Thursday, December 18, 2014

Home-made Gingerbread Latte Syrup

After a busy morning of Christmas shopping with the little one, we took a coffee/babychino break at Costa. This is when I had my first Gingerbread Latte. I got thinking that it would be fun to make for the family on Christmas morning, so I looked up a recipe online. I found one onn
 I really liked that it could be made from ingredients I already had at home, and took only about 30 minutes to make - but the syrup will last to up to 2 months in the fridge,

The recipe I used was as follows

2 cups of water
1.5 cups sugar
2 teaspoons of ginger
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
2-3 teaspoons of vanilla sugar.

Combine all ingredients and stir continually or whisk until it boils, then on a lower heat, allow to simmer while stirring until it thickens.

Allow it to cool down and put in fridge in an air-tight container.

You need to add 1-2 teaspoons of the syrup to warm milk, add your coffee and top off with whipped cream- or not.
I also made the kiddos gingerbread milk, which was really popular!

This is what it looked like when it was finished.

I put some of the syrup in a small bottle stuck a label and made it into a gift.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Candle Making with kids

Ever since, we candles during Puritan's Day in 5th grade, I've wanted to dip candles again. When I came across a  candle making kit, I knew I had to get it. My boys were eager to help.

 A helped me calculate the amounts we needed, while S counted the number of spoons we needed.

 We melted the wax in a pyrex placed in a pan of water
 It was exciting to see the wax pellets desolve, its change of state from solid to liquid.
 We added a bit of tea tree oil to add scent.
 At the beginning we had to straighten out the wicks, to make the candles straight.

A used a toothpick to etch an elf out of the candle

S pressed small glass beads into the warm wax
There some wax left, but not enough to dip candles so we used the mould and added colouring to make some moulded candles.

Our candle collection:
I've asked for more supplies for Christmas!

Christmas jar labels

I made marmalade and candied orange peel for teachers and friends this year... again. I wanted to change things up a bit, but rather then trying a new recipe, I decided to make different labels. I found Annabelle Nielsen's blog with some great label ideas for preserves ( and saw these


I thought the top right one would be perfect for my purposes

 I used the same sort of simple paper as I usually do, and a template to make creating a larger number of labels faster.
  I drew a border and wrote the words with a fine felt tip pen. I also added a bit of holy.
 Then I colored the label with Sharpies.
After cutting out the labels I glued them on to the jars.
I cut out round shapes from a gingham fabric (old school uniform) and covered the top of the jars.
The labels kind of remind me of Alice Tait's book cover designs. 

Advent Wreath

This is the wreath I made this year, using pine branches and a box of Christmas potpouri from Sainsbury's.