Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

Have a merry Christmas all of you!!! Kisses and hugs from your loved ones! Pressies from Santa! Great food! Peace! And a relaxing holiday!

And a cold beer, mates :-)

Monday, December 24, 2012

Frohe Weihnachten

Wunderschöne Weihnachten euch allen!!! Strahlende Kinder, friedliche Verwandte, schöne Geschenke, leckeres Essen, Musik, Kerzen, Ruhe und Frieden wünsche ich euch von Herzen!

Advent calendar bag No 24

Bag No 24 is of course the last bag...

... always a bit of a sad moment for me. My little one thinks this will go on forever I guess, so she quickly opened the bag, ate the gummi bears, gave the cookies to her baby doll and then moved on...

We can really learn a very valuable lesson from our children: live in the moment. Don’t worry about tomorrow. After the last bag there will always be a new bag (even if you have to wait for a whole year)!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Advent calendar bag No 23

Our Advent calendar rope looks very sad by now. Just one bag left, since bag no 23 was opened today...

... and contained a huge chocolate cake.

Already decorated with icing and cherries as well as pre-cut. The perfect purchase for any working mum ;-)

By the way whoever came up with the idea of using Velcro to stick pretend play fruits, veggies (http://ninotschka13.blogspot.de/2011/12/homemade-christmas-adventskalender.html ) and cakes together? Thank you! That was brilliant. My little one loves to cut them with her little wooden knife and it gives me the time to do the same with my sharp knife without any yelling from her.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Eye Candy: Christmas Cookies

All it takes are 5 girls, lots of icing, sugar stars, hundreds and thousands and butter cookies – et voila! Almost too beautiful to eat. Well, almost ;-)

Advent calendar bag No 22

The sweets department really is the strong side of Vicky’s shop. Bag no 22...

... delivered a birthday muffin with three candles.

How convenient since my little one always plays 3rd birthday with all her dolls and animals. Oh my how she longs to turn 3! Ever since the day she turned 2 actually ;-)

Friday, December 21, 2012

Advent calendar bag No 21

In order to make the ice cream shop even more popular, bag no 21...

... offered two new ice cream flavours: cherry and vanilla with hundreds and thousands...

... or tomato and glitter as my little one called them.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Advent calendar bag No 20

Bag no 20...

... wow, Christmas is really just around the corner. So today there were a few felt cookies and a real pack of gummi bears...

... to calm everyone’s nerves.

Quick Gift: Hot Chocolate Set

Still need some pressies? Yes, it is the same thing every year ;-) Here is a quick and very sweet idea

girl friends, sweet guys, child care taker, neighbours, colleagues, children, snow lovers and skiers
Why? Because everybody loves a hot chocolate. To warm up after a long day outside. To give one an emotional hug
Buy a beautiful cup. I found mine with the matching spoon in a 1-dollar-shop

a bag full of hot chocolate powder, a bag of chocolate sprinkles, a bag of homemade Ginger-Almond-Crossies (http://ninotschka13.blogspot.de/2011/12/homemade-christmas-ginger-almond.html)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Advent calendar bag No 19

The ice cream department is getting better and better, bag no 19...

... contained a cardboard stand for the ice cream cones to stand while you pay.

Simply beautiful, isn’t it!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Advent calendar bag No 18

Bag no 18...

... contained an essential tool for every ice cream shop...

... an ice scoop. In her favourite colour pink. So we had more ice cream and more ice cream and more ice cream ;-)

Last-minute gift for little girls: Tutu

I love to make a lot of presents, but sometimes I just run out of time. Or I find something which is just perfect...

 ... like this little Tutu found at H&M for 5 EUR. My little ballerina will love it ;-)

Monday, December 17, 2012

Advent calendar bag No 17

My little one always wants to sell ice-cream. I have no idea why, we haven’t been that often to the ice cream parlour in summer, but somehow it must have made a lasting impression on her. So you can imagine her joy, when bag no 17...

... contained a cone and two scopes of ice-cream made of felt.

She was so excited that I had to buy ice-cream all afternoon. And she doesn’t know, yet, that there are more to come, because this is only the first part of the amazing Ikea Duktig dessert set.

Shopping Tipp: Beautiful Sticky Tape

Look what I found today:

Aren’t these tapes amazing! I found them at Rossmann today and the whole lot is just 4.99EUR. Incredible, isn’t it?

They are not washi tape but more sticky tape, so you cannot remove them and they do not have the nice matt finish of washi tape, but I like the designs very much and since they are not as expensive I am so much more likely to actually use them.  The more expensive ones I tend to keep forever, never really daring to use them. And that is not the real point, is it ;-)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Advent calendar bag No 16

Okay, after some necessary office supplies, bag no. 16...

... had something sweeter to offer: peppermint drops.

I think there is no other sweet that hasn’t changed a bit since my childhood. No new name, no new fancy packaging, still the same white & pink colour variants, still the same taste... and that is why I love them. So dear marketing, don’t you dare to ever change them!

Gifts from the Kitchen: Orange Ginger Jam

This year I started to do chutneys and jams and I love it!!! Such a satisfactory task. And it makes the whole house smell so wonderful. I always try to do unusual flavours which are not available in the supermarket and I usually make them less sweet and more fruity by using 2:1 or 3:1 preserving sugar.

One of my favourite new recipes, which is also a great Christmas gift, is this Orange Ginger Jam which I found in the Living & More magazine.

Orange Ginger Jam
8 small organic oranges with thin peel
2 organic lemons
1l boiling water
1,5kg sugar 0r 750g 2:1 preserving sugar or  500g 3:1 preserving sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
1 tablespoon citric acid

Wash oranges and lemons and cut in 8 columns. Then cut columns into thin slices and put them into a pot. Cover with the boiling water and let it brew for a few hours. Bring to the boil with the sugar and ginger, and cook uncovered for about 1 hour. Dissolve the citric acid in a little cold water and add it to the jam when it is no longer cooking. Fill the jam in sterilized jars and store in a cool place.

The given amount make about 8 jars, enough to give a few as presents and enjoy the rest yourself.
Hmmmmm! I love that tart citron taste!!!!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Tutorial: The World’s Easiest Pillowcase

The world’s easiest pillowcase is an ideal gift because it looks a million dollars and it is really a piece of cake.

It is an envelope pillowcase which means that you do not need any buttons or ribbons to close it (which always feel uncomfortable on a pillow to me anyway). Nevertheless it is still a pillowcase which you can take off the pillow easily and throw it into the washing machine (very important with a little one with chocolate hands ;-))
It is so easy that I could draw the how to on a single page and I promise I haven’t left out a single step...
... except turning the pillowcase inside out in the end and stuffing a pillow in it. But I guess you would have figured that out yourself, wouldn’t you?
Don’t worry about the lengths and the width not including any seam allowance. It is a trick and not a mistake, because if the pillowcase is a tiny bit smaller than the pillow itself, the pillow will look wonderfully plush.
From my point of view a thicker cotton fabric works best, because it stays in place but is also pleasant on the skin. Stretchy fabrics are a bit tricky, but work as well. Really you cannot do wrong with this pillowcase.
Depending on the design you chose the pillow can look very feminine or very masculine, very subtle or screaming, very soft or a bit rustic.
Since I needed a Christmas present for my uncle who is the proud owner of a little forest in Bavaria, I opted for a masculine, wooden look with a soft interior...
that is the back - you can hardly see the opening in the middle, can you?
Doesn’t that wood effect look cool? I found this fabric at Ikea and immediately I knew it was the perfect fabric for this project.

Advent calendar bag No 15

After we are stocked pretty well on goods, bag no 15...

... contained some office supplies, like this notebook to write receipts, note down orders, etc.

As you might have noticed, many things in my little one’s shop are branded. Super-easy to do if you have a custom-made stamp. This stamp was the one thing I really splashed out on, while I generally tried to keep the costs as low as possible and recycle a lot of things for her shop . And I think it is so worth it! Every simple hand-made paper bag looks super-professional and it gives the whole shop a unified and design-y look, which I guess I appreciate much more than she does ;-) Anyway, every now and then you have to do something, just because YOU think it is prettier, don’t you J

Friday, December 14, 2012

Advent calendar bag No 14

In bag no 14...

... there were more goods for the sweet tooth department...

... animal cookies, here called granny cookies, because Vicky’s grandma gave them to her for the first time ;-)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Advent calendar bag No 13

Lucky bag no 13 contained...

... another imaginative bottle and a little scoop...

...to make the weighing and packing process more efficient.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12.12.2012: Great Gift for all Men in your life: Spiced Salt

12 days until Christmas, I guess it is time now for some last minute gift ideas. I don’t know why but I think presents for boys are not easy to find. Well, with the exception of small boys, maybe. But the older they get the more difficult it gets. And they are just not into all the nice little things that you could get your girlfriends, sister, mum or granny: shimmery nail polish, chocolate truffles, crafting books, little bags, ... Still, there are so many men in my life who deserve a wonderful gift that they actually like. And I bet they love this spiced salt...

For... foodies, savoury lovers, husbands, dads, brothers, teenage sons, uncles, maintenance men, craftsmen
Why? To pimp up any boring buttered bread, to add oomph to any dish, to get rid of all the sweet overdose of Christmas cookies and chocolate
Make I followed the recipe found here at Chefkoch and I translated it for all of you do not speak German
250 g sea salt, as coarse as possible, it will be grounded
3 tablespoons fried onions, possibly more
1 teaspoon pepper, ground black or colored, medium-fine
1 teaspoon black cumin, ground
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoon dried parsley
2 teaspoon dried marjoram
2 tsp dried thyme
½ bay leaf, finely crumbled
1 teaspoon chili powder, possibly more
2 tsp dried garlic powder
1 teaspoon sugar
Mix all spices, except salt and onions, well in a mortar pestle and crush them properly. Then stir this mixture well with the sea salt and the onions and stir well and let the whole stand for 3-4 hours or even longer.  Stir and mix every now and then.
Now put it all into a blender and grind but not too fine, so that the salt still has a "rough" structure (you can also do this in the mortar, but it is very tiring).
Tastes great on bread with butter, scrambled eggs, and boiled eggs or as a condiment in salads etc.

I know you need a lot of different spices and you might not find all of the in your spice rack, yet, but it is so worth making this salt. I am addicted. Honestly! And I am so glad that I made 4 times the amount, because otherwise I would have not been able to give any away. Yummmm!

Advent calendar bag No 12

In bag no 12, there was a new bestseller for Vicky’s shop...

... gummi bears!!!

The most important item in any shop, according to my little one.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Advent calendar bag No 11

Oh this little shop is really getting popular. Today we had a play date with a little girl from child care. Luckily in bag no 11...

... there were more shopping bags, ...

...because of course our guest were ‘forced’ to shop all afternoon.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Advent calendar bag No 10

After some imaginative shop items yesterday, bag No 10 contained something tangible...

... namely cornflakes.

One of my little one’s favourite things, so I am sure she will be her best customer today ;-)