Last Day Off

November 12, 2014 § Leave a comment

Hamburg Alster Bay Germany

Hello! It’s my last day off from work now and I’m trying to do a mixture of my to do list and nothing at all. The slow cooker will soon be on making an adapted version of this korean pork and potato stew recipe and I will be out doing yoga and looking for party shoes for an upcoming wedding over the Christmas holidays, maybe start picking up a few Christmas gifts… :)

You’ve to go away to come back

November 11, 2014 § Leave a comment

coastal walk, ireland, ireland east coast, travel, hiking

A Coastal Walk, East Coast, Ireland. The cut green grass you see on the right belongs to a house that had geese roaming around their driveway. So picturesque!

Hello and good morning! I’m just back from a short stay with friends and family back in Ireland and am now enjoying two extra days off for myself! Bliss!

It wasn’t too cold there just yet and I even got to enjoy this lovely dry evening on a walk with the dog. It was really nice just to catch up with my close family and closest friend, because generally over the Christmas period, things get a little bit hectic with expectations of visits and I end up driving around like a crazy person from Dublin to Belfast and still in the end, feeling guilty that I didn’t get to see EVERYBODY.

Last night we had a splurgey meal in a restaurant we had wanted to try for some time now and it was a really nice way to end our break. My plans for today include: staying hydrated and relaxing. I might get a few groceries and enjoy cooking a meal for us later on in the evening. Last weekend I finally sent out some job applications. A company I have always wanted to work with contacted me (that NEVER happens!) so that was the “invitation” I seemed to be waiting for, to get my behind in gear and get out there again :) That gave me the motivation to apply for a second job in a place I would love to work, so the ball is now rolling.

Mistletoe!

October 20, 2014 § 2 Comments

mistletoe

A very good Monday morning to you all… I’ve been successfully ignoring the shops slowly starting to fill up with Christmas items, but this guy stopped me in my tracks yesterday when I was out for a walk… mistletoe – growing wild in the middle of the city! I don’t normally bring my phone when going for a stroll but I was waiting to hear from a friend and caught this beauty! Look at that blue sky too, it was just a beautiful day. We had visitors all weekend, so there wasn’t a huge amount done around the house.

Flylady’s “Cruising Through the Holidays” journal was emailed around (for free) this week too, so the holidays are on their way. I must get started on that as well. We will have a wedding to go to while we are home for the Christmas period, and i did NOT want to buy anything new, although one of the visitors really put me off and now I don’t know whether to persist with plan A or get something else (secondhand!) I wanted to have a nice vintage style and invest any money into a new coat.

I didnt take many pictures of London when I was there, but I would give a tip as to a decent budget hotel where we stayed which was the Travelodge in Southwark. Walking distance to London Bridge, Westminster (20 mins or so), nearby cafe’s where you can get a fry for around a fiver (saves on lunch!) . We visited the Tower of London which was fascinating, we saw Beefeaters, ravens, the old armoury but gave the crown jewels a miss because the queue in the rain was far too long. Our very kind hosts told us that it’s possible to get in for half price if you have this ticket, but we weren’t organised enough and ended up paying full whack… oh well!

tower bridge memorial

war memorial at the tower of london

Tower of London

Our next trip is in 2 weeks time, when we return to Ireland for a long weekend. I can’t wait! I’m also sloooooowly planning our long-awaited trip to Japan 2015 which will hopefully coincide with me quitting my job finally, I started to look for a new job last week. Wishing you all a happy and productive week!

The End of the Summer…

September 21, 2014 § 2 Comments

Hello and happy Sunday! I spotted this little guy eating his Sunday lunch in the tree in our shared-garden. Isn’t he a cutie? I think he’s eating an apple intended for the hedgehog that lives in the garden too.There are at least 3 squirrels that live in the garden. The weather is still lovely in Hamburg but is set to change during the week. The days are getting noticeably shorter.

squirrel eating in tree

When I start to see the squirrels scurrying about collecting nuts, I start to think of the things I need to do to prepare for the winter season… clearing the summer things out of my wardrobe, seeing what I need to replace and also revising our travel plans for the rest of the year.

In two weeks time we go to London, which is turning out to be VERY expensive, but we are really looking forward to the break and to see friends and family. Last week was also very hard for us work-wise and I have to really start to think about where we go next because we can’t keep going on like this working too much. We really needed this weekend to relax, walk in the woods, wash my hair, do my nails, read a little…. etc.

I can’t help thinking about a long holiday between jobs… somewhere very far away. I had a crazy idea to just book our tickets to Japan for next year as soon as I get paid, we have wanted to go for a long time now. Any readers been there and can give advice if it is good to go spontaneously or plan it out a bit better to get the best experience? Thanks in advance!

Leftover Yoghurt

September 17, 2014 § Leave a comment

yoghurt maker easiyoThe ole yoghurt maker is back out!! We had some abandoned greek yoghurt in the fridge so I decided to put it to use. Are there any other yoghurt-maker readers out there, perhaps with a tip for how to get it a bit thicker? I use the easi-yo thermal flask – a slightly mad purchase from those celtic tiger days ;)

Lucky Duck!

September 7, 2014 § 4 Comments

Hello dear reader! You find me this week in the middle of packing a small roll along suitcase and making some outfits for the week. The reason for the roll-along is that in a highly unusual situation of events, I’ve been sent to the spanish Island of Majorca this coming Tuesday for work! So excited! I was there once as a child in 1992, it was the first place I ever flew to on a plane.

Seriously glad I am MissusSmartyPants-organised clothes-wise because it will involve working outside in at in at least 30 degree centigrade heat, dining with my boss and a client in the evening, as well as some personal beach time (WOOP!).

My boss will be hanging out in our spare time probably, so I was happy to discover at the back of my wardrobe was something I can use as a beach-coverup – can you say AWKWARD?! I don’t have much sun-holiday clothing because my boyfriend and I NEVER take sun holidays together because he just gets burned, the poor pet. As usual I will be packing using the 5,4,3,2,1 rule which is just great so I will share that with you with an infographic I found on Pinterest should it be of interest to someone:

the 5,4,3,2,1 packing rule

the 5,4,3,2,1 packing rule

Other than that, a trip to (ridiculously expensive) London is booked for October, to Ireland in November and then in December again. My suitcase will have plenty to do in the next few months! Feeling very lucky :)

Keith’s Simple Sugar-free Chickpea Cookies

August 25, 2014 § 3 Comments

Sugarfree Chickpea Cookies

Hello, I hope you’re already having a good start in your week :)

I was baking cookies again, and this time it was a sugar-free recipe from my lovely friend Keith. Although it says sugar-free they are indeed quite nice with a cuppa. I think the next time I make them I will put a little ginger powder into them, half a teaspoon or so and try baking soda instead of baking powder, because they didn’t rise at all. They needed flipped in my fan oven, you can see they look a bit “well done” in the photo. But I would definitely make them again as a “good-conscience” teatime treat ;)

Here’s his recipe (makes approx 16 cookies):

1 tin of chick peas, drained. Let the rest for half an hour. Mash them with a masher, or puree them in a blender.
Add 3-4 scoops of peanut butter and two teaspoons of honey, and some baking powder
Cut into shapes and put on a baking tray and bake (I did 150 degrees centigrade) for about 30 mins.
 
I also added a package of vanilla sugar for the aroma.
 
Would make a nice gift for the crazy chickpea fanatic in your life, or for yourself if you’re that crazy chickpea fanatic! :)
A Random Harvest

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JACK MONROE: COOK, CAMPAIGNER, GUARDIAN COLUMNIST, MOTHER, AUTHOR, ETC.

Winner of the... Women of the Year Enterprise award. Observer Food Monthly Award for Best Food Blog. Marie Claire Woman At The Top award. Fortnum & Mason Food And Drink Award. YMCA Courage & Inspiration Award. Red Magazine's Red Hot Women Award. #17 Independent On Sundays Pink List 2013. And the 100m race when I was about, seven...

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