Currently: November 2014



I started this before I went to Dubai last month, but left it at home as I only wanted to take my Kindle and this is a paperback. I finally picked it up again yesterday and am currently trying to remind myself who everybody is and what’s going on. It’s not as good as some of JoJo Moyes’ other books that I’ve read, so far.


Nothing really. Must put some CDs into my car.



Am sad that the second series of Wentworth Prison has finished – I really enjoyed it – it’s a world away from the original Prisoner Cell Block H, which it was loosely based on – great characters and gritty, realistic storylines. Looking forward to the next series now.

Also enjoying the BBC series The Missing, with James Nesbitt, though I was quite surprised to read that there are still another four episodes to go – I hope there’s enough content to merit that many.



Lots of lip balm as I have terribly dry lips in the winter. My favourites are Carmex Original Formula and Roche-Posay Cicaplast

 Frequently Worn Outfits/Items

bk422112_isWinter boots. Just bought myself a new pair of black ankle boots to replace a pair that I LIVED in last winter and have finally bitten the dust.


Casseroles with mashed potato and green veg. Ashley made a yummy beef bourgignon last weekend, and it was so nice, he made another this weekend!


A lot of tea – mostly builders, but sometimes Earl Grey or Chai in the afternoon.


Christmas shopping. Oh, how I hate it.


Fab night out at our local Indian on Saturday. Five couples and six teenagers. We met when the kids all started school together back in 2004 and although we don’t get together often, we always have a really nice evening when we do. It was the first time the kids had joined us, and a good time was had by all. We ended up back at ours for coffee and I think we eventually got to bed just after 2 am!


Christmas, I guess. I’m usually a bit meh about Christmas, but it’s the first one in our new house, and I’m looking forward to decorating and putting the tree up, particularly as we didn’t bother last year, as we were in the midst of packing to move house.


SD_01_T01_8658_T0_X_EC_90Oooh, all sorts, but in particular this gorgeous fleecy cape/coat from M&S which I spied in store last week.

Random Thought

Why have so many eBay buyers bought stuff and not paid yet? Grrrr.


Recipe: Spicy Mid-Week Mince

I try new recipes on my lot on almost a weekly basis and, fussy devils that they are, it’s rare that one gets as much of a thumbs up as this cobbled-together-from-leftovers meal did last week.   William even went so far as to say it was one of the nicest things I’d cooked for a long time – praise indeed!

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • Minced meat, approx 500g (I used half beef and half pork, as I had them both leftover from making meatballs the previous day)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 inch of ginger root, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 chilli, finely chopped.
  • A good squirt of tomato puree
  • 4 tbsp mild curry paste (I used korma paste)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 a can of coconut milk – approx 200ml
  • Couple of handfuls of frozen peas


  1. Heat a tbsp of oil in a pan and saute onions for a few mins.  Add garlic, ginger, cumin seeds and curry paste and fry for another minute or two.
  2. Add mince and fry on high until it’s browned, then add the sugar, the tomato puree and half the coconut milk.  Mix well, turn the heat down and simmer for 15 mins or so.
  3. Five minutes before serving, add the rest of the coconut milk and the peas.
  4. Serve with rice or naan or a mixture of both.
  5. Eat.  Enjoy.


Journal Jar Q44. Have You Inherited Any of Your Father’s Traits?

The short answer to this question is no, I don’t think I have.  When I think about it more, though, perhaps I do have some similarities to my father.  I am more like my Mum than I am my Dad, both physically and, I think, in characteristics.

As I get older, I can hear myself saying the same things, in the same tone of voice, to Will, as my Mum used to say to me when I was a teenager.  I can also see the physical similarities between us when I catch sight of my face at certain angles.

My mum and I share the same temper – we blow up, get it off our chest, and get over it, all very quickly.  Neither of us are ones to sulk or to hold a grudge.

I am a very organised and methodical person, and I think I inherit these traits from both my parents.

It’s interesting to wonder how much of your personality and characteristics is inbuilt/inherited and how much is learnt from our upbringing.

For example, both myself and my brother are hard workers, always have been, always will be – I feel like this is probably more due to the example set to us by our parents during our formative years.   And I wonder if the fact that our parents are still married to each other (as are both our spouses’ parents), is related to the fact that Nick and I are both still happily married.  I mean, it’s not just luck, is it, marriage?  It’s not all a bed of roses, and if you are both happy to accept that there will be ups and downs, and that marriage is something that needs working at, then you’re more likely to pull together to make it work, I guess, than if one or both of you have come from a broken home (to use an expression I dislike), hence making separation/divorce more acceptable, somehow.

I seem to have waffled on and got myself totally off the subject I started on!  Reading back through I’ve sort of answered the question.  I found it quite a hard one, to be honest.

Back tomorrow with something a bit less deep – a beauty vlog!  See you then x




Life Last Week #6

Oh my goodness, how did we end up more than halfway through November?  I can’t believe that it’s only a matter of weeks until Christmas ….

Last week was another crazy busy one and went by in a flash, once again.

Nothing very exciting happened – just the usual juggling of work, home, unsuccessful furniture shopping, appointments, social things and life in general.  The weather was mostly wet and blowy.

I did make a start on my Christmas shopping, thank goodness – all online as usual.  I don’t know how I ever lived without online shopping, I honestly don’t.  Life has changed so dramatically since the inception of the internet and, although without doubt it’s an amazing thing and generally nothing but positive, I often wish William could have experienced life without it – things were just so much simpler and slower then.

Bloody hell, talk about sounding middle-aged!  *Administers sharp slap to self*

My broadband connection was (and still is) very sporadic and I wouldn’t like to count the number of hours I spent on the phone to BT’s ‘help’desk in India.  They are sending an engineer tomorrow, so hopefully it will be resolved.

I did my first round of the charity shops in aaages, and picked up a couple of pairs of shoes.  Also some Rimmel bargains from Poundland.

Ashley was in London on Friday evening for a conference, and I had visions of a cosy evening in front of the TV with William.  In actual fact, I sat by myself in the lounge with a glass of wine for most of it, and Will only emerged from his bedroom for long enough to order and eat Domino’s pizza, before returning to his XBox.  Charming!

Saturday night we went out with friends for a meal to Michael Caines’ restaurant in Exeter – the food was very average, but the evening was fun.  Here’s a rare selfie with my outfit of choice for the evening.

Sunday morning brought showers, so rather than get up and go to the bootsale, I snuggled back down in my bed – lovely!  I took Ashley to see a potential sofa that I’d seen while he was away, that I liked – unsurprisingly, he didn’t like it!  I think I may order it anyway, though, as I haven’t seen anything else I like, and time is marching on.

I finished all my crochet snowflakes this week – I have really enjoyed making these, and now just have to decide how I’m going to display them at Christmas – so many options …

And that was another week over …

How was your’s?


That’s My Boy!


Conversation with William after I picked him up early from school for a hospital appointment:

Me: ‘What lessons are you missing this afternoon, Will?’
Will: ‘English and something else – I can’t remember’.
Me: ‘Why can’t you remember? Don’t you know your timetable by now?’
Will: ‘No, I have people for that sort of thing.’
Me: ‘Errr, people? Who?’
Will: ‘Lewis, Alex … and Jamie, sometimes’.
Me: ‘So how come all your school mates know what your timetable is, but you don’t?’
Will: ‘My mind is on higher things, Mother.’

50 Before 50 Update

I thought it was about time to do a brief update on how I’m progressing with my 50 Before 50 list - and a good way of concentrating my mind on where I’m at and the things I want to look at doing next.

The first section was Health& Fitness, and I haven’t made a start on any of these yet – I’m thinking that the New Year might be a good time to think about this section again.

Next section was Friends & Family, and I have made a little bit of progress here, I’m pleased to say.

8.  Once a year trip with my mum – I’ve booked up our annual trip to London towards the end of January, so we’re looking forward to that.

Next is ‘Just for Fun’.

16.  Go to the cinema 50 times – I’ve been once so far, but have plans to see a couple of other films later on this month, too.

17.  Try 100 different cheeses – I’m up to 11 and counting.  Yum – I love this one.

22.  Send flowers to somebody when it isn’t a special occasion.  Completed in September 2014 – sent to my Mum.

Next section, ‘A Bit Scary’, I haven’t yet started on.

‘Travel and Experiences’ has seen a bit of action recently.

28.   Go to a country I’ve never been to before.  Ticked this one off with our recent trip to the United Arab Emirates, Oct 2014.

32.   Go to the top of the tallest building in the world.  Yep, here’s me at the top of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, 1.11.14.


Under the ‘Home’ Section:

22.  Build and decorate our home cinema room – this is currently in progress, and Ashley tells me it will be completed by Christmas.  I must say I have my doubts!

‘Projects’ is next.

38.  Finish my Journal Jar questions.  I’ve done two so far of the 39 still outstanding, so only 37 more blog posts to write!

42.  Complete three months of the Photo A Day challenge – I’m on track for November so far.  You can follow me on Instagram @caroline_mrsm to see my pics.

No progress with the ‘Learning’ section yet.

And the final section is ‘Giving’.

49.  Give 25 Kiva loans – I’m up to 10.

51.  Donate to 50 charities – 7 so far.


So, not a huge amount of progress, but some, which can only be a good thing, right?

The next few goals I”m going to look at are.

50.   Give blood – I want to get this one crossed off, as it’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time but am totally not looking forward to at all.

48.   Emergency first aid course – I need to research this to find out more about dates and locations.

44.   Crochet an African flower blanket – I’ve made a start on this, and the long winter evenings are a perfect time for a bit of crochet, I reckon.

30.   Visit 20 local attractions – a bit of planning and research for interesting places to go is in order for this one.


I’m really enjoying this list of goals.  Because I gave myself the best part of four years to finish the list, I don’t feel any major time pressure, and it’s lovely to have a list to refer back to of things that I want do, all in one place.  And of course the satisfaction as I tick items off the list is great, too!