Tag Archives: Christmas

21 Days to go

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Taking advantage of my last sips of the delicious Caramel Machiatto I decided to write a bit. I just came back from doing some shopping for St. Nicholas. I bought lots and lots of sweets, tea cups and warm socks for my parents and for my grandmother. I’m very excited about this Christmas. Actually, no, I’m excited about Christmas in general, to be honest. I know, I know, it’s “over commercialized” and so on. I’ve heard this side of the story, too, because one my friends is a very cynical soul ( so am I in general, up to a point ). 

i just can’t help it, that warm feeling inside once December starts. I love everything about it. I get so excited when the first Coca-Cola commercial with Santa comes up in the cinemas, or when Starbucks change their cups to red. I love listening to carols on the radio, all of them! ( Last Christmas was once my favourite song, so yeah…). I enjoy the slight taste of cinnamon in every food and I actually always wanted to have one of those ridiculous red-reindeer jumpers. I can’t wait to walk with my best friend around the shops and buy all kinds of stupid things for the relatives or help her choose a gift for her mum. Or, walking under the lights in city centre, taking pictures. What about those cute Christmas-markets, where they sell mulled wine and ginger bread?

 I mean, how can anyone really hate Christmas?

I agree that the world doesn’t get better for a month, that people don’t change just because they see some lights on the streets and drink more hot chocolate. But it does send a positive message, to spread joy, make people smile. It should be more about that than about buying huge presents, I agree. And, like it or not, I actually think it brings a bit of warmth in this cold months.

 

 My favourite seasonal songs (that you probably never even heard) to cheer up all the grumpy cats out there:

Happiness

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I was so deceived today to walk past the central square and realize that the Christmas market is closed. It’s obvious that is was closed, I just… Expected it to still be there. I’m very bad at saying goodbye to Christmas. Even undoing the tree, it gives me a sad feeling.
Do you know when you are going somewhere, and you’ve waited so long, but all you can think about on the way is: This just lasts two weeks. In two weeks I will be just as miserable as I am now .
You’d say you are so happy to go away, but that’s not real happiness. I hears something very wise, coming from a rather naive character:

DOUGLAS: No, Arthur, you are cheery. No one’s interested in the secret of true cheeriness.

ARTHUR: But that’s not true. I’m fairly often just completely happy. Like, for instance, when you get into a bath quickly and it’s just the right temperature, and you go “ooooh”. I mean really no one gets any happier than that.

MARTIN: What a depressing thought.

ARTHUR: No, no, it’s not though, because those sort of things happen all the time, whereas you’re hardly ever, you know, blissfully happy with the love of your life in the moonlight, and when you are, you’re too busy worrying about it being over soon, whereas the bath moments, there’s loads of those! Oh, like when you realise your knuckles are ready for cracking.

DOUGLAS: What?

(ARTHUR cracks his knuckles. MARTIN and DOUGLAS make disgusted noises.)

ARTHUR: See, I was happy then! Oh, wait, I’ve got another one!

Now, for those of you who don’t know, this is a Cabin Pressure quote. Yes, I’m a fan of the radio series, especially for moments like these.

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Cooking Tuesday: Christmas special gingerbread

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Because this is a special Tuesday, I bring you a special recipe. In order to mantain the Christmas spirit a little longer I give you: The Christmas gingerbreaaaad.

What you need:
340g plain flour
4oz softened butter/margarine
100g soft brown sugar
190g golden syrup
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

What to do:

1.
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C (375 Fahrenheit).
2.
In a bowl, beat together the sugar and butter/marg using electric beaters until light and creamy.
3.
Add the golden syrup and sift in the flour, ginger and bicarbonate of soda.
4.
Mix until a rough crumb begins to form then work the mixture into a smooth dough using your hands.
5.
Refrigerate the dough for 10 minutes or so, until firm.
6.
Then, roll out the dough between two sheets of cling film/baking parchment – not a floured surface! – until 4mm (quarter-inch) thick.
7.
Cut out shapes using a cookie cutter of choice, or roll out small balls and flatten slightly onto a non-stick baking sheet or baking tray lined with parchment paper. They won’t spread a great deal, but be careful not to pack them too tightly onto the sheets.
8.
Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden brown. Let cool on trays for a minute or two before removing to cool completely on wire racks.
9.
If you wish to ice your cookies, mix up a small quantity of icing using 1 egg white and 2oz icing sugar.

Enjooy 🙂

recipe taken from here

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Meretricious…and a happy New Year!

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MERRY CHRISTMAS, PEOPLE!!

My favourite holiday of the year has come. Finally. And will be gone soon. This one day of 25 December seems to last the least of all, doesn’t it? And to make it as long as I can, I have spent it at home, laying around, doing sort of a movie marathon. Because, I doubt there is a better way of spending Christmas Day if not watch Love Actually with your whole family, right? What more could you want? You have Snape, John Watson, Mr. Bean and Mr. Darcy packed up in one adorable romantic comedy. Not to mention, Hugh Grant comes as a bonus.
Finally, I dragged my mother to watch Small Island with me and convinced my dad to watch The tale of Desperaux.
So my day has been…rather prolific I could say. Three more days listening to Christmas carols and then..puff. It’s gone. Christmas is over as soon as it started.

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Fandom style

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Santa Claus passed by yesterday evening and dropped some presents for me a little earlier than expected. I can’t complain though, I am happier than I’ve been in a while. And I can feel the fangirl inside me squeezing with joy. My happiness was wrapped up in a box on which all I could read was amazon.co.uk. Which was enough to know, this is would be Sherlock stuff. So that’s what I got:
Small island DVD
Parade’s end DVD
Third Star DVD ( the best movie in this entire world, I swear.)
• An ice-watch.

Aaaaaand Sherlock: The Casebook, which by now I have already read. 🙂

So, yup, been an awful good girl.

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Seeking a friend for the end of the world

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I bet that we all had that fluffy friend in our childhood, a bear, a lion, a tiger. The small, quiet friend we used to hold in our arms when we were sad, take to the table, talk to. Reading this may have opened you old memories, happy ones I hope.
Well, now you can adopt a wild animal via WWF. For those of you who don’t know, WWF is a huge organization, all around the world that makes our home planet a little better. WWF works in 100 countries and is supported by 1.2 million members in the United States and close to 5 million globally. ( more)
What does it mean to ‘adopt’? You buy a new fluffy friend ( for yourself, or a kid ) and help preserving their species. You even receive an adoption card and an info card about the species you adopt!
I think it’s a great gift for all ages 🙂
If you’re interested you can find more about it here.

P.S. : You can even adopt a red panda!!! How cool is that?

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Shopping til the very end

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After two hours of mad hunting I came home hopeless, exhausted and worst of all giftless.

The Christmas shopping has begun and all I bought until now is a Sherlock Homles book for my friend and a travel journal for my mom. And I am kind of in a time crisis. I also fear the apocalypse may find me in a shop. Or at The Hobbit.
So… Last day on earth, huh? Everyone’s making jokes like there’s no tomorrow. Hahaha. I’m in a funny mood. However I am thinking that if I survive whatever happens tomorrow ( most near-death experience will probably be seeing the trailer of Star Trek on the big screen) I should do a bucket list. 100 things I want to do before I die. I mean, it’s sort of essential for every person, you know?

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Another normal evening

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This has been a most weird afternoon. With Christmas approaching and all that, my mom decided to invite all relatives. With all their small, hyperactive, screaming kids. And of course, I had to babysit. Hurray. Thanks to “Jungle Book” and “Pirates of the Caribbean” my work was much easier and I could finish The Hobbit in silence.
Occasionally I was interrupted, of course.
Firstly, I had to open the presents. A turquoise pullover, two sizes smaller ( people tend to forget that I actually do grow up while they don’t see me ) with something in its pockets ( please be money, please be money). A bracelet, which is surprisingly pretty. Then of course, some odd smelly candles which I will probably never use.
Then of course, answer all questions.

What grade are you in?
Do you have a boyfriend yet?
Oh, you play the piano? Sing us something.
How is high school?
Are you the first one in your class?

After everyone ate enough ( do you notice how relatives always seem to be getting fatter every time you see them?)
they started singing karaoke. And not any song. Andrea fucking Bocelli.
At least, the cherry pie was delicious.

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Chocolate and gifts

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This evening , according to the legend, St. Nicholaus is filling the shoes of all good children with sweets and fruits. As a child, thanks to my family, I strongly believed in magic, St. Nick and Santa Claus. Today, it’s a joy for me to buy sweets for my parents, wrap them up and put them in red stockings.

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Even the city seems ready to celebrate this eve and all Christmas lights have been turned on. I am proud to say that my city has never looked better and the Christmas maket is absolutely gorgeous. I see parents everywhere caring presents and bags and strangely it just makes me happy. I feel like in sort of a movie. Not even the freezing cold outside can bother me anymore.

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Our beautiful, beautiful Christmas market.

To sweeten my day, as a pre-gift for tonight I got a delicious cookie:

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So this is our tradition. Every night on the 5th of December good kids receive sweets or fruits. Sometimes, to those really good children, St. Nick may even carry a toy or two.

How are traditions in other countries? It is the same or totally different? What do you do on this day?

I’m waiting for your answers. Love, Maria.

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(Yap, these are our presents.)

Cooking Tuesday: Cinammon Rolls

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Another sweet cooking tuesday for you!! Today we have Cinammon rolls in our menu. Why? Because I love cinammon and they taste like Christmas in a plate.
Plus, they’re a great warm-up after a hard day at work or school. Don’t worry, though, they aren’t as difficult to bake as it may seem!! I searched for the easiest recipe and after only 90 min you can enjoy your work.

Now, lets start.

What you need:

3/4 cup milk

1/4 cup margarine, softened

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 (.25 ounce) package instant yeast

1/4 cup white sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup water

1 egg

1 cup brown sugar, packed

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup margarine, softened

1/2 cup raisins (optional)

What to do:

Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles, then remove from heat. Mix in margarine; stir until melted. Let cool until lukewarm.
In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 1/4 cup flour, yeast, sugar and salt; mix well. Add water, egg and the milk mixture; beat well. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. When the dough has just pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes.
Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, cinnamon, softened margarine.
Roll out dough into a 12×9 inch rectangle. Spread dough with margarine/sugar mixture. Sprinkle with raisins if desired. Roll up dough and pinch seam to seal. Cut into 12 equal size rolls and place cut side up in 12 lightly greased muffin cups. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until browned. Remove from muffin cups to cool. Serve warm 🙂

And there you goo!! 12 delicious cinammon rolls to share with your friends ( or eat them all on your own!!!)

Here’s where I took the recipe from.

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