Life lately....

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

After last week and Easter were a complete write off (in summary-no work/vomiting child/no sleep/blue planet at 3am continuously), I was determined to enjoy the weekend!

Thursday- My day aka Mummy and Ophelia day.   It started well (aka without pre 7am vomit), with us walking all the way to the park in the glorius sunshine.  Post park, we popped to the park cafe at 10am at which point I feel it is necessary to mention how we had to sit in the shade because it was so hot! I had my first cold coffee of the year, bounty and peanut butter anyone?! Ophelia actually ate some real life food (she hadn't prior due to illness) and then we headed to my Sister's to see the puppies and hang out with my Mother.  Ophelia started to become unwell again so I used the carrier to walk to the shops with her.  She was being so strange and definitely not herself; very quiet and listless.  I spontaneously met my friend for coffee last minute and she gave me the most gorgeous Birthday present (a bracelet with Ophelia's date of birth in roman numerals-I adore it). 

Friday- Unfortunately Ophelia was still unwell so all plans were on hold!

Saturday- We had a really productive morning, I swear productive Saturdays always make me feel pumped for the weekend and give me a power up of energy! We did the food shop, tended to the garden, hung the washing on the line for the first time this year (hurray) and blitzed the house.
 

Sunday-  Sunday began with Ophelia keen to get outside on her trike, who can blame her though when the sun was shining so very brightly.  It continued to do so, as we headed to Shoreham to meet Callum's family and walk around the park.  Ophelia loves parks just for the fact she can point out birds/dogs/aeroplanes (?!) and/or chase them.  On this occasion she was just laughing to herself the whole way round-was slightly baffling but hey, gotta love a bitta toddler laughter! We stopped for lunch, cake and coffee at the cafe which was really very nice! Ophelia's Grandma gave her two chicks and a sticker book, both of which have gone down extremely well! Ophelia loves her baby cousin so spent the majority of the time trying to force one of the chicks into the baby's hand/face or holding her hand! So, so sweet.  We spent the rest of the day watching football in between popping out in the garden with Ophelia or on her trike.



Monday- I had visits in Uckfield so decided to work from the library hub in between, which also led to me discovering a new favourite cafe, Hartfields produce store.  I managed to grab ten minutes to find two caches before going on my other visit.  It led me to discovering new things including a park and a gorgeous church.
Tuesday-Again managed to take ten minutes out to do some geocaching, it was such a beautiful cloudless day and thanks to Geocaching and taking time out, I ate my lunch at Saltdean lido green which was really peaceful.




Linking up with Hannah's The Week That Was


WELLBEING: Your Hour

Ciderwithsophie Your Hour

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram you may have noticed me using the hashtag Your Hour and wondered what the blinkin' heck that's about.  Else, the more likely thing you're thinking is, #whocares? If so, soz but i'm about to bore the heck out of you....maybe click on the big red cross up ^. 
I' m not sure about you, but I am absolutely terrible at taking lunch breaks, I always have been and I think I always will be.  I find it incredibly difficult to just step away from my ridiculously unmanageable "To Do" list in order to purposely do something non work related. The worst thing is that I also recognise how easily my concentration and work productivity burns out without the mental break.  It turns out i'm not the only one, after a bit of google searching, I discovered a few interesting articles on the topic- and the general jist is:LUNCH BREAK=GOOD.  

I'm just going to throw some stat-like-shapes your way-

  • According to new research from Bupa, over six million UK employees are chained to their desks as just three in 10 (30 per cent) take a lunch hour.
  • UK companies are losing close to £50million a day in lost productivity as workers fail to take a lunch break.
This week, I subconsciously started taking those lunch breaks, not only that, but using them how they should be used-to maintain my wellbeing.  This all happened by sheer coincidence when the library I was working in closed for their lunch, which left me with a few minutes spare before my next client visit.  Usually in these situations I would just be early to my appointment but something stopped me on this day and I instead thought I'd have a quick look for any local Geocaches.  It was only a ten minute break, but this ten minute break did more things for my wellbeing than I thought possible! I have been taking some sort of break from my desk every day since.  Yes okay that's only three days, but it's a start!

So i've decided to start my own campaign called "Your Hour", to document taking some time* to myself in some shape or form.  Please let me know if you want to do the same and of course use the hashtag!

I'd love to know how you spend your lunchbreak, or just your "you" time :)


Feel free to add any links below (if it works!) *It's unlikely i'll ever take a whole hour, but it's the principle that matters!

Inspiration:

Friday, 3 April 2015

Inspiration, for me comes from the most random of places.  Sometimes predictable, sometimes not.  Sometimes immediate, sometimes it creeps up like a shadow and stays for days or equally hides in the shadows for months. I guess that's what I love and loathe about it.

As I get older (i'm 30 now innit. OLD!), I find i'm becoming more and more aware of myself, how I "tick" (yuck cliche but true) and what gets me through life.   One of those things, is inspiration.  I thrive off learning and ideas and dreaming, it keeps me pushing, hoping and wishing for the future. 

This week i've felt high levels of inspiration and wanted to note it down, because the feeling it has left me with emotionally is truly (at this point) untenable and I want to make sure I remember that feeling.

The highest point of inspiration and feel good vibes came from one of my clients I met this week.  A couple; the lady with multiple sclerosis and a publisher in a previous life, the husband having just built a timber extension using his skills from his days teaching at RADA and building hippos for the river.  Him, travelling the world, her dropping her successful career to follow him. 

As I walked into their home, one side of which were lambs with their ewes, and the other ducks in the private lake, I felt tranquillity like no other.   I am the kind of person who has to consciously quiet their inner workers, make an effort to wind down and stop.  But walking into their home did it instantaneously.  It reminded me about what impact just our vibe can have on others, and how important that can be to the domino effect. 

The more I switch off from phones and the internet, the happier I seem to become.  The internet and this blog used to be my solice, but recently this has switched to other things.  Mainly a return to music being at my core.  I've fallen back in love with music. Hard. I listen to it before I fall asleep, in the car and we dance to it as a family when we get in from work.

 This post is mostly just a brain dump, so i'll leave you with this...


 

Review: Baker days Easter cake!

Thursday, 26 March 2015

When Baker days got in contact with me asking if I wanted cake delivered to my door, of course I had to politely decline......NOT!!! I mean come on, cake? To. Your. Front.Door.  I'm not sure life gets much sweeter than that (quite literally too!).

I have to admit though, I was both intrigued and skeptical.  Cake+post surely =

But no, oh no no no! By some crazy miracle, the cake dropped through my letterbox and lives to tell the tale (albeit with somewhat of a headache).
It turns out, that if you want anything to survive our postal service, you need to put it in a tin, holed cake tin- a pretty one at that! I couldn't believe it when I got home and saw the package on my rug, because I was convinced I would, at the very least have a red wotsit through the door.  I was beyond impressed that Baker days had managed to deliver next day AND it fitted through the letterbox.

PACKAGING-I love the fact that the cake is wrapped in cellophane within the tin, not only does this keep the cake fresh for 2-3 weeks, but it means it's safe from the other odors within your kitchen/pantry.

ORDERING: from Baker days was super easy, and quite similar to other familiar, personalising websites such as Moonpig.  Simply pick the design of cake you require, upload any personifications and then order the type of cake you require.  There's a good variety of sizes, sponge type and they appear very accomodating to dietary requirements.

TASTE: We went for your bog standard sponge and it was still gorgeously moist and well constructed, my only bug bear would be that the cake was a lot smaller than expected, this was probably more to do with my unawareness rather than anything else.

Overall i'm really impressed by this cake to the door method by Baker days, and cannot wait to find an occasion to use them again!


Fun things to do in Brighton the next few weekends: 2015 version

Monday, 23 March 2015

This time of year in Brighton seems to get prettttty cray cray.  My inbox is swarming with the latest events and so I thought i'd follow last year's lead and compile a list of what I think you should be doing with your time.

Fairy tale fair
A very popular, local craft event with some of my favouite sellers usually present, this is a must have for any crafty types.  People you really must look out for- Anna's drawing room, Chanchala and Shiny pigeon. Quite a good one for the kids too; buggy accessible, close to a park to burn off energy first, and ...face painting. Say no more.

Vegfest. 
Vegfest featured in last year's guide and I'm excited to see it returns bigger and better than ever! They have upped to a bigger and more central venue (Brighton Centre), so there really is no excuse not to head down there.  This is on the same weekend as the craft fair, so maybe one on each day?!  Based on my visit last year, I highly recommend grabbing a Ms Cupcake red velvet brownie, and trying the Pulsin testers (I STILL regret not buying the chocolate orange!).  You'll find me at; the Council's talk on the benefits of growing your own food, a talk about Infinity foods and Richi's talk on the key to healing and thriving.   This one is also buggy friendly, however I remember last year it gets busy really quickly so if you are dragging the kids along try to go there as early as possible.

Brighton Fringe festival. 

A whole host of performances throughout early May, watch this space for my top picks for this year's Brighton festival.

Brighton Foodies festival.

Yes. more food! I cannot wait for this year's foodies festival.  As always it will be on May bank holiday weekend (which is usually at least one boiling hot day #lush) and will see Hove lawns be filled to the brim with people for the social event of the year.  This year,  there is a new addition in the form of a vintage tea room, which I am frankly desperate to explore already! Watch this space because i'll be giving away two tickets in the next few weeks!

Tickets:
 Tickets are on sale now at www.foodiesfestival.com or by calling 0844 995 1111

Friday adult day ticket £10.00 (£8.00 concession)
Saturday or Sunday adult day ticket £13.00 (£11.00 concession)
3-day adult ticket £18.00 (£15.00 concession)

Friday VIP ticket £35.00
Saturday or Sunday VIP ticket £38.00
VIP tickets include a welcome glass of bubbly, access to the VIP tent with private bar and refreshments throughout the day, priority entry to food and drink masterclasses, a goody bag and a showguide.
All children aged 12 and under go free to all Foodies Festivals when accompanied by an adult.

Open times:
Saturday 2nd May: 11am – 7pm
Sunday 3rd May: 11am – 7pm
Monday 4th May: 11am – 7pm


If all this talk of food has got you hungry for more (harhar), then how about winning tickets to Vegfest next weekend? I have a pair of tickets up for grabs for either day, terms and conditions below and the competition ends on FRIDAY!! So no dilly dalying!


a Rafflecopter giveaway



30th birthday wishlist: homewares

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

30th Birthday wishlist: Home stuff


As evident in my last interior blog post, i'm lovin' mint and duck egg at the moment and am pretty certain they will feature heavily in our new home.  Alongside the latest chemical element to send the world "cray-cray"-Copper.  I seem to get overly excited about textures at the moment and copper mixed with that seagrass woven basket may just satisfy my texture lust.  It also might encourage Ophelia to put all her toys away for a change?!

I love those wire baskets for the same reason- Perfect size for containting the spill of toys, but at the same time bringing a flash of colour to the room.

Since all my teapots and loose tea strainers appear to either have disappeared or "smashed", I have been desperate for a replacement- all these loose teas I have ain't gonna drink themselves!



Inspirational interwebs

Tuesday, 17 March 2015



For a while now I've found myself less interested in the intenet.  Maybe it's because I'm nearly 30 (yeesh), maybe it's because I feel time is more precious now, maybe it's because I spent about 15 years of my life using it as a crutch, maybe it's after I read a lot of articles like this or maybe it's because the internet is just a bit shit now.  Either way, it's great because it means I now only notice or choose to notice the good stuff.

By that I mean; stuff that challenges the way I think, makes me think or provide me with information to better me and my life.  Blogs have become this strange hybrid of advertising billboards and drivel and if i'm really honest, there are few I read anymore.  So this post is for those people who are writing good, useful stuff in a beautiful way.  Or are just god damn funny.

  • Emma and Nick- I've just stumbled across another one of their sites and am yet again feeling totally inspired to visit Dorset.  I first found Emma via her own blog The Style box, then found their travel inspired blog and now Eat Sleep Dorset!
  • Claire's post on taking your life back is resonating with me a lot at the moment.  After recent grumblings about how much work has taken over my life and a discussion with a colleague yesterday about the impossibility of ever getting the perfect work life and money (!) balance, reading this post came at a good time for me! 
  • Basically everything on The W review- I have often found myself checking back to see the latest thought provoking whitterings.  Particular favourites currently resonating with me are around topics including women with children in business, Mother's day ("And remember, Mother’s Day isn’t just for Mothers. It’s your opportunity to show the woman who raised you how much her sacrifice has paid off"), What does it really mean to be introverted? All those posts have opened my eyes and reminded me what grounds me and shapes me, and that it is okay to be me. 
  • Fritha- Apart from the fact I love literally every outfit post she ever posts, I also find Fritha's blog strikes the right balance for me, and her writing is just perfect. 
  • Sophie's post about friendship- After a weekend of wonderful feel-good-memory-creating-times this post reminded me how truly lucky I am. It reminded me that it's okay to have a few months between seeing friends, because if they're the right friends, it'll just feel like that time has gone exceedingly fast (was it honestly Christmas?!).  You'll still rant together and swear together like you have for the last 10/20 years, and laugh about each others' flaws because hey- we all have issues one way or another, don't we!