Cox & Cox December Musts

Must Do

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This year we are being organised and stepping our Christmas Wrapping up a notch. Make your loved one’s feel extra special by personalising their presents.

We’re using the plain side of our midwinter wrap, a spool of natural raffia and our snowy pine cones for a natural festive feel, but we also love Red Magazine’s clever Christmas Wrap videos.

must visit

 

warner-bros-studio-tourA magical day out for the whole family. In the run up to Christmas and the New Year, Hogwarts at the Harry Potter Warner Bros. Studio Tour will be transforming into a Winter Wonderland. The impressive model of Hogwarts will be covered in a dusting of snow, the great hall will be filled with marvelous festive food and Diagon Alley will be buried under the snowfall. Find out more here.

Must Make

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For all those who love Christmas but aren’t a fan of the desert, our Graphic Designer Jemma has shared her favourite festive pudding. Women & Home magazine’s Sticky Fig & Walnut Pudding is rich, warm and works really well topped with Butterscotch sauce or cool vanilla bean ice cream. Take a look at the recipe here.

Must Watch

 

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Rumored to be aired on Christmas Day (though the schedule hasn’t yet been confirmed), Dame Judi Dench and Dustin Hoffman star as Mrs Silver and Mr Hoppy in a television-film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s novel Esio Trot. Also staring big names like James Corden, Esio Trot has been directed by the film maker behind Notting Hill and Love Actually, and is set to be one of the best things on the box this Christmas! Find out more here.

Festive Style | Christmas Trees

With less than one month until our favourite day of the year, we are preparing to put up the centrepiece this weekend!

One of the hardest parts of decorating your home for Christmas is deciding on the tree, do you go for real or faux? over the top or paired back? traditional or modern? Well we’ve worked to create a solution to suit all your needs, whether you want a big winter wonderland or a laid back look.

Short of space? Create your own Christmas scene in a jar

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If you’re short of space or decided against a big tree this year, creating a festive scene in our Glass Christmas Tree Jars is easy, impressive and doesn’t take up too much space.

Inspired by old-fashioned snowglobes, but on a much bigger scale, having a wonderful festive display tidied away into a jar creates magic even in smaller spaces. We love a traditional White Christmas theme with our decorative snow and Mini Snowy Christmas Trees, or a scandi theme full of snowy pine cones.

Create an impressive outdoor display

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We’re not talking about the tacky decorations that light up your whole house-front, but an impressive display that you’ll want to leave up all year round. Our Light Tree Tower is easy to assemble (just follow this easy guide) and is guaranteed to make a big impression on your friends and family. Or if you are looking for something a bit more low-key, why not try some outdoor lights around your gate or wrapped in a tree?

Go traditional-ish with a realistic faux tree

Fabulous-Fir-Christmas-Tree-X-FABTREE-NEWObviously there’s nothing better than the real thing, but when the needles are scattered all over the house and it’s looking a bit worse for wear, you’ll wish you’d gone with a faux tree. Our buying team have searched high and low to find a faux tree that rivals the rest, and with it’s blue-green needles reminiscent of a real mountain fir, they’ve found the best.

Create two key Christmas looks with our fir tree >

Click here to find out how to make the most out of our fabulous fir tree.

Add a festive touch to your Scandi-style

Frosted Light Up Tree X-LEDTREES

If you are looking for a more laid-back look to suit your scandi style, then ditch the traditional evergreen tree and go for a woodland inspired, no-fuss Frosted Light Up Tree. Dusted with faux snow and shining lights, they create a contemporary display, or teamed with an array of our natural festive accessories, it’s easy to transform your home into a festive scandi-wonderland.

Low Key / D.I.Y Style

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If a big Christmas display isn’t really your thing, you’re away for the holiday’s or looking for a smaller display for kitchen or hallway, our low-key DIY tree is an easy way to make a festive scene.

Use our stylish Zinc Florist Vase, a bunch of evergreen which can be easily brought from a florist or taken straight from your garden, and our Small Red Baubles to re-create our traditional-inspired display. Or create your very own DIY design using a house plant, vase or take a look at Red Magazines clever DIY ribbon tree .

Behind The Scenes | Pirate Print Duvet Set

Did you see our blog post all about how our Ballerina Print Duvet Sets were made? Well you loved it so much we thought we’d give you an insight into how our Pirate Duvet Set is made (including real* pirate!) >

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We raided a renown London film and theatre costume department for our super-authentic, swashbuckling pirate and found a suitably bearded model to play the part!

3_Bob_the_Parrot 4_Placing_on_pillowNo pirate would be complete without his first mate… this devilishly handsome parrot made a brilliant model for our pillowcase. Once all the shots had been taken we made our very own little pirate’s den for the finishing photo!

Take a look at our cleverly made Duvet Sets here.

Pirate Print Duvet C-PIRADUV

Cox & Cox November Musts

Must Watch

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Don’t worry if you missed Disney’s Maleficent in the cinema, this Summer’s dark fairytale take on Sleeping Beauty is now available on DVD. A great Disney classic that all the family will enjoy regardless of their age, we will be sat around snug in the warmth to watch this in November.

 

Must Read

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The suggestions for November’s must-read book have been pouring in and we’ve got a pile on our desks to keep us busy until 2015! A few favourites include ‘Cross Stitch’ by Diana Gabladon, ‘We are all Completely Besides Ourselves’ by Karen Joy Fowler and ‘The Snow Child’ by Eowyn Ivey.

But our favourite has to be Alison Blackwell’s suggestion- Us by David Nicholls.

Must Eat

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A Bonfire night take on a Winter classic- The Londoner’s inventive and very tasty recipe of Blackberry & Toffee Apple Crumble has been a big hit in the office. Easy to make for the whole family, simply take a traditional Apple & Blackberry Crumble recipe (we all have a our favourites) and add ribbons of homemade caramel to make this classic recipe extra- special.

Must Do

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Christmas is getting closer and our favourite Christmas event opens it’s doors at 5pm on 21st November.  Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland is filled with everything that embodies Christmas- food and drink, ice skating and shopping and the impressive observer wheel. Visit early to get into the Christmas spirit and avoid the queues!

 

What to do with your extra hour >

The clocks go back tonight and we can’t wait for an extra hour tomorrow! There are so many of ways to make the most of the extra time, here are a few of our favourites…

Lie In

Make the most of it and enjoy a long Sunday lie in. It’s dark and cold and an hour’s guilt free lie in is something we all deserve, so grab a comfy quilt and snuggle up > http://ow.ly/Da5PF

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Get Cooking 

Autumn is all about comfort food; ditch the salads and swap for soups, pies and traditional recipes. We love Jamie Oliver’s comfort food recipes; Turkey and Sweet Leek Pie and Toad In The Hole.

Go to town and cook a warming winter pie or traditional toad in the hole. We love Jamie Oliver’s comfort food recipes.

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Get Outdoors

It may be getting cooler, but as long as it’s not pouring in rain then a crisp morning walk is a great way to enjoy Autumn in full swing. And our favourite part? Warming up when we get home!

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Breakfast in Bed

When was the last time you stayed in bed to read the Sunday papers and enjoy breakfast? Well you’ve got a whole guilt-free hour to do so. Our breakfast of choice is a classic Eggs Benedict but BBC Good Food have create a tasty selection of different breakfast ideas to start the day > http://ow.ly/DaDM1

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Decorate With | Naked Wire Lights

Our best selling Naked Wire Lights has been featured in Red Magazine’s guide on the Best Ways to Use Fairy Lights, and their creative idea’s have inspired our very own ways to decorate with our versatile lights.

Available in three sizes in a choice of battery or mains powered, these flexible lights have a nearly invisible wire that can be bent and shaped into almost any shape; here are some of our favourite ways to decorate with them through the Winter and into Christmas >

Glass Display Domes H-DIDOLRG H-DIDSML festive landscape (2)

Available in two different sizes, our display domes are great for displaying everything from your favourite jewellery, to our Small Fawn or just filling with bright lights. Or, for a festive alternative, our Glass Christmas Tree Jars can be filled with lights, faux snow and mini Christmas trees.

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Keep it simple by grabbing 15 metres of our lights and wrapping them up to create a wreath; simple and effective and it will stay in place all Winter!

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When adding a little festive sparkle to your home for Christmas, why not wrap them around your banister or over a decorative deer like our Whimsical Willow Deer? Alternatively, tack to the wall for a super modern and unique Christmas Tree!

Whimsical Willow Deer X-WILLDEER

Snowflake Naked Wire Lights X-SNOWLED lifestylephoto 3For more clever ideas on all the different ways you can decorate with our lights, take a look at our Pinterest Page or share your very own on Instagram by using #coxandcoxlights

 

Make Your Own | Christmas Cake

It’s no secret that everyone at Cox & Cox HQ absolutely loves Christmas, and now that it’s October we think we can get away with talking about it.

What better way to start than with the Christmas Cake; now is the time to start preparing if you want to make the nicest cake, and we’ve found the best* recipe.

Christmas Cake Decoration Set X-CAKETOP

What you need:

> 300g each of raisins and sultanas
> 100g each of dried apricots and dried figs, both chopped
> 150g sweet marsala wine
> 1 small orange, finely grated zest
> 125g unsalted butter
> 200g light brown soft sugar
> 2 large eggs, beaten
> 200g self-raising flour
> 75g runny honey
> 2 tsp mixed spice
> 1/4 tsp ground cloves
> 200g walnuts, roughly chopped

What to do:

> Add all fruit into a large bowl and stir in marsala wine and orange zest- cover with clingfilm and soak overnight
> Preheat oven to 150 degrees/ gas mark 2, grease a 8 inch round cake tin and double layer with parchment paper
> Beat together sugar and butter until fluffy before gradually beating in eggs until smooth
> Sift flour and spices over mixture and slowly fold, then add nuts and soaked fruit (including remaining liquid) and mix until smooth
> Smooth into tin and bake for 2hr 30mins – 2hr 45mins or until skewer in centre comes out clear
> Leave to cool in tin for 10 minutes before taking out and cooling on wire rack, but still in parchment
> Wrap clingfilm around parchment and cake, followed by foil and store in a cool, dark place ready for feeding

Year: 2009 Month: 11 Page: 202

Don’t Forget > to soak in brandy every two weeks until Christmas!

Behind The Scenes | Ballerina Print Duvet Set

Ever wonder how our best-selling kid’s duvet sets are made? Our clever suppliers get creative with the designs, that are always inspired by real costumes, before transforming them into wonderful duvets for us all to enjoy. Here is a sneak peek behind the scenes at the process…

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The stunning tutu has been kindly lent to us by the costume workshop of The National Ballet and modeled by dutch ballet dancer Nancy Burer.

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Once they’ve got the perfect shot, its printed straight onto cotton to assess the colour and quality of the print.
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Once all the colour changes have been made, production is then started on high-quality 100% cotton before being packaged and sent to Cox & Cox HQ!

Like what you see? Inspired by a real ballerina in an authentic tutu, we think this printed duvet set is the perfect Christmas present for any little dancer…

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Cox & Cox Bakes | Tiramisu Cupcakes

We were so inspired by the Great British Bake Off and all your tasty baking suggestions, we’ve decided to re-create our Twitter competition winner’s fabulous Tiramisu Cupcakes!

Bake-off

What you need:

80g Unsalted Butter
300g Caster Sugar
240g Plain Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
2 Large Eggs
240ml Whole Milk
1/2 tsp Vanilla Essence
250ml Strong Coffee
125ml Kahlua
400g Mascarpone
300ml Double Cream
Dusting of Coco Powder

What to Do:
> Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 5/190 degrees and line muffin tin with cases
> Beat together all the butter, flour and 280g caster sugar into breadcrumbs before adding the baking powder
> Mix eggs, milk and vanilla essence before slowly pouring and mixing into flour mix until all is mixed into a smooth paste
>  Pour into muffin cases and bake in oven for 18-20 minutes, until risen and springy

> Pour coffee and 75ml Kahlua into saucepan with remaining sugar and bring to the boil until liquid is reduced by half
> Once cupcakes and liquid has cooled, cut a 2cm diameter piece out of each cupcake and add 1 tsp of liquid into each cake and another 1 tsp onto the cake piece

> Make the mascarpone frosting by beating the remaining Kahula and mascarpone together until smooth, folding the cream and icing sugar together in a separate bowl before mixing it all together until even and smooth

> Add the frosting to the space in each cupcake and then re-add the missing piece before layering with remaining frosting and sprinkling with coco powder

> Enjoy!

unnamed (6)Recipe from Red
Top image found on Pinterest
Bottom image and inspiration courtesy of Vanessa Cox

 

Cox & Cox October Musts

Must Eat

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The days & nights are getting colder and it’s time to trade in salads for soup. We’ve found the ideal comfort soup that’s perfect with Halloween around the corner; Spicy Pumpkin Soup. Easy to make, we love Gourmet Traveller’s recipe. And for those who like a challenge, why not try this tasty Pumpkin Pie recipe.

Must Read

e0898352055b6ea2150563b403c5a2ddOctobers must read is also a must watch; Gone Girl. A brilliant modern day mystery/thriller that is impossible to put down, easy to read and now a top-rated film staring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike. We can’t wait to watch the film this weekend, but rumor has it there is a different ending, so we definitely recommend picking up the book first… available here.

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Downton Abbey. If you haven’t heard about just how good Downton Abbey is then you must be living under a rock. Now in it’s fifth season, with stars like George Clooney rumored to be making a guest appearance we will definitely be tuning in; Sunday, 9pm, ITV.

Must Make

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It’s no secret that Christmas is our favourite time of year, and October marks the start of the preparation for the big day! Over the weekend we will be starting the preparation for our Christmas Cake to give it enough time to mature, so make sure you check our blog again soon for our step-by-step easy to follow guide.