Weekly roundup

Hello lovely people.

I call this a “weekly roundup” like there are lots of things to update you on, but there really aren’t that many… I worked every day this week. On Tuesday evening I went to Pizza Express with an ex-colleague. We exchanged gifts, as we didn’t have a chance to get together in August [our birthday month] and she gifted me this awesome unicorn jewellery dish… She knows me too well. I had a Bosco salad, which is one of my favourite things to eat at PE and we finished it off with a hot chocolate in Wetherspoon. It was lovely.

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What happened for the rest of the week? Well… ummm… I made my first mac and cheese. Get me! I used THIS recipe by Jamie Oliver… it’s a non-roux recipe, which is exactly what I was looking for. I think there are benefits to a roux, but L is not keen on them, so I made this one which was PURE CHEESE. I also topped it with lemon breadcrumbs from Waitrose. They are one of my favourite store cupboard ingredients and I always have them in the house.

Work was strange this week. I found every day very challenging. I’ve not slept well because of the heat, so this might be why. It wasn’t even as busy as it usually was, but maybe my tolerance levels were low because of the lack of sleep. Lack of sleep does not suit me. Some people handle it really well, I do not. I also don’t like being under time constraints. That makes me anxious.

Anyway.

We tried a new Indian take-away this week, and that was nice. That reminds me, I need to write a review on Just Eat. They’ve emailed me for a review, so I should really. Yelp is my usual reviewing platform, but I’ll give it a go.

I’ve been listening to Bruno Mars again this week. I LOVE this song and I’ve listened to it four times already today >>

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JNtAtGGNRU >> Bruno Mars | Count on me

L & I spent today with my new-nephew R, my little sister, S and her beau, P. I got R a JellyCat Giraffe, who is yet to be named, but I think R liked it.

Here is Unnamed >>

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We spent the afternoon with the three of them in Tunbridge Wells. They took us for an amazing lunch in Bill’s. This isn’t one we’ve been to before and I even had a dish that I’ve never had before; duck and pearl barley pie! I give it 4/5 – it was lovely.

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We then went to a little cake shop called Stefania’s where we ate far too much cake, and I even got to bring some home! You can check out some of these photos in my Instagram feed which will show up in the side panel.

It was lovely spending time with little R, my nephew. He’s such a gem. A smile from him could break a million hearts beyond repair. He’s just beautiful. I won’t share a photo because he’s not mine to share, but take my word for it, he’s wonderful.

I also went into a couple of shops looking for an iPhone 6. I’m not convinced that I want one. If they’d had any in stock in any of the shops today, I might be sitting here with one RIGHT NOW, but they didn’t, I’m not, and I’m not sure I’ll ever have one. I might hang on and see what they release mid-year. The 6S?

We’re going to watch another episode of The Tunnel now, which as you know takes some attention, so I’m off. I’m hoping that we end up at a garden centre tomorrow so that I can plant some succulents, but we will see.

Love and that.

L.

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Earworms and furniture

According to Wiki…

An earworm, sometimes known as a brainworm,[1] is a catchy piece of music that continually repeats through a person’s mind after it is no longer playing.[2] Phrases used to describe an earworm include musical imagery repetitioninvoluntary musical imagery, and stuck song syndrome.[1][3][4] The word earworm is a calque from the German Ohrwurm[5] and was, according to Oliver Sacks, first used in the 1980s.[1] 

Today’s earworm is Foo Fighters “Times like these”. I don’t think it’s going anywhere any time soon. Even listening to it hasn’t helped and that’s usually the cure! It has been in my head since Friday morning and it’s now Sunday evening.

Why the furniture? Well. We went to Chichester today just for a walk around and I found a couple of bits of furniture that I really liked. One of which I bought, and isn’t technically furniture because it’s so small. I’ve not yet taken a photo but it’s a small, desktop sized, 9 drawer unit made of wood. I love anything with lots of little drawers in it and I’d fill the house with them if I could. I love those apothecary-type units. Swoon.

Anyway, I also fell in love with a green unit with drawers and a shelf. Oh, and a wall unit for hanging in the hall for door keys. It was sadly too big for our hallway, but one day perhaps?

I have a  picture of the green unit…

Oh no, my iPhone battery has just died! I’ll come back and edit once I can get the photo off my iPhone. Oops.

What else did we get up to? We went to Lush. I smothered myself in Karma, which I adore, and I can still smell it on me many, many hours later.  My bottle has run out but I couldn’t afford it today. I spent money on a cabinet!

We also went to Costa for a cold drink. It’s not my favourite of the coffee shop chains, but it did the job. We had lunch in Bill’s, which is one of my favourite places. We often go to the one in Lewes or Horsham. I had my usual honey mustard mini sausages with some sweet potato fries and L had a cheese burger with normal fries. Both were delicious. We were SO tempted to visit Patisserie Valerie but we managed to stay away.

The evening has been rounded off by a baked potato with chilli, cheese, and sour cream. We were supposed to be making a curry tonight but we couldn’t eat something so fancy after eating out; the baked potato hit all the right spots.

The earworm is still going. AHH!

I booked tickets to see my favourite band today – Little Dragon. That’s happening in November, so that’s something nice to look forward to. We’ve seen them twice before, once in Covent Garden, London and once at O2 Brixton Academy [I think]. Both times they were phenomenal, so I’m so looking forward to seeing them again. I’ll have to get on with listening to their new [fourth] album to make sure I know the new music that they play. I’ve not had much time to listen to it, but Klapp Klapp is brilliant, definitely in my top 5 songs of theirs. Oh what’s that? You want to know the others? Well… [not in order]

1. Klapp Klapp – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UM–TtkGNa4

2. Twice – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TrpMncSZe-I 

3. Little man – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8dZ4c87sMU

4. Recommendation – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4uXlunU92k

5. Blinking pigs – http://vimeo.com/74444928

If I could pick one song that they featured in, it would be this one, which they did with SBTRKT >> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZdUINbi4wSY

In Chichester I also did some autumn coat snooping but I couldn’t find anything suitable. I really liked a lime green quilted jacket from M&S but it just wasn’t neutral enough. I don’t have enough money [post wedding] to be buying things that I can only wear with a limited amount of existing clothing.

I also got a present for my new nephew, R. I’m hoping he doesn’t have it yet, but I can reveal all when I’ve given it to him next weekend. I’m really looking forward to seeing him.

L is making himself happy by buying solar lights at the moment. He’s lined our “side walk” with them and keeps going out to look at them when it gets dark. He’d have it looking like Vegas if he had his way – potentially even with a mini [solar powered] Eiffel Tower!

We’re watching The Tunnel tonight and it requires some concentration as it’s half in French, with subtitles, so I’m going to get going.

I’ll leave you with my favourite PostSecret from today..

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L. x

Birch Box | BzzAgent | Flowers | The Cat

Happy Thursday!

Today I received my 6th Birch Box [this is my referral link] and what a lovely box it was. Here’s what I got… [left to right]. This is just letting you know what I got, I’ve not had a chance to try all the products yet.

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1. Agave healing oil treatment.

I’ll be trying this one at the weekend. It’s a warming hair treatment that makes your hair super sleek and although I’ve not opened it yet I bet it smells amazing. I’ll update you once I’ve used it. According to Birch Box you can also use it as a body oil… I’m in!

2. Urban Fruit dried mango.

I just got in from work and I’ve not yet started making dinner so I’m afraid that these are now gone. It was lovely. I much prefer fresh mango to dried mango but it’s not as convenient to eat when on the go, which is why this stuff is handy to have in the cupboard. I’ve had better dried mango but this was still nice.

3. A Photo Box voucher for some of their products at reduced prices and a photo clip stand to display a photo.

4. Skin & Co truffle therapy serum.

This serum is for making your face super firm and lovely. To be used after exfoliating and before moisturising. I can’t wait to give this a go. I might save it for the weekend and use it with my hair serum – I can have a little pampering session!

5. Benefit It’s potent! eye cream.

I’m really into eye cream at the moment, maybe it’s my age or maybe I just need something new to play with. I’ve had some lovely ones from YSL and L’Occitane and I look forward to trying this Benefit one. Once again, I’ll update you when I have tried it.

6. ModelCo lip lacquer – viva.

I’m not sure that this is my colour but I’ll give it a go. It’s a nice little travel sized pot for fitting into my handbag so hopefully it’s nice. The most important thing for me [after colour, of course] is texture when it comes to lip gloss and not many of them make the final cut when it comes to this, so I’ll let you know how I get on with it.

7. Korres citrus shower gel.

I got a Korres citrus body milk in one of my first Birch Boxes and I LOVED it, so I was really excited to see this in there. I’ll try it as soon as I can. I gave it a sniff and it smells amazing.

That’s it for my Birch Box. What’s next? Oh yes, BzzAgent…

I am a BzzAgent. That’s a confession. Not a secret one though, I tell anyone that wants to know about it [that’s part of being a BzzAgent]. It’s a company that anyone can sign up to and you get to try products, usually for free. I say usually because I had to pay postage on an item once, but the item was over £200, so I still did really well [I was a sun-lamp to treat SAD].

Anyway, this time they have very kindly sent me some chocolate to sample [and share!]. Check it out…

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It’s their new HELLO my name is… range. They have Caramel, Strawberry Cheesecake, Crunchy Nougat, Cookies and cream, and Salted caramel. I can’t wait to get stuck into these, I’ll write a proper review when I have tried them. I’ve not opened them yet because I wanted to get that photo before they are ripped apart! I’ll take some photos of the insides when it comes to it. I’ve also got some vouchers to give out at work which is fab. I’d offer to send some out but they are only for 20p so worth less than the stamp it would take to get them to you! If I get something more substantial I’ll offer them to you guys.

Up next we have… flowers!

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Aren’t they stunning? On my birthday I got a credit from Le Husband for a bunch of flowers from my favourite flower shop in Brighton. I like getting a flower credit because I can wait until I see a bunch that I must have, rather than having a bunch on my birthday from a random florist, just for the sake of it. I saw these on the way home today and they were too pretty to leave behind, so now they are all mine. The florist is Go Botanica for anyone looking for some AMAZING flowers. I think they offer same day delivery for free over a certain amount? I use them all the time for work presents.

Two of the blooms fell off, so of course they went on The Cat…

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So there we have it. Lots of lovely photos and products and shiny things to look at on a  drab Thursday. I’ve got dinner to cook, so I’ll leave it there for now.

L.

Wednesday :: The day after Tuesday

What do I want to talk to you about today? Hmm… I made my rice pudding! That’s a pie AND a rice pudding, in one week! #get #me! 

Here they both are, in all their glory…

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The rice pudding was a Delia recipe, and to be honest, I need to do something to pep it up a bit next time. Maybe more sugar, maybe a little vanilla essence? The pie was just a few things thrown together and some ready-made puff pastry. I have heard many a TV chef talk about the joys of ready-made, so I don’t see the point in making it from scratch. It means that I can make this sort of thing mid-week instead of having to wait for the weekends. 

We started watching Top of the Lake last night, we’re watching episode 3 at the moment. It’s odd, very odd, a little on the heavy side, but it’s worth a watch. It’s on Netflix. 

I’m off out for dinner tomorrow evening. I’ve just wrapped a gift for an ex-colleague’s 30th birthday, just some bits and bobs that I picked up in San Francisco. I hope she likes them. She’s a bit of a cat person like I am, so I think she will. We’re going to Pizza Express, so that should be nice. I hope the weather is good. 

The iPhone 6 and Apple Watch were announced at the Keynote yesterday evening. HERE is a ink from Buzzfeed with some info for you. I still can’t work out if I’m going to get the iPhone 6, but I don’t want to bore you with that. It’s just a phone after all. 

What am I listening to at the moment? Oh yes… I’d deny it if anyone I considered to be cool asked me, but I’m enjoying a bit of Bruno Mars at the moment. The songs are so darn catchy. 

My September Birch Box is on the way to me so I can hopefully show you that this week/this weekend. If you don’t know what Birch Box is, it’s a box that gets sent to you in the post every month for about £13 each month, including postage, and it contains at least 5 sample sized products and usually some literature to go with the products. It’s a nice way to try new things without having to buy the full sized products. THEN, if you do like the product, you get it at a discounted rate during the months that it was sent to you. Exciting, huh? This is my 6th Birch Box. Here’s my referee code if you fancy signing up yourself. I think we both get free stuff, but I can’t be 100% sure of that >> LINK

My favourite jewellery designer Alex Monroe has a new collection out called The Haberdashery. I’ve already got my eye on a couple of pieces, these ones in particular… 

1. Thimble necklace.

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2. Chantilly lace keepsake locket.

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3. Little inline sewing scissors.

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It’s quite a nice collection but there’s not too much from it that I’d like, not like some of the other collections. I’ve got a few AM pieces now, I’m very lucky; the quality is great and the pieces are so unique. 

I’ve got lots of things to remember to take to work tomorrow, so I should be going to bed soon. My head feels a little fuzzy, I hope I’m not coming down with something – there’s a lot going around at the moment. 

Anyway, ciao for now and I’ll be back soon. 

What song to leave you with? 

GRENADE – Bruno Mars [of course]. 

L. 

Tuesday. Not Wednesday.

I’m feeling a little sad. I just wrote an entry & then somehow lost it. I’m so silly. 

Where was I? … 

Oh yes, I woke up thinking that it was Wednesday when in fact it’s Tuesday. It’s amazing how much that affects the week ahead, it makes it feel a little longer some how. I’m not very good at getting up in the morning, so I might have to read a book on how to be an early riser. Hang on, that’s what Google is for… I’ll take a read of THIS when I’m done writing this. I’ve not read it yet, so I’m not recommending it yet. 

I’m trying to remember everything that I just wrote about but I’m not sure I can remember it all, or make it as nice as it was before. I know that I confessed that I was watching Hollyoaks, but that’s finished now. It’s just the ticket for unwinding after a manic day at work. I don’t tend to tell people that I watch it, because they judge, but it’s actually quite good. Gadget man is on now, mostly because I love a bit of Richard Ayoade

I also shared this picture with you, which I took at the bus stop this morning… 

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I also told you about how one of our Anaesthetists from work very proudly told me about his Son’s new business – Rupert & Buckley. It’s a new “preppy” fashion brand, invented by his Son whilst studying Law and he’s just done the paperwork for a shop in Bath, England. The website isn’t live yet, but for when it is, HERE is the link. I’m always happy to hear about people who have “made it” in this kind of business. I’d love my own business one day & I find these stories inspirational. I’ve read a couple of his online interviews and he seems to know his stuff. 

I have two new popcorns to introduce to you! 

1. Lemon Sherbet flavoured popcorn from Portle Bay Popcorn. This popcorn is popped in small batches, by hand, in Devon. It was DELICIOUS. I’m not sure what convinced me to try Lemon sherbet flavour but I’m glad I did. I wish I could write a beautifully flowery description of its flavour and amazingness, but I’m not too good with words and it tastes exactly how it sounds like it does – popcorn with lemon sherbet on it. Here’s a picture from Portle Bay’s website for you…

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2. Propercorn’s Sweet & Salty. I got this one from WHSmiths on my way home and it was delicious. I think I actually preferred the Lemon sherbet but it was amazing all the same – slightly saltier than sweet, but still sweet and that may be confined to just this bag. 

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I can’t promise you that I’m done with the popcorn for now. I’ve never been sold on crisps, so I’m glad that something has filled that snack-void for me. I am becoming slightly obsessed [can you be slightly obsessed with something?] with popcorn and I love that there are loads of new flavours on the market. I’m still a little scared to try wasabi, but I know that I’ll have to eventually. There are more flavours for me to try in the vending machine at work, so I’ll let you know if I try some others. 

What else have I wanted to tell you about? I’ve got my pie in the oven! That’s not code for anything, I really do have a pie in the oven. The one I told you about over the weekend. It does mean that diner will be late today, but that’s a risk that I’ve decided to take, otherwise I’ll never make this blooming pie! I’ll let you know how it turns out. I’ve put loads of thyme in it and I can smell it from here. Lovely! 

I also have some exciting news to share with you… we have a trip booked and I cannot wait. We’re off to Bruges. I really, really like Bruges. I think it’s because it’s not far away and yet it feels like it is. If you want good food, beer, 80s music, and cobbled streets, then Bruges is for you. I’ll tell you all about it when we get back, don’t let me forget. 

Throughout my day I think to myself “oh, I must blog about that” and then I try to remember and then I forget again, so I’m sorry if my posts aren’t… coherent. Is that the right word? I’m not very good at getting my words to flow, but I hope that doesn’t put you off coming back. I’d like y’all to come back. 

I think that’ll have to be it for tonight, unless I think of something Earth shattering to tell you… I’ll say goodnight. 

L. 

Lavender biscuits and tea

Good evening. I’ve been back to work today and it was… busy.

I had a really nice weekend; on Saturday we painted our picket fence outside the house. We got it installed recently and it was brown for a while but our old one was white and we were missing it. So white it is again. It looks lovely. It’s only primer for now, the gloss comes next, maybe in the next couple of weeks? On Sunday, we went out for my brother-in-law’s birthday – we got take away pizza and played far too much Who Wants to be a Millionaire on the Nexus 7. It’s A.D.D.I.C.T.I.V.E! 

In between those things we managed to have a nice pot of tea with some lavender biscuits that my sister got us after our wedding. They are beautiful, so sweet and pretty tasting. If something can taste pretty? Great with a cup of Earl Grey – everything is then so floral. Here’s a photo of my tea, because it was all so pretty [it always is – look at that tea cup and tea pot!]. 

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Things to remember this week – nephew’s birthday. Don’t forget! 

What else did we do this weekend? Oh yes, we had a lovely brunch on Sunday. Want to see that too? Yeah, go on…

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Look at that lovely golden toast, with coffee, jam, orange juice, yogurt [the same ones I spoke about last week], red grapefruit [not pink, or ruby… RED – they were very sweet], Lurpak, pecan and maple pastries… I think that was it? It was delicious anyway. 

Talking of Sundays, I’ve not mentioned Post Secret before. I look at it the minute I wake up on a Sunday. Okay, maybe not the MINUTE I wake up, but I do take a look before I read my e-mails/Twitter. LINK here. Favourite secret this week… 

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Some of the secrets can be sad, okay, 60% of them are sad, but some of them are not, and that’s a nice way to start a Sunday morning. Followed by Sunday Brunch on Channel 4. 

Anyway, back to today. What a day. I’m so grateful that I “just” did my job today and not someone else’s. I think I’d have been asleep by now if I was having to carry on with that nonsense. 

I suppose I’m rambling now, so I’ll give up. We’re watching Divergence anyway and I’m struggling to not nod off. It’s so boring. Johnny Depp… there has to be a reason to watch it, right?

That’s it, so I’m going to leave you with a photo of my Hate Crime book that I’ve started to read. I missed my train home this evening so I had to go and wait in the coffee shop at Brighton Station called The Waiting Room. 

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You’ll notice the chocolate milkshake that I got to have whilst I was waiting. It was not very nice at all. Yuck. 

Anyway I’m off-ski. Speak again soon. 

L. x

 

Hello, is it me you’re looking for?

What am I grateful for today? Today I am grateful that I didn’t have to go into work. I worked from home today & not having to get on the train is such a treat. I have had some music on in the background today, and I’ve gone through Music for relaxation, featuring Chris Buckman, Destiny’s Child, Bruno Mars, Lorde, Toni Braxton, Lionel Ritchie, and Elvis. It has been a journey. 

This week has been a busy one. I’m still doing two jobs, which is why I needed to not be at work today. I’ve also been asked to arrange the Christmas party for work. How does one even begin to try and make 200 people happy? 200 people with different ideas on what they want from a Christmas ‘do’, from different tastes in music, to different tastes in dress, and what they want to eat? It’s a tall order. But I’m trying. 

Our ceiling leak is under control, thank you for enquiring. It turned out to be an easy fix, and L has been touching in with paint here and there to make it look like it never happened, bless him. The scaffolding came down yesterday and we also now have a brand new chimney. The guys who did it for us have asked us to write them a review, so I’ll do that later. They were excellent – timely, reliable, clean, nice… the list goes on. It’s so nice to have such a good experience from work men when you’ve not been recommended them personally by someone else. It’s nerve-wracking doing it that way, but this time it paid off and I’m glad. 

I am officially a student again, I don’t think I mentioned that last time I was here? No? Well I am. I have been studying for what feels like a lifetime, about 6 years in fact, and I took a year out because life wouldn’t allow me to plan a wedding, start a new job, and study all at the same time, without me losing sleep [and hair]. So a year on and I’ve had my 2014/2015 study plan through the post and a hefty text book on Hate Crime. This year looks pretty exciting, although in May I have to start the foundations of my dissertation. I foresee a tough three years ahead. Yes, I still have three years to go. 

After being away for a whole week, there are so many things I want to share with you. One of them is this band, right HERE. They are called Lonely The Brave. Their album The Day’s War is their debut and I’ve listened to it 2.5 times today. Not too bad. They remind me of Kings of Leon, which isn’t a bad thing. 

I’ve also become obsessed with popcorn. It’s good. Really, it is. Not just for the cinema experience. It’s good for a snack at any time of the day. Today I had Metcalfe’s skinny topcorn [no that’s not a typo] in sweet ‘n’ salt flavour. It’s delicious, it really is. You can find it HERE. Or just at the supermarket. Like I did when I was at Waitrose. Metcalfe’s also sell White Cheese, CLIC sargent salt, sweet cinnamon, chocolate crackle, wasabi glaze, and heat ‘n’ sweet. Phew, that’s quite the list. I also adore the Sweet coconut and vanilla from Propercorn

It’s time for a bit of Adele.

I’ve been so bad this week food-wise. Like REALLY bad. On Monday night we had take away Thai food, on Tuesday I met my friend in a pub and had Caribbean BBQ food, then last night we had take away Indian food. How naughty is that lot? VERY, but it was all really tasty. Did I tell you about my new yogurt discovery? You’ll learn this about me… I REALLY like yogurt. Good yogurt especially. I don’t mind paying for yogurt. Although, these are only £1.50 for four at the moment… Activia Intensely Creamy. I love the peaches and cream one, and the lemon one… and the strawberry one. Oh and the blueberry one. I just saw that they have a raspberry one, I’ve not tried that one yet. A quick look on the website also shows me that I’ve missed out on Apricot & nectarine, Blood orange and passionfruit, Pear and apple, Vanilla, Cherry, Banana toffee, Smooth caramel, and Coconut! I’m clearly slacking in my stalking of yogurt flavours. I’ll let you know if I manage to track them down. 

I’m really enjoying my Nexus 7. Still. It’s great for on the go and I can it coming in all sorts of handy when I’ve got my Criminology PDFs on there to read on the train to and from work. I think that it’s the fact that it’s closer to the size and shape of a book than my iPad that makes it more appealing and a lot easier to hold on the go. 

More Adele

I just did my grocery shopping this afternoon, ready to be delivered tomorrow, and I got lots of lovely ingredients, enough for me to attempt to make my very first pie and my first rice pudding! RICE PUDDING! I’m going to Delia’s recipe, which seems a bit old fashioned, but I thought it’d be a good place to start. Eventually I’d like to be able to make indian style rice pudding with lots of cardamon and other such exotic flavourings. For now I’ll make the old fashioned one with good ol’ nutmeg and see how it does. Recipe HERE.

The pie I’ve decided to make is a steak, onion, mushroom and ale pie. I’ll try to remember to post a picture if it looks nice when it comes out. I think I’ve planned it for Wednesday. I’m out for dinner on Thursday with a friend – Pizza Express. That should be lovely. Dough Balls here I come! 

I guess I should go really, before you guys nod off and drool on your fancy keyboards – then I will be in trouble. 

Let’s catch up over the weekend… 

L.