Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Don't Stop Believing....

Hey Everyone...

Just a quick post today! The rest of the week is packed full so I probably won't get a chance to blog until Sunday night!

I have some lovely bits to blog about that I got from a lovely freecycler last night and I need to ask all your opinions on what to do with them! But they will have to wait...

The reason is I have lots of lovely things happening in the evenings this week.

Tonight I am off to see Glee Live at the O2 - yes I am a gleek and I am proud! The music is uplifting and hope inspiring in a way that makes everyone smile! Which I need right now! We're off for dinner first too which will be a lovely treat.

Then tomorrow I'm off to a fashion show at the Savoy London, where I will hopefully get the VIP treatment, with Champagne and a goody bag! I've never been to anything like this - and I feel a little overwhelmed like I might be out of place but hopefully I'll enjoy it.

Then Friday night my friend Lucy from university is coming down to stay over. After a girly night we're off to The Peacock Bar in Clapham on Saturday for afternoon tea and a cupcake decorating class! It will be lovely to see her and I've wanted to do a cupcake decorating class for ages!

So a busy week ahead. I should be really excited but things in life are really getting me down at the moment and I'm in a dark cloud I can't seem to get out of! I dread going to work each day and it's stopping me enjoying life outside of work as I'm constantly worrying about the next day!

Sorry to end on a depressing note but I just don't have the energy to be all light a bubbly today. Hopefully the week ahead will cheer me up!

Jewel x

P.S. I didn't get the job! And I'm really gutted!

Monday, 27 June 2011

What A Scorcher...

Hey Everyone....

How has your Monday been? Mine has been HOT! Really really hot in fact. I wish I could have enjoyed the beautiful sunshine more but I had a pressing matter to attend to - a very important interview.

I started the day with supervision then headed home to prepare for the interview. Before lunch I took a quick walk in the sunshine to burn off some anxiety. Then to take my mind off things I watched the tennis & the first two sets of Andy Murray's game. (Do you like how I am building the suspense?)

Then it was time to leave. Onto the tube into the centre of town. I was quite early, but I always am. Turns out the person before me hadn't turned up so I was in early. IT WENT WELL, I think! I hope... I didn't trip up on any of the questions and I felt confident afterwards which is a good sign. I also think there was only one other candidate after me. So fingers crossed.

This job would be fantastic - working in Soho, a little pay rise, an interesting job and I'd be working at THE UCL which to me is a huge deal!

So as soon as I know, I will let you know! Please keep your fingers crossed for me....

I saw two magpies on the way to my supervision so I must have got it right?

I'll leave you with some little things from my garden which are making me smile at the moment...

A single purple flower that has grown from lots of bulbs I planted ages ago!
This has now bloomed and looks lovely - I will take a picture soon! 

My rose bush with three new buds - very excited!

Jewel x

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Lots Of Booty...

Hey Everyone...

How is your weekend going? I hope you're all enjoying the beautiful sunshine today! Mine just got a whole lot better, and not just because of the sunshine!

I almost wasn't going to go to the car boot sale as I felt guilty as I should be preparing for my interview tomorrow (yes I still haven't prepared apart from to collect together relevant paperwork - I do have most of tomorrow though!)

But I am so glad I did - this must have been my best ever car boot booty haul!

(Please excuse the dirty carpet - we need a spring clean!)

Reversible card cake stand with union jack pattern - 50p


Three blue glass bottles - 30p


Stainless Steel Teaspoons - 50p


4 woods ware teacups and saucers - 50p


Vintage Salter scales with two weights - £1


Single reversible duvet with pretty flower pattern (for bunting) - 50p


Vintage wicker picnic basket (to be repainted) - £1.50


Wooden Tray (to be painted white) - 70p


Small wooden table (to be painted white - for the fiance's dansette record player to go on) - 50p


Vintage scrabble set (for folksy items) - 25p


The entire booty - Total cost (not including £1 entry fee and 80p for a can of drink = £6.45)

Me stroking a pony in the field next door!

I get so excited just looking at it all! I got home and cleaned it all up and now I have three painting projects to do at some point, although the fiance would like to cover the table in newspaper or old NME covers lol so I'll leave that to him!

I am going to sell the woods ware on ebay, and probably the wicker picnic basket once I've repainted it.

I now have four scrabble sets - plenty to get making frames and rings for people on folksy! I will also start some more bunting when I find the time with the duvet cover.

First I need to get this interview over with (urgh I hate the build up) and then I have packed week with some baking, Glee Live at the O2, a fashion show at the Savoy and then my dear friend Lucy from uni visiting for the weekend with afternoon tea and cupcake decorating!

Oh I'm so excited! And tonight we're off to see Bridesmaids at The Everyman cinema in Hampstead - lets see if I can procrastinate until then rather than preparing for my interview eh!?

Have a lovely rest of your weekend!

Jewel x

Saturday, 25 June 2011

P.Y.O...

Hey Everyone...

Two posts today... well I couldn't wait to share the fun we had at the Pick Your Own farm today! We almost didn't go as the weather still looked moody, but when we got there the sun was creeping out from being the clouds and it was lovely and warm.

I have never been strawberry picking before - never been to a pick your own.... but now I am in love.

Look at these beautiful strawberries...


And there were thousands - the whole farm was huge - a nice bit of exercise walking up and down the rows...

Me looking a mess with my basket


Collecting vegetables



So many strawberries


Our haul - swiss chard, beetroot, broad beans, onions, strawberries and raspberries

Beautiful strawberries for my breakfasts!

Veggies for dinner tonight!

Raspberries - we should have got a lot more - these won't last long!

I am a convert and would love to buy all of my fruit and vegetables from the farm. They are local, British grown and so much cheaper than the supermarkets - our entire haul only cost £4.13! And we got more strawberries than we would in a tesco punnet for half the price!

The only downside is the seasonality - as I need a large variety of veg to keep me sane on my diet. But for sure we will be visiting far more regularly. I was happy to see that it was nice and busy with lots of children joining in on the action - It's nice to know londoners are making the most of the surrounding countryside and nature too!

On the way I also spied a farm tea shop, which I will have to drop in on next time we go! Can't wait!

So to show you what I did with the lovely vegetables....


Yummy roasted beetroot and onion and steamed swiss chard! Mmmm... now if only I could have some ice cream!

Jewel x

All The Fun Of The Fair...

Hey Everyone...

It's the weekend! Yay! Oh that feels good! Although I am up early today and the poor fiance has been awake all night with a stomach bug - we're not sure what caused it, but he hasn't slept, poor thing.

I'm hoping it wasn't our adventures last night, as we strolled up to our local park for a fun fair. He'd been excited about it all week, and despite the grey skies and the drops of rain we had a fantastic time.

First we went on the waltzer of which I have mixed memories. I haven't been on one in five years, and the last time I managed to hit my friend in the face with my mobile phone by accident. Times before that I have felt sick and wanted to get off as we've been spun too fast. But this time it was fun, and nice to feel carefree, and get a little bit scared and have a girly squeal.

The fiance didn't prepare himself though and found his phone, keys, ipod and cards scattered around the car. Luckily the nice fun fair man pointed it out to him! And he forgot to charge us in the madness (I feel a little bit bad about this now, but I didn't realise at the time).

Then the fiance tried to win me a prize on the shooting gallery! He missed the first of four shots (needing to hit three) and I decided that was it. But then he got the next two down in a row and I was hopeful. But he missed the last shot - he was a bit disappointed, but I was still impressed.

Next we went on the bumper cars (which I used to be scared of) and had a car each. It was soo much fun chasing each other, at one point the fiance was right behind me for ages and I couldn't lose him as the cars have the same top speed!

I then played hook a duck and won myself... a cuddly duck! I've called him Quack...

Quack The Duck


It was a really fun evening, then we walked back (in the now heavy rain) and cuddled up on the sofa under our duvet to watch 'High Fidelity'...


I had never seen it before - it's almost a romantic comedy - but really for boys!? I couldn't decide, but it was a great film! Have you seen it?

We're supposed to be off Strawberry picking today, but so far the weather looks rubbish, and we'll have to see if the fiance feels up to it. Wonder what we could do instead?

Have a lovely weekend everyone!

Jewel x

P.S. if you could give me a little plug to get me to 50 followers I would be forever grateful - it feels like it's been forever waiting to show you my giveaway!

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Two To Go...

Hey Everyone...

It's almost Friday! What do you all have planned for the weekend? My weekend is fairly relaxed for once. On Saturday the fiance and I are hopefully off strawberry picking! I have never done it before and felt really left out so he offered to take me - I can't wait. Then on Sunday I'm hoping to do some quick car boot shopping, before spending the day preparing for my interview on Monday.

Then Sunday evening we're off to the Everyman Cinema in Hampstead to see Bridesmaids! Can't wait, especially as the Everyman is an amazing cinema. You sit on really comfy sofas with cushions, there is a waiter service and they serve scrummy cheesecake! Wow, so excited now.

What are your weekend plans?

Tonight I just wanted to show you this little beauty that the fiance made me...



Sorry about the bad pictures - it just won't come out right. It's hung on our kitchen wall! The fiance made it for me as I'd wanted one for ages and he said he could easily make it - he even framed it for me and had it ready as a surprise for me! I love it!

So the title of the blog? Well I have only 2 more followers to go to reach the big 50! Then I can finally show you the giveaway I've been planning! Please help me get there!

Right I should go do some prep for my interview - which means 'what can I do to procrastinate some more?'

Jewel x

P.S. A little apology for not commenting on people's blogs! I read every single blog post of the people I follow (seriously I do) but my laptop is so rubbish that it often dies after 15 minutes or so of use - so I use the fiance's or just manage to read the blogs, that's why I rarely get to comment - I would comment on every single one if my laptop didn't drive me crazy!

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

A Little Light Reading...

...Does you the world of good!

Hey Everyone...

How are you all? I'd love some more comments - I get some lovely regulars who always comment but I'm greedy and would like more!

Well today was the last day of my CBT course. We went out for a lovely lunch to celebrate (but now the diet is going to pot - must try harder) and I'm sad it's over. Although I must admit it's partly because I will miss my one day a week away from work with a late start and early finish.

I was a good girl today and stopped at the uni library to pick up lots of reading for my case study write up! I lost my ID a few weeks ago and despite much searching couldn't find it. So I had to get a replacement, which was going to cost £20, but the lovely lady let me off when I explained that my course had already ended and I just needed to borrow some books! And the guards at the gate let me know that I could park for free now term had finished saving me £2.

Then in the library I spied a book a recognised (I think from my supervisor's shelf) and debated whether I would use it in my write up. I was already laden with books so put it back... then picked it up again... and flicked through it a third time... and guess what?

...Inside was a £5 note! I took it as karma for the money I had to spend on my car and took it as a sign I should borrow the book.

Here is my huge pile of 'light' reading...


And there are more on my shelf I've already borrowed and not got round to reading...


All the way home I debated what to do with my £5 - 'put it in the bank' I told myself. But then I realised for the first time in ages I had time to stop at some charity shops on the way home. And of course I found something to spend my £5 on...

Scrabble set - £2.50, Spoon 75p

Another scrabble set for my folksy makes and a silver spoon. Although take a closer look at the scrabble set! I still have £1.75 change - do you think I should pay it in lol?

I shouldn't joke though! I am seriously in my overdraft (which is being reduced in July as it's a graduate account that will end next year). Tomorrow is payday and I am determined to sit down after work and look through all my outgoings. The next few months shall have to be very thrifty!

Tomorrow evening I am also preparing for my interview on Monday! I feel I should start before Sunday, as I haven't had an interview in a while and I'm very eager to get the job! Although, knowing me, I will procrastinate!

Well now I'm off to see Kung Fu Panda 2 in 3D with the fiance - he's been promising to take me ages! Hope you all have a lovely evening!

Jewel x

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes...

Hey Everyone...

Well after the dramas of yesterday, the final pair of bridesmaid's shoes arrived tonight and they are perfect! Wish I had just ordered them all now, but oh well! They are all sorted!

So tonight my mission was to create some amazing sounding cupcakes from The Hummingbird Bakery book 'Cake Days'. Tomorrow at work they are having a tea party to say goodbye to two students, and although I won't be there as it's my last day of the CBT course, I offered to bake something.

To be honest I love baking so it was a good excuse really! So I chose a yummy sounding Lemon Meringue Cupcake recipe. This is strange for me as I dislike Lemon Meringue Pie, but love lemon curd.

So here they are in all their glory...


Mmmm... if I do say so myself. They are fantastic, I'm very proud of myself - partly as it was my first attempt and they came out so well - but also because I mastered sugar syrup and meringue, which has gone somewhat wrong in the past when I have tried to make macaroons etc... The recipe had a great tip about putting a little of the sugar in a bowl of cold water and it forming a small ball when it's ready!

I must say it helps to have a sous chef to hand to help grill them - in my case the fiance was obliging!


Turns out I love Lemon Meringue Cupcakes too!

What have you made that made you smile recently?

Jewel x

Monday, 20 June 2011

The Saga of The Bridesmaids Shoes...

Hey Everyone...

Well that was a bad day! I am in a bad mood now - I'll warn you, this will mostly be a ranting post, please look away if you don't want to know about it...

Well first things first, a couple of bad things happened to the fiance. Then work was long and stressful. We found out that the ward next to us in the building (with which we share lots of facilities and work with) is closing in 10 days time. Having just gone through a redeployment from another unit being closed down I'm kind of numb to it, but people at work are panicking a little. Plus all the paperwork and box ticking is really getting to me and I hate my job - there I said it!

Anyway I was looking forward to picking up some vases from a freecyler after work. But they turned out not to be to my liking so off to the charity shop they go. Then I was heading into town to buy the beautiful bridesmaids' shoes that we picked out on Saturday.

It should have been easy, as I'd already reserved all the sizes I needed at one shop. But when I got there, half of them were dirty and worn. They called up the other two shops on Oxford Street and I trekked down there in the rain. But when I got there they didn't have one of the sizes. I ended up calling the helpline from the shop who told me I could order them over the phone and have them delivered to a store for free but when I got through to the ordering line, they told me they didn't have the size I needed. I forced them to double-check and it turns out they did! But I had to order them to be delivered, costing my an extra £4. This despite knowing that I wont be in when they deliver. So I will probably have to go and pick them up from somewhere else anyway.

After all that I had to trek back in the rain with only 3 pairs. And the other will turn up tomorrow while I'm at work, so I'll have to rearrange delivery. I've had so many problems with Next (I wont go into the whole saga of last time) I wish I didn't have to buy them from them - as they now have £124 of my money, despite having the worst customer service and general organisation of any company I've encountered.

Let's just say the ones tomorrow better be clean and right or I might have to kill someone!

But to end on a positive note, here are the three pairs of pretty shoes I have so far...


Let's hope this is the last of the wedding stress and not a sign of things to come! Normal posting will resume tomorrow!

Jewel x

Sunday, 19 June 2011

That's What I Call A Weekend...

Hey Everyone...

Hope you've all had a fantastic weekend! Mine has been busy but in a good way. It all started Thursday night when I started prepping for the weekend by baking my first ever raisin and cinnamon loaf for Saturday as my friend Emma was staying over. I forgot to take a picture after it was baked so it was already tucked into...


The fiance took the picture and didn't take on of the inside - there was a very cool marbled effect as you use two different batters! It was nice and spongy and not too sweet! We enjoyed it after coming home on Saturday which I will talk about in a minute!

Then on Friday night I baked my first ever lemon drizzle cake for Father's Day. It went well until it came to getting it out the tin and it got a bit stuck - I pieced it back together and use the icing to disguise it. Luckily, it still tasted fantastic (if I do say so myself) and was lovely and succulent and crumbly. My dad loved it.


Two new recipes I can add to my accomplished list! Very proud!

So yesterday was a big day. My maid of honour, one of my bridesmaids and I (is that the correct grammar, it's a hard sentance!) went shoe shopping on Oxford street for the wedding. I was both looking forward to seeing them but dreading the shopping as I was sure we'd never find anything. Plus with two other non present bridesmaids to consider I had little hope! But after quite a lot of looking we stumbled across these beauties in Next....


I had been looking for dusky pink shoes (to match the dresses) and low heels (to save their feet) but both girls loved these and we decided they would match the Ivory sash of the dresses perfectly. At only £30 they were a good price (as the girls kindly agreed to pay for the shoes as I'm buying the dresses) and they would suit all the girls. I was a bit worried about the platform but Sian and Emma tried them on and said they were comfy, and luckily via facebook my two other bridesmaids Lucy & Lucy loved them too!

So tomorrow evening I'm heading back into town to pick them up! I'm going to feel quite rich walking down the street with four boxes of shoes lol! I'll show you them all properly tomorrow!

So that was a relief! And it was lovely to go shopping with the two girls especially as they don't know each other that well, and talking weddings was lovely as I don't get to do it much!

I also found these lovely headbands for the flowergirls (my nieces) and tried them on them today - they are perfect! Might just have to pin them in so they don't get instantly removed!


Whilst shopping I had to treat myself to a little something so I splashed out on these gorgeous vintage style hair slides from Primark - £2.50


And this 'perfect for me' teapot necklace - Primark £1.50


Then before heading home to some wine and lots of wedding chat, my maid of honour Emma and I stopped for dinner at this fantastic vegetarian restaurant in Soho called Mildreds. It's a bit of a dream for me, as whenever I eat out I have to worry about what veggie options are available. But in this place I can eat EVERYTHING. It's a wonderful feeling of freedom most meat eaters won't understand - not having to worry about what you can eat! 

As my detox was over (9lbs lost so far) I treated myself to some delicious halluomi and the best sweet potatoe fries in the world with a yummy veggie burger. As you can see below I also treated myself to a Kir Royale - my favourite tipple! Emma had a yummy sweet potatoe soup and a spicy red thai curry - as a former veggie (and a possible re-convert) I think she enjoyed it!


We came back to the flat and had a nice long talk about all sorts but mostly about the wedding which was lovely!

So now I'm sad the weekend is over! Although more excited about the wedding as I really had a chance to talk about it properly with the girls after months of feeling like I couldn't as it was so long away!

I feel like I might be in wedding planning mode again - watch out!

Jewel x

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Crafts & Treats...

Hey Everyone...

It's very nearly Friday! I can't wait, today has been another long day at work. But let's focus on the good things...

Last night at Big Girl Craft Club I finished off two brooches I started a week or two back when I was off sick from work...





I think they look pretty cute! I'm about to post them on folksy to sell - so fingers crossed they do! They were nice and relaxing to make and I plan to make some prettier ones next time when I get some pretty fabric.

I spent the rest of the club cutting triangles ready for some bunting for my kitchen. They are all ready to sew, they just need washing and ironing first...


The fabric is from an old bedsheet belonging to the fiance's dad which he kindly donated to me - the pattern is lovely and I would love to make a table cloth from it but it is very thin! Any ideas how I could do it?

Yesterday when I got home from work I found that my old little orchid has re-bloomed. This is it's third ever bloom, and it only bloomed a month or two ago, and there is another branch of buds already growing! Considering it took almost a year between the first and second blooms I'm pretty excited about all the blooms so soon!



So tonight I need to relax. The fiance has been trying to cheer me up as my detox has been going badly. That's not to say I'm not being strict - I AM, but I've only lost 1lb since Monday, and I'm not sure how as I'm not really eating anything - oh well 2 days left! So the fiance bought me this....


It's a fantastic film! Really gripping and cleverly shot to show the trauma the young guy goes through! The fiance hasn't seen it as I saw it with some work friends, so we're going to watch it together tonight.

Thinking of this film gives me bitter sweet memories. I went to see it at the Everyman Cinema in Hampstead which is a beautiful old cinema. I saw it with a group of girls from my old job and we had a fantastic evening, dinner, drinks and the cinema (where we got wine and cheesecake - it's the best!) but now I don't see any of them as we've all gone our seperate ways! I wish we still all worked together! I need to stop moping lol, so...

Guess what I have?...


Tickets to see Glee live! Yes I am a gleek! I love the show and the fiance's dad bought me these tickets for my birthday! It was soooo generous of him, and now it's less than two weeks away I'm getting soooo excited! We're planning to go for dinner first so it will be a real night out, which we haven't had in a long time! Yay!

What do you all have planned to look forward to?

Jewel x