Wednesday, 18 January 2017

My First Murder Mystery Dinner

at home murder mystery dinner

I feel like I’m ticking things off a bucket list I didn’t know I had this year! This past weekend I experienced my first murder mystery dinner party and it was amazing. It was basically like playing one of my favorite boardgames Cluedo LIVE. But with food. And wine. And vodka. 

Starting off, all attendees were given a character a few weeks ago, giving us plenty of time to put together a sort of costume. Not mandatory, but what’s the point in the whole thing if you don’t at least make a little bit of effort? Let’s just talk about my character…Charles. Yup. Man. Manoca. I can’t say I’ve ever cross dressed before but hey, there’s a first time for everything!

I kept the costume pretty simple; skinny jeans, brogues, a shirt off the Mr. For me, it was all in the make-up. Masculine make-up looks seemed to be pretty hard to come by! Even Pinterest was a struggle looking for ideas. I went with bigger, darker eyebrows, an attempt at contouring in some chiseled cheekbones, and a full on eyeshadow stippled on beard. I confused my taxi driver so much so that he wouldn’t unlock the door and let me in! 

at home murder mystery dinner

Huge kudos’ goes out to our hosts for the evening, my fabulous Jackie and her Mr - I mean A* for effort here. Everything was themed around the night's murder mystery! Long story short, it was 1919 and we were all aboard the HMS Winston - there was a dead dude on the poop deck and we were all suspects. This all felt very Miss Marple! They’d gone the whole hog with theming, from period music to cocktails and food! This is what made it for me! It made it all the more immersive which is what I always thought a murder mystery dinner was all about! 

Period food also included caviar…caviar. Never tried it. Tried it. Never want to try it again. Enough said about that.

at home murder mystery dinner

Then we took our seats, we put our best game faces on, our best accents on, and we murder mysteried the hell out of our dinner! Borsch (which I’ve always wanted to try since Miss Congeniality), vodka, beef bourguignon, wine, cheese, gin, cake. In between each course we took to our scripts - yes, you get a script! Eek this was exciting! Each character get’s their own script to follow, prompts for questions and answers to things your character may get asked. There was evidence to go through too, the whole time scribbling down who done it notes in-between gulps of wine. 

And for the grand finale - the reveal. We uhmend ahhed, made lude jokes, drank some more, before all taking a stab at who we thought was the culprit! I actually thought it was going to be me because of the character notes I had but it turned out to be the Mr’s character who had stabbed the poor dude right in the back! Dun dun duhhhhhhhhh. Prizes were handed out to the correct guesses, the murderer took a forfeit shot of vodka, and the case was officially closed

at home murder mystery dinner

Oh, and my beard paid off, winning me the coveted spot of best dressed. I swear, it took me longer to get ready as a man than it has ever done to get ready as a woman!

As murder mysteries go, and maybe I’m being biased here because it was my first one, but it was brilliant! The dressing up, the themed everything, it all made for such a good atmosphere, we couldn’t stop laughing. I’m dying to know when the next murder mystery will be!

Have you ever attended a murder mystery dinner?

Until next time, 

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Tips on how I can save some money!

easy money saving tips

If you’re up to date with my 2017 Goals and Resolutions, you’ll know that one thing I want to do this year is lots of things. As in eating out, travelling, going on adventures but to do any and all of that as well as picking up a few treats along the way, I’m going to need cash. So, I’ve been pinning away, Googling around and reading up and I’ve come up with a couple of what I think are real do-able money saving ideas that will hopefully fund a few adventures here in Wonderland!

The Monthly Deposit. So I found this pin over on Pinterest and it seems unbelievably do-able. The minimum monthly deposit you’ll make is £25, the most £150, giving you a total of £1050 in 12 months. Some months I will defiantly be able to do more, but I’m going to promise myself never to deposit less than is required that month. 

12 weeks = £1000. In addition to the monthly deposit, I want to do a couple of quick savings challenges through the year. It’s around £330 a month that needs to be set aside but if I pick my three months wisely, i.e the ones with the least birthdays or worst weather, it should be do-able, and it’s only three months! That could easily pay for a city break or two plus spends!

35 day challenge. £630 in 35 days, I kind of want to do this one much later in the year and put that extra money aside for Christmas. You simply put £35 to one side on day 1, £34 day 2, £33 day 3 etc until by day 35 you put £1 in the post and BAM £600+ in the bank! 

10% and nothing less. I’ve already started this one and so far so good. I’ve set up an automatic direct debit from my main account into a savings account that on pay day, takes 10% of my wage and puts it to one side. Honestly, this is, hands down the easiest way I’ve found to save money without realising. That 10% is gone before I’ve even laid eyes on it, so automatically I can’t spend it, meaning I’m already learning to live on less £££ and I’ve got more money in the pot to actually play with when holidays and adventures come around.

IF all goes to plan, I could put a minimum of £5000 away in a year. Or at least put that money towards better things, like city breaks, trips to see friends, blog props and a few extra dresses for my collection. Now that I would be quite chuffed with!

Have you got any savings goals this year?

Until next time, 

Monday, 16 January 2017

Fats in Food - Save your drains!

absorb bin review

I don’t know about you but I have never stopped for even a minute to think about what I’m putting down the sink. Call it naive, stupidity, still kinda new to this whole adulting thing, whatever, but I don’t remember a single time when someone told me what not to put down the sink

absorb bin review

Here’s a tow curling fact for you all, the North West of England alone pours 2.9 MILLION STONE of fat down the plughole. 2.9 MILLION STONE. I kinda need to let that sink in for a moment. (Oh, I’m hilarious). Fats, oils, and grease from cooking, each household contributes around 14lbs of it! Most of it comes from frying food, with the average household frying up around 3 times a week. I know we fry around 4-5 times a week, 7+ when I’m in one of my cooking moods. But what does it matter? I mean it’s just a little oil here and there, and I use extra virgin, which is healthy and what not, so, you know, what’s the problem?

United Utilities attends around 53,000 call-outs every year for blocked pipes, plug holes that don’t drain and blockages. But this has nothing to do with the water company, and if you really bugger up your pipes, well, your insurance cover wants nothing to do with you either. Adulting. Who knew?

absorb bin review

So, hello Absorb Bin. This clever little lunchbox looking doohickey soaks up all your fatty kitchen waste in minutes, instantly eliminating the risk of blocked and buggered drains! The simple white plastic design is so sleek, it fits into any sized kitchen effortlessly. I’ve had mine on the counter for a week now and hardly noticed it being there - and my kitchen is tiny. Open the lid and you’re met with a super absorbent corrugated inner tray. As soon as your poor your fats and oils in, they are instantly sucked up. Job done. That’s it. That easy. No chemicals, no mess, no fuss and no more bunged up plug holes. 

absorb bin review

Seeing is believing so I whipped up a batch of my perfect crispy Parmentier potatoes to really test it out. 

  • I use 1 potato per person, washed, peeled and chopped into rough 1cm cubes. 
  • Get a large frying pan on high heat and add 2-3 tablespoons of vegetable oil. 
  • Fry the potatoes on medium - high for around 10 minutes whilst the oven heats up. 
  • Pop the potatoes in a roasting dish, add your flavorings (if any), then cook at around 180 for 45 minutes.

Every 15 minutes or so you’re going to want to take the roasting dish out and toss the potatoes, this stops them sticking to the bottom and ensures a crispy, even cook!

absorb bin review

And of course, all that cooking oil went straight into the Absorb Bin instead of down the drain. It soaked up the oils no bother. I’ve noticed there’s no smell coming from the bin either. Each fat trapper pad lasts around a week depending on how often you’re using it!

Now, competition time! United Utilities want to see your best rostie photo! One where you haven’t chucked the excess fat down the drain! Simply pop your picture up on Instagram with the hashtag #binfat2winthat for your chance to win £100 of supermarket vouchers! Ready, steady, potato!

Which fact shocked you more? The amount of fats and oils we put down the sink or my inability to adult?

Until next time, 

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