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Sunday Catch-up #33

Whilst most have been bemoaning the rain this week, I have secretly quite liked it as I have been stuck inside essay writing…3 down, 1 more to go! We’ve also been dog-sitting Ruby Soho and I have loved taking her for her morning walk and watching her run through the fields, barking at imaginary dogs. Let’s not mention the fact that this was also the last week of the summer holidays and I have to go back to work next week.

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This week I have been…

Making: my bed every day and feeling like I’m getting into fresh sheets every night (I’m sure most other grown-ups do this as standard!)


Going: to watch Bristol City play

Wearing: my hair in a centre-parting again

Eating: Sicilian sardine pasta


Drinking: homemade sangria


Reading: Pop Goes the Weasel (and it’s just as gripping as the first one!)


Watching: Sons of Anarchy all day errrryday

Buying: a sneaky Birchbox order

Planning: my lessons for the next few weeks

Cooking: my smoked haddock chowder


Baking: peanut butter and jelly bites


Writing: on my blog daily again – I hope I can keep it up when I go back to work!

Favouriting: the new Autumn/ Winter fashion on ASOS

Working on: these damn essays

Trying to decide: what to get Ian for his birthday

Wishing: we could get a pet dog


Enjoying: the rain

Needing: to start getting up earlier…10am lie-ins just won’t cut it anymore

Feeling: excited about starting a new term

Giggling at: how cosy this little one looked all wrapped up on the sofa!


Sunday Catch-up #27

It’s been a very low-key week for us but we have been out and about this weekend to farmers markets and a new restaurant for lunch. Unfortunately, it is a grey and rainy afternoon so we are watching films, reading books and drinking copious amount of tea to get us through.

This week I have been…

Making: the effort to eat outside as much as possible


Going: to Frome market this morning and eating pizza in the sunshine


Wearing: Ray-Ban Clubmasters


Eating: tapas


Drinking: Thai iced tea


Reading: Girl on the Train – I’ve only just started but am intrigued

Watching: Wimbledon get underway

Buying: a few bits from The Body Shop


Planning: our America trip

Cooking: tomatoes on the vine


Baking: a mascarpone and lemon cake (which I forgot to take any photos of!)

Writing: a list of restaurants I want to eat at in New York…5 days may not be enough!

Favouriting: this amazing eyeliner look by Pixiwoo

Working on: writing my school reports

Trying to decide: whether we should buy the CityPass

Wishing: my Mum a very Happy Birthday this week!

Enjoying: giant couscous…I just love the stuff


Needing: these pretty tiles steps in my house somewhere


Feeling: much better after getting over this cold

Giggling at: Ian fast asleep in the garden

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Sunday Catch-up #24

Hello! It’s been another busy week for us with both sets of parents visiting, a Mexican-themed birthday party on a boat, our village fete and I am hoping to round the weekend off with a cinema trip to see Jurassic World!

This week I have been…

Making: sure my new plants are fed and watered…determined not to kill these ones!

Going: to Wagamamas – I tried their new duck pancake dish

Wearing: my party shoes – love these glittery brogues


Eating: ribs #standard


Drinking: Coronas

Reading: blogs

Watching: Game of Thrones…so good this week!

Buying: these limited edition Orla Kiely coffee jars


Planning: some fun summer weekends

Cooking: fennel – my new favourite vegetable


Baking: not proper baking but I did make some very healthy pancakes


Writing: in my journal each night

Favouriting: my friend Holly’s blog – she’s a fellow bookworm and I love her reviews of ‘My Little Box’

Working on: the bottle stall at our village fete


Trying to decide: where Ian is taking me next weekend – all I have been told is that it is a birthday surprise, that I will love it and that I don’t need my passport! I’m intrigued.

Wishing: fake tanning wasn’t such a faff

Enjoying: my bestie’s 30th birthday party

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Needing: my Body Shop order to arrive as I’ve run out of serum

Feeling: very happy when I see these beautiful peonies on my kitchen table


Giggling at: my Mum’s face when we bit into our cream teas and realised we had picked up cheese scones! Weirdly, they weren’t awful!


Sunday Catch-up #22

And so another lovely week off draws to a close. This hasn’t been my most exciting half term but it has certainly been productive. I managed to get one and a half essays finished for a course I am doing, dig up and plant lots of pretty things in my front garden and squeeze in a few longer runs this week which were all on my to-do list. I go back to work tomorrow for my final term before our US adventure this summer!

This week I have been…

Making: this delicious raw salad


Going: for a day out with my parents to Kilver Court


Wearing: my Zara leather jacket non-stop


Eating: a cheeky McFlurry


Drinking: this Dandelion and Burdock drink


Reading: endless research papers

Watching: The Affair – a brilliant drama on Sky Atlantic

Buying: flavoured oils and vinegars…my favourite nibbles served with crusty bread

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Planning: some new light, healthy salads to make this week

Cooking: Chow mein


Baking: nothing this week although I have a brownie craving at the moment!

Writing: essays…and weirdly enjoying it!

Favouriting: Deliciously Ella for some healthy recipe ideas

Working on: my front garden

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Trying to decide: if I can mange to keep these plants alive!

Wishing: for more sunny afternoons spent in our local pub garden watching the cows (we spotted a fox too!)


Enjoying: elevenses


Needing: Bath traffic to not be so rubbish!


Feeling: amazing after using this new cleanser


Giggling at: these naughty horses


Restaurant Review – A Midweek Treat at the Muddy Duck

It feels slightly strange blogging about our village pub as we are up there on a frequent basis (maybe a little too frequent!) but we had such a good meal recently, I felt it merited a post. Rather than trying somewhere new, Ian and I decided to wander up to our local for a midweek dinner.

I started with an Aperol Spritz cocktail which looked like a glass of Iron-Bru but this Italian aperitif has a lovely bitter-sweet taste and is apparently rather popular with the Hackney hipsters.

For my starter, I went for a salad which included two of my favourite ingredients: beetroot and goats cheese. Containing golden yellow and deep purple beetroot, which had been both pickled and roasted, this salad had a rich sweetness from the beets matched by the sharpness of the goats cheese, some of which had been whipped with lemon to add another texture and flavour. I thoroughly enjoyed this and I think the only thing missing was a crunch of some nuts or crispy bread.


Ian had a twist on ham, pea and mint in the form of this rustic ham terrine, served with a pea puree, mint and griddled new potatoes.  This was a hearty little starter and I was glad we opted to share them!


For my main, I went for another veggie option in the form of courgette arancini. Arancini, for those of you who are yet to discover this Italian delight, are little deep fried balls of risotto and one of those things I have to order when I see it on a menu! These ones were courgette arancini, with a cheesy, rich filling and served with marinated mozzarella, griddled vegetables and courgette and radish ribbons. The combination of these ingredients were spot on and I have my own take on these rice balls coming soon!


Ian went for the lamb served two ways but I have to admit I was enjoying my own dinner so much (and trying to pick apart the recipe so I could cook it myself at home!) that I don’t think I even tried any!


Ordering two veggie courses left me with some room for pudding and I could not resist the sticky toffee pudding, served with honeycomb and clotted cream ice-cream. This was a lovely end to the evening and no doubt we will be back soon x


Sunday Catch-up #10

If I’m being honest, it hasn’t really been the best week. I’ve been stressed and busy and to top it all off I’m feeling really run down and knackered. However, these weekly posts encourage me to look for the positives in weeks like this (we all have them!) and it has had its highlights, namely some beautiful sunny days and a great weekend in London with my nearest and dearest. Every cloud and all that!

This week I have been…

Making: Ian come to Pilates with me for a good old post-marathon stretch

Going: for afternoon tea in posh London hotels


Wearing: stripes…in fact, we all did!


Eating: ribs (I needed my fix!)


Drinking: root beer


Reading: this amazing series of books (for the second time)


Watching: Fortitude – I love my bleak, Scandi dramas!

Buying: more Breton tops

Planning: which TV drama to start on next – House of Cards please!

Cooking: ham and cheese toasties (my comfort food when I’m not feeling 100%)

Baking: nothing this week although lots of staff room cakes have been consumed!

Writing: birthday cards

Favouriting: more home décor websites as I’m now after a new rug for our living room

Working on: feeling better – lots of OJ, early nights and zinc tablets

Trying to decide: whether I need a duvet day or not tomorrow!

Wishing: this beautiful weather lasts so we can spend more time outside without layers upon layers on




Needing: to go back to making to-do lists as it’s the only way I can function properly

Feeling: so happy when I have all my family sat around the table enjoying a meal together


Giggling at: this tube stop (Londoners will roll their eyes I’m sure!)


Sunday Catch-up #9

I went back to work this week which was fine for the first few days but I struggled through the latter half. However, we have had slightly lighter mornings and evenings which made it a little easier getting up and brings the promise of springtime.

This week also saw Ian run the Bath Half Marathon and I was there cheering him and our friends on. It was so inspiring to see people of all ages and levels of fitness giving it a go although I’m not quite sure it has persuaded me to sign up for one yet!

This week I have been…

Making: bowls of steaming hot soup to enjoy on cold nights


Going: to cheer on the runners at this year’s Bath Half Marathon


Wearing: pearls on my nails


Eating: all the doughnuts!


Drinking: more water in an attempt to cut down on the amount of tea I drink

Reading: marathon running and pre-running diet tips to Ian

Watching: the finale of Broadchurch – I wasn’t as taken with it this season but at least the final episode wrapped up a few loose ends

Buying: well, it’s not really buying but I have sponsored people I know for various charity events (and it kind of felt better than buying more make-up!)

Planning: a new flight route home from America now that a certain low-budget airline changed their times meaning we miss our connection…grrrrrrr

Cooking: a Sunday Roast…nothing beats it

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Baking: nothing again this week although I am feeling inspired after watching the celeb version of the GBBO. Well, I wouldn’t say ‘inspired’ but more of a feeling that I can do better!

Writing: in my journal every night – I’m really happy I’ve kept this up


Favouriting: lots of bedroom decorating ideas for my next project – I particularly love Kate from ghost parties’ style

Working on: my stamina and upping my weekly runs

Trying to decide: what to wear to school for World Book Day #teacherproblems

Wishing: this week flies by as we have fun weekend plans in London!

Enjoying: the lighter mornings and evenings

Needing: to go to bed earlier now I am back at work

Feeling: so proud of my husband and bestie for raising so much dosh for Cancer Research

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Giggling at: Madonna’s epic fall at the Brits…didn’t we all?!

Sunday Catch-up #4

I seem to have spent this week feeling constantly tired so have been trying to switch off a bit earlier and read before bed in the hope of a more restful night’s sleep. It feels like it’s working but I could just do with an hour or so more in bed each morning before that alarm starts to blare!

This week I have been…

Making: A start on my next cross stitch pattern


Going: For lunch dates with Ian

Wearing: My hair straight this weekend


Eating: Burgers, sweet potato fries and blue cheese slaw (a day off the diet, clearly!)


Drinking: This delicious, if a tad too sweet, Rose Milk Tea picked up on a whim from the Chinese supermarket


Reading: Gone Girl (a bit late to the party I know!)


Watching: American Sniper at the cinema – I really enjoyed it

Buying: Space NK goodies


Planning: Places to eat at and visit along the East Coast


Cooking: Roasted vegetables, in an attempt to cut down on carbs in the evening


Baking: Parma Violet Cupcakes

Writing: More to-do lists…I think I’ve found the only way to keep me organised!

Favouriting: H&M homeware…so much I want to buy for our house

Working on: Reducing our never-ending laundry pile

Trying to decide: What colour to paint my nails tonight #firstworldproblems

Wishing: That Page 3 really had disappeared rather than using this issue to create a huge publicity stunt…seriously, who still reads The Sun?!

Enjoying: Burning my new Yankee Candles…I know they are really festive but they smell so good!


Needing: More sleep

Feeling: Grateful to my Dad for filling our freezer with his home-cooked food…these mozzarella-stuffed meatballs were amazing!


Giggling at: How ridiculous we all look wearing Liverpool hats to cheer on our team!


Latest Purchases #66 – IKEA Haul

Apparently today is ‘Blue Monday’, the day where a lot of people start to abandon their New Year Resolutions and generally feel quite rubbish about January being so cold, dark and bleak. That’s rather depressing to read and I think it’s a load of rubbish – don’t let a date or the media dictate when you should feel miserable or happy. Yes, it is always that little bit more of a challenge to get out of bed on Mondays but don’t beat yourself up about it!

In an attempt to stay cheery, I thought I would share my weekend purchases from IKEA as we all love a good haul post, don’t we?

I went with nothing particular in mind to buy so could just feel free to browse and pick up a few items that caught my eye, including:

  • This lovely stag front door mat; the perfect welcome when you come over for a brew


  • Some wrapping paper. IKEA have a great little stationary collection now with cool notebooks, washi tape and wrapping paper. I picked up a few rolls of this brown paper style which should keep me going for a good few birthdays.


  • New bedding. Since we decorated our room with a yellow and grey colour scheme, we found we don’t have much in the way of bedding that really goes. I picked up two grey and white sets for an absolute bargain; the striped set was £13 with an IKEA Family Card and the wiggly set was only £4.50!

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  • New cushions. An easy way of adding a pop of yellow into our bedroom to keep the colour scheme consistent.


  • Milk bottle vase. Only a pound and very useful for my blooms.


Not a huge haul, but a few nice bits and pieces to add to our home.


I don’t want this to be too much of a I-was-into-this-way-before-anyone-else kind of post but I have been a fan of podcasts for a while now and I’m really glad they are gaining in popularity as it means the quality and selection available is great now!

I work my way through a fair few podcasts each week and listen to them either in the car or when I’m cooking dinner each evening. If I can’t sleep, I sometimes play a podcast and it is a strangely soothing way to nod off – especially during the stormy nights we have had this week.

I have quite an eclectic range of podcasts on my iPhone so thought it would be fun to share these and hopefully find some new recommendations too. Here are some of my favourites:

  • Woman’s Hour Daily Podcast – Putting aside my love for Jane Garvey and Jenni Murray, I love how varied this podcast is, covering a huge variety of issues for women from equal pay to Dolly Parton!


  • The Kitchen Cabinet – Hosted by the excellent Jay Rayner, this foodie podcast always has great guest chefs and poses the most brilliant kitchen dilemmas. I’m always hungry after I’ve listened to this one!


  • The Archers – I was trying to casually sneak this one in as I know it’s hardly the best thing for my street cred but I absolutely love it! Set in the fictional village of Ambridge, it’s a great little soap opera and I feel like I’m listening to old friends chatting when I listen to it.


  • Serial – OK, if you haven’t listened to this cult true-life crime series then where have you been?! I have to admit that I find the narrator slightly irritating but it was an intriguing series and I binged on about 7 episodes during a long drive back from Cambridge one weekend. Without giving away any spoilers, I was slightly disappointed with the lack of closure in the finale but I hear there is a second series in the making which I will definitely be listening to.


  • The Ricky Gervais Audiobooks – Not strictly a podcast but I had to include these here as I listen to them repeatedly and they never fail to make me laugh.
  • The Xfm Josh Widdicombe Podcast – This one doesn’t include the music from Josh’s weekly show but is hilarious and he always has fellow stand-up comedians as guests; we’ve actually just booked tickets to go and see one of them soon too.
  • Unreported World – A weekly podcast giving an insight into the lives of people from around the world. I’ve listened to some fascinating and really moving episodes.
  • The Frank Skinner Show – I have to admit I wasn’t a huge fan but started listening to these in bed whilst having a lazy Saturday morning and it really does make me chuckle.
  • From Our Own Correspondent – A more political podcast from Kate Adie with another take on stories from around the globe.
  • 606 Football Phone-in and Fighting Talk – I do love my football and quite enjoy these shows. They can get a bit ‘lads banter’ sometimes but on the whole are quite good.
  • The Kaneing – A topical comedy show by Russell Kane, one of my favourite comedians. This has finished now but the previous episodes are available to download.
  • Desert Island Discs – I don’t listen to every episode of this podcast but there are such fascinating guests on and I always enjoy hearing their music choices.

Are you a podcast fan? Can you recommend any good ones I’m currently missing out on?