Sunday, 22 July 2012

1 year

1 year ago today, we picked up the keys to our first house from the estate agents and started ripping the house apart to create our little house as we know it today.

House portrait

The last year has actually been amazing and probably one of the happiest in my life.

Sold! Meh kitchen Our kitchen
Dining room Dining room Living room
Living room Master bedroom Bedroom

We spent 3 months solid just DIYing and then moved in. During those first 3 months I despaired over why we had bought a house with so much to do on it and we never had the time or money to spend doing nice things in our new area, which was half the reason why we moved. After the first few months though it got better and I have loved living in Liverpool after living just outside Liverpool for all of my life. I've only lived here for a year but it certainly feels like home already. 

Here's to many more years! 

Monday, 16 July 2012

Wedding planning #2

We have our venues booked! I am so so so excited now and now that our family & friends know, I'm excited to share it with you lot too. We will be getting married in a little place called The Athenaeum in Liverpool in their library. Then, afterwards, we will be hopping on a double decker routemaster and going up to the Georgian Quarter in Liverpool to our reception venue, Hope Street Hotel.

The wedding breakfast will be on the fifth floor of the Hope Street Hotel, which has amaaaazing views over the city and a balcony to boot. I love the contrast between the old and the new of our venues and I know that the food at Hope Street will be amazing as my sister had her graduation meal there. We also visited last weekend for a wedding fair they held and got to try some of the amazing canapes - so delicious.

We decided we didn't want to get married in a church straight away - neither of us attend church except for christenings and weddings and we would rather get married in a space that we feel comfortable in but it as equally as stunning as churches are. A library seems so appropriate for a librarian and PhD student (will be Dr on the wedding day *fingers crossed*) and you can't get much more amazing than the Athenaeum library. 

Our wedding will be late September 2013, we have it all booked and now the crazy bit starts - trying to get it all organised without driving ourselves mad with wedding stuff. I think once September comes, I will start looking for dresses. I am sure that the next year will fly by though! I am so excited to be Scott's wife though, it all seems so real now.  

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Our house

House portrait

My birthday present off Scott was a Becka Griffin house portrait! How amazing is it? She creates bespoke portraits of houses, either in colour or black & white, from photos sent to her (she doesn't sit outside the house drawing like some people thought!) I love that ours is in colour because we have a lovely red door and green privet hedge that just wouldn't look the same in black and white. (I also love that she didn't draw in any of the dodgy cracks in the pointing or where the gutter is leaking a bit, looks like a perfect version of the house haha). 

It's the perfect gift really, especially for my first birthday in our house and coming up to 1 year since we got the keys. She also does bespoke portraits of wedding venues which would make a perfect wedding gift. 

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Birthday times!

My birthday

My birthday
Skirt - River Island
Bag - Asos
T-shirt - h&m
Coat - Topshop

My birthday

My birthday

It was my 24th birthday on Monday! I decided that I either wanted to go strawberry picking or visit the Museum of Liverpool, but couldn't decide. Alas, the weather gods decided for me and I woke up to showers and decided to spend the day in Liverpool. It was my first visit to the Museum of Liverpool and I have to say I was really impressed. The museum is the white building in the middle of the last photo. It has some really good views over the Mersey and the Albert Dock. It was really interesting too finding out more about Liverpool. There is a section of the cultural history of Liverpool with things from TV, literature, music & sport and then there is a bit on the social history of Liverpool, such as how the wars affected the city, the political history of the city (we are a renowned left-wing city!) and religion in the city (we have 2 cathedrals and lots of other places of worship too). Liverpool has so many great museums and they are all free, which I kind of took for granted until we went to York and I felt a bit ripped off having to pay so much to get into their museum (which wasn't half as good or as big as the Liverpool museum by the way...biased, moi?). 

We could have easily spent longer in there, but then our tummies started rumbling and we headed to Moose Coffee, as recommended by Miss Cay on twitter. The pancakes were amazing and as I munched on the pancakes and drank a fab coffee, I honestly felt like I was transported back to America in a mouthful. My only gripe was that there wasn't enough maple syrup on it. Scott had an equally amazing bagel with salf beef, corned beef and bacon on it. The best thing about Moose is that the pancakes are served ALL DAY! So many places in Liverpool only see them fit for 'breakfast' whereas I say pancakes are perfect for any time of the day. I also really want to try the waffles. I think that I could happily eat breakfast for every meal, from pancakes to a full English, there is nothing better than a good brekkie. 

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Chocolate eclairs

Chocolate eclair

Chocolate eclair

Chocolate eclair

I made these amazing (even if I say so myself) chocolate eclairs last week, in between watching Spain beat Portugal in the Euro semi finals. (I am half Spanish and so pleased that Spain managed to win AGAIN and become the only team to retain the Euros, viva España!) Anyway, back to these babies. 

I love making choux pastry. It isn't like any other pastry really, as you start by boiling water and butter, then whisking in flour and then the eggs in a saucepan. It makes a weird, glossy goopy mixture that you can then pipe and watch puff up into lovely golden puffs. The choux pastry puffs themselves aren't that amazing, they taste kind of eggy just plain to be honest (yes, I had to test them out of the oven!) but it's the fillings and toppings that really make them. 

These eclairs were simply filled with some whipped double cream and topped with a chocolate fondant icing. I used a James Martin recipe, however I would recommend adding a few tablespoons of water to the icing to come together and make it spreadable. Another little tip is stabbing the eclairs slightly when they come out of the oven, as this lets the steam out and stops them from going soggy, which is never nice. 

Anyone fancy experimenting with choux pastry now? I want to recreate a coffee tower from Fisher & Donaldson in St Andrews, they are the BEST cream cakes ever and me and my good friend Emma would consume lots of these on our holidays there are teenagers. 


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