Wednesday, 30 October 2013


Since leaving university my group of friends and I are feeling a little more mature. We have all got jobs (mostly) and have left the family home. Therefore, it seemed fitting for us to celebrate the beautiful Lauren's birthday in an equally mature fashion. A candlelit dinner was on the menu and, Lauren being the foodie she is, we just knew we were in for a treat. 

Having walked around university as a bit of a pack, our recent divorcing from one another has been somewhat difficult. The prospect of a fun filled night together was something far too exciting to comprehend. I was particularly excited about the prospect of adult conversation as my small talk has recently taken a nose dive towards the ridiculous (read killer dorm spiders and 'do we have to do our prep?!'). 

We donned our best, the boys sporting tweeds and the girls their favourite A/W13 pieces. Lauren's enviable house was even wearing its finery, it really was a feast for the eyes.

We might have matured but we still like to enjoy a little frivolity. Vast amounts of wine, champagne and cheese were consumed, glasses lay around everywhere and even into the small hours we were still hacking away at the now cold baked Camembert. The birthday girl had cooked up a storm with salmon, ginger chocolate tortes and lemon posset. We wouldn't have imagined anything else from Lady Lauren. 






                The lovely Lauren and equally wonderful Harry.


                            Sneaky sneaky.




Having exhausted conversation and out embarrassed ourselves with our dancing abilities we jumped in a, somewhat hair raising taxi, and passed out for the night.




Sunday was not fun. 

Unable to eat the fry up, I whimpered and moaned to my friends. I can only apologise guys! And worst news of all, I had to be back in work for the girls arrival later that day. Disaster! I was not a happy bear.

Perhaps next time I'll take a leaf out of my sensible friends' book. Put the wine glass down. 

                       .... The morning after.

Thank you for a raucous and wonderful night, Lauren.

And I blame you for my somewhat delicate state..


... The photos are a combination of friends and my own.. Sneakily lifted off fb. I take no credit. 

Friday, 25 October 2013

blog lovin

I'm slowly learning the blogging ways. I've heard about blog lovin before and thought I should probably jump on the bandwagon, if I want to become super world famous, pontificating away about all things nice. 

I've been told to put this address into this post.

<a href="">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a> 

I think if you click on it, you can easily follow my blog. How great is that! So please do click, readers! 

I'm out tonight for a supper with the fam. Post to follow. 

Plus I'm being reunited with my wonderful uni friends at a dinner party on Saturday. I'm expecting lots of laughs, fabulous food and just a little bit of inappropriate behaviour. The perfect mix. 




Happy Friday! 


Monday, 21 October 2013

winter warmer

Hurrah! I have survived a whole half term of work. As soon as I could I scrambled back home to the comfort of the Worcestershire countryside and my own bed. This weekend has predominantly been spent asleep and it has been lovely. However now it is Monday I feel I should be doing something productive. So I've made a warming soup to feed Dad with after working out in the pouring rain we've had this morning.

It is safe to say we are experiencing a tropical down pour right now. Dogs still need walking in this weather though so Callie and I donned our best wellies and coats and went for a very muddy wander. 




Listening to London Grammar we had a good explore.



Secret hideaway.


Ooops... Don't tell the farmer (sorry, Dad)


Back safe and dry I cracked on with the soup. I love butternut squash. It's filling, beautifully coloured and so very seasonal right now. Eat as much as you can get your sticky little mits on. Soups, curries, risottos and dahls...all dreamy.  

I picked soup this time though. Firstly, split your squash in two. Season well with salt and pepper and a good pinch of cumin. Add a generous glug of olive oil too. Whack in the oven at 180 for about half an hour, or until its soft to touch with a knife and easy to peel away from its skin. 


Whilst the squash is roasting away, chop a large onion, crush a garlic clove and simmer in a large pan. I also like to add a cooking apple- it seems to take away the overly salty taste from the stock and adds a nice autumnal dimension to the soup. 


Get some good quality stock and add the smallest amount to the softened apple and onion mix. Safe the rest for the main course. 

Take out your gleaming squashes.


They will smell a m a z ing when they come out the oven.

Next you need to take off the skin. This should be easy peasy if the squash is cooked properly. You should be able to slide a knife under the skin and just peel away. Chop your butternut into chunks, pop in the pan and get a hand blender. 


Take cover! Splash back always throws up issues...

I like to add a good pinch of Cayenne Pepper. Gives the soup a bit of VaVaVoom and will warm even the coldest of hearts up. 


Add the stock and whack the heat up until smooth and velvety.


Deeeelicious! (And very nutricious) Hurrah!  


Tuesday, 15 October 2013

bramble bramble

I will be the first to admit I love a good cocktail. Having sampled a LOT at university, due to the overwhelmingly good selection of bars found in York, I'd go as far as saying I'm a bit of a connoisseur.

I will also be the first to admit I love Made in Chelsea. I know I know, it's awful and the people aren't really real and the story lines are totally ridiculous, but there's something hugely absorbing about it. I want to watch Francis long board down the King's Road, see Phoebe outrageously flirt in a hot tub and get angry at Spenny's inevitably disgusting behavior again. Andy isn't too bad either... 

Last night was the beginning of the new series and it was also the last Monday before half term. The lovely girls Mel, Sarah, Heather and myself decided we needed to celebrate surviving six weeks of boarding school with a cheeky tipple. Mel and I had dragged our bodies to a bodypump class beforehand so of course the natural thing to do was cancel out all our good efforts and shake up a cracking cocktail. 

Brambles were on the menu. I've had a number of these over the last few years and they are so easy and so so delicious. We were armed with these ingredients.



I love the Chambord bottle- it's like a little grenade of blackberry-ness.


Firstly I got the glasses ice cold, you can pop them in the freezer for a bit or simply fill them with ice. Next, I poured a generous measure of gin into the bottom of a half ice filled glass. Mash up a handful of blackberries, give a good squeeze of lime (leave in the glass) and a few sprigs of fresh mint. Add a measure of Chambord....easy now! Give this delightful concoction a stir and top with more ice and a dash of soda water. 


                             Et voila! 


                   Chelsea and Brambles. The best mix.


Maybe I can win over Andy's heart with these babies..? 


*please drink responsibly- nothing worse than an overly drunkie monkey* 

Monday, 14 October 2013

avo-nice day!

My perfect Saturday morning would normally consist of waking up past 9, going for a run and then cooking a delicious brunch. If there is one thing I dislike about my job, it would be the fact that a Saturday is no different to a Monday or a Tuesday or any other weekday. Instead, I still have an alarm set for anti-social o'clock, and by 8.30am I have already done, what feels like, a full day. Oh the joys of Saturday school. 

So, having supplied the girls with squash and a home baked bun for break, I ran back up to my house and grabbed a few hours of normality. Along with two of my colleagues, I decided to make the perfect brunch. This consists of bacon, avocados, ciabatta and scrambled eggs. 


In my last term at uni I became obsessed with avocados. At almost every opportunity I would pack them into a meal. On toast, in a dip or simply scooped out of a shell with a tea spoon, I love them in every and any form. I'm pretty convinced too that they are a super food. Probably full of excellent oils and some sort of antioxidants maybe... (I don't actually know, but this is what I tell myself..). 

Ok, SO, lets get to the core of this post. My perfect brunch. 

Grill your bacon (if you're feeling semi healthy). Get good quality stuff, overly salty and fatty bacon is just nooooo. Bleurgh. In the mean time slice open a ciabatta and pop under the grill too to get nice and crispy and warm. Mash up 2 avos, add a pinch of coarse sea salt and cracked black pepper- note, there is nothing worse than an under ripe avocado. Bain of my life I tell you. Spread generously on your crispy ciabattas. 

Whip up your favourite eggs. I chose scrambled, purely because I am utterly hopeless at poaching an egg properly. By now your bacon should be totally crispy and delicious. Pop on top of your gleaming lime toasts and serve with the eggs on the side. I like to drizzle balsamic glaze over mine. Another thing I am a little too obsessed with. 




You can add a glug of Tabasco or Worcestershire sauce to the avocado mash if you like, or keep it nice and simple. 


It is safe to say these didn't last long! Half term is next week and I can almost promise you now that I'll be whipping these up at least twice during my time off. Brunch just wouldn't be the same without them.


N.B The 'colleagues' are the lovely Sarah and Mel. They, apparently, require a credit. 

Friday, 11 October 2013

london rain

Someone has suddenly decided it should be winter now. I woke up yesterday to a flurry of tweets and statuses about winter coats and the sudden influx of sharp frosts.

I was still in bed. Was it really that cold out there?! I guess I should have an investigate, after all, I had been in bed for far too long. 

The tweets were right. It was blowy and grey- a really miserable, dull day. And I was off to London in it. Lovely.


Rather than just waste the day floating round shops, I decided I wanted to actually do something with my day off. My friend Harry is working for a Sports PR company (or something like that..) near Marylebone and so I met him for a brief lunch and a catch up. Having caught up with the goss I headed to the National Gallery to see the new exhibition, 'Facing the Modern, Vienna 1900'.

Having studied History of Art at university I felt I needed to do something to fulfill my art needs. Having read up on the exhibition before hand I decided it sounded worth a visit. Plus it would keep me inside for a bit whilst a storm brewed. 




Miserable. Utterly miserable. 


Cheeky blue cock on the fourth plinth. I love this- such a great colour and the immature side of me can't help but giggle. 

The exhibition was fantastic. It's only just launched and I found myself meandering through the works with review critics and the likes. It was quite exciting. Of course, there was the obligatory handful of art snobs who babbled on about the complexities of the pieces. Blah blah blahhhh. 

I really do recommend you pop in to see it. The works are amazing and really struck a cord with me. I do like a good painting that shocks. 

I decided to walk along The Strand and up to Covent Garden. Hearing the dulcet tones of Pachebel's Canon I had to stop and take a photo.




Look at this window display at Penhalligons! I reckon it'd be such fun being a window dresser! 


From Covent Garden I cut through to Seven Dials, via Neal Street. Here I got distracted by Urban outfitters and bought these little beauties. A complete impulse buy but obviously totally necessary...


A quick dash through the rain and I found myself back at Oxford Circus and eating frozen yoghurt with my housemate from uni. 

A whistle stop tour round central London in the dreariest of weather- at least I had a good explore. And I got those boots. 


Monday, 7 October 2013


It seems my blog is facing technical problems. The internal computer system at school has blocked it for the time being but I am in the process of getting it revoked. Clearly I'm educating the girls in unimaginable things, like baking and the art of journal writing.... Told you I could be occasionally inappropriate.

Watch this space for more scandal.


Friday, 4 October 2013



Having caught up with the majority of "Peaky Blinders" in bed (which, by the way, is excellent) I decided to pop to Oxford to catch up with an old friend and explore some of the brilliant independent shops the city has to offer. It was a fairly miserable day to begin with so wrapped up in thick wooly tights and my new leather biker jacket I crossed the border in to Oxfordshire. 

My first port of call was to pick Hannah up from her hair-dressers. I'm currently sporting what can only be described as the badger look (I'm in dire need of having a re-colour) and so as I stepped into the fancy Mahogany in cool downtown Jericho I was somewhat conscious of my flustered look. Hannah, as always, looked impeccable. Excellent. I blame the tyranny of 11 year olds. 

After a quick stop off to see her fancy new digs down by the canal, we made our way to Turl Street. I've been down this little road before but mainly just to get from one place to another. It has some great bars and cool cafes, alongside the obligatory hugely impressive Oxford College hidden behind a vast gateway. 



We also spotted a fairly terrifying Anthony Gormley sculpture peering down over the street from up above Blackwells. 


                             Don't jump!!

This is the moment I should probably confess my love for anything leather (don't get too many ideas...) and books. I'm a total nerd. For my 21st birthday my lovely friends bought me a beautiful fountain pen inscribed with my name and I currently have my heart set on a proper leather journal to plot all my genius (naturally..) ideas down. So when I Stumbled across Scriptum I got just a liiiitle bit excited. 


The window was full to bursting with old fashioned scrolls, hot air balloons, pens and pocket watches. 


When we walked in it was a cavern. Oh my god. Breathe. 




Hannah and I were like children in a sweet shop. A leathery, papery sweet shop. 


Going upstairs we found wonderfully illustrated Folio Society books, spanning all titles and decades. There was even a basket full of hand marbled paper from Venice. Wahhhhh. 


My favourite little find however, was the section full of soft leather journals. I rather fancied this little lime beauty. The prices range from £10 for a pocket book to £120 for a large refillable journal. They also provide a nifty little engraving service- £16 for up to 10 letters and then a pound for every letter thereafter.


The whole shop is just incredible. Completely full of charming stationery and witty quotes.





The obligatory Oxford College photograph... Dashing boys, dashing.


I wish there were more shops like this, they're a dying breed. Thankfully they have a website. Check it out and see if you can fill your shopping trolley as much as I can!