Christmas 2014: Part 3

Happy New Year Everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful festive season however you celebrated it. I cannot believe another year has gone by and it is now the year 2015! The year we all thought about in 1989 when Back to the Future II came out. I did a silly thing just then and worked out that was 26 years ago! Sorry, but I had to point that out.

I believe I am up to the 23 Day of my long Christmas! My niece and nephew came over for the day and we made a Gingerbread House and I let them loose with my fondant collection! The snow-covered sides on the bottom were decorated by my niece and she also made a wicked Olaf! On the sides decorated by my nephew you can actually see some of the gingerbread house! I love how different their styles are and how they kept their sides true to themselves!Michelle's Labyrinth Christmas 2014 Day 23Then it was Christmas Eve! And was I ready for Christmas? Not really. I had all these huge hopes of being more organised than previous years, but unfortunately a lot of Christmas cards weren’t sent out – again. But I did get to catch up one last time with my friend and her daughter, do some shopping, finish wrapping some pressies and finish two more cakes! Since the cakes were finished quite late, I shared two Elves made by the beautiful Conny Deylen. I guess I was wishing I had a couple of elves helping me instead of Santa on Christmas Eve.

Michelle's Labyrinth Christmas 2014 Day 24

Christmas Day had arrived and I was covered in red glitter! But I do love the effect the red glitter gave to the Christmas Minion I made for my nephew (he loves fruit cake and I think that is wonderful!)! The other Christmas Minion was for our extended family dinner Christmas night and I was lucky to get to take some home and I still have some left!

Michelle's Labyrinth Christmas 2014 Day 25

Now I was a bit sneaky and posted a Day 26 on Facebook – well our Christmas hadn’t finished yet! We had Christmas dinner with hubbie’s parents and an aunty on Boxing Day. Do you know what Boxing Day is? Do you get the day as a Public Holiday where you are? In Australia we get the day off, so it makes Christmas extra special. I was asked last year by a friend from the US what Boxing Day was, and it was brought up again this year by another friend. Wikipedia says Boxing Day is traditionally when servants and tradesmen would receive gifts, known as a “Christmas box”. But I wonder if Boxing Day also had something to do with clearing away all the boxes and wrapping paper from presents you received! What I do know is a lot of Australian males love Boxing Day because it means the first day of the Boxing Day Test (of cricket)! Early on this Boxing Day (my last day of my long Christmas!) I finished two more cakes! I made my mother-in-law the penguin cake and hubbie’s Aunty the snowmen cake.Michelle's Labyrinth Christmas 2014 Day 26

On the Twenty-third day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me a decorated Gingerbread House.

On the Twenty-fourth day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me a two helpful Christmas elves. [Elves made by Conny Deylen]

On the Twenty-fifth day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me two Christmas Minion cakes.

On the Twenty-sixth day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me two decorated Christmas Cakes for presents.

Christmas almost seems like a distant memory. We are now in the New Year and Monday is when most people will be heading back to work. I have been thinking about what I would like to accomplish this year and have been trying to clear up a lot to ensure that I am not behind compared to before Christmas! I have also been thinking about the year just gone and what I accomplished and what I didn’t get finished. 2014 seemed to be a bad year for a lot of people: whether it was illnesses, money problems or just an accumulation of a lot of things! I also thought of all the wonderful famous people we lost this year – Rik Mayall, Robin Williams, Mickey Rooney, Joe Cocker, Phillip Seymour Hoffman (too many to list really). Then I thought about how we lost 3 aeroplanes and then the Lindt café siege in Sydney. I was beginning to think about I wasn’t going to be able to think of any wonderful things that happened in 2014 – and we really need to concentrate on the good times!

But I did remember some good of 2014 – we started the year in Jersey with family. Then saw hubbie’s brother’s family in England. We travelled around beautiful green Wales! I was able to catch up with one of my oldest friend’s in London and see her 3 week old (and I just got to see her again in Perth for Christmas!). We reached some goals with our businesses and even were nominated as Champion Business of the Year! I got to make quite a few cakes and was challenged a lot and learnt a lot. I finished my Diploma in Finance and Mortgage Broking. We got to see The Doug Anthony Allstars on stage again! I didn’t think we would see Paul McDermott, Tim Ferguson and Flacco (Paul Livingstone) again and they were hilarious and naughty as always. We got to go to Barcelona and to drive around South of France! I was also very lucky and was able to acquire another Wendy Froud original sculpture and a Brian Froud original watercolour! We also got to see the Rolling Stones – which was a bit touch and go after the cancellation in March. I also became the proud owner of Sam and Dean puppets! So really, that sounds like an amazing year! And I guess I need to thank our credit card companies, our employees (referral partners and clients) and my wonderful husband to making it all possible!

So I hope you have had time to reflect on all the good things that happened in 2014 and I really wish you all an even more magical 2015 full of everything you desire! Just think of 2015 as an open book and you have 360+ days to fill it – so write a magnificent one!

Michelle's Labyrinth Christmas 2014

 

 

 

Christmas 2014: Part 1

Christmas to me is all aboutMichelle's Labyrinth Christmas Day 1 family and friends and spending time together. I love the happy excited kids looking forward to the arrival of Santa Claus. I love the music, food, decorations and general merriment around this time of year. I know there is also a bit of stress this time of year as we’re all busy wrapping up (not just presents) things at work before the public holidays and maybe even some Michelle's Labyrinth Christmas Day 2extra time off! The shops are busy (crazy!), but there is always this great vibe! Some magic in the air!

This year to get me into the spirit sooner I decided to post a photo on Facebook about what Christmas means to me from the 1st December until the 25th. Most of the photos so far have been about something Christmasy that happened thatMichelle's Labyrinth Christmas Day 3 day, or something I saw (or a cake I’ve made!). To describe the photos I started making my descriptions sound like the Christmas carol The Twelve Days of Christmas – one of my favourite childhood Christmas carols. (Whenever I think of “Five Golden Rings” I hear Goofy’s voice from our A Disney Christmas LP! And then I have a giggle when I recall Donald Duck stealing Goofy’s line later in the song. I do have a feeling my Dad started to groan a little bit when we wanted that LP played… again! Thankfully I now have it on CD and can listen to it as much as my heart desires!!)

When I was younger I did question if the Twelve Days of Christmas started onMichelle's Labyrinth Christmas Day 4 Christmas Day or ended on Christmas Day. I think I hoped they ended on Christmas Day, because that meant your true love gave you presents earlier! The other day I learnt that the Twelve Days of Christmas actually starts on Christmas Day and ends on a Christian feast day called Epiphany (January 6th) or Twelfth Night (which is not just a Shakespearean play!) on the evening of January the 5th marking the coming of the Epiphany and concluding the Twelve Days of Christmas.

Michelle's Labyrinth Christmas Day 5Michelle's Labyrinth Christmas Day 6

I also learnt what ‘Advent’ means – have you ever wondered what Advent Calendar means? I have never thought to query that word, when I was younger it was more about the pictures and the chocolates! So I looked it up and advent means “a coming into place, view, or being; arrival” and Advent (with a Capital A) means “the coming of Christ into the world.” Apparently I am incorrect to say my Christmas photos are the 1 to 25 days of Christmas, they are the 1 to 25 days of Advent.

Michelle's Labyrinth Christmas Day 7Michelle's Labyrinth Christmas Day 8

I have mentioned before I am not a religious person and I respect people who are. I also respect that Christmas is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, however people have been celebrating Christmas in various ways since the Middle Ages. I read on Wikipedia that in 1843 when “Charles Dickens wrote the novel A Christmas Carol it helped revive the “spirit” of Christmas and seasonal merriment. It played a major role in portraying Christmas as a holiday emphasizing family, goodwill, and compassion… Dickens sought to construct Christmas as a family-centered festival of generosity, in contrast to the community-based and church-centered observations.” And this is what Christmas means to me!

Michelle's Labyrinth Christmas Day 9

So my 25 days of Christmas (not Advent because I am not waiting for anything to arrive because I am celebrating Christmas now) is about what Christmas means to me, to revive my Christmas spirit and to hopefully increase the excitement and merriment to those around me! I am enjoying the Christmas season so far and have caught up with some old friends already, been to a couple of Christmas parties, given some Christmas presents, and sung (poorly) some Christmas carols! So I hope I do not offend anyone but here are the first 12 days of my 25 day Christmas this year.

Michelle's Labyrinth Christmas Day 10Michelle's Labyrinth Christmas Day 11

On the First day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me a Couple of Penguins Sledding. [2012 Christmas Cake]

On the Second day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me a Gingerbread Man. [2013 Christmas Cake]

On the Third day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me Cake Push Pops. [Made in 2013 in cake decorating class.]

On the Fourth day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me a Santa Penguin. [Hamlet’s favourite Christmas toy!]

On the Fifth day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me Two Rudolph Reindeer. [That were eaten by Hamlet and Macbeth last year – without permission!]

On the Sixth day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me Lovely Catch-ups with Friends. [Picture shows place mat at Miss Mauds.]

On the Seventh day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me a Handmade Christmas Card.

On the Eighth day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me Mixed Fruit in Brandy. [Watch this space to see what I make this year!]

On the Ninth day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me Santa Bandanas! [Pups’ bandanas were made by DeeziBeez]

On the Tenth day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me a Burswood Christmas Tree! [Hubbie and I celebrated our 17th anniversary on the 10th December!]

On the Eleventh day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me a Fondant Christmas Tree! [2013 Christmas Cake]

On the Twelfth day of Christmas Michelle’s Labyrinth sent to me a Rudolph Christmas Cake! [A cake I made for a friend for his Christmas pressie].

Michelle's Labyrinth Christmas Day 12

I hope you are enjoying your Christmas / Advent / December so far! And remember… You better watch out
You better not cry
You better not pout
I’m telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town! 

 

 

 

 

What Are Cake Push Pops?

Over the past week I have had to describe what Cake Push Pops are quite a few times. I must admit I asked “What the?” late last year. I thought the cake decorating teacher meant Cake Pops… but no, she meant Cake Push Pops. So here are some examples to show you!

First off, to avoid confusionMichelle's Labyrinth these are Cake Pops. Little balls of cake on a stick. I haven’t made any yet because they look fiddly! And also you don’t get much cake! hehe

Source: http://123parades.com/modern-handmade-easter-egg-cake-pops-2014/

For Christmas last year we madeMichelle's Labyrinth some Cake Push Pops in cake decorating class and it was so much fun! And the possibilities are endless. The Push Pops are made in a plastic container (I saw these in Spotlight the other day, or try  Michelle's LabyrinthMy Delicious cakes in Bibra Lake).

You put in 3 layers of cake in the containers, with cream between layers and cream and decorations on top! As easy as that!

To eat the Push Pops, you slowly push the stick up and the first layer comes out.

For the Christmas Cake Push Pops we also put Christmas sprinkles at each layer and you could put anything in the cake layers – chocolate chips, small marshmallows or even fruit! Anything goes! We also decorated the containers with ribbons, wrapping paper and stickers. We just used glue sticks and they washed off okay in hot water so you can use the containers again.

Michelle's Labyrinth Michelle's Labyrinth

Michelle's Labyrinth Michelle's Labyrinth

Michelle's Labyrinth

For our Easter Cake Push Pops we kept it a little more simple and just used coloured Dream Whip.

Michelle's Labyrinth

Michelle's Labyrinth

Michelle's Labyrinth Michelle's Labyrinth

I hope you have enjoyed your Easter weekend with your family and friends. We have one more Easter date – a BBQ at my sister’s. And guess what I am making? Yep, Cake Push Pops! I’ll try and so a quick Easter post tomorrow and show them to you.

 

 

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