Advent Calendars 2013

Well Last Day of November and that means that tomorrow is December and the start of the countdown to Christmas with Advent Calendars.

I love Advent Calendars, a little treat every day until Christmas Day itself. I remember as a child it built the excitement through the month.

Advent Calendars come in all shapes, sizes and prices these are my favorites for 2013!

Colouring Advent Calendar

How about an advent calendar that you can colour in!! Open a window everyday and colour in a Christmas scene!!  A great idea at £4.19 from Waterstones.

advent to colour

Wooden Reindeer Advent Calendar

A cute wooden and very visible reusable Advent Calendar from Not on The High Street at £30.00 its great value as can be used year after year. Use as a family advent calendar and put things in like ‘Decorate the tree’ or Panto tickets or ‘go Ice -Skating, make it unique to you and fun for all.

normal_wooden-nordic-reindeer-advent-calender

Victorian Birds Advent Calendar

Traditional Advent Calendars did not have chocolates or small gifts inside them and at traditionaladventcalendars.co.uk they have some beautiful and traditional scenes  – my favourite is the Victorian inspired one with beautiful birds and great value at £2.50

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Arty 3D Winter Muse Advent Calendar

For those who are more art inspired this amazing and unique advent calendar from Crankbunny on Etsy. It is 3D and beautiful and every day you hang a new ornament on the horns of the Winter Muse – lovely idea. You can use it every year and it comes in at approx £25.00 – Bargain.

Unique advent calendar etsythings to hang on etsy calendar

Christmas Tree Advent Calendar

A Hanging Christmas Advent Calendar! What a great festive idea! Find this at the Great Little Trading co for £35.00.

hanging xmas tree advent calendar

Manicure Advent Calendar

Selfridges sell some amazing advent calendars from the beauty section, my favorite is this Mini Mani Calendar by Ciate and at £38.00 is a real treat as it includes some exclusive glitter shades only available in this calendar!!

Ciate Advent Calendar

Luxury Advent Calendar

For that luxury feel at Christmas Fortnum and Mason  have released an amazing filled advent calendar, behind each door is a little Christmas treat like Jelly Beans and Sugar Mice. Pricey at £125.00 but reusable and beautiful.

Fortnum and Mason

Chocolate Advent Calendar

Chocolate advent calendar’s are my favorite and Hotel Chocolate do not dissapoint this year with their selection, they even have ones for couples, £25.00 but enough chocolate for 2, My husband wouldn’t get one of these as he said I would just eat his share!! He has a point!

Couples Chocolate

Playmobil Advent Calendar

A great trend at the moment is to have tiny toys in advent calendars rather than sweets and you can see this in the Playmobil advent calendars. Under each window is another piece that ultimately creates a wonderful scene!  £13.00 from Amazon.co.uk

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Cute Hanging Decorations

Make Advent Calendars part of your decoration. These cute buckets can be hung around the house and then filled with sweet things every day. Find these as a packaged deal at traditionaladventcalendars.co.uk for 24.99. Or you can try and make it yourself buying supplies at craft shops like Hobbycraft.

xei-3348_rusty_buckets_advent_calendar5IE-Rusty_buckets_3_3

Our Advent Calendars

So- I buy an advent calendar for my Husband every year and I buy him one  –  and we unveiled them today – Hurray! I got him a Lego Advent calendar and he got me a chocolate one from Hotel Chocolate – looking forward to opening the 1st window tomorrow!!

our advent calendars

Happy Advent Calendar Day!

Christmas Cake Time

Well it is November 25th, one month till Christmas…… And that means it Christmas Cake Making Day!

I know people say that making a Christmas Cake is expensive as you can buy them quite cheap but I just love making the cake. Me and my Husband take some time out from whatever we are doing and spend a few hours together making our Christmas Cake – this is the third time we have made one, and its the only time before December 10th that I am allowed to play Christmas Music in the house, but I do have fairy lights in the kitchen all the time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients List

230g butter

200g Self Raising Flour

150g Plain Flour

120g Glacier Cherry’s

1 Kilo Mixed Fruit

230g Sugar

6 Eggs

2 Tbls Brandy

1 Tsp Mixed Spice

1 Tsp Vanilla Essence

Pinch of Salt

2 Tblsp Treacle

120g Ground Almonds

I use as many different types of dried fruit as I can including figs and prunes, I also include sherry and Contriau to make my cake more boozy 🙂 I also soak my fruit for a few days before using them in the cake.

Method

Beat butter and sugar together

Beat eggs together in separate bowl

Add some of the eggs to the sugar mix and combine

Add some of the flour to the sugar mix and combine

Add more eggs and flour until it is all mixed in

add the treacle

Add the fruit and mix in

Cook on Gas Mark 2 for 1 hour

Cook on Gas mark 1 for 2-3 hours or until skewer comes out clean.

Remember to line the cake tin with baking parchment

If there is any leftover fruit out in fridge to eat with Ice Cream later

AND the most important thing to remember when making Christmas Cake is to drink Pedro Ximenez sherry while making it as it tastes just like Christmas Cake Yummy!!

I can’t wait to try my cake- I wil lbe feeding with sherry and Contriau

How do you serve your Christmas Coffee?

We normally get a Christmas Blend of Coffee, festive markets are always a good place to pick these up or Starbucks does a great blend for Christmas. I am always looking for ideas to make the coffee fun at Christmas- here are a few ideas for this year ….

Festive Sugar Cubes

Find these on Etsy

Cookies that Hang on Your Cup

Find these on Not on The High Street £14.99 plus Postage

Nice Flavours for the Coffee

From Whittard of Chelsea £15.00 for 6

Cute cup to serve it in

Cup from Giselda Graham £9.99

Mini Crackers with Chocolate to Serve alongside.

These are from Hotel Chocolate £15.00 for 10

Christmas Liqueur Glasses Charity Shop Find!

So I have started wandering around the large department stores looking for Christmas inspiration and I stumbled across these set of 6 Liqueur glasses in the wonderful John Lewis and fell instantly in love:

In love with these glasses from John Lewis

At £28.00 that’s a little much for me to be spending at this time of year on myself but I decided I had to have something like this for the festive season. I do love shopping for glassware in Charity shops so went for a hunt and look what I found…..

I found 1 glass tray @ £1.99

 

5 Liqueur Glasses with black line in stem 5 for £1.99

Then the Holy Grail… 5 Coloured Stem Glasses

And again magic price of 5 glasses for £1.99 that’s less than 40p per glass!! BARGAIN and Beautiful!!

So I ended up with 10 glasses and 1 fab tray for less than £6.00  – Love Charity Shopping!!!!

Christmas Cake 2012 Inspiration

I was in Lakeland shopping yesterday and saw they had BLUE icing – inspiration struck and thought I would do a blue Christmas Cake this year. I am making my Christmas Cake tomorrow and allways like to imagine what it would looklike,

So here is what I am drawing inspiration from this year: