I’m broke. Ok not broke but this freelancer lark may just break my mind if I struggle to be able to afford to meet my friends for a coffee every now and again. Worst part of freelancing? Wondering if and when the money will come in. Only one month in and I already miss being a trigger happy credit card swiper. It was so easy. Thoughtless. Effortless. Until the bill came in. But now? I can’t wait to see a triple figure bill. Will I even make triple figures in a month? Who knows. Thinking twice, and figuring out how much surplus cash I have for coffee splurges, if any, has been a big change for me. But oh I’m learning tricks! I have to really. The biggest, is how to avoid the supermarket.
There has been a revolution in our house! First came the rebellion however. It was Momma Bear versus the toys and Momma Bear was losing fast. It was Christmas 2017. Santa had arrived with a sack plentiful of battery warranted toys and everything seemed to break at once. The cordless screwdriver had been misplaced and Momma’s usual “everything in its place” attitude had dispersed since Little Bean arrived. Her tool box aka the wicker basket was a cumbersome mess containing more yarn than tools. What was she to do?
Call me an Elf On The Shelf Grinch but I won’t be falling into the trap of getting landed with one of these little
monsters Christmas Elves any time soon. While they look adorably cute, their mischievous streak has come to light all too quick. I admire the Momma and Papa Bears who, day after day, in the run up to Christmas have to clean up the mess these little divils get up to, but I’m firmly on the Nay side of letting one of these guys into our home. Recently, A has become enthralled with the Elf On The Shelf ad on TV after meeting the real life Elf at Santa’s Enchanted Forest at Luggwoods. But I’m sorry my dear, the Elf can stay firmly on that shelf for one simple reason – I’m already exhausted and the brainpower isn’t there. Even if we weren’t in the middle of baby days with teething and sleep training, I’m not sure I could muster up the energy to have an Elf as a house guest this Christmas.
Who doesn’t use Milton? I think a bottle of Milton was one of the first things I bought when I was pregnant on A and started to pick up the necessary bits and bobs for little fingers and toes. I trust the Milton brand as so many others do. Milton has been a leading name in sterilising baby feeding equipment in the home for over 70 years, during which the ‘Milton Method’ of cold water sterilising has been used by millions of parents, and in homes and hospitals throughout the UK and Ireland. Fancy winning a Milton Starter Sterilising Travel Kit? Well then, isn’t it lucky that the lovely people at Milton have offered one such kit to one of my readers 🙂
As you know, A has always loved reading. Herself and B without fail read about five or six books a night, sometimes more depending on how tired she is or whether We Bare Bears has come on the TV in the background! It wouldn’t be right not to share with you our top five Christmas books which, I’ll be honest, are not hidden away until December but rather have been read at any time of year.
A has been watching The Santa Claus on a constant loop since July. So, the key phrase in our house for the past six months has been “Scott Calvin burnt the turkey“. It’s probably one of my favourite scenes in The Santa Claus when Scott sends the big whooper of a bird up in flames and himself and Charlie end up in Dennys on Christmas Eve. It’s all too reminiscent of an unwanted Christmas tradition myself and B have. We either burn the turkey or undercook the dear bird. We’ve lived together for over ten years and yet, I still call my Dad to ask his advice about the turkey every year. And most years, we magically cook an abysmal failure. To be fair, one year, our oven packed in half way through roasting so that one wasn’t our fault… no matter how often we fiddled with the temperature gauge, wondering what we were doing wrong! This year, I’m ready. Ready to cook that turkey with the mighty gusto of the Domestic Goddess that is petit vieux moi. Although, I’m no Nigella Lawson, I can follow her recipes with ease.
I’ll admit, as we drive home from work through the country roads on what has been our new route since only last year, I feel a swell of panic and excitement any time I see a For Sale sign nailed to a fence and sticking out through the dew laden grass. I know I’ve spoken to you before about moving house, how we moved house with a toddler, but it still feels raw. It took me quite a while to stop browsing and mentally decorating bungalows on housing websites. And I’m still entrenched in the newspapers about property prices and mortgage conditions. As I look at our house, decorated with not one, but two Christmas trees, as the lights flicker and glimmer and A plays with the music Christmas tree that plays We Wish You a Merry Christmas, I can not forget how hard we fought to get here. How lucky we are to have a home to fill with all of this Christmas tinsel. Because moving home is not easy. This was our third (and final, please God) house move. It was not easy the first time either.
And here it is, the final installment of my Christmas Gift Guide featuring the wonders and delights of beautiful handmade and handcrafted Irish Etsy Stores. I have really enjoyed pulling together these three lists for you and I hope you have found something new, something unique and something beautiful that you haven’t been able to find elsewhere. The best thing about Etsy stores is that you know the items have been made with thought, with care and with love. It’s like going to a Christmas Craft Fair without having to drudge around with the crowds 🙂 Take a peek inside and see what delights I have found for you.
We are on to week two of my Christmas Gift Guide, meaning its just one month to Christmas. November really does disappear and the holiday season has a habit of creeping up on us. I have been prepping the house for the day when the Christmas tree (trees – we have two!) comes down from the attic. Of course, when I say prepping, I mean ordering B around since I can’t do any of the heavy lifting that I usually too due to still being on bed rest. The lugging around of the furniture and cleaning under every surface and in every nook and cranny has been left to my amazing husband who this year has cribbed about my obsessiveness with Christmas. I like to have our decorations up for The Late Late Toy Show at the end of November, which I know is ridiculously early for most people but it’s a tradition I love. Besides, I think I’ve mentioned before how much I love Christmas 🙂 And just because I’m pregnant and on bed rest doesn’t mean the decorations will appear any later. So on to the Gift Guide!
Finally! I have been waiting and waiting and waiting to publish my Christmas Gift Guide Series. I am a huge lover of Christmas. As soon as November 1st hits, I’m bursting with the Christmas Spirit. Before A, I would have my entire Christmas shopping finished by the end of August. These days, with A’s birthday in October, I’m still Christmas shopping coming into November and December but I love it. I like to go all out (as much as finances allow!) with presents, food and yummy nibbles. For us, Christmas is all about family and celebration. It’s the one time of year when we’re all wrapped up together in the Christmas Spirit of warmth and love for two full weeks. With a little bundle on the way now, this is our last Christmas as a family of three, and we are going to make it extra special for that reason.
Delve into my special Christmas Gift Guide Series, which happily hosts online Irish based Etsy stores that make beautiful, unique and handrafted items, ideal for Christmas.