Monday Catch Up #25

Christmas goodies for pets

My word for this week is ‘Friendship’. I love being at that age in life where although you may not see your friends on a very regular basis, you know that it’s friendship for life and that every time you pick up seamlessly as though you last saw each other yesterday when it’s been months. Such a contented feeling.

There was a lovely surprise waiting for me on Monday when I got home from work, a delivery note saying there was a parcel behind the bin. My friend Anne-Marie sent me this beautiful colouring book – the nutritional therapist recommended colouring to me as a way of getting 5-10 minutes a day of head-clearing and from the little I’ve done so far it really helps.


Tuesday I worked from home to finally get my blood tests done. The nurse was very kind and actually apologised to me that the doctor hadn’t offered me them in the first place. So as well as blood tests to check for coeliac, they also gave me ones to check for thyroid, kidney and liver functions, such a relief.

On a super windy evening I headed into town to meet up with my childhood bestie and go for dinner, our favourite venue is Tibits just off Regent Street that do amazing buffet-style vegan and vegetarian food – curried quinoa and chickpeas is so tasty. Despite the storm,  London was looking beautiful as it always does at night-time and it was the first time I’d seen the Christmas lights for this year.

Trafalgar Square

Regent Street

Heddon Street

On Wednesday I headed out for dinner again – lucky me! – this time to Zizzi on London’s Bankside, a short walk along the river from my office.

The Globe

It was still windy but at least not cold and Michelle and I sat outside The Founders Arms (under a patio heater I hasten to add!) with champagne and a beautiful view of St Paul’s Cathedral before popping to Zizzi where we met our friend Dina. The three of us met way back in 2002 at journalism school bonding over hot chocolate and lots of time spent watching epic saga Thornbirds in my tiny studio flat in Earls Court 🙂 

Zizzi were great and gave me their full allergy menu where I chose a butternut squash, goats cheese and caramelised onion pizza, delicious and great service to boot.

As the weather turned on Thursday it was back to Pilates after work before curling up in front of a roaring fire and munching on these tasty lentil bakes from M&S. I’ve been really disappointed with how much gluten-free food is filled with so much other junk, normally twice as much sugar as anything else just to start with. So finding something which is gluten free, yeast free and low sugar is a bonus.

Festive shop window in Sundridge Park


Lentil crackers

Friday was a fun-filled day at work, it can often be quite quiet with people working from home or travelling and it’s always when there’s just a few of us in that we have the most laughs. A little bit of colouring and then made some salmon with caper and herb crust for dinner. I’m totally embracing all this extra time in the kitchen, it’s never too late to learn.


Baked salmon

On Saturday after an early dog walk we set off in the sleet to check out HomeSense on a blogging assignment. We left home just after 8 as our nearest store is about 30 minutes away in Lakeside Retail Park (it’s one of the millions of reasons I love my husband, on bemoaning that our nearest store was 2 hours away he immediately corrected me, reminding me that my London geography is a bit pants really).

It’s the first time I’d ever been to HomeSense and we were both impressed with the wide variety of items available and *may* have done a little bit of shopping…

HomeSense display


HomeSense shopping

Maddie Santa

For dinner, a pea, prawn and lemon risotto without the wine and parmesan cheese which was beautifully fresh and so filling

pea, prawn and lemon risotto

Sunday was work morning for DaisychainBaby as I got a “reminder” from HMRC that I forgot to submit my VAT returns last quarter, oops! That’s the first time it’s ever happened and will definitely be the last. So I set up camp in our cosy home office and got to work. Once finished, I had a go at baking some soda bread – I’m missing bread so so much and not only do I not want to eat too much GF free food but most bread has yeast in. When I came across this recipe, it leapt out as an “even I can do it” recipe and you know what? It turned out pretty well as a first attempt at ever making bread.

Home office

Home made sour dough bread

Hope you’ve had a lovely week x

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  1. November 23, 2015 / 1:31 pm

    Great to see you’re embracing food again! Everything you’ve made looks lovely -especially the bread. Another good idea for lunch instead of bread could be oatcakes? Loving Maddie’s festive attire!! x

    • Lins
      November 24, 2015 / 11:28 am

      Thank you for your lovely comments 🙂 Yes I just discovered some gluten free oatcakes, I have to put them in a drawer though otherwise I get so many if they sit on my desk, very moorish indeed Xx

  2. November 23, 2015 / 8:08 pm

    Gosh that bread looks delicious! And thank you for the London photos too. They made me very nostalgic! I used to work not far from Tottenham Court Rd and this time of year, with Heals, Habitat and Paperchase so alluringly close together there, was always so lovely! I saw the Christmas markets in Manchester on Friday last week. And I had a Christmas song in my head yesterday. Better get my skates on with this festive thing!

    • Lins
      November 24, 2015 / 11:27 am

      It’s funny how all of a sudden I feel like it creeps up on us despite it starting earlier and earlier every year. There’s definitely something so magical about big cities at Christmas time, I love it X

  3. November 27, 2015 / 8:15 pm

    You had such a busy week! I have heard lovely things about Homesense, I must try and check them out. Hope you’ve had a good week so far. Thank you for sharing your happy. #HappyDaysLinky x

    • Lins
      December 4, 2015 / 10:14 pm

      I was so glad to finally make it to one and now I know they’re not too far away I’ll definitely be back! Xx

    • Lins
      December 4, 2015 / 10:04 pm

      I’m totally hooked on the colouring, it definitely helps me to get a bit of headspace Xx

  4. Lucy
    December 1, 2015 / 10:03 pm

    What a lovely week catching up with your friends, and what a thoughtful gift the colouring book was. Great to see the wood burning stove all fired up, we’ve now used ours for the first time this winter and I’d forgotten just how cosy they make everything seem. Brilliant work on the cookery front 🙂 the salmon in particular looks really scrummy! X

    • Lins
      December 4, 2015 / 9:57 pm

      It makes such a difference with the stove, I’m so pleased it keeps everything lovely and warm at least it was worth the money! X

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