We were sent a gift of clothes from Boots Mini-Club.
Big Boy is a lot like Top Ender and has his own very definitive style. Luckily for me this mainly consists of what I call proper boy clothing, shorts in Summer and long trousers in Winter. When he needs to dress up he wears a shirt and I think that he is a pretty good looking little chap in his little outfits. I often tell him that he will win an award for being the best dressed boy in the world when he is looking particularly cute but have never thought he was paying attention.
When Boots Mini-Club sent Big Boy a little gift just before Christmas of an outfit Big Boy was so excited because he was pretty sure that he had won an award for being the best dressed boy in the world and this was his prize! I quickly knocked up a little Sash for him from the ribbon that the clothes had been wrapped in and he was delighted.
Saturday, 31 December 2011
We were sent a gift of clothes from Boots Mini-Club.
I love shaped biscuit cutters. I use them to make sandwiches more interesting for Top Ender's Friday Lunches, to trace round to make decorations for our window displays, to make shaped Omelettes and pancakes, to make potato stamps, shaped mashed potato or rice as part of a fun family dinner, to create salt dough decorations and of course to make biscuits and cookies. When I saw the new Gnome Breadmen cookie cutters at The Monster Factory I knew that I had to have them, I mean they are Gnomes!
The information that came with the Gingerbread cutters said that these were great fun for the whole family if they were baking, decorating or eating them. This was true. Top Ender and I baked the cookies and decorated them whilst Daddy and Big Boy had great fun eating them! As is traditional now, take a look at our sped up baking to see how great these Gnome Breadman Cookie Cutters are.
The Gnome Breadman Cookie Cutters are £6.99 and now I just need someone to buy me the Ninja ones...
I first created this blog post in January. I have a draft open all year and as something happens that I want to remember for the end of the year I add it in. Normally I do that on the 25th of the month when I am doing some preparation for Christmas, I look to see which blog post I was most proud of or which one I thought wasn't read by as many people as I had hoped. This year I wanted to do something a little different, but I didn't know what. So for your amusement, here is 2011... sort of.
Once upon a time there lived a Mummy who was very smug. You see she had magic that allowed her to be super organised all of the time but mostly it was smoke and mirrors that hid the real chaos and most people realised this.
This particular Mummy was also very lucky that people sent her challenges via her email and to prove that she was a magic Mummy she would often let these lovely people see her making things at her super speed with her super little theme tune.
In fact the whole family were the sort of family that sometimes you read about in books or magazines, where they seem perfect and make you feel sick because you wish you were like that. It wasn't that they were perfect though, it was just that they had discovered the secret to happiness.
The family did lots of things together, that some might think as dangerous and others thought as being very wise. They even let the smallest of the family play with knives!
The family had 100's of free things to do (and lots of things that weren't free too) and lots of the things were things that other families liked to do or had forgotten that they used to do when they were young.
The family made silly crafts of themselves out of toilet rolls and got up to all sorts of antics. They liked to make something out of nothing and they always had plenty of toilet rolls stacked up.
When the Mummy and Daddy were talking one night they realised that they had some rules that they followed for creating a happy family life and although the rules applied to them, they realised that lots of other people thought the rules were good values to aspire to.
When it came to showing each other that they loved each other, they came up with creative ways to show it. It wasn't that they didn't say I love you, or they didn't hug or kiss each other but sometimes they wanted to go the extra mile and that was when the Mummy would bring out the extra special treats of Friday Lunches where rainbows were a special way of saying I love you.
Eventually some other families started to talk bad things about this family. Nobody knows why although several had a good guess, the playground gossip didn't bother the family though because they knew what the other families didn't know. That each and every family member was well and truly loved.
The family made sure that wherever they went that they made lots of lasting memories with each other as they knew that in time the places and people might not be the same, but that they would always have memories of the fun they had together on the beach, or at the park, or walking through the forests and that one day those memories would have to sustain them until they could be together again.
And at the end of the year the family were together. They were happy, they were pleased to be friends with each other and they knew that the traditions they made together would last all their lives.
It's currently 5am. I've been awake for two hours since Big Boy called out "Anyone? Help!" which is three year old speak for "I appear to have been sick in my bed, could someone come and clean it up and at the same time comfort me?". With Big Boys room out of action until everything smells better we have decamped to the living room where cuddling up on the sofa is mandatory and watching cartoons together is a necessity.
Even in this Modern Day World of 24hour Children's TV you can't guarantee that there is something suitable for a sick three year old to watch and so you normally have to turn to your pile of DVD's which lucky for me has recently been restocked with a pile of DVD's kindly sent by Warner Brothers. The DVD's feature some of my favourite characters from my childhood and Big Boy and I are making our way through a box set of Scooby Doo.
Friday, 30 December 2011
We recieved a copy of the Higgledy Piggledy Jazz guitar book.
I love Music. I don't just mean sitting listening to the Radio or my ipod or one of the several hundred CD's that Daddy and I own but I mean Music. I love to write music (It's rubbish), I love to sing (I'm alright at it I suppose) and when I get a chance I love to play. I've been teaching myself guitar for a few years and whilst I doubt I will ever be Jimi Hendrix I can play more chords than need in a Status Quo song and can strum with the best of them.
When Top Ender started learning to play the Violin I was fairly excited because this would open up doors in the world of music to her and would mean that it didn't matter what instrument she wanted to learn next because the basic music reading skill had been learnt. She started to learn Guitar on a Friday with the rest of her year group and loved it so much that when I was offered a Higgledy Piggledy Jazz guitar book I thought it would be great for us to practice at home with.
The book arrived and I didn't actually pay much attention to it other than glancing at the Cartoon drawn cover as I was busy, but a few days later I picked it up. The email that I had about the book had said;
I was sent a Genie Bra to try.
I love watching those infomercials that you find on TV at stupid O'Clock in the morning. Several weeks back I was watching one advert about a special bra that you wore according to your dress size. This was a revolution for me, I mean I know that as you lose or gain weight you have to get remeasured according to the way that most women buy bras and I have no clue as to what size bra I should be wearing. Heck I don't even think I know what size bra I really wear, seeing as most companies measure me at a different size! I asked everyone I knew if they had heard about this Genie bra and nobody had. Plenty of women were interested in the idea of the Genie bra and wanted to know more because the one thing women do know is that a good bra is a good find.
A couple of weeks later and Transatlantic Blonde forwarded me an email from a PR that she had been sent about the Genie bra! I quickly contacted the PR to find out more and they sent me out a bra to try. I was really excited as nobody I had spoken to had any experience of this bra and having an ample bosom I wanted to know if the claims of a smoother shape, no "shelf" beneath the bra band and all with no wires was true.
I squeezed into the bra. It was the right size but the first glance at it made me think that I didn't know my own top size. Once it was on though it felt fine, it was comfy and my boobs were clearly lifted away from my body. It was true too there wasn't a shelf around the band under the cups and I did think that I had a smoother look under my top. Like most females I have different sized boobs and trying to find a "normal" bra that fits both breasts nicely is expensive. With the Genie bra though I didn't have to worry. It was very easy to smooth my boobs in and I didn't look lopsided as I feel that I normally do.
It washes and dries really well and quickly too. I found that washing it at night meant it was dry the next morning without using the tumble dryer, and ready for another wear. Of course being made of 96% Nylon (and 4% Spandex) it can easily be thrown in the tumble dryer as I did on a couple of occasions. I didn't even think that the colour faded in the one I had and of course I found that Big Boy much preferred to cuddle me when I was wearing it as there were no wires poking into him!
It wasn't all fantastic though. Whilst the bra is really really really comfy to wear, it is a pain and a half to get in and out of. Yes, it does gently stretch to get on and off, but when you are trying to stretch and wiggle inside it at the same time as making a gap wide enough for you to fit in, it helps if you either have another set of hands or can do a reasonable impression of a cat squeezing through a small gap. I found I developed a bit of a sweat rash after a few days wear, it soon cleared up and whilst I can't say I wouldn't have developed it had I not been using the Genie Bra I'm not the only woman who developed it according to a quick google.
Overall I really like the bra and I will be buying some more from BHS or Tesco (as they stock them) and I think having the three colours in the set (Black, White and Nude) would give more options for wearing them. For me they work out to be great value as at the RRP of £39.95 for three bras that is two more bras for my money than if I brought a bra like I do normally.
Thursday, 29 December 2011
I was given two sets of Nailene nails to try out.
A couple of years ago I made a bit of a resolution to try and wear a bit of make up everyday. It was just a bit of tinted moisturiser, a flick of Mascara, a brush of blusher and a quick wipe of lip gloss but the simple act of taking five minutes in the morning for myself was lovely. As with everything I do I sometimes don't put the small amount of make up on but I haven't given up on taking a few minutes for myself each week and so will often be found painting my nails. I normally make a really bad job of it and so when Nailene asked if I might like to try their tab nails I figured that the pre-painted nails would look better than my cack-handed attempts.
When the nails arrived I went into the kitchen to put them on. I quickly measured up my fingers against the nails until I had the best matches and then I put them on. It took only a few minutes to have a neat set of nails and they were surprisingly strong!
I've already talked about having fun doing some hoovering tasks such as cleaning the stairs, (which in our house we do whilst pretending to be Mountain climbers), but hoovering in general is something that we love to make fun in our house and as it is something that we have to do as part of cleaning other rooms, such as when we clean our bedrooms, we know that this one chore has to be really good fun. There are two ways that we try to have fun when we are hoovering and the first is a game that my Mum used to play, but I'm sure has caused untold psychological damage to all the children she ever played this game with...
The game is Hoover Chase.
The idea is simple, whilst hoovering the floor you simple tell all children to "tease" the hoover by jumping in front of it and having to jump back out of the way before the hoover sucks them up. You can remain safe by staying on the sofa, dinning table, toy chest or anything else that the hoover can't climb up (it's like a Darlek in that respect!) and it is often accompanied by children's shrieks as they quickly rescue toys, rugs or shoes that have been left on the floor whilst they jump back on to the sofa.
The second game is something that Top Ender and I found quite by accident, but decided it was so fun we should carry it on and we adapted it slightly. I used to play silly games with Top Ender like hiding dried peas in the living room for her to find as a counting game. The problem with this game was I would quite often forget how many dried peas I had hidden and worst I forgot where I had hidden the dried peas!
We turned it into a hoovering game, we had to hoover everywhere, under the sofa under the book shelf, around the back of the TV unit basically everywhere that we could hoover we would. It's a fun way to do a deep clean of a room and now whilst we might not also be hunting for dried peas (that's the adaptation!) it is fun to find as many places as possible to fit a hoover nozzle!
The idea of making chores fun is that children will be able to learn skills that they will use in the future. I mean one day they are going to have their own home (at the moment I don't want them too, but I'm sure in the future I will really want them to!) and they are going to need to know how to run their house, how to keep it clean, how to feed themselves healthy and tasty food, how to do basic DIY and how to manage their time so that they have the time to sit on a computer and blog or tweet or facebook and still have clean clothes, good food and a clean and tidy home. I might relax a little knowing that.
Wednesday, 28 December 2011
Sunday, 25 December 2011
Saturday, 24 December 2011
Every Christmas I have wanted to make Luminaries to light up the drive way on Christmas Eve and this year we have made them! I have always loved the idea of Luminaries and think that Christmas is a great time of year to have them decorating the outside of the house, not just because there are lots of lights decorating homes at this time of year or because Jesus is the light of the world and it's his birthday but because they would make a great landing strip for Santa!
I had brought some paper sandwich bags from a discount store a few weeks back in anticipation of creating Luminaries (well them or some fun lunch bags for Top Ender!) and I explained what we were going to make to Top Ender and Big Boy and asked them what design they thought we should draw on the bags to cut out. Top Ender came up with a Star, Snowflake and Holly design (Far right third photo) whilst Big Boy decided that the best design for his was a Dinosaur wearing a Christmas Hat (middle photo) and the other designs were created by me.
As you can see I thought that the tin can tea light holders that I had made for Daddy would be a nice addition to the luminaries and added them too. The Luminaries are really easy to make, you simply draw your design on the outside of a paper bag and then cut out the design. I added a couple of cups of play sand to the bottom of the bags that I nestled a tea light candle in and also used to keep the bags weighted down. We had a quick test to make sure that they worked and to see what they looked like but we can't wait to put them out tonight along with our magic reindeer mix.
I want to thank everyone who has taken part in my Christmas Traditions guest posts over this month, it has been lovely finding out all the things families do at Christmas. The common theme was that Christmas is a time for friends and family to come together, to forget the day to day tasks and to enjoy their time together. I think that is what we have to remember, that Christmas for all of us when you take away the glitter is about love and sharing that love. There are so many of us who pin too much to Christmas Day, it is a day where everything is expected to be perfect and just like in the movies. Many think of Christmas to just be the 25th December and come the next day there is bitterness over an argument that spoilt the day, sadness that a family member wasn't there to celebrate with you, disappointment over a dry Turkey.
Christmas isn't just the 25th of December though. Christmas is a feeling, it is advent and going to the panto and everything you do as a family, decorating the tree, making mince pies or going to a carol concert. That warm feeling you get whilst thinking about all the fun you can have together, *that* is Christmas. And so with that in mind, here is a list of things that you might want to do every Christmas.
- Make Christmas Biscuits/Cookies
- Ice Christmas Biscuits/Cookies
- Make the Christmas Cake
- Ice the Christmas Cake
- Make Mince Pies
- Get Children to decorate their own tree and room
- Choose a Christmas tree together (or just take a look at real trees)
- Decorate a tree with your family
- Take part in a Carol Concert, or sing Carol's together at home
- Go to a Carol Concert
- Go to a Nativity performance
- Make your own Christmas Cards
- Write your own Christmas Cards
- Create your own Wrapping Paper
- Wrap up gifts together
- Make a Christmas decoration
- Make Paper Chains
- Watch Christmas Movies everyday (or weekend)
- Go Christmas Shopping
- Circle everything you want to watch over Christmas in a TV Listing magazine
- Watch a Christmas special (or two)
- Write a Family Christmas Letter
- Write a letter or make a list for Santa
- Visit Santa in his Grotto
- Read Christmas Stories to each other
- Make a gift for another family member
- Write a Christmas themed Poem, Story or Song
- Make something for the Christmas Meal in advance
- Create a Table Decoration or place names
- Make your own Advent Calendar
- Burn a countdown candle
- Have and Advent Wreath
- Make a Gingerbread House
- Make Tree Biscuits
- Make your own Chocolate Tree decorations
- Create the ultimate Hot Chocolate
- Track Santa at NORAD
- Watch a PNP Santa Video made for you
- Make a Christmas Music Playlist
- Listen to a Christmas Radio Station
- Watch the Christmas Lights Twinkle with no other lights on
- Go for a moonlit walk to see Christmas lights locally
- Go on a Christmas Light hunt in the car
- Go on a Santa hunt in the car
- Go to the turn on of your local Christmas Lights
- Donate a gift to a local Charity
- Donate food to a local food bank
- Donate pet food to a local animal shelter
- Go to a Panto
- Put on your own Panto
- Go to see a Ballet performance
- Go Ice Skating
- Go to a Christmas event at a theme park or a Christmas theme park
- Go to a Christmas fayre or market type event
- Make your own Christmas Stockings
- Make your own Christmas Crackers
- Visit with Friends and Family
- Open a gift on Christmas Eve
- Have matching PJ's for the family
- Eat Chocolate for Breakfast everyday in advent
- Plan a special Christmas Breakfast
- Take an annual Christmas photo
- Make a list of who gave which Christmas gift to who
- Read the Christmas Story together
- Buy gifts following the philosophy one thing you want, one thing you need, one thing to eat and one thing to read
- Buy a new Christmas Decoration for your tree
- Leave out Reindeer food with glitter to help guide Santa to your house
- Open gifts together
- Do something unique to your family that appeals to your own sense of fun and family (Christmas Day Car wash anyone?)
- Remember Christmases of your pasts but enjoy the time you are having now
- Visit a Nativity Scene, or make your own
- Have a Christmas Party as big or as small as you like!
- Make Christmas Eve as special as you like
- Go to the Cinema and watch a Christmas film
- Have a special take away or dinner one evening (or on Christmas Eve)
- Combine traditions from other cultures, religions and countries to make it special to you!
- Leave a Snack out for Santa and his Reindeer
- Put Scratch Cards on the Tree
- Spread out opening gifts during the day to prolong the excitement
- Bring Nature in and make some Nature decorations
- If there is no Snow go to a Snow Centre and go sledging
- Go for a Boxing Day Swim in the Sea
- Deliver a secret gift to a Neighbour
- Try traditional Christmas foods (you might like them!)
- Offer to help an Elderly Neighbour with their Christmas shopping or decorating
- Write thank you letters
- Tell each other Christmas jokes
- Make a Christmas Window Display
- Buy a special Christmas Day Outfit
- Take a Christmas Day Walk
- Have a Secret Santa gift exchange
- Go to a Church Service (you could go to one at midnight and open your gifts when you get back!)
- Take part in a cookie swap
- Have a Christmas Elf on the Shelf to visit
- Have a Christmas Meal that is your favourite dishes, not what tradition dictates
- Have a gift to open on Boxing Day (we once opened gifts all the way to Top Ender's birthday!)
- Start a Christmas Tree Ornament exchange
- Having a special meal on Boxing Day
- Do a Christmas Stocking Exchange
- The most important suggestion though was ENJOY the time together as a family.
Can you believe it? It's Christmas Eve already! Today is the last door on the Guilt Free Chocolate Advent Calendar and I hope that you enjoyed the posts as much as we have enjoyed creating them. There isn't an Advent Calendar door to open tomorrow, but there is a little treat for those who have a few minutes to check it out...
Friday, 23 December 2011
So tomorrow is the day that I cook my Christmas Turkey (and I will prepare some of the vegetables for our big Christmas meal too) and this is the last idea that I had about what to do with Christmas Leftovers and it was something which I am sure we all wonder about, but aren't sure how to do safely. I decided that what we should do with our overly large Turkey was to freeze the Leftovers in portions suitable for what they were being used for and for my family.
Today is the last guest post in the Christmas Traditions series and is from the lovely Melaina who you might know from Transatlantic Blonde. Something I really wanted to get from these guest posts was that everybody has different traditions. You can make them up, have them handed down from generation to generation, merge two traditions together to create something new or borrow from another religion or culture. I was really pleased when Melania agreed to write a post about her traditions but I will let her explain about that...
I know Pippa's round-up is about Christmas traditions but you see mine is about holiday traditions because I am half Jewish so we celebrate Chanukah as well. I could go off on a bit of a tangent here about how Chanukah is really just a podunk little holiday and not a "Jewish Christmas" but I will instead direct you to an article by my mother's cousin-- he is a rabbi so I assume he knows what he is talking about.
|My sister, cousin & I at my grandparent's sometime in the late 80's on the 6th night of Chanukah|
|Early 80's Blondie|
|Baby Blondie isn't so sure about Santa|
|Last year Blondie Boy was not feeling Santa|
|This year he was star struck!|
|Early Teen Blondie|
|Early 90's tree cutting on a snow-free year|
|The Emma dog loved cutting down her own tree|
There aren't many sleeps left now until we will all be listening out for the sound of sleigh bells and then opening up our stockings having had them filled by Santa Claus! I'm hoping this year I will have my Christmas wish of a fat bank account and a slim body unlike last year where Santa Claus got the two confused...
Thursday, 22 December 2011
Roast Dinner Soup is something that is so simple to make and so tasty that you will wonder why you don't make it all the time and not just with your Christmas Leftovers! This thick soup is great for filling you up and making you feel fuller for longer and is quite good for your budget too... Team it with Crusty Rolls for a more filling meal or sprinkle croutons and sprinkled cheese on top to make it special or try adding a swirl of cream to make the soup more indulgent!
My guest blogger today is Paul from The Strange Blog of A Daddy. When Paul isn't cycling about his home town (although I swear I see more tweets from him saying he has come off his bike than tweets saying he didn't fall off his bike!), fixing up old PC's or Tweeting you can normally find him making videos for his Youtube channel or generally being a good bloke and helping others. Paul's post today covers what he and his family do every Christmas and I am sure you will see some similarities between his "slow" Christmas (his words not mine) and your own!
’Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house. Daddy is laughing, awakening the house. He's on Blog TV making a festive tit of himself. In preparation for Christmas day. The one day he knows will be full of cheer, cardboard and toddler fights. Oh yeah baby! Christmas is here!
For us, Christmas day is quite a quiet, somewhat boring event and quiet compared to many peoples I can imagine, but you wanted to know the gory details so you'll get them.
First things first the stockings..... NO! Not that kind *yes YOU at the back!*
The children jump on the bed and within moments are presented with a stocking each, full of smaller bits and pieces, presenting the three terrors with this keeps them loud and hyper for most of the morning. In this time I’ll prepare for the next BlogTv session which will be that night. Usually lining up music, webcam position and headset and mixing tools to keep the mentalists who watch me happy. Not forgetting to chat to all you lovely people on twitter, youtube and facebook too.
Then lunch brings us to the big chill out for the kids. All to get us ready for presents. This time the larger bits and bobs, and the look of shock when the kids see the larger bits we've got them and what we've got each other tops the day off before we sit down for Christmas dinner. Yes. We're that ninja it's all ready to be served while we sort presents and other goodies out.
Then in true boring fashion it's time to get the kids ready to bed, which will be fun with hyper monsters as always. Youtube, hugs and promises to see the grandparents usually helps.
Then back to blogtv before bed.
Boxing day always involves seeing the father in law, his lovely wife and the family at their place for a huge family meeting with all of us there This usually results in the youngest being sick in the car at one point, I may cycle this year to avoid the clean up (and the fact I'm the puke magnet at the moment).
The following day is a similar event; however we go to the mother in laws house, and have a jolly good day eating, playing and keeping the kids busy and seeing more great family we don't see usually.
Yes, not too exciting but this is how our Christmas goes every year.
We have been making it a requirement that we have to watch one film together every morning during the School holidays and it has been great fun sitting together eating treats and watching a Christmas themed film! It's almost as fun as opening up an advent calendar to see what is behind the days door...
Wednesday, 21 December 2011
The thing that most of us are guilty of at Christmas is buying more food than we need and having mountains of leftovers. This is mostly because we are wanting to prepare a great big feast to feed our family and we over estimate how much we will actually need and partly because we don't cook large meals like this all that often. This week I have a few suggestions of what to do with the Christmas Leftovers so that by the time Boxing Day rolls round everyone can have a plan of action and a meal plan for the next few days too. One of the most commonly prepared meals is Turkey Curry and this is just my take on it!
Today the guest post on Christmas traditions is from Jax of Making it up, which I know better as Live Otherwise! Jax is amazing, not only does she homeschool but she is amazingly honest with her life on her blog and her twitter profile and she has offered me lots of advice since having decided that Big Boy won't be going to a Nursery before he attends school (I couldn't do home schooling I'm not disciplined enough!). So please read the lovely traditions of Jax and her family.
I have decided that come Christmas Day I have to have finished all the books that I got from the Library set at Christmas. Which means over the next four days I have six books to finish. I'm sure that I will do it... now where are those New Year stories I put to one side?
Tuesday, 20 December 2011
I was sent two toothbrushes and I got a third one in my MADS gift bag.
Since Big Boy had some of his teeth out I have been trying all different kinds of ways to get him to brush his teeth with more enthusiasm. It's not that he doesn't want to brush his teeth, or even that he is in pain when he does brush them it is just the whole getting a routine in place and sticking to it that seemed to be the issue. Then I presented him and Top Ender with an Arm and Hammer My Way Spinbrush one afternoon and explained that this was a customisable toothbrush that they could decorate with the included stickers any way that they liked.
Tops and BB set about the challenge, creating masterpieces for their mouths. I had a third toothbrush that I had in my gift bag from the MAD awards and I saw them having a lot of fun so I joined in too and created something that I will be proud to brush my teeth with!
I like that the toothbrush stickers are waterproof as this means the stickers aren't going to disintegrate with dribbles of water running over them and I love that the stickers are quite varied. As you can see with mine I stuck them all over the brush because with the 141 stickers included in the pack you don't have to stop until you want to. I found the toothbrush very powerful for a battery operated brush, or maybe it is just that my current battery operated toothbrush needs new batteries.
I think that adding stickers to the toothbrush is a great way to add a bit of fun to brushing teeth and has certainly encouraged Big Boy to spend longer brushing his teeth and even Top Ender has seemed more eager to brush her teeth in the evening. We already know the importance of great tooth brushing in our house and this tooth brush is helping us to keep our promise to the dentist that we will brush our teeth the best we can.
The toothbrush has an RRP of £5.99 and is available from Boots and Tesco. It's a great last minute stocking filler, Christmas Eve gift or even something to help encourage some better tooth brushing New Year Resolutions. I have it on good authority that Santa is adding this to the stockings he is going to be leaving for Top Ender and Big Boy , so I know they will be decorating their new brushes on Christmas morning!
*Add Feta Cheese or lumps of any Cheese from the Cheese Board!
*Add Cubed potato (Leftover from Christmas Dinner?)
*Eat with a Jacket Potato
*Add a Crusty Roll
With all the jobs that we have going on at the moment to make sure that our home is ready for Christmas I am starting to wish that there wasn't just five more sleeps until Christmas! You had better make the most of the guilt free advent calendar whilst it lasts...
Monday, 19 December 2011
I know that there is still a few days until most people will be cooking the Christmas Turkey and thinking about what to do with the Leftovers, but last year I decided that I was fed up of just picking at the Turkey carcass and decided this year would be different and I would have a plan. Every time I was thinking about what I could make with my Christmas leftovers an episode of Friends kept coming to mind. It was the episode where Ross loses his temper because a co-worker steals his sandwich. I know it sounds silly, but it is true that the best thing about that sandwich is that there is a middle layer of bread which has been soaked in gravy and so here is my perfect Turkey Sandwich recipe.
For each Sandwich that is required you need three slices of bread. This will make the sandwich rather indulgent, but if you can't indulge a little at Christmas then when can you?! Spread two slices of the bread with the spread of your choice leaving the third slice. Pour a little Gravy on one side of the third slice, and let it soak in a little. This gravy soaked slice will be the middle layer of your sandwich. Add a little cranberry sauce to one slice of bread. Add on top of this your shredded turkey and your slice of gravy soaked bread on top of this.
|(Image borrowed from Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/gurana/3075172142/ )|
Today's guest post is from Cass who you can find at The Diary of a Frugal Family. Cass is the sort of woman that everyone needs in their life, she is funny, clever and has the most amazing heart. She also creates fantastic meals on a budget, tweets to relax and says nice things about me. Some of the most popular recent posts on The Diary of a Frugal Family have been about having a Frugal Christmas and there are some really great ideas which I am going to
steal adapt for my family! Now over to Cass.
There have been some brilliant traditions shared by the guest posters in the Christmas Traditions series and one of the best traditions in my opinion is opening a door each day on an advent calendar... which is lucky seeing as that is what you get to do in this post!
Sunday, 18 December 2011
When I first started blogging many years ago it was because I knew it was important to keep a journal or a diary of what was going on in my life. I knew that in years to come I would want to look back at those days and remember, remember the joy, the sadness, the fear, the excitement... all the emotions that are felt in life. As I went on I realised that as well as keeping a blog I wanted to keep a paper journal too, something that my children could physically hold and read back on. I wanted something where they could see my handwriting and know that this was just for them. I found a book that I liked and started keeping it as a journal. I had been looking for a suitable replacement as it was starting to wear out and in a strange twist of fate after I had seen an American Journal I rather liked the look of that lasted for ten years, I was sent an email asking if I would like to review a ten year journal.
The journal arrived within two days, from the Amazon store. I opened it up feeling the weight of the tome and knowing that this book was going to last longer than the ten years I was to write in it and would be a great read for my Children and Grand Children in years to come. The journal is a page a day, but it is really simple to write a few lines about each day in the right year slot. then at the end of the year you just go back to the start and start filling in the next year. It is like a time machine as everyday (after the first year) that you fill in you can read back what happened the previous year. I have used my existing diary, blog entries and photos to back fill the pages so it is a complete record.
I'm using this journal as a record for my children to read back on. So they too can see that I struggled with what was the right choice, what secrets to tell them and when. All the sorts of things that I wish I knew about how my parents felt as they were raising me. I haven't yet used the carry over pages at the back, but I know that one day I will, if not to record a memory that will take longer than the few lines then some other memory that is triggered when reading back through the entries. The journal costs just £25.95, which works out at about £2.60 per year which is a bargain! I know that as soon as this journal expires I will be buying a new one and I mean to buy one for Tops in a couple of years for her to keep as she turns from a child to a teenager and then to a young woman.
I think of journalling as something separate to blogging. I understand it as being something that will become a family heirloom, and just in case you are planning to take up journalling in the new year here are my top tips.
- Keep trying. My very first diary had entries roughly once every two months. I eventually got into the habit of journalling daily but it took time to get into the habit!
- Write truthfully. If you had a bad day write that, if you won an award or gained a promotion write that. By not telling the truth you are only lying to yourself.
- Use full names. Don't write initals and if you can write the full name of people you refer to at least once. As important as the people you are talking about are to you, in ten years time you might not remember their names or just who they were.
- Read back over what you have written in the past. You will discover the answers to who you are and sometimes the answers to questions you didn't know you were asking.
- Don't worry about what you write. It might be what you ate for dinner, who you read, what you hope for. Inspiration of what to write will come.
And just as a matter of interest do you keep a journal or have you ever thought about keeping one?