21 December 2015

Seasons greetings

There's no actual post from me today. I had hoped to get together some new Christmas craft activities and share them on the blog, but the last few weeks of school and preschool had been crazy busy and I rang out of time.

If you don't already have a copy, here is my Christmas Craft eBook I put together a couple years ago which contains some Christmas craft ideas and activities that I've shared here over the years.

I just wanted to take a minute to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a safe & happy new year!

I hope you have a relaxing Christmas day wherever you are, and get to spend it with the ones who make you happy, whether that's with your family, relatives or a bunch of friends.

I will be taking a well earned rest over the school holidays, and be back in the new year.


11 December 2015

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Its hard to believe Christmas is here again, it feels as though it wasn't that long ago when we were celebrating it.

Again we filled the pockets of the advent calendar with little slips of paper containing fun activities, special treats, Christmas craft and outings for the girls. Rather than buy them a chocolate advent calendar, creating our own list has meant the girls are excited to take turns and find out what is happening that day. Unfortunately "Mummy's choice" didn't go to plan earlier in the week! We were going to bake shortbread, but due to our Woollies groceries order being late, it has to be moved to another day!

So I hope today's pick, which is "Daddy's choice", will be a success! The girls quickly thought "Oh I hope it's not a trip to the liquorice shop!"even though they love Daddy's double-salted liquorice!

Decorating our tree
As a family we love to go and pick out a beautiful fresh Christmas tree for our home, sadly we didn't do that this year. The past couple of years the mould from the trees has been playing up with my sinuses and getting me sick, so rather than risk it again this year we purchased our first artificial tree - which looks pretty much like a real one! I'm very happy with the quality.

The girls enjoy going through the decoration box and picking out the decorations they want to put on the tree.

Adding their new decorations to the tree

Yesterday Cherub had her turn on the advent calendar, and got the slip "Buy a new Christmas decoration for the tree". So last night we headed down to Westfields in search of new additions for the Christmas tree. For Popette, she selected a lovely angel, and Cherub an elf holding a present with her name on it!

Do you have an advent calendar? Does your family have any Christmas traditions?

01 December 2015

Focus on the things that matter most

This year I gave myself the guiding word of "Focus". My intention was to focus on the things that mattered most and forget about everything else. I can easily get distracted (esp when I'm on social media) and lose my focus on what is important, and waste time doing little unimportant things, rather than putting all my energy and thoughts in an area (like my fitness levels!) that will make me happy, feel fit and better about myself.

While I haven't achieved everything I would have liked this year. I have spent quite a bit of time focusing on my art and hobbies, ensuring I enjoy those little moments with my girls, and focusing my energies on the good stuff like my family, and reducing my stress with things I cannot control.

This last one might sound easy, but for someone like me, an introverted stress-head I am finding it hard! I can worry like no one's business. I find it particularly hard not to stress about other people and what they may or may not have said about me, and change my train of thoughts.

A few months ago my husband's old boss lost his beloved wife to pancreatic cancer. We had known them both for over 20 years. They (K & E) were such sweet, lovable people who loved a laugh, good food, and catching up with their family and friends.

Of course my husband and I were devastated when we heard the news. We wished we had known, and had attended E's funeral. While Hubby caught up with his old boss once in a blue moon for drinks with other ex-colleagues, it had been a long while since he had heard or seen him.

I felt terrible that we hadn't known E had been fighting this awful cancer (she had throat cancer previously) or that she had passed away until another friend of my husband's told him.

Raising children these past 7 years changed our social calendar, and to that extent our friends. I guess we thought they would always be there, and find time in the new year to eventually have them over for lunch again.

Its when something like a death of a close friend or family member occurs you are reminded of what's important.

This year marks the 4th Christmas without my Dad. It still upsets me that he's not here with us, and to watch my Mum struggle on a daily basis without him, especially this time of year.

This year I am enjoying the festivities a little more cause I know my Dad wouldn't want me to be upset and he'd want me to enjoy Christmas with my family and be happy.

While we can focus too much of our energies on the negative, or toxic people, we need to harness our thoughts on the positive, and refocus on the good that's in our lives.

This year I am cherishing memories such as watching my girls get excited when they see Santa at the shop because I know this time won't last. Too soon they won't get excited about having a photo taken with Santa, or decorating the Christmas tree or leaving carrots out for the reindeer. All the same things I loved when I was little, and were excited about.

The moral of this post - focus on the things that matter most, and let go of everything that brings you down, or doesn't bring you purpose or happiness. Life is too short, so make sure you enjoy it while you can.

I am linking with Essentially Jess for IBOT.