Blogmas Christmas Tag – 2018

One of the things I love most about blogging are the community events. I’m particularly fond of any kind of tag post, due to my nosey nature. I’ve spent all morning reading Christmas tags and it’s inspired me to write one of my own! I hope you enjoy!

  1. As a kid, did a sibling ever receive a present that you wished was for you?
    I grew up an only child, but, I have a cousin a year younger than I. Because we all gathered at our Grandmothers Christmas Eve to spend Christmas day together, she and I always received the same gifts, usually just in different colours. I don’t really remember any of them. One year though, both of my cousins received a Nintendo DS (complete with Nintendogs) and your girl was devastated. I do remember that one.
  2. Be honest: do you like giving gifts or receiving gifts better?
    Giving – unless the receiver hates my gift – if you think you’re good at convincing me you love it just know that your face gives you away.
  3. Do you make New Years resolutions? Do you stick to them?
    Of course I make them, but stick to them? Does anyone really?

  4. Do you open any presents on Christmas Eve?
    No – my Mother rules with an iron fist (still). No presents until after 7:30am on the 25th. Preferably after she’s made coffee, but that one’s negotiable. 
  5. What tops your tree?
    Honestly, whatever Jason puts up there. I can’t actually reach the top of our tree to change his selection even if it is lame. This year, it’s a big glitter covered pink star. I’m a big fan.
  6. Have you ever made a snowman?
    No, I was lucky enough to live in Kansas and experience snow for the first time around Christmas time, but unfortunately, I wasn’t expecting it to be so cold so I scurried indoors to the warmth of the heater wasting my opportunity.

  7. Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?
    I was quite heavily pregnant on Christmas Day in 2017, and a lot of jokes were made when my Mother presented me with sparkling grape juice, so I retreated to the pool to escape the relentless bullying and needed to call for help after becoming trapped on my inflatable swan. Yes they took pictures, no I’m not sharing them with you.  

  8. How you decorate your house during December?
    We essentially just put tinsel on everything. The TV, the counter-tops, the cats scratchy-post, the microwave, you get the idea. Throw in the occasional ornamental Santa. We have a shirtless Santa holding a surfboard in the kitchen, it’s pretty comical.

  9. Is your Christmas tree real or fake?
    It’s real white plastic. I’m not sure you can get real Christmas trees in Australia. I’ve never heard of anyone having one, at least. Wouldn’t a real one drop crap all over the floor? Aren’t they full of bugs? How do you dispose of them?

  10. Most memorable Holiday moment?
    My cousin and I were about nine or ten years old and we were swimming in her pool late near midnight as the celebrations were still ongoing, when a thunderstorm hit. It was a bad one that seemingly went on for hours so we hid – still in the water – in the overturned inflatable boat for “safety” (lol). No one came and told us the flaw in our plan until the following day when it was brought up at breakfast. We could have died. I’m not sure why this is my most memorable moment…

  11. Tell me about a person who makes your Christmas day very special?
    Previously I’d have said my Mother but now it’ll have to be my daughter Aubree – which I’m sure is my mums selection too, lol. I get to live vicariously through her, and that’s pretty great. 

  12. Of the two, which do you prefer? Christmas, or your birthday?
    Once I passed 21 I concluded I’m no longer a fan of my birthdays so Christmas is a clear winner here. That being said, it probably would have been Christmas anyway, as it’s about celebrating everyone and not just myself. 

  13. Use one noise to describe how excited you are for Christmas.
    Let’s gather some cattle! Yee-haw!

  14. What do you like to do on Christmas break?
    We go to the beach a lot (if you follow my Instagram you’re probably thinking “shut up about the beach already” so I’ll take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support). It’s hotter than the surface of the sun here during December so there’s really not a whole lot else to do, other than sit inside and eat the food meant for Christmas Day (currently me).
  15. What holiday traditions are you looking forward to most this year?
    Christmas barbecue Breakfast, it’s the greatest. We all sit around the table with a weird assortment of food and drink and talk absolute garbage. It’s my favourite part of the whole day! 

  16. What is the best Christmas gift you’ve ever received?
    This little animal thing kinda like Polly Pocket, but pets. Hold on, let me Google it.
    Okay, it was Littlest Pet Shop! It was the playhouse with the hamster wheel. They all had bobble heads too. It was pretty cool. 

  17. What is the worst present you’ve ever received?
    Don’t mean to throw anyone under the bus here but socks. Mum, socks are not a good gift. 

  18. What is your all-time favourite holiday food/sweet treat?
    Egg nog! The non-alcoholic kind you can get in Coles only during December. It’s amazing. I hoard cartons and freeze them like a total psychopath. It has to last me all year!

  19. What is your favourite Christmas film?
    The Grinch – the older I get, the more I get him.
  20. What is your favourite Christmas song?
    Anything Michael Buble – where is that man for the remaining eleven months of the year?
  21. What would be your dream place to visit for the holiday season?
    Probably Arkansas during a nice snow. I’d like to man up and build that snowman we talked about earlier, as well as spend some time with Jason’s family.

  22. When do you start getting excited for Christmas?
  23. Where do you usually spend your holiday?
    At mums place, being an absolute pest.

  24. Who does most of the work in your family on Christmas day?
    I would say the women of the family, with the exception of cooking all of us breakfast. But the cleaning, drink serving etc is all us.

  25. You have been granted one Christmas wish…what will it be?
    Let me win the lottery, just once. If I can go into specifics, I’d like it to be the super Powerball jackpot with myself the only winner. I just don’t want to split that cool 100 mil. Could I live very comfortably with half of that? Sure, but this is my Christmas wish.

Christmas tag questions found here – though I modified them slightly;

Let me know if you’ve done a Christmas Tag this year as I’d love to give it a read!

PS; Merry Christmas for tomorrow!

Tiff x


5 Tips On Making Healthier Holiday Choices

So, if you have a family like mine, Christmas Day usually begins with a Champagne breakfast. I’ve probably just had most of you exit your browser now due to this probably not being all that relatable at all and listen, I know what you’re thinking, and my only explanation for you is that I’m Australian. Which also leads me to state the obvious which is that it’s no where near as luxurious as you’re thinking. So I’ll paint you a picture. It’s the $10 kind of champagne from Dan Murphy’s accompanied by barbecued bacon and egg rolls and two boxes of Cadbury favourites. Truly a wonderful time.

But this year, some of us – me – aren’t wanting to gain another 1-1.5kg to add to the baby-weight we’re – I’m – still trying to lose. Plus, for as long as I can remember, I’ve pigged out on party wieners, ham and pasta and as a result spent the evening feeling a lot of regretti about that extra serve of spaghetti. Which got me thinking, how can I make better choices for myself this year?

So here are some tips I have for you this holiday season. I’m going to try my hardest to follow them myself of course, but Christmas occasionally brings out the “meh I’ll do better in the new year” in me. I know, I’ll fix that attitude come January 1st.

However, without any further rambling, here they are!

  • Don’t drink your calories. This means both drink and drink drink. If you want to fill up on Christmas goodies without overdoing it, choose zero calorie beverages to accompany them. I’m personally not wild enough to go for a sugar free mineral water, Pepsi Max will do.
  • Don’t stand near the food table. This one is probably more a piece of advice for me than it is for you. Every year I strategically park myself near the sweets end of the table and have myself a merry old time. I need to not do that.
  • If you’re the chef this year, try to make healthier alternatives for popular dishes. It’s as simple as putting the word “healthy” before any recipe you’re looking for online (though, that being said, my buzzword is usually “mouthwatering”). One time I found a recipe for chocolate mousse made from avocados – it was ahhh-mazing, if you can get past the fact that you know its avocado mouse. You don’t have to tell the kids that, though. <– I wasn’t joking.
  • Keep active! Go for a walk around the neighbourhood and look at Christmas lights (or be like me and drive to the areas participating in local Christmas light competitions and walk their streets instead, helloooo land of Doctors and Lawyers.) If that’s not for you, play a game. Each year we play backyard cricket. There’s a video of me last year hitting the ball into the neighbouring vacant lot – After a few wines I concluded that the best and only solution was to have two of our largest men hoist me over the fence to get it back, how I’d make it home was unfortunately not taken into consideration so a lot of panic from all parties followed – ah, the reminiscing for years to come.
  • Get enough sleep. This one seems out of place here, but science says if you’re sleep deprived, you’re more likely to reach for the sugary treats. A 3pm nap doesn’t aid my self control (or lack thereof) when egg nog is within drinking distance, but, it may just work for you!

Okay, so hypothetically you’ve ignored me and you’ve over indulged. Don’t allow yourself to feel guilty about it! Take that serving spoon and beat those negative thoughts away. At the end of the day, one bad meal (or day) isn’t going to matter in the long run. What really matters is that you’ve had a good time and made new memories to look back on fondly with the people that mean the most to you. (Here’s your reminder to take lots of pictures! I scold myself every year for not taking enough)!

I hope you found some of these to be helpful because I tried really, really hard.

Tiff xx

Betty Crocker Gets Festive

Ah, Betty Crocker. We meet again. Each and every year you lure me in with your promises of aesthetically pleasing Christmas boxed goods, and each year I find myself squinting at your tiny text wondering where I went wrong with two eggs and 125g of (melted) butter. Do I put these on the kids table? Or the adults table? They obviously look like they were made by children, but do I want to look like the jerk that didn’t bring anything to the family lunch?

I’ll preface the remainder of this tragedy post by saying that I can cook (or in this case, bake). But if you’re trying to appeal to the millennial in me by handing me anything in a box branded as “quick and simple”- my mother stopped doing that a long time ago – don’t expect to ever see the finished product. It’s not that it’s bad, it’s just that it’s not good. Have I learned my lesson though? Not just yet but next year I’m hopeful.

Who is your photographer Betty?

This year though,  I share with you my journey. That’s right my loves, it’s time for some Christmas Tree Brownies.

We start by preheating the oven. No issues there. No qualms. Ten minutes pass and we’re at a comfortable 180. We’ve worked with her before.

Next, we line and grease the baking pan. You may notice that mine is in fact a cake tin. It went downhill from here.


We insert the mixture – with the correct piece of equipment this time – and into the oven she goes. I set my timer for 25 minutes.

I sit on the couch with the coffee I’d made but forgotten about two hours earlier and think about whether I should utilise my time wisely by scrubbing the tiles in the shower or folding the copious amounts of laundry beside me, but before I knew it, I’d thought to long. It was time. They were ready. To add a little more pressure, my daughter’s now awake from her nap so she observes from her play mat. That’s fine, an audience wont phase me.

Our final step (now that they’ve cooled and I’ve avoided that house work a little more) is to slice “horizontally and then in a zig-zag fashion” to create our tree shapes. I stand deathly still beside the tray for fifteen minutes with what I’m sure can only be described as a lights-on-but-nobodies-home expression as I attempt to work out how the heck I’m going to make this work with a circular slab of chocolate – but eventually – I decide to cut a square from the middle and work from there. Innovation.

The next drama we faced is that the icing came out much thicker than I’d anticipated (in blobs, actually) and I knew this is where we’d encounter our largest obstacle. Art and I don’t get along. Despite no instruction on the box preparing me for this, I should have warmed the bag (what’s that saying about hindsight?). It was room temperature, and I’m in Australia so I foolishly assumed that meant we’d be warm and ready to roll. We were not.

Do you like the candy cane heart? I bought them specifically for this picture.

I don’t have much to say about the process of adding sprinkles, other than that they got bloody everywhere.

So in conclusion, taa-daa! If you’re thinking “wow Tiffani they actually aren’t that bad, you’ve even added a lovely icing tinsel touch” – just know that there’s a reason only two brownies are on the photography plate. The recipe serves thirteen (or if we’re being honest with ourselves, eight on a bad day and ten on a diet).

I won’t lie though, despite their interesting exterior, they did taste pretty good. Jason and I both concluded that out of ten we’d probably give them between a seven and an eight. So, if anyone more artistic than I is wondering where I found these bad boys, I bought them at Coles for a low price of $4 and a slither of my ego.

Alternatively, the recipe for those without impatient children is here:

I hope you enjoyed!
Tiff x