May 31, 2012


A tricky subject in this house. 
Do I like them? Yes! No! Maybe. I love butter beans, black beans, canellini beans but i hate, hate, HATE kidney beans. I hate black eyed beans too & I'm also a bit weird about baked beans. 
But, the mister loves them all, and Flo too will literally exhale any type of beany dish in a matter of minutes. Dex on the other hand wouldn't even entertain the idea of being in the same room as a bean, whereas India's current opinion on any food is 'can i throw it across the room? Yes? Winner!' 
So, because we are a bunch of fusspots, choosing a bean dish as a meal in this house, is kind of like a leap of faith. But, sometimes you have to take one of those - it's important - and this particular leap was one that I'm bloody glad i did. It's sweet! It's zingy! It's flippin' amazing...

May 26, 2012


To say that today was a beautiful day would be a gross understatement! It was..... for want of a less pretentious description... magical. There, i said it.
Pretty much as soon as our eyes opened this morning, we got in the car & we headed to Studland, one of our favourite little beaches on the Dorset coast. We met up with the Uncle James, Auntie Elaine & cousin Jessica, which was lovely & way overdue (It was Christmas?! Really?!) We had soooo much fun! We shared a a yummy picnic, ate ice-creams, spent time in the sea, had a good gossip, built castles - the works! Yes! I'm pretty sure lots of happy memories were created here today, and that is what it's all about in my book. I won't deny the fact that a hot summers day, with a 13 month old who won't keep her bloody hat on, determined to eat her body weight in sand & kiddos who really don't want sunscreen massaged into them every hour isn't exhausting, but i would do it all again tomorrow. And the next day. And the one after that. BLISS!
Here's some pics... enjoy x

She can't remember sand from last year & it took a bit of getting used to. Then she liked. Then she ate it. OVER & OVER AGAIN.

Oh y'know, just pondering life's giant questions, like 'I wonder what Harry is doing now?'

All at sea with Uncle J

May 25, 2012

FRIDAY I'M IN LOVE: this weeks findings...

1. This is absolutely awesome! LOOK AT YOUR FISH! GO GET THE APP!
2.  Yellow has always been my favourite colour, but this colourful paint job makes me love it even more!
3. People in threes. I love this.
4. Spiced up fruit? You betcha! I gorged on this yesterday afternoon for quite some time.
5. I quite fancy having these about the place doing something.
6. Flo & Indi got sent some adorable boutique hair bows from Napmit. Can't wait to get both my girlies wearing them :) Check out the blog here!
7. OMG! Is this the Best birthday gift idea ever? A present from Joy, every three months?! I'm subscribing!
8. I don't know if This bloke is crazy or amazing? Probably a little bit of both.
9. I love this scratch map from Hunkydory Home. Such a good idea.
10. I love this house tour. Do you think she'd let me move in? I especially like the pep talk memo!

May 22, 2012


Today was fun!
The Olympic torch relay (minus - aaaargh, another case of bad timing) came to Bath. Hurrah! 
Excitement started building this morning, when Dexter decided that whilst I was busy running about like a loon trying to find clean uniforms enjoying my coffee, he wanted to make a torch of his own. NOW! So, that's what we did.... at 7am. 
Then we get to school & it turns out that the main activity of the day would be - making their own torches. So, our last minute torch, for all the tantrums it caused ("why don't you have any yellow crepe paper? What kind of a mother ARE you?") was in fact, pointless. Hmph.
Anyway, after a day wearing shorts - yes, that's right. i wore shorts today - we picked up the eldest two and we were told some very exciting news. The school had decided to do their own mini Olympic torch relay at lunchtime today & two children from each class were picked to run for their class around the playground, with the rest of the school cheering on! Well, my two completely forget to tell me that they were both chosen to do this! WHAT!? Dexter came out telling me he'd ate all his lunch, whilst Flo's big news was that she sat down next to Harry on the mat.... Jeez guys, talk about sweating the small stuff! 

So after all that excitement we had our torches ready & we headed to the park... it comes..... oh no wait. That's an old bus. Let's get our flags out anyway.
ahhh... here it is...
Oh. Bye then. Off he goes without a care in the world!
It was such a lovely atmosphere. Lots of our friends were there with all their kiddos, lining the streets smiling, cheering, happy & waving! I honestly felt happy & proud to be there. Then, as I turned to look at that flame go past, I caught sight of Dexy & I had one of those butterfly tummy moments! All of a sudden I was back in 2005 & in London when the news came in that we had won the bid for the Olympics 2012. I rubbed my ever growing tummy whilst sat at my desk in my Dean Street office, and thought to myself "OMG! I WILL HAVE AN ALMOST SEVEN YEAR OLD BY THEN"!!!
Well, we really did win the Gold didn't we! As we stood there today, witnessing this once in a lifetime moment with all 3 of our kiddos, it became clear that not only was it a very special moment to me on a personal level, but it was an afternoon that none of us will forget.

May 20, 2012


Part of a new series of updates of the kiddos. For an unknown reason, Dexy & Flo call themselves the Mini-Kids, hence the name! Enjoy x

May 19, 2012


Whenever anyone ever suggested chicken salad for lunch, 'meh' used to be my reaction. In my head, chicken salad used to be filed alongside 'beans on toast' or 'a jacket with tuna'. Y'know what i mean right? They are OK-ish meals, but kind of dull, it's like i have to really really fancy beans on toast to actually make it. Well, it was exactly the same for chicken salad, I just couldn't get excited about it. But then i stumbled upon two neat little marinades, 1 for chicken & 1 for red onions & the most amazing chicken salad was born! It would be a sin to not share this with everyone...

May 18, 2012


1. Check out this fab DIY project. I'll be doing it!
2. This is possibly the prettiest thing i have ever seen. WOW those colours!
3. Summer on a plate? Nom Nom Nom.
4. Thanks Sarah for this breath of fresh air!
5. Hey Bev! Come & paint my nails....
6. Who doesn't love a good makeover? This one is a winner!
7. Why didn't i know about coffee supreme when I was in Auckland?! Bad timing.
8. I love all these wallpaper finds on Mollie Makes blog this week.
9. Getting, getting, getting THIS
10. I just love Rob Ryans work. Every single piece.

Phew! I somehow got there in the end. If anything could have gone wrong with this blog post, it ALL did. Off to breathe again. Enjoy y'aaaalllllllll & happy Weekending xox

May 15, 2012

WHAT WE ARE EATING: Greek (ish) butter beans with feta

We are not a vegetarian household (my husband would eat me within weeks if I imposed that!) but we do only eat meat a couple of times a week. On top of this, I personally do try to steer clear of red meat all together, so it's important to me to have an arsenal of flavoursome veggie suppers to keep things interesting around here!
I found this particular recipe in the Leon Book 2 which was recommended to me by a friend & I've since adapated it over time, tweaking to how it works best for us...
Leon Book 2 is such a goooood recipe book to own & if you don't already have it & your meal planner/rotation is currently boring the crap out of you, then go get this NOW because you need it in your kitchen! The recipes are pretty much all gorgeous and i use it a lot. It's not just great for new recipes, but also for ideas & inspiration - it's the gift that keeps on giving! Luck!
The best recipe for me though is 'Mima's Greek-ish Butter Beans'. Flavour wise - it punches you in the mouth! Is that OK? Well it is if it's done in a good 'foodie type way' i'll have you know - (you need to think Gordon Ramsey doing his annoying hand slapping thing whilst he's bouncing around not looking at the camera. Think of every annoying hand-slap as a flavour & you're THERE!).
Also, it's v. healthy, v. filling & v. comforting, and who say's no to that combi? I normally serve this with a crusty baguette (do I say that about every meal? Ha! Probably!) or even a crisp green salad on the side, but in all honesty, you don't really need anything else with this dish, as it totally holds it's own! Hurrah x

So here's what you'll need for 2 grown ups (we sometimes have leftovers):

1 tbsp olive oil
1 large red onion - finely chopped
4 cloves garlic - finely chopped
2 level teaspoons of fennel seeds
2 teaspoons of dried oregano
2 teaspoons of tomato puree
2 - 3 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
2 x 400g of butter beans* - drained & rinsed
100g of feta cheese
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

and, here's what you'll need to do:

1. Heat your oil in a large deep pan. When hot, add your red onion & fry gently for a couple of minutes.
2. Add your garlic, fennel seeds & dried oregano. Cook over a low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until the mixture is really soft.

3. Add your tomato puree & tinned tomatoes. Combine well & leave to simmer gently for 20 minutes.

4. Add your butter beans, season & continue to simmer for 15 minutes.

5. Crumble 1/4 of your feta (25g) very finely into the stew. Mix well & then continue to simmer for 5 minutes.

7. Serve your lovely stew into your bowls, and crumble the remaining feta over the dishes. Serve with whatever takes your fancy bread wise (baguette anyone?) - and ENJOY!

8. Mmm, that tastes good, right?

May 12, 2012


THE SUN CAME OUT!!!!! After weeks of nothing but rain & miserable skies, finally we got the vitamin D boost we had all been waiting for. We were out of the house by 10am - on a Saturday (yeah, in your FACE laziness) and we were determined to soak up the sun. We went for a lesuirely stroll about town, brought some books, drank some coffee & listened to some awesome buskers. Our rumbling tummies then pointed us in the direction of we our favourite picnic spot where we ate, drank & chilled the hell out! It was bliss. 100% bliss. Dex & Flo played hide & seek & ran about like mad things whilst Indi pointed and beamed at everything she saw. Cute on a plate! There were climbing frames, bouncy castles, swings & ice-creams a plenty -hurrah to the sun! What a difference it makes to wake up to a sunny day. I've put an order in for more of the same tomorrow, so here's hoping it wasn't a one off as I'm too damn scared to check my weather app!

Here's some pics - enjoy x

May 11, 2012


1. I want to be organised. I really do, just like Dottie!
2. I would LOVE to go to Pellegrini's! Who the heck wouldn't?!
3. How cute is this shade? I miss you Habitat.
4. Dexy & Flo loved reading The girl with the birds nest hair this week!
5. I'd love these little french vintage bowls. J'adore!
6. Why aren't you making this NOW? Yumminess.
7. Well Hello there new favourite blog! I'll be spending a lot of time here, i can tell.
8. Ooo, i'd forgot all about this place! I really want to take my kiddos there!
9. This is going to come in so handy this summer!
10. I am 100% going to order this print for my dining room. Fact!

Happy weekending everyone x

May 10, 2012

WHAT WE ARE EATING: King prawns with herby lentils

If you're on the prowl for something that tastes fresh, zingy and wholesome, then this is for you! I am a massive fan of Puy Lentils, and would eat them a lot more if the rest of the family shared my passion. So when I discovered this recipe I was thrilled, as I also had another excuse for eating way too many prawns, which is always a good thing, right?
This is delicious & good for you & the flavour combinations are so so good. Do your tastebuds a favour & treat them to a little fun time. They'll thank you for it.

So here's what you'll need for two people as a main:
-recipe from Jamies 20 min meals iphone app-

- 300g raw, peeled king prawns
- 2 cloves of garlic - finely chopped
- 200g baby spinach
- 1/2 medium red onion - finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 small bunch of fresh basil - leaves chopped
- 1 small bunch of fresh miny - leaves chopped
- 1 x 400g tin of Puy lentils
- 125g cherry tomatoes - halved
- 1 lemon
- olive oil
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper

And you will need to do this:

1. Place a large saucepan on the a high heat. When hot, add your spinach leaves, with a splash of water, and cook with the lid on for 30 seconds.
2. Take the lid off & use tongs to move the spinach about a bit until it's all wilted. Then tip into a colander to drain. Set aside.
3. Place a new saucepan on a medium heat & add a small splash of olive oil. When warmed, add your chopped red onion & cumin. Season with your salt & pepper, then cook until soft & golden, stirring occasionally.
4. Whilst your onion mix is cooking, squeeze any excess water out of your spinach and chop roughly.
5. When your onion is golden, add your spinach to the pan.
6. Drain your lentils, rinse, and add them to the pan. Cook for 10 minutes, over a low heat.

7. Place a large griddle (or frying) pan on a medium heat with a splash of olive oil. When hot, add your prawns, turning the heat up to high and fry for a minute or two until browned on one side.
8. Turn your prawns over and add your garlic. Fry for another minute or so, until the prawns are cooked through & your garlic smells amazing!

9. Add your halved cherry tomatoes to the prawn mix and season well with salt & pepper. Stir together until everything is well combined, then turn off the heat. Cover with a lid (or foil).

10. Check your lentils & when they are warmed through, stir in the chopped herbs, the juice from half of your lemon & a good drizzle of olive oil. Stir through well to combine, then take off the heat.

11. Time to serve up! Spoon your lentils mix onto a plate, then spoon over your garlicky prawn & tomato mix. Serve with a lemon wedge for squeezing over...... Mm. Mm. Mm.

12. Eat up & marvel in the lovliness! Enjoy x

May 09, 2012


I have a real love affair with London. Even though I only lived there for 10 years, it is the place I most consider 'home'. I'd spent so long as a child dreaming of one day living there, that when I moved there for University age 18, i felt instantly that this was where I was meant to be. I loved everything about it. I loved the diversity, I loved the anonymity, I loved riding the tube, hopping on & off the old route masters. I loved spending my skint student days in Ealing & Waterloo (less said about those days the better, my kids will read this one day!) and then later, my working days in Soho. London was where I fell in love, where I set up my first home & where I had two babies - all very special and important things. Yes! I love it VERY much, so this past Bank Holiday, we took the kiddos to London to visit their grandparents.
This visit was long overdue as far as we were concerned, so we thought we'd take advantage of the extra-long weekend & get on it. As always, London was lovely & this visit we took some time to show the kiddos some special places like where they were born, the various houses we lived in, the places we used to work & where we'd often visit. It was lovely to reminisce & show them their roots if you like.
Whilst we were there, we took the kiddos to The Natural History Museum for the first time. HOW BUSY is this place?! I don't remember this hysteria before, but then that was pre-kiddos so i probably didn't notice, but wow! It's a good job we're British & love a good que. They had so much fun & especially loved dressing up as little explorers - they looked soooo cute! It was the first time they'd seen crazy mirrors too and oh my goodness, they laughed & laughed & laughed! They were hilarious and I could have watched them perform for hours - plus i loved the ones that made my hair long and my legs skinny, in fact, i think i may get one of those babies for home!
We took a Sunday stroll along the embankment, one of my favourite things to do there & we visited one of my loveliest friends Soraya, who cooked us an awesome lunch & let the kids wreck her house (sorry Soz!) India took a particular liking to Phooey the cat, so much so that Phooey the cat decided it was safer to hide out under a chair outside in the peeing down rain (sorry Phooey!) & the kiddos discovered Tin-Tin thanks to a little story time with Aunty Soraya. Sweet!
We took in some parks and generally just relaxed. London is really gearing up for this summers Jubilee & what with the Olympics too, it's going to be a pretty exciting time! Mental note to self- visit more often, maybe then you'll stop missing it as much!

Here's a few pics from our visit. Enjoy x

(When Flo met Flo!)