Wednesday 31 December 2008


today's prompt was to list our weaknesses - hmmm, where to start?! General weaknesses or those particularly appropriate to the holiday season? Well some things fall into both categories so this was quite an easy page to do. In fact, quite difficult to narrow it down to just a few things! Some are long standing weaknesses ie chocolate, some are relatively newcomers ie gin, and some are favourite things from long ago revisited ie fruit salad chews.

Tuesday 30 December 2008

25 26 and 27

I've been a busy little bunny today! It was another spooky coincidence for the 27th prompt though. Sleepy days. This on the day that I succumbed to the cough that everyone else has had. I have had more restless nights than ever I did when the children were babies! Why is it that a little tickly cough can work it's way up to such a frenzy when it is 2am and you are desperately trying to get back to sleep and not wake the whole household up?

More to the point, how did Shimelle know it was going to start disturbing my sleep on the 27th ...

23 and 24

Forgot to post these even though I did them the day before yesterday! They look a bit bare, think it is because I am trying to catch up and not taking as much time as I should. I think I will be revisiting these ones and adding a few bits and bobs to jazz them up! I was determined to use the download that Shimelle gave us for the 24th, then got a bit lost in how to journal it ...

Sunday 28 December 2008

Post -Christmas

You would think that once Christmas was over and 'normal' life returned, it would have been the perfect opportunity to get on with my JYC. Not a chance. Having managed to stay well over the important 2 days I seem to have succumbed to the dreaded cold and cough virus that is affecting everyone. I'm hoping that I will be able to get myself together and do a couple of pages tomorrow. Meanwhile, it must be time to take the next batch of painkillers .....

Tuesday 23 December 2008

playing catch up

I did get two pages done yesterday, in between many mince pies, sausage rolls, whisky cake etc etc. It was kind of nice to do something totally different - away from the kitchen! I also got to put up the christmas cards that have been lying in various piles around the house. As my husband's birthday is mid December, I don't put cards up until his birthday cards have been taken down so by the time that has happened there are literally dozens to display. Takes a long time, but looks nice and festive now. Had a nice lunch out with my son too, can't remember the last time we went out, just the two of us, so it was really lovely to chill with a nice lunch someone else had cooked and a glass of wine and chat.

Sunday 21 December 2008

weekend work

I've got another 2 pages done!

In an effort to catch up a little I decided to just make a menu card showing what we normally have for dinner on Christmas day. Over the years I have become very adept at managing to pass on the serving dish containing sprouts without actually putting one on my plate , I've even tried convincing people that I have a strange sprout allergy. They're a bit of a 'marmite' food aren't they? You either love 'em or hate 'em!But you know one of the best bits of Christmas dinner? Doing the dishing up in the kitchen - having one of the first slices of the turkey with a little bit of the crispy skin, a spoonful of the little crispy bits of the roast potatoes that has stuck to the bottom of the roasting pan, a parmesan coated parsnip that 'accidentally' won't fit in the dish, and the chipolata sausage that you eat while you are plating up. Oh and did I mention the glass of compulsory champagne that all kitchen helpers are given?! Mmmm, not long to wait now!

As for the letter to Santa, well I think the most important things to wish for and the things that money simply can't buy are health and happiness, so that is what I have asked for.

Saturday 20 December 2008

Perfect presents ...

Once again, I feel that there is something a little spooky going on here Shimelle! Let me explain:My perfect present was one that was given to my by my daughter in 2006. She booked tickets for us to go and see George Michael in concert at Wembley. I have loved GMs music since the early days of Wham and as he had stopped touring some years ago, never thought I would get the opportunity to see him sing live. She had to give me it early as the concert was before Christmas and she was so excited to see my face as she handed over the present as she just knew how thrilled I would be. I think she had almost as much pleasure knowing how happy it would make me as I did when I realised what the present was! This story is written on the hidden journalling on the tag behind the ticket.
But now the spooky part - this prompt came to us on 17th December and the date that my ticket was for was ...... 17 December 2006.Come on Shimelle, how did you know????

Wednesday 17 December 2008


I sometimes wonder if it is just pure coincidence that Shimelle's prompts arrive on a particularly appropriate day. Like the day we were supposed to be looking at the weather and the whole country woke to either snow or a heavy frost ..... How did she do that???
Well as I am a day behind, today I was working on yesterday's prompt for a page reflecting on what we have to be thankful for. I was feeling a bit 'down' today as it was 11 years ago tonight that I saw my mum for the last time. I always go and lay flowers and a Christmas wreath at the graveside so that it all looks nice for the actual anniversary of her passing and it was such a lovely sunny morning there today. Sometimes it is easy to dwell on the sad things that have happened but I am so thankful for all the happy memories that I have of my parents, and they live on in me and my children. I have much to be thankful for so, a big thank you to Shimelle for giving me a nudge to remind me of that.

Tuesday 16 December 2008

14th and 15th

Not quite so far behind any more!
Had a very busy day today at work which is good as it means the time flew by, but I am back again tonight for Senior Presentation Evening so this is just a quick blog before I get ready to go!
My son is home from uni now, came home by train then drove up to Manchester yesterday to collect his girlfriend. Managed to do those hundreds of miles without mishap, then today was driving through a little village about 3 miles from us in the heart of the countryside and managed to get 2 punctures! Grrrrr ........ more expense, and just before xmas. Still, at least he is fine and the car was fixed quite promptly (Thank you Green Flag)
So, here are my next 2 pages

Monday 15 December 2008

12 and 13

How did I suddenly get 4 days behind??? The weekend went by in a flash. Our son came home from Uni on Saturday - it's so good to have him back again. Then out in the evening for more 'pre-xmas' socialising which is always a good excuse for a glass of bubbly and lots of delicious food. As we are seeing my in-laws on Boxing Day this year instead of Christmas Day we went to visit them on Sunday and had a pre-xmas Christmas dinner (more food, more wine ...) and so the weekend went (also Strictly Come Dancing semi-finals and X factor finals - much recorded tv to watch!)
Anyway, day off today so here are 2 pages that I have done this morning ....

Saturday 13 December 2008

11 Dec

I have fallen behind with JYC but as the prompt for the 11th was the Christmas tree, it didn't hurt to be late as we didn't put our tree up until today! So it's not quite finished but here is the first picture of the family tree 2008 ...

Wednesday 10 December 2008

9th and 10th

Another day off, another two pages done!
Am feeling kind of festive today, we had a 'Secretaries Lunch' and exchanged Secret Santa gifts (I got a Brad Pitt mug - I shan't use it, just look at it lovingly!) Plus also got some gifts wrapped this morning. Off for a meal tonight with a couple of friends to a scrummy Indian restaurant. Diet? What diet?! But - back to JYC
It was hard to condense the family traditions into a page but I put the ones that first sprang to mind on the journaling. No doubt when my daughter sees it she will reel of a list of a dozen I could have put! I enjoyed doing the page re wrapping as I did it in between wrapping presents for real! The background paper to that page brings back happy childhood memories. It is the story of ''Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, no creature was stirring, not even a mouse" When I was little someone sent me a card designed like a booklet with the whole story on it and I loved it so much, I made mum keep it and bring it out the next year - and the next .... so it was lovely to find a sheet of paper with the whole thing on.

Monday 8 December 2008

7th & 8th December

Didn't quite get round to putting yesterday's layout on the blog so here it is with today's. The weekend kind of flew by and the Christmas celebrations have now started in earnest. 2 dinners out on 2 consecutive days is no good for the waistline! And this week there are another three to go ....! But it's nice to catch up with friends and be sociable, and I've decided that if I don't order dessert but share someone elses, then it is their calories I am consuming not mine so that is ok isn't it? ;-)
Back to JMC - here's the next two pages ...
In hindsight I kind of wish that I had chosen bigger pages as I could have put more on, but at the time 8 x 8 seemed a good way of doing a quick page every day. Probably by 25th I will be pleased I don't have much space to fill!

Sunday 7 December 2008

6 December

This was an emotional prompt to do. I have hidden the journalling inside the little pockets but the tags read as follows:

By far the worst Christmas I had was in 1997. My mum had been diagnosed with cancer in November and died on Dec 18th. It was so hard to put on a brave face for my children when my heart was breaking but I knew she would not want us to not celebrate Christmas for them. She had bought her gifts for us all and to read the gift tags that she had written on them still makes me cry. She knew that she would not see another Christmas and her messages were all the more poignant for that.
She loved Christmas and made all our Christmases with her special and it was so sad to lose her at the time of year she loved so much.
I will never know where I got the strength to get through that time.
It is hard to find one Christmas that stands out above the rest and so I shall think about the things that make me smile.
The time we decorated the tree, went to have dinner, heard a crash and found that the dog had pulled too hard on a decoration and brought the whole tree down on top of her

My dad dressing up as Father Christmas. Watching the children’s faces as they opened the door to him
Family traditions: R & J still sleep in the same room on Christmas Eve night even though they are now 22 and 18

I love waking to the sound of wrapping paper being ripped off presents

Eating hot chipolata sausages mid morning while the turkey is cooking

Playing silly games after lunch – not that we are competitive ;-)

Saturday 6 December 2008

5th December

I ended up doing this whole page on the computer and feel like I cheated a bit so will try harder with the page for today (6th)! I made my own advent calendar by inserting a picture of Father Christmas and then making my own daily boxes with the details of what we have planned for the next few weeks. This seems to be the season of eating and drinking ;-)

Friday 5 December 2008

4 December layout

My daughter (and therefore the whole household) had to be up early for a flight to Amsterdam this morning so by the time the taxi had left at 5.15am I was wide awake! Perfect time to do the page I should have done yesterday. So here is my recipe for a happy Christmas :

Wednesday 3 December 2008

3 December

The theme for today was 'cards' so here is my layout. Why does Christmas card writing start as a pleasure and end as a chore?! The poor people at the end of the alphabet in my address book are subjected to my scruffiest writing and minimal message. Maybe this year I should start at the end and work my way towards A ....
This will be my first year as a 'scrapbooker' and so I am still very new at cardmaking too, but I have started to make some and intend to send handmade cards to my closest friends as it is always lovely to receive something that you know someone has spent time creating.
And maybe this year I will also get them sent out before the last posting date!

Tuesday 2 December 2008

2 December

The topic for today was Winter Weather and whilst I am the first one to admit that I love hot weather and that I was never meant to live in a cold climate, I do love snow! So if I could design my perfect Christmas, I guess it would have to include waking up on Christmas morning to a covering of snow.

Monday 1 December 2008

JYC Day One!

Well Journal Your Christmas has finally started! The first prompt was for us to actually take time out to say why we are doing this project and how we intend to do it. A kind of manifesto! So I have kept my first page kind of plain, and just in case it is hard to read on the image, this is the journalling I have written:

When I look back on years gone by, Christmas has always been special, not just the actual day of the 25th, but the days leading up to it and I intend to take this opportunity to record some of those events along with those that are happening in 2008 on a daily basis.

The Past – What happy Christmas memories my sister and I have to look back on. Our parents made Christmas magical. So many traditions started by them, pre-Christmas routines and the excitement of Christmas Day. I want to record some of those memories to remind myself, and anyone who reads this, of happy days gone by.

The Present – Only now, as a parent myself, do I fully appreciate the hard work and effort that went into those Christmases! The cooking, the shopping, the decorating; and when the children are young, maintaining the magical secret of Father Christmas! We have kept our family traditions, added a few more of our own and done our best to make sure that Christmas remains special. As the pages unfold, I will share some of these aspects that make our Christmas.

The Future – I intend to find a few minutes each day to record my thoughts, memories and hopes. I will be making a Journal which can be looked back on, one that someone may pick up in years to come and see how Christmas 2008 unfolded.