Sunday 27 December 2015

I Was Tagged!

Hi everyone, a week or so ago I was tagged by the lovely Rebekah Koontz, to do the Christmas Tag, yeay!!  So without further ado, I'll head straight in to the questions.

1. What is your favourite Christmas film?Hopefully I won't sound like scrooge here, but I'm not really a fan of Christmas films and I've only ever seen a few.  Home Alone is a good old classic and I do always enjoy Love Actually.

2. Do you open your presents on Christmas eve or Christmas morning?
Usually Christmas afternoon!

3. Do you like to stay in your PJs on Christmas day or dress up?
If I'm just staying in and spending the day with family then like I usually do, I'll just wear something comfy, usually involving PJ bottoms :-)

4. If you could only buy one person a present this year, who would it be?
It would have to be my very best friend, FB.

5. Have you ever built a gingerbread house?
Nope never, well not yet.

6. What do you like to do on your Christmas break?
I mainly just like to spend the days with the people I care about most and my Poodle babies :-)

7. Any Christmas wishes?
To have a better year in 2016, all ways round.

8. Favourite Christmas food?
Probably all the extra chocolate treats like having a box of Roses and a nice big box of festive biscuits.

9. Candy cane or gingerbread man?
Can I say both!

10. What is at the top of your Christmas list?
If you want to see what I really wanted for Christmas this year, you can check out my Christmas Wish List post and I'll be posting a 'What I Got for Christmas' during the next week.

Thank you Rebekah for tagging me to do this post.  Please go and check out Rebekah's blog because it's very cool and she is extremely funny.  I won't tag anyone specifically but if you would like to do this tag, please feel free :-)
Until Next Time Stay Happy

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Friday 25 December 2015

My Attempt at Making Christmas Biscuits

Hi everyone I hope you're all have a very happy Christmas today :-)

The other day I had a go at making some festive biscuits, it was my first ever time making biscuits and they didn't turn out quite a nice as I hoped, but I thought I'd show you anyway and let you know how I made them in case you fancied giving it a go.  They're really fun to do and you can be as creative as you like when decorating them, just don't run out of icing sugar, like I did! :-/

click to enlarge

Once you've gathered up your ingredients, measure out the butter (best used at room temperature) and the sugar.

Mix the two together until they're nice and smooth.

Measure out the flour, add the baking powder and salt, then add that to the sugar/butter mixture, a little at a time and blend together until you have a soft dough.  If it seems very crumbly and dry (like mine did), add a splash of milk and mix it in well.

Now tip the dough out on to a lightly floured board and roll it nice and evenly with a rolling pin, I would advise using a wooden rolling pin with a little flour on it, I used a glass one and the dough just would not stop sticking to it!

Using your Christmas shaped cutters, cut out as many shapes as you can.  I cut out quite a few, re-rolled the spare dough and was then able to cut a good few more!

Carefully lift the shapes off your board and lay on a lightly floured baking tray, I had to use 2 trays as I had a nice lot of shapes.  Place them in the oven and cook them on 150ยบ for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.  You may need to rotate the trays half way through so they cook evenly.

When they're done, lay them all on a wire rack to cool for about 30-45 minutes.

While the biscuits are cooling, it's time to make up the icing.  Measure about 100g-150g of icing sugar in to a bowl (I only used 65g and it was definitely not enough), gradually add teaspoonfuls of water and mix really well until you have a smooth paste, don't have it too thick or too runny.  For mine, I separated about a third of the mixture into another bowl and added about 1 teaspoon of beetroot juice to make it pink, although I realized afterwards it wasn't quite enough juice and was far too pale pink!  Incidentally, the beetroot juice is a good natural alternative to artificial colours.

Finally it's time to decorate them, I added spoonfuls of icing in to two separate piping bags.  I used a tiny nozzle for the pink icing and a larger nozzle for the white.

I then added these little silver balls to add some sparkle :-)  You could also add sprinkles or chocolate drops and make some really pretty patterns with the icing.  I wish I'd have decorated mine a little better but oh well, it was only my first attempt!

I hope you like this post.  If you have a go at making these tasty biscuits, send me your pics on Twitter @DaniJ72 I'd love to see them :-)  I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas whatever you're doing and who ever you're spending it with xxx
Until Next Time Stay Happy

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Monday 21 December 2015

How to Have a Pet Friendly Christmas

Hi everyone, Christmas is a time for relaxing, being with your family, having and giving gifts and generally having a fun time, but it's not just for us humans, it's for our furry friends too.
So I've come up with some tips to help you give your pets a happy and safe Christmas.

Of course the first thing to mention has to be gifts.  Dogs especially, love being able to join in and unwrap something along with everyone else on the day, so why not treat them to a new toy, treats, a new bowl or pretty collar.

I was shopping in Poundland the other day when I spotted a huge pet section.  They had some really lovely toys from squeaky burgers to soft fluffy bunnies . . .

. . . A huge range of treats, I loved these Christmas tree and reindeer ones . . .

. . . Even little Christmas outfits and a huge sock to put all their gifts in, so cute!


But of course another important thing to remember this time of year, is keeping your pets safe as there are lots of extra dangers around.

Did you know that there are quite a few basic 'human' foods that are really dangerous to dogs, even chocolate which can cause sickness, fits and seizures and in large amounts, even death?  Have a look at the picture below, maybe save the image so you can refer back to it and please feel free to pin and share it too, to help others be aware of these dangers.

So please be careful next time your pooch starts showing an interest in your new box of chocolates or the chocolate Christmas decorations start disappearing off the tree!!


Another thing to remember and be really careful off, are things like Christmas decorations:

Many 'live' trees are sprayed with harmful chemicals and pesticides but before you ditch a real tree for a fake one, many artificial trees and manufactured in China and may contain lead or other materials that could be dangerous if your inquisitive furry friend decides to have a nibble!  So try and keep them away from the Christmas tree altogether.

Be aware of your pets when pulling Christmas crackers, it may be fun for you and your family but the loud noise could really scare both cats and dogs!

All the sparkle and glitter may look really enticing to dogs and cats, but things like tinsel and parcel ribbon can be deadly if it gets caught inside them, as it can cause blockages, vomiting and severe bleeding!  If you see any ribbon sticking out your pets mouth, call your vet asap and don't try to pull it out or it could cause even more damage.

While you're all sat unwrapping you new gifts, try to keep any packaging rubbish up together and dispose of it as safely as you can.
Items are often packaged in plastic containers that you have to cut open leaving sharp edges, clothes tags held on with small plastic wires or other bits and pieces held on with staples.  All these things can be so dangerous to animals and not just your own pets, but wildlife that goes rummaging through bins and rubbish tips too.  Think how much a staple hurts when you accidently prick your finger, so just imaging how terribly painful it would be for a little animal getting one in it's foot or eye!!

If you have any sharp bits of rubbish like staples, pins or plastic, wrap them in a piece of card and seal it all round with tape before putting them in the bin.
Cut any long pieces of ribbons, threads, elastic bands and wires into small pieces, to prevent animals getting tangled up in them, also plastic rings that hold drink cans together and even the little metal ring pulls.  Crush all tin cans to prevent animals getting the heads and faces caught inside and if you have any polythene bags, tie them in a knot and cut open the handles to stop little creatures getting trapped inside and suffocating.
Keep your pets away from glitter too, you might think it looks pretty on them, but it can easily get in their eyes and cause nasty eye infections and irritation!

Spending just 5 minutes to sort out harmful rubbish properly could save terrible suffering for an animal and maybe even save it's life.

Lastly one more thing to be aware of, is the weather.  We're getting in to full on wintertime here in the uk and the temperatures severely drop.  Many people leave their cats and dogs outside overnight but in these freezing conditions, it can be quite dangerous for them, as cats and dogs are susceptible to frostbite and hyperthermia just as much as people.  So, if it's too cold for you to be outside, it's too cold for them too!

Animal welfare is something that I feel very passionate about and I think it's so important that people are aware of all these types of things, so they can help keep animals safe not just cats and dogs, but all our furry, feathered and scaly friends. 
I hope you found this post useful and - Until Next Time Stay Happy

For more detailed information about the types of food dogs can and can't eat and for more professional advice on how to keep your pets safe at Christmas and all year round, have a look at these websites The Dog Whisperer - Pet Poison Helpline - RSPCA.

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Thursday 10 December 2015

The Nicest Christmas Jumpers

Hi everyone, I remember years ago when I was a child, the type of Christmas jumpers that used to be around, they were completely hideous!  I can remember one in particular that someone had bought for me, it was dark blue with a snowflake scene and a huge, quite creepy looking snowman in the centre.  It doesn't sound that bad, but believe me it really was awful.  The jumper itself wasn't very comfortable or warm and I think in the end, it didn't stay in my wardrobe very long (if you know what I mean)!

Today that's all changed, it's now the 'in thing' to wear big, bright, over-the-top festive jumpers and they're available in some really nice styles too.  So I've spent the last few days searching the internet for, what I personally think, are the nicest and best Christmas jumpers around.  I've chosen 2 from each shop and there's a nice mixture or subtle or ott ones, ranging from super affordable to ones worth spending a few extra pounds on.

1 Penguin £16.  2 Gingerbread man £14.  3 Sparkle all the way £14.  4 Xmas/New Year £30.  5 Fairisle £14.  6 Sleigh Bells Bling £12.50.  7 Babyit's cold outside £12.  8 On the naughtystep £21.  9 Santa Baby £30.  10 Giant snowflake £14.  11 Holly £18.  Reindeer £20.

I really like number 1 the penguin's tummy is lovely and fluffy, I think number 3 is probably my favourite one of all, number 12 looks super soft and cosy and number 4 is really cool, if you brush the sequins downwards you have the xmas image and if you brush them up it reveals a new year image too!

I hope you like this post.  Let me know in the comments which one is your favourite.  Also do you already have your Christmas jumper for this year?  Why not send me a photo of it on twitter, just use the #xmasjumper and we can all share our pics :-)
Until Next Time Stay Festive

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Thursday 3 December 2015

Christmas Gift Guide, 15 Easy Ideas for Everyone

Hi everyone, I always find getting presents for people really difficult and usually have to end up asking them what they would like, certain people I know are a real nightmare to buy for and nothing seems right.  But usually as December comes around, I start getting a few ideas and then I'm spoilt for choice!  Ahh the Xmas struggles.  So I thought I would put together a list of ideas to help all of you who struggle to find a nice gift.  I think these are really great general gifts that would be suitable for most people, as they can be tailored to male or female, and most age groups.  Best of all you shouldn't have to raid your piggy bank, as most of them are under £10 too :-)

1 Personalized Mug initials, names, photos etc.  2 Makeup/Pencil Case versatile and there's SO many lovely ones around for all budgets.  3 Phone Case if you know what phone your recipient has, this is great for any age and can work well for male or female.  4 Mini Speakers for the music lovers.  5 Chocolate Santa small but tasty!  6 Gloves again great for the men in your life too.  7 Notebooks everyone loves stationary, add some pretty Pens too for a perfect gift set.  8 Box of Chocolates.  9 Necklace not everyone likes to wear earrings and it's hard to find out ring sizes so necklaces are a great option.  10 Candle you can't go wrong with a delicious smelling candle, my favourite is this Snowflake Cookie Yankee Candle.  11 Homemade Gift why not spend your time instead of money and make them something to treasure or something tasty to eat!  12 Vouchers Boots, Topshop, WhSmith ideal for everyone and spend as much or as little as you like.  13 Socks these novelty ones are so cute in the festive boxes and make a lovely gift, I love the adorable range of festive ones they have at BHS :-).  14 Calendar so handy for anyone all year through.  15 Pajamas everyone loves cute PJ's and there are so many lovely ones available.

While searching the net for some of these items, I found some really great shops that have some really lovely items that would be perfect for gifts.  Look for clothing items, especially the pajama's from F&F at Tesco, George at Asda or BHS.  I love the stationary from Wilkinsons or The Works it's really pretty and stylish, and have a look at Getting Personal for a huge range of items that you can personalize until your heart's content!  And of course there's always good old Amazon for near enough everything else.

I hope you found this post helpful.  If you can think of any other great all-rounder gifts let us know in the comments :-)  Until Next Time Stay Happy

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Thursday 26 November 2015

15 Things To Do, When You Don't Have Wifi

Hi everyone, as you may have read in one of my last posts, my laptop broke down at a vital time last week (although when is it ever not a vital time?!)  To top that my internet kept playing up so I couldn't get online properly for most of the day for more than about 2 minutes, and nothing would load when I could!!

oh my god i need help photo Big Bang oh god I need help pc issues_zpsnapbiqf2.gif

The point of this story, is that I honestly felt lost like I didn't know what to do with myself. . . Until I actually sat and thought about it, and came up with so many things, I didn't know what to do first.  I suddenly felt like I had so much time on my hands and all these possibilities.  It's definitely true that we all spend far too much time online and sometimes it is just so nice to get away from the pc, put our phones down and just do something else!
Oh no, no wifi photo Oh god no - no wifi_zpsrxinvz3v.gif

So I have compiled a list of just 15 things, to give you some ideas and inspiration of what you could do next time you either feel like a break from the online world or you just can't get that annoying wifi to work :-)

1. Read a book.  This is something I've been doing more and more over the last year and I can easily spend an hour getting lost in a good book!
. Watch your favourite DVD
Have a nice relaxing bath
. Try doing some baking, cookies or scones are really easy to start with!
. Spend some time cuddling and playing with your pets, they always appreciate the extra fuss
. If it's day time, take a nice walk or go for a run
Be creative and make or draw something
Write in a diary
Listen to music and make a playlist
. Spend some quality time with your family and do something fun together
Tidy out a drawer or cupboard
. Write to an old friend or elderly relative
. Try your 'hand' at nail art ;-)
. If all else fails, catch up on some much needed zzzz!!
. Remember how nice it is not to be online ALL the time and to make the most of living.  You don't always need to tweet, instagram or snapchat every moment of your life, not everything has to be shared with the world!  So enjoy your time and make the most of it :-)
Decorating a Christmas Tree photo Decorating a Christmas Tree_zpsrwko1fpz.gif

For a few extra ideas as it's now the Christmas season -

1. Plan your Christmas gifts *(look out for next weeks post for lots of ideas)
. Work out your Christmas wish list
. If you haven't already, put your Christmas Decorations up
. Bake some festive biscuits *(another post coming soon)
. Make your own Christmas cards to give to everyone

If you can think of any more things that I haven't mentioned, please leave them in the comments and let's really gets some ideas flowing to share with everyone.  I'm switching off now and going off to do something creative! :-)
Until Next Time Stay Happy

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Thursday 19 November 2015

Christmas Wish List 2015 & Giveaway Winner

Hi everyone, 2 weeks ago today, it was my blogs 2 year 'Blog Birthday' and for that I ran a giveaway for one lucky reader to win the beautiful Tanya Burr's limited edition Deck the Hauls advent calendar!  The giveaway ended at 12:00am (gmt) this morning, and a winner has now been picked via Rafflecopper.  Congratulations to: Karmen Chan
I have also messaged @ChanKarmen103 on Twitter.
For one of the entries to win the calendar, I asked you all to tell me what you would love to receive most on Christmas morning.  I've really enjoyed reading your answers and thank you so much to everyone who left a comment and followed me on my various social media sites.
For this post I thought I would share with you a few of the things that I would be very happy to receive under my tree this year :-)

1. MAC Pressed Pigment eyeshadow.  I recently bought myself the shade Moth and it is gorgeous!  So I would love some more to add with it.  I love the shades Enlightening, Black Grape and Midnight.
2. DVD box sets.  I still yet to see
The Vampire Diaries, plus after all the good reviews about Pretty Little Liars (which everyone seems to be obsessed with), I really want to see that too!  I'm also desperate to see Divergent as I missed it when it came out and it looks just the kind of film I love.
3. Books, I've been eyeing up Fleur's
Glam Guide for ages and I really like the 365 Blog Ideas book too, this would definitely come in handy!
Converse, oh just how lovely are these!!  I like the white ones and the black/white are gorgeous but these are SO nice!
5. Of course I'm a big fan of Tanya's makeup line and so I'd love one these little gift packs, this
Candy Cane one looks beautiful.
6. I spotted this
necklace on one of my favourite shopping sites Wish (post coming on that soon), can you believe this beautiful necklace is only £2 :-)
7. Back to Tanya's collection, I think this gorgeous gold
makeup bag may actually be my most wanted item this Christmas!!
8. Fleur's
lipglosses, they look such beautiful shades, every single one of them and ooh I just need them in my life!
9. And finally, the
Panasonic Lumix camera.  Now I love my DSLR which what I use for all my blog photos but, I would absolutely love to have a go at vlogging!  And as this camera has the flip up screen at the back, I think it would be an ideal one for a newbie vlogger :-)

Thank you all once again for taking part in my giveaway and I hope you liked this post.  I'm off to do some baking now :-)
Until Next Time Stay Happy

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