Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Here are a few of the things we have done to help bring the festive season to life in our house.
1. The Advent Calendar:
Ever hear of 'Real Estate Speak'? Terms like renovators delight or fixer-upper??? Well in 'Craft Speak' a labor of love means something that took much more work than I anticipated, was GLAD to finish but happy I did! This advent calendar was one of those type projects. I know I winged it and made it up as I went, but there was something that I had to contemplate or re-do at several stages along the way. I am very happy with how it turned out though.
2. Snow Dough Ornaments I made salt dough using this recipe from taste.com.au and we cut out mini circles using a lid in the kitchen. The boys pressed a thumb print into half of the circles each and then we painted them white and strung them on a ribbon to make a garland for the tree. 3. Gingerbread Houses: With two little boys 2 & 5 years old, making a full blown ginger house mansion complete with kilo's of sugar seemed a feat that would have me cleaning the kitchen for days and adding an extra coffee or 10 to my day. So, because I still wanted to do this activity WITH my boys, I decided to make it a little different and go 2D instead. This was a BIG hit!!!! (gingerbread recipe here) (pattern for house copied from here) (royal icing recipe here) There are a few other crafts like a hand print wreath and some other ornaments along the way.
So, from my house to yours, I wish you a VERY special Christmas and may your 2012 be blessed and fruitful!
Sunday, December 18, 2011
I thought i would share this post near Christmas time as it is a time of year when people are (typically) thinking most about generosity.
For years now I have always had foil containers with lids of varying sizes in the pantry. I always pick them up in the supermarket for a few dollars.
But how did they change my life you ask?
It has been a practical way that our family has made room for acting out compassion for others. I usually have a meal every so often that I make too much of. Then I label it and freeze it.
Having meals are always handy for yourself.
But having frozen meals ready to go, helps open your eyes to needs in others. As soon as I hear of a friend having a bad week, a baby arriving, someone coming home from an operation, I know I have a meal ready to drop around.
The easy thing is you don't have to worry about getting your dish back.
I have used these to put in such meals as:
Not all things need to be frozen and prepared in advance. I have just used them as containers for other easy meal ideas too:
- hamburger kits (patties and salad items separated in zip lock bags)
- fried rice
- mash potato
- cooked or roasted veggies etc
- brownies and cakes (bake in the foil container)
So, next time you shop, pop a container like this in your trolley and make room in your budget for someone in your world who has a need. I guarantee you I'd you can't think of someone straight away, you will notice a need once your looking!
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
So, today I did something that's been on my list for the last little while.
Whilst at spotlight (I can tell your shocked I was there too lol!) I found a black board for $15. It was light so i knew it would hang on the wall easily with the 3M Velcro tabs I already had.
I have decided to put up a verse for the Christmas month and use it as a reference point with Mr 5 who loves to read and learn.
I also intend to keep it there and write more verses/ sayings all year round.
I love Christmas SO much and it's very easy to get carried away with the decorations and festivities.
Due to its location in the house, it's something we will walk past frequently and it is a nice practical way we are trying to put the focus back on the REAL reason for the season!
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone
Sunday, December 11, 2011
However, when I think Christmas, I think hams and roast lambs, chicken or pork. I wanted something delicious and not an 'after thought'. I would never want anyone coming over for dinner feel like an after thought just because they don't eat meat. Insert Google and here was the menu:
Goats cheese and Cranberry Tartlets
Minted Roast Lamb
Sweet Potato and Leek Roulade
Balsamic Vine Tomatoes
Chili and Almond Asparagus
Rosemary and Garlic Smashed Potatoes
Chilled Egg Nog
Warm Mulled Wine
Christmas Pudding Ice Cream with Frozen Chocolate Sauce
Tea & Coffee
Here is the recipe for the Roulade...Mine didn't look that pretty, but it held its shape and was DE-LISSSHH!!! Its worth the effort ;)
1 leek, finely chopped
1/3 cup plain flour
4 eggs, separated
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan
30g unsalted butter
1 brown onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 1/2 cups fresh white breadcrumbs
1 tbs chopped fresh sage
1 tbs chopped flat-leaf parsley
500g sweet potato, peeled, chopped
15g unsalted butter
100ml thin cream
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and line a 39 x 26cm Swiss roll pan.
To make the roulade, heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the leek and cook gently for five minutes until soft. Remove leek from pan. Wipe pan, then add the butter. When it has melted, add the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Start adding the milk, a little at a time, whisking until all the milk is combined and the sauce has thickened. Remove from the heat, beat in egg yolks, one at a time and season.
In a separate, clean bowl, beat the eggwhites until stiff. Add a quarter of the eggwhites to the roux, then gently fold in the remaining eggwhites. Fold in leeks and cheddar until just combined, then pour into the prepared pan and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden and puffed.
Meanwhile, to make stuffing, melt butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook for five minutes until soft and translucent. Add garlic and breadcrumbs and cook for a further 3-4 minutes. Stir in herbs and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
For the filling, steam or boil the sweet potato until tender. Drain and mash with the butter, cream and nutmeg. Season well and set aside.
When the roulade is cooked, place a clean tea towel on your workbench and sprinkle with the parmesan. Turn the roulade out onto the tea towel and peel off the baking paper. Allow to cool for 1-2 minutes, then spread the sweet potato over the roulade.
Sprinkle the stuffing over the sweet potato. Using the edge of the tea towel, carefully roll up the roulade from the longest side finishing with the seam-side down. Slice and serve warm.
I hope you enjoy the idea and even if I wasn't serving for a vegetarian...I would definitely make this again :)
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
To add a WHOLE OTHER LEVEL, I have some memorabilia from both of my Grandmothers and both of my husbands Grandmothers in the room. These are four AMAZING God fearing women who have set up the legacy that Glenn and I walk in today. Two of them (Grandma BB and Oma) are partying in Heaven, and Nan-Nan and Grandma Mt.K are still with us.
I also incorporated the cot and change table that has seen me through the last 6 years with my boys in here too.
There are a few things I would like to add here still. For example, I am working on displaying some photos of my 'babies' and a photo of each grandmother in the room too. This will take a bit more time to finish though.
Here are some of the treasures I have collected so far!
I placed Oma's old tape measure, wooden cotton reels and her dainty embroidery scissors in a vase to display.
The cot that slept my babies is now turned into a love seat thanks to some beautiful cushions.
This is Nan-Nan's (mother in laws Mum) sewing box. So beautiful!
Sunday, December 4, 2011
'Cowgirl cookies' with pink m&m's. I would change to red and green lollies instead for Christmas.
Plant with a message
Coffee Card: Thanks 'a latte'
Also seen it done like this
Summer Survival Kit
It doesn't matter whether your kids 'teachers' are from school, church, sport or whatever. These people play a special role in your kids development and I believe gratitude is a great key to life. It isn't about being fancy or spending a lot of $$$. Rather showing them that they matter enough to say thanks!
How do you thank these kind of people in your world??
Comment here, on the FB page or twitter and let me know :)
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Part of the problem was, I wasn't sure what sizes to order the photos in. Then I had a bright idea (they happen occasionally - haha). Amazing how something SO simple can make a difference!
I taped together some paper, creating different photo sizes varying from a large 10x15 down to the 6x8 and 5x7.
Then I played around with designs. Now I am ready to hop online and order my photos.
Here are a few examples of how I have been playing today during nap time:
I hope that tip helps you like it has me and I will show you a photo when my prints arrive :)
Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone