We went: Weekend in Norfolk

28.10.14

At the beginning of the month, we packed up our car with sensible coats, birthday presents and warm clothing and headed for a weekend in Norfolk with Little B's family. With the colder weather setting in, we pulled up outside this adorable little cottage in Docking and within minutes had changed our boots for slippers, the kettle was brewing and catching up and chill was on the cards for that Friday evening. It was bliss already.
On Saturday morning, we tugged on our wellies and drove to Brancaster beach. With the weather being fairly sunny, it really makes you realise just how beautiful the English beaches can be. Little B and his mama and brother had planned before to swim in the sea, and after what felt like forever getting to the sea, they whipped off their clothes and raced into the cold water.
It's fair to say that they stayed in the water for at least 20 minutes, which is much better than the rest of us managed! As the sun started to shy away in the clouds, the towels were waiting to dry their cold bodies with.
Although I didn't go in the sea, it was lovely to be out in the fresh air, laughing as they tried to swim in shallow waters and finally admitting that it's time to buy some wellies - because those trainers that served their purpose in the French Alps, aren't quite so good in wet sand. Luckily Little B's mama lent me hers!
We spent the afternoon walking across the sands, finding the seals relaxing, and talking of what we'd do if we'd won the lottery. When we finally felt cooler, we hopped back in the car and made a pit stop for a local ale and warm drink. And pined for the stonebaked pizza's that passed us every five minutes.
Whilst back in the cottage, spare time was spent attempting a jigsaw. I've not done one of these in so long, and couldn't quite believe how addictive it was. Each morning we'd wake up and head straight to the jigsaw, and even ruled out precious getting-ready-for-dinner-time in favour of the jigsaw.
The following morning we wrapped up warm again and headed back to where we'd eaten the night before to see the beautiful views. The fresh crisp air made us stop in our tracks and really appreciate these incredible surroundings. And I most definitely wished that I lived in these adorable little cottages.
On our way to the local village, the boys wanted to visit The Real Ale Shop and also a fresh fish barn where they spent what felt like a decade choosing their fish for the week ahead's supper (I'm not a fan of fishy smells!). The afternoon was spent pottering the local village, and finished up with fresh fish and chips on the front.
Weekends like these really are lovely. Spending it with family, drinking hot drinks and wine, eating fish & chips and tasty breakfasts, doing simple things and catching up are just bliss. We're already planning the next trip. With the right footwear this time!

We thought: Life this month

26.10.14

Considering how little we've planned this month, it seems that not only has October flown by, but life has been fairly busy. With the last two weeks being a write off due to illness, I'm finally starting to feel a little normal. What was thought to be the office stomach bug, has since turned into a potential gluten intolerance, and in simple terms - I have become that girl who talks about food a lot. I always used to talk about food before, but this time, it's even more than you could ever think. The cupboards that were once full of bread, biscuits and crisps have been replaced with protein bars, nuts and dried fruit and the fridge that was always brimming with filled pasta, pizzas, sausages and breaded chicken is now a bright array of every vegetable that Asda quite literally stocks. To be fairly honest, it's actually OK so far. I'm not missing all my sweet treats (partly because the gluten free jaffa cakes are delicious!) and have found myself eating more than I used to before, just of the right kind. Little B and I make the conscious effort to cook everything from scratch now, together most nights and even branch out to foods that I wouldn't normally have eaten, which is making for absolutely delicious meals.
Since trialing gluten free, I cannot begin to explain how much better I feel in not only my stomach and toilet habits (yes, I went there) but in myself too. I feel incredibly happier. The last four/five months ago, I wasn't feeling right, but I was in denial.I was constantly tired whether I had five hours sleep or ten hours sleep, I would spend my days at work counting down the hours till I could head home to use the toilet, I would feel dizzy staring at my computer screen all day, my stomach would bloat before I'd even eaten that morning and I'd take myself to bed with stomach cramps. And in reality, I felt down. I guess you could say that maybe the office bug was a blessing in disguise, or just my bodies way of crying for help. It's not a drastic change, not half compared to others. But for me, it feels like a fairly big deal.. I can now enjoy a meal and feel satisfied, not resembling an eight month pregnant stomach, I can go to bed without questioning if I'll be sick, I can make plans without having to plan for toilet breaks and I don't feel half as tired as I used to. But most importantly, I feel like things really don't matter. I don't feel so uptight like I did four months ago, I feel calmer and like my age again. I genuinely feel better.
And so right now, I am embracing this change in my life, and with the help of Google (amen to you!), cook books and spending that little bit longer looking at ingredients in the supermarkets, I'm learning a lot of things I didn't know before about foods and our body. And yes, I did genuinely cry when I realised that my favourite Calzone pizza from Prezzo could be no more. Such is life.

We liked: The Simple Things

23.10.14

With Winter safely arrived (and very quickly), we've pulled out the gravy and opted for Winter casseroles twice a week. Because piling all the vegetables from the fridge into a big pot of warm gravy and leaving it in the oven for a few hours is the best thing about those dark evenings. And the smell as you arrive home, oh that smell.
Little R has finally realised that it's getting chillier, and decides that sleeping on the landing isn't that snug. There's always a race as to who can make it to bed first, and he seems to be winning at the moment. Sometimes I wish that I had his life. His food is always there for him, he gets pampered AND gets to sleep all day. I am jealous.
Most of this month has been spent hidden under the duvet due to the office bug and food intolerances (we're still working that one out) and if anything good has come from it, we've learnt to take things a little easier. We made plans not to make plans recently and enjoyed an ultimate lazy morning. With the sun shining too, it was bliss.
I think the award for the most beautiful Christmas decorations goes to Laura Ashley. A few weeks ago I popped along to their #HandmadeChristmas event which well and truly got me feeling festive and ready to embrace all things sparkly (it's the only time I'll allow for sparkles - sorry!) It also taught me that I really am super uncreative, and the kitty thought so too, when I woke to find my handmade headpiece had been eaten by him. Oh cat life.
Seeing these two ladies a few weeks ago was just delightful. Little Jazzpad never fails to make me smile, and just gets me. We always have such a wonderful time and can catch up till the cows come home (yes, I totally said that). It was also my first full time hanging out with the ever so sassy Miss Cohen, who is officially awesome.
It was my nana's birthday last week, so I put those floristry fingers to use again and attempted another tablepiece. For only supermarket flowers and greenery from the garden, I don't think I've done such a bad job (although I'm sad that I couldn't save the hessain from last time). My nana was pretty pleased which is the main thing.