Browsing Tag:

christmas

Christmas/ Parenting

Elf on the Shelf – Elf Stuck in the TV – Free Download!

This is our third year with Elfie!! Elfie spent waaay too much time on his Elf antics last year – so pressure’s on for a fun 2018 with our 4 year old boys and 1 year old girls!! Day 2 in the Brown family household this year is Elfie half getting stuck in the TV! Elfie (aka ME) is not a pro photo editor – this is a massive home job and this is the best I could do – but looks pretty effective on the TV screen!!

Click on the picture below to download, save it onto a USB and plug it into your TV/mirror it to your TV (or whatever other fancy technology there is these days to put an image onto the TV)!! Then just squeeze your Elf halfway and tape them behind the bottom left corner of your TV! It can either be a TV free day in the house since the Elf is stuck in the TV, or you might be able to see him stuck on the ‘Elf Channel’ (when the other TV channels work normally)!

Twins and a Blog – Elf on the Shelf Stuck Inside the TV

If you are excited as I am to use this picture – please share the love – tag me in your photo and/or add this website link! Thanks guys! Merry Christmas!!!

Sophia x

@twinsandablog

 

Christmas

Elfie Antics 2017 – Elf on the Shelf Ideas

I’ll miss all the Elfie fun from this year, but I’m glad to get my nights back for Netflix…and sleep!! I posted each day of Elfie on my social media pages, but here the highlight reel of Elfie’s antics for 2017!

Day #1 – Hi Elfie!

Look who’s back from the North Pole!! There are going to be 2 very excited boys in the morning!! We started this tradition last year but they were still a little young to appreciate it, this year will be the first time they will truly enjoy the spirit and magic of Christmas!

Day #2 – Elfie’s Shrinking Machine

Day #3 – Elfie’s Ball Pit (I was out all day/night so this was an easy one to put together!)

Day #4 – Crossfit Elfie

Day #5 – May the force be with you (the boys LOVE Star Wars!)

Day #6 – Skittle Rainbow (before and after pic)

I did a trial run before the boys got to do this in the morning! (I removed the ‘after’ example so it took them by suprise)

Tips:

  • Make sure all the Skittles are touching
  • Use warm water and add just enough water for it to touch the Skittles (don’t add too much water or the colours will run into each other and goes brown in a few minutes)

Day #7 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Elfie

Day #8 – Elfie’s Ginger Bread House

Day #9 & #10 – Elfie’s Magic Eggs

Elfie’s magic dust is made of rainbow sprinkles and glitter. I was going to use the standard Kinder Suprise eggs which are the same size as a normal egg but I couldn’t resist these huge Christmas Kinder Suprise ones! It is an easy one to switch over the next night!

Day #11 – Meet Frosty!

Craft paper cutouts and tissue paper for the scarf/hat. The hardest part of this was cleaning all the magnets/coupons/letters/photos/cards off the fridge!

Day #12 – Day Spa

All these magic tricks topped with Frosty appearing the night before was hard work! Time for Elfie to relax in a nice bubble bath, complete with Elfie sized body wash, candle, shot of milk and mini oreos.

Day #13 – Wrecking Ball 2.0

This was an encore from my 2016 fave! Last year I used a clear bauble filled with M & M’s. This year I used a Cadbury Snowbites ball. The boys had so much fun with this wrecking ball! See wrecking ball video HERE.

Day #14 & #15 – Elfie’s Magic Seeds

The soil was made of white sugar topped with sprinkles. I put it in cups for some depth so the Candy Canes can stay upright when ‘planted’. The Tic Tac’s are Candy Cane flavoured ones (but you could use red or white ones). I love these 2 day things as the 2nd night you just need to plant the Candy Canes!

Day #16 – Toilet Paper Tree

Day #17 – Do you want to build a snowman?

This was one of the boys’ FAVOURITE Elfie moments with this sensory play complete with Play Snow! It looks like snow, and can be moulded into fun little shapes! CLICK HERE for the easy Play Snow recipe!

Day #18 – Game of Thrones

Have you G.O.T the Christmas spirit?

Day #19 – Hammock Life

Elfie needs a lie down and cocktail with all this flying to and from Santa every night!

Day #20 – Elfie the Magician – the ‘cutting Hulk in half’ trick!

No sawing or cutting involved, just pure Elf *magic*!

Day #21 – Where’s Elfie?

Day #22 – Elfie vs Spiderman

NOTE: This is what a whole packet of dental floss looks like!! (this took about an hour to do!)

Day #23 – Transformers: Elfie in Disguise

This was a combined daddy and mummy effort and was one of the boys’ fave Elfie moments!!

Day #24 – Elfie’s last day before Santa arrives!

‘Hi Ethan and Harley!

Today is our last day together before I fly back with Santa to the North Pole.
Let’s have cuddles and take photos together – here is some magic dust to sprinkle on me so I can fly back home with Santa.

I have given your mummy the recipe for Santa’s favourite cookies for you to bake today to put out for Santa tonight.

Before you go to bed tonight, here is some reindeer food to sprinkle on the grass outside and a tray to fill with milk and cookies for Santa and a carrot for Rudolph!

Get excited, because Santa is coming tonight and you both have been good boys this year, and good boys get presents from Santa!

Love Elfie xoxo

Note: Reindeer food is oats, Magic Elf dust is glitter, and Santa Snacks board is from Thermoart.

Day #25 – Farewell Elfie!

Christmas/ Craft/ Twins

Christmas Paddlepop Stick Ornaments

I LOVE craft and I LOVE Christmas! It’s exciting that the boys are at an age where they can enjoy craft! The boys really enjoyed making these and it was the first time they used PVA glue to stick things on!

This is an easy Christmas ornament which I have been giving as presents to my friends and family. The size of the loop is a perfect size for the boys to be able to place the ornaments easily and proudly onto the tree themselves. 🙂 🙂

YOU NEED:

  • Paddlepop sticks (coloured or plain)
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • String (cut into the length of a paddlepop stick)
  • Scissors (to cut the string ^^)
  • PVA glue (for the kids to use)
  • Buttons, wooden shapes and pom poms to decorate

ASSEMBLY:

Adults/older kids

  1. Stick together 3 x paddlepop sticks with a hot glue gun to form a triangle shape.
  2. Loop the string together and stick on both ends of the string to one of the corners of the triangle.

Kids

  1. Use a paddlepop stick to dip into PVA glue and spread onto the paddlepop stick triangle.
  2. Decorate with buttons, wooden shapes and pom poms.

Note: I found the pom poms a little harder to stick on, so I had to restick a few with the hot glue gun.

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Chocolate/ Christmas/ Dessert/ Thermomix

Milomisu

This is amazing and new fave dessert!!! This is a combo of Milo Mousse with the sponge biscuits from Tiramisu and is deliiiicious!

I love it with the sponge biscuits dipped in coffee as coffee really brings out the chocolate flavour and the bitterness of the coffee offsets the sweetness in the chocolate, however for a kid friendly version (and for fussy adults like my husband who have never, and won’t ever try a cup of coffee) you can dip the biscuits in a combo of Milo and hot water.

I personally don’t like alcohol in my desserts, however you can add some marsala, rum, or brandy to the coffee mixture to add some adult X factor in there!

You can use small dessert bowls or one large dessert bowl or dish.

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Add dark chocolate chips to bowl.

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Blitz 5 seconds/Speed 7. Set aside.

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Place butterfly into bowl. Add thickened cream, Milo, cocoa, and sugar.

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Mix 30 seconds/Speed 4. If it has not thickened keep beating a few seconds at a time, until the cream has thickened and has the ‘frangipani’ look at the top. Be careful not to overbeat!!

 

 

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Set out sponge finger biscuits, coffee/hot Milo mixture, set aside blitzed chocolate chips, Milo mousse and small glass bowls/a large glass bowl.

Add a layer of blitzed chocolate chips to the bottom of the bowl(s)…

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…and dip sponge bisuits in coffee/hot Milo mixture.

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Place sponge biscuits in bowl enough to cover the base of the bowl.

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Add a layer of Milo Mousse…

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…and sprinkle with blitzed chocolate chips.

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Add another layer of dipped sponge biscuits in coffee/hot Milo mixture and place in bowl.

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Add a final layer of Milo Mousse…

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and sprinkle top with remaining blitzed chocolate chips.

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Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

Milomisu

Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 150 grams dark chocolate chips
  • 1 bottle thickened cream (600ml)
  • 6 heaped tablespoons Milo
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 large packet of sponge finger biscuits
  • 300ml strong black coffee OR 300ml boiling water + 3 tablespoons Milo
  • *for an alcoholic version - add 50ml (or more) Marsala, rum or brandy with 250ml coffee

Instructions

1

Add dark chocolate chips to bowl. Blitz 5 seconds/Speed 7. Set aside.

2

Place butterfly into bowl. Add thickened cream, Milo, cocoa, and sugar. Mix 30 seconds/Speed 4. If it has not thickened keep beating a few seconds at a time, until the cream has thickened and has the 'frangipani' look at the top. Be careful not to overbeat!!

3

Set out sponge finger biscuits, coffee/hot Milo mixture, set aside blitzed chocolate chips, Milo mousse and small glass bowls/a large glass bowl.

4

Add a layer of blitzed chocolate chips to the bottom of the bowl(s), and dip sponge bisuits in coffee/hot Milo mixture. Place sponge biscuits in bowl enough to cover the base of the bowl.

5

Add a layer of Milo Mousse and sprinkle with blitzed chocolate chips.

6

Add another layer of dipped sponge biscuits in coffee/hot Milo mixture and place in bowl.

7

Add a final layer of Milo Mousse and sprinkle top with remaining blitzed chocolate chips.

8

Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

Chocolate/ Christmas/ Sweets/ Thermomix

Candy Cane Fudge

Choc mint is one of my favourite flavour combos! This is amazing with the candy canes – as it looks really festive, plus the candy canes add a beautiful crunch with the choc mint fudge!

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Add candy canes to bowl.

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Blitz 2 seconds/Speed 5. Set aside.

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Add condensed milk, sugar, butter and glucose syrup in bowl.

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Cook 10 minutes/100 degrees/Speed 2/MC off.

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Remove lid and wipe condensation off with paper towel.

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Cook a further 20 minutes/Varoma/Speed 2/MC off.

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Remove lid and wipe condensation off with paper towel.

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Add chocolate chips/melts and peppermint essence.

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Mix 30 seconds/Speed 3.

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Pour and spread into a slice tin…

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…and sprinkle crushed candy canes on top.

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Set in fridge for a few hours/overnight.

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Once set, cut into small squares and store in an airtight container.

Candy Cane Fudge

Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 6 x large candy canes (roughly broken up)
  • 1 x 375 gram tin sweetened condensed milk
  • 200 grams sugar
  • 120 grams butter
  • 40 grams glucose syrup
  • 200 grams dark chocolate chips/melts
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint essence

Instructions

1

Add candy canes to bowl. Blitz 2 seconds/Speed 5. Set aside.

2

Add condensed milk, sugar, butter and glucose syrup in bowl. Cook 10 minutes/100 degrees/Speed 2/MC off.

3

Remove lid and wipe condensation off with paper towel.

4

Cook a further 20 minutes/Varoma/Speed 2/MC off.

5

Remove lid and wipe condensation off with paper towel.

6

Add chocolate chips/melts and peppermint essence. Mix 30 seconds/Speed 3.

7

Pour and spread into a slice tin and sprinkle crushed candy canes on top.

8

Set in fridge for a few hours/overnight.

9

Once set, cut into small squares and store in an airtight container.

Notes

*Fudge can be kept in a cool, dry place/or the fridge for a few weeks/or kept in the freezer for a few months.

Baking/ Cake/ Cheesecake/ Chocolate/ Christmas/ Dessert/ Kids in the Kitchen/ Sweets/ Thermomix

Christmas Gift and Food Ideas

With Christmas fast approaching, here is my all-in-one Christmas Gift and Party Ideas Guide for a one stop shop with all the links!

I have noted if they are Thermomix or Non Thermomix recipes (for those who don’t have a Thermomix) but also if you have a Thermomix and want to multi task you could make things without a Thermomix if your Thermomix is busy!!

Advent Calendar Activity Ideas

Gift Tags/Labels/Name Tags

Table Centrepiece

Hamper Ideas

Dessert/’Bring a Plate’ Ideas

NO BAKE:

BAKE:

Savoury

Drinks

Chocolate/ Christmas/ Sweets/ Thermomix

Salted Caramel Coconut Fudge

O.M.G! This has become my ALL TIME FAVOURITE FUDGE! I took this to work and everyone said that this is the best fudge I’ve ever made – and I have made a loooooooot of fudge with different flavours and recipes!!

Caramel with some saltiness is AMAZING in itself, but the coconut adds a extra depth of flavour and texture, and the taste just lingers in your mouth making you want more!

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Add condensed milk, sugar, butter and glucose syrup in bowl.

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Cook 10 minutes/100 degrees/Speed 2/MC off.

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Remove lid and wipe condensation off with paper towel.

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Cook a further 20 minutes/Varoma/Speed 2/MC off.

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Remove lid and wipe condensation off with paper towel.

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Add chocolate chips/melts, desiccated coconut and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

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Mix 30 seconds/Speed 3.

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Pour and spread into a slice tin…

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…and sprinkle salt flakes on top.

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Set in fridge for a few hours/overnight.

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Once set, cut into small squares and store in an airtight container.

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Salted Caramel Coconut Fudge

Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 x 375 gram tin sweetened condensed milk
  • 200 grams brown sugar
  • 120 grams butter
  • 40 grams glucose syrup
  • 200 grams white chocolate chips/melts
  • 40 grams desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Salt flakes to top

Instructions

1

*Keep away MC (measuring cup) for this recipe - not required throughout the steps*

2

Add condensed milk, sugar, butter and glucose syrup in bowl. Cook 10 minutes/100 degrees/Speed 2/MC off.

3

Remove lid and wipe condensation off with paper towel.

4

Cook a further 20 minutes/Varoma/Speed 2/MC off.

5

Remove lid and wipe condensation off with paper towel.

6

Add chocolate chips/melts, desiccated coconut and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix 30 seconds/Speed 3.

7

Pour and spread into a slice tin and sprinkle salt flakes on top.

8

Set in fridge for a few hours/overnight.

9

Cut into small squares and store in an airtight container.

Notes

*Fudge can be kept in a cool, dry place/or the fridge for a few weeks OR kept in the freezer for a few months.

Chocolate/ Christmas/ Dessert/ Sweets/ Thermomix

Fruit and Nut Chocolate Fudge

I LOVE FUDGE! And I love how easy it is to make and it goes a looooong way with gifts and feeding a crowd! I used to think fruit and nut chocolate was for ‘old people’, but I guess I fall in that boat now as my husband and I really enjoy it!! Chocolate fudge can’t be that bad for you if there is fruit and nuts in it, right???

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Add condensed milk, sugar, butter and glucose syrup in bowl.

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Cook 10 minutes/100 degrees/Speed 2/MC off.

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Remove lid and wipe condensation off with paper towel.

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Cook a further 20 minutes/Varoma/Speed 2/MC off.

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Remove lid and wipe condensation off with paper towel.

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Add chocolate chips, and mixed fruit and nut.

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Mix 30 seconds/Speed 3.

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Pour and spread into a slice tin. Set in fridge for a few hours /overnight.

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Once set, cut into small squares and store in an airtight container.

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Fruit and Nut Chocolate Fudge

Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 x 375 gram tin sweetened condensed milk
  • 200 grams sugar
  • 120 grams butter
  • 40 grams glucose syrup
  • 200 grams dark chocolate chips
  • 140 grams mixed fruit and nut (i.e. 70 grams dried fruit + 70 grams nuts)

Instructions

1

*Keep away MC (Measuring Cup) for this recipe - not required throughout the steps*

2

Add condensed milk, sugar, butter and glucose syrup in bowl. Cook 10 minutes/100 degrees/Speed 2/MC off.

3

Remove lid and wipe condensation off with paper towel.

4

Cook a further 20 minutes/Varoma/Speed 2/MC off.

5

Remove lid and wipe condensation off with paper towel.

6

Add chocolate chips, and mixed fruit and nut. Mix 30 seconds/Speed 3.

7

Pour and spread into a slice tin. Set in fridge for a few hours /overnight.

8

Once set, cut into small squares and store in an airtight container.

Notes

*Fudge can be kept in a cool, dry place/ or the fridge for a few weeks OR kept in the freezer for a few months.

Cake/ Cheesecake/ Chocolate/ Christmas/ Dessert/ Thermomix

Choc Chip Candy Cane Cheesecake

This is the ULTIMATE Christmas cheesecake! The candy canes give a beautiful minty taste which is beautifully refreshing on a summers day, and the dark chocolate chips balance out the sweetness of the cheesecake. This is super quick and easy (I LOVE easy recipes) to whip up for the festive season!

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Add ‘base’ ingredients to bowl.

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Mix 15 seconds/Speed 9.

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Pour into pan and press down with the back of a metal spoon.
No need to wash out bowl (just try and get as much of the crumbs out into the pan as you can).

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Add ‘cheesecake’ ingredients ingredients to bowl.

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Mix 20 seconds/Speed 6.

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Pour into pan and spread.

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Place in fridge overnight to set.

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Once set, decorate with melted chocolate, peanut M and M’s and silver cachous as per the pictures.

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(To melt dark chocolate chips – place in a ziplock bag – zap in 30 second intervals and squish bag until all choc chips are melted).

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Choc Chip Candy Cane Cheesecake

Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • BASE:
  • 250 grams arrowroot biscuits (or any other sweet biscuits)
  • 140 grams butter (softened)
  • 40 grams dark chocolate chips
  • CHEESECAKE:
  • 500 grams cream cheese (cubed, softened)
  • 1 x 396 gram tin sweetened condensed milk
  • 80 grams dark chocolate chips
  • 8 - 12 large candy canes (roughly broken up, add number of candy canes depending on how minty you prefer it)
  • TO DECORATE:
  • 80 grams dark chocolate chips
  • Peanut M and M's
  • Silver cachous

Instructions

1

Grease and line springform pan.

2

Add 'base' ingredients to bowl. Mix 15 seconds/Speed 9.

3

Pour into pan and press down with the back of a metal spoon.

4

No need to wash out bowl (just try and get as much of the crumbs out into the pan as you can).

5

Add 'cheesecake' ingredients ingredients to bowl. Mix 20 seconds/Speed 6.

6

Pour into pan and spread. Place in fridge overnight to set.

7

Once set, decorate with melted chocolate, peanut M and M's and silver cachous as per the pictures.

8

(To melt dark chocolate chips - place in a ziplock bag - zap in 30 second intervals and squish bag until all choc chips are melted).

Notes

* In the photo I used a 25cm wide springform pan. You can use a smaller springform pan i.e. 20cm and the base and filling will be higher/deeper 🙂 ** If you don't like mint, you can omit the candy canes to make a Choc Chip Cheesecake 🙂

Christmas/ Craft/ Kids in the Kitchen/ Non Thermomix/ Thermomix/ Twins

Advent Calendar for 2 year olds

It’s the most WONDERFUL TIME of the year!!! I’ve always loved Christmas and now it is so exciting to share it with the boys! Now that they are 2, this is the first year they can start appreciating it! Instead of chocolates/lollies for the 25 day countdown to Christmas, this is my 25 days of Christmas advent Calendar activities suitable for 2 year old old toddlers (and the family)!! Last year I also had a list for when the boys were 1 year olds!

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1. Take photos with Santa

2. Paint Christmas ornaments

I bought this $5 Christmas plaster set from Kmart which the boys will love! http://www.kmart.com.au/product/christmas-plaster-set—pack-of-17/1030801

3. Finger paint Christmas cards/wrapping paper

4. Make & play with a Christmas Tree Ball sorter

https://au.pinterest.com/pin/28640147608206029/

5. Make Reindeer paper plates

https://au.pinterest.com/pin/41587996536037932/

6. Make salt dough hand print Christmas ornaments

Non Thermomix – http://www.mommymoment.ca/2013/04/salt-dough-handprint.html

Thermomix – http://www.trtlmt.com.au/salt-dough/

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7. Sing and dance to Christmas carols

8. Take Christmas themed photos at home

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9. Make homemade muffins for the first time!

20 Second Crunchy Lemon Muffins (made in a big bowl so they can stir it themselves!)

20 Second Crunchy Lemon Muffins

10. Check out Christmas displays at a shopping centre (i.e. Myer/DJ’s in the city!)

11. Make popsicle stick Christmas Tree ornaments

https://au.pinterest.com/pin/351912451187976/

12. Have a picnic in the backyard with Christmas themed food

13. Go the beach and make sandcastles

14. Make little canvas paintings for presents – use painters tape, and tape a shape/initial on a canvas, and finger print on top – when dry, peel off the painters tape!

https://www.pinterest.com/explore/painters-tape-art/

15. Help mummy make and decorate Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red Velvet Cupcakes – Recipe for with or without a Thermomix

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16. Make easy ‘snow globes’ for presents

https://www.pinterest.com/explore/snow-globe-crafts/

17. Make Christmas shapes out of red and green playdough + Doterra ‘Holiday Joy’ 

ThermoFun – Kids Everyday Essentials – Playdough

18. Help mummy decorate a Gingerbread house for the first time

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(this was mummy’s last year before any creative help from the kiddies!)

19. Run in the sprinklers 

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20. Check out Christmas Lights!!

21. Make Christmas feet Reindeer

https://www.pinterest.com/explore/reindeer-footprint/

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22. Tree/star shaped pumpkin pancakes for breakfast

Pumpkin Pancakes

23. Make Chocolate Chip Cookies for Santa (ready for Christmas Eve)

Healthy Choc Chip Cookies

24. Watch a Christmas themed movie as a family with popcorn AND set up Santa’s snacks!

http://www.kidspot.com.au/MySpot-escapes-The-best-Christmas-movies-of-all-time+6494+178+article.htm

25. Take family photos in front of the tree and open presents!!