The last week has passed in an exhausting, festive blur and while it's been fun, I'm ready to stop now. We finished work and school on Thursday lunchtime. My colleague gave me a manicure after work and I was feeling bold so I chose to add glitter to my nails. I rarely paint my nails (the drying time interferes with crafting) but I love this bit of Christmas sparkle. Then we got dressed up and went out for our staff Christmas party which was brilliant fun. It's so nice to get dressed up sometimes, and see all my lovely colleagues in their beautiful outfits when we usually see each other in our everyday work clothes.
Friday and yesterday were industrious and productive. John took the kids and the dog out for a couple of hours so I could clean the house, which was in a pretty disgusting state. I did enjoy this brief moment of solo housework and tidying up the piles of crap that accumulate all around the house when we are busy. I get so little time alone, to myself, and I treasure it, even if I am steam cleaning the floors. The Big Food Shop was delivered, then I went to Waitrose to collect the turkey and ham and buy everything that was out of stock in my order. I have done five loads of washing and a large pile of ironing. The gifts are wrapped, but they won't be put under the tree until tomorrow morning because Ziggy will, without question, rip them all open if we do. Our Christmas tree is currently dressed in a unique style in which all the baubles and decorations are on the top third of the branches, so badly does Ziggy want to get to them all. The monkey. I do love him though - he is snuggled up against me right now, snuffling and snoozing, like a noisy velvety hot water bottle. While his blue eyes have faded, his fur is still so, so soft. It's lovely.
I have baked, and then baked some more. Most of this was done last weekend. Do you remember the little baked bean tin Christmas cakes I made back in November? Well I gave them a little festive icing.
I bought ready rolled marzipan and fondant icing and just cut out disks in the same size as the cakes.
Then I finished them with a little ready made edible cupcake topper. Aren't they adorable? Anything miniature is always appealing to me. I initially made these for my grandparents but they also made excellent teacher gifts along with a jar of chilli jam and a bag of peppermint bark.
The peppermint bark I made exactly the same way as last time, and made sure there was lots leftover for us.
Finally, I made a Yule Log. I haven't made one of these for a few years and I'd forgotten how much fun they are to decorate. They are much easier to make than you would think - I followed the recipe in Nigella Christmas - and totally delicious. We ate half for dessert last night and will finish it tonight.
If all that sugar looks a bit much, don't worry, we have fruit in the house. Don't the clementines look beautiful with their green leaves still attached?
But now, I am stopping. My in-laws arrived yesterday afternoon and there is not a lot more I can do to prepare for Christmas, so It's time to enjoy it. I have made my peace with the fact that, for the first time ever, Bella and Angus's crocheted toys are not going to be ready for tomorrow. It doesn't matter. They don't mind. They will have lots of other things to unwrap and we are calling them New Year presents now. I felt guilty for a while but I'm over it. I can't do everything.
I think we'll take the dogs for a walk this morning (my in-laws have a Jack Russell) and then maybe go out somewhere for tea and cake this afternoon. Or just chill at home, I'm not sure. I've got prosecco in the fridge, chilling, and I bought some Chambord so I can make myself a kir. It's my Christmas Eve tradition.
Merry Christmas friends! I hope you all have a happy, peaceful time with lots of laughter and good food. No doubt I'll be popping back here before New Year so say hello.