The post Christmas skinny

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas, or just a lovely weekend depending on whether Christmas is your thing or not.

Ours was eventful but very enjoyable even so. Santa was good to Chloe this year, a little too good due to an over-compensating nanna but that was expected I suppose.

I should probably get this out of the way early on or the whole "over-compensating nanna" comment will seem a bit odd. Robert was made redundant the day before Christmas Eve! I know, shocker.

At least it should have been, I feel like I should be in more of a panic about the whole thing but I'm not, he isn't either. Don't get me wrong he's very uncomfortable with the whole "unemployed" label, if ever there was a bloke not built for unemployment it's Robert.

If I'm concerned for anything it's my appliances. Robert is a born fidget, I think we'll be ok until Chloe's back to school but if I can't get him occupied with something else after that he'll take the toaster apart, probably the fridge too I just know it.

If I'm honest I've had an iffy feeling about the place he was working since September, I don't know but the guy he worked for just seemed far too laid back for my liking. He didn't seem to care when things got done or even if they were done and if you're running your own business that kind of blasé attitude coupled with a small amount of laziness is just a recipe for disaster.

Anyway, so, over-compensating nanna.

My mum is, at her heart, a deeply disorganised person. No money at the end of December would have meant no Christmas to my mum because on 23rd December my mum would still have most of her presents to buy, along with all the food and likely a bill or two to pay.

She's always been like that and we love her anyway.

However, because she's so disorganised my brother and I are the type of people who set out to arrive at an appointment 30 minutes before we need to be there just so we can be sure where the place is, we're organised, never late and had an attic full of presents in September and freezers full of food in October.

So my mum could be found in Smyths on Christmas Eve, regardless of what I told her she was convinced that Chloe would wake on Christmas morning to nothing because the same thing happened when my brother and I were kids (another story, too long for a tangent).

Now I have to find room for all the things we got for her, plus the stuff my brother and mum had already bought for her (an entire corner of a huge room filled with presents, I swear to you) plus my mum's last minute panic purchases that include a toy kitchen almost as well equipped as my own kitchen, swing ball and a 7-in-1 football/air hockey/snooker table thing all of which I will find a space for, but the Spongebob instruments are staying at mum's house! She made that bed, she can lie in it:)

Apart from that Christmas was really nice, oddly more relaxed than the last few years, likely because we don't have to cram all the visits and guests in before Robert goes back to work.

Now if I could just figure out what to do with the rest of the gammon, we've had it in everything and there's still about a pound or so in there.

I am totally over gammon!

Merry Christmas

Well here it is. Christmas is finally upon us, the kids are probably running around the house like something possessed waiting for the arrival of Santa Clause, I wouldn't mind a visit from the big fella myself:)

The presents should all be wrapped and the turkey well and truly defrosted, but just in case you're only remembering to do that now, you'll be needing this, you can always have that bird on Boxing Day.

But, if you're completely ill prepared and nothing is bought, made or wrapped or you've forgotten to tear a few pages off the calender and Christmas has jumped out from behind the bushes at you this year don't panic, sit yourself down and take it easy because I've heard a rumour that they're planning on making this a yearly thing. And sure it can't be ruined if there's an unlimited supply of do-overs, can it?

Merry Christmas everyone, and if I don't see you before then a very Happy New Year too.

Love Leanne xx


Finally I think that's just about everything done for Christmas and just in the nick of time too as we've had a *lot of snow over the last few days.

Sales online were flying out but they've also slowed too. Hopefully all my customers are the same position as me and they've a couple of days of winding down ahead of them before the holidays. It's worked out well this year because I need a couple of days to put some other things to bed before the holidays so I'll be flipping over the closed sign and pulling the shutter down on Monday and Tuesday to give me time to finish those without stopping to pack orders.

In saying that, I've a few people stopping by tomorrow afternoon to pick up a few last minute gifts that they don't want to risk buying online, but that's always a nice way to spend an afternoon anyway, they come by we have some coffee, Chloe natters away incessantly and they leave with a few things, I even gift wrap! It's nice a relaxed and not at all panicky, plus Chloe will be home from school by then so I definitely wouldn't have been crafting in the afternoon.

Well, that's if she's even at school tomorrow morning. Our school doesn't close until noon on Tuesday but most of the other schools in Ards were finishing up on Friday ... and then the snow fell so when Friday rolled around Chloe's was the only school in Ards to open at all. The looks on the little kiddies faces on Friday when they found that out was priceless.

Our teachers really are hard working and when others gave up they tried their hardest and managed to make it to the school to teach the kids. I even overheard one of the older kids say that even if hell had frozen over his teacher would still have made it! How's that for dedication?

There may also have been talk of staging a coup, but Fridays are ice cream and jelly day in the cafeteria so it didn't get past initial planning.

It does make me wonder though if the school will be open tomorrow. Our local council have been brilliant, they've ploughed and gritted all the main roads, but the snow's been falling almost constantly and when it's like that trying to keep the roads clear is a bit like trying to dry yourself with a wet towel ... while you're still in the shower, it just can't be done. A lot of the outlying roads into Ards are pretty much impassable at the minute so we'll just have to wait for the morning and see what happens.

At least if it is closed we can build a snowman instead. Some kids have even built an igloo just round the corner, but I think that's a bit beyond my "pick it up and slap it on there" snow sculpting skills.

Either way there's little point in worrying about it. Now I think I'll just have another wee cup of coffee before the rest of the house wakes up, but I'll leave you with an awful photo of Chloe wearing one of her grandad's wigs.

Yes, that's right "one" of his wigs. He has many wigs, I don't know why so don't ask:)

*Chloe said it was a lot of snow, so that's good enough for me.

14 days and counting

I must be honest and admit even though I earn a living in part from Christmas, it still managed to sneak up on me again this year. I'm off later this morning to do my big Christmas shop which should hopefully mean that I won't have to set foot in a shopping centre or big supermarket again until the New Year. I've ordered fruit and veg from the greengrocer and it's being delivered on the 23rd. I'll collect the meat I've ordered from our butcher myself on Christmas Eve.

I've the family presents all in apart from my brother's but he's always a nightmare to buy for. I'll either see the perfect gift in the next couple of weeks by pure chance or I'll give him money.

Chloe's being a little chore this year. I've got all the little stocking filler type items in and the things I'm making for her. We've got her a dolls house and I'm going to give her some virtual money to spend in rag rescue and we'll make little curtains and quilts and cushions and such from the fabrics she picks. But ... she's yet to finally decide on anything else yet, the Santa letter is ever changing. Put it this way, it's a good thing she wrote it in pencil, but we really do need to get her to make her mind up this weekend and get the last of her presents in. I'm always afraid the shops are going to run out.

That all sounds great and it sounds like I'm organised and ready, but I'm still having real moments where I just think 'Oh my god, it's only two weeks!!!!!" not least because I've been working flat out this year on orders and, honestly, the house is like a tip head. I'll carry on working next week, visit the stockist at the weekend and then on Monday and Tuesday when Chloe's in school I'll just have to blitz through the house and get as much done as possible because so help me, I'm not doing it while everyone else sits on the sofa eating the malteasers out of the celebrations. They're mine!

In amongst everything else, we had our first visit from the tooth fairy ...

I'm never so glad to see that tooth finally come out. Chloe was told my her dentist back in February that it was loose and the whole anticipation of losing it has been building since then.

Add to that, a couple of weeks ago one of her friends at my mum's house was coming down the hill on her scooter and the front wheel hit something. She's actually 7 and already has most of her adult front teeth so when she came off she knocked out her two bottom front teeth and broke the two teeth at the top, there was a lot of blood and a fair amount of panic. Luckily Chloe lifted the two teeth and my mum put them in milk so at the very least the two bottom teeth were reinserted the same day and took, but the whole thing left Chloe even more worried about her tooth falling out.

Robert had a sit down with her and explained that she only had baby teeth so when they fell out there was still another tooth already in there ready to pop up and take it's place and she wouldn't have to go to the hospital or anything like that, but she'd be a big girl and have her grown up teeth and that she'd need to look after them properly.

It finally came out last week in the middle of dinner and once we'd had the "mummy there's something weird in this dinner" and the "no sweetie, that's your tooth", she turned to her dad with the tooth in her hand and said "I'm going to be a big girl" with a huge grin on her face ... and then she burst into tears.

I think she was just so glad that the whole thing was over and that it turned out to be such a non event.

Hopefully there won't be such a build up for the next 19. I don't think I have it in me.

It's the law

If you live in the UK and have snow at the minute it seems that there is some long forgotten law that says you must post a photo of it.

Pathetic isn't it? A lot of the UK is buried (well buried for the UK) under snow and we've had nothing, not a jot until this tiny little smattering arrived this morning. Of course I ran at break neck speed out into the garden with the camera to snap a few photos before it all melted (which it has now done).

Anyway, if we don't receive another delivery of snow at some stage I've at least served up a couple of photos of what people in much colder countries might consider a light frost*, but here it qualifies as snow.

So there:)

*Chloe wholeheartedly agrees.