Monday, 31 March 2014

It's in the eyes...

Today has been all about the eyes. I've had a contact lens check, eyesight check, ordered new glasses and then went to get my eyebrows done. While waiting in the queue a lady was getting eyelash extensions done and finished she looked pretty amazing. I decided to give it a go as I've just been paid and it's good to be spontaneous sometimes... I fear I now look like a demented doll, I'm hoping that fresh eyes in the morning might persuade me otherwise. I don't had out too much hope. Maybe next time I should stick to the known.

Discovery of the week

POP! Crunch, crunch, crunch. 

My most recent discovery is a type of food. A type of crisp for that matter. Introducing Walkers Pops! I have to confess that I am a big crisp eater. I could literally eat them all the time, but they're really not that good for you so I have to reign in the love. Whenever I see new types of crisps I make it my business to try them out, just for testing purposes you understand. I love it when they claim to make them more healthy too, yep they may be baked instead of fried, and they might be this and they might be that, but they're still salty goodness which is really not good and should be called salty badness if it didn't taste so bloomin' delicious! 

So Walker's Pops. They're crunchy. They're salty. They're pop-py. They are mighty good. I'd been trying to keep all the tastiness to myself but ended up introducing Wavey to them too. Pah, you mean I have to share now? Boo. Luckily they were on special offer at my online shop so oops, we have two big packs now. Heehee. 

If you're a crisp fan I would highly recommend trying them out as they are very tasty indeed. If you're not a crisp fan why are you reading my blog? Strange person... *wink* 

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Everyone is leeeeeaving

Lately it feels like blog-land is changing a bit. People that I have been reading and following forever are up and leaving this blog format and moving on to pastures new. Popculture Librarian has just made a move and I'm loving it! It looks so fresh and clean and more professional. I'm a little bit jelly. 

I'm going to tell you a secret. I hate our background spots. Like really really hate them. I think it makes our blog look like it was drawn by a 5 year old and it somehow trivialises what are clearly life-changing posts that should be taken seriously...but the tricksy thing is that this isn't just my blog, even though, let's face it, it's my voice that you get the pleasure of reading much of the time. But it feels a little bit wrong to just go ahead and make changes to something that belongs to two other people. 

For a while I've considered starting my own blog but again, it seems ever so slightly wrong to abandon ship. We've been running this little part of blog-land for 7 years now, 7 years! I can hardly believe it. I can't help but feel that times they are a-changing. So what say you Fizz and Tizz? Shall we jazz up our little corner of blog-land and make it look sleek and sophisticated, just like us *snorts* 

If anyone else wants to throw their opinion into the mix, please do. 

Monday, 24 March 2014

Discovery of the week

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the Tube-Wringer:

I first read discovered this wondrous device via Essie Button where she blogged about her most loved beauty tools. I was completely intrigued by the idea of this thing called a Tube-Wringer and set to finding one of my own. As it turns out, it's quite tricky to get hold of as it's made in the USA and a lot of places that sell it charge an extortionate amount for delivery. I managed to find it here

I know it seems expensive initially but now I have seen what this beasty beauty can do I think the cost will soon balance itself out with the amount of extra product I will be getting from all my favourite lotions and potions. This is what happens to the tube when you use it:

Completely flat! It truly is amazing. Even Wavey is excited by this (he was the one who wanted to try it on the toothpaste). I've already used it on two tubes and literally squeezed every last drop out. And so I thank Essie for bringing it to my attention and I share the love for the Tube-Wringer. An excellent product.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

North East Side versus Upper East Side

Continuing on with my marathon Gossip Girl watching (series 4 and counting) I am continually amazed by their wardrobes. I know, I know, it's television and it's not real life but let's just do a little compare and contrast to demonstrate my point. 

I am a full time student. I mainly work at home these days but this is my typical student outfit - slouchy t-shirt, check shirt, ripped and battered old jeans:

And now let's look at some outfits from Gossip Girl - these are people studying full time at Columbia:

I don't even have outfits like that to go to posh occasions! I only wish my uni wardrobe looked like that! Spot the scruff-bag in the room...

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Please Mr Postman stop and see, is there a letter in your bag for me...

Not just a letter Miss Dizz, but an absolutely fabulous surprise parcel! Packed full of gorgeous lotions and potions for your delight. Oh and here's a second parcel from a competition you entered that includes MORE lotions and potions. Oh my ... *falls to ground in swoon* I am truly a lucky girl! 

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Hissing Sid has captured toad!

When my sister and I were little people my parents bought us what now seems like the most impossibly random 7" single ever known to man: Captain Beaky and his Band. Basically it's the actor Keith Michell reading along to music, the most catchy music ever - it's completely odd, definitely bonkers, but it STILL brings back such happy memories of chanting along as we somehow knew all the words. Even now I still know some of the words, as Wavey and I discovered last night when we searched for it last night. I can't even remember why we were talking about it, or why we started singing the words, but I do remember leaping up to search for it so we could listen again. And so here it is:


Do any of you remember it too? Or do I have to stand alone as the one with the odd parents...? 

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

From the library shelf

"Grace: A Memoir", by Grace Coddington. 

If you are a regular reader of Vogue, or have seen the film The September Issue you will know that Grace Coddington is the Creative Director of American Vogue magazine. In that film she comes across as completely batty, with her wild mane of frizzy red hair and take no-nonsense, stand up to Anna Wintour attitude. This book, her memoir, is also slightly batty but I found it completely delightful to read, full of stories and gossip and little illustrations for your amusement, as well as heaps of photographs, from her modelling days through to the photo shoots she produces for Vogue. 

Her writing is very simple and honest and extremely readable. Sometimes it goes off on a tangent and seems random, but I suspect that's how she is in real life as well. There's famous name dropping on almost every page, it's amazing how many people she has worked with throughout her career, and she also paints them in an honest light, very open about who is a diva or a queen, and how she has managed her relationships with them all to just make it work.

If you like fashion, and a bit of gossip, and some light reading then I can't recommend this enough. I flew through it, both fascinated and entertained. The only thing I will say is that in hardback form it weighs a tonne. Literally, it's like weight lifting at the gym and it presses heavy against your chest if you're reading it in bed. But it was worth it as I loved this book. 

Do you like memoirs? Is there a biography I shouldn't miss? Share below.   

Monday, 10 March 2014

Bon weekend

This was the first weekend in as long as I can remember that we had no plans. We had no-one staying with us. The whole weekend stretched out ahead of us in a delicious manner. And it was so nice. Nothing exciting happened, we didn't go anywhere fancy, or do anything special, we just pottered about the house - oh I love to potter so - and the weekend flew by. We went to theatre, we played in the garden, Wavey tidied his man-shed, I potted some seeds to start the crop, we went out for Sunday breakfast, we watched television, we ironed, we carried on "neutralising" the house for when we put it up for sale soon ... 

I took some photos, with no real intention of documenting the weekend which is why they are completely and utterly random, but here for your enjoyment anyway. Let me present my feet, our very tidy utility room, a very smart landing, and a rainbow.


Thursday, 6 March 2014

Ready, steady, turn the oven on

Tonight I ate a ready meal. It's probably the first ready meal I have eaten in years - in this house we are all about making from scratch with lovely tasty ingredients. As ready meals go I don't think it was one of the best, it wasn't labelled as fine or luxury, it cost less than £2, and it was a heat from frozen job. After waiting for 50 minutes this was the end result:

My first reaction was to wonder where the rest of it was. Look at that portion! Even a baby would turn up their nose at the size of it (possibly a slight exaggeration). My second thought was that there was a serious flaw in the cooking instructions as most of my noodles were in a sloppy mess stuck to the bottom of the baking dish. The two pieces of pepper could actually have been sucked rather than chewed - where was the crunch? Oh yes, that was in the noodles that had got stuck to the side of the baking dish. Hmmmmm. 

My verdict overall of this particular meal would be disappointing. I suppose I maybe shouldn't have had high expectations but I thought it would be okay. I'm really hungry again now so it didn't fill me up. And I'm incredibly thirsty, probably way too much salt in it. I reckon the supermarkets seriously need to up their game and make improvements to this type of meal. I definitely wouldn't buy one again - for starters I could have made that meal myself in about half the time it took to warm up! Someone pass me my pans...

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Bake with Dizz - Homemade Nutella

Today is Shrove Tuesday which means pancakes which means yum yum yum. Fizz decided that for this particular pancake Tuesday I should make my own Nutella. Never one to turn down a challenge, I found a recipe, and set about making my own. Fancy giving it a try yourself? Here goes my first Bake with Dizz feature. 

I found my Nutella recipe here There were lots of different ones out there but this seemed like the most straightforward and had the smallest amount of ingredients and instructions. I'm not a big fan of complicated recipes, simple is best in my opinion. 

First up, roast your hazelnuts in the oven. The smell from these was a-mazing! 

Next you need to wait for the hazelnuts to cool down. Then pop them into a bowl, place another bowl on top, and play them like marracas, taking care not to let the two bowls separate or you might end up with hazelnut skins all over your kitchen...not that I would ever be so careless, sheesh, imagine! This removes the skin from the hazelnuts. It takes quite a while to do this and it is pretty messy. To be honest I got a bit bored so left some skins on mine. Didn't seem to do them any harm or affect the end result. 

Add the now bald hazelnuts to your blender, try not to have a ditzy moment where you forget how your blender works, and blend until the nuts form a smooth paste. This was tricky as the paste started to get under the blade but keep at it as it does work in the end. 

Add the next few ingredients. 1 cup of icing sugar and 1/3 cup of good quality cocoa powder:

2 tablespoons of hazelnut oil:

And one teaspoon of vanilla extract: 

Blend, blend, and blend some more until you get a thick paste. I ended up adding a couple more drizzles of hazelnut oil as my mixture didn't paste-up easily. As before it was quite tricky as the paste got under the blade, but as before keep at it as the end result looks pretty fine:

I had to sample it to make sure it was ok. Verdict: Good. Nutty. Not as sweet as the original version and definitely darker in colour, but I am excited about adding it to pancakes tonight. 

Despite being a straightforward recipe this was actually quite tricky to make. Paste under blender blades is not easy to deal with. I ended up scraping the mixture out of the jug into another bowl before cleaning the blades and putting the mixture back in to start the pasting again. What do you think Fizz? Did it pass the taste test?

Did you like this Bake with Dizz feature? Let me know if you would like me to include more recipes as I do love to bake!

Sunday, 2 March 2014

The F in February

Despite crossing everything and hoping for the best, February didn't turn out to be so much fun after all. Wavey's dad sadly passed away on Valentine's night. As before, even though it was expected, it really doesn't make it any easier at all. Knowing it's going to happen doesn't mean you can plan anything, or predict how you will react when the news arrives. What it really means is that it's hanging over your head, always, and so to be honest we kind of huddled ourselves away and played a waiting game. Everytime the phone rang my heart would leap into my mouth. With each visit, always the same unspoken question upon returning home ... ? ... and it really didn't seem right to even think about having fun, much less organise something fun. Another month of 2014 just passed us by. 

The funeral was on Friday, the very last day in the month. When we woke up on Saturday morning the sun was shining and the sky was bright bright blue. It almost felt like it was a fresh start. For the first time in months we didn't have death hanging over our heads and we tentatively talked about starting our year for real. A couple of months behind everyone else but what's a couple of months between friends.

There are all kinds of words you could fit with March but we mainly have two wishes, or hopes, a combination of both I think. First of all we hope that no-one else that we love dies. Secondly we hope that we don't have to go to a funeral. I'm crossing everything and hoping for the best...