A Christmas Tradition

Traditions are near and dear to me.
Perhaps it partly has to do with being adopted, and grasping onto special memories that really made me feel like we were finally ‘home’ when we moved in with our parents.

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Or, maybe I am just more of a soppy person.
Having family in the States, and have had the opportunity to have a couple of white Christmases with a huge family that filled up the room.
Going on tours of the towns seeing all of the over the top light displays while the snow flakes fall to the ground.
Attending Church services with the most amazing Christmas plays, Christmas carolers stopping by your home, and food – so much delicious food!
Visiting shopping malls with Christmas music, and sales and decorations everywhere!!!


A house overflowing with family – all having driven in and flown in from different states around America – all to be in the same place for Christmas.
All of the kids sleeping on mattresses around the tree on the night of Christmas eve, watching Christmas movies with popcorn, hot cocoa and cookies.
The memories leave me wishing to be my five year old self again, back in this moment.

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But, the part that stands out the most to me is FAMILY.

The years that we weren’t in the States, our Christmas was small, intimate and quieter.
They were still just as special, just different.
We would attend the Carols by Candle light service at our Church at the seaside, in short sleeves, because we aint got no white Christmas here in South Africa.
Christmas morning would mean unwrapping gifts from Father Christmas and our parents.
And then we would rush off to Church for the Christmas Day service.
We would then return home or to whichever family members home and have a Christmas lunch.
When we were younger, we would alternate different family members homes. And then it became just a handful of us as everyone immigrated or after some of the older folks passed away.

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And then, my very own sweet family grew by one.
And, the meaning of Christmas changed oh so much for me.
There was a new spark that was added to Christmas. This year has been amazing to start really teaching Olly some of the Christmas stories. He just adores them.
He attempts to sing along to Christmas carols, and we write down his Christmas wish list for Santa together.
Christmas comes up daily from the day he sees the first Christmas decorations in the malls.

It has become exciting all over again.

Amazing what a little soul can do.

As you can see, traditions are something very close to my heart.
Each year on Christmas we bake Christmas cookies together. It is something I did with my mom, and something I really wanted to do with Olly.
The Christmas music plays throughout our home, and the smell of freshly baked cookies makes its way through our home.
Cinnamon, and peanut butter cookies come out tray by tray as if we are trying to break a world record.

The home turns into a mess. Colourful icing, sprinkles and flour everywhere.
Faces are filled with batter and fingers filled with sticky cookie dough.
The sink filled with mixing bowls and baking utensils.
Trays of imperfect cookies cover the counter.


It really is a happy day. And one that will always be a special memory to me. And I hope one that Olly has as a happy memory of Christmas Day as he grows older.

I know for many, Christmas isn’t a happy time of the year. And I do sometimes feel selfish for loving it as much as I do.
It reminds me of happy times with so many people who are no longer here with us.
It reminds me of times spent with family and friends who live thousands and thousands of miles away.

But mostly, it is a reminder of how many amazing memories are yet to be made with this family I get to call my very own.

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So, here’s to the countdown to Christmas. I must be honest by saying that I’m not sure how we are already here!
BUT, it certainly is the most magical time of the year for me.

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A huge thank you to the incredibly talented Carina at https://www.crieneimages.com/ for these magical photos of Olly and myself in the (early) spirit of Christmas.

I also have to add – the beautiful and fun products available for Christmas these days is just amazing. It really is a fun time to shop for Christmas decorations, wrapping paper, and bits and bobs for Christmas. The featured products were sourced from the following places:

Typo, Woolworths, Clicks and Hirsch’s Homestore to name a few. And, Olly was dressed by Dandylion Kids.

I love to hear about other families Christmas traditions. If you have one of your own, please do let me know in the comment tab below. And, keep an eye out for the exciting Christmas giveaways I have coming up weekly!

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Peanut Butter Energy Balls

These little guys are simply the best! I get so peckish for a little sweet treat every single day (without fail) around noon. I just crave sugar but had indulging in bad sugar.

These little power balls are delicious and have so much energy packed in every bite.

Want to know how to make them? So simple.

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1/2 cup creamy nut butter
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup coconut
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons cacao
1 tablespoon Chocolate Moondust wazoogles protein powder
2 tablespoons water

Mix together in a bowl, add more water (one tablespoon at a time) if too dry. Refrigerate for 15 min and then roll into balls.

I love to snack on mine with a strong cup of black coffee. And Olly loves them too! 💪

A Sweet Easter To All.

 

Angela, myself and our boys were so lucky to do a little Easter collaboration with Nikki from Lionheart and Matt Masson Photography a couple weeks ago. If you don’t know who Sweet Lionheart is, you’ve probably been living under a rock for the past few months. Home to the most delicious cakes and rocket pops, they are tasty not only to the eye, but to your taste buds too!

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We arrived at the Lionheart studio in Woodstock the morning of the shoot. Our boys fully equipped by being dressed head to toe for the occasion, two sweet bunnies bounced excitedly through the Lionheart doors. With squeals of anticipation and mischievous smirks on their faces, we were slightly curious to see how the shoot would go.


I was immediately inspired by Nikki. Her drive, passion and enthusiasm was contagious. I would define her as a tiny, but trendy firecracker! She is such a talented woman. Graphic design, baker and photographer all in one! I was so taken a back by her. A few minutes later, Matt arrived. With a very friendly smile and his camera ready to start snapping away, we were ready to go! The blenders were spinning, and the colourful decorative bits laid out and ready to be toddler handled.

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The boys were seated on stools at the island in the organized and sparkly clean kitchen, and within 5 seconds, the kitchen had been turned upside down. Nikki smiled and laughed as the boys messed up her baby (her kitchen) without a second thought. The baking begun, and the boys eagerly pushed their cake into the molds for their cake pops with the gentle guidance of Nikki. How she managed to get through the entire thing with two boys on her own, amazes me to this day! I think they ate more than they pushed into their molds, but that’s ok too, right?

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It was then time to get REALLY messy, and they got to dip their bare rocket pops into the chocolate before adding their colourful icing, the decorative bits and of course the bits added to make the bunny an obvious bunny. The entire process was calm, and fun – and the boys were just totally besotted with Nikki because of the way that she interacted with them.


Disclaimer: The Easter Bunny Rocket Pops shown in these photos were made by our two and a half year old boys, not by Lionheart – I promise that your order will NOT look like this!!! 😉

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Matt was just an absolute pleasure to work with. He knew exactly what he was doing, and although he does more weddings than shoots with young children, he immediately adapted to the challenge, and the results are just divine. He was quirky and the boys just loved having him there.

Copyright © Matt Masson 2017 Image 169

I will be doing a separate blog post on Matt and his incredible talent next week because he totally deserves to have his own moment of appreciation. But I just had to mention him here to say a huge Thank You for his amazing work and all of the time he put into making this collaboration happen.
Angela will be doing a review on the boys’ sweet bunny outfits from Eurobebe SA tomorrow, so make sure that you check in tomorrow afternoon!

In the meanwhile, go and get your taste buds working and get inspired by following Lionheart:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sweetlionheartpatisserie/?ref=br_rs
Instagram: @sweet.lionheart
Website: sweetlionheart.com

Inspire yourself equally by following Matt Masson Weddings:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mattmassonweddings/?ref=br_rs
Instagram: @mattmassonweddings
Website: http://www.mattmasson.co.za/
You can also checkout the Eurobebe pages in the meanwhile:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Eurob%C3%A9b%C3%A9-1254884247927711/
Instagram: @eurobebe.sa
Website: https://eurobebe-sa.myshopify.com/

You can also follow Angela and myself on Instagram to keep up with all of our adventures as toddler/boy moms:

@onemodernmom // @angievictoriarea

A Table For Two: Pancake Day

I love it when things just conveniently happen to fall into place. Without even knowing it, we decided to make pancakes (flapjacks) for A Table For Two today. We later learned that today is Pancake Day. Oh, the happiness!

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I grew up having pancakes on a regular basis. Saturday mornings often started with waking up to the smell of freshly baked flapjacks piled up on the dining table with maple syrup, and butter. Is there anything better? I still have fond memories of visiting family in the States and going for breakfast at the most incredible pancake house. As kids, we could choose to have ours in any character we wished, and because we had visited Disneyland that same trip, of course, I chose to have mine as Minnie Mouse. Amazing how food can take you back to amazing memories sometimes!

Angela also had pancake day as a tradition with her family, with her mother being French, they always did it properly in her home.

Our boys just loved these, and best part is, they are healthier than the usual. We added some blueberries to ours for an extra bit of healthiness and tastiness!

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Most of us know how to make pancakes, but in case you don’t, here’s how:

HEALTHY BANANA PANCAKES: eugeniekitchen.com

  • 1½ large bananas, ripe to overripe (200g; 7 oz)
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅛ teaspoon baking powder
  • Maple syrup, butter, or blueberries, to serve

WHAT DO I DO NOW?

  1. In a mixing bowl, crack in the eggs and add in baking powder. And whisk to combine.
  2. In another bowl add in 1½ large bananas. Lightly mash with a potato masher or a fork, but not too much. There should be chunks of bananas to make fluffy pancakes. And use only ripe bananas.
  3. Pour wet mixture into mashed bananas and stir to combine.
  4. In a frying pan, cook mini pancakes over a medium low heat. 1 or 2 tablespoons of batter is enough for each mini pancake. When the baking powder is activated, flip it over and cook for about one minute more. Serve immediately when hot.

So easy, so delicious, and pretty healthy! Don’t forget to add some blueberries to your batter! The boys loved them.

See you next Tuesday for a new recipe. x