What’s been making me happy: January

What’s been making me happy: January

Hello! It’s nice to be back writing after a slightly longer than expected break. Christmas and New Year didn’t quite pan out how I had expected, with a rather debilitating virus and a couple of cases of conjunctivitis forcing our little family into hibernation mode. Apart from hospital, doctor and pharmacy visits, we did little over the festive period apart from rest and recover. I won’t lie, it wasn’t the merriest time but we’re all happy and healthy now and for that I’m very thankful.

It’s hard to believe we’re three-quarters through the first month of the year already and I know for many – particularly those in the U.K. – it’s been a pretty tough start to 2021. Now more than ever, it feels important to celebrate and appreciate the small things in life, so on that note, this is what’s been making me smile in January…

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What’s making me happy: November

What’s making me happy: November

November has felt particularly long. It’s been a combination of factors, namely Adam working out of town for an extended period; and a bout of sickness that saw Paul, myself and then Adam collapse in a heap all within about 24 hours of each other (I won’t elaborate, except to say family gastro is not fun!) So while I never like to wish away time, I’m rather glad to see the end of November.

Despite the challenging days, like always, there have been moments of joy – this is what’s been making me smile this month…

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French toast with carameralised peaches and thyme

French toast with carameralised peaches and thyme

This recipe came about a couple of years ago, when Adam and I were gifted a huge basket of home grown peaches. The fruit had been picked a little too early and as a result the peaches never ripened properly. It felt wasteful to just toss the peaches into the green waste bin, so I decided to show them a little love.

With a little time, butter and sugar I was able to transform those peaches into something soft, sweet and syrupy. This dish has now become a well-loved favourite in our house, particularly at this time of the year when the days are long and warm and the stone fruit is abundant. The thyme seems like a slightly odd addition, but its subtle, earthy flavour works wonderfully with the sweet peaches.

This is definitely not an ‘everyday’ breakfast, rather best savoured on a slow Saturday morning, in pyjamas with a cup of coffee in hand…

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What’s making me happy: October

What’s making me happy: October

October’s felt both long and short. I’ve had a really, really busy few weeks at work which has made the time feel like it’s whizzing by. At the same time though, the entire household’s been sick which has made some days feel oh-so-drawn-out. In between it all, there’ve been some lovely moments though – here’s what’s been making me smile this month…

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What’s making me happy: September

What’s making me happy: September

We’re three-quarters through the year, and I can’t quite believe we’re on the cusp of that countdown towards summer, Christmas and the end of the year. September seems to have just flown by. Adam’s business is the busiest its ever been, my weeks are split between ‘work-work’ and ‘home-work’ and it honestly feels like life is moving at double speed at the moment.

While downtime feels like it’s been particularly hard to find these last few weeks, I’m trying to find a balance and to look for the beauty in the everyday. This is what’s been making me smile this month…

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Lemon and blueberry squares

Lemon and blueberry squares

Over the last few days it’s really felt like spring. The air is just that little bit warmer, the afternoons just that little bit brighter and there are blossom covered trees on just about every street in town. After such a quiet autumn and winter, where staying in was pretty much mandatory, spring feels like a season of optimism .

I’m envisaging small, but exceptionally jovial socially distant gatherings, outside in the fresh air – underneath trees with brand new leaves. Those sorts of get-togethers deserve a treat – something colourful, crunchy and creamy. Something like lemon and blueberry squares…

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What’s making me happy: August

What’s making me happy: August

August always seems like such a fickle month.  Reminding you one day, that it’s still winter (cue lashing rain and wind) and then teasing you the next with sunny skies, and just a hint of warm breeze.  A month where you know you’ll be wearing your winter woollies most days, but you keep on seeing pretty, floral dresses and daydreaming of bare legs.  A month where you make sure you get your fill of stodgy cold weather stews and casseroles, so you’re ready for the salad.

This is what’s been making me smile this month…

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Parmesan and rosemary biscuits

Parmesan and rosemary biscuits

Now that I’m back working again, I’ll be bringing a packed lunch from home most days I’m in the office. I find (especially since I’m still breastfeeding in the mornings, evenings and sometimes overnight) that I need something substantial to eat in the middle of the day and a few smaller snacks for mid morning and mid afternoon.

Lunch itself is normally pretty easy to get together – leftovers from dinner the night before, a salad using whatever’s in the fridge, or soup and toast on cold days.  However, I always struggle a little bit with finding different types of snacks, especially ones that can be eaten both at my desk or out and about.

Enter Parmesan and rosemary biscuits.  They’re delightfully savoury, have a wonderful cheesy flavour and pair beautifully with fruit…

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