Jessica

September 27, 2013

So our baby arrived!

Her name is Jessica and she is pretty amazing.

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You will have to excuse my absence for a little while, we are getting to know each other and she keeps me very busy!

xx

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This is from Yotam Ottolenghi…  and they are really good!

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You need;
1/2 tsp saffron thread
275g couscous
30g barberries
4 tbsp caster sugar
140g Greek yoghurt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
20g fresh chives, chopped
100g feta, crumbled into 1cm chunks
Salt and black pepper
About 4 tbsp clarified butter or ghee

Put the saffron in a large bowl and pour over 500ml of boiling water. Leave to infuse for a few minutes, then add the couscous. Stir with a fork, cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave to stand for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the barberries and sugar in a small saucepan. Add 120ml water, bring to a light simmer, stir to dissolve the sugar and remove from the heat. Once cool, drain the barberries and dry on kitchen paper.

Fluff up the couscous with a fork, then add the yoghurt, eggs, chives, feta, barberries, one and a quarter teaspoons of salt and some black pepper. Mix well and then shape into firm round patties about 1.5cm thick and weighing 55g each; press and compact them well, so they don’t disintegrate.

Heat two tablespoons of clarified butter in a large frying pan on medium-high heat. Lower the heat to medium and fry the patties in batches, adding more butter as needed. Cook each batch for five minutes, turning once, until crisp and golden-brown. Transfer to kitchen paper. Serve at once, while they’re still warm.

Autumn

September 16, 2013

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(image from Pinterest)

I really do love this time of year… I love when seasons change and I love that I can really enjoy this one!

We did have an amazing summer but mostly it was too hot for me to make the most of it, whereas the cooler temperatures are heaven to me. I am also on maternity leave now, so can enjoy lie ins with porridge and tea which is beyond amazing… I am making the most of this quiet time while I can.

I am going out to lunch today and then I might go sit in a park with a hot coffee and enjoy the sunshine… it’s a beautiful day in Bristol!

ASOS Autumn Wishes

September 12, 2013

So September is here…  and I am looking forward to adding some cosy pieces to my wardrobe!

My wishlist on ASOS is growing, I love that you can save your favourites and make a shopping list.

I would like some cosy hats, I often live in beanies in the winter, and I love this one;

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And I really want a smarter hat too… I am thinking a big wide brimmed hat would be great to style up casual coats… this one is perfect

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I have so many summer scarves now, I have been using them to dress my bump but I will need a big thick wool one. I get ill if it’s cold and I don’t cover my neck!

I love this one  (it would be great with a leather jacket)

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And I love this out-size scarf

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I have been coveting a leather jacket  from Whistles for EVER. This one is currently top of the list.

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I would also really like a casual varsity for the warmer transitional months since I don’t have to worry about being smart for a little while.

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I will also stock up on a few cosy knits… you cannot have enough of these!

This one from Ted Baker would be great with some chunky boots and skinny jeans for when I want to be really cosy and covered…

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And this one from Whistles so I can feel on trend and a little dressed up on those days when more effort is needed…

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I cannot wait for the day that I can put on a little dress again… my birthday is in a few months and I am hoping I’ll have a chance to put one on!

This one from French Connection is super cute…

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And I really want a wrap dress, also from French Connection having been told they are super flattering…

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And skirts… I have missed wearing skirts so much…

Love this one from Whistles, totally my style.

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And this flippy number would be great with thick tights and my much loved leather jacket!

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I definitely want some chunky boots… or some knee highs… I am trying to work out which will get the most wear.

These...

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Or something more like this

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I know for a fact I don’t need new jeans… but I also cannot wait to be back into normal jeans!

Shopping will begin again in earnest… first I need to have this baby and get active again.

I want to recommend a birth preparation class today… for those that are pregnant!

I have been attending Relaxed Birth and Parenting since I was 25 weeks pregnant and it has definitely helped me so much in terms of feeling ready mentally as well as a couple of hours of real me-time every week.

The class runs for just under two hours every week and for the first hour it’s a time to talk. Sometimes Jessica has invited someone to speak, such as a maternity acupuncture practitioner, sometimes she will give us a topic and ask the group questions and we often spilt into little groups to walk about how we are doing, choices we are making etc.
I honestly thought I would hate it, I am no good at talking to new people especially about topics that are quite private but it has been great.
I have opened up a lot more than I thought I would, but there is no pressure to talk at all if you don’t want to, but talking to people who are at similar stages and making similar choices has been so nice, and also talking to people who are making different choices too has been really interesting.

Just having space to think about myself and the baby every week has meant that I do it a lot more than I would have otherwise and I have learnt a lot about birth too, we don’t get into detail but alongside my reading and working with my Doula I have been able to plan my birth without going to ante-natal classes which I really didn’t want to do and it’s completely not what I thought I would want (and of course might not be the one I get!)

We also hear birth stories from others in the group so as people leave to have their baby they often come back to share what happened.

I didn’t watch any birthing tv shows, or go to classes or even read any stories so until I came to this class I had shut all of that out but the best thing has been seeing that no matter what everyone that has come back has been so positive about their birth that I cannot help feeling okay about it – which is a big transformation from how I felt at the start – terrified!
It has been amazing to hear about some natural easy births and also hear new Mama’s speak about their births that didn’t go to plan so positively and know that whatever happens as long as my baby is healthy I will not care.

The second half of the class is yoga. I have done yoga classes for years and used to really push myself in class and I did really miss exercise (I did nothing for the first 4 months as I was so ill) and although it is light stretching and I don’t push myself like I used to I always feel really good after the class and the next day too. As I have been getting bigger the day after yoga is the day I always feel lightest and walking around not as much of a struggle as it is at the end of the week. It has also been a nice surprise that I can still balance!

You don’t have to push yourself too hard in the class in either part you can just be there and take that time to listen and learn and think about your baby. That is the nicest part of it.

So a bit of a rambling essay I apologise.

My class is run by Jessica in the Southville Centre every Tuesday and there are spaces available from next month so I highly recommend if you are pregnant and around 20 weeks then book in. If you are elsewhere in Bristol there is also a class at the Relaxation Centre run by Dom who a few of my friends went to and they also love and highly recommend.

The sessions are £10 a week which sounds like a lot but I promise you are worth it.

You can find out more at Relaxed Birth and Parenting, they also have a network of doulas (some of whom I have met and are all amazing) and other classes and workshops available.

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I have been thinking about how life has slowed down recently, I have done a lot of exciting things in the past few years.
I found my Mr, went on an amazing trip to Bali with him, moved in and married him, then we went on a trip around the world together and I started carving out a freelance career.

Recently (since we got home) life has been a little more normal, we got to work during the week, see our friends and try to make the most of our weekends… we have had little holidays and trips but I was almost craving another BIG thing.

Life being still and steady though, is good. I think about all the people around the world who would love to be living a normal life without stresses and struggles and then I can really appreciate a quiet weekend at home.

When I appreciate the small things, like a lie in and tea and toast on a Saturday morning with a book or going for a quiet drink at our local pub I realise how good I have it.

Just a thought…

(Of course all of this is about to change for us which might be why I can appreciate the simple times as the next big life event is happening very soon!)

Lately…

September 9, 2013

I am a little behind with these diary posts… but I’ll try to catch up this week.

I have just started my maternity leave, so am trying to relax and rest but also sort a few things out before Baby arrives and do nice things with friends and family too… which means I am actually still fairly busy. Who has time to go to work?

I have been shopping for Baby T, still trying really hard to stop but sometimes I cannot resist.

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There was a lovely lunch in the country with friends and a massive brownie the likes of which I have never seen before!

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I am still addicted to swimming, and really miss it when I can’t go… and this yogurt is the winner of the best yogurt ever. Blood orange compete and thick gloopy yogurt. So good. Go get it.

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There have been some lovely meals out and coffee dates with girlfriends at my favourite spots Thali and Poco.

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More presents too… I am in love with this Aden and Anais muslin from my ever generous friend Sarah and am taking it to hospital to swaddle Baby for her ride home… my Mama also got me some Neal’s Yard bits which I cannot wait to use…

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I am filling my tummy with cake while I can, trying to enjoy these last few weeks of a big belly…

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We also celebrated our second wedding anniversary, while we kept it low-key it was the nicest day and we took time out to reflect on these years and to get excited about someone joining our little family.

My Mr absolutely spoiled with a beautiful necklace and dinner at Bell’s Diner.

You should go if you haven’t been, super cute restaurant serving small plates, and the setting is so French you could be in Paris!

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I had to have a little glass of bubbles and they added a beautiful blackberry syrup… My favourite dishes were the salt cod fritters and the slow cooked cauliflower…

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And the Onglet steak with onion puree and mushrooms was SO good,

Special mention goes out to the Abernethy butter and the Blackberry and Apple Crumble which we are both still talking about now.

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While I was still at work I did start to struggle… working till 38 weeks was not my best plan, so I treated myself to lots of naps and rest over the weekends with a new book to help me stay put and Biggie the cat looking after me I got through it.

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The flower lady by Marks Bread is back and I have been to see her a lot… with beautiful bouquets of wild flowers and mini bunches of sweetpeas appearing all over the house.

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We also had another visit out to Wiltshire to celebrate my Gran’s 88th birthday with a roast beef lunch and mini afternoon tea treats on a gorgeous August day.

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Lots of lovely times!

x