2017 Recipe Book Challenge

Our cookery books

Our cookery books

Man, we have a lot of cook books – and no sign of them reducing – we were given at least two this holiday season. Hurrah! A good present idea for us, we’ll never turn a cook book down!

We also like trying new recipes – I think there’s only one I’ve made that’s gone horribly wrong (Jamie Oliver’s 15 Minute Meal if you want to know) and, if the recipe works out, we make it a few times, adapt it (there are always adaptions to personalise!) and add it to our repertoire.

This year we’ve decided to give ourselves a new challenge. We’re going to specifically pick one recipe book a month and task ourselves with four new recipes a month from it. At the end of the month I planning on jotting down a wee blog about the book, the recipes we used and, how well it went. We won’t limit ourselves to only one book, so if it works out to try something else, we will, but we’ll always try to default to the selected monthly book.

It would be very prescriptive to select all twelve books just now, so at the moment we’ve just pulled a few out that we’d be interested in exploring and at the end of each month we’ll make a selection for the upcoming month.

A few of the books we're thinking about focussing on this year...

A few of the books we’re thinking about focussing on this year…

Our January book is The Hairy Bikers’ Meat Feasts – check back at the end of the month for the report! 🙂

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Reading List 2017

Some of my 2017 fiction reads

Some of my 2017 fiction reads

Hope everyone has had a lovely Christmas and New Year period!

Although, I feel, that last year’s book aims were not *quite* met (*cough* 4 out of 12 books read), I still really enjoy looking through my books and picking out a lovely list of books to aim to read in the coming year. As you might know from previous posts, I don’t like to be too tied down with what to read so it’s a loose list, with an overall aim to keep on reading as much as I can. 2016 was a slow year, but I’m raring to and excited to what the year holds, in all ways, not just reading!

Here are a few of the books that I’ve outlined to read in the coming year:


  1. The Bone Clocks – David Mitchell (from last year’s list)
  2. Chicken – Chase Night (from last year’s list)
  3. The Heart Goes Last – Margaret Atwood
  4. The Trees – Ali Shaw
  5. Kraken – China Mieville


  1. The Organized Mind – Daniel Levitan (from last year’s list and I’m about halfway through at moment)
  2. The Princess Diarist – Carrie Fisher
  3. Awakening Shakti – Sally Kempton
  4. Inside the Yoga Sutras – Jaganath Carrera
  5. Year of Yes – Shonda Rhimes
  6. Queen of the Desert – Georgina Howell (our last Edinburgh Book Group Read which we didn’t quite get to reading!)

Lots of variety in 2017! I’ve already gotten going with The Organised Mind which I started last month but haven’t quite finished yet and with Yoga Teacher Training starting in April this year, I reckon a lot of my time will be spent with non-fiction in the coming months.

I'm looking forward to finishing The Organized Mind in 2017

I’m looking forward to finishing The Organized Mind in 2017

Have you set yourself any reading targets for 2017? I love hearing what people are reading, so comment below or ping me on social media!


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List – 2016 Books

I do love writing this blog post every year! This year has been a much lighter in terms of reading with Audible propping me up (1o/24 books) as well a quiet week in France (6 books read!).

2016 - The Year of Aaronovich!

2016 – The Year of Aaronovich!

2016 was the year that I fell in love with Ben Aaronovich’s Rivers of London series. It was the first book I read and then I powered through all five and ended up patiently waiting for the latest, The Hanging Tree, to come out. I even got to meet Ben Aaronovich at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in August and he signed one of my books. I was so excited!

Obsessed? Me?!

Obsessed? Me?!

Here’s the full list for 2016:

  1. Rivers of London – Ben Aaronovich
  2. Moon Over Soho – Ben Aaronovich
  3. Whispers Underground – Ben Aaronovich
  4. The Hourglass Factory – Lucy Ribchester
  5. Broken Homes – Ben Aaronovich
  6. Foxglove Summer – Ben Aaronovich
  7. The Bees – Laline Paull
  8. The Humans – Matt Haig
  9. Big Magic – Elizabeth Gilbert
  10. Songs of Love and War – Santa Montefiore
  11. The Glorious Heresies – Lisa McInerney
  12. Life on the Road – Gloria Steinem
  13. Not That Kind of Girl – Lena Dunham
  14. #GIRLBOSS – Sophia Amoroso
  15. Night School – Richard Wiseman
  16. The Boston Girl – Anita Diamant
  17. The Art of Love – Elizabeth Edmondson
  18. The Cuckoo’s Calling – Robert Galbraith
  19. The Silkworm – Robert Galbraith
  20. Career of Evil – Robert Galbraith
  21. The Power – Naomi Alderman
  22. The Hanging Tree – Ben Aaronovich
  23. Mr Stink – David Walliams
  24. Billionaire Boy – David Walliams

Almost too many good books to write about but some other things to note:

I LOVED the Robert Galbraith Series on Audible – heartily recommend either reading or listening if you get the chance!

I was rubbish at heeding to my 2016 target list! Must do better for 2017!

I started well on my aim to buy no books (see last year’s post) but failed miserably towards the end. I. Can’t. Stop. Buying. Books.

I’ve had some really good feminist reads – starting with Gloria Steinem – and we’ve even changed the slant of our book group to accommodate this too.

Glories Heresies by Lisa McInerney was one of our book group reads

Glories Heresies by Lisa McInerney was one of our book group reads

Anything take your fancy? What were your reads for 2016? I’d love to hear them either here, or on social media…… look forward to hearing from you!


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2016 Edinburgh Festivals

Well, I feel that this time of year came around very fast! One year further away from working at the Fringe, and another new perspective. About halfway through the Fringe, I would have said this was my worst ever in terms of enjoyment (and actually getting to see stuff!) – but I managed to pull it all around right at the last weekend – and probably have the best one ever! Phew.

So here’s my list. And before I start, I’ll say I’m not ashamed I saw less than ever. I still view it as compacting a year of culture into one month and I think this is by far more balanced than I’ve made it in the past.

EIF's Deep Time from the Office

EIF’s Deep Time from the Office

  1. Deep Time (Edinburgh International Festival) – from my freaking office! You can’t argue with me when I say I have the best office ever!
  2. Laura Bates (Edinburgh International Book Festival – a Book Group event – Laura is the creator of the #everydaysexism project and it was great to get fired up on her views on the world.
  3. Sigur Ros (Edinburgh International Festival) – was lucky enough to be a guest of the EIF to this show which was BRIGHT – and also amazing.
  4. BBC at the Fringe – Fred McAuley (Fringe) – a last minute invite to be part of studio audience. Was good fun with my pal Gemma.
  5. Ben Aaronovich (Edinburgh International Book Festival) – my fav author of the year. Was really really lovely to see him, meet him briefly (squee!) and hear about his process for writing and developing characters. If you haven’t already – go read Rivers of London.
  6. Club Cumming (Edinburgh International Festival) – last night fun on the last Saturday of the Fringe. I danced with the hubster and friends until 04:00. Not like me at all! Had a blast!

    Having a fab time at Club Cumming

    Having a fab time at Club Cumming

  7. Teatro Delusio (Fringe) – beautifully executed – extremely dull (nuff said)
  8. Pip Utton: Playing Maggie (Fringe) – am extremely bias as Pip is a fab friend – but this was the first time I’d seen him and I was blown away. Loved it. Also went down extremely well with the audience. So it wasn’t all bias 🙂
  9. Dracula (Fringe) – with the hubster – was fun and enjoyable – a good light humour for a lazy Monday afternoon.
  10. Attrape Moi (Fringe) – a fantastic physical theatre and circus act from France – was a really fab show to end my festival season on.
Us with the Pipster

Us with the Pipster

So, I had a great time in the end. I also managed a trip to Dundee and to London – a first in about 8 years of leaving Edinburgh during the festivals. Regrets? I didn’t see enough of my friends – something to work on next time.

Roll on next year!

What do you think? Would love to hear your thoughts on shows you attended, or if you saw anything I saw too. I love a comment on the blog me. 😉


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