Thursday, December 29, 2011

Relaxed Christmas

Christmas did not turn out exactly how I wanted it to which is normally the way. This year is my first year in England with all my family and got to see so many people, some of which I have not seen in years - a delight. It was however relaxed and the build-up to it was fun. The week before the big day, my parents stayed over and we had a pre-Christmas meal and a present each was opened. A few friends came by dropping off gifts and well wishes. On the day itself, stocking were opened first then we had brunch and the remaining presents opened and before we knew it, time had caught up and it was dinner with the in-laws and another gift opening session. One thing I did notice this year, perhaps because Christmas day landed on a weekend, there was not much joy in the air, a lot of people worked up until the last minute including my husband and had little time to enjoy the festivities. All in all it was low key, oh! I noticed a lot of people were ill too.

We have received a number of invites for New Years parties, most of which did not invite children (the invites are by those without kids). For us as a family it is important that we spend it together, besides, I am not a New Years party lover, I prefer to spend it in the comfort of my own home with my family, watching DVD's, cooking food I like with champagne in hand in time for the fireworks and party goers cheers.

So however you spent your Christmas and prepare for your New Years party, I hope it is a good one.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas Fair.

The village that we live in had a Christmas fair last night, there was a choir, music, fair rides, raffles, lucky dips even a Darlic which was awesome and he was very funny too. 

Typical for this time of year it was cold but a little windy but it had a great atmosphere and was very, very busy. Lucky for me we live one minute walk away so we did not have to worry about parking like most visitors.

We had a walk around to find homemade mince pies, mulled wine, light up butterflies (as pictured), raffles for cuddly toys and many more exciting things.

Well organised and received.

Thank you!


Friday, December 2, 2011

Friday night, movie night and decorations.

Yes it is Friday, it's officially the weekend and for us it is movie night. Instead of pizza we had homemade lasagna, homemade truffles and the advent calendar chocolate treat but before dinner we decorated the house. I say the house mostly the living room and some of upstairs. I was a bit mystified to find that half of my decorations had disappeared but when we did the big move I threw a lot out, simply we needed less 'stuff' to bring back. Anyway, our feature film guessed it...Santa Clause.

My parents had stored for 9 years my fiber-optic Christmas tree and they gave it to me upon my return and to my surprise it works and it looks better than I remember. The only downsize is there is no room for my decorations so we had to do some improvising and put the fabric ones around the tree.
It is a particularly frugal Christmas this year for most families but instead of buying loads of new decorations, make your own with paper, glitter and glue. This year we have made paper chains, used coloured paper to make Santa and Reindeer pictures and we will also be making cut out snow flakes. So once I get my aweful camera working again, I will post some photos. 

Websites are great resources for arts and crafts so use them and get creating with the family, not only is it cheaper, it will also be personalised and beautiful.

Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Winter wonderland

Yesterday we went to a local garden centre in Hordean and they had the most amazing Christmas displays. I loved it, the kids loved it.  We saw lovely decorations and some beautifully decorated Christmas trees, I could not resist I bought the kids a sparkly red decoration each. 

They had donkeys, goats and pigs, the goats were surprisingly soft and gentle. The donkeys were eating and the pigs had their heads stuck in their trough. It is great when companies make an effort with their displays. 

If you in the Hampshire area it is well worth a visit. 

Baking Christmas Truffles with kids

This is a great recipe for kids 3 years and up, I saw this in a Christmas book and had to give it a try and they look great. They taste just fine but do remember they are not real truffels!

250g Digestive biscuits
125g butter (go for unsalted, the biscuits have enough salt in them)
4 tablespoons of honey
4 tablespoons of cocoa
4 tablespoons of coconut (more for texture than flavour)

Melt the butter in a pan (do it slowly as not to burn it)
Get the kids to crush the digestive biscuits into crumbs and help them to count the amount of tablespoons for each ingredient and let then mix it up.
Once the butter has melted add it to the mixture (that is mums or dads job).

Place the lot of it to a flat pan and let it cool.

This is the fun bit, the kids love it too ;)
Cut a small square (adult job)  (but you may find it crumbles) and squish it into a ball, any size you like then roll it in a topping of your choice. We used chocolate sprinkles, cocoa (but get decent cocoa the cheaper stuff is not nice as I discovered), crushed hazelnuts and coconut.