Sunday, December 30, 2012

New Years Eve & My New Years Resolutions (Realistic Version)

Well it's not quite yet New Years Eve, but it's fairly close.. Less than one hour till the last day of 2012. Wow, where has the year gone?? I can see what they mean now that time goes by so quickly when your older.. Because it just feels like yesterday that it was Easter (it also looks like it with hot cross buns & Easter chocolate in the shops ~ but let's leave that convo to another day!) so as I was saying, it just felt like Easter yesterday & now I'm packing up my Christmas tree & ornaments for another year.

2012 has been a good year, I'm sure there is room for improvement (take note 2013) but on the whole I really have little to complain about in comparison to the year others have had & I am thankful & grateful for what I do have in life.

So going forth into 2013 what are my New Years Resolutions.. Do I keep track of them? not all that often.. Do I stick to them? Rarely.. So why make them? Because it plants those ideas in my mind & I mightn't have much success but at least I tried :) that counts for something right?

Danielle's New Year Resolutions for 2013
1. Be happy & thankful for what I have in life.
2. Aim to be healthier through exercise & healthy eating choices.
3. Stop drinking Coke!!
4. Give-away any chocolate remaining from Christmas.
5. Budget better & tighten the reins on the finances..
6. In turn, pay off debts.
7. Go back to work 1 day per week
8. Help the boys get better sleep routines
9. Spend more time disconnected from social media & more time connected with family.
10. Watch a movie with my Husband once a week.

I think I have covered everyone & I'm fairly certain the goals I have set are achievable so it's really just about striving towards them at a steady, realistic pace (after Iv eaten all the Lindt balls because I really couldn't see myself willingly giving them away)

So tomorrow I will spend the day with those I love (eating Lindt balls) & generally bringing the new year in with the Christmas crackers I forgot to put out on Christmas Day! Maybe I should pencil in an 11. Improve my memory!

How are you spending New Years Eve? Enjoy xx

Saturday, December 29, 2012

What was under our tree this year?

Each year I swear buying Christmas presents is getting harder & harder.. So here's a little peek of some of what was under our tree this year!

Each of the 5 kids got approx $250 spent on them & I found online lay-by a god send this year & would thoroughly recommend it to anyone who isn't that great at remembering to pay off their lay-by's in store.

Can't wait to start my Christmas shopping for 2013!

Christmas Fun.. The December wrap up in our home!

I can't believe that Christmas has been & gone already! I have yet to take any of the decorations down (I just can't bring myself too) but its been a fantastic festive filled month & Iv enjoyed every second of it! I had every intention of writing more blog posts about the various things I'd been up to, but time just got away, so here is a little Christmas wrap up!

My Favourite Things Christmas 2012!!

1. Having a Christmas dinner set, it made every meal from Dec 1st so festive!
2. I loved wrapping up a Dec 1st present for the kids containing their Christmas shirt, advent calendar, Christmas book etc.. It was a great way to kick off the festive season.
3. Looking at lights! This is a favourite every year for me..
4. Shopping early! Loved the 'organised' feeling.. It's a first, but I'm going to continue getting organised during the toy sales & September/October every year..
5. Christmas cooking ~ loved making chocolate balls, white Christmas & chocolates with the kids.
6. Decorating! I don't think I can bring myself to take it down!
7. Family! Time spent with family is the best & I was fortunate to catch up with the majority of mine over Christmas.
8. Santa photos ~ even if the 16 month old didn't like him all that much lol.
9. Egg nog & other Christmas food greats :) YUM
10. Togetherness.. Reading, crafting, playing, drawing, colouring in, spending family time, brotherly love & giving... That to me is what Christmas 2012 was all about..

Merry Christmas & here's hoping your family also had a magical one xx

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Reindeer Food with Reindeer Topper Printable.

Aside from the usual making of the Christmas cards, we kicked off our Christmas creativity this year by making some Reindeer Food.  I first stumbled across the idea of Reindeer food about 3 years ago when a friend of mine made some for the kids to sprinkle on the lawn.. Last year I bought some from a shop, but this year I decided to give it a go and make some myself..

I still had the poem tucked away in the draw so I simply created my own bag topper to go with it. 
Download your copy of Reindeer Food Topper for free:

What you will need;
* Bag of rolled oats.
* 2 ramekins or small bowls 1/2 filled with raw sugar
* Food colouring of your choice (we used red and green)
* Glitter in assorted colours of choice
* Some festive sequins (optional)
How to make:
Start by placing your rolled oats into a mixing bowl.  You can add as many as you like, depending upon how many packets/jars you plan on making of the Reindeer food.
Next add a few drops of the food colouring to the ramekins of raw sugar, mix it in until the sugar turns the desired colour.  Set them aside to dry.  (Instead of this you could also use jelly crystals also)

Once the sugar is dried out, add the sugar, glitter and festive sequins to the mixing bowl and give them a good mix through.
Once all mixed and your happy with the amount of goodies you have through your rolled oats, you can start placing it into your ziplock bags...
Once you have closed them all, print out the provided topper and staple it over the top :)
On Christmas Eve, take the kids outside and sprinkle it all over the lawn, leaving a beautiful sparkly trail for the reindeers to find your home :)  We even recite the poem while we are doing so..
Because it makes quite a lot of mixture, why not give some to friends, family or neighbours to spread the magic around.
Enjoy & Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Christmas Comes but Once a Year..

December 13th! Already?! Where does the time go?  We are well & truly into the swing of Christmas around here (I think I have been since late but now with the tree/s up, lights on & house decorated there is something magical about this time of the year that I just adore!

I am a bit of a stickler to traditions and it's our family tradition that we put up the Christmas tree on December 1st, unfortunately this year I had to bend my tradition ever so slightly and put the tree up on the 2nd as we were at the in-laws celebrating a rather early Christmas on the 1st.  It was still our intention to put up the tree that night but after a big lunch & rather exhausting day we ended up heading out to look at Christmas lights instead. Although all of the kids were asleep in the car very very quickly! 
So our tree went up December 2nd and we had a big roast dinner to mark the occasion like we do every year, roast pork with all the trimmings.. The kids got a kick out of the Christmas dinner set this year and loved getting out their Christmas cups/mugs and placemats.. After dinner we popped on a Christmas movie 'Beethoven's Christmas' and started to decorate the tree...
I love our tree, I bought it at a Target Christmas sale on Nov 30, 2010 ~ just in time to put it up the next day.. The only down side of my beautiful tree, it is impossible to decorate! I really think they should have put a disclaimer on the box saying so, its branches are so thick it makes hanging ornaments impossible unless you have metal hooks and even then you have to bend them out of shape and clamp them back down over the branch to secure them!
Nevertheless I love my tree and it really is a representation of our family.. we each have personalised baubles and baubles that mean something to us on it and I love how it 'grows' each year and accumulates more and more character! 
So after about 4 hours the tree was up and decorated.. It is only decorated from part way up this year so little hands can't get to it and we also have a baby play pen surrounding it.
Despite all of this baby proofing im still really happy with the way it has turned out and could stare at it endlessly.
So aside from the house decorating we have been driving around looking at others Christmas lights, this has been quite a regular event as our youngest has taken to ONLY falling asleep in the car at nights.. which will be rather boring after everyones lights have come down.. at least we have something to look at, at the moment on our nightly trips.
With just a little under 2 weeks left til Christmas this next week is going to be jam packed with lots of Christmas activities to really make the most of this season.. after all Christmas comes but once a year!  Enjoy xx

Thursday, November 29, 2012

End of School Year Excitement!

Well we're counting down to the end of the school year in our home, only 1 more week to go with the kids finishing up next Thursday. It's always a mixed emotion time of year, the kids are tired & exhausted, there are always so many events/ceremonies to attend & I guess I start to panic & feel anxious about who they might end up with as a Teacher the following year.. So when the holidays do actually arrive, it's such a sigh of relief!

Some of the things we have been doing to be prepared for the end of the school year are;
1. The kids wrote out their Christmas cards last week ( I picked up a packet of 25 beautiful cards for just 99c from Aldi!) teamed with the Aldi Candy Canes & some stickers (1000 Christmas stickers from Big W for $1!) they were all set! I ask my kids teachers for a class roll list so they don't forget anyone :)
2. Teachers Gifts, this year I had 3 Teachers to buy end of year gifts for and I have kept my eyes peeled for quite some time & the other day I stumbled upon these 2 pretty reindeer mugs for just $2.19 the pair! I was also lucky enough to score a 12 pack of Ferero Rocher Chocolates for $5 from Woolworths & divided 6 each into the mugs (I didn't even eat any!!! ~ mega willpower on my part!) & then popped in a cute $2 ornament from Target. To finish just simply wrap in cellophane & pop a card from your child attached to it.
3. End of year class parties; this year we will be tackling 3 'bring a plates' so watch this space in the upcoming days for how I dealt with that. I'm thinking 2 lots of Christmas cupcakes & mini hotdogs, but I'll keep contemplating a little longer.
4. This year with my eldest Stepson graduating year 7, I have found there are a lot of end of year events such as liturgies, walk out ceremonies, graduations, BBQ's etc, so in order to keep on top of all the dates/times it is essential you note them down in a calendar style format or enter them into your phone with set reminders etc.
5.Another thing we have been doing which isn't nearly as exciting is ordering next years school books & uniforms. Always good to get in early and as far as the books go, most places let you lay-by them which is useful for 4 lots! :)

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

A Few Things to Keep Me Busy and On Track for an Organised Christmas (as if I wasn't busy enough already.. lol)

Over the past couple of days I have stumbled across a few great initiatives/challenges (I think they are challenging.. LOL) keeping people on track and organised for a hassle free Christmas.. Here are a few I will be trying to keep up with

The Organised Housewife's 'Organise Yourself a Merry Little Christmas'
Day 1 of the challenge started today and involved organising all of your parties/appointments into a Calendar/Diary (some great free printable calendar's on the blog..) Organise Babysitters (Unfortunately we don't need one as we don't have a terribly exciting social life here) and last but not least organise yourself a Christmas station which I am proud to say I did :)
And this one that I stumbled across about 10 minutes ago on The Mommyhood Memo's which involves decluttering your entire house by Christmas in 50 steps (how many sleeps there are til Christmas!)
And I also love the ideas that Bianca over at A Little Delightful has over at her blog for gift giving ideas! :) Although Im never that great at sticking to those limits.. but ill try a little harder this year..
And Jen over at Lovely Living Love the Life Your Living, has the most darling Christmas Planner Printable which is FREE! Along with other printables in the pipeline that are sure to be just as darling..
Jump on board and get your house into a decluttered, festive, organised state before the jolly fat man comes this year :)

Monday, November 05, 2012

Photo A Day - October (#fmsphotoaday)

The past month I have been participating in the 'Photo a Day' challenge outlined on the blog of 'Fat Mum Slim' Its been a lot of fun and whilst some days my posts are far from creative and I miss a day or two here (better than September where I managed to take 2!)it's been something fun to participate in and I plan on joining in again this month too..

Here was the list from October..

Day 1: Where You Stood.

Day 2 Lunchtime
Day 3: This Happened Today  
Day 4: What You Read  

Day 5: Shadow
Day 6: Im Thankful for..
 Day 7: Light
 Day 8: Angle
Day 9: Red
Day 10: Emotion
Day 11. Something Close Up
Day 12: On the Table
Day 13: Landscape
Day 14: Makes You Laugh
Day 15: Dinner
 Day 17: Fruit
Day 23: The View from Here

Day 24: Weather 

Day 26: Listening To 
Day 27: Morning
 Day 29: Moon
Day 31: Whatever You Please..

Here is this months list; You should check it out if you dont already play along. It is good fun and it's just another way to notice how fast the days are zooming by, it will be Christmas before we know it!