New Year Brain Vomit 2016

Because consistency is key. 

At the start of 2016, I didn’t set myself a list of tick box goals. Instead, I gave myself some vague aims to achieve. Did I do it? Well… kind of.

Health – BE healthy: clean eating, regular exercise, cutting out dairy, continuing to attend regular appointments with my Doctor. 

Well, a bit. 2016 saw me give up alcohol for an entire year, something I’m incredibly proud of and that will have its own post soon. There was no clean eating, I’m still mostly cheese but I am now heavily medicated so at least the doctor thing has worked out.

Wealth – Save £2000.

With only a few weeks to spare, I scraped together all of my savings and shoved £2000 in a fixed savings account. I have no other money though, so it’s swings and roundabouts.

Everything Else – spend more time with friends and read for pleasure.

I had a challenge to read 25 books which I’ve only narrowly missed out on but that’s still not bad. I have spent more time with friends and doing so sober really makes you know who IS your friend. It’s been an odd year. 

2017 and beyond!

So what are my plans for the nextime year? I don’t know. I really hope I learn to give less fucks, suffer less from FOMO and finally lose some of this weight but we’ll see. 

Health: be healthy. Simple. Go for a bloody run once in a while.

Wealth: save money. Stop buying crap.

Everything else: get rid of stuff I don’t need. Give less fucks. Worry less. Have more fun. 

What are your goals for 2017?

Oh, and Happy Hew Year! 

Laters xx

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I’m Thankful For…

Let’s get straight to the point – 2016 has been an absolute horror show of a year. Between politics, the passing of incredible people, acts of terrorism and even the bloody weather, it’s really hard to find anything to be thankful for right now. 

So it is with joy that I can say, there is goodness still out there. 

On Saturday night, we pottered over to a friends for FriendsGiving. Everyone brings a dish, the wine is plentiful and it’s just a really good night.

Once the food had been devoured (seriously guys, I’m still so proud that we blasted through so much of it) we took a few moments to say what we were each thankful for. It was hard, I’ll admit it, and tears were shed. Not by me of course, my heart is made of coal. 

At the time, I reeled off a list of what I feel are the expected platitudes. I was thankful for friends and family – and I am but there’s more that I, for whatever reason, didn’t feel ok with confessing. So here is my list of what I’m thankful for in all its unabridged glory. 

1. Socks – yeah, you heard me. Naked feet FREAK ME OUT and naked feet in shoes is just URGH. So yeah, socks. For making my life just a little easier with their snuggly coverings and adorable prints. 

2. Dairy-free Milk – as someone who can’t handle the lactose, this is a godsend. The days of being bloated and farty are (mostly) gone! Also, when you think about it drinking cows milk is pretty grim and it contains pus, you guys. PUS.

3. Bobble Hats – Aside from saving me from inflicting some horrific bed hair on folks, hats provide a covering that makes me feel ok with being in public. That the bobbles are fun to wobble on your head is just a fun bonus. Bobble wobble.

4. Mittens – following from the above, aren’t mittens just the best? Snuggly warm and hours of fun pretending to have crab claws. Brilliant.

5. Horror – I looooove horror. If I could only watch/read one genre for the rest of my life, horror would be it. It weirdly helps me to shut off and relax, which is probably a sign of some kind of problem but meh. Thank you, writers, for getting up every day and trying to scare us. You rock.

Other things I’m thankful for, weirdly, include: Curtains, pencils, carpet, cats, dogs, headphones, sleeping pills, hot coffee and disposable income. 

I hope you all had an amazing Thanksgiving and are stuffed to the gills with food!

Lates xx

GBBO Bake Along (Week 6)

Let’s ignore the fact that I skipped week 5 (pastry) and have gone straight to Bontanicals. I was on holiday for that week (it was very nice,  thank you) and so chose to eat pastry rather than make it. A much wiser decision. 

Note: seems I also missed week 4. I didn’t.  I made churros. I’ve done that before though. See here.

I digress.

Week 6 was botanical week and I went for Orange Blossom Shortbread. Yum. 

Along the way I learnt that rice flour gives shortbread an odd texture. It’s not bad just.. odd. 

The recipe was a standard shortbread one from some website (look, I don’t remember ok. I just typed in “shortbread recipe” and went for the first one I found). I bravely added 2 tsps of orange blossom extract and 1 tsp of cinnamon. In hindsight, a little more of both wouldn’t have gone astray. 

I opted for several shapes: stars, circles, people and bunnies. Some of these worked better than others. 

Here are some of them are pre-ovening. 

And post-ovening..

The stars on circles were the best. The rest were very crispy. Turns out that 20mins is plenty but when your oven turns itself off randomly, it becomes very hard to judge if it’s really been 20mins.. basically, I need a new oven.  

Next week, I might make a pie. Who knows!

GBBO Bake Along (Week 3)

Bread bread bread bread bread bread bread

If you say it enough, it just becomes an utterly nonsensical word that sounds like a seagull having a bit of a moment. Try it, go on.

Anyway, yes. Week 3 was bread week and so, armed with a hastily scribbled recipe, I headed out to the supermarket for ingredients. What I came back with, was this..

That’s right. My name is Lisa and I cheated at the GBBO Bake Along. Let’s face it, we all knew it was going to happen at some point so better to get it out of the way early. Plus, I was busy so shut your face you’re not my mum!

Ahem.

Cheating or not, bread was made and wasn’t actually too bad. It could’ve done with longer in the oven and maybe I should’ve actually made it from scratch but Pfft! 

Cue Montage! 

Sometime soon, I might be brave enough to try actually making bread. You know, from scratch and all. Kinda like Kerri did (the show off).

Oh and uh.. I guess I quite like Lipstick woman and Benjamina from the actual show. 

Next week: Batter … or maybe doughnuts. Who knows. 

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GBBO Bake Along (Week 1 & 2)

Ah, the Great British Bake Off.

I remember a time when I would’ve openly scoffed at the idea of being so enthralled by a show where people made cake. I mean, where’s the fun in that? It’s not like I could eat the cake. Of course, this was also during the years when I was utterly uninspired by cooking. Convenience was my friend and stir fry was as exciting as my repertoire got. 

Now, as an older but no more wiser woman, I am hooked by its twee British charm. I quickly adopt my favourite baker and Marvel at their creations.  So much so that this year, I decided to bake along with the show. 

It started so well. 

Week one: Jaffa Drizzle Cake. 

Armed with the required ingredients  (an orange, some flour, butter, sugar and cohoclate), I cleared a space and began to bake.

Incident 1: discovering you don’t own a large enough bowl to make cake mix in. 

Incident 2: realising that “zesting an orange” is incredibly time consuming and grating your fingers really hurts.

Incident 3: eating too much cake mix/drizzle mix/melted chocolate and feeling very sick.

The end result:

Gaze upon its drizzled awesomeness but remember how pride comes before a fall…

Week 2: Biscuits

Dear god. How wrong this went. There were several factors working against me and I ended up making 2  batches from 2 different recipes. 

Incident 1: In an attempt to cut corners, and running late from an exercise class, my first attempt used only 3 ingredients – peanut butter, sugar and an egg. It was terrible.

Incident 2: Seeing how badly the first batch turned out, I tried a different recipe. It was 10pm. I was tired. I was stressed. The second batch taste of nothing. Just.. nothing.

The end result: 

The left hand side is the 3 ingredient, sticky almost brittle mess. The right is the tasteless but texture-perfect failure. I was not built to make biscuits. 

Next week: Bread. 

All images used are taken by and the property of AStarFellOnHer, unless otherwise stated. The use of any image from this blog without express permission is strictly prohibited