Sunday, 31 December 2017

My Christmas Lists Part 7 - New Year's Day Survival List

Next up in my series of helpful lists to get us all organised for the festive season, is my survival list for New Year's Day. Whether you are a stay at home, an early nighter, or an all nighter - you will need some supplies for the First of the New Year.

So my New Year's Day survival list is going to include final indulgences before kicking in with the resolutions, and hangover fixes and hair of the dog. Here we go:

  • Fresh bread
  • Real butter
  • Crackers
  • Cheesy garlic bread
  • Dough balls
  • Pate
  • Pizza
  • Crisps
  • Nachos
  • Salsa
  • Nibbles - chicken nuggats/popcorn chicken
  • Oven chips
  • Cheese
  • Coffee
  • Milk
  • Croissants
  • Chocolate spread
  • Mixed nuts
  • Dips
  • Houmous
  • Hot chocolate
  • Squirty Cream
  • Sprinkles
  • Fresh soup
  • Cheese board
  • Sandwich meat
  • Whisky / brandy
  • Mixers
  • White spirits - gin, vodka
  • Cupcakes
  • Frozen desserts

My Christmas Lists Part 6 - New Year's Eve Shopping List #2 - Going out

Next up in my series of helpful lists to get us all organised for the festive season, today its my shopping lists for New Year's Eve. For this occasion, its going to be different for everyone.

Some of us are staying home alone, some are celebrating by hosting friends and family. Some of us will be going out, some of us will be out all night! Some of us will be going close to home, visiting friends and family, some of us will be out on the town. But all of us will need our supplies to get the party started! 

Even if you are going out, you still need a tipple before you go and something light to eat. You might be out early doors, or just round to friends, in which case you might need to think about a drink and something to eat when you get home. 

So my second New Year's Eve shopping list is going to be all about going out:
  • Red wine
  • Rose wine
  • White wine
  • Spirits - vodka, whisky, brandy, rum, gin
  • Mixers - cola, lemonade, orange, tonic water
  • Tumblers, long glasses, wine glasses
  • Prosecco or champers
  • Mini pizzas
  • Mini sliders
  • Cheese and bread for toasting
  • Tomato sauce
  • Brown sauce
  • Pasta salad
  • Crisps
  • Dips
  • Boxed biscuits
  • Chocolates
  • Mince pies
  • Tea, coffee, hot chocolate
  • Cream and marshmallow topping
  • Chicken dippers
  • Beer and lager
  • Cider
  • Baileys or whisky liquer
  • Sweets and toffee

Friday, 29 December 2017

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My Top 10 Winter Cocktails to warm you up




  • Cherry Bourbon Hot Chocolate
  • Hot Cocoa Martini
  • Mulled Wine
  • Irish Coffee with Baileys
  • Baileys Hot Chocolate
  • Gaelic Coffee with Whisky
  • Brandy Coffee
  • Mulled Cider
  • Whisky Hot Toddy
  • Hot Buttered Cider
  • Learning Spanish Christmas Special #4

    • trifle - nimiedad
    • reindeer - reno
    • santa - de santa
    and the previous ones:
    • turkey - Turquía
    • advent - adviento
    • tinsel - oropel
    • fairy lights - luces de hadas
    • presents - regalos
    • family - familia
    • Christmas - Navidad
    • Christmas tree - árbol de Navidad
    • snow - nieve

    Learning Spanish Christmas Special #3

    • turkey - Turquía
    • advent - adviento
    • tinsel - oropel
    and the previous ones:
    • fairy lights - luces de hadas
    • presents - regalos
    • family - familia
    • Christmas - Navidad
    • Christmas tree - árbol de Navidad
    • snow - nieve

    Learning Spanish Christmas Special #2

    • fairy lights - luces de hadas
    • presents - regalos
    • family - familia
    and the previous ones:

    • Christmas - Navidad
    • Christmas tree - árbol de Navidad
    • snow - nieve

    Learning Spanish - Christmas Special number 1

    In keeping with the festive spirit, I have decided to continue my attempts to learn Spanish by giving it a festive theme. Here we go then:


    • Christmas - Navidad
    • Christmas tree - árbol de Navidad
    • snow - nieve

    My Christmas Lists Part 5 - New Year's Eve Shopping List #1 - Celebrate at home

    Next up in my series of helpful lists to get us all organised for the festive season, today its my shopping list for New Year's Eve. For this occasion, its going to be different for everyone.

    Some of us are staying home alone, some are celebrating by hosting friends and family. Some of us will be going out, some of us will be out all night! Some of us will be going close to home, visiting friends and family, some of us will be out on the town. But all of us will need our supplies to get the party started!

    So my first New Year's Eve shopping list is going to be all about staying at home:
    • Prosecco or fizzy wine
    • Spirits of choice - whisky, vodka, brandy
    • Sparklers
    • Pizza
    • Garlic bread
    • Mini tartlets
    • Mini cheesecake
    • Ice cream tub
    • Spray cream
    • Hot chocolate mix
    • Milk
    • Mixers - cola lite, diet lemonade, pink lemonade
    • Fresh orange
    • Tonic water
    • Crisps
    • Dips
    • Mixed indian dishes - bhaji's, samosa, pakora
    • Mixed chinese dishes - spring rolls, chicken balls
    • Mini sliders
    • Mayonaisse
    • BBQ sauce
    • Chicken poppers, chicken nuggats, chicken dippers
    • Bread
    • Cheese
    • Crackers
    • Chocolate
    • Peanuts
    • Chocolate brazil nuts
    • Coffee and tea
    • Non alcoholic drinks
    • Chilli con carne
    • Assorted indian curries - tikka massalla, balti, korma, jalfrezi
    • Assorted chinese dishes - sweet and sour, blackbean sauce, curry
    • Rices for dishes - fried rice, pilau rice
    • Sundries - naan breads, prawn crackers, poppadoms
    • Panettone
    • Mince pies
    • Red wine, rose wine, white wine
    • Biscuits
    • Sausage rolls
    • Mini hot dogs
    • Onions
    • Nachos
    • Guacamole
    • Salsa
    • Beer
    • Lager
    • Cider
    • Fruit ciders
    • Ice

    Learning Spanish - This Week's Learning

    • blister - ampolla
    • lighthouse - faro
    • hundred - cien

    And the rest:
    • olives - aceitunas
    • pharmacy - farmacia
    • number - número
    • zero - cero
    • thankyou very much - muchas gracias
    • bracelet - pulsera
    • bruise - moretón
    • shark - tiburón
    • stupid - estúpido
    • skewer - brocheta
    • next week - la próxima semana
    • stairs - escalera
    • nice to meet you - Encantada de conocerte
    • jellyfish - la medusa
    • skin - piel
    • nap - siesta
    • meat - carne
    • shirt - camisa
    • pineapple - piña
    • knickers - bragas
    • live music - música en vivo
    • boarding - embarque
    • next - siguiente
    • roasted - asado
    • strong - fuerte
    • bank - el banco
    • noodles - tallarines
    • See you later - Hasta luego
    • mushroom - seta
    • I'm fine - Estoy bien
    • seashell - concha
    • biscuit - la galleta
    • open - abierto
    • a table for two please - mesa para dos
    • ham - jamon
    • yellow - amarillo
    • married - casado
    • river - río
    • charmed - encantado
    • apple - manzana
    • name - nombre
    • red - rojo
    • sausage - salchicha
    • nice - bonito
    • orange - naranja
    • restaurant - restaurante
    • read - leer
    • salad - ensalada
    • leaving - dejando
    • nuts - nueces
    • grey - gris
    • dinner - cena
    • fifty - cincuenta
    • mother - madre
    • fish - pescado
    • reservation - reserva
    • when - cuando
    • chair - silla
    • nose - nariz
    • pasta - pastas
    • kiss - beso
    • smile - sonreír
    • onion - cebolla
    • friend - amigo
    • thunder - trueno
    • why - por qué
    • thigh - muslo
    • donkey - burro
    • warm - calentar
    • drink - bebida
    • what - qué
    • lemon - limón
    • garlic - ajo
    • forty - cuarenta
    • tree - árbol
    • teeth - dientes
    • father - padre
    • suncream - crema solar
    • milk chocolate - chocolate con leche
    • crazy - loca
    • girl - niña
    • happy - contento
    • steak - filete
    • sunburn - bronceado
    • horse - cabello
    • cough - tos 
    • head - cabeza
    • Summer - el verano
    • February - febrero
    • Pillow - almohada
    • Nine - nueve
    • Eyes - ojos
    • June - junio
    • key - llaves
    • dunes - dunas
    • home - casa
    • Stomach - estómago
    • Jump - saltar
    • May - mayo
    • October - octubre
    • Thirsty - sediento
    • Leg - pierna
    • Breakfast - desayuno
    • Six - seis
    • Hungry - hambriento
    • Moon - luna
    • Rice - arroz
    • Vegetarian - vegetariano
    • I don't know - no lo sé
    • Butter - mantequilla
    • Seven - siete
    • July - julio
    • Tired - cansado
    • Speak - hablar
    • Mirror - espejo
    • Small - pequeña
    • Amazing - asombroso
    • Sunglasses - gafas de sol 
    • Toilet - inodoro
    • Excuse me - disculpe
    • Tasty - sabroso
    • Mountain - montaña
    • How far is - que tan lejos esta
    • Waves - olas
    • Sandwich - emparedado
    • Roof - techo
    • Blanket - cobija
    • Eight - ocho
    • Forgot - olvidó
    • Woman - mujer
    • Night - noche
    • Another - otro
    • September - septiembre
    • Hands - manos
    • Flight - vuelo
    • Laugh - risa
    • Sing - canta
    • Can I have the bill - Me puede traer la cuenta
    • Spoon - cuchara
    • Black - negro
    • Bread - pan de molde
    • April - abril
    • Five - cinco
    • Sand - arena
    • Hot - caliente
    • Ear - oreja
    • Dark - oscuro
    • Like - me gusta
    • Sick - enfermo
    • Spicy - picante
    • Kettle - tetera
    • Flowers - flores
    • Sunbathe - tomar el sol
    • Feet - pies
    • December - diciembre
    • Cake - pastel
    • Fireworks - fuegos articiales
    • Rain - lluvia
    • Dress - el vestido
    • Year - año
    • Door - puerta
    • My name is - me llamo
    • Cooking - cocina
    • Four - cuatro
    • August - agosto
    • Massage - el masaje
    • Back - espalda
    • Purple - púrpura
    • Fork - tenedor
    • Knife - cuchillo
    • Three - tres
    • Dog - perro
    • January - enero
    • Stars - estrellas
    • Dancing - bailando
    • Brown - marrón
    • Two - dos
    • Spring - primavera
    • Crisps - patatas fritas
    • Friday - viernes
    • The Menu -La carta 
    • Bed - cama
    • Strawberry - fresa
    • Windy - ventoso
    • Can I have? - puedo tener
    • Bottle - botella
    • Birthday - cumpleaños
    • Green - verde
    • Ten - diez
    • Thursday - jueves
    • March - marzo
    • Umbrella - paraguas
    • November - noviembre
    • Autumn - el otoño
    • One - uno
    • Soap - jabon
    • Wednesday - miércoles
    • Cold - frio
    • Boat - barco
    • Hotel Room - habitación de hotel
    • Newspaper - periódico
    • Man - hombre
    • Walk - caminar
    • Shop - tienda
    • Running - corriendo
    • Cat - gato
    • Swim - nadar
    • What time is it? - que hora es?
    • Big - grande
    • Cloud - nube
    • Pink - rosa
    • Silver - plata
    • Pepper - pimienta
    • Omelette - tortilla
    • Shower - ducha
    • Tuesday - martes
    • Ice - hielo
    • Beautiful - hermosa
    • Awake - despierto
    • Love - amor
    • Shoes - zapatos
    • Money - dinero
    • Hat - sombrero
    • Monday - lunes
    • Glass - vaso
    • Water - agua
    • Sleep - dormir
    • Chicken - pollo
    • Sun - sol
    • Ice-cream - helado
    • Seat - asiento
    • Gold - oro
    • Sunday - domingo
    • Hair - cabello
    • Book - el libro
    • Garden - el gardin
    • Bathroom - el baño
    • Nude - desnudo
    • Towel - toalla
    • Sea - mar
    • What's your name? - Como se llama?
    • Cheers - Salud
    • Wine - el vino
    • Good - bueno
    • Beer - cerveza
    • Cheese - queso
    • Suitcase - maleta
    • Blue - azul
    • White - blanco
    • Where is? - dónde está?
    • Market - el mercado
    • Swimming Pool - la piscina
    • Saturday - sábado
    • Winter - invierno
    • English - inglés
    • I want one - Quiero uno
    • How much does it cost? - Cuánto cuesta
    • Tomorrow - mañana
    • Good evening - Buenas Noches
    • You're welcome - de nada
    • I'm sorry - lo siento
    • Please - Por favor
    • Thankyou - Gracias
    • Beach - La playa
    • Hello - Hola
    • Good morning - Buenos días
    • Goodbye - Adios

    What I love about Christmas

    Well its almost over now for another year, and I thought it was time to collate the best things about Christmas. For some its all about the parties, for others its all about family, for me its a bit of everything!!

    So here are the best things that I love love love about Christmas:

    • Putting up the Christmas tree
    • Decorating the house
    • Putting up the outside Christmas lights and seeing them lit for the first time
    • Driving up to the house when it looks all festive and pretty
    • Eating mince pies
    • Cheese, cheese and more cheese!
    • Wrapping the presents
    • Choosing the presents
    • Giving the presents
    • Laughing
    • Bucks Fizz
    • Eating crisps and nuts
    • Advent calendar chocs
    • Pate and toast
    • Having family over for Christmas dinner
    • Seeing family and friends
    • Christmas films
    • Playing games
    • Christmas TV
    • Sparkly decorations
    • Christmas jumpers
    • Presents for our pets (puppy's first Christmas this year!)
    • Christmas songs
    • Christmas dinner
    • Counting down
    • Being happy
    • Eating what you want
    • Drinking what you want
    • Chocolates everywhere! 
    • Christmas Eve boxes

    My Top 10 Grilled Sandwiches

    • grilled mature cheddar cheese
    • sun dried tomato, pesto and spinach and cheese
    • blueberry and soft cheese
    • caramalised onion, mushroom and swiss cheese
    • sausage, pepper and cheese
    • pizza grilled cheese
    • chilli and cheese
    • egg, cheese and mushroom 
    • brie, apple and cranberry
    • bbq chicken and cheese

    Thursday, 28 December 2017

    My Top 10 Songs for Blowing the Diet!

    • Queen - Fat Bottomed Girls
    • Meghan Trainor - All About that Bass
    • ACDC - Whole Lotta Rosie
    • Bruno Mars - The Lazy Song
    • The 1975 - Chocolate
    • DNCE - Cake by the Ocean
    • Rihanna - Cheers (I'll Drink to That) 
    • Oasis - Cigarettes & Alcohol
    • Robbie Williams - Come Undone
    • A$AP Rocky ft Rod Stewart - Everyday (I spend my time drinkin wine) 

    My Top 10 Cheese Spread

    • Philadelphia - full fat original
    • Laughing Cow
    • Primula
    • Dairylea
    • Applewood spreadable
    • Seriously Strong Cheddar spreadable
    • Philadelphia - Light Chives
    • Boursin - Pepper
    • Philadelphia - Garlic and Herb
    • Boursin Garlic and Herb
    I would have put Sunpat cheese spread, but alas its no more :( 

    Wednesday, 27 December 2017

    My Top 10 Cereals

    • Kelloggs Cornflakes
    • Kelloggs Crunchy Nut Cornflakes
    • Weetabix Chocolate Cereal
    • Kelloggs Frosties
    • Kelloggs Rice Crispies
    • Kelloggs Coco Pops
    • Kelloggs Nut Clusters Chocolate Curls
    • Nestle Lion Cereal
    • Kelloggs Krave Chocolate Hazelnut
    • Nestle Honey Shreddies

    Monday, 25 December 2017

    My Top 10 Favourite Foods

    • Chicken Fried Rice & curry sauce
    • Dynamite hot Chilli
    • Gourmet burgers
    • Mighty meat pizza
    • Lasagne
    • Stuffed vine leaves
    • Houmous and crisps
    • Chicken Tikka Massalla
    • Homemade soup and tiger bread
    • Spaghetti bolognese

    It's Christmas!!!!

    Merry Christmas to everyone. Here's to health and happiness for one and all :) xxx



    A new Christmas Tradition!

    Last year, my other half was treated to his very own version of a Fairytale of New York. I adapted the lyrics to fit with his Christmas surprises, and where we live.

    I then sang it to him - cue him looking at me like I had gone totally mad. Nevertheless, it was unique. 

    This year, he has decided that every year I need to adapt said tune, and sing it to him!! Well challenge on! 

    Our new Christmas tradition is underway. Year 4 - here I go! Wish me luck :) 

    Sunday, 24 December 2017

    Asleep for 12pm or Santa won't come!

    So tonight is the night when Santa comes. Well, that is if you are asleep.

    If you stay awake after 12pm, there is a chance that the big man won't come!! He see's you when your'e sleeping, he knows when your'e awake, he knows if you've been bad or good so be good for goodness sake!!!

    Now, for those of us older than 8, we may scoff. But the worst case scenario is this - you go to bed at midnight, you wake up that little bit more sobre, that little bit more fresh faced and Christmas Day is then infinitely more fun and more bearable than it would have been otherwise so its a win win!!

    So off you go then - up the wooden hills to Bedfordshire with you. Night Night :) x

    My Christmas Lists Part 4 - Store cupboard stock take

    Before you start your Christmas shopping order, you need to consider what you need to stock in your cupboards. Everyone knows that an event can be make or break dependent upon what you may or may not have in your cupboard to make the meal in question, or to salvage one that has gone a bit wrong.

    Think of soups that are a bit bland - the saviour can be as simple as black pepper. Think meat that has not cooked quite as crisp on the skin as you prefer - a little fat can make all the difference. For the perfect mash you need butter, for the perfect roasties you need goose fat - but its all too easy to forget the details.

    So with this in mind, here is my list of what you need in your cupboard this year to prepare, cook and rescue:


    • Black pepper
    • Spray oil
    • Goose fat
    • Garlic powder
    • Soy sauce
    • Stock cubes
    • Mayonaisse
    • Tomato sauce
    • Butter
    • Cinnamon
    • Vinegar
    • Balsamic vinegar
    • Olive oil
    • Cornflour
    • Salt
    • Ginger
    • Chilli
    • Fresh cream
    • Red wine
    • Sugar
    • Bread crumbs
    • Marzipan
    • Stuffing mix
    • Sauce mix
    • Salad cream
    • Passatta
    • Chopped tomatoes
    • Honey
    • Nuts 
    • Pickles
    • Worcestershire sauce

    My Christmas Lists Part 3 - Fabulous Starters to consider

    My continuing lists to help organise everyone for the festive season which shall soon be upon us continues.

    For part 3, I am considering options for starters - whether for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day or New Year's Eve, there should be something for everyone on this list:


    • Seafood platter
    • Pate and toast
    • Lobster tails
    • Soup of the day
    • Scallops
    • Salmon parcels
    • Prawn cocktail
    • Mini topped pork pies
    • Canapes
    • Sliders
    • Potato skins
    • Chicken goujons
    • Bread and olive oil
    • Tear bread
    • Mini pizza
    • Nachos
    • Stuffed peppers
    • Deep fried brie

    My Christmas Lists Part 2 - Boxing Day Shopping List - Food and Drink


    My second post to help us through the festive season stress free.  I thought it might be useful to blog my shopping lists, present ideas and all such stuff for the festivities as a kind of ticklist for everyone to use.

    So here we go for Part 2 : My Boxing Day shopping list:


    • Bread
    • Pate
    • Cheese
    • Staffordshire Oatcakes
    • Pizza
    • Garlic Bread
    • Boxed chocolates
    • Crackers
    • Dips
    • Tear bread
    • Crisps
    • Soups
    • Chilli or Spag bol ingredients
      • Rice
      • Pasta
      • Sauce
      • Tomatoes
      • Onions
      • Spices
      • Minced beef - lean
    • Jacket potatoes
    • Mini indian and chinese selection
    • Prosecco or Cava
    • White or red wine
    • Lager and cider
    • Spirits as required
    • Fresh orange juice smooth
    • Mixers
    • Cold meats
    • Coffee and tea

    My Christmas Lists Part 1 - Christmas Day Shopping List : Food & Drink


    Now then, the festive season is almost upon us, so I am beginning to compile my lists of what we need for each occasion. I thought with that in mind that it might be useful to blog my shopping lists, present ideas and all such stuff for the festivities as a kind of ticklist for everyone to use.

    We've all been there - Christmas morning and no goose fat for the roast potatoes, or come to that, no turkey!! Yes, that has happened to us - everyone thought someone else was doing the turkey. Oh dear. To avoid such disaster and to help everything go smoothly, I am kicking things off with the Christmas Day shopping list.

    So here we go : My Christmas Day shopping list

    • The turkey
    • Stuffing
    • Gravy
    • Salt & Pepper
    • Roast potatoes
    • Potatoes
    • Butter
    • Goose fat
    • Prosecco or Cava
    • Fresh orange juice smooth
    • Bread for toast
    • Pate for starters
    • Soup for starters
    • Prawn cocktail for starters
    • Carrots
    • Sprouts
    • Parsnips
    • Yorkshire Puds
    • Pigs in blankets - sausages and bacon
    • Cranberry sauce
    • Apple sauce
    • Mustard
    • Chesnuts
    • Honey for glaze
    • Cauliflower
    • Cheese sauce 
    • New potatoes
    • Cheeses for cheese board
    • Grapes
    • Celery
    • Boxed chocolates
    • Spirits - vodka, whisky, brandy
    • Cream for desserts and Irish whiskeys
    • Cheesecake
    • Ice cream 
    • Chocolate cake or chocolate gateaux
    • Nuts or crisps for nibbles
    • Cold meats
    • Tear bread
    • Dips
    • Mince pies

    My Top 10 Chutneys





  • Tomato Chutney
  • Caramelised Onion Chutney
  • Lime & Chilli Chutney
  • Mango Chutney
  • Pepper & Paprika Chutney 
  • Fig Chutney
  • Mango, Apricot & Coriander Chutney
  • Sweet Tomato, Piri Piri & Chilli Chutney
  • Plum Chutney
  • Hot Gooseberry Chutney
  • One more sleep!

    Now this depends upon your sleeping patterns. For me, the fact that it is now the 24th December means just one thing - ONE MORE SLEEP!!! WOW!!!

    To say that I am excited is the understatement of the century!! I am that Christmas loving person that gets giddy. Woohoo! :) x

    Its Christmas Eve Babe

    In the almost words of the Pogues, its Christmas Eve babe. I'm not in the drunk tank. I'm at home, but its still Christmas Eve!!

    If you count tonight, its 2 nights sleep left. Although technically, its only 1 as its already Christmas Eve.

    Christmas Eve I say. Its Christmas Eve, its Christmas Eve, its CHRISTMAS EVE!!!

    Yes, I'm a child still. Inside. Why the hell not? Did I mention it was Christmas Eve? We all get to be kids again, whoever we are, and however old we are. Just go sparkle please. You only live once.

    Friday, 22 December 2017

    My Top 10 Cream Cakes





  • Chocolate Eclair
  • Cream Finger Doughnut
  • Fresh cream bramley apple turnover
  • Profiteroles
  • Fresh cream and jam scones
  • Fresh cream meringues
  • Victoria Sponge
  • Cream horn
  • Fresh cream chocolate roulade
  • Trifle
  • Christmas presents - the Don't list


    You may have the best intentions, but when it comes to Christmas presents these are best avoided unless you are specifically asked :

    • vacuum cleaner
    • washing up liquid
    • cloths, dusters, scourers
    • cleaning equipment
    • iron or ironing board
    • exercise equipment
    • electric bicycle
    • sports clothes
    • gym membership
    • health treatments
    • acne or spot treatments
    • medical solutions
    • control underwear
    • mops or brushes
    • toothbrush
    • unbranded clothing
    • used items unless they are vintage
    • vintage items if they are just old and outdated
    • imitations and fakes
    • crude items like fake dog poo etc.. 
    • clothes that are far too big in size (think size 18 when shes a size 12)
    • clothes that are far too small (think size 10 when she's a 14)

    Last minute presents for him


    • socks
    • boxers
    • PJ's
    • aftershave
    • deodorant
    • body wash
    • shaving stuff
    • t-shirt
    • belt
    • wallet
    • slippers
    • dressing gown
    • dvd
    • selection box
    • event or gig tickets
    • sports tickets
    • experience day such as formula one
    • massage
    • gadgets
    • cinema tickets
    • canvas picture
    • tie
    • shirt
    • trainers
    • jogging bottoms
    • hoodie
    • watch
    • autobiography book

    Last minute Christmas present ideas for her


    • fluffy socks
    • knickers
    • lingerie
    • snuggly dressing gown
    • flowers
    • bath stuff
    • smellies
    • perfume
    • dvd
    • stationery
    • craft stuff
    • slippers
    • PJ's
    • gloves
    • spa treatment
    • chocolates
    • earrings
    • necklace
    • tickets to a gig or event
    • scented candles
    • beauty treatment - nails, pedicure
    • watch
    • bracelet
    • jewellery box
    • wine
    • wine glasses
    • teddy bear
    • cashmere shawl
    • experience day
    • hamper

    Thursday, 21 December 2017

    I am a Yo-Yo dieter

    Where I was:

                        Jubilee Party 2012                                                     Tunisia 2008


    Cairo 2007


    Sharm El Sheikh 2006

    Where I am now (ish):



    Marrakech 2015




    Tunisia August 2014


    Tunisia 2014

     
    May 2014 - Gran Canaria


    Menorca 2013


    Menorca 2013



    Where I want to be:

    Goal weight - the diet has begun :) (Again!)

    Learning Spanish - This Week's Learning

    • olives - aceitunas
    • pharmacy - farmacia
    • number - número

    And the rest:
    • zero - cero
    • thankyou very much - muchas gracias
    • bracelet - pulsera
    • bruise - moretón
    • shark - tiburón
    • stupid - estúpido
    • skewer - brocheta
    • next week - la próxima semana
    • stairs - escalera
    • nice to meet you - Encantada de conocerte
    • jellyfish - la medusa
    • skin - piel
    • nap - siesta
    • meat - carne
    • shirt - camisa
    • pineapple - piña
    • knickers - bragas
    • live music - música en vivo
    • boarding - embarque
    • next - siguiente
    • roasted - asado
    • strong - fuerte
    • bank - el banco
    • noodles - tallarines
    • See you later - Hasta luego
    • mushroom - seta
    • I'm fine - Estoy bien
    • seashell - concha
    • biscuit - la galleta
    • open - abierto
    • a table for two please - mesa para dos
    • ham - jamon
    • yellow - amarillo
    • married - casado
    • river - río
    • charmed - encantado
    • apple - manzana
    • name - nombre
    • red - rojo
    • sausage - salchicha
    • nice - bonito
    • orange - naranja
    • restaurant - restaurante
    • read - leer
    • salad - ensalada
    • leaving - dejando
    • nuts - nueces
    • grey - gris
    • dinner - cena
    • fifty - cincuenta
    • mother - madre
    • fish - pescado
    • reservation - reserva
    • when - cuando
    • chair - silla
    • nose - nariz
    • pasta - pastas
    • kiss - beso
    • smile - sonreír
    • onion - cebolla
    • friend - amigo
    • thunder - trueno
    • why - por qué
    • thigh - muslo
    • donkey - burro
    • warm - calentar
    • drink - bebida
    • what - qué
    • lemon - limón
    • garlic - ajo
    • forty - cuarenta
    • tree - árbol
    • teeth - dientes
    • father - padre
    • suncream - crema solar
    • milk chocolate - chocolate con leche
    • crazy - loca
    • girl - niña
    • happy - contento
    • steak - filete
    • sunburn - bronceado
    • horse - cabello
    • cough - tos 
    • head - cabeza
    • Summer - el verano
    • February - febrero
    • Pillow - almohada
    • Nine - nueve
    • Eyes - ojos
    • June - junio
    • key - llaves
    • dunes - dunas
    • home - casa
    • Stomach - estómago
    • Jump - saltar
    • May - mayo
    • October - octubre
    • Thirsty - sediento
    • Leg - pierna
    • Breakfast - desayuno
    • Six - seis
    • Hungry - hambriento
    • Moon - luna
    • Rice - arroz
    • Vegetarian - vegetariano
    • I don't know - no lo sé
    • Butter - mantequilla
    • Seven - siete
    • July - julio
    • Tired - cansado
    • Speak - hablar
    • Mirror - espejo
    • Small - pequeña
    • Amazing - asombroso
    • Sunglasses - gafas de sol 
    • Toilet - inodoro
    • Excuse me - disculpe
    • Tasty - sabroso
    • Mountain - montaña
    • How far is - que tan lejos esta
    • Waves - olas
    • Sandwich - emparedado
    • Roof - techo
    • Blanket - cobija
    • Eight - ocho
    • Forgot - olvidó
    • Woman - mujer
    • Night - noche
    • Another - otro
    • September - septiembre
    • Hands - manos
    • Flight - vuelo
    • Laugh - risa
    • Sing - canta
    • Can I have the bill - Me puede traer la cuenta
    • Spoon - cuchara
    • Black - negro
    • Bread - pan de molde
    • April - abril
    • Five - cinco
    • Sand - arena
    • Hot - caliente
    • Ear - oreja
    • Dark - oscuro
    • Like - me gusta
    • Sick - enfermo
    • Spicy - picante
    • Kettle - tetera
    • Flowers - flores
    • Sunbathe - tomar el sol
    • Feet - pies
    • December - diciembre
    • Cake - pastel
    • Fireworks - fuegos articiales
    • Rain - lluvia
    • Dress - el vestido
    • Year - año
    • Door - puerta
    • My name is - me llamo
    • Cooking - cocina
    • Four - cuatro
    • August - agosto
    • Massage - el masaje
    • Back - espalda
    • Purple - púrpura
    • Fork - tenedor
    • Knife - cuchillo
    • Three - tres
    • Dog - perro
    • January - enero
    • Stars - estrellas
    • Dancing - bailando
    • Brown - marrón
    • Two - dos
    • Spring - primavera
    • Crisps - patatas fritas
    • Friday - viernes
    • The Menu -La carta 
    • Bed - cama
    • Strawberry - fresa
    • Windy - ventoso
    • Can I have? - puedo tener
    • Bottle - botella
    • Birthday - cumpleaños
    • Green - verde
    • Ten - diez
    • Thursday - jueves
    • March - marzo
    • Umbrella - paraguas
    • November - noviembre
    • Autumn - el otoño
    • One - uno
    • Soap - jabon
    • Wednesday - miércoles
    • Cold - frio
    • Boat - barco
    • Hotel Room - habitación de hotel
    • Newspaper - periódico
    • Man - hombre
    • Walk - caminar
    • Shop - tienda
    • Running - corriendo
    • Cat - gato
    • Swim - nadar
    • What time is it? - que hora es?
    • Big - grande
    • Cloud - nube
    • Pink - rosa
    • Silver - plata
    • Pepper - pimienta
    • Omelette - tortilla
    • Shower - ducha
    • Tuesday - martes
    • Ice - hielo
    • Beautiful - hermosa
    • Awake - despierto
    • Love - amor
    • Shoes - zapatos
    • Money - dinero
    • Hat - sombrero
    • Monday - lunes
    • Glass - vaso
    • Water - agua
    • Sleep - dormir
    • Chicken - pollo
    • Sun - sol
    • Ice-cream - helado
    • Seat - asiento
    • Gold - oro
    • Sunday - domingo
    • Hair - cabello
    • Book - el libro
    • Garden - el gardin
    • Bathroom - el baño
    • Nude - desnudo
    • Towel - toalla
    • Sea - mar
    • What's your name? - Como se llama?
    • Cheers - Salud
    • Wine - el vino
    • Good - bueno
    • Beer - cerveza
    • Cheese - queso
    • Suitcase - maleta
    • Blue - azul
    • White - blanco
    • Where is? - dónde está?
    • Market - el mercado
    • Swimming Pool - la piscina
    • Saturday - sábado
    • Winter - invierno
    • English - inglés
    • I want one - Quiero uno
    • How much does it cost? - Cuánto cuesta
    • Tomorrow - mañana
    • Good evening - Buenas Noches
    • You're welcome - de nada
    • I'm sorry - lo siento
    • Please - Por favor
    • Thankyou - Gracias
    • Beach - La playa
    • Hello - Hola
    • Good morning - Buenos días
    • Goodbye - Adios

    Christmas present disaster averted - phewf

    Well I was really organised this year. I planned what I was buying, had got most presents at the least planned if not purchased when 1st December swung around. I was feeling festive and calm.


    Everything was organised. And then Peter Kay cancelled his shows - nooo!!! I was gutted on 2 levels - firstly because I was really looking forward to it myself, and second because it was the other halfs' main present. So then I had to think of something else to replace it.

    Cue a week of brain wracking trying to come up with something as good, if not better, than Peter Kay tickets. I debated whether to tell him about the disaster, as he needed to know just in case I couldn't think of anything good - a sort of Bullseye style "here's what you could have won" moment if you will.

    I can now say though, that actually, the presents I have now got for him are better in a way. Not better than Peter Kay would have been - he would have been great of course, but better in so much as he would have them there and then not have to wait until June which was the date of the show I had booked us.

    So now, I feel calm again. Thank goodness - disaster averted :)

    Win! Tanqueray No. TEN Plus Fever-Tree Tonic

    Win! Tanqueray No. TEN Plus Fever-Tree Tonic: #WinGoodThings

    Things to do in December


    • Write your Christmas cards
    • Eat mince pies
    • Bake some cakes
    • Buy Christmas presents
    • Listen to Christmas songs
    • Sing along to Christmas songs
    • Watch Christmas films
    • Put your tree up
    • Put up your Christmas lights
    • Wear christmas hats and antlers
    • Get your Christmas food shop ordered
    • Go to a Christmas market
    • Laugh
    • See family and friends
    • Go to Christmas "do"
    • Photograph your efforts
    • Make your own mince pies
    • Try a festive afternoon tea
    • Go ice skating
    • Visit Lapland
    • Enjoy a winter wonderland
    • Get some winter sun
    • Buy a poinsettia
    • Plant some winter tubs
    • Make some winter crafts


    What I'm Watching This Week


    • Emmerdale. So Cain has Moira locked in a bedroom, and never thought about escape via the window - duh!! Didn't see that coming - seriously though. I wanted Moira and Cain to get back together, but she's getting so annoying now that I just wish she would go out of it altogether. Of course Adam is going to go down for it - he is going out of the soap so pretty obvs really. Bit shocked about Laurel and Bob, but again, Brenda is annoying. Hopefully, she will get some better storylines as she wasn't always so fluffy and superfluous and is a great actress who deserves better scripts!! Meanwhile, loving Charity and Vanessa - making things fun, as well as Paddy and Chaz. Long live the dingles!! 

    • The League of Gentleman. Three part special this week - watched the first one and it is as good, if not better, than ever.15 years on from the last show, its still in Royston Vasey, but life is changing for the villagers. Darker than ever, its already given us an exploding hedgehog, Edward and Tubs, Barbara the taxi driver, Pauline and Mickey at the job centre, but all with a twist. Edward and Tubs shop is in the back of a run down building, Pauline has dementia - who knows what dark deeds are happening. Funny, dark, disturbingly brilliant. Love it!! 

    • Breaking Bad. We've reached the end of the last series - series 5. I did not expect it to end that way. However, with it not actually showing the Walt truly did die, only that he was injured, maybe, just maybe, there might be a future for him. There is however, in the meantime, a film of it, and a spin off in the form of Just Ask Saul to keep us sated. Brilliant program, very dark, very brutal, where there really are no good guys, but you root for them all the same. 

    • Corrie. Goodness me Anna Windass - what have you done to Eileen? Phelan as ever was behind her madness, but Eileen walked in and bosh! For once Phelan seemed to truly care about his wife, and showed genuine emotion - who knew he had that in him! Meanwhile silly Leanne tells some stranger all her personal info and gets robbed - dozy bint or what!! Chesney continues to annoy me - but then so does Sinead. Loving Corrie, but some characters really do need to be chopped. 

    Word of the Week

    Felicitate


    My new word of the week in respect of the festive season is felicitate - as its a word for celebrate!

    Definition:

    • verb (used with object), felicitated, felicitating.

    • to compliment upon a happy event; congratulate.

    • Archaic. to make happy.

    • adjective - Obsolete. made happy.



    definition derived from dictionary.com

    Day 21 - Aled Jones - Walking in the Air

    Day 21 and today I have chosen Aled Jones with the classic 'Walking in the Air'.

    This song is most memorable from its appearance on the Christmas classic film which is Raymond Briggs' The Snowman. Written by Howard Blake for the film, its gone on to be a true staple.

    It is practically impossible to hear this and not imagine the boy and his snowman flying through the sky, but what I did not know is that is was not in fact Aled who sang the original version. It was someone called Peter Auty - who knew?

    Apparently Aled was drafted in for the recording because Auty's voice had broken. Aled's cover was released in 1985 and reached number 5 in the UK singles charts. Its also the version we all know and love in subsequent years, and its a regular on Christmas compilations and playlists ever since.

    'Walking in the Air' has been covered by many artists over the years, and long may it continue to be one of the best.

    So there we have it Day 21. Here are the rest:

    Day 20 - Dean Martin - Let it Snow
    Day 19 - Brenda Lee - 'Rockin Around the Christmas Tree'
    Day 18 - Greg Lake 'I Belive in Father Christmas'
    Day 17 - Paul McCartney 'Wonderful Christmas Time'
    Day 16 - Nat King Cole 'The Christmas Song'
    Day 15 - Jackson 5 'Santa Claus is Coming to Town'
    Day 14 - Mud 'Lonely this Christmas'
    Day 13 - The Pogues 'Fairytale of New York'
    Day 12 - Aled Jones 'Walking in the Air'
    Day 11 - Chris Rea 'Driving Home for Christmas'
    Day 10 - Slade 'Merry Xmas Everybody'
    Day 9 - David Bowie & Bing Crosby 'Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth'
    Day 8 - Mariah Carey 'All I Want for Christmas'
    Day 7 - Gabrielle Aplin 'The Power of Love'
    Day 6 - Kylie 'Santa Baby'
    Day 5 - Elton John 'Step into Christmas'
    Day 4 - Wham 'Last Christmas'
    Day 3 - Band Aid 'Do They Know its Christmas'
    Day 2 - Wizzard 'I Wish it Could be Christmas'
    Day 1 - Johnny Mathis - Its Beginning to Look at lot like Christmas

    My Top 10 Pasta

    • Farfalle (bows)
    • Conchiglioni (shells)
    • Cannelloni (large tubes)
    • Fusilli (coiled rods)
    • Spaghetti (straight)
    • Fettucine (ribbon)
    • Tagliatelle (thin ribbon)
    • Ravioli (stuffed)
    • Lasagne (sheets)
    • Gnocchi (round)

    Top 10 Christmas songs and Christmas films

    My top 10 Christmas films ever:
    • Elf
    • Scrooge
    • Scrooged
    • Home Alone
    • It's a Wonderful Life
    • The Polar Express
    • Santa Claus The Movie
    • Love Actually
    • Jack Frost
    • Miracle on 34th Street
    Here are my Top 10 Christmas Songs:
    • Fairy Tale of New York - The Pogues and Kirsty Macoll
    • Santa Claus is Coming to Town - The Jackson 5
    • Santa Baby - Eartha Kitt
    • Driving Home for Christmas - Chris Rhea
    • The Christmas Song - Nat King Cole
    • All I Want for Christmas is You - Mariah Carey
    • Wonderful Christmas Time - Paul McCartney
    • Merry Xmas Everybody - Slade
    • Step Into Christmas - Elton John
    • Walking in the Air - Aled Jones

    Wednesday, 20 December 2017

    Christmas Countdown - 5 sleeps !!

    Its now just 5 sleeps until Christmas!!

    97 hours until Christmas!!

    5825 minutes until Christmas !!

    349527 seconds until Christmas!!

    4 days, 1 hour, 5 mins, 12 seconds until Christmas!!

    43 Words of the Week

    Gregarious
    Symbiosis
    Incongruous
    Lascivious
    Negociant
    Propitious
    Commodious
    Veneration
    Pulchritudinous
    10 Pusillanimous
    11 Countervail
    12 Esemplastic
    13 Churrigueresque
    14 Inanity
    15 Anachronism
    16 Portmanteau
    17 Requiescence
    18 Phosphorescence
    19 Sycophant
    20 Obsequious
    21 Gasconade
    22 Convivial
    23 Archetype
    24 Pastiche
    25 Disquietude
    26 Rapacity
    27 Metamorphose
    28 Auspicious
    29 Salacious
    30 Chicanery
    31 Byzantine
    32 Capricious
    33 Peregrination
    34 Assemblage
    35 Indecorous
    36 Perturbation
    37 Jettison
    38 Lambaste
    39 Permeate
    40 Rebarbative
    41 Conflagration
    42 Esoteric
    43 Felicitate

    I Love Christmas telly!

    The run up to Christmas is quite possibly the best time for TV and films. All the finals, the Christmas specials, and of course, the films.

    Today I have watched the original Scrooge - the black and white one, with Alistair Sim as Scrooge. Then, I have just watched Ghostbusters. Next up, its Annie, and then we are going to watch Harry Potter.

    The only problem is that it makes me not want to leave the house!!

    What's your favourite Christmas film?

    My Top 10 Old Fashioned Sweets

    • Aniseed balls
    • Humbugs
    • Barley Sticks
    • Butterscotch
    • Chocolate limes
    • Kola cubes
    • Mint imperials
    • Pear drops
    • Sugared almonds
    • Chocolate eclairs

    This year's Christmas Eve Box

    This year, I had this idea to make us each a Christmas Eve Box. To build the excitement, pre Christmas. So I had this idea, and now its not far off and I'm wracking my brains wondering what to place in each box.

    It started off thinking to do one just for G. Age 10. Simple enough. But me being me, now its turned from a tiny acorn of an idea, into a full blown tree!!

    So, first up, G's Xmas Eve Box. I'm thinking:

    • hot chocolate
    • mug
    • socks
    • cookies
    • reindeer dust
    • mini marshmallows
    • letter from santa
    • bath bomb
    • oatcakes

    Then for my other half I'm thinking:
    • mini g&t
    • fluffy socks
    • Heat magazine
    • PJ's
    • Bath oil
    • letter from santa
    Then, I'm thinking of doing one for my mum and dad:
    • Whiskey miniature
    • Barbara Streisand DVD
    • Tamla Motown DVD
    • Lindt chocolate (mum)
    • White chocolate cheesecake (dad)
    • letter from santa
    Work in progress!! 

    New Word of the Week - Felicitate

    Felicitate


    My new word of the week in respect of the festive season is felicitate - as its a word for celebrate!

    Definition:

    • verb (used with object), felicitated, felicitating.

    • to compliment upon a happy event; congratulate.

    • Archaic. to make happy.

    • adjective - Obsolete. made happy.



    definition derived from dictionary.com

    My Favourite Christmas Song & Christmas Film

    My favourite Christmas film ever is Scrooge. I don't think you can beat it. The only difference is which version you prefer.

    My favourite Christmas song is Fairy Tale of New York - The Pogues and Kirsty Macoll, I just never tire of it, unlike some others I could mention!

    The Christmas lover and The Grinch



    Me and my other half are truly chalk and cheese when it comes to the most wonderful time of the year. Yes folks, the other half of mine is in fact none other than The Grinch.

    When the Christmas adverts start, and the houses that inevitably will put their decorations up literally the day after Bonfire Night if not sooner, he starts sighing and uttering such comments as "for God's sake". He really does not enter into the spirit of things at all. Left to him, the lights and the tree would go up the day before Christmas Eve, Christmas Eve Eve if you will, if indeed at all. I dare say were he on his own, he would probably buy a pack of mince pies and call it enough.

    Now, by contrast, I am that person who gets over excited at the mere prospect of putting up Santa's grotto. I am the Christmas magpie - if it sparkly and shiny I am all over it. I love the whole shebang - the lights, the present buying, the cooking, the hosting, the cards, the food orders, the tree, the wrapping - yes I am a true Christmas lover.

    Luckily, the combination of the two of us together accomplishes two particularly good elements for both our benefit. For him, my love of all things festive makes him at least try and enjoy it and he does like it when the house looks all warm and festive and sparkly. He does at least partake, albeit slightly under duress!!

    For me, being with Mr Grinch, prevents me from getting totally carried away. I am allowed to behave like I am an over eager 6 year old from 2 weeks before and no sooner!! I can put whatever decorations up I like, drain the national grid should I be so inclined, but no sooner than two weeks or so before the big day. Actually, that works out pretty well.

    It means I don't have to spend weeks and weeks trying to dust and hoover around all the lights and the tree. It means the novelty hasn't worn off by the time its Christmas Day. It means I am still in wonder and awe of all the shiny sparkly things instead of, quite frankly, being a bit fed up of them after a few weeks.

    We both get something out of it - he gets to be festive when he would otherwise not be, and I get reigned in slightly, so I don't get OTT with it. There were years before I was with him that I would spend so much on the decorations it was ridiculous and most of the time, there was no plan to it. Now, I get to consider where and how to arrange everything and as a result the house looks so much better like its themed instead of haphazard which works out beautifully.

    I still turn into a turbo charged Christmas maniac come Christmas Eve when I turn into the duracell bunny buzzing with excitement, but he actually finds it quite amusing - in small doses that is!!

    I have to don my reindeer antlers, leave a mince pie and a brandy for Santa, and then wake up racing to get down stairs to see if he has been !! I still have to have the obligatory Bucks Fizz to start the proceedings off properly. But both of us enjoy the get togethers with our friends and family and we both love to give one another our presents. We both love watching Christmas films, and having a good old celebration, and, he does do a great Christmas dinner - cooking is really not my forte in life!

    Christmas is truly wonderful as far as I'm concerned, and even living with the Grinch will never change my opinion.

    My December promises

    Its been a bumpy start to the festive season this year - some family ups and downs have thrown the plans out of kilter a tad, but nevertheless the festivities shall continue! So with this in mind here are my pledges to make this the best Christmas ever!

    1 - the outside decor shall be the best ever - icicles, and feature lights and maybe some for the trees
    2 - the tree shall be splendid and brighter and prettier than ever
    3 - there shall be festive vibes in every room
    4 - I shall cook something I don't normally - cakes or mince pies maybe
    5 - the cards shall be written and sent early!
    6 - the Christmas shopping shall be done early
    7 - everything shall be wrapped before Christmas Eve!
    8 - Christmas shall be full of laughter
    9 - no arguments
    10 - Christmas jumpers all round!!

    I've been a Good Girl this year - honest!!

    Santa, here is my Christmas list :
    • Ugg boots
    • Coco mademoiselle perfume
    • Slippers
    • Black or white dressing gown
    • Chandelier light fitting
    • Audi TT!!!
    • Crystal wine glasses
    • Body butter
    • Gig tickets
    • Teddy bear
    • Ebooks
    • Gym kit
    • Swarovski earrings, bracelet or necklace
    • Pandora charms
    • Clinique stuff
    • Pinot Grigio 
    • Prosecco
    • Courvoissier
    • Bedroom carpet
    • Bedroom curtains
    • Yankee Candle


    Day 20 - Dean Martin - Let it Snow, Let it snow, Let it snow

    Day 20 and today it is Dean Martin with 'Let it Snow'.

    This particular version of 'Let it Snow' was recorded by Dean Martin for his Christmas album The Dean Martin Christmas Album back in 1966. In my humble, its the best version of it.

    'Let it Snow' was originally written by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne in 1945. When it was first released that year as a recording by Vaughn Monroe it was a chart topper.

    Although I think Dean did it best, its also been covered by Andy Williams, Ella Fitzgerald, Jessica Simpson and Rod Stewart amongst others.

    So there we have it - Day 20.

    Here are my choices for day 1 -19:


    Day 19 - Brenda Lee - 'Rockin Around the Christmas Tree'
    Day 18 - Greg Lake 'I Belive in Father Christmas'
    Day 17 - Paul McCartney 'Wonderful Christmas Time'
    Day 16 - Nat King Cole 'The Christmas Song'
    Day 15 - Jackson 5 'Santa Claus is Coming to Town'
    Day 14 - Mud 'Lonely this Christmas'
    Day 13 - The Pogues 'Fairytale of New York'
    Day 12 - Aled Jones 'Walking in the Air'
    Day 11 - Chris Rea 'Driving Home for Christmas'
    Day 10 - Slade 'Merry Xmas Everybody'
    Day 9 - David Bowie & Bing Crosby 'Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth'
    Day 8 - Mariah Carey 'All I Want for Christmas'
    Day 7 - Gabrielle Aplin 'The Power of Love'
    Day 6 - Kylie 'Santa Baby'
    Day 5 - Elton John 'Step into Christmas'
    Day 4 - Wham 'Last Christmas'
    Day 3 - Band Aid 'Do They Know its Christmas'
    Day 2 - Wizzard 'I Wish it Could be Christmas'
    Day 1 - Johnny Mathis - Its Beginning to Look at lot like Christmas

    What's behind your advent calendar?

    Have you got an advent calendar? What's behind your door?

    My mum always hand makes mine. I am 41 by the way, but you are never too old. This year mine is yummy lindt chocolates. What's yours?

    6 Sleeps until Christmas!!!

    Its less than a week to go folks!!

    Specifically it is:

    6 Sleeps
    127 hours
    7629 minutes
    457629 seconds
    5 days, 7 hours, 7 mins, 29 seconds

    Tuesday, 19 December 2017

    The best Christmas foods

    Here is my list of the best Christmas foods (in my humble opinion):

    • Roast potatoes
    • Mince pies
    • Chocolate log
    • Roast parsnips
    • Mashed potato
    • Pate and toast
    • Cheesecake
    • Cheese and crackers
    • Mince pies
    • Pigs in blankets
    • Bombay mix
    • Chocolate brazil nuts
    • Cranberry sauce
    • Boxed chocolates
    • Squirty cream
    • Trifle
    • Profiteroles
    • Fresh soup
    • Crusty bread
    • Pringles
    • Dips
    • Gravy
    • Stuffing
    • Turkey Wellington
    Yum. Definitely looking forward to Christmas now!! :) 

    Best Christmas Songs ever

    Here are my Top 10 Christmas Songs:

    • Fairy Tale of New York - The Pogues and Kirsty Macoll
    • Santa Claus is Coming to Town - The Jackson 5
    • Santa Baby - Eartha Kitt
    • Driving Home for Christmas - Chris Rhea
    • The Christmas Song - Nat King Cole
    • All I Want for Christmas is You - Mariah Carey
    • Wonderful Christmas Time - Paul McCartney
    • Merry Xmas Everybody - Slade
    • Step Into Christmas - Elton John
    • Walking in the Air - Aled Jones
    What's your favourite Christmas song? 

    Christmas Traditions


    Its almost upon us again, so I thought it might be a nice idea to do a round up of the loveliest Christmas traditions that people have. Some are probably quite well known, some are less popular these days, some are growing trends. We all have them, so here is my round up:

    • New PJ's for Christmas morning
    • Christmas Eve box
    • Leaving a mince pie and a glass of sherry for Santa
    • Leaving a carrot for Rudolf
    • Opening the first present just after midnight Christmas Day morning
    • Christmas Eve celebrations
    • Christmas morning visits
    • Christmas Day indulgence
    • Christmas singalong
    • Boxing Day presents 
    • Christmas jumpers
    • Handmade wrapping paper
    • Handmade cards
    • Home baking gifts

    Word of the Week - Esoteric

    Esoteric


    • understood by or meant for only the select few who have special knowledge or interest; recondite: poetry full of esoteric allusions.

    • belonging to the select few.

    • private; secret; confidential.

    • (of a philosophical doctrine or the like) intended to be revealed only to the initiates of a group:
      • engaging in esoteric pursuits

    • designed for or understood by the specially initiated alone
      • a body of esoteric legal doctrine

    • requiring or exhibiting knowledge that is restricted to a small group 

    • esoteric terminology; broadly : difficult to understand - esoteric subjects

    • of special, rare, or unusual interest 
      • esoteric building materials

    definition derived from merriam webster and dictionary.com

    Tuesday At 7: COMPETITION - WIN a Blue Cube Bluetooth Speaker

    Tuesday At 7: COMPETITION - WIN a Blue Cube Bluetooth Speaker: As a little launch treat, here's your chance to win a smart Blue Cube Bluetooth Speaker. This funky little cube connects perfectly t...

    My Top 10 Whiskies

    • Johnnie Walker - Black Label deluxe blend
    • Glenfiddich single malt
    • Jack Daniels Tennessee whisky
    • Talisker single malt
    • Johnnie Walker - Red Label blend
    • Whyte and Mackay blend
    • Grants Scotch Whisky
    • Jameson Irish Whiskey
    • Jim Beam bourbon
    • Glen Moray single malt

    Christmas Songs Day 19 - Brenda Lee 'Rockin Around the Christmas Tree'

    Day 19 and today its Brenda Lee with 'Rockin Around the Christmas Tree'.

    Originally recorded by Brenda Lee back in 1958, this is still one of the most recognisable Christmas tunes to date. Its been covered since then, namely by Kim Wilde and Mel Smith, LeeAnn Rimes plus numerous others.

    Not a huge hit when first released back in the day, its become a chart staple in recent years as its downloaded every Christmas.

    One to get you rocking and bopping about this - more for a fun get together than some of the more meaningful and sombre Christmas songs, it still earns its place in my list this year.

    So there we have it Day 19. Here are the previous days:


    Day 18 - Greg Lake 'I Belive in Father Christmas'
    Day 17 - Paul McCartney 'Wonderful Christmas Time'
    Day 16 - Nat King Cole 'The Christmas Song'
    Day 15 - Jackson 5 'Santa Claus is Coming to Town'
    Day 14 - Mud 'Lonely this Christmas'
    Day 13 - The Pogues 'Fairytale of New York'
    Day 12 - Aled Jones 'Walking in the Air'
    Day 10 - Slade 'Merry Xmas Everybody'
    Day 9 - David Bowie & Bing Crosby 'Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth'
    Day 9 - David Bowie & Bing Crosby 'Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth'
    Day 8 - Mariah Carey 'All I Want for Christmas'
    Day 7 - Gabrielle Aplin 'The Power of Love'
    Day 6 - Kylie 'Santa Baby'
    Day 5 - Elton John 'Step into Christmas'
    Day 4 - Wham 'Last Christmas'
    Day 3 - Band Aid 'Do They Know its Christmas'
    Day 2 - Wizzard 'I Wish it Could be Christmas'
    Day 1 - Johnny Mathis - Its Beginning to Look at lot like Christmas

    What I'm Watching This Week


    • Corrie. Anna has escaped, and is on the run. Meanwhile, Phelan is still waging his one man war against her - surely he is on borrowed time. Chesney is really being annoying - his hatred of Daniel is making him even more annoying than usual. Thank goodness Faye has finally started to be sensible again. Drama on the cobbles - great stuff. 

    • Breaking Bad. Now, this is one of those shows where you weirdly find yourself rooting for the bad guys. Now on series 5, the final series, its not without shocks still when bad guys however, meet their maker. I don't think I'm really plot spoiling for a show that has been finished a few years, when I say that Gus' demise was truly shocking. With half his face blown off, he still straightened his tie before collapsing. Fantastic show. 

    • Strictly. I am loving Strictly this year. I think Alexandra is amazing, but who know Debbie had those moves at her age? Crikey!! The dresses, the dances - it makes me want to get my frock on and show my moves. 

    • Peaky Blinders. Only on episode 3 but goodness me!! Cilian Murphy is amazing. As an Irish actor, his accent from the Midlands is perfect. Violent, northern and gritty - loving it so far! 

    Monday, 18 December 2017

    My Top 10 Dips




  • Houmous
  • Tzatziki
  • Salsa
  • Sour Cream
  • Guacamole
  • Pesto
  • Yoghurt and Cucumber
  • Onion and Garlic
  • Cheese and Chive
  • Creamy sweet Chilli
  • Christmas Songs Day 18 - Greg Lake 'I Believe in Father Christmas'

    Day 18 and today it is Greg Lake with 'I Believe in Father Christmas'.

    Ok, so this is a Christmas favourite, but little did I know that it was never supposed to be. I also was blissfully unaware that the singer and creator of this particular festive output was none other than Greg Lake. Who he I hear you say? Well, even at my age, which is too young to recall the music at the time, I do know the group Emerson, Lake and Palmer - he being the Lake of the trio.

    Greg apparently wrote this song in protest of the commercialisation of Christmas. It was released in 1975 and reached number 2 in the uk singles chart.

    So there we have it - another Christmas song that was never really meant to be one - but here it is on day 18.

    Here are days 1 -17:

    Day 17 - Paul McCartney 'Wonderful Christmas Time'
    Day 16 - Nat King Cole 'The Christmas Song'
    Day 15 - Jackson 5 'Santa Claus is Coming to Town'
    Day 14 - Mud 'Lonely this Christmas'
    Day 13 - The Pogues 'Fairytale of New York'
    Day 12 - Aled Jones 'Walking in the Air'
    Day 11 - Chris Rea 'Driving Home for Christmas'
    Day 10 - Slade 'Merry Xmas Everybody'
    Day 9 - David Bowie & Bing Crosby 'Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth'
    Day 8 - Mariah Carey 'All I Want for Christmas'
    Day 7 - Gabrielle Aplin 'The Power of Love'
    Day 6 - Kylie 'Santa Baby'
    Day 5 - Elton John 'Step into Christmas'
    Day 4 - Wham 'Last Christmas'
    Day 3 - Band Aid 'Do They Know its Christmas'
    Day 2 - Wizzard 'I Wish it Could be Christmas'
    Day 1 - Johnny Mathis - Its Beginning to Look at lot like Christmas

    Sunday, 17 December 2017

    Christmas Songs Day 15 - The Jackson 5 'Santa Claus is Coming to Town'

    Day 15 and today its 'Santa Claus is Coming to Town' from The Jackson 5.

    This song was covered by The Jackson 5 in 1970. It was this Motown version with Michael Jackson on lyrics that really put it on the map, making it a hit. Its always this version I think of first.

    It was originally written by John Frederick Coots and Haven Gillespie, and was first sung back in 1934. Since then, its been covered many many times, by The Jackson 5, but also by these artists amongst many:

    • Frank Sinatra
    • The Beach Boys
    • The Carpenters
    • Mariah Carey
    • Miley Cyrus
    • Kylie Minogue
    To recap here are my choices Day 1 - Day 14. 


    Day 14 - Mud 'Lonely this Christmas'
    Day 13 - The Pogues 'Fairytale of New York'
    Day 12 - Aled Jones 'Walking in the Air'
    Day 11 - Chris Rea 'Driving Home for Christmas'
    Day 10 - Slade 'Merry Xmas Everybody'
    Day 9 - David Bowie & Bing Crosby 'Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth'
    Day 8 - Mariah Carey 'All I Want for Christmas'
    Day 7 - Gabrielle Aplin 'The Power of Love'
    Day 6 - Kylie 'Santa Baby'
    Day 5 - Elton John 'Step into Christmas'
    Day 4 - Wham 'Last Christmas'
    Day 3 - Band Aid 'Do They Know its Christmas'
    Day 2 - Wizzard 'I Wish it Could be Christmas'
    Day 1 - Johnny Mathis - Its Beginning to Look at lot like Christmas

    Christmas Songs Day 17 - Paul McCartney 'Wonderful Christmas Time'

    Day 17 and today's song is by Paul McCartney with the fabulous 'Wonderful Christmas Time'.

    "The mood is right, the spirits up, we're here tonight and that's enough - Simply having a Wonderful Christmas Time" and we're off. This really does make me feel Christmassy - Sir Paul here with a classic tune!

    This song was released in 1979, but is still a strong contender for one of the top Christmas tunes still to date. It peaked at number 6 in the singles chart in the UK when it was originally released, but its popularity has kept it alive and worthy of a much higher chart position.

    Such a catchy song, and sung by one the all time greatest - Sir Paul, former Beatle member. So there we have it - Day 17.

    Here are Days 1 -16:


    Day 16 - Nat King Cole 'The Christmas Song'
    Day 15 - Jackson 5 'Santa Claus is Coming to Town'
    Day 14 - Mud 'Lonely this Christmas'
    Day 13 - The Pogues 'Fairytale of New York'
    Day 12 - Aled Jones 'Walking in the Air'
    Day 11 - Chris Rea 'Driving Home for Christmas'
    Day 10 - Slade 'Merry Xmas Everybody'
    Day 9 - David Bowie & Bing Crosby 'Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth'
    Day 8 - Mariah Carey 'All I Want for Christmas'
    Day 7 - Gabrielle Aplin 'The Power of Love'
    Day 6 - Kylie 'Santa Baby'
    Day 5 - Elton John 'Step into Christmas'
    Day 4 - Wham 'Last Christmas'
    Day 3 - Band Aid 'Do They Know its Christmas'
    Day 2 - Wizzard 'I Wish it Could be Christmas'
    Day 1 - Johnny Mathis - Its Beginning to Look at lot like Christmas

    Christmas Songs Day 16 - Nat King Cole 'The Christmas Song'

    So Day 16 already, and today it is the wonderful 'The Christmas Song' by Nat King Cole.

    The opening lines to this particular Christmas classic are probably the most instant happy warm Christmas feeling inducing of all them "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose".

    Nat King Cole had such a warm, chocolately smooth, harmonious beautiful creamy voice that he could sing any words and sound amazing, but this one is really setting the scene for what Christmas could be or should be like. Very warming and very easy to sing along to, and well, for those of us not blessed with vocals as quality as his, destroy the song with our notes!

    Now, this song was written back in 1945. Apparently in the summer, imagining the cool crisp Christmas - what a result. Nat King Cole actually recorded three versions - one in 1946, one in 1953, before the final version we know and love in 1961.

    That's quite some years gone by, but what a song it still is. One that will never die here. And there we have it - Day 16. Getting close now!!

    Here are Days 1 - 15:


    Day 15 - Jackson 5 'Santa Claus is Coming to Town'
    Day 14 - Mud 'Lonely this Christmas'
    Day 13 - The Pogues 'Fairytale of New York'
    Day 12 - Aled Jones 'Walking in the Air'
    Day 11 - Chris Rea 'Driving Home for Christmas'
    Day 10 - Slade 'Merry Xmas Everybody'
    Day 9 - David Bowie & Bing Crosby 'Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth'
    Day 8 - Mariah Carey 'All I Want for Christmas'
    Day 7 - Gabrielle Aplin 'The Power of Love'
    Day 6 - Kylie 'Santa Baby'
    Day 5 - Elton John 'Step into Christmas'
    Day 4 - Wham 'Last Christmas'
    Day 3 - Band Aid 'Do They Know its Christmas'
    Day 2 - Wizzard 'I Wish it Could be Christmas'
    Day 1 - Johnny Mathis - Its Beginning to Look at lot like Christmas

    Christmas Songs Day 14 - Mud 'Lonely This Christmas'

    Day 14 then and today its the wonderful 'Lonely This Christmas' from Mud.

    Released back in 1974, unlike many of the Christmas songs on my list so far, this one actually did reach the top spot in the UK singles chart.

    'Lonely This Christmas' is quite a slow song, but Mud themselves were more Glam Rock than crooner, so quite unusual really. I always thought this was Elvis when I was little!!

    Great song, and still going as a faithful on Christmas compilations. So there we have it - Day 14.

    Here are the previous ones:

    Day 13 - The Pogues 'Fairytale of New York'
    Day 12 - Aled Jones 'Walking in the Air'
    Day 11 - Chris Rea 'Driving Home for Christmas'
    Day 10 - Slade 'Merry Xmas Everybody'
    Day 9 - David Bowie & Bing Crosby 'Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth'
    Day 8 - Mariah Carey 'All I Want for Christmas'
    Day 7 - Gabrielle Aplin 'The Power of Love'
    Day 6 - Kylie 'Santa Baby'
    Day 5 - Elton John 'Step into Christmas'
    Day 4 - Wham 'Last Christmas'
    Day 3 - Band Aid 'Do They Know its Christmas'
    Day 2 - Wizzard 'I Wish it Could be Christmas'
    Day 1 - Johnny Mathis - Its Beginning to Look at lot like Christmas

    Christmas Songs Day 13 - The Pogues 'Fairytale of New York'

    Day 13 brings me to what I consider to be the ultimate Christmas song which is The Pogues featuring Kirsty MacColl and 'Fairytale of New York'.

    What a tune this is. Released in 1987, this is still the top of the list for a huge majority of people including me. It was a duet between The Pogues and its lead singer Shane MacGowan and Kirtsy MacColl and it works wonderfully.

    Not your average sickly sweet number this one, not by a long shot. Its folksy, and insulting and not many songs about Christmas make mention of drunk tanks!! It works though. Its not mushy, but it works and ultimately, it makes you feel good in spite of it.

    MacGowan reckons it was a bet with Elvis Costello that resulted in Fairytale. MacColl herself was originally only involved to record guide vocals!! Obviously, on hearing them, she became the female half of the song and quite right to!!

    This single only reached number 2 in the UK singles chart on its release, but its greatness surpasses that detail. It is the top Christmas song in my boo!

    So there we have it, Day 13. Here are the previous ones:

    Day 12 - Aled Jones 'Walking in the Air'
    Day 11 - Chris Rea 'Driving Home for Christmas'
    Day 10 - Slade 'Merry Xmas Everybody'
    Day 9 - David Bowie & Bing Crosby 'Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth'
    Day 8 - Mariah Carey 'All I Want for Christmas'
    Day 7 - Gabrielle Aplin 'The Power of Love'
    Day 6 - Kylie 'Santa Baby'
    Day 5 - Elton John 'Step into Christmas'
    Day 4 - Wham 'Last Christmas'
    Day 3 - Band Aid 'Do They Know its Christmas'
    Day 2 - Wizzard 'I Wish it Could be Christmas'
    Day 1 - Johnny Mathis - Its Beginning to Look at lot like Christmas

    Christmas Songs Day 12 - Aled Jones 'Walking in the Air'

    Day 12 then and today's choice is Aled Jones with 'Walking in the Air'.

    Now this song was actually written by Howard Blake for an animated Christmas film. That film was Raymond Brigg's 1982 film The Snowman, which is beautiful.

    Everyone thinks this was Aled Jones, which it was when it was released in 1985. The original version used in the film was however another choir boy - Peter Auty. I had no idea!

    'Walking in the Air' reached number 5 in the UK singles chart when Aled's version was released. Both the film and the cover version of its song are both Christmas favourites over 30 years later.

    So there is Day 12. Here are the previous ones:

    Day 11 - Chris Rea 'Driving Home for Christmas'
    Day 10 - Slade 'Merry Xmas Everybody'
    Day 9 - David Bowie & Bing Crosby 'Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth'
    Day 8 - Mariah Carey 'All I Want for Christmas'
    Day 7 - Gabrielle Aplin 'The Power of Love'
    Day 6 - Kylie 'Santa Baby'
    Day 5 - Elton John 'Step into Christmas'
    Day 4 - Wham 'Last Christmas'
    Day 3 - Band Aid 'Do They Know its Christmas'
    Day 2 - Wizzard 'I Wish it Could be Christmas'
    Day 1 - Johnny Mathis - Its Beginning to Look at lot like Christmas

    Christmas Songs Day 11 - Chris Rea 'Driving Home for Christmas'

    Day 11 and today the choice is Chris Rea 'Driving Home for Christmas'.

    This was released as a single in 1986. Not a huge chart success at the time, this one has been a bit of slow burner, gaining popularity year on year and now a Christmas staple.

    Chris is an English artist and song writer, and he has had many many hits - still going to date in fact. However, its likely this song he is most known for today, another Christmas familiar.

    Driving home for Christmas has been used so many times on TV, and it always makes me think of it when doing the usual Christmas run of cards, presents - not always as harmonious as on this song mind you!!

    Chris, as a soft rock artist, has this wonderful gravelly toned voice, that make the soft, friendly melody of this just that bit more edgy. Great song, and a feel good one.

    So there is Day 11. Here are the rest so far:

    Day 10 - Slade 'Merry Xmas Everybody'
    Day 9 - David Bowie & Bing Crosby 'Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth'
    Day 8 - Mariah Carey 'All I Want for Christmas'
    Day 7 - Gabrielle Aplin 'The Power of Love'
    Day 6 - Kylie 'Santa Baby'
    Day 5 - Elton John 'Step into Christmas'
    Day 4 - Wham 'Last Christmas'
    Day 3 - Band Aid 'Do They Know its Christmas'
    Day 2 - Wizzard 'I Wish it Could be Christmas'
    Day 1 - Johnny Mathis - Its Beginning to Look at lot like Christmas