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Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Category

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?!

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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!

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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!

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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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Just a quick little post for today.

One of my FAVOURITE parts of Christmas is having the smell of pine hit you as you walk into the living room.

As a kid I used to sit in the evenings as the sun went down… just drinking in that smell. I’d love coming home from an outing just so I could get that renewed strength of the pine scent after being out in the fresh air.

I can’t believe how much I miss it this year.

So… I’m finding other ways to fill our little home with the smell of Christmas.  I can’t remember where I read this little hint – but I’m loving it…

I’ve always burnt scented candles in our home… usually vanilla.

This year my mum gave us a Christmas scented candle – beautiful scent of cinammon and gingerbread, quite a subtle lovely smell.

BUT

 

when it’s burnt WITH our usual vanilla….. it’s divine. 

Try burning your candles together for a little bit of heaven… mix and match with your favourite scents and be surprised 🙂

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I really want my kids to look back on their childhood Christmases with strong memories of a loving, cosy, safe and joyful family time.

So I’m taking advantage of Mikey being so little to start practising and trying out different ideas – discovering traditions that will work.

I believe that creating memories that really last means finding ways to involve each of the five senses.

  • Taste This is SO much fun for me – I love baking and cooking! I’m really enjoying finding Christmas flavours to experiment with in the kitchen
  • Sight I can’t wait to start finding effective and beautiful ways of decorating our home. Tough with little hands about – but trying to find alternatives (like here)
  • Touch Christmas is such a ‘family’ time – I can’t wait to fill it with cuddles and christmas stories – holding hands at the dinner table, hugs of gratitude
  • Sound – This is a biggie for me – and I’m already working on it (see this post!) – and still hungering for more ideas. I also want the house FILLED with laughter and chatter, whispering prayers, excited squeals and just the general sound of family business.
  • Scent – Another biggy. I think we underestimate the power of scent and how it triggers memories. I’m already finding ways to bring this into our every day family life (see this post) – and Christmas is no exception.

I want to develop this further each year while my kids are tiny – so that it becomes natural and easy when they are old enough to really start building memories.

Because this is our FIRST Christmas as a family in our own home – this year is really just about baby steps!

But you’ve got to start somewhere… and I want to share them as I go … I would just LOVE to hear any further ideas from you guys! So if a post of mine sparks a thought – or reminds you of something that really meant a lot to you as a kid – or you just have a new brilliant idea… please feel free to leave a comment! I’m all ears!!!

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Yesterday Mikey and I made a surprise treat for Daddy.

These are so easy and simple – and such a great fun thing to do for kids – so thought I’d share

First we opened a pack of mellow puffs … (lucky for me, Mikey doesn’t really know what these are yet!)

 

Then we broke out the lollies. I had collected these in my last grocery shop – about 10 spearmint leaves for 33 cents and 15 jaffas for 60 cents

 

I just sliced a few of the spearmint leaves in half.

Melt the white chocolate in a glass bowl resting over a pot of boiling water (Mummy did this bit, while Mikey watched)

Then Mikey helped me drop spoonfuls of the white chocolate over each mellowpuff. Lastly, place a jaffa and a spearmint leaf on each one – and pop into the fridge to chill.

Such a yummy little treat – but I think they’re almost too pretty!

Broke my heart to actually let them be eaten!

Recipe sourced from here 🙂 http://allrecipes.com.au/recipe/10715/baby-christmas-puddings.aspx

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