30 November 2014

Top Tips For A Good Nights Sleep



Now the holiday season is upon us we are all busy busy busy. I enjoy this time of year so much, but with lots to do sometimes it can be difficult to wind down and get a good nights sleep. Here are some of the things I do to make sure I get a good 8 hours of sleep:

- Stop over- thinking and write lists. If you aren't sure who you've got to buy for this Christmas then write all their names down and get brainstorming. List what you need to do to the house before the big day and plan when you are going to do it.

- Make your bedroom a place of relaxation by putting a side lamp on or some fairy lights. These low lights will help you to feel calm and ready to sleep.

- Put away your technology and have some 'me' time. Make yourself a cup of tea and read a book.

- Close your curtains or blinds. It isn't a great feeling waking up to the bright light shining in on your face when you've just woken up. Personally I also feel a little vulnerable when my curtains are open at night time. I know i've got 100% privacy when they are closed and no one can see in.

- Have a routine. Wash your face and apply your lotions and potions. It's the worst going to bed feeling unclean.

- For the ultimate best nights sleep I find having a bath/shower, clean pj's and a fresh duvet set on the bed to work wonders. Beds always feel comfier when you've got clean sheets, don't they?

What do you do to get a good nights sleep? Tell me in the comments below!

Gemma x



23 November 2014

Turkey Soup With A Cranberry Swirl



With Thanksgiving around the corner and Christmas soon afterwards we are all going to have an abundance of turkey leftovers. Something I love to make with these leftovers (apart from turkey sandwiches) is turkey soup. It's perfect for when you're hungry but just fancy something light after the previous days feast.

Firstly you will need to make the stock. Simply put the turkey carcass in a large pot and over with water. You can add some dried bay leaves, an onion and a few carrots to add extra flavour. Bring to the boil and simmer for 2 hours, skimming off any scum that rises to the surface.

Sieve the stock, keeping the liquid and disposing the bones.

To make the soup you will need:

- 2 handfuls of turkey meat
- 2 carrots
- 1 onion
- 1 1/2 litres of turkey stock
- 3 rashers of smoky bacon
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 large potato
- Smoked paprika
- Salt & pepper

Chop up your bacon and fry until cooked. Chop up the vegetables and lightly fry them with the bacon until they are starting to soften. Rip up your leftover turkey meat, crush your garlic and add to the frying pan, heating it all through. Move this mixture into a large saucepan and cover with your stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are completely softened. 

Blend your mixture to the desired consistency. Season with the smoked paprika to taste (I like it smoky so added a Tbsp or so) and salt and pepper. If the soup is too thick you could always add a splash of milk or cream for a touch of luxury.

For the cranberry swirl you can make your own sauce or opt for shop bought. I'll put my hands up and admit I used shop bought, it's just so much easier! Simply mix smooth cranberry sauce with a little water until its thin enough drizzle onto the soup.




Serve & enjoy!

Gemma x

N.B - Sainsbury's very kindly sent me some vouchers to create a recipe that uses up leftover turkey. Thank you Sainsbury's!

21 November 2014

Chocolate Fridge Cake Recipe

Chocolate Fridge cake is one of my favourite sweet treats to make. I always use this time of year as an excuse to make it as there are likely leftovers lying around from parties and gatherings. The chocolate that is a little too bitter or those last biscuits at the bottom of the biscuit tin can be transformed into something presentable and best of all yummy.



It is so easy to make and yet they look so impressive when serving to friends and family at your festive gathering (no one needs to know they take minimal effort and time to prepare!).


You will need:

-4oz/113g Butter
-4oz/113g Plain Chocolate (or chocolate of your choice)
-4oz/11g White Chocolate
-4oz/113g Dried Cranberries (or dried fruit of your choice)
-1 Can of condensed milk
-10oz Digestive biscuits
-Mini marshmallows 
-A small tin (I used this one)

Melt the butter and plain chocolate in a saucepan over a low heat. Crush your biscuits into a mixture of small crumbs and big chunks and mix in with your dried fruit and marshmallows. Stir this into your melted butter and chocolate and add your tin of condensed milk. Mix thoroughly until everything is covered in chocolatey goodness.

Line a tin with greaseproof paper. Flatten your chocolate mixture in the tin, cover with cling film and pop it into the fridge for a few hours or overnight to harden. Once it has hardened melt your white chocolate and spread it over, sprinkling some of dried cranberries on top. Allow to it harden in the fridge for another hour or so. Cut into small squares and serve.

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From chocolate and biscuits to dried fruit and nuts, you can add almost anything to it. These different ingredients add great texture (I love a good crunch) and look so interesting when cut up into little squares. To make it even more festive you could roughly chop a candy cane and sprinkle over the chocolate topping.

What would you add to your Chocolate Fridge Cake?

Gemma x

N.B - Sainsbury's very kindly sent me some vouchers to create a recipe that uses up leftover chocolate. Thank you Sainsbury's!

18 November 2014

Christmas Gift Guide For Him!

Where's Wally Puzzle - Tesco //  Pringles Socks - ASOS // Fairisle Onesie - ASDA // Terry's Chocolate Orange // Apple TV - Currys //  Versace Aftershave Miniatures - Boots // Shot Glass Drinking Game - John Lewis  

If you are anything like me I find it really difficult to think of Christmas gift ideas for the boy in my life. He isn't very forthcoming with a list and when I do suggest something he is rarely enthusiastic. Awkward or what?! 

These gift ideas are things i'd happily gift to the men in my life. The Pringles socks always go down well as they are such great quality...plus you can never have too many socks. The Apple TV is perfect for any Ipad/Iphone lover and a good puzzle at Christmas time will keep all family members occupied! 

Do you find it difficult to buy for the men in your life? What are you planning on buying your other half?

Gemma x


16 November 2014

Country Living Christmas Fair 2014



Yesterday I spent the day with the lovely Gemma from Gem's Country Life Dream. We were long overdue a catch up and there was no better place to have it than at the Country Living Christmas Fair in Islington. We both love Christmas so as you can imagine we were in our element at the fair! Once we arrived we were greeted with the smell of dried scented fruits...it smelt divine. 










The fair is great if you are planning on purchasing all your gifts in one go or just simply looking for inspiration. From bespoke clothes and toys to beauty and food gifts, the fair has it all. 




If we weren't saving for a house/wedding I could of bought loads. The things that caught my eye the most were all the pretty Christmas decorations, the dried scented fruits and lots of twinkly fairy lights. These stalls really made the fair feel christmassy.



The highlight of the Christmas fair for me was meeting Cherry Menlove and watching her class on table decorations. She was one of my inspirations for starting this blog and my interest in crafts so it was great to finally meet her! 

If you love all things Christmas and to shop till you drop then i'd definitely recommend the Country Living Christmas Fair. Today was the last day in London but if you are close to Harrogate or Glasgow then be sure to pop it in your diary.


14 November 2014

Finally!

Image Via Pinterest

Today I just wanted to do a little update on life at the moment. After many years of saving Ian & I are finally starting the adventure of hunting for our first home together! For so long it seemed like it would never happen but at last we are here. I am so excited!

Right now we are in the very early stages of trawling Right Move for potential houses, with one or two viewings lined up already! For now we are trying to view as many different types of property to see what we like & dislike. Hopefully in a few weeks time we will have narrowed down on areas and have some more news about it all : )

Wedding wise - we are also looking to book a venue! It's very exciting but with so many options it has got a bit overwhelming. Some places are ridiculously pricey for what they offer but with lots of deals around i'm sure we'll find somewhere that we like.

I'll be sure to keep you all up to date with moving & wedding shenanigans as they happen. In the mean time we are keeping busy with investigating my parents new area and of course the build up to Christtmassss..YAY!!

Happy Friday!

7 November 2014

Christmas Gift Guide For Her!

Yankee Candle Selection - ASDA //  Clarisonic Face Brush   //  Mercury Hurricane Candle Holder - B&Q Home // Chunky Knit Throw -  Laura Ashley // White Musk Smoky Rose Perfume - The Body Shop // Benefit Fun Size Flirts - Boots // Slipper Boots - New Look

It's that time of year again when wish lists are made and the shops are searched for that perfect gift. These ideas are a mixture of things that I would buy for others and products that I received last year and still absolutely love!

The White Musk Smoky Rose perfume is a beautiful scent. This 'mysterious' and 'seductive' floral scent smells like it is a high end product when in reality it is very reasonably priced! The Body Shop do some great gift sets which include this scent so I really recommend that you check them out.

I was a lucky girl last year and received a Clarisonic face brush. It's absolutely fantastic if you've got problematic skin or just can't get enough of that clean fresh faced feel. The Clarisonic brushes away any impurities that may be left behind from general cleansing and gets rid of dry skin like no other exfoliator that i've tried. This gets a huge thumbs up from me!

Other gift ideas include:

- Chunk knit throw, Candles & Mercury candle holder (perfect for any home       decor fanatic)
- Make up miniatures
- Cosy socks, slippers, pj's 
- Bra & knicker sets 
- Magazine subscription
- Baking/cooking sets
- Chocolate!!

Are you starting to think about Christmas yet? If so, have you started any Christmas shopping?? We have bought the odd bits & pieces but really need to put our thinking caps on and make a proper list.

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