Friday, December 16, 2011

Nom nom nom

I had a serious dose of baking fever yesterday morning and whipped up a whole batch of goodies for my little men and their pals to enjoy in the lead-up to Christmas!

This Christmas tree chocolate cake was so easy. I bought the cake tin in Kmart, made up mixture for 12 cupcakes (Humming Bird Cafe recipe), poured the mixture into the mould and popped it into the oven for 25 minutes at 175 degrees celsius. Then when it cooled down my two littler boys "helped" me dust it with icing sugar and put some M&Ms on as baubles :-)

Next I made 2 dozen choccie cupcakes (Hummingbird recipe again, always a winner). Things went a bit awry with the food colouring and I now have hulk hands.

Some mince-pies for my hubbie :-)

We're pretty strict with our kids' diets. Our eldest never ate chocolate until he was five and a half, the others younger of course. I wanted to hold off for longer with them too but trying to watch all kids with an eagle eye is impossible sometimes. D had his first taste over a year ago when I saw him ambling past at his friend's party stuffing a Lamington down his throat with glee and S had his about a year ago too when he was handed a slice of cake unbeknownst to me at another party, there he was sitting at the top of the slide with choccie all over him looking like he'd just discovered gold!

So now, we do let go when it's special occasions like parties and Christmas or special playdates. I'm happy to say that they still have very healthy diets and appreciate treats for what they are - special and not the norm :-)

Oh, if you'd seen the happy little chocolate-covered faces here yesterday after all this baking :-)

Thursday, December 1, 2011


The house was looking a bit tidier than usual this morning (not THAT tidy, still could do with a dust and vacuum), so I thought I'd get the camera out and share some photos of our living room before we decorate it for Christmas :-)

Various art is framed and hung on the wall, from left to right, an original etching of a mother and baby from an artist at Paddington Markets, a tapa cloth painting from a holiday in Fiji, an original oil painting of Sydney harbour (one of my favourite finds), an etching I found at a market and some studio photos of my littlest munchkin.

We are lucky enough to have a working fireplace, many lovely evenings were spent last Winter toasting marshmallows with our boys, it's also a lovely focal point for Christmas decorating. I've mentioned before we are renting this house, so I have no choice on the cream carpets and walls and gold-brown curtains. Thankfully they are pretty neutral and non-offensive, so easy enough to work around.

All of our furniture is suitable for our stage of life, i.e. we have 3 little boys who love to climb and race toy cars and jump around, so we don't want to be too precious by having glorious antiques and top of the range designer furnishings, I like that they can play to their hearts content without me yelling "NOOOO, not on the solid mahogany table, OFF the Venetian velvet sofa boys, GET DOWN from that Louis xiv chair right now"!!!

The Christmas tree will go into this corner, I'm itching to put it up!!!

The mantlepiece is a nice spot for displaying "things", such as some of our favourite photos, some pottery vases, my little pair of peacocks, my favourite ever blobby wooden vase and a pair of sandstone candle holders we bought on holidays at Hyams Beach (one of my favourite places in the world).

This table is another nice spot for bits and pieces including the painting I commissioned from an Etsy artist, some photos of our boys and bowls, lamp, books etc.

It's a long room with a space at the end which incorporates stairs down to the playroom, 2 windows, some built-in cupboards and the doorway to the study. This could easily have become dead space with no wall-space for furniture but instead it's become a nice little play-area for the boys when their toys overflow into the living room.

These drawer units are perfect for storing all that random kiddie stuff, bits of lego, blocks, cars etc that we would otherwise spend our lives tripping over. On top are some Schleich dinosaurs (unfortunately not thrifted, couldn't get that lucky ;-) a vintage globe, cowboy lamp and "Melissa and Doug" barn.

That's it! Hopefully by the weekend it will be looking very Christmassy! I will have a little team of helpers, you know what that means, all the decorations will end up on the bottom half of the tree as far as their little arms can reach :-)