Christmas Catchup & End Of Year Musings

A belated Merry Christmas to you all. This post has nothing to do with Bruschetta! Just saying! I wanted to get a post up before we went away on holidays last week but other priorities got in the way. Did you all have a wonderful day? I hope so. We went away to Caloundra with my husbands family for the week and spent Christmas there. We rent a big house and all pile in (9 adults and 6 kids) and spend the week together eating, swimming, riding bikes and playing games together. It was such a relaxing time away and I didn't realise how much I needed the time out. The time leading up towards Christmas had been hectic.

I was pushing to finish my last food photography job and juggling Christmas preparation and packing just about did me in. The week away was great, just having extra pairs of eyes and hands to watch J.D was a blessing which allowed me to have a little time to myself and with hubby. J.D had an absolute ball playing with his cousins, swimming, sitting on the back of daddy's bike and playing in the sand at the beach. He is 16 months old and it is such a fun age at the moment. He is toddling around without any qualms now and is so inquisitive. Going to the beach was such fun.

 He just loved scooping the sand up with his spade and dropping it into his bucket. He was a little apprehensive with the water at first but after few tentative swims with dad he got over it. He actually started running straight into the water which left me watching him like a hawk - again the extra eyes helped here. We bought our bikes down with us and rode to the beach every morning. It was refreshing to get out and spend time enjoying the great outdoors. My legs ached and my buttock certainly realised that I hadn't been cycling in a while after the first few rides.

 Christmas day was filled with lots of wonderful food, presents, swimming, relaxing, reading and more food. We did the whole traditional Christmas meal this year with rosemary and garlic roast lamb, turkey stuffed with pear and almonds and roasted pork stuffed with cherries. If you are following me on Instagram you will see that I even deboned a turkey buffe in preparation for Christmas dinner. We also had lots of wonderful roast veggie sides and gravy.

 It's a tradition with my husbands family to have trifle and plum pudding for dessert with lashings of custard. I think we bought something like 6 litres of custard for the week. I celebrated Christmas with my family the weekend before with a gourmet breakfast of bacon and eggs, hash browns, spinach and pine nuts, mushrooms and asparagus. J.D was spoilt rotten on both Christmas's and we have toys coming out of our ears. Time to re-arrange the playroom I think and look for some good toy storage options! Any suggestions?

We arrived home over the weekend and it was a shaft back to reality. I have a holiday hangover today wishing for the sun, sea and sand. I wish holidays never ended. Now that Christmas is out of the way and the year draws to a close thoughts turn to reminiscing of the year gone and the year ahead.

I have had a wonderful year on the blog this year. I may not have been able to blog as much as I would of liked but that's life with a baby I guess. I have had many great opportunities come through this little blog. One being able to photograph three cookbooks for Lose Baby Weight this year. I think I have cooked, styled and photographed over 150 recipes for these books. I have done lots of washing up too in the process. I did most of the cooking and prep by myself but with a helping hand from my sister-in-law for the last book. If you are a new mum looking to shed those extra post baby weight kilos I would totally recommend looking into this site. The recipes are fantastic, easy to make and totally scrumptious! Trust me I've cooked and eaten them all!

DIY Cake Stand

I've also had the opportunity to work with some fantastic products throughout the year as well. One of my favourites being Rust-Oleum. I've used a few of the products they stock such as the Epoxy Shield Garage Floor Paint in our Garage Makeover and my sisters Beauty Room Makeover, The Universal Spray Paint for many projects such as my DIY Cake StandFrench Chic Armchair, and These Bar Stools. I also tried their newest release the 2x Ultra Cover Paint & Primer which I used on the Chic Queen Anne Settee that I recently refurbished. Things on the DIY front have slowed down a lot since J.D come along. I just don't have as much time to myself to be outside sanding and painting like I use too. This coming year might be a bit lean on DIY posts as I look into further IVF treatment in the coming months.
Queen Anne Settee

A new  opportunity that has just been finalised in the last month is that I have been asked to contribute some articles to the Mum's Business Website over the coming months. It is an online community for mums supported by eBay. There is lots of great tips, recipes and crafts and I hope to be able to add my contribution to these already wonderful articles. I am in the throes of testing recipes for a back to school article I have to write which will be posted in mid January!I have had two failures today so I am abstaining from the kitchen for the rest of the day. Plus it's way to hot to be cooking during the middle of the day!

Pomegranate Cheesecake

Perfect Meat Pie
I've had fun this year creating interesting and healthy recipes. Some of the most popular posts have been my Perfect Meat Pie, Lover's Dairy Free Pomegranate Cheesecake, Dairy Free Almond Milk, Ultimate Chocolate Brownie, Tirimusu Layer Cake & Salmon With Almonds & Asparagus. I hope the new year brings some more wonderful recipes to show you all. As I said with the DIY posts things might be slowing down a bit on the blog as I embark on another IVF journey next year.

Ultimate Chocolate Brownie

Almond Milk Yogurt
Salmon, Almonds & Asparagus

So that is my year in a brief wrap of sorts. I hope you have all had a wonderful time with family over Christmas and have grand and wonderful plans to ring in the new year ahead. I think I will be in bed by 10pm - no partying for me. All the best for the year to come! See you in 2014!



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