Friday, 23 December 2016

Another year is coming to its end

and once again that awful feeling of standstill... 

Does it not happen to you that suddenly it seems that you are halted? Right now, I have a 'To do' list but I do not want to do it, it's not procrastination, it's rather boring... I have my goals set, I know what I should do to progress but I have no desire to put myself into it, I do not know if it is because of those three weeks in a row of fog and mist and this last one cloudy has ended my optimism or if I lack some vitamin, but these last weeks I am out.

Any advice to get motivated? I would appreciate it, a lot...






Wednesday, 14 December 2016

It's almost Christmas!

I admit it, I'm a very consumerist person, and Christmas is a time that I love, always liked me a lot, even when in my family were a bit bored about decorating and so on, but, now I'm compensating myself =D



At my family's home Christmas time is synonymous of eating a lot (maybe like in the rest of Spain) and a little bit of Christmas decorations, just the necessary to 'pass the exam', I think that since my sister and me grew up, no one put the Nativity scene and now the Christmas tree is a rubber plant with some red balls hanging (and this is absolutely true...)



But when I get married I said: Ah, no! in my home I want a proper Christmas decoration.


At home, the 1st of December all the decoration must be in their place (more since we have Clyde visiting us). So the 1st of December when the kids wake up the first thing they found in the living room is the advent calendar under the tree and Clyde hidden inside it:


elf on the shelf

The Nativity scene is a 'must' too, however by now is a bit minimalist:


belen

This is one thing I have to improve, to put a bit of atrezzo to the nativity scene, you know, mountains, houses, the village in general, but by now we are waiting to our definitive home to buy more things.


Also each year, we take a photo of the kids to create a Christmas greeting card, by now I have each one inside a simple frame in the living room shelves and the idea is when they get older (and don't want more photos, ahem...) to create a big collage pasting all the frames :)


Otherwise, our Christmas is quite slow, with a lot of homemade butter cookies, a lot of games, christmas carols and a lot of hours cooking for the important suppers in Spain: Christmas eve dinner, Christmas lunch, New Year's Eve dinner and New Year's lunch (thankfully we celebrate 'Reyes', the 6th of January, at my sister's home) but I have to say that it is worth the effort and I enjoy it :)

Next year I want to incorporate the Advent celebration (the real, not just eating the advent calendar chocolates XD).


And you? How is your Christmas? Do you have any special tradition?

Friday, 9 December 2016

Butter cookies

I published this recipe three years ago in my cooking blog (sorry, is only in Spanish) and, although I've tried some other recipes, none of them is as good as this one, they aren't as good as the danish butter cookies but are quite near.


butter cookies

Ingredients:

 - 225 gr. of butter
 - 200 gr. of white sugar
 - 1 egg
 - 375 gr. of flour
 - 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
 - 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
 - Half teaspoon of salt


Directions:

First of all, we should put the butter out of the fridge for almost an hour, then we would start creaming it with the help of the kitchen aid or a rod, then we add the sugar and keep creaming until having a homogeneus dough.

Then we add the egg, the vanilla essence, the salt and the lemon and keep creaming until it gets homogeneus again, then we add the flour and mix with the mixer or an spoon until all gets integrated, if is difficult for you to keep kneading we should start doing it with the hands until getting a compact and uniform dough.

Then we wrap it in a film and put it in the fridge at least for an hour.

Preheat the oven at 190-200ºC.

Then we will extend the dough over the counter top and cut it with the cookies cutters (you should do it quickly because the butter warms easily and makes dificult to keep the shapes) we put it in the oven tray over a baking paper.

Then we put the cookies in the oven, 180ºC just for 10 minutes.

We let them cool in a rack. Et voilà.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Expenses management with excel docs

As most of you know, this last year I started using my family binder, and although is quite practical to have everything organized, I've realised that some parts don't work for me, specially the expenses management, since most banks don't use to send any kind of documents and we should connect to the online bank to see the movements, I never find 'the moment' to update it...


As I commented here, last year I made a excel doc to keep control of our food (and home related) expenses. This year I've done the same for the rest of expenses and incomes, so when I connect to see the expenses I open the excel doc and update it.

More specifically I'm using 4 docs, one for food and home related expenses, another for debit payments, another to have a control of my microstock balance and another for my extra incomes.

I have all those docs in my Dropbox and I installed the Excel app in my smartphone, so I may consult and update them anywhere :)

I suppose that all of you know how to use Excel but I'm going to show you how are organized my excel docs.

In each excel doc, I use a sheet per year, and inside the year I have a table how I think that works fine for me.

For supermarket expenses I have a table with the 12 months and I just write in each cell the ticket amount everytime I go to buy, then I have a sum in a lower cell (leaving enough space to enter all the visits of the month) that gives me the total of expenses in the month, and I also added a graphic to watch it in a more visual way.


For debit payments I have also the table with a column for the concept of the expenses and then a column for each month, then I have a row for each expense that I have and one more row for 'others' where I write those debit expenses that are just one in the year, and I use the option of 'Insert comment' to explain those expenses. And finally of course a sum for each column.


However, in the doc for my extra income that are totally esporadic I just have a table with three columns, one for the date, another for the concept and another one for the amount...


And you? Do you have any kind of accounting at home? Do you prefer the digital format or just paper and pen?