A December Snow Story

Happy New Year! I hope your Christmas has been a good one, with time to rest, feast and spend time with your favourite people.

It has been quiet around here recently, as my time has been so full of work and school commitments since September. The rhythm of our weeks has changed, but I miss this space, and room to share and talk about my photographs and our daily adventures.

I’m not really a person to commit to resolutions, but this year I would love to spend more time with this blog, and will do my best to be around a little more.

But back to the photos; from a snow day in December, just before Christmas and amazingly coinciding with Mia’s birthday. A magical, perfect day, when all of our birthday plans were put on hold to run about in the snowflakes.

Waking Mia with news that it had snowed, and was still snowing, on her birthday morning, is one of those parenting moments I will store away in my memory for as long as possible. She was so torn between rushing outdoors in the falling snow, or opening her presents first!

A day that we had planned as a trip to Oxford for lunch and shopping, spontaneoulsy became a day of snowman building, snowball fights and sledging. Mia was around 4 years old last time it snowed, and could remember it, but Joe at 6 months old had no memory of it at all. He kept looking at the snow falling from the sky , confused as if he couldn’t work out where it was falling from.

Breakfast included a home made sno-cone, of snow and honey – in place of maple syrup!

A lovingly made snowman, who survived for most of the following week, before becoming a slushy puddle of coal, carrot nose and football scarf!

His first proper snow was quite overwhelming, and after the first novelty of it, Joe was less sure he liked it. Being pulled along on a sledge was a highlight for him, but he wasn’t too keen on the sledging down hills part, or the being so cold.

A wonderful end to 2017 and the perfect start to the whole festive season. Wishing you a very happy 2018; looking forward to an exciting new year!

 

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Natural Christmas Crafting

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A very quick Christmas Eve post to share some recent festive makes with you, as promised! They are all very simple to create, so you could even have a go this afternoon if you have an hour free! Personally, I’ll be enjoying some (relative) peace and quiet with a mince pie, mulled wine and the carols on the radio!

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Scandi Dala horse decorations, made from white fimo (oven-bake) clay, cut out with a horse shape cookie cutter and decorated with red ceramic paint. I painted both sides, so that they look extra pretty as they hang on the tree. Remember to make a small hole for a hanging loop before baking – I forgot to do this with the first batch!

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The house is decorated with natural greenery from our garden and the surrounding fields. The beautiful mistletoe was a lucky find from our local farm shop, where they were very generously giving away bunches to all customers – small acts of kindness like this are what Christmas is all about for me, and whilst this is important throughout the year, somehow these small gestures feel a bit more magical during the festive season.

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A garland made from dried orange slices and star anise (just in shot) and the Dala horses packaged up in gift boxes. Als0, a batch of apple strudel vodka, recipe thanks to Elinor, Beach Hut Cook, who shared it on her site recently. It is the best! I am really looking forward to experimenting with some apple strudel cocktails over the holidays.

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I decorated the bottles with more of the dried orange slices and cinnamon sticks – I thought they might be nice added to Christmas cocktails or mulled with something! The gift tags were an online printable, found via Pinterest, which I personalised using PicMonkey editor and then printed onto white cardstock.

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A little homemade gravadlax experiment, which I am trying for the first time. It smells amazing, and will hopefully be ready for Christmas day snacks before lunch. I mixed loads of fresh dill with salt and sugar and covered a fresh salmon with the mixture. It has been marinading for two days in the fridge and looks almost ready.

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Using fresh rosemary and sage from the garden I made several mini wreaths. Each one only took ten minutes to make, and was so satisfying – I love easy projects like this! I used some green florists wire as the base and wrapped the herbs around this, carefully tucking in the ends of each stalk. I have hung the wreaths around my house; by a mirror, on a blackboard and in the kitchen and they provide a gentle herby scent to the house. I have also made some festive-scented hessian bags of dried orange, cloves and star anise, and place these by the radiators in the evening. Again, these provide a lovely subtle Christmassy scent to the whole house.

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And of course, it wouldn’t be Christmas Eve without a mince pie. Made with Mia and Joe’s help, although they both mainly wanted to eat the raw pastry!

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas (or non-religious festive celebration) and enjoy the rest, cosiness and time with loved ones that this time of year allows. Wishing you peace and love for the New Year xx

 

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