Musings // December 2018: A Christmas bundle of bubbles, tasty food and festive cheer

Good morning my lovelies! I hope you had a lovely Christmas break and enjoyed having some time off work – I know I did! I actually felt like I truly relaxed for the first time in ages. I find it very hard to switch off and I was definitely thinking about work at points over the holiday but with the hubby’s help I didn’t switch on my laptop once after 23 December… I’d say thats an achievement for me!

I know every month I say it, but wow… this month has flown by! Its gone by in a blur of trying to get work finished by the 23rd and then full of Christmas festivities with friends and family.

It’s been pretty jam-packed and we started off the month with shopping for Christmas decorations with the in-laws at Gates Garden Centre in the East Midlands. For the past couple years we’ve come here in December to check out their Christmas Grotto. This year we were a little underwhelmed compared to 2017 when I wanted ALL the decorations but it was still good fun to walk around.
One thing I love about staying at the in-laws is having a lie in! It’s like a weekend away when you don’t have to set the alarm – such a luxury! We had a nice chilled start to the day and then popped out for lunch at a pub not too far away.
The Blue Ball at Braunston-in-Rutland
The Blue Ball pub was so dinky and we got the best spot right next to a lovely open fire. It’s the perfect spot to cosy up next to the fire with a tasty glass of wine. We also stopped for lunch which was ok. The hubby and I both had a brie and bacon ciabatta with chips. The ciabatta was alright but it would have been much better if the brie had been melted onto the ciabatta and served hot. There’s nothing better than hot melted cheese… HEAVEN! 
The next week was spent decorating the house ready for Christmas! I’m too much of a wuss to go up into the loft (all those spiders!) so the hubby went up and got everything down 😊 I spent a couple evenings putting everything up – I love this time of the year!
Our tree will only fit in the kitchen, so it sits in the far corner by the garden door. In the front room we have Giles the gnome which the hubby got from secret santa a few years ago. He’s a little creepy but it wouldn’t be Christmas without him!
After getting the house all decorated I then came down with the most awful flu thing. I got the flu jab again this year so was just unlucky! I spent a lot of the next week drinking lemon and honey whilst being dosed up on Sudafed and Flu tablets 😞 It’s the one downside of the cold and wet days we get this time of the year. Although saying that, I would definitely rather be ill before Christmas so I can enjoy the holiday and time off!
On 8 December we went to Paris for a long weekend. It was soooooo cold and very wet but we still had a great weekend away (see post here). We’ll definitely be going back – maybe in Spring when its a little warmer!
The couple weeks between Paris and 24 December went by in a blur of work. We did have a nice weekend in London for my hubby’s Christmas work do. (He’s also an auditor… you can imagine all the great dinner chat… lol only joking!) I love going to it as its in the Grosvenor House Hotel in Mayfair. It’s a fun evening filled with lots of champers! 
One of the better blurry pics from the evening
We stayed in London on Friday night and had a chilled Saturday morning. After grabbing Sushi for brunch we wondered around Selfridges Foodhall and then grabbed some doughnuts for our train back to Birmingham that evening – so good! I don’t know about you but I LOVE wandering around the Foodhall and wanting everything (until I see the price tag!)
These were so tasty! Although you pay an arm and a leg for buying them from Selfridges!
Next time I’m in Selfridges I want to try this!
Had to take a picture of all the exotic fruit! 
Before we jumped on the train home we grabbed a Starbucks hot choc – sometimes nothing beats a caramel hot choc from Starbs 😍
I’ve blogged separately about Christmas at my parents – Round 1 (see post here) but didn’t get the chance to blog about the rest of the holidays so I’ll do a little recap here.

On Boxing Day we left my parents to go and visit the in-laws for a few days. I absolutely love visiting them and always feel so relaxed when I leave. Their tree is just gorgeous and had a gold and white flower theme… I mean just look at that tree 😍

On Thursday morning we went and got a dozen eggs from a local egg honesty house where you leave the money in a box for having the eggs. That morning we had eggs for brekkie and all of us got double yokers… so gooooood if you like eggs! As its Christmas we had to have Buck’s Fizz with breakfast 💕
To break up all the chilling on the sofa and watching lots of TV we went out bowling. The first round I actually beat the hubby and came second… I was very pleased with myself! It didn’t last long as I came last in the next round oops! 
After a couple hours bowling we came back to a toasty house and devoured cheese and biscuits. There had to be brie… my absolute fav! 
It was lovely spending time with family and being able to relax and unwind! It definitely got to the point where I wasn’t sure what day it was and wondering where the day had gone, but isn’t that what this time of the year is all about?!
We got back home to Brum on the Friday ready for some more chilling and relaxing. Oh yes! We ventured out a couple times but apart from that we were very happy snuggled on the sofa eating nibbles and drinking bubbles. 
One of the times we did venture out was to go to Simpsons for our Christmas pressie to each other. It was insanely good and a meal we’ll remember for a long time. If you’d like to scroll through some foodporn click here!
Living my best life 💖

We also popped out for some delicious afternoon tea at the Park Regis Hotel in Brum. We’d gotten the voucher on Groupon ages ago and changed the date of this so many times. We finally sticked to it this time and had a lovely afternoon out 😊 I’ll make sure to blog about it in Jan so you can see how yummy looking it was!

On New Years Eve the hubby and I stayed in for a chilled one. He cooked us the most delicious meal and I wasn’t allowed to know what it was until it came to eating it. I’m a VERY lucky gal!
So here’s to the New Year! I’ve lots planned for 2019 and can’t wait to share it with you 😊
Until next time,
Cathers x