Thursday, 31 May 2012

Thai prawn cakes

This was another incredibly simple but delicious dinner. Especially when you consider that the theme of these posts at the moment {and for the forseeable future} will be, or rather needs to be, food that is tasty but healthy {and specifically geared towards making sure my derriere is bikini ready}, I am really pleased with how these turned out.

My Mum clued me in to this recipe and, although I say this every time without fail, they really are ridiculously simple to make. A monkey could make them. Seriously. A monkey.

For the two of us {although one of us eats bigger portions than your average human. No comment} I used two packs of prawns, but then I have always been the kind of person to make too much food rather than too little. I chucked them, raw, into the blender with a whole bunch of finely chopped spring onions, a pinch of salt and a good shake of crushed chilli.

That's it. Honestly. That right there is the extent of your ingredient list. Marvellous, right? 

Once blitzed {though not for too long - you want bits} you could make 3-4 large prawn cakes but I scooped mine into tablespoon sized portions. Using my olive oil spray, I browned them on a medium heat, flipping them occasionally until they were golden brown on each side. You want a medium heat to ensure that they cook all the way through rather than leaving the centre underdone and the outside burnt to a crisp.

If you start to feel like the outside is burning up, simply whack them in the oven, again on mid heat, to cook them through/keep them warm until you're ready to serve.

I did ours with beansprouts - for me - and noodles - for Sandy - and they made the perfect midweek meal. Easy, quick and healthy. Just what I was after!

What do you think? Do you have any perfect midweek suppers to share?

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

What is for you won't go by you...

Someone said these wise words to both me and to my boyfriend on separate occasions last week. I can't help but feel that they are wise words to live by. I am as bad as the next person for wanting to control every last detail of my life - wanting the perfect home, the right job...To be on the 'right' path, right now. I worry that I haven't gotten myself totally organised and pulled together yet, even though I am only 24 and I know, logically, that I am finally on the path for that to happen. If it ever really does. I wobbled last week and felt unsteady, unsure of myself and where I am at in my life. How daft! But also how commonplace. I frequently tell myself I need to 'sort my life out'.

I put such a huge pressure on myself to meet this perfect ideal I have in my head and to meet it right now without cutting myself any slack. That means I skip out sometimes on acknowledging just how good it all is right. It is worth reminding myself that what is for me, won't pass me by. That these jobs and homes and opportunities will all be mine at some point in my future. And if an opportunity does pass me by? Then it wasn't really mine or for me in the first instance.

Love B

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

K Mid



Well played K Mid. Well played. 
I absolutely love the turquoise Jenny Packham number.
And the shoes? It's love.

In fact, I think it might just be love in general. I'm pretty convinced that she can do no wrong. I'm also convinced that we could be best friends. Naturally.

Love B x

Monday, 28 May 2012

Work Handbag

I'm after a new handbag that will see me through the next year. I've got a gorgeous Mulberry bag that I adore but I don't much fancy toting it in and out of schools all year. It needs to be spacious enough to fit all my things in - study stuff as well as the usual suspects - and also in keeping with my style. Not too formal, but smart enough to use on placements. This beautiful leather city bag from Zara is definitely a contender...

What do you think?

Love B x

Sunday, 27 May 2012

DIY teacup candles

A few weeks ago I picked up a set of pretty teacups from a carboot sale. At only £10 for the 6 I thought they'd make perfect little presents. They're a lovely pale green with gold flowers all over them and I'd love to keep them for their original purpose if only they weren't so tiny {we're talking espresso cup sized}.

I'd wanted to have a go at making my own candles for a while but unsure as to whether I'd enjoy it {how daft that seems} I picked up a cheap starter kit online that came with the all the bits and pieces I'd need to make my own, including some fabulously 90's candle moulds - star shaped pyramid anyone? Not quite what I was after but it would do the job to get me started. I also picked up some superglue from my local shop and I bought oil from this website here. I had wanted something fresh and light to go with the colour of the candles and so picked a lime, basil and mandarin that is listed as being very similar to the original and popular candle itself. I have to admit, I was a bit apprehensive buying it with no idea what it would smell like but I lucked out - the stuff is gorgeous and really does smell like the original at a fraction of the price!

I started off gluing my cups and saucers together, giving them plenty of time for the enamel to bond.

Meanwhile I set about getting the wax melting in a ban marie {is that how you spell it?}. Basically a pan within a pan of boiling water, rather than over a direct heat. Using about a cup and a half of wax for each teacup candle I was making, I added a tiny amount of fragrance {as in less than 5ml?} once the pellets had begun to melt into liquid wax.

Ideally I would've had a metal weight for my wick but my kit didn't come with any. I improvised in the end and used the tiniest piece of blue tack just to hold the end in place. I bluetacked the other end too and wrapped it around a chopstick to hold the wick vertical whilst I poured in the wax to set.

I left them overnight to set. The kit had warned that the surface might crack as they cooled, in which case score the top of the candle and add another thin layer of molten wax. I didn't have this problem though the surface of my candles isn't perfectly flat. It doesn't bother me to be honest but I'm sure the problem would be easily fixed using the same method if it did.

Once set, I unwound the excess wick and trimmed it down to probably just over a cm?! Total guesswork on my part!

Anyway the finished result is lovely! They smell fantastic and look so sweet too. I only made 3 this time around so I have another batch to do but I need to get my hands on some more wax - god knows why I thought I might not enjoy this.

The possibilities, now, are endless! I can't wait to stock up on some more oils - Christmas candles for example {though even I can't think about that in this heat!} or stocking up on oils that smell like pomegranate noir so I don't end up spending a fortune on them!

LOVE IT. What do you think?


Saturday, 26 May 2012


Thought I'd share the lovely gift I received on Thursday. Isn't it pretty? It's rose gold with sparkly little stones all over. It certainly cheered me up after what had been a tough couple of weeks. It was so thoughtful :)

Hope you're all having a lovely weekend and it's wonderfully sunny wherever you are.

Love B

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Happy Birthday J!

To my wonderful, wonderful sister who turns 22 today.

Have a marvellous birthday - I wish I was celebrating with you. Lucky I know you're in good company even if I'm not there!

You are rather lovely. Celebrate in an appropriately lovely way.

Love B x

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Spag Bol 'lite'

Dinner tonight was a resounding success and a fun, summer appropriate take on a staple dish in our house.  I don't know about you but I have suddenly had an 'oh. bollocks' realisation that yes, it will soon be summer {WAHOO} and yes, that does mean I will be wearing a bikini {less wahoo, more waaaaaaah?!}. With that in mind, tonight's dinner was a lite take on spag bol {a serious favourite}.

Pasta is up there as one of my true loves. Sadly, this love is completely unrequited. I could eat platefuls of the stuff {seriously, it leaves me with no will power to speak of} and yet all my affection brings me nothing more than a sore, bloated tummy and a sluggish feeling that once again I've eaten more than agrees with me.

Le sigh. So what is a girl to do? Swap the pasta for fried cauliflower! I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this technique before, no? Granted, it's not quite the same as a big bowl of pasta but it does the job as a delicious replacement for the carby component on the dish.

I simply blitzed two or three large chunks in my blender before spritzing a pan with some oil {I spray mine though you could use normal oil or a low fat cooking spray} and lightly frying for a couple minutes. That is literally all it needs or you risk losing the crunch and the peppery flavour - don't want that to happen! I sometimes chuck some red onion in too, definitely enhances the hashbrown esque taste.

I had made the sauce a couple of days early {and made a huge batch to use in some other dishes that I need to share!} using 4 or 5 tins of chopped tomatoes, fresh basil, thyme, rosemary, oregano, paprika, garlic salt, pepper and some chilli sauce. Really simple and low fat. Add a glug of oil, give the whole thing a good stir then leave to cook on a low heat until it bubbles away to the consistency you're after. It's freezeable in batches and is handy to have tucked away when you're trying to be healthy and yet the easiest thing to do is reach for a jar of pasta sauce.

For the mince itself I used turkey mince {in place of red meat} and packed it out with veggies - mushrooms and onions mainly, though I'd normally chuck in finely chopped celery because you barely notice it and it's another way to sneak something good into your diet!! As per usual this is less recipe, more tip {perhaps? or am I kidding myself?} but it really was easy and delicious and right now, anyway of sneaking veggies into my diet and carbs out can only be a good thing. Especially judging by today's beautiful weather, dare I say it, is Summer finally on its way?!

Oh and I need to point out, see that giant plate of food up there?! The one that dwarves its buddy in the background. Well that giant plate of food belonged to my less that giant boyfriend. Am I the only one who finds this grossly unfair?!

Love B

ps. I GOT INSTAGRAM BACK!!!!!! My phone miraculously healed itself. Don't ask me how, suddenly it is working all by itself! I'm telling myself it's a Christmas miracle after the speaker at school had us sing a Christmas hymn in the middle of May. Maybe it was the angels amongst us that I think he was jabbering on about....

Monday, 21 May 2012

DIY: Chair

When I said I had a pop at upholstery this weekend, I wasn't kidding. My Mum has been taking the class for a while now and had a go at showing me the ropes. It involved hanging out in the stables at home {which my lovely Mum has reclaimed as her own little workshop} and having FAR too much fun with a compressed air tank and a staple gun.

I'll not pretend to do this as a step by step DIY considering I have really very little idea what I'm on about. When I wasn't being talked through it step by step, it was definitely a case of dive in and have a go which I was more than happy to do once I got over my fear of the staple gun. That said, it was a fairly easy project {though I maybe wouldn't look too closely at the finishing!}. 

We picked up the chairs for pennies at a local charity shop and having already sanded them down and refinished them {thanks Mum!} we started with the back panel of material and moved through replacing the stuffing, before covering this with more material and lining up the patterns on both cushions of the seat.

We probably spent a few hours happily stapling {and more often than not, removing said staples from their incorrect spots} and smoothing fabric until we ended up with a pretty lovely chair. One of my favourite details is the studding around the edges, not least of all because it covers all manner of ills.

Can you spot the daft cocker spaniels hairing about? They didn't much help with the accuracy of the stapling! Do you want to see the finished product?

It was a gift for my friend and her boyfriend in their recently purchased {and absolutely lovely} first home. It looked perfectly at home in their living room when we took it round and I am thrilled that she liked it.

Meanwhile, my sister {in between stapling her finger - ouch!} set about making this beauty out of footstool she picked up from a local jumble sale for under a fiver! Isn't it fab?! I'm willing to bet you'd spend a fortune for something like that from the likes of John Lewis or any other large furniture store. I'm seriously impressed {and wanting one of my own!}

What do you think? Does anyone have any recommendations for upholstery classes in Edinburgh {I'd love to try one}. Or perhaps you have a DIY project you want to share?

Love B x

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Something on a Sunday..

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It has been a long couple of weeks over here. A 12 day solid working week punctuated by some rather sad events has left me floored. It was, however, rounded off with a much needed and enjoyed visit back to the North East to see some much, much loved friends and family. People I always wish were closer. Anyway, as fun filled as it was {I reupholstered a chair! - amongst other things} I am still floored and about to embark on another working week. How did that happen?! Roll on the Jubilee and a much anticipated half term.

With that in mind, the only things I felt like sharing this afternoon were pretty things. Things that make you go 'oooooo. want.' Shallow? Kinda. Materialistic? Maybe. True? Yup.

That coral satchel in particular? I love it. I never thought I'd be a satchel kind of person but the colour is just so pretty. Though having just mentioned the satchel in particular, I now want to talk about every individual item 'in particular' too.

Brain is fried clearly. Look at the pretty things. Enjoy. I'll see you next week.

Love B

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Sunday Carbooting

After a fantastic evening with friends, a trip to a local carboot sale on a Sunday morning seemed like a great way to blow out the cobwebs and fight off any hangover that might be looming. I'd never been to this one in Edinburgh, in fact it's been rather a while since I braved a carboot sale {the last experience was rather chilly and rather early in the morning for a weekend, though I was on the other side of the table}.

Armed with a partner in crime, I set off on a wander round what turned out to be a rather large and fruitful carboot sale. I love picking through the bric a brac - trying to pick out the hidden treasures from the junk {of which there was plenty}. I managed to come across a few gems and I could easily have spent hours pouring over the boxes of old postcards and stalls of chinaware.

Want to see what I did pick up?

A small, etched glass bowl that I thought might be perfect for housing cotton wool in my bathroom or holding jewellery that I fling off at night {despite my good intentions}:

A little silver effect shaker that I thought would be perfect for storing icing sugar for baking {which I haven't done in far too long}:

A bag of mixed stamps that I thought would be perfect for some decoupaging. I loved the colours in this bag in particular.

This sweet white milk jug which reminded me of the Jonathon Adler ceramic ware that I luuurve. It maybe is a bit of overkill in terms of the number and size of dots, but I thought it would be sweet for a posy of flowers on a bedside table.

This slightly beat up but awesome vintage Schweppes soda stream. I've seen loads of these floating in various blog posts but I've never found one that has been in my budget in real life. It needs a bit of a polish but I reckon it'll make a great addition to our kitchen.

A couple of vintage postcards - from Paris and Newcastle, both places with plenty of meaning for me. I loved the sweet sentiments on the back and could've spent hours pouring over the hundreds available.

And lastly, I had been keeping my eyes peeled for a set of china tea cups but had so far failed to find any that were up to my {clearly exacting} standards. These beauties are a very pale green with gold detailing. They're really quite tiny, more like an espresso cup, so I thought I might have a pop at making some scented candles as gifts for some of the lovely ladies in my life. The guy sold me the set of 6 for a tenner - absolute bargain! Aren't they pretty?

And finally, because the weather has been quite frankly bizarre today, so cold and wet, I thought I'd share these wonderful photos from a date Sandy and I went on the other night. The weather was cool but lovely and bright, and walking through the blossoms was just too tempting to not photograph. Can't wait to have my phone fixed so I can stop pinching the boy's! You have to agree though, Edinburgh is berluddy lovely. I forget sometimes, what a beautiful city we live in.

Apparently there is a flea market setting up in Leith - now that is exciting!

What do you think of my little haul? Any carboot sale recommendations that are worth a visit?

Love B

Friday, 4 May 2012

Bieber fever?

I don't really get this. The hysteria, the screaming, the obsession...But then perhaps a 24year old is not really the market that Justin Bieber was looking to break.

Then I heard this....

Awkward rapping aside {totally unnecessary, Justin} I really rather like it. I'm pretty sure it's because it reminds me rather a lot of this...

WHICH I STILL LOVE. STILL. Years after it was released. Pretty sure I still know most of the words too.

Maybe they'll make a Belieber out of me after all...

Happy, Happy Friday. Ready for the weekend? I am.

Love B x

Wednesday, 2 May 2012


Going back to university in September, to do a course that I know will demand my time and attention, has my head whirring. I'm already excited at beginning my qualification but, admist the practicalities and concerns about reading lists and assignments, I do let my mind wander to what a perfect little study space would look like. Perhaps...

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