I’ve actually been busy!

So the reason I started this blog was to fill in time when I had no work to at placement. This past week, I’ve actually had too much work to do to write my usual Monday post! Not just placement work, but every month I have to write an evaluation of what I’ve learnt and all that stuff for uni, to prove that I’m actually doing something and not just making tea. I may start posting on Fridays now anyway- makes sense to write about the week just ending.

But now I’m trying to remember what happened last week… oh yes, Halloween!

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As I mentioned before, we had our office Halloween competition last Friday. I made these adorable ghostie cupcakes (surprisingly easy to do- instructions to follow!) and dressed up as a ventriloquist dummy. The idea was there, sadly the correct face paints were not. George bought some grease paints for his costume and I thought these would be fine. THEY ARE NOT. NEVER use grease paints if you want bold, opaque colours- as you can probably tell from the mouth I’ve painted on they do not come out well -_- But on the plus side- our office came 2nd in the decorating competition thanks to my cupcakes and the amazing bat silhouette display that I helped to cut out and Craig and Adam put up- fantastic effort! And we get free lunch at some point- yay!

So, here is how to make the little ghost cupcakes (a bit late now, but they could maybe be adapted into something else?)

I wanted mine to be green, and the cupcake mixture WAS green- until it was cooked!

Basic cupcake recipe (makes 12):

150g self-raising flour

150g caster sugar

150g margarine

2 eggs

Splash of milk

1. Mix all the ingredients together- start with the caster sugar and margarine, then add the eggs one at a time along with some of the flour with each.

2. Add the milk if the mixture is a bit too difficult to mix, but it’s not essential if you’re using a food processor- these did taste really nice though so you may as well add it in!

3. Fill cupcake cases about half-way with the mixture- they’ll rise to the top- then bake at 180 degrees for about 20 minutes- they’ll be ready when the tops are golden and they’ve nicely risen!

4. Once the cupcakes have cooled, you get to the fun part! Unwrap and stick a lollipop into the centre of each cupcake until the stick touches the bottom (I tried keeping them wrapped, but it just split the icing!)

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5. Using a whole block of white icing (just buy it from the supermarket), roll it out until it’s about 3mm thick. Use a circular cutter (I used the rim of a protein shaker!) to cut out 12 circles and set to one side.

6. Carefully take each circle of icing and place it on top of the lolly head. Gently push it down the sides of the lolly until you have a ghost shape.

7. Using a black icing pen, draw on some little ghost faces, however you like!

The icing pen I was using was pretty crap, so the only ghost that turned out well was the one you see in the photos! The rest were a little bit lopsided, but still impressed everyone at the office and they were all gone at the end of the day!

Last weekend, I did Park Run for the first time in weeks on Saturday morning, and then cleaned the whole flat which I love to do so I can relax for the rest of the weekend! Unfortunately, I exerted myself a little too much and ended up with a horrible migraine, so I had to call in sick for work whilst George went off to watch the fireworks with his friends! Despite being in pain, it did give me time to chill out and not do anything, so I watched Ghost and Gossip Girl in my sick bed and felt sorry for myself- the ideal Saturday evening. I was still too ill to go to work on Sunday and Monday, so spent even more time feeling sorry for myself until eventually I felt normal again on Tuesday! Sometimes your body will just stop you in your tracks because you’re not giving it enough rest- and that’s what happened to me -_-

On Sunday evening, to get some fresh air, me and George drove into Knaresborough and walked along the river side looking at the beautiful houses as we love to do, and then went home and got fish and chips and an early night. I absolutely adore Knaresborough, it is just so beautiful, and I took the classic viaduct shot to try and capture how clear and still the reflection was in the water!

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This week saw some more exciting work for my friend Hayley’s Wild Goose enterprise. I produced a poster for her Christmas Crafts Workshop, which I was very excited as it was an excuse to get into the Christmas spirit!

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Speaking of Christmas spirit, yesterday was my most Christmassy day to date! I met George for lunch and we had a Starbucks- their Christmas drinks are the best! I had the new Honey & Almond hot chocolate, which was delicious, and George had our old favourite- the Eggnog latte. We also went and got all our money out of savings to get our dollars for New York- it was so exciting seeing all of the dollars being counted out when we went to get them changed- American money is beautiful <3 We went to Next in Knaresborough to look at Christmas decorations and ended up going for a Costa Christmas drink and panini at their launch event- the Brownie hot chocolate is delicious as is the Brie and Cranberry panini! I just can’t wait to decorate our little flat for Christmas, it’s so exciting, especially when I went into Paperchase the other day and saw all of their amazing Christmassy treats- I’ve got my eye on this little number for our tree!

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On Bonfire night, we went to the bonfire and to watch some fireworks at Harrogate Railway football ground, and they were fantastic! I didn’t expect much, but they were just as good as the big display that I missed out on on Saturday, and with perfectly chilly weather too- I love wrapping up for fireworks.

Last night, we went to see the two new dogs that George’s mum has acquired, and I have fallen in love with the little puppy called Poppy! She’s a Yorkshire Terrier and is just the tiniest most precious little girl and I WANT HER. Surely a tiny little dog can fit in our little flat? I’m in the process of persuading George, so watch this space…

I’ve been working on some website designs from scratch this week for a trucking company (not very inspiring) but I’ve learnt a lot more about design for web and hopefully will learn even more as the work comes in! Speaking of work, I had a meeting with my boss this week where he wanted to see all the work I’ve done so far, and I thought this was it- he’s going to see how much I’ve done for the company and whip out his chequebook (metaphorically speaking- no one writes cheques anymore). Unfortunately, this was not the case. Despite being over the moon at how much I’ve done and surprised how helpful having an intern could be, the subject of pay was never brought up other than the £50 travel expenses I am now receiving. I guess every little helps, but considering the amount of work I’ve done so far, I don’t think it’s exactly unfair to want more?! Only time will tell, perhaps a little Christmas bonus…?

Here’s my cute thing to end the post- a little biscuit called Mel made by Jim Henson’s creature shop that Craig came across while we were discussing what our dream job would be in the office (his was making Muppets). Oh, and of course a still from the AMAZING new John Lewis advert- I am in love with Monty the Penguin!

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