I can’t believe it’s Crimbo already! We love a bit of Christmas here, (well my husbands finally come round, as his birthday is 4 days before Christmas and he hated Christmas for years!) This year as I am on MAT leave I decided to do a few home made things.
I love reusable advent calendars, they can save you money with years of use plus I think they are pretty and more of a decoration. I never know where to hang the cardboard ones they are always in the way, one year I stuck them to the fridge and they kept falling off and the chocs all fell to the bottom – CM wasn’t too impressed opening the doors to an empty space!
I looked around this year for a reusable calendar and missed out on the nice one in Aldi’s for £9.99. So I spotted the “diy” advent calendar boxes in Sainsbury’s for only £3, I wasn’t too sure at first how to display them but a quick search on pinterest gave me an idea to use a branch…a small tree branch! With some string threaded through the boxes, some twinkly lights and some hooks to hang it up, it filled the kids nook under the stairs and looked a bit more like a decoration.
I filled the boxes with some small chocolates from Aldi and wrote a joke for each day (CM is joke mad at the moment!)
I have made these once before and loved the result so decided to make a few jars for this Christmas as pressie’s.
I put together Epsom Salt, Himalayan Salt, Rose hip oil and Dried Rose petals. The Salts were cheap in home bargains for huge bags! I bought the oil and petals on eBay really cheap.
The glass jars are from some delicious fancy yoghurt’s in Aldi (yes we love a bit of Aldi!) and the scoops are from the baby’s Aptamil Milk tubs!
*I scooped a large tablespoon of each salt in each jar, added a few broken up petals and repeated until half full.
*Then added a droplet of oil and gave it a really good shake.
*I repeated this until I reached roughly 1cm from the top and added a few petals for decoration.
*Finished with some pretty Christmas string and a tag (String and tag I have had for a few years, found in the bottom of a box of crimbo bits!)
I have never made it before and found two recipes online (which I have tagged on my pinterest! Check out my Pinterest here)
For my first go I used a Slow Cooker recipe for Chocolate Orange Fudge! I was surprised how well it turned out, I decided to double the ingredients from the method i found on pinterest, as I wanted to make enough to give most of our family and friends who we will see over Christmas. (I added a few jazzies on the kids fudge pieces) The recipe made around 40-45 nice size pieces.
See link for Recipe: Chocolate Orange Slow Cooker Fudge
The second one I made seems to be more “traditional” method – The recipe is for: Raspberry and White Chocolate Fudge. I had to buy a Jam/Sugar thermometer for this one, which I bought cheap on Ebay. I swapped the Raspberry for Strawberry and used Strawberry Jam and Strawberry freeze dried pieces. I honestly thought I had burnt it at one point but managed to save it…I only knocked the gas off on the cooker and in a mad panic I couldn’t get the thing to go back on! Thankfully the back ring lit and I managed to get it back on the heat quickly but I think that’s why it started to stick slightly to the one side of the pan. It made around 30-35 nice big pieces.
Be careful when heating sugar, it could burn like a bugger!
See link to recipe: White Chocolate and Strawberry Fudge
Am I mad…maybe?
I wanted to use the salts I had bought for the Bath salts for something else and found a pretty scrub soap on …you guessed it Pinterest! (I promise they are not endorsing me, I am literally late to the “Pinterest party” and currently obsessed!) Well I tried to cheat and use a nice bar of soap I bought in Greece to melt and it bubbled up and looked a bit like vomit!
So I gave in and bought some Soap Base, although I had to buy 1kg and only needed a quarter – so its soap for everyone all year now until its gone!!
*I melted the soap base in the microwave in very short bursts and kept stirring in between until it all melted.
*I added a little blue food colouring (I don’t know if this is correct…its all I had!)
*I then added the salts which actually made it go gloopy so I gave it another short burst in the Microwave.
*I put this into the Butterfly moulds (I think its made for cakes, I bought it years ago and used it for cakes once).
*I then added Lavender to two and Dried Rose petals to another two and left over night to set.
They set really well, although as CM pointed out the Lavender and Petals look like they are burnt a little bit from the warm soap. Be careful when melting the Soap Base as you could burn if it touches the skin.
I think some of these makes might go into a small hamper gifts, once I have decided and put together I will pop it onto another Blog. I might also make something else over the next week or two, as its my first year hosting Christmas and I’m feeling a bit more festive! Bring on the Grinch!!!
If you would like any more information on the above let me know x