5 September 2015

Easy Saturday

Today has been a chilled out sort of day after a mental few weeks.  

We spent a blissful last week of August in Orlando and Clearwater with wonderful friends.  There we rode roller coasters, explored Hogwarts, swam with stingrays and saw dolphins playing in the wild.  We also ate twice our bodyweight in American food, including the fish that the boys caught on a fishing adventure in St Petersburg.

When we returned we faced the daunting task of moving our lovely 16 year old musical theatre star to start his new school in Chiswick, London.  He has moved in with a lovely family in Ealing and his first few school days have been great fun.  I just spoke to him and he is with his new friends enjoying open mic at the Theatre Cafe, Shaftesbury Avenue, London.

Yesterday we had the wonderful privilege of attending my cousins wedding in Ham, Kent.  Everyone looked lovely, the decorations were delightful and the whole afternoon and evening were great fun.  The colour scheme was navy blue and yellow and all the bouquets consisted of these flowers below.  Anyone know what they are called?

After such a lot of fun and high emotion, I needed today to be a lot more chilled out.  So I finished reading my latest book and thought I would share with you some of my summer reads.

This was a riveting read and very topical.  It made me very aware of my relationship with social media and how much of myself I am willing to share.  The story could easily have been based on Facebook or Google and was totally plausible.  

I had mixed feelings about this book.  I was a compelling story for sure, but it was just a bit too chick-click for me.  It reminded me a lot about Gone Girl and I did not like the main character at all.  That being said, I could not put it down and read it pretty much in one sitting.  If you are by a pool and need to zone out then this book will help.

I have to do more and more presenting in my job and I always want to make sure that I am as polished as I can be.  I LOVE TED talks and am often impressed by how engaging the speakers are and this book shared some of their tips.  I have already brought some of this into my own work, and now actively try and think of anecdotes that I can weave into my own presentations.  If you present or just want to be more engaging in a group, then read this book for sure.

I already have my next reading list lined up from my pinterest page, here.  I can't wait to get started.

16 August 2015

Sunday Chillin'

Today is the first Sunday since forever that we have not had plans.  

I have house-stuff that I (don't) want to do, but I also plan on chilling out and indulging in a few mindless internet based activities.

Join me won't you on checking out these lovely little links...

Am off to clean, sort, bake and PACK FOR MY HOLIDAY. 

Happy Sunday

11 August 2015

Saturday in Gosport

Last Saturday we spent a surprisingly lovely day in Gosport, Hampshire.  Now I had been told that Gosport was a bit of sad, slightly rough seaside town and so I was not expecting much.  
I was very pleasantly surprised.

O had a fishing squad day, so A and I hung around the seafront watching him fish and generally enjoying the sunshine.

We arrived pretty earlier in the morning and the sea was cloaked in mist, but as it cleared it revealed the delightful coastline of the Isle of Wight.  I was staggered by how many ferries, hovercraft and catamarans made the journey over the water - it is certainly a popular place.

 The sea was so full of activity all day.  From kiddie sailing schools to flash luxury speedboats to yachts listing in the wind, to lone kayaks.  Throughout the day there was so much going on, and these pleasure seekers shared the sea with the occasional massive containership heading into Portsmouth.

 There is a lovely restaurant on the seafront called Pebbles Fish and Wine Bar that served delicious food.  I had scampi and A had the smokie, which he loved.  They had a great Tapas menu which I would try if I went back.

Thanks for having us Gosport - we would love to come back sometime.

10 August 2015
7 August 2015

Strawberry Nutella Eclair Cake

O to the M to the actual G.  This deliciousness is THE BEST.  I was merrily browsing through Pinterest for the millionth time this week, knowing that I had some strawberries to use up when this little minx caught my eye.  I can take no credit for the invention of it, but I am very very grateful for the wonderful Chef in Training for sharing such a brilliant recipe.

I have never made choux pastry before and was fairly terrified by the prospect but it was surprisingly easy.

Being English I used custard rather than vanilla pudding and cream, but that worked just fine.  Just make sure you put it in the fridge to firm up a bit otherwise it will puddle all over the plate.

For the full recipe visit Chef in Training - and leave them a comment to say how wonderful they are for coming up with such a lovely way of using up strawberries.

Chicken Coronation Salad

Today has been a hot day in our little corner of Kent.  The sun has struggled a bit, but did make a breakthrough just in time for dinner.

I had a bit of a blow out on lovely fresh produce from Waitrose yesterday and was keen to make something fresh and healthy, but also filling.  After spending waaaaaaaaaay too much time reading blogs yesterday I found a lovely recipe for Chicken Curry Salad on the Amazing Paleo Blog.

I have toyed with the Paleo diet, but there are parts of it that I find too restrictive, so I tend to play about with the recipes until I make something that (hopefully) is delicious.

With this Chicken Curry Salad as inspiration, I decided to create my own super-quick Coronation Chicken Salad.  If I do say so myself , it was bloody lush - and made loads - serving 5 for dinner with leftovers for lunch tomorrow :)


Coronation Chicken Salad

  • 1 x cooked chicken, cold
  • 2 x handfuls red grapes
  • 1/2 pack fresh mango chunks
  • 2 x tsp mild curry powder
  • 50g (ish) slivered almonds
  • Lots lovely green salad

  1. Remove all the chicken meat off the bone.   It is much easier to do this with your hands than fiddling about with a knife, but this may not be everyone's thang.   I discarded all the skin and gave this to the dog.
  2. Add the grapes, mango and almonds to the chicken.
  3. Add the mayonnaise and sprinkle on the curry powder.
  4. Mix everything together so that all the chicken is coated.  Use a spoon for this bit if you must.
  5. Nicely present some salad in a ring and then dollop the chicken mixture into the middle so it looks all fancy.



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