Lockdown Movie Date Night

Who says you can’t have a date night when in lockdown?

Lockdown changed our lives forever, but that doesn’t mean things have to stop… You just have to find different ways of doing the same things you love….

I’d like to say we have date nights often, but really we don’t….the hubby and I work together as well as live together, so as you can appreciate sometimes the need for ‘date night’ can be overwhelming… But as with everything in lockdown- you miss the things you wouldn’t do anyway more. ( Who gets me?) Like we miss going to theme parks – or swimming, or water parks….. Yet we prob only go once a year anyway…. so why the need when in lockdown?…. Well that’s a different story for another day … Back to date night….

Date night in lockdown means choosing what you love the most and creating a new way of doing it, so for us that would be netflix, shisha, movies, snacks. ( I’m sure in Lockdown this is preety much very similar for everyone)

I just wanted to make it extra special for us, and so made a quick pop into the shed to see what I could conjure up……

And conjure up I did…..

Welcome inside my Love Tent. Just how cute and preety did this turn out? So cute I didn’t want to use it and mess things up….

And now to tick off the boxes….

  • Netflix ✔️
  • Romantic Lights ✔️
  • Candles ✔️
  • Popcorn ✔️
  • Drinks ✔️
  • More Candles ✔️
  • More Romantic Lights ✔️
  • Shisha✔️
  • Cushions✔️
  • Did I mention Candles? ✔️

I think I’ve ticked off the boxes, and I’m sure hubby will be pleased with this. Now to choose the movie, although I do think in the last 3 months we have conquered it all… “Preety Women” it is.

And here’s a few more photos and videos because…. Well why not? Enjoy x

Love and Regards

M11bna

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“Forever Movies” whilst in Isolation

Right so the plan is to get away from all the negativity around us….. you with me? …. Lets try and look at positive things, lets try and think of how we are to make things better for us, and how we are to play with things going forward… my next sets of blogs will be around this type of content, (unless good ‘ol Boris gets on my nerves again)

Very soon a hell of a lot of us will be in isolation, ( some of you may already be in isolation) and this isolation will either be 7 days or 14 days accordingly.

It sounds so perfect on the outside, no schools, no work, waking up late, staying in pj’s all day………..but for me it sounds like torture!! I cant do it, I am already loosing my head thinking of it, I love routine, I love my freedom, I love fresh air, and I love…… not having my family in my face all day…… “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” and that shizz works better for me….

So the first thing I have done is created a list of what I call ‘Forever Movies’ ( actually I don’t know if I call it that, or I have heard it somewhere) the reason why I called them forever movies is because….. well … you can watch them Forever… as in over and over and over…..and the plan is to watch one a day… minimum…

Here’s my list: (make sure you do your own)

  1. Pretty Woman (1990)

Genre: Romance/Comedy

Julia Roberts and Richard Gere. This movie is everyone’s ‘Forever Movie‘ How can it not be?!

2. Basic Instinct (1992)

Genre: Drama/Mystery

Sharon Stone and Michael Douglas. What a powerful combination. What a powerful movie. What a powerful message.

3. Indecent Proposal (1993)

Genre: Drama/Romance

Demi Moore, Robert Redford. This is a Heart Stopper.

4. Cruel Intentions (1999)

Genre: Drama/Thriller

Sarah michelle Geller, Reese Witherspoon, Ryan Phillipe, Selma Blair, Joshu Jackson. Can you get a more beautiful cast?

5. Goonies (1985)

Genre: Adventure

OK OK I know this ones a wildcard but I always remember my childhood when I watch this, so its on my list, Im not going to bother with the actors name- I dont evan know who they are. Classic film for me.

6. Big (1988)

Genre: Fantasy/ Drama

Tom hanks (he’s in isolation right now) so I will watch it in memory of him. This one usually comes on at christmas time, I am going to try and stay away from the christmas movie….. but on this occasion…. just for you Tom!

7. Con Air (1997)

Genre: Thriller/Mystery

Nicholas Cage, Steve Busceni, John Cusack. Love this movie! Always in my hit list.

8. Notting Hill (1999)

Genre: Drama/ Romance

Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts. Need I say more?

9. My Best Friends Wedding

Genre: Drama/Romance

Julia Roberts, Dermot Mulroney, Cameron Diaz. If it’s got Julia Roberts it’s a winner….

10. Four weddings and a Funeral (1994)

Genre: drama/romance

Hugh Grant, Andie Mcdowell. I think I have something for Hugh Grant, and I think I just realised it whilst doing this post.

So that’s my top 10. I chose these from like the 100’s I had, I will definately be revisiting these if I go into isolation. Along with all the Harry Potter’s obviously!

Let me know what your ‘Forever Movies’ are, I may need to add more to my list.

Stay safe

Love and regards

M11bna

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Christmas in Bicester Village

Hi All, How was Christmas??

I had Two weeks off work, and I did…… absolutely Nothing and enjoyed every moment of it.

Christmas for me usually means ‘Shopping!!’. But we all behaved this year. Just one day in Bicester. That’s All. And I promise I have deleted all my favourite shopping apps off my phone. Nearly into the second week of January and Im still going strong…… fighting the urge…… its really hard. But Im doing it.

Its not because I cant shop, its more because at this time of year I end up buying stuff I dont need. Ive still got a hoard of clothes from last year that I havent evan worn yet (and dont know if I will) .

So when the hubby said shall we go Bicester Village tommorrow, I knew it wasnt a good idea, but sat in the car with a smile on my face. This time the condition was that I was NOT driving at all though.

We went with a plan in our heads…… We werent going for shopping…. it was just a day out, because we were cooped up in the house since the school holidays, and had conquered so many series on netflix. We needed to get out with a week left before school started. So a nice day in Bicester village, one item each and doughnuts, Thats all. I was after a wallet (Another one! Yes. Ofcourse. Always another one). My Boy was after a pair of jeans. The younger Boi a jacket, and the Hubby…. well should I say it really? Really? Lacoste…. seriously still waiting on the Loyalty card!

And how did it go??

Well a little like this:

Hmmmmm…. Productive Day. Dont you think? But in all fairness. We got bargains!! so Why not? (still trying to justify it to myself)

For those of you who don’t know or have not been to Bicester Village, it is an absolutely beautiful Designer outlet on the edge of Oxfordshire. And when I say beautiful, it really is beautiful, it’s cute and chic. If the weather is good, you could almost forget you are in the UK at all.

Beautiful village, dressed for Christmas.

And now heres a few bits and pieces we picked up:

From the Hugo Boss Store the Hubby picked up a sports top for himself, and that other ‘red’ top that he claims he will wear for football. (That for sure is staying in cupboard forever!!) Both of these were for £90.

Then we hit the Armani Outlet where the hubby bought this tracksuit for £85. I think that’s a bargain!!

He also managed to pick up these jeans at £49 each

Next up we went into All Saints

I don’t need a coat- but I want one, and this 3/4 coat with toggle on it, was for £84. From £325!! (No longer wanting a wallet 😉)

The shop the hubby was waiting for, although he did well, he bought 6 tops from Cheshire 3 months ago. He received a Lacoste top as a secret Santa at work. (Seriously who gives Lacoste as Secret Santa?!) So he settled for two tops at £37.50 each.

And the Boi found himself two tops at £29 each.

I didn’t know there were two Hugo Boss shops in Bicester, but yup there are two Hugo Boss shops in Bicester, and the Elder Boy found this for himself at £50.

We walked into DKNY. I swear I had no intention of buying anything. Until….. The sales girl had the prettiest of trainers. I just NEEDED them. Perks of it though…. It had £80 written on the label, and when I went to till they charged £48! If only they had in different colours also! Damn!

This is usually our favourite shop, but it was a disappointment this time round. Just got the one top for the younger boi from here for £18.

Cath Kidston had these at £6 each. So picked up a few to give as gifts for little ones in the family

Well we on a shopping spree, already done the damage. Right? Another £17 wasnt going to hurt anyone (but the hubby who’s paying) and I can’t use my pretty new diary without a pretty new pen right? Took out the card one last time…. Listen nobody told him to park outside Swarovski!

So All in All a Note to self: Bicester Village is NEVER a good idea for a Day out unless you want to come back broke

On the way home, we were starving, and decided to hold out until we got back to Leicester. We ended up at Pamson Grill. It’s a traditional Pakistani Restaurant, exactly what we needed to fill our now shopping tired bellies.

The decor and set up inside is so classy

We filled our bellies with a mix grill for starters and papdi chat (which I ate before I took a photo!. I must be been starved 🙈)

And for mains we opted for Chicken Karhai, Lamb Karhai, and Biryani. And we devoured it.

Loved everything about Pamson Grill. Definitely will be visiting again.

Hope you enjoyed our day.

Catch you on the next one.

Love and regards

M11bna

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Fundamentals in a Relationship. Respect.

My friend from sunny South Africa came over, she got married to a South African dude, packed her bags and left…And never looked back apart from her yearly visit for 2/3 weeks in December (Yes. She comes when its freezing. Every year. Tells us its too cold, and goes back to sunny SA)

We always catch up when we see pops over, and it’s really nice because everyone will make more of an effort when she comes.

These Girls are my school friends, and at the age of 36, we are all married, with elder kids. So essentially TRYING to live for ourselves now. I do say trying in capitals because really. We are trying. But it really doesn’t get easier as kids grow older, new challenges come into place. (see previous post of boy/girl friends in a muslim household)

We just started talking about marriage in a general term, and how there are certain aspects to marriage which can make or break you. All of us are still married, not to say we have the ‘perfect’ marriage ( what evan is that?) But we are all happily married.

I mean we all know for a marriage to work there has to be Love. Thats the biggest component, but what exactly is love? And how is the love kept?

It’s kept by further little components, like loyalty, trust, companionship, honesty, compromise, understanding each others needs, respect among so much other factors.

To keep a relationship going, the individuals have to take all of these things into account. And if you are in love, it should all come naturally, it’s not something you’d have to work on….. you would think. Right?

We all came to the conclusion that Secondary to Love- would come Respect. Love is a feeling. And respect- well that has to be earned right? So how do the two go together?

“You cant love a person you dont respect”

How far would you agree with this? Overall it’s a simple statement, and it should be easy, but look around and you’ll see loads of friends, family etc who are suffering from this simple statement. That’s not to say they don’t love each other, but rather the interpretation of respect means different things to different people.

Why did we choose Respect? well thats easy, Without respect all the other factors wouldnt evan make it. We wouldnt commit to someone we dont respect, we wouldnt be loyal to someone we dont respect, we wouldnt evan have proper conversations with people who we dont respect. Respect is a part of life that goes beyond just a relaitionship, its fundamental in all relaitionships, whether that be friendship, parent-child relaitionship, or evan within the workplace.

The problem with the term is what each person defines as ‘Respect’, what can be respectful to one person, may not be the same for the other. The term needs to be broken down and usually this happens after the disrespting of one of the people in the relaitionship. If I put it in the most simplest form ‘Putting the dirty clothes into the wash basket’, now this can be a big issue for one person, yet the other person is oblivious to it. Now a marraige or a long term relaitionship is not going to end over this (I hope so) but its about respecting the other partner enough to know that its considerable to do this little act. (which can save a lot of drama).

This is just a simple example, it’s the more bigger things in life that cause the issues, and communication is needed to break it down. Another small example from personal experience: Friendship groups. Your partner may not like your friendship group. Or vice-versa. So how would you deal with this. You love your partner, you love your friends.

Personally as much as I’d like to ban him from certain people, the reality is that’d be disrespectful off me. If this person is creating a toxic relationship between the two of you, then implications need to be made, if not, then you have to trust that your partner knows whether it’s right to be friends with this person or not. So grind your teeth, leave the sarcasm for another day, and don’t forget to say ‘have fun’ when they leave.

But once again these are things that can be overseen, it would be fair to say that without respect love can essentially start wearing off. If we go back to the friendship example, if I decided that my husband should never go out with these friends, or have any communication with them, he may start loosing respect for me. Or if he decides that regardless of my feelings he will continue to go out with people who obviously have a implicit agenda in breaking the relationship, I would start to lose respect for him. When one half of you starts loosing respect for the other, the tearing down process starts, this can build up in a number of ways, not just friendship but general everyday living of life, and it can lead to a detrimental postition in the relationship.

Our end resolution came down to the key in all relationship is ‘Communication, Communication, Communication’ If you don’t like something- say it. If your not happy – say it. But never ever try and possess or control your other half. Allowing the other person to assess and understand for themselves how much of an impact a certain act has on a relationship shows growth and maturity. And sometimes (just sometimes) mistakes make the relationship stronger.

Hope you enjoyed our little chat.

Feel free to give your thoughts

Love and regards

M11bna

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Girl/Boy Friends in a Muslim household

So the thing is… I’m a Muslim…Proud Muslim, with the values, roots, practises and beliefs. I am also an Indian so the cultural aspects and all of the rest of it is also embodied in me. And I’m also British- so I’ve been schooled here, college, university, work the whole cycle…

And I’m sure I’ve tried my best to instill the same values in my boys. On the way to mosque, my Boy asks me, “Mum, would you like… Loose it if I was walking with a girl?, or you or someone else saw me walking with girls?” My son is 16.

Now, going back to when I was his age- meaning 20 years ago- I wouldn’t dare ask my mum or dad that question- it was not a question to be asked, it wasn’t debateable. The answer was “You NEVER should be seen with a member of the opposite sex unless it’s a parent or sibling” that’s not to say it didn’t happen obviously it happened, but it was all about where you were, how public you were, and the whole keeping respect thing….. And pretending you don’t EVER talk to boys! Oh the shame should anyone see you and gossip about you.

So I didn’t know how to answer that when he asked me, not because I thought it’s wrong, but how do I explain the whole culture thing to him when we live in today’s society. My boys are born and bred here. I’d probably laugh if anyone came to me to say that my son was seen around females, but what if the news got to the elder generations? How would we deal with it then? How would they respond to it? And where is the fine line between chilling with females and having a girlfriend?

The absurd thing is, he continued speaking “… We were walking, and the girls saw the Boi (my younger son) and they ran off, so when I asked them why? They said it’s because the Boi might tell your mum. You’ll get into trouble”.

That’s when I started thinking, I really haven’t had a proper conversation with my son… And the fact that he’s asking me this, means he doesn’t know where he actually stands with the situation. So while hes wondering why they ran away, hes never assumed hes doing anything wrong, but hes also puzzled as to why he would get into trouble.

I answered by saying that me or his dad wouldn’t have a problem with it at all. As long as it’s a group of people, then it’s fine. I think it would trouble me if it were just two of them- him and a girl, and if there was any hint of intimacy. That I wouldn’t tolerate (indicating very clearly that hes not allowed to have a girlfriend girlfriend….but a girl-friend is fine- you get me right?) And then I explained how others in the community would feel towards it, and how he should respect that not all parents think in the same way. Obviously the girls that ran away had reason to, and therefore he should respect that they have a different understanding in life as opposed to him (I was quite shocked at this, I thought my parents generation was the last of the generation to have this mentality)

Right- so I know non- Muslims are looking at the fact that I told my 16 year old hes not allowed a girlfriend. Yes. I did. And Yes I will, because hes not allowed Islamically. And my boys go to mosque and are brought up in a Islamic household and in all honesty they know this anyway. It’s not something they will argue over, but whether they choose to do it behind my back is another question entirely. As a Muslim parent I’ve done my part.

But I question whether this is the right way of parenting? I mean if my son was ‘caught’ (can you see the language we use! I’m ashamed of using it myself! ) With a girl- my mum would call it bad parenting on my part as I wasn’t strict enough and keeping an eye on him. And my mother in law would be ecstatic and ask me when we would be holding the wedding!

I wouldn’t want it to be either way, I’m not getting my 16 year old married, and I’m definitely not a bad parent…. Or am I?

Going back to the beginning- I said I would never ask my parent the same question my son asked me, well why? My parents never spoke to me in the way I speak to my children. They never have. And they probably wont. I remember seeing my parents as elders, and people who have rights over me. My boys however are my friends, we have laughs, we joke, we wrestle, we cuss each other, we flick each other in the head, and we embarrass each other in public- by Purpose. So is my parenting style wrong?

Now the thing is- this got me thinking… What if I find out he does have a girlfriend? What would I do?

Islamically the answer would be marriage. Culturally I need to lock him up and throw away the key and deprive him of all communication (yes. That’s no lie). And as a British woman- just let him have fun.

So where do I stand with this- because all of it go against each other? The good thing is- I don’t have to think about that… Yet. But it still worries me.

The reality is I would NEVER get him married at this age! (Is it even legal?). So would I stop him from seeing her? (Hes bigger and taller than me! So I don’t know how I would manage locking him up (that’s a joke!!) ) but I definitely wouldn’t encourage him to continue.

So how do I stand and how do I face this problem as a British, Indian, Muslim?

Would love and appreciate your thoughts on this.

Love and regards

M11bna

Is Man Flu a Real thing?

In comes the hubby, breathing heavily, dark eye circles, face dropped, holding his hand to his chest “It’s Man flu” he said,

“What? Flu? ” I responded,

“Man flu, Man flu” he responded so confidently

“Urm.. Is that a thing?…uh…”

” That’s what the Doctor said”

“Are you sure the doctor said MAN flu?” I asked in disbelief. Surely he’s taking the piss? And surely my husband knows what Man flu actually is? Does he?

He grabbed the hot water bottle that I had ready for him and made his way upstairs to bed.

My heads frazzled, Man flu! Man flu, the doctor said Man flu, is that a thing? I always thought Man flu was over exaggerated flu- suffered by a man…. So is the doctor taking the piss, (are they allowed to do that?) Or is there a condition called ‘Man Flu”.

I wanted to laugh, but what if I’m wrong? So before I decide to take the piss, I go onto Google,

Yup. I am right “A cold or similar minor ailment as experienced by a man who is regarded as exaggerating the severity of the symptoms”. This made me realise how much a person of authority has power, the doctor totally took the piss out his patient, and the patient believed him- because he is the ‘Doctor’.

I’m not so sure the doctor should be saying these things, especially because the hubby has taken him seriously, and calling everyone and saying he’s got ‘Man Flu’ ultimately making himself look bad. I’m in so much shock no one corrected him yet….. Seriously guys he’s not that scary! but I guess the good thing is we can have a laugh about it.

I mean this is just flu we talking about, We all know that if men had to carry babies, the human race would be extinct by now. Luckily for us and especially the Men, responsibility of that lies on the women. (*eye roll*)

But then I decided to research more- you know how it is, it starts off with researching for flu, ends up browsing with a full shopping basket, and empty bank balance… I’ve not put card details in yet, but it’s coming.

Dr Kyle Sue, a Canadian doctor, has found that men’s immune system is less resilient then a womens immune system, and that is due to testosterone in men with supresses the immune system, whilst a womens sex hormone boosts the system, allowing them to fight the flu and also overcome it more quickly. (Sounds like Freudian shizz to me).

And Dr Kyle Sues suggestion for recovery: “Perhaps now is the time for male friendly spaces, equipped with enormous televisions and reclining chairs, to be set up where men can recover from the debilitating effects of man flu in safety and comfort.”

I see you all reading that again, and again, and over and over. Trust me I did the same. I’m also on google, trying to find out where this imbecile lives so that I can throttle him. (If you do find out. Do let me know- and it would be an even bigger pleasure if you’d join me.)

Needless to say Dr Kyle Sue, obviously at one point in his life has been told he is suffering from …. Man flu, (the female version not the scientific version). And couldn’t handle it. (Testosterone and that)

And luckily for us, a lot more doctors believe that the flu is gender neutral. So Dr Kyle needs to move onto something new. (Can you hate someone you don’t know?) I suggest he carries a baby!

Going back to the Man flu though, my best remedy: Night Nurse. Overdosed for 5 days straight, so they just sleep through it, because seriously this man flu affects the whole household.

And now that Dr Kyle has ruined my day, I’ve added even more things to my shopping basket. Ready to check out. Hope you enjoyed the read, let me know your thoughts.

Love and regards

M11bna

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48 hours in Portugal with Mama Bear

Originally born and bred in Mozambique , my mum’s sister was coming to Portugal for a holiday. Being only a 3 hour plane flight away from us, she asked mum to ‘pop’ over to see her. Mum has alot of commitments, and therefore doesn’t actually go out much at all. My grannie being the age of 93 and visually impaired requires 24 hour assistance, and dad and mum’s lives rotate around her and her needs.

Dad mentioned to me that mum needs time out- and this was the perfect opportunity for me to take her.

Sorting all my own responsibilities at home- I got the hubby to look for flights for a weekend away to Portugal for me and mum whilst my aunt was there. Accomodation wise I was advised that my aunt was renting a 2 bed apartment in the city of “Odivelas” and that the 2nd bedroom was free for us to use.

Mum’s Younger Sister

We booked our flight with easyJet for £69 return and jetted off. There was alot I wanted to do and see in Portugal. I have never been before- but this trip was purely for mum- I had told myself that on this trip to do everything mum wanted regardless of how I felt as she’s never really given that opportunity at home, also I hardly get to spend time with her myself as she’s always busy running around after the family. This trip was for her.

So we had 48 hours in Portugal, what did we do?

Odivelas

The question is of all the cities in Portugal, they chose Odivelas. Why Odivelas?

When the civil war broke out in Mozambique in 1977, my mum’s uncle sought refuge in Portugal, and the town Odivelas. This is where he made his home, and also built a mosque. With the majority of the population of people in Portugal being Christian, and following Catholism this was very challenging, and a very controversial thing to do. Yet he was adamant and pursued. Although her Uncle is no longer here, the mosque still stands, and is a extremely popular in Odivelas. Mum had an ambition to visit it daily, and so did my Aunt. So they chose an apartment round the corner from the mosque so that they could pop in as they willed.

Majid Aishah

The one bad thing about staying in Odivelas is- everywhere you need to go is by car. So be prepared for loads of Uber costs.

1. Pasteis De Belem

Ive always wondered my whole life who I’ve gone after. After I met my Aunt. My question was answered.

All I remember is my Aunt ran out of the moving  car and towards this building in an extremely busy road- nearly got ran over- and left everyone hooting at us because we had to do an emergency stop. We watched her dissapear in the rear view window of the now moving car.

My mum was having a heart attack- whilst I looked at her in Awe. This is something I would do (maybe not in front of my mum but yes) I’d risk it all if I needed to tick something off in my bucket list.

Everyone in Lisbon knows about the ‘natas’ (Portuguese tarts) at this place- and if your not from Lisbon- you’ll know by the queue outside that there is something special about this place.

At one point in the queue I told my aunt to get the ‘natas’ from the bakery nextdoor as we only here for a couple of hours and I really didn’t want to spend half a day in a queue. Let me put it this way- the queues are a testament to the food. It is unbelievably good.

The inside was beautifully decorated. You could tell it was a old building, yet decorated very artisticly. With tiled wall in the colour of the logo. It has tried to keep its originality. The building is made up of interconnected rooms all of which are huge, airy and very spacious. It seats up to 500 people at a go- and still there’s a queue!

We ordered the natas and ‘Bolinhoes de Bacalhau’ basically Codfish cakes. The Bacalhau- dried and salty cod fish is another speciality of Portugal. I don’t think you can go to any Portuguese restaurant and not see Bacalhau in the menu. And the Bacalhau- in Portugal is definately different to the codfish we get here. It’s very rich in taste, and yes you can smell the fishy smell, whilst eating it, but yet it’s very tasty and it is dry! (Hence loads of juices on standby)

The natas with the crispy outer shell, and warm and creamy custard centre were divine, the best I’ve ever had by far.

If you do go here- do make sure you walk around- there’s a little window where you can view the natas coming out of the oven, and being put away. It is said that they sell up to 20,000 natas a day. That’s only natas. They’re menu does have alot more on offer.

I managed to sneak into the kitchen. Here’s a quick glimpse before I got escorted out.

Also this place is the most reviewed place on the internet in Portugal. With trip advisor getting over 10,000 reviews showing that if you haven’t been here whilst in Portugal, you haven’t been in Portugal at all.

And because it was so good. I packed up some natas for all at home.

Monastery of Jerónimos

On the same street as ‘Pasteis De Belem’ further down you will find the Monastery of Jerónimos. A Monastery built in 16th Century, using ‘Manueline Architecture’ which uses palm trees, vegetables, artichokes, ropes and ships in its detailing. The Manueline Architecture is unique to Portugal.

Entry is 10euros, however because of our short stay, we decided not to go in. Being such a tourist area, there are loads of vendors selling stuff, and loads of general touristy things going on, so a stroll here is nice.

Roasted chestnuts
Cute and quirky drinks spots.
picturesque buildings
Beautiful gardens

Costa de Caparica

The Costa de Caparica is a long stretch of beautiful, clean, sandy beach.

Strolls with Mama bear

We sat and watched the surfers, and soaked our feet in the warm salty water. We spent half a day here as it was just beautiful and serene.

Beautiful apartments outside of the beach front shaped as large ships.

Whilst here we ate at the famous

O Barbas

With a beautiful view of the ocean., And known for its fresh food we ordered grilled sardines and (not to forget) Bacalhau.

The Bacalhau- came with boiled potatoes and green beans.
And sardines came with boiled potatoes.
Bread and salads come as standard


The portions were quite large as you can see, and you could smell the freshness of the food. Definately a place to revisit to try other dishes.

Vasco de Gama Bridge

One of the longest bridge in Europe with a length of 12.3km. named after Vasco De Gama – a european sailor who discovered the route between Portugal and India.

It was my aunt’s idea to see the bridge, yet we ended up driving to the other end, here we stopped by ‘Torre de Vasco de Gama’ – basically the “Tower of Vasco De gama’ to drive all the way back. ( Oh. Yes. Sometimes we do the strangest things) .

Torre Vasco De Gama

One of the tallest buildings in Portugal, and also a landmark. At 145 metres tall it’s boasts of it panoramic view of the city, sea and the bridge. Once again named after Vasco De Gama himself.

Outside the Tower.

Shaped as a sail, it’s quite a beautiful building,

Side view with the bridge at the back.

This area is another tourist hotspot, this photo was taken from the aerial cable cars, which can be taken at 4 euros each one way or 6 euros both return. Its a nice ride where you can see the river and scenic views of Portugal.

In this area you also have the Vasco De Gama shopping mall if you would like a stroll, we gave this a miss due to time constraints. Portugal is known for its unique design in kitchen dishes- so I missed out here.

And that’s our trip. 48 hours in Portugal. The evenings were spent in our apartment where mum and my aunt laughed about their younger days. All in all it was a fabulous trip.

Love and regards

M11bna

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Spontaneous trip to Mani and Cheshire Oaks (Part Two)

After our over indulgence of hashbrown and brown sauce we headed off to Cheshire Designer Outlet.

Being just under 4 miles away, it takes us 10 minutes max to get there. Hence why we choose the Holiday Inn at Ellesmere Port with the banging hash browns.

Knowing full well that we wouldn’t be shopping much- as the sales hadn’t started we thought it’d be nice to just see what we could get if anything. If not- a nice stroll will do.

A nice stroll..

It started off steady- just walking in and out of shops. I found myself a wallet from Karl Lagerfeld, and it suited what I needed. A wallet is something that everyone gets fussy about. I need a big coin pocket inside because I forever have change. I don’t know why, but I just do. And this had that. I don’t like too much fuss on my wallets. Plain and simple does it. It ticked the boxes and so it went into the basket.

At £34 (real price £90)

Next we stopped at G-Star. The eldest boy wanted jeans, he wasn’t after G-Star jeans in all honestly. He had seen some in Topshop for £40 which he was going to get once home. Here the jeans were 2 for £95. It would be stupid of him not to get these instead.

We always stop for some doughnuts and tea mid way. And the Doughnut Diner has the best Doughnuts.

Yup, and they taste better!

After our short break -back to shopping again, I was quite surprised that some shops had sales going on, usually at this time of year- you get the normal 20% off, but that’s about it. But alot of the shops had something on top of the 20% aswell.

What we do best

Going in and out of shops, we ended up spending quite a bit of time in Lacoste. I would say 90% of my husband clothes are from Lacoste, and that includes trainers too. He really should have some sort of loyalty offer/ card from them.

And that’s another 6 tops added to his collection. He got all 6 for £267. Not exactly a bargain as in December time it does get alot cheaper, but we do struggle with sizes and colours so he picked it up.

I was content with my wallet, I had purchased one thing- that’s enough for me untill…. I stepped into ‘The Sunglass Hut’. I do have a weakness in this shop- so I really should have known before I walked in, I’ll get something… But today the offer was better then I’d ever seen before… Buy first pair- get second pair at 70% off…

I got both at £136. Usually I pay more than this for one pair. The hubby dearest was so pleased he paid for them. Extra bonus. And I now have my sunglasses ready for my next holiday (hopefully I don’t loose them. I have a tendency to loose or break my frames- it’s not Evan considered news anymore. If my frames survive a holiday, then that’s news worthy!)

My 2 nephews have there birthdays coming up, 3 weeks apart, and the Adidas store had a good sale, they go for football together every Saturdays, so football boots seemed like the best thing to get for them for their birthdays.

Both trainors were for £32, usual price being £40 for the one pair. Another thing added to the Amex.

We also picked up a few bits and bobs from jack and jones for the boys at standard price- just to top them up.

So all in all we had a very productive day, more productive then we thought we would (no complaints off me).

We then headed off to fill out bellies. Shopping is exhausting and almost like a workout. We headed off to none other than the famous Wilmslow Road. We wanted to try something different. We almost always do, so we told ourselves whilst walking around let’s see what we find and decide….. We ended up in our normal spot. Antalya Cafe.

It’s Lebanese food. So can’t go wrong and we know it’s good food.

We had lamb chops, chicken tikka, chicken shawarma, and chips, and it was just as good as it’s always been.

And then we made our way home.

Seriously? When did chiverly die? Like he wants a nap while I drive home? Who does that? What happened to driving the woman around? We got something wrong when we asked for equal opportunities. Driving should have been left to the men.

All in all – a spontaneous trip cost the hubby just under £800. I’m up for going next weekend too! Hehe

Love and regards

M11bna

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Spontaneous trip to Mani and Cheshire Oaks (Part One)

Sitting peacefully at home, with nothing to do on a Friday evening, Friends series playing on netflix for the umpteenth time, and the hubby shouts out “Get in the car- I need to get out of here!” …. Doesn’t happen to you? No? Weird? Yes? Well he just did that.

Within 20 minutes me and the boys are sitting in the car, one pair of clothes each in plastic bags awaiting our adventure.

I can see we are driving towards the motorway- but where are we going? It’s not my birthday, it’s not an anniversary- not the boys birthday- should I ask?

“Can you check on your phone if they have a room at Ellesmere port babe?for tonight”

Oh. So it is a random trip. Nothing planned.

I fish out my phone and have a look. I know exactly where he wants to go. It’s our favourite Christmas spot for shopping in Manchester, and it’s the Holiday Inn at Ellesmere port. And he wants to go in October?! Ok. I’m not complaining. (I hope our December trip is still on?)

There’s a double room available for tonight for £105 and that includes brekky. Perfecto. I pull out my Amex and start punching in the numbers.

By the time we reached its well past midnight.  We hit the pillows and snore away.

The Holiday Inn at Ellesme port is our favourite stop spot. We always come to this hotel, rooms are clean and big, and it has a swimming pool (we didn’t take any costume as didn’t know where we were going) and it’s in a beautiful location. Set at the port it’s very scenic

On a beautiful day it’s nice to have a stroll on port

And the main reason we come here is …. The hasbrowns. Yup you heard correct. Hash browns. They are always soooo good! So crunchy yet soft. Oh my! It’s a must (I sound crazy I know- but if you go, try it and tell me!)

By now I’ve worked out the plan. We going Cheshire oaks designer village for a day of shopping. He sure is in a good mood.

I’m wondering whether it was a good idea to wear these 🙄. Too late.

So after indulging with our tea and hash brown with brown sauce overload, the hubby took raisins and sat down, I don’t think I’ve ever seen him eat raisins? I asked him “since when do you eat raisins?” He answered ” I do eat raisins.”

No. Can’t be true, I don’t eat raisins- I’ve not bought raisins in the 18 years I’ve been married to him, so I just watched him eat in wonder. He eats raisins. Evan after 18 years I’m learning something new.

Stay tuned for our day at Cheshire oaks what we bought and what we ate.

Love and regards

M11bna

P.s. Still struggling with the tooth! And I’m in India!! Loads to come

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CarBoot with Pops… It’s a Date.

“Make sure you wear jeans and trainors” he said before he put the phone down. Im starting to think this was not a good idea.

The hubby was going for his “Poker Weekend” ( I think you’ve figured by now that he’s poker obsessed) basically group of men, hire out a cottage- and play poker all day and night- for a full weekend. Crazy right? Ye I think so too. But I’m not complaining, that means a full weekend of me doing nothing. And when I say nothing. I mean nothing. The last time he went away I finished the whole of ‘Money Heist’ series on Netflix over the 3 days/2 nights. (You have to watch it! Sooo good!) The most I do is get up to answer the door to the takeout from deliveroo (I really am awful!).

But this time I called the pops and told him I’m free if he needs me for anything… And he tells me we should have some time out together. Just me and him. A Date with Pops.

I was looking forward to this, I think I really needed this. Not had a pops date in years. Ye we get together, I see him once a week minimum with everyone else in the family, but never alone. I receive atleast 20 videos/ messages from him throughout the day. Each day. Every day (*rolls eye*), which i never bother to open but send a 👍 just so he thinks I’ve watched it. …So I was excited. Untill ….

He tells me he’ll pick me up at 8 in the morning and that I should wear my trainors!

Doesn’t he know that I’m a afternoon tea type of person? With anxiety and a cuppa in my hand I awaited the beep of his car horn. At 8 on a Sunday morning (big yawn).

I’m not usually use to being driven around- apart from the hubby when we go on our family trip. I’m usually the driver. Evan when I go with my mum and dad. I drive. So today felt nice being driven around. (Good start Pops)

And where did he take me?

Yup. We ended up at Croft car boot sale in Leicester. A 20 mins drive away from my home. “Let me know if you want anything ma, it’s on me” he said and made his way through the masses of junk everywhere….

Initially I was reeling inside, I woke up early for this? I could’ve finished off Harry Potter and the Half blood Prince at home- I was watching this last night but fell asleep half way through. (I’m the type who watches this over and over and over ) Oh God. I was so glad it wasn’t raining!

But then I started enjoying myself. People sell anything and everything, like literally. And everyone is so friendly. Couple of them knew the Pops- as he did his rounds and said hello. Baskets were going for £1.50 and above. Where was this place when I was doing my event planning. I could’ve saved a hell of alot of money.

I ended up stopping Pops to go see stuff, it was quite funny because pops didn’t know what I would make of it.

Then I saw these above, I just remember laughing and I just had to take a picture. These are the gift bags you get when you travel on first class flights on British Airways. It’s a gift bag by ‘The White Company’.The hubby had the privilege of flying first class on a trip- and I remember he brought back 2 of these for the boys (he asked for another one from the stewardess) . We were fascinated. These lovely travel pouches- and inside was socks, eye masks, comb, toothbrush, toothpaste. Absolutely lovely little gifts…we were so fascinated. The boys kept them, and use them when we go abroad, And here’s boxes and boxes of them at £1 each. I wonder where the bloke got them from?

This is what you get inside each pack.

We carried on walking up and down each aisle, then I spotted these

The absolute love of my life. Books. 3 for £2.50. some of them were brand new. I just had to have them.

Some of the stuff was amazing. Like tables for £5- these are usually £40 inside stores. I didn’t need it, but I sure was tempted. If I had the space, I defo would bought 1 or 2 or maybe more.

It definately worked out to be a great date. Thanks Pops, and I’ll definately be going back…. Maybe not so soon like. But I will be going back.

I’m actually thinking of doing a clear out myself and make a day of it one day. The stuff people were buying and selling, I’m sure my junk will go….. It’ll have to be with the Pops ofcourse. Let’s see when the weather gets better.

For now I’ll be catching up with these. Can’t believe I got the lot for £5. And if their not good. I’ll put it in my box for my next car boot sale.

Love and regards

M11bna