Thought of the Day #81: What’s Coming Will Come

I always did think Hagrid was one of the wisest Harry Potter characters! ūüėČ This line seems worth remembering right now and doing so calms me somehow. I think that often having a positive attitude and the belief that we’ll get through the difficult things approaching really¬†does help.¬†Things don’t often end up being as bad as we imagine they will be at first glance. Or at least that’s what I’m holding on to!

-Fi x

Life Rambles: 15 Things You Don’t Know About Fi

Seeing as I’m a super nosy individual you won’t be surprised to know that I love posts all about people’s random lives. So today I thought I’d share one of those posts myself. Read on to read a few bits and pieces

– I can justify buying anything. Yes I might have 67 unread books, but that doesn’t mean I don’t need three new ones. Oh look another striped top, that’ll go perfectly with the other 15 in my wardrobe.

– I love Liquorice Allsorts, but only the stacked ones. Don’t ever expect me to eat the round ones or the ones that are solely liquorice – yuck!

– I’ve never watched¬†Independence Day, Ghostbusters or The Goonies.

– My favourite smells are burning, cut grass and raw fish.

– I feel travel sick on planes, trains and sometimes in the back of the car. Thankfully I’ve never actually been travel sick, I just feel dreadful.

– I am seriously competitive. I don’t care if we’re meant to be playing a friendly game of Bananagrams or cards I will beat you.

– I’m dreadful at wearing high heels – I fall over in them, get blisters, the sole of my feet hurt and I generally do not enjoy it. however that doesn’t stop me owning an insane number of high shoes.

– I’ve never read a Dickens book I’ve enjoyed.

– I’m incredibly good at getting addicted to boxsets and I’d happily watch 24 episodes in 24 hours if I thought I would be able to make it all the way through without falling asleep.

– As a child I collected keyrings, yes I was that cool.

– I hate tea, despite my Mums best efforts, and only started to like coffee in 2012. I’m now an addict.

– No matter what time I get home I have to read before going to sleep – it’s the only way I can get to sleep.

– I don’t understand how anyone can eat Dairy Milk when it’s not chilled from the fridge, there’s something so satisfying about that snap.

– I hate strawberries in anything, but raspberries? Raspberries I could eat all day everyday.

– Pernickety is one of my favourite words, it never fails to make me giggle to myself.

So there we go there’s a whole load of things you never knew about me, so over to you. Tell me something random and possibly unknown about you!

-Fi x

Life Rambles: Friday Favourites #36

In hindsight it was a massive mistake to wait until Friday morning to write this favourites post as I’m not in a good place right now. My mind is struggling to understand what this country that I love has become. How did it become a place so divided and apparently so against everything I value? How did we allow scaremongering to become louder than facts and stats? And how on earth do we deal with the fallout of yesterday’s referendum, what happens next? I just don’t know and if I think about it too much I will panic and freak out and most probably cry. Actually, maybe this is the best time to write this post ¬†and give myself something to think about that makes me smile and remind me that there are still good things in the world.

First up Disneyland Paris, guys it was epic. I had the best time with some of my favourites, despite hailstones the size of peas and torrential rain. I spent the whole time wearing Minnie Mouse ears and my Disney poncho (fashion leading always, I know!) and enjoying the magic of the place. We ate all the food, tried out all of the more sedate rides and just generally had a ball. I think my most favourite bit was the amazing nighttime spectacular which saw Disney characters projected on the castle and accompanied by the best Disney songs and the most wonderful fireworks display that occurred as the park closed on Saturday night. It was just stunning.

One thing that did make me happy about the referendum is that I got to exercise my right to vote. I always feel blessed and proud of the sacrifices others made to get me that right and to use that vote to have my say is an honour. Despite the result we should never forget the importance of having our say.

Earlier this week we had the parents, the sister, our Aussie Aunt and Uncle and the dog over for dinner and we had the best time. It was lovely to catch up on all the news, set the world to rights and eat yummy food. Plus, I think they were all impressed by our ability to actually cook up a good spread – hooray for surprising them like that! We were also showing off the house to the Aussie relatives and I do love giving the grand tour to them – especially as our aunt was searching for a house for us from the other side of the world and came across our new house online and loved it because of our stained glass window. So it’s nice that she got to see that window in real life!

In other news my Saltwater sandals arrived and they’re amazing.¬†They’re the most comfy¬†shoes ever and the colour I chose is just the best. It’s impossible to not smile when you look at them. If you’ve not got a pair yet, why not?!

So there we go, just a few of the good things happening this week. I’m definitely going to focus on these points over the coming weekend and not the bad stuff. Or try too at least. How’s your week been?

-Fi x

Out and About: The House of Minalima

I don’t think anyone will be surprised when I say I’m a Harry Potter obsessive. Ever since I read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone¬†aged 13 I’ve been hooked. There’s something about the magical world that J. K. Rowling has created that captured my imagination. Simply put I adore it and I consider myself very lucky to have grown up immersed in this world.

As a result I make it a point to head to any Harry Potter thing I can – I’ve been to the Studio Tour multiple times, have tickets for The Cursed Child play in August and WILL one day make it to Harry Potter Wizarding World in Orlando, one day! So when I heard about the Minalima exhibit I was in! And spoiler: it was AMAZING!

 

So what exactly is The House of Minalima? Well Mina and Lima are the names of the two graphic designers who worked on every Harry Potter film for Warner Brothers. So they are the ones responsible for every piece of designed paper or card item in every film. So we’re talking newspapers, every poster with Umbridge’s decrees on, every letter and envelope sent by owl post, every piece of Weasley Wheezers packaging. Not only that but they created the Black family tree, the school text books and so so much more. And that’s what you’ll see if you head to their¬†four-storey shop on Greek Street in London, The House of Minalima. It’s a great way for everyone to see everything up close as not only is it free (hooray!) it’s opened just in time for the start¬†of¬†The Cursed Child, which is situated¬†just¬†a stone’s throw away from it.

If you do get a chance to pop in you won’t be disappointed as over four-storys you’ll be treated to a whole host of awesome Potter stuff. I think my favourite bits were the books, the newspapers and the Weasley products. You can tell just how much fun the designers had with those items – they’re so bright and colourful and really do look enticing! Oh and the fireplace with all the letters coming out of it is pretty cool too! In fact the more I think about it the more I’m remembering! Perhaps I need to go back?

Another good thing about the pop up? You can buy limited edition prints in the shop. Hooray! So if you’ve got a spare half an hour in London coming up you know where to head!

-Fi x

Life Rambles: Friday Favourites #35

Hello, me again! A post from me two days in a row, you lucky things! Today it’s my turn to share with you my favourite things of the week. This week seems to have been a busy one. I think it’s partly because I’ve been doing lots of things, partly because I’m exhausted and also partly because I’m trying to get all the work things done before I trot off away for a long weekend. Oh the fun. In fact this post is due to be published while I’m whizzing across France on a train. The joys of WordPress and technology, hey!
First up this week is my wonderful family weekend. I spent all of last Saturday and Sunday in the wilds of Surrey hanging out with my Mum and my sisters and Lunabean. It was exactly what was needed. Lots of football watching, some shopping, delicious food, family time and puppy cuddles. Blissful.
On Monday night I headed to the theatre with Fi to see In the Heights a musical set in Washington Heights, New York. I wasn’t sure what to expect but it was amazing. The story, the music, the cast and the sets were top notch and I highly recommend you getting tickets if your a theatre or musical fan. It’s on at the King’s Cross Theatre which is a really small place with an interesting layout that allows the theatre watchers to sit close to the stage. We were in the back row which was only 10 rows from the front¬†and we had a brilliant view of everything.
It’s taken me months but I think I’ve finally found the best sweet potato fries recipe in all the land. I’m a huge fan of sweet potato fries but whenever I attempt to make my own at home they turn out all wrong, they’re either too soft or chewy or lacking in flavour. I don’t know, just wrong. So when a friend mentioned this recipe I had to attempt it just in case. And¬†thank god I did give it a go¬†because it works perfectly and I ended up with a pile of perfectly formed sweet potato fries. I’m not gonna lie I’ve had these at least once a week since I discovered the recipe.
As I mentioned I’m currently on a Eurostar train heading towards Disneyland Paris. The place where dreams come true. I cannot wait for three non-stop days of magic around the park. This trip is definitely a highlight of my week, even if it hasn’t actually fully happened yet. Expect to hear more fun things about it soon.
So there you have it, the events that have been keeping me sane this week. I think when the world is crazy and you can’t make sense of things then it’s good to remember and focus on the little day to day things. That’s what I’m holding on to right now anyway.
Laura xx

In the Kitchen: Breakfast Scramble

When I was a child, Sunday was the one lazy(ish) day in our house. Every other day the house was a hive of activity from 6:30 onwards Рyes even on a Saturday, Saturday was the day of the early morning food shop (my Dad with me and my sisters) and house cleaning/washing (my Mum), gosh we really knew how to start the weekend!

But on a Sunday my parents weren’t up and dressed by 8am, instead we’d all be a little more lazy¬†and spent our time¬†reading the papers at the kitchen table, with a pot of tea and coffee, watching¬†the world wake up. Alongside this we’d have a¬†cooked breakfast for our Sunday brunch. Everyone would have their jobs and we’d rush about for 30 minutes getting things done, and then sit down and feast on all the fried things. Alongside the obvious toast, mushrooms, tomatoes, poached eggs, sausages and bacon we’d also have something called breakfast saute from Sainsburys (here’s the version available now, but it looked a little different 20 years ago). ¬†It was a rectangular vacuum packed package containing potato, bacon and eggs and it was delicious. I have memories of fighting Fi for the final spoonful. So when Fi and I had leftover new potatoes the other day and a pack of pancetta in the fridge we decided to recreate said delicious meal. Surely it couldn’t be that hard.

 

 

Indeed it wasn’t. In fact it was so simple to make that we then spent ages wondering why we hadn’t made this before. It was that easy. Since then we’ve made it once a week. Either for brunch on a weekend or as a simple dinner option after work. It really does work for any meal. I dare you not to become obsessed…

 

What you’ll need: Olive oil / leftover potato (we use¬†500g of cooked new potatoes) / 125g pancetta /¬†2 eggs

What to do: Heat the oil / whisk the two eggs together / fry the pancetta and potatoes in the pan until the¬†pancetta is cooked and the potatoes have browned on the edges / add the egg and black pepper to the pan and mix it (hint: you’re looking to scramble the egg rather than make¬†an¬†omelette) / Eat.

So there you go, it really is an incredibly easy meal to make. Depending on the time of day you’re eating you can add many different things.

If you’re having brunch add some french bread or baked beans to bulk it out a bit. Or lunch have it cold with lettuce leaves, a¬†handful of cherry tomatoes and slices of pepper for a filling (and delicious) summer salad.

What do you think? Do you make something similar?

 

Thought of the Day #79: It’s Worth Fighting For

Sometimes you look at the world and wonder how.

How can evil like that exist in the world? How do we even begin to process these events? How do we help those involved to move on?

I have no idea and I’m in awe of those that can but I think remembering Samwise Gamgee’s words is a good place to start.

Life Rambles: Friday Favourites #34

So before I dive into this episode of Friday Favourites I need to apologise for it being so late as it is in fact Sunday. Oops! There’s no real reason other than the fact that I’ve been busy this week and that I’m back at the parents for the weekend and just haven’t felt like stopping the fun with the family and pupster to type away on my laptop. Hopefully you can forgive me?

Now to what’s made my week, first up, Friday started in the best possible way with a breakfast meeting with the work team at Le Pain Quotidian where I had all the food and coffee thanks to the Petit Dejeuner, which fyi is by no means ‘petit’! What it is though is delicious and I swear coffee is way nicer in a bowl that you can wrap your hands round!

Also this week I watched¬†The Audience at the cinema, as part of a special encore screening for the Queen’s birthday. If you’ve not heard of this play it stars Helen Mirren as her majesty and a series of audiences with her many Prime Ministers over the years. And it’s wonderful, Mirren is spectacular and the play is fascinating. Obviously a lot of it is assumed as what happens in those conversations is private between the two of them but it certainly gives a great insight into these characters and the last 60 years of the Queen’s reign. If you ever get a chance to watch it I implore you to do so.

On a less cultural note I went for a decent run last weekend and also in the week and I really enjoyed it. Don’t get me wrong I wasn’t speedy and it wasn’t far but it¬†reminded me why I love getting my trainers on. I do hope I can keep up the running over the coming weeks and not get out of the cycle of it. Fingers crossed!

Running

At the moment the countdown is most definitely on for my trip to see The Cursed Child in August – I can barely wait until August especially as the first few reviews have come in and we’ve seen more of the cast. Head here to see the grown up Ron, Hermione, Harry, Ginny and Draco, amazing right? Anyway, as I’m getting over excited about the next chapter of Potter life I’m also revisiting the books and films. Firstly I’ve started a reread (currently on¬†Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets) and last weekend I revisited the films with a trip to the¬†House of Minalima in London. More on Minalima in the coming weeks with a proper post about it, but if you’re in London anytime soon you need to head there as its brilliant. Minalima is a company set up by the two graphic designers who created the props for the films. So they created all the newspapers, Weasley shop packaging, books, letters and loads more. IT’s truly fascinating and a must-visit for true Potterheads!

 

The final awesome thing for the week is the fact that the Euro championship has started again – hooray for football all day for the next few weeks.¬†Saturday night was BBQ and football night and it was such fun. The England game was a great game and looked really promising – it was just a shame about the result wasn’t it! Anyway at least we’ve got a load more games to watch and I, for one, can’t wait!

So how has your week been, have there been lots of fun things going on?

-Fi x

The Book Corner: A Reading Challenge

The Book Corner: 2016 Reading Challenge Update

Greetings blog friends! How are you all today?

Today I wanted to talk all things book, more specifically a reading challenge that I kind of accepted back in January. I say kind of as I saw it and muttered something about taking part in it and then promptly forgot about it until I saw the screenshot on my camera roll recently. Seeing as how we’re almost half way through the year I thought it seemed sensible to check in on how well I’m doing on said challenge. So first up, below is the challenge I decided to accept (originally seen over here):

a book published this year

a book you can finish in a day

a book you’ve been meaning to read

a book recommended by your local librarian or bookseller

a book you should have read in school

a book chosen for your spouse, partner, sibling, child, or BFF

a book published before you were born

a book that was banned at some point

a book you previously abandoned

a book you own but have never read

a book that intimidates you

a book you’ve already read at least once

 

And how have I done? Well without realising it I’ve actually ticked off six of the twelve types of books listed above. That’s actually quite a surprise as I didn’t think I’d have done that!¬†Read on to discover which ones I’ve achieved already and which ones still need some work – plus I’ve added the books I’m considering for each incomplete task.

a book published this year –¬†Quite a few of the books I’ve read in 2016 fit into this category (The Girl of Ink and Stars, Jolly Foul Play, Glass Sword¬†and¬†Salt to the Sea to name just a few), but the one I’m choosing in order to tick this box is¬†Rebel of the Sands. Mainly because it was such a brilliant book¬†that I read it in about a day!

a book you can finish in a day –¬†I have read a few eshorts this year so I could include those, but if I’m doing this challenge correctly then it probably needs to be a book rather than an eshort that I choose. Therefore I’m choosing¬†The Fox at the Manger, a festive book that I read way back in January and didn’t really like, for this one.

a book you’ve been meaning to read –¬†Alice Oseman’s Solitaire is one such book but because I’m now a complete Eva Ibbotson convert I’m going to pick The Dragonfly Pool for¬†this part of the challenge. I read my first Eva Ibbotson book last year and loved it, so ever since then I’ve been meaning to read the rest of her books¬†as I knew I’d be charmed by this magical tale. I was not disappointed.

a book recommended by your local librarian or bookseller – I’m intrigued to see what my local Waterstones have to recommend to me for this one

a book you should have read in school – Ooh this one’s tricky as I read everything I had to read at school – one of the outcomes of being a big bookworm. I’ll have to have a think back on what the other english classes read that I didn’t. I know some of them¬†read¬†Pride and Prejudice, Of Mice and Men¬†and¬†An Inspector Calls but I’ve read all of them already. I wonder what else was on the sylabus?

a book chosen for your spouse, partner, sibling, child, or BFF –¬†Lau – over to you, any thoughts on this one?

a book published before you were born –¬†Crime at Christmas, the first book I read this year, was originally published in 1969 so definitely ticks the box of book published before I was born. Thankfully I’m not¬†quite¬†that old!

a book that was banned at some point –¬†I’ve never read¬†Catcher in the Rye¬†or¬†To Kill a Mockingbird yet so I’ll try to read both of these this year.

a book you previously abandoned – This has to be¬†Room as I’ve been meaning to finish reading it for so long and just couldn’t quite get in to it. I think it was all related to the subject matter if I’m honest. But with the film out this year it was the perfect excuse to give it a whirl again and it did not disappoint. I¬†raced through it and adored it.

a book you own but have never read –¬†This could be a whole number of books: The Lake House, Room, The Dragonfly Pool, Sisterland or The Sisters but I’m going to go with¬†Vendetta¬†as when I finally did read it I adored and raced through book two in the series within 48 hours.

a book that intimidates you –¬†Ooh this one’s tricky as not a lot of books do intimidate me. Maybe it’ll be a Dickens of some sort as I’m really not a fan of his writing and I’ll find it such hard work!¬†

a book you’ve already read at least once –¬†This will be all the Harry Potter books as I want to do a reread again this year, what with The Cursed Child play and the Fantastic Beasts films coming

Have you completed or started any reading challenges for this year? If so, how are they going?

-Fi x