Wednesday 31 December 2008

Hi, my name is: Oprah

So I'll admit it, I've gained weight. I figure if I write it out here for all the Internet to see, then I must be held accountable and actually do something about it. Like Oprah on the cover of O Magazine, except I'm not a multi-billionaire admired by millions. At least my vajayjay doesn't want to kill me, at least I don't think. Anyway I digress.

For those who don't know I used to be bigger. I'd say I was a "big girl" but I hate that Mika song "Big Girls you are Beautiful" so much it has put me off the term. I find it patronizing that a gay man is telling curvy girls they are pretty, because seriously, he's not going to sleep with me, so just shut up.

Back to me. This was me August 2007:

Then I met the South Beach Diet and the gym, so by April 2008, this was me, 3 1/2 stone (50lbs) lighter:

Which luckily shortly coincided with my wedding and honeymoon:

But now it's almost 2009 and I've put back on a stone (14lbs). How? Well I could blame a lot of things. I got a new job (which I love) and cancelled my gym membership because it was not close to my new office, forgot everything I learned and started eating whatever the hell I wanted especially high sugar type items and was in general busy and lazy as shit.

I don't believe in New Year resolutions, but I'm calling on all of you people who read this blog to hold me accountable. Sugar free, skim lattes are just as nice as full sugar ones. If I buy an exercise bike it's just as easy to ride the bike while watching "Neighbours" as it is to just sit on my ass and play online. It's easy "eat less, move more" and I'm going to do it...if Oprah can own up, so can I.

Saturday 27 December 2008

New layout

Thank you Mooeta for my new custom background. I love it! I think it exemplifies what this blog is about :)

Tuesday 23 December 2008


Jbug has started experimenting with vegan baking and I realized that my crumble recipe should work with margarine. You can have most of the ingredients sitting around so it's great to make if you want to bake but don't fancy a special trip to the store.

5 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (I use canned peaches in JUICE not syrup and fresh berries)
2t teaspoons lemon juice (I use juice from canned peaches sometimes if no lemon)
1/3 cup fine white sugar
3 teaspoons corn starch
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (I've used cinnamon if out of nutmeg)
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

1/2 cup unbleached flour
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
8 tablespoons COLD unsalted butter, cut into small pieces (I often use a butter spread, so margarine would work here to make it vegan)
1 cup chopped walnuts (I have never made this with nuts)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees (about 180 C)

Butter 9" oven-proof casserole dish. (Grease with veggie oil to make vegan)

Mix berries in a large bowl; set aside.

Mix white sugar, cornstarch, nutmeg and lemon juice separately then sprinkle sugar mixture over berries and mix well.

In a separate bowl mix well the flour, brown sugar and nutmeg.

With a pastry knife, cut the butter into the flour until it looks the size of small peas.
(I throw it all in a food processor and mix. It's way easier)
Add the chopped walnuts and mix to distribute the walnut pieces evenly.
Sprinkle on top of blueberry mixture. (If you over mix the topping, like I often do, it is okay, just smoosh it down into squares to make lay over like a patchwork of crust over the top of fruit)

Bake crisp for 40-50 minutes until the blueberries bubble and the top is golden brown.
(Less for fan assisted ovens)

Serve hot from the oven or slightly cooled. I think this is an acceptable breakfast food, feel free to agree or disagree, but oatmeal and fruit is reason enough for me.

Sunday 21 December 2008

Few of my Favorites

Ask and you shall receive! I apologize for the quality of the pictures, but if it's the last thing I do we are getting a new digital camera in Cincinnati. This is our first full size tree so it's a collection of ornaments we've gotten over the years and a set we got at Ikea. I personally like some ornaments (like our Ikea ones) that are vaguely consistent mixed with random mismatchy ones.

Our tree (no lights at the bottom just incase Emma wants a chew)

My Aunt Patti made me this Nutcracker ornament in 1986 when I was in the Cincinnati Ballet Company's performance of "The Nutcracker."

I love my dreidel because it makes me think who decided to make Chanukah ornaments? Works great for Cashews like me though :)

Tartan Santa is new this year and I love him!

Elvis is new too (and was free!) and I include him since his glasses played a role in how NBH and I met.

Emma like to sleep under the tree

Saturday 20 December 2008

I'm a lumberjack & I'm okay.

Growing up my sister, Dad and I would drive out east towards Bethel, Ohio and cut down our Christmas tree. It was a fun filled day filled with hot chocolate, looking for the perfect tree (with enough space underneath for presents) and lunch at BJ's Lake where if the lake had water in it (it was drained sometimes) you could catch & cook your lunch; we never chose that option.

This year I was able to find a choose and cut Christmas tree farm here in Scotland, which is basically unheard of in the UK. We drove about an hour north to Wester Auchentroig farm on the boundary of the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park near Buchlyvie.

NBH's Mom, NBH, Emma and I all made the journey a few weekend ago. I'm not sure who enjoyed it more Emma, who was a very, very dirty and tired girl afterwards or Arlene who has in her own words "the most perfect tree ever." Trees were £5 a foot and as our tree is taller than me, but not taller than NBH £25 is a steal!

Here are some photos from the day. There was some snow on the ground, but mostly just ice; still it was the only snow we've seen so far this year. Please ignore NBH's questionable mustache; it has since been shaved off and forgotten.

Wednesday 17 December 2008

And the winner is.....

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers: 7

Timestamp: 2008-12-17 09:57:16 UTC

Congratulations Lizzy! Send me your address (Facebook is fine) and I will post off your prize; but be warned UK postal workers are striking on the 19th so I won't guarantee prompt delivery.

Sunday 14 December 2008

Competition: WWYD?

What would you do if you won £800 ($1200) in the lottery? Would you be responsible and pay off debts or have fun with it? A little of both?

I've noticed a lot of other blogs having competitions, so I will randomly choose one person who comments to win a lovely holiday ornament. Hopefully that encourages all the lurkers to come out and comment, too :)

*Contest closes Weds, December 17, 2008

Friday 12 December 2008

Goodbye Bettie Page

With deep personal sadness I must announce that my dear friend and client Bettie Page passed away at 6:41pm PST this evening in a Los Angeles hospital. She died peacefully but had never regained consciousness after suffering a heart attack nine days ago.

She captured the imagination of a generation of men and women with her free spirit and unabashed sensuality. She is the embodiment of beauty.

Statement by Mark Roesler, business agent for Bettie Page

Festive Fusilli Recipe

By popular demand here is the recipe for the vodka pasta I made for NBH's Aunt's 50th. Personally I hate parsley so I just ignored it. I marinated some boneless, skinless chicken breasts in olive oil and seasoning overnight, grilled them up and added them into the pasta, too. I would add more mascarpone next time I make this but I love cheese. Also this make a freaking TON of pasta. I would suggest 1/2 the recipe.

Festive Fusilli from 'Nigella Express' by Nigella Lawson

You can think of this either as a soaking up end-of-party meal for the hard core who managed to stay the course, or as a festive but unfussy supper you can get together quickly after some seasonal get-together or outing.

Should you be lucky enough to have any left over, this is a superb post-party breakfast forked straight from a container in the fridge.

And by 'sunblush' tomatoes, I mean those ones that are halfway between fresh and dried and come soaked in a seasoned oil in deli-counters.

1kg fusilli or other short pasta of your choice

600g sunblush tomatoes in seasoned oil

80ml vodka

2 tsp Maldon salt or 1 tsp table salt

2 tsp sugar

250g mascarpone

40g (2 x 20g packets) curly parsley, chopped

Flaked Parmesan to serve

1 Put a pot of water on to boil for the pasta.

2 Take about 150g of the sunblush tomatoes and chop them finely. I use my mezzaluna here, as you can really mulch them.

3 Put the chopped tomatoes into a bowl with the remaining tomatoes, along with the vodka, salt and sugar. Leave to steep while you cook the fusilli.

4 Cook the pasta according to packet instructions, then drain and put back in the pan with the mascarpone, mixing well over low to medium heat.

5 Tip the steeped tomato mixture and half the chopped parsley into the pan, mixing well.

6 Pour into a bowl and sprinkle with Parmesan flakes and the remaining parsley.

Serves 10-12

Wednesday 10 December 2008


bal·a·bus·ta (bal∙eh∙bos'∙teh)
Mistress of the house; hostess; friendly woman; excellent homemaker.

If my Grandmother were to read this post, she'd say "Oh you're such a balabusta." Two weekends ago was NBH's Aunt's 50th birthday party. The night before his mother some of the people in town over and we "catered" the event.

Here's the spread:


Tomato & Basil Bruschetta

Pesto & Parmesan Bruschetta

Smoked Mackerel Pâté
on Sourdough toast

6 Layer Taco Dip

Main Course:

Vodka and Marscapone Fusilli
with Sunblushed Tomatoes and Grilled Seasoned Chicken


Triple Chocolate Cake
with Red Berries and Pomegranate Seeds

The two chefs:

Sunday 7 December 2008

Are you listening ITV4?

SNL used to be on at random early morning times on a Saturday on ITV4, but hasn't been on in almost a year now. I'm sure it didn't get many viewers since sometimes it was on at 2am, others 3am or even 1:20am, but come on it is freaking hilarious. The UK needs a little bit of Andy Samberg especially since he makes me want to jizz my pants...

Friday 5 December 2008

Ever been Gibblered?

Kimmy GibblerPossibly the best entry in Urban Dictionary ever:

1.kimmy gibbler: When you refuse to leave after you have a one night stand, even when they ask you nicely.

"Last night I met some whore at the bar....we came back to my place and she gave me the Kimmy Gibbler....she f*cked the hell out of me and then refused to go home when I asked her nicely."

Thursday 4 December 2008

Four Christmases

Last night I went and saw the movie "Four Christmases" with my friend Deb and my mother-in-law. While I wouldn't ask for my money back, I wouldn't recommend it as a must see. If you see it on DVD in a few months, then go for it.

It is fairly predictable and while I love me some Vince Vaughn (Brad), he and Reese Witherspoon (Kate) have absolutely NO chemistry. There are lots of rumors going around about how much they hate each other in real life, well it definitely shows. Vaughn is pretty funny, but some things just don't make sense.

Both of their families have thick southern accents, yet they live in San Francisco. Okay so maybe they moved, but both sets of parents and their siblings partners have an accent, too. It just irked me. Tim McGraw plays one of Brad's brothers and I had no idea until I saw the credits. It was a very odd cameo. Dwight Yoakam was in it as well, so there must be a country music connection somewhere. Kristin Chenoweth plays Kate's sister and I love her, but she was under utilized and could have been any actress. Sue from "Swingers" is there, too as Brad's Mom's boyfriend, but he looks old and fat which makes me sad.

I did laugh and I had a good night, but I won't be buying this when it's out on DVD to put into my night-time DVD rotation even though I love the sound of Vince Vaughn's voice.

Wednesday 3 December 2008

Prop 8: The Musical

A star-studded cast explains why we should overturn Prop-8.

With a little NPH added in just for my Sabrina

See more hilarious & topical videos at Funny or Die

I <3 & Covet Snow

Dear Cars with Snow on their Roofs,

Stop mocking me. If you have driven to Tesco and there is still a sizable amount of snow on your roof, you can't have come that far. No one drives more than 15-20 minutes to go to the grocery or work at the grocery.

I love snow, yet there is no snow by my home or work. It is mean and spiteful to rub your abundance of snow in my face when I walk through the Tesco parking lot to get my groceries. Your crown of snowy goodness is a smack in the face to the snow less. Please stop being so inconsiderate and brush the snow off as not to upset my fragile snow less existence.

Thank you,


*Photo is not acutally from Glasgow, but from Google. I am not so sad that I photograph random cars with snow.

Tuesday 2 December 2008

The Iron Lotus

Yesterday at lunch my coworker Rachel and I decided to go ice skating. Remarkably we both came back with no broken bones, bruises, sprains or frostbite; in fact we didn't fall even once!

We did however get totally showed up by a dapper looking older woman who zipped about in a red corduroy track suit and a leopard hat. Apparently she goes skating everyday:

Hang up my skates? I’ll put that idea on ice

Meet Glasgow on Ice's biggest - and possibly oldest - fan.

Sprightly 74-year-old Mildred Black whizzes around the rink in George Square for up to five hours every day.

The fearless grandmother gets the bus into Glasgow from Giffnock each morning to take to the ice on a new pair of gleaming white boots.

And her graceful figure of eights and speed skating leave younger thrill-seekers trailing in her wake.

Mildred, who has two grandchildren Nicola, 17, and 10-year-old Deborah returned to skating five years ago after nearly 50 years.

She used to skate every night when she was young but stopped in 1955 aged 21 because she thought she was too old.

However, when the rink was set up in 2001 she stunned her family and friends by saying she wanted to get her skates back on.

Mildred still has a pair of boots her mother gave her on her 16th birthday and makes her own outfits, including a striking red corduroy suit.

She said: "When I get on the ice I feel 16 again.

"The years fly off. I love skating really fast around the edges.

"I'm not scared. If you are scared there is no fun in it.

"The first year I came back my family were a bit worried about me and said I was a bit old but I feel great."

Mildred took up skating aged 12 after the Second World War but has never had lessons.

She used to skate at Hogganfield Loch overflow and the rink at the Kelvin Hall sports centre when she was a child She said: "It had a beautiful rink, I'll never forget it.

"I fell into Hogganfield Loch a few times but it didn't put me off."

Mildred helped launch Glasgow on Ice as the first skater and has been given free use of the rink by Culture and Sport Glasgow so she can enjoy her favourite hobby throughout the festive period.

Caroline Wilson, The Evening Times

I'm not sure what to do with my hands

I finally figured out who Diana Vickers reminds me of!

Diana Vickers....

...or Ricky Bobby?

You decide!