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.

20140101-230110.jpg

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.

20140101-230150.jpg

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.

20140101-230230.jpg

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.

20140101-230304.jpg

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).

20140101-230347.jpg

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

20140101-230429.jpg

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.

20140101-230504.jpg

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.

20140101-230556.jpg

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

20140101-230622.jpg

Zakidlets table and the rest of us.

20140101-230702.jpg

Dessert was scrumptious another great group effort.

20140101-230728.jpg

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.

20140101-230753.jpg

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

20140101-230815.jpg

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).

20140101-230903.jpg

Boxing day brought some motor biking action.

20140101-230934.jpg

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

20140101-231025.jpg

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.

20140101-231100.jpg

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!!!

20140101-231143.jpg

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.

20140101-231217.jpg

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

20140101-231250.jpg

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.

20140101-231330.jpg

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

Advertisements

Some insight into our Santa visit last week

20131207-171909.jpg
I’m sure most of you are well into the craziness of the festive season just like us. I think it’s normal at this time of year to have your head spinning isn’t it??? Regardless of the spinning head I still love Christmas and all the good spirited things that come with it.
Last weekend being the start of Advent we put the Christmas tree up and did the inside house decorating. We actually did it on Saturday, I know it was a day early but I had Sunday scheduled as our ‘Santa photo day’.

20131207-171950.jpg

It has become a bit of a tradition to have our Santa photo at Myer, this usually involves queuing for a little bit as you can see in the picture above (look at that enthusiastic pair!!! hahahaha!). While we were queuing, I tried to get a few snapshots of the kids. It’s not everyday they are as neat and tidy looking as this. Someone decided he wasn’t feeling very photogenic, that’s why you see just the girls posing in most of the pictures. I didn’t want to push my luck with Blake as I didn’t want him feeling all smiled out for the official ‘Santa Photo’, a mother has to play the game sometimes!

20131207-172015.jpg

20131207-172050.jpg

20131207-172112.jpg

20131207-172146.jpg

Our Turn finally came around to see Santa.
Alani didn’t want to get too close to Santa, so she observed him by peeking from behind my dress.
Blake and Ella happily told Santa there Christmas requests.

20131207-172223.jpg

Eventually Alani ventured a little closer to Santa and told him from a far that she would like a bike for Christmas.

20131207-172359.jpg
It was then time for the official snapshot and after about 5 attempts this was our result. I am very proud of our little family, great that we could get everyone smiling and looking in the same direction at the same time.

20131207-211820.jpg
Considering we had to queue for over an hour (next year I will be taking advantage of the book online in advance option), Zakidlets were extremely well-behaved.
We went and had a bite to eat and finished the day off with a well deserved ice-cream. Yum!!!

20131207-211923.jpg

I would love to put together a Christmas Blog post of my reader’s Christmas photos, whether it be a picture of your Christmas tree, a Santa picture, anything that says Christmas I would love you to share it with me so I can include it in the post. If you feel like participating email me your pictures to zamambakes@gmail.com
Let’s have a bit of fun!!

A fun family outing

Last weekend  we had our local Agricultural show. It’s certainly not something to compare with the Brisbane Ekka or Sydney Royal Easter show but it is special to our little family and always proves to be a lovely little social outing, we always find ourselves catching up with other local friends we don’t get to see on a regular basis.
The show only runs for 2 days Friday and Saturday, we generally choose to go out on the Saturday afternoon. This gives us enough time to have a walk around the exhibitions, let the kids have a ride or 2, have a chat here and there and grab a bite to eat before waiting for the show finale fireworks!!!
20131105-205341.jpg

This year there was a new visitor to the show, a lovely ferris wheel which certainly attracted lots of attention.

20131105-205408.jpg

Of course there were the stock standard attractions.

20131105-205450.jpg

Alani and Ella enjoyed a ride on the elephant merry-go-round.

20131105-205652.jpg

On display was some very old farming equipment, this bulldozer being one of them.

20131105-205821.jpg

Blake was quite proud of himself this year as he had reached the height required to drive a dodgem car all by himself, even if he did drive backwards a few times, a big thankyou to the ride assistant that got him back on track each time.

20131105-205916.jpg

Ella and Blake both loved the harnessed trampolines at the show, as you can see by the look on Ella’s face, although when the lady offered to show Ella how to do a backflip, she politely declined the offer and continued with her conservative bouncing routine she felt comfortable with. Blake on the other hand was more than happy to be shown how to do backflips and successfully achieved doing them, there was no holding him back.

20131105-205948.jpg

The Trot races are always fun to watch.

20131105-210025.jpg

As you can see Alani  (Miss Independence) very much enjoyed her train ride. I love this picture.

20131105-210048.jpg

I am not a vegetarian but I do like to enjoy food from all walks of life including vegetarian food. I was far from disappointed with the generous plate of food I received from this little food stall. I think I was so hungry I forgot to take a picture to share with you all. Zadada made a choice earlier in the afternoon to stick with show tradition and have himself a dagwood dog!!! I think about half an hour after consuming it he regretted his decision, but isn’t that what eating dagwood dog’s is all about!!! ha ha ha and I failed to get a picture of that too.

Finally it was time for the fireworks and they more then delivered, quite the spectacle. We had 2 out of 3 children enjoy the fireworks, poor little Alani is still very scared of them but I’m sure she’ll grow out of her fear soon enough just as the older 2 have.

20131105-210114.jpg
So there you have it, a summary of our little family outing.
The kids now have another 12 whole months to wait for the next show to roll around.
It’s funny how when you are a child you value things differently to when you are an adult. On the way in to the show I asked the kids if they had a choice between going to Noosa heads for the weekend or spending the afternoon at the show they looked at me like I had 2 heads, their reply of course was, “The Show”!!!!

An Outdoor Adventure as a family of 5 plus 1 furry friend

20131030-205218.jpg
We are very fortunate to be bringing up our 3 beautiful children on acreage in Northern NSW. Last weekend for the first time together all 5 of us including Zapuppydog Locky went for a bush walking adventure on our property. I have to say I’m not usually a bushwalking, adventuring Zamama, but I know how much the kids love being outside just like Zadada so I thought right make the effort Zamama so I did and I am so glad I did because we had a great morning.
I think sometimes we get so wound up with life in general that we forget to really appreciate what is right under our nose.
It was too good a day not to share some pictures with you all. I will treasure this little adventure forever, you may not be able to go back in time but photo’s are great for taking good memories forward.

So off we set up over our rolling hills on a beautiful blue skied day.

20131030-205512.jpg
It was somewhere between the photo above and the next below that Zadada spotted a snake, slithering away from us and with that the not so brave Zamama was very ready to turn around and run home, but assured by her husband that the snake would not be interested in gobbling up any of her family members or herself she continued on. I must add at this point not one of our three children flinched at the fact that a snake had been sighted, they stopped in their tracks when Zadada told them to stop but they certainly did not share the anxious fear and racing heart that I did. I guess that’s the difference between being brought up as a child on the land as opposed to being introduced to it at the age of 29 like me (but more on that another time, I may have lived here now for almost 6 years but I am still learning the ropes of out-of-town living).

I don’t know about the rest of you but we can’t take Zakidlets anywhere without their little tummies rumbling. We found a beautiful little spot in the rainforest and set up for a little morning tea picnic.
20131030-210109.jpg

20131030-210312.jpg

20131030-210414.jpg
Once those little and big rumbling tummies had been satisfied it was time for some exploring , splashing in the creek and listening out for all the amazing sounds you hear when you are in a rainforest. It gave Zadada and I great pleasure to watch our 3 little munchkins taking in everything that was around them.

20131030-210703.jpg

20131030-210913.jpg

20131030-211033.jpg
I should add it was not all smooth sailing, we did have one little family member decide they need the bathroom!!!!!!……….fortunately we managed to make do with what the great outdoors had to offer and everyone was ok.

Middle munchkin Ella thought that because she was ready to go home (in other words she had no more food left) everyone else should be ready to go home too. Eventually she got her wish but not before everyone was ready (that girl needs to learn a little more about being patient and courteous, ha ha maybe one day in my Zamama dreams!!!).

So we packed up and headed for home which was only about 20 minutes walk away and that includes walking with a 2 1/2 year old who did extremely well for her first real bushwalking adventure.

20131030-211141.jpg

20131030-211357.jpg
Our adventure ended with a bit of clay wall climbing for the kids.
I would love to say a big thankyou to our fantastic tour guide, AKA Zadada. You are one very patient man and I appreciate everything you do for our little family.

My advice to everyone whether you live in the city or the country is get out in the sunshine and fresh air as much as you can, it really is good medicine and helps to refresh the soul.

Decorating Thongs with Mod Podge

I have recently discovered Mod Podge and I am loving what it can do. The first project I made with it was a set of tile coasters check them out here.
My second project is this one decorated thongs. Zakidlets and I got to work one day during the school holidays and we had lots of fun. We all decorated ourselves a pair of thongs except for Alani, she decorated a plate as I was unable to find her a pair of thongs suitable in her size.

20131008-213543.jpg

20131008-213604.jpg

20131008-213619.jpg
We started by cutting 1cm width strips of fabric.
Next we coated the back side of fabric with mod Podge and then you just start wrapping being careful to just overlap the fabric as you wrap it around the strap of the thong.
We started in the middle of the thong strap and worked our way out which meant at least 2 strips depending on size of thongs and length of fabric you have to work with.

20131008-215513.jpg
If you need to, put a little Mod Podge on the top of thong strap to help fabric adhere a little better but don’t over do it.
Once you have covered entire strap with fabric let dry for about 20 minutes then apply another light coat of Mod Podge just on the top side of decorated thong strap.
Again let completely dry.
Once dry, use a plastic bag to cover the base of thong as shown in picture below and spray fabric coating with a single coat of clear gloss spray this will help to preserve and waterproof the fabric.

20131008-220639.jpg
Let the thongs completely dry, this may take a few hours or over night.
Before you know it your thongs will be ready to parade around for everyone to see.
As you can see we had a great time doing this activity.
Mod Podge is non-toxic and it dries clear so is very user-friendly.
I purchased the Mod Podge from my local craft shop Jabiru.
Have fun.

20131008-221811.jpg

20131008-222235.jpg

20131008-222415.jpg

A Zamama date with the 2 older Zakidlets!!!

What a day we had yesterday!!! It’s not very often that I get some quality time with my Blake who’s 8 and Ella who’s 6, just the 3 of us, for those of you with a 2 year old in your house you will know exactly what I am talking about. I’m certainly not complaining about having a 2 year old, I love Alani to the moon, back and more!!! But when we have our usual days out with the 4 of us there are limitations on certain activities. So it was very special to just go and have a day out where Zaolderkidlets got to be the centre of my attention!!!
You will notice our day didn’t get off to the best of starts. Blake somehow tripped himself up on Ella’s foot as she was scooting past and he took a bit of a tumble. It didn’t take him long to recover. The day only got better from here on, we had a fantastic day to say the least!!!

20130923-211113.jpg

20130923-211128.jpg

20130923-211156.jpg

20130923-211224.jpg

20130923-211240.jpg

20130923-211311.jpg

20130923-211327.jpg

20130923-211348.jpg

20130923-211403.jpg

20130923-211415.jpg
All I can say is how much I enjoyed a quality day out with these 2 little people see-saw ride included!! What a way to start the school holidays. Getting out in the fresh air and sunshine really does make you appreciate what you have.
My day ended perfectly when from the back of the car I heard (completely unprompted) ‘Thankyou for the day out Mum’, day was made. Thankyou Blake and Ella!!!
I hope you have all had a great start to the school holidays if you live in Australia!!!
Tomorrow will be a nice home day for us all, planning to do some craft with Mod Podge and Thongs, should be interesting.