Christmas Decorating Inspiration

It’s nearly time for the annual cheer and festivities of Christmas.  I really want to do something special with my table setting and home decorations this year so thought I would share some inspirational pictures with you.

I’m not that imaginative when it comes to decorating so having something to look at like these pictures is an excellent way of being able to have Christmas decorations you can be proud of.

 

This first picture is a lovely table display in silver and you can buy most of these from Next here.  What appeals to me about this one is the elegance of the silver and black – very classy!

 

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These stag candle holders are just to die for and would look elegant on your dinner table!  They are available from Marks and Spencer here.

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I have just discovered the Christmas range from Matalan here, and they have some lovely decorations.  This glitter wreath is just lovely.

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I’ve been told that Christmas bedding is more of an American tradition, well I have just adopted it!  I am so thrilled to own some beautiful Christmas bedding, like this one from Debenhams which you can buy here.  I mean your bedroom will look so festive with this .

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No home is complete at Christmas time unless there are lights, and you can never have too many lights in my opinion.  I would say that you can’t go wrong with lights from Argos here.

Just look at these lovely path lights!

 

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If you are looking for something special for your tree, why not try these beautiful decorations from Debenhams here? There are just so many decorations deciding which ones to choose will be very difficult!

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And Christmas wouldn’t be complete without a cake stand upon which you can place all those lovely treats we are going to eat over the festive season, you can order vintage cake stands from my Etsy shop here or by contacting me directly for a one off vintage cake stand.

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Love Turkey, Hate Waste

Ok so I’m a little early deciding to post a few recipes to use your left over turkey but I have to admit to loving Christmas, although it might just be getting the chance to see all those twinkling lights shimmer in the darkness on those wintery dark days.  In any case I thought it was time to share some of my recipes which I use when I don’t want to eat any more turkey or ham.

 

Turkey & Vegetable Soup

You will need:  200g of cooked leftover turkey, 200g of left over potatoes (chop them up in cubes), 400g of veg that you have left over so could be carrots, parsnips, peas etc, 2 stock cubes and some salt and pepper to taste.

What to do:  Boil the veg if it isn’t cooked with the stock cubes, when done put in turkey and potatoes to heat an d simmer for about 10 mins.  Season with salt and pepper and serve with warm crusty bread.  Delish!

 

Creamy Turkey & Ham pasta

You will need:  sliced mushrooms, leftover turkey and ham diced, chestnuts, teaspoon of paprika, sour cream to taste

 

What to do:  heat a little oil in a frying pan to cook the mushrooms and add the paprika, once cooked add the rest of the ingredients and cook.  Towards end of cooking add the soured cream and simmer just a little bit. Serve with pasta if you like or again warm crusty bread!

 

Christmas Pizza

I  have to say that there are times when only pizza will do and Christmas time is no exception!

What you will need: shop bought pizza base, tomato sauce, leftover cooked turkey, leftover stuffing, leftover sausages, grated mozzarella and a drop of olive oil.

What to do:  heat oven, top pizza base with pasta sauce, scatter over ingredients, top with mozzarella, drizzle a little oil on top and cook until crisp and cheese has melted.

This recipe is so, so quick!

 

Turkey curry

What you will need:  1 large onion, 1 green pepper deseeded and sliced, curry paste, 2 garlic cloves crushed, 400g can chopped tomatoes, 300g of leftover turkey, 300g leftover cooked potatoes, 2 tablespoons of mango chutney, rice or naan bread to serve.

What to do: heat a little oil in a pan, cook onion and pepper until they soften, stir in curry paste and garlic and cook for a further few minutes, add chopped tomatoes and a little water (approx.. 100ml).  Bring to boil and leave for about 4 mins.  Turn heat down after this time and stir in turkey and potatoes and cook for a further 2 or 3 minutes until they have heated up.  Serve with rice or naan break and chutney on the side!

 

 

I found a fantastic easy recipe book which I would encourage you to buy either for yourself or a treat for someone else, it has many great recipes!  A must have when you run out of ideas for dinner, why not have a look inside the book now just to see?  Just click on the picture.

 

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Let me know what other recipes you have for using leftover turkey.

 

Enjoy.

 

Elf x

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Hell in Hyperemesis Gravidarum Part 2

This is a guest post by the lovely Laura from Beauty by the Green Blog.

 

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Above: a snippet of info and advice from the Pregnancy Sickness Support website. More details at end of post.

There is no other way to describe it except as Hell. It is no exaggeration. To be made to feel you are exaggerating is an insult, but hey.. One cannot understand it unless one has been through it. There are women who mentally cannot cope any longer and this has sadly resulted in pregnancies being terminated because there is just not enough support. And that is tragic to know. It is really hard work. It is just like being a prisoner in your own body. To sleep is your only respite. (But then you don’t experience that respite!)  Your loved one is there for you, witnessing it first hand, being your rock. Wishing you could eat a decent meal with him or go out for the day or just cuddle up in bed.  But not even he knows just how poorly you feel. To truly look as grey as you feel. No energy to dress, let alone shower or care for your personal hygiene. Teeth wouldn’t get brushed from one day to the next. (Which makes me cringe). To barely be able to stand up straight. Breathing makes you want to vomit. Any small movement is sickening. There is no food to throw up so you wretch and wretch so much that your insides ache. Barely bringing up bile. Salivating so much you need tissues and cups to constantly spit into for the day. Sobbing yourself to sleep wishing this awful nausea would just pass. Just living from sofa to bed, sofa to bed. Trying to nibble on a single dry cracker for the entire day. No enjoyment of your amazing pregnancy and life. Sense of smell? Better than a dog. Much better. The smell of… Let’s see, EVERYTHING made me want to hurl. Clothes I now cannot wear again because I wore them at the time so they make me feel sick to look at them now. Perfumes tossed in the bin. I’ll never wear those nice ones I used to love ever again. Goodbye Lancôme Tresor .. You were once lovely! Feeling like a fraud because ‘it cant be that bad- its normal’ and ‘don’t treat it like an illness’. (It actually is though). I can’t even walk into my local supermarket anymore without holding my breath because of the memory of that ‘smell’. I could go on and on as you may have realised. Apologies! And finally. The cherry on the top. Being asked repeatedly by kind, well-meaning friends and relatives if you have tried ginger sodding biscuits.

Ginger biscuits …ginger ale….ginger everything…dry crackers….small sips of water…Twiglets.. (urgh)…Honesty, nothing works. And if you haven’t guessed it, yes I do wish more people realised that this awful condition exists. Hypereme-what? People will say. In the early days, my hair made me feel so ill (don’t know why) that I asked for my hairdresser to chop it all off. One day whilst at that salon, before the HG got to its peak and I shuffled along to the place, somebody in there said in jest, ‘it’s not a disability’ and laughed at me. Good grief and as if I would want this god-awful feeling to engulf me the way it did?!  As if I would revel in it?  Milk morning sickness for all its worth ? All I wanted was to enjoy my pregnancy, the best thing in the world. And to bloom and feel and look amazing. With great skin and lovely locks. Nope. Doesn’t exist! Not for us anyway!

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So I really feel for those women currently suffering. I know how hard it is. I know you feel that nobody understands, and indeed, a lot of people don’t,  but some of us out there really do. I promise. If you are suffering right now and are reading this, take comfort in that it won’t last forever. It seems like it will. In fact, nothing anybody tells you right now will make you feel better. Not even me. But know that you are so much stronger in body and in mind for getting through this, on top of pregnancy in itself anyway. It will be a mental victory in itself. You have this to overcome. And you shall. The body and mind is such a wonderful, amazing thing. More amazing than you can ever imagine. Stay strong. And for those who have been lucky to escape without experiencing this horrid, horrid nastiness, I hope this sheds some light on how poorly people can feel in this condition and that it is not over-exaggeration or dramatics, but that it is real and your support will go a long way. Help spread the awareness of HG- something that is so poorly publicised.

For more support, I am always here to return any messages on the issue, would welcome any comments and also would like to direct you to Pregnancy Sickness Support forum:

www.pregnancysicknesssupport.org.uk

This website was absolutely  instrumental in me finding some hope and solace in those really bad weeks.

BBTG -X-

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Stunning One of A Kind Vintage Jewellery Pieces

I wanted to share with you my favourite vintage brooches and my dazzling one of a kind creation necklaces made from upcycling vintage brooches and vintage beads.

 

If you want something that you can be sure no one else has, then visit my etsy store where you will find a wonderful selection of vintage pieces just for you.

What makes vintage so unique for me is that it means quality, it means it was made with care and attention that mass produced cannot match.

For me it means history. Whatever the item it has been pre loved it has been pre cherished. It is a key to the past with every item having its own history and every vintage item particular the older pieces have a beautiful romanticism about them, quite often we won’t know the history of each item, but it is easy to be swept away to past times .

For me it means individualism. Most items are one offs or limited finds. There are so many different styles and beautiful flourishes to vintage items that our modern mass produced items just cannot come close.

I do hope you find something you like in my store and you will continue to love and cherish the item as someone else did before you.

 

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This necklace was made with a selection of vintage leaf brooches and secured on to a vintage chain.  You can purchase this item here in my etsy store.

 

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This stunning one of a kind necklace has been made from a broken vintage earring and attached to a vintage chain.  You can buy this item here.

 

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This handmade earrings are made from beads that came from a broken vintage crystal necklace!  I think they look beautiful – very sparkly too.  You can purchase them here.

 

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This stunning necklace again is made from a vintage chain and a vintage brooch.  I love repurposing broken vintage items in to wearable jewellery again!  You can buy it here.

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I just love this one of a kind vintage necklace.  It is made from quite a heavy chain with a repurposed brooch in the centre to make the piece dazzle!  You can purchase it here.

I hope you love these pieces as much as I do.  Please visit my etsy store for more one of a kind pieces or other vintage jewellery from the 1950s to the 1980s.

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Hell in Hyperemesis Gravidarum Part 1

This is a guest post by the lovely Laura from Beauty by the Green Blog.

 

It has been some time since I wrote a new blog post, and for this one I decided to share a little of my fairly recent experience as a Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) sufferer. Why? Because I truly believe not enough people completely understand this awful condition and to be quite honest, that in itself can be really quite damaging to the sufferer. To feel so alone and isolated in your own body as the world passes you by is not something you desire or need on top of your pregnancy. Even now, I feel very misunderstood by others. Nobody actually  ‘gets’ it. This is why more awareness is needed!

HG occurs in around 1% of pregnancies. So the chances of suffering with it are really very low! I never even knew it existed, except for the media coverage of Kate Middleton suffering with it. But I didn’t think much of that at the time. The fact that my nausea then increased in strength quite rapidly, became 24-7, and the fact that I started to vomit over 10-15 times a day made me realise that things weren’t totally normal on the sickness front. I had no energy anyway, which is normal in early pregnancy as your body works super hard growing your teeny bean of a little one and to create the placenta- which is a whole new organ for your body to produce! Amazing and tiring work and the hormones are all over the place. But when I say no energy, I mean literally NO energy. To hardly be able to even move because you feel THAT nauseated. It lasted for weeks, and I had a month out of work. I was in and out of the doctors surgery, sick as a dog, excruciating headaches from the dehydration and being put on different medications to try and combat the nausea and vomiting. But honestly, none of the tablets I tried in desperate hope particularly worked for me and I must have tried about 4 or 5 different meds. The meds were anti-emetics that are the type used in chemotherapy patients to combat the nausea. I hoped that if they are given to such poorly patients, they just might make me feel better too. But alas, no improvement. It is hormone doing their thing and you cant change that!

Luckily,  I managed to narrowly escape hospital admission only due to sipping on tiny amounts of Lucozade day in, day out. For some reason it just about worked! The doctor said to just keep doing whatever I was doing! ( I am now paying for it with my ongoing dental treatment….). But there are some sufferers who will tell you they ended up surviving on a drip, in and out of hospital. This can happen if you get totally de-hydrated. At the time I was unwell, one of the doctors was especially very good as she was experienced with antenatal care and had seen this in women a lot, but in general, this is a condition that is pretty overlooked. Nobody really ‘gets’ it and that’s the worst part. I felt so guilty at the time not even able to cook or clean. No lust for life.  My mother in law would come up to help on some weekends to hoover and do some laundry and bathroom cleaning whilst I ran back and forth to the loo and trying to sleep.  But even now after having my baby and I mention this experience of sickness, everyone dismisses as it as just ‘ahh yes- morning sickness’. And that they had it too, that it’s normal and that eating little and often helped and all this that and the other. Nobody really understands it. It makes me look like I am exaggerating and that’s really frustrating. Even at the time I felt like people were thinking how I was a wimp and treating it as an illness when that’s not me at all.  If you have been a HG sufferer or are suffering with it right now, you will know precisely what I mean.

 

Part Two on helpful hints and tips next week.

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