advent


Make an adorable white clay Christmas fingerprint ornament 16

One of my favorite things about the festive season is trimming the tree.  I love going through all of the ornaments and decorations, especially the homemade homes and hanging them as I reminisce about when we made them.  This adorable white clay christmas fingerprint ornament is a take on our valentine fingerprint heart ornaments.

white clay Christmas fingerprint ornament

DIY gift wrap – Potato Print Penguins 23

I love using Christmas as a time to get crafting and creative with the kids and this DIY gift wrap is no exception. We have designed wrapping paper with potato print penguins on.    I am delighted to be working with Sellotape this festive season to share the magic of giving and we will be using our DIY wrapping paper as part of that collaboration. How to make Potato Print Penguins DIY gift wrap Materials: Brown paper Paper Plates or regular plates Potatoes Knife Black and White tempura paint Orange acrylic paint Paint brush Googley eyes Instructions: Printing with potatoes is an inexpensive and fun way top mark make with kids and more »


Free Christmas Colouring Pages for Adults – The Ultimate Roundup 17

There are some amazing colouring pages and books for adults at the moment and as it is the festive season, I am all about Christmas.  I  have already shared with you five exclusive festive colouring pages.  But there are so many more out there, so I have gathered together  a roundup of free christmas colouring pages for adults and teens.

The ultimate Free Christmas Colouring Pages for Adults Roundup

Kid Made Fingerprint Wreath Christmas Card

Kid Made Fingerprint Wreath Christmas Card 8

There is nothing better than receiving a homemade christmas card, even more so in today’s technological times.   My boys run to the door at Christmas time to collect the cards and they get so much joy in opening them.  So we love making our own cards and we hope that this years kid made fingerprint wreath Christmas card brings joy to others.


Advent Acts of Kindness Free Printables 49

As you have probably guessed we LOVE advent and Christmas here in The Mad House.  Last year we provided you with two sets of advent acts of kindness free printables.  One Christmas tree shaped and the other in a tag style.  This year we have a real treat for you with our advent acts of kindness free printables. These are perfect for using in conjunction with The Kindness Elves.


Ultimate advent activities

Ultimate advent activity list 2015 17

Christmas, we love it.  But as much as I love Christmas and the build up to it, it is important to me to focus on my family and not just on the commercial aspect of just Christmas Day.  Part of the way we do this is by having advent activities that we do.  It helps me to focus on my family each day in this busy busy period of the year.   So here is our ultimate advent activity list for 2015.


An Alternative Advent Calendar – Acts of Kindness by kids 33

Advent, we love it.  It is a BIG thing here in The Mad House.  We use advent as a way to celebrate the build up to Christmas and to take the commercialism out of it.   The MiniMads have not yet had a chocolate advent calendar, although I might bend to their wishes this year!  We have an activity advent calendar instead and this year we are having an alternative advent calendar, where we are going to do an act of kindness each day Kindness can cost nothing and I want to raise the MiniMads to always be kinder than they need to be and feel that focusing on acts of more »


A pause in Advent, The advent story for children 8

I think I have said in the past that I label myself as something of a reluctant worshiper. But you can not have Christmas without Christ and I also really enjoyed this time of year as a child growing up and going to Sunday school, so I make it my aim to teach the boys about Jesus, the Christmas and Advent.

Last year, the wonder Coffee Lady told me about a book called The Light in the Lantern, which is filled with short stories for advent. The stories are intended for reading aloud for children of school age and are perfect for sparking conversation about Advent. The are pretty short, but perfect for night time reading.


2011 Advent calenders and a Pause in Advent 14

We also have two more calenders to add to that this year, both in the same format of 24 little books, one is the nutcracker and the other the Christmas Story, which I hope the boys will become attatched to in the same way as I am to my calender.

Finally, as I am not really a scrooge the boys do both have a chocolate calender this year from Hotel Chocolat, who also do the most divine Christmas hampers too


Christmas traditions – Christmas Eve 10

I blogged last year about our Christmas traditions, about creating memories and making our own traditions as a family.  Including a little of mine and MadDads best Christmas’s and sprinkling some new things, some things that are unique to us and to our life.  I want these tradition to cement the boys memories of their Christmas’s past and lead them happily in to their Christmas’s of their future. We have our advent stocking activities each day, which is wonderful and we also make sure that we have done all the shopping, wrapping and running around by Christmas Eve and we make a big day of it.   The Christmas Eve Elves more »


A Pause in Advent – Peace 6

n. The absence of war or other hostilities. An agreement or a treaty to end hostilities. Freedom from quarrels and disagreement; harmonious relations: living in peace with each other. Public security and order: was arrested for disturbing the peace. Inner contentment; serenity: peace of mind. I hasve been trying hard this week to find peace in what is a very busy and hectic world at the moment.  I still dont have the conservatory roof fixed or a resolution with the insurance company on the electrical items, but we will get there. I have spend every spare moment doing something, including baking cakes for school parties, attending carol services and helping mum more »


Not so gingery gingerbread 21

Last year we decorated gingerbread houses, but the boys do not like the taste of gingerbread so it was a waste in the long run, although it was fun. So this year we decided to make our own gingerbread men and decorate them instead, so I set about finding a not so gingery gingerbread recipe.  I couldn’t find one that was just perfect, so I adapted one until it was what we needed.   Ingredients 350g / 12oz plain flour 175g / 6oz light soft brown sugar 100g / 4oz butter 1 medium egg 4 tablespoons of golden syrup 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda ½ teaspoon of ground ginger ½ teaspoon more »


An alternative to salt dough ornaments 18

  We usually make salt dough ornaments at this timeof the year, but spurred on my Chris at Thinly Spread I decided to give cornflour dough a try.  However, typically I didn’t have the ingredients on hand to make her recipes so made up my own. Ingredients 2 cups salt two thirds of a  cup of water 2 cups cornflour Half cup water Method Mix 2 cups of salt with two thirds of a  cup of water in a pan and stir constantly over medium heat for 2-3 minutes until bubbles appear. Remove from heat and immediately add to 2 cups cornflour and half a cold water  and mix quickly to more »


A Pause in Advent Joy 7

joy / joi/ n. a feeling of great pleasure and happiness: tears of joy the joy of being alive. a thing that causes joy: the joys of Manhattan. v. [intr.] poetic/lit. rejoice: I felt shame that I had ever joyed in his discomfiture or pain. There is a real feeling of joy over adversity at the moment in the mad house.  We are all working hard to enjoy and make the most of advent, without making it a chore.  We are trying to find joy in the small things in our life, yes we have had enough of the snow, but it does make things feel clean and bright. We had more »


Nativity Scenes 11

  I am a great lover of nativity scenes and grew up with the lower image in my mums house.  When Maxi was born she gifted me it.  I love it, so do the boys, but as it is china they can not play with it and make up their own story, so we made our own version out of loo rolls. We had so much fun, but no images of us making them, as I was far too involved with the boys, glue, ribbon, scissors and lots and lots of fabric scraps! Oh and I went to Maxi’s Nativity yesterday and Mini’s is today, so I will be back with more »


A Pause in Advent – Peace 12

We had a pretty peaceful start to this week, as we had so much snow that the school was closed all week and MadDad struggled to get in to work.   We tried to make the most of each others company and use the time wisely. We really all enjoyed putting up our Christmas tree and inside decorations (there is far too much snow for the outside ones yet) and took pleasure in the simple things like hot chocolate and marshmallows. But the greatest lesson for me this week has been that peace is not something that is always an external thing.  We had a nightmare on Saturday morning when the heavy more »