A recap of 2017

Here we are again at the end of another year.  It’s been largely a ‘meh’ year, surviving rather than thriving, where work took up a disproportionate amount of time away from, well, life.

We continued our love affair with France with two trips to Paris, two trips to Le Touquet and a trip to Antibes/Juan Les Pin.


We visited Malaysia and Ireland, and I separately went to Ireland and Luxembourg for work.

The garden didn’t really take off over the summer.   You sow what you reap, I suppose!IMG_1294.JPG

The Bear started school in September.  She’s adjusted well but we do miss her nursery teachers who pretty much raised her..

Christmas was a pleasantly quiet affair, just the three of us enjoying the day, lots of treats and tv.

We were blessed with a surprise sunset today after a heavy downpour, symbolic and timely as if to bid farewell to 2017.

We wish you and yours a happy 2018.

As for this blog, I continue to seek inspiration and here’s hoping for a miraculous revival in 2018.





Playdoh gingerbread men

IMG_1093The bear kept busy with playdohs this morning.  She excitedly beckoned me over to see the fruits of her labour. Quite creative, I must admit. Apparently the green gingerbread is for me, Pandan flavoured.  She knows me well.


I discovered I wasn’t the only one to stock up on comfort food yesterday.  On my back home from the chiropractor, I bought a chocolate cake, HD cookies and cream and a packet of pretzels.  A friend texted me to say she had bought something chocolatey for herself and a colleague mentioned carrot cake to me this morning.  Winter blues, folks.

Anyway, I digress.

Once we got home from school today, I cut the Bear a slice of chocolate cake and left her to tuck in whilst I went back into the kitchen to get myself a slice.  I joined the Bear a few minutes later and she handed me her plate which – the cake was half eaten.  Thinking she was full, I took the plate off her as she said, ‘you have it, Mama’.  Aww, how sweet, I thought.  Until I saw her make a beeline for my plate. … !


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/.


Here’s to a good 2017

Happy New Year, hope everyone had a relaxing break over the Christmas holidays.  We are all heading back to work and nursery tomorrow.  The Bear misses her friends and teachers and is looking forward to seeing them tomorrow.  I was in work for a day last week – emails all up to date and therefore very little sense of foreboding ahead of tomorrow.

Two years ago, I couldn’t wait to see the end of 2015.  Unfortunately 2016 wasn’t an entirely kind year.  Health issues prevailed for most of the year which put paid to plans in general.

Therefore I have decided to embrace January 2017 not as the start of a new year, rather, the beginning of a new month.  As you would a March or August. Events of 2016 gave us cold feet and we resorted to drifting.  But we need to have faith (restored) and to live again.

Happy 2017.  All the very best for the year ahead.

 Taking the biscuit…

We received an email from the Bear’s nursery last week reminding us to provide them with patch tested, well labelled sun creams ahead of imminent warm weather.

I obliged and the Bear didn’t have any bad reactions to the new cream (a factor 50 from Boots).  Hubby delivered said cream during the nursery run yesterday morning.

I was in a training course at work this week where coffee breaks meant tucking into lovely biscuits. I didn’t get to finish them and tucked the pack away in my bag.

Hubby SOS’ed me whilst I was on the train home yesterday evening to ask if I could collect the Bear from nursery as he was stuck in traffic. Luck was on our side as I just happened to be 15 minutes away.

I was delighted to see the Bear.  After a lovely cuddle, we set off hand in hand. As we turned the corner, she started crying, insisting we turn back for her new sun cream. There was no reasoning with the Bear. The new sun cream is for school, Mama will get you one for home. Noooooooo, waaaaahhh. She was inconsolable. So we turned around, me knowing full well that school was closed as I saw someone lock the door and drive away.  We ended up sitting on the nursery steps for 5 minutes whilst the Bear had a full blown tantrum.  I couldn’t connect to Uber either. With no other choice, I stood up and told her firmly that I was going home and started walking. Cue screams. 

Then I remembered the leftover biscuit in my bag… 

It worked a treat. Sun cream forgotten. Tears stopped. All was well again. 

The next time you politely decline the offer of that extra biscuit, think again.  Don’t underestimate the healing powers of a lemon puff! 

A recent snow day

A rather long overdue post…

A good few Sundays ago, it snowed overnight and the Bear awoke to find our garden covered in some fluffy ice… 

  It was her first proper snow day and she excitedly begged us to go out and play.  Wearily (folks, it was 7.30am on a Sunday, the height of our lie in). I kid. We were very excited for her. Bundled up in warm clothes, the Bear set out to explore…
Soon, Papa and the Bear began making a snow man.  Mama helped with props.

Examining her handiwork, aptly christened Olaf.

Most of the snow melted away later that afternoon, but remnants of Olaf remained for a few good days.