Christmas 2013 Holiday Highlights

As of today, the Christmas holidays are officially over in our house. For me and the boys, the holidays have been total bliss. All the usual busyness of daily life stopped in our house and we enjoyed two weeks of ‘down-time’ together

Like many parts of the world, we’ve been experiencing freaky weather patterns these past few weeks, including frequent spells of torrential rain and gail force winds. Our local meadows (pictured in my top banner) transformed into a big lake.

Bathampton Meadows Flooded Christmas 2013

On Christmas Eve, we awoke to find our garden completely submerged under water. The water levels were the highest that we’ve ever seen them before, reaching the top of Lil’ L’s slide. While the water did eventually drain away, as soon as we had more heavy rain, the garden flooded again.  Fortunately, our house is on higher land, so there’s no risk of it flooding.

Flooded Garden Christmas 2013

For Christmas Day, we headed over to my mum’s in Dorset. We were having such a nice time that we ended up staying five days!

Christmas 2013

We played games, watched films, and went on some lovely walks with the dogs. Father Christmas brought Lil’ L a laser gun set, and he and M had lots of fun and laughs running round the house and forest shooting each other (boys eh?)

Lil L in Verwood Forest Christmas 2013

Using the weather tracking tool on our mobiles, we were able to time our walks to avoid the worst of the rain. Most days were dark and cloudy, but Boxing Day was exceptionally bright and dry, so we headed to Bournemouth.

Boxing Day on Bournemouth Beach 2013_1

It was utterly glorious!

Boxing Day on Bournemouth Beach 2013_4

We took a long walk along the promenade, played with the dogs on the beach, had coffees on the pier, and played the tuppence slot machines in the arcade.

Boxing Day on Bournemouth Beach 2013_2

I find it so invigorating by the sea this time of year. It’s great for clearing the old cobwebs away!

Boxing Day on Bournemouth Beach 2013_3

Love these colourful beach huts on Bournemouth promenade!

Beach Huts at Bournemouth

Food-wise, by far the best meal of the holidays was the Christmas dinner. My mum made the nut and lentil roast on Christmas Eve so, on Christmas day, we simply needed to prepare the veggies and gravy. Lil’ L said it was the best Christmas dinner he’s ever had! He even tried the Brussel sprouts and, though not keen on them on their own, he loved them mashed in ‘Bubble and Squeak’ (which we served on Boxing Day with the Chestnut and Mushroom Jalousie).

And thank you SO much for all your lovely comments about the Cranberry Glazed Red Lentil and Cashew Nut Loaf recipe. I was over the moon to hear how much you liked it!

I admit I’ve eaten far too much these past couple of weeks but I’m not worried about it. This week I’ll get back into my usual eating and exercising habits and, by the end of the month, I’m sure I’ll back back to my usual weight.  For me, this month is all about quick prep, low cost, tasty, healthy meals. I’ve got some really easy recipes to share with you, plus some awesome giveaways.

Time for me to officially bid farewell to 2013 and embrace the New Year.

Here’s wishing you all a very happy 2014 xx

12 thoughts on “Christmas 2013 Holiday Highlights

  1. H Sharon, I just wanted to thank you for your recipe for Chestnut, Mushroom and Lentil Jalousie… Instead of making a large roast, I made mini veggie sausage rolls for a little drinks party I had just before Christmas… by making the filling the night before, there was absolutely no stress on the night, and were a huge hit with everyone! x

    1. Happy New Year! ♥
      I’m so pleased that you & your friends liked it! 😀 That’s such a great idea turning it into mini ‘sausage’ rolls for parties. I can’t wait to try it out myself! x

  2. Happy New Year! So sorry about your floods, not nice at all! We were lucky to avoid the worst of the weather up here,

    Lovely to hear you had an amazing Christmas, we did too and I’m still not back to normal life, I’ve still got family staying but next week it will all change.

    Looking forward to your posts in 2014 xo

    1. Happy New Year Vicky! So pleased to hear that you had a great Christmas too 🙂 The Christmas hols went far too quickly for me… always the way when you’re enjoying yourself 😉 It was a bit of a shocker getting back into the school/work routine this week! Enjoy the rest of the week with your family xx

  3. It sounds like you had a truly lovely holiday, despite the weather weirdness. It’s a very good thing that your house is out of harm’s way even when the water level gets unusually high…
    I wish you a wonderful year, filled with love, joy, and delightful surprises!

    1. Thank you so much Josiane ♥ I hope 2014 proves to be a wonderful year for you too x
      p.s. Is the weather okay where you are? I hear it’s super freezing in some parts of Canada.

      1. Thank you, Sharon!
        The weather is doing weird things over here, too. We’ve had quite a few freezing cold days in a row, and now it seems we have a very warm weekend coming up. There seems to have been a trend towards those kinds of extremes in the last few years, which is pretty worrysome… But I must say that the freezing rain and tons of snow we’ve had right before Christmas made for enchanted (and enchanting) landscapes! Everything was glittering, it was truly magical (as long as you were among the lucky ones who hadn’t lost power for days because of fallen branches…).

    1. Happy New Year Lauren! Just read your ‘Detox your bodycare’ post. It’s fab! I definitely need to do some more ‘detoxing’ of our body/personal care products this year x

  4. Just realized I read this post and never commented! It looks like you all had a gorgeous holiday. How much fun does that laser gun set sound! 😉
    Nice to have you back. X

  5. I didn’t know your banner was a photo of your local meadows, such a breathtaking view, Sharon! I’m so glad that your house is on a higher land, I thought you were in danger earlier! Thanks for sharing your holiday highlights, Bournemouth is simply glorious! Wishing you a healthy, successful, refreshing and loving 2014, especially your family!

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