Just a few Christmas decorations, advent calendars...and final baby decisions

The Christmas decorations have been brought down from the loft! The aim was to see what we had and what we needed to buy - i.e. to assess the situation only - as you can see, I didn't quite manage to stick entirely to that remit. A few 'select items' were dotted about the house.

When I went into work on Monday and found my parents had decorated the hotel, I could not resist. Stores and hotels are displaying their Christmas décor but no-one is decorating their house yet, except possibly me. Although I am excluding anything expressly Christmassy and instead calling it a 'Winter Theme.' Whatever it takes. Favourite no 1 - sneaky Christmas - ooops I mean 'winter' décor.

A little bit of hotel Christmas décor


 Even Marks and Spencer has Christmas themed takeaway food - I couldn't resist - favourite no 2 of the week.

Gorgeous George has been resplendently enjoying the new plush winter cushions. He enjoyed lording it over this snowy fox - favourite no 3 - this dignified fur ball.

In my zealous efforts to decorate, I handled the heavy boxes A was passing down from the loft. I can't even remember injuring myself but I woke up with a hand like this. It was originally more black. I am the worst for googling symptoms and by the time I finished I had all sorts of scary syndromes and arthritic fingers.
I am guessing this is some sort of sprain or hyperextension? Any clues anyone? I am guessing there isn't  much I can do to make it better other than give it time?

I am hoping that strategic placement of this cushion will indeed, bring a lovely light dusting (or heavy downfall - either is fine) - of snow. I am ready.

My favourite Christmas story books and food catalogues have been placed, ready for when I get that elusive sofa time with a nice cup of tea. Favourite no 4 - early Christmas reads!

I have also been clearing the bookcase shelves to create space for new decorations. I've had a good scan of what we have from previous years and we definitely need an update.

What is your Christmas decorating style? Mine is a bit of a hybrid - I like natural materials, a vintage look, with a homely twist. We had gone for quite a Scandi look in the past, with lots of decorations to appeal to Caspar when he was younger. I fancy something a bit more 'grown up' now.
Watch this space!

I thought I'd keep the small Advent tree out so I could think about what small delights I can hide in each drawer. Do you buy an Advent calendar?  Do you buy a chocolate filled or even a toiletry one? I am quite the purist and actually buy just a paper one ( well A does for me as a pre-Christmas gift). As when a child I actually get excited in the morning seeing what is behind each door. I am not embarrassed to say I do, even as a grown woman, retain many silly childlike ways that I don't want to lose. I am quite liking this calendar from Fortnum and Mason this year (first, below) -  favourite no 5. Saying that, I would not say no to the Charbonnel et Walker one.

I love a good cupboard purge (favourite no 6)- especially around the time I am seasonally changing the décor (heck I am even bringing out the 'winter tea towels'. So I am getting rid of half of our plates and replacing them with this eclectic mix of china given to me by my mother - known in this house as 'Granny'. Granny never lets me leave the house without something. She has lots of things she always wants to give away. This week she has been doing all of our laundry (and ironing) like a complete angel - we ended up, in error, with quite a few of my Dad's clothes. She tried to get me to take my Dad's shirts without his knowledge. I told him this today and he just laughed. This week we've also had jeans for Caspar, a marble with leather handled cheese board (which I had to give back as it didn't fit with our kitchen) and this china (favourite no 7):

Does anyone else have experience of this #motherphenomenon?

TV wise - I haven't had a lot of time for anything other than work this week - so TV has been few and far between. We did start the new House of Cards though - what do you think of this? It does seem strange without Frank, but I have the feeling Claire is going to become more and more like him:

She makes me literally suck my breath in sometimes - I thought she was going to crush that poor bird. Lots of gentle teeth grinding moments. I am mildly fascinated by her Vice President, a kind intellectual ice king. I am very fascinated by her wardrobe - I would love this jacket above. Does anyone know who designs her set wardrobe? I have done some internet searches and not come up with anything. Would love to know - I love a good power wardrobe - favourite no 8.

My last favourite - and I don't want it to dominate this post, hence its footnote status -  as a family we have decided not to try for another baby anymore. We respect Caspar's input and have decided we don't want to take any risks to my health or a baby's health. We don't want to be in limbo anymore and feel we are ready to move into a new chapter - with new, different goals, while appreciating what we have. This hasn't been easy, and I know there will be days where I might question this decision, or see other's pregnancy news or photos and feel a little sorry for myself BUT I know it is the sensible decision. So stay posted to a post soon on moving on and future goals..

Ready, ready, ready for the weekend this week. It is set to be one of continued grim, dank weather so it will be all about the Christmas planning this weekend! I have spent hours pouring over websites looking for the perfect Christmas cards, so you can only imagine what I am like looking for decorations, food and gifts! Stay posted for a new series of posts (other than just life updates) on Christmas shopping, gifting and preparations - would that be of interest?

Big hugs - Joanne xx

Linking up with Erika and Narci:

A Cup of Tea Blog, and TBB:


Shannon said…
I love the Christmas takeaway food! You all are really gearing up for the holidays!! I'm sorry your fingers are having a rough go! I hope the pain goes away soon. I too love a cupboard clean out! Those china plates are so lovely! I love china and inherited some from my grandmother. I wish I had more reasons to use them other than wedding and baby showers! I have not ever done an advent calendar. I would eat all of the chocolates out of it!

Lastly, I want to send big hugs. Reading this hurt my heart. Your family's decision no doubt took a lot of courage and strength. I pray wherever life takes you all next that close friends and family will surround you with love and support. Praying that the Lord will restore joy and provide you strength during times when you may need it the most. Sending love, friend XX - Shannon
simply styling said…
Hey Joanne, I’m already decorating for Christmas and I’m getting all kinds of heck from everyone. It’s earlier than I usually start but you know what ??? The holiday comes and goes so quickly and if I slowly put my decorations out all month I will get a bit longer to enjoy ! Anyway I love this time of the year. I have always hung up an Advent Calendar and my children loved it when they were young and now I do this for my grandchildren. I would love love to see posts on Christmas shopping and gifting !!! Have a fabulous weekend friend !
Okay. New phase of life . . . GO! (Starting with Christmas, which I am a total drag about decorating for, as my children will be happy to tell you.)

Have a good weekend, maybe with lots of tea and jammy time.
Reason 3913 we are soul sisters: advent calendars. I still get one each year -- I opt for the one with those cheap chocolates behind each door (no shock there!) -- and these days I get a little salty because I need to split my tiny chocolate with the girls. I may buy us each a calendar this year, ha!

As for your decision -- I know that, even if it's the right one for your family, it wasn't an easy decision to make. I'm looking forward to hearing your goals and to watching your path unfold -- no doubt it will hold a lot of excitement and much wonder. Hugs, friend.
OMG I thought that she was going to kill the bird too. The Christmas decor looks beautiful!! Have a wonderful weekend.
Europafox said…
Thank you Shannon for your sweet words. As for the china - use it anyway! We have a lovely Royal Doulton tableware set from our wedding that we have used for 14 years (hammered it) and it has still survived - even being put through the dishwasher every day. It is stronger than you think. Haha I know a few people who rip the chocolates out first! We are lucky C has never done that - but he does it it at about 6am as soon as he gets up! Have a great weekend - Joanne xx
Europafox said…
I totally agree Tammy - there are so many other things to think of as Christmas gets closer too - putting some decorations up sets the scene and gets you in the mood. They have to be up before I write cards - so I can sit in the 'grotto' with Christmas music and some punch or mulled wine. I hate it when people complain about early decorating - we have so many scrooges here who don't even send cards. Your tree looked gorgeous on your Instagram account! J xx
Europafox said…
Yes exactly - I feel like I have a lot of making up to do! You are so right about the week-end - it is howling outside, grey and horrid - definitely lots of tea and cosying and planning on the agenda! Have a lovely week-end too - hopefully with no green hand incidents ;) Joanne xx
Europafox said…
I am glad you do one too - something so simple but such a lovely tradition. It certainly was a tough decision, but the right one. Looking forward to developing our first family bucket list and moving forward! J xx P.S. yes perhaps splitting the advent chocolates three ways might be a tad tricky this year ;)
Europafox said…
Yes I was almost biting the inside of my mouth, she certainly has a cruel and psychotic side, I never really know what to expect from her. Thanks re the decs, just a few cheery bits to tide me over the next few weeks until the 'real ones' come out. Looking forward to buying some new ones too - I don't think C will let me put up the ones he used to make in prep and kindergarten anymore boohoo! Have a great weekend - Joanne xx
I love that you're decorating and bringing out the winter/a little bit of Christmas decor ;) I think my style is also a mix of things. I love vintage pieces and also the bright and airy feel of some of the new decor we have around here. George is just the cutest and I love that fox pillow you have. I'm sure that must have been one of the hardest decisions to make but I love and respect that you also took C's input into consideration. You are an amazing mom and I hope the next chapter and adventures you embark on are filled with nothing but happiness for you and your family. Sending you all the hugs, Joanne xo Sierra Beautifully Candid
I really hope your hand is ok and you figure out what is going on with it. As for all the amazing Christmas decor, I am so jealous you have some of it up already. I am starting to get mine down, but I am waiting until after Thanksgiving. Love the advent calendars so much. As for House of Cards, I am definitely watching it and about 6 episodes in. I am sad that Frank isn't there as he was a huge part of the show, but I am loving all the new characters in it. I can't wait to see what happens. Have a great weekend!
Europafox said…
I definitely think you have to decorate to fit the age and style of your home, plus of course lifestyle - most of ours are wooden as least prone to destruction from the pets and from Caspar when he was little :) Thank you for your lovely comments - they are very uplifting and I really appreciate it. I hope you had a great weekend - Joanne xx
Europafox said…
Fortunately the hand has totally settled now and you can hardly see the bruise - I am a terrible combination of a doctor avoider and google diagnoser - a really bad habit! I did a little binge watch of HOC on Friday night and fell asleep - not because it was boring, it was completely gripping, but because I had watched so many episodes! I am missing Frank but I am sure that further episodes in his absence will be less apparent - I really want Claire to beat those vested interests, as a woman you watch and really feel for her (even though she is a sociopath). Let me know what you think as it progresses! Hope you had a great weekend - Joanne xx

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