Mr & Mrs’ Night Out (Oaka Review)

So if you follow my blog on Facebook and Instagram you may have noticed last Tuesday was myself and Hubster’s fourth wedding anniversary. Yep…4yrs as a Mrs! Wow! Still amazes me and don’t get me started on the small being that popped outta my loins following that…a Mrs annd a Mammy!

*Random fact… in case you didn’t know the traditional gift for a 4th anniversary is fruit or flowers…handy enough. The modern gift for it is appliances!!! Like seriously??? Can you imagine the consequences of hopping up a toaster or a washing machine to me on our wedding anniversary?? Lord God, the man would still be picking machine parts out of his butthole today! Luckily though, Hubster had sense and took me for grub!

Hubs brother offered to babysit for us….wohoooooo….on it like a car bonnet!! Our second grown up outing together since Small Monkey was born, we’re on a roll boys!! So I met Hubby after work in a local where we had one drink and then walked round to Kennington. We headed to Oaka on Kennington Rd, it’s only 15mins walk from us so handy if BIL gets a bit stressed babysitting.483749_125651497619784_908766732_n We’ve been here twice before, once when Small Monkey’s Godfather treated us for bestowing Godfatherly duties on him, and again when we took The Outlaws…well my Outlaws. ūüôā We’ve enjoyed it every time.

I just really like it in Oaka, it used to be a bit of an old man pub, not that old men pubs don’t have their own advantages (more open to lock-ins and a better choice of weirdos generally wander in and out for your viewing pleasure).482322_125651557619778_1346802254_n Now though, it’s light bright and airy, pretty much the whole front of the bar is floor length windows. Directly in front of you is the bar which always has a beautiful vase of fresh flowers on it. To the right, is more the lounge area, to the left is the restaurant area, with bigger group tables at the front and more cosier two seaters towards the back, which is where we were shown to. The lighting is low and not too harsh so you still look good after coming straight from work.581836_125651714286429_230313614_n The toilets are located downstairs, apart from the disabled loo. On the three occasions I’ve been in there, the loos have always been clean and tidy, and smelled nice. Dread when toilets smell of stale wee!! Yuck!!

It took us a little while to decide what to go for, but we opted for a 4 course set menu in the end and two forks at ¬£29.50 a head. Here’s what it included;

Starter;

Tempura Veg, Heavenly Beef, Prawn cakey thingys, chicken satay and a selection of sauces for dipping.

Mains: Pt 1;

Crispy Duck with pancakes and black bean sauce.

Mains: Pt 2;

Indonesian Chicken Rendang, Sweet & Sour Prawns, Crispy Chilli Beef, Roti and Jasmine Rice.20150818_200034

Dessert;

Dessert of the day, which was Sticky Toffee Pudding.

OMG!! Everything was sooo nice. My fav fav bits were the Veg Tempura…. gorge and the chicken satay…mmmm nom nom. The Rendang was lovely, just the right amount of heat for me, Hubs found it a bit spicey but he loved the chilli beef. OMG!! The prawns!! GORGEOUS!! Not ¬†little pitiful prawns either…big juicy ones! Neither of us had had a roti before either, it’s a bit like a thick pancake but it’s not stodgey, really tastey actually. And I lovvvve sticky rice, Hubby dreads it, not the taste but the stickiness…I don’t really get it either tbh! Now they had lots of lovely desserts inc cheesecake (my absolute fav) on the menu but our set one was Sticky Toffee Pudding, which I wouldn’t normally go for…ahem cheesecake…like hello!! Anyway the pudding was yum and it quite a lump too, served with vanilla ice cream. The extra good thing about this was Hubby doesn’t eat dessert so I got to bring his home ‘cos I’m classy like that and it was still yum the next day!

Anyway I think the price was fairly reasonable considering we can spend ¬£25 sometimes on a chinese from the take away. I wish I’d taken more pics but I didn’t want to be snapping when it was meant to be our special night. We also had a bottle…well two bottles of Murphy’s Vineyard’s Chardonnay, which was kinda fresh and fruity at ¬£19.80 a bottle.20150818_191936 Oaka also does lots of different ales. Their bottled beers start from about ¬£4.60, ciders (Kopparberg…yum..from about ¬£5). They also do cocktails which start at about ¬£6, I’ll have to go back to try them though.

Enough about the grub, we had a really nice night throughout just chatting, planning and remembering our wedding day, the funny bits and pieces that happened. It really is true what they say, after all the plotting and careful planning of your wedding day it whizzes by in a blur, so make the most of it and try get out on your anniversaries to remember and laugh about it all again. Once we reached the end of our meal and got half way through our second bottle of wine though, we both kinda knew that was it. The Epic “we’ve got a babysitter, we’re gonna drink the shite outta this” anniversary was over. We were both to bloated to do anything else, we even considered getting a cab!! We were home at 9.30!!! Pulled on our pjs and rolled onto the sofa for the final episode of Supernatural (S9..no spoilers pls).

Now you might say that was an expensive night out for 3.5hrs but I’d pay it all again to eat fab food with my handsome Hubs!

Love Donna xx

PS All photos of Oaka outside and in are credited to Oaka’s own Facebook page.

Falling behind?

I learned today that another couple we know are due their second baby, their first is 7mths old. Now I don’t know why it hit me today, well maybe it was the fact that when I said it to Hubster, he said “yeah I know” with a sigh. A kind of longing sigh. I felt bad. I feel bad because all around us people who were pregnant around when I was are now baking their second or have cooked one or even two since then.

I was 5mths pregnant when Hubby’s sister had her 1st and a week after our Small Monkey turned two, she had her 3rd. His cousin, who gave birth 4mths after me, had her 2nd two weeks before Small Monkey’s 2nd birthday. Said friend’s mentioned above, had their 1st 7mths ago and are currently baking another, even my friend E, mother of Little E, Small Monkey’s bestie, has had her 2nd lil boy. It seems we’re falling behind.

I feel bad for Small Monkey, he’s still an only child. I look at him playing and sometimes I well up, because I see him alone. Is he lonely? I mean he has one or two little friends but when he’s indoors and Daddy’s at work and I’m making dinner or busy…is he lonely? I feel bad for Hubby ‘cos I know if he’d had his way we would’ve had kids long ago but it’s me holding us back. Don’t get me wrong, I do want more kids (I’d always thought I’d have 5!!) and I love this little man of ours to the tiniest bits and pieces, but I’m a worrier and kind of a planner, not that we had a set plan for Small Monkey’s arrival, but I worry. I worry about money, of course, don’t we all? (do we all?) How will we cope? Childcare is so expensive, we get no government help, would I have to give up work? Could we cover all our outgoings? We’d probably have to move again. How would I cope? I suffered a bit from PND (but that’s another story), would it come back? I also had boarderline pre-eclampsia, ya know high blood pressure, swollen feet and hands. I had gestational diabetes (I’m currently working on not having that again too…but another story for another day). My umbilical cord was ageing quicker than Small Monkey, meaning it could shrivel and die before he was ready to come out. Would all of these issues come back? Before I went on maternity leave the last time, I’d all my debts (not that I’d many) paid off, I was never in my overdraft and I had a grand saved. Not much in the grand scheme of things, I guess but it was mine to do with what I wanted, to fall back on, now I can’t even keep ¬£100 in my savings. I have a couple of small things to pay off now and selfishly my first girlie holiday in October, that I’d like to have out of the way before I start baking again. Is that wrong of me? Selfish? I mean once you’re cooking things get a little more complicated, your own life is not yours, I mean it’s not yours once you have a child but it’s really not just yours when a child is still in you. I just want to be a little more sorted and yes I do want to go on this holiday. I mean it’s me who’d be carrying our little bean, the greatest change of all during this time will be to me so is it unfair that I’m currently holding back a little?

Actually now that I’ve written this down and re-read it, maybe alot of it is I’m a little scared. Maybe some of the problems I had during my pregnancy scare me a little plus I only had hubby to cry on, of course I had my family and my besties but they all live to far away and sometimes texting is not enough (not that I don’t really appreciate all of those texts and phonecalls and visits when ye could xxx). I know too, that it’s really not a race between us all but if my heart ruled over my brain I’d definitely be pregnant now.

There is no right time and I’ll probably never be sorted but I’m allowed to try, although I will only try for so much longer and then it’s onnnnn! Crank up the Barry White Hubilicious!!

I know too that there are some not so fortunate as me, to have managed to have one child, never mind to be worrying about another, so I am sorry to you especially, if that’s you, that you took the time to read this and listen to my selfish whining about falling behind.

XX

Bronde??

Sooo I’ve been needing to get my roots/hair done for a couple of months now, crunch time came when I ran late for work due to spending far to long pulling out visible grey hairs. Why do they stand straight up like little antennas glinting in the sun?? And, yes…I know…I pull one out, 7 million grow back, but I deal with the here and now, and here and now I can’t deal with looking at them. Due to various bits and pieces cropping up I couldn’t afford the ¬£85 price tag I normally pay…cue the Home High Lighting Kit!!

I popped into Superdrug and had a nose through their selection. So many options, so many colours…oooh bright pink…ah ah aaah!! No Donna, not for you! I can count on one hand how many times I’ve home dyed my hair, so I go for the simplest looking option, L’Oreal’s I’m a Bronde Brush-On Balayage.20150811_223235_wm (1) Ooooh sounds posh and if it’s good enough for Jen it’s good enough pour moi! (Seriously though, can you really see her sitting in on a Saturday night with Eva combing high lights through her hair over a glass of lambrini?? C’mon!!!)

My boys are in bed, I hit the bathroom. Put on gloves, mix powder, shake well…blah blah. Easy peasy! I part my hair as instructed and start combing on the mixture, handy enough…”I’m bringing sexy back, those other f**kers don’t know how to act”…yeah baby!! Greys be gone!! So anywho, it’s simple enough, you just pull the comb, with the dye on through your hair, keeping it vertical. You really can’t get any easier unless…unless you are ME!!! I looked in the mirror and thought, hmm, doesn’t look as if there’s enough dye on there, so not realising the outcome I go round again.(BIG MISTAKE NUMERO UNO!!) I potter off to let the dye do it’s thing, but did I bother to note the time? Hah! Not a bit!! (BIG MISTAKE DOS!!!) Jayzus boys!! When I go back and look in the mirror I can easily see my hair’s dyed. Washed it out anyway…hmm…fairly blonde…lemme dry and straighten it.

OH GOOD JEEZUS!! All I can see is yellow! It’s yellow! I dyed my jayzus hair yellow!! Shades of yellow!! My roots are shorter but now seem extra dark, as do my eyebrows! Oh Lord God!! My face looks paler…fecking hellfire, how can I fix it?20150809_083810_wm Google? Google? Seems the easiest and most reliable answer is going to a salon!! Thanks Google! Seriously according to the box it should’ve been lighter…more delicate highlights…I’ve created a solid block…oh my God…I think I’ve actually got a “white blonde” stripe!!! Myself and Jen can never be twins now!!!

not twins!!
not twins!!

Next morning, I take another look, Lord God the top is dreadful. I’ve been Snapchatting me buds and they’re all saying it’s not so bad but all I can see is YELLOW!! Ugh! The best I can do is try and style it to hide the top…or distract from it. Hello 50’s style hair do’s! How long I can keep the effort of getting up to coiffure my hair in the mornings remains to be seen…but here we go…IMG_20150810_095935IMG_20150810_093414_wm

attempting a victory roll...eek!
attempting a victory roll…eek!

Things I learned from this…

1)This was a HIGH LIGHTING kit…think about those words in hair dressing terms before attempting again.

2) Note the bloody time!

3)Now I know why I suffer the £85 price tag to not feck up my hair!

PS In fairness, I’d really need to give this kit another go, following the instructions properly before actually reviewing it.

Donna xx

*Justin Timberlake – Sexy Back lyrics from YouTube*

In ya face Hubster!!

This piece comes with a yuck warning…so yeah, you have been warned!! Oh and my hubby suggested I write this, I’m not sure he believed me when I said I would, so “in ya face hubster”!

It all started in a beautiful (kinda) blue room, a room full of  wondrous lotions and potions and an ivy plant that has surprised us all. A room of peace and tranquility. The room in which I have a slightly higher, not much higher, but slightly higher chance of getting 5mins to myself. The Bathroom.

Small Monkey is in bed so I tell Hubby 10mins in advance that I will be getting in the shower, so if he needs the loo go now (‘cos you know, us ladies need a little time in the bathroom). Nope, says he, I’m grand. 20mins later I finally head to the bathroom (I dunno why I call it a bathroom, it’s very misleading as we only have a shower). It’s a small room, ’bout 6ft by 7ft. When you open the door the shower is immediately to your left, this half of the room is raised on a step. Straight in front of you, is the sink and loo. Anywho, in I go and disrobe (that’s what ladies do…we don’t just take our clothes off you know). I was just about to get in the shower when I glanced at me feet. Hmmm, time to take off the red nailpolish it’s only been there a month (don’t judge me, the appeal of my toes were the least of my worries this month). So I perched myself on the loo, in all my naked glory and began removing the nailpolish, when lo, there is a little knock on the door. A little voice goes “I think I need a poo poo”! AH FOR FECKS SAKE!! 2015-08-06 00.43.26-1 (1)But wait, the voice is walking away…yesssssss!!! NOOOOOOOO!!! The bathroom door starts to open….”it’s coming!” “Ah, jayzus P, can I not just have 5mins to myself?? Get out ’til I put clothes on, for God’s sake!!” “Jeezus Don, it’s not like I haven’t seen it all before” as he hops back out the door. Yes peeps, that little voice was Hubby and I don’t bloody care if he has seen it all before, me sitting like a Buddha on the loo trying to get rid of nail polish the colour of blood is something I’d like to keep to myself (although now you have that fab image in your head…enjoy your brekkie!!). I wrap a towel around me and sit on the step by the shower, P ploughs in and plonks on the loo. So now I’m sitting eye level with the side of Hubby’s buttcheek….joy of joys…life is fantastic!! “Eugh, that stuff stinks” he says, I just give him the eye, the eye that says “you wanna hope that’s all that stinks in here”. Hubby starts making polite conversation, ya know…how was work? We should get some magazines in here. Do you wanna do me feet while you’re down there? No I bloody don’t!!! But now you mention it, hand me down my Scholl and I’ll do mine. (Sexy, I know!)

So there we were, me “sanding” my feet to the sound of Hubby having a poop! In the words of Hubby, (sarcastically of course….I hope) “God we’re so romantic. You should write about this in your blog”. “I will, don’t test me!”. “DO IT!”. So I did!20150805_215425-1

PS I hope this post doesn’t offend you but it is just real life. I’m sure I’m not alone in scenarios like this. Feel free to share your “bathroom shares” too.

Love Don x