9. Make lolly infused vodka

I remember in my late teens every second party included numerous shots of vodka jellies, or jello shots as they are called in America, an amazing blend of sweet and alcohol. Just as I liked it back then, when the only alcohol I drunk was vodka mixes and a sickly sweet fruit wine called Passion Pop.

Enter the lolly vodka. I have thought about doing vodka infusions many times and when I saw the colours of these I knew it had to go on my 27 list.

_MG_0030I couldn’t find any colourful boiled sweets in my local supermarkets (I have four supermarkets in easy walking distance and I checked them all over the course of a few weeks), so I concluded that the UK didn’t do boiled sweets* and searched the internet for other options.

Turns out, just about any lolly will melt in vodka, marshmallows, peppermints, gummy bears, Starbursts, salted caramels, pretty much anything. But for the extreme colour I wanted, I chose Skittles. I used two family packs and picked out my favourite berry flavours.

_MG_0051Skittles are a little more time consuming as they don’t completely dissolve, you have to filter all the waxy bits out before drinking it. I let mine sit over night then filtered it and gave it a taste.

The colour is awesome but aside from a bit more sweetness it didn’t really offer much taste. I mixed mine with Sprite and I loved the look, but I only got a slight hint of Skittles in the after taste if I really looked for it. Maybe I needed more Skittles?

_MG_0118*Disclaimer: I probably could have found some in those specialist sweet shops that stock all the nostalgic lollies no longer stocked in your everyday shops, but I didn’t want to pay those prices.

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You say good morning, I say good night…

10447074_10205810271513426_6628282384645488423_nIt’s fitting that the first time I write about my relationship we’re half a world apart. Ben is in Kuala Lumpar for work for three months. It’s tough without him around, but this is not our first rodeo. Traveling for work and working to travel has meant that a fair part of our relationship has been conducted through Skype, email and every once in a while handwritten letters. My email account records hours and hours of mundane emails about what we’re having for dinner and my wardrobe store piles of letters and cards signed off with ‘I miss you’.

10955784_10205810268353347_2418816722798412617_nBen and I are becoming long distance relationship pros. We didn’t know what we were getting ourselves in for at first, we were way too young and naive to think it through properly. At 21 I packed up my life and moved to Japan to teach English. This had been my goal and dream for ages and I had been talking to Ben about it constantly since we started dating just over a year before I left. We decided to stay together and six months later, Ben joined me in Japan. We spent a year exploring together until Ben’s visa ended and he went ahead to the UK, and we spent another 8 months apart while I finished my teaching contract and spent some time with family in NZ.

Nothing has tested our, now seven-year, relationship as much as those prolonged periods apart, but somehow after a fair few fights and frustrations, we got the boundaries and rituals of communicating through time zones worked out for us. I say good night as he says good morning. Every morning.

10922711_10205810269073365_2358354470587294949_nSo, while Ben is taking on new responsibilities at work, meeting new friends and exploring local markets. I am happy to remain in London, working through the deep dark months of winter; eating cereal for dinner and indulging in Sex and the City viewing marathons night after night.

Good morning babe x

P.S. Photo credits to Ben, thanks for letting me share.

27 List: Januaray Update

It has been a busy month with a full on time at work, Ben leaving for Malaysia and a lot of travel planning – more on that soon. So although I have a few projects ticking along, namely Sex and the City viewing, I haven’t managed to cross as much as I had hoped off the list. I have 7 months to go though, so bring on the challenges.

This is where I’m at with things, notice the list is now complete. I didn’t want to put anything on here that I wasn’t 100% into, so I waited until a few more ideas solidified in my mind. Weirdly, I find I am always thinking about these things in the shower. I’m planning cakes and crafts while washing my hair.

1. Make a 3 tiered cake a la Sweetapolita Complete! Check out my practice run and the final baby shower cake.

2. Watch the entire series of Sex and the City – I’m now at season 4.. totally in love with Aiden.. swoon…

3. Write at least 27 more blog entries

4. See The Book of Mormon theatre show

5. Create a star constellation scarf

6. Host friends for a grown up dinner party

7. Make French macaroons – My lovely boyfriend has given me a macaroon making book for Christmas, I’m circling the pistachio flavour as my first priority.

8. Plan a travel trip to Morocco

9. Make lolly infused vodkaI’m using Skittles, nearly done, just need to filter it and taste it!

10. Knit a peggy square blanket, maybe like thisI have paused on this one; firstly because of the expense of wool and secondly, I am finding it hard to commit to a colour scheme. Check out my Pinterest inspiration page.

11. Try out dance classes – I’m now an intermediate level salsa dancer. More on this soon.

12. Run a 10K cancer research race

13. Make salted caramel as gifts

14. Develop a uniform work wardrobe of at least 8 outfits

15. Go to see an inspirational speaker (like a Ted Talk)

16. Take a DSLR camera course – I have bought the ABM DSLR Basics course and have been reading through the lessons slowly. I am waiting for some more sunlight to truly start practicing.

17. Read these books – The Colour Purple, The Kite Runner, The Robber Bride….

18. Make gimmick tea bag craft idea for friends

19. Hike along the White Cliffs of Dover

20. Move into a 1 bed flat with Ben

21. Stay at/visit a National Trust site

22. See a netball match, hopefully to support New Zealand.

23. Have a cocktail at the Ritz

24. Climb Snowdon Mountain, Wales

25. Do some study through work. Hopefully a Prince2 Project Management qualification.

26. Print a photo book

27. Eat at a Michelin starred restaurant