Let’s Be Pen Pals

Hello Dear friends. I hope you are doing well, treading slowly and purposefully into the new year. 

This week has been a blessed one with many young visitors staying in our home. I mentioned last week how we had seven swags out on the back deck and quite a few mattresses in the lounge room. They all left on Wednesday for a few days before heading back next week. So, you could quite easily say that our new year started off with a bang. 

The only other notable feature of my week, besides hunting through the house for every single towel that needs washing, is trying to manage the heat. Ugh. Hear me out. Humidity and hot flushes are a lethal combination my friends, and I cannot believe more middle aged woman are not being driven mad every summer by this barbarous duo.

Honestly, it is just so hot here and I sweat all day, from the minute I wake up.  My very unsympathetic family walk around commenting on how cold it is when I have the air con blasting through the house at 20 degrees. Weaklings. They should know better than to mess with the remote when I’m in the room. Never. ever. mess with a menopausal mother in the middle of a flush. She is a weapon and you do not want to cross her.

Anyway, Christmas Day went well. The food was delicious, thanks to my amazing son who loves to cook. I kept the table setting quite organic. Stumbling upon some beautiful natives and foliage in a local florist I decided on the spot to use them for my table. I had already bought lovely linen napkins in two shades of green and light pink, which matched the greenery perfectly. Dressing up the centrepiece with pink and red candles and a couple of cute deer, also added a Christmas pop. 

I kept the plates simple (which took an enormous amount of self control on my part. I’m really a ‘more is more’ kinda gal.) Linen napkins tied in a knot with a sprig of greenery, accompanied by an adorable little marshmallow man on vintage white plates and gold or woven green chargers completed the look. 

Mr Marshmallow man was my Christmas pride and joy. As my regular readers would know, I am on a life mission to master marshmallows and despite taking a few batches to get the consistency right, these little fellas turned out a treat. I was stoked. And of course they tasted delicious. 

The real joy of our Christmas table, however, lay in having our dear treasures around it. We also had the honour of a few others joining us as well.  

As the girls are growing up, our family is expanding and the older ones are meeting lovely young men. Christmas was extra special as we celebrated the engagement of our precious eldest daughter. 

When I gave birth to our first daughter, my husband had an immediate sense of the need to protect her.  As he held her for the first time, he knew that it was his duty and privilege as a father to look after his sweet little lamb. These girls certainly occupy a tender part of our hearts. 

When it comes time for marriage, it is only natural to want the best for your children. You want them to choose wisely when looking for a life partner, to wait for the best and not settle for less! Well, we certainly hit the jackpot with soon to be Son-in-law number one. He is everything I could have dreamed of for my daughter. Indeed, If I had to hand design a man for her, then he would most certainly be the one. You can imagine the joy we feel knowing our dear girl is about to walk hand in hand into her future with an extraordinary young man.

Merry Christmas indeed. 

And so, the year 2022 is already looking like an extraordinary one for our family. Despite the challenges that are impatiently trying to wreak havoc in our world right now, I am choosing to cling to hope. Hope in the small victories of each day. Hope that continues to plan for a good future with joy and confidence. 

My Mama heart is full, knowing that another of our dear ones has reaped the reward of waiting for her heart’s desire and her future is looking bright. 

Until next week,

Love Anna xx



  • Kathryn Farrell

    Wow, Congratulations Alice, so happy for you!! What a beautiful post Anna (I need to catch up on a few)… such a fresh, bright, standout Christmas table…and loving the marshmallow men very much!! xxxxxxxx

  • Spinny xx

    So glad for the happiness this season has brought to your family. Congratulations to the newly engaged!! ?♥️♥️?

    • A
      Anna Hogbin

      Thank you so much Spinny. We were all so blessed and thrilled for them. xx

  • Oh Anna! This is the first time I have actually stopped and (to my embarrassment) read one of your blogs and wow it was just so lovely to hear your heart and the gorgeous pics of your Christmas table made me feel affirmed that it’s good to do…..congratulations also on your daughter getting engaged. Our youngest daughter Ashlee has only been married for 3 mths and sadly had to have a “Covid” wedding but it was beautiful just the same, just disappointing her siblings couldn’t all attend. She waited till she was 33 before her forever man came! Love all your creative food pics, thanks so much for sharing your heart, love to Bobby xox much love Cate

    • A
      Anna Hogbin

      Hi Cate, thank you so much for your message. I was delighted to receive it, and thrilled you enjoyed my blog post. Thank you so much for the encouragement. Love Anna xx

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