Sunday, 15 December 2013

Some making, baking, shopping, coffee & packaging

I had the Aga serviced the other day so that it's as good as can be for my Christmas cooking, and for some warmth downstairs! Before that happened and earlier in the week, whilst it was at a low temperature, I made a couple of mini Christmas cakes. It's a recipe I tried and enjoyed last year, from the Boutique Baking book. Here we have before and after baking.

I have slowed down with crafty things as it's too cold in the house but I'm doing some crochet and I made a few of these little stocking tree decorations, one of which is winging its way to my giveaway winner Helen.

Also managed a couple of days off last week and went to Scarborough to the wonderful Eat Me Cafe for a plate of their legendary creamed mushrooms on toast.

Whilst walking through the woods and gardens in Scarborough I met this little chap, I know he's not native and I'm a huge fan of supporting the reds but he was very cute and came right up to me on the edge of this wall, he actually looked like he was going to jump on my arm for the promise of a bit of food!

I spotted this fairly traditional Nutcracker in a shop in Scarborough.

On a trip to York I spotted this rather unusual Nutcracker.

Also in York I did a bit of festive shopping and it is lovely when some shops get it so right. The atmosphere in the shop, pleasant staff, the interesting items and the lovely packaging, the shop I went in was The Imaginary and it seems to be part of the Yorkshire Soap Co, look at the pretty pink bag.

All my items were beautifully wrapped by a charming young chap with a waistcoat and cravat. Inside the bag I had bought some pretty glass candle holders, they looked very festive and traditional when lit in the shop.

Another little treat for me, a pretty silk scarf with birds on. Did I buy anything for anyone else I hear you ask..... 

I did buy a few bits, I don't have a huge circle of people to buy for which is handy as I don't enjoy shopping much. Plus, this year, I've decided with a couple of friends that we have reached the point and age were we all have enough stuff and maybe we should cut back on the gift buying for cost and practical reasons. Fortunately these friends were quite difficult to buy for so that has taken some pressure off.
I really like to make a handmade gift but I haven't had time recently and I know that puts some pressure on other friends to make me one back and I don't want to do that as we all have enough festive stress, but it is still nice to find pressies for people you understand well and know what they like.

The thing I'm least liking spending money on this Christmas is cards, or rather stamps for the cards, they are so expensive. I do like to send cards because a card and a letter is one way, once a year when I get to catch up with friends who live far and wide. I think I will probably aim for sending more digital greetings in the future if stamps continue to go up, the stamp is becoming as costly as the card!

Something I have gone a bit mad with is coffee, I had a delivery of these bags of beans this week and I think I have another 3 bags to arrive before Christmas, part of these are my subscription coffees and some others are ones to experiment with over the holidays.

That reminds me, time for coffee!...


Anne said...

Sally you got some lovely buys there. I love coffee and I bet your house smells gorgeous when you grind your own beans and make your own.

greenrabbitdesigns said...

Lovely buys and makes Sally, we actually bought some Has Bean for my son yesterday.
I agree with you on the plight of the red squirrels but it's not the poor little greys fault they're here,just the result of more human meddling!
V xxx

Helenjean said...

loved the photos of the squirrels, the one occasion I saw a red squirrel in Belvoir forest park, I couldn't believe how fragile it looked.
Some years, not this year I make all my cards, takes a lot of time but saves a fortune

lavender attic said...

Daughter L's boyfriend works PT in that shop in York, maybe it was him wrapping your goodies!! Gorgeous isn't it? Did you visit their next door shop The Imaginarium next door? Sorry you've been ill, hope you are better now x