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Want your kids to behave? Santa can help

This is the time of the year where I guess most parents use the “Santa excuse” to have their children to behave “Please remember that Santa is watching so if you want to be on his nice list you have to behave”.

In our family Santa is the magic word to make Bee behaving better, being nice to her brother, cleaning her room, and generally (for once) saying “yes” rather than “no”. But recently, despite our warnings, Bee hasn’t showed her best behaviour so I had to find a solution.

I discovered the PNP website a week ago and I thought it was perfect! www.portablenorthpole.com is a website that allows you to create a special personalised message for your kids (and adults too!).  It’s very easy to use and the fact that you can add pictures and details about your kids makes it even more special!

When I told Bee that she received a message from Santa himself, she was literally speechless!

On the website you can choose different scenarios and tailor the message based on your “needs”.  I chose the  “almost nice” option so Beatrice message from Santa was a warning saying that she actually hasn’t made it to the nice list YET but that she still has two more weeks to make it up. Her face was priceless! At the beginning she was a bit upset but since then it’s all roses in our house! She ‘s happy to help, she shares her toys with her brother and there are no more tantrums to go to bed! Fabulous!

A part from this “useful purpose”  I found watching the message pretty emotional…

Believing in Santa is something magic that I can live again through my children’s eyes so anything that excite them towards this wonderful time of the year, fills me with joy! Bee asks me to watch Santa’s message again and again and I can see she’s doing her best to make it to the nice list, to be good at Santa’s eyes and receive the present she dreams about.

Bee ready for Christmas

If you would like to create a personalised message for your children I’ve got a little treat for you. Go to www.portablenorthpole.com, enter this code BLG20BKP for a  20% discount on all digital products (excluding in-app purchases) and you can choose the option that best suits you. Don’t forget that you can have Santa calling directly your phone and leaving a message for you loved ones! I did this too just to let Bee know that Santa had received her letter, she was excitedly surprised I cannot even describe it!

What about you? Did you make it to the nice list?

Have a wonderful Christmas!!

My frozen cake pop Advent Calendar

Our Christmas countdown has started! Creating an advent calendar has always been a tradition in our family and I’m very keen to carry on with it as I love to see my children’s excitement growing daily!

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This Christmas will be a special one! We are going to be celebrating with my mum and my sister who will come over from Italy! The last time we had Christmas all together in Scotland was more than 10 years ago so you can imagine our happiness!

In the meantime this week we have been very busy baking (and eating) many, many cake pops! I wanted to create a set of Christmas cake pops and then make a few more (well a bit more than a few) to use them for our edible advent calendar.

cake pops

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Last year, for our Christmas countdown, I made my first cake pop advent calendar and it was such a success so I decided to make another one this year.

edible cake pop advent calendarTo make the Advent Calendar I baked 24 cake pops using a cake pop machine (easy!). I coverd them in white chocolate, sprinkled with light blue sugar and placed on each one an edible number which is made out of light blue fondant. My husband helped me to create the actual tree where we inserted all cake pops and voila! A Frozen Advent Calendar was ready!

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Last year we didn’t succeed to make it last till Christmas eve (not even sure if the cake pops last that long outside the fridge lol!) and this year will probably be the same as the kids have already asked to have “one, just one cake pop pleaaaase mummy”.

Christmas countdownTo be honest I  have a backup plan anyway as we’ll actually be filling a second advent calendar, a red wooden one shaped like a house, with little treats and we have a “strict policy” regarding this one: Bee can only open one draw per day and if she opens more than one then the next day she’ll find the draw empty (it happened last year!)

edible frozen advent calendar

I cannot wait for Bee to come home from nursery today and see her face when she finds out that in the middle of her toys, two treats are waiting for her!

surprise advent calendar

Cake pops are well loved in this family so I guess I have started a tradition of edible Advent Calendars that will make it last in the years to come.

frozen advent calendar

 

I survived Christmas celebrations

Yes. I did it! I managed to survive Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations!

Don’t get me wrong I LUUUUUVE Christmas and the countdown for the new year but unfortunately this year my baby decided to get sick 3 days before Christmas ie 3 days before my inlaws arrived, basically when I was supposed to start getting organised and preparing everything. Feeling poorly, he was clearly in need of extra kisses and cuddles which he obviously got. Because of this all his germs were passed on me and I got the flu too. Nice. But…

I survived!

I survived 10 days of festive celebrations that in the Italian culture mainly represent eating 24 hours. No, it’s not a joke in Italy during this time of the year, the table is always set as there is only a small gap of time in the day during which people  don’t sit at the table eating. This also mean that I had to prepare 10 lunches and 10 dinners for 6+ people. Spot on.

Do you understand now why I feel pretty proud that I pulled it off?

The only thing I failed was finding the time to edit and to post a picture of my Christmas dessert table so if you are fed up with Christmas and everything about it, please look away because I decided to skip the editing bit and post these pictures now…

For the first time I made Panettone! And I made the citrus ice cream to go with it. Delizioso!

And I made this huge Red velvet cake covered with cream cheese frosting…

and these red velved cupcakes…

 

Some cranberry juice (just because I love paper straws!)

And these vanilla gingerbread cookies with raspberry jam

Mini holly gingerbread house

I made this Christmas wreath out of gingerbread biscuits and covered with icing sugar.

Snowy cake pops

My Holly cake pops

more cupcakes

Done! Buon Anno a tutti!

Cool Christmas gifts for babies

Only few days to go until Christmas so if you are stuck for last minute present ideas for your baby (like I was!) I hope you will find some inspiration from this Christmas gift  list. It includes unique presents and some original ideas which your baby will love for sure!

These building blocks for example, are a lovely decoration for your baby’s nursery.

I find these elephant slippers too cute and so cozy to keep my baby’s feet warm. Plus I believe babies will love to chew their ears!

This is probably too big for your baby but while waiting for her to grow up, I think this shiny plane toy is a marvellous designer piece of furniture for her room

 This simple wooden caterpillar is Leo’s obsession at the moment. He loves it!

We had such a cold November so these baby snow boots would be a must have for the months ahead. Warm and cute at the same time.

 

This drying rack is more a present for mommy…  Cups and feeding spoons are always laying messy next to my sink. This green grass will keep the place tidy in a designer way.

Who doesn’t feed pretending to fly an airplane? This wooden spoons will make “plane” feeding more fun.

Leo loves playing in the water and I’m sure this shower fountain would entertain him while being bathed.

Coming out of the water is alwasy a struggle but if the towel is a soft star maybe it would be a bit easier?

When Bee was one she received a lovely wooden rocking horse but a fluffy rocking sheep would be an original alternative.

What about a wooden rocking reindeer?

More shoes I know but these leather snowman baby shoes will keep your baby pretty steady especially when he’ll start experiencing his first steps.

 

To keep your baby’s head warm this  hat  would be perfect and it will make your baby even cuter (if possible!)

 

I’m in love with this swing! A great nursery decoration and much fun for your little one.

Just awwwwww…Baby grey mocassins

And if you want to give your baby the ultimate bath experience this baby Jacuzzi is a must!

Next I wanted to write a list of presents for mommies but then I thought it would be too short. Yeah, that’s right, because there is only thing that mammas need for Christmas … MORE SLEEP!

 

Mini Gingerbread village

I warned you I had so many projects in mind for Christmas! I cannot remember to have prepared so much gingerbread dough like this year. I used the same recipe I followed when I baked my big gingerbread house.

These mini gingerbread houses were a must as I’ve been looking at pictureson Pinterest and I found them adorable!

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Being so small, they were quite difficult to assemble but Bee and I had much fun putting the sugar decorations on.

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We sprinkled some icing sugar on the top and they were ready.

This is my favourite! The roof is made out of almond flakes.

We originally placed the village under the tree but the cats loved them too so we had to move them elsewhere.

I have another small gingerbread project to share with you and then we will be ready for Christmas!

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