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Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Breakfast for Dinner

breakfast-for-dinner

One of our favourite things to have for dinner is breakfast. I suppose in some funny sort of way it feels a little rebellious, as if you're going against the order of meals and breaking all kinds of rules by doing it. But one things for sure, its complete happy comfort food at it's best.

When I was little having pancakes for dinner was a huge treat and usually only ever really happened on Pancake Day. Do you ever wonder who makes these decisions?

Last night Paul was working late and I was going to be eating dinner alone. The thought of putting together a whole evening meal just wasn't appealing, and there wasn't anything that was relatively quick and easy that I could have had. But then I spotted the oatbran! I've mention before that I much prefer oatbran to porridge oats, I buy the medium cut and it's quite a bit finer. You could compare it to adult Ready Brek I guess. I served it up with a generous teaspoon of Nutella and got snuggled up on the sofa in my fluffy dressing gown.

...sometimes theres just nothing better for dinner than breakfast.

breakfast-for-dinner


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Monday, 28 November 2016

Christmas at the Farm Shop

christmas-at-the-farm-shop
christmas-at-the-farm-shop
christmas-at-the-farm-shop

Craigies Farm, just outside of Edinburgh is one of our very favourite places to spend an afternoon. Be it picking punnets of fresh juicy berries in the summer, and stopping for a cool drink and a homemade custard cream after. Or, spending a freezing cold afternoon sipping hot lattes with a large slice of cake, we spend quite a lot of time there. They've recently finished a huge renovation to the cafe and deli area so it's now much bigger -making it much easier to get a table when it's busy, and this year, to make perfect use of the new space available they've also got a Christmas shop!

christmas-at-the-farm-shop
christmas-at-the-farm-shop
Christmas-at-the-farm-shop
christmas-at-the-farm-shop

We had a free afternoon last Friday, it was the most perfect frost covered day and when we arrived it was that beautiful hour when the sky is turning all shades of pink and orange.

Before you even open the door you're met with glimpses of glitter, silver and all kind of sparkly trinkets. After pouring over the beautiful decorations and finally deciding on five glittery stars to take home and add to our collection, we headed straight to the cafe for some hot drinks. Seeing as neither of us can pass on the chance of cake, Paul picked up a homemade custard cream, and I went for a slice of white chocolate caramel shortbread. While caramel shortbread is something I have quite a lot (especially in Costa), the white chocolate version always feels more festive to me. We sat by a huge frosted Christmas tree, with a mini one on the table, while looking out over the frozen fields.

Christmas-at-the-Farm-Shop
Christmas-at-the-farm-shop

It was such a lovely way to spend an afternoon, and even nicer that we very nearly had the whole place to ourselves. We left to make our way home and put up our Christmas tree, but we couldn't leave without something from the deli counter to take home for dinner.

Christmas-at-the-farm-shop
christmas-at-the-farm-shop
christmas-at-the-farm-shop

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Sunday, 27 November 2016

Christmas Gift Guide 2016 - Gifts for Him

christmas-gift-guide-gifts-for-him

It's the last gift guide of the year and it's safe to say the Christmas spirit is in full swing in this house. We're even very nearly finished and on top of everything that needs organised for Christmas -I've even written the list for the Christmas dinner food shop! Now that's what you call planning ahead. I hope this last gift guide helps give you some inspiration if you're still lagging behind in the present buying stakes. Or did you finish ages ago? So very soon it'll be time for my twelve days of Christmas posts and I can't wait, I've got some good stuff planned!

1. BB-8 and Force Band - £179.99

2. Molton Brown Face Care Gift Set - £44

3. Herschel Backpack - £80

4. Decanter Set - £127

5. Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille - £133

6. Suede Bomber Jacket - £130

7. Phillips One Blade - £35

8. Instax Polaroid Camera - £89

9. Letter Board  - £49
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Friday, 25 November 2016

Made Me Happy This Week

made-me-happy-this-week

Today is a good day for a few reasons, first of all the frost is beautiful. It may be bloody freezing but everywhere is covered in a blanket of shimmering white and I love it. It's the weekend of course, which is always a good thing and we've spent the afternoon at a Festive farm shop sipping coffee, eating cake and looking at all the Christmasy bit's and bob's. And most exciting of all...ready...THE TREE'S GOING UP! I know it's not December yet but I just can't wait any longer, in all honesty I would have had it up last week but there just wasn't enough time. So, this evening after this post goes up and a Christmas film has been put on the TV the decorating will begin. This will be the first year I've had it up before the 1st of December. What do you think, when do you put your tree up?

1. Our finally finished and looking wonderful extension, I can't wait to start using it.

2. Our new but old table. We've very kindly been gifted a dinning table and six chairs to save us buying one at the moment...it's huge! I can't tell you how excited I am to dress it for Christmas and be able to have plates of food on the table for everyone to help them self.

3. A Sunday afternoon spent wondering Ikea and picking up a new sofa cover.

4. The biggest bag of Reeses cups you ever did see, if I remember correctly it's something like 56 ounces. Thank you once again Costco.

5. The frost on the grass is still making me smile in the mornings.

6. Pecan pie. I made my very first one this week and it was also the first time I've ever tasted one, I can see why they're so popular.

7. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. I'm over the moon to have Harry Potter magic back in my life, I have missed it. The film is just amazing, I can't wait for the second one now.

8. White chocolate caramel shortbread with coffee and a view of the frozen fields.
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Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Christmas Gift Guide 2016 - Gifts for Her

gift-guide-for-her

It was so hard to narrow down the gifts for this years post. There are so many amazing things around at the moment that my wish list has grown to levels that can only be called ridiculous. However, I did somehow manage and have picked my very favourite of the bunch. I would love to find any of these things under my Christmas tree this year, I hope they can help you if you're still present shopping. 

1. Silk Pyjama Set - £34

2. Tom Dixon Candle Set - £130

3. Marble Coasters - £26

4. Sweet Orange and Clove Cleanse and Polish - £22.75

5. Marc Jacobs Gift Set - £55

6. Roberts Portable Radio - £149.99

7. Sarah Chapman Gift Set - £49

8. Woven Pom-Pom Throw - £75

9. Mulberry Clifton Bag - £995
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Monday, 21 November 2016

Christmas Gift Guide 2016 - Stocking Fillers for Him

gif-guide-stocking-fillers-for-him

Round two of this years gift guides is stocking fillers for him. This year I could have easily filled the whole page with nothing but Star Wars gifts and gadgets -there are some fantastic ones around at the moment. The Lego shown above I actually have one of and they are great fun to build and compared to the larger sets, incredibly good value. The next gift guide will be up on Wednesday and that will be Gifts for Her.

1. Canvas Wash Bag - £15


3. Lego Microfighters - £6-£8



6. Men of Style Book - £19.95





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Friday, 18 November 2016

Made Me Happy This Week

made-me-happy-this-week

You know the decorating I've been doing...it's finished! The extension room, that was more of a storage area than actual usable space is finally done and in time to get it ready for Paul's birthday. It's wonderful to have it again, the house feels twice the size -and cleaner! No more constant tidying and hoovering due to dust and debris being dragged throughout! It's also a huge weight off my mind that it's done before the madness of Christmas begins in December.

1. The frost carpeting the garden in the mornings, and some days into the afternoon. It is such a pretty time of year.

2. With the days being so cold now, I've rediscovered my beloved Chai Lattes from Twinning. They've been my go-to to warm up on chilly afternoons.

3. The feeling of satisfaction after a morning of cleaning the house.

4. I'm a Celebrity is back on TV, this makes me very happy for two reasons. 1 -because it's very funny, and I love this years contestants, and 2 -it's also an unofficial countdown to Christmas.

5. That time of day with the most beautiful, and aptly named golden hour of light. It makes everything look so beautiful.

6. Penguin biscuits, the best biscuits to have with tea. Do you know the trick of how to eat them?

7. Our new Christmasy snowflake pillow, its such a lovely blue velvet.

8. Buying ingredients to make my first pecan pie for our sort of Thanks Giving dinner next week - I hope it turns out well!
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Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Christmas Gift Guide 2016 - Stocking Fillers for Her


It's so close to Christmas now I have to keep pinching myself, it almost doesn't seem real. For the past couple of weeks it really hasn't been registering with me just how far along in the calendar we are, I'm sure it'll sink in soon -especially when the tree goes up. But right now, it's gift guide time!! There are so many amazing stocking fillers out there this year, this is just a handful of some of my favourites. As usual there will be a Stocking Fillers for Him up soon, and then the same with the main present gift guides too. I hope this helps give you some inspiration if your currently struggling with what to buy.  



3. Memory Book - £12





8. Matte Gold Travel Mug - £16.95


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Monday, 14 November 2016

Some Very Exciting News...

we're-getting-married

I've mentioned a couple of times recently that I had some incredibly exciting news to share with you, but up until now it just didn't feel right to do so. Do you ever feel as if saying something too prematurely or hinting at something that's so far away in time will ruin it completely? Well that's how I started to feel, I felt if I wrote it all down for anyone to read that something horrible would happen and then I'd have to write something else explaining to you all why it was no longer something we were doing. Thankfully I no longer feel that way and am beyond excited to share our news with you all...


are you ready...


we're-getting-married

...WE'RE GETTING MARRIED!!

It feels odd to finally say that here, as if it makes it more real in some way, because truthfully at the point it doesn't feel it. I can't begin to explain how happy and excited we both are, and now that it's less than a year away I also feel quite nervous.

Paul and I have been best friends since the day we started high school together, we've also now been a couple for over ten years -somethings that still astonishes me! He really is the most wonderful person and it fills my heart with joy to know that he's there for me. We have actually been engaged for quite a few years, I think maybe four or five, but due to a few different factors life can put in the we haven't yet managed to set a date -until now! 

Next year, on October 25th, Paul and I will be standing in New York, in Central Park (weather permitting) saying our vows to each other in a place that's oh so special to us. It will just be the two of us, it's an elopement of sorts I guess, but everyone does already know so it's not a secret. We didn't want to run away without telling anyone, plus while we want to go away by our self, we still wanted everyone to be able to join in and be involved in some way.

We don't have too much information to share with you at the moment, just the date really, But during the run up to the day it's self I'd love to take you along where I can and share bits and pieces of the journey. Starting hopefully with dress shopping -if I can. I know some places don't allow cameras or photography of any kind so that may not be possible, but I'll see what I can do.

It's honestly the most exciting time, and I still can't believe it's actually happening.
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Friday, 11 November 2016

Made Me Happy This Week

made-me-happy-this-week

This has been one crazy week, hasn't it? I don't think I really have to mention the biggest new at the moment, but we aren't going to focus on that...this is a post about happy things after all. One of them being that it is now officially the Christmas season, because the John Lewis advert was released and I am 100% in love with Buster! It's one of my favourites, and I love that the idea behind this years advert was to make us smile and laugh. Something we all need a little more of. If you still haven't seen it (or want to watch it again) you can find it here.

1. Although being ill isn't great fun, getting to spend the day in bed with my fluffy little pup definitely made things a whole lot better. I recommend it to anyone.

2. All the Christmas cup offerings this year, I can't quite choose a favourite.

3. Going for a late afternoon walk with Paul, and finding the most ridiculous piles of leaves to jump around in. Also managing to miss the dog poo was a huge plus!

4. Picking up some Yankee Christmas candles in the sale.

5. Homemade chicken and lentil soup, it's been really all I've eaten for the past few days but it's tasty and warming and makes me feel better -even if it's only in a superficial way.

6. Picking up our paint and new lights for the extension. I feel as if it's been such a long process but soon, very soon, the room will be usable!

7. Frosty mornings and beautiful sunrises.

8. The story of Walnut the dog and his last walk. While of course this is incredibly sad story, and one that I can sympathise with, it's also so heartwarming and beautiful. It reminds you how warm and kind people can be. Walnut will be having his last walk tomorrow with his wonderful owner, Mark, and I'm sure lots of other lovely people who will turn up to join them. You can find the full story here. #walkwithwalnut
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Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Some Things I'm Loving - The Cold Edition!

some-things-I'm-loving
some-things-I'm-loving

This wasn't the post I had planned to go up today, that one was much more exciting but had photos that required more effort than I can current give. So I hope you don't mind that I'm replacing it with this one and moving that one to the weekend when I'm hopefully feeling a little brighter, and also have a little more energy.

Everyone seems to be sick at the moment, Paul's had it for around a week now I think, and I did all I could to fight it off but it got me in the end. Resulting in us both in bed, with hot water bottles coughing and choking while trying to sleep. So seeing as I can't share with you what I wanted to share with you today, I thought I'd share some of what I've been loving while I've been at home feeling rubbish.
~~~

Buttercup Cough Syrup - I love this stuff! I am thankful each time I have a coughing fit that some very kind person invented it. It does help ease my throat and it tastes pretty good too. 

Vitamin C - I've been taking loads of the stuff since Paul first got sick, trying my best to help my immune system fight the germs. Even though that didn't work in the end, I feel as if topping up on it can only be a good thing.

Chicken Soup - Everyone always tells you that when you're sick, chicken soup will work miracles. While I don't actually believe that cures the cold (or whatever this is), I think there's some truth about the protein and how that helps, also hot soup is just the only thing I want when I feel like this. 

Kleenex - For obvious and disgusting reasons. And the balsam to try and help the poor skin on my nose.

Paracetamol - For when the buttercup doesn't ease my coughing and it gets too painful.

Cosy Throws - We've spent most of our time in bed or on the sofa, but always covered in lots of throws and extra pillows.

Hot Water Bottle - Just to make sure our feet stay warm at night.

Tea and Orange Juice - Tea because it's very comforting and while I'm sure it gives no actual help, it just makes me feel good. And orange juice for even more vitamin c.

Hope you're all doing well. 


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Monday, 7 November 2016

Nutella Lattes

nutella-latte

Let me introduce you to the Nutella Latte! The most simple yet insanely delicious drink you will ever try...I promise!

I came across the idea for this a few weeks ago on a Starbucks hidden drinks menu, although it contained no actual Nutella, the idea seemed to good to not try at home. I gave it a go one cold rainy Sunday, and I've wanted one every day since. But while it does seem like the perfect afternoon treat, it's probably best to keep them as an occasional thing, rather than every day.

nutella-latte
nutella-latte

It's so simple to make that I feel silly even writing a recipe for you, but here we go...

Ingredients: (per person)
Espresso
Hot milk -to half fill your mug of choice
1 teaspoon of Nutella

-Make your espresso however you like it, I use a cafetiere because that's what we have but anyway is fine. Pour this in to your favourite mug and stir in 1 heaped teaspoon of Nutella.

-Pour over your hot milk, froth it up if you like the foam...and that is pretty much all there is to it.

I like to add a little bit around the edge of the mug, totally unnecessary but extra Nutella is never a bad thing in my books.

I've made a few of these now and they work well with different milk if you aren't a fan of dairy, and with instant coffee too if you don't use the whole bean kind. My absolute favourite coffee to use for these lattes is the Starbucks Ethiopia blend, it works really well with the Nutella flavour.

I can see these taking over from my go-to hot chocolates this winter.

nutella-latte



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Saturday, 5 November 2016

Bonfires Night

sparkler-pictures
sparkler-pictures
sparkler-pictures

Remember, remember, the 5th of November...

It's Bonfires night, a night of the year that always brings back memories of when we were much younger, playing with sparklers and watching the huge bonfire and beautiful fireworks with sheer amazement. I remember being wrapped up in scarfs and hats, and always wondering if the sparklers would eventually burn down all the way to my fingers, of course they never did. There's also smell on Bonfires night, a smell that seems entirely unique to the 5th of November. It's a combination of cold air, sparklers, and burning wood...I love it.

sparkler-pictures
sparkler-pictures

We haven't made it to any fireworks shows this year, but we did pick up some sparklers and thought it would be fun to try and take some pictures of us writing with them. I've always loved them, but had no idea how they were done, so I've spent a few hours this week looking into how you do it. There was a little bit of trial and error at the beginning but I think they turned out great.

Hope you all have a fantastic night, and if you're going to an organised show or staying home with you're own fireworks remember to stay safe and wrap up warm. Apparently it's the coldest Bonfires Night for 10 year!

The camera settings I used are: ISO - 400, Shutter Speed - 6 and 8, Aperture - F8.0

sparkler-pictures
sparkler-pictures

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Friday, 4 November 2016

Made Me Happy This Week

made-me-happy-this-week

I seem to always be decorating around this time of year. So much so, that the smell of paint now actually reminds me of cold wintery nights and Christmas time. But getting things done and ticking another job off the list does leave me feeling very happy. Speaking of Christmas, have you spotted the festive drinks popping up everywhere? I think they're all out now, but I was very pleased with myself when I managed to get one early. I went in for one last pumpkin spice but sadly the syrup had finished, however, when the girl told me that they had the Christmas flavours in and she could make me one of them, I no longer cared about the pumpkin. I'm so happy gingerbread lattes are back in my life.

1. New boots covered in glittery stars. Not the most practical for this cold wet time of year but so pretty I couldn't resist.

2. Finishing off the left over Halloween sweets.

3. Fresh home made soup on a Sunday afternoon.

4. Going to see Dr Strange at the cinema, possibly one of my favourite Marvel films so ever...if not the favourite.

5. Waking up early and catching beautiful sunsets on clear mornings.

6. Breakfast in bed with Paul when he starts late.

7. When Snapchat picks up your dogs face and you can play with all the filters!

8. Sparklers...probably my most favourite thing about bonfires nights. The fireworks are amazing of course but sparklers always remind me of being a little girl.
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Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Cheesy Potato Skins

bonfires-night-potato-skins
bonfires-night-potato-skins

This Saturday is the 5th of November, and if you're in the UK that means Bonfires night. There are always certain foods that I start to think of around this time, things such as chili with rice and corn bread (I have a recipe here), stews, baked potatoes and hot dogs. This year however, I keep thinking potato skins! Like baked potatoes but much better, and great for large groups if you happen to be having a party.

bonfires-night-potato-skins
bonfires-night-potato-skins
bonfires-night-potato-skins

There are of course endless combinations you can add to your potatoes, but this is our very favourite way of doing them. The cream and Gruyere cheese makes them soft and melty and much more indulgent than your normal skins.

Ingredients:   -makes 12 skins
6 medium sized potatoes
100g of cheddar
100g of Gruyere
3/4 spring onions
12 slices of streaky bacon -grilled and chopped up
3 tablespoons of double cream
2 tablespoons of melted butter
1 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of oil

bonfires-night-potato-skins
bonfires-night-potato-skins

-Preheat your oven to 180°C, prick the potatoes with a fork all over, and then cover them in a little oil. Place them on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake for around 1 hour until crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside.

-Leave the potatoes to cool for 5 - 10 minutes so they're easier to handle. Cut them in half and scoop the insides into a bowl, leaving a thin layer of potato on the skins.

-To your bowl of fluffy potato, add the salt, melted butter and double cream, give this a mix with electric mixer (or hand whisk) until smooth. Once it's nice and smooth, add in your cheese, spring onions and crispy bacon, leaving a little for topping later.

-When everything is well combined you can start spooning the potato mix back into the skins. Once they have been refilled, top them with the left over cheese bacon and spring onions and put them back in the oven for 20-25 minutes until melting and golden brown

Perfect for this weekend, a potato skin in one hand, and a sparkler in the other! 

bonfires-night-potato-skins




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