A Jolly Jelly Christmas Printable!

Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Christmas Printable

Don’t be scared, I know it’s early but Christmas WILL be here soon, there’s just no escaping it!  To get us in the mood I’ve whipped up these super-cute gift bag toppers that you can download and print out for your own festive celebrations.

Ethan is planning on hosting a Christmas Party in December to celebrate the season, and finishing school, with his family and cousins.  I wanted to come up with a small, inexpensive (but cute) Christmas gift that could be easily attached to a Christmas Card that was NOT a candy cane – because everyone gets SO sick of Candy Canes by the end of the holiday season!

My lollies of choice were the new range of Jelly Tots and Tangy Tots from Allen’s plus everyone’s favourite Allen’s Snakes, all of which are free from artificial colours.

I plan on serving healthy snacks and finger food at the party, so will skip any sweet desserts in lieu of a perfectly portioned treat which I know everyone will love and there’ll be no wastage, yay.

Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Christmas Printable

I picked up the cellophane gift bags from Spotlight and had no problems figuring out a healthy serve per bag as the new packaging from Allen’s has a handy serving size indicator on the bag! Two snakes or 12-14 Jelly Tots.

The toppers are printed on some light cardboard (2 to a sheet of A4), so you just need to cut them out, fold them and staple them to the top of the folded gift bag.  Super easy and super affordable.  

Christmas is a special occasion and finishing school for the year is certainly a big deal, so I’m totally happy offering our guests a sweet treat to take home and enjoy, knowing that they haven’t had a free-for-all at an overloaded junk-food table before-hand.

I hope you love these printables as much as much as I know the kids will enjoy their treats.  Thanks so much Allen’s for the lollies, these were the perfect options for portioned gift bags and are so yummy, you’ll have no complaints!

Download the Jolly Jelly Gift Bag Topper here

Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Christmas PrintableTop Mummy Blog new Zealand Christmas Printable

DIY | Refinishing our dining table

Our dining room table was not a pretty guy and was really letting down the overall ambience of the dining room. I joke!  I would never use the word ambience and mean it, I promise.

Our table was a hand-me-down from Mum and Dad and was still in awesomely solid condition, but the original varnish on the top was thin and the finish had suffered over the years (standard nail polish remover accidents etc).  My initial inclination was to just go out and buy a brand new table, but dang, those suckers are expensive!  It was decided that we would refinish our dining room table ourselves.

Dining Table Refinish DIY NZ BlogI knew I wanted the top finished in bright, high gloss, hard wearing white enamel.  The opposite of the dipped leg that is trending right now but I had Dave had exactly zero interest in sanding down all of those fiddly little side bits!  And so we began;

Step 1.  Strip the existing finish.  Dave used a 30 grit disk on an orbital sander.  This took him probably 5 minutes!  Absolutely no indicator of how long and arduous this project was to become!  (I have neglected to mention that we undertook this project in the middle of one of the hottest summers I can ever remember – the worst possible time for oil based enamel paint to harden). 

Step 2.  Buy premium rollers.  I began with cheap ones and paid the price of having to apply more coats than I otherwise would have.

Step 3.  Apply two coats of Dulux Prepcoat Oil Based Primer with a light sand using 220 grit in between.  I didn’t listen to Dave and only applied one coat!  You will probably have to hand sand the edges and sides as it is easy to strip these right back to the wood – over and over again.  Sigh.

Step 4.  Take careful note of drying times and stick to these religiously.    After a light sand begin top coats.  I used Dulux Super Enamel Oil Based High Gloss in white.  Paint the small edges first and roll longways down the table.  Light sand between each coat.  With proper prep and good rollers you should only need 3 coats max.  I did SEVEN.  fml.

Step 5.  Do not listen to your neighbor when he suggests you top coat your hours of work with polyurethane.  At any cost.  

Step 6.  You will hate your table by this point, but now you must wait for the enamel to harden.  Give it at least two days before returning it to use.  It will probably take weeks to harden, especially if you have applied seven coats of oil based paint!

Dining Table Refinish DIY NZ BlogHowever painful the process was, I swoon over the new finish every time I sit at the table.  It is so, so glossy and hard wearing.  Nixie’s crayon scrawls come right off and cleaning up after mealtimes is bliss compared to the previously worn varnish.  A labour of love that has given this fab table many more years to endure the abuse of my children!

Dining Table Refinish DIY NZ Blog Dining Table Refinish DIY NZ Blog Dining Table Refinish DIY NZ Blog

Dining chairs, wall art and copper basket from Freedom Furniture

Show and Tell | Vintage Deck Chair Revival

Vintage Deck Chair

Aren’t these chairs simply the poster child of summers past? My Poppa is in full spring clean mode and de-cluttering everything so I was super stoked to find two of these classic deck chairs in his garage just waiting for another summer with our family. I LOVED the original canvas but 35+ years of New Zealand sun had well and truly finished these beauties off. Pop purchased these from the original Farmers Department Store on Hobson St – I have such great memories of that building and our family shopping trips there.
I had really good intentions about buying UV stable canvas as recommended by my Aunty but…….I saw this Mexican woven cotton canvas in Spotlight and knew it was a deal-breaker. It was cheap and perfect for me so if I have to replace it in a few years so be it, the chair frames may not even last that long anyway.
So, to make the seats a little bit stronger I folded the length of fabric in half, whizzed a quick seam down the side and then used small nails at close intervals to attach the fabric to the frame.
And, it worked!
These are the most comfortable chairs ever, very happy to have finished this wee project off before summer hits (I’ve had the fabric stashed for maybe 6 months or so!).

Vintage Deck Chairs
Joining in with lovely Leonie at Sunshine x 3

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

Show & Tell | Christmas Bunting

I have been channelling my domestic goddess even more than normal lately and, I have been S E W I N G.  I know, it IS a big deal.  Prior to recent adventures in Spotlight I had not sewed since Home Economics in Form 2.  Think how along that must have been for it to have been called Form Two!

Luckily my Mum had not upgraded her sewing machine since then so I remembered how to use it fairly quickly – sewing machine is just about as old as me and pretty much brand new!  I think she got over her domestic goddess phase pretty quickly lol.  I have since made bandanna bibs, an advent calendar {which I will show you as soon as I learn what applique means and fix the numbers on} and this – behold my beauteous Christmas bunting!

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I’m pretty sure this is the peak of my ability here, I mean those flags have a backing, I sewed them, inside-outed them, PUT BIAS BINDING ON THEM {thank you Jesus and YouTube}, I sewed loops on the end of the bias binding………oh, and  top stitching……phew.

Yes, I am quite proud of my first length of Christmas Bunting.  Mum said she wanted to buy some for the house up north and I said “whoa there, I have fabric in my stash of one-project-so-far-leftovers, let me make you some bunting!”.  And so I did.

The end.

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Ah well, I guess you can see my advent calendar sans advent numbers, I will finish this next week!