Trew’s Christmas Traditions #1 – Our Christmas Display!!

This blog piece is the first of many Christmas traditions that I shall share with you over the coming weeks! As I’ve stated several times we LOVE Christmas!!!! We love EVERYTHING that goes with it!!!!!

The first thing we do each year to start the festive season off is decorate our house with a tree, ornaments and lots of lights…I mean 2000 of them! About 4 years ago now we started putting up lights out the front of our house. Each year since then, we have added and added to our collection and this year is our biggest display yet!

The kids just love it! We spend about half an hour each night sitting out the front looking at our lights. The kids get their pillows and blankets and lay them out on the driveway and soak up each twinkle of every light. We often have our dessert out the front and have had a picnic dinner out in front of our lights as well!

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Inside we always have the kids help us decorate our tree. That is their favourite part of turning our home into a Christmas wonderland! Traditionally each year so far, Bailey has put the star on our tree because he is the tallest! I always place the kid’s Christmas bears under the tree…their nanny bought each of them one the year they were born:)

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Like every celebration, I always decorate my red wall!

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And what would a Christmas be without being able to count down until the big day….

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We are so happy with how our decorating has come together this year! I hope the next few weeks go really slow so we can lap up and enjoy all the hard work that we’ve put in to make our home the land of Christmas!

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Outdoor Facelift!

My love of decorating never leaves from year to year, but it does come in waves! In the past 10 years of living in our home I have lost count of the number of of times I’ve bought new cushions to brighten a room up or changed the colour scheme of our bedding. I usually start with one room and go from room to room which takes a while and then by the time I’m back to the beginning, it’s been a few years and I’m ready to start all over again! But as they say a change is as good as a holiday!

The past 6 months I have been decorating a fair bit. It started with our bedroom, then the toy room, bits and pieces in all the other rooms but at this time of the year and leading into the festive season, I feel the outside is just as deserving of a facelift as the inside! We have a huge outside that is just as big as the inside of our house! When tidying up and giving the outside a facelift I always start with the pergola. Our pergola is screen enclosed so we treat it as another room.

In the past it was an open pergola with exposed concrete. About 5 years ago now, we screen enclosed it to make it our ‘entertainment room’ and had the ground covercreted to create a tile look! It was the best thing we did! We also added a nice big sail out the back so we still have an ‘outdoor’ shaded area where we often have afternoon tea or the occasional dinner on a hot night!

This week I was sick of looking at my faded cushions and covers on my outdoor lounge, so to create a fresh look, I purchased some cushions from Big W and Ikea and turned the seat covers inside out so they now look brand new! My very talented mother made the covers and I was going to buy more material so she could make new ones, but now I’ll have at least another couple of years up my sleeve before that has to be done again!

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Cushions and seat covers before…..

After…..

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I’m so happy with how it turned out! I love the leaf pattern on the cushions, as soon as I saw them I thought they would look great for an outside cushion and the red makes the area look vibrant and matches in perfect with the decor and my rose garden in the background!

We have big plans for our outside, but all in good timing! Our biggest plan is to eventually put a pool in! In a couple of months time to celebrate living in our home for 10 years, I will be writing a blog called ‘Before and After – 10 Years On’ which will illustrate how much we’ve done to our home over the past 10 years!

The Touch of a Word!

I love decorating! We’ve been in our house for almost 10 years now and decorating our home never gets old. I’m currently redecorating the kid’s toy room, hopefully it’s only a couple of weeks away from finishing, so keep a look out for my toy room reveal blog! Anyway the point of this blog is to express my new found love of decorative words! It’s amazing how something so simple, rather plain and so reasonably priced can add a new dimension to a room!

I have three decorative words currently scattered throughout the house and they are:

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My ‘home’ word resides in the kid’s new toy room. It fits perfectly in a room where the kid’s can play and feel happy, safe and secure in their home! My second word ‘family’ has recently been repositioned and now lives in our lounge room which is the perfect place as we spend a lot of time as a family chilling in this room. My final word ‘love’ occupies our bedroom. Along with photos of our children and ourselves on our wedding day which depicts all the love that we have shared and do share!

I think walking into a room with these words present really adds meaning to a room and symbolises what the room is all about:

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I’m on a mission now to find the word ‘laugh’! I think this would finish off my house of words and balance it out nicely! The meaning behind all of this would be….Through ‘love’ and ‘laughter’ we have created a beautiful ‘home’ for our precious ‘family’….something so powerful can be summed up simply with a touch of a word and in this case decorative ones!

These words were purchased at Choice Kuraby for $7.99!

My Cake Album!

I look at some of the things I do now and think how much I’ve changed! I guess it’s more that I’ve evolved over time rather than changed. I’ve always been able to cook and bake but have never had a passion for it. It was one of those things I did every now and again or I’d be right into it for a while and then I’d get bored! Then I became a mum and I had more of a reason to bake….especially birthday cakes!

I’ve always baked and decorated my kid’s birthday cakes from when my first born turned 1. I look back at the first few years and think OMG I really have evolved lol! Then I had a little girl and I think it was the fact I was able to play around with lots of pink and pretty things that I started going out of my comfort zone and creating something really special for my little ones:) At first I stuck to just cupcakes but by the time my daughter turned two I wanted to prove to myself I was more than just about cupcakes!

Since then I’ve made cakes from a designed cake tin, numbers, a horse track, two and three tier cakes and have done many themes! Originally I only created my cakes for my children, but now when there is a special event in the family I’m the cake lady they come too:) I even did my daughter’s christening cake last year (it only took to the third child to finally have a go)!

Here is a preview of the cakes I’ve baked and created over the past couple of years:

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Before I do a cake I start with the theme of choice and then work from there with colours and decorations. I believe it’s not just about the cake. I use my large chopping board as my cake board and decorate that as much as the cake. I use my love of scrapbooking to help create the touches on the board which I think go nicely with the cake! At first I concentrated more on the decorating side of things and only used packet mixes, but as of late I’ve been experimenting with different cake recipes and baking from scratch!

I love doing my cakes and I know I have many more ahead of me. With each cake brings about a new experience. I have two special ones to do in the next couple of months, my nana’s 80th and my mum’s 60. These are sure to be special as they are for two very special women in my life. Keep an eye out in the future for any updates of future cakes that I create:)!

20120919-122458.jpgMum’s 60th cake:)

20120919-122552.jpgNana’s 80th cake:)

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Sister inlaw’s 18th Star Wars themed cupcakes!

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Halloween masterpiece;)

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My very first Christmas Cake!

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Christmas Cupcakes!

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Mia’s 2nd birthday cake!

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Bay’s 7th birthday Xbox cake:)

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30th Broncos cake:)

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Easter Masterpiece….choc chip cupcakes with buttercream icing and mini choc eggs and glitter dust to decorate!

Dad’s lolly cake:)

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I even made my own birthday cake and cupcakes this year:)

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It’s been two months since I baked or decorated a cake or cupcake. We’ve been through some very tough and sad times of late with the passing of my nana and other family tragedies. But this week we’ve spent celebrating my daughter’s 5th birthday!!! Over the past couple of weeks I’ve done a batch of cupcakes for Sienna and her class, a cupcake masterpiece for her birthday party and my very first rainbow cake! All were loved by my daughter and it was great to get back into doing something that I love!
Here are the finished products…

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Making it Work!

When asked the question – what do you want in a house? most people say 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2 living areas, double lock up garage and the like! We are at the point in our lives where those things would be perfect, but you have to live within your means, so for now we have to just make do!

I love our house. It will always have a special place in my heart because it is the first home we bought and the first home our three cherubs have lived in. Our home only has three bedrooms, so when I fell pregnant with Mia we had to make some decisions. Of course we thought about moving. But with moving comes the extra expenses, bigger mortgage and we like to live comfortably so decided to make do with what we have.

One option was to create a space in our room for the baby so Bailey and Sienna could keep their own rooms. I wasn’t really keen on that option….a husband and wife deserve their own space where they can retire to at the end of a busy day! Another option was to put the girls in together, but knowing a newborn wakes so frequently, I didn’t want my eldest daughter to be disturbed by that. So the final option which the kids were all for, was for Bailey and Sienna to share!

At first I wasn’t keen. My husband preferred not either, but is was the most common sense option and I was determined to make it work! We discussed with the kids what they wanted in terms of themes and colours. I had this idea where I wanted to divide the room straight down the middle and one side be a girl’s theme and the other be a boy’s theme. The kids loved that idea so that is what we did! They both kept the theme they had in their own rooms – African animals for Bay and butterflies and flowers for Sie:)

This is how it turned out:

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Bailey has one half of the room and Sienna has the other half!

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Bailey’s side:)

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Sienna’s side:)

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I chose photos to put on the door that depict how close and inseparable they can be:)

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This is my favourite photo of them. They have taken to sharing a room way better than I thought! Good learning curve for them too:)

It’s been 18 months since Bay and Sie started sharing and they both never complain about it. They love the comfort of another person in the room at night when they are sleeping, which may be a concern when they are separated! There were some teething problems at the beginning with going to sleep and waking each other in the mornings, but like anything new they settled quite quickly. The only thing that has been a challenge is a timeout area. Our kids are sent to sit on their bed for timeout so if they are both sent (which has only been a few times) one goes to the laundry and the other their bed!

Sometimes in life we are faced with situations that aren’t always ideal, but you just have to make do and make it work, until the time is right to get exactly what you want! The next move for us will be to either put the girls in together, move to a bigger house or keep renovating our home and build on an extension. I don’t have my heart set on anything at this stage, as long as we are happy, healthy and together…that is all that matters!