Thursday, 1 January 2015

Resolution Breakers

So, January 2 began like this...


Good job I didn't make that '2015 is going to be my Healthy Eating Year! Wooo bring on the kale!!' resolution hey? So far so good on that front (blog more and be happy, checked those two off by baking cookies and blogging about it, boom) ...aaaand now I can take these delicious little darlings to my nearest and dearest and bribe them out of THEIR New Years Resolutions...! (In my defence, these cookies have oats, that practically makes them a muesli bar for Gods sake)

My family arrive today and are right now on their way up from Sydney, I can't wait to see them! And, to be honest, eat these cookies with a valid reason rather than standing at the fridge picking tiny (ahem, massive) bits off the raw dough...  Which is how New Years Day was largely spent. Yikes.

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Oh hey 2015!

2015 New Years Resolution? Blog more. Not for anyone but myself. I'm not going to kid myself with making a million half-assed resolutions that I will loathe myself for breaking within a week. Just blog more. And be happier in my own skin. That's it.

I can't wait to get this baby back up and running. I lost my mojo seriously for a while, and I haven't blogged at ALL since being in Aus. Which on one hand I get as it has been the craziest 8 months, but on the other hand... WHAT? I want to yell at myself! 'You have travelled this incredible country and seen so many amazing things and exploded out of your comfort zone and you have nooooothing to write about woman?' 


But hey. I am only human. I worry every time I hit publish that I will be judged, that putting a little bit of myself out there for all to see that someone will think i'm an idiot. Totally just mis-typed idiot, so there's that... But lets give it a go, hey? Maybe its time to toughen up my skin and just put my thoughts out there. 

Oh OH and I have been on a baking spree. Seriously. It's like the moment we made the decision to stay and I got my own space for a little while my creative cooking juices just started going mental. There has been Banana Streusel Muffins, Salted Dulche de Leche Meringues and Oatmeal Choc Chip Cookies...all within like three days. No joke. 

These are Jessica's cookies from How Sweet It Is... actual food hero.
We move into our own place on the 21 Jan - finally, finally after staying with family for months and jousting we can start to nest in our own little place and begin to live, rather than 'travel'. Excited doesn't begin to cover it. We paid the deposit yesterday and it feels like the best way to begin a New Year. I already have SO many baking plans for the new place and can't wait to get stuck in. It has a massive kitchen and a PANTRY (ohmygod) which basically sealed the deal for me. 

My family arrive tomorrow to visit - my parents for a month and my sister for a week before she heads back to London to get stuck back in to her Masters. Clever little cookie. I am so excited to see them all, to move into our new house, to do all the things we want to do this year and to basically dive headfirst into another year. I always feel SO energised and excited at a New Year... and I have a feeling this one is going to be amazing.

So, 2015. Let's go!
Monday, 17 March 2014

Two Week Window

It is terrifyingly real to say now - only two weeks (actually, 13 days!) until we move to Australia for a year! The past few months have flown by, and it feels like only yesterday Mr C and I were sitting in our apartment and deciding what to do for the rest of our lives. We have packed up our home, and rented it out to another young couple in love. Hopefully they will love it and take care of it and have as much fun as we did living there. I found the packing up really, really hard, but the worst moment was the actual closing of the door as we left for the final time. It felt deeply poignant, hugely significant and felt heart-achingly final. As we quietly closed the door on that particular stage of our lives, I was overcome with emotion. I know it is still ours and we own it and it will be there when we come back, but when that happens, if it does, it won't be the same. We will have changed as people, as a couple. Things will have moved on, though undoubtedly for the better. 

We have moved to my parents house, where just over 7 months ago we had our beautiful wedding reception. It is an incredibly strange feeling living back at home - it feels like I have never left. The familiar feel of the bannister, the squeak of the floorboards, and the ability to navigate round the house in the complete darkness all contribute to making me feel like a child again, in the best possible way. Not to mention being back with my amazing parents, who are treating us (and feeding us!) like kings. A rude awakening is going to happen when we leave them I feel!

We now have a two week window in which to pack (not an issue for Mr C, who is convinced he is taking a small backpack and nothing else), say our final goodbyes to friends and family and finish work. Only 9 working days left, and a hell of a lot of emotions are coursing through me at the moment.  I cannot wait to get to Australia. It is my spiritual home, the place I feel most myself. I don't know what will happen when we get there, where we will eventually live, work, travel. But I do know that without question this will become a defining moment for me, as a person, and as a wife. Mr C and I are already stronger in a way that I didn't think we even lacked. A sense of complete reliability I suppose. I feel closer to him, deeper even. It's actually rather hard to describe without it sounding a bit seedy!

In order to squeeze as much into our remaining time in the UK as possible, we had the most fantastic weekend. The weather was simply beautiful and we were outside for most of it, and on Saturday night had the first of our leaving do's at a local pub. Highlights included a beautiful walk at Virginia Water lake with my family...

...followed by the most wonderful lunch al fresco with Mr C's Mummy at the Thatched Tavern, a local pub with a gorgeous garden. I had a delicious fillet of roasted haddock with herb crushed new potatoes and a heritage tomato and red onion salsa. Fresh, seasonal and absolutely delicious. First prize has to go to the Surf and Turf, which the others both had. A delicious, perfectly cooked fillet mignon with a gigantic tiger prawn, triple cooked chips and a fricassee of shellfish. Just perfect.

It doesn't seem real that in less than two weeks we will be flying far away from our incredible families and friends and leaving behind the place that we have grown up, fallen in love and made our home for the past 28 years. Our remaining days are to be filled with farewell get-togethers, and I am both looking forward to and dreading each and every one.

Laura xx

Friday, 7 February 2014

Moving to the other side of the world....

I know, I know. Two months since I posted anything - utterly rubbish.

Not that I am making excuses, but December was as full as December always is, and January has passed us by in the blink of an eye... probably because, after a serious case of January blues and 'oh god I really don't want to go back to work and where is my life going and how am I ever going to be successful at anything', Mr C and I decided, almost overnight, to pack it all in and move to Australia!

Via Pinterest

Have you ever woken up and just realised you're basically living like a machine? That all excitement and inspiration from day to day life seem to have vanished? We were generally feeling like that. My job, which once I LOVED, just wasn't doing it for me any more. Any view of promotion was dashed in December, and really, that gave me the push I needed to start to change our lives. That and reading this post from my favourite blogger, Jessica at How Sweet It Is. That really made me think. I need to be more positive. I need to set myself goals and go out there and achieve them, because I can. Stop listening to the voice in my head (or at work...) that says you aren't good enough. Because frankly, it's bullshit. I spend so much time comparing myself to others, worrying about what other people think that it's crippling. I cant even go out for dinner with friends without having a mini breakdown because I look so hideous in everything I own. Which again, is ridiculous. I look fine, nice even. But the whole 'comparison is the thief of joy' thing really sums it up for me. I spend forever comparing myself to people I know, people I don't, friends, family, people online, and in the end I end up so wound up that I sacrifice my own happiness. Why?

We got married in August, and pretty much all we have heard since then is 'when are the babies coming along?!'. Now, don't get me wrong, we cannot WAIT to be parents, but we just have too much living to do first. We have never travelled properly, haven't had much life experience, and to be honest, just feel like we need another year or so under our belt before we really settle down to have a family. It's strange how everyone assumes that as soon as you get married you MUST be immediately going to have children. Any other newlyweds suffering with this? Luckily our families have been brilliant, and aren't putting the pressure on at all. They just remain as incredibly supportive of us as ever.
So, there it is. Terrifying and exhilarating, all rolled into one. We leave on the 30 March, and are in the process of boxing up our beautiful little apartment, saying goodbye to family and friends (not QUITE at that stage yet, thank god), and preparing to move to the land Down Under.

My new motto is the above. I'll keep you posted, promise.

Laura x
Friday, 6 December 2013

Rocky Road

So. Rocky Road. I'm not even going to pretend this is a recipie, more a mixing of gorgeously delicious ingredients, pouring into a tin and chilling. Big of flavour, hugely customisable and such a good gift. I made this for my sister in law's birthday. Coupled with a MAC 217 make up brush and a Topshop statement necklace, I think thats a pretty awesome present (not biased in any sense of course...)

It is also a brilliant thing to take to parties, you can make a batch up the day before and either take the tin along (in which case I  use the disposable aluminum tins as its makes it SO much easier) or get some pretty bags or cellophane and tie some squares up with ribbon. I imgaine its also a great recipie to make with kids - assuming you dont get them involved in the chocolate melting stage.

I made this with brazils, mini marshmallows and rich tea biscuits as my main 'rocks'. However, add whatever you'd like - walnuts, macadamias, pecans and almonds would all be amazing in this, as would biscotti or gingernuts? In fact, gingernuts with crystallised stem ginger would be amazing. All over that one. Marachino cherries could be good if you like that sort of thing? Raisins, dried cranberries (so festive!), or other dried fruit would be lovely. You could add cinnamon or allspice for a seasonal take on it. I personally need the mini marshmallows in there, so small and squigdy.

Taken from Nigella Lawson's Rocky Road

125 grams soft unsalted butter
300 grams dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids) broken into pieces
3 tablespoons golden syrup
300 grams Rich Tea biscuits
200g Brazil nuts, bashed in their packet
150 grams mini marshmallows
Icing sugar (for dusting)
So naughty, but so, so nice...

Friday, 15 November 2013

The Friday Feeling

Woohoo! Its Friday! The sun is shining, which always puts me in a good mood for the weekend. I am heading up to town to celebrate my sister in law's (SO weird typing that) birthday. Really looking forward to spending some time in London and visiting Anthropologie on the Kings Road. My favourite shop in London. Sadly I can't afford anything in there. Not even the hair clips. £16 bobby pins, are you bloody kidding me?

Anyway, I thought I would do a quick round-up of all the lovely things that have brightened a gloomy November week up for me.

My new ASOS bag. Kudos has to go to my sister for this one. She is pretty much the most fashionable person I know and so hinted/instructed that I needed this bag in my life. And that she would need to borrow it. Done. It's a gorgeous colour, a brilliant size, furry AND on SALE! Win win win.


This slouchy oversized Zara jumper. They are calling it a coat for reasons I can't fathom. Who would ever call that a coat? Must be a Spanish thing. They clearly don't get the British weather system. Regardless, it literally is the perfect snuggly, bonfire-night-attending, hot-chocolate-drinking, give-me-a-cuddle piece of kit in my wardrobe. #obsessed.

And of course, a snuggly jumper needs a snuggly friend. Enter dream furry stole from Zara. It's perfect. I dont want to take it off. Ever. I am seriously considering getting a spare for when I spill hot chocolate or chilli down the front of it. You know it's going to happen. Is that weird? Do you buy spares of your favourites? No? Just me? It's so lovely infact, that it has spurned a series of copy-buys from my nearest and dearest. You know who you are...! (I just found out it comes in Leopard. This could be dangerous...)

I am taking daily inspiration from Jessica's blog. She writes with the most amazing humour and candour, and I want to eat EVERYTHING she makes. Like, everything. I mean, this girl hates vegetables. And loves bacon. And bourbon. And chocolate. How can you NOT love her? This week I made my second batch of the most delicious Banana Bourbon Cupcakes. I finished mine off with a dusting of cocoa powder rather than the bourbon chocolate ganache because I have the patience of a flea. They were sooo delicious I actually forgot to take any photos.

Twitter. I am so rubbish at this technology lark. I need help with the whole Twitter thing. Or mainly getting over my 'does anyone actually care what I have to say?' confidence nightmare. #writersblock

And lastly, this sunset at work. I mean, how beautiful are the grounds? So, SO stunning.

So, what are you guys up to this weekend? Tell me, tell me!

Laura x
Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Who's a pretty girl then?

Mouse and Lola has had a little makeover!

Okay, so with only two posts up its not exactly normal to go through a re-brand, but having messed about a bit with Blogger and being a complete novice with anything like this, I started to research into employing someone to make it look beautiful.

Silly I know, but the perfecitonist in me would NOT let me post something until it was perfect. Hence only two posts in two months. One of which has crap photography... But anyway. I wanted to put my thoughts down on a virtual space that looked absolutely gorgeous. So shallow. I like pretty things. Messy, half-assed things, not so much. I want you guys to stay and feel happy to mooch around this space and click and pin all the pretty things, all the time.

Enter Steph from Bonjour Belle. A gorgeous and totally talented Blogger who is also a brilliant designer. She whipped up the new design in no time and I am eternally grateful for her help in getting me set up. She is literally the only person I know (and that's only in internet-world) that has an actual blog, isn't that sad? 2014 resolution is to make more friends through blogging. And to get my real life friends into it.

Hang on, I definitely cannot start thinking about 2014 yet. So many more exciting things are still to happen in 2013! Birthdays, parties, secret thank-you extravaganzas, fireworks, engagement parties, BRUNO MARS and weekends away, all to fit in before the end of the year. Oh and it's eight weeks 'til Christmas tomorrow people, EIGHT WEEKS.

And in the meantime, now I have such a pretty virtual baby, you can expect lots more posts. No excuses now...

So, she's up, looking all sparkly and new. Go on, tell her she's pretty...

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