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It’s Christmas!

It’s been a little while since I visited my blog but it would seem in my absence, I have still had a steady stream of visitors, so thank you!

The build up to Christmas in the Popple household has been as busy as ever. Here is a pictorial summary of some of the things we have been up to:

Decorating the Christmas tree – for the first time,  I let Ava (with a little help from Benjamin) put every single bauble on the Christmas tree. For the past five Christmases, I have rearranged Ava’s effort overnight.

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Chutney Making for Ava’s teachers and Benjamin’s childminder

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Salt Dough Decorations for the Christmas tree – the first time I have let anything homemade anywhere near the Christmas tree! Thanks to my sister-in-law for the salt dough recipe.

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Homemade Santa Decoration – this one is for you Auntie Marcia – there maybe someone who sews in the family after all!

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Homemade Snow Globe – this one is for my mother – there maybe a potential artist in the family!

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Visiting the Coca Cola Truck in Reading

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Watching the Annual Barnado’s Toy Run in Reading – Ava and I dropped a toy off beforehand for one of the bikers to take to Barnado’s.

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Ava’s first Christmas Concert at school – much like her mother, she appeared to mime most of the words although has been proving she knew them around the house and out in public ever since!

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Making our first Gingerbread House – a little cheat here – we didn’t actually make the Gingerbread House – got to leave something different to do next year!

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Making my first Christmas Cake – thanks to my mother-in-law for the recipe. No thanks to my fluctuating oven, it actually tastes ok, after an epic 8 hour bake!

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Our first Christmas Eve box with onesies. Not sure the kids will ever put on ‘normal’ clothes again.

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Seeing ‘Santa’ aka the International Space Station. Thanks to Facebook, we knew to look out for this. Priceless.

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‘I Did It Mummy’ fundraising for BIBS – https://www.justgiving.com/IDidItMummy

‘Tis the season to get cooking

This year I wanted to put my mark on Christmas and make as many homemade things as I could think of with the able assistance of the little lady. I left out fudge and didn’t leave myself sufficient time to make a Christmas cake this year so I have something to post about next year!

My homemade Christmas started with chutney and where best to start the search for a recipe than Netmums

Chutney – this sweet chutney in my opinion was the perfect accompaniment to our first course pâté dish on Christmas Day. The husband did not agree as it contained raisins but more for the rest of us!

Gingerbread biscuits – I had intended to make reindeer Gingerbread biscuits as I had seen in a post on Wokingham Gossip Girls but I could not find a gingerbread man cutter (you turn a gingerbread man upside down for the desired effect) for love or money and so resorted to star and heart cutouts with decorative icing. We made the biscuits a couple of weeks in advance and froze them but had I known that they were quite so easy to make, I suspect they would have tasted better fresh.

Peppermint creams – again we made these in advance (no requirement for freezing, just to be left in a sealed bag) and given their simplicity, I would definitely only make them a day or two early in future.

Christmas cupcakes – these were made using a simple fairy cake recipe and the icing was simply buttercream mixed with red/green food colouring for that extra festive feel.

Pavlova & Trifle – I was determined that we, or more to the point I, was going to make a Christmas dessert or two from scratch so I turned to the most reliable source Delia Smith for my pavlova. The pavlova was absolutely scrumptious and surprisingly easy to make. The trifle looked good, however it completely lacked flavour so I have uploaded a piccie but have omitted the recipe for this one. I was quick to admit the blandness of the flavour so as to avoid any awkward and less than truthful exclamations of how ‘delicious’ it was!

If you have any festive recipes that I could try for next year, please feel free to post your recipe/link below!

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Merry Christmas!

Christmas Card

Christmas Sweet Trees

I’ve admired sweet trees from afar for a while and I was considering purchasing one for Christmas, until I discovered that they start from £20 so I thought why not have a go myself and these are the results…

Candy Cane Sweet Tree

Smarties Sweet Tree

Roses and Buttons Sweet Tree

Very simple to make – polystyrene from my husband’s latest electrical purchase, bamboo skewers, lashings of melted chocolate, a tube or three of Smarties, a tub of Cadbury’s Roses and some big own brand milk and white chocolate buttons. The Roses were affixed using my latest purchase, a glue gun!

‘I Did It Mummy’ fundraising for Babies in Buscot Support – https://www.justgiving.com/IDidItMummy

Christmas Song

One of Ava’s Christmas Advent Activities was to write a Christmas song (with a little (and I emphasise the word ‘little’) help from Mummy) so here it is! All the ideas were Ava’s and I think it’s pretty good. I’m going to try to encourage her to learn it for Christmas Day and if she does and I manage to get any video footage, I’ll be sure to post it here!

Christmas Song

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