Salt Dough Traditions & Hot Chocolate by the Fire

This week the girls caught up on some of their circus Jumping Clay. We are about three models behind since we’ve been doing homeworks 🙂 We had some hot chocolate time with whipped cream and marshmallows (and I’ve been wondering if sprinkles on top would be taking it too far.) I have some cute Christmas sprinkles I’ve picked up and in my mind they’d look pretty on top 🙂 The girls made some little seals balancing balls on their noses 🙂

I hung up some embroidery thread to hang all our Christmas cards on and put up some of the girls’ artwork to make the kitchen more festive for free 🙂 I love spending time cooking in Winter, rearranging things and making the place cosy.

We started the weekend with what has become our annual tradition of making salt dough Christmas tree ornaments. The girls did all the work with a rolling pin and cookie cutters. I made holes in them with the end of a paintbrush so we could add ribbons when they were finished.

My daughter insisted on having her face painted so I had to improvise with very limited colours 🙂 We used nearly the whole palette in the summer because the girls had their faces painted every day. One wanted reindeer face paints and the other wanted Christmassy arm decorations 🙂 Once I get over the initial feeling of it being an ordeal, i find the painting really soothing.

We have been working on using up all the meals in our freezer, so I combined some pizza dough with meatballs in sauce to make a meatball pizza. My daughter helped me to make it. The only problem with homemade pizza is that one of my daughters loves it and the other tends to prefer the most processed one in the shop 🙂 She always knows when I’ve made it, even if she hasn’t been present for its preparation.

On Saturday, we went to Montalto again (I know, it’s probably getting old.) But we seem to find something different there each time and the girls are in love with the adventure playground 🙂 The cafe was open to sit in and we managed to get a table next to the fire. It was the perfect location for hot chocolate drinking 🙂 It was icily cold while we were there, so it warmed us up for the walk 🙂 The girls tired themselves out climbing and making new friends all day. On the way out, we stopped to have a look in the shop. I found some candles for 50p each and a little holder to go with them. The girls got a jigsaw I suggested because it looked quirky (and much less expensive than the £60 den they were drawn to :))

I got a short period of peace while the girls watched TV as I was making dinner. It got dark very early so I made the most of it, lit my new candle and read The Simple Things magazine with my coffee 🙂

Today, we had a movie morning and watched Arthur Christmas for the first time by the lights of the Christmas tree. Afterwards, we painted salt dough. The girls just used poster paints and the “special glitter” – aka the glitter that makes its way into every crevice of our house for six months after use 🙂 After they dried, we varnished them. If you don’t have any varnish you can use clear nail polish instead. (Or for a lazier version, you could skip the glitter and use sparkly nail polish.) I love the fact that salt dough is such a drawn-out activity. There are so many pauses to let it bake and let it dry and it really seems to settle the girls.

We completed the new jigsaw together. It had sixty pieces and I felt like it was the most I could manage, never mind the girls 🙂 My kids wanted their faces painted again, so I attempted to do a tiger and swirls and hearts as per request.

I made some of my cinnamon buns, but next time I will make more dough as they ended up more like cinnamon curls 🙂

When the decorations were dry, we threaded them with ribbon and the girls added them to the Christmas tree. I had bought some Christmas tree templates from the pound shop that my daughter was eager to decorate. We used some shimmery crayons I got in B&M. I love them because they are like a mixture between crayon and paint. I got some holly sequins in the pound shop too and the girls loved using them to finish their trees 🙂

Apart from that, we ended the day with a candlelit roast dinner and as always I placed vegetables on their plates in the hope that the girls might accidentally eat them, but they never do 🙂

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