31 December 2011

2011 in photos

Top row (left to right): January - first dinner I cooked for Danny, February - pancakes at Giraffe, March - England v Ghana
Second row (left to right): April - mime fancy dress, May - Championship play-off final, June - cocktails at The Clarence Hotel, Dublin (owned by U2!)
Third row (left to right): July - 30 day shred, August - turtles in Mexico, September - back to work blues and lots and lots of rain!
Bottom row (left to right): October - a nice photo of me and Danny for a change!, November - fireworks, December - Max on Christmas morning

Well, there it is - my 2011 in twelve photos.  I'm sure that years go by faster and faster as you get older and this year has definitely been no exception to that!  I can't believe it's going to be 2012 tomorrow!

As 2011 was the year I started my blog, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you all for reading, commenting and following - it really means a lot!  And finally - happy new year!  I hope you all have a great evening welcoming in 2012!

15 December 2011

Project 365: #131 Homemade cheese straws

I showed Rob this photo and he said "they look weird"!  Thanks bro!  I was in a bit of a cooking mood at the weekend and decided to make these cheese straws - they're so easy!  All you need to do is get some ready rolled puff pastry, grate some parmesan cheese over half of the sheet and then fold in half.  After this, roll the sheet out to the thickness of a £1 coin and then cut into 1cm wide strips.  Twist them, put them on a baking tray and then whack them in the over for 20 mins at 200 degrees.  And then...... voilĂ !  Cheese straws that taste as good as the shop bought ones!

Project 365: #130 Sunset at football

For me, Saturday afternoons are quite often filled with watching Reading play football - I'm a season ticket holder with Rob, and it's a good time to have some quality sibling time!  I noticed this beautiful sunset over the ground the other day and just had to take a photo!  I love sunsets!

11 December 2011

Project 365: #129 Bath Christmas Market

I made a promise to myself that when I finished all my exams, I'd take a trip to Bath to visit the Christmas Market.  I'd heard lots of good things about it and since this is the first time I've been able to enjoy the build up to Christmas for four years, I thought I'd try and get into the festive spirit nice and early!  Well, it was absolutely rammed!  A little frustrating at first since it meant it was very difficult to get to the stalls to see what goodies they were selling, but I think we happened to arrive at peak time.  It quietened down a bit later  so we were able to wander around looking at the handmade treats that were being sold.  I got a cute pair of sterling silver Christmas tree earrings (which are subtle enough that I can probably get away with wearing them throughout the year - you wouldn't notice they're trees when it's not Christmas!) and an amazing reindeer wreath for the front door.  Driving was a bit of a pain, since it meant that I couldn't enjoy the mulled wine or cider, but the smell of it wafting over the market made for a truly festive atmosphere - I definitely feel Christmassy now!

10 December 2011

Project 365: #128 Getting in the Christmas spirit

(First thing is first, yes - my screen is raised by a stack of books.  For some reason, my work feel that this is completely satisfactory and there is no need to get us monitor stands!)

What with my office being significantly men heavy and with a lot of us being out at clients regularly, we don't tend to go all out on the Christmas decorations.  I'm in the office right through until Christmas now though, so I decided it was time to get in the festive spirit and start decorating!  This is the start - a nice bit of purple tinsel around my screen - but the tree will be going up this week and I'm also going to pop back into Asda at some point to get the mini fibre optic tree that I saw when I got the tinsel.  For £1.50, I'm pretty sure you can't go wrong with that, and as I sit next to the window, I'm intending on putting it on the windowsill so everyone can see it!  We will look like Christmas is coming - I'm going to make sure of it :)

9 December 2011

Project 365: #127 First mince pie of the year

I'm noticing a bit of a theme to my lunches this week!  I'm a little surprised that I hadn't got started on the mince pies before now since I love them so much, but today was my first one of the year!  Delish :) This one was just a mini one though - I decided that a small mince pie at lunchtime was alright!

Project 365: #126 Christmas soup

Have any of you tried this soup?  Absolutely delicious!  I discovered it last year when I was wandering around M&S looking for some lunch and it's made an appearance back on the shelves now.  Whenever I'm eating it in the office, everyone asks me what's in it - is it a bit childish that I always reply "Christmas!"?  Seriously though, it pretty much does have a Christmas dinner in it - turkey, stuffing, potatoes, parsnips.... yummy!  Definitely recommended :)

8 December 2011

Project 365: #125 Birthday blinis

It was Dad's birthday while I was in Canada so I missed his birthday dinner.  To make up for it, we all went out to celebrate a week later.  A pub near us, Harry's Bar & Kitchen, changed hands a few months ago and since then has been refurbished.  Every time I drive past it's absolutely heaving and my parents have both said it's good so we thought we'd try it out.  The landlord, Mickey, really makes you feel at home and after we'd ordered, he whipped up these little treats (with a candle in one!) and got the whole pub to sing happy birthday to Dad!  Priceless - he was so embarrassed!

5 December 2011

Project 365: #124 Orchid

Orchids are my favourite flowers and my best friend bought me this gorgeous one for my birthday this year.  I thought I was going to have to throw it away when it lost all its flowers and appeared to die after a couple of months, but Mum has religiously been feeding it with orchid food and look at it now!  Beautiful again!  Thanks Mum!

4 December 2011

Project 365: #123 Brrrrrrr!

I knew it was going to be cold in Canada in late November, but I thought everyone was joking when they mentioned snow and sub zero temperatures.  Then I woke up to see this on my laptop one morning!  Snow outside (granted, not much, but still!) and -10 degrees!  There's something about the cold and snow that makes it feel like Christmas - I can't wait! :)

3 December 2011

Project 365: #122 Sephora visit

As much as I whinged about my trip to Canada before going, I was looking forward to one thing – a trip to Sephora! For any of you outside the UK, we don’t have Sephora here so it’s definitely a welcome treat during a visit abroad. I’ve heard that they have stores in other European countries, so I can’t work out why they’ve shunned the UK so far! I think they need to re-evaluate that idea!

Since I visited Quebec last year too, I knew exactly where the store was and made a beeline straight for it as soon as I got into the mall. I spent a bit of time wandering around looking at things before grabbing a basket and cramming it full of goodies. Fellow bloggers, you have definitely had an effect on me (positive for my make-up collection, negative for my bank balance!)! I will do a brief review of each product in turn, but here’s a list of what I picked up:

  • Nails Inc Special Effects overglaze polish (teal black Kensington and The Wyndham overglaze top coat) 
  • bareMinerals SPF15 foundation 
  • bareMinerals Prime Time brightening foundation primer 
  • NARS Larger Than Life lipgloss 
  • dermalogica clean start smart mouth lip shine 
  • benefit BAD gal waterproof mascara 

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