Month: December 2013

It’s the small things – looking back at Christmas

Time for it’s the small things Christmas edition! I wants to end the year looking back at the lovely month of December. I can’t believe we are at the end of the year. I know we all say it but time does really fly by.

We had the obligatory watching of Elf whilst wrapping Christmas presents.

And putting the tree up.

We had proseco and Edinburgh Christmas markets.

We had ferry trips to Ireland

Open fires.

Mulled wine by candlelight on Christmas Eve and of course REAL Guinness!

There was present opening

Mulled cider, Coca cola t-shirts and homemade sweetie trees.

And lots of cocktails.

And it was a great one! Thanks to both of our families for putting us up and putting up with us.
Hope you all have a wonderful 2014.

Will 2014 be the year?!?

Another turn of the year is here, time for me to look to the New Year with renewed optimism and hope that 2014 will be our year.

2013 has taught me a lot, about myself, my ability to cope with the unknown and about my marriage. All things that I will be bringing with me into 2014, all things that have got me through 2013 in one piece feeling stronger than I ever thought I would.

So come on 2014, let’s make this our year!


Happy New Year everyone, hope all your dreams come true in 2014 xx


Getting my stitch on

After seeing one of the girls I follow on twitter making this cross stitch for her friend a few months ago I really wanted to do it for my sister as I really think this is her humour!

I haven’t cross stitched for a long time but it’s really easy to do and I picked it up again quite quickly.

I used a pattern from Etsy.

I decided to do it on cream adia and used brown thread to match the colours of her kitchen and after much searching I found a frame on EBay that I really liked and thought would set it of really nicely.

I am really pleased with the end result.


My sister loved it as part of her Christmas present.

Driving home for Christmas

back alley christmas 
Well that time of year is nearly upon us!  I love Christmas, I come from a family of Christmas lovers and I really do enjoy this time of year. I know people have traditions that they stick to year in and year out but mine have had to change slightly depending on where I am living and what my job dictates.
My Christmas traditions have definitely changed over the years.  When I lived at home (and in the same country as my family) Christmas was always a real family time, everyone would be at my parents house and the house was always full on Christmas Day. We would always go to Midnight mass on Christmas Eve with my Dad, back to the church of his childhood and a brief visit to my Aunt’s house before heading back over home. If we were lucky we would get to open one present before heading to bed and letting the big man get on with his delivery.  Christmas was always such a special time at home and not only did Santa deliver us presents but we very often got ones labelled from his reindeer’s too (a tradition my mother kept up long after we stopped believing in the big man!)
When I moved away, my first Christmas was spent on the Isle Of Man.  I have to admit I was dreading it, I had never not spent Christmas with my family and I was so worried that it just wouldn’t be the same.  But there ended up being  a group of about 15 of us who couldn’t get home for Christmas and we all went to my best friends house where we even managed to make an attempt at Christmas dinner, it was a lovely way to spend the first Christmas away from my family and it is now one I remember really fondly.
When I met my now husband whilst living away from home, we had separate Christmas’s. He went to his house in Ireland and me to mine, this was always the case right up until we got married 2 years ago.  We always did ‘our own’ christmas on one of the weekends running up to Christmas, paper hats and all and watched ‘It’s a wonderful life’ together. I know some people think that is really odd but it worked for us, both our families mean so much to us and it worked out the way we did it so why change.
Though we did decide that things needed to change. Now we are married the last two Christmas’s have been a little different, for the first time in 10 years we spent Christmas day together, not back in Ireland though but at my wonderful brother and sister in laws house here as with my job I have unfortunately had to work the last two Christmas days.  We have still kept up the tradition of watching ‘It’s a wonderful life’ in the run up to Christmas. I am forever grateful to my husband for staying here with me and for making a new tradition of being together on Christmas Day. Even if I’m working Christmas I still get to see my family, we now have a tradition of a special Christmas weekend where I will come home and we will have Christmas dinner with all the trimmings, last year it was really early in December and much to my amazement both my Mum and sister had put up their tree for me coming home so it felt like Christmas.
This year again will be different for me, for one, I am actually off this one *dances around* and we have decided to go back to Ireland for Christmas and for me a further break in tradition.  I have never gone back to Ireland and not spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at my own parents house but this year we have made a decision that we will be spending Christmas Eve and part of Christmas Day at my in laws before then making the drive to my parents house for the remainder of Christmas Day and Boxing Day where the tradition of all heading to my sisters house will still take place. I know it will feel odd to be back in Ireland and not to be sitting down to Christmas dinner at my own parents house but for us traditions have to keep changing and this year I will just be thankful to have my husband by my side again.
Goodness only knows what will happen next year but as long as we have each other we will have our new tradition!
Claire xx
Image Credit –

darwin Bell via Compfight

Weight loss Wednesday

Week 8 and the last Wednesday weigh in before Christmas. Next week my plan is to weigh in next Monday before I go away but I will probably miss a week on the blog.

I’ve had a bad week walking wise this week. I have a reoccurring back issue which is flaring up this week so I’ve only managed


Weight wise this week I can only report

Not that I’m overly surprised about this, I know though that I need to try extra hard over the holidays to not eat everything in sight just because it’s Christmas!!

On a more positive note I’m very pleased that after 8 weeks I have lost.


I haven’t quite broke into the next stone barrier just yet but my plan as I said will be to jump on the scales just before I head home for a week so fingers crossed I may manage it just before then.

Claire xx

Bacon & Mushroom Penne Pasta ~ Slimming World


Extra Easy – Free

Serves 2


175g dried penne
150g back bacon rashers, all fat removed, roughly chop
1 onion, chopped
100g baby button mushrooms, halved
70g cherry tomatoes, halved
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 tbsp fat-free natural Fromage frais

Cook the pasta, meanwhile place a large frying pan sprayed with fry light, stir fry the bacon and onion for a few minutes.

Add the tomatoes, mushrooms and garlic and stir fry until the mushrooms are soft then stir in your cooked pasta.

Remove from the heat and stir in the Fromage frais.

Enjoy xx

Weight Loss Wednesday

Week 7 and still plodding on.

Slightly less miles out walking the dog this week as I have been working the weekend and I’ve made an agreement with the husband that we will take turns as I really don’t want to start hating it feeling I have to do his long walk every day. So far so good.

I’ve still lost my mojo a little eating wise, certainly have been turning to more sweet things this week but still keeping them in moderation. I think I really just need to focus on small weight losses each week until we get through Christmas and try and not have any gains!!

I would really like to break the next stone bracket before Christmas though, I only need to lose 2lbs to get into it so I really need to get more focused again.

So at the end of week 7, I am pleased to report ~


It’s the small things ~ November edition

Some snapshots of the small things I’ve been up to in November.

Squeezing in some final autumn walks in the woods.

Cross stitching! Further post to come.

Making a very special little boy a very special poem card.

Enjoying my first red cup of the holiday season.

Making the husband and dog pose in the park to capture big shadows.

Doing the most important job of the year at work.

What have you been up too?

Claire xx

Weight loss Wednesday

Week 6 of slimming down has not been smooth.

I have still managed a good few walks and clocked up a respectful ~


Eating wise though I’ve not been as good as I have been. I’ve been feeling stressed and have found myself reaching for comfort food. I was hoping to up my weight loss this week but that hasn’t happened. I’m not going to be too hard on myself though and am still very happy to report.


As I knew I hadn’t been great for weightloss I decided to redo my measurements. I had first done them back at the end if August when I first restarted trying to lose weight again. I must admit I’m over the moon with these figures.


So onto a new week, one where I need to knuckle down. I still need to lose another 9lbs to get put on the IVF waiting list so a little while to go yet.

Claire xx