Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Happy Halloween 2012

Dear lovely followers and anyone else who has dropped by to our blog on this world wide web!

We are currently snuggled up on this wet, windy and cold Halloween evening which ruined our plan to take our newest edition out into the world so we had to settle for an night in eating Chinese takeaway.

Laura always finds Halloween in the UK disappointing; it's fair to say that it is! Generally, we don't dress up, we don't decorate our houses and pumpkin carving is not something we get involved in. All that changed for me when I met Laura! She opened my eyes to what Halloween can be!

Even before Laura and I got together she was bringing Halloween into my life. This photo was taken at our first job together back in 2010 after she suggested our office should dress up!

A year later we had arrived back from Laura's 21st Birthday in Vegas and we were already in the Halloween spirit as we had been spotted a number of houses decorated in early October.

This time I had Laura's advice on outfits! Laura's team had decided to go dressed up as a Circus Theme  - it was the first time I found out that Halloween costumes didn't have to be scary! (Laura was a lion tamer, I was a devil!)

We hope you've had a great Halloween - to finish we thought we'd share our favourite pumpkin carvings that we've found - enjoy!

Good enough to eat?

Just creepy!

Now that's just rude!


So clever!!!

Give us a kiss!

This made us smile today! Nando's is right for EVERY holiday!


Sunday, 28 October 2012

What's Happening hot Stuff?? 28th Oct

What's Happening, Hot Stuff??

This week has been another busy one for us but we have both been battling the awful cold that seems to be sweeping through offices nationwide- according to Facebook updates filling our timelines! However, the end of the week had an expected twist. We were meant to be welcoming the lovely ladies of 2bridesto2mummies to ours for the weekend but found out on Thursday evening that Lauren had tonsillitis and the trip was cancelled. All four of us were beyond gutted! And it meant a change of plans for the weekend.

Friday night saw our annual attendance at the Rocky Horror Picture Show sing-a-long. We first blogged about the experience last year HERE and couldn't wait to head back this year. As the show started at 8:30 we decided to head for dinner first at Leicester Square. On a Friday night there is always a strange array of people in Leicester Square in various levels of undress but on a Halloween weekend you could spend hours people watching.

After dinner we headed to L's office to get dressed into or RHPS outfits. The cleaners there got quite the shock! Fishnets, corsets, tutus and not a lot else and we were ready to go. It was more than a little chilly outside so we made sure our winter coats were done up nice and tightly. Thankfully the walk was only 10 minutes!

One of the highlights of the evening is walking towards the Prince Charles theatre and seeing all the outfits - regardless of the temperature you can guarantee there is a man in a corset & high heels posing outside. Once inside it really is a meeting of unconventional conventionalists, it's not the biggest of theatres but it is PACKED full of people who really love the film. It is always buzzing! Laura is like a kid at Christmas, so we rushed to our seats to get our goody bags and make sure we didn't miss a second.

It was best night out we'd had in a while and we spent a large portion of the show laughing out loud (in between coughing) and Laura's singing of EVERY word was impressive! As it always is!

As it is Halloween and we already had pumpkins and candy we decided that we would have a Halloween filled Saturday. There was jut another slight hiccup - Sarah was invited home to go to the Reading game so it turned into a Halloween evening instead of a day. That still left enough time for pumpkin carving though, accompanied with toasted marshmallows and candy! After all, pumpkin carving is HARD WORK!!

Last year we created Paul the Pumpkin and documented his day HERE! This year we brought Bradley to life and as we brought a pumpkin for Sarah and Lauren we thought we use that one to do a design that works for both us and them! Thanks to L's handy work it turned out perfectly.

The weekend continued with L baking cookies and watching Halloween movies - The Night Before Christmas, seriously the weirdest movie! Casper  - can you believe the film is 17 years old!!! Next on the list is Witches - the Disney version of the Ronald Dahl book.

We have also been keeping track of the impending elections and came across this images that we thought were very apt! The second one is technically relevant the world over but when Romney has stated that if elected he will actively deny gay families rights we think it is relevant to the elections! We also read that when Governor of Massachusetts he made gay parents REQUEST an altered birth certificate so both parents could register. That means that the child could be restricted and questioned when getting a drivers license, passport - in fact ANYTHING legal FOREVER as having an amended birth certificate normally causes issues. Seriously, with no real economic plan, a dislike of anyone who isn't rich and white, an active intolerance of women, cabinet ministers with warped views on what rape is AND an active dislike of LGBT communities, why exactly would anyone vote for him?! (Rich white men excluded- we get why you'd vote for him!).

Right well that tis all for now, have a great evening/ rest of the weekend. 

Monday, 22 October 2012

Tips & Recipes From The UN-Domestic Goddess: Hasselback Potatoes

Wow, I promised to put this up a loooooong time ago - sorry about that! But as the cold weather is closing in (is everyone going to hate me if I hope for this to happen really soon?), I'm gifting you with the perfect accompaniment to every autumn/winter dish you want to cook this year.

They are simple, look fancy and are stunningly delicious - without further ado, here's my recipe for Swedish roast hasselback potatoes.

What you'll need:

  • 1 medium-sized potato per person
  • A small amount of the following:
  1. Olive oil
  2. Butter
  3. Garlic cloves
  4. Pepper

See, easy enough, right? You can add on lots of different things, but I'll talk about that at the end.

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C (425 degrees F). Wash the potatoes thoroughly, but do not peel. Place on a chopping board flat side down, and make incisions from one end of the potato to the other, almost the whole way through, but so the potato holds together at the bottom. These cuts should be about half a thumbnail apart (we use really scientific measurements here in Laura's kitchen).

Step 2: Slice the garlic thinly, and scatter them between the potato slits. Spread butter on top of the potatoes, drizzle olive oil on them, season with salt and pepper, and stick them on a baking tray in the oven.

Step 3: Bake for 40 minutes, or until they are golden brown on the outside, and soft on the inside.

You can eat these on their own, with melted cheese and bacon, or with pretty much anything you'd put in a normal baked potato!

(Seen here with Laura's gorganzola stuffed, bacon wrapped chicken)
Bon appetit!!

Sunday, 21 October 2012

What's Happening Hot Stuff - 21st October 2012

What's Happening, Hot Stuff??

This week has been a busy one, at least for us! Our week started with a trip to Harrods to find a Baby Shower gift for Laura's cousin. Why is it that this kind of well planned trips never go to plan?! Our arrival was well executed, the distraction caused by Harrod's Christmas World was not. Nor was getting dazed and confused in the incredibly expensive baby department. Or the amazing smelling food department! However, after 2 hours we made a final decision on the cutest, softest puppy we could find that had a little tag on it saying 'My Fist Harrods Puppy'. Soooooooooooo cute we wanted to keep him!

On Tuesday we had the Michael Jackson Immortal Cirque Du Soleil show for Laura's birthday. Check out her review here:

On Wednesday we met up with Susie from and her girlfriend Natalie. We headed to Nando's in Soho and had a great couple of hours getting to know each other. In some ways meeting people who have blogs is a huge positive because you feel like you kind of know them, but then you have to avoid presumption and that can be hard! Thankfully our presumption that these girls were a couple we'd like was correct! In fact once we hit the topic of travel, we were really on the same page. Although we had been to a lot of the same countries we had been to different parts and combining our experiences made for a really interesting and fun evening.

We also saw a number of images around London that made us smile in the middle of our hectic-ness so we thought we'd share:
LOVING Urbo advertising campaign, how very diverse!
Check out there's 75 stations named in this image!!
Then there was the random spotting of John Goodman:

Oh and Sarah made a friend on the tube - trying to sneak a photo of his amazing hat, he spotted her and came over to take a photo of her with the hat and perform a few magic trips!

Laura's cousin's baby shower was a success and Sarah managed to take home the prize from Pass The Parcel - the present was gratefully received.

In What's Happening outside of us - well did you see the latest Twitter hashtag called #SignsYoSonIsGay. Originally used as a derogatory anti-gay tweet it was quickly picked up the gay community and it's meaning redefined:
Washington state is 3 weeks away from voting on marriage rights laws and according to most recent polls 54 per cent of state voters are in favour of same-sex marriage. Called Referendum 74, the ballot is to uphold or not uphold marriage equality in the state after it was signed into law earlier this year. Due to receiving more than 120,577 signatures from registered Washington voters the law has been put to a state wide vote. Lets hope it equality wins!

But in France the debate about authorising gay marriage has been postponed. This would mean that debates will go into 2013 but with 65% of the population in support of Gay Marriage lets hope the President continues on his path to pass the law to allow gay marriage.

Here in the UK, Twitter was also front page news for another reason. It was used by the BNP leader to share the address of a gay couple who won a law suit against a Christian B&B that had stopped them sharing a bed. The BNP leader said that a 'justice' team were on their way to remind an 'English couple's home is their castle'. Ah homophobia, just awful!!

Talking about Homophobia check out ALL this video, if only there were more people like this:

We have also read a fair about of shocking news coming from the States - with gay rights being a hot topic on the agenda there is so much coming out in the news. On September the 21st a female soldier killed in combat and the plight of her partner showed exactly how far behind the army are when it comes to equality, even with end of DADT. The article is HERE! If you haven't got time the shocking points raised in the article are that for gay couples DOMA means that the soldier's same sex partner:

  • Could never use the commissary to do the grocery shopping where food is marked just 5 percent above wholesale.
  • Was never covered under her partners Tricare medical insurance.
  • They never received the Basic Allowance for Housing stipend essential to many male-female couples in securing housing.
  • They couldn't go to base-sponsored picnics and events.
  • They couldn't get any assistance relocating with her wife to a new duty station, including overseas.
  • Once at a new base they would not have qualified for employment or education assistance.
  • They did not qualify for free legal service.
  • If she were ever a victim of spousal abuse and the 'survivor' effects of PTSD, she could not go to family advocacy or spousal abuse centers.
  • She will not receive any survivor benefits.

Just awful!!

And when it comes to Romney, this close to the elections the soundbites coming thick and fast. We know he is staunchly opposed to gay marriage BUT now he wants us to know that allowing same-sex couples to visit in hospital is a benefit not a civil-right!!! It was only 2 years ago mandated that all hospitals treat same-sex couples the same as heterosexual couples and Romney already wants to stop it! Thankfully Obamacare includes Obama's original stance.

In other Romney news it looks like he is struggling to keep his Mormon supporters on side. In a recent article in the Salt Lake Tribune (published in Utah, the MOST Mormon of States) they highlighted that Romney's flip-flopping has caused them to re-evaluate exactly what they should vote for in a presidential candidate. The article looks at both candidates and comes to the conclusion that Romney just can't be trusted! It even goes as far as saying that Obama has made a good start at fixing Bush's mess! Check it out here: Tribune Endorsement: Too Many Mitts!

We shall finish on another piece of good to hear news - Anne Hathaway is donating any money made from the sale of her wedding photos to Freedom to Marry, a pro-gay marriage charity. Not only is Anne beautiful, funny and clever, she is a great advocate as her parts in some of the biggest films in the last few years get her plenty of publicity. This quote that we recently came across really makes her stand out as a positive role model!

Courtesy of Legalize Love

Have a great week!

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Michael Jackson Immortal: What a Thriller!!

My love of Michael Jackson started young. Before I was even born, in fact. And that's not an exaggeration - my parents took me to an MJ concert when I was in the womb. Rumor has it they saw me moonwalking in my ultrasound. Okay, that last bit isn't true, but while a lot of babies had to listen to classical music in the belly, I was rocking out to Billy Jean and Dirty Diana.

MJ holds some of my best ever memories - like when I was four or so years old, was supposed to be in bed, but I instead was sat at the top of the stairs, past my bedtime, as my dad was watching Michael Jackson music videos. When he noticed I was there (because I was scooching down the stairs on my bum), I got to sit on the couch and watch them with him, past my bedtime, try my first sip of beer, and eat potato chips with my Dad. Wonderful.

My parents used to play his albums in the car, and we had the three disk 'HIStory' album, with all of my favourite songs on it. I couldn't even count how many times I've listened to it.

When I was a bit older, and he was in the press with people accusing him of things, I half-wrote letters to him telling him that not everyone was against him, and I still loved him. I didn't ever send them though, in case he didn't know that people were angry with him - I didn't want to be the one to tell him.

So when I heard  about the 'This Is It' Tour, I HAD to go. It was the culmination of all my great childhood memories with my favourite artist - it was going to be incredible. With the help of my wonderful Mum spending hours on the ticket website as I was at work when they went onsale, Sarah and I managed to get two tickets - and it was all I thought about for months.

When Michael died, I was in the hospital, quaranteened for possible swine flu. When they finally let me out hours later, Sarah told me - and it was so much worse than my impending descent into... pig-dom. *spoiler, I lived*

I cried for days. I watched the MJ music videos countdown for an entire weekend and just sobbed. Our tickets were only a month into his tour dates. One month. We were sure he'd make it to then, even if he was too exhausted to complete the entire tour.

SIDE NOTE: This is a hell of a lot of back story to my post about the birthday present Sarah got me, but I thought it important to let you all know how incredibly much this present meant to me.

Love xo
So, when Sarah got me tickets to see Michael Jackson Immortal, Cirque du Soleil's MJ tribute, at the O2, I could have cried. Actually, I did cry. She is the most amazing gift giver I could ever have asked for.

I tried hard to get tickets to this show, but they were all sold out. So how she managed to get such AMAZING tickets, I will never know!!

I got to leave work early to head to the O2 - we met on the tube, and rode out. There was such a buzz in the air at the O2 - it was full of fans like us who had tickets to Michael's show - and were there to pay tribute.

At dinner (TGI's, woot!) we got to have our picture taken with a very authentic look-a-like, who really got us excited about the show.

When it started, it was a very cleverly done mix of circus, acrobatics, and dance - based around Michael's Neverland Ranch. The first song was 'Have You Seen My Childhood?', complete with a ferris wheel, whimsical creatures and MJ's monkey - and that was it, I was in floods of tears already!

Of course, as it is Cirque du Soleil, it was always going to be a little... 'alternative' -  but once they got to the big numbers, a few minutes in, it was just incredible.

Song after song, hit after hit - I'm proud to say I knew every single song they did! With tons of acrobatics, palm sweating moments, and a man who can do WAY more with just one leg than most of the other dancers could with two, it was such an amazing show.

It was packed full of all our favourite songs, and tributes to some of Michael's best music videos. Some of our favourites were 'Thriller' - by the way, thanks to a friend in high school, I am proud to say I know all the dance moves to this song!! - with ghosts, ghouls, mummies, and giant bats - 'Heal The World' with lots of light up hearts and acrobatic dancers with fairy light costumes, and 'They Don't Really Care About Us' where they brought the armoured soldiers to life.

And of course, us being us, could relate the whole thing to equality. MJ's songs were about love, peace, treating everyone and everything fairly, equally, regardless of race, wealth, or sexual preference.

Michael Jackson Immortal was an incredible tribute to the King of Pop - and one of my personal heroes. MJ lived his life under extreme scrutiny and judgement - and still managed to have such a positive and idealistic view of the world and the people in it. He also made some kick ass music.

Definitely go see the show if you get the chance - you won't regret it! Thanks Sarah for helping me realise one of my dreams - this is the closest I will ever get to seeing the great Michael Jackson in concert.