The Sunday Subject – Succulents

Good morning, grab a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy The Sunday Subject. This week’s subject is Succulents.

The plant of choice for anyone who loves the life that plants bring to your home but is totally incapable of remembering to water the damn things.  Having said that, I killed my first succulent with love, over watered it and it rotted, most unpleasant.

Succulents usually come from a climate where water is scarce and have adapted to survive under these conditions.  Their thick fleshy leaves are designed to store water giving them the ability to thrive where only mist or dew is a regular source of liquid. The word “succulent” comes from the Latin word sucus, meaning juice, or sap. Technically (or more accurately, horticulturally) there is a difference between cacti and succulents  but I think in the world of ‘having a little plant friend to call your own’  you’d be forgiven for grouping the two together.

There are over twenty five plant families that contain succulents and some of those of those families have well over two or three hundred succulents in them. I’m not sure I’ll have room for them all on my dining room table but I’m prepared to give it a go.

For some further reading on succulent cultivation, here’s a list of articles from World of Succulents or maybe you’d like to learn everything there is to know about succulents and Cacti, in which case perhaps this 8 lesson online course is for you!

Send me some photos of your plants! Succulents, cacti or maybe just a bunch of cut flowers, I’d love to see any and all!  You can do this via Twitter (@BeccyMundy) or via a DM on Instagram (beccy_mundy)

Advertisements

A Few Days in Zurich

Switzerland had never really been on my radar for travel.  Not for any particular reason, it just wasn’t up there for me.  When hubby was told he’d be travelling there for work and we realised it fell nicely into the spot people say is perfect for a ‘Babymoon’  we took the opportunity to make a little holiday of it.

Zurich is absolutely beautiful, with cobbled streets and brightly coloured buildings around every corner.

 

 

We spent the weekend exploring the streets and enjoying each others company and it was the perfect place to do that.  We didn’t feel like we were missing out on all the exciting tourist things because to be honest, we didn’t really see anything that screamed ‘if you don’t do this you didn’t do Zurich’.  Don’t get me wrong, there’s lots to do, museums, a funicular railway and I want to go back when I feel more like shoppin’ until I’m droppin’.

One thing we did do that I’m really happy we did, was visit the highest point in Zurich.  Uetliberg is a mountain which has an elevation of 870m (2,850ft) which is more than twice the elevation of Zurich itself, and you can get just shy of the top by train*, the final 68m is gained by a walk, which we did. I’d like to tell you the view was amazing but as you’ll see from the below picture on the day we were there there was nothing to see.  It’s not even mist it was an actual cloud.  We visited the hotel at the top and had a hot chocolate before turning round and heading back!  Next time we go (because there will be a next time) we are going to do the Path of the Planets.  We saw The Sun and Earth but it was cold and did I mention we were in a cloud?!

C2CED422-AD9F-4C3A-906D-B928EB914943

*because I’m married to a train nerd I thought I’d add that ‘…the railway line has a maximum gradient of 7.9% and is the steepest standard gauge adhesion railway in Europe’ [1]  You’re welcome.

The weather was wet and we didn’t get to see any snow to speak of but I was mostly ok with that.  As nice as snow would have been to look at, at 28 weeks pregnant walking around in it wouldn’t have been that fun. (Which is funny because 10 days after we got home we had more snow in Norwich than I think I’ve ever seen in my life anywhere).

I’m a bit of a coffee shop crawler and I was a little disappointed at the seeming lack of coffee shops, sure there was a Starbucks here and there but most of the “coffee shops” we found were actually bars that served coffee and we were normally underdressed for such places.  We found two good coffee shops on the final day Boréal and Cake Friends.

1D6DA289-DE2A-4272-B3E9-98E394D4BB6B

For evening meals we tried an excellent Italian restaurant near our apartment Restaurant Limmattberg.

On the second night we had possibly the most expensive and the worst Indian takeaway ever: both meals were incredibly salty, the rice looked like instant microwave stuff. It was dreadful.  If we’d sat in to eat it we would have asked for a refund and gone elsewhere but neither of us could be bothered to walk back and complain.

On the last night we went to Burgermeister (Hubbs tells me this is witty, something to do with Burgomasters, I don’t know… You’ll have to google it ) this was quite possibly the best burger I have ever had.  There was only one veggie/vegan option but from what Andrew tells me there didn’t need to be any more because that would mean you might pick a different one and miss out on this one…  The menu is uncomplicated and I only wish we’d been there for a week so I could have tried all of the options.  If you’re in Zurich this would be my highest recommendation.

Have you been to Zurich?  Let me know what we missed so that we don’t miss it next time!

 

The Sunday Subject – The Notebook

Good morning, grab a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy The Sunday Subject. This week’s subject is The Notebook.

No, not the 2004 film starring Ryan Gosling. The notebook, every stationary lover’s obsession.  I myself have many (many) notebooks scattered around my home, some beautiful, others practical, most totally empty because they’re just too nice to spoil with pencil or ink!  Notebooks bring me a scene of productivity and organisation, two things I often find I lack.

From a cheap and cheerful ring bound pad from Wilko, to the sleek and stylish Moleskine. The uses of a notebook are innumerable. Whether you’re a writer, artist, parent, student or astronaut everyone has a use for a notebook.

Maybe you make your own.  During the 17th and 18th century notebooks were made at home as and when they were needed by folding together pieces of paper.  Children were taught how to make them in school because information management was so important.  It wasn’t until around 1890 that notebooks started to be made and sold.  Scraps of paper were stitched together to make a small pad.  These quickly evolved into the ‘Legal Pad’  that we have today.  As with all things the notebook developed over time and the production processes changed to include, glueing, covering, spiral binding, ring binding and of course in the 20th century we were introduced to the practical, if less pretty, electronic note taking world.

I have to say, that even with the benefits of digital note taking, I don’t think I’ll ever fully switch from paper and ink to pixel and key.  Notebooks are a work of art, there’s so much character in a well used notebook, you just can’t beat it.

If you’re interested in learning how to bind a notebook here’s a list of UK based classes and The Book Studio in Norfolk offers courses during the winter months.

Or maybe you could just fold together a few sheets of paper…

I’d love to see your notebooks, whether home made or shop bought.  You can share them with me on twitter (@BeccyMundy) or send me a DM on Instagram (beccy_mundy).

 

Top 5 Places to Eat Lunch – Norwich

Norwich is fantastic for food.  I feel like there’s always somewhere new to try.  I’ve tried to pick a few different kinda of eateries to put into my top 5. They are in no particular order.

Wild Thyme
Smashed Avocado on Toast; Organic Yogurt with Fresh Fruit; Peanut butter, Banana and Blueberry Pancakes and a Spiced Turmeric Oat Milk Latte.

Wild thyme – Nestled behind a row of shops with a cute courtyard outside.  You enter up a set of stairs into a smallish room very simply styled.  It’s a veggie/vegan restaurant with an extensive menu, from breakfasts to curries and something for all tastes. Although probably suited more for older guests as I don’t believe they have a children’s menu.  Personally I consider Wild Thyme to be a planned meal out kind of place rather than a drop in for a bite to eat.  It’s a little higher in price than the other places on my list but the food is well worth it.  You can read about my brunch if you like! *Just to note, due to a fire in the shop below, Wild Thyme is currently closed.  Keep an eye on their website for more details.

F6105566-FFEE-464B-87F3-175F12B9B15C

Moorish – You can find Moorish in one of Norwich’s busy lanes, Lower Goat Lane to be precise.  If you go during lunch time hours then you might have to wait a while because this place is always busy.   Moorish is a falafel bar with a focused menu – there’s 3 options – but when they do it this well, be glad you don’t have too much choice.  You have the option to customise with added toppings and sauces, so you can make your wrap, pitta or salad just how you like it.  Plus they do lemonade that’s to die for.  And for an added bonus they are part of Norwich’s Last Straw Campaign and are selling reusable metal straws!

Pono
Poke Bowl; Smashed Avo on Toast and a Berry Breeze Smoothie.

Pono – I visited Pono twice in two days, it’s bright, clean and simply beautiful inside. During these warmer days we’ve been having Pono’s menu is the perfect thing. Another place that’s picked a few meals to offer and is doing them well.  Customise your own salad bowl, choose from three ‘Smoothie Bowls’, go for a classic ‘Smashed Avo on Toast’ or try a twist on a traditional ‘Poke Bowl’.  The fresh smoothies are divine, I always go for the Berry Breeze.  And to add to the summer vibes, they have just started doing iced coffee. Yes! I think they sum themselves up pretty well on their website ‘We are a superfood bar inspired by Hawaiian culture, selling healthy, nutritious food without feeling like you’re making sacrifices’. 

6267546F-AA12-460E-8675-152D7E3C4567

Saporita – A favourite of mine and my dad’s.  If we get a chance to meet for lunch in the city this is normally where we go.  They have a wide selection of Italian street food including, focaccia, panini and pizza slices.  Saporita is a family run business and is homely and friendly.  I don’t know if the woman behind the counter actually recognises us when we go in, but we are greeted with a big smile and warm hellos that make us feel like we’re returning to a friend.  There’s a lot to choose from and they offer a good selection of vegetarian and a vegan option.  While scrolling through their menu I’ve noticed they offer a Tiramisu in the desserts section and I’ve fallen even more in love with this place.  Anyone want to meet for lunch?

7D323409-FDC7-4CF7-9326-FD8BAB256675

The Waffle House – If you haven’t been to The Waffle House, then have you really been to Norwich?  This was one of the first places my dad took me just after he relocated here nearly 10 years ago.  What can I say about The Waffle House that’s not already been said in it’s long (and interesting) history? They serve waffles, the best in Norwich.  Ok I’ve not had many waffles in Norwich other than these, but why would I when there’s The Waffle House!?  There is something for everyone, and they can offer options if you have dietary requirements.  I’ve seen queues outside before it’s even opened and I’ve stood in that queue many times and I imagine I will stand it in many times more.  “Waffle House?” is a question with only one answer. “Hell yes!”

An Honest Opinion Of Myself – Pregnancy

My hands and ankles are swollen, my thighs and bum have expanded, my back hurts, I can’t get comfortable ever and I’m peeing about 100 times an hour.  And yet, I feel better about myself than I have in a very long time, possibly better than I’ve ever felt about myself.

Before I was pregnant, I would never have worn tight-fitting, figure hugging dresses and skirts but the second my bump popped I was in horizontal stripes, embracing every lump and bump I had. I’ve had my pale, poorly shaved legs out and my no make-up days have heavily outweighed my make-up days.  I imagine its partially down to hormones, partially down to “pregnancy glow”, but a huge part of it is down to – and please pardon my French – my body is doing something fucking amazing right now!

Being positive about your body is a choice, always, and when you’re on your knees at the foot of the porcelain altar for thirteen straight weeks it can be pretty hard to love yourself much. And not everyone enjoys being pregnant, and what it does to their body and that’s okay too! I’ve definitely had days when I needed something loose and flowy to help me feel comfortable – I’m about 4 weeks from D-Day, feeling a bit swollen from the heat wave we’ve had, and rapidly running out of even pregnancy clothes that fit comfortably.

Comfort, not ‘these shoes are really comfortable’ but comfort within myself has been my key to enjoying this journey.  Looking in the mirror and feeling like me. It’s not been about feeling pretty or beautiful everyday, but about confidence and respect for myself and my body and what it’s doing.  Pregnancy does not change who you are. You are still you.   

Give yourself a chance. A chance to see past stretch marks, swelling ankles and puffy eyes.  Look in the mirror and tell yourself ‘My body was designed to do this and I’m doing it beautifully’. Behind it all, there is a tiny little person (or persons!) relying on you for everything and you are doing a fantastic job of providing that for them.  So embrace it for all that it is, because it takes up so little time really and when it’s done, that little person will be worth it all…

… I hope, because the swelling is really starting to get on my nerves a bit…

What’s in Baby’s Hospital Bag.

I’ve had little one’s hospital bag mostly packed for a few weeks now.  I think it’s fairly safe to say that packing the bag for baby is one of the more exciting parts of prepping for your new arrival.  You get to go through their clothes and select the items that feel special enough to be their firsts. First socks, first hat, first vest.  For me it was the time when I really started to think about what our little man would look like.

As most first time mums do, I’m sure I’ve over packed but having all my bases covered has helped me feel calm about those first few hours with baby.

The bag we’re using will be our everyday nappy bag,  I got it from Amazon.  It’s got pockets everywhere which makes it a fantastic hospital bag.  I’ve got things tucked away so I can tell my husband exactly where to find the scratch mitts, rather than him having to root around the whole bag looking for anything.

img_7944

On top there’s a blanket for coming home.  This one was made by little one’s Granny.

img_7941

In the outside pockets I’ve put muslins and water wipes.  Will 2 muslins be enough?!  I have also packed a pack of cotton wool incase the hospital would prefer we use that.

Inside I’ve put six newborn size nappies and a changing pad, the changing pad is only there because I wanted to make sure it was in the changing bag and didn’t get lost.

There’s a swaddling muslin and hat in case it’s a little chilly.

img_7954

In the inside back pocket are a few small bits that could easily get lost in the main pocket.  These are also items we are less likely to need but that I wanted to pack just incase.

img_7952

We are still in discussions about the use of a dummy but I’m packing it just in case.  Look at those tiny socks!

Clothes next,  first I’ve got a selection of “emergency” vests in case we’re in for a little longer and he needs a change of clothes.  Two are 0-3 months and one is newborn.  We packed a very sweet long-sleeved vest that will most likely not fit him as it’s ‘Small Baby’ size, but if it’s ever going to fit him it’ll be on his first day and would make for some quite nice newborn pictures.

Then I’ve packed six outfits, three newborn size and three 0-3 size.  That’s two babygrows for chilling out in the hospital (one in each size), a baby grow for if we come home at night (again one in each size) and an outfit for coming home in the day (yep, one in each size).  I’ve also packed a cardigan that should fit him no matter how big or small he is…

…unless he’s huge.  I hope he’s not huge…

A scarf would bring this together…

I kicked myself when I got into the city and realised I’d forgotten to wear my new favourite scarf. I think the outfit works without it but the scarf added something… I’m not sure what… oh wait. I know. Warmth!! I was so freaking cold taking these pictures!

This is my first real “put together” maternity outfit. I’ve been unconvinced by maternity wear, not sure if it’s a waste of money. I bought myself this shirt from H&M and I’m so glad I did. Putting on a well fitting item of clothing can really help you feel good. I’ve not wanted to post outfit pics because I’ve not really been happy with what I’m wearing, but on this day I felt like myself again and loved it. I’m not going over the top with maternity wear because I still think it can be a bit of a waste of money (except the jeans, they are so comfortable I just want to live in them forever). But having a few nice items in my wardrobe is going to be important for me I think.

Jeans – Jojo Maman Bebe | Boots (similar)- Clarks | Shirt – H&M | Coat (similar) – H&M | Hat -Accessorise

Goals for 2018

IMG_4009

I rarely make my yearly resolutions or goals public.  I normally think about some things I’d like to do, maybe I’ll write them out but then I’ll just see where the year takes me. I really don’t mind doing that and have quite enjoyed going with the flow.  However this year is going to see some big changes in my life and I think I need to introduce some forethought and planning into my year if I want to come out of the other side still feeling like myself.

In June we are expecting our first baby and one of the best pieces of advice I’ve been given so far is to try and continue living life the way you want to.  If you enjoy travel, travel with the baby. If you like eating out, you can take the baby along! Knowing myself if I don’t push myself to get up and get out of the house, I’ll just laze around all day and do nothing and that’s not good for me or the baby.  So I’ve set myself 8 goals for the year.  I’ve been fairly kind to myself I think, but still tried to push myself out of my comfort zone a bit.

1. I’d like to read 50 books*.  I did this in 2016 without too much trouble so lets give it another shot.

2. Visit 3 new places.  I’ve left this fairly vague for a reason, practically speaking I’m not going to be jetting off to new countries this year with a big baby belly or a tiny tot in toe.
But England is a beautiful country and one that I’m embarrassed to say I’ve seen very little of. Closer to home even, I’ve really seen very little of Norfolk and East Anglia so I need to plan some weekend trips out!

3. Sew an item of clothing.  I know how to sew, and I know how to sew clothes.  I made a dress for the evening do at my wedding so I know I can make things I like wearing and want to do this more.  But this item of clothing doesn’t have to be for me.  Maybe a tiny baby bonnet is all I’ll manage this year but that’s OK too.

4. Learn a new skill.  Again a fairly vague one but there’s a whole year for me to figure out something new I’d like to learn!

5. Do something new every week.  I work part time and so unless I make plans to do things my free time can end up being wasted.  I don’t feel like I push myself out of my comfort zone enough and what to try and make sure that I don’t waste my last few months of child freeness. When baby is here I’m sure there will be a ton of new things I’ll be doing.

6. Blog and Vlog more.  I’d like to pick up my YouTube channel again and get back into the good blogging habits I started at the end of last year. Lets see!

These next two are things I’d like to do BB (Before Baby)

7. Declutter.  We’re about to introduce a small human and all its associated paraphernalia into our home… There’s not a lot of space.

8. Do a waste free month.  This ones going to need a bit more thought but we actually throw away very little general waste so what can I do to reduce that even more?  This one really excites me and will probably come with a bunch of blog posts and videos *fingers crossed*

*I’m going to do a YouTube video about my reading goals for the year.  Got a few prompts for myself.

Lancôme Tonique Confort – Review

Toning was always a step I overlooked.  Recently though, I’ve been taking better care of my skin and adding toning into my routine. Funny thing – my skin is better for it. The extra TLC I’ve been giving it works.

Until recently I was using quite a harsh toner.  It was very drying and although it did help improve my pores and reduce blackheads, it made my face red and patchy.  I hate wasting products but I didn’t want to have come a long way with my skin to just have it be red and damaged by my toner. So I went on the hunt for something better.

I’ve heard a lot of good things about Lancôme skincare so searched the Feelunique website for toners in their range.  They have a lot to choose from but I settled with the hydration tonic.


It’s wonderful.  So refreshing, cooling and calming.  Great after a face mask or exfoliate as it’s super hydrating too.  It’s got a good consistency (think gravy?) and a little goes a long way.

I apply it with my fingers and take some time to really massage it into my skin and enjoy the cooling temperature and calming smell.  On the bottle it says ’tissue off’ honestly I don’t know if that means you need to wipe it off after but I find it soaks in so there’s no need?


I’d recommend not using a cotton pad to apply as you end up losing a lot of the product to the cotton wool.

Casually Hanging out in a Multi Story Car-park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Is this not the most natural place to take photos? No?…  I wondered why we were getting some odd looks. Hey look its those jeans again!  And these boots show up fairly often too…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAF9D5D1C6-C196-4DB8-BB1D-B6AE92A1DE01

It’s officially autumn and that brings with it the joy of coats.  This year I knew what I was looking for when I went out shopping, I couldn’t spend too much but obviously wanted a coat that would last.  This one is perfect, cozy, pockets, a nice collar and a good length. It has it all!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA828A4DC6-4913-402F-A11F-30E0094859A5

E2440370-4E29-46F1-80F1-A051A254B889OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Here are a few other nice coats that have caught my eye.

coatcoat2coat3