Thursday, 30 December 2010

Christmas Presents....

Hope you all had a lovely Christmas, and are enjoying these inbetweeny days, as I call them. Here we have the sales ( where I bought some VERY short dresses and some VERY high heels, feel fabulous in them, but wondering if am too old to be wearing clothes probably meant for 20 somethings ) We are eating lots of chocolate, playing games, have been to the pantomime, and my two littlies are actually going up in an aeroplane the size of a small shoe for a little adventure. We have a family friend who has his pilot's license and goes on his flights every so often to make his hours up and has invited us along, of course I am playing scaredy cat and not going up, though am so proud of my two children who have jumped at the chance of an opportunity to go up up and away. Hmmmmm we shall see how I really feel whilst waving them off that little runway.
So, we are doing our best to enjoy these inbetweeny days, and hope you are having fun too, whatever you are up to.

Hope Santa treated you, I was very spoilt with some lovely gifts, new crafty books....

A little book of style ( someone trying to tell me something ;0)

Santa knows I love a little CK at Christmas....

 My favourite CK bird napkins I love so much....

Email is good, hand written pretty cards are even better....

Lovely little trinkets....

I do love the Provence Rose, though have never bought any of the dinnerware set, was so lovely to unwrap the sweet little plates....

Mmmmmm so pretty....

 I had always had my eye on the sweet smelling SJP perfume, If you haven't had the chance to take a sniff of the scent yet, it has notes of wild red strawberries, gardenia, mimosa, vanilla and creamy musks. It is a very feminine perfume was a lovely surprise and I really like it.

Of course, I had a very, very special present that Santa bought a little earlier than expected. It couldn't have come sooner as my old one broke only days after me getting it. Here is a little clue....

Yes, I am the proud owner of a new chine :0) I had been pondering over which make and model to get for yonks and yonks, and was so happy with my olde, little, yet very trusty Janome, and so that is the make I went for. I kind of reckon on the only reason my old one broke was because I was pushing it too hard, hoping it would do the things, deep down I knew it really wasn't capable of, though she really did give it her best shot.

My new lovely baby....

So I am having fun playing with her, and love love love playing with free hand motion sewing and the fancy stitches. Hopefully we shall be good friends for a very long time. One of my first little go's at freehand motion writing.

So, some very very lovely treats. I still am a believer that Christmas is not about the presents, the food the crackers or even my beloved chocolate, it is about peace on earth, goodwill to men. And that shall always be my thinking, but I have to say these pretties certainly are the icing on the cake :0)

Hope Santa left you something pretty under that tree....


Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Orla Kiely For Tesco Charity Bag Giveaway....

Some of you may know that Tesco are working in collaboration with Orla Kiely and a little like the Cath Kidston range of charity bags that were on offer last year at Tesco, it is now Orla Kiely who is the cutting edge desiner of the new style charity bags

These range of bags I gather have been quite hard to come by, my local store was delivered 90 and have all but pretty much sold it seems. I got there just in time to grab a couple and would like to offer one to someone who would appreciate it, who perhaps may have tried to get hold of one and for whatever reason couldn't. Or just because you like it. All I would like to know if you would like to go in the hat, is what you would use the bag for. As for me, it shall probably be used as a shopping bag, until I can think of something a little more imaginative ;0)

So, one gorgeous Orla Kiely bag up for grabs, leave your comment if you would like to be in with a chance to win it, and a winner shall be picked at random in a week (29th) Overseas welcome and good luck :0)

Thank you, a giveaway winner has been chosen, thanks to all who entered

Monday, 20 December 2010

Had A Sneaky Play....

Is it wrong that I want my son's christmas present. I couldn't resist a little play, it is super fun!!

It spins, has flashing lights, does acrobatics, and goes like a rocket. We have been very late getting some presents for the children, and thankfully one or two have arrived before the big day. Though am very tempted to wrap this one up all for myself ;0) Do you play with your children's presents before you wrap them?

Or am I just a big kid....


Sunday, 19 December 2010

Christmas Wouldn't Be Christmas Without Ferrero....

It is that time of year where I know there shall pretty much always be chocolate in the house. Being of a sweet toothed nature, I always like a little taste of chocolate and for some reason it always tastes better at christmas!! Therefore I was delighted to be sent these from Ferrero

Of course being a chocolate lover, I would love to dive in, but there are far more deserving people, so these are actually going to be given as a present to somone who I know would love them. They are a lovely, unique assortment of irresistible specialities, and a perfect gift for loved ones. Especially at Christmas, doesn't everyone get Ferrero at Christmas ;0)

I was also sent a very lovely E card from Ferrero, that is on my sidebar, and you can send one too, AND in doing so could win one of many treats. You can find out here

I love this You tube video of a magnificent, and edible Ferrero treat Christmas tree, including 12 000 Ferrero's, being constructed in Covent Garden.

 Now, that is my kinda christmas tree ;0)




I love my slippers and probably have maybe 4 pairs on the go, I like them to be pretty, warm, comfortable, and these are my favourites.

So when Clifford James, offered a pair of slippers to try out, I thought perhaps, maybe....

However when I perused the ladies collection on offer, I didn't really think any were, mmmmm, how can I put it, quite me.  The men's slipper collection excited me a little more, and as I was offered a pair from either collection, thought a nice pair of men's slippers would make a lovely Christmas present for the husband, whose own slippers were looking a little well worn to say the least.  There was quite a nice selection on offer I thought, and was quite taken with these.

I also liked the idea of comfort too, so thought these wool lined leather Moccasin's would be perfect, stylish, comfortable and warm too. Being some what of a fuss pot, thought would get Mr. P's approval before ordering and he thought the Moccasin's would be fine and looked forward to getting them.

I have to say the service and delivery were excellent and the slippers arrived the next day after ordering, something I wasn't expecting. I wasn't sure whether to tell Mr. P they had come, just wrap them up and pop under the tree. Well, I thought he better try them on, in case the fit was not quite right. We ordered his normal size and as luck would have it, these really are a little small, and especially as a narrow fitting, are not destined to be owned by my husband. The look and feel of the slipper is very nice and I think are very stylish. If ordering a pair I would certainly advise ordering a size up perhaps, or at least bear in mind that the slipper does come up quite small. So yes, they are wrapped, and under the tree. ( Which has been happily decorated by the family, and I am no longer a bah humbug ) We are yet to see who they are destined for, my brother? no he has quite wide feet, my Father in Law? a possibility. Until then, at least they look pretty in their Christmas paper, waiting to fly off to a new home :0)


Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Am I Having A Mid Life Crisis....

I really am too old to be doing things like this....
I feel like a teenager all over again....
Is this proof that I am yearning for my youth....

I cut him out, pinned him up and have been drooling ever since....

The husband just rolls his lovely blue eyes....

Maybe it is just a phase, I shall grow out of it....


Monday, 6 December 2010

Beautiful Barbapapa Chain Lights....

Gosh what a weekend!! Two Christmas fairs the day after each other and lots of late night sewing, all fun and games :0) I would like to mention two very lovely items that were sent my way to have a play with and review. I do enjoy my review role, I know it isn't for all, and as a blog reader myself, a review about a cardboard box wouldn't interest me much. However when it is of the pretty/crafty/child//foody/pink/ related kind, I am an avid reader and enjoy reading reviews myself. I guess the shopaholic in me helps, I am a consumer, and I like to read about what may be of interest to me or my family. If you do read my reviews I hope you enjoy them. So, what was I sent.

When I am offered something to review with my children, I do take great interest and I knew straight away my children would love to try these out.

The Barbapapa Chain Lights are from a company called Pabobo and are based in Paris ( where I honemooned ) France, though have many international outlets and indeed in the U.K the items are available here  Pabobo offer a gorgeous selection of child friendly lights all of which I think are adorable and a little more fun and unique than some of the standard lighting products aimed at the young. So, I was given the opportunity to see what my own dear Poppins' thought of the chain lights. They can be decorative, wall-mounted, or can indeed be placed on furniture or hanging near a window. They instantly create a fairytale atmosphere and the sweet and colourful Barbapapa chain lights softly watch over little ones and grown ups too! A lovely, decorative alternative to nightlights. The Barbapapa chain light has 20 Barbapapa characters spread over a “transparent” wire of 4.8 m. and each character is approximately 3.5cm high.

So what did we think, well firstly the lights come in two colourways, 'GIRLY' where the characters are in softer, pinks, purples and girlier tones. And also 'SMALL BOY' which is more dynamic, with lots of boy colours and a lot of blue.  


With me indeed having a girly girl and a small boy, I explained I had  no preference on either colourway as they both looked very lovely, and the children didn't mind either. What a lovely surprise when Pabobo sent both colourways, GIRLY for my girly girl to try out, and SMALL BOY for my small boy. We decided we would like them trailing around a piece of furniture. I am a fan of twinkle lights around beds/mirrors/staircases etc, so it seemed we would all get the most enjoyment out of them decorated that way. Hmmm, though what piece of furniture we thought. We first trailed them around Miss. Poppins daybed, and they of course looked lovely. Being an avid bedtime reader, there is just enough of the lovely glow of light from these chain lights to enable her to have a sneaky read, long after she has been tucked up in bed. I would often pop upstairs and the lights would be there glowing beautifully around her bed. I wouldn't say trailing them around the bed is a perfect choice for younger children due to safety ( these are a 3+ item ) but with Miss. Poppins being 9 was more than happy to have them around the metal frame of her bed. She then had a change of heart and wanted them around her little bookcase ( a skip find of mine that I prettied up ) and that is where they have stayed and she loves them there.

As for Master P, his are going around his round window in his Cath Kidston Boats themed bedroom. Shall hopefully look like the soft lights at a porthole in a ship at night. Well that is the idea ( and his ) anyway. So these wonderful chain lights get the thumbs up from all of us. A really sweet chain of lights with 20 adorable Barbapapa lit characters, with oh so cute faces and certainly, with Christmas coming up, add some wonderful charm and festive character to my children's bedrooms. So, do you think they shall let me borrow them....nah, I didn't think so too ;0)


Thursday, 2 December 2010

Guest Post By Vanessa Kimbell....

The lovely Vanessa Kimbell whose charming recipe book Prepped! and is due out in May, has asked if she could share one of her delicious recipes with you and of course I adore chocolate so what a perfect recipe to share. Enjoy her post :0)

Chocolate Cookies In A Jar 

This year, more than any other year I am having to be careful about what I spend. I gave up my job to write a cookery book. More so than any other year I have also noticed that we don't really want for anything. I've enough handbags, scarves and perfume to last me quite some time. What I need though is for my children to understand the importance of giving something made with love, and not to have my usual melt down in January because I over spent in the name of Christmas festivities. Here is my simple, cost effective solution. This recipe is from the book Prepped. Dark, rich and melt in the mouth, these chocolate cookies are so easy you can have the mix out of the jar and in the oven in under 10 minutes - easy peasy ! So for me this is the prefect home made gift!

Makes 24
Preparation 10 minutes
Cooking 10 minutes
Freezes yes

220g self-raising flour
Pinch of salt
120g dark brown sugar
130g caster sugar
45g of cocoa powder
60g roughly chopped walnuts
150g chopped dark chocolate
120g soft butter

1. Sift the flour and add the salt on a bowl

2. Mix the dark brown sugar and the caster sugar together. Make sure it is well mixed as this stops the brown sugar clumping.

3. Layer the flour, cocoa powder and sugar into a 1L jar. Add the walnuts and chocolate to the top of the jar.

4. You can hand write a label to give the following instructions.

5. To make the cookies pre heat the oven to 175 / 300/ gas mark 4. Tip the contents of the jar into the food mixer. Add the butter and the egg and mix for 2 – 3 minutes, until the mixture is well mixed together.

6. Form the biscuits into walnut size pieces and pop onto a baking sheet.

7. Cook in the oven for 10 – 12 minutes. Remove and leave to harden for a few minutes, as the chocolate needs to set a little, before transferring on to a wire wrack to cool off completely. There is no doubt that these jars make super gifts. But if you keep one handy in the cupboard you can have cookies on the table in 20 minutes flat. You can substitute the sugar for any of the flavored sugars, Lavender, Vanilla, or cardamom to good effect. If you want to replace the chopped chocolate with raisins this gives a fruity and chewy finish to the cookies. The dark chocolate can be substituted for milk or white chocolate. I love to add a ¼ teaspoon of extra cardamom powder and use white chocolate drops at Christmas time.

Vanessa Kimbell

Thank you Vanessa. I think Vanessa's lovely chocolate cookies would be super also, when cooked, wrapped up in pretty christmas cellophane, a pretty bow and handed over as a sweet christmas gift. Hmmmm can't wait to have a go, and thank you for sharing.