Saturday, 25 May 2013

A Great Idea By Nana Plum: Rainy Day Bags

I don't know about you, but I am completely addicted to Pinterest. I absolutely love it. I spend hours browsing and pinning ... And actually go back to my pins and "do stuff". You can follow me by clicking the link on my blog ... If you want!

One of the things I wanted to do for Miss Plum was to have a "bag" of some kind. Probably home made - and filled with stuff to do. For example, on my day off with her ... If it was rainy and we were stuck inside, I would fill the bag with some fun stuff to do in the rain. If we were heading into London for some sightseeing, I would make sure that my pack of "50 Things To See In London" cards were in the bag.

But, after a wonderful 13 months maternity leave ... I went back to work. 32 hours a week at first, but went back up to full time in January this year (working a compressed working week, so we still have our girlie day together!)... And needless to say, the bag never got made ... And I have piles of random things hanging around the flat to put in it ... Oh dear!

Anyway, I'll eventually get to the point of my post! Today we came to stay with my parents for the bank holiday and my mum had done something absolutely fabulous! The kind of thing that I would have pinned on Pinterest.

We are going to be here for 3 days. So my mum and dad had put together 3 bags. Today the weather was awful, so the bag had a picture of a rain cloud and was filled with colouring, books, paintbrushes and crayons for rainy day fun. Tomorrow the forecast is mixed, so Miss Plum has a bag with fuzzy felt and stickers. For a sunny day she has stuff to go out and about with! I just love this and know that Miss Plum will get so much enjoyment out of it!

Monday, 24 December 2012

Homemade Christmas Cards

This was another idea I found on Pinterest.

Make your child's footprints into robins!!

Mince Pies

I don't like mince pies very much ... but obviously when it comes to Christmas I will have the odd one or two ... then last year a friend's girlfriend made some lovely pies with a frangipan topping.  Wow! These were amazing and have (almost!) converted me to mince pies!  I was also intrigued by Paul Hollywood's deep mince pies which have chopped apple and satsumas in ... anything to water down the richness of the mince meat is good in my book! So this week I found myself spending an evening in the kitchen making a rather huge batch of pies! 

The frangipan topping is also nice and simple: Cream 200g butter, 200g caster sugar and 200g almonds Add 50g flour, 2 eggs and 2 tbs brandy/rum This made a huge amount of topping so I would suggest for 12 mince pies - half the quantity would be needed. Just dollop a teaspoon on top of your mince pie rather than a pastry lid! Well ... here we are, Christmas Eve! What a lot of festive blogging I have done! Let's hope I can keep it up in the new year! Merry Christmas!!!!

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Christmas Cake

I once again used Ruth Clemens' recipe for Boozy Fruit Christmas Cake and left it rather late to marzipan and decorate them! So with the Christmas countdown getting nearer and nearer and with my plan to cut one of my cakes into 8 portions to give as gifts I needed to get a wriggle on!

I'm rather pleased with the results.  I have kept it simple this year.  We have a house full of colds and coughs and I wasn't feeling particularly inspired!


Saturday, 22 December 2012

Christmas Films - What Are Your Favourites?

We all love Christmas films don't we?

But what are your favourites?  Is there a film, which signifies the start of the festivities? Do films hold special memories of being young?

Here are my favourites ... it's an ever-evolving list with new ones added every year.  Let me see if I can limit it to 10.  In no particular order (that would be far too tricky!)

Meet Me In St Louis.  For me, this is the start of Christmas. I love it.  I LOVE IT! I often wonder how I got into my 30's before seeing it. How did that happen? My favourite scene is the Christmas ball when Esther is dancing with her grandpa and they waltz behind the Christmas tree and she reappears the other side with John.  Wonderful.  

Home Alone I & II.  I saw both of these films when they came out at the cinema with my family. We laughed so hard that I thought we were all going to die! Both films are watched multiple times in the run up to the big day.  Can you believe that Mr Plum had not seen either of these films until he met me?

Santa Claus: The Movie.  I can remember my dad taking me and my brother to see this at the cinema one Christmas Eve.  It's the ultimate in American 80's cheese.

White Christmas.  Of course! What's not to like?

Elf. A recent addition to my Christmas film must sees! 2 year old Miss Plum is also a fan.

Miracle on 34th Street.  I watched this for the first time at the weekend. I know! Where have I been? Living under a rock??? I had recorded the 1990's version off the telly ...and Mr Plum has come home with a DVD with both versions on!!

Arthur Christmas.  I saw this for the first time at the weekend and we had to buy it. 

The Holiday/Love Actually.  Christmas schmaltz in perfect London/perfect 
England/perfect LA.

 It's A Wonderful Life. Mr Plum STILL hasn't seen this film! We have now got it on DVD and will be watching it on Christmas Eve.

The Snowman & Mickey's Christmas Carol.  I have put these films together as they remind me of the children's Christmas parties that my Dad used to organise at his work (although apparently we only watched Mickey once!).  Every year we would watch the Snowman and I can't wait to introduce Miss Plum to it.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Mary Berry's Yule Log

Hands up all who watched the Great British Bake Off Christmas masterclass on Wednesday night?

Here is my Yule log which was so easy to make! Perfect for eating on the shortest day of the year!!

Thursday, 20 December 2012


I used to subscribe to Marie Claire when in my early 20's ... but soon lost interest in that kind of glossy magazine in favour of my Mum's old copies of Good Housekeeping or Country Living.  

I occasionally find myself buying a knitting magazine or cookery mag ... but really fancied looking for a mag that I could subscribe too.  A magazine which would drop through the letter box each month without me having to battle the crowds around the magazine stands in the local supermarket!

Recently I have tried out three potential subscriptions:

So far, Homemaker and Mollie Makes are my favourites.  I have taken advantage of a '3 issues for £5' for The Simple Things and a '3 issues for £6' for Homemaker Magazine.  I just need to decide which will be my new year subscription!

Do you have a subscription?

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

A Bit of Cath This Christmas

Anyone who follows my Christmas board on Pinterest will have seen a few things ...

1.  My, perhaps overly ambitious, list of Christmas craft ideas!

2.  I love the Cath Kidston Christmas Deer!!

Lucky old me ... Mr Plum bought me the iphone case as a little treat.  I hadn't been feeling at all festive and I think it was because I just didn't have enough Christmas deers in my life!! It is so cute!  I also have the Christmas organiser which is slowly getting filled up! 

I have to say that I am a rather latecomer to the wondrous website that is Pinterest. Are you on there? Leave me your Pinterest name in my comments - I'm always looking for new people to follow.  You can find a link to my profile on my blog side bar.

Who's feeling Christmassy???