5 Things I've Been Loving Lately

…because we all need a bit of positivi-tea right now…
5 Things I've Been Loving Lately - The Cardiff Cwtch - IngenuiTEA Teapot Review

(Don’t worry, that God awful pun will become clear in a mo…) How are you? No really, how are you? Because in between all the terrifying news updates, social isolation and uncertainty about what the next few months are going to bring, we really need to keep checking in with each other and helping out whenever and in whatever way we can. If you’re like me then you’re probably feeling absolutely fine one minute and plodding along like nothing’s changed, and then staring into space for twenty minutes after tuning into the news for two minutes. I’m feeling angry, sad and overwhelmed all at once sometimes – and helpless; I mean, how the hell am I supposed to walk the dog, do the shopping, see my favourite people, take my car in for a service and MOT (grrr, why is that ALWAYS due at the worst possible moment?!)… I feel robbed of all the things I usually enjoy doing this time of year with my family, and all the daily things I do that I suppose I normally take for-granted.

But, like everyone else, I’m also trying to spot the silver linings in all of this – and they are there if you look for them. My husband’s lucky, he gets to work from home from time to time anyway and so we’ve kind of set up a co-working space in our tiny home office (we’ve NEVER worked together before, so it’ll either be a disaster or a dream…) – and Bungle is always on hand to cheer us both up when we need it (plus, he needs a walk every day – so we’re never short for fresh air). I’m also used to being stuck indoors for long stints as I’m home most of the time anyway – in fact, I LOVE it; I rarely get stir crazy, and so being given the go-ahead to be antisocial and binge on boxsets for a few months is a-ok with me!

Keeping well in every sense of the word is going to be absolutely key to getting through the next few months; not just in protecting ourselves and others against Covid-19, but also when it comes to Mental Health. Not being allowed to go about your usual routine and do the things that you normally love to do is going to be tough-going for a while – so finding small pick-me ups where you can and things to enjoy around this altered (and alien) state will help to keep things in balance when the world seems like it’s flipped completely upside down.

Anyway, here are all my recent pick-me-ups…

5 Things I've Been Loving Lately - The Cardiff Cwtch - Golden Retriever Beach

Finding new ways to get out and about

The week before last Sunny and I enjoyed what was to be our last day out before we dove into full-on isolation last Monday (surreal). We took Bungle down to Jackson Bay for a swim in the sea (he absolutely loves swimming!) and then walked around the clifftops to Whitmore Bay for a portion of chips each from O’Sheas. Obviously we had absolutely no idea how much everything was about to change – but I’m so glad we got out and enjoyed ourselves before getting sick ourselves and having to stay indoors (we both developed a nasty cough a couple of days later – still have no idea whether it was actually Coronavirus, but if it was, it was a relatively mild strain).

Obviously, once our isolation is over we’ll be out and about again – but definitely in a more mindful way. I couldn’t believe the pictures from Snowdon and Pen-y-Fan over the weekend of people out and about enjoying the sunny weather in big groups, as well as caravaners and second-homers opting to leave their homes and self-isolate in rural Wales. It’s not okay, and if either you or a member of your family is in the “at risk” category then I’m sure you were as similarly horrified as I was.  I really hope people start taking the rules on social distancing seriously.

(All I need is for someone to explain what “social distancing” means to my over-friendly floof-ball…)

5 Things I've Been Loving Lately - The Cardiff Cwtch - Barry Island5 Things I've Been Loving Lately - The Cardiff Cwtch - O'Sheas Barry5 Things I've Been Loving Lately - The Cardiff Cwtch - Adagio Tea Giveaway

Loose Leaf Tea

It’s no secret that I’m a massive fan of a good ol’ cuppa, and in times like these there’s really nothing better than a steaming cup of the good stuff to pull you through. Until recently, I was all for the ease of a plucking a tea bag out of the jar and popping it into a mug first thing in the morning – but when push comes to shove, I actually tend to prefer the taste of loose leaf tea. The problem is, it’s usually a bit of a faff; I find infusers (you know, reusable tea bags) don’t allow enough space for the tea leaves to brew properly, and loose leaf teapots I’ve tried in the past are either too big (so the second cup is cold by the time you get around to drinking it), or too difficult to clean.

A couple of weeks ago all my tea dreams came true when Adagio Tea sent me a box full of loose leaf tea to try, along with their IngenuiTea Teapot – which I have to say has been an absolute game-changer for me first thing in the morning! It’s very, very clever. Not only is it dishwasher and microwave safe (no more faffing around trying to unhinge stubborn tea leaves, or “ugh, my tea’s gone cold” face), but the brewed tea is released through the base – you just pop it on top of your favourite mug and – thanks to the nifty base mechanism – the tea flows straight down into it. Not a stray tea leaf in sight – and NO LEAKS.

Not only is the teapot an absolutely genius bit of kit for tea lovers, but Adagio Tea’s loose leaf blends are gorgeous too. From their dreamy Moonlight Earl Grey to their delicate and sweet Butterscotch Flavour (my favourite by far!) they’ve got a lovely selection of black teas – which are my go to every day – but they’ve also got a selection of special ImmuniTEA Booster blends like Turmeric Bliss and Chamomile.

5 Things I've Been Loving Lately - The Cardiff Cwtch - Adagio Tea Butterscotch

Boxsets

Thank God for Boxsets, amiright? I mean, I’m boxset mad at the best of times so I don’t need to be sold on the idea of staying in and binge-watching my way through all seven seasons of Mad Men – which I totally did a couple of weeks ago (it’s brilliant, by the way – absolutely well worth a watch). Other box sets I’d recommend are Succession, Billions and The Newsroom if you’re looking for smart and snappy dialogue (let’s add Madmen to that pile too) The Witcher, True Blood (…even though it loses the plot somewhere around Season 5) and Penny Dreadful if you’re looking for monsters and magic. And, Outlander, Vikings, Peaky Blinders and The Crown if you’re a history nerd like me. Oh, and if you’re looking for a fresh take on Superheroes, then I can’t recommend The Boys more – seriously good.

I’m also making my way through some of my favourite comedies, from The Office (Micheal Scott never fails to make me smile during “OH MY GOD IT’S HAPPENING” moments) and Parks and Rec, as well as old Britcom faves like The It Crowd, Blackadder and The Vicar of Dibley (which is coming to Netflix – rejoice!).

Beating Boredom with Creativity

I doubt anyone’s missed the memes going around over on Twitter and Instagram about how Shakespeare wrote King Lear when he was holed up during The Plague etc. And while – yeah – not everyone’s about to be handed a free pass to pen a masterpiece, and no one should feel pressured to emerge from self isolation with something to show for all that time spent indoors, there is something to be said for killing boredom with bouts of creativity. If you’re a creative like me then it’s likely to be your modus operandi during times of stress and anxiety anyway – but for everyone else who’s never had to stay indoors for long stretches of time, then creativity can be great for keeping your mental health in check.

Me? I’m going to be writing a lot and baking a lot. If you’ve ever fancied trying your hand at writing a book and communicating with other writers, then I can’t recommend Camp Nanowrimo enough. If you’ve ever wanted to write a book then you’ve probably heard about National Novel Writing Month – where writers pledge to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days during the month of November. Well, there’s also Camp Nanowrimo, which happens a couple of times through the spring and summer where writers pledge a month of non-specific writing related work – whether that’s editing, rewriting or starting something from scratch! You can do as much or as little as you want, but the best thing about it is that you’re in it with other writers who you can communicate with through the website – which makes social isolation a little more social and a little less isolating. 🙂

I’ll be signing up and trying to write a 70,000+ word historical novel from April 1st (nope, not an April Fool’s Joke, I really am going to do this) – so if you’re interested in joining me or hearing more about my slow descent into madness – then let me know.

Crafty Cupboard Meals

I don’t know about you, but my kitchen cupboards have been begging for this moment for years. They’re stuffed with so many tins and ingredients that almost never get used, and all because I’m one of those “ooh, I’ll use that at some point” shoppers – you know, a curry jar here and a tin of chopped tomatoes and peach halves there. If there ever was a time to use up what I’ve already got, then it’s now – and actually, that might be kind of fun.

Take care everyone – and have a lovely week, whether you’re self-isolating or going about business as usual. Let me know what you’re doing to beat the boredom as well as your favourite boxsets and pick-me-ups in the comments below…

*This post contains gifted items, to find out more about what means – click here.

4 Bungle Stories to make you Smile

Don’t Stop… Retrieving!
Golden Retriever Stories - The Cardiff Cwtch

It’s been a while since I’ve done a Bungle-themed post, in spite of the fact that he appears in almost all the photographs I pop up on the blog and on social media. Let’s be honest, he’s pretty much the star of this show – and everyone’s favourite Goldie. He makes me laugh every single day (as well as my neighbours, who get to see me being humped up and down the street by him) and is literally this woman’s best friend.

Sunny and I were having a chat the other day about some of the funniest things Bungle’s done over the past couple of years and I thought it was high time for a bit of a pup-date and a look back over a couple of his finest moments, as well as some recent corkers…

Golden Retriever Stories - The Cardiff Cwtch

The Terrifying Child-Eating Lion

If you follow me on Social Media (either over on Twitter or Instagram), then there’s absolutely no way you’ll have missed being spammed by pictures of Bungle in his Lion get-up (sorry, not sorry). Sunny bought the lion mane a couple of years ago after seeing that Amazon Prime advert to surprise me for my birthday, and we just couldn’t resist having some fun with it this Halloween. It’s one of Bungle’s favourite nights of the year because we get lots and lots of visitors ringing the doorbell, and plenty of kids trick or treating because there are loads of young families in our neighbourhood. They all know and love Bungle because he’s such a happy, friendly dog, and so we’re always on the list of houses to stop at. This year, we were prepared. We popped a sign outside the front door with our pumpkins that read “Beware of the Child-Eating Lion”, set up some lion noises to play over our TV speakers, and had Bungle all dressed up and ready to roar.

The first couple of kids were nervous ringing the doorbell, but absolutely loved it when we opened the door and Bungle came rushing out to greet them – so much so that the massive bowl of chocolate I was holding got completely sidelined… for a minute or so, anyway. “Is that a real lion?!” one little girl asked as Bungle slurped at her hand. Some kids laughed and then went straight for the chocolate (“My dog’s got one of those!”), and there were a few younger ones who were nervous until we told them that it was just Bungle dressed up in his own Halloween costume.

Then there were the two kids who knocked the door, took one look at Bungle and then legged it off down the road screaming, “IT’S A REAL LION!!!” Hilarious.

Golden Retriever Stories - The Cardiff Cwtch

The Cheese Thief

Bungle absolutely loves cheese (I mean, what dog doesn’t?); while he takes begging to the next level with the way he sits in front of you drooling with his big brown eyes, he’s always been really well behaved when it comes to taking food that doesn’t belong to him. He’s never stolen food off the table or the kitchen counters, and so we’ve always trusted him and been happy to leave most things sitting out when we’re in the middle of cooking or eating. Or so we thought.

I decided to treat Sunny to an epic Mexican feast one night – Quesadillas, Nachos, the works – and I’d bought some really nice Applewood-smoked cheese to use (you can’t have Mexican food without cheese, thems the rules). I prepared the Quesadillas whilst Sunny grated a nice big pile of cheese onto a chopping board, ready to top the Nachos. I cooked up filling, fed Bungle his dinner, and then we left everything out to assemble once we were ready to eat.

About half an hour later, Sunny got hungry and told me that he was going to start putting everything together while I curled up with Bungle on the sofa and carried on watching TV. A minute later, there was a shout from the kitchen, “Oi, what did you do with the cheese?” I shrugged and shouted back, “Nothing, I haven’t moved it. You must have.” He shouted back, “Well it’s not here, you must have moved it. Did you put it in the fridge or something?” I groaned as I paused the TV and stomped through to the kitchen to profess my innocence, “I haven’t touched the bloody cheese – YOU grated it, you must have moved it!”

The chopping board was there, the cheese grater was there, but the mountain of cheese had completely disappeared. There wasn’t even a shred of it left behind – just a light glaze over the chopping board where it had been sitting. We puzzled over it for a couple of minutes until I found a small thread of blonde hair hanging off the chopping board. A good few minutes passed while we doubted it, until we went through into the lounge where Bungle was curled up on the sofa and sniffed his very smoky, very cheesy breath.

Golden Retriever Stories - The Cardiff Cwtch

The Pheasant

We’re really lucky to have an open field within a few feet of where we live and of course, it’s Bungle’s favourite place in the whole world. In the winter he loves heading up there to chase kids playing around on sleds, and in the summer he loves rolling around in the long grass. It’s also my favourite place to walk him because he tends to misbehave for me on the lead (he drags me around and humps my legs and just generally turns me into the neighbourhood laughing stock…) – the field is enclosed, so I can just let him off to run around and do his thing, and usually he’s really well behaved. Usually.

I took him up there one Sunday morning; we walked a whole lap without a problem and I was just about to call him over to put him back on the lead when he went sniffing around in one of the hedges. I stood waiting patiently for a couple of minutes, and then pulled a face when I saw him emerge with what looked like a bright red t shirt. Bit odd, I thought, as I watched him drag it out and trot towards me. I got a better look as he brought it over; it was a red, green and brown t shirt. With a beak. And EYES. It wasn’t a t shirt, it was actually a very dead, very fresh pheasant.

When I yelped, Bungle legged it off into the field – thrashing the limp body of the pheasant around in a shower of red and green feathers. Stupidly, I chased after him. I mean was I actually going to grab the dead pheasant when (IF) he stopped? No way was I playing that game of tug of war. So instead I tried to lure him over with treats. He wasn’t interested. I tried to run away from him. He wasn’t interested (and was now lying down with the pheasant and starting to rip it apart). I played dead, hoping he’d panic and rush over to see if I was okay. He didn’t notice. Dick. Despairing, I eventually called Sunny and begged him to come and rescue me, and as soon as he appeared over the crest of the hill like bloody Julie Andrews about to break into song, Bungle dropped the pheasant and went rushing over to greet him. DICK.

The New Coat

Bungle’s got a lot of floof (the technical term for his fur), and so not only does he shed like crazy (we have to hoover every single day or we get balls of it rolling across the hard floors like tumble weed), but wet walks are a nightmare. His fur seems to absorb it like a sponge, and the fur hanging from his belly soaks up all the wet dirt and grit from the street too.

While it’s just something you’ve got to expect when you get a dog, if there’s anything that can make life a little easier then I’m all for it. Wales is a wet place; it rains pretty much 80% of the year. He’s got a towel jumper that we throw on him if he’s really wet (stops him shaking mud onto my walls), but this year I decided to bite the bullet and convinced Sunny to get him an anorak. With a hood.

Yes, he looks ridiculous – but you know what? It works! Now he comes back from his walks soggy rather than soaked, and I’ll take that. But he gets far more attention than he usually does when he wears it, so he’s happy! 🙂

Golden Retriever Stories - The Cardiff Cwtch

If you want more from Bungle and fancy keeping up with his daily shenanigans, he’s got his very own Instagram. Have a lovely weekend! 🐶🐶🐶

6 Treats to Cook and Bake this Halloween

Get ready to be the Hot House on the Trick or Treaters Hit List…
6 Treats to Cook and Bake this Halloween - The Cardiff Cwtch

Happy *almost* Halloween from this incredibly ferocious maneating(/cuddling) lion and I! Last year I spent Halloween out in Florida. Sunny and I crashed a costume party dressed up as Spongebob Squarepants and a Pineapple (I drew the short straw on that one…), went to a pumpkin patch (in 90° Floridian heat…), experienced an All Hallows Eve straight out of Hocus Pocus with lots and lots of Trick or Treaters, and just generally had an amazing time experiencing Halloween across the pond. But – obviously – I missed Bungle; he absolutely LOVES Halloween because we get lots and lots of visitors (his favourite thing), and he tends to get a lot of extra attention especially when we dress him up. I’m excited to be home for Halloween this year, but I’ve been really lazy getting myself organised for it. I finally got around to picking up a couple of pumpkins and some sweets for the Trick or Treaters this morning (hopefully I can resist and not end up scoffing them between now and Thursday night…), but I’m not going to have time to do any baking this week or come up with a brand new, Halloween-inspired recipe – so instead, here are six spooky recipes from the archives that are frightfully good (…yeesh). 😉

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Spooky Doooooooooonuts

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If you’ve never made doughnuts at home before then you’ll honestly be blown over by how easy they are to make – especially if you’ve got a breadmaker or mixer with a dough hook. These Spooky Doooooonuts (see what I did there?) are almost too cute to eat, and are the perfect treat to take along to a Halloween Party or have next to the door once the Trick or Treaters really get going. Once you’ve fried the doughnuts, all you need is a bit of royal icing and some chocolate gel to pipe on the eyes – easy peasy! And I defy you not to laugh every time you offer someone a *spooky voice* doooooooooonut. 🙂

Bloody Beetroot Freaky Fries

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These Bloody Beetroot Freaky Fries wouldn’t be out of place at Dracula’s Halloween Shindig or whatever party Hannibal Lecter’s throwing this year; the beetroots are sweet, the bacon’s salty, the sriracha gives everything a little kick, and the cheese… well, I don’t need to sell you on melted cheese, do I?  Also – bonus – cooking these will make you look like you’ve slaughtered someone; handling the beetroot is bloody messy – you’ve been warned!

Leftover Pumpkin Traybake

Leftover Pumpkin Traybake - The Cardiff Cwtch

Hands up if you’ve ever thrown away all the guts after carving your pumpkin. Yup, me too. I think we’ve all been there; you get all excited to carve up your pumpkin, scoop out all the flesh and where does it all go? In the food bin. What a waste! This year, why not put all the good stuff to good use and whip up this very, very easy Leftover Pumpkin Traybake which not only makes use of the pumpkin flesh, but also the seeds to make a crunchy topping.

Bag o’ Bombs Doughnuts

Halloween Donut Holes - The Cardiff Cwtch

Trust me, learning how to whip up your own dozen doughnuts is just as DANGEROUS as a real bag o’ bombs. Once you’ve got the recipe for the dough down, you’ll be making them all the time! These Fresh Doughnut Holes are the perfect snack to take along trick or treating – especially when they’re warm and covered in cinnamon sugar. If you’re feeling creative, fill them with jam (blood) or even chocolate – if you can get hold of some Cadburry’s Scream Eggs, then you can even turn these Cream Egg-filled Doughnuts into Halloween Flavoured ones!

Teacake Cupcakes

Marshmallow Hi-Hat Teacake Cupcakes for Halloween - The Cardiff CwtchMarshmallow Buttercream Hi-Hat Teacake Cupcakes for Halloween - The Cardiff Cwtch

All the American bakers out there will probably recognise these as “Hi-Hat” cupcakes, but for the uninitiated Brits – let’s just call them Marshmallow Teacake Cupcakes – just normal cupcakes with the added bonus of a marshmallow tea cake (/poo emoji) perched on top. With a little bit of strategic freezer time to allow the marshmallow buttercream to set before they get dunked in their chocolate coating, they’re a snap to make – and with a plate of these waiting by the door you’re bound to be the most popular house on the block! 😉

Werewolf Poop (Chocolate Brigadeiros)

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If you’ve never heard of Brigadeiros before then all you need to know is that they’re the easiest chocolate truffle you’ll ever make. Four ingredients, a little hob time and a fridge is all you need to make them. They’re a little bit different from usual truffles – they’re a bit gooey and kind of a cross between caramel and soft fudge, but those are all good qualities in my book and I’m sure you’ll agree with me that these are dangerously delish. Dress them up as Werewolf Poop and you’ve got a very easy Halloween Treat to tempt the neighbourhood with.

Happy Halloween everyone! Have a good one! 🎃 🎃 🎃

Laundry Room Makeover

Spaghetti Stain Removals, but make it stylish…
Laundry Room Makeover - The Cardiff Cwtch

Well hey, it’s been a long time since I’ve done an interiors post here on the blog. A looooong time. What can I say? We got a bit… lazy. You know how it goes, you move into a new house, embark on a sort of decorating blitzkrieg – hitting one room after the next – and then you sit on it and enjoy it for a while… and then bam! Two years fly by, everything goes a bit stale and there’s still a massive hole in the wall where your puppy (who’s now no longer a puppy) charged into it at full-zoomies miles per hour (it’s on the to-do list, okay?). When we first moved in, there were rooms that we didn’t really feel the need to decorate, and so we kind of just accepted them for how they were and let them just… be for a while. Now they’re looking a bit stale and a bit boring compared to the rest of the house, and so when Sunny and I got back from Florida we made a new decorating to-do list and decided on a few rooms that we fancied giving a bit of a makeover. 🙂

Our Utility Room (/ Laundry Room / Mud Room) is straight off the kitchen and even though we use it every single day as access to our back garden, for washing clothes and sorting out Bungle when he’s come in from a muddy walk – it’s been looking more than a bit neglected. When Bungle entered our lives almost three years ago, it immediately became his space. It became his everything room, from his bed and dining room, to – oh yes – his toilet (before we finally nailed the toilet training – phew!) – and as a result the whole room started to look a bit bruised and battered. The floor was grubby, the skirting boards were muddy and the walls especially were in a right state; when Bungle learned how to open doors, he started clawing at the wall. The room literally went to the dogs (or rather, dog). Now that he’s (mostly) better behaved, we decided to give the room a fresh coat of paint and turn it from purely functional, to pretty damn snazzy!

Utility Room Makeover - The Cardiff CwtchLaundry Room Accessories - The Cardiff Cwtch

We had these large, grey metro tiles from Tops Tiles put in about a year ago when we tiled the kitchen, and I absolutely love them! They match perfectly with the grey work surface we chose when we first moved in, and look great next to the brand new (very moody) wall colour. We knew we wanted to go grey, but didn’t really anticipate going as dark as we did! The shade is called Sooty Lashes (I love it! Who comes up with paint names? What a job!) and is by Valspar at B&Q.  The pictures are actually really, really old; we bought them for the kitchen in our first flat in London and they had to come with us when we moved.  They’ll always remind me of that pokey little kitchen overlooking the muddy Thames. 🙂

I picked up the washing powder jar from IKEA’s 365 Kitchen Storage Range. Before we were using a plain plastic tupperware pot which not only looked a bit naff, but was really messy. Now I can actually keep my washing powder and liquid out on the surface for easy access!

Mud Room Dog Bed - The Cardiff CwtchLaundry Room Dog Bed

Even though Bungle sleeps upstairs on our bed now, the Utility Room is still his bedroom really, and he does like to trot off and take a nap there with “Bald Lion” (his favourite toy) whenever he’s feeling a bit antisocial or nervous. It’s his “safe space”. The gap under the counter is actually for a Tumble Dryer, but – since we don’t own one – it’s the perfect place for Bungle’s dog bed and blanket. I’ve got a basket on the counter piled with fresh blankets and towels that are just for him and are easy to access whenever we need to wipe off his muddy paws. The rug (old, from H&M Home) gives the floor a little bit more protection and makes the room just a little bit cosier for him. 🙂

Utility Room Dog Bed - The Cardiff CwtchUtility Room Decor Ideas - The Cardiff CwtchMud Room Decor Ideas - The Cardiff Cwtch

What do you think? Sunny’s been saying for a while that we need to bite the bullet and get a tumble dryer – but I’m pushing back as hard as I can because I don’t want to turf Bungle out of his den! 🙂 Have a lovely week!

Five Things Making Me Happy Right Now

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I can’t believe it’s actually going to be May by the end of next week!  We’ll be speeding through summer before you know it – and that flash of hot weather over the Easter weekend was just what the doctor ordered.  I spent the first couple of days of the long weekend catching up with a few jobs around the house that needed doing, and then spent Saturday afternoon soaking up the sun in my local beer garden.  Sunday and Monday was spent slobbing out on the sofa with plenty of chocolate.  It was lush!  So, aside from the lovely, summery weather, here are five things I’ve been enjoying throughout April…

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Blossom

I mean, who doesn’t love the blossom this time of year?  It’s always been one of my favourite spring things and there’s a tree not far from my house that puts on a hell of a show every year.  I pass it every day on the morning dog walk and I’ve really loved watching it slowly burst into colour.  Even Bungle’s loved it; he’s obsessed with the carpet of pink petals and likes to sit there for a couple of minutes during his walk. Weirdo!

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Game of Thrones

It’s back, it’s brilliant and… I’m bloody well terrified.  Considering there’s been a year’s break from the annual summer visit to Westeros (…what a jolly holiday that would be…), I was amazed how easily I got sucked back into it all.  What can I say?  The first couple of new episodes were downright deviousYes, not a lot happened in the grand scheme of things, but the truth is that the show’s producers basically spent two hours reminding us of why we love all these characters so much.  And that’s devious of them because the white-walkers are going to turn up at Winterfell next week and slaughter them all.  I’m scared.

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Left Over Chocolate

Easter was a strange one this year; I feel like all the eggs and chocolate were in the stores for such a long time that I kind of forgot about the whole thing!  Sunny and I did a lot of cream egg scoffing back in February instead.  But, one of the best things about Easter is the left over chocolate and all the half price chocolate banging about on the shelves right now.  We stocked up and have plenty to fuel us through a few binge-watching sessions at least.

If you fancy using up some of your leftover chocolate and doing a bit of baking, then you can’t go wrong with these Creme Egg Doughnuts that I made last year, and – in case you missed it – over on Instagram I posted a recipe for this Easter Tiffin Cake.

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Alaskan Bush People

Okay, this one is a strange one – I know – but hear me out.  Sunny’s obsessed with all those Discovery shows like Tanked, Storage WarsIce Road Truckers etc, and he happened to pick up the second season of Alaskan Bush People over on DMAX whenever he was working from home.  If you’ve never seen it before then it’s basically a show about a family living out in the wild (the bush) in Alaska.  Think Bear Grylls’ The Island, only years later… and in Alaska.  I made fun of my husband for watching it at first, because it all seemed so ridiculous, but over Easter weekend I managed to get completely sucked into it and somehow we’re now balls deep into season five.  Aside from the beautiful views of Alaska – of whales and bears – it’s just so interesting how the family live so far from everything and everyone, and how they chop their own wood, build their own houses, hunt their own meat and even invent their own appliances from bartered or salvaged materials.  Plus the nine kids are all so interesting – from their names (Snowbird, Bear, Bam Bam…), down to their different talents and resourcefulness out in the wild.  They’re such a tight, loving family too – you can’t help but root for them.  LOVE IT.

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Chamomile Tea

Boring one and I’m probably really showing my age here, but I’ve started swigging Chamomile Tea at night (…in front of Alaskan Bush People) about an hour before bed and it’s really helping me to wind down, feel relaxed and sleep more soundly.  During the day I’m a strict Darjeeling no milk kind of girl, but I can easily – so easily! – swig my way through five cups or more in a day.  I’ve been trying to cut down on caffeine and have been trying to slip in a couple of cups of chamomile instead of my usual brew, especially in the evening. 🙂

So, come on then.  Who do we think is going to snuff it in Sunday’s episode of Game of Thrones?  😉