Happy Holidays!

Here in Hungary we celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve, december 24th. We put up the tree the same day too, and there is no Santa on Christmas. Little Jesus brings the presents. We always spend Christmas Eve at my parent’s house.

Here is our Christmas in Pictures:




My brother and his girlfriend with the fish soup he made.



Stuffed cabbage.



Christmas cookies.



Szaloncukor (Parlour candy).









Family photo. Blackberry #1 not willing to participate.

Parlour Candy – Szaloncukor


“Parlour candy” (Szaloncukor in hungarian) is a type of sweets traditionally associated with Christmas in Hungary. It is usually made of fondant, covered by chocolate and it is wrapped in shiny coloured foil, then hung on the Christmas tree as a decoration.

Every year, almost 1.5 kilos of it are consumed per household during Christmas season.

The tradition of hanging these candies on the Christmas tree started in the 19th century. It was named szaloncukor because the tree usually stood in the parlour (szalon in hungarian; Cukor means “sugar” or “candy”).

In Hungary no Christmas tree is complete without szaloncukor.

Not only does szaloncukor make a great tree ornament, it’s also a sweet delight. As kids, part of the fun was to eat szaloncukor off the tree and leave the empty wrapper to make it look like it’s still filled with candy.

Today there are lots of flavours: jelly (lemon, orange), chesnut, chocolate, coconut, marzipan, strawberry, raspberry, apple-cinnamon, toffee, hazelnut, joghurt, almond, black forrest, cottage cheese, tiramisu, poppy seed, cappucino, baileys, eggnog.

My favorite szaloncukor is made by Szamos. This year I bought 2 boxes, orange marzipan and the new flavour hazelnut marzipan:




Do you put parlour candy on your Christmas tree?

Christmas Market and Christmas portraits




The top 2 photos shows what our Christmas Market usually looks like. The Christmasy feeling was always very present on this square 🙂 This year, they decided that the square must be renovated so this year the Christmas market will be located elsewhere.

They scattered the Market in 3 different locations, so this year I really don’t really like the whole thing 😦

The only 2 things we do like:

The labyrinth made out of hay for the kids:



and the reindeer:



They took Christmas portaits at Blackberry #1’s Preschool. I took Blackberry #2 too. Sorry the photographer is old school, he doesn’t give out the digital photos, so I had to take a picture of the printed one:




(This is what Blackberry #1 looks like when they tell him to smile 🙂


Do you have a Christmas Market where you live?



Blackberry #2 turns 1! Happy Birthday Baby!



At the end of November Blackberry #2 turned 1. Chronologically. His adjusted age is 10 weeks less, so technically he was only 9.5 months on his birthday! I was kind of scared of his birthday, because I didn’t know if I could finally enjoy it or the memories of his not so simple birth would come back to haunt me. Well the memories came but luckily a few days earlier so on THE DAY, I could focus on the celebration, which is great, since his birth was never celebrated….

Blackberry #1 came up with an idea to have a lion cake (chocolate-banana flavour), so I decided we were going to have a Lion theme party. Blackberry #2’s real name has something to do with Lions and one of his favorite toys is a lion, so it was perfect. I printed some birthday themed lion pictures from the internet, bought balloons and hats and we were ready 🙂




He really enjoyed the party, he was smiling and clapping 🙂

Happy Birthday Blackberry #2! You have come a long way Baby!

Liebster Award



The lovely Evelen Margaret nominated me for the Liebster Award. Thank you very much for the honour 🙂


Check out her blog: http://evelenmargaret.com

She is a very talented, very stylish Blogger with 2 girls born in the Mediterranean (Greece) 🙂


Here are her questions:

1.What’s your daily motivation?


2.Do you have a particular song that makes your day?

I really like these 2 songs lately:

Lorde – Royals 

David Guetta: Titanium

3.Name five items that you always carry with you.

My cell phone, keys (flat, car), kleenex, extra shopping bag and wet wipes.

4.What was your best movie you’ve seen recently?

Pitch Perfect

5.Full breakfast or on the go?

I would wish for a full breakfast, but usually I just have coffee with joghurt or oatmeal.

6.What do you first notice on another person?

Their eyes and what they are wearing.

7.Do you agree :”Less is more”?


8.You can’t live without …

My kids, my friends, coffee and my cell phone.

9.First Love is unforgetable but second Love is Lovelier .Do you agree ?

All Loves are unforgetable and lovely 🙂 I am currently on my 3rd love 🙂

10. Last but not least :Have you already bought your Xmas gifts or at least made a list?

I already bought the toys for the kids (games, Lego, Hotwheels Ballistiks), and for my niece (she lives in the USA, so we already sent it). I am also planning on giving gift packages to the teachers at Blackberry #1’s preschool, and to our pediatrician and to Blackberry# 2’s Physical therapist. I am really thankful for all their hard work with my children so I want to express it this way also.


My nominees are:











Thank you for all your lovely blogs that inspire my daily 🙂

If you wish you can answer the same questions 🙂

I also want to acknowledge:

http://aspoonfulofstyle.co.uk/ and


I would have nominated them also, but the only reason why I didn’t was that they were also nominated alongside my 🙂

But be sure to check out their blogs also 🙂




Santa Claus, Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas or just simply SANTA


(Our Advent calendar)

Santa in many western cultures, is said to bring gifts to the homes of the good children on the night before Christmas, December 24. However in some European countries children receive their presents on St. Nicholas’ Day, December 6.

In Hungary, children typically leave their – preferably well-cleaned – boots on the windowsill on the evening of 5 December. By next morning Nikolaus (Szent Miklós traditionally but more commonly known as Mikulás in Hungary) leaves candy and gifts if they have been good, or a rod (Hungarian: virgács) if they have been bad (most children end up getting small gifts, but also a small rod). 

So we put out our boots on the night of december 5th, and voila Santa filled them:



Blackberry #1 was very happy with his Transformer robot and chocolates.

We also went to the mall to see Santa!

They had a Thomas the Tank engine train to ride 🙂




Blackberry #1 had to sing to Santa to get his present ( a chocolate and a long flexible pencil)


Do you celebrate St. Nicholas’ Day?

12 DIY Pins of Christmas: #3 Paper Plate-a-sauruses


Nov Dec Challenge

I’m taking part in Danielle’s Christmas DIY Pinterest challenge. Go check out her blog: http://aweenest.com/2013/11/07/novemberdecember-pinterest-diy-challenge/


So this was my pin:

If you click, you are guided here: http://www.learnwithplayathome.com/2013/07/paper-plate-dinosaur-craft-for-kids.html

(the original)

This is an activity for all the dinosaur-loving kids out there. These paper plate-a-sauruses are based on the real species and all feature a colourful paper plate body with a paper cut-out head, legs and tail. They can help kids learn the real names of the dinosaurs and also have a fun, messy art and craft element to them. The webpage has 5 templates, but we only made one (the T-Rex) so far 🙂

You will need:
• Paper plates
• Coloured heavy paper stock
• Scissors and a hole punch (but you can just draw eyes)
• Items to decorate your paper plates with. You can use anything you like, we used crayons.
How to:
Cut some paper plates in half and decorate them.
Print the templates. For best results print them straight on to the heavy coloured paper stock. We printed them on regular paper, cut them out, then the kids draw them on the heavy coloured paper, then we cut them out again.
Once you have cut out the paper shapes staple them on to your decorated paper plate. Instead of a stapler we used studs, so this way the leg, the arm, the head and the tail are moveable 🙂
and Voila: the T-Rex!
The boys had fun running around with their new dinos, competing whose dino is scarier 🙂

12 DIY Pins of Christmas: #1 Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Bread and #2 Blueberry Oat Slices

Nov Dec Challenge

 I’m taking part in Danielle’s Christmas DIY Pinterest challenge. Go check out her blog: http://aweenest.com/2013/11/07/novemberdecember-pinterest-diy-challenge/

Before I was a stay at home Mom, I was a scientist, a biologist. I spent my days in a lab doing experiments and after months, sometimes years of work I would write an article about the project which would be published in a peer reviewed international journal. One thing I never understood, or shall I say I missed was that there is not a journal, or journals where you can send articles about experiments that did not work, that did not lead anywhere, this way other scientists wouldn’t have to waste their time on experiments that don’t work….

So my first Christmas DIY Pins of Pinterest did not turn out exactly the way I hoped, but finally I can document my mistake and this way other people won’t make the same mistake but learn from mine 🙂

Also Sarah documented her Pinterest fail, you can check it out here: http://journey2dfuture.wordpress.com/2013/11/22/christmas-diy-challenge-3-banana-chocolate-bread/

So this was my pin:

 A Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Bread.

Clicking on the pin lead me to this website: http://www.thenovicechefblog.com/2013/11/peanut-butter-banana-chocolate-chip-bread/


Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Bread

Here is the recipe:

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Bread

Yield: 1 8 inch loaf or 12 muffins


1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 over ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 large egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 8 inch loaf pan with butter (you can also line with parchment paper like I did in the photo – this makes it easy to lift out!). For muffins: line muffin tin with cupcake liners. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat bananas, sugar, peanut butter and egg – until well combined. Add vegetable oil and vanilla extract. Mix in dry ingredients, stirring until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.

For muffins: Fill muffin tins 3/4 full. Bake muffins for 15-17 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean with just a few crumbs sticking too it.

For bread: Pour into a lined loaf pan and bake for about 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out mostly clean with just a few crumbs sticking too it.

After reading the recipe I was surprised to learn that you can make this in the form of muffins and since I was making this for Blackberry #1’s Indoor Playground Birthday Party ( https://theblackberryboys.wordpress.com/2013/11/27/blackberry-1s-indoor-playground-birthday-party/ ) muffins seemed more useful.

So I decided to go with the muffins. My epic fail was that I somehow missed the part where it says to bake the muffins for 17 minutes, I only read bake the bread for 45 minutes! So I mixed everything together and put it in the oven:


After 30 minutes I went to check on the muffins and saw that the ones in the back were starting to turn black! Not good.


This is how they turned out.

So lesson learned: Always read the recipe carefully and try to follow it 🙂

So some of my muffins were burned, and some were looking ok. So I was going to take the ok ones with me to the party, but I did not have enough sweets and it was already 8pm.

Then I remembered reading a recipe on the lovely Áse’s blog: raspberry oat slices

Recipe: Raspberry Oat Slices

So I baked a batch of that also:


(makes approx 12 slices)

5 tablespoons light brown soft sugar

125g (4 1/2 oz) plain flour

1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

a pinch of salt

100g (4 oz) porridge oats

125g (4 1/2 oz) butter, softened

250g (9 oz) good quality raspberry jam

Preparation method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180c/Gas mark 4. Grease one 20cm (8 inch) square cake tin and line with baking parchment.

2. Combine brown sugar, flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and porridge oats in a large bowl. Rub in the butter using your hands to form a crumbly mixture.

3. Press 3/4 of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared cake tin, reserving the rest for the topping. Spread the jam over the base but not quite to the edges as it will spread.

4. Sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture over the top and lightly press it into the jam.

5. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven until lightly browned. Allow to cool before cutting into slices.


The only thing I changed was the raspberry jam, I added blueberry jam instead, since that was what I had at home 🙂

They turned out great. Almost all were eaten and I only had 2 muffins left at the end of the party, so I guess they were only ugly but not horrible 🙂


Sorry I forgot to take a picture before the party, this was taken after 🙂

Thank you Áse for saving my day! 🙂 Have you had any major epic recipe fails?