Merry Christmas from Musings!

I just wanted to drop in quickly, and say Merry Christmas to you from me and Musings of a So-Called Shutterbug!

By this time in the day you should be as stuffed as the turkey and a little half-cut, if you’re so inclined.

You might have just watched The Queen, or if your family is anything like mine, you might be trying to hear the TV over the sound of the man of the house snoring loudly in his chair!

Whatever your Christmas scenario, I hope it’s full of family and love.

I’ll see you on the other side!

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Fun Times at Winter Wonderland!

Last weekend we headed to Hyde Park in London for the annual Christmas fair, Winter Wonderland.

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The intention had been to go the previous day but despite it being mild weather it rained hard all day. I’m so glad we waited because the weather was lovely the following day and even though it was colder, the sun shone brightly!

When we arrived at Hyde Park the line to get into Winter Wonderland was huge, but we walked a little further down the path to a different gate, and walked right in (pro tip!)

We headed to the Bavarian Village section first, because that’s where the best food is, and I was hungry! Every year I get the same thing. German sausage, potato dumpling with gravy and hot spiced red cabbage. It took a little while to find it this time around as they’d extended the Bavarian Village section massively, but I followed my nose and found the correct stall.

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The food was yummy as always, and after eating we had a little further look around the area. I was pleased to see the inside tent still there, with live singers on stage performing Christmas hits.

I got some mulled wine too 🙂

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The village wasn’t too busy at this point but it was getting more and more packed by the minute! For some reason they felt it important to correctly sign post EVERYTHING!

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The fairground rides this year were awesome. There was a fantastic looking rollercoaster, big wheel and haunted house.

Gary grabbed some sweetcorn to munch on which looked amazing.

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We had a little look around some of the craft stalls and then headed out of Hyde Park.

We wanted to see the Christmas lights on Oxford Street and I had to nip into some of the shops. If I hadn’t already been in London I wouldn’t have dreamt of going to Oxford Street at Christmas time. It was PACKED. But I’m really glad we did. We headed to Liberty and just as we walked in a choir started singing ‘Carol of the Bells’ which is one of my favourite carols. I’m so pleased we went in when we did!

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Heading home, shattered, but happy, the sunset was awesome and it was a lovely end to a perfectly festive day!

I also vlogged this trip so make sure you check out the video, even if it’s just to see the sunset at the end!

This Week I Have Been Mostly….

 

this week i have been mostly

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! It’s finally here!

Over the years I’ve written loads of posts about Christmas. In 2013  I even wrote a blog a day for 24 days and called Shutterbug’s Advent Calendar. This was way before Blogmas was a thing… I’m such a trend-setter!

So I’m not going to bore you all with the same old stuff. But I have been feeling extra specially Christmassy this year. It might be because last year I spent Christmas Day travelling to New York. And yes, it was the most amazing holiday and such a special way to celebrate Christmas Day. But it did leave me feeling like I’d missed my usual traditional Christmas Day – the Christmas Day I’d been used to.

This year Christmas Day falls on a Sunday which means Christmas Eve is also a weekend day. So no work for us! And it means we get an extra day before Christmas Day to prepare and wrap and shop and eat!

This year I start my celebrations on Christmas Eve Eve with a trip to London to see Chic after work, and it means I can let down my hair and have a good old boogie knowing that I don’t have to work the next day!

So far, we’ve put up the tree, bought all the presents and started eating lots of gingerbread!

We also went to Winter Wonderland last weekend, and I vlogged so keep an eye out for the video which should be going up on my channel this coming weekend.

And now I can finally say that Christmas is next week. I still have to wrap the presents, but I’m just waiting for the last one to arrive. We’ve watched most of our Christmas films but there’s still Muppets Christmas Carol to go, and then The Holiday and Polar Express on Christmas Eve.

I can’t wait for a traditional family Christmas this year and it’s coming around so quickly!

If you haven’t seen it already, I posted a new video onto my channel in my Things I Like series. This time around it’s all about Christmas so take a look!

 

This is likely to be my last proper post before Christmas, so I hope you have an awesome day and wonderful break from work and school. Stay safe, eat drink and be merry! Merry Christmas!!

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God Bless Us, Everyone

I don’t know how it’s happened, but all of a sudden it’s Christmas Eve Eve! I type this as I watch A Muppet Christmas Carol and sip on a snowball. I finally got around to writing my Christmas cards this evening, and wrapping the last of the presents. My new Christmas jumper is twitching in my wardrobe, eager to be worn (I won it in a competition Fat Face were running on their Facebook page. It’s worth entering these things, apparently!)

Since I last wrote a few things have happened:

  • My good friend Tash ran her first half marathon in a very respectable time and I am super proud of her!
  • We went to London for our work’s Christmas party and saw some old friends.
  • The book club girls came over and we got to spend a chilled afternoon in each other’s company AND have cuddles with little baby Leo.
  • I’ve watched more Christmas movies. We now have The Grinch, Love Actually and Bernard and the Genie under our belts.
  • More Christmas lights have been added to our living room grotto and it’s super Christmassey!
  • I made and have delivered most of my handmade Christmas pressies for this year. I plan on blogging about them after Christmas since not everyone has had theirs yet. But they have seemed to go down well so far!

Christmas Eve tomorrow will be spent at work for most of the day, getting festive with my wonderful team and then G-Man and I will share a very festive KFC dinner and watch our traditional Christmas Eve films, The Holiday and then The Polar Express (with hot chocolate of course!) Last Christmas, Gary and I wrote letters to ourselves a year in the future all about the past year and what we expected for 2014. We don’t know what each other wrote, but tomorrow evening we’ll open them. It’s our first year doing this, and I have no idea what I wrote so I’m kind of looking forward to seeing what it says!

I honestly can’t believe that it’s almost the end of 2014 and I’m really looking forward to writing my round-up. It’s been such an amazing year and I really can’t wait for 2015!

So there’s nothing left to do but to wish all my readers a safe and exciting Christmas and New Year. I hope you are able to spend it with friends and family and that whatever your situation it’s filled with love. Merry Christmas!

I won a Christmas jumper!
I won a Christmas jumper!

 

The cutest Santa Baby you ever saw! Little Leo!
The cutest Santa Baby you ever saw! Little Leo!

 

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Getting festive in the supermarket

 

Catching Up

And all of a sudden it’s Christmas!

We’ve upped the decor this year and this weekend I started to feel like it was Christmas because the tree went up and we bought some more decorations for around the house. We watched Home Alone and wrapped the presents to complete the tree look. My Christmas song playlist got its first outing of the year and I wore an awful lot of fairisle!

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It doesn’t seem like that long since Halloween and I can’t tell you where November went. Before you know it I’ll be posting my 2014 round-up and talking about plans for next year. What I loved about putting the tree up this year was that I was able to involve my friends, metaphorically speaking.

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The top picture is a decoration I got from my friend Beckie, last Christmas, and I just had to put it up again this year. I’ve also put up the mistletoe she sent last year too. Underneath that is a decoration which I got in the summer and usually lives on the mantle but has been moved to the tree for the festive season. It features a photo of all us book club girls and it’s a picture from a special day because it was Easter Sunday and also the day one of the girls announced she was pregnant.  (She has recently had her baby, and he is adorable. I’ve already had cuddles!)

Following the festivities I’ve been working on various themed manicures. Last week was dark grey and snowfall gradient

925617_864513893592866_1698284993_nand this week I have brought out the old favourite, candy canes.

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They took an age to do though, so I’m glad it’s just once a year!

Gary and I visited the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park to continue the Christmassy-ness. We had bratwurst with red cabbage and potato dumplings, corn cobs, mulled wine and mini pancakes topped with hot Nutella.

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It’s all gotten us into the swing of Christmas and we’re very much looking forward to continuing the festive fun over the next few weekends.

December 11th

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I know what’s important to me at Christmas, and I know what’s important to my family, but I wondered what was important to the masses. So I did a little research. I asked on Facebook and twitter “What’s your favourite thing about Christmas?”

I got a fantastic response. Here are some of the answers I got:

FAIRY LIGHTS! X

A perfectly acceptable Baileys for breakfast

People making an extra special to be nice to one another and not feeling embarrassed to show affection and appreciation. (Plus kissing my husband under the mistletoe!)

The look on people’s faces when opening gifts and the decs it’s all about the decs !! My house would look like Santa’s grotto all year if it was socially acceptable lol

The spirit of giving, the lights, the movies and the music

Sitting by the fire with the family, munching on Celebrations and listening to Christmas music.

Christmas films: Die Hard, Gremlins, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Trading Places. And Food… Lots of food

Catching up with friends via Christmas cards & singing Christmas Carols .

You spend a few hours a week with your family during the year, but Christmas Day you spend the whole day and evening

My favorites are: 1) Xmas tree decorations 2) baking for friends and family 3) Christmas lights 4) holiday TV specials

What I loved about the responses I got was that the overwhelming consensus is people love spending time with family and friends at Christmas. It’s a little sad that we only make the time over the holidays, and in my case I’ve run out of time to see everyone I told I would DEFINITELY see (sorry guys!) But I love that everyone feels the same as I do, and loves the time with family and friends. Despite it being a stressful time of year in some respects, the cosyness of the food, lights, fire and smells all help to create a kind of excitement that turns the stress into anticipation.

I’ve visited London a few times in the last few weeks, both in the day and at night and I really enjoyed seeing the lights and the hustle and bustle of the Christmas events going on. I’ve got my work Christmas party this Friday and we’re off to Hyde Park Winter Wonderland to experience the German market and the wonderful food and live music. Then Saturday I have my book club meeting at my house (my first gathering at my new house!). I can’t wait to spend this time being festive. Food, music, movies. It’s all good 😀

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What’s your favourite thing about Christmas?

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December 9th

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Firstly today, I’d like to share one of my favourite Christmas songs. Not my ultimate favourite but I do love this version of Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas by a band close to my heart, Hem. There isn’t an official video for this, so please forgive the cheesy Tiffany advert visuals and focus on the warm tones of the music and vocals.

Are you feeling suitably warm and fuzzy? Good.

Today I want to talk about music. Music is so important to Christmas, and every year I have a playlist which I love to play of all my favourite Christmas tunes.

Over the years I’ve added to the list, but I very rarely take any away. One tune I had to hunt for for a long time was one I remembered from being a kid. It’s by Paul Young and called What Christmas Means to Me. I think it’s a Stevie Wonder song but I know this version from being a little and I love it.

Then there’s the Christmas Songs that aren’t Christmas songs, like The Power of Love by Frankie Goes To Hollywood, or New Year by Sugababes. They’re not strictly Christmas but always feature on my playlist.

Christmas in UK is not complete without Merry Christmas Everybody by Slade. I have it on good authority that it’s not known anywhere else other than the UK, which is a crying shame and I’m taking it upon myself to educate all you non-Brits in the ways of Slade at Christmas. You’re welcome:

There are so many more on my list: Driving Home for Christmas by Chris Rea, All I Want For Christmas is You by Mariah Carey, Silver Bells by Doris Day – I could go on and on. But I want to share with you my ultimate favourite Christmas song. Christmas Wrapping by The Waitresses never fails to get me dancing and singing and I hope it does for you too. Enjoy!

What are your favourite songs at this time of year?

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