Weekly Happiness

Weekly Happiness: #5

So, how has your week been? 

I must say, I've been really enjoying my nights in front of the TV. The latest series of Call the Midwife and the new adaptation of John Le Carre's The Night Manager have ensured my bottom has been rooted firmly to the sofa with knitting and a cup of tea in hand.

Much to the neglect of my best attempts to get back into a regular reading routine (sigh...) I've also been re-watching some of my favourite TV shows and films whilst working on my knitting projects. I know it's very, very sad but I'll never become bored of watching the Harry Potter films or The West Wing. Likewise, I think listening to Stephen Fry read the HP audiobooks will always be my number 1 recommended cure for insomnia - his voice is so relaxing.

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  1. I'm really pleased with how this homemade Foccacia turned out: I made the dough in my bread machine, then baked it in the oven with sea salt & rosemary. The resulting italian sandwiches were amazing! | 2. One of those rare occasions on which I managed to take a selfie that I actually liked. | 3. My Chance of Snow cardigan is coming along really well - I can't wait to finish it and show it to you! | 4. I tried Thai food for the first time whilst lunching with my colleagues at Suk Saran. This was Black Pepper Beef - very nice but nothing too amazing. | 5. Sorting out the sock yarn scraps for my blanket. It's going to be colourful for sure! | 6. Honestly, these are the best green olives I've ever tasted - I polished off a whole pack in one sitting! You can pick them up at Abel & Cole or Waitrose. 

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Weekly Happiness: #4

The temperature here in London seems to have risen, and, thank goodness, it is now comparatively comfortable to walk to work.  I suspect it will get cooler again soon, but I'm hoping we won't see any snow this year. If we ever get any here in the UK, it usually arrives in February so I guess there's still plenty of time. Nonetheless, I've still been focusing on keeping healthy, and it's a lot easier when the weather doesn't encourage you to take the bus everywhere rather than to walk. Equally, I find it easier to eat better food when the temperature isn't below freezing...

image from farm2.staticflickr.com 1. Sometimes, when you get in from work, nothing beats a steaming mug of Whittards Luxury Hot Chocolate in my personalised Emma Bridgewater mug. | 2. Work this week has been tough, as I've been dealing with a bad back and an extra large workload. Knowing this, my Mum has been texting me pictures of my cats. Here's a morning portrait of Eddie. | 3. I've really been trying to improve my desk lunches and this salad with Slow Roasted Tomato, Cabbage, Kale and Brown rice was particularly tasty. | 4. I don't have Chocolate cravings very often but when one hit me this week, these Chocolate Ganache Brownies (made with store cupboard ingredients) were the perfect solution. | 5. When a stray aubergine made its way into my fridge, I tried out Caponata - a Sicilian Aubergine stew. It was particularly good with cous cous for lunch the next day. | 6.  My usual pay day treat: a Lush bubble bar. This one was called Blue Skies and Fluffy White Clouds

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Weekly Happiness: #3

In this Weekly Happiness post, things are largely still all about staying cosy and comfortable at home. Over the weekend, quite a few areas of UK saw snowfall and there has been a drastic drop in temperature that everyone seems to be feeling.Where I live, in SW London, we escaped anything settling. There were a few flakes on the roofs but nothing on the ground. I'm both grateful - because I have to walk to work each day - and annoyed because, at heart, the sight of snow still excites me as if I were a young child still.  

There is one distinct change that will start to show in my future posts though; I've been tweaking my eating since the New Year came in. More veggies are now being included in my diet, fewer starchy carbs, less sugar and I've excluded processed foods. So far, I'm finding that this approach is working. Since 1st January I've lost 5lbs. I've included a few shots of the kinds of meals I've been eating recently in this week's collages. Never fear, though; I intend to keep posting a regular food doses of the less healthy variety (everything in balance). My new eating philosophy is geared more towards knowing what I'm eating and not eating anything that contains artificial ingredients I can't pronounce the names of. So, cake? Yeah, I'll still eat the odd bit cake providing I know what has gone into it.  

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  1. To help inspire my dietary changes, I've been flicking through the cookbooks I acquired for Christmas: Simply Nigella, Mr Todiwala's Bombay, Miss Dahl's Voluptuous Delights (technically not new), Hemsley & Hemsley, Comfort Food and Everyday Superfood by Jamie Oliver. | 2. Apple & Cinnamon porridge is one of my favourite everyday breakfasts this winter. Yum! | 3. The winter sky over SW London as I prepared to leave for work earlier this week. | 4. Because I'm weird about eating cheese, I'd never really tried Halloumi until a friend cooked some and insisted I taste it. It's awesome - probably my favourite cheese! | 5. I gave into the purchase of discount sock yarn. Sigh. | 6. Doing Saturday brunch properly: with fresh blueberry pancakes & lashings of maple syrup. Nom.

 

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Weekly Happiness: #2

Oooh, welcome to my first post of 2016! 

While I'd love to say that it is filled with loads of exciting things I've been up to over the last three days, my life sadly isn't that exciting. For me, the first three days of 2016 have been dedicated to a lovely slow wind down in anticipation of my return to work on Monday. Keeping with that theme, in this post I've included some of the favourite moments from my Christmas holiday along with the blog posts and articles that have caught my attention whilst I've been spreadeagled on the sofa in a festive food coma.... 

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  1. My friend Alex took me on 'behind the scenes' tour of Lincoln Cathedral | 2. One of our Christmas Day dishes was a Roast Cockerel, which played second fiddle to a Beef Wellington. | 3. I made Nigella's Coca Cola Ham for the first time - and I was lucky enough to receive a like & comment from her over on Instagram! | 4. My mother's poinsettia, in full bloom, was a glorious addition to the Christmas decorations. | 5. I managed to get Eddie, my fat ginger Maine Coon, to pose in a Santa hat. It didn't last long, as you may be able to tell from his expression! | 6. Playing around with my prime lens, I really loved this bokeh shot I took of the Christmas tree lights. 

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Weekly Happiness: #1

Seasons Greetings!

With only five days until the big day, it's completely natural that Christmas is everywhere you look at the moment. Here in London, the streets and public transport are busier than ever as shoppers hustle to buy things in time. To be truthful, it's both incredible and highly stressful in Central London at the moment. For the most part I've tried to keep away from the chaos of Christmas party season by nestling up with a blanket, books and cups of tea on the sofa in my apartment.

I've been doing my best to get into the festive spirit by filling my weekends with old Christmas films such as my all-time favourite, A Muppets Christmas Carol, as well as some baking and gift knitting. As a result of this immersive seasonal behaviour, my first Weekly Happiness post will be fit to bursting with festive cheer.

Scroll on down to revel in the amazing colours and pleasures that this time of year has brought my way....

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  1. I'm now onto my second of these wonderful reusable bubble bars from Lush. | 2. I don't have a Christmas tree but I really love getting lost in red & gold theme on my boyfriends grandmothers. | 3. Sometimes all you need is a chilled glass of bubbles and a steaming hot bubble bath. The Nyetimber Classic CuvĂ©e I'm holding was a great find by Alec. | 4. I'm super excited to start using my new blog planner in the new year. | 5. Back in October, I made my own mincemeat. I'm looking forward to feedback! | 6. Winter plants bring in such jolly bursts of colour this time of year.

 

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