Saturday, 30 November 2013

driving Cadillacs in our dreams

Ahh, the roll neck. Also known as the polo neck, turtle neck or sometimes even cowl neck, depending on the size and degree of slouch in the neck (I definitely just made that up). What ever you call them, they've well and truly made a comeback for AW13. Hoorah! I'm definitely a jumper and scarf kinda girl - warm and snuggly knits, yes please! 

Last weekend I picked up a plain black, fitted polo neck jumper from Mango for under a tenner and now I've got the bug. I've realised it might have something to do with the woman in my hair inspo photo wearing one, ha! Next on my list is something a little more slouchy, like the above. Clockwise from top left; H&M, Whistles, Reiss, H&M. I've just ordered the first H&M one online, at £14.99 I couldn't say no. There are a couple of good H&M codes that work at the moment too - for 25% off your most expensive item enter '0560' and for an additional £5 off (can be used together) enter '1304' at the checkout. Nothing wrong with a cheeky payday treat in the lead up to Christmas! 

Do you love a roll neck?

Thursday, 21 November 2013


Top Monki Books Amazon Necklace The Bohemian Collective Jeans Topshop Scarf River Island Slippers Debenhams Phone Case ASOS

Introducing my very monochrome Christmas list! Above are some of the things I'm lusting over at the moment moving into the festive period, who knew I was so... dull?! Clearly muted tones are a thing for me at the moment, maybe its the cold weather. 

The books are just a couple I'm interested in reading; I could do a whole post solely on future reads (maybe I will!) but these are my top two. The Lost Child of Philomena Lee is based on the new film Philomena with Judi Dench - I've not seen it but my Mum said its a great story, which hopefully will be portrayed in the book...

"When she fell pregnant as a teenager in Ireland in 1952, Philomena Lee was sent to the convent of Roscrea, Co. Limerick, to be looked after as a ‘fallen woman’ and at the age of three her baby was whisked away and ‘sold’ to America for adoption. Coerced into signing a document promising ‘Never to Seek to Know’ what the Church did with him, she never saw him again. She would spend the next fifty years searching for her son, unaware that he spent his life searching for her."

Have I missed anything from my list?

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

baked goods

This weekend was largely spent relaxing, cleaning and prettifying our house, seeing family and... eating. When its cold outside, there is nothing better than cosying-up in the sitting room with good food and good company! For us, baked Camembert is the one for setting that atmosphere and warming us up. We were chatting about all the exciting things we've got coming up over the next month or so in the lead up to Christmas - I love this time of year for all the things to look forward to...

1. Getting my hair coloured a bit darker this weekend, then going for the big chop on December 23rd. Ahhh! I've instagrammed what sort of look I'm going for - what do you think?

2. Seeing Tabitha and Leanne at the weekend for brunch and a touch of festive shopping.

3. Visiting Winchester Christmas market with my work girls (see Hannah's amazing blog here) for festive food and spirit.

4. Seeing our gorgeous little niece and nephew for cuddles and high-fives, respectively.

5. Catching up with a Uni friend at Borough Market - my first time, what's good?!

6. Various festive food and drinks with different groups of friends, especially with my girls and all the boyfriends - the third consecutive year, always messy!

7. Putting the Christmas decs up... December 1st come ooooon.

8. Starting Christmas shopping - I love buying for other people, especially at Christmas time when the shops are festive and lovely! 

9. Beginning the Christmas baking - still searching for inspiration, any ideas?

10. And finally, eating my way through all the festive sandwiches the shops have to offer. M&S, I'm coming for you!

What are you looking forward to?


Monday, 18 November 2013

deep south

Now making your own burgers is the easiest, cheapest and most satisfying thing ever! They don't just have to be for summer time BBQs either - in fact, homemade burgers are best cooked on a griddle pan, as they are more likely to be a bit crumbly than shop-bought burgers. They can be made to be your basic burger with bap, or you could fancy them up to be the perfect gourmet burger - serve with goats cheese, stilton, avocado, bacon, chilli, jalapenos or roasted veg... the list goes on!

Want to make them festive? Add brie and cranberry, delish. Or my boyfriend's suggestion - tinsel. Cheers, love.

You will need (for four burgers)
500g minced beef
1 onion - finely chopped
1 weetabix
1 egg
1 stock cube
Worcestershire sauce (1 tablespoon)
Dijon mustard (1 teaspoon)
Chilli powder (a dash)
Dried oregano (a dash)
Mixed spice (a dash)

A few bits and pieces... Some prefer to fry off their onions first (I am one of those) and some prefer to just whack them in raw and cook all at once. You decide! You do need to chop them up fairly well though, or they'll cause the burger to fall apart more easily. Use what seasoning you have; you really can experiment which these until you find the perfect taste. Before you cook your burgers, pop them in the fridge for at least 30 minutes - this will prevent them from falling apart when cooking. Make sure your pan (preferably a griddle pan) is nice and hot before you whack them on. 

The doing is easy - shove all your ingredients in a mixing bowl, get your hands in there and combine! People are often shocked by the weetabix; this is used alongside the egg to bind your burgers. Alternatively, you can use a small handful of breadcrumbs. Separate your mixture into four balls, then squish into burger shapes with your hands. Pop in fridge for at least 30 minutes. Fry for about 5 minutes on each side (depending on size and thickness) and place cheese on top a few minutes before they're done if you fancy. 

Do you have a great burger recipe? 


Thursday, 14 November 2013

old ground

Last weekend was spent house/dog sitting for my parents - having moved out about 18 months ago, I can really appreciate time spent back at my parents house... especially when we are free to roam! The weekend was spent cooking on their Aga-type-thing, sat round the wood burning stove and walking the pooch; a real weekend retreat! I tucked into Mum's magazine collection - not a Look or Glamour in sight, but plenty of festive inspiration and some great home made Christmas ideas. 

I love my parents' house - it's an old schoolhouse (literally, not like gangsta old!) so has plenty of character, but they've done it up and renovated so many rooms now it is just lovely. Cold, but lovely! I have to admit they have pretty good taste in home decor and design - an eclectic mix of rustic old country house charm, fresh modern clean spaces, ethnic-inspired touches and the obligatory scattering of Ikea bits and pieces. I think I've very much taken on their love of mixing feels and themes; I cannot stand an overly designed home! I love how they've managed to turn a really old, traditional building into something that has a mix of old and new, and not gone down the completely over-done Cath Kidston/chintzy/shabby chic route. I hope one day we can own a home that really reflects our tastes; renting is such a snooze! 


Saturday, 9 November 2013

pimp your eggs

Yes, that's right. Another weekend, another breakfast post featuring poached eggs. I promise, I do eat other things too! This morning Rich and I woke up at my parents' house near Winchester - we're house/dog sitting for the weekend - and had planned on going out for some breakfast (the Cornerhouse in Winchester does a great one!). Feeling tired and lazy, I looked in the fridge on the off-chance Mum and Dad might have some bits and pieces we could throw together rather than going out, and to my delight found the ingredients for something delish. English muffins, bacon, spinach, poached eggs and tomatoes/mushrooms. PJs still on I threw the following together, and boy was it good.

My parents have an Everhot (like an Aga) which can be a bit of a bitch to cook on, but between the two hot plates and the rather techy induction plate it made for the perfect egg-poaching station. Electric hobs just don't cut it for heat-control! I fried the bacon, eggs and mushrooms in a non-stick pan without any oil, then popped in the warming oven to keep toasty. Whilst wilting the spinach I toasted the muffins on the hot plate and poached the eggs; throw it all together and you've got something magical. 

More breakfast posts here and here - enjoy!


Wednesday, 6 November 2013

doors and disney

I have a confession to make. I like doors. Those of you who have read my blog for a while, may remember my obsession with doors when I went to Madrid... it's clearly the continent which gets my door obsession going! Paris is just a gorgeous city, made even more so by a splattering of aged, interesting touches like these. For those of you who don't give a hoot about a piece of wood set between a wall (when you put it like that...) I've also included some pictures I took on my phone in Disney. Hurrah!

Just beaut, right?

And finally, the day before exploring Paris itself Kat and I went to Disney to live out childhood dreams. It was busy (half term, damn being a teacher!) but the atmosphere never fails to disappoint! I was even made to go on a scary ride... not my thing as I'm a massive wuss, but fun nonetheless. It was then compensated with the teacups, Dumbo and Snow White - on which we got stuck! -  among others. A fun but completely knackering day!


Sunday, 3 November 2013


- now Halloween is over, we're officially allowed to be excited for Christmas... and lets be honest, aside from the momentary interest in fancy dress and sweet treats, Halloween is just a big pile of let down anyway.

- only a month until its socially acceptable to put up your Christmas decs - that means we can now start the unhealthy obsession with buying reindeer-shaped decorations and the like, that cost a small fortune but only see the light of day for a month each year. Yuussss! Why do I sound so bitter?! I friggin' love buying overpriced decorations. 

- the weather has turned, its cold... time to dig out scarves and hats. Life is infinitely better with knitwear.

- bonfire night provides the perfect opportunity to wear said knitwear. Remember remember the fifth of November...

- shops start to sell festive sandwiches. M&S I'm looking at you... come on now. Turkey and stuffing sandwiches, get in my belly.

- the outside world becomes instantly prettier and more instagrammable.

- granted, Christmas is still yonks away, but we can begin the countdown to the 1st of December. Yup, advent calendars. One teeny piece of chocolate a day to help the festive cheer!

- dieting fades into insignificance as the unavoidable Christmas plumpness fast approaches. Might as well give up now and submit to two-month-long snacking. You need to prepare your stomach for the onslaught of food in December after all. 

- roaring open fires - if not in your own home, then in cosy pubs. In fact, that's where I'm off to now. Toodles!

Did you see my Paris photos yesterday?

Saturday, 2 November 2013

nomad friend

So earlier this week I went to Paris - a day in Disney and then a day taking in the sights and scenes of the city with my good pal Kat. We crammed a lot into the short time we were there, and have returned home with barely functional legs, and feet in much need of some tlc... clearly I don't have as much exploring stamina these days!  

These are some of the snaps from the second day of our trip; we attempted to fit as much in as possible before our train home in the late afternoon. Montmarte, Sacre Coeur, Moulin Rouge, Arc de Triumph, Champs Elysees, Trocadero to see the Eiffel Tower, Le Marais and Bastille. Phew! It was a shame we didn't have longer to see Paris properly, but was great to get out of the UK and get a bit of culture (err, and Disney!). I am a sucker for impressive architecture, a bit of history and good food. I'm already planning my next trip back to explore properly! You can check out Kat's post here.

Next up; a few pictures from Disney... and doors. Yeh, you heard right! Watch this space. 

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