Dec 21, 2015

The Last Weekend Before Christmas.

That last weekend before Christmas was always going to be busy, wasn't it?  But in a good way.

I'll start from the beginning but be prepared for a long post.  If you've got a plate of your own Christmas baked goods handy, grab a plate and a coffee and settle down.  If you're already on leave, even better!!  Not jealous or anything.  Honest.

Attendants were on hand at every open parking gate at the arena to swipe us through if there were issues with our prepaid parking tickets not going through properly.

It was Wiggles Saturday for us at Allphones Arena.  It was a bit touch and go about us getting there after an emergency (and hence expensive) weekend plumbing emergency slightly flooded the front garden.  It all got fixed in time, thank goodness.  My personal post Christmas sales budget has gone as well but there you have it... wasn't anything I particularly wanted (or needed) at the shops this year anyway.

Allphones Arena put on impressive levels of staff for all their events, I'm sure but I was particularly touched by friendly and accommodating every single person who assisted me on the day was.  From the moment we pulled up at the parking area at the tail end of a convoy of SUVs bearing Baby on Board stickers to the moment we set out for home again, there was always someone close by willing to make surviving such a big day with young children that much more pleasant.  

As to be expected for a band with such a cult following at such a huge venue, it was merchandise central once we got inside but again, it was thoughtfully done.  There was plenty of space to roam, a designated pram drop off area staffed by around 10 people with one door to drop off and another where you lined up in an orderly fashion for pick up.

Those balloons were $12 each.  And yes, we bought one and miraculously, it's still afloat in Toddler SSG's bedroom.

With a free range toddler in tow, joining the ten deep line for coffee wasn't on the cards.  So it was a Coke Zero to go for me.

We had a really, really good time.  Toddler SSG was enchanted from the opening number right until the end.  He sat on his seat for the whole perfomance, standing only to bust a few moves to his particularly favourite Wiggles tunes.  There were dancers and Adele references for the adults in the room but I have to admit, the parts I enjoyed most were the audience led singing and dancing numbers.

There was the traditional wondering of the Wiggles through the crowd to pick up gifts of roses, bones and posters from the fans.  It was adorable to see so many of the audience dressed in theme.  Emma's headband was everywhere on the little girls who'd ditched their tiaras and tutus for the day.

And an appearance by Santa at the end.

Image from Facebook.

My friend caught the finale iPhone torch waving better than I did.

 Sunday, was they tend to be this time of year, was a fun day.  A new bakery's just opened down the road and it's been embraced by the entire neighbourhood.

We got in before the queue started forming for coffee, superior pastries and sausage rolls as breakfast.  I'm especially keen about that last option.  It's one of those summer holiday things for me, a sausage roll for breakfast.  It defies logic but it's somehow so right.  Which I guess is the whole point of summer break.

Toddler SSG went for a fruit salad which he ate at the communal bench looking out onto the newly renovated walk way / road (people were driving down it??).

There's no way I can convince you that it was like sitting outside a cafe in Paris or on a deck chair at some resort but it was a little bit of paradise all the same.  We have a number of beautiful dogs in the neighbourhood and I love getting to meet them down at the shops.  They're invariably well groomed, well behaved and safely leashed.  I'm not a pet or animal person myself but I do enjoy their company when I'm out and about.  Toddler SSG is a fan of 'the doggies' too and he loves stopping to wave or chat to them.

Of course I had an almond croissant and of course it was delicious.  It's another of the crisper variety they seem to favour this side of the city.

And then it was time for Christmas baking.  That one activity no self respecting mummy blogger, mummy with Facebook or mummy Instagrammer would dream of not partaking in.

I used the Western Star butter recipe that came with the free set of cookie cutters at Woolies this year.  The pastry didn't look too promising when it first came out of the food processor but fortunately, it did firm up in the fridge.

Rolling out dough between two sheets of baking paper = kitchen bench top saved from having dough encrusted on it for the next decade.

The thing about baking with toddlers is that it's not as easy or soothing as the mummy bloggers lead me to believe.

Cutting out cookies from the dough wasn't actually Toddler SSG's favourite part of the exercise.  Licking the dough and cutters before using the rolling pin on the floor was.

Just quickly, you probably know this already but dipping cutters in plain flour before using them on your cookie dough prevents the dough from sticking.

But we got there in the end.  Two sheets of cookies with anything germ related hopefully eradicated during the baking process.

That rolling pin proved to be irresistible to Toddler SSG all afternoon.
 Icing wise, I opted for these store bought pens by Queen.

They're incredibly easy to work with.   It was my first time using them and they produced a fine line every time that was easy to control.  I bought two sets - the chocolate / caramel ones and a set of 5 colours.

There's no waste because the tubes are sealed tightly at the end and have a screw top tip.  Each set costs around $5 at Woolies.  Instagram tells me that Coles now stock the Dr Oetker (of the frozen pizzas) range and these are even better to use.

Our finished cookies.
And here we are.  My one and only baking with toddler project for Christmas 2015.  And you know that these days, if it didn't hit Instagram, it didn't technically happen.  Just as well there is Instagram because the iced cookies were all licked clean by Toddler SSG minutes after this photo was taken.  FYI, the Western Star recipe is rather sweet and the texture isn't as crumbly as I like.  I'll be on the lookout for a different recipe for next year.

Before I go and get ready for the daycare morning tea, I'm going to leave you with this hot tip for a quick dinner.  Put away your home delivery menus, pull yourself away from Delivery Hero online and try and reverse out of the Maccas drive through.  Turkey, cheese, tomato and cranberry sauce toasties are deluxe.  Perfect combo for those Christmas leftovers.  I'm going to try it again on boxing day with the fancy leftovers from the cheese board, I've heard that soft white cheese also go well with turkey.

And that's officially it from me today.  Thanks for sticking it out until the end.  Have a lovely Monday whatever you're doing.  Whether it be Christmas shopping or another day at the office (wherever and whatever that may be for you).



  1. Instead of the tomato in the sarnie, I would go the onion.
    You are ruling in the domestic / mummy department.

  2. This is lovely. So glad you and all the mums and dads were looked after. Wiggles looked epic. Your baking is A+++ (and I am qualified to give that mark!). ;D xx

  3. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas SSG!

    We will be making cookies on Christmas eve, as per our family tradition, so I'll be interested to see how involved our little toddler gets...haha! I did buy a box of shortbread cookies as backup just in never know!

  4. Those cookies are adorable. I have eaten all my Christmas baking already! Hope you have a wonderful Christmas x

  5. Looks like a fun filled weekend...yummy and tasty looking images are making me hungry!


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