Archives for category: christmas

Christmas was a whirlwind. It was busy, and lovely, rushed, exhausting, pretty and hard. But it was Christmas, and Indi’s first one at that.

Road trip sing along

Road trip sing along

Our little slice of heaven. A cottage by the river in denmark. Yes thats a wisteria as you enter the house.

Our little slice of heaven. A cottage by the river in denmark. Yes thats a wisteria as you enter the house.

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Side view of the entrance

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Yes that is the river (jealous now?). There is a little path that goes right down to it. Would be perfect except for the sludge.

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The deck runs down the side and around the river side of the house. Perfect for wine in the afternoon.

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A giant island bench that runs from the kitchen to the dining (yes that is a fire place at the end). Was great for all the food christmas day.

The property has all sorts of fruit trees, apples oranges, mulberries, lemons, olives, and apricots. There were strawberries and rhubarb, and herbs everywhere. And to top it off it had its very own holly bush. So glorious.

The property has all sorts of fruit trees, apples oranges, mulberries, lemons, olives, and apricots. There were strawberries and rhubarb, and herbs everywhere. And to top it off it had its very own holly bush. So glorious.

So that is where we stayed for 5 lovely nights over Christmas. We were only half an hour away from our families (4 and a half normally) and somewhere that we could relax.

On top of the perfect house. Aidan surprised me with a REAL CHRISTMAS TREE! The smell alone was to die for. Aidans parents brought it out to us, I am eternally grateful. We had brought our home made decorations with us (I was going to use as name tags on presents), so we dressed it up all perfect. With the additional help from a loud m&m eating preggo friend (xxx).

The house had a little alcove just as you entered. Perfect for surprise chirstmas trees that make you want to curl up and sleep underneath it.

The house had a little alcove just as you entered. Perfect for surprise chirstmas trees that make you want to curl up and sleep underneath it.

Christmas day was interesting. I didn’t know what to expect. Indi is into everything these day and running about like a mad woman, so expected she would be fairly happy come present opening. Pfffftttttt whatever. She would much prefer to play with the dust brush and pan.

First impressions. Ooooooooh I could rip stuff off that big green thing.

First impressions. Ooooooooh I could rip stuff off that big green thing.

Our only family photo from christmas. That is indi cranking up because we wanted her to open her presents. Nope, did not care for it.

Our only family photo from christmas. That is indi cranking up because we wanted her to open her presents. Nope, did not care for it.

The calm down after present opening. Santa brough her some bubbles, add them to being allowed to run around outside - boom happy baby.

The calm down after present opening. Santa brought her some bubbles, add them to being allowed to run around outside – boom happy baby.

Indi got spoilt (didn’t see that coming did you). But more importantly she got to spend time with family and close friends, the people that love her. Our aim for the little trip was to have as many people around to celebrate this little ones first festive season. To see the love, share laughs and of course eat too much.

Other parts of our little break look like this:

Early morning view from our deck

Early morning view from our deck

Indi stealing water, trying to look like a big girl for Cade.

Indi stealing water, trying to look like a big girl for Cade.

All christmas'ed up and grandma and grandpa's.

All christmas’ed up and grandma and grandpa’s.

Uncle zac brought tornado babe her first car. I cant imagine how much the insurance will cost on that thing.

Uncle zac brought tornado babe her first car. I cant imagine how much the insurance will cost on that thing.

Have you got my good side ma?

Have you got my good side ma?

Belleh

Belleh

Greens poo;

Greens pool

Classic albany, emu point.

Classic albany, emu point.

I got this.

I got this.

Decorations, catering, organizing, crafting, planning, keeping routines and road trips. Christmas was an event. I loved it, but I’m glad its over. Next year we are going low key. Staying home (minus road trip) or going to someone elses house (minus organisation). Its my promise to aidan (I did not promise that I wont go overboard with all the before christmas stuff tho hehehehe).

So christmas is done. Tick that box, whats next….. somebodies first birthday (please someone stop me from buying all the pink tissue paper in perth…).

Much love peeps xxx

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What type of present does Santa bring indi? Do I really want to be in competition with that dude for years to come? Pfffft, I could take him any time. Hang on, I shake like a bowl full of jelly now with my baby pooch. Note to self get fit before taking on Santa.

I really shouldn’t use the tv as a baby sitter. But if I don’t I won’t get anything ready for Christmas. Five more minutes, oh yay I haven’t seen this episode of Angelina ballerina.

Could I make it to Albany with only a nappy bag for indi? I’m sure she will end up getting enough presents to cover clothes and toys and stuff? Ok maybe I’ll just pack light. *1hour passes* a suitcase full of crap for a baby of 10 months for just five days. I don’t think ‘pack light’ is in my vocabulary.

7pm: I’m totally going to get up at give and go for a run tomorrow morning.
2.30am: indi wakes and grizzles for 5 mins then goes back to sleep.
5am: I am soooooo tired, the baby woke me up last night. I couldn’t possibly get up now.

6.30am: I’m up before the baby, better stay in bed and check Facebook before she wakes, that way I don’t have to during the day.
7.30am: Indi stop grizzling, I’m trying to check my Facebook.

At 28 I still get pretty excited when the letter if the day on Sesame Street is C.

Testing new recipes justifies eating nothing but chocolate all day, right?

Why can’t the baby nap on time? Doesn’t she know I need to space out on the couch, not achieve anything and in the last five minutes rush around cursing that I don’t have enough time to do everything.

Crap, she’s pooped on the bricks in the courtyard. Oh well at least she won’t poop in the bath tonight. Should probably clean it up. Crap she’s stepped in it. Yeah, should probably clean that up now.

I promise these biscuits are for friends gifts.
I promise I will only eat one.
I promise I will only eat a few.
I promise I will make some more biscuits and not eat them.

Why do they make Christmas m&ms? As if I’m going to give them to anyone besides myself. Merry Christmas Cass *eats handful* and a happy new year *eats another handful*

What am I going to make for dinner? Not much in the fridge. Probably should have brought vegetables instead of chocolate.

Why do babies get all the cool presents?

Is today really worth putting a bra and pants on? Nup, didn’t think so.

Is 28 too old to sleep under the christmas tree?

They should warn you that certain ‘noisy’ toys may cause parents to have momentary lapse of sanity resulting in said toys being thrown out of windows.

I’m trying to be super healthy and fit for 2013. Why didn’t anybody give me chocolates for christmas? How rude!

Seriously, why do they even make kids clothes in white? May as well sell them with a bottle of tomato sauce, a pack of napisan and a note that says ‘hahahahah, good luck sucker’.

I wish I had enough money after christmas to do the post christmas sales. Unfortunately I spent all my money on buy the people I care about chrsitmas presents. Note to self, screw everyone else, I want new shoes.

Much love peeps xxx

All my crafting is finished. All the presents are ready to be wrapped. All the things on my Christmas project list have been completed. We are in our little holiday home in Denmark, and there is a gorgeous real life Christmas tree that smells crazy awesome. There are lights spread around and decorations galore. With the small exception of making a salad or two we are ready. Little indi bums first Christmas. Although she won’t remember a thing, it will be special. Filled with lots of family, good food and laughs.

May peace be your gift at Christmas but be your blessing all year long.
Much love peeps xxx

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Ughhhhhhhhh

I was super proud when we weaned tiny human back at 7/8 months. Before we had kids I had already formulated the opinion that dummies weren’t a necessity. Flash forward to tiny human at day three of life in our atmosphere, one tired mamma and one not sleeping baby fighting each other to not be the first to cry. The loveliest nurse points out that she’s a sucker. Her velociraptor tendencies had made nursing painful and I had to pump. Poor thing just wanted the comfort (well then, don’t go for meat on your first meal crazy babe). So we tried the dummy. It was a god send. And I hate myself for thinking otherwise back when I was with out child.

Indi only needed her dummy to get herself to sleep. She didn’t need it to calm down or for teething. I could pop that dummy in her mouth and she would drop her head to my shoulder and be ready for bed. When we got back from our holiday to bali we knew it was time. She was still a chilled out little babe, and we wanted to wean her before she became attached to it. And we did, with relatively no hassle at all. We were shocked at the ease of it all.

Then came the teeth. You all know I’m not a fan of the teething devil (evil little snot it is). We had months of teething symptoms with no signs of movement on the teeth front. Then bang! At she reached nine months and started screaming in her sleep. She was restless and nothing could soothe her. She was starting to walk so we were allowing for some lack of sleep. Its understandable that babes are restless when they are starting to develop. But this was so out of character. So we tried the dummy, thinking just once cant hurt. Automatic relief for tiny human. It is so hard to deny your little ones the things that gives them comfort, when you see the pain fade and they physically relax. You just want to help, so you give in. And give in we did.

Now at 10 months she has 5 teeth and looks like two more are on their way. It seems the dummy was needed for a reason. She will chew on the dummy for about 10 mins, then shes out to it. For the night. Most of the time I find it on the floor, thrown out of the cot at some stage through out the night.

Friday night we decided it was time to wean again. Stupidest idea ever. The kid is now attached. Saturday night she was cranky and grizzling and crying on and off for an hour. We would go in and calm her down, settle her if we could them try to put her down again. She would just work herself up and cry again. That is until she threw up. BAD MAMMA! Yeah, so if the fact that there is food stains all over the baby, her sleeping bag, her pajamas and the white (who buys white for babies anyway) sheets was not bad enough, the guilt of being the reason she puked certainly made me mother of the year material. I automatically caved. I got upset, made a giant fuss, cuddled and rocked and consoled (perhaps someone should have done that to me?). I snuggled with her on the couch, gave her the dummy then put her back in her bed to sleep. If you were wondering – everything in that last sentence is wrong according to the research.

So here we are are the starting point again. This time equip with a bit more research and preparing for the worlds biggest shit storm (Oh didn’t I tell you? Indi can chuck tanties now. When she cranks up you sure as hell know about it). I don’t know if we will be strong enough to tackle this over christmas, give me strength if we do. But before she turns 1 on the 10th of February, as the spaghetti monster as my witness I will have her weaned (unless another 5 teeth decide they want to all come out at the same time, then in that case I’ll just give her a handful of dummies, leave her with aidan and book myself a trip to bali for three weeks). Wish us luck.

Much love peeps xxx

When I wrote the christmas project, I thought I was being hopeful. I had culled my list to ensure that time would be on my side. I was really worried that with the all the commitments we already have along with all the social commitments coming up that we wouldn’t have time to get through them all. Or even worse. That we wouldn’t be able to do them together.

Well pfffffffffttttttt to that. I’m owning that list. And along with all the other stuff like crazy crafting, baking, christmas catch ups, preparing for indi’s first chirstmas and mentally preparing for somebodies first birthday, its fair to say that I am due a break down any minute now.

Any way, back to the list.

  1. See the christmas lights in the city: done Little Bum barely noticed the lights due to the fact that the city is way popular for a whole lot of people she’s never seen before. Feeding her with all the busy happening around her was interesting to say the least.
  2. Indi to have her photo with santa: done Best. Photo. Ever. There was always two types of photos that could happen. The ‘not so phased’ photo where the child sits quite content. Or the ‘what the frick is going on’ photo, where the child freaks out. I wanted indi to do one extreme or the other. And boy, she did not disappoint. I love this photo beyond compare. Poor little thing, that photo is going to come out at every chance I get.
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  3. Christmas carols with friends: done One of my favorite traditions ever. However, I must note that tornado child can now walk, and like to help herself to food, and will put anything in her mouth. Carols is a picnic style event, with candles and drinks and cheeses and lots of people. It was fun, and I’m pretty sure I heard a christmas carol or two, but lets just say we were kept busy and leave it at that.IMG_3886
  4. Make sugar and spice cookies: done Maybe making them last longer than a day can be our next goal?
  5. Do a family christmas photo: Not yet, hoping to get a couple come christmas day. Tornado child is the one small issue. Maybe if I feed her enough food, she will be slightly bloated and sit still for about ten minutes? Or maybe I’ll just put yo gabba gabba on, that normally turns her in to a zombie.
  6. Visit the christmas section in myer (and try not to buy everything): done Incredibly overwhelming and dangerous to a 9 and a half month old that just wanted to be let loose. Ain’t never gonna happen kiddo, you are a destructo-baby.
  7. Put up the christmas tree (and try to save it from the crazy cat and baby): done It took tiny human 20 seconds to smash a glass ornament (considering we have never brought glass ones on account of a kitty with a dangle fetish, it was quite remarkable). Our tree is a pot plant (her name is Natasha, don’t ask, it just is ok) a heavy, less chance of tipping over pot plant, with a few sentimental ornaments on it. It also comes with an added feature – a protective play pen exterior. Indi hated the play pen after about a month, so the fact that I can use it for anything makes me fairly happy.
  8. Watch ‘Love Actually’ (Aidan’s tradition, special): done It was on tv the other night. We will still watch it together christmas eve,while wrapping presents. Well I will wrap and Aidan will snore. You know your jealous.
  9. Make baby painted wrapping paper (goobed with love): done (sort of) Pinterest failed me on this one. The recipe for ‘edible’ paint didn’t turn out very well, and that combined with an over eager daddy and a cranky baby resulted in lots of cleaning and some creative art works.¬†IMG_4064
  10. Read christmas books (bit of a change from pooh, hairy mclary and ten little finger and ten little toes): done I even brought new ones to build this tradition, classic golden books. The books are a bit too long and Indi prefers to goob all over them, but atleast we are trying.IMG_3927IMG_3744
  11. Make Indi’s christmas stocking (key word there- make): In the process of this one. Unfortunately my imagination has got away from me, and what could be a relatively easy project has become crazy huge. Finding time to sew with the busy little tornado is not as easy to find now that she moves. I am determined. I will finish it. And when I do, I’ll gladly show off all my (stupid) hard work.
  12. Baby’s first christmas ornament (dreaming of this moment for the past 3 years): done This one was hard. Aidan and I didn’t like any thing. We even went to the chirstmas store (its on the road behind bunnings on leach Hwy, talk about too much christmas. I’m pretty sure christmas just threw up in that store and no body bothered to clean it up). So we brought a sweet little pink deer. I love it so much. Its just perfect. Thank you david jones for having sweet dainty little decorations for my baby girl.

So that is where we are at. One and a half things left to do on my list and still 9 days left. Christmas- come at me! I am soooooo ready for all your quirks and crazies.

Much love peeps xxx

We are in full christmas mode over here. In this house that means baking till we cant stand to be in the kitchen.

Sugar and Spice biscuits are my go to for sweetness over the holidays because I’m not a huge fan of ginger bread. Here’s my recipe. I’m pretty sure its from better homes and gardens a few years back.

Sugar and Spice Biscuits:

  • 125 grams butter
  • 3/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp milk

Preheat 180 degrees, line trays with baking paper. Mix butter and sugar, add egg. Sift in dry ingredients. Add milk. Make dough. Wrap in gladwrap and refrigerate until firm (1 hr-Over night). Flour surface, roll out dough thin. Cut desired shapes. Bake for 15 mins. Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve.

This year I have also made american style sugar cookies (a thin almost short bread style biccie). Original recipe here.

Sugar Cookies:

  • 250grams Butter
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt

Method: Cream butter and sugar, mix in egg and vanilla. Stir in flour and salt. Wrap dough and refrigerate till firm (1 hr – over night). Flour surface, roll thin and cut desired shape. Place in tray lined with baking paper. Bake at 190 degrees for 8-10 mins. They will be soft, but will get harder as they cool down. Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve (or drizzle will thin icing and scoff your face, like we did).

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I must add, that neither of these are healthy. They are not helpful for hips, thighs and saddle bags.

Much love peeps xxx

Once again pinterest is giving me ideas. Today, its personalised mugs.

This pin is where I got the idea (just to make it abundantly clear, no way in hell am I smart enough to come up with this awesome idea :))

DIY Sharpie mugs from The Sweetest Occasion

Original source here

I picked up some $1.00 mugs from kmart and a sharpie from coles for $3.49. Bargain Mate.

All you have to do is draw a design on your mug then bake in oven at 180 for 30 minutes to set. Boom! Cheap, fast, DIY, frugal christmas pressy.

I’m way impressed with this awesome idea. Warning if you are friend or family the above may be your cup (but more than likely, due to my love of cake, I’ll end up keeping this one).

Much love peeps xxx

Today there is flour all over my kitchen. My poo brown rented kitchen bench had crazy dandruff. There is little clouds of white across my ugly beige lino. My house smells all sorts of crazy beautiful, you know, the awesome baking smell that simultaneously turns you on but also makes you want to roll around in sugar and butter at the same time? What? That doesn’t happen to you? My bad.

Round one of my Christmas baking has begun. The ‘test’ round. Pretty much an excuse to make Xmas yummies to gorge on, whilst claiming that you needed to test the recipe before giving the treats as gifts. And baking them in November also means they won’t keep till Christmas so you just have to eat them. Bugger.

Today we baked some salt dough decorations (not edible), shortbread and sugar and spice biscuits (will share the recipes later this week).

My waistline is not going to be happy come Christmas time. My husband however, is wearing a gigantic smile thanks to a giant pile of yummies on the counter top. If your near by my house please drop in and help yourself to the baked goods because I could possibly eat everything myself if given half a chance.

Clearly I’m going to have to increase the gym time to balance it all out.

Much love peeps xxx

 

I sometimes go overboard on my gift giving. By sometimes I mean always. I love buying presents for all the people I love, and even some of the people I don’t love so much. I just love picking a fabulous present, going overboard on the wrapping and then forcing them to open in front of me so that I can see their reaction. Perhaps I’ve lost the real ‘Christmas spirit’ but its these things that make Christmas special to me.

This year we have a baby, and we are saving for a house. So crazy Cassie and her Christmas spending need to be boxed away for future Christmas’s to come, and the new smart thinking, money savvy Cassie is replacing her for a while (just FYI money savvy is a new feature, there is still a few kinks on that one).

After a year of attempting crafting projects with a success rate that is relatively higher than the failure rate, I have decided to try a ‘do it yourself’ approach to gift giving. While you might be impressed at my statement, I promise you its not all roses and lollipops. Its quite the opposite.

If you can imagine a craft room, with shelves of bits and bobs spread about, a sewing machine surrounded by bright fabrics, and a bench top with assorted glues and ribbons, then there is no way your anywhere near what I’m working with. So far I have attempted working on the dining table (next to indi’s food spread everywhere), on the kitchen bench (near shopping and mail and fruit bowls and dishes), in the sun room on an outdoor couch (coated in cat hair), on the bricks in the back courtyard (with every single ant in Perth at the time) and on the lounge room floor (in order to watch tv as I was working). The whole DIY thing for presents is fine if its just one or two things that you need to make, but I may or may not have about 8 craft projects on the go. I intend to craft some frugal Christmas spirit for each one of my presents this year. It.is.killing.me.

A normal present, you chose it, you buy it, you wrap it, you give it. Dumb arse here hasn’t chosen craft projects that are simple – no that would be too easy. It took me about two weeks to chase around to all the right stores to find all the bits and bobs I needed to even start. Stupid? Yep, I’m certainly don’t have the smarts on this one.

I will show off all my hard work once the gifts have been received. I’m actually a little proud of what we’ve been doing. Most of them have been inspired by Pinterest. If I hadn’t found that incredibly addictive website I’m pretty sure I’d have brought all my presents online, they would be wrapped by now and all my spare time would be spent watching tv and drinking wine. Unfortunately that is not the case. Its ok wine, I miss you too.

If your doing a ‘DIY’ Christmas I am sending you lots of love and calming crafty vibes.

Much love peeps xxx

 

 

I’m sorry (not sorry) about the early christmas post. Be aware I will more than likely post a million christmas things over the next few months. I’m a hot mess over the holiday season.

I get pretty crazy about Christmas. I love all of it. Buying presents, Christmas lights, wrapping gifts, festive food, traditions, Christmas carols, decorating the tree, sending cards, giving gifts, eating lots, Christmas parties, running out of sticky tape, spending time with family, races on Boxing Day, baking cookies, eating cherries- I could go on, but I think you get the point. I love it. I love Christmas.

Last year was pretty hard. Our first Christmas with out dad. It was like all the air had been sucked out of my Christmas balloon. So much of Christmas involved the things I use to do with my dad when I got to Albany.

Dad and I would make a point if going out, after dark and ‘obtaining’ a real Christmas tree. It wasn’t because we needed one. There’s always a plastic on inside the house. It was more about going to get it together.

We would also make a trip to the cherry farm to tree fresh cherries. If it was a rough cherry season we would go up to three times, to ensure we didn’t miss out.

We would go get prawns for christmas lunch, go fishing, buy gummy bears, watch lord of the rings (christmas tradition), listen to music on the back verandah, do big breakfast cook ups, I’d help dad pick presents for every one, take photos down at the beach, go surfing (mostly dad, I’d just listen to my ipod and read). So many memories.

Before you start thinking ‘sheesh she’s dribbling on about her dead dad again’ just hear me out. I want the same things for Indi. I want her to associate christmas with family. I want her to have things that she remembers doing with me, even when she’s an adult. It is kind of like me forcing a tradition on my poor unsuspecting daughter, but I’m good with that.

So how am I gonna do that? The christmas project. Aidan and I have complied a list of the things we love to do in December (christmas related). We dont normally make an effort to do them all every year, but being Indi’s first christmas (and also that she is too young to complain yet) we’re going to give it a go. I’m pretty dang excited!

The Christmas Project

My not so fabulous attempt a pinterest style christmas photo of Indi. The kid would not sit still. 250 shots, about 6 good ones. Might try again when she’s sleepy. Fingers crossed.

  1. See the christmas lights in the city
  2. Indi to have her photo with santa
  3. Christmas carols with friends
  4. Make sugar and spice cookies
  5. Do a family christmas photo
  6. Visit the christmas section in myer (and try not to buy everything)
  7. Put up the christmas tree (and try to save it from the crazy cat and baby)
  8. Watch ‘Love Actually’ (Aidan’s tradition, special)
  9. Make baby painted wrapping paper (goobed with love)
  10. Read christmas books (bit of a change from pooh, hairy mclary and ten little finger and ten little toes)
  11. Make Indi’s christmas stocking (key word there- make)
  12. Baby’s first christmas orniment (dreaming of this moment for the past 3 years)

I’m pumped, and this is just the official ’12 days of christmas’ list. There are a few other things we want to do to. What are your christmas tradition? Bocce with the grandies? Eating a hot roast? Midnight mass? Keep them strong, tradition leaves your loved ones with a sense of warmth when you cant be there to cuddle them. I’ll be watching lord of the rings just to feel my warmth this christmas.

Much love peeps xxx

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