NEW YEAR – NEW BLOG

Good evening beautiful souls,

First of all I want to wish you all a very Happy New Year!!! I hope 2018 will be filled with much excitement, laughter and the reaching of your goals!

The beginning of a new year always fills me with so much inspiration and motivation and so I thought this would be the perfect time to make some changes and update my blog. I have spent the past few days working on alterations and planning ahead. I felt it appropriate for my first blog post of the new year to be an introduction to my new blog and the changes I have made.

Here’s what’s new:

  • I decided to invest in my own domain name http://www.simplycarinaxo.com
  • I spruced up my blog with a new design and layout
  • I have added a SHOP page, which features some of my current favourites and staple goods from household items or entertainment to beauty and health
  • I will be trying my very best to post more regularly, 3 times a week – Wednesday, Friday and Sunday evenings

I am looking forward to continuing my blog and making improvements. I hope you like the changes and as always I’d be glad for any feedback.

Love Carina xo

 

WINTER WONDERLAND

Good evening beautiful souls,

When I woke this morning a blueish light was shining through my blinds, the sort of light that suggests the skies are white with snow, so when I took a peak outside I was sorely disappointed to discover no snowy pavements. However as I was making breakfast about an hour later the skies began to cloud over and small flakes started to fall. By the time I was getting ready to leave for work they had tripled in size and the ground was covered in a thick white blanket. I decided to take my camera and walk to work so that I could enjoy this winter wonderland, even if only for half an hour or so, as it would probably be gone by tomorrow morning again! I can’t deny I was beyond excited as I put on my wellies. Strolling through the snow I was in my element, nothing could change my mood, not even slipping and getting my bottom soaked haha. Anyway I just wanted to share some of the photos I took. I hope you enjoy!

 

Anybody else love the snow??

Love Carina xo

CHRISTMAS !!!

Good evening beautiful souls,

I’ve had a lovely couple of days off celebrating Christmas with friends and family. Being both German and Irish my Christmas traditions are a mixed bag and I love it. Here’s what I got up to.

I have always celebrated Christmas on Christmas eve – that’s the German tradition and I love it! This is the first year I have my  own place and am not just home from uni for the holidays, so it was the first year I didn’t have a family breakfast on Christmas eve with my parents and sister. Instead I made a yummy brunch for Jessica and myself and we had a relaxing morning watching Santa Claus, drinking coffee and enjoying a cheeky sausage on avocado & egg toast.

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After a lazy morning I packed all my things up to take to my parents later that day and got ready. I enjoyed the routine of glaming up and putting a full face of makeup on whilst listening to Christmas songs and feeling more festive with every song I sang along to. I decided to pair my LBD with a wine coloured polo neck as my parents house tends to be on the cold side compared to mine and then went for dangly earrings as a statement piece and dark lips to match the polo.

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Just after 2pm my mum and sister picked me up and we went into Durham to go to the 3pm 9 lessons and carols service at the Cathedral. We didn’t stay for the full thing however as sadly being right at the back we could hardly hear and had to stand; however we did enjoy belting out some descants to our favourite carols before we left. As we’d left a bit earlier we decided to grab a coffee before heading home to give my dad a bit more time to rest because he wasn’t feeling great. We popped into Flat White in Durham and treated ourselves to some nice peanut butter bar thing too.

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Finally it was time to head home and for me to see our Christmas tree for the first time!! I love our Christmas tree; we always get a real one and the pine just smells wonderful. After adding my presents to the pile under the tree I finished painting my nails (as I’d totally mis-planned my time getting ready earlier) and then we all sat down together for our Christmas Eve dinner. It was time for another first this year as we changed up our family traditional meal for some salmon with rice and salad. It was very tasty but I have to say I missed our usual Christmas eve meal.

 

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After dinner we read the Christmas Story and sang some carols together in both English and German before sitting around the tree to open all our presents. We always take it in turns to open gifts so everyone sees what the other received and also so the process of opening gifts lasts as long as possible. About half way through we usually pause to make some tea and enjoy some Lebkuchen and Stollen some of our favourite German Christmas goodies. I’ll do a what I got for Christmas post soon, but for now I’ll just share my best present with you. I got a cello on loan!!! I haven’t played the cello in about 6 years as I’ve never owned my own instrument so when I stopped lessons after 9 years I had to return the cello to the music school. I’ve been itching to have another go at the cello for years now and so to finally be able to do this was the best present I could ask for – and it was a complete surprise! What made me even happier was that I remembered a lot more than I thought I had!

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Eventually we were all tire and crept to bed, but not before filling each others stockings. You see with also being British we still get stockings and Santa on Christmas Day, even though Christmas eve is our main celebration. The last few years we started a new tradition where everyone in the family was responsible for one persons stocking, this year I had my mum. So the next morning I got everyone out of bed at around 9am – no more 6am wakeup calls like when I was younger, although I ma still always the first one up who gathers everyone together so that we can open our stockings together. Once opened we made breakfast and enjoyed a lazy morning. In the afternoon we went to pick up Jessica who was joining us for Christmas dinner and some games. It was a lovely afternoon which we ended with snuggling up to watch the Call The Midwives Christmas special before my sister drove Jessica and myself home.

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On Boxing Day it was our turn to host and we invited my family over and my good friend Anna from work for a yummy spread, cocktails and games evening. We got stuck into Cluedo and Settlers which were both great fun!

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So all in all it’s been a lovely couple of days relaxing and enjoying each others company with good food, drinks and lot’s of laughter. Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas too!

Love Carina xo

GINGERBREAD BISCUITS

Good evening beautiful souls,

A couple of days ago Jessica and I decided to bake some gingerbread biscuits and apart from placing them too near one another on the baking tray they turned out fab. They were super easy to make and I thought you might like to have a go too, so here is the recipe!

Ingredients

350g plain flour – 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda – 2 tsp ground ginger – 2 tsp of ground cinnamon – 115g butter – 175g of dark muscovado sugar – 4tbsp golden syrup – 1 egg

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 190 C / Gas mark — Lightly grease or line two baking trays.
  2. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and ginger into a bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs; stir in sugar.
  3. Beat syrup into egg then stir into flour mixture.
  4. Knead the dough until smooth. Roll out to 1/2 cm thick on a lightly floured surface; stamp or cut out desired gingerbread men shapes.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven until golden and puffed, about 10-12 minutes. Let them sit on the tray for a few minutes before moving to a wire rack.
  6. Cool completely before decorating with icing.

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Love Carina xo