Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Missing England

Just lately, I am missing England more than usual.  I think it's because I haven't been back there in 4 years and the chance of getting back there within the next 2 are looking very slim :(  I'm trying to get my Mum, Step Dad, Brother and Sister over for Christmas which would be so, so great!  I also think my best friend who I have known since I was 7 is coming over for New Years Eve!  She will be bringing her new Husband and baby Alfie with her who I haven't had the pleasure of meeting yet!  I'm so excited about that!  It seems soooo far away though!

My ramblings today are going to include some pictures of some of my favorite things from England to give you more of an idea of where I am from.

Below is the town I grew up in, Newquay.  It's on the South West coast of England and has a population of about 22,000 people! (In the summer this goes up to about 100,000)  There are 10 beaches and this is why I miss the beach so much!  When I was growing up, I don't think I took advantage of the beach enough because I saw it every day.  Now I don't, I wish I was there!  I wish I had gone down to the beaches every day!

Newquay Coastline

When you talk about England, you HAVE to include a pub!  This was the place to go in Newquay, whether it be for a quick lunch and a glass of wine with friends, a morning cup of coffee, or a girls night out.  We were here, a lot!
  Next comes food (of course!)  I have a list of things that I am going to eat as soon as I get there.  In fact, if the person who picks me up from the airport could bring all of the below with them, I would be eternally grateful!  I'm thinking they may have to roll me back on the plane though!!

A traditional English breakfast.  Sausage, Bacon, Fried Bread, Fried Egg, Mushrooms, Baked Beans, Tomatoes, Black Pudding. It makes me want to lick the computer screen.
The famous Cornish Pasty.  Shortcrust pastry filled with steak, onions, potatoes and suede, sprinkled with lots of black pepper.  The trick is to eat it before the seagulls steal it from your hands.
PROPER fish and chips!!!  I probably miss this the most!!!  I have tried to recreate it but have failed.  It just doesn't taste the same.  And on a side note, A BIG FAT YUCK to Long John Silvers.
This my friends is quite possibly the best chocolate bar ever known to man, woman, or child.  In fact ANY Cadbury's chocolate makes me salivate.  My Husband will no longer eat American chocolate.  Cadbury's is not the same here...  I don't know why the recipe would be different, but it is :(

That's all I can remember for right now!  If there are any English people reading this who happen to have the perfect fish and chip recipe from back home, PLEASE, PLEASE let me know!  You will seriously make my life complete!

Friday, May 4, 2012

My parenting journey so far

Half way through my pregnancy, I decided that I was going to be an awesome Mum and I was going to have an unbelievably awesome child (which I do by the way).  My Son wasn't going to have a pacifier, timeout was going to be completely unnecessary, he wasn't going to go through his terrible two's (haha), I would be the most patient Mum on the planet and would take everything in my stride, he wasn't going to be bribed with things to be good, he was going to be eating an extremely healthy diet, filled with lot's of different fruits and vegetables and a whole load of other insane naivety.

This is how it REALLY went. Within the first 4 weeks of being born, I was gently coaxing him to take the pacifier (that he didn't actually like all that much) he got used to it, but then at 3 months, decided absolutely not.  I'm grateful, but also quite sad sometimes.

In the past couple of months I have found that timeout has been ABSOLUTELY necessary, even though it has absolutely no effect.  In fact, if he knew what the middle finger was for, he would definitely be using it.  It's all a fun game at 18 months.

I am a lot more patient than I expected, but man, that child tests it often.  Again with the games.  We have a morning ritual at the moment (baring in mind that we are living with my Parents at the moment and it's not AS child friendly as our previous house was) he wakes up and comes into the living room, I watch his eyes spy the ornaments on the shelf, he edges his way over, flat against the wall, looking at me with this big F U grin.  I start saying no, he grabs it and runs down the hallway, like a bat out of hell.  I chase him, as soon as I get within 2 feet, he pitches it across the room and shouts "bye, bye, bye" whilst waving and running in the other direction. He moves his way around the house doing this with the bookshelf the trashcan, the dog bowl and whatever else he can see that he knows he is not supposed to touch. This is the start of the terrible twos that I was so adamant he was not going to have. Is that a grey hair I see?

The healthy diet that I dreamed about has also gone south.  To start with, he liked most vegetables, if he didn't, I could quite easily disguise them and he would be none the wiser.  He will not eat ANYTHING that looks even remotely like a vegetable.  I tried to hide peas in mash potato the other day.  He sucks all the mash potato off and throws the peas across the room.  He has also learned how to say cookie, which is totally my fault.  Remember when I said there was to be no bribery?  Yup.  I bribed him with a cookie to come inside and now that's all he says when he's hungry (Well he points at the cupboard and says "key? key? key? over and over again).  Luckily though, he loves fruit.  He's totally addicted to sausage too.

As much as I complain sometimes about the stuff that was bound to happen!  I would never have it any other way.  You can't stay mad at him for long, he is absolutely hilarious at times.  I guess he also has my genes which I so can't be angry with him about. lol.

Not the best quality picture...

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Oreo Love

The other night my Aunt was talking about a recipe that she loves to make when Mint Oreos are in stores.  They sounded so good that we immediately rushed to the store to buy the ingredients!  I can't actually tell you what she calls them (although you might get an idea when you look at the pictures in a minute)  so just for your viewing pleasure and to keep them rated G for everyone, I have boringly renamed them Mint Oreo Truffles.

A ball of minty, delicious, sickly goodness

They truly are delicious.  They are VERY sickly.  I never, ever say this because I have the ability to happily eat the most sickliest things on the planet when other people are sitting there going green around the gills, but I could only eat one of these.  I think if I made them again, I would make them much smaller!!

All you need is:

2 packs of Mint Oreos
2 packs of softened Cream Cheese (The rectangle packs)
1 package of White Chocolate or Vanilla Almond Bark
1 package of Milk or Dark Chocolate Almond Bark

Put the cream cheese in a large bowl and crush all the oreos, we did it by hand but it probably would have been easier using a ziplock bag and a rolling pin!  Mix it all together until it look something like this:

Any clues on what the real name is yet?

In 2 separate pans, over a very low heat, melt the almond bark until smooth.

Roll the oreo mixture into balls (I did them the size of golf balls, you may want to roll them smaller than that!) and using a spoon (because the almond bark is hot!) dip each ball into the almond bark, alternating between white a dark and place them on a wax paper lined cookie sheet.

Put them in the freezer until the chocolate hardens and you are good to go!

If you have any problems finding almond bark like I did!  Then I suggest you look in either Walmart or Michaels!  They are the only places that I have ever seen this!

Let me know how they turn out!

~ Tasha

Friday, April 27, 2012

Another awesome giveaway!

If you head on over to Mystique Uniques, they are throwing a 100 fan celebration and are giving away a diaper bag loaded with goodies!  Good luck! (Ends 05/09)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Simple Skincare Review and Giveaway!!

There are a large number of things that I used to either use, eat, drink, wear or watch in England that I miss so, so much.  I am always SO excited when a product (or something that falls into the above categories) that I used to use becomes available in the US!  First it was Crunchy Nut Cornflakes and now it's Simple Skincare products!  Seriously, this girl right here is ecstatic! I am even more ecstatic that Unilever agreed to work with me and provided me with a skincare package to review for my readers!

Simple products are suitable for all skin types, especially for those, like me, who have sensitive skin.  They have have no dyes, artificial perfumes or harsh irritants that can upset your skin.  All products in the Simple range are hypoallergenic, non comedogenic and pH balanced.

I was lucky enough to receive their Moisturizing Facial Wash which cleanses and nourishes skin.  It has added vitamins - Pro-Vitamin B5 and Vitamin E, Bisabolol which is known to have anti-irritant, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties and is 100% soap free which means no drying of the skin!

Also their Smoothing Facial Scrub which contains rice granules to gently exfoliate and reveal brighter and more evenly textured skin.  It also contains Pro-Vitamin B5 and Vitamin E. Leaves your skin feeling completely moisturized.

Finally, I was able to test their Soothing Facial Toner which leaves your skin feeling clean and refreshed, unlike many other toners, this is 100% alcohol free.  It contains skin loving ingredients - Chamomile,Witch Hazel and Allantoin.

Again, I absolutely love these products and have never had any problems whilst using them.  As I have mentioned before, I have REALLY sensitive skin and have had since I was a teenager.  I used these products religiously and they did not irritate my skin at all (which is very unusual!)

Simple Products are available now at mass retailers, select drugstores and supermarkets nationwide.  The products are very good value for money.  You will not regret buying them!

You can check out their whole line of products on their website where you can also get a skin health consultation and tips from their expert advisor!

The awesome folks over at Unilever have VERY kindly agreed to give one lucky reader the opportunity to win their very own skincare package to try out for themselves!  The package will consist of 1 150ml bottle of Moisturizing Facial Wash, 1 150ml bottle of Smoothing Facial Scrub and 1 200ml bottle of Soothing Facial Toner!

Please enter below on the Rafflecopter widget. Open to residents of the US only.  You must be over the age of 18. The winner will be selected at random on May 7th at 12.01am and will have 48 hours to respond.  Please read the full terms and conditions located at the bottom of the entry form.


Monday, April 23, 2012

Recipe - Coconut Macaroons

Just lately, I have had a craving for all things coconut. Last week I made a pie that my Brother in Laws Mother created called Fat Ass Pie, which features coconut and pecans. Stupid me did not take any pictures but I can guarantee (judging by the reaction of my family) that I will most definitely be making it again! When I do, I will put the recipe up! It is absolutely delicious!!! 

This week, I decided on Coconut Macaroons. A friend in England gave me a recipe a long time ago and it has been my go to macaroon recipe ever since! They are nicely sized, perfectly crispy on the outside and deliciously chewy on the inside. You won't just be able to eat just one! (Well, I couldn't anyway...) This is how they turned out! 

Here's what you need to make them!

This is to make 24 macaroons, you can cut it in half if you prefer, but you will wish you hadn't!

1 and 1/3rd of a cup of all purpose flour
11 cups sweetened, flaked coconut
2 14oz cans of sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
1 tablespoon of almond extract
1/2 a teaspoon of salt

Mix the flour salt and coconut together in a large bowl. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and then pour in the condensed milk.  Stir well so that the milk coats everything and the extracts are evenly distributed.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and using an ice cream scoop or large spoon, divide the mixture into 24 balls.  Bake in the oven for around about 30 minutes at 350 degrees until the coconut is toasted!  Keep an eye on them in the last 10 minutes or so, because they tend to go from toasted to burnt quite quickly!

You can eat these warm or cold and if you wanted to jazz them up a little, you could even add chocolate chips into the mix or maybe some chopped almonds :)  Either way, they taste sooooo good!

I hope you enjoy them!! Let me know how they turn out!


Sunday, April 22, 2012


I finally worked out how to use gimp!  What do you think of the new design?  Can you see anything that needs to be changed?  I am also loving the new picnik which is now PicMonkey! I managed to make an awesome button really quickly!

I am going to post a couple of recipes this evening too as soon as I find the lead for my camera...

Friday, April 20, 2012

Upcoming Giveaway!

I am just about ready to rip my hair out over the new design for my blog.  I swear, I have been messing with it for 2 weeks now and it does NOT look the way I want it to.  I have read so many tutorials that I'm about to go cross eyed.  I'm using Gimp and it's not doing what I want it to! Haha.  Can ANYONE recommend another program to use that's straight forward?  I don't have Photoshop!  I would be forever in your debt!!

On a brighter note!!  I have just received some exciting news from a company!  They are sending me some products to review and they are also going to provide a giveaway!!  I can't wait!  My very first giveaway!  Watch this space!  Details will be provided within the next week!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Still dreaming of riches

Well, unfortunately I didn't win the lottery.  CAN. YOU. BELIEVE. THIS. CRAP. THOUGH?  The Maryland lottery winner lives 10 freakin' miles away!  We all just about had a heart attack when they announced that the winner was in Baltimore County!  Soooooo close.  I know I shouldn't be jealous, but damn! So, yes.  Today I am still dreaming of riches.  I refuse to give up!  Even after reading all the statistics that really don't put any odds in my favor AT ALL!  (People just trying to rain on my parade I think!)  I'm a glass half full kinda person, so I have to think that one day I will get lucky! Haha.

Anyway.  Today I am going to be redesigning my blog.  I have downloaded a bunch of stuff and am in the middle of playing around with it, so we shall see how it looks later!  If anyone is reading this, do you know of any really good blogger design tutorials?  Or, a good site for graphics that can be used on a blog?

Friday, March 30, 2012

Dreaming of Riches

All day long pretty much everyone in the USA has been deciding what they are going to do with $640 million dollars WHEN their numbers get drawn this evening.  I am one of them.  It's gonna be me!  I can feel it!  I frantically called my Hubby this morning (who is staying with a friend back in the town we just moved from finishing up a job) to tell him to make sure he bought lottery tickets!  Even if it was $5 worth!  (I always dream about winning the lottery, but never actually play...  So I figured this time I probably should!)  My family have bought quite a few too and we have all been seriously planning on what we would do.  It's quite funny really because we ARE convinced!  I have a feeling there are going to be some very upset people tomorrow!  IF you don't hear from me tomorrow though it is because I am on a private jet to St Croix!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Back in the swing of things...

I have stepped away from blogging for a few months for a variety of reasons.  The first was that I seemed to be stuck.  I read too many 'blogging 101's' and tutorials etc and while they were extremely helpful, they made me start to seriously doubt myself!  They all told me that I should pick a 'niche' and stick to it.  I wasn't sure if I could do that!  I mean the main point of my blog is that I am a new Mom living in a new country, but I can't write about JUST that!  I like to cook, I like to save money, I like to enter competitions and searching for freebies. I like to complain every now and then, I like to laugh,  I like to google extremely random stuff, I like crafts and a BUNCH of other things. So,  I have decided to say screw it!  I'm just going to go with it and write about what I want to write about and see where this takes me!  I am going to redesign the blog though, lol.  OCD apparently.

The other reason is a lot has been happening in my life just lately.  We have not being doing all that well financially and we have recently all moved in with my parents until we can get back on our feet.  It's a big change and we are just beginning to settle in and adapt. It's not the ideal situation but I think it's going to work out just fine. Hopefully the new chapter in our lives that this is going to lead to, is going to be a very positive one!

You heard it here first.  I am making a public vow to blog at least 3 times per week from here on out.  Even if I am just blogging for me!  (Unless of course something crazy happens and all my fingers fall off.  THAT would suck.)