Thursday, 21 November 2013

Monday, 18 November 2013

fall florals

This outfit is a blast from the past! I have had this dress quite a while but I still love wearing it. I came across it on a mannequin in a shop window and it said buy me! Today I paired it with a lovely suede jacket I was lucky enough to get in the sale and a pair of my favourite shoes.

As it was such a lovely day we decided to have a stroll through the park. The autumnal colours were beautiful, it is such a pretty time of year. I love walking through all the crunchy, red leaves.

What do you love about Autumn?

Have a lovely Monday!

Linking up with Wardrobe Wednesday, Visible Monday, Monday Mingle, Monday Bloom, Funday Monday, Watch What I'm WearingCreative Mondays and I Feel Pretty.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

shepherds pie with spiced parsnip mash

It's coming to that time of year, when the weather is getting a little chilly and wet, that we start to crave a little comfort food. Shepherd's pie is great for a cold night and is very filling. I always make more than I need as it freezes so well.

I always feel cosy, warm and full after I have eaten a dish of this. Although, I can always make room for dessert!

This shepherd's pie topping has a very nice slightly spicy twist. If you fancy a change from the norm, give this a go.

-For the topping
900g/2lbs large parsnips, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 onions, slliced
large pinch ground cumin
1 tablespoon garam masala
1tablespoon freshly ground coriander seeds
50g/2oz butter
salt and freshly ground black peppper

-For the filling
2 leeks, chopped (can use onions)
1 carrot diced
3 tablespoons dripping or butter
4 brown mushrooms, sliced
450g/1lb lamb or beef mince
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon tomato puree
250ml/9oz chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1 spring thyme
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

  1. Boil the parsnips in salted water for about 15 to 20 minutes or until tender.
  2. Meanwhile, fry the leeks in the butter until soft and translucent. Add the spices and stir for 2 minutes.
  3. Drain the parsnips and mash them together with the butter, salt and pepper. Put to one side.
  4. Cook the chopped leeks and the diced carrot with the butter until they are soft and golden.
  5. Add the sliced mushrooms, cook for five more minutes and then stir in the mince. let the mince cook and brown for five minutes, breaking it up as needed.
  6. Add the flour and the tomato puree and continue to cook, stirring frequently, for three to four minutes.
  7. Add the hot stock, the bay leaf and the thyme, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and leave to simmer slowly for 25 to 30 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 190C/375F/gas mark 5.
  9. Season the filling with salt, Worcestershire sauce and plenty of black pepper.
  10. Put the mixture in a large baking dish and dollop the mashed parsnip on top. Bake for about 25  minutes until the top is golden brown.

This recipe can be found on Nigel Slater's A Taste of My Life.


Monday, 11 November 2013

an outfit for an autumn walk

Isn't Autumn a lovely time of year? The colours everywhere are so beautiful here at the moment. As it was such a lovely morning we decided to take a stroll through the botanical gardens; a pleasant place for a walk and a picnic (when it's not raining of course).

I am in love with Peter Pan collar dresses. I spotted this one and knew straightaway I had to have it. Do you ever get that feeling when you see something you like, you just know it will look fine! Well, that's how I felt about this dress! I have another dress very similar to this which you can see here.

I have been waiting all summer to wear this chunky cardigan. I bought it in the sale earlier in the year to wear on days like this, cold but bright. 

I also have an obsession with brogues, I love them. When I see them in a shop I stop a while and have a little drool! I am trying to collect a pair in every colour! 

The beautiful restored Victorian glasshouses you can see in the background houses plant collections from different regions around the world and is so worth a visit. We were lucky enough to see a wedding taking place here a few weeks ago. It was beautiful. 

A view looking down towards the fountain from outside the glasshouse. We had a lovely chat with an older couple while we were stood here as he was asking us what we were photographing. He showed us a lovely picture he had painted and obviously took real joy from it. That's the kind of place it is here, friendly, pleasant and easygoing.

We finished the day off with a Starbucks festive gingerbread latte and a cranberry and orange muffin. Buy one, get one free too! It won't be long before I'm back!

River Island dress
Ark cardigan - wardrobe
Urban Outfitters Brogues - wardrobe
Urban Outfitters Bag - wardrobe
Topshop Burgundy Tights - wardrobe
Topshop Necklace
Topshop Rings
Sunnies - wardrobe

Have a lovely Monday! Linking up with Elena from DC In Style for Monday Bloom and Alison from Get Your Pretty On.

Friday, 8 November 2013

how to make a quick prawn balti curry

This is a perfect quick meal when you come in late from work, and it is healthy too!  I usually make this if I am feeling really tired as it doesn't require much effort! As it is ready in under 15 minutes, and the ingredients are mainly from the store cupboard, it is just so convenient. The spicy tomato sauce, together with the prawns, is just delicious.

desert spoon oil (rapeseed, ground nut or similar)
2 tablespoons medium or balti curry paste
1/2 medium onion, peeled and finely sliced
1 tablespoon mango chutney
4 ripe tomatoes, quartered
200g cooked prawns
100g spinach (fresh is best but frozen is okay)

  1. Pour the oil in a non-stick frying pan or wok on a low heat. Add the curry paste and onion. Turn up to a medium heat and cook for 3 minutes, stirring often, until the onions is softened.
  2. Add the tomatoes, chutney and 200ml of cold water. Once it is simmering, leave to bubble for 4 minutes. Stir occasionally until the tomatoes have softened, but still keeping their shape, and the liquid has reduced by half.
  3. Add the prawns and spinach. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes until the prawns are hot. Serve in warm bowls; wok-like balti bowls would be perfect.

Have a lovely weekend and have lots of fun!

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

fantastic fireworks

I just had to share with you the photographs I took last night at the firework display. It was spectacular and I hope you get a taster of what it was like! I got quite emotional watching them as they were so beautiful and the children around us were enthralled. (and me!)

What did you do for Bonfire night? I hope you enjoyed the fireworks and had fun. I would love to hear all about it.

Have a great day.

Monday, 4 November 2013

what to wear for bonfire night

Do you like my outfit for Bonfire night? I'm a big lover of burgundy and green, can you tell? This would be my perfect outfit for chilly evenings standing around outside. 

Everyone needs one of these chunky knit sweaters, I think they look best with skinny jeans and boots. What would you wear with a chunky sweater? 

I get very excited watching fireworks, hopefully I will get some good photos of them to share with you. Of course, I will have to eat some bonfire food! I'm thinking jacket potatoes, bonfire toffee and hot chocolate! What do you think?

Have a lovely day.

Friday, 1 November 2013

insta memoir

Moments of my life in Instagram.

Here are a few of my Instagram moments from last month. If you fancy following along with me, my link is here. Again, lots of foodie shots and of course my beloved mojitos!

Sorry I missed a post on Wednesday. Life has caught up with me this week. We were really looking forward to a weekend away too but our car has got major problems again. It broke down on Tuesday and still hasn't been fixed yet. The joys of having a car!  

Since Steve and I moved into our house on November 1st, we have always celebrated that day as an anniversary. I was surprised with a beautiful bouquet of flowers this morning and a specially prepared breakfast in bed. He has also booked us a meal at a lovely tapas bar in our town. Hopefully ending the night with a lovely mojito!

I hope you all have a lovely weekend and have lots of fun.