Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Mish | Music to our Ears

Christmas has gone and passed but we are still in the festive period as we head towards Hogmanay and New Years Day. Sadly I will be working January 1st so it won't be a late night for me but for many others the party still rages on.

I have loved this song for as long as I can remember and Tori and I christened her new home by singing this at the top of our voices in the living room, scaring the neighbours in the process. I can't think of a more perfect song for the start of the new year!
Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons ~ December 1963 (Oh what a night)

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Mish | Christmas Advent Day 17

My word is it the 17th of December already? Time is flying so fast and I haven't even finished my shopping, eekk! To get me in the festive mood the CD player has been taking a bashing and one song has stuck in my head all day. Sadly this doesn't get as much air play on the radio as other songs but shall always remain a classic with me.

Solomon Burke ~ Presents for Christmas

Disclaimer: Jute, Jam and Joy claim no right to the photo & video.
Photo Source: Link
Video Source: Link

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Jute, Jam and Joy Christmas Advent Day 10

As Christmas rolls into town so do the Christmas television adverts. Advertising is a difficult thing to do any time of the year even more so at Christmas, but this year has been a serious mixed bag. Some adverts have stuck with the traditional Christmas theme of family, snow and joy. Some companies look like they have filmed a bog standard advert and whacked some festive tunes over the top i.e. disappointing.

However there is one advert which has done the rounds now for a number of years and always produces a smile/sing-along whenever it appears on our screen. Not many people would take on the might of the Snowman "Walking in the Air" song, but Irn-Bru have always laughed in the face of danger and produced possible one of the most Scottish Christmas Adverts ever. Enjoy.

IRN-BRU ~ Snowman Advert

And the original for reference.

The Snowman ~ Walking in the Air

Disclaimer: Jute, Jam and Joy claim no right to these videos.
Photo Source: Link

Monday, 8 December 2014

Advent Day 8: Mish's Sainsbury's Ready to Cook Soup Review

As the winter nights draw in all you want is to have something warm to eat. A big bowl of soup is normally the answer. I love making soup, but not always eating it. Strange I know, but most soups for some reasons never fill me up, however the bread and butter provided always hits the spot, ahem...

Moving on, my favourite soup to make is butternut squash. Relatively easy to create but it can be time consuming peeling the squash. When my mother came home last month with a bag of Sainsbury's Ready to Cook Butternut Soup Mix with red onion and chilli; curiosity got the better of me.

Instructions are as follows: add the contents from the bag into a pot and fry for 5-10 mins in 2 teaspoons of oil. I fried the mixture for 15 mins as the vegetables were still a little hard after 10. Once fried add 700ml of boiled water to which I added a vegetable stock cube for flavour. (This is one of the tips on the back for "extra flavour" but I thought it was common knowledge to add a stock cube, clearly not according to Sainsbury's)

Before frying commences
After 20 mins of simmering

Now I am going to tell you a little secret, when I make my normal butternut soup I always add Dates. It gives a slight sweetness and also gives the soup a creamy texture once it has been blended. Chop up about 6 dates into smaller pieces and pop those in before you start boiling up.

After 20 mins or so your veges should have softened and cooked through. I let the soup cool a little before I plunged my hand held blender in and blended until the mixture was smooth.

The soup once blended, if you can see it through all the steam ;)

Truthfully the first taste was disappointing, the flavour didn't make a huge impact and the chilli was non-existent. I always add S&P after I make a soup as you don't know how strong the stock cube will be, so in went seasoning. I added ground ginger which vastly improved things and a dash of Piri Piri sauce for extra kick. Adding dates to this mixture didn't give the creaminess I was expecting so in went a dash of cream. Once I added my own little bits the soup did come alive but still tasted watery/bland for me, I'm thinking the vegetables were probably bland to begin with. All in all it was a nice soup but the bread and butter was calling me soon after.

Sainsbury's Ready to Cook Butternut Squash Soup Mix Review
  1. 6.5 Stars out of a possible 10
  2. Great if you are rushed for time, but be prepared to add a lot of extra seasoning. Makes me wonder if I'm saving that much time in the end.
  3. Great concept from Sainsbury's but idea and ingredients needs tweaking in order to compete with the readymade soup market.
I was planning on creating glorious photos of a pristine kitchen, gleaming plates filled with wonderful soup but sadly I don't live like that. My kitchen is a jumble of different utensils, not enough space and no matter how much you clean the induction hob the ruddy thing loves finger marks. Also bonus points to you if you spotted the rouge Ketchup bottle in one of the pics haha.

So there we have it, I can't think if this is our first food review on the blog; but if it is?
How did you like it? Leave us a comment below we love hearing from you all.

Disclaimer: All photos copyright of Mish at Jute, Jam and Joy, 2014

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Jute, Jam and Joy's Christmas Advent Days 1 ~ 3

Hello Everyone!

As promised here is the first three days of Jute, Jam and Joys Christmas Advent

December 1st

The 1st of December means only one thing; Christmas music can be officially played for everyone to hear. Let's ease ourselves in with the one and only...

Mariah Carey ~ All I want for Christmas Is You

December 2nd

Black Friday hit the U.K last week, our local Tesco actually closed due to people fighting over plasma TV's. Frankly we both think the idea is absurd, are people really that obsessed over getting a cheaper kettle? (Although Mish did have a chuckle trying to find an appropriate picture to go with this post.)

Moving on, Dundee doesn't have the shopping options as bigger cities such as Glasgow and Edinburgh does, so we both do a lot of internet shopping come Christmas time. So we thought it would be fun to create a little list of some of our first port of calls.
  1. Not on the High Street  ~ Need something personalised? Then this should be your first stop. A wonderful selection of unique gifts. Top Tip: Always check the actual product designers own website, sometimes the gift you want is actually cheaper there.
  2. FeelUnique ~ FeelUnique has some of the best cosmetic/toiletry selections on-line. Free postage is always a bonus too!
  3. Firebox ~ Need a totally random gift? We are saving up in order to purchase two of these for our office.
  4. The Outnet ~ Net-a-Porter's little sister but with some massive savings. Designers are even creating clothing especially for this high end discount site which speaks volumes in our books.
  5. Food websites: Nothing says Christmas like a good Hamper and here is a selection of some of our favourites  Scottish Hampers Selfridge  Fortnum & Mason

December 3rd

Decorating the family Christmas tree is always a joyous occasion. Sadly Tori is allergic to real Christmas trees and Mish hates the smell of them (we're a right pair) so it's fake all the way for us. However you can still have a piece of nature in your home with the right decorations.

This wicker wreath from Matalan is a perfect festive edition to any front door. Who doesn't love bit of glitter.

And these pine cone candles from John Lewis are just adorable.

Another one from John Lewis  Can you imagine 8 of these just dotted around your house! HOHOHO!

So are you excited for Christmas? Have you bought all your presents? 
Is anyone else allergic to real Christmas Trees? 
Leave us a comment down below, we love hearing from you all!

Disclaimer: Jute, Jam and Joy claim no right to any photos/ videos used in this post.
All views are own. We have no connection to companies mentioned in this post.
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Black Friday Photo: Link
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John Lewis Photo: Link
John Lewis Photo: Link

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Tori: MTTM Yankee candle edit!

Hello lovelies. It's been a while since I did a Money's Too Tight to Mention post and I've really missed them. So to ease myself back into regular blogging, here's my November favourites (Yankee Candle edition). I buy all of these candles in sampler/ votive size and they retail for around £1.80 on Yankee's website. The perfect price for a little treat!
  1. Fireside Treats- this has featured in one of posts already but it's still a firm favourite and I've repurchased it. I described it as smelling like toasted marshmallows on speed. Pretty much sums it up!
  2. Pineapple Cilantro- sweet yet not at all sickly. This is a very green, fresh smelling pineapple scent. Absolutely beautiful and very uplifting. Highly recommend!
  3. Christmas Cookie has an incredibly intense, sweet scent. Buttery and rich, it can scent the whole room unlit.
  4. Snowflake Cookie- this is a little more mellow than big sister scent Christmas Cookie. Beautiful girlie pink colour and not too sickly, I loved falling asleep with this scent filling the room. Pink, subtly spiced, vanilla heaven.
  5. Strawberry Buttercream is a staple in my bathroom. It doesn't just smell like strawberries and cream, oh no, this has an incredibly rich and heavy fruity buttercream scent that sooths my soul. This would be perfect all year round but I've found ultra sweet scents to be incredibly comforting as Autumn has slipped into Winter.
What are your favourite sweet scents? Happy December everyone... and so the countdown begins....

Photo credit http://www.yankeecandle.co.uk/en/uk/festive/snowflake-cookie/invt/1275345e
No copyright infringement intended.
All other content copyright Tori at Jute, Jam and Joy 2014