50 Things To Do In Winter | 2021 Prep, Getting Cosy, Being Present

Winter really excites me. The turn of a New Year is on the horizon and it marks a new chapter for us all. The weather doesn’t allow for socialising and the time spent alone can be isolating but, if used correctly, can be a time of self-improvement. I wanted to make a list 50 things you can do in Winter. Some of them are Christmas oriented, but the majority can be applicable for anyone no matter their religion! They’re all supposed to make you feel good, cosy, and confident.

This post is made in collaboration with my dear friend Meg, but you may know her as The Blog Girl or @baking.by.meg! We collaborated before, way back in summer. It was absolute pleasure working with Meg so we’ve decided to collaborate again, this time on a 50 things to do in winter post! Surprisingly, it wasn’t that hard to come up with so many ideas. But, if there isn’t something here that floats your boat, Meg has another 50 things on her blog. Click here to see the post! Please also follow Meg’s Instagram, she is the most wonderful baker and you will surely enjoy her content.

Let’s get into it!

  • Create a really extravagant, over-the-top hot chocolate
  • Have porridge for breakfast 
  • Make a Christmas Pinterest board
  • Read an entire book in a day
Photo by Any Lane on Pexels.com
  • Blankets
  • Make some wintery wallpaper for your phone, laptop etc
  • Bullet journal Christmas movies you want to watch
  • Write out your New Year’s Goals and how you will achieve them
  • On a frosty morning, brew a cuppa tea and drink it outside
Photo by Ivars on Pexels.com
  • Drink lots of hot water – but make sure you don’t burn yourself!
  • Go for an early morning walk
  • Cook up a big breakfast: hash browns, egg bread, beans – the lot!
  • Practise calligraphy so you can impress people with your Christmas cards
Photo by Anthony Shkraba on Pexels.com
  • Make a Pinterest board for your 2021 manifestations 
  • Do a series on your Instagram (12 Days Of Musicmas, Takeover Tuesday, What I Wore Wednesday)
  • Bake gingerbread 
Photo by Nicole Michalou on Pexels.com
  • Go for an afternoon walk to see the early sunset
  • Watch the sunrise 
  • Learn how to knit
  • Sort out your emails and unsubscribe from unnecessary mailing lists
  • Unfollow people who won’t bring your positive vibes in 2021
  • Plan content ahead of time!
  • Prioritise revision for end of term tests
  • Sort out your wardrobe 
  • Determine what gifts you’re getting for people for Christmas
  • Bake mince pies
  • Get a nice planner for 2021 or set up your bullet journal for the next year
Photo by Ivan Samkov on Pexels.com
  • Watch telly in your duvet on the sofa
  • Sort out your room thoroughly
  • Sell things you no longer want
  • Video call your friends
  • Do a Secret Santa
  • Change your bedding to something more seasonal
Photo by Jan Kopu0159iva on Pexels.com
  • Decorate your room
  • Go for a walk with your friend
  • List out everything 20 things you learned in 2020
  • Spend time with your family
  • Play board games
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com
  • Try some interesting new tea flavour
  • Bake something unusual
  • Listen to the birds
  • Whip out your colouring book and settle down for a cosy afternoon with a good film and get colouring 
  • Learn different zentangle patterns 
  • Set a Goodreads goal for next year
  • Make pom-pom room decor
  • Start a scrapbook
Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com
  • Read through old letters
  • Find a penpal to start writing to
  • Go through a recipe book and tab things you want to make
  • Sort though old photographs 

This list has a balance of looking forward to the New Year, and being grateful for the moment. Let me know if you try any of these! I’d love to see your pics on Instagram.

What do you want to do this Winter?

Catherine x

Find me elsewhere on the Internet:

Instagram: @cathjaneblog

Goodreads: @cathjaneblog

Pinterest: @cathjaneblog

Email me! cathjaneblog@gmail.com

Top 5 Favourite Bakes To Make This Christmas

Hello everyone! Welcome to blogmas day 3. Are you all having a good December so far?

Today’s post is packed with my favourite 5 bakes to make at Christmas. Sometimes you get stuck in a cycle of the same recipes over and over – but no longer! My favourite festive treats are not out of the ordinary – but I’ve thrown a few in there to consider when you’re getting out the Christmas apron. 

I’ve linked the trusted BBC Good Food recipes for all of these suggestions in case you would like to make them yourself. Please send me photos of any that you make if you’ve taken inspiration from this post!

Mince Pies

A bit like Marmite, these traditional bakes you either love or hate. I personally love mince pies – they’re my favourite Christmasy snack although this year we broke the rules and made some in September. I’m sorry Grinches! That’s what 2020 has done to us. Normally I make these with a butter and flour pastry (Meg can follow up on what type of pastry that is haha), then spooning in mincemeat filling!

Christmas mince pies recipe - BBC Food
These look so yummy. Find the recipe here on BBC Good Food.

I don’t agree with the recipe I linked – you don’t need an egg. You just need flour and butter to make a short pastry then filling!

Gingerbread Men

They’re so cute gahh! Gingerbread men are a classic, and even if you’re not committed to the process of making and baking them, pre-bought ones are super fun to decorate. I made gingerbread with my little cousin last year and they went down a treat. For younger children this is a great activity but honestly, adults deserve the fun too. 

Gingerbread men on a wire tray
Aren’t these so cute! Recipe here.

Rudolph Cupcakes

If you’re following my Instagram then you will see in a couple of days my recreation of these Rudolph cupcakes! I used The Vegan Blog of Baking’s recipe for the chocolate sponge and invented the decorating myself. Jazzing up some traditional cupcakes with festive decoration is simple but so effective. You can use all sorts of things to make your design unique!

Rudolf cupcakes
These cupcakes from taste.com are so cute!

Candy Cane Biscuits

Imagine biscuit cut into candy cane shapes, decorated with royal icing… Well you don’t have to imagine because here is a photo! These would be quite a delicate bake but 100% worth it. I really want to make these at the weekend, possibly with some orange zest in the dough for some added festivity. 

Candy Cane Sugar Cookies | Better Homes & Gardens
This photo was sourced from the BHF website

I would use this recipe without the currants then cut accordingly. Easter biscuits are firm enough to cut into fiddly shapes and they hold well in the oven!

Cinnamon Rolls

Just the thought makes me feel all warm and fuzzy! Cinnamon is typically associated with Christmas and for all the right reasons. It’s one of my favourite spices and when included in anything: cupcakes, porridge, cereal it makes the food instantly taste like “Christmas”. I was really inspired to make cinnamon rolls after seeing them on my friend’s Instagram page. I have made them before but not for a long time. They are such a comfort food, and when made the right way, taste super homely. I’m in love with cinnamon rolls for that reason!

Three cinnamon rolls with vanilla icing served on a plate
This photo is sourced from BBC Good Food

I really hope you enjoyed day 3 of blogmas! It really wouldn’t be blogmas without the mention of sweet treats. 

What’s your favourite festive bake?

Have a brilliant day,

Find me elsewhere on the Internet:

Instagram: @cathjaneblog

Goodreads: @cathjaneblog

Pinterest: @cathjaneblog

Email me! cathjaneblog@gmail.com

Step Into Blogmas! (Let’s Go Together)

People watching snow fall forever and ever!

I’m pretty excited – I don’t know if you can tell!

This year I’m committing to blogmas. 24 days of content up until Christmas day. The media is going to be saturated with Christmas content so it would mean a great deal if you could read mine. I will also make sure not all the posts are festive because quite a number of my followers are Muslim or not religious at all 🙂 

Excitingly, there are going to be a few collabs coming your way. At the moment I have scheduled one per week!

Over on Instagram, I will be posting frequently: every Saturday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. There is an amazing IGTV coming your way too which I can’t wait for you to watch. Experimenting with video making this month is going to be a priority.

Tomorrow I’ll be greeting you with the first *official* day of blogmas which is a Christmas playlist. 

I hope you’re ready for all the content I have planned for the next 25 days.

Will you be joining?

Have a fabulous December,

Catherine x

Find me elsewhere on the Internet:

Instagram: @cathjaneblog

Goodreads: @cathjaneblog

Pinterest: @cathjaneblog

Email me! cathjaneblog@gmail.com

Easy-To-Follow Christmas Cake Recipe

It is a bit too early to get excited for Christmas – but it is not too early to bake your Christmas cake! My family has a tradition of making a Christmas cake, though I know not many people make one anymore. The traditional Christmas cake is made from mostly fruit and needs to be fed with brandy a couple of times before you marzipan and ice (which you would do very close to Christmas!) Fruit cakes are best when matured so that is why we made ours so early. Today I’m going to take you through my simple Christmas cake recipe.

Ingredients:

900g brandy soaked mixed fruit and cherries (this is the most expensive ingredient but you can get your hands on it from most supermarkets, though you will have to do the brandy soaking yourself!)

225g plain or self-raising flour

1/2 teaspoon of mixed spice

225g dark brown sugar

50g flaked almonds

225g butter/margerine

4 medium/large eggs (as long as they’re not too small)

Method:

1) You will need to double line a 20cm round cake tin and preheat the oven to 140ºC/284ºF.

2) Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth. It should look a bit like this:

3) Beat the eggs into a separate bowl and slowly add to the butter/sugar mixture. Then add in the flour and mix well.

4) Add mixed spice, nuts and gradually fold the mixed fruit in (a couple of handfuls at a time) Mix until everything is evenly blended.

5) Transfer to the tin and spread mixture evenly.

6) Bake in the centre of the oven for 4 hours.Check the cake midway through its baking to make sure it isn’t going dark on top. If it is then wet a piece of baking paper or parchment the same size and the cake and place this on top (you may have to repeat this). 

7) Once cooked, cool for about an hour before removing from tin. We left the cake to cool overnight to prevent any accidents!


Now the shops have got their Christmas stock out, I can’t help but get excited. This time of the year is so full of life and lykke. I tend to be going out more and ‘living in the moment’! It’s all very exciting. If you have a lot of guests over at Christmas then I 100% recommend making this cake. It goes down so well with visitors and it’s also fun to make!

Do you make Christmas cake? Or are you more of a pudding person?

I hope you enjoy the rest of November, instead of wishing ahead to December 25th!

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