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This post is brought to you by UncommonGoods. It’s something that’s genuinely been on my mind and I hope we can share some ideas around it. I know, I know! How can I breathe the word “Christmas” when it’s only August? The thing is, I’ve finally accepted that if I don’t plan ahead for Christmas I end up not just spending more money than I would otherwise but not necessarily making the most ethical choices with my spending either. I reckon planning well in advance makes for a greener Christmas

I’ve been trying to observe the Christian calendar with my children a bit more this year. I didn’t grow up with it so it’s interesting delving into it myself and making discoveries alongside them. On January 6th, we celebrated Epiphany, the day the wise men found the child Jesus, having followed the star God put in the sky. We’d been talking about it beforehand and I gathered a few fun ideas for simple ways to celebrate Epiphany with our family. As it turned out, between our home education co-op meet

For weeks, Talitha has been excited about our Christmas tree delivery on December 1st. Its promise proved a potent pick-me-up when she started to get the blues about our holiday in Madeira coming to a close. The day after we got back, a friend took her to a home ed group and I dropped Ophelia to her childminder, dashing back to await the exciting delivery from Pines and Needles (tracking is available if you live in London but it’s not an option for Bristol deliveries just yet). When both got

We’ve unashamedly got the Christmas feeling around here. Virgin Experience Days has asked me a few questions about what makes the lead up to the big day exciting in our home, so that’s probably got me feeling even more festive. When does Christmas start? I think Christmas officially starts for me in November. That’s when I start itching to listen to parang (Christmas folk music from Trinidad and Tobago) because it would already be on the radio by then at home. We’ve been listening to parang since Bonfire Night and

This is going to sound a bit mad but I’ve started turning my thoughts to getting things ready for Christmas. The last minute rush of it all just isn’t for me – too stressful, too expensive and not really what Christmas is about at all. My mother has always soaked dried fruits in alcohol for Trinidad black cake months in advance. There’s dispute over whether or not this is really necessary but it’s a tradition so ingrained in me that I never feel I’m doing it right if I don’t

We had a bit of festive fun over the weekend running a little family photo shoot for our Christmas cards. I’d already bought Bristol-themed cards from a charity shop but Postsnap asked me to try their service so I thought we’d save those for another year. I say, fun but I think the girls and I were having fun. Laurence was finding it a bit stressful because Ophelia kept on moving! Talitha is actually really good about staying still to have her picture taken (blogger’s child!) but even she got

Talitha and Ophelia’s stocking fillers “from Santa Claus” are all sorted now. It’s good to get that out of the way. I have an idea of what to get them from us but haven’t settled that yet. I know, time is a-ticking. I always find that I lose inspiration when under pressure, especially in I’m buying gifts for children who aren’t the same age as my own. So I’ve put together a brief list of gift ideas from The Works for anyone buying something for a preschooler. 1. Bead Set

In a perfect world, the Christmas tree would have arrived. Ophelia would have slept or otherwise happily entertained herself. I would have tangibly demonstrated “you don’t need a man to do it” by putting the tree up myself. We would have spent an easy afternoon decorating the tree. I would have taken the photos and this would have been a post about the bliss of establishing a Christmas tradition for our little family. And I would have surprised the heck out of Laurence when he got home. Instead, our tree

This time last year, the tree was up, the Advent calendar had been homemade way in advance, the carols had been playing for a while, festive activities planned for each day and I was some version of Father Christmas gone bridezilla. It was all had to be merry or else – got it?! But I am just not feeling it yet. Yesterday morning, Talitha asked for “Jingle Bells” so I put it on. Our tree is arriving today. She opened the first window of her Advent calendar yesterday. The markings

I may have over-extended myself a bit last year. I planned 25 activities for us to do with 2.5-year-old Talitha every day of Advent to Christmas Day. And good golly, somehow we managed it all. We even did lots extra that wasn’t on the list, like making gluten-free, dairy-free mince pies – and failing miserably, I might add. I think it must have been some pregnant, hormonal thing where I felt so strongly that I wanted to build our holiday traditions as we were growing our family. I also wanted

I printed off a free 2014 calendar the other day and wrote in the pregnancy weeks as I keep finding myself making plans for next year and struggling to figure out how pregnant I’ll be by then. Then I worked out that by the time I’m in a place to focus on getting things ready for the new baby (or rather, before the new baby, since she herself doesn’t need much) I’ll be 34 weeks pregnant. I’m almost expecting to go to 42 weeks so that makes it 8 weeks

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