December Favourites

As 2016 draws to a close, can’t believe how quick it has gone, we write up our final ‘favourites’ post of the year.

We have been super busy on the lead up to Christmas so it has been quite nice to sit down, relax and reflect on the past month and remember all our favourite things of the month and of course mot of them are going to be Christmas related!

1. Festive baking- we feel we have done an awful lot of baking this month, using Christmas as an excuse to bake and taste delicious sweet treats has been fab, but we have also baked some healthy goodies too. We get quite a  lot of our inspiration from Pinterest, finding ourselves scrolling through boards late at night. We though we would share our favourite bakes on this post. All these pictures you can find recipes for on our blog 🙂

2. Christmas dinners- this time of year is most deinfitely when you over indulge, in particular when it comes to epic an Christmas dinner. It seems we have had some sort of Christmas meal at least once a week in the month of December. We visited a lovely local pub with our friends from school for a Christmas dinner. We have had many Christmas lunches at work too, pigs in blankets, stuffing and brussel sprouts all round!

3. Festive bedding- any excuse to buy some new bedding, and Christmas themed is even better. There are so many places selling gorgeous bedding. Primark have a large selection at excellent value, George also have lots of bedding to choose from and also Next. If you didn’t get any this year, then why not make it a mew tradition in 2017!

4. Terry’s chocolate orange- we absolutely love terry’s chocolate orange at Christmas time, especially when it is on offer in almost every shop you step in! We also love buying the mini segment bags and the popping candy ones are also really good. Our love for chocolate orange will continue all year round but at Christmas we don’t need an excuse to eat it! Check out our Melting Chocolate snowman blog post here, where you can find our super chocolaty hot chocolate made with Terry’s Chocolate Orange of course!

5. Support for our blog- this month we took the bold decision to share our blog on our personal Facebook pages. This was a big deal for us, so we think that this will be our highlight of the month of December. We are very proud of ourselves for doing this, so December 2016 will be remembered forever!

Wonder what our January 2017 favourites will be, we cannot wait to make more memories and find out!

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Our 2016 Favourites

Seeing as we have been doing monthly favourite posts, we also thought it would be fitting to do a post all about our key favourites/favourite moments of the year together! 6 faves for 2016!

1) Holiday to Ibiza – we booked a very last minute holiday to Ibiza for an absolute bargain! For some reason flights to Ibiza were super cheaper so we first booked flights and then decided to check out accommodation. We decided that we didn’t want to stay in San Antonia, firstly becuase its super expensive and secondly becuase we didn’t want to go away to solely party! We stayed in ? And paid to go all inclusive which was so worth it. The highlights of the trip were the day trip to the Island of Formentera and the day at Ocean Beach Club.
2) Running – this year we have loved going running, especially in the summer when its warm. We have explored a lot of our local area going on super long runs. Even in the cold winter dark evenings we have managed to keep up the running, but stuck to the roads and not the woods! We entered to the London Marathon for 2017 but were unsuccessful but would like to definelty enter a race of some sort next year.
3) Protein powder – this year we have really got into protein powder. We will have a protein shake after the gym but have also begun experimenting with it in the kitchen. We have got into pancakes with protein in them in a big way, it has been such fun experimenting with different flavour combinations. We have also made protein flapjacks and protein muffins so watch this space!
4) Nights out – we have had some very funny nights out this year, from local nights out to a crazy night out in Sheffield. We love dressing up, letting our hair down, having a drink or two and a boogie on the dance floor!
5) Fitbit – we both received fitbits for Christmas last year, so this year we have loved wearing them and tracking our steps. They particularly handy as we sit in an office all day long. Scarily they have become addictive and we always try to make sure we meet our target of 10,000 steps a day! Post to follow in the New Year so watch this space.
6) Photography – now we are not professional photographs but we have loved experimenting behind the camera this year. We have realised how important it is to take good photos for our blog and Instagram account. We now have a ‘bridge’ camera to take photos on, and have also got a tripod, this is very handy when there is no one about to take a picture for us. We would love to invest in a D-SLR in the near future. Think we need to get saving first though!
We cannot wait to see what 2017 will bring
What were your highlights of 2016? Share them with us!

Boxing Day Love

Boxing day used to be a day of rest in our house, we would be getting over the Christmas excitement and playing with all our new toys. The afternoon would consist of watching lots of films on the TV and enjoying the left over turkey. That was until my Dad decided to take up Morris Dancing as a hobby!

Every year his dancing troop meet at a pub in a little village nearby called Sarratt. Sarratt is so beautiful if you haven’t been then I would really recommend you take a dive, there are plenty of circular walks you can do and a selection of pubs to end in. There is a pub there called The Cricketers and the dancing starts outside at 12:30pm. Lots of our family and friends turn up to watch and its just another excuse to enjoy a mulled wine or two. Every year we are so lucky with the weather, the sun is always shining and by the end of it no one can feel their toes!

Once the dancing has finished all the family comes back to our house where we will have a big old feast! Which usually includes cold turkey,  bubble and squeak, pork pies, cheese and basically anything else my mum has decided to cook. Its safe to say on the 27th December there is always so many leftovers in our fridge (definitely not complaining about that!).

I absolutely love this tradition and sometimes I look forward to it even more than Christmas day, nothing beats a day with the family; eating, drinking and being merry!

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas day and Boxing day resting up and enjoying time with the people you love.

 

 

 

 

BLOGMAS Day 25 – Christmas Day traditions

MERRY CHRISTMAS! We hope you have had a lovely day with whomever you have spent it with! We will be eating our own body weight in food and drinking all the champagne we can get our hands on.  We have enjoyed Blogmas so much this year, we are so sad it is over! Twenty Five blog posts involved so much planning, writing, giggling and eating but we wouldn’t have changed it for the world.

We hope you have enjoyed following us along on our journey and the lead up to Christmas, we have been feeling more festive than ever this year and we have blogging to thank for that! We thought the best way to end Blogmas would be to write about our own family traditions!

Rachel Tradition’s

Christmas Day is only with my immediate family as the rest of the family live in Northern Ireland. Christmas Day for me isn’t a huge family affair and nothing out of the ordinary as we will often eat meals as a whole family. For this reason I have chosen to take advantage of all the bank holidays and go away for 3 weeks to South East Asia. I am sad to be missing Christmas Day today however I am currently living it up in Bangkok before my tour with G Adventure begins tomorrow.

However we would usually wake up early-ish on Christmas morning to stockings waiting in the hall for us. We all sit in the front room and open our stockings whilst listening to Christmas music. Then myself and mum start making breakfast. We always have a box of Cinnamon Squares for breakfast, these are from our local cafe called believe it or not Cinnamon Square and they taste delicious! We heat them in the oven and enjoy these with bucks fizz! At the breakfast table we open what we call our ‘main present’. This is the big main item we have asked for. We all open at the breakfast table and its always exciting!

We then get ready and all dressed up to head to church. We always attend Church on Christmas morning without fail and its a short family service.

Then we go home and start getting ready for a late lunch, I will always help mum prepare the lunch. I also help serve up the starter which is always fish. We usually have a selection of terrines and king prawns. We all sit down to the starter and open our crackers.

We then eat the main course about 30 minutes later which of course is a Christmas meal with all the trimmings, Turkey, Gammon, potatoes, veg, pigs in blankets etc all washed down with wine or prosecco.

We are always too full to have dessert but will spend the rest of the day munching on a selection box! We spend the rest of the day opening presents and will often crack out a board game or two! We end the evening watching a film that we have most likely received that day before tucking into bed!

Annie  Tradition’s

Usually the music will be playing at full blast from about 7 o’clock in the morning! Even if you wanted to stay in bed (which we don’t) you wouldn’t have a choice. My dad always cooks a full English on Christmas morning and makes sure there is plenty of champagne flowing (you will never have an empty glass in our house).  We tend to open our Santa presents in the morning before heading down to the pub for more beverages. This is actually a new tradition, we never did this when we were younger as we were too busy playing with all our new toys and who wants to go to the pub when they are younger? BORING, now we are older we love it!

Once we are home from the pub; Canapes will be served, games will be played, presents will be opened and champagne will be drank- this is basically our day on repeat.

We have always had Christmas dinner quite late, we have never been a Sunday lunch family we always have our roast in the evening.  Table presents have always been a tradition in our family; they are usually small funny gifts!  We always have salmon and prawns to start which seems to be a tradition for most families! Christmas dinner is then served followed by homemade Christmas pudding.

We usually end the day on the sofa in a carb coma still munching on chocolate whilst watching a film or a Christmas special that is on TV.  Christmas day is pretty relaxed in our house and boxing day is when we have the rest of the family over to celebrate.

Merry Christmas 

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BLOOMS DAY 24 – Our favourite Blogmas posts

We have loved taking part in our very first blogmas this year. We have loved writing all the posts but also reading other bloggers posts too. We thought we would share our favourite #blogmas posts for 2016.

Christie Louize – It was very hard to pick our favourite Chrismtas post, however it had to be The Definitive List of Christmas Food, because well, we love food too! We also completely agree with the number one choice, we LOVE pigs in blankets too, best part of the Christmas meal. However we would eat everything on this list apart from Christmas pudding, we agree this being the worst!

Belle Momento – We first discovered Francesca on twitter and so glad we did as we love following her blog. Francesca’s post about Christmas wrapping is absolutely fab and the photography is amazing. We both love wrapping up presents, but struggle to make them look ‘pretty’ so this post has given us some inspiration. Maybe next year we will do some cool wrapping! Check out this cute post here

The Blossom Twins – We love following the Blossom Twins blogposts and twitter accounts, we particularly like that there are two of us and two of them too!! We loved their Getting into the Christmas Spirit post because it completely sums up Christmas for us. We love Christmas movies and we love Terrys chocolate orange and for us this is how we get into the Christmas spirit. We would also add mulled wine to the list, the smell of mulled wine throughout the house definitely gets us into the Christmas spirit too! Go read their post here

Hay Sparkle – The gingerbread cucpcakes post was a firm winner for us because we are fellow bakers too and also love baking with ginger this year. These cupcakes look super cute and we will most definitely be making them next year. Check out the recipe here

The girl with an accent – If you don’t know what to cook this Christmas then this post is the one for you! There is so many good recipes here, we were drooling at the idea of feta and spinach stuffed French bread, mmmm! The candy cane cupcakes are also super cute.

Daisy Ashcroft – we are gonna be honest it was extremely hard to pick our favourite post from Daisy’s 2016 Blogmas. Daisy’s photosphraphy is dreamy, and one day we wish our photography skills were as good as hers! However we decided to go with Apple and Cinamon Muffins post, because the flavour combination is fab. These would be great muffins to take to a Christmas party, however we would also eat for breakfast too, oooops! Make sure you check out her other blogmas posts including the Elf of the Shelf ideas for adults which is pretty funny!

 

We would love to know your favourite #blogmas posts, please share them with us!

 

BLOGMAS Day 23 – DIY Gingerbread House

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One afternoon in November we found ourselves in IKEA browsing the Christmas department when we happened to come across a Gingerbread house. IKEA had a beautifully decorated house on display and immediately we knew we had to make our own.

We have so many memories of making gingerbread houses when we were younger! In fact we didn’t make them our parents did and most of the time they ended up in a collapsed heap on the kitchen table.

The gingerbread house from IKEA was only £2.50 and tastes just like biscoff. We knew on buying the decorations we had to head straight for the royal icing as this was our only hope that the house would be a success. With a lot of perseverance and copious amounts of icing our gingerbread house stood strong for the first time ever.

We decided to decorate our house with Jelly tots, Strawberry laces and Smarties. We found that the lighter the sweet the easier if was to stick on the house so we would definitely suggest using Jelly tots or something similar.

This is such a fun thing to do with kids around Christmas time, and maybe a fun activity to calm down all the excitement on Christmas Eve, something to keep them occupied for at least half an hour!!

We had so much fun and will definitely be making  this a new tradition maybe next year we will brave it and make our own gingerbread….

 

BLOGMAS Day 22- Christmas in London

We love living in London at Christmas, it always get you in the festive mood and there is so much going on to see and do! We thought we would put our favourites things to do in London at Christmas for you all to spread the festive cheer! The below are in no particular order!
Carnaby Street- Carnaby Street always have some cool and different Christmas lights that are great to go and see. We love Carnaby Street because it’s not a busy as Oxford Street but has some really cute shops. Carnaby Street starts with Liberty’s which is such an amazing department store and very typically English. We love browsing there at Christmas, even if we cannot afford to buy anything! Along Carnaby Street are some fab shops such as……… There are also some great places to eat which can be found along Carnaby Street and also in Kingly Court. Why not try Mother Mash, Dirty Bones or The Diner.
Christmas Carol Concert- There are so many carol concerts happening in London during advent so you have plenty to chose from depending on your location. There’s a great range of concerts at St Martin in the Fields in Trafalgar Square, with a concert that’s even dedicated to Christmas shoppers! Langham Place the church next to the BBC also have a lot of carol concerts to go to. Or why not visit the famous St Paul’s Cathedral, we went to a lovely family Carol concert on a Saturday afternoon and it was lovely.
Winter Wonderland- It might look and seem super tacky but what a better way to feel Christmassy than a visit to Winter Wonderland. They are celebrating their 10th Anniversary of being open so putting on some cool displays. Winter Wonderland can sometimes be very busy, so be prepared to queue!
London’s Southbank- Why not spend the afternoon or evening around the iconic London eye visiting the Southbank Christmas market and treat yourself to some mulled wine and browse the cute Christmas stalls. Walk a little further along the river and there’s another market outside the Tate Modern.
Covent Garden- We love Covent Garden, it’s such a fab little place to visit with lots of shops and restaurants. There is also lots going on here as the street artists love to perform here. You are more than likely to see a Christmas choir perform when you visit! The lights at Covent Garden are always beautiful so worth a visit. If you are going to the theatre in London’s West End then Covent Garden is a great place to go for dinner beforehand!
Roof Top Bar- For those who like to enjoy a drink or two, why not try London’s many roof top bars. We love Pergola on the Roof at London’s Westfield White City.

BLOGMAS Day 21- White Chocolate & Cranberry Cookies

White chocolate and cranberry cookies are delicious; we have recently been baking lots of cakes but wanted to try something else that still had a Christmas twist. This recipe was originally Tanya Burr’s recipe but we have tweaked it a bit to make these white chocolate and cranberry cookies.

These cookies went down a treat when we took them into work for our colleagues to enjoy!

We would suggest eating these cookies warm even once they have cooled down, whack them in the microwave for 20 seconds and enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee.

As always let us know what you think, tweet us a photo or tag us in your Instagram’s. You can find us at @threebrits. Happy baking!

Ingredients
200g butter
300g caster sugar
1 large egg
300g self- raining flour
A little dash of milk
2 large bars of white chocolate (we used milky bar)
100g dried cranberries

Method
Pre heat your oven to 180oc
Cream together the butter and sugar until it is light and fluff
Add your egg to the mixture
Stir in the flour
Add a dash of milk
Break up your chocolate and cranberries and add it to the mixture
Line two trays with baking paper
Place 6 small balls of mixture on each of your trays but make sure you separate them as the mixture will spread when cooked.
Place the cookies in the oven for 12 minutes (they will look slightly raw when you take them out but they will continue to cook on the try whilst cooling)

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BLOGMAS Day 20 – Department Stores at Christmas

The best time to visit department stores is without a doubt at Christmastime. You are sure to see some epic Christmas lights and Christmas window displays to get you in the festive mood. No matter what city you are in the department stores will not let you down

Selfridges-Selfridges in London, Manchester or Birmingham is great.  All brands, products and Christmas gifts all under one roof what more do you want. Browsing the food halls in Selfridges is always a delight, especially when they are giving out free samples. The Selfridges in London always has great window displays, with the front of the store adored in lights. When in Selfridges do not forget to visit the Christmas department, maybe it is your tradition to buy a new bauble each Christmas, or maybe you need some inspiration – Christmas Shop is the best place to start! Selfridges in London has a new bag hall and its amazing, so do not forget to check it out!

Harrods-Harrods is so beautiful covered in all the lights and is such an iconic building in London. Even if you cannot afford to buy anything here its always such a great experience. The food hall is simply stunning the decor is amazing. Do not forget to visit the white and black halls with the perfume (also know as the perfumery and cosmetics hall).  Do not forget to visit the signature Harrods Christmas World which transports you to a magical Christmas world (not literally!) If you are wanting to treat yourself why not visit The Georgian for Afternoon Tea.

Hamley’s- You are never too old to visit Hamley’s and its even more of a fab and magical experience at Christmas time. As soon as you enter the doors you feel like a kid again, with the shop assistants flying aeroplanes around you or showing you magic tricks, theres something for everyone here and you won’t be disappointed. I would advise to go early to later in the day as Hamlets as become somewhat of a tourist attraction. Do not forget to purchase the iconic Hamley’s Bear!

Fortnum and Mason- When in London, you must visit the “Queen’s Supermarket” (!!). Fortnum and Mason transports you back in time and its so quintensitally English you will want to spend all day here! From sampling chocolates on the ground floor to googling handbags. Do not forget to visit the Christmas Hamper department and look at the iconic F&M Hampers. They make excellent Christmas presents too!

John Lewis- Who doesn’t love John Lewis, and I think its their delightful staff that make the shopping experience what it is. Nothing is ever trouble for the partners and they are always there to help. The great thing about John Lewis is that most towns and cities in the UK will have one, so anyone can visit! We do love the John Lewis cafe because their shortbread and flapjacks taste amazing! However if you happen to visiting the John Lewis on Oxford Street make sure you visit the roof garden in association with The Gardening Society. You can purchase Christmas trees here and also enjoy some food or a glass of champagne. There aren’t that many tables so I would advise you to book. However if you don’t mind sitting outside with your drink its okay to just turn up.

Liberty – A quintessentially British department store is a must see at Christmas. Liberty has a whole floor dedicated to Christmas (floor 6 to be precise!) and its a magical winter wonderland. Even if you don’t buy anything its nice to visit Liberty’s and do a spot of window shopping. Liberty’s is located at the top of Carnaby Street so why not check out the cool lights here and there are many shops to visit here too!

BLOGMAS Day 19 – Christmas Sausage Rolls

Recently we have done an awful lot of sweet baking, so decided it was time to bake something savoury. What better time of year to do some savoury baking and crack out the sausage rolls. We didn’t fancy making ordinary sausage rolls but Christmas themed ones. Actually you can’t really call them sausage rolls either, I think they should be called sausage pin wheels.

We skinned some fat cumberland sausages and placed in a large mixing bowl. We added wholegrain mustard, mixed herbs and some dried cranberries and mixed together with our hands.

We rolled out puff pastry (well actually we bought ready rolled, so didn’t exactly roll it ourselves!). We then mixed together in a separate bowl honey and dijon mustard then coated the pastry in it. We then spread over the sausage mix.

We rolled the pastry up and cut up, about 2cm thick and placed on a baking tray. The pinwheels cooked in a 180 degree oven for around 25 minutes.

Hey presto, you have some delicious christmasy sausage pin wheels – these will certainly impress your guests!