Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The Twelve Days Of Christmas: Day 12

It's here! It's here!!! Christmas has finally happened! As it lightly snows outside and I listen to Doris Day on vinyl (one of my amazing presents from my parents) I can't help but feel even more excited for what the day still brings. A festive party, exchanging gifts with friends and at the right moment a pudding pie. But I wanted to share one last -- something special to you, my dear friends.

One of my dear friends has a sinister side, and as such for the past Christmas's a holiday tradition has begun. I try to make a beautiful creative and sinister wrapping job! This year I thought Spider meets bats (I know what you're thinking!). So what did I do? Well I weaved a web of course!

I felt a bit like charlottes web it took a lot not to write "Magnificent" or give myself a butter milk bath. But, despite the fact that would have been magical -- it didn't flip the sinister bill.

Dananananananana BATMAN! -- Sinister? YES! Designer fabulous? YES! While I love all things wholesome and innocent, I look forward to my creativity popping about to make this for my dear friend -- and I know when she sees it, her eyes will light up with excitement and happiness just like mine do every time I see a sparkly bow or a evergreen tree.

While it's sad for these twelve days of Christmas with you this year, I am grateful to have shared these moments with you.

And with out another word. He drove out of sight, saying "Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night"

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Twelve Days Of Christmas: Day 11

What have I been doing? Floral arrangements of course! There is nothing (I do mean nothing) quite like the clean smell of pine and the crisp notes of cedar during the holiday season. Tis the season of logs roasting on an open fire, jack frost nipping at your nose! So what better way then to make our own Christmas arrangement? -- We'll make it a "Cool Yule" type of thing!

I count my blessings! My dear friend Nicola (who is a floral master!) came over to teach me the art of flower power. As you'll see through this little DIY floral fun guide she has a gift and a very amazing artistic flair.

Let's get started! So first things first, we soak our floral sponge in some water, once it's saturated we cut it to size and place it in the container of choice (are you surprised I chose a white planter?).

Once you've created the perfect fit for your floral foam -- you'll want to tape that down. The reason is because this way it holds down the floral foam just in case you need to do some floral adjusting later.

Arranging the pine is quite straight forward, angle the branches out, starting from the outside and working your way in. Alternate the pines you use to give it a beautiful textured look.

Then fill in the center part and you have a little something that looks like this:

After that its adding the flowers to give it that extra something special. We used mums, Lilly, berries and pine cones to give it that festive feel. Once we were all done our arrangements were ready to be shown to the public. And they turned out supurb!

 It's almost hard to believe that Christmas is tomorrow, here we are. One day before Christmas! Ready Freddy! All the presents are wrapped, the family is home and our hearts are warm. Of course there is one more blog day left! Something surprising and a little bit nontraditional. But to all my friends, readers and loved ones. Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 23, 2013

The Twelve Days Of Christmas: Day 10

There is nothing like the smell of a pie cooking in the oven. I remember my grandma always saying that 99% of the problems could be solved with good cooking... and that Elvis Presley isn't dead. What's the occasion? Well, it's Rhys mom's Christmas eve bash! And of course I want to make sure that I make something special.

Only downfall with loving to cook is sometimes you choose something that's a bit more time consuming than you planned. This bad boy took me about 4 hours, not terrible! But it was a lot of work-- being as you had to make your own apple sauce for it.

So the whole goal, is to take the thinly sliced apples and put them in a circle around the apple sauce sugar and cinnamon concoction. A 20 min or so later we have life off!

And then with a bit of baking at 375 degrees and a bit of pizzaz it looks like this.

And of course we want it to look pretty so we move it all the way over and onto a cake pedestal so that it looks even more pretty. It's been glazed with a lovely apricot finish (that's the yellow glow in some parts)

I've personally found that French Apple Tarts are better served cold, because the flavor is more intense at that time. However, you can serve it warm with cream which is also popular. -- Hopefully this will be a big hit at Rhys mothers party and everyone enjoys eating it as much as I have enjoyed making it. Bon Appetit!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Twelve Days Of Christmas: Day 9

It's only 2 more days till Christmas, and there is 4 more posts to be made. I've reminded myself if I'm going to stay on the nice list, then I really need to get my Christmas blogging spirit together. I'm sure as most of you can agree, things are starting to get busy! So busy, that right now I'm making supper and fancy holiday French tarts so that when it comes to crunch time (AKA the 24th and 25th) I will not only be ready, but I'll be prepared and collected.

Something exciting has happened at my home! -- A big deal! My mothers parcel arrived. This was a good thing, because by the time I sent my parcels to my parents and to my grandmother I had a sad empty looking Christmas tree, and it was in need of some help:

Of course this picture was taken about 10 seconds after I got it into the house, because we all know that when you get a package from your parents you want to unwrap it! -- It held lovely gifts that I want to share with you.



It looks much more happy! -- With only a few more days till Christmas I can bet you're all as excited as me to share the joy and laughter with your family and friends. I should get back to baking, so that I can share some yule with family and friends soon!

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Twelve Days Of Christmas: Day 8

So you're ready to have some family over for the holidays, and you're not sure what to do. You've played games -- pin the tail on Uncle Nick -- you're unsure of what to do to keep all of them occupied.

My suggestion?

Family movie night, pop the popcorn (or even better string it!) get some punch out of the fridge -- be creative serve champagne to the adults with some festive pomegranate seeds. Or use some lemon lime pop and orange juice to create a yummy punch. What is Guy On The Move going to offer you? -- an awesome list of some of the best Holidays Movies/shows of all time (or at least the ones that I love every year). So you focus on the popcorn and punch and allow me to offer some helpful suggestions on some wonderful classics.

12. It's a Wonderful life - This instant holiday classic has a warm story line and is a good reminder of the important things that we have in our lives.

11. Elf - A movie that will keep you laughing the whole way through, great for family and friends its a great way to learn the true secret of spreading Christmas cheer "singing loud for all to hear"

10. Mickeys Christmas Carol - I remember watching this a child every year on the television. I also have a copy of the audio story on vinyl... Because it's instantly a classic and a great family tradition.

9. Santa Clause (1987) -- The underrated classic that no one seems to have ever heard of, it captures more of a traditional idea of what St. Nicolas would be like. A movie I highly recommend watching at least once in your life time.

8. The Bishops Wife - I actually just found this movie this year. I am always looking to be wowed by old fashion Christmas movies. And this one fits the bill! It'll give you warm and cozy feelings for days!

7. It Happened on 5th Avenue - A old fashion movie that adds a special something to the holidays. Its a twist on putting the shoe on the other foot. A very wealthy family pretends to be hobos so that their daughter has a chance at love.

6. Judy Garland Christmas Special (1963) - I love this special, at first I won't lie I thought that Judy was extremely in love with Christmas. But reviews on the internet confirm what I was starting to suspect, that she could have had a little nip before the show. Never the less, the songs are heart warming, the cast is amazing. And I would love to marry Jack Jones. Best part is you can watch it online for free here!

5. Miracle 34th Street -- Both the classic and the new version hold their own. But nothing says merry Christmas like believing in Mr. Clause.

4. Holiday Inn -- Something interesting that not very many people are aware of is this movie came out before "White Christmas" and is the reason that famous Bing song became so famous. A great holiday show! Beware -- if you don't like singing and dancing -- this show might not be for you.
3. Santa Clause -- I Unlike most of the holiday classics I have listed, I actually remember this one coming out on VHS -- yup I said it... VHS and I'm not afraid to use it. A great holiday classic and possibly one of my favorite santa themed movies of all time.

2. White Christmas -- I've most likely watched this movie about 300 times, first with my mother when I was about 14 and then every year I would randomly pop this in the DVD player and watch it all year long. It's a classic. A wonderful light hearted classic that can put any one in the Christmas spirit.

1. Christmas in Connecticut -- I save the best for last, not many people have heard of this movie and yet it's one of the best ones I've ever seen. It's a tale of a writer who has to fake shes a mother and lives on a farm to save her job. It's full of wonderful scenes and is not overly Christmas heavy -- with only one part of singing. It's a great movie for the whole family and is what guy on the move recommends movie wise this year.

Now that you're ready for your Christmas movie night! I think I may just do the same and start to plan one myself with some dear friends. Because nothing is more Christmas-y than surrounding yourself with family and friends over a bowl of popcorn (and if you're lucky some cookies as well)

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Twelve Days Of Christmas: Day 7

I have something to confess to you. I made these cookies about 2 weeks ago... and yes... rather than pretend I did them yesterday I have to be upfront. Why? Because I ate so many... not just a little many.... like a lot many. The worst part is I only have shared maybe a total of 12. But I am going to share them with you my dear friends in hopes that you will have better luck than I am fighting the urge to eat all your cookies (or at least share enough so you don't look like jolly old St Nicolas by the end of the holidays season)

This year, I decided that rather than stress myself making 5-6 kinds of cookies and squares I would make only 3 types of cookies. My first selection was Sugar cookies... mostly because they are the ones my friends and family seem to eat the fastest (Rhys mom really loves them!). Second was shortbread because they are mine and Ginas favorite (you'll remember her from the fabulous redo of her apt, which you can see here!). And lastly a Christmas classic, I made gingerbread.

Every year I think of doing them all in one day which usually results in me getting overly tired and sometimes getting a bit Grumpy cat on everyone, which really isn't what Christmas is about. So this year I spread it out over one day, I baked the first day and would icing the next.

The first ones I tackled were the shortbread! Now if you've made whipped shortbread and used a cookie press you know what I'm talking about when I said -- some unholy person made that contraption to make me stressed out. Dear cookie press inventor -- you're my enemy. Yes the are pretty... yes they taste good... but at what cost? -- My sanity-- But you can bet your bottom dollar by next year I will have forgotten how awful it was and do it all over again.

Then I baked the gingerbread and sugar cookies -- oddly enough I didn't really take any picture of that as much as send singing videos to my moms Ipad while I baked (yes I love you guys enough to shield you from that).

Once I completed my cookies I had a good laugh over some Christmas humor:

Waking up the next morning and icing the cookies was by far the best thing I've ever done -- while rushing is nice. And I do like to get it all done at once and go about my life... I actually got to enjoy making them this year.

Once I got going it only took a few hours to get them all decorated and ready to serve to my friends and family (well... not yet I still haven't shared any). But I promise on this blog here and now I'll share some with Rhys mom!

But until then, I may be curled up with my favorite Christmas movie, some eggnog and cookies. I only have a little over 10 days to go till I'll be home at my parents... and then I can eat their cookies.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Twelve Days Of Christmas: Day 6

We've reached the halfway mark! Yes, we have already travelled halfway to our Christmas goal of creating 12 wonderful blog posts. What's next? Well a little DIY snowflake of course! They are awesome and simple to make!

What you need?
- Stapler
- Paper
- Scissors

Lets get started!

Step One: Just get a square piece of paper and fold that bad boy in half

Step Two: Take that triangle and cut with scissors towards the 90 degree angle portion of the triangle. Leaving a space uncut of about 1 to 1.5cm.

Step Three: Unfold back to original square position. As you can see it's important not to cut all the way through or else the snow flake won't stay together.

Step Four: Bring the cut corners together then staple. Flip the page over and staple the corners the other way, rotating back and forth until you've stapled all the pieces together.

Step 5: 1 full snowflake required 6 of these pieces. Rinse and repeat till you have collected 6 of these snowflake pieces.

Step Six: Once you have all 6 made take the centers and staple them together 3 in a row.

Step Seven: Then staple the two half of the snowflakes together and the outside piece as well.

And there you have it! Some budget decorating, I've already placed mine all over my work office and a few at home adding some stick on gems I found at the dollar store here to give them that extra glam feeling!

Yes that a classy remote right beside my snowflake ;) I was watching some TV as I made these little guys. Now you can do so many cool things with these, hang them from the roof. Create a winter wonderland by making smaller and medium sized ones and placing them on a tree (a glue gun might be easier to adhere the smaller ones) or even use them instead of a bow on a Christmas gift! Your opportunities are endless.