- Waking up filled with nervous excitement, so taking a couple of hours to get ready, eat and sort some things out
- Driving to my gym with a birthday cake precariously balanced on my passenger seat.
- Having facepaint applied whilst everyone started to arrive
- Taking part in the Birthday throwdown with my amazing partner. There was lots of laughter, a few hilarious weightlifting grimaces and a couple of tears.
- Nervously presenting the cake to the birthday boy and helping him to blow out the candles
- Heading home for a hot shower, power nap and a couple of hours to get ready
- Tugging on a new dress and heels, curling my hair and heading out for an evening of drinking and dancing
- Waking up on Sunday thoroughly broken with aching muscles, a sore head and confusion at the clocks changing
- Lounging a while on the sofa, fiddling with some DIY and nibbling some sausage sandwhiches
- A brisk dog walk to blow away some cobwebs, and struggling to keep up with my sore legs
- Piling everything into the car, and pootling down the motorway belting out the tunes to keep me awake.
- Arriving at my parents house, empty and strange, so after raiding the fridge dragging the dog out for a hour for some squirrel hunting practice
- After a soak in a hot bath, pulling on some fresh PJs and settling down on the sofa with some work for the evening
27 October 2014
23 October 2014
20 October 2014
Number 11 on my 30 before 30 list is 'learn how to make macarons'.
I always held these delicious, dainty, perfect cookies up on a pedestal, accessible only to the pastry chefs or the French.
At the weekend, however, I had the task of taking a few baked goods to a rather special baby shower, so decided to bit the bullet and give macarons a go. The baby shower was for twins, so I wanted two colours, but not pink and blue. I also wanted two very distinct flavours.
I settled on lemon and blackberry macaroons, both with an additional buttercream filling.
I was lucky to only cook one dodgy batch and immediately know what I'd done wrong. The blackberry ones pictured were the second batch (good) and the lemon ones the third (perfect). In this case, it would seem practice really does make perfect.
There are tips and tricks abound to make macarons successfully, but the one thing I learnt was patience. Whip the whites well. Wait for an hour for a skin to form. Cook them low and slow. Let them cool down fully before you even look at them.
Fickle things, but I am over-joyed to have mastered them!
You can see more of my 30 before 30 here
13 October 2014
- Having a small, yet brilliant, lie-in on Saturday morning thanks to no phone, new blackout curtains and a super-king bed
- Reading my new book under the duvet for a hour before dragging the dog out for a chilly hour. Autumn is finally here.
- A warming cup of tea later, heading to the gym and enjoying spending time with really fantastic people.
- Arriving home well after lunch-time so devouring some eggs, and immediately feeling sick
- Trying to motivate my brain to do some Ph.D, but struggling through it half-heartedly all afternoon
- Cooking a steak dinner with gravy, and settling down on the sofa for a night of Strictly with a glass of wine, Neom candles and book.
- Passing out close to 9pm, and thanking my lucky stars I woke up early as I'd forgotten to set my alarm
- Driving to work in the early morning mist and fog, cursing the bad weather for making me take a wrong turn
- Thankfully arriving on time, for a day of coffee and cake
- Driving home feeling remarkably broken, wanting nothing more than a hot shower and a snuggle with the pooch
- Ordering a Chinese, watching last night's Dr Who and melting into the sofa
9 October 2014
When you walk into a crowded room, and you're running a little late, it can be daunting. There's the 'do I look okay?', 'are they the same?' and the 'am I out of place?'.
You might not recognise anyone immediately, searching the faces for a familiar one yet trying not to stare. No-one turns to you, because they are deep in conversation with the full room or shouting orders over the din to the poor girl on the bar, clearly overwhelmed by the numbers on her first night.
As you are beginning to wonder whether you are in the right room, you feel a hand on your shoulder accompanied with a very recognisable 'hello trouble!', a smile, and a massive hug. With a sigh of relief and a Cheshire cat grin, you return the embrace and remember with this group of friends, you step back into the same old shoes the moment you walk into the room.