Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas done for another year!

I took the Christmas tree down tonight once the kids were in bed. Despite my bahumbuggedness about Christmas this year we did enjoy ourselves on the day.

Celebrations started with a Secret Santa morning tea at my work on Christmas Eve. The kids dressed in their Santa hats and Christmas t-shirts to get into the spirit of things! I was given four "Flat Fat" quarters so a great present, and my Secret Santa recipient was overheard saying "That would have to be the best Secret Santa present ever!" which made me secretly very happy.
We headed up to Uncle Tim's in the afternoon and settled in for the night after enduring 2+ hours of non-stop questioning and singing from the girl during the drive! Both Kelvin and the dog had a tangle with Tim's cat and K has battle scras to prove it (maybe in a seperate post). The kids went to sleep pretty well considering the excitment of Santa's pending deliveries (and Matilda worrying that she might be be woken by the jolly mans "Ho, Ho, Ho - Merry Christmas"ing!).

Mum had to work in the afternoon so my brother hosted brunch which was great - egg and bacon wraps, mini fritatta, stuffed french toast, fruit, banana cake and mini banoffee pies!
A great day was had by all (as you can see below)!
And we drove home after dinner. The kids (and the dog) fell asleep about half an hour in and therefore we drove for 1.5 hours question free and we didn't have to listen to any more Justine Clark / Georgie Parker / Jai Lagaia and got to sleep in our own beds - perfect end to Christmas Day!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Advent Day 21 - Everyone's a Winner!

Well I only had five posts on my giveaway (and Mel declined to be entered in the contest) so on that basis I think I might send everyone a little something!! Over the weekend (yes, AFTER Christmas) I'll have a peruse of your blogs and put something together and pop it in the post!!

As for the Advent Blogalong - I give up! Christmas has been too hectic this year by half. I have been making and taking photos but just haven't had the hours in the day to download them and post about it!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Advent Day 12 - Carols by Candlelight

I took Matilda to the local Carols by Candlelight this evening at Tolosa Park. She loved it (even though the only carols she knows is "Jingle Bells")!
We were sitting pretty close to the front (should read - front row!!).
After a little while she started to get brave and headed up to the front of the stage (the Christmas mosh-pit??) for some singing and dancing with the fabulous Christmas Fairy before Santa's arrival! Normally if Santa is in the general vicinity then Matilda will dissolve into tears and hide behind the nearest parent - tonight was a different story (thanks possibly to the cover of darkness, several marshmallows and overtired bravado).
Yes, that's my daughter sitting on the stage - what else was she to do, she couldn't see Santa for all the other kids!!
What a great night and sure to become a regular part of our future Christmases.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Advent Day 11 - Making Christmas Cards

Matilda is going through a very prolific period with her painting. I thought it would be good to use some of these in my Christmas cards this year (as I'm not sure what else to do with them).

So, last night I cut out 50+ Christmas trees from some of Matilda's artwork - ready for some serious gluing today!

Matilda loved it - gluing away to her hearts content. It felt a little bit like I was exploiting her (child labour) but she was loving it so much, who was I to deny her the pleasure!!
I even offered at one stage to do the stars whilst she did the trees but she'd have none of it.

She finished about half of them before Playschool started this morning and I finished the rest (with a bit of 3-year old adhocery).

I like them and hope that my friends will too! Another task off my Christmas to-do list.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Advent Day 9 - One Pretty Thing!

Yes, I was featured on One Pretty Thing in their Christmas Round-up on 7 December (for my Lolly Holly Tutorial)! One Pretty Thing is one of my favourite sites and where I get lots of inspiration - I just wish I had more hours in the day.


To celebrate this exciting news and also my 111th post I'm having a little giveaway - leave a comment on this post, get an extra 10 entries if you've made some lolly holly and post about it on your own blog (and tell me about it)! Entries close Friday 18 December - happy to post overseas.

The giveaway will include some of my overflowing stash (matched to the winner, based on a quick flick through their blog) and probably some chocs.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Advent Day 6 - A Tutorial

So I've already fallen behind a couple of days with the Advent Blogalong so I thought I'd "catch up" by sharing one of my traditional Christmas crafts!!

First, gather your supplies - red and green cellophane, a packet of Jaffas and a packet of Mint Leaves, plus sticky tape and scissors.
Cut the cellophane into squares (approx 5" square - I tend to just follow the fold lines and then cut those rectangles in half so they're not quite square but close enough!!). Take three red bits and two green bits of cellophane and three jaffas and two mint leaves.

Now wrap each lolly in a matching piece of cellophane.

Now get a bit of sticky tape about 8" long and start wrapping it around the stem of a jaffa...
...then add another jaffa, and another...
...and then the two mint leaves, until you have lolly holly!

Tie it to the gift you've brought for your grandma with curling ribbon!
I've been making this stuff for 20+ years - I'm sure it was something we did at Brownies so is probably suitable to make with kids from about 8 years of age (as long as you can trust them not to eat the lollies)! If you can't get jaffas or mint leaves where you live then just substitute them for any round red lollies (like jelly raspberries for those who can't eat chocolate) or any green leaf shaped lollies - if you don't want lollies then you could probably use red and green crepe paper to fill the cellophane and get a similar but not-quite-so-delicious effect!!
Keep following - since this is my 110th post so my next one will probably involve a giveaway!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Advent Day 3 - The Eating!

Well the Baileys, Coffee and White Chocolate fudge was a success! Here's a picture of it wrapped and ready to give to Matilda's music teacher. Do you think I can find a link to the recipe - no, but it was in The Baileys Lounge somewhere (or I could email it to you if you need it!!).

The savoury toast was a hit with the adults at the Christmas Party - the kids were too interested in the donuts and smartie biscuits and marshmallows to eat the savoury toast. They don't know what they're missing out on!

And finally, the banoffee pie was delicious and is now all gone thanks to the SIL and her man. Find the recipe over here - you won't be sorry!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Advent Day 2 - Overwhelmed Already!

I'm feeling overwhelmed by Christmas already!

I have spent this evening putting the kids to bed, doing the grocery shopping, cooking savoury toast for Matilda's music break-up party tomorrow morning, making Baileys & White Chocolate fudge for the music teacher and the beginnings of Banoffee Pie for our regular Thursday family dinner tomorrow night.

And now, I'm off to tidy the sewing room and change the sheets on the guest bed as the Mother-in-Law is coming to stay tomorrow night.

How is it that I can forget that December is coming and two days in feel so busy with everything that needs to be done! Oh well, it'll be over soon enough and it'll be summer and we'll be on holidays and all will be well with the world...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Advent Calendar

I went to work yesterday thinking it was 29 November and that I had a couple of nights up my sleeve to get an advent calendar together for Matilda - oh boy was I shocked when I realised I had only "one sleep" to prepare for December!

So I got supplies in my lunch hour and then made this last night...

It's just lollies, wrapped into little parcels and attached to some cardboard using toothpicks and those little wire ties that come with freezer bags and lie at the bottom of the third drawer down, waiting to become useful!

It was a success but I think my January is going to have to involve the making of a re-useable advent calendar because next year in not going to be another "just-in-time" Christmas!!

So I'm going to attempt (and probably fail at) the Advent Blog-a-long (since there's only chocolate and lollies in the advent calendar for Matilda). Click on the button if you'd like to join in!