Winter Checklist…

It’s almost December! Yippee! This makes it the perfect time to post this December checklist. You see this year I really want to make the most of the winter months, normally I have all these ideas of Christmassy and winter things to do during December, January and February but when said months arrive I end up spending my time doing the same things; usually baking, film watching and moaning about the cold! Well not this year that’s not me (at least not all the time), no sir. I am turning over a new leaf and making the most of my favourite time of the year, because although I complain about the dark and cold it’s truly my favourite season….or one of my favourite seasons, as honestly I love them all, I’m a true Brit in that sense. So here we go…

Drink hot chocolate and stir with a candy cane

Make (and eat) Christmas cookies or cupcakes

Get crafty and make homemade ornaments
Look at as many Christmas lights as possible
Watch Christmas films with Christmas popcorn
Find a Christmas jumper – So far I’ve got 2 Christmas jumpers, so I think this is covered, although I’ve seen a couple of lovely jumpers from Topshop that I’m tempted by. Watch this space…
Spend a morning drinking Christmas beverages in a coffee shop

Write a Christmas list – All done and dusted and emailed to the powers that be…
Listen to carols
Decorate the Christmas tree – we put the tree up in our flat on Sunday and it looks so magical. I love the twinkling lights.

Build a snowman
Put up fairy lights
Burn Christmas scented candles

Paint nails with Christmas patterns and cover in glitter – Wednesday night I opted for a ice blue Models Own base and covered in a layer of timy gold flecks. I’m calling them my Ice Queen nails!

I’m going to tick these off once i’ve done them so hopefully come spring i’ll have the full set all done and dusted.

Have I missed anything? What’s everyone’s favourite things to do at winter time?

Lau xxx

Top 5 winter warmers…

Tonight I wanted to talk about my favourite winter warmers, you know what I’m talking about – those meals that keep you cosy and warm in the winter months and the drinks that literally warm you to the bone. So here are my favourites:

1. Starbucks Gingerbread Latte – I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m not a fan of coffee, in fact, before a couple of weeks ago I actually hated anything coffee related. I swear I could tell if even one grain had been used in anything that I was near. But then I discovered the gloriousness that is the Starbucks Gingerbread Latte. Oh man, how I love the red cups. I tried one and fell in love, it’s like Christmas in a drink. Amazing!

2. Covent Garden Chicken Biryani Soup – I love soup, I love that it comes in so many different flavours, that it’s easy to cook and is always filling.  Right now my favourite flavour is Covent Garden’s Chicken Biryani soup. It’s got spinach, chicken, lentils and spices and the smell whilst cooking is just divine.

3. Bean chilli baked potatoes – Another warm quick meal that is fast becoming my go to meal. Everyone loves a baked potato right, but with this topping it become an even better meal. simply take a can of beans or lentils and a can of tinned tomatoes with some cayenne pepper and a bit of chilli flakes. Cook these together to thicken and then spoon over the the baked potato – heaven on a plate!

4. Apple Crumble – Is there a better winter pudding? I don’t think so. Give me a bowl of this and some cold custard and I’m a happy bunny.

5. Homemade hot chocolate with mini marshmallows – My favourite thing to do is to light some Christmas scented candles, settle down on the sofa with a good book and sip one of these. Perfect.

Does anyone else have any favourites winter warmers?

Lau xxx

Post holiday blues…

I’m back! Holidays are now officially over 😦 okay so technically I’m still on holiday as I am typing this while on an Easyjet flight home from Portugal – I know aren’t you impressed with my amazing productivity, I am! But by the time I get around to  posting this I’ll be back in (rainy) London with all thoughts of holidays far behind me – sad times indeed! On the plus side exactly five weeks today is Christmas Day. Cue squeals of Christmas excitement followed by gasps of horror at the amount of things I need to do in those five weeks (in all honesty it’s best not to think about that right now – think happy holiday thoughts instead).
And what a happy holiday it has been, the past five days in Portugal have been absolute bliss. Okay here’s the truth of it, it didn’t start all that well, in fact the first three days of our five day break we were inundated with rain. Constant rain. I actually thought we might need to start building an ark. It’s not that we minded though, I mean it is November so we weren’t expecting endlessly sunny days. Luckily the weather didn’t hamper us one bit – in fact it meant we spent most our time completely relaxed; reading, watching films, drinking wine, cooking and, of course, playing board games. Like I said bliss! I honestly hadn’t realised how much I needed a holiday until I was enjoying it. I can’t remember the last time that I slept later than 8am, even on a weekend! Even with the rain we did mange to head to a local market on Saturday morning, I love markets. The smells of fish, flowers, fresh bread and churros are unrivalled in my opinion. We even stumbled across what remains of the town’s castle which was complete with old walls, a battering ram and a nativity scene. The trip to the market marked the end of the miserable weather, and for our last two days the sun was shining brightly. Which of course means that my freckles have returned in abundance and my pale skin is tinged pink (I think it must be the tiny bit of Welsh in me), aren’t I a lucky girl! But at least I look like I’ve been away so I can’t complain.
Take a look at some of the snaps I took, there’s not many I’m afraid, I think it’s the downside of going to the same place quite often you just don’t end up taking as many pictures, that and camera shy friends, so you won’t see many people either, apart from me that is!


 












Early morning at Gatwick airport all ready for Christmas/Fluffy clouds outside the plane window
Trivial Pursuit/Cocktails
View from the terrace/Lunch at Maria’s (I’m on the left, Fi is on the right).

Lau xxxx

Holiday chatter and weekend update…

Yippee! I’m headed off to Portugal in two days for a long weekend in the sun – okay so there’s no sun there at the moment, but it will still be great to get away from London and relax, eat, sleep, and be merry by the sea.

Now I’m still not packed and haven’t ticked many (any) things off my list, but I couldn’t resist blogging instead. I wanted to share my fabulous weekend with you all. This weekend I went home to celebrate my Mum’s birthday. Both my sisters also made the trip, so it was a full house at the Evans abode and we certainly had a great time. Friday night was a trip to a delicious Chinese restaurant in Dorking, we had a feast of starters; satay chicken, spring rolls, seaweed & ribs, followed by duck pancakes and finally lemon chicken, beef in black bean, crispy shredded beef and noodles, all finished off with a refreshing bowl of segmented oranges – I swear it tastes better when someone else has peeled and cut it for you! We started off Saturday with the perfect breakfast, crusty bread, ham, cheese and baby tomatoes. I then managed to find myself in Guildford and upgrading my phone. I’ve swapped my iPhone 4 for a Samsung Galaxy III and I have to admit I’m absolutely loving it. It’s taking a bit of time to get used to it as the keys do different things than my previous apple version. But I did manage to add all my music from iTunes straight to my new phone, with only the help of an app. It was literally as easy as one, two, three.

On Saturday afternoon we headed to a lovely little coffee shop in a nearby village for afternoon tea, it’s my Mum’s favourite place so it only seemed fitting to spend part of her birthday weekend there. It’s a gorgeous tea shop that also sells gifts and of course me being me I managed to spend some money. Take a look at the photo, aren’t they just brilliant? I’ve been looking for a new clock to put in my bedroom for awhile now and this one caught my eye straight away – it reminds me of the melting clocks in Salvador Dali’s paintings. Then there’s the sign, I simply couldn’t resist it. Not only is it a wonderful sentiment, but it also happens to be the name of my favourite Christmas film ever. The best part about these purchases is that they were in the sale, so I managed to get both items for the original cost of the clock. Bargain! Now I just need to get these put up on the wall….

Saturday night was spent in from of a roaring fire, at full competitive force while we played board games and raced on Mario Kart. I was useless in all events – I swear it was just an off day!
The brilliant Evans weekend was rounded off with a trip to my favourite venue in London – The Royal Albert Hall – it’s simply stunning. We had tickets to an Emeli Sande concert so we took a mini picnic of Christmas sandwiches (from M&S) and settled in for an highly anticipated night of music. We weren’t disappointed, Emeli Sande’s voice is just stunning and she makes it seem just effortless.

All in all a fun packed weekend with family, can’t wait for the next one. Bring on Christmastime I say….

Right procrastinating done, I’d best get back to packing now…wish me luck!

Lau xxx

My Week in Pictures #3

Hot Chocolate / Early morning view of Battersea Power Station / First clementine (whilst blogging) of the Christmas season
Weekend at home: Afternoon tea with my Mum / Log fire / Evans family sunday roast
Emeli Sande performing at The Royal Albert Hall