November Highlights

  • I finally completed 30 days of Yoga…it only took me 2 months! On to the next challenge.
  • I’m very late to the party, but I finally watched La La Land and absolutely loved it! Although the ending broke my heart a little…wasn’t expecting that!
  • Made and consumed a delicious gluten and dairy free orange and chestnut cake, from River Cottage Gluten Free.
  • Listened to a really interesting documentary on Radio 4 about adoption, definitely worth a listen to understand how it effects everyone.
  • Finally used my birthday voucher from last year and had a fantastic massage, just need one everyday!
  • Assignments galore this month! And still more to do! At least some of the vocabulary and concepts are beginning to take root!
  • Lots of lovely celebrations with birthdays and bonfire night, with my first attempt at making Parkin…a veritable success, we may have begun a new tradition!
  • More recipe firsts…making dahl (which the girls thought must have originated from Roald) and homemade waffles.
  • The woolly jumpers are out, alongside crackling log fires…it’s feeling very cosy around here!
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All This Study is Teaching Me Something…Right?

I am actually learning a ton of things, as well as the academic stuff (phew!), including about myself. I’m in the middle of assignment hell at the moment, with one after another and not enough time (caveat to writing this…I’m sat in the car waiting for ballet to finish). All sorts of things can be revealed under immense pressure, not all of them are good…but I save all the ugly stuff for my one true love, so I’ll selectively abstain from sharing that!

A couple of months ago it freaked me out the number of articles I needed to read! I’m getting this speed reading thing down, and it’s really handy for all sorts of things!

I’ve got a whole new set of vocabulary to bamboozle people with…I could probably get away with it not really making any sense!

The standard of work required is exceptionally difficult…I kept kidding myself that I’d be in the place I needed to be in time for the assignments…denial is a wonderful thing but reality hits hard!

I could really do with at least 2 extra days a week!

Everyone else looks just as petrified as me when discussing assignments, this is very comforting indeed!

I went to a dissertation talk this week, listening to others present their dissertations…it was fascinating! It made me realise that there’s a whole new way of embracing the challenge- with enthusiasm, passion and just enjoying the journey (regularly breaking down in tears is also acceptable).

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Today was INSET day, so I had a great idea! I asked the girls if they wanted to come to uni with me, how fabulous! They weren’t quite as excited about it as me….!? But after some fun playing scrabble in the library, they soon cheered up. Plus I learnt something today, so not a bad day all round!

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We taught the girls how to play Cluedo this week. I was really impressed how well they picked it up, as when we began playing it I realised how complicated it is!!

I remember playing it as a child and really enjoying it, but I got too impatient this time and guessed too early…only 1 card out from getting it right!?

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If You Want to Know Where to Find Me…I’ll be Eating Cake!

What I have learnt from being gluten and dairy free for nearly 2 years…most cakes, biscuits, bread you can buy are pretty ropey! They have a strange, bitter tang and they stick to your mouth whilst feeling crumbly and dry.

Luckily, I mastered the art of gluten and dairy free pancakes quite a while ago, so when I had the desire for something sweet I’d get a batch on the go.

I have since discovered a lovely brand of bread, which is both tasty and moist…but the best way to get delicious cakes (the jury is still out on biscuits) is to get my apron on and make it myself.

I’m so pleased I’ve found a great gluten free cookbook with fantastic recipes. I just sub in some dairy free butter etc and it still turns out great!

So reasons I’ll be eating cake?….

  1. Number one is because it tastes so good! I’ve restrained myself to 2 slices so far today!
  2. It’s a great motivator for all those assignments I need to write.
  3. There’s nothing better than a slice of cake as the nights draw in and the weather gets nippy.
  4. I’m an adult, so there’s no one stopping me (may be some self control issues happening here!?).


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I just love D’s face in this! Taking the role seriously! They had a fantastic night trick or treating, such a lovely, friendly vibe in the village and a great catch up with old friends. Unfortunately I missed out on going this year, so daddy got to have all the fun! Next year I’m definitely in!!!

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This week has involved lots of baking, creating and bonfire night celebrating! All of my favourite things!

D has a new topic at school on the theme of chocolate! What could be better than that! She is so excited to do her homework, next on her list is making rocky road…yum!

M and I made Parkin for the first time, especially for bonfire night. A traditional Yorkshire cake made with treacle, ginger, golden syrup and all things delicious!

This was topped off with a bonfire and sparklers, still so much joy to be had even at my age!

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Music as a Motivator

I really need all the motivation and positive vibes that come through the wonderful world of music at the moment. Steep learning curves are equally exhilarating and terrifying, and sometimes the words of someone else put to just the right melody and beat can make that needed difference to mood and mental attitude.

I have always loved music, like so many people. It is like the icing on the cake for me…it’s not a necessary element of life, like oxygen, food or light, but it adds something magical that nothing else does in a myriad of different ways. It can lift mood and spirits, comfort, speak to us and communicate in a gentle, nudging way or with strength and force. It can give a little extra push and momentum to get something done.

My go to song at the moment is on the new album by The Killers, called ‘The Man‘. For me it’s a real mood lifter for those days of uncertainty and doubt when you need to take on the world! 

Sometimes some more soothing tunes are in order for the end of the day. Jessie Ware has a beautiful, warm and comforting voice on her latest song, perfect for winding down.

What is your song of the moment?

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October Highlights 

Looking back over the past month always makes me realise how much fun we managed to pack in! It has definitely felt like a the busiest month in a long time, with birthdays, half term holidays, Halloween, School trips and university exams. It’s a tricky balancing act to fit everything in and keep all the plates spinning…mostly I need to reframe how my expectations and viewpoint on everyday life should be!

Doing a Masters Degree is so intense that most of my focus is on desperately trying to keep up and learn all of the concepts I need to in a narrow time frame. This means that my life has become infinitely more narrow and focused, without a breadth of activities or opportunities to explore a variety of subjects. My life has become all things psychology…!

Some other things that I have managed to squeeze and enjoy…

  • Beautiful autumn light on glorious sun filled days.
  • A half term with some fab days out.
  • Watching my children bloom in their new school and being excited by their learning.
  • Trying out a new gluten free cake recipe that was delicious!
  • Lovely birthday celebrations with a beautiful walk to see the Purton Hulks.
  • And getting a good grade in my exam! Phew!
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