Let’s get the ball rolling… With cake!!!

It’s been a busy old time since New Years!

Travel to Australia, selling a house, manic at work, building my photography website, running a baking competition, designing our loft extension and last but definitely not least… We now have two additions to the family – chickens!

There are loads of updates and this year is set to be jam packed.

But for now, here’s a cake I made that’s chocolate packed.

I hope all my fellow bloggers and followed are well.

Much love,
Sam

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Holiday dreaming..

It’s a Tuesday and my brain has engaged in to holiday mode prematurely..

We’re off to Chicago for a few cheeky days with the family to go explore. I definitely can’t wait! If you have any recommendations, please feel free to share.

But secretly I think I’m dreaming of a relaxing and exotic holiday… Greedy, yes I know.. There’s nothing wrong with dreaming away on a Tuesday morning trip to work.

Here’s my inspiration…

Enjoy,
Sam

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Lakes District. Yes please!

When asked by friends if we wanted to go to the Lake District in the UK for a extended long weekend, I’m pretty sure my response was a little excited..

After always yearning to go there but always hearing that the weather was dreary and the drive from London was gigantic.. We thought ‘sure, let’s do it’. Worst case we’d spend the anticipated dreary days inside some cosy kitch pub and the nights making stews and reading books or playing cards by the log fire at the old postman’s cottage we’d booked. So the worst case scenario was sounding kind ok ideal..

We headed up the M6 along with the 8million population of London trying to escape the big city. Of course this resulted in huge bottlenecks, accidents and Annabel showing off her new skills of repeating daddy’s colourful language when stick in traffic.. Eeeek! Lesson learnt for me! The 8 hr drive in a torrential downpour followed by Annabel also learning how to open the car door and put down the window was ‘eventful’. Lachlan on the other hand was an angel. Here’s hoping he doesn’t grow up too soon!

However, like a dream, as we pulled into the Lake District the clouds parted and the sun beamed down over the gloriously green hills and sparkling lakes. Yes, the tediousness of the drive had simply vanished away, as we put the windows down and took in the fresh crisp air. This was heaven! From then on we simply took our time driving through the meandering roads to the cottage.

The cottage was definitely kitch and gorgeous. A perfect little place to spend the nights with friends nattering away over nothing important and a glass of wine.

The days were pretty much the same. We just relaxed.. Yes, for me this is a big thing! We had no agenda other than to explore whatever we stumbled across. I wish that I could give you recommendations on where to go and what to see.. But I seriously didn’t even take the names of the places in. We just wondered in and out of pubs, restaurants, galleries, parks and sat in the sun. All I can suggest is that if you need a ‘switch off’ holiday, then head to the Lakes District. Finally I know what everyone is chirping on about!

Here’s some photos of the holiday. I’m pretty sure they sum it all up.

Enjoy

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Where do I look?

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Which way?? This photo was taken from our apartment in Hong Kong while on holiday. The main surprise about this photo is that the street was empty….

If you’re interested in more of my photos, then please check out more on my Flickr photostream.

Enjoy
Sam

Belfast

I still don’t know how I managed to take any photos on this whirlwind weekend trip to Belfast! But somehow i did..

So i get told at 1pm in Friday that we’re booked on a flight to head to Belfast to catch up with my partners family. The flights were at 5pm and I had to pack and leave the house my 3pm!! Eeeek!!! So there i was like a headless chook running around the house trying to pack for 4 people. To be honest i don’t even know what I’ll be wearing over a weekend, let alone my partner and two kids. So with no time to spare i throw everything I can see into the kids trunkies and our suitcase. Camera luckily remembered and packed!! Done!

So here are some of the photos.

Enjoy
Sam

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Easter Break

I know this post is dismally late… But I have a good excuse.. Two little munchkins that just demand hours upon hours of snuggles (reality – eating, sleeping, pooing, bathing, screaming and hopefully playing)!

Over the Easter break we decided like the rest of London that’d we’d make our escape from the excuse of a London spring’s subzero temperatures in search of some awe inspiring scenery and culinary delights (food porn). So, we loaded the car to its capacity and headed for the Eurotunnel at some ungodly hour of the morning with a bunch of friends in tow. Our destination was the French coast, Normandy.

Thankfully then trip was pleasant as the kids and dogs slept for most of the journey. Somehow driving on the right hand side of the road seemed pretty normal, so that was no issue. Once we arrived in Calais, France we meandered down the coast towards Le Touquet in search of food. Tummies were definitely rumbling by then. We dosed up on some mussels in white wine, fries, beer and baguette. It’s all about the simple pleasures. Then headed down to our accommodation in Calonne.

This place was beautiful! Far from our expectations. Although a little chilly, as the owner hadn’t turned on the central heating.. Brrr! To we lit the fire and made a simple roast duck, mash and red wine dinner. Which was then washed down by copious amounts of champagne…

The next morning after a good filling of croissant, pain au chocolate and baguette we headed for Mont Saint-Michel. Now this place was stunning! A little bit too touristico for my liking, but we had to brave the crowds and see it nonetheless. The kids were great again, as I think they were simply taking in all the new sights. Although no nappy change tables now means I’m a guru when it comes to the risky changing nappies on your lap. Thankfully I didn’t need any changes after. Lucky!

For those of you who don’t know, Mont Saint-Michel is a rocky tidal island 247 acres in size, and is a walled commune.

The next day we discovered the nearby seaside village of Honfleur. Wow! This place was simply heaven! Not too many tourists and everything was all authentic. Perfect! The seafood was the food porn I was after (photos to follow). We ate, ate and ate… Pure gluttony. Even Annabel managed to eat snails, lobster, scallops, crab, prawns and oysters! What a result! We have a thing where once the kids hit 1yr they eat exactly what we eat. It’s come up against some criticism, but mainly resulted in people in awe of Annabel tucking into a steak when we’re out. Hey, it works for us. Plus I’m not the biggest fan or spoon feeding my kids packet gruel.. I wouldn’t eat it myself, so I wouldn’t give it to them. But I don’t judge others that do. *right, stepping off my parental high horse known as Nelly*..

We then wondered around the town and I took a little too many photos. Kid in a candy store..

That night we didn’t need dinner. But.. We did manage to tuck into a staggering amount of cheese and champagne. What? We had to get rid of it before we headed home the next morning.

Next morning after some crazy cheese induced dreams and a little wonky head, we dosed up on a greasy bacon, egg and French pastries before starting the journey back to reality with our tails between our legs.. So we packed up the car and ran around the garden where the Easter Bunny had very kindly left some eggs for Annabel to collect. CUTE!!

Till next time France. We have an excuse to return to see the D-Day beaches and museums oh and maybe some cheeky antique shopping. Again..don’t judge..

Enjoy the photos,
Sam

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Sunny Belfast

Ants in our pants!!

That we definitely have!

We decided two hours before the boarding time that we’d clear out the weekend activities and head on over to see my partners family over in Belfast, Ireland. Who said you can’t travel last minute with kids. Mind you… It wasn’t the most relaxing experience of packing and getting to the airport. Alas, we’re here in our 93yr old great granny’s house and the kids are loving it. I’m also loving the flash backs of style..

So I’ll share

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Enjoy!
Sam