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Christmas

Sadly, I didn’t have my camera with me when we made this. Alas! We were at my in-laws for the weekend and we swapped this craft into Talitha’s Advent Calendar activity for the day for convenience. I’m so in love with it, though, I need to share it. We started off with a metal hanger and stretched the body of it into an “O”. The hook broke off, otherwise that would have been useful to leave for hanging. The neck of the hook has been useful in its stead though.

My mother-in-law unpacked her Christmas decorations this weekend, much to Talitha’s delight. As expected, since she’s a bookbinder, many beautiful and interesting things emerged from the boxes. I was quite taken by a book of illustrations, Peter Spier’s Christmas! Talitha and I flipped through together, pointing out to each other the many details on each page, both of us caught up in this wordless story of family Christmases in Britain gone by. The pictures are just so intricate. There’s lots for both of us to focus on. As an adult,

It kind of surprised us this year that we’d have to think about Santa Claus. We’d given it very little thought and pretty much expected it to be something that was at least another year away. Of course, it just didn’t work out that way. My two and a half year old saw him everywhere and wanted to know who he was. I started off telling her that he was someone who liked Christmas a lot. Then she one day told me that he was bringing her presents. I was

Rosetta Stone sent us a cracker-making pack and we had so much fun putting them together. For Talitha, it’s all new. She keeps noticing all these images of paper crowns and wants to know what it’s all about. I’ve told her you get them in crackers at dinner time on Christmas Day. Of course, she’s thought I meant crackers you eat so it was fun actually putting some together with her so she has another little thing to anticipate. Of course they included your standard cracker jokes. But as a

In association with Sainsbury’s It’s barely mid-December and I’ve heard so many talk about feeling overwhelmed by Christmas already. At times, I’ve felt it too. So, it’s with interest that I’ve welcomed this post from Sainsbury’s about taking it all back to values. It’s easy in the hustle and bustle of the modern world to forget about the true meaning behind important dates in our lives. Nowhere is this truer than at Christmas when the pressures that we face to make everything perfect for the whole family can sometimes obscure

In a way, Christmas started a month ago for us when we soaked the fruits for our Trinidad black cake. I’ve looked at lots of recipes for inspiration over the years but needed to use things that were readily available to us and to make it both wheat and dairy-free. I thought I might as well make it gluten-free altogether. The result is a cake that is lighter than your usual Caribbean black cake but I like that. All the flavours come through without feeling it’s too rich to handle.

Did you see that episode of Dragon’s Den where the charming people from The Makery were seeking investment? I fell in love with their craft business and wanted to go visit it in Bath but never got around to it. What a treat, then, to be invited to a crafting session with them at a “crafternoon” tea organised by Shloer yesterday. Can you spot the bloggers’ children? Talitha and Purple Mum‘s Wonder Girl pose without us even asking. Bloggers and children gathered at The Greenway Hotel and Spa for an

Mistletoe doesn’t grow in the Caribbean so it’s curious that it’s part of our Christmas iconography, along with snowflakes and “Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly”. In fact, I’d never seen real mistletoe until the first Christmas I spent with Laurence’s family. While we grew up with Mistletoe in our storybooks and cartoons, kissing balls were more appropriate and accessible in reality. I remember the year my mother made one with sweet little rosettes. And now it’s my turn to make one for our home. So I made this

My mother joked when Talitha was born that she was like my dolly. Part of me thinks she really is – albeit a dolly that’s increasingly growing more independent and forming her own strong opinions on what she wants to wear. I get so much more pleasure out of seeing her enjoy getting dressed up. It even supersedes the buzz I get when shopping for myself. So when F&F offered me a voucher to style a beautiful party look for my toddler, I really couldn’t resist. Looking through their Children’s

Talitha was ill and grumpy most of the day yesterday. Ill and grumpy in a way only a two-and-a-half-year-old can be. She spent quite a lot of it sitting on the couch and admonishing the cat not to look at her. Still, she lit up when I suggested we make something. “Make something”, “paint something”, “bake something” – I can count on these for a brightening of just about any mood. I’d picked up some lolly sticks over the weekend so I thought – puppets? It made sense to do

I got all excited about making an Advent Calendar when I read this post by Along Came Cherry. I was totally going to follow her idea except I realised that I didn’t have any tissue paper. This meant I wouldn’t be able to place the rolls horizontally and forward facing so Talitha could burst the fronts. Wanting to use only what I already had, I ended up with something quite different – pockets! I’m really happy with the result. Here’s what I used: 13 toilet roll tubes tape green gift

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