28 December 2013

Christmas Round-Up!

I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas! My gosh didn't it go fast?? I think I say this every year but time is really flying by and it's crazy. 

On Christmas Eve we did our little tradition of going to see the Nativity at our local church, then coming home, putting our PJ's on & watching The Polar Express. I love doing that each year! Christmas day was lovely and relaxed. We spent the morning at home and headed off to my grandparents a little later than usual. It felt nice to just take our time and enjoy the day instead of rushing. 

We had Prawn cocktail to start (one of my favourite starters), then a turkey with all the trimmings. Usually I have seconds or even thirds but I could barely finish my first plate full.

We finished our evening off with dessert and presents...a perfect combination! Then we headed home, put on the cosiest pj's we could find and watched some Christmas specials on the TV.

On Boxing Day we had a favourite breakfast of mine - Cream Cheese & Salmon Bagels. They were so scrummy! 

I love to play silly games or read out riddles with the family over Christmas so I bought these Coaster Games from M&S. They are definitely a laugh so I'd recommend getting them if you spot them in the sales.

We popped out to Sainsbury's that morning to look at the sales and come out with a few drinkies. This Rekorderlig was so nice! A new must have tipple over the festive season...

In the afternoon we had family over to finish leftovers...basically it was Christmas part 2. I am happy to say that I had a lot more room on this occasion & ate my fair share. I LOVE boxing day leftovers!

The fun is not over yet. We have a few more family birthdays between now and New Years so there will be a lot more family time and food. Happy Days!

So how did your Christmas go? Are you up to your eyeballs in chocolate?

Much love,

Gemma xXx

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24 December 2013

Merry Christmas! - 2013

Image Via Pinterest!

Sorry I have been a little absent over these past few days. As you can imagine we've all been busy with Christmassy things. 

It was my birthday yesterday....i'm officially 23! As i'm getting older i'm realising birthdays just aren't the same anymore! None the less I still had a lovely time with my family watching Christmas films and eating lots of yummy food. I was a very lucky girl and was utterly spoilt with gifts...I have such a lovely family : ) Dad & Ian had to work which was a shame & the terrible wind & rain didn't help either! We had a terrible nights sleep last night sleeping up in the loft bedroom. I was genuinely scared and feared all sorts of things but the roof was still there in the morning so that's okay!

I hope you all keep safe and warm at home this Christmas and have a lovely time! All of our presents are wrapped, there is just a cheese cake to be bake and we are all set for tomorrow. I will be back soon to share some pictures of our Christmas.

Merry Christmas!!!

Gemma xXx

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19 December 2013

Rose Gold Glittery Christmas Nails

I just wanted to share my Christmassy nails with you all. Usually I go for something simple but as it's Christmas the glitter must come out! 

I used a Rose Gold shade nail polish from Rimmel called Iced Mocha (number 980 which I think is discontinued). I then topped it with a simple gold glitter.

So sparkly! 

I'm planning on painting them red next week in time for the big day. So exciting!

Do paint your nails glittery over the holiday season? What colours do you like to wear in December?

Gemma xXx

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18 December 2013

Gingerbread House 2013

One of our most recent Christmas traditions is to bake and decorate a Gingerbread House! Last year was our very first one which was made on a whim...

This year we planned it out a little and used a Gingerbread house mould from Lakeland. It was so much easier than cutting it all to shape!

We went a little crazy with chocolates and sweets but overall I think it looks so magical...

It was so much fun to make! A perfect evening sneaking the odd sweet, watching the film Elf and decorating the Gingerbread house.

Last year we left our Gingerbread house a little too long and it ended up being stale. This year we decided to decorate it, admire it and then eat it!

So yummy and perfect dipped in some hot Tea.

We watched the Great British Bake Off Christmas special last night and of course their one put ours to shame! It looked so pretty with lots of piped detail so we are hoping to do something like that next year.

What do you think of our Gingerbread house? Do you make one each Christmas?

Gemma xXx

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16 December 2013

Make Your Own Christmas Wreath With Hobby Craft

When I was contacted to see if i'd like to make a Christmas Wreath from Hobby Craft I jumped at the chance. Hobby Craft sell individual wreaths and accessories so you can make a unique handmade wreath that no one else will have! I love that.

This is what I was sent..

Although I liked everything individually I thought it may be too much all together so I decided to keep it simple and add a little ribbon of my own.

My mum helped me with some ideas and she came up with a great idea to bunch all the silver flowers together just off centre. We found a ribbon in an icy blue shade that would be beautiful with the glittery silver flowers.

Tadaa! What do you think? I love the simplicity of it. It was so much fun to make and it really brought out the creativity in us.

The things that were sent to me weren't necessarily to my taste. Individually they were all lovely but I personally couldn't make it work all put together. However Hobby Craft sell a wide variety of different styles to suit your own individual taste. You could make a variety of different wreaths!

I'll definitely be having a look next time i'm in store.  Once you have the actual wreath itself you can easily change your look each Christmas if you fancy!

Do you make your own Christmas wreath each year? If you don't you should definitely give it a go!

Thank you Hobby Craft!

Gemma xXx

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NB - I was sent the wreath kit free of charge for me to review. As always all opinions are my own and truthful.

13 December 2013

Ultimate Stocking Filler Gift Guide - £5 & UNDER!

How is your Christmas shopping going? We are almost there, we just need to get the last few little bits and pieces. I don't know about you but I really enjoy getting stocking fillers...they are so easy to buy and so much fun to find! Since the big day is almost here I thought i'd put together a little stocking filler gift guide. Everything is £5 or under so fill your boots!

For Kids....

Science Putty /  Ickle Baby Bot - Lush / Bear Hat & Gloves - Tesco /  Chocolate Coins / Penguin - ELC

My brother received the science putty last year and it is so much fun! Definitely a pleaser. The chocolate coins are also a must! It wouldn't be Christmas without chocolate coins.

For Women....

Lip Balm - The Body Shop /  Hotel Chocolat Chocolates /  Hand warmers - F&F /  Coin Purse - Accessorize /   Comforter - Lush / Knickers - M&S

I would be so happy to receive anything from this list! Those gloves and coin purse are so cute aren't they? Each year I always buy the amazing 4 for £5 knickers from M&S. It's such a deal and the quality is fab! Buy them as stocking fillers and give 2 to one person and 2 to another.

For Men....

Nivea Body Set - Superdrug / Scarf - F&F / Thermal Socks - M&S  / Key Ring Bottle Opener - River Island / Toblerone / Mini Poker Set - ASDA

Now I find men terribly difficult to buy for but I came across these little bits and pieces very easily! Again M&S have come up trumps with 2 pairs of Thermal socks for £5. The mini poker set from ASDA is also a great deal and would probably spur on a Christmas day game!

Like I said before everything listed here is £5 and under so it's great for your bank account! It's also all available in store so perfect if your doing the last shopping trip this weekend.

So how is your Christmas shopping going? Are you almost there or are you yet to start?

Gemma xXx

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10 December 2013

Eggless Chocolate Cookies Recipe

Today I am revisiting a recipe I posted right back when I first started this blog. Looking back on it the pictures weren't great and it didn't get the exposure it deserved! This is my 'go to' cookie recipe. It's perfect when I have a sudden sweet tooth as they are so quick and easy to make. They are also great when there aren't any eggs in the house (this seems to happen A LOT! Does it happen to you too?).

Eggless Forked Chocolate Cookies (makes 12)

You will need:
  • 4oz Margarine
  • 2oz Caster Sugar/Superfine Sugar
  • 4.5oz of Plain Flour / All purpose flour
  • 1oz Chocolate Drinking Powder (Hot chocolate - I always use Cadburys. Don't use cocoa powder as it won't be sweet enough)

Pre-heat your oven to Gas mark 4, 180c or 350f. Simply beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add in your flour and chocolate powder and mix until all the ingredients are combined.

Grease your baking tray. Roll into medium sized balls (slightly smaller than a golf ball), place onto the tray leaving an inch or so between each dough ball. Wet a fork with cold water and flatten the dough balls softly but not too much. Make sure the fork is wet for each dough ball as this gives the cookie moisture!

Bake for 10-12 minutes for a soft and chewy cookie OR 12-15 minutes for a crunchy cookie. Leave them to cool for 10 minutes and then ENJOY!!! 

Perfect with a steaming mug of tea!

I hope that you make these! Do let me know if you make them : )

Do you have a 'go to' cookie recipe?

Gemma xXx

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9 December 2013

The Christmas Tag!

As you have probably guessed most of my blog posts are going to be Christmassy! When I saw this Christmas Tag floating around on some of my favourite blogs I knew I had to join in and share it with you guys! I hope you enjoy it and feel free to join in.

1.  Do you prefer a real Christmas tree or synthetic?

I've never experienced a real Christmas tree before! My family have always had a synthetic one. I love how familiar it is and how each year we all work hard at spreading the branches perfectly before decorating it! When we get our own house I'd love to buy a real one for our first Christmas to make it extra special!

2.  You're in a coffee shop, it's December, what do you pick?

I'd always choose a hot chocolate with squirty cream and marshmallows! Yummy!

3.  What's your favourite colour scheme for decorating the tree?

At the moment I am swaying towards the Nordic look. You know...lots of red and white with a little bit of gold. 

4.  Giving or receiving?

Is it cheeky if I say both?! It's so much fun finding the PERFECT gift for someone and watching their face when they open it. A priceless moment. On the other hand I find it so exciting opening presents..who doesn't? It's a lovely feeling when a special someone has chosen such a thoughtful gift for you.

5.  To mince pie or not to?

I've tried one before and it wasn't terrible but they aren't on the top of my list! Give me a little apple pie any day.

6. Christmas day fashion

I like to wear something a little special and Christmassy on the big day. It is usually something red or sparkly but it ALWAYS has to have a little stretch in it ; )

7.  What's your favourite Christmas song?

I love 'Driving Home For Christmas' by Chris Rea. Such a fab song. I enjoy most Christmas songs to be honest!

8.  What's your favourite Christmas film?

It has to be the Polar Express. We always watch it cuddled up on the sofa on Christmas Eve. I have such lovely memories of my little brother being excited for Santa to arrive. When the film finished he used to get the cookies and milk ready, checked the Santa tracker website Norad and then went off to bed. So fun!

9.  Open presents before or after lunch?

Before ! As soon as we wake up.

10.  What's your traditional Christmas lunch?

We usually have Prawn Cocktail to start. I rarely eat this so I make the most of it...definitely one of my favourites! For the main meal we have Turkey, Sausage Meat, Roast Potatoes, Stuffing, Sprouts, Broccoli, Carrots and Parsnips. Cranberry Sauce is a must! So yummy : D


I now TAG YOU!  Let me know if you do this tag as I'd love to read it : )

Gemma xXx

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7 December 2013

Center Parcs - Part 2

 We are back from our mini break to Elveden Forest and I feel all lovely and relaxed. When we got home our families asked us what we had been up to whilst we were there. We did not do a whole lot to be honest!  We did a lot of 'mooching'. We stopped by different cafes and bars for some drinks...

We did a lot of walking around the forest. It was so peaceful. I was glad to see there were still Autumnal leaves on the trees to take pictures of. So many beautiful colours...

We spotted some cute wildlife too! Hello Mr Squirrel.. 

We also popped over to the Elveden Estate. It's a definite must if you stay at Elveden Center Parcs. They sell lots of fresh home made produce and have fun little gift shops. At this time of year you will definitely find some lovely Christmas gifts and decor!

 Apart from generally 'mooching' around we did do other things! We went swimming, played badminton, played pool, watched my brother and sister do a little archery and went bowling. We had lots of fun! I would definitely to go back one day : )

Have you been to Center Parcs? What time of the year do you like to go? For us it would be weird to go in the Summer!

Gemma xXx

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4 December 2013

Christmas Gift Guide For Men!

iTunes Gift Card // Boots - Philips Shaver // Amazon - Assassins Creed Game // John Lewis - Christmas Handkerchiefs // The Perfume Shop - Diesel Only The Brave // Next - Luxury Suede Slippers // John Lewis - Watch
I don't know about you but I find it a real struggle to buy for men! If they give me a list then that is fine but otherwise i'm a little clueless (Why are women on the other hand so easy to buy for??)As i've been trawling the internet looking for gifts for the men in my life I made a note of a little 'back up' ideas. Now I know my grandad wouldn't appreciate an Xbox game and I definitely can't see him wearing those Ugg style slippers but i'm sure Ian would make use of both! Hopefully these will inspire some of you who are also stuck on knowing what to get for the Mr's in your family.

Do you find it a struggle to buy for males? Have you finished your Christmas shopping yet?

Gemma xXx

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3 December 2013

Center Parcs Part 1

As I write this I am currently in a huge comfy bed with a big puffy duvet and can currently hear lots of squawks and quacks from outside. Yes we are in Center Parcs! Where else would you happily be woken up by crazy ducks??

I've been excited for this trip as I love the peace and quiet of Eleveden Forest (well when the ducks don't sound like they are having a good chuckle...). We live in London so as you can image we don't have much nature surrounding us. As it is now Christmas time we decided we were going to have some treats...

Rocky Road

 And some Mixed Berry Muffins... well  it is Christmas time after all!

I decided that I wanted to be brave and drive to Center Parcs. It would be my longest journey since passing my driving test and would be great as there were lots of different roads to 'practice' on. I was a little nervous as I had never driven with the satnav before. I'd be joining onto 70mph roads and overtaking lorries and such but it was a fantastic drive and I got us both here in one piece! Yay! I know it must sound silly to all you experienced drivers but I am so proud of myself : )

Once we arrived I couldn't help but admire all the Christmas lights they put out. They are literally everywhere and are really pretty. There are lots more to see so i'll try and get a few more pictures to share.

In the evening we lit the fire, played some card games, listened to Christmas music and had some dinner. 

All in all we had a good first day and I was absolutely shattered by the end of it!

Right well i'm off to take a shower and enjoy our second day here. I'll be back soon to share some more!

Gemma xXx

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