Thursday, 12 January 2017

December 2016 Vlog

At the start of December I decided to start filming some bits and pieces of our month, given that December is my favourite month, I love Christmas and it was our first Christmas in our own home, I thought it would be really good to have something to look back on. Unfortunately my camera actually lost all footage of us decorating our first Christmas tree which really upset me but luckily nothing else got lost. I absolutely love this video and I'm so glad I decided to make it. I hope you enjoy it too. 


Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Christmas in Liverpool

It's become a tradition of ours to go away just before Christmas. As we work in schools we usually break up a few days before Christmas so we like to go off somewhere to completely relax and get in the Christmas spirit. If you've been around for a while you'll know that we absolutely love Liverpool, in fact we've been every year for the past 6 years! However we've never properly visited at Christmas so when deciding where to go for our 2016 break it made sense to pick Liverpool.
As we've been so many times, we've done pretty much all of the museums before so this time around we spent our few days there completely relaxing. Of course we visited our favourite place, the Cavern on a few occasions then on our full day there we took a walk down the entirety of the docks which is something we've never done before, it was a crisp, sunny morning so it made for the perfect winter's walk.  

I have to say the Christmas decorations in Liverpool were absolutely amazing! They were so beautiful and the show projected onto the building down on the docks was so magical. 
After a busy term at work, a little Christmas getaway was just what we need to get us into the Christmas spirit, it was completely relaxing and fun, just  as we intended it to be.
Even after visiting Liverpool so many times, we just never get bored of the place, but I think I can easily say that visiting at Christmas was my favourite ever time in the city. 

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

RECIPE: No-bake chocolate orange tart

Let me introduce you to one of the easiest ans tastiest recipes known to man. 
Say hello to the chocolate orange tart. No-bake, fuss free and only uses 5 simple ingredients. Oh and did I mention it tastes like heaven?!


























Ingredients
300g digestive biscuits
150g butter
75g icing sugar
300ml double cream
1 whole chocolate orange (any variety, I used milk chocolate)
Optional decoration (I used edible gold glitter but you could use edible stars, cream, more chocolate orange)

Method
  1. Crush the biscuits into fine pieces, this can be done in a food processor or by hand by putting the biscuits in a food bag and crushing them with a rolling pin. I did mine by hand.
  2. Melt the butter and add it to the biscuit. Mix together.
  3. Press the biscuit and butter mix into you baking tin. Press down firmly and build a little up the sides to support the tart when it's out of the tin.
  4. Melt the chocolate orange and set to one side to cool.
  5. Whip together the icing sugar and cream to form soft peaks. This will give the tart a mousse like texture. If you prefer a thicker texture then don't whip the cream.
  6. Fold the slightly cooled chocolate into the cream.
  7. Spread the chocolate cream mix on to the biscuit base and place in the fridge to chill for around 6 hours or overnight.
  8. Decorate with anything of your choice, I used gold glitter as I made this at Christmas so it gave it a festive edge.

This is one of the easiest things I've ever made, my family loved it and if I do say so myself it tasted pretty great! I'm super happy with how this turned out and I'll definitely be whipping one of these up again. 

Friday, 30 December 2016

Reflecting on 2016

If 2015 was the year for splurging on memory making trips and adventure then 2016 was definitely the year for splurging on the big adult choices in life. 2016 was the year we became home owners, bill payers, co-habiters and kitten parents. 2016 was the year we settled, it was also the year we learned some important lessons regarding solicitors, their high bills, why no one likes them! In short the first half of the year was dominated by buying and creating a home for us to continue our lives together in and the second half by moving and settling in. The end of the year also saw me opening justmousethings.com an online store for all things Disney inspired, whilst it's still in the early stages I do have high hopes for my little shop in 2017!

2016 seemed to flash by, maybe because we were so preoccupied with buying a house. We started house hunting in January and by the end of February we'd put an offer in, the next 5 months were dominated by trying to get the house under contract as we encountered a whole list of problems that just seemed to never end. I've never known a year go so fast!

I said in last years post that everything finally felt it was falling into place and this is the year that it all came together. I'm settled and happy but now I have the itch to make a few changes to certain aspects of my life and the itch to go on new adventures. While 2016 was an amazing year for achieving what we've always wanted to do, it did lack the buzz and adventure of 2016 so I'm hoping that 2017 provides us with the opportunity to explore new places.



Visiting Lincoln // Running the Race For Life // First tattoo // Collecting the keys to our first home // Bringing Dobby home // Bringing Buddy home // The opening of Just Mouse Things // Looking the smartest we've ever looked // First Christmas in our new home

Much like last year I've been thinking about some goals I'd like to achieve in 2017. Last year I had 3 goals for the year and I pretty much managed to achieve them all. Of course the big one on there was to have our own home so not only achieve that but actually own our own home is such a massive achievement and one I will always feel proud of. So here is what I would like from the next year:
  1. Tick off everything on our home to-do list - if you read this post then you'll know that I have a long list of things I want to do in the house, it'd be great if I could tick everything off this year. 
  2. Go on holiday - we actually already have a mini break to Amsterdam booked for February but I'd love to squeeze in a warm holiday this year too.
  3. Grow Just Mouse Things - I took a big risk with my little shop and this year I'd like to see that risk grow into something great.
  4. Dedicate a little more time to my blog - 2017 will mark 6 years of writing this blog, this year I've really struggled to find time for my blog and to find a balance between work, housey stuff and blogging. I'd like to have a little bit more of a blogging routine next year and find my passion for writing again. 
  5. Celebrate our 10th anniversary in style - next December will be mine and Josh's 10th anniversary, we've always done a bit of something to celebrate each anniversary but I feel that 10 years deserves something special. So no pressure Josh, but get planning!
Finally I thought I would do a round up of my favourite posts from Calico Skies this year:
I left my heart in... //  The hidden reality of being unemployed // Buying a house: The things you don't know part 1 // Buying a house: The things you don't know part 2 // Under pressure // Thoughts on: My first smear test // On not wanting children // Moving out vlogs: Bloopers // I'm not Pinterest-worthy