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Monday 30 December 2019

That Glow of Achievement

Those quiet moments before your guests arrive.

Sipping on a well-earned glass of fizz.

Smiling smugly. 

And with time to reflect.

For the food has been prepped and I’ve been scrubbed up - I love that glow of satisfaction and anticipation that is those few moments between hard graft and party. 

I hosted my family Christmas party yesterday.  I love the opportunities we have to get together as one big happy family.  Of course, I always make far too much food.  Do you over-cater too?

These photos may display a feeling of calm and serenity.
But my party prepping was not without an eleventh hour panic.

Firstly, let me tell you that my sausage roll making is one of my Christmas family party traditions. I love making them for my guys and gals.
And you can’t beat a homemade sausage roll eh?

So the day before the party found me lovingly creating several different types of rolls using a whole range of flavoured sausages and fresh herbs.  These were possibly going to be my best creations to date.  Yes, I was feeling smug.

My Corny Christmas Playlist belted out as I chopped and rolled, creating a magicly festivite mood.
I was feeling smug and very, very happy.

Towards the end of prepping my sausage rolls, (enough to feed the entire parish!), I discovered one of my nails was without its glittery gel nail covering. Horror!!!

 I had no idea if it had fallen into the sausage mix or had dislodged itself before I started food prep.  And of course I couldn’t take a gamble with my family’s well-being.  And yes, the air was blue with angry expletives.
I stepped away from the sausage rolls.
When the anger finally melted away with a trickle of mothers’ ruin, boy was I disheartened.

 So as soon as M&S opened next morning I was in there clearing their shelves of sausage rolls.  They were Oakham-good of course, but I’m sure mine would have oozed that little more flavor with the extras that come from baking for those you love - thought, variety of flavors ... and maybe a glittery gel nail thrown into the mix!


Outfit deets:
Sparkly bead trim knitted dress, Monsoon, current - I did warn you you’d be seeing it a lot!
Black wedge heels, Clark’s, old

Do you savour that little window before your guests arrive?  
When you’re more than a little exhausted after dashing crazily around the house as you tick off the zillion To Do items on your party prep list?
Do you celebrate your achievements with a glass of fizz?
What has been your fave or go-to socializing outfit this Christmas?
And have you had a Christmas cooking disaster too?!!!

A la perchoine,
Mary x.

P. s.  I’m case you’re wondering what happened to my abandoned sausage rolls :
TP spooned out the sausage mix and froze it for forensic investigation at a later date; the broken and battered pastry was binned.

Saturday 28 December 2019

Those Niggly Jobs - Bertie's new bed

Well, Bertie’s coaster has been rolling a little more than normal lately - and that boy sure knows how to roll a coaster at pretty much any time.  But this has been a weird couple of months, even for him.  Let’s keep it simple.  He’s going to be 20 in a month or two and for a cat that’s pretty old.  For a Persian cat thats even older.  And for a cat who’s been plagued with health problems that’s older still. 

So at the beginning of November things weren’t looking good for him and the vet and I put together  a plan to manage his remaining days.  It included special diet food to which we needed to add five different medications daily.  He detested the food and detected the medication and stopped eating, so lost weight and the vet and I agreed to stop both the diet and the meds and get him eating again.

Family members popped in to say their goodbyes.

 I was treasuring my every day with him. 

I bought him a new support bed to ease the pressure on his old arthritic bones.  I’d meant to get him one for simply ages.  He’d had a furry cushion some years ago but on reflection it was quite thin and didn’t look like it was up to any job at all.  I knew that I should get him a better replacement but I just hadn’t got round to it.  So wanting to make his remaining days as comfortable as possible I finally got round to gerting him a new cushion. And what a beaut it is!

And if any designers are reading this, I’d like one for me too because I find myself looking at it and longing to sink my own arthritic bones into something this furry and supportive!

Pampering my patient meant “breakfast in bed”, pushing little bowls under his nose wherever he was lounging.  The things we do for our pets eh?!

I pimped up his new cushion with a cat throw.

But my pink throw became what I called his “day bed” for it’s the place where he spends most of his days.

Add caption

He was looking like he felt.  Old and ragged.  Pretty much how I feel most days, come to think of it 

This pic was taken shortly before the vet came up with the idea of giving him his first steroid shot mid November. 

Then it all changed.  He became lively. He strutted around the place instead of having his legs give way. . He started talking to us once more.  He started managing the stairs again, sleeping with us and demanding breakfast ... at 5 am!
And he regained his appetite and put back all the weight he’d lost.
So now he’s on a monthly steroid shot and is allowed to eat whatever he fancies.  Our focus is on his quality of life for the time he has left with us. 

So my Christmas present this year is to have spent it with my boy, Bertie. I really didn’t think he’d make it this far.  He’s had a bit of a relapse immediately after Christmas, so we’ll see how that works out.  But he’s got his snuggly pink day bed and a lux fur night bed to keep as cosy as can be.

A la perchoine,
Mary x. 

Wednesday 25 December 2019

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas filled with love and joy 

... and chocolate!

A la perchoine, 
Mary x.

Monday 23 December 2019

A Twist on Traditional

It’s Christmas Eve Eve!
How did that happen?  One minute I was celebrating my birthday mid November, and today I’m in a panic, circling wagons on Christmas preps - have I forgotten something?  
Well, it’s certainly not K E V I N !!!
I had some bonus hours with the grandkiddos recently so I immediately said, hey let’s watch Home Alone! I absolutely never tire of that film and it never fails to get me feeling christmassy.  You too?

This got me feeling christmassy too.  Icing my cake.

I had the cake soaking up regular drizzles of brandy but had no idea how I was going to decorate it this year. 

Then on Sunday morning up popped a friend on Insta with a modern snowball design. 

I knew in an Insta instant that this was “the one”.

So I sent TP to Waitrose for fondant icing and gold lustre spray.  I’d not used either before.
 but they are the ultimate doddle!

I changed the design a little to “make it my own”.  I added a floor of fondant icing - an excuse for more sugar - and scattered the snowballs messily around to create the idea that the naughty elf on the shelf has had one gigantic snowball fight on my cake with his mates!

It’s more “official” theme is cascading snow piled with snowballs dusted with the gold lustre of the afternoon December sun.  That’s my take on it anyway.  

And I’m sooo happy with this simple, modern decoration which was such fun to put together.

Do you like this modern design?

How have you iced your cake?
Maybe you don’t do Christmas cakes?
I’ve made jule logs some years but they don’t keep so long.  This baby can keep for weeks, but I have the feeling it’s not going to last that long in our household!

Wishing you a merry Christmas Eve Eve!

A la perchoine,
Mary x.

Saturday 21 December 2019

Room for Expansion

Off for afternoon tea in off-white and grey.

There’s something uber-comfy about a capacious sweater dress.  Add flat heeled grey suede knee boots and old lady Nora Batty tights into the equation and you’re on to a outfit winner perfect for stuffing yourself with sandwiches and Champagne afternoon tea at The Penninsula,  
It’s good to take yourself away from all the Christmas preps for a short while.  And making that break a festive afternoon tea is gooder!

Turkey and cranberry wrap with a warm gravy dip - genius. .
Mr and Mrs Snowman cakes - cute.

Double fizz because hubs was driving - perfection!

But TP looked happy enough even without the Prosecco.

A la perchoine,
Mary x.

. .

Thursday 19 December 2019

Feeling Lucky

I’m such a lucky girl. 

I’m lucky that I had an old but luxurious “fur” collar to add to my frock coat to give the look a bit of old-school glamour. 

And I’m lucky that the birthday presents keep on coming after my Big Birthday last month.  

Seems that’s one of the good things about a 70th birthday.  

Another is being lucky just to get there. 

Out for dinner with the girlies in all-black.

Frock coat, Zara, 2018
Coated jeans, Next, 2017
Pearl/diamond big jumper, Dotty P, current
Boots, Gabor, 2014-15

Are you feeling lucky too?

A la perchoine, 
Mary x 

Wednesday 18 December 2019

Giving Yourself Wriggle Room

A festive Afternoon Tea with Fizz at The Penninsula, Guernsey. 

TP was driving - I got double fizz.  Well, someone’s got to do it eh. 

The tea included a turkey and cranberry wrap with a warm gravy dip - genius!

This kind of afternoon calls for a capacious dress. 

It calls for light-touch festive decor. 

It calls for cheeky repositioning of Mrs Snowman’s head.

And it calls for the pat on the back you deserve for giving yourself a dress with plenty of room for tum-expansions.

Yes, this time of year we have to give ourselves outfits with wriggle room.
And this Monsoon sweater dress is easy wear looseness that’s needed for an afternoon such as this.       
And there will be many more ...

Do you dress with expansion in mind this time of year?

A la perchoine,
Mary x.

Outfit details (all old):
Ecru sweater dress - Monsoon
Grey suede knee boots, Next
Wrinkly knitted tights, knicked off Nora Batty’s washing line!

Thursday 12 December 2019

What I Wore in November

Firstly, an apology, peeps.  I've realised that all my replies to your comments sent from my iPhone these past few posts have quite simply disappeared into the ether.  I've caught up with them all now though (took forever but soooo worth it).  I hope you check back for my replies, because I do reply ... eventually, but these past few weeks have been a bit of a blip and my lesson has been learned -
Do. Not. Reply. On. Your. IPhone. Mary!

So, let's do my November round up ... whilst we're still in December!

I'll keep my comments brief because I can imagine how busy you are right now.

I had my hair waved for my birthday!
But I just can't get the hang of this flat iron waving.  Can you?

There were some bitter days in the month and I pulled out the big guns, a reversible coat.

It's a charity shop find from last year.  A quality fur fabric one side, waterproof the other.  It's a German make and I think the Germans do this type of coat so well, but you pay for what you get.  I've dreamed of one for years so when I spotted this one with a £15 tag, I pounced!

I cuddled poor old Bertie wearing all-black, not a good idea as he's a long haired breed and boy does it show on black!

Some days were just snuggly walking days wearing a French sailing jacket and walking boots, both extremely old.

But on at least one day I wore a skirt and a proper coat (hooded zipped leather, also really old).

Now, this pink snuggly jumper is new and since the day I bought it I'm finding it a struggle to not grab it as my go-to most days.  Hey, I'm even wearing it now as I write this post!   
So warm, so comfy, and versatile too, so I'll do a separate post on that one soon.

My birthday dress (not suit!).  Black knitted with sequins.  It's been covered on a separate post.

Walking through town on one of our many windy days.  In that coat.

I loved this look.  No words required.  It was sooo me!

Cashmere and coated jeans with a touch of furred leoprint.

Our town church.

Me as an angel.  The look suits me,  yes ?!!

Oh, did I tell you I had prosecco with my birthday waving session?!

Ok, just gotta show you that coat again - and TP loves it too!

Cashmere polo necky thingey, perfect for the month's weather.

Apropos of nothing, flowers in the restaurant I took TP to for his birthday (3 days after mine).  He can be see to the left of the flowers, perusing the menu.

And more cashmere.  'Tis the season for cashmere!

A birthday selfie.  Gotta be done eh?  But it shows the lovely diamond necklace and earring studs I was so lucky to receive to mark my 70th.

Ok, one last shot of that snuggly coat, seen here in our High Street just to show you that I DO take my outfits out-out occasionally.

Ok, I lied.  Teehee! THIS is the last shot of the snuggly coat!!!  

November included the My Partner Dresses Me challenge and I've already covered those outfits previously, yet I'm really surprised how much else I wore in the month (even though That Snuggly Coat has more than it's fair share of coverage !)

Are you on repeat-wear with outerwear now?  
And maybe some innerwear outfits too, like my snuggly pink jumper?
Let me know what you've been wearing, I love hearing from you.

A la perchoine, 
Mary x.