A new year and good intentions {no more chocolate for breakfast}

Happy, happy new year! Although — as we’re exactly two weeks into January — is it appropriate to say happy new year still?! It’s been a slow start for me. I’ve been taking my time and easing myself into 2018 gently. There’s no rush after all. We’ve got 12 (well, 11 and a half) shiny new months months rolling out ahead of us. By now I’ve usually written my resolutions and goals —  and am focussing on the task in hand — but this year I haven’t felt the urgency to get them down on paper just yet. I feel as though I need to have a proper think and take my time. We’ve only *just* started back in the regular routine again. The boys are back at school and I started back to work last week too. The Christmas shimmer and shine has been packed away for another year and normal eating habits have resumed. No more mountains of cheese at suppertime or chocolate for breakfast. Anyone else do that? We seem to have had a veritable cheese mountain in our fridge; that I can’t leave alone for want of trying. And, equally, my breakfast — on more than… Read More

‘Twas The Night Before Christmas
{And why Lapland UK is better with friends}

‘Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house, Every creature was stirring, As they’d all been kept awake by two very excited little twin boys. OK — I know that the old rhyme didn’t go *quite* like that but that is definitely what’s been happening in our home this evening. I’ve always loved Christmas — and have had a childlike fascination for all the myth and legend surrounding it. Everything from the birth of Jesus to Father Christmas. I love it all. But the festive season kind of takes on a different slant when you have children. And since we’ve had the twins, we’ve been lucky enough to enjoy Christmas through their eyes too. For me, the whole of December means a glorious excuse to spend time with friends and family. The lead up to Christmas presents golden opportunities to do fun things. Weekends are (very well) spent, getting into the festive spirit. Fetching the tree is always a highlight; and something that I’ve loved since I was a small child. But since my boy and I have been together, it’s even more of a tradition. I’d go as far as to say that it’s my favourite day of… Read More

Easy No Bake Malteser Cheesecake {You’re Welcome}

What will be on your Christmas pudding menu this year? Sherry trifle? Traditional Christmas pud? I can tell you that both of those will be on ours — along with this little beauty. A super easy no bake Malteser Cheesecake. Nom. I made it a couple of week’s ago for a festive get-together with friends and it’s the perfect, show-stopping finish to a meal. Or just enjoyed on your it’s own. {With a Christmas film on the box and a blanket wrapped around your legs maybe.} Aaah lovely… Sorry — I appear to have drifted off there for a moment — back in the room now. Here’s the recipe. How To Make Easy No Bake Malteser Cheesecake You will need: For the base — 300g chocolate covered biscuits (I used Cadbury Wheaties) 75g butter 1 tablespoon of coconut oil (if you’re not keen on coconut, replace this with another 25g of butter — if you like coconut, you will love this) For the cheesecake topping — 540g Philadelphia (or similar cream cheese). I used one 180g pack of full fat and two 180g packs of Light Philadelphia. If you’re not calorie counting, go the whole hog and use all full fat!… Read More

Home Etc #130

So that’s it folks; the last Home Etc of the year! And what a year it’s been. My friend Jess stepped down from hosting and lovely Lins from the blog Boo and Maddie stepped into her shoes. Our hashtag has been used over 7.6K times on Instagram. And we’ve seen amazing home renovations and brilliant interiors from our lovely community. Talking of which… Home Etc Favourite Last week’s fave came from one of my bloggings besties, Sarah, who blogs over at Extraordinary Chaos. It’s very topical for this time of year too — a gorgeous festive table with a rustic theme. I love all the clever touches she’s created, to finish off the table. The gorgeous home-made crackers particularly. Pop over and have a read if you missed it. Well done Sarah! Your name is in the hat to win the first voucher of 2018 courtesy of our fabulous sponsor  Laura Ashley. And  it seems like a fitting moment to announce the very last winner from 2017! Our Monthly Winner We’ve had so many fab blogs linking up over the last few weeks but I think my fave overall was Medina, who blogs at Grillo Designs with her amazing wallpapered floor. Well done Medina!… Read More

White Shirts, Diamonds and Ironing
{Breville DiamondXpress Review}

The classic white shirt; a perennial favourite; worn by men and women up and down the country. A quintessential, fashion basic that never seems to date or go out of style. Beautifully simple for everyday office-wear. But pair it with diamonds — and a red lip —and voila — you’re channelling Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction. But whilst a crisp, cotton shirt is a lovely thing to wear, this wardrobe staple requires substantial maintenance to keep it looking good. i.e — Ironing*     *This word should be accompanied by the music to Hitchcock’s Psycho Now, anyone who knows me will tell you that ironing is just not my bag. I am rubbish at it. Handy, then, that my husband is an ironing wizard. He and I naturally fell into our household chores fairly early on in our relationship. And — given the fact we’ve been together for 22 years next May — that’s a substantial amount of time to perfect our techniques. I’ve always done the cleaning; he has always been on food and beverage detail. I do like to make cakes and sweet things but I am not wholly keen on cooking savoury food. Lucky for me that Mr D is… Read More

Is it a bird, is it a plane? {GLTC Festival Van / Play Kitchen Review}

The first week of December has given us a bitter wind and the clearest, bluest skies. As you know, I’m not keen on the short dark days but I make an exception for the final month of the year. I love December. From the very first day — to the very last — it’s a month full of excitement and anticipation. The lead up to Christmas is usually a  happy one for me. The rituals of advent; calendar opening, present buying and planning for the big day are things that I relish. I’m definitely a Christmas fairy — rather than a Grinch. Talking of Christmas, if you’re still looking for a present to wow the little people in your life — be it your children or even your grandkids — I wanted to share my number one best present idea with you. I give you — drum-roll please — the Festival Food Van from GLTC. Ta-daaah! A play kitchen with a difference; one to keep little ones amused all year round (certainly not just for Christmas). This clever bit of kit is a master of disguise. Is it a van? Or a play kitchen? Well. It’s both. And — depending on how… Read More

The Best Eggless Pancake Recipe EVER {Featuring Nutella}

When you have a child with an egg allergy, you spend a lot of time googling things like — ‘How to make egg free Royal Icing‘ and  ‘What is the best eggless pancake recipe EVER?’. And so on. It’s all a bit daunting to begin with but eventually you realise that there are some fabulous ‘free-from’ recipes out there, that you can modify to suit your family’s taste buds. My alternative for egg free icing has been such a hit and I’m happy to say that the eggless pancake recipe — that we’ve perfected over the last few years — is now a firm, family favourite too. We make them on pancake day, high days and holidays; for special celebratory breakfasts and on Christmas morning. There’s something very comforting about creating a big stack of fluffy pancakes, in the knowledge that the entire family will dig in and share them. There have been lots of variations on a theme; lemon and sugar (for me particularly — I’m a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to pancake toppings). Honey and banana is one that the twins particularly like and my big (man-shaped) boy prefers his with maple syrup and bacon.… Read More

Home Etc #128

Happy Home Etc day everyone! I wanted to kick of straight away with last week’s favourite post. It’s from Becky who blogs at Pinks Charming. She shared a fantastic tutorial, showing — in glorious Technicolor —  how to make winter wreaths with embroidery hoops and foliage. I won’t show you all of the images (hopefully this little taster will persuade you to go and see the rest for yourself). But suffice to say, for around 15 quid — I think you’ll agree — they’re an absolute bargain! Such a gorgeous idea and the final pieces are so beautiful. Home Etc Favourite Pop over and have a read if you missed it. It’s such a simple thing to make but absolutely gorgeous. Not just for Christmas either! Depending on what foliage and blooms you use, they could work all year round. Well done Becky — your name is in the hat to win this month’s voucher from our fabulous sponsor  Laura Ashley. For anyone who’s like to share blog posts in this week’s linky, have a little read of our house rules. HOME ETC HOUSE-RULES 1) Please include our lovely #HomeEtc badge at the bottom of your post. <div align=”center”><a href=”https://www.thetwinklediaries.co.uk/” title=“HomeEtc”><img src=”https://www.thetwinklediaries.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/HOME_ETC_BADGE.jpg” alt=”Home Etc” style=”border:none;” /></a></div>… Read More