Thursday 28 January 2021

Monsoon Rose Gold Perfume

Whilst in the midst of lockdown season three, I’ve been making a point to try and get ‘ready’ for work in the mornings. As a Corporate Broker much of my time before lockdown was spent in an office, be it mine or a client’s office. Since March 2020 however, I’ve been working from home, and the motions of putting on a full face of makeup, doing my hair and getting dressed up just feels a bit… pointless.


Unless I have a video call literally no one sees me, and even in the case of video calls, they are normally for a specific purpose and therefore there is prior notice. Just because the sentiment of dressing up for a day’s work doesn’t hold the same value doesn’t mean that I don’t want to do anything at all.


One thing I’ve found myself doing is trying out different scents, and I’ve found the Monsoon Rose Gold, which I received as a Christmas gift to be a firm favourite of mine. I can be a little particular about scents sometimes, but certainly find myself siding towards fruity and citrus based scents, which is exactly what you’ll find in this perfume. Along with fresh mandarin, rich vanilla and amber, this truly is a lovely scent.


A factor that is equally important to me as well as scent is the longevity of a perfume. I don’t like to be having to top up perfumes or makeup throughout the day, and working from home hasn’t changed that. Not only does the scent last all day, I tend to spray toward my hairline on the back of my neck and behind each ear and find that the scent lingers in my hair for as much as a few days.


In addition to a fabulous scent, the bottle itself is simple and attractive, and looks great on any vanity. The tear drop shaped glass bottle allows you to see the beautiful rose gold tone of the perfume, with the name of the perfume on the front of the bottle in a gorgeous rose gold text. Using the same rose gold shade is the gold collar, which is topped off with a simple clear cap.


The stunning scent combined with a simplistic design has promoted this perfume to one of my first favourites.


Have you tried Monsoon Rose Gold?


Tuesday 26 January 2021

Pulled Pork Sausage Rolls

Hello and welcome to what was supposed to be a Blogmas post! I’m not sure why this one didn’t get posted, as it was all ready to go, but it didn’t. It crossed my mind the other day when I made another batch of these delicious pulled pork sausage rolls, and I’ve decided the recipe is just too good not to share! This one is for when you have a little more prep time on your hands. These sausage rolls are packed full of slow cooked barbeque pulled pork and are probably my favourite recipe to make (and eat) at the moment.


The pulled pork is cooked in a slow cooker over a series of 6-8 hours, so this is something you will need to set aside some time for – not that you need to actually do anything for much of that time so it’s actually a very straight forward recipe to do.

You will need;


Boneless Pork Shoulder – Approximately 1.4kg in weight but you can get away with a little more if preferred


x2 Ready roll puff pastry


x2 packs of Schwatz slow cooker pulled pork flavouring


8 fluid ounces of tomato ketchup


2 fluid ounces of barbeque sauce


4 table spoons of brown sugar


6 table spoons of white wine vinegar or cider vinegar (I used white wine)


For the pulled Pork you will need to combine your tomato sauce, barbeque sauce, sugar, vinegar and flavour packs into a bowl and stir well to combine. I would recommend putting your wet ingredients into a bowl first and then stirring the dry ingredients in. You may have noticed my ingredient list included two flavour packs. That’s because I personally like strong, rich flavours. If you prefer something a little more subtle, feel free to half the amounts of everything listed above, but use the same amount of pork.


Once you have combined your mixture in a bowl, place your pork into the slow cooker making sure to remove any excess packaging and string. You can trim some of the fat away from the meat and discard prior to this, however I prefer to keep the fat as it melts into the meat and helps build the flavour.


Pour your mixture over the pork and set your slow cooker to your desired setting – you’ll need about 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low. Given how little preparation is required for the mixture you could easily do this in the morning before leaving for work, as most slow cookers switch to a warming setting after they have finished their designated cooking time.


When your pork has cooked for the time set, carefully lift it out of the slow cooker using two forks and set it on a chopping board. The meat should be extremely tender by now so you can use your forks to pull and shred the meat apart. This is easy to do but might take some time due to the large amount of pork. Once done return to the slow cooker and give it a stir to make sure your sauce is mixed through the pork. Then pop it back on low and leave it for an hour or two.


Your pulled pork is now cooked and ready to go into your rolls! However, it will need to be cooled prior to going into the pastry. I transferred my pork into a large bowl, covered it and set it in the fridge for a few hours to cool. It doesn’t have to be cold, but hot pulled pork will make the pasty difficult to work with.


Once the pork is cool, simply roll out the puff pastry, which is easiest done while the pastry is cold as well – but not frozen if you have sorted in a freezer. Once the pastry is unrolled spoon out the pulled pork and arrange in a sausage shape along the pastry. From here you can use the baking paper to help you roll the pastry around the pulled pork.


Make sure to pinch along the join line to ensure the sausage roll won’t fall apart, and make sure that the join point is at the bottom of the roll so it is less likely to split apart during cooking. Once you are satisfied with your sausage shape simply cut your sausage rolls to the desired size, score the top of each roll, brush with milk and pop them in the oven. If you want to keep your sausage rolls to serve up at an event of some kind, you can store them in the fridge instead. Just make sure you have a layer of baking paper between them if you are stacking them on top of each other so they don’t stick together.


When it comes to the cooking I set my over to 200c and leave my rolls for 20 minutes, however, my oven seems to cook things quite slowly so I would recommend you set to 180c and start checking on them after about 15 minutes. Once done let the sausage rolls cool for a few minutes and then they are ready to go! These sausage rolls are best served hot, and can easily be reheated with a few minutes in the oven. If you have any pulled pork left over, I highly recommend trying it in a jacket potato for a quick and tasty meal!


And there you have it! Probably my favourite new recipe from last year! What is your favourite thing to cook at the moment?


Thursday 21 January 2021

Expanding my Jewellery collection with Thomas Sabo

As someone who doesn’t wear a lot of jewellery it’s not very often I actually buy anything for myself. In fact I think the last time I purchased any new jewellery was when I brought matching necklaces for myself and my two bridesmaids as a thank you for all of their help with the arrangements for very last minute wedding.


That being said, I feel like I seem to have taken a lot more interest in jewellery of late, and wanted to slowly start getting a little collection of good quality pieces together, that complemented my somewhat minimalist style. The necklace I mentioned earlier holds quite a lot of sentimental value to me, so my focus was to start adding rings and earrings to my assortment of jewellery.


It would appear that the internet gremlins must have heard me, because I soon started seeing various ads for jewellery in my news feed, and one of those ads was for a brand I have already come across before; Thomas Sabo. I’ve previously had their lovely charm bracelet (which I still have lurking around somewhere and must dig out!) back when I wanted a charm bracelet, but everyone at the time seemed to be wearing Pandora, so I wanted something a little more unique.   


Thomas Sabo was founded back in 1984, and by the end of the 80’s had developed into an established and successful brand. To this day Thomas Sabo is still renowned for its sterling silver collection, although silver is not the only colour they offer, they have plenty of gold jewellery too. Much of their jewellery will comprise of sets and themes, to allow you to mix and match various pieces of jewellery to something you love.


One thing that did make me hesitate a little before buying anything was the returns policy. Sadly the store local to me in Norwich has closed permanently, leaving no other option but to purchase online without the opportunity to try things like rings on first. Should you order a piece of jewellery and it not fit, or be otherwise unsuitable, their returns policy does not allow you to exchange it.


Instead, you have to return the item, wait for your refund to credit back to you and then repurchase the item again. This isn’t the most convenient policy from the customer perspective, and I feel an exchange policy would be much better – even if your new item won’t be shipped until the original is received. However, I decided to take a chance after borrowing a friends ring sizer to get an idea of what size I needed.


The sizing for rings are not the same as I’ve previously come across. In the UK we tend to go by letters, whereas you select your sizing on the Thomas Sabo website from a series of numbers, Never fear though, as they have a comprehensive size guide on their website. Once ordered the ring arrived earlier than predicted, which was a nice surprise. Given all the problems the UK is having with getting things shipped from the EU I was honestly expecting it to turn up late.


Upon opening up my jewellery I found it to be well packaged in terms of safety and protection for the item within, but the packaging around the ring itself was lovely. The ring came presented in a little black and white box and is packaged in such a way that it’s good to go if purchased as a gift for someone.


The size was spot on and exactly what I expected, so in my admittedly limited I would say the measurements are true to size. The ring itself is also exactly what I expected and absolutely beautiful, while still being quite subtle in design. I’ve already got my eye on several other pieces on the Thomas Sabo site to add to my collection.


Have you ever come across Thomas Sabo? If not I would highly recommend you check them out!


Thursday 7 January 2021

January Goals - 2021

Yes, yes, I know that my goals for January are being posted a week into January, but that weird period between Christmas and New Year really through me off this year!


I’ve been slacking with writing my monthly goals for the past few months and resumed them in December, so let’s see how I did with what I set for myself last month.


Touch up paint

I didn’t get round to this in the end but I found myself feeling extremely tired over the Christmas and New Year break so decided to just give myself a rest which I think did me some good.


Get our re-mortgage finalised

Ha. Well, it is in its final stages and should be finalised today, but we’ve had trouble with the solicitor being slack. Aside from missing a lot of her own deadlines, she also made a miscalculation that would have meant we were charged over £850 we didn’t owe had we not spotted and pointed out her error. What’s worse is she didn’t even put the effort into fixing it, and in the end we had to call the bank we are moving away from and sort it for her, which took over an hour. Thank goodness we’ve gone for a 5 year agreement and don’t have to deal with this for another half a decade!


Finish and schedule blogmas content

For a first attempt I didn’t do too badly with Blogmas! I think next year I’ll go for every other day if I do it as daily posting was just a bit much for me. I did end up not publishing my last few posts so there are some days missing, but I suppose these can be used another year.


Finish CPD hours

In the industry I work in, we have to have achieved a certain amount of hours learning and training throughout the year, and this is stricter if we are certified in any way, which I am. Typically I’ve already done all my hours for the year within 6 months, so it was unusual for me to still have any outstanding. I managed to get everything finished and submitted a few weeks before my deadline, so all is well. I’ve even signed up to some courses for this year already, to get a head start.


Finish up my Secret Santa gift

It is done! Although it is currently sitting in my house, so I guess we’ll have to arrange something when we are allowed to see each other again.


Decorate the house

I did! I put a couple more Christmas decorations around the house to make it more festive.



Now, let’s have a look at my goals for the rest of January;



Wedding cancelations

Yeah. Whilst Mike and I did get to get married in September, we haven’t had the wedding we planned in the USA. Given that it’s only in June and we’ve already moved it once we’ve decided to cancel it for now. We might do something in a few years, like a renewal of vows or something, but now we have to go through the logistics of cancelling venue, photographer and so on and getting what refunds we can.


Decorate the house

As I never did any of the painting I was supposed to it makes sense to carry this one over to January. In addition to painting I want to do some other bits around the house. I liked having the Christmas decorations up and was sad to take them down, so I’m thinking of getting some fairy lights as permanent decoration in the house.


Buy a wish list plant

You might have seen that I’ve started a plant themed Instagram with two of my friends. Whilst I love our garden centre trips I have some harder to come by and expensive plants on my wish list. I’ve been putting some money away for the past few months so I’m ready to add another rare house plant to my collection.


Get back into a running routine

I haven’t run once since the new year, partly because it’s been bad weather and partly because I just don’t want to. I was making fairly reasonable progress before Christmas, so need to get back to it. Although I do find it a struggle to run in the cold with my asthma, so will need to find something else I can do when temperatures are too low.


Start getting up earlier

I’ve fallen back into the habit of getting up 20 minutes before I need to start work. Sometimes not even bothering to get dressed right away and starting work in my PJ’s. This clearly isn’t a great habit to be in, so I want to start making the effort to get up earlier and get dressed before it’s time for my day to start.



That just about finishes off my goals for the rest of the month. I’ve kept it simple, and with only a few there they should be pretty easy to achieve.


 Have you got any goals for January?

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