What I Did Last Weekend: Christmas Shopping and Country Walks

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Last weekend started off a little earlier than usual because Sunny’s little sister came to stay with us.  On Friday I took her into Cardiff for some Christmas Shopping, which started off with breakfast at my favourite cosy nook, Barker Tea House.  Tina had a massive bowl dog dish of porridge, and I went for their blueberry and bacon pancake stack. 🙂



Here’s one of the weirdest things I did last weekend; I had my face turned into chocolate!  I mean, I have chocolate on my face all the time, so when Candy Mechanics asked if I wanted to be temporarily immortalised as chocolate lollipop – it was just too weird an opportunity to pass up!  They’ve set up shop outside Debenhams in St David’s until the 23rd of December, and for £7 you can create a chocolate selfie!  A perfect stocking filler, don’t ya think?



You can also create your own Chocolate Christmas Cards to send to your favourite people… or you, know, just to scoff yourself 🙂

I think almost everyone put their decorations up last weekend, us included!  Sunny hates doing it (apparently I’m really fussy about it!  Pfft!), so he very kindly enlisted Tina to help out instead.  We got the tree and all the other bits up in record time; what took longest was convincing Bungle that the tinsel, fir and fairy light invaders weren’t scary.  He barked at the wreath on the door all afternoon and still won’t go near the tree.  What a wimp!


On Sunday, I took a couple of birthday presents out for a spin (The Oliver Bonas Jumper is hands down the cosiest, fluffiest jumper I’ve ever owned) and went out for a wintery walk.


We parked up in the tiny village of Michaelston-Le-Pit and picked up the Salmon Leap Trail, which follows Wrinstone Brook and is apparently full of Salmon in the spring.  It’s amazing how many lovely walks there are out in the Vale; now that Bungle’s able to walk a bit further it’ll fun to go exploring next year 🙂








Have a lovely week everyone! x

November Favourites

November is easily my favourite month of the year (everyone’s got a soft spot for their birthday month!) and easily the busiest, and this November didn’t disappoint on either end!  I got stuck in to my fifth NaNoWriMo, celebrated four birthdays, and had a very blogging month.  I had an absolute blast from beginning to end, and it’s got me all excited for Christmas and the New Year! 🙂

Cardiff

There was so much going on in Cardiff during November!  Winter Wonderland opened up on the 9th of November and I was lucky enough to get invited along to their sneaky peek press night which involved freaking out at the top of the massive Ferris Wheel, scoffing German hot dogs and swigging hot chocolate.

The following week Canadian Coffee and Doughnut chain Tim Horton’s opened up on Queen Street and you know me, along with Cinnamon Buns and Bacon, Doughnuts make up a large part of diet – so I was super excited to see what all the fuss was about.  I can confirm that Tim Bits will be keeping me fuelled through Christmas, as well as all their other goodies. 🙂



Fashion

I’ve been so busy this month that I almost managed #NoSpendNovember!  But, it was my birthday half way through the month and I maybe hinted a little bit too hard about the Oliver Bonas Dream Blouse, because not only did Sunny buy it for me, but so did my Mum and Dad!  I love it!


Christmas Outfit sorted!  Last week I was lucky enough to be invited along to Coast’s Christmas Blogger event in Cardiff and had a lovely evening trying on lots and lots of Bond Girl Ballgowns.  I was also lucky enough to win one of their gorgeous dresses!  It was a total pinch me moment – and just in time for my birthday too!  I chose their Candice Lace Dress, which has a lovely hi-lo hem and has a definite Self Portrait vibe to it.

*Also, if you’re still looking for something to wear for the party season, you can get 20% off at Coast if you quote “The Cardiff Cwtch” at the checkout (Cardiff only!).

Food

Milgi’s breakfast has to take the top food spot this month.  They serve breakfast every Saturday and Sunday from 9am to midday I’ll definitely be going back for their Lavabread-fried Potatos.  Yum!


Also, if you haven’t checked it out already, I wrote a post full of Hot Choc-tails.  I made myself a Irish one the other night with a bit of Merlin (if you’ve never tried Wales’ answer to Baileys from the Penderyn Distillery then you need to – it’s a stunner!).  I might have gone a bit overboard though and added too much – I was a bit sloshed by the time Blue Planet came on.

TV

Peak Blinders is back!  And every time Red Right Hand by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds comes up on my Spotify, I get excited for Wednesday nights.  If you’ve never watched before it’s into its fourth season now and follows the Peaky Blinders, a real Birmingham gang from the 1920s.  If you’re a fan of Boardwalk Empire and other such gangster historical drama then it’ll be right up your street.

How can I not mention Blue Planet?  Every episode has been amazing, and I genuinely got all soppy when the whales and dolphins had a little reunion.  Also, the Portugese Man of War terrified me, and more so when someone posted a picture online of one that had washed up on Barry Island Beach (and others across The Vale)!?  So if you take your dog walking on the beach in South Wales, keep an eye out!

Online

I started re-watching Reign this month (…I love it, it’s my thing, let it go), and was busy adding songs from the series to my Spotify when I cam across Vitamin String Quartet.  They’re a string quartet that basically create covers of pop songs and their backlist has completely taken over my Spotify.  I love their cover of Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” and Lorde’s “Royals”.  So worth checking out!

How was your November?  What have you been enjoying this month?  🙂

What I did Last Weekend: My Birthday, Cosmeston, Milgi

Last Friday was my 32nd birthday (as you know if you caught last Friday’s post), and was one of those lovely crisp Autumn days (exactly the same as the day I was born according to my Mum and Dad when they regaled everyone with my birth story over dinner at the pub… thanks guys!), and started off – as most days do these days – with taking Bungle for a walk.  But instead of doing the usual stomp around the block, we hopped into the car and drove to Cosmeston, which was absolutely stunning in the morning Autumn sunshine.  🙂






It was a quiet one, but lovely all the same.  I opened presents, blew out candles and got stuck into a massive cinnamon bun, and then went to the pub for dinner with my family.


On Saturday I was invited down to Milgi on City Road to try out their breakfast menu.  As a restaurant that promotes themselves as being dedicated to “everyday plant-based eating”, this cheeky McDonalds, sticky cinnamon bun-scoffing gal wasn’t quite sure what to expect.  But I’d heard really good things, was excited to give it a try and you know what?  I loved every single bite and was stuffed by the time we left!

I had to try the Lavabread-fried Potatoes, complete with polenta toast, a fried egg and homemade ketchup.  It was absolutely massive, and even Sunny was surprised when I demolished the lot.  I also really enjoyed my cheeky Toffee Apple Collins and honestly was a little bit buzzed in the car on the way home (…which made getting stuck in match day traffic through Cardiff a bit more bearable!).


Sunny went for their Indian Breakfast which came with two massive Parantha and a hefty portion of Dal.  I couldn’t resist sneaking a bit of his Parantha – you guys know I cook a batch myself when the in-laws come to stay.  He went for their Autumn Garden Smoothie, with pear, banana, oats, cinnamon, vanilla and oat milk and I think even he was surprised how much he loved it.

If you’re looking for somewhere new for breakfast definitely give Milgi a try; I’m pretty sure a Saturday morning breakfast there could cure any hangover – not only are the portions massive, but the food’s tasty and pretty easy on the eyes too.  They serve breakfast on Saturdays and Sundays from 9am until midday.  😉

Happy weekend everyone!  x

Why we need to stop turning 30 into an Expiration Date

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Today’s my birthday.  I’m 32 years old, which is crazy to me because the truth is that most days – in my head – I still feel like I’m 17.  And I suppose I still am in some ways; I still listen to the same kind of music, I still love doughnuts just as much (and more to the point still eat them for breakfast sometimes like I did when I was 17), still have a crush on Robert Downey Jr, still have the occasional volcanic eruption on my chin, and I still (and always will) think that mayonnaise is rank – get it the hell away from me.

How do I feel about hitting 32?  I feel good.  Better than good.  Which is strange because for a long time I was absolutely terrified of hitting my thirties.

I feel like during our twenties we’re made to feel like our thirtieth birthday is an expiration date of some kind.  You know, that by thirty we’re supposed to have travelled the world, ticked a few things off of our bucket list, met “the one”, know our personal style, have our own place, feel ready to create little humans (if we haven’t already), have reached a certain point in our chosen careers and just generally have life figured out.  We spend our twenties making Before 30 Lists of things we want to do or accomplish – and that’s not even taking into account society’s ideas about what we should have achieved before reaching the big 3-0.  And because of that we turn our thirtieth birthday into an expiration date.  The real life version of what midnight was to Cinderella… minus the pumpkin and glass slipper.

As I take another step into my thirties I can safely say that I’m happier and more comfortable in myself now than I ever was in my twenties.  And that’s not because I ticked everything off my 30 Before 30 List, or because I have life figured out – I really, really don’t.  Who does?  But I definitely understand myself a little better; who I am, who I’m not, and who I want to be.

We need to stop turning 30 into something to be feared and instead treat it as something exciting.  There’s something empowering about turning thirty.  It’s a whole new decade.  A whole new you… if that’s what you want.  You might not have x, or done y, or been to z, but hopefully you’ll know yourself a little better, and what and who matters to you the most.  And at the end of the day, those things are more important than whether you’ve backpacked the world or run a marathon or partied until the sun comes up.  You can still do all those things in your thirties, by the way.  No one’s stopping you!  😉

Happy Birthday to meeee! 🎈

October Favourites

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Another month bites the dust!  My October was a mix of Autumn excitement followed by two weeks of inevitable coughing and sneezing.  I feel like I’m finally through the worst of it now, and just in time for November – which is always a super busy month in Casa Cwtch; four birthdays (including my own!), Nanowrimo, and then the big Christmas build-up.  Anyway, despite being a snotty, spluttering mess for most of October, it’s still my favourite time of year 🙂

Fashion

I didn’t shop much in October other than picking up a few Christmas and Birthday presents, but it did finally get cold enough to start wearing my new grey coat from Primark.  It was cheap as chips and I love it!  I’m looking forward to wrapping up this month and cracking into my massive scarf collection.

TV

I feel like it’s been a quiet month for TV.  I finally got around to watching Stranger Things and – sorry! – I love all the 80s pop culture, and I kind of like it… but, I don’t get the hype.  I will persevere, but maybe I set my bar too high?  Sunny and I started watching Tin Star with Tim Roth; he hated it (he thought it was too dark and couldn’t stand the music), I LOVED it.  Other TV shows include Outlander (which continues to please – it’s just so beautiful to look at!), Mr Robot, and of course, GBBO.

Food

As well as making Halloween Doooooonuts, Salted Caramel Macarons, and these Pumpkin Traybake Cakes – I also became obsessed with Cadbury Roses Cake Bars which come in Strawberry Cream (my fave!) and Orange Cream.

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Cardiff

I didn’t get out much during October because – like I said – I caught the lurgy, but top of the pops this month of course goes to the new Oliver Bonas store which opened up on The Hayes.  I wanted to buy everything! 🙂

What have you been enjoying this October?  Have a great weekend everyone!  x