100 Happy Days: 51 - 55

Zooming past the half way point!

This arrived at school...I'm slowly getting used to my name-to-be, but still get a kick out of seeing it!  Also, how cute are This Is Nessie's deigns?

Also on day 51, I attended a super fun blog meet up!  Prosecco, gambling, and a metric tonne of pizza.  Such fun!

Day 52 I headed to the o2 to see the magnificent Dolly Parton with Shona and her parents.  Such a brilliant gig!

Day 53, high fiving with Jenna.  Across an ocean.

Also day 53 - a girly tea of pitta, dip, veg.  When Matthew's away I tend to live on suppers like this!

Day 54, I inflated JEFF, the dinosaur I won at the aforementioned blog meetup.  Here he is rocking my ICT tie.

Day 55 Matthew and I attended the cocktail party thrown by the class parents.  Always a fun event, and I was beyond spoiled and got a sweet gift too.  Lucky girl!
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Bridal Shower

On Saturday I had my Bridal Shower, and it was really lovely.  The lovely Eileen and Emily put it together and it was such a treat to catch up with so many of my favourite ladies and get a little spoiled!  We drank fizzy good, ate treats (including Eileen's awesome madelines), played games and generally had a super time.  In this busy season of making and buying and organising, it was such a treat to have a chill day (the ladies even provided a couple cleaners to whip the house into shape ahead of the festivities!

Thank you to Emily and Eileen for putting everything together and to all the ladies who came, or who sent gifts and happy wishes our way!
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100 Happy Days: 46 - 50

Day 46 saw my hair and makeup trial for the wedding.  I love the natural look we managed to work out - as a girl who often goes makeup-less, I was worried about scads of product!

I like my hair too - pretty and simple, with a hint of my usual curly madness.

Most impressively, the whole look survived a 2 hour nap!

I love summer naps.

And winter naps.

Heck, any naps.

Day 47 saw time for Matthew to fly off to Portugal for his stag do!

 Meanwhile, Shona and I caught a cabaret!

Mmmmmm, elderflower.

Day 48 was all about morning cuddles with Poppet.

And exciting texts!

 And having a glass of wine and a bowl of salad for tea, while watching some SaTC.

Day 49, and Matthew had been away for 48 hours.  Leela was *desperate* to find him and trotted around the house for a good half-hour doing her patented Matthew-miaow (ma-maaaaaaoooooo).  Then we snuggled.

Day 50 I had a co-chair meeting for Junior League.  With wine and snacks.  So excited for the coming year!
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Meal Planning Monday: July 28th

It's been a while since I did #mealplanningMonday, but when is better than in the midst of the summer break?  I'll be doing this for a couple of weeks, then will probably take a break when we hit our wedding frenzy!  After that I'll be hoping to do it every week - when life is busy (and with 9-12 hour days plus 2 hours commuting each day, it has to be described as busy) it's so nice to know food is sorted!

So, on with the plans:

Monday: 'Cheats' roast dinner - grilled chicken, boiled potatoes, vegetables, stuffing and gravy.

Tuesday: Soup with fresh bread for Matthew, as I am out for a long overdue catch up with the lovely Katie.  We are heading to an amazing Greek/Lebanese restaurant, so I'm looking forward to hummus, chicken, and salad!

Wednesday: I'm out at a new members event, but will make spicy conchiglie with chicken and peppers - so tasty and I can leave a plate for Matthew to heat up when he gets home - it reheats beautifully!

Thursday: Pitta bread pizzas - so easy and simple!

Friday: Salads, I think - at the moment in London it's pretty warm, so a lot of our meals are light and simple.

Saturday:  We are at a wedding....so whatever the bride and groom decide!

Sunday: Beans on toast (with a smattering of mature cheddar for me).  Because sometimes it's exactly what you need!

Looking forward to linking up.  What's your go-to lazy tea?
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100 Happy Days: Days 41 - 45

Celebrating my lovely Shona being in town for a whole year!

Working on rehearsal invites, Day 42.

Sleeeeeeepy kittens!

Day 43, reports all filed, and it was time for PJs and a trashy magazine.

Three excitable kittehs on the morning of Day 44 (leftover chicken, anyone?).

The pavilion at school is taking shape....

Day 45 my colleague Darren awarded me my very own ICT tie!  So cool.

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Five Minute Friday: Finish

Five Minute Friday


I grew up persistent.

In my family, in my friendship group, at school, I'm the one who kept going. Moving.  Forgiving.  Holding on.  The tapestry of people around me, I often felt like I was clinging on to the end of the threads.  Who knew what would happen if I let go?

As I get older, I've learned there's a grace to finishing.  To the ending of something.  To honouring an experience, a friendship, a habit, by giving it the dignity of a peaceful, happy end.  Even fairytales conclude!

When I was younger I was so afraid of losing people.  Growing up in our little nucleus, moving around around the country again and again and again, just the five of us, made us close, but also separate.  Grandparents were distant, or distant (some through geography, some through actions and choices).  Aunts and uncles just weren't there.  Friends were lovely, but when you're little it's hard to constantly be making and breaking friendships as miles stretched out between homes.

So as an adult, I carried this behaviour forward.  Now for the most part, it's a great skill.  The skills I learned - of letter writing, birthday remembering, the importance of making time to BE THERE - are real, vital, important things, and are a big part of the reason I have such wonderful friends now.  In three weeks I'll be having my 14 favourite women in the world stand up with me as my bridesmaids, and despite the years and the miles, our friendships have lasted.  Whether they live 2 miles away or 4,745 miles away; whether we've known each other 5 years or 29, I'm so glad we didn't let our friendships finish.  I thank God they continued.

However, there have been friendships I've had to let finish...and it took me quite a while to realise when, and why, and how.  That pesky people-pleasing gene kicks in and I want to keep things going.  But gradually, slowly, a little bit painfully, I'm learning to let go, to have things finish.  Someone who tells you lies, or who talks about you behind your back, or who is judgey (and not helpful-judgey) about your life...it took me the best part of thirty years to learn that my life was better off without that.  And that sometimes the very best start, is actually a finish.

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Wedding stuff...

After the months of planning and anticipation and conversations....it's all happening!  Is it okay to get really, seriously excited now?
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100 Happy Days: Days 36 - 40

My (short-lived) productivity app, Carrot, came replete with an incentive kitty.  It's like it knows me!

Back from school on day 37, packing the little grey case for another run up to Edinburgh!
Coming in to land!

We got to stay with the gorgeous Laura, which is always  a treat.  Her flat is adorable, and her hospitality flawless!

I never tire of there being a castle slap bang in the middle of the city!

Day 39 was a lazy start and lunch at The Potting Shed with Laura.

Mmmmmmm, pork!

 Then we jumped into the car and heading out to the country to attend the evening reception of our sweet friends Ross and Emma.  Ross and I were in the same year in sixth form, and his little sister Jenna (yep, that one :)) and I are close.  Ross and Emma kindly invited us to the party!

Chris, the little one, and Jenna.  One of the cutest families I know!

Loved the chance to be on the same continent as my girl!

<3 td="">

The new Mr & Mrs - two of the sweetest, funniest, loveliest people you'll ever have the good fortune to encounter!

I was jealous of their cake cutting sword!
 After the wedding we had the cunning plan to get the sleeper train back home.  The sleeper train of fail, I should add.  Many, many problems and errors later, we finally reached London three-and-a-bit hours late!  Straight to school and playing catch up all day.

Which is why day 40 is tea, and sitting, and cricket.

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Five Minute Friday: Bloom

Five Minute Friday

"Bloom where you are planted."

I've always loved that phrase.  I can't recall where I first heard it, but it's one of those lovely quotes I'm so fond of collecting.  I collect words of wisdom as others collect badges or coins or pebbles.  I like to keep them in my pocket to pull out and look at when the mood takes me.

It's a good quote.

Next month, M and I will be starting our marriage.  Planting a seed that I, and he, and we, hope will grow into something strong and good and hearty.  It's something that we want to nourish and enjoy, to watch flourish and bloom.  This season of being engaged has been fun, but I'm so ready for the big day.  And the bigger life.

I've been thinking about growth, about blooming, in the recent past.  I'm unbelievably lucky, but a few things had been niggling.  I have long been a people-pleaser, and recently I've been working on this.  Because while I want to be a great partner, friend, teacher...I've realised that another quote is true.  "You can please all of the people some of the time.  And some of the people all of the time.  But you can't please all of the people, all of the time!"  And some people just aren't going to be pleased.

Yep, at the age of 33, I'm finally making peace with the fact that not everyone is going to like me.  And that's okay.  Now, please don't get me wrong, I'm hoping that not too many people actively dislike or hate me, but I'm sure there's a healthy whack of people for whom I'm just not their cup of tea.  Maybe they don't get my sense of humour.  Maybe they are annoyed by me.  Maybe we used to get on, but have both grown up and apart.

Who knows?  Who cares.

There's a cast of lovelies who I adore, and to quote Frank Turner, "I'm happy and I'm settled in the person I've become."  My friends are quite well able to tell me when I'm being a muppet (hint: frequently).  As for everyone else; good luck to them.  I'll carry on walking my little path, and enjoying the company on the way.

As I grow and bloom.
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100 Happy Days: Days 31 - 35

More glimpses of my happy little existence.

Travelling across town for a Junior League afternoon tea, I spotted this awesome mohawk.  What a dude!

Tea was lovely!  Treats and tea and lots of chatter.

On the way home my tube train got held up.  And I spotted bunnies!  Love the little things you can glimpse around town.

Day 32 saw me doing a lot of wedding planning.  Lists and spreadsheets and coffee?  Not a bad way to spend the afternoon!

Day 33 we headed off for away days with the boys.  On the way we passed through Shere, a tiny little place in Surrey, and the setting for chickflick par excellence The Holiday.

Day 34 was spent deep in the woods.  Challenges and campfires and dappled sunlight through trees....

...and washing 14 sets of very muddy boy clothes out in  a bathtub after a 'rafting' activity which contained an awful lot of 'falling into the pond'.  I originally wrote 'pong' not 'pond'. That would have worked too!

Day 35, making 30 cups of hot chocolate.  Feeling empathy with the Duggars!

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