Thursday, 31 December 2009

2009 ~ A Rollercoaster of a Year......



well it was for me anyway. As 2009 draws to a close and before the bells of Big Ben chime to welcome in 2010, I would like to reflect on the past year.



2009 saw me loose one of the most loving,
generous, and inspirational people in my life with the kindest heart, my grandad. There isn't a day go by where I don't miss him, but i am learning with time to move on with my life, because that is what he would have wanted. Looking back now i am so thankful that I had the strength to make his flowers for the funeral, my parting gift to a very special man.
This year saw me try new things and strive to build a life without him, and amongst the grief I have accomplished some things and had some fun.... here are my favourite things of 2009:
Chelsea Flower Show ~ sites and smells were amazing a beautiful day.
David Beckham in his Armani pants! ~ no explanation needed!
Take That Circus ~ rode into wembley and was spectacular! Cakes & Bakes in the Lakes ~ weekend at Cooking school in the lake district
Learnt to Crochet with the fabulous Jane from Tea & Crafting
Met Simon Le Bon & family ~ teenage idol lived up to all expectations
Spandau Ballet @ the O2 ~ thought I was 14 again... pure Gold
New York New York... so good they named it twice....
and finally, you my blog friends, You do wonder when you post things if anyone reads them, and surprisingly they do. I have made some lovely friends with people in blog land, some of which i have been lucky enough to meet (V&K)!
The messages that you have posted to me this year have been much appreciated and on some days have been like a ray of sunshine amongst a very dark day.
A heartfelt thankyou to you all......
I the I look forward to 2010, where not only are we entering a new decade I will also be joining a new decade in this coming year! Over the next few days I will be sharing some more favourite things of 2009 & some things to look forward to in 2010!
I wish you, all the love, goodluck, happiness and best wishes for 2010.
Tx

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Was Santa Good to you?.....

Some weeks ago I posted my wish list for Santa....... I don't think that I was clear enough with my list as it appears Santa got a little muddled!.....
I dreamed of this:
makeover by Bobbi Brown,
Mulberry bag,
Christian Louboutin shoes,
Aston Martin complete with Daniel Craig
A weekend at the Plaza with:
Lunch with Rupert Penry Jones
Dinner with George Clooney
and Breakfast with Dr McDreamey
and a little blue box from Tiffany!
and ended up with this!........
Bobbi Brown make-up palette,
Christian louboutin shoe Christmas tree decoration,
Daniel Craig T-Towel,
Theatre Ticket to see Rupert Penry-Jones in The Priory.
George Clooney Calendar, Dr McDreamey in Greys Anatomy season 4 DVD!
I did get a lovely Tiffany blue box filled with a lovely Silk neck tie from my lovely friend J and another blue box with a Tiffany heart key!..... so all in all Santa did a fantabulous job, because although I didn't get to the Plaza, I did gaze wistfully through the window whilst in New York in December.
must remember next year to be a little more specific!!!
Did Santa ... fulfill all your dreams?...............

Monday, 28 December 2009

Cupcakes in New York.........

well there was always going to be a post about these.... New York is renowned for its Cupcakes, made ever more famous by the Sex & the City girls (more about those later!)
Obviously my NY itinerary would always include Cupcake haunts... some old favs and some new discoveries... and Santa was also good to me with my very own Cupcake stocking!
I sampled 5 cupcake haunts.... fortunately just round the corner to my hotel was the Buttercup bakeshop, a lovely Breakfast Cupcake & coffee was sampled here. On another walkabout I stumbled upon Crumbs Bake shop which was lovely (there are several of these dotted around NY)

Whilst ambling around Soho I was captivated by a little pop-up ButterLane Cupcake store which was there just for December... how lucky was I. This was a welcome retreat on a cold wet day!.. how cute is the delivery bicycle in the window.
On the same day parked in Broadway was the fantastic Cupcake Van... how fab is this!
My last Cupcake stop in NY was of course the fabulous Magnolia Bakery there are 3 magnolia's now in NY, Columbus circle, Rockefeller centre and the original Bleecker Street ... I arrived anticipating Q's but as you can see it was crowd free!... Here i sampled the legendary Red Velvet ....mmmm very yummy.
I loved them all, if only we had a cupcake van here!......

Obviously with my cupcake obsession , it was never going to be hard to fill a stocking with treats... here are some of my goodies that the Cupcake Elf delivered this year, several to adorn my desk: Cupcake screen wipe,
Cupcake mug,
Desk calendar 365 days of cupcake recipes!
Cookie cutters, Calendars & diary and Handwarmers... just what i need in my pocket at rugby!

Cupcakes in the City......


Well a trip to NY was never going to be without a cupcake at the Magnolia Bakery and a walk past Carrie's apartment (which is situated in Perry Street off of Bleecker Street)... I love Greenwich Village and an amble round here on a crisp December day was just fab.
So how excited was I that on my return the trailer for Sex & the City 2 has been released along with press shots.... how much do I want Charlotte's cupcake apron and the cupcakes look scrummy...... I'm now very excited and can't wait for May 28th...






Sunday, 27 December 2009

Christmas in New York....

is the most wonderful time of the year.... here are a few pictures of Christmas in New York from my recent trip. (from left hand corner clockwise)
  • Nativity Scene from St Patricks Cathedral ~ 5th Avenue
  • Ice Skating at the Rockefeller
  • Camels for 3 Wise Men (Rockefeller tree lighting ceremony)
  • Ice Skating at Bryant Park
  • Angels at Rockefeller
  • Christmas Tree Corner ~ regular feature at most blocks in December
  • Christmas Tree & Angels at the Rockefeller

New York featured in my Christmas stockings from friends this year... here are a few of my treats;
New York skyline plate & mug for hot chocolate & cupcakes! Foods of America Cookbook, NY Pocket Guide, DKNY perfume (the bottle of this perfume is shaped to resemble a NY skyscraper!) Starbucks mug, coffee & candy cane, Starbucks Gift card....mmmm ........now all I need to do is book a return trip!

more stocking treats to come.... what did santa bring you?

Friday, 25 December 2009

Christmas Dinner Dilemma?

Merry Christmas to all.... I hope that everyone is having a great day. This year has been a indulgent treat of food & festive fun on TV. From wishing we all lived at Meadowgate in Kirsties Homemade Christmas, Cooking a Classic Christmas with Delia. Joining in with Jamie's Family Festive Fun and whizzing round the country with the 2 Hairy Bikers for the 12 days of Christmas, has been a yummy chore! Even a repeat sprinkling of Nigella this Christmas week has really got us in the Christmas spirit.
However as much as i love these, has it inspired me to cook Christmas dinner for 1 or is it all too much effort?...... Fortunately good old M&S has a fall back plan... Christmas Dinner in a fresh soup... needless to say i was much excited as this could solve my Christmas Dinner Dilemma?... along with a mince-pie & cranberry smoothie this could be dinner done & dusted!
I have had a number of invites to join friends for Christmas, however this year will be a difficult time for me, and not one that I want to impose on anyone, no matter how good friends they are.... DON'T Worry i will be tackling Christmas Dinner The turkey is all ready as i type to pop in the oven!.... I will save my M&S treats for another day!
I hope all have a wonderful day.... Dinner & Duvet for me!

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Twas the Night before Christmas.....

Well the presents are wrapped.....
the present fairy has delivered all that she can for Santa.
I have just returned from my brothers, where 2 excited children are tucked up in bed.... Libby has the carrot & milk in her room and Bradley has the mince-pie & bottle of Budweiser in his! oh the joy of being a child.....
Christmas Eve present has bought me new PJ's & slippers to see Santa in....
with a little something for the bathroom.





The cookie plate is complete with a reminder of my wish list!



and the Candy Cane Cookies and milk are ready for when Santa pops down the chimney......

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Secret Santa.... sssh!

Some weeks ago Victoria & Kelly posted a Secret Santa swap on their blogs.... not one to usually participate in blog swaps, I decided to join as Victoria & Kelly have become great blog friends and wanted to support their Christmas fun! One of the fun things of the swap was that the swap was a round robin and not just a swap between 2 people.
My recipient was Happy, and I received from Jen ...
Happy caused me a few headaches... but fortunately working in one of London's flagship stores you are never too far away from ideas! Here is Happy's present all wrapped up..
and here is my lovely parcels from Jen..

and here they are opened!....
I hope Secret Santa gave everyone a little bit of fun and a BIG Thankyou for Victoria & Kelly for hosting... Merry Christmas xx

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Miracle on 34th Street...... Do you Believe?

My all time favourite film at Christmas is Miracle on 34th Street. It is my movie of choice when wrapping presents accompanied by a glass of bailey's!....it epitomizes the magic of Christmas, in my favourite city New York. Featuring the famous department store on 34th street Macy's!
How excited was I on my recent trip to see that Macy's Christmas campaign this year is Believe.
For those who have seen the film, know that the central core to the film is the belief in Santa. All children are being asked to write their letters to Santa and drop them in the mail box, where the 'believeometer' will register and a donation to the 'make a wish' foundation will be made.... check out the advert here.

I watch this film at least twice a year, both the original and the re-make.... both of which are on the TV this year.
Today after much deliberation I decided to decorate my fireplace. I wasn't going to do anything this year as I'm not feeling very festive and couldn't cope with the whole tree and stuff. Since I lost my nan, it has been a ritual that Gramps would come to me on his birthday (8th) and we would decorate the tree. My tree is very much a memory tree and it's all a bit too much this year, however I bought a few bits in NY so I've just hung those, and created new memories.

As you can see i love a candle!... colour theme this year is red & white candy cane!, complete with post box!

I have a very small potted tree, and the basket (john lewis) is filled with New york baubles old & new from Bloomingdale's, Macy's & Saks!









The garland is decorated with candy canes, red & white jingle bells, a starbucks cup & coffee, and a couple of special decorations, a crystal candy cane and father Christmas from that special shop on 5th avenue & 57th street, that comes in a beautiful blue box! (Tiffs) and a Home with a heart from Links of London.... I'm off now as Miracle on 34th Street is about to start!.... what's your favourite Christmas film?

Friday, 18 December 2009

A Night with Rupert.... what a Christmas treat

for me!!!.... some weeks ago I spied an advert in the Metro whilst on my way to work, which got me a little excited. The Royal Court Theatre in Sloane Square was hosting a play for the Christmas period. Said play was called The Priory and starring the gorgeous Rupert Penry-Jones.... Needless to say a ticket was purchased, 3 rows from the front!
Those not familiar with Mr Penry-Jones ~ Click here! This gentleman regularly features in my 'scrum of the week' and I need to say he does not disappoint up-close & personnel.
The theatre is very cozy and small and Rupert is joined by 5 other stella actors, including Joseph Millson (peak practise)and Alastair Mackenzie (monarch of the glen) so lots of eye candy for the girls!
The synopsis of the play is a thirty-something singleton, played by the very talented Jessica Hynes (spaced) recently dealing with bereavement decides to gather her oldest & closest friends together in an old secluded Priory to celebrate New Years Eve. She is joined by her gay best friend, first love from uni (now part of smug successful married couple) and Uni pal along with couple of strays, ie fiance (having met the previous night!) and an internet date, thrown into the mix...... what follows is a alcohol / drug filled party, which spills secrets and chaos.
This play is a dark comedy which follows the realms of "This Life", and is not only very funny, but extremely poignant and quite sad. Definitely struck a chord and 2 hours of RPJ was an absolute Christmas joy!
Today i received a Christmas Card from an old friend who calls me Miss Marple (obviously due to the nature of job that I do and not because I look like an old lady I hope!!!)... spookily I sat next to the talented Geraldine McEwan (aka Miss Marple) for the duration pf the play!... she was delightful.
On leaving the theatre, a lovely christmas scene was present in Sloane Square, twinkly lights & snow!... its beginning to feel a lot like christmas!

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

12 scenes of Christmas in New York......

My blog has been NY free for 2 weeks now and I'm getting withdrawal symptoms!.... I have a real love affair with New York, especially at Christmastime. (My Christmas Eve would not be complete without the epic "An Affair to Remember!")
No-one else does Christmas decorating with as much opulence and glamour.
This year my wanderings took me far and wide, here is a collage of 12 scenes of Christmas in New York! (based very loosely on the 12 days of Christmas!!!)

1 Golden star in a Christmas tree (grounds of the New York Palace Hotel)
2 Poinsettia Trees (Rockefeller Centre)
3 Holly wreaths (The Plaza Hotel)
4 Brownstone wreaths (Greenwich Village)
5 Christmas trees (5th Avenue Fox News)
6 Girlie Goodies (Trump Tower 5th avenue)
7 Baubles a swimming ( 5th Avenue)
8 Trees a Twinkling (Lexington Avenue)
9 Ladies Baking (Candy store Macy's)
10 Trees a Glistening (World Trade Centre)
11 Lords a Guarding ( Park Avenue)
12 Drummers Drumming ( Rockefeller Ice Rink)
I hope that you enjoyed my version of the 12 days of Christmas!..... more New York treats to come in the next few days....
Click on Collage for a close up of images.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Christmas Books to Eat.....

every year, one of my Christmas musts has to be a new Christmas cook-book!.... last year obviously Nigella won hands down, however this year I have two vying for top slot!
The first is obviously Delia... a much welcome return to TV this year, with Christmas Pudding crackers to devour!..... the second, and giving Delia a run for the money in the Queen of Pudding stakes is Annie Bell with her Gorgeous Christmas book...... much recommended is the Pear & Panettone pudding.
Pear and Panettone pudding
Serves 6
3 medium eggs
150g golden caster sugar
425ml double cream
425ml full-cream milk
1 tbs dark rum (optional)
salted butter, softened
10–12 x 1cm slices of panettone (cut as wedges from a 500g–750g loaf)
2 slightly underripe pears, peeled, quartered, cored and sliced lengthways
90g apricot jam, warmed and sieved (optional)
Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4.
Whisk the eggs and sugar in a bowl, then whisk in the cream, milk and rum. Butter the panettone and arrange lengthwise in overlapping slices to cover the base of a 35cm/2.6 litre oval gratin or other shallow ovenproof dish. The centre may take 2 slices side by side, while the narrow ends will only hold one. Scatter the pears over the top. Pour the custard through a sieve over and around the panettone and fruit. Place the gratin dish in a roasting dish with cold water that comes two-thirds of the way up the sides. Bake for 1 hour, until the custard is puffy and set and the bread golden. Brush the surface of the bread with the apricot jam (this is optional but it gives the pudding a lovely sticky glaze). Serve straight away.

This book was my Secret Santa at work.... a much welcomed surprise & treat!........ another recommended Christmas read is this months Jamie's Magazine....

Jamie is back on TV tonight and for the next four nights with his family to cook Christmas dinner.....
how great has Christmas Craft & Cooking viewing been this year?..... Delia, Kirsty & Jamie... and the Two Hairy Bikers tomorrow with 12 days of Christmas!......only one missing is Nigella ( Nigella's Christmas 2008 being repeated Saturday!)

Carols, Curry & Christmas

one week back..... where has the time gone? Life has been a flurry of Christmas catch-ups this weeks, predominately with work... a huge number of emails, the majority of which have been filed via the delete key! and the scary realisation that Christmas is less than 2 weeks away!.... Aaaah!
So my first Christmas catch-up last week was with some friends over a curry and then a Christmas Carol Concert performed by Il Divo. They were amazing and certainly know how to put on a spectacular, especially for Christmas. I had one low point during the concert, they sung Amazing Grace which was one of my Gramps's favourites, which was also accompanied by a Scottish piper(another big memory of my Gramps is listening the to the Band & Pipe music from the Military), needless to say I sobbed!.... my friends were great and I recovered.... here's a sample of Silent Night...
Il Divo were also accompanied on a couple of songs by the very lovely Camilla Kerslake, who was discovered by Gary Barlow and currently sings my favourite Christmas Advert from this year for Waitrose!.... a spinetingling moment.
Another night out, this time in a lovely pub in St John's Wood called the Duke of York, where I had my first Christmas lunch of 2009 ( looking at my diary, this is likely to be my only!) and caught up with some more friends.
Both nights entailed a drive through London, which was very magical with all the Christmas lights.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Back & Birthday Wishes..

I'm back from the fabulous NY!.... thank you to everyone that has followed my daily updates and left such lovely comments... I stuck quite close to my itinerary and my friends knew where I was planning to be on those days... so if that had to contact Jack Malone from Without a Trace they knew where i had been.... my trip involved lots of walking and I am now in need of new feet! so a much needed rest today before my return to work tomorrow.
I will update you more, but today I'm off to the cemetery as it's my Gramps's 91st birthday, so a difficult day for me today...This photo was taken last year at his 90th birthday tea. Happy Birthday Gramps, thinking of you with much love.
xoxo T
ps.. don't forget that Kirsties back tonight and for the next 2 nights for her Homemade Christmas... Channel 4 8pm

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Park & Packing!

Today is my last day in New York before heading to the airport for my flight home!...
so packing is a must first thing, and then i'm planning on heading out and hitting the park for my last few hours.
My 5 favourite things in Central Park are:
Y Wollman Ice Rink ( as featured in the film Serendipity)
Y Belvedere castle ( as seen in Stepmom)
Y BoatHouse ( where Carrie & Big took a tumble in the lake!)
Y Tavern on the Green (featured in many films but most memorable in Bette Midlers Stella)
Y Bethedsa fountain ( Enchanted - if only Patrick Dempsey was there in real life!)... A stroll in the park complete it's time to head over to the airport to board my flight home....
I'm sure that I will have more to share with a few pictures to add to my collection....





Saturday, 5 December 2009

Farmers market & more

Today I'm heading out early to the Farmers market down at Union Square in the Flatiron area. I will also browse 'Lady's mile' home of the fashion bargains. This area along Broadway is filled with some fabulous Home shopping... including Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrell, Williams-Sonoma to name but a few, so lots of shopping for me today!
The market has a mix of farmers market and christmas market. I will be testing out here!
A stroll along 5th to the hotel will finish off my day.

Friday, 4 December 2009

A day in the village....

Today I'm heading downtown to explore Greenwich Village and its surrounding areas. This will include a stop off at Rachel Ashwell's Shabby Chic, Anthropologie and a Martini & Manicure at the Beauty parlour before heading back!.. There is so much to explore in these areas I will start off down at the Tribeca area before heading into Soho and then up into the village.... of course I can't stop off at the village without a cupcake and to check out Carries brownstone, which although on the TV she lives on the upper eastside the brownstone is actually a road away from Magnolia in Perry Road...spookily that's the name of the road that my Gramps was born in! ... I will finish my day off at the Beauty bar where I will have a martini & a manicure! so Cupcakes & Cocktails for me today!

Thursday, 31 December 2009

2009 ~ A Rollercoaster of a Year......



well it was for me anyway. As 2009 draws to a close and before the bells of Big Ben chime to welcome in 2010, I would like to reflect on the past year.



2009 saw me loose one of the most loving,
generous, and inspirational people in my life with the kindest heart, my grandad. There isn't a day go by where I don't miss him, but i am learning with time to move on with my life, because that is what he would have wanted. Looking back now i am so thankful that I had the strength to make his flowers for the funeral, my parting gift to a very special man.
This year saw me try new things and strive to build a life without him, and amongst the grief I have accomplished some things and had some fun.... here are my favourite things of 2009:
Chelsea Flower Show ~ sites and smells were amazing a beautiful day.
David Beckham in his Armani pants! ~ no explanation needed!
Take That Circus ~ rode into wembley and was spectacular! Cakes & Bakes in the Lakes ~ weekend at Cooking school in the lake district
Learnt to Crochet with the fabulous Jane from Tea & Crafting
Met Simon Le Bon & family ~ teenage idol lived up to all expectations
Spandau Ballet @ the O2 ~ thought I was 14 again... pure Gold
New York New York... so good they named it twice....
and finally, you my blog friends, You do wonder when you post things if anyone reads them, and surprisingly they do. I have made some lovely friends with people in blog land, some of which i have been lucky enough to meet (V&K)!
The messages that you have posted to me this year have been much appreciated and on some days have been like a ray of sunshine amongst a very dark day.
A heartfelt thankyou to you all......
I the I look forward to 2010, where not only are we entering a new decade I will also be joining a new decade in this coming year! Over the next few days I will be sharing some more favourite things of 2009 & some things to look forward to in 2010!
I wish you, all the love, goodluck, happiness and best wishes for 2010.
Tx

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Was Santa Good to you?.....

Some weeks ago I posted my wish list for Santa....... I don't think that I was clear enough with my list as it appears Santa got a little muddled!.....
I dreamed of this:
makeover by Bobbi Brown,
Mulberry bag,
Christian Louboutin shoes,
Aston Martin complete with Daniel Craig
A weekend at the Plaza with:
Lunch with Rupert Penry Jones
Dinner with George Clooney
and Breakfast with Dr McDreamey
and a little blue box from Tiffany!
and ended up with this!........
Bobbi Brown make-up palette,
Christian louboutin shoe Christmas tree decoration,
Daniel Craig T-Towel,
Theatre Ticket to see Rupert Penry-Jones in The Priory.
George Clooney Calendar, Dr McDreamey in Greys Anatomy season 4 DVD!
I did get a lovely Tiffany blue box filled with a lovely Silk neck tie from my lovely friend J and another blue box with a Tiffany heart key!..... so all in all Santa did a fantabulous job, because although I didn't get to the Plaza, I did gaze wistfully through the window whilst in New York in December.
must remember next year to be a little more specific!!!
Did Santa ... fulfill all your dreams?...............

Monday, 28 December 2009

Cupcakes in New York.........

well there was always going to be a post about these.... New York is renowned for its Cupcakes, made ever more famous by the Sex & the City girls (more about those later!)
Obviously my NY itinerary would always include Cupcake haunts... some old favs and some new discoveries... and Santa was also good to me with my very own Cupcake stocking!
I sampled 5 cupcake haunts.... fortunately just round the corner to my hotel was the Buttercup bakeshop, a lovely Breakfast Cupcake & coffee was sampled here. On another walkabout I stumbled upon Crumbs Bake shop which was lovely (there are several of these dotted around NY)

Whilst ambling around Soho I was captivated by a little pop-up ButterLane Cupcake store which was there just for December... how lucky was I. This was a welcome retreat on a cold wet day!.. how cute is the delivery bicycle in the window.
On the same day parked in Broadway was the fantastic Cupcake Van... how fab is this!
My last Cupcake stop in NY was of course the fabulous Magnolia Bakery there are 3 magnolia's now in NY, Columbus circle, Rockefeller centre and the original Bleecker Street ... I arrived anticipating Q's but as you can see it was crowd free!... Here i sampled the legendary Red Velvet ....mmmm very yummy.
I loved them all, if only we had a cupcake van here!......

Obviously with my cupcake obsession , it was never going to be hard to fill a stocking with treats... here are some of my goodies that the Cupcake Elf delivered this year, several to adorn my desk: Cupcake screen wipe,
Cupcake mug,
Desk calendar 365 days of cupcake recipes!
Cookie cutters, Calendars & diary and Handwarmers... just what i need in my pocket at rugby!

Cupcakes in the City......


Well a trip to NY was never going to be without a cupcake at the Magnolia Bakery and a walk past Carrie's apartment (which is situated in Perry Street off of Bleecker Street)... I love Greenwich Village and an amble round here on a crisp December day was just fab.
So how excited was I that on my return the trailer for Sex & the City 2 has been released along with press shots.... how much do I want Charlotte's cupcake apron and the cupcakes look scrummy...... I'm now very excited and can't wait for May 28th...






Sunday, 27 December 2009

Christmas in New York....

is the most wonderful time of the year.... here are a few pictures of Christmas in New York from my recent trip. (from left hand corner clockwise)
  • Nativity Scene from St Patricks Cathedral ~ 5th Avenue
  • Ice Skating at the Rockefeller
  • Camels for 3 Wise Men (Rockefeller tree lighting ceremony)
  • Ice Skating at Bryant Park
  • Angels at Rockefeller
  • Christmas Tree Corner ~ regular feature at most blocks in December
  • Christmas Tree & Angels at the Rockefeller

New York featured in my Christmas stockings from friends this year... here are a few of my treats;
New York skyline plate & mug for hot chocolate & cupcakes! Foods of America Cookbook, NY Pocket Guide, DKNY perfume (the bottle of this perfume is shaped to resemble a NY skyscraper!) Starbucks mug, coffee & candy cane, Starbucks Gift card....mmmm ........now all I need to do is book a return trip!

more stocking treats to come.... what did santa bring you?

Friday, 25 December 2009

Christmas Dinner Dilemma?

Merry Christmas to all.... I hope that everyone is having a great day. This year has been a indulgent treat of food & festive fun on TV. From wishing we all lived at Meadowgate in Kirsties Homemade Christmas, Cooking a Classic Christmas with Delia. Joining in with Jamie's Family Festive Fun and whizzing round the country with the 2 Hairy Bikers for the 12 days of Christmas, has been a yummy chore! Even a repeat sprinkling of Nigella this Christmas week has really got us in the Christmas spirit.
However as much as i love these, has it inspired me to cook Christmas dinner for 1 or is it all too much effort?...... Fortunately good old M&S has a fall back plan... Christmas Dinner in a fresh soup... needless to say i was much excited as this could solve my Christmas Dinner Dilemma?... along with a mince-pie & cranberry smoothie this could be dinner done & dusted!
I have had a number of invites to join friends for Christmas, however this year will be a difficult time for me, and not one that I want to impose on anyone, no matter how good friends they are.... DON'T Worry i will be tackling Christmas Dinner The turkey is all ready as i type to pop in the oven!.... I will save my M&S treats for another day!
I hope all have a wonderful day.... Dinner & Duvet for me!

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Twas the Night before Christmas.....

Well the presents are wrapped.....
the present fairy has delivered all that she can for Santa.
I have just returned from my brothers, where 2 excited children are tucked up in bed.... Libby has the carrot & milk in her room and Bradley has the mince-pie & bottle of Budweiser in his! oh the joy of being a child.....
Christmas Eve present has bought me new PJ's & slippers to see Santa in....
with a little something for the bathroom.





The cookie plate is complete with a reminder of my wish list!



and the Candy Cane Cookies and milk are ready for when Santa pops down the chimney......

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Secret Santa.... sssh!

Some weeks ago Victoria & Kelly posted a Secret Santa swap on their blogs.... not one to usually participate in blog swaps, I decided to join as Victoria & Kelly have become great blog friends and wanted to support their Christmas fun! One of the fun things of the swap was that the swap was a round robin and not just a swap between 2 people.
My recipient was Happy, and I received from Jen ...
Happy caused me a few headaches... but fortunately working in one of London's flagship stores you are never too far away from ideas! Here is Happy's present all wrapped up..
and here is my lovely parcels from Jen..

and here they are opened!....
I hope Secret Santa gave everyone a little bit of fun and a BIG Thankyou for Victoria & Kelly for hosting... Merry Christmas xx

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Miracle on 34th Street...... Do you Believe?

My all time favourite film at Christmas is Miracle on 34th Street. It is my movie of choice when wrapping presents accompanied by a glass of bailey's!....it epitomizes the magic of Christmas, in my favourite city New York. Featuring the famous department store on 34th street Macy's!
How excited was I on my recent trip to see that Macy's Christmas campaign this year is Believe.
For those who have seen the film, know that the central core to the film is the belief in Santa. All children are being asked to write their letters to Santa and drop them in the mail box, where the 'believeometer' will register and a donation to the 'make a wish' foundation will be made.... check out the advert here.

I watch this film at least twice a year, both the original and the re-make.... both of which are on the TV this year.
Today after much deliberation I decided to decorate my fireplace. I wasn't going to do anything this year as I'm not feeling very festive and couldn't cope with the whole tree and stuff. Since I lost my nan, it has been a ritual that Gramps would come to me on his birthday (8th) and we would decorate the tree. My tree is very much a memory tree and it's all a bit too much this year, however I bought a few bits in NY so I've just hung those, and created new memories.

As you can see i love a candle!... colour theme this year is red & white candy cane!, complete with post box!

I have a very small potted tree, and the basket (john lewis) is filled with New york baubles old & new from Bloomingdale's, Macy's & Saks!









The garland is decorated with candy canes, red & white jingle bells, a starbucks cup & coffee, and a couple of special decorations, a crystal candy cane and father Christmas from that special shop on 5th avenue & 57th street, that comes in a beautiful blue box! (Tiffs) and a Home with a heart from Links of London.... I'm off now as Miracle on 34th Street is about to start!.... what's your favourite Christmas film?

Friday, 18 December 2009

A Night with Rupert.... what a Christmas treat

for me!!!.... some weeks ago I spied an advert in the Metro whilst on my way to work, which got me a little excited. The Royal Court Theatre in Sloane Square was hosting a play for the Christmas period. Said play was called The Priory and starring the gorgeous Rupert Penry-Jones.... Needless to say a ticket was purchased, 3 rows from the front!
Those not familiar with Mr Penry-Jones ~ Click here! This gentleman regularly features in my 'scrum of the week' and I need to say he does not disappoint up-close & personnel.
The theatre is very cozy and small and Rupert is joined by 5 other stella actors, including Joseph Millson (peak practise)and Alastair Mackenzie (monarch of the glen) so lots of eye candy for the girls!
The synopsis of the play is a thirty-something singleton, played by the very talented Jessica Hynes (spaced) recently dealing with bereavement decides to gather her oldest & closest friends together in an old secluded Priory to celebrate New Years Eve. She is joined by her gay best friend, first love from uni (now part of smug successful married couple) and Uni pal along with couple of strays, ie fiance (having met the previous night!) and an internet date, thrown into the mix...... what follows is a alcohol / drug filled party, which spills secrets and chaos.
This play is a dark comedy which follows the realms of "This Life", and is not only very funny, but extremely poignant and quite sad. Definitely struck a chord and 2 hours of RPJ was an absolute Christmas joy!
Today i received a Christmas Card from an old friend who calls me Miss Marple (obviously due to the nature of job that I do and not because I look like an old lady I hope!!!)... spookily I sat next to the talented Geraldine McEwan (aka Miss Marple) for the duration pf the play!... she was delightful.
On leaving the theatre, a lovely christmas scene was present in Sloane Square, twinkly lights & snow!... its beginning to feel a lot like christmas!

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

12 scenes of Christmas in New York......

My blog has been NY free for 2 weeks now and I'm getting withdrawal symptoms!.... I have a real love affair with New York, especially at Christmastime. (My Christmas Eve would not be complete without the epic "An Affair to Remember!")
No-one else does Christmas decorating with as much opulence and glamour.
This year my wanderings took me far and wide, here is a collage of 12 scenes of Christmas in New York! (based very loosely on the 12 days of Christmas!!!)

1 Golden star in a Christmas tree (grounds of the New York Palace Hotel)
2 Poinsettia Trees (Rockefeller Centre)
3 Holly wreaths (The Plaza Hotel)
4 Brownstone wreaths (Greenwich Village)
5 Christmas trees (5th Avenue Fox News)
6 Girlie Goodies (Trump Tower 5th avenue)
7 Baubles a swimming ( 5th Avenue)
8 Trees a Twinkling (Lexington Avenue)
9 Ladies Baking (Candy store Macy's)
10 Trees a Glistening (World Trade Centre)
11 Lords a Guarding ( Park Avenue)
12 Drummers Drumming ( Rockefeller Ice Rink)
I hope that you enjoyed my version of the 12 days of Christmas!..... more New York treats to come in the next few days....
Click on Collage for a close up of images.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Christmas Books to Eat.....

every year, one of my Christmas musts has to be a new Christmas cook-book!.... last year obviously Nigella won hands down, however this year I have two vying for top slot!
The first is obviously Delia... a much welcome return to TV this year, with Christmas Pudding crackers to devour!..... the second, and giving Delia a run for the money in the Queen of Pudding stakes is Annie Bell with her Gorgeous Christmas book...... much recommended is the Pear & Panettone pudding.
Pear and Panettone pudding
Serves 6
3 medium eggs
150g golden caster sugar
425ml double cream
425ml full-cream milk
1 tbs dark rum (optional)
salted butter, softened
10–12 x 1cm slices of panettone (cut as wedges from a 500g–750g loaf)
2 slightly underripe pears, peeled, quartered, cored and sliced lengthways
90g apricot jam, warmed and sieved (optional)
Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4.
Whisk the eggs and sugar in a bowl, then whisk in the cream, milk and rum. Butter the panettone and arrange lengthwise in overlapping slices to cover the base of a 35cm/2.6 litre oval gratin or other shallow ovenproof dish. The centre may take 2 slices side by side, while the narrow ends will only hold one. Scatter the pears over the top. Pour the custard through a sieve over and around the panettone and fruit. Place the gratin dish in a roasting dish with cold water that comes two-thirds of the way up the sides. Bake for 1 hour, until the custard is puffy and set and the bread golden. Brush the surface of the bread with the apricot jam (this is optional but it gives the pudding a lovely sticky glaze). Serve straight away.

This book was my Secret Santa at work.... a much welcomed surprise & treat!........ another recommended Christmas read is this months Jamie's Magazine....

Jamie is back on TV tonight and for the next four nights with his family to cook Christmas dinner.....
how great has Christmas Craft & Cooking viewing been this year?..... Delia, Kirsty & Jamie... and the Two Hairy Bikers tomorrow with 12 days of Christmas!......only one missing is Nigella ( Nigella's Christmas 2008 being repeated Saturday!)

Carols, Curry & Christmas

one week back..... where has the time gone? Life has been a flurry of Christmas catch-ups this weeks, predominately with work... a huge number of emails, the majority of which have been filed via the delete key! and the scary realisation that Christmas is less than 2 weeks away!.... Aaaah!
So my first Christmas catch-up last week was with some friends over a curry and then a Christmas Carol Concert performed by Il Divo. They were amazing and certainly know how to put on a spectacular, especially for Christmas. I had one low point during the concert, they sung Amazing Grace which was one of my Gramps's favourites, which was also accompanied by a Scottish piper(another big memory of my Gramps is listening the to the Band & Pipe music from the Military), needless to say I sobbed!.... my friends were great and I recovered.... here's a sample of Silent Night...
Il Divo were also accompanied on a couple of songs by the very lovely Camilla Kerslake, who was discovered by Gary Barlow and currently sings my favourite Christmas Advert from this year for Waitrose!.... a spinetingling moment.
Another night out, this time in a lovely pub in St John's Wood called the Duke of York, where I had my first Christmas lunch of 2009 ( looking at my diary, this is likely to be my only!) and caught up with some more friends.
Both nights entailed a drive through London, which was very magical with all the Christmas lights.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Back & Birthday Wishes..

I'm back from the fabulous NY!.... thank you to everyone that has followed my daily updates and left such lovely comments... I stuck quite close to my itinerary and my friends knew where I was planning to be on those days... so if that had to contact Jack Malone from Without a Trace they knew where i had been.... my trip involved lots of walking and I am now in need of new feet! so a much needed rest today before my return to work tomorrow.
I will update you more, but today I'm off to the cemetery as it's my Gramps's 91st birthday, so a difficult day for me today...This photo was taken last year at his 90th birthday tea. Happy Birthday Gramps, thinking of you with much love.
xoxo T
ps.. don't forget that Kirsties back tonight and for the next 2 nights for her Homemade Christmas... Channel 4 8pm

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Park & Packing!

Today is my last day in New York before heading to the airport for my flight home!...
so packing is a must first thing, and then i'm planning on heading out and hitting the park for my last few hours.
My 5 favourite things in Central Park are:
Y Wollman Ice Rink ( as featured in the film Serendipity)
Y Belvedere castle ( as seen in Stepmom)
Y BoatHouse ( where Carrie & Big took a tumble in the lake!)
Y Tavern on the Green (featured in many films but most memorable in Bette Midlers Stella)
Y Bethedsa fountain ( Enchanted - if only Patrick Dempsey was there in real life!)... A stroll in the park complete it's time to head over to the airport to board my flight home....
I'm sure that I will have more to share with a few pictures to add to my collection....





Saturday, 5 December 2009

Farmers market & more

Today I'm heading out early to the Farmers market down at Union Square in the Flatiron area. I will also browse 'Lady's mile' home of the fashion bargains. This area along Broadway is filled with some fabulous Home shopping... including Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrell, Williams-Sonoma to name but a few, so lots of shopping for me today!
The market has a mix of farmers market and christmas market. I will be testing out here!
A stroll along 5th to the hotel will finish off my day.

Friday, 4 December 2009

A day in the village....

Today I'm heading downtown to explore Greenwich Village and its surrounding areas. This will include a stop off at Rachel Ashwell's Shabby Chic, Anthropologie and a Martini & Manicure at the Beauty parlour before heading back!.. There is so much to explore in these areas I will start off down at the Tribeca area before heading into Soho and then up into the village.... of course I can't stop off at the village without a cupcake and to check out Carries brownstone, which although on the TV she lives on the upper eastside the brownstone is actually a road away from Magnolia in Perry Road...spookily that's the name of the road that my Gramps was born in! ... I will finish my day off at the Beauty bar where I will have a martini & a manicure! so Cupcakes & Cocktails for me today!