Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas and Blog Angel Reveal

It's probably the day where I should be reviewing the year, considering my goals for 2013 and highlighting my top posts of 2012. That might be the case if I were an organised blogger - but I'm not! So instead, we're rounding up Christmas, talking decorations and rounding up December's Blog Angels. You will probably hear all about my 2013 dreams at some point in January...maybe when I face up to the fact another year has whizzed by.

Christmas was lovely this year, discounting the fierce UNO championships held over hours at my parent's place. I spent a lot of time emptying, filing, and cleaning before going to get my tree. I bought a 'living' one to try and prolong the poor pine's life. It might look tiny, but I needed a 'man from the shop' to help me lift it to my car. This should have been a clue that I might struggle to haul it into my building, into a lift and through to my living-room. Needless to say, it was difficult. Then I didn't have anything to put it in, or lights that functioned. A few trips to the supermarket later and I was able to position my spruce on a pedestal, wind on the lights and collapse into bed. 
I love handmade decorations and made a lot last year when visiting Germany. Obviously, I left them all there so had to half decorate my tree until my boyfriend bought the rest of them over. I want to hand make one set of decorations each year so that when I have my first 6 foot tree I can actually decorate the whole thing. This year I made cookie-cutter ornaments using white, air-drying clay. It was so simple and I love them. I might have considered the weight ration before poking a hole through, had I worked out how you might do that. A bit of string twisting meant I could have these cute little reindeer jumping around my branches. 
I also made some crackers, part kit and my own decoration which helped to beautify the presents around the base. The gorgeous pink and blue parcel below came from Anja at Cocalores and seriously put my dodgy curled ribbon to shame. I handmade most of the cracker presents using various bits from my craft box, giving myself one of the many pencil-cases I have left over from the craft fair. Top tip: purchase your cracker kit in the craft store sale and stash them until next year. Let's face it you shouldn't need more than a couple of bucks to buy some cardboard and cracker snaps.
 The week before Christmas was for all intents and purposes, excellent. My close Aussie buddy Bex came to visit with her brand new boyf and we were able to cook together, drink mulled wine and catch-up. We're both a bit pants at keeping in contact from across the world, so it was pretty awesome holding her captive having her stay.

Another friend, Anna has started her journey into blogging and it would be great if you could go and say hello. She started her blog as a way of catching happiness, having been left by her fiance earlier in the year. Bravely, she is charting a smile a day, starting from the day she was meant to get married all the way through to next year when I have no doubt her life has changed. Find her at Smile Me Happy.

So with that, it's time to review Blog Angels in December. I was initially disappointed that the mid-way link-up wasn't as 'populated' as it could have been. I am over it now. So Blog Angels please link-up your 'reveal' posts and make sure you contact your blogger and let them know you've been helping them out. 

Please don't link up if you want to be a February Angel - you can sign up from 15th January to do that! Want to know more about Blog Angels? Visit here! Once again the procedure for Blog Angels will be changing this round, so save the date and come back and visit to find out more later on.

Thank you so much for reading my blog and welcoming me into the community in 2012. If we have every collaborated, it's been a pleasure getting to know you. Happy New Year!
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Friday, December 28, 2012

The way to my heart is through my stomach...

It's been quiet amongst these parts recently. Once I started my Christmas holidays, I assumed there would be lots of time to chillax and pen me some posts, but alas, 3 days of deep clean, a week of house-guests and then Christmas festivities kept me well away from writing here. Truthfully, I had almost forgotten what it was like to do something without my camera or without thinking about how I might blog about it! The fabulous news is that I can now tell you about some of my festive frolics over the next week or so.

Today, I am talking presents. I hope Santa was generous with you this year. I have a deep love of presents: choosing, buying, giving, enjoying.....if it's wrapped up I love it. Materialistic? A little bit - with me it's the thought that counts and as me and my man set ourselves a budget this year (so I avoided drowning him in gifts), I think we both did really well with our cash.

So, for Christmas this year, and to help me fulfill one of my dreams, I will be going to eat here:

 For those in the know, Jason Atherton is a two Michelen star chef and this restaurant is in the top 10 in the UK. Next week I will be travelling to London to choose from these:
 (Cured salmon and deliciousness)
(Red Mullet and deliciousness!)
(Duck and, for some people who eat duck, deliciousness!)
(Tiramisu - Hot Coffee Chocolate)
(Peanut Butter and Jelly - Michelen Style)
I am not sure I am going to be able to leave without eating at least two desserts. Gluttonous? Yep. This is a once in a lifetime experience and I am taking it with two hands and scoffing it all up.The boy did very good!

If you fancy helping me choose what to eat, you can find the menu here. I can't promise to take pictures while I am there - it will depend on how over-excited I get and how schmancy it is when we're there. My mouth is watering just staring at the last picture as I type. Have you guys ever gone gormet? What's your favourite dinner ever?How was your Christmas?
It won't be as long until next time, I promise.
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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Resolutions in Motion: The final round-up

I hope you are all starting to enjoy the build-up to Christmas; I know that I have been busy cleaning, organising, decorating and catching-up with friends. My lovely buddy from Australia has come to stay with her boyfriend and we have been busy making merry. Dinner was prepared yesterday to the dulcet tones of Christmas Carols with the lights, candles and glitter twinkling to the max.
So that explains my absence from the blogosphere over the case you missed me! I have enjoyed reading the Blog Angels link-up posts and hope to come back and comment on them all soon. There are about 34 people missing from it, so if you have written your half-way post and forgotten to link up - drop me a mail with the link and I will add you on.
 For now, I want to review how my resolutions went for the interesting project Resolutions in Motion, which is basically a scheme where you set yourself a goal and through the power of promising to link up actually feel obliged to fulfill them! I updated you guys on my progress with starting a Facebook page, getting 100 likes and making a button for my blog here.
In short, thanks to my fabulous readers and blog friends I achieved these three goals really quickly - my Facebook header tutorial was actually used by people and I felt exceptionally happy.  I still do! Who doesn't like being useful to someone?
So I decided to extend my goals and make a Facebook group for Blog Angels, so the Angels could chat strategy. This has gone really well, except the group has been more successful than the half-way link-up! I also hoped to visit the blogs of those who 'liked' my page more often.
This is an ongoing task for me, as I was consumed by work, craft fairs and Christmas preparation when I had hoped to be winding down a bit more. When I did log-on I followed lots of links on my Facebook feed - it was really handy to have liked everyone back so this was lots easier.
I am pondering what my next Resolutions in Motion, resolution will be. I am certainly going to take part again. It's a fantastic way to achieve my aims - and actually reminds me that when you set your mind to something, anything is possible.
Merry Christmas folks! I will be back more this week as I craft up a storm.
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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Ultimate Blog Angels - Halfway Helpathon

It's definitely that time of year when everything seems to be busy all at once. The list of jobs explode into view. I'm pretty organised   an organisation freak, so have my presents already to go, a list of jobs to do before I can decorate, my school work at a manageable quantity and some ideas for blog posts. It's amazing to me, therefore, that the ladies who will link up today have found ANY time to connect with another blog.
 You see Blog Angels this month is all about the giving. The wonder-gals who signed up nominated their own blog to help out/connect with and most of them will probably not even know what Blog Angels is when the final reveal happens at the end of the month. In the past lots of people have been involved in Blog Angels, but the reward of help in return, while nice, meant the programme wasn't perhaps as altruistic as I had hoped it would be.

So, to be clear folks. This sign up is for people who are CURRENTLY Blog Angels to share their posts on how it's been going going for the first couple of weeks of the project. If you link up and are not a Blog Angel, I will have to delete your entry. I would, however, love it if you'd go and visit each other, as they are clearly lovely people who you really want to have on your blog roll.

Peeps linking up please remember NOT to reveal the name of your secret blog just yet.

Do not worry if you couldn't take part this time because Blog Angels will be back in February. You can sign up to be a Blog Angel from 15th January. I haven't decided if we are going to continue with the Ultimate edition for a while or go back to the original version. Save the date anyway and remember to check back for updates early next year!
Happy Saturday, folks! 

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Not Quite There Yet -Twitter Hop

I am absolutely delighted to be co-hosting with Dalayna again for the 'Not Quite There Yet' Hop. It'll be great to meet some new tweeps. I know I am enjoying the blogs of the folks I have met through linking up each week. I think you guys will too.

So in the words of Dalayna
Welcome back to the brand new link up 
Not Quite There Yet!
This link up is specifically for non-mommy and/ or unmarried bloggers.
(We still love all you married with kids folks!)
This will be a weekly link up rotating through different social media outlets for us to connect through. I hope that this link up will facilitate the making of many new friendships and partnerships. We are all in the same boat, let's get to know each other and support each other through life's twists and turns.

Alright, let's kick this thing off!
We will be linking up our Twitter accounts this week.
You know the drill...
1. Follow your host. That's me! :D
2. Follow ALL of your co-hosts. please and thank you!
3. Link up your Twitter account (not your blog).
Next week we will be connecting via GFC!
4. Find some other great bloggers and follow along. And be sure to send us a tweet so we can all follow you back!
5. Button up and spread the word! Share this post on Twitter & Facebook!
If you are interested in co-hosting email me at  dalayna {dot} dillon {at} gmail {dot} com.
I have some book club updates tomorrow, my lovely blog angels will be sharing their half way experiences on Saturday, and a super guest post on Sunday from my super-friend Anja. I'll be back on Monday with some Christmas craftiness and then hopefully much more often, because I'm on holiday! Woo hoo! Thanks so much for joining in, Photobucket Photobucket PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket



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