The 3 ingredient biscuit for entertaining small people.

a baked biscuit

I have moved this over to my recipe/parenting blog. The 3 ingredient biscuit

True Stories: a journalling class

A few weeks back I sent Shimelle an email that kind of went along the lines of “Hey, so you know your classes are really cool. I wonder if some of my writing methods might help out some of your scrapbookers and bloggers?” She very graciously said that yes, maybe they might just and would I like to be the guest expert writer for her new journalling class? Some email went back and forth, we called each other panda a lot and the class came to be. In fact, it is in a state of being right now and you can sign up through Shimelle’s site to get daily prompts to help you tell your personal stories, for the new three weeks.

If you want to know a little bit more about it, watch this fabulous video by the gorgeous Shimelle herself:

Done and done.

Goodbye for now

Goodbye for now

Every year I knew Christmas was over on the 5th January. I know 12th night is the 6th – a big thing in France I think – but you see, we would almost always be back at school by now (as the kids are this year, snow aside) but also the 5th is my mum’s birthday. She would always have the decorations down to make space for her cards on the mantelpiece and, even now, to me the 5th is Christmas done and dusted and time to return to ‘normal’ life. I like that Christmas overlaps the old year and the new but now is time to sort the recycling for collection, put the wrapping paper away for another year, and pack away the decorations.

I took all the shinies down over the last couple of days and dragged our tree (still looking pretty good!) to its frozen end outside the house ready to be chopped up and used by the city parks. Our cleaner very obliging vacuumed up the trail of pine needles it left in its wake. I spent yesterday sorting laundry and today I’m back on client work.

Yep, Christmas is over and 2010 is here. I’m excited. Bring it on.

The Best Bit

omnomnom, originally uploaded by RellyAB.

“Toby, what was your favourite bit of Christmas?”

“When Santa and Rudolph ate their snack!”

Make and Do

Make: 2010

Make: 2010

My one little word for this year is Make. I will go into details in another post but I hope to embrace the phrase ‘Get excited and make things!’ this coming year, including writing things (for work and pleasure).

I was also pointed by Ali to 6changes, a simple concept for introducing new habits in baby steps. I haven’t picked all of mine yet but my first couple are going to have to overlap due to deadlines:

Learn 2000+ kanji – starting Jan 1st
Write a book on microcopy and self-publish – starting February
Eat healthily – starting pretty much straight away with drinking more water, but properly kicking in, in March.

In terms of fun projects for 2010:
scrapbook more
learn to crochet properly
take a lofi (iphone or holga) pic everyday
plan a kickass 30th birthday
save for my trip to Japan
learn to drive
spend as much time as possible immersed in Japanese language studies
cross stitch, especially for Christmas next year
learn to use my new mixer
play with my camera and learn some new tricks – maybe do a course
sew some more with my machine
learn to play the piano
bake more fun things

Obviously there will be stuff that gets in the way or changes up but I think most of these are in the spirit of ‘making’.

December indulgences

Gingerbread lattes
Nativity plays (seeing Toby’s first one this year was just brilliant)
Buying gifts
Rolls of beautiful wrapping paper
Sparkly things everywhere
New Christmassy scented candles
Bundles of cinnamon
Gingerbread men
Finding new decorations
Mulled wine and mulled cider (just had to stop this list to make some :D)
Christmas scrapbook supplies and card designs
Advent calendars
Cream on top of everything
Chocolate coins
Playing games

Pyjama party

One tradition that I have picked up that wasn’t one of my family’s is that of Christmas pyjamas. You have a bath on Christmas eve and get all dry and find that someone has left you some brand new supercool pj’s and a new storybook for bedtime.
I’ve done it every year since Toby was 18 months old and even Casper got in on the new PJ act this year with some nifty footsie numbers. Toby got his pyjamas ‘from’ Casper this year (he came down from his bath to find Casper with the bag holding the pj’s and book) and was very excited. This year’s model was a Woody costume (from Toy Story) bought at the Disney Store and rather obscenely expensive for sleepwear but, hey, if you can’t splash out on your Christmas pj’s, when can you?

Cue Pear Tree!

Boxing day – traditionally one of extra little presents, cold meats, salad and a metric butt ton of mashed potato. This year we had the presents at the end of Christmas day but everything else remained intact. Which is more than can be said for my health as I spent a lot of the day snoozing to fight off the perpetual throat infection I’ve had for weeks. This meant some repeat viewings of the cbeebies panto and the Gruffalo. We did attempt Star Wars but Toby would only tolerate 15 minutes of it (basically until R2D2 disappeared for a chunk) and that was with a midway break for chocolate pudding. On the plus side, we did have giant yummy raspberry panna cotta and an episode of QI after the kids went to bed.

Also, my true love forgot the partridge in a pear tree. Maybe tomorrow I’ll get two calling birds.

Silent night?

Dean Martin is crooning, the washing machine is on its last cycle, the cats are snoozing (one even in the new catbed!). Daddy is going to pick up our own little angels and so the last preparation begins.

Actually, I’m really feeling the anticipation this year. Toby is excited, we’re excited he is excited, and I’m looking forward to him donning his Christmas pyjamas (Casper has some too), reading some new stories and (oh, please!) sleeping until the morning.

But before that, we have Christmas kids’ specials, garlic dough balls, lamb shanks and some hurried tidying to attend to. Going to go and lay the table ready for tomorrow and drink my last quiet cup of tea for a week!

Oh, the weather outside is frightful …

by nellyagain

by nellyagain

Two days into December and nothing but rain today. November was sodden and there seems to be no let up so far. I remember December as being deep and crisp and even, in frost if not actual snow, and I can remember walking home from Midnight Mass and snowflakes flurring around gently, melting underfoot.

I’m mildly concerned Toby and Casper will come to remember Christmas as the time of year Mummy threatened them with oilskins from Santa and we had to use the tree as a makeshift escape raft.