It's Christmas! @ Monday, January 05, 2015

We don't actually celebrate Christmas, nor have we ever gone home for Christmas, so it's just another day. We don't do presents either (other then Secret Santas) as I get presents all the time (entering competitions is a hobby), also the next day is my birthday so I always get cash, or giftcards to my favourite stores. Instead our tradition is stocking up on cranberry jelly for the year (to go with chicken & brie sandwiches) and maxing lists of places to go to and things to buy the next day.

This year we made a gingerbread house! Isn't it beautiful? 95% foam 5% doubled sided tape. It features glitter which I love! With a real version edible glitter is very expensive with 5g being $10, and you'll need more than one colour.

Christmas with Ikea!

Christmas actually starts at the stroke of Midnight on Halloween, but the locations tend to be far away and only accessible via car, so we didn't get a chance to stop by till December and half the stuff on the list was sold out. The Swedish Christmas drink ($1.50) was very nice and fizzy, unlike the spiced apple drink ($4.50) which wasn't fizzy but still very nice, and perfect by the fireplace with gingerbread cookies we made, with the dough ($4.50) we bought - which was perfect! The apple drink was meh, it's canned apple juice really, nothing special there.

P.S. Ikea's candle are nice but you can't really smell them at all when lit. Best to go with Glades Melts or Yankee Tarts/Candles. 

Gingerbread Men

We made two trays of these and two trays of random shapes, they were perfect! And only takes 6mins to bake, at 7mins they're a bit, just a tiny bit burnt. You can literally just stand there and watch them back - I did. As I've never made them or any cookie successfully before I used pre-made dough from IKEA. Growing up we never made cookies or anything, as we never had an oven and still don't as mother doesn't see it necessary, also because it's rare that anyone will eat anything I cook - other than le beau, though he's only been around for the last four years. Pictured is my friend's oven. Cookies were great, and finished within a few hours too. :)

Coles had these gingerbread houses which the baker recommended, clearly he didn't eat them as it tasted hard and plain, like cardboard or maybe a cookie for a dog - and I wouldn't give these to my dog. I think it was more a novelty thing, which passed on that point as I had lots of fun decorating it. But on the box the plastic (well they feel plastic) faux Smarties are cut in half to increase surface area to attach to the window frame, it didn't come pre-cut and totally not safe to do yourself. Recommend? Yes but only as a decoration. Don't eat it.

What I actually wanted was the one by Gingerbread Folk for $37, whose cookies I've had before and it was great! But because I didn't buy them as soon as they came out they were all sold out, house & cookies. It doesn't come with candy, so that'll be an excuse to get some bags :P though at the same time I'd like to buy a mixed bag with just the right amount. 

We also bought some other Christmas Edition things from Coles. The gingerbread cookies were soft, spongy almost with a icing sugar coating. They were ok but I didn't really like them, unlike the stars and elves with popping candy! Le beau cleared out the shelves of them for me in Geelong. :P

This year I participated in the blogger Secret Santa, and received some lovely gifts, which we resisted opening till Christmas. *Lit candle not included, we're just experimenting with props and their influence on lighting.

My SS was Jen ( one of the co-hosts of the Blogger KK, here's a lovely picture of her. And above is what she got me. A bunny stand, snowglobe (I love snowglobes!), something edible a marshmellow candy pop, something to smell, a rose candle! 

And a antique style necklace that will be great for work - I like to turn up in costume, and that's what I'm known for at work. :P Our work place (well one of them) was built during the Georgian era and goes to the the 1950s (big dresses!) though it's set in the prior and ends right after WWI. But we don't like to talk about WWI because it symbolizes the end of an era, of glamour balls and social changes at Downton Abbey and the likes.

Thanks Jen! Looking forwards to burning the candle while watching historical documentaries (for work) I would say I like to keep up to date, though unlike IT history doesn't get updates, it's more of learning more about the amazing era - I love history!

Thanks Carmex for these bonbons/crackers!

From my beau I received a huge box of skincare! This year we're doing a SS only (so one present per person) as we spent quite a bit on a trip to Fiji last Christmas and traveled business class (le beau & co, excluding me). Our budget for SS was $50 and I think he may of went over it... But in the card he also said it was a birthday present... I hate combined gifts... but over the next few days he did send me some surprises. :)

Meanwhile I got Helen (one of the harder ones, I mean what do you buy a surgeon who buys everything she likes) with help I got the link for her etsy wishlist :P and bought her these lovely earrings, and a few other cute handmade items.

Up next is two days of shopping!       

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