Tag Archives: coffee

Starfish and coffee Maple syrup and jam

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It’s a 2 coffee kinda morning

Last week I posted a photo of two mugs of coffee I had on the train to work which I captioned “Its a 2 coffee kinda morning” and I got a comment from a friend of mine, Helen, a super solicitor, we worked at the same law firm in London. She suggested the unthinkable ‘Have you thought of giving up coffee?’ as she had done so a few years ago and felt much better for it. She did acknowledge that it may be a step too far for me! Wise woman.

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I wish I could remember where this was??

But I did give it some thought. I know it has caffeine in and is generally believed to be not very good for you to have too much but I just can’t think of not having it. I don’t just down coffee for its energy giving benefits, I genuinely love it. I look forward to having my first cup everyday with great excitement (maybe I need to get out more?). I tweet with some lovely coffee aficionados such as @BrianCoffeeSpot and when I go on holiday I always research the local coffee shops in order to find the good ones and make a point of trying them out. Also, since I no longer drink alcohol, meeting for a coffee is a treat and a lovely way to conduct my social life. I realize that one could order a different drink and on the days that I am feeling a bit coffeed out I have Earl Grey tea. Mainly because I am so ridiculously fussy about the tea I drink. It is aways Yorkshire Gold, milk and two sugars and I never let anyone else make it for me. But Earl Grey is okay when out and about. I despise the taste of green tea and oddly enough fresh mint tea gives me a tummy ache.

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A very cute place in NYC

My ridiculous plethora of illness and diseases have meant that I have had to give up a lot of the things that I enjoyed. I gave up smoking ten years ago in preparation for getting pregnant and I gave up drinking three years ago as even one glass of wine would give me a hangover. Not something on wants when single-handedly dealing with a six-year-old. I was diagnosed with coeliacs disease 20 years ago, so am entirely gluten free. Considering the fact brunch and afternoon tea are my two most favourite meals of the whole day and that they are predominately gluten based feasts. I moderate my intake of the nightshade family; tomatoes, aubergine and potatoes as it exacerbates my arthritis, as does orange juice. I don’t eat take aways or pre prepared food. I cook from scratch because I can and I enjoy it. So taking all of these things in to account as well as the absolute pleasure I derive from each mouthful of coffee I think I shall continue to worship at the altar of caffeine a while longer.

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Pat Val, an old fav

P.S. Prince – Your purple reign shall never end in my heart xxx

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And I know its gonna be A lovely day

Mornings are my nemesis, always have been. I am a night owl through and through, from writing uni essays at 1am, to all the years I spent working in the club industry and the long night shifts as a criminal defense solicitor attending police stations to see clients. I long to be up and at ’em at 5am, doing my sun salutations and journalling or whatever I would do with all the extra time, maybe taking over the world. Though of course I would be so exhausted by 12noon that I would need a lie down but that sort of stuff is frowned upon at my work place. My mum, on the other hand, literally wakes up singing, it irritates me beyond belief. The mornings are for the radio, coffee and NO talking.

I have read lots of blog posts about how to have a better morning, which in turn leads to a better day, and I have really tried to implement the things that I think would work for me and my lifestyle – single mum, chronic illness, commute to London, full time job.  I read a very amusing post recently titled how to get up when your alarm goes off and not hit the snooze button, I scrolled down and it literally said – alarm goes off, you get up, done! Made me laugh. None of this setting your alarm an hour earlier than necessary to facilitate the endless snooze button pressing. My uni friend Caroline reminded me recently that I used to have to put my alarm clock on the other side of my room as when it was next to my bed I had been known to turn it off in the fog of tiredness and go straight back to sleep missing my lectures.  So I have started just not pressing the snooze button, believe me I want to but compared to the anxiety of rushing around fearing being later for work, resisting the urge is worth it.

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I make sure my coffee machine is good to go the night before, fill it with water, clean the milk frother out, who wants to be scrabbling around washing up at 5.30am before your first cup of coffee? And that even if the kitchen is a bomb site then I have at least one cup available. I also make sure that any containers I need for lunch are clean. This next one is for those of us who take loads of meds, or who takes loads of supplements. Instead of popping out the 26 tablets I take each morning and risk making a mistake or missing some, I prepare a dosset box every Saturday morning that lasts 7 days. Basically I have two boxes, split into seven compartments and labelled Saturday to Friday and I fill each one with the days tablets so in the morning I just flip open the relevant day lid and into my mouth goes my pills.

I usually have a big glass of green juice first thing as food makes me feel nauseous. A green apple, 1/3 cucumber, small head broccoli, half thumb fresh ginger, half peeled lemon, half head fennel, 2 sticks celery. But I am lazy and have no intention of peeling, cutting etc first thing so I make up portioned bags of the veg three days at a time so I just grab a bag out of fridge, shove it into juicer and bang, breakfast.

I have also spent many a morning searching for my f***ing keys, as I fondly refer to them. So, as simple as it sounds, I now leave them in a bowl on my dining room bookcase, it is their home. As soon as I walk in the door there they go to rest until I need them in the morning.

See, nothing earth shattering, nothing new, but things that mean I don’t start my day in a right grump. So even if the rest of the day is not a super success, after all I can’t control everything, then at least I know my morning started as well as it could have.

Food, Glorious Food

Since I started my PhD, the weekends that Lu spends wither dad are the ones that I spend studying and a few weekends ago I had to pop into the library at uni to pick up some books. Since I was going to be in Oxford anyway I thought it might be a good idea to have little jaunt around with the puppy and grab a coffee. I was actually on my way to one of my favourite brunch places, Organic Deli Cafe, but only  got as far as Gloucester Square which is conveniently located between one of the car parks and the city centre. What was a “I’m just going to have a quick look before we pop off for breakfast’ ended up with a “lets eat here”. And oh my goodness was it worth stopping.

I did a quick circuit of the stalls and ended up at a food truck serving Arepas, traditional Venezuelan food, which is *drum roll* naturally gluten free!!! It was like a cornbread pocket filled with yumminess. I took advice from the owner/chef and had the slow cooked beef with the chipotle sauce and a smidgen of salsa, it was amazing, I had a cup of sugar cane lemonade too and then could not say “no” to a meringue topped cake dessert, in fact it was so good that M ordered an Arepas too. We stood and chatted with the lovely owners and ate our food licking the sauce off our fingers.

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I could have eaten it agin but wanted to give the restsof the market chance, one must be fair to ALL the nice food. So off I went to the coffee stall where I had spied gluten free brownies – orange, cheesecake or salted caramel. I went for a cheesecake one as M adores cheesecake and I knew I wouldn’t be able to eat it all myself oddly enough (to others) I am not a big fan of chocoltely things, but I wanted something a little sweet to go with the coffee, which was amazing.

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There was an really nice looking mexican stall who I chatted with, they did gluten free tacos and nachos and I had made mental note to pick some up or the journey home but I was so full after the brownie that I felt i needed to be sensible and stop myself. But next time I am around on a saturday its nachos first then Arepas then coffee. Then Arepas again.

 

 

 

If you go down to the woods today

I am not a naturally outdoorsy person by any stretch of the imagination but now that we have the puppy and we live in the countryside I do try and make the effort to go on some long walks.

My current favourite place to visit is Wendover Woods, it helps that it has a little cafe so I can stock up on coffee before heading into the unknown. Coffee is a wonderful incentive if you ever want to get me to do anything.

A few Sunday’s ago, when all three children were staying we had our usual breakfast of pancakes and then off to the woods we went. They much wailing and gnashing of teeth from the youth but they soon got over it. After all the English countryside is so beautiful, especially during the season changes, who could resist? I wrote about the gorgeous summer bluebells earlier on this year.

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Refreshments purchased.

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Coffee in hand, crunchy leaves and dungarees. Perfect.

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Very enthusiastic puppy.

Wendover woods currently have a really great Autumn Trail to follow and each sign tells you a little bit about the wildlife at the moment and what to look out for. We weren’t entirely successful but it kept at least Lucia busy and interested.

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Conker shells, but no conkers, damn.

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We found the mushrooms.

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Just because it looked so unique.

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These little balls of plants reminded me of the stone trolls in Frozen. I may have watched Frozen one too many times.

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Such gorgeous colours.

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The weather held until just before we left thankfully.

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No woodland adventure would be complete without a little bit of muddy puddle jumping and potion stirring.

My week in pictures

Monday

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Lunchtime sun

Tuesday

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Photographic evidence that I do actually have a job that I occasionally go to

Wednesday

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Pre bed time walk with my best girls

Thursday

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In bed, as per….

Friday

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And again, with pup this time

Saturday

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Gluten free croissants, yum

Sunday

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Atteneded a beautiful wedding

 

Tiptoe through the tulips

Well, bluebells actually. Can you believe I have lived in Buckinghamshire for more than five years now and yesterday was the first time I’ve been to admire the bluebells? Shockingly remiss of me. Anyway, I got up, go dressed and dragged puppy out for a saunter through Wendover Woods, it was a beautiful day, made use of the cafe and bought coffee to energise me for walk. Unfortunately it started raining but the flowers were still breathtaking.

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That path just calls to you

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I feel rather proud, as if I climbed this! I didn’t I drove.

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Felt like Little Red Riding Hood following the woodland path

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Puppy and coffee, two of my travel essentials

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And breath in the beauty

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My most favourite colour ever

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What not to do with bluebells, look but don’t touch please!

 

My week in pictures

Monday

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Lucia’s daddy bought her a new bike in ‘Tiffany Blue” & she grew up over night!

Tuesday

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Had to get my hideous scarred legs out as I was SO hot.

Wednesday

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Did a spot of birthday shopping for M.

Thursday

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Off to another hospital, not for me for a change.

Friday

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Hospital appointment for me.

Saturday

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Took my leopard print shoes out for dinner, they never get to go out!!

Sunday

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Sun was shining so took pup pup for walk/run.