Looking back through the photos above I feel so lucky to have had such an amazing week. If you didn't catch my last post, I've been away for five days staying in a converted barn in the Wye Valley (on the border between England and Wales), and the weekend before and after I spent with my parents' and brother in Lee on Solent (in Hampshire). It was amazing to get away and spend lots of time with my family, along with enjoying the fresh air, walks with the puppy and quality time with Tom whilst away for our break. Being away from home has been so good for me - I feel so motivated and excited now I'm home and have been furiously scribbling away in my ideas notebook; I now have lots of blog posts, Christmas presents and other ventures planned, along with loads of ideas for how to carry on with the decoration/renovation of our house. I love how taking yourself away from routine/normality can give you so much perspective on things and make you feel really inspired. It also gave me lots of time to think about my lifestyle and how to achieve some of the changes I'd like to make - for instance, I admitted to myself that I've put on a lot of weight over the last year and feel determined now to can all my unhealthy habits (eating a chocolate bar every day at lunchtime, for one!) and start making little changes that will hopefully reap rewards.
Talking of food, the last photo above is from our amazing dinner tonight. I bought the Pie Minister cookbook a few weeks ago and made my first pie from it today; a sausage, cider and potato pie from the Autumn section of the book. It was even more special because we made it with potatoes dug up from our vegetable patch in the garden, and served it with tomato and apple chutney we made also from ingredients from the veggie patch. It was so delicious and perfect comfort food for a chilly November evening! The cooked breakfast in the photo before was enjoyed at my parents' house last weekend - being around the table with my family enjoying a huge breakfast and a glass of Bucks Fizz made me really excited that it's only a few weeks until I'll be going back again for Christmas! I don't want to labour the point too much because it's almost too awful to do justice to here but the horrendous accident on Friday on the M5 motorway made me so grateful to have been able to have my family around me the last few days. Things like that make you realise how fragile life is and how important it is to cherish every moment you have with friends and family.
Yesterday we had a lovely day celebrating my Mum's birthday with a mooch around Gunwharf Quays (there is now a Cath Kidston outlet store - love!) a couple of games of bowling and an amazing dinner at Las Iguanas. I stocked up on Christmas White Hot Chocolate from Whittards, which I will be settling down to a big mug of shortly to watch X Factor. Hope you've all had lovely weekends.