The Ten Most Popular Birthday Cake Flavours

The Ten Most Popular Birthday Cake Flavours

There’s nothing worse than cutting into your birthday cake and finding out your family, who’s supposed to know you SO well, went with vanilla.  Vanilla is so overrated.  I mean, I’ll eat all of it, but still . . .

A new survey asked people to name the type of cake they would want for their birthday.

And here are the 10 most popular . . .

1. Chocolate
2. Cheesecake
3. Chocolate chip
4. Vanilla
5. Red velvet
6. Marble
7. Carrot
8. Lemon
9. Coconut
10. Rainbow

If the latest series of GBBO has inspired you to pop on a pinny and start baking, check out our great mixing bowl to get you or your friends started!

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How to make a bath bomb

How to make a bath bomb

There is something incredibly relaxing about a warm bath and these homemade bath bombs take the relaxation up a notch!

Bath bombs have skyrocketed in popularity lately with thousands of options available.

These homemade bath fizzies are a great solution! Made from nourishing sea salt or epsom salts, alkalizing baking soda and fizzing citric acid with a nourishing oil and vanilla base.

These can be packaged for a great gift or made countless ways for relaxing baths anytime! ?

Bath Bomb Ingredients

  • 8 ounces Baking Soda (about 1 cup)
  • 4 ounces Citric Acid (1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) Sea Salt or Epsom Salt
  • 4 ounces cornflour (about 3/4 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons oil of choice
  • 2 teaspoons witch hazel (or water) plus a little more if needed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or more water)
  • 30-40 drops of essential oils or powdered dried herbs (ginger is great)

 

Bath Bomb Instructions

  1. Combine dry ingredients (baking soda, salt, citric acid, and cornflour) in a large bowl and mix well until combined.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the oil, witch hazel and vanilla extract and stir well. Add essential oils if using.
  3. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients a few drops at a time. Mix well with hands (wear gloves if you have sensitive skin). Add powdered dried herbs if using.
  4. Mixture should hold together when squeezed without crumbling. You may need to add slightly more witch hazel if it hasn’t achieved this consistency yet. I recommend using a spray bottle with additional liquid to evenly add.
  5. Quickly push mixture into moulds, greased muffin tins or any other greased container. Press in firmly and leave at least 24 hours (48 is better) or until hardened. It will expand some and this is normal. You can push it down into the mould several times while it is drying to keep it from expanding to much. Using the metal moulds will create a stronger and more effective final bath bomb.
  6. When dry, remove and store in air tight container or bag. Use within 2 weeks.

Bath bombs are a great way to relax in the tub after a long day of dealing with kids, cooking, and all the other activities that motherhood entails. If you’ve never tried them, I highly encourage it, as it’s one of our favourite things to do at the end of the day.

If you fancy something different CLICK HERE for our glitter bombs!

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How to put together a fabulous cheese board

How to put together a fabulous cheese board

Making a cheese board without breaking the bank is simpler than you might think, the possibilities are truly endless.

Cheese boards can be as fancy as you’d like, but mostly it’s best to keep it simple, with 2-3 meats, 2-3 cheeses, a pile of crackers, and a few handfuls of snack foods.  You can pull something together in about 5 minutes or spend half an hour assembling something fancy.

The secret to a great board? Just pile it on there. In all seriousness, you might not think you have what it takes to pull together a great board, but I bet you do. If you’re a fan of fancy meats and cheeses, go for it with all your favourites.

Simply load up a couple different deli meats folded into piles, some sliced cheddar, a wedge of brie, crackers or cheese biscuits, maybe even toasted left over bred, and whatever fresh veggies, fruits, and nuts are in your fridge/cupboards.

When you’re ready to build your board, start with the cheese. Ideally, there will be a mild, medium, and strong cheese. That could be a mild brie, a medium or sharp cheddar, monterey jack, and a stronger smelling cheese like stilton, or a goat cheese.

For a budget tip, splurge on a small chunk of your favourite fancy cheese and fill out the rest with the much less expensive brie and cheddar options.

You really don’t need much meat. Just a little scattering of meats on the board for salty savoury bites. Capocollo, prosciutto, salami (there are countless varieties of hard and soft salami that you can try), plain old ham, turkey, and roast beef will work as well. Don’t be intimidated by all of the choices.

Next, pile on a few different crackers. Use a basic sea salt cracker, a multigrain or wheat cracker, and then a nutty cracker that’s filled with dried fruits or other more unusual ingredients. Then add pickles and olives in little bowls most of the time so that their juices won’t mix with any of the other ingredients.

Add little bowls with a spicy jam or pickle and a sweeter option, honey, mustard, fresh vegetables, dried fruits (apricots, apples, banana chips, oranges, pineapples), nuts and fresh fruits.

Then add other random things like roasted peppers, pepperoncini, sun-dried tomatoes, pickled onions or gerkins, wasabi peas, edamame………. Sliced and toasted leftover baguette makes a nice addition as well.

And of course, serve it on a personalised board from Oh My Gift!  CLICK HERE for our favourite selection!

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Bubble Bath Fun

Bubble Bath Fun

Bubble baths are so much fun and we here at Oh My Gift wish everyday could be Bubble Bath Day. Our friends across the pond have got it right and celebrate Bubble Bath Day (yes, really!) on January 8th each year.

Bubble bath first appeared commercially over 50 years ago and currently sells over £1 billion  worth of bubbles each year around the world. But have you ever tried making your own? Simply mix together ½ cup mild liquid hand or body soap, 1 tablespoon sugar or honey, and 1 egg white and pour under the running water as you run the bath. Honey is a natural humectant, which attracts and retains moisture in your skin.

Bubble bath day is a fun day to relax and enjoy the warm and soothing pleasures of a bubble bath.  Best of all, it makes bath time fun for kids; just fill the tub with bubbles and toys. Then hop in and play!

And what could end off bath time better than wrapping your kids up in a snugly personalised towel just for them which you can check out here

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Where is Watership Down?

Where is Watership Down?

Watership Down is a hill, or down, at Ecchinswell in the civil parish of Ecchinswell, Sydmonton and Bishops Green in the English county of Hampshire, as part of the Hampshire Downs. It rises fairly steeply on its northern flank (the scarp side), but to the south the slope is much gentler (the dip side).
The Down is best known as the setting for Richard Adams’ 1972 novel[1] about rabbits, also called Watership Down. The area is popular with cyclists and walkers. A bridleway, the Wayfarer’s Walk cross county footpath, runs along the ridge of the Down which lies at the south-eastern edge of the North Wessex Downs Area of Natural Beauty. Other nearby features include Ladle Hill, on Great Litchfield Down, immediately to the west. Part of the hill is a 10.37 hectares (25.6 acres) biological Site of Special Scientific Interest, first notified in 1978. The hill has a partially completed Iron Age hill fort on its summit, and the surrounding area is rich in Iron Age tumuli, enclosures, lynchets and field systems. Further to the west lies Beacon Hill.
Watership Down is accessible via the large village of Kingsclere.

I read Richard Adams’ Watership Down for O Level. It was a book that examined different types of society but all the characters were rabbits. Many people may be familiar with this popular book and I’m sure some people are familiar with Martin Rosen’s animated adaptation, which came out in 1978. If you saw the movie Watership Down when you were a kid you might remember most notably the abundance of blood (for a cartoon about talking bunnies, it is a smidge on the gory side).

Watership Down, for those who are unfamiliar, is the story of some renegade rabbits. When the runty prophet rabbit, Fiver predicts bunny genocide, Hazel leads a group of fellow rabbits far away (against the wishes of their chief). The rabbits journey across the English countryside in search of a new warren, but the way is paved with trouble and bloodshed. There are other societies of rabbits with varying ideological positions on the nature of things and many battles will need to be fought before the end. Yes, they are bloody and it’s not exactly a kid’s movie.
There are some wonderful moments of suspense, peril, and surreal horror The rabbits’ relationship to their god, Frith, is a fascinating and touching representation of faith. Watership Down is not a sunny, happy Disney flick. It feels more like an historical account complete with myths and some original language (think Tolkien writing for a rabbit world).

Watership Down is, although notionally for children, in many respects an adult’s novel; or, rather, a novel that pulls children towards adulthood. It’s the story of a quest undertaken against one’s nature or inclinations – rather in the way that children often see the process of growth. Its first chapter has an epigraph from Aeschylus’s Agamemnon, which is an excellent example of not talking down to your audience.

For Watership Down fans, we have a range of personalised mugs – CLICK HERE to view!

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Why do people use wallets any more?

Why do people use wallets any more?

When you rush out the door in the morning, I guess that you have some basic checklist to go through: grab your phone, wallet, keys, etc. A recent survey posted on Reuters found that most people would rather lose their wallet than their cellphone. Having said that, the ‘old’ wallet was one of those essential things to carry with you along with your phone and keys before the ‘modern’ wallet and payment options of today came about.

What people really want is a wallet that keeps things secure and easy to access, large enough to hold their important stuff but not bulky or heavy, in essence, the perfect wallet.

But why not just use your phone?  Wallets are insecure – goodbye cash if your wallet gets stolen!  And the pain of having to cancel and replace cards and licences…. But using your phone… digital transactions must authenticate with your fingerprint or face. These are biometrics that have at most a 0.01% chance of incorrectly verifying a random person. So if your phone is stolen, it can’t be used for transactions. Thus digitizing reduces the long-term damage to your livelihood.

But we at Oh My Gift think that even if a wallet is seen as ‘retro’, there is something about a good quality, leather wallet that makes you just want to… well, own one!  Just as no one has ever put their wallet in their pocket and thought, “oooh yeah, so comfy”, phones aren’t exactly unbulky either!

Looking for something personal for your wallet, we love these metal keepsake cards – personalised with a photo of and message from your loved ones!  CLICK HERE.

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Fancy making your own bread?

Fancy making your own bread?

The Good Food cookery team from BBC Food show you how to knead, knock back and prove dough to bake the perfect loaf.

Top tips for perfect homemade bread:

  • Mix the flour, salt and yeast in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre, add the oil and water, and mix well. If the dough seems a little stiff, add 1-2 tbsp water.
  • Tip the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead it until the dough becomes satin-smooth.
  • Place it in a lightly oiled bowl to prove. Leave to prove for 1 hour until doubled in size or place in the fridge overnight.
  • Knock back the dough, then gently mould it into a ball. Place it on a baking tray lined with parchment to prove for a further hour until doubled in size.
  • Dust the loaf with flour and cut a cross, about 6cm wide, into the top of the loaf.
  • Preheat the oven to 220˚C/fan 200˚C/gas 7 and bake for 25-30 minutes.
  • Bake until golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped underneath.
  • Cool on a wire rack.

And of course, store it in a beautiful, personalised, bread bin!  CLICK HERE to view gift options from Oh My Gift

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Why Plastic Straws Suck

Why Plastic Straws Suck

It’s fantastic that we are having this debate because it can only lead to progress in the development of a truly sustainable and ecologically sound alternative.  Whilst Macdonalds has recently admitted that it’s switch from plastic straws to unrecyclable paper versions means that these straws have to be thrown in the bin after use, it is at least a discussion and focus on what will work in the future.

In England, it is estimated that annually we use 4.7 billion plastic straws!

The UK Government had already set out its plan to ban the distribution and sale of plastic straws, drinks stirrers and cotton buds to protect our rivers and seas.

So what are the alternatives?

Paper straws which collapse mid sip?

In fact there are a number of great alternatives already available to try:

  1. Metal straws.  Why not get yours engraved with your name so you don’t get your personal straw mixed up with others?!
  2. Wheat straws. This is the stalk left over after wheat grains are harvested. It is a 100% biodegradable product. 
  3. A US company is thinking outside of the box and introducing seaweed straws — that look, feel, and act like plastic
  4. Other plant based options include papaya leaf and bamboo
  5. Glass – little bit nerve wracking to use no doubt, but certainly an option!

CLICK HERE to shop Oh My Gift’s range of alternative straw options!

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