January 2017 round up

I only made one resolution for 2017.  To clock up 3,650,000 steps by the end of the year.

Neither 2015 and 2016 were particularly good to me, therefore towards the end of last year, I decided to treat the transition to January 2017 not as a brand new year, rather a typical month which followed the end of a previous month.  If that makes sense.

I felt very strongly about using up our pantry staples in January without having to do big weekly Ocado shops.  We managed rather well, I must say.  There were some takeaway meals and we did eat out at the weekends, but by mid last week, our cupboards were almost bare.  I promptly organised an Ocado delivery which drew big cheers from the Bear.

Speaking of whom, we have all been sleep deprived as the Bear struggles with night terrors.  This has given me the added excuse to indulge in coffee.  Far too much, unfortunately.  That, plus I’m an early starter at work.  The coffee band-aid saga continues. I was doing well with packed lunches until last week.  I fell ill and it proved too much of an effort.

A few photos of what we had to eat in the last few days.

Clockwise:  (1) Lamb burgers, mushroom and red onion relish, sweet potato fries, salad (2) The Bear’s bowl of homemade meatballs, cheesy pasta (not pictured – a bowl of salad) (3) Kale, peppers, mushroom stir-fry topped with fried egg and sweet chilli sauce.

Here’s a quick meal plan for the week ahead:

Monday 30/1 – Udon noodle, prawn and veg stir-fry for hubby, egg and prawn fried brown rice for me

Tuesday 31/1 – Salmon, brown rice, veg stir-fry

Wednesday 1/2 – jacket potatoes, beans, salad

Thursday – 2/2 dhall, omelette, fishcakes

Friday – 3/3 leftovers

Did anyone watch Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Show last week? Jamie recreated a River Cafe dish for Michael McIntyre.  Scallops, borlotti beans and tenderstem broccoli.  It looked fab and I’ve been dreaming about it since.  Might be a project for the coming weekend.

The food plan for February is to gradually decrease my sugar intake in preparation for Lent which is only a few weeks away.  The Hubby and I recently discussed reducing our intake of red meat – we have been eating chili con carne and lamb curries recently!  I’m feeling better now and have my work lunches for the next three days prepped (quinoa, bulghur wheat + kale + grated carrots + boiled egg).

Hope everyone has had a decent enough start to the new year.  If anyone is still reading this, do drop me a line to share any food related resolutions you’ve made for the month/year/.

 

A date with Hubby

Hubby and I went into London yesterday after dropping the Bear off to nursery.  

I’ve lived in London for many years but never quite made it to the V&A museum.  Hubby was keen so we jumped on the tube and made our way to South Kensington. 

There was no queue and the museum was relatively quiet at 11am.  We had a good browse around – very fascinating displays of furniture, weapons, busts and statues, items of clothing etc

It was lunchtime and we left the V&A museum to locate a little French cafe I had read about online, Raison D’etre.  We scored the last table after placing our order at the counter. A very popular place with young French students from the nearby French Institute. 

Very tasty mozzarella, avocado and tomato baguette and Caesar salad, washed down with delicious coffee. 

We hopped back onto the tube and wondered through Charing Cross to look for some old coin shops.  It started raining as well but we sought shelter and carried on to House of Fraser on Oxford St. A quick cuppa at their tearoom later, it was time to collect the Bear from nursery. 

A very leisurely day had. Hope you enjoyed our date, Hubby.

Summer recap

How we are in the last week of September is beyond me.  Time and tide waits for no man certainly rings true.

June

I accompanied the bear on a school trip to a farm. She had fun feeding goats and rabbits, watching a cow being milked, playing with her friends and just generally enjoying the fresh air and break from school.

The Bear brought home a gingerbread man baking kit from school and we spent a whole morning mixing, rolling, cutting and making a good mess in the kitchen.

 July

It had been 2.5 years since my parents saw the Bear and thought it was about time they came to visit! Luckily the weather was fantastic for the duration of their stay. Many trips to Oxford Street were done.  For their last weekend, we made a day trip to Oxford which was simply stunning.

August

A few days after my parents returned home, we flew to Ireland to see Grampy who was recovering from a knee surgery.  We were looked after really well and spoiled with delicious home cooked meals by Grampy’s partner B.  The weather remained fabulous and we did some lovely drives.

The other highlight of the trip was a visit to my good friend E. We are godparents to their eldest son  as they are to the Bear.  She had a blast meeting her godbrothers and we were once again treated to exceptional hospitality.

To mark my milestone birthday and our wedding anniversary, Hubby and I went to Copenhagen.  We stayed near Nyhavn and should we return in future, I would opt for the same location again.  We didn’t make it to Noma as it was a last minute trip. However good meals were had at Kompasset and The Almanak.

We missed the Bear terribly and couldn’t wait for our family holiday in France. The good weather continued, we consumed a copious amount of treats, and were regulars at our local Flunch! The Bear literally lived in her swimmers.
September

We were barely home from France when I had to make my first emergency trip to Malaysia in 19 years. We almost lost dad and the delayed flight of 16 hours was the worst experience of my life, not knowing what messages awaited me when I turned on my phone upon arriving in KL. Thankfully dad pulled through and is at home now recovering.

Garden

I really did struggle with maintaining my veggie plot this summer.  Seedlings died due to late frost and nothing really took off.  We harvested a handful of strawberries, a courgette, some beans, manger out and tomatoes.


Now that summer is over, we are looking forward to some quitter months before the excitement of Christmas kicks in.

1st quarter round up

We’re almost through the first ninety one days of the year.  I’ve been consciously mindful of my life of late, rather than living on auto-pilot.  Here is a recap of the first quarter of 2016.

The Bear

The Bear is 3 years and 4 months old now and growing up very quickly.  I signed her up for Baby Ballet in early January.  She did enjoy dressing up and looked adorable  in her ballet outfit but didn’t really take to the teacher nor the lessons and ended up looking out the window or sometimes lying on the floor! We’re going to try another class in April, a drop in, pay as you go which gives us the option of pulling out if it just isn’t right for her.

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Health

The Hubby ruptured his Achilles tendon in early February and is now into week 7 of his recovery.  He opted out of surgery, favouring the conservative healing method.  He had his cast removed two weeks ago and has been wearing a special boot since.  We’ve just seen his consultant and figure it will be another few weeks before he can begin his course of physiotherapy.

Driving

If you’ve been following this blog for a number of years, you would know of my fear of driving.  Since Hubby’s foot injury, I’ve taken over the driving but have kept it fairly local.  I am very fearful of motorways and dual carriageways and haven’t driven on the former nor intend to for a while, much to Hubby’s dismay! But we’ve been managing ok so far.

Gardening

It has been relatively cold still for any decent gardening to be done.  I ordered vegetable seeds from moreveg online and have tomato, courgettes, cucumber and french bean seedlings growing indoors.  Once mild weather is here to stay, I’ll transfer them to the vegetable plot and hopefully enjoy some lovely harvest later in the summer.

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Food

There are days when I struggle with energy to cook after a long day/week and we opt for take-aways.  Sadly, options are quite limited where we live and the food never is good value for money.  That said, I’m not a superwoman and it is a case of if needs must.  A few mum friends recommended some good recipes for easy week-night dinners.  I found lamb chipolatas in M&S recently and cooked our first (believe it or not!) bangers and mash.IMG_7951.JPG

I’ve just ordered a slow cooker which I hope will serve us well.

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Books

Recent reads on my Kindle:

I’ve been a bit slow on the reading front as dropping off the Bear to nursery involves getting a later, busier, standing-room only train which has no room to swing a cat let alone read.

Exercise

I tried lunchtime yoga in the city twice but that came to a stop once I started getting to work late post nursery run.  I discovered Yoga with Adriene but just haven’t figured out when to fit the work out in as yet.  I do my best to attend a local pilates class on a weekly basis but this is as structured as it gets.  I gave up treats (sweet and savoury – bar cream crackers) for lent (6 1/2 weeks) and I am ashamed to admit that I missed them very much! That said, despite the take-outs, we’ve been making a conscious effort to keep moving and be mindful of maintaining a healthier lifestyle.  The Bear keeps us busy and constantly on the go (though at a much slower pace for Hubby given recent foot injury).

Holidays

We’ve had some time off work over Easter and had to cancel our visit to France.  It hasn’t been all that bad staying at home.  It is nice to have a break from the awful commute on the tube during rush hour, to be able to meet friends for a coffee and catch up and for the Bear to spend a shorter day at nursery.  Hopefully holiday planning will resume later this year.

We’ve had a busy quarter and managing well with the unexpected turn of events.  Here’s to a second quarter filled with better health and hopefully warmer weather!

 

 

 

Easter weekend round up

Having spent the last two Easter weekends in France, staying home in London made a nice change.  In true British weather fashion, we had plenty of rain and high winds thanks to storm Katie.  However, we made the best of having time off work and nursery.

Movie date

The Bear and I went to see Zootropolis at the cinema.  Her verdict: Loud and scary at times, but the bunny was kind.  We had sushi followed by frozen yoghurt after.  A lovely little date.

Play dates and afternoon tea

The long weekend was an opportunity to catch up with friends we hadn’t seen in ages.  We hosted back to back play dates and afternoon tea.  The Bear had a great time playing with her little friends whilst us adults caught up on news.

Easter egg hunts

The clocks went forward by an hour on Easter Sunday but it didn’t stop us from waking up extra early to see what the Easter bunny had left us.  The Bear was excited and amazed with her haul.  We may have had plenty of chocolate for breakfast….

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On the Monday, we were invited to afternoon tea and an egg hunt by one of the Bear’s friends.  The weather held up and we had a lovely time finding Easter eggs hidden in nooks and crannies in the garden.

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The Bear went back to school this morning (Tuesday).  I was sad that our little holiday had come to an end, but pleased when I heard her tell her teachers had a lovely weekend she had over Easter.

Topsy turvy

A fortnight ago, Hubby ruptured his Achilles’ tendon playing football. Unfortunately due to a variety of reason, he is finally going to have his foot in a plaster cast this Tuesday.

Driving duties have fallen onto me.  Those who know me well are aware of my fear of getting behind the wheel of a car.

Easter holiday plans have now been cancelled.

The Bear had noticed a change in our daily routine, seemingly upset at the start but is getting used to our new normal.

Good nutrition has never been more important.  Pizzas and takeaways will have to be relegated to last resort.

Most importantly, we’re trying to remain positive and afloat.  The next 8 to 12 weeks and going to be crucial in getting Hubby strong and back on his feet again.  Wish us luck.