Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Awesome Food Award

Thank you Caitlin, both for nominating me, and for reminding me that I've been neglecting my poor old blog! Check out Caitlin's blog here:

So, here are Caitlin's questions:

1. What are your favorite Soup's?
I have to admit I'm not a huge fan of soup, although you can probably tempt me if it's accompanied with some warm crusty bread. My favourite soups are the chunky, hearty kind, full of meat and veggies. I've also recently discovered a thai soup called Tom Kha Gai, which is really delicious and has a nice chilli kick.

2. Do you prefer Scones with your Tea or separately?
I love scones with jam and clotted cream but I don't like tea, so I'd eat them on their own. I'm a little confused though because I didn't realise Americans eat cream teas (sorry if I'm wrong!) so I'm wondering if I'm misunderstanding the question.

3. What's your favorite kind of Pizza?
The meatier the better! My most favourite is pepperoni.

4. Do you prefer baking or cooking?
Definitely cooking. And everyone else prefers my cooking too - most of my baking escapades end in disaster!

5. What types of foods do you like making most?
I like most kinds of food, and most kinds of cooking, so this is a tough one. One of my favourite types of food to cook is Indian curries.

6. What exotic food have you tried that most people haven't?
I once ate camel when I was in Morocco. From what I remember it tasted a bit like beef.

7. Do you prefer cookies or cake?
Depends on the cake or cookie! Probably cookie though, I think.

8. Are you more the chips and salsa type, or just the plain old chip without salsa?
Chips and salsa isn't really a big thing over here, unless you count nachos (at least not as far as I know!) but I think I'd go for the chips with the salsa.

9. Do you like Chicken or Hamburger meat better?

10. What's your favorite Dessert? Why?
Hmm...either Sticky Toffee Pudding or Chocolate Pudding or Belgian Waffle or Pavlova or....this question is far too difficult!

This is where I break the rules and don't nominate anybody! As I've just re-entered the blogging world after 3.5 years, none of my old blogging chums are around anymore.

Wait, I've got an idea. I nominate anybody who reads this! I'd love it if someone did, and dropped me a comment to let me know :) Or, even, just comment with your answers! It'd be nice to get some life back into this blog.

Here are my questions, for anyone who decides to do it:

1. What's your favourite kind of takeaway or fast-food?
2. Do you like olives?
3. What food do you dislike the most?
4. Do you like spicy food?
5. What's your favourite meat?
6. What's your favourite part of Christmas dinner?
7. Tell me about something you've cooked or baked that you were pleased with.
8. Describe your favourite breakfast.
9. Coke or Pepsi?
10. How do you like your eggs?

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Marcus Aurelius on Facebook

I'm currently struggling my way through Marcus Aurelius' Meditations, which is a collection of his private notes and musings on stoic philosophy.

Quite frankly, I'm finding it pretty hard going. I think this is mainly because of the language, which is very archaic. Maybe I should have looked for a more modern translation!

But, in spite of the language barrier, I have found a few real gems of wisdom in his writings (I'm sure there are many more, but I just haven't figured them out!)

Here's one I read this morning:
“How much time and leisure doth he gain, who is not curious to know what his neighbour hath said, or hath done, or hath attempted, but only what he doth himself, that it may be just and holy?”

It made me think (guiltily) of the minutes, sometimes hours even, I can spend in a day just flicking through profiles and photos on Facebook. I know it's not all to do with curiosity (idleness definitely also plays a part), but we are such nosy creatures by nature, aren't we?

Is this really a good use of my time?

In his letter to the Ephesian Christians (Ephesians 5:15-16), Paul exhorts them:
“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.”
Other translations talk about ‘redeeming the time’, rescuing our time from waste and using it for God’s will and purposes.

The Bible frequently refers to life as a breath, or a vapour - something which lasts for just a brief moment and then vanishes. How can we use these short, few days we have to advance God's kingdom and make our lives count? When we give an account of our lives before God, what will we tell Him when He asks how we spent this short, precious time he gave us?

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Monday, June 29, 2015


Last Christmas, I bought Ben tickets for a cricket match - England V New Zealand at Old Trafford on 23rd June. At the time it seemed ages away, but, before we knew it, there were just a couple of days to go and we needed to figure out how we were getting there and make all the other necessary plans for the day.

Although the game didn't start till 6.30pm, Ben booked the afternoon off work so we could take our time getting there and maybe go for a meal beforehand. We decided to go by train, instead of having the hassle of driving and finding somewhere to park. So, we took the train to Manchester Victoria, and then went via tram to Old Trafford. To make sure we could find it, we decided to travel to Old Trafford first, and then find somewhere to eat. In hindsight, this probably wasn't the best idea because the stadium is right next to the station (so no problem finding it) and there wasn't really anywhere to eat in Old Trafford except for a couple of grotty-looking pubs and a few takeaways that weren't open yet (it was only 4pm). In the end, we ate in Tesco cafe, not the most romantic of locations, but we enjoyed it nonetheless.

After eating, we meandered down to the stadium and went through security. Helpful stewards directed us to our seats, and by the time we arrived we were laden with a variety of match-day merchandise and freebies: a programme (including other adverts and literature), a match radio, several 4 & 6 cards and 2 blow-up England cricket bats.

Weather-wise, we couldn't have chosen a better day. The sun was glorious, and we spent an enjoyable hour sipping on our drinks and watching the teams warm up before the match.

I won't bore you with details of the match itself, but let's just say it was a happy day for England cricket fans!

Friday, February 20, 2015

My first ever smoothie recipe

Actually, that's not completely true, because I have mixed frozen berries and coconut milk in a food processor before to make a smoothie, but this is my first more adventurous smoothie.

I had no idea how it was going to turn out, because I estimated all the quantities and wasn't really sure if all the ingredients would go together. But it tasted so nice that I thought it deserved a blog post! And, for those who might be interested, it's dairy-free and Paleo.

So here's what I did:


1 handful of pumpkin seeds
1 banana
1 pear
half an avocado
a few handfuls of frozen mixed berries
1 generous dollop of raw honey
Koko coconut milk - to taste, depending how thick/thin you like your smoothie. Could also substitute with yogurt or normal milk.


1. Grind the pumpkin seeds to a powder in your processor (I have a Thermomix, but I guess a normal processer with a strong blade would do it).

2. Throw in the rest of the ingredients, the fruit roughly chopped, and blitz for about a minute.

3. Check the consistency, and add more milk if you want it thinner.

4. Enjoy!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Catching up

So...what's changed since my last stint of blogging (3.5 years ago)? Well, some pretty big things, actually.

1) I graduated with a BA in Graphic Design

2) I started working as a graphic designer & web developer

3) I married my best friend and sweetheart

4) I started my own business

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Benjamin Franklin

I've just finished reading the autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. Generally speaking, I'm not a huge fan of biographical books, but I have to make an exception in this case.

This is a fascinating account of a man who grew up in a relatively poor family, received very little formal education, and yet, in spite of this, bettered himself to a point where he made HUGE contributions to society, government and science.

Not only is the story itself engrossing, but, the way Franklin writes is in itself an education. Sprinkled throughout the book are little gems of wisdom, as he points out areas where he made mistakes, or gives words of advice about dealing with people. Though not a Christian (he professes to be a Deist) this man was endowed with exceptional wisdom and there's certainly plenty to learn from his writing and his experiences.

As well as recounting Franklin's life, the book gives a remarkable insight into colonial America - something which I knew very little about before I read this.

I have to say I did find the language a little hard to follow at times, but overall the book was difficult to put down!

So, my verdict? A truly inspiring story, and definitely worth a read! And, here's a tip, you can download for free and read on your Kindle.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


We spent a lovely few days in Bath last month. It's a fascinating city, steeped in history. Our visit to the Roman Baths was so interesting; we both agreed that it's possibly the best museum/historical site that we've ever been to, certainly in this country. So definitely well worth the visit if you're ever in the area. 

So, some highlights of the week:

1) The Roman Baths, as already mentioned

2) Visiting a spa, heated by the natural hot spring (only one in Britain). It was pretty cool, actually. There are 3 levels of pools and steam rooms, and the top level is out in the open on the roof of the building with a view across the city. 

3) Looking around the beautiful Abbey

4) Visiting the William Herschel museum. Only a small place, but quite interesting. 

5) At the end of the week, bumping into friends we hadn't seen for years, and enjoying a lovely meal and fellowship with them. 

Photos below!

The baths - we weren't allowed to dip, unfortunately!

Our lovely (and slightly posher than we were expecting) hotel

Spending a few moments enjoying the quiet of the Abbey

Some gorgeous stained glass windows in the Abbey

View from the Abbey tower

Enjoying a drink in Chimichanga - great Tex-mex restaurant!

Monday, February 09, 2015

You know you're getting old when... get excited about a brand-new pan set arriving in the post! After buying a cheap pan that lasted about 6 months, we decided it was time to invest in a good quality set with a lifetime guarantee. Can't wait to get cooking with these!