What I ate at Christmas!

Hi all,

I hope you are all well this New Years Eve! Or, as we like to call it in Scotland, Hogmanay! (Don’t ask me why!)

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I thought I would quickly pop in to say hi to you all while David is having a lie in, sip on some hot honey and lemon, and share with you some of my eats over Christmas!

Linking up with Jenn over @PeasandCrayons for ‘What I Ate Wednesday (Christmas!)’

Christmas Eve Meal out with David at Ox and Finch

IMG_0397Amazing, as always. My favourite was the ox cheek above with parsnip puree!

Christmas Morning

  • Paleo sage biscuits with smoked salmon and poached eggs – perfect start… well along with some champagne!

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Christmas Day!

  • You cant get more Paleo than a Christmas dinner! We created a feast for the two of us – but none of it went to waste, we have been eating the most amazing leftovers for the past few days and every time we take a mouthful we are in heaven!

IMG_0409I was going to get creative with the leftovers but when the time came to eat, all I wanted was another Christmas day plate!

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Platter on Christmas night

  • Settling down to watch the Downton Abbey Christmas special at 9pm and we needed a few nibbles! This platter was fantastic –not pictured, some sliced apple and some veggie chips.

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My delicious Christmas!

Throw in a few more glasses of champagne, wine and port along with a few tasty nibbles (devils on horseback, truffles etc) we truly did have the perfect foodie day!

Want to see more of my Christmas day? Check out my flipagram post from Monday!

What did you eat at Christmas?

Favourite festive tipple?

Favourite side dish?

My Fab Christmas!

Hi all,

Just a quick check in to say hi! Hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and enjoyed some time with family and friends having fun!

David is still on holiday from work so I am taking advantage on enjoying some time with him – therefore my Christmas Day recap comes in the form of a flipagram! 

This was our Christmas Day…

Back later in the week for more fun and games!

How was your Christmas?

What was your favourite gift?

Any surprises? 

Very Merry Christmas!

Hi all,

Just checking in to send my warm and heartfelt greetings to you all for a very Merry Christmas!

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I hope you have the most wonderful time with friends and family – laughing, smiling and remembering how much happiness and thankfulness this time of year can bring.

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So eat, drink and be merry to your heart’s content!

A thousand wishes to you all!

Love

Jen x 

(And a wee hello from some of my lovely Christmas decorations!)

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CrossFit – WOD Week from Hell!

Hi all,

Well here we are, the week of Christmas, I hope you are all excited and have super plans coming up!

I am here with my last CrossFit recap of the year! Yes I am CrossFitting this week but I’m sure you would rather know about my foodie Christmas next week rather than my CrossFit action! Ha!

Last week was officially the hardest, most challenging week of CrossFit I have EVER had. And it was meant to be! In the run up to Christmas, Coach wanted us to experience some of the most challenging WODs ever created, and they certainly lived up to that expectation.

Look, these were hard, both mentally and physically. It pushed me to my max and beyond. I would only ever do 4 of these WODs together with my Coach present. Yes please see the below as inspiration for how to work out, but I would never advise to do these WODs without a professional Coach or trainer present/ if you are not experienced with CrossFit.

Ok, little warning/ rant over! Now down to the details!

Monday Morning (15th)

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The WOD was performed like the song, start with the muscle up, then the HSPU and Muscle Up and so on and so forth. My substitutions included – jumping pull up plus kettle bell ring dip for the muscle up, box HSPU, kettle bell ring dips and jumping pull ups. Everything else was as was. I used 22.5kg for the barbell work.

We had a 45 minute time cap for this one and I got 341 reps in total, which equates to up to 5 push ups in the final round! Gah I must have only been 3-5 minutes left from completing it! This was not easy and took its toll on your body due to the variety of movement.

Tuesday Morning (16th)

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Coach took a deck of cards and we had to complete every movement in a pack – i.e. 4 of clubs = 4 burpees. The only stipulation was that you could not move on to the next card until everyone in the group had finished their moves. We could all help out too – say you were finished and someone still had 5 deadlifts, you could do 3 of them for them etc.

This was non stop. And if you stopped to rest, the rest of the group suffered! The block runs for us came at a great time, about half way and ¾ of the way so were great for a slight rest! So glad to run outside and get some air!

We finished in 45 minutes 13 seconds, and then all fell to the floor!

Oh weights – KBS = 12kg, Deadlifts = 42.5kg – and Jacks, Queens, Kings and Aces counted for 11, 12, 13, 14 reps respectively.

 Thursday Morning (18th)

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As expected, I was sore on Wednesday and still sore on Thursday. I did not like seeing ‘Whitten’, a hero WOD, on the board!

The combo of these moves made them all so difficult. The block run in the middle is so unusual for a WOD (normally at the beginning or the end) and it was made even more difficult by the howling wind and rain outside in the pitch darkness!

Again we had a 45 minute time cap and I completed 3 rounds plus 4 wall balls. Darn those wall balls, wall balls plus burpees always slow me down. I was shattered after this!

Friday Morning (19th)

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For many, Kalsu is the most difficult WOD created. It may sound so simple but sometimes the more simple a WOD the more it takes its toll on you.

I have done Kalsu before and had horrible memories of how tough it was. Last time I did it in 30 minutes with 15kg. This time round I went with 17.5kg. Coach had the scaled option of 3 instead of 5 burpees but I started out with the intention of 5.

Well, after the week of WOD hell, my biceps and shoulders were on fire and felt very sore. Half way through the WOD (50 thrusters) I made the choice to go down to 3 burpees per minute. I know I made the right choice for me and my body at the time. It had gone through a lot this week!

I completed it in 19 minutes 49 seconds so a lot less than last time, and with a heavier weight! Do I regret not trying to push on with the 5 burpees? Yes and no. No because I know I could have hurt myself, yes because although my time would have been much longer, I could have tried to push it? Hmm, no think I did the right thing!

I wanted to cry! It was over! For now….

CrossFitters, what’s the most difficult WOD you have ever done?

Do you prefer singular or team work outs?

Would you run in the cold and rain?

Thinking Out Loud- Christmas Edition #3!

Hi all,

Hope you are well and are looking forward to Christmas! A week today!! Cannot wait!

So here is my final Thinking Out Loud Christmas instalment! I must admit it has been fun to revisit some questions each week and to review what has been going on in my household!

1) Christmas Countdown

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I have loved our countdown this year, not only because of the 5 calendars! Our house has smelt amazing over the past couple of weeks thanks to our Yankee Candle advent calendar, giving us a different tea light each day! My favourite so far is Christmas garland!

This past week for our 24 days of togetherness we have had…

  • Buy a new decoration (still to do)
  • Make up a Christmas story (we did them as stories before bed! Great fun!)
  • Sing a Christmas song on the way to CrossFit (it certainly cheered me up, sad about having to run in the wind and rain!)
  • Meet after work for a Christmas Coffee (Whole Foods do almond milk cappuccinos!)
  • Play Uno
  • Listen to each of our favourite Christmas Songs
  • Watch a film under the duvet (still to do)                                          

2) Christmas Food & Drink

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I think my favourite item this week has been our Christmas coffee that we picked up from TK Maxx (TJ Max for those in the States). It is soooo good – by Paramount Coffee – their ‘Naughty’ range… dark chocolate….mmmmm!

3) Current Favourite Christmas Song

Still listening to the Christmas radio station all day long and loving it! Although I must admit I am learning A LOT of the words to songs, many of which are finally revealing their true meaning. Have you ever had that with a song? Really LISTENED to the words and were shocked when you worked out what it was actually all about. I know many people have been shocked when a seemingly ‘romantic’ song for their wedding dance turns out to be one about divorce, revenge or cheating!

Anyhoo, current favourite song – Paul McCartney Wonderful Christmas Time!

4) Christmas Planning

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I think we are pretty much sorted for Christmas now. Present shopping done, cards written, parcels sent. And we have also created our Christmas menu. See yesterdays post.

Yesterday I also made our Cranberry Sauce – oh Peas and Crayons Jenn, you are a genius! Your Cranberry Sauce is amazing and the lime gives it such a zing! Want the recipe? See yesterdays post for the link!

5) Christmas Treat

My Christmas treat is seeing my parents this weekend for my 2nd Christmas of the season! Tomorrow David and I will be travelling up to northern Scotland to stay with mum and dad for the weekend and have our own Christmas celebration – I am sooo excited!

6) Christmas Movie Update

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Once again, crazy week with lots to do! But we got a few of them in!

Finished the Santa Clause trilogy – 3rd film is so good, in fact all 3 are great! That is because Tim Allen is a genius!

I recorded and watched one of those ‘made for TV’ Christmas movies – ‘Hats off to Christmas’. I had no expectations but was actually pleasantly surprised!

Also we watched National Lampoons Christmas Vacation – only discovered this one last year but I love it, so funny!

Total so far -18!

7) Christmas Tip

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My final Christmas tip for the season – ENJOY YOURSELF!

The day isn’t about the presents, food, drink etc (although that certainly extends its wonder). No, it’s about being with the people you love and spending time together. Being grateful, thankful, happy and laughing.

Don’t spend forever in the kitchen (prep a few days before – even chopping veggies can be done in advance), share out the tasks and jobs to be done and don’t fear the treats!

Be happy!

Any must see Christmas movies for me? Still to watch 2 amazing ones, Elf and Scrooged!

Do you like flavoured coffee?

Who are you spending Christmas with this year?

Linking up with Amanda over @RunningwithSpoons for ‘Thinking Out Loud’ Thursday! 

My Christmas Feast!

Hi all,

Christmas Day has 3 rules – eat, drink and be merry!

This year David and I are having Christmas alone, just the two of us, so we will be going all out and following the above to the T!

We have made our food and drink list (and checked it twice, haha!) and have compiled our holiday feast! I thought you all would like to see what will be on the menu in the Fotheringham house this Christmas Day.

(And after Christmas I may share some leftover recipes with you, seen as there will be lots!)

Roast Turkey!

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Cooked on a trivet of vegetables (carrots, onions etc) – start your cooking with the bird upside down, cover in foil, then turn half way. The best way to make perfect moist turkey!

Stuffing, Paleo Style!

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We used this recipe for stuffing meatballs from Diane at Balanced Bites last year and intend on making it again as it was so good! Check it out! 

Cranberry Sauce!

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Going to try and new recipe this year and I just love that it’s made in the slow cooker. Why not try checking out Jenn over @PeasandCrayons for a cranberry sauce with a twist!

Brussels Sprouts, Bacon and Chestnuts!

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This is my favourite side, and so simple to make. Place some coconut oil in a tray, pop it in the oven until melted. Then take out, add in some pancetta bacon and halved sprouts. Roast for 15 mins, take out and add chopped chestnuts. Place back in over for another 10-15 mins. Easy!

Roasted Parsnips!

Another ‘must have’ for me. As per above, coconut oil in pan, once melted add chopped parsnips and roast for 40 mins, stirring half way.

And last but not least…

Sweet Potatoes!

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But not just any sweet potatoes, we are going to try this delight by Smitten Kitchen… oh boy I am drooling already!

So Christmas Day, hurry up and come along already! I am hungry! But please let me shop first! Haha!

Linking up with Jenn over @PeasandCrayons for What I ate Wednesday.

What will you be serving on your Christmas table?

Anything different this year?

What can you not have Christmas without?

CrossFit – Snatchin’, Cleanin’, Jerkin’

Hi all,

Hope you are well and had a fab fun festive weekend!

David and I finished our Christmas shopping on Saturday and are so chuffed with all the special surprises we have for everyone! I just love watching people open their presents, I know its cliché but for me watching others enjoy and smile is the best part of Christmas!

With us being away the weekend of the 5th/6th, travelling back on the 7th, it meant we only fitted in 3 CrossFit sessions last week – but they were some good ones! And to be honest, I think our bodies enjoyed the extra days break!

Tuesday Morning (9th)

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After warming up and doing some mobility we went on to strict press which I was pleased about as we haven’t done it in a while. I managed to gain a new 1RM of 25kg and it felt good. Can see me reaching 27.5kg shortly… fingers crossed!

Back on the good mornings, which, as I mentioned last week, I really enjoy doing as it gives the hammies and lower back an amazing stretch! Adding on 2.5kg took me to 25kg.

The AMRAP was manic and non stop! I went for 20kg with the snatches as I’m still working on my technique with that one – my ‘bam’ power just isn’t there quite yet. But I managed 60 reps in total which seemed to fly by! Fastest 7 minutes ever!

Thursday Morning (11th)

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Our ‘warm up’ was the killer I have mentioned a few times now – 3 rounds of 15 jumping jacks, 15 air squats and 15 burpees. Then 4 rounds of 30 sec plank holds, 30 sec supermans, 30 sec left side plank, 30 sec right side plank. We are always toast after this!

More good mornings! I stuck with 25kg as even though it wasn’t super heavy I felt in control.

I wasn’t looking forward to hang cleans but I just worked my way up – focused on technique and didn’t get too stuck in my head! As a result I got a new 1RM hang clean of 25kg! Woop woop!

The WOD was a doozer – all fine until the burpees. In fact I think most things in life are fine until burpees come along and screw it all up! I didn’t complete in the 12 minutes but I was close 4 rounds and 49 skips.

Friday Morning (12th)

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Right, this was going to be a lot of work for me. I don’t have handstands so it was press up tekkers and strength session for me and I knew it was going to be tough. My core is strong and my strength is growing, but press ups are so difficult for me. And I mean CrossFit press ups – chest to the floor, abdomen NOT on the floor, legs straight.

Through tekkers and doing this session, I can see improvements. I need to engage my core and not make my arms do all the work – they aren’t strong enough and my core is willing to help, so let it! We used stacked plates to create our surplus and slowly decreased them. I do feel better and feel stronger doing them. Just needs more work!

After the above, my arms, shoulders, traps and pecs were toast! Push jerks were so tough! I went for 25kg but had to drop to 20kg after 12 or so reps as I was beginning to hurt myself. Rocking out those box jumps now though! Within the time cap I got 145 reps so 1 push jerk within the set of 9. With all the failing push jerks at 25kg and the swap over I’m not surprised I lost time. But I did my best, I always do. CrossFit isn’t the easy option – and that’s why I love it!

What are you loving right now?

Have you been pushed to your limits lately?

Christmas shopping all done?

Thinking Out Loud – Christmas Edition #2!

Hi all,

Hope you are well! Sorry for going MIA on you yesterday – had a crazy past few days in the Fotheringham household but everything has calmed down now and all is good so I am back with you!

Today I bring you week 2 of my Thinking Out Loud series – Christmas!

Same topics as last week, but how am I getting on???

1) Christmas Countdown

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As mentioned last week, we spent this past weekend with David’s family down in England and it was lovely! Can’t believe that’s our Christmas number one over, 2 left to go!

When we arrived, we were presented with another advent calendar! That takes our total to 5! How many is too many…???? In my defence, only one is chocolate!

For our 24 days of togetherness we had…

  • Message each other with 3 funny pictures throughout the day – the meme’s were insane!
  • Watch a Christmas movie
  • Make and drink hot chocolate (x2 – we both added this one in!)
  • Wear Christmas socks
  • Create a Christmas crossword puzzle

 2) Christmas Food & Drink

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Every year when we go to my in-laws, I always try to bring something for dessert. Based on last year’s hit, I went for another dried fruit platter! I made Christmas cocktail sticks and we arranged a selection of fruit on each one! Delish and perfect with some cheese!

3) Current Favourite Christmas Song

Loving so many right now! And everyone is speaking about what their all time favourite is! But just as everyone has a favourite, everyone also seems to have one particular song they dislike at Christmas! And they vary so much! For me, it’s either ‘Grandma got run over by a reindeer’ (not heard it? Luck you!) or ‘Two Thousand Miles’ by The Pretenders. Not too sure why I don’t like the latter, think it may be Chrissy Hyde’s voice!

4) Christmas Planning

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We ordered our turkey! Woop woop! I am desperate for turkey! I so wish we had Thanksgiving for that exact reason. But two weeks today I plan to be eating a bucket load! Then for breakfast, lunch and dinner for days afterwards! Serves 4-6, yeah that should be big enough for David and I!

5) Christmas Treat

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Two nights ago, David and I had our first glass of port of the season. Normally we don’t drink mid week but it had been such a stressful day we knew it would cheer us up. And boy it did! I love port, my favourite Christmas drink! Well bar champagne!

I am also loving my huge Montezuma’s chocolate every other day from my advent calendar. Seriously it’s like a small brick and takes me a while to eat! But it is so good!

6) Christmas Movie Update

With being away the whole weekend and Monday, we haven’t watched many movies! And there were a few Christmas specials on TV this week so we watched them – Jamie Oliver at Christmas was one – could watch him every day! But we have watched Santa Clause 2 so that brings our total to 15!

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( Yep thats Jamie with a reindeer… and pouting… say no more…!)

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7) Christmas Tip

And last but not least, my Christmas tip.

Buy a disposable foil dish to cook your turkey in. They are super cheap and believe me, nobody wants to clean the roast turkey dish! I don’t want to be scrubbing away on Christmas day! Use then bin – once a year I can live with that concept!

And there we have it!

Linking up for more festive fun with Amanda over @RunningwithSpoons

What Christmas songs DONT you like?

Do you like port? Or another festive drink?

Jamie Oliver, yay or nay?

CrossFit – Hands!

Hi all,

Hope you had a great weekend!

Just a quick one from me today, I am writing this on Friday before I head off for Christmas number one at the in-laws! So excited, still sore from this morning, so let’s talk CrossFit!

Monday Morning (1st)

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We are beginning a new monthly progression of ‘Good Mornings’ at our box – a new move to me but I really like it. Gets the hamstrings stretched and the lower back strengthened = win win!

So I began with just a bit of weight on top of the barbell weight – went for 17.5kg and it felt good.

Toes to bar are a bit far from me right now so I used the practice on getting my swing stronger and my knees as high as I can. Don’t know if its ab strength, shoulder mobility or the fact that my legs are ridiculously long that’s stopping me right now – but what I do know is I am getting further with them than ever before so happy with that!

The WOD was tough, no other way to put it! I did the front squats (bar from the floor) at 27.5kg and was 5 reps away from finishing within the 15 minute time cap – gutted! So close!

Tuesday Morning (2nd)

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Up to 20kg for the good mornings – only going up by 2.5kg each time, we do have a month of this!

L sits are tricky – I can do them on the rings and hold but not for 20 seconds and 8 rounds! I went for the box tucks and was pleased to hold them for the entire interval each round. Keeping those arms locked out and shoulders down is key.

Another doozy of a WOD! I did jumping pull ups and managed 22 for every round bar the last when I got 24. For the thrusters I did them at 25kg (my highest thrusters weight for a WOD) and got 8 thrusters for the first 3 rounds and then 6 thereafter.

Thursday Morning (4th)

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Good Mornings – 22.5kg

Kipping pull ups! We haven’t done these since we moved to the new box in August so I was really pleased to revisit them with an added few months strength on me. Back in the old box, taps were about all I could do and not for long. Now it’s different. I don’t have a kipping pull up yet however I am (with a blue band) able to hinge from my taps pretty well! I was eager to try the ‘kip’ but with your legs crossed in a band its so hard! But step by step I will keep going with them. The main thing is that major progress and strength is noted!

So hands were sore after all those kips. Then they were about to get ripped!

60 high knees, although fair to those doing T2B, is hard. By the end I was only doing 5 max at a time before I had to drop off the rig  – my hands and forearms on fire!#CrossFitProblems

Then the clean and jerks… with killer hands… urgh! But did it and did it in 24 minutes 16 seconds.

Friday Morning (5th)

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Good Mornings to be done at 2.5kg above Mondays weight, so for me 20kg.

(they still feel great!)

I am getting closer with those handstand wall walks! So before I could pike up but could not move my hands for the life on me. Now I can move them to get closer than I ever have before! Not at the wall yet but not far off! I still did the hold – one at 1 minute and one at 44 seconds.

Glad to see a partner WOD  – even if it is, as David pointed out, a mini Murph!

Everything was ok for me apart from the push ups – my pecs and lats are killing me after the past week so push ups just were murder! I ended up having to do them raised on a bench (half way through the second last round). The WOD was one of those ‘mentally tough’ ones – I hate doing lots of running, not cause of the running but for what goes through my mind – ‘can I do this?’, ‘this is tough’, general worries, stresses, strains – all of them come out while running! But I sucked it up and got it done, we completed in 27 minutes  16 seconds!

What goes through your head while running?

Is progress enough for you or do you get frustrated when you cant do something?

Favourite workout of last week?

Thinking Out Loud – Christmas Edition!

Hi all,

Welcome to another Thursday – a Thinking Out Loud Thursday!

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For the next few weeks, in celebration of Christmas, every Thursday, I thought I would do a Christmas recap of the Ol’ Jen and David household, our shenanigans and plans!

So let’s get to it!

1) Christmas Countdown

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So David and I have 4 advent calendars between us! Haha! We have a delicious 73% dark chocolate one from British Chocolate makers Montezuma, a Yankee Candle one, a paper one that we bring out every year and our 24 Days of Togetherness.

Inspired by Tina over @CarrotsnCake, David and I wrote 24 acts of togetherness, 12 each – wrote them on paper and each day one of us picks one out. So far we have had

  • Share your favourite Christmas memory as a kid
  • Receive a massage
  • Give each other a massage (yep we both wrote one of these and picked them out one after the next, spooky!)
  • Go for a walk in the park

So glad we did this, it’s so much fun!

2) Christmas Food & Drink

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So far I don’t think we have made or consumed too many festive food and drink items. We did make spiced apple cider in the crock pot for the first time ever while decorating our tree! Simply apple juice, a cinnamon stick and a Clementine studded with cloves, all in the pot for 4 hours on low. If we had some brandy, whisky or bourbon in the house that would have gone in as well!

We have started buying some of our non perishable Christmas foodie items though – I say food… champagne and wine! #priorities

And I am eating us out of house and home with Clementines!

3) Current Favourite Christmas Song

I have been playing Christmas radio non stop in the background at home and can’t get enough of it! Although my favourite Christmas song ever is a tie between A Spaceman Came Travelling by Chris DeBurgh and Step into Christmas by Elton John – right now I love when Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree comes on – awesome song and reminds me of Home Alone – win win!

4) Christmas Planning

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Doing well with my Christmas planning. Got most of my gifts bought and know my dates for when I need to post them. We have our first Christmas with David’s family this weekend and I can’t wait. Got all the gifts wrapped, writing the cards today and then all that’s left to do is pack!

5) Christmas Treat

No specific Christmas treats so far, but I think the biggest treat coming up is this weekend when we get to see smiling, happy, loving faces of family and spend some good quality time with them. Is there any treat better than that festive feeling!

6) Christmas Movie Update

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Ok so a few weeks ago I told you that David and I were doing our challenge again this year – how many Christmas movies can we watch before Christmas Day?? The amount so far… 14!! We have already beaten last year’s total and I can’t wait to watch more! I’m just a sucker for them!

We finished watching The Santa Clause last night – Tim Allen is just a genius!

7) Christmas Tip

Ok so I am going to finish this post each week with a Christmas tip! This week’s tip of joy…

Always buy a few extra generic pressies (bottles of wine, some chocs etc) and keep them wrapped and at the side. That way if you get given an unexpected gift you have one to give back!

And there we have it!

Linking up for some festive fun with Amanda over @RunningwithSpoons

Do you have an advent calendar?

Have you eaten any festive goodies so far? (I guess my American friends are having a break after Thanksgiving??)

Favourite Christmas song right now? (haha just as I write this ‘Rockin’ around the Christmas tree comes on the radio!!)