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Things To Do Before I Turn 50

  (also known as my "TA-DA" list as opposed to a "to do" list) It was my 49th birthday a few days ago and this got me thinking. Any birthday that ends with a zero always feels a bit like milestone or a landmark and, when I hit the big "five-o" in 2022, I don't want huge parties or celebrations but I would like to have ticked a few things off my low-effort bucket list.   I see these things as a way to improve my mental and physical health, plus a few slightly off-the-wall experiences that would make for great memories.  Start running again and include the following: Lead a C25K group again  Participate in parkrun EVERY week where possible  Visit local landmarks whilst running  Train for a long race - building up from 5k > 10k > 10 miles > half marathon, with a couple of longer trail races mixed in  Lose a lot bit of weight Post more on Instagram or give the blog a bit of a reboot < ongoing Look at new a career path or additional income stre

What's In Your Dream Kitchen?

How do you like your toast in the morning?
I like mine with a hug.
Dark or light,
The world's all right,
As long as I get my hug.
How Do You Like Your Eggs In The Morning : Dean Martin feat. Helen O'Connell




My name is Nickie and I suffer from toast anxiety. There, I said it.



I shared this picture of the fifteen stages of toast a while back (ranging from warmed up bread to total cremation) and it caused all sorts of debate. I'm personally a 15 kinda girl (8 at a push) and cannot really deviate from that.

My toast has to be perfect.  Hot, buttery and crunchy. And cut into triangles (because you can get a better bite out of it and there's only one corner to eat, just in case you were wondering).

But... do you know what the worst thing is? It's when you make a couple slices of toast and by the time you get to the final triangle, it's lukewarm *shudder*  I never, ever order toast in a cafĂ© when having a fry-up because you can guarantee that the toast will be stone cold by the time it comes to the table. Oh and toast racks just give me the absolute jitters.

All my life I have been trying to come up with solutions to this dilemma. I've lost count of the amount of times that I have stood up in the kitchen, eating the first slice of toast, hovering over the toaster as the second slice cooks only I can never time it right. Sometimes the toast cooks too soon so has popped up before you're ready to butter it or it pops up too late and you're left with toast-cravings. I have been waiting for the day that Jon Tickle (yes, he of Big Brother Series 4) got past the prototype stage for his Toaster delay idea but it's never yet materialised. 

Now, I was browsing websites, looking for inspiration for a kitchen make-over and got sidetracked by  a commercial waffle machine and other toasting appliances. I  know I'm WAAAAAAY behind the times here but imagine my delight when I found the toaster of my dreams. A DeLonghi Argento 4-slice toaster. LOOK... you don't have to cook four slices in one go - you can utilise both sides and cook at separate times and there's even a 'reheat' setting for if the toast you've made does go cold. It's like all my prayers have been answered. And it looks bloody gorgeous sitting on the kitchen units

Delonghi Argento 4-slice toaster from House of Fraser

Also, did you know that homeowner insurance provides some security but it doesn’t necessarily protect your home appliances when they break and these items can often cost thousands of dollars to repair or replace? With a California home warranty you can be assured that your appliances and home systems will be covered and protected.

So, whilst I munch on my multiple perfect slices of toast, tell me how you eat yours and if there's a kitchen appliance you have (or dream of having) that makes your life easier.