Our Trip to Malta – Day 2 Valletta

Posted On 13/05/2013

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Our second day on this little sun drenched island and we were off to the capital city Valletta for the day.

It’s pretty safe to say we covered almost every part of the city, including finding a Marks and Spencers to buy some footsies for my poor feet.

I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves, as I took hundreds that day…

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And because I have a sixth sense for finding these little ones, I present the cats of the Upper Barrakka Gardens :

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It was a fantastic day visiting museums and just wandering around the city.

One tip is to make sure you wear proper shoes as the streets are uneven and steep.

And as a new addition :

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Our Trip to the Land of Honey aka Malta – Day 1

Posted On 02/05/2013

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This post is nearly a year overdue, but as we are gearing up for our next holiday, I thought I would look back at last years, which I never posted. Hmm, sorry. Thankfully, I kept a travel journal to help remember what happened.

So last May we had a big holiday to Malta. The weather was glorious although a little too hot for us.

But aside from that, it was fantastic! We definitely want to go back again and check out all the places we didn’t get to visit the first time around.

Our first day was so long, I didn’t sleep for the best part of 48 hours with all the travelling.The travelling was pretty uneventful, although a note to the family three rows ahead – if your child has already been ill on the flight, don’t feed him a double chocolate muffin, it wasn’t fair on the flight attendant to clean up that mess, nor the person who would next have to sit in that chair.


When we arrived at the hotel we were pleasantly surprised, although we take Trip Advisor reviews with a pinch of salt, we were a bit concerned but there was nothing to be worried about.

The best bit about our hotel? We got given our wristbands whilst we waited to check into our rooms. You know we went straight up to the pool bar!

Our room was huge and spotlessly clean, the only thing which let it down was the bathroom as it was a bit tired looking and the shower had very low pressure.

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We had a full lunch in the restaurant and the selection was huge : salads, antipasti, pasta, soup, meat and fishe dishes, and most importantly a gorgeous chocolate gateau and lemon meringue pie. (Apologies for the lack of pictures, but I’m sure you can imagine it)

The next day, and my next post will be Valletta, the capital.

Eleven Questions

This has come from Caitlin‘s blog, and I encourage you to answer question 11.

1. In baseball each player gets a “walk up song” that plays on his way up to the plate. What song would you pick?

 Aaargh! So many songs but this one always brings a smile to my face and gets me wiggling :

2. What’s the best thing that happened to you last weekend?

 Well, last weekend I turned 27 and had a lovely afternoon tea with my parents. I promise to post pictures soon.

3. If you could have a starring role in any film already made, which movie would you pick?

I would be Jane Russell’s character in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Dorothy Shaw. The outfits, the songs, the elegance, and well this number may just say it all :

4. What actor/actress would you have play you in a movie of your life?

I’ve got to go with a British actress, and although she’s only come to light in the past couple of years, I think Joanna Vanderham is who I’d want. We’re not much alike looks wise, but I like her attitude in her shows.


5. What is your favorite quote?

 “There’s no point in living if you can’t feel alive” Garbage, The World Is Not Enough

6. What was your first concert?

My parents arranged for me to see Take That as a surprise one evening, and it was the infamous tour with Howard Donald’s bum!

7. What Internet website do you visit the most?


8. Which of Snow White’s 7 dwarfs describes you the best and why?

 Doc, because I wear glasses and according to the Wikipedia entry he mixes up his words a lot, which I seem to be doing at the moment!?

9. If you were on death row, what would your last meal be?

A cheese and beans toastie, followed by a bowl of good quality vanilla ice cream all washed down with San Pellegrino Limonata

10. What is the background of your computer?

As I’m on Windows 8, I have a slideshow of images from France to inspire me for both my studies and our upcoming Road Trip.

And the eleventh question is… to you!  Answer one of the ten above!

Quick Cake – Malteaser Teaser Cake Trial

Posted On 26/03/2013

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I love Malteasers, so much so that I wanted a Malteaser cupcake for my upcoming birthday.

After posting this photo on Facebook earlier to several comments, I give you the Malteaser Teaser Cupcake Trial :


This isn’t a full recipe as I didn’t take any pictures whilst making it, but it’s pretty straightforward.

For the cakes I used the Betty Crocker Chocolate Swirl Cake Mix. I made the mix according to the recipe and then put the vanilla mix into my Mini Sandwich Cake Tin, and topped each filled tin with a blob of the chocolate mix.

Cakes were baked until done and then topped with a malty chocolate buttercream and a Malteaser.

Malty Chocolate Buttercream Recipe

  • 75g Stork margarine
  • 175g Icing sugar
  • 30g ish of melted milk chocolate
  • 1tbsp ish of Horlicks drink powder

Cream the butter, then add the icing sugar gradually into the butter. Add the melted chocolate and mix. Finally, add the Horlicks to taste and mix.

The verdict?

It looks quite pretty, but I’m not too sure on the taste quite yet. I may have to pick another cake to try for my birthday.

Long time no speak

Posted On 17/03/2013

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I hadn’t forgotten about you, it’s just things have been crazy busy the past few weeks, and I haven’t had anything to really report on!

Firstly, I have been spending a lot of time on my OU (Open University) study, and as of Tuesday night, submitted my first assignment. I think it’s fair to say I was bricking it, as this is the first assignment in French I have done in eight years! But, I’ve already had my marks back and I’m on course with where I want to be at this stage. I haven’t listened to my feedback yet, I’m still trying to get the courage up!

Secondly, Mr H has been so busy with work that every chance I’ve had to be with him I’ve taken. He’s left for the Lake District this afternoon and I won’t see him again now until Thursday. But, we are going away for an early birthday weekend so I get some unspoiled time with him.

I owe you a February Bake of the Month, and although I made the bake, I forgot to photograph it, so I will be catching up on that shortly.

I’ll be back to regular posting now, so coming up will also be a review of the comedy night we went on last Friday as well as photos from my upcoming birthday weekend.

Review Post – Dave’s Comedy Festival

First of all apologies this post has no pictures, but in the rush to get out I forgot my camera, and those that Rainbow took are not fit for public consumption!

Rainbow and Buddy came down this weekend and to while away the evening we went to the Dave Comedy Festival, which in a word was awesome!

The reason for the last minute rush was due to our printer rejecting the ink and we therefore could not print off the second act’s tickets. One quick phonecall to the ticket hotline and they printed off the tickets for us to pick up after dinner. Thank you very much guys, couldn’t have asked for more!

The first act was “The Geeks Strike Back”, billed as :

A long time ago on a comedy stage not so far away …
It is a bright time for geeks and stand-up comedy. Danish comedians Niels Forsberg, Morden May, and Mads Brynnum have been hiding in a secret base for the past year. Now they’re ready with a show that’s guarantied to score a critical hit. A show about all the important things in life: zombies, Death Stars, board games, and evil plans of world domination.

These guys were very funny, and I am ashamed to say I got the majority of the jokes. I guess that makes me a geek of some description, although I’m not sure what flavour yet!

The Exchange Bar was an odd little venue, with the act taking place downstairs. The seating was a complete mix of occasional chairs and little sofas. Buddy was delighted by the spinning chair in front of him, although the guy in front didn’t enjoy spilling his drink as he was spun round by said delighted person. I did like the intimacy and quirkiness of the venue, but it wasn’t completely soundproofed from the bar above so there was quite a bit of background noise. And on the way out, we couldn’t find the stairs due to the curtain covering it and followed several bemused men into the gents!

Then, it was a quick walk away to the Belmont Hotel to see Grainne Maguire’s show “If I could just love myself as much as I love Ed Miliband, my life would be perfect”.

That was all we knew about the show beforehand, except for a short Youtube video on the events listing. I have to admit part of the reason for booking this show was the location and the time it was showing, but she was great.

Her views on Kate Middleton opened my eyes to a more cynical viewpoint. What I did like about her act was that at the end she wrapped up the stories and linked them together with a sort of moral lesson to the story. I would definitely go to see her again, so fingers crossed she is around next year.

We finished off the night at the Lansdowne for a cocktail or two, and only as we left did we clock Grainne was sat in there with her manager (I assume). Would have liked to have spoken to her after the set to congratulate her, but the moment had passed and we had the night bus to catch.

So would I go to the Dave Comedy Festival again? Definitely, the entire night cost broke down as follows :

  • Ticket for the Geeks – £5 + booking fee + credit card fee
  • Ticket for Grainne Maguire – £3 + booking fee
  • Dinner at Pizza Express – £13 for 3 courses using a voucher

It was a cheap night out but full and relaxed, I’m not much into clubbing and the like anymore so it was fantastic to have a good night out and get the endorphins flowing!

On a side note, the other morning I was very confused to walk to work hearing the sound of Big Ben. After checking Facebook a few days later, I found the culprit :

And so it begins

I’ve had these for a while now, but it all hit home today as I had my first tutorial.


Not having spoken French properly in nearly eight years, I have to admit I was somewhat nervous

(okay I didn’t sleep well last night because I was bricking it!)

But I couldn’t have been more wrong, today’s session in Nottingham was tiring but I think I handled it pretty well. My French was far from perfect but that’s fine, only the tutor is fluent at this stage!

I’ve spent the past week working through the first Session in the materials and learning all about how the French holiday, as well as trying out the educational version of Skype.

It all seems to be going well at the moment, but I think it’s really going to hit home when I have my first TMA (Tutor Marked Assignment) to submit in a few weeks time.

In other news, I bought too many blueberries earlier this week and have already produced Blueberry and Lime muffins, with a Blueberry Upside Down Cake to follow this afternoon.


If I have some extra berries after all this, can anyone suggest another recipe I could use?

Response Post to Va-Voom Vintage: My Early Style

As mentioned in Brittany’s post, our sense of style is shaped and evolved by celebrities, books and movies and therefore constantly changing.

I am getting to a point now where I think I know what my personal style is, because so far it’s been a bit eclectic!

My teenage years were a bit of a rollercoaster, as I think it was for most of us!

My first year of secondary school was spent head to toe in Adidas as the townie-esque craze swept through. Then I saw this :


Oh how I wanted to be Fairuza Balk’s character Nancy, minus the insanity bit of course. And here ushered in my gothic tendencies. Non-uniform days made for amusement as I rocked up to school in black eyeshadow and lipstick.

Then this was sideswept this little lady.


I loved watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer and hated not having Sky 1 so I had to wait until it came out on BBC2. I remember buying 3/4 length coats and thinking I was oh, so cool because I emulated Buffy’s style.

I think part of me wished I could have my own David Boreanaz, I had enough posters of him on my walls!

And finally, the reason behind that red hair :

engagement red

Yes, that red hair. The reason? Shirley Manson from Garbage. Version 2.0 is the album of my teenage years and I loved how cool she was and to me that equated with having amazing red hair.


I did enjoy being a redhead, but it is not worth 8 hours in the salon chair!

I (thankfully) don’t have may photos of me in my teenage years, but between these ladies and my love of Oriental clothing, I doubt I looked much like anyone else.

I’m the one with short hair and red top

And on a side note, this is not indicative of my current dress sense :

hen party

Who influenced your style and fashion?

Angry Insects and the Pudding Night

Posted On 27/01/2013

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Last night we went to a Pudding Club in my MILs village, with all puddings made by the local WI. Heaven!!!!

Imagine a long wall lined with tables groaning with over 30 different puddings, jugs of cream and custard and a crepes suzette stand down one end. I’m asking you to imagine this as I forgot to take a picture, whoops!

Over the course of the evening we were invited to try as many desserts as our stomachs could hold, buy tickets for the raffle and tombola, and take part in the quizzes.

Mr H and I did fairly well in the pudding stakes, as seen by the pictures below. My personal favourite was the Rhubarb and Raspberry Crumble, and I currently have two portions sat in my fridge for tonights dinner!

Pudding Night Collage

I walked away from the tombola with a GI cookbook, Coffee Mug set and a bottle of Irish Meadows (cheaper version of Baileys). Towards the end of the night we noticed a fellow table returning from the tombola stand and holding up a tube of Vagisil. After a bit of an investigation by our table mate, it turns out that there was also Strawberry flavoured lube, and a packet of condoms with a complimentary vibrating cock ring. After about five minutes of laughing so hard at this “prize” having been offered on the tombola, it turned out another person on that table had brought it from home to deliver it as part of their Secret Santa. Given that my MIL is part of the WI, I can tell you I was greatly relieved that the Secret Santa present had not come through the tombola (excuse all puns)

Now onto the Angry Insects. One of the quizzes was 25 cryptic clues posted around the room, each revealing a type of pudding. A lot of trading went on to discover the answers of No’s 4 (Scottish Regiments), 13 (Heavenly Kingdom Shapes) and 25 (Angry Insects). Can anyone guess them?

No. 4 – Scottish Regiments – Highlanders (never heard of this dessert)

No. 13 – Heavenly Kingdom Shapes – Paradise Squares – (again, never heard of this one either)

No. 25 – Angry Insects – Croissants or Cross Ants

After hearing the answer to 25, I would never have gotten it as I don’t pronounce it that way, but nee matter. The grand prize was a wooden spoon!

Bake of the Month – Baizelnut Muffins

Apologies this post is so late in coming. I was planning on writing it when I left work early last Friday due to the snow, but it took me 5 hours to get home so that went out of the window!

But now, this is the inaugural post on my brand new laptop – yay for being back in the 21st century!

Onto the post. As a new feature for 2013, I will be doing a Bake of the Month which will usually be themed on what is going on in my life at the time.

January’s Bake of the Month is my personal favourite Baizelnut Muffins (whilst thinking of the ingredients I needed on the way to work I had a brain fart and the name for these bits of heaven was born!) These muffins are a Hazelnut Baileys Muffin topped with a Nutella buttercream and just the perfect gooey winter warmer for those of us who had the best intentions but have already forgotten about them (raise your hands, you’re not the only one!)

Now for the how-to :

I amended the recipe found here, substituting the packet of vanilla sugar for 1tsp vanilla extract, used 80g chocolate chips instead of 40g cranberries and 40g chocolate pieces, and added Hazelnut Baileys.

Whisk the sugar, vanilla extract and eggs until slightly frothy.


Mix in the sunflower oil, followed by the Baileys.P1070321

I mixed in the flour and baking powder until just combined.P1070322

Then I added the chocolate chips, in hindsight I should have either folded these in or added them once the batter was in the muffin cases as they did sink to the bottom.P1070323

The batter was then poured into the muffin cases and put in the oven until fully baked.P1070324


Once they’d cooled I topped them with the Nutella buttercream recipe found here.


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