Friday, 31 December 2010

goodbye 2010, hello 2011

its that time of year again..when we ring out the old and in the new... but before we do I just want to look back on 2010.  2010 saw me turning a new decade! To overcome this hurdle I wrote a list of  40 things in my 40th year!... (some of these due to timing have been carried over into 2011 which just prolongs the fun!) and set out to achieve.
I did lots of things in 2010 ... here are my favorite things from 2010....
  • Birthday celebrations ~ 3 friends & 2 family hit 40 in 2010 .. lots of fun!
  • Christmas in New York
  • Festive Frolics with Tony Hadley
  • Rome ~ a beautiful city, a stunning backdrop for my 40th.
  • Johnny Wilkinsons thighs!.. cold winter night in Jan 10 was so much better watching him play rugby!
  • Girls lunch in Paris.. lots of laughter
  • Apple phone ~ how did I live without it!
  • Michael Buble ~ amazing
  • Michael Bolton ~ Hampton Court & Royal Albert Hall - stunning venues for a spectacular evening.
  • Pret -a -Portea - Berkeley tea .. a must for any fashionista... change seasonally with the new collections.
  • Priscilla ~ soooo good I saw it thrice!...
2010 was one of my loveliest years for a long time... I embarked on new adventures and took some time out for me and I know that wherever my nan & gramps are they would be happy to see me moving on with my life, the loss doesn't go away but the pain softens and you learn to live without them, as difficult as that may be.Happy New Year everyone, thankyou for all your lovely comments. Looking forward to a fun-filled adventure in 2011.
Wishing you all lots of Love, Luck & Laughter in 2011.
Tx

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Back from the Blizzard!

and the weather prediction wasn't wrong!... it seems that snow was a major factor in my ability to fly either direction across the pond this Christmas.

I was lucky to leave JFK on the first scheduled flight after the airport opened... a 7 hour delay ( 4 of which were sitting on the tarmac at JFK being de-iced!) and luggage is having an extended vacation in NY! .. so a little jaded and bed is calling.
Thank you for all the get well & Christmas wishes from last post... I'm feeling much better, and Christmas was lovely. I hope that all your Christmases were great too.
Over the next couple of days I am going to:
  1. blog backwards (date not sitting!) to update you on my Christmas and my fabulous time in NY! 
  2. catch up with friends
  3. catch up with my Journal your Christmas album ( I have set myself the task of completing it by end of Jan as due to sickness, snow & stuff its a little behind!)

Monday, 27 December 2010

Fairytale in NY...

Let it Snow and by golly  it did!.... Monday morning saw a winter wonderland in NY. This resulted in a lot of people going nowhere... but it did look fantastic! A hearty breakfast was required and then out in the snow!

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Blizzard on Boxing Day...

waking up to every TV channel reporting Blizzard notices!...snow would start at 12, getting heavier by 4pm  with Blizzard hitting NY by evening with 40mph winds. There weather men were spot on!
Morning for me was Pancakes for breakfast and then I jumped on the subway and headed down to the Village. Strolled around and then walked back up towards the hotel as snow was beginning to fall.
After stopping for a rest I headed back upto the Park to have fun in the snow.... check out the difference between Christmas day pics & Boxing day pics... what a difference a day makes.
After drying off and a long hot bath, it was time to head out again... this time to see the much acclaimed Merchant of Venice starring the legend that is Al Pacino. Unfortunately camera was left back in hotel... but a fantastic night ... an amazing actor with a fantastic cast.

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Christmas Day in New York...


can it get anymore magical?...I didn't know what to expect as this was my first Christmas abroad, but I couldn't have picked a better place to be. On awaking I opened the parcel that my niece & nephew insisted I pack.. it contained a grey cashmere jumper & socks which obviously became the Christmas day attire and some $ to spend!. After a coffee & Christmas gingerbread cupcake I headed up towards the Rockefeller to attend Christmas mass at St Patricks cathedral. This is a first for me church on Christmas day, but St Patricks is a beautiful church and it felt the right thing to do in New York. I think it will be the first time that I have experienced 'security guards' managing the Q's and people for a church service. Even the Bishop had his own personal bodyguard!
After mass I walked up 5th avenue to Central Park. The park was very busy but the atmosphere was lovely everyone wishing each other a Merry Christmas, free hot chocolate was being given out at Wollman Rink where skating was very popular. I managed 20 minutes but spent half of that sitting on the ice!
Whilst walking through the park I saw 2 brides having their wedding photos taken which was lovely.
Times Square was next which was extremely busy as the majority of places were open. I picked up a half price ticket for a broadway show for Christmas day night. By now lunch was required, between Times Square and my hotel I found a lovely Bistro which was very Christmassy. Lunch was lovely... Stuffed chicken breast, pumpkin & potato mash & spinach... followed by Apple pudding with cinnamon icecream... mmmm.
In the evening after a much needed rest I headed back to broadway Times square for my Christmas night entertainment which was the Donny & Marie Christmas Show!!... fantastically kitsch and soo NY!.. pure fun... Loved it!
Happy Holidays!...

Friday, 24 December 2010

Christmas Eve Shopping in New York

arriving in New York just after midnight Christmas eve morning was very exciting. I don't think I believed that I would get there what with all the disruption, but yes I checked in hotel & quickly unpacked and headed for bed for some much needed sleep.

They say that this is the city that never sleeps and boy they weren't wrong!... so what do you do when you are wide awake at 5am in NY Christmas eve morning... you head to Macy's for a spot of Xmas shopping!. Fortunately my hotel was next to Macy's, so I took full advantage of their 24 hr opening for the 3 days leading up to Christmas!.. bags dropped back to hotel breakfast was needed before heading up to Bloomingdale's.Similarly to us all the dept stores had started to reduce Holidays stock... so much advantage was taken.
Christmas eve turned into a bit of a shopping day for me, including a pop over to Michael's on the west side and much browsing of the Christmas windows. Macy's stuck with their Believe & Miracle on 34th street theme, although did love the cupcake tree in home.Bloomingdale's was all virtual Peace, Love, Merry & Happy.
Barneys had a foodie window which included Martha!
Shopping complete, a Magnolia cupcake & coffee stop was required at the Rockefeller centre where I watched Santa skating. Quiet evening in with take-out & watching back to back Christmas movies before Christmas PJ's were adorned ready for visit from Father Christmas!... no mince pie to leave, but substituted with a Red Velvet Rockette cupcake from Magnolia Bakery....

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Tinsel, TGI's & Tony...

Christmas week has been a week of festive frolics!...
Monday (20th) saw the team night out, from work, a first for us but lots of fun had by all in Zizzi's. snow falling outside London was a winter wonderland!
Tuesday (21st) was a night out with the girls... TGI's & Tony Hadley at the O2... a fantastic night out and what we thought would be a crooning christmas evening, turned into a rocking festive frolic!... TH has still got the charm and hasn't lost his touch singing True even without the Spandau boys! We all had a great time and really set us in the Christmas spirit.
Wednesday (22nd) was my last day at work and at the point is still wasn't confirmed that my flight would be leaving the next day so I headed over to my brothers for the evening with a boot full of parcels and we had a lovely family dinner. Brad & Lib were very excited ( especially Libs) even speculating that if she went to bed then and slept the next day santa would come early... as she has probably appeared more times on his naughty list this year, than his nice this was under huge debate!
Hope that your Christmas build up was fun.....

Monday, 20 December 2010

Under the Weather.....

in so many ways!.... apologies for lack of blogging but have been struck down with the dreaded flu virus. What started as a cough & cold two weeks ago manifested into a week under the duvet feeling very sorry for myself ( ala Bridget!) with antibiotics & large volumes of cough syrup.
I am feeling considerably better and Dr declared me fit to fly!... which of course brings me onto another under the weather moment... I am of course due to fly from Heathrow on Thursday... mmm one thinks I won't be going anywhere!

Monday, 6 December 2010

A Perfect Christmas.....

was my journal prompt for the 4th december, as I'm not perfect! ......I'm a little out of sync! with the journaling!
Also this week Kirstie & Phil's Perfect Christmas debuts on TV ... loved the children's party, especially the icecream snowballs and cakes! ... can't wait to see what the next few nights have to offer.
So getting back to my perfect Christmas... mmm this prompt sent me off into a little daydream.... which does include George Clooney lounging on my sofa!
My perfect Christmas would include a few of my favourite things!:
  1. Skating at the Wollman Rink Central Park ~ New York
  2. A Pottery Barn Christmas Tree & Porch...
  3. Snow!
  4. My Nans Christmas Dinner
  5. A little Blue Box ala Tiffany.
  6. Lashings of Candy Cane Hot Chocolate
  7. Christmas Carols by candlelight at the Rockefeller
  8. George Clooney, Sofa, Fireplace...Christmas.... don't need to say anymore
aaah the dream was good whilst it lasted!
what's your perfect christmas?

Friday, 3 December 2010

Taste of Christmas....

Today i had an indulgent day off work. As a treat my friend had booked for four of us to go to "Taste of Christmas" at the Excel centre in Docklands. As one of my friends hasn't started her Christmas shopping, this was a kick start for her...
There was some fabulous wares on offer, as the designated driver I oped out of all the alcoholic tastings.. but the girls did a half hour beer tasting courtesy of Waitrose.. and discovered a fabulous Gin called Berkeley & Bloom, and a chocolate wine....
Alongside the alcoholic beverages there was numerous foods for Christmas on offer including some lovely sweets & treats. There was also a demo chef area, where celebrity chefs were cooking with chocolate!... Anthony Worral Thompson made Chilli chocolate brownies, Christmas chocolate & cranberry cheesecake trifle and Hot Chocolate.. mmmmm very yummy. Talking of yummy the very scrummy Jean Christoph Novelli made Chicken with chocolate & wine, which smelt gorgeous.
I got a little side tracked at the Tate & Lyle stand, demoing Christmas cupcakes!...

Thursday, 2 December 2010

the weather outside is frightful

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow......
London is looking a little like this:
it is very cold!..... lots of Hot Chocolate required to keep warm!. Today's journal your christmas prompt is weather!.. and photo prompt is splashes of red......Today's is also the 6th anniversary of the loss of me beloved nan, and even though the weather is awful I will endeavor to get to the cemetery to lay the wreath that I have adapted. She is so very much missed. x

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

The Countdown has begun!...

it is now officially December which means many things:
1. The tree at the Rockefeller Centre was lit last night!... hooray, as I will be spending Christmas in New York, i am very excited on seeing this!check out the lighting ceremony here. I was there last year and saw the lovely Michael Buble, Kylie did a guest slot this year... if only the tree lighting in Trafalgar square was as fabulous as this!
2.This year, as it's my 40th year I've decided to journal my Christmas... not something I have done before but as this year has had many "first's" and it's my 1st Christmas abroad i thought i would join in with Shimelles classes and blog/journal my countdown to Christmas.
3. I am soooooo not ready!
......the holidays are coming!!!!!!

Friday, 26 November 2010

Guilty Pleasure...

this man has already been outed twice as a guilty pleasure for me on my blog, but yes a night at the Royal Albert Hall with Michael Bolton was had by us girls and gbf this week... The man was as good as ever, a fab night out for us all. This was the first of a few outings for us on the run upto Christmas... so much frivolity to be had!
I jumped on the 9 bus down from Green Park which is now being fleeted by the old routemasters.. how fabulous! just like i remembered as a child!
I joined the girls at the beautiful building of the Royal Albert Hall for a spot of dinner prior to the performance. We dined in the Coda Restaurant which is Pru Leith's and it was gorgeous. I had  Slow roasted star anis and cinnamon glazed pork belly, green apple puree, carrot puree, glazed baby carrots, parisian potatoes & tarrogon jus. with crackling! It was yummy... I devoured it before I could take a pic!
This is the restaurant... we all fell in love with the chandeliers... (did try to slip one into the mulberry but bag wasn't big enough!)
Show started and MB was amazing... he has such a wide range of songs from his album collection, that you flit from ballards, to vintage to opera to rock all in a couple of hours.... here are few of my favs from the night:
Said I loved you but I lied,
You don't know me
For Once in my Life
How am I supposed to live without you,
Nessum Dorma which gives me goosebumps every time I hear it.... and
this... which got me very excited, especially as I will be there in 25 days time!!

A great night was had by all... can't wait for the next one!

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

40 fun filled wishes!

Apologies in advance if this post offends anyone!!!! Today is my GBF at works 40'th Birthday.... he brightens my day and makes me howl... my working life would be very dull without him.
We can all remember the Thank Crunchie it's Friday advert.... well we have taken that to a different level which is  Fit Friday Thanks...this involves the flavour of the week in as little clothes as possible (virtually of course!) to brighten up our day... followed by a Latte & Muff in Starbucks....
so birthday started with a virtual montage for me friend:

followed by a Latte & Muff in Starbucks....

40 fabulous Birthday wishes my fun filled fab friend!

Friday, 19 November 2010

Harry's back!....


Update!... FANTASTIC wizarding magic.... the boy has grown up.... spooked, laughed & cried in one film... not for the young ones... but is a fab prequel to the grand finale!... I'm giving nothing away but Dobby is my hero!

I am of course referring to Harry Potter... my ticket is booked and I'm off to the penultimate instalment Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows tonight. 
As you can see the popcorn and sweets are ready... Peppermint Frogs from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Florida ( courtesy of my niece & nephew)... i do love peppermint chocolate.. They were bought in Honeydukes in Hogsmeade.

pop back later for an update & verdict!

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Garage sale.....

Sunday saw me working again at the Really Great Garage Sale ... this has now become an annual event at work and the bargains did not disappoint... a huge car boot sale in a carpark hosted by celebrities!... it really isn't like any other boot sale you would have been too!
Not so many people this year but still a fantastic event raising lots of money for the Mothers 4 Children charity.
It was lovely to be remembered by some of the celebrities and feels a little surreal when talking to Yasmin Le Bon and Louise Redknapp about their week.
I did bag myself a bargain late in the day.... a gorgeous pair of Manolo Blahnik black leather kitten heel slingbacks, complete with box & dust cover.... how yummy!

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Get the Bunting out!.....

it's time for a street party!....
Congratulations to William & Kate on their engagement.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Remember.....

Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.
Remembering Soldiers past & present and thanking them for all that they did and do to keep us safe and free.
Thinking today of my Gramps with much love, so grateful for all that you did.


and my 2 godsons in Afghanistan & Ireland, wishing you both a safe return home. x
we must never forget xx

Monday, 8 November 2010

The Red Cups are here!

Hoorah... Christmas countdown has officially begun!.... Starbucks Red Cups are here!
I'm so loving this years flavours.... I love the Peppermint Mocha I am a mint chocolate girl!
I am also very excited that Eggnog Latte has come across the pond.... this is my New York Christmas coffee !... gets me ready for my New York trip....

ps.. i have updated the cupcake for causes post with the winner of the giveaway.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Cupcakes for Cancer Giveaway......

as promised just a little late!... here are some of the goodies for the Cupcake's for Cancer giveaway... as previously posted here and here My 'just giving' target is on my sidebar...Thankyou to all that have donated...
Giveaway includes:
  • Cupcake Calendar & Diary 2011
  • Cocoa Butter limited edition for breast cancer
  • BC Lip balm
  • Cupcake pocket diary
  • Limited edition pink cadbury flakes.
  • cupcake notebook
  • cupcake notelets
  • cupcake cases (pink of course!)
  • Breast cancer cupcake picks & sprinkles
  • Breast cancer Ipod/mobile phone sock
  • Cupcake tea plate.
also included but not pictured is the pink cookbook.




If you would like to be entered into the draw for this giveaway please pledge £1 all monies pledged go directly to breast cancer care....thanks ladies. x

******************************************************
Winner Update:
the winer of the cupcake for causes giveaway is:
Congratulations!
Thankyou to everyone who donated / posted / blogged .. with the money given and donated we raised £52 for breast cancer care
Thankyou... Teresa x
****************************************************************

What a Feelin!.....

last night I dusted off the jazz shoes and legwarmers and had a flashdance back to the 80's!!... yes I went to see Flashdance the musical.  A great show choreographed by the very talented Arlene Phillips ( much missed on strictly!) with a stellar cast. Victoria Hamilton-Barrit is outstanding as Alex and Matt Willis (from Busted!) is great as the Nick the 'rich'guy.
This film has one of the most iconic dance sequences which has been copied by many 'pop' acts and celebrities... who could forget Robert Webb's for comic relief!
A thoroughly entertaining night out... (another £10 ticket which was even more of a bargain when I got there and had been swapped into the stalls 8 rows from the front!).... and made up for the battle into work with the tube strike!

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Trick or Treat?

I'm so definitely a treat girl!.....Wishing everyone a Happy Halloween... I caught up with my brother & family yesterday along with a Halloween party last night, so lots of cupcakes all round!.... this years treats were chocolate cupcakes with glitter & pumpkin sprinkles! and this years trick is the fantastic hot chocolate mix that when you add the milk or water it turns orange, but still tastes of chocolate!
Along with cupcakes & hot chocolate I have a witches brew soup, and a few decorations around the fire.....
Have a fun filled halloween, filled with tricks & treats!.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

It's all about Pumpkins!......

I love this time of year.... the trees have turned to beautiful reds & browns, the sun (when it shines) hangs low in the sky and the leaves leave that crunch under your feet. I am an Autumn girl... crisp enough to get the gloves and scarf on but warm enough to walk and enjoy the late sunshine. Today has been one of those days.... and on top of that we get Pumpkins!... I love pumpkins... they are so versatile as well as being great fun for Halloween.
I got very excited when this popped up on my starbucks app, but alas I was on the american version!
However I have devoured all this months glossies.. I am a sucker for a food mag with a pumpkin on the front... and have some pumpkin goodies which have travelled across the pond from new york last year...
i will share the tried & tested Pumpkin recipe from Lolas which is just delicious....
Pumpkin Cupcakes:
Ingredients:
450g of plain flour
3 eggs
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice or ginger
2/3 cup chopped walnuts
400g of caster sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons pure vanilla
400g shredded fresh pumpkin
100g of white chocolate curls
For the cream cheese icing:
250g of unsalted butter
1000g of icing sugar
2 teaspoons of pure vanilla paste/extract
500g Philadelphia Cream Cheese
Method:
Slice open the pumpkin, remove the seeds and chop the pumpkin into smaller chunks. Then grate 400g of pumpkin chunks
Sift together the plain flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and allspice. Add the walnuts now too as this will stop them sinking to the bottom of the cupcake.

Measure the sugar, oil and vanilla into a large size bowl and stir to combine. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking after each addition. This is the wet mixture.
Add the majority of the dry mixture to the wet and stir until just combined. Add the remaining dry mixture very slowly until all incorporated. This will result in a very thick batter. Do not overbeat!
Fold the pumpkin and white chocolate curls into the batter with a large wooden spoon.
Pipe or spoon the mixture into cupcake cases about 3/4 full.Bake at 350/160 degrees, until the cupcakes are golden and a toothpick comes out clean, which should take between 20 and 25 minutes.
Finish the cooled cupcakes with generous helpings of cream cheese icing, dusted with cocoa powder and decorated with chocolate shreds or a pecan nut.
Enjoy!

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Cupcakes & Coffee...

Ladies I know I'm a little late in posting this... but have had Internet problems at home!.. and I'm not that technical with the iPhone to blog from yet!.... Thankyou for the donations and comments that you have left for my virtual cupcake & coffee morning. I have collected a host of goodies and will be giving them to one lucky person on the 7th November. ( i'm leaving it to run a little bit longer as everyone will be halloween'd next week!)
There is still time to donate.... just think of it as a raffle!!!..... there's been some great posts for Breast Cancer awareness month... Claires made me chuckle even with such a serious topic.
I will hopefully get all the goodies photographed this week and posted on blog....
Here is the link to original post.....
if you would like to be entered into my cupcakes for causes giveaway, please leave a comment... thankyou Tx

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Lady that Lunches...

with celebrity cake designer Mich Turner ( Little Venice Cake Company) and Sainsbury's.
Today I had a day off work!!!!! hoorah... and spent it in Knightsbridge at the beautiful 30 Pavillion Road having lunch!
This was the first lunch event that the Sainsbury magazine has hosted for some time. Myself and 60 other ladies went along to the beautiful Pavillion Road venue, (which is part of the Searcys group.) and were treated to a delightful lunch, wine & fizz and a mini masterclass from Mich!
For those of you not familiar with Mich, she helped Kirstie in Homemade home ice the miniature cakes and make glitter roses!.. she also supplies Harvey Nicks, Fortnum & Mason & Sainsbury with cakes.
Here are a few pics from the day, Mich was great very open & honest, and even for someone who has been making cakes for many years I still picked up some great hints & tips.

A great day, much recommended ... look out for more events in the magazine... and check out the goodie bag!.... baking goodies from Sainsbury.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Just call me....

a social butterfly!... usually I am known to start the hermit phase at this time of year... but the last couple of weeks I've been a busy bee ( and with more to come!)
Over the last 2 weeks I have:
  1. Been to see the best musical in town (again!!) Alf (from home & away) has now joined the cast of Priscilla.. this musical still manages to make be laugh until I hurt every time I see it.
  2. Spent the evening in the company of John Barrowman at the Royal Albert Hall. this is my oldest friends guilty pleasure!... 3 hours of pure entertainment, he certainly knows his target audience of gays & grannies! (we didn't fit into either category, but had a fab evening)
  3. Movie night with the girls... Made in Dagenham. growing up in the shadow of Fords, this film was always going to be a must, a real feel good film.... we owe those 187 women a great deal!
  4. Sunday Roast ~ a rare treat for me, spent a lovely Sunday evening at friends, with a home cooked dinner & Downton Abbey... can a Sunday evening get any better!
  5. Trip to the theatre to see Country Girl ~ a little bit of culture amongst my froth!... Martin Shaw & Jenny Seagrove star in this play, found it a little hard going in places but still enjoyed the overall play and Martin Shaw is great, a very different character from his usual TV work.
The social butterfly is cocooned in tonight... with the dilemma of Rupert or Richard?... aka Whitechapel or Spooks!.... so thankful for Iplayer!....

Friday, 31 December 2010

goodbye 2010, hello 2011

its that time of year again..when we ring out the old and in the new... but before we do I just want to look back on 2010.  2010 saw me turning a new decade! To overcome this hurdle I wrote a list of  40 things in my 40th year!... (some of these due to timing have been carried over into 2011 which just prolongs the fun!) and set out to achieve.
I did lots of things in 2010 ... here are my favorite things from 2010....
  • Birthday celebrations ~ 3 friends & 2 family hit 40 in 2010 .. lots of fun!
  • Christmas in New York
  • Festive Frolics with Tony Hadley
  • Rome ~ a beautiful city, a stunning backdrop for my 40th.
  • Johnny Wilkinsons thighs!.. cold winter night in Jan 10 was so much better watching him play rugby!
  • Girls lunch in Paris.. lots of laughter
  • Apple phone ~ how did I live without it!
  • Michael Buble ~ amazing
  • Michael Bolton ~ Hampton Court & Royal Albert Hall - stunning venues for a spectacular evening.
  • Pret -a -Portea - Berkeley tea .. a must for any fashionista... change seasonally with the new collections.
  • Priscilla ~ soooo good I saw it thrice!...
2010 was one of my loveliest years for a long time... I embarked on new adventures and took some time out for me and I know that wherever my nan & gramps are they would be happy to see me moving on with my life, the loss doesn't go away but the pain softens and you learn to live without them, as difficult as that may be.Happy New Year everyone, thankyou for all your lovely comments. Looking forward to a fun-filled adventure in 2011.
Wishing you all lots of Love, Luck & Laughter in 2011.
Tx

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Back from the Blizzard!

and the weather prediction wasn't wrong!... it seems that snow was a major factor in my ability to fly either direction across the pond this Christmas.

I was lucky to leave JFK on the first scheduled flight after the airport opened... a 7 hour delay ( 4 of which were sitting on the tarmac at JFK being de-iced!) and luggage is having an extended vacation in NY! .. so a little jaded and bed is calling.
Thank you for all the get well & Christmas wishes from last post... I'm feeling much better, and Christmas was lovely. I hope that all your Christmases were great too.
Over the next couple of days I am going to:
  1. blog backwards (date not sitting!) to update you on my Christmas and my fabulous time in NY! 
  2. catch up with friends
  3. catch up with my Journal your Christmas album ( I have set myself the task of completing it by end of Jan as due to sickness, snow & stuff its a little behind!)

Monday, 27 December 2010

Fairytale in NY...

Let it Snow and by golly  it did!.... Monday morning saw a winter wonderland in NY. This resulted in a lot of people going nowhere... but it did look fantastic! A hearty breakfast was required and then out in the snow!

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Blizzard on Boxing Day...

waking up to every TV channel reporting Blizzard notices!...snow would start at 12, getting heavier by 4pm  with Blizzard hitting NY by evening with 40mph winds. There weather men were spot on!
Morning for me was Pancakes for breakfast and then I jumped on the subway and headed down to the Village. Strolled around and then walked back up towards the hotel as snow was beginning to fall.
After stopping for a rest I headed back upto the Park to have fun in the snow.... check out the difference between Christmas day pics & Boxing day pics... what a difference a day makes.
After drying off and a long hot bath, it was time to head out again... this time to see the much acclaimed Merchant of Venice starring the legend that is Al Pacino. Unfortunately camera was left back in hotel... but a fantastic night ... an amazing actor with a fantastic cast.

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Christmas Day in New York...


can it get anymore magical?...I didn't know what to expect as this was my first Christmas abroad, but I couldn't have picked a better place to be. On awaking I opened the parcel that my niece & nephew insisted I pack.. it contained a grey cashmere jumper & socks which obviously became the Christmas day attire and some $ to spend!. After a coffee & Christmas gingerbread cupcake I headed up towards the Rockefeller to attend Christmas mass at St Patricks cathedral. This is a first for me church on Christmas day, but St Patricks is a beautiful church and it felt the right thing to do in New York. I think it will be the first time that I have experienced 'security guards' managing the Q's and people for a church service. Even the Bishop had his own personal bodyguard!
After mass I walked up 5th avenue to Central Park. The park was very busy but the atmosphere was lovely everyone wishing each other a Merry Christmas, free hot chocolate was being given out at Wollman Rink where skating was very popular. I managed 20 minutes but spent half of that sitting on the ice!
Whilst walking through the park I saw 2 brides having their wedding photos taken which was lovely.
Times Square was next which was extremely busy as the majority of places were open. I picked up a half price ticket for a broadway show for Christmas day night. By now lunch was required, between Times Square and my hotel I found a lovely Bistro which was very Christmassy. Lunch was lovely... Stuffed chicken breast, pumpkin & potato mash & spinach... followed by Apple pudding with cinnamon icecream... mmmm.
In the evening after a much needed rest I headed back to broadway Times square for my Christmas night entertainment which was the Donny & Marie Christmas Show!!... fantastically kitsch and soo NY!.. pure fun... Loved it!
Happy Holidays!...

Friday, 24 December 2010

Christmas Eve Shopping in New York

arriving in New York just after midnight Christmas eve morning was very exciting. I don't think I believed that I would get there what with all the disruption, but yes I checked in hotel & quickly unpacked and headed for bed for some much needed sleep.

They say that this is the city that never sleeps and boy they weren't wrong!... so what do you do when you are wide awake at 5am in NY Christmas eve morning... you head to Macy's for a spot of Xmas shopping!. Fortunately my hotel was next to Macy's, so I took full advantage of their 24 hr opening for the 3 days leading up to Christmas!.. bags dropped back to hotel breakfast was needed before heading up to Bloomingdale's.Similarly to us all the dept stores had started to reduce Holidays stock... so much advantage was taken.
Christmas eve turned into a bit of a shopping day for me, including a pop over to Michael's on the west side and much browsing of the Christmas windows. Macy's stuck with their Believe & Miracle on 34th street theme, although did love the cupcake tree in home.Bloomingdale's was all virtual Peace, Love, Merry & Happy.
Barneys had a foodie window which included Martha!
Shopping complete, a Magnolia cupcake & coffee stop was required at the Rockefeller centre where I watched Santa skating. Quiet evening in with take-out & watching back to back Christmas movies before Christmas PJ's were adorned ready for visit from Father Christmas!... no mince pie to leave, but substituted with a Red Velvet Rockette cupcake from Magnolia Bakery....

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Tinsel, TGI's & Tony...

Christmas week has been a week of festive frolics!...
Monday (20th) saw the team night out, from work, a first for us but lots of fun had by all in Zizzi's. snow falling outside London was a winter wonderland!
Tuesday (21st) was a night out with the girls... TGI's & Tony Hadley at the O2... a fantastic night out and what we thought would be a crooning christmas evening, turned into a rocking festive frolic!... TH has still got the charm and hasn't lost his touch singing True even without the Spandau boys! We all had a great time and really set us in the Christmas spirit.
Wednesday (22nd) was my last day at work and at the point is still wasn't confirmed that my flight would be leaving the next day so I headed over to my brothers for the evening with a boot full of parcels and we had a lovely family dinner. Brad & Lib were very excited ( especially Libs) even speculating that if she went to bed then and slept the next day santa would come early... as she has probably appeared more times on his naughty list this year, than his nice this was under huge debate!
Hope that your Christmas build up was fun.....

Monday, 20 December 2010

Under the Weather.....

in so many ways!.... apologies for lack of blogging but have been struck down with the dreaded flu virus. What started as a cough & cold two weeks ago manifested into a week under the duvet feeling very sorry for myself ( ala Bridget!) with antibiotics & large volumes of cough syrup.
I am feeling considerably better and Dr declared me fit to fly!... which of course brings me onto another under the weather moment... I am of course due to fly from Heathrow on Thursday... mmm one thinks I won't be going anywhere!

Monday, 6 December 2010

A Perfect Christmas.....

was my journal prompt for the 4th december, as I'm not perfect! ......I'm a little out of sync! with the journaling!
Also this week Kirstie & Phil's Perfect Christmas debuts on TV ... loved the children's party, especially the icecream snowballs and cakes! ... can't wait to see what the next few nights have to offer.
So getting back to my perfect Christmas... mmm this prompt sent me off into a little daydream.... which does include George Clooney lounging on my sofa!
My perfect Christmas would include a few of my favourite things!:
  1. Skating at the Wollman Rink Central Park ~ New York
  2. A Pottery Barn Christmas Tree & Porch...
  3. Snow!
  4. My Nans Christmas Dinner
  5. A little Blue Box ala Tiffany.
  6. Lashings of Candy Cane Hot Chocolate
  7. Christmas Carols by candlelight at the Rockefeller
  8. George Clooney, Sofa, Fireplace...Christmas.... don't need to say anymore
aaah the dream was good whilst it lasted!
what's your perfect christmas?

Friday, 3 December 2010

Taste of Christmas....

Today i had an indulgent day off work. As a treat my friend had booked for four of us to go to "Taste of Christmas" at the Excel centre in Docklands. As one of my friends hasn't started her Christmas shopping, this was a kick start for her...
There was some fabulous wares on offer, as the designated driver I oped out of all the alcoholic tastings.. but the girls did a half hour beer tasting courtesy of Waitrose.. and discovered a fabulous Gin called Berkeley & Bloom, and a chocolate wine....
Alongside the alcoholic beverages there was numerous foods for Christmas on offer including some lovely sweets & treats. There was also a demo chef area, where celebrity chefs were cooking with chocolate!... Anthony Worral Thompson made Chilli chocolate brownies, Christmas chocolate & cranberry cheesecake trifle and Hot Chocolate.. mmmmm very yummy. Talking of yummy the very scrummy Jean Christoph Novelli made Chicken with chocolate & wine, which smelt gorgeous.
I got a little side tracked at the Tate & Lyle stand, demoing Christmas cupcakes!...

Thursday, 2 December 2010

the weather outside is frightful

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow......
London is looking a little like this:
it is very cold!..... lots of Hot Chocolate required to keep warm!. Today's journal your christmas prompt is weather!.. and photo prompt is splashes of red......Today's is also the 6th anniversary of the loss of me beloved nan, and even though the weather is awful I will endeavor to get to the cemetery to lay the wreath that I have adapted. She is so very much missed. x

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

The Countdown has begun!...

it is now officially December which means many things:
1. The tree at the Rockefeller Centre was lit last night!... hooray, as I will be spending Christmas in New York, i am very excited on seeing this!check out the lighting ceremony here. I was there last year and saw the lovely Michael Buble, Kylie did a guest slot this year... if only the tree lighting in Trafalgar square was as fabulous as this!
2.This year, as it's my 40th year I've decided to journal my Christmas... not something I have done before but as this year has had many "first's" and it's my 1st Christmas abroad i thought i would join in with Shimelles classes and blog/journal my countdown to Christmas.
3. I am soooooo not ready!
......the holidays are coming!!!!!!

Friday, 26 November 2010

Guilty Pleasure...

this man has already been outed twice as a guilty pleasure for me on my blog, but yes a night at the Royal Albert Hall with Michael Bolton was had by us girls and gbf this week... The man was as good as ever, a fab night out for us all. This was the first of a few outings for us on the run upto Christmas... so much frivolity to be had!
I jumped on the 9 bus down from Green Park which is now being fleeted by the old routemasters.. how fabulous! just like i remembered as a child!
I joined the girls at the beautiful building of the Royal Albert Hall for a spot of dinner prior to the performance. We dined in the Coda Restaurant which is Pru Leith's and it was gorgeous. I had  Slow roasted star anis and cinnamon glazed pork belly, green apple puree, carrot puree, glazed baby carrots, parisian potatoes & tarrogon jus. with crackling! It was yummy... I devoured it before I could take a pic!
This is the restaurant... we all fell in love with the chandeliers... (did try to slip one into the mulberry but bag wasn't big enough!)
Show started and MB was amazing... he has such a wide range of songs from his album collection, that you flit from ballards, to vintage to opera to rock all in a couple of hours.... here are few of my favs from the night:
Said I loved you but I lied,
You don't know me
For Once in my Life
How am I supposed to live without you,
Nessum Dorma which gives me goosebumps every time I hear it.... and
this... which got me very excited, especially as I will be there in 25 days time!!

A great night was had by all... can't wait for the next one!

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

40 fun filled wishes!

Apologies in advance if this post offends anyone!!!! Today is my GBF at works 40'th Birthday.... he brightens my day and makes me howl... my working life would be very dull without him.
We can all remember the Thank Crunchie it's Friday advert.... well we have taken that to a different level which is  Fit Friday Thanks...this involves the flavour of the week in as little clothes as possible (virtually of course!) to brighten up our day... followed by a Latte & Muff in Starbucks....
so birthday started with a virtual montage for me friend:

followed by a Latte & Muff in Starbucks....

40 fabulous Birthday wishes my fun filled fab friend!

Friday, 19 November 2010

Harry's back!....


Update!... FANTASTIC wizarding magic.... the boy has grown up.... spooked, laughed & cried in one film... not for the young ones... but is a fab prequel to the grand finale!... I'm giving nothing away but Dobby is my hero!

I am of course referring to Harry Potter... my ticket is booked and I'm off to the penultimate instalment Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows tonight. 
As you can see the popcorn and sweets are ready... Peppermint Frogs from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Florida ( courtesy of my niece & nephew)... i do love peppermint chocolate.. They were bought in Honeydukes in Hogsmeade.

pop back later for an update & verdict!

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Garage sale.....

Sunday saw me working again at the Really Great Garage Sale ... this has now become an annual event at work and the bargains did not disappoint... a huge car boot sale in a carpark hosted by celebrities!... it really isn't like any other boot sale you would have been too!
Not so many people this year but still a fantastic event raising lots of money for the Mothers 4 Children charity.
It was lovely to be remembered by some of the celebrities and feels a little surreal when talking to Yasmin Le Bon and Louise Redknapp about their week.
I did bag myself a bargain late in the day.... a gorgeous pair of Manolo Blahnik black leather kitten heel slingbacks, complete with box & dust cover.... how yummy!

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Remember.....

Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.
Remembering Soldiers past & present and thanking them for all that they did and do to keep us safe and free.
Thinking today of my Gramps with much love, so grateful for all that you did.


and my 2 godsons in Afghanistan & Ireland, wishing you both a safe return home. x
we must never forget xx

Monday, 8 November 2010

The Red Cups are here!

Hoorah... Christmas countdown has officially begun!.... Starbucks Red Cups are here!
I'm so loving this years flavours.... I love the Peppermint Mocha I am a mint chocolate girl!
I am also very excited that Eggnog Latte has come across the pond.... this is my New York Christmas coffee !... gets me ready for my New York trip....

ps.. i have updated the cupcake for causes post with the winner of the giveaway.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Cupcakes for Cancer Giveaway......

as promised just a little late!... here are some of the goodies for the Cupcake's for Cancer giveaway... as previously posted here and here My 'just giving' target is on my sidebar...Thankyou to all that have donated...
Giveaway includes:
  • Cupcake Calendar & Diary 2011
  • Cocoa Butter limited edition for breast cancer
  • BC Lip balm
  • Cupcake pocket diary
  • Limited edition pink cadbury flakes.
  • cupcake notebook
  • cupcake notelets
  • cupcake cases (pink of course!)
  • Breast cancer cupcake picks & sprinkles
  • Breast cancer Ipod/mobile phone sock
  • Cupcake tea plate.
also included but not pictured is the pink cookbook.




If you would like to be entered into the draw for this giveaway please pledge £1 all monies pledged go directly to breast cancer care....thanks ladies. x

******************************************************
Winner Update:
the winer of the cupcake for causes giveaway is:
Congratulations!
Thankyou to everyone who donated / posted / blogged .. with the money given and donated we raised £52 for breast cancer care
Thankyou... Teresa x
****************************************************************

What a Feelin!.....

last night I dusted off the jazz shoes and legwarmers and had a flashdance back to the 80's!!... yes I went to see Flashdance the musical.  A great show choreographed by the very talented Arlene Phillips ( much missed on strictly!) with a stellar cast. Victoria Hamilton-Barrit is outstanding as Alex and Matt Willis (from Busted!) is great as the Nick the 'rich'guy.
This film has one of the most iconic dance sequences which has been copied by many 'pop' acts and celebrities... who could forget Robert Webb's for comic relief!
A thoroughly entertaining night out... (another £10 ticket which was even more of a bargain when I got there and had been swapped into the stalls 8 rows from the front!).... and made up for the battle into work with the tube strike!

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Trick or Treat?

I'm so definitely a treat girl!.....Wishing everyone a Happy Halloween... I caught up with my brother & family yesterday along with a Halloween party last night, so lots of cupcakes all round!.... this years treats were chocolate cupcakes with glitter & pumpkin sprinkles! and this years trick is the fantastic hot chocolate mix that when you add the milk or water it turns orange, but still tastes of chocolate!
Along with cupcakes & hot chocolate I have a witches brew soup, and a few decorations around the fire.....
Have a fun filled halloween, filled with tricks & treats!.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

It's all about Pumpkins!......

I love this time of year.... the trees have turned to beautiful reds & browns, the sun (when it shines) hangs low in the sky and the leaves leave that crunch under your feet. I am an Autumn girl... crisp enough to get the gloves and scarf on but warm enough to walk and enjoy the late sunshine. Today has been one of those days.... and on top of that we get Pumpkins!... I love pumpkins... they are so versatile as well as being great fun for Halloween.
I got very excited when this popped up on my starbucks app, but alas I was on the american version!
However I have devoured all this months glossies.. I am a sucker for a food mag with a pumpkin on the front... and have some pumpkin goodies which have travelled across the pond from new york last year...
i will share the tried & tested Pumpkin recipe from Lolas which is just delicious....
Pumpkin Cupcakes:
Ingredients:
450g of plain flour
3 eggs
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice or ginger
2/3 cup chopped walnuts
400g of caster sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons pure vanilla
400g shredded fresh pumpkin
100g of white chocolate curls
For the cream cheese icing:
250g of unsalted butter
1000g of icing sugar
2 teaspoons of pure vanilla paste/extract
500g Philadelphia Cream Cheese
Method:
Slice open the pumpkin, remove the seeds and chop the pumpkin into smaller chunks. Then grate 400g of pumpkin chunks
Sift together the plain flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and allspice. Add the walnuts now too as this will stop them sinking to the bottom of the cupcake.

Measure the sugar, oil and vanilla into a large size bowl and stir to combine. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking after each addition. This is the wet mixture.
Add the majority of the dry mixture to the wet and stir until just combined. Add the remaining dry mixture very slowly until all incorporated. This will result in a very thick batter. Do not overbeat!
Fold the pumpkin and white chocolate curls into the batter with a large wooden spoon.
Pipe or spoon the mixture into cupcake cases about 3/4 full.Bake at 350/160 degrees, until the cupcakes are golden and a toothpick comes out clean, which should take between 20 and 25 minutes.
Finish the cooled cupcakes with generous helpings of cream cheese icing, dusted with cocoa powder and decorated with chocolate shreds or a pecan nut.
Enjoy!

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Cupcakes & Coffee...

Ladies I know I'm a little late in posting this... but have had Internet problems at home!.. and I'm not that technical with the iPhone to blog from yet!.... Thankyou for the donations and comments that you have left for my virtual cupcake & coffee morning. I have collected a host of goodies and will be giving them to one lucky person on the 7th November. ( i'm leaving it to run a little bit longer as everyone will be halloween'd next week!)
There is still time to donate.... just think of it as a raffle!!!..... there's been some great posts for Breast Cancer awareness month... Claires made me chuckle even with such a serious topic.
I will hopefully get all the goodies photographed this week and posted on blog....
Here is the link to original post.....
if you would like to be entered into my cupcakes for causes giveaway, please leave a comment... thankyou Tx

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Lady that Lunches...

with celebrity cake designer Mich Turner ( Little Venice Cake Company) and Sainsbury's.
Today I had a day off work!!!!! hoorah... and spent it in Knightsbridge at the beautiful 30 Pavillion Road having lunch!
This was the first lunch event that the Sainsbury magazine has hosted for some time. Myself and 60 other ladies went along to the beautiful Pavillion Road venue, (which is part of the Searcys group.) and were treated to a delightful lunch, wine & fizz and a mini masterclass from Mich!
For those of you not familiar with Mich, she helped Kirstie in Homemade home ice the miniature cakes and make glitter roses!.. she also supplies Harvey Nicks, Fortnum & Mason & Sainsbury with cakes.
Here are a few pics from the day, Mich was great very open & honest, and even for someone who has been making cakes for many years I still picked up some great hints & tips.

A great day, much recommended ... look out for more events in the magazine... and check out the goodie bag!.... baking goodies from Sainsbury.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Just call me....

a social butterfly!... usually I am known to start the hermit phase at this time of year... but the last couple of weeks I've been a busy bee ( and with more to come!)
Over the last 2 weeks I have:
  1. Been to see the best musical in town (again!!) Alf (from home & away) has now joined the cast of Priscilla.. this musical still manages to make be laugh until I hurt every time I see it.
  2. Spent the evening in the company of John Barrowman at the Royal Albert Hall. this is my oldest friends guilty pleasure!... 3 hours of pure entertainment, he certainly knows his target audience of gays & grannies! (we didn't fit into either category, but had a fab evening)
  3. Movie night with the girls... Made in Dagenham. growing up in the shadow of Fords, this film was always going to be a must, a real feel good film.... we owe those 187 women a great deal!
  4. Sunday Roast ~ a rare treat for me, spent a lovely Sunday evening at friends, with a home cooked dinner & Downton Abbey... can a Sunday evening get any better!
  5. Trip to the theatre to see Country Girl ~ a little bit of culture amongst my froth!... Martin Shaw & Jenny Seagrove star in this play, found it a little hard going in places but still enjoyed the overall play and Martin Shaw is great, a very different character from his usual TV work.
The social butterfly is cocooned in tonight... with the dilemma of Rupert or Richard?... aka Whitechapel or Spooks!.... so thankful for Iplayer!....