12 weeks of Christmas 

6weeks until Christmas and everyone is starting to worry about the financial strain chrtimas put on the average household. 

Christmas on a budget! 

Christmas is the one time of year we all like to splerg and indulge. So here are a few ways to save some pennies without feeling like your cutting back or missing out. 

1. Christmas cards.

Although they can be found cheap as chips at 62p a stamp, posting them will quickly become extortionate. So only post what you really have to and send them out early so you can use 2nd class stamps at a marginally better 54p.

2. Wrapping paper.

For really close family members (grandparents etc) use the kids festive themed art work. It adds a beautiful homemade feel plus there’s no guilt from you for throwing away the 100th snowman picture?.

3. The pound shop.

They have a lovely array of decoration, home decor items, cards and wrapping materials. Shop wisely and with a list as it is all to easy to get sucked into the whole it’s only a pound thing, next thing you know you’ve spend triple what yoy truly intended. 

4. Letters from Santa.

Some companies charge you as much as £20 For a letter from Santa. Where as the royal mail will send you one for free! (Although they do not guarantee a reply we’ve always had one) . Or if you would prefer something a little more personal you could write it and post it yourself. That way you have a guaranteed letter saying exactly what YOU want it to?

5. Shop around.

The joys of smart phones, shop around to find the best price for the items you cannot miss off the list. 

There are websites out there that will do all the work for you.. idealo is just one of many. Aswell as giving you all the different prices and retailers it also give you all the information and specification of the product your searching for.

6. Discount codes.

Although discount codes and vouchers aren’t always easy to come by in the UK. If you sign up to email newsletters from things such as the big toy retailers. They quite often offer a “new customer ” style discount on your first order aswell as they email you with any offers or discount codes they currently have, saving you from keep searching for them. 

7. Only buy for the kids

Buying gifts for everyone just isn’t always financially viable. So what we do is anyone with children we agree they do not buy for us and we so not buy for them we only but for the children. 

8. Handmade family gifts.

Handmade gifts are a great touch. Try family hampers or movie night… even a basket full of homemade cookies and hot chocolate mix. Plus the kids can really feel like there get involved making them.

9. List for your lists. 

Write list for everything ;

  • Gifts
  • Food
  • Decorations 
  • To do list
  • Wrapping supplies 
  • Etc 

And most important stick to it! You will naturally as the weeks go on scrap half of the items on your list.  Checking it regularly will help you realise you don’t need 10 varieties of everything as your not feeding the entire town!.  This will automatically save you money, but most importantly it will keep you focused and stop you buying unnecessary bargin items. “It’s only a bargin if you actually needed it in the first place!”

10. Set a budget .

Once again this only works if you stick to it. Decide a set amount for each child, each couple or household as well as a food budget, decor budget etc.  This will help your spending stay undercontroll, aswell as make you really think about the gift your giving rather than just buying for the sake of buying. 
Well I hope you found at least one of these tips useful to save money this Christmas. 

Have a fab week !

Check out last weeks post of you missed it.

 

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12 weeks of Christmas 

Ahh it’s 7 weeks until Christmas… is any body else panicking. This week I thought I would share some of my favorite Christmas recipes, although none of these are just for Christmas. Some super easy cheats fudge, yorky puds for those of us who usually fail and yummy short bread.

Also don’t forget to try my gingerbread man recipe as well as the extremly Moorish caramel apple empanadas
 

Christmas shortbread biscuits!

250g unsalted butter ( at room temp)

125g caster sugar

240g plain flour 

Pre heat your over to 150°c

Line two baking trays with grease proof paper.

Method (for best results do it the old fashioned way with a wooden spoon and bowl)

  • Cream the butter until smooth and soft.
  • Add flour and sugar mix until combined.
  • Lightly need the dough with slightly flour hands.
  • Chill in the fridge for 2mins.
  • Half the dough equally.
  • Roll out between 2 pieces of grease proof (1/4inch thickness )
  • Cut into festive shapes 
  • Bake for 15-20 mins

This recipes makes around 20 biscuits and will keep in an air tight container for about a week.

To make spiced biscuits replace caster sugar with soft brown sugar and add a tsp cinnamon.

To make lemon add the rind of one unwaxed lemon.

To make tree decoration biscuits use a tooth pick create a whole at the top for the sting before baking.

Simple icing which is great for kids:

150g for sifted icing sugar 

2tbs warm water 

Food colour of your choice 

Mix until paste like and pip as you like.
The best yorky puds.

 Full disclaimer I have never be able to make Yorkshire puddings until about 6months ago I found this recipe.. Well method I guess?  And I have never looked back!

4 eggs

200ml milk

200g plain flour 

Pinch of salt.

Method.

Preheat oven to 190°

Use sunflower oil rather than vegetable (apparently it has a different smoking temperature )

Put half cm of oil into each hole on a muffin tin.  Heat until smoking. Approx 15mins.

Use the largest bowl you have. 

Whisk the eggs then add milk and whisk (adding plenty of air)

Sift in the flour and add salt and whisk until the lumps are gone. 

Transfer into a jug or anything with a pouring spout.

Take muffin tin out of the oven. 

Fill the holes but using a spoon to catch the drips in between holes as if you have better inbetween it can restric the puds growth. 

Cook for 20-25mins 

Remember the most important step DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR. It will cause then to sink.
Cheats fudge!

400g golden caster sugar 

397g can of condensed milk

140g salted butter chopped into pieces 

1tsp vanilla bean paste

(Optional) 2tsp coffee liqueur, amaretto or any other alcohol 

 Method    

Grease and line a 20cm square baking tin with baking parchment. Put the sugar, condensed milk and butter in a large heatproof bowl (the mixture will bubble up as it cooks to roughly double its size), add a good pinch of salt and stir.

Heat the mixture in the microwave on High for 10 mins, stirring every 2-3 mins. Keep an eye on the mixture, as it will bubble up and may go over the sides of the bowl.

Add the vanilla and liqueur to the mixture, whisk together and heat on High for another 2 mins. The mixture should be caramel-coloured and thickened. Scrape into the tin and set aside for 45 mins–1 hr until cool and firm before cutting. Pack into a box and eat within 3 weeks 

  1. You could even once cooled add a layer of melted chocolate to the top and let that set before cutting into squares?


DO you have an old faithful recipe you typically pull out at Christmas?? 

I hope you all have had a brilliant weekend celebrating guy forks!

Much love

Rhianna xx

Green eggs and no ham

I thought i would give using a word prompt a go.

via Daily Prompt: Egg

Why do hard boiled eggs turn green?

I’m not an egg fan personally but my kids love a good hard boiled egg… but why do they sometimes get a green layer around the yolk? 

Well apparently, the green ring around the yoke of a hard boiled egg happens because hydrogen in the egg white combines with The sulfur in the yolk. The cause is from cooking the eggs to hard or for too long!  

To stop this happening do not over crowd the pan, do not over cook and plunge immediately in cold water to stop them from continuing to cook.

So thre you have it a random fact about green eggs but unfortunately nothing about ham !

Also check out 5 more mum hacks.

Much love 

Rhianna xx

12 weeks of Christmas!

Christmas is fast approaching 8 weeks to be precise! 

This week I have been thinking about homemade Christmas cards and crafts to enjoy with your little ones!

Hands and feet cards.

Nice but simple finger print candy cane

Father Christmas and his white beard

I love this one but it’s a bit to adventurous for me with 2 under 4!

I made a variation of this reindeer the year before last with my daughter.

I am loving this idea as it has such a modern feel.

Craft / decoration ideas.

I think this is such a cute idea I know my 3yr old would love to make and decorate her own Christmas tree.

These candy canes are a quick and easy craft that you can use as decoration for your tree or on gifts which the recipient can then put on there tree.

Crafts with supplies you littereally have coming out of your ears it’s like music to mine.

These adorable pegs would make great card holders.

I made the Christmas trees and the stars from the picture above last year with my daughter. 

OMG how lush is this! It is on my to do list so I’ll let you know how it turnes out.
I , I say I by that i mean me and my daughter are currently made home decor items which I plan to give to our parents and grandparents as extra gifts for Christmas this year. So stay tuned for that as I’ll be doing a step by step for you. 

I hope you all have had a lovely weekend!

Follow alone with the 12 weeks of Christmas.x 

Much love 

Rhianna xx

Birth marks

Birth marks like most of us come in all different shapes and sizes but there is one in particular I am looking to talk about.

Infantile haemangioma. 

This is what nhs web site says about it:

Infantile haemangiomas, also known as strawberry marks, are raised marks on the skin that are usually red. They can appear anywhere on the body.

Sometimes infantile haemangiomas occur deeper in the skin, in which case the skin can look blue or purple.

Haemangiomas are common, particularly in girls, and affect around 5% of babies soon after birth. They rapidly increase in size for the first six months before eventually shrinking and disappearing by around seven years of age.

Haemangiomas that get bigger rapidly, or those that interfere with vision or feeding, may need to be treated.

At around 3 weeks old after thinking it was a little spot my midwife told me my daughter had a strawberry mark on her face. I then very much did the typical new mum thing a turned to Google and worried myself sick! It was on the centre of her cheek and was growling rapidly, I worried about it getting so big it would restrict her air way, I worried it would ulcerate, I worried it should end up sticking out from her face, I worried she would get picked on as 7yrs it a long time to have a birth mark on your face. 

I sound very vain and image conscious saying this but that isn’t the case, however I also understand that kids can be cruel and things like that can scar you mentally for life. 

                   3 weeks old 

2 months old

 12 months old

18 month ( you can see it disapering)

2 yrs old virtually gone 


Now I can’t tell you exactly when it completely disappeared but somewhere between 2/3 one day I woke up and it had gone, as if by magic. 

She doesn’t remember ever having it.  When she looks back at photos she asked why she doesn’t have it? She actually asked me if it fell off and wanted to look for it last time she asked. 

Buy anyway this post is about sharing my feeling and my experience with a strawberry birth mark. My daughter lucked out unfortunately as she has a stork mark, had a strawberry, has a café au lait and a white birth mark. But can accure you the doctors are write and the strawberry mark will go away on it’s own. 

I just want to thank Charlie’s mum’s site. For the inspiration behind this post. 

Have you go a birth mark??

Much love 

Rhianna xx 

12 weeks of Christmas!

Wow it’s only 9weeks until Christmas, i Hope youve all started shopping?

So for inspiration this week ill be sharing some bargins i found like before

  The Christmas activity box was reduced due to the box being damaged. But I thought I would split the activity books for the kids Christmas eve boxes. All the other ideas were either on sale, on a multi by offer or purchased with vouchers. 

If your not caught up with the 12 weeks of Christmas series I’ll like the other posts 10 weeks11 weeks,12 weeks

Next week I am planning on sharing homemade craft ideas and cards for kids to make? What do you think? 

Much love 

rhianna xx

Abortion on trial?

I have just caught up on  the BBC 2 programme “Abortion on trial”

This got me thinking about my own views, pro life or pro choice or maybe even somewhere in between?

As a young probably somewhat naive girl I would have stood for hours and told you about how I was pro life and how i could never “murder” my baby. I just couldn’t see any plausible reason to abort your unborn baby. 

Until December of 2005 when I did just that I had an abortion. I was 17 and madly in love with what I now realise an extremely virbaly abusive man nearly 10 years my senior. He was desperate to keep the baby but after finding out I was nearly 18weeks pregnant and honestly had no idea I was in shock!. My partners were very supportive to which ever choice I made but also helped me realise that he was not the man I thought he was and that I wasn’t ready for a baby. 

For me the hardest part was that I had almost no time to decide and on December 23rd I went In to my local hospital. It was all over with in a blink of an eye and to be honest it is a complete blur.  

But now clearly my views have changed somewhat and the say really is prevalent here; 

You can’t judge or make a decision on a situation you have never been in.

So for me I found this documentary particularly interesting and listening to the women’s stories very at times heart wrenching. 

However there was one thing I am still struggling with, there was a man on the programme who’s ex partner had aborted his child after her begged her not to and even stated he would raise the child alone?

How is it right that a woman can decided to keep a baby even if the father isn’t interested, but a man has no choice but to loose a child?

This is where I am stuck between a rock and a hard place?

I do not feel any woman should have to carry a child for 9months that she does not want, it is to mentally disturbing.

I do not feel anyone should be forced to abort a child they wish to keep.

I do not feel anyone should loose a child that could have a loving home, what ever the means. 

I do feel every person has the right to have a child.

Are you seeing my point/problem? 

I would never say a woman should have to carry and birth a child she doesn’t want but I also feel a man shouldn’t have to stand by and watch a child he wants to love and bring up be aborted?
What are your feelings? 

Pro life or pro choice? 

How do you feel about this gentleman’s situation? 

Please share your feeling and thought on this somewhat controversial subject.

Much love 

Rhianna xx