Christmas Food: Perfect Festive Gingerbread

So in yesterdays post ‘10 things I love about Christmas‘ I mentioned that one of my favourite Smells is Gingerbread at Christmas time, So it’s no surprise that my favourite recipe would be Gingerbread. 
So today I wanted to share my recipe for the perfect little Gingerbread Men. 

What you are going to need: 

  • 300 g plain flour 
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda 
  • 2 tsp ground ginger 
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon 
  • 1 tsp teaspoon nutmeg 
  • 125 g unsalted butter 
  • 100 g soft light brown sugar 
  • 3 tablespoons golden syrup (optional)  – I’ve found that if you haven’t got any golden syrup then it hasn’t ruined the recipe! 
gingerbread
Need some Christmas activity ideas? check out my list, here.

What to do:

Step One

First things first, Don’t forget to turn that oven on and Preheat to 180, I’m terrible at forgetting to turn the oven on, make sure that the oven has plenty of time to warm up or your little ginger men will be too soft!  Once that’s has done,  line 2 baking sheets with baking paper.

Step Two

Now to get started with the ingredients, In a large bowl combine the flour, bicarbonate of soda and the spices. Mix those together, so they are evenly spread, but don’t worry too much because your be mixing these again shortly! 

Step Three

Melt the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a pan over low heat, make sure your continuously stirring and stir until the sugar dissolves, Once you’re sure you have a smooth looking mixture then add it to the dry ingredients you prepared earlier! Stir in until it forms a tough-looking dough. 

Step Four

Time for the fun bit, sprinkle some of your plain flour lightly on a clean kitchen surface and place your dough on top. Roll this out flat but with about a 5mm thickness for a nice Biscuit.  Cut out as many gingerbread characters as you like, I would say gingerbread men, but you could have gingerbread snowmen, Rudolph’s, stars, or anything!. Transfer these to the paper that led out on your baking tray. 

Step Five

Place these in your oven for about 12 minutes, or until lightly golden. Keep an eye, and don’t do my trick of forgetting there cooking till black. 

Step Six

Leave to cool on the sheet for a few minutes – if you want to hang them as decorations, now is the time to pierce a hole through the top of each with a skewer – then move to a wire rack.

Step Seven

Once completely cooled down, it is your choice, ice the gingerbread men and decorate with sprinkles, sweets and edible glitter or whatever you fancy.

These go nicely with a nice hot choc!

So If you’ve had a go I’d love to see pictures of your Gingerbread, so leave me a message through my Facebook page. 

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Things I love about Christmas and why

The month is finally upon us! Happy 1st December guys. 
It’s insane how quick 2018 has gone by this year, so much has happened. 
I’m really excited that this is the first post of many this month! I’ve decided to challenge myself more. Since it is the 1st and Christmas is upon us, I thought I would share with you my top 10 on what I love about Christmas.

christmas

Spending time with loved ones

This had to go to the top of my list. One of the best and most important things to me when it comes to the Christmas period is the time spent with my loved ones. 

Festivities

To be honest, I feel like Festivities happen earlier and earlier in the year these days, but I suppose that’s because we’re just too busy as people now, and there’s just so much fun to fit in. Going out around the Christmas market, grabbing a festive hot chocolate and starting to feel the festive feel! 
When it comes to this time of year and you begin to see little kids faces light up with joy as the thought of Santa coming to visit them it cropping up, Elf is causing mischief on the shelf, how can you not think warm festive vibes. 

Stuck on thinking of something to do this Christmas, how about checking out my Christmas activity list, here.

SPARKLES:

Well, this is an obvious one on my list, I love sparkles any time of year! and you should always live by the rule that sparkles and sequins are not just for the holidays! but since they are a holiday favourite, I love how much sparkle is out right now at this time of year. 

Christmas food & drink

There is no way of avoiding it, no matter how hard you’re trying to be good. Maybe it is at home, or maybe it’s in the office, Could even be the multitude of nights and meals out in the run-up to Christmas. Who couldn’t mention the food when it comes for their love about Christmas.

Check out my favourite Gingerbread cookie recipe, here.

Festive Colours

I love them all! when you just look at something and can think ‘oh it’s so Christmasy’. Dark metallic colours always seem to catch my eye. Purples, reds, blues, golds, silver and my favourite colour any way rose gold. It is true that colours really do make the season!

Christmas Decorations

Ok, I admit it If I had my way the Christmas decorations would have been up probably halfway through November. You always know that its officially Christmas when the decorations have gone up, and the tree lights are twinkling in the background whilst chilling on the sofa, glass of wine in one hand and Christmasy cookies in the other! Oh yes!
We don’t have our decorations up just yet! but within the next few days, the lounge will be twinkling! can not wait! 

love about christmas

Christmas Jumpers

They spend all year in our drawers waiting for this month! yep, that’s right, the return of the Christmas jumper and they are definitely on my list of things I love about Christmas. Nothing says Christmas spirit better than a cheesy Christmas selfie in an in-between tasteful but still a little tacky Christmas jumper. HO HO HO. 

Traditions

We all have our traditions at this time of year and granted there’s probably a few that are not on our like list for most of us, BUT traditions are just a thing. It is hard not to get excited about the little things, whether its a day out. a movie you always watch. or whatever it is you do on Christmas eve. I love having traditions that feel just as special every time round!

Christmas winter smells

When it gets to this time of year I love the smells that start popping up, especially gingerbread. Yep, gingerbread ANYTHING. 
I’m a total sucker for Christmassy scented candles, bubble bath, room sprays. Literally the lot. 

Christmas Eve

Finally I think my favourite day, throughout December I think my favourite time of it all has to Christmas eve. Its almost a calm before the storm of Christmas day, but still a very busy day. The hustle and bustle before people eventually just give up and finally start enjoying their Christmas. 

I bet that there’s so many more things that I could list on what I love about Christmas. I found this a really list of things to write. 
I’d love to hear others favourite things? Do you have a favourite tradition, smell, food? Leave a comment!

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My blogging FAIL!

I’ve been blogging for a little whilst now! So although I would call myself a Pro right now, I have definitely learnt a few things through experiences.
As time has passed, my blogging skills have been changing, my writing style improving. But I definitely was not prepared for my Blogging Fail.

blogging fail

My heart stopped a second when I went to log into my WordPress dashboard to find that my site was being diverted to spam sites. I rang up my hosting, Who explained, websites have the same needs as computers and that I was lacking protection on my blog. I mean, am I being stupid? am I the only person that didn’t know my blog needed protection from viruses?

So, The reason this has happened, I hadn’t updated my software on my blog, It hadn’t been that long since my last login, BUT because I had an update waiting, a virus had been able to attack my site, and took over. There was nothing I could do other than letting the very helpful guys at GoDaddy fix my website there end! 

My blogging fail nearly cost me my blog.

On top of a very crappy week, I was literally gutted, the thought of losing my content was devastating, and I really feel that I’ve been rather lucky to get it all back. Unfortunately, I hadn’t made a back up in months! I was told over the phone there was no guarantee that they would be able to fix the issue without wiping everything. I would have lost content! 

so I have definitely learnt a major blogging lesson that I thought I needed to share! just in case I am helping someone not have this happen to them. 
Firstly! Back your blog up regularly! I’ve now set a monthly reminder on my phone to remind me its time to back it up! whilst also keeping up to date with updates! as out of date the software was the main cause of this nightmare! 

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The reasons I love Autumn…

I love Autumn. With the end of October looming upon us, you have to admit that this year we have been so lucky to have such beautiful weather. I mean It’s hardly rained at all! the sun continues to beam even now! which doesn’t feel the normal thing to be saying in October. I mean, I’m not wishing rainy crap British weather on us, but I’m appreciating the fact we haven’t had it, That’s OK, right?

Autumn is such a lovely time of the year, and it always seems like it doesn’t last very long before the winter period hits. So I thought it would make sense to take a moment to talk about why I love Autumn so bloody much! So here is my list of what I love about it, and why I think this is the best season!

The Leaves changed colour…

There is nothing more beautiful then going on a woodland walk in Autumn. This weekend was a perfect chance to get outside and go out see nature at its best! Plus Autumn trees and wildlife is when I have taken some of my best photos!
Theres something really mood changing when you start seeing the leaves change, like an uplifter?

i love autumn

Seasonal drinks

I am a complete sucker for when it comes to a coffee fix! especially when it comes to a Latte, no matter what time of the year, I mean it could be a boiling day and I still love a hot coffee.
We all know that Autumn is here when Starbucks and Costa bring out the Pumpkin Spice Latte, or their Bonfire Spiced Latte.  As soon as these hit the boards! I’m straight off the train heading to work and stopped by temptation most times to get one of these. It doesn’t help that both Starbucks and costa are next to each other opposite the train station, Its hard to avoid right?

Autumn Colours

As I’ve got older I have to admit the truth! I mean It kills me to say this, It really does, but it just Isn’t all about the pink any more! Horrifying I know! 
I have absolutely fallen In love with Autumn colours more and more recently! and Its brilliant!
I love the Autumn tones that Nature brings, as the leaves change, but not just that! The Autumn season fashion! My wardrobe Is actually coming away from constant dark and boring, took long enough! Burnt colours, in Oranges, Reds, Yellows. 
OH and I love my new mustardy yellow Jumper! 

It’s Pumpkin Season…

These lovelies are not just for halloween yanno! Although we will be carving out as a Hallow Eves treat!
Pumpkin picking is so much fun, and we headed to Pickwell Farm this weekend to choose our own Pumpkin treats off the fields! it was an amazing atmosphere! and so many people using the opportunity to pose with their loved one, I mean yeah,  we did! A few!
I can not wait to attempt to make something out of this beauty! Ive always wanted to try and make my own pumpkin Soup!

Cosy up time…

My final important reason, with the weather starting to be colder its the perfect excuse for a night in. There is just a warm blissed feeling about being able to snuggle under a cosy blanket! with your favourite  Film on (or a good book), Candles lit!, comfy PJs and Jigsaw puzzles! Perfect night in, can’t really argue with that hey?

There is just so much to do…

As soon as the end of September comes around seasonal activities are at there highest! and there is just so much to fit in!, Halloween, bonfire night, and then it will soon be Christmas! I love this time of year! 

i love autumn

It’s time to start thinking of those winter goals!

So with the Winter Season looming, Christmas is coming around the corner fast! I’m planning to sit down soon and set some seasonal goals! 
I’m always mentioning that time is going by way too quickly! and with that being said I am not wanting to see opportunities pass untouched! 
I’m always looking for ideas and goals on things to do! so shout me in the comments with your Winter goals!

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Monday Motivation – Using Mondays for the best.

Hello Monday! every week you come around again. Even though we don’t really want that back to work feeling after a lovely chilled weekend. We all have that early morning wake up call on a Monday.
6:30 my alarm went off this morning, and I quickly hit the snooze button, actually, I hit that luxurious ‘SNOOZE’ more than a few times. Monday Motivation is upon us.

This particular Monday I am feeling extremely positive! probably where my Monday motivation has come from. Today especially marks a year of change, development, aspiration, not to mention a bucket list of goals that have been accomplished! 

There is an importance to have motivation.

The days in our lives can slip between our fingers if we let them. Sometimes we won’t know that it has even happened until it is too late. Really it’s important to remember the actions and behaviours that have built where you are in life right now. It’s not about remembering a day, a moment, or a time. It is about learning from your mistakes. Using past experiences to work on a positive outcome for the rest of your life!

Do you ever scroll through Facebook and have a look at the ‘on this day’ memories that come up? If you are like me it will be an “Omg is that really what I was saying” or, “Can’t believe that was 5 years ago”. Not to mention the “Oh look I was ill again today last year as-well” (That’s a frequent one hey). I’ve realised how easy it really is to focus on a negative attitude. Which 9 times out of 10 have been mirrored from someone else. You then watch it kill the inspiration, and personality of a person. 

Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.

When you have things that can get in the way like Anxiety, depression and an odd panic attack over something that 5 minutes later seems silly. Keeping yourself on the right track is really an important mind matter.
It is easy for one person to call judgement on another, to slate every movement, every photo, every written word, and make it into something that is perceived in the wrong way.  Not everyone will understand everything you do in life, but by staying motivated and true to yourself, your heading in the right direction. 

monday motivation

This year we have been through the mill and back, but we’re coming out the other side stronger and better day by day. 
I and Em within the last month have both given up smoking!
I’m finally getting made permanent at work. (which is proof in itself that persistence and determination works). The best thing is today we celebrate a year of life change, living, and goal setting for the future!

Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. 

Motivations starts here…..

— Confucius 

Motivation is so important in life. We don’t really realise it or think about it because we never really miss it until it is gone. I can’t list the number of times I’ve used not feeling very motivated to do something as an excuse.
There are so many ways to stay motivated. However, you don’t always need to go over the top to get your motivation back on track! When it comes to blogging I often sit in front of the laptop or a notebook for ages and achieve nothing!. I’ve now learnt a few tips and tricks for helping me stay on the path to positivity. I call it ‘I got my Mojo!’

5 things that help me stay motivated!

Never be afraid to put pen to paper… 

At the end of the day, Laptops, phones and all these smarty gadgets that we have now. They haven’t always been around, and coming from a stationary obsessed girl, who has about a million notebooks and believe me that is never ever enough! weather your blogging, planning an event, keeping lists of things to remember, or just bored, a pen to a piece of paper can give.
I and Em have been keeping a memory jar this year, writing down thoughts and memories to look back on when we’re ready! small things like that will keep a positive mind and value what you have now, keeping you motivated for what’s coming in the future! 

Read … read…. and read some more!

When your feeling down or unsure what to do with yourself, have you ever tried looking through Pinterest, reading other people blogs or ideas? picking up a book and being inspired by a fictional character, or even a real person! (Hey Some of those self-help books aren’t that bad you know!) 

Know your own worth!

I’m having a ‘de ja vu’ moment when I say this one! Literally I’ve been talking about this recently, but as a person, we never really realise how beautiful we are as just people! Always finding a way to think ourselves down. We are all criminal to this kinda thing. I’ve noticed in a lot of books and blogs I’ve been reading recently regarding anxiety and happiness that if you write down 1 positive thing a day about yourself, and read it every week, you will begin to learn your own value. 

Stop worrying about what other people think

Well I personally know that when you have Anxiety worrying about what other people think is something that is a continuous fight! Not everyone has a positive nature about life, but just because you come across someone who gets a kick out of trying to knock someone down, doesn’t mean they are gonna win over you. 
When reading in the blogging networks I’ve joined the constant thing is, worrying about what others think. But, the moment you stop caring what everyone else is thinking your attitude will change! MASSIVELY! Who cares? I mean let us face it, you could be reading this blog right now thinking what an idiot I sound! but hey that isn’t gonna affect me, because I have stopped letting it, The empowerment in the phrase ‘I don’t care’ it is bigger then you think. Because the minute you let go! the minute you will start thinking so what, you are already winning. my #effyourbeautystandards post here is a brilliant point of this.

Know your limits

It’s ok for things not to go to plan every now and then, just because you are not feeling the creative vibe one day, doesn’t mean you are underachieving at whatever it is your doing. It’s just a bad 5 minutes! take a break, and then go back to your challenge with a fresh head! and a positive attitude. You get further that way! Your own mental health is what is important.

Set goals and smile as you reach them

If you were sat there thinking I’ve forgotten a massive motivation tip! you were wrong!, I just thought I’d leave the best for last!
If you don’t set goals,  what would you really be working towards in life? weather its a career or personal goal, unless your aiming high, your not going to be moving. I always try to set, yearly, monthly and weekly goals! Nothing drastic, but believe me it helps. 
Even using a planner to keep your goals! and set yourself tasks to keep you on track! it works! and planners are obsessively addictive! I mean you could have a massive goal but have many mini-challenges in the way before you reach that. Just remember the moment you achieve your goals just enjoy that buzz you get. 

I hope you enjoyed this post and my slight rants. Enjoy your own Monday motivation!

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#effyourbeautystandards

I am definitely one of those girls who really loves picking up magazines and reading the page to page. There’s nothing better than chilling with a cup of coffee whilst flicking through a glossy mag! And with that, I am literally addicted to reading a cosmopolitan magazine and have been for years. This months cosmopolitan magazine cover has sparked a media debate which quite frankly I found shocking. #effyourbeautystandards

Who is Tess Holiday?

Tess Holiday is an inspirational woman who made it to the cover of this month cosmopolitan. For anyone who does not know who Tess Holiday is she is a 300-pound supermodel. That is a UK size 26! 

Quoting cosmopolitan themselves Holiday goes from living in a trailer park to becoming a supermodel icon.

#effyourbeautystandards
Beautiful inside and out

I absolutely admire how this woman has not let her curves stop her from doing what she wants in life! I mean let’s face it, what do you sit and think when you think about the stereotypical model? Skinny? Flawless skin? Tall? And certainly, no imperfections allowed.

Confidence is so important, and I am constantly Working on mine! Read how, here.

With a kick-ass attitude is encouraging woman of all shapes and sizes, to be themself in every way possible, and so many people have joined her in an Instagram campaign #effyourbeautystandards. 

Social media is a place for trolls these days, including morgan.

The internet and social media is now a very dangerous place that so many girls are falling into its trap where the so-called perfect image, whether it comes to body image, fashion or lifestyle can be Filtered, photoshopped and faked so well that it seems real, and the high standards that we try to aim for, really are not possible after all. Let’s face it we are all criminal to going the extra mile to make our photos look perfect…er? 
If we slow down for 5 minutes could we not just start appreciating what we already have? Love our lives, selves and bodies for what they just are. 

As a dedicated ‘Cosmopolitan’ magazine buyer and reader! I am absolutely appalled by Piers Morgans recent tweeted aimed at this month’s front cover of Tess Holiday! To the point, I had to mention this. I mean we go from expressing ourselves, finding body confidence and being who you are (and not to mention not giving a fuck about what anyone else thinks) to a low blow comment like this? 
It’s clear that he is supporting empowerment to the full, hey?

Social media is a big part of our day to day lives now, but are we becoming too addicted. Read my post on this, here.

I’m not saying that being overweight is a healthy body image! but there are thousands of woman above a size 12. Just because you’ve got curves, it does not mean you can’t do anything. we are all just as beautiful, sexy, ambitious, and amazing as one another. I really do think Holiday’s next tweet should be at Piers Morgan himself, just to say #effyourbeautystandards.

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Southampton pride 2018

running for the 3rd time, getting bigger each year Southampton pride has been an incredible day out. It had been yet another glorious summer day, the sun shining, heat blazing, the colours sparkles and queens were out to play at Southampton civic centre filled with thousands to celebrate for Southampton pride 2018. Amazing!

I really do love the atmosphere at pride festivals no matter where you are in the country. It’s like the city has a major mood lift and It really is ‘fabulous darling!’ I noticed that the moment you got into town that everyone around had an energetic and positive warm attitude towards each other and I’ve probably said this before when writing about Brighton pride but it’s so true!

southampton pride 2018

Southampton pride 2018 has really been a brilliant day.

I do think that especially since the first Southampton pride the organisers have done an amazing job at growing the festival side of things. Watching the acts that were performing on the stage throughout the day were brilliant. I was gutted to of left before the cheeky girls hit the stage this year. But seeing the other acts were still as great!

I hope that in the years to come for Southampton that the parade itself is more concentrated on. I’m not at all saying that the parade was bad. But it definitely was missing something! Maybe just some music? But still great as it is.

Can’t wait for pride season again next year.

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Brighton pride 2018 – We had an amazing day!

Saturday 4th August, Brighton’s biggest weekend of the year and the best! I’ve got to say that I  had an amazing Saturday at Brighton pride. 

If pride isn’t your things, how about reading why I blog, here.

The sun was literally at its hottest this weekend and it didn’t stop the amazing vibe going around Brighton. One of my favourite things about Brighton is literally everywhere you walk pride is everywhere. Seriously the best location for the pride that I know anyway.

I was originally gutted because we had missed out on getting into tickets for the festival bit in the parks. pretty certain that was because of Britney Spears being the headliner this year! but we still decided that we would have an amazing day to head to watch the parade! see some shops and the beach!

Brighton Pride is so worth the drive!

Brighton pride

We got up early to head to Brighton on Saturday morning, with the expectation of traffic being hideous. We got lucky though and the drive was lovely. 
As you get closer to Brighton the pride vibes can be felt all around. You really can see the effort that this city goes too. Flags, banners, and rainbows everywhere. It really is beautiful. 

I love bright colours and have always believed that colours can impact your mood. Smiling faces and floods and floods of people everywhere you turn. It couldn’t be truer when it comes to pride. Smiling faces. Open, honest, people, being who they truly are. As you walk through the crowds you have 100 people turn around and say ‘Happy Pride’ Why can’t we have that every day?

brighton pride

Pride is an experience that I think every single person should have. maybe if every single person on earth went to a pride day, there would no longer be hated. 

Definition of pride: a feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, the achievements of one’s close associates, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired.

It is amazing the effort put in by the emergency service teams at this year’s pride parade! I mean the cars that have been all done up look amazing! who could not love watching the positive attitude towards the LGBT community from our trusted services! Including where I work!  Very proud. 

One last thing to mention on pride this year, The costumes and festival/carnival atmosphere. Every year pride gets bigger, louder and better. 
my goal for next year is to be well prepared with the glitter (because we may have left it in the car this year  – oops) and we are getting into that festival! 

Update – I have recently posted about my LGBTQ experiences, here.

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Things that are making me happy right now! Summer of 2018.

It’s summer right now. And it feels so hot!

This might be stating the obvious just a little bit right now but we have been really lucky with the sun making a visit to us the last few weeks. It’s amazing how much a little bit of vitamin D really makes the world seem a better place. The last few days have been slightly unbearable with the heat, BUT I am not moaning. The summer clothes are out and I’m loving it, iced coffees have also made a comeback and a new range of summer accessories! Whey. Summer is the perfect happy vibing for the year!

I have amazing friends and family, and one amazing girlfriend.

Ok so I’m not the only one who has an amazing abundance of people around them, and maybe I’m just bragging slightly. But it is so amazing to feel so happy. Over the last year my girl, my friends and my family have all rocks to me. As the summer season is on us weekend vibes truly have a new meaning to me. Weekends are packed with family visiting and fun in the sun. What more could anyone ask for?

Love island is so addictive.

I am so hooked on this years love island! Danni & Jack are so meant to be! That is all! Seriously! I and Em have been so hooked! I’m finding it so hard not to tweet about it every 5 mins.

I’ve set myself goals to achieve this month.

Ive always been a believer in goal setting and planning so this month I’ve started goal tracking and being even more planner obsessed then ever. I’m not gonna say a lot about this now! But watch this space! On a side note summer is the perfect time to start loosing weight as well. So being one of my goals! I can’t complain cause jacket potatoes and salads are totally my favourite.

The flowers! They’re beautiful.

Without even really realising. I’m such a nature freak. I love taking wildlife photos and photos of beautiful flowers. It’s the perfect time to do so. So I’m doing as much photography in as humanly possible. For me anyway. least it makes me happy.

My last happy note for this month at least…

I’ve finally got on top and sorted my photos out. Which also means I’ve finally sorted my photos from Bristol zoo! Well. It’s only been a month hey! Here are a few …

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