Author Archives: apopple

It’s Christmas!

It’s been a little while since I visited my blog but it would seem in my absence, I have still had a steady stream of visitors, so thank you!

The build up to Christmas in the Popple household has been as busy as ever. Here is a pictorial summary of some of the things we have been up to:

Decorating the Christmas tree – for the first time,  I let Ava (with a little help from Benjamin) put every single bauble on the Christmas tree. For the past five Christmases, I have rearranged Ava’s effort overnight.


Chutney Making for Ava’s teachers and Benjamin’s childminder


Salt Dough Decorations for the Christmas tree – the first time I have let anything homemade anywhere near the Christmas tree! Thanks to my sister-in-law for the salt dough recipe.


Homemade Santa Decoration – this one is for you Auntie Marcia – there maybe someone who sews in the family after all!


Homemade Snow Globe – this one is for my mother – there maybe a potential artist in the family!


Visiting the Coca Cola Truck in Reading


Watching the Annual Barnado’s Toy Run in Reading – Ava and I dropped a toy off beforehand for one of the bikers to take to Barnado’s.


Ava’s first Christmas Concert at school – much like her mother, she appeared to mime most of the words although has been proving she knew them around the house and out in public ever since!


Making our first Gingerbread House – a little cheat here – we didn’t actually make the Gingerbread House – got to leave something different to do next year!


Making my first Christmas Cake – thanks to my mother-in-law for the recipe. No thanks to my fluctuating oven, it actually tastes ok, after an epic 8 hour bake!


Our first Christmas Eve box with onesies. Not sure the kids will ever put on ‘normal’ clothes again.


Seeing ‘Santa’ aka the International Space Station. Thanks to Facebook, we knew to look out for this. Priceless.


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Pumpkin antics

This year I declared I would not be carving the Halloween pumpkins but expected that it would be an activity for Andy and the kids to enjoy together. Afterall, Andy has a little time on his hands, just at the moment.

Secretly, I had expected that in no way would he be able to beat my cat/bat effort of last year. I got a little worried when he started researching templates online and was very concerned when he had pin pricked the markings of Rapunzel into one pumpkin and a Minion into another. This turned to glee when he said he couldn’t finish them as he didn’t have the right carving tools. An unsuccessful trip to the supermarket and he had just about given up. So imagine my surprise, after going out for the afternoon, to come home and find two beautifully carved pumpkins. A hacksaw in his toolbox had come to the rescue…


And yes, I have to agree, they are better than mine. I can’t wait to see Andy’s pumpkins next year.

For my part, I promised that I would do something with the contents of the pumpkin…cue pumpkin muffins…


And no Halloween post would be complete without our little munchkins all dressed up…


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The ‘5’ club

When I was at school, I don’t remember there being such a thing as the ‘5 club’ but then again I was only turning 4 when everyone else was turning 5. I hasten to add, this was not because I was so intelligent that I was in the year above where I should have been; no, it was because my twin brother and I were a handful and getting us into school early was important to my mother!

Ava, being one of the oldest in her class, informed me that she is now a member of the ‘5 club’. It’s pretty exclusive at the moment. Soon I’ll be joining a ‘5’ club of my very own; funny how people of my age see no need to brag about this.


Ava’s 5th birthday post wouldn’t be complete without a picture of her birthday ‘cake’. Making a birthday cake out of loads of cupcakes was so much simpler than my usual efforts. For a start. there is no need to cut a cake! I think I may well do it again next year.

5th birthday cake

When Ava was three, I kept a note of Ava’s cute one liners. This past year I have been keeping a list of the questions Ava has asked (and there have a been a lot of them!) that I have either been stumped by or have not known how to give an answer at an appropriate level. I had intended to use Google to help me out but if anyone would like to get me started, it would be much appreciated!

  • Why do tears come from your eyes?
  • Why do we have ear wax?
  • How do you get a rainbow?
  • Where does the sun go when it gets dark?
  • How does a baby get in/out of your tummy?
  • Why is blood red?
  • How can you see blood through your skin?
  • Why am I a girl?
  • Why does butter melt?
  • How do clouds stay up in the sky?
  • Why is the planet made of rocks?
  • How does my voice box let my voice out?
  • Why does water make your hands wrinkly?
  • Why is wee hot after you go swimming?

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I’ve got nails

It’s been a pretty challenging few weeks so my blog has taken a back seat but you’ll be pleased to hear my nails haven’t! As I’m unable to play netball at the moment, I thought it was the perfect excuse to try out Gelish gel polish for the first time and here are the results:


And I loved the first set so much that when they started to chip, I had them done again!


This could easily turn into an addiction but I’d need to find a full time job to fund it so this will be the last set for a while…

Nails courtesy of ‘Be Perfectly Polished’.

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Roses are red

Last week Andy and I celebrated 10 years of matrimony. I bought him a chill out session for two at Nirvana Spa. He bought me 10 red roses in a tin can. Now to be fair to my husband, red roses are my favourite. In fact, the first time he bought me red roses was on my 21st birthday and we’d only been going out 6 days. He tells me that the traditional gift for 10 years is tin, hence the tin can.

You may remember last year’s post, in which I discovered that 10 years definitely means diamonds. Well, I have been generous enough to waive my right to diamonds this year, on account that the old boy needs a new hip. I just hope the pins they are putting in to hold it together are diamond encrusted!

In all seriousness, there is more to life than diamonds and as we enter our eleventh year of matrimony, I’m just glad to have Mr P alongside for the ride.

Here’s to the next 50 years, where tradition dictates diamonds, new hip or not!

On our wedding day!


And 10 years on…


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