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The first thing I saw when I opened my eyes was….

What’s the first thing you see in the morning? Photos would be great ;)

The first thing I saw when I opened my eyes was….

What’s the first thing you see in the morning? Photos would be great ;)

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Some shots from today’s jaunt to Sir Thomas & Lady Dixon Park, Malone Road, Belfast.  A place I spent a lot of time in as a young kid.  

Great opportunities keep presenting themselves to create even more happy memories as an adult (especially if your husband reverts to a 4 year old when faced with a lane and some dry leaves).

I hope you enjoy them as much as we did.  

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It just struck me.  What started as a bit of a laugh and something fun to do (and still is!) could maybe be quite useful.

As seen in my previous post, I’ve been making fun paper versions of some wonderful tweeters.  And I guess, people do want to stand out, as far as their avatars are concerned. 

Mulling on the subject, as I’m prone to do, my linear thought was this: “standing out from the crowd….stand out…Stand Out International!!”

So….I’m going to be a bit cheeky here.  I was WONDERING if those of you who’d already had a Paper Me made, or have been added to my rapidly growing list…..would consider sending a small donation to Stand Out?  Human Trafficking is an issue that’s been very close to my heart for a long time since Bible College (and that IS a long time), and this organisation is trying to change lives of children and adults in South East Asia.  A guy from our church is also running the NYC Marathon in a couple of weeks to raise money too.

Anyway…I’m not trying to force anything, coerce or give a guilt trip….I honestly have only just thought about this being a possibility…can we do this?

I’m still happy to draw you if you don’t. :)

If you do choose to give, no matter how much…..THANK YOU.  

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So it seems that I’ve become quite in demand to make these.  The ones above are meant to be David & I (though I have to claim a fair degree of ‘artistic licence’).

*thought I’d add some more as I do them…also included are @adamandkaren, @trixerelixer & @crystalrenaud*

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Maebh’s favourite bottom warmer.

Maebh’s favourite bottom warmer.

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C.M.Porter's shopfront

(image from Powerhouse Museum Collection via flickr.com - no known copyright restrictions)

When the colder, wetter weather is drawing in, a girl’s thoughts turn to one thing.  

Chocolate.  

You’d think after 8 years in a much warmer climate that I’d have a less…seasonal approach to the sweet stuff, but it’s still associated firmly in my mind to rainy days, snuggled up on the sofa, watching a black and white movie, large family size bar of wholenut in one hand, and several cups of tea/coffee on a rotating basis in another.  It’s the stuff that Northern Irish childhoods were made of.  And probably why I’m still fighting off the stodge demons even now.  Recipes to follow at a later date, haha…

Inspired as I am by the wonderful Design*Sponge most days, it set me thinking about the best chocolate I’ve had.  So, for your delectation (and partial torture as a lot of this stuff can’t be shipped outside it’s country of origin - if I must suffer, so must you), a little rundown, in no particular order as it’s too difficult.

1. Moonstruck Chocolate in Portland, Oregon.  I know.  I was really surprised that you could get quality chocolate in the US, and I’m ashamed of not knowing you could.  I think it’s all those years of schoolfriends returning from holidays in the US, eagerly clutching their Hershey’s products, containing the taste of…well…hideousness actually.  I couldn’t understand WHY you’d choose that stuff over European chocolate.  

It was great to experience great product made with passion.  Portland’s great like that, as it most of the Pacific Northwest.  Moonstruck keep up to date with trends, and never fail to bring a smile, like with their current Halloween range. Shipping in US only, sadly!

2. Lillie Belle Farms - another slice of Oregonian fabulousness, this time in Central Point, 4ish hours south of Portland.  Visiting the store was a great experience - they were so eager to give samples & talk about how they do things, and they obviously aren’t scared to try unusual ingredients. Our faves were the Black Pepper Ganache, Smokey Blue Cheese (yes REALLY), and the hottest, most amazingly tear-inducing, award winning Do Not Eat This Bar.  Epically burny.  And SO good.  

The store was also next to a wine cellar door, and a cheese shop.  Now you’re cooking on gas! 

Again, US shipping only, boo!

3. Margaret River Chocolate Company - Swan Valley & Margaret River, Western Australia.  It’s been a long time since we visited the Swan Valley one, but I still remember their friendliness and amazing products. Even after we accidentally left them in a VERY hot car in the WA sun, they were still very good :)  Their white chocolate coated apricots…mmm.. I believe they still do them.  I don’t believe they ship anywhere, unfortunately.  However, they are worth a visit, and by all accounts, the Margaret River region is still food & wine paradise.

4. Colefax Chocolates - Haberfield, Sydney.  Receiving a box of these beauties marked a few landmarks in my relationship with the wonderful Mr G - when we could afford it, of course :) So much so, the empty heart-shaped box that contained such deliciousness became our ‘dump box’ for keys, coins, bits of paper - for many years.  And the time a wonderful friend in the UK ordered some when I was a bit low, & they delivered it to my door, beautifully packaged…still brings a tear to the oul eye!  To the best of my knowledge, they don’t do delivery - yet another wonderful case of customer service above and beyond the call of duty.

They do truly, truly beautiful work.  They are currently working on an online store as we speak - undoubtedly shipping in Australia only.

And here’s the rub.  I’ve been back in the UK for a couple of months now, and I’m wondering who does the best chocolate.  I’m not adverse to a big bar of supermarket (fair trade!) loveliness, but want to know what is worth trying.  If it’s in Northern Ireland - bonus brownie points!

So - where does your favourite chocolate come from? What’s your ‘go to’ chocolate if you need a bit of sweet comfort food? Please leave a comment!

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  • Question: WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE INANIMATE OBJECT? - tumblrbot
  • Answer:

    My MacBook. Is purty!

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Welcome to eatinthinkinbloggin, a random collection of food, thoughts (some more random than others) and verbiage.  Who know what that means.

Welcome to eatinthinkinbloggin, a random collection of food, thoughts (some more random than others) and verbiage.  Who know what that means.

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