Writing up a birth plan | A what plan.

A birth plan, is basically having no plan. When researching the “perfect” birth plan I came to realize that actually the plan really is not in my hands but the hands of my unborn child and whether or not they want to come out one way or another. ( I mean I know they can only come out one way) But these days there is so many options in the hospital on how you can deliver the baby that when telling my gran she was shocked back in her day it was a swing of booze and a scream. Not to sure how the NHS will look at me if I start swinging back a GNT before doing the final push that’s for sure.

So as any new mum to be I came onto the internet in some hope that I would come across a dream plan and be like right I will just do this but the more I researched and went down the rabbit hole of pinterest and all these plans people had done I was a) More unsure about anything and b) totally in dismay about the length of detail some people had gone into.

All I knew at this point was that I had a preference in my head and if that couldn’t happen for whatever reason then I just want what is the safest healthiest and easiest way for my little one to be delivered. As long as they are okay then I am okay after all its little ones show her debut into the world lets make it a good one.

So I know I just mentioned above a preference and that is that I would like to have a water birth. I didn’t really need much convincing on this form of birth, All I know is that I am a massive water baby I love being in water whether that’s a pool somewhere exotic ( Dreaming of the the sunshine in Rio) or my bath tub back in the heart of zone one London. Water just relaxes me as I assume it would any one and when I typed into google “Water birth” it said exactly that…

“Choosing to give birth in water can increase relaxation and reduce the need for medical intervention and is used by almost one in three women for pain relief during labour.”

So no brainier right. Wrong along with choosing what type of birth you’d like you then have a series of other things to think some are relatively straight forward for example..

Companions And the question being would you like your partner or companion(s) to be with you during labour ( Yes or No).

Birthing equipment Now this one shocked me I didn’t really know anything about what Birthing equipment you could use. So I would defiantly say go and have a look now before answering this question or not knowing what is on offer. I Would not want any one to miss out if it means a beanbag or a wall bar gets thrown in the mix.

Positions for labour and birth Now I do feel like my younger self would be like yes.. to half of these position they offer but seeing as my knees crack walking up the stairs these days I was like why don’t we just play it safe. You can choice from various positions and I am not sure how your local hospital would do it but when looking online position you could choice from where as follows.

back propped up by pillows, to be standing ,sitting kneeling kneeling on all fours squatting or simply lying on your side 

Midwives, nurses and doctors in training : This one was pretty common Midwives, nurses and doctors need to observe women in labour as part of their training. They assure you that there will always be supervised by a senior health professional but the question is whether or not you would want them in with you. I mean as long as they’re not looking at me like ” Why is she pulling that face or why is she constantly snacking” then why not I am all for educational purposes I may have a few questions myself.

Pain relief options I hear you behind that screen, “Now were talking” well pain relief was actually one I wanted to look into in detail. Being a first time mum I do not know what to expect pain wise, does anyone really when they’re going into this blind. However There are many different pain relief options. I found out that Some women use a combination of methods and that you may find that you want more pain relief than you may of planned, or that more effective pain relief may be advised to assist with delivery. What got me was that you can use a number of different methods at different times. So Pain relief options to look at that I saw was

breathing and relaxation being in water during labour and/or birth massage,acupuncture,TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation)  gas and air (entonox) ,pain-relieving injections epidural 

Lastly as I feel like this blog post has gone on long enough that you probably already have had the baby by now is Vitamin K for your baby . I will not lie I didn’t know that Vitamin K was an option but I do know that it is needed to make the blood clot properly. Some newborn babies have too little vitamin K so it may be suggested that your baby be given vitamin K either by injection or by mouth however like I said this apparently is optional however I know that if Its going to help the little one then I am all for it. (Just another read up before prepping your birth plan).

Anyway I hope that has helped you, I know that reading more information on the birth plan helped me more then the hours spent down the rabbit hole. If you have made it to the end of this blog then thank you and I hope that you have a safe and healthy delivery and that your maybe a little bit more clued up then I was before writing this post.

Until next time

Lots of Love

Em

With Love From | Our Latest Arrival .

Hey it’s been a while, a long while and I am so grateful that the fellow readers have stayed and as for the new readers that have joined. Welcome on board to jumpseatjournals. Actually talking about being on board We have some exciting news for you all.

By now most of you have probably seen that we have done our pregnancy announcement on Instagram, but if not…we will be having our littlest member joining our crew come September! Words cannot describe how excited we truly are!! And how blessed and grateful I am that I will be starting a whole new chapter with a new little best friend by my side and fellow travel companion.

I will be doing a series of blog post to the lead up of our little arrival including the glitz the glam and the not so pretty stages that have been my pregnancy so far and I can’t wait to share it all with you.

Until then

Lots of Love

Em

WITH LOVE FROM VENICE | FIRST VACATION AFTER LOCKDOWN.



I am not a morning person, however when I know I am about to go on vacation I am hundred percent up at the crack of dawn tea in  one hand passport in the other and out the door I go.
This morning we had to get up super early to make our way to Heathrow, for those who do not know Heathrow it is the largest airport in England and also known to be the world’s busiest international airport with a plane landing around every 45 seconds. It is also home to my airline which I fly with and therefore when I get to be the passenger I love the fact that I can snoop around in the shops at the terminal and take a leisurely walk to the gate.
So, this morning we had to leave around 05.30, which was super early. From where we live, we can either get a hammersmith tube and then the Piccadilly or the hammersmith and then the Heathrow express.  In this case we opted for the car and then an uber as we were able to park the car near Jays work, However normally I would always suggest the express if you do not like taking your time and always want to be early to the airport it would be the Heathrow express for me. There are many reasons to love the Heathrow express but the fact it only takes 15 Minutes to get to Heathrow from Paddington in my eyes is the number one reason.
We aimed to get to Heathrow for around 7. Our flight was due to leave at 08:50 and although the airport is quiet now, I wanted to still be able to feel the holiday vibes rather than workplace vibes.  I always wonder about the security process especially since covid but I have to say it was pretty quick and easy. A new one at security was that all shoes had to be taken off even converses (Which I was totally regretting wearing.) Once we had made it through, we headed to the lounge to grab a drink and some breakfast. As we were flying out in the club cabin, we was able to use the lounge and normally fast pass security (However this was closed due to COVID).



Our flight duration was a total of 1 hours and 55 minutes, on board we received one of the best services EVER!  When we arrived into Marco Polo (Venice). We was able to connect to the free airport wi-fi and our phones had gone onto the service TIM. However due to the fact I fly around everywhere I have a package with EE where I can use my phone as normal. Once out of the terminal   It was a short walk down to the water bus which had multiple stops however we got of at the Fourth stop which was f.te Nove. The water bus is the cheapest and fastest transportation. (Alilaguna) They operate three boat lines from the airport to various parts of Venice ticket prices varie (8 euros to 15 euros). Once we had got off it was a short walk towards our AIR BNB.
Helpful tip “ Un Biglietto per favore?” means a ticket to, .. Please.
 
 Once we had settled down it was time to go out and get all are bearings before our first ever AIR BNB food tour experience with Natale and Emily. I didn’t take any photos on the tour just because it was their tour so I didn’t want to take any of the experience away however if you are ever in Venice I totally would recommend checking them out and doing the tour we paid around £90 for the two of us.
After eating our way through the small beautiful Osteria’s and drinking more Vino then expected it was time to grab a Gelato and call it a night.
I am not sure if it was the Vino or the fact that he had worked so hard before coming here that we did not get up until noon. Annoying because we had a list of things, we had planned to see at the crack of dawn so that we was not swamped with many holiday makers. Once we had finally made it out, we headed towards a small deli which had been recommended to us on the food tour it was called Ponte delle paste in Dei Tedeschi. If you hadn’t guessed, we came here for a pastry and coffee to wake us up before heading out to explore some more of the lanes in Venice we ended up in an area called Castello which was a gorgeous little neighbourhood , The one thing I have to say about Venice is that it is full of character everywhere we went the building were full of rich colours and locals out in the street having afternoon vino and a small bite to eat. Talking about bite to eat our Lunch was insane we ended up at Campo De Pozzo in an Osteria called ai do Pozzi.
Our evenings were of course the same full of food and wine
Day three was early rises, we woke up at 6 and left the house at 7 to make our way over to St Marks Square. The place was deserted which was unheard of before covid, normally over 30 million tourists would flood to Venice every year and this year they were not even expecting 300,000. Crazy Right! We managed to get all the snaps in even the book shop called Liberia Acqua Alta, which we had gone to the day before but this time had actually managed to go in and have a look around and even take a photo on the famous stairs of books, before leaving and heading back to our place to get ready for the day ahead which would be spent in Burano.
Burano was a bus boat over which took around 45 Minutes. The island was breath-taking, The houses were all different colours and the town itself was small but cosy, you could tell it was well looked after and the community was strong locals all talking to one another lace shops as far as you could see where dotted around the streets along with seafood restaurants and gelato stores. I have mentioned lace stores, so you are all probably like what has that got to do with anything but the legend that “an ancient betrothed fisherman, while he was fishing outside the lagoon, in the east sea, hold up to a siren who tried to entice him by her canto. So he received a gift from sirens’ queen, enchanted by his faithfulness: the siren thumped the side of the boat by her tall, creating a foam from which a wedding veil developed” And the reason why houses are so colourful at Burano was so that the fishermen could see there homes from offshore.
Dinner and sunset on Rialto bridge •
I feel like I am bullet pointing everything in this blog, but the truth is we did so much in the time that we was here that I need to point it or I will ramble on for centuries to come about how amazing and beautiful Venice really is.
Our last day was full of photographs at all the landmarks and having a walk around a neighbourhood we had yet to see before going to catch our night flight back to Heathrow.
In the morning we woke up early (again) but I do recommend you doing this if you want to see all the spots. First stop was Ponte de Maria Callas. I had seen this place on so many Pinterest researches I had done about Venice, so it was rude to not check it out myself, Perfect photo opportunity. Next was only a 4-minute walk away and then we was at Palazzo Contarini Del Bolvolo.
Walking towards the neighbourhood, we had to go over Rialto Bridge. We had already been on this bridge a few times in the last four days one to see the sunset and sunrise. The last walk we had after we had dropped of our luggage at the luggage drop of spot was at San Polo. This is where the station is and where for the first time in four days, we had seen any cars and busses as just over a bridge this is the last place they can stop.
Venice was honestly so beautiful, and right now it is a once in a lifetime chance to go where it is so quiet the water is so clear, and the locals really appreciate seeing a friendly face. I honestly wished we stayed longer but on to our next adventure which is Sicily (Fingers crossed) we do not go into another lockdown. If you have made it to the end of this blog post, then I love you and thank you so much for reading about the adventures of Venice.
Good bye from our Air BNB

Until next time
Lots of Love
Em.

WITH LOVE FROM | FIELDS AND SEA

Last week I did a blog post on WITH LOVE FROM | HIGHLANDS ROAD TRIP and I said that because I could write
about Scotland all day long that I would do this travel blog in two parts.

So, after we had left our day out at Inverness castle and the walk along Ness River. We drove an hour up towards Barns Highland Campsite.

Barns Highland Campsite.

Location: Kinchyle Farm | Nairn | IV12 5NY |

Based on a farm in the Highlands of Scotland, on the banks of the river
Nairn, it is the perfect campsite with its views that overlook the hills and
only a few miles from spectacular beaches. Along with the general campsite they
also offer Glamping pods and other facilities including a children’s park a
nature walks and a communal bothy.

We only stayed there for one night, but I wish we stayed longer and in fact
as soon as we have more free time we will defiantly be going back for longer.
When we were there it was rainy and windy but the sound of that is cosy when
you are in the shelter of the tent with a good cuppa tea.

We had planned for a BBQ just as the weather the last few days had been scorching
and the campsite allowed BBQ’s however as I said it was raining so we decided
to jump into the car and head down to a near village called Fisher town. The
town had a harbour and a sandy beach. Although what with the heavens opening, we
got our fish and chip supper and went back to the car. (Note to self: Eat fish
and chips with the window down next time). As I grew up in the south of England
by the coast I always would say how the fish and chips down there was the best
but in saying that I meant that the fish and chips were the best because in central
London well fish and chips just don’t cut it. This is an ongoing discussion
with my other half seeing as he is Scottish were apparently, they do the best
fish and chips!

Back to the tent, we played card games and tried to finish of watching a
movie we had started earlier in the week obviously this didn’t last long seeing
as in the open air and all that walking had somehow knocked me out.

Waking up to all the early risers was a treat. During the night it had been
really windy so I had woken up a few times due to the tent rustles but come 6
am it seemed like the whole world was wide awake, I could hear fellow campers getting
up and walking over to the wash rooms and some starting up the cars. When I
adventured out of the tent I was greeted to my lovely boyfriend cooking up a breakfast
of dreams ( Potato scones and square sausage) He couldn’t go wrong especially
with the ritual with a cup of tea in his hands to greet me with.

After breakfast and washes had been done It was time to leave the campsite
and head on over to Lossiemouth beach. Now ideally the side of the beach we wanted
to be on was closed due to an unstable bridge and what with all our clothes on
still and picnic we could not exactly swim over to it. So, we had to jump back
in the car and drive 3 miles over to a section of the beach that was in use.

The beach was gorgeous, and the water was so clear, although yes, we did
find a crab and little fish that may or may not have freaked me out. Everything
else was perfect and I was even brave enough to take my phone in the water with
me! We ended our time at the beach with an ice cream before heading back down
to Aberfeldy.

Short and sweet but that includes our little stay-cation in Scotland. I hope
everyone is keeping well and some what getting life to normal. I am still on
furlough until the end of the month, but I do have a surprise up and coming
your way!

Until then.

Lots of Love

Stay Safe

Em

Last week I did a blog post on WITH LOVE FROM | HIGHLANDS ROAD TRIP. and I said that because I could write
about Scotland all day long that I would do this travel blog in two parts.

So, after we had left our day out at Inverness castle and the walk along Ness River. We drove an hour up towards Barns Highland Campsite.

Barns Highland Campsite.

Location: Kinchyle Farm | Nairn | IV12 5NY |

Based on a farm in the Highlands of Scotland, on the banks of the river
Nairn, it is the perfect campsite with its views that overlook the hills and
only a few miles from spectacular beaches. Along with the general campsite they
also offer Glamping pods and other facilities including a children’s park a
nature walks and a communal bothy.

We only stayed there for one night, but I wish we stayed longer and in fact
as soon as we have more free time we will defiantly be going back for longer.
When we were there it was rainy and windy but the sound of that is cosy when
you are in the shelter of the tent with a good cuppa tea.

We had planned for a BBQ just as the weather the last few days had been scorching
and the campsite allowed BBQ’s however as I said it was raining so we decided
to jump into the car and head down to a near village called Fisher town. The
town had a harbour and a sandy beach. Although what with the heavens opening, we
got our fish and chip supper and went back to the car. (Note to self: Eat fish
and chips with the window down next time). As I grew up in the south of England
by the coast I always would say how the fish and chips down there was the best
but in saying that I meant that the fish and chips were the best because in central
London well fish and chips just don’t cut it. This is an ongoing discussion
with my other half seeing as he is Scottish were apparently, they do the best
fish and chips!

Back to the tent, we played card games and tried to finish of watching a
movie we had started earlier in the week obviously this didn’t last long seeing
as in the open air and all that walking had somehow knocked me out.

Waking up to all the early risers was a treat. During the night it had been
really windy so I had woken up a few times due to the tent rustles but come 6
am it seemed like the whole world was wide awake, I could hear fellow campers getting
up and walking over to the wash rooms and some starting up the cars. When I
adventured out of the tent I was greeted to my lovely boyfriend cooking up a breakfast
of dreams ( Potato scones and square sausage) He couldn’t go wrong especially
with the ritual with a cup of tea in his hands to greet me with.

After breakfast and washes had been done It was time to leave the campsite
and head on over to Lossiemouth beach. Now ideally the side of the beach we wanted
to be on was closed due to an unstable bridge and what with all our clothes on
still and picnic we could not exactly swim over to it. So, we had to jump back
in the car and drive 3 miles over to a section of the beach that was in use.

The beach was gorgeous, and the water was so clear, although yes, we did
find a crab and little fish that may or may not have freaked me out. Everything
else was perfect and I was even brave enough to take my phone in the water with
me! We ended our time at the beach with an ice cream before heading back down
to Aberfeldy.

Short and sweet but that includes our little stay-cation in Scotland. I hope
everyone is keeping well and some what getting life to normal. I am still on
furlough until the end of the month, but I do have a surprise up and coming
your way!

Until then.

Lots of Love

Stay Safe

Em

With Love From | Fields and Sea

Last week I did a blog post on WITH LOVE FROM | HIGHLANDS ROAD TRIP. and I said that because I could write
about Scotland all day long that I would do this travel blog in two parts.

So, after we had left our day out at Inverness castle and the walk along Ness River. We drove an hour up towards Barns Highland Campsite.

Barns Highland Campsite.

Location: Kinchyle Farm | Nairn | IV12 5NY |

Based on a farm in the Highlands of Scotland, on the banks of the river
Nairn, it is the perfect campsite with its views that overlook the hills and
only a few miles from spectacular beaches. Along with the general campsite they
also offer Glamping pods and other facilities including a children’s park a
nature walks and a communal bothy.

We only stayed there for one night, but I wish we stayed longer and in fact
as soon as we have more free time we will defiantly be going back for longer.
When we were there it was rainy and windy but the sound of that is cosy when
you are in the shelter of the tent with a good cuppa tea.

We had planned for a BBQ just as the weather the last few days had been scorching
and the campsite allowed BBQ’s however as I said it was raining so we decided
to jump into the car and head down to a near village called Fisher town. The
town had a harbour and a sandy beach. Although what with the heavens opening, we
got our fish and chip supper and went back to the car. (Note to self: Eat fish
and chips with the window down next time). As I grew up in the south of England
by the coast I always would say how the fish and chips down there was the best
but in saying that I meant that the fish and chips were the best because in central
London well fish and chips just don’t cut it. This is an ongoing discussion
with my other half seeing as he is Scottish were apparently, they do the best
fish and chips!

Back to the tent, we played card games and tried to finish of watching a
movie we had started earlier in the week obviously this didn’t last long seeing
as in the open air and all that walking had somehow knocked me out.

Waking up to all the early risers was a treat. During the night it had been
really windy so I had woken up a few times due to the tent rustles but come 6
am it seemed like the whole world was wide awake, I could hear fellow campers getting
up and walking over to the wash rooms and some starting up the cars. When I
adventured out of the tent I was greeted to my lovely boyfriend cooking up a breakfast
of dreams ( Potato scones and square sausage) He couldn’t go wrong especially
with the ritual with a cup of tea in his hands to greet me with.

After breakfast and washes had been done It was time to leave the campsite
and head on over to Lossiemouth beach. Now ideally the side of the beach we wanted
to be on was closed due to an unstable bridge and what with all our clothes on
still and picnic we could not exactly swim over to it. So, we had to jump back
in the car and drive 3 miles over to a section of the beach that was in use.

The beach was gorgeous, and the water was so clear, although yes, we did
find a crab and little fish that may or may not have freaked me out. Everything
else was perfect and I was even brave enough to take my phone in the water with
me! We ended our time at the beach with an ice cream before heading back down
to Aberfeldy.

Short and sweet but that includes our little stay-cation in Scotland. I hope
everyone is keeping well and some what getting life to normal. I am still on
furlough until the end of the month, but I do have a surprise up and coming
your way!

Until then.

Lots of Love

Stay Safe

Em

With Love From | Highlands Road Trip

I am always asked, what is your favourite place? And it is a question I rarely must think about before giving the Answer. When it comes to my three favourite places I have to say “London, New Orleans and Scotland”.

I love Scotland with a burning passion, you could place me anywhere in Scotland and it would be an endless love affair. What with Edinburgh looking straight out of a fairy tale and the highlands being full of adventurous paths and stories that if the trees and mountains  could talk you’d be thrown back in time to when there was nothing but endless land for the eyes to see.

Scotland to me is magical, there is never a point where you are not breath taken by the views and you will always want to come back for more. So that is where we are going in todays travel Tuesday. I am taking us on a throwback to a couple of weekends ago when my other half decided to take us camping up in the highlands along with a small but as I said before a breath-taking road trip experience.

The first stop on our road trip was at Corpach (Fort William). Now a week before we were heading to Scotland, I was on TikTok of all places and I came across this shipwreck which was on a pebble beach on the edge of Loch Linnhe. I had been to Fort William before but had never come across this hidden Gem. So off course we had to go and see it. The shipwreck is on the western end of the (Caledonian Canal). So, we also got to have a glimpse of that as well.

Our next stop was Glenfinnan. We had stopped of in the car park for a stretch of the legs and a walk up what I can only describe to be a steep hill with a few stairs. It also came with a gift shop which If you know me you would know I am a sucker for such things and ended up getting a new Eco bottle. The Viewing point at the top of this Hill came with views to the Glenfinnan Monument ( tribute to the Jacobite clansmen) Gave panoramic views of Loch Shiel and what people call to be the dramatic mountains and lastly the Glenfinnan viaduct which some of you may know from ( Harry potter).

Our last stop on the road trip before we had got to Inverness where we would have been staying for a night before heading to our campsite was, yes you probably guessed it. Fort Augustus or known as Loch Ness. Fort Augustus lays 60 miles along Caledonian Canal and a halfway point between Inverness and Fort William. We did not get to spend much time in Fort Augustus but one thing I can tell you about it is that it gives spectacular views down Loch Ness. On our way down towards the Loch we managed to pull in to see Urquhart Castle, Sadly the centre was closed and there was work fencing so we couldn’t get a good view of the castle for a photo however with the eyes (It was a beautiful ruin that sits beside the loch ness). Founded in the 13TH Century.

So, it would not be a travel blog If I did not mention some interesting facts about Loch Ness. So firstly, did you know that Loch Ness contains more water than all the lakes in England and Wales combined. Making it the most voluminous lake in the United Kingdom. Along with that it is evidential that thousands of visitors come to the Loch every year for its capturing scenery and for a glimpse of the loch’s most famous resident.

After having a splash around in the Loch, it was shoes of, Heating seats on and a quick drive to Inverness where we stayed for the night. Inverness itself was vibrant and buzzing with people. The next morning before we had set of for our campsite, we managed to get a walk around the city of inverness.

One of our stops was Inverness Castle. The Castle is a gran red sandstone building which overlooks the River Ness. Inverness Castle has a viewpoint that offers amazing 360 views of not just Inverness but the Scottish Highlands.

And there we have It the road trip up to Inverness, I will be doing this little break away in stages because if you told me to write about Scotland then we would be here all night and you’ll have to have endless cups of tea to keep you going. If you have ever been to Scotland or even want to go to Scotland. I would love to know where you would like to visit.

Until then

Stay Safe and Keep Well

Lots of Love

Em

With Love From London |

Hey there lovelies, how are we?

With traveling around the globe, it is sometimes hard to appreciate what is straight outside your own front door. Being on furlough and lockdown giving more freedom it was the perfect opportunity for me to explore a peaceful quiet London.

First stop was a short walk through one of eight royal park called Green Park towards Buckingham Palace. It was the first time in years that I had adventured out to the palace and it was surprising to see just how quiet it really was. Somewhere that is normally full to the brim with flashing camera lights and hundreds of people surrounding the gates and the queen Victoria memorial.

Originally known as Buckingham House, the building at the core of today’s palace was once a large townhouse for the Duke of Buckingham in 1703.

From Buckingham palace I then took a stroll through St James Park, London oldest Royal park being (surrounded by 3 Palaces) The most ancient being Westminster which has obviously now become house of parliament and St James park and lastly the one I have just spoke about Buckingham Palace.

Crazy to think that this park had pigs that once grazed here, but it is true over 470 years ago the St James park area was known for Farms, Woods and even a hospital for women.

Next on the list was a walk from St James park to Westminster via Birdcage walk which took around 8 minutes and my stop was St Margaret Church and right from there you can see Big Ben but sadly Big Ben is currently going through a makeover but was still able to walk around London eye.

I was lucky enough to get a table for dinner over at the Madison. A (terrace bar and Lounge). The place is situated on the one new change and it is right by St Paul’s which is why I hopped on the band wagon to get a killer cocktail which was Sunset at St Pauls.

Tower London and Tower Bridge was the last stop on my walk around Central London. The Tower of London was currently closed when I was there, however as protector of the crown jewels and home of the yeomen warders it is a place you must see if you are in town. As the sun was setting it was the perfect time for me to get over to tower bridge so I can see the sun setting over London.

And there we have it all within walking distance and quiet as could be. It was my favourite walk around London and it ended with the most beautiful sunset. I hope you have enjoyed this little read. I would love to know where your favourite place in the city is.

Lots of Love

Em

Beijing With Love

 

I remember seeing Beijing on my roster last year around December and feeling the excitement. I had never set foot in china and have always wanted to. So, with a new city on the horizon and a chance to tick of the great wall of china on my bucket list things were looking good.

 

When in Beijing I had very mix emotions partly because my bank card got swallowed in a machine and the language barrier was a bit hard to translate “that I was stuck in the middle of Beijing without a bank card or data to transfer money over to a different account” but on the other hand I was in Beijing known for The Great Wall The Forbidden City, The Summer Palace and Temple of Heaven and with all that at my feet it became easy to forget about the troubles I was having.

One place I am going to talk about was the great wall of china, from the moment I walked in the hotel it was something I made sure that I could book and pay for. We got lucky and soon found out that we could do the wall in the Early morning, this was so we could miss the rush and get to experience the wall without being shoved around like you would if you was waiting for the central line in the morning rush in the underground.

 

We left at 6.30 am and our driver was lovely he spoke a bit of English which was great help and was able to tell us about the route. He had already had our tickets sorted for us which included a chairlift up to the Wall and a toboggan ride down: WARNING – it was a lot of fun. The part of the wall that we went up to climb was the Mutianyu it is a section of the Great Wall of China located in Huairou District. The Mutianyu section is not only less busy then the Badaling section but is also older, if like me and you love history you will find this incredible.

 

With hardly any one around it almost felt like we had the wall to ourselves. We took the chair lift (which was an adventure as like the wall this is also old.  Our chair didn’t seem to have a foot rest on my side so my feet were dangling in the air for most of it and because of the snow we was all wrapped up so I was terrified to get my phone out in case my gloves let it slip away.

When you get to the top you are almost instantly grabbed of the chair by the workers this is because the chair is continuous and doesn’t stop so it’s a jump and run or a straight back down for you if you miss it experience.

Once up there it was all about the walk and the climb. I say climb because let me tell you this at some point it will get so steep that you’ll be on your hands and knees going up and your bottom going down but its all fun and games and you have the walks up to the watchtowers which give the most fantastic views.

 

After all the fun of walking and the ride back down. After this It was time to head back, we got into Beijing around 13:00 and was ready to go back out and explore with the rest of the day ahead of us.

 

The rest of the day was spent getting on the metro to go to the markets.

I was pretty amazed that I got myself and the crew around Beijing on the metro, the lines were pretty easy once you knew where to go and they was also colour coded just like home so if worse came it was just asking someone where the blue line was. How to get a subway ticket was also pretty simple so when you walk in to some subways they ask to scan your bags and then you’ll pick up the bag on the other side and continue until you came across a vending machine these would be at the entrance of the platform ( well they was for us).  The machined will not accept one yuan banknotes or any banknotes above ten yuan so just make sure you have the right money or you may need to end up buying two ( One for you and someone else).   Money we found out they do except is one yuan coins and Five yuan and ten yuan bank notes however if you do find yourself in that predicament than worry not because the person at the window can exchange your money if needs be.

In total there is 3 lines. Line One (East West Line) Line Two (Circle Line) and Line Four. (Anheqiao North). We spent the rest of the day jumping on and of the various line checking out markets and other tourist sites.

 

 

And that it a highlight of my trip to Beijing.

Hope you have enjoyed reading up on it.

Lots of Love

Em

The Switch | Book Review

Hey Readers, this month’s book review was dedicated to the switch by Beth O’Leary, The author who had a huge success with the flat share and an author who makes me feel so captivated with her words and the whole story line in general. The Switch her second novel provides the perfect reading material and has especially got me through these uncertain and anxious times in lock down.

The Author- Beth O’Leary

The Story Line –

So, the story line is based on two characters One is Miss Leena Cotton and the other is Eileen Cotton. Without giving to much away Lenna cotton lives in London and  is known as an overachiever which is why when she gets ordered to take a two month sabbatical after an issue at work she has to get away and in doing so ends up at her grandmother Eileen’s house .Now Eileen is newly single and about to turn eighty. She would like a second chance at love, but her tiny Yorkshire village does not offer many eligible gentlemen. Hence the Switch. Life will never be the same again for either woman, the new adventures, love, and challenges in their lives offer them the opportunity to process and come to terms with their grief whilst allowing them opportunities to evolve their identities

I will leave the story line there because I would hate to give too much away.

The Genre

  • Romance
  • Fiction
  • Contemporary

 

 

The Review-

 

O’Leary has such a remarkable talent when it comes to writing mixing wit with charm and humor whilst having created the kindest of characters who you cannot help but feel attached too.  With chapters being about one another it was amazing to get the two-point view across! I must say I was always happy to get to Eileen’s Pov. The book is a page turner all on its own and you cannot help but want to get to the next chapters just to see what happens next. A light-hearted book that touches on so many personal subjects. It was a perfect read to get me through this lock down and as a massive fan of Beth O’Leary work, I was so excited and happy for her for producing yet another incredible novel.

 

 

If any of you have not already read the works of O’Leary, I suggest that you do. And if you have then let me know in the comments what you thought of this book and if you could recommend any other books for the upcoming months.

 

Lots of Love

Stay Safe

 

Em

 

Okra + Green Bean Gumbo | Prawn

Hey Readers, how are we all today?

Since watching Princess and the frog yesterday on Disney+  I was longing for New Orleans and in particular the Gumbo, Food in Southern America is by far my favourite and gumbo is a Southern American dish that contains what they would say is a “holy trinity of veggies” which is normally Onions, Bell peppers and Celery as a base.

 

So, without further I thought I would share the recipe, which I used to make this amazing dish.

 

Okra + Green Bean Gumbo | Prawn

Prep time: 15 Minutes | Cook time: 40 Minutes

Ingredients:

  • Olive Oil
  • 1 Red Onion (Diced)
  • 2 Celery sticks (Diced)
  • 2 Peppers
  • Handful of Okra
  • Handful of Green beans
  • 2 Small Sweet Potato (Peeled and Diced)
  • ½ Tablespoon of Paprika
  • 3 Garlic Cloves (chopped)
  • 400G Chopped tomato (I used a can)
  • 2 Tablespoon of Worcestershire Sauce
  • 800ml Vegetable Stock
  • “Slap your mama” – Cajun seasoning ( You can use normal Cajun Seasoning).

 

Garnish:

 

Because by now we should know how much I love to garnish any meal I make and this one was no different. What I used was the following.

 

  • 2 Spring onions finely sliced
  • Handful of chopped Parsley
  • 1 Red chilli finely sliced
  • 1 Teaspoon of Lime Juice (This was optional you could use a wedge slice if you like).

 

Method:

I heated the oil in a large saucepan. I then threw in the Onions celery pepper and okra and cooked it gently over a medium heat for 10 Minutes, until it is starting to soften.

I moved on to adding in the green beans and sweet potato and Paprika, Garlic to the pan and gave it a little mix this then cooked for a further 2 minutes. Once the 2 Minutes was up it was time to stir in the tomato, Worcestershire Sauce, and the vegetable stock and bring to simmer. I went on to Season with the salt and pepper and let the dish simmer on a low heat for around 25 minutes until everything was tender at this point  you can always add a bit more water when you do the occasional stir if you want the sauce a bit more thinner. We were having crusty bread with ours, so I left the sauce as it was.

Once the meal has been cooked to perfection. It was time to add the garnish.

Oh I almost forgot  the Last thing I did was cook the prawns as this was a last minute throw in, The prawns we had took about 3 minutes in the pan to cook, which is what I did and then added them with the garnish at the end and served it up.

This recipe was a real tummy warmer and would be perfect for them cosy nights in. I will cook it more in the colder months that is for sure.

Until next time, I really hope you have enjoyed this little blog on the recipe of the okra and green bean gumbo. If you have any recipes similar or your go to belly warmer recipes, I would love to see them.

Lots of Love

Em

Scrambled chickpea taco | Peach Salsa

Hey, my loves, how are you?  I have recently really got into cooking so much so that I thought I would do recipes from everything I have been loving. Kick starting is the Scrambled chickpea taco | Peach Salsa. In our household we love having a fajita night so off course I thought I would try out a new recipe without the meat, this brings me to Chickpea taco with a preach salsa side.

 

Salsa:

  • 1 peach
  • Cherry Tomato
  • Coriander
  • Red onion
  • Pinch of salt

 

Scrambled Chickpea

  • Olive oil
  • Red Onion
  • 2 Tablespoon of Paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon of ground cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon of Cinnamon
  • ¼ Tablespoon of ground coriander
  • 1 can of chickpea’s
  • 2 Tablespoon of natural yogurt

 

Method:

  • Prepare all the ingredients for the salsa then stir them together in a bowl and set aside. You can do this over night that way you can keep it refrigerated.

 

  • Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and the onion and cook, stirring frequently. Add the spices and chilli flakes. Tip the drained chickpeas and stir them in to give an over all coat. Once this is done leave a side and get the taco’s ready.

 

And that is the quick easy taco dinner made for two.  It is the beginning of the free from meat week, so I thought whilst the sun is still shining to have a light meal with a hint of summer in it.

What is your favourite Taco or Fajita dish? I would love to know.

Lots of Love

Em