Archives for 2019

The Bearaby Weighted Blanket – How Bearable Is It?

Sometimes there are trends that just seem to be everywhere you look. At the moment, it feels like that’s the case with weighted blankets. I feel like my Instagram feed ads are full of them, and I hadn’t really looked into them much until an email dropped into our shared address saying that Alex had bought one. (This is how I find out about a lot of our purchases).

A weighted blanket is a blanket that weighs more than a normal one. I know, you’re sitting there now and thinking I’m an idiot. But it’s hard to explain otherwise! Some weighted blankets are heavier because of the type of material used (such as a knitted blanket) and some are weighted because they are filled with little bits of material.

Alex chose the Bearaby Sleeper for us in the King sized version, and went for the 20-20 version. The logic behind weighted blankets says to go for a blanket that weighs about 10% of your body weight for the best results, and one of the things I like about the King sized version is not just that you can have different weights on each side, but it comes with a zip down the middle, so if only one of you wants to have the weighted blanket, you can just remove the other side rather than doubling up and having the full weight on top of you.

The research into weighted blankets says that it can help with stress and anxiety – I haven’t noticed any change in these, but what it does help us do is sleep better. The weight helps stop you moving around a lot (which is something I am terrible for, and then waking myself up)

The Sleeper is like another duvet, but it’s not too warm on top of our normal duvet which is good! We have it inside a normal duvet cover, but I’m looking at the sheets that Bearaby sell, as they have a zipper that goes all the way around the blanket – a major thing I feel like I need!

(side note: Why don’t bed sets in the UK have a top sheet to go between you and the duvet, because that is the best thing about bed sheets here)

It took a few nights with the blanket to get used to the weight, but since then, I have slept through the night much more often (when I would normally wake up at least two or three times)

The downside (and this is pretty much the only slightly negative point I can think of) is that it’s heavy – obviously – and this means moving it around is a bit of a pain. I took these photos in our spare room and felt like I was weight lifting as I carried the blanket between the rooms! The weight also makes it difficult to get the duvet cover on – if you hate changing a normal duvet, you’re really going to hate this. The weight also makes it difficult to move around in bed – which is obviously the point and still something I would say is a plus point – but it makes it difficult to get into a comfortable position (especially difficult with my knee still not at 100%)

Would I have chosen to buy one of these myself? Honestly, probably not from just the articles and adverts that you see around.  Would I want to go back to just a normal duvet + sheet combo for sleeping? Nope.

If you’re on the fence, check the place that you buy your blanket from will accept returns but you probably wont want to return it after a few nights!

Soup Sunday

Back when we were in our fourth year at uni (I took an optional year in employment and everyone I ended up in a house with did a year in employment as part of their degree), we used to have soup parties where we’d get together and eat soup that someone made. It was cheap and easy to scale but it’s so delicious! 

One memorable soup I made was leek and potato, but there was at least 10 people around our little PJM table. It was pretty yum, but I don’t recommend using a cheap stick blender – I had one that was £3 from Argos and my arm vibrated for an hour after that. And it was still lumpy!

I haven’t made leek and potato soup since but now I am a grown up with things like blenders that can make nice soup, I made it this weekend and it was so good!

This recipe made about 2 litres but it will freeze – it just didn’t last that long in our house! 

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 4 leeks, chopped with the top green part discarded
  • 3 mediumish sized potatoes, peeled and sliced or diced 
  • 1 ginormous onion, chopped 
  • Veg or chicken stock*

(The recipe I used said to use stock to boil the potatoes, but I’m not sure I would do that this time. Since I used chicken stock paste, I would probably add that to the reserved cooking water afterwards before adding to the blender)

Melt the butter in a big pan, and add the leeks and onions. Fry until they’re brown in parts and soft. 

Remove the leeks and onions from the pan, and add some boiling water, enough to cook the potatoes

Cook the potatoes until they are soft enough, then strain, keeping at least half of the cooking water. (How much to keep depends on how thick or thin you like your soup)

Mix the potatoes with the leeks and onions then add them to the blender (in batches if necessary!) Add in the reserved water to your preference

That’s it! You can add in some cream or creme fraiche, but I like to add grated cheese and let it melt on top.

6 Ways To Celebrate Galentines From Afar

…or how to deal with long distance friendships.

Pro tip: if you’re going to have a tiny wedding with your two best friends, at least try to get more than one photo with them.

It’s hard. I’m not going to sugar coat this for anyone who’s wondering what it’s like to move halfway around the world, knowing only one person (and y’know, I’m married to him, so does that count?)

I obviously want to meet people here in Seattle and Bellevue, but I still want to keep up my friendships back home! The best friendships are ones where you might not see each other in person for ages but when you do, it’s like nothing has changed and I am lucky enough to have a few of those. Social media has been useful for this, but it can also create a little FOMO (especially when my blogging pals are going to an event that I would have been invited to!)

I love the idea of Galentines, not just because I am a little (a lot) bit of a Leslie Knope, but because I have never seen the point of Valentines just being for romantic relationships.

Here are a few ways that I celebrate my awesome friends

Learn time zones

Knowing the difference between time zones has never been that much of an issue for me, because Alex would travel so much, so I was used to thinking “ok, it’s 4pm here in Bristol, so it’s 8am in San Francisco” but I’ve had to remember the other way around since moving. The world clock feature on my phone is really useful but the thing that has really helped is putting a thing on my Apple Watch which shows me the time in the UK.

Send them something that only makes sense to you two

Honestly, if I am talking to a friend, it’s fairly likely that it’s going to involve an inside reference.

Send them a text to say hi

It’s always nice to get a message randomly, it just makes you smile! I have friends who prefer to do a voice memo than a text but the sentiment is the same.

Send something in the post

I love putting together little parcels to my friends back home (which basically just end up being full of sweets and Pop Tarts) – if it wasn’t so expensive to send things home, I’d be sending so much more!

Make a date to watch a TV show you both love and talk all the way through it on Messenger

I do this with a few friends with The Good Place – I watch it when it airs at 9pm PST (which is 5am back home) then they watch it while I’m asleep because Netflix is awesome and has it straight away, then we can talk about it when I wake up. I know me and the bestie will be doing this for iZombie, assuming UK Netflix has it as soon as it airs here. We are huge Veronica Mars fans so we send each other little clips that we find (ok, mostly topless Logan gifs, no shame)

It’s not really as good as marathoning it sitting next to each other on the sofa (there is a dance to “We Used To Be Friends” which has to be done every episode, so I’m hoping the new series will have the same theme tune) but it helps to make the distance less painful.

Hype them up

Probably more useful for those friends who are bloggers and influencers, but I love introducing friends from home to people I meet here – not just because I like introducing people who I think will get on, but the more I can do to persuade friends from the UK to come and visit Seattle, the more likely I can get them to bring me some decent chocolate and bags of crisps ?

I would love to hear about any ways that other people deal with this sort of thing!

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