Monday, 30 December 2013

my new year resolutions

Click image for printable. 

As the New Year gets closer, my mind has turned to resolutions. Now are you like me and set resolutions and then by the end of January forgotten all about them?

Well, I have come up with an idea that I hope will make me stick to them next year! So here goes! I'm declaring my resolutions publicly and I'm going to rely on you guys to keep me on the straight and narrow.

If you notice me starting to waver, please point me back in the right direction.

Do you make resolutions and if so, what do you do to stick to them?

Have a fantastic New Years Eve and I will see you all in the New Year.

Linking up with Claire Justine for Creative Monday.

Friday, 27 December 2013

a homemade, healthy muesli

I woke up this morning feeling slightly worse for wear, having eaten far too much over the last couple of days! I needed to eat something a little lighter for breakfast so I tucked into this delicious muesli. I made it a couple of days ago and it is full of Christmas flavours. It's so easy and quick to make and it tastes yummy!

400g porridge oats
75g unsweetened dessicated coconut
100g skinned hazlenuts
100g skinned Brazil nuts, roughly chopped
100g soft light brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon or mixed spice
1 tsp ginger
180ml water
120ml groundnut oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
75g pitted dates, roughly chopped
75g dried apricots, roughly chopped
75g dried cranberries
50g crystallised ginger, finely chopped 

1. Preheat the oven to 170C/Gas Mark 3. Mix together all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and stir well.
2. Whisk the water, oil, vanilla and salt together and then stir in the dry ingredients.
3. Spread the mixture out in two, large shallow roasting trays. Roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes, stirring and swapping the trays occasionally, until the muesli is golden and crisp, checking frequently towards the end. Leave to cool.
4. Stir in the dried fruit and crystallised ginger. Store in an airtight container.
Makes about 1.3kg

It makes such a lovely breakfast. I had mine with milk but I'm sure it will taste great with Greek yoghurt too. 

Enjoy! I hope you have all enjoyed a very Merry Christmas!

Recipe taken from 'Christmas with Gordon'.

Monday, 23 December 2013

my top ten christmas playlist

These are my some of my favourite songs that I love to listen to when I'm busy wrapping presents, decorating the tree and baking Christmas goodies. As you can see, I have a very eclectic taste in music! 

My favourite song for me though has to be Dean Martin's Let It Snow. I absolutely love it; if there is one song that is guaranteed to brighten my day it is this one. Classic!

Click on the picture to hear them.

What Christmas songs do you love?

Have a lovely day everyone.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

cape at christmas in broadway

Broadway. The Jewel of the Cotswolds! That is how some people refer to this beautiful village and I agree. A charming, magical place which holds a special place in my heart. I always get quite emotional when I visit here as it is still unspoilt and very beautiful. A piece of paradise.

Broadway dates back as far as the Roman times and at one time boasted thirty three public houses which there are still signs of today. Many of the limestone buildings date from the 16th century. The front doors of these lovely houses are just delightful in themselves.

This has to be my favourite row of houses in the village. Can you imagine living in one of these? 

We came across this guy driving an Austin 7 racing car that he was restoring. He looked like he would have been at home in 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang'! He posed for us and we gladly took a photo of him as he said he didn't have any photos of him in his pride and joy! Then off he went with a cheery adieu in his German accent!
I wore my much loved cape for this trip. I have a real love for capes and own quite a few in different colours! I wore it with a soft, comfy pink sweater and jeans and my Zara scarf. I spotted the booties when I was out shopping with my daughter. We both fell in love with them so we both bought a pair!

We stayed all day browsing round the village and quaint, little shops. I wanted to see the Christmas lights before I went home and I'm so glad I did; just beautiful. 

Have a lovely Wednesday.

Zara cape - last seen here
Topshop jeans - last seen here
Zara scarf - wardrobe
Primark booties
H&M satchel
Primark sunnies - wardrobe

Monday, 16 December 2013

a chunky knit in chilly cheltenham

We finally managed to get away for our weekend break after a few hiccups! As you can see, the weather was very grey and drab! Just a typical December day in this part of the world! We chose to visit a spa town called Cheltenham mainly known for its horse racing.

There are a lot of lovely Regency type buildings, a lot of which are listed. I felt like I was on the set of Mary Poppins as the architecture was very similar to the Banks residence!

I knew it was going to be chilly so out came my big, chunky knit. I find it warmer than a coat and it is easy to layer up. I just throw a scarf on and I'm usually good to go! I bought this skirt earlier in the year and last wore it here. I'm hoping to get lots of wear out of it during the winter. 

We had a wonderful lunch in a place called The Montpellier Brasserie which was delicious. I had goats cheese and beetroot risotto and Steve had chicken. It was such a lovely, relaxing environment; just what we wanted. 

The rest of the day was spent browsing around some very cute shops and in the evening we enjoyed another lovely meal at a restaurant called Flynns. Delicious food, a warm and friendly atmosphere and gorgeous wine. What more can a girl ask for!

I would love to go again when its warmer to take advantage of all the lovely open spaces to sit and watch the day go by. I would definitely recommend a visit to this lovely town.
Joining up with Patti for Visible Monday.

Have a lovely Monday.

Ark chunky knit sweater - wardrobe
Topshop skirt - last seen here
Topshop booties - last seen here
Primark scarf - last seen here
Topshop bag - wardrobe
Primark sunnies
Primark tights

Sunday, 15 December 2013

silent sunday

Monday, 9 December 2013

a green tomato chutney for christmas

Home made chutney anyone! A friend of mine was kind enough to give me some green tomatoes to make some. This is my first attempt making chutney and I am so looking forward to eating this with a cheeseboard at Christmas. You can also add the chutney to a winter stew giving it a fruitiness. It is surprisingly easy to make and I am really pleased with the result.

175g/6oz light brown sugar
150ml/5 fl oz white wine vinegar
1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
2cm/3/4in piece fresh root ginger, peeled and finely grated
1 red chilli, finely chopped
125g/4 1/2 oz sultanas
600g/1lb 5oz green tomatoes, quartered

1. Heat the sugar in a frying pan until it melts and caramelises.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring the mixture to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for an hour, or until the chutney has thickened and you can draw a wooden spoon across the bottom of the pan so that it leaves a channel behind it that does not immediately fill with liquid.
3. Spoon the chutney into sterilised jars. I used a recipe by James Martin on Saturday Kitchen.

Have a lovely day

Friday, 6 December 2013

insta memoir

Moments of my life in Instagram.

Here are a few of my Instagram moments from last month. If you fancy following along with me, my link is here

Have a lovely weekend and have lots of fun.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

festive red

I always bring red out of my wardrobe at this time of year. A bright, festive colour perfect for this season. Red is definitely a favourite colour of mine and it has a way of giving me a boost if I'm having a down day. 

I wore this dress for a trip to Leeds for the German Christmas market. I decided to go for a red and black theme. Although, when we got to the market, a lot of people were dressed in Christmas jumpers; it must be a tradition! 

I can't tell you how comfortable these booties are. I could walk miles in them without getting aching feet. I love my funky booties. I'm thinking of getting myself another pair in a different colour.

We had a lovely time here and I would definitely recommend a trip to this market; so many goodies to be had. My favourite stall had to be the tools made out of chocolate. I stood drooling over the chocolate for a long time before moving on!

The only drawback it had was that it was so busy. The market attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year and is one of the most established Christmas markets in the country. I didn't get many pictures of the wooden chalet stalls themselves because of the sheer amount of people. There were lots of handcrafted toys, jewellery and decorations. I hope these photos give you an idea of what it was like.

It has a lovely continental festive feel about it especially with all the colours and twinkling lights. They had my favourite fairground ride on offer too; the carousel.

I am going back soon to try all the different food that was on offer. I had my first pretzel filled with Camembert and cranberry which was delicious. So many food stalls and not enough time!

Topshop skater dress - wardrobe
Topshop black jacket - last seen here
Hush Puppies Viviana boots  - last seen here
Ted Baker handbag - last seen here
H&M necklace - wardrobe
H&M tights - wardrobe
Primark black gloves - wardrobe
Primark sunnies - wardrobe

Linking up with Monday ModeI Feel PrettyWatch What I'm Wearing and Wardrobe Wednesday.