Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Eleven Things

I'm always a bit slow at getting involved with the quizzes that go around blog world. I enjoy doing them, but I just never seem to have enough time/energy/brain cells to sit down and think of amusing, or at least vaguely interesting, answers.

You have probably already seen the "11 things" quiz that has been going round. I have been tagged three times now - thanks Sarah, Maria and Jemma - so I guess that is enough prompting for me to take part!

Here are the rules:
1. You must post these rules
2. Each person must post 11 things about themselves on their blog
3. Answer the taggers questions and create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.

So first up, 11 random things about me...I'll try not to repeat too many things that I've already told you, but no promises!

1. I never used to even like it, but now I love coffee. Before I met Liam, I would always order a hot chocolate when I went to a coffee shop, but he got me hooked on the "strong stuff". Now I start every morning with at least one homemade latte/pot of machine coffee, use Costa gingerbread lattes as rewards for anything and everything, and in summer I make sure there is always a pot of coffee in the fridge ready to turn into iced coffee. Neeeed caffeine.

2. Like Hannah, I love looking up at the sky - it can be so pretty! When I looked out of the window this morning, I risked life and limb (literally) to go out and take this photo. "Red sky in the morning, shepherd's warning" is right...the decking leading to my back garden was super icy!

3. I love visiting other countries and learning new languages. I did French and Spanish A-levels and the first couple of terms of a French and Spanish degree (which I then dropped out of and went to a different uni to complete an Education degree, but that's a different story for another day!) I also learnt Portuguese at evening classes for a while. Unfortunately I haven't really kept up with any of these, especially after having the children, but I would love to continue with them and/or learn other languages one day.

4. I only started baking in June 2010. I posted more about it in this recipe post for strawberry coconut muffins but long story short, but my first baking endeavour was not a success. Pancake flat rubbery rhubarb muffin anyone?!

I hope I've improved a little since then!! ;-)

5. We live in the same town as my Mum, both my sisters, both sets of my Grandparents, Liam's parents, Liam's two siblings and Liam's Nan! When I was a (horrible) teenager, I always wanted to live as far away from this town as possible, but after having Izzy I began to realise the benefits of having lots of family nearby!!

6. My little girl has started getting homework. This makes me feel old. On Friday, she came home from school saying that she had "homework to make a poster about friendship". The benefit of having a graphic designer for a husband is that these types of homework get passed over to Liam, and it was only after an hour + of them making a poster, that Izzy admitted that she had made the homework up as she just wanted to make a poster to show her teacher!!!

Then last night she got actual homework. She came home with the class bear and had to write about all the things she'd done with him that evening. Writing is more "my area" so we spent a loooong 20 minutes writing about the fun they'd had, and then Izzy drew some pictures this morning. Done.

7. When I was growing up, we had a swimming pool in our garden. I loved it. It was heated, but being outside we only opened it for the summer. My Dad always aimed to open it for my birthday weekend in May, I remember he always had to fish out dead frogs etc from the bottom of the pool, but after that it was great to swim in!! There was a shed by the swimming pool too, and I always used to tell my parents that when I grew up, they could live in the shed at the bottom of the garden, and I would live in the house. Haha, children have such a funny view of the world!

8. I'm so grateful for all the new foods I've discovered through blogging and reading blogs. Some were one buy wonders, but some have become new favourites. Lindt sea salt chocolate, smoked tofu, peanut flour, vanilla stevia drops, kabocha squash, medjool dates stuffed with (Justin's) nut butter etc etc etc. Love them.

9. I worked in a cocktail bar for 1.5 years before having Izzy. It was such great fun to make all the different cocktails, and even more fun to drink some after your shift!! I have never liked wine or beer and so cocktails are my ideal drink. I quite like spirits with mixers, but cocktails taste so much nicer and less "alcohol-like"...way too easy to drink!

10. I can't think of any sweet food item that I don't like. It is one of my major downfalls in losing weight. People always tell me not to keep snacky foods in the house, and if I have to buy them (for Liam) then to make sure I buy things I don't like. But I don't know what those things are. Sure there are things I like less - like boring crisps or dry biscuits - but if they're in the house I'll still eat them! The only exception is non-vegetarian things, eg with gelatine in, but Liam is getting a bit sick of me constantly buying him wagon wheels!!

11. I was running out of things to say by this stage so asked Liam for inspiration. He wants me to let you all know that he is amazing..........at cleaning!! :-p <---- half true in my mind, he's good at noticing things that need cleaning, but likes to have a long moan at me before deciding to do (some of) it himself!! ;-)

Right, on to all the questions I have to answer!

The first person that tagged me was Sarah @ Sweet Potato Sarah. These were her questions:

1. Do you have any weird sleeping habits?
I sleepwalk/talk. More often as a child. I remember once waking up at the top of the stairs. I went back to my room but my duvet was gone, so I got a sleeping bag from the airing cupboard and went back to sleep. The next day my Mum found my duvet downstairs by the front door! More recently (only a couple of weeks ago actually, but it's not such a regular occurrence anymore) Liam woke up to me returning to the bedroom (he's not sure from where) and apparently I sat upright in bed saying something. He asked me to repeat myself and I just looked at him, mumbled some more then lay down and went back to sleep. No memory of it the next morning!

2. What is your favourite world cuisine?
Oooh, I have so many favourites! At the moment, I think Thai is winning - the last Thai meal we had was so delicious. I love Indian food too, but the local Indian restaurants don't have many exciting vegetarian options.

3. What is your favourite high street store?
Does Holland & Barrett count?? I don't really like clothes shopping, but on the rare occasion I do buy myself clothes, they seem to be from Next or Debenhams. [wails - I feel so old!!]

4. How many malteasers can you fit in your mouth at once? Ha!
Haha, no idea, and as I'm meant to be trying to lose weight I am not going to use this question as an excuse to go out and buy some!! ;-)

5. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be?
I thought about this one for ages, and I just don't know. I love so many different foods, I would hate to be limited to just one. If I really had to choose though, then maybe something like avocado. I love it, and it kind of fits the sweet and savoury gap so hopefully I wouldn't get bored of it quite so quickly.

6. What is your favourite colour?
Purple and green. We had purple as our wedding colour and emerald is my birthstone. My eternity ring has diamonds and emeralds and I wear quite a lot of both green and purple. Izzy would prefer it if I said pink though I'm sure!

7. If someone gave you a £100 amazon voucher, what would you buy?
When I first saw this question, I intended to go and have a browse of Amazon to give a proper answer. But that would possibly be too depressing/tempting. Something food/kitchen orientated that I didn't really need no doubt. I'm addicted to buying random little things to decorate the house with, Liam hates it!

8. If you could be any animal, which would you be and why?
To answer this, I just googled "animals that hibernate". I'm feeling tired and could do with a long break!! Out of the answers that came up, I think I'm going to go with hedgehogs. Despite the spikes, I always think they're kind of cute, and I used to love playing "Sonic the Hedgehog"!

9. Milk, dark of white chocolate?
Definitely dark. Even better if it has some kind of flavouring like sea salt or ginger, but good quality plain dark chocolate is fine by me too!

10. What would be the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?
Pretty standard answer here, but I'd probably give some money to family members that needed it and buy us a house and/or holiday depending on how much we won and which one we "needed" more at the time!

11. If you had (another) baby what would you call him/her?
Joshua for a boy. I always wanted to have a "little Josh" but Izzy was, obviously, a girl, and Liam ruled out the name Joshua when Toby was born as his former best friend was called Josh so it held bad memories for him. Boo.
For a girl, I'm not so sure. I like Jessica and Rebecca. But I'm sure I'll think of lots of other names I also like once I hit publish!

I was going to answer all the questions from all 3 people that tagged me, but quite honestly, I'm running out of time. I've written this post so far while Toby has been having his morning nap, but he's just woken up so I'll be finishing off this post this evening once the children have gone to bed and I'm tired, so I'm just going to answer a few of the questions that the other people asked.

The next person to tag me was Maria @ Running Cupcake, here were a few of her questions:

Where would you go for the best holiday?
My favourite holiday to date was when I went to Mexico, age 18. I went with my family and we stayed at an all inclusive. It was blissful - cocktails at the swim up bar, delicious buffet breakfasts incl freshly made smoothies, omelettes etc and lots of swimming and relaxing. We also did quite a few trips to get out of the resort - snorkeling at Xel-Ha, a trip to Chichen Itza and swimming with dolphins. I know that doesn't really answer Maria's question...I'm getting there! I'd like to go somewhere in the Caribbean or somewhere equally idyllic. I do also like going on holiday to places with more to do (like our honeymoon to Barcelona), but as I can't see my dream holiday happening for at least another 15 years, I'll definitely "need" a relaxing holiday by then!

What is your least favourite household job?
First place goes to cleaning the bathroom - yuck. I did that yesterday so next time I'm going to try to make it so that it needs cleaning when Liam's home at the weekend! ;-) Second place goes to washing up. We don't have a dishwasher so it just seems a constant chore. I try to keep on top of the washing up during the day, and then Liam and I take it in turns to wash up after dinner.

What did you want to be when you were little?
Since I was about 5, I've always wanted to be a teacher. After a while I added the job "Mum" in there as well so I figure I'm not doing too badly - I'm already a Mum and I've done an Education degree, but still need to do a one year PGCE at some point and then actually find a teaching job (not very easy where we live). One day.

And a few questions from Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes:

Cupcakes or cookies?
Definitely cupcakes! I love the icing so much - butter icing, cream cheese icing, even regular icing sugar + water icing, love it! I have recently started developing a taste for cookies as well though - Millie's style American cookies are delish!

Autumn, Winter, Spring or Summer?
Summer for me! I love the heat and also the summery foods - smoothies, ice cream, fresh fruit. I had some strawberries today, and whilst they were nice they're just not the same in the winter. In the summer strawberries don't need sugar!

If you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what age would it be?
This one was a really hard one for me to answer. If I wished to be younger, I'd be wishing away the children, but if I wish to be older then I'd be wishing away their childhoods! So I'm going to go with 24 - the children were both (and still are) at very cute ages and I had the excitement of planning my wedding. Fun times and hopefully there are many great years still to come! :-)

Now I need to tag some people and ask them 11 questions. I can't think of many people that haven't been tagged, but if you haven't then feel free to join in, and apologies to the below if you have already been tagged!

Lara @ Princess Goddess Mummy
Hannah @ Mind Running Wild
Becky @ Becky Blog
Sarah @ Every Day's A Picnic

1. What is the most memorable thing you have ever done?

2. What is your favourite type of baked good?

3. What is your favourite city/place in the UK?

4. How much exercise do you do a week? Any type that you particularly enjoy?

5. Did you have any childhood nicknames?

6. How many blogs do you have in your Google Reader?

7. What would be your ideal job/occupation?

8. Do you watch much TV? Favourite programme?

9. What do you eat for breakfast?

10. What was your favourite subject when you were at school? Did you like doing homework??

11. Now this is an important one...do you like parsnips? ;-)

There we go. As predicted, that took me forever to write. Why is it so much harder to think of things to write about myself than it is to ramble endlessly about food??!! ;-)

If I haven't tagged you (or even if I have), feel free to answer one of the above questions in the comment sections...I'd love to hear all of your answers! :-)


  1. I love these posts :)Those random things are so interesting- I had a friend email me about training to be a teacher today randomly- when your children are a little older you can do the most fun part of going into school and helping out- all the fun and no stress! I love it that Izzy invented her own home-work too- so cute. The kids at that age think it is all grown up and have so much enthusiasm for learning. Plus her idea to make a poster about friendship is just so lovely.
    And that photo of your ring is very pretty- that green is a beautiful colour.

    1. Yes, Izzy's teacher said that they're doing about friendship at the moment, so her poster idea was on topic. They've recently started awarding "house points" for good work so I think that's part of the reason Izzy did it - she likes getting lots of attention from her teacher!!

  2. This survey is fab! It's great to find out more about you!

    1. Thank you! & thanks for tagging me - I've loved reading everyone else's too! :)

  3. I love reading randoms about fellow bloggers. Always think I divulge too much on my blog as well but there are always a few surprises that pop up :-)
    PS I still love making the strawberry coconut muffins, they are one of my favourite

    1. Aww, your comment made me smile, thank you - it's so nice to hear that people like making my recipes! :-D
      I must make some more soon actually, I ate up all my frozen muffins to make space before Christmas, but now I want more!

  4. Thanks for the tag - I've got my thinking cap on and I'll post something on Friday :-)
    I can tell you the answer to the last question is a resounding no (sorry!)

    1. Haha, yes, I already knew that you & Maria didn't like parsnips - can't please everyone I guess...so long as you like porridge so you're not totally hating on my blog title!! ;-)

  5. Such a good post. You should really do the languages thing with the children now (Izzy at least!) as they will pick it up so easily. I volunteer with a children's group and we had someone come in and teach them some spanish and they still remembered it weeks later when I had long forgotten it all!

    1. Thank you :) I remember when I had Izzy I wanted to speak French with her at home so that she grew up speaking both, but I'm just not fluent enough for that these days :(
      We discussed some French words on the walk to school today though, and have decided we're going to practise some more from now on so thanks for giving me the push to do it! She's like a little sponge at the moment - loves learning everything & anything! :)

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