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Wanderlust movies

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 Wanderlust ‘a strong desire to travel’ Oxford English Dictionary definition. 

Every now and then when I need a little bit of motivation, inspiration or cultural escapism I find my self snuggled on the sofa, ready to be propelled into travelling my wildest adventures, living a life as a vagabond, whilst wondering the world with littles in tow.

Here are my top five favourite wanderlust movies, to feed my creative, artistic and globe trotting senses.

1. Eat Pray Love

I really love the break away from the norm and follows your dreams perspective. A vision, a prophecy, intuition perhaps, just making you pause, reflect and change direction. Or is the change of direction always where you’re heading anyway? This film conjures up for me questions about fate.  Is our destiny already written or do we create it? Most of it all it reminds me that being honest and true to yourself is most important. I find it a real feel good and uplifting film. Who would not want spend time eating their way through Italy, meditating in India and I’m sure I would actually fall in love with Bali.

2. Vicky Christina Barcelona

I already have a love for Barcelona, and was fortunate enough to visit a few years ago. Watching this film makes me want to transport myself there again in an instant! I am captivated by the intensity of passion conjured up from the spell that Barcelona casts over the characters. The scenery is stunning and the artistic nature of some of the characters evokes a desire to be creative. I love the soundtrack, the Spanish mix of guitar sounds is very romantic and weaves a beautiful tapestry for the film. I can’t wait to visit Barcelona with my children, and revel in Gaudi, Salvador Dali and Gothic art and architecture.

3. The Beach

I remember the first time I watched The Beach. It was quite a poignant moment in my life because I was on my first ever flight abroad. Moby’s Porcelain mesmerised me and it was then as my teenage self that I realised just how vast the world was, and that I could travel and marvel at it’s beauty. Island life lured me in and I was sold…well only for as long as Richard was. Without actually experiencing it my naïvety was exposed and there on that flight my angsty self understood the cliche ‘all that glitters is not gold’.

4. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

This film has me in stitches, as I just adore so many of cast. I first watched this film on a balmy summer’s evening when my parents had come to visit. India appears so enchanting and I would love to visit there sometime.  I imagine I’d have such a spiritual experience. The idea that wanderlust is ageless too is so beautiful, the desire to acquire new experiences never fades. A sequel possibly, is very exciting.

5. Midnight in Paris

I have to admit that I don’t usually enjoy films that involve time travel, but oh how I would have loved to have sat in the sultry smokey cafés of 1920s Paris, admiring literary legends like Hemingway and appreciating Picasso’s avant garde artistic flair. It’s the nostalgic mix of eccentric characters set against the ever romantic Parisian backdrop after midnight that is so incredibly alluring. I visited Paris as a child on a school trip and remember taking a boat ride along the river Seine, it’s amorous charm intrigued me then, as we sailed under the Pont-Marie I knew I’d want to learn more of its secrets.

Please feel free to recommend any of your wanderlust favourites too. I’ve never watched Before Sunrise, Before Sunrise and Before Sunset but hope to soon.

Stella xxx

PS I seem to have a penchant for Woody Allen films. X

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Ssssh! Duck don’t wake the baby!

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Ssssh! Duck don’t wake the baby’ written by Jez Alborough has been in my head all day. It’s actually my life motto right now, duck being replaced by Boo or Daddy usually. It’s a firm favourite in our house and we’ve had it ever since Boo was a baby. Squeezing in housework, helping with homework, cooking dinner, and just trying to have ‘thinking time’ are just a few of the gazillion things that I try to squeeze into Roo’s nap times. Sometimes, I feel myself saying “no, don’t play with that,” “turn that down”, “no put that away”… Each phrase usually rounded off with “don’t wake the baby!”. It can be really frustrating for little ones to understand, just like poor duck in the story! So once Roo has gone to bed, I try and have a little bit of time with Boo just to read a story together. ‘Ssssh! Duck don’t wake the baby’ has been plucked from the bookcase quite a few times recently. We love Jez Alborough’s quirky illustrations, the beautiful colours and onomatopoeic pop up page. Duck is truly a loveable, humorous and kind-hearted character, who just like my daughter really tries to be helpful and not wake the baby but…

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Have you read any of Duck’s other adventures?

Stella xxx

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Pizza Party

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If there is one piece of advice I wish I’d been given before Boo started primary school it would be this ‘Never underestimate how many parties you will attend!’. I really enjoy them but wow, there are so many going on! Until this year we hadn’t really thrown a birthday party before. Previously we had been on family adventures to Longleat Safari park, for her fourth birthday, Bewilderwood, for her third birthday and for her second birthday Colchester Zoo. We did have a small family get together to celebrate when Boo turned one but nothing too crazy.

Anyhow this year we decided, well Boo decided as she pleaded for one, that we would host a party. The good thing about going to so many parties and her birthday being ever so slightly later in the year is that I get to see what works, what doesn’t, what the children enjoy and what they expect.

We decided to have a Pizza making party at our local Pizza Express , it was so hard knowing who to invite and completely impossible to have all her class friends and friends from outside school, that we made the very hard decision to invite just some class friends and her two cousins. Ok so a bunch of four/five year olds, tomato sauce, dough and toppings, recipe for disaster right?

Wrong! It was such a fantastic experience for all  the children, to make their own pizza from scratch. They happily and eagerly decorated their chef hats, put on their aprons and marched off to the toilets to wash their hands. The children rolled their dough, smothered on a tomato sauce base and chose from a selection of fresh vegetables and meats to top their individuals pizzas.

After much hard work they were rewarded with dough balls, followed by their own pizza and finished up with a scoop of ice cream. The behaviour was amazing, they were all so absorbed by what they were doing that there was not any time to get bored and be silly. It was so lovely to see them all create a pizza of their own and they were all tasty! We had a Little Miss Cake for Boo and all the children received either a Mr Men or Little Miss book, a cake pop, a pot of bubbles and a pack of playing cards in their party bags.

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I would thoroughly recommend a pizza making party. It was such fun and a super learning experience for the children.

Stella xxx

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Simple Summer salad

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As soon as the weather hints the slightest glimmer of Summer sun, I’m all about salads. This chicken salad was super easy to create, tasted amazing and was even a hit with my daughter.

Ingredients
Chicken breast
Harissa paste
Feta cheese
Rocket
Cherry tomatoes
Cucumber
Giant couscous

I simply coated the chicken pieces in Harissa paste, I used a minimal amount as it is quite pungent! I then cooked them in a tiny bit of oil on hob. Whilst the chicken cooked, I soaked the couscous as per packet instructions and chopped up the tomatoes and cucumber. Once the couscous and chicken were ready, I tossed it all together in a bowl, along with some rocket and crumbled feta through.

For my daughter, I also made a little dip of Greek yoghurt, cucumber and mint, just to take the edge off the Harissa chicken.

Simple! Enjoy

Stella xxx

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gift giving

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Simple gift giving

This year for my daughter’s 5th birthday, I finally managed to do something that I’ve wanted to do for ages, but always been sucked into buying unessesary amounts of gifts. It’s a simple gift giving philosophy that I’ve seen on many blogs before but I really love the concept. This year we threw her a party too so I knew there would be a ridiculous amount of gifts coming her way and it really can be overwhelming.
This is what we decided to get her;
Something you want
Something you need
Something to wear
Something to read

Stella xx

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Coveting this…

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I’ve never purchased a jumpsuit before, but I really like this one from Zara. I think the whole taking it all of practically to go to the toilet thing has put me off previously. This one definitely caught my attention though, the colour is gorgeous and I like its simple, fuss free design. I think it’ll definitely be going on my wish list.

Have you ever worn a jump suit?

Do you like them?