5 Christmas decorating essentials

Hey pixels!! Welcome to our Blogmas post about decoration. Last year we talked about some tips to decorate the house. Today the subject is a bit different. I don’t know if this happens to you, my happy pixels, but every time I go to a shop or a market to buy some Christmas items I feel overwhelmed: there are too many things and beautiful decorations to buy.

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I don’t know what to choose. I love Christmas and decorating items, but I also love minimalism, so I don’t want to have garlands and Santa Claus everywhere. This year I’ve made a list with my decorating essentials, to know exactly what I need to buy from the Christmas market.

Maybe your list is a bit different, or maybe you don’t even need a list. I do need lists for everything. Here it is, just in case it helps you.

5 Christmas decorating essentials

  1. Christmas tree (or a fresh poinsettia if I don’t find a good tree)
  2. A wreath for the front door
  3. Some scented candles
  4. Some lights
  5. A nice ornament to put on the center of the table

That’s all, my happy pixels. A short list, I know.  Do you have your own list? How do you decorate your house?? Minimalist or tons of lights and garlands? Please, let me know in the comments below.

Photo source: Unsplash

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Panettone

Hey pixels!! Welcome to our first sweet Blogmas recipe! This has been my first time making a home made Panettone, but it’s a kind of sweet bread, and now I’m a big fan of making my own bread.

panettone

I love this Italian sweet, but I always buy the version with dark chocolate chips instead of the classic one with raisins. Oh, raisins, I just can’t stand them, I’m sorry but nope.

If you prefer raisins, change the 150g of dark chocolate chips for 100g raisins. I always prefer the chocolate version of everything, but this is a personal preference, I know.

panettone slices

We ate this amazing beauty yesterday, during our Sunday brunch. I should say that I ate the leftovers later, while watching Harry Potter and the deathly hallows part 2. I needed some chocolate while crying (always)….

dark chocolate panettone

Are you enjoying Blogmas? More posts are coming. More food, decoration, music, DIY… Do you have any suggestion? Feel free to leave a comment.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons warm milk
  • 14 g dried yeast
  • 100g sugar
  • 250g butter, at room temperature
  • 5 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • grated zest of 1 orange
  • 500g flour, plus extra for dusting
  • a pinch of salt
  • 150g dark chocolate chips
  • butter for greasing
  • a large panettone pan

Directions:

Grease a Panettone pan with softened butter

Place the warm milk in a bowl and add the yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar, mix well and leave for a few minutes.

Put the remaining sugar in a large bowl and beat together with the butter and vanilla extract, until light and creamy. Add lemon and orange zest and mix.

Add the eggs a little at a time until all are well incorporated.

If the mixture starts to curdle, add a tablespoon of the flour and beat this in with the eggs.

Place the flour in a large bowl and mix with a pinch of salt and make a well. Add the yeast mixture then the butter and egg mixture, folding in with a large spoon to make a soft dough.

Knead for 5′ in the bowl until the mixture starts to come together and is pretty sticky.

Put the dough onto a floured surface and knead for a further 8-10′, until everything has come together and you get a soft, stretchy dough. Add a light sprinkling of flour to the surface and your hands as you go to stop the mixture sticking.

Place in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap; keep in a warm place for about two hours or until doubled in size.

When the dough is risen, tip it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 3-5′. Gradually knead in the dark chocolate chips. Shape the dough into a ball and pop into the prepared Panettone pan.

Cover lightly with plastic wrap and leave to rise for another hour until it has risen to the top of the pan or paper.

Preheat the oven to 180ºC.

Bake for about 40-50′, or until golden and risen. A skewer should come out clean.

Leave to cool in the pan before turning out onto a cooling rack.

 

Do you like panettone, my happy pixels? Chocolate chips or raisins? Are you going to make one? Please, let me know in the comments below.

Sweet Potato Fries

Hey pixels!! This is our first food related Blogmas post!! Here is a yummy snack for a Christmas brunch!! Are you hosting a brunch for Christmas? Or maybe you have to bring some food to one? Why not a few sweet potato fries?

sweet potato fries

We all eat regular french fries, but there are yummy alternatives like this one. Sweet potatos are still a seasonal veggie (autumn), so now it’s the perfect moment to make some fries.

I don’t add salt to this recipe, I think it would spoil the flavour of the sweet potatos. I don’t add any sauce or glaze. A good one if you’re interested would be a honey based glaze. I don’t have any recipe, I am sorry, my happy pixels….

yummy and healthy

Ingredients:

  • 1 or 2 large sweet potatos, peeled and sliced
  • vegetable oil for frying

Directions:

Pour vegetable oil in a large saucepan. Heat it for a couple of minutes.

Add sweet potato slices and fry on low heat until tender inside but a bit crispy outside. It can take about 20′.

while cooking

Don’t fry all your slices at the same time if you have a large amount of them. It’s better to use two saucepan or to fry in two batches. Your sweet potatos won’t be good enough if there are too many slices frying at the same time.

Do you host a brunch for Christmas?  What are you going to offer to your guests??? Please, let us know in the comments below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Christmas Tag

Hey pixels!! I have seen this tag at the blog from my friend Adelle, Adelle Baker.

I read her answers and I loved them. It’s Blogmas time, so I felt it was to have a go at this tags. I completed a couple of tags months before and I had a lot of fun doing that! So here it is…

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE CHRISTMAS FILM?

I don’t know if you would consider it a Christmas or a Halloween film, but for me it’s a Christmas film: Nightmare before Christmas. I love this film!!

IS YOUR CHRISTMAS TREE REAL OR FAKE?

A fake one. Because you can use the same every year without having to destroy a real tree. And because it’s something clean, without pines and mess everywhere. Maybe it’s not that pretty but it’s worth.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE CHRISTMAS SONG?

I don’t have a favourite one. But I’ll post about my playlists soon!!

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WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE CHRISTMAS SCENT?

Something Autumn/Winter related: apple, cinnamon, vanilla…. But the scent of home made food is good enough during family meals. The scent of hot chocolate during the brunch… so yummy!!

DO YOU HAVE ANY CHRISTMAS EVE TRADITIONS?

Every year we meet at my house or at my aunt’s house (this year at my house) to celebrate and have dinner together. We eat, play a traditional board game and we open the presents together. Yes, on Christmas Eve!!

DO YOU OPEN ANY PRESENTS ON CHRISTMAS EVE?

Yes, all of them! I open them with the family during our dinner. We can’t wait, sorry not sorry… I think I couldn’t sleep if I had to wait until the Christmas morning.

WHAT TOPS YOUR CHRISTMAS TREE?

A star, usually. Sometimes a Santa hat. I would like to have a modern and weird topper, as a cute cyclist or something geek, like something related to Star Wars or Harry Potter. But my relatives are more traditional…

WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT CHRISTMAS FOR YOU?

Spending time with family by far is the best thing about Christmas. During this holidays everyone is at home, event people who live abroad or in another city, so it’s when we all are together.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE FESTIVE FOOD OR TREAT?

Sweet stuff, like eggnog, a good cake, cookies, nougat….

WHAT IS ON THE TOP OF YOUR CHRISTMAS WISH LIST THIS YEAR?

If money was no object I would love to get a stationary bicycle, so I could do some exercise even if it’s rainy or windy, or during Summer (too high temperatures). Stay in shape: a good goal for next year.

If you are inspired by this tag feel free to complete the questions too! I would like to read your answers! If you do have a go at the Christmas Tag, let me know and I’ll go have a read!

 

 

 

December 2017 goals

Hey pixels!! Welcome to our first Blogmas post!! Yes, this is a Blogmas post because most of my goals are Christmas related. You know, we’re talking about December, the favourite month for all Christmas lovers (like me).

During the next weeks we’re all going to be so busy cooking, baking, buying, crafting, listening to Christmas music, decorating… This is the most exciting month of the year!! I love how everything looks beautiful and peaceful, the lights, the carols, the smell of the sweets you’re baking, drinking some home made eggnog or a cup of hot chocolate… Yummy!!

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My main goal is to make December even a better month!! What do you think about it, my happy pixels??

December 2017 goals

Design a board game: I know I’ve talked about this goal before. Now the game should be almost finished, but I’ve been writing for a whole month. That meant no time for board games… Now my goal is to have a first prototype to be able to play during the holidays. Wish me luck, my happy pixels!!

Make some DIY presents: Nothing says I love you like a DIY present. A crocheted scarf, a scented candle, some cookies…. Why buy when you can DIY?

Decorate all the house: living room, kitchen, even the bathroom. Why not?? Let the Christmas spirit enter your home. A tree, some lights, a couple of Santa Claus… One of our next posts will talk about decorations!!

Bake some Christmas sweets: cookies, cupcakes, a snow globe cake…. My choices this year are a Panettone and some nougat cupcakes. Soon, my happy friends…

Continue writing: After reaching the 50.000 words goal, my story is not finished yet. My goal now is to write the whole story. It’s going to be a long process…

Visit a Christmas market: I love Christmas street markets, where you can buy some decorations or even hand made presents.

Host the best family gathering: food, decoration, table settings, music, games, even a photocall. I want everything to impress my relatives. This is going to be the best Christmas party ever!!

Write my 2018 resolutions: after a whole year it will start the next one. Life is better when you have some goals or resolutions. I’m not sure about them yet, but I’ll plan some rewards or prizes to give to myself after reaching each goal. What about a brunch, a book or a visit to the spa??? That sounds pretty good.

Do you have any December/Christmas goals, my happy pixels?? What are you doing this month?? Please, let us know in the comments below.

Photo source: Unsplash

Blogmas 2017

Hey pixels!! A little late, but we’re starting Blogmas!! During the next couple of weeks I’ll be writing about Christmas stuff: healthy snacks, decoration, goals, presents, desserts, a couple of DIY ideas….

I’ll be writing with the usual frequency, so we’ll have about 12 Blogmas posts. I’ve made a list with some ideas. Do you want to read it???

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Blogmas 2017 list ideas

Sweet potato fries

Nougat cupcakes

Panettone

Decoration

Tips to buy presents

How to set the table

My Christmas playlist

A couple of DIY projects

And more….

This is a provisional list. Maybe I’ll change something, I’m not sure. If you have any idea or if you’re interested in something that you want to read here, please, let me know!! Your opinion is really important for me.

Are you doing Blogmas, my happy pixels?? Do you have anything special planned?

Thanks for reading.

Sílvia

Photo source: Unsplash

Black & White Photo Challenge

Hey pixels!! I saw this wonderful challenge at the blog The World of Fritters, by my lovely friend Friederike. I love photography, so I thought that this challenge is perfect for me.

“Seven Days. Seven black and white photos of your life. No people. No explanation. Challenge someone new each day.”

I saw the challenge last month, but I was so busy writing that I hadn’t enough time to grab my camera (aka my smartphone) to take some good pictures. Well, I hope that you’ll like them.

The fact that the photos are in black and white is perfect. I love b/w photos but I must say that most of the photos I take aren’t b/w. I’ve been wandering through my town to capture some of the streets and landscapes. I’m not including any selfie or picture of mine, I prefer to show you a bit of where I live.

Black & white challenge photos

b/w challenge, day 1
Day 1: some Autumn clothes
b/w challenge, day 2
Day 2: a street, Tuesday morning
b/w challenge, day 3
Day 3: a book and a cup of cofee are always a good idea
b/w challenge, day 4
Day 4: I love riding my bike
b/w challenge, day 5
Day 5: having a walk near the sea
b/w challenge, day 6
Day 6: watching a bonsai exhibition; I love bonsais
b/w challenge, day 7
Day 7: some nature

I challenge…

Taking the photos has been amazing. I took lots of different photos during the last week and I had fun doing it. So I challenge everyone who is reading this post.

Please, let me know if you’re doing the challenge. I would like to see your photos!! Thanks for reading, lots of love,

Sílvia