Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013: A Retrospective Perspective

Wow what an absolute roller coaster of a year! From the moment it began I knew 2013 was going to be something special. Though it seems to have shot past in the blink of an eye, compiling this blog post made me realise that we managed to do some pretty awesome things this year - getting married for one but also exploring new places both here and abroad, getting busy in the kitchen with some new cakes and bakes and spending time with our wonderful friends and family. The readership of Stone Cold Comfort has also grown considerably over the last year too and I'm so pleased! Big love to all my new readers as well as my returning ones. If you don't already, now is the perfect time to follow me on Bloglovin - I've got some super exciting content planned for 2014 and this way you'll never miss a post!

Before we dive into the year ahead, I hope you'll indulge me while I look back over the last twelve months. Grab a cup of tea and let's go!










2013 got off to a cold and snowy start! We took Declan and Hannah on a Winters walk to visit the church where Ciaran and I would get married later in the Spring!


The weather outside might have been gloomy but everything was bright and sunny in our kitchen thanks to these gorgeous organic oranges, lemons and pink grapefruit! I turned them into candied peel to make our wedding cakes!


Before long it was March and time for our Hen and Stag weekends! My girlfriends whisked me away to a cottage in the country with plenty of delicious food, delicious wine and party games! To date this was the most hungover I have ever been.






Spring was a long time coming and it soon became clear we wouldn't have the balmy and mild weather we were hoping for on our wedding day. We didn't let it get us down and instead I cracked on with baking the wedding cakes!



 I was so pleased with how my DIY wedding cake toppers turned out!





All of a sudden the 5th April was upon us! We spent the day before the wedding setting up the reception venue and I remember standing in the club room, drying hundreds of tea cups and watching the snow blow horizontally across the River Thames. Luckily the day itself remained dry (if rather cold). All our friends and family wrapped up warm and braved the chill for us! We had a traditional ceremony in our local church...







Followed by a rowdy party down the rowing club!

We had our wonderful sister in Law Hannah as our official photographer and she even came prepared with her own prop shop!





After the excitement of the wedding it felt wonderful to jet off for some tropical sunshine in St. Lucia on our honeymoon!

When we returned to earth I was commissioned to bake an enormous double chocolate and fresh fruit cake for a 60th Birthday Party!


On the May Day bank holiday we welcomed the arrival of Summer at the Hastings Jack In The Green Festival with our good friends Lauren & Simon!


My sisters and I took a class in French Macaron making along with my Dad  at the wonderful On Cookery School!

Summer came at last and Ciaran and I picked Elderflowers and made our own cordial!

 Then whipped up these tasty chocolate Viennese biscuits!


 I took a trip to Paris with my Girlfriends! The weather was gorgeous - we drank red wine, walked all over the city and ate dozens of macarons!


Anna and I were lucky enough to be bridesmaids at our wonderful friends Celina & Tom's wedding! We captured it all through a Boots disposable camera.

Ciaran and I barely spent a weekend at home over the Summer as we divided our time between camping in the New Forest...


 (I made these wonderful Raw Chocolate Brownies to take with us!)



and camping in Dorset with Declan & Hannah!

We braved the icy English coast for a swim at beautiful Durdle Door.


We squeezed every last drop of sunshine out of the Summer with a canal boat holiday in the South of France! 


Somehow, we managed to fit in one more trip - this time down to Padstow, Cornwall. Although the weather had well and truly turned, we still braved the icy waters of the Cornish coast for a spot of body surfing! However much surfing we did I don't think it could ever make up for the enormous quantity of Rick Steins fish and chips we consumed!





As the nights began to draw in I finally finished the jumper I've been knitting for what feels like forever!



 I dusted off my old Holga and got my first reel of film in years developed (with mixed results).




As Summer turned to Autumn, Hanna and I paid a visit to Kate and Lauren for the weekend! We had a wonderful time exploring Bath!

 I went for the chop and had a good foot or so lopped off my hair. Short(er) hair is where it's at!


We embraced Autumn to the max and whipped up a delicious batch of Hot Mulled Cider!


Guy Fawkes Night is one of my very favourite festivals and this year we managed to catch two local displays (one big fancy one and the other at our local pub!). We drank mulled wine, ate pub hot dogs and ran around our front garden with sparklers afterwards.



 I got on board the srunchie train and showed you how to make your own Liberty print version with my easy peasy tutorial.

 I also got my knitting needles out  for another tutorial - this time I made a headband!


 I embraced the Winter vibes with these Gingerbread Snowflake Biscuits and a Spiced Apple & Creme Fraiche Cake...




Before too long it was time to trim the tree once more for our second Christmas in our new home! This year we made plenty of time for relaxing and catching up with friends and family.

Nice one 2013!

I hope you have a wonderful New Years Eve whatever you're doing! Ciaran and I are going for a pub dinner with Declan and Hannah followed by home, onesie and Death Comes To Pemberley in that order. It's a good life.