Sunday, 15 October 2017

I'll see you on the other side...

Hi everyone!

Well, it's been emotional! I've had this blog now for three whole years. I love blogging, sharing my thoughts, feeling and experiences. I have decided to set up my own little space on the net (still hosted by the lovely called

I will be keeping these here also, as this blog is my very first, and I am very proud of my musings I have captured here. I will be posting my future adventures over on my new blog and very much hope to see you all over there!

I'll see you on the other side!

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Frills and Floral

For my birthday party, I wanted a special outfit. It was held in a function room in a pub, but as it was my 30th, I felt I needed an outfit fitting of the occasion!

I was walking around Lakeside Shopping Mall and I often avoid Topshop. I find the majority of Topshop's clothes best suit taller people, and I often feel my curves prevent most of their garments fitting me correctly.

I saw this jumpsuit as soon as I approached the Petites section, and I LOVED it! It's so pretty, and I willed it to fit!

I only shop in the Petites section of shops, as the taller "normal" section are always wayyy too long! I'm 5 foot 1 inch tall.

Black suede courts "Firstbase" Kurt Geiger Nine West (I got mine from House of Fraser)

Cutting the cake

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Birthday Sunday Funday

I am one lucky lady! My husband surprised me with a lovely day in London, which, for anyone who knows us knows how much we like our food, had to include two amazing restaurants.

The day began with Sunday lunch at a favourite of ours; Smiths Wapping. We recently went to the Ongar restaurant for our anniversary on 29th August, when I was pregnant. I couldn't have my favourite starter then as it had crab, and I was avoiding shellfish and certain seafoods (I know, I know, what a waste of time that was!) So, my husband decided to book for my birthday when I could have whatever I wanted!

As I knew our last destination of the day included prosecco, I was unsure of what drink to have with Sunday lunch! A cocktail seemed too heavy and I didn't fancy white wine. I decided to have a glass of my new favourite - a glass of red Cabernet Sauvignon and hubs had a glass of Merlot.

To begin, I chose the tian of crab, prawns and avocado whilst my husband decided to try something he'd never had before; a dish that included crab - a first for him! Both our starter dishes were delicious, and plentiful.

Tian of Avocado, Cornish White Crab and Peeled Prawns

Duo of Tempura Soft Shell Crab & Tiger Prawns with Oriental Salad & Sticky Plum Dressing

Each time we've been to Smiths on a Sunday, we've planned to have a Sunday roast with trimmings; but once we've got there and ordered we've both opted for other dishes. As it is predominantly a seafood restaurant, I have always had a fish dish. This time, we both chose the roast Angus sirloin of beef, accompanied by a large Yorkshire pudding, crunchy roast potatoes and an assortment of vegetables. The beef was perfectly cooked medium, the potatoes were huge, extremely fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside. One thing we noticed and liked was that with other restaurants for Sunday lunch, you usually have to share the dishes of sides; often leaving one of you with only one piece of carrot or broccoli. At Smiths, they provided us both with our own dish of sides.

We both really enjoyed our meal, and, as always, the service was very good.
We declined a dessert, as we knew there would be plenty of sweets at our last destination of the day!

Both feeling full and fancying a walk to work off some of our delicious lunch, we headed down by the river and strolled along chatting and taking in the sights of London. A town we live close to and visit frequently, and each time we see it, we notice different parts and places to put on the bucket list!

Instead of using public transport, we decided to walk to our next destination - Oxford Street. My Fitbit was extremely impressed with my activity today! We walked for over 14km in total!

After a browse in some shops, a purchase of my new winter coat (will blog soon) and some cute ballet shoes; we headed to The Radisson Blu Edwardian Berkshire Hotel. Our reservation was at Scoff and Banter Tearooms for afternoon tea with a bottle of prosecco.

At Scoff and Banter, you are given the option of 4 different mini-courses; Hot Kitchen, Scones, Sandwiches and Desserts. You can each choose two dishes from all sections, along with a tea of your choice.

The hot food is brought out on two separate plates per person. The following three courses are brought out in the traditional afternoon tea style of layered plates on a tiered stand.

(Back) Oysters Rockefeller, (front) Wild mushroom arancini with creamy spicy mayo

Oysters Rockefeller

Lamb cutlet, mint, lemon and Cyprus parsley crust

The Oysters Rockefeller was amazing - it practically melted in my mouth! The arancini was nice but I don't know if I'd choose it again!

(Left) Smoked salmon, crayfish and dill crème fraîche with a toasted bagel, (right) Chicken Caesar with rosemary focaccia

The bagel was amazing - the filling tasted delicious and the salmon was very soft. I've had smoked salmon previously at other venues that was mildly chewy, which almost ruins the taste for me. This salmon was not like that at all, it was extremely enjoyable. The chicken Caesar on focaccia was tasty, it had a small anchovy on which was a bit of an unpleasant surprise for my husband who dislikes most fish!

Scones (Front) Seville orange, (back) Maple and sultana

We had a very special day, enjoying good food, and more importantly; each other's company. 

There are some more photos we got from our day below.

Sticky toffee pudding, brandy snap and clotted cream

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Treats at Tredwells

I turned THIRTY this week. Yes, I know the timing is not great. Our missed miscarriage was diagnosed less than a month ago.

I am still struggling emotionally big time.

But, I was well and truly spoiled by my husband and my family.

A restaurant my husband has wanted to try for a while is called Tredwells and is a Marcus Wareing restaurant.

I'd always looked at the menu and thought it was too confusing; how do I know whether I'd like every element of the dish when I don't understand what some of the ingredients are!?

He'd booked it for me, not just because it's on his list, but because he was sure he could change my mind as soon as I tasted the food!

Oh boy, he was right! I'd eat there every week if I could!

Upon our arrival, we were greeted at the front desk by two conscientious staff members (all who we saw that night were extremely conscientious). They took my coat to the cloakroom and led us to our seats. My first impression on entering the dining area was that it was more casual than I'd thought; there were a cluster of tables by the front window. We were led past these and to a slightly elevated booth at the rear of the restaurant. The seating was plush, the ambience was amazing and the lighting gave an intimate effect.

We quickly scanned the cocktail menu and selected one each. Whilst we were sipping these and perusing the menu, a member of waiting staff approached the table and spoke to us about a wine he strongly recommended. It was a bottle of red, called The Chocolate Block

After tasting some, this delicious, easy to drink red got both of our approval! We ordered a bottle, the same member of staff proceeded to decanter some into the karaffe and swilled it around. Every 10 minutes or so, he came back and swilled it around; explaining that this was important.

Cocktails: Down the Apples & Pears Grey Goose Vodka, apple, pear, thyme

 Bellini Peach, sparkling wine 

It took me ages to decide what to have; there were several fish dishes on the menu and also chicken and steak. I'd quickly selected a Brixham crab dish for my starter whilst my husband chose a duck ravioli.

Both starters were the perfect size, and all the flavours just marry together so well - absolutely delicious.

Brixham crab, Nutbourne tomato, salted ricotta, crystal cucumber, verjus, sesame

Confit duck raviolo, sesame, peanuts, green chilli, pickled cucumber

For my main, I asked our waiter what he would recommend between the monkfish and the halibut. He expressed his preference; and confirmed both have quite a meaty taste. 

I chose the halibu, whilst my husband decided to have his favourite - a steak. 

We'd ordered several side dishes to share also, the triple cooked chips were possibly the best I've ever tasted!

Roasted halibut, summer vegetable fricassée, girolles, sweetcorn velouté 

35 day dry aged Ribeye steak

From back: Grilled broccoli, toasted almond butter, capers 

Triple cooked chips with hollandaise mousse

Grilled runner beans, romesco

The wine was exquisite; so smooth. The dishes were all amazing. We both thoroughly enjoyed our food. Personally, I didn't particularly like the sweet corn velouté. It was too much of a mixture of flavours for me, but when accompanying the fish, I felt it complimented the flavour of the fish. 

We both saved a little room (separate stomach!) for dessert! Well, if I'd thought choosing a main was difficult; picking a dessert was even harder! Hence why I selected a trio of desserts. My husband saw the words 'peanut butter' and was immediately sold! 

Peanut butter pudding, dark chocolate sorbet

Sweet Taste Of Tredwells praline chocolate tart, salted caramel soft serve, marinated pineapple & coconut mousse

Praline chocolate tart

As they presented me with my board of desserts, a plate was also brought out with "Happy Birthday" written onion chocolate sauce, accompanied by two salted caramel balls. I honestly could not choose a favourite dessert from those I sampled; all were melt-in-the-mouth and delicious!

We were not rushed at all through the evening, the serving staff all knew who had ordered which dish, which we felt was a nice touch. All were extremely attentive.
I now cannot wait to return!

Saved By The Belle

Essie's new Autumn colours are now out!

I chose this gorgeous, soft and feminine pink shade as no matter how many nail varnishes I have (over 45 bottles), I never feel like I have the perfect shade of pink! Some are too pale, others are too bright.

So, when I came across Essie's new Fall collection and Saved By The Belle; it had to be mine!

You can view Essie's newest colours here and I got mine from Boots on a 2 for 1 offer along with another shade I recently blogged about here

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Painting The Town (Nails) Plum

I am loving the deep purple shades out at the moment. Burgundy is clearly in fashion this season; it's such an autumnal colour. I always tend to turn to these kind of colours at this time of year.

Described as "a warm, rich, creamy deep plum" on Essie's website I'd have to agree this is a perfect description; this colour is purple but very deep and with a lovely shine to it.

I use two coats of Bahama Mama varnish, following a coat of Essie Primer varnish and then finishing with Essie Shiny Top Coat.

These pictures were all taken after two coats of Bahama Mama but before applying my Top Coat; to show you the level of shine this lovely plum shade is.

I get all my Essie nail varnishes from Boots as I like to look at them all in person! You can browse their selection and shop here

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Preparing for Baby Loss Awareness Week

Baby Loss Awareness Week is the 9th-15th October. This is the week where we are encouraged to raise awareness of the experiences of baby loss, and the overwhelming feelings and lifelong consequences it provokes.

By sharing their stories, this can help both the people who have experienced such loss, and those who hear their tale to understand a little more of what they have gone through. Support can be shown and awareness raised by wearing a ribbon on a badge, which easily attaches to lanyards and jackets. On the 15th October, globally recognised as the Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day; people are encouraged to light a candle to create a Wave of Light.

I have already purchased my badge, which took less than a week to arrive. More information on where to buy a badge, and other ways of raising awareness and breaking the taboo, can be found here this includes a list of charities that sell the badge.

I chose to purchase my ribbon from the Miscarriage Association website. This site was so helpful to me for providing information, particularly at the time of choosing my options (both my miscarriages have been missed miscarriages therefore I've needed to choose how to complete both miscarriages).

My badge, alongside the card from the Miscarriage Association