Wednesday, 30 December 2020

It's SANTAAA!!! (Or it was!)

 Hi All!

Well we are back home again. A little gutted as the very day we left about 2 inches of snow fell on the NW of the UK and the kids could have made a snowman! It wasn't very clear on where it was going to fall otherwise we probably would have stayed but hey ho! There is a small chance we will see some tomorrow. Weather charts are looking pretty epic for it to stay cold for at least the next week too so maybe there will be further chances down the line. 

Now ... 2 weeks ago (feels like months now!) we took a visit to Keydell garden centre in Waterlooville to see santa. I had heard via the facebook grapevine that this place was pretty amazing and put on quite a show in terms of wintery scenes and lights too. And boy they didn't disappoint!!

I looked at their site in early October - before my birthday! Just to see when they were going to put tickets up for sale. Good job I did as when I looked not only were they up for sale already but there were only a few spaces left! WOW!! So we booked immediately for Tuesday the 15th at 5pm. this would give us enough time to pick the kids up from school and make the 40 minute journey there. We had to be there 15 minutes before our allotted time so we chose to leave early to look around the centre before our santa time. 

I picked the girls up from school, walked home, made them take a pee and left straight away. They had snacks in the car to eat on the way. Half way Jess started complaining of feeling sick. This was not a good thing!So we had her open the windows and got a carrier bag out just in case! The windy country roads were clearly not good for her so we opted for the motorway on the way back!Added an extra 10 mins or so to the journey but better than a pukey child! Thankfully we arrived and she hadn't been sick so we were able to start enjoying the garden centre within 20 minutes or so when he tummy had settled. 

This place had set it's self high standards just from the entrance alone! Loads of pretty lights everywhere!! The indoor garden part of the centre was a pretty standard affair and there Christmas section was ok but quite bare. Apparently they sell tons of stuff and are very popular so we were somewhat late to the party here. Thankfully we hadn't come for this though! 

We qu-ed for about 10 mins to get in the gate where we had out tickets checked and then there was another qu-ing area that had light up displays that you could look at before going into santa. It was very small and I was feeling very disappointed that I had paid extra for this winter walk that was only around a small circle of displays! I was hoping santa made up for this!

After qu-ing for another 10 minutes or so it was finally our turn to got in and see the big man! 

Santa's grotto was amazing! It had 2 Christmas trees in there all lit and decorated and a fake - but good - fireplace that had stockings hanging over it. And in the corner big man himself in a posh chair and with a large desk. He had a big book and was writing in it the names of the children when we entered. He had a globe, a pile of books, and a large key on his desk. He really looked the part! No fake outfit that didn't look real either. 

Isn't his chair awesome?!!

He was very friendly and just how you would imagine him. He asked the girls if they had been good this year but that he knew that you couldn't always be good. So he was happy with mostly good! Top marks that man! Removes a bit of naughty or nice pressure there. He asked what they wanted and if they were going to be home or staying with someone else for Christmas. We told him we would be away so he explained how that if there was no chimney he had some magic powder that could let him in. Not sure Jess was buying that mind lol! He explained about how he had made the woodland walk and how we should enjoy it on our way to his workshop where the girls could choose a present each at the end of the walk. One of the elves on the way in had given them each a token to hand into the shop to exchange for their presents. They also gave the girls goodie bags each with colouring books in. Half way round the walk another elf popped up and gave the girls a free Christmas bauble bauble each to put into their bags! So many freebies! Before we left santa we had a photographer take our photo in the grotto. I wish we had more photos of the fireplace and trees. There was bags of presents every where too. It was in a wooden chalet and really felt like the real thing! Such a lovely atmosphere! Here we are ... Don't we sport the twenty twenty look well!

A kind lady elf then showed is out the door and to turn right into the woodland walk. So we hadn't missed it after all! And here the treat really begins.! Display after display after display of amazing woodland and varied Christmas themes! I don't know how I can condense these pictures down for this post but i'll try!!

So that was our trip through the lights both inside and out! The girls chose the below toys from santas toy shop. Sophie the tea set and Jess the doll.

On the way home we stopped at the local McDonalds for tea! It was gone 6pm and we wouldn't be home til 7pm and then by the time we would have cooked then got kids in bed it would have been mad late! So we opted for the easy route! So a good day was had by all! I highly recommend it for anyone wanting to go but book early!!! That's it for this update. Sorry for the heavy laden-ness of photos! If that is even a word lol. Until next time! Keep looking and keep calm in this mad world!! Lots of love X

Saturday, 26 December 2020

It's Boxy Woxy Day!

Well boxing day is here! (History of boxing day below*). This is the start of the weird period between Christmas and New Year where no one knows their name or if they are coming or going! It's not Christmas anymore but it's not the start of the New Year. It's that weird time of nothingness! Nothing is happening. You kinda feel like something should be happening and yet aren't too sure what! It's a time for catching up with family except we can't as a nation due to the corona. Some treat it as time for gentleness and calm with self. Lots of reading, walking and crafting/project time. And yet some would still feel like there is only so much walking, watching films and down time one can have! I think there is the weird feeling too added to it that we are going to be returning home to lockdown. So we can't even go shopping like I usually would do with the kids when they are on holidays. Take them to down and go round the shops. Need to measure their feet for new shoes and yet the shops are closed so not sure how we are going to do that! Our current plan is still to travel home tomorrow. There is talk of snow Monday so if there is any vague chance of us getting any I wanna be there for it! Now we will see nothing will come of it lol!

(* For those of you not from the UK and the like Boxing day dates back to Victorian times. Rich people used to box up gifts of things for poor people. Rich people used to give boxes to their servants too as a Christmas gift and give them the day off. And Churches used to hand out gifts in boxes to people who were poor. You can read more here:

I won't update on Christmas day today as I obviously have some pics to share so will do that in a different one. Needless to say it was a quiet but good day. We are at mother-in-laws house who lives alone and she invited around another old lady who also lives alone. She was most happy to be invited with us so she wasn't alone and I think the kids brightened up her day! Christmas isn't really Christmas without kids around! The kids had faaar too many presents and there is still more at home to open as I didn't pack them all!

Right reverse back 2 weekends ... Jessica was having fun with some play make up she had got with a magazine a while ago. She decided to make me up. There isn't lipstick all over my face so she did a good job lol!!! 

I curled up later in the evening with my Nigel Slater Christmas Chronicles book and put on my Christmas log fire channel. We had got down the battery operated snow picture too. My camera refused to take a nice picture so it's a bit blurry but you get the idea!

In the evening I snuggled up in bed with my laptop and put on some relaxing carols. Made a good start on wrapping presents too. You can even see my advent candle lit here too :-)

The children decorated their Christmas tree's. This involves baubles not lasting very long as they get knocked off. I put them back on a few times then I give up and just put them back in the Christmas box for the loft! For some reason I only took a picture of Sophie's tree and not Jessica's - Not a great picture mind due to the light. Although there is a possibility I was taking a picture of all that rain on the window instead!!  I then spread myself out in Sophie's room on her bed to wrap some more presents and write cards. I have a folder that I use every year for both making a card list and a present list. And when it is Christmas at our house I also have a job/to-do list in there too that is week by week. This is based on this site:

Later in the afternoon I pulled out my dog knitting to do some more of his legs. I got sidetracked by Sophie however who wanted to learn finger knitting. This didn't last long before she got fed up though so I relocated downstairs.

I snuggled up under my cosy blanket put on the relaxing channel and knitted 2 back legs for my doggy before tea. 

Sorted some laundry before bedtime. With the worms in the house there is a lot!

At bed time I read some more of my Dwell, Gather, Be book ... For those of you that don't know about this amazingly, calm, read you can look back at this blog post where I did a book review of it. I HIGHLY recommend it! If you just want to look at the book on the likes of Amazon then there is a link here:  Here are a few pictures to look at from it.

The Cosy Issue is a very Hyyge magazine style book that is from the USA. It is as it says on the cover very Cozy! Little stories, inspirations and talk of nature. I paid ridiculous money and got it for £20 off ebay. That said there isn't a single advert in it and it is like a book so is very readable over and over again. I have pulled it out to read again over this winter. What is really annoying is that I packed a bag to bring up here over Christmas of entertainment - quiz book, reading book, this book and some new beading work. But somehow I forgot to pack it!! ARGH! So annoyed as I wanted to read this gah! 
Right that is it for today. The next update will be heavy laden with pictures from our Santa visit! It will be hard to choose what to post up! 
Might drag the family out for a walkies in a minute down the farm or somewhere as we are right on the edge of the country here. An opportunity for me to take some pictures for you all to post up in a few weeks when I've caught up lol. 

Right! Chin up guys! New year is just around the corner and there is talk of snow! Might miss some snowflakes falling!! If it does - Ha! Hope you managed to find some joy in Christmas even if it was just the food and the trash TV! LOL!! Lots of love to you all and your families. Until next time - Byeee! Xx