One of the things I wanted to do this summer is to explore a vegan diet. (I’ll be outlining my reasons why later this week). I’ve been pinning vegan meals to my Veggie Food Pinterest board for a while, but I also wanted something on paper that I could refer back to. I then saw someone retweet something by Lee Watson, author of Peace and Parsnips: Vegan Cooking for Everyone, a vegan cookbook.
It has great reviews on Amazon, which really swayed it for me, as I don’t buy cookbooks very often. You see, I’m not a massive fan of cooking. I’m more of a heater – if I can just bung it in the oven, then I’m happy. But I know that if I want to follow a vegan diet, then I’m going to need to be able to cook proper food. The reviews about Peace & Parsnips said that the food was easy to cook and both vegans and non-vegans alike enjoyed the recipes. Plus, look at that cover! Isn’t it gorgeous?! So far, I’ve only tried one recipe – the Chocolate & Brazil Nut Spelt cookies. I wanted to bake something to enjoy while watching the Great British Bake Off, though they nearly didn’t last long! They were amazing and easy to make, plus they didn’t need a load of weird ingredients, which is always a huge bonus. I’m looking forward to trying more of the recipes too.
Last week I discovered a new online shop for cards, gift wrap and little house bits called Too Wrapped Up. I’m always looking for new places to buy different cards and stationery bits and bobs so I was pleased to find this one. I really the variety of cards and wrap they have and ordered the cards below, as well as adorable gift wrap. They arrived really quickly, which is great if you’ve forgotten a birthday or two!
Not only do they have a great selection of cards and wrap, but if you’re a bit late with buying a birthday card, they can send it straight to the recipient for you. As someone who can be a bit forgetful when it comes to birthdays, despite having them written down in my Filofax, on my wall planner and in my online calendar, I have been known to send birthday cards very late. I think this service is a great idea. Not only that, but they also offer a card subscription service, where you sign up and they send you a card once a month for six months meaning you’ve got a card handy for any birthday you may have forgotten. Isn’t that fantastic?! Great cards and a great service.
For the last few weeks, I’ve been enjoying my first summer holidays in a while. We’re not going on holiday, as we’ve already been glamping, so I’ve got a few jobs I want to do, as well as prepping for the new term in September. So far, I’ve spent a day in the garden, doing some much needed work; we’ve redecorated our front room and hallway and I’ve got a few more jobs up my sleeve that I’d like to get done before September. Not only that, but I’m managing to fit in a little bit of rest and relaxation, including another visit to Fawsley Hall spa. I’m also working my way through the box set of Desperate Housewives in Now TV. I forgot how awesome it was. Since completing my skirt at the dressmaking class, I’ve also got a list of things I’d like to make to hone my sewing skills.
I’ve also had a massive clear out of both my home office and my wardrobe. There’s nothing like a good declutter to help you feel fresh. One of the best things about teaching, in my view, is coloring in my timetable and organising my calendar for the year ahead, which I did yesterday and had a whale of a time doing it. Gotta love all the new stationery and organising! Along with preparing for the new term, I’m also thinking about making sure we’ve got lots of healthy meals for the first few weeks so am spending a lot of time on Pinterest, looking for lots of inspiration. If you’ve got any tips for a lazy cook, let me know!
Last weekend, we went on a flying visit to my home county of Pembrokeshire to celebrate our engagement with my family. It came at a good time, as I needed my fill of coastal views and sea air. We started with a dog walk around Pembroke Castle and the Mill Pond in Pembroke, which remains one of my favourite walks of all time. I love walking around the old walls and imagining times gone by when the castle was inhabited. The Mill Pond is also a great place for some bird watching – we saw two herons, four cormorants and loads of swans and ducks.
After a spot of lunch at the Quayside Cafe in Lawrenny, we went for a walk around Carew Castle and the old mill. It’s a magnificent structure and a lovely little walk after a delicious lunch. I wish I’d appreciated these buildings more when I lived in Pembrokeshire and I’d love to learn more about their history. (At the moment, I like to make things up about their history and it’s a bit of a cross between Game of Thrones and The Tudors!) Finally, Sunday morning called for a visit to Freshwater West. As soon as I stepped out of the car and smelt the salt in the air, I felt restored. Sadly, this wasn’t to last as there were thousands (not exaggerating) of jelly fish washed up on the shoreline and they covered the beach. Poppy likes to bite them and fling them about. So we had quite a stressful walk, trying to keep her away from them and a few dead seagulls. Either way, there’s something about being by the sea that just fills my soul, even if it’s just for a few minutes!