Lifestyle: Happy Fortnightly Things #8

These last few weeks have been super busy – during the first week of November I had one evening where I wasn’t socialising after work. Coupled with the fact I ended up having to book onto tutorials for my professional exams TWO MONTHS earlier than anticipated, craming reading in alongside everything else has left me shattered. That said it has been super fun – I just know I need to tone it down a little.

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Here’s what’s been making me happy recently…

  1. Tacos and tequila. Me and W headed down to Wahaca to celebrate Day of the Dead. We stuffed ourselves with Pork Pilbil, Chicken Tacquitos and, of course, Churros. The perfect mid-week treat.
  2. Talking of mid-week treats, meeting up with some of my closest friends for burgers and catch-ups after work features rather highly. However thought of putting Camembert AND truffle mayo into a burger deserves a medal.
  3. Studying again. Sure, I moan about it, but at the same time I’m loving having something to work towards. The small amount of time pressure is actually making me get on with it, there’s been no procrastination here. Yet!
  4. S’mores brownies. Buttery biscuit base, gooey rich brownie, melted and slightly charred marshmallows. N’uff said.
  5. Autumn clothes. I’ve been loving mixing up skirts with jumpers and ankle boots. So comfy, so cosy.
  6. Writing my birthday/Christmas wishlist.
  7. Enjoying an Indian for the first time since leaving Redhill and my placement. Still not quite as good as Bombay Mela, but I’ve discovered Spiced Fried Okra is yum!
  8. W’s parents visiting. So nice to catch up properly!
  9. Our new little nephew being born. This actually happened in the previous fortnight but clearly I had Aunty-baby-brain. Looking forward to having cuddles in hopefully not too long.
  10. Getting a seat from the start of my morning commute two days in a row. I hate the tube in the morning, it makes me feel so sick, so this made my day! It also means I got 30 minutes of course-note reading done, which means more time in the day for fun things…

What little things have you been loving recently?

Lifestyle: Happy Fortnightly Things #7

Wow, it’s the end of October already! This month has definitely gone from being summery (I was wandering around in t-shirts only a few weeks ago!) to being properly cold and Autumnal – I need scarves and gloves on pretty much a daily basis now. And, dare I say it, it’s not long until Christmas. I’m starting to feel a bit excited…

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Here’s what’s been making me smile lately…

  1. Meal-prepping. Things have definitely gotten hectic but I’ve loved getting organised and prepping things at the weekend. Plus my fridge looks super neat and tidy.
  2. M&S released my favourite work style dress in burgundy. I saw it and bought it within around 3 minutes one lunch-break!
  3. On a related note, I found my Christmas day dress!
  4. And on a Christmas theme, I’ve managed to convince W to let me buy a new Christmas tree for the pair of us. No more £10 trees from Tesco, I’ve got my eye on a ‘pencil’ one from John Lewis.
  5. Starting to study again. I was torn between dreading it and looking forward to it, but it turns out I’m hugely enjoying getting my teeth stuck into new material.
  6. Heading home to be spoilt for a couple of nights. My mummy cooked all my favourite treats!
  7. Having a good haircut and managing to get it dyed at the same time. It’s been a while since my haircare was so in sync!
  8. Mushroom risotto. W was working late on a project, I couldn’t resist…
  9. Narrowing down our wedding photographer search. Quite possibly the most important element for me and despite the time we’ve got I found it stressful. Some were booked on 2019 dates!?!
  10. Wandering around London. I can’t quite explain how much I love living here!

Hope your fortnight has been as lovely as mine! What’s been making you smile lately?

Lifestyle: Happy Fortnightly Things #6

Happy Monday everyone! These last two weeks have been pretty hectic. Will’s now started his Master’s course so we’ve been having to get into an actual proper routine. It’s been pretty tiring – I announced I was going to bed last week before realising it was only 9.30pm, whoops! I’m also properly working now, rather than just being on the graduate training programme, so I’m getting used to new processes, seeing everything in Excel spreadsheets and trying to remember allllll the things. Super interesting, but my brain feels a little like mush once it gets past 5pm everyday!

 photo Happy Things 2_zpstx894dal.pngHere’s the best bits from my fortnight…

  1. A welcome lunch with my team. Not only did I have some delicious food (bread and balsamic, squid salad, stone bass with cannellini ragu), it was great to get to know them a bit more. Not feeling so intimidated now!
  2. Cooking a delicious butternut squash risotto, with goat’s cheese. I’ve avoided this veg as last time I tried it I hated it, but I could definitely eat this again!
  3. Doing a bit more wedding planning. We’re looking into photographers now and I’ve got a short-list, hoping to get that booked in the next few weeks.
  4. On that note, the wedding is less than two years away! Safe to say I’m excited…
  5. Celebrating our anniversary. It’s been six years since we got together – whilst I didn’t plan to meet my future husband at 16, it’s meant we’ve been able to grow up together. I can’t wait for all of our future adventures!
  6. “London’s Best Burger” at Mac & Wild. I feel I need to do more research to verify the ‘best’ claim, but it was damn yummy!
  7. The nice man in Waitrose fetching me a trolley and helping me transfer my shopping after the wheel feel off mid-shop. The fact that he didn’t laugh was greatly appreciated!
  8. Receiving a pretty good Bake Box in the post. I have to admit I wasn’t too impressed with the last few, but I’m looking forward to getting into the kitchen with my new bits and bobs…
  9. New bed clothes. Enough said.
  10. Finding the perfect copper fairy lights to hang by my bed. My cosy corner is nearly complete!

What’s been making you smile recently?

Lifestyle: Happy Fortnightly Things #5

It’s really hard to believe that 10 weeks have passed since I started doing these posts. I’ve loved doing a more regular update into my life, and I’ve found these quick-fire posts great for making me think about the really positive things that have happened recently.

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Here’s what’s been making me smile lately…

  1. The Lake District. I mentioned it in my previous post that I was heading up for some team building – it was a great few days!
  2. “Rock” climbing up a (bloody tall) tree. I hate rock climbing having pretty much zero strength, I also hate heights. This was a massive achievement for me!
  3. Managing to do 50 sit-ups in a row. Just call me superwoman…
  4. Watching W’s mum getting licensed at Peterborough Cathedral. I know she’s worked really hard to get there, so it was a proud moment. Also very lovely to see his parents and rest of his family for the day!
  5. We also got treated to lunch at Prezzo. Whilst I was never a fan when I could eat tomatoes (never had a good tomato-based meal there!) there is one dish I can’t get enough of. It had been around a year since I’d enjoyed a Pollo Carbonara but it was just as good as remembered. Rich, creamy, insanely cheesy…
  6. Forgetting to shave my legs, then realising it’s cold enough for thicker tights. I love Autumn!
  7. Watching W settle into his Masters course. I’m unbelievably proud of how far he’s come.
  8. Catching up with my girls. We’re trying to make a date to see each other every month, and this month involved a bit of a shopping spree.
  9. Finally kicking my cold out of my system. I picked it up just before heading to the Lakes and it lingered a bit. I’d sure W is glad not to have a constantly coughing person all night!
  10. My family visiting. Including the dog. It’d been SO long since I had doggy cuddles.

What’s made you smile these past few weeks?

Lifestyle: Happy Fortnightly Things #4

Happy Monday everyone! Well, I’m all settled into my job. We’re being broken in quite gently, including a global programme set-up over the first month. It’s been great meeting colleagues from our offices in America, Asia and even Australia. Tomorrow we’re all off to the Lake District for a team-building trip – I’m definitely nervous as I’m not the typical outdoors-y type. Give me a dog and some walking boots and I’ll be happy, anything involving too much water/mud/speed/height isn’t really within my comfort zone. That said, I’m really looking forward to it! Other than working I guess it’s been a quiet fortnight whilst I get into a routine…

 photo Happy Things 2_zpstx894dal.pngHere’s the best bits from my fortnight…

  1. Not crashing any work computers within the first two weeks of my employment. I’ll call that a success!
  2. Coming home to W. The most difficult part of being in an LDR was not being able to have a proper daily catch-up, so I’m loving being able to do this. The fact that his Masters course hasn’t started, leaving him free to bake and cook, it’s too bad either!
  3. Catching up with old housemates. It’s been ages since I saw them, so it was nice to travel out to Brighton for a BBQ. I’m definitely missing my girls!
  4. Baking! We’re attempting a bit of a bake-along with GBBO and have spent most Sunday’s in the kitchen. Biscuits, a spiced chocolate bread…safe to say I’m glad there was a bit of room in all my work clothes!
  5. Getting back into exercise. I had a few days off during my first week of work, but now I’m back at my Results with Lucy programme. It’s hard work, but I’m really enjoying it and I’ve definitely noticed a difference in my fitness levels. I hate, hate, HATE leg day though…
  6. Stews and casseroles. Despite still hitting the high-twenties in London last week, I’m craving comforting food. Luckily Debenhams sent me over one of their pressure cookers for me to try, now I can whip up a beef stew in just half an hour after work!
  7. My commute. Possibly the best thing about our flat is that my walk to the tube is 10 minutes, through a leafy street and over one of the Thames footbridges. Not looking forward to it in the rain, but it’s gorgeous on sunny mornings. I’ve seen some spectacular sunsets too.
  8. White wine spritzers. Plenty of ice, made with lemonade. My favourite lunchtime/after-work drink…
  9. Finally getting a decent phone case. I have a rather unusual phone (Huawei P8 – I highly recommend the brand!) and really struggle finding cases for it. Luckily GoCustomized offers personalised phone cases that fit, so I now have a rather bloggeresque marble back*. Just need to stop having a mini heart-attack when I catch sight of it as it does look like I’ve cracked my phone!
  10. Playing tourist in London. We spent this Saturday wandering around, I even saw Big Ben properly for the first time!

What’s been making you smile recently? Any team-building experiences to share?

Lifestyle: Happy Fortnightly Things #3

Happy Monday guys! So, today is the day I start to adult; my graduate job begins! I torn between feeling super excited and scared stiff – I know deep down I can do the job, but I also know a lot of my knowledge (particularly anything involving programming) needs refreshing. I’ve spent far too long working out outfits for the week ahead, I’ve practised my route into work (including in morning rush hour), I’ve packed my bag with snacks, plasters and some Rescue Remedy. Eeek!

 photo Happy Things 2_zpstx894dal.pngHere’s what’s made me super happy over the last fortnight! The weeks seem to go by so quickly doing a fortnightly round-up…

  1. Moving! We’re all into our shiny new place, everything is unpacked and it’s virtually looking the way we want it. It’s so nice to finally be living together after nearly six years!
  2. Seeing my sister get her GCSE results. I know only too well the stress of exams and waiting for results, so it’s hard for me to see her starting it all up just as I’m coming to the end of that era.
  3. All the copper things! I picked up a gorgeous desk lamp from IKEA. We’re planning on having little copper touches throughout the flat, I’m hoping for some bathroom bits and bobs next.
  4. Pizza! I’ve been loving all the white pizzas lately, keep tuned for my new favourite recipe on Thursday…
  5. Thunderstorms. After some horrendously humid days in Northamptonshire it was good to have some spectacular thunderstorms last weekend.
  6. The Doc Martens factory shop. How did I not know this existed only a short drive away from home until the week before I moved out?! Definitely going back for a pair of chelsea boots at some point.
  7. Having internet back after a few days without whilst the connection was set up. As awful as it sounds, I really struggled to function without it.
  8. Borrowing W’s Macbook for flatlaying. It’s so much pretty than my laptop!
  9. Takeaway night with my family. I loved sharing their poppadoms, rice and naan and whipping up my own tomato-free curry. If anyone knows of an Indian in Putney with tomato-free options please, please, please let me know!
  10. #FirstWorldProblems. So many of these when we moved. First we discovered the hob was induction, so none of our pans worked. Then after ten minutes attempting to make the bed we realised it was a king-size, so need to invest in new bedding. Now it transpires I’m about 50cm too short to reach the rail in the second wardrobe. Annoying little things, but they’ve made us laugh!

What’s been your highlight of the past fortnight? Good luck to anyone else starting their graduate job today!

Lifestyle: Happy Fortnightly Things #2

Happy Monday everyone! These past two weeks have been pretty stressful for me – complications with the estate agent, packing, repacking, SD card failures and a bad IBS episode to top things off. Fingers crossed we manage to pick up our keys without a hitch today, get all our things in tomorrow without breaking anything, and can start settling in!

 photo Happy Things_zpsmx5jxxb8.jpgHere’s the highlights…

  1. Attempting to watch all of the Harry Potters in one weekend. Whilst we failed, we had a damn good time trying.
  2. Evening walks in the park. One of my favourite places in Northampton is down the road from W’s parents, so we’ve been trying to take a stroll as often as possible. We make sure to avoid it during the day though, far too many children and football games to dodge!
  3. The. Best. White. Pizza. Yet. Black pudding is a total game changer when paired with goats cheese.
  4. Being really proud of my Instagram feed – and getting to 500 followers. I’ve really been working hard on it the past few months and it feels like it’s finally paying off!
  5. A trip up North. Me and W stayed with some family friends and explored Bolton, Manchester and Salford. It was lovely to see a place of the country I’d never experienced before – and I managed to get a fair few Carr’s Pasties in!
  6. Picking up a gorgeous pair of black brogue heels. I’ve spent years hunting for the perfect pair, then found a bargain in the Clark’s outlet.
  7. Taking W to some of my favourite places from my childhood. We made the most of our last week having a car by getting out and about – it’s been years since I visited the Peak District, but it was just as beautiful as I remembered.
  8. Meercats! We took a trip to some local gardens and discovered they’ve put together a small animal area. Sometime about meercats never fails to make me smile…
  9. Finding an exercise regime I’m actually enjoying. I’ve always, always had to force myself before, but something about my Results With Lucy regime is really spurring me on. I’m loving it, and whilst I might be kidding myself, I’m sure I can see some physical changes.
  10. The most gorgeous little cafe. We popped in for a quick cuppa and it was delightful. An Instagrammer’s delight, pretty tiles and very good tea to boot.

What’s made you happy recently? Any positive experiences of London estate agents to cheer me up?!

Lifestyle: Happy Fortnightly Things #1

As I said a while ago, I wanted to do a few quick, less-rambly, more personal posts. Something I’ve always loved reading are ‘Happy Mondays’ – from Katy, Jasmin and Jennifer. It’s something I’ve wanted to take part in for what feels like a very, very long time and now I’m finally penning my first ‘Happy Monday.’ I’ll be writing them up fortnightly, just to make it less likely that I’ll forget, but here goes!

 photo Happy Things_zpsmx5jxxb8.jpgThis past fortnight has been a bit of a blur of flat-sorting, shopping, baking and hosting our engagement garden party. I’ve finally recovered from my cold/sinus infection that plagued most of July, though the very useless advice I received from 111 did make me giggle, and other than eating far too many sweet things yesterday I’m feeling a lot better. So, the highlights of the last fortnight…

  1. Finding and securing our flat. From the end of the month we will be living in Putney, and even have a view of the Thames (from the bathroom window, if you crane your neck around, but still!).
  2. My very first trip to IKEA. How I existed this long without going beats me. I’m already planning our next trip…
  3. Having my debit card handed in after I left it in the machine in Topshop. Rather relieved, as I forgot it as I was distracted by handing in a smartphone I’d found in-store. Good karma for me!
  4. Reading Dorothy Koomson’s “latest” novel – That Girl From Nowhere. I’ve been waiting to read this for a while, and it hasn’t disappointed.
  5. Baking the perfect quiche. My recipe will be coming soon, but it’s based on this one. Such a gorgeous texture, perfectly savoury, and just yum.
  6. Receiving a cushion I’d been lusting over as a gift. Whilst all our engagement party gifts were so, so special and deserve a place on this post, this cushion really was perfect. So perfect I’d spent a good 10 minutes hunting it down in Wilkinson’s and being unable to find it the day before!
  7. Catching up with friends. Over Pimms. Enough said!
  8. Watching the Olympics. Definitely the best sporting event, with my favourite being the cross-country – despite me watching the worst fences with closed eyes!
  9. Sunflowers. I’m not sure there’s a flower that brightens up a room more.
  10. Our engagement party. We hosted a belated get-together in W’s parents’ garden yesterday. We were treated to glorious sunshine, Waitrose delivered yummy sandwiches, my parents’ spent most of the preceding days baking. And I even had two gorgeous sets of bunting. A perfect day to end the fortnight!

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What’s made you happy recently?