Wednesday, 31 December 2008

HAPPY HOGMANAY to you all!!

Just finished eating Raclette and now have retreated to the living room watching TV (Reece Witherspoon on BBC2 - "Just Like Heaven").

May have crisps/doritos and dips later, as well as our dessert (well, that's earlier than the crisps). Then off to find a nice big blankie we can hang over the living room doors to prevent any light going out ... don't really fancy having any drunk revellers around. :)

As for fireworks - today was fully overcast, so I doubt that I will be able to take any photos of the BIG fireworks, but may get some if our neighbours are putting some up for the kids. :)

This year is the first in about 5 years (?) that we WON'T have rain on Hogmanay, so the people who are now in the City will have a nice night. ;)

Below is a photo of a previous Hogmanay Firework - not from me, I have to add!


Sales??? No WAY!!

Well... after gym I went food shopping, and actually decided to have a look for sales bargains at The Gyle.

So tried to work my way from the back forward to Morrisons, but while spending around 45 mins in M&S there was NO WAY I was able to get anything... they had sales racks dotted all over the place, and those were just mix and match with blouses/tops/trousers/skirts all on ONE rail!! Not to mention the chaos of sizes!! No need to say I came out without a purchase.

Had a looksie at the smaller shops (Next, Monsoon etc.) but couldn't find anything I really liked with a price I liked (was actually hoping for work trousers), so that was that. Then popped into The Body Shop, WHSmiths & WHSmiths Books and Zavvie - nothing.

The only non-food item I purchased today was at Morrisons and it was one of those draft pillow thingies with cats & dogs (thought it was very fitting ;) ).

Really glad that I am more and more picky with the stuff I am buying!! :D

Came back home to a birthday card from Sharon (thanks, hun!!! Are those stamps on the overlay and inside??) and the Christmas present from Markus (weird - the birthday present arrived in time yesterday. ;) ) which I have yet to unwrap.

Last day of 2008

DH is at work and AP and I will be going to the gym (waaah! Again??) for about 30 mins at noon. Then I have to go to Morrisons to get some more bread and ham and then I think we're settled. May post a couple of back dated blog entries, or maybe even do some scrapping!! *gasp*

Think about my New Year's Resolutions etc.

But I am sure I will post again here before the end of the day/year. :)

Plan is to have our Raclette and then just disappear upstairs to watch telly or so. Or maybe downstairs with no lights on, so AP doesn't feel left out. Have to speak to DH about this.

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

What day is it? Oh yes... THAT day... ;)

Yup, that's me another year older now...felt much older over the year with all the stuff going on, but now it's official. ;)

It's a weird day - I think since I became a twen I could easily do without it. It's horrible to have your birthday that close to Christmas and just the day before New Year's Eve. It's not really anything special.

Today started weird already - DH has smuggled in my present during the night - a nice body pillow - which is great! :) Like it, but takes a bit space in the bed ... so I think we maybe should go for a kingsize soon, just to fit the kingsize duvet we already have. Interrupted sleep again due to meds taking at 6:30am and then I had to get up at 8am again to get to the docs - I have a wrist ganglion since Christmas Eve and just wanted to make sure it's really just a ganglion and nothing with my carpals.

Spoke to doc about tiredness etc, and was given an appointment for blood tests with the nurse - just 40 mins later. So I got home, had a sip of tea, a teensy weensy bit of stollen and went back for the test.

Now I am back home, have started unwrapping presents (will post photos in a bit) and finished breakfast.

Another weird thing is that DH is at work today - think it must be the first time ever he's been working on my birthday. Not sure if that's positive or negative. ;)

Sunday, 28 December 2008

It's Sunday again...

And I decided to take off the Christmas playlist here ... it's only 2 days until Hogmanay, and I've got to go to work tomorrow... Due to the Saturday bus services I decided to ask for a lift from my colleague who's giving me lifts to work before... totally forgetting that he's usually in the office at 7am, which means he'll be picking me up around 6:30am the latest... aaaaah!!! So I'm about to switch off the lights. ;)

I've not been feeling 100% since Boxing day, first I thought that I finally get the cold DH has been battling with, but nothing really, apart from a tiny sore throat and a sniffle, but both only in the mornings and disappearing by lunchtime. The only thing that's a bit off is that my whole body hurts. So I can only assume that my cold has "imploded", i.e. is stuck inside and still won't come out. If I'm feeling well enough I am going back to the gym tomorrow ... just to get back into routine.

As for the current playlist - that's mostly songs we came across during our holiday in Orlando - always a good way to pick up new songs. :)

Will probably posting a couple of back dated posts on Tuesday/Wednesday, so don't worry that you get older posts when you're using Google Reader or other Blog readers.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

7pm update from Christmas Central

Duck needs another 10 mins to get a crispy skin, sprouts are doing nicely, so do the red cabbage, gravy and the dumplings (at least I hope so! ;) ).

Christmas E-mails are sent out to both the German speaking and the English speaking contingents, we had already a call from my nephew at around 4:30pm thanking for his present (DH made him a Lego Batman in Bat Plane - collectors item as only 1 existing ;) ).

Think DH managed to wrap my presents (bit of cheating - I bought stash).

As for the tree - it's trimmed. Still crooked but it's growing on me. At least we won't have the problem of it falling towards the room (it's standing in a corner). ;)

Ok... oven is pinging, Duck is ready and I have to ask DH when he can come down for food.



Just in case you're not doing it already ...


Keeps everyone amused during Christmas Eve ... kids as well as adults (well, the adults in this household at least!! :)

That's the one from his departure - believe he's now in China?? :)

4pm @ Christmas Central

Geesh... this year is really not our year with Christmas...

Duck is at least defrosted, but we got a crooked tree... and our tree stand doesn't like it... and the tree was too long in the water while outside, so the trunk is soft and the clamps don't work it properly.

Ah well... suppose... even a crooked tree is nice. ;) Looks a bit diagonal, but we can't do anything about it - if we'd change the stance then it would topple over.

At moments like this I wonder why I still insist on the 6ft real tree ... and the duck/goose for food. Maybe I should just introduce Frankfurters and Potato salad for Christmas Eve, given that we have turkey at the inlaws anyway????

NAWH! I stick to my guns with the tree and the bird! ;) And I am not that stressed ... tree still needs trimming, and the cooking needs to be started soon as well, but hey! It's all on course ... I think.

Currently doing my 2nd batch of cookies ("Vanillekipferl" - Vanilla crescents), and depending how long the bird needs in the oven I just bake them tomorrow morning. :)


As for the tree... it's somehow charming... and the tree top spire is on it, so that's a bonus. Hopefully we will need to go for a small tree for the next couple of months anyway - for good reasons. ;)

Off to check the duck recipe and then chase DH for tree trimming and wrapping my presents... ;)

12:30pm Report from Christmas Central

Ok... cookie dough is out of the fridge - next batch due to be done soon. Presents were all wrapped yesterday (PHEW).

Living room is getting tidier, nearly done there I think.

DH is out picking up a parcel (Birthday Swap from Anja) and does some last minute shopping for presents for me. Think we may have agreed last year that we won't buy as much for each other ... but somehow I must have forgotten. I just LOVE buying pressies for DH and see him opening them and the genuine joy on his face. ;) So... I ended up with a lot of smaller pressies (but think it all adds up to the budget). :o

Now off to do more tidying and then cookie baking.

PS: Guess who forgot to take the duck out of the freezer yesterday eve ... OOOPS!! She's now taking a bath since 8am for about 8 hours... ;)

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Aren't we an early bird!!!

Yep... that's me! Up and about since 5:45am ... and that on a WORK DAY! Usually I'm tired as it is when it comes to 6:30am, but today I woke up with a headache around 4:30am (fortunately it's gone) and then only could sleep for another hour. Means I had enough time to re-heat our Brussel Sprouts soup for lunches (just in case Heather can't meet up for lunch) and have my porridge for breakfast I skipped yesterday (well.. I had some raisin bread instead).

Backing up of the old lappy went ok, still have a couple more files to go but think everything more or less should be safe. Fortunately, I've been backing up my photos regularly now. :)

Will leave for work earlier than usual today - the perks of a temp - you don't really have to stick to the core times as long as you do your hours (helps that I am not covering the mentor line).

Plans for today? I am toying with the idea to go to the Gyle after work, as we still need something small for the outlaws *grin* and I just feel "mad" enough to join the mad shopping dash of people. :)

Wrapping the last of presents and then maybe some scrapping even? Who knows?

Oh! And bake some cookies!! Easy ones, the "Engelsaugen" ("Angel Eyes") - sugar cookies with jam. For my "Vanillekipferl" I think I'll need some more time so will leave that for tomorrow ... Christmas Eve (*GASP!*). to finish my porridge and tea and then off to work it is...

Monday, 22 December 2008

Only 1 full day to go...

...and I am totally tired and sitting in the bed, watching "Fully Loaded" and backing up my old laptop (hoping it won't pack in during the process).

Problem is the getting up and to work while it's dark outside and coming back when it's dark again. Also trying to have a nose around at the small HMV at St. James's Centre - BAD IDEA!! It's really just a small shop, but when I saw the queue for the till going half-way along the shop wall I decided not to bother even BROWSING! At least got the vital items for DHs present, although I think I won't have the time to finish it in time for Chrimbo. He knows that though, so "Hogmanay pressie" here we come. ;)

What else? Got nearly everything done, but won't stress about it. Looking forward to leaving work early tomorrow, going home, preparing a dough for cookies and wrap the last presents. We've got everything in the house for the Christmas Eve Meal, Christmas Day is at the inlaws, and Boxing day is left overs. So no stupid urgent shopping on Christmas Eve NEEDED. We even got everything (more or less at least) for the New Year's Eve meal (Raclette). Love it when we don't have to do the whole "SURVIVOR" thing at Tesco's. I am always stunned when I see people dashing about suddenly thinking "Wait a minute ... it's Christmas Eve - I need a turkey! And Potatoes! And brussel sprouts! Oh ... and a Christmas Pud! And some booze would be nice too!"

We only needed one or 2 things last year and went to Tesco's - that's like going to the Christmas Sale in town. ;) So ... I hope we're ok. Not sure if DH wants to risk going shopping tomorrow or Wednesday... but I think I'll stay in the house getting stuff ready.

Oh... and what is that stupid thing with Royal Mail? Got their "christmas card" end of November with the info of re-delivering, late delivery and Sunday delivery. Anyone else got that? And today I had a card through the door for a parcel too big for the letter box - to be picked up at the new Collection Centre (used to be on DHs way to work at Russel Road - now it's at South Gyle!!!) ... not within 24 hours ... no... not before 46 hours!! That'd be Christmas Eve! Why didn't they bother to hand it to my neighbours like usual? Got enough of those! Or leave it in the "secure place" they usually store it when they try to deliver Saturday early morning? :( Not happy with that. I guess DH will be trundling to the Collection Centre on Wednesday.

I think he wants to go to South Gyle anyway ... say a last good bye to the TALK 107 Staff who have helped with the Wolves coverage over the last 2 years and now have to shut shop... Shame! I will really miss my Talk 107 shows ... specially the breakfast show with Scott Wilson and Liz Clark! And of course the sport shows with Mark Donaldson and Mark McKenzie. Thanks guys!
The last broadcast of Talk 107 is on Christmas Eve - broadcasting will stop at 10pm.

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Looking better already ....

Living room looks better - I've done 1/2 of the ironing pile and the board is now put away. The Advent wreath is out, paperwork put away for DH to go through and put upstairs.

More decos up as well... just need to figure out where to put the wooden Advent calendar... think I may actually leave it this year? Mmmmh... we'll see.

Still a few more things to do - the tree is still outside and will stay there until Christmas Eve - and I hope it's soaking up a lot of water so won't lose needles.

The lights in the kitchen need to be put up still, but DH has already put up the Santa & Sleigh Window Light thingy in the spare bedroom.

Tired now, and think I'll be off to bed in a bit - tomorrow/Tuesday is work, and I checked with a colleague ... no dress down until Christmas Eve... :( GRRRR!!! Well.. glad I did the ironing then!!

Photos of the before and after of the living room will follow in a bit. :)

Giving up on the new Christmas Journal

I just don't have the time to start fresh this year. It's the 4th Advent, I don't have my advent wreath out and therefore no candles lit. There's hardly any Christmas deco up, I've not opened ANY of my Advent calendars (Big sorry to the girls from Dani's forum - I hope to open a couple today and tomorrow and catch up... :o ) - apart from trying to do the 1/2 of my tea advent calendar and failing miserably.

Somehow I got very overrun with Christmas this year... and I don't like it a bit!!! :( Can I get some extension please??

I've got to go to work tomorrow and Tuesday - fortunately our Christmas Dinner is Christmas EVE and not during lunch. Still not sure if I manage to get things done in time. My plans are to reduce the ironing pile (which I've done already quite a bit), put some washes on (done) and get some more Christmas Decos up in the living room. The rest of the ironing will just go into the spare bedroom until we find the time again. ;)

Presents at least are nearly all bought & wrapped - have to see how I get DH's present done, might turn into a Hogmanay pressie though.

So... back to "Journal your Christmas" - I'll just do the missing pages for the current journal which I started back in 2005... :o It's not supposed to be a chore but some way for us to take an hour or so out of the stressful time that is Advent etc. Which it really shouldn't be.

Friday, 19 December 2008

Early start

Wanted to sleep until 9am today, but DH had to get into work early (covering for all those colleagues who went to the Work Christmas Night out... let's just hope he really can leave at 4pm then!!).

So I tried to go back to sleep after he left but doesn't work. :( Still feeling tired mind, so maybe I'll take a nap at noon. ;) Better get myself sorted now to get stuff done... Not much more to do really, but not that many days left before Christmas Eve either - considering I'm working Monday/Tuesday.

Will come back later to blog - have to get a cuppa now otherwise I will be all tired all the day.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Tuesday Musings with funny tummy....

DH's feeling a little better but was all gunked up (sinusitis) so didn't go to work. I went, however, early in the morning as usual, but with the light outside barely getting lighter during the day it was weird to leave the office at 3:30pm and outside being nearly dark again. :o Not feeling 100%, my tummy felt like I didn't have anything to eat at all, but that feeling was higher up - so a mix of niggling hunger and heartburn? Can't even describe it properly. Add to that a blocked nose and somehow the feeling a cold is "stuck" inside your body but hasn't found a way out yet and you know how I feel. :( So ... needless to say I didn't go to the gym today.

Hope I'll feel better tomorrow - don't think I'd stay at home - not feeling bad enough for that - but really need stuff done (2nd class posting is on Thursday, and I wanted to make some more cards as well ... plus have to write the English Newsletter... :0 ).

Bought a mag last week at Sainsburys that's quite interesting for me - "Country Walking". It's not that far off. I quite like walking, I like the outdoors, and I have been doing a couple of walks with my mum (2nd half of the Water of Leith Walk) and my friend Markus (the Roslin Glen Walk),and wanted to always do more walks from my book "25 Walks in Edinburgh and Lothian" but there was always a time issue, Wolves issue etc.

So an early New Year's resolution - I want to do more walking ... hopefully with DH (ssssh... haven't told him anything about that yet.. ;) ) .. quite fancy the Union Canal and also the West Highland Way... but think I'll start with the Corstorphine Hill walk and the 1st part of Water of Leith? ;)

To make the whole thing even more interesting... in the magazine there was also an article about Geocaching.... heard the word before, had a small idea what that is (was on 5's "The Gadget Show" after all!) ... but googling and reading more about it it really sounds FUN!!! :) Specially as there seem to be caches close to my mum's place as well... could be a FAB thing to do with my nephew and sis plus mum once she's able to walk more without getting out of breath.

Anyone of my readers doing geocaching???

Monday, 15 December 2008

Only 9/10 days to go!!

Now that's a scary thought!! Still have to do the UK part of cards - mostly shop bought though) and a couple of hand made cards.

Hoping to get the living room decorated today - lots of ironing to be done over the days, but should be ok.

Stollen is done though - WAHEY!! Made the dought yesterday and put it in the oven this morning with the new Stollen baking tin. Looks good, and only needs the icing sugar on top. :)

DH is ill with a nasty cold (and I think it's a bit more than just a man flu this time) and I am not feeling 100% either. Like a cold stuck in my body but not coming out yet.

Oh ... typing on my new notebook we got yesterday btw. My old notebook has been having lots of hicups over the last couple of weeks, and as I had sent it off to repair last year November because of problems with the hard drive (and lost several days of photos - specially the ones from BritBowl XXI and my trip to London) DH and I decided I needed a new one (considering I was trying to get the photos edited after each away game and my old lappy didn't have enough capacity for Photoshop). FORTUNATELY I've backed up all photos and important documents onto my external hard drive.... so no photo loss again. :)

New Laptop is a Vista though ... think it takes a bit of getting used to, although I quite like the new sidebar thingy. :)

Oh ... this new beauty is another trusted computer from Aldi - nearly all of our PCs at home are now Medions and we're very happy with them.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

I just LOVE my Cuttlebug

It's helping me soooo much with the Christmas card production!! :D Mostly using the embossing folders (this year sticking to the snow flurry one and the Baubles) and some of the small embossing ones (Christmas and Winter Jelly) .... LUVVERLY!! :D

Have even managed to get some more done at the crop (nearly enough for all the crop ladies) - we had our Christmas Crop with lots of good food and Secret Santas. I had a blast ... shame I couldn't take photos (resuming my role as Santa again) but hope to get some from Yvonne and Heather. :)

Sooo... below are some of the cards I made at the crop ... probably will post a slide show later this week once I've done all of them.

The stamps are the "snowbunnybella" (one of the Bella Stamps I bought at the Stempelmeer (Germany) in December), the "Wreathabella" (thanks Sharon!! LOVE her!!) and the main stamp of the latest Project Kit from Dimension Fourth (big baubles). All put together on card stock with some ribbon and pronto! Christmas Cards! ;)

Sorry for the bad quality photos ... partly taken with the mobile...

Anyone interested in the Baubles Stamp - as I said, they are part of the December Project Club, but I suspect they will be available for general release in a couple of months time? Just check with Roy and Aly. :)

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Bit chaotic day...

Done bits from today's to do list but still haven't been able to send off the US cards & packets... they will be New Year's pressies then... :o

Managed 2 cards so far (still more to do) and have wrapped the Secret Santa pressies for both work and the crop. Also wrapped my BIL's pressie from my mum. So lots of wrapping. And I've hung up my tea advent calendar. :) Only put 13 packets on this time - never will catch up with teas from Dec 1 to Dec 10!! ;) Bought enough tea sample packets to make up enough days with the ones I had left from last year.

Then at 2.20pm I dashed out to Stampers' Grove to say "Good bye" to Rebekah and Kim (although I'll probably see them before the shop closes for good - still have to swap e-mail addies!) and to pick up Xmas pressies for myself bought on behalf of DH and grannie. :)

And the funny thing - I have been searching the house like stupid the week before we went to Germany for the pressie for my dad & Jutta ... something I started to make at Stampers' Grove. And I couldn't find it AT ALL!!! Really thought I lost the plot at that point (ok, and the study/scraproom is WAY too untidy ... errrm... that's a far too nice a word for the state this room is in!!). But when I was at the shop Rebekah produced the poly bag with the instructions etc. PHEW! Still in time to finish and send the pressie off tomorrow!! :D WAHEY!!!

Another good thing - Michaela from the German Scrap Forum finally got her Birthday present from me. I sent it off on the 24th November and Royal Mail told me it would be in Germany by 29th. NOTHING. Not until TODAY!!! Blinking Customs opened it and kept it for a bit. Can't believe they do that for inter-European parcels as well now, specially around Xmas!!! Anyway, she got it, she loved it... wahey! :D

The other reason for me to not getting several items on my list done was an "emergency shopping" for DH. He called me during his lunch break to tell me that the Lidl close to my work is absolutely **** for the German Xmas Foodie Stuff. So I offered to pop into the one at the Cinema as it's on the way to Rebekah's.

Guess what - NOT MUCH THERE EITHER!!! And that's a bigger Lidl and usually has EVERYTHING you can't get in the other shops!! SOLD OUT! Next to no Stollen, definitely no Stollen bits (DH wanted that for his work), no Gluehwein (now that's sacrilege!! ;) ) and the other things were low in stock or not there either. So I purchased a couple of packets of Nuernberger Lebkuchen (round ones - enough for DH and myself to take to our respective work places) and tried to phone DH at his work and mobile to explain the situation. He called me back while I was at Stampers' Grove and I offered to pop into the Lidl further out west. ... That's where I eventually got 2 big Stollen (DH will cut up and take to work), squishy cream (for the Stollen) and chocolate covered Lebkuchen bits (shaped ones)... and Gluehwein!! :)

So... was more a travelling around than actually doing stuff. But I am sure I will be able to catch up tonight and tomorrow with some of the deadline stuff (posting cards/presents plus packing scrap bag).

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Back at home and not 100% ...

Woke up with migraine this morning and had to phone in sick - could be just the delayed flight, or maybe just a random one, or maybe it's just the whirlwind of time rushing past for the last month... who knows.

Anyway... feeling a little better now, neck is still sore (cramped muscles due to pain), but I managed to tidy up the kitchen a little at least.

To do list for the rest of the week:
  • Write German Newsletter
  • Write English Newsletter
  • Make Xmas cards (only family & close friends)
  • Write Xmas cards
  • Send Xmas cards (I'll do more e-cards this year though)
  • Put up Xmas Deco
  • Do Some ironing (maybe DH will do that if he finds the time)
  • Thursday nurse's appointment
  • Friday Clinic appointment
  • Go to gym 3 times
  • Prepare for Saturday]s Xmas Crop
  • Buy Gluehwein for Xmas Crop
  • Wrap Secret Santas
  • Go to Saturday Crop
  • Go to Wolves Training Sunday
  • Mgt Meeting Sunday after training
  • Catch up JYC entries (well... as long as I do a bit of catch up it's fine. :) )
Phew... I am sure I'll find more things to do, but that's the bit. At least I will shuffle it over the week.

I could stick to the advice from Latharia & Doerte though ... not to stress myself... ;)

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Running out of time... :o

Yup... our house is still not decorated at all, and I am running out of time to do anything before we're off.

So ... I decided not to stress myself! That's a PROMISE! Originally I wanted to make cards & the annual newsletter and send the German cards out while I am in Hessen, but I haven't been able to do a single card yet. Checked the last recommended posting dates and Germany is the 12th, with US the 10th. The only card I really HAVE to make and send tomorrow/Thursday is the one to one of my friends in Australia (last posting date is the 5th).

Just doesn't work somehow, with me trying to get my gym work done (highest priority right now). So the bag for Germany is packed (more or less- a couple of Xmas pressies still have to go in there), and all German Xmas pressies accounted for (apart from that blimming Calendar I started at Stampers Grove... just can't find it!!).

I'm so busy right now I haven't even started on Shimelle's Journal your Christmas (but I am taking notes on the journalling part - just need to do the layouts) and - SHOCK!!! HORROR!!! - I haven't opened ANY of the Advent calendars yet (the standard Wooden one, the tea one (well... it's a little depleted as my sis wasn't able to get the refill this year :o , plus my Scrapbooking Advent calendar from Dani's Forum).

We'll see what happens tomorrow time wise, but I DEFINITELY WON'T STRESS ABOUT THINGS. There's enough pressure in my life as it is.