How to De-Stress over the Holidays

Life can be so hectic and sometimes the only time we allow ourselves to chill at home not doing much other than eating and spending time with family is at Christmas time. We have spoken to endless amounts of people about this prior to writing this post and almost everyone says the same thing- Christmas is the only holiday we spend at home doing nothing and don’t feel guilty for it.

It’s important that we have time to switch off from everyday life and the stresses that can come from it. Take the time to do the things you love but don’t usually prioritise or have time to fit in around your daily routine whether this is baking a cake, going for a run, painting your nails or watching your favourite TV show that you are now 5 seasons behind on.

This shouldn’t be just at Christmas time though, try and schedule a weekend in every now and again where you just spend time doing the things you really want to do. We always talk about how much we LOVE these weekends, we wouldn’t want these kinds of weekends all the time because we wouldn’t appreciate them as much but it is nice when you have been so hectic just to sit at home on a Saturday evening with a glass of wine in hand watching your favourite TV show.

We have set ourselves a challenge to make sure we start to schedule in these weekends, putting our self-care and health as a priority. This is going to be really hard for us because we always love being on the go making the most of our weekends and making them as jam packed as possible, but we know sometimes we end up burning the candle at both ends and it usually results in us becoming poorly which isn’t something we want.

So we urge you to do the same as us, start off with Christmas (if you can and have the time off work). Really allow yourself to switch off from your daily routine, say goodbye to the stressful morning commute, work deadlines and everything anything else that angers you or causes you stress on a daily basis. We can assure you your body and mind will thank you for it and you will feel so much better for it, going back to work in January feeling refreshed with a new optimistic mind that is ready to smash everything that comes your way.

So we are going to help you to start, grab a pen and paper and write down everything you love doing in your spare time that you want to do regularly going forward you can see some of the things that are on our lists below:

Annie
Bake banana loaf- my favourite
Swimming
Catch up on Nashville- best TV show ever
Go for a long walk in the woods
Straightening my hair

Rach
Painting my nails
Reading and finishing a book
Cleanse my skin
Cross Stich
Reading my favourite magazines

Advertisements

December To Do List

Is anyone else obsessed with writing to do lists? We have one master copy to do list but then we also seem to have so many other daily to do lists flying around reminding us of all the work we have to do. We have therefore decided to document our December to do list (mostly fun things).

Life can get so busy especially in December that sometimes we forget to just stop and take a look back at everything we wanted to do, so we thought if we document it we have to do it right?

What is on your December to do list? We would love to know as always!

Blogmas- We are so excited to be taking part in Blogmas again this year, we loved it last year but it does mean our to list has grown and Blogmas has justified its own to do list.

Baking everything Christmas related- We love baking all things seasonal especially at Christmas time! We spend our lives on Pinterest gathering all the inspiration we need to get in the kitchen and make the house smell like sugar and spice.

Attend a carol concert- This is one of our favourite things to do at Christmas time and last year we didn’t get round to going to a carol concert together.

Drink copious amounts of Mulled Wine- Need we say more? We love mulled wine and we even made our own last year which was incredible.

Watch endless Christmas films- Snuggled on the sofa with the fire on, hot chocolate in hand wrapped in a blanket our idea of heaven.

Winter walks- Just because its cold outside doesn’t mean you have to spend all of your time inside, get outside and explore the countryside.

Eat all the advent calendars- Chocolate for breakfast? Errrr yes please!

Put up the Christmas tree and outside lights- A tradition that will never end!

Wear tacky Christmas jumpers- If you see two girls wearing identical tacky Christmas jumpers walking around you can probably assume that is us.

Watching and take part in Vlogmas- We will be taking part in Vlogmas for the first time this year, we won’t be Vlogging everyday but we will try and film as often as possible. Watching Vlogmas is one of our favourite things to do we always catch up on it in the gym when we are doing some cardio.

Spend time with friends & Family- December is the month were everyone makes the effort to see family and friends and we absolutely love it.

Buy Christmas presents- Thankfully we have already started (super organised this year) but we still have a few more bits to get!

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 

christmas 3.png

BLOGMAS Day 14- Christmas Pudding Energy Balls

It is a well known tradition to have Christmas pudding after your Christmas dinner. it is often the showstopper of the night it often arrives flaming blue and drowned in brandy. making a Christmas pudding can be quite time consuming as you have to steam each of the puddings for a number of hours, but we have to say it is definitely worth it as they taste waaaaay better than the shop bought ones.

We absolutely love making energy balls they are the perfect snack pre or post workout. We wanted to make some festive energy balls and after scrolling through Pinterest we made the decision to create Christmas pudding energy balls!

Recipes makes 20 Energy Balls

Energy Ball Ingredients
200g Almonds
100g Peacans
200g Dates Pitted
100g Sultanas
60g Dried cranberries
1tsp Ground Cinnamon
1tsp Ground Nutmeg
1tsp Ground Ginger

Cashew Frosting
150g Cashews
25ml Almond Milk
2tbsp Honey/maple syrup or agave nectar

Topping
Red Currants

Method
Soak the Cashews in water for 5 hours (or over night)
Place all the energy ball ingredients in a blender and blend for 10 minutes
Roll the mixutre into equal sized balls (make sure you flatten the top)
Place the energy balls into in the fridge
blend all the cashew frosting ingredients in a blender until smooth
Place the frosting in the freezer for 20 minutes
Once the frosting has chilled spoon a small amount on each energy ball
add redcurrants for decoration

BLOGMAS Day 9- Homemade Mince Pies

Mince Pies are traditionally served during the festive season, they are fruit based mini pies that the British eat millions of during November and December. We would compare mince pies to Marmite in the sense you ever love them or hate them! They are definitely something you learn to love as you get older and they taste especially nice with brandy butter!

Homemade mince pies (including the pastry) taste amazing straight out the oven, this year we decided to make ‘open mince pies’. Instead of covering the mince pies with a lid we cut out stars and placed them on top of the mince meat.

We didn’t have time to make our own mince meat so went to Waitrose and picked up one of their mince meats as we have heard it tastes amazing. To give it our own touch we also added some extra ingredients which you will find below!

Ingredients Pastry
350g Plain flour
250g Butter
1 Egg
100g Caster sugar
Dash of water

Ingredients Mince Meat
Waitrose Mince Meat
2 Tangerines flesh and Zest
1 Braburn Apple finely chopped

Method
1. Pre heat the oven to 180oc
2. Rub together the butter and flour using your finger tips
3. Mix in the sugar, egg and water
4. The mixture should now form a pastry, be careful not to over mix
5. Place the pastry in the fridge to chill
6. While the pastry is chilling chop the apple and place in a large mixing bowl
7. Grate the Tangerine zest and chop the flesh and add to the mixing bowl
8. Add the jar of mince meat to the mixing bowl and stir using a wooden spoon.
9. Roll the pastry and cut using a circle cutter (should be about 2cm thick)
10. Place the pastry into a baking tin and then add the mince meat.
11. You will then need to cut out the stars and place them on top of the pies
12. Cook the mince pies for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.