Monday Catch Up #28

Beautiful flowers from my Mum

It’s Sunday evening as I write this weekly catch up post and it’s just occurred to me, curled up on the sofa, that in less than 2 weeks time Christmas will be over for another year. It’s such a strange idea, this one day that we build up to every year and that the older I get the more it becomes like a beacon of hope in the calendar simply to get a few days off work (at least I’m honest 😉

This week has been another quite mental one relating to the day job. We’ve had visits by a few staff members from our HQ in the US which has meant quite a bit of office disruption, minding our p’s and q’s and generally that level of exhaustion that comes when your normal routine is all out of sync.

The lovely things this week have been continuing with my nail polish advent calendar, it’s SUCH a joy to open a new window every day and the collection is really building. Earlier in the week there was a bit of bread experimentation too, this time a pre-mixed soda bread where the yeast could be substituted by gluten-free baking powder. It was so easy to throw together but I am learning that soda bread doesn’t stay fresh for any longer than one day. Next time, it shall be sliced and bagged and placed in the freezer to use one slice at a time. It’s still also tricky to toast but I’ll persist with experimenting.

latest nail polish from the advent calendar

gluten free soda bread

baked loaf

It feels a little as though there hasn’t been much home time this week, but the divine scent of lilies has been wafting throughout owing to the beautiful flowers in the top picture that my Mum bought us on her visit last weekend. They look magnificent and remind me how much I love fresh flowers in the house. And discovering delicious lunches from Leon – oh my! It’s not that I would buy one every day because it’s not cost-effective but it was so delicious and so full of goodness. I just need to get myself into preparedness gear and start throwing some tasty salads together for lunch.

Leon quinoa salad

On Wednesday it was a very early start to help manage a conference at the KPMG offices in Canary Wharf, so early in fact that the sun hadn’t fully risen as I made my way out of the cavernous underground station. This part of London both fascinates me and scares me all at once, and no matter how many times I go I always get lost.

Canary Wharf

Canary Wharf

My colleague who now lives in Oxfordshire stayed the night on Wednesday since it was our work Christmas lunch on Thursday and it was lovely to come home together on the train after work before catching up over dinner. Again though, another night out of sync plus fighting a cold for a few days as well as getting up at 5.30 on Wednesday morning probably explains why this week has felt so long.

Thursday we had to try and pack in a whole day’s work in a couple of hours before setting off for lunch at Fish Central in Clerkenwell. This award-winning restaurant belongs to the father-in-law of a colleague and it was the perfect laid-back venue for our work Christmas lunch. We all had a great time before a few of us decamped for The George near London Bridge to carry on with the drinks and entertaining our visitors.. It was a fairly early evening for me by my standards and I got home just before 10pm.

christmas lunch outfit

Whilst I was out my dog walker sent me THIS ADORABLE PHOTO of a little ‘puggle’ puppy she is dog-sitting. I melt. A puggle is a cross between a pug and a beagle and it’s just too cute!

puggle puppy

Friday was definitely the perfect day to be started with a lemon juice cleanse and I’ve been reviewing this new nail polish from Just My Look. It’s a super colour for Christmas, a sort of rose-gold/coppery shimmer. It’s lasted so far a few days which is good going for me since my nails aren’t well treated and a review will follow shortly.

lemon juice cleanse

new nail polish

Pete was already home on Friday which was a lovely surprise since he normally gets in much later than me and we did treat ourselves to tea from the fish and chip shop. Whilst he enjoyed battered sausages as I looked on enviously, my chips were accompanied by gluten free non-sausage sausage rolls. Weird, not entirely enjoyable, but interesting nonetheless. I haven’t eaten red meat for over 10 years because of my love for animals but oh how I miss proper pastry since going gluten-free.

This weekend we’ve been on uncle and aunty duties looking after our 11 year old niece and 8 year old nephew. Meeting them for lunch at Byron in Waterloo with their Mum & Dad on Saturday (wholeheartedly recommend the gluten free Quinoa, Avocado and Slow Roasted Tomato Salad), the 6 of us went to see Dr Seuss’s The Lorax at The Old Vic before we brought them home to ours for the night. I’ve never enjoyed a tea as much as I did on Saturday night after they went to bed 🙂


Old Rascal

The Lorax


Despite feeling exhausted we didn’t make it to bed until well after midnight and so when the kids woke us up just before 6.30 it felt TOO early! But we got up and had breakfast, took the dog out and then headed out for the day, first to the Horniman Museum in Forest Hill where we played in the musical garden and gazed at the prettiest fish in the aquarium. It’s a wonderful family-friendly museum and is free, aside from a small charge for the aquarium itself. There’s a super cafe and fantastic, well-maintained gardens, a total jewel in South London.

music garden at the Horniman





From there we headed into Bromley for lunch at Ask, a little bit of shopping and then brought them home for tea and biscuits with their Mum & Dad who came to collect them. A week where it’s felt like there hasn’t been much time to breathe but some holiday days are right around the corner.

Hope you’ve all had a lovely week X

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  1. December 14, 2015 / 10:55 am

    What a busy week (and weekend!)! Sounds like you crammed in lots of fun things with the kids. That puppy is the cutest thing – not a combination I’d ever have imagined, but it’s adorable! x

    • Lins
      December 14, 2015 / 9:03 pm

      Whenever we look after either them or our godsons we’re always exhausted by it and wonder how parents cope, but I know my friends always tell me that some kind of energy reserves just kick in 🙂 I’ve missed blogging so am off to catch up with some of your posts! Xx

  2. December 14, 2015 / 4:26 pm

    Oh the Horniman! Blast from the past. I used to love it there as a kid. It’s only now that I have noticed the pun in the title (sorry, I’ve had one too many coffees today and it seems to have sent my pun-o-metre into overdrive!)

    Lovely to catch up on how things are going with you. I miss the blogging world! Back to it tomorrow hopefully. I hope your week (starting today) is much more relaxed – sounds like you need it!

    • Lins
      December 14, 2015 / 9:02 pm

      It’s amazing how many links there end up being between where people used to live, a few people have said they remember it from when they were younger! It’s such a wonderful place to wile away a few hours. Similarly to you I’m trying to play catch up after a quiet few weeks on the blog front, I’ve really missed it. Look forward to seeing you back X

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