Pickles and Luna: 2 Years On

Pickles and Luna 2 years on

I cannot believe that my babies have now been in my life for 2 years now! This time in 2015 I had only owned Pickles and Luna for a few days but Topher and I were already smitten. It feels like we’ve had them forever. Here’s when we got them and my update last year on their one year anniversary.



Pickles Loves

  • His food…and Luna’s food and anything that involves food
  • Olives – this totally confused us when we got some green olives in one day but it turns out that there’s something in them that is pretty much the same as catnip!
  • Morning and evening cuddles under the covers – but only with me. Such a mummy’s boy!
  • Luna – anywhere she’s sleeping he’ll squeeze himself in and cuddle up to her.
  • Locking himself in the bathroom by jumping up against the door.

pickles sleeping

Pickles Hates

  • Loud noises – the vacuum is his nemesis!
  • When anyone knocks at the door
  • When Topher and I go to sleep at night – he seems to like demanding attention at all hours.


Luna Loves

  • Head bops
  • Screaming upstairs by herself for no reason
  • Playing with anything – whether it’s moving or not
  • Casually clawing my legs when she wants to sit on my lap
  • Pickles. Even though he annoys her sometimes, she’ll happily wash his head when he’s curled up next to her.
  • Sitting outside the bathroom door while Pickles is locked inside
  • Sitting on the Playstation because it is made of warm. She’s even figured out how to turn it on!

Luna cape

Luna Hates

  • Being picked up unless she’s on her side and you immediately start kissing her head
  • New people – she will hide for at least an hour until curiosity gets the better of her
  • Closed doors – which was fun when I was redecorating. So much meowing!


I love them both so much! Such a cat lady. Here’s to another year of love, fluff and laughs!

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My Week #35 – Awards, Recipes and Walks

my week #35

*Made Chicken Biryani – recipe here *Had an epic flower making session with the bridesmaids

*Went for a walk to the reservoir with Topher *Finally got my stone and a half award!

So I’m ridiculously happy that I finally got my stone and a half award at Slimming World. I’ve been dancing around it since October so it’s so satisfying to finally have the award in my hand. Now I’m only 17 pounds away from target and I’m completely on track for my pound a week challenge.

Along the lines of healthy eating, I made chicken biryani from my Slimming World curry book which was delicious! Topher enjoyed it so much that I’m making it again this week. And we finally got out for our first walk of the year to the reservoir. Hopefully there will be many more to come. It only took about half an hour and it made all the difference to our moods!

At the weekend I got my bridesmaids round to help me make flowers for the wedding. As I’ve mentioned previously, I’m making all our wedding flowers out of paper because I like to create a lot of unnecessary work for myself… Anyway, it was so nice to have some helpers as I desperately needed to make some new prototypes. All went really well so I have a few different flowers to choose from now. So I’m full on jumping on the wedding DIY making train now. Choo choo. Yes I just said that.

Topher and I also managed to squeeze in a trip to the cinema and saw Why Him? It was actually a lot better than I was expecting. We’ve only been once so far this month so another trip as to be arranged soon to make the most of our membership. Any recommendations?

And that was my week. How was yours?

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Chicken Biryani Recipe – Slimming World

Chicken biryani recipe

After having my Slimming World Curry Club cookbook for a few months, it’s safe to say I’m still loving it. Last week I decided to give a new recipe a try: Chicken Biryani. This is pretty much the same recipe as the one in the book only I used kale instead of spinach. The kale (which I’ve never actually tried before this) gave it an interesting crunch which I liked but I’ll also try the spinach version soon to see if it’s any better.

This recipe is free on the Slimming World plan and takes 1 hour and 30 mins to make plus 4-6 hours (preferably overnight) for marinating time. It serves 4 people.


Garlic – 4 cloves or 1tsp powdered

Ginger – 1cm peeled & grated or 1 tsp powdered

150g natural yoghurt plus extra to serve

Coriander – 1/2 pack of fresh or 1 tbsp of jarred – plus extra to garnish

6 skinless and boneless chicken thighs cut into bite size chunks

Low calorie cooking spray

1 onion – finely chopped

2 tbsp of medium curry powder

400g tin of chopped tomatoes

150g of kale/spinach

2 tbsp of skimmed milk

Pinch of saffron threads

1 tsp of tumeric

For the rice

1 onion, finely sliced

2tsp cumin seeds

6 cloves/1 tsp of powdered

10 black peppercorns

6 cardamon pods, crushed

1 cinnamon stick

300g dried basmati rice

650ml boiling chicken stock



1. Mix the garlic, ginger, coriander and yoghurt together in a large bowl then add the chicken and coat well with the mixture. Cover the bowl and place in the fridge for 4-6 hours to marinate. Overnight is preferable!
Chicken biryani recipe 1

2. After marinating, chop an onion and fry in the low calorie cooking spray for 15 mins on a low heat. Then add the chicken and cook for 2-3 minutes on a high heat.
chicken biryani recipe 2

Chicken biryani recipe 3

3. Then get the curry powder, kale and chopped tomatoes ready to mix in.

Chicken biryani recipe 4

Pause to make a mess.

Chicken biryani recipe 5

And mix into the chicken and onions. Season to taste, bring to the boil and then reduce to simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is tender and cooked through. Cover and set aside.

4. Meanwhile, warm the milk for about 10 seconds in the microwave and add the saffron and tumeric. Keep to the side. This mixture will be drizzled over the biryani later.

Chicken biryani recipe 7

Chicken biryani recipe 6

5. For the rice, spray a saucepan with the low calorie cooking spray and add the onion, cumin, cloves, peppercorns, cardamon and cinnamon stick and stir fry for 2-3 minutes. Then add the rice and stir fry for a further 2 minutes. Pour over the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 7-8 minutes. Afterwards, drain well – it won’t be completely cooked yet.

Chicken biryani recipe 8

Chicken biryani recipe 9

6. Spray a casserole dish with the low calorie cooking spray and place half the chicken mixture along the bottom. Then cover evenly with half the rice, then the rest of the chicken mixture and then finally with the rest of the rice.

Chicken biryani recipe 10

Chicken biryani recipe 11

7. Drizzle with the tumeric mixture and cover and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. When removed, leave to stand for 15-20 minutes, still covered.

Chicken biryani recipe 12

8. Then divide between plates and garnish with coriander and serve with the natural yoghurt.

Chicken biryani recipe 13


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Things To Tell My Sixteen Year Old Self

Things To Tell My Sixteen Year Old Self

When I was sixteen, I wasn’t the happiest. I didn’t like myself, I was lonely and I kept to myself. College wasn’t what I expected after having a bad time at school and I just found myself wishing for the next thing to come along. Since then I’ve been through a fair bit and I feel like I’ve come out the other side as a happier person. But from time to time I wonder what if. So here’s just a few things I would tell my sixteen year old self if I had the chance…


  • Stop wishing your life away. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side.


  • You don’t need a boyfriend to be happy, stop worrying about it. Though if it makes you feel any better you’ll meet the one in just 4 short years. So chill the hell out.


  • Please keep writing your diary. I like to look back at it because it makes me giggle.


  • Stop worrying what other people think of you. People are too busy figuring out their own crap to care. And on that note, you may think that these people’s opinions are important but they really aren’t. You haven’t seen any of them in a decade.


  • You are not fat. Believe me. This coming from you 12 years later that has been desperately trying to get back to the weight you are right now. Chill the hell out.


  • Don’t worry when no one shows up to your 17th birthday drinks – it’ll turn out to be a great night.


  • Get a Saturday job like you wanted. Don’t listen to your parents on this one thing. To be fair, they had no idea there was a recession that would hit as you graduate university!


  • I would say study hard, but you managed just fine and got into university anyway so just enjoy yourself.


  • 20 somethings are not grown up. Being an adult is mainly googling things. Enjoy living at your parents while you still can.


  • You think being a teenager is hard then – be thankful you weren’t born 10 years later and had to deal with growing up on social media. Yikes! And of course this being 2004, you have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about.


  • Go to Thailand dammit. Yes I know how important it will feel that you spend your 19th birthday with your boyfriend but seriously it’s not that important. And that night was pretty crap in comparison. Just say yes and go. Otherwise you’ll look at the pictures your parents took and want to kick yourself.


That’s all I can think of at the moment but there are definitely plenty more things!

What would you tell your sixteen year old self?

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My Week #34 – Training and Derpy Cats

my week #34

*Getting my food styling game on at a training session I ran for Begin.Create *Trying a new curry recipe

*Derpy Luna is derpy *Finally got the shelves up in the bedroom

Damn it’s cold! Layers are my friend. But on the bright side I’ve been feeling so much better this week motivation wise. I’ve been powering through my to do list and it feels awesome to feel accomplished. Feeling like my old self again. Goodbye January blues!

The cats are still being their cute selves with Pickles coming into bed first thing in the morning and last thing at night for cuddles. He loves curling up under the covers. And Luna as you can see is her silly little self. They just break my heart every time I look at them.

At Slimming World I maintained my weight which was good but at the same time slightly disappointing. I really thought I’d lost this week but thinking back, I deserve what I got. Topher on the other hand does not deserve losing 2 and a half pounds. He had McDonalds! Ha ha. Oh well, at least I’m not heading in the wrong direction and I’m still on track for my 20 pounds in 20 weeks challenge I set myself. So here’s to a better week.

This week I held another social media training session for Begin.Create where I got to play around with Photoshop and some food styling. I love my new job! Also on the theme of having fun – I finally got the shelves put up in our bedroom. All but one actually but that requires a drill and even though I have a tool kit – it definitely doesn’t contain a drill. So will have to wait until my parent’s get back from America to borrow my dads.

And that’s about it. I’m back on it and loving 2017 now. Here’s to a new week!

How has your January been so far?


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