Sunday, 19 January 2014

#100HappyDays - Day 1 and 2

I survived my exam and passed my course, overall the dreaded week wasn't too bad.

During busy weeks like that it's often hard to remember the happy things and just to dwell on the stress. For that reason I have decided to tackle the #100HappyDays challenge, taking a picture of something that makes me happy for 100 days in a row.

These are my first 2 days...

Saturday 18th Jan; Happiness is sharing fro-yo with the one I love.

Sunday 19th Jan: Happiness is fancy new knobs on my drawers.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Dreaded Week

Today it's back to work and the week that I have been dreading.

Most of the time I enjoy my job, so it's not that I'm dreading work, I just have such a mental week planned.

Today and tomorrow I'm on call. This means 12+ hour days with lots of running around after sick babies and very little sitting down. Quite often when I'm on call I don't even get a chance for a drink of water, let alone lunch or a sit down. As tiring as this is, I actually quite enjoy being on call as the challenges I get mean that I get to stretch my brain as well as my legs (running from problem to problem). It's also pretty nice to know that I'm hopefully making a positive difference to some little people.

The real downer of the week will be Wednesday. A big exam. We have a number of exams to do after graduation as part of our specialisation. These are tough and not only are they tough, but they're expensive. I've revised, but having never sat this exam before who knows if I've revised the right stuff? Hoping to redeem the day by meeting my Uncle for a drink afterward.

As if that wasn't enough to pack into the week I've decided to spend the last 2 days doing my advanced paediatric life support course. This is 2 days of lots of simulating situations with sick children followed by a written exam and practical exam. Again this could be fun on it's own but considering that I have to get up at 6am and the days finish at 7-8pm, it's going to be hard work. It's also a bit scary because it's something I have to have for work and if I fail means spending hundreds of pounds to have another go. Eek!

Because of all of this stress I've decided I need to make a list of things to look forward to at the end of the week and even some bits in-between...

1. Saturday AND Sunday morning lie-ins next weekend
2. Kitten cuddles
3. Posh coffee in London before my exam
4. Catching up with my Uncle
5. Cuddling adorable little babies at work
6. Curling up with A at the end of each busy day
7. Clementines
8. Wearing my comfy Tesco "school-shoes"

Suddenly the week doesn't seem so bad after all...

Gratuitous cat photo. Excuse the bald patch on her leg. 

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Snuggly Sundays

There's something wonderful about getting to have a lie-in on a Sunday. I often feel guilty thinking about all the tidying, revision or other useful things I could do instead of having a lie-in, but I think for my sanity the Sunday lie-ins will have to stay.

I'm never sure if the cat makes snuggling into bed better or worse. There are all the moments she nibbles our toes and makes us jump, but then occasionally she has a lovely cuddly couple of hours and gets into the covers with us.

It's lovely having a little furry member of our family to share these mornings with.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Wooldown Cottages - Cornwall

There was so much that was wonderful about my anniversary weekend away, but (excepting the wonderful company), the best thing by far was the cottage we stayed in.

Wooldown Cottages is a family run business, with a number of beautiful cottages set in a picturesque location near Bude in Cornwall.

We were made to feel welcome from the second we arrived. We were met by the lovely Rowan who showed us to our cottage and helped us get settled in. A lovely surprise touch were the scones and cakes left for us to enjoy with a cup of tea after our long drive.

We opted for Stargazey, a recently built holiday cottage for two. The cottage is open plan with the kitchen, bedroom and living room all in one room. Everything about the cottage beautiful, if I could have moved in there forever I would have.

The bathroom had a huge shower and was decorated with shimmering tiles. There were piles of thick, fluffy towels and the floor was heated, in fact there was underfloor heating EVERYWHERE. As soon as I realised I had to pull off my socks and run around squealing about how warm my toes were.

The kitchen was all shiny and glamorous, with soft closing doors and everything you could need to cook up a storm while away. I was greatly impressed (and yet slightly freaked out), by the organisation of the cutlery drawer.

The living room had a couple of cosy leather sofas and a big flatscreen TV that was perfect for curling up in front of while watching DVDs. If watching a film isn't your thing there are big patio doors with a lovely view across the countryside.

There was a huge, cosy wooden bed. The most exciting thing about the cottage wasn't the huge bed though, it was what sat at the foot of it. A giant cauldron. Well not actually a cauldron but a huge, circular tin spa bath. This was so big that when I got in it I immediately slipped under the water and didn't touch the other side.

Sitting in that giant bath with my husband, listening to Christmas tunes on Classic FM while drinking champagne was probably the most wonderful way I could envisage spending an anniversary. It was perfect.

Friday, 10 January 2014

Cat Pyjamas

I haven't gone completely insane and bought the cat pyjamas... although she would look very cute. I got myself some new pyjamas, with cats on.

I am no fashion blogger, evidenced by the fact my first (and maybe only) fashion post is about pyjamas, but these are too cute not to share.

I first spotted them in Primark, in the town where my Dad lives, when I last went to visit. They were on a manikin, but they didn't have any of the gorgeous pyjama bottoms in stock. Boo!!

Yesterday, as I was off work, I hopped on a train to meet Hubby after he finished at his work. He doesn't work too far from a Primark so I dragged in him over there. They had the amazing pyjamas, I bought them and now they are mine.

PJ bottoms - Primark // Slipper Socks - Santa (who I think got them in M&S)
The fact they have cats on isn't the only great thing about them. I also love the pyjama bottoms. Primark has started to do pyjama leggings and they are so comfortable. They have a thick, cosy elastic waistband (now I sound like a granny), which never ever cuts into your tummy. They are also perfect for tucking into slipper socks for ultimate warmth. Very important if like me you begrudge turning the heating on for more than an hour in the morning.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Eden Project - Cornwall

It's been about 3 weeks since I've got back from this trip but the memories are still making me smile. Hubby has loads took loads of (what were probably) very beautiful pictures of the Eden Project on his fancy camera, but we'll have all died of old age by the time he uploads them and goes through them, so I thought I'd give you a little verbal run down of the awesome day we had.

For those of you who haven't heard of the Eden Project (perhaps because you live under a rock?), I stole a picture from my Dad's Facebook from when he went last year. It is filled with beautiful plants everywhere including things you wouldn't normally see in the UK in the rainforest and temperate biomes. They also do lots of conservational stuff.

I did take a couple of food photos in the wonderful pizza restaurant within the Mediterranean biome. You can always rely on me to make sure I have my own snaps of the food, I like to use them to cheer my tummy up with happy food memories when I'm stuck with flabby work sandwiches.

It was such a surprise to find a little restaurant actually within the biome. I got to sit on the terrace, and it really did feel like I was sitting on a terrace somewhere in Italy. What was even more of a pleasant surprise was how good the food was.

We started with an antipasti platter, which was basically a wooden board heaped with all my favourite things. I adore artichokes, olives and sundried tomatoes all of which were great quality. The great cheese stuff piquant peppers were both sweet and spicy but the highlight for me were the little balsamic pickled onions. Mmmmm pickles!! The bread was awesome too and hubby enjoyed dunking this in the oil from the tomatoes.

As there was a proper pizza oven we had to go for pizza. It was delicious! One of the best pizzas that I have had in the UK. The crust was beautifully thin and crunchy, supporting the generous (but not OTT) and tasty toppings. Hubby had a harissa spiced butternut squash and feta pizza that I enjoyed even more than my very nice hammy one.

The rainforest biome was my favourite bit. I loved the humid heat, the smell of the soil and all of the plants that I remember from trips abroad as well as ones I've never seen before. I got a little case of the leg-wobbles climbing up to the top of the new ariel walkway, but it was worth it for the view of the rainforest below. I recovered with a baobab smoothie - I wasn't sure at first but by the end of the glass I was converted.

I came away with an armful of new colourful jute bags and a massive smile on my face.

The best thing is, once activated, tickets give you entry for a year, so I'm hoping to go back in the summer when there are more flowers outside. I promise to take my camera so there are some more pictures!

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

One Line A Day

Posts have been a bit sparse over here over the festive season, but after working (a lot) over Christmas week I couldn't pull myself away from friends, family (or food!!) for long enough to write a post. Oops.

I wanted to mention my favourite Christmas present, although I think it was more of a New Year gift. My lovely husband had listened to me, jumping up and down in a bookshop waving this in front of his face, some months earlier.

He got me the One Line A Day 5 year memory book that I wanted so much.

It's a beautiful little baby blue diary with gold edges, in which each day has a page split into 5 years, giving you space to make some notes about that day every year for 5 years. It says "one line a day", but it's actually a couple of lines and with my spider writing I can get a fair bit into there. Kind of a flavour of each day.

I can't wait until a couple of years down the line when I will be filling this out and looking back at what happened in the years before. I anticipate this will be mostly filled with cat stories and food stories, but what could be better?

I am hoping that I will fill the book with lots of happy memories, no doubt a few sad ones too and knowing me some funny almost-disasters to make me giggle in the future.