Loves, Life & Thoughts

Choices

Got to thinking, that life is held together by choices, one after the other. All shapes and sizes; Right or wrong, doesn’t matter. Because life just keeps unfolding. It won’t wait around for you. If you sit still, it can pass you by, altogether. I guess I’d like to believe all these choices are made for us the instant we enter into this world. Because, if that’s true, then we’re exactly where we are supposed to be.

Forever.

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Fridge Love

I just have to admit it…

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Yes, I am a soppy sod.

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Roses In A Teacup

This arrived for me today….

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I really have some ace people in my existence.

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100 Days Happy – 14.29 Weeks of Photo Dedication

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I’m never really one for challenges. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I am an unmotivated sloth or anything. I am quite driven and determined but I don’t like the restraint a challenge brings and the wording associated with it when you accept one; “MUST”, “HAVE TO”, “BETTER DO THIS”, “EATING THAT ENTIRE ICE-CREAM CAKE IS NOT HELPFUL”… You know, those kind of things. I am more of a passive breed of species that thinks, “If I just say I want something, I will focus on the fact that I want it and not think about how to get it”. Call it positive mental attitude, cockiness or just blind, jammy luck but for some reason, this method has always worked for me. (Bets are on that it is just sheer luck. I am the human bunny foot).

However, I am now about to jump on the challenge band wagon and do something called “100 Days Happy”. Basically, I just take a picture of one thing that makes me happy on a daily basis, tweet the positive entity in question and do this for 100 days. Simple right? Eh no. Seriously, I’ve had socks that barely made it past the second wear before they were binned.

Must. Dedicate. Myself.

Why am I doing this? I guess because I am always looking at what I want rather than what I have right then, in a moment and I would like to remind myself that every day, something big, medium or little makes me happy. I am grateful for this life thing with all its ickle, bickle quirks.

Happy me; happy life.

So here I go. Let’s do this. Let’s devote myself to a 100, snap-happy photo’s over the next 14.29 weeks! (Yo b*tch, I did the math).

Should you be interested in this absolute candied, rainbow fest of positivity, you can follow me on twitter https://twitter.com/MonicaMiniMon or just click the Twitter button on the right of this page. Pretty easy stuff.

P.S. I really hope this doesn’t turn into a “100-Days-Of-Making-Stuff-Make-Me-Happy” kind of scenario. That just sounds plain tiring.

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A letter to Lilly

A letter to her pooch from a relatively new mother. Oh silly Lilly…

The Airing Cupboard

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Oh Lilly,

Your name rhymes with silly. And you are. Even at 7 years old, you are still a giant puppy. You go mental when the doorbell rings, greeting guests with your patented divebomb approach, your paws tap tap tap-dancing on the tiles.  You treat each and every tennis ball as though it were your long lost love, and no, you won’t give it back, and why should you? Even if it spoils your own fun when we’re out throwing balls and you have to be coaxed and cajoled (and occasionally manhandled) into giving them back. You shed like a fucker in the summer and I curse you as tumbleweeds of black hair float down my hallways, but you know what? You are completely worth the hours of sweeping. Although I wouldn’t have said that when I was 8 months pregnant.

We’ve had you since you were 2 years old…

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Moany Mon On A Monday

My Saturday – Sunday – Monday…

dinner

To…

us

To…

drunk

To…

bed

To…

monday

Finish…

scone

Moral of this story? Never say “I’m actually not drinking much tonight” to an Irish friend.

http://www.labodega.ie/

https://twitter.com/TaphouseDublin

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Week!!! Move Your Ass

This week is going too slow!!! I want the weekend to arrive with all its fanfare and glory. With its butter soaked meals and alcoholic grape juice. With its glorious daytime walks and social late night banter.

More importantly, I want to wake up naturally and stick a middle finger up to my phone who wears the evil mask of “The Alarm” every 7am Monday-Friday and 8am on Saturday’s. SCREW YOU ALARM/PHONE/EVIL HYBRID!!! I’m snoozing on the slumber train this weekend.

On another note, I did come home wearing a second coat last Saturday night after a “quiet” dinner in Jamie Oliver’s restaurant with my sister. “Quiet” means I didn’t come home with an injury or stray animal. Or both.

I wonder if I will ever find the owner and have them reunited once again.

coat

That’s me. The coat-napper.

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Prague-tically There

A different blog this time.

Less about food. Something about travel.

I was in Prague for work last week. When I say I was “in Prague”, I mean I saw the outdoors from indoors within various restaurants, my hotel bedroom, conference rooms, a hotel lobby and random company coach rides that transported our 500+ army of selected European employees. We RULED the indoors of multiple Czech establishments.

We were the business cockroaches of the city. And the window was our friend.

I hate staying in a country and barely seeing it. You can never really say you were actually there. Even though you were there. But you weren’t. But you were. But you weren’t… Yes, this can go on for a while.

I did manage to get some time to myself though and venture out of our massive, towering hotel for an hour. I’m pretty sure I was approached by a spy as I was sitting on a bench by the river and actively throwing loaves of bread at ducks.

Spy Dude: “It is nice weather we are having, no? But not as nice as Is-ra-ale”.*

*Deliberate misspelling of Israel to sound like a Russian accent. It’s hard to type accents.

Me: <blink>

Spy Dude: <stares>

Me: <blink>

Awkward silence ensues…

Spy Dude: <stares>

Me: <blink>

Spy Dude: <stares>

Me: <blink>

He walks away. I sigh a relief.

I then ponder, “Was that tall, raincoat clad, briefcase wielding dude a spy? Hang on… Wait… Am I A SPY”??? I wonder if I am an agent of the shield and perhaps I blinked the wrong way which portrayed my amateur status and I have to be reprogrammed or destroyed.

I then realise I’ve allowed my thoughts to wonder into the random again… Back to the Hilton Prague.

Ugh. A “Hilton”. I wonder how many more dresses, cars, houses and private jets our company just contributed to the Paris Hilton brand. I shudder to think.

Despite barely seeing Prague, what I did see through the windows from indoors, I enjoyed and it was fun work-wise. I travel a good bit for work but this was intense. The 4 days were a marathon of rushing from meetings to more meetings to quick hotel room changes to bars to coaches to restaurants to more bars to more meetings and so on. I barely remember sleeping. Did I sleep? I remember a room, a bed, a floor… but did I sleep?

Ah sleep is for the weak!

Despite being part of the drab* Hilton brand, the hotel was nice.

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*(Views and opinions of hotel brands, Heinz versus Hellman’s, twerking, Madonna’s British accent, why Canadian’s say ‘aboot’ etc, are of my own and do not reflect the opinion of my company, my butcher, the barista who served me my soy milk cappuccino in Starbucks this morning, my hairdresser or the ducks I threw bread loaves at). 

At the top of our hotel was the sky bar, otherwise known as the “Cloud 9 Bar”. It was a fun maze to get to between catching an elevator to a random floor, following the hidden, ambient advertising signs that lead to a service corridor suspiciously resembling the one from a scene in “American Psycho”, then catching an additional lift that brings you to another floor. The elevator doors suddenly part and present a long corridor whose decor resembles the love child of Studio 54 and Hugh Hefner’s bedroom.

It made me want to crimp my hair and don a bikini.

But it did give us a great view over Prague.

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More indoor to outdoor viewing. More windows.

 At the end of this corridor, we reached the Cloud 9 Bar… “(or the Bar of Opposite Personalities)”.

This was the place where the flamboyant cocktails loosened the work ties and suddenly our very formal, corporate and powerful business colleagues were transformed into loud, vivacious, shot drinking hillbillies where business talk was supported by various slurs and “WE ROCK” high fives.

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Thankfully, no one decided to strap their tie to their head, á la Rambo style. But it was close.

Talk about upstairs/downstairs.

On our final night we had the Gala Ball in a conference centre somewhere in Prague.  I took in whatever view I could from our coach ride to the venue. This exercise was futile.

This time, the window was not my friend.

The centre was excessive and hired out for our company which basically gave us more room to carry out the usual nonsense, frivolity and networking. Except this time, woman wore cocktail dresses and the men wore… well exactly the same; suits. The food was formal (trout, veal and a selection of desserts), the waiters were EXCEPTIONALLY friendly and the wine tasted like a hangover in a glass.

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On the large main stage, the Czech performances (which were designed to inject us with some local culture) went largely unnoticed… The necessary “What do you do for our company in your country?”, type questions and sizing-up chatter was abundant… But with alcohol, it’s called “Business banter, darling”!

Meal over, Czech performances generally unappreciated, a few of us ventured upstairs where we plonked into massive bean bags that overlooked the river and bridge. We drank champagne and drunkenly expressed our happiness to see Prague while we soaked in the views… More indoor to outdoor viewing. The window was my friend again.

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 It was pretty darn nice though and I was in Prague.

Well, not really, Kind of. Sort of. Well, I was practically there.

 

That dude was so a spy.

 

 

OBLIGATORY SHOUT OUT MOMENT: Photos taken by a colleague named Matt. He’s also a DJ “SLASH” Producer, the London based kind. He can be found on Instagram as MattRich91. Stalk him there.

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“I know that grin… Well hello Monica! We’ve missed you. It’s so nice to see you again”!

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So I am officially in the bad books with my foodie friends and fellow bloggers. I have not blogged or posted new recipes in months… The hate mail is adding up.

Ok, maybe “hate mail” is a bit dramatic. Shall we say, “disgruntled, unimpressed messages”? Yeah, we’ll go with that. 

But seriously, I am terrible (hangs head in shame). I warrant a smack (slaps back of hand) and I don’t deserve my faithful, back-whipping followers (puts hands in praying position hoping you will stay a motivational devotee)…

I DO have a legitimate excuse though. These past few months, heck, this entire year has been so beyond hectic.

Stormy hectic.
No. Gale force hectic.
Actually screw that; TORNADO hectic.
 

My life has changed in so many ways and majority for the even better. I have a new, fantastic job which has me travelling in all different directions every month. This career advancement is my 2013 delight which not only means I am working with my love of marketing and travel, but my boss is also fantastic and this global company I am a part of is so morally sound, I walk into work every day with pride. It’s a dream.

Life is sunny.

 

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The mushy aspect of my existence has been…well… worthy of note! Plenty of positive changes, ups and downs, a bit of lingo and a bit of ringo (“left” and “right” to those not in the know) and it has been interesting! There have been unforgettable moments and I had to make myself paramount for the first time in years and remove what was a destructive restriction in order to experience them. And since this positive change, I have met a few interesting characters, most have made me smile even more! Yes, I have had tough times since this change but they just kicked me in the gut to wake me up to the good I wasn’t paying attention to.

I refuse to dwell on anything that was negative, past or recent.

And so, I entered the final quarter of this year with such positivity and gratitude for all my lessons learned over this circus themed 2013, no matter how emotionally draining they may have been. It’s simply amazing how, when you have the strength to change and remove the poison, life just shines back through your veins… It also helps to consistently have the same loyal, fantastic and loving friends known to mankind. (Always keep those close to you that are good and who you would most want to be like because you will be a better person for it). 

And most importantly, for the first time in a long time, I look and feel like myself. As a friend recently said to me;

“I know that grin… Well hello Monica! We’ve missed you. It’s so nice to see you again”!

 What a dynamic year.

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So, back to recipes! Jeez, I’m so self-involved. I was only meant to type a brief explanation for my absence and then this came out! Two words… Blog vomit.

Well, I am currently in my labratory cooking up a yummy Kerry Lamb Pie (the smell from the kitchen has me in a food coma with little ability to wipe the drool from the corners of my mouth as I type) and I am putting together a blog for a chicken and chorizo stew which I will post this weekend.

So that’s it! Ciao or “chow”! (Ok that’s terrible. I’m hanging my head in shame, beating the back of my hand and praying I haven’t lost you all over again).  

Right. Now I’ve got to run because I am smelling something burning in my kitchen laboratory and I’m pretty certain creating  a carcinogenic meal was not my intention.

 See you later!

Categories: About Me & The Blog, Loves, Life & Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Colours, Cake, Bears & Birthday Baby

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Tomorrow I am going to help my friend bake a colour extravaganza.

It’s going to mega. Epic even.

There will be layers;  6 vibrant and dynamic layers.

There will be icing between each of these layers. This icing will be rich. This icing will be smooth, sweet yet buttery and creamy at the same time. This icing will then cover this 7 tiered stairway to heaven like a cloak of heroism. It will hug and kiss these vibrant levels in an embrace of gooey greatness.gummi

Then there will be gummy bears. Haribo gummy bears.

We shall pellet gun these bad boys to this tiered frosted pile of grandness and there they shall lie… Like insects stuck in a web. Stuck in this gooey mass. And there they will remain.

Finally, at the top of these immense colour blocks of deliciousness will stand tall and proud; the number 1…

My 1 year old Goddaughter better like rainbow cake.

Categories: Desserts, Loves, Life & Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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