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Holidays!

So our little family is on holiday!

It feels amazing to have Chris around all the time. The year has at times seemed so long and hard – but being a teacher pays off at the end of the year. I have to say… it’s heavenly!

So we’re in Christchurch for nearly three weeks… and the most charming thing has happened. His 4 yr old cousin is here and Mikey has actually started playing WITH him! I can’t describe the joy of watching your child playing with another for the first time – especially one who I love so much. The two boys are so precious!

It is the little odd moment like this when you just enjoy ‘watching’ – when you realise how important relationships are, and how the learning to interact with each other begins at such a young age.

Here are some pics so that you can enjoy ‘watching’ too :-)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just love….

A precious moment…

The other night I had a precious moment. Really small and simple. But precious nonetheless… and I wanted to share.

 

I’d had a hard day. Mikey was fractious and I was tired. I was feeling especially conscious of our tiny house, cramped and cluttered. I was tired of budgeting, tired of worrying about money, just tired!

 

After dinner, when Micah was asleep, and the sun had set … I pottered around tidying bits of pieces and getting things ready for the next day. I lit my Christmas candles and turned on the lights of our little Christmas twigs to try and boost my mood.

Chris came in to the room and just then, John Mayer Slow Dancing in a Burning Room came on our MP3 player.

Chris danced with me.

I don’t think there are many feelings I enjoy more than that of having my husband’s strong arms around my waist. As he slowly rocked me around the room, my eyes flittered from one little pleasure to another… a framed wedding photo, my new hurricane vase, Mikey’s little toy box, our waffle-rug throw, all the red touches in our kitchen that I have lovingly added over the last three years, one of my Grandfather’s (who has passed away) candle figurines, my tiny little cutting that was taken from one of my mothers that is now starting to take on a life its own…. all these little things that I love. That I really love.

My house may be small – Mikey may not have a proper room of his on yet. I may not have decked it out in gorgeous blues and darling baby furniture.

 

But my home is filled with all that I love.

And, there was nothing more cosy and romantic than slow dancing to one of my favourite John Mayer songs.

If you own this song – please listen to it again. I can’t recommend it enough.

I’m not sure why candles make me think of christmas… they are festive somehow aren’t they!

The other day I bought myself a wee treat – half price during a Briscos sale – A glass hurricane vase.

I love the way that a cheap $1 Warehouse candle can suddenly become glamerous and chic simply by glowing in a glass…

I tried to find somewhere to put it – and realised that all my surfaces were crowded! It becomes a habit to fill empty spaces and store things up high out of reach of little fingers – no wonder my home has a ‘cluttered’ feel about it.

I looked at all the candles that I’ve snuck into corners, and placed in front of photo frames, and snuggled up near ornaments – and felt sorry for them. All bunched up - each beautiful little fire stuffed in amongst all sorts of things.

They deserve better I think.

So I cleared a space – made a surface completely empty – and put my candle there – to shimmer and flicker and glow in all its glory!

 

I relished in it all evening.

The next morning it had to be returned to an up high -cluttered surface, out of my cheeky Micah’s view.

But each night… I sneak it back down and let it live a little life of solo beauty.

Why not?!

Another aspect of not having a tree that I miss is hanging the ornaments and spending the month noticing different ones and simply gazing at them during a morning coffee or evening meal.

One Christmas tradition that Chris and I decided we wanted as a family was to buy a new ornament for our tree each year – something small to represent something big in our lives from that year.

Well, we found this year’s ornament today and Bed Bath and Table… and I’m besotted!

I can't get over how cute this is

 

We chose it to represent little Mikey and the joy he brings to our lives – somewhat like the wild joy and abandon on his face every time he hops onto a rocking horse (boy does he rock hard!!!)

I couldn’t help myself, and did end up hanging it on our little christmas twig-and-light display…

 

Bed Bath and Table is new in Wellington on Woodwood street – and I have to admit I could have almost come home with the entire store. Some gorgeous wee bits and pieces. It’s lucky our house is so small that I actually couldn’t fit it in here – otherwise my bank account would have been very sad indeed!

Because it’s so close to Christmas, all their Christmas stock is half price, so this dear wee rocking horse was only $1.25. So happy!

We love muffins in our family… and I love baking them…

There’s something slightly luxurious about sitting down with a coffee and and home made muffin… And as I’ve gotten faster and more adept at making them, I tend to eye up the ones in cafes a little scornfully… especially now that I know I can make them just as beautiful for just a fraction of the cost.

Micah and Chris both love them  – and so handy to freeze and have as a ready lunch treat.

So… when I found these ‘rich and cakey’ Christmas muffins, I had to give them a try.

The verdict?? Chris says they’re the best I’ve ever made! (not that he’s biased or anything!)

They may look plain… but inside they are full of chunky pieces of white chocolate and macadamia nuts…YUM!

So I thought I’d share my recipe with you… White Christmas Muffins – a real chrismassy ‘cafe at home’ treat!

Ingredients:

2 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts (approx 75g)
3/4 cup chopped white chocolate

1/3 cup oil
1 cup milk
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla

  1. Preheat oven to 200 C
  2. Measure the flour, baking powder, nuts, chocolate and sugar into a large bowl and mix.
  3. In another bowl, mix together the oil, milk, egg and vanilla
  4. Tip the flour mixture into the liquid and gently fold together. Do not overmix!
  5. Spoon into muffin tray and bake for approx 12 – 15 mins

Enjoy!

Summer Pyjamas

I’m not sure what it is about babies in their pjs that I love so much…

In winter, they seem so snuggly and clean and just gorgeous. In summer, it’s just so CUTE!

Unfortunately, my wee heffalump of a boy outgrew his Korean pyjamas far too quickly – and we now can no longer do the buttons up!

So it was perfect timing when a friend gave mikey a belated birthday present with some gorgeous wee summer pyjamas…

So here they are in all their glory :-)

This is a beautiful little treat that I was sent by my lovely mother-in-law.

Micah in particular just loves it. He sits on the bed in the morning while I bring it up on the computer screen.

This is a desktop Advent Calendar.

The scene is a gorgeous little snowy town that fills your computer screen. Each day, you are able to click on the appropriate number, and it opens a little animated scene – a toy shop, a train filled with presents, or decorating the village tree – all to quaint Christmas music. After the little animation is finished- you’re brought back to the main village screen but its just that little more twinkly and colourful with a new image “alive”.

It’s absolutely darling. The artwork and animation is beautiful. I love sitting down with Mikey to watch it. Here’s a little idea of what it’s like

just stunning

 

When you’re finished, you just shrink the village and it becomes a glowing little snow globe in the corner of your computer screen until you next want to bring it up.

It’s such a fun way to count down to Christmas and fairly cheap – only $3 US . The link for a demo is here - if you’re interested!

Would love to hear how you guys are celebrating the count down to Christmas! Any other wonderful Advent ideas?

**note: I have not been asked to promote this product, nor received anything for doing so. It’s simply something lovely I was given, and wanted to share.

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