Monday, December 31, 2012

a christmas feast with friends.

Baby Lachlan's first Christmas! Whooo hooo!

I would love to say it was amazing to watch the gleam in his eyes when he first saw that Santa had been there or the excitement he showed over the beautiful gifts... but let's be honest. He had no idea what was going on. At 7.5 weeks old, Christmas morning is just like any other but that didn't mean his momma and daddy weren't excited!!

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Lachlan spent Christmas morning playing on his activity mat with his "friends" (he seems to like the Lion the most these days) while the rest of us opened gifts.

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By the time the last gift had been opened, this little elf was passed out cold.

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Some of the pressies Santa brought this year.

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After all of the gifts were open and the wrapping paper cleaned up, I went straight to work on the decorations and food prep for our Christmas afternoon feast with family and friends.

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The day after Christmas last year, I went on a little Christmas supply shopping spree and picked up some supplies for just a fraction of the price and was able to use all of these supplies this year instead of going out and paying full price for everything.

I picked up these cute little ornaments for half price, wrote each person's name and year on them and used them as place cards for our Christmas lunch. After lunch everyone was able to take them home and hang them on their trees as a reminder of this year's Christmas lunch at the de Baugy's :)

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We split up the cooking duties and lunch menu included:

roast turkey and pork with gravy...

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roasted veggies (potato, sweet potato, pumpkin, carrot, onion and garlic)...

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corn and green bean casserole (recipe coming soon!)...

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prosciutto and goat cheese wrapped asparagus...

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and bread rolls!

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With a champagne toast and bon-bons, the meal was complete!

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It was a feast indeed!

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But of course no holiday meal is complete without dessert- chocolate cake, ice cream and trifle.

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Bon-Bons: An Aussie Christmas tradition! and the reason we are wearing these paper hats (see explanation below).

Crackers are typically pulled at the Christmas dinner table or at parties. In one version of the cracker tradition, the person with the larger portion of cracker empties the contents from the tube and keeps them. In another each person will have their own cracker and will keep its contents regardless of whose end they were in. Typically these contents are a coloured paper hat; a small toy, small plastic model or other trinket and a motto, a joke, a riddle or piece of trivia on a small strip of paper.[3] The paper hats, with the appearance of crowns, are usually worn when eating Christmas dinner. The tradition of wearing festive hats is believed to date back to Roman times, and the Saturnalia celebrations, which also involved decorative headgear. (source)

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It was a perfect Christmas day and wonderful way to end such a big year!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

merry christmas eve.

After finding out about our little bean growing inside of me, we called Max's mum and Matt and invited them over to our house for Christmas this year. I knew Nana Val would be dying to met her newest grandson and thought a family Christmas would be the perfect time for them to met.

And two days after our last house guests left, Nana Val and Poppy Matt arrived for Christmas (our guest room has a revolving door these days, hehe).

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I can't really speak for Nana and Poppy, but I am pretty sure they thought Lachlan was the most adorable baby around. You know, as most grandparents do!

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Since Byron was leaving for holidays with his Mum's family on Christmas Eve, Santa decided to visit our house a day early so he could open his presents with us too.

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Turns out Byron was on Santa's "nice" list this year... which was no surprise to us.

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And while we watched big brother open all of his gifts...

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Little brother had a little nap on Daddy. Apparently watching Byron open gifts isn't that exciting when you are 7 weeks old.

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Byron was so excited about the 108 newborn nappies he opened until he realised the box was actually full of new motorbike gear. Phew!

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I was so looking forward to our first family Christmas and was really glad Byron was able to spend the day with us. Sure it wasn't actually Christmas, but we were all together in one room on Christmas Eve, which is pretty darn close.

Merry Christmas Eve, from our little family to yours!!

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The de Baugy boys :)

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More on our Christmas Day festivities to come... but until then I would love to know how you split your holidays. Do you or did you grow up as a part of a split family? Do you celebrate holidays with multiple families on different days or alternate each year? How do you make it work and what tips do you have?? I would love to know :)

Friday, December 28, 2012

nana's fruit mince pies.

During the Christmas season, the stores here quickly fill up with a whole section of traditional Aussie treats such as fruit cake, christmas pudding (nothing like the American pudding... more like cake really), short bread cookies and fruit mince pies.

Each year, sometime around the end of November, Max comes home from the shops with a box of fruit mince pies. And each year he puts the entire box in the freezer and sits down to tell me the story of the frozen fruit mince pies stealers.

The legend goes something like this:

Every year around Christmas time, Max's mum would make dozens of fruit mince pies for the season. After baking and assembling them, she would stack them neatly in the freezer ready for defrosting when needed. Each night after the family was tucked in bed, Max and his brother would sneak out of their rooms and into the freezer for their fill of mum's fruit mince pies. The boys were sneaky though. Each time they snuck a pie from the stash they would rearrange them as to make it look like there were none missing. Slowly but surely the pies would disappear and to this day his mum was never the wiser... Oh and Max now only likes fruit mince pies when they are frozen.

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And luckily for him, his mum was here with us for Christmas this year and more than willing to recreate these infamous pies for all of us to share.

Nana Val's Fruit Mince Pie Recipe:
3oz butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda (baking soda)
1 cup fruit mince meat
1 grated green apple


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Pastry:
Cream butter and sugar together. Throughly mix egg through butter and sugar mixture. Add sifted flour and bicarb soda. Knead lightly and chill mixture in the refrigerator for one hour.

Fruit Mince:
While pastry chills, combine fruit mince and grated green apple. Nana Val uses pre-made fruit mince but you can find a recipe to make your own here if you live in a country that doesn't sell pre-made fruit mince.


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Preheat your oven to 180 C (350 F) and grease the inside of your pie moulds. Val used a few different muffin tins we had at the house and they seemed to work just perfectly :)

Assembly:
Lightly sprinkle a few table spoons of flour over your work area and roll out the chilled pastry dough. Using a cup or cookie cutter, cut out 12 circles. Place pastry circles into the muffin tin and fill with fruit mince. Re-roll the remaining pastry and cut out 12 more circles to use at tops for each pie. Pinch the sides of the pastry together, forming a small pie. Using a fork, poke the top of each pie several times.

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Bake pies at 180 C for 20-30 minutes or until pie tops look lightly golden.

Remove from oven, place on a pretty plate, sprinkle with icing sugar (powdered sugar) and enjoy :)  


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Of course, I was too busy stuffing my face with warm fruit mince pies that I didn't end up getting any pictures of the finished product.... oops! But I can tell you now, they were good!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

a few weeks ago.

Ever since Lachaln arrived, we have constantly been on the go. Birthday parties... dinners... lunches... picnics... shopping... He has been to the beach, the lake, the doctor, the movies, the nail salon- even over the state line to New South Wales. Yep- pretty much everywhere!

Here are a few pictures of our last two adventures with Mimi before she left (yes, she left a few weeks ago... I am very behind with my blog. Oops!).

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Day trip to Kings Cliff, New South Whales

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We travelled down to Kings Cliff for Nathan's 40th Birthday where Max was able to catch up with a bunch of his old friends. He held Lachlan like this for nearly an hour and a half, showing him off to everyone he could. Such a proud daddy :)

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One Sunday afternoon we drove out to Lake Somerset for a picnic and swim with Tom and Nerissa.

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We found a perfect piece of shade lakeside under a big tree.

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I had forgotten how much I love fresh water swimming which of course reminded me of summers at my Grandma's lake- boats, tubing, cousins, cold watermelon, paddle boats, fishing, fireworks, fire pits and smores (which, by the way, don't exist here in Oz...).

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It was a perfect day. Not too hot or sunny, but just right for a picnic and swim in the lake.

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I think we will definitely be coming back here for some camping adventures in the future!

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I'm sorry have been a bit slow with my updates lately.... something about having family in town. Oh- and a new baby too :) But I promise I'll be back soon with lots of fun pictures of our Christmas with Nana and Poppy as well as some random thoughts on things I have learned, what we have been up to and answering some of your FAQs.

I hope everyone has had an amazing holiday and blessed Christmas with family and friends. As much as the holidays are a time of joy and happiness, I know there are many people out there who are healing from a tough year and recent losses- you too have been in my heart during this time.

xoxo,
Michelle

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