Making Plum Gin!

September crept up quickly there didn’t it?  We made our first plans for Christmas by making plum gin!

When we moved into our house at the start of the year, there was 4 small trees in the front garden.  Through spring we watched 3 of them start to grow fruit.  Being complete novice gardeners or fruit pickers – we had no idea what on earth they were growing.

The tallest tree turned out to be a cherry tree – Mark ate them all straight off the tree.  One of them is an apple tree (they aren’t quite ready yet), and the last is a plum tree!

Turns out, plum trees are a riot.  It’s messy looking, the new branches are spikey, and all sorts of bugs reside under the leaves.  BUT, it grew us millions of plums!  So many in fact, that 2 branches snapped completely under the weight.

If we had known it was a plum tree, and how to prune it (no pun intended), it wouldn’t have snapped, and the plums would have been bigger.  There’s always next year to do it right, now we know!

So, to the point.  The plums were ripening faster than we could eat them or give them away.  Then we seen a recipe for plum flavoured gin.  Great idea.  Plus gin is ‘fashionable’ now, right?

What You Need

  • 800g plums
  • 70cl Bottle of mid range gin (we chose Bloom as was on offer)
  • Kilner Jar
  • Tbl Spoon of Juniper Berries
  • 150g Sugar

How To

  • Ensure all plums are washed, and toss any bad ones – you want to reduce the amount of bacteria.  Prick the skin on each one.
  • Put all the above into the Kilner jar and give it a shake until the sugar dissolves.
  • Shake once a day for 3 days.  Then store somewhere dark for 3 months.

 

We’ve never done this before, so it’ll be interesting to see how it turns out.  The plan is, it’ll be ready for Christmas to share out with family.  If it turns out ok, we’ll probably make a few batches next year to give out as gifts.

If you’ve ever made fruity gin, let me know how it turned out!

The plums were ripening faster than we could eat them or give them away. Then we seen a recipe for plum flavoured gin. Great idea. Plus gin is 'fashionable' now, right?

Exploring Rome

Several years ago I bought a travel book of Italy, but I never quite got round to going exploring.  This spring, I ventured to Rome for a long weekend with my mum.  I’ll tell you right now; a long weekend was not enough! I got on a flight to Fiumicino (Romes biggest airport) with no…

Sunrise Alarm

Like most people, I struggle to get up in the morning.  I wouldn’t say I’m not a morning person, it’s just the getting out of bed part I can’t do!  I have early starts at work, long shifts and a horse to take care of at night.  Bed is my warm, happy place!

I also suffer from hearing problems which leaves me with tinnitus, and occasionally I feel a little dizzy when I wake up.  I was after a more natural way to wake.  I’d seen adverts for alarms that wake you up with daylight, and read mostly positive reviews, so thought I’d give it a try.

However, some of the sunrise alarms are a little pricey!  I didn’t want to fork out too much money on something which may not be beneficial.  I chose a more affordable version from B&M Bargains and took it home to set up straight away.

They are super easy to set up, much the same as a regular alarm clock.  You set the alarm and for 30minutes before it goes off, a warm glowing light starts very dim and gradually brightens until your alarm goes off.  Simulating a natural sunrise.

It took a few days to get used to, I kept anticipating it turning on and waking up.  Once around a week passed, I began to notice a difference.

I wouldn’t say it has me jumping out of bed in the morning, but I absolutely feel less groggy and I never feel dizzy when I use it.  It’s also much nicer than blinding myself with the lamp light at 6am.

Another function the light has, is a sunset setting.  It works the same way but in reverse.  We set a bedtime and the light turns on brightly 30minutes before, then dims down until the selected time.

Overall, I love it.  I think it’s a great addition to the morning routine.  Eventually, I hope to buy a more expensive one – I hear the Lumie ones are good.  I’d definitely recommend them to anyone, not just if you find mornings a chore!

Our 1930s House

We done it!  We finally bought and moved into our first house!  It was built in roughly the 1930s and it has some beautiful features, but it’s needing a little work.  Nothing structural, mostly cosmetic, but it still needs some TLC.  I think by far, my favourite feature, is the huge windows half way up the…

2018 – The Year Ahead

Happy New Year! 2018 is here and I’ve been inspired by reading everyones goals for the year.  As I sit here feeling a little down that the holidays are over, I’m also excited for what’s to come! In December we had an offer accepted on a house.  Everything has of course gone quiet over the…

Winter Workout Motivation

The clocks have gone back, the first frost has been, and I’m finding it harder to get up in the mornings.  In fact, as I’m writing this, it’s proper pissing it down with rain.  It’s 11am and it’s so dull out I’ve got all the lamps on.  I need to get to the gym to train back, before I meet my friend to ride my horse – in the cold and rain.

When January rolls around, everyone starts making resolutions and working towards their ‘summer body’.  I don’t know about  you, but I like to look good at Christmas and New Year!  It’s probably the time we have the most parties and nights out, so why not feel your absolute best?

Even the smallest change to your routine can make all the difference.  Check out my ideas for finding your winter workout motivation!

 

Dress for the Weather

I live in Scotland, so in winter it’s just colder rain.  It feels like the longest wettest season EVER.  Making sure you’re dressed appropriately makes a difference.  You just can’t dress like you did in summer to work out.  Bummer.  Goodbye shorts and sports bra workouts.

There’s nothing like having some new bits of workout clothes, but make sure they are warm layers.  Investing in long sleeve tops or sweaters with good wicking abilities, will help you stay warm whether you are indoors or out.  A thin waterproof jacket is a must if you enjoy running.

Take it Outside

There’s not a single person I know, that doesn’t enjoy those cold, crisp, sunny mornings.  Wrap up warm and get out a walk, or a jog if that’s what you like.

You might be like me, and not be lucky enough to experience those light mornings.  If all your mornings start in the dark anyway, then why not get up a little earlier?  Getting up 30-60 minutes early to have a workout, will have you feeling amazing by the end of the week!

Use your days off to take a walk, or get a HIIT workout in outdoors!  The fresh air is good for the soul.

Try Out a New Gym

I’m a member of 2 different gyms, Pure Gym and Xercise4Less.  I love trying out new gyms, not only does it peak my interest, but it lets me see which is best value for money.  Also, at this time of year through to January, gyms tend to have special offers on to try and get in new customers.

I’ve been a huge fan of PayAsuGym for a while now.  It’s a great site where you can input your postcode, and it will show you gyms near you with discounted passes.  You can choose from day passes up to monthly.

In November, PayAsuGym are offering new customers 15% off any passes using code NOV15OFF.  Or 20% off any monthly+ passes with NOV20OFFMONTHLY.  These expire on 30/11/17.

Join a Christmas Challenge

As I mentioned above, gyms like to pull people in at this time of year.  I’ve had a look and there’s a few really good value ‘boot camps’.  For example; Xercise4Less are offering an 8 week transformation camp for £100.  They are also offering memberships for £11.99 using code SAVE20.

PureGym have several 6 week ‘Pure Loser’ weight loss courses for £34.99 for non-members and £20 for members.  Just enter your postcode and choose your closest gym and start date here.

It’s also worth checking out what your local gym is offering!

In winter, the lack of sunlight naturally effects our moods.  Getting in ANY kind of exercise will help you get through these long, dark months.  I’m looking at trying a sunrise bodyclock alarm next to see if that helps with waking up too.

How do you stay motivated in winter?

This post may contain affiliate links.  Read the full disclaimer here.