Thursday 25 December 2014

10 Christmas Eve Traditions I ALWAYS take part in.

 I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love Christmas and everything about it including the build-up, the decorations, the food, the music – I love it!

There are certain traditions that we follow in our household and at work on Christmas eve and I can’t imagine a Christmas Eve without these!

1. I always wear something cheesy Christmas Eve whether it be a Christmas jumper or Christmas pyjamas in the evening.. or both! This year was no exception, and the jumper came out in full force!

Primark Christmas Jumper

2. The drive to work usually consists of the cheesiest Christmas music I can find. This CD set is brilliant, full blast for a full half an hour. There’s nothing cheesier.

Christmas Hits CD

3.  As I usually go to work Christmas Eve, myself and my colleagues all club together and put a few £’s in to get some festive food and I basically spend the whole morning munching away. Christmas calories don’t count right?

4. When I get home we ALWAYS watch The Snowman. I actually don’t like this film so usually pretend to be busy until it’s over. Works every time.

The Snowman DVD

5. Whilst all the festive fun is happening around the house, we always track Santa using the NORAD tracker and have been ever since my sister was younger (she’s 11 now, but for me the novelty hasn’t worn off!) . It’s good to know where he is so I know when to go to bed of course!

6. For tea on Christmas eve, it is absolute standard to have a take-away. I ALWAYS go for pizza. I probably only have a proper take-away greasy pizza once or twice a year so I savour every bite. I also go for cheesy chips too for good measure – because clearly I haven’t eaten a lot today.

7. On Christmas Eve I always light my Christmas Eve Yankee Candle. It just really relaxes me and gets me feeling festive and excited for tomorrow!

Christmas Eve Yankee Candle

8. I hang my stocking just before bed, I hope I get a stocking until I’m old and grey! I've had this one for YEARS. In the morning it’s always filled with goodies and absolute essentials (like face wipes, you can’t have enough of those bad boys!)

Christmas Stocking

9. I tend to pile my Christmas presents in one neat pile so that in the morning I know where everything is and nothing gets lost in the piles of wrapping paper. I also make sure all the presents I have bought for my family are under the tree and not forgotten about in my secret present hiding area (no mum, I’m not telling you where that is).

10. I always end the night in fresh bedding. You can’t beat fresh sheets, and I always sleep better when everything is tidy. My cat loves fresh sheets too it seems..  

 Christmas Bedding

So that’s everything! I am well and truly in the festive spirit now and ready for the next few days celebrating!

What are your Christmas eve traditions?

 I hope you all have a lovely Christmas!


Tuesday 23 December 2014

The Outback Restaurant/The Swan Inn Norwich - Review

I recently went for a meal at The Outback which is an Australian themed restaurant in Norfolk for my Nanny's birthday. I didn't realise that the restaurant was actually closed (I assume for refurbishment?) so we actually ate in The Swan Inn next door but our menu options were from the Christmas menu across both restaurants menu options.

When we walked in we were shown straight to our table which was decorated very festively (is that even a word?!) with crackers and Christmas napkins.

The staff were very attentive and took our drink order straight away. They then asked if we were ready for our starters which were promptly brought out.

For starters I had soup. I think this was tomato soup, I honestly can't remember but it tasted really good. The croutons were some of the best I've ever had.  This was served with warm bread and butter.

Tomato Soup

Tomato Soup

My main course was something simple, sausage and mash. this was also really nice, the onions were cooked to perfection. the mash was really creamy, just how I like it.

Sausage and Mash

For dessert I had homemade mince pie and cream. This was my favourite course of the lot. The pastry was quite hard and I did end up flicking half of my cream up the wall as I tried to cut a bit off but nevertheless it was really nice.

Mince Pie and Cream

Admittedly I didn't take the Australian theme on board as you can tell by my menu choices, but I had a really nice meal and would love to come back another time and go for something different. The restaurant had a really friendly atmosphere and meals were served promptly.


Monday 22 December 2014

The Allotment Diaries - Day 2

If you saw my previous allotment post then you'll know there was a lot of work to do, so today we decided to start tackling it. Now that all of the rubbish was cleared, it was just a case of clearing the garden waste. Easier said than done!

Norwich Allotment
The wildlife still remained, and when trying to dig up all of the leftover plants I kept coming across frogs and toads, so I had to pop them in the pond before I could continue.

Norwich Allotment

I decided to tackle this corner. I hacked away at all the foliage including a bramble bush - ouch! I then pulled out the random things that were growing and my mum piled it into bags to take to the dump.

Norwich Allotment

There's still so much to clear.

Norwich Allotment
Norwich Allotment

I even roped my boyfriend in to help dig some of the plants out. I'm just not strong enough you see!

Norwich Allotment

I think the corner I was working on looks a lot better! I lost count of how many times I raked the soil to get rid of every little bit of plant foliage!

Norwich Allotment

Norwich Allotment

Definite improvements! There's still a lot to do.


I can't wait until we can start growing on the plot!


Friday 19 December 2014

Super Simple Mince Pies - Recipe

When it comes to mince pies, I can't get enough of them. As much as I'd like to make my own completely from scratch, it's just so expensive to buy all of the ingredients when you can just buy a 6 pack of mince pies for 99p. I personally think this is the next best thing. These mince pies are so easy to make and eating them fresh out of the oven is the BEST.

Mince Pie Recipe 
This recipe uses just 3 ingredients. Mincemeat, ready rolled shortcrust pastry and icing sugar to dust at the end.

Mince Pie Recipe 
My ready rolled pastry didn't really roll.. so I just pulled it out of the packet and rolled it myself onto some flour to stop it sticking. I then cut some circles for the bottom of the mince pie, and some star shapes for the top.

Mince Pie Recipe

I placed my circle pastry bottoms into a greased muffin tray, and filled each one with a teaspoon of mincemeat before popping the star shaped top on top.

Mince Pie Recipe

I then did this for the next 12 holes until my tray was full of yummy mince pies.

Mince Pie Recipe 

Mince Pie Recipe

I baked them in the oven at 180 degrees for 15 minutes until they started to go golden. They rose a little bit, but they still tasted fabulous.

Mince Pie Recipe

Mince Pie Recipe

I can't believe how quick and simple these are to make, I served mine with whipped cream and ate them straight from the oven.

Mince Pie Recipe


Thursday 18 December 2014

December 2014 Glossybox

I was so excited to receive this month's Glossybox and when I opened up the outer box and saw this packaging I was so happy! I love a festive looking box, well done Glossybox. You know what they say though, it's what's inside that counts.. so lets see what I got!

Bellapierre Cosmetics - Cheek and Lip Stain

This full sized product is worth £12.99 and is a creamy cheek and lip stain. The colour is in coral and isn't too overpowering on the skin, especially as I am quite pale. This is really easy to blend and I love the 'just pinched' look it gives on the cheeks. I found it easier to blend with my finger than with a brush, but maybe I don't have the right brush for this. I've been looking for something like this for a while and I really like this product. 

TRESemmé Renewal Hair and Scalp - Nourish and Renew Tonic

Another full sized product, this one is worth £5.50. I love TRESemmé products as they always seem to work really well for me so I couldn't wait to try this out. This smells really good, the only way I can describe it is that it smells like the hairdressers! I'm always a bit dubious when it comes to leave in products as I don't like build up in my hair, but I love this. It leaves no greasy residue and after only using this for a week I can already see and feel that my scalp is in better condition.

Anatomicals - Zap! Zap! Zap! Gets That Chap - Day and Night Spot Stick

Again, another full sized product worth £3.79. I feel spoiled Glossybox, thank you! This double ended product has applicators for both day and night which works on your spots 24/7. I don't get spots that often but when I do, I will be sure to try this product out. I think I will prefer to apply this with my fingers rather than the applicator as I would hate to spread bacteria into the tube. This smells like tea tree and is very soothing on the skin.


SkinPep Hydra Boost - Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum

I've received some products from SkinPep before including an acid peel which made my skin sore so I was a bit scared to try this out, but I actually really like it. My favourite part is that it doesn't really have a scent. I'm not a huge fan of smothering my face in scented products so it was really refreshing to use this. A full sized 70ml tube of this is £24.99.

All That Jazz - Professional Nail Lacquer

I absolutely love this nail varnish and it has filled an empty gap in my collection as I own very few coloured glitter polishes. The colour I received is called 'Louise's- From Riches to Rubies' which describes this red perfectly. The red is very pigmented and the glitter flecks are really small and really sparkle in the light. This nail varnish was long lasting and din't chip easily. This full sized product is £9.98. 


We also got a sneak peak that next month we will be receiving a full sized Revitalising Face Toner from KUESHI. I've not tried or heard of this brand before so that could be interesting!

I really liked this box, and will continue my subscription into the new year.

To sign up to Glossybox, click here.


Wednesday 17 December 2014

Lee Stafford Hair Kit - Ideal Christmas Present

I recently got this Lee Stafford Hair Kit (you can buy this by searching on eBay) and I thought it would make a really nice Christmas present for someone who likes to take care of their hair and loves hair products.

This kit comes with a paddle brush, detangling comb, 2 sectioning clips, a tease comb, and 75ml bottles of the poker straight shampoo and conditioner.

  It comes in a presentation box as well which makes for super easy wrapping.

   These Shampoo and Conditioner bottles are a great size to take to the gym, and big enough to get a good trial of the products to decide whether or not to buy the full sized bottles.

Do you know someone this gift would be perfect for?

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