Christmas Recovery

What a whirlwind Christmas has been! Today is our first day at home after five very social days out and about and right now Pebble is crashed out on her little red fold out couch, enjoying an afternoon siesta. She’s a little bit sick, poor love, coughing up lots of phlegm (that is the most awesome fluorescent yellow I’ve ever seen), but coping. So I thought I’d pop in here and say hello. Hi!

Over Christmas we have been very lucky to enjoy the hosting of friends and family and got through Christmas taking plates to share and not much else. It blows me away that people do all this Christmas hoo-haa AND host their own Christmas events. One day it will be my turn, but I’m not quite ready yet. Who knows what might happen in a year though? :)  Thank you to all our friends and family who generously opened up their homes to their loved ones and welcomed the hordes.

We had a very different Christmas this year. Usually we rush from family to family all in one day. Traditionally we had breakfast, lunch and dinner at three different homes, often an hours drive apart. Last year we didn’t do breakfast, I was so sad to see that tradition go, but having a family of our own means that we have our own Christmas morning traditions now. This year instead of doing lunch and dinner at two different houses we had Christmas over two days. Two simple, relaxed, loooooong lunches that carried on into early evening. No where to rush off to, time to sit and chat and digest our meals, time for kids to play with their toys and each other. It was different. And nice. Very nice.

Pebble has gone all camera shy and refused to have her photo taken with any family members or on her own, but I managed to sneak a few of her opening presents and playing with her cousins. Here’s a couple of them:

Opening her present from Santa – a much sought after Fairy DVD
Originally she wanted a fairy hat and dress just like her fairy t-shirt (!?) which Santa wasn’t sure he could find, then she wanted a fairy cake made from milk with sprinkles on it. Santa did well to get it just right.

A present from Mum and Dad – her own baby to look after too (took me about 0.4 seconds to realise what a pain in the butt having TWO  really pooing and weeing little babies will be! We haven’t fed this little baby yet, but she has had lots of wrapping and cuddles.

Playing bubbles with her cousin.
After this photo was taken she clocked a bubble wand in the face and got bubble mix in her eye, then spent a good five minutes screaming. She was fine :)

Today is a little break from socializing before a few more happy gatherings – dinner with some  new blogging/Twitter buddies for me tonight (dinner with no kids AND new friends – I’m SO excited!), catching up with little cousins for a play date tomorrow (if poor Pebble is up to it), then a day at home again Sunday before New Years Eve with friends and fireworks followed by a New Years Day BBQ.

Paul and I are both feeling the need to prepare the house for our new baby. There is a spare room to be cleared out and repainted, and Pebble to be moved in, before we can set up the babies room. It’s a big job. You know how ‘spare rooms’ can be? I can barely open the door right now. Christmas has seen it reach crisis point…. Who am I kidding? It was like that before Christmas :P But you know what? If that room is not quite done in time (two months to go!) we have a bassinet and space next to our bed, and that’s all that baby will really need for a while.

I hope you have all had a lovely Christmas and I’ll be back soon with some more play ideas, geekery and yummy food to cook and eat.

You can find more Octavia and Vicky goodness on

Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+. Come and play :)

Would you like more Octavia and Vicky love?
Sign up for play ideas, recipes and more by entering your email address below.
Enter your email address:
Delivered by FeedBurner

Simple Christmas Wrapping

Hello there! Are you ready for Christmas? Only THREE more sleeps! Christmas is keeping me on my toes, that’s for sure. I started and finished my Christmas shopping all in one day this week. That’s five hours of Christmas shopping – five hours of waddling my big, round pregnant belly up and down the length of mall. Thank goodness I was child free. Can you even imagine? I’m getting a little bit excited now, I can’t wait for Christmas morning when I see Pebble’s delight and surprise.

I am halfway through wrapping the presents. Oh! The wrapping! Every year I forget how long it takes to wrap. We buy for lots of niecephews and children of friends, plus quite a few adults. This year I decided to wrap simply with some brown paper, picked up from the local supermarket, and red and white twine from Kikki K.

We made these super cute and easy gift tags for some of the early gifts that we’ve already given out, but for the MASSIVE pile of gifts yet to be given we are using foam stampers directly on the paper to give an extra bit of Christmas cheer. Pebble has been helping me use Christmas foam stampers (bought from a $2 shop some years ago) and an ink pad to stamp each gift.

I think the finished effect is quite charming, no? The only trouble now is that the lovely lady at Kikki K assured me that one box of twine would be plenty. I had picked up two and she talked me out of it. Who does that!? Bless her heart for thinking of me, but you know what? Yep, I’m out of twine. I really can’t seem myself back at the shops between now and Christmas, but I do have some simple plain twine and pale green wool that I think will look rather fetching. I might just come back and share that with you later.

Come back soon for the best ever Mango Cheesecake recipe. I’ll be whipping it up today with Pebble, and serving it tomorrow at dinner with friends.

Have you finished your Christmas wrapping yet?

You can find more Octavia and Vicky goodness on
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+. Come and play :)

Would you like more Octavia and Vicky love?
Sign up for play ideas, recipes and more by entering your email address below.
Enter your email address:
Delivered by FeedBurner

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas! This is our official Christmas ‘card’ for 2012, though I will admit that I am not a proper card giver. Email? Sure. Facebook status update? Absolutely! But I am NOT that person that sits down and writes out 78 Christmas cards each year. I might write less than 10, and that’s only because some people don’t have any other form of communication (I’m looking at you, Nana).

This photo was a hoot to take, Pebble and I were laughing our heads off. She kept pretending to be a mermaid in her giant Christmas stocking ‘tail’. I can only imagine the fun we’ll have trying to get a photo next year with TWO kids.

Merry Christmas to you all x

Do you send Christmas cards? Or dress your kids up in ridiculous costumes?

You can find more Octavia and Vicky goodness on
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+. Come and play :)

Would you like more Octavia and Vicky love?
Sign up for play ideas, recipes and more by entering your email address below.
Enter your email address:
Delivered by FeedBurner

Recycled Christmas Card Advent Calendar

I finally got our advent calendar organised! I got some inspiration earlier this week and ended up throwing together some bits and pieces from around the house to make this, with a little help from Pebble and her big cousin. Special mention to Janice from Learning 4 Kids who gave me extra inspiration with her Recycled Christmas Card Garland :)




Recycled Christmas Card Advent Calendar

You will need:

  • Recycled Christmas cards
  • Mini pegs (I picked these up from the $2 shop last year)
  • Red wool (or any string of your choice)
  • Optional: An old frame – If you haven’t got a frame you could use a tree branch or just some string across the living room wall.
  • A sharpie or marker
  • Scissors

If you’re using the frame, thread wool from side to side across the frame and secure in place. My frame came with little pins in it, so I threaded through those, but you could use thumb tacks to secure the wool. Otherwise, grab a tree branch from outside or hang your string somewhere to make the house look festive, ready for pegging up your cards.

Create a Christmas tree template on a card. I drew one free hand, but if you don’t feel confident with that you could find one in Google images to copy or trace.

Use the tree template to create 25 mini trees on the picture side of your Christmas cards by tracing and cutting out.

Make a list of 25 ‘things to do’ for each day leading up to Christmas and write one on each tree, along with the number of that day.

Peg your trees on your string, then get ready to enjoy counting down until Christmas.

Try to keep your daily Christmas activities simple – some of ours are big (decorate the Christmas tree, bake Christmas cookies, donate to a local charity) and some are small (eat cherries, dance to Christmas songs, read a Christmas story). Think about the day that each date falls on, and what you can manage on that day with your other commitments.

Note: Pebble and her big cousin made the starry Christmas trees using coloured card, a glue stick and star scatters.

Do you have an advent calendar? Please tell me about it :) 
 mumoftwinsatoddlerandateenager

You can find more Octavia and Vicky goodness on
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+. Come and play :)

Would you like more Octavia and Vicky love?
Sign up for play ideas, recipes and more by entering your email address below.
Enter your email address:
Delivered by FeedBurner

Advent Calendars You Can Make Tomorrow!

I only have three more days to get organised, but I really, really want to make a Christmas advent calendar this year. I blame a chat today with my neighbour for reminding me of this burning desire. Thanks Katrina! At this late stage I am looking for quick and easy ideas. I’d love to fill our advent calendar with ideas for family experiences, rather than little trinkets or sweets. Which is doubly awesome because I won’t need to go and buy said trinkets and sweets! I’ll get back to you on how that plan works out. Here are some of my favourite ideas for advent calendars that you can whip up in a jiffy.

Advent Calendars You Can Make Tomorrow!

{Pink Pistachio}

{All Things Beautiful}

{Mr Printables}

{Little Lucy Lu}

{My Little Bookcase}

Do you use an advent calendar? Tell me about it, please!

You can find more Octavia and Vicky goodness on
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+. Come and play :)

Would you like more Octavia and Vicky love?
Sign up for play ideas, recipes and more by entering your email address below.
Enter your email address:
Delivered by FeedBurner