Stir Up Sunday

The last Sunday before advent is one of my favourite days in the run up to Christmas, it’s Stir Up Sunday, the day I make our Christmas puddings! This year its the 23rd November.

When I was little I always knew my Nan made puddings for Christmas dinner and for the family members who asked for one, but I don’t remember ever helping or seeing them being made. And I can’t remember when I found out about stir up Sunday. I do know that a few years ago my Nan decided she didn’t want to make puddings anymore, but for me there is something about Christmas where I like to make as much from scratch and be homemade as it can be. I enjoy these kinds of activities anyway, and even more so at Christmastime! Plus if it’s a Christmas activity that means I can listen to Christmas music right!?

One of my favourite things about making your own pudding is the traditions that come with it, getting the family together to mix up the pudding and make a wish. I always get everyone living in the house to have their stir and a wish, and this year will be no different. Maybe Baby H won’t make a wish, but he’ll definitely have a stir of the pudding! Even if he’ll have a little help!

I’ve used the same recipe ever since I started making puddings, and as nice as other recipes sound I’m just too scared to try out something new that’s for Christmas dinner! The only ‘tweak’ I make to Queen Delia’s recipe is a layer or brandied cherries that top the pudding. I soak glacier cherries in brandy or cherry brandy for a few days and put a few in the bottom of the pudding basin before putting the mix in. Then when it’s turned out it has a beautiful ruby jewlled top.

Deliaonline.com/recipes/cuisine/European/English/traditional-christmas-pudding.html

Do you make your puddings? When do you make them?

Mrs H xxx

Spread A Little Kindness

I know that it’s only November, but I can’t help a bit of pre planning. Who am I kidding!? I’ve been planning for months! I just can’t seem to stop myself. But I’m what my mother in law calls “a thinker, not a doer”, and she’s generally right. I love lists, I probably write a list for something or other every single day. So this Christmas there’ll be a lot of lists, some stuff I’ll do, and some I’ll plan to do next year. And probably won’t. But there is something I definitely want to do.

The lovely Jen over at www.muminthemadhouse.com has done a fantastic post for an Alternative Advent Calendar, based on acts of kindness. What an absolutely fantastic idea!

For us Christmas is all about family, friends, spending time and just loving each other. This is a brilliant way to spread that a little bit further.

It has been created with kids in mind, but at just 6 months, Baby H is just a little bit too young for any kind of advent calendar, but I didn’t want to miss out on this! So I’ve decided to steal this one for me…I may also have to get him a ‘regular’ advent calendar and “help” him out with those chocolates *wink*. Being a parent can be so hard!!

I love that there’s such a variety of kindness, ranging from charitable, neighbourly and even to wildlife!

Hopefully I can get a printer working (not an easy task lately!) and use the lovely printable that’s available, if not I’ll have to get creative myself! The felt pens are working overtime for me!

Maybe writing this post will help hold me to my word on this one, and I’ll be able to update you throughout December.

Mrs H xxx

<div align=”center”><a href=”http://www.muminthemadhouse.com/” title=”Mum in the Mad House”><img src=”http://www.muminthemadhouse.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/baubleonly.png” alt=”Mum in the Mad House” style=”border:none;” /></a></div>

Super Sunday

Yesterday was a big day for Baby H. It wasn’t supposed to be quite so big, it was just Sunday dinner at Nanny and Grampy’s house, and then the Christmas lights switch on in Whitchurch Village. The light switch on was going to be a big deal, Baby H LOVES lights, and I don’t mean he’s mildly amused/distracted by them, I mean he is mesmerised and needs them ALL. It’s in the genes, what else could I have expected from marrying a lighting designer! So we knew that he would enjoy that, and I was making a bit of a big deal out of it. As an ex-Whitchurch girl myself, it’s been years sinc3e I’ve managed to make it to the big switch on, so I was also over excited for myself!
But way before this, whilst I was cooking dinner at my parent’s house, there was a shout from the living room. “There’s a tooth!” I literally dropped what I was doing and ran into the room, and sure enough, right at the front of his little gums, a sharp corner, and the very beginnings of his very first tooth!
At lunch he tried bread for the first time, and loved it! He was a little over adventurous at times, I was thinking he’d just chew on it until it was mushy, not bite huge chunks off and actually eat them! And if that wasn’t enough, I’d forgotten to take his sippy cup. I only realised this after Baby H was munching on his bread, and could do with a drink to wash it down. This didn’t faze my baby boy though; he just shared his Dad’s water…out of a pint glass! The funny thing is, he drank better out of the glass than his sippy cup!
After all of that unexpected excitement we walked down to the big switch on. I wore our Baby Bjorn style carrier (please not it is NOT from that brand, it’s just the best way I could explain the style) so that Baby H could face out. I knew the Papoozle wrap would have been comfier for me, but he’d have missed so much of the lights, and probably wiggled himself half out of it every 5 minutes trying to look. He was in his element! He loved looking at all the lights, and seeing all of the people and children. I wasn’t prepared for the fireworks display though. We didn’t go out for Bonfire Night, so he’d never seen, or heard, them before. When the first bang exploded, he jumped, well we all jumped, and I was worried he’d freak out. But he loved them too! He didn’t stop watching every colourful light. See. Completely obsessed!
So Sunday was first tooth, first bread, first pint(!), first fireworks and first Christmas lights!
We’re looking forward to many more!

Hope your Sunday was great!

Mrs H xxx

Weekly Wishes 17th November 2014

It’s Christmas shopping day for the Herniman Family!! Baby H is spending the day with his Nanny and Grampy, whilst Mr H and I are off into Cardiff and hoping to get it done in one day. Well with the exception of online orders and handmade gifts. We may have to make stops for refuelling ourselves too!
Armed with the master list of whom to buy for and a rough idea of what we’re looking for, and with the days wardrobe carefully considered (can’t have too many layers, too hot in shops. Can’t take too few layers, too cold outside – it’s not an easy task!) We are off into battle! And I am very excited for it! We try to go shopping around this time every year, it’s close enough to Christmas to have all the gift sets etc out, but far enough away to not be crazy busy and send me homicidal. Shops do have that effect on me when they have too many people there! It’s not an attractive quality, I’m aware, but other people shopping drive me crazy! Wish us luck!

Last week’s wishes were focused on me. It was time to be a little bit selfish, and start looking after myself a bit better.
Keep sticking to the diet – I did go over slightly on my planned calories on one day, but other than that I stuck to it pretty well. My weight stayed the same though, so a little more effort needed!
Walk more – this one was a bit of a fail. I relied a little too much on the app that I downloaded, and it crashed! I also didn’t get out as much as I would have liked to, but I did some walking, and that’s better than none.
Get dressed everyday – with the exception of Wednesday (when I stayed in my cleaning slobs, so valid reason I think) I did it! Got properly dressed, brushed my hair (you’d be surprised how easy it is to forget this!) and wore make up when I wanted to. It may sound a little shallow, but it helped improve my mood. And seeing as I hardly left the house, it was definitely something I did just for me.
So it wasn’t a perfect week, but I don’t see it as a fail, more a work in progress. I’ll be keeping up with these wishes from now on too.

This week:
Order the online Christmas gifts – seeing as we’re getting most of the shopping done today (fingers crossed) I want to get as much ordered as we need to so we’re not stressing over postage times closer to Christmas. So far it’s mainly photo calendars for the great grandparents. A great excuse for me to look through photos…this may take some time!
Make a Christmas present – with a few handmade presents planned, I’d like to get at least one more finished this week. Which mainly means I need to clear the dining room table and get the sewing machine out.
Shorten living room curtains – ok, it’s hardly exciting, but I’ve been meaning to do this for months! And if I’ve got the sewing machine out, they need doing.

So fingers crossed we survive the shopping, and get stuff done!

Mrs H xxx

The Nectar Collective

Banana Bread

Lovely Mr H bought me a bag of green bananas; I’m slightly odd and will only eat them if they’re at least green at the ends. Only I forgot about them. And by the time I remembered, they were yellow (the horror!) with brown spots (yuck!!) and I felt guilty for wasting bananas (again). So I raided the web and found the easiest recipes for Banana Bread, and come up with this, which is basically a combination of a few, based on what ingredients I had in the house. Bonus is that I’m unlikely to cave in and eat it because it has over ripe bananas in it! So it was a win win. I’ve never made it before, and was so excited that it seemed to turn out edible that I quickly dished it out to the family, forgetting to take a photo! So if you can just imagine a brownish loaf cake that smells like cake and banana…yup that’s it!

Ingredients

3 over ripe bananas

1/3 cup melted butter

1 cup sugar

1 ½ cups self raising flour

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp bicarbonate soda

Large pinch salt

Method

Preheat oven to 175oC

In a large bowl, mash the bananas until mostly smooth, and then stir in the melted butter

Mix in the bicarb and salt, and then mix in the sugar, egg and vanilla.

Fold in the flour.

Pour batter into a greased loaf tin (or be lazy like me and use the paper liners)

Bake for 50 minutes to an hour

Remove from oven and leave to cool

Serve to hungry family and take all compliments!

Enjoy!

Mrs H xxx