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!

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Hello Blogmas 2017

*Inserts we cannot believe it is already Christmas, how has this year gone to quickly already etc etc etc*

Welcome back to Blogmas 2017 we are so excited to be doing Blogmas again this year, we loved taking part last year and knew straight away we would be doing it again…so that’s bye bye social life hello blog 24/7.

This is only our second year of doing Blogmas, but we already feel way more prepared this year, we did start planning in August after all. We might be crazy but time literally goes so quickly and we knew if we waited any longer we would blink and it would be December 1st. Or it might just be that we are control freaks and like to have everything organised as its one less thing to worry about and after all good things take time and we wanted to make sure we produced good quality and useful posts.

Last year we tried to keep as many of our posts as possible Christmas related, so this year we are mixing things up and we won’t just be sharing Christmas related posts instead it will be a bit of everything. We made this decision because we didn’t want to be repetitive with our posts and we find so many people take part in Blogmas that the Blogesphere can become saturated with Christmas posts.

We have started a YouTube channel (which you can find here) where we will also be Vlogging as much as possible. We won’t be able to take part in Vlogmas as we both have full time jobs in different locations so it wouldn’t really work but we cannot wait to share our weekend adventures with you!

Saying Goodbye to 2016 

Another year has flown by (I’m sure we say this every year) but really where has the time gone? It feels like we have just blinked and the year is over. 2016 has seen many highlights and also a few challenges that we wanted to document on our blog, mainly so we can go back and read it to remind ourselves just how far we have come.

On the 19th September we received a notification on WordPress to say ‘Congratulations your blog has been alive for one year’ sorry what? One entire year that is just crazy. We have had so much fun creating content for both our Blog and Instagram account for the past year and we cannot wait to keep creating more.

Last year (December 2015) we decided that we didn’t want to go out for NYE, instead we decided to have a dinner party at one of our friends’ houses. January started with us all dancing around the living room in our onesies watching the London Fireworks show- which was amazing.

We have travelled quite a bit this year including; Australia, New Zealand, Amsterdam, Dublin, Jersey, France (Avignon, Paris and Normandy), Spain, Ibiza, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. We absolutely love to travel there is something about being in a country you know nothing about and making it your home for the time you are there. We have also visited several cities in the UK this year these being: Manchester, Brighton, Sheffield & Essex.

We started running at the beginning of the year setting ourselves some milestone targets of how many miles we wanted to run. At the beginning of the year we used to struggle running 3 miles but now that seems an absolute breeze, it just shows if you spend enough time doing something you will get better.

We have tried and tested several exercises classes this year: British Military Fitness, Regiment Fitness, Boxercise, Spinning, Pilates, HIIT training,HIIT Combat, Metafit & Yoga to name a few. We believe that mixing up classes and exercises it a great way of challenging yourself. We both received Fitbits for Christmas last year and absolutely love them, as sad as it sounds they have been a big part of 2016. They have followed our every move, making us more active and aware of how many steps we take per day.

Since we love food, baking and cooking it is only right we include the following in our 2016 highlights. We have both become addicted to porridge which has resulted in us experimenting in lots of different flavours and even creating a ‘porridge series’ on the blog. Rachel hates all sorts of nuts but this year she tried cashews and loves them miracle! Maybe soon we can get her loving Peanut butter. Talking about Peanut Butter Annie was not a fan back in 2015 but now absolutely loves the stuff and is working her way through the different brands on offer (it’s not hard!).

We have loved experimenting with our baking, trying new recipes and flavours we wouldn’t have put together before. We have made sure we have baked for every festive season this year and Pinterest has been great inspiration. Even though we are into our health and fitness we are also massive believers of balance.

Life isn’t always easy and when we are faced with challenging situations giving up sometimes seems like the easiest option. It is so important to remember that these challenges and failures make us who we are today, a stronger and more determined individual.

So what can we take from 2016 into 2017? You can never be took kind to anyone, so spread kindness in hope that it will be contagious. We have learnt it is important to care less about what others think and focus more on the things that make us happy. It is important to remember that no one else matters when it comes to the things you enjoy doing and are passionate about.

We have so many exciting plans for 2017. So here’s to another year of challenges, happiness, dreams and friendship.

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!

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 1- Hello December

merrychristmas

Can you believe it’s December the 1st already? This year has gone way too quickly (we are sure the older you get the faster the years go). We have decided this December to take part in BLOGMAS! We have so many exciting blog posts planned and scheduled for the next month! We love reading other Blogmas post’s so couldn’t not join in this year.  We cannot wait to document our Christmas this year so we can look back on our blog in years to come and remember all the fun we had.

Christmas is without a doubt the BEST time of year, there is so much to look forward to; wearing Christmas jumpers (the uglier the better), pretending Santa exists because come on no one really wants to grow up, having an excuse to wear anything sparkly, sitting by the fire in a cosy onesie eating mince pies and watching Christmas films is possibly the best Sunday ever. Visiting endless German markets, waiting for the John Lewis advert to come on TV, ordering a drink in Starbucks and getting your first Red cup of the year, getting excited for pigs in blanket and Brussel sprouts (yes some of us do like them), Christmas song’s being played on the radio while decorating the Christmas tree and this is only scratching the surface we could go on all day.

Working in London at Christmas time is definitely a perk. Work Christmas parties are always SO much fun! Even if there are a few embarrassed faces coming into work the next day but hey that’s part of the fun. Christmas time at work always results in lunches lasting way over an hour with usually far too much wine and carbs being consumed, everyone already knows the afternoon is going to be a write off.

Secret Santa at work, there are usually so many unanswered questions! Joke or serious? Does it depend on who you are buying for? Should this be made a rule when picking names out the hat? Is everyone going to keep it a secret? Do I really want to waste my money on a load of junk? What do I buy a 50 year old man? This person has told me they won’t be happy with a joke present? Aaah so many questions, but then again I suppose that’s all part of the fun.

Christmas is still just as fun now as it was when we were younger okay so you don’t get such a ‘magical’ experience but its becomes magical in so many different ways. Seeing the excitement on someone’s face when they have opened a present you have bought can be even more exciting than receiving presents.

We cannot wait to document our Christmas this year so we can look back on our blog in years to come and remember all the fun we had.

We love everything about Christmas apart from the topic that always pops up around this time of year… Wait for it…. WHAT ARE WE GOING TO FOR NYE? Aaaah and the response is the same every year… I HAVE NO IDEA!

Merry Christmas everyone!

 

Melting Ghost Brownies

We are definitely getting into the spirit of Halloween this year and we cannot get enough of Halloween cooking. These are the worlds gooiest brownies and you will want to eat the whole lot!

They are lots of fun to make and not too difficult, enjoy the recipe below and let us know how you get on!

Ingredients
350g/12oz dark chocolate
250g/9oz unsalted butter, chopped into squares
3 large eggs
250g/9oz dark muscavado sugar
85g.3oz plain flour
1tsp baking powder
400g white chocolate
1 bag large marshmallows
small chocolate decorative balls

Method
1) Preheat the oven to 150ºc. Butter a tray bake tin and line with grease proof paper.
2) Melt the chocolate and butter together, over a pan of simmering water. Stir well and cool.
3) Whisk the eggs until pale, then whisk in the sugar until thick and glossy and well combined. Gently fold in the melted chocolate mixture then sift in the flour and baking powder and gently stir until smooth.
4) Pour into the tray bake tin and bake for 25-35 minutes or until just firm to touch. There should be moist/gooey crumbs on the skewer when inserted. Do NOT be tempted to overcook!
5) Once cooled, melt all the white chocolate over a low heat. Dip the marshmallows into the white chocolate and then place 2 chocolate balls on the mallows as the ghosts eyes.
6) Cut the brownies into squares and pour the remaining melted chocolate over each brownie to make the puddle. Put a marshmallow ghost on each brownie. Leave to set and enjoy – HAPPY HALLOWEEN!