CHRISTMAS ART PROJECT - MAKE SALT DOUGH DECORATIONS

Wednesday, December 17

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We do spend time in our kitchen, please believe it friends. We may produce a decent meal or coffee, but immediately after our Christmas tree was up, the kitchen hasn't seen more commotion. Cookies, salt dough decorations, quick warm meals for after five pm dinners, you guys we're on a roll! It smells divine in our kitchen in December. Just thinking about coming home and flipping some ingredients on the pan makes me giddy. This easy recipe for festive ornaments and fragile figurines is coming right at ya - when combining 300g flour with the same amount of salt, 200ml of water and two tablespoons of oil, in under five minutes flat you'll be able to squeeze the dough into any shape you like (you may need more flour to make the dough less sticky). And you may like odd shapes like we do - from spiders or mice to crooked houses so don't rush the process, just keep experimenting. Yes, they're not edible but so good looking it's a shame there's not an ounce of sugar in the mixture. 

Apart from getting busy above the stove, we obsessively wait to open one present each morning, with our messy morning hair on and twisted pajama bottoms. Not even wanting to use the toilet first. Yes, Christmas morning is being repeated each dawn around here and there's definitely no escaping this in coming days. (And enjoy the images of my sweet kitchen assistant helping whenever help is needed between hours of playing Lego Movie on xbox and using up all stickers that have still good useable glue on them). 
Have a great day, friends! x  

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DECORATING FOR THE SEASON

Monday, December 15

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It's never too early for a festive fun. It's never too late either although that calls for a serious conversation as what should be a priority at this time of a year. But we made it and nothing else matters! All twenty five presents wrapped up way before the unwrapping was due (I'll tell you about my crazy idea of opening one present a day later. With photos. And a hot chocolate!), festive cards piled up on the side of my desk, Christmas decorations showing up day after day in various of places yet there was no tree to get creative with, no helping out with activities that could speed up some serious sick days around here. I don't really remember who started it but a couple of well known viruses were on rotation since the end of November - with colds, eye infections and a chicken pox generously gifting all of us with our own allocation of spots. No way we were looking forward to get festive while our bodies didn't feel the urge. Until now, until this very week, this very snowless time. Some people may have seen all shades of fairy lights by now, I'm quick to announce we're not far behind!

As the season is in full swing, I tried to jot down a couple of Christmas traditions we refuse to skip each year as a family. Please do share yours, it's never to good to add some extra special activities to our list. Here's what we've enjoyed so far:
  • visiting holiday markets in our area
  • driving through town checking all the work that went into the Christmas decorations which makes sense only after dark
  • watching Christmas Carol or any themed movie on afternoons no one wants to feel too involved in anything
  • getting a real Christmas tree and decorating it together
  • visiting Santa in his grotto and witnessing series of kids' tantrums along the way
  • taking endless turns riding on a carrousel situated right in the heart of the town center secretly never wanting to get off 
  • designing personalized calendar and having it professionally printed and delivered before the old one runs out 
  • there's no magic without hand-made ornaments and decorations
  • preparing 25 little gifts to be opened on each day of December leading to a Christmas Day. New this year. My personal favourite.

And this year I'd love to add visiting ice skating rink since all of us fall under the right age to fully enjoy it and pull it off fairly effortlessly. So yes, it feels like Christmas now. xx    

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DECORATING FOR THE SEASON, todaymyway.com
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PRACTICAL SIDE OF FUN

Tuesday, November 25

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Finding an activity we all enjoy is easy. Making it the one a single person has fun with can take a while so I'm thrilled when books and notebooks get their use without me even knowing. They get pulled out on regular basis whether it'll be a lonesome or group activity. Nadia keeps shifting from one idea to another so seeing her turning some pages is all thumbs up. We don't read too often but the few but so good books in our possession are the best by far. Her reading skills are in progress where joy and challenges go hand in hand but it works surprisingly well with her telling the stories through images and pictures and I love stopping in my tracks, dropping what I'm doing to witness how she's building her imagination through lonesome activities. 

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Writing is mostly a group occupation that never fails to bring both excitement and restlessness to the table. She is such a dedicated learner with her pen pressed so hard it leaves marks on the other side of page, her tongue slightly sticking out while concentrating on dots and lines. The best part is, it's completely enjoyable with the company of a girl I adore and lasts as long as we're in abundance of ideas and/or patience. Some numbers come out as their mirror reflection occasionally (one and five being the most popular of the lot) and we're unstoppable to keep practicing drawing them the right way. Those moments seem to be super addictive. And they'll continue to be for days to come. x   

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EVERYTHING WE LOOK FOR IN A PERFECT DAY

Sunday, November 23

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She loves to keep things interesting. She does love to surprise me every time I look at her longer than just to smile and wink and it excites and frightens me alike. It’s kind of wonderful she’s entirely different person the minute my eye moves along traits that are no longer in play, yes I’m insanely into everything transforming so seriously. It struck me enormously how it was possible to grow so quickly under my watchful eye! That flexibility of nature, the perfect finishing touches to be found settling in under the waterproof parka, fleece linings, scarves of many colours, crowns and princess gowns. Even hair is growing in a way that keeps things in an inevitable perspective, still out of proportion to her changing body, getting past her ribs and beyond. I feel a lot of pressure to get to know her more, love her deeper, give more attention, get creative with every day we make memories. Because it’s transitory. I’m among those mums that await more, seek clues, spot a difference from a mile away, be that from a photo or a new grimace, particular move, new shade of golden in her hair. Each month my eyes are trained to the full and I feel grateful for this child becoming a big girl but yes, I will never recover from losing the squishy body and toothless gums. 

You can rely on me Mother Nature, I’m witnessing a beautiful process of someone growing up - outgrowing fabrics, skilfully creating multiple verb sentences, forming friendships and still holding my hand on walks all over town. She prefers to do it more than when she was younger, more adventurous I suppose? Always a block ahead of me, turning back and laughing she made it quicker than I. I guess five year olds don’t run away, they just hold you tight and steer your steps – shall we go this way? take that front seat on the bus? sit right here so we can see everything? I notice however her paths shifting gradually, letting go of my hand and just be, pushing boundaries and wandering off. Mostly at bus stops when the waiting times vary rudely from what the timetable promises. We still go out a few times a month, hand in hand, one rain boot in the puddle but those days of careless escapades are so behind us. A school girl is a new role, new exciting adventure, a thing that takes up all the time and energy. I vaguely recall an outing in the past weeks, it was dreary, we had colds, chicken pox symptoms, we skipped most of the fun stuff. And then the weather surprised with a warm kiss on exposed foreheads and there was no stopping us from adventure we were so accustomed to. Sometimes going weeks without exploring the area brings more energy to be out and about than any other idea. We were realistic, only having enough time to play before the sun setting rapidly thanks to Daylight Saving Time. It was warm but we wore hats, ate chips while waving legs on a wooden bench. It felt like a tailor-made for us afternoon we'll try to relive anytime.    

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PERFECT SLIDING INTO THE WEEKEND

Friday, November 21

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Finally there's a sign of existence over here! I'm not hibernating, promise. I'm just getting my act together but here, this is what was happening before I stopped overflowing with ideas. x

Cutting my bangs was a major do. I had a fringe at the age of seven so I never really knew the purpose of looking forward to sporting it again, that long time ago it was. Like there were no memories attached to a tangled batch of hair. So I did it and let it grow out completely for the past month allowing it to cover my eyebrows and take over the top lash line before I found the way to a hairdresser. What a weird, wonderful state. Trimming bangs is a fairly simple process, isn't it? It turns out it is not. I ended up with an inch of a fringe gap from the eyebrows and at least a month of figuring out the right decisions how to style it. 

If you happen to live in suede in a place that doesn't respect suede, it can be hard. Not good looking and special in any way. So I turned to leather and artificially made material, anything that won't hold water and produce stains. This weather has made me respond this way.

The world looks a lot prettier from the top. Yes, our neighborhood looks fancier from upstairs of a double decker bus we ride to school and back. We rotate our seats with the front row beating all others, we peek into fenced gardens and laugh at the crowds in the heavy rain (sorry!). And we're not too keen on going down the stairs anytime soon.

Am I the only mama wearing hat these days? Have I got no ally on the school playground? How do you decide what is essential and what is just a trend? What is a lightweight option then? Be mindful and help me out here, please.  

I love when Damian takes care of us girls. We needed access to the hallway mirror and how could we when there was his enormous bike taking all that space? I disliked the thing since the day it arrived and stayed in there never moving an inch when I needed to adjust a piece of clothing or two. We were not meant to be pals. One morning a while ago I happen to jump in front of the mirror without a slightest trouble using the whole space to swish and turn. It didn't occur to me something was missing. I nearly crushed Damian's ribs in excitement for moving his two wheels to the storage area for winter (so there's no joy when the summer rolls around).   

Enjoy the weekend friends, definitely x
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