Sunday, 28 December 2014

Merry Christmas!!

Gah!! I thought I had published this post on Christmas Day but there it was sitting as a draft.











I just wanted to pop on and wish you all a very Merry Christmas!!!

Thanks for reading my little blog. Thanks for those who shared my posts on sites, I was very surprised but happy.
I know everyone who visits comments, and that's ok, I don't always comment on blogs I read, I'm just very grateful that someone actually takes the time to read my rambling.

I met some fabby ladies via Sandra's Blogmas and I will deffo be bookmarking the blogs (I can't seem to follow anymore but I'll have a look at my settings at some stage)

To everyone who see's this post, I pray you have a fantastic day, I pray those who are missing loved ones will have feel comforted and the memories will be a sweet reminder of their lives. I pray God bless you throughout the season, into the new year and forever xxx

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

My phone died lolololol, all the photos and apps. I think the battery is on its way out as it looses its charge very quickly and takes ages to charge up. It wouldn't charge for me to continue blogging on the go so I took pics on hubbys phone.


Spiced Icing mixture for the stars. It was very thick so I used a little water to thin it out but it still wasn't enough, I didn't want the taste to be watery... aha!! My fresh ginger tea was on the side still and as I hadn't sweetened it I used that to make the icing thinner, added to the taste too.























The finished 3D Tree!! My sprinkles could not be found ... anywhere!! They must have got left behind while packing lol so I dusted some M&S Christmas Spice over the icing instead. I must say I am happy with it. The results are just as nice as the illustration on the box of cutters, different but nice. The company zoomed their pic so their stars look bigger. I tweaked their recipe as theirs was for plain cookies and I wanted Spiced Ginger. I also had to add quite a bit more flour to get the dough how I liked it.
























At least I know it looks like a tree as the youngest is enthralled with it, the first thing he said when he saw it was "CHrismas tree!!" lol, he climbed on his step and kept looking at it, pointing and trying to touch it. He's slightly confused though and kept asking me "where stars gone" till I explained that the stars turned into the tree haaaaaaa bless him.



I decided to put some of the tree icing on the Gingerbread too. I just need to leave it to cool and harden before I cut it into squares - I need to buy a new rectangle or square tin, probably siliccone. I had to make use with my circle one.


















My Poundland Cake/Cupcake stand is being put to good use, Star Cookie on top tier, Round ones in the middle and the bottom row left for the either the Gingerbread or the Brownies, Ooooo or maybe a mixture of the two... festive lolol.
























I had a break in the baking frenzy to make and serve dinner.
After clearing away the dinner stuff I made the Brownies but I was so busy chatting to hubby that I put it into my big pan instead of my tree and snowflake ones... bahhh was funny though, hubby wasn't even sympathetic and couldn't see what the big fuss was, he said the boys wont care and if it bothered me I could make more lol.


I tidied up a little while the brownies baked. I left them to cool and will cut it up in the morning.
I was sooooooo tired. Just time to season the meats for tomorrow:





















Bathroom time and then flexirod my hair, then sleep.... need to get a good rest ready for the Christmas cooking lol.

I hope you all had a great Christmas Eve, and all the prep work if any went smoothly.


Phewwwww hundreds of stars done, I had lots of dough left over and kept miss counting - even with my tally list *roll eyes* - so I just made extras.



















Still more left over so I decided to do round ones and use my cookie stamp.



My helper loved the stamp



I STILL have more dough left over haaaaaa. I'll leave it in the fridge for in the week or maybe freeze it for later use.
Dohhhhh this was left as a draft!!


First batch of stars done...... And a casualty lololol



Hubby came home from work, liked the yummy smells coming from the oven and my new protective hair style lol.

I used the raw ginger scraps to make some ginger tea to sip while I bake.






Gingerbread done and ready for the oven!!






Gahhhh!!! I forgot to put the oven on!!!!

Oooooopppps! I'll tidy the table wile it heats up



Dough separated into four, while it cools I'll stick with the ginger theme and make some Gingerbread Squares.

I have aquired two helpers πŸ˜„


Blogmas Day 24 - prep with me

Whaaaaaa??!! What happened to the last 3 days?!!! Can someone please tell me time has wizzzed by for them too?! Lololol.

Since I didn't blog for the last few days I thought it might be a nice/fun/maybe silly idea to blog as I go along with prep for tomorrow!! I have a few Christmas Day prep to do so why not?

I'll be blogging from the blogger app so please excuse any typos(what's new haaaa), weird formats etc etc

Plus the pics will come out as is and in whatever size,style etc that the app posts them in.

I'm not sure if emojis work so let me do a couple test ones here:
πŸŽ„πŸŽπŸŽ‰πŸ˜

First up is baking;

Soooooo I dug out my tins, moulds, bowls, spoons, spatulas plus the rest of my bitses and washed them ready to go.
I'm going to do the Ginger Spice Stars for the 3D Tree.

Here's the dough all mixed, kneaded and stroked(am I the only one who strokes dough?! Hmmmm that sounds like a weird euphernism)


I have my iPad on YouTube with a Christmas playlist on



I'm already a little tired as I had to do a couple chores and sort the boys out first. I had on my sweater tunic thing with leggings to be comfy but it's hot!! So I put on my thin onesie to remain comfy but cool -temperature wise, not down with the kids wise.... This onesie is sooo not the second kind of cool:





 lololol



Sunday, 21 December 2014

Blogmas Day 21 - Christmas Hopes








When I was younger I used to make wishes. Blowing out birthday candles, dandelions, eyelashes, shooting stars, wishbones you name it. Then there were the times when I would lie in bed wishing things away - hurt, jeers, guilt, grief.

Birthdays and Christmas were filled with wishes big and small.

As I grew up I lost the urge to wish and started hoping instead. I felt that wishes were things that may not materialise and often a throw away comment in the spare of the moment. Hopes however have substance, they have the ability to keep you optimistic during the darkest moments. They can take root and become tangible. For me hopes were attainable.

I thought for today's blogmas post I would put together some Christmas Hopes for this year;

*My Boys to feel loved, special and happy.
*To have a wonderful season without major mishaps, upsets and accidents.
*For us all to be healthy and pain free.
*I hope my boys understand that money is not in abundance after our house move and not feel disappointed by the lack of big gifts but instead feel the love in our hearts and understand that love far outweighs things.
*Family, Loved ones to be happy.
*For anyone who have lost a love one to be comforted at this time.
*For those who find this season stressful to have peace, lonely to feel comfort and tiring to have rest.
*For the children who are in danger to be rescued.


I know this is beginning to sound like a Ms World speech and yes World Peace would be nice but truly, I have had such a crazy few weeks and last weeks Carolling experience has left me with a different mindset and also has put a lot of things into perspective. I feel rather introspective at the moment.

Have you got any Christmas hopes for this year?

Bargain Hunters Haul

Yes, I forgot to post here about my uploaded video...again!! Ahh well I'll do better next time lol.



This video shows the bargains I found in TK Maxx, Savers, Sainsburys and Poundland.




Wash Day - return of the overnight conditioner and hello lime juice.

This wash day saw the return of the overnight conditioner, My hair felt like it could do with some extra moisture so instead of my usual oil based overnight pre-poo I decided do a conditioner one instead.

My scalp was unusually itchy that night so splitting my hair into 4 sections, I mixed some tea tree essential oil and Orgainc, cold pressed Grapeseed Oil and used it to massage into my scalp. I added a little hairlicious to the scalp and massaged further. I spritzed Aphogee Keratin and Green Tea Restructurizer on my hair and smoothed Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Beach Mate  through each section sealing with some more Grapeseed Oil. I bantu knotted each section and covered with a scarf.

The next morning my hair was soft and slightly damp. As I had put conditioner in the overnight treatment, I didn't need to do a day pre-poo so went straight to the washing part with L'Oreal Professhinnel Serie Nature Riche Macadamia Shampoo. I applied and rinsed, applied again and left on my hair while I showered then rinsed it off.

My teas rinse was Sage, Rooibus and Peppermint. I do miss my essential oils in my rinses and will add them next time.

The Deep Condish Mix I choose this time around was Kanechom Karite Butter Hair Moisturising Cream, Avanti Silicon Mix BambΓΊ Nutritive Hair Treatment, Capilo La Aplanadora Macadamia Oil New Hair Growth Maintenance Treatment and Tropical Sun Coconut Milk Powder.  Whoooaaa this mix made my hair feel wonderful! Using my trustee 4 sections, I applied a little of the mix, detangled and smothed more of the mix from root to tip. I loosely bantu knotted each section, applied some mix with the conditioning/colouring brush to my edges/hairline and put my gold conditioning cap followed by a scarf.


 I got on with my day and popped to the hair shop I visited last week. I purchased some hair for my next protective style annnnddd a bottle of Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Hold & Shine moisture mist .... I know! I tried to hold out but the yumminess that is SM Coconut and Hibiscus caught me in it's juicy web.

At the end of the day I rinsed out the condish and realised my Apple Cider Vinegar was downstairs in the kitchen, everyone was sleeping so I couldn't even ask anyone to get it for me..... I had a choice - run through the house in my birthday suit dripping water through 3 storeys or just cold rinse without the ACV... Then I had a thought... the lime juice was up here as I used it in my toilet cleaning mix.... hmmmmm would that do? It was acidic afterall.... I had my phone so quickly searched lime juice rinse on hair just in case it was a huge no-no. I heard nothing but great things so going through with my bright idea I did a Lime Juice Rinse and I must say it was very good. My hair had the nice shine that ACV rinses give it.


I allowed my hair to dry more or less fully then applied my leave ins -
Hairlicious on my scalp and  Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Hold & Shine moisture mist (I couldn't wait to give it a try),
Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie, and OCP Grapeseed Oil to seal I worked in 8 sections and African Threaded each one.

The results the next day was FABTASTIC!! I'm deffo getting somewhere with trying to combat the Day-After-Washday-Dryness. My hair felt moisturised and soft, I had that no-heat blowout look for real.



Big hair :)












I styled my hair in a side parted low bun/ponytail/puff using some Eco Styler Krystal Styling Gel, to slick it back and a little Creme of Nature Argan Oil Perfect Edges around the hairline, set with my scarf and was pleased with the final results. (my sleek look was messed up by my huge headphones coming on and off while Christmas food shopping, along with all the rushing, sweating and heavy bag carrying lololol - see what I go through for my lovely family? =P )










I'm linking up again with the #WashDayExperience and am going to have a nosey at some washday posts. I love seeing how others go through wash days.




The Wash Day Experience

Saturday, 20 December 2014

November's faves.

Doh!! forgot to add my video of November Faves! I never remember to post here about videos when I upload them....


This time round there was an "unfave" too.




Friday, 19 December 2014

Blogmas with DOASAHM - Day 19











Christmas Food Shopping

What an apt prompt today.

Today was the day that I did the Christmas food shopping. I went in the afternoon and was kiddie free. Hubby was at work and it felt odd but free to be shopping on my own. I went to the high road and shopped in a few shops in all to get little bits from each place.

It's so funny how a lifestyle change can transform the contents of my Christmas trolleys. In my unhealthy days it was full of chocolates that we wouldn't really finish and would be hanging around the house in march, Biscuits galore and sweeties.
My trolleys today was full of different veggies... ooo including my beloved sprouts... fruits, meats and staples. As I'm typing I realise not one pack, tin or box of chocs was purchased!! I can't even believe that I am free of my choc addiction, and no sweeties!! wow!! I am quite stunned to be honest.
No way am I all pious as I did pick up a treat or two for the festivities, but these were more food based than confectionery and baked goods.

I have a few more items to get that I couldn't carry like potatoes and eggs. The ingredients for the fruit punch and I also need to get the little bits for the boys' hot drinks packs for midnight. But that will be it, food shopping done? wow, were did this organised me come from?

Hmmmmm I wish she was around to help me get my cards made and the Christmas pressies purchased but hey, she can help me on Christmas day lol

Baking

I picked up some wonderful spices for the cookies and cakes I will be baking but want to wait nearer to the day so they can be fresh. I made some "improvised" gingerbread in the week and will make some more next week. I will have fun baking with the kidos, they love baking with me and now there's space to do it properly.

Decorating

Now that all the boys' school and college have broken up for the holidays, we will get around to the decorations. I wanted to have them do as much of the decorating as it;s the first year when it will be full on decor rather than just me decorating the shelves and units. Whooooooop I can't wait.

Outfits  

 I have two things in mind for my outfit and will see which one - or even something else lol - I decide on Christmas Eve when I lay it out ready for the next day.
Hubby, eldest and second eldest will choose their own and I'll guide the middle two and choose the youngest's outfit with his "input" lol

Cleaning

I will do a proper clean and clear of the kitchen and Dinning room on Christmas Eve so everything will be ready for the next day. 





Ooooo yes, I do feel quite organised this year. Long may this side of me remain :)

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Blogmas Day 18 - Joy To The World



Image edited to protect privacy of Teamies :)




Yesterday I was sooooo busy, I didn't get a chance to sit down much less blog lololol
My evening was busy but amazing.

In the morning we had Christmas assembly and a head teacher appointment(grrrrrrr) then the afternoon shopping and trying to make Mello feel happy about having to miss the pantomine trip(double grrrrrrrr).
We came home and I made lunch for everyone who was in and heated the yummy soup my mummy sent me(ooh how I love her soup) I played a little Animal Crossing with Mello, helping him do the nook tasks ..... again(he made a new person, *sigh*) and then the tired dropsy feeling came over me and I had a little nap, setting my phone alarm.
Before the alarm even went off I had a "mummy" issue to sort out lolololol ah well the small nap did help.
I got ready for the evening Carol, Evangelism and Gift Giving event.

One of our Ministers is the head of the Evangelist dept. and she and her team go out weekly, I am not able to go out much with them as I have the kiddies and Hubby's shift patterns don't really allow for the time they go out. I try to do other Evangelical stuff and take full advantage of the flexibility that being online gives. The team do such fantastic work, helping those who have problems, giving advice and befriending. They go out in all kinds of weather and get such abuse at times. I commend them for their loyal dedication.

Each year they host a Carol singing event alonside their "normal" weekly work and I hop on down to join them. I ended up leading the worship last night and was wayyy out of my comfort zone. I was soooo nervous and insecure and I have to admit, a little uncomfortable but I didn't have time to let ME get in the way of doing Kingdom work. I had to put all my isms and schisms to the side and get on with it. I had no time to think about who was judging my voice or picking holes at my ability. We were a team, working with one end goal.
At one point during the evening I stopped thinking and just did. I felt God wrap me in His arms and guide me. I felt a strange but wonderful feeling come over and within me, I started singing much louder then I ever had even with a microphone I've never been that loud much less on a street corner with no amplification!! I started adlibing in The Word and with meaning.
The group were with me and were openly worshipping, the team members who were giving out tracts, serving tea and giving out presents were also in unity and we worked together.

People were going past smiling, clapping, dancing, singing and the atmosphere was joyful and light. Such a difference from the normal Wednesday on that particular busy and hectic street.

One guy came over to where we were and stayed, handing out tracts, talking and clapping. He was prayed for at the end and fell to his knees not caring if the rain drenched dirty street marked his jeans.

Another highlight of the evening was when a very trouble man started off by mocking, jeering, shouting and rebuking us, he was going on with all kinds of antics. Some outlandish, some odd, some seriously creepy. He was so very troubled. to cut a long story short, he went from all of that to taking tracts from the team and handing them out(what?!) He was also prayed for at the end and was crying and on the floor.

Lives were touched last night. Mine too. I felt different. It's hard to put into words but I just felt so different. It was an awesome experience which magnified the awesomeness of God!

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Blogmas Day 16 - Beauty Gift Ideas - my fave Eye Shadow palettes

I love buying gifts for others. I like to make people feel happy and appreciated. Even if I know the recipient really well, I have that anxious feeling that they wont like what I have picked out. I tend not to buy perfume for people I don't know very well as it can be quite a tricky thing to buy, you can't just go by what you like as everyone's sense of smell is soooo different and then preferences of sweet or spicy or fruity or floral or musky or.... you get the drift.
Buying beauty gifts also comes with its own *headaches* I only buy beauty stuff for people I know are into beauty and who I see wear make-up regularly or at least have an interest in wearing it - well obviously - and even then how do you choose? One person's treasure is another persons trash and all that. I take my lead from what they already wear, items they use most, brands I know they love or are interested in etc.
I also go by what I know is great quality - no point in buying something that's only fit for the bin after all.

A beauty gift I tend to reach for is Eye Shadow Palettes, They can be great value for money, often have different finishes(sparkle/matte/satin etc) are versatile,  have a variety of colours that can be mixed to get the exact colours/looks which make them great for every make-up wearer and I LOVE them lololol.

My Fave Eyeshadow Palettes in no particular order (Ooohhh I've gone all X-Factor haaaaaa) are;

[pls note I borrowed internet pics as my palettes are very..... well loved and not pretty looking]

Urban Decay : Naked 3. approx £37 $54 €46

Although on the pricey side, the Naked 3 palette is worth every penny. you do get 12 shadows - both shimmer and matte - in the pack so you can happily justify your splurge.
The pigmentation is on point. I feel the colours would suit a whole spectrum of skin tones and something about the.rose gold vibe is so sumptuous.
I love that the names of the colours are printed on the case(under the shadows).
The eyeshadows are creamy and blend well. The longevity of the shadows is very good.
A duo ended brush is included which works well and is better than those cotton bud looking things. I know some people don't like the brush but it comes in handy when you are travelling.
The Packaging is nice and sturdy. The metal is both strokable (I love the raised lettering) and durable.
The mirror means you can apply on the go and also get a close up view if at home.
There are soooo many different looks you can do with this one palette.



Bourjois: Smoky Eye Trio - Modiore chic. approx £8 $13 €10


These may be little but they pull a big punch. The pigment is subtle but very pretty.
They make a cute stocking gift or a little something to add to a basket/hamper and looks nice enough as a little gift by itself.
For a smoky eye, the shades are set for you with a little demo on the back to show you how to get that smoky effect.
The size is great for travelling and on the go.
A little applicator is provided but to be honest it isn't very nice. You could buy an eyeshadow brush to replace it if you don't think the recipient has one of their own.
The packaging is pretty and I like that you can see the colours without having to open the top. The plastic is durable and makes popping it in your bag mess free.



L.A. Color: 6 colour eyeshadow - hypnotic £1 $1.50 €1.25


Talk about bargaintastic! I picked up this palette in Sam 99 for you guessed it, 99p :) for 6 shadows.
I wasn't expecting much to be honest but really liked the colours. (I hadn't heard much about LA Colors at the time but now that I know more about this fab brand I'm kicking myself for not getting more. The shop had different bits and pieces by LA Colors, like lipsticks and glosses, eyeshadow pigments, eye pencils etc. I picked up a couple lippies and a pigment to try out but didn't go back for ages and when I did they were gone.)
I was so surprised at the quality and the colours just sing on the lids.
The pigmentation is fair but is better with primer or a white shadow pencil first. I don't go too wild with this one anyway because I'm not that brave fore really vibrant colours unless it's to go with a costume.
The metallic colours blend well together but the shadows are not very creamy and can look a little chalky if not smoothed nicely.
The packaging is basic and although the plastic hasn't broken, it doesn't feel as strong as I would like but I still put it in my bag with no qualms. Being nice and thin it doesn't take up valuable space.
Too Faced : Chocolate Bar Palette -approx £39 $49 €50


Another pricey but worth it palette! You get 16 shadows - shimmer and matte, 2 being *doubles*
The shadows are soft, creamy and smooth. Pigmentation is second to none.
The shadows actually smell like chocolate! Like seriously lol, not sickly I may add.
The eye look possibilities - both neutral and striking are (almost) endless. Such a versatile and delightful palette,
The shadows blend seamlessly and feel so buttery on the lids. The longevity of the shadow is very good.
The packaging is both functional and charming. The chocolate bar case is too cute, and the metal very durable. The only let down packaging wise is that it comes with a piece of crappy plastic that has the names of the colours on it instead of printed on the case. (the new semi sweet version has names printed lol) I thought I would have lost said piece of plastic but as I keep the palette in its box (unless travelling) I've managed to keep it.




Sleek: i-Divine - So Special - approx £8 $12 €10






This was my first big palette, I had a few quads that I played with but wanted to get a bigger one. I wasn't able to go for the big name ones at the time and had heard good things about sleek for years. I went to Superdrugs and had a good play look at the different options (they had loads). With the help of 2nd son I chose this one as it had soft and dark colours but still looked fairly neutral without being a wash of browns.
The price point is very good, 12 good sized shadows.
The shadows are not creamy being mineral based but they're not chalky either. You do get *fallout* but not too bad.
The pigment is good and longevity and vibrancy can be boosted with the use of primer or white shadow pencil if preferred.
The packaging is basic but - excuse the pun - sleek. The plastic is very strong and thin enough to slide into a bag without being bulky.

MUA: Undress Me Too palette  - approx £4 $6 €5




This has to be my most used palette, I have as you say *hit pan* on one of the shadows - only the very last bits around of the side left and another is heading that way.
The price is fantastic, £4 for 12 shadows!
Said to be a dupe for Urban Decay's Naked2 palette it is was always out of stock at my then local superdrugs until one day I found it and sang all the way to the till, we've been inseparable ever since. I have the Undress me (dupe for UD original naked) but don't reach for it even 1/4 as  much as this one.
The colours are delicious and blend so well it's a breeze to get a nice eye look without trying.
The quality of the shadows are awesome and they go on very smoothly.
The packaging is basic and being white gets dirty quickly but it doesn't get stained and a quick wipe gets it tip top. The transparent lid allows you to see the shadows without opening the lid but it isn't very sturdy and I have a crack in mine (MUA packaging as a whole is the only thing that could be worked on, other items I own have broken hinges, broken lids)
It's not bad enough for me to wrap it before putting in my bag though and is nice and slim so takes up little space,







Wow!! Who lnew I could go on so much about Eyeshadow haaaaaaaa. Hope it was helpful anyway.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Blogmas Day 15 - Christmas Tag




Borrowed from internet



Today's Blogmas post will be a Tag. I saw this tag on a blog but I have lost the owners name and blog addy :( 



1. Do you like to stay in your PJ’s, or dress up for Christmas? 

I like to put on some comfy cooking clothes in the morning/afternoon then when all the food prep is done I put on my Christmas outfit for that year.

2. If you could only buy one person a present this year, who would it be?

If I couldn't buy everyone I wanted presents then I would make them instead. I wouldn't like to only give one present to one person, it wouldn't feel right to me.

3. Do you open your presents Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?

 We open one present midnight on Christmas Eve and the rest on Christmas Day.

 4. Have you ever built a Gingerbread house?

 I think I may have as a child but deffo not in my adult life. I always plan too and then do something else. I don't think I could bring myself to eat it or even dismantle it.

5. What do you like to do on your Christmas break?

*Spend time together as a family.
*Go to Christmas Church Service.
*Go to some local concerts.
*Visit family and friends

6. What’s your favorite Christmas meal or treat?

 Every part of our Christmas meal will be faves.

Fave Treats are;
Mince Pies
Gingerbread Men
Mini Stolen
Lebuchken
Rich Carribean cake 

7. What’s your favorite holiday movie?

Oooooo how can I choose??
Some faves are;
The Snowman
Elf
A Christmas Carol(and the various spin offs)
Arthur Christmas
The Preachers Wife
While You Were Sleeping
The Santa Clause

right let me stop now, I looooove Christmas movies and can't wait for the Christmas channels to come back each year.

8. Candy Canes or Gingerbread Men?

Gingerbread Men

9. Have you ever made a snowman?

Yep

10. Which do you like better, Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?

Christmas Day

11. White lights, or colored lights?

OOooo I can't choose. I like the coloured ones as they look so , well.... colourful. On the other hand white lights have that crisp, elegant look to them and go with any decor.






 I enjoyed that tag. Oooo I just realised this was the first tag on this blog whooooopppp lol

I tag anyone reading to do this tag, if you have time please post a link to your tag answers in the comments so I can have a nosey.






Sunday, 14 December 2014

Blogmas with DOASAHM - Day 14









OH wow!! I have soooo many happy childhood memories that I can't choose just one.



If I look back at the Christmases past I can remember the following flashes from all different years;

*Sitting on Santa's knee at around 4 years old and the newspaper publishing a photo, my mummy took the cutting and kept it, showing it to whoever wanted to see (and those who didn't I bet lol)

* Various school Christmas plays.

*Singing in the school choirs for Christmas concerts in infant, junior and senior school.

*Playing various instruments for Concerts.

*Begging my mum for a Cabbage Patch Doll one year but not really thinking I would get one as I knew money was tight. Seeing a present under the tree and opening it to find my beloved 'Paige Leslie' oh how I skipped and danced. I loved her to bits and was ecstatic to see she came with her very own adoption certificate. I still have her to this day *blush*

*Sitting around with my humongous extended family enjoying the stories, auntie and uncles would tell, laughing at their jokes and antics. Anxiously hoping they would forget about asking me to sing(I was soooo shy-still am) but they never would and I'd have to stand in the middle and take requests.

*Putting up the Christmas tree, as soon as I got big enough it became my job and I would take time aranging the decorations and leave the angel for the top till the very last. I'd turn on the fairy lights and sit staring at the tree for hours.

*Getting out the decoration box that was chocka full with decorations from years before, each one with it's own story and/or memory. I'd spend hours just looking at them and playing with them before putting them up in the room or on the tree.I remember my fave ones still now (I wonder if mummy still has them?) I used to be soooo sad when the time came to put them away for another year.

Oh my, I am sitting here and the lovely memories are dancing around in my mind. I am smiling and at times laughing as I remember. Thanks for such a great prompt Sandra(DOASAHM)

Friday, 12 December 2014

Blogmas with DOASAHM - Day 12








Although London weather can be quite grey and uninspiring I love driving through the different boroughs that have displayed their Christmas Lights and signs.The lights in the trees and around the lampposts brighten up the place and add colour to a dull landscape.

We normally have some amount of snow around the Christmas season, if not in December then in Jan and some years Feb(I'm sure I remember a frosty March on year too!!)


When the show is falling and is freshly covering the ground, it looks so nice and almost romantic - not when the sun is shining on it though(ouch migraines!!- then I end up looking all pretentious wearing sunglasses in the snow) - But when it starts turning black and slushy...errrrrrr yuck!
I hate the ice too, no fun pushing a pushchair through the icy streets, slipping, sliding and trying to stay upright, but I have my winter tracks ready this year lol

Here's a few snowy pics from the past few years:
hmmmmmm I must have deleted  the snowy garden pics I had before when my phone storage was low I can only find these;


This is a few years ago at our old house



Our very funny looking snowman 






Here's a couple of collages with borrowed pics showing the London snow and street lights.




Of to have a good nosey at everyone's hometowns.








Thursday, 11 December 2014

Wash Day - Spontaneous Cowash and Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie first impression.

{{Woaaaaa Lonnnng title alert}}

Wash Day
When I went to bed last night and started my Nightly Routine, I took my hair down from it's bun and planned on combing my hair all the way through rather than maintaining the curls as I had been doing for the past few days, however felt knotty, coated and my scalp had that kind of *covered* feeling.

It was late - like 2am - and I contemplated moving wash day to today and pre-pooing overnight but I knew I wouldn't have time today to do it all. Sooooo I decided to cowash my hair- yes at 2am!! - and do the curl setting thing with Bantu Knots that I'd been doing for the past week but it would be more like a wash and go - although I used to think wash and go was literally well...wash and go, not wash, set, rake, dry and go lol.
I did a pre-cowash of sorts. I knew I wasn't going to do a deep condish treatment and wanted to nourish my hair a little so I slathered Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Beach Mate through my hair and put some Meridian Grapeseed Oil over it, left it on for around 1/2 hour and then cowashed with Pantene Truly Natural Hair Co-Wash Cleansing Conditoiner.
I blotted with a towel and let it air dry for a short while.
I put my hair in sections and sprayed the first one with Aphogee Keratin and Green Tea Restructurizer as I wanted to add a little strength. That;s when I realised I didn't detangle my hair! Not before I washed, Not during my wash, nothing. I don't know if it was because I was tired or if it's just another thing my stressed brain forgot about but I just clean forgot! I sealed the moisture with Grapeseed Oil, tried to detangle but was put off by the dry ripping feeling, grabbed my Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie, stroked the tub, smiled, opened said tub and sniffed... mmmmmm, smiled some more then told myself to get a grip and smoothed it through my hair.... LOVE!!
I detangled my hair and can I say LOVE again? I put a little Eco Styler Krystal Styling Gel from root to tip, brushed with my denman and bantu knotted. I repeated until all 8 sections were done, smotthed the front sections with a little more gel, put on my scarf and bonnet and that was a wrap.

This morning my hair hadn't dried through (not surprising given the time I went to bed...ahem)
So I dried it a little with my dryer on cool air.
My hair was fluffy and soft, and sooooo shiny. whooohooooo. I styled it into a loose high puff smoothing the front with some Eco Krystal and Creme of Nature Argan Oil Perfect Edges I put my scarf on to set and left it till I had to go out.


{{I'll insert a photo soon as my phone is crying}}
**Edited to add pics**


Items used to style hair

Trusty scarf (looove this scarf)

All set


Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie - First Impression

I really wanted to like this product - I wanted it to live up to all the hype and be worth the wait and yet a secret part of me hoped I didn't as it's sooooo expensive.
My goodness I LOVE IT!!! like straight up, first crush, LOVE.
I know I shouldn't get all ahead of myself and wait for at least a week to see how my hair likes it but Goody Goody Gumdrops I LOVE IT!!

I love the Smell - A sweet but not sickening creamy smell of tropical islands and triffle.
I love the Consistency -Thick, rich and creamy without being gloopy.
I love the Feel - Smooth and slightly blancmange like. I can feel oils but it doesn't feel greasy.
I love the *slip*
I love the way it makes my hair shine
I love the way it springs the curls I'm finding out I have.
I LOVE IT lol
The only thing I don't love is the PRICE - why Shea Moisture? WHY??

I am very tempted to try another product in this line and that was what I was dreading!! I will see how this one works out for me first though. I always need leave in spray/conditioner so If there's one is this line I may try it. I did see the much talked about Jamaican Black Castor Oil line at the shop I went to and it was a toss up between the JBCO leave in conditioner and the CAH curling smoothie.
I'm wondering how the CAHCES works like as just a moisturiser? I often use my Aunt Jackies Curl La La Defining Curl Custard as a moisturiser and it's great and has great slip so can't imagine CAHCES to be anything but great to.


The Wash Day Experience

Blogmas with DOASAHM - Day 11










Today's Blogmas is about. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Menu's





Hmmmmm For Christmas Eve I really don';t know what we'll be having. Maybe Cottage Pie. Or Spaghetti Bolonaise. Something quick and easy as I will be conserving my cooking energy for Christmas Day.
We will for sure be having Hot drinks at midnight and I'll give the boys Hot Drink Treat Bags to make their own..... OOooooo we can have it on our Dining Table for the first time!! Whooooop.


Now onto Christmas Day!! This year I plan on Roasting a Duck Crown for our roast and will have fluffy Roast Potatoes with it. I'll also roast some Parsnips and Carrots and glaze them with honey.
Some sort of Stuffing will have to be made and maybe some Macaroni Cheese.
I will serve some Veggies either Petit Pois and Baby Carrots or a mixed veg dish.
I'm hoping Mummy and Hubby can come over and if they do I will treat them to Curry Goat and Rice and Peas but if they don't plan to have dinner I won't cook the curry but if the boys and hubster want the rice and peas I'll put a pot on.

Desert will be the 3D Christmas Tree Cookies or thinking about it. I may do a Triffle and have the cookies on Boxing day.

With all that being said I am deffo looking forward to the whole Shopping, Preping andd Cooking Christmas Dinner.







Wednesday, 10 December 2014

More Bantu Knots and I caved.

I decided to keep my bantu knots in yeaterday instead of taking them down and styling my hair. Truth be told I'm in a Blah mood at the moment and I didn't want to bother with my hair.
I wasn't going anywhere anyway so I oiled my scalp and tied a pretty scarf into a baduesque wrap.

When I got ready for bed, I lightly spritzed my hair with Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Moisture Mist and oiled the parts with Hairlicious (whoooop challenge going strong) Put my scarf and bonnet on and wow, shortest hair night routine in ages.

This morning I took the Bantu Knots out and my hair was lovely, soft and the curls were springy. Leaving the Bantu's in for a day had allowed my hair to completely dry and the results were fab.

I tried to take photos but they didn't come out that well as the day was somewhat overcast and the flash just made the pics black (why does that happen anyway?)
Here they are anyway:



Biiiigggg curly fro
Close up



I loved the way the front curls looked so I decided to leave two at the front and put the rest into a tight top puff. Wowwww I LOVED the curly puff. I gently scrunched the puff with some Aunt Jackies Don't Shrink Flaxseed Elongating Curling Gel {love this stuff}

So although I would rather be in a better mood the I am glad I left the bantu's to do their thing.


Ok so let's address the caving issue. I made a scheduling mistake and thought something that is actually next week was taking place today. I was already at the meeting point when I phoned my friend and she told me of my mistake - oh how we laughed *blush* - I had some time to kill while I waited for hubby to come back on his way home and decided to have a little browse in the hair shop in the area.
I forgot how BIG and how much STUFF they have. I had a good look at the hair and saw somw with a big *special offer* sign so will revisit to buy some for my next protective styling challenge (yes I love challenges, don't judge me lol).
I then went to look at the hair products and was like a kid in a candy factory!! My three fave edge tamers/controlers have finished and my Aunt Jackies will soon be finished so I decided to buy an Eco Styler gel and Curls Pasionfruit Control Paste to replace the ones that have gone walkies. They didn't have the Control Paste but I managed to pick up the Eco, I got a small tub of the clear one to have a try. I didn't want to buy the argon one as that's the missing one and I'm half hoping it will turn up soon.
Then I had the bright idea to have a look at the Shea Moisture goodies. You have to understand that anytime I'm in the hair shop I drool over the Shea Moisture products, looking, awwing and walking by so it wasn't strange for me to do it this time... and whooooopppp there was a *special Offer* sign on there too!! £3 cheaper than anywhere I've seen. Still alot pricier than my regular products but much more attainable.... the Coconut and Hibiscus Curling Enhancing Smoothie hop, skipped and jumped into my hands and before I knew it I was sitting in the car opening the jar and smilling!!

 

Yep I caved and I can't wait to try it. I don't know whether to wait till I wash my hair or dive in tonight... I do like to wait till wash day to try out new products so my hair is fresh and like a clean canvass IYSWIM hmmmmmm I don't know if I can wait, maybe I'll bring wash day forward??

Blogmas with DOSAHM - Day 10








Haaaaaa I read Sandra's Post and I am soooo glad I'm not the only one that had a giggle.
Ok I may be just a little .... childlike but hey, who wants to grow up?!

It's fair to say I have had the odd fight or two... or ten with my sweet tooth over the years but I love to bake Cookies at Christmas and as I am doing the prep work I can add as much or as little  goodies that I choose.

The boys love to help and it's nice to spend some baking time with them. I am a cookie cutter hoarder collector but my fave has to be gingerbread shapes. The obligatory Gingerbread man but also the little Gingerkiddies and the Gingerlady all pretty with her dress.

I have to admit I love looking at cookies from all different countries but it has to be said the US wins hands down.... Just thinking about them is enough to put myself on the naughty list and partake in some sugary goodness.

This year I plan to bake/make the following treats again and maybe have a go at something new too.


Giant Chocolate Chunk Shortbread


 I will be deffo be making shortbread but instead of the heart tin, I will be using my Star one. I may well do smaller ones too.



Blueberry Crumble Bars


These Blueberry Crumble bars went down a treat, I'm contemplating trying them with mincemeat instead to give them a Christmasey Twist.



Chocolate Covered Oreos



I haven't made these in over a year so plan to treat the family to a few of these morsels of delishiousness but I will only make a small amount as they are very moreish lol. I don't really eat chocolate any more so I will be fine but the boys - and the hubster have been known to sneak a cookie or two. I'm thinking of doing some with coconut oil chocolate and see how they come out. Sugar has made it a point to put me on her enemy list and attacks when I'm least expecting.





I Purchased a 3D Christmas Tree Cookie set in the sales a while back and will be trying it out this year, we can have it for desert on Christmas day.. just wondering whether to do them in Gingerbread or Sugar Cookie...... decisions.... maybe I'll do both.



Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Blogmas with DOASAHM - Day 9




Brrrrrrr It deffo is winter here, the weather has dropped and the promise of snow can be felt in the air. I don't do well in the cold, I tend to shut down and talk in one syllable grunts. My dislike of frosty temperatures is a household joke - not funny to me but hilarious to the *men* in my life.
The strangest thing is that I love to play in the snow .... for a little bit.... and swaddled up like a baby - hat, scarf, jacket, sweater, leggings and trousers - making snowmen. As soon as the cold starts to seep in though, I'm back in the warmth with a hot drink.


borrowed from internet

I don't like to wear socks normally but in the cold of winter they are my number 1 winter must haves.
When I go outside I wear thinish ones so I don't get the *bunched up* feeling, however, when I'm inside I go for the fluffier kind. I love the novelty ones, penguins,rudolphs... noses and bells.



Crocheted by my lovely MIL



Warm Blankets are  must have number 2. I love snuggling on the settee with a warm blanket all cosy and ...well... warm.
One of the boys will always try and get under with me and if I leave the blanket unattended it will get nabbed, no matter how pink or girly it is.



Scarves on my head, shoulders.... across my legs.



Must Have number 3 is Scarves or Pashmina's. I love to wear them on my head in the cold weather. To keep my hair protected. I wrap them around my neck and over my shoulders to keep the chills out and can often be found with one across my legs..... can you tell cold weather is not my friend? lol





Handmade Salve
Handmade Mini Lotion Bars





















Must have number 4 is my handmade butters, salves and bars for my hair and skin. The cold weather plays havoc with my hair and skin, making them dry. My hair gets brittle and starts to break and my skin gets sore and chaffed. Indoor heating and air conditioners add to the dryness so I reach for rich butters and emollients to soothe and moisturise.
All the family use the goodies and I actually whipped up some Shea,cocoa and coconut butter this afternoon as comanded requested last night by hubby and eldest.






My joint 5th must have is lovely hot drinks and a yummy holiday scented candle.
From juicy fruit teas, frothy coffee drinks to naughty hot chocolate. Winter calls for them all. . Each Christmas I treat myself to a Starbucks Holiday Drink, either an  eggnog latte or a gingerbread latte.
I have a slight cup fetish and this is my latest, a ceramic starbucks coffee tumbler - it was on offer at sainsbury's and jumped into my basket.
I do love candles all year round but when it's winter and leading up to Christmas I love to burn the holiday scented ones - cookie, spiced, berries..... the warm glow and gentle heat keeps me feeling warm and the sweet smell fills the room. The one pictured is "cookies for santa" I wish I picked up two because it will soon be finished...... I feel a candle haul coming on.

I'm off to have a nosey at everyone's winter must haves now......