Friday, November 25, 2011

Christmas at Killiecrankie Farm

"Oh Christmas tree Oh Christmas tree,
La da di da da da daaaa!"

How do you like your Christmas tree? Real or fake? Tizzy or simple?

I usually go for my old trusty fake tree, drag it out of the shed each year and let the kids go crazy (then fix it to my liking once they're in bed!), but this month's Country Style Christmas edition has me reconsidering.
 Lee and Chris Adamson Ringk are 'former townies from the mainland' who moved to Tasmania 6 years ago with their three children in search of the good life. They now run a little place called Killiecrankie Farm in Northern Tasmania which is dedicated to growing Christmas trees - how cool is that!!

I had the chance to have a chat with Lee, and asked her what Christmas is to her and her family.

Do you have any special Christmas traditions?
We have a few traditions, they really are much like many others though.

We  like a fresh tree on the 1st of December oddly enough, we never wait until the advent period.
We have always had fresh trees, even before we grew our own (except for a breif hiatus when we lived in Queensland as kids, and it was a tinsel one ).

Lunches are always at one of the family homes, followed by boxing day by a river or creek somewhere. Here we head up the Tamar River. But when we lived on the mainland it would be somewhere around the Nymboida if we were at Nan's place, or the Murrumbidgee if we were at Mum & Dads. There is something nice about leftovers on the shore of a river, swimming and cricket - very Aussie !

What is it that you love the most about Christmas?
The feeling  - excitement, tredipdation about what you will get, being with family and friends, the replete lounging after a big feed for Christmas lunch, a load of lazines that is allowed after all the cooking and cleaning. Now we have kids its gotten exciting all over again and at a whole new level !

Do you have a favourite Christmas recipe?
Actually no - I'm not fickle, I love food of any bend. But my Mum does the best cooking of our family favourites and anything I try to duplicate comes in at a pale comparison. Anything that Mum makes is brilliant - but I guess the favourite is Rum Balls, she soaks the fruit for months ahead !
My mother-in-law is the queen of Gingerbreads, always beautifully iced and it’s a tussle when the parcel arrives with them as to who gets one first, at the mopment I'm bigger then the kids so I'm winning the first Gingerbread fight at the moment.

Do you make all your Christmas decorations? 
Well yes and no, the kids make loads that will scatter over the tree. Our tree is what you call eclectically decorated. We have decorations friends handmake, mine and the kids. I tried colour themed last year, it just didn't happen so I'm sticking with the eclectic style from now on !

With so many gorgeous trees to choose from, how do you decide which will be your family's Christmas tree?
Its all up to the kids, and how well they can convince their father to bring the biggest one possible into the house. We have had to keep them small and fenced in to keep baby hands off them for the last few years, but this year its open season on the trees as all the kids have stopped eating tinsel and baubles.
On the eve of the 1st of December after dinner we head out to the woodland and do laps until we get to the one the kids think "this is it !". Its cut and hauled to the house, then the lounge room gets littered in decorations as the kids siphoned through the box and pick out what goes where.
image from here
A huge thankyou to Lee for sharing her Christmas with us!
If you live near Killicrankie Farm pop on over and have a chat to Lee and Chris and get a most magical tree from them! (& check out their blog here)

So what about you guys? Do you go for real or fake when it comes to your Christmas tree?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

There's nothing quite like a friend you can unleash your inner dork with

Browsing the op shops and curiosities of Chapel Street, dawdling & enjoying the sunshine, sitting & talking for hours in an ace cafe, admiring cool street art, then a bit more browsing. Bearded ladies, delicious mint-choc chip ice cream, tennis talk with random strangers and a man wearing lady pants. 

But the best part of my Sunday? Spending it with my bestest friend Deb. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Home science experiments

What happens when you put water and the middle of a flouro texta in a bottle, then shine a black light on it?
Magic, that's what.

And when you find out that your cast glows? Bonus!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The carnival is in town!

Better known as the Ballarat Show. I like the sound of carnival better, it's a bit more glamorous sounding. Well maybe not glamorous, but a bit more exciting or something!
We went, rode the rides, played the games, bought the showbags, saw ducks in hats, rode more rides, spent a gazillion dollars, then went home 3 hours later completely exhausted. The things we do for our kids!
I must admit, I don't love the idea of taking my kids to the show. Usually I don't mention it and hope they won't notice it's in town! I know I know, what an awful mother, but it's just so bloody expensive! I spent close to $200 yesterday, it nearly killed me.
But I was talking to Mum about it the other day and she said every year her and Dad would take us. They were struggling at the time and strapped for cash, but they would sacrifice the week's grocery money to take us so we would have a great time. And we have great memories because of it. Well that was it, I decided to take the kids this year so they would have those memories when they get older. They had a blast too!

So I may have spent $50 on 2 overpriced showbags full of junk, but the kids absolutely loved it. And that's what matters, right? We could very easily get stuck in the rut of everyday life, not wanting to spend extra on these things that we see as a waste of money. Sometimes you just have to, for the memories, ah the memories!

Thanks Mum for reminding me to do this stuff with my kids, & that money can't always get in the way. I am grateful for your advice and wisdom!

Now, baked beans for tea anyone?

Linking up with this awesome lady for some grateful Saturday love

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

It's coming!

Only 45 sleeps til Christmas did you realize? I havn't even started my shopping, but I know everything that I need. How about you, are you one of those 'shop in June for Christmas' people? Or are you more a last minute crazy person? I'm somewhere in between, I like to be organized by the week before Christmas, but I usually duck out for something extra as late as Christmas Eve. Even if I don't really need it, I just think it feels more Christmassy!
I'm having Christmas at my house this year, and I'm super excited, mainly because I get to decorate for it!
I don't do tinsel, but lots of lights and candles make me happy, and create such a beautiful atmosphere. I've been saving all our used glass jars so I can do this sort of thing:

Yesterday I got my copy of Inside Out magazine, it's their Christmas edition, and I got plenty of inspiration from there too. What I liked most about it was that it wasn't all glitz and glitter (although a bit of glitter is good!). It was real people in real homes, with some pretty ace ideas!!

There was tips for setting a beautiful and funky Christmas table, cool garlands and wreaths unlike any you've seen before, and 100 gift ideas for stocking fillers. Beware: you may just want everything on this list for yourself! Well they've thought of that too, cos you can win the lot in their competition! Not much point in you entering though as it is already mine! Mwahahaha!

Do yourself a massive favour and buy this baby if you havn't already, and check out the house on page 90 - it's freaking awesome! Gah, I can't even stand it!

Do you get this excited over magazines?


He's a real cutie, a little ball of fluff...
 with the sweetest little face...
he's the quietest puppy I've ever seen...
 doesn't bark or cry, not even at night...
 he loves the kids & follows them everywhere...
 he's floppy, reminds me of a teddy bear...
 and he looks a bit like an ewok...
 the cats don't know what to think of him...
 especially pebbles...
Otis tries to act cool...
 he's the newest member of our family...
 we love him!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Here it is!

And that last post just reminded me that I havn't posted a photo of my ace wall art that I won from Urban Road, so here it is!
Thanks Suzie, I love it to bits!
Think I might need some more of your prints for my house now...

Belated Wordless with words!

 Blast! This was supposed to be my 'Wordless Wednesday' post but time got away from me!
Oh well, here's some more of the cuteness happening at our house at the moment!

They won! They won!

The waiting is over people, we have our three winners for the Country Style giveaway!
This is what the ever trusty random number generator came up with:

So we have Michelle from Bok-Bok-B'Gerk, yes she's one of my friends but I didn't rig it!
Suzie from Urban Road
(erm, I just realised I won a prize off these 2 lovely gals in previous giveaways! Not rigged I tell you! But what a lovely way to pay them back. I only wish it was something more than just a magazine!)

Well done ladies, drop me an email and we'll shoot your mag off to you!
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