Starting the countdown and booja booja

Now I must apologise, as this post contains references to a certain traditional holiday that is coming up in less than 2 months.

Now personally I get a little annoyed with Slade blaring from the shops, and mince pies being on sale in September, but I also like to be organised. At work we bought the presents for the children back at the start of October as there was an offer for free postage, plus it spreads the cost.

Also we are going away for Christmas (well, hopefully not like last year) and so need to be prepared- I am seeing my parents on the 10th December! Super early!

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One of my blogger challenges was to start getting things ready, so I thought I would share a few things with you.

I bought this cool (decorative) cockerel watering can for my mum, from The Natural Collection– she loves her chickens and chicken things, plus the garden, and I could not resist it! We also got our cards from a local charity (Grove House Hospice)- they are of St Albans Abbey (we have a lot of family there) and also one of a pretty decorated tree.

I have also been getting ready to make presents. I bought a lot of these jars from Ikea- they were only 90p which is so much cheaper than anywhere else I have seen. Plus some pretty silver twine, labels and red ribbon (and that bottle is pectin as I am going to make SuperJam  which uses fruit juice instead of sugar). I just need to get some nice fabric for the tops.

I have also been practising my icing skills (?) to get ready for the big cakes later on!

Away from the holiday theme (although these would make fab presents) I was sent some Booja Booja truffles to try. I was sent the “Rum Sozzled Sultana Chocolate Truffles” and they are rum sozzled for sure! Booja Booja chocolates are always so amazing- really velvety and rich. I do not drink alcohol but I did always used to like rum truffles from bakeries (did anyone else love those?) but I don’t think they actually contained rum. These do for sure! I do quite like them, but I prefer the other flavours. If, however, you like a bit of rum in your chocolate then you will love these!

Thanks Booja Booja! 🙂

Also I ordered some tasty treats in my shopping this week- I keep seeing these mini gingerbread men on Rachel’s blog, so I ordered them in this cute tin. Plus some goodies summer peaches sweets- they sell them on Ocado and they are so tastu (plus free from gelatin).

 Do you like to get things ready in advance or are you a last minute buy it all on Christmas eve type person?

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14 thoughts on “Starting the countdown and booja booja”

  1. I’m not a totally last minute person, but I definitely tend to leave my shopping until December. I’m not very good at present shopping – it’s my Mum’s birthday on Friday and I’m really struggling to think of something to get her!
    I really want to try Booja Booja – I’ve heard so many good things about them.

  2. Their chocolates are so yummy 🙂 They do hazelnut ones which are amazing, and also raspberry ones which sound like they would be super sweet but are actually just amazing. We have a friends 40th on Friday and still no idea what to get- so sometimes things creep up on me still!

  3. Oooh, I’ve been wondering how I could make jam without all the sugar in it (or at least with less!) – the raspberry jam I made was *so* sweet but I was worried it wouldn’t set if I didn’t follow the recipe’s amount of sugar! (jam-making novice!) is that Super Jam Cookbook worth buying? Very jealous of your jars too – we don’t have an Ikea anywhere near us so I’ve been spending about £2.50 for similar jars…might have to talk Liam into a trip to Southampton just to go to Ikea!

    We have a big box on top of our wardrobe that we put any Christmas related stuff in – it’s always a bit of a surprise when we bring it down at the start of December to see how many books I’ve ended up buying for the kids during the year – I always get taken in by the cheap books in Lidl, Factory Shop etc!

    I want to make a start on some more of my planned homemade presents but I’m not sure which things will last the longest…I think I’ll start on chutneys/jams soon. I love your little iced cakes, so cute! 🙂

  4. You put me to shame, I am a total “last minute Larry” it’s scary. I try to be organised but every year seems to land up being the same HO-HO-HO 🙂

  5. I’ll buy 99% of the presents for Christmas weeks in advance, then leave 1 present until the shops shut on the 24th! I’m awful like that!

    I keep seeing such innovative ideas for homemade presents on blogs at the moment; I love the idea of making homemade low-sugar jam 🙂 And that’s a bargain for those jars; I’ve got a couple of bigger ones from TK Maxx, but they set me back about £5 each!

  6. YEs get yourselves down to Ikea people- cheap jars!
    Lucy the superjam book is quite cheap, and as well as jams it has recipes for jellies, nut butter, and also things to do with the jam (like jam tarts etc).

  7. I’m already starting to stress a bit as I have only bought one present so far and have so many people to buy for, plus as I’m trying to be a bit thrifty this year I don’t want to leave things late and have to spend more money than needed just to be able to get stuff! Thanks for the parcel by the way! I got it at work today, can’t wait to try those pumpkin cakes, I have some soya yoghurt which will go with them perfectly 🙂

  8. I always end up completely out of the loop whenever someone talks about xmas or xmas shopping! Of all my eccentricities, the fact that we’ve never celebrated xmas in my immediate family (parents) always freaks people out more than anything else. I do enjoy reading about everyone else’s xmas traditions though!

    And anyone that receives any of your baked goods is a very, very lucky person indeed. See this post ( for more about that – I could wax lyrical about what a brilliant baker you are all day 🙂


  9. Jess thanks so much for that- made me teary reading it!
    Jemma- snap! I love to be prepared- what will you put in your hamper?
    Laura-glad they arrived OK hope you enjoy them!

  10. I start in January usually and put things away in a box. What usually happens though it that I forget what I got for who and so end up buying more later on in the year.
    I usually start getting organised round October as I have presents I need to post abroad (how expensive is postage?!)

    I first had booja booja last Xmas when my sister in law brought some truffles as a gift for hosting Xmas lunch. I’d never tasted anything like them. Mine were Hazelnut and simply delicous, but then I do love me a truffle 🙂

  11. Fingers crossed for you this year after last year – what a nightmare…
    I’m so impressed at your organisation; I start saving early but don’t actually get shopping – but I’ve got a week off at the start of December so I’ll probably do most of it then. I love the look of those gingerbread men!

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