Sunday, 29 December 2013

Our Christmas 2013

by Bex

Instead of the usual Sunday Summary this week I thought I'd just do a round up of our Christmas.  I was working on the morning of Christmas Eve but my in-laws arrived on Monday afternoon and made the cider ham for me while I was working.  As soon as I returned from work that evening, the festivities started with reindeer antlers and a cocktail!  We went out for dinner to Bibi's in the West End and it was fantastic, we all loved it, I'd been dying to try it but kept forgetting to book in advance, it takes about 2 weeks notice to be able to get a table!

FIL getting into the spirit

I also added a few more last minute Christmas decorations...

My new snowflake decoration instead of a wreath this year.

Some of my homemade ornaments hung on the tree

I also made some of the glittery :)

On Christmas Eve I baked Nigel Slater's marzipan berry cakes again to enjoy with our coffees and prettied up all my pressies which had been wrapped and placed under the tree until I had time!  I never did get round to finishing making my Christmas cards so I'm sorry if you never got one from us this year!  Next year's cards will be fab I promise!






We had some of the cider ham for lunch with some bread & cheese.


After lunch everyone went out on a 'meat hunt' while I got on with some more food prep.  We weren't bothered which meat we ended up with for Christmas dinner, I'm not that fussed about turkey (I love roast goose or beef or even lamb or pork) and Nik wanted to try to get a bargain since we didn't mind what we ended up with so left it until late in the afternoon to go bargain hunting assuming we'd be able to get some kind of meat.  It also meant we didn't need to worry too much about having space in the fridge!  They came back with a £55 Waitrose free range Turkey which was all prepared, ready to go in the oven and cost us just £18 due to last minute reductions.  Result!

While they were out I made Eggnog which I've never had before and really only made it as I needed some for the Christmas porridge recipe for Nik's Dad's surprise breakfast!  It took 2 attempts as I managed to scramble the first batch as I was trying to do too much at once!  (I'm not the domestic goddess I may appear to be!)  The eggnog I made is basically like runny custard so I was convinced I would like it anyway so it was worth making.  No-one else liked it as a drink but I do!

Scrambled Eggnog :(


I was also getting my pear, marzipan and dark chocolate strudel ready to freeze as it supposedly cooks better from frozen, giving a crispier pastry.  (I will share the recipe soon!  It was good!)


And I got the pork belly marinating (with some help from FIL) ready to make pork rillettes.


I made mulled cider again which went down a treat that evening before we settled down for our film.



Sarah popped round with some pressies and gave me a guardian angel which I've added to our Christmas shelves :)


We enjoyed our Christmas Eve Box again this year but instead of Christmas PJs in the box, I bought us all Christmas jumpers.  The film this year was The Santa Clause and Roz gave us a chocolate Christmas tree to enjoy during the film.




And I enjoyed an eggnog laced with rum and cherries :)


On Christmas day we all got up late (I managed to intervene just in time before FIL made his daily porridge as I had the surprise Christmas Porridge recipe just for him) and had breakfast.  We had Christmas porridge and smoked salmon bagels and were so full we decided to leave the gingerbread pancakes for another day.

The cranberries were not artfully placed - the bag exploded when I opened it!

We then had a gingerbread decorating competition and MIL & FIL were surprisingly competitive ;)



I was really pleased with my snowman with his spotty scarf & green hat :)

Gingerbread garland hung above the fireplace before all of their right hands broke! 

After that we all got dressed before opening pressies.  I like to get glammed up for Christmas day but still be comfortable.  This maxi dress I bought in September was perfect!  It's sparkly, glam and stretchy ;)  I added more sparkle with my Anthropologie headband, the necklace Nik gave me for my birthday a few years ago and my Christmas bow ring again.


I had time to quickly ice and decorate my Christmas cake.  This year I decided to ice it with cream cheese icing as it's my favourite and I'm not that keen on royal icing.  I wasn't sure it would work with fruit cake but it does, I love it!  I copied another Pinterest idea (I am so predictable but I find so much inspiration there!) for the decoration.



I was extremely lucky when it came to all the lovely gifts I received.  We loved my secret santa present from Amanda M (more detail on all my secret santa presents coming soon, I was also matched with Anna K!  Don't forget to send in your own reports if you received a gift - Susan has already sent hers in!), these gorgeous green champagne glasses.


I also received the following fab pressies...



Including an amazing green Stella McCartney bag (!) from Mum & Dad, gorgeous antique green amethyst ring from Nik (which I bought at the Christmas Fayre I went to recently), a scented candle and a fantastic trip to L'Enclume from the in-laws, gorgeous fluffy earmuffs from my brother and sister in-law, various lovely jewellery and little tasty bits n bobs, a chocolate recipe book from Tracy from baking club (extra fortunate for Nik as you know he's a major chocoholic!) and a dragonfly brooch from my brother (also bought at the Christmas fayre).  Roz got me a perfume with lovely words on (see below) among other bits and a sparkly necklace, I got some super cosy slippers from Sarah.

“how you climb up the mountain is just as important as how you get down the mountain. and so it is with life, which for many of us becomes one big gigantic test followed by one big gigantic lesson. in the end, it all comes down to one word. grace. it’s how you accept winning and losing, good luck and bad luck, the darkness and the light.”


Anyway, this has become a very long post so I will write another one later about our Christmas dinner and table.  I hope you all had a lovely Christmas too and I plan to do lots of blog catching up over the next few days once Nik is on nights!  :)

3 comments:

Laura Pearson-Smith said...

Your handmade tree decorations look amazing. I watched The Santa Clause too :-)

Laura from www.alifewithfrills.co.uk

Two Pigs in Blankets said...

Looks like you all had a great time. Love the photos! Haven't tried egg nog before either, but it looks really tasty, especially with the cherries, so it's definitely on the to do list for next year! Cat.

M-J said...

Your dress is gorgeous, you look lovely! Your hair looks really nice up like that too. Glad you had a lovely day, good effort with all the lovely baking and cooking, it looks amazing. x

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