Mince Pies.

I have always bought them. My friend Rachel makes them.

“Too much effort!” I say. “Oh no,” says Rachel, “I just buy some pastry and the mincemeat and make them like that.”

She is right, of course. They are lovely. My house smells fantastic and I feel remarkably full of seasonal cheer. (Especially for someone who hasn’t done anything to prepare for tomorrow yet!)

Have a lovely Christmas everyone x

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Last year for Christmas I handmade a felt bird ornament. I was really pleased with it, it took me about an hour though. Even the husband liked it. “That’s great, can you do enough to cover the tree?”

Umm… no.

So this year I planned on being a bit more organised and doing a bit more, but strangely when December came round I had not magically metamorphosised into another, more well planned person. I was still me which means that everything will be slightly last minute, slightly panicked and normally with a couple of choice words thrown in when I realise I don’t have everything I needed. (Ginger for gingerbread? Oh…) I have however, despite all this managed to make a few things this year and as I was so very pleased with myself I feel morally obliged to share them.

These lovelies are courtesy of this recipe over on mumsnet. They are lovely, right? And even better is that I can eat them all, which is rather handy when your friends pop over and you realise that you are out of cake. (Yes, that’s also disorganised me earlier this week) A word to the wise though. Gingerbread needs ginger, do double check.  View Post

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I’ve been wanting to join in on the Pinaddicts Challenge for ages, basically (as far as I can work out), you find something lush on Pinterest, pin it, try and re-make it yourself and then hopefully feel a bit smug. I mean, look at what other people have created, while basking in the warm glow of handmade loveliness. I think that’s it anyway! If not I’m sure someone will shove the rulebook in my direction shortly! So here’s what I pinned

Image and idea http://elisamclaughlin.com/design/2011/12/diy-winter-in-a-jar/

It’s gorgeous, right? Because who wouldn’t want a homemade snowglobe? Especially one that’s made out of old jam jars? Why, that makes it count as upcycling too which mean you can feel mega virtuous! The instructions on making it are over here.

So, this is where the confession starts. I have made one, it is lush. However, crikey did version number one take me ages! For some reason I decided that it required icing sugar (it doesn’t, don’t do this) and I don’t have a hot glue gun so I used superglue instead. Would the superglue work? Would it heck. And impatient old me decided to not really bother waiting for it to dry anyway. Then I decided to try it with glitter and water. Now if you try this you need to totally fill your jam jar with water and a tiny bit of washing up liquid otherwise your glitter will be all cloggy. Here’s how this looked  View Post

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Yesterday Mumsnet hosted a webchat with the very lovely Nigel Slater. I am a big fan of his, affected at least in part by one of his books in which he recommends smarties as a kitchen cupboard must-have and one of his early programmes in which he confessed to sitting down to watch tv (ER, if memory serves correct) with a tub of Haagen Daaz. I like cooking, but y’know, everything in moderation and all that.

Anyway, having pulled some chicken thighs out of the freezer that morning and with the normal lack of imagination that mid-week cooking brings, I thought I would ask Nigel what the husband and I should do for dinner. His answer was to cook them with some olive oil, lemon and basil and serve with some sautéed potatoes. I thought I would blog this in case anyone else is having the midweek what to cook horrors and doesn’t have one of the best cooks in the country to advise them personally!  View Post

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So, yes… redundancy! Four part time members of staff on my team. Four people made redundant. The same four, obviously. I’m sure there couldn’t possibly be a link between those facts, although you’re free to think what you like. I don’t believe that everything happens for a reason, because sometimes things that happen to people are so awful that there can’t be a reason behind it. Work is a bit different though, it brings changes, opportunities and the chance to reassess a bit, so without further ado I give you my top ten brilliant things I am going to do when no longer in my job.

1) Listen to Women’s Hour. Apparently they even played Bikini Kill the other day. Needless to say my current workplace does not tune into Radio 4 on a regular basis.

2) Spend more time with my son. Hurray!! Yes, I will have to get another job but being stuck at home doing colouring and playing sounds pretty good to me.

3) Sew a quilt. I’ve wanted to do it for ages and have been delaying it. Delaying things has not gone that well for me recently, its time to do the things I want.  View Post

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