With Christmas just 3 more sleeps away, I thought I had better get these photos from Lincoln Christmas Market up. Mum and I went just over 2 weeks ago and my first ever visit to this city at Christmastime didn't disappoint. It was much larger than any of the other markets I have been too and it took us a lot of the day to get around all of the stalls.
17 November 2015
I first discovered Boxed Brownies on Instagram through a mutual follower, LemonFreckles. Obviously I followed them, happy to see more sweet treats in my feed. I soon discovered that the lovely pair behind the idea - Clive and Hayley - are from Sheffield, use eggs from their own free range hens and only Fairtrade chocolate. The one downside? There was no gluten free option. Cue the sad face.
However, last Thursday Boxed Brownies announced a blackberry and white chocolate gluten free brownie. Even better, they were doing a deal where I could get a box through my front door for only £10! Imagine my excitement come Saturday morning when the postman knocked on my door just in time for breakfast.
13 November 2015
In the 8 years that I have lived in Derby, I have never once visited the Christmas Market. After visiting on Saturday I realise what a huge mistake that was. The Roundhouse is not only beautiful in it's own right but when it was filled with the goods of local Independent makers, it was wonderful. The only downside was simply how busy it was, but then after spending some time there it was easy to see why that was the case.
We picked up a birthday card, two bumblebee cards which are now framed on our bedroom wall, a new bauble for the tree and a scented candle which smells like a log fire. I love a good Christmas market and this was the first one of the year for me. I'll be visiting Lincoln with my Mum next month and then I'm hoping to get in one more. Perhaps Sheffield or Manchester.
Do you have a favourite that I should check out?
8 November 2015
It's been a busy couple of weeks for me which have gone by in a blur. Workwise, I have a new boss who is lovely and I am still very much in the process of trying to get up to speed and learn the ropes. With the nights getting darker I've just been eating, reading and sleeping when I get home so this blog has naturally been a little neglected. I'm trying to get into a new rhythm though so hopefully that will change soon. These are the things that have made me happy in the last couple of weeks:
1. A desk move at work means that I now have a window seat. It's probably a bit redundant at the moment with all the rain and then the dark setting in at 4.30pm but I'm really enjoying my new view.
27 October 2015
Last month I fell into a bit of a funk with my cooking, I wasn't in the kitchen nearly enough just for fun and I wasn't feeling inspired. When Wayfair contacted me to contribute on their blog it seemed like the worst time to ask me to invent a recipe based on Autumn. However, it was also the week that PSL's came back and I had 3 in as many days, prompting me to think that those flavours would work so well in a cake.
I hadn't cooked pumpkin before and found the idea strangely intimidating. Anyone I knew always used it out of a can which is really hard to get hold of here, plus cooking something fresh always feels like a better option when possible. After a bit of Googling on how to cook a pumpkin I found that it was ridiculously easy and so these pumpkin spice cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese were born.
They also happen to make a lovely little one layer cake too, just pour the mixture into a 6 inch cake pan and cook on 180c for 35 mins or until a knife comes out clean. Then make half of the frosting and when it's cool, spread it on top.
You can find the recipe on the Wayfair blog here.
18 October 2015
I have found it a lot harder this week to come up with five happy things when in fact lots of lovely things happened. This week they were smaller and more difficult to remember come Sunday when I always sit down to write this post. Might need to think about noting them down as I go along, not sure why I haven't thought of that before. Anyway, here are the little things I do remember:
1. Money off at Starbucks. Starbucks had no decaf on Monday, so on Wednesday (when they had some) a lovely barista only charged me for a tall when I ordered a grande. Very unexpected and sweet.
11 October 2015
I read yesterday that there are only 10 more Friday's til Christmas. 10! I am a huge Christmas fan but on the whole I do try to keep my excitement under wraps until after Halloween. I don't think that rule is really going to stand this year though. I'm already thinking of the second dessert we are going to have for those who aren't boozy tiramisu fans. Anyway, without further ado, here are the five things that have made me happy thing week:
1. Impromptu date night at Zizzi's. Byron took me for dinner on Monday night thanks to an email code for 30% off at Zizzi's. We are living the dream folks but who turns down 30% off pizza?! Crazy people, that's who.
22 September 2015
This lemon meringue pie recipe has been adapted from my Mum's Good Housekeeping cookbook which is almost 30 years old! It's been a staple dessert in my family for years, brought out for graduations, birthdays and "just because" days. I adapted this particular pie for my Dad's birthday to be gluten free so that I could have some. The recipe does say to wait until it's cool to eat but ours has never made it to that stage. It's delicious hot out of the oven but use a bowl, the filling has a mind of it's own.
20 September 2015
This week has been both incredibly stressful and completely wonderful. A big project at work came to an end in a flurry of activity and a huge amount of photocopying. It was my first one and I think it went well even if it did end up being a little chaotic at the end. Yesterday we made the most of the sunshine and headed into town. Byron went for a haircut and left me in the record store where I bought The Cure's"Standing On A Beach" and The Monkee's self titled vinyl.
1. Byron treated me when the project all wrapped up to a trip to Ikea, where I finally bought a table for my herbs which were getting scorched on the windowsill.
4 September 2015
Welcome to Part One of our wedding pictures, I've had to split it into two posts because otherwise it's just too photo heavy. This update features mainly the "getting ready" photos and a few of the ceremony. I can't believe it's already been three months since we said "I do" and I'm so thrilled to have the pictures back so I can share them not only with you lovely folk, but with my parents too who have also been waiting patiently. Although, I did give them a few sneak peeks.
2 September 2015
Another year and another birthday trip to London for my Mum. This is the third time we have done this trip and we always find new things to see. The past two years - see here and here - we have seen a show but this year nothing really called out to us so we went sight seeing instead. Mum has never been to any of the London museum's so these were high on our list, as well as visiting Notting Hill to catch a glimpse of THAT blue door.
8 August 2015
Well the first week at my new job and come and gone, I have read and learnt so much that the muscles in my eyes and brain hurt. Having never had any experience within the Financial Services, suddenly finding myself a Project Co-ordinator at a leading mortgage firm, it was a lot to take on.
2 August 2015
Is there any better time to write one of these posts when you have been poorly all week? I think not. It's good to reflect on how not everything was rubbish, even if I felt that way and this week off has truly been rather lovely.
1. Buying some clothes in the sales for work. I absolutely hate shopping but I did need a few new things to wear to work so I hit the sales on Monday and picked up a few bargains. A couple of dresses from Topshop, a top from Oasis and two cardigans from H&M for under £50!
30 June 2015
I love Markeaton Park. Situated towards the centre of the city it is surrounded by the university, a lovely residential area and a scary roundabout. It's one of those places that doesn't feel like you are in the city and it's huge! Before I moved here I didn't think these sorts of places existed and I always like an excuse to go there. This weekend it was the first of the warm Saturday's when June showed it's true colours.
7 June 2015
What a week. It's been a big come down from the wedding to find myself back at work on Monday and out of my "just married" bubble. On Wednesday my immune system completely flaked on me and I was sent home at breaktime and slept for 5 hours. I honestly didn't realise quite how tired I was but I can always leave it to my body to tell me to rest. The evenings have been wonderful and sunny, going home to my husband has been extra novel as we adjust to the change in our relationship status. To be honest, it doesn't actually feel like it's hit us yet. I'm still waiting on that bombshell. So here's the other stuff that made me happy this week:
1. Wedding Gifts. Byron and I have been married a whole week now and we didn't register for gifts but we did receive several well thought out ones which now have pride of place in our home. Byron's colleagues got us a Next giftcard too which I put to good use and finally got some pillows for the sofa.
31 May 2015
There were so many lovely things that happened during the half term week but getting married was definitely the highlight. There will be some photos on here but apart from a few my friends took on their phones we are waiting for the more official ones. While we wait I thought we could have a special edition of the Five Happy Things post which is 100% wedding related.
1. The weather was good! On Friday we had torrential rain and I was really worried that would continue into the Saturday. I actually didn't care that it was a bit overcast, I just really needed it to be dry.
18 May 2015
Alton is probably better know for it's theme park but last weekend I joined Byron and his family for a walk through the woods. We didn't go the whole way as we had a table booked for food but it was nice spending an hour looking at bluebells, more wild garlic than you could shake a stick at and exploring an old abandoned train line. When the weather brightens up we will definitely be going back to finish off the route.
27 April 2015
At the beginning of the year, in a bid to be a bit healthier, I switched out my usual breakfast of peanut butter on toast for something much more satisfying, oats. I love oatmeal and I've been enjoying it for months, it keeps me full and is very versatile, even if I do tend to just cover it in maple syrup. Don't judge me. However, with the mornings getting brighter, and the days getting longer, I have traded in the oatmeal for the much more nutritious smoothie bowl.
8 April 2015
As I sit down to write this long overdue blog post, I have just burnt my finger on a raspberry whilst taking a cake out of the oven. It hurts but somehow it has sparked something which has prompted me to sit at my desk, in front of an empty screen, wondering how to start.
2 March 2015
Oh last week, how I won't miss thee. To be perfectly honest it started really well. I felt like I had tons of energy and work was good. Then Thursday came along and kicked me hard with a migraine and some cramps. Thanks for that mother nature! By Friday I had also developed a finger infection which thankfully didn't require antibiotics but made me feel really sick. Two days off work and a weekend of sleep and rest meant that by yesterday evening I was feeling much more human. I have been tracking my migraines this year and there does seem to be a pattern so it's probable that they are hormonal. Something to take to my acupuncturist next time I guess.
Despite all that there were some happy moments to choose from last week. Here's what made the cut:
1. Coconut Collaborative. Byron bought me a treat last week as I hadn't been feeling well. This was the first time that I tried this frozen yoghurt and I am completely addicted. I got the chocolate version and it's completely dairy and added sugar free. The vanilla version even has good bacteria in it!
23 February 2015
Last week was full of ups and downs, mainly in a professional capacity as I struggled to get back into the swing of work. I've spent quite a bit of time lately not feeling valued and that has been difficult. Schools can be thankless places but I do feel like I'm working through the worst of it now and coming out the other side with a slightly thicker skin. Still, there has been lots to be happy about in the last week, no matter how small.
1. Spring is Coming. I noticed yesterday morning how daffodils are starting to sprout in our flower boxes in the back garden. I was filled with joy as not only do I love daffodils but I also love Spring and the end to the short, cold days.
16 February 2015
Last week was truly brilliant and really productive. Well, real life wise, not so much blogging wise. I actually missed last weeks Five Happy Things post and whilst I did feel bad about it, I was at my parents and I left my laptop at home to have some unplugged time (it was half term). I did spend some time reading blog posts on my Ipad though so I need to get commenting this week too.
1. Wedding Preparation. At the beginning of last week, Byron and I visited my parents and the lovely Inn where will be having our dinner after the wedding. It's absolutely beautiful, the hosts were very accommodating and basically it's just got that great rustic vibe we are after.
26 January 2015
Last week felt like two or three rolled into one. It doesn't seem almost a week ago that I was booking my wedding as I have been struck down with the flu and now everything feels hazy. I feel like I have been ill a lot lately and perhaps my body is trying to tell me something. I think some change might be on the cards soon.
1. Booking Our Wedding Date. On Tuesday I rang my parents local registry office and booked in our wedding for May 30th!
20 January 2015
5 January 2015
Hello! How are you on this first Monday of 2015? Personally I struggled to get up with my alarm this morning. I usually wake up at 7 on the dot no matter what, but the last few days I have managed to get a lie in and felt very well rested. For a lot of people, myself included, today was the end of their holiday period. I went back to work today feeling completely replenished after a lovely two week break.
1. Engagement dinner at Prezzo's. Byron's Mum invited us out for a celebratory dinner at one of my favourite pizza places, I really do think their gluten free base is the best I've tried. Pizza Express was close but since they have changed their recipe I can't bear to eat it.