Wednesday, 24 December 2014

The Christmas Tag

I was nominated by Hana at RimmelSmudge to do the Christmas Tag.


What's your favourite Christmas movie?
I'm not a huge fan of Christmas movies (Strange, I know!), but I'd have to say that my favourite is Home Alone. It's an classic!

Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
OF COURSE on Christmas morning - that's just how it should be! Nothing can beat waking up early, and sprinting in excitement to open your presents.

Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?
Two years ago, my older brother got my parents and I joke presents - some bin liners, cans of coke, and toilet seat covers (if you've seen the episode of Friends where Chandler and Joey bought everyone rubbish xmas presents - that's where he got his inspiration). We were all completely confused, and somewhat disappointed, but then he revealed that it was a joke, and gave us our real presents. 

Favourite festive food?
For savoury foods, I absolutely LOVE roast potatoes - all year round but especially at Christmas. As for a specifically festive food, mince pies have to be my favourite Christmas-time snack.

Favourite Christmas gift?
Now that's a very hard question ... I can't pinpoint one gift as the favourite, but I do remember in detail receiving my new DSi, which must mean that it was somewhat important to me as the memory of opening it has stuck with me all these years!

Favourite Christmas scent?
I've only got into candles really recently, so I haven't established a favourite Christmas scent. Has anyone got any recommendations?

Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?
We usually spend the early evening at my family friends house. They have 'Santa Claus' make an appearance, we exchange presents and eat festive food. My family used to leave out milk and a bourbon biscuit, but that tradition has gone as I got older.

What tops your tree?
A traditional, glitter covered white star.

As a child, what was one crazy gift you asked for but never received?
Every year, for about 3 years I asked for a 'Big Toy Horsey' - using those words exactly. And no, sadly I never received one.

What's the best part of Christmas for you?
I love spending the day with all my family, as that happens rarely during the year. Everyone is in high spirits, and there's always a large meal prepared. It's really nice hanging out with my younger cousins, and seeing them bursting with excitement to open the presents!

As Christmas is tomorrow, I'm not going to tag anyone specific to do the tag. But if you're feeling in the Chritsmas spirit, why not give it a go, and let me know if you do!

Merry Christmas, make it a good one!

Love Sian xox 


Saturday, 20 December 2014

The New Year Approaches | 2014 Blogger Challenge

As 2015 approaches, so does the end of the amazing #2014BloggerChallenge. It's been a year of highs and lows, twists and turns and new experiences. I've achieved a lot of my goals this year, but I have a lot more that I want to achieve in 2015.


Something that is going to occupy the beginning of the year is GCSEs. As this is my first experience of public exams, I want to revise thoroughly and do the best that I can. I want to try and make this experience as productive as possible, and not let all the work stress me out! 

At the beginning of this school year, I started athletics training with a new coach. I wasn't getting where I wanted to with my old coach, so I hoped that this change would be for the best. So far the training has been amazing, and I've seen a real improvement. At my first competition I did a lot better than I expected, and I hope to improve a lot more next year. This links into my goal of getting fitter and stronger in 2015. 

In the Summer holidays, after I've finished my GCSEs, I want to discover new things to do locally. Every holiday either my family and I go abroad, or I stay at home and do things that I've done before. Now I'm not saying that I don't enjoy this, but I feel like there is so much to do on my doorstep that I haven't done yet. Next year I want to find some of these new experiences, and really get to know the area around me. 

Lastly, a more personal thing, I want to practise doing one task at a time. Especially in this new era of technology, I've found myself playing games while watching the TV, working while watching YouTube, or fiddling with my phone while talking to people. I think this is a really bad habit, and I want this to change in 2015. I could get a lot more done and experience more if I focused on one job at a time, and reduced my time just fiddling (and doing nothing important) on my phone.

These are my goals for now, and I'm sure I'll set many more as the year progresses. 2014 has been an amazing year, and the 2014 Blogger Challenge has been a great way to focus my attention on my blog.

I wish you guys an amazing New Year!

What are your goals for 2015?

Love Sian xox

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Gift Guides for Christmas | Adults

Having trouble deciding what to buy for your family for Christmas? Here's a basic guide to what I think is best to buy for the adults of the family.


Grandparents

Grandparents are quite easy to buy for, as they usually don't ask much from their grandchildren. I go for something simple like:

- For grandma: a scarf or shawl for winter: Something not too expensive but good quality hits the spot
- For grandpa: a wallet or tie should do the trick
- For both: something personal like a decorative frame with a family photo, or something handmade will be loved by the grandparents!

Parents

Parents are quite harder to generalise for what to get for Christmas, as a personal thing usually is best. I'm basing this totally on what kind of things my parents have asked for over the years. 

For mum: My mum loves beauty products and things for her skin, so I go for a good quality cream/moisturiser or a nice smelling candle. Either that, or a favourite CD - this year she wants the new Sam Smith CD
For dad: Dads are always unpredictable - so some good presents could be cuff links, a CD or a favourite book!
For both: A nice photo frame, vouchers, or a couples experience to enjoy together! 


Uncles & Aunts

I like to buy couples presents for Aunts & Uncles, but if you're feeling generous, here are a few ideas.

For Auntie: Something along the same lines as mum - a beauty product, CD or book, or especially as the New Year is approaching, a nice diary. Things for the kitchen, like a good quality cook book can go a long way too
For Uncle: Again, something along the same lines as dad will do
For both: If like me you find it easier to buy joint presents, I think cute items for the home are perfect. This may be nice salt & pepper shakers, a photo frame, or something as simple as a sofa cushion! Or if you're not sure of their style, booking a couples experience or day out is another great option. 


Are you ready for Christmas?

Love Sian xox

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Things I Want To Do This Christmas

1) Explore London at night

2) Visit Winter Wonderland

3) Bake some mince pies

4) Buy and wear a Christmas jumper (I know - I never have!)

5) Decorate my tree

6) Shop in a Christmas market

7) Go ice-skating

8) Go to the theatre A LOT 

9) Watch How The Grinch Stole Christmas (I've never seen it!)

10) Make some cute Christmas decorations


What do you want to do this Christmas?

Love Sian xox

Friday, 5 December 2014

Cookie Dough Fudge

This week I had to prepare a gift for someone in my friendship group for Secret Santa. Over the years, I have learnt what makes a good Secret Santa present - and one of those is food. We all wrote on a piece of paper what we wanted, and my secret santa wanted some Cookie dough related thing. And after some good time searching the internet, I found a recipe for Cookie Dough Fudge


Ingredients

Cookie Dough
75g of salted butter, softened to room temperature 
50g of granulated sugar
50g of light brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
30ml of milk 
62g of all-purpose flour
A pinch of salt

Fudge
67g of light brown sugar
75g of salted butter
80ml of milk 
500g of confectioners sugar
1 tsp of vanilla extract
90g of milk chocolate chips
A pinch of salt

Method

Line a 10x8 square baking pan with aluminium foil or parchment paper. I used aluminium foil trays, as the fudge doesn't stick and they're a good size. 

For the Cookie Dough...
Mix the butter and sugars in the bowl, until the mixture is light and fluffy. I used a handheld mixer on medium speed to get this consistency. Mix in the vanilla, salt and milk. Add the flour bit by bit, until the mixture is combined. Do not over mix, as the mixture may go runny.

For the Fudge...
Combine the light brown sugar, butter and salt in a medium saucepan. Leave this mixture to melt, without stirring it, as the butter may curdle. You can shake the pan to move the butter around. After the mixture is melted, take it off the heat and add the milk. You can stir the mixture now to make sure it is all combined. Slowly stir in the powdered sugar, bit by bit, until the mixture is smooth. As I added the sugar, the mixture did become quite bitty, but if you continue to mix in the sugar and break up the lumps, you will get a smooth consistency. You can add more or less powdered sugar depending on how sweet or thick you want your fudge to be.  Stir in the vanilla extract.


Add the cookie dough to the fudge and mix thoroughly. The mixture should be at room temperature now. Fold in the chocolate chips, and spread the fudge in your baking pan. Chill in the fridge for 3-4 hours. Then you can cut them into squares, and either leave it in the fridge for a firmer fudge, or at room temperate for a more gooey fudge. With the size that I used, this recipe made about 45 pieces!

And it's as simple as that!

What do you make for Secret Santa?




Love Sian xox