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Archive for the ‘Favourite Things’ 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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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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Ok, so… tiny budget, tiny house and tiny hands.

Combined, these things make christmas decorating just that little bit trickier. For example large, real christmas trees just aren’t very practical when you have a wee adventurer with sticky fingers and a love of climbing and all things shiney.

But – I just LOVE christmas. And I’m determined to love it this year even with our limitations…

So to begin with – I start with Christmas music.

Oh, it has such a distinctive sound! I only have to hear the beginnings of a carol and I’m already smelling pine and seeing lights.

Songs have such a powerful effect on us – and can triggor old and forgotten memories for me. I really want Micah to associate christmas music with lovely family scrummy days!

So over the past few weeks, I’ve been hunting. I’ve been ferriting out various artists and songs, checking other blogs for ideas, doing random searches on Itunes, and slowly building up a little collection of Christmas songs that get me all tingly and ready for our first ‘family’ christmas.

I’m keen to share some of my favs… so here’s a list of some of them. They’re all on itunes, so you can listen to snippets of them to your heart’s content if you so desire…

The First Noel     Sarah McLachlan

Silent Night (duet)    Over the Rhine

Carol of the Bells       Straight No Chaser

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas    Judy Garland

Jingle Bells      Frank Sinatra

Breath of Heaven     Amy Grant

The Christmas Song     Ella Fitzgerald

Mistletoe and Wine    Cliff Richard

Christmas Tonight    David Barnes and Hilary Scott

Baby It’s Cold Outside     Leeanne Womack and Harry Connick Jnr

Song For a Winter’s Night    Sarah McLachlan

Carol of the Bells     BarlowGirl

 

So there you are… Some of my ABSOLUTE favourites… Hope you enjoy 🙂

But… how about you? Do you have any songs that just spell Christmas to you?! Any songs that, until you hear them… it’s just not Christmas?

I would LOVE to know what songs get you dancing your way into the Christmas spirit…. so if you have a moment, please share!

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More summer treats….

When I was a kid… I loved homemade iceblocks. I have such strong memories of them.

These are definitely treats that I want Micah to have. As an adult, I love them just as much – especially because I can choose what goes in them. This means no extra colouring, added sugar or fake flavouring. I can’t believe how important this has become for me as a mum!

While I loved them, I have to admit that I was always somewhat disappointed that after a few sucks, the flavour was gone and I was left with just frozen watery ice. To avoid this, you can make a syrup based popsicle – but I’m not so keen on adding more sugar.

So here is my super YUMMY solution.

First, I drain the syrup from a can of fruit – we happen to love peaches and I got this can for 40c on special – so super cheap.

  Then I use the handheld whizzer to puree these babies into a delicious fruity pulp!

Then I add plain yoghurt. I make my own yoghurt using the Easiyo maker – this way I know I’m not getting the added sugar from pre-packaged yoghurts – plus I think its yummier!

Then I pour my yoghurt mix into these wee lovelies…

So pretty!!!

… and pop ’em into the freezer!

And that is it! Scrummy and healthy treats for my scrummy wee boy. I worked out that they cost me 6 cents each – and the best bit is…. no watery ice. Just pure frozen yoghurt.

And this chubby bubby LOVES it

 

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Scent of a Mummy

I have a favourite book called “Hannah’s Art of Home” by Hannah Keeley.

I like it because even its title changes my perception of my job. I’m not a housewife I’m a home maker. Making my house a lovely home in which to raise a family is an art. Well, at least that’s how I like to see it now. It’s creating a warm, safe, loving, beautiful environment for life to happen in.

So yea, I’m loving this book and what it does for my point of view.

One of her chapters focuses on the five (or six!) senses, and how your home should use taste, smell, vision, touch and sound to its advantage, to create memories and feel good fuzzies.

At first I thought I had the sense of smell down … easy!

  • I have my FAVOURITE vanilla and coconut candles that I light daily.
  • I love to cook aromatic meals using the slow cooker, or frying butter and mushrooms etc.
  • I love baking and filling my home with the scent of chocolate brownies or hokey pokey cookies.
  • I make my own ‘all purpose spray’ with the fresh scent of eucalyptus and lemon.
  • I also drip a few drops of lemon essential oil in the air filter on my vacuume cleaner to fill the house with the clean lemony scent as i vacuum (rather than the dusty smell vacuum cleaners seem to emit!)

But apparently I’ve missed something!  ME! Apparently I’m the centre of my home.

And she writes: Our natural chemistry works in such a way that the same perfume will smell differently on two different people…. If you don’t already have a signature scent, search for the perfect one… spray it on your throat every day. Your children will enjoy the aroma, and if you stick with the same one, they will always associate that beautiful smell with their beautiful mommy.

Ok – so no big surprises here, kind of common knowledge. But the thing is, it got me thinking – and looking at my haphazardly placed scented lotions and perfumes – over a dozen different scents cluttering up my dresser top and drawers. And I thought – what is my scent? would Mikey recognise it? Do I even wear all of these?

So I cut them down. I have got rid of all my scented lotions. I chose three perfumes.

– one cosy scent for wintery days – Fire and Ice
– one fresh and floral scent for summery days – Live
– and one beautiful scent for romantic dates with my gorgeous husband  – Escada Sunseat Heat (I happened to wear this one on my wedding day!)

And I wear them regularly. They are my signature scents. And hopefully one day – when Micah catches a whiff of a scent when he’s a young man, he’ll have a sudden sense of home.

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…sometimes it’s the geeky thing that can makes life SO much smoother!

One of the things I’m learning as a new mum is that the more organised you are, the easier life becomes!

Now that the warmer weather is back I want to walk more and more (and shed the winter weight!) ! As Chris leaves at 7:30am during the week – its a long day til I see him again, so we hit upon the idea that I would walk him in to work each morning. This is a good 20 mins each way – so bonus quality time with Chris to start the day plus exercise to boot!

Only problem is – 7:30 is EARLY!

So we have been doing a lot of the morning routine in the evening before hand instead. The more we do at night, the easier the morning is, and we can enjoy time with Micah rather than rushing around. But we still always forget things – and end up racing through last minute jobs before we leave.

So I decided to write a list of all the things to do in the evening that would make the morning smoother. Then I came across this from one of my favourite blogs which inspired me to make it pretty….

While mine isn’t quite so gorgeous – its pretty and I LOVE it 🙂 and I happen to think it looks nice on my fridge!

What I love about it, is that even if I’m out for the evening, Chris is still able to get the little jobs done without me there to tell him (always a bonus!)

I love the smooth running mornings – and it makes the walk so much more pleasurable when I know the house is all organised and ready to go for the day when I get back!

Brilliant!

PS I apologise for all the explanation marks… not really a good look but does express my stoked feelings at present 😉

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