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Thursday, 23 November 2017

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.


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.



Monday, 20 November 2017

S'mores Hot Chocolate with 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!


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.


To make your graham crackers...

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.



Friday, 17 November 2017

Made Me Happy This Week


Well, it's happened. The season where I am most definitely more hot chocolate than human is here, and so far it's been very tasty! Also, I've found that having marshmallows with your hot chocolate is so much more enjoyable when you toast them a little. Apart from making hot chocolates, this week has been a very productive one. Bit's and pieces we wanted to get for the house have been bought, still a few to get but we're getting there. With the addition of curtains to the living room, along with new cushions, it's all starting to feel very cosy and even more homely than before.

1. All of our new cushions, a bargain from TKMAxx -I bloody love that store!

2. Finishing the painting in the extension and putting the room back in order. I'm so happy it's done, it was starting to really bother me.

3. I finally own a Christmas jumper! I know, it's about time, but now I'm worried it'll start an obsession. And I have to say, I went for quite an understated one to start with.

4. Hearing that it could snow soon. I'm not sure if I believe them, but it's exciting to think that it could.

5. Filling one of our Christmas jars with Reeses Christmas bells. Yes, it's completely unnecessary, but if you can't be ridiculous at Christmas, then when can you?

6. Having McDonald's for dinner on one of those nights when it's cold, late, and you just want to get home. We don't do it very often, so it tastes even better when we do.

7. Burning the last of my salted caramel candle, it's my absolute favourite scent for this time of year.

8. Pink and orange coloured sky as the sun begins to rise.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Christmas Gift Guide: Gifts for Him


And just like that we have reached the last of the gift guides, gifts for him, full of fun gadgets and beautiful gifts. Looking back at last years, I can see that by this time we were much more organised than this year, and as I've said, this is the month that will be rectified! But if you're still looking to buy any presents, I hope that these guides have giving you some help or inspiration.

1. Star Wars Drone Collectors Edition - £149.95

2. Skull Tumbler - £27

3. Sheep Dip Whisky and Glasses Set - £40

4. Liz Earle Men's Set - £35

5. Barbour Waxed Holdall - £150

6. HP Portable Printer - £109.95

7. Tile Anything Finder - £29.99

8. Dior Sauvage - £69.50

9. BB-9E Sphero - £150

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Christmas Gift Guide: Gifts for Her


I love putting together these posts. There are so many amazing gifts on the market that I could add so many more to them than I do, but I try to keep it to my favourites of the bunch. One of which being that beautiful red coat. It would be a very extravagant gift, but it's a stunning red colour in a classic timeless style. However, I think any of these gifts would be very much appreciated by anyone who received them. Those slippers are another favourite of mine, they are so soft and cosy, I would be so happy finding them under the tree.

1. Red Winter Coat - £365

2. Diptyque Perfume Set - £78

3. Purple Tweed Crossbody Bag - £129

4. Elemis Skincare Set - £115

5. Charlotte Tilbury Set - £55

6. Navy Suede Moccasins - £25

7. GHD Travel Hairdryer - £59

8. Boulangerie Candle Set - £36

9. This Works "Time for Sleep" Set - £49

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Christmas Gift Guide: Stocking Fillers for Him

And just like that it's the second gift guide, stocking fillers for him. I think any of these would make amazing little gifts for any stocking. Paul has one of the Metal Models, he has the Millennium Falcon and while I think it was the trickiest things he's ever had to build, he loved it they look very impressive when they're finished. And for anyone you know who loves a soak in the bath, the Thistle and Black Pepper bath soak is amazing! They whole range smells incredible, so if bath salts aren't your thing then you could try the aftershave or body wash.

1. Star Wars BB-8 Metal Model - £12

2. USB Mix Tape - £14.99

3. Pour Over Coffee Pot - £14.99

4. Molton Brown Face Wash - £18

5. Haynes Millennium Falcon Manual - £11.99

6. Woven Check Pyjama Trousers - £18

7. Thistle and Black Pepper Bath Soak - £13.96

8. Navy Bobble Hat - £14

9. Gentlemen's Hardware Survival Kit - £18

Monday, 13 November 2017

Christmas Gift Guide: Stocking Fillers for Her

You have no idea how excited I am to post the first one of this years gift guides. They've joined the ranks of Christmas traditions now, and for me, it just wouldn't feel like the festive season had begun without them. So, as usual, first up is stocking fillers for her. A few of these ideas are on my own wishlist this Christmas -the make-up bag especially, anything navy and velvet, and I'm in love. The monogrammed glass makes a great gift too, Paul and I have one each and they are great for whatever you're drinking. Also the perfect glass for having milk with cookies.

1. Balsam and Cedar Candle - £16

2. Bath and Body Oil Trio - £20

3. Silver Feather Necklace - £18

4. Navy Velvet Make-Up Bag - £15

5. Metallic Knit Slipper Socks - £20

6. Ring Holder - £6

7. Candice Brown: Delicious Bakes -£10

8. Gilded Monogram Glass - £14

9. Liquid Lipstick Trio - £20
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