Tuesday, 29 November 2011


I've really been slacking with the posting here lately, haven't I?! There's some things going on in my real life at the moment that's kind of taking away from my blogging time, but hopefully it'll calm down soon and I can return to my normal blogging schedule (not that I have an actual blogging schedule - I'm horrible at keeping to schedules so I don't even try!). Since I hate strongly dislike it when bloggers post cryptic things without explanation on their blog, I'm going to assure you that I will explain soon. I'll probably even do a whole post on it, ooh.

Anyway, moving on. On Saturday my mother and I ventured up to the Birmingham NEC to go to the Good Food Show Winter. We've been to the summer one for the past few years because it's been at the same time, and in the same show, as the Gardener's World Live show. Since we've realised that we only really go for the food and not the gardens, we decided to go along to the winter show as well this year!

We ate SO MUCH FREE FOOD. It was amazing. From Italian meats to ice cream, yoghurt to quiches, pork pies to cheese, you name it, we ate it. Speaking of cheese, they'd had the World Cheese Awards there a couple of days before, and had all of the cheeses out on display.

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I had never seen so much cheese in one place before and, let's be honest, probably never will again. I was impressed. Because yes, I apparently get impressed by cheese.

It was lovely to spend a day out with my mother (even if I did have to get up at 6am on my day off to get there, yeesh!). I'm so looking forward to going home for my birthday (two weeks today, eek!) and getting to spend a proper couple of days there, rather than just seeing my parents for a few hours at a time as I've been doing since I moved down here.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Party dresses.

Party dresses
1. New Look - £25.99
(also available in navy blue)
2. New Look - £30
3. New Look - £37.99
4. Forever 21 - £19.75
5. Forever 21 - £16.75
6. Forever 21 - £19.75

I'm not usually someone who gets all excited for 'the party season', because I don't tend to go to actual Christmas parties. And I'm not this year, either (my work Christmas party isn't until January, and it's looking like it's going to be beach themed anyway. It was either that, or Olympics themed. Yeah). But with my birthday coming up in less than three weeks, Dan's birthday and New Year's Eve at the end of December, and Dan's PGCE graduation in January, I've got lots of excuses to buy lots of pretty dresses!

While these dresses are sort of a wish list, they're also a realistic list of dresses I might get. I'm not too good with looking at pretty dresses that I can't ever have!
I have a gift card for Forever 21 so when I go shopping there on Sunday (yay! SO EXCITED) I'm hoping I'll be able to pick up a dress for my birthday night out. I love buying new clothes for special nights out a bit too much! It's probably an issue I should look into.

- - - - -

This weekend I'm going to the Good Food Show in the Birmingham NEC with my mother on Saturday, then meeting up with my girl friends in London on Sunday. I'm rather excited. Unfortunately, I've got a split shift (two shifts in one day) in work to get through tomorrow, and probably won't get home until at least 2am because I'm on to stay til finish. So it might be quite the tiring weekend!

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Salmon stir fry.

I've never done a recipe here before because I don't get much time to do proper cooking - I'm usually in work over dinner time, and I'm not hungry enough before work to make a full meal. But yesterday evening I made a really simple and delicious (and maybe almost a little healthy!) meal so I thought I'd share.

Salmon stir fry

You will need:
Salmon (generally one piece per person is enough. I used frozen salmon, but fresh is probably yummier)
Stir fry vegetables (I just used a bag of pre cut and mixed veg from Sainsbury's)
Sharwood's medium soft noodles
Soy sauce
Olive oil
Sweet chilli sauce (optional)

1. Start by cooking your salmon. Since mine was from frozen, I put it on foil, covered it with olive oil and some sweet chilli sauce (because I LOVE sweet chilli sauce like woah) and shoved it in the oven on around 200°C.

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2. While that's cooking, start sorting out your stir fry. Since a stir fry doesn't take long, use your judgement as to when you start cooking it - I usually start with about 7 or 8 minutes before my salmon is ready.
Heat some olive oil in a frying pan or wok, then throw as much stir fry veg into the wok as you'd like.

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3. After a minute or two, add the noodles.

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4. After another minute, add lots of soy sauce (well, how much soy sauce you add is up to you. I like lots!)

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5. Once both your stir fry and your salmon are ready, serve the salmon up on a bed of stir fry. Ta-da!

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(I'd have had more stir fry had Dan not decided it looked delicious and he wanted some too, so I begrudgingly had to share!)

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Recently ... [4]

Hmm, it would seem I've not updated this blog of mine in almost a week! Scandalous! I don't even have a good excuse. So, instead, here's some things I've been up to recently:

+ Last night I Skyped with Mariah, my Colorado BFF, for four hours. I didn't get to bed until 3.30am. Good job I have today off work! I'm planning on asking my parents for flights to visit her in April next year (she's turning 21, yay!) for my birthday and/or Christmas. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

+ I went out for my boss's leaving night out, and we all got rather drunk. It was such a fun night. I really am lucky to have a great bunch of colleagues. Though it isn't quite the same without James now :(

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+ Have you all seen the John Lewis Christmas advert? It brings tears to my eyes.

I love that an advert for a store can be about a meaning, rather than any products at all. So much better than the awful X Factor one that M&S have gone with. As a former M&S employee, I am embarrassed for them.

+ This Michael McIntyre video basically sums up my life at the moment:

Friday, 11 November 2011

One year!

Yesterday marked mine and Dan's one year anniversary!

We didn't do anything particularly wild to celebrate, because we were both shattered (I went out on Wednesday night with work colleagues, and Dan didn't have a very good night sleep because he couldn't get back to sleep after I came in, oops), so we just ordered in Pizza Hut pizza and caught up on some TV. Oh, and Dan bought me some lovely flowers:

(please excuse the games behind!)
(he also bought me some chocolates, but um, I've already eaten some of those!)

This past year has been amazing. We've seen a lot of changes in our lives - me graduating, Dan becoming a real teacher, us no longer being students, moving to Southampton together etc - and it's hard to believe we've been together for a year already, but at the same time it also feels as if we've been together a lot longer! Strange how time can do that.

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In other news, a couple of you guys commented on my last post not knowing what Bonfire Night is! I am shocked and appalled. So, I give you Wikipedia's description:

In Great Britain, Bonfire Night, also known as Fireworks Night, is associated with the tradition of Guy Fawkes' Night. The modern event is held annually on or near 5 November, although its sectarian significance has generally been lost: it is now simply a night of revelry and fireworks.

Guy Fawkes Night, also known as Guy Fawkes Day, Bonfire Night and Firework Night, is an annual commemoration observed on 5 November, primarily in England. Its history begins with the events of 5 November 1605, when Guy Fawkes, a member of the Gunpowder Plot, was arrested while guarding explosives the plotters had placed beneath the House of Lords. Celebrating the fact that King James I had survived the attempt on his life, people lit bonfires around London, and months later the introduction of the Observance of 5th November Act enforced an annual public day of thanksgiving for the plot's failure.

There, I hope that's cleared that up!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Not Bonfire Night.

I absolutely LOVE Bonfire Night. I adore fireworks, and the night's fireworks are usually accompanied by getting to wrap up warm in hats and scarves and gloves, wave around sparklers then drink hot chocolate afterwards. When I was younger - before I gallivanted off to university - my parents, grandparents and I used to hold Bonfire Night family parties at our house. We would buy a few boxes of fireworks and sparklers and set them off in our back garden. It was always such a fun night, with all of us "ooh"-ing and "ah"-ing over the (usually quite unimpressive!) fireworks. The 'traffic light' ones were always a particular favourite.

But this year, not only was I not in Cardiff to take part in these festivities, but I was working on Saturday night. So, no fireworks for Emma!
In an attempt to cheer myself up about this, here are some photos of fireworks that I've taken in recent years:

(this last photo is one of my favourite photos of all time).

Friday, 4 November 2011

Recently ... [3]

+ So, because I apparently have THE shortest attention span like, ever ... I've changed my blog's design again. Not too much, but I just decided to make the colouring of it a bit more autumn/wintery. I'm pretty proud of it, yo. Especially the menu mouseover effects. I am such a nerd. I really need to get out more.

+ I've now got over 80 followers! Eek. I feel pretty proud of that, too. Thanks guys, for thinking me interesting enough to follow. And especially you guys who comment so much - I feel really lucky when I see some blogs that have a similar amount of followers but don't get anywhere near as many lovely comments as I do ♥

+ I've been drinking tea lately. Which is weird, because for years I was convinced I didn't like it (again, weird considering how my mother loves the stuff. She seriously drinks about 5 or 6 cups a day). But one morning in work I needed something warming to wake me up, and since I HATE coffee, I thought I'd give tea another try. And you know what? I actually liked it. Once I'd added some sugar and milk, at least. So now when someone in work offers, "Anyone want coffee? Tea?" I can actually reply with, "Tea please!" It makes me feel all grown up. Yeah.

+ I was going to do a post a couple of days ago about Kim Kardashian's marriage. Or lack of it. But it turned a bit ranty so I didn't post it. The gist of it was, though, that I'm fed up of celebrities treating marriage so casually. Marriage is supposed to be something that is forever. And yes, of course I understand that some marriages break down. But so many celebrities just don't even seem to try to make it work. Marriage absolutely isn't the next step of a relationship. If you can't even be bothered to try to make a 72 day old marriage work, then there should be some law to stop you remarrying. I don't understand how some people can get away with claiming that allowing gays to marry will ruin the sanctity of marriage, when 'celebrities' like Kim & Kris are out there, spending millions on a wedding, then waltzing out just when something slightly doesn't seem as fun as it once did. It makes me angry, to be honest.

+ And with that, Dan and I are off to the pub for some dinner and drinks. Yes please.

Thursday, 3 November 2011


Yesterday my mother and I met up in Salisbury for the day. We had a lovely day, even if it did go much too quickly and the rain meant we spent more time in shops and Wetherspoons than we'd intended!


I was really quite sad when I said goodbye to my mother as she got her train and I wandered over to the platform to get mine. I miss my mother so much, and being with her just reinforced how much better it is to be with her in person. Talking on the phone just isn't the same. She gets me, in a way that nobody else does. A part of me would love to be able to move back to Cardiff so I could be so much nearer her, but I know that wouldn't make me fully happy.

University has meant that people I care about are all over the place and I know that no matter where I live, I'll always wish that I lived slightly closer to somebody else. If I moved back to Cardiff, I'd miss Dan, and I'd be further from my girl friends. If I moved back to Brighton I'd be closer to my girl friends, but further from my parents than I am now. There's absolutely no win/win situation, and that makes me really sad. Why can't I have all the people I love nearby?

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Not Halloween.

I'm aware that this is an unpopular opinion in the blogosphere, but ... I'm really excited that Halloween is over. Don't hate me guys! I know Halloween isn't anywhere near as big a deal over here as it is in the US, so maybe I just don't 'get' it properly. But there's only so many blog posts about a day I'm not invested in that I can read without feeling like my head is going to explode!

I didn't do anything specifically for Halloween, but it was our staff quiz + night out on Sunday instead. Such a fun night. Even if this isn't a job I plan on being in for all that long (I've been there 2 months today! Time has flown by), I'm definitely lucky to have such a fun bunch of work colleagues.



Part of me has been considering doing NaNoWriMo this year, but I haven't got a plot or a plan at all, so it's probably not going to happen. Oh well, there's always next year!