Reflecting on my week #79

It’s been a bit of a food week here, which is never a bad thing, and I’m going to subject you to some of the photos. As I told you last week I was off work on Wednesday and went to brunch with Heston Blumenthal at the launch of the 4K Everdure barbecues. It was a sunny, but chilly day, and as expected the food was good. The ribs were definitely worth waiting for, and well, they didn’t hang around for long.

4kBBQ ribs Heston-style
4KBBQ ribs heston style didn't last long

The event took place at The Sipping Room in West India Quay, and as you’d expect I took a peek at the loos, and they were good. So as well as more about the barbecues, I’ll be sharing the latest in the Loo Series. And of course, just like buses good loos seem to come along in twos.

On Saturday we were out in town for a bit of a celebration, and headed to Jason Atherton’s Social Eating House starting off in the bar upstairs called the Blind Pig. Their cocktails are based on children’s books, and mine was based on Beatrix Potter’s Jemima Puddle-Duck, called Fowl Play. It’s ingredients sounded fascinating: duck fat washed Aylsbury Duck vodka, Blood orange, Chartreuse, honey, herbs and spices. It looked great and tasted lovely too.

Fowl play cocktail at the Social Eating House

I’ve no pictures of the food - although that was heavenly too - I was too busy eating it to photograph it. The cocktails on the other hand, well I was ok taking pictures of those, as it slowed the drinking down!

Remember that large - and pretty - skein of wool that I bought in Islington back in February? Well, it’s made it onto my crochet hook. I started making a shawl with a chevron and feather pattern but wasn’t happy with it, as it wasn’t as deep as I wanted it to be. But I was worried that if I made it as deep as I wanted, then I’d run out of wool, and while it’s lovely, it was also expensive and so I didn’t want to have to buy another one. Then again, a half-made shawl isn’t much good either, so I unravelled it all and looked again for a pattern.

starting a new crochet project

I found one and it’s working out better this time round. The pattern is based on groups of five, which I can cope with, and have quickly memorised. It grows pretty quick too, so I’m hopeful it won’t be on my hook for very long.

The final food shot of the week, is this home cooked Persian green bean and spiced tomato rice, which I made for tea tonight. Unusually I had all of the ingredients, and spotted it was marked as easy. What I didn’t quite read was the number of pots and the length of cooking time. The rice was par-boiled, that’s one pan. The onions, beans, tomato puree and spices were cooked in another pan, so that’s two. And then the combined ingredients were cooked for another forty-five minutes in a third pan, lined with greaseproof paper and the lid wrapped in a tea towel.

tasty persian rice

I’ve never cooked rice like this, but it was worth it.  The base could have been crunchier, and I suspect I could have had the heat on higher , but it was still good.  There’s enough for lunch tomorrow too.  Even MOH was impressed, and didn’t even ask if there was any meat in it, which is his usual for meat-free dishes.  It’s one of those ritual things, he’s ok with not eating meat at every meal but always needs to ask.

You might be wondering how my healthy regime is going, and it’s a fair question to ask. I’ve been asking myself that this week too, but it’s back on and I’ve stepped up a level on the fitness angle with a new 55 minute workout to replace the 35 minute one that I started with, and which initially gave good results. I hadn’t mastered the shorter version - as in a real class, I’m out of time and going the wrong way to those on the screen - but it was probably as mastered as it’s going to get.

So it’s been a productive evening, with household chores like emptying the dishwasher and putting the bins out, cooking an inappropriate weeknight dinner, and making myself exercise too. But also one that’s stood out for the shocking news about the fire at Paris’ Notre Dame.

NOTRE DAME IN 2010

NOTRE DAME IN 2010

Let’s hope they can salvage as much as possible, although from the pictures on the news I fear that may not be much.  It’s such a shame that this beautiful building has withstood so much that history had to throw at it, but couldn’t withstand a modern day renovation. Let’s hope there’s some more positive news emerging over the next few days.

Post Comment Love & Blogger Showcase 12-14 April

Hello there and welcome to this week’s #PoCoLo a friendly linky where you can link any post published in the last week. If you were here last week it was great to see you, and if you’re new here this week then you’re very welcome. Both Morgan and I know you’ll find some great posts to read, maybe some new-to-you blogs too, so do pop over to some of the posts linked and take the time to leave a comment or two so that everyone benefits from some extra love.

We’re taking a break next week and #PoCoLo will return on 26 April.

The past few weeks life has got in the way for me so I’ve plenty of catching up to do. With Easter approaching - I know, how? - I’m hoping to use some of that time constructively. I’ve been in that place where you have so much to do and on your mind that it completely immobilises you, and nothing ends up getting done.

You might have seen on my Instagram stories that I’ve been suffering with pain in my hips, and have been for a few months and that course of Vitamin D tablets were to help with that. They did, and my body is holding on to Vitamin D now which is good news, but the pain persists. The tests have ruled out Polymyalgia, which I never really thought it was in any case, now I’m on some new tablets which I’m hopeful will help.

What didn’t help is a fall down the stairs - well one step- at work Monday evening. I’m not sure how it happened, but I ended up bruising a knuckle and my knee and lightly headbutting the wall. It wasn’t the most conventional of landings and I’m not sure whether to be pleased or embarrassed that someone was following behind and able to pick me up. Since then I’ve been concentrating on walking more successfully, let’s hope that continues!

Blogger Showcase: Bethany from New Age Dream Chick

1 Who are you?

My name is Bethany Boggs. I am a freelancer and owner of both DIYmommy18.com and newagedreamchick.com. I have 2 kids, a toddler and an elementary schooler and I have been married almost 9 years. In February, I finally got my first dream interpretation reference book published on Lulu publishing. It’s a guided dream analysis journal. I started studying dream interpretation at the age of seven, I’m 31 now and continue studying. Writing is my number one passion and hobby. My others are crafting, sewing and cooking/baking.

2 How did you discover blogs/blogging?

I can’t remember how I discovered blogging, to be honest. My first blog was started in 2006 but I didn’t understand anything about generating traffic nor did I stick with it. I have had four or five blogs total before I started Newagedreamchick.com in 2017.

3 Why did you start blogging?

I started as a way of trying to put my knowledge of dreams and dream interpretation out there for other people to read. That’s one of the ways I got my name, NewAgeDreamChick. This blog also started out with the intent of being both a writing portfolio for getting writing jobs, but also to tie in to my Etsy shop (same name) where I do dream analysis (among other things).

4 What do you find most challenging?

The part I find most challenging is coming up with a schedule. I prefer writing when I want, which can easily be multiple times a day then skipping two or three days. Staying with a set schedule is hard for me with most anything.

5 What is your favourite topic to write about?

My favourite topic to write about varies. I love writing about parenting or other topics that get me googling and researching.

6 Are you blogging for fun or do you have goals?

I am both blogging for fun and with goals. I won’t go into detail about the goals, but I am trying to get my name out while I’m working on writing a couple books I want to either get published or self publish. Writing is one of my true passions, so if I can work up to making a living doing it, it would be great.

7 What is your favourite thing about blogging?

My favourite thing about blogging is hitting “publish” after working on a long post. Some of my posts took over a month to fully write and research.

8 Have you ever attended a blogging conference and if so, what did you think?

No. I would love to get the chance to attend a conference, though.

9 What are your 3 best posts?

I’m not sure what my “best” posts would be. Some of my favorites would be

  1. Is drinking really worth it?

  2. 4 fast ways to incorporate mindfulness and slow down in your hectic life

  3. Simple steps to starting Paleo on a budget

10 Describe yourself in three words

Creative, airheaded, intelligent

11 Are you a tea and biscuits or coffee and cake person?

I’m neither, I’m more of a coffee and cookie type.

12 What's your idea of a perfect night out?

My perfect night out bowling, playing pool and eating out after.

13 Your perfect night in?

My perfect night in- writing, sewing while my kids sit around doing crafts and watching movies

14 What would your best friend/OH/mum or kids say is your best quality?

One of my best traits, according to my closest friends/family- One of my close friends said it was that she could come to me with any problem and I would try to help and wouldn’t judge. Most of my other friends and family members just roll their eyes when I ask and laugh the question off.

Thanks for sharing more about you and your blogs Bethany. You can connect with Bethany on her social channels here: Twitter - Instagram - Facebook

If you’d like to be a future Blogger Showcase then please send us the answers to your questions and we can sort out a date. Our waiting list is currently shorter than it has been for a while, so we’d be keen to hear from you.

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The Contemporary and Family Fun garden room sets

I’m sharing two of the garden room sets today from this year’s Ideal Home Show. I’ve already shared the Grow Your Own Garden, which means after today there’s just one more to share, and you’d be right to think I’ve saved my favourite garden until last. But before I tell you all about that space and spoil that post, let me share the pictures and info on these two gardens.

I’m sharing them both together so you can see them both, as I’m unlikely to share the Family Fun garden on its own, it’s just not content I usually cover, but it is full of bright colours and colour is quite at home here on my blog, isn’t it?

The Contemporary garden

This garden was sponsored by Gardena, and is an ultra-stylish garden, full of modern planting and design ideas by Charles Benton, one of the Benton Brothers, who you may know from their appearances on ITV’s This Morning.

A place to dine in the Contemporary Garden at the Ideal Home Show

The space is based around entertaining and making the most of the garden, as well as somewhere to eat there’s somewhere to cook, complete with a barbecue I’m not sure I’d show MOH for fear of it ending up quite high on his wishlist, on size alone.

Somewhere to cook and something to cut the grass

There’s also somewhere to relax, which was my favourite part of the garden - and it seemed the perfect spot to sit and watch the robotic lawnmower go about its work. There’s other gadgetry in the garden too, including smart watering which is part of the Gardena smart system, which comes complete with its own smart app so you really can garden from your armchair, or sunlounger.

Somewhere to relax in this contemporary garden room set

Family Fun garden

This garden room set was sponsored by Flymo and according to the leaflet it’s inspired by children and includes all the fun things they can get up to that will keep them entertained all day, and focuses on the sensory experience. It seemed to be well received, as unusually for a space like this, children were in the garden playing.

In the family fun garden room set at the ideal home show

It was designed by the Skinny Jean Gardener who’s aka Lee Connelly, best known for his work as the CBBC Blue Peter Gardener. It seems gardening for kids has come a long way since Percy Thrower was the Blue Peter Gardener when I was growing up!

A colourful spot with a blackboard and planting

The bright colours, activities and sensory elements were all very much evident, and it shows you can have gardens, or spaces in gardens that are child friendly and stylish.

So two very different gardens, with quite different audiences in mind, but two great spaces. Look out for the final - and my favourite - garden room set next week.