Thursday, 29 November 2012

Wintery Warmers

Things I like this time of year...

Hot drinks.  Sitting by a fire with a hot drink, snuggled in a blanket.  This cup sleeve can be found here.

Wearing my long wooly socks.  Who cares about fashion, I'm warm.

The 'day scarf' :  wearing a scarf all day... and night... and almost forgetting to take it off when showering. I love this lambswool snood (a snood is a 'scarf' crossed with a 'hood'  hence 'snood'.)

Fingerless gloves that enable you to still use an iPhone.  I always wondered what the point of fingerless gloves were and now I know.

Exercising.  Exercising this time of year keeps you warm and healthy throughout the winter months. Exercise builds muscle and muscle keeps you warm.  Exercise also boots your immune system, especially when you exercise outside and get lots of lovely oxygen in your lungs.  Muscle also burns fat, even when your doing nothing (yes, really).  So all-in-all exercise is great this time of year, not only to keep you warm, fend of colds and flu, but also to be burning away those 'puddings with ice cream' calories!  

I recently met a wonderfully inspiring lady and personal trainer from Cheltenham who's going to get you all fit for Christmas and the new year - yes you can be a size 8 and fit into that slinky Christmas party dress with Laura's unique weight loss system.

Post (REAL post, not email). Receiving mail from friends and family all over the world reminds me how lucky I am to have these people in my life and that no matter how big the world is, everyone is always within reach.  Sending someone post in the mail is such a great thing - SO much cooler than email (yawn)  I love receiving mail (just so long as it's not a bill payment that's due - that's not as pleasurable)!  I'm sending my amazing friends in Australia some post because I can't send myself there this Christmas to be with them.  But maybe next year :)

I recently received a lovely package in the mail from the talented lady behind inkpaintpaper who makes beautiful greetings cards and gifts.  I'm so proud to be sending her cards to my friends this Christmas.  Have you written your cards yet?

Daydreaming.  I like daydreaming with cup of green tea and a nice view.  Most of my daydreams at the moment are about having my own kitchen with a nice big table that I can put big platters of food on and feed all my friends!  ...And maybe a place where I can teach people to cook too, that would be nice.  A bit like this had to be from Sweden, right?

But dreams aren't just dreams you know, if you really want something, dreams can come true.  So think about all the lovely things you want to happen in 2013 and start on making them come true now.  Where ever you are, just starting is the best step and, who know's what you'll have achieved by this time next year.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Things to do...

Could somebody please tell me where November has gone?  I turn my back for 2 moments and woooooosh, it's almost December.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends across the pond!  Cathy, Shelly and Michelle especially! :)

So, before December does the same thing, I need to get organised and get some things ticked off my to-do list.

But just before I did 'the list' I spent a little 'time' on Pinterest (you all know how you can loose a whole hour on Pinterest, right?) and came across these Apple Crisps from A little red house blog you can make in the oven!  I'm going to try these, 1) because they look fun, 2) because they are a super healthy snackage, and 3) because my new local and lovely Whole Foods Market in Cheltenham has the most amazing produce section where they sell local apples and pears.  Yum yummedy yum.

Secondly, as Christmas is fast approaching I need to get my Crimbo cards organised.  Especially as a lot of my friends live in Australia.  These ones are designed by my friend Gabriella Buckingham at InkPaperPaint and she also blogs here.  She's created her own beautiful line of cards and stationery and you can get your hands on them over on her online store.  I just love the colours, don't you?  Send them to your friends this Christmas - everybody loves receiving mail, it's personal, bespoke and heaps more special than email!

Rain!  It's raining heavy here as I write this blog post.  I need to go to the supermarket to get some food in my fridge but the rain is really lashing down outside and it's not motivating me one bit.  Perhaps I'd be more excited if I had these awesome shiny new wellingtons with bobbles to walk there!  These are from Accessorize UK and I think you'll agree, they are so kitch they're classy!

I think I forgot to tell you all that I had a new job, and the best thing is that I get to drink all the Teapigs tea I want (it's good for focus and brain-power!).  Yes, I am that lucky that my workplace sells Teapigs green tea.  I must buy some for my own tea cupboard at home before I forget!

Keep warm, stay dry and I'll be back soon to share some more goodies with you all.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Autumn colours... and this time last year

I realised when I uploaded these photos from my Instagram that all the colours were very 'Autumny'.  It wasn't intentional.  I think that's just the 'colour' this time of year has become.

So this is what I've mostly been up to.  Lots of soup making, lots of pumpkin pie trialling (I have been trying to make a gluten free crust that works... the filling works, but the crust is still not quite there... needs more work.)

I've also been cranking up my yoga routine and made these Bruschetta Toasts for my friends and family with some fresher than fresh baguette from the brand new Whole Foods Market Cheltenham that opened its awesome doors this week.  The bread is baked from scratch every day and it's the best bread you'll ever taste (well that's what my Dad said!) Haven't you been yet? Come on! Where have you been?  :)

So that's what I've been up to this month; as well as trying to keep warm (I bought some amazingly warm Merino wool tights from M&S that have been keeping me snug), eating soup (my favourite is my simple roasted butternut and red pepper with miso) and drinking lots of Teapigs Green Tea (which I love).

This time last year I was in Perth in Western Australia and it was hot.  Damn hot.  I remember walking to work at 7am in the morning and it was hot.  I had the unfortunate uniform of 'all black' which required me to wear black leggings and a black top - both of which sizzled in the heat.  Just walking 3 minutes from the train station to my workplace my leggings could have fried an egg on them.  I remember looking at the weather App on my phone seeing what the weather for the next day would be and my heart sinking when it was going to be 'hotter'.  In contrast, this year I'm looking at my weather App and my heart is sinking when I see the night time temperature teetering on 1 degree.  1 degree?  I'm going to need another pair of tights!

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Kitchen Crushes.... it's back!

So it's November everyone!  Which means that it's really not long now until Christmas.

...I know, I know, you don't want to be reminded yet that Santa's fuelling up the reindeer ready to roll, but c'mon - there's so many cool things you can do with food around this time of year and baking cookies is a great place to start!

Take these 3D Nativity Cookies for example.  How cool are these?  There's some more cool cookie ideas here too.  And cookies are a great idea for economic gifts - everyone loves a cookie, after all!

Still stuck for Christmas present ideas?  I love this idea of making this christmas gift for my cook-fan friends - just buy an oven glove and fill it with kitchen goodies.  Fantastic.

I have a huge crush on this kitchen right now.  Credit to the awesome blog SFGirlByBay where I found it and fell in love. I could be sitting here writing a recipe, sipping on some green tea and listening to some Ben Howard while the wintery sunshine floods into my kitchen which is filled with Christmas cookies baking in the oven... wafting of cinnamon.

....Ahh, it's only a day dream ;)