Feeding the ducks…

One of Edward’s favourite things to do at the moment is feeding the ducks. Our local university has a lovely boating lake at the bottom of campus which has loads of wildfowl and squirrels. Edward particularly loves the moorhens that make the high pitch squeak and run across the water’s surface whenever he throws bread toward them.

Feeding the ducks

Feeding the ducks

It is lovely to see that although his development is delayed in so many ways, his sense of humour does not seem remotely affected. Whenever he is sure someone is watching, he will pretend to throw the bread and then change direction and take a massive bite out of it! We have to make sure we do not use stale bread to avoid him aspirating dry crumbs but it is clear that all the ducks see fresh bread as a treat!

Cast thy bread upon the waters… Ecclesiastes 11:1

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Kinder Coffee…

You may think from the title of this post, that it is about Coffee that is better for you or produced in an environmentally friendly way. Whilst I am sure that these would be worthy posts, this post if actually about making a cup of coffee look funky and taste yummy by grating a Kinder bar (as used in my surprise hot chocolate) on top! Using a mini grater makes the strands of chocolate curl better and the Kinder bar gives of a mixture of little white and milk chocolate shards. Anyway I tried it out on my wife today and it was a big hit!

Kinder Coffee

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Check out my other blog!

Hi! Just a quick post to link to a blog I have set up about my half marathon training! Please read, share and possibly donate!

CLICK HERE!

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Two of the best!

If I have a legitimate grievance over an issue of service with a company I am the first to complain. I have no qualms about picking up the phone and letting somebody know if I feel hard done-by. I am slower to give praise or encouragement which can only be described as a failing. To change this habit I thought I would share my experience of immaculate customer service from two companies that I have recently come into contact with.

One of the directors of Revolution PTS is a friend, so you may think this choice a little biased but I have been genuinely impressed with everything I have seen that this company offers it’s clients…

Revolution PTS Logo

 

I recently got in touch with my friend Rob at Revolution as I have been struggling with my weight for a long time. Very quickly I had a personalised exercise plan that I could fit into the amount of time I had, in addition (and what I have since learned is key) a personalised nutrition plan to help me acheive my weight loss goal. The key word here is personalised. Everything I have seen shows a dedicated team of personal trainers transforming the bodies and lives of everyone they come into contact with! The results of the 12-Week Transformation programme speak for themselves. I lost weight, gained muscle and my strength and fitness is much improved and I live 150 miles from the studio; I can only imagine the results if I lived nearer and could actually attend!

The second aspect that I think Revolution PTS have nailed is their social media presence – a great website, facebook, blog, you-tube clips and regular tweets (and replies) demonstrate their commitment to being involved in their client’s lives not only when they are physically present in the studio, but also when they are not. Motivational quotes, nutritional tips and workout reminders all contribute to an all round package which elevates Revolution PTS to the top of the fitness industry. I only hope that they open up a Nottingham branch soon!

Thirdly, these guys are smart! They know their stuff, from how muscles work to how the body processes food. The science behind every calorie and every movement is well understood and put to good use in their training plans – it is not often you see great scientists with six-packs!

If you are in London and you want to transform your body, get yourself to Revolution. If you are not in London use the Correspondence Personal Training programme – I cannot recommend these guys highly enough!

 

The second company may seem like a strange choice having just been discussing great personal training, but like everyone I have my vices…

CGARS

Seven years ago I finally managed to give up cigarettes for good but occasionally I enjoy a cigar. I wanted to get some Davidoff cigars that I used to smoke with my Dad, so I went online and quickly found C.Gars Ltd. After ordering some cigars I was immediately pleased with the website experience and ecstatic about the delivery speed – standard delivery miraculously appeared the very next day! Prices are good too and the price match possibility means they are never more expensive than another supplier!

Like Revolution PTS, C.Gars’ social media presence is key to their amazing customer service. I quickly found them on Twitter and Facebook and have e-mailed Sales Director Mitchell Orchant several times for advice and have always received rapid, knowledgable and courteous responses.

It will be clear to Mr. Orchant that I am no connoisseur, as I have mentioned my knowledge of cigars is very limited, fortunately Mr. Orchant is willing to share his expertise not only with tweets and Facebook posts, but also with personal advice specifically tailored to make sure that I enjoy every cigar I light. I only buy about 2 cigars a month so I am not a big customer, but whenever I order from C.Gars Ltd I always feel like a valued customer.

If like me you like a cigar,  go to C.Gars Ltd – you will not be disappointed! Happy Herfing

Herf: A gathering of cigar smokers.(n) To smoke a cigar.(v)

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Only one wok?

Wok

We recently had some friends over for dinner, we didn’t want a takeaway, but we fancied Chinese food, but how to provide a nice variety of dishes with only one wok? Our little boy keeps us busy,  so there would not be hours and hours to get ready either. It turned out to be reasonably simple, but preparation was the key! We settled on the following menu…

Starter

Duck rolls – with plum sauce

Pork and Prawn dumplings – with sweet chilli sauce

Prawn Crackers

Main Dishes

Chicken Fried Rice – with shallots, ginger, spring onion and peanuts

Sweet and Sour Pork – with onion, red pepper and pineapple

Satay Beef – with carrot, spring onion and mange tout

Egg Noodles – with sesame seeds and spring onion

Desserts

Lemon Posset

Chocolate Mousse

Banoffee Pie

One of the brilliant things about living where we do is the close proximity of not one but two oriental supermarkets – with a wide range of ingredients and sauces we really are spoilt for choice right on our doorstep. The starters were simplicity itself, needless to say we did not spend hours hand making dumplings and duck rolls, the duck rolls were Tesco and the dumplings frozen from the oriental supermarket. Served with sweet chilli and plum sauces the starters presented no issues!

After prepping all of the veg and meat for the main courses, the question arose how to cook it fresh with only one wok?!? We discovered this was easier than we thought…

The satay sauce and sweet and sour sauce were (I am afraid to say) purchased ready-made from the oriental supermarket, but they taste just like their takeaway versions! The chicken fried rice however was from a recipe with all the sauce and spices added by hand. So we settled on the following method; we fried the beef and accompanying veg in the wok with groundnut oil then once done transferred to a sauce pan on a low heat and added the sauce. We then did the exact same thing for the pork dish. This left us with a relatively clean wok (apart from groundnut oil residue) which we needed for the chicken fried rice dish anyway! By prepping in advance and using this ‘wok to pan’ method we managed to cook all three main courses whilst our guests were here in about 12 minutes – definitely not too long to wait between courses (especially with prawn crackers for nibbles)!

All of the desserts were made well in advance and we even cheated on the banoffee pie cases using ready-made pastry cases! We like to think we put a lot of effort into making the evening run smoothly by making sure there was little effort required to execute everything well!

Our guests seemed to enjoy it anyway…

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Happy New Year!

Happy 2013 readers! When I started this blog, it was just a way for me to make note of particular thoughts of interest to myself. Whilst I was aware that other people would be able to see it, I never really expected many to actually do so. I have just broken the 1000 views boundary and based on location, they are not all people I know! I am looking forward to more viewings and hopefully some comments as 2013 progresses…

World view statisticsIt seems like people from all over have been reading (and hopefully enjoying) my posts which is great! It also reminds me of the great responsibility to be careful about what I post. If James were writing today, he may well be warning us about what we tweet or what we blog….

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.- James 3:9-10

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Lucky Me!

Erika Eleniak

I would like to start this blog post by stating that I love my wife very much! Next year will be our 10 year wedding anniversary and so far it has been a fantastic decade! Rewinding 20 years though, a good few years before my wife and I got together, there was only one girl for me; Erika Eleniak…

Although probably most famous for her role in Baywatch, Erika starred in E.T. – IMDb lists Erika’s character as ‘Pretty Girl’ – this is somewhat of an understatement, Elliott was a lucky boy! Like many young teenage boys, Saturday tea time was always spent in front of the television watching Baywatch and the reason for watching Baywatch was Shauni McClain! With her long blonde hair and her red bathing suit that almost fitted, Shauni kept us glued to the screen. Many of my friends were fickle and easily made the transition to C.J. (Pamela Anderson’s character in Baywatch), but once Shauni was gone, my interest in Baywatch quickly waned. As an older teenager, like most teenage boys, once we had seen it; what we most wanted for our birthday was an Under Siege birthday cake!

I can remember my mother’s disapproving looks at the images cut from magazines (Not July 1989! I was only 12 when that came out) and newspapers plastered all over my bedroom wall, there was 1 or 2 of Cindy Crawford, Claudia Schiffer occupied the back of my door, but at least 3 square metres were dedicated to Erika!

Let me say, that in general I am not really interested in the cult of celebrity, celebrity reality T.V. or any kind of celebrity gossip – it is just not my thing. I thought however that it would be ironic, if I could use Twitter, where so many ‘everyday’ people follow celebrities, to get a celebrity to follow me! I made it my New Year’s Resolution for 2013 to attract celebrity followers to see if they really would read my tweets in their busy, whirlwind celebrity lives. But who to ask first – I thought I would do an experiment and set my sights high – my teenage crush, Miss July 1989, Erika Eleniak! Imagine my surprise when…

Erika Eleniak

It seems that not only was she my teenage crush, but she is also a great sport and a thoroughly nice person! Funnily, this side of my teenage years and this side of marriage, my Mum thought this was fantastic when I showed her, strange how things change! My wife has also been as fantastic as ever – I can imagine a lot of wives becoming more than a little irate at their husband tweeting former Playboy models but not mine! It only goes to show how lucky I am, not only did the love of my teenage years stop and say hi, but the love of the rest of my years enjoyed it with me.

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