The little birds...

If you watch little birds you will see they are busy and happy! Using whatever they can find they create the most gorgeous little nest.
I would be the little bird with some glittery thread in her nest!
We can be like this. Happily working away with the things that are available to us to create a beautiful and happy home.
All the while with a little song in our heart.

Banner by Free Pretty Things for You.

Tuesday 22 March 2016

The Christmas Challenge. The gift of cooking.

We are building up our Christmas present cupboards but also making as many gifts throughout the year as we can. I won't even try to add up how many gifts that is!  Between Birthdays and celebrations like Easter it is a lot! But then there are gifts of help and kindness, surprises and more. If I didn't keep up with these as well as put gifts away for December I cannot imagine managing them all!

One gift I give over and over all year round is gifts from the kitchen. You don't have to be a fabulous cook to do this. Many basic things are lovely to give and helpful too.

Many times I give little hampers and include a cake and some jams, herbs from the garden, a bunch of Bay Leaves etc.

A birthday cake is a lovely gift. You usually get great reactions if you make someone a cake! I am not a fancy cake decorator although I wish I was. I usually just add flowers from the garden and that is it!

A basket of scones (US biscuits)  is always a hit if you are visiting someone. Or a tray of shortbread. I save flat boxes as they are so handy to give a dozen muffins.  So easy too.

If someone has a baby or is unwell a gift of a family pie, a lasagne, soup, a large cake... all very helpful and practical.

Being Easter I just made a dozen Easter gifts. I found a cute bunny cutter and just added a little marshmallow for a tail. For this I used my Honey Gingerbread recipe. (all recipes are in the recipe section) A batch of Gingerbread costs me just a few dollars and the marshmallows were another couple of dollars. I have most of the packet left for something else.  It didn't take long either!

The recipe is  here.

I sent a packet of these to Andy's work mate Rodney today. You are never too old or tough for bunny biscuits, right?

And I have a whole tray full for the girls, neighbours etc.

I give a lot of foodie gifts at Christmas too. Every year I give Christmas cakes as gifts and they can be made months ahead so I am not cooking at busy times.  This cake is also a favourite for a birthday cake for my husband or a gift for my Dad. As it keeps at least a year I will make a few and bring them out as needed.

As with any cake you can make a suitable size or many small ones. I often will make individual cakes in Texas Muffin tins...

These ones were in a mix of tins and I just gave a suitable size as each gift...

This Christmas cake recipe (which you can use anytime for a fruit cake that will keep) is here.

If you look in the shops and get an idea of the prices of homemade food you will see these are expensive. I saw a packet of six gluten free biscuits for $18. A Christmas cake for $50. And people pay this apparently.  So think of making a cake for a birthday or a dozen cup cakes...  or a tin of biscuits as a gift.

If you don't like to cook you can assemble. Here I made Lolly Kebabs for little girls and they were a hit...

With Easer this weekend some ideas I love are a carrot cake with cream cheese icing. A chocolate cake covered in chocolates or Easter eggs is really easy too and looks spectacular.

The amazing thing is that a few ingredients costing very little produces quite a spectacular present. An hour of your time here can be a massive money saver. As usual I do big lots of things so that we also have a cake put away for a picnic or bunny biscuits for desert and lunch boxes!

Andy and I share the same memory of when our families went away on holidays our Nanna's would send a big jar of biscuits with us. And both our Nan's made ones with pink icing that glued them together. They were called Cockles. Maybe they were in fashion at the time? Anyway we loved this!  It is a favourite childhood memory. From this I know that the gift of cooking is beautiful. It forms a wonderful memory as we are still talking about those big jars of Cockles and the pale pink icing all these years later!

Like sewing, knitting or crocheting something for someone cooking is a gift of love. It melts hearts and makes them feel special. Many times people cannot believe you made something FOR THEM!

What are some cooking gifts you have made? If you have an easy ones please share!
Having even one or two cooking gifts that you are confident to give will save you a lot of money and help keep up with gifts throughout the year. xxx


  1. Dear Annabel, I live this post today, thank you. It is good because for some people who don't do a lot of craft but like to bake or cook they can give lovely gifts too. I am making Rocky Road for my Dad for Easter and it is so easy. I will melt some dark chocolate in the microwave and stir in chopped marshmallows ( you can use mini ones too but I have large ones soI will cut them up) . I will add ginger ( glacé) to this and some sultanas and white chocolate chips. I will line a slice tray with baking paper and pour mixture into it and put in fridge until I need it. Easy!. I am going to put the Rocky Road in a tin bucket ( Easter theme ) that I bought for $2.50 at a discount shop.i think I mentioned this in another comment last week now I think about!. Another idea is a giant chocolate chip cookie / biscuit wrapped in cellophane or homemade chocolate freckles ( melted chocolate in circles sprinkled with hundreds and thousands or sprinkles ) . You could give 2 large freckles as a small gift or a huge cookie and a pack of homemade chocolates. Also you could make up a ice cream sundae pack and include homemade fudge sauce, jars of sprinkles, marshmallows etc and a gift voucher to buy ice cream!as well as an ice cream scoop and sundae bowls.i could come up with lots of ideas!. Thanks again Annabel for inspiring all this thought about gifts!. Love Barb Woodford

    1. Dear Barb,
      You just gave me the idea to use the left over marshmallows in rocky road! Thanks Barb.
      The giant freckles are a wonderful idea! Both kids and adults would love this! I have seen them very expensive in shops in the past too.
      Homemade fudge is another very good one as its actually very easy and tastes amazing!
      AND you have made me think of a gift of sprinkles, ice cream toppings, etc how nice would that be!?
      Thanks for the wonderful comment and ideas Barb! With love

  2. Your home made Rocky Road sounds like such a nice present Barb. Yummy! Love, Bridge

  3. I love those bunny biscuits. They look delicious and are presented SO beautifully. I have just been talking about this to my husband. Such a timely post. We have been given lots of food lately and I am so thankful. I have counted this food as the biggest gifts ever. I have said to my DH that I need to choose a few dishes that are some of my best and give them away. It costs very little to make extra, but means a lot to the receiver. When a family was in grief, I did up some platters; cheeses, fruits, meats, nuts, breads. Small things, because they were eating little and didn't feel like meals. I thought I could give away: fruit salad, pumpkin soup, fried rice, chicken pies and scones. I want to give food more often. It's funny because I had always been self conscious of making food for people in case it is not to their liking, but now I realise that it is helpful. I love your idea of biscuits. I love that memory of yours. It's so true- you can taste the love in homemade food given. You are SO generous with your gifts. It inspires me and makes my heart happy. Love, Bridge

    1. Dear Bridge, Thank you! Food holds all kind of memories and I think we all remember special things our Grandmas and Mums made. So the biscuits Nan made for us I guess cost her very little but it was her skill, time and love.... and this proves how nice such gifts are.
      Overall I find a cake is faster and easier than biscuits but for many gifts to different people biscuits are easier to divide up.
      For an older person i.e. maybe your Nanna a good gift is little meals to go in the freezer. I do little pies in the larger sized muffin pans and these are great little individual meals. There are so many possibilities!
      The whole shortbread is a good easy one.
      I am so glad you have been given lots of food lately. I hope you re feeling much better? Have a lovely Easter Bridge, with love

  4. Annabel those bunnies are adorable! The cakes are perfection. I love giving gifts of food a tray of cookies for someone who doesn't bake and believe it or not I know a lot of people who don't bake at all. I have done chocolate covered strawberries, fruit bouquets and during summer when I have all of the garden veggies I can vegetables soup from whatever is in the garden and give it at Christmas with a loaf of French bread that seems to be everyone's favorite. Assorted brownies on a tray is another some I frost, some are caramel pretzel, some have powdered sugar etc. I could go on and on since food gifts I love to make! LOL P.S. Ask me about making Apple Pie Rum one year and how it ended up being gifted! LOL

    1. Dear Vicky, After I made those brownies for Valentines Day this has become a new favourite. I am going to make a tray of this for Andys birthday he is nuts over it! Like he is STILL talking about how good they were. Probably hinting lol
      Apple pie rum... sounds like theres a story there! Do tell...
      With love Annabel.xxxx

    2. Annabel I am not a drinker and a few years ago the Apple Pie flavored alcohols were quite popular so I thought to make some for gifts. I don't remember the recipe, but it's rum and you just warm it and add the brown sugar and apple pie spice and warm it just enough to dissolve the sugar, but not evaporate the alcohol. Well I kept tasting it to see if it needed more sugar or spice. Duh!! I guess I decided the kitchen floor was a good place for a nap! My boys had fun making fun of me. LOL I told them to just be glad Mama didn't have a dress on because the way I was sprawled out was not ladylike by any means! I bottled it up and gifted it and needless to say I have not attempted any alcohol gifts again!

  5. Annabel your foodie gifts always leaving me with my mouth watering, and I am only looking at photos! I have a favourite Easter recipe. I make up muffin batter, fill the muffin paper half way and place a caramel filled small egg into the batter. I then fill the muffin paper and bake. The muffin is best served warm, as the egg oozes out when bitten into. Delicious and decadent all in one small cake. I will be making hubby some rocky road for Easter. Similar recipe to Barb. I also add small jellies or cut up lollie snakes. Add some macadamia nuts for a little Queensland flavour and it's all finished. My Dad has some skin cancers to be cut off and skin grafts on his legs in the next week or so. I'll make a trip down to see him and will make his favourite, vanilla slice, to spoil him when he's not feeling the best. Food is often used as a gift but those of us who give foodie gifts, often don't even think about our giving as part of our gift giving repertoire. Thanks once again for the reminder. This last week has seen me working on a crocheted woolen shawl for Mum for Mothers Day. I should have it finished by the weekend. Life is good.

    1. Dear Jane, Holy cow that is a brilliant idea and I get the image of oozy caramel as you bite into it! Genius plan!
      Also I had not thought of cut up snakes in rocky road. I think the texture and taste would be yum. I hope everyone knows we are talking about lolly snakes!
      Vanilla slice is a favourite of mine. I LOVE that. Do you use pastry or biscuits for the layers...?
      You are well ahead with Mothers Day too, well done. Many thanks jane, Love

  6. Dear Annabel,

    So many wonderful gift ideas. You are the great inspirer!

    Your cookies look cute and I love the cake with real roses, so very pretty.

    I don't remember Easter eggs from my younger days but I do remember marshmallow bunnies that my mum used to make using moulds. She would make them for all the grandies but stopped as they got older. I bet if she were to make them now, they would really love it. Mum's bunnies were made from white and pastel coloured marshmallow, placed on a cake board that mum made from cardboard and alfoil, then sprinkled with coconut. She then finished off with green coloured coconut spread around the bunny to look like grass. You have given me an idea and that is to ask my mum if she still has the moulds and then I can continue the family tradition. They were so delicious!

    Wishing you a Blessed Easter,


    ps I left a comment earlier today, but not sure if you got it, if so just delete this one :)

    1. Dear Tania, So far the other comment didn't appear. Who knows what happens sometimes! Thank you for persisting!
      The marshmallow bunnies sound gorgeous to me and I am hoping your Mum still has the moulds and may even be inspired to make them again.
      If you do them please do a tutorial sometime as this would be lovely!
      Have a very Happy Easter! You have a new member of the family which is the nicest gift of all! With love

  7. I love giving my biscuits and banana breads to people. It always get a smile from them.
    I made a chicken & corn mornay and a warm banana bread for my niece when she arrived back home after having her son in hospital. Food is always greatly appreciated.

    1. Dear Joolz,
      They are wonderful gifts. Anyone would love biscuits or banana bread!
      I love mornay! I make tuna and corn mornay often and have it planned for tomorrow actually! But I should do a chicken mornay that sounds so nice.
      Also as a gift that is also a gift of comfort and help. How nice!
      Have a very Happy Easter Joolz, with love Annabel.xxxx

  8. Annabel you have been reading my mind again. I decided that I would make some scones and take them to my mother in law's place when we see her on Friday. Tossing up between plain and pumpkin ones.

    I have a biscuit recipe that I have made and given at Christmas for many years - they are dusted in icing sugar and very short bread like but the walnuts give them a whole different taste. This particular recipe is suited to our hot humid summer weather, the mixer does the work and when ready I just scoop out a spoon full onto the baking tray, bake then dust with icing sugar.

    The 120 biscuit recipe is another good one - I usually divide the recipe into 3 and add 3 different things.


    1. Dear Lynette,
      I think scones are the most beautiful gift. I love both types too! Love them! For an older person I also think the gift of small serves i.e. mini pies or individual quiches etc is lovely and serves can be frozen.
      Your biscuits sound beautiful. An excellent gift.
      Happy Easter to you Lynette! With love

  9. Annabel, another inspiring post. You make the most delicious looking gifts and your presentation is outstanding. I have just been looking at an old handwritten recipe book that I had when my children were little back in the 1980s and many of the pages are stained so the recipes on those pages must have been well used. I don't bake very much these days unlike then. Your ideas always inspire my daughter as I have mentioned before.

    1. Dear Nanna Chel,
      Thank you! If your daughter likes those recipes and memories then writing these out again in a book for her would be a very good gift. Even writing them into a book for your Grandchildren would be nice...
      Baking is a very economical gift. Those biscuits our Nans made have never been forgotten so that proves to me how much it means.
      Have a wonderful Easter to you and all your family! With love

  10. Dear Annabel,

    Those bunnies are absolutely adorable! What a great idea! Hot cross buns are a tradition in my family. My mom always made them for Easter, and I have continued to make them since I've been married. I always make extra and give some to neighbors and friends. They tell me they look forward to them each year!

    The food gifts we give most often are a jar of homemade jam with a loaf of homemade bread. People love this! But for my immediate family we make each other all sorts of food gifts from beef jerky (I have a dehydrator) to homemade mustards to liqueurs and especially...chocolates! (We love chocolate in our house.)

    I love your cakes...they look absolutely divine. You definitely have the touch for presentation!!

    Love, Jen in NS

    1. Dear Jen,
      If you can make Hot Cross Buns then that is wonderful! Nothing beats them really! They look so impressive and are delicious!
      Roses are wonderful for decorating cakes, so are pony's or violets. Very simple but spectacular! I am so glad gifts of food are already something you are doing. The beer bread may be next!
      Have a wonderful Easter Jen! With love,

  11. Dear Annabel!

    Cream and roses!! I hadn't realised until recent times that roses fit so well into the culinary picture! This now puts them onto my planting list! What will Dad say?! He'll be thinking of all the thorns he's had in his hands! He'd love a cake with roses in the top!! So would Mum! Thank you for this!

    Since I am not ready for storing wheat for baking, I will be using up the 5kg bags of supermarket rice we have. I've learnt to make rice pudding (appreciated in a gluten free diet, and useful for a picnic, I've found) and now I'd like to move on to your shortbread. This will be good for sharing!

    Vicky's canned soup with French bread sounds appetising, especially for someone like me who doesn't go for sweet things, unless I've just come in from winter work and need some sweetness to help the muscles! The American pressure canning certainly opens up opportunities for preserving non-acid foods like soup.

    We are due to visit friends in their eighties. Taking into account their individual dietary needs, I would really like to use the op shop baking tins I have to make one a small ricotta-based torte della nonna (a lemon flavoured 'grandmother's cake') and the other some miniature pumpkin doughnuts (since this person loves doughnuts). So far, the diet friendly eggless date loaf (a simple, oldfashioned recipe with ginger powder) has been well received.

    I return to your cream and roses ..... And lemon butter?

    Rachel Holt

    1. Dear Rachel, I should mention I don't spray my roses so there are no pesticides... I either place them on top or around a cake (or both) or dip them in egg white and then castor sugar first. Either look nice and oh so easy. I also use pansy's a lot as I grow them often.
      Any cake based on ricotta sounds divine to me! Also doughnuts! I am sure you will make your friends day!
      Another thing is to dip rose petals into egg white, dip in castor sugar and dry. These are lovely placed on top of serves of cake etc. Just very pretty plus edible.
      Have a very Happy Easter Rachel! With love

  12. Dear Annabel, gifts of help, kindness and surprises ... you have taught me so much in these areas. I have always been aware and did a good bit of all, but you have heightened my awareness that this is indeed a gift ... a ministry ... thank you Annabel. Those Easter bunnies are so cute and the cakes look almost too pretty to eat. I like someone's comment where they put the caramel egg in the muffin and bake it ... that sounds delicious! I still have my Easter cooking to do and you can be sure after reading this post that it will include some 'Annabel' inspired goodies.

    1. Dear Patsi,
      Thank you! The very best presents are surprises I think. One of the best I remember was I crocheted a single bed rug for my friend in the nursing home and too it to her at the beginning of winter. Just because it was winter.... she was so thrilled and it is in pride of place to this day. I just don't think we need birthdays etc to give presents. I am often restricted with some of what I would love to give by distance and postage. I just think of well we can do what we can when we can.
      I love the caramel egg in the muffins too! Wonderful, easy, effective!
      Happy Easter to you Patsy, with love

  13. I find that I can never go wrong with a warm loaf of homemade bread. So few make bread now that it is a real treat. The same with cinnamon rolls.

    Your bunny cookies are adorable!

    1. Dear Lana, Happy Easter to you! You are right, warm bread is hard to beat and anything like scrolls or rolls too. I notice that lovely homemade looking breast they now call artisan breads... here I have seen them for $8 a loaf. I laughed as I can buy a toaster for less than that!
      Have a good weekend too! With love

  14. I love your sweet little bunny cookies/biscuits! What a great idea and they're packaged so nicely, too! I need to look through my cookie cutters to see if I have one that would work.

    After hearing about the mess in Belgium (prayers continue for all involved) I made a deliberate decision to do something pleasant and I declared yesterday my Resurrection Sunday candy-making day. I spent several hours with my hands covered in chocolate & vanilla candy coating making lambs and Peeps pops and marshmallow pops. It kept my mind and hands busy, which was good.

    Blessings to all as Resurrection Sunday approaches!

    1. Dear Leigh,
      I feel the same as you about the news and need to distract myself. It leads me to continually make home the best sanctuary I can.
      I love what you made! I will pop over and see if you put photos up! With thanks and have a very happy Easter to you too! Love

  15. Everything looks so beautiful and yummy. Almost to pretty to eat! You sure are one talented and crafty lady.

    I am very curious what all is in the Lolly Kebobs. I see marshmallows, but what else have you included? My nieces would love those.
    Thanks for all the lovely ideas.

    1. Dear Cheryl,
      The lolly kebabs were different marshmallows and lollies. I went by a colour scheme of pink. Liquorice all sorts or anything that will hold up on a stick and have a hole pocked through it would work. I like a colour scheme. Variety is also good. They looked nice and I rolled them in cellophane and tied each end with a ribbon and then a pretty tag. Very inexpensive and pretty though!
      Thanks so much Cheryl, have a very Happy Easter. with love

  16. Oh my what wonderful looking treats you gift. I love the bunnies. How adorable. I do candies for Christmas and will make a casserole for someone in need, sick, or having a baby. I tend not to do much else. We use to make cupcakes on Valentines and take them to the Local Women Shelter for women that are homeless and have been abused.

    1. Dear Chrissy, Thank you!
      I really love the cupcakes for the shelter. That is beautiful. What a lovely gesture. I found as the girls got older they loved to cook and give biscuits and cakes as gifts... this developed their skills as well.
      Have a really happy Easter to you and your family! With love

  17. Hi Annabel,
    What lovely words. I do think some people think of baking as "not enough" for a gift but like you said, if you price the cost of artisan baked goods, the prices are enormous! I am an avid baker and every week bake cakes, brownies or biscuits for our morning teas. At Christmas time I make rocky road, gingerbread, fudge and peppermint bark to give away as gifts. During the year I will also make jam, lemon butter and relish to give away as gifts. Yesterday we made a batch of my iced vanilla biscuits in Easter shapes to give away as gifts and I have given away some tomato relish as well. I am currently waiting for cheap plums to make more jam. Recently a friends father came home from hospital after knee surgery so I took him some portions of homemade soups, zucchini slice, banana cake, sultana cake and some custard biscuits. He was so thankful, it warmed my heart. Also every year I make my family's birthday cakes. I love your way idea of putting flowers on a cake-so pretty! Have a great Easter. xx

    1. Mel, what a lovely friend you are. Love, Bridget

    2. Dear Mel,
      I love that you are a keen baker! Cup cakes became the trendy thing and so expensive! If you turned up anywhere with cup cakes these were drooled over!
      The gift of meals for your friend was lovely. I bet he loved that so much. And it showed how much you care. Very nice.
      Also birthday cakes make a lot of memories. I made so many when the kids were little. I attempted all kinds of things... the girls liked the Dolly Varden style ones where the cake was the dress of the doll. I nearly went mental making some of those lol!
      Have a wonderful Easter Mel! With love

  18. Hi Annabel, I'm heading away for easter and hope you all have a lovely one and that you enjoy the last of the warmer weather. I think the cool is beginning to settle in here. I've always enjoyed cooking for others as I see it as a sign of love or friendship. Happy Easter to you and Andy. Fi xx

    1. Dear Fiona,
      Have a wonderful time! Happy Easter to you!
      All your cooking for the recent party is an example! I bet everyone loved it! Gifts of food really do show love and care. With lots of love

  19. Happy Easter to you and your family.
    I really enjoyed your post today as I love to bake and cook.
    I was wondering if you could point me in the right direction for your recipes; your Christmas cakes and your Honey Gingerbread cookies. I have wanted to make those Christmas cakes since the first time I saw them.

    1. Dear Laurie, Thank you and the same to you, have a vey Happy Easter. Now that yo have them I will post the links into the blog post as I should have done this in the first place! With thanks, Annabel.xxxx

  20. My sons are all now grown and gone and no grandchildren yet. However, for my sisters every year I give them dried herbs and garlic from my garden, as well as 4-5 new dishcloths that I have crocheted. I will at times make matching potholders and towels with crochet tops to hang on the stove. Additionally, I give a new recipe that my DH have tried and liked, and all the ingredients to make it. This time of year I am working 6 days a week (I am an accountant and this is tax season in the US), and each week someone has to bring lunch for the whole office - usually 8-10 people. This year I brought posole (a Mexican soup), Spanish rice and chips and salsa. Someone else brought drinks and desert. The cost was not too dear, as I had most of the items in my pantry. The salsa was homemade last summer with vegetables from our garden, and then frozen.

    1. Dear Nancy,
      I love your gift of herbs from the garden! I love all your gifts!
      What a good idea in your office. I am sure everyone loved your hearty soup, rice and chips!
      It is so handy having a good pantry, there is always something you can whip up even at a moments notice!
      Have a very Happy Easter Nancy, Love Annabelxxx

  21. Hi Annabel, the gift of food is always appreciated. Everyone looks forward to my food hampers for Christmas.
    I'm looking through my cookie cutters today to see if I have a bunny as those gingerbread bunnies are great and the grandkids will love them.
    Happy Easter Annabel. Debbie xx

    1. Dear Debbie, Happy Easter to you!
      Your Grandchildren are going to be like Andy and me (except in many years! lol) and remember all their lives the beautiful things you do for them. I hope you find a bunny shape that might work! Such a simple one to just stick on a tail! With love

  22. I love this post! I was just commenting on this to my DH the other day. We have previously received meals from our friends and have counted it as the best gifts. I have previously done platter style foods for friends in grief as I thought it would be something they could nibble on throughout the day. I said to my DH what could be meals I could give now.... Zucchini slice, pumpkin soup, fried rice and chicken pie. I need to not worry as to whether they are 'good enough' because when we have been given meals, we just feel so appreciative, so it shouldn't be a worry. I LOVE those bunny biscuits. They are just DELIGHTFUL and the packaging is beautiful. You are so thoughtful and generous and thank you for inspiring others. Love to you and have a Happy and Blessed Easter. Love, Bridget

  23. Annabel, Wow I've tried to comment twice here but both times the comment hasn't shown up so just trying to comment again to see if you can receive me.

    1. Same with me. I'm sorry if I have posted more than once Annabel.

      Thank you for inspiring me Annabel.
      Love, Bridge

  24. Hi Annabel,

    I tried the bunny bickies as an Easter time project for my girls, both of whom were sick and lost interest quickly. I made a batch which they enjoyed eating but am wondering how you did the marshmallow tail? I ended up baking it all as one but that, of course, lost its fluffiness pretty quickly. However, my elder daughter wants one in her lunchbox all week so that's good! And it makes me feel like a vaguely crafty mum - seriously, if we had to pass a course on craftiness before we were allowed to be mums I would totally fail!


    1. Dear Allie, Well done on your cooking! It is gorgeous your daughter wants biscuits in her lunch box everyday.
      Well I should have said but the biscuits are cooked plain then a dab of icing to stick on a small marshmallow for the tail after they are cool. Marshmallow melts away with heat. I am sure they still taste yum!
      Little crafty projects are lovely in school holidays and we did a lot of cooking the last couple of days before school went back so lunch boxes were lovely. Well done! With love

    2. Thanks for the advice Annabel,

      I'll know next time. I am at least pleased to report that my elder daughter designed her own Easter hat for school and won an award. We let her do it all and just helped her with the construction. It looked like it was made by a 5 year old and she won a prize where the ones clearly made by parents with no input from the children were passed over. That was exciting for her. And that is the spirit of school activities. She won a chocolate Easter bunny but didn't want to eat it in the end.

      As I go on maternity leave in June and will be off for at least a year I will need to get thriftier and craftier. At least, if this baby is a girl we have lots and lots of clothes (but no name) but if it is a boy I will have to buy him a wardrobe full of clothes, although I will not replace the pink baby sleeping bags. They are way too expensive and I don't think the baby will care what it sleeps in!

      Thanks for the advice,


  25. Annabel, a favourite topic of mine, as you know! Thanks for sharing at Five Star Frou-Frou this week. Hope to see you again on Friday! Love, Mimi xxx


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