Christmas with Snapfish

I’m getting so excited for Christmas, I love any and every excuse to give gifts. This year is a little extra special as it is our first one with our new little one. So with all this in mind I wanted to send out some special personalised Christmas cards to our family and friends. Thankfully as in previous years we turn to Snapfish for its great selection of personalised gifts and of a quality we are sure of.

 

Designing your own Christmas cards is so simple, from choosing your layout to card design. The real problem is choosing the photos you want to send.

I love my Christmas cards and I promise they are even cuter without the big black stars.

In fact whilst I was designing my Christmas cards my daughter got in on the act designing and ordering some fantastic mobile phone cases for her and her friend. How awesome are these?

 

Add a couple of personalised mugs for teachers I was one happy Snapfish customer

With a great selection of calendars, photo art and Christmas ornaments you are seriously spoiled for choice.

 

So if you are after a special gift for someone this Christmas or like me just love to have a personalised gift for yourself go visit Snapfish. 

 

 

** I was gifted with a voucher to order some of these items but all opinions are my own and I do love Snapfish.

 

 

 

 

Magic in the moments 

Wow I cannot believe it’s Christmas Eve already. I’m quite sure someone came to me in my sleep and stole away the last few months. It truly only feels like it’s September and that the kids have just gone back to school. 

It’s a stark reminder how quick life can pass you by. How easy it is to get caught up in the stresses and chaos of life that you actually forget to live.

Over the last few weeks a couple of my friends have faced the ultimate pain of losing those they love. Watching them walk this painful pathway has made me think a lot about the way I’m allowing life stress me out. How I’m forgetting that each day is a gift that needs to be lived.

Livvy taught me about the “magic of the moment” but I think that somehow without her to remind me I’ve lost this a little. 

My life is going to be busy in 2016, along with my family, my Universty course I have also become active in my local Labour branch. All these things are important to me and will require my time and energy. Yet I also have to remind myself to focus on the magic of the moment. 

So as I wish you all a Merry Christmas I also ask you to join with me and as we head towards the new year looking forward with a sense of anticipation. 

Be excited for all that’s to come but also remember to carefully find your magic in the moments. 

Laugh until your sides ache.

Cry until you hiccup

And love with all your heart.

Find the magic in the moments, create those memories and make each day count.

Merry Christmas to you all xxxx
  

I’m still here 

Hello, yes I’m still here.

I can only apologise for my lack of posts, life has been crazy. Besides the visit to London for the awards, numerous appointments and meetings I have also been writing my first assignment for my university course.

It’s been crazy.

To be fair I was not prepared for the step up in my life my degree was going to bring. 

That’s not to say I’m not loving every minute of it, I really am. It’s just harder that I realised to carve quality study time into my days.

I’m learning so many new things that my brain may explode. Honestly academic writing has totalled slammed me. I love to write and normally find words tumble out of me easily but that’s when they are my own thoughts and feelings. Academic writing doesn’t want my opinion ( how rude) it wants me to explain my understanding of the research. It’s been a steep learning curve but I’m loving every minute though my husband may not. Seems I get a little grumpy when stressed, who knew 😳.

Anyway I submitted my first official full assignment for my degree. I cannot tel you how sick I was. I truly felt that I had handed my soul over. I know, I know I’m being dramatic but truly I was so sick with nerves. I don’t know if it’s because I’m older and attending university is my dream or if it’s simply my desire to do well but pressing that submit button made me almost vomit. It just matters so much to me. 

Is that healthy? 

Anyway I apologise for my absence and hope to be more frequent in posts but no promises. 

Ooh and before I finish guess what? 

It’s nearly Christmas arrrrahhh 
  

The best Christmas gift that wasn’t for me.

I have been so lucky this Christmas with some amazing presents. Yet my favourite gift was not one of mine, but it was one that really blessed my heart.

You see every Christmas my aunt and uncle sends gift envelopes for my girls. It is something they and I are completely grateful for. Also whichever foster child joins our family will also find themselves with a envelope with their name on Christmas morning.

This is so lovely and so appreciated,
Yet it’s isn’t these envelopes that really warm my heart.

It is the one that has still carried on coming every christmas for Livvy.

The sweet envelope with my beautiful daughters name is what makes my Christmas Day.

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Knowing that she isn’t forgotten.

It’s a just little envelope that holds so much more than the money inside it.

More than the flowers the money will buy.

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Losing a child is unbearable the shock comes first but then you are left with a lingering agonising pain.

It’s the pain of watching people move on with their lives that twists deep into your heart.

They move on without her.

I cannot bear the thought that Livvy will be forgotten and yes it’s something that causes such a panic within my heart.

So when this envelope comes along I am so grateful that my aunt and uncle are just taking a little time to say, “she isn’t forgotten”.

That for me is the best present ever.

Thank you Auntie & Uncle

Merry Christmas Livvy

The last few days I have been so low. Whoever stole Livvy’s tree stole more than they could ever have realised from me. My whole Christmas spirit went along with it.

I couldn’t get my head around the fact that someone could steal off a child’s grave.

I mean how could they?

Yet again over the last few days something else began to shine through.

Compassion.

I have been uplifted by messages from friends.

People looking about for a new tree and lights.

It’s been this compassion that slowly lifted me from the darkness I was falling into.

Yet still yesterday I was sad, the empty place where the tree should have been was still hurting to see.

So imagine my excitement this morning when a friend called me to say she had found a tree. I was jumping for joy.

After two days of searching my baby was going to have a tree for Christmas.

My heart is so happy.

Decorating and placing this tree has really lifted my spirit.

I know not all will understand my need or my sadness but this is all I can do for my daughter now. I need to honour her.

Remember her.

It is important that her special place is decorated as our home is.

So thank you dear friend.

Merry Christmas Livvy.

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Gift and Befriend

Each Christmas we always try to take time and remind our girls about the true meaning of the season.

Behind all the excitement of presents and the enormous amounts of food.

We remember those who haven’t what we have.

The girls get one monetary gift each year which they choose to donate to a charity of their choice or to buy something for someone in need.

So this year when I heard of the charity Gift and Befriend I was excited as this was the perfect way for my daughters to really see those they are helping and also giving them freedom over what they wish purchase.

Over at Gift and Befriend you register to become a giver you then get to learn about those in need known as the receivers and what they actually need from their own Amazon wish list.  You then get to choose the items you would like to purchase from their lists and they get shipped directly to them.

I think this is a fantastic idea, especially as one of the main reasons I hear about people’s reluctance to donate to charities is their concern about how much the actual person in need really gets. This site take the fear away as you purchase and ship straight to the receiver of your choice.

I sat down with my youngest daughter Brodie and  looked round the sitebig heart

 

She really enjoyed reading the profiles and learning about those she could help. It took a while mostly due to her desire to help them all but Brodie decided she wanted to help little Moses, his story just touched her heart.

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I know Christmas is always a financially tight time of year for many of us but before you buy that extra stocking filler maybe consider adding a gift to one of the receivers instead.  I know my girls really appreciate this and its one of their favourite parts of Christmas.

Christmas shopping and kids who have the nerve to grow up.

Christmas shopping, its one of those things that you either love or hate.

It’s something you look forward to with either excited anticipation or pure horror.

Personally I switch between both feelings.

I actually love buying gifts but I hate the crowds of people that seem to appear from anywhere and  everywhere.

Last year I actually got bruises from one shopping trip.

My Christmas shopping experiences have really changed over the years.

Ten years ago I could pretty much guarantee the girls would love everything I chose for them.

Now as they have got older its seriously like walking a tightrope and I promise i have fallen off many times.

One of the things I used to really love to do was shopping for the christmas outfits.

Dressing the girls up in pretty sparkly outfits brought new for this special day.

I think if I tried to dress my girls this year there may be war.

Even though i try to email my girls photos of nice dresses or outfits I get a reply that normally says “REALLY” or the lest polite “DREAM ON”.

Seems where my older two are concerned I am best handing over the cash as they hit town with their friends or just pressing checkout on the baskets they send me via email links.

Seriously why do our children have to grow up, how inconsiderate of them.

Anyway thank goodness for my youngest who is still willing to humour me and sit beside me as we surf the web for an Christmas outfit.

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30 minutes and one Christmas outfit later I am a happy mommy again thank you Esprit

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ideas are my own