Thursday, December 29, 2011

Over for another year.

Well christmas is done and dusted for another year and I have to say I honestly felt glad, relieved even, when it was over and very ready to move on.  I mentioned a fall out I had with a very close friend in my last post and thoughts of her and what went wrong have been eating away at me taking up a lot of my spare brain energy.  This should NOT be happening and it was ruining my christmas (no-one's fault but my own for letting it bother me) so I was kind looking forward to christmas being over so that I could stop trying to make myself feel like I was in the spirit of things when I just wasn't.  Now that we're back to normal it just is what it is and I'll hopefully get over it and be able to move on with my thoughts very soon.

Anyway, enough of that! I'm glad christmas is over (I was even glad to put away the decorations and have christmas completely forgotten by the 27th), but that certainly doesn't mean that I didn't have a good day.  We trecked our little family to 3 different venues on the day and had our own little celebration at home with just the 4 of us before we went anywhere.

We started off with breakfast at home (toast in my new 4 slice retro looking toaster that I love thank you daddy!) and some present opening.  I opened Milly's sand and water table the night before to build it only to find that it was missing a leg and I would have to return it.  I built it without the legs and she loved it anyway.

opening the sand and water table
Claire's present hadn't arrived yet, which was a bit disappointing because Milly would have been excited for her, but never mind.  When it did get here, she loved it and already seems to be growing into it in only a few days.
Testing out her new activity centre

Daddy had to decipher some word play and do a crossword to figure out his present, but he will be going to Melbourne to enjoy some time with a friend.

solving his find a word
Then onto brunch with some family where we were fed, received and gave many more presents and had a swim.

ooh, shiny paper!

Next was lunch with more family.  More food, present giving and receiving and catching up.  Milly spent quite awhile riding her new bike up and down dad's hallway and we had a lovely surprise visit from some more relatives.

New 'big girl' bike

Quickly raced home to empty the car and reload it for dinner with more of daddy's family.  This was our first christmas without Daddy's grandma and although not necessarily sad, it felt very different to past years celebrations and it was quite tough to see and feel the changes, even with 2 small children to distract me.

We didn't make it to one of my family's celebrations as 3 venues in a day was enough for a toddler and a 3 month old.  It was also another first christmas without my grandma (we've both lost our grandmother's to cancer this year) and I think I would have really struggled with 2 in one day.

 Overall we had a great day and we were all very spoilt with our gifts, but I also think the gifts we gave were well received even though there was no handmade, except for a few small food items.  I made this rocky road, one of these cookie jars and a few jars of Nigella's chocolate peanut butter fudge sauce.  More important than the gifts though, is that we got to spend time with our families and that's why we moved here.

bobbing for lemons

Friday, December 23, 2011

We have been spending late afternoons with relatives that live down the road this week.  They walk down to us or we drive (because I'm scared of meeting snakes along the way if we walk) up to them for some catching up.  We sit around the trampoline while Miss. M jumps with her toys and Claire Bear cuddles with somebody.  One afternoon this week I made a cheese ball, which I LOVE!!! I only have terrible photos to show you, but here's the recipe.

125g cream cheese
125g cheddar cheese
125g strong flavoured cheese
2 gerhkins
1 onion
1 tablespoon worcestishire sauce
1/2 red capsicum

Grate these ingredients and mix together.  Form into a ball.

combine 1 1/2 tsp paprika with 1 1/2 tsp curry powder.

Roll the cheese ball in the paprika and curry powder mix to coat.

Serve with plain crackers or fresh vegetable sticks.

I usually leave out the capsicum and this time around I used parmesan and it was a bit too strong for me. A mature cheddar would have been strong enough.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Yesterday it was exactly 1 year since we left Brisbane for our big shed adventure.  What a hectic time that was for us.  Handmade presents and cards all wrapped and packed ready to come up here, packing of our entire life into 2 cars and a hired trailer, a little lady getting into everything and just learning to stand on her own, final catch ups and goodbyes with friends and family and saying goodbye to our little house that we loved so dearly even though it was tiny and had horrible carpet.  It was the home we took our first baby home to and we will never forget it. I didn't even know this at the time, but I was pregnant with Claire during all of this too!  I'm getting all nostalgic and emotional now and this is not meant to be my 'reflect on the past year' post so I will leave it at that.  But Brisbane friends, if you're reading this, I miss you.

So, onto Christmas! Well, actually I have not felt it much at all here this year.  As I said, by this time last year almost everyone had a gift handmade by me and it was wrapped with homemade wrapping and had a homemade card.  This year I didn't make anybody's present, I bought rolls of wrapping paper and am recycling sample christmas cards.  I'm not really one for christmas carols and usually find that watching a christmas movie might help to get me into the spirit of things, but I never got around to watching it.  For the past few years, I have had friends who also have children and enjoy crafting around me and I have shared christmas with them.  Not only did I not have that this year, but all my family here is still at work and I had a massive fall out that came as a huge shock to me with one of my closest friends in Brisbane (so bad in fact, that the friendship is apparently no longer) that we would normally spend christmas day with and I can't get it out of my head.  I really need to because the other party certainly seems to have and I should not be letting it ruin my time, but it's really eating away at me lately.  Anyway, I've put away the guilt of not making any presents and have happily decided that it's ok to sometimes take the easy way out when you have 2 small children and have had so many things happen over the year.

We don't have room for a christmas tree here so I made a christmas nook instead and used a small real tree instead.  Miss M. played with the baubles while I put them on the tree and occasionally 'picks' herself one to play with, but that's the most interest she's shown.  She will be 2 in a month and doesn't quite get it yet.  She is starting to understand presents though, as I took her to a christmas party with my friends mother's group last week and Santa gave her a present.

We did do some christmas baking today and I made some rocky road to give away yesterday.

 I also did the christmas food shopping yesterday and that definitely helped my mood.  We will be going to 3 different venues on the day and at least one the day before.  Normally I would be baking and cooking up a storm to take to people's houses, but I didn't even manage that this year.  I decided on 2 things to make and the rest is all store bought or just has to be thrown together at the last minute. I'm going to write what we are taking to each venue, just incase anyone reading needs an easy idea (or incase I need an easy idea in years to come).   Here we go: Chicken and avocado sandwiches to lunch on Christmas eve, punch to brunch on Christmas morning, a cadbury yule log to christmas lunch, and chipolatas and our little portable webber to dinner.  I also have some crackers and I will make some cheese balls to take as well.  I feel really happy that I made the decision to go easy this year as I have more time to spend with my girls and less time spent cleaning up.

Have a Merry Christmas if I don't see you before then!