As you may have guessed I absolutely love Christmas! But, being on maternity leave means this year I have had to be a bit more careful with my money. When we put our tree up this year I thought it looked a little bare, a few of the glass decorations had broken as we moved flats last year, & the stocking and robin looked a bit lonely on the tree.
A friend suggested adding some tinsel, but my husband has very definite ideas about tinsel so that was a no! So I started looking for Christmas tree decorations that would be nice & cheap and decided to make Gingerbread Tree Decorations. If you have children old enough, then this is a really easy recipe to make with them & they will enjoy decorating them afterwards. So how do you make Gingerbread Tree Decorations? This recipe is loosely based on one from the National Trust, but adapted by my mum over many years.
- 4 tbsp golden syrup
- 2 tbsp black treacle
- 2 tbsp water
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp ginger
- 190g butter
- 1 tsp bicarbonate soda
- 450g plain flour
- Embroidery Thread
- Icing writing, sweets, gold balls, anything you want to decorate your gingerbread with.
How to Make Gingerbread Tree Decorations
- Heat the oven to 180 degrees C.
- Grease x 2 baking trays with butter.
- Put the sugar, golden syrup, black treacle, water, cinnamon and ginger in a large pan. Heat to boiling point, stirring with a wooden spoon.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter and bicarbonate of soda.
- Stir in the flour. Leave the mixture for at least half an hour until it becomes firm.
- Roll out on a floured surface to about 1/2 cm thick.
- Use a cutter to cut out your gingerbread shapes & place on the greased baking tray.
- Use a carving fork to pierce to a hole in the top of the gingerbread shapes about 1/2 cm from the top.
- Cook for about 20 minutes until firm & golden.
- Leave to cool on the baking tray.
- Gently push the carving knife back through the hole made to ensure there is room for the thread to go through.
- Thread embroidery thread through the hole & tie to make a loop so you can hang your decoration on the tree.
- Decorate your Gingerbread shapes.
- Put your Gingerbread Decorations on the Christmas Tree!
If you want to use the above recipe just to make gingerbread men can I recommend that you only put them in the oven for 10 minutes? Then they will be soft & gooey even when cooled.
If you like baking biscuits then please check out my blog on how to make chocolate chip cookies & champagne.
At this time of year sparkle & metallic shoes are everywhere, but can they only be worn for the Christmas party season? Is it worth spending money on shoes that can only be pulled out once a year? And which ones should you buy?
Last September when the Spring Summer 2015 catwalk shows were unveiled, Christopher Bailey at Burberry Prorsum & Alice Temperley at Temperley London revolutionised the fashion world by putting all their models in FLAT SHOES! Now, we are no longer are expected to squeeze our feet into sky scraper heels, as trainers, slip ons, Birkenstock style sandals & loafers became the must have items. For once the fashion world has given our feet a real treat!
The trick is to dress your outfit down; wear a pair of metallic brogues with cigarette trousers, or a pair of sparkly trainers with a mini skirt. Also, a pair of sparkly flats in your wardrobe is a bit like a bar of chocolate in your nappy bag, a pick me up for those low energy moments. I confess to owning several pairs of sparkly flats because whenever I am tired, had a bit of a rough day or just can’t think what to wear I put them on & suddenly the day is that little bit brighter! Plus sparkles captivate any child.
N4 Mummy’s Favourite Sparkly Trainers
From top going clockwise
Silver Glitter Slip On Trainers – £106 DKNY
Dainty Silver Glitter Trainers – £50, Converse
Dialog Plimsolls – £25, ASOS
N4 Mummy’s Favourite Sparkly & Metallic Flat Shoes
From top left going clockwise
Sparrow Glitter Slipper Shoe – £28, Topshop
Lace Up Brogue Shoes – £55, Twiggy for M&S Collection
Rose Gold Metallic Flat Shoes – £19.99, NewLook
Silver Moccasins, £49.99, Zara
It isn’t just about sparkly & metallic flats, try adding a bit of sparkle to your accessories too, click here to read my post on Shimmering in Silver.
If you have men in your life like my husband, Dad & brothers in law then you’ll know trying to find “cheap” stocking fillers for men is an absolute nightmare. Every year my husband & I set a budget for our Christmas present & stocking, & every year by the time I have bought those “little bits” for the stocking I am already way over budget! So I’ve put together a few ideas of stocking fillers for men.
8 Ideas for Stocking Fillers for Men
From top left going clockwise
Mr Natty Face Forest Soap – £15, The Grooming Clinic (free shipping for UK over £10)
Respect the Bead Mug – £11.95, Zazzle
Vintage Style Bicycle Pump – £5.95, Not On The High Street
Mixed Nuts in Shell – £3.00 or 2 for £5.00, Tesco
From top left going clockwise
Striped Socks – £15, John Lewis
Laphroaig Whisky – £25.00, Tesco
Build Your Own Rubber Band Plane, £8.00, John Lewis
Scrabble Fridge Magnets, £6.95, Fruugo
I’m sure you’re familiar with the song ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’, well if your True Love really were to give you 12 presents, what would you want? My family always asks me for a list of presents I’d like & this year it really got me thinking, as I realised since becoming a Mum my wants had changed. So here is a suggestion of things a Mum would really like for Christmas.
12 Things to give a Mum for Christmas!
12 Full Night’s Sleep! 10pm-7am please no interruptions zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
11 Baby Sitting Tokens. I’d like to go for dinner with my husband, go to a movie without a screaming child, meet my girl friends for a drink and go & watch my favourite band play. These things I used to take for granted before the birth of Daisy.
10 Beautifully Painted Nails. Then I can give the impression of being a mummy in control! I love this colour from Victoria Beckham & Nails Inc
9 bars of chocolate, that should just about see me through to February! My favourite is Green & Blacks & Tescos currently have an offer 3 for £5 until 1st January 2015.
8 (at least!) Meals Cooked by my Husband. Since becoming a mum somehow I have ended up doing all the cooking, how has that happened?
7 Days of Fun with my Daughter (every week). The sad reality is that most of us have to go back to work sooner or later.
6 Odd Job Men. Our flat needs sorting, 1 to put in a new boiler, 2 to redo the grotty bathroom, 2 to finish the nursery (I had so many plans & several Pintrest boards full of inspiration) & 1 to make a me cup of hot Ribena.
5 New Pairs of Knickers, one for each day of the working week!
4 Hours in a Spa. How about the Thermae Bath Spa in the early evening? The idea of champagne in a roof top hot tub overlooking the city appeals.
2 New Nursing Bras, nice Elle Macpherson ones please. Having a baby feeding from my boob is unsexy enough without the added ‘help’ of maternity underwear!
1 Pretty Necklace. Alex Monroe please, he is my favourite jewellery designer.
If you liked this post & want ideas of What to Buy a Teenage Girl for Christmas pls click here.
Today’s stars of ‘Like Mother Like Daughter’ are the Haines Family. It’s one day to go before Save the Children Christmas Jumper Day & mum Gabrielle & her daughter Octavia, known to all as “Via” (more…)
I like to think that I am young(!) & because I’ve worked for fashion companies over the years that I have my finger on the pulse & I’d know what to buy a teenage girl for Christmas. Helping run my church youth group for teenagers has reminded me that it has been well over a decade since I was a teenager & that I actually don’t know very much at all! The teenage world is a whole new culture, they use words I’ve never even heard of & forget about knowing the latest band, it’s all about YouTube stars!
Tabby’s List of What to Buy a Teenage Girl for Christmas!
How do you get in the Christmas spirit? Since the birth of Daisy I feel like we are now a family & so need to start creating some Christmas family traditions. I don’t know about you, but after I left home Christmas became so important and I wouldn’t let my parents change the way we did things! Even down to what we ate on Christmas Eve had to stay the same. Every race, culture & family does it differently and some won’t celebrate it all, but I love Christmas and want it to be a special time of year for my family, so how do I start creating these traditions for Daisy? Over the next week or so I will be posting a few ideas of easy & fun things you could do to celebrate Christmas with your family.
For most of us December is a time of crazy shopping, baking & finding small nooks & crannies in our houses to hide presents from prying eyes. However we are in Advent which is a time of waiting & preparation for the coming King, Jesus as a tiny baby in Bethlehem many many years ago – hence advent calendars! One of my favourite ways to remember why we are celebrating Christmas, amidst the craziness, is to attend a church carol service.
Most churches will run a carol service at this time of year. You can find a church near you by going to www.findachurch.co.uk
Alternatively for those who are local to N4, Trinity Church Islington (St Mark’s Myddelton Square, EC1 1XX) has a great family carol service on 14th December at 4pm. There are always homemade mince pies, mulled wine & cake, we go every year and love it! For more info go to www.trinityislington.org
To get us in the Christmassy mood feel free to listen to one of my favourite carols ‘O Come, All Ye Faithful’ 🙂