Wonderful Wednesday 16

24 August 2016

A few weeks off from the Wonderful Wednesday but for fun reasons this time - holiday-prepping and then holiday-enjoying. It is NOT GOOD to be back (sob!) but we had such a fantastic break. We were in Ireland for a week - a family wedding to begin with, with some extra days tacked on for good measure. I come from a big Irish family but we rarely went back when I was young because it wasn't really a proper holiday for mum and dad, having to travel from relative to relative and without the chance to truly relax and do nothing. We went when I was about 7 years old and it's one of my favourite childhood memories, so I leaped at the chance to go back again this time.

I won't make this week's WW entirely Ireland-based because I want to do a catch-up post anyway (*cough* photo spam *cough*) but it may feature a couple of times below...

So without further ado, onto the WONDERFUL...

♥ Jilly Cooper... Granted, I'm discovering her fairly late in life but oh my goodness, I think I'm hooked. I stumbled across her recent interview on Desert Island Discs and, despite knowing nothing about her nor having read any of her novels, I was completely charmed by her - she came across as so warm, engaging and so so funny. I hadn't thought of picking up one of her books before thinking that they'd be a little too 'horsey' for me - that was never my scene. I downloaded 'Riders' onto my Kindle for our holiday. I didn't get the chance to read a lot during the holiday itself because we were so busy during the day and I just crashed as soon as we got into bed (all that fresh air!) but I managed to dive in during a few long car journeys, on the flight home and over the last weekend and I'm hooked. I don't want to put it down! Naughty, absorbing and deliciously funny. Hee!

♥ Sunflowers... When we arrived home on Friday evening, I had the post-holiday blues something dreadful. The prospect of an immense amount of laundry didn't really help, although my Saturday morning clean did make me a little chirpier (am I alone in feeling extra happy in a clean house, particularly when it's cleaned in good time so that you have the rest of the weekend to enjoy it in?) I decided to treat myself to some blooms and picked up a bunch of gorgeous cheerful sunflowers. They're blooming beautifully in a vase on our kitchen table and seeing them has raised my spirits when I've come home every evening this week.

♥ Risotto... Luckily for me, my mister is a fabulous cook and does most of the cooking chez nous. But there's one dish that I can do better than him, which is risotto - I think you need the patience to give it all of your attention for a good while! We had a friend over for lunch on Sunday and decided to make a mushroom risotto with a gorgeous fresh green salad. A perfect combination and, despite stressing that I would lose my risotto magic and it would be a burnt crunchy mess, it came together beautifully. 100 top wife points to me.

♥ Soft water... Alas, not something I'm enjoying now that I'm back in London but  it was such a wonderful novelty in Ireland! My hair has never felt so soft.

Shameless Ireland photo spam...

♥ Great British Bake Off... The new series starts this evening! Need I say more?!

♥ Hazel Mountain Chocolate... While out in the car exploring last week during our holiday, we followed signs for 'The Burren Chocolatier', which led us to the Hazel Mountain Chocolate shop and factory. We popped into the factory shop to begin with where we tasted different types of chocolate and then picked up a few bars to take home. After that we decided to pop into the little tea room for some tea and cake (I was particularly excited as everything was gluten free). I chose a pot if tea and a slice of the orange blossom carrot cake. Honestly, I think it's the best cake I've ever tasted and that is not a comment I make lightly. If you're in the area, coeliac or not, you must go!

They were also advertising an event which I would love to go to - Yoga Bean - an early morning yoga session, followed by a chocolate mediation and then a gluten free cacao breakfast. Sign me up!

I hope you've all had a splendid week so far and are taking the time to enjoy some of this amazing sunshine! If you've taken this week off work, well played!

♥ Do let me know what's made your week a little rosier by leaving me a comment below (I do love comments!) or dropping me a tweet (I'm @happygoluckycat) or better yet, why not join the fabulous bunch of #WonderfulWednesday bloggers? Pop over to their blogs for a dose of mid-week happiness - SallyMichelleHelenKateJoEmma, and the lovely Wonderful Wednesday newbies Samantha and Kerri - and then join me in counting down the days until the weekend. It's in sight! 


  1. Ireland is such a beautiful country and I hope to visit more of it one day! It's always good to add a few extra days on when you're already going somewhere, it's almost like you have to take the holiday since you're already there!

    I love a good clean house for the weekend, I like to get my cleaning done on a Friday (so today!) so it's all tidy to spend the weekend with the husband.

    Love your sunflowers, the perfect way to cheer up any house!

    Happy Friday and I hope you have a great weekend!

    ~ K

    1. That's exactly right - it almost encourages you to add on a few extra days! Ireland is wonderful, I think we're already planning our next trip.

      Glad I'm not the only one who likes a tidy house for the weekend - Friday though, you genius! I think if I didn't arrive home so knackered on a Friday evening I would do the same!

      C x

  2. Do you know, I don't think I've ever read any Jilly Cooper but I like her very much, I've seen her interviewed and actually went to a literary festival (what what what) she spoke at. I need to get onto some of those books, pronto.

    Can't wait to hear all about Ireland, it's high up my list of ridiculously close places I haven't been to yet. Sigh.
    Have a great rest of the week, hope those sunflowers last.
    M x

    1. My goodness, I would love to see her being interviewed...that must have been heaps of fun! Just finished Riders over the weekend and I wholeheartedly recommend it - was really sad to finish it!

      Tell me about it, my list of places I want to visit is as long as my arm. Ireland is very close though so definitely no excuses! Working on my huge amount of photos at the moment so a post will come...

      Hope you've had a wonderful bank holiday weekend x

  3. Oh thank goodness for the Bake Off! I'm so glad it's back! That chocolatier sounds incredible too! x

    1. I know, I'll be counting down to the next episode every week! x

  4. I absolutely love salt water, it always makes me feel amazing so I understand why you would feel sad to leave it.

    Glad to hear that you had a lovely holiday, I've never been to Ireland but it's definitely on my list of places to visit.

    That cake looks amazing btw!

    S x


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