Steamed Christmas Pudding … Gluten-free & Alcohol-free …

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  Christmas is just around the corner and, if you’re anything like me, I love a beautiful piece of pudding on Christmas Day smothered in vanilla custard … yum … I can taste it already!   And although not everyone loves pudding, there are also many who would avoid it either due to gluten intolerance or a preference not to eat anything containing alcohol.  For that reason, I’ve created this gorgeous pudding that’s gluten-free and alcohol-free … and, let me tell you, it’s just as delicious, just as beautiful and just as moist as any pudding I’ve tried.  It’s also super … read more

How to Budget for the Cost of Christmas Next Year …

How to Budget for the Cost of Christmas Next Year

  Christmas can be one of the most expensive times of the year but with a well thought-out plan, a positive attitude and a solid budget, there’s no reason not to survive and to sail into the New Year without a financial hangover. But what few people realise is that the best time to start planning and budgeting for Christmas is just after the previous one has finished … so , in other words, RIGHT NOW! I learned this lesson a long time ago. After years of frustration, stress and maxing out the credit card, I decided there had to be a better way, so this is what I … read more

Tips for Organising and Storing Christmas Decorations …

Tips for Organising and Storing Christmas Decorations 001

  Christmas decorations can be a real challenge to store because they come in so many different shapes and sizes and won’t necessarily fit together like a neat puzzle.  This year I decided it was time for me to review and revamp my decoration storage.  I normally take my tree down on New Years Day but this year I’ve decided to take my time and really put some thought and effort into organising and storing my decorations. Every task starts with a goal and my main goal is to store everything relevant to Christmas in the least amount of space, keep it all together … read more

Santa’s Magical Key … A Christmas Tradition …

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  I love family traditions because they create such special memories that live with us and our children forever.  Over the years, we’ve created many Christmas traditions that we still keep going even though my kids are now teenagers and young adults.  Christmas is such a magical time and small, simple traditions can help put a smile on your face whether your 6 or 60!   Creating your own traditions doesn't have to be expensive and doesn't even take a lot of effort, like this one … "Santa's Magical Key"!   We've been doing this for years because, if … read more

Taking Shortcuts at Christmas with Cake 2 the Rescue …

Taking Shortcuts at Christmas with Cake2the Rescue 001

  Don't be completely fooled by the title of my blog ... Mrs Organised!  It does describe me most of the time but there are also occasions when I feel like a bit of a fraud ... and this Christmas has proved to be one such time.  Hubby and I went overseas for most of October and I feel like I've been on the back foot ever since.  I haven't planned the menu for Christmas Day yet, only half our decorations have made it out of the box and I haven't bought a single a Christmas present yet ... normally I'm done by the end of November.  But, when all is said and done, I … read more

Slow Cooker Chocolate Christmas Pudding …

Slow Cooker Chocolate Christmas Pudding

  As long as I can remember, our family has always served a traditional Christmas Pudding on Christmas Day. It’s such a tradition that we even get together, about 6 weeks before Christmas, to make our puddings in cloths using a fourth-generation recipe that our kids are now learning. After the puddings are prepared and cooked, they’re hung in the garage so the flavour can really develop, you can read more about that here.   Sadly though, the traditional Christmas Pudding doesn’t appeal to everyone and most kids will usually turn their noses up when it’s served. … read more

Keeping Christmas Simple … WANT, NEED, WEAR, READ …

Keeping Christmas Simple … Want, Need, Wear, Read

  We’re having a very simple, low-budget Christmas again this year … it’s something we’ve been doing for a while … and I love it!   It can be so tempting at Christmas to “go all out”, spend up big and spoil the kids, family and friends rotten … I’m guilty … I’ve done it! It’s so easy to get caught up in the frenzy with “SALE” signs, “Interest-free Offers” and fabulous Christmas displays all encouraging us to part with our hard-earned cash … yep … guilty again! But if it means having to deal with maxed out credit cards or having to nurse a “financial … read more

Apple, Peach and Date Pudding …

Apple, Peach and Date Pudding 001

  Nothing beats a beautiful pudding and it really is one of the ultimate comfort foods. However, for many years I avoided making one.  They scared me a little as I was under the impression that they were hard to make. In reality, however, nothing could be further from the truth. This is such an easy recipe because all the ingredients are simply mixed together in a single bowl and then boiled on the stove top.   For me, the real secret to most puddings is to soak the fruit for as long as possible. This recipe does suggest soaking the fruit overnight and that’s … read more

How I Organise my Christmas Wrapping Paper …

How I Organise my Christmas Wrapping Paper 001

  Now that Christmas is over, it’s time to pack away all the wrapping materials that you’ve used to wrap and decorate presents/gifts. Things like ribbons, string, baubles, cards and gift tags are easy to store because they are small enough to pack neatly into a plastic box or crate. Wrapping paper on the other hand is a little more challenging because of its size.   This is also the time of the year that I tend to stock up on wrapping paper at hugely reduced prices … sometimes up to 90 % off. So although it’s a great way to save money, now you have to … read more

Tracking Santa on Christmas Eve via NORAD …

Tracking Santa on Christmas Eve via NORAD ...

    Well, it’s almost Christmas Eve and it won’t be long until Santa begins his epic journey and travels around the globe to deliver presents to boys and girls everywhere. It’s such an exciting time for littlies everywhere, but did you know there’s a way to follow and track Santa’s journey?   If you visit this site: www.noradsanta.org you and your kids will be able to follow Santa’s journey as he leaves the North Pole and flies south around the world. Santa is tracked by radar, satellite, Santacams and he’s even escorted by Canadian and … read more

Slow Cooker Sticky Date Pudding …

Slow Cooker Sticky Date Pudding 002

  Recently I shared one of my family traditions … Pudding Day. Every year, about 6 weeks before Christmas, my family gets together to make our Christmas Puddings in the old, traditional way. We use a family recipe that has been handed down through the generations, ingredients are mixed by hand and the puddings are wrapped in calico and hung for 6 weeks before being devoured on Christmas Day.   Now, if you haven’t made a Christmas Pudding for this year, there’s still time and this gorgeous Slow Cooker Sticky Date Pudding is a delicious alternative to a traditional … read more

Christmas Books … A Christmas Family Tradition …

Christmas Books … A Christmas Family Tradition 001

  I love reading and have always enjoyed bedtime stories with my girls.  This was one of my favourite times of every day when we would snuggle up and spend some quiet time together.  Reading was part of our nightly routine and a great way to settle and relax the kids before they drifted off to sleep.   In December I always brought out our collection of Christmas books to read together which really added to the magic and spirit of Christmas. I always packed our Christmas books and DVD's away after Christmas with the decorations so that, when we unpacked … read more

15 Tips to Help You Complete your Christmas Shopping in Only One Day …

15 Tips to Help You Complete Your Christmas Shopping in Only One Day 001

    Preparing and shopping for Christmas can be frustrating and overwhelming and if you’re seriously limited for time, it really is possible to get your shopping done in a single day.  This year I've got less time than I would normally have because I've just returned from 2 weeks holiday so, if you're in the same situation ... fear not because I have some fantastic ideas to help you complete all your Christmas shopping in only one day.  It's totally possible and for those of you who are now questioning my sanity ... No, I haven't lost my mind!  Let's … read more

Letters to Santa …

Letters to Santa 001

      When my kids were growing up, one of our favourite traditions was writing a letter to Santa. Not only was it a magical part of Christmas but it also gave me some great ideas for their Christmas Presents. I’ve recreated those same letters and they are now available for you to download absolutely free on the blog.   Letter 1 is to Santa and includes your child’s wish list.         Letter 2 is from Santa replying to their original letter (Letter 1).         Letter 3 can … read more

Christmas Planner … Free to Download …

Christmas Planner 001

  Christmas is such a wonderful, magical time of the year and the best gift you can give yourself is a holiday season that’s prepared, organised and stress-free. So, to help you do this, I’ve created a Christmas Planner and the best news of all is that it’s ABSOLUTELY FREE.   I started using a Christmas Planner many years ago and have spent a lot of time creating lists and worksheets to help me get organised. It has proven to be a valuable resource that eliminates frustration, keeps me on track, ensures I stay on budget and keeps everything sorted in a … read more