Friday, November 30, 2012

come dine with me 2012 - PMP style

Last weekend we ate, ate a bit more & just when we thought we'd had enough we ate some more! It could only mean one thing, it was time for our (hopefully) annual Come Dine With Me dinner party with Phil&Jane & George&Claire.
If any of you know me you'll know I don't cook. I went to uni to learn but ended up meeting Art who was great at cooking & fed me while I did his washing! Perfect! Not so perfect when you leave Lufbra though without even being able to boil an egg!
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We went first (partly to get it out of the way & party cos I wanted to cook the main courses the day before so they were ready & also had time to marinade). Thursday saw us up until 1am cooking & we'd only managed 2 out of the 3 dishes. I've realised I'm a pretty stressy cook & the slightest thing makes me flap! The worst point was when we were making one curry & cos it was from an Indian cookbook the wording wasn't very clear & we ended up putting the lamb marinade into 4 cups of oil & it just sat there swimming. I've never done it before so didn't know if the oil just cooked away or what (stop sniggering please! :P) so we waited a bit & when it didn't really do much Adam took the bull by the horns, tipped the oil away & carried on cooking it just like a normal curry sauce & saved the day. Phew! Our other 2 dishes were from an  English Indian cookbook called Miss Masala & were far easier to follow & didn't take long at all (which was good cos the final dish I had to rush home from work to make on Friday before everyone else arrived!).
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By the time the gang showed up everything was all tidy & we had the Hindi playlist on the ipod! Our menu was as follows:

Starter:
~ Papad & dips
Main:
~ A Tasty Thali (Paneer Butter Masala, Tadka Dal & Gosht Shahjehani with rice & papad)
Pudding:
~ Gulab Jamun, Masala Chai & Indian sweets (I forgot to serve these!).

I was all cool calm & collected till it came to serving up the main course. We'd tried to be clever by cooking the rice beforehand & keeping it warm in the oven. I'd added water to it to stop it drying out but then we suddenly realised we didn't have a sieve. We tried everything from using a new pair of tights to the tiny holes on a cheese grater but it was no use (surprise surprise!) so we had to cook some fresh rice which delayed our main course serving a bit. Boo! I ended up getting so stressed out I gave myself a nose bleed! I tell you what next time we cook (IF we ever cook again) we'll plan something a hell of a lot easier!
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All too soon it was time for the dreaded marking. Phil & Claire had made the score cards (guess who's the Graphic Designer?!) While we washed up they whispered about our score & sealed it in an envelope ready for Sunday's unveiling! As you can see from the picture above I got into the spirit of things & hoped my outfit would make up for whatever went wrong on the night!

Saturday was the turn of George & Claire who had gone for a Caribbean theme.
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Their menu was as follows:

On arrival:
Sky high Caribbean  rum cocktails
Starter:
Rasta griddled Aubergine
Main:
Martinique coconut chicken curry
Pudding:
Ginger pecan and rum chocolate Brownies

There was a slight change in plan to the starter when a lot of us realised we didn't like Aubergine so we had corn on the cob with a peppery butter instead! Their meal was really yummy & I loved the touch of the ice that they'd dyed into tropical colours though the brownie was too much for me (it was supposed to feed 20 & we had most of it on our plates!)

Last but not least it was Phil & Jane's turn. Now this was Adam's night to drive so I ended up making the most of the gin cocktail & ale & didn't get many photos! Yoink! But their menu was:

Mothers ruin on arrival   
Starter:  
Scotch egg & pickle
Main:  
Beef and ale pie, spuds and veg. 
Dessert:
Crumble and custard. 
To finish:  
Stand at ease, port and Rosy Lee (or coffee).


It was really tasty & I loved the home made Scotch Egg which for me was the best dish out of the whole 3 days.
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After dinner & our sneaky marking it was time to announce the winner. Phil poured the bubbly while we all waited with baited breath to see who would be the winner of the golden meat tenderiser! Drum roll please.....
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It was George & Claire with 16/20. Phil & Jane got 15.5/20 & we got 14/20. Not bad for our first properly cooked meal eh?!
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Despite coming last we agreed we'd all still be friends (!) & enjoyed our glass of bubbly before crumbling in a tipsy heap once we got home. Great way to start the week eh?! So glad it's the weekend again now, it's Adam's birthday & we're putting up the tree! Woop!

Ttfn x

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wedding Wednesday - the main event

After our sneaky cream tea we had enough time to have a quick run through of the first dance seeing as we'd only practised it in normal clothes & not a big floaty dress & heels!
After spending the previous day setting the room up we'd thought it looked great then but once the balloons were in place & the lights were one it looked amazing (if I do say so myself!)
One tradition we decided to keep was the line up & I'm so glad we did. It gave us a chance to say a proper hello to each & every person (all 139 of them!).
After everyone was seated & ready for some more grub Mr & Mr P were announced into the room! Yay!
One way we saved a few pennies was to serve the wedding cake as pudding so before we sat down to eat we cut the cake. How great did it look with everyone's names on it?! Again thanks to Slink for her wonderful cake topper. See her website HERE.
Speaking of cake, I surprised Adam with a grooms cake. I'd never heard of one before but after watching hours of watching Ace of Cakes & Cake Boss I decided I'd do one & what else could it be but an x-box controller with an 'achievement unlocked - marriage' notification!
Each table was named after our favourite gigging venues. Our signs were made out of old 7" vinyls & we'd replaced the centre labels with photos of us & written the venue names on the black section, they were them stuck into silver buckets containing bright pink Flaming Katys. Keeping the music theme we decorated the tables with personalised guitar picks & pink & green M&Ms with our wedding date & Mr&Mrs P printed onto them. Also each setting had an ice cream voucher & a guest card. The guest card was another alternative to the guest book & each person had to draw a picture of us on one side & filled in 4 questions on the back like 'how do you know the bride & groom?' 'where do you see us in 10 years time?' & 'any advice for the newly weds?' We've got some great answers (mainly involving us looking after pugs or running a pug farm! obsessed?! us?!) & some brill pictures, our aim is to put them all together in a photo album so we can have a flick through each time we need a giggle!
After our hog roast it was time for the speeches & everyone did so well. Dad's was so touching but thankfully didn't make me blub (though it does now every time I watch it back!), Adam's was really sweet & had a few giggles thrown in & finally Nick's was so funny & so true(!) - I have no idea what they were all so worried about!

Ttfn x

photo's thanks to Chris Barber & Pete.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Chuck Ragan Banquet Records

A couple of weeks ago we got the chance to see Chuck Ragan performing a solo set in Banquet Records in Kingston.
banquet records kingston
I used to live so close to Kingston & didn’t even know this fab record shop was there! I’ve bought quite a few things from their online store & they always add a little personalised note of other artists you should listen to. If you’re ever in the area or looking for a place to get your music online I’d really recommend them.

The shop was tiny & we formed a line outside while we waited for Chuck to turn up. I loved the way he just trundled along with his guitar in a case walking down the street like any other guy. Well I guess he is to everyone else, but to us lot standing there he’s an ace musician & lovely guy!
chuck ragan banquet records
He played for about half hour & it’s always great getting to see little intimate gigs like this. We were lucky enough to catch the Revival Tour group playing in the Lee shop last year (see link HERE). We all enjoyed a bit of a sing-a-long & there was this guy behind us who stood there & went ‘woop woop’ at the end of every song. So funny!
chuck ragan signing
Afterwards we piled out of the shop to line up again for a chance to get stuff signed & to say hello. I managed to get a poster out of the window as well as picking up 2 albums we didn’t have.

Ttfn x

p.s thanks so much to Suzy for helping me add photos to my posts again! Check out her fab blog HERE



Friday, November 23, 2012

T.M.I

I apologise now for the lack of pretty pictures decorating this blog post but it turns out I share Too.Much.Info with y'all! Blogger has turned round & told me I've reached my limit of photos I can upload through Picasa (didn't even know that was how I was doing it or that there was a limit) so I'm trying to figure out the route of uploading through Photobucket but am having trouble getting the images the right size (I know I'm boring you all but hey stick with me!), so if anyone is a whizz kid at these kind I things please let me know. For now it's back to the interwebs to search for help!

Ttfn x

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wedding Wednesday - a sweet introduction to the afterparty

(All posters were designed by my mahoosivly talented husband!)
Seeing as we'd personalised so much of our wedding it was time to let the guests join in too. Instead of a guest book sitting on the side for people to write 'congrats' in as many different ways possible we decided to let our guests scribble all over our cake (with edible ink pens I assure you!) which acted as our guest book.
Our cakes were plain iced with sponge & fruit inside from the one & only M&S (this wasn't just any wedding cake, it was an M&S wedding cake! couldn't resist sorry!) & went down a treat, it was really scrummy.
The posters we'd hung around the rooms were a great way to keep our theme running throughout & linked all the areas together. Can't wait to get a few of them shrunk down a bit so we can frame & hang them around Chez P.
While Adam & I were off playing at the park (see last weeks post HERE) our guests were busy tucking into a well earned cream tea. We hadn't planned on eating any ourselves cos we didn't think we'd have time but thankfully while we were catching a little breather together Jenna managed to grab us a very welcome scone & a cuppa each!
Our reception was held at The Meeting Centre (also knows as The Lakes for weddings) in Hinckley & they couldn't have been more helpful. Every little weird & wonderful idea we had they ran with without question! Also when we booked it gave us free reign of the whole building so that gave us 7, yes 7 rooms to play with & we made the most of all of them! If you or anyone you know of is getting married in the Hinckley region I couldn't recommend these guys enough, Amy & Tom were champs!

Ttfn x

photos courtesy of Chris Barber

Monday, November 19, 2012

Movember Monday - mo-run Battersea Park

Last Sunday we were up at the crack of dawn but it was all for a good cause so it made the early start slightly better!
Adam & his mates decided to take part in Movember this year to raise money & awareness of prostate & testicular cancer. See more about it HERE.
As well as growing a tash Adam decided to take part in the Mo-Run along with Paul & Ash. It was a 5k run (2 laps) round Battersea Park. Seeing as everyone taking part (both men & women) were rocking moustaches I thought I'd join in too even though I was just the official reporter, if I'd have run they'd have no one taking the photos you see?! Actually if I'd run we'd still be there over a week later!
 Everyone running in aid of Movember
Adam crossed the finish line after 26 minutes, Paul wasn't far behind & Ash finished about 10min later, everyone seemed chuffed with their times especially Ash who hadn't taken part in a run before. Nice one!
Once they crossed the line they got a medal, drink, sweets & most importantly a manwich (bacon sarnie with HP sauce) YUM! Almost made me wish I'd run the race but I got one anyway! Phew!
Everyone milled around for a while catching their breath & checking their times. The HP man handed out bottles of sauce & t-shirts to the best tash, best fancy dress costumes & fastest man & woman.

Go Team Mo-Tash! Now you've seen the photos please sponsor the team! You can find the link HERE!

Ttfn x

Friday, November 16, 2012

so much (Billy) Talent!

Last Sunday evening Adam & I were all set for a date on the sofa in front of the tv when we realised we had another date planned & we couldn't stand them up - Billy Talent!
We'd completely forgotten about the show & it was a good job I spotted it on the calendar  At first we were a bit gutted we couldn't just relax on the sofa (how much of an old married couple are we?!) but once we got there our sofa & Wilfred were long forgotten. The. Show. Was. Awesome!
It was one of the best shows we've been to in a long time, it was so energetic & fun. I can't really write enough to do it justice really so I'll let the video below do it for me! Enjoy!
**Note for ma&pa - you might want to watch it with the sound off but you've gotta see the lighting it's stunning! :P**

Ttfnx

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wedding Wednesday - play date

After the confetti had been flung (& I'd rescued most of it from down my bra & in my hair) it was time to climb into our beautiful car that they'd managed to fix in time for us to drive away. Huzzah!
Isn't she a beauty?!
After crossing our fingers & a few false starts we were off! While everyone else made their way to the reception we stopped off on the way at a local park for a few silly (but brill!) pics.
I hadn't realised how much swings make you use your tummy & leg muscles! I'm getting a swing in our back garden (when we have one that's big enough) fo sho then I can keep fit as I while away the hours in my own little world! Luckily there were only a few kids around & they all gathered round to watch these crazy adults in their wedding gear playing in their park!
I love this shot above! We climbed on this spinny thing that wasn't really doing much, that was until Chris Barber span it round & my dress just went 'whoosh!' As you can see I was wearing my something borrowed & blue in the form of my mum's garter along side my frilly pettipants!
The one & only time Adam will listen so intently!
All too soon it was time to head to the reception venue but on the way Chris couldn't resist this funky slanty wall! At first it was just Adam leaning against it but I wasn't going to let him have all the fun so I tottered along the little ledge too to join him. I love the weird proportions of the top right photo especially.

Ttfn x

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

HAPPY DIWALI!

Just a little late night post to wish y'all Happy Diwali! 
We've been enjoying the fireworks all around us from our kitchen window while we make dinner! It was like being in Bombay just colder & without crackers being set off next to petrol stations & thrown at my rikshaw! Ahh India at Diwali time. Crazy but fun! 

We've been treated to firework displays for about a week & a half now (ever since Bonfire Night) so hopefully we'll have our peaceful evenings back soon (with only the snoring downstairs to disturb us :S)!

Ttfn x 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Minimoon Monday - cows, flowers, devils & more sand

I can't believe I've reached the end of our Minimoon Monday series. Thanks for sticking with me through it all & hopefully it'll make you want to visit the fab place that is Jersey soon?!
We realised we were about to leave without any photos of Jersey cows (shocking I know!) so when we passed by a field of them we had to stop to say hi. Adam has never been very good with nature being a Town Mouse after all so no sooner had he walked up to the field he was stung by nettles & then when he reached out to stroke a cow he got an electric shock off the fence! Oh dear! After I'd stopped giggling & Adam's arm had stopped shaking we noticed all the cows were walking away from us & towards a tourist bus, it was hilarious they way they all stood there & stared at the bus while everyone on the bus sat & stared at them & took photos! I don't know who was more fascinated!
Our next stop was the Battle of the Flowers Museum. Next time we head to Jersey I really want to be there for the Battle of the Flowers it sounds & looks beautiful. We weren't sure what to expect of the museum cos it was a bit off the beaten track but after we'd paid our entrance to a really friendly lady we were pleasantly surprised. We didn't expect it to be as big as it was & all the pieces were made by Florence Bechelet over the year who first started taking part in 1934 & still had her float this year. I was in awe of all her beautiful work. Sadly I've just googled Florence & found out she passed away on the 25th September (see the article from the Jersey Evening Post HERE) & it looks like the museum will close :( I hope it doesn't come to this & all her work gets forgotten about but we were the only people walking around the whole time so maybe they're not making enough money. Sad times. 
We drove back up to the north of the island for some pub grub & then went to explore the Devil's Hole.
On our wander down we passed loads of inquisitive sheep who wanted to know who was disturbing their Sunday lunch?! We also watched the world go by from a bench looking out to sea but it was a bit misty & we couldn't see much so we didn't stay long.
When we got our first glimpse of the hole I made Adam run round to the viewing platform & stand there before anyone else came along. I love this photo of Adam looking so small & looking down to the abyss.
We decided to give El Tico another go for dinner & this time made sure we got there for when they opened! Thankfully this time we got a seat this time & the food was brill.
After dinner we went down onto the beach & I got some lovely silhouette jumping shots of Adam while the sun went down on our last night in Jersey *sigh*
All too soon we woke up the next morning, had our last yummy breakfast (before coming home to Weetabix & Cheerios!) & set off for the airport. Boo! As you can see we were so happy to be heading home & back to normality. Grr!

Our little Minimoon seems like a dream now but thankfully we've still got Japan (our big Honeymoon) to plan & we can't wait to get it all booked & sorted. Yay! I love how long we're making our wedding celebration last! ;) You must have realised by now I don't do things by half! :P

Ttfn x

See all previous parts of our Minimoon here:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Friday, November 09, 2012

TGIF

Wow I had a feeling Friday would never arrive! I've spent most if the week thinking its Friday only to realise I had to wait another day, or two (or three!). It's not that we're doing anything mega exciting this weekend I just want my bed so badly! I think it's my inner hedgehog telling me to start hibernating or something. I'm so tired I've even set an alarm on my phone to go off every night from Sunday - Thursday at 10:30pm so I make myself drag my backside to bed instead if staying up watching Geordie/Jersey Shore! Yoink!

On another note I've been really pleased to see how many people have been wearing poppies this year. I did my part a few weeks ago collecting for the Royal British Legion in Kings Cross. I don't think I did as well as previous years seeing as it was a cold, wet, Monday evening but every little helps!
As you can see I've gone a bit poppy crazy this year & I especially love my blinging broach from the RBL website (find it HERE). Thus year will be the first Remembrance Sunday service I've missed in a long long time & I really wish I could be there but wherever I am at 11am ill be sure to pay my respects & I hope y'all will too.

Miss you Gordon & love you Uncle Buck.
Ttfn x

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Wedding Wednesday - I entered a Miss & left a Mrs!

After all the excitement of getting to the church I stood there in the doorway with dad next to me & my girls behind me ready to marry my man! I took a deep breath & the first notes of Here Comes The Bride sounded. I was really dreading crying in church but the only emotion I felt was excitement & the biggest amount of happiness it's possible for one person to feel!
We started to walk into church & all I could see was a sea of our friends & family all together in my church & I felt a little wobble! The church is only ever this full at Christmas, it felt amazing to have everyone there for us :) I knew if I kept looking around I'd loose it so I fixed my eyes on the back of Adam's head & then he & Nick turned around....
....they just beamed at me & Nick mouthed 'wow!' :D
Once I was next to Adam everything felt great. I was really nervous about dad passing my hand over to Adam cos that bit always gets me blubbing at every other wedding I've been to but I was fine (though typing this now I'm getting emotionally about it! huh?!). Instead of sniveling my way through the vows I was almost giggling & no one could wipe the beam from my face. I was so glad I could get married in the same church that's seen me grow up & been there through happy & sad times & it was so special when mum read the prayers while Adam & I knelt on my gran & grandad's kneelers. Ina  blink of an eye the service was over & we were MR & MRS! It's still not sunk in now!
We left the church to "All I Want Is You" by Barry Louis Polisar & everyone clapped as we walked down the aisle grinning like loons at everyone around us.
We emerged to the bells ringing out & hugs from everyone. This photo has to be one of my favourite from the day love ya ma! :)
All too soon it was time for the dreaded group shots but we'd planned it all strictly & had a list of the shots we needed with both Chris & the bridesmaids/ushers prepped to get everyone together as quickly as possible! As you can see from above it wasn't really a small doo(!) luckily Chris had his wide-angle lens just to get everyone in! We're so lucky to have so many people around us that care for us & could share the day with us.
Once we'd got all our shots out the way it was time for the confetti! Awesome!
Ttfn x

Chris Barber & Jennifer got some really special shots, we're so chuffed with them & they're ones we'll treasure for ever.