Monday, 8 July 2013

Wise old owl...

Check out this sweet little nightlight that is currently standing guard over my bedside table. He's an adorable little ceramic character and a 'stand in' graduation gift from my Mum as the beautiful lamp my parents bought me hasn't arrived yet. I think he would make for a lovely gift - certainly he holds his own {in my mind} when compared with the rather more expensive ceramic night lights you can buy at the moment.

The best bit? He's 99p from B&M homes. I think I might have to run out to my nearest one and stock up on him for gifts....

Love B x

Monday, 1 July 2013

Eat: Strawberry Pavlova

I'm pretty convinced I could live off strawberries through the summer months. All of a sudden, they're available in abundance so we've been devouring them at an absurd rate {a box a jokes}. I'm normally perfectly happy to just work my way through a punnet as is - no need for cream, chocolate or any other additions - but a casual Sunday lunch with friends seemed like an opportunity to jazz them up a bit.

Birthday cake

I just had to share this beaut of a birthday cake that my sister made for my little cousins. What child wouldn't love a huge chocolate cake, covered in smarties and kitkats? Heck, what adult wouldn't? The bunting was put together in my kitchen over a cup of tea and a natter with Mum just using things I had lying around the house.

Super simple really, but so effective!

Love B x

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Eat: Banana Pancakes

With both a holiday and my graduation coming up, my mind is rather vainly on my waistline. If the thoughts of graduation photos weren't acting to spur on me along on the diet front, the idea of slipping into a bikini sure is.

The Aries in me wants to follow in the TOWIE cast's footsteps and declare 'no carbs before Marbs' but what that really means is 'no carbs until Friday night when I convince myself that weekend calories don't count'. Oh well! Instead, I'm trying to make healthier choices as much of the time as possible - the house is packed up with fruit and veg, there are tins of soup in the cupboard and more lean protein in the fridge than you can shake a stick at yet there is one bone of contention. Snacks. S is a mean snacker - whether it's hummus and toast or biscuits - and whilst he seems to never gain a pound, I can't say I've been so lucky. Yet snacking - and particularly, pudding - continues to call my name, especially when we're curled up on the sofa together and S is snacking away.

At this point, you are possibly wondering what on earth a pre-holiday/graduation 'diet' has to do with a giant stack of pancakes. Prepare to be pleased my friends.

Banana pancakes - one of my favourites. Yet these consist of only 2 ingredients - eggs and bananas. There's no flour, no added sugar, nothing. I had googled them earlier today, certain that I had read something about diet-friendly pancakes and this is the website that came up. I mashed up 2 bananas, beat together 3 eggs and gave the two a good whisk and voila. Now, they maybe could've done with a dash of cinnamon {which I didn't have in the house} but when plated up with strawberries and the tiniest drizzle of honey they are divine. Save to say, I devoured this 'example' pancake seconds after I took the photo.

I think S may have a fight on his hands to prise any away from my diet driven hands.

Love B x

Monday, 24 June 2013

Summer days

Holiday wish list

Ooo, it's been a little bit of a break from blogging - happened a lot this year! Guess that's what happens when you're busy busy! Anyway, looking forwards, we have finally booked our summer holiday and I could not be more excited to get away for a week in the sunshine. These are a few bits and pieces on my wishlist as my summer wardrobe is pretty non-existant {I never feel it's justifiable given the 5 days of sunshine we get in Scotland...}. We'll only have hand luggage so I'll be trying to keep everything interchangeable and well matched to make dressing up or down nice and simple! That said, there is always room for a killer red dress. Plus, how cute are these pjs? No harm in trying to look nice when we sit out on the balcony for breakfast in the morning! The bikini too - probably slightly out of my budget but you can't go wrong with a simple black bikini.

Oh I am so ridiculously excited!


Wednesday, 3 April 2013

H&M home...

H&M home

Well played H&M Home. There are at least half a dozen goodies on the website that I would very much like to get my hands on. Those fish plates, in particular, are fab. I love the shower curtain too but is that a step too far when you already own two budgies {literally}. I don't want to step over into crazy bird lady territory. Given that it is all reasonably priced, much akin to their clothing range, I could certainly see me picking up a few bits and pieces. Polka dot grey table cloth anyone?

The jar, I have to point out, isn't from H&M. Instead it's from Matalan's really quite good home range. I could help but notice its distinct similarity to the Anthropologie numbers. That said, I think it's bigger and it is certainly cheaper. Granted, the chalkboard isn't quite as fancily shaped but it is much of a muchness. Think a little visit to Matalan might be in my near future...Same goes for paying for that basket of H&M home goodies that I've got up.


Monday, 25 March 2013

Make: Procrastination Organisation

Right now I'd like to be doing anything other than the mountain of reading that is lurking far too close for comfort. I've tidied and washed and put off for pretty much as long so I'm really just eeking it out now - I'm really have to start. So I did some crafty stuff instead. And then blogged about it.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Make: Gifting...

I think this will become a pretty staple gift in our home so apologies in advance to any of you who read this and then receive one yourself!

It was a friend's birthday the other day and not wanting to go round empty handed I popped into Anthropologie in town. I could spend a small fortune in that shop but I exercised restraint {ahem} and came away with just one of their monogrammed mugs {well and some other bits and pieces but they're all gifts too. Honest!}

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Eat: Chicken, Mushroom and Pancetta Pie

Now, lets be honest. This baby isn't going to win any awards for its looks but it was utterly delicious and perfect for a Sunday afternoon where I was feeling a little 'fragile'. Plus, it was the inaugural pie in my new {to me} enamel pie dish. I had had my eye on these for a while {after watching a few too many Jamie's 15 minute meals} but I was reluctant to spend basically any money on them. This one was a stonking 99p in a charity shop that I happened to pop in to and it's the perfect size for a generous pie for two. Clearly the charity shop gods were smiling on me that day!

Monday, 25 February 2013

kitchen storage

kitchen storage

I love these vintage style storage canisters by Wayne Hemingway at John Lewis: the vintage type faces and bright colours are eye catching without being obnoxious and I love how the colours stand out but are matte at the same time. Definitely adding them to the kitchen wishlist.

Love B x

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Back to School

back to school

Perhaps not the most 'wow' of wish lists but heading back to university has me packing my bag up again and preparing for another 5 week stretch of lectures and tutorials. There is still that vague back to school feeling, though its wearing thin over here. Home stretch though, and my thoughts still turn to how I could make the every day just a little bit brighter - even if it's just thanks to the polka dots on my shoes or a bright orange notebook!

This flask would be perfect for the endless amount of tea I need to get me through a day and anyone who knows me would vouch for my love of lists {I think I need to purchase this notebook by Happy Jackson}. The handbag would be a huge downsize for my usual everything-but-the-kitchen-sink numbers but I'm still on a decluttering kick which is even extending to my accessories - it would be good to not need a map to navigate through the contents of my bag!

The glasses, devoid of lenses and from H&M, are a simple reminded to update the frames I've now had for a couple of years and the padded coat? Well that is simply because I live in Scotland. It's nothing fancy but daily jaunts into the playground make it an absolute necessity.

Love B x

Monday, 18 February 2013

Eat: Prawn Ramen

This was another Slimming World Recipe that I knocked up during my week off. I had my first Wagamama experience not that long ago - late to the party, I know - and I was particularly envious of the giant bowl of ramen that Sandy ordered. Looking for some healthier dishes to plate up saw me stumbling across this one and I just had to give it a go. It packed full of vegetables and you could limit or bulk up on noodles as much or as little as you like. We made probably enough for 3 or 4 and S was quite happy to polish off the rest of the portions which gives you a clue as to how more-ish it is. The addition of the ginger and the chilli give it some much needed heat that makes it a perfect comfort food dish without being too heavy.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Eat: Profiteroles

With yesterday being Valentine's day and all, I knew I wanted to rustle up something good to eat. M&S provided the bulk of the meal, I must admit {you can't lose when you can get scallops, steak, chips, strawberries and wine for 2 for £20} but I was determined to take charge of the dessert portion of the evening.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Eat: Spaghetti with prawns and chilli

This is a really simple midweek supper that I pinched from a SW magazine. I try not to eat pasta too much {though give me a bowl of carbonara and I am in heaven} though this one is packed full with so much vegetable and lean protein that I can forgive it. Plus it's got a real kick of chilli that fires up the ol' metabolism {doesn't it?! definitely does. Shush}.


Spaghetti {or any pasta shape that takes your fancy}
King prawns {mine were cooked and frozen}
6 Spring Onions
A couple of teaspoonfuls of lazy garlic or a couple finely chopped cloves
Some plum tomatoes {or, because I was emptying the fridge, the regular kind}
A red chilli

Cook the spaghetti til it's cooked to your liking then drain, cover and put to one side to stay warm. Meanwhile, finely chop up your vegetable ingredients, all except the rocket, and de-seed your chilli. Pop the spring onions, garlic, chilli in a frying pan over a medium heat with a little bit of oil. Stir fry for about 5 or 6 minutes until the spring onions are softening and the garlic is golden brown. 

Stir through your chopped tomatoes and continue to stir and fry for another couple of minutes.

Chuck in the prawns and give them a good stir too. Make sure they're properly cooked but don't over do it - no-one likes a rubbery prawn.

Finally, stir this mixture through the pasta. Add the roughly chopped rocket and give that a stir too! Plate up and enjoy with some garlic bread if you're feeling indulgent.

I loved this recipe - there is a fiery kick from the chilli and it's full of lovely summery colours to brighten up your day. Thanks to the pasta base it still feels like a bowl of comfort food. S would have forgone the rocket and made a proper tomato sauce {this was the feedback for Sunday night's dinner} buuuut then it would be a totally different dish, wouldn't it? I've been really organised this week and had all our shopping delivered which means we have loads of delicious options for food {huzzah} but then I remembered pancake day is tomorrow and there is nothing I like more than pancakes for dinner so I am thrilled! Hopefully I'll still get plenty of different meals on the go this week instead of the repetition of a few classics that have got us through my past 3 weeks on placement!

Love B x

Monday, 4 February 2013

Eat: Aubergine Parmagiano

..Otherwise known as heaven in a bowl.

Now I'm trying to embrace a healthier attitude to food this year so this is maybe not one to eat every night {so.much.cheese} but on a rather cold and snowy Friday evening it was the perfect dish to tuck into.


2 aubergines
1 60g bag of grated parmesan cheese
1 ball of mozzarella
1 jar of tomato sauce {I used the kind with extra garlic and onion. Of course you can make your own but I was going for simplicity here}

Slice the aubergines up, probably no thicker than 1cm or so then grill them until toasted. Flip over and toast on both sides. I did mine in a griddle pan but if you're watchful you can stick them under the grill until they're golden brown and delicious. Put them to one side.

Put a thin layer of tomato sauce in the bottom of an oven proof dish and sprinkle over a helping of parmesan cheese. Cover this with a layer of aubergines. Repeat this until your ingredients are used up - I think I managed about 3 or 4 layers?

On the final layer, cover your aubergines with a layer of tomato sauce then dot generously with mozarella. This is optional but I am a big mozarella fan and had some in the fridge so it would've been rude not to invite it to the party. Alternatively you could cover it with breadcrumbs and/or more parmesan.

Bake in the oven on gas mark 5 for about 30minutes. I ate mine with a baguette that I chucked in the oven half way through and a tiny side helping of salad {token gesture right there}. It probably would serve two people with bread and salad though I could've happily eaten the lot!


Tuesday, 29 January 2013

kitchen wish list

kitchen wish list

kitchen wish list

ooo, we keep talking about moving {who knows} and right now I'm craving simplicity and coziness. Maybe it's the wintery outdoors but all I want to do is cuddle up and a kitchen full of cream and wood, with pops of colour, seems inviting and modern all at once. What do you think?

love b


Sunday, 27 January 2013

Eat: Pork with petit pois française {ish}

This was a pretty simple mid week dinner with a fancy name that makes it seem like you put in far more effort! I'd seen the petit pois recipe in/on Jamie's 15minute meals and played around with it a little bit. As usual, this is a pretty ad hoc recipe but if you like blue cheese, it's definitely worth a shot!

Blue cheese {the blue-er the better in my book!}
creme fraiche
Pork loin
1 tin of peas
Bacon lardons
Iceberg/Romaine lettuce
Chicken stock {I just used cubes}

I fried the pork on a medium heat {follow the instructions on the pack!}. In a pan, fry off the lardons and then add about 100-150ml of chicken stock. Let this come to the boil and then add the peas, turn the heat down and let it simmer away gently. Keep an eye on it whilst you're cooking - if it doesn't seem to be reducing down, you can always stir through some cornflour to thicken it up.

Meanwhile, heat a few tablespoons of creme fraiche over a medium heat and crumble in some blue cheese. Stronger flavoured cheese means you have to add less, but I love the stuff so tend to go a little overboard. I could probably eat this stuff with a spoon if it wouldn't send me into a cheese coma and/or to an early grave. 

When the pork is cooked through, take it off the heat and let it rest for a couple of minutes. Meanwhile, roughly chop a handful or so of lettuce and chuck it in with the peas. You want it to be just wilted. Plate up all together and devour accordingly.

Bon Appetit!


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