Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Explore / Going Postal Inspired Upcycled Hand Fan

Inspired by Shimelle Laine's Explore course and Julie Kirk's Going Postal 'Wish you were here' postcard style Summer blogging theme, I decided to upcycle my Oriental Hand Fan. As you can see from the pictures, it was looking a bit grubby and tired and it was literally sello-taped to death. So, I decided to pull it apart, see how it was made and upcycle it!

Believe it or not, this cost me a massive 20p from a Charity Shop in the town!
My poor, tired fan, pulled apart and drawn around to make the shape for my new fan

Using a vintage map of the North East of England I cut out, scored and folded a new 'fan' shape
Next, using a needle and some thick embroidery thread, I sewed the fan together - mimicking the original design

Finally, using some seriously strong adhesive, I glued the fan back in to the original 'legs'
And, TA-DA... new, upcycled, travel inspired hand fan, hope you like it!


Nanna Kate X

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

By dazzle



So, I read about Shoe Dazzle over on one of my favourite blogs Hair and Beautylicious. The moment I read that they would offer you personalised shoe recommendations as though you had your own stylist I simply had to look, to see if Kim Kardashian really could style me...

Once registered you take a little a,b,c style picture quiz that builds your style profile. I am type b, which you can see from the picture means I am whimsical (true), that I am free spirited (also true) and artistic... (would you believe, true!)

The summing up of my personality type resonated with me and despite never being too focused on style or fashion I do put my outfits together like an artist but I don't proclaim to be any sort of fashionista. With trepidation I waited for my style results or 'showroom'.

Dear me. Not one style I would choose. They were all high for a start... and I mean sky scrapers! Loads of vulgar animal print too which I'm seriously NOT a fan of. So despite almost getting it spot on with my personality type... Kim and Co really did not Shoe Dazzle me!

These shoes weren't made for walking...
Posted via Blogaway on my Android

Monday, 29 August 2011

Little Pink Boxes

For anyone who gets a Monthly Box from Latest in Beauty you will know how exciting it is when your box packed with freebies lands on the doormat. This month I got a double whammy because my 2011 CEW (UK) Award Box arrived on the same day! Two lovely pink boxes packed to the rafters with sweet sized samples.

I still had some of the bits from my last box including Sun Shots SPF25 20ml sachet, Natura Organics Soothing Shower Gel 10ml sachet, Yu-Be Moisturising Skin Cream 3g tube and Madara Deco Face Moon Flower Tinting Fluid 3ml sachet. I had tried these half heartedly, but there's plenty left (the Natura Organics comes in a dual sachet sample) and I still need to give my full verdict on these, so that I can write up full reviews and share my thoughts on them.


My usual box (above) contained Crabtree and Evelyn Lily Body Lotion 5ml / EDT 0.5ml, Doctor Brand Blemish Complex 3 Step Skincare 1.7ml sachets and St Tropez SPF30 High Protection for Body with Tan Enhancer 36g sachet.


My 2011 CEW (UK) Award Box contained (and I must admit, this selection seriously excites me!) Lanolips 101 Ointment 1g sachet, Bastiste Dry Shampoo Original 50ml spray, Dr. Organic Bio Active Skincare Organic Rose Otto Skin Lotion 5ml sachet, Balance Me Rose Otto Body Wash 55ml bottle and Clarins Multi-Active Day Early Wrinkle Correction Cream 15ml tube.

That gives me a whole lot of samples to get trying and next month sees my first installment of my Glossy Box subscription - so expect an abundance of reviews, pictures and advice on these products!

Nanna Kate X

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Cheapo Simple Suppers


In this month's Glamour they ran a feature on being skint toward payday and how you can manage to still eat well. Well, 5 meals for £15 really grabbed my attention and I decided to begin compiling my own week-to-go survival list for the run up to payday. I will take some of my Simple Suppers and I will steal some of Glamour's ideas... I'll be saying goodbye to dust sandwiches for lunch forever! Check back in coming weeks to see the plan!

Nanna Kate X

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Glamping

So, we recently went Glamping in a Pod at Alders Caravan Park in Alne, just outside of York. I wrote the review over on my Dooyoo page of our stay, check it out here, but I wanted to share some of the pictures on here...

Our posh pod. Insulated and water tight - no soggy tents and complete warm, comfortable luxury!

Our posh double bed. No ground sheet or sleeping bags, just lovely fluffy pillows and a snuggly duvet!
 Nanna Kate X

Friday, 26 August 2011

Eyes Down


I love to escape everyday life and go to the beach; I go so often I really think I should just pack up and move there! One of my favourite things to do is to play prize bingo. It's strange, but the thrill of calling and getting one 'win' exchangeable for a couple of tins of beans or an out-of-fashion cartoon character pencil case, is so enticing and I gravitate towards the place every time I visit our local seaside.

Just lately, it's had a little mini make over and instead of saving up 'wins' and carefully selecting from the shelves of junk they try to pass off as prizes, they now allow you to exchange each win for a £1 Love to Shop voucher. That's thrown a whole new curve ball on the situation - I can now justify my secret liaisons with the bingo hall, because I'm 'saving vouchers for Christmas'. Genius!


Nanna Kate X (bingo player extraordinaire)

Thursday, 25 August 2011

It's been two weeks...

...which is 14 days of not smoking! Yay! I have kicked the habit finally after 4 years of smoking. I wish I didn't ever start, but I did and that's now history - today I am a smoke free zone and I have no plans of going back!

I've used Nicorette Invisi Patches, initially 15mg for 7 days, then 10mg for 7 days and now I am going down to 5mg. I am also using the Icy White Gum to help with an instant hit, after meals and on an evening before bed. To be honest, I could kill for a cigarette - only about 5% of the time though which is manageable. The rest of the time I just feel like me, just without the smell!

I have saved £44.24 to date, which I will be putting towards lovely craft and beauty supplies to reward myself for all of the hard work. I've also 'not' smoked 140 cigarettes. If I think about in those terms it makes it all much easier for me.

The best bit though? Being able to smell my perfume on myself on a night when I am getting ready for bed, instead of smelling of smoke - it's fantastic.

Nanna Kate X

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Experimenting with Beauty Treatments

One of my best friends who I met through my job has been training as a beautician over recent months on a fast track course. When it was her Hen night, she offered to apply an emergency St. Tropez tan to me, after the mobile spray tanner didn't show up two days before I was supposed to be looking like a bronzed Goddess... she had offered to do other treatments like a pedicure and I'd completely missed these opportunities for one reason or another, but this time I wasn't about to let the offer slip through my fingers!

Whilst doing the tan, she offered to tint my eyebrows and I agreed, though I was pretty nervous about having them done. And, then when my skin broke out in to the biggest dot-to-dot I've seen, she offered to do me a facial too. When it comes to beauty, I am a little inexperienced (never managed to dip my feet in to a pool of hungry fish yet!), so I thought I'd take the plunge with someone I trust and check out what all of the fuss was about!

St. Tropez

After a pre-treatment ritual of exfoliating and moisturising all of your dry bits, you strip off and stand or lay in your knickers, the beautician then takes St. Tropez Mousse and, using a Buffing Mit, applies it to your whole body, quickly and efficiently in a circular motion (takes about 10 minutes - if that). You then allow around a minutes drying time and get your clothes back on (wear scruffy ones or they might end up stained in tan - though mine didn't). Sleep wearing the tan, then the next morning shower off and watch as you transform from pale and interesting to a sunkissed beauty. My verdict? Not for the easily embarrassed! It gives you a really natural looking golden (not orange) tan which lasts for at least three to four days before gracefully (not patchy) fading off. Will I get it done again? Most certainly, but only for a special occasion, I don't mind being pastey!


Sunkissed St Tropez Glow

Eyebrow Tinting

By far my favourite of the treatments I tried and the most effective. This involves having a quick shape (I pluck out a couple of eyebrows every morning as I can't stand waxing or plucking them all in one go!) then eyebrow tint being applied gradually, getting wiped off, being applied again and built up until the eyebrows hit the desired shade. Literally a 10 minute process and leaves you with what I think are absolutely amazing results. I've tried using eyebrow pencils but never have had this same striking result. Particularly great as I dye my hair dark brown and I have quite fair eyebrows that get lost in my pastey skin. This is my most recommended and as I've said, favouritest!


Before...
After!

Facial


I feel a bit of a cheat not posting a picture of myself with my facial results... but it's only day two and the facial really has drawn out all of the impurities in my skin. So, in short, I'm a bit of a mess. It is totally exacerbated by the fact I've stopped smoking and all the toxins from my skin were causing me to get in a bit of breakout hell - so my friend suggested I try a facial to encourage my skin to banish all the rubbish,  regenerate and look brand new in a few days time.

This procedure is great for relaxing. It began by a 'superficial' cleanse which determined my skin type and diagnosed my skin prescription. I have (apparently!) quite normal, if a little sensitive, skin. On the whole my skin is in a good state (phew) with the impurities and problem areas coming from my lifestyle choices (smoking, not drinking enough water and most probably, stress). So my beautician chose to use the Soothing range from SkinTruth which contains lavender and chamomile; the only essential oils which are suitable for using on a baby's skin.

After the initial cleanse she did a deep cleanse, followed by a neck, decolletage, shoulder and face massage using a gentle sweet almond oil base, to the soothing sounds of Chill FM, I was almost asleep - kept awake only by the non-stop gossip! Next, I had a masque applied to my face and whilst it worked it's super-deep cleansing and replenishing magic, she massaged my scalp. After removing the masque, I had toner sweeped over my skin to tighten up my pores which had been opened up during the cleansing. Finally, I had a moisturiser applied.

Feeling amazingly relaxed afterwards, I happily floated home and left the moisturiser on over night. When I woke up the next morning I washed using only water and have stuck to that during the weekend. My skin has broken out as I said, but it still feels super soft and I feel great knowing that in a few days when the toxins work their way out of my skin and my cells regenerate, my new layer of skin will look fresh, clear and glowing.

I've had an amazing time trying these treatments out and will become a regularly pampered princess now that I've experimented - addicted to eyebrow tinting! Massive thank you's to my personal beautician! And, apologies to my readers for the super long blog post...

Nanna Kate X

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

"Where Everybody Knows Your Name"

So, on Cheers (if you can remember that far back!), the theme tune used to be "Where Everybody Knows Your Name" and it was fitting because the place was where everyone went to feel 'at home'. I have a similar affinity with our local seaside town and no matter how I feel or what's going on in my life, I can go there knowing it will lift my spirits and I will feel at home.




It's a beautiful place to escape to eat fish and chips from one of Britain's oldest 'Chippys', have a Pacitto's original Lemon Top and suck up the fresh sea air.

Bliss

Nanna Kate X

Monday, 22 August 2011

Philly Gnocchi


The end of the month. The fridge is bare. The diet is out of the window because the only things left are one fishcake, a few loose peas, some left over filo prawns from Christmas in the freezer... And don't even get me started on nutrition; dust sandwiches contain none.

I was determined this month not to turn to eating rubbish and ordering a take away with my last fiver rather than going to the shop and buying ingredients to make a meal. So, a few evenings ago, I opened up the cupboards and had a little look in there.I found  packet of Gnocchi which I bought a while ago but which was still in date, I pulled out a can of peeled plum tomatoes (what can't you make with them?!) and some Italian herbs.

Initially, I had a tomato-y pourover in mind, but it didn't whet my appetite much and it was with a little hesitation I put the pans on the hob - my fingers wandering over to the take away leaflets we keep in a box in the kitchen...

Then I remembered I had a small tub with about 6 green, garlic stuffed, olives and half a handful of sliced black olives which I'd used for my Muffuletta a week or two ago, so I chucked them in with the tomatos. I added the Italian herbs and I popped the Gnocchi in boiling water.

For some reason, rich and creamy sauces which are usually cheese or cream based appeal so much more to me than tomato based sauce, and when I looked in the fridge for some left over cream or yoghurt or something I found my saviour - about a half dessert spoonful of Philadelphia with Garlic and Herbs! I just stirred it in to the sauce to make it nice and thick.

I drained the Gnocchi and stirred that in to and ended up with a simple, quick, seriously filling, low calorie, incredibly tasty supper - just using what I found in the cupboards. And, as I cooked the full packet of Gnocchi there was enough for a couple of days lunches too.

Perfecto...

Nanna Kate X

Friday, 19 August 2011

The Perfect Rasberry Mint Mojito

I made this beautiful pink Mojito at a Mixology Hen event I recently attended. It's a divine mix of sour and sweet and tingles the tastebuds making it a perfect, summery, outdoorsy drink which packs a definite punch! It's also so simple to recreate at home, here's the 'how to':

If you pop a mint leaf in your mouth and don't chew it, it quite simply tastes of nothing (a little bit 'grassy' but not at all minty). When you begin to chew you release the minty flavours so to release them in your cocktail (without chewing and spitting them out!) you can follow these steps - do it with a little theatrical flair if you're entertaining! Take a good handful of mint leaves in the palm of one hand and 'smack' them with the other hand. 'Rim' the glass with them to flavour your glass and then 'stuff' them in to the bottom of the glass. Remember smack it, rim it, stuff it. How rude...

Next drop 6 juicy raspberries in to the glass. Add one generous shot of white rum. Using a spoon, drag the mint and the raspberries 'through' the rum, squashing the raspberries as you go.

Fill a freezer bag with ice cubes and crush them up using a rolling pin. Empty three quarters of the ice in to the glass and 'pack' it in using a slightly smaller glass or potato masher if your glass allows. Add the remaining ice to create a hill, you need as much ice as you can cram in to and on top of the glass. Take a chilled bottle of soda water and pour carefully over the ice allowing it to trickle through the fragments and lift the rum, mint and raspberry pulp.

Add a straw, umbrella, sparkler and sit back in the sun, sip away and enjoy this twist on the classic Cuban cocktail! Have a lovely weekend...

Nanna Kate X

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Thank You

To Marks and Spencers for making my recent East Coast Mainline trip to Sheffield a little more palatable! Detracting my focus from the dirty carriage, filthy seats, horrendous toilets and mostly drunken clientele was this lovely pic-mini-c from M&S, food saviour extraordinaire...


Sushi snack pack (with no raw fish nasties), mini fresh salad wraps (ginger beef and asian salad with sweet soy dip) and a teeny pot of Rocky Road bites - because, face it, you can't be good ALL of the time!

Absolute heaven, it's the little things that make me happy it has to be said.

Needless to say I got some rather odd looks, whilst chowing down on this micro-feast, from the other passengers eating their standard East Coast issue overpriced stale egg sarnies and bags of ready salted...

Nanna Kate X

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

My REAL Pinterest...

I recently joined Pinterest and woah - how addictive it has become, I have already filled my first Board with various things I'm hankering after! For a list lover and pin board fanatic, it's like a virtual heaven. But in a similar ilk to the numerous 'What's in my handbag' style posts, I thought it could be interesting to start a 'Real Pinterest' post, giving you a guided tour of my real pin boards and all the junk that I stick on to them.

Oh and in the interests of completeness, these are just the pins in my room - I have pin boards in our spare room-come-computer room, on my desk at work and in the kitchen - addicted much?



Starting from the top left hand corner and moving in a clockwise-ish direction: Personalised thank you card from my nephew's Christening, thank you and I Love You cards from my lovely girlfriend who surprises me with cards and notes all of the time, cinema tickets for the Hangover 2 (bringing a whole new meaning to the term LOL), receipts and my girlfriend's shift patterns, my Valentine's card, more receipts and peaking out, that yellow certificate is our 'adoption' certificate for Copper, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier from the Dog's Trust.

Also just peaking out here in green and white is my registration for Step Change, which I did in March to raise some dollar for the NSPCC - I ran up to the top of the Gherkin in London - 1038 steps! Even more receipts and our sharpie marker illustrated Christmas wish lists, my Undertaking to be Godmother to my darling Nephew and just above that his 1st Birthday party invitation. Oh and my one time hairdresser's business card! In the centre is a wedding invitation to a close friends wedding in the Autumn and in the background you can see one of my most prized possessions - a tin wall plaque my Dad bought me, depicting the cover of the Beatles 'Hard Days Night', which turned out to be magnetic and so makes a pinboard within a pinboard - using a set of Beatles magnets I got as a Christmas present years ago.  


My second bedroom pinboard (because one just isn't sufficient!) has (again starting from top left, clockwise...) my autograph from when we took my girlfriend's Mam to meet Steve and Karen from the Galaxy breakfast show (she's a huge fan!), more and more receipts, a money wallet containing my tickets for Lee Evans this Autumn, various invoices and guarantees, Little Fat Buddha restaurant menu (posh Chinese take away), our rabbit Mufasa's immunisation record, Thip Top business card - a Thai lady who makes beautiful one off clothing in Camden Lock, more cinema stubs and finally, la piece de resistance - tickets for Dolly Parton!

So, what's on your pinboard?

Nanna Kate X

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Homemade Hampers, with Love

I am a complete foodie and love to try new and interesting dishes and ingredients. Going in to Marks and Spencers, John Lewis or Selfridges Foodhall for me is like giving a kid free reign in Hamley's. I particularly love Hampers and I literally stare open-mouthed at the Fortnum and Mason selection when it comes round to Christmas time. So, last year when I organised for our company to take part in Macmillan Cancer Support's World's Biggest Coffee Morning I decided to inflict part of my foodie love on the raffle prizes and make some homemade hampers. It turned in to a rather big deal, I scoured second hand shops (and relatives cupboards!) for baskets, wicker trays and boxes and then I wrote to a bunch of food companies asking for donations. The response was overwhelming and I ended up making several hampers filled with all sorts of goodies from the kind companies who to donated.

It's now a matter of months until Christmas and I plan to begin stashing goodies away a bit at a time to make up these hampers for my nearest and dearest as it's so much fun, massively cheaper than going to a department store and purchasing one, and generates a feeling of self-accomplishment like no other - particularly when you hand it over to the impressed recipient! If you think you'd like to try and make your own then here's how I did it:

Fill a sturdy basket first with polystyrene chips (I save mine from parcels) and then with shredded tissue paper (I buy mine in sheets and then shred it using a paper shredder - much cheaper!), graduated so that there's a sloping level from front to back
Arrange co-ordinated or themed foodstuffs, tall and big items at the back, smaller things at the front
(the key here is to make sure EVERYTHING is at least partly visable)
Then take a roll of cellophane and wrap up over to a peak, securing with a tight elastic band
Adorn with ribbons, curling ribbon, personalisations, charms or embellishments (and of course a tag if it's to be a gift)

Beware of expensive online companies who sell hamper making supplies such as ribbons, cellophane, baskets and filling - you can find everything you need in your local Haberdashery, second hand shops and paper recycling pile (shred, shred and shred some more to fill up your hamper - or use recycled polystyrene chips from parcels like me!). Oh, and Ryman's stationers sell a roll of cellophane for about £7 which has enough to do about 30 hampers.

Here's how mine worked out for the event, pretty cool huh?


Need some inspiration? We had a Mexican themed basket filled with Desperados (Tequila and lime flavoured light beer), jars of chillis, guacamole, soured cream, wraps, spice mixes and firey hot sauces. A Time for Tea themed one filled with a teapot cosie, embroidered tea towel, various teas and coffees, mugs, posh biscuits and preserves. A Pamper Hamper stocked up with indulgent chocolates, wine, candles, face masques and bath salts. A Food-a-Holic basket with unusual dried fruits and nuts, cooking ingredients, chocolate coated chilli, vodka lollypops, solid cacoa, rose prosecco and champagne truffles. In the gold weave basket at the top right hand corner we had a Pink themed gift with all manner of pink toilettries crammed in to it. At the front, in the purple box, a Girl's Night in including a chick-flick, mini bottle of champagne, manicure and pedicure goodies and of course - lots and lots of chocolate!

If you do decide to make a hamper up, post a link to your picture and show me how you got on...

Nanna Kate X

Monday, 15 August 2011

My Hotel of the Year (so far!)

We often look for unique, unusual, old fashioned hotels - a break from the tediousness of Travelodges - so we recently discovered the Sidings Hotel in York. It was so quirky, I loved it I reviewed it over on Dooyoo, you can find the review at http://www.dooyoo.co.uk/hotels-national/the-sidings-hotel-york/1581643/. Here's my pick of our pictures from our visit of the hotel's features:

Beautiful pale gold cushions and throw to accentuate the modern monochrome flock bedding adorning our four poster

Original train carriage sliding windows - how cute is the arrow? Cupid, draw back your bow!

Traditional signage decorating the walls

A real B+B feel with the lovely tea tray and terrestrial telly. None of that flatscreen, digital modern rubbish in here!

The train extends from the main bar-come-reception area out in to the adjoining fields

My big fat greek pizza - no, really that was the menu description. And fat it was, it beat me!

Cute porch leading in to the bar area and Il Treno (the train) restaurant

Our room, which takes up this whole carriage - lots of space and beautiful cross-country view point

Perfectly manicured garden area with comfortable seating to enjoy a chilled glass of wine and admire the sunset
Highly recommended!

Nanna Kate X

Thursday, 11 August 2011

How soopa doopa Pinteresting!

I stumbled across Pinterest - or rather was smacked round the face with it - through various blogs and Twitterati I follow. I decided to go see what all the fuss was about and I must admit, I find the concept of pinning everything you find online that you like to some kind of virtual pinboard quite Pinteresting... I'm on there now http://pinterest.com/nanna_kate/ and am pinning away. I thought I might do a board a month of all the things I see online and mainly obssess over buying! Feel free the check out August's board so far... http://re.pn/b/w524. It's like the new, virtual and cool way to make a list!

Add me, follow me, re-pin and pin... See you over there soon I'm sure

Nanna Kate X

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Polenta and Pea Shoots - who'd have thought?

I get bored, particularly being on a seemingly endless diet, with the same old food. A couple of nights ago we went to Morrison's and were browsing the aisles and I noticed a simple packet of Polenta. I've had the cornmeal based product plenty of times in the past, but I just picked it up and tossed it in the basket to think about HOW to use it later. I also picked up some sieved tomatoes infused with olives and some mozzarella. I also came across some pea shoots - I've never even seen these before and didn't know you could eat them, but I decided to try them as I love the taste of fresh pea pods.

When I got home I looked at what I'd bought and, as I do so often, I thought great - I can't even made a meal out of this lot! I decided to grill a few slices of Polenta and stick a bit of the tomatoes on top, so I decanted them in to a saucepan on the hob to warm through gently.

I added a teaspoon of chilli pesto in to the tomatoes and I just added the pea shoots to the mix. I topped it with a bit of shredded mozzarella ball and came up with the most divine supper taste combination I've had in a long time!



It's probably a little sad to get this excited over food, but when you're on a diet, it's sometimes difficult to find something tasty and filling and low in calories - this was an absolute perfect dish and I loved it so much, I decided to share it with you guys out there!

Nanna Kate X

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

My New Ear Buds

I'm kind of weirdly obsessed with Russian Dolls. I absolutely love how cute they are in reality, but I also love them as a graphic and as an icon - their bright colours and smooth lines just really draw my attention every time.

As well as a needle case and some Russian Santa Claus dolls I own, I saw these Ear Buds a couple of days ago on Much Love Monday's Weekend Wishlist and just knew I needed to have them!



I was so excited when they arrived within 2 days - I've had them plugged in and switched on ever since. I think they are probably a little like Marmite - you either love them or hate them as I've had mixed comments on them. I personally absolutely love them! They make me so happy whenever I see them *cue BIG SMILES*


Nanna Kate X

Monday, 8 August 2011

Mini mmm-uffulettas (muffelattas, muffalattas...)

I saw a recipe for Muffulettas on the Home Matters Most blog, I saw a recipe online while perusing Italian / Sicilian ingredients and I read the Wikipedia recipe/article. When I picked up the Asda Magazine and there was a recipe for a 'Special Sandwich Loaf' referring to their take on Muffuletta, I knew that the forces that be were telling me to make one of these damn things! So, here's my take on Muffulettas (I know, I am spelling it ALL the different ways... They say tomato, I say Muffuletta!)

I wanted to think about the best bits of each of the recipe ideas I'd seen - I mean the home made Olive Salad (tapenade) on the Home Matters Most blog sounded incredible and I really wanted to try it, but I wasn't going to buy Sun-dried Tomatos and I wanted extra garlic, and the concept in the Asda magazine of using a hollowed loaf looked fun, but no one in my household would eat something like this, so I decided to use mini rolls. This is my finalised method... read on to see how it worked out!

Olive Salad
16 Garlic Clove stuffed Green Olives
3 tsps of chopped / sliced Black Olives (cheapest olives I could find in Supermarket)
Handful of Baby Carrots, chopped
4 Cherry Tomatoes
1/4 tsp Minced Garlic
Squidge of Lemon Juice
Drizzle of Olive Oil (to help my ancient blender mash up the mix, chokes with dry food only!!)

Method: blend all the ingredients together, roughly in my case. Transfer in to some Tuppaware and leave in the fridge to marinade over night - Wikipedia suggests 24 hours, but I guess if you are in a rush, a couple of hours would suffice, especially when you are using this much garlic! That's the main difference with mine, seriously garlic-y... no kissing after eating!

How very appetising!
Next up, I liked the ideas of the grilled, skinned peppers from the Asda recipe, so I sliced 4 large pieces of green pepper, grilled until the skin bubbled and burnt and then left to cool. Once they were cool they went in to a freezer bag and chilled in the fridge over night with the Olive Salad.

The next morning I chose Asda Walnut Tear and Share mini loaves. I gently decapitated four of them, and scooped out the middles, feeding the insides to our garden birds as a little treat... Then this was my basic Muffuletta construction:

Buttered the inside walls and underside of the tops of the loaves
Layered with: Chorizo, Mozzarella, German Salami, Olive Salad, Ham, Cucumbers in Brine (Sliced), Cream Cheese, Chorizo, Salami, Olive Salad, Peppers, Mozzarella
Then placed the loaf top back on, wrapped in foil, placed them on a plate with a plate on top, weighted down with FOUR cans of Tuna (one just didn't seem enough Asda!) and left them to refridgerate and 'gel' for about 8 hours.

I know what you're probably thinking - what a load of hassle for a sandwich, right? Sure there are quicker ways to do it, but when I took my mini muffulettas and they looked like this:


I was seriously delighted - they taste completely wonderful - and SO filling, these sandwiches are about 3 inches by 2 inches and are sufficient for a lunch or maybe with a few potato chips for dinner. I will be happy to spend time making these again - the effort definitely is worth the rewards. You've got to try them! Let me know how your muffuletta, muffelatta, muffalatta works out and what variances you make on the traditional New Orleans recipe!

Nanna Kate X

Friday, 5 August 2011

Friday Feeling

I thought a little quirky would lead nicely in to the weekend after my first full week of blogging daily. I got the Betterware catalogue and whilst perusing the pages in wonder at the latest kitchen gadgets they've come up with since the last issue - I stumbled across this:


So tell me; is this, as the headline reads, a perfect cut? If so, I've been making some serious mistakes with my hairdresser over the years!

Nanna Kate X

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Doodle Jump!

More and more I find myself doodling. I doodle in meetings or whilst on the phone and I kind of find that my doodles tend to help me remember what the content of the phone call or meeting actually felt like, sounded like and consisted of. I know I sound rather odd, but I'm sure it helps me more than any short hand notes could ever help me! Take my recent offerings.

This first one depicts a flower, I'm a girly girl at heart and pretty things like flowers can't be excluded from any doodle, plus, it was almost the weekend and I was feeling pretty good, so I started off with a flower. We began talking about a team building event we are going to and this was making me become more and more positive; the rainbow ensued. Someone mentioned having the team building event on a yacht and the ship began to emerge from the rainbow complete with steam clouds billowing behind it as it ploughed the ocean. And we discussed staying over night, having a few drinks and it was inferred that 40 members of staff drinking like 'fish' would be an interesting combination - my sun, moon and stars element were simply to fill the page, I hate empty doodle space. Next we talked about one of the big bosses leaving and my butterfly just popped in the arch of the rainbow and overall my doodle was happy and upbeat.

Then we began to get to the meat of the meet, discussing problems and issues and limitations imposed upon us by system constraints and unco-operative stakeholders, out of this popped a lock and key, but when we discussed the solutions a 'silver lining' began to encompass this doodle. Talking about fraudsters and issues with organised gangs made me think of the poor individuals who have their lives stolen from them (on paper) just like fenced in animals (ok, not a great analogy!). Finally, we wrapped up because the room was hot and the air con was broken, which I guess is where the ice-cream and natural partner the ice-lolly came from. I began to try and complete the doodle space, but the meeting came to an end and I left it feeling low - this wasn't a completed project.

However, when my manager commented that he liked the top half, I thought to myself, so did I. I kept positive and sunny and full of loveliness just looking at that bit of doodle all day!

Nanna Kate X
P.S. Tonight is bookclub - our very first meeting, can't wait!