Iceland the supermarket, not the country.

I’d say ‘unfortunately’, as I really do want to visit Iceland the country, but to be honest, I am such a massive fan of Christmas food that I was totally happy making my way to London in 30 degree heat last week in the name of brussel sprouts and custard filled Christmas puddings.

Iceland Christmas range

Yesssss

If you’ve ever worked in the MEDIA, (fancy), then you will know that Christmas in July is most definitely a THING. It’s when all the brands launch their Christmassy ranges, giving plenty of time for magazines and influential bloggers, like what I am, to talk about their stuff.

I arrived early, as I tend to, (I can’t bear lateness), and thought I’d be able to find a casual Starbucks near by to gather my thoughts and freshen up a bit after my very sweaty tube journey. As it turned out, the area wasn’t thronging with cafes by any stretch of the imagination, so by the time I arrived in the hallway full of Christmas trees, having wandered the streets for half an hour in a heat wave, I looked like I had been pulling a sleigh myself. 

Still, I styled it out – ‘just a summer glow darling!’ – and went up the stairs into a veritable Christmas food heaven. View Post

Post in association with Fanta.

Well hello there, long time no see!

That’s my fault, as I have been BUYING A HOUSE! My very own house, where I can put up wallpaper and have to be responsible for the boiler. Scary times.

In my mind I imagined that moving into my own house would mainly consist of me skipping happily from room to room, choosing exactly where I wanted to put my plants, but it turns out it’s a bit more complicated and dull than that so far, hence me being a bit quiet.

What better thing to do though when you are super busy than to casually cook three meals from scratch and create a video of it?? I know right? It’s the OBVIOUS thing to do, and I don’t know why more people don’t do it quite frankly, as it’s totally THE way to relax mid-move.

So before you do anything else, you MUST watch the video. I’ll tell you what it’s all about in a minute, but seriously, if you have ever moved house, take a minute to think of me and watch the whole thing as a sign of solidarity. It’s less than eight minutes, which in the grand scheme of things is nothing is it??

Okay, thank you. I will calm down now.

*deep breaths*

As you will have seen when you watched the video, which I KNOW you did, this post is part of a project with Fanta, celebrating the relaunch of Fanta Orange. Fanta has a sexy new spiral bottle shape – an industry first apparently – a new logo, and a new recipe, which means it now has a third less sugar, hence me being challenged to create family recipes with fewer calories.

I have to say too that it actually tastes really good. I like it.  View Post

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When my taxi driver arrived at my Croatian villa to pick me up to take me back to the airport he looked perplexed.

‘Just you?’ he asked, in his best English.

‘Yep, just me,’ I said. (I was getting an earlier flight to Bristol, so everyone else in the group had gone truffle hunting.)

He looked at me:

Croatian villa holiday James Villas

Very important to wear a hat in hot weather you know.

He looked at the villa:

Croatian villa holiday James Villas

‘How you pay for this place?’ he asked me.

Rude.

I wanted to say ‘because I am a successful woman of independent means’, but I wasn’t sure how that would translate. Also, I was staying as a guest of James Villas, so actually I didn’t pay, although I could have if I had wanted to.

‘I didn’t,’ I said, ‘I write about it.’ I mimed using a pen. I don’t think it helped.

Anyway, my point is that a villa holiday in Croatia is NOT AS EXPENSIVE AS YOU THINK. Read on… View Post

If you’d have asked me this time last year if I thought I’d ever be able to afford to buy a house I would have laughed heartily. No one can right? And then I CASUALLY went into an estate agent, just wanting to nose at some new apartments that had been built in our town, and it turns out there’s such a thing as a 5% mortgage, and suddenly it all seemed rather more feasible.

But no one would ever give ME a mortgage surely?

Even at business networking groups people look at me suspiciously when I say I BLOG for a living – imagination the reaction of a financial institution??

Except oh. It turns out that actually I’m worth a punt.

Right, so we’ll just go and look at a few places, no pressure. Except this one which we see in our first round of visits is actually pretty nice. It’s way over what we can afford but we may as well make an offer?

And then it’s accepted, and nothing goes wrong, and here we are.

And it’s lovely, and it was the right decision, and I have the SHELVES OF DREAMS but there is also a part of me that feels deflated and overwhelmed and a bit ‘well what now?’ about the whole thing.

I think I spent so many nights in the three months between the offer and the move lying awake, imagining all the things I was going to do and how amazing it was going to be, that when I got here, it felt like everything was over before it began. Yes, I still have all of these projects do to, but it turns out they take hard work and money AS WELL AS Pinterest boards (who knew!) and I want everything perfect NOW. View Post

Did you see my OUTRAGEOUS CONFESSION on Twitter the other day?

I’d been sent some Flip & Dip from Philadelphia – these cool, new, topped dippy cheese things – and they wanted to know whether or not I was a double dipper.

Philadelphia Flip & Dip

At first I wasn’t sure what they meant. How else are you meant to eat dip?! You dip in your carrot baton, or whatever it is, take a bite, dip it back in, take another bite… that’s how it works right??

Apparently not.

Apparently this WHOLE TIME – (39 years, although probably I didn’t eat a lot of dip as a baby) – I have been committing a hideous social faux pas which, unbeknownst to me, has probably been making my dip companions recoil in horror and disgust. According to research from Philadelphia, 60% of Brits consider double dipping a complete no-no. Luckily for me though, we’re all so horribly repressed that no one is likely to say anything, to my face at least – 62% of us would rather suppress feelings of discontent and suffer in silence or gossip with other guests about the double dipper in question.

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