Have a flipping marvelous day! 

Happy pancake day everyone! What a happy day it is! 

Harvey and I have absolutely nailed pancakes this year. Nothing says a lazy Sunday like a huge stack of pancakes with a side of bacon. 


Here is my recipe for Harvey and my ‘Naughty but Nice Morning Pancakes’; 

For this recipe I use a cup – not an American cup but a small-ish mug from your cupboard. As long as you work with the same mug for the entire recipe it’ll work. 

  • 1 cup of flour (we use gluten free) 
  • 1 cup of milk (we’ve tried this with soya milk too and it worked beautifully) 
  • 1 large egg
  • A punnett of blueberries (for the antioxidants) 
  • A table spoon of chia seeda (for another hit of goodly-ness) 

Get a frying pan really hot and put a huge slab of butter in there. When it’s really hot dollop a large ladel full into the middle of the pan. When the pancake is bubbling around the edges flip it over (these guys are pretty hefty so a pan flip is not for the feint of heart) squidge it down with the back of the fish slice. 

You might want pop the oven on at this point – just to keep those babies warm while the others are cooking. 

This recipe woll make 2 enormous thick pancakes around the size of a side plate.

Serve them in a stack with a generous dollop of mascarpone and a squeeze of golden syrup. And some bacon if you’re really going to town! 

You can justify their goodness (blueberries and chia seeds!!) but really you know that they’re pretty naughty. Naughty but nice! 

Best eaten in pyjamas on a Sunday morning with loved ones and a huge steaming vat of bottomless earl grey.  (or perhaps for dinner tonight…we’re allowed. Its pancake day!!)

Netflix documentary optional. 

Enjoy beautiful people 

– C XxX 

Project #333 – February Update

As you know for the past month I’ve been embarking on ‘Project #333’ (you can read my original post here) – here are some thoughts I’ve had this month regarding my smaller wardrobe situation;

  • Enormous Fail: How did it pass me by that it was February the 1st! I’ve already messed up – I wore a scarf that I shouldn’t have worn…Day one and I’m already at ‘Project 334’ – oops!
  • Sunglasses: How could I forget sunglasses?! Harvey said that sunglasses act more as “high performance eyewear so they don’t count” right? (hehe!) otherwise I’m on ‘Project 335’!
  • Wooly Hat: thank goodness for that! When I was planning what I would wear for this, I wasn’t anticipating snow. Thank goodness that I run colder than the usual person and would be happy to wear a wooly hat at any time of the year. I didn’t however, factor in gloves so to stop myself become a ‘Project 336’ girl I had chilly fingers during our brief snow spell.
  • Gifts: When my sister showed up spontaneously bringing a beautiful rose gold bracelet engraved with the word ‘sister’ I was hardly going to say “Ah thanks, but I can’t wear it until April” – this one I was adamant on. A gift definitely doesn’t count!
  • You sure have got to keep on top of your washing: if you let the laundry pile get a little high you completely run out of clothes. Thankfully it hasn’t got to that but my stock did diminish at one point – a slight worry!
  • I should keep a list….: I’m slightly losing track of what I wanted to keep as part of the project when the loads of washing come through with bits I’ve worn to work (my job requires me to wear gym gear so that stuff doesn’t count as it has to be washed so frequently)
  • I’m loving this: I think a capsule wardrobe is the way to go. I’ve got a feeling that when April comes along I’m going to be going to the charity shop absolutely laden with bags of my stuff I no longer need.

Excited to see what March holds for my wardrobe and ‘Project #333’ who knows what it might hold

C XxX

Recent Reads #4

This is a four book ‘Recent Reads’ Post! Hurrah!
I got so into reading over the Christmas break, but then January happened… so this blog post is really quite late!

There’s something so lovely about curling up in the warm, under a blanket, when it’s frosty outside and loosing yourself in a fabulous book. I love a little bit of comfort and quiet – reading for me is a perfect antidote to a busy week.

So, to what I’ve been reading recently and what I thought….


Christmas Under the Stars – Karen Swan

img_20170101_130555_890.jpg I am a sucker for advertising, and there was a time that I was commuting into Covent Garden every day from Bucks for work. Back in November 2011 I saw an advert for ‘Christmas at Tiffanys’ on the underground. Needing a new chick-lit, and loving the idea of a Christmassy book I bought it and adored it. Karen Swan has quickly become one of my favourite authoresses.
It’s a book for women – don’t get me wrong, but it is anything but mindless. I hate chick-lits that within the first paragraph you can predict the rest of the book. Swan writes with real intellect, passion and the most amazing style – I will recommend her to anyone (and often do). Thankfully every year she has released a new book every Christmas time, so reading her new one has become a December reading tradition for me! ‘Christmas under the Stars’ was truly amazing. Set in Canada; it’s a story of love, loss, an astronaut, and a bear attack… read it you won’t be disappointed! Promise!

 

The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett

img_20170104_080856_904.jpgThis is one of my all-time favourite novels. When I was little, I had this story on tape (I’m a child of the nineties) read by Emilia Fox. I loved it – and listened it until I knew all the words – and accents! We studied it when I was in year 6 we took turns in reading it out loud. When it came to me I was so excited and read it aloud…with the accents. I got an extra-long turn at reading aloud and my teacher was thrilled!
The Secret Garden is such a beautiful book, set in the Yorkshire moors and is so moving, powerful and full of magic. It’ll be one I read to my future children when they’re little. That’s for sure!

 

The Outrun – Amy Liptrot

img_20170126_080512_108.jpgI had seen this book advertised a lot in my local Waterstones, and in every National Trust property shop I had stumbled into, it had also been recommended to me by a close friend. The cover is so beautiful and so I bought it without reading the blurb and dove right in. My assumptions would be that this was a book about the countryside, and the sea and would be a windswept and romantic tale. My assumptions were wrong. This book is about a woman’s recovery from alcoholism and how she returned to her family farm in Orkney to help her get over her addiction. It’s a powerful, visceral, painful and tough read, but it’s worth it. I loved reading this, and although it was not what I had expected it was fantastic!

 

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – JK Rowling

fantastic-beastsBefore the ‘Cursed Child’ I’d never read a script before for pleasure, so that format takes me a while to get into. I absolutely loved the film though, and this was a birthday present and it has the most beautiful book cover! When I read it, it was like watching the film again in my head. I sped through it and loved re-visiting all the characters and scenes in my head – visualising Eddie Redmayne is no bad thing!

 

As for now…. I’m currently reading ‘Small Great Things’ by Jodie Picoult. It’s been pretty intense so far but she writes so well and I’m completely immersed and racing through. Loving it. I’ll report back soon!
Have you got any book recommendations for me? Write your comments in the box below!
Happy reading everyone
– C xx

Family History

​Yesterday I embarked on a really exciting new project. A family project. Yesterday I became a ghost writer. 

I have always loved history – I took it all through school, and when my faith in dancing wavered I seriously considered changing my dream and becoming a museum curator instead.

As a hobby growing up I became obsessed with family trees – essentially I’m telling you I’m a huge nerd! (as if you didn’t already know!) I would sit for hours on the computer reading tiny scrawled handwriting on old censuses and get frustrated when I reached a dead end. Some lines have been easy to trace though. One of them, all the way back up to William the Conqurer – royal blood, don’t you know!

So how does this fit in with my new ghost writing project then? 

My grandma had always implied a troubled childhood and teenage years, and it was only after her mum died that she felt she could share it. 

For the last year or so she’s been writing it all down, her history, her memoirs – as a form of self prescribed therapy – and she’s so brave to do it, because believe you me, a lot of it is not an easy read. 

Yesterday I began trawling through her notes and typing up her story and two things really struck me when doing so: 

1. How much has drastically changed since grandma was a child. Okay so a lot has changed in my lifetime too – hello internet – but when Grandma was little milk got delivered in central London by horse and cart! (Grandma is only 72!) 

2. How much she remembers. Grandma moved house a lot growing up and remembers the street names, house numbers and even the telephone numbers (!) of the places she lived. She remembers what people were wearing when she met them, what things smelled like and what she ate when she was recovering from one particular cold (she was under 9 at the time!) I’m not sure I could boast that kind of accuracy of memory!

What impacted me most though, was the importance of what I was doing. Grandma’s memories have now been immortalised and backed up (half of it so far – I got up to the age of 9 in 5 hours of solid typing) and it made me feel so passionately about asking questions. 
Do you have grandparents? Or an elderly neighbour? A friend with wisdom to impart? Boil the kettle – buy in some biscuits and ask them to tell you about their lives. 

Okay so I didn’t become a museum curator – but perhaps unofficially I can become curator of our family memories. I’m more than happy with that job. Keeping memories alive, there can’t be a more important job in the world! 

– C xx

Putting the world to rights

​On Friday and Saturday I spent many  glorious hours with two of my favourite women. Both of these sensational ladies have been instrumental in keeping me sane over many years. They’ve kept me grounded, hydrated (tea/prosecco) nourished, centred and completely loved. 

The last 72 hours have been no exception to that incredible rule. We truly put the world to rights (over tea, coffee, cake and bacon sandwiches) – we talked about God, our paths, encouraging each other,  offering each other support, buying houses, the imminent arrival of a new baby, embroidery,  instagram, blogging, parenting, new doors and windows, our husbands and hours of more chatter besides that. 

I left both women with a spring in my step, a lightness in my heart and feeling completely fulfilled. It reminded me how important fellowship and quality time with my girlfriends is to me. 

Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

The last 72 hours have been a wonderful reminder to spend quality time with those special people that look after us and make us feel loved –  a perfect start to my half term! I’ve got plans with some more wonderful women over this coming week & I can’t wait to see them all. 
I couldn’t be more grateful for all my friends who make my life so much brighter. 

Get your diaries out and plan a girlie date with some of your best. You won’t regret it – that’s a promise. 

– C xx 

These are a few of my favourite things

“Raindrops on roses,
And whiskers on kittens,
Bright copper kettles and warm woollen mittens,
Brown paper packages tied up with strings,
These are a few of my favourite things”

I don’t know about you but I think Julie Andrews had the right idea when she sang this. That list is heavenly to me, and I agree with her completely – those are some of my favourite things too. I’ve realised this about myself recently. I do simplicity. I strive for it in fact!

The great thing is, those things that bring me joy – they don’t cost a lot. In fact, the cheaper the better. Daffodils are only £1.25 a bunch at the moment in the supermarket and they really brighten my morning when I come down and see how many of them have opened their sunny faces overnight.

Brown paper and garden string are infinitely cheaper than wrapping paper so that’s what we do now when wrapping gifts for our treasured friends, not only is it lovely to look at it’s also gender neutral – handy! (boy wrapping paper selections are the worst – anyone with me?!)

Simple pleasures are what bring me joy; Fresh flowers in my enamel teapot, candle light, a cozy blanket, the smell of freshly mown grass and freshly baked bread, quiet classical music on the radio on a Sunday morning, making pancakes, sunshine on frost, long walks finishing at a pub, a bath with a glass of wine and a book…
Those are a few of my favourite things.

What are yours?

– C XxX

Have a LOVE-ly February

When I was thinking about what to write for this monthly post I struggled to ignore all the negativity in the world. I usually actively try to surround myself with lovely things, but recently its felt harder to do; my news feed on all social media platforms, the news, conversations in the staffroom – it’s all been about the sad state of affairs the world is in. It’s all been so unpleasant that I’ve not wanted to do my usual Facebook/Instagram scroll of a morning.

 

SO – instead of dwelling on the negative for any longer here are my top tips for having a LOVE-ly February:

  1. Spend time with the ones you love

People say this a lot don’t they, and it sounds so simple, but what I’m talking about is an intentional spending of time. Not just hanging out in the same room and sitting watching TV or being on your phone but actively engaging in the other persons company.
One of my new year’s resolutions this year was to do just that. So in early January I sat on my phone and started my project. I went through my phone and messaged everyone asking when they could come over for dinner. I’m still arranging dates with loads of our friends but it means that we have friends coming over every weekend for the immediate future. I can’t wait to catch up with people I really love and cook for them.

Try it – get on that phone and start texting…

 

  1. Do Valentine’s Day differently

I’m not a fan of Valentine’s Day really…I like the sentiment, but I’m one of those ‘Why not do it every day’ kinda gal. Harvey and I agreed on this very early on in our relationship. So, our alternative Valentines celebration is this; we make something for each other as a gift (past years have included bookmarks with a hand drawn pyrography design and our love story written out in a hand bound book), and find the worst-best film we can to watch at the cinema. It was a good year when the new Die Hard film came out! This year’s main contender is the new ‘xXx’ film, ‘The Return of Xander Cage’ – if that’s not a worst-best film I don’t know what is!
What could be your new V Day tradition?

 

  1. Be Kind!
    This makes me sound like a complete cow bag, but this requires a little more effort. I’m talking intentional again. Really intentional, out of your way kindness. Tape a £1 coin to a parking meter for the next person to use towards their parking, take flowers over to a friend because you were thinking about them, Bake a cake for the staffroom at work just because it’s Wednesday, buy a homeless person a coffee, let someone out at a junction even though you’ve been waiting for ages yourself.
    To do all this takes effort – it takes thought, but in a world where hate is becoming a more highly traded commodity why not throw kindness and love around like confetti.

With LOVE
– C XxX