Friday, 31 January 2014

make the most of february - bucket list

(Click on the image for a printable)

January seems to have passed me by in a flash! Unfortunately there has not been much fun stuff for us over the past month. I was ill in bed for the first week of the month and I still don't feel fully recovered! But I don't think this miserable weather helps! Steve has also been ill so if it wasn't one of us it was the other!

Onwards and upwards, though! A new month and a new bucket list! I'm secretly hoping for a snow day too! I'm looking forward to Valentines Day of course, although we are still not sure what we are going to do yet in the evening; maybe a meal out or cooking at home with a film. I have decided to have a bit of fun this year. We are going to challenge ourselves by buying a gift for no more than five pounds. Do I go down the novelty fun route or go for trying to find the great bargain of all time? Wish me luck!

Have you seen Before Sunrise and Before Sunset? We saw Before Sunset when I booked a surprise Valentine's Day surprise meal and viewing at the lovely Showroom arthouse cinema. It was such a feelgood film, set in Paris, and played out in real time. We were hooked on the story and caught up with the first film, where they meet on a train bound for Vienna. I look forward to seeing the final film, Before Midnight. You really should check them out, if you haven't done so already. If you do, let me know what you think.

Have a lovely weekend. We might be needing a canoe to get out if this rain doesn't stop! As the weather is terrible, I think we will find a new gallery this weekend and hope it's got a good coffee shop.

Have you any fun plans for this month?

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

super skinny pasta

Full of goodness, healthy and ready in twenty minutes! I make this yummy pasta dish on a regular basis as it is perfect for a quick midweek supper after work. The combination of spicy broccoli and salty anchovies gives it so much flavour!

Ingredients (serves 4)
250g linguine
50g tin anchovies
350g tenderstem broccoli, trimmed
500g cherry tomatoes, whole
4 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 red chilli
zest and juice of 1 lemon
2tbsp mini capers, to serve

1. Cook the pasta in boiling water according to the pack instructions.
2. Drain 11/2 tbsp of oil from the anchovy tin into a pan and finely chop the anchovies. Gently fry with the garlic and chilli for 2 minutes until the garlic is golden. Add the broccoli and cherry tomatoes, along with 3tbsp water and cook for 5 minutes, until the broccoli is tender and some of the cherry tomatoes have burst.
3. Drain the pasta and stir through the lemon juice. Add the veg and capers, then top with a sprinkle of lemon zest and a grind of pepper.

Who thought low calorie could taste so good?

Monday, 27 January 2014

a valentine's day date outfit

Look no further for that sexy outfit you are looking to wear on Valentine's Day! This outfit is perfect for a romantic date night.

I absolutely love Valentine's Day. I adore the colour it brings after the dreary days we have in January. Red; my favourite!

Saturday, 25 January 2014

insta memoir

Just a few of my favourite Instagram moments from last month. I'd love it if you followed along with me on Instagram.

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

the best chocolate and beetroot brownies

When I first saw this recipe for chocolate and beetroot brownies, I wasn't too sure. Beetroot with chocolate didn't sound like a good combination to me! I am a lover of carrot cake though so for a change I thought I would try these out. There is nothing better than a brownie when it's cold for a bit of comfort.

Well I am so glad I did. The beetroot makes the brownies really moist and sweet and adds a lovely texture. It was hard not to have more than one piece at a time! Give it a go, you will be pleased with the result.

This yummy recipe is from the River Cottage website. Enjoy!

Monday, 20 January 2014

blue and black

Getting a good photo in this light was not easy. One minute it was intense sunlight, the next black clouds. Roll on summer and longer days! So I apologize for not having the best quality shots.

I used to hear lots of talk about whether you should wear blue and black together and for a long time I didn't brave it. But one day I thought 'hey, why not just give it a go' so here I am in my latest addition to the blues in my wardrobe.

How do you feel about wearing blue and black together?

Joining up with Elena at Monday Bloom and Molly at Still Being Molly.

Friday, 17 January 2014

365 project - december

'silver', 'where I stood', ' bit of 2013'
'shadow', 'celebrate', 'something awesome'
'tradition', 'joy is...', 'tis the season to'
'red', 'lights', 'on the door'

A few of my favourite photos from my 365Project in December. Why don't you try taking a photo a day and posting it on the 365 site; it's just the time of year to start.  It really is a great community on there. I am now more than half way through. Come over and have a look at the rest of my pics and at what it's all about.

I was very happy when my photo of 'on the door' was chosen for the 'Fab 4' on Fatmumslim's Photo-a-day Facebook page. It made my day. 

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

a sunshine post

A couple of months ago, the lovely Sarah at Life As Always nominated me for the Sunshine Award! It really made my day being chosen by Sarah and it put a big smile on my face for the rest of the day. I'm sorry that it has taken me a while to prepare the post but life has been very busy lately.

Sarah always makes me smile with her lovely, cheery posts. She is always busy on her adventures having lots of fun and is now pregnant, which is so exciting. Pop over and see Sarah and read what she has been up to lately.

The Sunshine Award Rules

1. Include the award logo in your post.
2. Link to the person who nominated you - Sarah
3. Answer 10 questions about yourself.
4. Nominate 10 bloggers to receive the award. Link the nominees to your post and notify them.

Sarah's Questions

What's the nicest thing someone else has done for you?

It has to be when Steve booked us a holiday to Crete and asked me to marry him. Of course, I said YES! It was such a special evening that I will never forget. Sitting in a restaurant overlooking the sea; perfect!

What is one thing you always wanted as a kid, but never got?

I had a massive love for an Eighties band called Spandau Ballet and I desperately wanted to see them. However, every time I tried to get tickets to see them they would all be sold out! Then the news came out that they were splitting up and I was devastated. After a few weeks of mourning, I resigned myself to the fact I would never see them! Well, a few years ago they decided to get back together for a reunion tour and I got the tickets I had wanted all those years ago. I actually got to see them in two venues and they were better than I could have imagined.

What is your most impressive skill?

Okay, this was a tough one for me as I'm not good at blowing my own trumpet! I think my skills come into play when I'm at work. I work with primary school children and I love being a part of their nurturing. 

What would you refuse to do for a million dollars?

I would never EVER part with my Disney film collection. I still have the videos even though we only watch DVD's but I can't part with them! As I'm writing this I'm sitting watching Chitty Chitty Bang Bang! 

If you were home on a rainy Sunday afternoon, what movie would you like to watch on TV?

Apart from any Disney movies, it would have to be Roman Holiday. I absolutely adore this film. Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck are just wonderful together and what a gorgeous place to be.

If fat, calories, cholesterol, etc. were not an issue, what two foods would you feast on?

It would have to be Haribo sweets, my mouth is watering as I'm writing this and the sweet yumminess of a Greek baklava. Delicious!

Who is the most famous person you have met?

I haven't actually met anyone famous but I did once go with a group of children to the local park to see Prince Edward and I was stood a few feet from him.  I have walked past minor TV personalities and pop stars over the years but I can easily tell you who I would love to meet; the lovely Leonardo DiCaprio!

What is the greatest pain you have ever suffered?

That would have to be when I got appendicitis at the age of ten. I still remember the pain I was in until I had it removed. Apart from the birth of my girls, that is the only time I have been in hospital and I want to keep it that way!

If you could be a member of any TV-sitcom family, which would it be?

Definitely Everybody Loves Raymond. There would certainly never be a dull moment in that household. I adore Amy, she is so bubbly and kind. Even when I watch it now, it never fails to make me belly laugh. 

How do you like to relax?

My number one way to relax is cooking and baking, I find it so therapeutic! I also love to walk, take long hot baths and spend time with my family.

Bloggers who bring me sunshine. 

Elizabeth at All That is Beautiful
Katia at Funky Wellies
Olga at Local Fashion
Gailann at Mumma G
Michelle at Very Hungry Explorer
Samantha at Everyday with S and J

What I would love to know.

1. What are three things you cannot live without?
2. What song do you never tire of hearing?
3. Your favourite place to eat out?
4. What's your favourite season and why?
5. What's the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
6. What is one quality you really love about yourself?
7. What book are you reading right now?
8. What is your favorite clothing store and why?
9. What makes you grumpy?
10. Mountain hideaway or beach house?

Thank you again to Sarah for nominating me. What a wonderful excuse to share more with each other. It would be lovely to see everyone join along but I do understand that it is time consuming. If you want to answer some of my questions in the comments, that would be great too. 

Have a great day!

Monday, 13 January 2014

reworking the wardrobe

I have Pinterest to thank for this outfit. I always keep a style inspiration board and collect outfit ideas as I go along. I love to remix items I already have in my wardrobe. I may not have the exact piece but I still might be able to put a similar outfit together. 

When I am having one of those days where I stare into the wardrobe and think 'I have nothing to wear', this is when I reach for my Ipad to find some inspiration. I like to layer in the winter so here I have on a t-shirt with a denim shirt and black jacket. I finished the outfit off with my old faithful jeans and a big scarf

Where do you look for inspiration?

Linking up with Logan at Southern Sunflowers & Coffee Beans, Patti at Not Dead Yet Style, Molly at still being molly and Lindsey at The Pleated Poppy.

Have a lovely day.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

the winter tag

I was tagged a few weeks ago by the lovely Andrea at Cous Cous & Cork Wedges to take part in The Winter Tag. Pop by to see Andrea and her lovely blog, she would love to see you there.

'Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire; it is the time for home' - Edith Sitwell. This quote says it all for me as this is exactly what I think about winter.

The rules 

Share twelve random facts about yourself
Answer the 12 questions
List 12 bloggers you wish to tag on by letting them know you have nominated them

My 12 Random Facts

1. I have only done karaoke once in my life; never again!
2. I have managed to get to 41 without breaking any bones; touch wood!
3. I have scars on my knees as I was always falling over as a child.
4. I've given up on camping as it always rains when I do! Sleeping in a bed is much more my style!
5. I never had a birthday party as a child so I'm making up for it now.
6. I love to sing in the shower, in the car, in fact I love to sing every where!
7. I have an addiction to cup-a-soups.
8. In the words of Bridget Jones 'I choose vodka and Chaka Khan'!
9. I love cheese, the smellier the better!
10. I like paintings that I can imagine myself being in.
11. I am a hopeless romantic.
12. I have never bought a lottery ticket.

The Questions

What are your favourite things about winter?
Sitting by my cosy, warm woodburner with my fluffy socks and pj's on. Hot chocolate and marshmallows and stews.

What is your favourite winter outfit?
My tan coloured cape with a jumper and skinny jeans with little booties and a chunky scarf.

What is your favourite winter food?
A delicious slow cooked lamb tagine with couscous with toffee apple cake for dessert.

What is your favourite winter drink?
I am loving the delicious Starbucks Gingerbread lattes. Delicious!

How do you like your make up in the winter?
I love to wear a bit of gold, sparkly eyeshadow at this time of year with a darker lipgloss.

What are you hoping Santa brings you?
Santa bought me everything I asked for especially the happy family. I also got a polar bear onesie, what more could a girl wish for!

What is your favourite winter scent?
I love the smell of cinnamon especially when I'm making mulled wine.

What is your favourite winter memory?
We had a big snowfall a couple of years ago that brought the whole town to a standstill. The road outside of our house was impassable. It is the only time in the eleven years we have lived here that we could freely walk down the middle of the road. Everywhere looked so beautiful!

What is your dream way to spend a winters day?
Wrapping up warm and going for a walk and coming back to hot chocolate with marshmallows. Then spending the afternoon in front of the woodburner watching old black and white movies.

What are the first three things that remind you of winter?
Darker nights, feeling the need to wear a hat and bare branches on trees.

What is your favourite winter song?
I have been in love with Dean Martin's song 'Let It Snow' for years. It always brings a smile to my face.

Finish this sentence.......If I could have one Christmas wish it would be........
To have my family all together on Christmas Day.

The 12 lovely bloggers I've tagged.

Elizabeth at My Glad Heart
Claudia at Claudia Persi
Angel at Sew Crafty Angel
Jazzy at Jazzygal
Emma at Emma Dilemma
Jill at Jillie Side Up

Thanks again to Andrea for tagging me as I have enjoyed this post. I understand that it can be time consuming so if you just want to leave a comment below that would be great. 

Have a good day.

Monday, 6 January 2014

how to wear a knitted crew jumper

I am so in love with crew jumpers right now. Perfect for layering in this chilly weather and let me tell you, it was a very cold day! You will be able to see from the photos how windy it was from the way my hair was blowing about!

Can you believe my daughter and fiancee both bought me this same jumper for Christmas but in different lengths! Great minds think alike! I must have mentioned that I liked them on more than one occasion. This is the one my daughter bought me as the shorter one didn't fit as well! I felt bad taking it back but I did manage to get a coat that I had been wanting in the sale with the refunded money, so all is good.

My fiancee bought me this lovely skirt and blouse for Christmas too. I was so happy with his choices, he knows me well! The blouse has such a gorgeous collar, giving the outfit a feminine look.

Topshop cream blouse - still available in some stores
Topshop black skirt - still available in some stores
Topshop bag - wardrobe
Primark booties - still in store
Primark tights
Primark sunnies
River Island bracelets - wardrobe

Have a lovely day

Linking up with Elena from DC in Style, Kristin and Megan at BonBon Rose Girls, Molly at still being molly and Claire at clairejustineoxox.

Friday, 3 January 2014

make the most of january - bucket list

Click image for larger printable

January!!!! Is it me or does every year seem to go a little faster? It makes me realise how important it is to make the most of every day. I am so glad I started writing a bucket list as it reminds me to keep doing the fun stuff as it is so easy to forget when you are busy with the everyday.

Having a winter picnic passed us by last month as the weather has just not been good enough. I long for cold, crisp sunny days so we can wrap up, pack up our thermos and head out. Those are the kind of days I love. 

I really want to make a start of restyling my kitchen. The New Year always signifies freshness and my little kitchen needs some love and attention. A few licks of paint on my walls and kitchen cupboards and it will look altogether new.

Have you any plans or resolutions for January? 

Have a lovely day and enjoy your weekend. We have plans for a date night tomorrow and a walk on Sunday. Weather permitting, of course!

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

happy new year

Wishing you all a prosperous, blissful, healthy, bright, delightful, energetic, and extremely happy, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

In the words of Walt Disney, 'All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them'.