However, Chinese New Year has finally arrived and although I'm holding off celebrations until my dad returns from HK (he better return with some kick-ass goodies or there'll be trouble), I have semi-started festivities on my lonesome. Chinese pork dumplings were made (and consumed), I made sure everything was clean and swept so that I didn't have to do any during new year's (don't want to sweep away the good luck) and my hair has been cut (symbolises cutting off good luck during the new year - I know, these are just the basics). Already I am beginning to feel a little more optimistic about things. Despite having just handed in an atrocious final version of a chapter for checking, I'm actually relieved and rather looking forward to celebrating my birthday - which is odd considering I get more paranoid about wrinkles, sagginess and the state of my ovaries with the passing of each year. I swear that I am practically barren. This year I'm actually taking time off work, going to the Thermae Bath Spa and St. Fagan's - the museum of Welsh life. Yes - the museum of Welsh life - you read that right. I think I have finally stopped giving a toss about what others think. I love museums - there. It's out there. Deal with it.
The money situation is pretty dire. This was all made worse by Spartacus's (my hamster) little 'accident' with his cage. He only went and chewed a massive hole in it. As a dutiful pet owner I had to rush to Pets at Bloody Home to buy him a new one. Of course animal welfare is at the forefront of Pets at Home's agenda (my arse) so I had to buy an all singing, all dancing cage - WITH A MEZZANINE LEVEL. My flat doesn't even have a step, let alone a mezzanine level. He now has a mortgage on his tiny shoulders so I am open to suggestions on how he can recoup that money back via some sort of physical labour. If anyone knows how to wire a hamster wheel (actually disc - a normal wheel wasn't good enough for him) to my telly, please get in touch asap.
Also, I had a slight panic on CNY's eve when I realised I had nothing new, nor red to wear on the day (it's tradition to do one or the other but I tend to buy something that is new AND red to kill 2 birds with one stone sort of thing). So I though sod it - I'm going to treat myself to a new lipstick. Of course if you know me, this doesn't mean popping down to Boots and buying the cheapest 17 lipstick...ooooohhh nooooo. I bought Chanel. Rouge Allure to be precise, in 'Flamboyante'. My life has not been the same since. Obviously this means living off lettuce for the rest of the week (who am I kidding? It'll be the next 2 weeks), but I've never had so many compliments in my life. Plus, like heels, it makes you feel like a laaady. It sounds ridiculous, but it's true. All of a sudden I felt grown up. With my hair now back to its original black, I was ready to take on anyone - like Bruce Lee in Game of Death. All I need now is a yellow bodysuit, although people tell me it's not a good look.
On a brighter note, I sold an unwanted present (from years ago) on Ebay and made a killing. I decided to sod paying bills with the money and bought some real leather boots (I needed them - my faux leather ones died) AND a pair of sexy earrings made by John Moore. They look like this but are completely black:
They are also reversible - you can flip and hang them upside down so that the 'feathers' all flare outwards! So technically, I got 2 pairs of earrings with 4 combinations of wearing them! Bargain!
I'll be honest, baking hasn't exactly been the top of my priorities lately, but Vicki's birthday gave me perfect opportunity to experiment with something that I've been wanting to try for quite a while - Cookies and Cream Cupcakes, or the 'Triple C'. A bit of a mouthful, but hey, choc-chip cookies=goood, chocolate cupcake=gooood. Add a bit of buttercream et voila! I have re-hashed the Primrose Bakery recipe, adding a few extra goodies to it to make them more adult tasting. The buttercreams are plain vanilla swirled with chocolate. Chocolate chips have been added on top for extra deliciousness. The cookies are made with my semi-secret recipe, but you could use mini oreos or any other cookie in miniature form. Here are a few pics:
My friends have oh so kindly offered to make my cakes for my birthday this year and I cannot wait! Pics will be posted!
So, back to writing my introduction I must go. I've got to admit, having edited so many words so far, I was actually quite relieved to see a blank page in front of me for once. Only an introduction to finish and a conclusion and then I'm done. Seriously, I'm never doing this again.