Monday, 29 December 2014

December Favourites

pic:  The Bay Tree
THE YEAR is almost at an end.  Yet another 12 months in the bag.  December is all about indulgence and being festive, is it not?  Enjoying a little bit more than usual without feeling guilty.  When I was younger it was all about making sure I had a couple of new things to wear over Christmas.  It’s been a few years since I indulged that way but I still like to collect a few bits and pieces.  I’ve listed some of those down below.  Some are old and there might be a new favourite as well.

The Make-up Favourites 
Catrice Photo Finish Foundation:    We all want flawless skin minus the shine and I think I have stumbled upon one of the best recession friendly foundations out there that delivers.   A little tip for you: make sure both your moisturiser and foundation do not contain SPF if you want a nice shine free face in photographs.  It is the flash reflecting off your make-up that creates this look in pictures even though you look matt in reality.  This foundation offers decent but not sticky or heavy coverage and will hold up during photographic opportunities.   

Essence Hello Autumn Thermal Effect Nail Polish:  This is a little bit of fun for about €3.  Basically it is a nail varnish that changes colour from a burnt orange hue in the warmth to a darker brick red when you go out into the cold.  Personally I prefer the darker red.  But if you put on enough coats (maybe about 4 but not all in the one evening! Smudge alert!) the orange looks dark enough to get away with.

The Food & Drink Favourites
Mulled Wine:  In keeping with the festive theme, what can be more so than mulled wine; sweet, gorgeous ruby warming liquid.  This stuff is the bee’s knees.  Perfect for December and the season that’s in it.  My sister Gina served this at her Posh Wine and Cheese Reception and it went down a treat.       

Mince Pies:    It took quite a few years for my palate to warm to these.  But now?  Oh boy.  Slightly warmed with a dollop of cream and I am purring.  In the run up to Christmas I was known to enjoy one for my breakfast.  Maybe I should learn how to make them myself.  But that’s not the same as having one handed to you, now is it?

The Health Favourites 
Maximol:  I mentioned this previously in 2014.  It was used with great success to rid two little feet of verrucas.  Now that another one has appeared on another boy, the Maximol is back.  It is also an excellent all round pick me up tonic and who doesn’t need one of those in the winter months.

Running:  Any kind of exercise is good for the heart and mind.  My choice of accelerated heart rate is to put on some runners and go for a run.  I took quite a long break this winter (almost four months.  I know.  Don’t tell anyone!) but I got back into it over the Christmas break.  Gently does it but it feels great and now that spring is just around the corner, bringing with her, longer evenings, I can get out regularly.    

The Book Favourites
My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George:  I read this years ago, loved it and have no idea where it went.  Currently my almost 9 year old is deeply into his adventure stories and this book chronicles one mad adventure.  To borrow the blurb from amazon:  “Terribly unhappy in his family's crowded New York City apartment, Sam Gribley runs away to the solitude-and danger-of the mountains, where he finds a side of himself he never knew.”  A lovely tale of how one boy lived wild for a year, clothing and feeding himself from the land.  Santy brought this book but I met the postman at the door and read it again.   

The Feel Good Factor
The kindness of others.  It being so close to Christmas and all brings this one home to roost with a bang!  Our car crossed over at the end of November and we were without transport for a while.  Family and friends rallied round with all the help they could muster in order to sort us out, get the kids to school and take me to the shops.  It would warm the cockles of your heart.

And of course, your kids’ faces on Christmas morning when they see all that santy has left for them.

Wishing you all a peaceful New Year.  Chat to you on the other side!

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