New Years Resolutions & Day Zero Project

new years resolutions

Happy New Year everyone! Ok, so it might be a little bit belated but hey, it’s still January so that still counts right?! I don’t normally set myself any new years resolutions as I try to complete personal projects throughout the year and generally try to improve situations that need it as and when. Also I find making ‘resolutions’ a bit like setting myself up for failure as I jump on the bandwagon with every trend going without thinking it through (remember the January every blogger tried the 30 day shred – I lasted about 3 days!)

This year I’d like to think I’m a bit older and wiser and after discovering the day zero project from Melanie at mebookshelfandi.co.uk I decided to write my own 101 goals for the project.

Day Zero Project is a web community of people who are looking to achieve 101 tasks in 1001 days. You set your own goals to finish in that time (just over 2 and a half years) and can keep track of your list and get ideas from other likeminded people. So far I have made 45 goals out of 101. I figured that over the next two years or so I will have plenty of time to add goals and achievements as the opportunities arise or as my priorities may change.

My list so far is below:

1Create a Plan B fund (Savings)
2Get my driving license
3Get into a healthy/normal BMI range
4Learn how to speak Spanish by completing duolingo’s online modules
5Workout/exercise an average of once a week
6Write a blog post on average of once a week
7Win competition prizes totalling £1000 minimum
8Pay off all debt
9Finish reading The Pillars of the Earth
10Design and make my own wrapping paper for Christmas
11Sell 25 copies of my baking book
12Sell an item I’ve made
13Set up an etsy shop
14Attend at least one PR event
15Make a gingerbread house
16Adopt an animal
17Add all my existing recipes to a recipe folder
18Swap wine for water on Sundays
19Find a new favourite film
20Only eat meat twice a week
21Visit Harry Potter Studio Tour
22Find a new hobby
23Give up fast food for six months
24Give up processed food for one month
25Complete Project 10 pan twice
26Learn how to use my DSLR camera properly
27Find a new favourite band
28Find a new author to love
29Watch 26 movies I’ve never seen starting with each letter of the Alphabet
30Complete a 365 day photo challenge
31Get a massage
32Make a birthday cake for someone
33Graduate
34Influence a person to make a day zero list
35Spend a rainy day watching films in my PJ’s
36Clean out my closet
37Read all the books currently on my shelf
38Spring clean my house
39Leave a 100% tip
40Make a pie with homemade pastry
41Complete the couch to 5k running challenge (again)
42Make fresh pasta
43Raise money for a charity
44Throw away all my underwear and start again
45Go vegan for a week

Do you have any new years resolutions? Do you have your own Day Zero list?

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4 of the Best: My Favourite Christmas Drinks

festive drinks baileys chocolat luxe bottlegreen spiced berry cordial whittards white praline hot chocolate morrisons sweet white honeyed wine

As the weather gets colder and Christmas approaches I love having cosy nights in with a good book or a Christmas film, sitting under a soft cosy blanket and having a festive drink. Below are four of my favourite drinks for Christmas 2013.

Sweet White Honeyed Wine

Morrisons sweet white honeyed wine

I like this wine because I prefer whites (red gives me a headache) and it’s a smooth, sweet wine with fruit flavours including baked apple and mincemeat. I’d drink this in the evening at dinner with chicken or vegetarian dishes or cosied up on the sofa with a mince pie.

Available from Morrisons stores and Morrisons Cellar, prices start at £4.49 a bottle.

Spiced Berry Cordial

Bottlegreen Spiced Berry Cordial Christmas

This is such a lovely wintery soft drink to have. It’s like mulled wine – full of berry and spices and tastes really good hot and cold. I love this an alternative to alcoholic drinks at Christmas diluted over ice and with a twist of orange – and it smells really festive too!

For more details visit BottleGreen (around £3 a bottle).

Chocolate Liqueur

Baileys Chocolat Luxe Christmas

As if Bailey’s wasn’t good enough at Christmas time, they have stepped it up this year by releasing a chocolate version made with real belgian chocolate – Baileys Chocolat Luxe. It’s a thick, chocolately drink (like an alcoholic milkshake!) best served over ice and is really a hit with everyone, chocoholic’s especially take note.

For more details visit Baileys.com (RRP £16.99 for 50cl).

Hot Chocolate

Whittards christmas hot chocolate white chocolate praline

Last but not least has to be hot chocolate! It’s definitely a staple on cold days and this one, Whittard’s White Chocolate and Praline (Hazelnut), is my favourite and I buy it every year. It’s very sweet and obviously not for you if you don’t like white chocolate but the praline flavour comes through making it less sweet and super Christmassy! I also love the banoffee and orange versions :)

Available from Whittards for around £5-£6
 
So there you have it, my favourite festive drinks. What are your favourite drinks to have at Christmas time or during the winter?

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Countdown to Christmas: Reindeer Biscuits Recipe

Christmas reindeer biscuit recipe

It’s hard to believe but there’s only one week left to Christmas! If you’re short on time and still need some last minute presents, these cute little biscuits are super easy and quick to make. They would also make a great present tied up with some Christmassy ribbon or in a special gift box.

Christmas reindeer biscuit recipe

*Recipe credited to 2009 Masterchef winner Mat Follas and the happy egg co*

Makes: approx. 20 biscuits

Ingredients:
For the biscuits
100g butter
175g caster sugar
2 happy eggs
2 happy egg yolks
50g ground almonds
240g plain flour

For the icing
120g butter
250g icing sugar
1-2 tbsp milk
Food colouring to suit

Method
Biscuits
In a bowl, mix the butter and sugar together with an electric blender, until they form a creamy paste. Add the happy eggs and happy egg yolks and mix, then fold in the almonds and flour with a wooden spoon or spatula until fully combined.

Press the mixture into a greased tray to a thickness of about ¼” (6mm). Place in a preheated oven at 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 for 10-12 minutes.

The biscuit mixture is ready when it has just started to colour. Carefully turn out onto a sheet of baking parchment on a flat cool surface.

While still warm to touch, use a cookie cutter to press out the shapes but don’t try to lift them out until completely cooled, or they’ll break.

Icing
Mix the butter and icing sugar together in a bowl, adding the milk as needed to make a smooth paste.

Top tip: It’s much easier if you warm the butter.

First, ice the biscuits all over with the plain icing, adding some edible glitter for a festive feel. Then add a little red food colouring to the remaining icing, spoon it into a piping bag and draw on his shiny red nose.

Happy Christmas!!

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If you love baking check out my new book ‘How to Start a Successful Cake Business‘ – now available on Etsy and Amazon Kindle Store