New Beginnings…

  I feel like this last year has gone so fast. In some ways, everything has changed yet in others everything is the same. My gorgeous girl is in reception now, which has been an adjustment! I’m missing her more and more each day, but I treasure the time we spend together. I adore the holidays and weekends when we get whole days together not broken up by school. On the other hand, she absolutely adores it and is positively thriving. She has a whole little group of friends and keeps inviting them to her birthday party in February. I need to get cracking on that one as nothing is booked yet! She is growing up so fast, and part of me misses the baby days and toddler days, but at the same time I’m excited to see the person she is becoming. Beautiful, determined, a little stubborn and so full of love for everything she does.

In terms of blogging, I know I am so far behind it’s unreal. I’ve so many posts half written, and never published time seems to have gotten away from me. I want 2016 to be my year, the year I finally get myself sorted into a proper blogging routine, and hopefully properly launch myself into youtube. I have a new camera on order which I can’t wait for! Although, I may have to wait until my birthday in march before I can actually use it. But when it does come to me, I am so excited to take lots and lots of pictures, so I’m fully expecting my Instagram to be flooded with all sorts of shots whilst I’m getting to grips with my new toy. 2016 may also be the year I manage to get the business venture I’ve been planning for the last few years off the ground. I’m pretty excited about it, but although the plans are in place there is still a lot of work to be done until I can properly launch it. So keep your fingers crossed for me!!

I have a few new years resolutions, maybe for once they will last longer than a month or two? I’m going to come back to them in December and see what I have actually achieved!

  • Get back to blogging
  • Drink more water
  • Eat more healthy food..80/20
  • Try to workout 3 times a week
  • work on getting motivated
  • launch my business
  • Sort my skincare routine

Do you have any new years resolutions?

Emma-Jayne xxx

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Scallop, asparagus and tomato pasta…

IMG_3640Until a few days ago, I had only had scallops in Coquilles St. Jacques, from Marks and Spencers… we had them last valentines day, and really enjoyed them but having heard horror stories about how difficult it is to get scallops right we didn’t attempt to recreate the dish at home. fast forward a few months, and I was in Tesco and noticed that they had fresh scallops that weren’t too expensive. They then sat in my freezer for a little longer as I wondered what to do with them until I watched an episode of the pioneer woman cooks and noticed she paired them with tomato pasta. This recipe, is a pretty simple tomato sauce jazzed up with the mushrooms, asparagus and scallops. If (like in my house) someone doesn’t eat mushrooms, cook them in a seperate pan to the sauce in a little butter. These scallops are Lillee approved so this dish is looking to become a new family favourite in our house!

  • 1 pack of fresh scallops (about 300g)
  • asparagus (3-4 spears per person)
  • carton of passata
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 10 mushrooms, sliced
  • pinch of sugar
  • olive oil
  • Worchestershire sauce
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 300g pasta
  • 1tsp mixed herbs

Cook pasta according to packet instructions. Meanwhile, soften the onions in a large pan with a little oil. When translucent, add the garlic, herbs and mushrooms. Cook for a few minutes and stir in the passata, Worchestershire sauce and sugar. Leave to simmer on a low heat. Heat a griddle pan or frying pan, and add the asparagus. Cook until lightly browned on one side before turning over and browning the other side. it should take 5-10 minutes. When the pasta is cooked, drain and stir into the tomato sauce. Heat a frying pan with a small amount of oil. When hot, add the scallops cook for 1-2 minutes until starting to brown. Turn over and cook for another minute. Serve on top of the pasta with the asparagus.

Serves 4.

Hope you enjoy it!

Emma-Jayne xx

Christmas 2014…

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This year, Christmas was so lovely. Lillee is a perfect age to enjoy all of the magic and wonder of this time of year. We have seen Santa a few times, opened some gorgeous presents and have new memories to treasure for years to come.

20141204_232038802_iOSMy favourite ornament this year is probably my wedding bouquet bauble that I made in early December. It was an idea I saw on pinterest, and was pretty simple to recreate. All I had to do, was carefully push some of the dried flowers from my bouquet into a large glass bauble being careful not to break the delicate petals.

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Christmas Eve this year was truely magical. I spent most of the day cooking and cleaning, while Dan took her too a Christmas party at his parents golf club. When they got back, she told me all about dancing, having her face painted and winning the singing competition! When she got home, there was a bag on the coffee table full of presents! Santa had come early to deliver some things to a special little girl for Christmas Eve night. In her bag, there were:

  • New Pyjamas
  • Reindeer food
  • A Christmas story
  • Miracle on 34th street on DVD
  • Popcorn
  • Mini jaffa cakes
  • Bubble Bath

She loved it so much! She had a bath in her new bubbles, got dressed in her new pyjamas, snuggled up and ate some popcorn while watching her movie and sprinkled the reindeer food outside just before cleaning her teeth, reading her story and snuggling up in bed all ready for Santa to come on Christmas morning!

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On Christmas morning, Lillee was so exited to open her present!
We spent some time opening everything as a family before Christmas tree Crumpets and Buck’s Fizz for breakfast (or OJ in Dan and Lillee’s case!) The rest of christmas day passed with lots of present opening and yummy food! We were all very spoilt and I’m so thankful to our amazing family for all the lovely things we had.

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How did you spend your christmas?

Emma-Jayne xx

 

The start of Christmas…

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For me, Christmas really begins when we go to the Christmas lights switch on in town. It’s usually the first time we see Santa too! There are always fireworks, and and the atmosphere is really lovely with Christmas songs playing in the background, and people of all ages together and getting exited for Christmas!

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A relatively new tradition in our house is to buy a festive candle. This year I got “snow in love” it smells so gorgeous!! It’s quite a hard scent to describe, it has a sweet note too it, but is still pretty fresh and not too overpowering. I think I will definitely be stocking up on this scent, as unfortunately last years christmas candle is no longer available.

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I struggle to resist costa at the best of times, but Christmas cups and a festive drinks menu means I spend twice as much money compared to normal! This year I’m attempting to try each of the festive drinks.. Currently, I’ve tried three of my own, and some of my sisters does that count as four?

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Every year, since I was 10 I’ve been part of the same guide unit, and every Christmas we do a Christmas camp. Usually it’s craft based (although last year we went to London) and as the crafts and games are usually Christmas based it makes me feel especially festive an Christmassy by the time I get home! This year, we made truffles, sock snowmen, tree ornaments and Santa sacks amongst other activities!

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The coca cola advert Is probably One of the first signs for me that Christmas is nearly here! Every year I look forward to seeing it and then seeing what companies like John Lewis and marks and Spencer’s put together. This year I’m also really loving the Sainsbury’s advert, i think it’s a lovely way to remember those in WW1 and the cease fire on Christmas Day.

What signifies Christmas to you?
Emma-Jayne xx

The snug…

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A few months ago, a new coffee shop opened near where I live. As soon as I heard about it I wanted to go!

It isn’t your run-of-the-mill coffee shop, it has a vintage vibe to it and everything is served on mismatched china which adds to the charm. The decor was beautiful, and each table had comfy chairs and little vases of flowers.

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There were so many different types of tea to choose from, with a mixture of bagged and loose leaf. I just had English breakfast tea, but next time I’d be tempted to try something else! They also serve a selection of coffees, milkshakes, smoothies and cold drinks.
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We also treated ourselves to some cake. Lillee chose a cupcake, and Dan and I split a piece of carrot cake and a piece of chocolate orange cake. It was so delicious! Obviously homemade, moist and full of flavour. The chocolate orange cake even had a swirl of orange curd running through the middle of it, and a chocolate flower on the top, which dan gave to me. Isn’t he a lovely husband? I think, I would be tempted to go again just for the cake. The wasn’t a huge selection of cakes, but having seen pictures of when others have been in I know they rotate them depending on the day.

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We are planning on going again for lunch soon, and hopefully will be booking afternoon tea for during august as I know my mom wants to go too so that should be good!

If you’ve been to the snug or go in the future, let me know what you think and what kind of cake you had!

Emma-Jayne xx

Good Food Show…

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So, last Sunday we went to the good food show in Birmingham!

We had an amazing time, and we spent the day browsing the stalls, tasting and subsequently buying some pretty yummy food and drink. I did Vlog during the day, so check out the video here.

On the way to the NEC, we had to go through Birmingham international train station. While we were there, we went into the toilets and this sign was above one of the toilets…

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I have to be honest, it really amused me hence why I decided to post it on here! There were so many things there, that it wasn’t possible to taste everything or buy everything.. Or at least not for us anyway! But, some of my favorite purchases are…

  • Scarlet angel salad dressings. We brought two lemon and black pepper, and one sweet pepper and chilli. Because we brought 3, we also got a free little jute bag to bring them home in which I have to be honest is super cute. They are made in wales and all organic. and we love them, so much that I’m already wishing we brought more…
  • Belvoir fruit cordials in elder-flower, raspberry and lemon and raspberry and rose. I’ve had the elder-flower cordial before, and also the elder-flower pressé
    as well as the raspberry lemonade. The raspberry and rose was new to me but so delicious I had to buy some! The entire range of cordials is also currently available from ocado.
  • We also got some amazing vintagey shabby-chic items from one of the stalls. unfortunately, I’m not sure of the name but we got a wicker picnic basket with a handle that reminded us of something little red riding hood would carry, some hooks for Lillee’s room which I’ll post a picture of once they are up and a hanging candle holder in the shape of a heart with a little bird on for my mom and dad’s silver wedding anniversary on Tuesday. I could have spent so much money on that stall. I just had to try not to look to hard!

We brought and tried so many other things, which I wont list but I would definitely recommend going if you want a foodies day out!

Our ticket price also included a seat in the super theater. Originally, I wanted to see Paul Hollywood. However, it turned out he was only there on the Thursday and Friday which we couldn’t go to as Dan was at work. So, instead we saw Tom Kerridge proper pub food. It was funny, and his food looked tasty. I have also brought his book but I haven’t had a chance to properly sit down and read it yet. I have tried one recipe, which was the lemon posset. I liked it but personally, it was a little sweet so i’d cut down on the sugar and I don’t think I left it in the fridge long enough to set properly. I do recommend eating strawberries with it though! They went together so well and I will be trying it out again although with less sugar next time.

We are planning on going again to the winter good food show at the end of November. So, hopefully I’ll be able to get some more amazing food items!

Emma-Jayne xx

*Disclaimer. This was not a sponsored post. Just a day trip we had and really enjoyed.*

My life lately…

20140508-085528.jpg So, I know I haven’t been around much recently, but I’m hoping that’s about to change! We’ve had lots going on In the last few weeks. First, there was Easter. Lillee was spoilt as per usual and came home from her Easter egg hunt with lots of chocolate and sweeties. Plus she had some new clothes, a toy rabbit and some things to make and do! Dan and I weren’t left out either, we had a few boxes if chocolates and a beautiful candle from my mom and dad. Then, we came to our 1 month anniversary. Not that we did anything! But it was a day to relive the memories from our wedding. Plus we have already lasted longer than some celebrity marriages! Since then, we have been spending some time as a family and had the first icecream of the year from an icecream van! Really yummy it was too. Aimie stayed over last week, which happened to also be the day we moved in three years ago! On that note happy anniversary to Kate and Wills. I watched the royal wedding while Dan and my parents started the decorating in our flat. (I was keeping an eye on Aimie and Lillee for a bit).

While Aimie was over, she and Lillee tried on my wedding dress. Super cute don’t you think? 20140508-091255.jpg
Lillee has also decided that she wants to make a rag doll. So I found out a book I have with the tag doll pattern plus clothes patterns in, and we have started the process of cutting making her. Apparently her name is going to be ‘Emily’ so far, Lillee has helped every step of the way and now we are ready to start sewing her! She even has a little pink heart to put inside. 20140508-091851.jpg
The plan is, either tonight or tomorrow while she isn’t at school we will get out my sewing machine and put her together. She has used my sewing machine once before when we made cushions for Mother’s Day. She had a great time helping my guide the fabric through and then filling it up with stuffing! 20140508-091655.jpg We were very lucky at our wedding with some generous gifts, and so a big Thank you go’s out to everyone who contributed to our ‘pretty things for the house fund’ and we have now brought out first thing.. Drumroll please… A new oven!! Ok so it may not be super exiting, but our previous oven was second hand, the grill didn’t work, the temperature was out and it was impossible to get completely clean. So for me, a brand new oven is amazing! Plus it look so much nicer in my kitchen than the old one did. I’m loving the fact that there is a glass door so I can see what I’m cooking without opening it and potentially ruining what’s inside.. Maybe I’ll try soufflés now?! Plus it’s easy to keep clean. And has an indicator to tell me that the hob is still hot so I won’t burn myself on it! 20140508-092757.jpg I actually have a whole kitchen reveal post planned so keep a lookout for that one as the oven isn’t the only new thing in our kitchen…

So that’s a little look into my life over the past few weeks! What do you think? Shall I keep these posts in or is there something else you would like to see on the blog? Let me know on the comments..

Emma-Jayne xx

#100happydays…

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Lately, I’ve noticed #100happydays floating around on my Facebook and Instagram. Eventually, my curiosity got the better of me and I googled it. I came across a website www.100happydays.com. According the the site, 71% of people fail the challenge. Lack of time was quoted as the main reason. Are you to busy to be happy? That really made me think. I mean this whole challenge is simple. You take a picture of something that makes you happy, then, upload it onto Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the tag #100happydays. There is even an email address if your super private.

I find it really sad that people are claiming they are too busy to be happy. I know there’s something every day that makes me happy no matter how small!

Sooo I’m taking up the challenge! You can follow my progress here on Instagram, want to join me? Simply go to the website and hit sign up! Make sure you comment telling me where your posting so I can follow your progress! Plus, if you manage to do the entire 100 days there is supposed to be a book of all 100 pictures available. If not? I think it’s worth it to remember all the little things in life that make us happy.

I have so far done a week on the challenge, and actually found it really easy so far so I’m hoping that this is going to continue! Here’s my happy things so far…

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Good luck to all who try it! Can’t wait to see what makes you happy.

Emma-Jayne xx

It’s official…

I’m married!!!
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On Saturday 22nd March 2014, I married my partner of 4 years (and Lillee’s daddy) in the church my mom and dad were married in, and then later Lillee was christened in. It was such an amazing day, it all went nearly perfectly. A few issues with timing, and as much as I didn’t want to be I ended up being late! But never mind!

I know I haven’t been around much recently, but I’m hoping you’ll all bear with me for a few more weeks while we settle into married life!

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Emma-Jayne xx

Lillee’s Third Birthday…

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On Saturday, my beautiful little girl turned three! I’m still not sure how she got so big so fast.. Where did my baby go? She’s so independent now and getting to be very clever. I just don’t know where the times gone though can It really be three years since I brought home a tiny little baby? It’s crazy!

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On her birthday morning, Lillee climbed into our bed for her usual morning cuddles and asked why the living room door was shut. So as a family we went into the living room and the first thing she said was Santa’s been! Before diving into her pile of presents. After breakfast, she helped me decorate a birthday cake, then sent daddy out to get her fish and chips for lunch! We had family over I. The afternoon, and she was even more spoiled with lots more presents. All in all I think she had a really nice day, especially as she keeps asking to have another birthday or if it’s my birthday yet!

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Emma-Jayne xx