Wednesday 31 January 2018

Wednesday Hodgepodge 31/1/18

Wednesday's Hodgepodge is brought to us courtesy of Joyce at
Pop over there to see other posts and if you want to join in add the link to your Hodgepodge blog post to the Linky List at the end of Joyce's post and don’t forget to visit at least your neighbours on the list.

1. Speaking of your wit's end, at loose ends, a dead end, burn the candle at both ends, all's well that end's well, or no end in sight...which 'end' phrase might best be applied to your life lately? Explain.  
At loose ends probably.  I have quite a few things I want to do in the house when the kids move out.  We thought they would be in their own flat by now but…. they’re still with us so the changes are on hold.  But there is an end in sight, I hope!
2. What was a must have accessory when you were growing up? Did you own one? If so tell us what you remember about it.
I was (fortunate?)able to go through the fashion must haves of minis, midis, maxis and hotpants!  I had all of those but now I just stick to what’s comfortable and suits me.
3. Something that made you smile yesterday? 
An Instagram post of Grandson Nathan.
4. January 30th is National Croissant Day. Do you like croissants? Sweet or savory? We're having chicken salad for lunch...would you rather have yours served on a croissant, a wrap, a bagel, bread, or a roll of some sort?
Croissants have to be sweet, preferably with chocolate and I’d probably have bread or a roll with my chicken salad.
5. Sum up your January in fifteen words or less.
Started badly, got better, ended well.
6.  Insert your own random thought here
January definitely improved as the month went on.  Yesterday Hubby and I went to the cinema and then out for dinner and today I caught up with Nathan.  Hard to find a better way to end the month.

Tuesday 30 January 2018

#Jusjojan 30/1/18 - Scrumptious

Your prompt for January 30th, 2018, brought to you by my friend and yours, Judy, is “Scrumptious.” Use it any way you’d like in your post. And make sure you visit Judy at her blog, “Judy E Martin, author, poet and lover of life,” to read her post and say hi! Here’s her link:

For details of how to take part, guidelines etc go here to host Linda's site. 

Scrumptious makes me think of gooey cakes or desserts that are sticky and sweet.  I have definitely got a sweet tooth and when going out for a meal I'd much rather miss out on a starter to leave room for dessert than the other way around.  

My favourites would have a good dose of chocolate in them, something like a chocolate cheesecake or trifle would be ideal.  Or meringue, or Tiramisu even an apple pie with custard goes down well.  Then of course there is Christmas pudding with a good dollop of brandy butter.  Just as well I've eaten out today and had a nice dessert of salted caramel profiterols otherwise I might be raiding the freezer for some ice cream!

Monday 29 January 2018

Review: The Couple Next Door

The Couple Next Door The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It all started at a dinner party. . .

A domestic suspense debut about a young couple and their apparently friendly neighbors--a twisty, rollercoaster ride of lies, betrayal, and the secrets between husbands and wives. . .

Anne and Marco Conti seem to have it all--a loving relationship, a wonderful home, and their beautiful baby, Cora. But one night when they are at a dinner party next door, a terrible crime is committed. Suspicion immediately focuses on the parents. But the truth is a much more complicated story.

Inside the curtained house, an unsettling account of what actually happened unfolds. Detective Rasbach knows that the panicked couple is hiding something. Both Anne and Marco soon discover that the other is keeping secrets, secrets they've kept for years.

What follows is the nerve-racking unraveling of a family--a chilling tale of deception, duplicity, and unfaithfulness that will keep you breathless until the final shocking twist.

I read this in one sitting wanting to know what had happened to baby Cora. Not sure I'd recommend it to anyone pregnant or a new Mum as it's about one of your worst nightmares - your child going missing, abducted in the night when you took your eye off the ball in the worst possible way.

There were several twists and some of the characters were definitely not nice people but it was a page turner for me. Although I didn't like the ending.

View all my reviews

Sunday 28 January 2018

#Jusjojan - 28/1/18 - Knight

Your prompt for January 28th, 2018, brought to you by author Leta Hawk, is “Knight.” Use it any way you’d like in your post. And make sure you visit Leta at her blog, “Hawk’s Happenings,” to read her post and say hi! Here’s her link:

For details on how Jusjojan works etc. visit host Linda's site here.

Well Leta has written a great story about a Knight on her blog but I must admit to being a bit stumped by this prompt.

Knight makes me think of chess and although I do know how to play it's not a game I really enjoy.  I'm more a Monopoly or Trivial Pursuit type but I do enjoy a game of cards too.  I suppose I just enjoy games that move a bit quicker than chess.  (Yes I am aware that if you play a timed version it's not really slow.)

What always amazes me is how well my brother-in-law plays when he can't even see the board.  He takes part in games over the internet and goes to tournaments and really enjoys it.

We played cards this evening.  Hubby, son, DIL and me.  We often play after dinner, usually contract whist.  Last time I played appallingly (although I was dealt some pretty bad hands) but tonight I managed to come 2nd.  Another game we play is cribbage.  One of the things I like about cribbage was that my Dad taught me but that's many years ago now.  Funny how some things just stick and others get forgotten.  Our son wants to play Canasta which we used to play a lot but I definitely need to swot up on the rules before we play that again.

I'm off to bed now.  Perhaps I'll dream of a Knight in shining armour coming to take me away.

18 in 18 - The List


I can't claim the credit for this idea (I copied it from Sarah who blogs here.)

Essentially it's a bit of a to do list for this year.  Hopefully I'll be ticking things off and blogging about them as we go through the year.  I know that being accountable helps get things done. 

Anyway here is my list and some background on my choices.

1.   Bake once per month (bread/cake/biscuits)
I used to bake regularly but recently I haven't been doing much other than essential cooking.
2.   Plant new flower bed and child proof garden
Our patio is about 3 feet lower than the main garden.  There is no barrier between the end of the grass and the drop onto the patio.  With one grandson already and 2 more grandchildren on the way I need to make that safer.
3.   Sort out magazines
I have piles of them.  I need to go through them for any articles/recipes to keep and then get rid of them!
4.   Plan a lunch date/date night with Nick once a month (theatre/cinema/meal)
Everytime we go out for a meal etc which isn't very often, we say we must do more of this! 

5.   Eat at 4 new-to-me restaurants
Hopefully this might help with #4. 

6.   Complete the A – Z  blogging challenge
This will be my 4th year of the challenge. 

7.   Plan a family weekend away for next year
We went away for our daughter's 30th in 2016 and we're away in March this year for our son's 30th and I decided it would be good to have an annual family weekend away each year plus someone (me actually) has a big birthday in 2019 so we definitely need to celebrate.

8.   Walk at least 3 times per week

9.   Visit my brother
 I'm ashamed to say I haven't visited his new house so I need to rectify that.
10.               Visit my cousin
My cousin is more like a sister to me and it's been a while since I visited her.  We've met up at family events but a visit is long overdue.
11.               Visit the beach
Just because!
12.               Complete my reading challenge (52 books for the year)
I managed this in 2017 so hopefully I will again this year.
13.               Keep my bullet journal updated

14.               Blog at least once per week (plus regular memes)
By this I mean some sort of original post not inspired by a link up

15.               Take more photos
I always forget to take them and with a smart phone there really is no excuse!

16.               Update my wardrobe
A bit of ruthlessness needed here.

17.               Do more crafting – update on blog
I have a sewing machine that has been sitting idle for far too long.

18.               Try out a new recipe each week
I'm not very adventurous with cooking.  Hopefully this will improve my skills and keep hubby happy.