There are two things you need to know about Chapsley:
He’s spoilt rotten. We don’t have kids, therefore Chapsley gets spoilt with toys, water fountains, climbing tower things, and of course, lots and lots of love!
He’s a vicious little s**t sometimes… only to me though. We’ve taken him to the vets about three times to get him checked out. The official diagnosis was pretty much ‘He gets bored easily so keep him entertained’. Not massively helpful, but as such we have to keep him entertained with a constant stream of toys and playthings (it’s much better for me when I’m not the plaything.. always ends in blood and tears!).
So I was super pleased when Pets at Home offered to send him some special little Christmas treats and toys. We have a Pets at Home opposite our house and it’s so handy to be able to pop in and pick up some vital bits and bobs for Chapsley. Sometimes I like to pop over just to look at the cute little fluffy-wuffy bunny wrabbits!!
Below is what we were sent – a Christmas stocking, a reindeer dangle toy, a Santa door handle hanging toy thing, some stick treats and a chocolate Santa catnip treat.
I know he’ll go nuts for the catnip chocolate Santa, so I think I might save that for Christmas day. Likewise he can have his stocking hanging up on the fireplace next to ours on Christmas eve. The stocking is full of treats, cat milk (which he’s never had before so that’ll be interesting), as well as some balls with bells in and little mice to chase around. For only £5 it’s really good value.
He loved the little Reindeer chase toy – as did I! How cute is he?! It’s a really lovely toy – even the handle is covered in gold fabric (to match the sweet little Reindeer ears!).
He’s a bit dubious about the Santa door hanging toy. But even if he doesn’t play with it, it makes a really nice looking Christmas decoration. I almost hope he doesn’t play with it too much as it’ll be good to keep it and bring it out year after year.
He’s had some stick treats before, but he wasn’t really bothered by them. But he loves these ones! He can’t really eat them straight out the pack -they’re a bit too long for him to manage. But if I broke them up into little bit sized pieces then he can chew them up much easier. He’s already had two or three of these (uh-oh… Fatsley might be making a return if he keeps this up!).
I can’t wait for Christmas Day now so he can open his stocking! He’s a lucky little thing isn’t he?
Last week’s video was over twenty minutes long, so I thought I’d share a much shorter clip with you this week, This little nugget of motivation will take just over three minutes.
This is the story of British athlete Derek Redmond and his 400m hurdle dreams in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. Pipped to get a medal, things didn’t turn out so well for him. Have a watch of the video to see what happened and how he reacted to it.
Well obviously there’s only one thing really…. CHRISTMAS!!
Well actually Christmas and having a boat-load of time off work! That’s actually almost better than Christmas itself!
I love December. There’s always so much going on….
A Welcome to the Advent Season Party
I’m hosting a little get-together for my family on December 1st to welcome in the festive season. I won’t have my decorations up yet (I love Christmas, but not quite that much),, but we’ll have lots of prosecco, port and cheese, as well as my world-famous homemade sausage rolls.
Joining my sister and my friend on a Match.com singles night
Now technically (well there’s no technically about it actually!), I’m not single. I’m a smug married (see my yellow, sunshine filled New Forest wedding here). But I regularly go out on Sharking nights with these two gorgeous girls in the hunt for suitable bachelors for them to get their teeth into. They’re both members of Match and they are having a singles night in Southampton on December 5th. When they tried to register it said it was fully booked, so we’re going to just rock up and see if we can get in. If not, we’ll go to the bar next door and just spy on the men (and the competition!).
Gillette Potting Saturday
Now I’m not sure what “Gillette Potting” is exactly. My husband and his boys went away for a weekend of debauchery a couple of months ago and spent all their time playing this made-up game. It involves a football and a plant pot. That’s all I know. So we’re all getting together again, this time all the WAG’s are invited too, and we’re going to have a Gillette Potting Saturday. I’m pretty sure us girls will be sat drinking and gossiping, rather than “potting”, but you never know!
Two Work Christmas Parties!
I’m a marketing consultant by day, so I’m very lucky and get to work with a variety of clients. I’ve been doing this for years and have a few very lovely, regular clients. So this year I’ve been invited to some of their Christmas parties. Unfortunately two of them were on the same day so I can only go to two, rather than three! So I’ll be quad biking in Reigate, followed by a posh lunch and then riotous drinks, then the next day I’ll be heading to Guildford for party number 2 which will involve another posh lunch followed by even more craziness in Guildford’s bars and clubs!
The Chapman Christmas Cracker
For the last few years I’ve hosted a Christmas party for some of my old workmates (we all used to work together about 8 years ago – none of us are at the original workplace anymore, but we still meet up all the time because we’re all so lovely!). It involves an awful lot of food, more of my world-famous homemade sausage rolls, and lots and lots of mulled wine, mince pies and festive fun. So I’m super looking forward to that.
We hosted Christmas Day last year and it was brilliant. It was the first time we’d done it. We had all of my family (bar my brother and his wife) and all of my husband’s family (bar his Dad). So I think there were 9 of us in total. It was excellent – but really exhausting. So this year, because we missed out on spending it with my brother, he will be hosting us all. I cannot wait!! His wife does such fantastic roasts, so I imagine her Christmas roast will be something to die for. Woooooo!!!
New Years Eve
We are having a big dinner party round my friend Rachel’s house. She can’t get a babysitter, so we decided to just have it round hers instead of all going out and her having to miss out. So we’re all bringing a dish (I’m in charge of deserts) and we’ll eat and drink ourselves into 2014. I expect there’ll be some awful Xbox dancing going on too. I am an unbeaten champion at this, and I fully expect to be taking my title into 2014 as well!
What are you looking forward to in December? Do you have any fun parties lined up?
After university I went and spent a year living and working in New York City. It was brilliant! It’s the best city in the world and if you’ve never been then you must.
Whilst I was there, there were various special days from the UK that I missed (like bonfire night), but there were also some new US ones that I was luckily enough to experience. Independence Day, Labor Day Weekend (although not too much goes on there, other than the end of being able to wear white) and my favourite, Thanksgiving.
The history of Thanksgiving, is that in September 1620 a ship called the Mayflower left Plymouth (UK) and headed over to the US. They arrived after an awful crossing in Cape Cod and had a bit of a tough winter. Half of the original Mayflower passengers died over the winter and those that survived weren’t well equipped in terms of skills of tools to farm the land. Luckily for them, a Native American called Squanto (who had been sold as a slave to the UK, but escaped and managed to get back to the US), helped them learn how to fish, farm corn, extract maple from trees, and introduced them to the Wampanoag, a local tribe. Without this help, they all surely would have died.
So in November 1621 after their first crop of corn was successfully harvested, they had a big old, three day feast, to give thanks. And so Thanksgiving was born.
Now Americans celebrate this on the third Thursday of November every year.
A lot of the world have quite a poor view of Americans – they think they’re loud, brash and overly materialistic. But like most stereotypes, it’s mostly untrue, and Thanksgiving is a wonderful example of how Americans are kind, caring, full of love and the desire to share and help others.
Thanksgiving is brilliant because there are no gifts. It’s not about family. It’s not about kids or holidays. It’s about being with the people you love and giving thanks for what you have. No one is alienated in Thanksgiving. Don’t have a family – you’ll be invited to share Thanksgiving with friends. Don’t have kids – so what?
There’s no presents to give or pressure to keep up with the Jones’. Just cook up a big old meal (traditionally turkey, although two massive turkey dinners within a month of each other is a bit much for some!), and be grateful for the things in your life that bring you joy.
So I wish we had Thanksgiving over in the UK. It’s just a lovely day, full of cheer and joy.
Have you ever been in the US during Thanksgiving? Did you love it as much as me?
My sister introduced me to Ludovico Einaudi a couple of years ago. He’s an Itallian pianist and composer who writes the most relaxing music ever. I’m not hugely into classical music (more of a country girl myself!), but I don’t think it really matters. I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t like his music.
Anna got us tickets to see him play at the Bournemouth International Centre (BIC) and we were looking forward to it for months!
We headed over a bit early and met in Circo Lounge for a spot of dinner first (one of the restaurants in the ‘Lounge’ chain – my local Southampton one, Santo, is a firm fav). We both had a very yummy halloumi and fallafel salad and shared a bowl of chips (because you can’t have just salad can you?!). Excuse the lack of restaurant pics, we were in a bit of a rush so I quickly snapped a couple before scoffing it all down!
Then we headed off to the BIC. We were rather naughty and found a local hotel round the corner and parked in their car park – much cheaper (i.e. free) and no massive queues to get out either!
The concert was brilliant. It looked like it was completely sold out. As well as Ludovico playing on the piano, he had some violins, violas, cellos, guitars and random percussion instruments.
It was everything we hoped – really magical. Seeing live music like this is just good for your soul.
When we got back to our cars, we had a new neighbour – an actual Winnebago! I don’t think I’ve seen one in real life – I thought it was just the name for the trailer that movie stars got ready in! It ticked us quite a bit so we had to take a picture:
Have you heard of Ludovico Einaudi? If not, you have now. Have a listen to some of his music next time you want to relax – you’ll not regret it!
This is a fantastically motivating and inspiring video. Amy Cuddy talks about the power of body language, and how by changing your posture, you can change the way you feel and the way that others react to you.
She’s a big believer of the “fake it till you make it” mantra, and since this is how I pretty much live my life, I couldn’t agree with her more.
My Granddad used to say “If you say anything with enough conviction people will believe you”. And it’s true – people do. Body language is a big part of this. You have to have confidence and portray a strong level of self-belief (even if deep down you know you’re talking utter rubbish!).
In this video Amy talks us through some power poses you can practice, to give you more confidence and strength. So next time you’re in a meeting, talking to a scary boss, bumping into your evil-ex/evil ex-best-friend or on a big first date, just assume the power stance and you’ll be fine!