Halloween

We live in a block of flats which has a lot of families in so I made sure we had plenty of sweets in stock for trick or treaters, as there’s nothing worse than running out. But for some unknown reason we only got one set of trick or treaters, what’s that about?! Now I suppose I’ll have to eat all these leftovers myself, h&m which first a Chewitt or a Flake?

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London at night

Walking home from work along the river never gets old. It’s fantastic to have a route that takes me passed so many amazing landmarks – the London Eye, the Houses of Parliament, MI6 and Lambeth Palace to name a few. But it’s on nights like tonight when the city’s lit up so beautifully that I enjoy my walk the most – spectacular.

A Monday night gig

Watching Tyler Hilton (of One Tree Hill fame) at a gig in Kings Cross.

Life Lately

Today I’ve got the day off from work as I still have a few days to take this year, and so I thought why not I might as well treat myself to some relaxation time! So today I’ve mostly been catching up on TV, amending my blog design (check out the new header image) and not doing the numerous jobs on my list – oops! But I figured another ‘Lately‘ post was far more important than hoovering my flat as I’m sure you’d agree! So what have I been up to recently, well to be honest lots and lots – mainly eating nice food, catching up with family and work – which is why I needed to use this day off to write another lately post!

West Wing marathons – My friends, sister and I are currently working our way through the entire box set of West Wing, the phenomenally brilliant show about working for the president of the United states. We all absolutely adore the show but haven’t all seen every episode, so what a perfect excuse for me to view them all again! Last week we caught up and watched four episodes in one night, the episodes spanned a whole plethora of action – middle east talks, Leo’s heart attack and Donna returning to work after being involved in a road side bomb attack. All very stressful to be honest! As we near the end of our West Wing marathon (we’ve just started series 6 and 7 is the final series!) it’s given me time to stop and think about the show and I’ve come to the conclusion that there is no better TV show out there. The writing is superb, the characters wonderful and the show is equal parts humour and sentiment. I think it’s a tribute to the brilliance of the show that you can understand every action of every single character, even if you don’t agree with what they are doing or how they are acting. You still understand why they are doing what they’re doing. Just brilliant, brilliant stuff.

Delicious Seafood Ravioli

Chez Bruce – Four or five times a year we have a ‘Dads and Daughters’ dinner with another family and the five of us (three daughters and two dads) go to a fantastic restaurant to chat, eat lovely food and (for everyone else) drink lots of wine! Last week was our latest outing and we went to Chez Bruce in Wandsworth and it was lovely. The food itself was on another level to anything else I’ve ever had, although as my first ever Michelin dinig experience that’s to be expected! Not only were my three courses – seafood ravioli, chicken and potato gnocchi and peanut butter and chocolate cake – sensational but the parmesan crackers, foccacia bread, ciabatta bread, chocolate truffles and caramel pastries that we were treated to at various stages throughout the night we’re all exceptionally delicious. It really was the most amazingly wonderful treat.

Me with my Auntie Jennie and cocktails!

Family fun – All of my Mum’s family lives over in Australia and while we do try to see them all fairly regularly, it isn’t always that easy. So when we do get together it’s always special. My Aunt and Uncle have been over in the UK and Italy for the last few weeks, so we’ve had lots of opportunity to see them, which has been fantastic but sadly they’ve now flown home but we did manage to have a good last few days with them. Firstly we all met for dinner and cocktails in London and then on Friday we were all at my parents house for a lovely home cooked meal of fish pie and apple crumble and then board game fun! Both nights were brilliant, but I’m not sure the hilarity of eight members of team Evans/Jones/Harvey playing the Logo Game can ever be beaten!

Skyfall – What a brilliant film! I saw it at the weekend and it was sensational, it was the best film I’ve seen in a long while. The story was great and not too complicated or confusing and it was strangely believable. It would also have been a brilliant stand alone film, which I think is always the key to a good film from a franchise. When we left the cinema we were discussing whether or not it was better than Casino Royale, and I still can’t decide as I love both the films for numerous reasons, although I do think the supporting cast in Skyfall possibly pip the cast in Casino Royale – I mean Judi Dench, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Helen McCrory, Javier BArdem, Ben Wishaw and of course Albert  Finney. Wow! If you haven’t seen it I urge you to ASAP, it’ll life up to your sky high expectations I promise!

The Patriots take on the Rams

Wembley bound – yesterday it was the latest NFL game at Wembley and I went along to support my team the New England Patriots and it was fantastic! Having never been to a live NFL game before I wasn’t sure what to expect but I wasn’t let down. The game had all the pomp, excitement and patriotism that I always expected a live game would have. From the crazy fans in Halloween dress-up outside the stadium and the 84,000 strong crowd cheering on Mayor Boris to the scantily clad cheerleaders and rousing national anthems, everything was bigger, better and bolder than anything I’ve ever seen at Wembley. And with the Patriots beating the St Louis Rams by a fair margin the result wasn’t bad either!

Running, or not as the case may be – I’m struggling with my running at the moment. I can’t seem to get back into the rhythm of things. On my two runs this weekend I did 4.5 and 3.5 miles respectively which isn’t anything to be sniffed at. But the thing about both runs was that I was doing a combination of running and walking, as I can’t seem to run for longer than 10 minutes at a time at the moment. What the hell is wrong with me? Ever since my 5k in July I’ve not been able to run a decent amount of time without stopping, and I can’t work out why. I really need to sort out my willpower when it comes to running or else I’m never going to get any better and I really want to run a 10k in 2013.

So that’s my latest week, phew how exhausting. I think I could do with another slightly calmer week please. But enough about me, what was your week like? I’d love to know what you’ve been up to!

-Fi x

Chocolate bites of yummyness

So at the weekend I made the Nutella Brownies which I’d seen last week, these are the ones that intrigued me because they only have three ingredients. They were so simple to make as all you do is mix together the 280g nutella, two eggs and 10tbsp of flour and then pop them in the cases and bake for 20 minutes on 180°c – easy! And the result? Super delicious mini brownie cakes! They were so brilliantly chocolatey, I loved them!, I think the proof of this was the three that I ate in one sitting! The only thing I think I’d change in the future is maybe cooking them for a little less time, so that they are slightly softer and a little more moist! But overall they are delicious and the perfect little chocolate hit. In fact I think I might just go and have another one….

American football and Train

Watching Train sing ‘Drops of Jupiter’ at Wembley Stadium as part of the NFL pre-show.

Shopping exploits

Yesterday I went on a mini shopping spree, even though I promised myself I wouldn’t buy anything for a while. I don’t really have a reasoning for going on said spree apart from the fact that I have no warm clothes and am in severe need of some unless I want to freeze. So I suppose you could argue it was an essential trip. So what did I get?

1. A new coat – £25 from Primark. Hooray that I’ve managed to find a new coat, I’ve been searching for one for ages as my old ones sadly no longer fit. After trying on numerous coats I found THE ONE! It’s a navy coat with poppers and interesting silver detailing on the catches. It’s snugly and warm and the sleeves are a decent length, which is a coat bug-bear of mine. What’s even better is the price, so wonderfully cheap for a winter coat!

2. A snuggly turquoise jumper – £15 from H&M. Perfect teamed with jeans or a skirt, for work or for going out with friends. I know that this jumper is going to be my go-to item all autumn and Winter. As well as being wonderfully versatile it’s also a fantastic colour – I do love a bright colour. Perfect for cheering you up on a grey depressing Monday morning.

3. Warwick Way nail varnish – £11 from nails Inc. When buying my friend some magnetic nail varnish for her birthday I came across this gorgeous colour and couldn’t stop from treating myself. It was £11 which I do think was a bit much for one nail varnish but I do love the quality of nails inc. products, the polish always goes on perfectly too. Plus this colour was so amazing that I honestly just couldn’t resist!

4. Christmas Fair Isle Jumper – £25 from H&M. It’s very rare that I can say no to fair isle style knitwear and this gorgeous jumper was no exception. It’s beautiful and so snuggly, I know that it’ll be worn a lot over the coming weeks, in fact I think I’ll wear it to work next week, for it’s very first outing.

5. Gloves – £3.99 for two pairs. Over the last week or so the weather has really started to become wintry which I really felt when I went for a run yesterday morning. It was so cold I could barely feel my fingers therefore these gloves were a necessity. So while they might not look the nicest I really don’t care as long as my fingers stay warm and don’t fall off with frost bite!

Hopefully these lovely items will stave off the shopping bug for at least the next few weeks, although I saw so many other lovely items whilst I was shopping that I fear my willpower won’t last that long! Oh well, you only live once and isn’t that why I own a credit card?!

Let Christmas begin!

So I think it’s time I let you into a bit of a secret, I love Christmas, in fact I don’t just love it, I’m pretty much obsessed with Christmas. As soon as October begins and Autumn starts to appear the Christmas countdown kicks in. I’ve realised over the years that the build-up and anticipation of Christmas is the best bit about it, although I suppose this is inevitable really as no day could life up to the amount of hype that we heap on to it! I’m sure I’ll share all sorts of exciting Christmas preparations, fun, memories and excitement over the coming weeks – its just over 8 weeks to go don’t forget – but for today I wanted to share three exciting things that happened this week. All of which are related to that wonderful festive time of year, Christmas.

Firstly, three days ago it was exactly two months until the day itself, yes TWO months, hooray! In my book it means that it’s now time to officially start the countdown. Like I’ve said I do actually start the countdown sooner but only in my head as no one else really appreciates the level of my excitement that early. Especially when they’re still coming to terms with the summer ending. But now that it’s less than two months away the fun can really begin, yippee! Although sadly I think it’s still too soon for Christmas carols. Although if I pop them on my iPod who would know? Hm, there’s a thought…

Yesterday whilst shopping Laura Randomly Rambles and I came across the perfect Christmas onesies and bought four of them! Why you might ask? Well earlier this year we decided that on Christmas morning when our family open our stockings we should all be wearing something suitable Christmassy! As all of us sisters have been secretly lusting over onesies for a while so that was the garment we decided to go for. So when we saw the blue and white spotted onesies in Primark they just HAD to be purchased! Oh and did I mention the feet feature penguins? Brilliant! Now we just have to find something for Dad to wear, something a little less crazy I think!

The final Christmassy thing that happened this week is that I bought my very first Christmas present, hooray! Yes I know it’s early but in my defence it’s a good plan if you think about it. If I start shopping now I can spread the cost over more paydays and therefore maybe get myself a small present or two sooner! So what was this present you ask? It was a present for my gorgeous god-daughter who seems to have inherited my love for all things Disney. So I’ve bought her the Brave DVD, I’m struggling to think of a better present for a four year old, or a 20-something-old (AKA me)!

So yes that’s my exciting week of Christmas fun, lets hope there are plenty more to come. With only 57 days to go we need to make the most of it!

Cute jewellery

I went shopping today and bought some lovely warm clothes, yes I broke my self-imposed shopping embargo, oops!! Anyway I’ll share my fantabulous purchases another day as today I want to share two things I didn’t allow myself to buy. This gorgeous owl bracelet and bird necklace, how cute are they?! and so cheap too, I was surprised as I don’t usually like stuff from River Island, but these appear to be the exception! My reasoning for not buying them was that they won’t keep me warm which seems to be the important thing at the moment! But they’re definitely top of my list for the next time I fancy treating myself. Which knowing me won’t be far off!

Train Station Fun

This used to be my daily view, waiting for the boards to show which platform my wonderful train home would be on. For two years I persevered with this 50 minute train journey back to my family home whilst saving up for my flat and it was the worst thing about my day. Don’t get me wrong I love my family and enjoyed all the comforts of living at home – home cooked meals, no bills to pay, etc – so it wasn’t impending doom about going home it was the train journey itself.

That awful manic rush from work, always having to bear the timetable in mind whatever you were planning, the hideous scrum to get to the platform first and then once on the train being squashed and without a seat for most of the journey, not a joy at all. I’d rather my current walk/bus route any day if the week. That’s far less stressful and I feel like I have some control!

However, tonight the journey home was far less horrendous, but that’s probably to do with the novelty of doing the journey for the first time in ages and also why I was heading home. I was off home for fish pie and apple crumble with my lovely Aunt and Uncle from Australia as well as other family. The train journey was bearable as I knew the fun that lay in store once I was off the tin can on wheels!

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