Birthday 2015

I’m having a ridiculously extended birthday- It was well over a week ago now, but I went out for dinner on Friday with Mark, followed by pub, while nanny Sue babysat, then on Saturday (actual birthday day), I had lunch with my fam, and after whinging for about two ages that I couldn’t be bothered to go, I dragged myself out and was very glad I did- not quite for my birthday, but some friends were going to StreetFeast in Dalston, so I went along for the ride. It was a hell of a lot colder when I left the house than I thought it was going to be, so as StreetFeast is sort of semi-outside, I took a quick dive into Westfield and Stratford to panic-buy a jumper!

For those not in the know, StreetFeast is a collection of bars and food stalls. My main regret of the evening is that I got too involved in the cocktails (which were admittedly a bit disappointing but pretty deadly) and didn’t eat enough food- I only ate one measly portion of gyoza, which were fricking amazing- I was burping the coriander dipping sauce for about three hours afterwards, and am not ashamed to say that it wasn’t altogether unpleasant! After the deadly cocktails, we took a cab back to the motherlands and went to an awful awful nightclub which was full of teenagers, and danced to Busted. I’m cool like that.

On Sunday, after a birthday party for Mark’s grandad (and a buffet, obvs), I went out with the family Ad for Prezzos, thus ending my food-based birthday weekend. And it’s not over yet- Mark bought me a groupon thing for cuban food in Camden, which we’re going to redeem soon, AND we’re off to the theatre with my sister and bro in law, and there was talk of lunch before that. It’s a good job most of my trousers are elasticated.

Happy birthday to me

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A belated happy birthday to me, for yesterday I turned 32, and I’m pleased to say I felt very spoiled.

Had a lovely chilled out day commencing with tea and presents in bed- lots of lovely stuff from the inlaws, the garmin forerunner I knew I was getting from Mark, and somewhat brilliantly, a surprise in the shape of sims 3. Very exciting, I am a massive fan of the Sims and expect to waste great swathes of the coming weeks tending to my imaginary family.

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After a wee bit of a lay in, I took the forerunner for a gentle 2 mile spin- more on that to come, watched my crap telly of choice (homes under the hammer), started installing my sims, which took flipping ages, then took myself off to my mum’s for a spot of lunch and some more presents! I knew most of the things I was getting, because I picked them, but here’s a little selection…

Gold necklaces from Dorothy Perkins- one long one short
Navy blue and lolly pop print dress- Henry Holland
Black and pink floral dress- Ossie Clark
Dark blue fan print dress- Tenki
Tan woven sandals- Primark

All the dresses hailed from Debenhams, and the Ossie Clark one particularly I have coveted for months- could not have afforded it is it weren’t for a happily placed bank holiday sale and generous birthday present givers.

After a spot of lunch and a spot of shopping, mark for back from work and we settled in at mums for an immense curry, several glasses of prosecco, and a few argumentative games of cards.

A very chilled birthday was not over- I’ve managed to extend it for 48 hours! I park ran with the new watch, had a massive fried breakfast, a small nap and had an amazing dinner cooked courtesy of marky Mark- tea-smoked trout on mustard-dressed potatoes and rocket salad, with chocolate and ginger bombe for finishes and a very nice sauvignion blanc!

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My bank holiday weekend

Can’t believe it’s nearly half 8 on bank holiday Monday already- how unfair! On the plus side, as well as the extended weekend, I’m also off to Portugal with the in-laws on Thursday, so I can’t really complain too much- two days of going mental in the office and I’ll be on a plane again!

I’ve had a pretty varied weekend, with just one difference to my usual in that I haven’t gone out on a massive drink-up, and so have got loads of stuff done.

Friday- I went to Westfield at Stratford and had a bit of a mooch round, to wait for Mark- Didn’t actually buy anything, just picked up some shoes that my mum has bought me for my birthday. When Mark arrived, we went for some food at the Real Greek, to use up some voucher that we’d got for Christmas. We had a souvlaki platter was yum and huge- We ordered flatbread and hummous too, but didn’t really need it. Then we went to Tap East for a final drink. While it was a bit weird having a drink in a shopping centre, it’s well worth a look in if you’re a fan of real ales and happen to be in the area.

Saturday- Promising Mark I’d be back in time to help paint the bedroom wall, I headed to my mum’s for lunch and a bit of food shopping in Marks and Sparks. Maximum husband points awarded to Mark- by the time I got back, he’d painted the wall already! The evening was a meal at Joy Fook in Brentwood for Mark’s sister, Marie’s birthday. It’s an all you can eat Chinese buffet and disco thingy. Food was alright, I suppose- there was plenty of it, and lets be honest, it’s quite hard to screw up Chinese food- it always tastes the same no matter where you order it from. It was pretty busy though, so I seemed to spend quite a lot of time hanging about waiting for them to replenish the crispy duck and sesame prawn toasts, along with everyone else in the restaurant, which meant you had to go for the elbows out and start pushing approach to getting dinner. It’s a bit in the middle of nowhere, so I drove, hence half a glass of prosecco, hence, no hang over.

Sunday- I invited myself along to a boot sale that Marie and the mother in law were going to, in hope of buying some random tat. I’ve been to a couple of boot sales before, as a seller, and it’s always been a little bit too much like hard work, but walking round one was much more fun- If I’d been on my own, I’d probably have spent AGES longer looking at old records and books, but as it was, I picked up a rather cool mirror for a bargainous £4. Then it was off to my mum’s for the rest of the day.

My sister and I were born on the same day, but two years apart and it’s our birthday on Thursday. I, as you’ll note above, will be flying to Portugal on Thursday, and mum is off to Sorrento on Tuesday, and so we went round for what turned into basically a massive eating-fest, plus a very nice afternoon sitting in the sunshine in her back garden with a few drinks

Sunday- Up early and straight to the shops. We picked up a few bits at Ikea, so we could finally finally finish off our bedroom, and got a cheapo desk for the box room, so Mark can work up there. Then it was home to do something I’ve been trying to put off for months- Move furniture. Oh it was painful! We had to move two wardrobes from the back bedroom to the summer house at the bottom of the garden, and the two ‘robes in the box room to the back bedroom. It took about five hours, I have extremely bruised knees and the paintwork on most of the door frames in the house has been severely knackered, but at least it’s done, and it does look much better. Plus the boy wonder gets to have a guitar room now, and I’ve claimed the other bedroom as a sort of dressing room slash boudoir, so I’m looking forward to decorating that. Mark’s just finished putting up some pictures in our bedroom and now it’s time to watch some Graham Norton from Friday (everyone’s been talking about it!) and eat some lovely lovely angel delight

Infinity and beyond! In cake form

toy story cakeI haven’t made a big cake in quite a while. Last year was so mad for cake, that it sort of got in the way of life in general, so for 2013, Mark and I made a conscious decision to take on fewer orders and get a bit of spare time for ourselves. i just couldn’t, however, turn down the opportunity to make my nephew Fin a birthday cake. The theme, the works of Toy Story, Fin’s favourite- the three films are played on a loop wherever he goes, and he has a hefty amount of merchandise that he plays with endlessly. The favourite, Mr Potatoooo Head, who didn’t feature in the cake actually, but maybe next year, eh! I hit on the idea of making three tiers, with each themed around something different. Granted, a three tier cake for a two year old might seem a tiny bit ostentatious, but once I got the idea in my head, I just had to go for it.

Friday, we bought all the ingredients, and mixed up the vanilla top and bottom tiers while a pizza was cooking for dinner. Pizza eaten, I got the middle, chocolate tier sorted, and hung out watching Friday night tv.
On Saturday a bit of an early start, I went to our local cake supply shop and got the sugarpaste, while Mark levelled, filled and crumb coated the cakes, then I dealt with covering the cakes,while Mark made the decorations. A bit of assembly later, and some colouring in with a decorators icing pen, we were done. It was so nice to be caking again,after a break of about 4 months, and it all came together so well, that I think we both realised that we’d really kind of missed it, so who knows, maybe I’ll accept a few commissions soon, rather than turning everything down!