Monday, 31 December 2012

Christmas 2012

Can you believe 2012 is nearly over? The last few weeks seem to have flown by, but I am really looking forward to 2013…it’s kind of exciting having absolutely no idea where your life is going to take you in the next year!!!

I wanted to show you some photos from our Christmas, and figured today was the last possible day to write this post before January’s fresh start, so here is our Christmas…

Liam had the children during the day on Christmas Eve and I spent most of it at the gym – our usual Saturday spin instructor put on 9am & 10am classes on Christmas Eve as well, so I went to the 9am class with my Mum and youngest sister, and then I went to the gym afterwards. Burn off some calories before the Christmas eating started!! Late afternoon I picked up the children and Liam also joined us for our traditional DVD night. Baked Camemberts with all the sides (there were baguettes, cranberry sauce etc too!)…


Plus new Christmas PJs and Polar Express DVD…


There are never normally any photos taken of me (as I’m usually behind the camera) so I made the most of Liam being there to get some nice photos of me with the children…

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The red mark on my cheek is from walking into the changing room door at the gym earlier, ha, so embarrassing – I had to fill in an accident report and stand with an ice pack on my cheek for half an hour after spin class before they’d let me use the gym!!!

I forgot to buy/make any mince pies, so Santa got a brownie and a cranberry white chocolate cookie this year…


Christmas Day and two very excited children…

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Liam spent the morning with us to see the children opening their gifts (bikes being the main presents this year, although Toby’s was second hand from my friend’s son) and then he went to his Mum’s for lunch and I took the children round to see my family.

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For more present opening…


Funny outfit wearing (Thanks Auntie Livvy!!)


And food…

Cauliflower cheese, red cabbage, parsnips & roast potatoes, yum!

I was too full after this (and all the nibbles I’d eaten earlier) to have any of the traditional Christmas pudding, but I did have some fried with brunch on Friday which is my favourite way to eat it anyway!!


This is a steamed Irish Christmas pudding and the recipe has been passed down through my Grandma’s family for generations. I was nearly tasked with making it this year but with Liam moving out etc Mum took pity on me and made it again this year, haha, I think the recipe will be winging my way before Christmas 2013!! Winking smile

By the time we finished eating, the children were a little past it, so we headed home for a bit of peace and quiet before another busy day on Boxing Day! In the morning we headed down to the seafront to watch lots of crazy people go for a swim in the sea, in fancy dress! We then went to my Mum’s for fried egg/bacon sandwiches, and then we headed over to see my Grandparents in the afternoon.
Toby with his new hat (thanks Auntie Vicki!)…


More present opening…


A buffet (my Grandma makes good egg sandwiches!)…


A puppet show…


And charades…!!


Whew! I have to admit I was kind of glad to get back to the gym normality on Thursday!!

Just a few more photos – a couple of gifts that deserve honourable mentions! The children and I were all really lucky to receive so many lovely gifts from lots of people. I think I worked out the children had 4 separate “Christmases”/present opening days…they loved it! I could go on about lots of gifts for ages, but this post is already super long so I thought I would just focus on two of my favourites – food and nail polish. This isn’t, of course, my only foodie present – lots of people know me well enough to know I love anything edible!! (In particular, thanks to Dad, Olivia, Maria and Sarah W!) This food basket, however, is all from my lovely Mum. She also surprised me by picking out a Republic checked shirt (above somewhere) and also the perfect (fake) leather jacket for me! I had been searching for one for ages with no luck as I didn’t like the collars/fit of all the ones I tried, but the one she bought is perfect! Anyway, back to the food… Mum still gives my little sisters stockings, so I think this was my alternative…amazing!



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The chocolate covered butterscotch pecans are all gone already, divine! I’m planning to open the gingerbread truffles with my Mum this evening as she really wants to try them too. And non-chocolatey things…


More Joe&Seph’s popcorn! I’d been resisting ordering some more of this so I was especially happy to see some in my basket! Thanks Mum! Smile

I also received lots of nail polishes, yey! Those of you who follow me on Instagram will probably realise I love painting my nails!!!

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Nails Inc Emerald glitter from my sister Olivia, the two Nails Inc Sprinkles from the children (thanks Liam!) and the magnetic and chameleon effect polishes from one of my friends. I’m currently wearing Nails Inc Sweets Way (the milky polish with pink blue & white glitter) but I think I am going to try out the magnetic polish today – I’ve never used magnetic polish before but one of my friends raves about them!

Did you all have a great Christmas? Any favourite moments/gifts?
I loved the children’s excitement on Christmas morning. This was the first year that Toby has really understood so it was fun to see them both excited by what “Ho Ho Ho” (aka Santa in Toby language!!) had brought them Smile I took them out on their new bikes yesterday with my Dad, that was fun too, albeit super muddy!! I’ll try to write another post up soon with some other photos from the Christmas holidays, I can’t believe how long this post already is just from Christmas Eve/Christmas Day/Boxing Day!

In the meantime, I hope you've all had a lovely Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Merry Christmas!


I hope you all have a wonderful day full of fun, family & great food! (The important things in life!!)

Lots of love, Lucy, Izzy and Toby xxx

Friday, 21 December 2012

St Kew Teacup Basket - Lakeland {Review}

A little while ago I was contacted by Lakeland to see if I would like to review one of their Christmas Hampers – the St Kew Teacup Basket.

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The hamper was sent out by Lakeland and arrived very quickly. It was well protected inside a box, and the hamper itself was beautifully packaged. The basket is shaped like a tea cup – definitely one to keep!

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Inside there was a box of English Breakfast Tea, a jar of Strawberry & Champagne Conserve and two packets of biscuits – Strawberries and Cream Shortbread and Fabulous Oatie Flips.

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I haven’t had a chance to try everything yet, as I'm sure is the case for the rest of you, there is so much food around at this time of year that I'm trying to show a little restraint where possible!!!! I am saving the Strawberry & Champagne Conserve for Christmas Day morning as it sounds suitably luxurious to go with our croissants! My Grandma came round for tea a couple of days ago though so I gave her the choice of which biscuits to open – she said they both sounded delicious but chose the oatie flips…

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Rubbish photo, sorry – my camera has decided to break just in time for Christmas – but these biscuits were absolutely divine! My Grandma only had one as, despite loving them, she has a very small appetite (she only ever drinks half a cup of tea or coffee too!). I, however, ate 5 while she was there and then finished them off with Izzy after school!! Embarrassed smile Izzy just looked over my shoulder and saw the above photo and said “mmm, those biscuits were lovely, can we buy them again please?” so definite thumbs up here!!

Have you ever heard of St Kew Products before? They are a Cornish brand, and from what I’ve tried so far I would definitely recommend them. I will look out for them in future when I want some old fashioned food treats…perfect for sharing with Grandparents or just for a bit of luxury!

Thank you to Lakeland for sending me the hamper to review. All opinions in this post are my own.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Starbucks, Shopping, Sushi and Fro Yo

In the spirit of looking on the bright of the things I’ve been enjoying about my recent separation is the occasional child-free day. Don’t get me wrong, I love spending time with my children, but single parenting is hard work so the odd time to myself is enjoyed too!! Liam normally has the children on Saturdays, so I go spinning and to the gym in the morning and before I know it it is time to pick them up again! This weekend however, he had them on Sunday. The 4 of us went to Halfords to buy Christmas presents. A bike for Izzy…

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And a helmet for Toby, as we are giving him a second hand bike from my friend’s son…

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I then headed into Exeter on my own, bliss! First stop, Starbucks for breakfast…

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Dirty chai latte and toasted fruit bread, my favourites!

I then set about the serious business of clothes shopping(!) It was so peaceful shopping by myself, but I did miss having someone there to give an opinion…so I ended up taking lots of photos of myself in changing rooms & texted them to my sisters…what did we do before iPhones?!!

My main aim for the shopping trip was jumpers, as I literally have none – it has been a little chilly around here in just tops and my gilet! I bought this turquoise jumper from Superdry…

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and I also loved this purple hoodie…

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but my sister, Sarah, suggested I look in Republic instead…

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Perhaps not quite as nice, but £20 instead of £45…I was glad of the saving!

I am also addicted to buying Pineapple exercise gear from Debenhams…I already have it in black/turquoise, grey/red, and black/purple but this black/lilac combo drew me in!

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These capris are a bit longer than my usual ones, which is good for this cold weather. The new design is also more black than the other ones - my other sets have tops that are mainly coloured with just bits of black or grey. I'm happy that these look a bit different whilst still being the great fit that I love.

For lunch I went to Yo Sushi. It only opened in Exeter about a month ago, and I’ve only been to any Yo Sushi once before when I was pregnant with Toby, so I was excited to try it!

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I don't like the idea of raw fish though, urgh, I definitely stuck to the vegetarian options!!

Avocado maki…

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Inari Pocket…

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Crunchy Tofu Salad…

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and Vegetable Futomaki…

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The tofu was a bit bland - but the rest of the salad was good; and the inari (fried soya bean) was a bit sweet – but the contents of the pockets were tasty. I loved both the rolls though, simple really is better!

No dessert as I was headed to the most exciting part of my day! When I’d been out in Exeter in the evening a couple of weeks ago, I’d noticed a new cafe called Bubble Bubble Co. It mainly sells bubble tea, but it also has self serve frozen yoghurt!

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The bubbles were also part of the topping options. I was curious about them. They are vegetarian – made with seaweed extract and fruit juices. I tried the peach bubbles and they were actually my favourite topping – so fresh and real tasting!

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I had chocolate and caramel swirl frozen yoghurt, topped with spiced biscuits, chopped peanuts, a couple of varieties of chocolate sprinkles, raspberries, blueberries and peach bubbles…

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It was priced by weight so I was hoping it wouldn’t be too expensive…it came to £3.12 which I didn’t think was too bad? Although my wallet and waistline are both probably glad I don’t live that close to Exeter…this is definitely a treat that will be included in every shopping visit from now on!!

My other aim for shopping was to buy some shoes. I have flat feet, which are also size 8 and wide…so shoe shopping is an absolute nightmare. My current shoes were some men’s navy hiking trainer type things from Sports Direct, and after just a few months they already had holes in both shoes – by the big toes and at the edges! I failed at finding any other shoes to fit me though, in the end I bought the exact same shoes again (!) but at least this time they were half price!!

Luckily yesterday I was shopping in my local town and popped into Fat Face. They had some boots that caught my eye and the display size was an 8 so I tried them on, so comfy! This is the first time I’ve ever owned boots like this so fingers crossed they wear well!!

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I also bought those trousers, but in the next size down from the pair I'm wearing in the photos, yey, my hard work at the gym is beginning to pay off!! Open-mouthed smile

And now I really need to stop spending any money…at least until the post-Christmas sales!! Winking smile I have got everyone's Christmas presents sorted already, luckily, but yesterday someone crashed into my car while it was parked outside my house, grrr, no contact details left so I’ll have to pay the bill…not what I wanted a week before Christmas!!

Have you bought any new clothes lately? Or anything on your wish list? I think I’m pretty much sorted for clothes for now, although I am planning to go sale shopping on the 27th or 28th as Liam has the children on those days. I’m not sure how much shopping I’ll actually do then though, it’s always so busy but at least I wont be trying to fit a pushchair in the crowded shops!! The last time I went Boxing Day shopping was when Izzy was still in a pushchair - a year before Toby was born - I still shudder at the memory!!
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