Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Catch up

So meal planning Monday totally worked, until last night I was starting the bolognese and sliced my finger open. Once the bleeding had stopped I felt a bit ill so ended up just eating toast and Nutella for tea instead - healthy. Tonight is spaghetti but I think I'll leave the chopping to someone else.

In other news, I finally finished In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. This book, one of my huge stack of library books to plough through, took me bloody ages to read! It was an average length novel, 340 pages, but it only had four chapters. Four chapters is not acceptable for a book of that size. For this reason I found I could only really read it in big chunks of time. 15 minutes here and there was not going to cut it with the mega-chapters.

I struggled to get into it but had heard good things so I persevered. This is not a spoiler, you know from the start there’s been a murder (say it in your best Taggart voice). But the reviews I had read said what compelled them to keep reading was the details - the how and the why. They were right and as I read on I found myself wanting to know all the details too. Especially because they were real and they happened. In the end I really enjoyed it (even though it did give me nightmares!) and I think a lot of that was due to the fact it was based on a true crime.

Stupidly I have since started another crime book, In The Woods. This one hasn't given me nightmares yet.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Meal planning Monday

I usually plan our meals anyway but by taking part in Meal Planning Monday maybe I’ll be more encouraged to do it at the start of the week. It also happens to be a Meat-Free Monday this week, never one to pass up any bandwagons to jump on! I won’t post it every week but if anyone has a recipe they swear by please let me know. I’m trying to use more of my cookbooks but this week is looking quite busy so I think it’ll be back to old staples.

Monday – Falafel, couscous, pittas, tzatziki and salad
Tuesday – Spaghetti bolognaise
Wednesday – Chunky veg soup with bread
Thursday – Keema curry and wedges
Friday – at the in-laws
Saturday – at the in-laws
Sunday – Naan/pitta pizzas

I’m trying to lose a few pounds that have crept on over the past few months and I find planning healthy meals really works. It’s the socialising/visiting other people bit where it all falls down. My mum always has pudding when we go there and when we visit my in-laws they seem to have a constant stream of crisps on the go. I don’t like to go on about losing weight so I just eat whatever they make for meals but my willpower isn’t very good when the snacks come out. It’s also not so easy when we live quite far away from both sets of parents so we usually go for at least one night, if not two, usually involving a takeaway or meal out.

Also alcohol is a big weight gain culprit for me but it’s hard to say no to a drink without people thinking you’re pregnant! Curse of being in your 30’s I suppose :) Hopefully I can manage to shift this spare tyre by eating healthily and going to the gym during the week, but it's not the end of the world if it takes a while - you've got to live a little.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Crochet obsessed

It all started when my sister-in-law announced she was pregnant. I thought that it would be a nice idea to make something for my first niece/nephew (he was actually a nephew called Ruaridh – born in December). I had crocheted once or twice at school but hadn’t done any crafts like this for years and years. Turns out crocheting is quite addictive once you start!

  • A bundle of charity poppies for Cath Fearn of Cottage Crafts. She sells these on eBay to raise money for the Poppy Appeal. I'm hoping to do more of these this year and rope my mum in too!
  •  A giant granny square blanket for a friend’s baby girl
I'm currently working on a blanket in pastel colours for my cousin’s baby girl. She's not due until June though so I have a while.

There are loads of free patterns available online and I love thinking of what I can make for the next baby that comes along. I tend to get bored doing the same thing over and over again so I’m trying to make something different each time. I love it - even if my hubby does call me a granny!

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Thursday tune

This is Laura Mvula's first TV performance. I love how smiley she gets when singing the last few lines. I've been humming this song ever since I saw it. Enjoy

2013 so far

Hello there, it’s been a while…again. Ah well, happy Valentine’s day!
Since I last blogged I’ve been a wee bit busy. A hen do, a week in the Alps and a new job! January flew by in a whirlwind and before I had a chance to catch my breath it’s the middle of February. Here’s a bit of a catch up, let me know what you’ve been up to.


So far new job is ok, not quite what I expected but am giving it time. Having 2 academics for bosses is a bit odd. I’ve still got my own office which gets a bit boring and lonely – I had hoped for some colleagues this time. But there is no commute, yay! I love being able to walk to work and go home for lunch. I also like having shops nearby, unlike my old job, although my purse may disagree.


I’ve taken part in 3 blog/Twitter swaps in the past couple of months –Bex’s Olive Dragonfly Secret Santa, Anna’s #heartswap and the Any Other Woman bookswap. I've loved getting the presents together for my recipients and also receiving exciting parcels in the post. My gifts were all fab -thank you so much Anna, Vivienne and Laura x - and I can’t wait to read my bookswap book, ‘Of Bees and Mist’ by Eric Setiwan. I’ve never heard of it before but the blurb sounds good.


We’ve managed to do a bit of sorting out and made a few changes in our flat and as a result I feel far happier there now than at the end of last year. Our bedroom is painted, carpeted and has some things on the walls - a small deer head and our anniversary Quentin Blake print. I love them both. Plus Ikea have kindly brought out a new storage unit that was clearly designed to fit the space in our hall, thanks Swedish Furniture Gods.


My local libraries offer a free ordering system that it would be rude not to take advantage of. After seeing a few end of year book rounds ups, I excitedly ordered several (ok, 10) books thinking they wouldn’t all come in together – they did. I may be some time.


So 2013 has got off to a fine start. Since present swapping and Ikea browsing don’t take up *all* of my time, we’ve managed to watch the whole first series of the West Wing (Go Bartlett!) and find a replacement car for the one someone kindly wrote off for us. I’ve also been crocheting up a storm for the baby boom that is my life but I’ll save that for another post!