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Soup-er*



I want to talk to you about an obsession in our house at the moment. No, it's not Instagraming everything that I see, or the puppy {well, maybe it is him too} but, soup. Yep, that liquidly lunch stuff - it's taking over our lives!

It started about 6 months ago when the boy got the Covent Garden, A Soup for Every Day for Christmas and it’s just snowballed since then. The book has barely been in the bookcase, shopping lists are made almost solely of ingredients for the next few soups and if we'd taken pictures of each of the soups we've eaten, we'd be on our way to a full on Julie and Julia situation. 

We have had celeriac soups, mushroom soups, cheese and bacon soups, artichoke soups, lentil soups, peasant soups*, meatball soups and gumbo’s – some even made on the ‘correct’ day. We have a freezer full of soups made for another day. We have stickers marking the next soups to be made. This obsession just isn't going away. 

 Now I won’t lie and tell you that eating soup every day, especially in the heat we’ve experienced lately, is ideal, but for some strange reason he loves making soup. And since they’re, almost, all very tasty, I am not going to complain {too much}. This week we’re branching out on the soup making kick and heading in to the summer months section of the book and trying a rhubarb, apple and berry number. I imagine it’ll be more like a compote but I am all up for giving it a go! I'm also waiting for the day he runs out of excuses and makes me the chocolate soup! Yes, that’s right folks, the book even contains a recipe for a chocolate soup!
  
If you like soup this book is a must – just maybe don’t start with Novembers recipes on a sweltering May afternoon – it just feels wrong!

Now stay tuned for our sausage making saga {that just sound wrong doesn't it} 


*I would love to say I am sorry for that terrible pun, but I’m not!
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Chic on a shoestring

For christmas last year I got the most wonderful crafting book, Chic on a Shoestring - it's full of great diy-able, recyclable or vintage up-cyclable clothing and accessory ideas, and has some of the most beautiful photography in it.  I poured over it. I even made a couple of pieces. And just as a bit of a coincidence, last week that author, Mary Jane Baxter spoke at my WI. I was excited about the talk because I love the book, but I honestly didn't know how, well, inspirational she'd be. 


I'd not read anything about her at all before so I didn't know her history, but Mary Jane started as a BBC journalist, who couldn't shake that feeling that she ought to be crafting that she quit her good job to train to become a milliner. After a journey round the UK a few years ago, making do and mending, a lot of hot desking at the BBC, and a rejected book idea, she finally scored a book deal to showcase her upcycled fashions and hats. I was shocked, and not in a good way, at the money writers get and I was amazed at the work that goes into a publishing. I was also amazed that, as a published author, she's still working on a BBC desk!


All her talk was interesting, but it was the fact she took the love of crafting that she has, and figured out a way to make that her life. She knew that she ought to be doing something that had her using her hands, and she is. It was the fact she was so encouraging to us all that if there is something we love, it doesn't mean you have to quit your job and live in poverty until you achieve your dream, but it's not impossible to try and get there, it's not impossible to give it a go. 


So having heard how much little an author makes from the sale of every book - i think you all ought to go out and buy it - here



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Puppy Vuitton II


This little man has completely taken over our home and stolen our hearts. 

He's all of 1kg and think he rules the place. If he's not demanding you play and chasing your feet, he's either out cute-ing himself, trying to sleep on you, or trying some new feet of daring for a teeny tiny puppy like launching himself off sofas. He is also a full on ladies man - wooing everyone who comes into contact with him.

We just need to teach him that weeing is best done in his designated areas, that feet and hands are not chew toys and that 5am is not the appropriate time to play. 




The video is shot with isupr8. it's iphone only at the mo - booo {hello work phone} - but yay, i hear it's coming to android soon! 
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Postal Presents

I am such a sucker for post. Letters {preferably not from the bank} postcards, but mostly parcels and packages, even if I've ordered them myself. I'm a little ashamed to say that I've even order things online from one shop over another because I know it'll come wrapped prettily. And I get jealous every time someone tweets pictures of their Glossybox because they just look like so much fun! But I know that beauty products would wasted on me – my beauty regime, or lack of, would horrify most women and I have a room full of beauty samples I never use. So with this in mind I have pulled together some fun postal subscriptions I’d love to receive*




Seriously, what could be better than locally sourced, nicely packaged, indie food stuffs delivered to your door? They featured the fantastic Sheffield Honey in their first box, so that wins them some brownie points in my book. I have resisted telling the boy about this as I fear he'd fall in love!


My new found enthusiasm for growing stuff I can eat comes with a massive lack of any knowledge. Seriously. I have none what so ever. I read a book and I still have none. So a box with seeds of the plants that I ought to be growing at different points in the year, and how to do said growing is right up my street. I’d just need the motivation to plant them & I am not sure it comes with those. 



And then we have Not Another Bill, which would be like a dream come true. Imagine someone sending you a little random something, that's not only uber fun/cool/fun but arrives every month. I know. seriously. It’d be amazing. It’d be like having a gift to yourself every month. I love the fact that each month see's the 'gift' being something very different. But I am kind of jealous as I love the ones that have been and know they're done and dusted!
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Thing I am afraid to tell you.



You might have seen this. But you might not have and so I wanted to point out ‘Things I am afraid to tell you’. A fantastic blog movement which, when read from a Google reader account full of beautifully styled homes and perfectly accessorised pastel jeans, is making me feel a whole lot better about this blogging thing.

I won't lie, blogging, at times, has left me feeling a little like I’m not quite cool enough, eloquent enough, pretty enough or rich enough to partake and it’s great to see that the people behind a whole host of blogs that I regularly read and admire are real people, without completely perfect lives. It makes me feel better about having the cheap Ikea lampshades rather than the John Lewis one I really want, about not having a glam kitchen and a Kitchen Aid or having finished painting the hallway. It makes me feel slightly better about not being a size 8* or having the perfect handbag or a great sense of style. It makes me feel better that I have to have regular discussions over the fact the shin pads don't live in the middle of the living room floor. It makes me feel better about the fact I am not a massively creative type and that things don't come out perfectly good everytime. It makes me feel better about not having 1000 amazing, wonderful pictures to fill my ProjectLife album with every week {and the fact I haven't blogged about it in months}. It makes me feel better knowing that they too covet the pretty things they post on their blog but just can’t afford either. There are so many things I could reveal that I am afraid to tell you, but I am not feeling brave enough. Maybe later.

Pop on over to Creature Comforts for the history behind the movement, and the list of people taking part!


*US readers - a UK size 8 is about a US 4. And I am no where near either of those sizes!
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The end of an era

When I was 15 I started snowboarding, learning, on sheet ice, in the Italian resort of Livigno. I still have the board my dad bought me for my 16th birthday on the very same holiday {only it’s a shelf now} When he bought it me he thought it would be a fad and the board would become something I would use once a year on our family snow holidays.

More fool him. I’d say his car could have driven the route to Sheffield Ski Village without any of us in it. We, Katie, Lizzy and I were there more than we were home sometimes. We worked there on a Sunday {6 hrs work meant a free lift pass for the week} and then stayed and rode in the evenings, Wednesday afternoons were a definite {the students were there – nuff said} as were Friday nights if we weren’t out. Some Saturdays too, depending on the party they were throwing.

At Sheffield Ski Village I learnt to snowboard. I learnt to drive. I learnt to drink. I learnt to party. I fell in lust. And love. {And I had my heart broken many times} I learnt no-one can look good in a burgundy and green uniform. And most of all, I made some of my best friends in  there. And if it hadn’t been for SSV I wouldn’t know so many amazing people, people who have been with me since we were 16 and, despite some little drifts, are still with me now. Without SSV I doubt I would have carried on snowboarding, or done my seasons, or had some fabulous holidays. I maybe wouldn't have had the love affair I've had with snowboarding for the last 16 years {but I might still have full use of my knees} I owe that place an awful lot.

And on Sunday, I woke to the news that would have shattered the teenage me – a fire has wrecked the Ski Village buildings. And then yesterday someone set fire to the structure that housed the lift control - this time arson.  And whilst I'll hold my hands up and say it's been nearly a decade since I went on the slopes, and I was the first the lament it's demise when the bowling alley went in, I have so many memories tied up there, I can't help but be really sad, so if people could stop burning down the bits that still stand I'd be pretty grateful. .
From Whitelines

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