Posted in Blogmas, Christmas, Regarding polly, Seasonal

26th December – My Christmas 2018

Xmas 2018 review

Christmas 2018

We’ve made it to the other side and it’s Boxing Day; It’s like Christmas, with less presents and less stress. Boxing Day was the day, as a child, when you finally got to play with your Christmas presents, and for non-child me, today is no different. After I return from a disappointing walk around the shops, I will sit and read the books I received for Christmas – while eyeing up my tree and wondering if it is too early to take it down. Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas, but once the day passes and as the new year approaches, all I can think of is how much I want to get back to ‘normal’, put all the presents into their new homes and clear away the excess clutter.

Continue reading “26th December – My Christmas 2018”

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Posted in Blogmas, Christmas, craft, Guest Post, Regarding polly, Tips & How to's

December 23rd – Last minute Christmas wrapping –

Hello and thank you Polly for letting me loose with this guest post on your blog – it’s such an honour. (The honour is mine! – Polly) 

 Polly is like Twitter Royalty in my book!

We thought we would exchange some crafty ideas for you this Christmas, and mine is a last minute gift wrapping idea.

Imagine it is Christmas Eve, you’re wrapping the last few small gifts, the shops have shut and horror of horrors, you have RUN OUT OF WRAPPING PAPER 😳

Don’t panic! Do you have an A4 envelope and a pair of scissors, because that’s all you need for this “hack” (not my favourite word but it seems to be a buzz word) …

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Here are the steps to making a gift bag from an A4 envelope:

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Cut the top off the envelope, making sure you cut below the sticky bit.

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Fold in each side about 2-3 centimetres and do the same at the bottom. Turn the envelope over and fold back the other way along the same lines.

Next, put your hand inside the envelope and push the bottom and sides out, making the gift bag shape. Sharpen the crease lines.

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You will see two triangles form at the bottom corners. Make them flat then fold them underneath. Glue or tape them in position.

Fold the top of the envelope inwards all the way around to make it stronger and neater.

Place your gift inside and either tape the top closed, or punch holes and tie with ribbon. Don’t forget to add a label.

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I hope you have managed to follow my instructions. Do have a lovely Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Please can we do this guest posting thing again soon Polly? It was so much fun!

Love Craft Owl (Marie)

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More than welcome anytime, Marie!
Don’t forget to check out The Craft Owl site, as well as  Marie’s Main blog, her Instagram and Twitter

And if you want to see my post for Marie, it is here, over on The Craft Owl site.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Blogmas, Bucket List, Christmas, Lifestyle, Seasonal

December 22nd – The Christmas Bucket List- Round-up

If you have read the Blogmas post for December 3rd  (which you can go back and look at here)  – or indeed watched the vlog ,you will know that I had a bit of a brain wave regarding an item that links to both Blogmas and the supposed theme of my vlog…Bucket Lists… And  o I wrote A Christmas Bucket List.  … And did things on it.

Dec 22nd

 

Polly’s Bucket List Plug

If you are a new here,  firstly- Hello!- and secondly, you may have already picked up on the fact that I have a penchant for planning, a lust for lists and an all-encompassing adoration for alliteration.  These three traits culminate in my having quite the fancy for Bucket Lists, in their many forms. If you currently don’t have one, may I recommend you check this post out…. And if you are ahead of the game and have already written one, you may want to look into possible upgrades.

If that sounds like too much effort, and you literally popped here for a quick read and can’t be bothered to go looking at other pages, all you really need to know is the ‘Polly’s Pad Rules of Bucket Lists’:
There is no pressure to complete anything on the list
You should have a few things that challenge you
Always remember that the idea is to have fun and not to be stressed out about any of the tasks.

Back to the actual post…

Here is a reminder of the list, with links and comments on how my Christmas Checklist of Challenges Has gone, so far.

  • Sip on Hot Chocolate by the Fire
  • Make a Christmas Tune Playlist –  Christmas Day is conveniently a Tuesday – So my “Tuesday Tunes” post will write itself!
  • Watch a Holiday Movie Favourite

These are Christmas Eve/Day tasks, so will definitely be getting done, but not until then.  Christmas Eve in our house involves a hot chocolate station (although we don’t technically have a fire, just an electric heater, but the general concept of warmth being emitted is the same) and our movies of choice are various versions of The Christmas Carol – with ‘The Muppets’, and Bill Murray’s ‘Scrooged’ being our favourites. 

  • Make a Wreath for Your Front Door – I am on this one guys! I am so annoyed about this! I made one at Guides last Wednesday and accidentally left it in the church hall! I may have time to have another attempt
  • Spend an Evening Wrapping Presents – more of a chore than fun, but needs doing nonetheless. Managed to talk my Mother into having the kids round for their tea last night, so while they were out of the house, I managed to get this task done  
  • Make Paper Snowflakes – this is going to be my EBI   Got this done and there are photos to prove it! 
  • Go Ice Skating – this is the most challenging one on the list as far as I am concerned! And expensive – and not done yet
  • Dressed Up and Attend a Holiday PartyHad three parties so far, and all of the photos have been…questionable.  Will make sure I get at least one decent one by the end of the year!
  • Make Your Christmas ListA Pinterest board counts, right? As it is, I think I ma be doing quite well this year!
  • Eat a Candy CaneWhile kids get told off for playing with their food, that is exactly what I do this this post!
  • Take a Family Christmas Photo – Not yet, again this will hopefully happen on Christmas Eve, if I can get everyone to keep still for long enough…
  • Leave Cookies for Father Christmas – he is also partial to a gin, as I understand it.
    This will be happening soon.  If you are a fan of cookies, maybe this board will be of interest.

 

As it currently stands then, I have ticked off a grand total of four out of twelve, on the understanding that at least five more will get done in the next few days.

As Christmas Day draws nearer, what have you still got left to do? Any plans to change things up next year and do something a bit differently? Let me know in the comments.

 

Posted in 40 x 40, Blogmas, Bucket List, Christmas, Lifestyle, Regarding polly, Seasonal

December 21st – A Life Review

Dec 21st

There is a plan… kind of

While you would be forgiven for not actually noticing, there is a theme running through my blog -and I don’t mean Christmas, that is a December thing! The whole point of my starting the blog, and then not bothering with it, and then starting it back up again in September was to document my having moved past my ‘mid-life crisis’ phase, where I returned to college, developed a K-pop addiction and got into learning Japanese, and to make me focus on where I am now aiming; mainly towards Japan, but there are a number of steps before I can do that.

As today is the last day before I get into proper holiday mode – what with a weekend, a ‘barely there’ day on Christmas eve and then two days off, I thought I would get a bit serious… And possibly not particularly Christmassy.

Back in the day, the day being a Wednesday – 13th January 2016 if you want to be pedantic – I received, via the wonders of Amazon, my Midori Travellers Notebook, having previously joined lots of groups to find out more about Bullet Journals and the layouts that can be used in them and deciding it was the planner for me . One of the ideas that was bandied about was a ’30 things to do by thirty’ – I was too old for this and fast approaching 40, so decided to try and do 40 things by 40. One of the things on the list was to make a YouTube video, which I did- and have continued to do every Monday since. Other things were on the list, including visit Japan, and learn Japanese. Having done both of these things I made a decision that I wanted to live there – even if it was for just a year, to try it. I have been pottering away, slowly ticking things off, here and there, but I am now at a point that I realise that I will need to be more focused and actually plan out what it is I need to do – in my handy planner, of course.

I have recently watched a video in which someone discussed Warren Buffet and how he had advised someone to list the 25 things they wanted to achieve in life, and then put them in order. He then said to cross out all but the top five – you can only concentrate on so many things at one time, and once those were achieved you could work on the next thing on the list. I think I have to do this too; I need to pick a few things from my Bucket Lists that I am going to get done next year and concentrate on those. That means employing a bit of discernment, and going back over the list to make some major decisions.

What I want in 2019:

I have decided to take a few items from each of my lists ( the Kettle, the 40×40 and the Bristol List) and aim to get them done by this time next year.

Kettle List:

*Visit another European Capital
*Visit the USA
*Go on a Spa Day
*Continue to make Cranes for the 1000 Crane Task
*Start driving Lessons

40 x 40 List:

*Drive a car – will do this one by default if I am taking lessons!
*Visit some more English Counties
*Lose a stone
*Go waist deep into the sea
*Crochet a top

Crocheting my quilt

2019 – the year my top will finally get finished!

Bristol List:

*Actually go in the Arnolfini
*Find an amazing independent coffee shop
*Visit the Wild Place
*Upfest
*Go indoor climbing

Now that I have better defined ‘to-do’ borders, I may be able to get more things done…while also getting my house decluttered, and also continuing my Japanese learning and also upping my blog game and improving my writing, so still quite busy, just now a more focused busy. . By only trying to do a few of the things on the lists I am hoping to actually improve my chances of getting things done.

Or “二兎を追う者は一兎をも得ず”

Are you already making plans for next year? What are you hoping to achieve in 2019? How you going to get things done?

Posted in Blogmas, Christmas, Lifestyle, Ponderings, Regarding polly

Polly’s Ponderings – What Christmas means to me.

#pptko2019 blog header base - ponderings

The Best Bits about Christmas

Today’s Pondering is a bit late as I have not had a lunchtime – my customary Ponder writing time – as I have been sat in a waiting room at hospital, so have had to wait until I got home so I could write this piece.  As this is the last Ponder before Christmas, I thought I would pick a nice topic and have decided to write about the best things about Christmas and why the best things, aren’t necessarily things.

What people said…

Following our unscientific poll, we discovered that people like the following things about the season:

Lights & Decorations:

Lot’s of people cited the decorations and lights as one of their favourite aspects of Christmas.  Many often took their kids on a walk-about to look at neighbouring houses, or went to lighting ceremonies. Even near me, a lot more people seem to be putting lights up in their windows and gardens. I always wonder why this is the only acceptable time of year to light up the outside of your property.  Indoors is a different story.

I blame You-Tubers myself, but I have noted a year round proliferation of fairy lights invading homes over the last few years.  I am certainly not complaining – I LOVE fairy lights, I have cleared the shelves at Poundland! I have ones that look like bells, stars, hearts…and because they are not overly Christmassy, I have an excuse to keep them up all year. I also make a point of making my tree decorations, by and large, generic and nonseasonal, so I can have them around the house; it is why I love hearts as decor, it means I don’t have to pack everything away at then end of Christmas.  Of course, an alternative is to have decorations that are edible, which solves storage problems…

Food

This was obviously going to make an appearance! We love all of the goodies! The mince pies and puddings, the pigs-in-blankets, the huge dinner and weeks of left over turkey.  Some loved the excuse to indulge without judgement – ‘Go on! Have another; It’s Christmas!’
I have often wondered though why we reserve certain foods to once a year.  If you really enjoy a food why not have it more often than just in December – or maybe it is the scarcity – that makes it a favourite? Sprouts can stick to their once a year appearance though – no-one likes you sprouts!

Presents – Giving and Getting

Despite being someone who has already been both blessed and stung badly by the Secret Santa Game (A packet of iced party rings? Really? They are like 50 pence a packet!) I have enjoyed both giving and receiving presents this year – in fact I have already filmed the  Monday Vlog/Blog link which has me opening the amazing gifts I got from the Blogger Secret Santa (The organiser of the event,Casey, has already put up a post on the whole thing).
I appreciate that for children a big part of Christmas is receiving presents – if you have no income you often have to wait for special occasions to get ‘big’ gifts, like new bikes and phones, but as an “Adult” I don’t expect much.  In fact as an apparently “high maintenance” person (not wanting chocolate and tat as a gift makes me hard to buy for, I have been told), I would rather not be bought things, as I know what I like and would rather get it myself.  I do, however, enjoy buying things for others and I am looking forward to the kids opening their presents, especially the ones I have been able to hide and keep secret – no mean feat in this tiny little house!  I have also managed to get out a secret present to a friend, whose reaction made me warm inside!  I think that is the best bit, making someone happy.

The Christmas Feeling

While many people will say that food or presents are their favourite thing about Christmas, others will claim it is having some time off and being with the people they love. I would go one further than that – not that all of those things aren’t great – especially the food bit; I would suggest that Christmas often brings out the best in people, and that the actual best bit, is that the world is just a bit of a nicer place to be at this time of year.

Maybe it is because people have drunk a bit more than usual, or they are looking forward to receiving something nice (that they may have bought themselves and wrapped up, because that’s how it works in this house), maybe a random act of kindness can rub off  on others, and love and kindness is spread by that means – like a joyful virus – either way, Christmas is more than the sum of its parts and I would call on all of my fellow ponderers to try and find a way to make life in general just that little bit more Christmassy for the people around them, now and all year round.