Illustrated Teacup

Family | Lifestyle | Food | Tattoos | Southampton

Monday, 30 January 2017

A weekend in the countryside


I'm trying to get back into using my blog as a diary as much as a platform to share thoughts and ideas. With Henry growing up SO fast I really want to make sure I record as much as possible on this blog so I have it to look back on - plus it really motivates me to take lots of photos (in keeping with my 2017 resolutions!)

At the weekend we decided to go back up to Buckinghamshire as Dann had some annual leave to use up and had a random Friday off work. We both love going back up to Danns home village. It's the perfect quintessential place and is like the village that time forgot (apart from the cars, and the broadbadnd - though thank goodness for the wifi as the only signal is in the middle of a field!).

We're really making sure this year to go and visit family as much as we can, and to go out and do things as a family with Henry, especially whilst I'm still in maternity leave!

So I've out together a little photo diary for you, and well, for me too! (warning - this is very photo heavy, like you;d expect anything less!)
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Thursday, 26 January 2017

Get him/her to the Real Greek



At home eating is leaving me thoroughly under-whelmed at the moment with so many amazing new eateries and restaurants joining us in Southampton City Centre.

The latest to tickle the taste buds of this Food Blogger is The Real Greek. Alongside Thaikhun, it offers something a little bit different to Southampton's range of dining out locations, serving, as you can probably guess - Greek Food!

I was invited along to their launch night last week, and honestly it was probably the best launch night I've been to in my time as a blogger. Instead of being the normal, tasters and drinks, The Real Greek offered a full sit down meal* with your choice of drinks from their, quite frankly, outstanding menu. And cocktails *fist pump*.
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Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Baby Led Weaning - one month in


So we're one month into our baby led weaning journey and I thought I'd do a little update on how we're doing.

I've done so much research on the whole BLW thang, and although there is a shedload of info saying be prepared for mess, how and when to start and lots of recipes, no one really talks about what to expect as you go along, so I thought I'd share our experience in the hopes that it will help other mamas out, because let's be honest, this baby rearing lark is hard work so  any little bit of help is kind of a God send. (wow longest sentence ever right there)

Right, we've been doing this for just over a month now, and it seems to be going pretty well (at least I think so, and Henry seems happy and healthy - minus his cold).
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Sunday, 22 January 2017

10 ways to beat the January blues


So the festive season is over, and we've truly entered January now.
It's a weird kind of month isn't it?! It's a bit good because it's the perfect time for fresh starts and resolutions, but a bit sad because no more Christmas, cold rainy (this is England after all) days and dark mornings and evenings.

The January blues are very real, and they aren't fun. It's very easy to just slip under the duvet and hide away until well March if at all possible, but being adults (and we are adults... for the most part) we have to keep going.

So I've compiled a little list of things for you to try (and I'm going to try them too) to kick the January blues (and the February ones too if required).
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Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Flavour Bombs hit Southampton


I'm having a love affair - and it's with food again! Don't worry, Dann knows all about it. And now I'm going to share with you guys too.

I'm all about new and unique foods, and to be honest, Southampton has really upped it's foodie game in the last month with the new addition of Watermark (I'm just going to keep calling it that, even though it's not really the developments name anymore, but I just do not care). There's new restaurants popping up left, right and centre, from massive chains, to smaller independents, and the smallest of them all goes to Dumpling Dumpling.

However, don't let their size fool you. Sometimes the best things come in the smallest packages, and these packages are packed with flavour and love.
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Monday, 16 January 2017

Defrazzling this New Year


I'm not really into the whole new year, new you speal, but I do think there's something quite poetic about using the new year to improve yourself. The new year is also the exact time that everything that bugs you, really gets to you. Maybe it's because you no longer fit in your jeans from too much festive food (which is just far too upsetting) or maybe it's the fact that payday is just so damn far away, but pretty much everything makes you stressed to the max - well at least that's how I feel half the time!

So when 'A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled'* by Ruby Wax landed on my doormat, I pretty much read it cover to cover in a matter of days.
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Saturday, 14 January 2017

Henry's seven month update


Why did no one warn me that after the six month mark, every seems to go at lightning speed? I mean,yes, the newborn stage did go by in a whirl of tears, milk and sleepless nights, but six months! Wow the development is insane!

Henry is now seven months old, which I think might just be the scariest age yet if I'm honest. I could cope with having a six month old. That still sounds pretty young. But seven months. It just sounds SO much older,and is definitely on the wrong side of my maternity leave - I'm over half way through now and it's counting down to return to work a little too fast for my liking!

However as much is this mumma is completely thrown by the ever increasing rise of her son's age (I of course knew it would happen, but I was still unprepared!) I have to admit I do love this age.
There's not quite so much guess work and there's way more giggles. Henry's character is really developing and he is becoming a happy and cuddly little soul who adores people. I don't think I could have asked for a better little boy - in my not at all biased opinion.

So here's a little update on the last month (six month update here), now that Henry is seven months old! *weeps*
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Thursday, 12 January 2017

Thai Street Food hits the South Coast (of England!)


You know you've had really good food, like so good you just want to keep eating it forever, even though you know eventually you'll explode and it will be messy. Well that was exactly how I felt after our trip to the new Thaikhun in Southampton's Westquay.

We absolutely love Thai food in our house. Dann loves cooking it, and well I love eating it! I think what really sells it for me is that it is actually really quite healthy, but tastes so good you don't even realise you've eaten a mountain of veggies. Win win!

Anyway, as part of the new Watermark/Westquay development (apparently it's not really called Watermark anymore, that was just it's name whilst it was being built - go figure) we've seen a mix of new restaurants join our city, including Thaikhun. They specialise is Thai street food, housed inside an eclectic bric-and-brac filled restaurant.

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Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Don't bust those purse strings - save money this January


Does anyone else get a little tense around this time after Christmas?
All the festive happiness has dissipated, the Christmas food dwindling, and your waistline has grown three inches at least. And the state of your bank account leaves you reaching for the left over mulled wine.

On top of it all payday feels like it's six weeks away still, and you're rapidly getting into the single digits and on the cusp of eating beans on toast for the remainder of the month. Just as well you put on that extra cheese weight over Christmas, as meals are looking less and less comforting.

Luckily there are a few ways that you can save some money this time of year.
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Sunday, 8 January 2017

You were born an original - stay that way


Originality. It's a funny thing.
A quick google search brings up so many quotations:

"All good things that exist are the fruits of originality"

"Originality is a by-product of sincerity"

"It is better to fail at originality, than to succeed at imitation"

And it's that last one that sticks out to me most.
This blog started out life as a tattoo blog, and tattoos remain to this day, one of my biggest passions. The art as a whole took a bit of a sideline last year due to being pregnant for half the year, and being a new mum for the remainder, but I will be focusing more content to tattooing this year, starting with a bit of a rant. 

I've previously talked about tattoos and originality in this post about copying tattoos back in 2015, but I want to do a little revisit. 
I recently saw yet another tattooist having to call out another on stolen artwork just a day into 2017! To be honest, it makes my blood boil. Imitation is NOT a form of flattery. Whether it's written word, a photograph, an oil painting or a tattoo.
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Friday, 6 January 2017

Authentic Italian at Carluccios


Are you ready for a super foodie post today? I hope so, because this post is carbtastic and will hopefully leave your mouth watering - well that's the intent anyhow.

The best thing for cold winter days and nights, has to be really great food am I right? Especially when it is cooked by someone else. And even more so if it reminds me of travels. Basically I can eat Italian food from dawn until dusk, and a bit later than that too. It's pretty much the perfect food group - yes it's definitely a food group - usually carbs, definitely filling and warming, and reminds me perfectly of my honeymoon which consisted of backpacking around Italy for two weeks. Perfection! 

So we were invited along* to the new Carluccio's in Southampton's Westquay, and I couldn't say no to really good authentic Italian food. And neither can Dann.
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Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Our Christmas Day photo diary

Is anyone else really missing Christmas already? It can't just be me? 
For a lot of people, today is the return to work, so most definitely the Christmas spirit is on it's way out. 

After a lovely little Christmas period, and some well deserved time off, I finally sat at the computer to look through our Christmas Day photos - sorry it would have been sooner but I got knocked off my feet by a nasty headcold over the New Years period - and I decided I just had to share some of our photos, because even if I do say so myself, they are damn cute!! Plus being our first Christmas as a family of three, I felt it needed to be recorded on the blog! 
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Monday, 2 January 2017

Resolutions for 2017


I kind of love New Year. I like setting new targets and planning ahead, and thinking of how you want to change or update something.
It's a time for starting afresh and I'm all about self improvement.

Since becoming a parent I've really looked at myself and how I present myself differently. I want to set a good example for Henry (and any future kiddos) so want to be the best possible version of myself, and I can't think of a better time to start making changes for the better.

My 2017 resolutions aren't hugely blogging based, but will hopefully be reflected and seen in this blog, and in my social media activity too. They've taken me several weeks to compile together as I wanted them to really reflect who I am and want to be as a person.
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