Elf Seeds

Rosie was spotted on the mantlepieceYou may have seen in our last post that Rosie has been bringing the Mini Crokers presents from the North Pole. These are to reward and encourage good behaviour. It seems to be working. Every morning the girls get up and go hunting for Rosie. They’ve almost forgotton about their Advent Calender and the promise of chocolate. The promise of christmas magic seems to be more appealing.

Last week Rosie was found on the Fireplace clutching a mini parcel and a letter from Mrs Claus.

Inside the parcel were Elf seeds and the letter contained instructions. The Mini Crokers were to plant the Elf seeds into some sugar and every day sprinkle with glitter. They needed to do this for 3 days. On the fourth days the seeds would of grown. We followed these instructions and before breakfast every morning we sprinkled the seeds. We discussed over this time what the seeds would grow into. The girls were convinced it would be flowers.

Rosie and her parcel

Im always excited to partcipate in an activity in which I get to to make mini letters and parcels for the girls. Ill use them at any opportunity. If you would like to re-create these you can purchase The worlds smallest post office In fact if you dont want to order the postoffice you can order customised letters and parcels from Leafcutter Designs They will print, stamp and create your parcels so you dont have to do them yourselves.

Our parcelOur letterElf seeds which were christmas cupcake sprinkles in the shape of gingerbread menOur Elf seeds grew into gingerbread men. Yum yum.

Admittedly the tiny writing is quite hard to get neat and eligible but it’s a skill im developing along with my love for all things miniature. So if your worried just order them pre made. This doesnt just have to be used for Elf on the Shelf. What about love letters for Valentines or notes from the Tooth Fairy. Along with my magical door that I created I have made a batch of pretty envelopes to leave on the door matt for the girls. I used some pretty paper and made mini envelopes using this cutter  from McGill Enveope cutter over at Amazon.

I hope you’ll be inspired to create something for your little ones now, or in the future.

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Kind gestures, a sprinkle of magic and a few lessons

Were a full week into our official adoption of Rosie the Elf. So far so good. Other blog posts have led me to believe that the Elves can be naughty at times. Then Elf on The Shelf posted on their official Facebook Page that they didnt want parents to spoil the magic and disclose behind the scenes acts. According to them young children access the page.

Firstly, the Mini Crokers are too young to access Facebook. although their ability to access You Tube on the I-Pad is growing in skill. This is another story! Secondly, we dont appear to have a naughty Elf. One participant on Facebook said her Elf only does naughty things when her children are being naughty, and therefore the behaviour is reflected in the Elf. Subsequently the children need to behave and the Elf will get better and perhaps get something from the North Pole on the Elfs return.

Rosie has been lovely this week. Below are some of the things she has been up to.

Weve been singing Christmas songs this weekRosie read stories to The Mini Croker's dollies. Note how excited Tom Daley is...yes, Tom Daley lives with us too!Rosie brought a parcel back from the North PoleUh oh. Mini Crokers need to be a bit better. Rosie notices everything.

Were really enjoying the little notes that Rosie leaves us. She’s been asking us to sing caroles but she has also noticed some naughty behaviour. I ordered these notes from Centrepiece Photo on Etsy and they arrived by PDF which I could print at home up to 5 times before the download expired. I printed ours to Cardstock from HobbyCraft. This made them a little sturdier and perfect for Rosie to hold.

There will be more on what was in the parcel tomorrow.

You’ll be pleased to know the Mini Crokers bedroom is tidy now…and I didnt have to help at all.

A yummy delivery all the way from the North Pole

Wowzas! It’s cold today. The garden looks like it has been sprinkled with silver glitter and whilst this is all lovely the possibility of heading out in this weather does not fill me pleasure. In the Croker household our Sunday ritual is to head out for the papers and a cheeky coffee from our local cafe, and in turn this will often lead to the purchase of pastry or cake…naughty, naughty. However, it looks bitterly cold and all I want is to stay in bed.

Luckily for us we have an Elf staying with us, and today she brought us breakfast.Hooray! It’s not only our garden that looks like it’s been sprinkled with glitter. From our Elf door (more on our door during the week) there was a path of glitter that suggested to the Mini’s that the Elf had returned. Seemingly Rosie is a messy Elf as she doesnt wipe her feet before entering the house and trapses through our house leaving glitter everywhere she’s been. Perhaps I need to add a door matt for her.  As Mr Croker and I returned from an evening out with friends last night she was still out. It must be busy in the North Pole this time of year. As if by magic, by the time we awoke there she was. Today we found her in the kitchen, upon a cake stand adorned with donuts. Yum yum. A cup of coffee and a donut later my appetite for leaving the house has returned and we may just venture out still…

Christmas donuts from Krispy KremeRosie, our Elf, even brought back with her her own box of donuts too. How she was going to eat all 6 Ill never know. Then I caught Mini Croker Ava whispering in her ear. “Rosie said we can share them” she said. I wasnt aware our Elf could talk but maybe her whispering can only be heard by little ears, and certainly those that believe. Mini Croker Ava is a believer.

elf donuts II

Our donuts are from Krispy Creme and the Mini’s were excited that they were christmas themed as they hadnt seen such donuts before. Rosie’s donuts I made myself and put into a little box. You could use a matchbox which would be of similar size, you could, if you had the time wrap it in some paper or even print off a donut companies logo and stick it to the box. Now, that would be fun! The donuts themselves are simply cheerios that I dipped in chocolate and either rolled in icing sugar, cinnamon or sprinkles. 100% edible, perfect Elf size and safe if your Elf wants to share them with your family also.

Elf donuts made from...wait for it...CHEERIOS!

Elf donuts made from…wait for it…CHEERIOS!

The Big Reveal

Today is the 1st December and the first day in which we can crack open the advent calender. Ours is a felt tree with pockets from Laura Ashley Its been hanging up for a few days and weve spoken to the Mini Crokers about Advent for a while so they were bursting to get on with it. Upon munching on todays little delights we headed to the living room….and there, upon a mini grand piano (of course!) was a little red elf. He was perched on the edge with a scroll of paper in his hands and next to him a brown paper package tied up with string.

Here he is, perched and ready for his mission.

Here he is, perched and ready for his mission.

“MUMMY!, look, an Elf. He is here!” Of course we have prepared the Mini Crokers for his arrival. He has his own door into the house (a post to follow later in the week) and he has his own key. They’ve been watching this door for signs that the elf has arrived. He did pop in once during the week to put up the tree and decorations, but this all happened whilst the Mini’s were asleep. He hasnt been seen since…until now!

In his hand was a letter from Santa. It told them who this elf was, why he was here and what Santa expected of them. Naturally it details Santa’s wish list for Christmas Eve which includes a mince pie.

A letter from the Desk of Santa Claus

A letter from the Desk of Santa Claus

I simply printed this letter from a PDF and used a little creative writing to disguise my own writing to suggest it REALLY was from Santa Claus. It’s a vain exercise disguising my handwriting at this stage. Neither the Mini Crokers can read properly and certainly have no recognition of my own writing but it’s what us parents do right?

You can find the PDF from Design Editor This is an amazing blog and it’s host is so generous with her time, not to mention incredibly talented and visioned. Best of all, this PDF is free to use for personal use and is just perfect for this type of year.  You could use it for all manner of things, perhaps a note from Santa to say a quick thank you for the mince pie on Christmas Eve and to comment on how much he liked your tree, or a note to Mummy & Daddy to next year clean the Chimney!

The package was in fact the book that came with our Elf. We asked the Mini Crokers to open it and then we sat around the tree and read the story to them. Its a beautiful book with verse that tells the story of the Elf. I wrapped it in Brown paper and tied it with ticking ribbon. Both are easily attainable from shops these days. What made our package more special was that it looked like it came from the North Pole. I was inspired by a set from Little Cherub but I found that for what I wanted it for it was a little pricey, if not beautiful and inspired. After a little more research I found a set with More Style Than Cash Not only is this blog totally inspired and has a perfect name but again the PDF I found was free. I simply downloaded it and printed my own at home to adorn to our package.

All the way from the North Pole

All the way from the North Pole

Overall it was a pretty inexpensive operation, other than that of the cost of the Elf. It just takes a little time and now you have the links to prepare your own. If you dont have an Elf this year perhaps you’ll follow the links to those wonderful and generous blogs to create a little package or letter for your own family. Pop over to our Facebook Page and download your own creations. Id love to see them.

The look on my childrens face was worth more than any present I could of bought them and the sound of Mini Croker Av’s gasp when she saw the Elf next to the tree will stay with me forever.

“What happens when I grow up Daddy, who will the Elf live with”

“Whoever has a family of their own first will get our Elf, the second, Mummy & Daddy will send one to live with them next”

“Oh!”

“But first Daddy will vet the man closely who you chose to start a family with ”

“Uh?”

…and our adventures continue. Tomorrow we have something else planned.

“it’s begining to look a lot like christmas”

Hooray! It’s the first of December. The begining of Advent and the start of the festive season. I can officially expose my insane obsession with Festive Jumpers without others looking at me bewildered and make a dash to Starbucks for a festive latte.

My house is bedecked with twinkling lights, sparkly ornaments are hung from our tree and candles scent the air with the promise of the imminent arrival of the magical man himself. With this, our family traditions, the things we like to do together in the lead up to Christmas begin. Our family is fairly new. Of course my husband and I have respective families that consist of parents and brothers etc but us, as our own little family are new. Well, 4 years new. As a mother I knew the moment that the pregnancy test kit showed positve I would want to instill family traditions. Little things that my parents did with me or repeat acts that are derived from tales from Mr & Mrs Croker Snr. Put my own twist on them or create new traditions that one day the mini Crokers will pass on to their children. I guess you could say that I am creating a legacy and here, in this blog, I will document it so that you too might be inspired to take on one of our traditions, create new ones of your ownand share them with your own family.

So, here we are at Christmas. A season sprinkled with family traditions. I dont have many memories of Christmas from my childhood. Unfortunately the over riding memory is the  discovery that my parents had purchased my presents and not the mythical man in red. Through all this my love and excitement for Christmas has built in momentum. I believe in the magic of Christmas and it’s sentiment.  My Christmas memory bank is mostly made in adult life and is peppered with fond memories of get togethers, love and fun but mostly not of presents. My mother for example has a resplendent tree. It is bejewelled in an array of decorations sent mostly from her sisters in the US and each has a story. Each one is lovingly put on the tree every year and the memories are relived, and stories retold each time. The tree is precious to her and even though my family are not with her there every year and my brothers have flown the nest that tree will still go up and the twinkling lights reflect in her eyes the love for her family…and now her Grandchildren. My mother in law on the other hand doesnt even have a tree but her fireplace displays are like something out of a high end window display and in her I have found a mutual fan of christmas lights and the beauty of christmas decorations, and like every Mother her desire to get us all together around the table for a dinner…if only just once a year.

December 1st I am cracking open our first tradition. Its a new one for us and one I have obsessed over for weeks and it’s reveal is like a present in itself. This year we are participating in Elf on the Shelf . I first came across the little Elf on Pinferest . As soon as I saw him I was in love and the more research I did the more I realised it’s a phenominan which is sweeping the world and one I needed to be part of. Its virtually unknown here in the UK but is certainly becoming more popular.

It’s a charming tradition for all the family but it’s one that evokes the magic of the season.When you buy your elf he/she (you can pick the sex and even their skin tone now) he comes in a presentation box with a story to read to the children. The idea is you adopt him for the season and everyday he hides in a new place and the children have to find him. Every night he returns to the North Pole to report to Santa whether they have been naughty or nice and I assume to help in the packing of all the toys to the children across the World!…naturally.  What is trending right now is that your Elf can do many things. He can be mischievous, he can bring gifts back from the North Pole or deliver your letter to Santa personally on your behalf. I hope you’ll follow our mini adventures and discover what things our elf gets up to. Ill document all my ideas and share new finds with you and links to where you can copy our shenanigans.Tomorrow, 1st December, will be our first foray into Elf Adoption so I hope you’ll come back to find out how we got on with the big reveal of our Elf to the mini Crokers.