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!

The Advent Calendars we are dreaming of

Advent calendars in the last couple of years have taken off. There are so many different types of Advent Calendar and gone are the days of just getting chocolate in your advent calendar. Now you can get cheese, coffee, gin, nail varnish… you name it, it exists! There are also 25 day advent calendars but also 12 day ones too – the world’s gone mad!
Now sadly we aren’t the richest girls around so cannot afford to spend £100 on an advent calendar. However here’s a list of our favourite Advent Calendars for 2017.

Jelly Bean –Beanboozled
Not a fan of chocolate but love Jelly Beans there this advent calendar will leave you wondering what flavour your going to get, will it be naughty or nice, that’s the risk you have to take!

Kellogg’s – Kellogg’s Variety Advent Calendar
This is such a good idea, its tradition that you always open your advent calendar in the morning, so why not open it and have a surprise cereal for breakfast. We love breakfast and love cereal so this would be the ultimate advent calendar.

Perk U Latte – Coffee Advent Calendar
As you probably may have gathered, we love coffee so this Advent Calendar is our dream! For £40 you get 12 different coffee’s to choose from, we would be happy with that!

The Body Shop –25 days Ultimate Advent Calendar
This is £99 but the products inside are worth £214, so you may think this is a bargain! Wish we could spend £99 on an Advent Calendar for ourselves let alone a present for our mums for £100 (crazy money!). If we won the lottery than maybe we would treat ourselves!

Johnny Loves Rosie –Star Print Jewellery Advent Calendar
A bonus here as this calendar is on sale for only £38.50 and contains 24 pieces of jewellery. We think this is such a sweet idea for an advent calendar and would love to receive a new piece of jewellery every day.

My Protein –High Protein Chocolate Advent Calendar
High protein chocolate….. now we are talking! This would be the perfect start to the morning before heading to the gym. Order fast as we reckon these will sell out at only £4.99!

AsdaCheese Advent Calendar
Asda have a cheese advent calendar and we couldn’t be happier! We adore cheese so how amazing is this idea!? The person who came up with this idea deserve a reward! However how weird will it be storing it in your fridge – haha!

Master of Malt –Ginvent Calendar
At £124.95 this is very pricey, but you are getting 24 mini bottles of gin so some may say it’s excellent value! We love gin, but cannot justify spending this amount of money on an advent calendar.

So we didn’t want to exclude our male readers, so here are some cool advent calendar’s for you men too!!

ASOSThe Grooming Advent Calendar
This includes a mix of products for hair and skin and features products from Elemis and Carmex plus many more. There are 24 products and then on the 25th day you get a discount code for ASOS.

Snaffling PigPork Crackling Advent Calendar
This advent calendar will go down a treat with any pork crackling lover and not a bad price at £17.50

Beer Hawk Beer Advent Calendar
This may be the firm favourite with the men in your life, a beer advent calendar is the perfect gift for him. 24 craft beers for £75.

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 23 – DIY Gingerbread House

image1-24

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 18- Christmas Tag

We have been reading lots of Blogmas posts this month and we keep coming across the ‘Christmas Tag’ and decided we had to take part!

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE CHRISTMAS FILMS?
Annie- One of my favourite Christmas films is called ‘The Greatest Store in the World’. It’s not a very well-known film but we used to watch it all the time when we were younger!
Rachel- The Holiday has to be one of the best Christmas films, however if we can pick 2 then the other will be Love Actually

HAVE YOU EVER HAD A WHITE CHRISTMAS?
Both: I believe the year we were born it was a white Christmas! That’s the only white Christmas we have had but unfortunately we don’t remember it!!

WHERE DO YOU USUALLY SPEND YOUR HOLIDAY?
Annie: At home with my immediate family, we sometimes see some friends at the pub as well.
Rachel: At home with my immediate family

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE CHRISTMAS SONG?
Annie: Last Christmas by Wham- I love it!
Rachel: I love Justin Beibers Christ,as album – sorry not sorry!

DO YOU OPEN ANY PRESENTS ON CHRISTMAS EVE?
Annie: No we save them all for Christmas day
Rachel: We open one present on Christmas eve and its always pj’s – so nice to have a new pair of pjs for Christmas Eve/Day

CAN YOU NAME ALL OF SANTA’S REINDEER?
Annie: Prancer, Dancer, Blitzen, Rudolph…. I think I’ll give up there
Rachel: not even going to try! I only remember, Donna and Blitzen

WHAT HOLIDAY TRADITIONS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR MOST THIS YEAR?
Annie: On Boxing Day we all go to a local pub and watch my dad Morris dance then it’s back to our house for cold turkey and party games.
Rachel: This year is a different one for me as I am making the most of the many bank holidays and going travelling around SE Asia for 3 weeks. I will be waking up on Christmas Day in Bangok in a 22 bed dorm in a hostel before the adventure begins. However my favourite holiday tradition is going to a Carol concert with my family, it gets you into the Christmas spirit.

IS YOUR CHRISTMAS TREE REAL OR FAKE?
Both: we both have real trees!! Real trees smell so good and remind us of Christmas.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE HOLIDAY FOOD / SWEET OF ALL TIME?
Annie: Chocolate Orange! I cannot get enough of them especially when they are always on special offer this time of year. I didn’t get one in my stocking last year and I was gutted!
Rachel: every year for Christmas me and my mum make homemade fudge, I would say that is my ultimate sweet treat of all time at Christmas.

BE HONEST: DO YOU LIKE RECEIVING OR GIVING GIFTS BETTER?
Annie: I love giving presents so much more than receiving them. You cannot beat seeing someone’s reaction when they open your presents.
Rachel: 100% giving, I am like the child in the old John Lewis Christmas advert. I absolutely love choosing presents for my family and seeing their reaction when they open them!

WHAT WOULD BE YOUR DREAM PLACE TO VISIT FOR THE HOLIDAY SEASON?
Annie: I would love to visit America, in films Christmas in America always seems so magical!
Rachel: somewhere hot – not really fussed where to be honest. Or would love to visit Disneyland Florida for Christmas.

ARE YOU A PRO PRESENT WRAPPER OR A PRO FAILURE?
Annie: I used to be a pro failure, until I worked at Fortnum and Masons once Christmas in the gift wrap department.  I wouldn’t say I massively enjoy wrapping presents but I still like to make them look pretty!
Rachel: LOVE wrapping presents and making them look pretty, so would say I am a pro wrapper. I also wrap up for my family too as they hate wrapping!

WHAT MADE YOU REALISE THE TRUTH ABOUT SANTA?
Annie: I actually cannot remember I believed Santa for so many years, but then being the nosy child I was I spotted one of my presents hidden away- I was gutted.
Rachel: I was such a scaredy child so my parents had to tell me he wasn’t real as I wouldn’t sleep. I didn’t like the thought of  a stranger entering the house and wouldn’t sleep on Christmas Eve. My parents had to tell me at a VERY young age that Santa wasn’t real!

DO YOU MAKE NEW YEARS RESOLUTION, AND DO YOU STICK TO IT?
Annie: One year I made a resolution to go to the gym twice a week- it’s safe to say I stuck to it as I definitely go more than twice a week now days.
Rachel: One year I made a resolution to have my nails painted with nail varnish for everyday of the year, so weird I know! However I stuck to it!

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