Life's Cup of Tea

Thursday, 30 October 2014

My Collections - Thimbles

As I was packing up my belongings I realised that I am a bit of a ccollector I have 3 mains collections, which I am going to split over three posts. This week...  Thimbles!!

This is my main collection and I have been collecting for almost as long as I can remember! I bought my first one at an otter sanctuary, and ever since pick one up when I go to somewhere new. They are mostly in chronological order, so they are also a good reminder of holidays past. 
I love them because they are usually cheap, can be bought anywhere, are small and are a great way to remember holidays, events and day trips. I have painted three myself and the Grandma figure in my life has given me a few of her old ones, so they are very sentimental! I have amassed a fair few over the years and my collection now stands at 109.

As you can see, I have a fair few (apologies for the plastic backing on the windows of my display, we are struggling to get it off!) of all different materials: wood, clay, china, glass and metal. And all different sizes, I even have a cat shaped one!

Check back in the next few weeks for 2 more posts on my collections!

Do you collect anything?
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Sunday, 26 October 2014

Life: The week that was #3

It's been one of those busy / non-busy weeks, I don't seem to have done much but have no idea where the time went!

1// I've been obsessively reading Harry Potter and watching the films. Am on the last book now and it is so much better than I ever remember it being! I think maybe I was too early to really understand when I last read them! The added cuddles with Kevin always helps too.

2// I've been spending time in the attic and garage getting all my stuff down ready for my big mood next weekend. I forgot how much kitchen/ bathroom stuff I acquired! 

3// I sent off my signed contract! So it's 100% official :)

4// I couldn't stop myself buying this cheeky cactus plant in Tesco! I am not great with plants, but I can't accidentally kill a cactus wearing a mustache and sombrero right?! 

5// Having watched the bake off and scoured pinterest for hours, I felt I needed to jump on the macaroon bandwagon. The bake off makes it look so easy right? I figured if I could master this skill, I could be onto some very cheap christmas present ideas. Hah ha ha.. I followed the recipe to the T but mine don't look appealing at all! They all kind of cracked and looked like little splodges of sick which you have to actually lick off the backing paper because they are stuck fast. So... if there are any baking geniuses that might be able to suggest my error(s) please let me know!

How have your weeks been? 
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Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Movin' on up North! Movin' on out!

A week ago I went up north for an interview for a job in an area I am super keen to work in. It took 5 hours 14 minutes on the train, and seeing as I was so sure that I wouldn't get it I didn't really think too much of the distance. Fast forward to today and I got the phone call to tell me they are delighted to offer me the job! At first I admit I may have done a bit of manic dancing and crazy squeeling. By the time I grilled my toastie and sat down to enjoy my lunch I was in a totally different mood.

I applied for this job knowing full well it was ooop North, but when I submitted my application I didn't really think I would get it. It's a great job in an area I am really interested in, my dream job? Maybe not, but even I am not clear on that yet! Post interview I tried desperately not to get too excited - I've been burned by rejection before and did not want a repeat! So I busied myself in my TEFL course (to teach English abroad) and instead begun investing my excitement into those prospects and travelling the world.

When I left to go to university, I knew that I would be coming back at the end of my degree. University was never a permanent move. I spent 3 months at home over the Summer and a month each at Easter and Christmas. So while I was away for most of the year, it was only 10 weeks at a time then I would be right back to my family and home like nothing had really changed. With a job, I won't be able to spend time at home all the time. Sure I get a little holiday off but between chillaxing, seeing family and my travel dream, when is it all going to fit?! Even the weekends will be hard - repeat 5 hour train journey....

I did long distance relationships with a boy. It didn't work particularly well. I know long distance with a family is 98% different, but the principal is the same. Every time we met up we made an event of it. For that one weekend we made ourselves do stuff to make it feel as though we'd spent our brief time wisely. We never just 100% chilled out, spent a day lounging in bed, spent the day in PJs watching crappy films. We never got to just phone each other on whim like 'Want to go watch a movie?'. I am worried this is what it will be like. No more random trips to M&S cafe, no more defrosted home made soup because no one remembered to cook dinner instead carefully constructed whole family activities.

I am excited to finally start earning my own way, to have my own place and have my 'purpose' in life. 

I am sad that I won't get to snuggle my cats everyday.

I am scared that my dreams to travel are really at risk here. I keep saying to myself that in a couple of years I can take a year to travel, but is there time?

I am scared that this is the road for me now, no more adventures or crazy things to do.

Most of all, I am scared that I will love my job there, find (possibly hehe) my soulmate there, settle down there, buy a house there, have kids there and never see my mum and dad.

So there we go. That's long. I am sorry just had to get it out that's why blogging is so amazing. Plus I need to hear all your tales of flying the nest good and proper to help me!
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Monday, 13 October 2014

Sweet Potato Fries

This week has been the first week in a long while where I just really didn't want to get our of bed. It's been dark, it's been freezing and it's rained. Hard. Yup, this week Autumn arrived.
So I feel a bit of seasonal food is needed. Pumpkins, butternut Squash, carrots, hot chocolates (tee hee hee). Have a look at the beautiful Sweet Potato Fries I lovingly made yesterday. They are super easy, apparently better for you than regular chips and yummy. 
FACT OF THE DAY: Sweet potatoes are those things Americans call Yams. Mind blown. 

 3/4 sweet potatoes
 a dashing of oil
 table saly
 ground pepper

Wash and peel those 'tatas. I usually make a horrific mess here, Jamie Oliver would curse if he saw my peeling methods. Now you are goin to need to find a sharp cutting implemement and very carefully chop into chip shapes. Place on a baking tray and toss them in some oil, sprinkle with salt and a little pepper.
Pop them in the oven at a medium heat for about 20 minutes, tossing them from time to time. Or bake until golden, or as crispy as you want! 

Do you have any good autumnal recipes? Please share!
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Friday, 3 October 2014

Travel: Blue Lagoon, Iceland

The Blue Lagoon is one of these places you have to go when you are in Iceland, this became very clear from the start of our trip planning. On asking one of my trusty (note male) pals on what his advise for Iceland was, of the Blue Lagoon he said "we were underwhelmed... but I'd still recommend going just for the experience." So there we are, underwhelmed but still recommended. 

I would love to tell you all the sights I saw from the coach on the 50 minute drive to the lagoon, but sadly I was the beauty snoring, mouth wide open and head lolling into the aisle (we had been up since the crack of dawn whale watching to be fair!). A quick nudge from the brother and I awoke to what essentially looked like giant cooked minced beef strewn over the landscape capped with mushy peas. Iceland for you.

The lagoon itself is partly man-made, partly natural. The water itself is an output from a nearby geothermal power plant although initially this water is drawn up from the centre of the world. This also means the pool is heated to a balmy 37°C It's high mineral content (from the underlying rocks) gives it a beautiful milky, bluish colour which is stunning in comparison to the surrounding lava. It definitely takes Fraser Island on in the beautiful water competition. 

Upon entering the lagoon (we chose the most basic package) you are given a high tech wristband to gain high tech access your locker. You have heard me mention Icelandic loo brilliance, it seems they have changing room brilliance too. After a quick shower we headed out into the crisp arctic air and straight into the depths of the lagoon. 

The water is so milky you can't even see your hand just under the surface. Despite the faint eggy smell that is just everywhere in Iceland it was like stepping into a giant hug. Oh so warm, oh so milky, oh so silky. We quickly found the pots of silica mud on the sides and ladled it onto our faces. It dries to be clay like, which you then wash off to reveal silky smooth skin. It worked a treat. And was incredibly fun.

Sadly the time came to pull ourselves from the warm water and go back and change. It is highly advised you condition your hair like crazy - lagoon water works wonders for the skin, but not the hair! Feeling severely dehydrated we had a quick cuppa tea in the cafe overlooking the water then hopped back onto our bus back to Reykjavik. 

I would thoroughly recommend going along to the lagoon, we were there for just over 3 hours which was plenty of time. For this amount of time the basic package was fine, we found plenty to amuse ourselves. If you are planning on making this a whole day trip, then maybe look into a more expensive package for some added treats.