DO Get Out!
The Ramblers Festival of Winter Walks aims to get more people walking through and exploring Britain’s dramatic, bare landscapes. This is a great time of year for a stroll; wild animals and birds are more visible and all that tramping keeps you toasty! There are thousands of free walks to choose from; burn off that pudding and turkey. Alternatively, create your own walks – find our favourites here, some lovely ideas from The Guardian here, beautiful spots here and ideas for secret woodland rambles here – let’s hope it’s cold enough for frosty ground and frozen waterfalls.
RECIPE Can We Have Some More?
Can we let you in on a secret? One of our favourite times of the festive season is just after Christmas; there’s no pressure, no expectations, just acres of space begging to be filled with cosy, fun things to do. We adore recycling our Christmas excess creatively. Find some recipe brilliant ideas for uneaten Christmas pudding and cake here (don’t tell anyone, but we think Christmas pudding ice-cream is better than the hot version!). And there are some really tasty leftover cheese recipes here, for the bits of the board that no-one can face. Or use up your mountain of roast potatoes with these Mashed Potato Pancakes
MAKE Cut and Come Again
Alternatively, get creative with Christmas cards and wrapping paper. Make retro decorations out of this year’s greetings – we love the geometric ones here and here while these baubles are chic and reminiscent of pine cones. Or go big and try making garlands, and bunting. More intricate, these little shadow boxes are like tiny, shiny landscapes. Alternatively, get ahead and use this year’s greetings to make next year’s cards! Adapt these ideas or go very simple!
MAKE and DO For the Record
New Year, new diary! But why not do something a little different this year? In a world where we had infinite time, we might consider a luscious, three-page daily stream of consciousness diary but, being honest, a quick memory journal is probably more likely (and possibly more interesting to our children when they are grown-up). We’re also going to make more of an effort with our photo journaling (create a private Instagram account to make things super-easy), while an art journal can be a beautiful thing for those lucky enough to have the talent. Want to encourage your children to start a daily diary? Try these tips, make your own versions of these ready-made books, or try something alternative – we’re inspired by the idea of a daily nature journal!
RECIPE Cook for Luck
Many countries have special New Year’s Day recipes that bring luck and love over the next few months. It’s fun to try a few – if the luck doesn’t emerge, at least you’ll have had a tasty treat. Find out why Italians regard lentils as lucky and a deliciously simple and warming New Year soup recipe here (it’s even perfect for babies). German Bundt – ring-shaped cakes, are sometimes baked with little toys inside and are a symbol of coming full circle. Try Mary Berry’s cherry version. In Spain, it’s considered lucky to pop a grape in your mouth for every stroke of midnight – if you can’t manage that (or are worried someone will choke) then try serving these delicious Roasted Grape Goat Cheese Honey Stuffed Sweet Potatoes or Roasted Grape Crostini. Cornbread is considered a lucky January 1 snack in the deep south of the USA, and it’s so, so easy to make – find a recipe here. In Greece, families throw a pomegranate against their front door for luck, the more seeds that fall out, the more luck and fertility you’ll have! If you have any left over, try making some of these recipes (Rose Meringues with Pomegranate and Cauliflower Soup with Pomegranate and Coriander both sound heavenly).
Happy New Year, everyone! May there be happy and healthy times ahead!