We’re moving on; what to leave behind. 

Well we got a lovely surprise this week. After just three weeks on the market our house sold for just under the asking price. We are are utterly delighted. It feels like a reward for all of the hard work we put into the house before it went in the market. 

We are taking a well deserved rest this weekend with a food truck festival and Harry Potter in concert with a live orchestra. 

Then we have to get down to the serious business of packing. We will be moving in with my parents for a short period between selling and purchasing to put some more money into out deposits and to strengthen our buying position. 

The interim move means that we will have to store our larger and non essential belongings. It’s an excellent opportunity to really consider what we want to take the trouble to; pack, move, store (paying to do so), move again and then unpack. I still struggle with waste during this process. The plastic spatula with the scorch marks and scars from every day use still works as a cooking implement, though it’s battle scars make it useless for eggs and pancakes. I don’t want to take it, no one else will want it, but because it has a purpose, not its full original purpose but a purpose nonetheless, I can’t seem to relegate this non recyclable spatula to land fill. 

So I am torn between letting go, wiping the slate clean and making better choices for the new home. Choosing sustainable, quality goods for our new home. 

I worry that if I don’t rid myself of all of the half broken, poorly made and poorly purchased items in this home then I wil lose the chance to truly change things in my new home. 

The clutter in my home is a burden, it fills me with a sense that a series of problems and purchases are just round the corner and i feel like my world is never renewed, it just continues to decay around me. 

I need to take action now otherwise I might bring this “decay” into my new home where it might take root. It’s time for a fresh clean start. 

Me x


Six scars, two ops and minus one ovary. 

I wasn’t sure if I would post anything about my surgery but I am feeling surprisingly chipper about the whole thing. 

So the short update is that I’ve had my left ovary removed laparoscopically. I have 2 small incisions which aren’t causing me any pain and a larger one in my belly button which is. 

I have a fraction of the shoulder tip pain from last time which I put down to the lack of anti-adhesion fluid that I was pumped full of last time. 

I am able to sleep which is the single best post op tip I can give anyone. Sleep, nap, snooze, just rest and let your body heal. 

Given how different both of my surgeries have been I will do a longer post later on so that anyone looking to go down the surgery route can get an idea of the range of experiences. 

For now I am binge watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine, reading Stardust by Neil Gaiman and napping. 

Keep well folks 

Me x

Too much change in too little time. 

Life has been hectic to say the least. We have had house valuations, transitions to big boy beds, changes to diets, death, hospitals and the usual spatter of Birthdays, diy and food. 

Over the next month I will be:

  • Taking He and Him on a 2 day trip to London (stay tuned for dinosaurs and eclairs)
  • having surgery to remove my left ovary and clean up my endometriosis a bit. (Not sure how much I’ll post on that bit)
  • Putting my house on the market (because surgery isn’t stressful enough)
  • Celebrating my 4th wedding anniversary 😍

Most of 2017 has been like this, and it looks like it will continue to be full on. It’s more important than ever to focus on my values, keeping myself healthy, present and incredibly grateful for all I have in my life even when things get tough. 

Me x

Here are some pictures of delicious food that I will post about somedayone of my own cakes for a charity event. Semi naked red velvet. 

Black garlic miso tonkotsu ramen. Try saying that 3x fast. You can’t…  you’re face is full of ramen. Ramen Dayo

Gyozagluten free burger with brie, bone marrow butter, fig jam, truffle mayo, strawberry harissa, candied bacon. Bread meats bread

☺️cheese curds… drool

The best sweet potato fries

Food as medicine? Somewhere between paleo and AIP. 

I loathe the word “diet”. It always conjures the image of weight loss, I have no need to lose weight, I have no desire to lose weight, I just want to be healthier.

In an effort to help my body heal itself, I have been looking into diets designed to use food as medicine. There are dozens if not hundreds of diets purporting to help cure various chronic, inflammatory diseases; the endometriosis diet, the anti-inflammatory diet, paleo, vegan, whole30, the auto-immune protocol are just a few of the ones I have researched, peer reviewed journals and all. It is important to understand some of the science behind these diets, not one of these diets is a simple change, and they all involve drastic changes and eliminations of major food groups such as dairy. You need to know about your disease, its triggers, pay attention to your own experiences with foods and use some common sense to choose the most appropriate food plan for you.

For me, an essential criterion for this diet was feeling confident that I could stick with it. Giving up everything I find enjoyable would inevitably lead to failure and what would be the point in doing it at all? The best fit diet for me through my research was the auto-immune protocol (AIP), which is in essence a stripped back version of paleo. The idea behind this diet is to consume foods that our body evolved to eat, to eat only what our hunter gatherer ancestors would have has access t, so this eliminates farmed foods such as grains, dairy and processed sugar. The AIP protocol takes things one step further by eliminating other common irritants to the body such as eggs, seeds, nuts, the nightshade family (white potatoes, tomatoes etc), you have also to limit your fruit intake. This was a step too far for me. I couldn’t get passed the restrictions, just thinking about taking on this protocol make me sad and despondent, not the best of starts.

I decided the most realistic chance of success for me was to go with Paleo but cut out a few additional food groups, mainly the nightshades. Keeping eggs, seeds and nuts and fruit gave me a foundation for breakfast which I felt was lacking in AIP and I know me, I know if I don’t get breakfast nailed I will fall off the diet wagon. I have never had any reaction that I am aware of with nuts or fruit, but I have had reaction from eating too many eggs, so I limit myself to two a day and may eliminate these in the future once I have adjusted to some of the other restrictions.

Is it working?

So far I have seen some improvements; the pain in my joints has almost gone away, the swelling in my stomach has gone down and I am more comfortable in my clothes as a result. At this point I cannot say that it has reduced my Endo pain, but I will say that it is much easier for me to map where the pain is coming from instead of feeling pain all over. The first couple of weeks were difficult, I did not prep enough and ended up eating far too much fruit and too many nuts, my energy levels were on the floor. Lessons learned though, I made some egg muffins for the freezer, precooked sweet potatoes for the fridge, and purchased some root vegetable crisps (sweet potato, parsnip, beetroot and plantain), which has made it a lot easier to put together meals on the go and to snack.

Picture round: What I have been eating lately for breakfast and lunch

Moving Home: Struggling between letting go and creating waste

After seven years we have decided it’s time to say goodbye to our house. If I am honest it’s never really felt like a home to me. It’s where I live and I find comfort in it, but we have always known it was a temporary situation, we certainly didn’t intended to stay for seven years. The house was a great starter, helping us get a foot on the “property ladder” but it was never somewhere we intended to raise children. Our son will be two next month so it is time to move and get him into the nursery school system of the new area.

Looking at your house through the eyes of a viewer is downright terrifying. Now I know I have too much stuff in my house. We have been working on simplifying for the last year and we have rid ourselves of a lot of clutter. There have been many, many trips to the local charity shops and recycling centres and yet somehow my house is still full! I am now decluttering on steroids with a view to downsizing our belonging before the house even goes on the market. The rest of our belongings we will pack away and with any luck in a The Minimalists inspired packing party won’t ever come back out.

In my quest to curate a healthy, happy and reflective home, there is one area I still struggle with; waste.  I want to shed the accumulated stuff that no longer adds value; the mismatched, the duplicates and the well-used. There is a huge part of me that wants to wipe the slate clean and start all over again, just have a garage sale , everything must go, but is that just an excuse to accumulate more, albeit different stuff, under the guise of intentional purchasing? And what happens to all of the original unloved stuff, we try wherever possible to sell, donate or give away what we no longer need, recycle anything beyond use and landfill only what is necessary, but it’s still waste.

It’s a struggle I hope to reconcile within myself while I go through the process of packing up and clearing out the house for marketing, the upsides to such dramatic simplifying outweigh the downsides for me at present.

  • We will be able to be objective about the sale of our current house, seeing it for the bricks and mortar it really is, We will also be more flexible in choosing our future home not having to try and force a lifetimes worth of possessions into what is likely to be a smaller space.
  • Apparently having a clutter free home boosts your sale price, well that would be nice.
  • We might be able to raise some money from the sale of some of our unloved things.
  • Having less will save us money on storage when we are between homes.
  • Each item going into storage will have purpose and value in our new home.
  • We will have a blank canvas in the new home to create a better environment for family life rather than duplicating the pattern we have here now.

If I focus on these positives for me and my family I am sure letting go will become a lot easier as long as it is done responsibly.

Me x

Gluten free in London: Good food with a great friend

Minimalist and Christmas are two words that don’t go together very well. I am still trying to minimise my life and constantly asking what adds value and brings joy. Christmas is particularly awkward because I don’t spontaneously need things on December 25th and if I have decided to add something to my life then I feel odd “banking” that need so that someone else can buy it for me? That being said my Husband, who is not a minimalistbut is  supportive of me, still wants to buy me a gift for Christmas. 

Not wanting a lot of physical things coming into my life when I am trying so hard to declutter in general I asked for experiences and an easily minimised item; flights to London to visit a friend, a contribution to my new haircut and a the book Rice, Noodle, Fish by Matt Goulding and Anthony Bourdain. 

My flights fell just after New Years. Sarah is a teacher and so time off is scarce. I am lucky to be able to get an early (7am) flight down to London and a late (9pm) flight back up, allowing me to experience London without the expense of a hotel. It’s a long day with trains, planes and automobiles galore but so worth it to spend time with such a dear friend. 

Post Christmas London was crisp and cold and littered with pine needles. Our first stop of the day was for breakfast at beyond bread in Fitsrovia. What a gorgeous little cafe. It is 100% gluten free and everything we had was delicious. For breakfast we both had seeded toast with dressed smashed avocado topped with two poached eggs garnished with chilli, feta and toasted almonds. The tasted almonds and feta were a great topping, the salty sharpness of the feta cutting through the eggs and avocado and the almonds adding a welcome crunch. The bread was moist and soft, if I hadn’t told Sarah we were going gluten free she said she would never have known and that is high praise indeed. Washed down with two pots of tea, the bill was £21 which for London was great value. I will definitely be back in March. 

We did come back on the way trough to the airport to pick up some baked goods to take home including a slab or red velvet cake and a chocolate gooey cake. I also bought a baguette which was light and crispy, a moist and fruity raspberry muffin and I completely forgot to take any pictures of those. Oops. 

The red velvet cake was divine, moist and light and with a dreamy whipped Cream cheese frosting. The chocolate cake was dense and nutty with a rich ganache topping, it’s the complete opposite of the red velvet, almost brownie like in texture and I am having to eat it in smaller portions. 

The four bakery items came to £10 to take away which is an absolute bargain for incredible gluten free treats. I would recommend visiting one of their cafes if you are in London whether you are gluten free or not. 

We took a quick trip around Liberty on our way to China town, while most of the time Liberty is far out my price range I did find a new brand in the fragrance section Korres. They had a collection of very natural no additive fragrances hitch sounded perfect for me, vanilla, fresia, and lychee and peonia, vanilla and amber pear. The second one appealed more but the sample bottle was empty and the sales associate wouldn’t open another bottle so I walked away and ordered the first one online with matching body milk for the same price. Liberty’s loss is my gain. 

Chinatown is a must visit for me whenever I am in London. I just love the atmosphere and I usually find it quite easy to eat. Though while I travel I don’t stick 100% gluten free if there’s something I really want, and I wanted Taiyaki. These came onto my radar while honeymooning in Japan. They are essentially a fish shaped waffle but come in different forms. The traditional are closed and filled with red bean paste or more modern versions with custard. I still dream of a chocolate custard filled one I had on a cold night in Sendai. You can also get them open and filled with cream and fruit or ice cream. We went to Bake on wardour street, a cute little Chinese bakery with hot Chinese buns and chiffon cream cakes. But we’re there for the fish. They do two kinds, mini custard filled and the hollow kind you can fill with ice cream, either vanilla or chocolate. 

The sweet mini ones

I went for the green tea version as anything green tea flag is a winner for me. The ice cream is the soft serve kind from a machine so it isn’t great quality I’ll be honest but it still makes a nice sweet treat to wander London with at £3.80. The waffle itself is crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside and you can watch them being made at the window. I do love some theatre with my food. 

A little more wandering around carnaby street and a near miss at Dr Martens, they had those Magdalena boots in stock but at £125 it was too much to part with there and then, we came back to the edge of Soho and Greek Street where these is a beautiful little paper shop that sells stunning Harry Potter themed posters, note pads etc. I lost Sarah on there for quite a while. 

Our Lunch destination was right across the street at Viet Pho. On a cold winters day there’s nothing better than a huge bowl of soup and the rice noodle broth that is Pho was exactly what we needed. I went for the rare beef Pho which arrived in a huge bowl with a side plate of bean sprouts, Thai basil, chilli and lime. The broth was fragrant with coriander and a dozen other flavours I couldn’t pick out, the noodles had the perfect chew and the beef was melt in the mouth tender. 

Sarah went for the seafood Pho which had prawns squid and Mussels. It was Sarah’s first Pho and she enjoyed her seafood version immensely. 

I will be back in London in March but this time with Husband and Little boy in tow. If anyone reading has some recommendations for places to eat suitable for a fidgety toddler I would love to hear them. 

Me x

Trip planning – London to reconnect and the gift of time

One of my dearest friends Sarah sent me a message a few days ago. “I am missing you like crazy right now. I wish we were closer 😥 x” I know she meant closer distance wise but the truth is since she moved back to the south of England and closer to home 9 years ago a lot has happened. We have both gotten married, had a child each, developed careers and have whole and entirely separate lives from the lazy university days when we met. We simply don’t get much time or spare budget to arrange cross border trips to see one another and the message above was a bit of a shake-up. I need to put more effort into the relationships I cherish outside of my family.

Rather send back a non-committal and empty promise of meeting up soon, I got on sky scanner and checked for flights. Shockingly it looked like over the festive period the flights were very reasonable: £56 return Glasgow to London. Husband has been nagging at me for Christmas gift ideas, which is a whole post in its own right, he is infuriated that I never ask for anything, but I have been working long and hard to get to a place where I don’t want for thigs anymore and trying to balance people wanting to gift things to me with my desire to not receive anything that doesn’t add value to my life is causing some friction; first world problems eh?. So I presented the flights to him as a gift option and he agreed. Within 12 hours we were all booked up for a day trip to London together, I had a happy friend and a relieved husband who now no longer had to panic about what to get me for Christmas.

Now I’ve mentioned several times before just how much I enjoy pre trip planning and I have been to London multiple times, I always have to look and see what’s new, because such a large castling city is always changing and to visit old favourites, namely Chinatown. This trip will cover a bit of both, as it’s the tail end of the festive period there are still some Christmas themed events on and two caught my eye, Matthew Bourne’s adaptation of the 1948 movie The Red Shoes which is an absolute favourite of mine and a candlelight tour of the Charles Dickens museum, all decked out for a Victorian Christmas with special readings from A Christmas Carol. Thankfully the Red Shoes is going on Tour and will be coming to Edinburgh next summer so I could scratch that off the list and catch it closer to home so we are free to indulge in a bit of extra Christmas cheer.

Next on the list is an oldie but a favourite, a trip to Chinatown. Despite the name it is much more like Asiantown and has everything from Thai to tandoori within a few street blocks and much to my delight more Japanese food is creeping in, including a street food favourite of mine; Taiyaki. Taiyaki is best described as a fish shaped waffle, wither closed like a toastie/jaffle with a custard or red bean filling or open to be stuffed with cream and fruit or in this case ice cream!. I’ve had it both ways, stuffed with cream and fruit in Kyoto and filled with chocolate custard in Sendai, I still dream of the chocolate filled Taiyaki and I live in hope I can have another on this next trip.

Me x