Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Now that life is slowly returning to normal again...

I love Christmas and New Year and look forward to it all year long but man, it really wears me out! This year even more so but I think that's from a combination of being 9 months pregnant and dealing with financial stresses.
But it was nice... every Christmas Eve we go to my MILs with the rest of the family and have appies and open up our gifts. This year was a little bit somber as my FIL passed away in August but it was nice nonetheless.
Then Christmas morning my MIL and youngest SIL came over for brunch and to watch the kids open the gifts. Normally we do it ourselves but as I said earlier my FIL passed away and I think it was nice for MIL and SIL to be with family. Plus Dave and I plus the kids loved having them here.
Usually we have a big brunch as we don't eat again until dinner and it has always consisted of pancakes, eggs, bacon and hashbrowns. But I got tired of all the dishes so this year I did a hashbrown casserole using this recipe: and I also wanted to try Kate's (Jon and Kate plus 8) Christmas Sticky Buns ( as I had watched a rerun a few weeks before and they looked SO good!
First I made the sticky buns which was really easy as the recipe called for refridgerated bisquit dough. The only problem I had with the ingredients is that it's impossible to find the Grands size that it called for so I used the regular sized country bisquit dough. I'm not sure about the recipe or maybe I did something wrong but my smoke alarms started going off because I forgot to put a pan underneath to catch all the drippings. Oops! When it's done, y ou're supposed to turn it over onto a plate and pull it apart. Well... that didn't work as the top was very done but the bottom was still raw. Grr!! But we salvaged what we could and it was yummy. I don't think I'll make it again though.
Then I made the hashbrown casserole and omg.. that was sooooo good. Next time I'll use less butter though as it was pretty greasy. Very heavy too but that's okay since it was our only meal until dinner. I will definitely use this recipe again but next year I'll prepare it the night before so I can pop it in the oven when we wake up.
The kids had a blast opening up their gifts, they both got spoiled of course. Parker was cute because he really didn't get that he was allowed to rip the wrapping paper. He'd rip a little piece off and then look at us like he was doing something naughty. Because we're now living off just my husband's income as I'm now on Maternity Leave (I won't even go into the details of why I'm not getting EI for mat leave as it's just one big headache!!) we decided to do mostly handmade gifts. Which I love doing!

Here's a few pics of the kids and their mamma-made gifts:
I made this framed photograph for Ally using alphabet photography. I have been seeing these online everywhere but they're so expensive so I did it myself. Parker and I went for walk one day and took pictures of objects that looked like letters to spell out PEACE. I printed them off at walmart in the mini-size for less than a dollar for all 5 letters and bought a cheapo frame for $4 and matted it myself (read: taped the photos onto black cardstock). Not too bad if i do say so myself! I also made two PEACE framed photos for my SILS (bigger size though) and one for Dave's uncle with his surname.

In addition to the silk playscarves I posted about earlier, Ally and I made a set of wool felted balls for Parker. I took lots of pics of the process so I'll do a seperate entry about that. He loves them and best of all when he throws them, they're soft so they won't break or hurt anything!

The above is of a handmade gift but not by me. These adorable knit hats are from I absolutely love this shop and have boughten from her several times and plan to again in the future. Last year I bought Parker the eggplant hat and this year Ally got a chocolate dipped strawberry hat and I bought the cutest smallest green apple hat for the new baby. You'll have to wait for pics of that one though!

In addition to these, I also made homemade chai tea kits for my MIL and Dave's aunt (AIL?) and a tea cosy for the both of them along with some yummy baking. I had plans on doing more homemade gifts but then I realized that I'm too knackered for that! Even though I'm not working right now and in theory have lots of time on my hands, I really don't. So I think next year I'll get started a little earlier!

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