Things I’m Loving

Christmas always seems to pass in the blink of an eye for me and this year has proved no exception.  Ethan’s birthday is at the end of November and we seem to focus on that a lot then get blindsided with HOLYSMOKESTHERESONLY3WEEKSTILCHRISTMAS!!!  But, I was pretty organised this year, being at home with Nixon left me lots of time to get my online shopping done and avoid the mall-crazy for the most part.  I do love Christmas, we had a brilliant, relaxed day at home with our immediate family and it was just right.  Nix was a darling who enjoyed the wrapping paper immensely and Ethan was grateful and gracious all day.  Win!

But {let’s be honest}, I did ask Dave and E if we could ‘pack Christmas away’ this morning.  I would love to get those big plastic storage boxes up high in the garage for another year but my request was overruled by the guys – Ethan response probably motivated by laziness, Dave’s by tradition {“you have to keep your tree up until New Year!”}.

Anywho, I’ve just finished my box of Scorched Almonds so lets get cracking shall we?

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I love this photo of Dave and I.  We were setting up for our family Christmas picture {which you can see on here on FB} and snapped some test shots first – the camera was on the lawn on a rung of the ladder but it worked perfectly!  Dave is the most kick-ass gift giver ever and completely spoiled me rotten this year.  I take care of the shopping for everyone else because it takes him multiple excursions to get everything on his list for me!  Yes, I’m a very lucky girl.  We celebrated our 9 year wedding anniversary two days before Christmas so there have been lots of happy celebrations around here lately.

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It’s quite hard to go for a walk with Nix and the dogs when he is in the buggy as I just don’t have enough hands to hold on to the stroller and the leashes.  The Ergo works well and is comfy for me, but he doesn’t love it, I had to switch to the front position half way around the neighbourhood.  I love this selfie of us as he looks itty-bitty, hiding back there!

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I went to bed early-ish last night with the May/June issue of Frankie I purchased to read in hospital when Nix was born and had yet to read!  The centrefold was this delicious print that I whipped out and stuck in the toilet with some washi tape that Dave found for me in Japan.  Love the colours – so me!

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All the toys in the world and homeboy loves the gold ribbon.

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Our Christmas table was perfect!  Laden with turkey, ham, pork and all of the trimmings plus traditional Polish pierogi made by my sister-in-law!  So yummy, best Christmas day ever for me x

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My big boy and my Christmas baby.  We told Ethan that he was going to be a big brother on Christmas Eve last year, so it was kinda special having Nixon here to love on and marvel over – he’s almost 6 months old!!!!!

Joining in with Meghan for Things I’m Loving

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Merry Christmas! | Giveaway Winner

I hope you’re having a wonderful day today wherever you are celebrating with your loved ones.  Rafflecopter and random.org have drawn the winner of the A Beautiful Mess Photo Book + Whittakers Chocolates giveaway ……

Congratulations to Amy!

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Thank you all so much for visiting The Best Nest this year, have a safe and fab holiday season.  See you all in 2014!

Easy No-Bake Cheesecake Recipe

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I’ve had a request for my no-bake cheesecake recipe which has NEVER failed on me and is so delicious.  You need to make this cheesecake about 24 hours in advance so you can be sure it has set, other than that it’s dead easy.

CHEESECAKE RECIPE

CRUST

1 packet of Superwines Biscuits
175 g (6oz) melted butter
1 tsp cinnamon

Crush bikkies, mix with butter and cinnamon and press into greased / lined springform pan.

FILLING

1 250 gm tub cream cheese
300ml cream
1 tblsp lemon juice
1+ tblesp gelatine
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
1 tin boysenberries

Dissolve gelatine in water
Beat gelatine, cream cheese, lemon and sugar until smooth
Whip cream until stiff and peaky
Fold in whipped cream
Beat a little
Fold in berries, don’t beat
Tip mix onto base, chill

TOPPING

1 tblsp sugar
Berry juice from can
1 lg tblsp cornflour

Mix sugar with cornflour and heat with juice, stir until thick, don’t boil.
Cool and spread over cheesecake.  Ensure cheesecake sets in fridge for at least 6 hours prior to serving.

 

Christmas Treats | Shortbread Stacks & Cupcake Icing

Shortbread is such a holiday favourite isn’t it?  I love it and always whip up a couple of batches each year to gift to our neighbours and friends.  Instead of using my old faithful Christmas cookie cutters I used my round set this year and simply stacked the biscuits up and tied them with bakers string.  There is nothing spectacular about the recipe, it’s just the Edmonds go-to, but I quite fancy this presentation for a change.

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These little stacks went off to work with Dave to give to some colleagues and friends and as soon as the baby sleeps for more than half an hour I’ll get another batch on!  How can he not be as tired as me??????

Mum had a pot-luck to attend last week and as I had a stash of un-iced cupcakes in the freezer I Christmas-ed them up with some buttercream, candy canes and little silver cachous.  Crushed candy cane pretty much sucks to work with, it gets really sticky if you handle it.  The best thing to do is crush it in a zip lock bag and sprinkle it on straight from the bag, avoiding using your fingers.

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Show and Tell | Christmas Advent Calendar Bunting

Phew!  Five days before Christmas and I finally managed to get all of the numbers on the advent calendar.  There have been many projects {2} throughout my illustrious sewing career, however this advent calendar would have to be my favourite to date.  I loved every little pain-in-the-ass step, the fun of bias binding, the huge amount of cutting and tucking and poking out corners ….. and  thanks to the Christmas miracle of Vliesofix I never had to learn what applique meant and was able to iron on my numbers, hurray!

But I really did enjoy making this, I feel like it’s something that will hang in our family home for years to come and will be filled with many treats, toys and surprises as Nix and Ethan grow each Christmas.  Ethan’s big advent surprise for this year, tucked into a pocket, was tickets to The Hobbit II with Dave and I.  We had a lovely night out and some quality time with our big boy who has been really deserving of a special treat lately.

There are many tutorials online for these but if you don’t feel like making your own, lovely Vanessa at Bubbalino sells these each holiday season so shoot her an email if you would like to order one.

PS. Don’t forget to enter my Christmas Giveaway!

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Advent_calendar_bunting  Show_and_tell

Ed Sheeran is a tricksy little hobbit

I have detested Ed Sheeran and his music for the entire length of his short ginger career.  He and his Lego house were the musical equivalent of standing on Lego City.  In bare feet.  In the dark, with no way of knowing which way the clear carpet lay.  Torturous I have found him.

But then came this song, and god damn it if I don’t LOVE it.

If lyrics of burning hobbits and dwarves is your thing, do you love this song as much as me?  It’s so dark.  Ethan’s advent gift yesterday was  a movie night with Dave and I to go and see The Hobbit II.  I was hanging out for the credits so I could listen to this song in loud, beautiful theatre sound.  The movie was frickin ace as well which helped pass the time until the credits rolled.

Giveaway | A Beautiful Mess Photo Idea Book {+ some Whittakers Choccy}

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Merry Christmas from me and my little family!

2013 has been the bestest year for us with the arrival of Nixon, another little chubba to enjoy on Christmas day!  Thanks for hanging in there with me, reading along as I bumbled {and complained} my way through pregnancy and totally forgot to blog through the newborn fog……..ah, those were the days!

Anyway, it’s Summer, it’s Christmas and I’ve got a present for you!  Use the nifty Rafflecopter gadget to enter to win one copy of the A Beautiful Mess Photo Idea Book and some Whittakers Christmas Chocolate.  Giveaway ends on Christmas Eve so good luck and have a wonderful holiday with all of your gorgeous people xx

{This is NOT a sponsored giveaway, just something I enjoyed and thought you might too, NZ residents only}

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Christmas Treats | Chocolate Peppermint Pretzel Bark Recipe

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Hell yes I’m jumping on the Christmas Bark bandwagon – this stuff tastes SO good, is so easy, cheap and looks fab.  If you can’t bake to save your life or simply don’t want to turn the oven on in these scorching temperatures {are we loving it or hating it?} this recipe is for you!

It’s Ethan’s final day of the school year tomorrow so I sent him off with this plate of yumminess for his teacher.  Keep an eye out for cute plates in the post-Christmas sales, Mum picked this one up last year for about $4!

You will need:

1 bag of bow pretzels {this would make multiple batches}

1 400gm bag of white chocolate buttons

approx 200gm milk or dark chocolate

3 crushed candy canes

  • Place a single layer of pretzels on a baking tray lined with baking paper {this mix will probably only make half a tray}
  • Melt white chocolate in the microwave, stirring frequently until it is really pourable
  • Pour over the pretzels, you should be able to gently spread with a spoon or knife if needed
  • Place flat in freezer for approx 5 minutes
  • Crush candy canes by placing them in a zip lock back and smashing them with a rolling pin
  • Melt milk or dark chocolate in microwave, stirring frequently until it is really pourable
  • spread over the top of the now set white chocolate
  • Sprinkle crushed candy cane on top
  • Freeze for another 5 minutes
  • Break into pieces and serve

Second-hand dog discovers we have a baby!

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Louie, our big Shi-Tzu, noticed we had a baby a few months ago and seems to have taken on the role of Baby’s Guard Dog without much hesitation.  Dash is a bit of a ‘special’ dog and likes to take his time with things.  He has refused to acknowledge Nixon until today, when I happened to notice that he was on guard duty instead of Lou.

I can’t believe I happened to snap these shots.  If you’re not a dog person, you’re probably horrified and grossed out right now, perhaps getting all judgy about how I let my dogs lick my baby ……. whatev.

For those of you whose dogs are part of their family, doesn’t this little scene just melt your heart?  Nix was giggling away, loving that Dash was close enough to pull hair….finally!