Christmas, Planning, Things to do in August

Things to do in August

Are you planning to go away for Christmas?

  • Book hotels and travel (flights etc.) now to ensure that you get the best options and prices
  • Let relatives know that you are going away for Christmas
  • Don’t forget to book and/or arrange lodgings for your pets while you are away. Last minute arrangements will be expensive (if you can find something).
  • Decoration making – work this into your regular week so it doesn’t become a chore
  • Present making – again, pace yourself here. Obviously August is too early for perishable items, but it is a good time to start card making, craft gifts and alike.
Christmas, Christmas in July, Planning, Things to do in July

Things to do in July

If you celebrate Christmas in July, then this will be a big month for you in terms of organising functions and presents. Between July and September I start setting up a gift closet. I got this one from Mum who was an absolute master at having her Christmas shopping done by the end of November.

  • Find a storage location for gift storage. A closet, shelf, drawer whatever works at your place.
  • Locate all saved gift items and place them in your “gift closet”.
  • Make an inventory of stored gifts.
  • As you add gifts to the gift closet, note new additions on the gift closet inventory.
  • Review the master gift list and match gifts to recipients. Cross off “given” items.
  • Shop year round to restock the gift closet.

It is now time to start thinking about those Christmas crafts too.

  • Stock up on supplies while you can still get cheap items at the sales
  • Plan what you intend to make, how many, and when you need them done by. Are they gifts? Items for the home? Or both?
Christmas, Planning, Things to do in June

Things to do in June

June sees another round of annual sales (end of financial year). It is a good time to stock up on stocking fillers and other easily stored, non-perishable gifts.

  • Look for gifts which are not likely to go out of fashion
  • Start buying craft supplies
  • Think about the types of presents you intend to make this year.
  • Make you fruit mince (if you make your own)
  • Prepare and freeze seasonal fruits for Christmas jams
Cakes, Cooking

Coffee Cream Cake

Can’t go to the coffee shop? Why not make something yummy while you’re stuck indoors? Try this Coffee Cream Cake recipe*.  

The Cake


  • 200g plain flour & 2.5 tsp baking powder (or 210g self raising flour)
  • 9 tsp coffee powder/granules
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 220g soft margarine or butter
  • 220g soft light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp milk
  • 0.125 tsp salt


  • Mixing bowl
  • Measuring cup
  • Mixing spoon
  • Kitchen scale
  • Hand beater (or Mix master)
  • Cake tin (2 x 20cm. diameter or 1 20cm high wall)
  • Cooling rack


  • Preheat your oven to 160 Celsius (320 Fahrenheit)
  • Grease cake tin(s)
  • Place all ingredients into your mixing bowl
  • Mix ingredients thoroughly until smooth
  • Pour mix into the tin
  • Place in oven for 30-40 mins (Use a skewer to see if its ready. Push into the cake and pull it out. If the cake is ready the skewer will come out clean)
  • Remove from oven and place on a cake rack
  • Allow to cool a little (about 10 minutes) and remove from the tin
  • When cooled (cut cake into 2 layers if you’ve used a single tin) add the cream.

Coffee Cream icing


  • 400g of icing sugar
  • 200g soften bitter
  • 0.25 tsp vanilla extract
  • 8 tsp instant coffee powder/granules
  • 4 tsp boiling water
  • Crushed walnuts to decorate the top if desired


  • Mixing bowl
  • Measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons (teaspoon)
  • Mixing spoon


  • Sieve icing into a bowl
  • Add water, coffee, vanilla & softened butter
  • Mix well until smooth
  • Add cream to bottom layer
  • Pop top layer on spread cream across the surface
  • Spread cream around the sides if you wish
  • Decorate with crushed walnuts if you wish

* This recipe is lifted from: