31 Jan 2011

Committing to

This weekend I got ID'd. 
Yes last week I was 30. This week I got ID'd. In Waitrose. Buying Elderflower and Lime Cider of all things - as if a child would buy that. Amazing. 
We also had a leaving tea for the boys housemate. He has a new job in London so the street had a bit of a get together, over some tasty food and some lovely wines. 
And I popped to see the parents, only to receive some exciting, secret squirrel, news that I'm hoping I'll be able to reveal soon. 


And this week I have a couple of commitments; 

  • Stop being so grumpy and unreasonable with the boy. I'm blaming PMT but he is heading back to India for a few weeks on Sunday, and we're away for the weekend, so I am planning on being nice - just for a while.......
  • Eat healthy{ier}. 
  • Find an angel costume. 
  • Do my physio exercises. 
  • Finalise my weekends whilst the boy is away. 
  • Do some planning for the secret squirrel announcement.  

29 Jan 2011

Pay It Forwards



I started my Pay It Forwards making stint this week. {That new sewing machine of mine is definitely getting a good work out.}
The first home-made something is for my good friend Sam. She doesn't have a blog - but she is on twitter {http://twitter.com/#!/vogue_ismybible} and is definitely worth checking out if you do the whole tweeting thing.  
So, Sam and her boyf just bought a new house. Their first house. They moved in on Monday and I cant wait to see it. It's also her 30th birthday this Saturday. And with the new home acquisition I thought she might like a little apron to brighten up her new kitchen. 
After some researching on pinterest and a bit of googling I found this tutorial from Simply Modern Mom, {the high numbers of pictures appealed to the sewing amateur in me.} But I thought I might embellish it with a little bit a twist, because you know, I dont want to start simple - So, I made the waist band loads bigger {just because I fancied it} and I added a wrap round tie thingy, so that it now ties at the front {just by making the ties longer} and added a felt pocket too. 
I know, I know, I should have taken photo's as I went along, but I got all engrossed into the project and, well, the light in my room is awful at night, so they'd have been rubbish anyway. 
It was pretty simple if I am honest - I just made sure I had the tutorial open all the time - I did get cocky and thought I could 'wing it' and nearly went wrong and had to unpick the tie wraps. Ooooops. 
I also made the slit the apron went into too long {from not reading too closely} and so there aren't as many ruffles as I would have liked. 


But having said that - I am pretty pleased with it - it is only my second sewing project after all. 
I hope that she likes it. 

28 Jan 2011

Tat

I want a new tattoo. 
I am thinking my wrist? Maybe the back of my neck {super high up}? Maybe inner arm?
Here are some of my research/inspiration/wish-i-was-that-brave thoughts;
'Inky' Pinterest Board

26 Jan 2011

30 Things is underway

I have started on my '30 Things' list, and made cushions. It was really just a good excuse to get the new sewing machine out. 
But what do you think? 
Apologies for the bad phone-cam quality pic. 

24 Jan 2011

Committing to

Ah, the free time that I have now I have nothing to imminent plan/make for. Bliss.
Oh, but that’s so not true. Next week is my very good friend Sammy’s 30th birthday {this might be a phrase I write a lot this year - everyone is turning 30 - it's the new age to be!} and I have a gift or two to craft for her before Saturday. Also, since I can’t make her planned party, I thought I might make her a little cake. Just to say sorry.  
It is also the boy’s mums birthday the week after. It is one of the big ones too {and the reason I can’t attend Sam’s party!} We know what gift we are getting her, but we are also attending a ball in Bath. Day one is a fancy dinner, for which I have some serious dress dry cleaning to do, and day two is a fancy dress ball – the theme is stations. We {the boy and I and his sister and her husband} are going as a series of tube stations – High Barnett, Elephant & Castle and Angel. I am Angel, so I need something suitable to wear for that.

So, with the above in mind, this weeks commitments look slightly more like a to-do list you’d find written on a scrap of paper, than commitments, but that’s how it is;
  • Get blue dresses dry cleaned.
  • Finish making Sam’s birthday gift.
  • Bake Sam a birthday cake.
  • Do physio exercises EVERY day.

And here’s one for a little bit of fun;
  • Give my new sewing machine a whirl. Wooooooooooohooooooooooo. 
P.s 3rd post of the day. Don't get used to this. But I clearly had a lot to say after this weekend. 

Spoilt


I totally feel like I have been. 
Not only did I spend my actual birthday eating amazing Vietnamese food at Pho 68, but my friends all joined me at a bar in Leeds for a bit of revelry. I have some fantastic friends who know how to party! 
I also got the most amazing collection of gifts from said friends.
Here is just a little glimpse of the amazing things I received;


Yes yes, that is a BRIGHT PINK sewing machine you can see there, it was received with super cute Cath Kidson accessories. And yes, in there you can spot a Toast Hurricane Lamp {swoon} and an amazing letterpress necklace. And quite possibly the best eye liner ever -  Bobbi Brown gel. And some beautiful DKNY jewellery. And Topshop Baxters. And baking tins {they make mini tiered cakes – I know – adorable!} And a cake stand. And a spa gift card. And an adorable picture. And a chocolate fondue set. And my scent – Light Blue.

And the boy bought me snowboarding. which might be the best gift of all! 

See. I was spoilt. 

Partytime

I was a little busy chatting and drinking and seeing my friends to take many pictures myself but here is a little glimpse into the Apres Ski party we had this weekend. 
There were some fantastic une-pieces, and some bad jumpers and some fab neon, and also the most amazing cake creation - just check it out;

Skishot
The most amazing cake made by my wonderful friends Lizzie & H
Old school goggles
Bobby Brown on the decks

21 Jan 2011

30 things before I am 31.

As you may, or may not have gathered this week, it is my 30th birthday today. 
Last year I started a list of 29 Things to do Before I'm 30
I gave it it's own blog and everything......swish I know. 
sadly I didn't quite finish the list, but I quite enjoyed doing it, so I have re-written the list and I will be, starting today, embarking on this new list - 30 Things to do Before I'm 31.
So, without further ado - here is my latest list; 

As today is the day - the Big 3-0 - I thought maybe it's time for a new list. 
There were a few items I didn't quite get round to on the last list but that I would still quite like to do, so I'm carrying them over. I think I'm allowed. After all it's my list. 

I am going with the making and doing and changing side of things rather than things that might need me to spend a lot of cash to achieve them. I don't have that 'lot of cash' and I cant see anything bar a lottery win changing that in the next year!

So, the 30 things I aim to do before I'm 31 are; 
  1. Make macaroons.
  2. Make new cushions for the flat. Something that says 'me' in the room – there isn’t much around the flat that is me or mine. It's very much my housemates space. And I have seen some gorgeous Orla Keirly-esque fabric too!
  3. Run 5k. Not necessarily in a race, but all at once. Preferably without my lungs collapsing. 
  4. Become more self reliant. I have let myself rely on people this year and it's only lead to me being let down. If I rely on myself more I’ll only have myself to blame when I’m let down, right……
  5. Make an item of clothing from a pattern, from scratch. {Clearly, I won’t be making the fabric, but you get the idea right?}
  6. Read a book a month and and document it here. 
  7. Take a TTV picture or two. This was on the list last year but I failed. I have the camera now, thanks to Lizzy, but I need to mod it and make it work for ttv.
  8. Making a Blurb book out of my 2010 Shuttercal.
  9. And whilst I am at it - carrying on my Shuttercal 365 for 2011. I like having a documentation of the year.
  10. Learn one new recipe a month. Be it soup, cake, a proper dinner or a snacky snack.
  11. Take a class. I fancy letter pressing. Or a language. Or maybe the silk scarf class @vogue_ismybible saw and thinks we should attend. 
  12. Go to more gigs.
  13. Vent less - I read a quote a while ago, that I can't quite remember totally, but it said something like '50% of people don’t care about your problems and the other 50% only care because it makes them feel better about their problems'. It made me think - they’re my issues. I should keep them that way. Especially around the people I have a feeling fall into that later 50%.
  14. Sort out my finances. 
  15. Get a tattoo – this was on last years list, but since it took me a whole 27 years to decide my first one, a year to decide the next one might be a bit much. {this might be on lists for a while……..}
  16. Host a dinner party {and not serve Fajita’s or soup!}
  17. Take part in some Blogger events - I've really enjoyed the ones I did in 2010 - Pin it Forwards, the Souvenir Foto School classes and the August Break.  
  18. Send little surprises to friends in the mail. Last year I made a start on this. This year I shall continue. Who doesn’t love surprises?
  19. Go to the bit of the A625 that has collapsed. No idea why but I have a feeling it’ll be a little ‘end of the world’ like.
  20. Get my knees on the way to being sorted.
  21. Swim. I love swimming and I don’t do it enough.
  22. To get back to the weight I got to pre-glasto. Before I gave up on the health kick and put the weight back on. Grrrrrrrr. I think I’d quite like to lose a stone, maybe one and a half of them. Two would be a dream.
  23. Make frozen yogurt. I love ‘fro-yo’ but Leeds seems to be all out of good places to buy it. 
  24. Crochet something other than a beanie. Not that beanies aren’t useful, but I’d like to expand my skills.
  25. Go to the theatre.
  26. Get one of my photo’s printed onto canvas.
  27. Make myself attend a Buns and Roses event. {well, hopefully more than just the one!}
  28. Learn more about photoshop. Enough to that I can 'create' rather than just get by.
  29. Picnic in the summer.
  30. Take at least 6 roles of Holga film {and develop them}
So, what do you think? 
Yes, yes - I have a little work to do to make the 29 30 Things site pretty again, and change the headers and bits, {but I am sans photoshop after a massive computer reboot yesterday}, so I am sure I'll get to it soon.......

20 Jan 2011

Whoopie




Its that time of year again where for some reason it's tradition to take cake to work on your birthday. I know. They ought to buy me cakes. But nether the less I complied and made whoopie pies. 
I had heard of whoopie pies, I had seen whoopie pies on websites too, but I didn't really know what they were until Christmas and Katie bought me an amazing little book on them. But as the saying goes - Have book. Will bake. So I baked, and baked, and baked {it took a while - my baking sheet and oven aren't the biggest things in the world!} and then when the halves were cooled, I frosted and frosted and frosted {it ended up that there were a LOT of these little halves of cake to frost!}
They were a bit fiddly and they did seem to take over the kitchen {every surface was covered in small chocolate cake circles} but it seems that they have gone down very well at work! 
I might try them again, but maybe when I don't have 50 to make!

18 Jan 2011

The big 30

This week I turn 30. 
It’s one of those big birthdays that I was told I had to make a big deal out of, so I am throwing a party {which if I am honest, I kind of wish I wasn’t having to organise now, but hey – it’ll happen and I’ll see my friends and it’ll be fun!}

The thing that annoys me the most is that everyone around me seems to expect me to be going through some sort of life crisis, but I don’t think I am. The young boy on my team at work {he’s 23 I think} keeps asking me if I am making the most of my last week of youth. Work mates keep asking me how I feel – ‘like I need a hair cut’ is what I tell them. The housemate keeps telling me I will start to fall apart once I hit 30, almost as if she is willing me to {like she did}.

But I can’t imagine that it’ll be any different.
Yes there are thing I 'should have done by the time I’m 30'. But I let go of those things a long time ago when it became apparent that life wasn’t going the way my mind had it mapped out and I dealt with that then. I’m just not sure how to disappoint these people who keep asking me if I’m ok.
So my life isn’t how I envisaged, and yes, maybe it’s not quite how I want it to be, but you know what I don’t think I’m about to fall apart in front of your eyes.
Because if I had my way at 30 I wouldn’t be living in a room in a flat, I’d have space and rooms and places that things fit. If I had my way, I’d be financially, well, better. But also, if I had my way I’d be living near the beach. Or the mountains. Jared Leto and I would be living happy ever after. I’d have a monster truck. I’d have a darkroom. And I’d have a smaller waist and smaller boobs. And a puppy. I would love a puppy.

17 Jan 2011

Committing to....

Image by - Tracey Lau
This week I have some major work to do. It's the BIG 30 on friday and I planned this silly party months and months ago, with a 'Apres Ski' theme. I say I planned it, but what is did was design and send out some invites and then do nothing for a good few months. So this week I have 90 large foam snowflakes to make use of, decorations to fashion, ski-shots to make, things to bake and make, 11 people to house, cleaning to do, play-lists to create and an outfit to find..........And I only have 3 nights to do it in. Luckily I am home alone so I have a lot of space to do it in and no-one to question my choices. 


So there is only one commitment this week; 

  • To pull my finger out and get this party sorted. 
This should be a fun, slightly sleep deprived week, as it's a bit manic at work too! 

15 Jan 2011

Ruffled


I made a cushion. By hand {so it’s not perfect} But I think I might love it.
I just love the ruffle detail. And the colour.
But then again I’m just a sucker for grey. 

I tried to represent the colour as well as I could but as it just never seems to get fully light outside at the moment, I am stuck with the bad lighting the bulbs in my flat give out. The real colour is more like a middle ground between the two images.
If you fancy making your own ruffley cushion then Etsy is the place to be.I made some changes to the instructions - not using a zip was one, and obviously the shape and size are different. The hardest part of the whole thing was cutting out the ruffles and I used my 2" scalloped punch to do that job. 
Click the image to go through to the tutorial. 

Or click here

13 Jan 2011

In the sea

Mae Chevrette on etsy
This has long been one of my favourite quotes {e.e. cummings - "maggie and millie and molly and may} And I just love it paired with these scraps of a life near the sea - tide tables and charts. 
Maybe it'll be a little treat for myself? 

12 Jan 2011

Yesterday I went to see a knee specialist. He’s a good one – he’s fixed a couple of people I know, including my dad, so I know he’s a good one. But it turns out that there isn’t much he can do for me. Not right now anyway.
You see the problem is that my kneecaps are being pulled out of the groove they should be in, and are being pulled towards the outsides of my knee. Which means that when they are bent they aren’t moving in the right way and that’s what causes the pain. That’s the simple explanation the doctor gave me – this is a bit more of a technical one. Laughably {if you know me} this condition is also known as ‘Runners Knee’.  

I am finding it hard to hide my disappointment in ‘not being fixed’ though. I am not sure quite what I had expected. I think maybe I had worked this appointment up to be some magic cure. In my head I assumed that there would be something they could do to make it better right now. There isn’t, bar a lot of physio.

Unfortunately Leeds isn’t a great place to be at the beck and call of the NHS {the waiting lists here for everything seem to be WAY longer than they are in Sheffield}. The GP told me it would be about a 4 month wait to see a physio here and then I might only get to see them once a month. So there might be a decision to make over the next few months, and unfortunately due to the state of my finances it might be a ‘friends or physio’ sort of decision. If I live the life of a hermit then there might be a little extra cash in the kitty to pay for some extra treatment. 

11 Jan 2011

A Cherry on Top

As promised, here is the recipe for the Cherry Bakewell cupcakes I made as my entry to the IronCupcake:Leeds.
  
Click to Enlarge
The theme was desserts and after a little poll of my friends I was going to do a fruit crumble, a cheesecake or a bakewell. I decided on the bakewell idea as I had a load of ground almonds left over from making some christmas bits. So for the cakes I used a tried and tested recipe from the Waitrose site that I usually use to make my cherry almond loaf but at the suggestion of the boy I used less sugar and more milk to make a lighter consistency. 
The frosting {and the styling} are taken from a recipe at Love and Olive Oil. I totally fell for these cakes when I saw them last year and so I knew that this was the look that I wanted to go for the cake. I did think about making the whole cake recipe but as I had the ingredients for the loaf, and didn’t have things like coconut milk I decided to mix and match the two recipes.
I was pretty pleased with the results. Quite a few people remarked how much like a bakewell the sponge tasted, which I guess was the plan, wasn't it! The cakes came out quite a bit lighter than the loaf, and the frosting is amazing {I think the  addition of the cream makes it that little bit more special} And the cherry on top, well - it just looks cute,  right? 


10 Jan 2011

Committing to

Apologies for the shoddy pics but I can't find my computer cable for my camera {which has some WAY better shots on it.} They will follow as I was kind of proud of this one. 
It's been a while since I've done one of these but I'm back and getting back into the swing of things and back to normality.
This weekend the boy and I did pretty much nothing - which is super unusual as we're normally running about everywhere. We went for a few drinks with my work on Friday night which was nice. Once we were home though, it was a case of getting up late, playing computer games and watching football {him} and not getting up super early, baking and catching up with blog-land {me} and the both of us just generally chilling out. My housemate was at work all weekend so we could really just vegetate and not worry about anyone else until the evenings.  


It also gave me the chance to put my new cupcake maker to the test. It was a christmas gift from my parent and whilst I wasn't sure that i'd be totally up for it as it felt a little like cheating but it was super easy and heated up in about half the time the oven takes. Plus I still had to amke all the cake batter and frosting and the likes, so its not cheating really is it? 
To start with I made some cheese and chive cakes to go with the soup we were having for lunch, just to test it out really as they are the easiest to just throw together and leave. Then I made some Cherry Bakewell cakes for my entry into the IronCupcake:Leeds competition last night. {People were very complimentary about my cakes and their almond-y taste, but I didn't place :( - oh well, it's the taking part that counts!}

  • It's my apt with the knee specialist this week. My main commitment will be to take what he says on board. I have been to see a couple of these people in the past but I'll be the first person to admit maybe I've not exactly heeded their warnings on what not to do. This time if they give me exercises I am going to do them. If they tell me I'm not to do something. I'll have a good think about taking their words to heart!
  • I also want to get my next list finished this week.The old list has some incomplete goals, and there are some I'm going to carry over, but I quite fancy another list next year.
  • And I need to start planning for this stupid birthday party that I've arranged and now, if I am totally honest, has caught me by surprise. It was months ago. How did it get so close?  

8 Jan 2011

Pay It Forwards

My friend, Lizzie, is taking part in a Pay It Forwards on her facebook. I've added my name to her list of home made recipients, so now it is my turn to Pay It Forwards. The rules, in case you haven't heard of the idea, are here; 
Pay it forward 2011: I promise to send something handmade to the first 5 people who leave a comment here. They in turn must post this and send something they make to the first 5 people who comment on their status. The rules are that it must be handmade by you and it must be sent to your 5 people sometime in 2011.
If you would like to receive a yet undisclosed, handmade by me, something - either leave a comment here with your blog details or an email address and I'll get in touch or drop me an email at ohgoshem{at}googlemail{dot} with your contact details and at some point in the next few months I'll pop a little something in the post to you. 
I'm not entirely sure what I'll make yet, it could be something bakey, or something crafted, but you will get something and it will be made with love. 
So if you're interested, let me know. 

6 Jan 2011

On the Piste

So, I am going to update you on my holiday. Whether you want to be or not. That just how nice I am.
Old skis and boots - look how uncomfortable they are. 
Old skis
The boy, his sister and her husband


Us + gigs

These idiots were waving at me and totally forgot to lift the bar and nearly had to go back round! ooooops. 
There is something a little strange about being at the airport at 5.30am on boxing day. Everyone looks a little disturbed and like they shouldn’t really be there – but it does get rid of that strange ‘what to do with the days after Christmas’ feeling. But given that my Christmas gift from the boy was the lift pass I was super excited!


We arrived in resort just in time to get a few little runs on the baby slope so that the boy could test out his new board and make sure the bindings were set up right so we could get on the first lifts the next day. Which we did.
Claviere isn’t the biggest resort at all but it has some nice red runs and it’s super easy to get into France. Which as our lift pass was linked to Mongenevre, was very good.

I was amazed how little I remembered about the runs to start with. I am pretty sure there must have been half the resort we didn’t even venture to in a whole 5 months before. But as the time progressed little bursts came back to me. About the places people did silly things, about the places you needed to go fast to get over the flats, about the good runs. Our hotel looked the same from the outside. That was strange.

My knees didn’t do too well, as you may know, so I didn’t ride as much, or as hard as I’d have liked, but the boy’s riding has come on a treat – he’s super fast now. To the extent it upset me when I was injured and he was faster than me…..and he tried some jumps. And mastered a little kicker {as always though, the minute I went to video it, he fell!} 

4 Jan 2011

Bruised Knees



About ten years ago a physio told me to never snowboard again. In those ten years I've done two seasons and only missed one snow trip. I've had a couple of physio courses, some doctors prodding them and a couple of threats of operation's {which have clearly been ignored}.
This year however I think I might have been beaten by my knees. 
They've had the tendency to make me stop riding earlier in the day than i'd have liked. They've had me on crutches. They've been clad in neoprene and velcro with metal supports. But they've never had me in tears, not before this holiday. 

Whats wrong is that the kneecap sits in the wrong place at the moment. Ballet and swimming have meant that the muscles on the outsides of my legs pulled the kneecap outwards, which has meant the cartilage has moved all wonky and the tendons and ligaments are all screwed up too. 

This week I'm going to be taking myself off to the doctors to get a recommendation letter for a specialist. Then I'm going to have a serious chat with said specialist about the consequences of having the op they've mentioned before. 
If it still means there wont be full movement or that I'll not be able to snowboard again then I'm going to have to have a BIG think about it, but I have to do something about this - it takes me way too long right now to walk up a flight of stairs right now and I am like an old lady when I try and stand up. Its just not fun. 

3 Jan 2011

MIA


I apologise for the radio silence over the last 10 days or so. 
I didn't have much time to get near the computer over Christmas, and if you hadn't quite realised yet I've been to the mountains. I wish I was still there. I wont apologise for that though. There will be more about the snow and the holiday soon I am sure. 


It might take me a while to get back into the loop - I have so many blogs to catch up on, and a lot of twitter-ing to read and first of all I have a boyfriend with a birthday to celebrate tomorrow. 
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