Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Blog changes & Birthdays

I'm still not quite happy with the name / style of this blog so I'm in the process of  redesigning.
The problem isn't coming up with ideas - it's picking one from a great long list!

I'm taking the Manshape to the Science / Natural History / V&A museums tomorrow for his Birthday - he's never been, should be fun! Hope to get snap happy & post some pics here :)

I'm far too exhausted to do anything more today but alas - Birthday Brownies have been requested! ;(

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Nail Art Tuesday #2

Just a quick post today :)

This is a Panda nail I did a while ago - very cute & easy to do

Q&A #1 - Such a Newb!

1) Mood: 
Started off on a total downer, Rotten afternoon BUT a very exiting & hopeful evening! It's all just a roller-coaster ;)

2) Do you consider yourself an organized person and if so, does it come naturally to you?: 
Both! My room is a complete tip due to lack of space and my craft table is a total mess (organized chaos tee-he) but If I'm organizing a day out or event - I will research it beyond a normal amount & everything HAS to go to plan or it just freaks me out! 

3) Your favourite hand cream?:
Jinx! I was just thinking about this today - I've been searching for a new hand cream for months since Dove discontinued the only one my hand would deal with - I have ridiculously sensitive skin so hand cream has to be fragrance free & relatively dull :( 
I've been through around 10 different tubes of hand cream recently (all total failures) right now I'm using Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula fragrance free & so far so good :) 

4) What do you usually order when you go out for breakfast or brunch?: 
Bagel every time - with cream cheese & coffee mmmm

5) Have you ever been in a band?:
Just the one in my head ;) But it's always been a pipe dream of mine...  

6) Ferris wheels: fun or frightening?:
If it's a slow one then I'm game 

7) What's one important trait to have in a partner:
Honesty & understanding

8) How often do you heat style your hair?:
Every day unless I'm ill - I've been in a serious relationship with my GHD straighteners for 9years now ;) 

9) Can you eat with chopsticks?:
Yes indeedy... but if I'm really hungry I'm forking it!

10) Weekly Goals: 
SO many! I've started writing schedules this week to try & get better at time management - so my Goal is to keep it up & stick to them as much as possible :)

Well that was kinda fun :) I really need to find out how to link things on here as I've taken this idea from a blog I just started following (Which is pretty darn awesome)... Oh I haven't a clue how to do it! 

If that works I will be quite proud! 

Monday, 23 January 2012

Baking and Selling

Today I have already been to the post office with 5 more Ebay parcels :)
It's rather wonderful that I seem to be selling almost everything I list for auction - never thought any of my stuff would sell!
Even if I only get 99p for an item I'm thinking of it going towards our 'Toronto Fun Fund' - only have to sell 50 items to pay for a cracking day out ha!

This afternoon I will be baking Triple Chocolate muffins - I find baking has quite a therapeutic calming effect on me & I've had a rather stressful weekend - time to hit the mixing bowls ;)

I will be using the following recipe ..... but I'm planning a little experiment involving melted Chocolate... I will share the results if it's a success or a complete mess ;)

Here is my fail-safe go-to Chocolate muffin recipe (without any experimenting madness hehe)

Chocolate Muffins

makes 10 - 12 standard-size (not the ENORMO coffee shop kind!)

9oz (225g) self-raising flour
1/2 teaspoon (2.5ml) bicarbonate of soda
1/2(2.5ml) salt
4-6oz (110-170g) fine White granulated sugar
3-5 tablespoons (45-75ml) unsweetened cocoa powder
1 egg
8-9 fl oz (240-260ml) milk
1 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla essence/flavouring
3 fl oz (90ml) Vegetable oil OR 3oz (85g) butter, melted
100g plain Chocolate chips


Prepare muffin tins - put 12 cases into a 12 hole muffin tin.  
Pre-heat oven to 375-400'F (190-200'c) for a conventional oven, Gas Mark 5-6.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt, sugar & cocoa powder. Add 50g of the Chocolate chips.

In another bowl, beat egg with a fork. Stir in milk and vanilla, followed by oil/melted butter.

Pour all of wet mixture into dry. Stir until just combined and no dry flour is visible. Batter will be lumpy. (Do not over mix!)

Fill muffin cups three-quarters full. Sprinkle tops with the remaining 50g of chocolate chips.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until tops spring back when pressed gently.

I always use the vegetable oil option & not the butter but it's completely up to you.(Note: hot melted butter must not be added directly to the beaten egg as it would cook the egg instantly. Always cool the butter slightly and add the ingredients in the order given).

Storing & Freezing:
Store in an air-tight container for 2 days.
Muffins freeze very well - simply cool them to room temperature then store in air-tight boxes or bags in the freezer.
For instant thawing microwave unwrapped at Medium for 30-40 seconds.

If you try this recipe I'd love to hear how it turned out!



Thursday, 19 January 2012

I'm just going to jump in & start writing randomly in this blog instead of over-thinking every post & then writing nothing at all!
It's all good practice :)

Getting ready for the big move to Toronto has been pretty hard going. Super busy every day & soooo much sorting out, re-cycling, trips to the Charity shop & trying to sell big stuff on Ebay... I am exhausted!
It'll all be worth it in the end and it's always good to have a big clear-out isn't it? 
I find it cathartic once you get past the negative or sad memories that can come up when sorting through bags of old stuff. Even old clothes will remind me of a time or place that maybe wasn't so jolly for me so getting shot of it clears your mind a bit - I'm hesitant to use the word 'closure' as it's become quite over used but that's the only way to describe it I guess!
Closure. From an old time that you have moved forward from - that you won't forget but you can put to rest. I also get a cheeky thrill from seeing some of my old clothes go on sale in the charity shop hehe! It's lovely knowing someone else will get a whole new use out of the item & treasure it & never know what murky history lies behind it for me!

Today I started using a schedule - my first since I was at school eek! And so far it's really helped me get much more done :)
For instance - I've broken the day down into 2 hour slots & it's helping me to not spend ages on one project & then missing another chore altogether. Here's how today looked:

10am - *Breakfast

12pm - *Wrap up Ebay sales items (Whoop!) & Go to Post office
            *Go for walk 

2pm - *Lunch
          *An hour of Shredding (zzzzzz) And paperwork sorting.

4pm - *Take cat to Vets
          *Snack & Cuppa - Homemade Chocolate Brownies today Yum!

6pm - *Go to superstore to buy more packing materials for Ebay sales (again Whoop!) (Can you tell I find
            Ebay a bit too exiting?!) 
          *Grocery shopping

8pm - *Dinner

10pm - * Hugs & watch TV (The manshape told me I must put hugs in the schedule hehe!)

12pm - *Bedtime

Now - this may look slightly unorthodox time-wise to the average bear but I'm used to going to bed at 4am & getting up at midday so - this is a huge change & improvement for me already!

Ok, Must make another Schedule for tomorrow - more shredding in my future I suspect -  Snooze!