April 29, 2012


What's that saying? The one about when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade? Well, we did that today, kind of. Replace the word lemons with the word 'rain' and replace the word lemonade with the words 'the beach' and you'll see where we're going. Yes, apparently we are mad, although i like to think of it as merely 'temporarily losing our senses' and today, on the windiest, rainiest, coldest day of Spring we hot footed it to..... Weston-super-night mare.
But of course, the kiddos had a blast! YAY! They loved every single minute of it & i bet if you asked them right now if it was rainy or sunny today, they would not have a clue! Don't do that by the way, it's 9pm!
They played tons of games, they ate fish & chips, they zoomed about on bumper cars, they had fresh donuts - heck, they even had their first slush puppie! Now that's a memory right there! Flo & I even attempted the helter skelter..... although, it was kind of a major fail for a number or reasons;
1) We forgot to collect our mats at the bottom before we hiked up SIXTY NINE steps.
2) We got half way up the SIXTY NINE steps & mama's legs morphed into some sort of jelly.
3) We got to the top & looked at the slide. Flo's face went green. I looked like as if i'd just stared death in the eye.
6) We went back down SIXTY NINE FREAKIN' STEPS, holding the handrail for all of our worth.
7) We finally get our feet back on level ground.
Phew! Humiliation over! No? No? NO! Because the whole world & his wife were able to enjoy our helter skelter freak out in all it's glory due to the CCTV cameras that they so kindly plant at the top. These are apparently positioned there so that people can entertain themselves watching their loved ones climb SIXTY NINE steps, whilst they get their cameras ready to capture the glorious faces of glee portrayed by said loved ones as they zoom down. Hmmm, yeah, thanks for that Grand Pier! As if having to crawl under (Flo) or pole vault (me) the one-way barrier at the bottom of the SIXTY NINE stairs isn't punishment enough for being a wimp. No, seriously, THANKS.
Anyway, having put that to rest, here's some pics. I only took my phone, so with the combination of dark & movement, they are not that great, but we like them :)

That's a fake smile. Look how tight she's holding on!! This 'ride' was abandoned after 45 seconds!


It's cold.
It's wet.
It's pretty damn miserable.
Is it too much to ask for some warmth or even a break in the relentless rain? I mean c'mon, it is flippin' May next week.
So, we went to the park in the freezing cold drizzle...

Photographic evidence that this has been the coldest & wettest April in the history of the world. Fact. 

April 28, 2012

WHAT WE ARE EATING: Aubergines with tomatoes, garlic & thyme

This is one of my favourite meals ever & I make it all the time. It's super healthy too, which makes me happy! I normally serve it with a french baguette, but recently I made a less-salted version for the kiddos & mixed it with some quinoa which really worked.

So here's what you need for 2 people as a main:
(recipe adapted from Gino D'acampo)

- 2 vegetable stock cubes or powder to the equivalent (I use Organic Swiss Bouillon).
- 2 litres of water
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 3 Medium Aubergines (approx' 200g each)
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled & halved
- 1. 5 - 2 tins of chopped tomatoes (400g size tin)
- 3 large plum tomatoes, de-seeded & quartered
- 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves
- Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
- Bread if your choice to serve

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

1. Pour your 2 litres of water into a large pan & add your stock cubes / bouillon powder & bring to the boil.
2. Top & tail your aubergines taking off about 1cm from both ends, then chop into roughly 3cm chunks.
3. Once your stock is boiling, add your aubergines & cook for approx 8 minutes.

4. Drain in a colander & gently press out any excess water. Set aside.

5. Over a medium heat, heat your oil in a large saucepan & sizzle your garlic for about one minute, taking care not to let it burn.
6. Add your aubergines & continue to cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
7. Add 1 and a half tins of your tinned chopped tomatoes, season well with the salt & pepper & continue to cook over a medium heat for 20 minutes, checking & stirring occasionally.

8. Add your quartered plum tomatoes & fresh thyme leaves. If the mixture looks too thick for your taste, add the remaining tinned tomatoes. Cook for a further 10 minutes.

9. Taste, adding more salt & pepper if you desire, then take off the heat.

10. Serve with your fresh bread.

Mmmmmmm! Enjoy x

April 27, 2012


1. My kiddos will defo be having this french toast for brunch on Sunday.
2. These photo's totally blew me away. Feeding the soul indeed!
3. I can not wait to be able to eat avacados again. This salad is on my waiting list!
4. How awesome is Anne Lindberg? That's THREAD people!
5. I am a little bit obsessed with Rachel Khoo at the moment. As is my mate Bev! We NEED her kitchen tiles!!
6. I've been spending lots of time trying out new recipes in my kitchen this week & i have to do it listening to this podcast. Joy & Tracy make me laugh hard!
7. Do you read Recipe Rifle? I do & you should too.
8. Move to Venice Beach? OK then, but I want to live in this house.
9. I want this for my living room. Isn't it lovely?
10. Amy's ability to throw fantastic children's parties never cease to amaze me. In AWE!

Enjoy! x

Pssst: I may actually get around to blogging again sometime soon, as finally after 4 long weeks, everyone is back to full health here. Hoorah. Expect more of my ramblings very soon...

April 13, 2012


1. I found this little video on Vimeo want to go shop at Room 6 so badly...
2. We ordered this cute little ride on for Miss India's first birthday!
3. I got thinking about first birthday parties. How cute is this one? 
4. I watched this again. I loved the whole Do What You Love series from The Panic Room.
5. I took major inspiration from this for my next tattoo.
6. I spent waaaay too long dreaming yet again about owning my own little cafe. Check out my ever growing Pinterest board here

So, that's this week in all it's loveliness! Enjoy x

April 08, 2012


What a lovely Easter Weekend we have had this year! Yay for family, yay for bank holidays, yay for chocolate & boo hiss to car journeys with a 11 month old who hates the car. I'm not going to dwell on the fact that India screamed for the entire duration of our 3 HOUR car journey earlier today, no... that would totally ruin this happy Easter post i've got coming up for y'all.
We went to Devon this weekend to visit my mum & she laid on a fab Easter Egg hunt for the kiddos! They were SO excited at the prospect of hunting out eggs that the Easter Bunny had left for them that they couldn't wait to get going, following all the cute little signs along the way!! They had loads of fun hunting around the garden with Nanny & as a bonus got some good loot too! It will be nibbled away at for, well i'd like to say weeks, but realistically - probably hours days. Well, they are born from good chocolate eating stock, they know how it's done. Legend has it that their mama, as a girl, once consumed a whole gigantic basket of cadburys' creme eggs before breakfast. Pah! I'm not ashamed, i'd do it again given the chance - Easter is NOT for wimps.
So all in all, a lovely weekend has been had & here are some pics - enjoy!

and, we've totally given up trying to get us all looking even semi-normal in family photographs. No, the way forward is to just pull faces....

April 07, 2012


Mother Nature treated us to a little mini heatwave a week or so back. The sun makes life just seem that little bit easier, just less complicated somehow? We spent lots of time outside, having picnic lunches, picnic dinners, visiting pretty places, friends gardens, our garden, parks - basically anything to get as much sun therapy as possible. It was nice, and long overdue. I always think having the sun warm your skin for the first time that year is always such a good feeling, a sign that Summer is on it's way!


1. I got *this* close to ordering up a couple of prints from Pretty little thieves - I just can't decide which ones.
2. I dreamt about one day eating these baked avacado fries. Holy guacamole batman!
3. I stumbled on the beauty that is Fig and Fauna. I could pootle around that website for DAYS.
4. I finally got around to ordering myself this book. What took me so long?!
5. These fun decorated eggs popped up on my Flipboard. Dexter loved them!
6. I wished I could buy pretty much everything from MaeMae Paperie. Adorable!
7. I spent some time at Nordic Kids. How cute is this range from How to kiss a frog?
8. I think I just found one of my favourite set designers/stylists, possibly ever. Jenni Juurinen is amazing. WOW.

So, there you have it - the beautiful things from around the internet that inspired me this week. Hope you like 'em :)

April 01, 2012


My mate Sarah recently asked me for my top tips for a girls weekend in Bath. I think she thinks that I have some sort of social life that involves me leaving the house of an evening. What's THAT about? Ok, ok, so it's not that bad and i do get myself some kiddo free time sometimes & when I do, i try to make sure that it's not always to the same places.

So, here you go Baggs, if i were to have a weekend to myself with mates in this beautiful city, it would probably go a little something like this....

After waking up at the boutique B&B One Three Nine  i'd probably head to The boston tea party for breakfast. I'd sit outside, have an extra shot skinny latte, order up the Eggs Royal and watch the world go buy for an hour or so. Of course, the sun is shining because indoor tables are pretty hard to come by at a weekend - this place is BUSY!
So, with a full belly & a good shot of caffine, i'd get my retail therapy out the way. Bath on a Saturday is crazy busy, so busy it makes Covent Garden look like a ghost town! So, hit the shops early (yes, there will be shopping). I'd make a beeline first for George Street first which is right at the top of town. And being a total foodie, i'd probably go to The Chandos Deli and pick up some supplies for culinary adventures yet to happen!! Then, i'd head down Milsom Street & stop off at oh so many places. Vingear Hill for some home & garden whimsy. Then Octopus for bright coloured nonsense things no-one needs but totally does at the same time! Next stop, Bloomsbury. The staff aren't the friendliest known to man here, although this weekend will be without children, so they will probably manage a smile, but i overlook their grumpiness for the sheer amount of Orla Keily stuff they stock! And their books are goooooood (yeah, sorry for that Mr Bank Manager). Cath Kidston is round the corner, and in the old days I would have spent the whole friggin day a fair amount of time in Habitat, but the recession put an end to that.... Anyway, I digress... I'd be heading up Walcott street for a nose at all the antique shops next, and pick up some treats at The Fine Cheese Co...... WAIT! In my imaginary day it's probably midnight now, so i'd better stop fantasy shopping and get on with it, so i'll have to save visits to The Makery, Urban Outfitters, & My Small World for next time ;)
Well, it's now totally time for lunch & you could seriously spend the whole day choosing where to fill up. Bath has something crazy like more restaurants per sq ft than anywhere else in Europe or something (that's not a fact, but it's not something i've just made up either, it's just something like that). It totally depends what you're after: posh nosh/light lunch/pub grub.... Hmmmm for me it's going to be a toss up between Jamie's Italian, The Porter & The Salamander. Three VERY different places but all good for lunch. I have a real soft spot for the veggie & vegan food at The Porter & when I first moved to Bath i was in here waaay too much. It's simple, wholesome, reasonable & yummy, but the place is dark, and small & a real hang for students (no bad thing, it's just not everyone's cup of tea). Jamies Italian is obviously a chain, but it's a good one. I never hear a bad word said against the place & apparently those chips cooked in truffle oil or something are to die for, but my gallbladder's a bitch so i haven't actually tried them - yet! The Salamander is a Bath Ales pub, which happens to serve pretty awesome food upstairs as well as its famous local ales. My hub once said he had one of the best steaks he's ever had up there, so make of that what you will.

OK, so with the lunch out the way you need to relax right? And you're in Bath, so of course you head to The Thermae Spa to get treated right...

I'd go for the Watsu Thermal Treatment followed by a facial. Oh. My. Gawd. I'm zoned out just thinking about how amazing that would be (note to self: DO THIS - YOU LIVE HERE!). So, how chilled out are we now? Me thinks it's time to head back to the hotel & continue the beautification process for this evenings events!!
So, now it's say 7pm & I am so ready for some cocktails! As far as cocktail places go for me it's always between Pulp which is relaxed cool & Sub 13 which is a bit more suited & booted, but the garden terrace is nice in the summer. It is heavy on your purse though (3 glasses of wine a couple of weeks ago cost me, wait for it.... £21.50. (I know - ouch!), so get there for the happy hour with every other cocktail lush in Bath and enjoy maybe just the one (!) before you head out for some food.
Dinner. Hmmmm - this could get interesting. And LONG. So, i'm going to simplify & just break it down into my top eateries depending on what i'm fancying at that time....

THAI - I love love love the authentic food at Thai Balcony (sorry, could only find a review). It's not the worlds trendiest of places, but the service is good, the staff polite & the food amazing. And that's more important than some pretentious art on naked walls IMO (I save that for home). If you want Thai, I order thee to go there!
FRENCH - Beaujolais Bistro This place is so lovely. The food is top notch, the wine good & the atmosphere genuine. Just off the beaten track too, and i think he does early 'Pre-Theatre' deals. But don't go quoting me on that.
TAPAS - Bit of a sore subject with me as my fave authentic Tapas resturant which i frequented often closed down but the Tapas plates at Same, same but different were pretty damn good when i was there a couple of months ago.
ITALIAN - for me, this has to be Martini's. The pizza's here are amazing, as is the fiori di zucchine! You need to order those
GREEK - Opa is fab for Mezze, and if it's a balmy summers evening, you can enjoy it on the terrace. Also, you can stay here drinking & dancing until late if you're too full of gorgeous grub to move! Now there's a top tip for ya!
INDIAN - Now, this place The Mint Room is fairly new to Bath, and I haven't actually been yet BUT i had to mention it as the food looks amazing. It's actually about a 10 minute walk from the town centre, but the fact that people DO NOT stop talking about the food here, and the fact that it's pretty much rammed full every night (it's at the bottom of my road, so i pass it a lot) speaks masses. The local reviews i've read have all given it outstanding & 5 stars, so y'know, that speaks for itself right?
For Indian food in town, i'd always try & get a table at The Bengal Brasserie.

If i haven't chatted the entire night away (which is what normally happens) i'd head back to Opa for some tunes or if i'm pretending I'm still in my 20's, i'd get my ass over to Moles. Although it's a good few years since I was in there & they'd probably check my ID to make sure i'm not too old ;)

Then. To. Bed.

Sunday will be sight seeing day.
Slowly moseying around this beautiful city is one of my favourite ways to spend a sunny Sunday - unless it's the last Sunday of the month, when i can be mainly found dragging three bored kids around the Vintage Market.
Bath has parks galore such as my local one, The Royal Victoria where you can relax in the botantical gardens, go exploring in the dell or just simply walk (OK, i'm sure you know what to do in a park. soz.) If you're lucky, you might see a few hot air balloons take off. Parade Gardens is a lovely place to stop & have a cuppa tea & a hunk of cake if you're weary in the middle of town, and the views of Pultney Bridge & the weir are good from here. History demands that you must do the Royal Cresent & the Royal Circus too as it's a pretty special sight to see for the first time. As are The Roman Baths, and the Abbey, which are both smack bang in the heart of the city. Oh, god, wait - then there's the whole Jane Austin tangent you could go on...... *sigh* I fear we could be here some time. You're going to need way more than a weekend to see what we've got tucked away here for you, but hopefully this will wet your appetite...


FOOTNOTE: Main photo source, Thermae Spa photo source