Our Festive Celebrations for 2013

Well hello there!!! Welcome back lovely readers.
Happy New Year to you all!!!
I can’t believe it’s now 2014. Christmas is all done and dusted for another year. Thank goodness Christmas only occurs once a year, I love it, but physically, financially and mentally I think once a year is more than enough for everyone (I believe the next 12 months is to recover).
We had a fantastic festive break, sharing it with beautiful family and friends. I feel truly blessed to be part of such a special network of people. I did promise a post-Christmas Blog Post so rather than waffle on (like I usually do) I think I will let the pictures do more of the talking today.

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It was a group effort putting our Christmas day feast together. This was some of the kitchen action on Christmas Eve. Zasister, Zagrandma and Zakidlets all doing their bit. Zadada was doing plenty behind the scenes, taking these pictures, tending to the outside maintenance and keeping Zakidlets entertained.

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I love a pretty Christmas table. This year I used a mirror as part of my centre piece on the table (an idea I found on pinterest). I was really happy with how it all turned out.

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Tradition in The Zamamabakes household is to attend Mass on Christmas Eve. We managed a quick bite to eat before hand, the kids request of course, but it was lovely to just sit and have a few moments as our family of 5.

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We had to leave some treats out for Santa and his Reindeer. The banana and strawberries on the plate was my attempt to Christmas Brekky a little (some more pinterest inspiration).

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I love watching the kids discover their gifts from Santa on Christmas morning.

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This was our group for Christmas lunch. Zasister, Zagorgeous Aimee, Zabrother, Zadada, Zamama (me), Zapop, Zagrandma and of course Zakidlets our little cherubs Alani, Blake and Ella. Missing from the picture is Zauncle Jim, he was behind the camera for this shot.

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Some yummy morning appetizers! I made sure I had that glass of champagne (a Christmas gift from Zasister last year). We had a delicious Cheeseball Zauncle Jim made I intend on sharing the recipe as soon as I can.

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This is some of what was on offer for lunch, dinner and lunch again on boxing day!! So much food, so delicious.

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Zakidlets table and the rest of us.

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Dessert was scrumptious another great group effort.

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And just in case you felt like something else sweet we had Zanan’s Trifle, Zagrandma’s fruit cake and a tray of yummy homemade chocolates.

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It’s not Christmas without a spot of cricket, I chose to spectate and ensure the electric fence was switched off!!!

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How could we forget Zapuppydog!! Blake found this dog shirt at the reject shop before Christmas, wrapped it up and put it under the Christmas tree for Locky. It was a little on the tight side so it was on long enough to take a picture. I think Zapuppydog needs to lose a little weight, (his New Years resolution perhaps).

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Boxing day brought some motor biking action.

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As well as some construction action.
Lots of fun was had by all involved.

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For Christmas Zagrandma and Zapop, Zanan and Zapop as well as Zadada and Myself all put in to purchase a climbing fort for Zakidlets. The only thing was it came flat packed.

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The day after boxing day we had a working bee that went for 12 hours (I happened to be in at work for 8 of those hours). I still managed to lend a bit of a helping hand when I got home (I think) for a few brief moments at least (I fitted in the fort a little more comfortably than Zadada), they even let me loose with the drill!!!

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The finished product with some very happy owners!!
Thank you to Zanan, Zagrandma, Zapop and Zadada for making this happen all in a day!!!
For those interested we purchased the climbing fort from climbingframes.com.au the ceder climbing frame specialists. See details here. We are extremely happy with it so far.

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We also managed a beach trip during the festive break. We had a great day!!!

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Before we knew it a week had passed and a new year was almost upon us. We stayed at home sharing New Years Eve with some lovely friends.

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New Year celebrations are not complete without Dessert!! In fact no celebration is complete without dessert!! I made an easy Chocolate, cream and berry log, it’s a bit of a cheats dessert, great when you are a little time poor and is always yummy!!

I am looking forward to sharing some recipes from the festive break soon.
While the kids are on holidays things may be a little hit and miss, I will do my best.
It’s great to be back, stay tuned.

Zamamabakes

The Gift Of Giving

Christmas time should be a special time for everyone but the reality is there are a lot of people who go without at Christmas.
Zadada and I are always trying to explain to Zakidlets especially the older 2 how fortunate they are to have a safe, happy and comfortable home to live in. Being so young, I understand its hard for little people to comprehend much more than if they feel hungry or sad let alone considering how someone else might be feeling. That’s when I thought about a way I might be able to involve Zakidlets in a little project that would hopefully give them some better insight into the needs of others and that giving gifts can be more important and rewarding then receiving gifts, (I think it will take quite some time for them to fully understand this concept, I can only try).
As most of you already know I held a cake stall at a local Handmade Christmas Market last weekend and I promised I would donate any profits to local Christmas charities. I decided on 2 separate charities one being ‘Operation Santa’ which is run through Target department stores in partnership with Uniting Care. You have the choice of either purchasing a gift of your choice or donating a gift card. The second Charity was the St Vincent de Paul Society. You can donate non-perishable Christmas fare which is included in Christmas hampers getting distributed to local families in need.
So come Monday this week we set to work, shopping for gifts and Christmas fare.
We started with the 2 gifts, I let Blake and Ella do the looking and suggesting then we all collaborated and finalised the purchases. I think they did a really great job with their selections.

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We then payed for our purchases and headed for Target to attach and fill out the appropriate gift tags.

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A lovely sales assistant by the name of Joseph collected our gifts for ‘Operation Santa’ and happily obliged to have his picture taken with Zakidlets!! Thank you so much Joseph!!

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Moving on we headed across to the supermarket to shop for our hamper contributions. Again I asked Blake and Ella for their input on what they thought should go into someone’s house at Christmas time. You may notice there is a box of Coco Pop’s in both trollies, the suggestion of breakfast cereal came up and I asked what cereal they would want to eat on Christmas day? Can you guess what their response was? In the Zamamabakes household Coco Pops are a ‘sometimes’ food (we only have them for special occasions like holiday’s, birthday brekkies and of course Christmas brekkies!!). One box was purchased separately for us the other was included in the ‘Hamper’ collection.

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I think these 2 little people really enjoyed their shopping experiences.

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This is what we ended up with. I know it looks a little on the party, sugary side of things but it is Christmas after all, I can assure you we had some real food in their too.

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On Tuesday after School 4 of us (poor Zadada was at work) arrived at St Vincent de Paul to deliver our hamper contributions.

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We were introduced to a lovely lady Bernadette and we handed our bundle over to her. Bernadette happily obliged to have her photo taken too.
I guess no visit is complete at Vinnies without making a personal purchase or 3. Blake asked if he could go and look at the toy section, the girls were one step behind. They all found an item they wanted to take home. I struck a deal with them, agreeing to make the purchases on condition that when we arrived home they had to find me some toys of their own I could take back the next day to donate. They happily obliged.

It was only yesterday that Blake commented he would love to see the little boys face on Christmas morning that gets the gift we donated to ‘Operation Santa’. That’s what the gift of giving is all about!!

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I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who contributed to my Zamamabakes Cake Stall last weekend. Together we have made a small positive difference in someone’s Christmas experience.

Until next time…..
Zamamambakes.