DIY Advent Calendar

Hello Everyone!

This time last year, I spent alot of time on Pinterest searching up so many different Christmas decorations and wrapping ideas, when I came across an amazing idea for a DIY advent calendar. I really wanted to make one for my boyfriend but it was only a few days before December and I didn’t have enough time to create one…that was until this year!

I spent about an hour planning out some great gift ideas to put into the advent calendar and although I got a little bit stuck for ideas around day 15, I eventually planned out 24 days ๐Ÿ™‚ a few of the gift ideas I used included chocolate, a Christmas mug, tree decoration and mini bottles of wine and cider. I found so many great gift ideas on Pinterest and even some inspiration on a nice box to display it in. I got most of my inspiration from the movie The Polar Express and painted a crate that my boyfriend kindly built, with the word ‘believe’ and tied on a shiny gold bell with a red bow.

For the advent numbers I found a great printable on Pinterest, which you can find here. I am so happy with how the advent calendar turned out and I’m so excited for him to open it in the countdown to Christmas.

I have created a list of advent calendar stuffer ideas for both male and female, if you would like to make your own:

ac-ideas

I hope you enjoyed this post and I would love to see all of your recreations ๐Ÿ™‚

DIY Tartan Bedding

Hello Everyone!

For the past few years around this time of year, I’ve really enjoyed switching up my bedding to make it slightly more festive for the holidays. Last year I decided to go with a reindeer print duvet and a grey fluffy blanket to make it quite neutral and cosy. This year I will be using the same duvet but as I’ve loved tartan quite alot over the past year, I really wanted to incorporate it into my festive bedding.

Tartan bedding is a huge trend right now and as much as I would love a brand new tartan duvet, I don’t feel that spending $150+ on new bedding is a good use for my money. So instead, I searched a few secondhand websites and found a great piece of tartan fabric for only $10 and decided I would attempt to make a few pillowcases and a throw blanket out of it. Let’s get started!

You Will Need:

  • Tartan Fabric (mine is 1.5m by 2m)
  • Scissors
  • A sewing machine or hot glue
  • A pillow insert
  • A measuring tape
  • Thread in a matching colour

What To Do:

  1. Measure the height and width of your pillow insert. Double the width + a few inches but keep the height as is. Cut a piece of fabric that matches these measurements.
  2. Lay your pillow insert on top of the fabric to check that the height measurement is correct.
  3. Fold your fabric in half and mark this line. Unfold your fabric with the right side facing up.
  4. Fold one edge of the fabric into the centre and pin into place. Carefully sew or glue along the top and bottom of the folded piece.
  5. Next, fold the other edge into the centre, but make sure to pull it a little bit further so that it is overlapping the first piece by about 2 inches. Pin into place and sew along the top and bottom of this piece.
  6. Carefully snip the corners off to prevent any bunching (don’t cut through the thread).
  7. Turn the pillow case inside out and place your pillow insert inside.
  8. For the deer pillows, I did exactly the same but with a satin fabric and cut out a deer head from the tartan scraps, and attached it to the front using fabric glue.

    For The Blanket:

    To make the blanket, I hemmed the two longer edges to stop them from fraying and using this tutorial, I added fringe to the two shorter edges and folded it in half to make a bright tartan throw for the end of my bed.

    I hope you enjoyed this DIY and I would love to see if you recreate either of them! ๐Ÿ™‚

     

    Homemade Gingerbreadย 

    Hello Everyone!

    I know that it is only November, but as I absolutely LOVE Christmas, I can’t resist making a few christmassy blog posts leading up to December. For this weeks post, I decided to write about one of my favourite treats to make during the festive season: Gingerbread! I love how delicious it smells while it is baking in the oven and the subtle hint of cinnamon and ginger really put me in the festive spirit. Another thing I love about gingerbread is how many different shapes you can create and how many different ways you can ice them. I chose to use white chocolate as I felt it was quite classic and I am so happy with how they turned out. Let’s get started!

    You Will Need:

    • 75g light brown soft sugar
    • 2 tablespoons golden syrup
    • 1 tablespoon black treacle
    • 1 tablespoon water
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 95g block butter
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 225g plain flour, sifted

    What To Do:

    1. Place a large saucepan over medium heat and gently stir in the sugar, golden syrup, treacle, water, cinnamon and ginger. Make sure to stir constantly so that the mixture doesn’t bubble.
    2. Add in your butter and continue to stir until it is completely melted. Mix in your baking soda and remove from the heat.
    3. Slowly fold in a few tablespoons of flour at a time until a thick dough has formed. Place in plastic wrap and leave it to chill for about 30mins.
    4. While your dough is chilling, preheat your oven to 180 degrees celcius and line 2 baking trays.
    5. Flour a board and a rolling pin and gently roll your dough to about 3mm thick.
    6. Using your desired cookie cutters, cut out your gingerbread. I decided to use Christmas trees, little men and a few stars as I felt that they were quite festive.
    7. Place your dough cut outs onto the lined baking trays and place into the oven for 10 – 15 minutes until golden.
    8. Once your gingerbread is cooked, remove the cookies from the oven and place on a cooling rack to cool before icing them.

    gb

    I hope you enjoyed this recipe and would love to see your creations too! ๐Ÿ™‚

    You can find the original recipe here.

    Sparkler Fun

    Hello Everyone!

    I hope you had an amazing weekend watching all the fireworks light up the sky. One of my favourite parts about Guy Fawkes Night is being able to use sparklers. I love how magical they look and how bright they are, they feel so festive and always remind of how much fun I had using them when I was younger.

    One of my goals this year was to get at least one perfect photograph of a sparkler drawing. I downloaded an app called Camera FV-5 and after a few practice runs I finally figured out how to change the shutter speed to try and capture a great photo..however, when I took the photograph the result was nothing like I’d expected. I gave up after a few fails and used the regular camera on my phone which captured a few photos that I really like ๐Ÿ™‚

    My boyfriend and I decided that we didn’t really want any other fireworks as sparklers are both of our favourite. We stocked up on marshmallows and matches, lit up the fire pit and let the fun begin! I hope you enjoy the pictures from the night and I would love to see yours as well ๐Ÿ™‚

    Homemade Custard Squareย 

    Hello Everyone!

    I hope you had a great Halloween, full of sugar and fun! ๐Ÿ™‚ I was in a bit of post – Halloween denial and didn’t really know what to write about this week, and then I remembered a great recipe that my Nanny suggested I should try to make, that was included in an edition of The Dominion Post. This recipe takes a few hours to make, so it was perfect for the raining Sunday afternoon we had this weekend. I am a sucker for anything that contains custard so I knew that I would love this recipe and I hope you enjoy it too ๐Ÿ™‚ This is quite a crumbly treat so it was quite difficult to photograph, but trust me, it is a lot more delicious than it looks haha. Let’s get started!

    You Will Need:

    • 2 sheets puff pastry
    • 1 teaspoon caster sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

    Filling:

    • 800ml milk
    • 6 tablespoons custard powder
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
    • 1/4 cup caster sugar

    Icing

    • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar
    • 10g butter, melted
    • 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
    • 1 teaspoon lemon eat

    What To Do:

    1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees celcius and line 2 baking trays. Place one sheet of puff pastry on each tray.
    2. Combine sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the pastry.
    3. Prick all over with a fork and bake for 8 minutes until slightly golden.
    4. Place a baking tray on top f the pastry to flatten it and bake for 4-5 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool completely.
    5. Heat 600ml of milk in a saucepan until almost boiling.
    6. Mix together remaining milk, custard powder, vanilla and sugar. Pour into milk while stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes until thick.
    7. Pour into a jug and cover with plastic. Allow to cool.
    8. Line a square tin with plastic wrap and place one pastry sheet into the bottom. Evenly spread custard on top and place second pastry sheet on the custard layer.
    9. Chill for about 2 hours before icing.
    10. To create the icing, combine icing sugar and butter, mixing well.
    11. Add lemon juice until a smooth, spreadable icing appears. Stir in lemon zest.
    12. Spread evenly over the top layer of pastry and cut into squares.

    I hope you enjoyed this recipe and would love to see your re-creations!  ๐Ÿ™‚