Wednesday, December 12, 2012

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas

BRRRRRRR!  I have just come back in from a dog walk and the temp gauge on the car says -4 degrees, yikes.. The ground is frozen solid but everything looks so pretty with the dusting of icing all around.  Still, very glad for a big fat log fire and my cardie & uggs combo, not very glam but toasty all the same. 

So, preparations for the holidays are well underway, cards written, trees purchased, M&S food order placed, wine delivery expected, school Christmas fair survived, work Christmas party on the horizon and present purchasing almost done!  I am really really looking forward to having next week over with so that I can finally start to enjoy all of the festivities and the time off with my lovely family and friends. 

Tonight I will be wrapping up warm and going out to see my big girl star as a singing rose seller in the school performance of Oliver.  It is (the only lol) a perk of being a school Governor that I get to sit in a front row seat, and I really can't wait to see how all of their hard work has paid off. 

This evening's supper is going to be the very wonderful Mexican Lasagne - I do mine slightly differently to Nigella due to fussy kids -  I use baked beans and chilli beef but any combos of ingredients work really well, very simple and a big hit here.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Strange things I have googled & a great Muffin Top!

Oh the wonder of the internet, I love the fact that so much info is just a few clicks away, just brilliant!  This week has been a very strange one for me - I have had loads on, both at work and at home and it doesn't feel as though I have stopped yet, oh and help it is only Wednesday.. Still, all good for the most part, I went down Mill Lane to the log man to collect my load for the winter, wow what a task that is, it took quite a while to fill the back of my old Bertie (back seats down!) and even longer to unload and stack at home, but all done now and we are all set for the winter :) Not that it looks remotely wintery today, it is a stunner of a day,

I took the car to be cleaned (post log escapade) and the dog for a walk along the canal (above pic), which lead to my second strange google;

'How do I stop my Labrador rolling in poo?' It appears that short of keeping him on a lead the whole time, I can't.  Bugger.  OK, I get it is the whole masking the scent thing but FFS Cal FOX POO HONKS.  For the second time this week I have had to fill a bucket full of shampoo and hot water and wash him down when I got home. Gross.  Doesn't look as though he gives a rat's mind you.  Still, good job it is mild out, he has been banished until he is dry!

The first google of the day was;

'How do I remove old shower sealant?' oh yes, another glamorous blue job that I MUST undertake because my Sister, Andrea and Andrew get home today, hooray! The shower sealant in the family bathroom needs replacing, pronto, which means that I have to do it.  So, my google search shows that the best way to remove it is by spraying it with WD40, leaving it a while and then scrubbing it off - and it WORKS!  I was so impressed!  No to re do it, I have purchased an 'easy sealant gun' and I think that will be this afternoon's job, once my paid work is done.

So, back top my sister's impending arrival - it is her 30th on Monday so a weekend of fun and merriment is ahead of us!  I cannot wait to have them back and the kids are super excited too which is lovely.  I am doing the kids roast chicken later and we shall have fizz and nibbles, so all is good.  On the subject of meals I made this amazing stew last week, inspired by one of the lovely ladies on a forum that I still visit occasionally but used to be addicted to.. Do try it, it is very easy and delish, a perfect winter warmer

Muffin Topped Winter Beef Stew (pic nabbed from BBC Good Food)

Muffin-topped winter beef stew

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Half term is here

Hooray! I love the autumn half term holiday, and I especially love this year's as I'm only working one day! We have had a ball already and we are only 2 days in, got to love that. Thursday evening saw a houseful of girls, pizza making and midnight feasts, followed by long dog walk with my lovely friend Kate and our kids on Friday morning, then pub lunch, pumpkin carving, shower hose replacement (!)  and movie afternoon for me and my two. Today we have been down to Brighton to spend a glorious, if bracing, day beside the sea with Claire, Alya and Tio which was wonderful in every way. So, after strictly and X factor we are all in bed and ready for our extra hour.... Or rather I'd love o be but the pesky ponies don't know that the clocks are going back, do they? Groan!!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

New jeans for Autumn


I have realised that bar a(nother) scarf, a plain black L/S tee and some cheap lounge pants - I haven't actually bought any clothes since before my holiday SHOCK HORROR!  Naturally I have procrastinated about loads of things, including the gorgeous All Saints Biker that I really really want (but have the car's MOT and tax to pay, amongst other dull demands on my ££) but I have resisted and am feeling very virtuous.  Today, however, I have caved and bought these gorgeous jeans, and I really don't need jeans - I need fine knitwear, but can't afford Markus Lupfer and quite honestly nothing else compares at the moment so I am holding out - but they are lovely looking jeans and a bargain at £19.99, a great A/W option, I loved my bright jeans in the summer so this should be an easy win.  They come in a 34" leg too so will actually be a decent length, I just hope they aren't too low.

Thought I would add the ML jumpers that I am loving, but not buying..  
MARKUS LUPFER - sequin star sweater
And this one which is a My Wardrobe exclusive (and I know not to everyone's taste!)
wolf print jumper by Markus Lupfer 
 And my favourite <3 p="p">
Markus Lupfer-markus lupfer merino wool cat sweater

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Nigella's Green Pasta with Blue Cheese

I do love Autumn and the excuse that it gives for lots of lovely new hot and tasty food options to try out!  You can't beat a roaring fire, beautifully comfy lounge wear, a big plate of something that can be eaten with just a fork and a decent glass of wine to wash it down with.  Perfection.

I actually made this dish for my Mum and I when she came over a couple of weeks ago, and I have been meaning to blog about it ever since.

Nigella's Green Pasta with Blue Cheese

Serves: 2 hungry people
  • 250g trottole verde (or radiatori or fusilli, I used fusilli)
  • Salt
  • 125g gorgonzola piccante, crumbled or chopped
  • 100g baby spinach leaves
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tbsps chopped pistachio nuts


step 1: Heat water in a pan for the pasta, salting it when it comes to the boil, then add the pasta and cook according to instructions, but check three minutes early. It needs to be really al dente because it will carry on cooking as you make the sauce.
step 2: Before draining the pasta, remove a cupful of the liquid, then tip the drained pasta back in the hot pan with 2 tbsps of the liquid, the cheese and the baby spinach. Add a good grinding of coarse black pepper.
step 3: Put the lid on the pan – off the heat, though back on the stove – and leave to stand for two minutes.
step 4: Remove the lid, turn the heat back on low, and stir the pasta, cheese and spinach with as much of the cooking liquid as you need – about 100ml – until the cheese is melted and the spinach wilted.
step 5: Take off the heat, toss with two-thirds of the chopped pistachios and divide between two warmed bowls. Sprinkle each bowl with the remaining nuts. Serve immediately.

I omitted the pistachios, and used plain old fusilli rather than green stuff - but it was still amazing!  Really simple and delicious.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Testing my iPad app

Just found this app for iPhone so thought I'd try it on the pad, should make the updating even easier, providing I can get the pics updated.. I'm absolutely shattered from doing 520 miles in 2 days and working long days/staying in a nightmare hotel - but will update that lot later! For now here's a test picture; Roxy, our new hamster.. RIP Hermione, we loved you so very much, you brought a lot of joy in to my little girl's life and you had many fans..

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Ode to my Fabulous Bag

I don't think that I have ever received so many compliments for a handbag ever, so I have decided that this bag needs its very own post! The Zara plaited shopper that I posted about back in July has been used almost every day since I caved and purchased it, after seeing how lovely it looked on my friend Kat's super blog.  It really is a fab bag, goes with everything and fits so much inside it.  It made an excellent hand luggage option too as I could get everything from the Ipad to baby wipes inside it and it has a detachable shoulder strap and to cap it all off it is really gorgeous leather too, so it is going to age really well. 

Here she is;

And one of us together....

Oh, and for AW they have a beautiful burgundy version, which is darker IRL, I saw it in Rome..

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The search is on for a Biker Jacket

I have decided that I really do need (well really would like) a decent biker jacket!  I know, I have been lusting after a proper one for ages and now that I fit in to my old Oasis leather jacket again (a few lbs lighter than I was, yay!) I have realised just how much I use it, and therefore have a *need*.  The trouble is that the All Saints Walker is out of stock in my size, in fact it has disappeared off the site entirely, otherwise I would have taken the plunge with that first.  I can't actually find any others that I really love, this by Malene Birger number is lovely looking, BUT the hardware is gold, which doesn't work for me, bikers need silver hardware IMO.  Oh, it is also an eyewatering £550

Fairenza leather jacket
This Isabella Oliver Biker is also one that I have had my eye on for ages and tried to buy with a 50% discount code once - trouble is the code doubled the price, rather than halve it - and I had had a few glasses of wine so gave up.. Again, I am not sure that I want to spend £370 on an Baukjen (as it is now called) item. Ridiculous name change IMO, just as an aside.

The Biker Jacket | Jacket | Baukjen

So argh I am not really winning, but the hunt is on - and I am doing some overtime in October to finance this investment... watch this space!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Easy Banana Cake

My little boy loves to cook, and I love that he does, the only trouble is that he often wants to 'create' things at all times of the day and night, leading to much stress if I happen to say no!  Happily this morning's request (after we had dropped his sister at school and done horses) was to make Nana Cake.. now, I just so happened to have overripe (read dead) bananas and all of the other ingredients, so at 8.30 this morning that is what we did.  I haven't made banana cake since I was at school, I am no GBBO contestant, and I detest bananas... but the boy is a huge fan of both so that is fine with me.  I used butter instead of margerine which has made the cake even more moist and dense - we love it like that but if you prefer it fluffier then I guess you should stick with marg.  Zach is tucking in to a slice as I type :) Happy Friday everyone.

Easy Banana Cake

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Wine Bargains!

I think that it is a common known fact that I like my wine!  Oh yes, my Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc especially.. It isn't always the cheapest option on the wine list but I do love it, so imagine my joy when I found out that Tesco are having a wine event at the moment and, if you buy by the case (of 6) you get up to 40% off some wines!  WOWIE, that is a decent saving.  So, feeling like a proper grown up I have placed an order for 1 case of Oyster Bay and 1 case of Nobilo - to be delivered on Saturday.  The Oyster Bay is down to £31.50 a case, and for a wine that you pick up in Waitrose for £9.99 a bottle, what is not to love?  It is never usually on such a good discount so grab it whilst you can peeps

Thursday, September 06, 2012

The month that flew past..

I'm back! Wow what a month it's been since I last updated here.. There has been much change, some sadness, a difficult time for me - but I'm not going to dwell on that here- there is positive stuff to focus on too so I shall do just that.

My sister came back home with Andrew on August 10th, we set up the big screen in the living room to watch the Olympic closing ceremony on Sunday and had a house full to enjoy it, Kaz was down to stay, Steve and my Parents joined us and we stayed up drinking until 5am, yikes.. The week that followed was lovely, despite the fact that I had to work - and on the 17th the 5 of us caught the 3pm flight from the beautiful Terminal 5 over to Roma.  My apartment at San Gregorio was perfect, Rigs had bought loads of food and goodies for us and it was perfectly well set up for us all (well except for the dodgy cheese grater and the quite frankly tiny sink!!) the weather was the hottest it has been for the 10 years I have been going and the place was parched, but so dramatically beautiful all the same.  We had a brilliant time, swimming, riding, generally having fun all together and getting in some well earned rest.  It was so lovely to have friends come and stay too, Saf, Ram and the kids, and Kitty and Damon with their lovely little Reggie and also the Freeman family, as well as Mum and Dad, who really should have stayed longer.  A fun time was had by all, in a fabulous setting with great friends there too.

Andrew and Zach were just amazing, so cute together but SO NAUGHTY!! One of their highlights was the day that we were invited over to a friend of Andrea's for aperativo, him and his boyfriend own a beautiful split level apartment at Montelcheschi - immaculate in every way - and they are soo very nice that a pre lunch drink ended up in a full on afternoon of much laughter.. anyway at around 2pm I went in to check on the little boys only to find the living room (where they had been watching ice age) eerily quiet.. I ventured up the stairs only to find the two of them starkers, in the bath tub sliding around covered in Garnier Fructis conditioner!!!!! The MORTIFICATION!!! Anyway, happily Sean and Stein were darling and found it very funny but Riggy and I nearly died!  They pretty much spent the entire holiday at each other's side and had such fun.  Teya was brilliant too, she conquered her breast stroke and her diving is fantastic.  Her suntan is pretty enviable too.  Was such a lovely time and we didn't want to come home.  It was lovely that we spent that last day before flying home in Roma seeing the sights.  Teya has done the Romans in school so bringing the history to life was very special indeed. 

So, here are a few pics from our amazing time away - we all miss La Casella and its lovely people (esp Gabriella!) very much and look forward to returning very soon..

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Things that I am loving..

There are so many things at the moment that I am loving, mostly the Olympics and the fact that both my little ones are absolutely captivated by it all!  Teya hasn't stopped practicing gym displays and Zach is racing about all over the place playing 'Limpix' love them.  Hubs took Teya to see the road race come through Ripley last weekend, they cycled down with David and met Ram and Rehan, and they got a front row spot to cheer on the riders, what a fantastic experience.  It is such a shame that we can't get any other tickets, not even for the Olympic park :( but we are going to go up to London to soak up some of that atmosphere very soon.  The BBC are doing a fantastic job of the coverage too and the great British pride has got to be at an all time high!  I have to admit that I really wasn't too fussed about the whole 2012 hype - but from the moment the Opening Ceremony started at 9pm last Friday night I was hooked, what an incredible show that was, it just made me want to keep watching and not miss a moment of our amazing atheletes' stellar performances.   I don't want it to end.

I am also loving this fab bright scarf that I picked up for £4 in Primark, bargain...

 ....and I am very much loving the fact that I am back riding Baz and my foot is holding up really well.  I gave Teya her first lesson on Baz at the weekend too and she did brilliantly, he was very good for her and they look perfect together.  My very own gold stars..

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sunshine, Smiles, Shorts and Suppers!

What a fantastic start to the summer holidays, the sun hasn't stopped shining since the weekend and we have made the very most of every second, it has been brilliant.  Riggy came home for her brief visit on Thursday and we had a fabulous night catching up, she then had to disappear for bridesmaid duties which was a bummer, but our evening was superb.  Last Saturday we relented and allowed our little girl to have her ears pierced and to say that she is over the moon is an understatement.  As soon as they were done her whole demeanour changed, she stood straighter and couldn't stop admiring herself in every mirror and shop window possible!  She even phoned Steve straight away to tell him of her bravery, was so cute.  That night we dropped the kids with their granny and went off to Matthew and Olivia's beautiful wedding reception in the Village Hall for an evening of fun and merriment.  They had the most amazing cheese wedding cake - it was divine and such a great idea (and Liv brought me round some left overs love her!) it was such a super evening and the bride and groom looked gorgeous, top night - despite Matt R getting epically drunk, leaving me to assist with the tunes, disaster averted thanks to quick thinking ;)

The delish Cheese Cake

Sunday we went to say bye to Rigs, collected kids and granny and headed over to Bluebells for lunch to celebrate hubs' 42nd birthday in style, we had a perfect meal, as ever and then headed back to Amy and David's for BBQ in the evening. 

On Monday Saf and I took the kids over to Stoke Park to the paddling pool but it was so crowded that we only managed a couple of hours before coming home, Kids loved it but it was packed and I kept losing sight of Z in the mass of small children. Kev and I then took our two to the Royal Oak on our bikes and got the kids supper in the sunshine.  I had the nicest compliment paid to me whilst I was there, I was chatting to the bar manager as I ordered some more wine and he commented that he didn't know what my name was (we go in there quite a bit!) I told him and he said, "Ah we all call you 'The Nice Lady' here!" What a lovely thing to say! 

Oh I almost forgot, it was our 11th wedding anniversary on Friday 20th but sadly I was vomiting all evening so didn't get to make our yummy supper, so instead we celebrated on Monday eve with Veal Marsala (similar to my chicken Marsala but I included a little cream) which was divine, a really lovely evening.

Veal Marsala with jacket potato, tenderstem broccoli and fine beans;

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Hot sweet and sour chicken

This type of food is my fav, quick cooked chicken, nice and tender and tasty - don't overcook it or it will be tough and horrid.

500g finely chopped chicken breast
5 chopped shallots
2 cloves of chopped garlic
1inch long chunk grated fresh ginger
1Tbsp sesame oil
3Tbsp soy sauce
1Tsp white wine vinegar
1tbsp of chicken stock
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 chopped fresh red or green chilli
1Tbsp honey
1/4 tsp sea salt
Iceberg lettuce for wraps

Fry off in large frying pan shallots, ginger,chilli & garlic. Mix all wet ingredients in a bowl. Add chicken to frying pan, fry for a minute then add wet mixture. Stir in and fry till chicken cooked through (this literally is a couple of mins) Serve in lettuce wraps and with steamed basmati if you are allowing carbs!

I saw this today, if you did this 5 times a day that is a quick 500 cal loss!  Am going to add this to my workout plan, ramping it up for bikini body in 3 weeks woohoo

Pinned Image

A perfect LND

That would be little navy dress!  I know, I am still not supposed to be shopping BUT I had £100 worth of HoF vouchers smouldering away in my handbag - they were birthday pressies and have been there since June!! So, under the guise of finding a dress for Olivia and Matt's wedding as well as wanting to be able to wear it time and time again, I nipped in to Guildford with my Mum and found this little beauty - the 9th dress I tried on;

It is Michael by Michael Kors and is just fabulous, at £97 from £200 I love it even more, and it didn't cost me a penny! 

 Sadly I shall be in flats for the wedding but it will look lovely with heels and will be a great winter option too.  The picture doesn't really do it justice, I shall try take a pic of my wedding outfit so that you get a better idea.  I might have also bought a gorgeous comptoir des cotonniers tee and a second navy (but with a yellow block) shift from Jaeger, BUT I might not keep the Jaeger dress - I can't find it online but if I do keep it I will post, it is beautiful, but admittedly I don't need 2 navy shifts!

From the back

In other news, my sister is home tonight and I cannot wait, it is going to be so lovely to have her home, even for a short while, house is ready, supper sorted, I am just doing nibbly bits, these yummy Jalapeno Poppers included - just need her now..

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The One Crutch Wonder

Well thank goodness for that - my cast is off!  I have to admit I have been awake since 4am worrying about the damn thing and praying that I had healed sufficiently for it to be removed, I barked at everyone this morning, even my Mum who had driven over to help me out, major guilt there..  Anyway I got to the hospital and the consultant told me that I had done well and that I still have a sprained ankle and a fractured little toe but that as long as I take care and use my crutch then I should be OK!  I am so so relieved, I can't express it.  These past 9 days have been horrible, I will never take mobility for granted ever again, and I am humbled by those who face physical challenges indefinately.   The smallest things were just so difficult and I felt trapped by my own inability, extremely hard, and that was only 9 days, I do have a lot to be incredibly thankful for.  Need to watch my step from here on in, literally!

Last night was the school summer concert, it is always a great evening, a huge gaggle of us get together with picnics, have a few drinks and cheer on our talented and hardworking little ones as the perform on the stage.  Teya did 3 songs, one with the whole school, one with her class and 1 with choir as well as a dance group routine, she did so well to learn it all and performed wonderfully, I was so proud of her.  I am now debating getting her ears pierced, she is desperate but I am just not sure whether she is still too young, I was 13 when I had mine done and kids get so much so young these days.. but she has worked so hard this year and has ended year 3 with a super report, so I am very tempted to do it as her end of term treat. 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

James Martin, my bed and latest lusts!

So, my 'good' leg is now agony from being the main support structure for the rest of my body, deep joy, so painful in fact that I didn't get up until 11am this morning, so grateful to the hub for getting up and sorting the kids out for me, he is even getting better at putting outfits together based on my descriptions. At least I got to spend the morning with James Martin, I do love a bit of Saturday kitchen and I hardly ever get to watch it! Typical that it is now finished for the summer, although we do get best bits throughout the holidays, that's a bonus.

So, most of the day doing not much leads me to the magical world of Internet shopping, and although I did buy a much needed pair of black ballet pumps, I have had to put the Tory Birch plans to one side for now, too many demands on the ££ and these Sam Endleman beauties were only £35 from Brandalley - mind you I have to wait until the 2nd week in August for them..Sam Edelman SS Black Snakeskin Jewelled Pumps

I have also put these bits on my lust list; This DIVINE All Saints Walker leather jacket, will I ever take the plunge and buy a decent leather jacket?

These Sam Endleman wedges and a DVF bikini that I can't seem to copy correctly!  Also spoke to my sis this morning, can't wait to see her, she comes home for Emily and Barney's wedding at the weekend, yippee! I won't get to spend that much time with her sadly as she has duties but she is coming straight here from Heathrow on Thursday eve and I plan a big welcome home supper and lots of fizz to celebrate.  On the subject of weddings our friends Olivia and & Matt also get married on Saturday, please please keep your fingers crossed that I am off my crutches by then, otherwise my outfit choices are seriously limited!  To be honest I haven't even really thought about what I am going to wear, it isn't the full day - just the evening and it is isn't mega formal - and I don't really have anything suitable!  Happily I have bought their wedding present though, Mr & Mrs Mugs courtesy of Emma Bridgewater, I have these and they are really cute, if rather twee, and a couple of polka dot bits from their list too.  Now it is just gifts for the teachers that I need to sort, I cannot believe that the end of term has come around so quickly.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The BEST Carbonara Recipe EVER!

Time for a smiley post, and this carbonara recipe definitely makes me feel a lot sunnier!  This is a 'proper' Italian carbonara (no cream, please) and is truly truly easy.  Takes a little prep - mainly grating the Parmesan so I would definitely recommend an electric grater, but it is delish, and well worth the effort.  The recipe below serves 4 but if you half it exactly it works perfectly for 2.

1tbsp olive oil
250g pancetta/ smoked bacon chopped up small
50g butter (I use salted)
150ml dry white wine
4 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
100g grated Parmesan cheese
plus extra for serving 400g Spaghetti
Salt and pepper to season

Warm the oil in large frying pan and fry the pancetta/bacon until golden. Add the butter then the wine and simmer for a few minutes.

In a bowl beat the whole eggs with the egg yolks and add the parmesan.  Season but go easy on the salt!

Cook and drain the spaghetti, return to the saucepan, add the pancetta mixture and mix to evenly coat then stir in the eggs and cheese mixture.  The heat from the spaghetti will cook the egg.  Serve with warm foccacia and green salad and add extra Parmesan and black pepper.  Enjoy!  Let me know if you make this and what you think :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I am now at the stage where most of the rest of my body hurts, but not my fractured foot! Crutches kill, oh yes, they do.  My hands and shoulders are really sore from supporting myself and my abs are going to be so impressive (with any luck!) when I get off these things!  It really is such hard work, and yes granted I probably shouldn't be on the crutches as much as I am but keeping still for me is so damn hard.  I hopped over to family lunch at school today and I have made a spag bol as Teya has a playdate tonight, I know, I am mad - BUT happily the Hubs re arranged his work so has stayed at home today and helped me out.  What a juggle!

I miss riding Baz already too, funny after not riding for so long and then being back in the saddle for a month and I love it so much.  Typical that this happens.  Gutting, but I do have another one of the lovely local stable girlies, Jade coming to ride him.  Jade rode in the field this morning and he went really well according to Mum so all is good there at least.  Fingers crossed that I am out of cast by this time next week.  Aside from the riding it is Liv and Matt's wedding next Saturday and what on earth will I wear if I am still in this?  Doesn't bear thinking about.  Mind you I have been keeping myself busy with all the various admin bits that I haven't been internet shopping, so that is another plus!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

There is absolutely nothing fun about crutches!

Oh god it could only happen to me!  After a lovely weekend spent with friends, girls night at mine on Saturday for drinks and catch up and then curry lunch at Saf and Ram's Sunday, I only had to go and fall down the stairs lifting Zach for his pre bed wee on Sunday night!  OMG the pain as I broke my fall with my foot was excruciating.. I like to think that I have a pretty high pain threshold so being reduced to tears with the pain was somewhat of a shock - not as much as a shock for me as for my poor little boy who was one minute sleeping soundly in his bed and the next awake on top of his crumpled Mummy!  Anyway, after I had bucked up I took 2 paracetamol and decided it would be fine after a night's sleep.. how wrong I was!  Monday morning started with my inability to walk and therefore a trip to Frimley Park A&E..  After a 2 hour wait I was sent to X ray and after a further half hour was told that I had fractured a bone in the top of my foot and would have to be in a cast and rest it for a week - a whole 9 days actually!!!! ARGHHHHHH!!! So, here I am, unable to weight bear on it and having to let everyone run around after me until next week.  I am OVER this already - seriously I am not someone who can sit still, ever, so this is going to be horrendous.  And I have to hope that it heals well in the nexty week, I absolutely cannot have a cast on for any longer than that, I will go out of my mind.  Not a happy bunny. 

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Always on the hunt for new ways in which to feed my troops, I have recently adapted a keema curry recipe that is quick and easy to make and is really tasty!  Great alternative to bolognaise or chilli, two firm favourites in this house.

  • 1 large chopped onion
  • 1 crushed garlic clove
  • 2 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 500g lean minced beef or lamb (not minced lamb fans here I must say)
  • 1 potato
  • 1 tsp each of ground coriander, cumin, chilli powder and turmeric
  • 1 1/2 tbsp of garam masala
  • 100ml beef stock
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 150g frozen peas
  • chopped fresh coriander
  • 1 red chilli, chopped (omit this if you are cooking for the kids!)
  • 1 tbsp plain flour

  • Fry 1 large chopped onion with 1 crushed garlic clove and the chopped chilli in 2 tbsp groundnut oil over a medium heat for 3 minutes or until softened.

    Tuesday, July 03, 2012

    I have found a type of shopping that I do not enjoy.  Sports Direct shopping. Shudder.  We had to buy Tey some trainers for school at the weekend, hers were far too small - so small that she finally admitted it, no mean feat there.  So, refusing to pay Clarks' prices, we took a deep breath and ventured in to Sports direct.  Wow what a horror - there were literally mountains of boxes of shoes and sportswear everywhere.  So, we headed for the back wall and after 10 minutes of arguing about which ones she could have (too pink/ clumpy/ boring - her - too expensive/ nasty/ masculine - Me!) we narrowed it down to 2 pairs, only to find that,once I had flagged down a prepubescent assistant, they were out of stock of both!  Naturally.  So, I set to in the trainer mountains, pulling out as many pairs of size 3 that were reasonably acceptable - and let her choose.  I am happy to report that she settled on a reasonable grey and white pair of tennis shoes, and they were in the sale at £7!  So, thankful for small mercies, you couldn't get me out of there quick enough.  I rather feel that those types of sports shops don't attract 'sports' personnel, but that is me simply judging by the amount of vastly elasticated waistbands...

    And I officially cannot be left home alone, with iPad, as I shop! Argh argh no I am on a ban!!!!! Yet still I shop, too easy you see.. I seem to have purchased a new iPad case and a beautiful candle.. Curses..  To be fair I am out of scented candles, downstairs, but all the same it is not a great excuse is it?  Oh, and my Zara shopper came and I LOVE it, it is a fantastic size and is going to be so useful and go with everything, I feel that cost per wear shall be negligible, very quickly.  So, that really is it now, I am over SS already and am looking forward to AW12, hell it is cold enough for autumn wear so why the hell not.   Off to do a bit of previewing ;)

    Pretty Candle

    DIPTYQUE Feuille de Lavande scented candle

    Saturday, June 30, 2012


    I realise that I talk a lot about my pony and I don't ever really talk about my mum's wonderful mare, ladybird - she is 29 now and is just fantastic, I used to event her as a teenager and she was Dusty's loyal soulmate for over 10 years, a real hero, but a right grumpy old lady too! To be honest she isn't very tolerant of me, but she loves mum to death and she really is so very special to us all. I recently found the girl who we bought her from back in 1998, I say girl, she is a married mum of 2 now and older than me lol, but it's been wonderful to find her and let her know how the ex racehorse with a big heart is getting on. Wonders of the interweb! So, here is our big girl, looking old and glam today in our field;

    Thursday, June 28, 2012

    Another week passes by in a flash, so much seems to be happening at the moment too.  My shopping has all arrived and I am pleased to say that the APC top is fab, I am really happy with it but ALL of my Zara order (except the black tee) is going back, the dress was GORGEOUS and looked great, if I was still 25, but sadly it was just too short for to me to feel comfortable in *sigh* huge shame - although it is now in the sale peeps so grab a bargain!  The blazer was too short too, or rather wrong proportions, damn being 5ft8!!!  Wedges were OK but not £60 worth (and incedentally they are in the sale too) but hey ho, I have sent the lot back and bought this fab shopper instead, I would love an Oak Mulberry Picadilly (oversized Bayswater) but I don't have a spare grand hanging around, so this Zara option will have to do me for now - I am hoping that the leather won't be too stiff, but I have high hopes that it will be my hand luggage solution for later this summer.

    In other news it has been a busy week for my little ones, Zach had a proper big boy haircut on Monday, it is really short but looks super cute, and Teya is completing her Play in a Day at school today, they have an afternoon to rehearse and then put on a production for the parents, it is usually excellent and the kids work so hard, I am really looking forward to seeing it later.  Basil is going really well, Harriet had a knee op on Tuesday so it will just be me riding him for the next 2 months but I am really enjoying it and am very happy with how he is going so it shouldn't be too tough.   

    Thursday, June 21, 2012

    I know I said only yesterday that I wasn't doing any more shopping.. but.. this fab APC tee that I have been eying up for some time (see Feb blog post!!) was reduced in the NAP sale and so it is now mine!!
     It is probably a very good thing that these fabulous Burberry boots were OOS in my size otherwise I would have probably caved, and then felt sick with guilt, for a fleeting moment anyway.
     Burberry Does anyone else keep empty credit cards in their safe for those 'must have' or 'emergency' purchases..?!  Please someone say that you do!! I was also hovering over the All Saints Elgar dress, which I have admired for an age, but I closed down the site and felt very virtuous.

    I had the luxury of riding Basil before work this morning and despite the drizzly atmosphere it was really lovely to be out on him.  We rode in the field and I am so pleased with how he is going, and very happy that Ladybird is calm when parted from him too.  Early mornings horse rides are definitely one of life's pleasures, summer mornings that is, winter mornings don't feature as highly for me, unless it is a rare bright, crisp morning of course..

    Wednesday, June 20, 2012

    The sunshine is back for the time being and I am stuck indoors working!  Oh well, at least I am dressed in a reasonably summery style, electric blue chinos, white tee, havs & plaited hair - hopefully I will get some time out there later on today.  Time is flying past, I can't believe we are nearly at the end of June already, it will be summer holidays in 4 weeks time.. and this time in 2 months I shall be in Italy, wow!  Got a lot to get through before then though.

    I have just placed another Zara order online, gosh I am dangerous when left alone with my Ipad and no distraction (Hub was watching the football in the kitchen last night - I was on sofa in snug, um, shopping!!!) and have purchased these lovely bits;

    Firstly dress for friends' wedding (edited as I almost forgot it, which was the reason I was shopping in the first place, doh!) I am not sure whether I will be too top heavy for it mind you..



    Plain black tee (love the high neck on this and a bargain at £10!)

    Not sure how gigantically tall I shall be in the wedges but I need some wedges, yes a real need (hahaha) so shall see how I get on..

    Tuesday, June 12, 2012

    So much has happened since I last updated this!  I have aged by another year, celebrated the Queen's diamond Jubilee in torrential rain, been to Germany and back, survived a dreadfully bumpy budget airline flight in gale force winds, stayed in a hotel room with an en suite shed (Karl Pilkington stylee), seen more tyre/ tyre paraphernalia than you can begin to imagine, and consumed more than decent amounts of alcohol - but I am back to tell the tale!

    First and foremost, Basil is HOME!!  Bless the boy, he did so brilliantly at BootCamp, Teya and I went up to ride him on the 28th May and we were so thrilled with him and the work that Chris has done, he has settled right down and is a pleasure to ride with so much potential.  He came home that evening and we have been riding him since, I have Harriett (Teya's riding teacher's sister - still with me?!) helping me to bring him on and it is all going really well.  Some pics of my handsome boy;

    The Diamond Jubilee celebrations in Pirbright were fantastic, everyone made a huge effort and all the houses looked fantastic decked out in bunting, all made by the village ladies' fair hands.  We all made our way over to the green on Sunday, fully prepared in true British style with our gazebos, hunters, Barbours and brollies for a right royal picnic!  Much fun was had by all, the heavens opened and it wasn't really dry all day but it didn't dampen our spirits - happily the rain held off for the singing interlude, the school choir did a fantastic job of starting us off and we then all joined in, clocking up Jerusalem, Land of Hope and Glory and other such rousing numbers before the downpour began again and we all retreated to the comfort of our champagne tents. 

    On Monday 4th June I turned 33, and am happy to say that my day was lovely and went without hitch.. I got some super pressies and went out for lunch with my lot and the Banga - Ismail family, before returning home to drink some more champagne with Mr before early bed... 4am wake up call looming..

    So, early doors on Tuesday I set off for Gatwick, bound for Dusseldorf and the Reifen exhibition, that is Tyre for those whose German is lacking ;) it was a long week but all went well and everything went really well, almost better than we had expected.  I was so very glad to get home though and am very relieved that I don't have to travel away from home again anytime soon.  It was pretty soul destroying being away over half term, but I did get a fantastic welcome home reception, Chinese food, more champers and great cuddles from my big girl.