A very Merry Christmas to you all

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and look forward to seeing you all in 2015.

I would just like to take some time to say ‘Thank you.’ Thank you for sticking with me, thank you for reading, for your comments and your support. I am so so grateful for each and every one of you, you will never know what you mean to me!

I wanted to share this song with you today. It has been one of my favourites since I was a little girl, and my cousin had a keyboard guitar thing that played this.

Last year this song felt very real to me, for obvious reasons the lyrics struck a chord and it may have brought tears to me a few times. It was my go to song when I needed a good cry. However, this year it has also been my go to song for a completely different reason.

“Last Christmas I gave you my heart, but the very next day you gave it away”

Giving over your heart to someone is a big deal. Receiving someone heart is an honor and it should not been so carelessly disregarded and thrown away (yes, I am talking from personal experience.)

Having been heart broken I know how scary it is to give your heart again, but to all of you who have been broken hearted I want to encourage you to try again. Don’t give up on love. It is out there, and when the time is right you will find it. I know that isn’t an easy thing to hear, especially at this time of year, but it will happen when it is mean to. I strongly believe that.

However, your heart is an important thing. Don’t give it to anyone who is not deserving, don’t be in a rush to give it to the first person who comes into your life. Again, I know this is easier said than done, but I want to encourage you all to know your worth. You matter. Your heart matters. Don’t give it to someone who doesn’t deserve it. Hold onto it and nurture it yourself until you find that person, and only then give them everything. Fall in love and enjoy the ride.

And to those of you lucky devils that have already found your someone special (no, I am not green with envy!) this Christmas spare a few moments to remember how truly lucky you are. To have found love. To have someone who is keeping your heart safe for you, don’t take that for granted. So spare a moment, in between all the hustle, noise and materialism, to focus on the true message of Christmas… which is love!

X

DIY Christmas disaster!

Operation ‘Bake Christmas’ is not going well. I made a rookie mistake. I didn’t read the full recipe before I started to bake. I didn’t read the full recipe before I went to the shops, I didn’t read the full recipe before deciding that it would be a brilliant idea to make my dad, grandad and sisters boyfriend mini stollen for their Christmas gifts.

I didn’t read the full recipe until I was prepared and ready to bake. I had my bowl on the side, wooden spoon at the ready, I had bought the full list of ingredients. I had bought scales, baking trays, cutters and bun tins … I. was. sorted.

So at this point I read the full recipe.

First panic, I had to put the miniature stollen into some posh kinda baking dish tray type thing which I have never heard of and more definitely do not own!  I considered using my new bun tin, but when fully formed they were too big so in the end I went for baking tray… I think Mr Paul Hollywood may refer to them as free formed.

However, the tray issue wasn’t my biggest problem.

I hadn’t fully read the recipe, so when I started baking at 8pm last night (with 3 batches of stollen to produce) I may have sworn, you see the recipe said to combine raisins, sultanas, lemon zest, nuts, spices, vanilla essence into a bowl and put to one side before making the dough (which I did.) Then I had to make the dough (no problem) knead for 10 minutes (good exercise) and then lead to rise for 1 – 1.5 hours, before kneading in the fruit, leaving to prove for a further 30 minutes, forming into shapes, leaving for a third prove, then baking in the oven for 20 minutes.  And I had to make 3 batches of these.

I made one batch last night and combined the fruit and nut part for the other two batches. That means that tonight I have to make 2 batches of mini stollen, 1 batch of diabetic biscuits, 1 batch of dairy free melt in the middle cookies and 1 batch of millionaire shortbread.

Oh and I need to do some wrapping, pack for heading to my parents straight from work tomorrow, drop my neighbours cards in with them and try and leave the house in a clean and tidy state (clearly that last one isn’t happening!)

Do you think Santa has some spare elves?

Not just for Christmas

This is so fab I just had to share!! Please remember a pet is for life!!

Stan the dog

Copied from someone else who I know won’t mind me nicking it:

T’was the night before Christmas and all through the house not a creature was stirring not even a mouse. Our stockings were hung by the chimney with care in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there. The children were nestled all snug in their beds with no thought of their dog was filling their head. With mom in her kerchief and I in my cap knew our dog was cold, yet didn’t care about that.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter. Away to the window I flew like a flash, figuring our dog was free of his chain and into the trash. The moon on the crest of the new fallen snow gave the luster of mid-day to objects below. When what…

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