Friday, 9 December 2016

Mince Pie Recipe

Every Christmas Eve, myself and my mum always bake mince pies for us to all eat whilst watching our favourite Christmas films.
You will need:
A 12-hole cupcake tray
Ready made shortcrust pastry
350g Mince Meat
A splash of Milk
Icing Sugar, to dust

As I am always baking lots of things on Christmas Eve, I use ready made pastry to save time. However, feel free to make your own from scratch.
Begin by preheating the oven to 200℃/400℉/Gas mark 6. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of about 4 mm. Then, with a fluted round pastry utter, cut 12 circles that are large enough to fill the holes of in the cupcake tray. After firmly pressing the pastry into each hole, fill each one with a heaped teaspoon of mince meat. Using a smaller round cutter, cut out 12 lids for each pie. Secure the lids to the pies by brushing milk on the inside of each lid. Then, place in the oven to bake for 20 minutes, until they are golden brown. Once baked, transfer your pies to a wire rack and let them cool, then dust with icing sugar and enjoy!
I love how rustic and homemade these mince pies look and they definitely taste best with a glass of milk whilst watching Xmas films.

Thank you for reading and I hope you are enjoying my Beyond Christmas series!

Thursday, 8 December 2016

The Christmas Tree

Our Christmas tree is actually fake, my parents have had it over 20 years and is perfect! Although a real tree might be more festive because of the scent, I like having a fake tree as it isn't messy and it never dies. 
We decorate our tree with ornaments we have collected over the years, mostly from Disney Land. It has quite a classic feel and each ornament is special and has a meaning to our family.

We collected these three when we visited Disney Land Florida this summer, the first lights up and changes colour which I love. The second is a round ornament that opens up and has tinkerbell inside, this is my favourite and lastly this is the Oogie Boogie Man from The Nightmare Before Christmas!

I hope that you are enjoying my Beyond Christmas series and thank you for reading. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

My Favourite Christmas Films

During the festive period, cuddling up with a blanket and hot chocolate whilst watching a Christmas film sounds like heaven. So I thought I would let you all know what my all time favourite festive films are.

The Santa Clause 

A firm family favourite! For as long as I remember, this film plays on repeat in the Brocklehurst household during the holidays. 
Santa falls off Scott Calvin's roof on Christmas Eve and Scott's son, Charlie, persuades him to try on Santa's suit, not realising that he now has to accept all of Santa Claus's duties! Staring the hilarious Tim Allen, this film is packed with jokes for both children and adults, making it perfect for the whole family.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Tim Burton is known for his creepy yet incredible films, but The Nightmare Before Christmas is definitely my favourite. In "Halloween Town", Jack Skellington, the pumpkin king, decides to spread the joy of Christmas across the globe. But, his good intentions place Santa Claus in peril, creating a nightmare for well-behaved children everywhere! With fantastic music and jokes, this film is great fun and perfect for the autumn and winter months.

Home Alone 2

Out of the Home Alone franchise, the second is definitely the best in my opinion! Kevin McCallister, a mischievous and ingenious eight year old, somehow arrives in New York City alone whilst traveling to Florida on a family holiday. With bounds of money and credit cards, Kevin turns NYC into his very own playing field. Until, the notorious 'Wet Bandits' arrive in the Big Apple, conspiring a massive festive break-in. But as always, Kevin greets them with countless awesome booby traps no one could forget. As a family, we watch this every Christmas Eve in matching pjs!

How The Grinch Stole Christmas

This has to be the most hilarious Christmas film that I have ever watched, it is funny for all ages so all the family can enjoy it! It is an live adaptation of Dr. Seuss' well known tale where the heartless Grinch decides to wreck the spirited people of Whoville's Christmas. By leaving his cave to steal anything Christmas-related from the town, accompanied by his dog, Max. However, Cindy Lou Who, an adorable little girl, creates a glitch in the miserable creature's plan. I have to admit that I know this film word by word and often find myself quoting it!

Mrs. Miracle

I came across this brilliant film a few years ago on the Christmas film channel on TV. Originally a book by Debbie Macomber, a widowed dad, Seth Webster, is in desperate need of a miracle to help him keep his family together and to control his two rebellious twin boys. When a sassy, patient and wise nanny, Mrs Miracle, arrives she manages to calm the chaos and eventually give Seth the courage to find love again. Staring the legend, Doris Roberts, this film is truly a heart warming classic that I watch a number of times throughout the festive period.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

The Ultimate Christmas Playlist

Every year I seem to begin listening to Christmas music earlier than the previous year so I created a playlist of my all time favourite festive songs including the classics, my childhood favourites and more modern hits. Enjoy!

Jingle Bells by Frank Sinatra
Mistletoe and Holly by Frank Sinatra
The Christmas Waltz by Frank Sinatra
The First Noel by Frank Sinatra
It's Beginning to Look Like Christmas by Johnny Mathis
Mistletoe by Justin Bieber
Christmas Love by Justin Bieber
Fa La La (A Cappella) by Justin Bieber Feat. Boyz II Men
Home This Christmas by Justin Bieber Feat. The Band Perry
Drummer Boy by Justin Bieber Feat. Busta Rhymes
Jingle Bells by Michael Bublé Feat. The Puppini Sisters
White Christmas by Michael Bublé Feat. Shania Twain
All I Want For Christmas Is You by Michael Bublé
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas by Michael Bublé
Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) by Michael Bublé
Blue Christmas by Michael Bublé
Cold December Night by Michael Bublé
Mis Deseos/Feliz Navidad by Michael Bublé
Silver Bells by Michael Bublé Feat. Naturally 7
Holly Jolly Christmas by Michael Bublé
Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow by Michael Bublé
Grown-Up Christmas List by Michael Bublé
I'll Be Home For Christmas by Michael Bublé
All I Want For Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey
It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year by Andy Williams
Sleigh Ride by Air Supply
Santa Baby by Eartha Kitt & Henri René
Jingle Bell Rock by Bobby Helms
Last Christmas by Wham!
Merry Xmas Everybody by Slade
I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday by Wizzard
Do They Know It's Christmas? by Band Aid
Step Into Christmas by Elton John
Merry Christmas Everyone by Shakin' Stevens
Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree by Brenda Lee
All Alone On Christmas Darlene Love
Fairy Tale of New York by The Pogues
This Christmas by Donny Hathaway

Monday, 5 December 2016

Gingerbread Recipe

 These gingerbread biscuits taste amazing and are perfect for the festive season.

You will need:
For the Biscuits - 
300g Plain Flour, extra for rolling out the dough
1 teaspoon of Bicarbonate of Soda
2 1/2 teaspoons of Ground Ginger
1/2 teaspoon of Ground Cinnamon
125g Unsalted Butter
100g Soft Light Brown Sugar
3 tablespoons of Golden Syrup
For the Royal Icing - 
225g Icing Sugar
1 Egg White
Cold Water

Firstly, preheat the oven to 180℃/ Gas mark 4, and line 2 baking sheets with grease proof paper. Then in a large bowl, combine the flour, bicarbonate of soda and spices. Melt the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a pan on a low hear, stiring until all the sugar dissolves. Combine the dry and melted ingredients together until a stiff dough is formed. Lightly flour a clean surface and roll out the dough to a 5mm thickness. With a cookie cutter of your choice, I used stars from Lakeland, cut your dough into shapes and place on the prepared baking sheets. Bake the biscuits for 12 minutes, or until lightly golden. Leave them to cool completely on a wire rack. 
For the icing, whisk together the icing sugar and egg white, adding cold water gradually until you reach your desired consistency. Once all the biscuits are cooled, decorate them however you like with the icing, you can also use sprinkles if you wish but I just wanted to keep mine simple.
I hope you're enjoying my Beyond Christmas series. Please comment below and suggestions for posts and tag me with a picture of your gingerbread biscuits!

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Favourite Winter Nail Polishes

Here I have gathered together my favourite nail polishes for the festive season, including a range of colours and glitters.
Starting from the left, this is Ciaté's silver nail polish in 'Fit for a Queen' is gorgeous. I usually wear this on my ring fingers and thumbs with a white polish on the other nails. It goes with many outfits and looks so Christmassy!
Next is my ultimate favourite sparkley nail polish, 'Tassel Shaker' by Essie. If you are like me and you are obsessed with copper than you'll be obsessed with this nail polish too. It is a blend of copper and gold flecks which look so gorgeous, especially with a dark burgundy polish! 
'Festival' from Nailsinc, is my all time favourite nude polish. It has a brown mauve undertone which makes it a darker nude perfect for the winter period, it looks so classy and chic and it also goes well with any outfit.
Red polishes are a must for Christmas and my favourite is Essie's 'Thigh High'. It has a purple undertone and a shimmer which shines gorgeously in the light.
If you prefer more darker coloured nail polishes then this one is perfect to add a bit more glam to your nails. Rimmel London's 'Diamond Dust' is a gunmetal shade with holographic glitter and is so perfect for the party season!
Essie's 'Ready to Boa' polish is a deep shimmery bronze. In the light, it shows different shades of bronze, making it look so gorgeous and glam.
In the middle is Ciaté's 'Snow Globe', it is perfect for Christmas as the white holographic flecks remind me of snow! Personally, I think this looks best over a white polish.
Lastly, I love 'Amethyst Glitter' from Barry M. It's so gorgeous and has multi-coloured glitter which is perfect for parties and looks amazing in the light!

Thank you for reading and I hope you liked this post and are enjoying my Beyond Christmas series so far! Comment below your favourite nail polishes for winter.