Category Archives: Christmas

Thoughtful Tuesday.


I am trying very hard to not spend all my time getting jobs etc done but take time to step back and actually enjoy the Festive Season.  I know that I have not done this in the past and by the time Christmas Day arrives I am ever so slightly (or actually very much) frazzled!!! 

I still have lots of things to do but I keep writing my lists and crossing things off, which definitely helps me to keep organised and I find that once I have written them down, I feel the pressure is off. 


I am also determined to be cheerful around people.  So far some shop assistants and other people I have had to deal with seem to be in a perpetual bad mood and I am determined they will not bring me down with them!  I also hope that being cheerful with them will make them in a better mood!  It is my Christmas experiment this year!!!!


Treacle is also very busy at home and is constantly following me from room to room to see what I am up to but then she is missing out on her sleep.  I sat down this afternoon to finish a piece of work off and before I knew it she was fast asleep in her basket by my desk!!!  This is the first snooze she has had since she got up at 5.00am this morning with us!!!!

I hope you are having a good Festive Week and you have time to enjoy all the preparations.

Christmas Hugs & Love, Susie xx

Fifteen Days To Go!

Yes that is correct, you did read that right, only fifteen days to go before the Big Day!!!  I am doing okay with all my “To Do” lists and slowly ticking off all the jobs.


104 Christmas cards have been written, addressed and mailed out.

This weekend I did a lot of my Christmas baking. Of course now I have to keep DH, Eldest, Youngest and Treacle away from them so I have chance of having some left actually by Christmas!!!  The one benefit is my freezer where I store quite a few.


Ready for the pastry making etc.  The kitchen did not look like this when I had finished!!!


72 Mince Pies done, above.


50 of my Christmas Cookies.


On the left homemade Sausage Rolls and on the right Cheesy Stars, favourites of The Boys, especially Youngest!


My AireElf was busy helping me all day!!!!


I also got the Christmas Puddings made and steamed and then re-wrapped ready for Christmas Day.

DH and I were at the last event for the older swimmers on Saturday evening and DH was compering and I ended up helping to record the times!  Our Team did really well against strong competition and came third, ironic as we have come first, second and now third out of the three events!  This means that we will, for next year, move up to the Top Division where we will be swimming with the likes of City of Derby, so we don’t think we will be winning next year, but our Head Coach and the swimmers are really pleased that we have moved up.

Sunday DH was compering the County Sprint Competition at the 50m pool in Sheffield and so that is when I did all the baking.  I did go to Church in the morning for Morning Service which was lovely as it was the Second Sunday of Advent and they lit the Advent Candle.  Below is the Cathedral when a special concert was taking place but it gives you an idea of what it looks like.


I must say I am really enjoying the run up to Christmas this year.  I think because I have been organised and written my lists and following the plan I am enjoying the whole process.  All the presents have been bought, wrapped and tagged and I have already delivered a few and during the next two weeks the others will be delivered.  We have also arranged to see friends and family over the next two weeks which we are really looking forward to. 

I have also got a couple of “personal” appointments arranged which will be great, I am seeing Girlfriend’s Mom tomorrow for breakfast and a quick catch up and next weekend DH and I are going to our Church’s Carol Concert.  All the food has been ordered and drinks bought so I am in really good shape for the Big Day.   This means that I am able to take time and really appreciate the Festive Season. 

I hope all your plans are going well and if not remember, breathe; don’t panic and do what you can.  The important thing is spending time with your family and friends, everything else really is just window dressing. 

Happy Festive Monday!

Hugs, Susie xx

Second Weekend of December.

Happy Weekend you lovely lot!  Sorry I have not posted for a couple of days but we are getting into manic mode here!  Customers who want deliveries before Christmas when you just know they won’t do anything with them until the New Year (!) children wanting suggestions from each of us for the other of what to get us for Christmas (!) and 90,000,000 jobs still to do before the big day!!!!  Who said Christmas was easy!

As Treacle promised here are a few pictures of our decorations this year.  Not much different from last year but for me that’s what it is all about, TRADITION!  as Tevye says in “Fidler On The Roof” (I loved that show).

This is our Sitting Room where our real tree is.  We always have a real tree as it was one of my family’s traditions. We have put some lights on top of the Bookcase with the clock on which adds an extra glow to our room.  The Nativity scene which I bought when Eldest was first-born.  Some special decorations on our tree.  A music box which plays Hark The Herald Angels Sing which we bought when Eldest was a baby.  The family cards.  Two Reindeer which we bought when the Boys were little.

Our Dining Room; lights on the piano and candles.  Snowman at the Sitting Room door.  Reindeer with our names on for place cards this year.  The lights on the stairs of course and DH’s Mom’s dresser decorated.

Our kitchen where we all spend a lot of our time and I just love the red as our kitchen is white.  In fact I do keep some of the red out all year!!!!!


Our Den where I spend all of my week generally, well not in December of course!!!! 

Just said to DH when you spend all day everyday in a place like I do you don’t really “see” it so when I actually look at our home through these pictures it really does give you a different view, I love our home!!!!!


One final picture of Madam who at this point was sulking as her beds were being washed and this inner was the only thing dry!!!!  This was after she had come back from the Spa in the afternoon!!! 

Whatever you are all up to this weekend I hope you have a wonderful time.  DH and I are off to the final round of the Arena League in Worcester tonight for our older swimmers!!!

Hugs, Susie xx

Monday ish!


I am feeling very Monday ish today!  Youngest had a lovely Birthday yesterday doing not very much which is what he wanted to do! 


Present opening on Sunday morning, but not quite awake!!!!


Treacle helping but not keeping still so blurred movement!!!


She was having great fun with all the packaging.


Eldest came round in the afternoon, Girlfriend was poorly!


Always cuddles with Treacle when they are both home.



DH and I went out to dinner on Saturday evening to a place we had not been before, Browns and the food was nice but expensive even for Nottingham!!!  The reason we decided to try it because the building it is in is an old Solicitors Offices which I used to go to for meetings etc when I worked in Nottingham. 


The room we ate in had bookshelves where the old law books would have been stored.


The entrance with lamps in and the Christmas tree in Reception.

After dinner we walked into The Market Square, Nottingham where the Winter Village is.



The Council House, with the Winter Village.


The Food Stalls were all open with long lines waiting for any food you could imagine.


Market Street, looking towards The Theatre Royal with a tram coming down into the Square.


The Theatre Royal, sorry its blurred but we were quite away from it.


The Cabins of the Winter Village and their lights.

The evening was fortunately dry and quite mild, although today is colder and they are still forecasting snow this week, but on the hills mainly so we may escape this time. 

I have got a lot of things to do this week and hopefully catch up on some things I am a little behind on but not a problem.  Next weekend it is a swimming weekend, Saturday evening it is the final round of the Arena League for the older swimmers and they are hoping to win like they did last year.  DH and I are going and DH is actually compering the evening.  Sunday DH is out all day at the County Sprint Competition in Sheffield and I have some other things to do as well as Church.  So another busy weekend.

I hope you lovely lot have a wonderful week and all your Christmas preparations are going well.

Hugs, Susie xx



“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.”

Edith Sitwell

Hugs & Love, Susie xx

Hello December & Advent.


The final month of 2018 and the start of Advent.  Also the headlong rush to Christmas Day, although I am determined, as I have through the whole of this year, not to get stressed about it all and take each day as it comes.  Also enjoy the Festive Season so hopefully I don’t arrive on Christmas Eve tired, stressed and want the whole thing to be over!!!  I am sure some of you can relate to that!!!

Our tree is going up today and we will be decorating our home too, can’t wait.  I love doing this.  Also getting some more jobs done towards the Big Day.

Don’t forget there is my Christmas Planner on my side bar from last year with hints and tips of how to pull Christmas together, which you can download and use.

Have a wonderful weekend and a Happy First Day of Advent.

Hugs, Susie, DH, Eldest, Youngest, Girlfriend and Treacle xxxxx silhouette-1314467_1920


Chatsworth at Twilight.

Ever since the outbreak, a few years ago now, of foot and mouth disease the old Duke of Devonshire decided to keep Chatsworth open up to Christmas and decorate with trees and candles to try to help the estate as they had lost so much money as people had stopped going out because of all the restrictions. 

DH, The Boys and I went that first year and it was lovely to see the house at Christmas and it was so popular that they have carried on doing this every year now.  They also decided to have a different theme each year to make it interesting for regular visitors.  This year’s theme was “Fairy Tales”.  I hope you enjoy the pictures, there are a lot of them!!!!!

The walk up to the entrance had images of some of the fairy tales projected onto the walls.

As there are so many pictures I decided to add them like this.  This is the entrance to the house where there is always a huge roaring fire in winter.  Above it is one of my most favourite paintings of all the Dogs sitting in Judgment.  In the entrance was a huge orange Dragon called Arthur. 

This was Charlotte’s Webb down the main corridor and at the end this brightly lit tree.

Down the next corridor we join Peter Rabbit and his family on a country walk.

Turning into the Family Chapel where Cinderella’s carriage sat with a wonderful tree in the corner.  The orange colours were just stunning.

You move through the Chapel into the Wood Drawing Room which had The Princess & the Pea representation in, including a Tiara worn by one of the Duchesses at the coronation of Edward VII.

We then found the Elf and The Shoemaker busy at work and they also had a display of shoes worn by various Devonshire relatives at different times, as well as a sewing kit sat on the top of the mantle piece.

We then walked through a covered walk way actually outside in the centre of Chatsworth House to get to The Great Hall/Painted Hall where there were several very large decorated trees, also mince pies and a drink, which was very nice.  They also had a Trio playing in front of the fire Christmas music.  It was all very civilised as there are only a small number of tickets for this event so you were not being pushed or hurried along.

You then proceed up the central staircase and another staircase to the main rooms the first one showing Sleeping Beauty.

You then move through a new room opened this year through a corridor into the old Queen’s Bedrooms where Mary Queen of Scots once stayed.  The Broomstick in the cabinet is a Firebolt from the Harry Potter movie and books, signed by J.K. Rowling and given to the Old Duke. 

We were then in Mary Poppins bedroom with the kites and her favourite things and a children’s Christmas tree.  Of course the new film about Mary Poppins comes out in December with Emily Blunt playing the lead and I really want to go and see it!

In the back staircase was James & The Giant Peach hanging down the staircase from the Rotunda.  Apparently this was originally covered up by a previous Duchess as she felt it let in too much cold air but has now been re-opened by the current Duchess.

Standing with our back to this staircase you are then able to look over into the Great Hall/Painted Hall and also see the top of the Christmas Trees. This one is my favourite as I just love the red and green, which is what our family Christmas tree always is.

You then travel down the old servants staircase and come out by my most favourite room of all time and I could live here, the Library.  I always think that there are minimal decorations in here as the family use it every evening and especially at Christmas.  I just love it.


You then move through the anti-Library into the dining room, below.

In the anti-Library we found Winnie The Pooh and his friends and also Bagpuss.

In the Dining Room we found Aladdin and The Arabian Nights with his flying carpet and the decorations and trees in here were very rich gold colours.

You then move from the Dining Room through another small corridor into the Stone Room where there are lots of statues collected by various Dukes over the years and to me is always very cold after the Library and Dining Room.  This was definitely reflected in the choice of decorations and it being the home of The Snowman!  There were also a hand bell ringing group in this room again playing Christmas music.

DH and I really enjoyed the evening, especially as it was dark so all the lights, trees and candles stood out very much.


DH and I in front of the huge mirror where the Sleeping Beauty story was playing.

Sorry it was a long post with lots of pictures but I thought you would love to see the decorations, they were really good.

Have a wonderful Tuesday.

Hugs, Susie xx