It’s easy to make your own Christmas hamper, & it’s so much cheaper – not to mention nicer – than shop bought. All you need is a hamper kit, like this one from T K Maxx. I also saw some very similar ones in Aldi. […]
A change from bland stews and casseroles, this is a spiced-up version. The sticky, caramelised onion and sausages make for a lovely variation on classic chilli. Very versatile; I find it equally yummy served with rice, mash, pasta or crusty bread. Great for kids, too […]
…there are three new things that I think are signs that the commercialism of Christmas is just getting a little bit too much. I’m not religious, I’m agnostic, so perhaps I shouldn’t celebrate Christmas at all. I do, though. What’s not to love? Gifts, lovely […]
I’ve made these Christmas tree earrings for years now, for myself and for others – they make great festive gifts. They are very simple to make – far easier than they look – with sparkly Swarovski crystals.
You could buy the crystal beads and findings separately, but I never have yet, as Jillybeads stock kits which contain all you need to make one pair, in various colour combinations.
All you do is thread, onto a headpin: a cube bead, then three decreasing sizes of daisy spacers/Marguerites (the name varies depending where sold), then a xilion/bicone (ditto re the naming thing). Then you just trim the headpin, form a loop, add the earlier, and close the loop.
It takes me about ten minutes to make a pair, and each kit currently costs just £3.25. So effective, so simple, so pretty!
This was inspired by ‘Lebkuchen’ – those German Christmas treats consisting of chocolate coated gingerbread hearts with an apricot filling. So addictive – every time I shop at the supermarket I seem to end up with a bag – or three – of these. I […]
I’ve read most of Dan Brown’s novels. They’re a little different to other books that I read, which makes a refreshing change. They are such crowd-pleasers, The Da Vinci Code having spawned a succession of adventures starring that unlikely hero – tweed-clad, Mickey-Mouse-watch-wearing Harvard professor […]
It’s easy to make your own Christmas hamper, & it’s so much cheaper – not to mention nicer – than shop bought. All you need is a hamper kit, like this one from T K Maxx. I also saw some very similar ones in Aldi.
Then you just need the contents – whatever you like, as long as it will all fit snugly inside. I went for a ‘Tea and Treats’ theme. I got the food from supermarkets and the tea from T K Maxx.
Next, I laid out the first ‘layer’ of the hamper, like this:
I then added a second layer on top, as so:
I though the chocolate coins were a nice festive – and decorative – touch.
Next, you need to wrap the cellophane (provided with most kits, or get some from a florist or craft shop) around it, as per the main picture.
Finally, wrap it prettily, and it’s ready for the big day!
I’ve been honing this recipe since my student days, when I very first learned to cook. I hadn’t done any cooking before I left home, really, so I was very much self-taught when, after a year of living on tins and packets (or rather the […]
We are lucky enough have lots of great, and very affordable, places to eat locally, that we go to on a regular basis for tasty, good value food. We sometimes go to these for birthdays and other occasions, too, but Mister fancied a change, and […]
About the award
The Liebster Award is a way of promoting brand new bloggers. Bloggers nominate others to receive the award. The nominees then answer questions and share some facts about themselves, before sharing the love and nominating some of their own favourite bloggers. See my picks at the bottom of this post.
I’ve only been blogging for around 7 weeks, so I’m delighted that Louise English of ‘cooking with kids’ blog nominated me. Thank you so much, Louise! Her blog title says it all, really; she states that cooking with her children is indeed her favourite thing about blogging. For some lovely recipes to make with the little people in your life, have look around her blog:
My questions and answers:
1. Why did you start blogging?
Honestly? I’m taking this really seriously and want to make a career of it. For various reasons, I need to work from home, and I LOVE writing, so it’s got to be worth my best shot.
2. What is your favourite post from your own blog? Why?
“Missing George Michael: Can you mourn someone you’ve never met?”, without a doubt. I rushed to launch my blog in time to tie in with the recently aired “George Michael: Freedom” documentary, and I’m so glad I did. The response has been so great, and I got my first guest blogging gig on myfirstrecord.com on the back of it.
3. If you could time travel where would you go, and why?
Back to the swinging sixties, to see what my parents made all the fuss about!
4. Who is someone who greatly inspires you? Why?
J K Rowling. I LOVE Harry Potter (check out my post on “Why I wish I was going to Hogwarts”). She inspires me because she was single mum, claiming benefits, and come so far. Jo Rowling has achieved so much – for literature, British film-making and tourism, – as well as for herself. She’s also a benefactor of many charities – a very generous soul.
5. Do you have any pets? Share a picture if you can.
My ageing cat, Charly – he’s 14. A pain in the bum, for much of the time (he’s very vocal) but he’s our pet and he’s one of the family. To see my daughter grow to love him so much, is simply lovely.
6. Where is your favourite place in the world?
Where I live (near Bournemouth). We moved here because it has everything that we wanted in a place to call home. See my post on “Relocation” for more on that…
7. What is your favourite food? And your least favourite?
The former – I can’t pick just one! Prawns, mushrooms and chocolate if I can pick just three. The latter – the only thing I truly detest is horseradish sauce.
8. Share one of your guilty pleasures.
Too many! I know I eat too much sugar, but I do cycle a LOT, so at least I burn it off…
9. What are you most proud of in your life?
I was a very shy child (see my post on that, too), yet I went to Australia for a year all by myself after graduating. I’m so proud of doing that, and it changed my life, for the better, in so many ways.
10. What is the first thing you would do if you won the lottery?
Pay off the mortgages of my close family and friends, or buy them a place if they were renting, meanwhile looking out for our own dream house, very near to where we already live.
11. Describe yourself in three words.
A fair, but fussy, perfectionist!
11 random facts about me:
1. I have Lexical-gustatory synesthesia, which means I ‘taste’ words, and particularly, names…
2. I met my husband on the other side of the world, in Australia (even though he’s British, too).
3. My high school had a ski slope, even though I never went on it once. (No, it wasn’t a private school!)
4. My mother suffered from anorexia & bulimia; I was a medical miracle, as she as supposed to be infertile as a result.
5. I studied in Manchester during ‘The ‘MADchester” years’ and a piece on that was written as my first guest post for another blog.
6. I was also at the same uni, at the same time as, Peter Kay – alas, I didn’t know him!
7. I’m from Northumberland, which has more castles than any other county in the country.
8. I have had spinal surgery twice, and have titanium metalwork in place of one of my discs.
9. I’m terrified of wasps. I cannot control my reaction when I see one; much, at times, to the amusement of others…
10. I’m not keen on spiders, either, but lived in an old Australian farmhouse for several months, and it was riddled with fist-sized huntsman spiders. You really can get used to anything!
11. I’ve always hated smoking, as my parents did and I grew up detesting the smell. However, I became a smoker for about a fortnight when I was in Bali, as they sold these clove cigarettes that simply smelled too good to resist. The fact that they were about 30p a packet helped, too…
For my nominees, please read on and keep the Lester Award going…
The rules are as follows:
1. Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog.
2. Display the award on your blog. I’ve used it as the header image for this post.
3. Answer 11 questions provided to you by the person who nominated you.
4. Provide 11 random facts about yourself.
5. Nominate 5 to 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 1000 followers (I’ve gone on Twitter followers).
6. Create a new list of questions for the blogger to answer.
7. List these rules in your post (You can copy and paste from here.) Once you have written and published it, you then have to:
8. Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it (they might not have ever heard of it!)
Here are your questions:
Did you do much preparation before you started your blog, such as research, writing & taking photos?
2. What has surprised you most, so far, about blogging?
3. What are you aiming to achieve with your blog?
4. What was the most memorable meal you’ve ever had? Where, and why?
5. Where on the planet would you live, if money was no object?
6. What’s your number one moneysaving tip?
7. What’s your favourite book, and why?
8. What would be number one on your bucket list?
9. What would be your personal motto, and why?
10. Do you live near your family?
11. If you could interview anyone (dead or alive), who would it be?
Why not follow them on Twitter and see what they’re up to?
Thanks for reading my blog!
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