Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year for 2009

What a wonderful white winter wonderland for Christmas. We had the most delightful Christmas day, nice and relaxed, the kids played with their toys and food was no chore. Goose was the flavour for the day, nicer than the usual traditional turkey. Not too much food but more than enough to stretch the stomach. The desserts were out of this world, nothing beats home made food.

It was lovely to see Melissa's face light up - all the presents mysteriously appearing under the Christmas tree. She was a little bemused and was not sure what to do, should she open them or hand them out? It was a wonder to see. We spent all morning and some of the afternoon opening presents, it was nice compared to the open them quick and get it over with. However, I think things will be different next year.

New Year is upon us and we shall feast on a chicken with all the trimmings and my special roasters. Yum! For dessert, well we shall have to wait and see.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Painting for Children

I bought some much needed furniture for Melissa's room. A little girl no longer wanted it and my little girl really needed it. It is solid wood which is a rare find and it was already painted in pink and yellow. I love finding a bargain and it was a real bargain. To add to the whole feel of her room I did this painting. I came across a website that does great kids paintings. This is a take of Liz Murphy's work.

It was so much fun to do I think I will do more. Maybe I could market myself to paint unique children's pieces.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

It's snowing...




...just over a week before Christmas and we have snow. I really enjoy fresh soft cold snow and this year Melissa can help make a snowman. She keeps talking about snowmen now she will get to make one and see what it is. Snow, glorious snow.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

11 Days to Christmas

Only 11 days to Christmas and the goose is getting fat, well I hope so since this is what we will be eating. Home made mince pies, yummy home made chocolate cookies and home made decorations completed or near completion and finally we have finished our Christmas decorations including the tree. Melissa is fascinated by the tree particularly the lights.

It is fun trying to see the world from a child's point of view. Less of this 'perfectly' designed display home as shown on Martha Stewart but more a mix match of fun colours that makes Christmas what it is - fun. Christmas is about enjoying the simple pleasures of life, family, food and gifts.

We have been frugal this year - babies and toddlers do not need lots of toys to keep them happy however I have bought lots of books. Books play an important part of growing, I hope my girls enjoy reading just like their dad.

I hope we have a white Christmas, we had a white one last year. The weather here is certaintly cold and frosty it just needs to snow as an added bonus.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Final Art Product


As of yesterday I did my last art class and posted is one of the paintings that I produced. I like this painting it was surprsingly easy with guidance and it was a lot of fun to paint. I think I will try and produce more minature art pieces if they look like this. Now I have to go and buy all the colours I need.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

To push or not to push that is the question

As a Christmas present I have purchased the Phil and Ted Sport stroller so I can take both the girls out for walks. I was using the Chariot Cougar 1 for Melissa and carrying Victoria in the baby carrier but she is getting too heavy hence the new stroller.

I love my golden coloured Chariot because I get to go jogging with it, I can attach it to the bike or attach the stoller wheels to go shopping with it but the double chariot would have been too big for such activities. Besides Melissa is getting bigger and come next year I am sure she will want her own bike.

As for the Phil and Ted stroller, I had to put it together last night. The picture instructions were black and white so they were hard to follow. Anyway I got there and it is ready to rock and roll.

I used the P&T today (in the rain). It is a well designed buggy and is surprisingly compact. I like the sport model because you can lock the wheel which is useful on uneven terrain. The front wheel unlocks for easy use around corners and getting around the shops. The rain cover has been designed to clip on the front so if it is windy it can not blow up and nicely covers the back seat too. The storage compartment can still be used with a baby but once the child is bigger it is a waste of space other than keeping the child's feet from dragging on the floor. You can buy side bags but personally it is a gimmick and prefer not to buy them unless you really, really need them.

I wish I had bought the P&T when I had had Melissa. It grows with your first child and then your next. It is a fabulous investment. In the long run it would have saved us a lot of money. Problem is when I say great investment I mean it's expensive. Thankfully our family has contributed money towards this great stroller.

Having said that the Chariot is a lot smoother and easier to handle on rough terrain however I found it too big and clunky for the shopping centres (malls). If you are seriously sporty the Chariot is for you. The chariot has a great storage compartment away from kids and easy to access. Attachments can be purchased with this stroller, you can go skiing (cross country skiing), jogging, cycling, hiking and strolling with it. I can not say enough about it but again it is a huge investment and they hold their price should you want to sell it.

All in all I like to push!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Book Reviews

I am in a book club and we get away from the kids for a night and maybe we even get a bite to eat and go to the cinema. It's a lot of fun and it also encourages us to read books that we would not otherwise read. So here are some books that I have read with the ladies and on my own, just because...

Secret Life of Bees by Sue Kidd
The movie was better!

For Sue Kidd's first book it was not a bad attempt. It was an easy read but the story and the characters lacked personality. It needed something extra, a decent plot in my opinion. Less time talking about bees and more character building.

The movie had some great actors, Dakota Fanning, Queen Latifah etc. If it was not for the stars in the movie, who acted it well, I think the film would have been a huge flop. Infact, I am surprised that it was picked up and made into a film. But what do I know?

Marley and Me by John Grogan
I really enjoyed this book. It is for the dog lover in mind. An easy read with lots of laughter and sadness along the way.

John Grogan, the author, actually had a dog like this and it is about his life with Marley, a large Lab. who is overly excitable. It is written almost like a journal with a story in mind. This too has been made into a film starring Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston. I think I will watch this one at home, not really a cinema flick.

A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews
I have just started reading this book and for me the beginning of the book makes it or breaks it. So far the start has kept me interested. I will review it once I have finished.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Knitting

Knitting is something I have not done since I was a child. My mother and I would sit, knit and chat, it was relaxing and fun. It will be nice to enjoy knitting with the girls and to read, paint and play games. I would love for them to find things to do other than watch TV.

I will be taking my refresher knitting classes at Chick Pea Kids in the new year. I will be knitting a blanket, cardigan and a hat and I will post my finished products on the blog. So, watch this space.

I have some wonderful colours to play with, raspberry, lavender, denim, baby pink and my favourite, chocolate brown all products by Debbie Bliss. I can not wait to get my hands on the knitting needles and soft wool to make my baby creations.

Santa Baby


Santa Baby

I had some wonderful photos done with Santa and the girls. Revival Arts Studio kindly took the photos and provided a picture for s small fee. A donation to a children's charity called Free the Children who kindly gave the children a great book to read about their cause.

I love this photo, I think the girls look great and the setting was perfect, not too staged.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Art

I am currently taking a course in painting with acrylics at Blackberry Gallery. Thought it would help with some hints and tips on how to improve on my paintings. In the space of 6 weeks I will have done 6 paintings, more than I do in a year. It has been very useful.

I do arts and crafts with my daughter, which she seems to enjoy, but of course with toddlers you never know where the paint will land.

I do have a number of paintings that I like but my style keeps changing. I would like to eventaully exhibit some of my work but I have to present something that is worthy. I am not convinced I have such a piece. I will post some of my work up at some point. I am waiting for the masterpiece to leap out of me.

Winter


I love winter, I love the crisp white frost crunching under my feet. I love the winter sun brightening up the day. And most of all I love to play in the snow with the girls, well my toddler, my baby is too young.

What is especially exciting this year is my Melissa will be excited to see her presents under the tree on Christmas day. She is already enjoying the outdoor lights and decorations. We have yet to decorate our house and we need to purchase a tree but that will be sometime next week. That will be the next surprise since I tend to decorate the house myself, less trauma and limits tantrums. Melissa and Victoria have met Santa for the first time but have yet to understand the concept. They had some beautiful pictures taken with and without Santa, I can not wait to see the final product. However, next year will be a different story and even more excitement to the lead up to Christmas.

There are only 21 more days to Christmas and it will fly by quickly and I simply can not wait.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Lots of lovely things


I have found this most amazing children's store called Chick Pea. I love the photo's on their website. So I went along for the Santa shoot and had Christmas pictures taken at their store. I will post pictures I have through the blogs. Also, check out the blog link at Chick Pea Kids website, it is the best way to find out their latest products. There are lots of great toys and clothing for my little girls. A little expensive but well thought out products, tried and tested I would imagine. I love their books, their clothing choices and teaching customers how to knit lovely baby clothes. I am so impressed by the store that I would love to set one up for myself. My husband, who owns Disinct PR could do my marketing and PR, his business likes to work with start up companies.

Running my own business (again) appeals to me. Food for thought.
PS: This photo appeared on Chick Pea website Dec 2008. Merry Christmas