jason got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. It was perfect.

Afterwards I couldn’t even remember if I’d said ‘yes’ (the moment was so incredible neither of us can really remember it in too much detail!) but Jason assures me I did! A few of our friends and family had been asking if I thought Jason might propose whilst we were away in the city, but he’d done such a good job of keeping his proposal-planning and ring-shopping a complete secret that I was totally convinced it wouldn’t happen! The only people who knew it was coming was Jason’s team at Flourish (who guessed he’d been ring shopping after he went out for longer than normal one afternoon! They know him so well!) and my Mum, who Jason had asked for my hand in marriage the weekend before we went away.


^^ The last photo ever taken of us as boyfriend & girlfriend :) ^^


And that was it!I forgot to take any more photos after Jason proposed (I could barely remember how to switch my camera on, my head was that foggy from joy and love and happiness and maybe the champagne a bit too) but the rest of the day was just beautiful.

We left the castle right away afterwards and walked back to our hotel (smiling like idiots at each other and every person we passed in the street the whole walk back!) and spent the afternoon drinking champagne in the little private garden our room opened up on to. There was a piper playing in the street just as we walked out of the castle, and even though Jason had never been too keen on bagpipes before then, the sound was so moving I think it’ll hold a special place in our hearts forever now. If I could have paused time and lived in that moment for an hour or two longer, where were standing listening to a piper play in a sunny Edinburgh street about five minutes after getting engaged and our hearts were full to bursting, I would have. It was magic.

And since all I want to do is talk and think and write about engagements right now, if you’re engaged, will you tell me how it happened? Did you cry? I didn’t cry one bit even though I’d always imagined I would!


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This weekend was wall-to-wall amazing. The sunshine! Brunch! Blossom! Ducks on the pond! Endless coffee, and Netflix-marathoning, and spending time with family! I don’t think it could’ve been more perfect if it tried.

Let me break it down :: I woke up early both days, which I’m learning for me is the key to a great weekend. Jason and I differ wildly on this, and I don’t know about you, but I kind of feel like I’ve wasted the day if I lounge around in bed till midday and don’t get showered or dressed until the early afternoon. We started the weekend with breakfast in bed (on that little pink tea tray I’m so obsessed with) with the curtains and windows open to let in as much sunlight as possible. You know, it still feels such a novelty to actually *want* to spend time in our bedroom. The old combination of pink carpet, pale pink walls and a floral wallpaper border (picture that!) was so hideous that we basically spent as little time in there as possible. We’re still kind of giddy to have a bedroom that feels serene and beautiful, and that we can enjoy spending time in.  We talked over our week, and ate yoghurt and fresh fruit with a little Nutella for dipping. Jason and I have been working hard recently to share our stresses and worries with one another, because we both have a tendency to clam up about the big stuff and then find ourselves venting our stress and frustration by being irritable with one another. Even though I’ve always considered us to be pretty good at talking and sharing with each other, communicating so openly is making the hugest difference to our relationship.

Jason tends to take care of Teddy on Saturdays- they go on a little morning walk before Teddy’s training class in the afternoon- so I spent most of the day tidying up the house (which felt SO GOOD I can’t even tell you!) doing a work out (which also felt amazing, though I’m still aching) and then popped to the garden centre in the afternoon with my Mum. I needed to buying a new notepad and Teddy some rawhide treats, but came away with some a bunch of pink ranunculus and a bluebell scented candle instead. Such is the overwhelming power of pretty candle displays and cut flower departments, I guess.
  Cider-with-Rosie Fego's-Sunningdale Poached-egg-halloumi-spinach Cider-with-Rosie-Brunch

Sunday marked the two year anniversary of my Grandma’s passing, so we met up with my Mum, sister and cousins to eat brunch together and to celebrate her life. And it really did feel like a celebration, which is strange because in those early days, just after we watched yet another member of our family fade away, it felt as though there’d never be anything to celebrate again. Grief is a strange thing. It sits, pooled, at the bottom of my lungs, heavy and constant and still, only rising up like a wave and spilling forth in the rare moments when my mind is quiet and unoccupied by the present. It felt like drowning right at the beginning. The grief bubbled high in my throat- a physical squeeze around my windpipe that constricted my ability to breathe and speak and eat, and made all the words that came out of my mouth either a whisper or a shout. It recedes though. Slowly, steadily, reluctantly even.

My family, like all families, have lost. We’ve lost fathers, and uncles, and mothers, and grandfathers. And yet even after all that we are able to unite, years on, and laugh and celebrate and remember without feeling broken by the amount of empty chairs at our table. Family astounds me. The human spirit astounds me.

It was a really, really good weekend. I hope you had a beautiful one, too. <3

Cappuccino Daffodils


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After Sunday morning’s tree buying adventure, we brought this little beauty home to brighten up our living room for the next few weeks. We reminisced about this time last year when we managed to cram a six foot Christmas tree into my tiny Fiat 500, since Jason was driving what was more or less a go-kart at the time and we had no other way of getting the tree home. Now Jason has a beefcake of a car, and so my little 500 got to stay pine needle-free. Which is good luck, since I had it valeted the other day and am trying desperately to keep it clean as long as possible. That Stinking Dog is not helping the situation…

Anyway, this isn’t a post about cars, it’s a post about TREES! One particular tree in fact! Oh and also, new lights. Two of our sets of tree lights last year went out even before Christmas day, and so this year we invested in a couple of fancier sets. Also, candle bulbs all the way, right?

I put a set of our spare lights up in our kitchen along the tops of the cabinets, and is looks so joyfully festive it makes my heart ache. And guess what? Jason likes it! AND I’ve managed to convince him that they should stay up year round, to make our kitchen feel permanently cosy! I never in a million years thought he’d go for a 365-days-a-year-fairy-light situation, but it’s happening and I’m full of joy.

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^^ I had a go at a little DIY I saw on Pinterest that shows you how to make stencils for your camera lens to turn all lights star/tree/heart shaped, and it really works! Look! Christmas tree-shaped lights on our Christmas tree! ^^


^^ We always drink mulled apple cider whilst decorating our tree. It’s tradition. ^^

Jason-and-Rosie Cider-with-Rosie-Our-Christmas-Tree

And there she is! We’re biased, but we think she’s a beauty.

Merry Christmas!

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