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My Carry On Flight Essentials


My Cancer treatment

A weekend of two halves

We've decided that we're going to start doing more with our weekends now that we have a good stretch of no trips to India and importantly, that the Saturday afternoon football has finished for Jim. So this weekend we decided to try and wear Flash out and see somewhere new. Sheffield is meant to be one of the greenest cities in the UK (we're lucky, we get to cheat and have some of the peak district within the cities boundaries) and we have so many open spaces a short drive from us, and I often feel bad that we don't take advantage of them. 

So this weekend we drove for 15 minutes and ended up at Redmires reservoir for a 2hr jaunt through the countryside, getting muddy, climbing over walls, under trees and through kissing gates. It also gave me the perfect opportunity to try out the camera on my new Samsung S5 phone;

About half way round we encountered some ramblers in all their proper gear. We just know they were mocking our jeans and trainers choices for walking over the boggy, hilly, ground, but we felt a little smugger knowing that we had a Lindt bunny for sustenance where as I'm guessing they had something dull like tracker bars! 

And then Sunday saw me getting an early train to London to visit my old housemate, Sarah, in her new flat and then attend a hospitality show with work on Monday. Sunday was a day of packing light (something I have never been good at and clearly need more work on), busting out my new Liberty kicks, lovely food, long chats, wine, gin and quite a lot of chilling out. Monday was more about using every means of transport I could find (bus, tube, overground, DLR, train and car) all the food and spotting cool things for work though! 

Check out the booth made of books at The Fable. What a great idea - now, would it work in a house?

Lust List - April Essentials

Just a few little bits that I am needing in my life rights now. I think I'm supposed to be on some sort of saving kick for the new house, but pretty things keep popping up in my life and making me need them. 

1. I've become a little obsessed by this Coldpress juice. The apple flavours are my favourite (and I have almost managed to convince myself they are healthy!) 2. I love pretty much everything Holly Becker does and I can't imagine that this book will be any different. Plus, who doesn't like flowers and coffee table books? 3. J'adore this bracelet from Anthro, and for once for the things I like at Anthro, it's not completely out of my budget! 4. This tee shirt sums up my entire life. I might need one for every day! 5. Liberty + Nike never fails and they haven't this time. The whole collection is amazing (but sold out in soooooo many styles)

Chocolate and Rose Truffles

I always struggle with what to get for my mum for things like Mother's Day, she has everything that she wants and my brother always gets her some beautiful flowers, so this year I went with a subscription to one of her favourite magazines and a little tasty treat in the form of these rich chocolate and rose truffles. 

I've made truffles before for Christmas but I don't remember them being quite so chocolate-y, although Jim picked up the chocolate for me and got 85% cocoa so that might have something to do with it! They were far too much for me, but I am one of those heathens that likes milk and white chocolate rather than dark. My mum, dad, nannan and Jim's mum all loved them though so I guess it must just be me. (We won't mention Jim's reaction when he found out they had all been given away with none for him. Oooops)

What you'll need;
250g good quality dark chocolate
150ml double cream
1 tbsp of butter
1 tsp of rose water
A couple of handful of rose petals (a handful is just a few grams)
1 tbsp caster sugar
Food colouring powder - I used Rose pink.

To make the truffles;
Break the chocolate into small pieces into a bowl and add the butter.
Add the cream to a saucepan with a handful of the rose petals to infuse.
Once the cream has reached a boil, you'll need to sive it to remove the rose petals.
Pour the sieved cream onto the chocolate and stir until the chocolate has all melted. Add in the rose water and stir until it's all smooth. (I didn't stir fast enough so had to ban marie the mixture a bit to mix it fully.)
Place the bowl in the fridge to cool the mixture to a thicker texture.

Once you can handle the mixture, scoop out the chocolate (I used a teaspoon) and roll with your hands into truffle sized balls. (you might need to keep cooliong your hands down with cold water whilst you do this)
Put the truffle balls on a plate or tray and pop back in the fridge.

To make the coating;
Whilst the truffles are in the fridge, take your icing sugar and mix with the colouring powder in a bowl. If you are feeling really fancy, you could grind up some more of the rose petals in a pestal and mortar and add to the sugar mixture.
Coat the truffles in the coloured sugar and serve with some more of the rose petals.

Makes 25-30 truffles

People I used to know.

My one little word for 2014 is MOVE. As I've explained before it's multi faceted in my life. I need to physically move more, we have to move out of this house this year or i'll go crazy and there are some things that I need to move on from too. Including a number of friendships.

The question is how do you know when it's time to stop investing in a friendship? To move on from people who were such a huge part of your life? It's something that's been troubling me for the last few months because I know I need to do it, it's just hard to make that concious decision isn't it. I know that everyone changes with time and that lives just move apart, but it's so sad when people you thought were great friends drift away, with no explanation. Especially when they are people you've put before others when prioritising your time.

I have friends who if I don't see for months at a time, it's like nothing has changed. I have friends who I don't bat an eyelid about if it takes them 3 weeks to reply to a text (because they don't worry when I do the same) and I have friends who I know when something huge comes up I can call upon and they'll be there for me unconditionally. I know I am very lucky with this and it's been proved in recent weeks with the support I've been getting. 

But I've also spent time in the last few years surrounding myself with people who it turns out are probably the wrong people. They aren't the ones who I've turned to in the last month when I've needed to hear a friendly voice or just have a bit of a chat (even the ones who have no idea that I've need their help have still made things a little better!) I haven't turned to them because even though once upon a time they'd have known everything about me I know I'm just not a priority to them any more and whilst it makes me sad and I do miss them, it's also made me re-evaluate the people that I give my time to and I think that can only be a good thing right?

How do you know when it's time to move on from people? Is it something that creeps up on you or hits when you realise they aren't the person you feel you can call for a chat, for a night out, for lunch or a little bit of help any more?

Dream Home: For our walls

Given that we've been in moving limbo for months now, I've kind of got bored of our house now. It's cramped and messy and a little unloved in terms of us moving things around and updating things. But one of the things that I do like in the house are our little pockets of wall decorations we have up and I'm even more excited to get started on the walls in the new house. At lot of the pieces we currently have have were gifts, have sentimental value to us, are handmade or are  photo's of wonderful memories for us, a lot like this wall in the dining room. 

I am a big fan of clusters of pictures, ours now sit in black but mismatching frames, many of the ones we've got up are Plastikote'd old frames from a time I was too poor to pop out and buy new frames so took to spray painting the pavement outside my shared house with black squares.
For the new house we've already had some black and white mountain pictures printed from our recent snowboarding holidays for the monochrome hallway (the frames for these came from a random auction box my mum bought) and we'll be taking the artwork we have with us, but I really really want to mix it up and bring in some new pieces in the new place too. I'm not sure it'll feel like we've moved if the walls stay the same. Is that silly?
Plus we have a crap load more walls to cover!
Here are a few of the bits I have my eye on; 

1. I thought this Manchester Best print might be perfect for Jim's man room, given that he's from Manchester and loves his music and beer and all! 2. What room wouldn't be made a little sweeter with a light up star? None that's how many! 3. This amazing Roxy Disco canvas by Sheffield artist Alan Pennington is so awesome. I love the details. 4. What home would be complete without cocktail artwork to match their drinks station (and yes, of course we'll have a drinks station!) 5. This E.E Cummings quote rings true with me and I love the blue and the mixed media-ness of it too.

What is your favourite piece of wall art? And have you moved and gone wall covering crazy or kept things the same?