As Valentines Day is just around the corner, I wanted to bake something for this weeks post that could be used as a great gift and could also be made any other day of the year. I wasn’t really sure what to make as my boyfriend and I don’t really celebrate Valentines Day, but as I was scrolling through a few Pinterest recipes, I thought ‘why not make raspberry chocolate brownies?’ They include chocolate and the colour red, so it seemed like the perfect choice! Let’s get baking! 🙂
You Will Need:
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
3/4 cup plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup frozen raspberries
What To Do:
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celcius and line a brownie tin with baking paper.
Melt the butter over medium heat. Add the cocoa powder and stir until smooth.
Add the eggs one at a time and mix well after each addition.
Pour in the sugar and vanilla essence and stir until all the sugar has dissolved.
Sift in the flour and baking powder, stir until well combined.
Fold in the raspberries and pour mixture into the prepared baking tin.
Place in the oven for about 40 minutes and allow to cool on a wire rack.
Once cool, sprinkle with icing sugar and cut into 12 squares.
As I have shared Christmas recipe ideas, decor and diys, I thought it only right to share my top ten list of Christmas movies to snuggle down and watch throughout December. There are so many Christmas movies that I adore but I decided to go with the ones that I have actually gone out and bought over the past year, as I have watched them so many times. This list is in no particular order as there is no way I could choose a number one favourite. Let’s get started!
Arthur Christmas follows the story of Arthur, Santa’s clumsy son with a big heart full of love for all things Christmas. After finding out that one child has been missed, Arthur is terrified that it will ruin the magic of Christmas for one little girl and begins his own journey with Grandsanta, a young elf and an old sleigh in tow to deliver the present himself and save Christmas. This is a feel good movie full of excitement and fun, it definitely will leave you full of Christmas joy.
A Christmas Carol follows the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, a man who hates everything about Christmas and joy and whose favourite saying is ‘Bah Humbug’. On the night of Christmas Eve he is visited by the ghosts of past, present and future, who teach him the true meaning of Christmas, causing Scrooge to change his feelings about Christmas and fill his life with joy.
A Christmas Story follows the story of 9 year old Ralphie, whose one Christmas wish is to recieve a Red Rider BB Gun. After trying to convince his mother, his teacher and even the mean Santa at his local department store, the only answer Ralphie has recieved is “you’ll shoot your eye out”. You see the ups and downs of being a nine year old around Christmas time in the 1940’s, including seeing Ralphie uttering the dreaded ‘f’ word in front of his father and witnessing a friend getting his tongue stuck to the frozen flag pole. As morning arrives on Christmas Day, Ralphie opens so many lovely gifts, including a gift from his aunt that his mother adores. But will he recieve his single Christmas wish?
Four Holidays follows the story of happily unmarried Brad and Kate, whose only plans for the holidays is to jump on a plane to avoid spending time with their divorced parents. When they arrive at the airport, however, a thick fog causes all flights to be cancelled, sending Brad and Kate on the worst Christmas of their lives. This is a movie filled with laughs and Christmas cheer, proving that although your family may drive you crazy, Christmas just wouldnt be the same without them.
Fred Claus follows the story of Fred, Santa Claus’ brother, a grumpy man who has lost all belief in Christmas after being forced to grow up in his younger brothers shadow. One Christmas, after needing to borrow money from his brother, Fred travels to the North Pole to discover that Nick is in some trouble of his own. This is a heartwarming movie, filled with laughs as you watch Fred save Christmas and realise that family is the best gift he will ever recieve.
The Holiday follows the stories of Iris and Amanda, two complete opposites who both want nothing more than to escape their daily lives over the Christmas period. By chance, they both meet online and impulsively switch homes, sending Amanda to a cosy cottage in England and Iris to a huge Hollywood estate. As they settle in to living in a brand new country, they both find new romances and have experiences that will change the way they look at life, forever.
Home Alone 1 & 2 follows the story of 8 year old Kevin McCallister, who makes a wish that his family would disappear one night and wakes up the following morning to discover that he has been accidentally left behind after his family goes on Christmas vacation. While he’s home alone, 2 burgulars are trying to break in, so Kevin gets to decorating the house with hilarious booby traps that will have you smiling through the whole movie. Home Alone 2 also follows the story of Kevin, except this time he is in New York. What Kevin doesn’t know is that the Wet Bandits are also in New York, seeking their revenge. After their attempts to get him back, Kevin sets up an astounding amount of booby traps all over New York to stop the Wet Bandits once again.
How The Grinch Stole Christmas follows the story of The Grinch, a grumpy, green , hairy creature who lives inside a cave on top of Mount Crumpit overlooking Whoville. The Grinch absolutely hates Christmas, so when Whoville begisn to set up for Christmas time, The Grinch decides to put a stop to it for good. He invents a contraption to steal all of their presents and decorations on the night of Christmas Eve only to discover that the true meaning of Christmas is about more than gifts. This is a heartwarming movie filled with joy and laughter, based on the book by Dr. Suess.
Love Actually follows the stories of ten people discovering the joys and downfalls of relationships in the weeks leading up to Christmas. It explores the lives of boyfriends & girlfriends, fathers & sons, husbands & wives and stars & managers to give you so many different points of view on the aspect of love with all of the characters being connected in some way in the end. It is a magical movie filled with love and laughter and even a few tears, making it the perfect Christmas movie for any kind of person.
The Polar Express follows the story of a young boy who no longer believes in the magic of Christmas. Jump on board and watch as The Polar Express travels up mountains, slips over ice and hot chocolate is served by singing-dancing waiters, all the way to the North Pole. Watch a young boy make new friends, and discover the true magic of Christmas once more. This movie is perfect for Christmas Eve and is a feel good end to the Christmas countdown, filled with magic and joy.
I hope you are enjoying the lead up to Christmas and the posts I have written for you so far 🙂 Not long to go now! For this weeks post I have decided to include a few more Christmas treats that I absolutely love and are perfect for every night in the lead up, especially Christmas Eve. These recipes are so simple and delicious, making them the perfect thing to whip up when you want something a little bit sweet. As Christmas is during the summertime here in New Zealand, I have based these recipes around that but you can definitely alter them to suit whatever season you like. Let’s get started!
Peppermint Candy Cane Iced Chocolate
You Will Need:
1 cup chilled milk
1 candy cane
2-3 drops peppermint essence
1-2 tablespoons hot chocolate powder
1 scoop vanilla ice cream
Whipped cream to garnish
What To Do:
Place 1/4 cup of chilled milk into into a glass and add in your hot chocolate powder. Mix well until there are no lumps.
Once you are happy with the consistency of your milk, add the rest of your milk into the glass and stir well.
Add in a few drops of peppermint essence, stir well and add a scoop of vanilla ice cream into the glass.
Top with whipped cream and a candy cane. Enjoy!
You Will Need:
1 1/4 cups plain flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup milk
100g butter, softened
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
2-3 drops vanilla essence
1-2 tablespoons milk
Food colouring and decorations of your choice
What To Do:
Preheat your oven to 190 degrees celcius and line a cupcake tin with paper cases.
Sift your flour, cocoa and baking powder into a large mixing bowl.
Add in the brown sugar and stir until combined.
Melt the butter and pour into the dry ingredients. Mix until well combined.
Beat together the eggs and milk. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix until smooth.
Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until 2/3 full. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until cooked.
Set aside to cool before icing.
To make the icing: Place the butter in a mixer and beat until almost white. Sift in the icing sugar and mix well.
Add in the vanilla essence and milk and beat until smooth and creamy. Add more milk if necessary.
If you would like to change the colour of the icing, add in a few drops and mix until it forms a solid colour.
Pipe onto your cooled cupcakes and decorate.
I hope you enjoyed these recipes and would love to know whether you try them out or not 🙂 I absolutely love how they turned out and I was so happy with how the holly leaves came out, even though I made them all without a leaf cutter haha. I have included a few photos of the Christmas Fruit Cakes I decorated below.
We are officially in the countdown to Christmas! I hope you’re all having an amazing time decorating your houses, singing Christmas songs and getting into the festive spirit 🙂 I usually put my tree up on December 1st but as that falls on a Thursday this year, I decided to put it up during the last week of November. After a bit of searching, I managed to gather up all of my brightly coloured decorations and lights and even a Christmas train to go under the tree. After deciding where we were going to put the tree, I set up my Christmas playlist and got to work.
Putting up the Christmas tree is one of my favourite things about this time of year. It marks the official countdown and everything suddenly feels so much more festive. It was always the one time of year when my sister and I would finally get along when we were younger. We would spend the day singing and dancing, decorating the house to our hearts content. I still get the same joy decorating the house now, but its a bit more difficult when you have a cat that tries to climb the tree every 5 seconds haha!
After the tree is finished, I like to spend the rest of the day focussing on the rest of the room. This includes changing the bed sheets to more festive ones, adding tinsel and lights around windows and mirrors and placing all the presents under the tree. It wasn’t until this weekend that I realised how much red I had used in my decor this year. I was actually quite happy when I realised because I think that it feels quite classic and makes everything feel that much more festive 🙂 I have included a few photos of the finished bedroom below, I hope you enjoy it and I would love to see how you have decorated this year!
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 🙂 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:
I hope you enjoyed this post and I would love to see all of your recreations 🙂
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)
A sewing machine or hot glue
A pillow insert
A measuring tape
Thread in a matching colour
What To Do:
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.
Lay your pillow insert on top of the fabric to check that the height measurement is correct.
Fold your fabric in half and mark this line. Unfold your fabric with the right side facing up.
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.
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.
Carefully snip the corners off to prevent any bunching (don’t cut through the thread).
Turn the pillow case inside out and place your pillow insert inside.
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! 🙂
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:
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.
Add in your butter and continue to stir until it is completely melted. Mix in your baking soda and remove from the heat.
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.
While your dough is chilling, preheat your oven to 180 degrees celcius and line 2 baking trays.
Flour a board and a rolling pin and gently roll your dough to about 3mm thick.
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.
Place your dough cut outs onto the lined baking trays and place into the oven for 10 – 15 minutes until golden.
Once your gingerbread is cooked, remove the cookies from the oven and place on a cooling rack to cool before icing them.
I hope you enjoyed this recipe and would love to see your creations too! 🙂