Christmas 2012

In previous years - especially since having kids we have found Christmas to be pretty stressy, especially since my husband has had major deadlines at work around the same time. So this last festive season in 2012 consisted of us trying to keep it simple whilst trying to stick with the things we love to do.

We like to get a real tree, shop for the kids gifts together, attend carols for children on Christmas Eve, make a few decorations, bake ginger bread with friends and eat some cherries and other summer fruit (we are in Sydney after all). With kids you tend to do lots of fun things, for example we do Christmas craft at a friends house and playgroup Christmas party complete with farm animals!

It was fun to visit the Christmas windows in the city and visit the Swarovski Crystal tree at the Queen Victoria Building. It is totally magical!

We ended up with 17 people in the house on Christmas night and yep, I was cooking. I tried to keep it simple and prepare ahead of time so I could enjoy the day as well.

Spring in the garden

Lately we have been enjoying some beans from the garden and some fresh salads - we have, rocket, mizuna, mustard and some other salad varieties. A lot of things are getting eaten by the possums, the spinach is especially popular! Just when I think it's almost time for spinach pie it gets whisked away! Never-the-less we do get to eat some things. We also have corn and tomatoes on the way.

Carnations from the kids Grandmother "Marnie" by the cubbyhouse. On our to-do list - oil that cubbyhouse!

Mad Hatter's Tea Party

For my daughters second birthday we had a Mad Hatter's Tea Party. The kid loves hats so it just came to me one day, we had to have a Mad Hatter's Tea Party!

I nade a bunny cake (complete with coconut fur). We borrowed extra kids chairs from our neighbours, so we had lots of mismatched chairs which looked kind of mad. The kids decorated their own party hats with stickers. For food we had fruit, gingerbread hearts, cucumber and egg sandwiches, fairy bread and my husband likes to make rainbow jelly cups.

Autumn flow

This Autumn we have been busy. We kicked some goals with the home renovations. We agree that the house feels more ours now and more homely too. We finally have a back fence which is an amazing feeling, privacy from the neighbours (lovely as they are), safety for the children and we can now plant some plants and make other changes to the backyard.

We went camping with the kids for the first time, it turned out well and the kids enjoyed it a lot, especially our oldest who had a ball.

I have been sick with a cold for over a month and the kids for several weeks. E is so sick now with Bronchialitis poor little man. He has been quite clingy. It makes me realize how much comfort I give him as his mum, which is a nice feeling.

I have also been making a lot of baby food. I love making it, I find it relaxing but haven't had as much time as I'd like to try different recipes. The William Bartlett pears have been amazing, but most of them go into baby food.

3rd Birthday Party

E's third birthday was last Sunday. We had a train party because trains are his current obsession. I had so much fun organizing this party, I think there is a frustrated party planner in me... what with the Wedding and High tea I planned last year for my sister. It is nice that he is a bit older now so they can play some party games. We did pass the parcel and some train craft activity. The train cake was the first cake I had made on my own. My mum made the cupcakes last year and for his first birthday mum helped me make the aeroplane cake.

Gingerbread House

The Mister bought this kit Gingerbread from Ikea for me to put together with E. Several hours later it had collapsed in on itself.

This year has been crazy. The Christmas cards are going to be late, and I'm not making them this year. We do have a real Christmas tree though, so our Christmas traditions aren't completely broken.

Christmas activites

My friend from Mother's group held a Christmas craft party for the kids, so I decided to make some gingerbread men with E to take to the party. I must admit I find it hard to relax and let him get too messy while cooking and crafting, I am too much of a control freak and my husband hates mess too. The recipe is a great one from Donna Hay's Modern Classics 2. I want to use this recipe to make a gingerbread house because it made a nice sturdy gingerbread.

She read a book about the Christmas story, we sang Silent Night and we did some craft activities like these star pictures using bits of paper stuck on vellum with a star frame around it. When you stick it on the window it looks really pretty with the light shining through it.

Summer food

One night when we had my mum and sister to visit I made this asian style sago dessert.

Soak 1/2 a cup of sago or tapioca with the contents of 1 tin of coconut milk for about an hour. Pour into medium sized pot and add 1/2 cup of water, 30grams of castor sugar and 3 cubes of Jeeny's palm sugar. Simmer on the stove stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves and the sago turns completely translucent right through. Pour into dishes and leave to set a little. Add chopped mango on top(optional) and serve.