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December Traditions – An Advent Calendar Full of Them!

Last year I made an advent calendar with 25 little pockets on it.  I made it out of fabric and tried to make it so it will last forever and ever!

I have 25 little slips of paper with an activity written on each one.  My daughters are so excited each morning to take the paper out and see what the activity is for the day!

They’re mostly crafts, for example, making Christmas cards for friends and family, make paper snowflakes, make straw stars, make Christmas cookies, and fingerprint Christmas trees.  I bought 2 little red bells at an Advent fair, and tomorrow their slip of paper will say ‘Open a gift.’  I’ll hide the little bells wrapped up in Christmas paper somewhere in the house for them to find!

I especially love this little bird:

It’s so fun to have a whole month with activities already organised!


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Book Review: Flower Fairies of the Autumn

This sweet little book is not only beautiful, with it’s amazing detailed pictures, but educational too.

We have a ‘modern’ edition from the library.  The original was first published in the 1920’s, but new edition has nice “antique” look to it!  It’s by Cicely Mary Barker, who was home schooled and taught herself to draw and paint.

There are 19 different flowers, each with their own fairy and poem.  As it says inside the back cover, the author combines her delicate illustrations with ‘meticulous botanical accuracy.’  We use these to identify flowers now, because the pictures are so good!

Look at the beautiful little crab apple fairy!  We also use these books to inspire us when drawing, and try our best to draw fairies by looking at these pictures.

Here is the hazelnut fairy, with some hazelnuts we found outside under a tree on our way home from a walk!

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Book Review: Autumn Story

We got this beautiful book called Autumn Story out of the library the other day.  It’s by Jill Barklem and is part of her Bramble Hedge series.  The illustrations are just amazing and so detailed!

 It begins with the mice collecting nuts, berries, and roots for the winter.  Soon they realise they can’t find their little girl, Primrose.  No one has seen her, not even the mice collecting berries in the blackthorn and hawthorn trees.

 It turns out Primrose was wandering around exploring on her own.  She visited some mice high up in a house in a cornfield.  They gave her dinner and showed her their family photo albums.  Afterwards, she found some tunnels to explore, but got lost.

She finally made her way out, and didn’t know how to get home.  Soon her family and friends walked by, searching for her, and they were reunited.  She was taken home and put into cozy warm pajamas and into bed.


What a sweet book!  Our new favorite pictures to draw are mouse tunnels and homes under the ground!



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Banana Cookies – Sugar Free

This is a sugar free cookie that my kids just love, and I originally started making to get some good fats into my tiny 1 year old who seemed to live off of thin air.  They’re sweetened with very ripe bananas, which  I keep in the freezer so I always have a supply for making these cookies!

Sugar Free Banana Cookies

Makes about 25 cookies

65g butter
2 very ripe, medium bananas
1 egg
8 or 10 (1/2 cup) brazil nuts crushed as finely as possible
8 dried apricots or prunes chopped up small, or a handful of raisins
1.5c oats
1/3 c plain flour
1/3 cup wholemeal flour
1/2tsp baking powder
1/2tsp vanilla extract
some dessicated coconut if desired.

Preheat oven to 350F/Gas 5 / 180°C / 145°C fan oven.

Melt butter in microwave in large mixing bowl. Add bananas and mash. Add egg, mix. Add all remaining ingredients and mix.

Make into cookie shapes and place on baking tray.  Bake for 12 minutes or till lightly browned.