Christmas countdown can start now…

For a few years now I’ve struggled with the whole advent calendar thing. I can’t stand the ones that you find in the stores, but at the same time I just couldn’t seem to get organised enough to do something hand-made and really special (like this, for example).

This year though, I’ve managed to put a little something together. It’s not overly complicated in the making, and I think the fun will be in the execution. It combines four of my favourite things; twine, books, treasure hunts and chocolates.

First I got hold of some Christmas gift tags…

…then I wrote some numbers on them, ready for the countdown. I love Pigment Ink pens on black card!

On the reverse side I wrote some bookish clues, ready for a chocolate hunt, one each day leading up to Christmas…

I twisted up about half-a-dozed strands of twine to make a clothes-line, and then pegged each tag to it with a mini-peg. I had a couple of 3M hooks and some blue-tac lying around so I used that to string the advent calendar up on the wall.

Finally, I’ll buy some yummy chocolates and one final special gift for the night before Christmas, ready for the kids to go searching. They’ll have to work out Mummy’s favourite reading spot, Evan’s favourite books and where they’d find Dad’s stinky socks, all in order to find each day’s Christmas treat!

I hope it’ll be lots of fun for everyone!

What do you do for the Christmas Countdown?

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365 days, isn’t that like a whole year?

Last Sunday, I bought myself a 365 notebook from Kikki K, and to my surprise I’ve managed to write in it every day so far.  Admittedly, it’s only been a week, but for me that’s pretty impressive – I’d usually have gotten distracted by now.

The notebook is basically a journal, but a little less structured than your traditional diary.  As such, it gives you the room to record through words, pictures, photos or ‘items of note’ like ticket stubs, programs, that type of thing.

It caught my eye last year, but I’ve been talking myself out of it, as I was pretty sure it’d become another one of those things that I never get time to do. But on Mother’s Day I was feeling generous and hopeful, and thought I’d give it a try.  I really love having an excuse to write by hand, and there really is nothing like making a quick note about something new or fabulous that has happened throughout the day.

So far, I’ve included photos of me and the boys, a recipe for a new soup I tried my own way, and a program from a show.

I’m not sure if going shopping on Mother’s Day is such a great idea, as the temptation to spoil myself and buy half the shop was almost overwhelming. But, I was quite restrained and only treated myself to a couple of things. As well as the journal, I also picked up one other small thing…a lovely ball of twine! My boys thought I was quite mad, especially for how excited I got about this little ball of red and white string.  I can’t explain it really, but simple, pretty things like this make me quite happy. It’s lovely quality too, and I’m sure I’ll find many nice things to do with it.

As I said, the boys thought me a little crazy until they saw this…

I think they kind of got the idea a bit better after I’d shown them how good it could look.

I really hope that all you Mums out there were able to spoil yourself a little on your special weekend, and that that feeling hasn’t worn off yet.  I hope we can all keep trying hard to make a little time to sit and reflect each day, to write or read or fiddle with photos. As for myself, I’m going keep enjoying little things like handwriting, ticket stubs and twine.

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