A few weeks ago, we headed for a lazy weekend in Brighton. With the weather being truly British (think drizzly and pretty windy), we wrapped up warm with coats and hats and embraced the cold for a stroll along the pier. There was of course time for the 2p slot machines and to potter around The Lanes to pick up some fudge for the journey home. We also met this little chap who was incredibly calm (even if he did step in his poop..).
Warming up hot milk in the microwave and adding in two dollops of Nutella when you get in from work, is literally the craziest thing we've done on a week night (since then, we've discovered Lindt cocoa!). I think our shopping list every other week seems to have marshmallows and squirty cream at the top of it. 
The best kinda weekends are the ones filled with friends and food right? Rosie and Tom came to stay a few weekends ago, and although it was fairly relaxed, it was just lovely. We spent our late mornings filling up on tasty breakfasts and catching up and our afternoons browsing the local emporium for treats and presents, followed by a very giggly time on the ice rink. Nobody fell over though - wins!
The same weekend that Rosie came to stay, Claire and Sarah popped up for an evening of laughs and naughty card games (not that kind..!). There was plenty of homemade mulled wine, tasty snacks and a pretty epic surprise birthday cake. Of course the following morning, we treated our guests to a truly scrumptious Nutella French Toast. Because it would be rude not too..
Is it bad to admit that before we brought Ralph home, we were pretty busy every weekend, but now we kinda just want to hang out with our cats? Well, we've been doing that for three weeks. And it's been awesome! These two are absolutely comical to watch (not sure Runkle agrees when he's trying to get fourty winks) and bringing Ralph home was the best decision we made recently. Look at that cuteness.
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Winter for us is kind of an extra special thing.. The cold nights and the constant drizzly weather (and frizzy 'fro) are always beaten by the beautiful morning frost, the time to actually relax and snuggle up in pyjamas every night with a sweet warm cocoa, and most importantly for us - the season where we met. I'm not going to get all smushy on you (I did that in my last post) but waking up to those snow covered mountains out the window, spending afternoons enjoying mulled cider, warming your feet up near an open fire and always finding time for a really proper hot chocolate, made me truly love the Winter months. And get slightly addicted to hot chocolate made with warm milk. The proper kind.
A few weeks ago, Lindt sent me quite possibly the best parcel* this household has ever received (like seriously, all those chocolate? Yeah, they were gone in a day). Little B and I fought over the variety of chocolate flavoured bitesizes whilst Runkle embraced the big ole box and tissue paper and in all honestly, we were pretty bloomin' chuffed with it (we're looking at you Sally!). But the best thing about the package (besides the humungous Lindt Bear..) is the hot chocolate. Yes, you heard right.. Lindt Hot Chocolate. And you make it with milk too. It's a win.
Somehow we'd managed to resist the hot chocolates (everything else had to go first) until the weekend. Sunday came around quickly, and none of us felt like leaving the house, actually, none of us bothered to even get dressed (no change for two of the house members..) and after a few hours of pottering about, watching some TV and planning the week ahead, we thought it was time for kitty bonding time again (it's a work in progress - but OHGODLOOKHOWCUTETHEYLOOK - can this be classed as a cuddle?).
Little B warmed up a jug of milk on the hob, and added in a few teaspoons of sugar before stirring in the msot wonderful and thick powder. With two big mugs full and a plate of biscuits, we headed back up to bed where our afternoon was spent feeling more than content. All thanks to the hot chocolate and it's rich and creamy ways.Lindt, welcome to the cupboards for life. Here's to a tasty Winter!

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If you'd have told me six years ago that I'd be one of those girls meeting people on the internet, chances are I would have laughed in your face. I liked Myspace. I enjoyed changing my profile page every other week, commenting to my friends every day(or hour!) and making my pictures look really quirky and original. My friends stayed as my friends, and any outsiders were seen as weird and dismissed immediately. And that's how things were, and I liked it. Fast forward to now, and once a month I'm catching up with 'an online friend' who almost isn't an online friend anymore. They've become a real friend, one of those true friends who you want around. Infact, there isn't just one, there's a few. And that feeling really is bloomin' wonderful.
I always remember a quote on Stand By Me that said "I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve...". And never has a truer word been spoken. People will come and go and you lose friends as the years pass, realising who cares and who doesn't, but if there's one thing I am ultimately grateful it's blogging, and with blogging, the biggest acomplishment in my 'blogging time', is most definitely the group of inspiring and absolutely lovely ladies that I've met along the way.
Take Rosie, and Sarah.. One lives an hour from me, and the other three hours, one is married and likes sewing, and the other is engaged and enjoys beach walks. I don't sew, I'm not engaged and I don't like the salty water at all, however in the last year, I find myself emailing them both once a week talking about mortgages and life, rather than blog chat, hanging out in couples rather than at a blogger event and asking for advice on baking and interior rather than HTML and stats. And although we have different interests, clothing tastes and future goals, there's something about a 'blogger' friend that just clicks. And you realise that they're more than just a blogger friend who posts pictures of what they're wearing. They're a genuine friend. A friend who surprises you with early birthday cake and presents.
Then we have Kim. The girl who's blog I used to read every week, eyeing up her fashion sense and re-attempting her baking posts. Months of commenting turned into tweeting each other daily,  exchanging numbers, to arranging weekends together and then teary goodbyes knowing we wouldn't see each other for a year. Which is utter crazy considering I've only known Kim for two years, yet with her posting life updates you almost connect with them on such a quicker scale. And although Kim has been on the other side of the world for almost a year, we speak nearly every week whether it be a simple Whatsapp message, an essay of an email, Sunday morning Skype chats or exchanging funny parcels, we know that we're still there for each other. And just counting down the days till we can hang out again. Kim is who I call one of my closest friends. The friend who you know is going to be about for quite some time. The best kind of friend.
And finally, we have Claire, who I've hung out with possibly the most this year. What started as a fun friendship last year hanging out at events, has turned into a friendship who I share most of my deep and meaningful conversations with. Our lives are laid out on the table during a weekly night dinner catch up, and our ambitions and inspirations are encouraged by each other over weekend sleepovers. I absolutely love planning to see her whether it be giggles and pizza on a Thursday night, or drinks and lazy times with the other halves. Not only am I am grateful to have her around (and not so far away either), but I admire Claire for her outlook and enthusiasm on life. Her determination has certainly rubbed off on me, and she's one of those friends who you not only need around you, but want around you. Someone who certainly makes the Christmas list.
When JING got in touch about sending their tea gifts to a blogger I love, I knew who deserved taking time to relax, and reflect on her busy life and would appreciate something different, and that was Claire. She's a tea kinda girl (what blogger isn't?) and I wanted her to know that I appreciate her, and just to almost say "hey, remember to take time out for yourself, and indulge in a really nice tea experience, because you're awesome". JING has everything you need to give the gift of time to a blogger you love (or even that family member who deserves some chill time!), and Claire certainly enjoyed it.
So ladies, you know I'm not mushy to your faces (unless I'm crying at your kindness....) but this post is for you. It's just to say a thank you, a thank you for being there, and just being yourselves.  And showing us that you can be friends with whoever, at whatever age, regardless of your likes and dislikes, and that if we all take away one thing from this 'blogging world', it's that we've made some friendships. Real friendships.

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Possibly not the most exciting room in our home, however everybody has them - so we thought we may aswell show ours... It's a simple room, there's enough space for us to shower in, brush our teeth in and potter about (we tend to have family bathroom meetings most morning - so it's a fair size for that...!) and for the first time in two years (and three houses), we could finally use our nautical accessories..! We present to you, the main bathroom.
We've had nautical accessories for a few years but never were allowed to paint or put up wall art, so as soon as we moved, a paintbrush was in hand and those walls were soon covered with a soft sky blue (thanks to Little B's papa!). We threw out our coloured towels and replaced them with baby blues, cornflower blues and white and stuck with these colours throughout the room.
It's rare that I take a bath, but on the odd occasion that I do, it's always nice to relax and soak with some candles lit. The Beach Walks Yankee Candle is perfect for this room (even if it spends most of it's time unlit) and sits proudly on the shelf. I also love the Island Breeze that I picked up from Matalan a few years ago.
During those afternoons of Pinterest browsing, I came across shelving in bathrooms (as I've mentioned time and time before, I never used to be a shelf kinda girl) and within hours I had Little B putting up some new shelves. Again, we kept it quite simple and couldn't be without a few extra kilner jars for bathroom storage. And yes, those towels.. They are purely there for decoration. Until Little B pulls them down....!
So although we're not going to be inviting you over for a bathroom party, we're fairly pleased with how it looks. It's clean (most of the time) and fresh, which is all we wanted in this room. Plus Runkle loves this room, snoozing in the sink and toiletting in the bath (don't ask), so it has it's purposes!
And now that we finally have a new shower (thanks folks for the early Christmas present!), we can finally enjoy hair wash a little bit more... Kinda.

B&M Mirror & Vase | Matalan Candle, Lighthouse & Hanging Decorations | Beach Walk Yankee Candle
Kilner Jars | Asda Towels | The Range Boat | Dunelm Storaage Box

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This is Ralph. He's the newest member of the family, and although he's only been around for a week and a bit, he's certainly fitting in just fine. He may only be seven weeks old, but it's fair to say that he's already a little tinker. And his favourite things? Flicking conkers across the room, hiding under the telephone table until the right moment to pounce and falling asleep in armpits. He also really enjoys playing with Runkybum.
I guess we won't be having any peace and quiet around here for a while...
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 It's beginning to feel like Christmas is only around the corner (it's almost scary..) and this week we finally started our shopping. I couldn't help but pick up these adorable little decorations from Tiger and it seems that the kitties approve of them too. I think they've seen all rooms in the house already...
 Coming home and warming up a Mulled Cider to keep us cosy in the evenings, has been bliss. The Henry Westons Cider* is the perfect box to see us right through the festive season and we've found it delightfully warming with a roasted slice of Orange. Bliss. Now all we're missing is an open fire.
 Flowers are a big part of our home and are normally neutral colours of whites and soft pinks however I think that this Velvet Rose bouquet from Appleyard's Christmas Range has swayed me to bring reds and bright pinks into my home for the next few months. If you like flowers too, you can get 40% off a bouquet with the code BLOG40.
 We love to have a casserole in the oven for hours during the Winter, with plenty of vegetables and some fresh bread, but for quick and easy dinners (because we want to get into our pyjamas and eat chocolate for the evening) we've opted for Courgetti once a week. We love the simplicity of fresh spinach, onions and tomatoes thrown in with the courgette and tossed in pesto. It is one tasty meal.
 My love for Olivia Burton just grows and grows. This beautiful Burgundy Chrono Detail* watch has quite literally not left my wrist since it arrived last week and they've even gave me a love affair for rose gold. The burgundy strap completes any Autumnal outfit too - and well OB are just winners full stop.

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If there's one thing that I'm known for in my wardrobe, it's slouchy attire (or maternitywear-for-the-unpregnant-lady as my work colleagues like to point out). I like slobby tops, and loose fitting dresses and most recently have become slightly addicted to my new favourite slouchy knit. Because it's big and cosy, and just pretty awesome. And I can eat as many treats as I like, and you'll never know (until I wear something else..).
What once was a girl who lived in dresses and fell in love with sweet skirts, has been replaced by practical, comfortable and 'quality' pieces. Don't get me wrong, I still like to buy the occasional top and jumper from Primark, but for me now, it's all about those basic pieces that can be worked together. And with my jeans too. Seriously - it's amazing how much I wear these considering two years ago I'd never have worn them. I guess as we get older, we really do appreciate mama's words of quality over quantity. But that doesn't count for my pyjama wardrobe. Nope, they're a completely different matter...
H&M Knit | New Look Jacket & Boots | Asda Scarf | Miss Luxe Bag

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As you've probably gathered, we don't eat a lot of meat (Little B doesn't really get too much of a say when I cook!) and lately I am forever on the hunt for recipes. I've never been into cooking much (I'd much rather be cooked for) but all of a sudden I want to cook. All the time. And when Little B had gone out for the day, I got my bake on and made a butternut squash tagine which wasn't too bad for a first time!
I think I made a little too much but we're fans of freezing meals for rainy days! Little B was very impressed with this taste, and although I was fairly critical about it (thinking it needed more of one and less of another) it was a very yummy meal. So to make this butternut squash tagine, you will need:
Butternut Squash (I never use a whole one - but probably half)
Sweet Potato (again, I'm one for estimating!)
Sweetcorn
Pepper
Courgette (I diced mine, but it's also nice grated)
Onion
Curry Powder
Paprika
1 GF stock cube
Chopped Tomatoes
Cous Cous (you can always use ready made or from scratch)
Firstly I roasted off my butternut and sweet potato in the oven with a drizzle of oil and some seasoning. Whilst this was cooking, I fried the peppers and onions on the hob and added the courgette and sweetcorn shortly after.
Once the vegetables had cooked, I added in a tin of chopped tomatoes (you can add in two depending on the consistancy that you're looking for) and a heaped teaspoon of curry powder and paprika. If you find the sauce a little bland, add some more seasoning until you're happy. With some boiled water, I then poured in 300ml of dissolved stock cube and added in my roasted butternut and sweet potato and stirred until it was all blended in. I turned down the heat slightly and popped a lid on the pan, leaving it to simmer for half hour.
Ten minutes before you're due to serve up, cook your cous cous in a pan of boiling water till the water has been absorbed by the cous cous (this normally takes 5/10 minutes). We then seasoned it with a splash of paprika and some finely grated carrot to add to the flavour.
Serve alongside the tagine and some green salad, and for that extra delicious flavour, add a dollop of Tzatziki - making this fairly Summery meal warm up those Winter tummies.
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