2015 in review

Here’s my yearly blog review!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here's an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,200 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 20 trips to carry that many people.

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Click here to see the complete report.

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Christmas in pictures

Christmas day: Morning

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Me & Tim at ours in the morning.

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At Mum & Dads with Sarah, Dan & Noah.

Christmas day: Lunch/afternoon

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Christmas lunch with Tims Dad & Brother.

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Opening presents.

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Playing  games.

Christmas day: Evening

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A buffet dinner with Mum & Dad at theirs.

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Playing Articulate.

Boxing day

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Family fun playing Harry Potter Monopoly that Tim made for me ♡

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you had a good one

Until next time,

Roseanne 🙂

Christmas eve part 2

This is Christmas eve part 2.

So, after a busy morning of baking I have really been looking forward to just chilling out and having some cosy festive fun at my sisters.

Firstly, we took a drive around Ipswich to see all the Christmas lights.  I love doing this each year on Christmas eve as it makes me feel really Christmassy.

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After that we headed back to Sarahs for food and a chilax.

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Sarah made us yummy halloumi wraps with lettuce tomato and sweet chilli sauce!

Noah was enjoying the chippies we got from the chip shop on the way home…

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Sarah had also made us delicious christmas eve treats.

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It’s a mug with a sachet of hot chocolate, some mini marshmallows and chocolate coins, yummy 🙂

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My onesie is on and we are planning on watching Eastenders and then Home alone. I’ve never seen it and it’s supposed to be a classic.

Before Noah went to bed we put out his things for Santa on the plate I made him…

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What are you up to for Christmas eve evening?

In this blog I thought it would be nice just to mention that this is my last Christmas as a ‘Green!’

Its wierd to think that this time next year me and Tim will be married and we’ll be

Mr & Mrs Byford.

I’m so used to being Roseanne Green I can’t imagine being anything else!

It’s going to be wierd but it’s also really exciting!!

2016 is going to be our year ♡

So that’s it! Blogmas is done. I’ve really enjoyed it, I hope you’ve enjoyed my posts too.

Have a very Merry Christmas.

Until next time,

Roseanne 🙂

Christmas eve part 1

So here it is, the final day of Blogmas 2015!
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This blog post will be in two parts today.

So I’m spending my Christmas eve baking ready for the big day tommorrow and for Boxing day tea.

At the moment I’m making a Salted Caramel chocolate tart. This will be mine and Tims Christmas day dessert as neither of us like Christmas pudding.

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The ingredients:
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Recipe:

Prepare the sweet pastry.

1. In a large bowl mix flour with ground almonds, cocoa powder, sugar and salt.

2. Incorporate butter to the flour mixture, using a pastry blender, a fork or a pastry processor, until crumbs are formed.

3. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix them in. Add water and incorporate into the dough.

4. Wrap it with plastic, knead slowly to form a disc and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

(I did it for 30 minutes)

5. On a floured surface or over the plastic wrap roll the dough to a circle with about 1 1/2 inches larger than your tart pan.

6. Lift up the rolled dough and place it on a greased 9 inch tart pan.

7. Remove the edges and refrigerate for 30 minutes before baking.

8. Prick the dough with a fork, line a parchment paper over the dough. Fill with dry beans, rice or pie weights.

9. Bake for 15 minutes in preheated 350 F (180C) oven.

10. Remove the weights and the parchment paper. Return to oven for another 10 to 15 minutes.

11. Allow to cool before removing from the tart tin.

The caramel

1. Place the sugar and water in a medium heavy bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat, and cook without stirring until sugar dissolves and gets a caramel color.

2. Remove the pan from the heat and add the cream. It will bubble a little bit.

3. Cook for about 1 or 2 minutes stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until smooth. Remove from heat and add butter and salt. Stir well until smooth.

4. Let the caramel cool slightly and pour over the chocolate crust. Refrigerate for about 4-5 hours.

The Chocolate ganache.

1. Heat the cream in a small saucepan.

2. When the cream just begins to boil at the edges, remove from heat and pour over the chopped chocolate.

3. Let sit for one minute, then stir until smooth.

4. Pour the chocolate ganache over the caramel. Spread it evenly and refrigerate for another 2-3 hours before serving. Sprinkle with sea salt flakes and serve.

Here are some pictures of the baking process:
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Getting festive with my baking attire:

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I also wanted to give you an update of the colouring in Advent calender that I’ve been doing throught the month of December, so here it is:

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It looks great now that it’s nearly all coloured in! I’d like to keep it to have up next year on the table 🙂

Part 2 will be up later on this evening! I hope your having a festive Christmas eve so far xx

Roseanne 🙂

Blogmas day 23!

I can’t believe it’s Christmas eve eve!

Only 2 days until the main event.

Me and my bestie Roxy used our day off yesterday to meet up in Stowmarket. I got the train to Stowmarket station from Ipswich and we met there.

First stop, lunch!
We decided to go to Prezzo which was a good idea as it was super yummy and they had a really good lunch deal, only £17.25 for two courses.

We went for a main and a dessert.
We even got a Prosecco with our deal which was very Christmassy.

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My main

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My pizza was so tasty. It had pepperoni, rosemary chicken, tomato and mozzarella.

My dessert

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Unfortunately they didn’t have any of my favourite dessert, honeycomb smash cheesecake 😦
They let us choose from one of the other cheesecakes on their menu though. We went for the chocolate and hazelnut one.

Once we’d eaten our yummy lunch we walked around town getting some last minute bits and bobs for Christmas.

I got Tim this lovely traditional looking  sack for all his presents to go in, under the tree. Another little shop had lovely iron on letters so I got some to spell out ‘Tim’ to personalise it.

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I also got some more wrapping paper as I have lots of wrapping left to do!!

Stowmarket had a few lovely and very traditional Christmas trees.

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As I mentioned in my Blogmas post about Christmas lights, Ipswich’s Christmas tree isn’t very traditional but I loved the few they had around Stowmarket town centre.

Afterwards we went back to her house and I met their new dog called Cinnamon.

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So cute.

It was a fun, relaxing, Christmassy day. 

Ive got just one full day at the holiday club today and then the Christmas festivities can truly begin on Christmas eve.

Until next time,

Roseanne 🙂

Christmas baking! Blogmas day 22

I love a bit of baking so I thought I’d get festive and make some mince pies. They made the flat smell so yummy and festive.

I used the recipe that I mentioned in my homemade Christmas treats blog, it’s Slimming World friendly but, don’t let this put you off as they taste just the same as normal mince pies they are just a bit smaller.

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Below is the ingredients, method and some pictures I took whilst I was making them.

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Ingredients

low calorie cooking spray
227g/ 8oz plain flour
A pinch of salt
113g/ 4oz butter or margarine, cut into small cubes
16 level tbsp mincemeat
1 level tsp icing sugar, to dust

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas Mark 5.

2. Lightly spray some bun tins with low calorie cooking spray.

3. Make the pastry; 

Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Add the fat and gently rub it in with your fingertips. Add sufficient cold water to mix to a ball that leaves the sides of the bowl clean.

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4. Rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.Roll out the pastry thinly on a lightly floured surface.

5. Cut out 32 rounds with a 7.5cm/3 inch fluted cutter. Use to line the prepared bun tins.

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(I couldn’t find my round cutter so I used the bottom of a cup.)

6. Divide the mincemeat between the pastry cases.

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7. Roll out the remaining pastry trimmings and make some little stars with a star cutter. Use to decorate the tops of the tarts.

8. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, until the pastry is crisp and lightly coloured.

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9. Cool on a wire rack and dust lightly with the icing sugar.

Here are my finished mince pies 🙂

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They were really yummy especially with a cuppa.

3 days to go!

Until next time,

Roseanne 🙂

Our Secret Santa Christmas Party!

We started doing Secret Santa, in our friendship group a few years ago and for the last couple of years I’ve organised it.

This year we toyed with a few ideas, just a quick present exchange, a meal out but we finally settled on a Christmas party at mine and Tims flat.

Mum picked out the names for me as my name was in there too and it would have spoilt it for me if I knew who had who.

And we decided on Sunday 20th December at 7 pm.

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Everyone had signed up to bring different food and we had a good spread to tuck into before we opened our presents.

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We also had the Christmas play list belting out Christmas classics to add to the festive atmosphere and everyone came dressed suitably festive in jumpers and hats.

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And we had crackers of course…

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Here’s us opening our presents:

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I got the Harry Potter colouring book from my secret Santa.

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After that we all looked at our presents for a while,  ate and drank.

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Then we played Bens pass the parcel full of forfeits and a prize at the end.

Here’s Duck doing his ‘act like a reindeer forfeit’

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Me attempting to do a handstand

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Sam and Dean getting up close and personal…

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It was good to all get together close to Christmas and have a bit of fun! Me and Tim were even good and tidied up before bed so we could wake up to a clean flat  this morning, yay!

What did you get from your Secret Santa?

Until next time,

Roseanne 🙂

Homemade Christmas presents

Today’s Blogmas post is all about homemade Christmas presents. As I mentioned in my previous post about homemade Christmas treats, this is all about art & craft ideas, so here goes!

Idea no 1: DIY scrabble pictures

These make a really personalised Christmas present.

I first made one for Tims Nana as she loves scrabble but it works well accompanying a picture too.

For Tims Nanas one I got a large frame and a nice coloured card for the background. On ebay I brought the letters I needed to spell out all the names of his Nanas grandchildren and then fitted them together, the names coming off each other in true scrabble style… It took a few goes to get all the names to fit nicely together.

I liked this idea so much that I used it alongside a picture as a present for my Auntie and one of my friends.

Here’s the one I made for my auntie:

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Again I found some nice paper for the background,a picture and the scrabble letters that I needed.

Here’s the one I made for my friend:

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My friend had just had her son at this point and she loved this present, it’s much more personal.

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Wilko do great frames, all the ones you see here are from there. I LOVE Shabby Chic White Frames and Wilko do them for a great price.

Idea no 2: Santa & Rudolph plates

My nephew is 15 months old now and is toddling around and getting interested in Christmas and all the bright shiny decorations, lights and wrapped presents that comes with it, so I made him a santa plate…

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These are really easy to do but are really effective!

All you need is a plain white dinner plate, some sharpies and something to seal the writing on the plate (I used clear nail varnish as it wont get too messy and will  only need a little wipe down once it’s used so this should keep the writing intact.)

I wrote ‘To Santa and Rudolph’ along the top, ‘From Noah’ along the bottom and then in the middle drew on places for Santa and Rudolphs snacks to go. I drew round a glass to make it neat.

I also drew some Holly either side to make it look super festive. Leave the sharpie to dry and paint over the top with nail varnish and your all done! Santa will be really please with Noah this year and when Noahs older he will really enjoy using this to leave Santa and Rudolph a treat.

Idea no 3: Hampers.

I love making up hampers for people, filling them with things you know they will like is lots of fun!

This year I’ve made one for my sister Sarah. She loves Vlogger Zoella and her beauty range so I have based her hamper around this theme.

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Super drug were selling Zoellas beauty products 3 for 2 which was great timing so I got her three things to go in her hamper. Some body scrub, a body lotion and a spritz body mist.

To bulk it out a little I also added some cute pink sented candles and a mini rose scented bath bomb.

Great for a pamper session!

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I covered the basket in red tissue paper and tied round a gold ribbon, then I filled the inside with tissue paper and shredded paper, placed the products in, wrapped cellophane around and bunched it together at the top, tieing with a ribbon to finish.

I decorated with a few Christmassy themed embellishments and voila, done!

Idea no 4: Homeade cards.

Now this isn’t a present idea but I wanted to talk about homemade cards as for the last 5/6 years I have been making homemade cards.  I make them for all occasions and have a little supply and craft area in our flat to make them, I love it!

I even make them for my mum to give to her friends and some of our family for certain occasions too.

Here are some Christmas cards I have made:

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Unfortunately this year I havnt been able to make any Christmas cards 😦
I have been so busy making wedding invites that I havnt had time to make them! It’s all for a good cause though and next year I can go back to normal.

Homemade cards are great and much more personal as people know you have taken the time to make them especially for them.

I hope this has given you a few ideas if your stuck on what to get someone. It’s great to be creative at Christmas.

Only 5 days to go!!

Until next time,

Roseanne 🙂

Electricity comes to Suffolk…

I thought I’d do today’s Blogmas post on the lovely Christmas lights around my hometown of Ipswich.

I love walking or driving around seeing people’s lights and businesses all lit up for the festive season. It always puts a smile on my face!

So here are some pictures I’ve taken…

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This picture shows the town hall and our Christmas tree! I love all the lights on the town hall, they seem to have put more on the exterior this year. It all looks lovely when its lit up however, I do prefer the more traditional Christmas tree that they used to have as opposed to the modern one that they have now.

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These lights are outside the Briarbank  brewery in Ipswich. These ones look so Christmassy, I love it.

Just around the corner from there is the waterfront and it looks lovely with lights most of the time but at the moment Isaacs has loads of extras and it looks amazing.

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Day time.

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Night time.

Me and the my family went to their pizza place on Saturday and inside looks just as magical.

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Pretty fairy lights.

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The courtyard.

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The Christmas tree.

Cardinal Park has some lovely fairy lights in the trees. It looks all wintery as the trees have now lost their leaves.

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Tims dads neighbours, who live opposite, always have loads of lights. It’s like they have a little competition with each other. Unfortunately they don’t seem to have as much this year but I had to include it as they always make us smile when we see them!

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I’m starting to feel really festive now! Only 6 days to go!! Exciting.

Until next time,

Roseanne 🙂

 

Our Slimming World Christmas party!

Last night we had our Slimming World Christmas party. It was good fun as we played lots of games.

We got into four teams, me, my sisters Sarah & Charlotte and brother in law Wes were in a team together (with Noah as our mascot) we were team army!

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Team army

There were four different games to play. The first one was a classic, 15 items on a tray and you had to try and remember  as many as you could until the tray is taken away and then you write down as many as you can remember.

We remembered 11 but didn’t win unfortunately.

There was also a game where you had to wear a box full of ping pong balls and the box had a small hole in the front. The aim was to be the first one to get all the balls out without using your hands.

Here’s Charlottes attempt…

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Another game involved after eight mints. Wes had a go at this one. You had to sit down and have the mint on your forehead. The aim of the game was to be the first one to get it to their mouth and eat it without using their hands.

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Wes did really well and won so we had another round and it was my turn…

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I wasn’t very good though and lost this game.

I did however win one of the other games, the egg and spoon race! Me and Sarah did this as a team first, then me and Charlotte.

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I did the last round on my owm and smashed it! A win for team army!

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Look at that speedy finish!!

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Here are some of our prizes.

It was good fun and lots of us had dressed up in dresses, sparkles, Christmas jumpers and suits for the party occasion.

Now its time to get serious and stay on track this coming week! Our next weigh in is on

Christmas eve!

Fingers crossed I have a good week, I’m feeling determined as I will enjoy Christmas much more after a good week.

Until next time,

Roseanne 🙂