How To Make a Homemade Mulled Wine

It’s that time of the year again when if you’re a lover of Christmas like me you will try to think of any possible Christmas Traditions just to keep the festivities going for as long as you can OR if you’re like me you will try to start Christmas as soon as Halloween ends.

One of the best Christmas Traditions I can think of (for adults anyway) is making homemade mulled wine. The scent of apples, wine, oranges and various spices in the air is so magical I cannot describe it. It’s when I can smell it, I can really feel the beginning of Christmas. This is why today I decided to share this recipe with you and hopefully it will bring you and your family some magic this Christmas.

How To Make a Homemade Mulled Wine

Ingredients

  • Bottle of red wine – preferably dry wine
  • 1 Orange
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 Spoon of Maple Syrup
  • 1 Spoon of Honey
  • 1 Apple & 2 Cinnamon Sticks OR 1 Sachet of Mulled Wine Spice

Method

Wash the orange & lemon thoroughly under the cold water. Rinse with boiling water, twice. Cut both of them into small pieces with the skin still on it. Place them in a pot; pour in the bottle of wine. Gently heat up – do not boil. Add honey, maple syrup and the sachet of spices (or Apple and Cinnamon). Serve warm in a festive mug.

** Mulled wine spices are available in any of the Easter European Shops, or Polish shops. I haven’t seen this spice in any of the Irish shops however should I come across something similar I’ll be sure to update this post. **

 

Mulled wine is best served with some apple pie, mince pies or gingerbread cookies sitting by the fire.

An interesting fact for my Jetsetters – if you are looking to go to an amazing Christmas Market, Kraków (where I’m from) offers one of the biggest European Christmas Markets. In the market you will find large barrels with tiny doors; you knock on the door and the street seller opens and gives you a mug of mulled wine. (Of course it costs like 2 or 3 Zloty – its not free). However the idea itself and the picture it creates is magical.

 

Joanna x

 

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How To Make a Homemade Mulled Wine

 

Why are candles in the bedroom a bad idea?

Have you ever scrolled through Pinterest or an Instagram and thought wow that’s a great photo but why is she (or he) putting candles on their bedding?? While that makes for a great photo this styling is so dangerous and thoughtless!

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Today I am sharing the top reasons as to why having candles lit in your bedroom is an extremely bad idea.

  1. Fire – Number one cause of house fires are candles left unattended be that in the bedroom or anywhere else in the house. Sure they smell great but make sure they are placed away from all flammable materials and are blown out when you leave the room.
  2. Chemical Byproducts – Not all candles are what they state they are. They are not all “handmade & organic” like everything else on the market they contain chemicals that can cause a lot of damage to your health. Which brings me to the next point:
  3. Cancer – Yes, sadly our beloved candles can cause cancer. Not surprisingly, as many things these days cause cancer however think how big is your room? How small of an area you’re limiting the candle to affect; usually with the doors and windows closed we don’t usually let the fumes “go away” anywhere.
  4. Respiratory Irritation – You can develop lung irritation from inhaling the fumes, its almost as bad a second-hand smoking. The particles you inhale linger on your throat and eventually stick to its lining. This can cause long term damage.
  5. Common Allergies – Lastly, candles can bring out allergies onto you. They can cause allergies such as dust, linen and particular scents can trigger different symptoms, especially the spiced candles.

 

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I am sorry to be the bearer of the bad news, as I do love a good candle myself. Heck, I usually buy candles for my friends as gifts be that birthday, new home or get well gifts. Candle says a thousand words. Sadly many of us don’t realize the damage they can cause. If you insist on using them, firstly don’t use them in the room you sleep in; that’s a huge no no as the smell and chemicals linger on at night and you continue to inhale the fumes for 6-8 hours straight. Secondly, make sure you use them in a well ventilated room or have a window or a door open. Lastly, never ever use them in the bathroom – they are known to be “blind” meaning no windows, they are also the worst ventilated space in the entire house, combined with steam this carries double the chemicals into your respiratory system.

I hope you found this informative and if this post helps even one person then I’ll feel like I’ve accomplished something here.

Joanna x

 

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New Home: Dreams Vs Reality

2018 has not started off on a good note for me – I’ve been quite sick and what’s even more concerning is that nobody could figure out what’s wrong with me and I felt like I was falling into a deep dark hole… When you’re unwell it gets you thinking about your life, future (if any) and many other things you haven’t considered before.

I have never ever wanted to live in Ireland forever, it was never a part of the plan. The recent events made me rethink this idea as my family and friends brought me so much comfort and support. It got me thinking: Will I have this abroad? What will happen if I get sick again? Will I make new friends? (See what your mind can do to you?). During my time off work I went to visit a friend who recently bought a house and I FELL IN LOVE.

The house was absolutely stunning and one of a kind. All white everything with grey furnishings – Pinterest Worthy! That day it got me thinking that I cannot wait to have my own home. One that I will design myself and one that I will be able to call my OWN. This is how an inspiration for this post was born.

Getting Ready

Once you start thinking about a possibility or buying/building a house you need to have the $$$. It takes time to save for the deposit and show the banks that you can save and manage the repayments. Hence why you need to be in a decent job like right now. If you’re not, then it’s time to start hunting for one – better pay, benefits, less travel expenses – believe me I have gone through this recently and it will be so worth it. In the current state the banks will lend you 3.5 times of your joint gross income, i.e. if you both earn 30 thousand a year, then your joint gross income is 60 thousand; this means in theory you should be entitled to borrow 210 thousand provided all of your affairs are in order.

You need to think ahead, don’t leave these things to last-minute as this might set you back 2 or 3 years.

Expectations Vs. Reality

You need to really do a personality check between yourself & your husband/partner. Can you save X Amount? What area would you like to live in? Can you afford to live there? Are there schools nearby? Is is accessible for work? All of those things need to be considered. The amount you’re able to borrow might not be enough for your current living area and that’s where reality check comes in. You might need to look further out.

Another thing to decide – are you going to buy or build? If buy – new or “2nd hand”. If build – do you have the patience to do that? Can you buy a land in the desirable area? Does the land come with planning permission? How to source good suppliers? All of those things must be considered before you even step your foot in the bank asking them for money. Keep in mind that in Dublin area there is next to no land available and to buy a land somewhere in the country you must show family ties to the area, you can’t just simply want to buy anywhere you like – yes this makes things a little more complicated.

€€€

Ireland is known to be one of the most expensive places to live. Here’s an example:

Ireland – Kildare Area

3 Bedroom House (1 En-suite, 1 “double” & 1 Single (Box) Room) 2.5 Bath, living room, kitchen located in an estate with a small garden & neighbors all around is approx. €300.000-€325.000 minimum.

USA – Upstate New York

3 Bedroom House (3 Doubles – 1 of them En-suite) 2.5 Bath, Living Room x 2, kitchen overlooking a lake, 2 acres of land, plenty of privacy is approx. $175.000.

Can you see the difference?

Now, do not get discouraged when you see the prices, again be realistic with how much you can comfortably pay off; how much you’re willing to pay monthly – remember you will most likely be paying this for the rest of your life, so you want to pick a sum that will allow you to still live comfortably, enjoy yourself – have a nice car and go on a holiday.

What I can suggest is, get the basics in – Kitchen, Bathroom and 1 bedroom and you’re good to move in and stop paying rent elsewhere. The sooner you are in your own property the quicker you will start saving! It’s your house, therefore you can wait to have the rest finished! Heck, that’s what I’ll do. Paying rent to someone else’s bank account is dead money!

Pinterest

Pinterest is like that better looking sister/friend you have. You look in the mirror and think “Gosh, I look quite well today!” and then you see your friend and all of a sudden you feel rubbish! By all means, take as much inspiration from Pinterest as you wish – just don’t let it bring you down and make you feel bad about your current situation. Pinterest only shows the IDEAL world – that’s an important thing to remember.

Remember, at the end of the day Pinterest is a hugely successful visual marketing tool, where people “Pin Their Dreams Away”. You can have a house of your dreams, just take Pinterest with a pinch of salt, as most of the beautiful imagery you see there, took hours to put together just for 1 photograph.

Shop Around

Once you are happily in your new home or if you’re at a “nesting” stage of buying few home-ware bits here and there for your new home take a look around. There are plenty of affordable chic home-ware shops in your area and you don’t need to spend a fortune. For starters Primark are bringing out the best styling products for your home, from copper coated goods to the trendy marble cushions and prints. Another great however underrated place to go is your local Tescos. They really upped their game in the home section. They have beautiful wall hangings, clocks and prints. Their fluffy throws are to die for. If you are looking for more unique, once off pieces then TK Maxx is the place to go; it mightn’t be as affordable as Tescos and Primark however its worth having something different to everyone else.

For my Polish followers I can suggest two amazing home-ware shops which are JYSK and PEPCO as we don’t have the likes of Primark these two shops really make up for the lack of it and they’re super affordable.

Lastly, don’t be put off by going into your local charity shop. Recently, I went in with a donation and whilst I was there I just had a quick scan of the shop and oh my! Some of the things were like 50c; where would you be going with that! Honestly, these are underrated and there’s absolutely no shame in buying from your local charity shop – and remember you’re doing the world of good, by supporting these shops. If you follow Dainty Dress Dairies you will know that when she first bought her house she bought majority of her things second-hand or got it for free from Adverts.ie etc and look how beautifully her home turned out.

Images: Dainty Dress Diaries Instagram

I hope you enjoyed some of the tips I have shared with you today. The photography I used in this post is for visual purposes only from Pinterest and some of my lovely fellow bloggers via Instagram. If there’s one thing you can take out of this post is, don’t be hung up on the beautiful world of visual marketing we seem to live in via Pinterest and Instagram and enjoy what you have and can afford. Don’t ever overspend.

 

Joanna x

 

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