It feels like forever since I wrote a happy list! It’s only been two weeks, but still. That’s a long time to go without making note of the lovely things in life, I think! And this past week has been such a happy one after all. It has been quite tough to get my head back into work mode this week actually, and I know Jason’s felt the same way. We both kind of want to pretend nothing else exists for a while (life, responsibilities, bills, you know the drill) and just gallivant and eat great food and be totally self-indulgent! Can we do that? Don’t answer. I know, we definitely can’t…

So, here’s a little list of what’s made me very happy indeed in the past week!

1. The sweet gifts my best friend (and bridesmaid, eek!) Jo brought round for us on Wednesday afternoon. Amongst other thoughtful presents, she’d spent ages typing out the complete conversation of text messages she and I had exchanged in the 48 hours after Jason proposed, so that I’ll have those joyful thoughts and feelings I was experiencing documented to keep forever. Isn’t that the sweetest? She’s one in a million, that friend of mine.

2. Being at home. I love love loved having trips away last week, but our bed is *so* comfortable and I never sleep quite so well anywhere else. Also, I kind of missed cooking whilst we were on holiday! Jason told me he missed my cooking too, which made my heart sing.

3. Brie, grapes, + oat cakes. I love brie. Nearly as much as I love camembert.

4. Spotting a huge deer bounding through the bluebell woods on Wednesday morning. Also, the bluebell woods themselves! They’re out in all their glory right now, and look spectacular. I’m going to head up to the woods again later on today to admire them some more.

5. Teddy being so sleepy after our weekend away that on Sunday night he fell asleep curled in the crook of my legs, with his head on my knee. He very rarely sleeps on our laps (even as a pup he usually preferred to sleep curled by our feet instead) and so it felt such a treat.

6. Sunshine! It’s been making me SO happy this week! Watching it sparkle on the pond especially.

7. Pinning wedding stuff on Pinterest. Reading wedding magazines. Nosing through my married friends’ wedding albums on Facebook…

8. This sausage and red onion hotpot recipe. It’s *so* delicious (especially served with little roasted new potatoes & carrot and feta mash).

9. The prospect of having my engagement ring resized and back to me mid-next week. It’s horrible not wearing it, but I’m so glad that the mini ‘oh my god my ring’s about to fall off’ panic attacks I’ve been every time my hands get cold are at an end!

10. Getting back to Pilates after two weeks off over Easter. I’ve missed it (and feeling that awesome post-workout ache that makes me feel like I’ve done my body some good).

Three posts I’ve loved reading this week :: Tania’s oh-so-French thoughts on the importance of bread || Jeska’s darling white table lamp (her house is a dream!) || and Kristen’s Four Favourites (That shirt! I love!)

Tell me, what’s made you happy this week? :)


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Tuesday was our first full day in Edinburgh. We woke up kind of early (well, early for us, at least) and had a light breakfast of fresh fruit, juice, yoghurt and granola in the hotel before heading out to explore the city. The hotel we stayed in was called the Nira Caledonia (I’m going to write a little more about it in a separate post) and was in Edinburgh’s New Town (about a 15 minute walk from the Royal Mile). We actually really loved mile-or-so walk from our hotel into town! It stopped us feeling too sluggish from all the amazing food we ate whilst we were in the city, and the area of town our hotel was in felt peaceful and tucked away compared with the hustle and bustle of the city centre. We’d recommend it in a heartbeat! But I’m getting ahead of myself though…


After a couple of hours exploring the Royal Mile on Tuesday morning (including a stop to book tickets for a tour of Mary King’s Close, some hat-trying-on, and a little tweed shopping) we headed to The Crafter’s Barn for lunch. We’d given the restaurant a miss whilst scouting for a place to eat dinner the previous night, but decided it looked way nicer than we had initially thought when we walked past it the next day! And we were so glad we went in! The meal we ate there was some of the nicest food we ate in Edinburgh (and we ate at a lot of seriously good places!) and was pretty reasonably priced too. Jason ordered mussels and a glass of Chilean merlot that I ended up drinking half of (unwittingly sharing the Dutch courage Jason so badly needed for proposing later on that day!) and I ordered two smaller plates- haggis and Quail’s Scotch eggs, and spicy braised chorizo.

The whole meal came to £24- no bargain, but not bank breaking either! The Scotch eggs especially were super delicious, and Jason told me afterwards that even though he was too nervous at the time to really appreciate his mussels (too busy making sure I didn’t accidentally find the ring box in his jacket pocket!) they were really very tasty! ;) Oh and as a side note- that restaurant is Instagram-heaven! Drinks served in mason jars, exposed lightbulbs hanging from the ceiling, distressed wood tables- you name it, they have it!


 ^^ This is the face of a very nervous man. Not that I knew so at the time. I was completely oblivious to his nerves and stressing, and was just really enjoying my lunch! ;) ^^


^^ Yolk porn ^^


After we’d finished lunch, we walked up the hill (another one! Edinburgh is the hilliest place I’ve ever been!) and queued up to get tickets for the castle. We’d been so keen to get to the castle, and it didn’t disappoint! If you go, I’d really recommend taking one of the little guided tours round the castle. They’re included in the price of the ticket, leave every 25 minutes or so and are way more engaging than a standard audio guide. We also totally fell in love with the Edinburgh accent whilst we were in the city, so the tour was a great excuse to listen to it for a solid 20 minutes! ;)


^^ It was breezy though, as you can see from the mess on my head. ^^


After we’d taken our little guided tour and wandered around a few of the specific sites of interest, Jason suggested we go to a little balcony that our guide had told us had some of the best views of the city. Not realising Jason was trying to get me to go somewhere beautiful and quiet so that he could propose, I said ‘Let’s go and see the prisoner of war dungeons first!’! So my poor nervous man had to traipse around the dungeons behind me for another 15 minutes, whilst I read all about the history of the prisons and tried to understand why Jason didn’t seem interested in it at all! We’ll need to go back to the castle next time we’re in the city, just so that Jason can get chance to appreciate it properly!

After we’d finished touring the dungeons, and I’d made Jason wait *again* whilst I stopped to buy water (he told me afterwards he couldn’t believe how difficult it was to get me to the little balcony where he wanted to propose!) we went out to the viewpoint to admire the city. And then, right there in the sunshine and the breeze, overlooking the whole of the city, Jason got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. It was perfect.

Afterwards I couldn’t even remember if I’d said ‘yes’ (the moment was so incredible neither of us can really remember it in too much detail!) but Jason assures me I did! A few of our friends and family had been asking if I thought Jason might propose whilst we were away in the city, but he’d done such a good job of keeping his proposal-planning and ring-shopping a complete secret that I was totally convinced it wouldn’t happen! The only people who knew it was coming was Jason’s team at Flourish (who guessed he’d been ring shopping after he went out for longer than normal one afternoon! They know him so well!) and my Mum, who Jason had asked for my hand in marriage the weekend before we went away.


^^ The last photo ever taken of us as boyfriend & girlfriend :) ^^


And that was it!I forgot to take any more photos after Jason proposed (I could barely remember how to switch my camera on, my head was that foggy from joy and love and happiness and maybe the champagne a bit too) but the rest of the day was just beautiful.

We left the castle right away afterwards and walked back to our hotel (smiling like idiots at each other and every person we passed in the street the whole walk back!) and spent the afternoon drinking champagne in the little private garden our room opened up on to. There was a piper playing in the street just as we walked out of the castle, and even though Jason had never been too keen on bagpipes before then, the sound was so moving I think it’ll hold a special place in our hearts forever now. If I could have paused time and lived in that moment for an hour or two longer, where were standing listening to a piper play in a sunny Edinburgh street about five minutes after getting engaged and our hearts were full to bursting, I would have. It was magic.

And since all I want to do is talk and think and write about engagements right now, if you’re engaged, will you tell me how it happened? Did you cry? I didn’t cry one bit even though I’d always imagined I would!


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{ I’m publishing this post for the second time, because my site had to be restored from a backup today following server issues, and I lost the original copy of the post and all comments! I’ve had to re-write this post from a series of screenshots emailed over to me by a lovely reader named Penny! So if you’ve got a case of deju-vu whilst reading this post- it’s because you might have read it once before! ;) }

I want to thank you all a hundred times over for the sweet messages of congratulations Jason and I have received over the weekend. I’d been absolutely bursting to share the news here when we got engaged a week ago today, and have been so overwhelmed by all the sweet responses over the past few days! Jason and I read through all the comments on Saturday night just before going to bed, and they touched us more than we can say. Even though I only know a tiny fraction of the people who read this blog each day in person, it never feels like I’m writing to strangers when I share photographs and snippets of our life here. Jason and I have changed and grown such a lot as a couple over the past two years since I began writing Cider with Rosie, and I can’t even put into words how much affection I feel for everyone who follows along with us via my blog and how excited I am to have you all here to share with as Jason and I begin planning the day on which we become husband and wife! And I know that’s kind of a smooshy thing to say, but I don’t care a bit. If you can’t be overly sentimental when you’re riding high on a wave of newly-engaged joy, when can you? ;)

So, I hope you had a splendid Easter! We travelled down to visit Jason’s Dad and Stepmum at their new house in Dorset on Saturday morning, and spent a leisurely weekend enjoying the sea air with them both. Their house is just beautiful (it’s right on the edge of the New Forest, and about 2 miles from the coast) and Michaela is the most fabulous cook so we both came away with our jeans feeling uncomfortably tight. The feast she put together on Easter Sunday was so fantastic, Jason actually had to ask me to stop talking about it in the car on the way home. Apparently I’d mentioned it three times in the first 10 minutes of the journey. But there was slow cooked lamb, and potatoes cooked two ways (roasted in duck fat, and mashed!) and cauliflower cheese, and smashed parsnips! Oh man. It was a treat. I’m also very glad that Pilates starts again tonight after the Easter break, because I need it. And you know, wedding dress diet and all! ;) (I jest. I’m not going on a wedding dress diet. Not a chance.)

Flying-kiyr Teddy's-first-swim Skimming-stones

On Saturday afternoon, Jason, his Dad and I took Teddy down to Mudeford beach for a walk along the coast. It was Teddy’s first taste of sand and sea, and I really do mean ‘taste’ since Ted consumed liberal quantities of both. I was absolutely convinced he’d end up being sick from the amount of salt water he drank (great gulps of it!) but nope! The boy’s got a strong stomach (and a screw loose too, I think).

We watched people sailing, and kites flying, and hunted for pretty shells, and skipped stones, and I came home with Monica-Gellar-in-Barbados hair thanks to the salt air making it so puffy and textured. The one day I leave home without a hairband on my wrist…


^^ Pastel beach huts! Aren’t they gorgeous? ^^

Seagull Isle-of-Wight Dorset-crab

^^ There were dozens of people lined up crab-fishing along the sea wall, with buckets full of teeny crabs sat next to them. I never realised before that crabs could be caught using little mesh bags full of raw bacon, and so was very confused seeing so many open packets of bacon sitting along the sea front. It was quite the struggle keeping Teddy from making mad dives towards the packets, let me tell you…. ^^

Jason-and-his-Pa Teddys-sand-beard

^^ Sand-beard. He needed hosing-down when we got home. ^^

Jason-and-I Tapas Champagne

After we came home from the beach, we ate tapas outside in the garden for our first al-fresco meal of this year. Also, champagne! Because we’re celebrating! I’ve kind of maxed out on the champagne-front over the past week or so! First world problem right? Seriously though, I haven’t turned down a glass of fizz once for a good few days now, and that, for someone who often goes weeks at a time without having a single drink, is quite the feat! Ugh. I know Dry January is a thing already, but I’m about to make Dry-May happen ;)


So tell me, how was your Easter? :)


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So I guess I’ll just show you this…


…and tell you that on Tuesday, Jason asked me to be his wife. And I said yes!


We are *giddy* with happiness!

<3 xxx


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Read from the beginning >