Elderflower Fields Family Festival, Review – Can it go …

Disclosure – family ticket provided for purpose of review, …

View Post

Review – Portsmouth Caen Ferry with Brittany Ferries

AD – hosted ferry trip provided for review purposes, …

View Post
Sitting on the lawn in the sunshine at Gites de la Richarderie

Super relaxing French family holiday in the Loire …

Hosted trip – accommodation provided by Gites de la …

View Post

Top Tips: Puy Du Fou, the French theme …

Hosted trip – we were provided with flights, accommodation, …

View Post

Llandudno to Conwy. Walking the Wales Coastal Path.

Castles, coastal paths, dunes, beach cafes, sweeping bays, …

View Post

Family Travel Guide: Swansea Bay, Gower and Mumbles, …

Hiraeth. (n.) a homesickness for a home to …

View Post

Coastal Adventures: Exploring the Stunning Yorkshire Coast

Would I like to share my favourite parts …

View Post

The Malverns: A Dog and Family Friendly Weekend …

From our ivy-framed hotel bay window Narnia style …

View Post

At Home: A Christmas Residence 2015


It’s time to battle down the hatches, snuggle under a throw, light the candles and fairy lights and indulge. Time with family, great food, telly, long dog walks, hot chocolate, mulled wine. My list of little pleasures is growing. This year more than ever I have realised it is all about the little things, I have half written a post on ten things that changed my life this year, and do you know what, they are all little things. Today I thought I would share the little things that make our Christmas home.

This year was the year that Christmas unfolded exactly as it should, slowly and in delicious bite sized chunks. Starting a little earlier, back in November really helped. The older I get I also accept that visions of Christmas we see around us, in the media, in other people’s timelines are only snapshots, and the whole is much more complex. Christmas is a season, not a single image. There will be ups and downs, stresses and strains, mixed with the most glorious moments of indulgence, festivity and love.

It was the year I really got to help blog it forward, with a Faux Ho Ho for ActionAid, donations to a food bank, completing The Rucksack Project for a local homeless person. Next year I want to make even more time for acts of kindness and volunteering. This year I am grateful it’s put all the rushing round and present buying into perspective.

I really loved decorating the house with these garlands collected on our walks and trying out lots of Christmas crafts. There’s been a lovely sense of Christmas just unfurling. Embracing it early worked wonders for our Winter happiness and home organisation too – you can see the floor in here for starters!  One of the best things this week will be snuggling up with my dog Max, and lots of walks for him too.


I’ve really enjoyed some Christmas cooking this year, helping the kids bake these amazing cherry and chocolate chip cookies for their teachers and making the best roast veggies in vintage Prestige roasting tins. Tomorrow I am going to make this gorgeous nut roast.


I love our mantlepieces, we live in a Victorian house, so it comes into it’s own at this time of year. I love bringing nature in to our home, one of the pine cones is from the tree where my Mum’s ashes are, so it has meaning as well as beauty.


The tree is up and decorated entirely by L and G this year, I haven’t reorganised it and don’t feel any urge to. Although we might glue the fairy’s head back on, she appears to be taking a nap.

Onto the decorations! We loved this really simple deer cutout the kids both got in their Woodland Trust Nature Detectives Winter packs. The magazine always has some lovely ideas for nature crafts too.


A few of our favourite decorations from the tree.
IMG_5599 IMG_5598 IMG_5595 IMG_5597 IMG_5600 IMG_5601 IMG_5596 IMG_5594 IMG_5602
I hope you have a wonderful Christmas! I will leave you with one of those little moments of perfection, before the inevitable squabble over whose decorating was the best broke out…



  1. 22/12/2015 / 10:33 am

    What a gorgeous tree and festive home from a very gorgeous inside and out lady! Wishing you all a fantastic Christmas xxxx

    • A Residence
      03/01/2016 / 6:36 pm

      Thanks Ali, looking forward to chatting up on your Christmas!

  2. 22/12/2015 / 8:59 pm

    All look super festive, my plans to bake went awry, I’m looking forward to stopping and batten down the hatches. I love the retreat inside that is Xmas.
    Happy Christmas to you and yours. X

    • A Residence
      03/01/2016 / 6:36 pm

      Hope you had a lovely time, coming to catch up!

I'd love to know your thoughts!