Advent for Toddlers

As we approach Advent I’ve been looking for ways to engage with my toddler. After much trolling through Pinterest I’d found lots and lots for bigger kids, a good amount for pre-schoolers but precious little for toddlers. So I decided to create my own list. I have an Advent calendar that hangs on our door to the lounge in the shape of a Christmas tree with 24 small pockets, in this I’ll place the toy or a slip of paper with the activity for the day.

I’m planning mainly on doing this in the late afternoon as darkness is falling but there are still HOURS before bed…..

First and foremost we want Simeon to know that Christmas is about Jesus and so I really wanted to incorporate a Bible story each day. The Jesus Storybook Bible has released an Advent Reading plan with cards to download. Each day the card will be in the pocket of our calendar, we’ll read the story for that day and hang the card.

Find the reading plan here.




I also picked up a toy nativity set. I plan on giving each piece every other day until we’ve made the whole set.




And here’s our loose plan. We are attending Christmas at Kew as a family  – so that’s one of our days, other times it’s a craft activity or a fun and easy thing to do together (reading a Christmas themed book.)

Simeon will get new Christmas pjs on Dec 1.


day 1 – PJs

day 2 – nativity character & nativity christmas book

day 3 – decorate wrapping paper (brown kraft paper)

day 4 – nativity

day 5 – tree ornaments using salt dough

day 6 – nativity

day 7 – christmas cookies

day 8 – nativity

day 9 – glow stick bath

day 10 – nativity

day 11 – christmas music dance party

day 12 – nativity

day 13 – watch a christmas themed movie

day 14 – nativity

day 15 – read a special christmas book

day 16 – nativity

day 17 – christmas at kew

day 18 – nativity

day 19 – nativity colouring and sticker book

day 20 – nativity

day 21 – make a paper chain garland

day 22 – visit daddy in town for  a Christmas lunch

day 23 – read ‘the year of the perfect christmas tree’ & special homemade babyccinos

day 24 – happy birthday baby jesus cake, children’s service at church

I’m hoping that along with reminding us daily of the reason why we celebrate Christmas this will help to keep December fun and exciting for everyone in the family!


well hello. again.

So this blog thing has been lying around, under utilised, undone for far too long. But I miss musing. I miss writing, even if the only people who ever read it are my family, my husband and my mother’s friends.

There’s been a lot of talk in the blogging world about slow blogging this year. Thoughtful, considered articles. Fewer comments. More substance. I like this idea. But that feels like quite a high bar.

One of my favourite things are when people I like link to things they like. Maybe I’ll do that. I’ll muse. I’ll link.

A few weeks ago I had the great joy of travelling with three of my greatest friends to Paris for a girls weekend. It was amazing. There was time for late dinners and too much wine and wandering home enjoying the Paris summer. Lights on the Seine. It was maybe the closest I’ve ever felt to my pre-mommy days. No one demanding anything. Leisurely lunches. A bike ride to Montmartre. Mid-afternoon, perfectly chilled bottles of rose wine. Croissants, real ones, for breakfast.

Four women, we’ve known each other for the better part of a decade. These are the women who have loved me and prayed me through breakups and falling in love and engagement and marriage and baby. We were all single when we met, we’re all married now. Some of us have babes. Life looks nothing like it did in the beginning. But do you know what? We still laugh the same. I still ache for their aches. They share my joy and sorrow unlike any other. They are my heart flung around this world. And they’ll tell me straight up when my trousers don’t fit properly.

It was a homecoming.


I’m loving this new (to me) podcast Death, Sex and Money. Poignant and vulnerable, it’s people talking about the topics we tend to avoid. Give it a listen. You’ll probably love it too.

Book Review: The Miniaturist

The Miniaturist. Well I’ll start by saying, I was so so sad finish. What else was going to be as good this year? I started on a whim. I wanted to try Amazon Whispersync and I needed a book that was enabled. Having seen this book front and centre in every bookshop in the city, I thought I’d give it try. Had I bothered to do any background reading I would have realised that it’s one of the most acclaimed books of the year. In my opinion it lives up to the hype.

Set in late 17th Century Amsterdam and told by young and naive Nella, you are quickly scooped up into a world of greed and wealth and judgement. Nella, an 18 year old girl from the countryside has been married to an older and very wealthy Amsterdammer, Johannes, a man with a great number of secrets. As a marriage present Johannes gives Nella a miniature house, in an effort to furnish the house Nella contacts the miniaturist who is seemingly all knowing and able to predict the events which will lead to great turmoil within the house, and the city.

It was a fascinating read, a great story paired with a well researched account of Amsterdam at the time. And while it is the first book of 2015, I think it will still be tops at the end of the year. Let’s hope this is a sign of things to come in the reading department this year.

Also, Whispersync? Awesome. Allowing you to flip between reading and audiobook is genius and exactly what I need for when I want to ‘read’ and do something else like knitting or sewing or dishes.

A Daily Joy

One of my intentions for 2015 is to practice greater gratitude. To acknowledge a daily joy. To be thankful in the moment for that moment. I wanted to complicate this by trying to write it down each day; record it on my phone in some way; find an app that would allow me to scroll through my list of daily joys. Then I realised that it would be defeating. I wouldn’t do it everyday. I’d get behind. And in the process, I’d forget to be grateful for the daily joy. So instead, when it happens, I simply say: THIS is today’s joy, thank you Jesus for this moment of joy.

I couldn’t tell you what yesterday’s was. Today’s was being with a dear friend when she learned some very devastating news, being present and prayerful in a moment of enormous sorrow. It wasn’t a joyful moment. But it is my joy that I could serve my friend.

I think I’m ending up with more than one a day also – I’m finding that each time a moment happens, I am grateful and because I don’t have any pressure to do anything but be grateful, I’m finding them all the time.