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Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Twelve Days of Christmas - A Lush Christmas Bath

A-Lush-Christmas-Bath

Twelve Days of Christmas is here! You know what that means...there are only 12 sleeps to go until the big day. I'm struggling to understand how we've got here so quickly, I sweat it was October two minutes ago. But here we are, and I wanted to kick things off with a few festive bits from Lush.

Lush is at it's absolute best at Christmas. Everything smells amazing, with cinnamon, spices and cloves, and there is glitter absolutely everywhere. Everything looks so beautiful too, from the little characters, to the sparkly festive bubble wands. This year, I wanted to try a couple I've never had before, I don't think they are new to Lush, but they are definitely new to me. Plus, I had to pick up a couple of old favourites that without, Christmas baths just wouldn't be the same.

A-Lush-Christmas-Bath

The Snowman Bubbleroon is going to become a favourite going forward, I think. First of all, he's absolutely adorable, it almost seems a shame to run him under the water (almost). Also, his scent is much fresher than the other Christmas products. While I love all the heavier spicy scents of this time of year, the fresh lemon smell of this little bubbleroon is a nice alternative. Or even good for a bath on a cold morning to wake you up. He's also packed full of nourishing ingredients that leave your skin feeling lovely and soft.

A-Lush-Christmas-Bath

Just like the little snowman, the Shoot for the Stars bath bomb is another with a fresher scent, but with orange oil, instead of lemon. It's the colour of this one that always gets my attention, and this year I finally picked one up to try. It leaves your bath the most amazing shade of blue, with a very subtle shimmer from the gold stars. One I'll definitely be picking up again.

A-Lush-Christmas-Bath

This one is my Christmas favourite, I look forward to it coming back each year. The scent in fresh but warming, and the gold glitter covered outside, melts away to leave your bath a deep turquoise blue. When you step out you are covered in subtle shimmer -so is your bath, but it's Christmas so everything is covered in glitter. I've mentioned it before, but it will always be a must have from Lush for me at Christmas time.

A-Lush-Christmas-Bath

Butterbear is another I absolutely love! It's the most wonderful thing, to come home after being out in the cold, and warm up with a Butterbear bath. The sweet almost vanilla or chocolate like scent is so relaxing, so it's a great one to use before you go to bed. The cocoa butter leaves yours skin soft and moisturised, which is always good in winter when the cold weather and central heating can leave it feeling very dry. If you aren't one for all the glitter and stronger smelling bath bombs, try this one. It's the bath equivalent of a hug!

I think we'll make one more stop at Lush before Christmas, just to make sure we're stocked up for those few days between Christmas and New Year.

Twelve Sleeps Til Christmas!! 







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Tuesday, 12 December 2017

A Little Update on Life and Goals


Over the last few weeks, my online and real life worlds couldn't have been more different. I mentioned it briefly in my last post, but while my online life has had to be a little quieter than I'd have liked, my real life life, has been crazy!

I wrote a few goals I had for November at the beginning of last month, and I thought it would be good to update you on them, and to write it all down for my own records too. No point setting goals if you never actually make a point of checking on your progress.

First of all, the good, the things I wanted to achieve and did. The Christmas present situation that was at the beginning of last month, really quite horrendous, I'm glad to tell you has seen huge improvement. We are nearly done!! Apart from one or two things that are still to arrive for Paul's Mum and Dad, and something to buy for his Gran, we are pretty much finished buying for friends and family. I have also bought all of Paul's, some of which are even wrapped and under the tree, and even the doggies of the family have their gifts. I can't tell you how much better I'm feeling about it all. Oh, and while I'm sure I've already mentioned it in a post, I now own my very own Christmas jumper. An unnecessary but fun tick off my list.

And to add to the unnecessary, we also picked up matching Christmas pyjamas!

As for the house, I finished all the sanding and painting that needed done in the extension in time for the Christmas decorations going up. I was so pleased when it was done, it made me feel so much better about Paul's birthday, and having everyone up. Not that anyone would have been the least bit bothered if it wasn't finished, but it was something off my to-do list. Oh, and we now also have living room curtains. They finish the room off perfectly, and now I wonder how we went so long without them.

Everything I had to do for Paul's birthday was done on time. The cake was my main task, I had help with some of the other things, but the cake took me a good two days to make, but Paul was over the moon with it, so all the time definitely wasn't wasted. The party on the Sunday was a lot of fun, everyone had a great time, we all ate far too much, and we had left overs for a couple of days after. The house, that was already decorated with Christmas decorations, was also then covered in birthday ones too, and then his birthday treats continued through the week. I had hidden presents around the house for him to find on the morning of his birthday, which he did with the help of clues I'd written. We then had an afternoon out with a bit of shopping, and picked up dinner at the Christmas market in Edinburgh. Unfortunately, Tuesday was a day of appointments and errands, but Wednesday was fun from start to finish. Our wonderful generous friends took us out for the day, to treat Paul for his birthday. They took us for pizza, to pretend to be pirates in an escape room, and then the evening was spent playing the VR and eating finger food. It was a perfect day from start to finish, and the rest of the week was lovely too.

So, now the goals I haven't reached. I didn't manage to get as many of my Christmas posts done as I'd planned to, in fact, not a lot at all. I also didn't manage to get back into a routine of posting on Instagram, which I was really looking forward to doing. And, because of the long busy days we've had, the exercising I had started to do, kind of fell by the wayside.

However, there was a point in the last two weeks that I decided not to beat myself up about it. Yes, I wanted to get done a lot more than I manged to, but sometimes you have to accept the limits of what's possible and what's not. And not only that, Paul had taken two weeks off from work, it was his birthday, we had so many plans and it would have been a shame not to make the most of it. So I didn't get everything done, but you know what...it's ok. I can catch up now that things are back to normal, and I can spend this week concentrating on some of the goals I didn't quite reach in December.
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Friday, 8 December 2017

Made Me Happy This Week

made-me-happy-this-week

This has been a busy week! I'm sorry things have been so quiet, but even with all my planning I just ran out of time. I had wanted to have posts ready to go up while I was busy, but then everything for Paul's birthday took so much longer than I'd expected. Mostly, the cake!! It took me forever to make him. The sponges took hours and hours to bake, and then assembling and decorating him took me an entire day. Literally from 9.30am, to 10.45pm. I sat in my pyjamas, covered in icing sugar, being given cups of tea by either Paul or my friend. I am however, so proud of him! It sounds silly, but when he was finished and just sitting on the table, I kept looking at him and thinking 'I can't have made that'. And then, he was cut into slices and now all that remains is his head. But it was fun, the whole week has been. Paul has been spoiled by our friends and family, and we've been busy for most of the week -hence the lack of posting. Things are starting to wind down now, and by this weekend will be back to normal, or as normal as things can be at this time of year.

1. One of Paul's gifts was a day out with our friends for pizza, and a pirate themed escape room. I was a little anxious about going, the thought of them had never appealed to me, but it was actually so much fun! We escaped with time to spare, and had such an amazing time doing it.

2. Doughnut coffee syrup...it's as tasty as it sounds. It was one of the presents I bought Paul for his birthday and we've been having it in coffee all week.

3. Wrapping some presents and getting them put under the tree. I find that if you sit and do it all at the one time, it can turn into a bit of a task. So spreading it over a few days works better.

4. Party food. We had far too much food for Sunday, way more than we needed. But I quite like having it in the fridge for snacking on over the next few days.

5. Having a whole day and night of cosying up on the sofa and catching up on tv with Paul, it was lovely after a week of constantly running around.

6. Realising that we can now book our wedding trip! It's coming round too fast!

7. Being woken up by the postman at 7am!! Sound's annoying, but he handed us our new Anthropologie stockings so I forgave him.

8. Smash Burger has opened near us. I should probably try it before being excited, but I've heard a lot of good things so I have high hopes.

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Friday, 1 December 2017

Made Me Happy This Week

Made-Me-Happy-This-Week

Happy 1st of December! Even if the last few weeks have been too early for you, you can't deny that it's now here, that the festive times have begun. Did you open an advent calendar this morning? I did, I love starting the day with those little chocolates...even if by the end of the month it's left me with a terrible habit. We kicked this week off in a very festive way, we took my mum over to Edinburgh to visit the Christmas markets...can you believe she's never been! She had such a good time, we ate all the food, visited the ice sculpture exhibit, and made our way through the Christmas tree maze, where we got our chocolate pennies. The maze is supposed to be for kids, but every year I swear there are more adults there, than there are children. If you're ever in Edinburgh at Christmas you should give it a go, it's so much fun.

1. Getting all of our Christmas cards written early. They are now all done and ready to be handed out, as and when, and it's one more thing off the list of "have to do's".

2. Impromptu lunch of cheese and crackers with C and her little girl, who was very taken by one of the cheeses on offer.

3. M&S chocolate truffles. Paul and I have slowly made our way through a box that we opened last weekend.

4. Nearly being finished with buying Christmas presents, we are so close now. But, I'm not going to start wrapping until we have them all.

5. Wrapping up Paul's birthday presents while he was sleeping, I also love the paper I found to wrap them in. It's slightly holographic Star Wars print, and was a bargain in Primark.

6. My little fluffy unicorn keyring from the ice exhibit. My mum bought us one each, as a little memento from the night.

7. At the beginning of this year I came up with the idea of having our second Christmas tree covered in Polaroids of everyone we love. At the time I thought we were buying one of those twiggy trees, while we've actually ended up with a tradition but slim tree, I still love the little pictures all over it.

8. Watching all the Christmas films, we've had them on pretty much all week. Some we've sat and watched together, some we've had on in the background while we've been busy. We have to make the most of them while it's the month to watch them.
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Friday, 24 November 2017

Made Me Happy This Week

made-me-happy-this-week

It's snowing!! As I type, snowflakes are blowing past my living room window and even though I'm freezing, I couldn't be happier to see it! I've had some of my favourite films on today, Elf, Love Actually, and right now, You've Got Mail. I've discovered something new that I really enjoy doing. When I'm working, or just doing bits around the house, I like to have films playing in the back ground. Nothing new, films I've seen over and over again, so that I don't actually have to pay attention to or feel as if I'm missing anything. There's something really quite comforting about it. Also, a big fat sorry to all of you who still aren't ready, but...the tree is going up tonight!! I can't wait for the house to start feeling super festive.

1. Cinnamon candles that are now burning all over the house, the smell is amazing. And so warming when it's freezing cold outside.

2. Starting to pick up supplies for Paul's birthday party next Sunday. Plates, napkins, crackers and a few different cheeses are already stocked in the kitchen.

3. A two hour long phone call catch up with C.

4. Silverbirch Garden Center, basically my new favourite place to visit. I don't think we'll be back this year, but I'm already looking forward to next.

5. Piles of notes that make me feel that life is in order once again.

6. Cuddling up with Sookie in our giant fluffy throw, that she now firmly believes is hers.

7. The ending of You've Got Mail.

8. Having to come up with inventive idea's for hiding present's. It's not that Paul would go hunting for them, it's just that I don't want him to stumble across them and ruin the surprise.
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Thursday, 23 November 2017

Christmas at Silverbirch

Christmas-at-Silverbirch
Christmas-at-Silverbirch
Christmas-at-Silverbirch

Have you ever turned up somewhere and immediately wished you hadn't decided to leave you camera at home? That was my first thought on Monday afternoon, when Paul and I visited a garden center we'd been excited to see.

Christmas-at-Silverbirch
Christmas-at-Sillverbirch
Christmas-at-Silverbirch

We'd heard a lot about it online, and the one fact that sold me, was that it has one of the biggest selections of Christmas decorations in Scotland! I mean, how could we not? Silverbirch garden center is on the other side of Glasgow to us, quite a drive, but with a free day it wasn't as if we were worried about time. As we got closer, I did start to wonder if it was worth the hour in the car, or if it was going to be like most other garden centers we visit at this time of year. Well! I can't put into words how amazing this place is! I was speechless, actually lost for words at how beautiful the rooms looked, it was a real life Christmas wonderland. Everything was displayed in a way that made it feel more like the most beautiful Santa's grotto, that you'd ever seen, than a garden center. And at times I forgot we were in a store. There was every kind of decoration you could think of, from detailed glass baubles, to fluffy little woodland creatures. We picked up a fluffy white owl, that Paul has affectionately named Dave. He was sitting all by himself, next to a pile of frosted gold apples, with such a sad face that we couldn't leave him. Oh, and he has glittery gold antlers too! He will definitely be taking pride of place on the Christmas tree this year.

This post wasn't planned for today, but I just had to share some of the photos I snapped with Paul's phone (for all the days to not take a camera with me!) If you aren't yet feeling the Christmas spirit, you hopefully will be after looking at theses. Or if you are just looking for some gorgeous Christmas decoration inspo then I hope you enjoy. I think that Silverbirch is definitely going to be added to our Christmas traditions from now on.

Christmas-at-Silverbirch
Christmas-at-Silverbirch
Christmas-at-Silverbirch


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Monday, 20 November 2017

S'mores Hot Chocolate with Homemade Graham Crackers

S'mores-Hot-Chocolate-homemade-graham-crackers
S'mores-Hot-Chocolate-homemade-graham-crackers
S'mores-Hot-Chocolate-homemade-graham-crackers

The levels of hot chocolate consumed in this house increase dramatically in November and December, and each year we seem to have a go-to flavour. Last year it was spiced orange (and I'm still planning on having that too), but this years tops any that have come before! It's not actually the drink itself, that remains quite simple, it's the additions to it that make it oh so tasty, and really turn it into more of a dessert and make it that bit more special.

Paul and I love s'mores, the combination of the ingredients, and the fact that I only really eat marshmallow when it's toasted and or melted makes them one of our favourite treats. During the summer they finish nearly every BBQ, and I sometimes make them in the house with the blowtorch, but this year I wanted to try and make my own crackers. People say to use digestives here in the UK, in place of graham crackers -but I have a feeling it's just not the same. So I started playing around with recipes and I while I haven't tasted actual graham crackers, I can confirm the homemade ones are a huge improvement on the humble digestives. I also made mine a little thick to be called a cracker, but they make very tasty biscuits on their own too. I wanted to turn one of our favourite treats into a a drink, and I have to say this s'mores hot chocolate is a perfect treat on a cold night. You can either eat the crackers and drink your drink. Or, use the crackers to scoop up the whipped cream and gooey toasted marshmallows...which is my preferred way of enjoying this combo. Either way, they taste great together!

S'mores-Hot-Chocolate-homemade-graham-crackers
S'mores-Hot-Chocolate-homemade-graham-crackers
S'mores-Hot-Chocolate-Homemade-Graham-Crackers

Ingredients:
Your favourite chocolate -4-6 squares
Enough milk to fill your mug of choice
Whipped cream
Mini marshmallows
Homemade Graham Crackers (recipe below)

- Fill a mug of your choice with milk, and then empty the milk into a pan on a medium heat. Add the chopped chocolate and stir until melted.

- When melted, pour back into your mug, top with mini marshmallows and if you have one, toast the top with a blowtorch. Top with whipped cream and extra chocolate if you like.

S'mores-Hot-Chocolate-homemade-graham-crackers
S'mores-Hot-Chocolate-homemade-graham-crackers


To make your graham crackers...

Ingredients:
195g plain flour
195g wholemeal flour
230g butter -room temperature
165g soft light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
3 tablespoons of runny honey
1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

- Sieve the flours and bicarbonate soda into a bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl, add the butter, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and honey and mix everything until completely combined and smooth.

- Gradually add in the dry ingredients and start to bring everything together until you have a smooth dough. If it seems to dry to form a dough, you can add a splash of milk to help it along.

- Place your dough between two sheets of greaseproof/baking paper, start to roll it out until you have a sheet about 1/8 of an inch thick. (Or of course leave them that bit thicker if you would prefer a softer biscuit type thing, instead of a cracker)

- Cut your dough into 1.5 inch squares, and make little holes with a toothpick. While your dough is still on the greaseproof paper, slide it onto a baking tray and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.

- Pre-heat your oven to 170°C , take the sheet of dough out of the freezer, separate the crackers and place them on a lined baking tray.

- Bake for 10 minutes, or until the edges start to brown. Let cool completely.

S'mores-Hot-Chocolate-Homemade-Graham-Crackers

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