Tag Archives: photographs

A Year of Food and Selfies

I’ve never been very good at keeping a journal, but over the last few years I’ve enjoyed doing a little something different to record the year in some way. In 2014 I did a word-a-day journal, in 2016 I did views from my bedroom window on the last Sunday of every month, and…wait, what happened to 2015? Didn’t I do something like that in 2015? I guess not.

Well 2017 might have been a very poor blogging year for me;  I haven’t blogged since April (eek!), but I did maintain something over the year to present on here now. On the first of every month I took a selfie pic, and also wrote down everything I ate and drank that day. I know that might seem very random, and it is. There’s no particular reason for it, it just came to me as something to do.

Here are the results:

On 1 January 2017, I looked like this…

Vanessa Chapman

…and I consumed this:

BREAKFAST: Bran flakes
LUNCH: Nothing
DINNER: Spaghetti with a sauce made from prawns, chorizo, tomatoes and garlic.
SNACKS: Dried banana and pineapple, left over Christmas chocs
DRINKS: Tea, coffee, water, Prosecco

On 1 February 2017 I looked like this…

Vanessa Chapman

…and I consumed this:

BREAKFAST: Toasted bagel with cream cheese
LUNCH: Crayfish and rocket leaf sandwich
DINNER: Baked pesto chicken, with broccoli
SNACKS: Dried pineapple, Berry flavour Trek Bar, bowl of cornflakes, Cadbury’s creme egg.
DRINKS: Tea, coffee, water, tequila

On 1 March 2017 I looked like this…

Vanessa Chapman

…and I consumed this:

BREAKFAST: Croissant
LUNCH: Chicken noodle soup, with rye bread
DINNER: Chicken, chorizo and vegetable soup
SNACKS: Salted caramel and peanut protein bar, popcorn, grapes
DRINKS: Tea, coffee, water, beer

On 1 April 2017 I looked like this…

Vanessa Chapman and Neil Aplin

…and I consumed this:

LUNCH: Baked chicken thighs, baked potato, salad, coleslaw. Ice cream with fresh strawberries and chocolate chip cookies
DINNER: Nothing
SNACKS: Popcorn, apple
DRINKS: Tea, coffee, water, red wine

On 1 May 2017 I looked like this…

Vanessa Chapman

…and I consumed this:

BREAKFAST: Waffles with sliced banana, shredded coconut and whipped cream
LUNCH: Nothing
DINNER: Chicken wonton soup
SNACKS: Carrot sticks, almonds
DRINKS: Tea, coffee, water, beer

On 1 June 2017 I looked like this…

Vanessa Chapman

…and I consumed this:

BREAKFAST: Soft boiled eggs, toast, an orange
LUNCH: Roast pork, roast potatoes, yorkshire pudding, carrots, green beans, gravy
DINNER: Nothing
SNACKS: Olives
DRINKS: Tea, coffee, water, beer

On 1 July 2017 I looked like this…

Vanessa Chapman

…and I consumed this:

LUNCH: Bubble tea (well starch bubbles are food, right?)
DINNER: Roast pork belly, roast potatoes, greens, broad beans, onion gravy.
SNACKS: Nothing
DRINKS: Tea, coffee, water, sparkling lemon and lime drink, gin & tonic

On 1 August 2017 I looked like this…

Vanessa Chapman

…and I consumed this:

LUNCH: Chicken and salad sandwich
DINNER: Purition pistachio protein shake
DRINKS: Tea, water, beer

On 1 September 2017 I looked like this…

Vanessa Chapman

…and I consumed this:

BREAKFAST: Fried egg and tomato sandwich
LUNCH: Nothing
DINNER: Grilled halloumi and salad wrap
SNACKS: Prunes, quinoa chips
DRINKS: Tea, coffee, water, beer

On 1 October 2017 I looked like this…

Vanessa Chapman

…and I consumed this:

BREAKFAST: Cold pizza
LUNCH: Pad Thai, prawn tempura
DINNER: Black bean noodle salad
SNACKS: pear, avocado
DRINKS: Tea, coffee, water, pink cava

On 1 November 2017 I looked like this…

Vanessa Chapman

LUNCH: Quinoa salad
DINNER: Spicy chicken wings and salad
SNACKS: Left over Halloween candy
DRINKS: Tea, coffee, water, martini

On 1 December 2017 I looked like this…

Vanessa Chapman

…and I consumed this:

BREAKFAST: Bacon and brie panini
LUNCH: Tuna melt panini
DINNER: Asian spicy chicken and Chinese vegetable noodle soup
SNACKS: Little oranges
DRINKS: Tea, coffee, water, beer

And there you have it, a glimpse into my year through food and selfies. I will admit that two of the photos are a couple of days out of being taken on the first (simply because I forgot to take them on the first), but literally only a couple of days out, so close enough. The food and drink is all totally accurate for those dates. I found it particularly interesting looking back on what I’d eaten and drunk. I was surprised that alcohol featured on each of the twelve, I did consider removing a few of those before posting, but hey, if I’m not going to be honest with it then there’s little point in doing it.

I feel so out of touch with the blogging world, this is the longest I haven’t blogged since I started. Hopefully doing this will kick me back into it. So, what’ya all been up to then?



Friends Fest and Enjoying the Moment

The weekend before last I went to Friends Fest in London with my kids. As a huge Friends fan, you can imagine how excited I was to go, and it was fun indeed. I was incredibly lucky to get tickets too. The event was on for five days, and it turns out the tickets sold out in something like 13 minutes – it was a fluke really that I got them, a friend on Facebook told me about the event an hour before the tickets went on sale, so I just went online and bought them with no real idea of the need for extreme urgency!  What’s even better is that the tickets were only £5 each, AND it was on my birthday weekend. Hurrah!

Here are a few pics from the day…

Vanessa on Central Perk couch

Notice how badass I am – blatantly disobeying the sign saying “No drinks in this area please.” Ha! Get me!

Vanessa and kids at Monica's table

It’s Rachel’s beef trifle! It’s Rachel’s beef trifle!

Monica and Rachel's apartment

They did a pretty awesome job recreating the apartment, see?

Vanessa and kids with Friends umbrellas

And it wasn’t even raining.

The event was organised by Comedy Central who have the exclusive rights to show Friends in the UK, and even though it was a promotion event for them, I really expected them to be trying to get more money out of people on the day, but credit to them, they didn’t at all. Other than a small stand selling some Friends branded merchandise, everything else was free in there. That cup of coffee you see me holding on the Central Perk sofa pic above, (you know, the pic where I was being a real badass), was free – yes, free coffee, tea, and cookies from the Central Perk cafe.

My daughter having her hair blow-dried in a Rachel style, also free:

Rachel's hair station

Dressing up in costumes themed from different episodes (me in wedding gown, daughter in cheerleader outfit, son in chicken head – yes he is under there), photo taken in booth and printouts to take home, completely free, no charge at all, whichsoever at all:

Friends photo booth pic

The friendly and plentiful staff from Comedy Central were also on hand to happily take all the photos everyone wanted on the many phones and cameras that were shoved in their direction. So we really did get a lot for the very reasonable £5 ticket price. And there were interesting bits of memorabilia from the show to browse too, oh, here I am again with my free coffee in front of some of the memorabilia!

Vanessa with Friends memorabilia

The main point I was going to make in this post (which I thought I might get to quicker, but apparently not), is about enjoying the moment. The area with Monica and Rachel’s apartment was sectioned off and they let groups in, a few at a time, and only for five minutes. It made sense to do that because it was clearly going to be the most popular area, and would likely have got too crowded to see anything. After the event, my son told me that during our five minutes in the apartment, he would have liked to explore a bit more, but I spent the whole time orchestrating one photo after another, making them sit and stand in various places, so that we could get all the shots, and then the five minutes were up. I realised how right he was, I thought about how much more I would have enjoyed the experience too if I’d just soaked it up a bit and looked around rather than being so totally focused on getting pictures. Of course we would want to get pictures there, but there’s a balance. Two or three pictures in the apartment would have been fine, I didn’t need twenty.

My realisation was quite timely because last week you may have seen a Tweet doing the rounds about this very subject, about taking time to enjoy moments rather than focusing solely on capturing them with our devices – Carrie Rubin referred to that Tweet in her last post if you missed it. This is definitely something I’m guilty of. Also, I don’t mind admitting – I usually want to get the photos not only to preserve the memories for us, but to have something good to show on Facebook, or on here. Really, is that more important than being there in the moment and enjoying it, creating the memories in our minds and hearts rather than in digital form? Of course it’s not.

But that aside, are you all jealous that I got to go to Friends Fest and you didn’t? Are you? Huh? Are you?

Vanessa with Friends picture frame door viewer

I have a HUGE announcement to make…

…but first, if you haven’t yet entered my contest to win an Amazon gift certificate, the party is still kicking over on my last post for two more days, so join in while there’s still time!

Anyway, now for the announcement. After much deliberation, rumination, constipation and sleepless nights, I have finally made the decision to…

Change my WordPress gravatar photograph!!!

I know, aaaggghhh! Right? Our gravatar pics are how we are recognised around the blogosphere, so changing it is not a decision to be taken lightly, oh no, but there comes a time when it has to be done. Maybe we’ve grown tired of our old pic, maybe it seems out of date because we’ve got older (OBVIOUSLY that’s not the reason I’m changing mine, ha!), maybe we were never really happy with it in the first place. My current gravatar picture is this:

Vanessa current

It’s not that I don’t like that picture anymore, it’s just that I’ve always felt it was a bit too posed and not very friendly looking, it’s like I can’t even be bothered to look directly at you. So I’ve decided to switch to one that is a bit more natural, and hopefully more friendly, and it’s bang up to date having just been taken this past weekend:

Vanessa new gravatar

It’s not as glam as the original, and it’s a bit fuzzy, but I feel it’s more me (not the fuzzy bit, but the less glam and more friendly bit!). I thought I’d better warn you about this impending change so that you didn’t have a shock and think “Who’s this weird chick impersonating Vanessa?!” Now you’ll know that I am the weird chick! I’m going to do the change tomorrow.

There’s a chance I might have SLIGHTLY exaggerated the importance of my announcement in my post heading, but exaggeration is the marketing way you know. A bit like these snacks we bought recently, see how at the bottom they describe themselves as ‘Tiny moments of extraordinary pleasure’ –

SnacksThey were quite tasty, but if I was going to compile a list of the top ten things that give me moments of extraordinary pleasure, these probably wouldn’t appear. Sorry Walkers.

I’m thinking of changing my WordPress theme too, does anyone know if you can preview your blog in different themes without actually making it live each time because I can’t figure it out? EDIT. Don’t worry about this now, I’ve got it!

What things give you moments of extraordinary pleasure? …actually, scrap that, this is a family show!