Thursday, December 31, 2009

Crazy holiday season!

I have been very remiss in updating my blog. I have thought about it often but everything just seemed so crazy! The last few weeks at school were nuts, with SRC elections, formals, graduation assemblies and end of year festivities. THEN the Christmas craziness started!

Shopping, baking, more shopping & more baking. SIGH. All this made for a much neglected blog. However on the bright side it did make for a lot of great recipes... although I did tend to forget to photograph most of it. DOH!

Some of the yummy Christmas goodies I made were

- Cherry ripe & Bounty balls

- Sugar cookies- Christmas trees, snowmen, stars and baubles. (My photos of these turned out blurry. They didn't look blurry on my camera but when I loaded them they are. I will see if I can fix them before posting!).

- Mini Gingerbread house (I also made a large one, but that was a major FAIL)

I had a wonderful Christmas. I was spoilt by my husband and family, and received EVERYTHING that was on my wish list. I was VERY excited to receive a wheelbarrow and a compost bin too, as I becoming quite a keen gardener!

We had an absolute feast both days (I see Christmas as a two day event, with separate family get -togethers!). Christmas day was a slightly overcast but mildly warm day, perfect for the cold buffet spread that Mike's family had put together. We had Turkey, Ham & Pork, then a multitude of salads such as Caesar, mango and avocado (my contribution)a DIY garden salad (A plater with all the bits and pieces so people could put in what they like!) a yummy potato salad, pasta salad & quiche. PHEW!

This was followed be the much anticipated dessert, a heavily laden table filled with goodies. I confess that I always eat very light for my lunch because I would rather leave room for the main event DESSERT!

We had outdone ourselves this year with a decadent trifle, cannoli, Ice cream cake (Cherry ripe flavour- made by moi), A rummy Christmas pudding (Made by my Mum as a gift to Mikes family), then cherry ripe balls and iced cookies for coffee.

GROAN.... it was really wonderful, with the only thing better than the food was the company!!

The next day we hosted my family for our Chrissie get together! I tried not to let everyone go overboard with bringing food as there was a smaller gathering of only 11 adults and 4 kids. Unfortunately the weather was decidedly damp. I really wanted to have the celebration on our outdoor deck, so we put up some large silver tarps to enclose the area, and then put on our outdoor heater. It made the area really really cosy, although maybe not as pretty as I had hoped. I also hung 12 white paper lanterns from the roof.

Lunch was one huge ham glazed with cranberry and balsamic vinegar (Mum), 3 roasted chickens stuffed with cranberry, almond and pistachio (Me), Seafood salad and prawns (My sister)and more salads such mango and avocado salad (when your onto a winner stick to it I say...) Sweet potato and beetroot salad (Mum)& Italian Salad (Aunty). It was all very tasty!

Again, the dessert was the main event, with trifle (My Nanna's), Pudding (Mum again), DIY Ice Cream sundaes, Ice Cream cake & Fruit platter. MMMMMMmmmmmmm

Again it was another day filled with laughter, talking and love. At the end of the day, that's what Christmas is about isn't it? Love, sharing, and celebration!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Easy paper baubles

The other day i left my battery charger for my laptop at school. This was particuarly bad as it charges both our laptops, and the battery was low for both. However this predicament did have a very positive outcome, as i had to find a different way to amuse myself.

I must say that if i was a student in my own classroom I would be particuarly frustrating because have quite a short attention span. I loathe having NOTHING to do! My husband and I are often pleased when we havce a spare weekend with no plans, because we can then 'do nothing'. Except his do nothing is really, do nothing. Watch a movie or read a book and not move. My do nothing just means not leaving the house, but i must still find a way to occupy myself.

Faced with a do nothing weekend with no laptop I was in a predicament. What was i going to DO? Add to this the fact that i have no car at the moment (a minor prang!) I needed to find my amusement out of whatever i had at home. Luckily i had a plan.

The recent Better homes and Gardens magazine featured a variety of christmas decorations you could make out of scrapbooking paper. I just so happened to have a book full of beautiful paper that i have barely used, so i set to work.

Easy christmas baubles

Scrapbook paper (I used about 4 pieces and made loads of baubles)
Hole punch
Ribbon or wire (BHG used wire, i didn't have any but found ribbon did a great job!).

Cut strips of cardboard approx 1 cm in width. You can vary the length, so long as you have 8-10 pices the same length.

Hole punch the top and bottom of each strip. Cut a length of ribbon as long as the strips then a bit more for a loop. Tie a knot on the bottom (needs to be bigger than the hole punch hole).

Gather 8- 10 strips and slide them down the ribbon, printed side down. Loop the end of the ribbon through the other end.

Push the strips down until they bend over. Tie a knot with a loop on the end.

Fan the strips out to make a circular shape


I then gathered some vines that i had taken from my sisters place. Their new home had a beautiful wisteria tree, which we are all allergic to. So sadly down it came, however it has meant loads of beautiful bendy vines for me to play with. I bundled the vines together, took some florist tape and wrapped them together. Popped it in a vase with some stones and paper and added my baubles.

I am really quite pleased as this is one of my first crafting attempts. What do you think?

Give it a go yourself!