#100 happy days

Are any of you doing the #100happy days project?

I waited a little while to start and now I'm thoroughly enjoying counting down the 100 happy days until our happiest of days.  Herewith, the first few days of the project.

Day 1 was letters home for students.

Day 2, the thought of hundreds of dogs in capes.

Day 3, an icy cold frappucino on a hot, hot day....

...followed by curling up with a pile of wedding and decor magazines.

Saturday, day 4, was chocolates (thank you, Jo!), tea, and planning.

Then Eurovision and kitten time that night.


Sunday was worship at St Clement Danes (such a gorgeous church!).

Catching up over lunch and coffee with Hannah.

And some more time with the lovelies.

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Christopher's, Covent Garden

Decision time!

I love brunch.  Eggs, coffee, and the chance to linger over conversation is a real treat, and I tend to go for bunch at least two or three times a month.  Luckily as I live in London there are ample places to do so.

Last week I wanted to meet two of my Junior League sisters after Matthew and I had been to church at St Clement Danes.  I haven't done brunch near Covent Garden in a while, so was a little unsure where to book.  After a little hunting and some review checking, I booked us a table for three at Christopher's.

Great choice.

I arrived a little before one and was lead up a giant stone staircase to a beautiful sun-filled first floor dining room comprised of tables of sizes various and a few booths.  Despite the clamour of the city centre outside, up here all was cool, calm, and quiet.  While I was waiting for Tracy and Lauren the staff were very kind, making sure I was attended to and bustling around smoothly as they took orders, poured coffees, and generally aced the whole 'being waitstaff at brunch thing'.  The girls arrived speedily and we were soon set up with coffees and drinks and perusing the menu.

Tracy went for the omlette and Lauren and I decided on the Huevos California.  All were delicious and I especially enjoyed the kick of spice in my salsa.  Salsa often tends to be a little watery and sugary when I have it in London so a vivid, bright tasting sauce was a treat.  Tracy's omlette looked gorgeous, filled with cheese, spinach and ham, and that lovely yellowy shade a good chef brings out in an omlette.

For pudding Lauren was very good and had a detoxing Vitamin C smoothie, but Tracy and I were far naughtier!  I settled for the cinnamon beignets with chocolate dipping sauce and Tracy selected the pecan maple pie.  The pie was stunning and I immediately had food envy, and will definitely be returning for a plate.  The beignets were light, tasty and beautifully spiced, but I didn't enjoy the sauce as much - the dark chocolate was overwhelming the subtler flavours of the beignets for me.  It was a good dish, but the two flavours didn't mesh particularly well for me.

All in all I would heartily recommend Christopher's for a weekend brunch, particularly if you have chatting to do.  I'm looking forward to visiting again, and also trying the martini bar sometime, because I love a good martini (straight up, extra dry, with a twist. YUM).

Pie envy!

Christopher's website.
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Okay, I'll say it.

As much as I'm trying not to write about the wedding too much or to be 'that girl' about countdowns, even I was excited when I realised we'd reached this milestone!

Link

There will be a fair few posts in the lead up to our wedding and on our vendors afterwards I think - my apologies if wedding stuff is not your thing.  For this season, for me and for Matthew, it's a pretty big feature. I'm aware also of the rule of circles though - for Matthew and I this is highly important....for close friends and family a nice day ahead...for others a minor blip.....for many, just another Saturday!  But it would feel unnatural not to at least mention it, so for the next few months there will be a few wedding posts mixed in with your traditional mix of cats, chaos, London and loveliness.

We've been very lucky when it has come to planning - we've done things methodically and steadily and our typical mixture of being laidback and being organised has proven to be a major boon!  There's still plenty to do, but mainly I'm just excited to marry my best friend and then have a great time with some of the loveliest people I know.

So friends....what has been your favourite wedding ever?  What things do you love to see/do at a wedding?
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Home improvement daydreaming....

Image found here

It's a busy season.  Work is as frenetic as ever, wedding plans seem very real as we head into the last few months, Junior League is challenging and wonderful (often in equal measure), and life is littered with loveliness as we celebrate weddings, new babies, new homes with so many people we love.

In amongst all this mania, I am being sure to make time for a little daydreaming too, and my favourite current theme is home inprovements.  We went to the Grand Designs Live event at the weekend, and that, plus reading a few design magazines, has me feeling inspired.  We've been in this house for just over two years and now it feels like it might be time to make some changes.

There are areas of the house which work brilliantly (our bedroom is light and pretty and functional); those which need a 'tweak' (the upper spare room could do with a better bed); and those which need big a rethink (the kitchen/dining room needs more light and less kitty fluff!).

With the wedding and honeymoon both saving priorities just now, we are a few steps away from action, but I'm enjoying spending an hour here or there planning, drawing, budgeting and daydreaming....
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Katzen


Our trio watching Matthew prepare to restock the food bowl!
It occurred to me the other day that I haven't blogged about the cats for quite a while, so I thought I'd do a little update.  They are such wee treasures and we are so lucky to have them keeping us in line!

Poppet using me as a cushion one lazy Saturday morning.

Poppet is nearly three now, and is undoubtedly the boss of the house.  She keeps us all in line with loud 'miaows' (for the humans) and bops (for the kits).  She is a bundle of fun and loves cuddles and falling asleep on her Poppet blanket.  Especially if the blanket is on top of a human.  She loves chicken and steak (just the leftoves, ha!) and is generally just a very content young miss.  It's amazing how much she has grown in the last two years, from the timid, scared little thing we collected from the shelter to the bonny and beautiful girl she now is!


Hunting for flies - a favourite pastime.

 Fry is just a delight.  He's really strong and stocky now, but is such a sweet and affectionate boy!  He adores head bops and fusses and is never happier than when chatting with his humans.  He still cannot miaow particularly well, instead relying on a squeak to gain attention, but he has one of the deepest, happiest purrs.  Fry purrs with his whole being!

Leela *loves* boxes.
Leela is such a sweet little thing, and even though she's still quite small and light, she is also TALL.  She loves to jump and run and scraggle (a family nickname for her mad dashes around the house/into walls/anywhere).  She's still a little timid around new people, but if she likes you enough to stick around and not run out the back door she's a friend for life.  She adores Matthew.  Big purrs and lots of kisses from this girl!

They are all so happy and thriving, it's a delight to see.  I'm so pleased we chose to adopt them from the shelter and love what they bring to our family dynamic.
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Please Mr Postman.....

Linky

Ever since I can remember, I have loved sending things in the mail.

Cards.

Letters.

Gifts.

Pictures.

Recipes.

That silly little thing you find in a kooky little store and just know your friend will enjoy.

The book you finish and mail to a fellow bookworm with just a post it on it, reading: "Read soon.  Please.  I have to chat about this with you!"

Mixtapes and mix CDs, back in the day.

Postcards.

Thank you notes.

There's something so lovely about something arriving.  Sometimes it's fairly expected - cards on your birthday, at Christmas.  Sometimes it comes completely out of the blue.

It's always a joy.

Perhaps it stems from my days at boarding school, rushing back at breaktime to the manor house, peeking through the letter box, trying to catch a glimpse of a parcel or a letter with your name on.  Then coming back at lunchtime when the house staff would hand out the letters and bundles.  You always hoped it wouldn't be Miss Q or Miss S - they liked to hide post, or to 'confiscate' it for a few days for some invented misdemeanour.  Angry, harsh women, both of them.  But Miss T or Mrs B would smile and pass the things right to you, or would commiserate with you on the days where nothing arrived.  With family so far away, teenage me loved those letters, the flavour of home.

Now, in a world where so many things are becoming easy and instant, it's lovely to have a medium that requires effort (the choosing of paper or card, the finding of the stamps, the trip to the postbox or the post office).

It's also grand to feel part of a grand tradition of letter writers; Austen, Lee, Mitford, Dickens.  Centuries and decades and years of pens on paper, salutations and sign offs.  What a treat post is!
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Meal planning Monday, May 5th

Meal Planning Monday

Linking up with Mrs M once more to plan our meals.  I love this little bit of organisation, it makes life a little easier just sitting down and planning what's ahead.  This is especially useful when we in London are looking down the barrel of *another* set of Tube strikes.  Hello, 5am starts....

Monday:  As today is a Bank Holiday and Matthew and I have lots of little things to do around the house, we'll have an easy tea.  Burgers (spicy for him, cheesey for me!), oven chips, salad.

Tuesday: Roasted vegetables, pasta, red pesto.

Wednesday: Barbecue chicken with rice and corn.

Thursday: Roasted vegetable soup (made on Tuesday), fresh crusty bread.

Friday: Either beans on toast or a meal out - depends how tiring the week has been.

Saturday: Homemade pizza and salad.

Sunday:  Roast turkey, mash, stuffing, peas, carrots and gravy.

I've tried to plan filling, yummy meals as until the 24th I'm forswearing sugar, puddings and booze - always nice to do a reset!  The weekend of the 24th/25th we have lots of wedding action, so I'll be wanting to raise a glass, but a couple of weeks eating more healthily always makes me feel better. :)  Looking forward to checking out everyone else's choices!
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Taking control.

Details and image from here

Or at least attempting to!

Today is a Bank Holiday Monday here in the UK.

This generally means that certain things are pretty much guaranteed to happen.

I will sleep in further than expected (Alarm set for 7.  Woke up at 8.45!).  Breakfast will actually wind up being brunch.  Dinner will be early, and may involve wine.  Oh, and I'll look around the house and see oh so many things I want to tidy/de-clutter/sort.  The problem is I swing violently from Hyperbole and a Half's 'CLEAN ALL THE THINGS' to 'Meh' when it comes to tidying.

However, I was excited when I found the above plan for decluttering.  A lot of blogs and books are looking for hours and hours for a few weeks, and that doesn't always work with my schedule.  But five things a day?  That I think (and hope!) I can do, and the ninety days things sits nicely as it'll have the place smarter before the wedding.

Time to start making a few piles for the charity shop!


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