October 28, 2012


The clocks went back last night which means that today will be spent in a sleep deprived haze. Dexter was up at 4am.... yes I did just say, 4 f-ing am. I mean, who does that on a Sunday? Urgh! 
Yes, already it's pretty plain to see that today isn't going to be one of the best. It's raining out, we have little more than a Supermarket trip planned & India has a stinker of a cold. But, at least we will have something nice to eat, right? Yes, totally, because tonight we are having this awesome baked aubergine dish that I found in Bill Granger's Easy book. 
Now, to be honest my (albeit fuzzy) mind doesn't naturally want to put chickpeas and aubergines in the same dish. In fact, i probably wouldn't have ever cooked this dish if I'd thought about it a little more, but I am SO glad I did. Now, this will forever signify the start of the winter season for me. You know, the sodding rain the crisp sunny mornings, the frozen nights the fire roaring in the front room, those stupid adult hats with animal faces on the cosy hats & gloves, and now.... this dish.
I urge you to make this asap because lets face it, winter can be a little bit rubbish at times and this will cheer it up in a big way. Unless you don't like aubergines, and then I can't help you today because I'm just too dang tired...

October 26, 2012


1. Check out this Christmas tree! Such a good idea.
2. I may be about to cheat on Jamie with Bill - based on an adapted version of this recipe. (post to follow!)
3. I really want to make s'mores this week for the kiddos. What can I use instead of Graham Crackers?!
4. Sometimes I find things that make me laugh SO hard. This week this outfit happened to some poor young Jesse J lookalike. £195? Wowzers!
5. I may or may not have bought myself three of these utensil jars this week ;) Cute!
6. Oh Joy! Look at what she did here and then here... It's lovely. Simply lovely.
7. OMGaaaah! Byron Hamburgers makes me want to throw caution to the wind. How amazing?!
8. Winters coming!! For Dexy, For Miss Flo and for little Indi.
9. Got a spare £200 just lying about? No? Me either, but look at this beautiful bag!
10. And lastly...

Happy Weekend xx

October 24, 2012


Where do i start with this little gem?
Cheap? Check!
Easy? Check!
Fast? Check!
Bloody gorgeous? Yes, yes, YES!

This really doesn't need much chat.
It is so simple to make and equally easy to adapt. If you don't like prawns, then replace with chicken. If you're a veggie or if you just fancy a meat free supper, then leave that chicken the heck alone & marvel in the simplicity of the rocket, parsley, lemon & chilli. I've made this dish all three ways and they are all equally as good.
Yep, this is one of those Monday's are hard or I haven't got any pennies in my purse dinner that will not disappoint!

Go forth my friends, go make...

October 22, 2012


If I were a gemstone, I'd be turquoise
If I were a scent, I'd be fresh linen
If I were a pair of shoes, I'd be a pair of battered old cons
If I were the weather, I'd be a crisp autumn morning
If I were a facial expression, I'd be a smile

If I were a car, I'd be a VW split screen camper van
If I were a time of day, I'd be 8pm
If I were a month, I'd be December
If I were a place, I'd be Big Sur
If I were a liquid, I'd be a sparkling water
If I were a taste, I'd be something vinegary

If I were a sea animal, I'd be a pink coral
If I were a food, I'd be a taco
If I were a colour, I'd be yellow
If I were a musical instrument, I'd be an acoustic guitar
If I were a flower, I'd be an orchid
If I were a song, I'd be 'One day like this' by Elbow or 'Everybody' by Ingrid Michaelson

If I were a planet, I'd be venus
If I were an object, I'd be a radio
If I were a fruit, I'd be a star fruit
If I were a sound, I'd be the sea
If I were a day of the week, I'd be a Sunday.

I found this tag via charlottes web. Go on, enjoy a little light hearted fun yourself, just leave your link if you carry it on...

Happy Monday x

October 20, 2012


Have you heard of Ecover's new range, Zero?
Of course you have because the blogging world has been going crazy about it lately hasn't it?! Well, now i know why - it's because it is pretty damn good, that's why!
Plain & simple.
I've actually been a huge fan of Ecover for a long time & have used the standard Ecover products around my home for as long as I can remember. So when I was asked if I'd like to try out the new Ecover Zero range, I practically jumped at the chance!

The new range has been specially crafted for those of us who require top quality cleaning but who may need an allergy-approved product or prefer a fragrance free alternative to smelling like a mango infused with lavender & patchouli oil on a hazy summers day in June (thanks, but no!). 
This new range appealed to me on many levels. I get mild eczema and have done all my life and Flo has a mild form of asthma which she was diagnosed with age 2.  Alongside that, as a mum of 2 school kiddos and one seriously grubby toddler i do way more than my fair share of washing, so the least amount of crap I'm pumping into the environment, the better in my opinion.
When I recently returned from my jolly in London, I was welcomed home by a house full of sicky peeps. So when I say I put the Zero laundry range to work, i really did. It cleaned superb, and although i was a little worried about the no-scent thing for such a major job, it was excellent and our washing came out smelling of.... wait for it.... clean washing! Just want i wanted was exactly what it delivered. Refreshing right? I think so.

I also was pleased to see they do a washing up liquid in the range. Don't get me wrong, I'm not pleased i was handed a new reason to do more washing up (!) but i used to use a separate bottle sanitiser for all the kids cups & bottles etc rather than run them through my dishwasher load and now that I have Zero (& will continue to buy Zero) I just was everything up together! Fab!

I really like this range, and if you are keen on protecting our planet as best you can and want cleaning products that work well, then you can't go far wrong with this stuff! It just goes to show you can be clean and be green - hurrah!

This is a sponsored post but all opinions are honest & my own. 
You can read more about Ecover and it's work here

October 19, 2012


1. Love this idea from Gingiber on Etsy. Especially as my little Dexter turned 7 (!) this week. HAPPY BIRTHDAY DIZZY BOO!!! I love you so much that i could go pop! xx
2. My mate B just started a blog! Go check her out over at Parenting & Popcorn cos she's lovely :)
3. Lauren Childs' doll version of Goldilocks & the three bears is India's absolute favourite book. We read it over & over again & it's so cute to watch her copy the facial expressions & actions!
4. Oooo this phone case is nice.
5. Good taste? Abigail has it in bucket loads here! Sooo many good ideas.
6. I tweeted about it already, but this post about kids TV characters from Lisa cracked me up BAD!
7. Love this look from her roots to her toes - oh i wish!
8. I want to be brave enough to use Down Pipe anywhere, just any friggin-where!
I just love it. Maybe i'll do my toenails in it?
9. Did you see Latte Mama? Oh lordy, i love the rabbit dress... Thank god for Christmas!
10. Sounds pretty damn perfect to me.

Have fun!

October 18, 2012


I've been banging on about it for the past month i know (hell i don't get out much, i like the build up) but this weekend I went to spend some time with my friends up in good old London Village and oh my, it was lovely!
I set off Friday morning and it wasn't the best send off i'll admit, much to my upset. It was only the second time i'd ever left Indi & the first time i'd left her where she was actually aware of what was happening. Dexy and Flo had been great and had happily gone to school no problem so with that in mind i said goodbye to India... Imagine me there, doing my big fat animated "BYE BYE INDIA *waves like Mr Tumble* BYE BYE....MUMMIES GOING NOW INDI.... BYEEEEEEEEEEE" when mid-tumblewave it hit me it & I realised that I never say bye to this little one. She's always with me saying goodbye to other people, not the other way around. Yep, i really messed that one up & as my train was on time & I uncharacteristically was not, i had to go. That was the opposite of fun.
 So, not a good start but i set about trying to relax & knowing all 3 kiddos would be totally fine with daddy & grandma, i got on the train. Sometimes i do love the certain air of pretentiousness that goes with a train journey, don't you? You know what I'm talking about - carrying a magazine you're a little too old to read, sipping a coffee way too hot to hold let alone drink and trying to keep in a pair of pissy headphones that just will not fit in your sodding ears. It's a timeless look, I've been rocking it since at least '98.
Finally, with burnt lips, confused eyes & painful ears I got to London just in time to head to the city to meet up with my old uni-mate-turned-nearly-lawyer for lunch & some much missed chitter chatter. After I'd gobbled down a 'super salad' which consisted of 6 spinach leaves, 1 cube of butternut squash and 3 pomegranate seeds (wtf?) I headed across town to meet up with some more of my loveliest peeps and we set about finding me some Wahaca! Of course we did, I came to London to EAT and so far a low-fat granola bar, a skinny latte and a very un-super salad had done nothing but get my back up.
YES! Wahaca! I finally got to go! Was it amazing & everything I'd ever imagined and hoped for?
Errrr, in a word NO, rather annoyingly. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't awful by a long shot. The service was awesome, the atmosphere was OK and the cocktails were good but my food was mega meh. Admittedly my fellow diners did good & the cactus tacos looked & tasted a little bit lovely. I guess what i'm saying is it's wasn't a total write off but if I go again, I'll not be getting the grilled chicken with green rice - lets just put it that way. Don't feel bad for me though - I took it as a sign to order more margaritas which as nice as they are they don't beat dining out with old mates.
                                                                      ... ... ...            

After waking up on Saturday morning sounding like I was in drag (thanks cold virus) it was time to hit Notting Hill with one of my besties Soraya, who along with her chap Steve was kind enough to put me up & share their beautiful & welcoming home for the weekend. By lunch we were looking for somewhere (anywhere) that didn't serve every dish with either meat/cheese or drenched in oil. It was then we stumbled across El Camino which was one of the best street food places I've ever been to. Obviously  it was Mexican (this is Lia eats London) and regardless of what the Evening Standard seem to think, this place had more personality, flavour & aunthenticity than Wahaca. And the margaritas were better ;) I orderd the grilled fish tacos, which were so so good...
So, what next? Whole Foods, that's was next! If you're not keen on hearing people ramble on about what is essentially a pimped up Waitrose or if you're not big on pictures of spices, macaroon cupcakes (seriously, what's wrong with you?) or eggs, then look away now!

Whole Foods? WOW! I loved it! I loved it so much, I spent 2 hours in there soaking it up.
The best bit? Too many... the veg? A whole stand devoted to Kale? Spices you can just willy nilly scoop up yourself? Nut butter you can MAKE? Abode (yeah, not adobe!) chilli's in chipotle sauce by the bucket load? Kale chips?! Un-identified Portuguese beans that were amazing, but even more amazing when you figure out you should remove the shells before eating (nice one Tom). Lord have mercy on my soul - Whole Foods is where I wanna shop forever. I just need to win the lottery...

After we had shopped ourselves inside out, we headed back to the manor and Soraya laid on an amazing spread of butternut squash risotto, courgette salad with chill & lime, fennel & chicory dressed in lemon juice, and some cavalo nero with chilli.... heaven. We were joined by some good friends, drank some good wine & had even better giggles! Perfection.
In a nutshell? London, I still bloody love you.

Before I go, take a look some snippets from my friends home. It is amaze balls (it's OK, she totally enjoys that word as much as me)...

October 12, 2012


1. If theres's one thing i'm making next week it is this Super (super) Spinach Salad from Shutterbean!
2. And on the back of that I have ordered this this book for my up & coming vegan adventure...
3. One of my fave blogs got a new look! Talk about beautiful *swoon*
4. Can this be considered a skill? 
5. Lovely Charlotte made me aware of this book. Consider it ordered!
7. Woah! Check out the band The Family Rain! Amazing.... and from here in Bath!! Local girls, is that the guy from Gap?! 
8. This has been everywhere i'll admit but fellow bloggers.... how hilarious? Jeez!
9. I am super excited about this new series from Nigel Slater. I'm going to have to V+ it!
10. This week, i leave you with this.

Happy weekending! 

October 09, 2012



3 SLEEPS until I get to spend near on 3 days to myself!
That's 3 days without multiple school runs or multiple swimming lessons!
That's 3 days without spellings, cooking, cleaning, or laundry!
That's 3 days without a teething toddler.... oh my god, how will i cope?!?!

I think i will be OK.

It's going to be tough i'll admit, but i think i can get through the hell that will be lying in past 5:30am. I might struggle at being able to actually finish a hot cup of coffee, or meander around the shops without the fear of India shoplifting something at buggy height, but of course i'll get through, I just have to be strong.
I'm sure I will miss the constant "OUT! OUT! OUT! OUT! OUUUUUUUUUUUUUUT!  that plays like music to my ears every time we leave the house but i know i'll be able to muddle through. I can always put cbeebies on my ipod or something, right? I mean c'mon, who doesn't turn to the theme tune of gigglebiz in times of distress?

Like I said I WILL BE FINE!

You see, I'm off on a little trip to the big smoke on my own! I'm visiting some of my loveliest friends & going to just chill the f*~k out! The trip is part payback for when the mister went to Hawaii & partly because I've finally accepted the fact that I can no longer justify spending crazy amounts of money going on my annual mecca to Glasto anymore, and how 2010 was probably my last child free version. It just seems so selfishly wrong now, when I know that £400 (easy) could be spent doing things that would benefit us all, not just me sitting in a field drinking cider for 4 days (see, i am a grown up!)
So, instead, I am more than ecstatic (read manically excited) to be going to London this weekend simply to enjoy myself & just re-charge my 'mum batteries' as quite frankly I as am as far away from the Duracell bunny as i could possibly get. If you are too young to remember the Duracell bunny, then You Tube it - Ann Summers have not sponsored this post.

So, what am i gonna dooooo? Well, I'm a mum of an almost 7 year old, a 5 year old & an 18month old, so free time is not only very rare but it also feels a little weird! I've given myself a good couple of hours free on my arrival to adjust, so i am going to tourist it up, as of course when I lived there I never did that. Then, when i've wandered about looking wistfully up at Big Ben, I plan to eat everything i can get my hands on!
Ha! Yep I'm going to London to EAT!
Ottolenghi's! is getting a visit, as is Wahaca Soho! and of course i'm going to go to Whole Foods - finally!
I also want to go to a little deli that I used to frequent a lot 7 years ago whilst i was pregnant with Dex because I want to see if they still sell those little pink pickled turnips that i used to scoff like no body's business... mmmmm.
There will also be trips to see my friend dance in Soho (take your mind out of the gutter, he's a Morris dancer, or sword dancer if you will) and i'm counting on lots of sitting around in my friends beautiful kitchen catching up on old times & laughing loudly, whilst quaffing generous helpings of wine (did i mention i get to sleep in?).

Of course it goes without saying how much I will miss my three beautiful and amazing little nuggets - to the moon & back, if you're counting like we are :( but i think we will all benefit from mama having some well earned time out.
So... roll on Friday, and then when that's done roll on Sunday when I can cuddle them again!

October 05, 2012


1. Suddenly Christmas seems to be everywhere! YaaaaaaY, now I can start planning which M&S hamper i'm going to get! Christmas would not be the same without one...
2. India's first pair of wellies? Damn right!
3. I hear congratulations are in order over at the Bleubird camp. Welcome to the world little Sailor!
4. Meet Alice! Her blog More Than Toast is this weeks blog crush :)
5. This ticket roll bowl craft project from Amy has to be one of the best ever, right? I love it!
6. Golden squash coconut chocolate-chip loaf anyone? S'ok, there's a vegetable in there!
7. I'm going to Wahaca in Soho next week (at-bleeping-last) I'm a little worried about the tequila bar as i'm quite the margarita girl when i set my mind to it...
8. Anorak is my new love! I actually neeeeed this plate.
9. Check out this awesome salt & pepper set! Yellow? Yolo!
10. This week i leave you with this.

Happy weekending xx

October 03, 2012


A year ago, someone told me to stop eating kale as apparently it would give my gallbladder a break (insert boring story about limited diet here) and because i generally believe any old crap people tell me, i did it. 
Yes, you read me right. I quit kale FOR A YEAR. Yes it deserves CAPS LOCK, it's a BIG DEAL.
Anyway, where am i going with this....? Oh yes, last week I fell off the wagon big time as it turns out that the said someone might actually be wrong & it maybe possible for me to have my kale & eat it (and not have to take hallucinogenic pain relievers an hour later) - hurrah!
So, one sprint to the farmers market later and a slightly adapted version of this kale slaw happened. 
I ate.
I smiled. 
All was right with the world once again.

October 01, 2012


Here's the deal:
If you haven't been to Stourhead and you're local to it, then stop what you are doing RIGHT NOW and go (unless it's raining, or you have an easily offended boss).
This place is beyond beautiful & in Autumn it is an absolute dream. We took the kiddos there this past Saturday and it was one of the best days out we have all had in ages.
Meandering through the beautiful grounds oooing and ahhing at he beautiful colours was the perfect start to my favourite season, and we could have easily gone back for round two the following day.
We are going to visit again in a couple of weeks to see how the colours have changed, only this time i'm taking a big flask of soup & a big hunk of sourdough & we're going to have ourselves a little Autumn picnic.

Stourhead = simply beautiful...