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Hubby’s Birthday Weekend

By 3 February 2015 Eating Out, Food, General, Life, Lifestyle
Hubby's birthday weekend - RachelBirchley.com

Last weekend was hubby’s birthday. He turned 29, so he’s caught up with me for a while! He likes to joke that I’m a cougar, but I don’t think it counts if you’re only three months older! Since his birthday was on the Friday I took the day off work so we could spend the day together.

As it turns out we didn’t really do too much. I had my last counselling session in the morning and then we popped over to his parents so he could blow the candles out on his cakes. I thought it would be a bit weird if we did that at home, just the two of us!

The cupcakes I baked were amazing. I followed a recipe for Cosmopolitan Cupcakes from Peggy Porschen’s Boutique Baking book. They were orange flavour with boozy cranberries and copious amounts of Cointreau. Not the manliest birthday cakes ever, but they went down very well.

In the evening, we joined my sister and our friends for a birthday meal at a new burger place that has recently opened in Folkestone. Big Boys Fine Burger Company has taken over a building in the Old High Street and it’s a good job we booked because it was packed!

Le Garcon Francais

Le Garcon Francais

This was my choice of burger, Le Garçon Français. It was a 6 oz beef patty with bacon, huge chunks of brie, lettuce and wholegrain mustard in a brioche bun. C’etait delicieux! Sis opted for El Chico Mexicano, which had guacamole, tortillas and chipotle ketchup in, one of our friends had the BBFC Mother Clucker, a burger with fried chicken in it too, and the three boys each chose the signature Fat Boy. Beef patty, pulled pork, bacon, cheese, lettuce and tomato.  Epic.

El Chico Mexicano and The Fat Boy

For sides, hubby, sis and I shared ginormous onion rings, amazing smoked bacon beans and homemade coleslaw.

Big Boys sides

It was an awesome meal and I was so stuffed but determined to give one of their milkshakes a go. Having told everyone at work that I didn’t like milkshake (forgetting that I’d previously happily supped a KFC Crushem) I realised that actually I love milkshake! But only ones without fake flavours. This one was rather special. Behold, the Bakewell tart milkshake…

Insane

Insane

From this point I decided that all desserts should actually be liquidised. They’re so much easier to consume! We finished the night with a drink at Wetherspoon’s and were home in bed by 11 pm. It’s a crazy life we oldies lead!

Saturday

On Saturday we drove over to Canterbury to visit The Beaney House of Art and Knowledge where they’ve just opened a new temporary exhibition about Enid Blyton. Celebrating her life and works, Mystery, Magic and Midnight Feasts is a wonderful gallery filled with transcripts, illustrations, diaries and even the author’s old typewriter.

I grew up with Enid Blyton, from watching and reading Noddy, to sharing the Famous Five’s adventures and wishing I went to boarding school so I could have midnight feasts and play lacrosse. The exhibition brought back lots of memories, and it was great to see that young children today are still enjoying her books. My only regret is that I’m too big to go down the slide and wear the dressing up outfits!

Unfortunately, there was no photography allowed inside the exhibition so I’ve borrowed the below picture from the Beaney’s Facebook page.

Thank you to Annabelle at Canterbury Museums and Galleries for inviting me along.

We’d booked a table at Pizza Express for lunch but had time to kill so found ourselves in Costa. I also did a little bit of shopping, purchasing a new lanyard for my work pass from Cath Kidston, and of course I had to pop into Lush and grab a unicorn horn bubble bar (because I’d seen them all over the internet and wanted one!) and some solid toothpaste tablet thingys because I thought they’d be handy for when I fly to France in the summer as I’m going hand luggage only. They’re rose flavour so that’ll be interesting!

Gold chocolate!

Gold chocolate!

Massive chai latte

 

Waiting for pizza

Waiting for pizza

The birthday boy!

The birthday boy!

Emilia pizza at Pizza Express

Emilia pizza at Pizza Express

Canterbury purchases

Canterbury purchases

Obligatory unicorn horn selfie!

Obligatory unicorn horn selfie!

Sunday

A lazy day for me but hubby went to help his friend give his car a good scrub and polish up. They then both came back for dinner, which was just an easy all in one pan roast chicken pieces with vegetables.

We also watched the BluRay of The Equalizer that I bought hubby for his birthday, which was a pretty good film if a little gory in parts, before watching Top Gear. I made up for all the testosterone by watching Call the Midwife afterwards!

So that’s pretty much my weekend! Hubby had a good birthday now I need to decide what I want for my birthday (my 30th’s in October – eek!) and start dropping some not-so-subtle hints!

What would you want for your 30th birthday? Tell me in the comments below!

Rachel x

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Shopping Spree in Canterbury

By 23 February 2014 Life, Lifestyle
View from the bus home

This Saturday, hubby was working so I decided to take myself off to Canterbury for some retail therapy.  It was packed as usual.  I always forget how busy it is in Canterbury until I get there!

I wanted to have a look for bargains in H&M and Zara but forgot that you can’t buy anything in there unless you’re a size 12 or below.  Having lost 2 stone since June 2013, I’ve felt so much better about how I look.  But trying (and failing miserably) to get into a pair of size 14 skinny jeans in Zara was just depressing.  And a size L dress wouldn’t zip up.  I swiftly decided no more clothes should be tried on.

Donna Dome Shoulder Bag Accessorize

Accessorize Bracelet

I cheered myself up a little bit by spending nearly £50 in Accessorize on this gorgeous handbag and bracelet.  This bag is big enough to carry all my crap in while still looking good.  It’s a lovely light pink with gold detail.  The across body strap makes it even more practical.  I reckon I could even get my laptop in there.  Hubby asked me if this new bag is to replace my old Kipling.  Replace??  Does he not know me at all? Of course I’ll keep my trusty Kipling; I’ve had it since 2006 and it’s still going strong.

I had a few things on my shopping list, but the only thing I managed to get was something from Sylvia and Terry Chocolates.  I’ve been following them on Twitter and Facebook for a few weeks and was excited when I saw they were going to be in Canterbury on Saturday.  They make delicious chocolates here in Kent, however the prices were a little steep for my modest budget so I picked two whopping great chunks of Ridiculously Rocky Road for hubby and I.  Turns out I made the right decision as they were insanely good.  I’ve borrowed this photo from their Facebook page because we scoffed ours before the thought of taking a photo even crossed my mind!

For lunch I fancied trying a new Japanese restaurant I’d read about but I couldn’t find it.  I spent ages wondering up and down Burgate and then Palace Street trying to find somewhere else to eat.  Being Saturday lunch time most places were packed.  In the end I starting walking down the high street and came across Kitch.  I bagged the fabulous window seat where I got to people watch while enjoying my hot and spicy cacao.  This was a hot chocolate with a difference!

Blogosphere Magazine and spicy cacao

I also got to enjoy reading the latest issue of Blogosphere Magazine. It’s a great way to discover new blogs of all genres. I enjoyed a scrummy veggie and vegan lunch of fresh bread with olives, dips and salad. Again, there’s no photographic evidence as I was too excited to dig into my lunch! But I can assure you it was beautifully presented and totally delicious.

After lunch, I was lured into Lush by the heady aroma and came out armed with the Mask of Magnaminty. Review post to come soon! My skin has been particularly troublesome lately so I hope this will help sort it out.

Mask of Magnaminty Lush Face Pack

Having lugged my increasingly heavy bag and shopping around, and convinced myself I didn’t need to buy anything in Paperchase, I popped into Cath Kidston where I happened upon this cute pink polka dot lanyard to pretty up my work ID.

Cath Kidston pink polka dot lanyard

My last stop before the bus home was Boots for a new face powder, my tried and tested Seventeen Miracle Matt compact. Always a bargain at £3.99. I also picked up an Innocent Smoothie in my favourite flavour Apple, Kiwi and Lime. It’s one of the only ones without banana. I seriously can’t stand banana in a smoothie! I can taste even the tiniest amount.

All in all, I think it was a pretty successful day! Now I just need to find all the other bits that were on my shopping list that I didn’t get! I suppose that means more shopping. What a chore.

How was your weekend?

Rachel x

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