Elf on The Shelf: Elfie Returns!

We have been totally taken over by the Elf on the Shelf tradition in our household. Over the last two years we have had many different situations that our Elf ‘Elfie’ has gotten himself into and this year is going to be no different.

In the morning the boys will wake up to our biggest Elf on the Shelf situation to date.

The Hot Air Balloon featured in these photos is available from Balloon & Bear

Here are the pictures of today’s scene that has been set:

The Elf on the Shelf: A Birthday Tradition


For the last two years we have taken part in the new tradition of Elf on the Shelf and the boys have loved it.

Recently we were out just doing general shopping and came across a new part to the Elf on the Shelf craze and that is ‘A Birthday Tradition’.

The set comes with a little birthday suit for our Elf; Elfie, and a book called A Birthday Tradition. The book tells the story of how Elfie can be with us for a birthday celebration during the year instead of just at Christmas.

I know the boys are going to love this extra tradition we are starting this year, as Oliver keeps asking when Elfie is coming back. I’m excited to see their reactions when they see Elf this morning.

 

Elf on the Shelf 2016: Day One: The Return of Elfie! 


So it’s that time of year again, the countdown to Christmas is finally here. In our house and many others around the world this also signifies the return of a little rascal and friend for our kids in the form of Elf on The Shelf! 

We first did Elf on the Shelf last year and Oliver loved it and this morning was extremely excited that Elfie was back in our house. 

He arrived with great gusto bringing with him the Advent Calendars this year and a special door through which the boys can see the Elf Control Room at the North Pole. (A Picture from Kingdom of the Elves at Bluestone Wales). By pure coincidence the cat had also attacked the bin last night so Oliver already thinks Elfie is up to his naughty antics. 

As parents we can’t wait to get Elfie doing his various antics between now and Christmas and can’t wait to see both Oliver’s and Leo’s response to this. 

Keep with us to follow our Elf-perince this year 

Great Nanny Gales Christmas Cake Part One. 

 A Christmas cake is something that both of our families make each year and Fruit cakes/Christmas cakes are a cake that taste better the longer you leave it especially if you are going to feed it brandy (adults only) this year Oliver went to his Great Nanny Gales to help make the cake and nearer to Christmas he will be decorating it, but in the mean time here is how they made it…


  

What You Need.

150g/5 oz Currents

50g/2 oz Sultanas

50g/2 oz Raisins

25g/1 oz Mixed Peel Chopped

OR 275g/10 oz Mixed Fruit

40g/1.5oz Glacé Cherries

Dash of Lemon Juice

100g/3.5oz Plain Flour

Half a teaspoon of ground Cinnamon

Quarter of a teaspoon of ground Mixed Spice

75g/3 oz Butter

75g/3 oz Soft Brown Sugar

1 and a half Eggs (size 2)
Please note if you intend to add brandy to your cake then it is best to soak the fruit in 2 tablespoons over night the night before you intend to make the cake. 
Making the Cake

*First off take the butter and put in the bowl and then cream with a whisk until light and fluffy. This can be done with either an electric whisk or by hand.

*Next add the sugar and mix into the mixture until it is light and fluffy.

*Now add the eggs and then stir in the flour and spices.

*Finally add the fruit and cherries and stir in. Do not over beat the mixture at this point otherwise the cake will end up heavy.
Baking The Cake

*Line with baking paper and grease a 6 inch cake tin (round or square)

*Next pour in the cake mixture and then level off the top

*Finally place the tin on the bottom shelf of a preheated oven.

120c – 150c, 300F, Gas Mark 2.

and cook for two hours, at the end of this time take the cake out of the oven and check it is cooked all the way through by placing a knife in the centre (top to bottom), if it comes out clean then it is done. 
The cake now needs to settle for around 3-5 weeks so the flavours can mature. The best way to do this is to place the cake in a tin or plastic storage box and store it in a dry and cool place. 

Have Yourself a Thrifty Christmas Launch


Welcome to this years ‘Have Yourself A Thrifty Christmas’ over the next few weeks we will be giving you ideas on numerous ways to save money and having a Christmas to remember without breaking the bank. 

Christmas is about family and making sure you spend time with your loved ones, but for some it has also become a time when it is a great idea to out do everyone else with those expensive presents. It also seems to be a time when people get more and more stressed  about what should be a fun time. 

Coming in this years ‘Have Yourself a Thrifty Christmas’ are gift guides including ‘Gifts for Mum for £10 and under’ and ‘Fantastic Gifts for a Loved One All That Cost £1’. We are also going to be giving you great craft ideas to help decorate your house this festive season and much much more. 

We will be using the hashtag #thriftychristmas so make sure you follow us on Twitter @2bottlesofmilk and on Facebook (search for 2 Bottles of Milk) and finally Instgram also @2bottlesofmilk. 

Thrifty Christmas Coming Soon! 

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Starting next Monday here on 2 Bottles of Milk we will be running Have Yourself a Thrifty Christmas for ten second year running. 

This year we will be including craft ideas, money saving tips, gift guides for a tight budget and much much more. 

If anyone is interested in writing a guest blog then please contact us via the link above. 

Christmas Paperchains HYATLC # 9

  
One of the most basic and oldest Christmas Decorations are Paperchains. This year we decided to make our own and to do this we used a variety of shop bought and some my brother in law printed off. 

  
The shop bought ones we got for £1.00 out of Home Bargains but they are available in many stores. They were pre-cut to size and came with double sided tape to stick them together and create the chain. They look fantastic hanging across our living room. 

  
The ones my brother in law printed off were on A4 sheets so we had to cut them up and the stick them together with tape. The design on these was simple but effective and looks great in our hall way. 

  
The humble paperchain can be used in many different ways including, amongst other ideas, made into a Christmas tree as we saw recently during a stay in hospital. 

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