When the wind is cold, when you need a wooly scarf to go out, when you look forward to being home and snuggling up on the sofa under your quilts, when you long for a cup of tea to warm your hands with, when only a lamb stew will do for dinner, when it's December and night comes in the middle of the afternoon...that's when you need to start indulging without worrying too much about extra calories!
So, in the past few days, my indulging has looked liked this, and guess what, I'm not even feeling slightly guilty about it. I hope you are all doing the same wherever you are. Life really is too short.
Before you can say "Christmas is approaching fast again this year" it seems nearly the whole of November has passed me by!
However, if I was to list this month's accomplishments it would look like this:
* finished my next baby quilt ♥♥♥
* finished sewing a batch of lavender cushions I started last summer (the shame of it)
* had the in-laws over for a week-end
* managed to keep sane
* also managed to order our annual beloved advent calendars from Germany (they do them so much nicer!) for a small fortune
* assembled advent boxes for loved ones...my very point today
I decided it would be so nice to show a few family members how much I think about them everyday, even though 1) we are far apart and 2) I don't really have a lot of spare time to get in touch as regularly as when I was off work.
So I made them advent boxes - a small surprise everyday for 24 days, to let them know they are still in my heart. Some boxes have already arrived with instructions not to open them yet, some are on their way.
I really wish I could have personalised them a little bit more to suit their recipient's tastes, but in the end hope they will be appreciated no matter what.
If you feel inspired to do the same for your loved ones, it's not too late, and needn't cost a fortune - I went to Boots, Woolworth, and the local supermarket to get my goodies. The time-consuming thing is to wrap it all...24 times 4 loved ones, well, that's a lot of wrapping!
Do you like the idea? I will wait for their feedback, but I am already thinking of ideas for next year...the possibilities seem endless.
Just when you start getting used to being home, enjoying frothy coffees with the neighbour, making a lovely lemon poppy seed cake, and finally putting your house in order...work creeps up on you again! Not fun. But hey, without the sour, you can't get the sweet, right?
So back to work it is- the morning race to get everyone ready and out of the door by 7:30, realising you forgot your mobile behind (and your snacks for break), running around like a mad woman in your only tiny 40 minutes free time period in the day, wolfing lunch so you can get tomorrow's work done as well as the afternoon's photocopies, mark a few more essays/books, finish the day.
Or so you thought...the other day starts now, you know, the real one- pick Baby up, unload everything at home, have a quick cuddle, catch up with the previous day's dishes in the kitchen sink, read emails, organise dinner, sterilise bottles (what a pain!), play and get baby ready for sleep, cook what passes off as dinner, do a batch of laundry, watch 45 minutes of TV and start falling asleep from the day's exhaustion, make a camomile, and go to sleep.
Start again and times by five every week. Tonight I am just shattered from the first week back, BUT I have done a bit of housework already and therefore will have less to do this weekend. And a take-away is on its way...yummy!
And, no, you guessed it, the bias did not make it all the way to the quilt...yet! But isn't that bias looking beautiful?☺
Guess what? I have finally found enough time and motivation (an extremely rare combination of factors these days) to get on with a bit more sewing. And - keep still - not only have I finally finished hand-quilting my next Baby quilt, but I have also made the bias from scratch...woo hoo!
Now there is much hope and anticipation as to whether I can actually put the two together and proudly say I have finished a sewing project during my holidays. Will she, won't she? Stay tuned and find out very soon, she says, crossing all her fingers and toes at the same time!
On Wednesday I decided to treat myself to a day out after I found out about the Country Living Fair was about to begin. It was a bit like the Marie-Claire Idées event in Paris last year (here and here) but with a lot more "finished" products and a lot less material available. Nonetheless, it was a great day out.
There is a clear growing trend for kits this year again: make-your-own lip balms / quilts / wreaths, etc.
Of course, there's always a great moment of guilt at leaving Baby behind when you're on holiday too, but I think it did me a lot of good to steal those few hours of freedom.
I also attended a couple of talks - the Christmas entertaining by Leiths cookery school was very good and you got a chance to take the recipes home with you AND sample their gorgeous festive snacks...a domestic godess' dream!
Here are some of my favourite inspirational bits for the festive season.
Gosh, where did all the time go again these past ten days? Well, first there was a baby pottery session, then a lovely concert at the Albert Hall, autumnal walks, simple lunches while baby took her nap, frothy coffees, lots of experimental baby meals, more first times, nearly every day...
Yesterday I had a first time - tried to make some macarons au chocolat - and although they tasted all right, they did not hold their shape and it would be a disgrace to show them here! And in the midst of all this, I hear you ask...but where is the sewing gone? Well, I ask myself the same question every day!
Well deserved time out. Baby and I are already having a grand time on day 2 of the holidays. I have baked a simple apple tart which turned out to be fabulous (no soggy bottom either, Mary Berry would be proud!) and Baby had her first taste of meat and loved it.
She makes a right mess too now and loves emptying her toy box! She is so curious. She looks at everything in amazement and we look at her trying to figure things out for herself. It's bliss.
Now that I am a bit more at peace I should be able to do more around the house. Thank goodness for holidays.
Welcome to my little world! I enjoy sewing mostly, by hand or with my beloved Singer,and cooking simple yet tasty food. My daughter is also keeping me pretty busy now! I started blogging to share what I do and what I like - and this is it! If you like what you see (or not!), leave me a comment.