From the Den Kitchen – Christmas goodies

One has to love Pinterest at this time of year. Food ideas galore!! I thought I’d share with you some of the foodie things I’ve pinned plus a few other foodie bit & pieces.



Christmas Pizza shapes

Christmas kabobs (mini marshmallows, slices of banana, strawberries, grapes)



Candy Cane Ice cream (Thermomix)

Christmas sugar cookies



Christmas Choc chip cookies
(Thermomix & non- Thermo)

Christmas cheese board

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Mint Chocolate truffles Peppermint fudge

Some of the things I have linked to before but still have some great foodie ideas:

What’s your favourite thing to make over Christmas?

Have yourself a very appy Christmas

Disclaimer – I am a Me Books blogger and receive books for review. All opinions are my own.

One great way of staying organised or keeping the littlies (or yourself) entertained is to pull out your smart phone or tablet and use an app or two. Christmas is no different & I thought I’d share with you some of my favourite Christmas apps. Quick note – these are app for iOS as it’s what I have. I’d love for you to comment with your favourite Windows phone or Andriod apps

First up is an app I’ve used for the last couple of years. Simply called Christmas!!


This app by Gourmet Pixel Ltd is simple but full of great things. It’s a Christmas countdown, an advent calendar, a place to keep your gift list (hidden from prying eyes), it has games, music, jokes and wallpapers. Best thing – it’s FREE


mzl.qvsxldka.175x175-75Another app I used a bit last year was Fake Call from Santa (FREE). Very useful to encourage good behaviour. “Oh look Santa is ringing, I can tell him how good you’ve been.” Worked really well for us last year when a certain little person wouldn’t go to bed til late. What? Do whatever works for you, right? Right. Let’s move on.

mzl.kvoongpo.175x175-75For a bit of fun, Talking Santa (99c) from the people who brought us Talking Tom, Ginger and all their friends. ‘Talking Santa is packed with countless hours of holiday fun for the entire family! Speak into your microphone and listen to Santa repeat your special holiday message aloud.’

mzl.jhgmoytc.175x175-75More fun for all the family? Elf Yourself (FREE) from OfficeMax allows you to become the star of a personalized video featuring your photos on holiday dancing elves. Simply upload up to five photos of you, your friends, family and more from your camera roll or Facebook. Select a dance theme, and the app will generate a custom ElfYourself video that you can

mzl.egptvtoe.175x175-75Jacquie Lawson Advent Calendar – Village 2013 (FREE)is a gorgeous vintage advent calendar. Mum had it on her Macbook last year and I found the 2013 version in the App Store while looking for new apps. ‘From 1st December onwards, a new animation becomes available to view each day – maybe a funny animated sketch, or a heart-warming Christmas story – to the background of a delightful Christmas scene, and accompanied by traditional classical music and carols. ‘

V4HttpAssetRepositoryClient-mzl.xzwjlxzz.png-2216541463713913802.175x175-75Books are a big part of our lives and the Me Books (FREE but books cost) app has been a great addition to traditional paper books in our home. Lot of kids favourites like Peppa Pig, Charlie & Lola and Peter Rabbit, all read by celebrities like Alan Davies (of QI fame), Richard E Grant, Rik Mayall, Sir David Jason and others.
There are some gorgeous Christmas themed books in the Me Books store – A Message for Santa, Mucky Puppy’s Christmas, The Little Reindeer, A little bit of winter and Elmer in the Snow. I’ll be doing a review on these books a little closer to Christmas.

mzi.pinhoukf.175x175-75And finally on my little list is Yummy Christmas (FREE). It’s super cute recipes for making with kids over Christmas. Recipes include things like Fruity Christmas trees and Rudolph sausages.


Other apps you may consider

Christmas 2013 – pt 3

Day 11
Christmas task: I went and bought some cards from the Post Office. They have some that are supporting OCRF. Cards for overseas/interstate family are done. Letter to Santa is ready to be posted.
Household task: My pantry has needed re-organising for ages so I’m happy to get this done. I love Organised Housewife’s cork board in the pantry idea and am planning on setting up something similar.


Day 12
Christmas task: More Christmas cards done and ready to send. We’re starting 2 new traditiona this year – Christmas PJs & Elf on the Shelf. I’ll wrap them up and we’ll open them Christmas Eve before chucking on something festive to watch before bed (& me, I mean Santa, delivering presents to under the tree and Daddy, I mean Santa, setting up some presents up outside ready to be discovered Christmas morning). Other traditions we have are a new ornament for the tree each. Hubby & I will likely be getting some new Doctor Who ornaments and I’m not really sure what we’ll get Miss K as the Hallmark series we were getting her is getting pretty rare and expensive (hello, $60 for a Christmas ornament – before shipping from the US, don’t think so). I’d love to complete the set but we’ll have to wait and see.
Household task: Our laundry system at the moment is just wash as needed and it often ends up with me doing a huge wash over the weekend. Needs to be looked into and more organised.

Day 13
Christmas task: All our Christmas cards are done and ready to post. Think Geek order placed.
Household task: I’m ahead on today’s task as I reorganised Miss K’s bedroom last week.

Day 14
Christmas task: Miss K sat down and ‘wrote’ all her cards.
Household task: Also ahead on today’s task too. Reorganised her toy room/sunroom a couple of weeks ago. Did give it a quick clean up though cause it was a bit bomb site lol

Day 15
Christmas task:  All up-to-date. Yay, go me LOL
Household task: I’ve been saying for ages I need to organise our plastics cupboard and this gave me the kick-start to do it. Lots of lids with no bases and lots of bases with no lids.


Christmas 2013 – advent ideas

Search on Pinterest and you will find thousands of ideas for advent calendars. Some are so cute. We bought a wall hanging last Christmas and had lots of fun filling the pocket each night. We also used it as a bit of a behaviour thing trying to get someone to sleep earlier. So if she went to sleep quickly she knew there would be something in the pocket in the morning.

This year I’ve decided to add a bit of variety to our advent and missy won’t be getting something everyday. Some days there will just be a piece of paper with something fun we can do together.

To help you out if you want to do something similar I’ve compiled a bit of a list of advent activities.

  1. make Christmas biscuits
  2. decorate the Christmas tree
  3. write a letter to Santa
  4. visit Santa (we’ll be going to Myer again this year as the Santa there is great)
  5. watch a Christmas movie
  6. donate some old toys to charity
  7. make some reindeer food (we’ll be using this recipe)
  8. read a Christmas book
  9. do some Christmas craft (I’ll be listing some ideas in a couple of days)
  10. make some Christmas biscuits for your friends (we’ll be making a batch to take to the last daycare before Christmas)
  11. Go for a drive and look at Christmas lights
  12. stay up late
  13. sleep in a tent
  14. make a paper garland
  15. do something nice for mum/dad
  16. put up Christmas decorations in your room
  17. go to your local Christmas parade
  18. have a North Pole breakfast (example 1, example 2) (I’ll blog ours if we do it)
  19. open a Christmas Eve gift (we’ll be doing a box with new pjs and a couple of other small things)
  20. have breakfast for tea
  21. listen to your favourite Christmas tunes
  22. find, download and play a Christmas app (I’ll be sharing a list of some good apps later)
  23. make a homemade ornament
  24. make some handmade tags for your presents
  25. make your own wrapping paper – roll of brown paper
  26. you get a special treat just from Mum (could be a small gift or doing something fun)
  27. you get a special treat just from Dad
  28. find a new Christmas recipe and try it out
  29. colour in a Christmas picture
  30. draw a picture to leave for Santa
  31. send a Christmas card to someone you know who lives interstate or overseas

If you Google ‘advent calendar activities’ you’ll get lots more ideas or check Pinterest.
You can also download a pdf I created of some of these activities

Christmas 2013 – pt 2

continuing from where I left off…..

Day 6
Christmas task: We ‘wrote’ to Santa. I’ve scanned it so I can add it to someone’s scrapbooks
Household task: Decluttering toys. As anyone with young children knows this can be a fun thing. How do you get rid of loved toys? We’ve brought in a ‘rule’ this year that we have to give some of our old toys away before Christmas each year so we have room for the new toys that Santa will, hopefully, bring. So I have 4 large boxes of toys we’ll sit down and go through over the weekend and decide which toys can get put away (just in case), which are  toys that are must keeps (but not currently played with and can be put into the toy rotation) and what can be donated to those who are less fortunate than ourselves.

Day 7
Christmas task: Gift lists. I’ve got mine all written and in Evernote so I can refer to it on the go (especially handy if I don’t take my diary with me)
Household task: We decluttered some toys from missy’s bedroom. I fought the urge to clean it up.

Day 8
Christmas task: I’ve written up my list for Christmas cards. Still have to buy them.
Household task: This is my office desk. I have a big desk in the office but I do 99% of things on my laptop now. Little desk = no clutter. Love it.


Day 9
Christmas task: I’ve spent today with Mum and I’ve created a list of what I need to create the homemade gifts I’m doing for Christmas.
Household task: We’ve got 3 bookshelves in the dining/lounge area. One is for hubby’s RPG books, one for my craft stuff, scrapbook albums and some novels and the other is for novels, other books and well it’s a dumping area for other stuff. Hubby’s bookshelf is his responsibility but it stays pretty clean. I pulled everything off the other two book cases and gave them a good clean and have only put back what is meant to be there. Now we’ll see how long they stay clean.


Day 10
Christmas task: We’ve started buying our presents. Everything for Miss K, apart from stocking fillers & some new clothes & shoes, is bought waiting to be put together on Christmas Eve or wrapped.
Household task: My kitchen is such a bomb site at the moment, partly cause I’ve been a bit lazy of an evening. Today I got stuck in and decluttered and cleaned the bench. Much better


Christmas craft classes & workshops

I LOVE doing craft & classes at this time of year and I thought I’d share some of the classes I do, classes I want to do and classes I’ve heard about but don’t do….

This year is my 4th (or is it 5th) year doing Journal Your Christmas (UPDATED – now the 2013 link).

I’ve just signed up for the December round of 30 Days of Lists. Sign up is now open. Do it. Lots of fun

I really want to do Your Holidays Captured through the Lens (eta just signed up yay)

December Daily seems pretty popular. This year I’m thinking I might do a mini DD, focusing on our first year of adventures with Elf on the Shelf.

Big Picture Classes has 12 Days of Christmas: December Duos; Picture the Holidays 2013; Creating Christmas & Happy Go lucky advent calendar.

Jingle Bells looks pretty cool and it’s run by the girls at Jot Magazine

I nearly forgot Capture Your December at Scrap Orchard.

And Hiedi Swapp has announced a free self paced class – Believe album workshop

What class/workshops are you doing or interested in this Christmas? Look forward to checking out any not listed here.

Christmas 2013

Can you believe it is nearly Christmas? Over the past few years I’ve done a series of posts about Christmas but this year I think I’ll do things a little different.

I’m following along with Organised Housewife and her 2013 Organise Yourself A Merry Little Christmas Series so will be posting how I am going with that; sharing stuff I find on Pinterest and maybe, just maybe, sharing what I am making this year. Oh and the adventures of our Elf on the Shelf. Think Miss K is old enough now – if she hates it we probably won’t do it again.

Anyways onto what I’ve been up to in the last few days.

Monday saw the start of 2013 Organise Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (& it was our wedding anniversary) and I didn’t do anything. Tuesday came around and I got stuck in….
(days link to the posts – go check them out)

Day 1:
Christmas task: I printed out the pages I use for my Christmas planner and put them in my diary – the one place I know no one else looks. I’ve even put in my diary (& on my phone & the main calendar) all the important dates & events over Christmas like the day-care Christmas event, local Christmas parades, Christmas meals with friends.
Household task: cleaned & decluttered bedroom surfaces


Day 2:
Christmas task: Created our Christmas station – well in reality it’s a box with all my wrapping paper, sticky tape, tags and present bags
Household task: Lucky for me I’d recently decluttered our laundry cupboard but I did give it a quick tidy up.


Day 3:
Christmas task: Christmas cards. I’ll most likely buy some through Phoenix Trading as 50% of the money raised through Christmas card sales in 2013, will be donated to Ovarian Cancer Australia. So yay, supporting a charity I like to give as much to as I can
Household task: Declutter the lounge – this took ages as we’ve been using it as a bit of dumping ground lately.


Day 4:
Christmas task: Set up your advent list. I love buying little bits and pieces for our advent calendar through the year. I’ve created some printables that I’ll cut out and use too on a couple of days. I’ll be sharing my list in a couple of days so look out for it 🙂
Household task: Declutter the pantry. I found this hard as I really, really wanted to pull everything out and reorganise. I did get rid of a few things that were out of date and have grouped stuff that is nearly out of date so I use it soon. There’s no after pic as I didn’t tidy it at all – as much as I wanted too.


Day 5:
Christmas task:  Set up a gift wrapping container. Already done. I like to keep all my Christmassy bits together in one spot – on top of our wardrobe, out of reach of little prying eyes.
Household task: Declutter bathroom surfaces.


It’s that time again….

It seems to sneak up on us every year. Christmas. It’s 100 days away (well 99 in Australia but I’m a day late posting this). Can you believe it!!

I’m trying something a little different this year and will be following along with 100 days to Christmas. There are a few ways you can play along – follow the blog, sign up for the daily emails or buy the eBook and work at your own pace. Me? I’ll be following along on the blog.


Now off to start creating the Christmas section in my diary 😉

Christmas – Pinterest Style

Ah Pinterest, what did we used to do before it? Oh that’s right – lots of things.

Seriously though, Pinterest is a great tool for keeping things we find on the net all in one spot that we can access anywhere we have a net connection. Throughout the year I’ve been Pinning various bits and pieces I’ve found that I may use at Christmas time. Ideas for food…


Decorating …


Scrapbooking & card making


Elf on the Shelf


and so much more! I’ve got a Christmas Ideas board, a Christmas Food board and a Christmas Scrapbooking board

Do you Pinterest? What great Christmas Pins have you found?