All posts by abbiosbiston

Hi, I’m Abbi. I grew up in South Africa and moved to London in 2004 because I didn't have anything better to do. It turned out to be the best decision I ever made. I live in Essex with my long-suffering British husband, Mr O and our smaller human, Little O. I divide up my life between my day job as an email ninja (not my actual title), trying to get my head around mummery, experimenting in the kitchen, reviewing random crap, fantisising about sleeping more than a two hours in a row and spending too much time on Instagram.

Universal Yums: November 2018 Box – The Netherlands

November’s box came from The Netherlands. The moment I realised where it was coming from I got really excited. My dad is Dutch and I grew up with snacks sent to us from my Oom Coe and Tante Zus (my great aunt and her husband). I have also been to Amsterdam and loved the food. I was not disappointed as this was one of the best boxes we have had so far.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Love the Coopers (2015)

On Christmas Eve The Coopers prepare to get together for their traditional annual gathering. This year things are not going particularly smoothly though. Matriarch, Charlotte (Diane Keaton) and patriarch, Sam (John Goodman) are on the verge of divorce and in disagreement over whether or not they should tell their children. Their son, Hank (Ed Helms) is still reeling from his recent divorce and Charlotte’s sister, Emma (Marisa Tomei) has been arrested for shoplifting.

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TV REVIEW: The Good Place – Season 2

[SPOILER ALERT] If you have not watched Season 1 of The Good Place it might be best not to read this review. While it doesn’t have spoilers for season 2, it does mention the big reveal at the end of season 1.

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TV REVIEW: Line of Duty – Season 3

When a suspect is shot during a chase the armed police team claims they were acting in self defence but the forensics recovered by AC-12 suggest that there is more to the story. The plot thickens further when the team leader, Danny (Daniel Mays) is killed in a scuffle with his other team members and another member of the squad commits suicide.

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MOVIE REVIEW: A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding (2018)

Some of you might remember last year’s obsession with the Netflix original film A Christmas Prince, an outrageously cheesy festive sugar bomb of clichés and silliness. Of course Netflix spotted an opportunity to keep the action going and there’s a Royal Wedding based sequel. Mr O and I have revisited our commitment to watching a Christmas movie or TV special every day in December so we decided this was a great place to start.

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TV REVIEW: Line of Duty – Season 2

A couple of years after the DI Gates controversy, AC-12 has moved on and Dot Cottan (Craig Parkinson) is now the team’s DI. When a protected witness is killed in an explosion during a transfer, it initially seems like a confusing mistake but as DS Arnott (Martin Compston) and DC Fleming (Kate McClure) start to look at the circumstances surrounding the incident, suspicion is cast on Missing Persons DI Lindsay Denton (Keeley Hawes) who was driving the vehicle.

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MOVIE REVIEW: It (2017)

Anyone who is a regular reader of this blog will know that horror isn’t really my go-to genre. I don’t revel in being scared and am fairly easily freaked out. I heard a lot about It when it came out last year, mostly positive and I did read the book many, many years ago, not that I can remember much. So when it popped up on my Now TV recommendations recently I thought I might as well give it a go.

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RECIPE: Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies

My friend M recently posted on Instagram about some chocolate chip cookies she made. M is a regular baker with high standards so when she raved about them I decided that I better try them myself to check if they lived up to the hype. They did.  I did the  24 hour “prove” of the cookies as suggested and I think it made a difference to the outcome. So if you need these cookies for a specific day make sure to start them off at least the day before. 

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TV REVIEW: Line of Duty – Season 1

After an anti-terrorism operation goes horribly wrong DS Arnott (Martin Compston) ends up in AC-12 an anti-corruption unit run by the irrepressible Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar). AC-12 is feared and reviled in equal parts by fellow officers but Arnott is keen to prove himself and throws himself in wholeheartedly.

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BOOK REVIEW: Whispers Underground by Ben Aaronovitch

This is the third book in the Peter Grant detective series set where London’s human criminal element meets its supernatural one. I really enjoyed the first two novels in this series so picking up the next one seemed like a no brainer.

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Universal Yums: October 2018 box – Russia

This month’s box came from Russia, which is somewhere that both frightens and fascinates me. There were some really nice things in the box and some fairly run of the mill ones. All in all a pretty average box.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)

English wizard, Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) arries in 1920’s New York with a suitcase full of creatures and a plan to set one of the free in the wild. Of course the best laid plans never go quite as they should and an escape followed by a run in with a No-Maj/Muggle called Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler) leads Newt into hot water and into the path of disgraced Auror, Tina (Katherine Waterson).

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TV REVIEW: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina – Season 1

I am old enough to remember the first television outing of the Archie comic, Sabrina, The Teenage Witch. It was a sitcom that involved a half witch-half mortal teenage girl who lived with her aunts and her talking cat and got herself into funny, sticky situations involving magic. The new version in no way resembles the old version apart from a few character names. Some viewers are finding this a very hard transition. I am not one of them

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MOVIE REVIEW: The Grinch (2018)

This weekend on the spur of the moment I took Little O to see his first film in the cinema. My friend M, was taking her little Boy, L to see The Grinch and asked if we wanted to come along. L is a little older than Little O and has been to the cinema many times before but I was a little concerned that Little O would not want to sit still. I was very wrong. He spent a full hour absolutely mesmerised and very happy with his tub of popcorn. Then he took advantage of the fact that it was warm and dark to go to sleep until the end of the film. He is most definitely his father’s child.

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What I wore to work this week #37

I had a bit of an interesting week outfit wise. I really liked my outfit on Monday but then a random man that I often see in Starbucks told me I looked pregnant. Hmmm. Anyway, I liked it and all the rest of my clothes for the week and enjoyed my birthday week at work!

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RECIPE: Chocolate fudge birthday cake

Yesterday was my birthday and I am now officially 38 years old. I had a really lovely day and was showered with gifts, cards, messages and attention. A writer friend of mine even wrote me a poem. I felt extremely loved and very lucky to have so many wonderful people in my life. I have made some great friends at work so I decided to bake a cake that would be big enough to share with them but also for us to have at home. With that in mind I made this chocolate fudge tray bake, which is perfect for big birthday celebrations.

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