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Day Twelve: Christmas Table Setting Ideas

Day Twelve: Christmas Table Setting Ideas

Do you love entertaining? Yes. Do you love Christmas decorations? Yes. Do you love food? Yes. THEN THIS IS THE POST FOR YOU. Combining all things festive and Christmas and food and hosting and entertaining and eating and being merry, today we will be looking […]

Day Eight: Christmas Traditions (and the ones I want to start)

Day Eight: Christmas Traditions (and the ones I want to start)

As I have mentioned in a few of these Christmas posts, my family has a few things that we do each and every year that make up our own little traditions. The visits from Santa, the morning trips to the cafe, the mojitos in the […]

Day Five: Visits from Santa

Day Five: Visits from Santa

My mother is many things.

She is creative and fun, intelligent and beautiful, entrepreneurial and hilarious.

My mother is also Santa.

For as long as I can remember, my mum has prepared the most epic Santa scavenger hunts, puzzles and presents for my brothers and I. Even when all three of us knew that Santa Claus and his chimney-dwelling ways weren’t real, mum continued to surprise us with ‘visits from Santa’ each and every Christmas morning (besides one year when Jack, Hugo and I turned the tables and surprised mum instead – but more details on that later).

One of my fondest memories of Christmas and my childhood as a whole, really, was the Christmas of 1997. I was six years old and had bunk beds in my room. I woke up well before daybreak on Christmas morning to find an array of presents at the foot of my bed – most notably there was a big teddy bear wearing a yellow knitted jumper with the word ‘teddy’ stitched onto it and in his lap was Crash Bandicoot 2 for PlayStation. I remember holding my new teddy’s paw in one hand, tucking the game under the same arm and clumsily climbing down the ladder of my bunk-bed. I set the television and the PlayStation up and excitedly started playing my beloved Crash Bandicoot. By the time the sun eventually rose and the rest of my family started waking up I had already finished the game. It is still one of my mum’s – and actually, my whole family’s – favourite stories to tell around this time of year.

Since then, mum gets more and more creative with each year that passes. Sometimes there will be clues hidden around the house that leads each of us to different rooms where our presents are hiding, other times the three of us need to work together to get our presents and then some years she just decorates the hell out of the house so that when we would open our doors, we were immediately met with Christmas. It has been a long-standing tradition that my mum started, and I haven’t heard of anyone else’s parents who went to the lengths and creativity that my mum did. Christmas Day morning Santa visits are something that I will definitely be continuing the tradition of for my son.

One year when we were all still living under the same roof, each of us woke up and opened our bedroom doors to signs made from tissue paper and cotton buds that said “HO”. Loose cotton buds reminiscent of snow were scattered all the way down the hallway, down the stairs and to the Christmas tree where our gifts were waiting.

Another year, throughout the entire house, mum had hidden pieces of brown paper with partial clues written on them. All three of us had to find all of the pieces and figure out the clues which then lead us to our presents from mum.

One of my other favourite Santa visits was when we all walked downstairs and there were four milk crates that mum had wrapped and filled with tinsel and wrapping paper and cotton balls. We had to completely tear it apart and sift through it all to find whatever presents she had hidden in there. Similar to this, I think it was two years after that that in the middle of the lounge room was a HUGE pile of tinsel and other various Christmas decorations – and I mean HUGE.. once again we had to dig and search for what lay within it!

My brothers and I did give mum a break one year when we took over the reigns as Santa. Once mum had gone to bed and shut her door, my brothers and I strung three entire lengths of twine across the hallway and down the stairs in a zig-zaggy mess. We also printed out about thirty copies of Jason Bateman’s head (he is mum’s favourite) and hung them from the ceiling. We set her off on a scavenger hunt that led her through all of the string. She had to follow each clue to the next one until she eventually found her presents. From memory, I think they were in the dryer..

When we were really young, Mum and my brother’s dad used to do the whole plate of cookies, carrot sticks and half-drunk beer thing. Mum put flour on the kitchen floor and made it look like Santa and the reindeers had trundled on through, but that was soon replaced by mum’s epic creativity. I love what mum did for us because it was so unique and varied and we never knew what to expect. We looked forward to the hunt and surprise of it all more than the reward at the end of it. The visits from Santa have always made for a really fun way to start Christmas morning; there was always laughter, always love and always always hugs. What mum did for us year in and year out has stayed with me, and I cannot wait to give the same gift of fun and joy to my son.

The (Oblivious) New Mama’s 25 Days of Christmas

The (Oblivious) New Mama’s 25 Days of Christmas

It’s December! It’s Summer! It’s the festive season! Our Christmas tree is up! Our cat has discovered a love of tearing baubles off the tree and waking us up at 5am by chasing them down the hallway! Seriously though, I am so freaking excited that […]

Baby Shower Supplies

Baby Shower Supplies

Whether you are going all out and hiring a venue and catering and the whole shebang, or if you are doing something at home with a budget, your baby shower can still ooze fabulousness, instgrammableness and loveliness! I have always loved hand-making as much as […]

The (Oblivious) New Mama Personalised Baby Shower Cookies

The (Oblivious) New Mama Personalised Baby Shower Cookies

This coming Saturday is our baby shower, and over the weekend Pete and I were all systems go. Over the weekend, Shari and I did a huge shop for all of the food for next weekend, as well as ordering the balloon bouquets and buying napkins and plates and decorations and everything else in between. We also visited a few clothes shops to try and find me a dress for the occasion.. alas, my boobs proved far too problematic. Nearing a G-cup now (…yep), my maternity bra has its work cut out for it. The thick straps are a godsend for my back but also mean I can’t wear anything with a thin strap. The high cut of the bra again, an absolute dream for me but it means that pretty much everything I wear has to have a high neck cut. I did try some dresses on without a bra to see if it could work.. It can’t. Not at all. No. Shari and I both learned that there is definitely such a thing as too much breast.

Yesterday, Pete spent most of the day outside getting our garden and outdoor area ready for the barbeque. He gurnie-ed (I don’t know how to make that a verb), and weeded, and mowed, and raked and anything else you can think of that is an outdoor domestic task. He did it all and the place looks freaking immaculate.

I, on the other hand, made about a thousand cookies.

I have really gotten into my baking lately, especially since purchasing fondant icing tools from ebay among a plethora of different shaped cookie cutters and letter embossers. I ordered a baby shower set of cookie cutters last month that included a bib, a onesie and a baby bottle. I also love anything that is homemade (we all know that by now) as well as anything personalised. So, I am so chuffed to share The (Oblivious) New Mama’s Personalised Baby Shower Cookies!

Vanilla Snap Cookies

Ingredients – 

185g butter

1 cup caster sugar

1 and a half tsp vanilla extract

2 and a half cups of plain flour

1 egg

1 extra egg yolk

Method – 

Blend butter sugar and vanilla in a bowl or food processor

Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth dough forms

Dive the mixture in half and roll to about 5mm thick on baking paper

Refrigerate for about ten minutes

Using your cookie cutter, cut out cookies and bake until a light golden colour

Icing

I have tried a few different ready-to-roll icings now but have found that the Coles brand one is the easiest to work with and, therefore, gives better results

If you are wanting to work a colour into the icing, tear the icing into chunks and place in a bowl

Squeeze as much colouring as you want onto the icing and knead until it is consistent the whole way through

On baking paper, roll the icing out to the desired thickness and use cookie cutters or icing stamps to shape icing

Dip your finger into some water, rub onto the back of the icing and press gently onto cookie and let set

For our baby shower, I tried to stay away from everything being BLUE. Instead, we are going for a more natural palette including a lot of whites, light browns and dark greens. It is a very rustic theme that we are going for, and I will be adding pops of blue throughout the decor including a couple of blue balloons, blue lollies and some light blue napkins. I wanted to keep that theme going with the cookies however I did make more blue coloured ones just to add that little bit more blue to the mix.

This may sound completely lame – but I am definitely past the point of caring about how soppy and love-dovey I sound – but I loved making these for my little man. I loved creating the ‘Baby Boyle’ cookies with our son in mind, and every time I finished a batch I would run down to Pete in the yard and show him and we hugged each time and then he would say, “For our little man” and rub my belly and then we would kiss. It’s just such a simple touch that adds so much warmth and love to a baby shower, and come on – how freaking adorable are they?!

If you or someone you know is having a baby shower and would like to order some The (Oblivious) New Mama Personalised Baby Shower Cookies please shoot me an email or a direct message on Instagram. There are boy and girl options and I can customise orders to pretty much whatever your heart desires!! I would love to be a part of your special day in the sweetest way possible!

Baby Shower List(s)

Baby Shower List(s)

Lists are my favourite. I have mentioned that several times. Lists give me direction. Lists allow me to plan. Lists let me know when I have achieved things. I have several notebooks that I use specifically for list-making. Planning a baby shower, it turns out, […]

Homemade Baby Shower Bunting

Homemade Baby Shower Bunting

Our baby boy’s baby shower is a mere nineteen days away. In that time, Pete needs to finish building our barbeque and installing out outdoor wood-fire pizza oven (YEP!), we need to get the furniture for the nursery, I need to order our cake with […]

Homemade Baby Shower Cake Topper

Homemade Baby Shower Cake Topper

Craft holds a special place in my heart. When I was a toddler, Mum and I spent dozens of afternoons cutting out pictures from magazines and calendars and newspapers and making collages. We made fairy wands, and stuck gems on everything that we could get our hands on. When The Cliterature Club (the all-woman book club that I started last year) was in full swing, I handmade things for the girls each and every week. I freaking love craft. Of late, with everything going on in life and in my stomach, my creativity has been trumped by external factors and exhaustion. BUT NO MORE. With The (Oblivious) New Mama going from strength to strength (thank you, everyone), my motivation, desire, love and passion for handmade crafts has returned with gusto!

I am putting my energy towards our baby shower and the festive season, and this is the first of many DIY/homemade projects and activities that you will all be privy to in the coming weeks.

When it comes to the baby shower, even though we are having a little boy, the last thing that I want is for everything to be blue. I am much more of a neutral palette with pops of colour kind of mama and that is exactly what I am aiming for when it comes to the decorations and overall theme of the day. As well as this, ours is a little bit different as we will also be celebrating Pete’s birthday on the same day, so it will need to speak to both of those events.

There is something so special about designing and creating things yourself – I think so anyway – especially when it is for something so important and exciting and personal as the welcoming of your first child. I get such fulfilment when I see little projects come together, and even more joy when it is seen and appreciated by others. Something that I really want to get into as a part of this business is helping organise, plan and create things for baby showers. Personalised treats, personalised buntings, PERSONALISED EVERYTHING. So in the coming weeks, stay tuned as I walk you through each and every bit of decoration and planning that I embark on ahead of our BUB-beque. First up, the cutest ever mini bunting baby shower cake topper!

Supplies –

brown paper

twine

kebab sticks

letter stickers

ruler

scissors

pen/pencil

craft glue

sticky tape

 

Method – 

Ignoring the one-eyed cat, measure out horizontal points 2.5cm apart and mark twice, with the bottom point at 3cm height

Draw a horizontal line across the entire length of the page at 3cm, and vertical lines connecting your 2 points

Lining your ruler up against the horizontal line, mark the centre of each box with a dot (this will be at 1.4cm or 14mm). Then, from the corners of each box, connect the centre dot with a diagonal line.

Note: feel free to choose whatever shape you want for your mini bunting. I personally love these little flags, however triangles, squares or rectangles would also be cute as hell!

Cut out the entire row’s outline however do not cut out each single mini bunting piece just yet!

Use the row you have cut out as a stencil to make however many rows you need. This will depend on what you would like your cake topper to say!

Once you have enough individual buntings for the amount of letters you need, cut each individual one out.

Using letter stickers (I bought mine from Kmart) or, alternatively you can hand-write your letters if you wanted to, place one letter per bunting square until the word/phrase is complete.

Set each piece on a flat surface with a 1cm gap in between each. Remember to lie them face down with the word back to front, otherwise it won’t read the right way when you turn it over! Cut a length of twine (mine was just under 15cm) and make sure to leave enough excess to tie knots at each end.

Holding the string firmly over each piece, sticky tape the twine to the back of the bunting close to the top. Hint: pre-tear your sticky tape strips to make this step a whole lot easier.

My cake topper says BABY MAMA (cute) so my mini bunting will consist of two rows of four letters, which ends up looking like this:

Tie each end of the bunting to a kebab stick.

Trim the excess twine and secure the knots with a small amount of craft glue to ensure they stay in place!

Our cake is being made by the incredible team at Unwritten Cafe. We are having a vanilla sponge cake with semi-naked white icing (so you can see some of the cake through the icing) that will be decorated with Australian native flowers. It’s going to be very rustic and oh-so-pretty, so this mini bunting cake topper will fit in nicely with that whole look!