30 November 2010

Christmas is OFFICIALLY on its way when....

...You see THIS advert...




This advert has been on for donkeys years but it always gets me jumping up and down with excitement around this time of year...i'm like a big child heehee!!

Can't believe it's the last day of NOVEMBER...EEK! It's time to knuckle down and get really christmassy!!!! I'm aiming to try and do something christmassy everyday. Just simple things like writing out some Christmas cards whilst sipping on a little Baileys. Making a Yule log on a Friday evening and singing some Christmas songs at the top of my voice. Snuggling up in a cosy candle lit room.

We've had snow here and it looks ever so pretty on the first day. It really gets me in the spirit but sometimes it causes havoc on the second day and so on. It all turns to slush and ice..not good!

What are you doing to get you and your family into the spirit of Christmas? 

Gemma xXx

26 November 2010

Black Friday & Cyber Monday SALE!




SALE



To celebrate the USA super sale weekend...


QUOTE:

"BLACKFRIDAYWEEKEND"


for 15% OFF anything in my ETSY store THIS WEEKEND ONLY.


Great Christmas Gifts for HER...your Sister...your Mum...your friend!!



E-mail me with any questions!

25 November 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!





Happy Thanksgiving!!

Thank you to all of you for taking the time to read my blog. Thank you for leaving lovely comments. I am thankful to live in a happy home. I am thankful to have a happy and healthy family. I am thankful for Ian. I am thankful for the warmth. I am thankful for the love : )

Thank you!

X

23 November 2010

Christmas Cookies.


Last Friday I helped Ians mum bake lots of goodies for their Church coffee morning. One of my favourite bits was making these Christmas Star Tree Biscuits. There are Oh So cute! They are so easy to make AND would be great to give as a gift for a certain big event coming up soon...CHRISTMAS!!


You will need:
  • 200g Unsalted Butter
  • 200g Caster / Superfine Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 400g plain/ all purpose Flour
  • Different sized Star Cookie Cutters
For the decoration:
  • Icing Sugar (mixed with a little water to make a Glace icing)
  • Icing sugar to dust on top.
  • Optional decoration - Edible glitter , silver balls , Chocolate bits, ANYTHING!

Method:

Mix 200g of Unsalted butter with 200g Caster suagr and 1 tsp of Cinnamon.

Add 1 beaten Egg and 400g of Plain Flour. Mix until it forms a dough.



Chill ball in fridge for half an hour.

Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/2 cm thickness. Cut out star shapes.

Bake at 200c, Gas mark 6, 390f for 12-14 mins.


Once the cookies are cool...Use the glace icing to stick the different layers of stars together. Decorate as you please : )  

Place into a lovely clear bag and tie with a ribbon...a perfect yet affordable gift!

Aren't they adorable?! These were such a hit at the Coffee morning / Christmas Sale. They are great to nibble on and last for ages because there are so many layers of cookie goodness.

Let me know if you make these little Christmas Trees...They will not dissappoint..I promise!!!

Gemma x X x

19 November 2010

Natural Calico

This is the colour! It's very similar to 'Chalk Stone'.

I painted my whole ceiling yesterday - all by myself! I'm so proud.
To some this may seem silly...however I feel like i accomplished something. I began using a long roller and within minutes I knew it was going to be a nightmare. My arms ached..I was covered in small specks of white and it was on the floor already...not good!

I felt sorry for myself for a few mintues but powered through it!

I put on my ipod...turned up the volume and sung at the top of my voice...it turned out to be a great workout for my vocal cords and my body!

Tomorrow Ian is helping me with the second coat of the ceiling whilst I get on with the walls...

Wish us luck...I suspect it's going to be a long day : )

Gemma x

17 November 2010

Paint Dilemma!

Thank you for the get well messages! I'm feeling a little better now I've had a good nights sleep and quite a few cups of tea : )

The latest headache is finding the perfect shade of cream to go with my Wallpaper.

I though it would be easy.


I thought the colour ON the tin would match the colour IN the tin!

Who knew there were so many variations in the colour cream?!


I scanned this in. Click to enlarge!

After umming and arring ....the colour I liked was 'Chalk Stone'. I went to my local DIY store to find they didn't stock this colour...Hmmm.

Then I bought a tester pot of 'Natural Wicker'. It seemed very similiar to 'Chalk Stone' on the outside of the pot. Got it home...let it dry a little...and it seems very peachy...not creamy.

So it seems another trip to another DIY shop is in store.



Some things are never easy are they?

I'll keep you posted!

Gemma xXx

16 November 2010

Today



Today has been a  BLAH kind of day. 

I've been hit by a cold and I'm suffering!!!

I have a headache.

I'm PMT-ing.

The weather is so bleak...

So foggy!

I think it's time to hibernate!

12 November 2010

My Bedroom Make-over

Tomorrow is the big day..the decorators are in! EEK! I'm a bit nervous to see if the wallpaper I have chosen ACTUALLY goes with my bedroom furniture.  


It's so difficult to tell!

My bed & wardrobe is a dark wood. The wallpaper I have chosen is from a Laura Ashley outlet...so it cost a fraction of the price...very thrifty : )

So today is going to involve a lot of tidying up...putting EVERYTHING AWAY..and moving the furniture into the middle of the room (Ian can help with that bit..heehee!!).



Everything is EVERYWHERE! A lot of it is on my bed and sofa so it's easy to move around. 

Utter Chaos!!

I hate it!!!















My bedroom is a new edition to the house...my parents had a loft conversion done a year or so ago. Since then a few natural cracks in the plaster board have appeared so we've had a lot of filling and sanding down to do.







 











Now it's all ready to go...


Lets just hope the guy actually turns up..these people seem so unreliable...no matter what trade they are in!


I'll fill you in soon : )


Have a great weekend!


Gemma xXxXx

10 November 2010

Gift Wrapped Short Bread Cookies

It is officially the Countdown till Christmas.

Not to freak you out..but it's roughly 6 weeks till the big day (and my birthday which is on the 23rd...so i'm doubly excited!!!)

Not that I want it to go fast...I want to savor every last bit of it. I spend a lot of the year thinking about this time of the year...a little obsessive you may think. I agree!

A quote from Relient K's version of 'Silver Bells' pops into my head:

'Christmas day is almost here... take the time to breathe the air'

It is true..there is almost a smell about it.




 Something I am aiming to do this year is to give Homemade gifts to my family and friends. Hopefully I can share a few ideas on here and give some of you ideas too.

The first idea is Short Bread Biscuits. They are simple yet SO christmassy...


You will need:

  •  125g (4oz) Butter
  • 50g (2oz) Caster Sugar (Plus some for sprinkling on top)
  • 175g (6oz) Plain Flour
  • Clear gift bags
  • Ribbon

Method:


Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add the flour and stir until the mixture binds together.

Turn onto a lightly floured board and kneed until smooth.

Put the dough into the fridge for 30 - 1 hour (an hour is perfect).

Roll out till about 1cm / 1/2 inch thick.

Use Chrismassy cookie cutters  (which is great for when giving the cookies as a gift) or you can simply use a round glass.

Place on a greased baking tray, sprinkle lightly with sugar and bake in a preheated oven (160c , 550f , Gas mark 3) for 10-15 minutes. Keep an eye on then after 10 minutes as they can brown VERY quickly!!








Allow the Short bread to cool right down.  Place them in a clear gift bag and tie with a beautiful ribbon!





 I would love this as a gift! I think homemade gifts are sometimes better than shop bought as you KNOW effort has been put in to it.


The possibilities are endless with these clear gift bags...a purchase that is worthwhile!


Thank you for reading and let me know what you think...I really love hearing from you all : )


Gemma xXx

8 November 2010

My weekend

This weekend was a LOUD one!

Throughout Friday, Saturday and Sunday night the fireworks just didn't stop.

We had a little gathering on Saturday night as it rained on Friday (Bonfire Night).


It was a very cold night so hats, gloves and scarves were an essential!




















I lit some fireworks for the first time...EEK! I know for some it isn't daunting but for me it's a bit of a big deal.

It's always been the 'manly' job in my eyes so I had never done it before. I knew a boy who had an accident with a firework. It damaged his face (but missed his eye luckily!!)..so since then I had pledged NEVER to light one...but I guess I'm a bit more gutsy now.


 


We ate fluffy but crisp jacket potatoes...hot dogs....hot chocolate....lamb burgers....S'mores.

SO GOOD! (I'm a foodie kinda girl btw).

We also let off a Chinese Lantern...

They are so beautiful once they are up in the sky. Luckily it was a clear night so we stood there for quite a while until it went out.




Bye bye lantern....


Gemma x

3 November 2010

A Winter Warmer Re -post

Ok.

So I know most of you would of seen this recipe a while back but as we are heading towards the winter months..I thought a reminder of this recipe was quite nessecary!

This soup is great served up with a big hunk of fresh bread but there are so many veggies in it that it doesn't make you feel bad!

Keep this recipe in mind for this weekend when most of us will be huddled around a little bonfire or looking at the amazing fireworks...and remember...

...It will your guests feeling warm and fuzzy throughout the night : )

The bits in brackets is what I have added today!!!

*******************************************

Good morning all and happy May!....(OMG...MAY?!?!? How quickly that has flown!! It is so difficult to imagine that spring time heat now we are in a colder climate)
I made this soup for dinner last night and I tell you it was divine! I found this recipe from the chef Nigel Slater. (His new series started tonight on BBC 1). He is one of those chefs that are so enthusiastic about their food and put a lot of effort into having "undertone" flavours...as soon as I saw this soup I knew it was the one for this weeks post! One of the great things about this soup is that is is 'adaptable'. You can add ANY vegetables you like so it is tailored to your taste. Apart from adding mushrooms and leaving out the Orange peel I played it safe and stuck with his version.


You will need:

  • 2 Carrots
  • 2 Onions
  • 4 Tomatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • 1 bay leaf (optional)
  • Large handful of pre-cooked Cannellini beans
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • Parmesan Cheese or Rind
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Spinach
  • Olive oil
  • Bread (Optional)
  • Parsley (Optional) (For me this is what MADE the soup so try to use parsley!)
Method:
Roughly chop up carrots and onions. Warm up a little olive oil in your pan and add the onions and carrots until they become slightly soft and tender.

Chop up the tomatoes and mushrooms and add to the pan with a bay leaf.

Add the Cannellini beans and then the Vegetable stock. Then add the Parmesan cheese or rind (if you add the rind then remember to remove it along with the bay leaf before serving).

Season it with Salt and Pepper to suit your taste. Add the Spinach and Parsley to the amount you desire and then leave on a low heat to slowly bubble until you are ready to serve : )

Best served with fresh bread...yummy!



Soup Tip : As a family of 5 we had soup left over. One of the best things to do with left over soup is to freeze it! You can use Zip Lock bags. Simply let the soup cool, put it in the bag, zip it up and lay it flat in the freezer. It's great for a quick lunch when you are on the go!

I hope you like this recipe..it really is yummy! Add or takeaway any vegetables that you don't like and enjoy : )

*******************************************

SO GOOD!

If you didn't make it last time then I urge you to give it a try...it is pure cosiness!

Remember to enter my giveaway over at Ramblings of a small town girl!

Love Gemma xXx

2 November 2010

A Giveaway!

Just a flying visit.


I just wanted to let you know about a giveaway I am hosting over at Ramblings of a small town girl blog.



Go and enter for a chance to win a Reindeer Cushion!

If you have any questions or queries don't hesitate to contact me : )

Love you all : )

Gemma x

1 November 2010

Halloween & Signs of Christmas..

Halloween has come and gone...Hope you had a good one by the way!


We carved Pumpkins at the weekend...




We ate lots of chocolate...maybe a bit too much!!


 
 
 We drank hot, steamy and creamy HOT CHOCOLATE with Marshmallows....I love it!!!




It's getting darker earlier now...it takes some getting used to. I get so sleepy once it's dark (unless we are out) so as you can imagine i'm struggling!


Snuggling up with a good festive magazine..it HAS to be done!



...the ULTIMATE sign...


' Holidays are coming...Holidays are coming!!!'


It is Bonfire Night on Friday here in the UK. It will involve more eating..more drinking hot chocolate..toasting marshmallows...more snuggling...more bonfires...lots of fireworks and LOTS of keeping cosy!

Wow.

I.... love... it!

********************************************

I just wanted to show you my last Christmas Cushion. If you're looking for a beautiful gift for a loved one or even yourself or your home then please consider looking in my Etsy shop. All cushion covers can be provided with a cushion pad.

Quote 'Musingsofagem10' for 10% off your order! Expires 31/12/2010. Just message me any queries you may have!
Thank you : )

Love Gemma x

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