Clothes Rail: Slogan Tees

If you’re of the same era as me you’ll have memories of slogan tees emblazoned with ‘Team Jacob’ or ‘Team Edward’ and while I didn’t own one (Team Edward FYI) I definitely wished I did. Yes I was that cool. But since the early 00’s there’s been somewhat of a resurgence of the slogan tee and I admit at first I wasn’t really on board with it as it didn’t really seem to fit into my new wardrobe ethos.

The main thing I discussed in my wardrobe planning post a while back was that I wanted to be the sort of person to ‘buy less, choose well’, so my wardrobe becomes a collection of clothes I adore, that work well together rather than a mishmash of things that I bought on a whim that I don’t like enough to wear regularly. To me a slogan tee, a very ‘now’ idea seemed to clash with this. Wouldn’t I wear a tshirt once and then forget about it. Would this just be a fad that I’d be over in a minute or two? So with that in mind, I waited and started to make sensible purchases that fitted into my wardrobe ethos instead.

For the last four months I’ve only bought clothes that I’ve actually needed and that fitted with the ‘buy less, choose well’ idea. So since January I’ve only purchased comfy skinny jeans, striped shirts, a swimming costume and underwear. Things that go nicely with numerous items in my wardrobe and that I love so I should get a lot of wear out of them. Particularly this Joanie swimsuit of my dreams. Talk about true love. And then I realised that somehow I was the owner of three new slogan tees, despite thinking they weren’t part of my wardrobe plan.

So clearly my initial thoughts on slogan tees existing in my new look wardrobe were wrong. Slogan tees featuring a pineapple and the call ‘to be happy’, with embroidery over the pocket and one with ‘We React’ emblazoned on it are clearly essential for my life.

And, even better, they do fit into my new style and wardrobe plan. I wear them with everything – they work under a jumper, over a dress, with shorts and jeans or tucked in to a fancy (or non fancy) skirt for work. There’s just nothing I don’t want to wear one with. What’s more they’ll work perfectly as we transition from summer to autumn and into winter – I just need to add another layer to any outfit that works with a slogan tee. This could be a blazer, a thicker jumper or just a cardi. Easy.

So after that u-turn I’ve decided I need to own more epic slogan tees in my life! Thankfully they’re everywhere right now so this is doable. In fact, here are my current top nine out in the shops right now.

Slogan Tees - Clothes Rail- This and That Blog

Oui Fresh’s ‘Babe With the Power’ tee / H&M’s ‘The Revolution is Female’ tee /  Joanie ‘perhaps’ tee / Muthahood’s ‘Strong Girls Club’ tee Joanie ‘La Mer’ tee / Oui Fresh’s ‘Brunch Club’ tee / Asos’ ‘Bee Kind’ tee / H&M ‘Unicorn Fan Club’ tee

Aren’t they just all divine? With their brilliant mix of female empowerment, quirky designs, foodie related lines and stripes. Plus you can’t go wrong with either monochrome or a pop of colour, am I right?! Plus I figure if the slogan on the t-shirt is one that will always ring true, then it does fit in with my ‘buy less, choose well’ plan – hurray!

So I clearly can’t get all nine, but which do you think I should add to my wardrobe next? I’m torn between the ‘Strong Girls Club’ and the stripey one, but I just can’t choose!

-Fi x

In the Kitchen: Meat Free Meals

There’s something about the summer months that has me leaning towards salads and cold meals, or meals without much meat content. There’s no real logic behind it, other than that generally meat free meals tend to be speedier to make, which is integral when the sun is shining and I’ve been destroyed by the evening commute! So with another two or so summer months to go I’m desperate for more meat free meals. Don’t get me wrong I love my stuffed sweet potatoes, caesar salads and pasta recipes, but I don’t want to get bored with them, so more options are needed asap.

Meat Free Meals - This and That Blog

So after a bout of pinning and research, I’ve now got eleven more recipes to try. They range from super quick recipes to longer curries and they all look so delicious.

First up we have these yummy sounding cheese and broccoli bites, which are an ingenious idea. I bet they’d be yummy in a wrap or with couscous and roasted veg and some sweet chilli sauce. Oh and I bet they’d work as leftovers too. Halloumi is something I definitely don’t cook enough, so these harissa halloumi and veggie wraps need to happen! This cauliflower dhal looks yummy, although it might have to be a weekend meal option and not a mid-week one.

Meat Free Meals - This and That Blog

Baked Brocolli Cheese Balls / Harissa Halloumi and Roasted Vegetables Wrap / Roasted Cauliflower Dhal

I’m a sucker for a sweet potato recipe – they’re just so versatile and easy to cook with – but its high time I tried some new ones, so these sweet potato chickpea burgers and fajita recipes are right up my street. How yummy do they look? And I bet they’re super simple too! Spinach lasagna roll ups sound a bit fancy, but they look like a delicious spinach pasta dish so I’m in!

Meat Free Meals - This and That Blog

Sweet Potato Chickpea Burgers / Sweet Potato Fajitas Spinach Lasagna Roll Ups

So I’m suitably intrigued by these courgette balls, the dish looks yummy and the creamy coconut tomato sauce idea sounds delicious. Is there anything better than a stuffed mushroom? I don’t think there is, except maybe balsamic miso glazed and pesto covered ones. Yum! This black bean flautus are on the list as I normally stick to enchiladas or fajitas, so branching out to other dishes sounds fun. Plus these take less than 30 minutes and come with a spicy avocado dip. YES!

Meat Free Meals - This and That Blog

Courgette Kofta in Creamy Coconut Tomato Sauce / Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms / Black Bean Flautas

So granted this Spanish chickpea and spinach stew looks a bit more wintry than summery, but it also looks delicious. Perhaps I’ll bring it out on one or two of the colder nights we’re bound to have over the coming months. And now onto my final meat free meal, which is possibly a favourite! Stir fries are such a mid-week dinner win, but they’re always based around chicken, salmon or steak in our house. So I definitely need to try a meat free version, and this peanut one looks right up my street. Yeah for simple dishes.

Meat Free Meals - This and That Blog

Spanish Chickpea Spinach Stew/ Peanut Noodle Stir Fry

Now I just have to decide which one I want to start first, I’m currently learning towards the broccoli and cheese bites or the sweet potato chickpea burgers. Decisions, decisions. For more yummy dinner options, including a fair few meat free meals, head on over to my ‘Savoury Yumminess’ board on Pinterest.

-Fi x

The Book Corner: Recent Reads 2017, Part 3

Once again May and June have been great reading months for me. I feel like I’ve finally organised myself enough to carve out some time each day for reading. Whether it’s during my commute on a Monday morning, in the garden on a Sunday afternoon, or curled up on the sofa with a cup of coffee in the early morning. Since my last update I’ve read a total of 13 books so I’m going to jump straight into telling you all about each one. After all this post is going to be super long without my rambling on at this point!

The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd

This is a London based mystery where siblings Ted and Kat investigate the disappearance of their cousin Salim from a pod on The London Eye. The pair make their way around London following clues on the hunt for Salim. I utterly adored this book, it’s an excellent mystery story with a clever plot and wonderful characters. I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to read it. But I was very impressed with myself for solving the mystery. And then I remembered that I was reading a book aimed at children!

Orphan X by Greg Horowitz

Two people mentioned this book to me in a matter of days, so I treated myself to a copy with my Waterstones vouchers. Luckily for all those involved this one is definitely worth the hype. The story follows Evan Smoak, a man trained as part of a secret government programme to be the perfect weapon. Before the book starts Evan breaks from the programme and turns himself into the Nowhere Man, helping those who have nowhere else to turn. And this is where the story starts for us, as Evan helps people with no other option. It is a gripping adventure filled thriller of a book, so just my sort of read. It’s also full of surprising and interesting characters, and I can’t wait to learn more about everyone in the series. This one is gripping from the start and just begs you to continue reading well into the night. So if you’re a fan of thrillers then this is definitely one for you.

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel

This book was on offer on the Kindle store and I wanted a change from the mystery and thriller genre, so it was the perfect pick. Although thinking about it there is still a mystery aspect involved – so clearly I can’t get away from that! We follow the main protagonist, Lane Roanoke as she returns to her grandparents house to investigate her cousin’s disappearance. Alongside her investigations into Allegra’s whereabouts we also flick back to a 15 year old Lane as she arrives at the family farm for the first time, to live with her grandparents and cousin. So the book weaves through both time periods. We discover the history of the house, and the stories behind the women of the Roanoke family whilst trying to solve the mystery behind Allegra’s disappearance. It’s very dark and disturbing, but it’s well written, if a little obvious in places.

My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout

So I’m writing this post a good few weeks after I read this book and I can’t really remember anything about it. This is a story about a daughter and her mother and their difficult relationship. I started this on a whim and only finished it because it was short and I hate to leave anything unfinished. Saying that I’ve heard so many others sing the praises of this book, so perhaps I just didn’t get it. Whatever it is! This sort of thing happens to me a lot – oh well, I can deal with that!

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A Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys

Now this book? This one I LOVED reading. Set in 1939 we follow Lily Shepherd, a young girl leaving behind her troubles and embarking on a voyage to a new adventure, and housekeeping job, in Australia. As the ship leaves port the UK is on the precipice of war, which brings another level of complexity to the interactions between all of the passengers. And that’s what I loved most about the books, the wonderful characters and their relationships with each other. The murder and crime part is almost secondary to all of that. In fact when the book ended I really wanted to turn the page and carry on reading. I wanted to know what happened next for all of the characters that I had become invested in.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling

I’m slowly re-reading this series for about the nineteenth time. It’s a classic and still one of my favourites. It’s been a good couple of years since I read Goblet of Fire. And yet picking it up and cracking the spine felt like greeting an old friend. Books are magical in that way, aren’t they.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give might just become my favourite book of the year. The book explores the issue of race in America and to me it feels like a must read for everyone. Starr is the only witness to the shooting of an unarmed black boy – her friend Khalil – by the police. The characters are well-written, fully formed and interesting and the story is so important. If you read just one book mentioned in this post then read this one.

The Power by Naomi Alderman

I’ve mentioned before that I actually gave up on this one because I wasn’t feeling it. But luckily for me I persevered and continued reading. While it took me a little bit of time to get into the book, it was totally worth it in the end. I guess technically it’s a sci-fi book but it’s more than that. It’s got a really clever concept, girls suddenly (and literally) hold The Power in their hands. The Power is the ability to manipulate electric currents and send electric shocks to others. The book follows four different characters as they adapt to this power and the changes that it brings to the whole world.

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The Memory Man by David Baldacci

The Memory Man follows Amos Decker a former professional football player turned police detective who remembers everything perfectly. We join Decker on the hunt for the killer of his wife and child. David Baldacci is one of my go to authors when I want a good story with intrigue and drama, and a sprinkle of unbelievably to it. Because let’s be honest sometimes we want to suspend reality a little. So if you can handle that, then this is a perfectly good read. It’s the first book in the Amos Decker series and I’m intrigued enough by these characters to continue reading the rest.

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

It took me awhile to get into this one, but once I did I speed through it super-fast. Writer Nora is invited to a cottage in the woods for the hen weekend of an old school friend. Early on we discover that the pair haven’t spoken in years, so there’s clearly a story to tell. What follows is a dark and twisted tale of friendship and jealousy, secrets and lies, which leads to an explosive ending. I’m definitely planning on tracking down other Ruth Ware books to dive into.

The Good Immigrant, by Nikesh Shukla

This is a collection of essays from black, Asian and minority ethnic voices exploring immigration in Britain and I think it’s a must read for everyone. It’s hard to pick a favourite essay in this book as they are all eye-opening and thought provoking in my opinion. I will say that I especially enjoyed reading playright Inua Ellams’ essay Cutting Through. In it he discusses the research he took when writing his latest play, The Barber Shop Chronicles. I actually saw this last month at The National Theatre and absolutely loved it (as mentioned here). I’ve not experienced theatre like it before, I could have watched it for hours.

The Guggenheim Mystery by Robin Stevens

This is a follow on from The London Eye Mystery mentioned at the start of this list. Sadly Siobhan Dowd dies before she was able to write the second book, but she left behind the book title. Luckily the ever talented Robin Stevens took up the mantle and wrote The Guggenheim Mystery. It’s another wonderful read and I personally think it’s a perfect follow on from book one. Ted and Kat are now in New York City and are trying to find a stolen painting. Reading this made me wonder why I have never visited the Guggenheim Museum on my visits to this city. Something that I have to rectify on my next trip.

Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4) by Sarah J. Maas

Book four in the Throne of Glass series is everything you would expect. It’s got complicated characters, a twisting story and the most detailed setting I’ve ever read. The way this story is going is so intriguing, I would never have guessed that the story would reach this point when I started reading book one a year or two ago. If you’ve yet to discover this series then I’d highly recommend you give it ago.

So there we have it, all 13 books that I’ve read in the last two months. To see what else I’ve read in 2017 hop on over to parts one and two, or see the full list over at GoodReads here. Do you have any recommendations to share with me? What have you been reading lately and what should I try next.

Laura xx

Life Rambles: A Change of Plan

I know it’s Friday but this is not going to be a Friday Favourites post. It should have been. In fact my plan was to spend this afternoon writing up the post and then sharing it with you all. But then Photobucket and their change of membership happened and suddenly all of our blog photos have been replaced with the ugly square that you can see on other posts. Now that’s irritating in itself, but on top of that Photobucket are asking me to pay £400 in order to upgrade and get my pictures back onto my website. Which I’m clearly not going to do, so those ugly images aren’t going anywhere soon – so sorry for that.

So what’s my new afternoon plan, I hear you ask? Well I’ve got to figure out a way to get my images out of Photobucket and into a new place. One that isn’t going to charge me a fortune each year for using a site that’s covered in adverts. And then I’ll be fixing all the image links on the blog. So fun times all round!

The most frustrating thing about all of this is that there was absolutely no warning. If there had been then at least I could have planned for this happening on this day, because I love a good plan. But no, a plan wasn’t possible, for whatever reason. I work in business change and my whole working life is about having a change and communication plan, so the fact that Photobucket didn’t deem this necessary with this update is laughable.

Anyway, to stop this post from being a complete moan fest I will tell you quickly that I’ve had a very quiet week, which has been just what I have needed. I’ve managed to go for an early morning swim twice this week. Foodwise I’ve made some super quick but delicious meals and I’m currently reading a wonderful book. It’s book four in the Throne of Glass series and I am in complete awe over the way that Sarah J. Maas weaves such an incredible story and creates utterly remarkable characters. It’s the kind of story, you never want to finish, and yet you need to know what’s going to happen.

I hope everyone has had a lovely week and is looking forward to the weekend. I’ve got the next nine days off work, and I am completely looking forward to it. At least I’ll have plenty of time to fix my blog photos!

Laura x


Out and About: Zoo Nights

Let’s talk about zoos. I love them. There’s something about seeing all these gorgeous animals in one place that’s magical. Granted it would be nicer all round to see them out in the world, but logistically and financially that’s not a possibility! I know morally a lot of people don’t agree with zoos. But I do, as long as the animals are treated well and cared for, which they definitely are at the zoos I’ve been too. I think you can tell if the animals are being mistreated. Anyway, I digress (shock)! I’ve been meaning to try ZSL’s Zoo Nights at London Zoo for ages and ages, but every year I promptly forget to book tickets until they’re all sold. Cue massive disappointment. But this year we were organised and on Friday we went to the zoo and it was the best!

Now if you haven’t heard of Zoo Nights, let me fill you in. It’s an evening event at London Zoo that runs from 6 – 10pm. It’s only for adults, strictly no children, and tickets costs about £17. The Zoo Nights only run on certain Fridays in the summer, so as you can imagine they sell out pretty quickly. As well as the usual animal stuff there’s also a whole host of other activities. There’s the addition of acrobats, a bar, music, street food stalls, quizzes, competitions and loads more. So it’s basically the best thing ever!

We arrived at 6 to make sure we made the most of the experience and headed straight to the bar for ‘Jungle Gin’ cocktails, beer and wine (all in boxes or plastic bottles). From there we staked a spot on giant beanbags and discussed our plan for the night. As we definitely didn’t want to miss anything!

From our planning session we headed to the tiger enclosure to see some snoozy cuties as well as some monkeys. Next it was on to see the penguins being fed before spotting some flamingos. From there we saw the giraffes being fed, found the slow lorises and bush babies as well as the zebras, warthogs and otters (too cute)! Oh and there were butterflies and lions too. We didn’t visit the lions until 9ish and by that point they were snoozing all curled up together. So that was pretty special. And then one of my favourite bits, walking through the enclosure with the monkeys who are literally a foot above your head larking around and having fun with their friends – so cool!

We literally saw all the animals in the zoo, except for the gorillas as the gorilla babies need to go to bed early and we weren’t allowed to disturb them – fair enough though! During our exploring we also stopped for plenty of food and drinks. From the duck burgers and chips, to the mini pancake situation and more cocktails, we were pretty well fueled! I honestly spent ten minutes wandering around all the street food stalls, there was so much choice: mac and cheese, curry, hot dogs, Greek wraps and churros. So good!

We finished off our evening sitting with a drink watching some of the acrobats perform. Not a bad way to end the night!

Have you ever been to Zoo Nights, or London Zoo, what did you think of it?

Life Rambles: Friday Favourites #77

Yeah for the weekend – it’s almost in touching distance. Yippee! To be honest this week has been loooooong and that’s entirely the fault of the heat. I am so not a fan of the heat. I’m the one who has spent the last six days going ‘when will it go?’, why isn’t it winter yet?’ and ‘how am I meant to function in this heat?’. I’ve been a joy to be around me I’m sure! Anyway, the stifling heat has vanished from London town and we’re left with a much nicer temperature – just perfect for gallivanting and joyful adventures. Which is point one on today’s Friday Favourites post – fun things!

I know I spent half of my first paragraph in this Friday favourites post complaining about the heat but it has been good at times. Like being able to sit in the garden of an evening. On Tuesday we took an old mattress out into the garden, along with cushions and just enjoyed the sun. It makes a change from usual evenings of rushing around doing all the jobs or Netflixing. And it reminds me of why I wanted a garden in the first place!

What else has made me happy this week? Well there’s been the perfect ice coffees that Lau’s perfected for us and the delicious grilled chicken wraps I’ve been craving all the time. Plus baking banana bread, reading brilliant books and catch ups with lovely friends mid-week to discuss all the things. Oh and a trip on Saturday to Borough Market. Not only to show our support on its opening weekend, but also to buy all the lovely food from our favourite stalls. It had been ages since our last visit so it was entirely necessary. We spent a pretty awesome morning ambling round and choosing donuts and cheese straws, juices and bread galore and it’s reminded me of how awesome a space it is. Plus everyone was super friendly as usual.

So this weekend I’ve got a gloriumptious weekend planned – and knowing fun things are in my future is definitely a Friday favourites! Tonight I’m off to Zoo Nights where we get to eat, drink and visit all the animals until 9pm. Apparently there are loads of ‘extra’ things happening at the zoo – like quizzes and competitions, treasure hunts and demonstrations. It’s going to be amazing! And then tomorrow is BBQ day – YES! Before a trip down to Kent on Friday to see one of the besties for a good old catch up. I can’t wait! Obviously they’ll be boring things in that weekend too – cleaning, washing, meal planning, blah, blah, blah. But it’s still a pretty epic weekend plan!

My final Friday favourite has to be Sundays picnic with the family. We ventured to a new park with plenty of food and the pupster to celebrate Father’s Day and it was just perfect. It’s so nice spending time with these lovely people, especially when there are no other distractions. And it helps when your Dad is the King of Picnics. He’d made chicken croquettes, sweet potato fries, sausage rolls, incredible sandwiches, an insane salad and even my favourite chicken vol au vents. It’s fair to say we had quite a feast!

So there we go, Friday Favourites #77 is done it’s definitely been a good old week. How’s yours been, what were your highlights?

-Fi x

Out and About: Alice’s Adventures Underground

Greetings friends! And how are you on this lovely day? Today I wanted to talk about the awesome gift that the sisterlings got me for my birthday this year. A trip to Alice’s Adventures Underground because, spoiler, it was awesome! What is Alice’s Adventures Underground I hear you cry? Well it’s a brilliant immersive theatre show, which is currently taking place in the Waterloo Vaults in London.

If that doesn’t mean anything to you, because if I’m honest it didn’t mean much to me at first either, then let me explain… It’s basically a theatre show that you are in. So you go through the story of Alice in Wonderland during the performance. How cool is that?!

Without giving away any spoilers it’s a two-hour show that starts with you diving into Alice’s world in an English drawing-room and ending in a room of mirrors. In the next room two performers give you the option of ‘Drink Me’ or ‘Eat Me’ as per the famous book. At that point you go through one of two doors before being split up again into groups of playing card suits. So we chose ‘Eat Me’ and then become part of Hearts. From them on, so for the next 90 minutes of the Alice’s Adventures Underground experience you’re with the rest of the hearts trying to work out which of the cast were the true spy, working against the Queen.

As you’re trying to work out the truth you go through all sorts of different rooms. From meeting Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum to visiting the kitchens and attending a tea party and spotting Alice herself as she ventures into Wonderland. You also learn a certain part, which you have to play at the very last scene when the entire audience is back together again. It sounds odd, I know, but it’s absolutely fascinating and it’s incredibly immersive. Plus, while the story is familiar, there are just enough twists and turns that keep you on your toes and constantly entertained.

Now let’s talk about the set – it’s simply incredible. There are so many different rooms all within the warren of the Vaults, but all of them are completely different. I won’t go into details but it’s safe to say you’ll be surprised about just where you’ll be transported and the set and the cast are all part of that. It’s brilliant. Another brilliant thing about Alice’s Adventures Underground? There is something like twelve different versions of the play, so you can go and watch it numerous times and get a different outcome. Awesome right?

If you’re not sure about the £30 cost then I highly recommend you at the least visit the bar. It’s in the foyer of the Vaults and it’s free to visit. And it’s decked out in Wonderland attire – flamingos, giant teacups, hidden corners. It’s awesome!

So there we go, that’s my verdict on the awesome Alice’s Adventures Underground, you must go and visit. I think it’s on until September! Tell me, are you tempted?

-Fi x

Wishlists: Summer Garden Makeover

Now that the sun has made an appearance I’m even more keen to sort out the garden and turn it into an extra room to enjoy. We’ve finally got a handle on the lawn, and are even remembering to mow it frequently – a sure sign of adulting in my opinion. The flowerbed is full of plants, that are still alive, thanks to regular watering and constant weeding. I’ve also discovered that I find weeding quite addictive, it’s quite therapeutic I think. Anyway, the garden looks good, but it still needs some love, in terms of extras. And that’s what this wishlist is; a summer garden makeover wishlist. It’s the things that have caught my eye recently that would pull the garden together into a relaxing place to spend time.

We’ve already got a table and chairs, which need a little love and a repaint, plus we’ve got blankets by the bucket load, but we really need an umbrella to shade us from the sun, and some light and heat for when it gets dark, but we don’t want to leave the garden and head inside.

Garden Delights

plates / hanging plant pot / hanging basket / lights / umbrella / firepit / chair

We have a giant shed at the back of our garden which needs a huge sort out, but the plan is to turn it into a games room someday. But not for awhile, as the funds are definitely not in place for the new doors, new lighting and bucket loads of paint that are required to tart the space up! But the outside of this shed is the perfect place to add some lights to jazz the garden up a little and give us light well into the evenings. Plus can you imagine curling up in this chair with a blanket and those lights? Heaven!

I spotted the hanging baskets and pots during my last Ikea visit, and I very nearly bought the whole lot. As we’ve only got one flower bed I figured these would look good hanging on the fence and the back of the house to give more space for flowers. I’ve also heard that strawberries grown in hanging baskets is a thing, and strawberries are my favourite fruit so that needs to happen soon. Definitely an easy win in terms of giving the garden a makeover.

And finally, those picnic plates. Now I know that these aren’t technically going to help in the garden makeover situation, but imagine eating dinner off these once the makeover is complete. Perfect right? You can’t beat a snazzy plate to liven up any eating occasion.

So there we have it, my garden makeover wishlist. What are your garden plans for the summer? Do you have a garden paradise? Or is it still a work in progress like mine?

Laura xx

Life Rambles: Friday Favourites #76

Gosh this week has been an odd one. I feel like I can’t write this post without talking about events in London right now. Waking to the news about the Grenfell Tower fire on Wednesday morning was such a shock. Each update on the situation is horrifying and the number of missing people is heartbreaking. I really have no words for the whole situation. I feel like the more we learn over the coming weeks the more horrified we will all feel.

But alongside these more negative feelings are the positive ones. It is awe inspiring the way that everyone is trying to help. Both the number of donations that are being received and the amount of money that people are giving is remarkable, and reminds me again what a wonderful city I live in. So the goodness of the human spirit has to be one of my favourite moments of the week. And it will be the thing that I focus on in all of this.

On Sunday the sisterlings and I had a Evans sisters brunch. We split the shopping list and all meet up for a homemade brunch. Fi did all the cooking and Becca and I were chief coffee maker and table layer. Both very important jobs obviously! Anyway we say down to a feast of homemade pancakes with all the toppings. I’m talking yogurt, nutella, honey and all the fruit. So so good. We then spent the post brunch lull having a lego competition, as you do and it was perfect. I think this sort of Sunday could become a regular occurrence now that Becca has moved nearer to me and Fi.

Next up on the list of favourite moments of the week is the fact that I went for a run on Tuesday evening after work. Despite what you might think this is a happy thing as I’ve not been for a run after work for such a long time. In fact the last time was probably when I was training for my last half marathon in March last year. Anyway, I went for a post work run and it was actually really good. Yes, I still find it hard to get home and then head out again, but it was well worth it. The fact that the sun was shining probably helped.

Wednesday night saw me take a trip to the National Theatre to watch The Barber Shop Chronicles which I adored. We were lucky enough (or well planned enough) to have seats on the stage which gave us a brilliant viewpoint to the whole play. This is the first Inua Ellams’ play that I’ve seen, and I loved everything about it. From the story, the characters, the music, even the way they switched scenes and reset the stage was remarkably clever. I highly recommend you watch it if you get the chance.

One final thing to mention is tonight’s dinner which I have just finished prepping. I’ve decided that I need some sort of comfort food tonight, so i’m making this macaroni cheese. Now while I have my normal macaroni cheese recipe I’ve decided to make this one because I had a cauliflower to use up, so it seemed sensible to incorporate it. Hopefully the sauce will be thick and flavoursome, so fingers crossed. I know it’s not really the weather for it, but this is what I fancy, so this is what I’m going for tonight. Because I’m an adult and these are the sort of choices that I get to make!

So there we have it, my favourite moments of the week. What has helped you get through this week? And what are your weekend plans? I’ve got Father’s Day plans with the family and then I’m hoping to get to both Borough Market and then Tooting Lido too. So watch this space!

Laura xx

Life Rambles: Summer Plans

Now that the sun has finally arrived, and we are properly into June it really does feel like summer is just around the corner. Which is so a good thing, I think. I mean I’m trying to ignore the fact that we are flying through the year and instead focus on the fun that this time of year brings. And that’s what I’m sharing today, my summer highlights. All those little moments and plans that are coming my way over then next three months.

Long afternoons in a pub garden

Imean seriously is there anything better? Sipping cider or glasses of Pimms, munching on delicious pub food, and chatting late into the day. There are a couple of newly updated pubs in Streatham that I am keen to check out. One of them has a lovely looking pub garden full of twinkly lights that will be perfect for late night chats.

A week off in July to explore the UK

Which is actually pretty close right now. Although I still haven’t decided what to do! There’s talk of trips to Wales and the Isle of Wight but whatever we decide there will definitely be plenty of relaxation and puppy cuddles, obviously!

Weekend barbecues in Surrey

Evans barbecues are legendary so I want to make sure I fit in as many of these as I possibly can. Hooray for chilli prawns, ribs and all the potato salad imaginable. So far I have only one in the diary, but it’s an Evans family gathering, which is bound to be pretty epic. But I really must schedule a couple more ASAP.

Twenty20 cricket at The Oval

The last time I was at The Oval was about 10 years ago, where I was pouring pints for The Ashes series. While that was a lot more fun than you would think I am definitely looking forward to being a spectator and enjoying more of the cricket this time.

Visiting Tooting Bec Lido

I’ve lived near this for almost two years and I’ve still not managed to visit. The fact that Sherlock and Watson have been there should be enough to prompt a visit. Never mind the fact that I enjoy swimming and that it’s an outdoor lido. Here’s hoping for a warm weekend soon so that I can take advantage of the sunshine and while away an afternoon in the water in the sunshine.

Spending time with family visiting from Australia

My Aunt and Uncle are visiting this summer so I’m looking forward to catching up with them. Emails, phonecalls and Instagram charts are really no substitute for face to face catch ups.

Exploring London parks

London has so many lovely parks, and yet I always stick to the same ones. This summer I’d like to venture further afield and visit more of the green spaces that my city has to offer. I’m hoping I can make some trips to Green Park and St James’ Park after work and then spend my weekends exploring Hampstead Heath.

Friday summer hours

One of the best perks of working where I work is the summer hours scheme. This means that you can take Friday afternoon off as long as you make up the time during the rest of the week. Which is actually easy done, as I tend to arrive for work 30 minutes early every day anyway. So for the summer months this actually works in my favour. I’m already a couple of weeks into this, and i’m loving it. I’ve managed to organise various appointments for this time, plus I’m also enjoying starting my weekend half a day early. If only this perk was a year round perk, how great would that be?

Half Marathon training

I’ve signed up for my fourth Half Marathon in October so i’ll start training for that in July. In hindsight this wasn’t my best plan as I’m not a fan of running in the heat. But I have always wanted to do the Royal Parks Half so there is a plus side. I’m raising money for BookTrust here if anyone fancies donating to a good cause.

So there we have it, my summer plans and I’m so excited about all of them. Hooray for sunshine (hopefully) and plans with family and friends and new adventures. What are you lovely lot up to? Do you have a big trip planned or are you staying and exploring things closer to home?

Laura xx