Self Portrait

I have some vintage Rayban’s to EBay, I would keep them but sadly they do not suit me at all. The shape of the frame is wrong for my face and they do not fit me properly. I guess the 12 years I spent working in an opticians were not a complete waste!

I took this photo the other day to start organising putting them up for auction. I noticed this happy accident of my reflection in the lens. I love the fact that my face is a giant camera lens, and that my hoodie is slightly falling off my shoulder. It is a true refection of me (boom!) in that I am my usual scruffy self.

Please note, I have not edited this snap. It is a rare ungrainy/not too dark snap I manged to take as a fluke with my little bridge camera……I really must get around to reading the manual.

Tuesday Tune

No deep and meaningful story associated with today’s selection for Tuesday tune. I just love this video. It still is, 9 years on, one of my favourites.

The best bit is when she swims with the giant whale and then the jelly fish light up in time with the music. Well I think so anyway!

We have all had one of those moments where we are there but are not really there on the dance floor eh? Oh and the song is pretty ace too.

Vegetarian Bean Chili

Let me start this blog post by going slightly off topic and talk about myself (again!). I am not a huge meat eater and could easily turn vegetarian, which I was between the ages of six to ten until the fated day I accidentally ate a Peperami. Seriously – I completely forgot it was made from meat!

Unfortunately this will never happen as I now live with a committed carnivore who likes his steak blue and dreams of having the presenters job in Man v’s Food. I try not to cook too much meat at home, for cost and health reasons and due to the ethics involved in meat production.

To cut a long story short the lack of beef causes a beef in our household. Rob thinks a meal is only complete with some form of meat in it and will moan if his dinner contains none. So I am always on the hunt for good vegetarian recipes, ones that are so flavourful and tasty that he forgets there is no meat in the dish! Mwahaha!

We both love chili con carne but cooking this is an issue in our house as I hate beef (I only eat white meat and fish) and Rob hates Quorn mince. Neither of us will budge on this, so I have made chili’s with Turkey mince which are OK, and do sometimes make them with pork mince (which I have started eating in the last 2 years – yes I am a reformed fussy eater). I love my beans and have been trying to find a decent all veggie chili recipe that does not turn out like a soup.

On Friday I made this recipe which was really good. It has a tin of refried beans in it, which thickens things up beautifully. So thick that you can stand a spoon in it, just the way a good chili should be!

Please note this photo was taken of the leftovers on Saturday, before I made enchilladas with it!

I cannot remember how I found this recipe, it was on a link in a blog post I read ages ago, and I saved the recipe as it was intriguing to me. Seriously – a tin of refried beans in a chili is genius! Why had’nt I thought of that before! I am going to add a tin in every chili I make in the future to thicken it up – yum!

Here is my slightly adapted recipe using what I had to hand.

INGREDIENTS
Olive oil
1 large onion
2 peppers
1 Tbls Easy chili
1 Tbls Easy garlic (please note I never buy these ‘easy’ items, my Mum bought them for me!)
250ml veg stock (sadly I had no beer to hand, as it always gets drunk in our house!)
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tin of kidney beans
1 tin of adzuki beans
1 Tbls cumin powder
2 Tbls chili powder
1 tin of spicy refried beans
DIRECTIONS
Over moderate heat, add oil to a deep pot and combine onion, peppers, chili and garlic. Saute for 10 minutes to soften vegetables. Deglaze pan with stock, add tomatoes, beans, and stir to combine.

Season chili with cumin, chili powder. Thicken chili by stirring in refried beans. Simmer over low heat about 15 minutes longer, then serve. Yes I copied and pasted this part but I slightly changed it.

It tastes better than it looks – honest! The spoon is still standing up on its own, although it does not really look like it in this pic!

Two Green Bottles

A few weeks ago, while browsing the booze aisle in my local branch of Morrison’s I spotted a new (to me) beer called Lucky on special offer for £1 a bottle.

I grabbed one each for Rob and I, as I am a sucker for a novelty drink and *ahem* you never know, drinking them just might well be lucky!

Now that the beer is drunk, which was very tasty actually. I do not want to recycle the bottles, they are far too good to throw out.

It is moments like these that I wish I was a crafter. I have no idea how to utilise them. Do I spray paint them, gold leaf them or somehow make the necks wider to turn them into vases?

Or do I just get rid of them so I do not end up with more clutter and tat in my house!

Ut-oh I have just realised that this is my second blog post dedicated purely to booze!

New Forest 2012 Holiday Snaps

Better late than never I guess, here is a small selection of photos taken while on holiday in the New Forest with my family.

I did not really try to take any arty/clever/creative shots, so most of the two hundred odd snaps I took involve various members of my family. The majority were taken around the swimming pool, and will not be shown on here. No one needs to see me in a swimsuit, believe me!

These are all uncropped and unedited (cant you tell – ha!).

The picture of the gold post box is in Lymington and was taken while I felt a little daft and quickly between tourists posing next to it.

One day we walked along the coast and saw the needles on the Isle of Wight in the horizon.

The snap with the campervan was taken in Shanklin on our day trip to the island.

Coincidentally this is my 100th post! I’m actually quite proud of myself for making it this far as I wondered if blogging was something I would stick at. I still have my L plates but so far I am slowly finding my feet. I still have not done my big kitchen reveal though whoopsie! That post is in my drafts and hopefully I will finish it this side of Xmas!

 

Im Hornsea

Im Hornsea, Hornsea, Hornsea, Hornsea, so Hornsea, Hornsea, Hornsea, Hornsea. Sorry this song always pops into my head every time I see a piece of Hornsea!

You know how it is – you spend weeks, nay months going to boot fairs and browsing around charity shops, hoping to find some vintage treasures but in reality you only window shop the overpriced tat, which is mainly board games with pieces missing and “vintage” clothing from Primark that costs more than it did originally brand new in Primark.

When suddenly you strike gold! Its a great feeling! Granted I will never top the Cathrineholm Kettle I found in my local Hospice shop, but the scavenger in me will keep on trying. And two weeks ago I found these two pieces of Hornsea.

The first piece I found was the coffee pot which I bought in a charity shop on the Isle of Wight, while on our day trip while on holiday in the New Forest. The Isle of Wight is great for vintage from what I could see with the few chazza’s I raced around (I had a bored Rob with me) in Shanklin. After all it is an island that folk retire to and does not have a huge amount of chain stores on it to buy new stuff (and no Primark!). I maybe paid a little too much for it at £7 but I was caught in the moment and it is for charity after all! Rob absolutely hates it and Hornsea in general, so I told a little white lie that I might eBay it to make a little profit. But I am hoping it will grow on him, if not – too bad!

The second piece, my green milk jug was found in the Cancer Research in Maidstone for £1.25 just days after finding the coffee pot.

I think they look rather dandy together, now I need to figure out where to display them. The dining room, lounge or the kitchen? – Before I eBay them of course *cough*!

 

New Shizz

I bought myself a couple of treats this week, a scarf from here and a fake satchel from Primark.

Like any good blogger I love me some Orla Kidston/Cath Kiely and as soon as the collection for Uniqlo was launched on Thursday I ordered me a little something, the brown scarf pictured just above is for my Mum – you got to make the most of the delivery charge! Which was very speedy BTW and arrived on Saturday, I was very pleased with the service.

I was very tempted to order one of the dresses, but I am not a dress wearer by nature. I only get my legs out for weddings, funerals, job interviews and when it is so unbearably hot outside I cannot bear any fabric on my legs! But still, they are very sweet.

I would have ordered all of the scarves if my budget allowed! In the end and with Rob’s help (I am very indecisive) I settled on the famous stem print. Mum chose the brown one and if she and I meet up wearing co-ordinating scarves we may look a little odd. I guess people might look at us funny, but I don’t care, I want people to look so I can think to myself “yeah that’s right bitches – I am wearing Orla Kiely!” Never mind that it cost less than a tenner, and most people do not know who she is in my town, and probably in reality no one will bat an eyelid at us! Its all for my benefit really!!

I liked the hoodies , which have now almost sold out now. But these days I tend to avoid wearing too much pattern or bold colours and I stick to plain boring clothes. I think this is a mix of me both growing weary of fast fashion with its ethics and environmental impact and maybe just getting older and leaving the mad clothes for the youngsters in their late teens/early twenties to wear! I must fight against this hard! Never fear readers, I still prefer H&M and New Look to Next and BHS! Phew!

Finally the satchel was a bargain in Primark at £9. I will never afford a proper leather Cambridge one (or justify spending that much on myself to be honest). I had been thinking of treating myself to fake version on EBay for ages, costing around £20. Then I saw this one the other day and snapped it up at a much better price! Yeah its made from plastic, but I don’t care, it still does the job of carrying all my necessities and looks good slung over my shoulder.

Now go away weird Indian summer/heatwave so I can wear my new scarf, with my DM’s and jeans again then complete the look with my new bag!

BTW I realise I have just undone what I have said about the ethics of fast fashion by shopping in Primark. But I try shop in there mindfully and only buy stuff I know I will get lots of wear out of. The same applies to any shop really.

 

Lately #1

Lately in bullet points –

  • Rob and I went to our first antiques market today, or rather I made Rob take me to it as I do not drive and I dragged him around it. I did not buy anything apart from an ice cream each and a big bag of pears for a pound!
  • I have a job interview on Tuesday, only my third this year. Its tough out there. Fingers crossed for me, although I am not really bothered about the job, a few extra pennies would be nice.
  • I have started my first experimental no knead bread, currently resting on the worktop over night and to be baked tomorrow. I might be able to cross another item off my to do list soon!
  • Talking of baking, I treated myself to this book with some vouchers from work, and now I just want to throw away donate to charity all my baking books as this one is the bomb. The two things I have made so far have worked out a treat!
  • Talking of books, I am reading this at the moment. I had no intention of reading it. But have been eagerly lent it by a lady at work, so I feel obliged to read it as she is going to want to have a natter about it. Oh dear. Yep it is pretty bad so far, all this my inner goddess and my subconscious rubbish.
  • And where have these been all my life? They are so handy, I cant believe I was too tight to pay out for them for years, they do make life so much easier!
  • I have been over thinking about who to feature in my next Tuesday tune, so probably will not get around to writing one. I cant decide between Tom Vek, Niki and the Dove or The Knife. And cant think of anything interesting to write about any of them other than I like it and here is their wikipedia link. Erm hang on, is’nt that what I do anyway?
  • Update on the camper van – Rob has welded a new panel on to it.
  • Finally, I am glad summer has nearly passed. I am not a fan of the heat and I cant wait to wear a coat and scarves again. True.