01.05

Cider-with-Rosie-10-happy-things

Ahhhh, the three day weekend. Best thing about this time of year, right, the amount of Bank Holidays we get? There’s nothing like the joy that comes from Sunday arriving and not bringing with it a case of the Sunday blues- because hello lie in on a Monday morning! Though, to be honest laying in is pretty impossible these days, what with my waking up to go to the loo every morning at 5am, and then Elsie’s 6am wake up calls. But hey, it’s all training for September, right?! Anyway, aside from a week of eye-wateringly early starts (thanks again, baby and puppy), here’s what’s made this week a lovely one!

1. Finally, FINALLY getting round to printing and putting up some wedding photos around the house! It’s been on my ‘To Do’ list for such a long time, and it feels so good to have finally ticked it off the list!

2. Feeding the moorhen that’s taken up residence on the pond outside our house! It’s such a sweet little thing, and is partial to a bit of bread each morning for its breakfast…

3. My Friday morning Body Balance class at the gym. I always leave feeling like myself again (after a good few weeks of doing barely any exercise at the start of this year, thanks to first trimester exhaustion) and I’m hoping to keep going as long as I can until baby arrives.

4. Corn thin crackers, with red pepper hummus. Or with peanut butter, or marmite, or just plain. In short, I’m obsessed…

5. The new coconut hair conditioner I’m using at the moment. Smells like summer!

6. A series Jason and I binged on all this week, called The Five. It’s the most gripping thing I’ve watched in ages, and we’re just loving it!

7. Showers of blossom petals. Though not that random snow shower we had on Tuesday…

8. Raspberries in my porridge, green juice on the side, and grapefruit for after. Basically, all the fruit!

9. Having two productive weeks in a row! All thanks to Evernote and those life-saving to-do list folders. I’d be lost without that app! Though mainly I think it just makes me more productive because I like tapping the little tick-boxes so much…

10. And finally, of course, the return of Game of Thrones! Even if sometimes I do find that programme so gory I have to watch from behind a cushion, we still love it a lot. So glad it’s back! What did you all think of the first episode?

Tell me, what’s made it onto your ‘happy list’ for this week? :)

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28.04

Cider-with-Rosie-Wander-to-Wonder-cover

Today’s post comes courtesy of the lovely Miho, from Wander to Wonder! I’ve been a fan of Miho’s blog for such a long time now, and can’t recommend her posts highly enough. They’re always so beautifully put together (you must go and take a look at Miho’s photos from Vietnam- gorgeous!), and Miho’s restaurant posts are always comprehensive, tempting, and informative all at once! So, enough from me- let me introduce to Wander to Wonder!

1. Will you tell us a little about how you got started writing Wander to Wonder?

Back in 2013, I was just wrapping up 3 years of studying abroad in Salzburg, Austria. Although I had a wonderful time there, I was so excited to move back to London (where I grew up), and was determined to make the most of living in the city as a twenty-something year old young professional. Combined with my perpetual love for documenting (I had kept a diary since I was 14) and taking photos, setting up a blog seemed a very natural step to take!

2. How would you sum up your blog, in just 3 words?

Curious, Hungry, Wanderlust.

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3. How has your blog evolved over the years since you began writing it? And has blogging brought about any changes, in how you see the world?

Well, I think there are basic things that have (hopefully) improved – like photography, design and organisation. But the core of it actually hasn’t changed all that much – I started WTW to write about things I enjoyed, places I travelled to and the highlights of living in London, and I still write about all of these things.

The biggest change blogging has brought me, are the new friends I have made. About a year or so after I started the blog, I started meeting like-minded people through events, drinks and dinners, who have now become true friends of mine, which I am so grateful for.

4. Would you share with us three of your favourite posts, and tell us why they’re particular favourites?

This is tough, because there are so many great memories stored on my little online scrapbook! Off the top of my head -

Visiting Tremezzo & Villa Carlotta, Lake Como: I still look at these photos and sigh because it was so beautiful there. Plus, it was the day we had the best pizza of our lives, so that definitely warrants a top 3 spot!

On a positive note: a post where I wrote about how I fought to be happy and left a perpetually negative attitude behind.

365 days post-wedding: all about the personal touches and decisions we made for our wedding back in 2013. I’m still filled with so much joy when I think back to those moments, and see those photos!

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5. You write in your ‘About’ page that food is the subject that comes up most often on WtW! Will you share with us three of your top favourite places to eat in your home city of London?

The Ledbury: probably my number one, although I’ve only been once and it’s definitely in the “luxury” category! My husband took me there for an incredible birthday lunch last year, and it was absolutely phenomenal.

Barrafina: the best tapas I’ve had in London, and I just adore the setting as well. Even though all three branches are quite small, don’t take reservations and only have counter seating (perfect for romantic dinners, but I’ve also gone with my sister and loved it), it is so worth queuing for and I recommend it to everyone.

Honest Burgers: how could I not include a good burger in this list? HB is my pick out of the bunch, and it never disappoints. It’s also the best value for money, and the staff are always friendly!

6. I’d love to know more about the ‘Year of Mindful Living’ you’ve mentioned on your blog. Will you tell us a little about what that means to you?

For me personally, my main Mindful Living goals are to be conscious of my footprints on the planet and its environment, to support independent and small businesses, and to be kind to people, surroundings and things in all senses of the word. It’s not always easy (or convenient), but taking small steps like seeking out local independent shops for birthday cards, buying produce from farmers’ markets (we buy most of ours from Abel & Cole), and supporting young artists and creatives all add up to something.

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7. It’s clear, when reading your lovely blog, that travel is a passion of yours. Would you share with us a few of your favourite recent travel destinations, and what made them so special?

I have so much love and passion for travelling – I’m not a globe trotter by any means, but I try to explore and travel as much as life/work/budget allows. My favourites so far include -

Vietnam: we just got back a couple of weeks ago, and had such a special experience there – unlike anywhere else I’ve been. Such a distinct and different culture, in a rapidly developing country.

The Maldives: our honeymoon destination, and it was simply paradise on earth. The sea life has to be seen to be believed, and it was just magical.

New York City: as much as I love reading about Rosie’s gorgeous lifestyle in the countryside, I was born and raised in Tokyo and London, making me a true city girl at heart. I am crazy about NYC and we had the best time there last October. I can’t wait to go back one day!

Santorini, Greece: Santorini holds a very special place in my heart, because E proposed to me there. But even if he hadn’t, it would still be somewhere I think about on a near daily basis, and we already know that we will definitely return – and to the very same hotel, because it was the most memorable, personal and blissful place we’ve every stayed in. We’re usually Airbnb people, but for this hotel we would willingly shell out, it’s worth every penny!

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8. And finally, it’s our old favourite Desert Island Discs! If you were stranded on a desert island, what would you bring along for the ride? You can bring two albums/CDs, two books, two films, ingredients to make a meal, and one luxury item!

CDs: Beethoven Piano Concertos 4 & 5 with Claudio Arrau and Sir Colin Davis, and Let It Be by The Beatles

Books: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, and The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons

Films: The Untouchables (French movie, you must see it if you haven’t!) and Roman Holiday

Ingredients to make a meal: the best quality rice and raw fish to make sushi!

Luxury Item – a print out of all the emails and messages my husband and I have ever exchanged, from our very first date over 10 years ago. We used to communicate a lot over email, when he was at university and I was still at school, and then when we were doing long distance. I think that would keep me company on an otherwise very lonely island!

~ Thanks so much to the lovely Miho for such a fascinating insight into all things WtW! Don’t forget to follow along with Wander to Wander via Bloglovin‘- it really is a great one, don’t you think? :) ~

p.s. I’m offering 10% all ad spots until the end of April with the code ‘SPRINGFLIING’, so if you’d like to see your own blog featured here on Cider with Rosie, click through to the Sponsor page to snap up an advert!

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26.04

Cider-with-Rosie-Isabella-Oliver-bump-style-11

2 0   W E E K S   &   N E W   H A I R   &   T E A   W I T H   T A N I A .

So many nice things happened last week (some big things, some little things) that I felt it was probably right to put together a post where I can document them and keep them safe. Let me start with the best one of all- reaching the 20 week point in my pregnancy!

Getting to the halfway point, and officially out of the ‘teens’, feels like a milestone- one that I’ve been looking forward to ever since that pregnancy test developed and the glorious ‘positive’ result appeared in the little window. I mean, true, I’ve been setting myself little milestones all the way through the pregnancy so far (reaching the 12 week scan, the start of the second trimester at week 14, the first movements, etc. etc.), but reaching the midway point feels like a big one!

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We had our 20 week anomoly scan on Thursday, which I can honestly (and so very gratefully) say was one of the wonderful experiences of my life to date. As I’m sure all parents are, in the two months between the 12 and 20 week scans I’d been so anxious to know that our baby was growing as healthy and strong as we’d hoped.

I wasn’t quite as nervous heading into the ultrasound room as I had been before our previous scan, but still- my heart was racing!

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Seeing our baby wriggling around on the screen (whilst also feeling the kicks and prods and wiggles from the inside, too!) was totally magical. It’s amazing now to be able to differentiate between the different types of movement I get to feel every day, because we’ve seen them happening live!

I couldn’t quite get my head around seeing how fully now the baby is spread across my lower abdomen. In my minds eye, I still picture it curled up tightly in a little ball and tucked away pretty low down, but as the books/apps/websites all say is due to happen around the 20 week mark, baby has uncurled and now seems to fill my lower abdomen from the belly button down!

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Isabella Oliver dress || Boden flats (past season, similar linked)

The sonographer talked us through everything that she was scanning for on the screen, and kept pointing out different parts of the baby’s anatomy that we might not have been able to distinguish otherwise.

Its little hands and feet were clear as day though- one hand spread wide (we saw each of the four fingers as well as the tiny thumb!), and the other hand was clenched tight into a fist that baby kept using to punch out at the scanning wand it wasn’t too pleased about being prodded by!

I didn’t realise quite how much I’d been subconsciously fretting, ahead of the scan, until we left the room and felt like my shoulders dropped by about two inches! Oh, and we’ve kept the baby’s sex as a surprise, in case you were wondering…

Let the intense guessing commence! ;)

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We’d had the scan early on that Thursday morning, and after we were done I headed straight to the train station to pick up Tania, who’d come down from London for the day to visit me! Well, I think the order of priorities for her visit went more like bump/baby, then Teddy and Elsie, and THEN me, but hey! I’ll take it ;)

Once we’d tired ourselves out on a long walk with the dogs, and then come home and refuelled on copious amounts of soup and bread (we’ll not mention the chocolate doughnuts we treated ourselves to as dessert…), we decided a spot of tea was in order.

There are a few places near where we live to get a lovely cup of tea, but none so lovely as Pennyhill.
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It’s this grand old hotel set in parkland in a village called Bagshot, and is actually where I was working as a waitress aged 18 in the months leading up to when Jason and I first met and started dating.

It holds a lot of memories for me, that place. Mostly of me being quite possibly *the* most terrible waitress of all-time, since I spent the vast majority of each and every shift lingering in the kitchens and batting my eyelashes at the chefs, until they promised to set me aside a portion of whatever delicious concoction of food they were whipping up!

Shameful, really…but to be fair, getting to tuck into my very own pistachio souffle at the end of a shift was totally worth it ;)

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Tania and I sipped our way through two pots of rose tea and English Breakfast tea (my first cup in months as I’ve been off it this whole pregnancy…it made me realise I’m still not over that aversion), and repeatedly bemoaned the fact that yesterday’s weather had been all summery and glorious, and yet that day was overcast and breezy!

Still, we stayed outside on the terrace, not least because being able to watch the rabbits hopping about on the lawns below made sitting in the chill totally worth it!

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Now, what was the last and final thing I wanted to talk to you about? Oh yes, new hair!

So, I had a pretty mammoth haircut early last week (6/7inches of hair gone!), and it’s been a total game-changer for me. My hair had grown horrendously long, and I’d been dithering and dithering over how to have it cut and so it took me ages to actually get round to visiting the hairdressers.

But now all I can think is…why did noone tell me sooner how much easier mid-length hair is to style than long hair sooner?! I’m a total convert.

Though if anyone mentions the words ‘practical Mum haircut’ in the comments, we’re going to have a falling out…;)

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23.04

Cider-with-Rosie-blossom

It’s that happy time of our month again, when we get to sit down and get to know a whole host of wonderful new blogs! It’s always so lovely to put together these round ups- I love getting chance to take note of what makes each blog linked in my sidebar special and unique, and sharing them here for all to see! And really, what better way to spend an hour or two at the weekend than by getting to know some fantastic new blogs, and adding them to your reading list? :) Enjoy!

Wander to Wonder
I’ve read Miho’s blog for easily a longer than a year or so now, and it’s been so lovely to see Wander to Wonder evolve over time. It’s always such a lovely one to dip into- full of beautiful photographs and such well-written posts. This month, Miho’s been sharing posts from her trip to Vietnam (you must go and see the puppies that sneak into the bottom of her latest post- off the charts cute!), as well as a happy list and a review of a Malay supper club in London. I love how so many of Miho’s posts centre around food, and find her restaurant reviews so informative and, of course, hunger-inducing! Wander to Wonder is just the sort of lifestyle blog I love reading the most, and I’m sure you’re going to love it too!
Favourite post of the past month? Vietnam, Phu Quoc Island :: Bamboo Cottages.

Around the World in 80 Pairs of Shoes
It’s been so, so lovely getting to know Kelly’s blog lately. She just has this special way of writing her posts that makes them feel so friendly and relateable, and just like catching up with a friend! Around the World in 80 Pairs of Shoes is about cake (of the gluten free variety), travel, and, of course, shoes! This month she’s been sharing updates from her travels in Suffolk, as well as some stunning photographs from a recent trip to Seville! I love how Kelly’s passion for her subject matter always comes shining through in her content, and how varied and interesting all her lovely posts are. In short, you’re going to just love this one!
Favourite post of the past month? Exploring the Alcazar of Seville, Spain.

Silverspoon London
If there’s one blog that never fails to blow me away, it’s Silverspoon London! Angie’s blog is just the most wanderlust inducing site you could imagine- and not just any old wanderlust at that, *luxury* wanderlust! Angie’s great passions in life are travel and fine dining, and she shares her experiences of both via Silverspoon London! In April, Angie’s shared with us posts from her travels in Florence (the city looks incredible in Angie’s photos- I’m determined now to visit!), eaten Japanese street food in London, and eaten a cheese plate at Pied a Terre that made this pregnant lady WISH soft, moudly cheeses weren’t currently a no-go area! ;) I just adore each and every one of Angie’s posts, and know you will too.
Favourite post of the past month? Perfect Plates at Pied a Terre.

The Dubai Diaries
Another blog that centres around travel, but from a totally different and fun angle, is The Dubai Diaries! Rachel works as a flight attendant based in the Middle East, and shares her adventures travelling the world on her blog! I love that every time I click through to The Dubai Diaries, it’s a total surpise to see where she’s sharing posts from next! This month, Rachel’s shared with us photos from  Hong Kong (which she says is one of her top ten favourite places to visit!), taken a stroll through the charming city of Oslo, and spent a whirlwind 30 hours in New York! I love getting an insight into Rachel’s exciting lifestyle, and getting to live vicariously through all her fabulous travels! One to add to your reading list right away!
Favourite post of the past month? A stroll through the streets of Oslo. 

I’m offering 10% all ad spots until the end of April with the code ‘SPRINGFLIING’, so if you’d like to see your own blog featured here on Cider with Rosie, click through to the Sponsor page to snap up an advert!

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