I like to take time out as things settle down on Christmas Eve to write a message for bloggers. You see bloggers are a bit of a special breed who take time out to share goodwill online throughout the year. If you are lucky enough to meet them in person, they tend to be rather awesome, even if quietly so.

snowflake

So instead of sending Christmas cards when bloggers more often than not don’t have each other’s addresses or naming names and perhaps forgetting someone, see if you recognise yourself amongst the folks that are in my heart this Christmas.

1. The gorgeous and blushing young woman who sends me tokens which keep me going through the tough times. A special card stay in my handbag at all times. I hope we get to meet in 2015. You are such a generous spirit and far greater than you know.

2. To the sassy one who makes me laugh with her kick ass attitude and from whom I learn a lot.

3. The woman with the beautiful smile who helps me throughout the year and is always ready to lend a kind word. Her face is so stunning that I never actually notice her legs! I would invite myself to Christmas dinner at her house as something tells me she will produce the most tempting food.

4. My Fairy Godmother who I feel so blessed to have in my life. She changed my life so powerfully and I will be forever grateful. A beautiful relationship that works.

5. My heartfelt friend who I feel such trust in and I love our connection. Over the years we have learned we do not need to be in each other’s faces but we are always there when it matters. Love you for your campaigning spirit and for your naughty but nice streak.

6. The poet who does not know it who I got to meet this year for the first time and all too briefly. You looked amazing at BritMums Live and I know you did not realise quite how stunning at all. You are an inspiration as a mum and I am pleased you are taking more care of you too.

7. Lucky 7, one of the bloggers who gets me and who I go to bed with every night. I feel safe with you and that is not something I feel very often. I like your wicked sense of humour, a brain that does not know quite how exceptional it is and just the fact that get me and are you, real and true.

8. The warm, wise and impressive lady who is such a lovely spirit. We bonded initially having lost our very special mums and I like to think we connect on a deep level. Beautiful lady, gorgeous eyes, special soul.

9. A cheerful host who I am enjoying learning to know more this year. You make single parenting look mighty fine and carry life off with such aplomb.

10. To my constant support who seems to be in my corner all the time. You have faith in me when I waver and you don’t let me take any nonsense. You also show me just how a woman can take control of her life and shake things up a bit.

11. I think of the mums who have lost. I think of you so often and how random and cruel fate can be. You all take time out to help others when you have such challenges on a daily basis. I am delighted to see new hope for many of you this year. Special mention for the one whose hug at BritMums Live was a highlight of my year.

12. To the girl who is so like me that perhaps things go awry sometimes. Pleased that we both touch base still and hope we can get closer again in 2015.

13. To the teacher and spirited lady who helped me think that perhaps I am doing OK at home education.

14. To the force of nature who made it quite clear that of course I was capable of educating my own children. Said in such a matter of fact way that I believed it and this has changed our lives.

15. To a kindred spirit who wants the best for women and mums and has a crafty way of achieving that. Hope to connect more and more as the years go by.

16. To the lady who was so supportive when my husband was looking for work. I want to know more of you in 2015 as I think I neglected you a little once we started to get on our feet. You question yourself whilst others see that you are amazing.

17. To the one whose daughter I want my son to marry. You face such challenges and yet you care for others so well. You are a true giver, willing to go that extra mile even for an online friend.

18. To the woman who fears appearing on vlogs and yet should feel the fear and do it anyway.

19. To the woman with the hugest smile and stunning looks who always welcomes me and who perhaps gets me more that I thought at first.

20. To the blogger with the beautiful eyes who I would most like to buy me a Christmas present because I know it would be quirky and probably from a charity shop. You have made things so much easier for me on more than one occasion.

21. To the traveller who I feel a bond with even when we tend to only get about 10 minutes to talk to each other every year. That 10 minutes always means a lot.

22. To that feisty lady who has every reason to ignore me and yet always proves so helpful to the opposition. Glad we got to know the real us after that online hiccup.

23. To all the home-educating bloggers who give me hope, support and great ideas.

24. To the woman off the telly (no not that one, the other one!) who always seems to be watching when I wobble. Fond memories of 2013.

25. To someone who I hated for telling me I needed help and now I have the help I can see why she said it. Sometimes the messages we hate are the ones we need to hear most of all.

26. To all the grooving, groovy and striking mums. I enjoy our little online journeys together and love seeing how your lives change over the months and years.

27. To the mum in Glasgow who I love seeing happy and admire so much for showing that sometimes things are not good enough and that taking a leap of faith can bring wonderful things.

28. To all the bloggers who help me with my weight loss efforts. Often it is something you said that keeps me on track.

29. To the cocktail queen who made such brave choices this year. I sense you are still finding your way but I hope the destination is a fabulous one and I will be here backing you all the way.

30. To someone who described me a guru this year. I am pleased to know you and still find you a bit of an enigma.

31. To the bloggers who encourage me to take photographs. I swear those Sunday linkies can be almost like a meditation as I glimpse into the beauty of other people’s lives. I look more closely now so that I really see what is out there.

32. To a kindred spirit who was there all the time and I never knew it. So pleased to get to know you this year. Thanks for the huge parcel. I owe you one in 2015. I find you fascinating and want to get to know you more and more in 2015.

33. To the warm-hearted blogger who really does expect me to be vivacious. I promise to try harder to do this in real life in the New Year.

34. To the one who speaks her mind and who shares some of my *let’s not go with the crowd” views.

35. To my jacket buddy (the other one off the telly) because it is not all about her as she well knows but weirdly she comes in at number 35 which just happens to be my lucky number. You are a bit of the stunner on the outside but that is nothing compared to what is going on inside. You make me laugh a lot, you make me cry a little too, you inspire me to be a better me and what you don’t know how to do with a pillowcase really ain’t worth knowing.

36. To a lovely lunch companion who I understand a little better. Well done on having your say this year and for really making me think – always a very good thing.

37. To my tech rescuers – amazes me how people are so willing to help when you are friendly or not.

38. To the blogger who is no longer a blogger but still a very special friend. We will meet in 2015, we will, we will, we will! Your emails are a tonic in a mad world.

39. To my “first” blogger – they do say the first is always special and you are. I love your depth and wisdom.

40. To the lady who I would probably most want to go to church with on Christmas morning. Little did you know it but years ago I think you started the process of me putting myself together again. I love watching where your life takes you.

41. To the young blogger who has faced such enormous challenges. You keep having your say even if others don’t appreciate that you have the right to do so.

42. To another one off the telly (what is it about bloggers and telly?!) who I am pleased to have met and who is so not up herself – always a very good thing.

43. To the talented lady who made me blog look so pretty this year.

44. To the unique, feisty, witty and intelligent lady who I am determined to get to know better in the coming year. What you said to me at BritMums Live meant the world to me. No award is better than those words. Thank you.

45. To the photographer with the hugest smile whose soul is even prettier.

46. To another beautiful smile lady who is so giving sharing vital information with me this year and inspiring me to move forwards in terms of putting myself out there.

47. To the blogger who is so very different from me yet we share the joys and challenges of parenting tweens and teens. Would love to spend time with you as I think the conversation would be good.

48. To the bloggers who encouraged my creative writing and took time out to read an extract of my novel.

49. To all the bloggers where I got all shy or daunted when I was in the same room as you. Sometimes it all gets a bit too much for me. I stand. I try to work up the courage to speak to you and I bottle it. I bottle it less these days and things can only get better in 2015.

50. To the bloggers I have lost sight of a bit this year. It is so easy to do with so many blogs to read and other things that need my focus. Thinking of you at this special time of year and trying to work out a system so that I connect more with the people that matter in 2015.

51.. To the many bloggers who realise it does not actually cost you much at all in terms of time or effort to support good causes via your blogs.

52. To all the bloggers who I do not know well. You are all important because you are using your voices powerfully to express your truths and often help others whether you know it or not.

53. To the bloggers who I engage with via BritMums whether on social networks, at BritMums Live as I try to find your badge or welcome you to a room or as I read your competition entries. Apologies for the times I get things wrong and thanks so much for not picking up on my cringe worthy moment of the year when I tweeted “Great willies!”

54. Finally to the bloggers who just don’t “get” me. I am now growing older and wiser and realising this is perfectly normal and not a reflection on you or me. Wishing you lots of love and laughter this festive season.

55. To all those who comment on my blog – every one still means a huge amount.

Well, did you recognise yourself in that lot?

You may appear once or more.

I like to think this is my little Christmas celebration of blogging.

May I take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy Christmas filled with life, love and laughter.

If Christmas cannot be fabulous this year, remember it is just a day, as long as any other and you will get through it. There is support out there as you know both from organisations and from lovely souls down the road or online. It is a sign of strength to reach out for that support.

If things go wrong, so long as you are breathing, giggling and with loved ones, you are blessed and will use the mishaps as blog fodder in the New Year.

If I have missed anyone out, blame the mulled wine or much more likely the fact that you don’t see yourself as quite the amazing person you are. And we all are, each and every one.

I am feeling a bit rejected on various fronts. Rather than let myself slide into a decline, I am going to focus on the good stuff.

IMG_2248

1. I feel so much more relaxed about our home education journey since seeing a very supportive Education Consultant last week. A More relaxed Mum makes for more relaxed children so we are all winners. This week we have made Picasso pictures and Christmas decorations. We have learned some Spanish words, listened to the Spanish national anthem, compared the Spanish flag with other ones, done Spanish cookery and watched flamenco. We have also done geometry and continued our work on Greek myths.

2. I celebrated a great weight loss this week. I have had a rocky 24 hours on the healthy eating front but am now firmly back on track. I have learned from that 24 hours to always have healthy food options in the house and to eat before going out for an evening.

3. We went to see the exquisite performance of The Snowman at the Peacock Theatre. This was so very magical and got us in the festive mood. I want to write a full review later. For now, let’s just say you are missing out if you don’t see it.

IMG_2246

4. My teenager son won a prize at school and seemed to give me all the credit for stuff I have told him previously.

5. At the moment, I am feeling fairly chilled about the whole Christmas thing. It will happen. It is just a day and we can make it a happy one. The good thing about not having a huge extended family is that we can just look at the needs of our little unit of five.

6. I got 2 bargain sets of drawers off Ebay. I am looking forward to carrying them upstairs tomorrow and finally having some proper storage in the new house for my clothes.

Did you watch the Great British Bake Off last night?

cherry_and_ginger_69469_16x9

It was Biscuit Week so with my mission to do more baking and to be inspired by the show, I will be making biscuits this week.

I have made biscuits in the past. My biggest issue is allowing enough space between the biscuits on the baking tray. I don’t think I have ever made savoury biscuits as they did in the show so that will be a new challenge. I loved the sound of some of the flavour combinations last night.

The technical challenge in yesterday’s episode was to make Florentines. As food can do, I was immediately transported back to my late mum’s kitchen at Christmas. Isn’t it lovely how food so often creates memories of special family times? It might be a very different memory for my children as I attempt them for the first time. Apparently they are easily burnt. Then there is the challenge to ensure they have a delicate lacy look and an even distribution of chocolate. Delicacy, even – not really my forte!

There was a lot of emphasis last night on making things look the same. Is uniformity important to you when you bake? Or if it tastes delightful, will that do?

I felt sorry for the two older bakers thinking how their grandchildren would love their efforts and perhaps that is what really matters.

I am not sure whether to take on the 3-D showstopper challenge. As with many things, I have great ideas in my head but making them appear in the real world is not quite the same thing. I fancy doing the solar system in biscuits. I can see it clearly in my mind’s eye.

Last week, I did not do as much baking as I had hoped. Having recently moved, we seem to have lost some of bakeware so I intend to go on a shopping spree at the weekend. My Swiss Roll did roll and tasted good so that’s a start.

Sometimes in the blogging world, people do the same thing. I did not know that there was already a linky challenge on another blog when I wrote last week’s post but was told about it on Twitter so here is a very good place to link up your relevant posts

http://www.mummymishaps.co.uk/2014/08/ginger-lemon-chocolate-biscuits-greatbloggersbakeoff2014-week2-biscuits.html