Tuesday, 19 November 2013

A very productive day...

Today has been what I would term a 'good day'. First up, tiniest Martini had his first proper food. For anyone that's ever weaned a child, you'll know that doesn't actually mean real food - Aptamil baby rice, anyone? - but nevertheless, it's a milestone day. 

If you're interested, I'm a strong believer in weaning at 17 weeks - it's worked for the other three, so I see no reason to change that now. And, for the keen eyed among you, yes, I know I'm a day late - it was actually 17 weeks yesterday (and who can believe that?), but given littlun was born at 11.48pm, I'll cut myself some slack. 

Item number two: mincemeat. For something as traditional as mincemeat, there simply is no option but to go Delia. While I doubt that Delia is quaking in her boots, I'm happy with the job so far:

Basically, you whack in all the ingredients (except the brandy - so I'll be keeping my glass back until tomorrow) and then leave it to 'mingle' overnight. Tomorrow, I'll be cooking the heck out of it (I think about three hours). Delicious, homemade mince pies are just moments away - or at least days (rather than weeks). Perfect.

Next up: nails. Mr. M hits the big 4-0 later this month and we're celebrating this Friday. Or commiserating - it depends how you look at it. Either way, given the brood, I need to start getting ready for our night out on Friday now. Hence the nails. I watched this tutorial from MissJenFABULOUS - and then gave it a go:

Good enough! Fingers crossed it doesn't chip - Seche Vite should take care of that. 

And finally, I've made the caramel for the hot chocolates I'm preparing for Mr. M. when he gets home tonight. It really is freezing now, and when I read this recipe from The Londoner I had to try it. I'll let you know how it turns out. 

Maternity leave is looking pretty good right now. I may not go back to work at all - how on earth would I fit it all in? ;-)

Saturday, 16 November 2013

The battle of the ads...

As a self-confessed lover of all things Christmas, it will come as no surprise that I am loving all the major store adverts hitting our screens right now. Yes, critics - we all get that it's a not-so-blatent cynical ploy to encourage us to spend in their stores - but, being completely honest, I want to shop at a place that can pull off a decent advert. (I was always a sucker for that John Lewis Generations advert which follows a woman through our life - enjoy it again here.) 

And, although I'm enjoying them all, I have to say that Sainsbury's has won the battle for me. I am not the sentimental type, but even I am just a little bit touched by the kids being so excited that their father has managed to get home for Christmas. Because, if you can't be a bit emotional at Christmas, when can you be? (Thank you Richard Curtis - I think that's roughly stolen from Love Actually - I'll include a suitable clip below the Sainsbury's ad...)

Happy Christmas xx

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Review: Sachajuan leave-in conditioner

I've been using this leave-in conditioner since it arrived in my Elle Beauty Box from Selfridges (a fantastic purchase, if I may say). I hadn't heard of it either, but the brand is from Sweden - they have a flagship salon in Stockholm apparently. 

Overall, this conditioner is very light - it doesn't weigh my fine hair down, which is a real plus - but extremely moisturising. It also leaves my hair extremely shiny. Unfortunately, my hair is very prone to frizz, and this conditioner doesn't help with that, but to be honest, I wouldn't expect it to. Overall, I notice a big difference when I use this. 

I always think I'm putting quite a bit on, but I've hardly used any of the bottle, so it obviously goes a long way. This certainly isn't a budget option - it's £21 at Selfridges - but it's definitely one of the best conditioners (leave-in or not) that I've ever used. Would I repurchase? Yes. And there's nothing that focuses the mind more than that question (when it comes to shopping anyway). 

Monday, 11 November 2013

Getting into the festive spirit...

As the big retailers roll out their Christmas adverts (the John Lewis one is on as I type - and I love it!), there's no longer any chance of avoiding it - Christmas is well and truly on its way. With daughter number one's birthday behind us, the last remaining barrier is Mr. M's birthday (it's a big one) at the end of the month. Rest assured, I've already planned our trip to buy the tree on Sunday 1 December. (If I had my way, the decorations would be going up the weekend before - but no matter.)

(More on Mr. M's birthday plans later - I don't want to give too much away...)

The Christmas shopping is underway - I'd say about 60% done and I'm planning to make the mincemeat - and maybe the cake, which I've not done before - this week. Hurrah. This week will mainly be about:

Attempting to finish my Christmas shopping I can't really relax until it's done. 
Baking and tasting galore Well, calories don't count in December, right?
A well deserved shopping trip Primark Christmas jumpers are top of the list. I've put a picture of the Rudolf one above, but I've also got my eye on a cheeky snowman one...
Tasting a Starbucks chocolate orange mocha Gingerbread lattes have already been drunk, but I'm always open to new things (well, most of the time)
Music Making sure my Christmas tunes are on my current mp3 player. I simply cannot last any longer without them. The silver bells are ringing!