Monday, 26 April 2010

Happy Monday!

Today was an awesome Monday - and that doesn’t often happen!

Today I handed in my dissertation! Yes people I am finished. 11500 words. 32 pages. 1 appendix. 40 entries in my bibliography. All done. I’m so happy my face almost split from smiling so much.

In more good news- MY HOUSE IS FINISHED! And yes, that deserved capitals! The building work is done on J and mines first house. We can move in during the next couple of weeks and I am so excited. We have been waiting so long its almost unbelievable that its finished!

I also got these amazing shoes!



I love them, heels that are comfortable and look good. How can you beat that?!

I hope everyone else had such an amazing Monday! xxx

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Re-design

Welcome to my new blog layout! Any comments or feedback are appreciated. I shall see everyone next week.

In the mean time I leave you with this beautiful quote from Og Mandino,

'I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars.'

Happy Sunday xxx

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Saturday Steals



So today’s Saturday Steals comes on a very different tack to the one I normally take. You will find no produce and no office clothes! Yep I was just a stunned - I have made it through a week without buying cut price produce and clothes! My bank account thanks me.

So this is what I have found....



Really high quality fabrics with which to make cushions for my new house and settee. I went for really neutral colours because the sofa is a really vibrant russet red which would be hard to match colours to.

The first one was only £3! I have about enough fabric to make about one medium sized cushion- a pretty good deal in my mind!



The second one was £4.57. (I know, a really random price!) This piece is a little bigger so will make about two normal sized cushions.



I was so very happy when I found these, cushions are defiantly on my to do list for next week!

Have a happy and relaxing weekend all xxx

(apologies for the photos, the light and my camera were not co-operating!)

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Onion Soup Recipe



So on the urgings of one commentator, here is the recipe for my Onion Soup. Please do not think that this will be a really detailed description because this is a really easy soup to make. It just tastes fantastic!

So to being, you need: some strong onions (maybe 5-6), 2-3 pints of stock- beef is best (enough to cover the onions), worcester sauce, and seasonings.

The most important step in this soup is to caramelise the onions. Let me repeat that, caramelise your onions! You can do this in a bit of butter, until they are nice and soft and a little brown. If you want your soup to be a little sweeter you can add a bit of sherry or other alcohol to help them along, but make sure you cook them long enough to cook the alcohol off. If you don't cook the onions for long enough in this step the soup won't be that nice! Once you have done this, add your onions to the stock and cook them. Thats it. That simple. The soup needs to cook for long enough for the stock to reduce and for the soup to thicken and to get the consistency that you like. Add in your worcester sauce and seasonings (salt and pepper) and there you go!

Perhaps I shouldn’t have published this- its so simple that onion soup will no longer impress your friends and family!

Happy Thursday everyone! xxx

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Sausage Dog... work in progress!

Now, I am one of the worlds most uber procrastinators! If I can do something else than no doubt I will. This next photo is a case in point!



Instead of doing exam revision I have been distracted myself on the blog ‘Feeling Stitchy’, which has some wonderful examples of embroidery. Not least the pattern by kootoyoo which you see above.

Now this piece is a work in progress, although I have almost finished the stitching, I need to build a frame. If you look at the photo below the piece is meant to give the illusion of of the dog wrapping around the frame. Meaning that I am going to have to build a very exact sized frame in order to make it fit!



More things to distract me from revision! Which is a real pity as my final exam is on the 6th of May. So much work to do... so many things to distract me from it!

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Saturday Steals




So its that time of the week again where we all indulge in a little Saturday Stealing. (Yes I know that sounds immediately wrong. Scouts honour that I paid for these!)

So without any further adieu, we are back to a familiar theme for my steals... produce! Yes ladies and gentlemen I am nothing if not predictable. But. Wait. These onions, they were 19p. How could I leave them? It was just such good value that I was compelled to buy this pack of onions, compelled I tell you!



So what does one woman do when faced with a pack of onion? She makes soup, thats what she does.

Because... sautéed onions + stock + a little bit of worcester sauce = onion soup heaven.



You heard it here first people.

*This has been a public service announcement on behalf of the Soup Lovers Party*

I think for next week i’m going to have to come up with something completely different to steal, otherwise you will think me obsessed with produce and office clothes!

Have a happy and relaxing weekend

xxx

Friday, 16 April 2010

Tomato Soup Cake (Yes really!)

Ahhhh. My poor little blog is feeling somewhat neglected this week. Unfortunately real life intruded in the form of my dissertation to finish, which I have nearly done! Happy, happy days. I will be singing from the rooftops when I hand this baby in!

So yesterday in order to distract myself from the fact I had just mauled a 1000 words out of my footnotes (i’m so over my word count its not even funny anymore!) I made this baby of a cake.



Now I like baking. This is no secret. I also like the Pioneer Woman. (If you haven’t found her blog yet check out the link) So baking Pioneer Woman style seems like a good thing to me. Hence this cake. Its a tomato soup cake- yeah I made that face too. Yet my curiosity is insatiable to I just had to bake this one. And unsurprisingly for a recipe recommended by P-dub herself it is delicious. It also tastes noting like tomatoes which is a good quality in a cake I think. The soup just has the effect of making the cake a gorgeous orangey red colour which is also a good quality in a cake.

I would highly recommend that every bakes this cake, gives it to their friend and loved ones, wait until they have tried some, and then tell them the surprise! Its so much fun!

Whilst your over at the ranch I would suggest checking out some of the other recipes on the Tasty Kitchen as well as the main site. There are some seriously talented cooks over in that part of the internet.

Just on a side note to brighten up the seriously grey day we are having today (thank you big cloud of volcanic ash!) this is where I went for a walk at the weekend. When the weather was considerably better. I love the beach!



I will see everyone tomorrow for Saturday Steals, have a happy and productive Friday. xxx

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Saturday Steals



So to continue on a familiar theme, this weeks saturday steals is all about clothes. Now you may be about to notice a theme in the type of clothes that i’m buying. Now the end of my degree begets the end of my time as a student, which begets the need for me to get a proper job which begets the need for grown up clothes. Hence... office steals!

First this skirt. I like this skirt. Its all floaty and cool to wear whilst also looking quite smart. My type of office wear! But the best thing about this skirt is the price tag, only £3! Yes £3. Reduced from £29.50. This is the sort of reduction which I like.



This dress. I love this dress, love, love, love this dress. Its all kinda svelte yet comfy to wear. My kind of dress. Its also made of a very soft jersey material which is also amazing. But the best. The best thing about this dress was the price- it cost me £5. Yes, £5 whole pounds. Which is pretty amazing in my book because it was originally meant to be £49.50. Oh how I love the M and S sale!



I also love the little detailing across the front, it makes my heart sing! (And yes I know I love a lot of things today... blame it on the very sunny weather!)



(PS: I know this photo is horribly over exposed, I just couldn't get my camera to co-operate with me, or perhaps I wasn't co-operating with my camera, but either way, yes I know yuk!)

I should probably put a disclaimer on this post. It was difficult to photograph these two pieces because they look so much better on. Unfortunately J is ill at the moment and I didn’t want to make him conduct a photo shoot from his bed! So use your imagination!...

Happy bargain hunting, I hope every one had peaceful and enjoyable weekends, i'm off out for a walk as the weather is so nice. xxx

Thursday, 8 April 2010

One Day Without Shoes




So I have a lot of shoes. (See photo below for evidence of such!) I think it would be fair to say that I don’t overly value my shoes. I live in a society where I can buy shoes cheaply and quickly. Thus because they are so readily available, so many and so cheap I don’t subscribe a monetary or emotional value to them.



(For the purposes of full disclosure, I did tidy these up before taking a photo!)

I also think it would be fair to say that many of us in the western, capitalist world would be guilty of the same attitude. I have never had to walk somewhere with out shoes. It may sound basic but everyday I put a pair on. I match them to my outfit. I wear different ones depending on my mood and location. And I don’t think about it. Shoes are so much a part of my every day existence that they fade in to the back ground of my conscience.



(This pair for example, cost be only £4. Almost nothing when you think about it.)

Yet there are some people who do not have this luxury. Some who do not own even one pair of shoes. Some who may never have owned shoes. Imagine making the walk to work in bare feet. The walk to go to school. To get water. To get food. Imagine how much more dangerous and difficult these journeys would be in our own communities which have tarmac roads and paved streets. Then imagine how this danger is multiplied when there are no roads and no streets. This is the reality for many who woke up to this beautiful Thursday morning. This is their reality everyday. Every day is that little bit more dangerous because they do not have the simple necessity of shoes.

Toms Shoes is a shoe company (obviously!), whose slogan is ‘one for one’. For every pair of shoes that they sell they donate another pair to a child who does not have any. They give this child a safe walk to get food and water. These shoes may enable them to go to school (as many schools will not accept pupils without shoes). These shoes are a gift which goes so much further than just a pair of shoes.

Today is ‘One Day Without Shoes’, it is a project by Toms Shoes designed to highlight the problems of living without shoes by asking people to go without them for a day. If in your community it is impractical to go without shoes they ask that you become ‘virtually barefoot’ by promoting the cause on your blog, twitter, facebook etc...

Because of the slightly suspect area in which I live, its not practical for me to walk barefoot in to town today- so I am going virtually barefoot. I’m writing this post, promoting it on my facebook and going barefoot in the sense that i’m wearing my most flimsy shoes and no socks.

So in the spirit of this day I ask you to take just one moment to consider how much more difficult your life would be without shoes, and how much value we should ascribe to these most humble of clothing items.

If you want to learn more about Toms Shoes, the link is below.
http://www.toms.com


Happy Thursday xxx

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Handbag things...

So now I happen to really like the posts that lots of people seem to have done detailing what is in their handbags. I thinks this is a really interesting exercise as you can tell a lot about a person from the content of their handbags. So with out further ado...



-My purse- obvious one really.
-My moleskin diary, couldn’t live without this telling me where to go and at what time!
-A hairbrush (really I brush my hair far too many times a day.)
-My keys
-A pen. Every one should have a pen on them.
-2 recipe cards that I liked the look of.
-An old receipt for milk
-A tampon
-Rosy lips Vaseline, just about the only lip stuff I ever use.
-A tiny egg just because it was Easter
-7 tubes of Watercolour paint and a palette that I borrowed off my Dad. (For the life of me I can’t find mine, and my daffodils are crying out to be painted!)

So there you go. Far too much stuff really, no wonder my back often hurts!

Happy Wednesday everyone xxx

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Happy Easter!

Some beautiful Easter flowers which J grew and picked for me!





Hope everyone has a relaxing and peaceful day
xxx

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Saturday Steals

So I thought I would deviate from my produce themed Saturday Steals for just one week. Today, then, its all about the clothes!

I should probably prefix this post with a declaimer- I work for a large British supermarket, and thats how I managed to get most of these deals. So firstly at the place where I work we are currently having a 1/2 price sale on some clothes. This would be good in itself, but on top of that there is currently an additional 25% of of all clothing. Plus my 15% staff discount, this was too good an opportunity to waste.

So first up is this lovely combo.



The jeans were meant to be £14 but I got them for £8.40 which I though was pretty dandy. (Ignore the cardigan- I was cold!) The linen shirt was originally meant to be £16 but I got it for £9.60, again a pretty good deal I think. There are two other good things about this shirt, firstly its a size 8 so its a miracle it fits me at all, and secondly J picked it out. Being a boy he isn’t that attuned to what I wear on a daily basis so if he likes something, it must be good!

But my piece de resistance when it comes to clothing deals has to be this skirt though. Now this was originally half price, but I got another 40% off of that, meaning a skirt that was originally meant to be £12 ended up costing me £1.20! If that isn’t a steal then I don’t know what is!



Hope everyone enjoys the rest of their Easter weekend, and has a relaxing time. Unfortunately I am at work until gone midnight tonight, so relaxing is not on my agenda!