Secret Santa, Christmas cake and the re-balance of love

Three. More. Days. Then Christmas! I’m still at work for these days but I’m not too bothered. My commute is always a dream when the kids are off school and it’s very quiet in the office at the moment.

Our weekend was fairly low-key. I’ve been cleaning the house so it’s all nice and clean ready for Christmas. Not that we’re having Christmas at our house as we’re going to my parent’s house with Ben’s mum for Christmas day there. But I just like the house being clean around the holiday time, you know? I also borrowed my parent’s steam mop so I could give the kitchen and bathroom’s floor a good clean. Lovely.

Saturday morning I went to Spin. I’ve mainly been focusing on strength-based classes (such as pump and circuits) but I want to get my fitness going again. I had been dreading going but I went to a class on Friday morning and actually it wasn’t too bad. I mean, it was hell but it was less hell than I originally thought. Saturday’s morning class went the same way and I’m slowly getting addicted to it again. After that I did 20 minutes of strength work on my own. Bits and pieces like single leg squats, single leg decline squats, resistance band work such as clams, crab walk and monster walk. All good work on the glutes!

Then I dashed off to parkrun to meet up with my running club who were doing Secret Santa. I am really quite pleased with the present I was able to come up with for my person. I used a shoe box and put a load of tissue paper and shredded paper in it.


I then filled it with lots of running bits and bobs. I labelled the box “Runner’s Survival Box” (inspired by lots of the subscription boxes around at the moment).

IMG_8843In no particular order, it contained:

  • Little packets of Haribo – for quick release energy
  • Salted peanuts – for salt and protein (muscle repair)
  • Bottle of Powerade
  • High5 gel
  • Ibuprofen (always a necessity…)
  • Blister plasters (aka nipple guards)
  • OTE sachet (review HERE)
  • PowerBar Wafers (review HERE)
  • Cake

I had quite a few of the items anyway at home but what I had to buy was all under £5 so it was a really cheap and easy gift! When it was given to the man in question I sneakily watched him open it and he looked really chuffed and found it quite amusing. I was really pleased!

For me I was given a few bits and bobs that all around a certain theme.

IMG_8845 Shower gel, shampoo, apples and a notepad inside an apple

I think they were aware that I’m an apple fan 😉 I was quite pleased I must say.

After that I zoomed home and we spent the day cleaning and tidying. And maybe watched an episode of Gogglebox that we missed (hilarious). We also marzipan’ed our Christmas cake (yes I’m well aware of how close we’re cutting this!)

IMG_8848We had to carve the top bit off to get a nice straight finish and then got down to the fun part. Rolling out the marzipan and layering it on top of the cake (after coating it in apricot jam – for the recipe we used for the cake go HERE). IMG_8852 Not to shabs, eh? Excess marzipan was put to good use of course.


We always hope to have a bit left over so we can make a few marzipan treats that can be nibbled on over the next few hours days.

Then we got ready to go out for a Christmas meal with some friends.

IMG_8853 I haven’t worn heels in so long… It was nice to get all dressed up for once!


After being really excited about my impending turkey dinner, I was aghast to find out that I’d actually ordered salmon earlier in the month when we RSVP’d. I mean, what was I thinking?? I did not fancy salmon at all. My loving husband, who had the sense to have ordered turkey, decided to swap his meal with mine though. Now THIS is love. He said his motivation behind it was because a few Christmases ago I had asked for his last parsnip and he refused to give it to me and ate it quickly himself. I told him that that just showed the limits of his love for me. I always hold this against him saying that he loves me, but not enough to give me his last parsnip. But now the balance has been readdressed. Though he did look rather self-satisfied and smug about the whole affair. I think I was happier before having this one-up on him 😉 (Though the turkey was delicious…).

I wasn’t drinking as I was driving but Ben was having a merry time, and with one of the other guys had decided to make it their mission to acquire free shots from the manager. From my and the other guy’s other half’s perspective this was all rather mortifying. After a few rather lame failed attempts they decided to work harder. The other guy was able to make origami swans and he kept making them and giving them to the (female) manager, each time the swan was getting smaller and smaller and the manager was getting more and more exasperated (but in a fun way, she wasn’t genuinely annoyed I don’t think). But then the piece de résistance:

IMG_8862I mean that is TINY. And when you put the tail the wings flap. Incredible. After that she did indeed get them a free shot each. Well played, boys!

Sunday was a nice chilled day. I went to Spin and then Legs, Bums and Tums in the morning (I’m becoming a rather obnoxious gym addict now sadly). Then spent the rest of the day not doing too much other than walking Alfie, wrapping presents and helping Ben make a stollen (more on that in another post as this has gone on far too long now).

Are you off of work/school now for Christmas?

Do you make or buy a Christmas cake? Or forgo it completely (scandalous!)?

Are you a fan of Secret Santa?

18 Replies to “Secret Santa, Christmas cake and the re-balance of love”

  1. I literally just had to check it was only three more days. It really doesn’t feel like Christmas to me yet this year.
    I would love a Secret Santa gift like the one you put together. And the gift you received was perfect…whoever it was clearly knows you very well!
    What a sweetie Ben was! Dan would have refused to swap I’m sure, although might have let me share if I was really persistent. You married a good ‘un there! 🙂
    Mary recently posted…Running latelyMy Profile

  2. Our Christmas cakes (not all for us- for our parents too) are sat at home all wrapped up and still waiting to be marzipanned- I have just been a bit ill to do it really, so they will just have to wait a bit longer. Luckily our Christmas days with our parents are not until January so I have a bit more time. Yours looks fab! And yes, the leftover bits of marzipan are the cooks’ perk!
    Love the secret santa gifts! We had secret santa at work, but not really- basically there is a theme (this year was hats), you buy a present wrap it, put it in a bag and then take one out of the bag. Mine was perfect though- a warm hat that looks like a fox. Much better than the turkey hats that some people got!
    Maria @ runningcupcake recently posted…Avoiding the shops and visiting the spaMy Profile

  3. You look absolutely stunning in that dress! I don’t even care about fashion or girly things, but I absolutely adore black dresses and I also have some serious dark hair envy right now. It’s so much harder to look brooding and sophisticated when you’re a baby-faced blonde…not that I’d be able to pull off such a look anyway!

    Your parsnip/turkey one-upping with Ben is so funny 🙂 I love that you don’t take things too seriously and you both have really dry, quirky senses of humor (which is great for me as a reader because it’s the type of humor I can understand!)

    You’re going to have the strongest, most injury-proof legs ever with your spin and conditioning classes – I definitely think spin can be almost as addictive as running 😀
    Jess recently posted…Posts That Piqued My Interest #1My Profile

    1. Funny you should say about my dark hair – a girl at university who later became a very close friend of mine thought I was a goth to begin with because I was wearing black trousers and a black coat. Black is always a winner with me.
      That’s completely Ben and my humour – we’re very sarcastic and dry.
      I do feel stronger already actually but it might be all in my head 😉
      AnnaTheApple recently posted…Christmas Stollen and Body GlideMy Profile

  4. Awww!! your hubby is so sweet!! …I mean he did owe you the turkey after the whole parsnip incident :p haha! But I would’ve been pumped to get the salmon!! I’m a salmon lover! BTW you look so pretty in your LBD 🙂 …and so fun that your running buddies did a secret santa!! Love your gift! Very fitting!!
    Cailee recently posted…Desserts For Weight LossMy Profile

  5. I forgo all things sweet – I have to for my health, ha! But I do make some GiGi-Diet approved cookies that I tend to NOT GET ENOUGH OF, that’s why I have to not make them sometimes – ha ha ah! This holiday season is a bit different though, in fact, it’s really no holiday at all to me! 🙁
    GiGi Eats recently posted…Taylor Swift Baked Us CookiesMy Profile

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