Things I’m Loving Lately – back from the dead!

Life has been flying past us. It’s crazy how quickly time is going by. I haven’t been blogging (obviously) and it makes me sad. I love writing my thoughts down, regardless whether people read them or not. Sometimes I dabble with the idea of just writing a diary now but again, time just gets away from me.

Anyway I thought I’d do an old school Anna The Apple blog…. Things I’m loving lately.


I recently got COVID and it was one of the things I thoroughly enjoyed just wrapping myself up in a blanket and doing (when my toddler allowed me if he was around). I can’t believe I managed to escape COVID for three years and then bang, we come back off holiday and all three of us test positive. I’d felt ill for more days than I would normally and kept waking up with a banging headache so I did a test… and straight away a thick line appeared. And for Kyle and Isaac too. Bad times! But the silver lining was discovering my love and addiction for puzzles.

I just find them so relaxing. The beginning where you’re sorting the pieces, then finding where they go. I just love it. I do it as a break from work or in the evenings when I get a chance, maybe watching a TV show as I go. I’ve so far completed two puzzles and I’m well on my way to a third.

Friarjacks Luxury Flapjack

Through Instagram I won a 2kg luxury Valentine’s Day flapjack and oh my goodness, let me tell you. It was INSANE.

Friarjacks Valentine’s Day flapjack

Chock-a-block full of chocolate, sweets and biscuits. It was so tasty! Kyle and I just ate our way through that thing in the week. It was dangerous to have on the side. But such a perfect afternoon snack with a cup of tea. I’ve since gone on their website and there are so many flavours I now want to try. Perfect present for a loved one who has a sweet tooth.

Naenka Bone Conduction Headphones Runner Pro

I was recently sent a pair of headphones for running from Naenka. They’re bone conduction headphones, so the sound come through your cheekbones rather than through your ears. They sit comfortable over your ears and round the back of your head and thankfully don’t bounce while I run.

They’re perfect for outdoor running when you want to pay attention to your surroundings but also listen to music as your ears are still able to hear external sounds around. This is key for me living in a city because it’s always so busy with pedestrians, cyclists and traffic. It can be dangerous to be fully immersed in the audio and so you’re not paying attention to the hazards around you.

I would say they’re best for music rather than podcasts though if you do live in a particularly loud and busy area because the sound isn’t as loud as it would be if it was a bud in your ear. It can be tricky to hear people talking compared to just listening to music. However in less busy areas where the traffic isn’t quite as heavy, it tends to be fine.

The battery life is great as well – over eight hours! So I don’t need to worry about charging them every other run. Amazingly they’re also waterproof so you can even use them swimming. That’s so cool!

Batch Cooking

I’m a huge fan of batch cooking to make our life easier in the future. This is especially true for Isaac. If I ever cook something for Kyle and I that I can also give to Isaac I just make larger portions so I can put some in little pots and pop in the freezer.

Every so often though I’ll make one big meal just for Isaac and I portion it all off for him. In the freezer I have so many little pots with things like pasta meals, chilli, cottage pie and now chicken pie.

I love doing this because it means in an evening when it’s Isaac’s dinner time I can just whip one out of the freezer, reheat and serve straight away rather than spending ages trying to think and prepare something for him.

Legacy of Hogwarts

I’ve also recently been loving playing the new Harry Potter game, Legacy of Hogwarts, on the Steam Deck (which is basically a handheld computer). Kyle’s playing his own version of the game on the PS5 which is fun as we can both discuss where we’re at and what we’re doing. It’s basically an open world role playing game.

I love open world game because it means you’re not restricted or forced to do certain levels/tasks. You can kind of free wheel it. This usually means I take ages though doing anything as I get distracted with side quests or exploring, but I love it. It’s available on most platforms I believe so well worth a look if you’re a Potter fan who enjoys gaming!

Edith and Blanche

For Isaac’s clothing we mostly use hand-me-downs from friends, peppered with Vinted and charity shop purchases. I’m a big fan of using second hand because for little ones they really aren’t wearing them for that long so the quality is still amazing. I don’t want to be spending a fortune and I want to be more sustainable in our purchases, so it works perfectly. When we do buy brand new items, we want them to be special and items that will last. This is why Edith and Blanche is our favourite children’s clothing (and toys) shop.

For Christmas, Isaac’s great grandmother, Ginny, sent us a voucher for their shop so we bought two items. Beautiful woolen rainbow dungarees and a pair of green trousers with patches on the knees. Both items look so cute and

And that’s my list! I really do need to get back into the groove of blogging… I’d love to do a recap of our Orlando holiday (which was amazing), my running and also a little Isaac update as he’s now 19 months old! But for now I’ll leave it there.

Do you buy second hand clothing?

Do you enjoy puzzles? Or what do you do to relax your brain and body?

**Full Disclosure: I was sent the headphones for free in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.**

Rants and Raves #18

Is it too early to think about Christmas? Yes, yes it is. I do love autumn but I’d still like one last summer hurrah before the coldness does finally set in…we’ll see I guess.

Rave: I am now the proud owner of a standing desk at work now. I’m so pleased as I really pushed for this. To be fair, my company were very accommodating but it did require me to do the leg work (no pun intended) to champion it and find a decent one that didn’t cost the world. Posture Stand

It’s good timing as my original Amazon box was starting to sag…This bad boy is fantastic though as it even has someone to perch your mouse (before I had to put my mouse on my laptop and swerve the keyboard). It was only around £50 as well, and fully adjustable! (It’s THIS one if you’re interested – no affiliation).

Rant: Dark mornings. How easy it was to get up at 5.30am when the sun was already shining outside…now it’s like the dead of night. At least it’s light when I come out of the gym I suppose.


Dark but beautiful I suppose.

Rave: Getting back into playing the Xbox again. I’m a geek at heart and have played console games and PC games since I could hold a controller. My dad’s to blame as he’d always buy the latest consoles and get me to play with him.


Sometimes it’s nice to chill out and shoot a few zombies, crash a few cars and ‘level up’. I can’t believe how much of a geek I used to be back in the day; I played so many games growing up (The Sims, Tomb Raider, Halo, online gaming…). These days I can get bored quite easily, but once in a while it’s nice to waste some time when the weather’s rubbish.

Rant: I seem to have a soap opera life with the cats on my street. The ginger one below has been using this little spot on my front garden (hardly a garden, more a patch of untamed grass…) to chill.


So much so there is now an indentation in the grass where it’s been curled up for hours at end. I’m at peace with it chilling there though as Alfie doesn’t notice it. Bless, Alfie, he’s not the sharpest or most observant dog…

Speaking of cats, there’s one that looks so grumpy it’s almost unreal. I’ve been trying to take a photo of it for ages…I even stroked it and played with it (it seemed really friendly surprisingly) but I could only manage this one:


Someone really annoyed this cat at some point in its life. It’s holding a powerful grudge.

Rave: I’ve got a collection of old designer handbags that I’m aiming to get sell (not really high end brands, but DKNY, Guess and Radley). I put one of the Radley handbags on eBay to sell and didn’t really care how much I’d get and in the end got £28. I charged £5ish for P&P and went to he post office to sell it.

I haven’t sold anything before on eBay nor have I ever sent a handbag in the post. It was all very stressful and complicated and would have cost more than £5. The lady behind the till was aghast though and said she’d give me£50 there and then to buy it from me. I was stunned. I had a little think and decided to hell with it. I said I’d be happy to sell it to her for £40 (£50 felt too much). She gave me cash! Amazing. I did feel terrible having to go back to the eBay buyer and say it was no longer available and they were fully refunded. Sometimes though you just have to go for it!

Rant: This is a depressing and slightly morbid rant, sorry. I don’t talk too much about this on the blog as it’s highly personal and doesn’t just involve me, but I still find being separated from Ben tough. I’m learning how to redefine myself and live my life now as a unit, which is hard. It still affects me every day. I had a moment the other day when I thought (now this really is morbid I’m sorry) what if I have an accident or I’m attacked one evening? Who will know I’m missing? My parents will eventually, but not right away. I don’t speak to them every day. Yes I work with my dad but some days/weeks he’s not in the office and somewhere else in the country (or world) on business. I obviously have friends but it’s not the same is it as a significant other? I mentioned this to my mum and she said she had thought about that too (her spinster daughter all on her own…) and suggested we “check in” with each other each night. Either a text or a phone call just before I go to bed to say “hey, I’m alive”. Jesus, this is how much I’ve regressed 😉 Though we failed the first evening as I forgot and then she text too late as I was already asleep. Whoops.

And just because we’re on that delightful topping of being newly single… I saw a work colleague the other day that I hadn’t seen for like three years. She asked how married life was as the last time she spoke to me was just before the wedding. Ah there’s a great conversation “yeah…not so good actually.” Or even better still, someone who had no idea you’d gotten married in the first place asks what’s new in your life. I mean seriously, what do you say!? You have to laugh at these things really…!

Rave: To end on something lighter… This is Alfie’s meditation face.


I’m pretty sure if I could read his thoughts he was visualising how he was going to overcome the many cats that hound him around my road 😉 “I am strong, I won’t let them bother me”…either that or “I hope when I open my eyes she’s put her camera away”.

On the subject of Alfie, I find it both adorable and annoying that he leaves little bits of food all over the house. I’m pretty sure this is because he thinks someone might steal the food in his food bowl (he’s a grazer rather than an outright meal eater) so he distributes little bits everywhere…just in case.


Resourceful I must admit.

If you have pets, do they do things that are cute but annoying?

What time do you get up in the morning usually?

Do you use eBay a lot? Have you ever sold old things?