Falling Forward: A Girl & Her Lists

Grace In Small Things – 25/02/2011

Posted by in A Little Conversation

1. Fat free cottage cheese
2. Reindeer patterned knit jumpers
3. Dream shoes second hand on eBay
4. Surprise love notes
5. Perfectly ripe avocados.

I’ve been more stressed out than usual, and it’s been forever since I did a GIST. It’s nice to sit and think for a moment of the small things that made me smile this week, it helps with the calm :)

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Lazy Sunday In Hipstamatic Colour

Posted by in A Little Conversation, Food Exploits

Last Sunday was one of those lazy, lovely days. We lay around in bed for a while, trying to decide what to do and eventually settled on heading out to grab lunch at the New York Deli, after reading a post about it that I can no longer find, sigh. The queue was quite long by the time we got there but it moved swiftly enough and it gave us time to peruse the extensive menu. Having never been before I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, so  I ended up opting for a Reuben Sandwich – salt beef, swiss cheese, coleslaw and thousand island dressing, with an extra serve of sweet, crunchy gherkins because it sounded good (and seemed like it would be smaller than a hoagie, which are advertised as being for the ‘very hungry’ lol) whilst Q went for a salt beef, ham and cream cheese hoagie.

I think I now understand why American’s are sometimes on the larger side of the scales because holy christ, these sandwiches were massive. Seriously. I couldn’t finish mine, I had to get half of it wrapped to take home with me, ha. Q managed the majority of his but even he was flagging towards the end, which was a new sight to me, heh. I’m not entirely sure why they feel the need to shove their sandwiches so full of meat – is it a desire to seem authentic or to justify the slightly inflated prices? Either way, I could probably have happily done with half the amount of salt beef, but it was very tasty.

We should probably have stopped there but I’d spotted a sign for a cupcakery (best word ever?) and wanted to snaffle out a cupcake to hit the sugar craving. I think mine was cherry and meringue, Q’s was new york cheesecake.

We, er, also stopped for a shakeway milkshake – The Dave is apparently Ferrero Rocher, Kinder Bueno and Cadbury Flake.

It probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that my jeans feel super tight this week – after all I pretty much ate my metric weight in beef and sugar over the weekend (altho thankfully not at the same time, imagine that…)  I’m just hoping the salad I’ve been packing for lunches will go some way towards offsetting the damage ;)

Feel free to share your tales of indulgence – that way I might start to feel better about mine :)

Changes

Posted by in A Little Conversation, Wedding

Last Friday night Q and I went out to the Montpelier Basement supper club.  He wrote a fantastic write up of it here, I suggest you go and read it. I’d read some great reviews on some of the food blogs in my reader and when the opportunity to attend their ‘anti-valentines’ night arose I jumped at it like a shot. Unbeknownst to me, Q had actually picked up an engagement ring the night before, and had it in his pocket for the entirety of the delicious seven course meal. He actually ended up proposing at 1am, after we got back to Cardiff from Bristol, whilst I was in the bathroom taking off my make-up, heh. It’s a story to tell, right?

It might not seem like the most romantic proposal on paper, but all I’d ever asked was that he try and make it a surprise, and I genuinely had no idea what was happening until I opened my eyes and saw the ring. (Which is beautiful, and exactly what I asked for. He did very well :) ) When he got down on one knee my entire world started to gently spin and I’ve got to be honest – it’s a week later and I’m not entirely convinced it’s stopped.

I don’t think it can be underestimated how much I really love this man. I couldn’t be more honoured to be the girl that he picked to spend his future with. Thanks for making my dreams come true, Scampi. You’re my favourite, toujours.

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50 Things

Posted by in A Little Conversation

I am shamelessly stealing this from Amy and Garry because I actually really enjoyed reading their lists.

1. What time did you get up this morning?
8:05am. I was on the early shift (which starts at 8:30am) but I’m generally quite lazy in the mornings so I get up, brush my teeth, get dressed and go. I have a boyfriend so make up and hair only gets done at the weekend, since we don’t work together and who else would I be looking my nicest for? :)

2. How do you like your steak?
I prefer it when the chef walks the cow past the grill and says “you’ll only meet this briefly..”.

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema?
Rabbit Hole. Surprisingly good, given that I don’t really rate Nicole Kidman. She did well. As an aside, that was the 12th film I’ve seen in the cinema this year.

4. What is your favourite TV show?
I love Black Books, Scrubs, 90210 (the remake, and I know it’s shameful but I just don’t care), Glee, Friends (yes, still). I’m recently getting started with Weeds and Prison Break but my all time favourite is Lost I think, even after the crazy ending that no one understood for ages.

5. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
I live in Cardiff in an amazing flat with my amazing boyfriend. Where else would I possibly want to be?

6. What did you have for breakfast?
I don’t tend to eat breakfast as a general rule, but when I do it’s inevitably cereal with yoghurt because I hate it when the cereal gets soggy and I’m intolerant to wheat so I shouldn’t really eat toast. This morning it was Frosties with a Banana Custard Muller Light on top. Pretty nom.

7. What is your favourite cuisine?
Japanese. Sushi, katsu curry, tempura. OM. NOM. NOM.

8. What foods do you dislike?
All of the liquourice family like fennel and aniseed. There is a special place on my black list reseved for coriander and parsley and excess black pepper, and I really, really hate celery.

9. Favourite place to eat?
When we go out to eat in Cardiff we pretty much always go to the all you can eat sushi place, which is actually pretty good. Plus you get free ice-cream at the end, score! I also really like Subway, which I know is weird.

10. Favourite dressing?
RANCH. Always.

11. What kind of vehicle do you drive?
Currently? I don’t drive anything. But as of this month I’ve finished paying off my 2004 Skoda Fabia that is languishing on my parent’s drive in Cornwall and I also have the keys to Q’s 2010 Audi A3 on my keyring. I’ve only driven it a couple of times, but it’s nice to have the option. Mostly he drives tho because the ramp to our carpark scares the hell out of me.

12. What are your favourite clothes?
I quite like my skinny jeans, after riling against the fashion for a good three years. Also the hedgehog jumper I bought from Tesco when Sami was here, the reindeer jumper dress I found in the sale, in the kids section in new long and all of my panda socks.

13. Where would you visit if you had the chance?
I think the list of where I wouldn’t go would be marginally shorter. I’d like to visit New York, New Zealand, China, Africa, Paris, Ireland, Cuba, Hawaii, the list could go on forever, really.

14. Cup 1/2 empty or 1/2 full?
There is no spoon. What? Oh, fine. Half empty and it’s your round, mate.

15. Where would you like to retire?
Somewhere warm, somewhere dry, somewhere cosy. We’ll probably stay in and around Cardiff and that’s just find by me.

16. Favourite time of day?
During the summer months it’s those early mornings where the sun is bright but the air is cool – when you can tell it’ll be a hot day but for the minute it’s just beautiful. In the winter I like the cosy dark evenings.

17. Where were you born?
In Truro, in Cornwall. I wouldn’t recommend it.

18. What is your favourite sport to watch?
I don’t really have one. I sometimes like to watch the snooker, weirdly, and I’ll watch Cardiff/Wales play rugby to keep Q happy but I’m not a sport girl by trade.

19. Who do you think will not tag you back?
I’m only going to tag a couple of people, so I expect you all to do it. Paul will probably be last tho, if that makes anyone feel better.

20. Person you expect to tag you back first?
Q, of course.

21. Who are you most curious about their responses to this?
Everyone! I’ve always been super nosey.

22. Bird watcher?
I’m 27 not 87.

23. Are you a morning or night person?
I have no trouble being either, but I cannot be both on the same day.

24. Pets?
My parents have a siamese kitten called Eddie who I don’t really love but I do like. I left a cat behind in Cambridge which still makes me sad. Q is quite allergic but he did promise we could get a cat if it was the runt of the litter, heh. We’ll have to wait until we move out of our first floor flat tho.

25. Any new and exciting news that you’d like to share?
I bought ice skates, I can skate backwards and do (little) jumps on the ice and we’re going to our first basement supperclub tmrw evening. Other than that, nada. Try back next month.

26. What did you want to be when you were little?
A ballerina, but I was too short. Then an air hostess (I now have a fear of flying so that would have been lolz, right?), a beautician, a midwife (which I still would quite like, I think) and then I stopped wanting to be anything other than just happy.

27. What is your best childhood memory?
Travelling halfway across the world to Australia when I was 10 years old to visit family. It was our first plane ride and I got to go up and see the captain in the cockpit and everything.

28. Are you a cat or a dog person?
Cat. Dogs slobber on your fucking face, man. How disgusting is that? Plus dogs require walking and I am all about the staying still and sitting down.

29. Are you married?
Practically :)

30. Always wear your seat belt?
Always always always. The car beeps at you if you don’t.

31. Been in a car accident?
Never, thankfully. Altho I did have a tire blow out when I was doing 80mph on the fast lane of the M5. That was pretty scary.

32. Any pet peeves?
People that eat apples noisily, people that lick their fingers, people that eat with their mouths open, boys who fart and think it’s funny, people who call me “Sare” (see: EVERYONE I work with, argh), Welsh people saying “it’s by here” (see: EVERYONE I WORK WITH. Double argh), people that have truncated RSS feeds, people who spit in the street, people who can’t speak on the phone properly and that stupid girl at ice skating who shows off stuff we haven’t even learnt yet. Why are you in our group, bitch?

Perhaps I should have just answered “yes.”

33. Favourite Pizza topping?
I like vegetarian pizza toppings. Artichoke, broccoli, sweetcorn, onion, pepper. Om nom.

34. Favourite Flower?
I’ve always wanted cornflowers in my wedding bouquet but my favourite flowers to see are poppies, yellow roses and tulips.

35. Favouite Ice Cream?
Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie. Holy crap that’s good eating.

36. Favourite fast food restaurant?
Burger King wins over McDonalds, every time. But I also love Subway (as mentioned previously) and I’d happily eat the pizza hut buffet every lunch time.

37. How many times did you fail your driving test?
3. The first time doesn’t count because my instructor was a moron. The second and third times I just wasn’t interested enough in passing to pay attention to my lessons. Yay for wasted money!

38. From whom did you get your last email?
Mike with a reply to a licensing query. Most of my emails come from Q, since we email all day at work :)

39. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card?
I will never max out a credit card again. But if we’re playing pretend probably Habitat. Furnishings make me go ooh.

40. Do anything spontaneous lately?
Apart from spending money? No. Not really.

41. Like your job?
Actually yes. The people are nice, they let me read my Kindle when it’s not busy and since I work with the homeless I can feel a bit better about my job, like we actually make a difference to someone at least.

42. Broccoli?
Sure. Steamed with garlic, roasted, in pasta sauce, raw. I’m not fussy, I’ll eat it any which way.

43. What was your favourite vacation?
I’m going to pick two. America because it was the first time I’d flown on my own, and seeing my friend Sarah was amazing. Plus, the people were great and I genuinely really enjoyed the country. & Prague. Not because the city was particularly amazing but because it was mine and Q’s first holiday together and it was exactly as romantic and as lovely as we’d hoped :)

44. Last person you went out to dinner with?
Q, of course.

45. what are you listening to right now?
Q trying to convince Sky to sort our broadband the fuck out. It was broken for two weeks, worked for a few days and is now being patchy and crap again.

46. What is your favouite colour?
Chartreuse green. (this one). But my happy colour is yellow.

47. How many tattoos do you have?
5. One on my left hip and 4 on my back.

48. How many people are you tagging for this quiz?
Three. Paul, Jules and Q.

49. What are you doing when you finish this quiz?
Cwching with Q, maybe watching a film and trying to finish my 15th book of the year.

50. Coffee drinker?
Last year I would have been a definite no. But I’ve had a couple of weak lattes and I don’t mind an iced mocha every now and again so long as it has a stong overriding flavour like peppermint. So really…it’s still a no.

Right kids! Your turn.

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Books! 2011 – January Update

Posted by in Books, My Life In Lists, Projects

So! Last year I managed to read 100 books and this year I’ve set myself the same target. I’ve also added Read 1000 New Books to my life list, which I’m well aware will probably take me at least a decade but hey, what can I say, I love books.

Read in January: 12
1. NEW: Under The Dome – Stephen King
2. NEW: Can You Keep A Secret? – Sophie Kinsella
3. NEW: The Raw Shark Texts - Stephen Hall
4. NEW: Darkness Under The Sun – Dean Koontz
5. NEW: Slow Ride: A Rough Riders Story – Lorelei James
6. NEW: King Death – Toby Litt
7. NEW: New World – Patrick Ness
8. NEW: House of Dark Shadows – Robert Liparulo
9. NEW: The Knife of Never Letting Go – Patrick Ness
10. NEW: Sara Crew. Or What Happened At Miss Minchin’s Boarding School – Frances Hodgson Burnett
11. NEW: The Friday Night Knitting Club – Knit Two – Kate Jacobs
12. NEW: Shades of Grey – Jasper Fforde.

Favourite book read this month:
It’s a toss up between Under The Dome, Shades of Grey and The Raw Shark Texts – all good in their own way. I think in the end I’m going to go with Under The Dome tho purely because I wasn’t ready for it to end and I would happily read it again. (Not this year tho, it’s huge and I want to hit my 100 again ;) ) I also can’t wait for the next book in the Shades of Grey series, it definitely grabbed my attention.

Least favourite book read this month:
By far and away it was House of Dark Shadows. I know it’s a kid’s book but I didn’t like it at all. It was clunky and actually far scarier than I was expecting. Slow Ride comes in second. I downloaded it for free on my Kindle, not realising it was, er, a dirty short story. Oops!

Stats:
I r
ead: 12 new books in January and zero re-reads, bringing my life list wish of reading 1000 new books up to: 12/1000.

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Day 8/30 – Update

Posted by in A Little Conversation

Day 8 of the 30 Day Challenge asked me to set some short term goals for myself for the month.

I said that I wanted to:

Join a gym – & I did! Go me. I’ve been a few times. Mostly I’ve been taking advantage of the pool – it’s always quiet after work which is nice. I’m up to swimming 60 x 12m lengths without stopping, which I don’t think is too shabby.

Write 5 letters – I *almost* managed this. I wrote to Paul, Amy, Jules, Becky and I also sent a postcard to my dad. Some of them might have been written at the beginning of February but if we could just gloss over that that’d be great, thanks.

Learn some basic Czech words – I didn’t! Oops. I had a quick look but in the end we spoke English whilst we were in Prague and we were understood, and I guess that’s okay. Next time I go away tho, I’ll try my best to learn a few words.

Complete two more of my 101/1001 goals-  I did! See this post for more details. I actually completed three in January, which made me happy and brings me up to 58/101 completed in total. 7 more months to burn through now!

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101 in 1001 – December & January Update

Posted by in 101 in 1001, Projects

I forgot to update over December but I didn’t end up doing much in the end anyway. Oops? My 101 in 1001 ends in September this year (I won’t lie, I am super looking forward to eating my first MacDonalds, sad as that seems) so if I want to get anywhere close to completing it I need to crack on. Here’s what I’ve managed in the past two months:

December: 1 Completed
66. Buy all Christmas presents by the end of November
I’m going to mark this as done even tho technically it was a couple of days into December before everything was paid for. I knew exactly what I wanted to get everyone by the end of November and that combined with the wonder that is internet shopping made this years festive season a much more relaxed affair than usual.

January: 3 Completed
26. Watch “Running With Scissors”
Such a weird, kooky film. But I love it all the same.

99. Travel to Prague
Q and I went to Prague for four days at the beginning of the month and it was lovely :) Lovely to have a break together, lovely to see a new city and lovely to finally tick this one off my list!

23. Pass on at least 5 recipes
Since Q and I have been living together we’ve been sharing recipes back and forth so I’m going to class this one as completed :)

Wish me luck for the remaining tasks? I think I’m going to struggle!

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