I figured before I get into all the new fun for the year, I would share with you some of the fun from our holidays. I’m warning you now, there is going to be photo overload! Part one is our road trip from Wagga to Sydney. We left bright and early on a Friday morning and were there until early Monday morning. We stayed with my brother-in-law and his girlfriend, we shopped, ate, looked at all the Christmas decorations in the city. It was a fun and enjoyable start to our holidays. I heart roadtrips!
There were some seriously gorgeous decorations, and the Christmas windows at David Jones in the city was beautiful. I liked the return to the traditional windows. Gorgeous. And Santa’s Grotto was loads of fun, the kids were seriously amazed by it all.
We found the most amazing gingerbread house. It was incredible. And looked delicious. It was fantastic.
It was also lots of fun keeping an eye out for the fun Santa’s around Darling Harbour. The ones over the street lights were the best!
The start to a super fun family holiday. Perfect.
And my fave purchase while in Sydney? The funnest red skinny jeans. I love them. In fact I am wearing them right now. The best part I got them on sale. Love it!
As a family we headed to Sydney and then back to the Gold Coast for four weeks over the Christmas holiday period. I was planning on posting while we were away, but I will be honest the words just didn’t come. And I didn’t want to tear myself away from time with all the family we had missed so dearly to try and come up with ideas. I was loving and living every moment. So I took a blog break.
We headed back home mid- January with the plan that I would get back into the normal routine and then start blogging again. It didn’t happen. The words still didn’t come. My head and heart was still in holiday mode. And I wanted to make the most of the last weeks of having Mia home on school holidays. Every moment was precious. She headed back to school this week and this his been the first time I have even switched the computer on.
For a person who, before these holidays, had the computer on all day everyday, this is a huge change. And I have got to say, I don’t want to go back to being online as much as I was. I am enjoying this change. Come monday I will be setting up my new blog schedule and there will be some new content and fun things.
I am looking forward to 2012 and the possibilities, both in this blog and in my life.
I feel refreshed, renewed and as though I have re-evaluated what I really, truly want out of my life. And I am going for it.
I apologise for not keeping up to date on here and with what is going on in blog land. Now is the time to catch up! Since there is a huge overwhelming amount of blogs out there, you guys tell me. What are your must reads? Please share them here so I can take a look.
It has been so great this year, we have had lots of fun Christmas activities and parties to go to. One that the babies really enjoyed was put on by the local Bunnings hardware store. There was jumping castles, a fun activity centre, pony rides, facepainting, ornament decorating and fairy floss (cotton candy) all for free. A perfect way to spend an evening.
This was the sweetest little pony, it was half the size of the rest and his name was Strawberry. Adorable.
One of my favorite things to do with the babies at Christmas time is to bake. I just love it! Here is a popular recipe at our house. We make a few changes to the original recipe, including the addition of cocoa, but as we all know chocolate flavour makes everything better!
125g butter, at room temperature
100g (1/2 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
125ml (1/2 cup) golden syrup
1 egg yolk
375g (2 1/2 cups) plain flour
1 tbs ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbs cocoa powder
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, cinnamon, cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda.
Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until combined and dough is formed. Wrap in cling wrap and pop in the fridge for around half an hour.
Roll out the dough to about 4cm thick with a rolling pin. A few pats from little hands always makes it better.
Then use cookie cutters to your hearts content. Little ones just love this part. Re-knead all the excess and repeat the process until all the dough is used.
Bake in oven for 10 minutes or until brown. Remove from oven. Transfer to a rack to cool.
Once they are cooled let the children get decorating! This is my fave part. I just love seeing the colorful creations. You can make your own, but these sweet little tubes from the supermarket are perfect for little hands, and you can just pop the cap back on if you don’t use it all.
This is Todd’s handiwork. Too cute. The kids loved them!
Have fun baking, and trust me you will have fun eating them!
Welcome to day five of the Two Weeks of Handmade Christmas Ideas series. Want to catch up? For day one click here, for day two click here, for day three click here and for day four click here. Today we have the fantastic Kristine from J&Ms Eye Candy here today with a really great craft and a fantastic giveaway. Get your entries in you don’t want to miss out! Take it away Kristine! Hello And Nothing Else Matters lovelies!!!
K, aka Kristine, here from J&M’s Eye Candy Blog and Shoppe
I’m Momma to two M&M girls, aka Maggie and Mia, and wifey to “the Hubs,” aka Nate.
I am so thrilled to be guest posting h
ere today for Em, and so honored she asked us to join in on the fun!! She has such inspirational, relate-able posts and HElLo!? She’s crafty to boot!! Love Em and her cute blog, and so glad I can be a part of this event! My sister in law Britney and I started our blog in May of this year, as a place where we can collectively archive our projects and share it with others like you.
Since then Our blog has really evolved into so much more! We share just about everything on our blog; from recipes, mom tips, fashion, home decor, and crafty ideas + tutorials. Most importantly we like to keep it real. Read more about that here. We are two Stay at Home Momma’s.
Sister in Laws by chance, friends by choice.
Lovers of creating and enjoying life!
We opened up our Etsy shoppe soon after our blog, there you will find an eclectic mix of handmade sweetness for ladies and sprouts. We love making pretties for our girls, and love being able to create custom pretties for others like you. Below are some examples of some custom Eye Candy I’ve made:
“J&M” stands for Jayden and Maggie, our two little ladies. They both inspire us everyday.
Lately I’ve we’ve been busy! Aren’t we all!? Add in “the busiest time of year,” and this Momma is doing everything she can to just stop and enjoy the Christmas season.
With that said I made up the fun idea/project below:
Our “Happiness is… Giving” Advent Calendar of Sorts
There’s SO many fun things to do this time of year! I’ve done our Summer and Fall Bucket Lists projects before, but wanted something to hang in our home instead.
Not only does the list include our “Winter Bucket List,” but sprinkled in are Random Acts of Kindness to do this Season to really CELEBRATE the Season, and REMIND us of WHY we celebrate it.
Here’s some Random Acts of Kindness we will be doing.
Serve food at a local Foodbank
Pay for the meal of a person behind us in the Drive-thru
Bring Poinsettias to the hospital
Bring goodies to our local Police and Fire Depts
Make hair pretties for our local Women’s Shelter
Participate in the Angel Tree program
Send goodies to the Soldiers thru Operation Shoebox
Giving flowers to a mom at the grocery store
Compliments to everyone and anyone!!
I would love to hear what Random Acts of Kindness you have done and/or are doing so we can add more to our list!! PLEASE share them with us on our Facebook page! It enters you in for a chance to WIN a prize package worth $20 from our shoppe! Keep reading for more info and details for this GIVEAWAY!
EASY Steps on how to make your very own!
I used a coordinating line of papers and paper embellishments from Cosmo Cricket to decorate my frame base. Cut and trim your paper to fit the picture holes of your frame. I needed (4) 4×6 “pictures” Embellish papers as you wish. For my “title” I used a matching journal card with the perfect prompt! Under Happiness is… I put “giving” with stickers (sorry no picture with the word).
After placing your paper into the frame, adhere ribbon to the back of the frame. I did (3) strips to fit my clothespins, since there are more than 25. I just used good ole’ fashion tape (wink).
Close up of clothespins hanging – I have the activities on the two outter ribbon, and as we complete each one they get moved to the center ribbon.
Close up of hanging frame
And another of the finished product
I hope you not only make one for your own family, but are inspired to go out and DO this Christmas Season. If you make one, please comment with your link below! I would love to see it, and feature you! Let’s spread the Christmas spirit, love, and cheer! Hoping we do this all year long, not just this Season.
HUGE THANKS again to Em for having me on her awesome blog!! Much appreciated lovely 🙂
Stop on over at our neck of the woods sometime! Leave a comment, because we would love to follow you on your adventures!!!
Merry Christmas from our family to yours!!
Fall hike with our girls – November 2011
And because it’s the Season of Giving, I’m giving away
a fabulous mystery grab bag of pretties (worth $20),
from our shoppe to one lucky reader!!
To be eligible for this GIVEAWAY,
you MUST be a follower of Em’s blog (this blog), and our blog.
(we will validate all entries). GIVEAWAY ends one week from today!
To enter “like” our FaceBook page, and leave us a comment THERE, on what YOUR favorite Random Act of Kindness activity is. Can’t wait to hear your ideas!! XOXO Em again, how great is Kristine? Make sure you get your entries in and head on over and show both the fab J&Ms Eye Candy ladies some love. Come back Monday for another fun ornament idea from me
My awesome friends, Nicole at Miss Mommy and Katie at Punkin Heads and Dooda Loos, and I are hosting a once a month Blog Hop. We will do it on the first Thursday of every month.
This is for all of us to get to know each other better and gain more followers 🙂
The rules of the hop are:
MUST publicly follow each Host via GFC.
Each host will follow you back – so you’re sure to gain at least 3 new followers!
Please follow a few others in the hop and leave them a comment saying you came from the Tag-Along Thursday Blog Hop. Remember the more people you follow, the more who will follow back. It’s totally win-win!
I am totally loving yellow at the moment. Bringing sunshine into dreary days. I only have two outfits to share this week. Mostly rainy days meant jumpers jeans and slippers. Definitely not worth sharing with y’all!
Skinny Jeans – Target
Yellow Ruffled Cami Top – Valley Girl
Cardi – Valley Girl
Necklace – LMM
Notice how you can barely see my eyes? Well it was one of those super bright overcast days where you can’t look at the sky properly without sunglasses!
Three-quarter Tee – Big W
Skirt – made by me from this tutorial
Belt – Ralph Lauren
Headband – Simply Nothing Else
Long sleeved tee – Target
Skirt – again made by me adapting the same tutorial above. It’s awesome!