Posted in Eating, Travel

NYC 16 – The National

I’m a big fan of watching competitive cookery, especially American competitive cookery. I think I’ve exhausted all of Netflix, both UK and US versions (although new episodes of Chopped AND Cut-throat Kitchen just popped up, goodbye spare time).

So when I booked us up for NYC secretly, I thought I’d throw a little something for myself into the pot by booking into Geoffrey Zakarian’s The National for dinner on our first evening. Luckily, Lee is also a fan of good food and drink, so it was no hardship for him to tag along!

The food was incredible, just as I’d hoped it would be. It’s not cheap by any means, but it is great ingredients cooked with skill and care and that’s pretty much my requirement when it comes to dining out.  That cauliflower dish was to die for, but the star was the cider and mustard-glazed brussels sprouts. I know, right? Amazing.

I’d mentioned when I booked that we were in town celebrating Lee’s birthday and they sweetly made a note and brought out a free dessert complete with candle – such a nice touch which really made our first night in NY special.

And as it’s just round the corner from the Waldorf Astoria, we were able to waddle back to the hotel and collapse into bed after a very lovely evening indeed.

If you are turning into a bit of a foodie, like me, then you might like peruse the menu here. The signature NTL. Mule cocktail was also HELLA good – I may have had more than one (three).

Definitely will be heading back here once my credit card recovers next time I’m in the region.

More tales from the City soon!

Posted in Making

New Things New Things NEW THINGS

I’ve been adding a bunch of new stuff to my various retail outlets lately. Here’s a selection:

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I made these neon pink hoops ages ago but just got round to adding them to the shop.

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A whole plethora of new badges have appeared, including Coffee & Netflix, Good Egg and Bad Seed.

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And my personal favourite of all the recent new-ness, these tiny wee OK! banners.

Also of note – the Not On The High Street sale continues, which has a bunch of my cards and cross stitch kits in it, at half price.

And last but not least, I have two of these fuck the dishes tea towels left, priced at just £10 including postage. I keep thinking I’ve run out and then finding more in boxes. I should really finish unpacking!

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Posted in Making

Let’s Hear It For Breakfast!

Have you seen Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt yet? I really loved it. It’s on Netflix, give it a go.

A few catchphrases from the show caught my attention, and I decided to make a free cross stitch chart from one of them for you. I know, I’m too good to you. Let’s hear it for breakfast!

Let's Hear It For Breakfast!

If you feel inspired to cross stitch this one, you can clickez here – LetsHearItForBreakfastChart.

I’ve also finally fixed the problem of the disappearing free cross stitch charts and put them all on a static page together – you’ll find all my free cross stitch charts here. There’s also a link at the top of the page here, if you’re not viewing on a reader.Apologies to anyone who has recently tried to download a chart and not received the chart!

I made some badges for some pals who also loved the show and added a few sets to the shop. I was so chuffed when Netflix instagramed them, look!

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Yay! If you’d like your own set, you’ll find them here.

Posted in Living

#BEDM 1. Intro

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I did the Blog Every Day In May challenge last time around (or was it two times ago? I can’t remember) and quite enjoyed it, so I signed up again this year. Of course, I’ve had a pretty busy week since I decided to do so, so haven’t gotten round to even starting it until now. So I’m blogging retrospectively every day in May for a bit.

The first set topic is to introduce yourself, so for anyone who hasn’t been reading this for years, firstly, you’ve really missed out (ho ho, not) and secondly, here’s some fascinating facts you might not know about me already.

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1. My day job is in television – it sounds exciting but it’s really not anything than a relentless endurance test of the soul, mind and body. I work in Access Services which is providing subtitles, audio description and sign language translation for most of the UK’s broadcasting companies (everything except ITV and Channel 5, basically). I used to be a live and pre-recorded subtitler but I’m now a duty manager, planning who does what and then making sure it all happens. It’s all the stress of live television but none of the glamour.It’s long hours, stressful at times but you do get to watch a lot of telly. Sometimes, I remember that we’re providing a magical service to some people who would be lost without it and that makes me happy. I’m really great in a crisis though, as a result of my job. It’s the one thing I can blow my own trumpet about without cringing – bring me a problem and I can think of 5 ways to creatively tackle it quickly. It’s why I think I am pretty awesome at my job.

2. I’ve been running my own business for over 10 years. Some aspects of it I really like, some I don’t. Some days, I have an overwhelming urge to pack it all in and never think of it again and others I want to drop everything and immerse myself in it. Lately, I’ve been enjoying not worrying much about it and taking time to create things for myself or friends. It’s made me remember that it can be fun and relaxing to cross stitch!

3. After vowing never to buy another house, I recently did. Other things I’ve vowed never to do include: get married (11 years this year), sell on Etsy again (considering a return for the VATMOSS headache for my patterns), go in a hot air balloon (so far, so good).

4. My brother lives in Siberia. I was hoping that he’d blog/instagram more when he moved there, but so far, all he’s done is talk about the weather and ask us to post him gravy granules. It’s not as cold as you’d think it is there but it is apparently a lot harder to make a stew than you’d guess.

5. My husband and my dog are both Welsh. I’m outnumbered by Welsh males in our house. We sort of rescued our dog, Max. He was taken in by a 93 year-old lady in the Lake District after his original owners had to give him up the day they were moving house. He’s a big Labrador, and quite active, so he soon proved too much for even a sprightly almost-centenarian. We were starting to think about getting a puppy when my friend Sarah suggested that we drive down and meet Max. We agreed, on the understanding that we were not taking him home with us that day. A few hours later, we were driving back with him in the back because he was just adorable. He’s really a massive part of the family and I can’t imagine life without him. I’m forever grateful to Sarah’s parents living next door to the old lady who took him in.

6. I really like giving things to people, gifts, unwanted possessions, etc. I am always the one who brings cakes into work. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know I am forever giving things away. I just like making people happy in small ways.The joy of gift-giving is something I’ll never tire of. I like helping people find great gifts for people that are really well-suited to them.

7. I really like driving. I only passed my test a few years ago, later in life, and since then, I’ve become quite a confident driver. However, the past month or so, I’ve had a string of incidents where I’ve been completely abiding by the rules of the road and other drivers (all male, all white BMW/Audi/van drivers) have cut me up and then verbally abused me rather rigorously, which has knocked my confidence a bit. I’ve started driving different routes to work to mix it up a bit, but it’s really stuck with me and I hope my stupid brain lets me forget it soon or it will be sad that I’ve let them fuck my mojo up.

8. I do all my best thinking in water. I can spend hours in the bath, or in a pool, and a lot of my best ideas have come from wallowing in water. I’d love to swim more but I don’t often get the time. I’m a Pisces, of course.

9. I’d love to live in America one day. My family in Cincinnati really want us to go out there, too, but we’ve been unable to secure jobs/visas so far. I firmly believe that it will happen one day though. Until then, we’ll just make do with frequent trips there. Next time, I might even pluck up the courage to try driving on the wrong side of the road.

10. I really like horses. I enjoy a trip to the baseball. I love the beach. I’m addicted to Coca Cola. I lived in Thailand for a bit a few years back. I have an irrational hatred of lollipop ladies. I could happily eat soup for breakfast and toast for dinner. I’m a bit addicted to Netflix, too.I don’t eat fish or seafood of any kind because ewww, it’s been in the sea and I’ve peed in there. I just want everyone to get along and have a quiet life, really.

FIN.

Posted in Living

Hoppy New Ears

 

 

Happy new year! We’re already a week in, time is flying past. I had the foresight to take the first week of the year off, so I’ve been enjoying all the moaning on Twitter, etc of people struggling to get back into their routines, whilst I lounge in bed, eating leftover selection boxes and mainlining Netflix (it helps that I have a horrible  cold). Here are some of my festive highlights:

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Not quite a white Christmas day, but we did have some snow. It was pretty icy cold and we got through a lot of wood on the old stove.

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Turkey and ham pie made with the leftovers from Christmas dinner – delicious.

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Christmas wrapping is something I always enjoy, especially when it’s with recipient-appropriate tags (a gift for my friend who owns post offices).

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A very special gift from Lee which I am looking forwards to using.

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Even Max had plenty of gifts to open, including this monkey, one of his favourites.

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He didn’t get to even put his noggin on this awesome cushion though.

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Found these nativity ducks in America!

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The traditional viewing of Elf was accompanied this year by homemade eggnog that Lee made.
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Boxing Day snacking.

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Then putting all the decorations away until next time.

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And spending New Year indoors on the sofa, under a blanket, scoffing chipolatas and watching shit telly. New year’s day dinner was the traditional steak pie, neeps, tatties and Irn Bru. Braw.

Today, my new year’s gift to myself arrived…

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I haven’t had a new laptop in about 7 years and my little netbook died last year, so it was time to let this guy into my life. Yay!