Thursday, 26 February 2009

baking on a school night


made mini cheesecakes to bring to dinner at j's tomorrow. as a bonus, there is some extra for s. everybody wins!

Monday, 23 February 2009

Pic of the Week: 23 Feb - 1 March

Kew Gardens, London

Kew Gardens, London, Sep 2004

As usual, click on the photo for a bigger version on flickr.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

my new iToy

i bought myself an expensive birthday present:


it's sooo nice! i'm having fun playing with it and downloading apps. of course, two of the first apps i downloaded were yummy and yummy browser, developed by the talented, s. if you use to bookmark links and have an iphone or ipod touch, i highly recommend it. spread the word!

the iphone joins my long history of apple products going back to the mid-80s. i took the family macplus to college and wrote my senior thesis on it. i dragged a performa all the way to japan so that i could use the kanji kit. i sold the performa to a friend and bought my first mac laptop, a powerbook 1400 (the kind with the customisable cover), with the japanese OS. i donated it to the school where i taught japanese and replaced it with the beloved key lime ibook. s likes to call it a 'toilet seat' but i know it was a clam shell. i got a white 14" ibook before i moved to london and carried it to the british library to write my master's dissertation. my in-laws now use it and i have a black macbook.

in the meantime, i bought a 3rd gen ipod (40GB) which was stolen in the brussels train station on my way to zurich. that was one of the longest train rides of my life. i got a 20GB ipod instead, after having realised that i would never really use 40GB, until... s bought me a black video ipod when we got married. we got matching silver ipod shuffles for the gym. and now i have an iphone 3G.

s also has an impressive apple history. is it any wonder that macs and ipods helped bring us together?

you're welcome, steve jobs.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

the shopper's solution

Sainsbury's Revive 80% Recyled Pedal Bin Liners

I thought I should follow-up on my previous dilemma post. I got some good suggestions from a bunch of people - thank you! The majority felt that biodegradable bags were a good idea. At first glance I agreed.

But then I thought,

What is the use in having a biodegradable bag if the contents are not biodegradable?

It's enough to make the head spin. I finally settled, for the time being at least, on Sainsbury's brand recycled bin liners. They're pretty good. S claims not to have noticed the difference, but I think they are a better shape and size (i.e. more goes inside the bag than gets caught between the liner and the bin, leaving less of a yucky mess at the bottom.)

(By the way, I never thought I would give so much thought to the subject of garbage! I guess that's partly the point, though: get people thinking about what they use and leave behind. I'm not fully green - far from it - but I have a smaller carbon footprint than I used to.)

Monday, 16 February 2009

birthday cupcakes

why i love s: reason #427

i mentioned cupcake delivery a few weeks ago. typically, i forgot about it but guess what surprised me at the office today?



how lovely! these are vanilla rose cupcakes from crumbs and doilies. so decadent - pretty and delicious!

we didn't do much for valentine's this year. i told him i was waiting for some tiramisu. he countered that i haven't made cheesecake in a while. little did i know, he had this sweet ace up his sleeve. very sneaky.

way to go, s! thank you once again... mmm... sugar buzz...

Pic of the Week: 16-22 Feb

Brandreth Road, Balham
Brandreth Road, Balham

This week starts with Bran- and ends with -dreth, so I felt that this was the perfect pic for the week. That is to say, my birthday is on the 16th and my sister's birthday is on the 22nd. We're 5 years and 6 days apart.

S took this picture of us during my sister's trip to London over xmas 2005 when I was living in Balham. Brandreth Road was between the Tube station and my flat, so I passed it everyday.

Why is the name Brandreth so significant? I don't usually post names on my blog, but the visual pun works better if you know that my name is Branwyn and my sister's is Allyndreth. Ta da!

Happy birthday, Big Al!

Saturday, 14 February 2009

happy valentine's day!


Monday, 9 February 2009

Pic of the Week: 9-15 Feb

Glacier Park, Canada

Glacier Park, Canada, July 2004

We went to visit my grandfather in Montana a few years ago and extended the trip across the border. Glacier Park was beautiful. This was my attempt at an 'art shot' in black and white. The angle seems wrong - it looks like I forgot to rotate it - but I was actually standing above the waterfall looking down.

As always, click on the photo to see a larger version on flickr.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Pic of the Week: 2-8 Feb

mamasita and brandarling

with mamasita in caerphilly, wales, july 2006

It's February and that means it's birthday month. We begin the celebrations with Mamasita on the 3rd.

Happy birthday, mom! I will definitely be thinking of you all week with this cheerful picture on my desk at work. Looking forward to giving you a big hug in May...

Love, B

Monday, 2 February 2009

snowy monday

we interrupt pic of the week to bring you these photos from the snow storm! i had so much fun walking to work this morning. (not so much fun once i got there, but i still think every monday should start with a childlike sense of wonder at the magic of snow. the californian in me still loves big, fluffy snowflakes and heavy boots.)



i wish i could say that this apparent balance problem resulted in a snow angel, but alas, no such luck








today's snow was unusual and brought much of the country to a standstill. having lived in snow country, i think vast portions of the northern - and southern - hemisphere are laughing at us. i'm not alone.