What a busy 2 weeks preparing for my daughter's first birthday and making the house ready for guests as it has been a while....and now it is all over until the next event....Christmas...yes do I dare mention the word? Personally, I love it - the cooking, family gatherings, surprises, giving presents, carol singing and tradition. Feeling in a festive mood today too after soaking the fruit ready to make a Christmas cake tomorrow with lots of rum courtesy of Nigella Lawson's fab cookery book! As we are strapped for cash this year I will be looking for ideas for hand-made gifts to give friends and family that will be appreciated. last year I made lots of chutneys, chocolates and cakes as well as giving beautifully packaged jars of mints and jellies etc with hand-written labels. So this year I will have to think of something different and will probably need to make a start soon especially as things take twice a long with a toddler in tow.
So my little angel is 1 year old now! We had a low-key affair with her grandparents and a lovely dinner. We had a birthday cake of course, candles and singing which she enjoyed. I came across a great book called Spectacular Cakes in a local charity shop a while ago which has proved to be very resourceful for recipes for various size cakes but I need to start being more ambitious with the decorating. My next project is for fireworks night so will start planning now to do something other than buttercream icing!
Even though the weather changed for the worse last week we still had our weekly adventure as I had the car for the week. This time we ventured to Sissinghurst Castle in Kent which was absolutely beautiful even in October so I will definitely be returning throughout the year to view the gardens in each season. There is an Elizabethan tower set in beautiful formal gardens with lots of separate spaces, views and corridors of hedges with statues at the end etc to draw the eye. So a photo op at every turn.
Now as for this week, apart from making a Christmas cake I am going to venture into the local police station, bus station, ambulance station and the local council offices to see if they would like to host a VIP Christmas Shopping Evening courtesy of Jamie at home. I thought that if they work long unsocial hours then this will be right up their street! So fingers crossed!