Hello everyone – I’ve found a quiet moment whilst my brood are in a post Christmas lull. It feels like ages since I’ve had time to post so here’s a quick catch up with some activities (and outfits) from the crazy Christmas period. Those of you who follow me on Instagram will know that the fun began for us on Friday 17th, in fact this photo sums up the mood of our Christmas. We’ve all been so pleased to be together again and the boys have made me laugh until I cry on a daily basis. This was Christmas jumper day and after a bit of grumbling they indulged me by agreeing to wear their jumpers to go out for dinner even though they claimed we looked geeky. In the end though they were convinced by the charity donation (in case you’re looking for a good cause for the new year, we decided to split it between this refugee appeal and the Cumbrian flood relief appeals which have boxes locally but which you can access online here).


So, we had pizza at the lovely Zeffirellis in Ambleside followed by a first night viewing of Star Wars – just a quick shout out for Zeffirellis, it’s an independent cinema and restaurant in the heart of the Lake District with plush seats and great food – do go there if you’re up in Cumbria, our tourist industry is going to need all of the help it can get over the next 12 months. It isn’t easy to get a shot of the whole family – but we managed it – just!


Next Christmas jumper 2014 worn with Boden Cambridge skirt

The following day we set off cross country to visit Mr MC’s family in Newcastle. Everything had to be timed around my mother-in-law’s Christmas bingo party (!) but she’d kindly agreed to have the boys for the night so that we could ‘go out on the toon.’ It was good to find time for a bit of fun as a couple, we had delicious Thai tapas at the new River Beat restaurant, followed by prosecco and dancing at the other side of the Quay. We stayed at the Copthorne purely because we found a great deal. It’s a bit dated but the rooms have bay windows with armchairs that look out over the river Tyne and its spectacular industrial bridges. Purely because of this view, it’s now my favourite hotel in Newcastle


Dorothy Perkins faux leather jacket; Great Plains sequin top; M&S coated jeans

The following morning we had a lovely wander around the shops and did a little early sale shopping. There were some great discounts at The White Company, they seem to be clearing everything through the stores as the same offers weren’t available online.


Dorothy Perkins faux leather jacket; Woolovers cashmere and merino jumper; Jigsaw pompom scarf; Boden high rise super skinnies; M&S ankle boots; Whistles fedora

So, one more day had to be done at work the following week. The last few weeks have been tough – you don’t need me to tell you about the weather we’ve been having. The drive to work that can take 50 minutes on a clear summer’s day has sometimes been a two hour trek each way and it was telling on my face. However I made a point of wearing something sparkly every day throughout December, here’s my outfit from the last day.


M&S ribbed poloneck, Marisota sequin pencil skirt; Cos necklace; Whistles suede shoes

You’ve seen this one from 23rd and the carol concert. Our village church was absolutely packed with people in full Christmas spirit. Our descants and harmonies went well – if you’re looking for something to lift your spirits on a regular basis in the new year, join a singing group or a choir, it’s just so good for the soul.


And finally it was Christmas Eve which is one of my favourite days of the year. I always book our Christmas trip to the theatre on my birthday in May so I know we’ll have good seats. This year I decided we’d do a traditional panto and there’s nowhere better than Blackpool for a day of silly seaside fun. We had lunch at Pizza Express and then immersed ourselves in Snow White and The Seven Dwarves – I love the fact that the boys will still join in with the singing, dancing and choruses of ‘oh no it’s not.’ I wore my new Whistles silk and organza skirt which was my Christmas investment purchase this year but I haven’t managed to do it justice in this shot so I’ll wear it again later this week because I love it so much.


Boden coat; Hope foundation range long sleeve top; Whistles organza skirt (now in sale); Whistles shoes; Whistles clutch (now in sale); Zara necklace.

The younger two are very happy to play along on Christmas Eve. The pyjama fairy had left them their new pyjamas and as always they were happy to go to bed relatively early taking a snack for Santa (although he had to make do with party ring biscuits this year because we’d run out of mince pies)!


They were up at 7.30am on Christmas Day to open their stockings and they were especially thrilled to receive an early morning gift from Jack Wills. After they saw my Christmas gift post they sent a fabulous sherpa lined hoody for each of the boys in recognition of all the work they put into my blog. I want to say a big thank you to Jack Wills because my boys not only stop what they’re doing to take my photos on an almost daily basis but they also agree to feature in a lot of my posts which many teenagers would refuse to do, so it’s really lovely that someone has noticed that.


It was a pretty bad day to get a photo but here are the elder two in their matching hoodies!


Whitelaw Sherpa lined zip up hoody – now in the very generous Jack Wills 50% sale

There were only the five of us for lunch this year because with my brother-in-law’s mum dying so close to Christmas they decided to go away. We have a very traditional Christmas but not a traditional Christmas meal. I don’t know whether I’ve mentioned that I have a bird phobia which extends to eating them so we don’t eat turkey. We had antipasti followed by Italian roast pork with marsala sauce and then pavlova because we don’t like Christmas pudding either!


We stopped for games between each course although Rosie the cat really didn’t want to join in with charades – can you guess what Mr MC’s big cheat was here? It’s a book and a film ….


Random shots of Christmas socks and slippers to fill the time in…


…because we don’t open our presents until lunch is finished and cleared away… So we started at 3pm and then we wait until our clock strikes every half hour until we open another one which means the gifts last all day. None of our friends can understand us but it stems back to my childhood Christmases with my younger brother who would drive me mad by always hiding a present so he still had one left when mine were all gone!


We had cake made by the middle son – the boy done good this time.


So that was our Christmas day. Boxing Day was spent in pyjamas reading books, eating chocolate and having long telephone discussions with my older brother who was due to set off with his family from London but was deciding whether or not to brave the floods. In the end he decided not to come which is sad, we think he’s turned into a Southern softie, so the rest of our Christmas is looking quieter still.

And of course the following day (yesterday) felt like Spring. We saw the sun for the first time in weeks and I had a lovely walk along the canal with Gary – it felt as though the whole village had emerged for some fresh air so my usual thirty minute walk took ages but it was lovely to stop and chat with so many people along the way.

Last night we had a houseful of friends over for dinner, this was after I’d finished cooking – I’m getting into a bad habit of a mid-afternoon glass of champagne!


Hush jumpsuit; Boden shoes; Claudia Bradby necklace (another great sale at Claudia Bradby)

So, today we have a lazy day followed by yet another family dinner but sadly without my older brother and his contingent who are sheltering in the South. I’m busy making lots of plans for both Midlifechic and myself for the new year. I won’t be doing any more sale posts because I’ve decided that I’ve spent enough this year but I will be posting an activity for you to join in with over the next couple of days which, if it works, will help us all to get our heads straight before the madness of daily life begins again. I will also be catching up with all of the comments and emails you’ve been sending. I hope you’re all having a lovely time wherever you are, keep in touch.

Previous sale posts that might be useful

My best buys of 2015 – now in the sale

Great Boden sale buys