Thursday, 30 September 2010

October's challenge


I've just heard on the radio that summer is officially over. I'm not going to mourn for too long as Autumn is pretty much here and even though I can't wait to stay indoors on those dark nights, curling up on the sofa eating homemade stews, I'm equally ready to put a spring back in my step and get active. Sod the gym, I've never liked those soul-less places where you stare at a wall/tv whilst running on the spot for 30 minutes. I'm ready to embrace those brisk weekend runs in the park and will be practicsing more pilates that I can shake a stick at. You see I'm near the end of my course and I think it's time to up my game and be full to the brim of 'core stability' knowledge and to also look the part before I'm let loose on the general public. 

I'm currently admiring Sweaty Betty's new collection.

Goals for October include: eat breakfast. listen to more music. bake bread. buy weekly veggies from local fruit and veg man. make more time for friends. get more fresh air. find time to read a book. cook a new recipe each week.

That will do for now.

Friday, 17 September 2010

A confidence booster

The weekend is nearly here and I can't wait to escape London tomorrow to go up to Suffolk for my friends wedding, and it's going to be a sunny day, yeah! I'm hoping that I find time (after the hangover subsides on Sunday probably) to complete coursework and plan the new change that is ahead of me. Careershifters (a great website/blog that a friend of mine set up with her friends back in 2004) has been a true life-saver. It came to the rescue last year when I was made redundant, wandering around aimlessly thinking about what I was going to with my life.  Anyway, there's a great post on their blog about keeping up your spirits during the process of changing career. It's something that I've been trying to do throughout this crazy year and I think I need to go back to basics. Here are a few tips for those of you out there who like me need to focus on the (exciting) future ahead:

No 1.  Surround yourself with positive, can-do folk
There's nothing like hanging out with people who smile, laugh, offer positive support and generally see the glass half full. I try to catch up with friends who have made big changes in their life, listen to their story and hear that it was the best decision they made.

No 2. Be clear about your focus
And try and look on the upside. Challenge any negative comments from people and keep focused on the end goal.

No 3. Create your own positivity 
This could be relaxing reading a book (must try and find some time do this one!), exercising, hanging out with friends, dancing around the kitchen to your favorite tune. Something that makes you feel good about yourself.  I am the classic case of putting too much pressure on myself so I try and go for a jog at the weekend, a chance to clear my head and focus on the good stuff that's happening.

Right I'd better find my dancing shoes for tomorrow's wedding party!

Thursday, 16 September 2010

You and me

You and me print by Matthew Rose as seen on Keep Calm Gallery. Beautiful!

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

T is for Tomatoes

Me and a few friends have been discussing the state of our homegrown tomatoes (yep, life doesn't get better than this, exciting hey?). I seem to have done pretty well, especially for a beginner. This is a recent crop from the garden, grown from scratch, for the first time, I'm very proud.

What I like to hear is that
tomatoes are a very good source of Vitamins A, C and E (I could do with a vitamin boost right now). They also contain potassium and an antioxidant lycopene – which helps to mop up damaging free radicals in the body that can harm our cells. Lycopene can also help to ward against prostate and breast and can boost the skins ability to protect itself against UV rays. Powerful little things those tomatoes are!

So with having about another 30-40 tomatoes about to pop off the plant over the next few days I've been searching for some recipes that put these little red beauties to good use. I'm a big fan of Donna Hay who has a very simple recipe for Chicken with caramelised balsamic tomatoes or you can't go wrong with Jamie Oliver's Sweet cherry tomato and sausage bake, perfect for those autumn days which are close upon us.

Friday, 10 September 2010

A new direction

I spent the weekend thinking about where my blog is going. It's fairly new this little treasure of mine and seems to be lost out there in the big wide world, so I've decided to take it on a bit of journey until it finds its own path. As much as I love sharing with everyone what I love, what I've found, and where I've been, I now want these pages to represent the other priorities in my life.

Since January this year I have been training to be a pilates instructor (whilst working full time in my job in London). It's been stressful, exciting, hard work, emotionally draining and rewarding all at the same time, and as I am fast approaching the final hurdle I can finally see light at the end of tunnel and a lifestyle change to come, horrah.

So this blog will be a mixed bag about my new career path, mind, body, food, oh and the odd lovely product that I come across now and again. I hope you'll join me on the journey and find something you like along the way.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Signed sealed delivered

What did we do before email? I was a big letter-writing fan way back when. I would write to my best friend from my family holiday telling her how bored I was and would receive hand written letters from my Dad when I was at university telling me about life at home and including the odd £20 note for petrol. Oh the excitement of receiving post with your name on it that isn't a bill!!

I discovered
Telegram Stop (over at Swiss Miss ) who have brought back the the good old paper communicating system - old fashioned telegrams. You can upload your message, see how it will look, pay a small fee, and they print and post your classic-style telegram to your nearest and dearest. Right, who's first on my list?

Tuesday, 7 September 2010


A week ago me a few girlfriends dined out at Caravan on Exmouth Market. It was a Friday and the restaurant was buzzing with people like me, desperate for a glass of wine and a catch up with friends to take your mind off the working week. The restaurant opened at the beginning of the year and has had some impressive reviews so far hence why it was so busy (we had to book a table ahead). However it was the formula of good location, simple decor, and good quality food for a decent price that did it for me! Favorite dishes around the table included: peppered tuna with broadbean and ginger vinaigrette, falafel with apple and pepper relish, tahini and corianer, and salt and sichuan pepper squid. Will I return? Yes please!

Monday, 6 September 2010

Introducing Miguel

I want to introduce you to my friend Miguel de Almeida and his blog West Coast Cooking which I've been following for some time now. When the weather is dull, and I'm sat at my desk at work staring at a screen of emails on a Monday morning, I often divert and log on to see what delights he has been cooking in his kitchen that weekend.

I had the pleasure of working with Miguel a few years ago at a design company in Marylebone. Yes, the very talented Miguel is also a designer as well as a cook (damn him!) and he combined the two skills together when he
wrote and designed his first cookery book last year which included British recipes with Portugese twist on them, very clever indeed!

We would talk about food (a lot), and our dreams of escaping office life. Let's hope we're both a little closer.

Inspiration for the Day

Just come across these lovely interior photos from the new Autumn/Winter 10 campaign from Day Birger et Mikkelsen. Love the grey/white/black/silver combination.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Somewhere in the middle of nowhere

We're going on holiday. It feels so good to be saying that. We've finally got round to booking a week away in November and I'm breathing a sigh of relief to know that I'll have a week of doing nothing. We're off to Snowdonia in Wales and have hired a cottage by a lake in the middle of nowhere. I'm picturing lots of country walks, pub lunches, sitting by the log fire in the cottage wrapped in a blanket with a hot chocolate in one hand and a book in the other, games of scrabble over a bottle of red wine. Yes, a week sitting by the pool in the blazing hot sun would have been lovely but what's wrong with the Welsh country air?! Waterproofs, wellies, and thermals, bring it on!! Of course I've already started making a list of clothing essentials for the trip - leg warmers, mittens, wellies, wooly socks...

already spotted this jumper from Howies / mittens and leg warmers from Plumo