Tuesday, February 28, 2012

My first lot of Company Accounts have been completed by my amazing Accountant, Ellen Lefevres from Lefevres Ltd, I have signed them all and off they go in to the post!  It is a major feeling of achievement, my Company has been going since June 2010 and I am really proud of what I have done so far.  I really need to up up my game now mind you and get some more women on board and start marketing our skill set, it is going to be a real challenge but I am looking forward to expanding it all over the coming year. 

Also on the work front I have started the ball rolling in regard to the joint venture with my brother in law, I have set up the site www.trekkinginumbria.com and am now going to start marketing that on travel portal sites and try and drum up some UK business for him.  The Two Valleys trek is absolutely fantastic; if you love horses, good Italian food, amazing wine and breathtaking scenery then this holiday is a must.  It is all centred around La Casella (where we holiday every year) and it really is a wonderful place to go and experience Italy.

La Casella

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Finally I took the plunge... Zach had his first proper hair cut yesterday and it was a wild success!  Well, wild is a little OTT but he sat like an angel whilst the lovely hairdresser at Trotters in Guildford snipped away at his long curly locks.  To say that I was terrified of getting it cut is an understatement, I was convinced that all his curls would go and I really don't want to lose them just yet.  But no, she gave him a good chop, taking a couple of inches off all over and layering it and it looks fab now, really smart and super curly still (feel a little ashamed of just how Ferrel it looked beforehand oops!!!) he looks adorable and was very happy with it all.  Things seemed to go downhill when we got home mind you, firstly he came trotting through to see me in the kitchen clutching his bucket, when I asked him what was inside he said he was making a beach for beside his train track.. OK, but what is in the bucket?  Only all the heads from my cut daffodils that were previously minding their own business brightening up the coffee table in my living room - ARGH!!  Not an hour later I heard much giggling in the snug, realising that Z was in there with Cal I called to the dog, to find that he had been smeared with Dairylea from Zach's dunker!  I found myself yelling 'You do NOT paint the dog with cheese, very naughty Zach!' I think I will add that to the pile of 'phrases I never thought I would say' but, once I had cleaned up the long suffering pub I had to have a little chuckle, he is a right cheeky one my little boy, and obviously the haircut didn't have the Sampson effect!

So, today is Shrove Tuesday and this evening I shall be whipping up pancakes after school.  I have a slight problem in the fact that I am out of plain flour so will have to go and pick some up in a bit, sadly strong white bread flour isn't going to do the trick.  My lot are purists so it will be lemon and sugar all the way here, nothing more fancy than that but I do enjoy making them, albeit only once a year.

I use Jamie Oliver's peasy recipe;

1 mug flour
1 mug milk
1 egg

Butter in the hot pan and only a small amount of batter, here's hoping I don't cock up the first few too badly!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Ahh it's Valentine's Day! I love a cheesy celebration, and even better an anonymous card but as the yeas pass I find us being less and less exciting - nowadays we stick to cards and a great meal with good wine, and that's ok with me, I even got a bit of a lie in this morning before heading off to a work meeting so bonus! Tonight I'm doing veal milanaise with saffron risotto and green beans, washed down with a Marlborough Sauvignon blanc, yum yum - oh and cheesecake for pud (albeit bought this time!)

Here is a pic of the cookie that my Son made me at nursery (well he made 3 but I was only allowed a nibble, the rest he ate and then gave the other two to his Daddy and Sister!) I feel he may have had some help ;)

And this is the delish wine, a Villa Maria, courtesy of Waitrose wine offers!

Hope you all have a great night, whatever you are up to..  xx

Thursday, February 09, 2012

It is that time again, time for me to get to the gym!  I am officially rubbish at running outside in the winter, the cold hurts my lungs and I am quite frankly pathetic so it is time to get down the gym.  I need to get my fitness back up as I am feeling really sluggish, and I know that I will feel 100 times better if I get exercising.  I have to renew Zach's Key Card, so time for me to get my own.  Am feeling better already and I have only made the plan to go hahaha.

From one extreme to the other, I am doing roast gammon this Sunday as my parents are coming over for a long lunch, which should be lovely.  Off to hunt for some inspiration for accompaniments to the gammon, I feel like branching out in to new veggie territory.. I am also doing this baked cheesecake as it is a family favourite, so it is definitely a good thing that I am off down to the gym on Monday!

Speaking of branching out with food, this evening I am going to make chicken pies for the kids, thanks again BBC Good Food, actually they are going to help me do it which should further encourage them to be a bit more adventurous.  I seem to be cooking a lot of the same or similar dishes at the moment and I need my two to explore their palettes, easier said than done with children sometimes though.

Whilst we are on the subject of food, it was Saf's birthday yesterday and the four of us went to the Victoria in Oxshott for Thai.  We have been there with them a couple of times and it really is fantastic, a typical case of 'don't judge a book by its cover' as from the outside it looks like a rather dodgy pub (not a place I would ever dream of going in to if it wasn't for the recommendation, snob!) and indeed as you walk in the bar is full of old men and their dogs - but go through in to the small back room and there are a few tables set out restaurant style and they serve the best Thai food!  It really is fantastic and reasonably priced, not cheap but certainly good value for money and definitely worth a visit if you like great food.

I took this photo from a rubbish website I found after googling, it doesn't exude glamour does it?!?!  Trust me though, it is worth a visit.


High St, Oxshott, Leatherhead, Surrey, KT22 0JR

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

As well as happy wedding news I also have some superb news to report on Steve!  Last Monday the doctors allowed him to return home after 10 weeks in hospital.  He has just done so fantastically well and is so happy to be back home and well on the road to recovery.  His parents have been, and continue to be amazing, I really admire the way that they have remained composed and stoic through these difficult weeks, they have been wonderful.  We went down to see him at home for the first time yesterday and despite some fresh pain, he was looking much better, much calmer and generally more colourful for being back in his own home.  His parents remain complete superstars, their house is constantly invaded with visitors, Us, Jay and Jude and some other family friends took over their living room and that was only a short visit (and  the house is also sporting a Welcome Home Steve, Tottenham banner!!!) but they were so lovely with us all.  Steve is having physio twice a week at the hospital and continues to do his exercises at home, he continues to get stronger with every day and we are all here cheering him one every step. 
The Honeymooners are back and below are some photos, taken by the incredibly talented Suzy Mitchell, from their fabulous Wedding at Bolton Abbey and the Devonshire Arms on 21st Jan 2012

The Bride and I getting ready

My shakey hands doing up the Bride's beautiful dress

Getting Teya ready

Bolton Abbey

Arriving at Church

The Bride and Groom

The full Wedding Party

The Hens, and the Groom

Thursday, February 02, 2012

My husband's favourite breakfast is Eggs Benedict, so on Saturday morning after letting him lie in (generous uber wife that morning obviously!) I cooked us up a delish EB. The kids stuck to bacon sandwiches mind you, couldn't even get them to try it!  I used ham on my own as the rest of my munchers ate all of the bacon, but it was still really tasty.

I use this amazing poacher for my eggs and as long as you lightly butter the egg holders (not sure of correct name!) and allow them to cook for 3 minutes max, they are perfect every time.  I have had it for years, bought it in a small cookery shop in Godalming in around 2000.

On Sunday I did us all Cottage Pie for lunch(recipe in this post), rather than a roast, as we then went off to Cat and Pete's for Jo and Paul's surprise birthday party all afternoon.

Whilst I am on family food, I am probably the last to catch on to this but this Waitrose frozen veg is perfect for kids' suppers, each small bag contains just the right amount of broccoli, carrots and sweetcorn for 2 children, it takes 2 mins in the microwave in its own bag and there are 6 bags in the pack, result!

Ok it's over a month since Christmas and I still haven't posted my beauty pressies! So, here is the round up of what I received from my lovely family;

From left to right, Lola by Marc Jacobs, solid perfume (my summer scent) from my Mother in Law
Fan Di Fendi eau de Parfum, 75ml - my new lust, it is divine - again from my darling Mother in Law
YSL Faux Cils Mascara in black from my little ones
Pure Argan facial Oil from my sister, this stuff is lovely, really nourishing for stressed, dry winter skin, apply at night.  My sister bought me this, it really is fab. I also got a MAC eyeshadow pallete from my Mum, which is currently in my handbag!