Christmas 2012 – Our tree

Wow December 1. Where has the year gone? (It’s now Dec 10 – where is December going LOL?)

It’s tree day in our house. Miss K loves ‘helping’ to decorate the tree and this year she decorated 2 trees in one day.

This year we’ve gone a bit more selective – I’m being more selective as to what ornaments are going on the tree. More silver and purple, less tacky. Plus hubby’s decorations (he’s decided we need another tree just for his Star Wars decorations). Plus Miss K’s number decorations.

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In 2012 our new ornaments include:

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Silver Reindeer

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#3 (coming soon)

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Tardis

Red Dalek

Tie Fighter

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Mini Death Star

Mini Star Destroyer

Original Series Cylon

 

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‘dancing’ bear

 

Do you have a tree theme? Certain colour schemes? Any special ornaments or new ornaments for 2012?

Christmas 2012 – Scrapbooking your Christmas

It’s no secret I LOVE Christmas scrapbook paper. Apart from my Project Life stuff and the stuff for Miss K’s album, this is my biggest stash of scrapbooking goodies. Most of this stash goes into my Journal Your Christmas album.

I thought this year I’d check out some of the scrapbooking classes around the net that are Christmas related.

Obviously the big two (that I know of and hear most people talk about anyways) are December Daily and Journal Your Christmas.

December Daily is the brain child of Ali Edwards and is an album project that documents the 25 days leading up to Christmas. I’ve never done DD but have seen some sensational albums. You only have to look to Pinterest for some awesome inspiration.

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Journal Your Christmas (updated to the 2012 link) is another amazing class from Shimelle. I am such a huge fan of Shimelle’s classes and I love the fact when you buy one of her classes you get forever access. "Journal your Christmas is an online scrapbooking class to celebrate the holiday season. It starts on the first of December and finishes on the sixth of January, with thirty-seven daily prompts sent by email. "

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Big Picture Classes have a few Christmas classes – 12 Days of Christmas, Creating Christmas and Holiday Recipes. I’ll be checking out Creating Christmas and Holiday Recipes this year (yeah I know, like I need another couple of projects over Christmas)

My Creative Classroom is offering Holiday layouts and a few others AND if you register Register for any class starting in November and you will automatically be enrolled in It’s Ornamental at no additional charge.

What classes are you taking this Christmas season?

Linking up with Tina’s Christmas linky

Christmas 2012–Getting organised

Up until recently I was so unorganised around Christmas time. I’d leave things til the last minute and would panic buy on the pay before Christmas. I’ve even been known to be doing shopping on Christmas Eve! Then, about 3 years ago I decided enough was enough and did some searching on the internet to become a bit more organised over the holiday period.

christmas_countdown_3One of the first sites I came across was Organized Christmas. I already used the Organized Scrapbooks site for their printables so decided to check out the site. They, at the time, had two choices for holiday organisation – Christmas Countdown and the Holiday Grand Plan. I went with the Christmas Countdown. It’s a 6 week workshop starting in October and finishing on the 1st December, designed so you’re organised and can relax and enjoy the holiday season come December. Each week is assigned a theme – get organised, reality check, gifts & giving, get cooking, decorating and celebrating. And there’s the printables to help you stay organised and less stressed.

The first year I followed along a bit half heartedly but the following year I followed every step and was ready for Christmas (minus a few small gifts) by the end of November. A huge bonus as I was a new mum. Last year I followed along again, a lot more loosely, picking and choosing what worked for our family.

This year I’ve decided to check out some other systems to see if I can find something that is really me.

I’d seen The Organised Housewife’s Christmas Planner last year about half way through doing the 260927372132269276_o0bNp4hg_cChristmas Countdown. I bought it last week and have printed it out and added it to my Inner B organiser (thanks to Tina for the awesome idea of adding extra sections to my organiser).

I’m loving supporting an Australian mum and I love how this planner isn’t centered around American holidays (sorry to all my US readers but I really don’t need to know about celebrating Thanksgiving lol)

There are lots of great checklists and planners and the graphics are too cute. It’s actually making the planning process more fun. A couple of planners that aren’t relevant for me this year but may be useful later.

If you want to know how to put your Christmas Planner together you can always check out this post. And you can buy your own copy of The Organised Housewife’s Christmas Planner here for $14.95 (Australian dollars)

The boring bit – I’m doing a series on Christmas (again) this year. You can follow all my posts here

Welcome to Christmas 2012

Can you believe it’s nearly that time of year again?

I’m doing my bit of Christmas sharing again this year on the blog. We’ll look at getting organised, scrapbooking your Christmas (if that’s your thing), trimming the tree, what’s on Pinterest that I’m loving, ideas for wrapping all your goodies and more.

The blog is getting a bit of a make over too. As you can see it’s starting to look a bit festive Winking smile

I’ll be back later to share some tips for getting organised this holiday season.

Christmas Wrapping

This is part of a series of posts focusing on Christmas. You can see all my Christmas posts here.

Now we’ve got all our presents, it’s time to get wrapping. This year I’m wrapping the majority of our presents in kraft paper, embellished with handmade tags and Doodlebug Christmas Twine

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how cute is that twine?

But this might not be your thing, so today I’m sharing some wrapping ideas (thanks to Pinterest)

Source: giverslog.com via Chantal on Pinterest Source: francineclouden.typepad.com via Ashley on Pinterest
Source: etsy.com via Melanie on Pinterest Source: olderandwisor.blogspot.com via Stacie on Pinterest
Source: google.com.au via Marea on Pinterest Source: bobowrap.com via Kim on Pinterest
Source: hollymathisinteriors.com via Carolyn on Pinterest Source: 33shadesofgreen.blogspot.com via Diana on Pinterest

Favourite Christmas songs

Carols in the Domain was on last night so I though I’d share a few of my favourite Christmas songs

First up – Tim Minchin & White wine in the sun (I cry every time I hear this song)

Santa Baby by the Pussycat Dolls

Fairy tale in New York by The Pogues

Straight No Chaser with the 12 Days of Christmas

and finally

(oh how I’d love some Buble for Christmas I’m sure hubby wouldn’t mind LOL)

What’s your favourite Christmas song?

Christmas Food Pt 4

This is part of a series of posts focusing on Christmas. You can see all my Christmas posts here.

And this brings us to the final post about food. I’ve got a couple more posts planned for between now & Christmas. Which is 10 sleeps away!!!!

So yesterday I shared my gingerbread recipe and promised I’d tell you today what you can do with your leftover egg white, apart from using it to make icing. Meringues. Yup that’s right. One egg white is all it takes to make a batch of these mini meringue goodness. The following is a recipe from my mum. I have no idea where she got it from and she’s been cooking it as long as I can remember.

Mini meringues (makes about 40)

1 egg white
1 cup caster sugar
2 tablespoons boiling water
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon white vinegar

Place egg white & sugar in a CLEAN bowl (any dirt, dust, oils etc in the bowl and this won’t work). Mix with an electric mixer for 2 minutes on low. Slowly add water, vanilla and vinegar. Beat on medium/high speed for 15 minutes.
Fold in sifted baking powder.
Pipe onto a lined baking tray. Cook in a 180°C oven for 1 hour. Take out of the oven to cool.

And if you want to make them a bit special for Christmas (like I’m doing)…. Using a new small paintbrush, paint 2 or 3 stripes of red food colouring inside the pastry bag.

next is mum’s recipe for shortbread

Shortbread

170g plain flour
pinch salt
57g caster sugar
113g butter, at room temperature

Place all ingredients in a bowl. Knead together with fingers until a smooth dough forms.
Roll out on a lightly floured board until 1/2cm thick.
Cut into desired shape with cutters.
Cook in preheated oven for 20 to 30 minutes.
Sprinkle with a little extra caster sugar while still warm.

and finally –

Chocolate truffles

1 can condensed milk
250g sweet biscuits (scotch finger are good)
1 cup desiccated coconut
1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa
coconut, extra

Crush biscuits. Place in a bowl, add cocoa and coconut. Mix in condensed milk.
Roll about 1 tablespoons of mixture into a ball, roll in extra coconut. Place in fridge.

I also made some raspberry jam, greengage jam, and tomato relish but you can click on the links to see the recipes

Christmas Food Pt 3

This is part of a series of posts focusing on Christmas. You can see all my Christmas posts here.

Today I’m sharing a couple of biscuit recipes.

First is my no fail gingerbread recipe (well I’ve never had it fail. I’ve used it for the last couple of years to make gingerbread men, gingerbread star trees & gingerbread houses). This year I’ve made mini gingerbread men (& a gingerbread cat and a gingerbread rabbit for Miss K).

Gingerbread men

  • 125g butter, at room temperature
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 125ml golden syrup
  • 1 egg, separated*
  • 375g plain flour
  • 1 tbs ground ginger
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • Plain flour, to dust

Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush 2 baking trays with melted butter to lightly grease.
Use an electric beater to beat the butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and creamy. Add the golden syrup and egg yolk and beat until combined. Stir in the flour, ginger, mixed spice and bicarbonate of soda. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Press dough into a disc. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest. Place the dough between 2 sheets of baking paper and roll out until about 4mm thick. Use a 9cm gingerbread man cutter to cut out shapes. Place on trays about 3cm apart. Repeat with any excess dough. Bake in oven for 10 minutes or until brown. Remove from oven. Transfer to a rack to cool. Decorate as desired.

*I’ll be using the egg white in a separate recipe. You can freeze egg whites quite well. I always have a stock of egg whites in my freezer, especially in summer as they are always leftover from making ice cream.

Chewy Toblerone Cookies (from Taste.com.au)

  • 125g butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup plain flour, sifted
  • 1/4 cup self-raising flour, sifted
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
  • 100g Toblerone chocolate bar, finely chopped

 

Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. Grease 2 baking trays. Line with baking paper. Place butter and honey in a saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally for 2 to 3 minutes or until smooth. Combine sugar, plain flour, self-raising flour and coconut in a large, heatproof bowl. Make a well in centre. Add butter mixture. Stir to combine. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool. Stir in Toblerone. Roll level tablespoons of mixture into balls. Place balls, 3cm apart, on prepared trays. Flatten slightly.  Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden and firm. Stand for 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Serve.

These are super yummy. I did learn a lesson the first time I made these – don’t make these in a metal bowl! the mixture takes forever to cool and then you get impatient and the Toblerone melts. Much better to make in a plastic bowl.

I’ll be back tomorrow with my recipe for shortbread and what to do with your egg white from the gingerbread.

Christmas presents

This is part of a series of posts focusing on Christmas. You can see all my Christmas posts here.

As you’ve read in previous posts, if you’ve been following along, that most of my gifts this year are going to be handmade (& food). Except for three people – me, Miss K & hubby. Well not entirely true, the parents, siblings & grandparents are getting something not handmade but that’s a surprise I’ll share after Christmas (& no I’m not pregnant!)

Miss K has been lots of fun to buy for. I feel like such a kid again buying heaps of toys. I swear the way we’re going, we’ll need another room just for toys Winking smile

So far Miss K’s Christmas pressie list includes (some of these are from us & some will be from Santa)

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a Leapfrog My First Laptop (hopefully to keep her off mine) in purple

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a Kmart Christmas bear. We plan on buying her one each year for awhile

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The complete Beatrix Potter collection

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a selection of Zhu Zhu pets & accessories (these are sure to be the favourite cause she LOVES her Zhus). Since I took these photos we’ve added another 2 Zhus and a couple more accessories – photos and a review coming after Christmas.

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a princess tent

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a variety of clothes (plus a few other things)

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another book

and then there’s the stockings. Yup I said stockings. Miss K has one here & one at my Mum & Dad’s. So far her stocking here has some stickers, an Angry Bird (yes I have a nearly 2yo who loves Angry Birds) and a Christmas bib. I’ll add some coins, some fruit and a small chocolate on Christmas Eve

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No doubt the Grandparents & Auntie & Uncle will also spoil her rotten too.

On my wishlist

This is part of a series of posts focusing on Christmas. You can see all my Christmas posts here.

I’m going to take a little time today to share what I’d like for Christmas – you know, just in case hubby decides to read my blog, which I know he won’t.

A new diary. I’m getting the 2012 Log Your Memory yearbook (review coming soon) but I’d love another diary. Either the OTI one (in purple)

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or the Inner-B one

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which would you recommend?

Next, some scrapping supplies. Hubby is getting me some Project Life bits which I am super excited about. But I think I’d also like these

a subscription to Lime Tart Memory Works Christmas pack

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Memory Works Simple Stories Baby Steps more copics

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hmm what else?

being able to join this

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and some Willow Tree

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What’s on your wishlist?

Joining in with Tuesday 10 over at Just Me