.:: December Daily 2017 Day 1-4 ::.

Usually Christmas gets me so excited way before December starts. This year though, I put off putting the tree up until the last minute. I did however put up the advent calendar a night before December 1, just to make sure it’s ready for us to enjoy.

This year I decided to jump on board the December Daily train. I never intended to do it in the past coz I think I never do enough festive things. But after seeing lots of videos and blogs on the theme last month, I thought I’d try my hands on it. I don’t know if I’d have enough festive things to include in my album, but I’d like to see my try. I also challenged myself to use my stash and allow myself to spend only $20 for additional stuff ( trust me, it doesn’t go far in Aussie ), so most of the supplies are not Christmas related. But that’s okay. I kinda like the “junk journal” mish-mash look. And making the pages reminds me how I enjoyed making mini albums. It’s been too long since I made one! I went for ring-bound album with DIY-ed pages as I love touching the different textures and including lots of random tidbits in my album. I’m so excited to see how this project will turn out.

Now onto the daily pages!

Day 1. I put Ben in his Santa costume to celebrate the beginning of December, however I didn’t get to take a proper pic of himself coz he was tired and clingy in the morning. However we did manage to take a few family pics in front of the advent calendar.

Today Santa got a special gift in our stocking – Matcha Ganache chocolate bar from Koko Black! Yummy! I usually put Cadbury Roses and Lindt in our stocking but this year I want to add some variety and a little extra treat here and there.

Day 2. Documented our morning walk to the park next door ( so nice to be out in the sun and enjoying the fresh air, need to make this a routine! ) and a sneak peek of the tree, signifying the start of tree decorating in our home. Emphasis on the “start” part, coz between taking care of a baby, cooking, cleaning and grocery shopping, decorating the tree wasn’t high up on the todo list. I struggled with my layout this day. It took me hours to create one side, and I didn’t love it and changed a few things the next day. I still don’t love it, but I decided to move on.

Day 3. Today I went with a 4×6 photo of B trying to grab a Christmas decor with the tree sparkling in the background. It didn’t take long to complete and I love the end result, feeling like I’m getting my mojo back.

Day 4. Made a super simple and quick layout today, with a picture of gingerbread cookie in front of our tree. We also gave a few small pieces to B which he, after eyeing it warily for a while, munched happily.

Our Christmas tree is up and mostly decorated. I just need to get a tree skirt and a topper. I got quite a few new hanging decoration pieces this year, and so glad seeing how it gives a fresh look to the tree. I wanted to upgrade to a nicer tree, but I reckon B might topple the tree over at some point, so I’m sticking with my old one. But it turns out he’s scared of it. Happy to say the tree is safe from his little hands this year!

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.:: Sunday Morning Ramblings ::.

It’s 7 am on Sunday and the apartment is quiet. I’m sitting at my desk on the spare bedroom which I’ve claimed to be my craft space, the morning breeze slipping in from the window next to me. The desk is usually a mess and full of scrapbooking goodness but today it’s empty except for the laptop, my coffee mug, baby monitor, and my planner. Quiet mornings are my favorite!

ONE // My mom and aunt paid us a very special visit to celebrate Ben’s first birthday ( Say what? Still can’t believe he’s one! ). I loved every minute of it and very much appreciated the extra hard work mom did on the apartment. The place is pretty much spotless, the fridge is full of yummy food, the kitchen counter is clear. Clear kitchen counter = much better mood.

TWO // Ben started having a fever yesterday just as the omas flew back to Jakarta and it got worse around lunch time after we left the airport. He became very fussy and a few rashes appeared on his face and hands. We rushed to the doctor who claimed he had chicken pox! He continued having a fever last  night but the rashes have all gone now so we’re very much confused. Hopefully he gets better soon and can attend daycare next week as it’s Halloween dress-up week.

THREE // Making use of the quiet time to make a list of to-dos on my planner. I find ticking things off my list very satisfying. And having a list actually motivates me to get things done. First thing on my list is to set up my desk back to its crafty messy ( but awesome ) state.

Ok need to get back to tidying up the place before baby wakes up!

.:: Baby’s First Picnic ::.

The cold and dreary winter had finally gone and last Saturday it was so warm – such a perfect day for a picnic!


We went with a couple of friends and their kid, and they kindly chose a spot close to ours coz we mentioned B has not gotten used to long car trips. The park was pretty huge and had play area, bbq area, lots of bungalows where families celebrated birthdays, and even a nice view to the bay and a little beach. The weather was so perfect and after such long winter, it was a very welcomed change.


B behaved so well, likely because we gave him lots of snacks ( guilty ) and he enjoyed himself munching away, holding on his ball or my water bottle’s cap and people-watching with his big curious eyes. And it was finally warm enough to break into his cutest baby blue dungaree. He looked so sweet in them!

It was also the first time we put him in the swing and he looked so concerned, poor baby!


It was a geat, great day – perfect weather, long overdue catch up with friends, and baby’s a happy bunny. It couldn’t go any better. I couldn’t wait to take him on another picnic and new adventures!

.:: Weekend Snippets ::.

Life since baby has changed considerably, and that includes my Saturday morning routine. Like most days I woke up as baby did and started babbling and cooing, followed promptly by nappy change and since it was the weekend, a lot more snuggle time with baby.

As always the first thing I did after I finally got out of bed was.. made a cup of hot drink. That day I was craving for hot cocoa.

While waiting for the water to boil, I also prepped a cup of mung beans and two cups of almond to soak during the day for porridge and almond milk making session later that evening. Ever since I make my own almond milk, I never look back to store-bought version. It’s so easy to make, and so much  more delicious and healthier.

My new favorite granola, mocha coconut granola.

On Sunday, I felt so energized and ready to do some cleaning and a little bit of organizing. I’ve found out that it’s only possible to vacuum when I hold baby, so my baby carrier and hand-held vacuum pretty much save my life!

We’re starting baby on solids now, and the upside of that is the leftover avocados. I’ve been obsessed with avo toast sprinkled with homemade taco seasoning. Yum!

Look what I found during our grocery bout – a mini red papaya!

Sundays are my meal-prep day and these days I always have a buffet style chicken salad complete with Mexican-style dressing. It’s so much easier having this on hand coz baby is getting to the stage where I can’t leave his side for more than a minute!

Always enjoy when the sky put up a show just before sunset.

 

.:: Week in Review ~ Start of the New Year ::.


Hello and happy new year, this past week D is off work and we spent the whole week at home, doing nothing and just have a down time and enjoying some quality time with baby B – B’s expression says it all – lazy days all week long!

We started the new year with a walk in the park with baby B thinking to do it regularly, but didn’t go again the following days coz it has been pretty windy in the mornings.

B’s breaking into his new Pumpkin Patch onesie, even though we bought it in the 3-6 month size I think it might not last that long!

I had a mommy day out on Monday, getting my brows done – finally feels human again – and a bit of quick shopping. Gosh I hadn’t been to the city since early October! Had a good time checking out Lush and Zara sale. I did feel a bit guilty leaving baby B so I asked D for live report LOL..


We bit the bullet and bought Nutribullet so we’ve been experimenting with different fruit and veg combination. A good way to start the new year eating more healthily.

Having D at home allows me more time in the kitchen, I tried this chicken egg roll recipe – supposedly a dupe to Hoka Hoka Bento, it’s not exactly the same but it’s nonetheless delicious and really easy to make, and it’s freezer friendly!

Spending so much time in the kitchen during this holiday also makes me want to start meal planning again, I’ve done that a lot in the past and it worked so well so I thought I should do it again this year. I’m also starting to use a planner to plan my week ahead and keep track of my daily life. I never really keep a planner for a full year, it had always sorta fall out of love after some time but we’ll see how I’m doing this year!

.:: B One-Month and Two-Month Update ::.

Whew how is it two months already? It feels like baby B was just born yesterday. And he’s grown so much in such a short time span! There’s a saying “the days are long but the years are short” and I’ve come to realize it is so true! So here’s bits and pieces of what’s been going on these past two months.

When he was born B was 3,305 kg / 51 cm and he now 6 kg / 60 cm! He has outgrown his newborn diapers and has moved up to 5-8 kg diaper. He’s also almost outgrown his newborn clothes and it looks like he’s almost ready to move to the three-month-sized clothes. He’s already so big! It makes me a bit sad, how fast he grows, as inevitable as it is. Don’t grow up too fast baby.

Around five weeks, baby B cooed “halo” replying D’s greeting! He started cooing a few times before, but it was the first time he actually cooed something resembling a word. And it was very  clear “halo” as well. Unfortunately I was just walking out of the bedroom when it happened, but I could hear it from outside the room, I thought I was delusional but D heard it too! Since then we’ve been busy trying to get him to say “halo” again, sometimes he just ignores us, sometimes he cooed back albeit not always very clear, but it was clear he definitely attempted to talk! The first time he cooed “halo” back rather clearly to me, at seven weeks, I was over the moon!

We haven’t been taking B out a lot, in fact we’ve only taken him out for his vaccination, check-up with the pediatrician, and a couple of times to the supermarket, one of the reasons being we were wary about doing so before his vaccination at the six-week mark – he was behaving really well on vaccination day, only cried when the nurse have him the injections but went back to his calm self pretty much in an instant. So funny seeing him change his mood in a matter of seconds like that.

B loves stretching, frowning and side sleeping – a couple of times he stretched and rolled to his side and fell asleep right after. He makes an O with his mouth when hungry or pooping, and smiles a lot  especially in his sleep. He loves being swaddled, but sometimes struggles and escapes one of his hands before going back to sleep soundly. So cute!

.:: { Kitchen } Nigella’s Christmas Morning Muffins ::.

Christmas Morning Muffin

Taking care of a newborn means I have less and limited time to spend on other stuff including baking treats. However I still wanted to make something special for Christmas. And this recipe is just what I need to celebrate the season. The spices, the cranberries, the clementines, everything about these muffins screams Christmas.

The original recipe calls for demerara sugar for the topping, but I made streusel instead coz I always think streusel-topped muffins are extra special, and Christmas is just the occasion for special treats.

Christmas Morning Muffins

250 grams plain flour

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

100 gr caster sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

2 clementines, zested and juiced

approx. 125 ml milk

75 ml vegetable oil

1 large egg

150 gr dried cranberries

 

Streusel topping:

40 gr butter

50 gr plain flour

45 gr caster sugar

1/8 tsp cinnamon

 

1. Make the crumble topping by mixing flour and sugar together then rubbing in the butter with your fingers until it has a crumb like texture.

2. Preheat oven to 180′ C.

3. Thoroughly mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl, except sugar and dried cranberries.

4. In another bowl, beat sugar and wet ingredients until sugar has dissolved.

5. Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients and roughly combine them. Add dried cranberries and mix in very carefully so as not to break up the fruit.

6. Fill in paper cases 2/3 full then sprinkle the crumble mixture on top. Bake for approximately 25 minutes.