White Christmas

We’ve had snow on Boxing Day, but it’s the 2nd day of Christmas, so it counts like a White Christmas.

01 White Christmas
It snowed for an hour, enough time to go outside and have a laugh, play in the snow and take some pictures.

08 White Christmas with Festus
I’ve posted more pictures with Festus in the snow and his Christmas on his blog.

02 White Christmas
On Christmas morning we’ve went to see what gifts Father Christmas left for us, we’ve waited for him with milk&cookies, didn’t we. We had what is a new tradition in our home: christmassy socks. We even had a good laugh that hubby has 2 thin reindeer and I have a single, fat one.

03 White Christmas
My presents are: a cast iron mouse and a robin, all made by hand. I’ve seen them at Ripley’s Christmas fair and wanted to buy them, but hubby said the conservatory is not finished yet, so I should wait. Well, he bought them when I wasn’t paying attention, isn’t he a sweetheart.

04 White Christmas

05 White Christmas
Also, I received an espresso machine! I love it! I had an issue with a coffee making jug, the one that is placed on the hob. Well, that one exploded, quite scary and we had to paint the kitchen walls.
Now, with this gift, I can make coffee safely. It’s a little neat machine, even makes frothed milk! It’s so handy for cappuccinos and I’m going to use it to froth milk for Chai tea.

06 White Christmas
The last gift I’ve received is a spice grinder! I love it! I can grind dry and wet spices or even coffee. It will help me a lot when I’ll have my herb garden. I’m not going to buy grounded spices again.

07 White Christmas
This is one of hubby’s presents: A hovercraft that he needed to build and it works!

This were our presents. Hubby had a few (well, more like a lot) of sweets and Festus had a lot of pressies too. Our Christmas dinner (more like a lunch) was all vegetarian. Usually hubby has something that is not vegetarian, but this year he didn’t want anything else.

09 White Christmas
A courgette tart with cream and cheddar in a very yummy base made with Mediterranean spices and sundried tomatoes.

10 White Christmas
A huge cheese platter, 6 types of cheddar, brie, Stilton and goat’s cheese.

11 White Christmas
Crostini with avocado paste.

12 White Christmas
Red onion and cream mushrooms.

13 White Christmas
Grilled halloumi with potatoes (baked and then sliced and shallow fried), Brussels sprouts 2 ways: roasted and boiled and shallow fried with pumpkin seeds.

14 White Christmas
Chickpea croquettes with tomato sauce (sundried tomatoes, tomatoes and mustard) and brie on top.

15 White Christmas

16 White Christmas
The fruit cake was shop bought.

17 White Christmas

18 White Christmas
18 months matured Christmas pudding, shop bought.

19 White Christmas
We had the Christmas pudding with whipped cream and Baileys.

20 White Christmas
Homemade exotic mince pies. I’ve put some cinnamon in the base and the mincemeat was, as I said, exotic: dried figs and fresh mango and papaya. It was so yummy, but I must admit they weren’t “screaming” mince pies. Next time I’m going to make them a little more traditional.

5th Gotcha Day

I remember like it was yesterday the excitement I felt when we were shopping for leads, collars, raised food bowls and toys. On the same day we went to the breeder to get our pup.

I had to wait 10 years until I could get my rottweiler and when I finally got him, I was so happy. It was hard at the beginning, as it is with every pup and he was quite big, at 33 pounds. That Christmas was so stressful with a tree full with balls (we, humans, call them baubles), a scared cat and a very big pup. Now we laugh about it.

Our lives changed so much after getting him. I took him with me at work for a short period while I still worked in an office. We took him with us everywhere. He came with us on holidays or day trips. He even gets involved in everyday life or DIY projects. He makes us laugh every day.

Here are only a few pictures of our life with Festus over the years:


Handmade Tinsel Wreath

Yesterday I’ve made our tinsel wreath. Now I’m thinking I didn’t even look online how to make it, wouldn’t recommend that.

02 handmade christmas tinsel wreath

The Christmas wreath was easy to make. I don’t have any pictures, as hubby was busy with something else and I couldn’t make it and take pictures at the same time.

I’ve cut a ring of cardboard with a thickness of 2″. As I didn’t have 2 round things to use as a guide, I traced one and then I’ve made the other markings using the ruler. It doesn’t matter if it’s slightly off. There are rings at craft stores, some of them are made from polyester, so they can be left outside.

I had to cut some of the icicles of the tinsel, so I can stick it easier to the base. I’ve used simple transparent scotch tape. I didn’t want to use the glue gun as I wasn’t sure it would look nice and the tinsel is light, I didn’t think it will be a problem. I’ve wrapped around the tinsel on the cardboard base. For this wreath I’ve used 2 tinsels of 2m each.

At the end, I’ve used white cotton to add the baubles on the wreath.

01 handmade tinsel wreath
We’ve placed the wreath on the internal door of the porch. As I said, the base is cardboard and it wouldn’t last outside.

03 handmade wreath

04 easy handmade tinsel wreath

05 tinsel wreath
Also, having it there means that we can see it from the house and I love that.

06 handmade wreath for christmas

Victorian Christmas Weekend at Skepe Hall

01 Victorian Christmas Weekend at Speke Hall

Surely it was a surprise to see so many people at Speke Hall for the 2nd Victorian Christmas Weekend. Last year we didn’t go, although I can’t remember why.

02  Victorian Christmas Weekend at Speke Hall
Let’s go in.

03 Victorian Christmas Weekend at Speke Hall
The Victorian-inspired decorations were beautiful.

04 Victorian Christmas Weekend at Speke Hall
The lady was our guide and she was so nice to let us join in even if we didn’t have tickets for the tour as it was quite crowded.

05 Victorian Christmas Weekend at Speke Hall

06 Victorian Christmas Weekend at Speke Hall
The volunteer told us about the pool table. Underneath the green fabric is slate, as is much more even than wood and it will not contract or expand due to temperature and humidity modifications.
The table has a very interesting story. It was in the family, when was sold and a volunteer saw it at a pub a few years ago. National Trust bought the table and it seems it is the same one.

07 Victorian Christmas Weekend at Speke Hall

09 Victorian Christmas Weekend at Speke Hall
A choir was signing Christmas carols in the Great Hall and it reminded me of my childhood. As I was born and raised in the Romania, I have to explain that. Well, at school, my English teacher would make us listen and sign carols before the winter break. While the other teachers were busy with math and grammar, she was making sure we are having fun.

08 Victorian Christmas Weekend at Speke Hall
On the way to the kitchen, we saw the Christmas decorations for the servants. It’s lovely they had decorations too. Not elaborate, but I think they had a lot of fun cutting the paper and glue it in a garland.

10 Victorian Christmas Weekend at Speke Hall
I had a small lesson in Sugar Mice Making. It was a specific event for the Victorian Christmas.

Well, if you don’t know, the mice were stocking fillers for poorer kids (like the tenant’s children). At a time when sugar was a luxury, having a mouse of sugar was quite extraordinary.

15 Victorian Christmas Weekend at Speke Hall
I’ve played a little in Photoshop, I think it looks quite Victorian.

11 Victorian Christmas Weekend at Speke Hall
I’ve started with a ball of icing sugar and I pressed in the middle to create the body and the head.

12 Victorian Christmas Weekend at Speke Hall
Then I’ve added the tail.

13 Victorian Christmas Weekend at Speke Hall
Pressed the sugar again, to create the ears.

14 Victorian Christmas Weekend at Speke Hall
I think I was doing a great job with the eyes.

16 Victorian Christmas Weekend at Speke Hall
And this is the sugar mouse. It’s the first thing that I mold by hand and actually looks like what I had in mind… so it’s pretty amazing.

17 Victorian Christmas Weekend at Speke Hall
Apparently, if you stir the Christmas cake mixture and you make a wish it will come true. I hope so, I’m saying what I’ve wished for if (or when) it comes true.

18 Victorian Christmas Weekend at Speke Hall
A close up with my sweet mouse.

19 Victorian Christmas Weekend at Speke Hall
Near the entrance/exit there was a sweets cart and this man was selling the sweets. Very cute.

20 Victorian Christmas Weekend at Speke Hall
This was our day at Speke Hall.

Winter outfit

It’s been a long time since I’ve made a fashion post. So, when I saw the pictures hubby took during the weekend, I couldn’t resist making one.

Tomorrow I’ll post about the Victorian Christmas Weekend at Speke Hall. It was lovely and we had a great time. For now, enjoy the photos.
01 winter outfit

02 winter outfit

03  winter outfit

04  winter outfit

05  winter outfit