Happy Sunday! How can it be, I am already on my second weekly round up on January. I am currently enjoying my first mini break of the month and hope to make holidays, weekend get aways and travel more of a thing in 2019. This week has been predominantly Brexit and looking at the mess we are getting ourselves into, you can’t turn a corner, open a browser or glance at a newspaper without reading the gloom and doom surrounding whether we will leave on a no deal or not. It is hard to put things into perspective and focus on everyday life outside of politics when you have no idea how the next year is going to impact your day to day living but putting it to the back of my mind I have been. This week has been filled with so many nice occasions from meals with friends, to getting back into my running properly, a delivery haul on Monday night of new boots, trainers and clothes. I have eaten delicious food, immersed myself in reality TV such as Spencer, Vogue and a baby too which is surprisingly very funny. I have given myself a bit of a January pamper, a spot of fake tan, my nails done, after a few weeks of not being able to put any cosmetics on my face. So far I am really enjoying January and I hope it continues this way. Along with the Mary Poppins soundtrack I have also been obsessed with Katelyn Ohashi gymnastic routine, so much talent which should be celebrated and enjoyed by all. We hear enough about football it is about time other athletes started getting the airtime they deserve and for that I am grateful for social media. Without it I would have never seen her routine.
My diary adds nice inspirational quotes each week, so any which I find motivating I am going to share on here on Sundays. So this week’s is (maybe, do we ever know) a quote from Charles Dickens and one which really helps me at work when I go to write something on my to do list which I think I can do tomorrow – Never do tomorrow what can be done today
My favourite mac and cheese recipe
last weekend I invited some friends over for a good old fashioned board games night and dinner. As it is still meat-free January and I am trying really hard I decided to cook the well-known crowd pleaser, mac n cheese. You cannot really go wrong with a lot of pasta and a ton of stringy melted cheese can you? This is the second time I have made this recipe, it is so easy and the first recipe that I have found to add mustard in too which is a given with any mac n cheese I eat. The recipe is from Dolly Aldterton’s book Everything I know about love. Which I don’t share out because I genuinely think everyone would benefit from reading the book themselves and learning the recipe too. What I can tell you is that it has four different types of cheese, mustard, Worcester sauce and it is quite honestly the best food on this planet. I am going to cook up another for the family whilst we are away too.
Two of my friends came to visit for the weekend, not only for the games night but to go riding on the horses too. Once out of the rain with steaming hot mugs of tea in our hands we enjoyed hours of catching up with shortbread, it was a perfect weekend to beat those January blues. I am now just trying to convince them both to move back up here.
As this post goes out I am waking up in Center Parcs Sherwood forest to celebrate my nephews 4th Birthday. As children we use to come to Center Parcs most years with either family or our parent’s friends and it was always one of the most exciting weekends of the year. The holiday village just has a certain smell to it which I instantly associated with laughter, a lot of lounging around followed by hours of cycling, swimming and delicious food. We have been looking to return for a while but just hadn’t committed to booking something. George’s birthday seemed like the perfect reason. We arrived here on Friday, not without frought family tensions, would it be a weekend away without them? but since it has been filled with a lot of birthday celebrations, chilling on the sofa, lazy days, swimming, exercise, food and laughter. Other than the weather it is so easy to forget that I am only an hour away from Leicestershire tucked away in this big old forest. It is one staycation I love to book.
The ten year challenge / puberty challenge
I can imagine most of you will be aware of the puberty / ten year challenge doing the rounds on social media lately. Users sharing photos of themselves 10 years ago vs today. A nostalgic way of sharing some fond memories of how we use to look. I guess for many. The ten year challenge for me is less triggering. The majority of us had a Facebook account by 2009 so the photos shared are already on the internet for the world to see, and I was happy at 19, really quite happy. The one I find difficult is those sharing photos of themselves during their teenage years. The majority, the privileged of those who were cute, slim teenagers, sharing perfect shot photos, or them looking cute in their netball outfits, a way of proving they have always been ‘perfect’ must be great. Yet all it did to me was bring back horrible memories of my teenage years at school and how badly I was bullied. In one photo (of which I wasn’t even in) the feeling of being 13 and being tormented and teased for how I looked came flooding back and everything I have done for myself over the years can quickly unravel. It was a time I will never forget and will probably never be able to forgive those that made me feel so worthless for so many years. It is incredible how powerful a photo and a challenge can be. Blogger Laura Alice Holland actually sparked a need for me to write about this with her post this week where she posted an open and honest account of her puberty challenge which was so courageous and inspiring. It is OK to not want to partake in this challenge. If it has taken you years to get to a place where you feel OK about who you are. It is OK to appreciate how good other people looked and whilst a photo may appear great you don’t know what battles they were also facing. Whilst I think its a nice challenge for everyone to reminisce and to observe how fashions, styles and haircuts have changed don’t let it effect you if you don’t feel the same. It is not the case of not being able to laugh at yourself at all, I can take a joke but laughing a time that bought you so much misery is not something you need in 2019 I am sure.