Christmas Dinner Preparations: Stage 1

20141112_204610

Get ahead gravy!

I can remember, once upon a time, when Christmas didn’t really begin until December. Now, as soon as Halloween is out of the way, the shops are full of tinsel, wrapping paper, stocking fillers and mince pies! I’m not going to complain, though, because if I leave all the Christmas preparation to the last minute it will just become stressful rather than enjoyable. This is why I’m starting Christmas Dinner now.

I was watching Jamie Oliver one year and he was making this ‘Get Ahead Gravy’. I thought it was a fantastic idea because it meant you could make it in advance and just defrost and warm up on Christmas Day. Not only that, it makes loads more gravy than if you were just using the juices of your turkey and it tastes AMAZING!! (You do add the juices of your turkey at the end so they don’t go to waste. 🙂 )

The gravy is quite involved and takes a while to make which is why I would only do it for a special occasion like Christmas.

You can find the recipe here.

Look out for my Christmas Dinner Preparations: Stage 2 next week!

21 Days

21_days

They say it takes 21 days to form a habit. Now, as I’ve recently been finding, this works for both good AND bad habits.

I’ve been looking round my house and, despite being a naturally very organised, clean and tidy person, I’ve managed to fall into some very bad habits with regards to cleaning (i.e. it’s not getting done any where near as often as it should be!) I’d been trying to work out why this is the case, and I realised that when you’re in a good habit such as doing the dishes straight after tea or straightening  up the living room before going to bed, if life throws you a curve ball (gosh, I’m sounding all American) then it’s very easy to fall out of those good habits without realising it.

For me, these curve balls have come in the form of DIY, Summer holidays and blocks of very busy weeks. Once things in the house have got on top of me, I try very hard to get organised again only to find within days that it’s all gone to pot again! Why? Because I’d let things slip for long enough to get out of the good habit of staying on top of things.

So now I’m on the case of putting back into place all those good habits that I once had. I’ve been inspired by some cleaning schedules I’ve found on Pinterest and I liked the way that the cleaning and tidying is organised and spread throughout the week to make it more achievable.

cleaning

Now, admittedly I have had this cleaning schedule on my fridge for several weeks and not done very much about it! But the reason for this is because I’ve felt like I had to start doing it all at once. BIG mistake when trying to form a good habit! My plan of action now is to focus on one category of task every day and make sure I achieve that… for 21 days (at least!) That way once that habit is in place and I’m doing it automatically I’ll be able to start working on another part of the schedule and forming that into a daily habit…

Well, that’s the plan. Let’s see if it works! Ha ha!