Sunday, 11 December 2011

Putting up the Christmas tree & a busy weekend

Evening! I can't believe it is Sunday evening already - this weekend has been ridiculously busy!

Let's start from the start shall we? Saturday morning was the part of the weekend I was most looking forward to anyway - getting and decorating the Christmas tree! :-D Which started with sending Liam up into the loft to bring down the decorations and check the tree lights were still working. Our loft doesn't have a ladder or anything so Liam balances on a chest of drawers and then 'climbs' up the walls to get into the loft - funny to watch! This is him climbing back down again afterwards...

and Toby hiding in the chest below!

Luckily all the lights were still working (although we did decide we needed to buy new tinsel - for some reason we had lots of green & black tinsel (from staff shopping at Waitrose two Halloweens ago!) but hardly any normal colours!) and we found a couple more brand new tree decorations to add to our ever growing collection! We'd bought these from Marks and Spencer in the January sale (reduced to 50p each!) but then completely forgotten about them! I think you can probably guess which one was intended for Izzy and which for Toby...that makes 4 new decorations each for them this year!!

Liam and Izzy then went to the garden centre to buy the Christmas tree and I decided to start a tradition by baking some cookies. A plate of cookies whilst decorating the Christmas tree sounds like a good tradition right? :)

I didn't have any milk or dark chocolate chips so I used 100g white chocolate chips and 100g dark chocolate bar broken into chunks. Lots of big chunks of melted chocolate = messy but worth it!

Once Liam and Izzy got back home, Liam got to work on putting the tree up...

and the rest of us ate cookies. Like I said, messy but worth it!

Soon it was time to decorate!

I took a ridiculous number of photos of us decorating the tree, but I will try to keep this relatively short. And don't worry - I hardly took any photos the rest of the weekend, so once you get past Saturday morning you're nearly at the end of the post!! ;) These are some of my favourite decorations on the tree:

One of my childhood decorations "Baby's First Christmas 1986"
The bootee I bought for Izzy's first Christmas (I couldn't find a "baby's first Christmas decoration anywhere!) and one of the named snowmen we bought them last year.
The latest named additions to the tree (and pretty pink baubles I bought in the sale last year!)
Angel on top!
The finished tree...

Once it got dark

Festive mantelpiece...

Toby was actually having a nap when we decorated the tree. The timing worked out like that, and we thought it would probably be easier anyway. He was fascinated when he came downstairs!

Right, that is Saturday morning done...well done if you got this far!! ;)

On Saturday afternoon, Izzy had a party to go to (as well as one this afternoon and one after school on Wednesday...busy girl!!) - party dress #1 of the weekend...

The party was at a sports centre about half an hour away, so Liam and I went to the big Tesco next door while she had fun. We ended up way more than usual - oops - but these are my highlights:

I was so excited to finally find the dark chocolate and caramel varieties of the soya puddings - can't wait to try them! :)

We ended up getting takeaway Saturday night - Indian. I stuck to what I normally get - a side dish each of gobi bhaji (cauliflower) and mattar paneer, plus a little bit of pilau rice and some unpictured naan:

Greasy but good! I was a bit too full after this though, tummy ache ensued!


This morning, we went to visit Liam's Nan who is in hospital. We didn't stay long as she'd had a really bad night, but we did take her some wedding photos that we'd been meaning to print out for ages.

It was so sad to see Nan looking so fragile, and so distressed at being there. I don't think I'd really appreciated how ill she was until I saw her, and Liam said she'd got much worse even since he last saw her on Tuesday :( She was pleased to see us though, and especially to see the children, so I'm glad we went, just wish it could have been under better circumstances.

After we'd finished visiting Nan, we went to the hospital canteen for a quick lunch. I had the vegetarian carvery which was a spinach and mushroom pie with the usual sides. I checked that the potatoes etc were just cooked in oil before piling my plate with roasted parsnips!

We then went home to turn the last of the cookie dough into mini cookies...

before heading to party #2 of the weekend...

Today's party was actually for a 3 year-old. Toby goes to toddler group with him, and Izzy is the same age as his brother, so both children were invited.

Toby, of course, loved the food:

And they had fun dancing together! They play so well together (at this age anyway), it's nice to see :)

And that was the end of our busy weekend! Liam and I had planned to wrap all the Christmas presents this evening, but we were just too tired. Probably a good thing anyway - I have a feeling that as soon as presents start appearing under the tree, Toby (and most likely Izzy too) will want to unwrap them! :-D

How have your weekends been? Best thing you did/ate? I loved decorating the tree with Izzy, she was so excited to help out, and the room looks so festive now! I'd forgotten how much light the tree blocks out though - hence the position of the 2nd cookie picture - the only place in the sitting room that has decent light is sitting on the corner of the sofa right by the window!


  1. Oooh we don't put anything under the tree until kids are in bed on the the 24th ..... they can;t stand the torment of seeing and not being able to open :-)

    Love to all and best wishes to Nan xx

  2. The top picture where Izzy is looking up all excited and Liam is in the attic made my heart melt a little. It's so cute!

    Thinking of your family and Nan at this time, I hope she improves so she can spend Christmas at home with you all (if at all possible) xx

  3. Those cookies look amazing.
    Hope Liam's Nan is getting on OK- it is so hard to see people when they are really poorly- hopefully she will get better soon.
    When we were little presents never appeared under the tree until the 25th- we had stockings from father Christmas, and pillow cases in the living room as he delivered all the presents from my auntie and grandad and nan! I never touch them in case I guess what they are, but my sister would have been prodding and poking them!

  4. Thanks everyone, your well wishes are appreciated xx

    I'm surprised by how late everyone had/has presnets under the tree! My little sister's birthday is 17th December so my Mum used to wait until after that, but a pile of presents would usually appear under the tree on the 18th :) Having said that, when I was younger I used to cut open all my presents and then sellotape them back I can understand people waiting! ;)

    Maria - I linked to the cookie recipe in a post back in November. "Saturdays are for..." I think. They are so easy to make and you could easy add extra ingredients. I stick with chocolate as that's what Liam likes!


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