Thursday, 31 December 2009

Happy New Year!

To you all! Hope you're having great celebrations, bringing in the New Year in style. J and I will be dining at Naan in Bariloche. Hopefully it'll live up to the good recommendations it's had.

See you in 2010 :)

Marie Xx

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

And we're off!

Tonight J and I fly to Argentina. For a mere 16 hours we will be airbound heading across the Atlantic to a far away land. Hopefully there it'll be warm, sunny, exciting and relaxing.

The e-mails have been very quiet for the last few days and I have enjoyed feeling like I'm relaxing ready to go away. We had a mad dash to get the house in order and all the packing done and now when this is posted we shall (hopefully) be taking off above London. Here's also hoping that Heathrow wasn't too hideous to get through.

Hope everyone has been enjoying their time off and are looking forward to their New Years Eve celebrations! xx

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Happy Christmas one and all!

Well here we are on Christmas Eve, and how time has flown. So I shall keep this short and sweet. To start a most lovely Mandarin Duck I found in St James park yesterday. I just love these ducks, so pretty and proud.

And to finish these winter leaves, no snow yesterday but it was cold! And the leaves had that lovely lovely frosting.
Anyhoo, all the best for your Christmas breaks. Enjoy, eat, drink and be merry! Xx

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Time marching on

I cannot believe it's almost Christmas already. This time last year I was at home with my parents and sisters and meeting my little nephew for the first time. I was so excited about my impending wedding and concerned about the size of my waist.

This year I am at work until the last possible point. Very excited about our upcoming Argentina trip and still concerned about the size of my expanding waist. Someone said yesterday that apparently it is common to put on 1 stone in your first year of marriage. Something it seems I am giving a good shot at.

However for now I shan't concern myself with such trivial matters!

For the days are now beginning to get longer, there's a new year marching inwards, full of hopes and dreams. And memories of the year just past to store away.

I would therefore like to take this opportunity to thank you all for reading and following my words and thoughts. It means the world to me to get comments and exchange thoughts with you all. And of course I love reading your blogs too and 'getting to know you'. Hopefully we can continue this too in the new year!

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Tweet, tweet - at long last

So I've finally bitten the bullet and decided to join Twitter. It's been a long time coming I know, and I'm not sure why I've resisted so long but I am now going to give it a shot. I can be found at Wifeinthecity if you are interested. But to be honest it'll take me a little while to get used to it so apologies but it is incredibly boring at the moment.

Therefore if you are on Twitter can you either find me and let me know so I can follow you or leave your username in the comments and I will find you so I can follow you. And of course if you'd like to follow me I'd be delighted :)

See you over there!

M x

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Why oh why BA

My holiday is on the precipice of being ruined. Our flights are booked with British Airways and yesterday was the overwhelming vote to strike over the holiday period when we're supposed to be flying to Buenos Aires. For sure strike while I'm there, rendering it impossible for me to return. But before I've even got there?!

And here I'm going to be controversial, but I think they're greedy, chancing wotsits who think striking for two weeks will obviously be a good thing for a company which lost £300m in the first half of the year. Eeejits. They already get paid more than any other cabin crew! Grrrr...

Here's hoping Willie Walsh can sort this out and get me to Argentina on time!

Friday, 11 December 2009

And on to the next one...

Last night was fun. The skating was pretty, although not on my behalf, more wobbly there but it's beautiful skating around at Somerset House as the light fades. My only complaint would be that there are a few too many people on the rink but you can't win them all!

Then glammed up we went off to Orso. No photos yet I'm afraid, a colleague was taking them and didn't bring in her camera today. But when I have pictures that are shareable I promise I shall share. Our meal was lovely, Orso is a very good restaurant with great service, good food and lovely wines to choose from. Expensive, but then I wasn't paying this time :) Plus it's quite a cosy restaurant so one I would recommend for an intimate dinner with a loved one.

I left at the right time, drunk but not awfully so, happily drunk shall we put it. Got home on the bus to a very drunk J. This morning neither of us were so pretty!

And tonight we are celebrating Christmas with our friends. It shall be another night of revelry which I'm not sure my body can cope with but we'll see.

Hopefully your Friday has been more productive than mine. Although one final tip, Itsu Detox Zinger is just the best thing when you have a hangover, ginger lime and apple all in a lovely drink. Yummy!

Have lovely wintery weekends. M x

Thursday, 10 December 2009

It's party time!

Tonight is our work Xmas do. We're going skating at Somerset House and then off for dinner. I've never done the outside skating in London thing so hopefully it'll be good fun, sure it will. And then for dinner the theme was glam so I have purchased myself a new dress from French Connection. More on that later, hopefully accompanied by pictures!

Let's see how I feel tomorrow...

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Kai Mayfair - Review

As a follow up to my last post I thought I should tell you about Kai. We went there because I had won a voucher for it in a raffle and we like to go to nice restaurants to celebrate our anniversary. So this year it worked out as Kai. The restaurant is nicely decorated, somehow it still feels Chinese but obivously upmarket. We had a big table which was kind of separate from the rest, although in some ways that was good.

We figured since we had the voucher that we didn't need to worry too much about how much we spent, so J had soft shelled crab for his starter and I had steamed scallop and king prawn. Our starters were both lovely. They came out at different times but this was fine as we had been warned. And both were dishes you wouldn't cook yourself at home, which always makes the restaurant experience feel more worthwhile.

Then on to our mains, I had beef in a pepper sauce and J lamb. If I'm honest I was not so impressed with our mains. My beef's sauce tasted a little shop bought and wasn't great and J's lamb just wasn't much of anything.

I then figured I would push the boat out and have a pudding. I had the 'not to be missed' pudding which involved pumpkin cream, something I should have been wary of from the start. Again, nice enough but not amazing. Especially for the price.

Which takes me to my next point, this place is expensive, starters start at around £15 and go upwards and upwards. Mains are of course more expensive. Now I don't mind expensive when I feel like it's worth it. And I think our starters were, but for the mains and pudding I felt less happy with the amount it cost. Although I knew the ingredients were of good quality for that much I expected something more amazing.

However the service was superb, very nice staff, nice atmosphere.

So in summary I don't think I'd recommend it, I think it's just a little too expensive for what we had. If you really want to go and spend lots of money then have the starters and avoid the pudding I had and you'll probably have a lovely dinner!

Friday, 4 December 2009

A long long time ago...

J and I met and I didn't like him. And then we met again and we got talking and I thought now here's a nice intelligent kind of chap who likes food and wine. And we got to know each other. On November 1st 2002 we kissed. And on December 4th 2002 we 'officially' became a couple. Yes my dear readers, 7 years ago to the day J and I got together.

It wasn't a fairytale coming together, I was lying on his bed in halls musing to myself that since we were acting like a couple we might just as well be one. And from thenceforce we were M&J.

I originally went into the relationship thinking, why not? I'd never really had a proper boyfriend before and just wanted to know what it was like. And here was someone who strangely enough was willing to be my boyfriend, who I liked. So off we went. I never imagined that seven years down the line we'd be married. I thought it would last a few months, I'd go through my first break-up and move on stronger and ready for the next person. But it didn't work like that. The days passed, they turned into months, then years and we were still together, still happy with each other. Still happy in our relationship. We've never broken up and got back together. We've never really been close to breaking up. And truth be told I'm not sure how we've got this far without big hiccups, little ones of course, but nothing big.

So tonight we shall be dining at Kai, to celebrate this time spent together. And to toast to the next seven years. And I shall be thinking about how we can make the next seven as wonderful as the last seven.

So here's to relationships and love, because today I feel like it. Happy weekend's to you all. M xxx

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Kazakhstan Part II

I think I may have promised more on Kazkahstan so here goes. We stayed in the Radisson in Astana, a five star hotel (lucky us) which was huge and lovely. My room was on the 12th floor and the first thing I thought when I walked into it was how huge the bed was. I tried showing in the photo below it's size, truly you could have fitted three people in there, should you want to. You might also notice my travel companion keeping the bed warm. As hotel rooms go it was good, well equipped, underfloor heating in the bathroom, giant shower, good TV, coffee and tea facilities and even an iron and ironing board. So I was fairly impressed. Plus going back to the bed, it was soooo comfortable.

So then I thought I'd share another view from my room, the space in Kazakhstan was one thing which really struck me. It's just on another scale. As the 9th largest country in the world with a population of around 15m the population density is vastly different to the UK. And you can see this in the cities, with huge roads and big buildings. Beyond the city is the steppe. A flat landscape which goes as far as the eye can see, without coming across anything else. Also because the city is relatively much smaller the sky is darker and bigger. You can really see the stars, feel free and look up in wonder.

On a lighter note the hotel had their Christmas decorations up when we arrived. I couldn't help but pose with the life sized bears they had in reception. My mama would hate these bears, papa probably would like them. And me I stroked them whenever I walked past, hello bear!

I have some more city pictures to share. Another post soon hopefully!

Monday, 30 November 2009

A few of my favourite things... III

The weather in London has been miserable, rain, rain, rain and yet more rain. Plus the wind and the general greyness, it's enough to get one down. So I have been utterly grateful for the next in my series of favourite things, my Hunter welly boots. These are the things of magic, they are sturdy, fun and most importantly keep my feet warm and dry.
It's one of those things I've always hated, wet feet, especially wet feet in nice shoes, which are then wet feet in nice ruined shoes. So having wellies has become an essential for me. Plus it means I can behave like a four year old and jump in puddles with glee.
So for those city dwellers who are fed up of wet feet, go get some Hunters! And even if they seem a little pricey they are the best, my last pair broke within about three months much to my upset and so from now on I will be tried and tested!
I am only slightly upset that I went for plain old Aubergine and not something a little jazzier. Maybe for the next pair I can branch out :)

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Dorma Pot Pourri

Upon my return to London I came into the office to find a little bag of goodies waiting for me. Excitedly peering into it I pulled it all out rapidly to explore and found beautiful packages, cream and gold and elegant.

One such package was a box of Orange and Cedarwood Pot Pourri from Dorma. I am not normally one for things like Pot Pourri, we used to have it at home when I was little but since then it is not something I have thought about having. Plus living in rented accommodation one tends to care less about extra details to make it look and smell really nice. So it was a surprise to find myself so delighted at this beautiful box of shapes which smelt so good.

Now it is sat in our living room, spreading it's gentle but natural smell throughout and making me smile when it looks so pretty. And it's also made me think that these are the kind of things it's worth buying quality products for, which this Dorma one definitely is.

And so I shall see what other goodies there are in this little bag and recommend this as something which could be both a great present for someone else and to yourself when you need something a little bit more luxury to perk up a room. Check out the Dorma website for more info!

Friday, 27 November 2009

Kazakhstan Part 1

We arrived back late last night after a very long day travelling, I was already pretty tired from the trip but that really slayed me. So I was much relieved to crawl into a warm bed with J last night and drop my head on the pillow to switch off.

Kazakhstan was fun though. We worked hard and it felt like a really valuable trip workwise, plus the people we met were overall absolutely lovely and I was so well looked after.

So to start with below is a picture of the view from my bedroom window in our hotel in Astana. Hopefully it gives you some idea of what the city is like, there's a lot of construction going on, so in almost every view there are cranes. But considering the city is only 11 years old it's doing pretty well!
More to follow soon but a few things to catch up in the office first, hope everyone is well and I shall try and catch up on all the lovely posts I've missed and the news.

Hope you have great weekend's! xx

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Astana - Kazakhstan

It's about -13C here, cold, really really cold. And so dry. But kind of amazing too, so much space compared to London. Busy busy busy to be honest so apologies for not having commented much but I'm taking photos to share when I get back.

Until then, enjoy your weekend's!

M xx

Friday, 20 November 2009

Friday fun photo

Isn't this photo amazing? It took me a little while then I was sat there going wow! What a moment to have got.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Off again...

I should be on a flight to Astana, Kazakhstan right now. Off with work to go to a couple of events we're participating in. It should be good, absolutely freezing at this time of year but interesting. I'm back late on Thursday 26th. I will try and blog, comment etc while away but time and internet connections might be few and far between. Hopefully lots of photos for you upon my return! Again apologies in advance and promises of being better again shortly.

Arrivederci! xx

Monday, 16 November 2009

A few of my favourite things... II

I am not a big make-up girl, in fact I hate having foundation on as I feel like my skin can't breathe. But there are a few items I can't do without and mascara is one of them. Without it I feel bare and horrid. My most recent one is Max Factor's Masterpiece mascara. I don't often get caught by marketing but there's so much choice out there I couldn't decide and having recently seen their advert I bought it. And I'm impressed, for a mascara it has both a good lengthening and volumising effect. So it comes with me where needed, for opening up my little eyes and making my eyelashes ready to flutter.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Award time!

I've been a very lucky girl and have received some blogger awards. The first came from the lovely Everybody Says Don't who gave me the over the top award. And following shortly are some quickfire questions attached to it.
The second two are very sweetly from Gaynor over at Our Day by Design.

So here goes on some of the quick fire questions...
1. Your hair: shoulder length and uncontrollable
2. Your favourite food: Italian or Lebanese
3. Your dream from last night: Not packing any clothes for the upcoming work trip I have this week
4. Your favourite drink: Tea or red wine, here I agree with Everybody Says Don't
5. What room are you in: living room
6. What is your hobby: Cooking, walking, pole dancing
7. What is your fear: drowning
8. Where do you want to be in 6 years: Somewhere with J
9. Where were you last night: At home hosting dinner party
10. Muffins: Fruity
11. Last thing you did: Ate dinner
12. What are you wearing: Black jeans, yellow vest top, black cardigan and pink scarf
13. Your TV: House, Ugly Betty, University Challenge and Life
14. Vehicle: Feet (I can't drive)
15. Your favourite store: Reiss, Liberty, Zara
16. Your favourite colour: Red
17. When's the last time you laughed: sometime today but I can't remember when
18. When's the last time you cried: mid week feeling sorry for myself
19. Your best friend: J
20. Favourite place to eat: Home
I think one of the other awards asked for 10 things about me but I'm not feeling very creative so maybe another day.
Anyhow I need to pass these on, which is the fun bit! So here goes:
Anyone I've missed or who would like an award leave me a comment and I'd love to share!
Normal service to resume soon I hope! M xx

Tuesday, 10 November 2009


I have finally got my first proper illness of the year. Somehow though I am still in work when I really should be at home. Yesterday I was so cold my fingers toes and lips were blue which was kind of funny, until it took me about 2 hours and lots of layers and heaters to warm them up again. J also has lurgy so we are a right pair at the moment, spluttering and sniffling around. Most becoming. Here's hoping I can kick it as quickly as I got it! And also apologies but I hope this explains the paucity of comments/posts etc.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Goats and a date night

I had an awful day at work yesterday, too much to do, not enough time and rude people upsetting an already tired me. So it was with relief that I left the office to head over to meet J. We met at Black and Blue on Wigmore Street, where we both merrily polished off our burgers (which were pretty good burgers). A little bit of food, a beer and not being in the office and I was beginning to perk up.

So then we headed off to go and see The men who stare at goats at the cinema. I wanted to see this for a couple of reasons. One the story looked good, it's my kind of film. And secondly I really like George Clooney. Not just because he's very attractive but also because he's a great actor. And it lived up to my expectations. Based on a real story about a division of the US army it is both funny and slightly sinister with great acting from a great cast. I don't want to give too much away but suffice to say it's one of those stories which is so crazy it has to be true.

And so we walked home in the cold November night, enjoying each others company and our 'date night' (we never do date nights normally) and then to bed, sober, warm and glad to be home.

Thursday, 5 November 2009


I have just finished (well almost) a six week course I was managing and running. I am now tired. And the next one starts on Monday. Ah well, pays the bills I guess. But I know I have a lot to do, and all I really want to do is dance around and say yippee! Then sleep for a long time. So instead I shall knuckle down shortly. Until then my apologies for the scantness of posts/comments etc.

I leave you with a cute snow monkey, taken from the National Geographic International Photography Contest, which is worth a look for the fabulous photos.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Would you want one of these?

Again whilst in Mayfair I caught this rather 'delightful' toilet. It struck me as odd that while someone was on the toilet they might want some porcelain nipples poking in their back. Perhaps this is something about interior design I will never understand... Your thoughts?

Friday, 30 October 2009

London in the Autumn

I had to go to Mayfair yesterday morning to do something for work and so I walked there through Green Park. It was a lovely autumnal day yesterday, rather mild but misty in the morning with the full scale of autumn colours showing in the trees. Hopefully these pictures capture some of what it's like here right now, although we're forecast for a rainy weekend. So welly boots and puddles here I come!

Thursday, 29 October 2009


I have no ideas for a Halloween costume for Saturday night. Any suggestions for easy costumes which I can transform myself into much appreciated. I also have no time... Except for maybe a dash out this evening. Ahhhhhhhh!

Monday, 26 October 2009

Wedding Photos and the Ivy

We have some friends through church who we don't see too regularly. They got married the week before us this January just gone and were a great support during our wedding planning. Others to share our thoughts and woes with! And so this weekend we finally caught up with them and shared our photos. After church we headed off to their flat, they have an amazing photo album produced which is also very heavy so we had to go to them to see it!

Their photos were beautiful, they both looked stunning, her dress especially was amazing. She had it made for her and the details were amazing. Plus it was so lovely to see their wedding at long last. We of course shared our photos too, taking over our Photobox photobook.

And then we headed off to The Ivy for lunch. They've been going there a long time and know the staff well, so of course service was superb. Although if I'm honest I'm not sure that the food quality isn't going down. The first time I ate there it was fabulous and each time since it's not been quite so good. Maybe the sheen of going there has worn off which is part of it, or perhaps its just that they don't need to be so good now as they have enough business. Plus as J and I both noticed their prices are slowly creeping up... But it did give J an opportunity to try the burger as part of his quest, check out his blog for a review soon.

And I guess I should be more grateful that we are able to spend a lovely weekend and top it off with Sunday lunch at the Ivy. And it really was a great weekend. Nice to take my mind off work!

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Clothes Swap 2

On Saturday my sister held another clothes swap. This time there were five of us and we were a little more selective on the clothes we bought. Plus my sister made us a proper tea party beforehand. So below we have, homemade carrot cake (yummy, yummy, yummy) chocolate brownies, ham sandwiches and cucumber sandwiches, tea and pink bubbles. It was lovely and a great way to start the afternoon's fun.

And then on to the clothes swap. Lovely piles of pretty things which were all like new. We tried, some worked, some not so well. And then we did a sales session, who wanted what. Again we were somehow very good at not arguing over who got what, one coin toss solved that all.

I got two news scarves and two new tops. Really nice, handy for winter and of course I got rid of some bits and bobs as well. Which is always good in a tiny house in London!

So sister is planning another one in Spring, twice a year for the seasons. And more 'new' clothes every now and then with no guilt. Any questions about how we did it let me know.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Pole Dancing I

I had my first pole dancing class on Wednesday night and it was much fun! There were 9 of us in the class, 3 per pole and the rest of the girls were lovely. I felt very self-conscious in my little shorts (purchased that lunch hour) but everyone else was also wearing shorts so I swallowed my embarrassment and got stuck in. We warmed up with lots of stretching, which hurt, I have no flexibility anymore, but felt good to be stretching again. And then we were at the poles. It started easy and I thought okay, maybe this isn't so hard. Until we had to do our first spin. The firemans spin.

Our teacher makes it look so easy, so smooth. Until we started going. Clumsy but trying hard. It took a few goes to get the idea and then we were all spinning round nicely and landing without thumps and looking kind of elegant.

By the end of the class we had done a little routine, a few spins and then some pole conditioning. This sounds simple but jeez, it's tough. Especially when like me you have no upper body strength. I can't even do a push up... So to basically do a chin up on the pole using only my strength and no jumping was an impossibility for me. Maybe at the end of the six weeks I'll get there...

I now have sore muscles, not too bad but I can feel it. They've been worked. Plus a nice bruise on my calf, a war wound as it were. And I felt good at the end of the class. The challenge of learning something new. Doing things with confidence and holding your head up when dancing and meeting a lovely group of girls.

I also have an even greater respect for the Un-Bride, she must be strong... No wonder also she has an amazing figure, check her wedding pictures for proof. And I would recommend this. I've gone through the pole dancing school and my teacher is lovely, plus they've been really helpful. More to follow next week I'm sure :)

Wednesday, 21 October 2009


Work, work, work. Eat, Sleep. Right now it kind of feels like this. Busy, busy, busy, my mind isn't on top of things. But it's good. It's challenging and rewarding at times so not all is to complain about. I also have my first pole dancing class tonight, more on that tomorrow I'm sure!

Until then, I've found a new Simon's cat short film. I love these films, they always make me smile. However due to my lack of skills I can't embed video on my blog. Maybe someone can tell me how? Instead I shall offer a link to The Official Simon's Cat website. Check it out if you have time :)

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Autumnal London

London has turned decidedly autumnal recently, I'm seeing my breath in the morning and have started to wear my gloves in the morning. It's also that time of year when you get some fabulous light in the mornings and early evenings, the low light which gently washes over everything bringing it to life, especially when you get a moody dark sky threatening rain.

So here's to a quiet hungover Saturday. I released some stress last night by getting really very pissed on a team dinner. But it felt good at the time and it was a really very enjoyable evening.

Only another 9 weeks to go of work, work, work and then it's Christmas followed by Argentina. So I shall think of that to get me through the next few weeks. We've got lots of planning to do and will soon be receiving our packing and information pack. More on that soon I'm sure.

Enjoy your weekends. M x

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

A few of my favourite things...

Here is hopefully the first of a series all about my favourite things. Items or activities which I just love and want to tell everyone about. So here goes...

I've been working longer than normal hours recently and not sleeping so well because I'm worrying about everything I have to do. So I've been very much in need of this item:

MAC Studio Finish SPF35 concealer

This bad boy covers even the darkest circles which loom under my eyes, perks them up, makes me look human and if I wear no other make up I wear this.

I've never tried Touche Eclat, I probably should (opinions on this would be welcomed) but for now this little pot does me just fine.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Monday Madness

If you're in need of something to make you smile this Monday check out this link... One of those lovely stories one can't help but smile about on the BBC news website.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Woo hoo it's Friday!

Image from Cute Overload

And because it's raining again here are some cute piggies for you :) It's been a long week, work has been busy, I feel exhausted. Thanks for all your support earlier in the week, I really appreciated it and have been thinking long and hard about everything you said. Off for dinner tonight, should be nice, then to sleep for a long time.

Enjoy your weekend's! M xx

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

J is famous... Almost

Can you spot him last night on the BBC news at 6 and at 10? He's currently at the Conservative Party conference with work and managed to be caught on TV. Very exciting!

Monday, 5 October 2009

On being asked about your weight and what follows...

Image from Cute Overload

I have just been asked if I have put on weight. To which I had to be honest and say yes. But I was surprised I was asked, it is not something one normally does! However the person asking is a Middle Eastern lady who is part of the group I am currently managing a programme for. I met her first in May and she hasn't seen me since then. Does this then make it okay for her to ask if I am getting fatter?
And is it okay for me to feel hurt that I was asked even if I know it to be true?
Mine is a creeping weight gain, a little here and there which as it is adding up is becoming a lot. I know I need to do something about it. I have known this for a while. Big sister has been great and encouraging, I have been useless.
But I have done one thing... Give up my gym membership which I was wasting money on each month and not using. And instead signed up for a six week pole dancing course. My course starts in two and a half weeks. I hope that by doing this I will regain some interest in exercise and begin the slow journey down the weight loss road. Any suggestions/support/ideas much appreciated.
M x

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Automat - Review

Last night J and I went to Automat for dinner. We had to go in fairly early because it was so busy! But we think it was worth it. We kicked the night off with Moscow Mules, the perfect way to take the edge off a long week. For starter I had a roasted tomato, avocado and mozzarella salad. It was nice, full of flavour with a yummy dressing. J had a chopped salad with mozzarella, classic diner starter as he put it. Both were good.

And then we were on to the main item, the burger! We both had the Automat cheese burger with fries. As seen above. Sorry for the blur we were trying to take photos without flash! The burger was yummy, meaty, simple and with a toasted sesame bun. Plus the bottle of Argentinan Sangiovese/Malbec we chose to go with it was lovely.

We finished up with a shared apple pie and a glass of Tokai 5 puts. Fabulous! I would recommend this place for an expensive American Diner experience which is worth the money. Plus if you like Burgers this is a good one!

And on that note, check out this link, J has started a blog to document his missions to try and find the best burger in London. So if you're intersested in that kind of thing head on over :)

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

I forgot the meringues

Making bernaise sauce requires egg yolks but no whites. I normally just throw the egg whites down the sink (naughty, I know) but this time I thought I'd use them to make meringues! And I'm pleased I did. Using an online Rachel Allen recipe, I whipped up a little batch of loveliness. Swirled with a bit of Vanilla essence right before baking and spooned on, not piped, I was pleased with the crunchy exterior and sticky interior. Next time I shall also make the fruit compote and whipped cream... But for now I am just munching through my meringues. Yummy :)

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

A gastronomic Saturday

We had the first weekend in London together for an age! After finishing up at work with J's help we were over in Paddington and thought a nice walk to Marylebone could be in order. The weather was glorious!

And so we ended up at the Ginger Pig... Home to fabulous butchers and a mouth watering selection of meat. Seeing all those great steaks it seemed a good idea to purchase some giant rumps ready for dinner. A big fat meaty dinner.

We decided to make Bernaise Sauce to go with our steaks, and of course chips! Bernaise recipe was courtesy of Michel Roux Jr, whose cookery book I have, which is okay. Well the bernaise recipe is more than okay because it was delicious!! The book I am mixed about to be honest.

And boy was it a good steak, chips and bernaise. I was a happy girl, husband, good bottle of wine and giant plate of food!

Having been to the Ginger Pig, which happens to be next door to La Fromagerie, we couldn't resist just popping in for a small lump of cheese. For those London based readers if you like cheese and have never before been to La Fromagerie, go now!! It's cheese heaven, the European equivalent to Neals Yard. So much choice and you get to try it all too. So making your mind up is an even longer process, but a better one too.

We ended up with three cheeses, a lemony goats cheese, an Irish blue and a Southern French nutty hard cheese. I can't quite remember the names, but Cashel for the Irish Blue, and Napoleon for the French. The goats cheese I have no idea I'm afraid.

And there ended our gastronomic Saturday evening, and boy was it my kind of evening. Something we've not done for so long which was just so pleasant. Great food, time with J and a glorious London day. What more could you ask for?!

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Friday Night - Princess Alice

Work has been busy... I've been doing long hours and not had much time to think about anything other than coming home sleeping and going back in. So finishing up on Friday night (or leaving and hoping for the best) I went off with J to East London. We used to venture there back when we were students, curry and a night out on Brick Lane but those days are long gone so it was nice to be back and see how it's changed.

Or not! We of course started with a curry... There are hundreds to choose from but we went to the Clifton which J has been to before and does serve a nice curry. Order fu*k up aside the food we finally received went down well, as did the complimentary curry...

Then on we went to The Princess Alice. This is a traditional East London pub which has been open for 125 years. J's friend and his other half recently took it over and so were having an opening night.

It's a nice pub, quirky in it's shape but with a real atmosphere and a nice crowd to go with it too. Plus it's exciting to see a friend own their own pub!!

A few Bourbons, Dark Rums and who knows what else later and we were idling back home having danced to some funky music and enjoyed a live band too. I would in all honesty recommend this as a pub to visit and enjoy a night in. Curl up on a sofa, dance to some great music and have fun!

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

In search of Brogues

I saw a girl yesterday in teal brogues, and I thought to myself, how lovely they are! And now I'm thinking that for winter they would be just wonderful. So I have decided to search for some brogues. Here are some I like...

What do you think? Your opinion on Brogues and any suggestions of where to find them would be warmly appreciated. Or anywhere I can find some coloured ones, which are preferably a little lower in the vamp if possible. Oh and not too expensive! Not asking much am I :)

Monday, 21 September 2009

Weekend Surprise

J came home on Friday night to see me and our friend A. I didn't know he was going to so when he walked into C's front room I was delighted, also being tired and a little run down I almost cried but you know how it is.

We spent a lovely Saturday together, had C&A over for a homemade pizza lunch and then had a little nap in the afternoon. I just love afternoon naps, they do feel so special!

Saturday evening we went to the fancy dress 'T' themed party, me as Tinkerbell (minus the wings, I had no time) and J as Top Gun (well Maverick really, but Top Gun to fit the theme). No photos yet, I forgot to take my camera but hopefully some photos somewhere of my homemade skirt.

Sunday was church, another good bye to J for a few more days and then a lovely dinner with middle sister and her other half. So all in all a good weekend, with the best surprise I could have hoped for in the form of my lovely lovely husband. What fun did you get up to this weekend?

Friday, 18 September 2009

Happy Friday

It finally feels like autumn is creeping in so above is a photo I took while back at my parents a weekend or so ago. This is in my back garden, where I grew up. I love that garden and all the memories it holds or playing as a child.

And of course, it's Friday! Another week passed, a few more ticks on the to-do list plus of course the other items added... I also just spoke to J, he's finished the walk with his dad and they're one their way back home. Well done him.

Off to see an old friend tonight and a costume party tomorrow night. Plus on Sunday a new friend and a sister. All in all a good weekend. And of course with each day a little closer to J coming home :)

Wishing you all the nicest autumnal weekend's, M x

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Meme - Ten things about me

The lovely Being Brazen (go read her blog if you haven't already) recently awarded and tagged me. Which is very exciting! So I now have to tell you ten things about myself and of course display my very pretty award :)

Here goes on the 10 things...
  1. I crave broccoli sometimes, especially when hungover or feeling like I have a cold
  2. Apparently I have long narrow feet, or at least the last two people who have been serving me while I've been buying shoes have told me this
  3. I am very easily distracted, especially when in a restaurant and there's an interesting conversation on the next table
  4. One of my favourite things is sharing meals with people, and the good conversation which normally goes with them
  5. I don't really like travelling on the tube. I avoid it where possible and mostly get the bus. Cheaper too!
  6. I love false eyelashes, they are the best
  7. Before I have children I want to drive the west coast of America
  8. I currently can't drive... Nor can J :)
  9. I shout at the TV and radio quite regularly, worryingly so perhaps...
  10. I also cry regularly while watching TV, any wedding, engagement, death, sad moment and I'm off
And now topass on the award and the tag if you want as well, I would certainly enjoy reading your ten things! But also really a nice excuse to pass on the love and award to some of the blogs I have really been enjoying recently.

Everybody Says Don't
A Rose beyond the Thames
Color Me Green
Blog Goggles
Our Day by Design
Peacock Feathers & Diamond Rings
Holy Hanna... Wholly Krista!

M x

Monday, 14 September 2009

What I did this weekend

  • Had a great night out on Friday with colleagues
  • Got up too early on Saturday
  • Went to Portobello Market for the first time!
  • Spent Saturday with five of my closest friends
  • Tried a mint julep, realised they are disgusting, never again, unless I'm desperate
  • Talked, a lot
  • Said goodbye to J for a week and a half
  • Went to church for the first time in months
  • Saw a friend who I haven't seen for ages and caught up properly with her
All in all, a great weekend. And my first in London for a long time, which I loved! What did you do, anything exciting? And any tips for sleeping while your other half is away? I struggled last night... Even with my monkeys keeping me company.

Friday, 11 September 2009

100th Post, Happy Friday and a Monkey!

Somehow I've managed to post 100 posts. Which is very exciting for me. I'm still not sure I quite understand the direction of this blog and my apologies for its sometimes rambling nature. It would be lovely to hear from you though, what you enjoy, if there's something you'd like to hear more of or see more of or any other thoughts!

Otherwise, it's Friday! Woo hoo! This one has been a long time coming. J is super busy at work and my work has picked up too. So I'm looking forward to my first weekend in London since May... I shall be catching up with old friends and saying good bye to J for a week and a half.

Because it's Friday I shall share with you this Gibbon, courtesy of Cute Overload.
Also, and this bit is important, much love to my followers and readers. It means a huge amount to me that you comment and read what I write. Thank-you! Thank-you! Thank-you! M xx

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

On Changing Habits...

Following my realisation recently that I was steadily gaining weight I have been thinking about ways of changing my habits. Habits of eating crap and drinking too much, and habits of not doing enough exercise.

So when I was at home this weekend I got talking to my mama. She was talking about the way we think about food, and how we can change this. Describing to me a large colleague who whenever she saw cake would think mmmmm cake, versus a slim friend who would see cake and think urgh cake got me thinking about how I react to cake and whether changing this could help. I currently think of cake as... Big grin, mmm cake, how much can I have?, quick get in there, urgh too sweet, mouth tastes gross, drink loads of water, feel fat.

So my mama got me thinking, maybe part of my problem is my habit of eating sweet things too often, rather than occasionally as a nice treat. Perhaps I need to change the way I think. I know that a sugary rush will make me feel sluggish after. I don't actually like chocolate that much after the first bite. I find it tends to coat my mouth with an odd taste. But I eat it because everyone else does. And I don't want to be seen not to. Odd huh? And foolish.

My sister and I have often talked about this too, about really thinking about what you are eating and what it will do for you. So I am going to try and change, little by little my approach to these things. I'll let you know how it goes, if it goes at all...

Monday, 7 September 2009

Boating trip Part 2

We went through a lot of locks... This one was huge! And a bit scary, I was not too fond of being in the boat while going down in the locks. What if the gate gave way!

On our way we met a few interesting characters, some awful horrible people who were just rude. Others were lovely, including this rather cute Schnauzer called Olive. So friendly and strokable. I wanted to steal her but J wouldn't let me. Although he does now like Schnauzers more...

This is the inside of the boat, it's compact! And hopefully you can even see our little fire, which I managed to start as it got a bit chilly in the evening. In the evenings we cooked for each other, sat, drank and sang. It was good fun being all together for a few days and working in such a small space! You certainly need to know people quite well to go on a canal boat with them.

And finally the boating team and our boat. We got ours from College Cruisers, who were lovely. And I would definitely recommend a boating trip with some friends if you're looking for something a bit different!

Friday, 4 September 2009

Boating trips

I promised a while back of photos and stories from our recent canal boating weekend, so here's the first lot!

You have to relax on a canal boat because they really don't go very fast at all, in fact walking pace is speedy on the canals. So after getting used to this we all enjoyed the enforced calming down of our paces. It is idyllic to watch the world go by, green and lovely, and wave at the other boaters. We luckily had a little space at the front of the boat to sit and watch the world go by.

But it wasn't all peaceful relaxing, there's quite a few locks, which are fun! And some exercise too, running out, trying to manoeuvre the boat into the lock without bashing the side too much. Letting the water in and out of the lock and of course opening and closing the gates, which takes as much effort as I was giving below!

More to come shortly but for now have lovely weekends, I'm off to visit my parents.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

On real women...

I recently read one of the best blog posts I've read in a while on Liberty London Girl's blog, all about women's bodies and the ideal of beauty. Go read it if you haven't already...

Anyhow, it got me thinking about the obsession we all have about our bodies and seeking perfection, never being able to believe someone finds us attractive. I still can't quite believe my husband thinks I am attractive and have a nice figure, especially on 'fat' days when I feel bloated and disgusting.

So when I saw the below picture, I rejoiced. Which is apparently what a lot of other women also did. This image was featured in the latest issue of American Glamour magazine, hidden away on one of the pages, surrounded by the traditional images of skinny, elfin, boyish figures, this picture cause a huge response. Women flooded Glamour with thanks for showing that someone with a tiny belly can be beautiful. The Daily Mail go into more detail about it in this article.

So I wanted to share it and commend Glamour for putting this in their magazine. She is truly beautiful, and it's refreshing to see this image being used in a magazine. As much as I love fashion magazines and looking at catwalk shows I know that so many of the clothes designed are never going to suit a figure with some curves. Maybe, just maybe, the fashion world will begin to listen to everyday people and start designing clothes for women, not girls with boyish figures who can pull off high fashion.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Lost - Eyebrow Tweezers

I have some how managed to lose my eyebrow tweezers. These are one of my treasured beauty items, which I hate being without. I thoroughly enjoy plucking my eyebrows, I find it quite relaxing to be honest and so am feeling rather lost myself now. I also have never used traditional tweezers, I currently have a pair which I am using in the interim but instead of tweezing am just breaking my hairs... Not ideal!

So I'm looking for tweezers like these Tweezerman ones below. This is what my old tweezers were like and I loved them. But I can never seem to find any. Any suggestions as to where I can get hold of these? Anyone seen something similar sold anywhere?

Any advice as to really good tweezers, even if they're not shaped as below! Anything honestly will be wonderful and much appreciated!

On another note, am obviously now back from the long weekend in Oxfordshire. Lots of photos and stories to tell soon!

Friday, 28 August 2009

Long Weekend ahead...

It's a long weekend here in the UK something which I am hugely looking forward to. J and I are off to Oxford to go on a narrow boat for a few days with two other couples. I'm sure I shall come back with photos and tales but until then I shall leave you with a couple more photos from the wedding. They are a stunning couple and these were two of my favourites which I captured.

Hope you all have fabulous weekends! x

Thursday, 27 August 2009

New Shoes

Last week I finally managed to get shoes sorted out for the wedding. After having bought a fabulous Miu Miu pair which were amazing, but far too high, and were returned, I was at a loss of where to look next. So I left it and decided that I could sort it out closer to the time. And how time flew.

So last week I went for a hunt for comfortable black flat shoes that I could wear with my dress and weren't too expensive, not much to ask for then! And I found them....

Here are almost my shoes, mine have red heels instead of the brown heels below.

Shoes are from Kat Maconie

I found them in Poste Mistress and they are also sold in Harvey Nichols and Peter Jones (for you Londoners interested). They have been specially designed to be more comfortable, you can see the padding on the bottom of the shoe above and when I put them on I was really pleased. They fit my big feet, were smart without being over the top and were flat!

So I wore them all Saturday, danced the night away, loved them. And then today I walk into work in them (about a 35 minute walk I do every day) and now my feet hurt and have been rubbed. What to do?! All the same though, I would recommend looking at Kat Maconie's collection, the shoes are lovely and if you're looking for slightly different pumps they are comfy with lovely padded soles. One day though I will find shoes which don't rub...

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Pun intended?

My husband just sent me this screen grab on the BBC website. Do you think the pun was intended or not? If yes, very bad taste don't you think...

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Wow, what a weekend!

It started with two fabulous days at the cricket, lovely sunshine company and of course the score was keeping us pretty happy too. Then on Friday evening we dashed off down to Dorset to go to J's sister's wedding. And what a wedding it was! The weather was fabulous, warm sunshine, the bride was stunning and everything went well. Here's some pictures for you all...

Her flowers were all roses, a mixture of colours. These were just the bridesmaid flowers, hers was a larger version of these. However in the reception each table was decorated differently with a multitude of flowers, vases and other such delights.

And below, here she is with her bridesmaids and mum and dad. Can you see the size of the dress? It was huge but just stunning. Again I'll try and get some more photos up for you all because the dress was a post in itself. Ian Stewart bride in case you were wondering...

And finally me and J. I do looked rather overexcited here, guess I must just have been enjoying myself!

The wedding also coincided with the Bournemouth airshow so we had a display from the red arrows in the middle of the day. Finally at the end of the night there was a huge fireworks display out in the sea which we all went out to watch, a perfect end to a great day.