December 2015 archive

DIY CHRISTMAS GIFTS

 

The Christmas season can be busy and stressful so it’s a good idea to have some last minute DIY Christmas gift ideas that you can whip together at the last minute.

These two body scrub flavours remind me so much of Christmas and they are totally natural and smell incredible. You will only need a few key ingredients and you can change up the scent or colours depending on your personal preferences.

These scrubs make lovely gifts and are perfect for pampering after the Christmas season. They hydrate and exfoliate tired skin and are the perfect foot treatment for those tootsies that have endured about 10 too many shopping trips in the last couple of weeks.

 

Peppermint Candy Cane Sugar Scrub – (makes 1-1 1/2 small jars)

PEPPERMINT SCRUB

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups of white sugar
  • 1/3 cup of coconut oil
  • a few drops of peppermint oil/essence
  • a few drops of raspberry juice (or red food colouring)

PEPPERMINT scrub INGREDIENTS

METHOD – 10 minutes

  • Combine all the ingredients in a bowl until light, fluffy and combined
  • Halve the mixture into 2 bowls
  • Add a few drops of raspberry essence to one bowl and mix until it’s the desired colour
  • Spoon a layer of white and a layer of pinky/red into the jar until it’s full and resembles a candy cane
  • Decorate

 

Vanilla Bean Sugar Scrub – (makes 1 or 2 small jars)

VANILLA BEAN SCRUB

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups of white sugar
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 cup of coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 2 vanilla pods/beans

VANILLA scrub INGREDIENTS

METHOD – 10 minutes

  • Mix everything together in a bowl until it’s light, fluffy and combined
  • Spoon into an air-tight, glass jar
  • Decorate

Let me know if you try one of these DIY Christmas gifts, I’d love to see your creations! Do you have any favourite DIY Christmas gifts?

Check out my video below for a more detailed version of this recipe and to see exactly how I decorated my body scrubs.

Merry Christmas!

Until next time,

Siobhan x

 

Gingerbread Christmas Cookies

 

Hello lovelies and welcome to my Christmas series!

This season always feels so special and full of joy (and lots of yummy food), so, in the lead up to Christmas I will be posting a range of baking and DIY articles and YouTube videos to help you get into the spirit of Christmas and ready to celebrate the holiday season.

gingerbread christmas cookies

A few years ago I began baking gingerbread Christmas cookies throughout December to give as gifts to work colleagues, family and friends and they were such a big hit that I’ve been making them every year since.

This year I made my gingerbread Christmas cookies in the shapes of candy canes, gingerbread people, baubles and stars and decided on some lovely Christmas tins, cellophane bags and glass jars to package them, as well as some ribbon, twine, tags and tissue paper to make them good enough to gift.

gingerbread packaging

This recipe is really easy, absolutely delicious, not too expensive and doesn’t take all that long to complete, making it the perfect DIY Christmas gift.

INGREDIENTS (makes approx. 100 small cookies)

  • 5 cups of sifted plain flour
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 250g of butter (at room temperature)
  • 1 cup of golden syrup
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 teaspoons of mixed spice
  • 2 tablespoons of ground ginger
  • plain flour, to dust
  • decorations of your choice (I used silver balls, crushed candy cane and icing sugar)

gingerbread ingredients

METHOD (takes approx. 30 mins with extra time to decorate and package)

  • Combine the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until creamy and smooth.
  • Add the egg yolks and golden syrup and mix until combined.
  • Add the bicarb soda, mixed spice, ginger and flour (gradually add the flour to avoid a puffy flour cloud in your face), mix until combined.
  • Lightly flour your bench top and take all the mixture out of the bowl and place it on the bench.
  • Kneed the dough for a couple of minutes until it is combined and smooth.
  • Make the dough into a disc shape, cover it with plastic wrap, put it on a plate and place it in the fridge to cool and harden for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
  • After 30 minutes, take the dough out of the fridge and divide the dough in half.
  • Place one half on a sheet of baking paper, cover it with another sheet of baking paper and roll the dough out with a rolling pin until it is flat and even.
  • Remove the top layer of baking paper and use your chosen cookie cutter to cut out some shapes.
  • Remove all the excess dough, place a baking tray under the baking paper that has the cookies on top and place the tray in the oven for approx. 5 minutes or until golden brown.
  • After they are baked, take the tray out of the oven and place the cookies on a cooling rack.
  • Once they are cooled, it’s time to decorate.
  • For the remaining dough, simply repeat the process with a few different cookie cutters.

gingerbread christmas cookies

For ideas for packaging these delicious, Christmassy morsels or for a closer look at the entire process, feel free to check out this video I created.

Let me know if you make these cookies yourself and tag me in any pictures on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, I’d absolutely LOVE to see your creations.

Happy baking and Merry Christmas!

Until next time,

Siobhan x