Jodie Alice Fisher A personal blog from the heart of a young Mum Thu, 21 Jan 2021 18:34:48 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 98180168 Christmas Bake Off – Christmas Tree Mince Pie Brownies Sun, 24 Jan 2021 10:00:00 +0000 I promise you I have not gone crazy, I understand that it is nearly the end of January but I still wanted to share this blog post so I hope you enjoy!

It came as a huge shock to me that Freya wanted to take part in her school’s Christmas Bake Off competition. It’s very rare that she would push herself to do more than what is required. At first I brushed off the idea, thinking it would be too much work for her to organise and bake something to take in. But then I thought what the heck, my role is to encourage her and support her.

Together we researched some recipes that she would find easy to follow. Freya wanted to make mince pie cookies but we have had many opportunities to try and perfect that recipe and they always go wrong, she loves them but they certainly aren’t “out of the house” ready.

In the end we went for Christmas Tree Mince Pie Brownies. I wanted to share the recipe here with you because they were the most delicious Christmas treat I’ve ever tasted and would make a wonderful gift too if popped in little sealed bags. It was a mixture of two different recipes that we used, the brownie recipe and the decorating recipe


For the Brownies:

For Decorating:

  • 1 tub white vanilla icing (or make up your own white icing with icing sugar)
  • green food colouring
  • small round sprinkles
  • small star sprinkles
  • candy canes (we actually ended up forgetting to add these in)


The brownies:

  1. Melt the butter and chocolate in a bowl, either in a microwave for 20-second blasts, or by setting the bowl over a pan of simmering water and stirring. Once melted, leave the mixture to cool.
  2. Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Line the base of a shallow 20cm square tin with non-stick baking parchment.
  3. Sieve the flour and cocoa into a medium bowl. Separately whisk the eggs and sugar together until thick and creamy.
  4. Pour in the cooled chocolate mixture into the sugary egg mix, then fold together. Be gentle so you don’t knock out the air.
  5. Sift in the cocoa and flour mixture, stir gently together. Try not to over mix.
  6. Gently crush the mince pies, try not to make the pieces too tiny. You’ll want them more chunky.
  7. Spoon a little mixture into the prepared tin, then spread out the mince pies. Scrape over the rest of the mixture, gently easing it between and over the mince pies. Level the top. Put in the oven for 25 mins. If the brownie mixture is very wobbly in the middle, it’s not quite done, so bake for another 5 -10 mins. Take out of the oven and leave to cool in the tin.

The decorating:

  1. Remove the brownies from the pan, and cut into triangles with a sharp knife. (Cut in three rows, then cut in alternating diagonals, this took us ages to figure out and could have been done a bit better)
  2. Unwrap the candy canes, and use a sharp knife to gently cut/break the candy canes into 1.5 inch long pieces. Be very careful!
  3. Press the candy cane into the bottom of the brownie triangles.
  4. To make the icing, spoon out roughly 1/2 of the tub of icing into a bowl and add a few drops of green food colouring. Add the green until you are happy with the colour.
  5. Spoon the icing into a piping bag or a ziplock bag with a small corner cut off.
  6. Starting at the top of the brownie triangles, gently squeeze out the icing in a curvy zigzag as you go down to create a tree.
  7. Add ball shaped sprinkles to represent the baubles and a star on the top.

I adore baking so it took me a great strength to not get my hands involved in this bake. I stepped back completely and allowed Freya to take over my kitchen. We did film her baking which is below.

I am really proud of her for this. Freya did such a brilliant job for her first solo bake. The Christmas Trees tasted absolutely amazing, there’s a real mix of the chocolatey indulgence with the gorgeous mince pie taste.

Freya took her Christmas Tree Mince Pie Brownies to school and entered them in the Christmas bake off. We were so thrilled to hear that she ended up being in the runners up, the top 20! A perfect result for her efforts.

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My Mum Has Covid Thu, 21 Jan 2021 10:00:35 +0000 Trying to get out my words has been hard. I don’t think the dictionary has the words that I can describe my feelings with because this is all too surreal. Possibly broken, devastated, worried, anxious but they don’t seem big enough for the enormity of my emotions.

In the first week of the new year, my Mum started feeling really poorly. She was being sick and absolutely exhausted. She did everything to try and stay at home, and spent over a week barely eating/drinking and sleeping throughout the day and night. 

During that time, she went for a COVID test to be sure. It came back as COVID POSITIVE!

This came as such a shock to me. My Mum, someone who has been cooped up indoors for months to keep herself safe. She’s a vulnerable person after having a kidney transplant a few years ago. She is immune suppressed.

On Saturday, 16th January, her oxygen levels dropped to a dangerous low level and my Step-Dad and my Mum made the decision to call the NHS for help. Of course the paramedics insisted there was no other option but to admit her to hospital.

It’s now been just over five days since she was taken to hospital in an ambulance.

Before my Mum went into hospital, I didn’t think it would get bad. It never truly occurred to me that she might need to go to hospital. Stupidly I assumed a bit of rest would sort her out and we’d be back to normal with a week or so.

But the days went by and our contact with each other grew less and less as she stopped being as awake. This has been the hardest adjustment for me. Going from FaceTiming for hours every single day, to one text a day to now nothing.

When she was admitted to hospital, at first, just like I always do and shouldn’t, I thought the worst of everything. I started imagining a world without her and how we would tell the girls. How I would manage to juggle daily life without being able to confide in my Mum. Never being able to see her smile or hear her laugh.

But then I was reminded of how strong she is. How much she’s been through in this life and how much there is left to do and see. That I know she would not back down on this fight because her love for those around her is far too great to just give up so easily.

I feel like I’m grieving already. My life has changed drastically over the past two weeks. Not being able to pick up the phone and tell her how difficult it is remote teaching the girls, how Eva has been an emotional wreck and demanding a dog again, seeing all the sewing creations she is making, whinging about coronavirus and the lockdown.

I am praying hard that this is temporary, that God will heal my Mum and give her the strength to fight this disgusting virus. I pray that my Mum knows that there is no other option but to get better and come home.

If I’m honest to myself and to you reading this, my Mum is not doing well. It’s a terribly scary time for our family but I want to say thank you to everybody who has text me, messaged, commented and phoned me to give love, prayers and just to let me know I am not alone. It’s getting me through the darkest of days.

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3 Ways to Jazz Up a Winter Outfit Tue, 19 Jan 2021 11:50:53 +0000 In comparison to summer when you tend to see a myriad of different bright colors everywhere, dressing for winter can feel a bit dull. As silly as it seems, the way that you dress, and how others around you dress, can have subtle effects on your mental health.

If you see someone wearing a bright yellow outfit, this is likely to make you smile, so it will probably be the same for them. Likewise, if you are feeling confident, quirky and interesting, this will make you stand out on the streets which is always an empowering feeling. Here are a couple of ways to spice up your winter outfit so that it doesn’t just look gray and boring.

Add a Statement Bag

One simple way to add an interesting element to your outfit, particularly if you aren’t that daring with your outfit color scheme, is to add a pop of color through a statement bag. This is a great option to opt for, as a bag probably won’t clash with your clothing – rather, it will complement it.

Bags are also really practical investments to make, so if you are considering splashing out on one fashion item, a bag is probably the one to go for. You will always need a bag throughout your life for different purposes, so you will be assured that this is something that you can keep for years. If you are looking to invest in a fancy bag, why not treat yourself and look through the collection of Gucci bags listed at SSENSE. This retailer has bags of all shapes and sizes so you truly will be spoilt for choice.

Find Some Funky Boots

Another way of making your outfit more interesting is to draw attention to the shoes. Having said this, you do want something practical and weather appropriate, so those cool sandals that you have lying about in your wardrobe probably won’t do. Boots are an amazing option for winter, since they cover all of your foot (and much higher if you opt for certain styles!). In addition to this, they are super classy and stylish, so they are a perfect combination of practicality and fashion.

Incorporate Some Patterns

If your outfit is predominantly quite monochrome, why not make it more eye-catching by adding some cool patterns in? Having a fairly plain outfit means that if you do want to add in color or patterns, it can never be ‘too much’, so you really can go all out with one crazy item. Fun patterns you could experiment with include polka dots, leopard print or sparkles. This will make you feel as though you are standing out from the crowd a bit, but it doesn’t have to be that obvious if you don’t want it to be.

There are many creative ways to make your winter outfits fun, without having to compromise your warmth. It is definitely worth having a few interesting pieces in your wardrobe, especially for those days when you do not want to fully stick to the expectations of stereotypically plain winter clothing.

Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.

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Freya’s 12th Birthday Sun, 17 Jan 2021 10:30:00 +0000 Having a birthday on Christmas Eve is always quite tricky for Freya as her friends are usually busy with family.

As we got closer to December it was becoming obvious that we wouldn’t be able to have a party with friends but would be able to celebrate with family.

We ended up having big plans for Freya’s 12th birthday. A fake Christmas spent at my Mum’s house. We actually do this every year but usually a bit earlier than Christmas Eve.

It’s always one of my most favourite days of the year, even pre-covid. My Mum always decorated wonderfully, goes way over the top with presents and we eat far too much food. The girls love it.

So we decided to plan our fake Christmas for Freya’s birthday celebrations too. My mum decorated and planned food. It was set to be such a magical and special day for all of us, but especially Freya who was turning 12 years old!

Literally a few days before Christmas Eve, the UK Government announced more restrictions and pretty much cancelled Christmas for the South East of England. Us.

I cried. We now couldn’t spend Christmas Eve with my family and celebrate Freya’s birthday together.

The government couldn’t cancel Freya’s birthday though, and I scrambled together some ideas to attempt to make it a special day despite the disappointment.

Firstly I asked Freya to put together a list of her favourite foods.

So after opening our presents, I created a perfect breakfast full of the stuff she loves. Breakfast waffles and fruit! Ok, to be fair she isn’t a big fan of fruit at all but I needed her to have something to balance out the golden syrup and sugar waffles. She was happy and that was all that mattered to me.

This year we decided not to go crazy on our presents for Freya. We knew we’d be visiting my Mum who definitely goes over the top each year. But then when everything was cancelled, the presents we gave seems so pathetic! She got a new bed earlier in the year so that was a big part of her birthday present, which left her with a new watch and some art supplies.

My mother-in-law kindly did a doorstop drop of pressies and watched Freya open them from the safety of her car. Even though this was certainly an unusual way of gift giving, it certainly meant a lot to me.

I’m usually quite strict on Freya, making sure she’s behaving and not having too much screen time but today I wanted her to be able to choose what she wanted to do with her day at home. Of course being on her iPad, video calling her friends and watching far too much YouTube was high on her list of to-do’s.

I somehow managed to persuade her off the devices to come and play some card games with me. Just her and me. We started with a game of WHOT which we found far too easy with two players and there was no chance anyone else would join us. So we moved to playing Buzz, one of my favs! Freya was shockingly good once we got in the swing of things.

At some point in 2020, I saw a fantastic idea for a birthday cake and we seem to have adopted it as a little tradition now. The doughnut tower! 

It’s definitely not a birthday cake as such, but it’s a perfectly proportioned option. We all have our own doughnut to enjoy and everyone in our family loves doughnuts. I managed to scramble some letter candles from our tiny stash too which made it a bit more special.

Freya asked for some pâte and baguette for her lunch and then nachos (tortilla chips with melted cheese on top) for dinner time. That’s exactly what she got.

One thing I noticed that although this birthday was very different to our usual birthday celebrations, she smiled so brightly the entire day. In her eyes, it was just as brilliant as it would have been. That’s all that mattered.

By the evening time, our birthday celebrations turned into preparing for Christmas. For Eva and Elsa the most exciting part is getting the treats ready for Santa to come.

As Hubby and I rarely drink alcohol, we never leave out alcohol for Santa. Instead the girls decided he might need some energy so they left him some Lucozade, reindeer food (oats and glitter) and some mini doughnuts left over from our birthday tower.

We all went to bed feeling exciting and full of love. We had the perfect lockdown Christmas Eve!

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