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Date Night

When you think of date night, what do you think of? Does it conjure images of candlelit tables, dinner, laughter and copious amounts of wine or a movie on the sofa with popcorn and cuddles…

It means different things to different people, the list is endless. In a breakneck speed world of to-do lists, office stresses, appointments and kids play dates, the need for undisturbed time with loved ones is ever growing. So much so a new industry has been borne with sites dedicated to arranging the perfect date night.

For me it’s about spending time with my significant other. Time to completely switch off from the crazy busy week, from the worries, from the forthcoming to-do list (or the things you haven’t yet crossed off it!) and you know, just enjoy the moment. Real catch-up time. It should be calm, relaxing, happy and almost like a relationship recharge so the week ahead is full of love, support and energy. We are all consumed by the office tasks or the jobs which need attention at home, we all have additional worries and stress in our lives which can put strain on our minds and give us a heavy heart, or it could be just trying to fit a gym class in, whatever it is, it’s a juggling act. Our working weeks and routines drive our time so I love date night for reconnecting and stabilising.

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I had my date night last week. It was b-e-a-u-tiful. It was kind of a surprise, I ruined the surprise that very morning but none the less, the little touches throughout the evening were special. I literally cannot remember the last time I was desperate to just open my apartment door knowing I was home, was presented with flowers (actually don’t think that has ever happened before) and be soothed with the waft of an awesome de-lish home cooked meal about to come my way! The red wine was breathing nicely in its carafe and it took all of my might when I walked through the door, not to have burst in and put my face in the pan. Ok, I would have had third degree burns but god it smelt good.

You see, the thing about date night is that whether you have been dating or married 2 days, 2 months or 2 years it’s a ritual that we should all observe. I have even have date night with myself and why not, it’s all about taking time out with your significant other. And sometimes that significant person has to be yourself. Everyone needs time to recalibrate and it’s a great opportunity to really rest, switch off, praise yourself for the week’s achievements and your goals for the coming week. I know not everyone does that but I have been encouraged since a nipper to always follow my dreams, always set myself goals and always strive to achieve them.

I am still drooling over my home cooked meal, the best thing about it apart from how good it tasted, was that it was made with love. I don’t think I have ever whipped up a meal with three types of onions either!

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Chilli Paneer

When was the last time you had a date night? 

Thankyou heaps for reading my blog, please feel free to leave a comment or to share with your friends.

N x

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The Christmas Countdown Begins

Omg it’s actually only 15 days until Christmas.

This is my favourite time of year. I mean, who doesn’t love blasting out Shakin’ Stevens in the morning, watching Home Alone 2: Lost in New York and guzzling mulled wine? Ah now I’ve done it. I mentioned New York. I’m now consumed with memories and excitement of looking up at the Rockefeller tree pre ice skating, being utterly convinced I was Jayne Torvill. Ok refocus Nicola.

Photo Cred: Alisa Anton

 

There’s something about Christmas which makes me feel content, safe and cosy. I don’t know if the cinammon-orangey scent is responsible or if it’s the heart warming mulled wine and eggnog but it’s definitely a soothing, serene feeling which submerges me. It’s also my time for reflection. My memories take me on a journey through the year, reminding me of my achievements, of the amazing people I have met and now call friends. This is followed by a preview of the year to come. I am a goal setter. I have been since I was young, it’s just in my DNA. I’m sure if you have read any of my previous posts you will know I am a firm believer of that you only get one life, it’s no dress rehearsal. I don’t want to spend time being miserable, dissatisfied or unfulfilled. Why would you? Why would anyone? My motto is if it doesn’t make you happy either don’t do it or change it.

Photo Cred: Kate Zaidova

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Photo Cred: Toa Heftiba

In the lead up to December my excitement builds as I start rummaging in the storage cupboard to find Christmas decorations. My tradition is that on 1st December, Mary Poppins is cranked up on the tv, I pour a glass of wine and get to work on decorating the tree, obviously believing I am Julie Andrews as I am singing ‘A Spoonful of Sugar’. I literally can’t wait to have my tree up, I don’t know how people can wait until a couple of weeks before the big day to begin decorating. I would feel as if I am being robbed of Christmas spirit. I love the whole shebang, there is no stopping me. The tiniest of details are essential and I will fight for the last panettone. Fists and everything.

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Photo Cred: Annie Spratt

Christmas gives me the excuse to watch heaps of movies. I am a massive movie buff anyway so it’s not like I need justification but its almost against the law not to disappear into the festive season. Evenings on the sofa, flashing tree lights, Quality Street tins, cinnamon and orange candles, mulled wine, mince pies and a holiday movie…I reckon this should be made mandatory in conjunction with opening your advent calendar!

There are so many reasons to love Christmas but here are 6 of mine:

  1. People actually send cards! The old style pen, paper and stamps resurface. The modern online world just doesn’t cut it.
  2. Elf (need I say more).
  3. For one whole month, biscuits come in really big tins!
  4. Baileys. After all it is just flavoured milk, isn’t it?
  5. Christmas sweaters become the norm.
  6. Advent calendars. I can eat chocolate every day for 25 whole days?!

What do you love about Christmas?  Feel free to add to the list!

Thankyou heaps for reading my blog, please feel free to leave a comment or to share with your friends x

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A Weekend Up North

November has been another busy month.

Not only am I a November baby, but in the last two months of being in the UK, I have been reminded just how many of my nearest and dearest also share the Scorpio sign. It’s been birthday celebrations galore! This is the reason for heading home this weekend. It’s one of my besties birthdays, and it’s a special one…he is 40!

London to Liverpool. A 90 minute train ride and I am back up north. I was consumed by memories. Approximately seven years ago I took the same journey on a weekly basis, unless I was working abroad which was often the case. Ah memories…that was one awesome time in my career, one that propelled me on to much greater things. Don’t you just love it when you catch yourself smiling when reminiscing? And there I was this weekend, on the same journey, as a proper adult. This time, having actually lived abroad and now cruising from my new home to my old home. I relish travel time as it means I can have some real me time. There are no jobs, no errands, it’s recalibration time. The weeks seem to fly by right now, still moments are quite rare, so this journey was welcomed with open arms. I don’t think however, that I was prepared for the reflective thoughts of how much my life has changed, where I used to be and where I am now. I have to be tad cheeky and say, I am dam proud of myself!

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It is a shame this weekend was only a flying visit. I was literally travelling up to be part of the celebrations but I have secretly been looking forward to catching up with another one of my besties who I haven’t seen for years. We are a group of ex-colleagues who became great friends and it’s an awesome feeling that many years later, we still speak every day. This is one of the benefits of being in the UK again, we now have no excuse not to see each other. It is no longer a 16 hour plane ride to have a catch up!

It was strange going back. Kinda de-ja-vu but not. Whilst driving through Liverpool I was hit with the flashback stick…nights out, the roads I used to drive through on my way to work, places where I used to grab my lunch. It was familiar but it wasn’t? What was comfortable though was the minute I saw my friends…all was right in the world again.

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The best bits about being home:

Catching up with friends felt like I had never been away…

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I had an awesome fry up for brekkie…thanks chef! I felt a little bit special…

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And probably the best bit…I experienced that ‘grounded’ feeling when I saw things/areas which were a big part of my life. There was a lot I didn’t remember!

What a beautiful weekend, how did you spend yours?

N x

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