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Sunday, 28 December 2014

Made Me Happy This Week

Well...that's it! Christmas has been and gone and I'm left feeling a little sad that it's all over, a little sad and full (sick of) of turkey! But instead of focusing on the sad we have been focusing on the good. Our first Christmas in our new home was a resounding success and everyone had a wonderful time -I can't wait to do it again :) We have spent the last few days living in our pyjamas -seriously, today was the first day I have worn clothes since Christmas day. That's what the holidays are for though right?

1. Christmas Day! I had been looking forward to it for soooo long, I'm a little sad that it is over for another year but happy that we had such a wonderful day when it was here.

2. I don't normally like spending day after day in my pyjamas but around Christmas holiday time I love it! I feel it's almost mandatory really.

3. Having surprise guests for dinner on Christmas Day, my brother turned up last minute as did a friend of ours...good thing we had plenty of food!

4. Long lazy mornings in bed. Because we haven't had to wake up for anything we have been waking up some time between 7.30am-9am and then just deciding to go back to sleep (is 11am to lazy?). I am choosing to believe that it's ok to sleep so late just now because we were sooo busy before Christmas, making up for lost sleep in a way.

5. Buying our cards for next year. It sounds crazy I know -my mum laughed at us when I told her, but we bought all of our Christmas cards for next year in the sale at 50% off. Now that is what you call organized!

6. Afternoon baths with festive bath bombs.

7. Delivering presents on Christmas Eve. It always makes me so happy :)

8. Coming up with tasty ways to use up the left over turkey. No cold turkey sandwich's for us that's for sure.

Are you enjoying your holidays??

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Twelve Days of Christmas - Christmas Eve

{Santa's little helper!}

Happy Christmas Eve!!!

For the first time in as many years as I can remember we are done with deliveries...EARLY! We were actually finished by 4.30pm -I couldn't quite believe it myself! Now...we are in pyjamas, Christmas films playing in the back ground, cranberry sauce is cooking for tomorrow and dinner is on it's way. A perfect evening :)

I hope you are all having a wonderful time and that you all have the most perfect day tomorrow, how ever you are spending it :) 

Lots of love,
Shelley xxx

1 Sleep left to Christmas!!!!!

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Twelve Days of Christmas - A Christmas Night In

Last night we had the most perfect Christmasy night in, full of films, snacks and hot chocolate. We try to have a few of these over the Christmas season but this year has been so busy -busier than normal, and we haven't really had the chance! We stayed up late watching as many films as we could manage before our eyelids decided it was time to close and we just had to go to sleep. The whole evening made better of course by my Christmas pyjamas and polar bear socks :)

Can you believe tomorrow is Christmas Eve!? I am struggling with it myself!

2 Sleeps to Christmas!


Monday, 22 December 2014

Twelve Days of Christmas - A Little Christmas Haul

When it's Christmas you tend to not really treat yourself much, your focus is mainly on gifts for everyone else but while we were out in Edinburgh we couldn't pass on a little trip to Lush. 

The glitter...OH the glitter, I can't resist it and Lush are apparently of the same opinion as we left the store looking so very festive and sparkly. We could have gone crazy and filled our basket to the brim but we restrained ourselves and left with only 3 things, two bath bombs -which are old favourites of mine and a bubble bar which I've never tried before but it smells amazing! It is absolutely covered in silver glitter and smells like cinnamon, I think I will use a little of this on Christmas Eve when we are home and have finished our present deliveries.

One more thing we picked up was from the Christmas market is an amazing all wool tartan blanket, that I specifically wanted for picnics when the weather starts to get better (and to keep warm in Winter). I have been looking for one for a while now but never found one that was just right, until now that is! When I imagine the perfect picnic this is the blanket I see in my mind and now it's all mine, I can't wait to use it :)

3 Sleeps to Christmas!

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Made Me Happy This Week

The picture above was from our trip to the Christmas markets in Edinburgh earlier today, Paul kept snapping pictures of us while we tried on hats. You can't see Paul all that well but I still love the shot. I feel as if all I have done this week is shop, but for food and nothing else! We have bought everything for Christmas dinner -except the fresh vegetable, and some other non-Christmas bits just because, know, we need food. I also fell as if this week has gone by far too fast, it's as if the year can't wait to be over.

1. We have a tiny wooden mouse sitting on our brick wall, he seems very happy there. Paul's uncle carved him and because he is very small, we thought it would be fun to see how many people actually notice him.

2. Paul made short bread earlier in the week and that made me a very happy girl! It was chocolate chip too!

3. A surprise package all the was from the US, thanks Ellie :)

4. Cinnamon scented pine cones, the house just smells like Christmas! For some reason though I keep calling them acorns?

5. Edinburgh's Christmas lights, walking around the city at night I can't help but smile.

6. Watching Harry Potter on a Saturday night, they always take me straight back to my childhood.

7. Glittery nails!

8. A festive end to a lovely week walking around the markets in Edinburgh, and picking up an amazing tartan blanket!


Twelve Days of Christmas - A Festive Afternoon at the Christmas Markets

Paul and I spent most of this afternoon exploring the Christmas markets of Edinburgh and sampling all they had to offer, we had been planning to go for a while now so it was a wonderful festive end to the week :)

While we were there we managed to snap a few photos, in between the eating and mulled wine drinking (and the obligatory trip to lush for some festive treats). We even bought ourselves the most perfect picnic blanket that I just can't wait to use when the weather gets warmer. 

By the time we stopped for food we were so hungry! I had sausage, caramalised onions and tomato sauce on a brioche was so good that it was demolished in record time! Paul went for a good old burger (I tried some -it was good!) and we shared a portion of rosemary fries, which by the way were possibly the tastiest fries I have ever had!

Even the buses are getting in to the spirit! 

I fell in love with this cosy little hat but ended up leaving without it, I might be back for it before the markets close.

4 Sleeps to Christmas!


Saturday, 20 December 2014

Twelve Days of Christmas - Cheese Board

I love cheese, it's one of my favourite things to eat and apart from blue cheese I can't think of many I don't like. With there being so many rules on how you should put together a cheese board or what types of cheese you should use I thought I would show you our favourite way and what we like with ours. I like to use four cheeses, one hard, one really soft, one in between and because we don't like blue cheese our forth is always a flavoured one.

Cheese used in picture are:

Hard - Strong Cheddar
Middle - Gouda
Soft - Brie
Flavoured - Wensleydale with Cranberry.

The little extras we use most are apple, assorted nuts and different chutneys -caramelised onion is always my first choice, and something crunchy...most of the time that's sesame crackers but thinly sliced crunchy bread is always nice too. This is our usual cheese board selection (probably what we will be serving on Christmas Day), the part that changes most of all would be the flavoured cheese and with there being so many around just now you are spoilt for choice. My favourite combo is Gouda with Pecans -it's very tasty!

5 Sleeps to Christmas!

Friday, 19 December 2014

Twelve Days of Christmas - Origins Gift Set

A while ago when I was out doing some Christmas shopping I picked up this little treat for myself. It was an offer I just couldn't ignore, especially as I had wanted to try every item in the set...and how often does that happen!

The set (which is still available from both Origins and Boots) contains 3 of their amazing and very well loved face masks, and when I picked it up it was only £23 -a very proud find! Sadly its now back up to £50, but even at that it is still a good deal, the full sizes are 100ml so these are just a little smaller at 75ml each.

Clear Improvement Mask - This is an excellent mask for clearing out your pores. I have been using it once a week and have noticed a big difference in how clean and bright my skin looks. It amazes me each time I wipe it off how it leaves such a nice healthy natural shine to my skin.

Drink Up Intensive Mask - I have dehydrated skin that can often be quite dry, so while I love the Clear Improvement Mask and don't feel that it is overly drying on me, I like to apply this after using it. I apply it two or three times a week just before I go to bed, you then leave it on and sleep in it -no need to wash it off. I always wake up with such soft hydrated skin, and that lasts even if I don't use it for a good few days.

Out of Trouble Mask - This mask is actually made for oily skin, so not something I would apply all over my face. After having a lovely chat with a lady from the Origins counter I found out that while I don't have oily skin, rather the opposite in fact, that this could still be a helpful product. I get quite a few spots from time to time, always around my chin, and they aren't ever oily but this mask (if used on the area with the spots only) can help clear them up. It will come really close to clearing away any small ones you have, and any larger ones will be left smaller than they were. This does a great job of drying them up without drying your skin out!

I'm so happy with this set, and it would also make a lovely gift if you still have last minute presents to buy. But keep an eye out in Boots...I was told that the offer may be back on again soon!

6 Sleeps to Christmas!


Thursday, 18 December 2014

Twelve Days of Christmas - Gingerbread Syrup

Is there a more festive drink than a gingerbread latte? Ok, mulled wine, but is there a more festive coffee I ask you?

Gingerbread is something I associate solely with Christmas, it's not something I even think about at any other time of year. I mean, is it really Christmas time without a smiley gingerbread man? When planning our hampers this year we wanted to add something a little different to what we normally do and decided on home-made coffee syrup. We had never made any before (we really didn't even know where to start), but it turns out it's super simple -ridiculously simple you could say, cost's a fraction of what the shop bought stuff does and in my opinion...tastes way better!

As I said we were pretty clueless so started browsing the hundreds of recipes online and after trying a few (and drinking far to much coffee) we knew this was our favourite. We added slightly more ginger than was mentioned just to make it a little more to our taste.

What you need - (makes around 800ml of syrup)

4 cups/940ml of water
2 cups/450g of granulated sugar
2 heaped tablespoons molasses sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
10 cloves
10 pepper corns
6 inches of peeled fresh ginger, cut into quarter inch pieces.

And to make it, couldn't be more simple...

Add all your ingredients to a pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer your mix for around 20 - 25 minutes. Then strain into a jug and allow to cool before you pour it into your bottles.

Straining it into the jug just makes it much easier later when you come to pour it into bottles. To strain it you can use a fine sieve but we much prefer a muslin cloth, we tried both ways and found that this gives you a much clearer looking liquid in the end -also it takes out any teenie tiny bits that might have come from your spices.

We added a brown paper tag to each of our little bottles and stuck an adorable mini gingerbread man on there too -isn't he sweet! We picked him up at our local arts and craft store.

Now I'm off to finish my coffee :)

7 Sleeps to Christmas!

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