Holidays are Coming

Isn’t Coke clever? That’s pretty much all I need as a blog title and you all know what I’m talking about.
No, it’s not the summer…well it is here as well, but that’s off topic…it’s Christmas!

Are you excited? Or are you terrified?
Personally I cannot wait to have a warm Christmas again (I freaking love the Southern Hemisphere). It’s just not Christmas if I’m curled around a fire and freezing my ass off.  But it is Christmas with a BBQ going and the sun beating down on the deck. That’s right, I’m a Southern girl through and through.

There are some amazing things about Christmas.
Like the free reign to eat anything and everything you fancy. Getting up late to spend the day with your family without worrying about having to go grocery shopping.
And then there are some not so good things.
Having to pay for all that food. And spending a fortune on presents before you’ve even got to your immediate family.
It’s tough and these are tough times so it’s like double tough…yeah I’m watching Clueless as the moment. Poor Britanny Murphy.

So to combat the awful things at Christmas time, I’m bringing you a list of beautifully homemade things that you can wrap nicely and gift to those that you love and to those that you see every now and then. Either way, they’ll love them.
These are all easy to do presents so don’t panic!

1.  Perfect Fudge:
This is a fool proof recipe and it fits really nicely in a cleaned out jam jar or in a pretty box. Alternatively, you can smash it up and pop the pieces in a jar so people can add them to ice cream, warm drinks or roll sweet treats in them.

2. Play Some Footsie:
This foot soap is perfect for the drier weather in the Northern Hemisphere and amazing for the summer too! Hot beach days followed by this in the shower or bath is just a pamper session waiting to happen.

3.  Chai Up:
This concentrate makes me weak at the knees. I absolutely love it. I cannot get enough of this stuff. You can add to hot milk or a combo of hot water and cool milk. Either way, it’s amazing. It does have a lot of sugar in it, but the mixture of spices enhances the metabolism.

4. Homemade Facial:
Using some sugar and some other crafty ingredients can produce the best results. This face scrub is lovely and you can give each jar a personal scent for the person you’re gifting to. It’s a little more personal, and a lot cheaper!, than a trip to Lush or the Body Shop. I strongly suggest this.

Have you got your Christmas playlist going yet?
No?! Well I have.
I don’t like any of that traditional Christmas music, so I pick recent music to bop along to while I wrap and bake and decorate.  These are some of my favourites at the moment.

Fashion Focus: Selena Gomez

Whether she’s dating Justin Bieber or breaking his heart, that’s fine by me, as long as she keeps dressing like a superstar!
There is nothing this girl can wear that I’ll hate. Her red carpet looks are fantastic, but what I want to talk about is her everyday style.
Selena has something about her that makes her the casual girl next door American. She has this way of wearing a T-shirt, jeans and a scarf and looking glamorous.
Maybe it’s that hair? Maybe it’s her complexion? Who knows, I just know she’s stunning.

There are some celebrities that can look really down to Earth even though you know they’re wearing like $400 jeans.
They’re the kind of people you could hang with. You feel like you could call them up and be like, Wanna go for a coffee?
Yeah Selena looks like that kind of person. Although nowadays it’ll probably be a power smoothie or something equally as healthy and probably more unappealing.

Anyway, here are some of Selena’s outfits that I particularly like…while I contemplate what I would order if we went for coffee together.

So that’s my girl crush at the moment…there are quite a few.
One is allowed to be a little slutty with their girl crushes…it’s totally ok…it’s totally ok…

Fashion Focus: Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift is one of my faves.
Seriously, girlfriend has it going on and if she needs a new bestie, then I’m gonna send my CV in for that opening…or an assistant, that’s cool too.

Her new album Red, is currently on repeat on my iPod and I have to say that I like it. I particularly like the duets she’s done. Although I think Ed Sheeran could have featured a bit more on Everything Has Changed (he’s also a fave of mine), I absolutely love her pairing with Gary Lightbody from Snow Patrol.
The man is a genius. That voice? Like liquid chocolate.

But enough about the music…yes I just said that, deal with it. There are more important things to discuss at this particular time.
Like the woman’s fashion.
She went from a country singer to a massive pop and fashion sensation. I have to say that I really love her fashion. She’s what I imagine TopShop would be if the design department were to be taken over by a group of hippies. With her curly blonde hair, her red lips and her slim figure, she’s what most girls would kill to be. Taylor is the same age as me, but I think she is in many ways more developed when it comes to her fashion sense.
How did I put it? Oh yeah, girlfriend has it going on.
That’s incorporates everything about her really.

I also like how she can dress up in a beautiful evening gown and not look uncomfortable. There are a few female celebrities that just look out of place in an evening gown.
For instance, Christina Hendricks looks to me like a fish out of water in an evening gown. While her Mad Men outfits suit her, whenever she wears a gown, her stylists feel the need to give her an extra shelf. We know the woman has boobs, they’re impressive, but they’re not meant to be on show in every evening gown she wears.
Taylor Swift, however, looks right at home in Dior and TopShop alike. I think it’s a lovely transition and she handles it super well.

Ok, enough of my girl crush now. You may resume your days, probably with a massive Taylor Swift crush.
It’s catching.

Let’s HomeMake…Burger Patties

Here’s the thing: everyone thinks they’re a gourmet burger maker.
Here’s the reality: not everyone is a gourmet burger maker.

But there is salvation!
You CAN be a gourmet burger maker.
Gone are the days when you need to go to the store to get some frozen patties that you pull out as a last attempt at making a semi-home made dinner.

People seem to think that burgers are a huge effort…so not true.
Running that marathon? That’s an effort.
Tackling the pantry cupboard? That’s an effort.
Kicking your 4pm chocolate habit? That’s an effort.
Making homemade burger patties? Easy as pie.

So let’s start off with the basics, m’kay?
Burger patties have some common ingredients no matter who makes them: 1. Mince (Captain Obvious moment there) 2. A binding agent 3. Flavouring and seasoning.

Burger Patty Recipe:

  1. 1kg Course Ground Mince
  2. 1 Egg
  3. 1 tsp Salt
  4. 1/2 tsp Pepper
  5. 2TBsp Ketchup/Tomato Sauce
  6. 2TBsp Chutney
  7. 1 Onion
  8. 1tsp Parsley
  9. 1tsp Chives
  10. 1tsp Cumin
  11. Zest from a Lemon or Lime

  • In a large bowl, add the mince, salt, pepper, onion, parsley, chives and cumin. I like to use a glove and mix the ingredients around. You want the mince to start breaking down into smaller pieces at this stage, but to still look like mince and not mush.
  • Add the ketchup, chutney and zest. Mix them through your mince.
  • Finally, add the egg. It’s our binding ingredient. Mix the egg through until your mixture isn’t slimey anymore (sounds gross right? Don’t panic, eggs can be slimey) and the mince starts to look mushy. This is actually a positive thing, bare with me.
  • You’re going to start forming the patties now. Take a handful of mince (140g is what you’re normally served in a restaurant and it’s a good size burger because it fits nicely in the bun) and form it onto a ball. Don’t squish the patty, but you want to bind it a little more so form a ball, roll it between your palms and make it more solid.
  • Now, there are different ways to squish your burgers, my preferred way is to take a pan, place the patty inbetween some cling film and smash your patty with the pan. Ok, don’t beat it into submission, but it makes it nice and flat to cook.
  • You can either grill your burgers or fry them, it’s up to you, but either way is good. 

Ok, now let’s talk burger toppings.
Personally, I like lettuce, iceberg but pick your favourite, tomato, gherkin and some relish. The chutney in the recipe can be replaced with either salsa or relish if you’d like and you can add some jalapeƱos to the mix or to the topping depending on how much heat you like.
There are also some more adventurous toppings like pineapple pieces, beetroot, avocado or even shredded carrot. The world is your oyster really.

My philosophy when it comes to burgers? Chuck it on!