Friday, 16 November 2012

Home Sweet Home...

Just a little post on the favourite parts of our home. Instagrammed, of course...

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Eat: Midweek Supper

Back to the blog with some food. Typical! Cooking is up there as one of my favourite forms of procrastination and as far as I'm concerned, it's win win because as procrastination goes, I've still got to eat. Even better if it's rather delicious. And delays essay writing for another 10minutes...

This was a recipe from Jamie Oliver's 30minute meals that I tweaked a bit. I find the recipes a bit confusing as they jumble up the steps for the all components. I understand why - to talk you through making the meal in 30 minutes - but it makes it a bit tricky when you don't want to cook the whole caboodle. This rice and sticky prawns dish took under 15minutes to knock together and was delicious.

Firstly, stick a mug of basmati rice on to cook on a medium-ish temp. Cover with 2 cups (the same cup!) of water and a pinch of salt, put the lid on the pan and leave to simmer away. I made FAR too much for 2 people so remember to use a smaller mug depending on how many you are cooking for.

Meanwhile mix together a glug of sesame oil, olive oil and chinese five spice. Stir through the prawns til they're all nicely coated and leave them to marinade for a few minutes {I used pre cooked king prawns though Jamie suggested scallops in the original recipe. It would certainly make for a delicious dinner though you'd have to adjust cooking times accordingly}.

In a separate bowl. whisk together 3 eggs, a tablespoon of sesame oil, a tablespoon of soy sauce, some salt, pepper and finely spiced spring onions. Take the lid off the pan of rice, fluff it up with a fork then pour the egg mixture on top. Turn the temperature down loooooow, replace the lid and leave it to cook for another 5 minutes.

Chuck the prawns into a preheated pan {the timing of this will obviously depend on whether you're using fresh or precooked prawns, or scallops}, add in a tablespoon of honey and some chilli sauce {I used chilli jam that I had made - not too sweet but just enough of a kick!}. If you use prawns, the sauce might get a liquidy so just drain some off as you go until it starts to get a bit stickier.

Take the lid off the rice and add a good dose of sweet chilli sauce over the top. I served this with broccoli that I had boiled (pre-boiling the water in the kettle meant the veg could be done right at the last minute) then tossed in some soy sauce. It was an incredibly easy and delicious midweek dinner.

I'm feeling a bit uninspired at the mo {plus the weather is properly autumnal at the moment so all I really want to eat is carbs, carbs, carbs, preferably in the form of mashed potato} so I definitely think I'll be trying out more of these recipes!

Any suggestions?

Love B x

Friday, 28 September 2012

A girl can dream...

living room

Rope-Edge Fireplace Mantel / MADE GOODS Bois Mirror / Orson 3 Seater Sofa in biscuit beige |, $970 / OKA Small Lara Ottoman, Velvet & Oak Frame, $885 / Barclay Butera Del Mar Accent Pillow / Italian Wool & Alpaca Knit Throw - Charcoal / MAISON DE VACANCES Cowhair Love Pillow / IKEA Hemnes / Andrew Martin Lumberjack Wallpaper, $115 / Zig Zag Rug, $105 / Create-a-Gallery Studio 7-Piece Frame Set Black / Stark Bronzed Iron Log Basket, $68 / Cushion cover 50x50 - from H&M, $16 / 'home is where the heart is' Mug, $15 / Sure Fit(TM/MC) 'Eastwood' 1-Piece Stretch Wingback Chair Slipcover -...

It's been a while! I'm insanely busy right now with uni - I'm loving it but it is pretty all consuming. This afternoon, my brain melted a bit and I stopped studying to have a play around with how I would like our living room to look. As you do. My insanely talented Mum has not only just recovered an amazing pouffe (how DO you spell that?!) for us in green velvet, but has just picked up a wingback chair for us that she is going to re-cover. For £30! Amazing. So ignore most of the costs of these items because if I could find a way to not pay that, I totally would. Mind you, I am in love with the sofa.

All it would need is a lick of paint. And a new sofa {which is needed} and then a whoooole bunch of other stuff. That's realistic, right? Ah, it's a Friday afternoon - no need for realistic right now. Still, that room mock up is still looking pretty good right now..

Happy happy Friday. Hopefully I'll find some time to blog this weekend. Today has been the first time in a while I've felt inspired creatively. Let's see if it sticks around for a while!


Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Home Sweet Home

I had seen a gorgeous piece of hand made map art on the lovely blog Nat the Fat Rat {find the room here - can you spot it in the living room?}. Feeling inspired I knew I wanted to recreate something for the large space above the cabinet in our living room. Given that we live in a rather traditional flat however, I felt like it might be a nice idea to merge my love of all things design-y with at least a little bit of antiquity {Sandy's favourite}.

For just a couple of quid, I picked up a reproduction 1800s map of our little pocket of Edinburgh. They are super easy to find on Ebay so I'm already planning which places to do next. What's a girl to do with a brand new looking map? Clearly stain it with teabags. The mark of a primary teacher {or primary student??}. Cheap, easy and effective, my map was soon looking a little more authentic.

The stencils I had picked up cheap at hobby craft thinking the map was going to be on the small side. I probably would've preferred the writing to be a bit bigger but to be honest by that point I was already heading down the crafty rabbit hole and there was no way I was waiting a whole other week to get started. Clearly patience is a virtue that I need to be working on! Again, I could've used paint but the speed demon in me meant I opted for sharpie markers instead {oh what you can do with a sharpie} though being sure to stay within the lines meant it took maybe 20 minutes.

Popped into an IKEA frame, I love the result! It looks perfectly at home in the living room, filling what seemed like an impossibly large space. Plus, I love the mix of "antique" map and the more modern typography. And yes, that is a jar of cardboard moustache straws on there. I find they make weekday dinners oh so much more classy...

What do you think?


Monday, 3 September 2012

Eat: Steak and Ale Pie

I was set on relaxing this weekend {which is surely a bit of an oxymoron...} after the intense first couple of weeks on my PGDE. The course is brilliant but seriously time and energy consuming - as I knew it would - meaning personal time seems to be have been side stepped in favour of textbooks, subject knowledge and lots and lots of reading. So this weekend, there was some me time, wine, a long long run and nowsome proper cooking. The kind that involves a little investment {though not too much} rather than a mad dash midweek supper that you just want on the table. Proper sunday food.

Pie and mash. Specifically, steak and ale pie and mash. Lovely.

I followed this recipe from Jamie {love him} though I have to say I adjusted it a bit. First, I definitely didn't whack it in the oven for over 2 hours. I'd missed that bit when I first skimmed the recipe {though it should've been kind of obvious}. I imagine you'd end up with meat that literally falls apart as you eat it which would be perfect, but sticking it to simmer on the hob for an hour or so instead didn't do it any harm. I also skipped on the rosemary and celery though categorically not the cheese. Adding cheese to anything is a winner in my book, so the thought of a steak pie with cheese AND mash? I've died.

I did try to mainly leave it alone when it was simmering, stirring just once or twice. That said, the smell of it cooking was diving and it just drifted round the flat. It definitely took all of my willpower not to keep tasting and faffing with it.

We have a friend staying with us too {Gok, it's your moment in the spotlight} so I made sure to make a rather hearty serving for 3 and it was delicious. The recipe says 4-6 and it was about the right amount but that depends on whether you like your portions manly man sized or normal human sized. It was perfect for a sunday evening, popular with ladies and men alike. Maybe not your light summer food {and yesterday was one of those rare, light summer days} though delicious none the less. I'm embracing Autumn already.

Next on my list is apple cake. My mum used to bake one all the time when we were younger and for some reason it's been stuck in my mind this week. And some more reading.


Monday, 20 August 2012


So today I finally began my PGDE. It feels like it has been such a long time coming and yet the weeks leading up to it have simply flown by. I could genuinely not be more excited at the prospect of finally starting out on this journey and I practically skipped home from my first day. That said, I am under no illusion as to the amount of work that lies ahead of me: to say it is going to be a hard slog is perhaps a huge understatement: I've never seen a timetable so jam packed. The thought of finally qualifying as a primary teacher 100% outweighs that however and so I thought I would share with you a video that one of the lecturers played today. I had seen it before but it was just as marvellous this time around. On those days where I will no doubt want to crawl back under the duvet and ask myself what on earth I was thinking going back to university, I think this will be one to watch.

Please do watch it and I'd love to know what you think.

Love B x

Friday, 17 August 2012

I love lamp...

I am little bit obsessed with all things crafty and stationery {something that those of you who know me well can attest to!} Indeed, tucked away on a shelf are more than a couple of boxes filled to the brim with craft stuff, blank cards for printing and stamps. I love them {hence the 'I love lamp' title - I fear I sound similar}. They're the perfect way to personalise notes, stationery, gift bags etc as well as being incredible easy. I've got a couple that come out time and time again - a Paris set and a set of vintage letters - but I often find that the stamps for sale over here are a bit naff to be blunt. A bit Clinton cards esque for my own personal taste.

I've been reading the Besotted Brand blog for quite a while now and it is safe to say I am obsessed with her beautiful line of stamps and notes.

{all available here}

The spoon and fork or the finger would look fantastic on gift tags wrapped around a bottle of wine or used at the dinner table, and the pencil - well, I'll blame that on my wanting to be a teacher. It's appropriate, lets just leave it at that. I love the simplicity of the written stamps too, they would make perfect cards simply on plain white or cream card. Oo, and the picture? I've just thrown that in for kicks but isn't it sweet?

Have a look for yourself - what are your favourite stamps?! Any ideas as to where I can buy decent ones in the UK?

Love B x

Thursday, 16 August 2012


We spent last weekend at the wedding of one of my good school friend's. It was beyond beautiful and I am thrilled that we could share it with them. Tradition meant it was a whole weekend of celebrating and the bright colours, dancing and huge grins didn't subside all weekend.

It was wonderful too, to spend time with some of my oldest friends: something that doesn't happen often enough. The photos below are just a brief snippet of the weekend but I think they go a long way towards showing the sheer joy of the weekend. The beauty of every part really blew me away: there was sparkle and colour everywhere you looked, including on us as my friend had so kindly bought us all outfits!

Incredible! I'm so thrilled for them.

Love B x

Monday, 6 August 2012

I love this city...

I've got my eyes peeled at the moment for some new art to add to our home. I've got a couple of projects up my sleeve that I'm looking forward to making but for all my well meaning, crafty intentions, I am somewhat limited on the artistic front. Word art and stencilling I can do, actual pictures? Not so much. I'd love to add some Edinburgh based art to our home, as this place means so much to us. Luckily Etsy has plenty on offer:





Which is your favourite? They all remind me of how gorgeous this city is. It's too easy to take it for granted sometimes so I like the idea of having a piece of art around to constantly remind me. There is so much incredible art on Etsy that I would love to have in our home. There's also plenty of 'interesting' pieces. Ahem...

Love B x

Friday, 3 August 2012

DIY: EAT sign

I got the creative bug yesterday and decided I wanted to make something to add to the kitchen. I adore this metal sign here but I just can't justify the price tag. I love the punch of colour and the playful feel it has. I think I'm just a big fan of word art full stop, which is something I have to sit on for fear that our home could turn into a walking pinterest cliche.

There is serious inspiration over on Pinterest though. Like these lovelies:

I hadn't realised at first but the last set of letters are done in exactly the same manner as mine! I love how they've been finished to look metallic - definitely an idea for the next time I change them up {I say, less than 24hours after I've made them. So fickle.}

Anyway, instead of spending a fortune I nipped over to Hobbycraft and picked up some of their decoupage letters for £1.99 a pop. I grabbed a small tube of red acrylic paint too that came to about £3. So all in, you're looking at less than a tenner.

It took be about 30 minutes to do a coat of red on all the letters and I found I didn't really need a second, though if you're being particular you could. You could finish them off with a layer of varnish or PVA too but I quite like the matt finish.

What do you think? I love them! Plus, I love the fact they were cheap enough that if I want to change the colour {with paint of decoupage}, it's no big deal!

Love B x

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Eat: Fish Supper

Well, not quite. Not in the traditional sense, at least. Whilst I do love a fish supper, this was such an easy, healthy dinner to knock up and it only took about 15 minutes all in - less time than it takes to pick up a fish supper from the chippy.

First up the sauce - tomato, garlic, onion and chorizo. Use a tin of chopped tomatoes and then play around with quantities depending on what you like most. We love garlic and chorizo so we maybe went slightly overboard on those ingredients but it was delicious. Soften up the onion for a couple of minutes first {in either oil or a spray} before chucking in some garlic and a generous helping of diced chorizo. Let it fry away for a few more minutes until everything is softened up - keep stirring it so nothing burns! Then add your chopped tomatoes and some seasoning, turn down the heat and let it bubble away.

Whilst that is heating through, spray your fish and pop it in the oven for about 15-18 minutes. I used haddock but I'm pretty sure you could use any white fish and it wouldn't make a difference.

Lastly, in the last 5 or so minutes, pop some green veg {we used purple broccoli} and some new potatoes on to cook through before draining and serving with a little bit of butter, salt and pepper.

Really simple, really healthy and really tasty.


Wednesday, 1 August 2012

DIY: Sock Monkey

A dear friend of my sister's is expecting her first baby in the middle of August. They threw her an incredible baby shower {that I wish I could've attended} and there has been constant baby chatter ever since everyone found out. I knew that I wanted to make a small gift for the baby, but seeing as they're choosing not to find out whether it is a girl or a boy, it needed to be neutral. That and I knew I wanted it to have plenty of character and handmade charm.

Cue, the sock monkey.

before he got himself some eyes...
This chap has a seriously endearing face and is lovely and soft. I love him rather a lot. I followed this great tutorial here and whilst it wasn't particularly difficult if you're ok with a sewing machine/needle and thread, it does get quite fiddly in places. There were definitely patches on my monkey where my sewing skills could've used a bit of help! He does make a rather great gift though, I can totally imagine making them for all the 'little monkeys' {see what I did there...} that my friends will no doubt be having in the future.

If you want to up the character of your monkey, use patterned socks. For the baby though, I picked the softest socks I could find in a nice neutral colour. Hopefully it finds itself at home in amongst the, slightly more chic, aspects that will be making up the baby's nursery!


Stationery geek

Clearly, in practical preparation for going back to university, I have bought these pencils. Aren't they brilliant? I should, infact, be reading a rather large text book. Priorities, people, priorities.

Total Geek.

Love B

Monday, 30 July 2012

Pentland Hills

I came across these photos on my phone last week. They're from an en masse stomp around the Pentlands that we did a few weeks ago now at work. It was a gorgeous day, with the weather holding right until the end when a huge downpour of rain managed to flood parts of Edinburgh and left us stranded for a good couple of hours. Thank goodness for the local pub where we could all dry off and warm up.

Isn't the view gorgeous? How lucky we are to live so close to something like this.

Love B

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