Honey, I’m Home!

I’ve been free for a few days now and the “YAY I’M NO LONGER IN HOSPITAL!” feeling still hasn’t worn off.

I just want to thank everyone who sent me facebook/twitter/text messages and those who sent me gifts and lovely cards to brighten up my room, it really made all the difference and kept me going through the tougher times.

I’m feeling better and better each day and getting very excited about the summer. . . I’ve got musicals to see, weddings to go to, book festivals to be poncy at and a lot of sunglasses to be worn.

I’m sure the excitement will fade and I’ll start taking my health for granted soon but for the moment I’m going to revel in my new found optimism.

Jude xxx

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The Joy of Baking

Here is a box:

Now you may not think this box looks very interesting but you’d be wrong*, because look what’s inside the box:

Lots of lovely baking goodies, that’s what! Food colouring, edible pink glitter, white chocolate stars . . . and also the boring basics like flour.

I love baking, I feel a genuine sense of pride when I open the oven door and my cupcakes have magically risen and I actually don’t mind cleaning up afterwards (as long as I can play some poptastic music really loudly while I’m doing it). One of my (sort of) New Year’s Resolutions was to become a baking extraordinaire (see this post for further details) and I inched a little bit further towards my goal this week by baking not one but TWO batches of cupcakes**.

First up was some gingerbread cake for my mum’s birthday:

Secondly were some Coca-Cola cupcakes I baked on Thursday with my BFF Mel:

Despite a bicarbonate of soda catastrophe (I forgot to put it in at the right point, Lady Gaga was distracting me with her amazingness) the gingerbread tasted amazing with Häagen-Dazs Vanilla Ice Cream and the Coca-Cola cupcakes just tasted amazing FULL STOP (I accredit any amazing tastiness to Mel and her beating skillz). Tomorrow a new series starts on BBC2 called Baking Made Easy. It looks really good and I’m hoping that by watching it I will improve my baking technique and there won’t be any further bicarbonate of soda catastrophes.

Here’s to another week of baking,

Jude xxx

*Of course you’d be wrong. The box is bright pink with white polka dots and a turquoise lid. Even if there was nothing inside the box it would still be an interesting box.
**The recipes for aforementioned cupcakes are in this book, pages 108 and 137

Bring On 2011. . .

 

2010 wasn’t a great year for me.

It started with me being very ill and struggling with continuing with my university degree, and then led to me taking voluntary suspension from my course, going into hospital to harvest my stem cells in preparation for a stem cell transplant and ended with me living back at home with my parents. Also David Cameron became Prime Minister.

At the end of October I decided to set myself some goals of what I wanted to achieve during my year off from university, I decided I wanted to:

  • Learn how to knit/embroider/sew
  • Become really ace at doing The Times crossword
  • Volunteer/gain more work experience
  • Lose weight/improve my diet/get more active
  • Moisturise daily
  • Become a baking extraordinaire
  • Master the art of the perfect liquid line
  • Read, read, read

I figured that if I achieved all those things I could look back on the 2010/2011 academic year with pride and a sense of achievement. Here’s how I’m going with my goals:

  • Learn how to knit/embroider/sew: I joined a craft group run by the lovely Iona, met some amazing people and have picked up some craftastic skillz.
  • Become really ace at doing The Times crossword: I have asked my mum to be my crossword Yoda and I have improved. . . somewhat (note to self: must work harder at this particular goal)
  • Volunteer/gain more work experience: I emailed out my CV and am currently doing unpaid work experience for a West Lothian charity, it’s going really well and I’m loving every moment of it
  • Lose weight/improve my diet/get more active: I lost 10kg while on chemo, does that count?
  • Moisturise daily: I am actually doing this!
  • Become a baking extraordinaire: My Oreo cupcakes with mint icing are scrumptious and I have used my Christmas pennies to purchase this book. I’ve also booked myself in for a 2 hour cake decorating class.
  • Master the art of the perfect liquid line: Practise makes perfect!
  • Read, read, read: I am currently reading The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists By Robert Tressell.

Instead of New Year resolutions I am just going to continue working on my list of goals and I am going to blog about my efforts.

Hope 2011 is good for you all,

Jude xxx

Image credit: New Year by *Sally M*