Welcome to Homemaking Heaven: Make it Home. Pull up a seat and pour yourself a cuppa!

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Christmas Commandments

1. I will not buy great big presents because I feel bad for not visiting people enough.
This is something I do an awful lot of. I forgo visiting good friends and having a wonderful time with them, I undoubtedly feel bad about it and try to make up for it with expensive and elaborate presents. This is ridiculous and a punishment to yourself twice over. It is silly and not something that I’m doing this year….hopefully. I have another little post in a wee while once my project is finished that I can show off. It’s the first make this year and although it is little I’m quite excited as it is going to be made by TH and myself together.

2. I will give what I believe is appropriate and not what others expect.
Every year there is a friend of a friend of a friend who comes to a party that we receive a present from and in turn give something back. I would never dream of giving any gift that is not intentionally mean for that person. They like books and are allergic to perfume, you don’t get them perfume, you get them a book, right? Wrong! This person continually gives inappropriate gifts and in turn complains out loud at whatever you give them. I know that I should have the strength of character to deal with this and put a stop to it, however I am aiming this year to have the strength of character to not put up with this charade.

3. I will not attempt to live up to a Disney fantasy.
We all love the Christmas movies, but attempting to live our the perfect blazing pudding scene when you have had very little sleep is silly if not dangerous.

4. I will not organise ‘fun’.
This mostly leads on from commandment number three. I love Christmas for many reasons and one of those is that you get to play silly games which normally you wouldn’t entertain. This is wonderful…however, it does not make or break the day. This is a lesson I had to learn from last year where I was much too tired to go to Christmas Markets. TH got horribly ill and rushed away by the Drs and we still attempted to visit every fare in the region. Its not important. Its not one bit important at all, so I will not give it the time of day. I will give the time of day to other things which leads nicely on to..

5. I will know what it is about.
You may not be religious or have a Christian faith, but I do and I know what Christmas is to me. I know what it was to me when I was younger and that’s what I want it to be about now.
You may know that it is about family. You may know it is about friends. You may know its about charity. You may know it’s the only time you can eat until bursting point. As long as you go into it, as long as you go into anything with something good in your heart, that’s ok. That means you’ve got it. It can be any number of things or none of those at all, but as long as you go forward knowing that its not ok to be put down or stressed or in any way upset then that’s when you’ve got it.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Moving the Stress

Moving is super stressful…(for me)FACT. Christmas is (sometimes) stressful…FACT. What makes these two things less stressful? Prep! Failing to prepare is preparing to run around the house shouting at people who are trying to help then falling into a corner and crying.
I can’t magic any of this to be less stressful, but we’re trying to do everything we can to make the new house as homely as possible in December. I do not want to be stuck in a rut at Christmas of all times.
We do have the new house to ourselves as we try to get the worst of it sorted. There is an awful lot that is to be considered under the banner “the worst of it” which we are trying to get our teeth into now. This means that technically we can move some possessions over in the run up to move in day, but we really have to get the whole place painted, bits of it papered and then get some carpets down too.
Our hope is that I can tidy away the last tenant’s belongings (part of the reason this is working out to be a good deal is the time involved) and move some things that I wouldn’t normally need.
When it has not been stressful, and when we feel that we have done an awful lot and sit down for a wee rest we look into the crackling fire or take our cup of tea out to the garden to get a better view of the forest.  This picture is at the houses quite near to us, so although just about a mile away...they'll be our closest neighbors! We walk around and breathe. We don’t just breathe to survive, we take great gulps of fresh air. We sigh and stamp our feet in the cold. And we can’t wait to be in for real.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Holidays are Coming

The other day I set out for lunch time like any other day. We’re allowed to take lunch between 12-2 and we can take the whole two hours if we want to, just as long as we make up the time. On Thursdays I normally go to the lunch time concert at the Art Gallery which is a building beautiful beyond belief and has always been my place of calm whether physically there or whilst meditating when getting a reiki. Anyway….i set out to get to my concert in time when what did I see?

The coca-cola lorry! THE holidays do start when I see that advert. Oh that and the Irn Bru one, the John Lewis one……..
This has to mean the beginning of Christmas. I can’t wait to start seeing all of the other things that mean we’re well and truly in the jolliest season.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Move Away From Them

“If a person has ugly thoughts, it begins to show on the face. And when that person has ugly thoughts every day, every week, every year, the face gets uglier and uglier until you can hardly bear to look at it.

A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts it will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”

― Roald Dahl, The Twits

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Welcome November

November time again and I find myself wondering where the year went. The jumpers have been brought out and freshened up from their exile on top of the wardrobe. There are so many pretty cosy things in the shops right now that it’s easy to stay warm and stylish in this weather. I find the prettiest clothes are always found in shops in the colder months, but then again if I could get off with cropped t-shirts and mini skirts I might think differently.
November is a busy time at home normally as the imagination has to be put into overdrive attempting to think up meals with the odd things found in the second freezer we’re trying to empty for Christmas food making an appearance. It’s busy as I never make enough gifts to give out and need to buy-and so this is the last month to realistically do shopping too.

November this year is quite different as we are moving. We need to be in the new place by the time our first advent calendar door is opening up and this means that our Christmas time stress has just been squared!

I hope you are all having a much better time pottering around and getting your lovely crafts sorted.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Get the Crayons Out!

With the Boots Christmas catalogue out in plane view I know that Christmas will be upon us in no time.  Even when I was a teenager it was THE thing that made me sit up straight and get my colouring pens out.  Not so I could circle everything in it that I did want, but to circle the type of things I was really quite into-actually I still do that.  I love surprises, but I have to be honest and say that not many men would know exactly what a girl wants.  The Husband is quite grateful for the guidance, and I still get to squeeze the parcels under the tree.

This weekend I intend to sleep.

This weekend I intend to do nothing. I intend to potter at most, but I will not lift a finger if it can be helped. With both TH and I having low level but very annoying colds that can not be shifted with pills and sticky bottles that ooze out pink or green medicine, we think we may just have to do it the proper way…and give ourselves time.
We hope to go to Haddo on our favourite walk, but if it is at the expense of moving out of a cushioned chair on a windy day we will most probably not go at all. We will end up forgoing cups of tea for the very same reason.
No, this weekend, it has been decided, is a weekend for rest and recuperation. This weekend is for big pots of tea. This weekend is for books and old films. This weekend will possibly contain some stitching of things to put away for Christmas and it may even warrant a roast or something similarly slow cooked, but it will contain nothing strenuous.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Bonfire Night

Hello, hello, hello. It was Bonfire Night on Monday, but we had a mini doo at the weekend.…an option to keep us so much saner! I knew I couldn’t handle rushing home and getting things organised and we both really wanted to enjoy our first autumnal party in the new house.

On the Monday I went down to the harbour where the village was having a display. Much like the Summer Gala there were dancers, food, raffles and too much drinkies…although you really can’t beat fresh caught fish on a BBQ.

Saturday was so perfect, apart from my mini meltdown due to the sausage rolls not crisping up (It was the Nigella recipe with the cheese scone batter-yummy). The firework display was carried out by The Husband and although I felt sure the back garden was about to go up in smoke several times only the lawn was singed.

It was such fun, not because the party was any actual real success, but because it was just a bunch of people we love and care for spending time with us in our home. Although by the end of the night I counted two people snoozing in separate corners of the house it was lively and the laughter roared almost as much as the fire when the wind got up and swirled around the garden almost calling a halt to the display. I take it as a compliment that people got comfortable with little Daisy Dog and a blanket (there was an abundance of blankets).

I am hoping to lay claim to Bonfire Night, I hope that nobody notices I get my invites out first and get a quivering lip if one person suggests hosting it themselves…or just having a quiet weekend.

I hope everyone had a great weekend and ate too much s’mores!

We are Moving

We have had an awful lot of going back and forth, but we have finally decided that we are going to move house. I am someone who is totally averse to change and as we don’t hate the place we’re in, that’s a good enough reason for me to want to stay. We have, however, been given an amazing opportunity and the chance to live in an area that I’ve been in love with since I found it.
There is going to be a little bit more stress attached to this move, as we only have the month of November to sort out two houses. The new one needs the walls to be plastered and skimmed throughout, sanded down and painted, there needs to be carpets put on floors and other floors buffed and polished. There are various cupboards that need fixing and an awful lot of tidying. The old house-where we live now-needs to be put back the way we found it which isn’t really a lot, but its an awful lot that needs packed up.


TH has holidays to use up and so will use plenty of those to get everything in order. I have half a day to last me until the end of the year and so will not be following suit.

I can’t wait to get my laptop sorted and share some pictures with you. Its been broken for so long its really annoying as I have so many already, but time marches on and they become less relevant all the time!

Anyway-lots of change and impending stress soon….hope things are brighter where you are!

Thursday, 1 November 2012

November is…

November is for hot pots and slow cookers, it is for roasts after long walks and good warm filling soups. November is for looking out of the window and seeing harsh frost and rain.
November is for Remembrance Day, Guy Fawkes Night, and when I will stir up the Christmas cake. For me it is also when the girls in the family are heading to Edinburgh for some Christmas shopping.
November is for wearing two coats and scarves, big hats and boots for stomping around the countryside to tire the dog and stay warm. It is for jumpers. Jumpers of cable knit and snug soft materials. It is for finding sparkle for parties. Glittering and sequined garments which will shimmer and dazzle in the fairy lights.
November is for being surrounded by books, cushions and mugs of hot cocoa.

 It is for visits to the library and books bags overflowing with recently requested items full of ideas for Christmas bakes and makes.

November is for throws and eiderdowns, porridge for breakfast and travel mugs for the long journey to work. 

November is for long nights spent watching period dramas, for playing scrabble and finding Christmas movies at the weekend with warm fresh popcorn.  November is for squirreling away presents and hiding them in a new location each and every weekend.

This is Winter

“The witching hour, somebody had once whispered to her, was a special moment in the middle of the night when every child and every grown-up was in a deep deep sleep, and all the dark things came out from hiding and had the world all to themselves.”

― Roald Dahl, The BFG