Monday, November 26, 2012

{Creating a Simpler Christmas}


Back in 2010, I read something that changed my attitude on Christmas for my family. Pretty much from mid year toy sales onwards, my letter box is invaded with toy catalogues galore! All shouting at you messages of your kid wants THIS. Your kid "NEEDS" this. THIS will make your kid happy. Looking back on my childhood, I remember a few of gifts, but most of the gifts I remember had a sentimental attachment to them. I couldn't tell you majority of them now. For me, I mostly remember putting up decorations on the tree as a family with carols in the background, making the pudding with cousins with Grandma and Grandpa. I remember TIME spent together, laughing, sharing and giving. 

So, hubby and I made a decision to scale back on the ridiculous amount of gifts that can be given. Let's face it, when you add up this plus presents from Grandparents and Aunties/ Uncles, our kids DON'T go without! Don't you find that it's almost as if Christmas has a free seasonal ticket straight to Over Indulgence City? Between the food, gifts, and alcohol for some I guess, when is enough exactly that. Enough?!

So, each year we now scale right back. We now give them 7 gifts each. They aren't always expensive, in fact I think the more we steer away from the cheap "made in china" , "trashed by New Years" kinda gifts the better. 
Here is how we do it on Christmas morning. Each of my boys receives something from each of these categories. The seventh one listed (give) is something they give to someone else i.e. a goat for a 3rd world family, a gift for their sponsor child etc... 

We are also starting a few new traditions which I will be sharing soon. Watch this space ;)

Do you find that the silly season gets exactly that....silly? 

Q: How do you fight Over indulgence in your house?

Lauren x

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

{Preschooler Craft Day}

Yesterday I had one of 'those days' with my three year old. If you have had a three year old, I know you are on the same page right now. Mister mischief just seemed to wake up on the wrong side of the bed and the day followed suit until he crashed at 6:00!

I was determined to not repeat this performance. Once the kids went to bed, I had a cuppa, took a breathe and decided to plan craft day. I visited the only place open after normal hours, my local Kmart.

These kits were $5 each and such great value!!

DIY Cars

The great thing is that there is no glue needed, as they are all adhesive stickers. So, no sticky mess! There is plenty of opportunity to practice fine motor skills. There were a tonne of stickers left over, so just print off some plain car templates and you can keep the fun going.

He was so proud of himself and has been playing with them ever since! We might try this one later today also:
Can definitely recommend to have these on hand for an easy preschoolers craft. I think my 6 year old would even enjoy this!

Lauren x

Saturday, November 17, 2012

{Leftovers Make Over : French Stick Toast}

After a recent BBQ with friends, we had some of the French bread stick left over. This gave me an idea for a makeover on this tray of slightly stale day old bread.

These were already cut and in a baking dish, so all I had to do was add some extra ingredients. I whisked up 6 eggs, cinnamon (one teaspoon ish), some sugar (2 tablespoons ish) and 200ml thickened cream (I keep a long life carton on hand at all times, it always comes in handy).
Pour it over your bread and make sure it's all covered.

Bake in a 180'C oven for about 25 minutes or until golden and set.
When it comes out, sprinkle with fresh berries and this is the result:

Lauren x

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

{Dip & Crackers with a Twist}

Spring and summer brings with it social occasions and get togethers.
Here is a great and easy dish to bring that looks as gorgeous as it tastes! 

Cinnamon Crackers and Berry Cheesecake Dip 

1. Cut up Lebanese style flat bread into triangle slices. You could also use 'mountain bread'.
2. Spray with spray oil and then sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar to taste.
3. Spread on a baking tray and bake at 150'C for about 15 mins until golden. Don't leave kitchen because they can burn easily (I burned my first batch ;)

Berry Cheesecake Dip:
1. Place a tub of cream cheese into your electric mixer with a tsp of vanilla essence and a heaped dessert spoonful of caster sugar. You can add more sugar if you wish, but this should be enough.
2. Cut up some blueberries and strawberries (amount depends on the size dish you are filling).
3. Layer blueberries, cream cheese, strawberries etc...
4. Rip some fresh mint over the top and serve with the flat bread cinnamon crackers.
Serve and enjoy!

Lauren x


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