To Elf or not to Elf, that is the question.

This time two years ago Amber the Elf started to visit us during advent and left little notes with little treats in the gorgeous advent bunting I had bought.  Nothing big. Just a little chocolate, a hair clip or something we could go and do that day. Coordinating that was bloody hard enough work!

Love having a fireplace I can hang these on.

This year, for some unknown reason…or the fact that I’m an overachiever who has a lot of time on her hands at the moment (still off work after surgery)…I was umming and ahhing about doing the full Elf on the Shelf experience.

I asked on forums, I asked on my Facebook page and after some mum’s admitting they got bored of it quite quickly and knowing that I can be quite a lazy mummy, especially at the end of the day (especially after a glass of wine), I asked myself why fix something that isn’t broken? 

During my internal debate and after approximately 1000 hours on Pinterest (ref. Time of work again) I did, however, find out about the Kindness Elves which is a cute, fluffy version of the slightly demonic looking, mischievious Elf on the Shelf but instead of being spied on to check whether the child is being good or bad, they spread kindness and suggest good deeds that help others which sits a lot better with me than the ethos of an elf spying on the child.

I have now amalgamated our original Amber the Elf with a splash of Kindness Elves and have found a concoction I’m happy with. So happy in fact that Amber has even written her first poem to say hello again. 

Amber the Elf’s first poem.

Let’s just hope I can keep this up for 24 days and Charlotte starts to sleep through the evening so I don’t have to hurriedly hide things that I have already set up at 10.30pm. 😬 

Happy December everyone! Would love to hear if you have your own traditions in the run up to Christmas.

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The three dates of Christmas

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As the festive season approached and all the happy couples and families started upping the amount of PDAs they thought was appropriate, I decided that maybe a little hiatus on my “I don’t need a man” mantra would do me some good and downloaded my match.com and Plenty of Fish apps again (yes, I now have a POF account too!) and it seemed that everyone else had had the same idea too.

It was busy, there were winks, emails, IM’s, ‘meet me’s popping up on my phone all the time. Apparently everyone wanted a date for Christmas this year and I have to say it did make me feel good that they maybe wanted it to be me. Ok, so most emails were just “hi” (original) or “I see you like going to the cinema, did you watch the last Hobbit film”(run!) or various festive themed lines…”I’d like to see you in stockings at the end of my bed” or “can you suck on my candy cane” or “I hope you’re under my tree with just a bow tied around you” (You’ve got to give them credit…they’d obviously thought about those ones a lot!) but obviously my new Christmas jumper profile pic was doing the trick! Even more confidence boosting as I have no make up on and it’s day old hair…the joys of Instagram hey?

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So after working out who were the fake profiles, who were going to send me photos of their genitals within seconds of me giving them my number and who was likely to turn into a stalker and blocking them or ignoring them I managed to end up chatting to five guys. A range of ages, a range of looks, a range of occupations and a range of locations. This was difficult as I had to remember which conversations I’d had with whom but all seemed nice and I didn’t want to narrow my options too soon and to be honest what else was I going to do in the evenings in the run up to Christmas apart from gorge myself on mince pies and cry.

Over the holidays I went on three dates with three seperate guys and thought I would share a little of each with you over the next few days so stay tuned.

Over for another year…

Well that is Christmas all but over and I kind of think thank God this year! I’m normally little miss festive and have tried to put on a brave face by sorting out works Christmas do and going to see Father Christmas with Charlotte but this year the spirit has not been there at all. The only feelings I’ve had have been stress and tiredness. I have not had enough time or money to make it a fantastic Christmas or even get half the decorations up (it’s 6pm on Christmas Day and they’re still sitting in a box in my living room). My grandad is also very sick in hospital which has put a dampner on the whole families festive spirit really.

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I have to admit part of my Bah Humbug mood is to do with jealousy and all the what ifs. I didn’t get my job…what if I had? I would know that I would be getting some more money at some point and looking forward to a fresh start in the new year but instead I will be going back to the same soul sucking job I have now.

I’m not in a relationship…but everyone else seems to be. Lots of friends are having first Christmases with their babies or just having babies and it reminds me that I did want a brother or sister for Charlotte and I miss those exciting firsts of everything. Now it just seems to be first swear word, first tantrum in sainsburys, first time she makes me cry from hitting me…

We also seemed to have been struck down with various lurgies over the past couple of months so either Charlotte or I (or both) are coughing our guts up or sneezing as if we were Santa who’d got stuck up the chimney! Delightful! So we are just a generally grumpy household at the minute and I think we really need to use the new year as a stepping off point towards a happier time for both of us. I WILL conquer Charlotte’s sleep issues, I WILL get a new job, I WILL sell my flat and get a house with some outdoor space and we WILL enjoy Christmas 2015. A lot to get done so I might as well start preparing now as I have to house to myself whilst Charlotte has her second Christmas with her dad. I’m also thinking new year, new hair colour or is that just a step braver than I dare to be?

Hope you’ve all had a lovely day…I really mean that…honest xx

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This was after I had applied make up today. I look like I need to sleep for a thousand years!

In the red.

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So my interview was yesterday and I think it went fairly well. I don’t know what that means or how I feel about it but one thing that is luring me into hoping I get it is the money. I looked at my bank balance today and despite upping my overdraft one last time and being careful with every penny, I am up to the hilt again. I even had to borrow petrol money off my parents to get down to the interview and back without conking out somewhere on the A46. Now that’s just ridiculous, I have the tiniest car, it’s not like a full tank is £90 or anything!!

I haven’t splurged on Christmas, I haven’t been out for meals or coffees but I’m skint. Totally, utterly skint. I was looking through my inordinate amount of direct debits going out each month and the only luxury on there was my Netflix subscription, something I am not willing to forgo and something that has seen me through many a lonely night. (Magic Mike was quite good for that – if you haven’t seen it and are feeling a bit low, I would recommend it…two words – Channing Tatum) but I can’t work out what else I can cut. I am already on a tight food and petrol budget. We have only done one festive thing this December because everything else just costs so much. I don’t do takeaways, I don’t do clothes shopping unless necessary and Charlotte demands have been answered with ‘we’ll have to ask Father Christmas’, I don’t even do dates anymore so no costly preparation needed for those!

I have got Charlotte a present and some stocking bits, I have got half of my brothers secret Santa present (my idea to try and keep costs down) but friends, grandparents, colleagues…forget it. I have already received two presents and felt awful for being in no position to return the favour. One of these lovely people still holds an IOU from her birthday in November! Thinking about a special outfit for Christmas Day will stop at that…just thinking…and once again I will be celebrating the day in scruffy jeans and top rather than a lovely new dress or maybe a new pair of boots I’ve bought myself. At 30 I still can’t afford these things and it’s really getting me down. I’m constantly worried about what my bank balance looks like and am waiting for the next lot of money to go in so I can do the food shop. My life was never supposed to be like this and I feel like a failure. Work was collecting food for a local food bank this year and on the outside I made funny quipps about needing to be receiving rather than giving but secretly I wondered if I would be eligible. My freezer is full and I have enough random dry goods to start pantries all over though so I’ll just have to get creative in the coming weeks I think. Lentils anyone?

I know that money is not the only thing in life and it can’t make you happy but having a bit more would sure make it a lot easier and then my brain could focus on all the other things I should be worrying about instead of it keep coming back to that subject at 2am when I could really do with being asleep. So I’m sort of keeping my fingers crossed now, despite what that would mean…

I shall let you know what happens.