Our Monthly Journal

December 2023

We're so excited to share another monthly journal written by the lovely Lola Jones, also known as @pocketfullofbuttercups on Instagram. Lola is a wonderful photographer and all round creator of beautiful content, raising her twin daughters Maya and Chloe & her youngest Thea from her house near the Peak District. Each month she will give us a small glimpse into her world, inspiring you with activity ideas, recipes and more.

Here we are, festive time of year again! I swear it comes around quicker every year. I hope you are getting into the festive spirit. We have picked our Christmas tree (eek!) but are yet to decorate it and we had our first snow! We drove to the hills the other day to do some foraging and found a winter fairytale, so we built a snowman, gathered some evergreens for our mantel and went home for a family movie night. I am feeling very Christmassy now after these activities.

As ever, we hope you enjoy this month’s inspiration. Merry Christmas from my little family to yours!

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MELTED SNOWMAN CHOCOLATE BARK

This recipe is sooo much fun and really quick to do - a really sweet festive treat the kids will love.

You will need:

- Good quality white chocolate
- Sugar eye balls
- Mini colourful round sweets
- Mini peanut butter cups cut in half
- Small orange sprinkles

Line a tray with greaseproof paper. Melt the chocolate over a bain-marie, pour a tablespoon of melted chocolate on the greaseproof paper, spread it a little with the back of the spoon, then decorate with half a peanut butter cup (hat), eyes, colourful round sweets (buttons) and orange sprinkles for a nose.
Once the tray is full, place it in the fridge to set (10 - 15 min should be plenty). Once properly set, the snowmen should peel off easily.
Bon Appetit!

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MULLED WINE KIT GIFT IDEA

Christmas spirit in a bag! Not only does it make a gorgeous festive gift, but it is also so easy to assemble and looks impressive as it is or attached to a bottle of wine.

Ingredients:

For the kit you will need:
- 2 dried orange slices
- 2 cardamom pods
- 6 whole cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 star anise (optional)
- 1 bottle of fruity red wine (optional)
- Cheesecloth
- Twine

Cut the cheesecloth into small squares, put all the spices except the oranges and cinnamon sticks into the middle of the square, bring the ends of the cloth together and tie together with a string. Attach the cheesecloth with spices to the bottle (if gifting). Finish off with a slice of dried orange, a cinnamon stick and a gift tag.

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PIPE CLEANER CROWNS & TIARAS

With school holidays approaching, this might be a good little craft to have in your piggybank for when the little ones are bored.
All you need is pipe cleaners and the world is your oyster - make tiny crowns to wear using hair sliders or clips, make full head crowns or princess tiaras.
Start with the base for the crown - work out what size it should be, then take two pipe cleaners and wrap the third around them tightly to make a stronger base for your crown. You can also use a thicker wire like grapevine wire and wrap pipe cleaners around it tightly, so no wire is visible.
Then to make your design. Fold one pipe cleaner in half to make an upside down “V” and twist the two ends around the crown base to attach. Next make two more upside-down “V”s and attach on either side of the first one, attaching them a little lower so they are cascading down slightly. Continue to make two more or leave the crown as it is.
For another design, make your base (it needs to be a full circle for this one), then fold one pipe cleaner in half to make an upside-down narrow “V” and twist the two ends around the crown base to attach. Bend the top end of your “V” outward, continue adding more pipe cleaners in the same way until the whole crown is full.
The rest of my designs we made using the same technique. Play around with styles and make your very own. The kids will love this simple craft and it can also be used in a role play or dress-up game. You can even make these for dolls and puppets.

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