Category Archives: Celebrations

My boy turns 8: 8 things you didn’t know about him

Today is Festus’s birthday. As my boy turns 8, I though I would share 8 things you didn’t know about him.

1. He is ambidextrous.
You might think how to tell if a dog is right or left handed. There are a few tests, like recording which paw the dog uses to go down the stairs. You have to record at least 30-40 times to make it clear. Festus uses both in almost equal measures.
There are a few studies about this. Basically, the dogs are mostly right-pawed or left-pawed and only a small percentage are ambidextrous. I think this makes him a bit more special, while he is incredibly special for us.


2. He hates parsley.
Because he loves mint so much, I though I should try to see if he likes parsley too. He spit it out immediately, it was quite funny.

3. He loves mint.
As a pup, he got mint tea instead of water from his breeder. When we got him at 3 months old, I continued to give him mint tea for another 6 months. Even now, at 8, he still loves mint. He is not eager to have mint tea as he did as a pup, but he will eat mint leaves. See picture below.

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Easter and Duck Race

I was wondering if I should talk about my Easter and Duck race in the same post. It was a good idea in the end as we managed to miss the race while searching for a car park, more on that to come.

01 Easter and Duck race

On Easter the weather wasn’t great. We had a couple of long walks with Festus, we had a lot of yummy dishes. I blogged on my food blog about My Easter Menu. I made these dyed and decorated eggs, as I usually do for Easter.

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International Women’s Day

8th March is International Women’s Day, something relatively new in the UK, but a celebration I grew up with as a child. In Romania Mother’s Day is something new. I think both of them should be celebrated, especially as Women’s Day should be a celebration of us, women, regardless of our age and if we have children or not.

In my late teens, I used to go out with my mother on Women’s Day. We would go out for a pizza or at a restaurant, there were special offers, beautiful decor and loads of women celebrating. Women’s Day is quite a big deal in Romania, men might bring flowers for their colleagues, gifts and treats for their wives or partners. In some areas, policemen would stop women drivers in traffic to give them a flower and/or a gift. Have a look at this news from last year, the movie is in Romanian, but there isn’t a real need for the translation.

International Women's Day
Happy Women’s Day!

Today I’m going to the SPA for a massage, not sure what I will do for the rest of the day though. My husband will take charge and spoil me.

In the last years I went to a museum I loved Williamson tunnels, to an Alpaca farm and Blackpool. Do you plan to celebrate?

Pancake Day

Today is Pancake Day and we went to see the Pancake race at Liverpool Parish Church. It wasn’t as exciting as we’ve been expecting to because there were only 2 contestants, but it was fun and I learned there is a racing pancake. Unlike the standard pancake that you can eat, the racing pancake is made with more flour, so it’s heavier.

03 Pancake race

04 Pancake race

01 Pancake race

We obviously had crepes. A couple of them filled with mushrooms and one with preserve for dessert.

02 Pancake race

Do you celebrate Pancake Day?

Christmas 2016

We had a beautiful Christmas, with lots of wonderful gifts, delicious food and a lot of fun.

At the beginning Festus was much more interested in us and in the gifts under the tree than posing for pictures. This year we got matching Christmas jumpers! Basically we found one we both loved, in the men’s department and I got an XS.

But we managed to convince him to give the proper attention to the camera with a little trick: a carrot on top of the camera. Having our picture taken, we could open the gifts.

My husband got this beautiful handbag for me. I love it and I can’t wait to wear it.

If you are wondering how a food blogger reacts when she receives matching Victoria Sandwich tins. I had no idea my husband will get me in the frame, I only saw it when I looked at the pictures after that. I might have mentioned a couple of times (more like 4-5) that I think it’s a good idea to bake a sponge… that day.

I also got, among other things, this fondant extruder. It will be so helpful when I’ll decorate my biscuits and cakes with fondant. I can’t wait to use it.

From Secret Santa I got these beautiful gifts. I’m sure I will love the dark chocolate with blueberries as I love dark chocolate and blueberries, and the candle smells beautiful.

I also got these storage baskets for fruit and veg. I just love them! I was thinking I should change my old basket as that one is a little bit tacky. I can’t imagine a better way to keep the veggies I get from farm shops. I can’t emphasize how happy I am with them.

Another present from another Secret Santa. Lots of goodies in it. I made the hot chocolate at Christmas and I had the studs on. The shower cream smells beautiful.

Festus got a few gifts too, obviously. Pop in his blog if you want to see more details.

This is one of the gifts I got for my husband. A game with Houdini. He has to figure out how to free Houdini from the restrains. It is a really fun game and it has 40 challenges.

I can’t talk about Christmas without talking about food, can I? I talked in details on CookStyle, as I made lots of things, from water biscuits for the cheese plate to Fruit cake. My husband and I did the chocolate train together with more than 1 kg of chocolate, so do have a nosy.

How was your Christmas? Did you get what you hoped for?

St. Nicholas Day

Today in some parts of Europe people are celebrating St. Nicholas Day. I was surprised when I did a little bit of research to find out that in The Netherlands it’s celebrated too. Usually the traditions are similar within an area. I made a couple of Dutch desserts because I wanted to try something new and my husband loves desserts. In Romania, traditionally children are given sweets as gifts or a stick if they were naughty. The gifts are left for the kids in their shoes and only if they are cleaned. As a child I was adding my slippers to the mix, only to help St. Nicholas with extra space for all the gifts he was giving me. My mother and I used to have a lengthy conversation about shoes vs. footwear on St. Nicholas. I did that again this year, I put my slippers, for extra space. I was making fun last night that, if I get up earlier than my husband, I will move all my high heels shoes in front of the fireplace. He said I wouldn’t as he didn’t think of getting enough gifts for 20+ pair of shoes. This is what we got last year for St. Nicholas Day.

These are our gifts this year, ready to be unwrapped.

On our trip to Edinburgh a couple of months ago I saw this picture at the Scottish National Gallery. Three Legends of St. Nicholas was painted in the early 16th century by Gerard David. St. Nicholas was Archbishop of Myra in Asia in the 4th century and he was the patron of children. He is also known as “Santa Claus”. In the left panel he appears as a baby and he is thanking God for his birth. In the centre panel he saves three impoverished girls by giving them dowries to be able to get married. On the right panel he is depicted as a bishop that revives three boys who have been killed.


In The Netherlands, for the children the most important day in December is the 5th, when Sinterklaas (St. Nicholas) brings them their presents. Sinterklaas travels with his servants Zwarte Pieten (Black Peters) through The Netherlands from the middle of November, as he usually lives in Madrid, Spain. He will arrive in The Netherlands in a different harbour each year.
Children were told that the Zwarte Pieten keeps records of all the things they have done in the past year in a big book. Good children will get gifts and bad children will be put in a sack and the Zwarte Pieten takes them to Spain for a year to teach then how to behave. Not much of a punishment if you ask me.
In The Netherlands parties are held on the 5th with treasure hunt games, the treasures being little presents left by Sinterklaas.
It was fun to read about their traditions and baking Dutch desserts, like Kerstkrans.

I got a Le Creuset stoneware dish! I can’t wait to make my first pie in it. It’s so exciting.

Festus loved his healthy desserts too. He picked a carrot as his first choice.

My birthday in London

On Monday it was my 34th birthday and it was the best birthday I ever had. My husband I had 3 wonderful meals, we walked Festus, I received this amazing flowers, we went for a drive in an F1 simulator and we’ve been to the ceremony of keys at the Tower of London. My husband got tickets for the ceremony of keys in February and he told me we would have made a trip to London. I was ecstatic to see the booking. I tried to get tickets in April for September and it was fully booked until February 2017. There aren’t a lot and the demand is very high. My husband told me in February there were only a few days still available in November and one of them was 14th, my birthday.

My birthday in London

My birthday in London
In the caravan I don’t have any vases because I couldn’t find a plastic one. So when my husband got these flowers for me I wasn’t sure what to do. He cut a bottle of juice, removed the label and I put the flowers in. We filled the bottom of the vase with small pieces of stone from outside to give it support and this is my vase. I might do a DIY project to make sure I’ll have a vase in the caravan. I like having flowers.


The next thing on our list, after breakfast, was to go to Let’s Race. They have 10 full motion F1 simulators. Last year I’ve been to Donington Park. It seems we are doing racy things on my birthday.

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