Blogging For me Again

As many of my regular visitors will know I committed myself to the NaBloPoMo during November, and I actually enjoyed the whole experience and kind of enjoyed my daily deadline of having to post every day for 30 days. There were only a couple of occasions when I struggled to find a topic to write about, and although every night was spent writing which meant late nights, I found the whole NaBloPoMo experience a positive and a good one, and I was glad I took part.

NaBloPoMo 2011Then on the 1st December, I stupidly decided to take on the the same challenge for another 31 days because I found that I was missing the buzz of creating a post every night. I had bored fingers and decided to sign up and give it a go.

I had already decided that the content of my posts would not be as good as the ones I had devised during November, because I figured I would not have the time to dedicate to writing some deep and meaningful posts for the following reasons:

  • Christmas was on the way
  • Presents needed to be purchased
  • Cards needed to be designed and written and sent out
  • Christmas food prep need to be done
  • Tots 100 Xmas Party weekend at Butlins

Therefore, I figured that as long as posted every day whether it be a recipe or a review or a linky submissions I was doing ok and not to get bogged own by my post content.

To begin with all was going so well and then the following things happened:

  • Our heating and hot water system packed in , resulting in no heating and then no hot wanter either for a couple of weeks
  • The boys, my OH and I stayed at my mums and then his mums while we waited for our heating and hot water problem to be resolved
  • Due to the above living arrangements, my Christmas cookery prep, Christmas card making and Christmas shopping trips were limited or non existent.
  • As much as I really enjoyed my Butlins Winter Wonderland weekend away with my family and meeting all those lovely bloggers, as a result I caught a tummy bug and Jenson became ill with a really nasty cough
  • Owing to Jenson being so poorly, even when we were back in our own home (with heating and hot water again – yay!) and wanting to be cuddled so much meant I didn’t get much done during the day or night blog wise or Christmas planning wise

However, despite all of this I blogged everyday bar the Monday after Butlins (because I was suffering with a tummy upset), and so fulfilled my NaBloPoMo commitment. Even Christmas Day I posted a Silent Sunday photo, and I was all set to post on Boxing Day too when it suddenly dawned on me – what on earth was I doing? It was Christmas (just!) and I was visiting and being with my family, and here I was spending my time first thing in the morning (very early!) trying to write a post. Trying to pen a post while entertaining and playing with my boys and talking to members of my family, and after having crap sleep and feeling shattered due to Jenson playing up during the night!!!

So there and then I decided to stop my NaBloPoMo commitment and I put away my blogger dashboard and took a couple of days off. Why was I pushing myself to get a post out every day, when it really didn’t matter ? I wasn’t going to get into trouble or get told off by anyone was I ? Or have the blogging police track me down and arrest me!

I posted again last Friday (30th) because I wanted to and not because I felt I had to. And do you now what? It was great only having to write a post when I felt the need to, and not feel pressured about having to do so. I really enjoyed having a few days off aswell, and even now writing this I feel happy knowing that it is up to ME when I blog next.

I did enjoy my writing everyday during November, and I honestly thought December would be manageable. However, as it turns out real life is more important and I don’t want to have to bust a gut to get a post up on my blog, I want to have a more relaxed attitude which I have again now.

Mind you committing to the project 366 is also time consuming – not the actual taking and posting a photo part (or two in my case, as I am show-casing Burton’s daily photos too), as that is relatively easy. However, as with any shared project or link-up you not only commit your blog but you also commit to sharing an experience, and in doing so commit to visiting other blogs and seeing their photos and commenting. Therefore, I am still spending a fair amount of time each evening on blog ‘stuff’.

BUT  I am not complaining as I enjoy seeing what everyone else is up to, and it is nice to view other blogs again and catch up with whats been going on while I took my few a days off.  Infact this was something which I didn’t do as much of as I would have liked during November and December – visiting other blogs that is, because I was so busy blogging and doing real life Christmassy things and dealing with a poorly baby. I just didn’t have the time to do it all! My tweeting time definitely took a nose dive too! (see my Klout score!)

So what was the point in this post? Nothing really, just to share how wonderful it feels to be blogging for me again and not for blogging sake. I think sometimes you need to get some blogging perspective and step back and relaaaaax and breathe and then start again.

Don’t Worry About Blogging: Be Happy & Play Butthead Instead 🙂

Oh and also to thank you for bearing with me during those weeks of hectic posting and maybe for not giving as much blog love out as I would normally.


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Thank you xx

Saturday Caption Day

ho ho hooooo!! Its Christmas Eve and Father Christmas is checking his list to see who has bern naughty and nice!!

Here is todays photo ready to be captioned

Dont forget to check out the other entries 🙂

Saturday Is Caption Day

Merry Christmas!! DAY 24 NaBloPoMo 2011

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Thank you xx

Christmas Card Tradition

A couple of week’s ago I took part in an Ultimate Christmas Meme, one of the questions asked me what my Christmas traditions were. I answered that I was yet to establish any but it was something I really wanted to rectify and it got me thinking about what I would like to do going forward.

In doing so, it made me realise that we do have one tradition that we have done every year since Burton’s first Christmas and that is we make our own Christmas cards. Being the skilled amateur photographers that he is, my OH has a lot of photography equipment and when he sets it all up in our downstairs living area, it looks like we are living in a photography studio! Anyway, together with his computer skills he has produced some wonderful card creations for our family and close friends over the last three years.

Our first card back in 2009 was when Burton was a little over 5 months and of course we dressed him as a little Santa baby 🙂

We sat him in our fireplace (I would like to point out that it is not a working fire just an alcove!) and he was such a good baby and sat and smiled and hardly moved at all. Here is the finished creation
Last year was a bit more tricky as Burton was toddling and he was poorly and had a bad cold which resulted in very rosy red dry cheeks. Luckily, I chose an elf outfit for him so at least the red cheeks complimented his costume! Daddy got a little fraught at times because we couldn’t get Burton to smile for the camera despite bribes of chocolate buttons and watching In The Night Garden on my iPad! It took a couple of sessions and in the end Daddy had to crop two photos to paste a smiley face on to Burton’s body! Anyway, ths was our 2010 card
This year of course we have a baby and a toddler to contend with so we knew it may not be the easiest of tasks to get both boys looking and , hopefully, smiling in the same direction and at the camera! Having asked Burton what he would like to dress up as, he said a snowman so that was our theme sorted! 
Well, our fist attempt was a disaster! By the time it took to be get all of the photo shoot equipment ready, Burton decided that he had enough and refused to smile and then wouldn’t sit next to Jenson and then started to strip off!! He would not pose for the camera and in the end after me pleading with Burton to sit with his brother to no avail, we gave up. Luckily, two weeks later for our second attempt we explained to Burton who the card would be for and how much his grandparents would be happy to see his smile, and he did smile lots! However, Jenson wasn’t quite as happy the second time but he wasn’t crying so result! 
So I present to you our 2011 card and I wish you all a very Merry Christmas
 (as we didn’t have enough cards printed to send out to you all individually!)

DAY 23 NaBloPoMo 2011

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Christmas Pudding Muffins

I LOVE cake and I LOVE Christmas so I may aswell combine the two and create a I LOVE CHRISTMAS CAKE linky 🙂

Christmas Pudding Muffins

200g demerara sugar
175g butter, chopped
700g luxury mixed dried fruits
50g glacé cherries
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tbsp orange marmalade
100ml brandy or orange
3 large eggs , beaten
85g ground almonds
200g plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp cinnamon


Heat oven to 150C/130C fan

Place the butter, sugar, dried fruits, marmalade, ginger and brandy/orange juice into a large pan and put on the heat and slowly bring to the boil, stirring frequently to melt the butter.

Reduce the heat and bubble gently, uncovered for 10 mins, stirring every now and again to make sure the mixture doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan. Set aside for 30 mins to cool.

Stir the nuts, eggs and ground almonds into the fruit, then sift in the flour, baking powder and spices. Stir everything together gently but thoroughly.

Spoon the cake mix into 12 deep muffin cases

Bake for 35-45 mins until golden and just firm to touch/ an inserted knife should come out clean.

Cool on a wire rack.

Once cooled top with buttercream. I added some gold shimmer spray for the festive touch and then because all I had in my cupboard were shimmer balls and chocolate stars and moons, I added these for decoration too!

They taste just like Christmas pudding!

Do you have a Christmas Cake Recipe to share? Be it muffins, celebration cakes, chocolate logs etc…?
if you have please add it to the link below for others to see and share
thank you

DAY 22  NaBloPoMo 2011

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Thank you xx

The Gallery – Christmas Past

So let me take you back to Christmas 1983.

The Christmas number one was The Flying Pickets with Only You

The top selling toy of that year was My Little Pony

The number one film was Return Of The Jedi

And I was 9 and here I am at my (maternal) grandparents in the afternoon after the present unwrapping had taken place.

I am sat on a sledge that my brother was given, which looking back seems an unusual gift to have been given seeing as though I don’t remember many times it snowed during my childhood and I especially don’t recall my brother using that sledge very much over the years. I do, however, remember the snow we had in the spring of 1991 when myself and a friend borrowed that sledge and broke it going down a field!

Anyway, back to 1983. This was the Christmas that my brother and I were given a Kodak disc camera each which were the ‘in’ camera around this time. My Dad had one already (see it around his neck in this photo)

And I think my Nanny was given one that Christmas also. My brother and I were very pleased with our new cameras and the photos I am using here are ones that he took as for some reason I have his photo album but cannot find mine (we were each given a little photo album with our cameras, mine was green and his blue). In the above photo you can just make out a Cluedo set which was mine and I still had that board until about 4 years ago when I finally got rid of it.

I also recall that my brother and I were also given Paul Daniels magic sets – and I can remember now us mastering a couple of tricks which we then demonstrated in front of our family in the evening in our own little magic show! I used to love putting on my little magic shows!

This is what my Mum looked like then –

how young my parents look and they were as Mum would have been 27 and my Dad 29!! 

I expect we had stayed Christmas Eve at my grandparents house and we stayed Christmas night for sure, as here I am in a camp bed in my new sleeping bag with my brothers new sleeping bag in the camp bed next to mine waiting for him to get in it.

I remember my childhood Christmases fondly and I do remember this one in particular obviously helped by the photos I expect. I can remember how excited my brother and I were when we awoke and found our Santa sacks full of presents! I also remember how it seemed to take forever until we could open our main presents, which we weren’t allowed to do until after Christmas dinner. I remember my Na (grandad) always took ages to open his presents and once my brother and I had ripped open ours in such a rush, he would always have lots still to open and I always wished I had made opening mine take longer! I think he still does take ages actually!!

Remembering back to this Christmas makes me a little sad because that ‘magic’ I felt is how I still feel now but I am no longer that 9 year old girl with her teenage and adult life ahead of her, even if I feel the same on the inside I certainly don’t look like that on the outside.

However, I will live my love of Christmas through my children, and I aim to give them the BEST Christmases I am able so they can look back at their childhood ones with fond memories when they’re grown up .

Now go and see what other Christmas nostalgia posts have been written for (photos found on google images)

DAY 21 NaBloPoMo 2011

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Thank you xx