Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Lytham St. Annes

Last weekend I had another stir crazy moment - I needed to go to the sea! Do you ever get that way? I love the smell of that salty air and the sound of the crashing waves. It really is good for my soul, 
re-energising and sorting my head!!

Arriving late afternoon we had a short but exhilarating walk, admiring the amazing sunset and got really lucky as it turned out to be the Christmas light switch on with Christmas Carols and entertainment followed by a firework display. Lytham St. Annes is a small coastal town in Lancashire, around 26 miles away from home. It has a thriving town centre with lots of individual shops and at the Christmas light switch on the community spirit was palpable.
 Olly got fed up watching the entertainment in the town centre!!
Fish and chips - has to be done, then home to catch up on X Factor!!

Thanks for visiting - 
hope you are having a nice week!

Sunday, 22 November 2015

& So It Snowed!

Yesterday I woke to a blanket of snow. Not a very thick blanket, more of a sheet, beautiful nevertheless.
I have started to walk the pooch through the field twice a day now, so knowing how much he loves the snow I was dressed and out!
It's magical isn't it? Everything cloaked in white, bringing with it a stillness to the air. As I walked I had a smile on my face and laughed out loud as Olly dove into drifts. Living high up on the moors we get that bit extra - lucky - especially when not battling to work ;-)

& so my thoughts turned to Christmas - well, it does doesn't it when there's snow? This year feels extra special as I imagine Sebby seeing the christmas tree and decorations, the wonderment of it all. What goes on in those little heads?! A first visit to Santa, I can hardly contain myself, eeeeekkkkk!!

Of course the gathering of family and friends, sharing and creating memories and special moments. I try hard every year not to enter the madness, try to be mindful of what I am buying. For Christmas should be about coming together; not the dashing from shop to shop frantically finding something that matches what 'you spend'. 

This year, there is a calmness in my heart, it makes me want to change my lifestyle even more and think about where I want to be; what I want to do, for I know this calmness is because I am free of the stresses of work (not for much longer!!)

So, some pictures that I really enjoyed taking this weekend - thank you so much for stopping by and for lovely comments!

Whatever you are up to this weekend,
may you be calm in your heart, XX

Friday, 13 November 2015

Slowing Down In The Kitchen

My evenings usually go something like this (when I am in work). I arrive home to Olly very eager to go for a walk, so straight out of the back door I go, whatever the weather. I return, get tea on, throwing whatever I have in the oven, not particularly thinking about the food I am putting on our plates, just how quickly I can get it done.

Baking I find different to cooking, I thoroughly enjoy baking and often when I am stressed find myself in the middle of baking a cake - comfort food!!

But, I want to enjoy cooking more, to plan more thoroughly, to take my time preparing and more importantly eating. Despite throwing whatever in the oven we do have a really healthy diet, as in lots of fish, more protein, limited carbs, but just thrown together by the seat of my pants ;-)

This week I have enjoyed being in the kitchen, because I have had time. I tried a couple of new recipes and have slowed down my eating - I don't have anywhere to go at the moment, I'm not going running, dashing off to Pilates......

First up, this gorgeous colourful Vegetarian Chilli which I forgot to picture when on the plate!!
I wasn't too sure about this Cauliflower Cheese with Crispy Bacon, but made it for lunch and it was yummy. So simple, yet filling too! I forgot to roast mine, Frugal Queen's looks better, haha!
Last but not least this comforting, autumnal Roasted Pumpkin Soup. It was delicious and enjoyed by all who tasted! :-) I have made pumpkin soup before, which was left to go cold by everyone, me included. I picked a bad recipe....this time I went with Jamie Oliver. I did water it down quite a bit after these shots, I also added sweet potato :-0

So, I'm trying to embrace the slow, taking advantage of my time at home as I recover. Looking for inspiration, planning to eat something new at last once a week. I'd love if you could share or point me to any recent recipes you have tried and loved.

Happy Weekend!

Notes From An Exhibition #TheYearInBooks

So, back in September I made my proclamation to read Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins whilst on holiday. I did start it, but somehow lost my way. Eventually I restarted it - and oh my what a book! Demolished it in two sittings last week. Towards the end I actually felt frightened reading it, thinking things like 'run' 'call the police' - if that isn't the sign of a great read, what is??

So, ever late to the party, I have chosen  Notes From An Exhibition for my November read. Almost half way through the month but I have all the time in the world as I recover from my hysterectomy :-) I have never read anything by Patrick Gale before so looking forward to reading one of his 15 novels!!

Joining Laura at Circle Of Pine Trees - why not share what you are reading - or see what others are reading?

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Being Granny & A First Birthday

Being a Granny is the best present I could ever be gifted. This last year has seen changes to our family in the most amazing way possible, my Grandson brings such love and joy. 
We often all sit and observe him in wonder. 
Watching as he overcame the obstacles faced at birth, slowly awakening to this new and wonderful World and family that just love and adore him so much.
Lately he has gone from crawling to cruising and standing alone - those first steps taken, the confidence just needed! He's learning to communicate, sounds changing all the time, a new repertoire of first words being formed. He reserves certain nuances for different people, for Grandpa it's playing monsters, for me huge snuggly hugs you just don't want to end :-)

And so at weekend we celebrated this little man's First Birthday! With of course our family tradition of Henry Hedgehog cake, which his Mama wishes to continue (so sweet)!
Days like these are to be seized with both hands they really are a gift -
 I can hardly grasp, a year gone so fast!!
 This time the branch was hung with hearts - what our home is full of!
 There were sweet treats - of course!
 & here he is - this little man who has turned our World upside down - Sebby!
As a Mum I was chilled but I'm so much more chilled as a granny ;-)  Timing doesn't matter, the loose routine stays the same but we eat when hungry, go to bed when tired...embrace spontaneity, housework can always wait.

Thanks for reading this Granny's musings!

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Old Fashioned Night Out

On Friday I had a trip to The Palace Cinema (the oldest cinema in the North West) to see Spectre. 
What a fantastic night, whisking me right back to childhood, with it's heavily curtained screen and sumptuous velvet double seats, ladies with trays around their necks selling ice cream during an interval and a cup of hot chocolate in a real mug I could take to my seat - I loved it!  
Prior to the start of the film the National Anthem was played, everyone on their feet singing along with gusto - I think it's fabulous that tradition's like this are still alive, on my doorstep too!
The film itself was enjoyable, with old characters reintroduced. Not as gory as some of the Bond films have been, which I prefer :-)

Anyone reading and living in the North West - if you like tradition, The Palace is a must visit 
(fab chippy opposite too)!

Thank you for reading - come back soon ;-)

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

A Perfect Autumn Day To Run (Not Me)

First trip out in the car on Sunday (since my op). I went along to a local beauty spot - Entwistle Reservoir. Absolutely perfect Autumn day, the colours so vivid against the clear blue skies and reflected on the water.
I often run here, it's beautiful, enhances my thinking and it's great because it's flat as oppose to walking out of my front door where the only way is up 'baaabbbyyy!'
I always incorporate hill sprint reps into my running as it improves strength and endurance and this is why I was here - Mr.L was doing his hill sprints and I was happy to go along; breath that fresh air deep into my lungs and read my book ;-) & take photographs of course!
Mr.L ran up and down here for half an hour - 150 steps - 1.5 miles in total! Madass!
So important to stretch and cool down properly - it means less injuries, muscles slowly cool down, not just STOP, your heart rate gradually slows down and it also helps flexibility.
Just look at those socks!! :-)

Can't wait to be back running. In the meantime I don't mind watching! I will be looking at booking on some races soon for next year to help to motivate and have something to aim for.

Hope you are having a lovely week!