Friday, 28 November 2014

Love the Little Things #36

So. Major achievement award of the week goes to me. I have finally started the Christmas shopping.
Don't ask me what I've bought mind, as my brain goes into some sort of shopping-induced meltdown around this time of year. There seemed to be a LOT of people on auto-pilot round Smyths Toy Superstore (it gets it's full title round here!) this afternoon.
We had a lovely conversation with one couple, down the Minecraft aisle, about the virtues vs pitfalls of a £20 foam sword. 'Twas concluded that we'd make it ourselves for less.
Turns out Santa's on a cheapo streak this year. :)

Anyhow, must keep on track!
Today, as always, I'm linking up with Morgana for little loves.
This week the little things that we have:


Not too much this week! I have read lots of Christmassy themed blogs though. It's really putting me in the festive mood!


Cleaner - Less of the 'quick dust and Hoover' type and more of the 'get rid of the evidence' type.
It was a bit gory. But actually quite a good storyline and had some of my favourites in the cast, with Samuel L Jackson and Eva Mendez playing the main parts.

Oh, and Mockingjay at the flicks! (Do I sound about 80 calling it that?) It was really good and I can't wait for the final instalment now!


A start to the shopping (*see above)

Christmas jumper purchases! I'm not usually into the whole Christmas jumper thing (Scrooge), but Mr M is having a charity jumper day at work and so I thought we'd all join in this year. I actually totally struck gold with this pink New Look one. The sparkly reindeer noses totally sold it to me!
And wait until you see the kids' ones too! :)


Woolly hats! It has been much, much colder this week, and that horrible sort of dank, murky weather the past few days. The sort that makes my hair frizz in about three seconds when I step outside the door. Hats are my saviour.
And I think the good people of IG and I have decided that it's perfectly acceptable to just keep it on when you go inside. I'm running with that approach anyway. Even when trying on clothes...

(Sneak peek of my Christmas outfit!)


Date day with the gorgeous Mr! We try and do this every so often, as getting out in the evenings is proving more and more tricky these days (our three have hectic social lives that require full time, unpaid taxi services!) This time our day had a shopping focus, but we did still manage to squeeze in the most gorgeous lunch and a cinema trip.

These socks - They are fluffy. And have penguins.

Cosy nights in - I'm not a massive fan of Winter, mostly because the weather flares up my Lupus and gives me all sorts of aches (I AM 80!!), but fires, eh? At about 6pm every evening when the candles and the fire are lit and we are safe and warm inside? Then? I kinda love it.

And that was our little week!
This weekend it's DECORATING TIME! Too excited.
I think I'm going to just let the kids loose on the main tree this year. Those that know me will know that this is a major step for me. I may twitch a bit the whole of December at misplaced baubles and a wonky fairy, but their little faces will be worth it.
I think we're maybe going to make a little film of it too. If I can figure out how to edit it, I'll hopefully share it with you soon!

Hope you have a lovely weekend!

E x


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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Little Wood in Advent...

I'm always a bit of a failure when it comes to celebrating Advent. It's usually chocolate calendars and frantic shop dashes for last minute food and presents. But this year I thought we might do something a little different. I have you, lovely readers, and this blog to thank for giving me the push I need to make the most of this beautiful season. As with so many things, in the pace of life little moments like these can often be overlooked - and so I'm thankful once again that the documenting of them makes me do them in the first place.

If we teach our children one thing, Mr M and I are keen that they know that Christmas is a time of year for friends and family. Giving, rather than just receiving. For Community and care for others,
And even the smallest kindnesses. 

So this year we are going to attempt 24 days of activities, instead of the usual chocolate and sweets. Twenty four things to do together, to make us wonder at the magic and revel in the true meaning of Christmas. Some of these will be simple and low cost, or no cost at all. Others are special treats to get us in the festive spirit. Regardless, they will be memories made as a family, and I'm excited to share them with you too.

I thought for a long while about how to fit all this in to a traditional Advent Calendar, and then I turned to Pinterest (as I usually do at the moment!)
First of all we went searching for the perfect branch...

And I ordered some luggage labels, stamps and ribbon...

My plan is to put our activity on to each label and then tie them on to the branch, prettying it up a bit with the ribbon. We'll hang the branch, or display it on our mantelpiece and each day the little three will take turns to read the label. 

I'll share the finished article when we've completed it, and really hope you'll pop by through December to see how we are getting on with Advent at Little Wood.

I think it's going to be a good one!

E x


Tuesday, 25 November 2014

A Wintery Weekend...

This weekend was the last of our really calm ones before the festive programme at Little Wood really kicks off. Our Advent fun will start with a trip to buy our real Christmas tree next Sunday, and it's always an afternoon that we really look forward to. (Bar those brief moments of stress when you realise that what looks small outside, looks pissing HUMUNGOUS inside.
We learnt our lesson years ago folks. Don't guesstimate. Measure, measure and measure again.
And thank me after.)
You'll be relieved to know that the artificial tree purchase went without a hitch. All breakables (and our marriage) remained in tact, and we returned home with my favourite of the two. Hoora!
Mr M managed to get a bit of discount off it as well, which made him feel very smug. And then we realised that they sell these trees in Selfridges, for much more money than what we paid.
I'll do the big reveal next week!

Eva was at extra ballet coaching on Saturday, followed by her big exam on Sunday morning, so with some time to kill in the city both days,we checked out some festive homeware and had a wander.
Some pictures below if you'd like a look...

It was the most beautiful day on Saturday but so, so chilly. Like proper frost and everything! I'm such a fan of a beautiful Wintery morning.

And bobble hats! I'm 90% certain that I look about three in this, but it is so cosy and I don't have to fix my hair in the morning, which means I love it even more when the alarm bleeps at 7am!

The sweetest little mini-trees! I adored these gingerbread men garlands which came already on them. I think I might have to find room for one somewhere. Maybe the kids playroom?

And stags on cushions. Can we just take a moment? My cushion obsession is well-documented (if you follow me on Instagram you'll have met Walter. I love him with all my heart. :) ) but even I could not justify a red stag cushion in a room with no red. The grey snowflake one however...

Starting Sunday (way too early!) with coffee, chocolate coins and kisses...

Post ballet exam scoot. It all went well for her, Phew! :)

Our fingers were numb and our noses chilly, but what a lovely weekend it was!

Pop by tomorrow if you can, to see what I've been planning for us over Advent.
It'll be no surprise that it is completely Pinterest/blog inspired, but if it works I do think it will be a Christmas countdown that we'll all remember for a long, long time!

E x

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Friday, 21 November 2014

Love the Little Things #35

So, how've you been this week then?
I'm starting to feel a little bit festive. This has a lot to do with the fact that it's full-on Nativity/Christmas choir rehearsals for the kiddos at the moment and we can't make it through a dinner time without a squeaky rendition of Away in a Manger.
Annie is a teddy bear, and Noah a soldier. Make of that what you will.
We're all about the modern interpretations round these parts.
So I bought our first packet of mince pies and have been drinking hot port at every opportunity.
If you can't beat 'em and all that...
Still no shopping though - I think next week I may blitz it. The credit card will be weeping, won't it?!

Today I'm linking up as usual with Morgana at butwhymummywhy to share all the lovely little bits of our week.
This week, the little things that we have:


Two of my absolute favourites Hurrah for Gin and Brummymummy of 2 had me really giggling this week with The seven stages of sleep deprivation and The Lost Art of Conversation. If you are new to reading blogs, these two are definitely ones to follow. They are the loveliest girls, who really tell it like it is, and are absolutely hilarious every single time. Have a look!

And I also loved Morgana and Esther's posts about preparing for Advent. I had been thinking of doing something more alternative than the usual choccie Advent calendar this year, but these two ladies have given me further inspiration. Watch out in the next couple of weeks (and all through December) for the Little Wood Christmas countdown!


Annie got a Frozen karaoke machine for her birthday, so we've mostly watched her twirl a lot whilst singing 'Let it Go'. She also has mastered the art of playing the Ukulele at the same time.
It's all very tuneful, I'm sure you can imagine.


I made Toffee Apple scones again to photograph them for this recipe post (finally!)

And I've also been making little floral displays in old tin buckets, to brighten the days until the Christmas decorations are unleashed...


Greys and Blacks. My Winter wardrobe is definitely in full swing!

This bag. It's the perfect size for all my Mummy things, and at £10 how could you go wrong?


I met my gorgeous friend Karen from Making memories in the chaos mid-week for a morning cuppa. Would you just check out the hot chocolate...

I had total drink envy and am going back ASAP for one.

Sunday pizza with my favourites...

(Annie was there too, just too engrossed in Peppa to have a photo! The things we do for a quiet lunch!)

Finding old photos - when I have a spare ten minutes I love flicking back through my phone gallery. It always makes me smile. This week I came across this picture, taken by Eva in the Summer. The weather was beautiful at home and we were just about to go on holidays.
I could so do with some of that sun right now!

And that was our little week!
This weekend we are going to make the artificial Christmas tree purchase, after spending last Saturday avo doing the rounds of every retailer we could think of. I like to make a proper, invested commitment to a search, lovely readers, lest the perfect tree escape me.
I know, #weirdo.
Anyway, we have it narrowed down to two - one totally bargain one, and one a complete luxury.
No prizes for guessing which I'm after.
Will Mr M convince me otherwise? Will we make it out of the shop without at least one child knocking something breakable over?
These are the sort of cliffhangers I know you come here for folks.
Never let it be said that I don't keep you on the edge of your seat now! ;)

You can catch up with our weekend antics, if you'd like, on Facebook and Instagram.
And I hope you all have a lovely weekend, whatever you are up to!

E x


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