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Almond And Cranberry Bark Recipe

Welcome to day 15 of our Countdown to Christmas Sweet Treats recipes.
Today we’re making almond and cranberry bark.

Almond and cranberry bark

Bark Ingredients

  • 300g Dark chocolate
  • 100g White chocolate
  • 200g Roasted almonds
  • 100g Dried cranberries

Method

  1. Cut a piece of non-stick baking paper to the same size as your baking tray. We used a –x– cm baking tray.
    Using a damp cloth, wipe the cookie tray before applying the baking paper. This will stop it from moving around.
  2. Put the dark chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute. Remove the bowl and stir the chocolate.
  3. Microwave on high for 30 seconds then stir again. Repeat until all the chocolate has melted.
  4. Do the same with the white chocolate.
  5. If you prefer, you can place the chocolate in a heat-safe bowl over a pan of simmering water and melt it that way. Make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the simmering water.
  6. Pour the dark chocolate into the prepared tin and spread until even.
  7. Drop spoonfuls of white chocolate onto the dark chocolate and use a skewer to make swirls.
  8. Place the almonds and cranberries onto the chocolate and gently press them down.
  9. Refrigerate the bark until set.
  10. Remove from the fridge and using the baking paper take the bark and peel off the baking paper. Break into pieces and serve or package into Christmas themed cellophane bags to give as gifts.
Almond and cranberry bark

Tomorrow we’re making M&M fudge.

Freddy’s Jeans: The Latest Innovation in the History of Jeans and Denim

young lady wearing denim jeans

For the denim lovers, explore the history of jeans including the innovative WR. UP® technology used in Freddy’s jeans.

Beginning in the 19th century in Paris, the development of the fashion design industry has experienced many innovations. For example, Bouffant coiffures and corsets were the norm before the First World War, above the knee cuts and bobs after it.

However, it’s not only the designers, who oversaw these radical changes in fashion. The fabric manufacturers and tailors also had their say – jeans are one of the most prominent examples of it. The innovation in jeans continues to this date, with the WR. UP® technology used in Freddy’s jeans  being the latest name in its long tradition.

The History of Jeans

Jeans fabrics are usually made of materials called denim. It is named after the Italian city of Genoa, where cotton corduroy used to be manufactured and called Jeane or Jean.

Jeans are the most versatile pants we can wear – both women and men. It was invented by Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis in 1873. Interestingly, Jacob Davis was a tailor with expertise in making rugged products like horse blankets, wagon covers, tents, etc.

Asked by one of his customers to make pants that will last long and withstand challenging tasks, Mr. Davis bought some Denim from Levi Strauss & Co. He then applied copper rivets in the pockets and flies to make the fabric much stronger. Once he teamed up with Levi Strauss and patented it, Jeans was born.

Since then, jeans have had the most prominent and revolutionary effect in the history of fashion. Started as a solution to the worker’s outfit, it is now being used in everything – from luxury clothing to handbags and purse.

Young lady wearing denim jeans

Indigo Colour and Skinny Jeans

Being the principal material of jeans, Denim brought its indigo dye to jeans. An organic dye made and exported from India from the ancient times, indigo dye is used to colour denim. Thanks to the innovations in synthetic dyes, jeans can now have almost any colour you want in them.

Once this impressively durable fabric caught the eyes of the designers, it went on to become a fashion phenomenon, a certain kind of lifestyle. The secret behind this massive success in transforming culture partly lies in the popularity of skinny jeans among the upper-class young enthusiasts.

WR. UP® Technology in Freddy’s Jeans

Invented and patented by the Italian brand Freddy, WR. UP® is the latest innovation in the evolution of jeans. This is an incredible manufacturing technique that uses stretch cotton and special silicone bands with a denim effect to make stylish and comfortable pants of all kinds.

The key specialities of Freddy’s jeans lie in their ability to enhance the feminine curves of a body. No matter which particular cut you choose, these jeans would smooth and sculpt your waist, hips, and thighs, along with lifting your bottom to make them look more appealing.

This is a collaborative post

White Chocolate And Daim Bark Recipe

Welcome to day 13 of our Countdown to Christmas Sweet Treats recipes.
Today we’re making white chocolate and Daim bark.

White chocolate and Daim bark

White Chocolate and Daim Bark Ingredients

  • 400g White Chocolate roughly chopped
  • 6 Daim Bars

Method

  1. Cut a piece of non-stick baking paper to the same size as your baking tray. We used a –x– cm baking tray.
    Using a damp cloth, wipe the cookie tray before applying the baking paper. This will stop it from moving around.
  2. Put the white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute. Remove the bowl and stir the chocolate.
  3. Microwave on high for 30 seconds then stir again. Repeat until all the chocolate has melted.
  4. Pour into the prepared tin and spread until even.
  5. Put the Daim bars in a plastic food bag and use a rolling pin to break them into small pieces.
  6. Sprinkle the Daim pieces over the white chocolate.
  7. Refrigerate the bark until set.
  8. Remove from the fridge and using the baking paper take the bark and peel off the baking paper. Break into pieces and serve or package into Christmas themed cellophane bags to give as gifts.
White chocolate and Daim bark

Tomorrow we’re making white chocolate peanut butter fudge.

Fry’s Peppermint Cream Mint Swirl Bark Recipe

Welcome to day 9 of our Countdown to Christmas Sweet Treats recipes.
Today we’re making Fry’s peppermint cream mint swirl bark.

Fry's peppermint cream mint swirl bark

Fry’s Peppermint Cream Mint Swirl Bark Ingredients

  • 300g Dark chocolate
  • 100g White chocolate
  • Peppermint flavouring
  • Green food colouring (gel or paste is best)
  • 3 bars Fry’s peppermint cream

Method

  1. Cut a piece of non-stick baking paper to the same size as your baking tray. We used a –x– cm baking tray.
    Using a damp cloth, wipe the cookie tray before applying the baking paper. This will stop it from moving around.
  2. Put the milk chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute. Remove the bowl and stir the chocolate.
  3. Microwave on high for 30 seconds then stir again. Repeat until all the chocolate has melted.
  4. Put the white chocolate in a microwavable bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Remove and stir then microwave again in 15-second increments until the chocolate has melted.
  5. Stir in the peppermint flavouring and the food colouring and stir until combined.
  6. Pour the milk chocolate into the prepared tin and spread until even.
  7. Drizzle the green chocolate mix over the milk chocolate layer and use a wooden skewer to swirl the green chocolate.
  8. Roughly chop the Fry’s peppermint cream bars and scatter over the bark.
  9. Refrigerate the bark until set.
  10. Remove from the fridge and using the baking paper take the bark and peel off the baking paper. Break into pieces and serve or package into Christmas themed cellophane bags to give as gifts.
Fry's peppermint cream mint swirl bark

Tomorrow we’re making Maltesers Fudge

Snowmen Bark Recipe

Welcome to day 7 of our Countdown to Christmas Sweet Treats recipes.
Today we’re making snowmen bark.
You can buy ready-made snowmen marshmallows from Asda if you don’t want to make your own, which is what we did.

Snowmen bark

Snowmen Bark Ingredients

  • 300g Milk Chocolate
  • Marshmallows – as many as you like
  • Edible pens
  • Pretzel sticks
  • Snowflake sprinkles

Method

  1. Cut a piece of non-stick baking paper to the same size as your baking tray. We used a –x– cm baking tray.
    Using a damp cloth, wipe the cookie tray before applying the baking paper. This will stop it from moving around.
  2. Put the milk chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute. Remove the bowl and stir the chocolate.
  3. Microwave on high for 30 seconds then stir again. Repeat until all the chocolate has melted.
  4. Pour into the prepared tin and spread until even.
  5. Use the edible pens to draw faces on the marshmallows and place them randomly on the chocolate.
  6. Place the pretzel sticks randomly on the chocolate and scatter the snowflake sprinkles
  7. Refrigerate the bark until set.
  8. Remove from the fridge and using the baking paper take the bark and peel off the baking paper. Break into pieces and serve or package into Christmas themed cellophane bags to give as gifts.
I made the snowman gift box using an SVG file from Dreaming Tree

Tomorrow we’re making Christmas fudge.

Terry’s Chocolate Orange Bark Recipe

Welcome to day 6 of our Countdown to Christmas Sweet Treats recipes.
Today we’re making Terry’s chocolate orange bark.

Terry's chocolate orange bark

Bark Ingredients

Method

  1. Cut a piece of non-stick baking paper to the same size as your baking tray. We used a –x– cm baking tray.
    Using a damp cloth, wipe the cookie tray before applying the baking paper. This will stop it from moving around.
  2. Put the milk chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute. Remove the bowl and stir the chocolate.
  3. Microwave on high for 30 seconds then stir again. Repeat until all the chocolate has melted.
  4. If you prefer, you can place the chocolate in a heat-safe bowl over a pan of simmering water and melt it that way. Make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the simmering water.
  5. Pour the melted chocolate into the prepared tin and drop pieces of Terry’s chocolate orange onto the chocolate and gently press down.
  6. Sprinkle the candied peel over the chocolate.
  7. Refrigerate the bark until set.
  8. Remove from the fridge and using the baking paper take the bark and peel off the baking paper. Break into pieces and serve or package into Christmas themed cellophane bags to give as gifts.
Terry's chocolate orange bark

Tomorrow we’re making snowmen bark.

White Chocolate Christmas Tree Bark Recipe

Welcome to day 5 of our Countdown to Christmas Sweet Treats recipes.
Today we’re making white chocolate Christmas tree bark.
I found this recipe on The Decorated Cookie. Again, I’m using UK measurements in this recipe, for the American recipe, visit the link 🙂

white chocolate Christmas tree bark

White Chocolate Christmas Tree Bark Ingredients

  • 400g White Chocolate
  • Green Food Colouring Paste
  • Pretzel Sticks
  • 5 Crushed Candy Sticks

Method

  1. Cut a piece of non-stick baking paper to the same size as your baking tray. We used a –x– cm baking tray.
    Using a damp cloth, wipe the cookie tray before applying the baking paper. This will stop it from moving around.
  2. Put the white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute. Remove the bowl and stir the chocolate.
  3. Microwave on high for 30 seconds then stir again. Repeat until all the chocolate has melted.
  4. Measure about 100g of melted white chocolate, add a bit of food colouring and mix well. Add food colouring until you get the desired colour.
  5. Pour the rest of the white chocolate into the prepared tin and smooth out using a spatula.
  6. Put the green chocolate in a piping bag fitted with a small round nozzle and pipe trees onto the white chocolate.
  7. Use pretzel sticks for the tree trunks.
  8. Scatter the candy canes onto the white chocolate, in between the trees
  9. Refrigerate the bark until set.
  10. Remove from the fridge and using the baking paper take the bark and peel off the baking paper. Break into pieces and serve or package into Christmas themed cellophane bags to give as gifts.

Tomorrow we’re making Terry’s Chocolate Orange Bark

Top Tips For Selling Your Home

When you are thinking about selling your home, there are a few things that you need to take into consideration if you want to get the very best price possible for your property and to sell it quickly. In this article, we are going to look at a few of those things.

House for sale - tips for selling your home
Pixabay CC0 Licence

Maintenance

It may sound simple, but make sure your house is in a decent state of repair. Spend a little bit of time fixing up that broken garden gate and relaying those cracked patio stones, regrout the tiles in the bathroom, and if your central heating system is on the blink, get it sorted. The cost of a new boiler may be more than worth it if it takes your home from unsaleable to snapped up because these things really do matter to potential buyers. No one wants to move house and immediately have to think about little jobs like this.

Presentation

First impressions matter, so spend some time getting your Hinch on, cleaning up and making sure would-be buyers walk into a spotlessly clean house and get the best first impression possible. If cleaning is not your thing, consider hiring a cleaner – it will be more than worth it! Before a viewing, open the windows to let a flow of fresh air through, make sure the rooms smell clean – but be wary of using any scented products that are too overpowering – and fresh flowers always make a difference.

Declutter

The aim here is to make your house look as big as possible, and to minimise the ‘you’ in there. Buyers will walk in trying to visualise their belongings in the home, with their stamp put upon it. That is really hard to do if the mantlepiece is covered in photos of your family and the fridge is loaded with kids drawings. Having a big declutter allows them to see the space much more clearly – and can be a big help for when you need to move out. 

Give the kitchen a renovation

If you can afford to, a small kitchen renovation can make a massive amount of difference. After all, the kitchen is the heart of many homes and is one of the biggest selling points. If this is out of your budget, think about giving cupboards a varnish or a lick of paint and buffing up the worktops, so they look new.

Update the bathroom

As with the kitchen, the bathroom can make or break a property. If a buyer is on the fence, having a nice bathroom can be the swinging point. Again, if a full-blown renovation is not on the cards, make sure all the grout and sealant work is cleaned up, put out fresh, clean towels and pop some green plants in there. 

Remember, when it comes to selling your home, it is no longer about your tastes and decor choices, but your would-be buyers. Put yourself in their shoes, take a walk around the house and see what you would change.

This is a collaborative post

Saving money on pretty things: How to find good photo books deals

book in front of a field of flowers

Photos are a very important part of our daily lives. With all the new technology and ever-improving smartphone cameras, every one of us can quickly become a great photographer. The real shame is that many photos end up lost in the data dumpster that is our smartphone gallery, our computer, or cloud storage space. Really, we’re taking the photos to enjoy them and remember special and beautiful memories. That’s why every now and then the time comes around to put all those wonderful photos together in a pretty photo book.

We may shy away from starting or completing our photo book projects because of the time involved in getting them done, but what we need to remember is the added value we get from them. For instance: A baby photo book is not only a beautiful thing to have and marvel at in the here and now. In a few years, the baby is grown but the photo book will be a way to remember every little detail of their first days, months, and years in excellent quality.

Now, the options available for photo books seem endless. There are little square ones that are perfect for coffee tables or as gifts, A3-sized landscape or portrait versions for the most precious pictures, and anything you can imagine in between. The choice may not be easy but there surely is something for every purpose.

photo book

Another thing that holds many people back from creating more photo books is the fear of it being too costly. Of course, you can’t put a value on memories, you also don’t want to go and spend too much on pretty but – truth be told – it’s not even that costly anymore. Especially when you think about the options you have to save money without compromising the quality of your photo book. There are quite a few places out there offering deals for pretty much all kinds of photo books from all suppliers. Especially around the holidays – such as Easter and Christmas – more and more deals pop up that take down the price or offer you combination deals like two for one.

An added benefit these deal pages offer is an overview over the various brands and their photo book types. That way, you can have a look at all brands and photo books at the same time and compare the prices and deals quickly and conveniently. That’s much easier than going to each and every website to have a look at the prices and products individually to find the right fit for you. Basically, it’s a one-stop-shop. Of course, if you already know which brand you’d like to work with, you can simply have a look around for deals for that particular brand.

4 stars

On some deal websites, you can also see customer reviews to get an honest opinion on the product you’re thinking about choosing. After all, every brand will make their products look like the best of the best, but reviews are a way to find an honest and impartial opinion from other customers.

In most cases, using the deal involves getting an alphanumeric code that you enter at the end of check-out. But the best part comes at the very end when you receive your very own photo book full of lovely memories of you family, friends and fantastic moments. You can enjoy your personal works of art then and there, in a week, and years from now and dive right back into the best memories in perfect quality. And that’s all that counts, isn’t it?

This is a collaborative post

Vancouver House Cleaning Services With Local Home Cleaners

house cleaning woman with cleaning tools

House cleaning is one of the most important activities in any household. It is a part of keeping the house as functional as possible to make it healthier for living. Hygiene should be a top priority of every household since it is a factor in keeping the family healthy. As long as they are living in a safe clean environment, their development as human beings also improves. Children should be educated from a young age that cleanliness should be a part of their lives as well. This can be good training for them as they grow older. They don’t have to depend on anyone but themselves to improve their own living conditions. Learn more about how you can help your child learn.

On the other hand, only a few people can proudly say that they enjoy tidying their own home. Even though this should be a part of the routine of any family, it doesn’t change the fact that this is hard work. After all the things that you need to do in the office or other workplaces can affect your desire to clean your home. You see that everything seems dirty but you are just too tired to do anything about it. This is the reason why you wait and wait until almost every part of the house is already so filthy. You can’t even clean it by yourself anymore.

Of course, you can always ask your family to help you with the cleaning. It doesn’t just lessen the workload, but it can be a great bonding time for your family. You can schedule a general cleaning every other week or so. That way, you don’t have to do anything alone. You can divide the tasks amongst each other to make everything faster. The smaller children can handle simpler tasks like delivering non-lethal tools or they can play if they can’t help. The older ones can do the harder work while the parents on the more complicated stuff. You can create your own system with whatever works for your family.

On the other hand, you might have trouble coordinating time with your family members. Modern families have different needs compared to families’ generations ago. Working hours for many industries these days can be flexible, meaning there are family members who don’t even meet each other even though they live in the same house. They don’t also enjoy the notion that they would spend one of their rest days just to tire themselves. Most of us just want to relax, and cleaning is not one of those relaxing activities. It is quite therapeutic though, according to some researchers.

If you have the extra cash, it might be a good idea to hire someone else to do the job for you. There are a lot of services that are available across Vancouver. They range from those industrial cleaning ones for offices and buildings to the more localized and home-based ones. There are even some companies which have their own websites for easy access to their services like this one here: gocleaninggenie.com. It can be a good way for you to know which service you should hire for your home.

Advantages Of Hiring Someone Else To Do The Chores For You:

1 – Less Physical and Mental Stress

One of the more obvious advantages of hiring cleaning services is you don’t have to much at all while they are cleaning. All you need to do is get out of their way and observe how they clean your house. You can also tell them which parts of the house need to be attended to first. If there are any portions of the house that needs repairs, they can do that as well depending on their services. It might mean an extra fee, but at least the repairs are made and you don’t have to think about them anymore. Chores can also be quite stressful since you have to think about the time that you need to spend just for cleaning. With this service, you don’t have to worry about it as they can get the job done.

2 – More Time for the Family

Another important advantage of hiring them is you can actually spend the time with your family. Cleaning your entire house is one of the most time-consuming things you can do. You can always just do it every other week or even every week to lessen the time needed to clean all of it. If you are hiring someone though, you don’t even need to think about all of this. If you don’t really have that much cash to indulge a biweekly service, you can always just hire them for one time only. Then, you can establish a routine so that your home responsibilities will not be as heavy. You can also just hire them every month to maximize the expenses. At least, you can now enjoy your rest days with your family without all the cleaning stress in your head.

3 – Keep Yourself Safe from Riskier Cleaning Activities

We all know that cleaning is really not that big of a deal to tackle, it’s just that there are so many things to do. Everything just piles up and you don’t know where to start anymore. However, there are certain tasks that can be quite dangerous for those who don’t know what they are doing. Fixing electric wires, tidying up the roof and using sharp objects are just some of the activities that can cause harm to a person. With cleaning services, they have safety gear that can protect them from the dangers in the house. They can do all the cleaning without potential injuries.

4 – Better and More Thorough Cleaning

Let’s face it; we can’t really do a better job compared to those who do it for a living. Aside from all the tools, most of them are also trained to do the cleaning efficiently. Most of the time, they can do your house within half the time compared to you and your family. Sure, you can save money by doing it all yourself. However, why don’t you relax for a while and let them do the work for you? It can be a great time for you to recuperate and do the cleaning next time.

This is a collaborative post

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