Author: Sinead

Favourite Friends Episodes

Believe it or not, it’s officially been twenty years since Friends first came on to our screens. To mark this, I’ve rounded up — what I consider to be — the twenty best episodes. To keep things even, I chose two from every season — a classic and a personal favourite! Read on and let the memories come flooding back…and be sure to share your own favourites too!

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Season One

Classic: The Pilot

Where it all began — we’re introduced to newly divorced Ross and his younger sister Monica, roommates Chandler and Joey, kooky Phoebe and runaway bride Rachel.

Personal Favourite: The One Where Underdog Gets Away

Thanksgiving doesn’t go quite as planned as Rachel misses her flight, Joey “gets” V.D and everyone gets locked out of the apartment as dinner burns inside.

Season Two

Classic: The One with the Prom Video

The gang watch an old videotape which shows Rachel and Monica’s prom night. Thinking Rachel has been stood up, Ross dons his father’s tuxedo but her date then arrives and Ross is left disappointed and alone on the stairs. When the video ends, Rachel kisses Ross for the first time.

Personal Favourite: The One with the Lesbian Wedding

Phoebe believes she’s possessed by the spirit of an elderly woman who wanted to see everything before she died. Ross’ ex-wife Carol and her partner Susan marry; and at their wedding, the spirit finally leaves as Phoebe blurts out “now I’ve seen everything!

Season Three

Classic: The One the Morning After

Ross desperately tries to prevent Rachel from finding out that he slept with another woman. When she eventually learns the truth, Ross utters his famous defensive “we were on a break!” line for the first time. Meanwhile, the others are stuck in Monica’s bedroom, forced to listen to the break-up.

Personal Favourite: The One with the Football

It’s Thanksgiving and what starts as a friendly game of touch football ends with Ross’ pride and Monica’s competitive streak going in to overdrive. Joey and Chandler compete for the attention of a woman from the Netherlands…which is where Joey thinks Peter Pan lives.

Season Four

Classic: The One with Ross’s Wedding (Part Two)

Excluding a heavily pregnant Phoebe, everyone is in London for Ross and Emily’s wedding. Realising that she still has feelings for Ross, Rachel has shown up at the last minute and her sudden appearance causes Ross to say the wrong name at the alter.

Personal Favourite: The One with the Embryos

Ross devises a quiz where Joey and Chandler compete with Monica and Rachel to see who knows the most about the other two. The girls lose the game…and their apartment! Phoebe becomes a surrogate for her brother and his wife.

Season Five

Classic: The One Hundredth

Surrogate mum Phoebe gives birth to triplets. Joey has “sympathy pains” and goes through the agony of passing kidney stones with Ross by his side.

Personal Favourite: The One in Vegas (Part One)

Monica and Chandler decide to travel to Vegas for their anniversary but Phoebe decides to make it a group trip. Ross catches Rachel naked in her apartment and mistakenly believes it to be an attempt to seduce him. On their flight the next day, the two try to see who can embarrass the other the most.

Season Six

Classic: The One with the Proposal (Part Two)

Planning to propose but wanting to throw her off the scent, Chandler has made Monica believe that he has no interest in marriage. Unfortunately for him, his idea works too well and Monica starts to doubt their relationship. Things get even messier when her ex Richard gets involved. Thinking he has blown it, Chandler returns to their apartment where he finds her waiting for him. She attempts to propose but he soon takes over and they become engaged.

Personal Favourite: The One Where Phoebe Runs

Rachel asks Phoebe to join her in jogging through Central Park but is mortified when she sees Phoebe’s wild running style. Phoebe defends herself, saying she enjoys it because it reminds her of when she was a child “running towards the swings or running away from Satan (the neighbour’s dog…!)”.

Season Seven

Classic: The One with Monica and Chandler’s Wedding (Part Two)

Thinking that Monica is pregnant and worried about commitment, Chandler disappears. The others frantically search for him but he soon comes to his senses and returns on his own accord. The couple get married and at the end, it’s revealed that Rachel is the one that’s secretly expecting.

Personal Favourite: The One with Phoebe’s Cookies

Monica desperately wants to be the mother who makes the world’s best cookies and asks Phoebe to share her grandmother’s secret recipe. After baking endless test batches for Phoebe and Ross to try out, Monica eventually realises that the recipe is actually from Nestle Tollhouse.

Season Eight

Classic: The One with the Red Sweater

Rachel is refusing to name the father of the baby but Joey remembers that a man’s red sweater had been left in their apartment. Phoebe guesses that it’s Rachel’s ex Tag and secretly arranges for them to meet. When they find out that Tag isn’t actually the father, the friends are left confused…until Ross shows up and claims the sweater as his own.

Personal Favourite: The One with the Baby Shower

Monica and Phoebe organise a baby shower for Rachel but forget to invite her mother until the last minute. Monica is beside herself with guilt and overenthusiastically tries to make up for it at the party. Rachel panics over the near arrival of her baby and agrees to allow her mother to move in until Ross persuades her otherwise.

Season Nine

Classic: The One in Barbados (Part Two)

The gang are in Barbados for a conference in which Ross is a key note speaker. Two of Phoebe’s exes propose to her but she turns both of them down. Monica and Mike get involved in a competitive game of Ping-Pong. Joey and Charlie break up which leads to Charlie kissing Ross and Joey kissing Rachel.

Personal Favourite: The One with the Mugging

One of Phoebe’s friends from the street attempts to mug her and Ross until he recognises her. Phoebe realises that she mugged Ross in their teen years and feels compelled to admit this to him. Although Ross is initially upset, he forgives her when she shows him that she kept the comic book he created. He’s even pleased to find that his creative efforts taught Phoebe about science.

Season Ten

Classic: The Last One

Monica and Chandler finally become parents as Erica gives birth to twins. Rachel is due to fly to Paris to start a new job but realises at the last minute that she wants to be with Ross. She makes it off the plane and they’re reunited. Monica’s apartment is cleared out but before she moves away with her new family, the gang decide to go for one last cup of coffee.

Personal Favourite: The One with Phoebe’s Wedding

An unexpected snowstorm hits the city but rather than delay their wedding, Phoebe and Mike decide to marry outside on the street. Organized by Monica and officiated by Joey (who became an ordained minister online for Chandler and Monica’s wedding and stayed as one so he “can ride the subway for free”), Phoebe has the simple but beautiful wedding she always wanted.

image sourced from comedy central uk

21 Things I Love About Autumn

We’re well in to September now and I have to say; I’ve always liked this time of year. It’s so full of change and excitement. It’s a chance to explore new trends, try different recipes and make all kinds of plans. However, it’s also comforting to know that we can always simply return to old habits and firm favourites that we associate with these months. I’m already happily embracing the season and so I just have to share the 21 things I love about autumn.

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  • Walking through crunchy leaves
  • Baking with different spices
  • Cosy layers
  • The smell of smoke from chimneys
  • Savoury pies, stews and casseroles
  • Duvet days when it’s cold and wet outside
  • The crisp air
  • No more flies/insects/sunburn/humidity
  • Dark green/deep purple/burgundy coloured nails
  • Little boots and jackets
  • Hot drinks
  • Better shows on TV
  • Better films in the cinema
  • Musky/spicy/woody perfumes
  • Knitted hats in every colour
  • Apple picking
  • Morning mist
  • Warm stodgy puddings and desserts
  • Nestling under a fuzzy blanket with a good book and cup of tea
  • Halloween
  • Birthday celebrations (not mine but so many people are born this time of year!)

Girl’s Day In

It wasn’t planned but I’m having a bit of a duvet day today. I started out with good intentions; getting up and getting ready as normal. I did a few things around the house that needed doing. I ran around town ticking off a few things on my list. Then a little while after I came home, it started to pour rain…and next thing I knew, pyjamas were on :-).

Isn’t it just the best feeling ever to slip into something cute and cosy on a miserable day?! When you know that you don’t have to leave the house again and you can just feel all warm and comfy indoors. Days like this have to be one of the best perks of this season! Over the weekend, I’m going to compile a list of all my other favourite things about autumn. I’ll post the finished result up here first thing on Monday morning so be sure to check back! Have a great weekend :-).

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how cute is this pj set from Forever 21? sums up a perfect duvet day!

The Experience of an E-Cigarette User

Let me start by saying, I’m by no means an expert on e-cigarettes. I am, however, very familiar with one user’s experience of them and I want to share that.

e-cigarettes

It’s been just over a year now since my partner swapped the regular cigarettes for an e-cigarette. Before that, L had been smoking 20 a day for seven years. I always thought I’d never date a smoker but somehow he won me over!

Personally, I’ve never liked smoking. I tried a few cigarettes out of curiosity when I was younger and they were enough for me for a lifetime! Nothing about them appeals to me —the cost, the inconvenience, the smell…not to mention the obvious health risks have always put me off. Of course I pointed all this out to L over and over again but — at least up until a year ago — that still didn’t stop him!

I used to hate when we were in a bar or club together and he’d be going to the smoking area every half hour. Or when I used to stay over at his place for a few days and I’d come home reeking of stale smoke. I’d have to go for a shower and wash all my clothes immediately to get rid of the smell — not nice!

Then, last year, e-cigarettes started to become widely available. A lot of people are turning to these either as a stepping stone to giving up altogether or as an alternative to regular smoking. L was going back to college and looking to cut back on recreational spending so he decided to give them a try. He originally paid around €50 for a starter kit which included two e-cigarettes and chargers. He also picked up a bottle of “e-liquid” for around €13.

These liquids contain a certain amount of nicotine and there are different strengths and flavours available. L gets one that’s equivalent to Silk Cut Purple. This liquid (or juice, as he calls it) is poured in to a little compartment in the e-cigarette and an atomizer, powered by a battery, heats it up and turns it in to a vapour. This vapour is inhaled and it gives a similar effect to inhaling regular cigarettes.

Once a month, he buys a bottle of this juice for €13. Every once in a while, L also buys a small bottle of flavoured juice for about €7. Flavours include strawberry; banana; vanilla; mint and even bubblegum. Some people use these on their own but L just mixes a drop with his usual juice — something to do with flavours and strength. This isn’t necessary; it’s just for his own personal taste. It’s recommended that you change the atomiser every month at a cost of around €5. L generally only changes his every 6-8 weeks and hasn’t had any problems with it.

L started using his e-cigarette in September of last year and since then, he’s smoked less than twenty regular cigarettes. I find that pretty amazing considering he was smoking twenty a day for so long. The only times he has smoked these regular cigarettes in the last twelve months was always on nights out. Twice it was because the battery for his e-cigarette went dead. One other time it was because he’d run out of juice and forgot to pick up another bottle. It’s so important to remember to charge the e-cigarette’s battery regularly — L charges his every night.

He’ll admit that he’s not completely put off regular cigarettes now and he did enjoy smoking them on those nights out. However, he doesn’t massively miss them either and he’s happy enough to stick with the e-cigarette for now.

He spends between 13 and 20 euro on e-juice every month and then a bit extra as well on a new atomiser every couple of months. Considering a single pack of cigarettes cost almost €10 now, you can imagine how much he’s saving. I’m aware that there’s some talks about banning e-cigarettes inside public places but for now, L can use it pretty much anywhere. I’m so happy about that because it means we don’t have to hang around outside the shops/restaurant/cinema or go to a designated area while he smokes. Also this little device means I don’t have to put up with that stinky cigarette smell anymore! In fact, when the e-cigarette contains flavoured juice, it actually smells quite nice and sweet!

I don’t want to say outright that e-cigarettes are the healthy option because I’m obviously not a doctor and I don’t know a huge amount about that side of things! However, I do know that L used to get three to four chest infections every year but he hasn’t had a single one in the past twelve months. I doubt this is a coincidence and I hope it means that his lungs are in a much better condition than they were before. It’s good to know that e-cigarettes don’t contain the same harmful chemicals of regular cigarettes. Having said that, they obviously do still contain nicotine so non-smokers shouldn’t really get in to the habit of using them (I find that really strange but apparently this is something that is actually happening?!).

Like I’ve said before, I’m not an expert on e-cigarettes. I’ve just been by L’s side over the past twelve months and I’ve seen how they’ve worked for him. I’m so delighted that they have worked for him. He’s having a very positive experience with them and although he is currently using quite a high strength (24mg), he’s looking in to reducing that soon enough. Who knows, maybe one day he’ll reduce it to nothing and be completely nicotine free!

Sally’s Cinnamon Rolls

Today felt like the first day of autumn. It was noticeably cooler, the colleges are back and the sky darkened earlier. From the heavy fog that lingered outside this morning to the steadily increasing amount of Halloween stock in the shops; all the signs are here that a whole new season has begun.

I love the cosiness of this time of year — the reintroduction of knitted jumpers, hot drinks and comfort food. Online, people are going crazy for everything pumpkin spice but I’m not really familiar with that flavour (am I missing out?!). I think it’s just not something you readily come across here in Ireland. For me, autumn spices typically include nutmeg, cloves and — of course — cinnamon.

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I love baking with cinnamon so when I came across this recipe for Cinnamon Rolls on Sally’s Baking Addiction, I knew I’d have to give it a try. I was definitely a little apprehensive as I haven’t made many things that require yeast. I carefully read the method and got to work…and before I knew it, I’d made one serious rookie mistake.

Looking back on it now, it was pretty stupid (and it wasn’t even to do with the yeast!). The recipe calls for one large egg but I only had medium and — without really thinking — I decided, oh sure I’ll just throw in two medium eggs instead…! The result was a shockingly wet and sloppy dough. I did my best to knead it and then allowed it to rest (hoping it would magically fix itself in the meantime). With the next step, I was meant to roll out this mess of a dough. Instead I just poked it, sighed and threw the lot in the bin. What a waste and such a ridiculous mistake! I was so annoyed with myself but instead of letting it get the better of me, I started again. I stuck with the one medium egg and thankfully it worked just fine. I really need to study the ingredients properly as well as the method in future!

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cinnamon-rolls

Baking-wise, second time around was a lot better. I did make one other mistake with this batch and that was to leave it in the oven a few minutes too long. They turned out just the slightest bit darker than I wanted but they still taste pretty delicious! Buttery and chewy with its sweet and spiced filling, these rolls are such a lovely treat on a crisp autumn day/cool September evening. Making these has also made me feel a bit braver about working with yeast and I’ll be on the look-out now for similar recipes that will challenge me to do something different. If ever there was a good time to brush up on your baking skills, it would have to be autumn!

cinnamon-roll-pancinn-rolls

Step Nine

At the start of 2014, I decided that — rather than creating a long list of resolutions — I would come up with a new goal every month. Some of these goals that I’ve since made include “take the stairs instead of the lift”; “work on my blog”; “read for thirty minutes a day” and “do more of the things I love”.

small steps

We’re hurtling towards the end of the year so I’m going to take this month to work on the goals I’ve already set. The whole idea of creating these monthly goals was for me to make small positive changes one step at a time. Having already set eight goals by now, I feel it’s important for me to make sure I’m still putting these in to practice whenever possible. I’ve definitely been slipping a bit with some of my older goals and there’s no point in me creating another new goal just because it’s a new month! Instead I can use this opportunity to remember the things I’ve been trying to achieve and concentrate on them for now. Hopefully then by October, I should be all caught up and ready for something brand new!

Friday Fun featuring The Sims 4

These are some very funny moments I captured while playing The Sims 4 over the past week. Enjoy and have a great weekend!

sims4-death

^Death consults his tablet, oblivious to the grieving family members beside him^

sims4-scare

^an evil Sim scares this poor guy half to death^

sims4-mischief

^the same evil Sim tries and fails to throw a drink over an innocent passer-by^

sims4-breakfast

^does anyone love breakfast more than this guy?^

sims4-proposal

^an angry man interrupts what could have been a nice romantic proposal^

sims4-grim

^death (again), this time catching up on his shows after a hard day’s reaping^

sims4-hotline

^hitting up the sadness hotline when a cry under the covers just won’t do^

sims4-teen

^mom accidentally walks in on her teen “messing around” with her bf^

sims4-shame

^as this guy finds out, public bladder failure will get the ladies running…in the other direction^

sims4-sleepy

^sometimes the bed is just too damn far away^