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Thursday, 6 December 2012

Ho - Ho - Homemade Christmas Gifts

I love Christmas time. I really love everything about it. I adore Christmas carols, decorating my home, and I am a Christmas tree perfectionist, with each item placed on very carefully.

Most of all I love giving people gifts. I know many people see Christmas as being very commercial. However, I really feel that it is one time a year that I can think of a gift for people I love, look for it, buy it and wrap it with care.

I also LOVE to bake for people. I really love to cook, particularly sweets. I also do a bit of cake decorating as a hobby, so I really enjoy to put together a few treats for family and friends at Christmas.

With the introduction of Pinterest into my life my ideas for what to make have doubled. If you love to cook, decorate or craft and you do not have a pinterest account yet then GET ONTO IT!

So here are a few ideas of what I am thinking of making this year.

1. Gingerbread house

I have made a few of these in the past, not always with a lot of success. This year I have decided to make small gingerbread houses as a gift for some of the people I work with. I am not going to make them really large, so hopefully I will have more success this year.

2. Cookie jars

I have been saving Moccona coffee jars all year in preparation for Christmas. I am saving them so that I can fill them with yummy biccies and give them as gifts.

I wash the jars in the dishwasher to get the labels of and get rid of the coffee smell. Sometimes they also need a bit of bicarb left int hem for a day or so, then another wash. Once cleaned and label free they are lovely jars that are ready to be filled.

I have a particular biscuit recipe that I like to use from an old Donna Hay magazine. It makes a sweet, shortbread type biscuit. It also is one that you can turn into so many different flavours. I often use the same recipe to make chocolate chip, white chocolate macadamia, and cranberry and pistachio cookies.

Also, it freezes really well so you can make the dough ahead of time and freeze it then just bake when needed.

3. Sugar Cookies

Because I love to decorate cakes, decorating sugar cookies is a natural extention of that. I like to use fondant to decorate rather than royal icing. This year I am going to experiment with making my own marshmallow fondant, and am thinking of trying to flavour some of it.

My cookies from last year.

I use this recipe often for sugar cookies. They make great tasting cookies, but are still firm enough to decorate.

If I make everything as planned I will come back and share my photos!

Do you plan on making any gifts this year? If so, share your ideas with me. I'd love to hear your plans.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Aussie Curves - Orange

I have had quite the unintended hiatus from blogging, and Aussie Curves! It wasn't intentional, life simply got in the way. I am a teacher, so the last few weeks has been report writing frenzy. I also unexpectedly picked up my first senior class  (Exciting bu challenging). Throw a virus that caused me to cough so violently I burst the vessels in my eyes and pulled the muscles in my neck into the mix, and it made for a very busy, very stressed lady!

I have been giving this blog some thought, and have been looking at my favourite blogs and I am thinking I want to add a few more posts on other topics in here. So stay tuned as you may find a few different posts popping up over the next few weeks.

Now, onto my putfit post. Orange is not a colour I usually gravitate to so I was really unsure if I would find anything in my wardrobe that suited this theme. I was out shopping with my Husband when I spied Millers had a sale on dresses. I talked int his post here about how Millers seem t have had a recent change in the style of clothing offered. I decided to have a look as I am on the hunt for more maxi dresses.

There were a heap of beautiful coloured dresses in some wonderful pattern, but one really stood out.

Dress - Millers
Shoes - Kmart
Cardigan - Temt
Necklace - Diva
Bracelet - Really old! haha

I am just in love with this dress. The pattern is just beautiful, as are the colours. The material is a soft stretch jersey type so it just feels beautiful on.

It was only when I put it on to attend a baby shower that I realised it had Orange in it! Hooray!

The dress has a handkerchief hem, where it dips longer on the sides. It was a bit too long so I tied up the sides into a little knot so they didn't drag as much on the floor.

I love the gold beads on the straps as well. It just adds something extra to the dress. The cut is wonderful, as it is Vneck for the front, perfect for my small bust. It also juuuussstttt skims over my belly and hips. I did put on a pair of very light pull ins. I purchased the Rikki Lee brand from Big W. They went up to just below my bust, and actually included straps so you can hold them up if needed. I didn't use the straps, but I must say the underwear was SOOOO comfy! Although it doesn't really pull you in, it is more so that you have a smoother line underneath.

Pear Tip: Look for V necks for small busts. it helps widen your shoulders visually, which evens out your hips.

I really urge you to take another look at Millers if you haven;t recently. There are some real gems in the current collection. Check out some of my picks here.

While your checking things out, make sure you check out the other Aussie Curves posts from these ladies.