Give me a break at Xmas

Happy new Year!

So I’ve been on the missing list and taking a break from my blog, hope you all had as fab a xmas as I did. At the age of 5 and 2 Xmas is turning into a very exciting time in my house and for the forseeable I can only hope that will get even better.

One of the main reasons for me taking a break in December was the amount of pressure put on us parent/blog writers to do arts, crafts, magic elves, xmas eve boxes, santa visits etc etc and as much as admire you all for all your hard work I felt the need not to be judged over the holiday period with how much (or little!) I actually did.!

I’m not saying we didn’t do anything festive but as you may of read in my earlier post I just can’t abide the elf on the shelf. Now I get it if it’s fun etc but all these people picturing their elf drinking wine, making a mess etc well I won’t go on…

So whilst I put my grinch mask down…

We had an elf door for the first time this year. Z loved the fact that their letters to Santa were whizzed off with his ‘lease’ agreement.

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We went to our local Xmas lights turn on and supported the local scouts, schools etc with all their stalls.

We visited our schools xmas fair and meet Santa and went snow boarding. Luckily we saw the big man there as we got chicken pox on the day of our official visit 😦

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We were very proud of Zachary being the kind InnKeeper in his Xmas play.

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We enjoyed dressing up and being silly with lots of Xmassy props.

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We left our stockings and treats for Santa out.

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Mummy even had some fun at her Xmas party and with friends.

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Then Xmas day was the best!

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Lets see what 2016 can bring!

The countdown begins…

Well here it is. Christmas is coming! Now its nice and cold and I have my woolly scarf on I’m well and truly on the run down to Christmas 🙂

Certain traditions have to be followed in our house – some I like and others I don’t!
1) Christmas Presents. These have to be found!  Under the stairs, in the loft, back of wardrobes and even stashed at Grandmas and once again surprise yourself with the amount of stuff you’ve actually managed to squirrel away over the year and realise you have completely overdone it with tut!

2) Christmas cakes for everyone who asks! I have in total completed 3 and have the next lot of fruit steeping as we speak. This is my Christmas Cake Recipe for you.

3) Christmas Tree. We aren’t allowed (!!!) to put this up until 12 days before xmas, insisted by my other half, although I usually manage to wangle a bit longer due to how the weekends fall. I’m hoping for the 7th December this year but it may still be the 14th – boo 😦

4) Xmas PJ’s. Purchased to be worn on Xmas Eve. These are Flo’s and I have Z’s tucked away from last year.

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5) Santas Grotto. We have a lovely grotto near us at Ruxley Garden Centre where the kids get to walk through the elf village, make a card, make reindeer food then meet Santa. I’ve also booked ice skating for Zachy and Daddy after so should be a magical day.

6) Elf. We downloaded elf app last year of which the name escapes me and I can’t find so may have to come back to you but it was brilliant. The elf would pop out from behind any static object in your house that you pre film and position the siad Elf next to. It was magical.

7) Cookies for Santa. We bake cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve to leave out. Again another debate I’ve been having with myself is whether to get a personalised plate…

7) Christmas Parties. Not that I’m complaining about an opportunity out with my friends but usually this means by the time I’ve done the 2 or 3 sets of friends plus the work one I’m done with partying. The other downer is that it generally means that commencing next week I won’t see the other half till Xmas Day! (or that’s how it feels 🙂 )

New Traditions

I have Santa letters this year that I received from Lapland mailroom. You can read my post about it here. I’m really looking forward to Zachary getting his this year and seeing his face when we read it together.

I really want Zachy to write a letter to Santa this year so the above comes almost as a response.

I’ve been considering doing a Xmas box for Xmas Eve so I may make one this year. I’ll include the aforementioned pyjamas, a Christmas book, Christmas film and maybe one early present – perhaps you could let me know what you all put in yours if you do them?

Christmas Lights in London

I’m still delighted that I got featured picture on Point+Shoot a couple of weeks ago so for those of you that missed it go and visit now here.

I’m in the Christmassy spirit now so this weeks Point + Shoot with You Baby Me Mummy and Snowing Indoors is….

Yes – you’ve guessed it, a Christmas Pic at Harrods, London 🙂

Going up to London in the winter when its cold and all the Christmas lights are on really puts you in the mood. Take a walk apst Harrods windows, then pop up to Oxford Street and view the gorgeous lights there. Stroll down Regent Street and stop in at Hamleys and then why not get a bite to eat at the Rainforest Cafe. What a perfect kiddie day out 🙂

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You Baby Me Mummy

Christmas Cake Recipe

I’ve built a tradition in my house and amongst family and friends that I make Christmas cakes as part of their Christmas presents so I thought I’d share my recipe with you here:

400g raisins
400g sultanas
200g currants
100g glace cherries cut in half
150 ml of rum

Steep the above in the rum over night or a couple of days.

175g Stork Margarine
175g Dark Muscavado Sugar
4 Eggs
1 Orange
300g Plain Flour
1/4 tsp Salt
1 heaped tsp of Mixed Spice

Method:
Preheat the oven to 150 C/130 C fan/Gas Mark 2
Cream the sugar and margarine till fluffy (or as much as your arms can handle)
Beat in the eggs then add the zest and juice of the orange.
Sift the flour, mixed spice and salt and fold in with a metal spoon.
Mix in the fruit.
Grease and line a 20 cm/8 inch square tin. (sometimes I use a deeper round one but cook for longer)
Turn the cake in and level the surface.
Bake for approx 2 1/2 hours.
Use a skewer in the middle to see if cooked (if no cake comes out)

Tips:
Leave plenty of time for the cake to mature before xmas.
Make sure you don’t open the oven in the first 2 hours as it needs level amounts of heat.
‘Feed’ the cake with rum (2 TBS) every 2/3 weeks.

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El and Baby A

 
Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com

Xmas is here! Lapland Mailroom Review…

So this week I was asked to do a review of some gorgeous christmas letters from http://www.laplandmailroom.com. I must admit to being super excited as I’ve been considering something like this now that Z is of an age that he knows what’s going on.

Their website is super easy to use and you can choose from a letter or a letter with activity pack:



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Included in the letter price for a limited time only is the ‘Nice Child Certificate’ usually priced at £2.95. That’s got to be worth it’s weight in gold for 2015 hasn’t it?!

The letters are all personalised and the one I chose for Zachary was perfect, it included exactly how old he’ll be (4 1/4), what he wants for Xmas, where he lives and even mentions his best friends name. The extra part I love is the ps bit on the bottom where you can put anything extra that you want them to continue with (ours was keeping our trousers dry!)

The other letter I ordered was baby’s first christmas letter which I think is a lovely keepsake and could also be a lovely present you could order as godparent, grandparent, friend etc. It will definitely be something we hold on to.

Ran by a husband and wife team this is a really lovely family site and you can see Nicola has really thought about how to capture a child’s imagination talking about the reindeers, elves, santos coat etc. You can even include what the children left out for Santa last year 🙂

Priced at £6.95 or £7.95 with the activity pack I think this is a great buy.

Why not go and have a look for yourself? Www.laplandmailroom.com

Nb. I was sent these letters free of charge but all thoughts are my honest opinions.

Family Fever