30 Aug 2013


after all the packing and panicking the day has actually come, I'm leaving austria today to move to the UK. it feels so weird when something you've been waiting for for so long actually comes along, it's really hard to believe that it's here. I am really happy to have managed to do this move and I am incredibly grateful for everything my family and friends have done for me to make this easier. it's always hard to leave amazing people behind but I know I'll never lose them and I will meet many amazing people where I'm going. exciting times are ahead and I cannot wait to start a new chapter of my life.

over the next couple of weeks I will be busy moving in and getting used to my new house, my new housemates and the new city. I will also be without internet in the house for a while I imagine and this means I have decided to ask some bloggers to help me out a little and do guest posts for me so the blog doesn't get neglected too much. I have also written some posts which will be posted every now and then.

I hope you're all as excited about meeting some new bloggers on here as I am to have them as my guest bloggers, they're all really lovely and I'm sure you'll love them too. they have created some recipes as well as other things and they all look lovely and delicious.

I hope I'll be able to write another little update sometime after moving in but I can't guarantee anything obviously, I'm sure you'll understand and enjoy reading the posts that will be going up while I'm away. make sure to leave some lovely comments for me and my guest bloggers to read, I'm sure they'll appreciate it.

until then, I hope you're all well and I'll be back soon.


28 Aug 2013

Wednesday Wishlist #3: NEW HOME: RANDOM BITS

things have certainly changed since my last two wishlist posts (here and here) mainly because I have now found a place to live and I'll be moving in a few of days. I did two moving and home related wishlists and there are plenty of things on there that I definitely still want, also things that I actually got now which I am really happy about.

however, now that I know where I'll be living I got even more excited and there's not one day I don't spend at least ten minutes browsing interior related shops. I haven't bought any of those things yet but I really hope I will soon. this will be a random bits and bobs kind of post as there are mainly random little things I'd really like for my new home. most of them aren't exactly practical, some are, I think that once I've moved in I might do a more specific wishlist, let me know if you'd like to see that, but now, let's get started.

1. Green Alarm Clock - dotcomgiftshop
isn't this just so cool? I love green and I think it's about time I get an alarm clock again, I've used my phone for ages now but I kind of like the thought of having a proper one.

2. Red Union Jack Cushion - dotcomgiftshop
I have a passion for cushions, I have no idea why but they're just really nice things and they make a room look so much more comfortable, I'd love this for my bed for during the day or for a chair.

3. Afternoon Tea Vintage Wall Sign - eBay
I've had my eye on this and similar ones for ages and they're so cheap aswell, I'd love this either for my room or for the kitchen if my housemates approve.

4. Drawer Knob - dotcomgiftshop
now, this is probably the most random thing, but I recently repainted my chest of drawers, it's now white and I think these would go really well.

5. Teapot Hook and Vase - not on the highstreet
how perfect are these?! I love tea and I would absolutely love them for my room to store jewelry and things, perfect!

6. Hearts Hanger - dotcomgiftshop
just something practical now, I think I could really use some hangers for my room and they look lovely.

7. Framed Chalkboard - dotcomgiftshop
this is probably my favourite thing on the list, I know I've had a chalkboard on a list before but this is my new love, it's so nice and vintage looking and would come in really handy as a to do list or meal plan.

8. Meal Time Rules Sign - dotcomgiftshop
just a funny little decoration item for the kitchen/dining area, I love metal signs like this.

9. Floral Flour Shaker - Cath Kidston
surprisingly this is the only real kitchen thing on this list, and it's not one that is exactly necessary, but I saw this in the cath kidston shop a while ago and it's really cute.

what do you think about my little wishlist? are there any items on there that you would love for your home too? let me know in the comments!


27 Aug 2013


I made this when I had really been fancying lasagna for a while (that seems to happen to me all the time with all sorts of food) but I really didn't have the time (or kept telling myself so) to make a proper lovely sauce for it and everything, I like to do it properly when I do it. but as I've always wanted to experiment with the lovely baked pasta dish I thought well, why not do a quick and easy one with a little twist because I love bacon and tomato sauce.

if you also feel like making lasagna is too complicated to make it as a quick meal then maybe this is the recipe for you. it's not mega quick but certainly quicker than many other lasagna recipes and it's also got lovely fresh veg in it.

Vegetable (and Bacon) Lasagna

1 pack of pasta sheets
1 can tomato puree
1 courgette
1 onion
1 green/yellow pepper
8 olives
1 clove of garlic
olive oil
(8 slices of streaky bacon)

1/2 L milk
1 tbsp flour

1 mozzarella

now this sounds like a lot of things but it really isn't and for this lasagna you don't have to spend hours in the kitchen, it's as quick as it gets.

start by pre heating your oven to about 180°C and straight after cut up all your vegetables and the bacon. heat a frying pan with the bacon in add the vegetables and stir fry for about 7 minutes. add olive oil and salt to taste. set aside.

in the meantime you can mix the flour with the milk and heat in a pan, this might seem tricky but don't worry if it gets lumpy, just grab your hand held blender and blend until smooth. add more flour if needed to make it a creamy sauce. add salt and nutmeg to taste.

now take your dish and start with some of the vegetable sauce, pasta sheets, then vegetable sauce again, then white sauce and so on. on top it should be (well that's how I like it) pasta sheets and a bit of vegetable sauce and then top it all off with the cheese.

put that in the oven for about 20 minutes (it'll state on the pack of your pasta sheets how long they will take). take it out of the oven and leave to rest for about 10 minutes.

you can now cut it into pieces and enjoy with some salad and iced tea.

do you love lasagna as much as I do? I do love to make it with the sauces you can buy from time to time when I have a night in with the boy, but I wanted to show you how easy it can be to make a vegetable version even if you don't have as much time. let me know what your favourite lasagna is.


25 Aug 2013


another week has gone and I really don't know where it's gone, I can't believe it's sunday again which also means only five days until I fly over to the UK. my room is still a mess but most things are in boxes now and I know what I'm going to take so it's all going well I think. I'm still really stressed and busy and apparently this resulted in me forgetting to take pictures of some of the things I've eaten this past week including all of wednesday and I can't even remember what I had to eat that day that's how busy I've been. I'm sure you'll understand and won't mind a shorter week in meals post this week.

monday was the last day I spent by myself before my mum came back from switzerland, it was also my blog birthday which resulted in this lovely double layer lemon cheesecake the recipe for which can be found here. for dinner I had a lovely quick chicken satay.

on tuesday my mum returned and brought back some lovely swiss treats, in the evening we went out for a meal with some of our best friends, we went to an italian and had amazing food such as beef carpaccio and pizza as starters to share and then I had grilled squid which was also amazing. we had a great evening and I'm sure everyone else did too.

I went to my dad's for dinner on thursday and we had mixed salad as a starter and then a lot of food including lovely greek green beans in tomato sauce which I adore and think I need to teach myself how to make them.

on friday it was BBQ time at my friends because I wanted to see everyone again and knew I wouldn't get the chance to this coming week, I took over the BBQ as everyone else didn't seem too sure what to do, this mean I couldn't get anything to eat myself for a while but when I did it was definitely worth it.

saturday was a lazy day and so it was perfect that me and my mum decided to make burgers and watch gilmore girls. two of these might have been a bit too much but oh they're so good!

today is a bit more active again which means packing, packing and more packing. my mum made this lovely greek salad earlier which was just perfect for my little break.

I hope you've had a good week with lovely food, let me know what you enjoyed this past week!


23 Aug 2013


with everything that's been going on it seems I completely forgot to blog about this very important event, in fact, if it hadn't been for all the pictures I've just come across I probably wouldn't have blogged about it for a while.

I threw a little (well, quite big actually) farewell party for myself back in july as I wanted to make sure all of my friends and family could be there so I would definitely see all of them before I move (which is happening next friday). obviously, as it is with parties, not all of my friends were able to make it, but I was certainly very happy about every single one of them who did and I am really happy about how it turned out.

now, I certainly like planning things but I also very easily set myself goals that just really stress me and that maybe are just a tiny bit too much. this time however, I was really pleased with the results. in this post I will be sharing the concept of the party and of course plenty of pictures of the set up and everything as well as the accessories and links to where I got them from if I can find them. if all of that goes well, there will be seperate posts for the different varieties of party food that I made.

the whole 'event' consisted of two kind of seperate events, firstly there was the brunch for my family in the morning and then a 'tea party' for all my friends starting at five. all of this was planned to be sort of flexible, I wasn't going to send my family home when friends started showing up, the only challenge was the food coordination but that went quite well too.

floral food flags - made by myself

pink and blue bunting - eBay (similar here)

I was really happy about the set up of the food and everything, I love buffets and it's just the easiest thing for a party especially with more than five people (we were about 20). I really love the bunting and it works so well across the table I think, I'm definitely going to take it with my for my bedroom and probably future parties of some sort.

schedule wise it was the same for both parts of the party pretty much, people arrived and had drinks and I gave a little introduction to the buffet and told them to dig in. for other activities I had a little photo booth in the room next door in case people got bored and because I really wanted some pictures of my friends and family to take with me. I think a photo booth is a great thing for a party, you don't need much at all other than a simple camera with a self timer (or someone who will take pictures) and the accessories can be printed off for free (here for example).

I also planned a british themed pub quiz for everyone as a way of entertaining people as well as teaching them a little bit about the country I will be moving to. it was a lot of work to create it all but I really enjoyed it and it was definitely worth it as I think people really enjoyed it.

I really enjoyed the day and even though it was a lot of work and preparation it was more than worth it. I wish I would have taken more pictures but really it was about having a good time with my friends so I'm sure you'll understand. maybe this will give you a little inspiration in case you are planning a party yourself, I enjoyed it and I'm definitely going to do it again. as I said before, I'll definitely be posting recipes for the food on here sometime soon. 


21 Aug 2013


I was gong to start this post with the usual 'it's been a while since...' but then I realised I used the same line in my last recently post so I thought it would just be a little bit too obvious, I just wanted to say that it's been a while since my last recently post anyway so I thought it was about time to update you all a little bit.

the plan was to do a kind of lifestyle/my life post every week, but considering that fact that it's 'been a while' since my last one that obviously didn't work all that well. many of you will know that this is partly because I've spend two weeks in the UK and have just been really busy in general. I had a great time over on my favourite island, enjoyed a lot (and I mean A LOT) of lovely food, most of which can be seen here and here and even some of the oh so hot british heat wave (which was about ten degrees less than back home in Austria, so just the right temperature for me). I went to my future home of Manchester to view some potential flats with my future housemate (all very vague I know) and went to anniversary and birthday parties.

now that I'm back home in Austria I'm slowly getting to terms with the fact that I'll be leaving my beloved hometown of Graz in only about two weeks time to make numerous of my dreams come true. I don't know if anyone would like to read a post (or a series more likely) about my 'journey' to move to the UK and all that, do let me know if you would because I'd love to write it. I'm packing all my stuff into boxes at the moment literally with a laughing and crying eye (as we would say in german). 

when I'm not spending my time jumping over boxes to get to the other end of my room I'm spending as much time possible with my family and friends, I literally have a date every day and I'm trying to enjoy it as much as I possibly can, telling them all as many times as possible that they are always welcome to visit me when I'm in the UK.

so that's what's been going on recently, I'm quite excited for everything that's going to happen in the next couple of weeks so I'm sure there'll be a little update before I move. I've also asked on twitter if any of my blogger friends would like to do a guest post for the first weeks after my move as I'm not sure I'll have all that much internet access, I've already had some lovely posts sent to me and would be very very grateful for anyone who'd like to do one for me, so just tweet me or email me if you fancy it.

hope you're all well and enjoying the last bits of summer.


19 Aug 2013


as promised, here's today's special little blog birthday cake recipe. it's nothing too special in fact but cheesecake is just something I love and haven't made for a while, it's also a nice and fresh kind of cake which is perfect for any time of year in my opinion.

I made this cake in my little cake tin just because I won't have a massive amount of people over and I don't want it to go bad before me and my mum manage to eat it all, I also love this little tin for trying out things. however, the measurements in the recipe will all be for a full size cake so don't worry about having to convert or anything. it's a really quick and simple cake recipe, I hope you enjoy it.

Double Layer Lemon Cheesecake

300 g biscuits
150 g melted butter

zest of 2 lemons
700 g cream cheese
4 eggs
150 g sugar
100 g flour
2 tsp vanilla extract/vanilla sugar

start by simply buttering your cake tin. set it aside afterwards.

you'll then want to somehow crumble all your biscuits to really fine crumbs, you can use whatever method you want to (tea towel and hammer etc) I just like to do it like that because it's the most fun. just make sure you don't hit them too hard because then you'll end up with the biscuits all over your floor and yourself.

then, melt the butter and mix it together with the crumbs. you'll also want to now preheat your oven to 160°C.

take half of this mixture and line the cake tin with it, press it down and put in the fridge for ten minutes.

next you take the cream cheese, eggs, sugar, lemon zest and vanilla and simply whisk it all together to make a smooth paste.

now take out the cake tin and spread half of the cream cheese mixture on top of the biscuit lining.

take the other half of the biscuit mixture and add spread it over the cream cheese.

you'll now add the final layer of cream cheese mixture (also try not to have wasps eat it before it goes in the oven like this one wanted to do with mine). it's now ready to go in the oven. you have to be patient once it's in the oven, keep checking on it using a wooden skewer kind of thing seeing if there's still bits of cake sticking to it. altogether it'll need about 30-40 minutes, but the easy preparation makes up for that.

once it's ready, you can leave it like that or if you're using it as a birthday cake decorate it as you wish and enjoy.


Happy 1st Birthday Lullaby For Pies.

wow, I can't believe that my blog is one year old today, I remember exactly when I was writing my first post, admittedly it was a very short and not very food related one but it still counts, to celebrate this, this post will only be a short one too, but there is more to come in a few hours time.

 I loved creating this blog and I am so happy that I did, I never thought I'd be a blogger but I am enjoying it so much and I love how this blog has grown over the last year and how I've found so many new friends because of it. I love sharing my passion for food with my readers and all your lovely comment make me a very happy person.

now, I would have loved to actually do something special for this occasion and if I was in the UK already I would have probably invited all of my blogger friends over for tea, cake and cocktails but as I'm here by myself I didn't feel like throwing a big party, I will make up for that at some point though that's for sure.

however, I did decide to make a little something to celebrate because even if it's just me having tea and cake, it's still tea and cake after all. so I've made a little something and will be sharing a special blog birthday recipe with you later today.


18 Aug 2013


that's another week gone and I really can't believe how fast time seems to me moving forward at the moment, I feel like I only just got back from the UK but it's been almost two weeks and in less than two weeks I'll probably be there again. I've been really busy ever since I've been back, sorting my stuff, putting it into bags and boxes and different categories. I haven't been the most exceptional or creative chef this week so I hope you weren't expecting anything too interesting. I stuck to the basics and enjoying a meal out every now and then with my friends and my family.

on monday I was at my dad's and his girlfriend had made a lovely dinner that consisted of a lentil soup, burger patty with potatoes and the most amazing mini ice cream crepes out there. we had a good time and I am really appreciating every second that I get to spend with my family because I now I won't see them for a while come september. in the evening I had one of my all time summer favourites, a greek salad.

tuesday was a packing, working and eating basic things kinda day, I had a buttermilk, banana and blueberry shake while sorting and later just some turkey and vegetables with rice which is one of my most cooked things ever probably, never disappoints.

another busy day and another lovely basic meal, with what was left of the turkey I made a different version of trina's chicken stew, mine was obviously a turkey stew and I also added some chickpeas. in the afternoon it was time to meet one of my lovely friends, we went to one of my favourite coffee shops and I had a delicious prosciuttio bagel.

on thursday I spent all day with my dad and my brother at my dad's place where I was painting my chest of drawers. after about 5 hours of working we all got a little hungry so we went to a lovely greek restaurant and had an icredible meal, for me consisting of a greek starter platter, a greek salad and as a main gyros with pita. I love greek food and it always reminds me of the loveliest holidays I've had there.

another day for a basic (I'm saying this a lot, sorry) and luckily the weather was perfect for a greek salad aswell, to make it a little less boring I had a cheese and ham roll or whatever you'd call it (tell me!) to go with it. in the evening I went to my friend's house to have some cocktails and a chat with the girls, she had made us a lovely tomato and mozzarella baguette which was absolutely delicious.

on saturday I spent a lot of the time skyping with my future housemate, being introduced to her dog and bearded dragon which was really lovely, can't wait to live with her. after that I did more sorting before meeting some of my friends at the irish pub for some cider and a wonderful chicken burger, I also couldn't say no to a ben&jerry's for desert, especially as strawberry cheesecake is my favourite.

and today it's sunday and another day full of boxes and watching Friends to motivate me, I'm actually making progress and think that I'll be done with the most important things by the end of the day, fingers crossed. today I just made a big portion of turkey spaghetti bolognese which I've had for dinner and there's still some left for tea. but now back to the boxes!

I hope you've all had a lovely week and a lovely sunday today, I wish you a great start of the week tomorrow too.


16 Aug 2013

Eating Out #8: VAPIANO - VIENNA

if you remember this post then you will know that I went to vienna with two of my friends a few weeks back. that day was full of walking and talking and exploring our capital city a bit further. it was also full of lovely food most of which was consumed at the place I'll be talking about in this post, Vapiano near the Wiener Mariahilferstraße. 

me and my friends discovered this modern italian style restaurant a few years back and go there everytime we find ourselves in vienna as we don't have one near us. but international readers fear not; there are plenty of locations all over the world which can be found here. the thing I love most about it, other than the lovely food of course, is the fact that it's a self service restaurant where you can watch your food being cooked which is not only a great interactive experience but also shows how fresh the ingredients are that they use to make your food. you can read more about their concept here but it's really simple and definitely one of the things I love about the place.

you receive this card when you enter the restaurant and they'll then put all the food and drinks you have on the card and you pay when you leave, it's as easy as that.

but now let's start talking about the food shall we. they offer everything you could ask for in an italian style restaurant, antipasti, pizza, pasta and of course dolci (desserts). along the cooking bar (pictured) they have different sections for every time of food where you can watch them prepare your meal. as for drinks you can buy soft drinks where you get food but there's also a bar section where you can get vino and all sorts. I had that time so that's what I'm going to be talking about, but I've tried the pizza there before and it's delicious just in case you were wondering.

ideally you pick up one of the menus before you get to the cooking bar because I'll tell you it'll take you a while to decide. they also have a specials board right by the bar though if you want to take a look there. next thing you need to do is decide what kind of pasta you want, yes that's right, you can decide what pasta you want with your chosen sauce, isn't that brilliant? they have the usual ones like penne and spaghetti but also some really cool ones if you want to try some pasta you haven't had before, they also do whole grain ones which is really good, next step would be gluten free I think. 

after all the decisions you can now relax and watch the lovely person behind the bar make your ordered food. it's also a nice time to have a chat and they'll ask you if you want things like garlic or chili with your sauce or not so you won't end up having things in there you don't like. for people like me this is also a good possibility to spy a little bit and get recipe inspirations.

the step after that is what you've been waiting for, it's time to eat. and here's what I went for: Campanelle Salsiccia con Fichi (aka spicy italian sausage, fresh figs, tomato sauce). I'm not usually one for spicy food but I really wanted something different plus I love figs. it was spicy but I really enjoyed it, the fig gave a little something something to the dish which made it really special and I would have it again if I could.

altogether it was a very pleasant experience and I'm looking forward to going there again sometime soon and hopefully also going to one of their locations in the UK at some point. it's a restaurant I would definitely recommend because of the lovely fresh food and the modern concept. the only thing I'd say is that you shouldn't go there at peak time because you might have to queue quite a while to get your food. if you love modern italian food then you should definitely see if there's a Vapiano near you.


14 Aug 2013


I'm back in Austria now which means I have been on a plane again and documenting all the culinary sensations I experienced on my journey. after flying to Manchester via Zürich last time, it was Manchester - Düsseldorf - Vienna this time and also Lufthansa so a different airline which means different food of course.

shortly after take off from Manchester Airport at 8:20 am we got served breakfast which consisted of a chocolate croissant and tea as my drink of choice. the croissant wasn't as nice as the one I had on the flight with swiss air but I didn't expect that much as it was wrapped in plastic. it was nice enough though so I can't complain.

the flight in general was lovely too, I had a spare seat next to me so didn't have to listen to people talking about stupid things (happens to me a lot on the plane) and didn't have to feel like my arm wasn't allowed on the arm rest next to me. we landed in Düsseldorf and I had 3 hours time before my next flight which just didn't seem to want to pass at all. there was nothing to do at the airport so I ended up comparing prices of the three places that were selling food and walking up and down about ten times in the process.

after all the comparing I figured that anything above 4 euros was definitely too much for a simple sandwich that didn't even look too nice so I went for a pretzel which was only 2.50 and enjoyed that while listening to my audio book hoping for the time to go by.

I did manage to survive until my connecting flight even though if I have to do it again I'd rather do it at an airport with more shopping facilities. however, we got some nice food on the plane so that made up for it. I got a chicken and mozzarella sandwich which looks not so nice to be fair, it had a very interesting tomato paste on the inside which makes it look even more weird but I can honestly say that it was actually quite nice and definitely better than expected. although I have to say that my opinion might have been influenced by me being quite hungry at that point.

after food I spent most of the flight sleeping and listening to my audio book again and I was really glad when we finally landed in Vienna. I have to say that the flight with Lufthansa was enjoyable as much as a normal flight can be, the food was good but definitely not as nice as Swiss also because I just don't like it when they wrap all their food in unnecessary plastic which Swiss managed to avoid. if it hadn't been for the three hour wait in Düsseldorf this would've been a lovely journey with alright food.


12 Aug 2013


so this week I'm posting this almost on time which is partly because I'm back home in Austria now and even though I have a lot to do at the moment I'm doing it all at home which enables me to post posts on time. 

I got back here on tuesday after two amazing and amazingly busy weeks in the UK and a 10-ish hour journey back home. I was really happy to come back and see my family and friends but not so happy about the heat that greeted me as soon as I got off the plane. it's cooled down a bit now so it's all good and I'm spending most of my time putting stuff in boxes and meeting lovely people.

all of this also means that I don't have an exceptional amount of cooking energy left, especially when it was so hot I just couldn't be bothered standing in the even hotter kitchen and making something that'd only make me feel hot again so I decided to stick with salad mainly. however, now that it's a bit cooler I've made some little things which you'll get to see in a bit and in more detail soon.

monday was my last day in the UK so me and the boyfriend decided to make the most of it and go to liverpool so we could enjoy a mega monday (50% off food) at revolution there. yes, we do things like that. we also did a bit of shopping so it was definitely worth it. here you can see our started which are sweet potato and chorizo croquettes, these were absolutely delicious. I also had a southern fried chicken wrap which isn't pictured because the boyfriend took pictures, I'll do a post all about it soon though.
in the evening it was my boyfriend's dad's turn to make food and we were all a little bit scared how that would turn out as it's usually his mum who makes food. we were quite surprised when he served up a lovely starter which he called austria meets wales - schnitzel and paté. admittedly this sounds rather weird, but I have to say it was actually really nice, the schnitzel was from aldi and I can only recommend it. as a main we got chili with rice which was also really nice.

tuesday was the day of the long journey so it consisted mainly of airplane food which was a croissant, a  pretzel at the airport in düsseldorf and a sandwich on the second flight. my mum made a lovely pasta dish once I was home but I decided to just spend the time with my family instead of taking pictures, I was also just too tired to even remember.

officially my first day back which was mainly spend being lazy as the heat really got to me and made me unable to do much else. once it had cooled down in the evening I offered to make food for me and my mum so I made some turkey steak with roast potatoes and to go with it a lovely green bean salad obviously with pumpkin seed oil. delicious. 

I honestly can't remember what I did on thursday, but I assume it wasn't any more interesting than wednesday. I had a greek salad which is my summer day meal pretty much every day if possible. in the evening after a visit to IKEA me and my mum decided to go out for a meal, I went with fried styrian sheep cheese and salad which was really nice.

on friday I went into town to get some things sorted with my mum, after that I was invited to my dad's for lunch which was krainer sausage with cheese dumbling sounds weird, looks weird but tasted lovely indeed. it might not have been the ideal meal for a hot day, but you can't always do what the weather says. we also had a big salad to go with it which I obviously didn't take a picture of.

after a lovely thunderstorm and rain on the friday night the temperatures had started getting back to normal on the saturday meaning I decided to make something lovely for me and my mum. I've been wanting to make a shepherd's pie for ages so I made this little different version, I'll post a recipe soon as I was really happy with it and my mum enjoyed her introduction to british food.

sunday was mainly spent sorting so I was really happy to have made some lovely little shepherd's pie which I enjoyed with a greek salad. I'll definitely post the recipe soon. 

altogether another good week, not very exciting as I'm now back home and have a lot of things to do that keep me from spending hours in the kitchen, however I'll do my best to get some recipes together before I leave in september. I hope you're all well and you've had a good start to the week.