Monthly Archives: December 2012

Favourite posts this week

Market flowers

:: We just received an early Christmas present from my Grandpa, saffron from Iran. It’s the real deal, guys. Will try not to squirrel it away (my speciality!) and hope to make these Swedish buns. Although the recipe calls for yeast, which means I’ll pass it over to Shake ;)

:: A great series, Parents Who Cook, from one of my all-time favourite blogs. The ladies have some lucky children!

:: This post from Soulemama really makes me want to learn to cross-stitch. Adorable little works of art!

:: Yet more saffron – this time in brownie form. Yum.

:: I love to read about Bekah’s simple Christmas traditions.

:: I can’t find the right words to talk about what happened this week in America. All I know to do is hug our boy a little tighter, for a little longer. This post has been shared a lot, not sure if you have seen it yet, but it really made me think about mental illness and being a mother.

Wishing you a happy and healthy week.




Christmas is coming

Orange decorations Orange decorations II Christmas bunting

We are feeling festive!

Tonight we will be drinking some of this.

Presents have been wrapped (except for something handmade that is a little wonky and needs tweaking. Oops).

What I especially love at the moment is seeing our bunting hanging up all around the house.

Wedding bunting

It was made by my mother in law and reminds us daily about our wedding and the special weekend we shared with our families.

Hope you are starting to feel festive too :)




Favourite posts this week

I’m sorry I missed the post last week. After some stormy days we lost normal internet for almost a week and Shake’s backup satellite internet for work was almost all used up by Skype (oops!) and what was left was too slow for me to use properly…

:: Guardian/OFM 20 best cookbooks of 2012. Do you agree?

:: What the British say and what they really mean! Very unlike the French who love to tell you how it is…

:: Mulled Wine – YES! Another reason I love this time of year.

:: Go Sainsburys! Great news about sustainable fish, which we are struggling to find over here…

:: We aren’t buying baby anything for Christmas, but will keep this post on ethical toys in mind in case anyone else wants to, and for next year too!

:: Ottolenghi’s spice cookies from Luisa look amazing!

:: Winter food in pictures. Cute.

:: Mmm another post from Mr Lebovitz this week. Looks delicious.

:: Caramelized beetroot tarte tartin – on my “to make soon” list.

:: I also have an avocado problem. This recipe won’t help, but will undoubtedly be yummy.

:: This video made us both chuckle – I am sure if I had Instagram I’d be doing all of this too…I’m friggin’ Michelangelo ;)

Right, have to dash, baby eating cat food (that’s ok right?), homework to be done, presents to be finished, rooms to be tidied, dinner to be prepped, siblings to be called….






Alternative Christmas Cards (charity shop books)

Last year, the most enjoyable bit of our Christmas shopping was our alternative Christmas cards and it might be something you want to try for yourself. It’s a bit complex, so I’ve written out the process step-by-step…

  1. Write a list of people you would usually buy cards for
  2. Find your nearest charity bookshop
  3. Buy everyone a book

It’s simple and fun, but you never know what you’ll find in stock and that makes it even more interesting. We spent a couple of hours in an Oxfam Books and delighted the volunteer staff with the total number of books we bought.

I like to look for books I don’t think people would buy themselves, but that they might find interesting. It’s a lot of fun, and a great way to spend time thinking about the people you love. And for people who “don’t do books” there’s usually something funny or silly.

On top of all that, most books in most charity shops costs less than a regular gift card from a supermarket. And the whole cost of your book is a charitable donation, rather than the few pennies in royalties that charities get from most boxed Christmas cards.

You can (and should!) write a message in the front of a book, and there’s a whole load more value in the content than you’d find in any card.

And if I haven’t sold this idea hard enough already, the kind of people who do their Christmas shopping in charity book shops are awesome. It’s a refreshing antidote to the rudeness and madness that takes over the rest of the high street around now.