Year with the CrossFit and Paleo Avocado Ice Cream

Just over a year ago I booked my trial session at CrossFit Cantii and I haven’t looked back since. It’s the best thing I ever have done!  Ok, it’s the best thing I have done since I started to write my age with number 4 (like 34 🙂 )

If you want to know what is the CrossFit, just Google it, there are plenty of blogs, web pages, YouTube videos around, which can put it in the words much better than I could.

Or take a look at this video

I’m training most of the week at 6.30am , which means getting up 5 or 5.30 am and that is the most difficult thing in CrossFit for me. Once I’m in the box (that’s what you call the gym in CrossFit 🙂 ) its all fun and laughter 🙂 Ok, I struggle through warm-up, which intensity is similar to the workout I used to do before starting CrossFit 🙂 followed by some kind of weightlifting workout or practicing gymnastic skills. I love weights, never thought, you can get hooked to doing weights, but I did and it makes me feel total ace! And we are not talking about weights what “will help you get toned” – total rubbish you read from lifestyle magazines,  it’s serious stuff and after squatting with 60kg and more or deadlifting near 100 kg (my PB is 130kg :)), nothing seems impossible rest of the day. And then  there is WOD (Workout of the Day), it can be 10 minutes long or 20 or 30, but one is sure it challenges you in the best possible way.

CrossFit is so much more personal than going to the gym. It’s like meeting up your friends and have a good chat every morning. We are encouraging each other doing better in the workouts and it really helps, when you feeling just giving up in the middle of grueling workout.

My training buddies :)

My training buddies 🙂

It pushes you out from your comfort zone and makes you want to try things you always said you can’t do or don’t like to do. Like this morning, we could choose any workout, skill or mobility to work on and my classmate managed to talk me into running-rowing workout, which is my least favorite thing. It consisted 4 rounds of: 500m row, 400m run and 30 ab-mat sit ups, followed by 4 times 20 cal row. I was struggling through this workout, but felt over the moon, once we completed it. Now just trying to stay awake at my desk for the rest of the day in the office 🙂

My Nike Metcons and personalized skipping rope

My Nike Metcons and personalized SGF skipping rope 🙂

I can say I’m totally addicted to CrossFit, but it’s kind of a good addiction. The CrossFit rules my life and I’m happy with it. What’s not to like if you live the lifestyle, which concentrates to be healthier, become stronger, consuming almost no alcohol (it really shows if I have cheeky glass of vino evening before morning class) and trying make healthier choices during the day,  not because you want to lose weight, but you want to kick some buts in the training 🙂

My next goal now is complete 1!!! pull-up. It doesn’t sound like much, but thinking about the weight I have to pull up, it’s quite a lot. I have all training equipment ready at home – pull up bar, gymnastic rings so don’t have any excuses not to practice daily. Quickest way to achieve it would be loose around 20 kg 🙂 but I’m too much of a foodie to achieve it any time soon, so I just have to become stronger. 🙂

CrossFitters are well known following Paleo diet. I have had periods in my life, when I followed it and it definitely have the benefits to your health. I like cooking ( and eating 😉 ) too much to stick with it 100 % of the time, but quite often I pick up some Paleo recipes just because they worth to make, when trying to fuel your body right way for better results in  the training. Here is a cheeky dessert, when you are desperate for something sweet.

Avocado Ice Cream

2 ripe avocados

zest and juice of the 4 limes

4sp honey

1tsp vanilla extract

200ml coconut milk

100 g Dark Chocolate Chips


1. Mix avocado, coconut milk, lime juice and zest, honey in the blender until it’s creamy.

2. Pour mixture into freezable dish and mix in chocolate chips.

3. Place it in the freezer to set.

4. Stir few times to keep the mixture creamy and break any ice crystals.

5. Leave to set for 4 hours

6. Serve with melted dark chocolate or toasted coconut or roasted nuts of your choice (or all named above) 🙂



Nostalgia – my lovely first born and easy almond tart

My oldest gone skiing with her school, which have made me nostalgic and I’m feeling bit lost. I better get used to it as it’s not going to be long, when they flying the nest…or maybe not, they might decide to live with us forever 🙂

I think there is an age when children start to show more interest about their early years. On a way home recently, my kiddies wanted to know their first words, truth is, I can’t exactly remember. I do remember some funny words of theirs, which really have stuck in my mind – my daughter, when she was under a year old, during the breakfast suddenly pointed her finger towards me and said very clearly “I know!” – in a way her grandpa always did it to her, when he came up with the new ideas to entertain her. I still remember how it made me and my husband jump and then burst to laugh as we really could see my father in law manners in her.

My son’s one of the first word must’ve been “digger”. He watched in a loop some video, which was filmed in a real building site, showing diggers and other machinery accompanied with the song about diggers, trucks and something else.

My children are lucky to have their grandma collecting their photos together to the albums. My daughter had homework from the school, she had to select 10 photos from her early years, and it brought back so many memories and made me really think where those 13 years have disappeared.

Here she is about 2 month old. My mother in law built holder for her toys from my friends easel and hang down stretchy tiger and owl made my husband’s Japanese friends mum dressing gown, what made my daughter always very excited or scared, couldn’t really say.


Her hair didn’t start to grow until she was about 3 years old so she had perfect short hairdo with no odd baby hair. That’s why she’s probably quite pressures about her hair nowadays and only recently started to let hairdressers near them.


She look lots like her cousin and people used to think they are brother and sister. It’s lovely that they are still very close.


She had such a beautiful blonde locks and she didn’t let anyone near them for years, I think we only cut off her baby hair few years ago. She’s not really as blond anymore.


This picture is taken in a photo salon at my home town, only time we have been at the   professional photographer. They were such sweeties- nothing like this anymore 🙂


 Looking those photos, scares me, how quickly time flies.

Someone posted this great poem in FB, Its by Rose Milligan and I think it’s says it all, I have  definitely given up dusting and concentrate on more important stuff 🙂

Dust if you must, but wouldn’t it be better
To paint a picture, or write a letter,
Bake a cake, or plant a seed;
Ponder the difference between want and need?

Dust if you must, but there’s not much time,
With rivers to swim, and mountains to climb;
Music to hear, and books to read;
Friends to cherish, and life to lead.

Dust if you must, but the world’s out there
With the sun in your eyes, and the wind in your hair;
A flutter of snow, a shower of rain,
This day will not come around again.

Dust if you must, but bear in mind,
Old age will come and it’s not kind.
And when you go (and go you must)
You, yourself, will make more dust.


And here is one of the easiest and most delicious almond tart recipe. I have done it many times and it always get lots of praise, so I better save it here before my piece of paper disappears under the dust 🙂


Almond Tart

For the pastry:

175g self – raising flour

25g icing sugar

25g ground almonds

75g butter

For the almond filling:

100g blanched whole almonds ( I have used ground almonds or almond flakes as well if I don’t have whole almonds handy)

100 g caster sugar

25g plain flour

2 large eggs

few drops of almond essence

2tbsp apricot preserve (or more)

25g flaked almonds

icing sugar for dusting

500g fresh raspberries to serve

  1. Heat the oven to 190 C/ Gas Mark 5.
  2. Sift the flour and icing sugar to the bowl and add the ground almonds. Mix.
  3. Add the butter in pieces and rub it all together with your fingertips.
  4. Add few tbsp. cold water and mix it all together to the soft dough
  5. Line tart tin (23cm diameter with loose base) with dough and chill until you get the filling ready
  6. For the filling buzz the almonds to fine crumbs in the food processor
  7. Add the butter, sugar, flour, eggs, almond essence and buzz again until you have smooth paste.
  8. Spread the apricot conserve over the pastry tart base.
  9. Spoon in the almond mixture and spread level.
  10. Scatter with flaked almonds
  11. Bake the tart on Gas Mark 5 and then lower heat to Gas Mark 4 and bake further 15 min until the filling is set and tart is golden.
  12. Allow to cool.
  13. Dust with plenty of icing sugar and serve with raspberries.


And for the music choice I suggest this – love it!!!


Bye 2015!

The 2015 is over! Year of changes, finding myself bit more and hopefully preparing for the things the 2016 has to offer.


Like many years before January starts with welcome the New Years lunch at Simons brothers house, followed by Timo’s birthday and Sallys birthday,


sprinkled with other things like cooking/baking – in January I always feel urge to try new recipes, photograph them and post them to the world to see 🙂



Starts with my birthday – year on, I care less of the number and value experiences,  every going year leaves behind. Had a lovely walk in Alfriston, picturesque village where Simon proposed me 12 years ago.


Went to see Estonian Oscar nominated film “Tangerines”, which restored mu faith to modern Estonian film.

Cooked for crowd for Estonian Independence Day in London.

Beautiful Liis serving my Vana Tallinn Cakes

Beautiful Liis serving my Vana Tallinn Cakes


Continued with the Paleo and cooking and realizing that I’m too much of a food addict to stick with restricted diet and dropping some of the food groups totally from my menu. So my aim is trying to stay on healthy side but indulge myself times to times and not to feel guilty about it.



More food/paleo/cooking/taking pictures/sharing. Did some catering,


trained Lonni and have some lovely walks


We had our yearly Easter family get together


and my lovely cousins and her friend came to visit. Unfortunately we were burgled, while they were here and some of their stuff was taken, but I’m strong believer of karma so I’m sure one day the baddies will be sorry.


The month, I started Crossfit. I didn’t  think something can change your life so much, but it can. I got addicted to it, I managed to drag Simon into it, who has really committed to it and lost more than stone as the result, also he was chosen as most improved athlete in the box. Who could’ve believed it back in May –  not me!

Other things in May – Simon’s birthday, Keiti’s birthday with the trip to Cornwall – love this part of the country.



More testing recipes,


taking part of local beer festival, lots of sitting around on the cricket matches, which I don’t really mind, if the weather is good and food available.

Enjoying dinners in our garden. Lovely walks in our woods with Lonni, getting unexpected presents.



Strawberry picking picnic with family in the local farm.


Annual get together and camping in the seaside cottage near Deal – lots  of food/drink and walks. Break in Richmond, visiting theatre over very long time to see Lady in black and spending day in Kew gardens.


Lots of baking.


Going to the  Tom Jones concert by Thames boat thank to my dear friend in London.


The road trip to Estonia


– good food, new places, hot weather, old friends, home beach, posh restaurants,


August festival in my home town,


driving back home through Scandinavia.



Getting over the holiday blues, but luckily my dear friends came to visit us



My first big football match to see at Wembley. Luckily Estonia didn’t score. I sat next to some England fans, who were quite scary so probably I wouldn’t show my support to Estonia too loud 🙂



Cooking and more cooking! We were at Scandinavian Christmas market and couldn’t keep up with the demand for the “Mulgi Puder” – I think we peeled near 150 kg potatoes over the weekend, but it was absolutely brilliant.



Preparation for the Christmas as every year  – gingerbreads, turkey, family, wine, games, walks, fun.


2016 – I’m ready for you!

Burglary, Photography by Külli Sparre, butternut squash, apple, stilton soup and hot buttered rum

I’m back writing here over a long time. I have never been a “proper” blogger, but when I tried to take off beginning of this year, we were burgled, all our tech was taken. It was unpleasant experience, a very inconvenient situation. Most of our past 5 year history was in my laptop.

Yes, I’m one of those careless people, who can’t be bothered with the back ups and saving copies of the photos and other important documents somewhere else. I’m just pure lazy- see, I just said it.

We lived quite a few month without laptops and IPads. There was no point to replace them as we didn’t have any insurance that it wouldn’t happen again. You get used to not having the computer at home and it leaves more time for the housework. I could still spend time in social media on my phone and send few important e-mails from the work.

Having our stuff stolen, wasn’t worse part of the burglary. It made me feel unsecure. Someone just walked in to our house, touched things, which belonged to us, talked to my dog, who thought that those people came to play with her and  probably greeted them very happily. I’m glad that nobody from my family came home, when they were at it, who knows, what could’ve happened. I’ll try to see the bright side  – nobody got hurt and you can always replace things. We have secured our house now. It’s all very sad as we live in a lovely village and you don’t expect this happen to you.

Since then so much have changed, but I write about it some another time.


I came across with Kulli Sparre photography few years ago. She was one of the winners of the Sony World Photography Awards in 2014.


She used to be a professional ballet dancer until she discovered photography.


Her photos are dream like and usually feature beautiful women in gracious poses, which is probably influenced by her past career as a dancer.


See more of her work in her webpage


This summer I got some postcards from Estonia with her work and now those have a place in my wall (Please ignore dirty windows 🙂 )



I do love autumn, especially if it’s not raining, but I hate the fact that days get shorter. To cheer myself up, I cooked lovely warming soup for a lunch. Recipe from Waitrose magazine.

Butternut squash, apple and stilton soup.

Serves 4-6 people

1 large butternut squash, peeled and diced into chunks, seeds reserved

2 cox apples, quartered and cored

1/2 tsp cinnamon

3 tbsp. olive oil

20 g unsalted butter

2 leeks, thinly sliced

1 celery stalk, sliced

500 ml vegetable or chicken stock

200 ml crème fraiche

100 g stilton, crumbled

1-2 tbsp. milk

2 red chillies


 1. Preheat the oven to 200c/ gas mark 5. Prepare the butternut squash and apple and put on the baking tray with 1 tbsp. oil and 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Season with salt and pepper and roast in the oven about 1/2 hour, until tender

2. Meanwhile melt the butter in the saucepan with 1 tbsp of oil and add the leeks and celery. Cook on very low heat about 10 minutes, stirring often, until soft but not browned.

3. Add squash, apple and stock to the saucepan and simmer about 2-3 minutes.  Then blend until smooth adding water to get desired consistency. Season.

4. In a small bowl mix the crème fraiche and stilton, loosen with the milk until drizzling consistency.

6. Pour boiling water over the reserved seeds and leave to stand for 2 minutes. Drain and dry on the kitchen paper. Fry the seeds on the 1 tbsp olive oil. until golden, about 1 minute. Add sliced chilli and fry another 2 minutes.

7. Serve the hot soup with a spoonful of stilton sauce and sprinkle over the chilli and seeds topping.

This soup really warms you up and makes autumn more bearable. If this not enough try

Hot buttered Rum

 1.  Poor generous amount of rum to the glass, amount depends how much you need cheering up

 2. Add some Angostura Bitter

3. Add 1 tsp melted butter

4. Put star anise, few cloves and cinnamon stick in the glass and fill with hot water

5. Add lemon and sprinkle with little caster sugar

Wrap yourself up in the blanket and enjoy!

Looking back to 2014

Another year has whizzed past. I flipped through my photos from last 12 months. Even I think now, not much happened, actually we have been doing things and going places.

Jälle on üks aasta möödunud ja eile ôhtul vaatasin aasta jooksul üles vôetud pilte, mida on kogunenud suurel hulgal ja ma tôesti peaksin neid sel aastal paremini organiseerima ja môned ka välja trükkima. Kuigi hetkel on tunne et me suurt midagi mööduval aastal teinud pole siis fotosid vaadates vist ikka tegime küll.


Keeping up traditions we all met up in London at Simon’s brothers’ family on New Years Day, having great food, playing games and having a laugh. I’m really glad that our children grown to be so close and always having a great fun, when they are together even the ages go from 4 to 16. Simons’ brother cooked yummy paella.

New years Day

Traditsiooniliselt külastasime uue aasta esimesel päeval Simoni vemnna peret Londonis, sôime hüva roogasid, mängisime igasugu mänge nagu muusikaline viktoriin, Uno ja lihtsalt naersime. Mul on hea meel et kôik lapsed oma vahel nii hästi läbi saavad kuigi vanused on 4st kuni 16ni. Simoni vend valmistas meile maitsva paella.


In January there is always Timo’s birthday to celebrate. It’s pity that it’s so close to Christmas, as usually I don’t feel like thinking about it at all after the Christmas madness, so usually his party stretches to the February, when we get our act together.


Jaanuar toob kaasa ka T sünnipäeva aga tavaliselt olen ma jôulumöllust alles nii kurnatud, et selle tähistamine lükkub tavaliselt veebruari kuusse.


The February starts with my birthday, but I don’t think we did anything special this year.

Veebruar algab minu sünnipäevaga aga me vist ei teinudki midagi erilist sel aastal

Timo had great party with her friends at Chatham ski centre, where they practiced mountain skiing.


Timo pidas oma sünnipäeva koos sôpradega Chatami suusakeskuses, kus neid ôpetati mäest laskuma ja muid  suusa trikke.

Also I organised little get together for family with films, popcorn, sweets, Coca-Cola to celebrate the winter birthdays in Collins family. There are 7 of us with birthdays on a coldest time of the year. You can read about it here.

Samuti korraldasim ma väikes pere ürituse filmide, pop corni, kommidega, et tähistada talve sünnipäevi Collinsite peres.


We had wonderful weather in March as I have some photos from our walks to proof.


We got together for P birthday, which was gorgeous sunny day.


Märtsis oli fantastiline ilm, mille tôestuseks on pildid jalutuskäikudelt.Me saime ka kokku P sünnipäeval, mil tegime ka jalutuskäigu parki ja ilm oli lausa suvine.


Also I gave Russian and Scandinavian dinner parties away at auction in Keiti’s school, which were very nerve racking but huge success and I was complimented a lot.


Samuti oli minu jaoks tähelepanuväärnu Vene ja Skandinaavia ôhtusöögi korraldamine, mille ma panin välja Keiti kooli oksjonil ja mis sôi nii mônegi närvirakku, kui kokkuvôtteks läkid need ülimalt korda ja ma sain hunnikute viisi kiidusônu.


We had our annual family get together for Easter at the seaside cottage on St Margaret’s at Cliff. I, S and children camped outside as it near impossible to fit 17 people to the 2 bedroom Victorian Cottage, but we love it!


Toimus igaastane Collinsite Lihavôttepühade kokkutulek vanaema majakeses St Margaret’s at Cliffe. Mina ja S ja lapsed telkisime aias kuna pea vôimatu on mahutada 17 inimest kahe magamistoaga Victoria aegsesse majasse.



May is busy month in our family – our wedding anniversary, Simons’ birthday and Keitis’ birthday. But most memorable event was our mini break in Cornwall. We camped in almost empty campsite, which meant we had our own private field. We visited countless sandy beaches, had lots of nice meals and despite a rain had a wonderful time.


Mai kuus on meil Simoni sünnipäev, pulma-aastapäev ja Keiti sünnipäev. Aga Mai kuu kôrghetk oli Cornwalli reis. Me telkisime peaaegu tühjas kämpingus, mis tähendas, et me saime enda kasutusse privaatse välja. Me nautisime paljusid , hingematvalt ilusaid liivarandu, sôime arvukaid maitsvaid sööke ja hoolimata vihmast oli see üks ütlemata tore reis.




In June I was involved with organising Estonians Midsummer party, which meant peeling 50kg potatoes and making Estoian”Mulgi puder” , doing lots of shopping and carter around 400 people.


We also had lovely evening at strawberry picking at nearby Stonepitts Farm, with live music and picnic.


…and I baked some cakes.


Juuni algus möödus eestlaste Jaanipäeva korraldamise tähe all, mis tähendas 50 kg kartulite koorimist Mulgi pudru jaoks, suurt ostlemist ja 400 inimese toitmist.

Samuti oli mei armas ôhtu lähedal olevas farmis, kus korjasime maasikaid, nautisime muusikat ja korraldasime pikniku.

Küpsetasin ka môned tordid.



I went to the best concert ever at the Royal Albert Hall – Coldplay. I was probably blagging about it quite a bit on my FB account, but I very rarely go to the big events now days so it just got me all excited.


We also had another lovely weekend at the cottage to celebrate the start of the summer holidays.


And summer can’t go without breaks at the seaside as often as possible, so we had some lovely days at Whitstable.


Juulis käisin ma maailma parimal kontserdi, kuhu jôudsin tänu mu armsale sôbrale, kellele mainisin môni aeg tagasi, et üks band mida näha tahaks on “Coldplay” ja siis mu soov täituski. Aitähh Kadi!

Juulis veetsime ka nädalavahetuse meie mere äärses majakeses, et tähistada suve vaheaja algust.

Ja kuna suvel ei saa ikka ilma mereta siis veetsime ka toreda päeva Whitstables


The biggest change for us has been not going to Estonia in August. Seems that children life become busy with camps ad we couldn’t leave until second half of the August and then the summer is almost over and it seemed bit pointless to travel through the Europe for 3 days, when all things I’m looking forward to see and do in Estonia would be over. So we made the decision to have a week holiday in Normandy instead. You can read about it here.


In august I also started to play tennis and Cardio tennis, which is huge step for me as haven’t managed to do any sport properly since I had my knee operation. I must say – I loooove tennis, it’s fun and cardio tennis is an enjoyable killer  🙂 . I also started to train following the program from couch to 5K and I can happily to say that I run 5K almost every weekend now, sometimes even twice.

Suurim muutus meie tavapärasest Augustist oli – me ei sôitnud Eestisse. Lastel olid laagrid ja muud üritused ja lôpuks oli juba augusti teine pool kui oleks saanud liikuma hakkata ja eEstis oleks juba suvi möödas ja kôik üritused, millest olen oodanud osa vôtta oleks juba möödas olnud. Nii et otsustasime see aasta hoopis Prantsusmaale, Normandisse nädalaks puhkama minna.

Augustis alustasin ka tennise ja cardio tennisega. Minu jaoks on see suur samm edasi, kuna pole ühtegi sporti korralikult teinud alates ajast kui mul pôlveoperatsioon oli. Tennis on lahe! Eriti cardio tennis, mis on tôeliselt raske aga nauditav. Samuti hakkasin jooksmas käima ja vôin nüüd uhkusega öelda, et suudan 5KM joosta ilma kokku kukkumata.


We organised event in London Telegraph Hills with Estonian food and Liisi Koikson – fantastic combination.


Tegime ürituse ühes Londonis. Mulgipuder, rummikoogid, peedisalat, rukkileib ja Liisi Koikson. Fantastiline kooslus!

Lonni had a visit from friend.


Lonnil käis ka sôber külas.


I had lovely visitors from Estonia, but unfortunately didn’t take my camera with me.

.. and Halloween.


Oktoober tuli toredate inimestega eestis aga kahjuks ei ole ma ühtegi pilti sellest teinud 🙁

… ja Oktoober läks Halloweeniga.


Scandinavian Christmas Market – 3days of heavy labouring, but it was such positive vibe. Deffenitelly will do it next year as well. Thanks you A and L to inviting me.

Here Estonian ambassador in London eats my cooked food.


And the Christmas Do-s started already.

Müüsin skandinnavia jôuluturul Londonis, mis oli väga raske töö aga oi kui palju rahuldust pakkuv. Kindlasti tahaks seda teha ka järgmine aasta, Suured tänud Liina ja Anneli, et mind kampa kutsusite.


Ja loomuliku avati juba novembri lôpus jôulupidude hooaeg.


Christmas party season continues

Collins family traditional celebration in our house was successful as ever – games, laughter and too much food.


We had few lovely walks, to get over the guilt of eating too much at festive season.


Jôulupidude hooaeg jätkus,

Collinsi pere traditsiooniline Jôulu pidu meie majas oli edukas – sai mängitud, naerdud ja liialdatud söögiga.

Pühade ajal tegime môned jalutuskäigud,et leevendada süütunnet ülesöömise pärast.

I think it was another busy year! New years Eve it was only as four had some food and wine and Champagne for midnight. I also made my family pose for family photo as usually I’m not in many photos, but with help of the technology you can see all 4 of us sending you kisses ( that’s us trying to do “kiss” faces 🙂 )

Kiss faces 2

Have a great 2015!


Christmas Eve with Paddington Bear

It was Christmas Eve today, actually yesterday, the night you have Christmas meal with your family in Estonia. Over the years the tradition is faded in our house. First years when I moved here I tried to do Estonian Christmas food but I think it became too much as we always have Christmas lunch as well. It would help to have some Estonians around, who would appreciate importance of the day.

So this year we headed to cinema to watch Paddington Bear instead of the traditional meal. Lying here, I left pork join to the oven so we would have meal ready , when we get back.


I’m glad we went. It was really “feel good” film. Very British. And the Paddington reminded me our Lonni – especially when he was naughty.


It made me emotional and laugh out loud. Definitely worth to watch.

When we got home, our meal was almost ready.10407367_10152912889169836_6904873981061924257_n

I’m off to butter my turkey now and then is time for bed or our quests won’t get any food tomorrow 🙂

Merry Christmas everyone!

Fromages de Normandie – Our French holiday.

Even the Christmas is already on our doorstep and I should feel all festive and hope for some snow, instead,  I found some pictures of our summer holiday, which my son said was best ever. We rented the cottage in Normandy for our extended family, which we found from the French webpage,  it wasn’t orientated to English tourists , so it was real French holiday as French doing it.  :).. at least we thought so.059

Lonni took her responsibility to guard us very seriously 🙂

French Holiday1308

She also made friends with Romeo, the pony, who came with the cottage and we were responsible to feed him with carrots.French Holiday0395

That’s why, Timo said, it was best holiday ever – their could spend 24/7 with their cousins. Lesson learnt – no need for expensive entertainment – friends, board games, local swimming pool and family – that’s all you need for have a good time.French Holiday0114…and we had chef in hand 🙂French Holiday1282

and I spent lots of my time doing this 🙂French Holiday2153

One of many our holiday culinary highlights was local cheese testing, which I carefully planned and kept everyone excitedly waiting the grand degustation.115

French have established AOC (Appelation d’Origine Controlee) system, which helps them  preserve and protect centuries of cheesemaking. The rules are quite strict:

– the area where cattle may graze

-the origin and type of feed provided

– the breed of cattle that furnish the milk

 – the cheese must be made in season

-how the cheese is made

– the shape and size of the cheese

– how the cheese is stored

In Normandy they have world famous cheeses produced from milk by wonderful brown and white cows you can see everywhere on a road side munching away.

Camembert – light and soft, with delicate bloom and probably most well known and loved cheese in England. The true Camembert is made from untreated cow’s milk, is not less than 10 cm across and contains at least 45% fat. Ripe and ready Camembert should become soft and smooth in the middle and turning from white to creamy yellow.

Livarot – creamy inside its orange crust. It’s heavy in the mouth, it leaves spicy taste on the finish and it’s slightly larger than its relation Camembert. It may well be the most ancient French cheese.

Pont l’Evéque – again, one of the oldest cheeses of Normandy. Nowdays only about 2% of the cheese is farmhouse made, the majority comes from just 2 large producers. The milk for Pont l’Evéque must come from the local area and should ideally be absolutely fresh and still warm from the cow. The curd must be kneaded before it is drained. Unlike Camembert it is not imitated outside France.

Pave d’Auge – it’s a creamy cheese with reddish rind. The flavour is earthy and spicy. Can be little bitter.

And here are our opinions about those cheeses. Some of them are quite funny – too much wine me thinks. 🙂342

We also had some lovely time on the beaches, it’s not a holiday without going to a seaside. Growing up in summer resort, summer holiday = beach for me.047

Another culinary highlight was breakfast in the fish market. French Holiday0666Peter introduced me to oysters and I think it was most decadent breakfast I ever had – loved it and I’m hooked 🙂French Holiday0727

And our French holiday came to the end in the lovely town Honfleur – lovely port, sweet shops, picturesque streets. What else could you wish for.French Holiday22911 French Holiday21510 French Holiday2149

The End

Year 2013 – gone for good!

 See postitus tuleb nüüd eesti keeles kuna … ma ei teagi miks, aga tundub kuidagi ôigem.

Nii et, mis juhtus kaua oodatud 2013 aastal, mis oli vast emotsionaalsemalt üks raskemaid viimase 10 vôi ehk isegi 15 aasta jooksul.


Algas suure lootustega nagu iga uus aasta, lubadused teha rohkem sporti, süüa vähem, kasutada rohkem aega oma sôpradega suheldes, veeta vähem aega TV ees. No tôepoolest ma ei saa uhke olla ühegi lubaduse täitmise eest, istun siin detsember 2013, söön shokolaadi, joon veini, vaatan poole silmaga telekat kui samas kirjutan seda postitust, kindlasti kohe ei higista ma hetkel mingit füüsilist tegevust tehes, ainuke, mis mind päästab et olen FB kahe sôbraga juba üle tunni vestelnud.

Nii et mis siis toimus pea aasta tagasi:

  • Aasta esimene päev sai juba traditsiooniliselt veedetud Simoni venna perel külas Londonis.


  • Timo sai 8 aastaseks – jummel küll, kuhu see aeg küll kaob?



  • Aasta jubedamaid hetki – ma sain neljakümneseks! Tean, tean kôik üle neljakümnesed  ütlevad nüüd, et elu alles algab, aga ainus mis mind masendab on mitte need uued kortsud ja suurenev keskkoht,vaid arvutused järelejäänud oletavast ajst siin maamuna peal. Ma olen juba 40 aastat eksisteerinud ja fakt on see et, ma ikka veel ei ole seal kus ma olla tahksin ja aiinkohal ei räägi ma materiaalsetest eesmärkidest.


  • Samuti mahtus veebruarisse väike puhkus Bristolis ja külastasime Cheddarit (kust on pärit meie igapäevane juust)



  • Märtsikuu suursündmuseks oli meie väike reis Prantsusmaale.









  • Suht igav kuu, ma ei suuda leida ühtegi märget et midagi huvitavat oleks minuga juhtunud aga tundub, et lastel oli lôbu laialt.




St George päeva tähistamine


  • Selle aasta numbris ühinesin fotograafia klassiga, mille raames sai ette vôetud mitmeid väljasôite. Üks toredamaid oli Rochesteris Sweep Festivalil. Kahjuks pole aega oma uut kaamerat nii tihti kui sooviksin kasutada (jällegi üks uue aasta lubadusi tuleb siit)


 Samuti käisime jälegi Prantsusmaal sedakorda siis Pariisis Simoni sünnipäeva puhul.

  • Eiffeli torn.


  • Ja saime kokku oma toredate sôpradega


  • Ja muidugi kôige tähtsam maikuu sündmus –  kallis tütreke sai 11 aastaseks




Suvekuu algas kohe fotoklassi väljasôiduga Rochesteri sedakorda siis Dickensi Festivalile.



  • Tundub et juuni mööduski pildistamise tähe all, siin siis klassiga Maidstoni piiskopi palee juures pildistamas. Seal pandi ka meid Simoniga 11 aasta eest paari.


  • Ja klassiga pildistamas linde 🙂 Leedsi lossis.





Juulikuu möödus Keiti algkooli lôpetamise tähe all.

  • Nende klassijuhataja lavastas fantastilise Oliveri muusikali, mis oli tôeline elamus.


  • Ja see oli Keiti fantastiline algkooliklass


  •  Juulisse jäi ka Collinsite pere üli lôbus telkimise-möllamise nädalavahetus Simoni ema suve majakeses St Marys at Cliffes.






Nagu alati on august Eesti kuu ja sellest vôiks eraldi postituse kohe teha. Kuna oleme paar viimast aastat autoga kohale vuranud on uusi elamusi palju.

  • Selle aasta märksônadeks on kindlasti Poola – täielik avastus mulle, fantastilised vanalinnad, toredad inimesed, palju vahvaid hetki..



  • Collins & Co kohvik minu kallite sôpradega Augustiunetusel.


  • Hilisôhtune ujumine äikeselises Pärnu lahes kôige kallimatega



  • Ja muidugi kôige tähtsam sündmus 2013 aastal – meie Lonni.




  • No ei leia ühtegi ürituse pilti, ma usun et September möödus kutsika kasvatamise tähe all 🙂



  • Selle kuu suursündmus – kooli kokkutulek, nagu alati on vanade klassikaaslastega tore kokku saada ja kindlasti oli kaugelt Inglismaalt ekstra kohale tulemine seda väärt. Kuna tegemist oli spordiklassiga siis sel pildil üritab igaüks oma sporti imiteerida, vaata kas arvad ära 🙂



  • Aasta suursündmus oli reis Tenerifidele mu kallite sôbrannadega. Lubasime seda teha 11 aastat tagsi minu lahkumise peol Eestis, rebisime isegi selle kinnituseks 5 kroonise katki ja jagasime laiali 🙂 ja tänu kalli Kädi tahtejôule sai see reis ka tehtud.


Aitähh mu kôige kallimad.



Jôulukuu algus möödus kiirelt cateringi tähe all koos mitmete magamate öödega, aga see oli seda väärt. Kahjuks ei ole mul kunagi aega roogadest pilte teha kuna pole piisavalt tunde ööpäevas, et kôike aegsalt valmis saada. Loodan et parandan end selles suhtes.

Jôulupuu sai tuppa, kaarte jälle ei saatnud – sorry! Mitmetel jôulupeodel käidud (isegi Lonnil oli oma jôulupidu) ja suur jôulusööming 10 kg kalkuniga Collinsite perele korraldatud….kuid pilte pole tehtud. Simon ja lapsed käisid aasta lôpus Pariisis tuuritamas, kui mina korralik tööinimene kontoris kükitasin. Kuna piltidega on see kuu kehvasti siis jääb siia postituse lôppu meie pere värskeim ja ka väikseim (mitte kauaks) liige.




Lugu uueks aastaks, et ôigele lainele end häälestada

Pharrell Williams – Happy







Design your home – when?

Ever since I moved to UK, I have really got into houses interiors and architecture, not that I have any time to practice them, but programs like Grand Design and Kirsty’ s homemade…. are my absolute favourites. Maybe it’s started with the moving to UK as I got my first home here. I have always lived in a rented accommodation before.

When we bought our current house, both of us could see huge potential to grow with the house, but reality is, we are working all day long and we still don’t have enough funds to improve our house. Our neighbours started to extend their house and they offered their double glazed windows, which were only few years old and still had lots of life left in to them so we decided to use them to our bedrooms. We started with T’s bedroom and it’s taken us almost year to move our son back to his room. The wasn’t so much to do as such, but just finding time to commit and we still haven’t really finished 🙁 – no curtains, no shelves, but we moved T back as he was fed up sharing room with his sister, even so she moved out to sleep on the mattress in the office.

I have so many ideas what I want to do – but it’s all behind money and time, also sometimes I can’t decide, which style I’m going with as I have many favourites.

I started to collect pictures to my Pinterest page and I not even mention piles of magazines I have everywhere in the house.  I love magazines! I have them everywhere and all sorts, which doesn’t really help with keeping house tidy 🙂 When I’m looking chosen pictures and then look around in my house there is no similarities, but I so would love to my house to be at least a bit like on those pictures. 🙁

I even have been one of those houses ( the 1st photo) and it was lovely and homely. 

I definitely know what I don’t like, but I do like so many different styles. 🙁




Blogs I like.

I was dragged in to the world of blogs about 2 years ago, can’t really remember through which one but for now there is well over 100 blogs I keep my eye on.

I found recently Blogovin, which is really nice to use and keep yourselves updated with your favourite blogs. It has quite good Smartphone APP as well.
Blogs I follow are shared in following categories: Craft, DIY, Eesti Aiandus (Estonian Gardening), Eesti elu (Estonian life), Eesti Fotograafia (Estonian Photography), Eesti toidublogi (Estonian Food Blog), Food, Gardening, Käsitöö (Handicraft), Lifestyle, Photography and Raamatud (Books). It should give you idea what I’m interested of.  I tried to pick up one blog from each category, which I like most at the moment.

CraftTales of Ted and Agnes – It’s the sweet blog from the author of the “Granny Chic”, book, which I don’t own yet, but it’s next on my Amazon shopping list. The blog is filled with craft, food, ideas and family life. It feels cosy and makes you yawn after idyllic farm life in a deep countryside.

DIY: Appartment Therapy – It’s a blog I have discovered recently. It has grown from Maxwell Ryan and his brother Oliver blog to the site which has lots of different contributors; it’s full of ideas for renovating, remodelling, decorating and lots of other brilliant ideas. I wish I would follow those ideas more and use them in my home 🙂 They also run the site called TheKitchn, which concentrates everything to do with food and cooking and kitchens. And expect lots of updates and new stories.

Eesti Aiandus (Estonian Gardening): There isn’t many gardening blogs in Estonian, which is surprising as I think Estonians are really proud of their gardens and everyone, who has piece of land growing some veg or fruit.  There is a few, but they are mostly diary type blogs not many practical tips and projects. Still, I do like to admire them and one my favourite at the moment is Roos on Roos, mainly because they got a puppy and because our Lonni.  I’m really interested how other people getting on with their fury friends. It also has lovely pictures of roses, garden and plants.

Eesti Elu (Estonian Life): There is many to choose of, some of them family diaries, some of them like reality shows, but one of my favourite Estonian blogs is Marju Randmer’s “Tassike elu topelt koorega”, it started off as a food blog, but it has grown to more of a lifestyle blog. Photography is fantastic and I really like her style. She doesn’t post very often, but it’s the one I really look forward. She’s now have been taking photos for many cookbooks and magazines and seems that her career is really taken off after starting her blog.

Eesti Fotograafia (Estonian Photography): In this category there is my another absolute favourite-  Krista Kôiv Blog – I love everything about this blog- photos, stories, her style and her lovely family. It’s written with such warmth and her home is to die for, quite often makes me feel bit homesick, which is compliment by the way.

Eesti Toidublogi (Estonian Food Blog): Toidutegu – its blog interesting to read, recipes are mouth-watering and photography is good quality. ..and I love music choices with every recipe.

Food: My biggest idol and person I admired since I saw her underground restaurant in TV money program is MsMarmite. I still remember thinking – THAT, WHAT I WANT TO DO! (I’m still working in the office, but hopefully I will be doing what I want one day) She’s interesting and unique. Her book Supper Club: Recipes and notes from the underground restaurant is one of the prettiest cookbooks I own and I have lots of them. I have been twice at her events and they have such a great vibe and they give you loads of inspiration.  Her blog is witty and full of fantastic advice and tips. She travels a lot and she’s a real pioneer of the underground restaurants.

Gardening: I haven’t search for gardening blogs very hard so I have only one in this category and this one is from MsMarmite again Secret Garden Club  Anything this women does is brilliant 🙂

Käsitöö (Handicraft):  Reesi käsitöö Blogi – this blog I follow just for admiration for the women, she quit her day job and does what the love doing – beautiful hand knitted scarfs and teaching others too.

Lifestyle: In this category I have lots of blogs I follow; most of them are from America. I love them for beautiful pictures and for creative interiors. One about Scandinavian Interiors is called Stockholm Vitt – Interior Design. It has lots of lovely ideas from Swedish apartments, with the clean lines

Photography:  My interest to photography started probably same time than I started to follow those blogs. It just makes you jealous to see how people making wonderful stuff and also take beautiful pictures of it. So I have been trying to discover how people create those wonderful images. I like The  Cofeeshop Blog, it has lots of free stuff and also really good tutorials how to bring your photos up this extra step.

Raamatud (Books): I love books, you can see it our home, where there a books everywhere and my husband loves books even more, which means even more books. On my holiday back home, I always buying lots of Estonian language books, but they are mostly cookbooks or craft books. I find it really hard to choose as I have lost touch what goes on in Estonian book world. So I started to look for blogs, where people review and too hard work for me to single out which ones are not so good and which ones are worth the money – in Estonia books are very expensive as they don’t print many copies because the market is tiny. I also always look for good European and Russian authors, which maybe not translated to English yet. One of the blogs which seems to be interesting is Kohustuslikult Vabatahtlik Kirjandus, I think I’ll try some books, which are reviewed here. I would love to find some good English book blogs as well.

Those are just few of my favourites.

NB! Yesterday my daughter announced – she wants to start the blog. Mh-mm – what she’ll be writing about – her dreadful family most likely. 🙂  Anyway, I think it’s a brilliant idea, should help with her English at the school.