Archive for October, 2012

She’s Growing Up….

| October 30, 2012 | 10 Comments
She’s Growing Up….


I was looking through photographs over the weekend, and like a bolt from the blue, I became choked up.  My little girl, is growing up!

Miss N, my eldest daughter, who turned 10 in September, will always be my little girl, I know. However she is growing up so fast.  She has developed a love of learning all about make-up, and developing her own sense of style.  I remember how that feels, but didn’t realise how hard it is as a mother to watch your children grow up so fast.  Though I confess, I did a little happy dance’ when you said you would like some purple Doc Martins for Christmas.

I definitely started to have an idea about my own style much later than this.  So maybe that’s where the difference lies?

I am so proud of you, I love that you know exactly what you want, but it hard for both of us, when we disagree.  I’m sure we will be having words about hem lines and heels, in three or four years from now, but please, please don’t make it any sooner!

So Miss N, for now, I’m concentrating on nurturing the fact, you are still my little girl.

One day, I’m sure you will have your own make-up, and clothing line. I love that over half term you made up your own perfume, and it doesn’t smell too bad, and It didn’t take too long to clean the nail varnish up off your bedroom floor, really.

I love that you customised your own t-shirt, but next time Miss N, check that its one that you can cut up….ok?

You are a star Miss N, you are shining so brightly and I love you!

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Half Term Mickey Treasure Hunt (Epic Mickey 2 : The Power of Two)

| October 29, 2012 | 1 Comment
Half Term Mickey Treasure Hunt (Epic Mickey 2 : The Power of Two)


Half term is over where I live, but there is still chance (up until the 5th of November) to get involved with this fun competition.  Do you have any Mickey Mouse and friends memorabilia from days gone by? A hidden gem in your attic, or even in pride of place on display? Well if you do, pop over to THIS page on Facebook page and enter.

This competition is being run in conjunction with the new Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two (being released on November 23rd) and is all about bringing back lost and forgotten Disney characters and theme park attractions.  We were lucky enough to go to Disney in Florida this year, and visited the attraction – One Mans Dream.  It was one of the highlights for myself and my husband, as the history of Disney, and Walt himself, is so fascinating, and a real triumph against adversity.

Entries can either be of cultural, historical, artistic or just sentimental value and independent experts will then provide some of lucky entrants with feedback about the history and significance of their item. How cool is that!

The top five entries will be invited to form part of a unique Disney gallery taking place at Westfield Stratford in London on the 24 and 25th of November. This gallery will showcase the epic story of Mickey Mouse and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, from 1920s cartoons to modern-day video game heroes, using images of archive artefacts from the Disney archives in California.

The overall winner will receive a trip to Disneyland Paris for a family of 4!

So, why don’t you have your own treasure hunt around the house, and see if you have any hidden Mickey Mouse treasure.

Thank you for reading



Zizzi’s Strozzapreti : very easy and delicious pasta dish

| October 29, 2012 | 15 Comments
Zizzi’s Strozzapreti : very easy and delicious pasta dish

Italian Resturant Zizi

A couple of weeks ago, we went to Zizzi’s in Nottingham, and Miss N (10) couldn’t decide what to eat, I recommended the Strozzapreti.  I always have Strozzapreti if we eat at Zizzi’s but without the chicken, and I absolutely love it. It’s full of flavour, with just a little heat, just sublime.  Well Miss N did too, in fact Tall Dad tried some, and declared it absolutely delicious.

Zizi's Nottingham

So I decided to see if I could try to recreate the dish at home.  I did have a little help, as my friend Claire is also a fan of the dish, so very easily reeled off the ingredients.

Ingredients to serve a family of four :

  • 8 spring onions (small bunch)
  • 1 yellow pepper (not in the original recipe but I had one I needed to use up)
  • 1 jar of red pesto
  • 400g of Pasta
  • Chopped chilli – the amount varies on strength, I used 1 whole red chilli
  • 4 heaped tablespoons of Crème fraîche(half fat Crème fraîche is fine)
  •  Parmesan to serve
  • 2 pre-cooked chicken breasts

To make the dish, is so simple, and only takes as long, as it takes to cook some pasta.

Put the pasta on to cook in salted boiling water.

Sauté the spring onions and strips of pepper, adding the red pesto and chilli, once they are soften and turn down the heat.  If you want to use chicken (chopped into strips) you need to add it with the pesto. Once this is warmed through add the Crème fraîche.

Drain the pasta keeping a little of the cooking water to one side, add the pasta to the pesto and Crème fraîche mix, and combine.  Add a little of the cooking water, and mix gently again.  When you serve add parmesan some on top.

Here it is, and if I am going to declare it even better than the one at Zizzi’s.  If you don’t believe me, give it a try.

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I Love Mondays : The one where I ‘Ask Her Friends’

| October 29, 2012 | 1 Comment
I Love Mondays : The one where I ‘Ask Her Friends’

I have a very cool site to share with you today on this special edition of I Love Mondays. Ask her Friends, is a website which is primarily for the man in your life.  It is designed to make it easier for any guy to buy a gift for their wife, girlfriend, mum or sister, or indeed any female in their life really!

Do they need this helping hand?

Well, I would say there are a lot of men (and women) out there who really do. I know Tall Dad certainly does, he’s always misses my not so subtle hints and often is exasperated trying to surprise me.  Even though we have been together for over 14 years, and he knows me really well.  The art of shopping and gift buying completely alludes him. He is very sweet, and generous, but its at times like these, that Ask Her Friends, is absolutely perfect.

I decided the best way to do this was test the site.  So I gave Tall Dad the web address, and the rest was up to him.

You can get the Ask Her Friends site to create a list of gifts to purchase two main ways.  Either answer two simple questions –  Who is the gift for, and what is your price range? Hey presto, it will show you a selection of gifts.

Or alternatively answer six really simple questions and use the ‘idea map’ so that you can refine your search a little more.

This is the method Tall Dad decided to test.

ask her friends, idea map

Tall Dad, thought it was simple and easy to use, and didn’t have a problem answering the questions about the type of person I am.   I must admit, I was looking over his shoulder as he described my style as classic and vintage, and having a love of films. I was a little nervous about the outcome, but extremely happy with the result.  Here is the selection below:

Ask er friends gift idea

If there is anything, that you think instantly, that the person will not like, you simply hit remove and an alternative is given instantly. My selection was very varied, and from very different sellers.

It’s at this point that you can either make a decision and buy the gift, or alternatively ‘Ask Her friends’ by sending an email, or sending one of her friends a message on Facebook.  It’s such a simple concept,  that gives the buyer confidence that his purchase will be suitable.

The Ask Her Friends Details:

  • Gifts start from under £10
  • Simple and easy to navigate site
  • All the hard work done for you
  • Use social media, to have your own army of personal shoppers.
  • Specialising in beautiful, unique products from cool boutiques such as Coulson Macleod, Tatty Devine and Milli Millu as well as beautiful stores such as Liberty London
  • Experts blog, to give hints and tips
  • Also experiences are available, such a a wardrobe revamp, or photography lessons
So what did I think to the items chosen?
I loved them, I actually found it spookily accurate. I loved that it chose unusual but modern jewellery.  This is something he has gotten wrong before (Sorry Tall Dad) any of these pieces, however would be the right choice.  I’m a huge fan of Orla Kiely design, and I was only saying the other day I need some nude coloured heels.  So to be honest I would be extremely happy with any of the gifts.  If I really had to choose, I’d go for the large silver and pearl necklace from Two Red Trees, it’s just gorgeous!
two red trees
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