Montreal

Montreal
Cute Houses of Montreal

cocktail

cocktail
A Winter Cocktail

Life changing magic

Life changing magic
The Life Changing Magic

Marley and me


We are dog sitting for our friends whilst they have whisked themselves off to ski in Canada {not jealous at all, i promise you}
His name is Marley, he's a stupidly excitable big black dog who spends his time going nuts over a chew toy or new people, climbing on you when you are trying to watch a film, or sleeping - ever so cute, just a little heavy. hehe!
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holiday treats

I have spent the last couple of days making and doing to get ready for Christmas.
Here are just a few bits of what i have been up to.

I found the boxes in Hobbycraft, and I got the embellishments from eat.drink.chic and changed the messages on them to make them Christmassy, using the Wendy font that's used their too. And then used some bakers twine to wrap them up. 
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Yes, in case you didn't know it snowed this weekend.
Proper snow that didn't just turn to mush in an hour.
It ruined all sorts of travel plans, we got stuck in Manchester over the weekend - all the roads back to Sheffield were closed. And it made my beautifully clean car all mucky.
But it makes everything a little bit better!

Jim wouldn't let me drive and shoot pics so I handed over the reigns of the camera and let him take the pics on the way home {it also distracted him from telling me to slow down!}

How beautiful were the Yorkshire Dales after a dusting......

{Leeds}

{didsbury, manchester}

{on the road}

{on the road}

{on the road}

{on the road}

{on the road}

{on the road}

{on the road}

{on the road}

{on the road}

{on the road}
More here


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My Christmas wrapping is almost all done {muji gift wrap - don't you just love those boxes....} there are just a couple of late arrivals from Amazon I am waiting on, and some home made treats that need to be bundled up after a lot of baking and sewing by me in the next week!

Now this growing pile of gifts in my room is just waiting for the best bit - to be given out!

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This year I am abandoning the royal mail and stamps and buying Christmas cards for Cocodot. I just couldn’t find anything I really loved, beside these old tom foolery cards (and I came across them way too late to get them shipped from the states), and well, i’ve probably left it a little late to post overseas now too.

So, I have been using my free Cocodot e-card allowance and sending out some Christmas cards to people. Saving trees and stamps all at the same time.

What do you think?

{yes, its a little blurry, but that's my computer! Silly snipping tool!}

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I am trying to decide if these are a little too much like a bad Christmas jumper, but for my legs;

What do you think?

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So i finished an entire month of the shuttercal.
You can see what i did here.
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brrrrrrrrrrr.

December is here; along with frost on the cars and leaves, and the need for legwarmers under my trousers, and snoods and turning my fingerless gloves back into mitts.
I forgot to open my advent calendar this morning though.
I know, Dec 1st and no chocolate for breakfast. Sacrilege.
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Little Pretties

{models & goodie bags at the Sabo launch}
See them bigger here}

Last night was the launch party for the new Thomas Sabo store that’s opened in the VQ in Leeds. Sammy and I headed down, as being the well connected person she is, she got us an invite. We quaffed a couple of glasses of champers, some wine and some delicious limon vodka that accompanied the smoked Salmon and Caviar canap├ęs. Look at me getting all posh, Caviar. I know.

I have loved theie charm bracelets for a while, but I am just not sure if they are very me; I have this cute one that’s got, well had, two little converse on it {somewhere I have lost one of the boots! Ooooops.} but it’s a bit understated. The Sabo ones are a little, well, they seem a bit bling.

But in the name of shopping I thought I should put together my wish list for a Sabo Charm Bracelet. I think it sums me up pretty well……sailing, snow, cons and a bit of turquoise.

But we left empty handed you'll be pleased to know {apart from the goodie bags}.

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I can not stop listening to this song.
i love it.


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One of the housemates has been feeling a little down recently.
And what's better to cheer someone up that baking? Nothing, that's what!

We made 'Snickerdoodles'. Nope. We'd never heard of the either, but they are delicious. Vanilla-y, cinnamon-y, chewy cookies.

As you can see by the pics though, we didn't listen when it said we should a) make the cookies 1" big, and b) space them 2" apart. You should have seen the first tray we made. It was an actual mass of cookie. {It didn't make them taste any worse though - trust us.}
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Christkindle Market

This weekend saw the opening of the annual German Christkindle market in Leeds.

It comes every year.

It is the same every year. I mean it NEVER changes. The same stalls come year in, year out. They are in the same place. Their stock rarely changes.

Yet we go every year. Without fail. Probably a couple of times a year too......

This year IS no exception. It opened friday night and we were there. Gluhwein and Schnapps in one hand. Large German sausage in the other. Huddled in the corner of a sweltering ‘beer keller’ to escape the rain.

It was wonderful, as always. And as a little surprise the boy drove up to see me. He wasn’t supposed to be with me until Saturday morning. But just as we headed out for food he appeared. German beers in hand. Soaked. And ready for his first German Market experience.

As it rained massively, and we sat in the corner, only leaving our bolthole for the bar, there are no snaps of the market. But don’t you worry – there will be some coming soon. Here are just a couple from the Fuji instax mini.

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Dog Judo

Yes, thats right, Dog Judo.
What?
There is nothing odd about that, is there?
See.

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My very own 365


So, i have often thought of starting a 365 project, but well, it appears that most of them are very narcissistic {and i hate taking pictures of myself} or they get left by the wayside and people end up feeling guilty about them and i know i would be one of those people

But then, I stumbled across Shuttercal - have you seen it? Its a site where you can upload an image for everyday and it shows it on a calendar, like this;

It just feels a little less formal don't you think? I mean, Flickr is somewhere I send people on a regular basis to see my pictures. Obviously finding it in the middle of a month isn't ideal, as I don't have images for the beginning of the month, but I am seeing November as a practise month, and I shall start really in December!

You can even have your images printed off in a months worth of shots, so you have details of what you did everyday that month. Yes, i know. Cool!

But anywhos, you should head on over and check it out.
Here is my Shuttercal page for those of you who are interested......http://shuttercal.com/calendar/ohgoshem/

In some other photography related news - 5 Fuji Instax Mini films arrived for me this morning. I bought them from ebay over a month ago. They finally arrived. AND I am off to get 2 Holga films that I took at Benicassim {yes, you heard me - Benicassim, in July} developed today. So, I am a bit slack, i know it!
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Geek


I am now an official geek. {or so i am told}
I got a new all singing all dancing phone - the HTC Hero.
I am addicted. Mostly to the columns like game that i have found. But also to having the world wide web at my fingers.

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So, the Indian restaurant we visited for the F-word was on the show last night. Lasan.
I think I might be able to tell you that much. Did you see it. If not check it out on 4OD.
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Holga-Rama

You might remember that earlier this year I attended the wedding of my good friend Katie. Well, her and her husband, Phil, are massive Lomo fans, so much so, that they even had a Lomo themed wedding with cameras on the tables for guests to use;



Well, yesterday Katie sent me a link to their new venture, Holga-Rama.

They are importing Holga’s, lenses and full kits, and also supplying these amazing skins.
Seriously – how cool are they. I love this white one pictured above, but there are five to choose from, including an ace birthday edition, and a superman styled one. They are a talented couple wouldn't you say.
You have to check them out. I am just wondering how many Holga fans I can buy them for Christmas!
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remember remember

I love bonfire night. I love the way the whole country seems ablaze and the night sky smells like gunpowder.
And I loved the boy and I standing in our own little piece of Roundhay Park watching the fireworks go off.
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oooooooooooooh.......


I have been feeling like death. I look like death. Handily it was Halloween this weekend, so the zombie me I had planned wasn’t too hard to do. Just a little exaggeration of the dark patches on my face I already have……
I put my feeling like death/’do not come to work’ time to good use though by making some treats for the Halloween party.
Unfortunately, being poorly sick and attending parties don’t mix and I was tucked in bed by midnight, but we had fun, carved some pumpkins, and wore fun costumes so I can’t complain. And check out the e-numbers i must have used in those cakes - i swear nothing ediable should be those colours!



Check out 'moustaffa'
{originals can be seen here}

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the F-word......

The other week the boy got a call from a lovely young man at Channel 4 about appearing on the F-word. And then we heard nothing back from him. For 2 weeks. So it was with some excitement (and a sense of do I answer that, I don’t recognise that number, is it the bank) that I picked up my phone last week and spoke to the very same lovely young man from channel 4. Then so did our friends, turns out he was a Wednesday fan, so I think the obsessive fan we planned to take helped a bit!

Turns out we had impressed the bods at channel 4 sufficiently and they were inviting us to go and eat at 2 restaurants with them. How cool. How exciting. How much fun.

When the email arrived however telling us of the plans, the day before filming, asking us to be in London at 7.30am, it didn’t seem so much fun anymore……..

So, after a 3am start from Leeds where I picked up Sam, and then a stop off in Sheffield for the boy and his friend Steve, and a car picnic consisting of croissants, pain ou chocolates, cheeses and frubes (I know but look at the time we set off) we finally made it to Camden for 7.15am. M1 roadworks tried to hold us up, but we prevailed!

Our day then consisted of getting on a coach;

(excuse the very shakey pic from the boyf’s phone)

and being driven back up a little bit north to Birminham to visit an Indian restaurant there. At a little rest stop at the Mal in Birmingham city centre, t’old Gordon joined us on the coach. Yes that’s right folks, Gordon Ramsey rode a coach with us, he chatted with the coach, they filmed him telling us about the place, us looking interested, us talking about food. Stuff like that. Gordon Ramsey – he’s not as tall as you might think, and greyer and he has clearly had work done…….

I am not going to critique the restaurants too much; you’ll have to wait until the show is on the tv to find out about them as I am pretty sure there was some sort of massive confidentiality agreement we had to sign……and I don’t want to be attacked by Gordon next time I go out to eat! But I will tell you it was mental. We filed off the bus with cameras filming us, there were cameras at every turn in the restaurant, they filmed us eating, they filmed Sam talking about her lamb; they filmed everything, good & bad.

Not being the biggest curry fan, this maybe wasn’t the best restaurant for me, but the potato cakes I ate for starter were delicious, as for the main course, mmmmm, I might leave it there……..

2 hrs and 2 courses later we were back on the f-word bus and heading back to London (during rush hr) to visits an Argentinean steak house. More filming on the bus. A helicopter filming the bus crossing spaghetti junction. A little sleeping (we had been awake since 3am remember) and a service station stop in which the boy followed Gordon and JP into the loos. Claim to fame right there!

So, back into London at 7.30-8pm. A few more ‘money shots’ of the bus crossing London bridges, a few anecdotes from Gordon to stop the masses getting restless, a few anti-Jamie Oliver jokes and we were on to dinner at the Argentinean place.

Again, more cameras, more shots of us eating, more jokes about trying to get the silliest phrase on camera (‘otters pocket’ anyone?) and this time huge slabs of meat, including a tasty tuna steak with soy sauce for me, the hugest steaks I have seen and some, to quote the boy ‘plump, juicy sausage’.

At 10.30pm, we filed back onto the coach to be taken back to the studio in Camden. Some more shots of us on the bus, and a lot of sleepy people. Arriving back at the studio at 11.30, and with a 3½ hr drive back to the north ahead of us, it might well have been the longest day of my life. But boy was it fun.

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Urg.....

I am sick.
Hot and cold and coughing and spluttering and weary.

But i have loads to tell you.
I shall be back soon.
To explain my last few days.
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Dead Weathers

{Jack, coming off the drums, and onto guitar}

The boy and i went to see the Dead Weathers last night.
If you are unsure of who they are - its a super band Jack White has put together.
They are amazing. Don't take my word for it.
Just type Dead Weathers into Spotify and listen for yourself.
Trust me. A-mazing.
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Today i am waiting for a phone call from Channel 4.
It might not come. but if it does, it will be sooooooo exciting.

I am now hoping the boy has wowed the people he spoke to yesterday enough, so they call me too.
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Poladroid.

{image created from this image, in Poladroid}


Aggggggggeeeeeeeeeeeesssssss ago I came across Poladroid. But it only worked for the mac at the time, so I book marked it and thought I’ll come back to it later, when they'd created a windows app.

Then last night when I was sorting out my book marking I re-found it. There is now a windows app, and wow, it makes me happy.

You get the cutest little Polaroid camera that sits on your desk top, and when you open it and drag and drop an image in the camera processes it and spits out a little Polaroid image. You even get to shake it to make the image develop.

Trust me. You should be giving it a go.

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A few things from the weekend......


This weekend was all about watching Singles with the boy on Friday night, with some rum and ginger beers - OMG, I used to love that film, I totally thought when I was 14 that life would be like that when I grew up, and I’d be all bohemian and cool, - oh how scared I was the other night when I realised that the characters are 23 in it.


Helping my brother at his first event, there was a Jamie oliver pass it on cookery class, and some heatlth and fitness stalls. 


Headed to didsbury for the boys sisters birthday and got hideously drunk – but on the plus side, found an outfit I can acceptably wear my new over the knee flat leather boots with.


And most importantly – secured 24 glastonbury tickets for next year. Thats right folks, 24 tickets in 30 minutes, whilst nursing the worst ever hangover. Can you believe there will be 24 of us this year……..Thats like a little town! 

 

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The Dead Weathers

Because I was too drunk to remember them at Glastonbury, we got Dead Weathers tickets for when they play in Leeds.
CAN. NOT. WAIT! 
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We had some sort of mini Indian Summer in Leeds on Friday. Beautifully warm and sunny and sitting outside the pub weather. Here is just a little sneak of my lunchbreak and my point and shoot. 
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Baking with cups.


My mum bought me some cups, you know the things that all american recipes are measured in. I think it was because she was sick of me calling her to see how many ml, or grams a cup of something was. Any how, i have some now and I thought i should put them to good use and do some baking. 

So i made some carrot cakes. mini cupcake carrot cakes. Mostly because i don't have the patience to bake something for an hour, but also because we don't have a cake tin.They turned out wonderfully, if i do say so myself. 
 {Unfortunately there are no pics of these because I took them to the boy's with me this weekend and they were all eaten. But i was very impressed with my first foray into carrot caking}

I also make some homemade granola from this recipe. Which, as you can see has pictures. 
But it was so yummy i thought i really should share. And i have even translated the recipe here for those of you without cups.  

160g (3/4 cup) brown sugar
75ml (1/4 cup) water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
340g (4 cups) rolled oats
100g (1 cup) chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, or sliced almonds)

Preheat oven to 140.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a microwave-proof bowl, combine brown sugar and water. Microwave 4 minutes, or until sugar is completely dissolved. Add salt and vanilla extract.
In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, nuts, and syrup until thoroughly mixed. Spread the mixture onto the baking sheet and bake 45 minutes or until golden and crunchy.
Let cool completely then break into clumps and store in an airtight container.
yield: about 12 serving


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Moleskine diary


Oh, golly gosh.

Have you seen these Moleskine diaries for 2010.
There are 12 little Moleskine Volant books, one for each month of the year. Each has a page for a day, and a planner at the for the year, and they are all held together in one super-duper moleskinesque folder by an elastic, just like a original moleskine.

What is not to love?

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