Total Pageviews

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Santa has been

We have had a wonderful Christmas! We've been really busy since schools broke up for the holidays and fitted lots of fun things into each day.

We've been ~ baking lots, crafting,  having fun at soft-play, swimming, to the theatre, on a polar express, at a birthday party, at a bad Christmas jumper party and of course we've had a very busy Christmas Day too. The kids have been exhausted and so have we!

Polar Bears Go Wild



On Sunday 23rd we went to MacRobert Arts Centre to see 'Polar Bears Go Wild' - it was brilliant! Last year we saw the first Polar Bear show and it was amazing. It is a fantastic little show for the under 5's where 2 actresses, dressed as polar bears, go off on an adventure together to different places. There is clever, yet basic, set and no dialogue ~ there is however, lots of comedy, some crowd participation, music and loads of laughter. I would go back in a flash as both kids loved it and were engrossed throughout.



We made little Santa hats from triangles of red card and 2 cotton pads (split in half) and a huge amount of glitter!!!



Heather and I made shortbread cookies for Santa  - Daddy kept stealing the dough and eating it though! Evan has been devouring the cookies (and everything else in sight recently), I think it'safe to say he has a sweet tooth like his Mummy.

My first loaf of bread - I can't believe I've never made one before. It was really easy, I just used my trusty friend (the Kitchen Aid mixer) with the dough hook and let it work it's magic. The only difficult thing was leaving it to prove for 2 hours - I am far too impatient! Anyway, it worked out well so I think I'll be making more.

Wowee, it worked! I hope it tastes as yummy as it looks!

Polar Express

I came across a fantastic post on www.confessionsofahomeschooler where the parents surprise their children by taking them out on a trip to see the Christmas lights instead of goingto bed. I loved this idea so we copied it. We made up little golden tickets and hid them amongst the kid's pyjamas. It took Heather a little while to understand what we were about to do but by the time we were in the car she kind of understood the idea. She was soon shouting out each time she saw the brightly lit houses. Even little Evan started to understand - he began pointing at the houses and shouting too. Bless.


Thursday, 27 December 2012

Christmas Crafting

Gluing, sticking, cutting, colouring, painting...

Ever since Heather was little we have always done lots of crafting things. She loves all kinds of crafty things so I love finding new things for us to try together. Discovering Pinterest has been wonderful, it has been the source for many of our activities.
Heather's new passion for 'crafting' is face paint!!! At least once a week she says "I've got a good idea, how about we do face painting? We haven't done that for ages!" The thing is, it's not her own face she wants's Daddy and Mummy's faces she wants to decorate.

We have quickly identified her unique signature style...she always does a black nose - see below!
Most of our crafting takes place when Evan is asleep. I can't wait until he is bigger so that he can join in the fun too. At the moment, he just wants to rip everything or put it in his mouth!

In the last few weeks we have created a variety of things including a Christmas tree, cookies, snowflakes and Santa hats. The crafting bug must be catching - Daddy had loads of fun making snowflakes.
Ian found his inner kid and had lots of fun cutting out snow flakes.

Heather had fun for about an hour creating her own Christmas tree for the playroom. I cut out a big tree shape from green paper and then cut out little shapes for her to stick on it.

Evan was asleep!

Our lovely friends came over for lunch and we made some Christmas tree decorations out of bicarbonate of soda,  corn flour and water. They look really good, they turn out very white and have a little bit of asparkle too. 

  What a cheeky face~full of fun!

Another year older


My Birthday Party

For my birthday this year I decided to have a Christmas themed party (it is only a week before Christmas so I can get away with it). We invited our fabby best-friends over (tall uncle Paul was poorly so sadly didn't make it) and we had a fun party with the wee ones. We had lots of decorations up, had some cake and nibbles and played party games. We had also created a Santa Video message for Heather and showed it to her that evening. She was absolutely blown away by it - I wish we had filmed her watching it as her reaction was incredible! My friends were blown away too - they all had tears in their eyes watching her reaction.
We played musical chairs, the corners game, a cracker treasure hunt, pin the nose on rudolf and pass the parcel. Auntie Leanne, Auntie Tracy and I did the Birdie Dance (with no alcohol - I might add!) too! Oh, yeh, we all wore Christmas themed things - my wee family wore bad Christmas jumpers (getting our monies worth out of it - we are having a "Bad Christmas Jumper Buffet Party" at my Mum's this Boxing Day).

 Heather and Daddy decorated my cake for me - they just put on all the things they found in the baking cupboards...including glitter, snowflakes and a teddy with a blanket!


Getting a little help from Heather


Heather won a slinky at 'pass the parcel' and had loads of fun playing with it with Uncle Paul

Daddy is very proud of his bad Christmas Jumper

Auntie Leanne wore all the festive headwear she could find, oh, and a party hat too!

Thanks to everyone for making my Birthday so special. x

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Santa Letters

Last year I took a picture of Heather and Evan with their letters to Santa and thought it would be good to capture the same photo with the kids each year.

I have been asking Heather what she wants from Santa since the startof December. To begin with, she said she didn't know what she wanted. I had already thought she might like a bed for her dolls so I suggested that  - she instantly thought that was a good idea. (Phew!) I quizzed her about what else she might like Santa to bring, she thought for a while and then said she would like some new pyjamas and some pink slippers with sparkles on them. I asked if she wanted him to bring anything else but she said no. I was just about crying, it was so cute. Since then, we have carefully recited this list so that she remembers what she has asked for.

I then had to enlist Heather's help to see what she thought Evan might want from Santa. Again she struggled for ideas. She finally said that Evan should get a new shirt and also a new pair of pyjamas and slippers too. I suggested that Evan might like a toy, so we decided that a Dinosaur would be a good idea (phew!)

Here are the pics from 2012


Here are the pics from 2011 

H was 2 and E was only a few months old. I cannot stop myself chuckling when I see Heather'swee innocent face...

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Christmas is Coming!


My wee Christmas Crackers!

We are CHRISTMAS people...well, to be more accurate, I am a CHRISTMAS person and the rest of my wee family have no choice but to join me in the festive fun that envelopes our daily life at this time of year. I just love getting the Christmas decorations up, having festive tunes playing in the house, putting Christmas movies on, doing Christmas crafts with the kids and having a bit of festive baking 'therapy' in the kitchen.

I am very lucky that my family are quite obliging and happy to join me in the fun although, Ian put a ban on Christmas movies until 1st November...harsh! So in protest, Heather, Evan and I started listening to Santa Songs (as H calls them) in the car since mid October!!

I've been totally addicted to Pinterest for weeks now (I prefer to call it "research") in my quest to find Christmas family fun things to do with the wee ones. Now that Heather is 3 and a 1/2 I thought she would be quite excited by all the things I've found. Evan is only 15 months but I'm sure he'll enjoy it all too.

I've found some really lovely things to do this festive season - some people are so creative!
The cool things/ websites I have found to date include:

I'm sure there are loads more but I can't remember them right now.
We came up with a few bits and bobs on our own too.

We have also been to/ done a bunch of other Christmas/ Festive things in the last few weeks so here is a little bit about each.

Stenhousemuir Christmas lights switch on

At the start of December our little town/ village had its annual Christmas tree lights switch on. So we wrapped up warm (it was freeeeeezing) and headed out. The organisers had put on some entertainment and there was some light up toys etc for sale for the kids. The local church had a living Nativity too.
We were a little late getting to the town centre as Heather and Evan had both been sound asleep all afternoon (it had been a very busy morning as Heather had been at dancing class and then we had all been at my school for the annual Winter Fayre). The nativity was closed when we got there - apparently it had stayed open for an extra 2 hours - but we were lucky enough to say goodbye to the the donkeys, goats and sheep as they were packing up. 


 Wee Evan is just a set of eyes - he was wrapped up so cosy!

Me and my girl - she had her face painted at my School Winter Fayre
~ she is a pink pussy cat with a Rudolf nose.


Golf Club Christmas Party

For the last 3 years my Brother-in-law and I have been asked to run the Children's Christmas Party at the local Golf Club. I just LOVE doing it!!! Fun, singing, Christmas games and 34 happy wee faces - what's not to love? The children are aged between 4 and 7 but we managed to sneak Heather in this year. She didn't join in a lot of it but she said she had fun. Each year we have a candy cane hunt, play lots of of fun games and sing Christmas songs but this year we also had a Reindeer Food Bar where the kids had the chance to make their own reindeer dust. I got the idea from a website called
We also had a special visit from a certain Mr Claus! Gordon and I have the kids singing Christmas songs as Santa makes his anticipated arrival. He arrives on a 2 person quad bike and travels up the fairway towards the clubhouse. Once one of the parents spots him coming the kids all jump up, run to the windows and go wild! I remember one year when I was little (I used to go to these parties too) Santa arrived on a big tractor and it was was so magical! Heather wasn't very keen on Santa (ok, she was really scared) but eventually she calmed down enough to collect her parcel with Daddy. Just before Santa left, she went up and gave him the little bag of reindeer dust she had made - I could have cried, it was so beautiful.

Cardboard Christmas Tree

Ian came home a few weeks ago and said, "I bought some new glasses and a few Christmas decorations from Ikea at lunchtime". After parading back and forth with his purchases for around 40 minutes, it turns out that was the biggest understatement of the year!! It appeared he bought nearly all of Ikea's decorations!!!!!
One of his purchases, however, was a stroke of genius, it was a large 3D cardboard Christmas Tree for the kid's playroom! Their wee faces lit up when it appeared in the hall one evening. He had also bought some baubles, beads and candy canes to decorate it with. They LOVED it!!!
The cool thing is they can redecorate it as many times as they fancy. Hopefully it will last the holidays (it has been knocked over many, many times) and we can use it again next year.

Evan had fun playing with the baubles and chasing them around the hall


Heather had fun putting candy canes on the tree and swinging the beads around






Gifts for the neighbours

Since moving to our house a few years ago, we have given some home baked treats to our wonderful neighbours for Christmas. We've always tried to come up with something different each year.
I saw a picture a few weeks ago of a stack of cookies that looked like buttons threaded in a ribbon~ it was really pretty. So, this was our gift for this year. Ian and I made a huge batch of shortbread (we even got the Steel family recipe) and made them into buttons using a straw and 2 circle cutters. Once they were cooled I threaded them onto a ribbon and then put them into little bags.



 Apparently, they went down well. We certainly demolished all the rejects...!









Thursday, 13 December 2012

Mad Hatter's Tea Party

For Heather's 1st Birthday (3 years ago now) we had a Mat Hatter's Tea Party in the garden. We spent many months thinking up ideas for the party and many more months making and buying all the bits and bobs.

We were very excited about the party and, having invited lots of people, just prayed that it would be dry...we didn't have enough space in the house for the 60+ people that were coming. Our back up plan was to phone people in the morning and have 2 staggered parties so that we could all fit in the house.

Fortunately, someone was watching over us, the weather was glorious!!! We have not had a day like it since. The sky was bright blue, not a cloud in sight and the sun was splitting the sky. It was suncream all round. Who would have thought?

The invitations were based on an image we found online. Ian, the genius that he is, created the most amazing invitations to look like playing cards. I can't find a photo of it but I know we have a picture somewhere.

We set up a lot of decorations in the back garden and a few bits and bobs at the front of the house. Ian and I were busy for many weeks getting everything ready for our little girl's party.

All guests were asked to wear a 'mad hat' to the party. Our friends and family did not disappoint. There was a really good collection of crazy hats including hats covered in sweets, a fireman's helmet, floral displays and even a stack of cards on a hairband.

The props and decorations


Painting the roses red!

The garden was decorated with lots and lots of brightly coloured lanterns as well as giant playing card garlands, tea pots and big 'H' banners. 


Giant playing card garland ~ strung between the house and the garage.


There was a little croquet game on the grass for the wee ones to play with. Ian made it out of giant playing cards and bent them on little wires.


Setting up the garden



On the back fence there is a giant cheshire cat. This was used to play 'Pin the Grin' ~ our take on pin the tail on the donkey. I made bug smiles out of different coloured pieces of card. My fabby big sis ran this game with all the wee ones, it was lots of fun.



It's not that clear from this picture, but we made 3 or 4 cake stands out of an old tea set. We glued cups, plates and saucers together - it looked really cool.

I made had a ladybird hat but Heather kept pulling my antena offand eating them. Ian's Cat in the Hat hat was a kids one and it was wedged on his head.

Just one of the pass the parcel groups ~ there was another one happening round the corner for the babies too.




 Carole, John and Rowan


 Lissa and Archie


Auntie Leanne & Uncle Paul



 H and I did have hats but she kept pulling them off.


 It was so hot all the sandwiches started to toast in the sun!




The cake...our first attempt at a topsy-turvey cake. My Mum and best friend Tracy and I created a 3 tier cake for Heather. We had never made anything like this so we were very proud of what we made. In addition to this cake, we made what seemed like a thousand top hats and cup cakes. Trace did an amzing job at decorating the cakes - a very fast learner! 

Mum and Tracy and the ever present Santa Pinny!


Queen of hearts cakes - made about 4 dozen of these


My Mum in her element

 Grampa having some fun with the bubbles


Granny and Grampa and the Birthday Girl


 Granma and Colin with the Birthday Girl