Surviving a Hen Weekend

Friday, 28 September 2012
Last weekend I went on my very first hen do or bacherlorette party as they're called in America. I wasn't really sure what to expect other than a lot of drink and silly things like 'willy straws' or in our case 'willy soap'.  I can't share all the silly adventures of the weekend because it would take too long and frankly would be against hen do code. However, I can share what I learned and hope that future hen doers can have just as successful a weekend!

  1. Do some exercise before the booze binge. We spent our day swimming and playing in the 'Raging Rapids' at Centre Parcs. Fitting in a nap before you go out is also ideal. 
  2. Be sure to have a big meal protein packed and full of complex carbohydrates before going out! We went to a lovely Thai restaurant in Newmarket, called Sangdao, and filled up on steamed vegetables, pad thai, and curry!
  3. Don't mix your drinks! Try to stick to drinks like wine, vodka, and of course a hen do must - champagne. Don't be tempted to start doing shots of random things from the bar.
  4. Drink a glass of water for every one of alcohol consumed. I say I'm going to do this every time I go out and I almost always forget, but when I actually do make the effort to drink water I feel 10x better!
  5. For the inevitable hangover, a full English breakfast is a must! You have no idea how much better you'll feel after some sausage, bacon, tomato, eggs, mushrooms and beans.

Besides these 5 tips, you should also carry in your handbag the 'Hen Do Survival Kit' - 

    Tip: Hen Do Survival Kits are great gift to give all the Hens!

    Erin x

      Recipe: English Onion Soup

      Monday, 24 September 2012
      With the weather turning autumnal, I suddenly start craving warming foods that I wouldn't dream of touching during the summer months. Number one on that list is soup, one of my favourites being French Onion. There are a number of passable French Onion Soups that I've had at restaurants but none can compare to my Grandma's recipe. To properly prepare my Grandma's soup takes hours, of which I don't have the time or patience for. This has lead me to creating my yummy interpretation of this French classic - English Onion Soup.

      The recipe is really simple and only requires a few ingredients, but most important to its success is a slow cooker!


      • 50 g (1.76oz) butter
      • Approx. 4 large onions
      • 4-6 garlic cloves (smoked garlic if you can get it)
      • 250 ml (1 cup) vegetable stock
      • 750 ml (3.1 cups) sweet or medium English cider
      • 2 slices of wholemeal bread
      • 100 g Cheddar cheese 
      • 1 egg yolk


      1. Cook the onions and garlic in the butter on low heat, stirring frequently until the onions become soft and nearly translucent (roughly 25 minutes).
      2. Transfer to the slow cooker, add the stock and cider and cook on LOW heat for about 6-8 hours. If you don't have the time to let it cook, you can put the slow cooker on HIGH and heat for roughly 3 hours. 
      3. When the soup is done, preheat the grill and toast the bread on one side until golden. Put the Cheddar slices on the untoasted side and grill the cheese until bubbling. 
      4. Remove the soup for the heat and whisk in the egg yolk.
      5. Serve with the cheese toasts on top and a cold glass of English cider!

      I usually make the soup the night before and put the dish in the fridge to let it steep over night. Then in the morning before I go to work all I have to do is take it out and turn the slow cooker on! It's great coming home to a warm meal!

      Erin x

      Remembering 9/11

      Tuesday, 11 September 2012
      It's hard to believe it has been 11 years since the 9/11 attacks, I remember them quite vividly as I'm sure many of you do.

      I was just starting 8th grade and had the flu so was planning on staying home. My Mom was in her bathroom getting ready and I was sleeping in her bed when the phone rang.  

      On the line was my Grandma calling to tell us to turn on CNN that a plane had crashed into the Twin Towers. At the time the second plane hadn't hit and many people thought it was just an accident. We had been viewing the footage for only a minute when the second plane hit and that's when everyone knew this was no accident.

      I remember feeling confused, my Mom said it was a terrorist attack and I didn't really know what that meant. The footage was scary but I couldn't take my eyes away from it.

      Instead of staying home alone, Grandma came and took me to her house so I wouldn't be left alone watching the news with no one to explain it to me. In fact my grandmother was given specific instructions from my mother to not allow me to watch the news all day. I of course wanted to watch the news and my Grandma gave in and let me sit with her all day watching.

      My Grandma was worried about her friend, Phyllis, who was in New York at the time and according to her itinerary was supposed to visit the Twin Towers that very morning. Of course with so many people having loved ones in the city the phone lines were busy and it was a long time for us to get confirmation that she was okay. Thankfully we were one of the lucky ones, Phyllis had awoken with a migraine that morning and had decided against visiting.

      Of course it wasn't just the Twin Towers that were attacked that tragic day, there was also the Pentagon and United Flight 93 that went down in Philadelphia. So many senseless lives lost that day at the end of evil. So although 11 years have passed no one will ever forget.

      "Time is passing. Yet, for the United States of America, there will be no forgetting September the 11th. We will remember every rescuer who died in honor. We will remember every family that lives in grief. We will remember the fire and ash, the last phone calls, the funerals of the children." - President George W. Bush, November 11, 2001
      Q: Where were you when you found out about September 11th attacks?

      Erin x
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