Christmas Countdown

Friday, 29 October 2010

Mince Pies

We made some mince pies for the freezer this week with it being half term - India did most of the work and did a pretty good job!

The pastry is made as per the recipe here.

Of course we had to eat some of them but the rest are in the freezer ready for Christmas. We have plenty of mincemeat left too for mince pie buns near the time!

Sunday, 17 October 2010


I haven't posted in a while just with life catching up with me. Though I haven't been neglecting my Christmas planning. I've been picking up Christmas catalogues from all over the place for some ideas for those left on my gift list. In two weeks I have a full day of Christmas shopping planned so I should be able to clear a lot of gifts. We were lucky enough to get £50 vouchers due to a cashback offer to spend in Sainsbury's which will help out a great deal too.

At the moment we are still unsure how many people we will have for Christmas dinner as my brother and his girlfriend now live together and are undecided on where to go for Christmas. I think they will go to her Mums, which of course is fine! I just like to be organised way too far in advance and they just haven't had time to really think about it in October! I must admit though I still haven't decided on dessert or a starter this year, though the squash soup I made last year went down so well I may do that again.

I'm more behind on my cards than i'd like but this is down to a bad back i'm having problems with and I just can't sit and do them right now. Luckily I do have plenty of bought cards just in case.

Mistletoe is waiting in the wardrobe to be checked over and to make sure he isn't missing any bells or eyes! India has been mentioning him a lot recently, she is quite excited that he might be visiting us again. Hopefully next time I post I may have a little more to say!

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Belated Rudolph Day Update!

A little late on this one this month! Though I haven't let the day go by without doing a little something towards Christmas.

I have made my Mincemeat as per the recipe here. I now have 2 1ltr jars in the cupboard ready for mince pies and mince buns, can't wait to make some as the house smelt lovely as I was making it.

On Monday evening I made our Christmas cake - recipe here. Again the house smelt so good it was tough not to eat it there and then. It's wrapped up in a cake tin now and over the next couple of months i'll add the odd spoonful of Brandy to it for a little extra flavour.

Sunday evening was spent making Christmas Cards, I was on a bit of a roll and had to force myself to pack everything away in the end as it was late and way past bedtime! Here are a few of them

I still have a fair few to do and though i'm a bit behind from last year I think I should be ok. Once pay day comes up this week i'll hopefully be ticking a few more gifts of my list too.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010


I've spent this week clearing out our loft. It's been on my to do list for the past three years! With India in full time school now and me having a week off it seemed the perfect time. Now I don't like lofts, not been in any yet and not planning to, so instead my husband and stepsons dragged every box and bag down into their bedroom. The theory being that if it goes in there I don't have any choice but to sort it all or else they won't have an accessible bed the following weekend!

So once I had the house to myself on Monday I dived straight in. Mostly the boxes are filled with my books, I have way too many and unfortunately don't have the space to have them out in the house. I was strict with myself and ended up with around four boxes worth of books to go to our local charity shop at the weekend. Plus a few bags of rubbish, a few bits which have already gone via Freecycle. I also have a few items which we will put on ebay.

As I went along I made sure I took note of what is in each box so it will be easy to find once they go back into the loft. The boxes still look scruffy on the outside but inside they are tidy and that's what counts!

They are lined up now waiting to go neatly back into the loft at the weekend.

The only boxes in the loft that didn't need sorting out where my Christmas ones - those 9 stayed where they were - at least for next 2 and a half months!

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Christmas Cards

I have got around to making a few cards at last. I am seriously lacking in motivation and inspiration at the moment though. Mostly I made a huge mess getting all my craft stuff out all over the floor and sitting in the middle of it looking blankly!

So any suggestions, should I buy a magazine, I don't usually but may have to resort to one or two? Is there a good website anyone can recommend which has some ideas?

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Rudolph Day

The countdown begins, only 3 left after this one, which is a slightly scary thought! I have most of my cards still to make though, i've only made a couple and haven't taken any photos yet. I do take a picture of each card I make - mostly because some of them i'm quite proud of and others I can learn from my mistakes! I have stocked up on quite a few embellishments and have lots stuff from last year too. So my goal between now and September Rudolph Day is to make at least a dozen cards.

I have again gone through my gift list and decided to make up some Cookie in a Jar gifts for some of the people on there. I'll be using this recipe from Little Munchkins blog. I need some more ink for the printer though as my writing isn't good so i'll be printing the recipe tags for them.

Over the past few weeks I have also picked up a few books for India, some Dora and Diego ones at 39p each from Home Bargains. Hopefully by Christmas she will be having a good go at reading them herself. I have one or two ideas for my stepsons - itunes vouchers - one collects Monopoly's so i'll be getting him a Coronation Street one that i've found (he likes the soaps too!), some books, they have both started reading a bit more over this past year, which is a great help for presents. They are so tough to buy for even knowing their tastes but luckily they seem happy with whatever we do get them.

I really need to start planning for Mistletoe too. I already have plans for some Christmas Lego to add to what she has -i'm thinking Mistletoe will be playing with it one morning. A quick search on ebay and I can see quite a few different pieces. I think Mistletoe will have a post all of his own very soon.

However you celebrate Rudolph day have a good one!

Friday, 20 August 2010

Friday 5 - Meals to Cook

Taking part in another Friday 5 this week, one that is quite close to my heart as it's about food! I have to say though that my favourite's change all the time but i'll go with these as they get made throughout the year.

1. Risotto, this is my favourite dish, I could eat mounds of the stuff! I do a basic recipe - onions, garlic, mushrooms, rice, a handful of frozen peas and lots of good home made chicken stock. Then I add whatever I have to hand - turkey, chicken, a little bacon, leeks, butternut squash. I don't think there is a Risotto i've not liked! I sometimes like to add a little grated cheese and chilli flakes on top!

2. Shepherds Pie, a good comfort food (though technically mine is Cottage pie as it's with beef!) I use beef stock cubes, tomatoes, mince, onion, Worcester sauce, I add peas and carrots and then add mashed potato to the top with sliced tomatoes and cheese on top of that before it goes in the oven - yum!

3. Turkey & Noodles, this one is just a really simple meal, mostly it's a favourite because it's quick and easy! I cook carrots, green beans, baby sweetcorn, frozen peas, pack choi and turkey in chicken stock, soy sauce and Chinese five spice and add medium noodles a few minutes before serving.

4. Sunday Roast, what can I say, can't beat it, roast beef or chicken with stuffing, Yorkshire puddings, mash, roast potatoes, veg and gravey.

5. Soup - any kind, I love to make soup. Our favourite is the squash soup which we had with our Christmas meal last year. Though right now I have some broccoli soup in the freezer and before that white bean.