Monthly Archives: March 2011

My Reading List. Hmmm.

I am completely and utterly embarrassed to report that I have not even managed to finish one of the books on my reading list.

I am busy reading The Island by Victoria Hislop, but only because a friend loaned it to me so I don’t have to worry about getting a library fine… again.

Yes,  I took out Birdsong but didn’t even start it! It took me three weeks to read Jonathan Ross’s autobiography… and to be honest, I didn’t actually manage to finish it. There were a few pages at the end that I just didn’t get to read because I had to get the books back on time.



I planned my week, knowing that I had to get to the library on the date the books were due back. And when I got to the library I realised that they had been due back the day before. Sigh.


So what are you guys reading these days?


PS Don’t forget to Embrace The Camera today!

My ETC moment, Thursday 31st March 2011


Embrace The Camera

Yip, I’m wearing my pj bottoms.

C’mon – everyone knows pj’s are more comfy for crawling around in than jeans!


I’ve started using the 10 second timer with the ‘burst’ function, so the camera takes three pictures in quick succession. That way I’m 3 times more likely to get a decent photo, and Little Man hears the clicking sounds and usually looks towards the camera by the third picture!



Filed under Oh Sweet Life, Oh Sweet Words

Tea for 2 or 3 or 4…

Yesterday I mentioned some spectacular food that a friend had made. The dessert was particularly awesome, and since dessert in general is my favourite food, that is what I am going to focus on for now.

My friends had recently been to Pizza Hut and shared their Hot Cookie Dough Dessert. And then decided they had to share the cookie dough love by recreating this treat for me. Big smile 🙂

OH. MY. HAT. It was awesome! It is basically a gigantic choc-chip cookie, eaten straight out of the dish. My friend also added marshmallows. A rocky road choc chip cookie piece of gorgeousness.

So I then did my best to recreate the dish myself. And here’s what I found (after googling and taste-testing):

Lizzie’s Cookie Dough Delight – A Dessert For Sharing

If you think the name’s a mouthful, you should actually try eating it.

Ok, that was lame. Sorry. Here goes:

2 and 1/2 cups flour (plain/cake)

pinch salt

1/2 teaspoon bicarb (baking soda)

170g/ 3/4 cup butter, melted

1 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla essence

250 – 300g chocolate chips

Marshmallows if you’d like them.

1. Preheat oven to 160 deg C/350 deg F.

2. Stir flour, salt and bicarb together in a bowl.

3. In a separate bowl, mix the melted butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until well blended.

4. Stir the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, then add choc chips (and marshmallows).

5. Spread evenly in an oven dish and bake for 10-15 minutes. The top should be golden, but adjust cooking time to your preference when it comes to how soft and doughy it is inside.

Serve with ice cream and chocolate sauce.

*I used El Cheapo cooking chocolate of all three sorts, broken into pieces, instead of traditional chocolate chips.

*I kept some chocolate aside and melted it down to drizzle over as a sauce once baked.

*I am admitting that actually I used too much chocolate. This is a momentous occasion – I did not think that was possible.

*Eating it straight out of the dish adds to the decadence of the dessert, but feel free to scoop out into bowls before topping with ice cream.

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Filed under Oh Sweet Chocolate, Oh Sweet Food

Tea for Two

I tend to experience mild panic if I have to mention the evening meal in conversations. Yes, I know that sounds crazy. But the problem is, in the UK it is a very confusing topic. Tea. Dinner. Supper. Who knows? I fear that I will create a huge misunderstanding and have to embarrassingly explain myself, red in the face and repeating myself (because that’s what I do when I feel uncomfortable).

I have had a looooooong comment thread about this on Facebook, pleading for some clarity on the issue, but all I have discovered is that there is no clarity to be had.

So far I have discovered that dinner is considered the main meal of the day, but this could be lunch or evening – and so for some people (or on some days) dinner means the evening meal while for others it means lunch. See, no clarity! I once invited myself to someone’s house for tea and noticed a rather shocked look on my potential host’s face and had to quickly add that I meant a cup of tea rather than an evening meal (see the first paragraph to picture how well I rectified the situation). In South Africa, if I’d said the same thing, the host would’ve known that I wasn’t talking about supper, but about a hot beverage and perhaps a biscuit if I was lucky.

Anyhoo…. the reason I write this is because I recently found myself in a situation caused by this exact miscommunication. Luckily, it was with good friends so I actually didn’t get all flustered and flushed of face. Here’s how it went down.

Text message from friend, let’s call her L: Do you and little man fancy joining us for tea today?

My first reaction: This is England, she means supper. Hmm, I’ve not been at someone’s house for supper since Little Man came along, but since they eat early, around 5, because of their children, it shouldn’t interfere with our bedtime routines too much. Ok, we can do this. Oh, I’d better check that she does actually mean supper, not a cup of tea.

Text message from me to L: Sounds lush [Yes, I used the word lush. I’m trying to whenever possible. It’s a Gavin & Stacy thing] 🙂 Just say when and we’ll be there!

See how I was trying to figure out the tea/supper quandary by asking what time she wanted us there?

Text message from L: We’ll be in just after 2, so about then would be lovely xxx

Bingo! It’s a cup of tea, not supper!

But then, to throw a spanner in the works, Little Man had a really long nap and I knew we’d be very late. Oh dear, I didn’t want to get there just as they were getting their supper ready and interfere with their plans. So I send a few texts to keep L informed of Little Man’s sleeping patterns, and eventually at around 3pm I phone her.

S: Can we still come over? Sorry we’ll be so late. We don’t want to get in the way of your routines and supper and so on.

L: You do know I meant come for dinner, right?

So much for my super sleuthing… I got it wrong, anyway!!

As I said earlier, luckily they’re good friends so we could have a good ol’ laugh about it. And Little Man and I were very grateful for the nice evening with friends (this was the week LOML was away) and the  * s p e c t a c u l a r * food.

More about the spectacular food tomorrow… 🙂

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Just the other day, this arrived in the post and got me thinking…


Recently, a friend came to stay for the weekend… and she brought presents!

A cute little outfit for Little Man:

But – more importantly for the purposes of this post – she gave me this:

In the past, this friend has also given me Cath Kidston tissues, writing paper, a make-up purse, nail files, and bibs (for Little Man when he was Bump rather than Little Man)…

Hmmm, there is a definite CK pattern here. And it continues:

  • When CK did a range of shopping bags for Tesco, I specifically did smaller shops so that I had to shop more often and therefore wouldn’t miss any new bags (they staggered the release of four or five different designs). Needless to say, I don’t actually use the bags for the groceries – they’re far too pretty for that!
  • For Christmas, LOML gave me a Cath Kidston purse.
  • Since I can’t actually afford CK soft furnishings, I made some cute windmills out of the aforementioned writing paper to bring a touch of summer to the living room…


Clearly, I’m a Kidston-o-phile…

Thanks, Cath, for making vintage and feminine so cool!





Filed under Oh Sweet Handmade, Oh Sweet Life

Happpeeeeeee Birthday!

Today is the 30th birthday of the Love Of My Life 🙂

And, due to working in extra hours this week, he has the day at home with us.

So you’ll forgive me for this very short post – I have some celebrating to enjoy, birthday cake to eat, and playing with my two boys to do…

Happy Friday, everyone, and happy birthday to anyone else celebrating today 🙂


PS  So did any of you ‘Embrace the Camera’ yesterday??

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Filed under Oh Sweet Life

Embrace The Camera


Emily over at The Anderson Crew has a lovely idea – Thursday is ‘Embrace The Camera’ day… Click on the picture above (or the button over to right below my categories) to go over to her blog.


Basically, it’s a way to ensure that you take photos with you in them.


It’s so easy in the hustle and bustle and busy-ness of every day to miss moments. And before you know it, weeks or even months may go by without you taking photos to remind yourself of the now.

I write ‘you’ but of course I mean me. This way, I’m committing to taking a picture at least once a week. And not a perfectly posed, ‘I’ve showered this week and my hair is not greasy’ kind of photo… A real ‘this is my life right now’ kind of photo.

I find that kind of photo hard to take. Who wants to show off their bad hair days?

No need to show them off. Even if you just save the photo onto your computer and don’t look at it again, it’s evidence of you and your life on this day. One day you can go back and look through all your dodgy photos and have  a good ol’ reminisce and chuckle… That’s awesome!

Go on, do it.


Eek -terrible light/shadows! But at least we have photographic evidence of sunshine in Plymouth, UK.

My Embrace The Camera moment. Proudly showing off my washed hair and my spring-hayfever-red-eyes 🙂


Filed under Oh Sweet Life

A Little Positivity

After the rather depro posts of Monday and Tuesday, it’s nice to write something a little more positive 🙂

These are the lovely things that I’m grateful for this week…

* Unexpected visitors: Friends who knew Little Man had to stay home (contagious, long-ish story) so they visited us to make sure we weren’t too lonely 🙂 And they brought daffodils. How kind!

*Helpful strangers: A sympathetic and helpful email in reply to a query I had about a product from this online shop. I am looking into the possibility of using bee propolis as a natural antibiotic for when Little Man’s dribble rash gets infected from all his scratching (grrrr).

*Lovely sunshine: Another beautiful spring day, perfect for playing outdoors and for Little Man to learn about leaves and twigs!

*Fun stuff: I’m loving how LM can do more interactive things these days. Yesterday we made hand and footprints in clay. They didn’t turn out marvellously (it was hard to press his hand/foot into the clay hard enough to make a deep print, plus hard to keep him still for very long) but it was fun to try anyway! And a big thank you to a friend from our Monday group for giving us the clay and the idea 🙂

So much to be grateful for, and that was only Monday and Tuesday. Looking forward to the rest of the week.

Good times 🙂


PS Little Man is fine – spots all dried out so I reckon we’re good to go…


Filed under Oh Sweet Baby, Oh Sweet Life