As you might be able to tell by the number of recipes I’ve started to post on the blog, I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. I love cooking and I love baking. I’m better at the former but like the latter more. That’s because I get to do it with my daughter. Anything that involves sweet stuff, she is there, ready to help and it’s just great one-on-one time, something we don’t get enough because she is a bit of a social butterfly and has a million and one after school activities to take up her life. Continue reading “Baking with kids (a.k.a. gingerbread men taste good even when they go wrong)”
So, I swear I do listen to new music and that I will get back to that at some point in the these Monday posts but – unfortunately for some (maybe not all of you?) – I am flashing back again this week to the 80’s. It’s the decade I grew up in and the one I have some of the fondest music memories off but, normally, I don’t listen to the music much unless I’m digging out the vinyl. This weekend though, we were away with friends and someone had downloaded an 80’s playlist and this was on it. I haven’t been able to get it out of my head since…. Continue reading “Music for Monday: Kid Creole and the Coconuts”
I might live in England but, given I’m married to an American, celebrating Thanksgiving is a must in our house. Unfortunately, we don’t get the two days holidays that we would do if we still lived in the States but oh well – you can’t have everything can you (and American’s don’t have Boxing Day so swings and roundabouts)?
I love Thanksgiving because it’s Christmas before Christmas – not with the presents but with the big family meal and, once it’s over, I feel like I can start playing a bit of Shakin’ Stevens and Slade. There is nothing for me like getting everyone around the table and feeding them. Tonight, it will be Cola Ham courtesy of Nigella Lawson (something everything thought was odd till they tried it an now I’m not allowed to make anything else). Continue reading “Giving thanks for family and friends (and not the sales)”
Earlier this week, I had a crisis. I was out of exfoliator. Then I had another crisis when I went to buy it – I work for myself now, have only just started working for myself so there isn’t much money coming in…can I really justify the normal £15 – 20 for a face scrub? The answer is, if I have to I will be, if I can find an alternative, I’ll do that to. Hence a scouring of Pinterest in search of homemade solutions.
First up, though there might be more to come, is a coffee sugar scrub. There are lots of different ways to make this on the internet, some more complicated than others. I did what I normally do and combined a few that fitted in with what I had in the cupboard…and it worked, for me at least.
Here’s what I used… Continue reading “Made it myself: Coffee Sugar Scrub”
Morning and welcome to another Monday…why can’t the weekends last longer as today has come around way to quickly! To start the week off, I’m sharing another song that I can’t get out of my head. Actually, this morning, I’m sharing three because I didn’t know which one to pick.
The band is Martin Stephenson and the Daintees who have been around since I was a teenager (on and off) and who it’s a Christmas tradition to go see with my husband and best friend, not just because I love the music and like a bit of nostalgia but because Martin Stephenson is a funny man who tells stories to go with the songs. Can there be anything better than a night of singing, dancing and laughing? If you haven’t checked them out before, I can highly recommend it.
Anyway, on to my favourite songs – which are all oldies but which I just love listening to… Continue reading “Music for Mondays: Martin Stephenson and the Daintees”
We were lucky with the weather this week, though cold the sun shone most days. Meaning I could take a walk along the local beach (well I say local, it’s a 15 minute drive so I think that counts). There is nothing better to clear the mind I don’t think than looking out to sea.
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I am a bit of a fan of beauty boxes, and in one of my latest orders I received an OM Cleanse & Glow Konjac Sponge, which was in the most gorgeous packaging and intrigued me greatly as a) I hadn’t heard of it before and b) it looked kind of cool and funky.
First up, I’ll apologise for the picture, which doesn’t do the packaging justice – it’s quite hard to take a picture of clear plastic and, no matter what the background I used, I couldn’t get a decent shot. Saying that, they aren’t much better on the company website so maybe I shouldn’t feel too bad?
The poor photography shouldn’t put you off the product though, which I’ve been enjoying using these last few weeks, though it does have some downsides I’m not convinced will work for me in the longer term. Continue reading “Tried and Tested: OM Cleanse & Glow Konjac Sponge”
I used to think of myself as quite a brave person, someone who would give anything a go. Then I got older and, whilst some might say wiser, I have started to think it’s really more cowardly. I found myself saying things like “I know my boundaries” or “I know what I like and I won’t like that” – you get the picture. Over the last few years especially I have found it more and more difficult to try new things. It’s something I have wanted to change and (pats self on back) have finally started to.
I mentioned the other week that I had started trampoline classes and that was a big one for me. The classes had been going for about six weeks when I joined and everyone seemed to know each other and the coaches well. I would watch whilst my daughter took her class and think about how much fun it looked. Then feel scared. I would worry… Continue reading “Stepping outside my comfort zone”
I love red cabbage, not only for it’s colour but also for it’s taste, which is somehow both slightly sweet and savoury at the same time. Right now, it’s in season, so it’s the perfect time to use it as an accompaniment to many a meal (in our house, this is mainly Sunday lunch). It’s also really good for you, high in anti-oxidents, vitamins and minerals. You just have to get over the fact that, for as long as I can remember in the UK at least, we didn’t seem to do anything put pickle it – and store bought pickled cabbage just tastes like vinegar and not much else.
I haven’t pickled it myself because I have found a lovely version at a farmers market that saves me the hassle but, over the last few years, I have used it in a number of ways, including simply shredding along with white cabbage and carrots for a quite and easy coleslaw and braising for hours in the oven (on a low heat) with apples and brown sugar (which goes especially well I am told – as a veggie – with pork). Mainly, though, I make it this way – because it’s quick and easy and my family finish off every last bit… Continue reading “Made it myself: "Orangey" Red Cabbage”
You wouldn’t necessarily believe it looking at the clouds in this photo but it was a glorious day when we visited the Hartlepool Maritime Experience and toured Britains oldest floating warship, HMS Trincomalee. Every time I’ve visited I’ve tried to get a decent shot of the rigging. It’s never quite been as good as I hoped but I don’t think this is a bad shot…
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