Welcome to Homemaking Heaven: Make it Home. Pull up a seat and pour yourself a cuppa!

Friday, 30 December 2011

Not so bad

Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.

Mark Twain

Can't i feel good knowing that in about all the cold cuts and sweet treats there is fruit?

How do you get your exercise?

Have you been looking at the sales, or have you been sitting inside all cosy and warm? Shopping online or walking the dog?
This year its TH’s turn to be poorly between Christmas and Hogmanay, the poor thing has had an awfully bad gout attack which has come along at the same time as the dreaded lurgy.
We had everyone round a couple of days ago and luckily The Husband was well enough to see it as the treat it was and not a horrible chore-which catering for others whilst poorly can so very often be.
However, apart from that, we’ve been lazing around, eating sweeties, and watching television. Cosying it up, and petting Daisy Dog, yup, its all good!

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve is my favourite day of the whole year.  Its even better than Christmas Day itself, but only because its the day TH and i don't have to give over to spending time with anyone else, the whole house is sparkly and shiny, clean and tidy.  The day is entirely given over to whatever we wish to do, and i plan out every spare moment and have a whole plethora of lovely things to fill our day if we want them to. 
Like every single year before it, we head off to panto in Aberdeen for the seven o'clock showing.  We have to book it the year before, but by jingo we get good seats!  This year was no different, we headed in a little earlier than normal as we had booked to have our tea in town also.
This is the leopard that sits outside of the three big old buildings Education (the City Library), Salvation (one of the Churches) and Damnation (His Majesty's Theatre) that sit in a row near at one end of town.
This is an old picture of the theatre, right up from the seats in the gods!  We booked super early and had our favourite seats in the front stalls.  I'd sit anywhere but TH needs the leg room only some seats can offer!  
Just across the road from the theatre is the art gallery and Robert Gordon's.  This is the secondary school and part of the University.  I never went to this part of it, but its still very special and so beautiful.  Its also just along from lots of shops, and so i stood in the middle of the busy last minute shoppers getting bumped and pushed and attempted to take a steady photo.  All of the good pictures that ever grace this blog are taken by TH, who kindly lets me use them.  I should have attempted to persuade him and make him trod down into town to get this one, but he was in no mood to trot this far into maddening crowds!
Our beautiful theatre. 
And the new 1906 restaurant handily built on next door-the yummiest of pre-theatre Christmas Dinners awaited us! 
Taken earlier in November when the lights was switched on, but i never did get back to get a better picture of the tree.  Alas, the snow turned into nothing. 
The Good Fairy at Panto!
Poor gentleman-must have thought i was crazy, not crazy though-just excited! 
Oh and i never did get a chance to show this pic off earlier, so here it is, thrown in haphazardly.  All the same, its hardly Christmas without it!

It has all been..

I think 2011 is the year of being an awfully lax and lethargic blogger. There have been, in my defence, many changes. One of which is the fact that I’ve got a new job. It’s very exciting and I love the new challenges involved. I love working with kids and its keeping me busy, very busy!

However it leaves me really tired at the end of the day. Its also a completely different shift pattern-I’ve actually got weekends and evening to myself-something I don’t think I’ve had since I was a teenager! So I should really feel like I’ve got more energy, but for now its something I have to get used to, and my sleepy body is only slowly going that way.
This year has been difficult in places and very, very good in some others. Something that I personally think has been a massive achievement is that I have lost four stone. I wish I kept a better diary of it on here like I said I would do. There is still things I need to get a hold of, so I'm still a bit far away from my original plan of putting up a before and after picture-yup, I was that bad ‘before’. I would ideally like to lose another three stone, but my main goal is to be healthier throughout…maybe I should make it a better and more defined resolution.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Lucky Birds

The Husband had woken up early because of some really tough tablets he's on, so when i crept through the house to find him i caught him in the kitchen making treats for the birds!  How cute...i can just imagine these strung up in a line...lets hope the bigger ones dont come along and steal them all!

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

A Pause in Advent

Oops-this was written up on Saturday during the snow storm, but i guess i pressed the wrong button and it wasn't posted!
Another week closer to Christmas and some more traditions being fulfilled.  This week we put up the Christmas tree, and all of the other decoration that go with it.  The wreaths, the garlands, the Christmas candles, the lights, baubles, bells and oodles of other things i know I'm forgetting.
The outside of the house has been decked out for the festivities since the snow came about quite late this year, but some things remain the same.  The Christmas Cd's come out, we invariably tuck into the tins of roses early and stuff the freezer as if we're going to have to begin bartering for bare necessities over Christmas and Hogmany.  I'm late again with sending off cards, but quite happy with the progress on the long journey into the Christmas Holidays, which can be as calm and peaceful or bewitchingly busy as you wish to make it.  I'm bewitched with the busy and so i may begrudge rest, calm and easy, i enjoy it all the same.

Couldn't help myself

Just a quick wee shot of a pile of presents waiting to go into a little wicker basket and taken out into the cold.  We're heading out visiting and need to get them to their true owners before it gets too icy to make these trips.  I thought they were just too adorable!

Monday, 5 December 2011

Peeping in

The Wind in the Willows is a classic of children's literature by Kenneth Grahame and one of my favourite books ever.  I don't care how old i get, i will read this book forever.  I wanted to share this little snippet with you, because i think it sums up the season perfectly.  I'm awful, i constantly look in windows.  i dont mean to, and its not that im a terrible person and utterly nosey, but i do like to peep in quickly when the curtains are slightly open and the light from inside shines out into their gardens or paths as i walk past with Daisy.  The happy little houses remind me of dolls houses.  They twinkle of an evening and they all look so inviting.  So i can only offer an apology, albeit tongue in cheek, becuase i will also offer you this knowledge....other peole also do it: 

"The rapid nightfall of mid-December had quite beset the little village as they approached it on soft feet over a first thin fall of powdery snow. Little was visible but squares of a dusky orange-red on either side of the street, where the firelight or lamplight of each cottage overflowed through the casements into the dark world without. Most of the low latticed windows were innocent of blinds, and to the lookers-in from outside, the inmates, gathered round the tea-table, absorbed in handiwork, or talking with laughter and gesture, had each that happy grace which is the last thing the skilled actor shall capture— the natural grace which goes with perfect unconsciousness of observation. Moving at will from one theatre to another, the two spectators, so far from home themselves, had something of wistfulness in their eyes as they watched a cat being stroked, a sleepy child picked up and huddled off to bed, or a tired man stretch and knock out his pipe on the end of a smouldering log."

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Everyone deserves a treat

Everyone in this house deserves a treat, two legs or four!

Friday, 2 December 2011

Oh so very hungry

Christmas makes me hungry...very hungry.  All i can think about are little gingerbread men iced and standing in little rows, golden poultry and sugar plums.  Mr Dickens isn't helping any either....

"The Grocers'! oh the Grocers'! Nearly closed, with perhaps two shutters down, or one; but through those gaps such glimpses. It was not alone that the scales descending on the counter made a merry sound, or that the twine and roller parted company so briskly, or that the canisters were rattled up and down like juggling tricks, or even that the blended scents of tea and coffee were so grateful to the nose, or even that the raisins were so plentiful and rare, the almonds so extremely white, the sticks of cinnamon so long and straight, the other spices so delicious, the candied fruits so caked and spotted with molten sugar as to make the coldest lookers-on feel faint and subsequently bilious. Nor was it that the figs were moist and pulpy, or that the French plums blushed in modest tartness from their highly-decorated boxes, or that everything was good to eat and in its Christmas dress; but the customers were all so hurried and so eager in the hopeful promise of the day, that they tumbled up against each other at the door, clashing their wicker baskets wildly, and left their purchases upon the counter, and came running back to fetch them, and committed hundreds of the like mistakes, in the best humour possible; while the Grocer and his people were so frank and fresh that the polished hearts with which they fastened their aprons behind might have been their own, worn outside for general inspection, and for Christmas daws to peck at if they chose."
from A CHRISTMAS CAROL by Charles Dickens
I just had to share this, as soon as i read it i started to picture everyones makes and beautiful tables set out with the best china and most shiney silver!
One of my very favourite books ever and something that i read every year in December.  I urge you to read and re-read this book.  It is so wonderful, and so very short that you can infact treat yourself and read something lovely and have that time to yourself, even at this time of year.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Some bakes....gone wrong!

Ooops, guess i should have rolled out the dough a wee bit more
And tidied the kitchen too 
And not eaten soo many as testers....and stayed within the lines.... 
But the main thing is...um, whats the main thing? 
Oh...yes, now i do remember...That it got me playing with my new icing set.  That it got me some ME time in the warm, sweet smelling kitchen with my Christmas CD.  That it was the first time i have baked in a long, long...LONG time.  And it was good fun.
Now to throw these guys out and start again, maybe a wee cuppy first!