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!