Wonderful Wednesday 26

30 November 2016

Image found via Pinterest
So sorry for the lack of a post last week. Things got so busy at work - was running around all day on Tuesday, then there were problems on the tube in the evening so I couldn't get home until late (wasn't all bad - we decided to have a meal out while waiting for the issues to be fixed!) and so by the time I got home, there just simply wasn't time to sit down and write.

How is it already the end of November though?! This year has been stampeding by at quite a pace and now there are only a few weeks left!

Without further ado, here are a few happy snippets from last week (and slightly earlier, seeing as I missed last week's post).


♥ Catch-ups with old friends... I feel like I haven't done this in a long time as I've been working so late but one of my oldest friends phoned for a chat on Monday evening as I was on the train home. I have a long enough journey for a really satisfying chat and it was lovely, like no time at all had passed since we last spoke...as is always the way with the closest of friends.

In fact, this last week has involved lots of long-overdue catch ups over food (the best kind of catch up!) - pizza with some friends on Friday night and then some other friends came over to us for dinner on Saturday night. It was the perfect evening of good food, wine and conversation, when suddenly it's midnight and you've no idea how that came around so quickly. We've resolved not to leave it so long next time. This year has really run away with itself.

♥ Flowers from my mister... Look at these gorgeous roses, aren't they splendid?! Getting flowers from my B never fails to put a smile on my face...even when they're by way of an apology for beard hairs in the sink ;D

♥ Mother-daughter Saturday... I spent the whole day with my Mum the Saturday before last, most of it at the V&A actually and it was all kinds of super. We met at South Kensington station, which at 11am was already crowded with people, and went for coffee before heading to the V&A. Mum's a member and there were a few exhibitions we wanted to see - Undressed: a Brief History of Underwear and Opus Anglicanum: Masterpieces of English Medieval Embroidery. Now don't get me wrong, an underwear exhibition sounds like a particularly odd choice of exhibition to visit with your mother but it was more Victorian corsets than kinky nightmares. Such a fascinating exhibition and you wouldn't believe how eye-wateringly painful some of those corsets looked. My particular favourite item was a rather large pair of lace French knickers dating from the 1930s called, if I remember correctly, the 'riding knickers' as they were decorated with some intricate little horsemen in lace. They were my favourites because of the story behind them - the lady for whom they were made wore them in Baghdad when she was living there for a few years in the 1940s. She was with a group of ladies with whom she didn't share any common language and, in order to break the ice, she decided to whip up her skirts and show them her pants! Apparently it worked a treat, they all got on very well after that and showed her what they were wearing too. Good times all round.

So after a couple of hours in the exhibition, we popped to the members' room for lunch (members' privileges, very fancy!) before heading over to check out the medieval embroidery, which was just incredible. They are beautiful enough on their own, that's before you even stop to take in just how old they are. It's incredible how well they've survived.

We rounded off the day with some more tea and cake, and lots of chatting. She told me stories I'd never heard before, about Christmas with my grandparents when she was small. It's a day I'll look back on and treasure, a truly wonderful Saturday.

♥ Saturday Kitchen... For me, a Saturday morning o'dreams includes a leisurely breakfast (usually catching up with Wonderful Wednesdays) in front of Saturday Kitchen, then pottering around the kitchen and cleaning while it continues playing in the background - I find it very comforting. I was slightly bereft when James Martin left, particularly as some of the guest presenters haven't been great, but they seem to be opting for Matt Tebbutt more regularly and I think he's a great presenter - doesn't read off the autocue like a stilted robot, cooks mouth-wateringly good food and is able to do it while chatting to the guests, again in a non robot-like fashion. It was particularly necessary this week as Alan Davies tried to run roughshod over everyone in the studio - he was massively aggravating (stop talking over everyone!) but one good thing that came out of it (apart from a wonderful does of Jose Pizarro, who I adore) - there's going to be a Jonathan Creek Christmas special, and apparently a particularly spooky one at that! I love love love Jonathan Creek and I cannot wait to see it.

♥ Cosy Sundays... After a late night entertaining, a lovely lie-in was just what we both needed on Sunday morning, made extra special because I'd put freshly laundered bed sheets on the day before. I then curled up on the sofa for the best part of the morning in my PJs, with copious mugs of tea and my new issue of the Simple Things - that magazine seems to be perfectly timed to arrive during stressful periods each month, so needed! We then headed into town to look at the Christmas decorations before going to watch 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them', which I absolutely adored. It made me so nostalgic for the world of Harry Potter and I really need to make plans to go and visit the studio tour at some point soon, I can't believe I haven't done that yet!

Hope you're all having wonderful weeks so far - let me know what you've been up to!

♥ 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 - SallyMichelleHelenKateJoEmmaSamanthaKerri, LauraSarahPetaElLauraSarahMimmiJasmin and Martina - and then join me in counting down the days until the weekend. It's in sight! 

My Winter (okaaay primarily Christmas) To-Do List

20 November 2016

Found via Pinterest

I love this time of year more than any other time. As soon as the air gets colder, the evenings get darker earlier and I can dig out all of my woolly favourites, I start thinking about winter and the build up to Christmas. I love the lights in the trees and lining the streets, the songs, the food, spending time with friends and family, and the joyful expectation building as you get closer to the day itself. I'm hugely lucky to be surrounded by people I love at this time of year and all the excuses to get together and enjoy each other's company.

A few bloggers I follow made autumn to do lists/bucket lists, which I thought was a lovely idea but I never got round to sitting down and writing one. A winter to do list on the other hand, this practically wrote itself.

Found here

So here are some things that I want to do over the course of the next month and a half or so, before the end of the year and 2017 brings a whole new list of must-dos!

  • Ramp up the hygge this winter - cosy nights in with the mister, warming stews, festive treats (I haven't found any gluten free mince pies yet!) and candle light, in the absence of a roaring fire to cosy up beside- that will be for another year's list.
  • Decorate the Christmas tree and the house - probably a given but I'm also planning to make some homemade decorations (paper chains never go out of style, right?!) and find a wreath for the front door.
  • Go to a carol concert. 
  • Find some charitable activities to take part in.
  • Read 'A Christmas Carol'. I've watched about 800 adaptations of this but never actually read it myself.
  • Enjoy lots of mulled treats - cider, wine (and hopefully pick up some mulled Pimms that Samantha mentioned in her Wonderful Wednesday this week - is that a thing now?! I hope so!)
  • Take in some Christmas shop windows and Christmas lights. We saw John Lewis' Christmas windows on Oxford Street this afternoon and they of course didn't disappoint as they were themed around the Christmas advert - the hedgehog curled up into a little ball in a cocktail glass was a particular favourite...as well as the squirrels running away with some champers.
  • Do some Christmas baking (we're also planning to tackle some gluten free sausage rolls on Christmas Eve, watch this space - adventures in gluten free pastry are always interesting!)
  • Watch White Christmas, the Snowman, Love Actually, the Sound of Music and Home Alone - this list may increase as I remember other favourite Christmassy movies.
  • Go on a long London walk, stopping off for hot chocolate/mulled whatnot breaks and finishing with a roast of some description.
  • Plan a family Christmas get-together. (We've actually started planning this one already, I'm very excited!)
  • Try some roast chestnuts. I've never actually had these before but I've walked past so many people selling them in London in years past, thought they smelled delicious but didn't stop to try any. This year is the year!

What's on your winter/Christmas to-do list? Have I missed anything crucial on mine?! (I can't ice skate so that is definitely not on my list!)

Wonderful Wednesday 25

16 November 2016

Found here

I don't have a lot of introductory waffle this week, folks. Honestly, have been feeling slightly low so it took a little effort to focus on this post. So, without further ado, grab your tipple of choice and on with the cheer!


♥ Country Living Christmas Fair... Top of the list of All The Good Things this week is this Christmas Fair that I dragged the mister to on Sunday. My mother in law subscribes to Country Living magazine and I saw this advertised when I was ploughing through some of the recent issues when we last visited and my Christmas-loving heart wouldn't let me forget it. It was held in the Business Design Centre in Islington and there were three whole floors just bursting with Christmas cheer. We tasted some festive treats and partook of a few cheeky gin samples (including an amazing one flavoured with tea) and came away with some delicious salted caramel fudge and a rather fantastic cheese, which I've squirelled away with some port I'm saving for the Christmas period. I picked up some ideas for decorations and a few little treats for us. A lovely few hours were had decking the halls and mulling over (hee!) the festive possibilities.

♥ Quiet Saturdays... This Saturday I had no plans, absolutely nothing to do until meeting the mister and his friend for dinner (and they were out all day). I had a leisurely breakfast (catching up on Wonderful Wednesdays and finishing the last episode of the Crown - sob!), then cleaned to my heart's content before cosying up and starting to make a bumper pre-Christmas to-do list. I'm determined to get more organised this year and not be rushing around desperately the weekend before Christmas...we'll see how that goes.

♥ Bullet journalling... Linking on from the above, I've been enjoying using my bullet journal to get myself organised for the Christmas period. I have a page to jot down Christmas present ideas should they pop into my head (please please do!) and have set out the epic Christmas to-do list across a few pages...with some Christmassy doodlings for good measure.

♥ Serious adulting... *drum roll please* This week I finally paid off my professional loan! It has been the bane of my existence over the last (too many) years and a not so subtle reminder about how much education costs. Finally I should be able to even *gasp* start saving properly?!

♥ Christmas adverts... I may not be the only one to mention this this week but my goodness, have you seen John Lewis' Christmas advert?! Last year's really didn't grab me and I was hoping for something extra special this year, particularly after the year we're all having! They did not disappoint - it has everything a good JL advert should have - chintzy England scenes, cute animals and a heartwarming message. I laughed and bawled through my laughter. Perfect. The M&S advert is also good this year - a very glam Mrs Claus...I've also heard good things about the Waitrose advert but it's supposed to be a real tear jerker so I'm saving it up for when I don't have to be anywhere in particular - I get very blotchy when I cry!

Happiest of Wonderful Wednesdays to you all!

♥ 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 - SallyMichelleHelenKateJoEmmaSamanthaKerri, LauraSarahPetaElLauraSarahMimmiJasmin and Martina - and then join me in counting down the days until the weekend. It's in sight! 

Wonderful Wednesday 24

9 November 2016

The mornings are getting colder!

Back after a week's break! The reason for this break? Well, as well as working late most evenings (seriously, 10pm was a low), my mister was up in Edinburgh photographing a conference from Monday to late Thursday night (more like the early hours of Friday morning by the time he got home) and he brought my laptop with him as it's a little lighter than his. So although I could've typed up the whole post on my phone, which I have done before, I do like to edit it on the laptop so decided that taking a week off would be far less stressful!

It was odd not having him around though. I think that's the longest we've been apart since we moved in together and it was not fun! I firmly believe in separate interests and taking the time to socialise separately with your own friends, but as I was working late and that brought its own stresses not having the mister around for 4 straight days was tough. So that in and of itself is the first happy snippet of this week's Wonderful Wednesday! On to the rest of the cheer...


♥ Adorable neighbours... This one actually dates from the week before last - Halloween. I came home from work that evening to be greeted by the two little chaps below. Now I'm afraid, because I was home alone, I had made the decision to hide away from trick or treaters at the back of the house but I could still hear the doorbell ringing upstairs and the two little girls and their mum answering the door with treats on hand, and my neighbour each time letting her daughters know that the chocolates were not in fact for them but for the other children shivering on the doorstep. They are very young - valuable learning experience there!

I probably shouldn't mention the fact that at the time all this was going on, I'd put a pan of rice on to boil and walked away from it to do something important (*cough*watch Gilmore Girls*cough*), completely forgetting about it until the smell of smoke hit my nose. Thank goodness they were putting on distracting adorable amusement for me upstairs while I sat in the smoke-filled back room below, hiding from trick or treaters. (The rice, alas, didn't make it...hopefully the pan will live to cook another batch another day...I've been soaking it and finally remembered to buy some scouring pads today. Don't ever let me hear you say I don't bring the fun stories.)

♥ The Crown... Has anyone else started watching this on Netflix? Oh my goodness, I started watching it this weekend and I'm trying my best to ration it because I'm enjoying it so much and don't want it to be over too soon. It is absolutely stunning. I thought I might find it slightly bizarre, effectively watching a costume drama about people who are still alive but as none of the cast look particularly like who they're playing there's some distance there (thankfully, in the case of Matt Smith - hello to you Prince Phillip!) Beautiful, tragic, gripping, splendid stuff. A must watch.

Image found here

♥ Christmas Countdowns... I'm not going to lie, I'm excited about Christmas as soon as my birthday passes at the end of August but that's not something I feel like I can get publicly excited about. Now that both Halloween and Guy Fawkes night have passed, I'm sure it's ok. I popped into the Christmas floor at Liberty's with my brother on Saturday and started getting so excited about the festivities...even picking up two little nutcracker soldiers to add to our Christmas collection. I put one back at first because his beard was slightly dishevelled but then I thought that nobody would want him and that made me want him all the more - I adore him!

Now I've actively started making lists, booking a Christmas shopping delivery and looking at times for carol services. Christmaaaaas!

♥ Brotherly catch-ups... So, further to the above Liberty-based snippet, I spent Saturday catching up with my brother and enjoying a good ol' London day out. We met up in the British Museum for coffee and cake before visiting their Sunken Cities: Egypt's lost worlds exhibition. It's only on until 27th November but if you get the chance, you must. go. It focuses on two ancient Egyptian cities which were recently discovered submerged under the sea and the finds they've discovered (and are still unearthing). An absolutely magnificent exhibition and the British Museum is always good for a few hours (at least) of wandering.

We walked from there to Covent Garden, then in to Soho where after browsing some of the shops for a little while we popped to Bodeans for some American BBQ. Yums. We then met up with my brother's girlfriend and headed to the cinema. I call that a perfect Saturday, even if getting home was slightly marred by an Anonymous protest, which led to various streets being closed off, tube entrances shut in the vicinity of Trafalgar Square and a rather terrifying police presence. Harrumph.

♥ Classic FM on a cold evening... We've got into the habit over the last few nights of hooking the radio up to the speakers and blasting out some classical cosiness while having dinner. In fact, I'm still listening to it while writing this post. How very brainy of me.

♥ Minstrels... Last but by no means least, I discovered this weekend that Minstrels are gluten free and I've been making up for this knowledge ever since!

I hope you're all having wonderful weeks so far!

♥ 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 - SallyMichelleHelenKateJoEmmaSamanthaKerri, LauraSarahPetaElLauraSarahMimmiJasmin and Martina - and then join me in counting down the days until the weekend. It's in sight! 

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