Monday, 28 October 2013

make the most of november - bucket list

(Click on image to download the printable)

Autumn has definitely kicked in! Darker nights, rain and chilly days. I am starting to look for a winter coat and lipstick to match, before it gets really cold! Scarf and gloves time is upon us!

Here is my bucket list for November with lots of exciting things on it to do. I just hope the weather doesn't stop us doing them. We were planning to go to a Halloween festival yesterday but the rain made it impossible!

We are off on a trip to lovely Dorset next month. It's a lovely place for walks along the beach and relaxing. I'm really looking forward to it!

Have you any plans for November?

Saturday, 26 October 2013

how to make the best apple and blackberry pie

I felt like baking today and, as it was on my October bucket list, I decided to make this lovely seasonal apple and blackberry pie. It's a tasty way to use any blackberries you have picked and frozen this autumn. The apples, blackberries and ginger work so well together. I've never been particularly confident with pastry, but this is very easy to make.

Sweet shortcrust pastry
500g organic plain flour, plus some for dusting
100g icing sugar, sifted
250g cold butter, cubed
zest of a lemon
2 large eggs
splash of milk
  1. Sieve flour onto clean worktop then sieve icing sugar over that. Work the butter, with your hands, into the mixture until it is crumbly and fine.
  2. Add the eggs and milk into the mixture and work together until you can make a ball of dough.
  3. Flour the worktop and place the dough on top. Pat it into a flat round shape, lightly flour and wrap in cling film. Put in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Blackberry and apple pie
50g butter, plus some for greasing
100g golden caster sugar, plus some for dusting
2 Bramley cooking apples, peeled cored and cut into 16 wedges
4 Cox's apples, peeled cored and cut into 8 wedges
1 heaped tablespoon chopped stem ginger in syrup
150g blackberries
1 large organic egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.
  2. Put the sugar and butter into a pan. When the butter has melted, add the  apples, stem ginger and tablespoon of ginger syrup. Slowly cook for 15 minutes with lid on.
  3. Add blackberries and stir and cook for 5 minutes with lid off.
  4. Dust the worktop with flour. Cut the pastry in half and use a floured rolling pin to roll out one of the pieces, until it is just less than a centimetre thick.
  5. Butter a shallow 26cm pie dish and line it with the pastry. Trim of the excess with a sharp knife. Don't trim it too close as I did, as the pastry shrinks a little.
  6. Tip the cooled blackberries and apples into a sieve, saving the juices. Make a mound of the fruit in the middle of the pie dish and spoon over half of the reserved  juices. 
  7. Brush the edge of the pastry with beaten egg. Then roll out the second piece of pastry like the first and lay over the pie. Trim the edges and crimp with your fingers
  8. Brush the top of the pie with the rest of the beaten egg. Sprinkle generously with sugar and cinnamon. and make a couple of cuts in the top of the pastry.
  9. Place the pie on a baking tray and place on the bottom of the oven for 55 to 60 minutes until the crust is golden brown and crisp.
Serve your pie with lashings of rich, golden custard and enjoy.
This recipe can be found in 'Jamie at Home'.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

365 project - a photo a day

Themes from the top, left to right: light, made me smile, sweet, from my childhood, on the wall, what you did today, unexpected, frame, gold.

I'm still enjoying taking a photo a day and posting on the 365Project, although it's getting harder taking photographs to a prompt now the nights are drawing in. The Maltesers photo is one of my favourites so far; you do end up doing some daft things for 365. 

It's quite a lovely community of people on the 365Project and I do enjoy seeing photo's taken all round the world taken on the same day as mine. For example, Zambianlass takes some gorgeous images of Zambia and Jack's photo's of animals are just incredible. 

Monday, 21 October 2013

how to wear polka dots and spots

I am in so love with polka dots and spots right now! The Zara jeans I have had for a while, they are very similar to a pair of Marc Jacobs jeans that were retailing at £110! These were £30; a bargain! I have always wanted a polka dot blouse so I was very happy when I saw this one in Topshop. I think the blouse and jeans work well together. What do you think?

We took these photos in a cute little village not far from where we live. The sun kept trying to come out! We were on our way to a quaint pub for lunch. A great way to spend a Saturday!

What would you wear a polka dot blouse with? Linking up with Patti at Not Dead Yet Style for Visible Monday, Elena from DC in Style for Monday Bloom, Renae from Simply Sequins for Fashion Friday and Rachel from Rachel The hat for Passion for fashion, Friday Fab Favourites and What I Wore.

I'm wearing
Zara jeans (last seen here)
Topshop blouse
H&M shoes
Ted Baker bag (last seen here)
Primark sunnies
Topshop necklace and rings
River Island bracelet

Saturday, 19 October 2013

baked frittata with sun-dried tomatoes

A frittata is an egg-based Italian dish, similar to an omelette, with additional ingredients such as pasta. Instead of folding over the ingredients like an omelette, the filling is all over inside the frittata.

If you are looking for a quick and easy lunch that is delicious and light, this is for you. Perfect for a Saturday! You could use any leftovers to have cold for lunch at work.
250g (9oz) dried penne rigate
4 large eggs
75g (2 to 3oz) sundried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped
10ng dis0g (3 1/2 oz) frozen peas, defrosted
60g (2 oz) Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
3 tablespoons olive oil 
salt and freshly ground black pepper

1) Cook the pasta in boiling water until al dente. Drain and rinse the cooked pasta in cold water to prevent further cooking. Leave to drain.
2) Break the eggs into a large bowl and add the tomatoes, peas and Parmesan. Season and mix everything together. Add the pasta to the mixture and stir well. Leave to rest for two minutes. Preheat the oven to 190°C / gas mark 5.
3)Pour the oil into a 22cm (8inch) baking dish with sides about 5cm (2 inches) deep, coating all the dish well. Pour in the pasta mixture and level it out.
4) Cook in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes until crispy and set. Remove the frittata from the oven and allow it to rest for two minutes before serving.

This is another delicious recipe from Gino D'Acampo in La Dolce Diet.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

an adventure in a new town

A couple of weeks ago, as part of my September bucket list, we visited a little market town called Newark. I have passed through it very briefly and thought how nice it looked so we decided to explore and see what we could find. What has happened to the lovely weather we were having?

There is the remains of a castle built here in 1123 which stands proudly overlooking the river Trent. It was so peaceful and calm inside the castle walls. People were sitting on the grass and benches sunbathing, reading and relaxing. I could easily have stayed here for the day just soaking up the tranquil atmosphere.

This was one of the first buildings we saw as we walked into the town. 

The church is very prominent and dates back to the 11th or 12th century. I didn't realise how much history this little town has; it played a big part in the English Civil War. I loved all the cute shops and houses, just my thing! Can you see the lovely black and white buildings in the top left of the photo? This is where we sat and had a yummy lunch.

How sweet and quaint is this old public house. We had to stop for a pit stop!

A view of the lovely cobble stoned market square. 

This is one of the oldest buildings in Newark. It was formally an inn and it has managed to keep all its charm.

We were really lucky to come across this beautiful wedding that had just taken place. The men all looked very handsome in their kilts and the bride looked gorgeous. I got a bit emotional as I was thinking soon it will be us. It made me feel excited about the good times to come!

No, there was nothing to see at the bottom of the steps! Just a locked door.

Doesn't it look a lovely place to have a picnic and relax? 

There is a walk beside the river with a pub and a cosy, little tea shop. If we hadn't just eaten we would have stopped for afternoon tea. I will save that for next time!

I'm so glad we came here for the day but it does need to be sunny to get the most out of it. I can't wait to come back again with a picnic and a book and just relax by the river. A lovely way to spend a day.

What I wore
H&M boyfriend jeans - wardrobe
H&M white t-shirt - wardrobe
Primark striped top
Zara scarf - wardrobe
Primark canvas shoes - wardrobe
Tesco satchel - wardrobe
Primark sunnies- wardrobe

Monday, 14 October 2013

how to create storage with style

This was my perfect solution for the extra storage I needed for my crockery. I fell in love with this shabby chic dresser as soon as I saw it. For those of you who know me, you will already know how much I adore all things shabby chic!

The beauty of it is, the dresser is shallow and doesn't intrude too far into the room. Everything is easy to see and reach when you need it. With the shelving being open, it does give me an excuse to buy colourful, pretty pots. I buy many of my pots from the flea market and Jules china shop in Hebden Bridge. Check her goodies out here.

I like to dress it up at different times of the year; see here how it looked at Easter. It won't be long until I'm dressing it up for Christmas!

Have a lovely Monday.

Friday, 11 October 2013

fun at the fair

What to wear on a warm autumn day for a fair? I decided to go for a dress that I took on my summer holiday and team it with a jumper and ankle boots to give it an autumnal feel. 

A great colour match; bag, booties and leaves!

We had an absolutely amazing time at the annual Goose Fair in Nottingham. I have never been before but I will definitely be back next year! It dates back 700 years and is apparently called the Goose Fair because geese were brought here to be sold. It took us about five hours to see it all.

I love all the colours against the sky; spectacular!

I love hook-a-duck, a fair is just not the same without one. There were so many different stalls selling all types of street food but I went for the traditional mushy peas and mint sauce. Yummy comfort food on a cool evening. There is a number one rule when you are at a fair; always eat a toffee apple and candy floss!!

Having a quiet moment before we tackled the crowds again!

This ride was by far the best one I went on! This picture doesn't do it justice but you can just see how it swings up into the air at top speed before twisting back down again! Wow!!

You kind of get an idea of the scale of the rides when you look at this photo. I was amazed by the whole experience! I did not want to leave!

Being here reminded me how long it is since I went to Alton Towers. I think a trip is in order soon!

What I'm wearing
Primark jumper
Topshop booties
Primark bag - wardrobe
Primark sunnies - wardrobe
Necklace - wardrobe