Silent Sunday Shenanigans

They're up to no good

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Our Christmas Tree of Happy Memories!

Baby Boo having fun exploring our memory tree at Christmas

Boo exploring our Christmas Memory Tree properly for the first time!

I am a HUGE fan of Christmas! I love everything about it and ever since I was a child, I have never once lost that feeling of magic it generates.  However, if I had to put my finger on which aspect of the silly season I MOST enjoy, it would have to be my Christmas Tree.

The ritual of putting up my Christmas Tree is one of the most important parts.  Out come the boxes, on goes Dean Martin and Nat King Cole’s Christmas CD (“Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire”……”Silent Night”………..”Oooooh, I’m the Happiest Christmas Tree”) up goes the tree and I settle into an afternoon of memories and a very calm, warm and fuzzy inner-me!

You see, my Christmas Tree is more than just a decoration in the corner of the room.  It is a memory tree.  I have collected baubles for some time now and every year, every time I pass my beautiful tree, I am reminded of the happy times I associate with these little records of my past.

I think it all started when I was very young, spending time with both my Grandma and Grandad and my Nan and Grandad at Christmas.  Grandma had a set of lights, each one in the shape of ‘cinderella’ carriages.  I remember that I would sit beside the tree and make up stories about all the little characters and items on the tree.  My Nan had little musical piskies (they each had some kind of instrument or songbook) who I was fascinated by.  So much so, that when my Nan sadly passed away last year, each of her children were given one of the ‘piskies’ and my Mum gave me hers for my memory tree.  Since putting up the tree this year, the first thing my Boo did was to pick up a Father Christmas character and have him pretend-kick the big glittery bauble next to him.  I was so very proud!

So, it would be rude not to share! Here are some of my favourites and why they are special to me and my family:

Christmas Tree Decoration with lucky musical piskie

Remembering those I loved and lost at Christmas

Approximately 50-60 years old (my Mum and her brother and sisters remember these from when they were very young), this little lucky Cornish Piskie originally belonged to my Nan and Grandad.  When my Nan passed away last year, each of her children took one of these little musical men and my Mum gave me hers.  It reminds me of all my grandparents, who sadly aren’t with me at Christmas any more.

Christmas Tree Bauble featuring Winnie the Pooh and his friends

Disney Florida Adventure

We went to Disneyland Florida for my Mum’s 50th birthday and I bought this bauble to remember it by.  Pooh, Piglet and Tigger making angels in the snow.

Christmas Tree Decoration from Disneyland Paris Christmas 2000

Magical New Year at Disneyland Paris

In 2000, some good friends and I went to Disneyland Paris for New Years Eve! It was truly a magical night!

Fluffy multi-coloured Christmas Tree BaublesLittle Girl in Red Christmas Tree Decoration

My Loving Family

One sad Christmas, I realised that my precious decorations had been moved in a box to Portugal with my mum by accident.  I cried and cried.  By way of trying to cheer me up, Darren bought me the fluffy coloured ones on the left and my sister bought me the little Red Riding Hood dolly decoration.  I remember feeling very touched by their                                                                 kindness.  Sob!

Christmas Tree Decoration featuring Las Vegas

A Holiday to Remember!

The year before I got pregnant with Boo, Darren and I had the most amazing holiday.  We went to the US, arrived in San Francisco for 3 days, drove to LA and stayed for 2, drove to Vegas for about 4 nights and then flew to New York for a further 5!

New York Santa Christmas Tree Decoration

We celebrated Christmas Day in Las Vegas and New Years Eve in New York.  Just fantastic!

I couldn’t resist some Christmas Tree decs to remember this once-in-a-lifetime trip.

New York Empire State Building Christmas Tree Decoration

Here we therefore have a bauble from Las Vegas with dice and dollars inside, a Santa Statue of Liberty and a Santa climbing the Empire State Building!

Red Sparkly Shoe Christmas Tree DecorationChristmas Tree Boots DecorationSparkly shoe Christmas Tree Decoration

My Alternative Shoe Collection!

I love shoes nearly as much as I love my tree.  My friends & family know this! Accordingly, the above are all welcome gifts! I particularly wish I had the red ones in a size 7!

Christmas Tree bauble featuring Matroyshka Doll

New Mummy

My oldest friend (I’ve known since we were 10) gave me this bauble the first Christmas I had Boo.  It features Russian Matryoshka Dolls – Matryoshka taken from the Latin word ‘mater’ meaning ‘mother’.  It is beautiful.  And very delicate. And represents a very special year.

Baby's first Christmas tree gift decorationsBaby’s First Christmas

These were all gifts from family and friends for Baby Boo on his first Christmas!

Tree decorations from portugal

Boo’s first Christmas was spent with Darren and I in Portugal at the home of my Mum and step-dad.  It was a wonderful family Christmas and these very traditional lookingclay Portuguese tree decorations will always remind me of it.

Baby's first Christmas decoration

My Gift to Boo

This was the decoration I bought for Boo last year on his first Christmas.  From Pastimes, it is made of a heavy metal (so it won’t ever break) and as you can see, it shows children’s toys.  I shall be carefully choosing this years’ tree decoration gift for Boo.

Long may this tradition continue! Super Yummy!

Pssst! Have just found this Christmas Decorations Tour at Violet Posy, if you’d like to see more people’s fabulous festive decs!

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Silent Sunday Surgery (gulp!)

Microsoft surgery required for laptop error

One photograph. No words.  Visit Mocha Beanie Mummy for more Silence on a Sunday

 

 

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Being mum; a fall before pride

Seagull on ice image courtesy of dreamfire at www.Flickr.com

Image: dreamfire @ flickr.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I fell over yesterday.  And not just a trip over the corner of a rug in the living room either! Looking back I should be mortified.  Far from it!

I was walking Boo up to the car.  Crossing the pavement, it would appear that the ONLY ice in the whole of a 20 mile radius was in our path (I think some ‘thoughtful’ person must have de-iced their windscreen with water and split some on the way)!  Not only did I fall, but I fell hard. I fell spectacularly.  Arms and legs flailing!  ‘Dancing on Ice’ I was NOT!

This meant that there was no stopping Boo either.  He was holding my hand and his wellies were as useless as my trainers against the sheer, slippery surface.

As we both went down, he went face first.

All I could think of was how I could stop Boo and when I couldn’t, for a split second, utter fear set in, not knowing how he’d landed on his little face.  As instantly as was possible under the circumstances, I scooped him up (still on the floor myself), an unstoppable rush of distress as I noticed blood in his mouth, followed by a massive sense of relief as it became apparent that he had a small cut on his lip with no other visible signs.  Grabbing him tight to me, I sat there, on the pavement, legs akimbo, rocking and hugging him, reaching out for his little snowman toy and dummy in an attempt to comfort him.  I then took my trainers off and carried Boo, in my socks, to the car to get him safe and out of the cold.

Never have I felt less concerned about how I look, what other people might think or about my own bumps and bruises.  How great is that!  I’m a proper mum!

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The Galaxy v’s Dairy Milk Yummy Chocolate Debate!

My other half gave up chocolate this year.  Prior to which he was the biggest male fan of the cocoa bean I Bar of Galaxy chocolate by 'Peter' www.flickr.comhad ever met.  No more him bringing home giant bars of chocolate for an after-dinner treat.  Probably just as well really.  Aside from being better for our waistlines, this indulgent pleasure always prompted a little heated debate between us.  Y’see, Darren is (sorry, was!) a Dairy Milk Man.  Whereas I am 100% Galaxy Girl!

Darren’s view is that Dairy Milk has a cleaner taste and doesn’t seem to be as ‘sticky’ as Galaxy.

As far as I’m concerned, Galaxy offers the edge, with its silky smoothness.  It just seems that much more….hmmm….grown up?  Sexy?!

My favourite way to eat a bar of Galaxy is curled up in a ball on the sofa with a nice cuppa.  Slowly, I’ll taste it, chunk by delicious chunk, with as much delay in between each that I can manage to restrain myself by (I am convinced that this stage of the chocolate ritual is as a result of trying to ‘hide’ half a bar from my sister when I was little, so that she finished first and I still had some left to enjoy while she had to look on! Evil big sister!) I take a sip of tea JUST after putting a chunk on my tongue, in order to get the full, melted creaminess of that milky chocolate hit.  Not always necessary, but an added bonus would be if I were wearing pyjamas, dressing gown and slippers at the time of this special ‘moment’.  Perfect!

I took a trip over to both websites to see if I could find a less bias approach to the debate.Dairy Milk Chocolate Bar Cadbury’s site is most definitely the out-and-out winner on Christmas magic appeal.  One point to Cadbury.  Galaxy’s description of the best way to enjoy a galaxy moment is almost identical to my own ideal chocolate o’clock.  Methinks I must have been sucked in by Galaxy marketing somewhere along the line! A point for packaging up and branding the experience to Galaxy then! Did you know that these days, Dairy Milk is produced using Fairtrade Ghanaian cocoa beans, while Galaxy source their cocoa from Rainforest Alliance Certified(TM) farms?  Otherwise, there was no more significant information that could swing it here.

So I put it to the facebook vote.  I got the biggest response in the shortest amount of time I think I’ve ever had!!  Overwhelmingly, Galaxy is the most popular (so far!) with a massive 75% in favour and that doesn’t include those who greedily said ‘Both’!  ‘Very silky and more filling’ said one, ‘Galaxy every day of the week’ drooled another.  ‘Galaxy rules, but if there were only Dairy Milk on the table, it would be rude not to’ confirmed yet another.  ‘Galaxy first with a Dairy Milk chaser?’ suggested one.  Cries of ‘Want chocolate now!’ and ‘Has anyone got any chocolate?’ were followed by ‘Panic over…just found a massive bar of galaxy I forgot we had.  Must be the size of my laptop!’.  Galaxy and a cup of coffee appear to be a popular combo that they agree on.

Far from arguing about it, chocolate, it seems, gets people talking.  Chocolate, it seems, offers an immediate sense of a shared passion, thereby bringing people together!  Even Darren and I had to agree on the ‘Mmmms’, ‘Ahhhhs’ and knowing nods of the head that took place over our own individual giant slabs!  So let us not debate!  Have your favourite by all means, but let us simply join together and celebrate the wonderful food that is chocolate!

What could be more yummy?!  So what’s your favourite? How do you eat yours?

To celebrate with even more chocolate lovers, Beckicklesie’s Oui Chef challenge for November is, of course, ‘chocolate’.  Click here for more choccie-laden posts (just make sure you’re armed with a bar or two…you have been warned!).

Images: By Peter @www.flickr.com and Dairy Milk Bars @ wikimedia commons

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Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday

One photograph, no words. Visit Mocha Beanie Mummy’s Silent Sunday post for more Silence on a Sunday.

 

 

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Before and After; spooky date prediction!

I absolutely love Tara Cain’s ‘The Gallery’ feature on her fantastic blog Sticky Fingers but to date, I’ve never entered a photograph.  I had seen that this week’s theme was ‘before and after‘ and enjoyed many of the entries.  It was only tonight that I was sifting through, organising some piccies on my laptop, that I spotted these photos and realised that they formed my first ever entry to The Gallery!

The pic on the left was taken at my office Christmas party in December 2008.  Darren has always had a thing about his lucky number 22 and he beamed when he found we were sat at table number 22 that evening.  This was the end of the night.  As you can probably see, I was very heavily pregnant and Darren was extremely proud to have won a prize of a bottle of champers via the in-house casino.  Convinced his lucky number had done the trick, this was our celebration photo.

But…..was it celebrating an event that had already taken place before….or could it actually have been a prediction for a celebration to come?…..On 22nd January 2009, baby Boo was born by caesarean 6 days ahead of his due date. Noo, noo, noo, noo…noo, noo, noo, noo!  Spooky!

The Gallery Entry - Before our baby boy was born

BEFORE: Taken December 2008 - Was this a prediction of what was to come?

The Gallery Entry - After baby Boo was born

AFTER: Taken 22 January 2009, the day we celebrated the birth of our son

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