Haircuts and Brown Paper

Haircuts and Brown Paper

 

 Well, I finally went the chop. Hair today, gone tomorrow…or, rather, on Saturday. I went to a hair dresser recommended by a friend and I’m glad I did. The lady was really nice and did a great job and it was so cheap! Normally I avoid getting my hair cut because it’s just so expensive, but this one, wow, very affordable – so much so, I might even get my hair cut regularly (like you’re supposed to do apparently – who knew?). Anyway, it’s done now and I’m happy with it (thank goodness – no one would want to listen to my whining about it if I wasn’t happy) and I can get on with life. I also dyed it (bye bye grey strands!). Not a fancy, weird colour – just my own natural mousey brown shade.  Just sans grey.  What do you think?  I don’t think it even looks dyed…

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Christmas is looming and I am no closer to being organised.  I am running out of time to see everyone I wanted to see before the 25th and I haven’t completed my gift shopping.  Actually, I’m only about a quarter through it, if that.  It gets harder every year.  I don’t like to buy gifts that are junk or just some thing that will get thrown in a cupboard never to see the light of day.  I like gifts to mean something to the recipient and be well thought out and from the heart.  Having said that, if it’s December 24th and I still haven’t got you something, you are probably going to wind up with a gift voucher, a box of chocolates or some socks.  Just warnin’ ya! (Personally, I like getting socks, so it’s not really a lame present in my mind…they’re practical, right?  Everybody needs socks!).  I like to make presents too although I am hardly ever organised enough for that.  I haven’t even got any Christmas cards ready yet.  Pathetic effort.  Epic fail!

My twiggy Christmas tree is up and decorated and has some tiny sparkly lights too.  I have gone for a silver, white and blue theme this year.  Actually, that’s what I do most years ha ha.  I’m not into the traditional red, green and white for Christmas.

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I have wrapped a total of three presents.  Which is quite sad.  I have gone for the usual brown paper wrapping.  This is because
a.) I have a big roll of brown paper to use up
b.) I like brown paper and it goes with everything and doesn’t clash with my decor when under the tree
c.) It always looks so nice in the magazines and decorating books and I am trying to be classy and sophisticated
(ha! that’ll be the day!)

I’m using some little clay tags I made a couple of years ago, to embellish some of the gifts I’ve wrapped.  Just to add an extra element. When it comes to 24th December and I am still wrapping, I will be cursing these “embellishments” and the extra time they require to attach to gifts (all of 2.5 seconds most likely).  Sometimes the clay tags are a bit brittle (my crappy workmanship) and they break just as I am trying to tie them to a gift.  Or I haven’t made the hole in them big enough to accommodate string.  But I think that the little bit of extra effort looks nice and makes it look like I took the time to create something appealing.  The recipient doesn’t need to know it caused minor tantrums and fits of cursing.  And the tantrums weren’t that minor.  

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I have just seen some beautiful Christmas cards I want to try on Dianne Faw’s blog. I have done cards before with a “patchwork” feel to them but I haven’t done any Christmas ones and I think I will try it this year.  I need something fairly quick to do as I am running out of time and creative energy as well.  Thanks Dianne for the post!  It reminded me of an easy technique that has saved me in the past. 

Had two of my library friends over for dinner tonight – my first real “dinner party” (if three people can be considered a party…).  I made mushroom risotto which turned out ok although took a monstrously long time to cook for some reason (which is always the way when you are trying to make something for other people that you’ve made a million times for yourself) and for dessert I made cinnamon-maple ice-cream with gingerbread cookies crushed up in it.  Yum!  So good.  I served us up delicate little bowlfuls but really I think we could have all just eaten the whole tub.  We had a nice evening chatting, talking about books (it’s a cliche that librarians do that…but we did do it tonight!) and laughing about ridiculous things – God, it’s so good to laugh!  I haven’t done that in such a long time.  The kind of laughing when your tea comes out of your nose and you collapse in a heap with exhaustion and can’t even remember what you were laughing about.  THAT kind of laughing.  So good.  

Must go to bed.  It is a hot and sticky night and I foresee lots of tossing and turning and the fan working in overdrive.  I have carb overload from dinner and so I am going to waddle over to the kettle and make myself a nice cup of peppermint tea (that dissolves fat, right? I’m sure I read that somewhere…) and watch some
21 Jump Street re-runs because I am having a weird 80s fetish right now and am re-living my youth.  

Hope you’ve had a good day 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Bowl Gingerbread Cake

One Bowl Gingerbread Cake

I am having lunch with my old boss (LG)  tomorrow.  She gets painting lessons from my Mum and she normally comes to Mum’s place to do them.  However, Mum is currently trying to sell her house and doesn’t really want paint and mess everywhere (so she doesn’t want me there either haha!) and it was time we visited LG’s place anyway.  So, she is providing lunch and I’m bringing afternoon tea.  This is a cake I make often, mostly because it is so easy and doesn’t have lots of steps and it is very yummy.  I would, however, warn you against it if you are diabetic – it has a buttload of sugar in it.  It’s a “sometimes” food.  You will need a reasonably large cake tin as it makes quite a bit of batter.  It freezes well and is nice on its own, iced or warmed up and served with some ice-cream, custard or cream if you like.

Gingerbread Cake 

  • Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 3/4 cup self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup light olive oil
  • 1 cup golden syrup
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup milk

Sift all the dry ingredients into a large bowl.  Add the “wet” ingredients and mix well.  That’s it!  Pretty easy huh?  Pour batter into a cake tin which is lined with baking paper or sprayed with non-stick spray.  Bake at 180 C for about 30-40 minutes.  It is quite a wet mixture so it can sometimes take a bit longer to bake and the top can burn so keep an eye on it and cover the top with foil if need be.  Just watch it and judge if it needs extra time or less time (also depending on whether you use one big tin or two small ones).

Let it cool in the tin and then turn out on a wire rack or serving plate to cool fully.  You can dress it up simply with sifted icing sugar or drizzle some lemon icing over it.  It’s fine just as it is though.  I also like to serve it with some sliced strawberries, but that’s just me 🙂

Anyway, give it a try – it’s delicious and simple and makes your house smell gorgeous for a couple of hours!  Enjoy!