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?  😉

 

August Favourites

Happy September! It’s safe to say to say that I can’t remember a soggier August. Honestly, I gave up on summer ever arriving halfway through the month, moved on and started getting excited for Autumn. Especially when I started seeing bobble hats in the shops. I’m always in a back to school mode at this time of year; even though my days in the classroom are well and truly over, I still get that fresh start feeling. It’s the perfect time of year for a shake-up! Anyway, here’s what I’ve been enjoying this August.

Food

I picked up these grapes in Tesco on a whim after being taken in by the packaging. “Candyfloss-flavoured grapes”. I was sceptical. I mean, come on! True or not, either way it’s a genius bit of marketing, so much so that I had to try them and find out. They’re the sweetest, nicest grapes I’ve ever had, and you know what? They kind of do taste like candy floss.  Also, I tried Baklava this month for the very first time and – oh lord – have I been missing out!

Also: These Bakewell Tarts

Cardiff

This month I didn’t do as much pottering around my hometown as I usually do because the weather was so crap.  But I did get a sneak peek of a swanky pad with beautiful views over Cardiff Bay, had a lovely meal out at the Custom House with Sunny and also surprised my lovely friend Missy with a trip to Cardiff’s first and only Cat Cafe; Feline Good.

Fashion

All my summery clothes have stayed in the cupboard this summer, and I didn’t really feel in the mood to add to them. Over the last couple of weeks though I’ve been getting excited about Autumn fashion and I picked up this lace, high neck top from Zara.

TV

Game of Thrones.  I already mentioned it in my July Favourites, but this season’s been the best season of Thrones BY. A. MILE.   After the Episode Six bombshell I was searching up theories like mad ready for whopping 80 minute finale and was still clawing the arm rests of my sofa as I watched. Also, in the last week of August I binge-watched Top of the Lake: China Girl.  Honestly, looking at it, it’s not really my sort of thing; I hadn’t seen season one and I wasn’t sure whether I’d stick it out (…the tinkering piano music in the background drove me mad by the end of episode one and it was all just a bit depressing) – but I love Gwendoline Christie and Elisabeth Moss and so I stuck with it and by episode three I was hooked.  Worth a look if you love dark, scandi-esque crime drama with tormented detectives.

Online

If you haven’t seen videos of Carl Bradbury pranking people on Facebook with song lyrics then you need to. He’s basically looked up people whose names are featured in songs and then messaged them via Facebook Chat and the results are hilarious. Sunny and I were in hysterics over breakfast one weekend watching both videos. Definitely check it out, but bear in mind that it’s a bit rude and probably NSFW.

What have you been enjoying this August? 🙂

July Favourites

I feel like this might as well be a November Favourites post because honestly? What a wash-out July has been!  I wore my wellies more this month than any other so far this year, have cwtched up on the sofa under blankets with candles burning, and have had some seriously miserable morning walks with Bungle.  I suppose we shouldn’t really be surprised, the good old British Summertime is has well and truly lived up to its reputation this year, and now that we’re into August, it doesn’t seem to be showing any signs of getting better.  So I’ve decided that I’m moving on to Autumn and have started to get well and truly stuck into browsing AW17 fashion – scarves, boots, coats – which I guarantee will spark a heatwave.  😉

FOOD

I ate some seriously great food in July, not limited to Aloo Parantha, Bubble Waffles and these Breaded Halloumi Sticks at Bill’s in Cardiff Bay.  Yum!

BOOKS

This month I picked up Kerry Egan’s ‘On Living’, which not only has the most beautiful cover but was a lovely read during those dismal July evenings (honestly, what the hell happened to summer?!).  On Living is a book about death.  Kerry Egan – for many years – worked as a Hospice Chaplain, working with patients who were close to or about to die.  The book is basically all the lessons, stories and truths Egan learned from her patients – lessons about “Dancing more, working less and other last thoughts”.  A beautiful book.

CARDIFF

Unfortunately I didn’t get around much this month because the weather’s been so rubbish!  But I’ve got a couple of favourite spots this month.  Number one involves some of the best Indian (and Vegetarian) Food I’ve eaten in a while – The Vegetarian Food Studio in Grangetown (watch out for my blog post on Monday), and number two is K9 Plus 1 in Barry – a cafe for dogs and their owners.


FASHION

The summer sales trump the January ones in my opinion; I always seem to pick up so many great bargains this time of year including these spotted, wide leg trousers from Marks and Spencer which were a total bargain at £5.50 (similar ones here).  I’m going to be wearing them all through Autumn and Winter with t shirts and jumpers.  Another fashion fave this month were these tassle earrings from H&M.  I’ve been after a pair for a while but didn’t want the same red and white ones everyone seems to be wearing.  I spotted these ones and fell in love – even if Sunny called them dodgy and said they looked like they belonged on the end of a curtain tie.

TV

“The North remembers…”  When I heard that the new Season of Game of Thrones had been pushed back until July, to say I was miffed is a bit of an understatement.  But day-am, so far it’s been worth the extra wait.  In our house we wait for Game of Thrones all year and then when it arrives we end up whinging that not enough happens quickly enough and the middle of season drags – but so far it’s been my favourite season yet.  🙂

Also, Poldark.  Always stunning to look at, but… this year it feels like every episode has just been a hour of simpering gazes and soft sighs (I’m looking at you Morwenna).  And now that  *SPOILER* Agatha’s gone, I’m a bit… meh about it all.

ONLINE

We bought my Mum an Amazon Echo Dot for her birthday because she’s gadget mad and constantly wondering what’s happening with the news/weather/traffic.  Anyway, it arrived and Sunny and I were so impressed with it when we set it up for her that when Amazon Prime Day swung around and we picked one up for ourselves.  You can do so much more with it than just check out the latest headlines and whether you’ll need an umbrella (It’s Wales, it’s July – the answer as it turns out is; is yes, yes you do).  You can tune into any Radio Station, check out Trump’s latest Tweet, get a random Blackadder Quote, and we’ve synced our Spotify with it so we can play our favourite music through it’s – pretty decent – speaker.  My favourite addition though has to be the game ‘Yes Sire’ – which you basically have to keep balance in your kingdom by answering simple yes or no questions which increase/decrease your wealth and power (it’s a bit Game of Thrones).  If either goes too high or too low then the King either has you exiled or executed.  Great fun while you’re cooking or doing the washing up 🙂

Hello August!  What have you been loving this July?  Obviously not the weather…  😉