What's Up Wednesday Link Up - only half a day til 'term breaks up for Easter - Whoop!
Only one half day until term breaks up for Easter and I won't be back at work until 9th April and Caspar not back until 17th April - whooooop ( If you've been an Aggie at some point it's always good to throw in a random whoop every now and then!). Spotted this fun linkup on Shay's and Narci's website and thought I'd give it a go!
What we're eating this week
Well, I've got to be honest - other than Monday's roast chicken, vegetables, oven roasted new spuds in olive oil and garden rosemary it has all been a bit thrown together. Tonight is a great example. When your day roughly goes like this - leave house at 8am, return at 1, walk dog, eat, log into work for 1 hour, pick Caspar up, go into town for some Easter shopping, return at 5:30, log into work for another hour and 15; by the time the husband returns from work we both just threw into a pan some basil tofu and garlic and boiled up some whole-wheat spelt pasta (so far so good). Andy went to get changed out of his suit, I threw some pasta sauce in - sweet roasted garlic. It wasn't enough, so I threw in the second pasta sauce I grabbed from the cupboard - bolognaise. Not realising it had beef and pork in it. Could be to do with the fact I was distracted by the dog licking plates from the dishwasher:
I have recently taught Humphrey paw' - so to make him sit still so I could wipe the tomato sauce from his nose I bribed him with a treat.
Later this week I plan on the food getting goooooood. I ordered a full leg of local herdwick lamb this week from the butcher and will roast it on Easter Sunday. I still haven't had time to pick my final recipe but my first go-to choices will be either that lovely politest of polite chefs Nigel Slater or the British institution / lovely granny we wish we all had, Mary Berry:
We will be digging out the vintage kitchenware like Mary's of course for the Lamb! I cannot wait. Of course the roast will be accompanied by some King Edwards roasted in hemp oil and rosemary.
What I'm reminiscing about
Holidays! We teetered on the edge of a last minute holiday for July this year but decided to be sensible and prioritise some home upgrades instead (gosh how old farty does that sound?). I came across these photos from a holiday a couple of years ago and it made me pine for the sun:
Caspar looks like he is having a better time in this photo with German friend Lars - they could not communicate but were inseperable:
What I'm loving
Where do I start? Blogging has kind of opened a new world for me. I am sooo busy most of the time with work and family life - it has generated an opportunity to meet great new people and re-kindled my connections with my favourite people of all - the open hearted Americans I have always warmed to. It has provided a great excuse to be creative and most of all to become open to discovering new things. I have been very behind on technology, trends in fashion, music and so on and I am currently on a steep, but fun, learning curve! So in the passed week or so I've - set up a youtube channel of all my favourite songs - that was a fun trip back in time! I've also set up a Spotify account - to hopefully discover some new music - any current country / R&B recommendations anyone? I've set up an Instagram account - and discovered how it is a billion times better than facebook (but impossible to find people on it - especially as hardly anyone I know uses it!), and in the last few weeks I've started using WhatsApp. I've learnt so much from other bloggers - most importantly that positive, uplifting messages and stories are so contagious. I've learned skincare tips, started to experiment more with make-up and clothes, even tried buying patterns and colours in clothing that I've never tried before. I love it! There is tons about blogging and social media I still need to work out - sometimes I am worried my English humour doesn't translate, and I am conscious I am a little behind the times on things, and still not sure I've figured out how to watch let alone make an insta-story - but hey, it's an interesting ride!
If anyone wants a complete laugh at the completely random music on my youtube playlist, I've made it for myself as a workout motivator and trip down memory lane but here it is. I think every type of music possible is on there!
I also still have no idea how to link to my Instagram page via the blog - so any tips would be gratefully received! :)
What we've been up to:
Other than working (for me sometimes til 18:30 (from home in the afternoon) and Andy until 7 - after dinner and jobs that it usually IT for the night. With British summertime starting this Sunday however, we can now go out for evening walks in the daylight - yaaaaaaay! We've also been going for 'kind of jogs'. I.e. attempting to get fit and doing interval running and jogging. In preparation I got my first pair of trainers in about 15 years and some sale bargain nike lycra legging things. Oh and I got a foam yoga mat - currently in an Ottoman hidden away from the dog so he doesn't eat it, which is not helping remind me to work out. I am, however, determined to tone up for Spring!
What I'm dreading
The great bearing of the British limb after winter. If you live in a warm climate you have probably already been short and t-shirt ready for several weeks, with bronzed, toned limbs. I, like 99% of British women have been hiding in jeans and thick sweaters, progressively going from off white after summer to a white blue - green. I am also of of those people who are slim, not over-weight but whose limbs are utterly in-toned - we call the legs 'baby legs.' I am capable of looking fit but other than walking the dog I haven't done any real exercise for many years. Seeing bloggy pictures of lots of fabulous bare-leg ready ladies has inspired me to really make an effort this year. But I am no-where near ready in terms of being in shape for shorts or in colour! The leap between jeans of 80 denier black tights and bare, bronzed leg currently feels like an unbridgeable gulf. Which takes me to...
What I'm working on
It has to be what I am terming a me-makeover for spring #makemeaspringfox. I am going to draft a list. A list always helps when lacking time and kind of outfaced by a task, doesn't it? It is going to be something like this:
1.Scrub up - dry skin brush loofah. I've learned from the past with this - you know, that awful moment when you've put fake tan on only to realise it is clinging in orange swathes on random patches of skin (like the sides of your fingers - what is that all about?)
2.Butter up - my Mum gave me a pile of body butters ( I should include in a blog post 'what random stuff my Mum gave me this week'. They weren't the natural sort I usually use but I don't care, they are working (hey, I'm not a natural beauty fundamentlist here - it has to work, and be affordable).
3.Interval jogging - with Caspar and Humphrey, starting tomorrow.
4.Weights and Sit Ups.
5. Eventually this DVD. It's old but it is awesome, and it works:
This is from 2006. This is the year Caspar was born and shows I haven't really worked out in eleven years. Quite shocking really. I quite fancy this year being able to show my leg above the knee!!
What I'm excited about
Quite simply - being off work, spending quality time with the family, cooking properly, baking, having time for simple things like painting my nails or reading. Also - spending an evening dining out in Bowness on Windermere on Tuesday. It's only 30 minutes away but it is like being on holiday when you are there:
What I'm watching / reading
I will definitely make time this week-end to both read AND watch my ultimate favourite book and film, which encapsulates everything I love and remember about growing up in Dorset, and about the English countryside:
The cinematography, the countryside, the light, the heavingly passionate storyline. The clothes (I want her fitted jackets). The wild horse-riding through car free country lanes (in Dorset we would ride our pones lying backwards facing the sky down the lanes and through the rivers a la Bathsheba Everdene). And yes, I would pick Gabriel Oak. What a man.
If you like the film and haven't read the book you must read the book! My favourite part is his description of the night Gabriel sets off on foot into the unknown and describes the sky from the back of a hay cart. It resonates particularly with me as the village he is described by Hardy as originally farming from was a 5 minute walk from where I lived in Dorset and I love to imagine it all as I read.
What I'm listening to
I have one song downloaded from Google play, Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood's Somethin' Bad, and I am pretty obsessed with it. It is probably years old but I am hoping it will link me in to more country music:
I play it in my car and drive Caspar nuts as he hates it. Before I'd figured out GooglePlay I downloaded it on youtube to play as music when I drove. I then freaked and realised this might be costing me a fortune out of the house and turned it off. Minutes later I hear Chinese voices from my bag on the back seat. I got to work and youtube had somehow linked this video to a Chinese lecture, all in Chinese, with Chinese subtitles in some conference room with weird pictures of burning things on the wall. How that happened I don't know. I am probably on some watch list know - God knows what the burning things were or what they were talking about.
What I'm wearing
Less! Yey! A gilet - so no sleeves! Whoop! Still mostly 'country wear' which is not really that feminine. So here for example, jeans, very muddy wellies (Gumleaf), pink and blue checked tattersall country shirt (Rydale), bright blue merino wool cable knit jumper and gilet (both Jack Wills - I buy a lot of kids clothes for the petite fit):
What I'm doing this week-end:
- Cleaning the house
-Baking for Easter
-Buying our last Easter Egg from Booths - Andy's
-Trying not to get too orange with fake tan
- Easter Egg Hunt with Caspar, Georgie plus kids and Ely plus Kids (on Friday)
-Easter Sunday epic lunch for my parents
- Hopefully sleeping in and reclaiming my eyes from their sockets
What I'm looking forward to next month
Hopefully looking spring foxy in this cheap as chips dress I just bought:
Redecorating the house!
A barbecue ( I can hope!)
Running on the beach (as above!)
Keeping on trying new things
What else is new
I went on Instagram and hooked back up with friend Mary-Stu - who I mentioned in last Tuesday's post! We were at Uni together in Lancaster and MS was one of my bridesmaids! She is here, at the back on the left (in this photo from my pre-wedding dinner in 2004):
God know what was thinking when I bought that green spangly top. And how massive were those jeans? I STILL have the mac on the back of the chair. Blimey, I'd wondered how old that thing was!! Time for a wardrobe re-vamp. People have cameras on the table and I just realised as well I am the only English person at the table. Isn't it fun looking back on old photos and spotting random things?
Ok, if you are still there after that ramble - Have a lovely day and thanks for reading! Looking forward to reading everyone else's post about their plans for the week-end! Joanne x