Sunday, 31 October 2010

55 Sleeps to go....

I thought I would blog early today as I have so much to do. Liliana and Micah are still really not well; they have terribly sore throats and still have a fever. I have loads of collage coursework and uni work to do too. Once I have finished the heavy workload or my eyesight runs out I will then be moving on to some prep!

I am planning on cutting out the Christmas crackers today. I love making the crackers because you can pick card which matches your table design and colour scheme perfectly. You can also put a little gift in each which is personal to the person you are giving it to. They work wonderfully for name cards so everyone knows where they will be sitting. You can easily place a nice message to the person getting the cracker, maybe letting them know your favourite memory from the year spent with them.

My mind has also turned to the stairs garland; I am looking around for ideas as to how to go about doing it this year and making it more special than last year. I have found some fabulous interconnecting oasis cages for arranging garlands. It is a cheats way of doing it but if it saves a little time them I am all for it! You can find these on ebay at . I am thinking of using a colour scheme of purple and white. That will be the first time that pallet has been used in our house for Christmas, although it will only be in the hallway. The living room in traditionally burgundy and gold and the dining room will be gold and black.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

56 Sleeps to go

Started out the day today with a lazy lie in, yes the children slept in!!!
Then I finished my Christmas gift shopping….. now just to make them. I would love to tell you all about what I have bought and what I will be making but little eyes whom will be receiving these gifts will be reading this and there will be no clues given by me!

Larakia and I had a trip to the supermarket (the sucky one) to pick up pumpkins and a few essentials which we forgot in the GIANT food shop. I find it fun that the children like going to the shops with me even though I am a mean Mummy and don’t buy them any treats. Larakia picked out the pumpkin and then insisted on carrying one of them around the entire shop. I have to admit she must be pretty strong because we picked the biggest pumpkins they had.

David and I have been in the kitchen the whole of the rest of the day cooking, only stopping for long and lovely cuddles with Liliana (who is still not well) and for little plays with the children. We have been super busy and made 150 sausage rolls, 100 pieces of flavoured chicken drumsticks, 75 bacon and sausage koftas, 50 Salmon and spinach bites. We are still in the process of making lots and lots of cheese and onion bite size pasties and empanadas. Although we are doing this together even David would admit he should not attempt to finish pastry! They are let’s just say rustic, bless him for trying!

Friday, 29 October 2010

57 Sleeps to go....

If you go down to the woods today you’re in for a big surprise,
A bubbly puppy with the name of pudding, bouncing and frolicking around.

The older children and I went to the woods today in Harwell to introduce our little Pudding to a new friend. We met up with some fab friends and introduced Pudding to her first ever dog encounter, a lovely little poodle called Jasper. They had lots of fun and got on better than I had expected. She is sleeping soundly now so I guess we managed to tire her out. We met a fully grown golden Labrador while we were out and he looked like he could have swallowed Pudding with one bite. My word she has a lot of growing to do!

The Asda delivery driver arrived mid afternoon with our giant food shop, he said he had never had such a big grocery delivery as ours. Admittedly it was a little over the top to look at, but it contains much for what we need for the next two months except obviously fresh things which you can’t stock up on.
By the time we got it all unloaded from the truck there was no space in the dining room at all. So now to process it all, luckily David has finished the new bench seats in the dining room so much of the tinned type stuff will now be stored in our new seats! He was clever in his design as he put hinges on the lid so we can easily access inside for an easy storage solution.

Now we have the busy task of cooking up all sorts of lovely things ready to freeze them for Christmas, oh and not forgetting Thanksgiving. Tonight we are marinating seven different flavours of chicken like bbq, lemon and herb etc. We are also going to be doing bacon wrap kebabs. We will be preparing lots of nibbling foods and freezing them on server plates so when we want to get out some snacks for lunch we can grab out a plate and it will have a big variation as to the yummy things to hand. There is a lot of work ahead but will definitely be worth it when it comes to Christmas and we don’t have to do anything but defrost and heat up. Except of course, the meals that have to be done from scratch on the day they are needed.

We have two very poorly little people in the house at the moment, Micah and Liliana have come down sick with what I assume is the virus Oliver had last week. They have a nasty fever and very sad sounding voices and coughs. Poor little things, there really is nothing worse than being poorly especially when you are so little.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

58 Sleeps to go.....

Another busy day today, though an enjoyable kind of busy!
I had the pleasure of enjoying visiting teaching with lovely ladies, and the fun of a very sweet little boy entertaining Oliver while I visited with his Mummy. I love visiting teaching and having a chance to get to know wonderful ladies and their families better. I took a little box of peppermint chocolate coated marshmallows for a little treat for my sisters with a little trick or treat note. I know I have left it a little late in the month to go but it’s better to go late than not at all!

Ok so today I also got the opportunity to go shopping with a very good friend and thoroughly enjoyed it. We made a visit to Lakeland I love this shop and could spend hours there. Only trouble is I find it hard to leave without spending a small fortune. However I was good today and only bought what I went for, one of these items was edible star!
These stars are amazing and will be making an appearance in our Christmas day wine glasses. The stars will float at the top of the glass adding a little sparkle to every drink. They can be used for all baking and decorating. A small vial of stars (which go a very very long way) cost £3.99 and come in either gold of silver. I have bought both and the gold will be used on Christmas day and the silver on new years.
I also bought hibiscus flowers in syrup which will also be decorating our wine glasses on that very special day. The flowers are amazing, you pop them into the bottom of your glass, add a sparkling drink like Asda’s non-alcoholic Muscat and during your meal they will open to reveal incredibly beautiful flowers.

I would love to hear about your traditions and ideas; we are always looking for ways to make Christmas even more fun and memorable for our family!

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

59 days to go.....

I would like to start today’s post of with a request for help. I am looking for willing volunteers to be involved in a photo shoot. A family shoot of individual all volunteers are welcome. You will be issued with a digital copy of all pictures and if you like they can be made into prints or put on canvas. However if you require a hard copy you will need to pay the costs incurred in doing so.
Please leave a comment at the end of the post if you are interested, Thank you!

Ok so not much about Christmas today, but while we were walking to the dentist at lunchtime we came across some wild holly!! So we know where the holly will be coming from to dress the table and wreaths this year!

Today was Pudding’s (our puppy) first proper walk out of the garden today. She has been out once before but we drove to the woods, took a few photo’s and then came home so not really much of a walk really. She met lots of lovely people and got lots of excited cuddles from children including ours as she went on her way. She did however attract the attention of some drunken men too who we found a little scary. But trauma over after what has to be said for little legs a very long walk we have returned home to have dinner and for Pudding to sleep the evening away.

Tonight David and I are going to enjoy an at home cinema evening, we will be watching; Everybody’s Fine and The Bounty Hunter. So break out the popcorn and ice cream. The only thing left to decide is whether watch it on the 40” in the living room with an open fire of in bed on the cinema projector. Choices choices!

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

60 Sleeps to go....

Today has been a busy one with Oliver getting his last lot of baby injections, the poor boy and baking lots of mince pie starlets and stars with a cinnamon glaze.
Home made mince pies are fabulous, the best thing about them is you can make them as deep filled as you like! There is nothing worse than when you sit down to eat your scrummy mince pie on Christmas Eve only to bite into it and it to taste like pastry with a hint of mince meat. Be brave whip out the mixer and make up your very own short crust pastry or if you are worried about making it yourself buy some ready made and roll it out fill it to the brim and cover them! For an extra special touch mix up some ground cinnamon with soft light brown sugar and sift the mixture generously over the finished pies. This gives wonderful after notes to your pies and will leave you desperate for more and is sure to wow your house guests!

Ok, so I said I would write a little about Christmas day…

Well we try and get up before the children, which usually means being up at about 6am to light the fire and keep it burning beautifully ready for the decent of the children down the stairs to the living room. We try every year to open one gift at a time but with six very eager children this doesn’t really pan out to well.

We stay in our pj’s the whole day, even during dinner. We don’t have too many things we always do on Christmas day except relax and enjoy each others company as much as possible.

The setting of the table is very important to me, I want the children and David and this year our guests to come in and have their breath taken away. This is no small task and over the next couple of months I will be coming up with some designs of how the Christmas table will look this year.

I am very lucky to have a fabulous chef in the house, David is amazing at taking ordinary joints and turning them into culinary delights. We work together to prepare much of the meal like the veggies and ‘pigs in blankets’ but I would not risk leaving me in charge of the turkey.
We as you can see have the traditional Christmas dinner; we like to accent it with extra little gems which surprise the taste buds such as homemade redcurrant jelly made from redcurrant’s we picked ourselves and froze within 30 minutes of picking.
We will be starting the meal with a modern twist on a prawn cocktail, and finishing with White chocolate and mascarpone filled chocolate flutes with a sprinkling of raspberry coulee and fresh raspberries.

Monday, 25 October 2010

61 Sleeps to go....

Today we started our Christmas prep!!
We have planned all our meals and done a shopping list and even ordered everything we can pre-prepare to be delivered this week ready for MASS cooking next week!!
As we have very welcome visitors this year, we are pulling out all the stops to make Christmas as homely and cosy as possible.
Some may call our approach to Christmas Over board, however we believe there is nothing better than being prepared. Although I have to admit I love the work that goes into Christmas too, it really builds up the excitment in the house.

The special food we are planning begins on the 23rd, this day we will be going to see The Wizard of Oz pantomime and then returning home to our first extra special meal together. We will be enjoying a shoulder of pork with all the trimmings with Chocolate and raspberry tart for afters.

The 24th we have a tradition to enjoy a three fish roast on this day. We will have a starter of double baked sweet potato bake followed by the roast with new potatoes with a parsley and butter sauce and beans. To finish we will be enjoying mince pie stars with loaded hot chocolate by our flaming open fire. While we are eating Santa always visits and leaves us pj's and a charity gift to remind us how lucky we are. Last year he gave 3 children in africa vitamins for the whole year and 500 bowls of porridge! Once everyone is safely in their pj's we make sure we go outside to leave the reindeer some magic food so they are able to find us and fly onto the next house. We then come back inside put out the eggnog and cookies for santa and a extra special carrot for rudolf and off to bed for all the children.

The 25th....... well I will write about that tomorrow!

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Ok so back to blogging....

We have decided it is high time we started blogging again!
We now have a new member of the family Pudding,a chocolate lab puppy.
She is rather lovely and fits into our family very well.

We are currently starting to prepare for the seasonal delight that is Christmas!
Finding recipe's and making small gifts. We love Christmas in our house and over the coming months I will post much more often about the fun we get upto and exactly what goes into making Christmas happen West style!

Here goes, the countdown begins.....