Tag Archives: France

Our everyday life: week 40 & week 41

We haven’t completely disappeared from the face of the earth, honest!!

Anyway, here we go:

Autumn has definitely arrived, but we are still enjoying some outdoor snack time

Dinner out with my boys, Daddy Pig and lots of colouring pencils. Giraffe is so family friendly!20131005_180842
Another cousin has moved to London! Another reason to visit some new places, parks included. Fulham did well :)
Last week we visited my parents in France. Whilst C didn’t have as many toys there as he would at home, he seemed perfectly amused playing with walnuts ;) Crazy child!
An awesome vintage cookbook my mum found in her village. I especially loved seeing old photographs, postcards etc. tucked inside (just as we do with our own cookbooks).
A return trip to this café – much grumpier child this time, but still lovely to check it out again. We also bought a delicious apple tart for dinner.
Reading some of our favourite childhood stories to our own child – surreal.
My mum is a truly fab cook and I was pretty jealous of the guests of hers who enjoyed her plum tart!
C amazingly charmed all the gentlemen of the village. I only wish I had a photo of them pretending to be ballerinas ;)
I baked traditional scones and a Victoria sponge for a typical English tea party for friends of my parents. Together with cucumber sandwiches, homemade jam and lots of tea, the French seemed pretty impressed :)
Such lovely weather for October!
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We love Plane trees. Don’t you think they are pretty?
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One of the closest playgrounds to us in France. C had a blast!!
Last meal in France before flying home. Terrible, aren’t we?
Someone didn’t want us to leave…
Toulouse airport – teeny tiny coloured lights between these wooden slats. Funky.

Wishing you a happy and healthy week!


Looking back, looking forwards


When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us ~ Helen Keller

Things I will miss about being in France (in no particular order!)

  • My parents
  • Stepping outside the front door and into mountains
  • Incredible fresh air
  • Peace and quiet
  • Our cats
  • Spending so much quality time with my husband
  • French produce
  • Beautiful scenery
  • An amazing baby club with like-minded, kind, generous mamas and their sweet babies

Things I am looking forward to:

  • Access to more people, more activities, more choice
  • Being nearer to my brother
  • My dear friends being nearby
  • Understanding what people are saying to me
  • The NHS!
  • Realistic work opportunities
  • C seeing his cousins
  • Being walking distance from the park
  • Public transport`
  • Finding a pilates class
  • Abel and Cole

Thanks for humouring me. Sometimes I just need to write these things down.




english-lights In preparation for taking the car back to the UK, I had to undo this little job. Cars don’t have that nice ctrl-z feature you get on computers, but it was a lot quicker the second time around. I must have actually learnt something.

Also, I’d been looking around for somewhere to buy those light deflectors for the French part of the long drive, and was pleasantly surprised to find these still stuck the old lights.

Meal planning

Weekly meal planning

Since we have had a baby and moved country, we have had to make many adjustments.

We no longer have two well paying jobs to support us, and now there is an extra (growing!) mouth to feed.

So, what do we do about it? We plan! We make lists! We are strict with ourselves.

I start menu planning by looking through our fridge and cupboards, listing anything that we need to stock up on. This is usually butter.

We then write a mini list of any meals we feel like eating during the week. Anything we need to buy for that meal is added to the shopping list.

I then decide on whether that meal is for lunch, dinner or both, based on whether baby can eat it too – as he only eats with us at lunchtime at the moment.

We don’t decide what each meal will be, but we plan 7 lunches and 7 dinners and make whatever we feel like that day.

This helps us to be really specific when it comes to shopping, to keep our spending as low as possible. We are trying to keep food at €40 per week but aren’t quite there yet.

How do you plan your meals? Do you make shopping lists too?

Any advice on how to keep our costs even lower?



Photos from Réserve Africaine de Sigean

When my brother came to stay we did some touristy things including a trip to www.reserveafricainesigean.fr

I’m fascinated by the amazing wildlife we share our world with, but usually find zoos too depressing to enjoy. This was brilliant by comparison. It’s not quite wild natural habitat, but it’s pretty vast and I’d highly recommend it. Also my brother’s knowledge of species and the natural world is scarily good, so he was our tour guide.

Two important lessons I learnt:

  • If you’re going to see some awesome animals, charge your camera. I was only just getting started when mine died.
  • For entertainment, pot belly pigs are on a par with lions, black bears, giraffes and rhinos. They are only beaten by play-fighting Asiatic black bear cubs.

Anyway, here are the few pics I managed to get…

Large and little, Vietnamese potbelly pigs

This is the little one from the photo above

Watching. You.

The early bird…

We left at dawn to do our weekly food shop without losing too much of the day. The views are always amazing on this road, but this time I actually had to stop the car and take some photos on my phone. It’s only by waking earlier enough, that things like this are seen.

Favourite posts this week

Intense clouds from the front door

:: Answers about Felix Baumgartner’s skydive. Incredible video!

:: We all need a classic chicken stock recipe.

:: Beautiful photos. Beautiful pie. Anyone else fancy a pie party? We could have these pot pies too.

:: We were given some basil the other day from a friend, but I think this mustard green pesto would be delicious.

:: Boy do I miss mature cheddar. I want these crackers, but will need to use something french instead. Poor me ;)

:: My comfort food? Pie – fish, chicken, whatever. How about you?

:: What a clever idea! Might be something I could do for Christmas gifts.

:: Love this Onion Tale. Adding the book to my wishlist now.

:: Cheesecake courgette & chèvre - looks delicious. On next week’s meal planner!

Wow – lots of links this week. Hope you enjoyed them as much as I did.

We are going to pop to Spain today or tomorrow – well, why not?

Wishing you a happy, healthy weekend!




I can’t believe it’s October, already.

Sorry for being a little quiet around here, but to be honest there hasn’t been anything exciting going on!

There has been plenty on my mind, but this isn’t the place (or time) to talk about it. Let’s just say that this article helped me a lot. I am taking things far too personally (hard not to?) and dwelling on the thoughts of other people when it comes to raising our boy.

I can’t even remember what we have been cooking, but it probably isn’t blog-worthy.

There have been lots of figs, picked from down the road, but all we are doing is making compotes with lemon juice, honey or sugar.

No recipe, just warm in a pan and sweeten to taste – boring! But delicious with our morning granola.

We have a guest for the week, which means we will be out and about and hopefully sharing some of our adventures soon.

I hope you are all having a great week and that the sun is shining for you, as it is here.