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Pregnancy Update 29 weeks.

 Hi everyone, so after a lot of deliberating I have chosen to start fresh with a new blog.

When I first started this blog I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to write about & because of this I chose to use my own name as my blog name. Now that blogging has become a regular occurrence I decided to look back at all the different posts I have published & I realised that there are two subjects that I write about the most: Beauty and Pregnancy. I had no idea that I would enjoy blogging as much as I do, but I am well and truly hooked & I feel that now I know what I enjoy writing about the most I should really have a blog name that reflects those subjects. I chose Glitz & Pram.

I will continue to write about the same subjects that I have been on here, and I hope that you will continue to enjoy reading what I post. If you do want to continue following my blogs (I really hope that you will) you can do so here: http://www.glitzandpram.blogspot.co.uk/ or here: http://www.bloglovin.com/en/blog/4578751

I am so glad I found the courage to start publishing my thoughts, I will continue doing so for as long as I feel that I have something to say and at least one person finds those things interesting.

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Christmas Gifts.

2013 is going to be a huge year for us as a family, and consequently it will also be a huge strain financially. As much as I wish that it weren’t true; it is an unavoidable fact that most of life’s big events are dependent on varying degrees of financial commitment. It just so happens that we’re embarking on two of the most expensive in the space of two months: Having a baby, and buying a house. This has obviously left us a little shy of making expensive purchases, and has resulted in us both becoming that most unattractive or words: frugal. And there lies out theme for gifts this year: a frugal Christmas.

For a lot of people I know that would destroy their festive feelings, but I found it a lovely challenge. My family had decided the best idea would be that each of us would agree to spend no more than £10 on each member of the family. There was no stress in wondering if we had spent enough, no sick feeling when checking our bank balance, and a genuine feeling of pride when giving our gifts and gratitude for every gift that we received.

George and I decided that we would combine our £10 per person budget to make it £20 per person so that I could find one nice item and a novelty item each (the links to each item are at the end- some are even cheaper now thanks to the January sales). We ended up buying everyone a plain white mug & decorating it with the name that baby will call them (Uncle, Grandad, Mormor). For mum we bought a “festive feet” box with three nail-varnishes and a pair of cashmere socks. For dad we bought a green short sleeved polo shirt, and for my brother we bought a lambswool scarf.

I started  the search months in advance, and began by deciding what I wanted to buy everyone. I then spent hours looking at different retailers and signing up for emails & catalogues with the retailers that I liked. The main reason for this was so that I could be the first to know if there were any sale items and as luck would have it I received discount codes for 3 of the items I ended up buying just for signing up to their catalogue, and I was made aware of a 3for2 on nail-varnishes thanks to a generic sales email. Everything was bought cheaper because I didn’t rush. I have always believed that Christmas is about more than just the amount that you spend on gifts, and this year has really proved that for me. Both George and I agree that this has been our favourite Christmas to date, and we have learnt a lot about how best to spend less.

White Mugs (65p each): http://tinyurl.com/cluxy7s

Nail varnish (£5 for 3) in Gold Glitter, 150 Red Glitter & 296 Coral: http://tinyurl.com/c262e7o 

http://tinyurl.com/cv2m2wu 

http://tinyurl.com/cyy9246

Cashmere Socks (RRP: £30, on sale for £2o, discount code made £14) in Camel: http://tinyurl.com/d5g7jgn

Lambswool Scarf (£20, discount code made £18 & gave free delivery) in Grey Steward Dress: http://tinyurl.com/bnxkkpx 

Polo Shirt (£20, discount code gave free delivery) in Green: http://tinyurl.com/cvp4d59

It’s all about the food

So the 12 days of Christmas are now in full swing and it’s about this time that I begin recovering from my food-hangover. I never really like to think that Christmas is done as soon as we all fall into bed in our new pj’s, I’m all for dragging out the Christmas spirit & I think the easiest way is with food.

In our family the preparing of Christmas food starts long before either of the main events: If I’m making a Christmas cake I will start that at least a month in advance, but even if I’m not we will most certainly be making gingerbread, and that will begin a fortnight before Christmas. We will then make saffron buns, start to pickle the herrings, cure the salmon, make the Christmas porridge, and eventually slow cook the Christmas ham. The final touch before the day is making our Christmas sweets: this year we made knack and ice chocolate. Then of corse there is the cooking that happens on the day itself.

Food is such a massive part of Christmas for us that most years it causes more excitement than the giving & receiving of gifts, this year was certainly one of those years. Despite the time and effort that goes into preparing the food it is always enjoyable, and rarely stressful: Cooking becomes a social event, and the food that we’re preparing is so unique to this time of year and is so traditional that it’s almost like falling back into a comfortable routine, there are few hidden surprises or stresses. There is also a real appreciation of the nostalgic flavours and ritual that goes with the food that help to bring back memories, and invoke a sense of certainty and calm in our other wise stressful and unpredictable lives.

The other great thing about Christmas food is that you always make too much, and that means there will be a day or two where you don’t need to cook at all – which considering I don’t generally enjoy cooking that much, is pretty awesome. And if like me you’ve eaten so much that even a grape would set you sweating: Left overs are perfect because you don’t feel guilty about only eating one mouthful per meal. I had one of my favourite Christmas’ to date, and the food certainly played a part. Here’s some photos of 2 of the 3 Christmas meals I some how managed to consume these past two days, I hope you had as merry a Christmas as we did. Love to you all.

 

God Jul

It’s Christmas Eve!! For my family, and others in parts of Europe, it means that todays the big event. If we were in Sweden we would be opening our presents soon, but that feels like cheating when we’re in England.

We’ve already had Christmas breakfast which was: Christmas Porridge with cinnamon & sugar; crisp bread & Christmas ham; & Christmas bread & cheese. We’ve also had elevensies which was: Tea/Coffee with saffron buns and gingerbread biscuits.

Now we’re preparing our lunch which is going to be a buffet-type affair. The first “course” is pickled herring, gravad lax, christmas ham & an assortment of breads. Then the second “course” is potatoes, kale, meatballs & prince-sausages. Both kitten & puppy are being fed cuts of meat and fish while we’re preparing & dad is sneaking a few mouthfuls here and there as well.

After food we will probably play a board game or maybe watch a film. Usually we would go for a Christmas walk but the weather is not the best, so we’ll probably just sing a few Christmas songs and dance around the house after that. Most years we would be drinking vodka throughout the day but that’s not possible for me, and no-one else seems that fussed, so we’re sticking to beer and Julmust. Tonight mum has invited a few friends round for Mulled Wine & nibbles, then we’ll probably all pass out in a food coma, ready to do it all again tomorrow British-style.

I wanted to post some photos of our day, but as we’re only half way through and now was the only time I thought would be possible to blog, I will probably upload them at a later date. For now though, Merry Swedish Christmas to you & I hope you have an amazing day.