31 December 2013

Secret Santa

Something very sad happens when you are a grown up - you stop getting as many Christmas presents! 

So, to stop me feeling totally left out when the kids were opening their stupidly huge stack of gifts, I got myself signed up to a couple of blogger secret santas. 

The first of my surprise gifts to arrive was from the secret santa organised by the lovely Miss Hayley, who had suggested the gift boxes should include at least one Christmassy item - I loved the festive sign that arrived in mine and it took a proud place amongst my other decorations! 

blogger christmas swap

As well as the sign I also from an Amie face mask (I love these things, have used them several times and my skin always thanks me for it!), and Avon Mascara (a 'super curlacious' one in Black Diamond), Elf Blush (in Twinkle Pink), MUA Power Pout (in Broken Hearted) and a lovely coconut lip balm from Next (prompting the realisation that despite my multitude of lip balms I didn't until now have a coconut one - and I'm glad that's been rectified!). A great little box of treats that was really fun to open - thanks Santa!

xmas blog swap

My next gift came from Char's secret santa - I did take a picture of it beautifully wrapped up and god know what I've done with the photos, but here's what I found inside!

sinful colours barry m christmas

You can never have enough glittery nail polish, at Christmas especially and these are grand additions to my collection. The Barry M polish. Rose Quartz Glitter, is a real knock out and I couldn't resist adding it to my Christmas Day nails...

Christmas nails

aint that pretty? 

The Sinful Colours polish I got, All About You, is lovely too though, a really warm coppery gold glitter - I'm yet to try this on it's own but looked grand over a post-Christmas red, which you can just about tell from my blurry photo! 

christmassy nail polish

I love my gifts and I feel really lucky to have been paired up with such awesome santas! Thanks again to Hayley and Char for organising these and to everyone else who took part too! 

I did actually sign up to another one too and though my gift hadn't arrived by the time we broke up from work, hopefully it'll be waiting for me when I go back in a couple of days! 

Hope you all got lots of fabulous things too! 

30 December 2013

Chocolate Orange Cheesecake

This year, the unenviable task of cooking Christmas Dinner for the family went to my brother, who bravely volunteered his services. Since I plan to avoid this responsibility for, well, the rest of my life, I figured it would only be polite to make a bit of effort and offer to bring over a dessert (nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that I don't like the sweet options that were available - I mean, does anyone really like Christmas Pudding?!)

Chocolate Oranges seem synonymous with Christmas - I can't be the only one who has received at least one of these a year for as long as I can remember - so I figured something chocolatey and orangey would be a great place to start for a Christmassy Dessert and found this super easy looking recipe for a Chocolate Orange Cheesecake that I thought would go down a treat!


christmas dessert ideas

16 Hobnobs
120g Butter

Terry's Chocolate Orange! 
200g Cream Cheese
180ml Double Cream
100g Icing Sugar

To make the base:

simple dessert recipe

Chuck all the biscuits in a bowl (It should be plain hobnobs but I could only find chocolatey ones in the supermarket, honest!), and scrunch them up good and proper with a rolling pin of other such crushy device. Once you've got them all finely smushed, add the (melted) butter and mix up into a buttery biscuity goo. Cover the bottom of your tin or bowl or whatever you are using with the goo and pop in the fridge to set. 

To make the filling:

what can I do with a terrys chocolate orange?

In one bowl, whip up your cream 'til it's all thick and peaky. In another, melt down your chocolate orange (you can either use the whole thing, or keep a bit back to decorate, or, if it's Christmas morning and you have about 6 of the things in the house, do a bit of both). Add the melted chocolate to the cream and give it all a good mix. 

In a seperate bowl, whisk together the cream cheese and icing sugar. Add the creamy chocolatey stuff to this and mix it altogether. The spread as evenly as you can on your should-be-set-by-now hobnob base. 

simple chocolate cheesecake

If you managed to salvage any of the chocolate orange earlier, you can decorate the cheesecake by either placing the segments on top or by grating and sprinkling the leftover bits of chocolate. Then just take it round tot he house of whoever is feeding you and, after dinner of course, chuck yourself in! 

chocolate orange cheesecake recipe

I'll admit my filling bit was possibly a bit sloppier than is ideal, but I'll also admit to not doing a particular thorough job with weighing ingredients as opposed to pouring out rough approximations (in my defence it was Christmas morning and you don't want to know what time the little guys dragged me out of bed!), so I'm sure a little more care could have sorted that right out but it was only a minor texture issue, taste-wise this was bang-on! 

What do you normally have for Christmas dessert? Any other good ideas for next year? 


How Do!

Welcome to my shiny new blog!

Google fell out with me and kept telling me I wasn't me, or something, so I've got myself this swanky new pad, so if you have followed me over from my previous bloggy home then thank you very much! And if you've just randomly found your way here, then thank YOU very much too, and Hi!

I imagine it'll be very much the same kinda thing... my ramblings on tea, cake, fashion, beauty, and various adventures in my lovely native Yorkshire and elsewhere. But if there's anything in particular you'd like to see on here, or anything you are sick to the back teeth of seeing on blogs, then just let me know in the comments below and I'll try to take it on board!

Thanks for visiting!