The countdown is on

2017 is a big year.

Perhaps not as momentous as 2011, the year I got married.

Or as eventful as 2012 when I became a Mum.

Or even as huge as 2015 when I had another child.

But 2017 is a big year because, just two weeks in, I will walk out of my job on a Friday afternoon and become a full time stay at home Mum.

And, I'm scared.

In fact, scared doesn't even begin to describe to confused mess of feelings I have inside right now.

Terrified might be closer to it but that doesn't include the strange excitement I sometimes feel.

Anxious. That definitely comes into it.

Festive Relaxation with Inspired Colouring Christmas

The run up to Christmas is a crazy time no matter how organised you are. There is just so much to do, people to see and places to visit. Between all the rushing around it was lovely to settle down with a glass of Baileys and an exciting new delivery - Inspired Colouring Christmas!

I'm a big fan of colouring books. I won't attempt to justify it - if you like colouring too then you'll understand the allure of the clean lines and empty spaces begging for colour. I love the simplicity of just filling the spaces without effort, the satisfaction of it coming together in such a short period of time.

In all honesty, my colouring skills are pretty rubbish (!) but I genuinely enjoy the process. I'm usually a wannabe-perfectionist and my home is littered with half-finished projects which I have discarded due to an imperfection or a lack of patience. When it comes to colouring, my yearnings for perfection make less of an impact - if I make a mistake I can colour over it, ignore it or just turn the page and start a new picture. There are amazing, brightly coloured and artistic examples of different colouring online and on instagram but I don't aspire to be like these. I just like to do my own little thing.

A Kirsch Family Christmas

I love how every family does Christmas in a slightly different way. It's fascinating how the basic elements are there but there are so many ways for each home to put their own stamp on Christmas 'traditions' and then when you grow up, get married and have a family of your own, two different Christmas styles merge and a whole new one appears!

So, if you're like me and like to know how other people celebrate over the festive period, here is a run down of a typical Kirsch family Christmas.

Our Christmas decorations go up at the weekend closest to the 1st December but the decorating process actually lasts up to Christmas Day itself as we add to our collection, make new things or don't bother to re-hang garlands after they've fallen down for the tenth time!

Eden's Elf School

With finances tight this year, I had been worrying about what to do when it comes to visiting Santa. It's a big part of Christmas right? It's just that, in our area, the average cost of visiting Santa or perhaps having breakfast or tea with the big guy is about £10 a head.


To be fair, you get a lot for your money. With the breakfast and tea deals you obviously get food, activities and a present and if you go somewhere like World's End Garden Centre you have to walk through a magical land before you get to Santa before choosing a gift from a whole room of toys.

Navigating Nativity Etiquette *Updated Post*

I first wrote this post a year ago but with Christmas rolling around again and another nursery nativity approaching, I find myself concerned about making myself look like a right prat in front of the other nursery parents...

I work in a school, I know the sniggers held in when an overly-enthusiastic parent requests 11 extra tickets so that extended family can watch a little darling in a blue dress holding a doll. I roll my eyes at 'pushy' parents and sigh over those who demand to know why their oh-so-talented child wasn't picked for a starring role.

But inside? I'm afraid I am that parent. Perhaps last year I can be excused from feeling all over-emotional at my daughter's first ever nativity but with a long line of them stretched out in front of me over the years to come, I'm the same, if not worse...

Books you need this Christmas!

OK, so the title may be slightly misleading because I know that in reality no one really *needs* these books in order to have a wonderful Christmas.

However, they're new additions to our Christmas Book Box and are definitely worth picking up at your local library, second hand book shop or large online retailer. They may not be a necessary part of the festivities but will certainly add something to your Christmas book selection.

First up is 'When I Dream of Christmas' by Oakley Graham. It's a cheeky list of fun Christmas things with lovely illustrations and a good sense of humour. I picked it up via Gift People who pop into work regularly with a basket full of goodies and it only cost £2.50.

Kid's Crafty Christmas

I'm one of those apparently awful people who doesn't really 'do' Christmas cards. In the loft are over 40 from a few years ago that I wrote out but never got round to handing out or sending. In my defence, I think it was the year Lily was born and so my brain was frazzled from having a three-month old but really, I've not done a good job of sending cards for ages now.

The only cards I do send are ones made by the children for very close friends and family. I always plan something easy enough for Lily to do on her own so that they're really her creations and not something I've lovingly crafted and attempted to pass off as hers.

Last year we made snowman cards using fab stickers from Hobbycraft and so this year I returned there for more supplies. I picked up two packs of cute Christmas tree shaped cards, some gold washi tape and Christmas stickers before turning Lily and Ollie loose.

What we read... in November

We've had a few slight changed to our bedtime routine this month. Now that Ollie doesn't need to be fed or cuddled to sleep we have a bit more time for stories and so we've been reading loads! Ollie's preference is still for books about trains, cars and trucks but a few old favourites have cropped up once again.

I'm a huge fan of all things Julia Donaldson so we always have a few of those on the go but it's been nice to read 'My Dad' again after it was lost amongst some toys in the living room. I also suspect that I'm a bigger fan of Belle and Boo than Lily is, the stories are just so sweet!