Thursday, 24 November 2011

Delightful day off

Day off TuesdayDay off Tuesday

boots - topshop, skirt - new look, t-shirt - m&s (I think!), cardigan - red herring, scarf - c/o moodys, coat - topshop

On Tuesday I had a lovely day off. I went for a run in the morning round the park (still not got sick of living so close to Sefton Park, don't think I will to be honest) and then showered & changed to meet my friend in town. We met up in Bold St Coffee, a great independent coffee shop on Bold Street (of course!). Bold St is one of my favourite streets in Liverpool, along with Lark Lane. They are both full of a great mixture of creative & independent shops. 

How awesome is the latte/flat white art? I ordered another one and it came with a heart in it, but I thought taking too many photos of my coffee may look too weird. After a few coffees, we went to see Zee at Fact. This was a really strange piece of installation art where you walk into a room and it slowly fills with smoke and different strobe lighting effects start. It lasts for 12 minutes and is such a strange/great experience, some people said it was hallucinogenic, others have compared it to a near death experience. It was an experience anyway! It's only on until this Monday the 28th so I recommend visiting it if you get the chance. You have to be over 18 and sign a disclaimer beforehand and unfortunately when we were in there a woman did injure herself and an ambulance had to be called. I hope she is ok now though!  

This weekend is shaping up to be a busy one again, it's Scott's sisters hen night on Saturday and then on Sunday I may be out for tea again with the parentals. I'm also in work on Saturday day and have to find time to squeeze in some Christmas shopping (I NEED to start before December! Have you all started yet?). 

P.S. Does anyone else have the hardest time ever giving their blog posts titles? Ugh, so hard to do! Hence the wet title of this blog post. 

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Nutella cupcakes

Nutella cupcakes

Nutella cupcakes

These are my favourite cupcakes ever. I am such a big nutella fan, I could easily eat a jar of it in one sitting. I go through phases of being obsessed with peanut butter and nutella, at the moment I am on a nutella kick. I made my first cake in our new kitchen but it was a cake for my brother-in-law to thank him for helping us move stuff and doing some plumbing. Whilst the oven was preheated and I was in the baking frame of mind, I also whipped up a batch of these nutella cupcakes. These were the first cupcakes I made out of the hummingbird bakery book, over 2 years ago now! That book is still my favourite recipe book for cakes, I think I have almost memorised the vanilla and chocolate cupcake recipe off by heart. 

Ingredients (Makes 12 cupcakes)

100g plain flour

20g cocoa powder

140g caster sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
a pinch of salt
40g butter, at room temp.
120ml milk (the recipe said whole milk, but I just used semi and they turned out okay!)
1 egg
120g nutella
 hazelnuts to decorate


1. Preheat the oven to gas 3/170c/325f

2. Put the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in a bowl and mix together. You can use an electric hand whisk for this. It should be a slightly sandy/grainy texture

3. Pour the milk into the mixture and mix. Then add the egg and beat until it's all incorporated.

4. Spoon the mixture into cupcakes cases in a muffin tin, filling to about halfway or 2/3 full. They rise quite a bit. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

5. Leave to cool completely, then cut out a little circle in the cupcake. Pop the loose piece of cake out, insert a dollop of nutella, then put the cake piece back ontop so you have a filled cupcake.

For the icing

250g icing sugar

80g butter, at room temp

25 ml milk
80g nutella

Mix all the above ingredients together until incorporated and continue mixing for about 5 minutes. The more mixing, the fluffier the icing! Use a palette knife to ice the cupcakes, then decorate with a hazelnut. Enjoy!

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Everyday is like Sunday

shoes - tesco, dress - zara, cardigan - h&m

dress - topshop, cardigan - dorothy perkins, boots - topshop.

Well, I wish everyday was like Sunday where there is nothing important to do and everything becomes very leisurely. I have spent most of today in bed after a night out last night. I can't seem to hack staying out until 3am anymore! Well, I can, but I just want lots more sleep the day after. I had brunch with Scott at 11am and then went back to bed by midday for another 3 hours, ha! Now Scott is cooking a Sunday dinner for us. Lamp chops with roasted vegs and roasties. Hmmm. 

Back to work tomorrow though. I wore the first outfit for work last week, I don't usually wear necklaces for work because they always get caught up in my lanyard that my ID is on, but this red beaded necklace was a welcome pop of colour. The second outfit I wore last Sunday when we visited Scott's mum for Sunday dinner. It was sooo cold, so I wrapped up with my thermal socks and boots. I'd quite like some new boots but I am so fussy when it comes to boots. I have short legs so most knee high boots are too high on me. I've had these Topshop boots though for about 5 years now and they are still going strong. Anyone have any recommendations for nice boots which aren't too tall?

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Park life

Sefton park with the dogs

Sefton park band stand

Sefton park

I love living so close to the park, it's almost become a weekend ritual to go for a walk in the walk, either with the dogs or by ourselves. Sometimes we get an ice cream (yes, even in this weather!) or just meander down to Lark Lane for a mooch. The bandstand in Sefton Park is so beautiful; it's said to have inspired the cover art for The Beatles' Sgt Pepper album. I have really enjoyed seeing the park change from summer to winter and I am actually hoping that we get lots of snow so that I can frolic in the snow there! Are you enjoying the change in the seasons? 

Monday, 14 November 2011

A foodie week in photos

Moon & pea breakfast on Lark Lane
Nutella on toast
Wrapping up warm
Scott's spaghetti bolasgna - AMAZING.
Crabbie's ginger beer after the fireworks
Planning Christmas food & treats
Turkish BBQ at Elif's

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Finding my feet

Day off work
shoes - tesco, dress, zara, cardigan - m&s, necklace - cath kidston

shoes - clarks, dress - topshop, t-shirt - asos.

On my last outfit post, Lucy commented that it didn't look right not having my outfit photos against the polaroid wall. And it doesn't. I just can't find the right spot in the house for outfit posts yet! In my last post, I had Scott take my photos (Oh what a blogger cliche, having the boyfriend photographer...) but when I leave for work before he's even out of bed I don't think that is practical. He would not be amused at having to get up early to be my personal photographer. Plus there was something not quite right about that plain white wall. I thought I would feel more comfortable against the dining room door, but the wallpaper just distracts from the outfits. I will try testing out the guest bedroom as my new outfit spot soon and see if I can find my outfit blogging feet in the new house soon. Oh the woes of a 'fashion' blogger... ;-)

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

The kitchen

I am really excited to finally be able to share our kitchen with you! This is probably the room that has changed the most overall and I think it's the most important room of the house.
Meh kitchen

Our kitchen

Looking at those two photos next to each other has amazed me. Wow. As you can see, we have added A LOT more storage space to the kitchen! We removed the horrible old boiler that was just wasting space and put that upstairs in the bathroom (thank god for having a brother-in-law who is a plumber.) We also had a new window fitted that is bottom opening so it's much easier to open when it gets steamy in the kitchen. 

Our kitchen is from Ikea, we chose the Abstrakt high gloss white cupboard fronts for a minimalist look and also for ease of cleaning (no nooks or crannies for the dirt to hide in!) I had my heart set on a wooden worktop, although at one point we did nearly get a laminate worktop. However, when we found out that they would take longer to arrive we instantly chose a wooden one instead! We chose the Numerar birch wood (again down to our impatience because the cheaper version wasn't in stock, but we prefer this one anyway). We had two joiners fit it rather than the Ikea installation people as they wanted the same price as the whole kitchen cost! Very, very expensive.. We were on a tight budget here! My Dad tiled the kitchen with some tiles we saw in Topps Tiles for £5 a sheet and then found online for £3.50 a sheet. I always recommend looking online for things you've found in shops when doing up a house - it's always cheaper because they don't have the overheads of running a shop. 

Here are a few more photos and details:

Our kitchen 

Typhoon Ching-He Huang storage jars

Our kitchen 

Laura Ashley owl utensil owl, Joseph Joseph worktop protector & biscuit tin (gift)

Our kitchen 

My kitchenaid 

Our kitchen

The hob.

Our kitchen

Tea & coffee making area

Our kitchen

Kenwood k-mix yellow kettle, bodum cafetiere & ikea tea tray.

I love our new kitchen, I haven't baked a cake in it yet though but I think I will have to this weekend to christen it fully now that we are all settled in. I hope you all love it as much as I do!

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Remember, remember the 5th November

Bonfire night

Bonfire night
Wellies - Joules
Jeans - Topshop
Jumper - Marks & Spencer
Bow - Primark
Coat - Topshop
Glove/mittens - Asos
Scarf - NY street vendor years ago

This is what I wore to go and watch the fireworks last night, is it me or are firework displays always a bit of an anti-climax? Plus we didn't have any sparklers to play with which I really wanted after seeing other people play with them! 

This jumper was sent to me as part of the Voucher Codes Cashmere challenge, I was so excited to be offered a cashmere jumper, it's such a luxury I would probably not treat myself to one. I chose this camel jumper from m&s in a size 8. I chose an 8 because I know from experience that m&s sizes can be quite generous, and this fits me perfectly. Just enough room to wear a vest underneath on chilly evenings too but not look too bulky. The sleeves are slightly long but that is probably more due to me being short and thus having short arms. I haven't washed it yet, but luckily it can be machine washed with other jumpers despite it's delicate nature. I love the combination of camel with red, I think it's a great combo for winter. It has a really British heritage feel to it. I think I'll get lots of wear out of this, I can throw it on over dresses as an extra layer, wear it over shirts for work or just wear it with jeans like this for a casual look. It kept me lovely & warm last night to watch the fireworks.

Thanks to voucher codes for sending me this to review! I have already used one of their m&s codes to get £5 off lingerie to stock up on thermals for winter (ordering them early this year so they don't sell out once it snows like last year, organisation ftw!), there are also loads more codes on their website to save money just in time for Christmas. 

Did you do anything for bonfire night or did you have to stay in with scared dogs like my Mum & Dad did? Poor Pepe & Nina :( 

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Jazzing up drawers

Old chest of drawers

I did this DIY a few weeks ago. Scott had this plain old boring set of drawers that we were going to put in the bedroom but they seemed so bland to me. I toyed with the idea of just jazzing them up with new handles, but then I saw this chest of drawers on Apartment Therapy and decided that turquoise drawers would look fabulous in our bedroom. 

Lush, no? 

However, finding the right turquoise furniture paint was a problem! We had been spending a lot of time in b&q (oh how I hate b&q...) so I looked there but there weren't any right shades. So, I decided to look on eBay and found this japlac paint, which is a high gloss lacquer that comes in some really great colours. However, the tin is really tiny and I was worried I wouldn't have enough paint. 

Japlac paint

I sanded down and prepped all of the drawer then got to painting straight away. I made the mistake of painting all of the frame all in one go and then ended up with some dodgy runs of paint down the side as the gloss dried slowly but also dripped because it's so thick. The perils of gloss. If I did this again, I would do it in turns and do the top first, let it dry, then turn it on it's side and do one side and so on, so that everything could dry horizontally. 

Painted chest of drawers
Frame nearly finished. 

Then I painted the fronts of the drawers (after taking the handles off) and let it all dry. Luckily one small tin was enough for this DIY. Then I decided to paint the handles yellow with some leftover emulsion and then varnished over it with some gloss varnish so that it would have the same high gloss finish as the drawers.

And ta-da!


Finished drawers! I really love them and think that they add a great zing of colour to our bedroom which has a lot of grey in it. It was really easy to do and I do recommend the Japlac paint because it gives such a nice finish, but I would be careful with it to avoid runs. Have you tried any DIYs lately?  

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Autumn days

Sefton Park

Sefton Park
shoes - tesco loafers
jeans - topshop
dog jumper - hobbs
coat - topshop
bag - cath kidston

Sefton Park

I bloody well love autumn and the wonderful light that it brings on clear days like this last week. The weather still feels rather mild though and I can't believe it's now November! I'm not ready for winter yet! (Although I have just purchased some thermals to prepare, so I am halfway there I guess.) What do you do to prepare for winter?

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Halloween lantern parade

Every Halloween in Sefton Park there is a lantern parade, organised by local arts and community groups. We went last year for the first time and now that we live so close decided to go again this year. It is such a great spectacle!

Liverpool lantern parade

Liverpool lantern parade

Liverpool lantern parade

Liverpool lantern parade

It's quite creepy because the park is so dark and there are bands playing as the lanterns parade through the park, then they all gather together for the finale which usually involves setting a big lantern on fire and setting off lots of fireworks (although Scott was disappointed and thought there could have been more fire this year haha). You can see some better photos here. As you can see, there are some amazing lanterns on show! 

We also had a murder mystery party on Friday with Scott's family and decorated the house for halloween: 
Vomiting pumpkin to greet the guests - lovely!

Skull garland hanging up

And some pumpkins and a spooky view from our 'gothic manor' as part of the murder mystery! The murder mystery party was really good, Scott's brother wrote it all himself. We did one last year too and at first you feel a bit stupid but then get into the swing of pretending to be your character! Great for people who miss high school drama classes ha. I was NOT the murderer, despite the victim being my rich husband who was 30 years older than me. Not suspicious at all...

What did you all do for Halloween? Trick or treating, zombie walk, halloween party or just tried to avoid getting your house egged? 


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