This Week’s Favourites

I guess I’m not alone in feeling slightly down in the dumps tonight as two weeks of Christmas holiday and family time draw to a close. Tomorrow the kids go back at school and preschool and I’m back at work (luckily I work from home so no commuting in the rain). It does feel like we’ve had a proper break and, although I don’t relish the thought of having to drag the children out of bed at 7.15am, hopefully we all have a bit more energy than before the holidays.

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We kicked off this week with a trip to Hampton Court ice rink. The boys did really well, ice skating in the pouring rain and howling wind, and were rewarded with hot chocolate topped with whipped cream afterwards.

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Rain, rain and more rain meant that indoor activities were mostly on the agenda this week. Luckily there were lots of new Christmas toys and games to keep us busy like this ice cream play dough set:

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I didn’t manage to take any pictures at all on New Year’s Eve. We were invited to a party at a friend’s house but as Clemmie had a cold she and Daddy stayed at home while the boys and I went for a couple of hours. All the kids were tucked up in bed well before midnight and the hubby and I gave the televised Big Ben countdown a miss and watched a couple of episodes of Breaking Bad instead. Does it get any more rock n roll?

The highlight of my week was without a doubt our trip into town last night to see the English National Ballet performance of The Nutcracker. With the children safely deposited at the grandparents, we took the train up London just the two of us, for the first time in ages. The weather had brightened up so we went for a walk around Covent Garden, taking in all the festive decorations like the giant red baubles..

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..and the massive Rudolph complete with shiny red nose.

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We had dinner at Balthazar, which opened its London outpost a few months ago.

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Delicious food and a glass of bubbly to set the mood..

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..before we made our way to the Coliseum for the performance.

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I saw The Nutcracker a few times as a child but my husband had never seen it before. We both agreed that it was a great night out and I’m sure we will go to the ballet again in the not too far future.

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As we had some time before our train, we decided to walk across the bridge to Waterloo Station…

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..and I was reminded of how much I love this city and how lucky we are to have all that it offers right on our doorstep.

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Today has been spent taking down the Christmas decorations, hoovering up thousands of pine needles (those things get everywhere! I’m sure I’ll still be finding some under the sofa come June), and getting the boys’ bags ready for school. With the alarm set for 7am, I’m going to have a cup of tea and some chocolate (no need to rush into the January healthy eating regime!) in front of the TV before heading off to bed. Wish me luck for tomorrow morning! X

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Fall To-Do List

Fall To-Do List

As most you have probably gathered, Fall is my favourite season. I’ve already written a post on my Autumn Resolutions and another on Ten Reasons to Fall in Love with Fall, but I couldn’t resist one more focusing on the things I want to do in the next couple of months. Now is the perfect time to start new projects, or perhaps pick up on existing ones which fell by the wayside over the summer, and also to carve out a bit of me-time before the Christmas rush begins.

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1. Start taking more pictures with the Nikon DSLR camera I got for my birthday last year (especially as one of my birthday presents this year was a new lens). I’m still getting to grips with it, and often I forget to take it with me or decide it’s too bulky to lug around, so I end up using my phone but the picture quality is so much better with the Nikon.

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2. Make these cookies. Spiced apple cider instant drink mix is not readily available here in the UK but I found some on eBay.

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3. Go to the ballet. As a child I used to love going to see the Nutcracker around Christmas time and my husband has promised to take me this year.

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4. Host a Halloween party for family and friends. After Christmas and their birthdays, it’s the event that the kids most look forward to. Obviously they love all the candy but also the costumes, decorating the house and, of course, the pumpkin carving.

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5. Go away for a weekend with a friend, ideally to Babington House which is the perfect getaway for pampering treatments, delicious food and cocktails (their pear bellini is to-die-for)

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6. Learn how to cook a roast dinner.

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7. Finish off my photo wall. I have bought all the frames and chosen the pictures so all that remains is printing the photos and putting them up on the wall.

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8. Start at least one morning on the weekend with a long walk and take a moment to appreciate the stunning scenery right on my doorstep.

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9. Wear something other than jeans on at least one day a week. I wear lots of dresses and skirts in the summer but as soon as the temperature drops I practically live in my skinnies. The imitation leather skirt I ordered from H&M has finally arrived so I’m hoping that will inspire me to get out of the denim rut.

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10. Make scrapbooks for the boys of their best pieces of artwork, school and sports certificates. I have keepsake boxes and baby books for each of my children but I think that putting papers into a scrapbook is a better way of preserving them.

This Week’s Favourites

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This week has whizzed by as I knew it would. It’s funny how in the summer holidays time seems to slow down but as soon as school starts – and with it the relentless routine of school run, homework, after school clubs and weekend activities – I hardly have time to blink and it’s Sunday night yet again. Despite the rain (yes I know, I will stop going on about the weather soon!) it has been a good week, catching up with friends I haven’t seen for six weeks and watching the boys settle happily into their new classes.

Now all the kids are in bed and we’re just about to watch a movie – probably The Oranges with Leighton Meester who played Blair in one of my favourite TV series, Gossip Girl. But first, here is a quick round-up of the last few days: Clemmie started ballet class this week and amazingly didn’t cry when I left her there (it probably helped that she was with her best friend); The Chanel nail polish in Particuliere is one of my favourite autumn hues; I finally got to wear some of my Fall purchases such as this knitted jacket from River Island and tiered sweater from Anthropologie; My bargain of the week was this floral tube scarf from H&M for £6.99; I’ve also been digging deep into my wardrobe and uncovered some old favourites like these Miu Miu heels that I bought for my hen night 12 years ago. I wore them with the Anthropologie sweater and skinny jeans for a night out with friends; A morning latte to brighten up a drizzly morning; In our house weekends mean pancakes for breakfast; One of the best things about Autumn is snuggling up on the sofa to watch a film with candles lit on the mantlepiece.

And that my friends is exactly what I’m going to do now. Hope you’ve had a lovely weekend. X