Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Lark Lane on a Saturday morning

Lark Lane

Lark Lane

Veg

Lark lane farmers market

Lark Lane

Bread

Breakfast

Lark Lane - one of the best roads in Liverpool? It's located quite close by us and just by the park too. It's full of independent bars, cafes & shops and there is a farmers market once a month that we were lucky enough to catch this weekend. We often go for breakfast on Lark Lane as our Royal Mail sorting office is located just by it and has stupid opening hours that mean we have to go before 10am on a Saturday morning. But hey, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. So we use it as an excuse to go for a nice stroll and for breakfast somewhere. The Moon & Pea is our current favourite - their homemade veggie sausages are amazing, I always order the veggie brekkie despite not being a veggie! I think we have to pay a visit this weekend but may try somewhere new for breakfast - any recs? 

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Beetroot tart tatin

Beetroot tart tatin

Beetroot tart tatin

This was our dinner on Tuesday, it was so delicious. I'm a rather big fan of beetroot, in the past few years I've been eating it more and more. I picked up these baby beetroot from the farmer's market on Allerton Road and knew instantly that they would be perfect for this tart tatin recipe from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage Veg Everyday.



We are not vegetarian at all and do enjoy our meat dishes but we, like Hugh, have been trying to eat less meat lately for a variety of reasons. It's nice to have more variety and not centre meals around meat. It's also better for the environment, cheaper and healthier. I've adapted this recipe slightly and increased the quantities too because we have a bigger frying pan. If you have puff pastry in your freezer, this is such a quick & easy meal to make. 

Ingredients

400g baby beetroot
2 tbsp sherry vinegar (or any other nice vinegar really, Hugh F-W suggests cider)
2 tbsp demerara sugar
Olive oil
Knob of butter
One sheet of ready-rolled puff pastry 

1. Pre-heat your oven to 180c/gas mark 5.
1. Scrub the beetroot and take the roots off and slice them in half. 
2. Heat up a large pan that can go in the oven (no plastic handles!) and melt the knob of butter and add the olive oil. Then add the vinegar and sugar and mix until the sugar dissolves. 
3. Add the beetroot to the pan and fry gently in the sauce. Then cover with foil and place in the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until the beetroot is nice and tender.
4. When the beetroot is tender and juicy, cover the pan with the rolled out puff pastry, cutting off any excess and tucking the pastry around the beetroot to cover it.
5. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until the pastry has puffed up nicely and turned golden brown.
6. Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly, then place a plate upside down on the pan and flip the pan over to turn the tart out onto the place.

This was seriously delicious. We ate our tart with some sweet potato wedges but it'd be nice in the summer with some salad too. We've just bought some golden beetroot from the Lark Lane farmers market and we're going to try it with those this week. The vinegar and sugar creates a lovely sweet sauce for the beetroot and the pastry is perfect because it doesn't go soggy like sometimes when you make a traditional tart.

Are you a veggie or willing to embrace veggie food? 

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Curly sue - Remington Pearl review

Thanks for all your lovely comments about my curly hair on my last post - I love it too! My hair is quite thick and coarse and never really took to curling products very well. I had my hair curly for my sisters wedding, but by the end of the day they had nearly fallen out. They were just done with GHDs by a hairdresser. I always used to play with my mum's curling tong and heated curlers when I was younger too but it was always SO disappointing. My hair just wanted to be straight. More recently I even tried velcro rollers which just wasn't good at all. My hair just refused to create any volume with them. I am pretty rubbish at doing things with my hair and my usual effort extends to using hair straighteners on them. I can't even braid hair!

So, when I had started reading about conical wands I decided to look into them. I thought about yogi wands but they were too pricey for something I had never really tried. So, I plumped for this Remington Pearl curling wand.  I got it for £20 but now it has gone back up to £25, but I still think that it's worth that because of the results I've had with it.

Straight

Before - my hair is very straight and boring at the moment.

Curling equipment

This is the curling wand. It comes with a heat protective glove to use whilst wrapping your hair around the wand and also the little silver pouch which is heat protective. I used vo5 volumising spitz on each section of hair as I curled it. I put half of my hair up in a mini bun and then start curling the bottom half of my hair




The wand has an adjustable heat setting, from 180-210. I always have it on the highest because my hair is quite resistant to heat. I section off each part of my hair to be curled, twist it around the wand and then leave for approximately 20 seconds. This is a bit of trial and error really because at first I wasn't leaving it long enough and was getting a very weak curl in my hair, but the longer I leave it, the curlier it is. It depends on your hair type and what effect you want. Also using wider sections of hair results in looser waves whilst smaller sections results in tighter curls.

Curled

And after! This is what it looks like straight away, which is a bit too perfect and defined for my liking. I gently combed through the curls and back combed underneath them slightly and tousled it to my prefer style. Then I sprayed it with hair spray to keep it in all night. Then this was the final look:


I am now spending some time searching 'curling wand tutorial' on YouTube to get some other ideas! All in all, curling my whole head of hair probably took about half an hour which is pretty good considering how long it stays in and how nice it looks. It is definitely going to be my fail safe going out hairstyle. I also really recommend the Remington Pearl curlers, they are worth it if you are like me and don't want to spend a lot of money on something that isn't an everyday hair styling tool but want something that works. 

Monday, 23 January 2012

2 outfits, 1 day

shoes - tesco
skirt - topshop
t-shirt - h&m
cardigan - dorothy perkins



shoes - topshop
dress - new look
cardigan - zara

I've had a lovely weekend. Saturday I went to the Tate Liverpool to the Alice in Wonderland exhibition with Alex, Char, Sophie & Steph and then for lunch afterwards. Then in the evening we went out for a meal with Scott's family for his brother's girlfriend's 21st. Sunday was spent tidying up the house and cooking lunch for my Mum & Auntie. I wore the first outfit during the day on Saturday. The green skirt was a Christmas present from Scott, I love the bright green colour. In the evening I curled my hair with my new conical wand that I am in LOVE with! I have a post just about that coming up soon. I still need some practice but it's definitely easy to use, I like the curly look.

Did you all have a lovely weekend too?

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Cuthberts Bakehouse, Liverpool

One of the most popular google searches that leads to my blog is 'cupcake shop Liverpool', which no doubt leads to an old post of mine bemoaning the fact that there is nowhere to get good cake in Liverpool. However, things are slowly changing and I don't need to drop out of being a librarian in order to provide the good people of Liverpool with nice cupcakes as other people are doing it for me.

Cuthberts Bakehouse opened last year, just after I finished my MA at the Uni across the road from it. Typical. Although some might say it is a good thing because I would spend too much money in there and end up the size of a house. I had been meaning to try it for ages but it isn't really somewhere I walk past often now. However on Saturday I decided we would go and try it.

How cute does it look?! This adorable illustration is by Becka Griffin, a lovely scouse illustrator. (I really want one of her bespoke house portraits of our house *hint hint*)


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I ordered a Mr Whippy cupcake, the frosting was so so light & delicious. I love the idea of squirting raspberry sauce on top of a vanilla cupcake, I want to try this myself now. I would use a flake instead of a chocolate finger but maybe they had ran out of chocolate flakes or something. The cake was nice and not dry, but I prefer a lighter sponge. I suppose it is all personal preference though.

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Scott was very traditional and ordered a cream tea with the biggest scone I've ever seen and some Brew Scouser's Breakfast tea. The scone was still slightly warm and so delicious and soft. Perfect!

I will certainly be going back to Cuthberts, it was a lovely relaxing cafe. It isn't in the main shopping part of the city centre so it has a slightly more sophisiticated and relaxed feel than many of the coffee shops around Liverpool One which become far too frantic for my liking on a Saturday afternoon. Plus, where else can you get so many different homebaked treats?! They have a wide range of cupcakes that I want to try and also do traditional cakes like Victoria sponge, Bakewell tart and coffee & walnut cake. The rocky road also looked amazing. We had a hot drink and cake each and it came to about £7, which I think is really good compared to your typical high street chain and the quality is far superior too. 

Cuthberts Bakehouse 
103 Mount Pleasant, Liverpool, L3 5TB

Monday, 16 January 2012

Sequins in the daytime

saturday

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Dress- c/o George
Cardigan - Red Herring
Boots - Topshop

Although it's January and everyone is still feeling the comedown after Christmas, I think there's no need to hide the sequins and glittery party dresses away in the back of your wardrobe. I wore this on Saturday just for a quick jaunt into Liverpool to try to spend my Christmas vouchers but fail. It was absolutely freezing but so lovely and bright. I adore winter days like that although I don't like having to de-ice my car in the morning AT ALL! This dress was sent to me via George at Asda, it is actually really good quality jersey. It feels so soft and I don't think it will bobble at all (although I haven't washed it yet so I guess only time will tell). It certainly feels better than other jersey peter pan collar dresses I've had in the past. The sequins on the collar did get slightly itchy after walking around shops all day. I do not own enough sequins at all though and now I have a strange desire to buy more sequins or at least accessorise with them more. I am already rather in love with glittery nail varnish all year round so why not sequins? 


Thursday, 12 January 2012

The bedroom

We've finally finished the bedroom! It had been finished and habitable for a long time but over the Christmas holidays we hung up some pictures and got our dressing table which was just the cherry on the cake. Let's have a quick look at some before photos:

Master bedroom Master bedroom

Master bedroom

Magnolia, magnolia and more magnolia! Also only single glazing and a really dodgy panic alarm button which we got rid of. Also look at how badly painted the bedroom door is! The flooring was also in a real state too, splodges of paint everywhere.

We decided on a grey and mustard colour scheme quite easily and worked around Scott's bed and wardrobe also (which are Ikea Malm & Complement)

Bedroom

Bedroom

This is our new dressing table, the Edland from Ikea (yes, we have LOTS of Ikea, mainly because of our budget and also their tendency to make nice things. We try to mix it up with second hand stuff too though so it isn't too much). I like the shape of the legs a lot although it doesn't really provide too much storage. It fills in what was an empty gap though rather nicely and the dark grey complements all our other shades of grey.

Bedroom 

Bedroom

I love the cast iron fire surround. We repainted it and also painted the hearth stone which was so grubby and dull. The mirror above the fireplace was in my old bedroom, it was a fiver from a local charity shop. The owl and deer were also charity shop finds.

Bedroom

We went for the tord boontje habitat light which has been a nightmare to dust as my friend warned me! My Mum & Sister hate it and call it a 'cobweb' but I love it. 

Bedroom

We treated ourselves to the Orla Kiely pillowcases but just matched them with some mustard sheets from M&S and an Ikea throw.

Bedroom

This is my view from the bed. You might remember the chest of drawers from this blog post, I repainted them myself and really like them.

Bedroom

And on top of the chest of drawers is a photo of us from my sister's wedding.

Bedroom

These are the photos that Scott hung over the holidays, they are Henri Cartier-Bresson prints, Scott's favourite photographer.

We painted the floorboards with Ronseal Diamond Hard floor paint, because we decided that hiring a floor sander would be so messy (we had an electric sander we used in other rooms and were hoovering up dust for weeks) and also the floor boards weren't perfect and some had been replaced quite obviously with wider boards, but we didn't want to cover them up completely. I really like the painted floorboards but we want a nice rug to go by the radiator in the photo above, but haven't found the right one yet. I hope you like our bedroom, it's been nice combining our two styles in a way. Some of my family have been almost shocked by our colour decisions (so much grey!), thinking that I would choose girlier colours and prints, but I think this room is a nice balance of both our personalities. 

Monday, 9 January 2012

I'm back!

Jesus, December gets a bit busy & mad doesn't it? Every weekend was jam packed and the darkness made me want to do nothing when I got home from work. However, now that we are past the winter solstice and the festive social period is over I am back and ready to blog more than before! I have been a bit addicted to instagram though, snapping away on my phone.


Christmas tree and Pepe


Our festive wreath on our lovely red door.


Gorgeous coffee from my new coffee pot in my new mug.


Hanging up our tugboat print.


Spending my New Years Eve playing Dream Phone.


New moleskine and pens.



Shoes.



I hope you all had a lovely Christmas & New Year. We enjoyed our first Christmas living together and nesting in the cold weather. I am a bit gutted I didn't blog more and share with you our Christmas tree and decorations and stuff! I am looking forward to the summer and doing up our little back yard and there being more daylight for better photos and time spent outside. I am such a summer girl, it's unbelievable. Just 3 more months to go until Spring! Are you counting down the days until Spring or do you enjoy nesting in winter?

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