Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Walking Dead Wednesday - Episode 11


Welcome back to this weeks roundup. At the end of last weeks episode we had Aaron, the new guy coming to the group promising a safe haven for the group at his camp. At the start of this weeks episode he is brought back to the barn to speak to Rick who takes his weapon from him. 

Aaron tells Rick he would like for them to come and "audition" to get into their camp and become part of the community. He then proceeds to tell him what the photos show that he has brought with him, and tries to justify why they should come. This arrogant approach from Aaron pushes Rick too far and before he knows it, Rick punches him to the floor, knocking him out. 

When Aaron eventually comes round, Rick questions him about how many are in his group, as it seems suspicious that he should be carrying a flare gun. Aaron tells him that he wouldn't be believed whatever he told them, casting further doubt on his 'safe' camp. 

Aaron keeps trying to convince Rick and the group to come to the camp, trying to get across people are the most important resource to survival. Michonne ends up speaking out in favour of going and Rick ends up agreeing to let half the group go to try and find the camp. The others stay around the barn, with Aaron tied up, having been told if the rest of the group aren't back in 1 hour, Rick will waste no time taking out his knife and killing him. 

Judith desperately needs feeding, and Rick forces Aaron to eat the food he donated to the group to prove he hasn't poisoned it. It turns out to be safe and Judith is able to eat some much needed food. 

Michonne, Abraham, Maggie, Glenn and Lauren head to try and find any sign of people or the camp but only come across a few walkers which are soon dealt with, and a empty caravan. They soon return, luckily for Aaron. Rick ends up agreeing to drive to find the camp, but insists they should wait until night, to be sure they wont be spotted approaching. 

Glenn is driving towards camp, with Rick, Michonne and Aaron in the car and they soon find out that he has been listening to the them with some high tech equipment, why would he need to do this? Further suspicion is cast on Aaron's motive when Michonne is looking through photos of the camp, and asks why there are no photos with people in. Before they can interrogate him further, they end up ploughing through a huge crowd of walkers which have completely taken over the road. 

Further down the road the car comes to a stop, and can't be restarted because of all the walkers body parts stuck into the engine. A red flare is seen going up into the sky, and Aaron bolts out of the car. Rick, Glenn and Michonne have to fight off loads of walkers, but manage to escape and find Aaron again.

Luckily for the others in the caravan, they had escaped before they ran into the group of walkers. They have made it to a safe building which Rick and the others regroup with them at, after following the flare. Aaron runs in to check on his boyfriend who has broken his ankle. They all end up resting for the night and set off for camp in the morning. 

Half way into the journey the caravan battery ends up packing in, but Glenn luckily manages to find a spare in one of the compartments. Caravan experience from previous seasons maybe?

The caravan is soon up and running again, but Rick takes 5 minutes to go and hide a handgun in a pile of rubbish a little away from the road. I wonder what he has done this for, maybe the doubt about the safety of this camp is still very high. Back on the road the group end up arriving at the camp and pull up outside the gates. They all get out and start waking towards the gate when the episode ends.

Overall this episode has displayed the split between the group, with some clearly thinking the camp is a good idea, and others such as Rick having a much more reserved approach. It did seem quite slow progress this week with the whole episode being focused on the trip to the camp. 

What will they find inside? Will they be safe? Or will Ricks cautious approach prove to have been the right one? We'll have to wait until next week to find out!

Andy
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Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Afternoon Tea at Jesmond Dene House

Me and Laura were very kindly bought Afternoon Tea for two by Kathryn, who is a close family friend to me. She bought it us as a birthday gift back in October and we have now finally found a weekend to do it on. 



The Afternoon Tea was at Jesmond Dene House in Newcastle upon Tyne and is only around 15 minutes from the city centre. It is set next to a nice area of Jesmond Dene, which has great walks and scenery only a short distance from the centre. 

There was quite a selection of different things to choose from and this was our choice:

Sandwiches
Gammon and Mustard
Coronation Egg Mayonnaise
Smoked Cheddar & Apple Pickle

Scones (came with clotted cream & home-made jam)
Spiced Fruit
Plain
Cheese

Desserts
Lime & White Chocolate Macaroon
Chocolate & Salted Caramel Financier
Red Velvet Cake, Cream Cheese Frosting
Rhubarb Cheesecake Sundae 

All of these were really nice and you could tell they used high quality foods and took time preparing them. We also both ordered Breakfast Tea (but there are many to choose from) and the pot of tea was refilled as often as we liked. As you can see in the photo it was all presented on a 3 tier cake stand, making it easy to choose which bit you would go for next. 

The staff were excellent, very friendly, offering to take our coats when we arrived, and always on hand to check if we needed anything and to make sure everything was okay. The atmosphere was great and it had a really relaxed feel to it, which is sometimes hard to come by when you are in a city. 

I would highly recommend going here for afternoon tea, i'm sure you will love it!

You can check out the full menu and make bookings here.


I hope you enjoyed this little review of my experience at Jesmond Dene House, and if you are in or around Newcastle, its definitely worth checking out.

Andy
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Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Walking Dead Wednesday - Episode 10


Welcome back to this weeks Walking Dead Wednesday. Last week we had a dramatic start to this part of season 5 with the death of Tyreese and more drama. 

This weeks episode starts off much slower with the slumped in the woods crying to herself while the others are stopped on the road. A walker can be seen coming up behind her and there is a moment where you wonder whether she is going to react or just let it get to her. Luckily the walker gets stuck in the tree and Maggie takes out her knife to kill the walker. This doesn't help her emotions as she slumps back down, still crying, obviously distraught at her sisters death.

Slightly after Maggie regroups with Daryl and Sasha who have been searched for water but neither have managed to find anything. They return to the rest of the group, who are desperate for food and water. After carrying on in the vehicles they finally run out of fuel, so they proceed to carry on foot. Daryl is concerned for Judith's health with the lack of food and goes to try and find food, closely followed by Carol. 

Carl had found a jewellery box while looking for supplies and passing this to Maggie, which seems a small gesture to cheer her up. This is soon reversed when Gabriel tries to talk to her about Beth and her dad, yet Maggie angrily reacts saying that Gabriel left his church people to die. Further behind Sasha wants to take out the slow group of walkers following the survivors, but Michonne discourages her, telling her they need to conserve their energy. This doesn't go down well wish Sasha as she storms off.

While Carol and Daryl are food hunting, she passes Daryl a knife Beth used to own and encourages him to grief and let his emotions out. Daryl is clearly struggling with Beth's death, but is trying to maintain composure. 

Rick and the rest of the group have spotted a group of walkers approaching and decide to prepare themselves next to a steep bank, throwing the walkers down to the bottom to deal with them this way. Unfortunately Sasha ignores this plan and plunges her knife into an oncoming walker, prompting a quick change of plans. The group have to take down the rest of the walkers and manage to escape unharmed, but Michonne still directs her anger towards Sasha's impatience. 

Further down the road, a group of cars are found which they start to look round. Daryl, however, disappears on his own into the woods. 

Maggie is looking for supplies in the car and having found nothing in the car, she goes to open the boot to check. Here she finds a walkers of what appears to be an old lady that was gagged and tied up, and can't bring herself to kill her so slams the boot shut. After hearing the walker banging on the inside, she decides she has to kill it, yet can't get back in the boot and is just about to shoot her way through. Glenn steps in just in time and deals with the walker and takes Maggie away. 

Thinking they will be safe by the side of the road, some wild dogs approach from the woods, with the group sat helpless. Sasha quickly pulls out her rifle and takes all the dogs out just before they are about to attack the group. The scene then moves onto the group cooking and eating dog meat with barely an expression to show. Noah admits to Sasha he doesn't know if he can survive, which she replies "then you won't". Maybe not the reply Noah was looking for. Seemingly admitting defeat with his religion, Gabriel tosses his collar into the fire. 

Abraham found some liqueur in one of the cars and offers Sasha some, which she refuses. Meanwhile Daryl finds a spot near a barn and sits against a tree and ends up putting out his cigarette on his hand, then loses control of his emotions and bursts into tears. 

Water bottles are found in the middle of the road, with a note "from a friend". The group are suspicious and think its a trap, yet Eugene goes to drink from one but is stopped by Abraham slapping it away from him. Next, a huge storm is heard approaching and torrential rain soon takes over. At first they think this is a gift, yet soon realise shelter is needed. By this time Daryl is back, and takes them to the barn he spotted. 

When the group have cleared the barn, they are sat around the fire with Rick telling a story about his grandfather. He tells the group "this is how we survive", and says that they should tell themselves they are the walking dead. Daryl doesn't agree with this. 

During the night Daryl is keeping watch, and all seems okay until he goes to secure the door back up and a huge group of walkers are seen approaching. He tries to stop them getting through the doors and is nearly defeated, yet for the help of the rest of the group who started to wake and realise the situation. The scene finishes with the group battling with the walkers on the other side of the door. 

The next scene is Maggie waking up in the morning with the group all asleep, except Daryl who is sat up again a wall. She goes over to him and takes over watch. She wakes up Sasha and they exit the barn and find the walkers stuck between all the trees that were brought down in the storm. They move into a nearby field and watch the sun rise, soon to be interrupted by a stranger, suspiciously clean and healthy, who asks to speak to Rick, saying "he has good news". 

The episode ends, with this possible saviour coming to their rescue...or is it? 

That's it for this week, it started off a bit slower but tension is rising within the group, and the addition of an unknown survivor starts triggering a lot of questions. What will next week bring?

Andy 






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Sunday, 15 February 2015

How to Make Different Pancakes

Seen as Pancake Day is coming up I thought I would give a few ideas of what to do with your pancakes this year. These were made earlier today and I have done the normal style thin pancakes and the fluffy american ones which are a bit thicker and smaller. I used the BBC Good Food Recipes for the general method which I've linked at the bottom.

Standard Pancakes



This is the standard thin pancake that you could make which should take less time to cook, and are often best to put your topping on and then roll it up as you can see in the photo above. 

Here's the ingredients for both types of pancakes and I have listed the specific ingredients below.



Ingredients 
100g plain flour
2 eggs
300ml semi-skimmed milk
1 tbsp sunflower oil or vegetable, plus extra for frying
Pinch salt


Method
1. Blend the flour with a pinch of salt in a large mixing bowl and when mixed make a small dip in the centre. Next crack the eggs into the dip and add in 1 tbsp of oil and 50ml of milk. Mix all together with a whisk so you get a smooth, thick paste, you might need a bit more milk if it wont mix properly.

2. Whisk in a splash of milk so the batter loosens up, and then add in the remaining milk while still whisking. You should end up with a batter consistency that is slightly thicker than thick single cream. 

3.  Set the pan to heat on a moderate level and a bit of oil. Add some of the batter into the pan to thinly cover the whole base. Leave to cook for around 30 seconds and you should have a golden colour underneath. 

4. Now time to flip the pancake. Get a fish slice and gently slide under the pancake and turn over and then cook for another 30 seconds on the other side, or you if you want to be brave, try and flip it using the pan! 


American Pancakes



Ingredients
135g/4¾oz plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp caster sugar
130ml/4½fl oz milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten

2 tbsp melted butter (allowed to cool slightly) or olive oil, plus extra for cooking

Method
1. Get your flour, baking powder, salt and caster sugar and sift into a large bowl. Get another bowl whisk the egg and milk into your melted butter. 

2. Take your milk mixture and add into your flour mixture and get either a fork or whisk and mix together to get a smooth batter. Let this stand for a few minutes.

3. Get a non-stick frying pan and heat to a medium heat, adding a teaspoon of butter. Once melted add in a small amount of the batter to fill, it should be reasonably thick in the pan. When the pancake starts to bubble at the top, turn it over and cook so that both sides are golden brown. Make sure the pancake has risen for around 1cm.






Topping Time
These are the toppings that I had on my pancakes (not all at once, don't worry). Depending how you are feeling you can mix up between any of the toppings below. I have also included some chocolaty toppings that I have had in the past and are very nice indeed! 





BBC Good Food
Standard Pancakes
Fluffy American Pancakes

I hope you manage to get some amazing pancakes and come up with some great toppings, let me know what you end up having!

Andy

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Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Walking Dead Wednesday - Episode 9


Welcome back to Walking Dead Wednesday now season 5 is back! 

This episode begins with a soil being dug over and Gabriel giving a eulogy, this already is setting up for some tragic event. Blood is seen dripping onto a painting of a house - who's blood is this? 

Next, Noah is explaining to Rick about a gated community around Richmond area, that he and Beth had wanted to go to. This gives hope to Rick who tells the rest of the group about this and decides that they will go the next day. On the trip to Richmond Tyreese is explaining to Noah that it wasn't his fault Beth died and he shouldn't feel guilty. He tries to make Noah feel better by explaining about his past with his father. 

Closer to Richmond, Rick radios over to Carol in the other car who is with the other half of the group, telling them to stop and wait while they go to check it out. Rick gets within a couple of miles and pulls into the woods to walk the rest of the way to avoid being spotted. As they approach the gate, Glenn goes to check and indicates that no-one is left. Noah doesn't take this well and climbs over the gate and sees the devastation of dead bodies everywhere. At this point Noah collapses and can't help but cry. Rick thinks they should check the area for supplies but Michonne asks what will they actually do afterwards. The group seems to be getting less hopeful for their future. 

Tyreese is stood over Noah trying to cheer him up when Noah stands up and runs off down the street to which Tyreese gives chase. Eventually Noah stops when he gets to his house and wants to go in, which Tyreese tells him its not a good idea, but ends up agreeing as long as Noah lets him go in first. Noah's mothers body is found burnt out on the floor. Noah kneels next to it and covers her over with a blanket. Tyreese starts to hear something from another room and discovers the body of Noah's twin brother on the bed, and as Tyreese looks at the photos on the wall, Noah's other (walker) twin comes from behind and bites his arm, shortly before Noah comes in and stabs his brother in the head. 

Tyreese starts to loose a lot of blood and is dropping in and out of consciousness and starts hearing a radio broadcast and having visions of Martin, Bob, Lizzie, Mika and the Governor. In his visions they start speaking to him trying to blame Tyreese for the death of Beth. The Governor then lunges at him, which he soon realises is a walker. Tyreese results to defending himself with his already bitten arm to allow him to grab a rock, plunging it into the walkers head. The source of the blood on the frame seen as the start has now been identified as the walker twin. So what about the grave?

Outside, unknown of Tyreese's condition, Michonne is trying to convince Rick that they should stay in the community and repair the walls as they can built up the community once again. Rick decides against this idea and then notices numerous bodies separated at the waist scattered just outside the walls. They look confused as to how the body parts ended up like that, and then move on, to decide that getting to Washington is the best option.

They then hear a cry for help which they found Noah being attacked by Walkers. After rescuing him then sprint over to help Tyreese. With no time to waste, they cut Tyreese's arm off to try and save him, and then drag and carry him back to the truck. As Rick pulls away in the truck he crashes into the back of a lorry with more upper body parts falling onto the windscreen, yet these torsos are still 'alive'. This begs the question, what happened to them and how did they end up in the back of a lorry?

Further down the road, Tyreese once again hears the radio broadcast and he tells them to "turn it off". Turning back round to look inside the car, he sees Bob, Beth, Mika and Lizzie all smiling at him. Beth simply says, "it's okay Tyreese" with Mika telling him "it's better now". This indicates to what we feared was going to happen. Rick pulls over and they move Tyreese's body onto the road. They cover his body and Michonne makes sure he wont turn into a walker with her trusty sword. 

The episode ends with Gabriel reading the eulogy as Rick shovels dirt into Tyreese's grave, which confirms the scene at the start. Rick is realising that more and more is riding on finding a safe haven, and wonders what is to come.

That's it that this week, quite a lot of drama for the first episode back after the mid-season break. Will they make it to Washington? Who will survive? Can they take any more deaths? We will have to wait until next week for some answers!

Andy
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Sunday, 8 February 2015

What Women Really Want For Valentine's Day

Hi, I'm Andy's other half Laura and I'm here to tell you what women really want for Valentine's day. Not to point fingers, certainly not at Andy, he knows better , but some simply rush out the day before/day of and buy the nearest stuffed animal or ill-fitting bracelet. We don't want that. We never want that.

For women, it's the thought that counts. However, we would prefer your money to be spent well. And by well, that is on things we will use, not thing that will go on a shelf for the rest of eternity. I pre-warn you that I may have expensive taste.



Charlotte Tilbury Lipsticks, £23
Here are two safe options for women. Firstly we have the K.I.S.S.I.N.G. lisptick in Bitch Perfect which is a nude colour and should be safe for all skin tones. It isn't matte so you don't have to worry about dry lips and so on. The second is Matte Revolution in Liberty which is a classic red lip. With rose gold packaging and shaped lipstick for easier application, it is a gorgeous gift, without insulting they need apply more makeup!

Personalised Nutella, £3.99
These are located in Selfridges so I appreciate that this cannot be bought online. I would suggest buying your partner nutella anyway, since it is so yummy.

Paloma Picasso Love Bracelet, Tiffany & Co, £550
Yes this is for those men who can throw their money in the air like they just don't care. If you haven't gathered by now, I love rose gold, especially 18k rose gold! The 'love' element of the bracelet is a perfect gift to suggest how much you care for your other half. And it's shiny, and pretty. Oh so pretty. If this is not in your price range, try these: [here], [here (Michael Kors)], [here], [here]. Find out which metal your lady likes though subtly, first.

Michael Kors Purse, £85
Andy bought me a similar purse for my 21st birthday, and it's perfect. It has tons of slots to put my bank cards and tons of loyalty cards to different stores in. Black is a safe bet guys!

Hotel Chocolat Valentine's Day Selection, £25
These are quality chocolates that have a mix in, so if she doesn't like some, you will. They include flavours such as Caramel, Champagne, Passion Fruit and Salted Almond Praline. Hotel Chocolat has plenty of other V-Day boxes to choose from if your Mrs is fussy eater.

Zoeva Rose Golden Luxury Makeup Brush Set, £55+/65 EUR
Yes, more rose gold. It's great. What better way to apply makeup than high quality brushes. Plus they come in a handy travel bag, which is basically flat packed to save room when travelling, so she can fit them in her suitcase and not stuff things into yours. Thinking outside the box!


If you have any questions, feel free to tweet me @laurahadleyx if you need any last minute gift buying help!

Laura. 
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Thursday, 5 February 2015

Netflix TV Series You Need to Watch


Many of you will have Netflix and have probably all experienced the time when you load it up to then scroll through all the different programmes trying to decide for ages what to watch. There are so many great TV series on Netflix that you should get into, and will mean you always have something to watch rather than wasting time scrolling through aimlessly. 

Me and Laura has collaborated on different TV shows that we we recommend and have either watched already, currently watching or are about to watch. There is quite a variety so hopefully there will be something for everyone's taste. 

Survivors
2 seasons 
An British TV series on a flu epidemic that spreads quickly, wiping the world's population out overnight, except for the few immune survivors. They have to experience the world without luxuries, and gives you a real insight into what would actually happen. No zombies for the faint hearted!

Breaking Bad
5 seasons
A chemistry teacher with a terminal illness seeks to find a greater purpose in life. He teaches a former student to develop their own crystal meth to support his family for their future. I'm the one who knocks.

Suits
2 seasons
A intelligent college dropout manages to use his wit to bag an associate job in a law firm, despite having no legal education. [Laura]: Men in suits talking law, Harvey is quite attractive.

The Killing
4 seasons
A young girl called Rosie goes missing in Seattle and detectives and the school seek out to discover what happened, whilst there is a conflicted detective working on the case.

Dexter
8 seasons
A blood-splatter analyst by day, serial killer by night. Dexter Morgan targets only the bad people of society in Miami. This gets really addictive to watch, as does the theme tune.

American Horror Story
3 seasons
A murder house, an asylum, a coven and a freak shown. A twisted drama shows the supernatural and everyday going on's. Some characters feature in multiple seasons just to mix it up too!

The Tudors
4 seasons
Henry VIII and his six wives; what happens when Henry gets bored of his lovers, his wish to product sons and his reign over England. Surprisingly featuring Joss Stone...

Brooklyn Nine Nine
1 season
A comedy TV series based on a Brooklyn police station and the detectives within it. An easy, short watch.

Whitechapel
3 seasons
A murderer copies the famous Jack the Ripper in a contemporary society, and a detective team along with a tour guide try to solve the case and find the killer.

Silk
3 seasons
A British based legal series, more serious than 'Suits'. A chamber of barristers and clerks have challenges both in court and out. Who will attain the rank of QC (Queen's Counsel)? Although Laura is a law student and understands everything going on, for me it is interesting to watch.

Homeland
3 seasons
After being held as a prisoner of war, a marine finally returns back home, yet a CIA agent suspects he may have been turned by Al Qaeda into a terrorist and is planning an attack on the USA. This is a gripping, tense series that we have you on the edge of your seat. 

Prison Break
4 seasons
An innocent man is jailed for murder, and his brother has to break him out of jail. What relationships begin? Also stars Holly Valance... [Laura] and the gorgeous Wentworth Miller.

House of Cards
2 seasons, 3rd coming out 27th Feb
A political drama based around a Congressman Frank Underwood who is determined to achieve Presidency in Washington D.C. This clever series leads through the ins and outs of his mission to reach his goal, with many twists and turns along the way. 

Pretty Little Liars
5 seasons
4 high school girls discover their ringleader is dead, and everyone blames them. Without proof, they stick together and a blackmailer (A) tries to reveal their secrets. Nowhere near as 'childish' as it may seem, and is incredibly addictive to watch. Who is A?

Sons of Anarchy
6 seasons
A motorcycle club called the Sons of Anarchy with a love for guns have to battle racists, bikers and the legal system after taking control of their town.

Jericho
2 seasons
A nuclear blast cuts off the outside world, as Jake tries to collect an inheritance. He is a leader afterwards, and this follows his journey. A little similar to 'Survivors',
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