Day 29. Be so good they can’t ignore you.

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Good morning lovelies! 🌸✨ How are you today? Are you motivated for a brand new week ahead?! The sun is shining and the skies are blue here this morning which has instantly put me in a good mood! When we were in Windsor yesterday, a lady stopped me to say “you’re hair is fabulous, I’d die for hair like yours” 🥰💕 & it really made my day so I passed the act of kindness on, and told the girl who served me in Superdrug how stunning her make up looked, because it really did! What acts of kindness have you done lately? Sometimes the smallest little comment can really make someone feel good about themselves.

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Monday’s food diary:

Breakfast – Porridge! Made with coconut milk, topped with granola, frozen raspberries and chia seeds! – 200 Calories 💓1 Litre of sugar free strawberry water 💦🍓

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Lunch – 204 Calories ☕️⭐️1 Litre of water

Mid afternoon snack: 68 Calories 🍿

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Dinner – Chicken fajitas, lettuce wraps and couscous! All this for 245 Calories wahhhh😍1 Litre of water

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Total calorie intake: 717 Calories 🌸

Going to have some salted caramel chocolate covered rice cakes and a cup of tea in bed tonight whilst watching 24 hours in police custody! They’re 80 calories each and I’ll probably have two because, why not?!

Loads of love,

Sinéad x

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Date day 🔐

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I took Tazmyn out today for a “date day” as we don’t really get the chance to do it in the evening. I told her to choose wherever she wanted to go and we’d go. When she said Windsor I think I was secretly hoping she would choose Marco Pierre Whites steakhouse as we have been there a few times and it’s amazing, but nope, she chose Nando’s didn’t she. We had a lovely afternoon though, even if I do think I’ve caught hypothermia now!

What do you get when you go to Nando’s? I feel like Nando’s is sooo overrated personally but I know everyone loves it! Especially my wife. I had a chicken wrap, with chilli jam and grilled halloumi, with sides of creamy mash and spicy rice! It was nice and I enjoyed it. The Windsor Nando’s is always so so busy though!

We did some shopping too, I got us a bath bomb each from Lush and we got a few things in the body shop too! Tazmyns really into the seaweed range at the moment, I think we pretty much have every seaweed product the body shop currently sells! Whenever we go to Windsor we always have a look around Daniels too, it’s a big department store and really really lovely! 💗

The main part of Tazmyns date day, was the ice cream date. I told her I’d take her for an ice cream date at Christmas so we finally got round to doing that today. We went to Creams cafe in Windsor and would highly recommend it! Tazmyn now wants to go all the time 😭🤦🏻‍♀️

I had a crepe filled with sliced strawberries and covered in chocolate sauce and sprinkles with a side of cream, Tazmyn went for a waffle with Nutella, chocolate fudge pieces, kinder bueno and chocolate sauce! I don’t think she could have ordered anything more chocolate-ey if she tried! We both had a slush puppy too which was really nice!

I hope she’s had a really lovely day today, because I know I have! On our way home we stopped in Waitrose right by our house to pick up a few things for the week, not that we’ll need to eat again tonight that’s for sure!

It’s so good to get into a warm toasty house, with fresh pyjamas on and the heating whacked up high! Tea & snugs for us tonight.

Sending love, wishing you all a positive week ahead!

Sinéad Anna Chalke x

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Butterflies and boundaries

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Your favourite colour is red and your lucky number is 11, because that’s the date of your birthday. You talk in your sleep and you take videos of me whenever I’m pissed off about something. You only have coffee to dunk your biscuits in, you never actually drink it, but you still say I make the best coffee. You like horror movies and I love romance. We compromise by me having two hour baths whenever you want to watch silence of the lambs. You stick your bottom lip out whenever you want something and you give Gracie way too many treats. Do you remember that time you ran over a squirrel in your car when we were on a drive one Sunday? I was so mad at you about it. You set alarms on your phone for everything and you’re super organised. You make lists and I’m pretty sure your browser history is 90% Asda because you’re always on the bloody website! I cook the pasta and you make everything else. That’s just the way it is. We hate Ikea. You take longer in the bathroom than I do. I call you Tazzie when I’m trying to piss you off. I like looking after you when you’re not well. You’re the thortful one, but I’m learning. You pretend to love strictly come dancing just because you know I do. I love you for that. You keep me sane in airports because I hate them. You’re so calm and level headed. You are the reasoning behind my madness, I’d be lost without you. You win on the scratch cards, I never do. You remind me I’m almost 30 every day of my life. You’re more excited about it than me. We love garden centres and anywhere that has a cafe. I don’t like your driving and you tolerate my singing. We laugh at the same things. We like the same food. You look up the menu on your phone 3 days before we even book the table. I love the way you talk to my cat. I got chewing gum stuck in your hair the first night you ever stayed over at mine and I found it the funniest thing in the world. You like your bacon extra crispy just like me. I hate the way you hold a carrier bag or how long you take to make decisions, but you always end up making the best ones. We shower together. You refuse to wash up but you love to cook. You’re clumsy. Your Manchester accent is really bad. You fancy Emelia Fox and I think I’m okay with it. I still don’t like silent witness though. You said I looked like Kim Kardashian on our wedding day, I think I’ll always remember that. You’re silly and you’re so funny, I always get a tummy ache from laughing so much. You’re the big spoon. I made you love tortellini. We don’t believe in diets. Life is meant to be filled with all the things you love. We love food. You’re stubborn but soft inside. You have put up with so much in your life, and you have the patience of a saint. I never admit it but your music taste is better than mine and you always have the best songs. I am your biggest fan and you are mine. You’re always cheering me on and in my corner, no matter what I do. My love for you holds no bounds, I just hope you know that.

Tom Kerridge’s Sticky Pork Chops.

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I have the best wife. One of her many, many talents is her ability to cook, and the fact she really enjoys it too makes it even better! Tonight she made the sticky pork chop recipe from our beloved Tom Kerridge Cookbook! It’s a low calorie meal and there’s not an overwhelming amount of ingredients that are needed which is always a bonus!

Okay so this recipe serves: 2 people

Calories: 420 per serving.

Ingredients:

Pork chops/pork steaks (with all fat removed)

Olive oil spray (we actually use fry light!)

For the marinade sauce:

4 tsp tomato ketchup

1 tsp maple syrup

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp English mustard

1 tsp cayenne pepper

For the slaw

100g red cabbage shredded (we couldn’t find fresh red cabbage anywhere so settled for carrot!)

100g white cabbage shredded

1 tsp white wine vinegar

2 tsp Greek yoghurt (0% fat)

Method

1. Heat the oven to 240°C/Gas Mark 9. Line an oven tray with baking parchment.

2. Season the pork chops on both sides with salt & pepper. Heat a griddle pan over a high heat. Spray both sides of the chops with the oil spray (fry light). When the griddle pan is smoking hot, add the chops and cook for two minutes on each side or until well charred. Set aside on the lined oven tray.

3. For the marinade sauce, mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl.

4. Coat the chops in the sauce, on both sides. Cook on the top shelf of the oven for 10 minutes or until cooked through.

5. Meanwhile, mix together all the ingredients for the slaw and season with salt & pepper.

6. Remove the chops from the oven, serve with the crunchy slaw.

We actually had homemade potato wedges with ours! Tazmyn is a pro at making chips and wedges, they’re super yummy and slimming world friendly too, if you’re on slimming world that is! (I know a lot of my readers are!) 💗

Dinner was delicious! I’m a lucky girl having a wife who is so good in the kitchen that’s for sure!

What did you have? I can’t believe it’s almost Friday. This week has flown by, probably because of how super busy we’ve been!

Sending love, as always

Sinéad Anna Chalke x

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Tonight’s tea – winter warmer 💕

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It was Tazmyns turn to cook this evening and after a pretty full on day, it was lovely to sit down to something really comforting and hearty. We still have snow, although it’s clearing up now, it’s like an ice rink in most places. There’s nothing better than getting cosy in your favourite pyjamas with the heating on and having dinner.

Tonight’s tea was sausages, swede, mushy peas, sweetcorn and onion gravy. Just what I needed!

We used the British pork with caramelised onion sausages from Waitrose, they’re really full of flavour and yummy! £3.29 per pack of 6 and part of the 2 for £5 deal which is pretty good. We got another pack that we’re going to use later on in the week!

What did you have for your dinner? 💗

Love,

Sinéad Anna Chalke x

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The Olde Bell inn Hurley: Review

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So we just spent the most amazing weekend at Tazmyns favourite place ever, which is The Olde Bell in Hurley. This was actually a Christmas gift from me to Tazmyn, it’s what she really wanted so I was super happy I could surprise her with this. We have been lucky enough to stay at this hotel four times in total and each stay has never let us down. I thought I’d combine this blog post with a review of the hotel for you guys as there’s really so much to this luxurious 5 star hotel and we all know I love to give credit where it’s due, so here goes!

History of The Olde Bell Inn

Probably known for being the most well known building in Hurley, The Olde Bell first opened its doors in 1135 AD, as a guest house for visitors to the near by Benedictine Priory.

Some notable guests have included Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Cary Grant & Errol Flynn.

The Olde Bell has had many owners during its long history, but despite its many changes of ownership, it still keeps to the traditions of St. Benedict, that true hospitality be provided to travellers and strangers.

My personal review & experience

Okay so we’re locals to this beautiful hotel, with it being just a 10-15 minute drive from where we live. My mum and dad actually had their engagement party here in 1987, and more recently Tazmyn and I attended the wedding fayre here just a couple of years ago when we first got engaged. The Olde Bell is the most fantastic wedding location, if you’re looking for a barn style wedding with the shabby chic feel. The wedding fayres take place regularly throughout the year too and are definitely worth paying a visit to, all information about that can be found on their website which I’ll link you to at the end of this post.

Our first stay here was in 2016, the weekend of our engagement. Tazmyn surprised me with a luxury night away & she just so happened to have chose here! Situated right in between the beautiful town of Marlow and the picturesque Henley-On-Thames, is this beautiful, historic inn that bodes so much character. Since our first stay back in 2016, we have been lucky enough to return a further 3 times and each stay has topped the last.

This stay however, was of course for Tazmyns Christmas present so we were both really excited. We arrived at around 1pm and although check in isn’t officially until 2pm, the member of staff at reception was super helpful and offered to take our luggage for us, whilst we waited in the bar area until our room was ready. During this time we decided to have lunch in the hotels restaurant which was really busy with lots of guests but we still were given a really lovely table very quickly.

We both thought the menu choice was really lovely, and to some, the price of some of the dishes may seem a little expensive, however The Olde Bell does accept tastecard, should you have one and want to use it, which of course would then bring down the price of your meal quite considerably by 50% so well worth using if you do have one.

So for lunch, I chose the roast beef dinner, of course I did.. what else would I order?! Tazmyn went for the fish and chips. Both meals were served really quickly which was a bonus as the restaurant was busy so we did anticipate having to wait a while, but fortunately we didn’t. I also asked for extra gravy with my roast dinner too which was no problem for the staff at all, & this was accommodated really quickly too.

I’m going to be honest, because aren’t I always? Whilst I think the presentation for Tazmyns fish and chips is lovely, I do feel like the roast dinner could have looked a little better. For £18 I would expect it to be presented nicer, perhaps on a different plate, I’m not sure how exactly but the meal itself looks like something I could cook at home and for the price, and coming away for the weekend to a luxurious hotel, I would want that theme to be spread across into the restaurant also but maybe that’s just me. Presentation aside, my roast beef was gorgeous and tasted perfect. The gravy was really rich in flavour and I couldn’t fault the meal at all what’s so ever.

For pudding, Tazmyn ordered the sticky toffee pudding which was served with custard and ice cream! And for me, the apple crumble tart, served with calvados cream (life changer I’m telling you!) best dessert I’ve had in a really long time!

After lunch, we went back to reception to check in to our room and we were really lucky to have been given a little upgrade! Our room was 11, which is located in the main building, so not far to walk at all. The staff couldn’t be more helpful, they offered to take our bags and literally couldn’t do enough for us.

Our room was stunning. Equipped with a super king size bed, (always a winner) a walk in shower which is definitely big enough for two people (tried and tested!) plenty of wardrobe space, a vanity table with mirror, tea and coffee making facilities, both still and sparkling bottled water, a TV, and bedside tables. Inside the room is also a welcome pack from the hotel, with all the relevant information you should need regarding the hotel and the local area which I think is really lovely for those who are visiting and not familiar with what there is to do locally.

Breakfast is always a bit hit & miss with this hotel which is a little annoying. During the busier months of the year, the hotel offers a hot buffet of both continental and cooked breakfast, and during the quieter periods, breakfast can be cooked to order from the breakfast menu provided, in addition to the continental style buffet that is beautifully set up for you to help yourselves to at your own leisure.

For this particular stay, we were pleasantly surprised to find breakfast menu’s at our table in the restaurant as well as the continental buffet set up. We much prefer ordering from the menu, as we feel the hot food is a lot more fresh that way.

We both ordered a cooked breakfast which came relatively quick so we were happy about that, however the sausages were not edible due to the taste of them being incredibly cheap and we didn’t like the egg either, as it tasted like it had been microwaved. Such a shame because we have experienced first class breakfast at this hotel before so it’s just really unfortunate that we were able to find fault on this occasion. The staff did offer us alternatives but we chose to stick to the continental buffet and fill up on toast and cereals and fresh fruit instead which was lovely.

Tea & coffee is also provided as much as you like, to your table so you don’t need to get this yourself.

If you’d like to check out The Olde Bell, you can find their website here.

Give them a follow on Instagram too for all the latest updates of what’s going on.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post/review. & I hope my darling wife has enjoyed this stay as part of her Christmas present! 💗

Sending love,

Mrs Chalke x

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11pm thoughts.

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I read something on Instagram earlier that I loved so much, I googled it and read it over and over again. The words are so powerful that I wanted to share it here on my blog.

Most people get married believing a myth that marriage is a beautiful box full of all the things they have longed for: companionship, intimacy, friendship etc…The truth is, that marriage at the start is an empty box, you must put something in before you can take anything out. There is no love in marriage, love is in people, and people put love in marriage. there is no romance in marriage, you have to introduce it into your marriage. A couple must learn the art, and form the habit of giving, loving, serving, praising, of keeping the box full. If you take out more than you put in, the box will be empty.

With a heart full of love,

Mrs Chalke xx