Life Sparkles

Christmas Season

I hope you have all enjoyed a wonderful Christmas season. I love the sparkle of the season, honestly it is my time with all the lights, glitter and sheer magic of this season. Thankfully it has been a little better for us this year than last although it would appear we still have a way to go in our battle with the pandemic.

Christmas Sparkles

I put my Christmas tree up this year towards the end of November, during the first weekend of Advent. I felt nothing, no joy, no sadness, nothing, just numb. The previous two years I have put the tree up and it made me feel very sad, tears were shed, I missed my parents and the memories of our Christmas traditions with the putting up of the tree. It was always Mom and I who decorated the tree after Dad had assembled it. Once it was done, there would be tea, or sherry and the obligatory mince pies. We would wait for darkness to fall so that we could turn on the Christmas Tree lights and just stare in wonder at the beauty. But this year, I felt nothing. Perhaps this is a further sign of moving forwards with life? Perhaps I have lost the magic of Christmas within my heart this year? Perhaps a number of things, I don’t have the answer, it’s just how I felt on the day. I have shed tears since and no doubt I will in the future especially at such an emotional time as Christmas. Grief I am learning just hits as and when it wants, without warning and you just have to roll with it.

I do know that those that have gone before us don’t want us to be sad and unhappy. I’m sure that my parents and my sister would want new traditions to be formed, happy times shared with the friends and family we love and that we raise a glass, or a cup of tea to them in memory of Christmases past. We are here now, we are given the gift of life with each other each day and we mustn’t waste it. We need to celebrate each day with each other, support each other and share the joys and sadness that life brings to us all. Isn’t that what the message of Christmas is all about? Love.

Merry Christmas

With love and sparkles xxx

Life Sparkles


This year we are all experiencing a very different Christmas due to the various restrictions in place, the ever changing restrictions to protect us from Covid-19. Personally this Christmas feels different anyway. Last year I think I was numb with the pain of loss and I got through everyday surrounded by my amazing cousins and a wonderful best friend. This year I can actually feel the pain of the loss. However, as weird as it may sound, because everyone else is having a very different Christmas, I don’t feel alone. We really are all in this together. I have done a little bit of decorating and preparing, of course I have, I love that Christmas sparkle and if we can’t sparkle at this time of year, when can we?

Himself buys me an Advent Candle every year.
The large Christmas Tree hasn’t been up for years so I decided to decorate it this year and have it in my Christmas Song Videos.
Mom and I bought this Door Wreath a long time ago, I decided to hang it up this year.
Cappuccino and mince pies – yummy
Dragged out the vintage apron and started baking.
Some very old cake decorations that were my Mom’s alongside some newer ones of mine.
A Chocolate Christmas Cake I made for my lovely neighbours who look out for me everyday.
A Christmas Wreath to hang up on Christmas Eve with himself.
Another Chocolate Christmas Cake for friends of my parents.
One for my parents and one for my sister celebrating Christmas in heaven.
Love Came Down at Christmas.

Are you all prepared for Christmas? What plans do you have? Small Christmas bubbles are in this year. Thank God for technology, Zoom calls, and being able to speak to our friends and family online. Yes it will be a different Christmas yet it is still Christmas. Christmas is a time for hope and joy and that’s something we all need right now. So make the most of what you have and be sure to enjoy the sparkle of this beautiful season and hopefully, next Christmas will be better for us all.

With love and sparkles xxx

Life Sparkles

Is it too late…

…to wish you all a very happy 2019!

For the first time ever Christmas appears to have fitted in around our life at home whereas it usually becomes the main focus of December for us. This Christmas though things were very different at home. Christmas seems to have come and gone with little or no recognition at all. We watched Midnight Mass from Knock Shrine live on You Tube. We had some visitors popping in and out and I did manage to get Christmas cards written and sent and gifts organised. Thank goodness for the Internet!

A beautiful surprise on Christmas Day in the evening when some neighbours arrived at the door with home made soup, Christmas dinner, dessert, cheese and biscuits and Christmas crackers. They knew I would struggle to put together a Christmas dinner as the caring role continues as usual whatever day it is, so they decided to share. To me, this was the true meaning of Christmas, love, caring, sharing and kindness.

A few photo’s below of my Christmas time. I wish you all a very happy, healthy and blessed 2019. (I will continue my update from the last blog post as soon as I can).

I just love this photo, my sparkles and my boyfriend’s trainers.

A beautiful surprise gift from a school friend.

I couldn’t put up our usual tree so I bought a small sparkling one for Mom and Dad. It was lovely to sit and watch the colours changing.

Life Sparkles

Happy New Year 2018

I hope that you all enjoyed Christmas time immensely. Yes it is busier than busy, we are stressed out shopping, wrapping gifts, visiting friends and family or having them visit us, school plays, pantomime’s, cooking…the list goes on.

Ours was a quiet Christmas. Family came for the usual “Fizz and Nibbles” on Christmas Day which is a busy, funny, crazy few hours when our usually quiet house comes to life and it is wonderful. Mom and Dad loved having the family around, catching up, singing songs and everyone talking at once. Mom coped very well with it all, took it in her stride. From 4 pm onwards it was back to us three, I cooked dinner and we settled down to watch the Christmas Irish Music shows.

Over the week we’ve had some visitors, my b/f made it over for the New Year and things were slow and steady. Two all nighters which isn’t bad going at all. We didn’t get to open our gifts until New Years Eve, Mom just wasn’t interested at all which both surprised me and made me feel so sad. Mom always so enjoyed opening the gifts in the past. One gift I bought them was two calendars; one from Knock Shrine and one Nathan Carter. Well, Mom took a lot of interest in the Nathan Carter calendar which was very funny, she just wouldn’t put it down. He is one of our favourite singers, it was so sweet to watch her with her calendar.

I’m quite happy to stay in on New Years Eve, I’m not too bothered about staying up until midnight although we did this year as my b/f was with us. I do love January. Winter in all its glory. The evenings start to get a little lighter as each week passes. The promise of the year ahead, opportunities, challenges, plans, dreams…it’s as if we feel we can make anything happen if we just put our mind to it now we are in the New Year…and we can.

I wish you a fabulously happy 2018, full of health, love, peace and sparkles galore.

Picture via Pinterest

I bet you can’t guess what one of my gifts was? Oh yes he was in the bad books!

He did redeem himself somewhat when I opened this…I love Nashville.

My cousin and I being silly on Snapchat. Laughing is such a good feeling.

I was after some flat ballerina pumps and ended up with these. Not practical at all, not sure I can walk in them but I couldn’t resist the sparkle. Oh well, they were extremely reasonably priced and sometimes you just have to let your inner sparkle take charge.

Happy New Year Everyone 🌟

Life Sparkles

Christmas Eve.

I love Christmas Eve, for me it has always been the most magical day of the year. That sense of expectation, the birth of Jesus and the arrival of Father Christmas with lots of surprises. That childhood sense of wonder and awe changes as we grow older and we feel different emotions for different reasons. I’m doing my best this year to keep a sense of the magical, to give my parents a happy time. Things have changed so much in the past year. At the moment I’m sitting here hating that Mom feels I’m trying to hurt her or harm her simply by changing her clothes. I’m missing my sister so much today too; I cannot help but think that things would be easier if she were here but as she isn’t I have to just get on with things and hope that she is helping me from her heavenly abode.

However, there has been some happy times in the past week and I thought I’d share them with you before I wish you a Merry Christmas.

Lunch with one of my forever friends.

Girlie catch up Christmas lunch with my friend.

I dropped some items off for charity and had the Church to myself, so beautiful.

I loved the colour of these Roses and so bought them for Mam.

I definitely made the Hall and Porch sparkle this year.

A Christmas Cyclamen hanging basket and a very old Christmas wreath I hang outside every year.

I gave in a joined the phenomenon that is Snapchat. I haven’t got the hang of it yet but I have to say it has made me giggle at times I really haven’t felt like giggling. That has to be a good thing!

I just wanted to say a huge thank you to you all for being so supportive of me and my blog. I hope you all have a truly magical, peaceful, blessed not forgetting sparkling Christmas.

O Holy Night. Sparkling Star bless our world tonight.

Life Sparkles

Night Time Catch Up.

It’s been a quiet and settled kind of day. I made a small start on putting some Christmas decorations up. Mom and I always put them up together. This year is really the first time that Mom hasn’t really engaged with me in talking about putting them up. She’s more than happy to talk about Christmas, about family visiting, about sending Christmas cards but for all the discussion she doesn’t appear to be wanting to get actively involved. I have to be careful here; if I do too much too soon there is a chance that Mom will think she is in my house, not her own home and start saying she wants to go home. So slowly does it, keeping her involved, asking advice, asking her to check things. Yes I could do it myself much quicker but I can’t leave my fairy of a Mom out. She always included me when I was a little girl onwards to teenage years and even when I had my own house she would wait for me to be home with her and Dad to put the Christmas Tree up. My turn to do the same for Mom.

I bought a new garland which lights up for the stairs but it didn’t fit properly. Dad suggested the window sill and I have to admit, it looks great there with Mom’s old candle ornament.

Mom and I both love Roses, I buy her a bunch each week when I go shopping. We place them in the hallway, never fails to put a smile on our faces as we pass them.

I found a couple of small vases in a cupboard so I placed some Roses in one of them on the kitchen window. A simple small touch yet makes such a difference to the outlook plus Mom and Dad are enjoying looking at them. I told you… I’m turning “Stepford”.

Our local village tree is up and I love it. I take pictures when I get out and about to show Mom and Dad so that they are up to date and can see what is happening in the outside world, as they no longer get out there. For now it doesn’t appear to upset them. I know Dad especially misses going out and about. Mom no longer talks about going out and the times she has been out; as in our emergency dash to A & E a few months ago, she handled it extremely well, much much better than I had thought she would.

Since I started to write this blog post, we are up out of bed and back downstairs drinking tea. I had a feeling after such a settled day and bedtime being a bit unsettled, that we were in for an all nighter. Perhaps I’ll make a start on those Christmas cards after all…

Life Sparkles

Christmas Eve Magic.

Well Christmas Eve didn’t turn out as planned at all. Mom decided to stay in bed, (Sundowning), Dad got an infection in his arm which is extremely swollen and painful. Thank God for our NHS and out of hours Doctors – we are so lucky!

I managed to dash to the cemetery to leave some Christmas flowers for my Sister, call quickly to my niece, where I was due to have dinner, and then home where things were beginning to settle somewhat. Mom and I baked mince pies…which I burnt. I definitely don’t have my Mother’s cooking skills!

Then this evening I became unwell, so no Midnight Mass for me for the first time in years. I was upset but I know my body needs rest, it is under a lot of stress and pressure and it is telling me to slow up. We watched Midnight Mass via the live stream from Knock Shrine in County Mayo, Ireland which was beautiful.

Mom and Dad have often told me about Christmas when they were little and how they received Christmas Stockings. This year I have prepared a stocking each for them, complete with Satsumas! I’ll be playing Santa very soon.

On this holiest and magical of nights, I wish you a wonderfully Happy and Healthy Christmas. I hope it truly #Sparkles 🎄🌟

Life Sparkles

December Already!

December so far appears to have flown by as has 2016. I think this has been my fastest year ever…I must be getting old!!

It has been a busy month. Apart from the usual daily living there has been the preparation for Christmas to attend to. Shopping, gifts, cards, decorations all of which I love but this year I really felt I wouldn’t be ready in time. Mom’s “Sundowning” meant that I had to be very careful what I did and when so as not to upset her. It really threw me when I unpacked the Christmas Tree and Mom’s mood changed from being happy to worrying if someone had paid me to kill her. The tree was left and it took quite some time for me to calm her worries and anxiousness, bless her, it is so difficult to see her like that. Two days later we had Christmas music on and Mom merrily dressed the tree with me. Another lesson in things changing and having to adapt to doing things in different ways.

Today someone bought my Dad’s old car. Dad can no longer drive and hasn’t for two years and I think it was upsetting him to see it outside knowing he couldn’t just pop out and drive it. We held on to it for so long as Mom and Dad have had the car since 1984 and it holds lots of memories of trips, family holidays and the two of them going places together in it. When we discussed some time ago selling the car Mom got very upset as it was part of their story, their history, their life and deep down I think she was hoping that one day Dad would be able to drive again. Yet today, when the man that bought it drove away in it, it was me who felt tearful and sad.  I just hope tomorrow when Mom looks outside and the car is gone that we are not in for an emotional day.

And so it has been a mixed few weeks, an office Christmas meal out, a new little headband made from pure Sheep’s wool – Aran Isles – Ireland, a treat for me. Sundowning back in full force and therefore limited sleep and lots of Country Music. In the words of Jim Reeves “Welcome to my World” I wouldn’t change it for anything.

Mom made a Spiced Ginger cake for himself for Christmas, looks delicious!!

I’ve gone in the Pink/Purple for Christmas 🎄 

My week!

I hope you’ve had a great month so far…Here comes Christmas 🌟

Life Sparkles

My Week!

Well last week was a busy one indeed. Some days just don’t go to plan so perhaps I should forget the plans, go with the flow and just do what I can, when I can. If only!!

So many things happened, the start of Advent, I absolutely love this magical season. Christmas has well and truly arrived in my City and it is just wonderful to see it alive with hustle and bustle and Christmas preparations. I mentioned that to someone in the office last Friday afternoon and they said they found it to be “typical Friday lunchtime stress and angst”. It’s all about perception I guess.

Here are a few photo’s from the past week. It hasn’t been without the usual caring woes which have stepped up somewhat as we are now in “Sundown” season. Sometimes you just have to bow your head, pray and weather the storm until your sparkle returns. 

Life Sparkles

Christmas Eve Sparkle

I think Christmas Eve is the most magical day of the year.  All the preparations, the baking, the shopping, the giving of gifts and the hustle and bustle of life in the weeks before Christmas are all geared towards the celebration of Christmas Day and rightly so. But, do you ever stop to breathe, take five minutes and soak up the atmosphere, the magic, the sparkle that is Christmas Eve.

Picture via Pinterest.

Christmas Eve to me is the looking forwards. Looking forward to family visits on Christmas Day, phone calls and messages, delighted or perhaps not so delighted looks on faces when opening gifts. The burning of the advent candle down to ’24’. The joy of singing beautiful hymns and carols to celebrate the birth of Jesus, at Midnight Mass. Precious time spent with loved ones sharing memories and maybe tears for Christmasses past. Watching ‘White Christmas’ and ‘Elf’ on tv, both of which make me cry…such a softie!!

I love Christmas Day of course but once it is Christmas Day, that’s it, the looking forwards is over, the celebration is happening and it’s wonderful…yes even the family argument…there’s always one!!! The preparations, the planning, the rushing around, all over for another year. 

So, for me, Christmas Eve is just the most wonderful day of the year and I am already in sparkle overload thinking about singing tonight at Midnight Mass. Songs I’ve sung since childhood about the true meaning of Christmas. Voices joining together to sing in celebration of the birth of Jesus.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a truly sparkling Christmas Eve 🎄✨🌟💫

   Mam and I baked traditional fruit Christmas Cake…hope it tastes good!

  Advent candle from himself.

  Love Christmas Tree Sparkle

  O Holy Night – Merry Christmas