O Christmas Tree

Its that time of year again, when Dad & I head out together in search for the perfect tree! It has been a family tradition now for several year. When I was still living at home, we would put the tree up the day it was brought and I would be the one to decorate the tree.

As Matt & I moved out December last year, we just had a little tiny tree as we weren’t really set for Christmas. However, this year, we are set! We have some decorations up, lights in the windows and I put aside money to get a decent sized tree. Matt is a bit of Grinch when it comes to Christmas, so told me that I should get a tree that was a little bigger than last year, but no where near what my dad gets.

I headed out with my Dad and he was telling me that he had seen some really nice trees at our local Tesco Store with my mum at the weekend and he felt we should head there first. So we did, an unusual place to purchase a tree! The lad that was out in the cold carpark surrounded by trees was really friendly and was happy to get out as many trees as we wanted to find our perfect tree.

When he pulled out a smaller tree for me, as soon as he stood it up I noticed there was a wonky bit at the top and I knew then it was going to be our tree. For those of you that remember last year, our tree was a little wonky then, its only right that we keep on that tradition! I got the tree home and with some help from dad, got it up and watered. After Dad headed out, I hoovered up the stray needles and then got out all of my Christmas Tree decorations. Most of them I brought last year, but some I took with me from my parents and others have been brought for us.

With The Santa Clause playing in the background, the tree started to become alive with twinkling fairy lights, shades of gold, red and & white. After about an hour, the tree is complete and Christmas has definitely arrived!

I love that our tree is now up, it certainly feels like Christmas has arrived! We have so many decorations on our tree and most of them have a special meaning or have been given to us by special people in our lives. Although all my decorations match to some extent, they are all unique and individual and for me that is the best thing about a Christmas Tree!

So, have you got your tree up yet? What is your favourite decoration?

Emma xx

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Festive

I am coming to the end of 4 days off work, making a lovely weekend extended to a 6 day weekend! Its been a nice way to start the festivities!

On Friday, my parents & I headed to Bath for the Christmas Market. I have to say it is one of the best ones I have been to and I am gutted I didn’t have more money to spend on the day. There were lots of stalls with unique gifts, food and drink and I could have easily spent a fortune. However, I am on a tight budget this month which helped and meant that I didnt waste my money on things I didn’t need. My parents however brought an abundance of things from chutneys to wreaths, however I have to say our best purchase was some fudge. I love fudge and I love it even more when it is Christmas Cake flavoured & looked like a Christmas Cake too. It was sooooo good! I am gutted I only got 1 small slab, I could easily eat so much more of it! Disappointingly, I only got 2 photo’s of the day. Well, I say its disappointing, it just means you will need to head there for yourselves and see just how good it is!

 

Saturday, for those of you that follow me on Facebook will know that Matt was working on Saturday unexpectedly, so I took full advantage and decided to put some Christmas decorations up! However, I cant help but feel that compared to my parents house that our home is so bare! However, I need to keep reminding myself that we have only been here a year, my parents have been buying Christmas decorations now for over 30 years! If you want to keep up with my Christmas events, search on Instagram for #christmasat36

Then Monday, Hayley & I had a date booked in for a spot of Christmas shopping and a spot of brunch! It was really nice to have just a chilled Monday around the shops, catching up and ticking things off the shopping list! I budgeted and spent all my budget, but I got what I needed and managed to do some window shopping too! We even managed to sneak a trip to our favourite garden centre where the Christmas goodies are by the truck load!

Its been a lovely long weekend and today was even better as I got my TREE!!! But That’s for another post!

Emma xx

Cuba

It was a normal Tuesday morning, I checked my “memories” on Facebook and noticed back in 2012 I had uploaded our photos from our trip to Cuba. Looking back at them made me sad, we loved Cuba. It was our first visit to the caribbean, my first long haul all inclusive holiday, our 3rd holiday together. We ate great food, drunk great booze, snorkeled, swam with dolphins and learnt about the beautiful country and met just a handful of amazing people.

We came home promising to return one day, fast forwarding to 2017 and we still haven’t gone back.

Whilst we dabble in holidays and often will look at the deals, recently Cuba has been coming up cheap but we just overlooked it, trying to find cheap deals to Vancouver or Vietnam. Before residing ourselves (hence my comments in a previous post), that due to stuff needing to be done with the house we just wouldn’t be holidaying in 2018.

Then, that Tuesday morning I was talking about above, I get into work getting stuck in to getting stuff done before going on Annual Leave & I get a call. Its Matt. I panic, whats happened, is he ok? He tells me to check my emails……

The content just says whoops and there is an attachment, its confirming a booking…..to Cuba in 168 days.

Shut The Front Door!

I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I get off the phone and am dumbfounded. I am going on holiday, to Cuba. Where we stayed all those years ago. I literally cannot wait and am super excited.

Then a couple of hours later, I start to worry…..how am I gonna afford it……I will be officially skint until we return in May especially as I have Matt’s surprise birthday trip in January!

Anyway, to get you guys as excited as me, here are a few pics from last time!

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30

I am 30 next year…….9 months away……30.

We have so much going on next year, driveways, decorating & weddings that I am not even sure that we will get to do the trip we had hoped to do for my 30th. Yes its disappointing. But we have a lot of plans and money isn’t never ending and we just have to save.

However. I am 30 next year. 

Over the past few years I have had a fear of my birthday. Peoples priorities are different, so gone are the days where you would have a giant sleepover with your girlfriends or a massive party in the garden. Its scaled back and shared with a select few. However 30 is pretty big. I feel like it needs to be celebrated. But like always I am putting everyone’s needs and lives in front of my own wants.

Thinking they wont be able to do that because of the kids, or those people wont be able to afford that, or no-one will want to do that.

I need to heed my own advice. The people that really want to celebrate will do all they can to be there. 

That in its self worries me. Will it end up just me and Matt? When did I start feeling so insecure that no-one wants to spend time with me? Where has this come from?

I need to stop this. I need to have a bit more confidence. 

So I thought I would share my ideas with you and see what you think!

  • Big Boozy Brunch at our pad an open house with champers, bucks fizz and a selection of yummy brunch pastries
  • Dinner out at my “favourite” restaurant, I dont really have a favourite – or should I say one everyone can afford/attend
  • Rent A Party House a long weekend with select friends……
  • HOLIDAY just Matt & I on the beach drinking cocktails and eating lots of yummy food

There is just a few idea’s, none of which I am tied to or particularly loving, but I feel I need to do something for my 30th!

What did you do?

Parties

Wow, can you believe I went to 2 Christmas parties at the weekend and its not even December! It has kick started the festive season off nicely as I now have at least 1 Christmas event each week in the lead up to the big day and I cannot wait!

With that said, this weekends events all revolved around work. Spending time with old friends and celebrating with the current teams! It was great to let my hair down after a busy year and just enjoy getting dressed up, eating food and drinking plenty!

Anyway I wanted to share some pictures with you from my Friday night. Some of you will know that my boss of almost 9 years left the company in April. She grew to be more than just a boss and I am confident that my fellow work buddies and I have missed having her around daily on more than 5 occasions since she left. A month or so ago, we were struggling with various different things and decided that a girls night at Sue’s was just what we needed. So the date was set and we all ended our Friday at work excited for all the food and drink that would be consumed! It was so nice to be around each other again and just enjoy each others company. I haven’t managed to see Sue as much as I would have liked to since April, but she is still an important part of who I have become.

Thank You Sue for a wonderful night!

Ladies Night

Saturday night was great fun, our 2nd annual aunties/nieces/cousins/cousin in law/sister in law night out. Just generally the younger female generation of the family on a boozy night out! Our group has grown since this all started many years ago, when we had planned days out in London. However, more recently we have decided to stick to food and drinks – beacuse lets not lie, who doesnt love food and drink!

Our venue of choice was Turtle Bay & Sprinkles in Southampton, however a few of us met up early to hit the Christmas Market before hand! Here is a lovely selection of photo’s of our evening!

Friendships

A couple of months ago, for those of you that follow my story will know that I attended my 3rd Liberty Shoot (you can read about it here) and loved every second of it.

I didn’t know anyone, so was forced to make conversation with other women and naturally provide support and encouragement, its just what happens on a shoot, you realise that as women we are there to help, guide and nurture each other not tear each other down.

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Anyway, all of the ladies that I met that day were battling their own demons and I can honestly say they all inspired me in their own way. However, I never expected to see or talk to them again, unless it was another shoot.

I posted my pics in our group and spoke about how much I loved them and what I got from the experience on the beach. I was really shocked to then see a friend request come through on Facebook from Charlotte, one of the ladies I had met that day. We exchanged messages for a while, before we decided we were going to meet up, dates changed due to other things going on but we eventually met up earlier in the week.

I was incredibly nervous the whole day, when you meet someone new and form a friendship as an adult its usually through mutual friends or you become friends through work or children etc. its not often that you meet someone randomly and then arrange to meet for a drink.

On the way I was giving myself a bit of a prep talk, not to be boring, remember to ask questions, not talk about myself too much and listen. Be an active listener.

I really didn’t need to worry, we got on really well, chatted for hours and it was just really natural. It didn’t feel forced and I had a really nice evening and came away feeling like I had made a new friend.

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We all go through seasons of our life where friendships change and it can be really easy to feel like you are alone and have no-one around you. However, I promise that if you just take a step back and look around, there will be people around you that are reaching out to you but you just cant see it because your chasing after a friend that isn’t being there for you.

I am not the most outgoing person and I definitely dont like to be the centre of attention and would prefer to be the care giver, the person that people come to with their problems rather than burden them with mine.

BUT I have learnt more recently that, those behaviours aren’t healthy and that isn’t allowing me to get fulfillment from my friendships. I need people to be there for me too, but I dont allow that. So I am actively trying to change that and whilst it may be difficult for me to open up, I know that it will be ok and I will feel happier.

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I guess what I am trying to say is, yes its weird making new friends as adults, but people come into our lives for a reason. I am not sure what the reason is that Charlotte & I have crossed paths and often you never find out, but I am looking forward to a new friendship and all the fun times that brings!

Emma xxx