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Christmas Mince Pies: The Lazy Version

Thursday, 19 December 2013

MINCE PIES! They’re my absolute favourite food of the holiday season, Christmas isn’t Christmas without a mince pie. I usually bake Christmas food myself, and it usually taste a lot better than store bought, but with mince pies the ones from the store seem to taste better – I don’t know why. So this is a sort of a homemade method, but still the cheats way :). I apologize if you were looking for a “real” mince pie recipe – this is the lazy version, I’ll admit.

This is a super simple method which I’m sure you would figure out on your own anyway, but because I have an obsession with lists, here goes:

Method for Mince Pies: The Lazy Version

1.       Buy some short sweet pastry and fruit mince (I bought the Old English Fruit Mince made by Tasti).

2.       Roll out the pastry and cut into circles, then gently press each one into a smaller-than-muffins-but-bigger-than-ice-cubes-tin.

3.       Spoon the fruit mince in! (there’s an exclamation mark because I love this step)

4.       Cut strips of leftover pastry to create lattices on top of the mince pies.

5.       Bake in the oven until golden at 180o Celsius (I can’t give an exact time, it depends on your oven, the size of the tin, the type of pastry, etc).

6.       Sprinkle icing sugar over them, and mmmmm……enjoy……..

This method shouldn’t be too hard. Who am I kidding, this is flippin’ easy! My advice is to make a ton, because they’ll be gone before you know it (*I say this from personal experience).

Merry Christmas! Only 5 days!


Strawberry Santas

Monday, 16 December 2013

These strawberries santas are all the rage on pinterest, so I had to try them myself. THEY’RE SO CUTE! And they taste choice.

You need strawberries and cream, as well as 2 chocolate sprinkles or chocolate chips per santa. They’re pretty self-explanatory, you basically slice off the top and add a dollop of cream, then put the lid back on and use cream for the top of the hat and buttons. Then add 2 sprinkles/chips for eyes and you’re done!


Christmas Hot Chocolates

Hot chocolates are my guilty pleasure, basically. So when I do have them, I splash all out (do you see what I did there?) and enjoy them to the fullest extent. From my personal experience I hereby present you with:

Tips for a Fantastic Christmas Hot Chocolate

1.       Put just as much milk as water in (if it’s too cold by then, just zap it in the microwave).

2.       Sprinkle cinnamon (and other Christmas spices of your choice) into the hot chocolate and stir.

3.       Top it off with a large swirl of cream.

4.       Sprinkle tons and tons of pink and white mini marshmallows on top (the colours do make a difference in my opinion, contrary to what sane people might think).

5.       Shake cinnamon (or drinking chocolate – cinnamon is my choice for Christmas) on top of the cream and marshmallows.

And that’s it! You now know what I sometimes do on Christmas evenings (and throughout the year too – shh).


Fairy Lights

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

FAIRY LIGHTS! They make me happy, make me want to dance, make me feel like wearing a floaty dress, make me feel like talking in a posh accent, make me feel like a princess.

Judging by the above, you can imagine how excited I was to take some photos of twinkly lights. I personally think that fairy lights are like drops of instant pure happy encased in glass tied together on a string. Hang them throughout your home for maximum christmasness and joy. :)

They look great strung overhead, like we’ve done in our living room, and over bookshelves, mantelpieces, etc. Also around door frames, just like the snowflake lights (pictured above). And obviously around the Christmas tree!

Basically, hang’em wherever you can whenever you can.


Cranberry and Pistachio Christmas Fudge

Sunday, 8 December 2013

This fudge - wow - it's good, I'll tell you that. I don't want to ruin the beautiful surprise when you bite into a piece, but it is a beautiful lemony blend of cranberries and pistachios topped with a white chocolate fudgey-ness. If that doesn't have your mouth watering, I'm not sure what will. Also (for those who can't be bothered spending hours standing over a pot with a thermometer), this fudge is super easy (like, really easy). I couldn't not share this recipe! Have fun! 
1 x 395g can of sweetened condensed milk 
zest of 3 limes (I used lemons - taste just as good!) 
375g white chocolate 
3/4 cup shelled pistachio nuts 
1 cup dried cranberries 
Grease and line a 22cm square tin. Set aside. 
Place condensed milk and lime zest in a saucepan over medium heat until the milk starts to simmer. Turn down to a low heat and simmer for a few minutes until condensed milk starts to thicken slightly.  
Remove from heat, add the white chocolate and mix until chocolate has melted. Mix in the nuts and cranberries and pour the mixture into prepared tin. 
Refrigerate for at least two hours before cutting into slices (or if you're like me and can't wait to eat it, freeze for a little bit but keep an eye on it! And I say that from experience. Think of the worst that could happen? It happened. Hard as a rock.). 
PS: I apologize for the average photo - I just couldn't wait to get it in my know you would do the same thing. 

Christmas Chalkboard

This little chalkboard is one that I bought in Paris (I love being able to say that haha) and I hang it on the wall beside my bed. Throughout the year I write different scriptures and sayings on it, but for Christmas I decided to change it to something festive.

It says:

“Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store, maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”

~Dr Seuss

I just thought it was really cute, and maybe a little bit of inspiration for you want to write on your walls this Christmas? (not on the walls directly of course – I cannot be held responsible!! ;)


Candles + Free Joy to the World Poster

Friday, 6 December 2013

It’s the time of the year when candles are a necessity. I currently have an obsession with candles….As you can see above I have 3 vanilla ones on my mantelpiece, accompanied by a framed poster that says “Joy to the World”. I found it for free online, click on over to here to get yourself a copy. The candles make me feel all warm and cozy on the inside just watching them flicker! One of the things I love about Christmas!



Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Minty, red and white, sweet to the soul. Good enough reasons to have candy canes! As décor, as food, they’re a true seasonal sweethearts.(I kind of wish I could have them all round the year….nah, then they wouldn’t be as special) Hang’em on the tree, put’em in the stockings, add a special touch to gifts. I’ve also used them in a couple of recipes so far, they spice up the flavor, and make me feel all festive on the inside. AWW. Make sure you get some too!

So todays the 4th of December. Time to be getting the gifts….haha if you’re organized that is. Put on some festive socks, eat a candy cane ;), and belt out your guts to a carol. Christmas is coming, y’all!


White Christmas Pompoms


Just like little puffles, aren’t they? Getting crafty for Christmas, I made these pompoms to add some spice to my room, décor on a budget. Hanging from the roof they literally make me want to jump up and down and say “SNOOOOWWWWWW!!!” because a) they’re white b) they remind me of snow and c) we don’t get snow where I am.

Here’s the story: because I love things that remind me of snow and are white (as I dutifully stated above), last year I naturally made paper snowflakes. 2d, of course. This year I decided to upgrade things to 3d (woop woop) and hence the puffles (oops I meant pompoms) dangling from roof. I arranged them in a chandelier type shape as a Christmas-y centerpiece :)

You need some tissue paper, pipe cleaners and string. That’s it.

Instead of me telling you how to make them step by step with random instructions and confusing photos, I’ll just head you in the right direction with a trusty youtube video. And by the way, instead of using a whole rectangle of tissue paper, I just used a quarter so that 6 of them could fit in my room without feeling cluttered.

Have loads of good times and my advice is to listen to Christmas music while you’re doing the cutting and folding part.


Soft Ginger Cookies

Sunday, 1 December 2013

I love Christmas baking. I ADORE it. The smell, the hustle and bustle, the taste (best bit). Even early November you might catch me humming Christmas carols with my apron on having a merry time in the kitchen. But hey, there’s nothing wrong with getting into the Christmas spirit early, is there?

These cookies are a 12 out of 10 (you seriously have to make them). I decided to be adventurous and try a new recipe (yes, I call this adventurous, don’t judge) and I found myself making them. They are definitely going to be a keeper for next Christmas! Heck, I’ve only made them once and they’re already a family favourite!* Imagine soft, chewy ginger bread – rolled in sugar. If that hasn’t got you jumping out of your red and green striped socks to make them, then good luck with the festive season.   

*Take the last cookie, and you’ll be getting the evil eye for at least a week. Guaranteed.

This recipe makes 24 cookies (roughly).

Prep: 15 min

Cook: 10 min

Ready: 50 min


2 ½ cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon baking soda

¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground cloves

¼ teaspoon salt

¾ cup butter, softened

1 cup white sugar

1 egg

1 tablespoon water

¼ cup golden syrup

2 tablespoons white sugar

1.       Preheat oven to 175o degrees C. Sift together flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt.

2.       In a large bowl, cream together butter and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, then stir in water and golden syrup. Gradually stir the sifted ingredients into the golden syrup mixture. Shape dough into walnut sized balls, and roll them in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Place the cookies 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet, flatten slightly.

3.       Bake for 8 – 10 minutes in preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking tray for 5 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in airtight container.

A few tips:

1.       Try not to eat them all in one go. :)

2.       They spread out in the oven quite a bit so make sure you place them far enough apart.


Christmas Countdowns (really just a little festive reminder)

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Summer’s finally crept up on me, and caught me without a tan (thank goodness for the fake stuff in the bottle – right?). Or maybe it’s gotten colder for all you people on the other side of the world (and yes we still in the sunnier parts sing carols like White Christmas, and all the ones about snow even though the coldest thing during our Christmas is the ice in our lemonade).

I've been really busy lately, but I'm really determined to do a lot of blogging this December, and when I'm determined, there's not much that can stop me (except for slow wifi - THERE'S NOTHING WORSE - #firstworldproblems).

So, here goes.
I love waking up every morning and jumping (or slowly rolling to be completely honest) out of bed and opening the countdown calendar. This year I found the sweetest little string of stockings countdown, similar to the one pictured above from Crate and Barrel.

There’s quite a few options – the easiest would be to go and buy one (there are heaps of different types), but for all you crafty types, making one is just as pretty.

This year I'm going to put little sweet treats in them (mini chocolate bars, candies, etc) and an encouraging note. Aww, how nice is that?! (I'd love to know what you're doing - comment below and inspire us all).

I realize most of you will already have your countdowns sussed – I applaud you if you do! But even so, this is just a little festive reminder if you like, that IT’S NOT LONG TILL CHRISTMAS. *sings Christmas song*

Ach hem.

So yes, have a very merry day and stay tuned for more Christmas-y posts!

Nothing Can Make Me Love You Less

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

This is for the broken, the weak, the weary. Those who feel like they aren’t worthy or aren’t “perfect” enough.

This is what God is saying – “None of your scars can make me love you less.”

Right before I sat down to write, I prayed and the next minute as I was surfing the web (as you do) I read this. It stood out because I think a lot of us feel not worthy enough, and this is what God wants to say. He loves us with all his heart, and when we criticize ourselves and feel unworthy, it breaks his heart.

It brings tears to my eyes. Honestly.

No matter how many mistakes we make, how many times we fail … God still loves us with all his heart.

We are sons and daughters of a King, and who said royalty isn’t worthy?!

So stand tall. You’re worth everything in the world, you’re worth dying for – in fact, He already did die on the cross for you.


The Scary Word: Future

Monday, 7 October 2013

Life is full of questions. Yes? Such as “who do you want to be?” and “what do you want to do in life?”

If you’re having trouble answering those questions, then welcome aboard the ship (you may call me Captain).

There are SO many options, millions (ish) of topics that we could study, and thousands of different jobs we could take up. But which one?

A few months ago, my heart would’ve started racing and my mind would’ve started spinning and going into an overdrive. Panic, basically. Panicking that I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life!

Then I found the Truth.

The truth is this simple: giving your life solely to God is all that matters. You and I are both made for a unique purpose. Jesus’s command was to love each other (John 15:17), so if we beginning by learning more about Him and the word of God and doing everything out of love, then that’s a great start right there.

“Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” (Proverbs 16:3)

That’s what really matters, see?

It’s really ok to have no idea what you want to do. In fact, now is the perfect time to give God the reins of your life and let him steer you.

In Proverbs 16:9 it says “In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.”

I can truthfully say that I’m excited to wake up every morning knowing that I’m on an adventure with God.


That’s the way we should look at life. As an adventure with Him! It’s better to be right beside Him than anywhere else in this world, or the next. Psalm 84:10 says it exactly:

“Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere.”

That’s what we’re striving for, right? To be with Him.

God’s listening, watching, right now as you read this. I bet he’s absolutely full of joy and excitement that he wants to share with you about your future. So trust him, and lean into the Truth.

He’s calling you by name – and it says that “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”. So dare to love him.

And when he asks you to do something? JUST SAY YES. It’s simple, and so rewarding. In my life it’s happened over and over, when God asks me to do something and I DO IT, the reward is amazing (better than a whole block of chocolate. No, seriously, it is.)

“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8)

Together, let’s be the kind of people that jump off the chairs for the Lord. Let’s be the people that shout “PICK ME!!!!” at the top of our lungs (if you know me well, then you can definitely imagine me doing this). Let’s not even worry about our future, okay?



Thanks for joining by the way – it’s been a real pleasure. I’ll be praying for you as you embark on the best journey E.V.E.R. (the one that God has planned for you.) Aye aye, me hearties!

What To Do About Revenge....

Sunday, 29 September 2013

You know that moment when someone has just done/said something awful and you just want to punch their lights out and get revenge immediately? Yeah.

Let’s get our honest faces on, because I sometimes don’t deal with those situations in the most respectful manner. I’ve heard it said that you should pray for your enemies, and I’ve always kind of thought that I don’t have enemies! But I think as humans, we do get angry with each other and we do form “enemies”.

If you get into one of the situations, my advice is….bite your tongue. It’ll save you a whole lot of embarrassing apologies and trouble in the long run. That’s easy said but hard done (or however that saying goes), huh? Here’s what the bible says about it:

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.

Do not repay evil for evil.

Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.

Romans 12:14, 12:17 & 12:19.

Ouch. How do you bless someone that’s just wounded you? It’s H.A.R.D.

I have been lying awake at night, finding my mind going back to when someone did wrong to me that day. Before I begin to sketch out plans of revenge (involving tomatoes and a catapult) I remember these scriptures. And….here’s the secret…..

I pray for them.

You heard me right, I pray for my “enemies”! Well, an enemy sounds dramatic, but you get it.

And to make things even crazier, do GOOD for your enemies.

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

Romans 12:20. Romans is full of some good stuff, eh?

Imagine this: next time someone does something wrong to you, instead of slapping them in the face like a 5 year old (we’ve all been there) let’s show kindness just like Jesus.

I kind of like the way Paul puts it in Romans 12:21……

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.


(And a side note…don’t be the enemy! That’s another story, but keep it in mind. Thanks for joining. It’s been a pleasure!)

(You are) Precious

Monday, 9 September 2013

Hey you!

Yes, you, right there.

You’re precious.

Who are you precious to? I ask that question. On my down days, thinking thoughts like “do I actually matter? Does anyone value me?” (hands up if you’ve thought these thoughts too – ooh, I see a few in the back).

I wanna tell you right now, that you weren’t brought to read this for no reason. God values you a lot, and whether this is news or whether you’ve heard this a million times, I think you should hear it again.

How about we dig a little deeper (bring your spades and shovels – what’s that saying, the more hands the easier, or the easier with more hands? You know what I mean).

The definition of precious is below:

Of great value; not to be wasted or treated carelessly.

(Used as a term to address a beloved person.)

Hmm. Let’s make a pretty little analogy: do you have a belonging or person that you hold close to your heart that you value, protect and are very careful with? A family member, or a diamond ring maybe? Something that you would call precious?

How you see that thing/person is how God sees you. He’s looking down on you, smiling, and holding you close. He’s got you – you are precious in His sight. Don’t forget that.

See, told you we’d dig deep. And as I’m writing this I feel it’s touching my heart too. Read the definition of precious again, and this time read it like this:

You are of great value; not to be wasted or treated carelessly.

(Used as a term to address you. By God.)

That’s right, you. If I was having a coffee with you right now, I’d look you in the eye and share this bible verse (1 Corinthians 6:20):

 You were bought at a price.

 For some of you that have been reading my blog, I did just share that scripture a few posts ago. But hey, it doesn’t hurt to repeat it, right? It makes me smile every time I hear it, and I bet it makes your heart feel Gods love too. And remember, it’s not me telling you this – it’s GOD. He’s the Creator and Maker of all things….including you.

So go out there, sister, and live your life knowing just how valued you are. I’ll embark on this journey with you, I think.


Heart Cravings

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Hello friend!

Are you craving anything right now? A warm fudgey piece of chocolate cake perhaps? Or maybe a warm package of hot chips…..the options are endless.

Oh, and I apologize if I just aroused those cravings that you were trying to banish. But let’s face it, sister, they ain’t ever gonna go (unless you become one of those health freaks who don’t even go near anything with the word carb in it – TORTURE!!!).

Believe it or not, I actually have a point for bringing food up. If you’ll be so kind, read below:

·         Our stomach has cravings (don’t try and deny this – we all know it’s true)

·         Just like our stomach, our heart has cravings too

And just how do we fill those cravings coming from our heart? No matter how much double caramel ice cream you devour, it won’t satisfy your heart. Nuh uh.

My heart longs for depth. Intimacy with Christ. LOVE.

What does your heart crave for? Deep, deep down, that longing, what is that?

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end” Eccles. 3:11

There’s always going to be that longing. That’s just how God has made us.

(I don’t completely understand. But I do know that God understands.)

It seems like we’re in a bit of a dark hole, but the good news is Papa God knew that we’d have those cravings when he created us. He hasn’t forgotten about you, he knows exactly what you need.

GOD can fill those cravings.

It’s different for every person – some people need to feel worthy, feel wanted, but something we all need is to feel loved.

I think that’s what’s at the heart of our heart – to love, and to be loved. Love is so important.

Boogie on down to 1 Corinthians (13:13):

So these three things continue forever: faith, hope, and love. And the greatest of these is love.

So love is important, huh? It’s mentioned again and again in the bible. And here’s some exciting news:

You are loved. A lot.

By who?

Papa God.

1 John (4:16) says this:

So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

Here’s another gem (Romans 5:8):

But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

I’m touched. My heart’s cravings are satisfied. And what’s cool is we are called to love others as well. See John (13:34):

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.

Go back to your life. Spread the Word. Love, and remember in your heart that you’re loved.


(Thanks for reading by the way…’s really sweet. The fact that you and I had this special time makes me want to celebrate and crack open a tub of hokey pokey! [any excuse is valid])

Grandma's Apple and Rhubarb Crumble

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Oooh, this is one of my personal favorites. The flavors are so delicious, and it’s hard to beat served with whipped cream. I’ve put off writing this up, because I know the instant I finish I’ll have this unstoppable need to go and make this recipe myself. You too might succumb to this once you have tasted it. I have warned you.

First of all, chop enough rhubarb and apple to fill your bowl in equal amounts. Then put the fruit into a pot filled halfway with water and leave to stew (you’ll know it’s done when the fruit is soft and tender).

To make the topping, mix 90gm of melted butter with

¾ cup flour

¾ cup rolled oats

¾ cup sugar

½ cup coconut

When the fruit is softened, allow to cool and then place in bowl with spread the topping evenly on the fruit.

Bake at 180o for 45 minutes.

Enjoy served with whipped cream.  


You are? Precious. Loved. Valued. YOU!

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. (right about now I eat a Tic Tac just to mix things up).

And the clock goes on.  

Life, eh? That’s a phrase I emit along with a sigh, sometimes. When things get rough. When I’m sad, when I’m happy, when my thoughts swirl around in my head like a hurricane, and everything seems too much. Life, eh?

Right now I’m sitting at my desk, everything’s peaceful, but I know in the back of my head I should probably be somewhere, doing something, talking to someone. But instead I’m here. Talking to you. What about you? Where are you? At your desk, perhaps? Having a bit of alone time? First of all, I’m very privileged to have you joining me today – no really, it’s an honour. I’d like to share with you a little piece of thought, or a bunch of words, or whatever you want to call it. So maybe grab a bite to eat (speaking of eating, I might go get something myself. Apple strudel or tuna sandwich….tough decisions) and join me on this little piece of mind food. Hehe…two kinds of food…..I’m a genius.

Moving on..

I think I’ll talk about you.

Haha, did you just freak out? Don’t worry, it’s not like it sounds! It’s just, well, is it just me that has a hard time being myself and finding who I truly am? Sometimes I doubt myself and confidence doesn’t come easy on those days. Am I loved? Am I valued? Do I actually have talents and gifts that are important? Do I have a purpose in this world? If you’ve got some questions like this, I dare you to READ ON!

First of all, here are a few points I’d like to make (yes, that’s right, I’m Miss. Professionally Speaking today):

·         Everyone has their own talents.

·         Everyone is valued.

·         Everyone has their own little place in LIFE.

Sooooo….I don’t know much about you, but I do know that you’re YOU. “Duh!” is what you’re thinking, but just take me seriously for a moment, and I’ll explain.

Lots of people have struggles finding out who they really are, I know I did! And still do, to be honest. Social media keeps projecting this false image that we’re supposed to look like and be like. There’s a lot of pressure to be up  to date and what everyone else is doing; what you “should” be doing. But have you ever stopped to think about who YOU are? What do you love? What things are you gifted in?

Miss, Mr, or Mrs, I hereby declare that you have full permission to BE YOURSELF.

It’s as simple as that really – you weren’t created by mistake. You were created to specifically, well, BE YOU. God created a love for you out of the best that He had. In His eyes, you are PRECIOUS. Here’s a pretty darn cool bible verse that proves it (1 Corinthians 6:20):

“You were bought at a price.” 

Aww, I know I’m feeling the love. Also, why we’re still on the same page (sorry, pun intended), you are created for a purpose. A PURPOSE. Not just to stand here on earth, but He’s actually got a plan for your life. Soooo, flip to your bibles everyone…Oh, no, wait, I’ve got it right here so you don’t have to (a round of applause goes to anyone that did actually reach for their bible – I commend you). Here it is (Jeremiah 29:11):

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”

For me, that’s such a relief. I have really high expectations of myself, so to hear that God has a plan for my life is just fab. I’m free to be me! (*cheesiness alert*) I am precious, I am created for a purpose, and I’m myself!! And you know what’s really cool?

YOU are precious! YOU are created for a purpose! YOU are free to be yourself!

People need someone like you. You totally have a place in this world, and you’re totally valued. Totally.

Okay, you can breathe out now. Phew.

To finish off, here’s quote from the brilliant Dr. Seuss:

“Today you are you. That is truer than true. There is no one in the world that is youer than you.”

Don’t try to be anyone else, be yourself, because everyone else is taken. And if you weren’t you, who would fill your shoes? Your shoes are valued. Loved. Created for a purpose. By HIM.
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