Friday, 31 October 2008

Marks and Spencer

There are loads of reasons why I'd like to recommend Marks and Spencer. But there is one particular one on my mind and in my tummy).

Marks and Spencer are now selling entire packets of coconut chips (you know the yellow and pink coconut wheels from liquorice allsorts. Love them.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Parsnip, Beetroot and Carrot crisps

I like crisps but I'm not an obsessive fan. I can take or leave them really.

But I just discovered Parsnip, Beetroot and Carrot crisps and they are my new latest obsession. They are a bit sweet so it is like a savory and sweet snack. I only wish they were cheaper really. 90p for 40g in eat and 70p for 25g in Pret.

Photo credit: Dilona

Monday, 6 October 2008

The little dry cleaning place practically inside Holborn Station

Because my trousers are now hemmed properly (and pressed for £6.50) and my cardigan with the hole looks like the hole was never there (for £2.50).

I'm a happy lady.

Photo credit: Fimb

Saturday, 4 October 2008


OK this is more of a review than a recommendation. But I feel like I need to say something about it after two weeks of using it. I have one very big reason (for me) to recommend it and two reasons why it won't be my only browser.

But before I start let me explain. Chrome is Google's new internet browser software. If you are my mum that means it is like Windows Explorer. You know, the big blue e that you double click to get on the internet.

I converted to Firefox a few months ago but when Google announced Chrome I thought I'd have a go. The main reason was that I use quite a lot of Google applications – notebook, calendar, igoogle, blogger, talk. I thought that being a google browser these would be more integrated into the brower – WRONG. They are better integrated into firefox as it happens.

The second thing that Chrome hasn't mastered (in my opinion) is RSS feeds. [Quick explanation: RSS feeds are a way of knowing if a website or blog have been updated and the content delivered to you without you going to the website itself to look for it]. I know that Google have a reader application but as none of their applications seem to be easily accessible from the browser it seems an oversight when compared to Firefox or Internet Explorer.

So why might I recommend it at all? Well apart from the usual "challenge the dominance of Internet Explorer argument" my reason is the spell check.

My name is Claire and I cannot spell. I can tell you where to put apostrophes but my typing fingers work faster than the spelling bit of my brain which has never been that reliable.

However when writing forum posts or comments on blogs etc. Chrome comes up with a red wiggly line under mis-spelt words, Now, like any spell checker it's not perfect. And you can't right click to get a list of alternatives. But it is great for me who is used to the horrible feeling of noticing a spelling error just as I click the post button.

So not an overwhelming recommendation but it is in beta (whatever that means) and so things might improve…

Photo credit: Randy Zhang

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Percy Pigs

I love love love them. They help anyone get through a planning meeting!

Photo credit: Philippe Lin

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Warburtons bread

Well following on from my post about Somerfield I thought I ought to write about Warburtons bread. Truly I believe it is the best branded bread on the high street. I am certain that better bread can be bought from nice little bakers but I live in South Oxhey so I have to make do.

Warburtons do a wide range of bread but I have two favourites:

  1. The Seeded Batch (see above photo). Perfect for eating with soup. Lovely just spread with butter.
  2. Toastie (the small loaf version). White, thick cut loaf. Good size, stays fresh for ages and is the perfect bread for sausage or bacon sandwiches.

I found out about Warburtons and they are still a family company which makes me like them a bit more and makes me less guilty for buying bread wrapped in plastic from a supermarket. The fact that Tesco Express stores don't stock Warburtons tells me they must be less evil.

Photo credit: Duncan

Friday, 8 August 2008

Update on next

Seriously, someone stole my Next catalogue. And I need to buy three pack tops!

Photo credit: egg on stilts


I love Wordle. I like finding large chunks of text just so i can Wordle them. They are so pretty.

Basically they create a cloud of the most frequently used words. Normal words like "the" and "and" are eliminated.

You get to decide the colours, the direction, the font.

Go wordle something - you'll love it.

Thursday, 24 July 2008


My favourite supermarket is Somerfield. No really. Two relevant reasons.

1. Their offers are great. And they publish them in a leaflet that someone delivers to my house. Total bargains on stuff you might actually want.
2. They sell Warburtons bread (idea for another blog post perhaps).

My love for Somerfield grew stronger at the weekend. Last Friday I drove up to Latitude. About 20 minutes away from the park where it was being held was a little village called Saxmundham. It was our last flushing toilet prior to Latitude and so grateful were we that it was our first after leaving on Sunday.

I heard Somerfield have been bought by Co-op. It won't be the same people. Go there now! Enjoy it while you can! (and yes those exclamation marks are being used properly; it is an order)

Monday, 21 July 2008

Next three pack tops

I'm telling you now because the autumn catalogue is out. There was one in the corridor last night which I thought might be mine. But when I went to get it this morning it had disappeared. Might have been for upstairs though.

Anyway – every season I buy a new set of Next three pack tops for work. They are fab. They are reasonably priced, wash well, don't need ironing, and don't need engagement of the brain before 8am. I have a boring job, I need to look smart not fashionable. They work well on their own or under a suit jacket. Three tops, three days – bliss.

Addendum: I published this from Word 2007 - how cool is that?!

Thursday, 1 May 2008


I know this is sort of not what this blog was supposed to be about but I do thoroughly recommend voting. I'm not that bothered even who you vote for although if you want me to rant I will. I just want everyone to show that they care about the right to vote. And only by going to the polling station (too late for a postal vote now) can one express that voting is important.

If you really don't know who to vote for spoil your ballot paper because they will be counted.

Photo credit: Dean Terry

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Museum Days

A couple of years ago my friend asked me if I wanted to do a museum day with her. We both took a week day off and decided to tackle three museums in a day: British Museum; Natural History Museum and Science Museum.

We both live in London and have travelcards and now the museums are free (apart from the special exhibitions) it was set to be a cheap day.

It was great but three was overambitious. Given the travelling needed two would have been more realistic. By the time we got to the science museum we were flagging.

But the point is this, who really spends time as a tourist in their own city? Take a day off and be a tourist.

*Photo credits: J!mbo and TwOsE

Monday, 21 April 2008

The Girl’s Guide to Being a Boss (without Being a Bitch)

This is the book I was talking about in my first post: The Girl’s Guide to Being a Boss. The book is basically a really good guide to being a manager but with a useful female angle. Because I think it is hard being a female manager. Especially if you have male members of staff.

Do I agree with everything? No, but definitely 90%.
Is everything relevant? No because I work in the not-for-profit sector but it is interesting.
It is written by two American women, Caitlin Friedman and Kimberly Yorio, who work together in PR. And whilst researching this post I stumbled across their site: Girls Guide. It is a site, about business, for women. As they say:

"This is a "New Girls Network" that will put the "Old Boys" to shame"
Something for me to have a look at I think.

Their next book The Girl's Guide to Kicking Your Career into Gear is out in May and it's already on my Amazon wishlist.

p.s. the books are cheaper on than Amazon.

Saturday, 19 April 2008

Washing powder

This is really my Mum's recommendation not mine but I follow it, believe it and so it's in.

Don't use so much washing powder!

When you wash your hair you use a certain amount of shampoo right? If you use more your hair doesn't get any cleaner. Now apply that to washing powder.

If you're like me your clothes really aren't that dirty when you wash them - I usually just need them freshened up. Obviously if you are doing the football team's kit that week then go mad with it but if you are just doing some tops for work then you probably can use much less.

I use tablets and the manufacturers always tell you to use two. What incentive might they have for recommending more than you need? I use one unless it is a full load and particularly dirty.

* Picture credit:

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Baking with Nigella

I've loved baking for a long time. Mum baked pies but I never got into that. But Dad did the fun cooking with us. Simple stuff like chocolate cornflake cakes and Angel Delight (not so much cooking as enhancement with a crushed up Flake on the top).

Anyway when we got a microwave it came with a recipe book (because microwave cooking was going to change everything you know) and in that book was the recipe for queen cakes. I remember it to this day:

50g caster sugar
50g butter
75g self raising flour
50g sultanas/ raisins
a bit of milk

I can't remember the cooking instructions mind. I'd credit the recipe book too but I have no idea what it was.

So when I grew up and got a place of my own I was keen to start baking my own cakes. And that is when I discovered Nigella. And "How to be a Domestic Goddess". My absolute favourite and the page that the book with open to is the Madeira cake.

So I can happily recommend "How to be a Domestic Goddess" because even if I am not baking from it there are lots of lovely photos of things I'd like to bake...

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Starting Off

Anyone who knows me knows just how enthusiastic I can get when I really believe in something. Usually this is some kind of product but it can be an event, a tv programme, a film.

Yesterday my friend got a book I bought for her. It's a great book; I'll make it the subject of one of my first proper posts. She rang me to thank me. It was during this conversation that I joked I should start a blog.

And then today, while sitting on a tube on the Piccadilly Line trying the get into The Blind Assassin (not a candidate yet) I quickly compiled a mental list of subjects for posts. A blog could be born.

I'll aim to blog every couple of days. I'll use the blog to tell the world about something I like and why I like it. With some useful links. It's like a personal and advanced delicious.