Tuesday, 23 September 2014

hot toddy

Fall crept himself through the door yesterday, leaving us with a crisp air and his acceptance to pull out our cosiest clothes from the depths of our wardrobe.

Inescapedly, Fall's entrance has also left me with a a slight head cold. It's time to stock up on lemsip, snuggle in warm jammies, sip on home made soups, and burrow under the duvet.

I have adolescent memories of my aunt visiting us one year with a head cold. She rooted through our pantry in search of whisky (which she pressed to find in our conservative cupboards). After a several minute absence, she arrived back from the corner shop with ingredients for a hot toddy - a warming concoction of spices, honey, citrus and whiskey. I remember watching in awe, as my rebellious aunt educated me on this old-fashioned cold cure. 

Honey helps to sooth the throat, while the citrus gives you a much needed vitamin boost, and well…the whisky helps to take the edge off. There are numerous variations to this old-boy's remedy - the base liquor alone is cause for debate. But one things for sure, this little cocktail is a comforting companion.

Here's a little look into how I concoct mine:

2tbsp kentucky bourbon 
1tbsp honey
2tsp fresh lemon juice
1c boiled water
1tsp cinnamon
dash of nutmeg & one star anise seed to garnish

mix all the ingredients together. sip. (feel better)

How do you make yours?

Sunday, 21 September 2014

lazy day links

Happy Sunday ya'll! How have your weekends been?

I'm adjusting to working on Saturdays, but must say it's been a-okay. Much better than I thought it would be. Spending the day chatting to people from all walks of life - the eccentrics, the snobs in a hurry, the down-right lovely people who just want to talk about birds. Each one entertaining in their own right. 

Last night, T and I had a lovely night entertaining the neighbours with veggie lasagne, banoffee pie, a cheese plate (sided with garlic-stuffed olives, and my new favourite nibble: cream cheese stuffed sweet peppers. It's the good shit), and copious amounts of wine. Carrying on in that spirit, today we're off to town to spend time with some of our dearest. More food. (Less wine.) More fun. 

I'll leave you with a few links I've stumbled over in the past week.
Please share some of your favourite findings.

Cup of Jo blog's " Conversations with a four year old" is just adorable. Makes me miss this little girl.

These lovely free Poolga Wallpapers for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch - I especially love:
Ruby Taylor - BatterMix 
Lizzie Kevan - Cutlery 

Shini Park's Pinterest is fully of soft, clean, and dreamy imagery. 

Loving Anthony Burrill's Letterpress prints

This You Can Sit With Me Tee needs to be in my closet.

Love this idea for record storage

These tool erasers would be a fun accompaniment to my doodle pad!

A little flare - Trouble Pin.

Wonderful and weird creations by Mica Angela Hendricks and her five-year old.

Enjoy your Sunday.

Thursday, 18 September 2014


Baking: Penny skateboard sugar cookies for a 13th birthday party (how amazing is the Penny colour pallet?) 

Image from pinterest

Enjoying: Ally Pally Deer Park and all of it's little inhabitants. 

Planning: Favourite Things Mini Collections

I recently asked friends and family to name just a few of their favourite things, in turn I will bake mini biscuit collections surrounding their suggestions.  
Answers have all been tallied into a handy dandy notebook - an array of flowers, movies, books and even James Gandolfini (...? cannolis I reckon).

I'm excited about this little project. 

What are your favourite things?

I brought my specky four eye'd self down to get an eye checkup yesterday & update my large nerdy frames. Come Saturday, I'll be settling down with a new pair of cateye-esque Karl Lagerfeld's - or "the Karls" as I kept referring to them as (much to the assistant's bewilderment).

Here's a little preview:

Reading:  Northern Lights by Philip Pullman

This title that came up several times in the "favourite things" project, having never read it I thought I'd give it a go. 
So far, it's just what the doctor ordered.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Cheesy Corn Chowder

Recently the boy and I caught the tin bird over to Belfast where we met up with family and exercised my inner Titanic obsessive.

While on the trip, we found a cozy little hole in the back alley called Made in Belfast. With a menu filled with ethically, locally sourced (and beautifully flavoured!) foods, and a drool worthy collection of repurposed table settings - we were set for the night...and the morning when we returned for brunch.

While eating our starters (a gorgeously thick cauliflower soup with homemade foccacia for me), I jealously watched as the boys dined on a scrumptious looking seafood chowder and immediately made a mental note to cook my own veggie & red leicester-loaded chowder when we came back home.
Much to my happiness, my meat-lovin man was very happy with the veggie equivalent.

32 oz vegetable broth
2 small cans sweet corn
1 pack instant potatoes (smash!)
4 stalks celery
1 onion
2 carrots
1 garlic clove 
dash -o- salt and pepper
1/2 pint of heavy whipping cream
2 cups of red leicester
3-4 large baking potatoes. 

How To:
Chop 4 stalks of celery, 1 onion, 2 carrots and saute them in a pan with margarine, garlic, pepper and salt. (You may need to add more salt and pepper once everything is together.)

Once onions are opaque: add 2 cans of vegetable broth (32ish oz.), two cans of sweet kernel corn, two cans of water and 3-4 cubed baking potatoes. Boil until the potatoes are tender.
(Tip: I soak the cubed potatoes in cold water while they wait to be added to the mix - this keeps them from turning into a nasty brown colour!)

Add 1/2 pint of heavy cream, 2 cups of shredded red leicester. Once the cheese has melted add the potato flakes until the chowder is the thickness that you want. I add one packet.

*Meat eaters can garnish with bacon bits if you like! (I always garnish with a bit more cheese!)


Sunday, 14 September 2014

Columbia Road Flower Market

Today the boy and I ventured out to the Columbia Road flower market. I've always wanted to go, but have never made the effort of trekking out east so early in the day. 

At 7am, that mischievous internal clock of mine did his thing. He's a goodn' that clock of mine - and he must have a twin, because Tone woke up not to shortly after. By 9.30 we were catching our first glimpse of the flower stalls that line Columbia Road. Vendors shouting to and fro, vying for our attention. 

"Three for a tenner!!" 
"Choose wisely, we're not here for returns tomorrow!"

We walked down the road, choosing which stalls we'd come back to on the way home. 
We trawled numerous vintage & hand-crafted shops - picking up two ceramic egg cups from NOM Living and an Anthony Burrill print from Nelly Duff. And stopped for a very strong americano and pastries from the lovely Lili Vanilli - a sausage roll for the boy, and a beetroot and carrot roll for me.

It was a lovely day down on the east-side. If you're ever in town on a Sunday, you should definitely try your luck. The market is open from 8am till 3-ish.
Remember: the earlier the better!

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Indoor Picnic

On a grey day, when using the garden (or our "spare room" as we often call it) doesn't seem to be an option, I find myself getting creative with the spaces in our little flat - enjoying an indoor picnic every now and then.

Because sometimes it's just nice to get all cosy on your living room floor.

What to do: 
One} Spread out your favourite throw or duvet

Two} Light some candles. (Can't get enough of Diptyque's Genevrier)

Three} Lay out a cheese board sided fresh veg, dips and a bottle of white.  

Four & Five}  Bring the outside in…freshen up the room with succulents and a cute terrarium.

Who else enjoys an indoor picnic? What are your favourite living room floor eats?

Thursday, 11 September 2014

A Night out with Jurlique

Jurlique recently launched their new Nutri-Define range and invited a friend and I along to attend.

Set in The Sanderson's Agua Spa, six white draped pods with chairs as fluffy as clouds lined the room where we were treated to a hand and arm massage using Jurlique's Rose Moisturising Cream. My senses were sent into overload. Closing my eyes, I was transported to a meadow on a spring day. Tall grass waving in the breeze…then I was back in the room. Back to the white fluffy cloud chair. Surrounded by cocktails, beauty bloggers, and canapes. (still in a dream if you ask me).

The purpose of our meeting was simple yet complex - like Jurlique's new range of "age reclaiming rituals". These come in three products: a retexturising facial serum, a multi-correcting day cream, and a rejuvenating overnight cream. A recipe of horseradish, mulberry root, rosemary, peppermint and glycogen help to rejuvenate your skin, leaving you smelling good enough to nibble on. All the while offering a breakthrough ingredient delivery system which penetrates deeply into the layers of skin to combat major signs of ageing.

I left the Sanderson in a dreamlike state. Smelling of roses and tipsy on mojito. Goody bag at my side, filled with peppermint tea and my very own 30ml bottle of Nutri-Define Superior Rextexturising Facial Serum waiting to be unwrapped.

Thank you for the lovely night Jurlique! #DefineYour Beauty

P.S. How amazing is the Sanderson's decor?? A galactic elevator? Yes please!