Friday, 24 February 2012

Fantasy Cake & Honeycomb Recipes

So, I got my bake on today, and I'm quite pleased with the results...

I made both recipes from Lisa Faulkner's fab book.

I chose to make Fantasy Cake and Honeycomb - both recipes were simple, straightforward and easy to follow.

Fantasy Cake
Serves: 6-8

Ingredients

175g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
150g caster sugar
150g self-raising flour, sifted
2 eggs
3 tablespoons milk
100g ground almonds
1 teaspoon almond essence
400g strawberries, hulled and halved depending on size, or raspberries, or both
Icing sugar, for dusting

Method
Preheat the oven to 160°C, gas mark 3 and grease and line a 23cm loose-bottomed cake tin.

1. Cream the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Then add in the flour, eggs, milk, ground almonds and almond essence and mix well. Stir in the fruit, reserving a handful for decorating.

2. Pour the mixture into the cake tin and put the remaining handful of fruit on top of the cake.

3. Bake in the preheated oven for about 1-1¼ hours. To test if it is cooked, pierce the cake with a skewer – if it is clean when you pull it out the cake it cooked, if it’s not, return the cake for another 5-10 minutes and check again. Careful to not overcook!

4. Turn the cake out of the tin onto a wire rack to cool and dust with icing sugar. It is best served just as it is turning from warm to room temperature.

Here's the cake before baking....



And after baking....


And after eating.... :-)


It was really super delicious...sort of puddingy in texture when it was warm from the oven, and really fruity and almondy. I loved being able to use beautiful fresh strawberries (one of my favourite fruits) and with the use of the ground almonds it was reminiscent of a Bakewell tart in flavour.
This cake would be equally nice served with custard as a pudding or just sliced as a cake and served with a cuppa! Definitely worth a bake.

(Although not at all good for your waistline at 422 calories per 1/8 of the cake!)
Honeycomb

Ingredients

Oil, for greasing
4 tbsp golden syrup
200 g caster sugar
1 tbsp bicarbonate of soda

Method

1. Line a 20 centimetre square cake tin with non-stick baking paper and grease or spray with oil. 

2. In a large saucepan, gently heat the golden syrup and caster sugar together until the sugar has melted. 

3. Increase the heat and simmer for a further four to five minutes until the mixture has thickened and is a darker caramel colour. 

4. Take the pan off the heat and quickly whisk in the bicarbonate of soda - the mixture will froth up quite a lot. 

5. Pour into the prepared tin and leave to set. This should take a minimum of 30 minutes. 

6. Break into pieces and dip in melted chocolate if you wish.

I was so excited to make this, as I'd been meaning to try this science-tastic recipe for yonks! There is something so scary/fun about adding the bicarb and watching the crazy reaction happen.

The honeycomb as it was cooling/setting. 

Here's another shot after I'd broken it up and dipped half in chocolate (I used Green and Blacks milk chocolate, naturally!)... trust me when I tell you that there's nothing quite like a homemade Crunchie bar! 


You simply have to try these!

I was so pleased with how it turned out, and I felt like Heston when I was making it - when you add the baking soda it just goes INSANE! :-)

All in all a fun afternoon of baking.

Mrs B
xxx

I'm a self-confessed I.W.S...Laura Ashley, Clothes & the WI...

I had a terrible night's sleep last night, and didn't get to sleep until gone 4:30am - I wasn't worrying about anything, just genuinely couldn't switch off - I was thinking about the wedding & had all sorts cruising through my brain. I've learnt that when I have nights like that it's best for me to get up, or make my mind tired by doing stuff on my phone....and my favourite thing to do....shop! 

I don't actually even have to 'buy' anything - I'm a self confessed 'Internet Window Shopper' (I.W.S), I just love looking, finding cool things, imagining where they'd go in my house, or what sort of event I'd wear it to if its an item of clothing. I've done this ever since I was 5 or 6 and used to sit for hours with the Argos, Littlewoods or Next catalogue, and go through each and every page choosing just one item to "have" off each page - then I'd add up at the end how much I'd "spent" (usually thousands!) 

I guess this addiction is better than ACTUALLY spending all the money, don't get me wrong, I do shop properly a lot, I am a spender, but I know I could be a lot worse. Most of my shopping-pleasure comes from the browsing and the imagining, rather than the actual 'having' of an item, and I've definitely gotten better and more 'sensible' with my buying as I've gotten older. Although I'm sure Liam would still say I could curb my enthusiasm even more! ;-)

So, this is what filled my hours of restlessness last night - I 'hit the shops' of Laura Ashley and River Island & I found some beauties! 

LAURA ASHLEY...

 This diffuser I do actually have, and its a GREAT buy - the best smelling room fragrance EVER! 
I loved this GORGEOUS ribbon organiser box! How cute! 

What a funky umbrella stand - I wish they'd released this a few months ago when we were looking for ours! I do love our own though, so no harm, but this one is fab! 

Awesome sewing box/organiser! :-) 

I may well actually have to order this, not sure I have the strength to resist this purchase! The beautiful home teacups VASE :-) 

Really want one of these too - to stop the cat getting to the goods! :-)

Cute doorstop! They do a cupcake too - I bet the lovely Janet over at KitchenTableSewing could knock one of these lovelies up in seconds :-) 

Glass worktop saver, pretty & useful, I have two of these in my kitchen (not this actual one) but they're fab! 

Gorgeous 'High Tea' enamel cake stand. This is soooo stunning!

RIVER ISLAND... 

I have absolutely fallen in love with this skirt from RI. 

This swimsuit is from Evans online (they do sizes 14-30 or something?) and I've always found they're swimwear to be really reliable, and good for big-chested ladies - I saw this & LOVED it - I'm thinking honeymoon. 

Beautiful RI skirt - they are bloody good at skirts! 

Saw this & fell in love - I would def need to shift another stone or two to pull this off, but I think its seriously awesome! 

This is another 'Evans' number (I find there is SUCH a mix in that shop - lots of 'old frumpy' or 'sack-like' items, and then the odd DIAMOND) I think this is a diamond, from their Sienna range! Love! 

Yet another beauty of a RI skirt. Want. A lot. 

Sooooo much gorgeous stuff around at the moment. :-)

TODAY....

My plan today is a simple one. Take it slow as I'm pretty shattered after little sleep, make the most of my last weekday at home, as I'm finally back at work on Monday. And, I think a spot of baking might be in order. There are a few recipes in my Lisa Faulkner book that I'm dying to try - one is called 'Fantasy Cake', full of strawberries and ground almonds, and it looks like this.....


and the other is Honeycomb - I've always wanted to try making it, and I want to gain some new present-making skills, as I've decided that this year I'd like to 'make' the majority of the gifts I give, and I think confectionary is always a popular gift! So today I think I'll give those two ago. Baking is great for keeping my mind busy, and helping me feel ultra-positive. I just need to remember to give the majority of my wares away & not eat them all myself! :-)

I started today with a cup of tea, and a quick peruse of the WI magazine that arrived this morning - its had a cool article all about blogging :-) 



It just shows you how 'with it' the WI is becoming...and our Scone Roses group definitely feels like the WI is moving into the modern-age, we have such a great time together, and in the short time I've been going (2-3 months) I've already made some AWESOME friends, and done some fabulous things! 

Last night I had my first shot at dry needle felting onto polystyrene - and I'm really pleased with the result. Its a very easy and mindless task, and I think the end result is pretty cool - I'm def going to need a trip to Hobbycraft to 'stock up', as I think they will make great gifts for people - I'm thinking more hanging ones, a wreath, stars, etc...! 


Righteo...off to get my bake-on. 

I'll post the fruits of my labour later...if its worth sharing! 

Muchos Love

Luce

xxxxxx




Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Charity shop bargains & a nice trip out...

First thing this morning the postman called & delivered my beautiful new Lisa Faulkner recipe book. I was so excited & sat down for an hour straight to have a read - it's such a touching book, full of recipes her mum taught her before she died, that Lisa wants to pass on to her beautiful little girl Billie. Very moving & some fab recipes, including Rice Krispie Chicken! :-) I am SO cooking that soon... Also, she tweeted me again today - saying thanks for buying her book & that she hopes I enjoy it! God I love Twitter! 


So after I'd had a read in a bid to get some gentle exercise, get out of the house, and lift my mood I decided to go for a little wander this afternoon. I generally migrate towards the same place when I want to get out, and that's Castle Road in Bedford. I love it. It's a long road running pretty much from my house into town, and its just like stepping back in time...beautiful terraced houses, loads of little shops, deli's, a bakery, gorgeous cafes, cupcake shops, gift and card shops, a few charity shops, a greengrocers, butchers etc. I could spend hours there every week! 

I had some lunch (yes, by myself, I'm 'cool' like that!) in a lovely cafe called The Mad Hatter's Tea Party, which is just in the middle of a big re-launch, and is fab! The lady who owns it is so nice, and its just so pretty and sweet! I had a lovely cup of my favourite tea (Earl Grey) and a bacon sandwich (I'm SO rock 'n' roll!) It was so nice to just sit and chill & get my thoughts together. Here's a pic of the cafe frontage & menu!



After lunch & a ponder, I wandered down to the charity shops, as I always like to have a rummage, and find some bargains (also find they're great for Vintage stuff), and today was no different, I had some GREAT finds, which cheered me up no end! (Retail therapy EVERY time!)

First of all I found this cute (but not to everyone's taste) cardigan for £3.99! It is seriously something my Nan would have worn, but I love it, dusky pink knit, oversized, with pockets and I think it has a lovely retro/vintage feel :-)


Then I found this lovely black and white polka dot dress from Debenhams for £2.99 - its got a cute bow detailing at the back, and has a flicked out skirt shape to it, was well chuffed, as its a size 14, and got into it (extra bonus - mind you it is stretchy!) 



Believe it or not I also got a third amazing bargain! A brand new pair of Navy Emu boots (similar to Ugg, and similar price tag of usually about £85 + ) for......£19.99 :-) I was SO chuffed! 1) Because I can normally never get shoes in my size (8-9) and 2) because they were such a bargain & in my favourite colour (Navy). 



So, that was fab! :-)

Came home feeling all chuffed with myself for the bargains, and my head definitely felt clearer & brighter for getting some exercise and air. 

I've been wanting to share some of my singing covers on here for a while, but wasn't sure how to post them, then decided I'd make some short montage/slideshows to set the songs to and put them on YouTube - not because I want the whole world to hear, but more so my friends and family can share them with me. 

I've been singing for always, it is my favourite thing in the world to do, and it makes me so happy. I don't get much of a chance these days, and haven't had any training or done anything professional for ages - I just tend to sing for family (at family events) and jam around with my friends and my brother. Anyhow... here's the links to the two songs I uploaded today....



They're a bit 'rough' as they are only recorded on my mac laptop using GarageBand, and in one take, so no fancy editing or layering etc - still, it's fun to do :-) so just ignore the blips for me .... thanks. I would love to know what you all think. I set one song to images by my favourite artist Anita Klein, and the other to photographs of all the things I love, slushy, but apt. 

(Oh, another Twitter-related excitement - I posted the link to the song with the Anita Klein images to my wall on Twitter, and she saw, watched it and tweeted me back saying I had an amazing voice, I was seriously so excited & choked up!)

Talking of music, I watched the BRITS 2012, and smiled all the way through the amazing performances from my two favourite artists Adele and Ed Sheeran - they are both so awesome and throughly deserved all the awards they won! Adele looked absolutely stunning - I would KILL to look like she does, and it was great to hear her singing live again after she's been ill. Her acceptance speeches were also fab (despite being cut short - grr to ITV). I literally have both their albums on repeat, and can't get enough of them. If you haven't heard every track of both albums then you should :-)

Wonderful Adele with her TWO well deserved BRITS last night

So, its been a busy day, I definitely think filling my time with lovely things really helps lift my mood, and is helping me get this blooming Tramadol out of my system quicker. Thank God. 

I'll leave you with two images....one of me and my lovely mate Steph from before xmas, which I just found and wanted to put on, as it reminds me of the very crazy night that was the works xmas party! And because its of me and my lovely friend! Love ya chick-a-dee! 


And secondly, quite possibly one of the cutest pictures of all time.....a real life hot dog.... (i found this on the net today & just loved it!)....


Bye all 

Lucy

xxxxxxxxxxxxxx


Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Lovely friends & Lovely things... :-)

Okay, so in a bid to keep my mind busy, and keep thinking positively with the hope that I will feel completely back to normal soon, I thought I'd blog again....This time just a random mix of nice things instead of my dreary moaning on about the last few weeks. 

Firstly, i wanted to share this gorgeous picture I found on a blog I follow...the lady who took it is a keen photographer, and she takes such lovely images - this one just caught my eye & made me smile, there's something magical about it...




Also, in true me style I've been taking tons more pictures of my lovely kitten - she always cheers me up & brings a smile to my face, so here goes....hope she makes you smile too...




I also saw this beautiful wallpaper design on the internet earlier that I just LOVED - it is called 'My Neighbours' and it is similar to the wallpaper I've bought for my bedroom (which we haven't gotten round to actually hanging yet - but we will - soon!) What do you think of it? ...


This is the actual wallpaper I've bought for our bedroom...Its called Hamstead Ink Little Greene....I just love it, its so quirky and cute. I think the inky illustrations of the houses are just adorable, and hopefully it will look good in our black and white themed bedroom on a feature wall. :-)


Also have stolen some nice inspirational images from my fellow blogger friend Mrs Shilts, who writes a lovely blog, and is full of inspiration for weight-loss and achieving your goals. I think these images pretty much sum up how I'm feeling about my weight loss at the moment....



I'm now just 1 lb off of my first 3 stone loss, and I'm pretty sure the madness of the past week has helped shift that last half a stone, but anyhow, its a loss, and I'm happy with that. I'm pretty sure that once I'm back to 'normality' and work, and exercise I will be able to work that last stone off before our big day. Lots of positive thinking, self control & exercise needed over the next 4-5 months. 

Lovely Friends....

I had a lovely surprise in the post today from my gorgeous friend Carmi - the postman delivered a great big parcel addressed to Lady Lucy Moon and Señor Bishop :-) all brightly coloured and decorated etc, and had a lovely letter inside...(Am I weird for still getting excited about getting post?)

It turned out to be the most beautiful ornamental birdcage for our big day! It is stunning. We have already bought a few to hang up around the barn filled with plants and/or candles, and this one is simply stunning...


Thank you bubba! We LOVE it! 

Also had a visit a few days ago from my lovely friend Steph, her hubby and two lovely kids, they bought me really lovely 'get well' cards, and yesterday her lovely little girl sent me an iPhone audio message saying 'get well soon Lucy' in that beautiful cute voice little children have - made my day! 

I feel so lucky to have so many great friends who are always popping round, texting, calling and sending me little treasures! You are all treasures. Every single one of you xxx

What would life be like without wonderful friends? Rubbish - that's what it'd be. 

Also, a special little mention to my mum & sister who are both ill and resting up in their beds at the moment - :-( Get well soon guys! What are we like? We've been such a sickly lot recently! Lets hope the rest of 2012 is  much healthier. 

Love 

Lucy

xxxx

Monday, 20 February 2012

Tramadol Withdrawal Nightmare :-(

God, what a bloody awful week or so its been since my last blog. I think I signed off last time saying I thought I had a nasty bug on its way - how wrong I was! It turns out I was suffering a severe withdrawal from the painkiller I'd been taking for my slipped disc, Tramadol. 

Tramadol is a very strong and highly addictive opiate-based painkiller, and is only used for relief from extreme pain. My Dr prescribed it for me, giving me little warning, or idea of how dangerous this drug can be. I took my 400-500mg per day dosage for the 4 weeks it was prescribed, and then started to cut down to just one or two doses a day from last Sat/Sun as I wanted to try to not be relying on it when I returned to work as it made me very drowsy. On Sunday I had a very nasty dizzy spell and blurred vision for a while which was quite frightening. Then by Monday I was sure I'd picked up a nasty stomach bug as I was incredibly sick, and couldn't keep anything down - then the anxiety started!



I then started to wonder if it was something to do with the lack of painkillers rather than a nasty bug, as I don't usually feel so anxious when I have a standard sickness bug. I talked it over with Liam and we searched 'can Tramadol cause anxiety' on Google, and surprise, surprise I found reams and reams of people saying they were suffering from identical symptoms as me, due to withdrawal from Tramadol. 

I read up on the NHS website, spoke to NHS direct (who were USELESS!) read the in-packet leaflet cover to cover, scoured the internet and then visited the Doctor, who agreed it was severe withdrawal from the drug. I also spoke to my local pharmacist, who was very helpful, and again said he'd seen withdrawal similar to mine from Tramadol, and explained how hard a drug it is to come off. My withdrawal after only 4 weeks usage is very rare, but shows just what these drugs can do to you!

I must say that I was partly relieved when I found out these symptoms were due to a drug withdrawal, because having suffered from anxiety in the past, I was sure I was losing my mind, or having a 'breakdown' and had no idea why it was happening, as I feel so happy and 'together' in all aspects of my life now, and I felt as if this had just hit me, come from nowhere. 

The Withdrawal Symptoms....

I have literally experienced the worst anxiety and panic-attacks ever over the past week :-( Constantly in a frenzied state of anxiousness, warped and uncontrollable thoughts, terrible insomnia (I didn't sleep for 48hrs straight), extreme sweats, sickness, difficulty catching my breath, no appetite, extremely low mood, in tears all the time, nervousness, and after two desperate visits to the doctors I was taken off ALL opiate-based painkillers and instead prescribed diazepam and beta-blockers for a week (with my dosage of both these drugs tapering down throughout the week to ensure no adverse or withdrawal affects), and signed off for a further week, to get me through the rest of the withdrawal. 



It has literally amazed me that a simple painkiller can have such a serious affect on someone, and all I can say is thank-god for my amazing family and friends, who have been a constant support to me. And although there is little they can do to help my symptoms, they have just been here, either in body or on the end of the phone, re-assuring me, taking me to the doctors, hugging me, getting me tissues, making me drink water, and attempting to take my mind off it. I don't want to be alone at any point, as the anxiousness has been so overwhelming and frightening, and my lovely Mr, and my family have been with me and not left me alone, thank god. 

The doctor assured me that as the Tramadol slowly works its way out of my system my symptoms will subside, and along with the help of the diazepam and beta-blockers, in the next week I should begin to feel back to 'normal'. Each day I am noticing an improvement, and my anxiety is starting to get better, I am now eating, and the diazepam is allowing me to sleep, which has definitely made a difference. I feel extremely weak, and worn-out, my mind feels frazzled, and I still feel anxious and don't really want to be by myself just yet. I'm hoping that this time next week I will back at work, and just totally feeling myself, for the first time in what seems like months! 

My opinion of prescription painkillers has done a complete 180 in the last week, and I can confidently say not only will I NEVER EVER take an opiate-based painkiller ever again, but I will also ask the doctor LOTS of questions about anything they ever prescribe me in the future, and will try hard to rely on more natural means of pain relief / medicine. In short, it has really frightened me, and obviously has highlighted the fact that my body cannot cope with opiates, and is quickly addicted to them.

All I will say is thank god I don't smoke, or drink, and have no interest in recreational drugs, otherwise I could have some very serious long term addiction problems. I have a new respect for addicts of more serious substances, or with a more long-term addiction, as the withdrawal I have experienced has been the worst illness/mental-health experience of my life to date, and I seriously hope I never ever have to experience anything like this ever again. 

For anyone out there who is currently taking Tramadol I would give you this advice:

1) Do not just suddenly cut your dosage of the tablet - make sure you very slowly wean yourself off of the drug, I would say lowering your dosage maybe by 50-100mg at a time, for a few weeks, then again for a few weeks, until you can peter out to nothing at all. 
2) Also make sure you talk to your GP and get their advice about when and how to come off of this drug. 

For anyone who is offered Tramadol in the future I would suggest:

1) not taking it, and asking for a non-opiate based drug, or 
2) taking it for a very short period of time, with extreme caution, and again, coming off of it slowly rather than abruptly. 

I am just hoping that each day this week I improve and feel better, and that by next week I can start a-fresh, get back to work, to normality, to exercise, to seeing my friends and living life normally again. 

As for the back pain from my slipped disc, I will continue to see the osteopath, wait for my physiotherapy referral, use cold packs, rest when I can, and combine that with gentle walking to and from work. I will use only paracetemol painkillers and anti-inflammatories when the pain needs more than a natural remedy.

Onwards and upwards, and lots of positive thinking & detoxing vibes! 

Lucy 

xxxxx

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Half Term Blog...BAFTAS, Fishworks, Wedding Dresses & A Nasty bug!

Saturday
BAFTA PARTY EXCITEMENT!

I haven't had a chance to blog since Saturday morning's snoring rant - as I've been sooo busy! So much to catch up on.....

On Saturday morning I got a text from my lovely auntie (who is a Make Up Artist in the film industry) to say that because she had been nominated for a BAFTA (for Harry Potter), she had tickets to the pre-Bafta cocktail and canapé party at Asprey (a REALLY posh & expensive jewellery store in New Bond Street, London) and she offered the tickets to me and my Mr, as her and my uncle were going to the actual awards ceremony and didn't want to go to both! How amazing, it was certainly an opportunity we couldn't turn down, but as it had just been sprung on us, we didn't have a chance to pack suitable clothing! So we nipped into town and bought Liam some new trousers, a shirt and a tie, and he borrowed shoes from my little brother. I on the other hand had packed a vintage-style tea dress to wear over the weekend with leggings and uggs (which was from Tesco! hehe) and so I just bought tights, and then borrowed heels and a handbag from my Mum! 

I was pretty nervous, as I had to be prepared to pretend to be my auntie! I was nervous that they'd catch me out or that I'd have to lie (which I'm useless at!) but luckily, it all went really smoothly, and all we had to do with flash our ticket, and we were in. Before we went in we spotted our first star! Gok Wan walked past us just round the corner from New Bond Street - he was carrying loads of posh shopping bags! :-) 

This was our ticket (which unfortunately they took off of us when we got in there!)....


The place was absolutely stunning - there was a big purple carpet lining the street entrance to Asprey- and rails of people lining the streets waiting to get photos and autographs from the celebrities. It felt amazing walking down the carpet with all people cheering and flashing cameras etc - I'm pretty sure I was the only woman there wearing F&F from Tesco - hahaha!!! 

When we got in there attendants took our coats, and we were handed glasses of champagne from a waiter. The building itself was stunning, like the poshest & classiest department store you can imagine, with lots of glass and a huge spiral staircase. The shops stock was all on show - the most beautiful jewellery, watches, handbags, homeware, art, and furniture. The price tags were phenomenal! One of the necklaces cost £310,000 - I just cannot imagine who could warrant that amount of money on a necklace!!! 

Said necklace....

It was so awesome to be able to wander around and look at everything. There were lots of rooms in the store, and each one had a different theme - one was taken over completely by Hotel Chocolat - and you could just help yourself to as many of the choccies as you wanted (heaven), another was taken over by The Savoy, they had set up a cocktail bar, and they were just to die for - our favourite was called The Green Park and it tasted amazing! Lots of gin and basil and lemon - yum! I really liked them and drank about 2 or 3, considering that I barely drink alcohol shows you how nice they were. 

Savoy Cocktail Menu...

It was so surreal being able to just walk around and help ourselves to food and drink free of charge. Liam certainly made the most of it, and probably drank half of London's cocktail & champagne supply ;-) hehehe - he had such a lovely time, we both did. 

The Food - now this most certainly deserves a whole paragraph all to itself! The canapés were absolutely to die for - at some points we were literally following the waiters around to get some more - delicious wasn't even the word! Here was what we ate....

- Fillet of beef with béarnaise dipping sauce
- Poached quails egg on a Melba toast with a black truffle mousse and truffle shaving
- Smoked salmon fillet on rye bread with a mustard cream and dill garnish
- Mozzarella and tomato dressed with lemon, all served on a ceramic appetiser spoon
- Small welsh rarebit squares served with a grilled tomato garnish 
- Deep fried calamari (we didn't actually get to try this one, as we kept missing the tray! :-( ) 

All the food was absolutely exquisite - and considering I thought I didn't like truffle, or salmon, each canapé was seriously delicious! 

We spotted loads of famous people - it was amazing being in a room full of every Tom, Dick and Harry from the film-tv-showbiz world - very surreal at times, especially when I walked up the spiral staircase and came face to face with Gary Oldman and John Hurt! We also saw Jonah Hill, Zoe Ball, Emelia Fox, Stephen Fry, and Liam quite literally bumped into Claudia Winkleman! Lol. He also talked to Jonah Hill, congratulating him on his Bafta nomination, and telling him he should have won it for his film Superbad! Liam was much braver than me when it came to talking to the famous people, I think it was probably alcohol-fuelled confidence, but good on him! 

Unfortunately photography was totally banned inside the party, however people were taking pictures by the giant Bafta, so we joined in, and I sneaked the cocktail menu into my bag, and took a sneaky photo of the beautiful fresh flowers in the marble-clad toilets! So, here are the few pictures we did manage to sneak....

 Liam with the giant Bafta!

 Me with the giant Bafta!

The stunning flowers in the loos! 

The whole night was magical and such an awesome experience, we felt so lucky, and were so grateful to my auntie for the tickets! 

Unfortunately, Harry Potter didn't win the Bafta on Sunday for the make-up :-(  However, excitedly, my aunt and her team are also up for an Oscar at the end of this month for HP, and I'm so, so hoping that they get it! She's had an amazing few months jet setting to LA for various Oscar-related dinners etc, and she's worked so hard over the past 10 years on HP that she so deserves it! 

So what an exciting time Saturday night was for us! My back hurt a huge amount, which was frustrating, but I took lots of painkillers, and luckily, the party was only a couple of hours, and wasn't a really late night, but trust me, a few hours was more than enough to wear heels with my back as it is! 

Sunday
THEATRE & DINNER IN RICHMOND

On Sunday me, my mum, my twin sister, and Liam went to Richmond for dinner, and to the theatre. I'd booked the tickets as a Christmas gift for my Mum and Sister, we saw 'Over the Rainbow' which is the life story of the singer Eva Cassidy. The music in the show was outstanding, as was the voice of the lady playing Eva - she was so talented! 

Before the theatre we went to our favourite restaurant in Richmond, it is the most beautiful fish restaurant called Fishworks. The food is absolutely top-notch, and very good value for money! 

This is the restaurant (I love it, its so beautiful!)



And here is what we all scoffed....

STARTERS:

Me - calarmari 

Mum - bread and taramasalata

 Liam - Scallops

Jojo - Prawns

MAIN COURSE:
We all had their house special - beer battered cod, chips and homemade mushy peas and homemade tartare sauce! Yum! 

DESSERTS:

Jojo - Sticky Toffee pudding

Mum - Eton Mess

Me - Lemon Tart

Liam - Creme Brûlée 

It was all absolutely outstanding, and it was lovely to have a scrummy dinner out as a treat - needless to say, I was over on my calorie count! Hehehe! 

Monday
DRESS FITTING AND GOING HOME

So, on Monday, our final day in Surrey before returning home, we went for a wedding dress fitting! Liam and my brother went to the pub over the road from the dress shop and me, and my four fab bridesmaids went to the lovely Yasemin's Gown's in Horley. I was so excited about seeing my dress again, and seeing the bridesmaids in their lovely dresses. It felt amazing putting my dress on and I know 100% that I've chosen the right dress. It was really cool for me to put the dress on and be told I've lost two dress sizes since the last time I was there and was measured for the dress. I am now at my lowest weight before I will need adjustments to the dress - which I'm happy about - I'm excited that I'm achieving my goal, slowly but surely. And its cool that come the end of June I will need to have the dress made smaller. 

This was also the case for my lovely twin sister, as she too has lost weight, so it will be adjustments for the two of us! Exciting. 

My cousins Vicky and Shai looked absolutely stunning in their dresses, and they fitted perfectly, as did my best friends dress, Carmi. They seriously all look so stunning, and I'm so looking forward to seeing them all dressed up on our big day! 

I also chose my tiara, it is stunning, and exactly what I had in mind. So that is another big tick off the to-do list! 

I cannot wait to see Liam's face on the big day when he finally see's us all in our dresses etc - I really hope he'll like my dress especially!  

After the dress fitting we all went for some lunch and then me, Liam, my sister and my little brother got the train back to Bedford, as they've come to stay with us for part of the half term holiday this week.

At midnight, Liam gave me my Valentines/2 year anniversary/1 year engagement anniversary  presents, and i am so spoiled, and he is literally the most thoughtful man ever! He bought me a gorgeous silver Valentino Tweetie necklace made by Alyssa Smith, my favourite jewellery designer, it is just stunning, and I love it so much! He is one of those rare men that actually listens to you when you make hints and say what you like and don't like! Lol. He also bought me this awesome booked called 'How to Knit your own Cat' full of the cutest knitting patterns! And he had made some engraved knitting needles for me, which says Lucy & Liam, 2 years and the date we got together. What a cutie! :-) I was so touched, he knows me so well, and I just love him completely. (Mushy stuff nearly over, sorry!) I bought him an exclusive chocoholics Green and Blacks box, absolutely full to the brim with every flavour of their chocolate! :-) He is a major chocoholic, and I wanted his Valentines gift to last ages, so that each and every time he fancies some chocolate he can go to the box, and enjoy a treat! He seemed really pleased with it. :-) 

Weirdly, just before bed I started to feel a bit weird and icky....

Tuesday
A NASTY BUG

I woke up today feeling totally awful! :-( And within about 20 minutes of getting up I had been very sick! I have felt really ill all day, sick, dizzy, hot then cold, goosebumps, that horrid mouth-watery sick feeling that you can't shake, its been awful! I ended up in tears! And was sick again at lunch time - I just bloody hate being sick. Yuck! It must have been a bug I've picked up, as I've eaten the same as everyone else here, and they're all okay. So its been a nasty day, and I spent all afternoon and eve just vegging out trying to feel better. I managed to eat some water biscuits tonight and I've just been sipping at water, and sooo hope that I feel back to normal asap. I hate these random bugs that you pick up. I spoke to my mum and she said at least it will help with the weight loss, haha, so I guess there is always a bright side! :-)

Omg, this is the longest blog I've ever written! :-) Hahaha its because I've had such a busy time and not had a chance to sit down and blog it all out! So one giant one it was! 

Over and out 

:-)

Lucy

xxxxxxx