Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Platonic friends: Is everyone really just Faking It?

It's ticked off the list, it's finally been watched. Am I more whole as a human being? Probably not. But I am content in the knowledge that the next person who says 'Just like Harry and Sally' will receive more than an idiotic half smile from me in response. And the film was ok too.

SO, this is a really, really interesting topic-especially when you get into a conversation on the subject of platonic friends and one of the group suddenly realises that their appropriate opposite sex relationship is not so appropriate after all!

Can men and women just be friends. Ever?!

Any relationship can be complicated at the best of times but throw some testosterone and oestrogen into the pot and things can get heated very quickly. As much popular culture attempts to show us, left to simmer (Yep, I really am going to see this cooking analogy to the end) an opposite sex relationship will undoubtedly 'boil' over either ending in unmitigated disaster and broken hearts or turn out to be the fairytale ending you're apparently dreaming of. See here, here and here for some basic evidence. So what is appropriate and what isn't when maintaining a relationship with a member of the opposite sex?

My boundaries are pretty clear these days, more so than they were in my late teens, but thats just to be expected right? And anyway, from what I gather the hedonistic approach to relationships that tends to happen in your late teens, does for many, continue right into their twenties, so actually I am WAY ahead of the game in my settled marriage and whatnot. I even have the opposite sex, non-sexual, completely platonic friends to prove it. So there.

So what are the rules of these relationships. After going over and over the same points with a couple of friends here is what we have come up with. It is perfectly acceptable to hold hands, have a bit of a sob on the shoulder of and hug your gay friends. The hugging bit stretches to your exes providing they aren't 'never let me go' hugs full of desperation (at which point you should probably cut contact off for a bit!) and crying is alright as long as its once in 10 years. Straight friends who aren't exes should defiantely not be getting tactile, a quick cheek peck and arm on the shoulder should suffice. And defiantely don't start bad-mouthing your current partner or breaking down into floods of tears because your 'friend' hasn't a) text you back for over an hour, b) is too busy to see you or, c) has just got engaged. A biggie that came to light in our chat (and definately enlightened one member of the table who is since reassesing her life!) was do not convince yourself that speaking to said straight friend once a day and calling them to tell them your exciting news before anyone else is a sign of a solid platonic relationship. You are definately faking it and should seek professional help immediately...

Monday, 29 August 2011


We're off on a Lake District holiday at the beginning of November.
Bluezoo at Debenhams sell these puddlesuits and the more I look at them the more I think they are essential for what will undoubtedly be a soggy week (and totally worth it for the cringing from little one when she looks back at photographs when she is older!).
Is it a pro or a con that she will be able to roll in mud all day for 7 days?!


I am constantly attempting to make cupcakes look as good as these. So far I've nearly made my way through the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook and the Primrose Bakery recipe book.

Lola's, however, is releasing a book that I must have. Alternatively someone could just order me some of these? For research purposes obviously...

Sleep. Please?

Oh little one. I remember the days when you looked like this: asleep! Now our wake up calls are at 4am and you seen to have boundless energy, not stopping for a break, or even a five minute snooze! You are stubborn enough to not go back to sleep but wise enough to get straight back into bed as soon as mum or dad appears at your door, feigning closed eyes and big yawns, only to return to the door the minute it is closed again. Even though we can barely see you through the fog of our half-asleep eyes, morning time is still my favourite time of the day with you. Wide eyed and excited for the day, full of chatter and good morning cuddles and kisses. You are the best, sleep or no sleep (Now get back in that bed)!

Friday, 26 August 2011

Something for the weekend: Biscuits for boring days

Baking anything with the little one never fails to keep her entertained for a morning or afternoon. It's just the rest of the day where we have to convince her she can't eat all her hard work at once that can be less entertaining!


100g Unsalted Butter
100g Caster Sugar
1 egg yolk, beaten with 2 teaspoons of water
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
200g plain flour and extra for dusting
To decorate
180g Icing Sugar, sifted
sprinkles, stars, chocolate buttons, jellies etc

1. Beat together butter and sugar until light and creamy followed by the egg yolk, vanilla extract, flour and a pinch of salt. Stir until it forms a dough, knead until smooth then wrap in clingfilm and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 180 c, fan 160 c, gas 4

3. Roll dough out on floured surface to a thickness of 0.5cm and cut out your desired shapes with cutters, bake on a non-stick baking tray for approximately 10 minutes until golden brown. Cool on wire rack.

4. Make icing sugar as per box instructions and decorate as you wish!

Enjoy and have a nice weekend!

From "Baking" recipe collection by Sainsbury's

When Harry Met Sally

Having had an interesting conversation about platonic friends a while ago with some female friends I plan to get the Husband to find me this for this evening's entertainment. Can you believe I’ve never seen it?!

 Harry Burns: Would you like to have dinner?... Just friends.
Sally Albright: I thought you didn't believe men and women could be friends.
Harry Burns: When did I say that? Sally Albright: On the ride to New York.
Harry Burns: No, no, no, I never said that... Yes, that's right, they can't be friends. Unless both of them are involved with other people, then they can... This is an amendment to the earlier rule. If the two people are in relationships, the pressure of possible involvement is lifted... That doesn't work either, because what happens then is, the person you're involved with can't understand why you need to be friends with the person you're just friends with. Like it means something is missing from the relationship and why do you have to go outside to get it? And when you say "No, no, no it's not true, nothing is missing from the relationship," the person you're involved with then accuses you of being secretly attracted to the person you're just friends with, which you probably are. I mean, come on, who the hell are we kidding, let's face it. Which brings us back to the earlier rule before the amendment, which is men and women can't be friends.


Whilst I plan to use the film for a blog entry on love and friendship next week there’s also another reason for my watching…

Fed up of missing out on huge plethora of cultural references that go right over my head I’m addressing it by swotting up on all I can, as soon as I can. “When Harry Met Sally?” you might muse quizzically. Hardly an education. Yet this is exactly the kind of thing someone you have known for all of two seconds and are undoubtedly trying to impress, will make reference to and you have to nod your head in that idiotic half-smiled way to conform with the ‘but everyone has seen it’ mentality and right there is when the insanity begins…pretending to ‘get the joke’ or dropping quotes into conversation such as “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse” when you’ve never even seen The Godfather.

But I digress, let the swotting commence. I better get onto The Godfather too whilst I’m at it...

P.S Something for the Weekend to follow, very messy toddler biscuits today!

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Poor Kids

Photograph: Truevision/BBC

Currently the gap between in the rich and poor in the UK is at it's highest level since the Second World War, with 3.5 million children living in poverty and 1.6 million living in extreme poverty.

I watched this heartbreaking documentary on the BBC a while ago and would recommend it to anyone.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Monday, 22 August 2011

The Great Pram Debate


So whose heard the latest? An Australian academic from the University of Technology, Sydney claims that parents who push their children in outward facing prams are cruel and selfish. Professor Catherine Fowler believes that a child who spends much of its time facing away from its mother will lack a bond and will find a situation where they are bombarded with stimulus 'terrifying'.

My own daughter faced me for the first 6 months of her little life and then switched to an outward facing one. Personally, this is something I did worry about as there were similiar stories in the news at the time I was making the switch. However, I found inward facing pushchairs a lot more expensive than the outward ones and cannot help but be infuriated by this fact. If they are better for childrens development why are they not at least affordable necessities, if not standard manufacturer design?

Ultimately though I imagine it is how you interact with your child at all other times in their day that helps build their development and bond with you. My little girl frequently turns around as I talk to her to respond to me and when she was younger and learning to talk she would point to things in the street and I would tell her what each thing was. She really enjoyed this and one of her first words was 'treeees' shortly followed by 'leas' (leaves)! If I had another child I'm not sure what type of puschair I'd purchase. What about you: where do you stand on the great pram debate and do you think it affects your childs development or your relationship with them?

The Weekend

I seemed to spend the weekend knee deep in crafting wedding thank you cards. Why I didn't do this BEFORE the wedding is a mystery to me, nevertheless I finally finished them today, complete with my wedding cake recipe, and they are ready to go (a bit too long after the event for proper etiquette, oops).

We had an amazing evening with an intimate group of our closest friends and family and it really and truly reaffirmed how incredibly lucky we are to have all these people in our lives.

Here is a sneaky peak at some of our amateur snaps and some wedding paraphernalia! We cannot wait to see our professional photographs from Matthew Rycraft next month.

The beautiful bouquet from my husband to be that arrived on the morning of the wedding.

Our little one very much stealing the show!

Our amazing alternative guestbook half-completed. Check out Bleu de Toi, they are fantastic.

Passable cakes made by me!

My Husband is very proud of his ring...

Parenting post to follow later this evening.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Something for the weekend: Chocolate fudge cake

We really, really, love baking in this house...
and ever since our very first sugar-free 1st birthday cake we really, really love tasting too...

Here is the link to my favourite chocolate fudge cake recipe if you are looking for a cake to bake this weekend. Its really good cold with raspberries piled on top or even warmed up in the microwave for a minute and served with cold ice cream and strawberries. And the best bit? You don't even have to like Nigella, or her overtly seductive show, to make it! Enjoy!

Who would of thought?

It always, always,the comments at the bottom of these articles that are the most insightful bits of the news story..go on, add your own point of view...

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Some little gems...

The best summer song I've heard in a very long time.
What a lovely idea...and another genius blog.

Summer holidays nearly over and running out of ways to keep the children entertained? Try these kitchen science experiments-amazing!

Photograph: Zak Waters


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