Monday, 26 December 2011


Well in preparation for the big day I dragged out the domestic goddess in me.  This doesn't come very easily, but as A&D have now reached an age where they are thrilled by the prospect of Christmas I felt it only fair that I try to indulge them a little.  Neither of our baking attempts were a great success presentation-wise, but I was really pleased that the kids had a great time and also that I made such an effort, oh and taste-wise they really weren't too bad and went down well. Even my lovely husband enjoyed getting involved in making the gingerbread house.

So our first baking attempt was on the afternoon of 23rd when we made the gingerbread parts for our gingerbread house which was subsequently assembled by my other half on Christmas Eve and decorated by A&D on Christmas Day.  With the leftovers we slightly burned made gingerbread stars as a little Christmas gift for nannies and also as a nice snack ready for Santa's visit Christmas Eve.
Finished Gingerbread House

Stars for Santa
I am pleased to say that for once I wasn't bogged down on Christmas Eve by last minute wrapping, preparation or shopping so we had a lovely afternoon eating fish and chips whilst watching Christmas movies (The Polar Express being the favourite in this house which pleases me no end).

A&D then had an early bath and hopped into some new PJs which had been left on their beds with a letter by Santa's elf, Elsie as an early gift from Santa.  They were very impressed with these, although D has the teeniest waist in the world so despite being age 2-3 (and he is already 3) the bottoms kept falling down which means that I am going to have drag out a bit more of the domestic goddess in me, along with the sewing kit and put a stitch in the back of them.

Elsie's Letter
New PJs were quickly followed by spilling drinking home made hot chocolate with marshmallows and eating gingerbread stars whilst writing letters to Santa and leaving him and his reindeer their snacks.

Yummy Hot Chocolate
Goodies for Santa and Co
Finally the children finished off this lovely day by hanging out stockings in the bedroom and reading some festive stories from the Christmas book that Elsie brought for us a couple of weeks ago. 

Once A&D were in bed the second of my baking attempts began in the form of this chocolate yule log.  The plan was to make the sponge and the filling and then to assemble on Christmas Day.  I did doctor the recipe slightly by replacing the brandy in the filling with Baileys.  I did this for two reasons, the first being that I don't like brandy and the second being that we didn't have any, but we did have Baileys that needed using and obviously I would not be indulging in emptying the bottle given my pregnant state so Baileys it was.  This stage of the yule log went quite smoothly and without hiccups and I really enjoyed doing it.  The assembling on Christmas Day however, was not such a straight forward affair.  I got distracted by the dinner and so forgot to make the chocolate flakes to decorate it with and the rolling was disastrous to say the least so my final yule log actually looked like this and nothing like the picture on the recipe, but hey ho I tried and for me that is a big thing and to be fair it tasted yummy and nobody who tried it left a crumb so just need to work harder on the presentation next year.

Poorly presented, but still yummy yule log.
Domestic goddessness does not come easy to me, but I am hoping that A&D had as magical a day as I intended for them.

I love you and your daddy more than you will ever know.

Sunday, 25 December 2011


Am up to my eyes in wrapping paper and food, but just wanted to write a short post to say have a wonderful Christmas today.

Will update  properly later.

Lots of love


Sunday, 18 December 2011


I would like to be able to say that Teeny is always this glamorously adorned, however given that I have two three year olds I am sure none of you would ever believe me.  Work's Christmas party on Friday was just an ideal opportunity for a bump picture.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011


I was really inspired by this thread on the Verity forum about Santa's elves coming to stay, but knew that we probably wouldn't get an elf coming to stay with us this year as I am just nowhere near as organised as the lovely Bronwyn, Helen or the other supermoms on Verity.  However I was really hoping that Santa would choose to send us one of his trainee elves next year so I made sure that we got the Christmas CDs on and the Christmas tree up this weekend so that Santa could see that we are serious about Christmas and I am pleased to report that on Sunday morning we found under the Christmas tree the following letter from Elsie Elf along with a lovely book that Santa sent her to bring to us.


"My name is Elsie and I am one of Santa's trainee elves."

"Santa noticed that you have have been getting into the Christmas spirit by listening to Christmas music and taking part in your Christmas concert at pre-school.  A, Santa thought that you sang beautifully and D, he was really impressed that you shook your bells in time with the music.  So now that your mommy and daddy have put up the Christmas decorations, Santa has decided to send me to bring you a special book full of stories, songs and poems about Christmas that you can read with your mommy and daddy."

"You must take care of this book and get it out each year with the decorations so that you can enjoy the stories all over again and then, when you are grown up, you can read it to your own children at Christmas."

"Santa says that if I do this job well and manage to get the book to you safely then he will send me to stay with you for a few weeks before Christmas next year to carry on my elf training."

"Please take care of the book so that Santa lets me come to stay with you next year."

"Lots of love, Elsie x"

So needless to say we are thoroughly enjoying the book that Santa has sent to us and absolutely cannot wait for Elsie's visit next year.

Sunday, 11 December 2011


Well my poor, deprived kids have never had a proper birthday party, just a nice day out somewhere followed by lots of people who love them visiting them over a couple of days around their birthday bringing pressies, cards and most importantly lots of kisses and cuddles.

Well this year before the shock, but fabulous, pregnancy I had been planning a lovely big party in my head, but unfortunately I am far from the most organised person in the world and so when the exhaustion and nausea that are the first trimester of pregnancy took over I went to ground and forgot all about couldn't face arranging a birthday party until it was all too late. 

I was however determined that they would have some sort of party given their current obsession with party food and balloons so little old me decided that we would have a very small (due to our dolls house size house) indoor teddy pears picnic themed party.  There were no fancy invitations I am afraid just an email to a few people inviting them mainly because if they had had  to wait for invitations they would never have got them. 

I then sourced some gingham table covering in red and green from Dunelm; one to use as a cover for the dining table and one for the indoor picnic rug.  I really am not very creative, but I decided that it would be nice to use the offcuts from the table coverings along with some ribbon to make some bunting and a happy birthday banner, after all we were having a picnic even if it was inside in the middle of winter.  Other than some red, white and green balloons and some gingham ribbon I didn't need to buy much else in terms of decorations as we gave all of the teddy bears that we had in the house a red gingham bow and just used them to create little bear scenes in the living room and used the bears as weights for the balloons by tying the balloons to their arms or legs.  We had a big bear reading three little bears a story, some bears having a cup of tea, one on its mobile phone, a big one on the dining table guarding the food and a few others scattered around for good measure. 

Unfortunately the reason that I am having to describe all of this as opposed to putting lots of pictures up is because all of my hard work was destroyed enjoyed by the children before I got the chance to take many photographs and then even the few photos that I did manage to take of the whole day were rubbish (I am a natural light kind of a girl when it comes to photos and I am just not very good at flash photography, I have no ability to take a really good photo as opposed to just an ok one using a flash. Anyway I digress, sorry!)

Food was typically over catered party food (I have a distinct inability to correctly cater any event, I just can't stand the thought of there not being enough).  So there was sarnies (bear shaped ones for the children), crisps (none other than Pom Bear for the kids, obviously) pizza fingers (well pitta breads with tomato puree and cheese on), vegetable sticks (which you may be surprised to find out went down very well with the kids), failed bear shaped jellies, biscuits, raisins, fruit and a million other calorie and/or fat ridden foods which on the whole I normally avoid when it comes to my kids, but I know that they generally make sensible choices when it comes to food, ie fruit and a biscuit so at parties I just roll with it and make up for it over the few following days.   At this point I must say a special thank you to the Irwins lot as you are so affectionately labelled (you know who you are) for showing up post party and finishing off the food, I was genuinely so glad not to have to throw half of it away.  You rock!

The piece de rĂ©sistance of the food table (which I also have no decent photographs of despite how delicious it all looked) was this cake.  As I am not very skilled at baking cakes (although I did attempt it last year just so that I could say that I had baked A&D a birthday cake at some point in their lives, even if it was not a very good one) they normally get a good old Costco one as I would never normally go to this expense for a birthday cake, but given the theme of the party I just could not resist it and a friend of mine raves about M&S cakes so I felt the need to try and we really weren't disappointed.  It tasted lush and looked exactly as it does in the picture.

We had a few non attendees due to illness (we missed you all very much) so in the end we had five children and five adults.  I let the party run its own course really, the children were really happy just to ruin all of my decorations play when they got here so I left them to it for a little while, this was followed by our picnic then pass the parcel, the prize for which was a Winnie The Pooh book as obviously I wanted to stay in the bear theme and we just had time to blow out the candles on the birthday cake before it was time to go home.

Because the children were confined to my teeny house I had been worrying about needing to fill time so my lovely husband had made a pin the bow tie  on the bear a la pin the tail on the donkey, but I needn't have worried because we didn't even have time to play it so have stashed that away for use at a later date.  Its a good job we used the cardboard bear as a decoration and had stuck him in the window so at least he got some exposure. 

I wanted to continue with the bear theme for party bags, so I made them fairly simple and just got some teeny teddy bears from Asda and popped them into some lovely brown paper gift bags that I found in good old Wilkinsons (where the gingham ribbon came from too) along with a teeny bag of Haribo sweets.  I have since heard that the bargain bears went down very well.

As if the party with the children's friends wasn't enough; after a short interlude we were inundated with visits from nannies, aunties, cousins and a good deal of others.  This gave A&D the opportunity to sing happy birthday and  blow out the candles on their cake for a second time that day which they were absolutely thrilled about.

A&D seem to have become highly accomplished at ripping open wrapping paper since the last time they had presents and luckily for them none of their guests came empty handied so A&D were thoroughly spoiled and I spent the next few days telling them how extremely lucky they were to be loved by so many people and to get so many lovely things.

So finally just a huge thank you to everybody who remembered them on their birthday and who took the time to be here.  Love you xxx

Sunday, 4 December 2011


Well my babies are three today and I will update you on our shenanigans in aid of said birthday later on in the week.  Those shenanigans are the reason for my absence from this blog and why I have so many half written posts for this blog waiting to finished and published.  There are just not enough hours in the day!

Anyway as I was saying A&D are three today, seriously three, where on earth did that time go?  It seems to have flown by, but at the same time being pregnant with them and bringing then home from hospital seems like a lifetime ago   They have taught me more than I had learned in my whole life, they have challenged me more than I had ever been challenged in my whole life and there has been more love in my house since they were born than I have ever known possible.  Most of the time I don't feel worthy of them, but I was made their mommy for a reason and I try as hard as I can to be the best that I can be for them.  I am by no means perfect and we don't have the biggest and best of everything, but my children will always be loved.

So to A&D here's wishing you an amazing birthday; I hope that you had a wonderful time today.  Thank you for all you do for me everyday, you could never begin to imagine how special you are to me or how blessed I feel to be your mommy.  Love you more than words can say.

Mommy xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx