Wednesday, 28 December 2011

An Almost Grown-Up Christmas

As a child Christmas is very me, me, me but I am now 23 and, as my mother keeps telling me, this means I don't get the same amount of surprises as the little ones. Now I'm not bothered about amounts, I'm a quality over quantity kind of girl, but sadly Christmas usually means useless presents so this year I took charge and kindly requested a whole host of gifts from her. I was very clear, all I really wanted was some pyjama's, anything else would be a bonus, but I had listed a variety so that I wouldn't know what was coming. I thought this was a cunning plan and somehow, magically, even those who didn't have access to the gift gave me wonderfully thoughtful presents.

Some of my favourite presents, including a beautiful long chained gold bird necklace, a hand knitted headband 
and an Apple Magic Mouse to stop me getting RSI with my incessant trackpad use.

I loved spending time with my friends on our traditional Christmas Eve pub crawl, plus my family and my boyfriend. This is his first year out of university (he did Dentistry which is a 5 year course) and he didn't love his short 4 day break (that's very short when you're used to 2/3 weeks) but we crammed in seeing both of our families and the constant moving around felt very adult. Suddenly we weren't just sat in front of the television eating chocolate, we were in the car moving around and he was entertaining my five year old brother playing Halo on the XBox and competing over the noise of my family all talking at once. Seriously impressive if you take into account the fact my boyfriend is an only child who is not used to having lots of children around and my brother argues with everyone he plays with and even shoots those on his team.

I put a lot more effort into my presents this year, making sure they were thoughtful and putting time into it with my DIY Christmas gifts. Unfortunately I was poorly before Christmas so I had to rush all my baking in the last 2 days and forget to take all I have is the nearly empty box I gave to my dad with it's sad little bow starting to fray. I decorated each sweet box individually with blue, silver and purple ribbons, plus a handwritten contents tag. Each included small pieces of peanut butter fudge, chocolate hazelnut truffles piped with my own fair hands (yes, ok, so my dad thought they looked like dog poo but they really weren't that bad and tasted divine) and a treat bag with 3 or 4 pieces of differently shaped shortbread - stars, circles, "gingerbread" men and women or holly. Everyone seemed to love them, especially the fudge.

The rather lonely shortbread man left in my dads treat box

Astral's Peanut Butter Fudge and White Chocolate Vanilla Bean Truffles & Milk Chocolate Hazelnut Truffles 
(Nobody likes white chocolate in my family but me hence I just opted for the milk chocolate ones!)

Massive thanks go to Astral and her blog The Art of Being Perfect. Despite having a whole host of recipes I wanted to try this Christmas 2 out of the 3 recipes were found on her blog and it would have actually been all three if I hadn't been poorly and could have got the paste food colouring I needed to make the melted snowmen cookies.

Astral's Melted Snowman Cookies

A year ago I couldn't bake anything! I'm still not perfect but I am a LOT better than I used be and it was Astral that inspired me so I highly suggest you give them a go. So long as you don't mind yours looking a little more homemade you'll be fine.


  1. Laura! So lovely to read a blog comment from you, so nice to hear from you. It's also super cool that you purchased a Hero & Cape present, i'm wearing mine now! We recently saw a photo of Danny Jones from McFly wear his hero and cape tshirt on christmas day, it has made our entire year! Wishing you and the boyf a fabulous new year! x

  2. mmmm i'm hungry!!!

    i absolutely love this post, so xmas spirit!!


  3. Such a lovely post! I know what you mean about Christmas and getting older though. I turn 22 soon, and keep forgetting that I'm no longer a child! I get so excited at Christmas that I forget to behave like an adult. It looks like you got some lovely gifts though. Your baking looks so yummy too...I'm hoping to bake lots this year...hopefully it will look as good as yours!

    Sophie x x

  4. The Sookie Stackhouse series is SO addictive! Enjoy reading them! xo

  5. ah the diy gifts look lovely and so thoughtful!
    Hope you have a great new year


  6. I tried to make shortbread for presents this year but they failed. They tasted alrite, but for some reason the shapes just turned into blobs! Yours look fab though xxx

  7. Love the snowman cookies! I wish I had managed to make time for more baking before Christmas, will have to make up for it by baking lots this year! Hope you had a lovely Christmas and all the best for the new year! :) x

  8. Those bakes make me feel hungry! I hope u had a good one - I prefer quality over quantity nowadays!

    Happy new year!

  9. The snowman cookies are so cute! Great post

  10. Looks like you enjoyed your Christmas. :)

    Mine was spent at home quietly with family.

  11. Thank you all :) glad you like the look of the baking.

    @Josie - Shortbread does puff up more than I expected to it's best to go for simple shapes that will still look ok a bit puffier! :)

  12. Wow! Impressed by your handmade presents! I wish I could bake! Next year I'm planning to make more of my gifts!

    (This comment was brought to you by the exclamation mark)

    Also, I realised that I have not had a year in my life that hasn't comprised of a long summer holiday (6 weeks plus) and I'm 23, it must be horrible being a real grown up! I work in a school so get all the perks of being a kid! xx