Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Wonderful Wednesday 05

Five Wonderful Wednesdays in a row! I feel so proud.

Seriously though, this week I need a little dose of the Wonderful Wednesdays. I'm sitting typing this on Tuesday evening and today has been looong. Heaps to do combined with a surprise lunch time webinar left me with a thumping headache by about 4pm. I need to pop out for some fresh air at lunch time or the day just feels ten times longer!

Although, if I had popped out at lunchtime today, I'd probably have been caught in the sudden snow flurry that I spotted out of the window. Snow?! It's the end of April! Thank goodness I've ordered a new bobble hat - May, I'm ready for you!

So without further ado, here are a few things that have put a spring in my step over the last week:

♥ New issue of the Simple Things... The mister bought me a subscription to this wonderful dose of monthly cosy for Valentine's and the newest issue dropped through the door last week. I was so excited to see that my little snap of last month's new issue was featured in their 'where do you read yours?' section! Seeing the photo brought back wonderful memories of when the photo was taken too - curled up in my mother in law's conservatory, sipping tea and looking out at her beautiful garden during the Easter holidays. A real reminder of lovely times with family.


♥ Yoga... Don't hate me, guys. I got up on Sunday morning and did half an hour of yoga before breakfast. Then, over the last few days, I've hopped straight onto my yoga mat when I get home to do a quick session before dinner. I'm feeling really good about it, if slightly achy too. There's a website called Yoga With Adriene and she has lots of great sessions which are free on YouTube - including an energising morning session, a relaxing bedtime session and one for anxiety and stress, which may get a regular airing! Don't worry though, I haven't gone full zen just yet...I may have been spotted less than an hour later on Monday evening eating Nutella from the jar with a spoon. Totally earned that Nutella though.

♥ Barbican Saturdays... The mister and I had a fantastic day on Saturday in and around Farringdon/Barbican. We love going back to Farringdon anyway because it's where we got married, in a beautiful little old church, and so being back in that area always brings back such good memories, including the constant wish to be guests in the fabulous little boutique hotel we stayed at on our wedding night. This Saturday we went to a superb photography exhibition at the Barbican - Strange and Familiar: Britain as Revealed by International Photographers - an array of snapshots of Britain captured by some great international photographers. Some of the subject matter was wonderfully familiar, other images were of a Britain I've read and thought about but never seen before, but all somehow recognisable. We spent a glorious few hours wandering around looking at all the images and I discovered some new photographers that I'd never heard of before, amongst the work of Cartier-Bresson and Robert Frank that I know and love. If you're in London, definitely check it out.

♥ New series of Game of Thrones... Do you watch it?! Wasn't it good?! I'm so excited that it's back at last and if the first episode is anything to go by, the series is going to be a great one.

♥ My little herbs...are starting to show some little shoots! The basil in particular - there are green shoots popping up all over the pot. On Tuesday we spotted one lone little shoot in the chives pot. No sign of any parsley shoots just yet but the seeds have only been planted a week so it's still early days...not that it stops me anxiously examining every little inch of the soil when I come home from work each evening. It's so exciting to spot the little shoots!

♥ My new bobble hat! If you read this post, you'll know that my fringe has remained firmly pinned back over the last week to try to avoid the frizz. I had a particularly cold forehead walking home this evening. I decided to order a new bobble hat over the weekend because it's the only full-proof solution I have to frizzy hair and it arrived today! I'm ready for you, summer!

New hat!
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 Kate - and then join me in counting down the days until the weekend. It's in sight!

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Hair woe.

Should I?!
Link found here.
I think we've only noticed one casualty from moving house over the last few weeks - an old red bobble hat. You might think that that means a move well-done but you would be very wrong! Let me take you back a few years...

Is anyone ever truly happy with their hair? Ever since I can remember having to tackle it myself, I've never been able to manage it! It's not straight all over, not curly all over, just both of those in places with an overall dose of frizzy. I suppose growing up I didn't take that into account and have had a wealth of ill-advised hairstyles - I went through a huge George from the Famous Five phase when I was about 12 and cropped it short like a boy, which was fine when it was short but then growing it out was a nightmare. It grew out in all directions, for what felt like an interminable age, and for some reason I thought pairing it with an elasticated alice band was a good look. It wasn't. I had the Rachel cut when that was THE haircut to have. Fab when styled by the hairdresser but without hair straighteners, it led to more huge hair days than I like to recall. I thank everything holy that Facebook and Instagram weren't around when I was a teenager.

Do not get me started on how lucky teenagers are nowadays to have hair straighteners. I remember getting my first pair at university and the hair possibilities were suddenly endless - I could have a smooth bob! (I've never been able to manage the same effect with a hair dryer.)

But even the hair straighteners are no match for my mortal enemy - rain. In fact, it doesn't even need to be raining, just the merest hint of damp in the air and my hair starts to frizz, my fringe in particular. It's a constant battle! I've tried lots of products in the past to try to stop that from happening but they range from doing nothing at all to giving me limp greasy locks, which somehow still frizz! The only thing that's worked has been covering it up with my trusty bobble hat on the way to and from work! If I tuck my fringe underneath, I'll get into work and shake it free, and feel like I'm ready to tackle my day.

Jess from New Girl...fringe inspiration.
Image found here
Now that the first part of my journey into work involves a walk through a park, which is lovely, but the morning dew goes straight to my roots, I've taken to clipping back my fringe over the course of the last week. I can't keep doing that though - I'm not me without my fringe! So yesterday, I ordered a new bobble hat. New house, new hat!

So come on folks, I'm appealing to your hair genius here! Is there anything you've found that works to repel hair frizz? Should I just stop being lazy and learn to master the hairdryer rather than relying on my straighteners and burning my hair every morning? Am I destined to wear a bobble hat every morning until retirement? Send me your tips!

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Wonderful Wednesday 04

A floral treat!
Wow, how can it be Wednesday again already? This last week has flown by, which is what's
happening with this year too...it's mid April already! This time last week I wasn't feeling quite so perky - back to work after two days off, and somehow those three days at work felt at least a fortnight long. Why does a shorter working week after some time off always drag so?!

This week is scurrying along though and there are a couple of three day weekends in sight in May! So without further ado, here are a few things that have been fab over the last week:

Cod, chorizo and chickpeas, oh my!
♥ Housewarming gifts... We've been so spoiled since moving house and it's all been completely unexpected! Lots of wonderful 'happy new home' cards have arrived in the post over the course of the last week and one of my lovely work buddies surprised me with some flowers on the train into work.

Our friend B (who reads this blog - hello!) came to visit on Saturday carrying a heavy bag with an intriguing-looking wrapped gift inside. The mister hauled it up a nearby hill that we needed to traverse in order to reach the pub we were planning to visit. We then excitedly opened the box to reveal a gorgeous cast iron enamel casserole dish - it's stunning, something to treasure and play an important role in many meals over the years to come. In fact, the mister used it that very evening when he made a delicious meal of roasted cod, with chickpeas, chorizo and coriander. Such a fantastic day - good times with good friends.

Then yesterday, when I got home from work, I found an Amazon parcel sitting waiting for us from my aunt. She'd treated us to a lovely little set of grow your own herbs, which I've arranged on our kitchen windowsill. I'm watering them morning and evening, and anxiously watching out for some little green shoots to appear. All being well, we should have our own basil, parsley and chives to add to all manner of delicious treats this summer!

♥ Ikea... The mister and I made a trip to Ikea on Sunday to check out some potential new items for the new flat (wardrobes, chests of drawers and bookcases, in case you were wondering). We made a little list of some other items we needed and swore we'd stick to it rather than running through the marketplace flinging items liberally into our yellow bags. I'm not going to lie, the mister was pretty miserable at the thought of spending a sunny Sunday trawling the hallowed halls but somehow we managed to make it enjoyable and even managed to stick to our list...apart from two candles and a big bag of mini Dime* bars. *cough* Man, they're good.


♥ The Masked City... I am BEYOND excited about this book. I devoured the first book in this series, called 'The Invisible Library' over the course of a few days - it centres around a junior librarian/spy called Irene (just reading those words made me download it) who works for the Invisible Library, which is a mysterious place which exists between parallel worlds and contains copies of all books ever-written from every world...and where it doesn't hold a book it sends its librarians out on secret, often danger-filled quests to obtain them. Irene is on such a quest in a parallel universe- Victorian London. My wee blurb in no way does it justice but I really don't want to give anything away, just read it! What I can say is that it was 800 different kinds of superlatives and I was really excited to discover that the second book in the series is out (and a third will be released before Christmas!) I'm trying to savour it but it's so hard!

♥ Cooking in our new kitchen... I'm loving having the space to cook alongside the mister as well as getting home in time to help with the cooking, rather than coming back just in time to shovel some food in before collapsing on the sofa and then scraping myself off it and dragging myself to bed.

♥ Wool...! After mentioning in this post that I'm hoping to try crochet, I've been doing some research and the lovely Jo was kind enough to give me some pointers about where to start in terms of wool and hooks. I've ordered some and am really excited to start crocheting my very first granny square, hopefully this weekend - my wool has arrived already and I'm tracking the hooks, which are also on their way. I hope it's easier than it looks!

♥ This llama... The mister sent me this picture last week when I was having a low day. An instant happiness fix in an orange scarf! Happy Wednesday all!



*now branded Daim - is that a new thing, or just an Ikea-Dime thing??


♥ 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 Kate, who joined the group last week - and then join me in counting down the days until the weekend. It's in sight! 

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Wonderful Wednesday 03

Beautiful blossom on our new street.
I’m sitting here at the kitchen table in our new kitchen writing this week’s Wonderful Wednesday and I’m really feeling the wonderful now that we’re all moved in, it’s such a fantastic feeling! We don’t actually have Internet as I write this introduction (Sunday) but hopefully we’ll be connected before Wednesday as I continue to update this and to enable me to post it with ease.

Moving day went smoothly, although having to saw our bed in half was a low point. It was the only way to get the bed out of our flat though and, while my mister and brother went ahead with the removal van, my dad and I made a hasty visit to B&Q en route to the new flat. The combined expertise of my mister and my dad means our bed lives another day. Success!

So on that joyful note, here are some of the other things that have been making my heart sing over the course of the last week since we last spoke. Looking back over it, this week’s Wonderful Wednesday is sponsored by moving house, the ‘removal edit’, if you will.

♥ My family… My word, the family really pulled out all the stops to help us with the move. My dad came with us on the Friday for the check in, bringing lots of fragile items in the car with us.  He then came along bright and early on Saturday with my brother to help with the proper move, and we really couldn’t have done it all so quickly without them.  Dad also brought along his circular saw to help with bed-gate, which I’m sure the girls living above us weren’t so grateful for. Couldn’t have done it without them. The mister also had a little man-moment working alongside my dad, which brought back memories of helping his granddad. Good times all round.

♥ Tea… I love this any day of the week but it has really helped over the course of the last week. Feeling exhausted first thing in the morning? Tea. A little blue and anxious about leaving an area which you know really well, thoughts which always seem that little bit worse before you go to sleep? Tea.  Exhausted from carting boxes around? Tea, perhaps with a wee spoonful of sugar.  Waited in all day for BT only to discover that they were never planning to come? Have a cup of tea, you’ll be right soon enough. Perhaps a cheeky biscuit too – stem ginger is a good option.

♥ Random pieces of encouragement... Yesterday, the mister and I went back to our old flat for the final time to give it a last clean and to check out with the managing agent. If you've read my most recent post, you'll know that I'm struggling with some feelings of homesickness at the moment and just making the journey back on Tuesday made me have a bit of a bawl. I pulled myself together, we did everything we needed to do in the flat and we had a spot of lunch before heading back to the tube station, where I saw this quote written on the sign board. It was just so wonderfully apt, as if the world was giving me a little pat on the back and encouraging me to look forward rather than backwards.

♥ Schar’s gluten free brioche rolls… As a fairly recently diagnosed coeliac, there are a number of gluteny foods I miss and brioche is high up on that list. When the mister and I were on honeymoon in Sicily last year, they brought me a plate full of gluten-free goodies each morning at breakfast (top tip – Italy is ACE for people on a gluten free diet) and it’s where I first tried these brioche rolls. They are delicious little treats and I had one every morning with some Nutella (goodbye pre-wedding diet!) I spotted some in our local supermarket this week and fell upon them and have been re-living this part of my honeymoon breakfasts while having a few days off work this week – the only thing missing is an amazing caprese salad.

♥ A few days off work... Granted, these few days have been massively busy but my word, it has been lovely to have a few lie-ins, do some reading, go for a few walks and just potter. 

♥ Our new flat... Last but not least, our lovely new flat. I love doing the washing up at our new sink looking out at the garden, listening to the radio and feeling very peaceful. We have big plans for the spare room, which at the moment is full of boxes but it's fab to be able to move them out of sight for the time being! We're luxuriating in all the space right now and going back to the old place to check out made us wonder how we'd stayed there so long - and that was even seeing it empty! I'm so excited about all the new experiences we're going to have and memories we'll make in this new flat.

So those were the highlights from my week, what have been yours?

♥ I hope you've all had a wonderful week. 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 - Sally, Michelle, Helen, Kate, Jo, Emma and another Kate, who joined the group last week - and then join me in counting down the days until the weekend. It's in sight, folks! 

Monday, 11 April 2016

Some musings on homesickness...

Homesickness is a funny old thing, isn’t it? It kicked in for me on Saturday morning, before we’d even moved out and waves of it keep washing over me at sporadic moments. I feel stupid just thinking it, it’s not like we’ve moved far away…we’re still in London for goodness sake…but anyone who knows London will know how different each area is and it almost feels as if we’ve moved to an entirely new town.

We’ve known we needed a change from our old place for a while – it was tiny, for one thing, people often said that if a relationship could survive in such a small place, we’d be fine. I’ve talked about my commute being horrendous before but it really really was – almost two hours and four trains each way, I was exhausted all the time. It was a fantastic area but expensive – a bustling high street and lots of amazing bars, cafés and restaurants all just inviting you to spend lots of money.

Our new flat is closer to my office (my journey has magically decreased to about 35 minutes and only one train!), more spacious and in a more suburby area – lots of families around and really peaceful (no buses roaring past our window every few minutes). We want to spend more time at home and this place will let us do that, which is what we both want but my brain is just fighting that at the moment.  I don’t think it’s unnatural to miss somewhere you know really well and have lived for almost four years – it was our first little home together too.

But I really don’t want my first post in our new place to be all blue because I’m not at all, so I thought I’d share some of the things that I’m looking forward to doing in our new little home.

Yoga…well exercise generally
I used to go to a yoga class with my mum when I lived at home, then with a friend near our old place (until she put her back out – the teacher wasn’t great and this really put us both off!) I miss it. I don’t enjoy a lot of sports (yoga and swimming only really) but know that I need to do something and this is an exercise I can do in the sitting room without having to venture out and show the world how unfit I am.

Plan our wedding album
We’ll have been married a year in September and we still haven’t got together an album of our photographs! (Please tell me that that’s not unusual!) I spent hours poring over our photos when our photographer first sent them to us but then got really bored of our faces and put them away, after popping a favourite one in a frame in our bedroom. I don’t want them all over the house but I do want to put together an album to illustrate each moment of such an amazing day. I may be biased but our photographer was ace too and it would be a shame not to show off those images!

Gardening
I know I’ve talked about this before – the wee garden was one of the things that most excited me about our new home. We have a few earthy patches and I’m going to turn one into a vegetable patch – I’m thinking beetroot, tomatoes, courgettes and perhaps some beans to begin with…

The garden itself is exciting too – after some early rain on Saturday,  the sun shone gloriously and we dragged some chairs outside to bask in it with a cup of tea and a biscuit, taking a break from moving the boxes around. It was blissful.

Crochet
This is a new one, but something I’ve been thinking I’d like to try. I’ve tried knitting but never seem to be able to keep it up – is crochet a little easier?! To tell the truth, it was this post from Jo (one of the fab Wonderful Wednesday crew) that really kicked this little wish into more of a tangible aspiration. I love the idea of making one of these ‘patchwork-style’ blankets. Tips from keen crocheters would be gratefully received – is this something I’ll be able to pick up with the help of a few YouTube tutorials?



So yes, new home, new start. It’s exciting! Away, homesickness!

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Wonderful Wednesday 02

Love this quote. Found here.

I thought it might be the case that my posts for the next few weeks might just be a wave of Wonderful Wednesdays...it's packing packing packing at the moment  chez happygoluckyville and will be followed swiftly next week by unpacking unpacking unpacking at nouveau happygoluckyville. That's partly why I joined this happy little group, I wanted to make sure I'm looking for the positives when life itself is just that little bit stressful and also to make sure I keep posting and not just disappear! I'm finishing this off on Tuesday evening after a not great day and it's not so easy to focus on the happy but it is doing me a world of good.

Next week's post might be tricky - we're supposed to have a seamless transition with our Internet though...so here's hoping!

But that's a week ahead. Here are some of the things that have provided rosy moments over the last week:

♥ Walkers Shortbread! I picked some up in Norwich over the Easter weekend when I excitedly spotted some of the gluten free chocolate chip variety. We actually managed not to break into them immediately but saved them for the weekend as a post-packing treat and enjoyed them with lots of mugs of tea and a little bit of the below...

♥ Jonathan Creek marathons. Did you know that Netflix has all the old episodes of Jonathan Creek?! I know it's cheesy and looks surprisingly dated in places now but I find this series massively cosy and comforting. I've watched most of them so many times now that I know exactly what's going to happen but that in no way limits my enjoyment.

Found here
♥ Adam and Joe...more particularly the Adam and Joe 6 music podcasts. I have loved Adam and
Joe since I was in my teens and watching the Adam and Joe show felt like I'd stumbled across something grown up and naughty. Our packing over the last few days has been to a soundtrack of their old BBC 6 music podcasts, which have kept us laughing even though we've both heard them quite a few times before. There's a special magic when those two chaps get together and ramble on for an hour or so. I particularly love it when they both can't stop laughing and Adam's wheezing in the background. Adam has a new podcast where he chats with various different people, which is also great - there are a couple of episodes which are particularly worth listening too - Joe's, obviously, a brilliant one with Caitlin Moran and a couple of hilarious chats with Louis Theroux (the one about raiding a hotel buffet is stomach hurtingly-amazing).

Also, fact fans, I spotted an Adam and Joe DVD on husband's shelf when I first stayed over at his place (way back when) and I knew right then that he was a good'un...also a Spaced boxset. Good signs both.

♥ Homemade stew...my mister's homemade stew. I'm really lucky - I work a long day and my current commute adds a couple of hours to each end of that day but I come home each evening to dinner cooked by my mister. His chorizo and bean stew is one of my absolute favourites and that was bubbling away on the hob when I got home on Monday - I could smell it cooking as I walked up the stairs. He usually makes enough to last a few nights so it's probably a good thing I enjoy it so much. Seriously, a bowl of that with some rice on the side and I am happy happy happy on a chilly evening. Mmm!

♥ This tree...is it a magnolia? It's in the church yard near to my office and it's so beautiful. It's been
showing signs of blossoming over the last few weeks and now it's really starting to bloom. The blossoms and blue skies this lunchtime did help to lift my spirits. It's so important to just keep breathing, get some fresh air and take things one day at a time.

What have been your highlights this week? Do let me know in the comments or drop me a tweet - I'm @happygoluckycat.


♥ If you've enjoyed this post and are looking for more happiness at this mid-way point in the week, pay a visit to the other members of the Wonderful Wednesday gang - Sally, Michelle, Helen, Kate, Jo and Emma (who joined last week like me - yay!). How about joining in the fun too? Do let me know if you decide to and send me a link to your little dose of happy!