Is there anything better than getting lost in the magical world of a book shop for a few hours? Probably not.
There is something about that smell isn’t there? And something so appealing about all those things you don’t yet know and haven’t yet seen, laid out in front of you. Waiting for you.
Here are my top ten recommendations for this year’s winter reading. They are all perfect to curl up on the couch with, while enveloped in a cosy blanket and taken into another world.
1.The Road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson. I have read all his previous books, if you haven’t ever read anything of his I urge you to run to your nearest book shop now! This guy is seriously funny and a VERY clever writer. But be prepared to be embarrassed if you’re reading his material in public, snorting laughter will soon follow. Also I love the local view on the front cover!
2. Tim Walker Pictures. I cannot recommend knowing about this genius enough. His work is just breath taking, the scale of each picture and the level of detail is so heart breakingly beautiful. I could pour over his books for hours – and often have – they never stop inspiring me. I see something new every time I look at his work.
3. Bossypants by Tina Fey. I have loved her for years and my affection for her has only grown. This book is a wonderful insight into the mind of a successful, funny and creative woman. And what a wonderful mind it is.
4. Yes Please by Amy Poehler. I couldn’t recommend Tina Fey without mentioning Amy Poehler. This book is hilarious and a true inspiration about how hard work really does pay off. She is a powerhouse, take note people.
5. The Woman I Wanted To Be by Diane Von Furstenburg. I recently finished this and found it very enlightening. Her family history is so rich and sad and wonderful all at once. It’s very refreshing to read about the reality of business, how hard it is for a woman to succeed and how easy it is to fail.
6. Vivienne Westwood By Vivienne Westwood and Ian Kelly. I haven’t quite made my way through the whole of this epic encyclopaedia sized book yet. It’s a very real insight into the fashion world and a legends one at that, how to stay inspired and keep true to yourself.
7. The Satoralist X by Scott Schuman. This is an amazing photography book from a fashion blogger in New York, his photos of women are so inspiring and real. It will make you want to move to New York immediately!
8. In Montmartre by Sue Roe. I would have loved to have known Paris in the 1900s. I have such a thirst for knowledge about this era. Sue Roe paints an amazing picture of the artists and lifestyle at this time. You’ll immediately get lost in her world of colour, jazz, music and art.
9. Hemsley Hemsley The Art of Eating Well. This is not the first or the last time I will mention this book on my blog. I obviously think it’s a really great recipe book but it’s also so informative about food in general. I learned a lot from these sisters; wise words. I think everyone could take a leaf from this delicious book.
10. Absolutely Beautiful Things by Anna Spiro. This is an amazing book of beautifully layered images that you cannot fail to be inspired by. You’ll want your surroundings to always be as exquisite as everything in this book.
I hope I’ve persuaded you to add some of these to your winter reading lists! Any you can recommend to me are most welcome!
Happy reading everyone!
People in my area take this time of year VERY seriously.
In Lewes the roads close, school lets out early and work comes to a complete standstill. I thought everyone in the UK loved bonfire night as much as this but as it turn out no, in East Sussex we take it more seriously than everybody else. Something to be proud of I think.
I love to have an autumnal evening outside, around a fire with hot drinks and yummy treats, here are some of my favourites! Not exclusive to bonfire night but perhaps partial to this time of year.
Smores! A good UK alternative to the great American treat!
And last but not least…Hot Mulled Cider (simply made from apple juice, spiced rum, cinnamon & nutmeg)
Happy bonfire night everyone, enjoy the fireworks and stay safe!
I’ve been lacking in energy this week. The nights have been drawing in, the weather has been very unpredictable and having to pack my flip flops away until next year has left me a little bereft.
As a solution I thought I’d make some chocolate treats as, let’s face it, what else is there?!
I found a recipe for these little nuggets of joy whilst looking up gluten free treats for a future event. I find they go perfectly with a cup of tea during that mid afternoon lull!
This is all you need to start!
They are so easy to make with only a few steps to follow:
Ta dah! The perfect afternoon pick me up!
I have no idea how many calories are in each one and I don’t know how long they keep, as they’ve never lasted more than a day in our fridge!
So it’s official, summer is over and autumn is here! I love summer and was sad to see it go but now, watching the leaves change colour, I feel ready to embrace the new season and all the adornments it brings!
In honour of this I will be posting some decorations for autumn, and maybe even halloween, every week!
For the first week I have decided to made some paper pumpkins. I love a paper decoration and these are so easy to make I’m sure you’ll love them too!
The only supplies you’ll need are:
Using your pencil and ruler divide up your paper depending how big or small you want your pumpkin
With your scissors cut out the strips from your paper
Using your double-sided tape attach each strip together at one end, creating a circle
Flip over your circle of strips so that the orange side is facing down. Then pick up one strip at a time and attach it to the next one, again using the tape
Once you’ve made a complete circle with your orange paper you can cut out some leaves with green paper and simply attach them to the top of your pumpkin. Et Voila!
My next experiment is to make them with different colours and patterns. This decoration makes slightly less mess than carving a real pumpkin! Let me know how you get on with yours…
I love this time of year when there are multiple weddings, barbecues and parties to attend every weekend.
But one of my favourite things about these almost-weekly events in the summer is the discussion the next morning about the events that happened the previous night. The story telling is always best when accompanied by some serious comfort food and rehydration.
Sometimes Jim and I will venture out for sustenance, and sometimes we will whip something up from the comfort of our own kitchen. But if we stay home we will usually make is something that very closely resembles one of our favourite meals to order from places like Bill’s, The Breakfast Club or The Front Room.
Here are our top 5 dishes from our favourite restaurants for breakfast. I promise they don’t disappoint!
1.Bills Vegetarian Breakfast – poached free range eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms, hummus, guacamole, sweet chilli sauce, basil and toast. Now I know this one sounds like a random collection of ingredients but trust me, it’s the perfect blend of flavours!
2. The Breakfast Club – pulled pork sandwich. Slow roast bbq pork and red leister on a toasted bun with pickled gherkins and home style fried potatoes. This thing is amazing, we actually saw someone else order this and it looked so good we ordered one each – great decision!
3. The Front Room – Sweet potato, red pepper falafel burger with halloumi – served with side salad and home fried potatoes. This one is on their lunch menu from 11.45 – 3 so you’ll have to wait a little while but let me tell you its worth it! The burger is unbelievable, very filling and very more-ish!
4. Another one from Bills – Eggs Benedict. Two free range poached eggs on toasted English muffins with ham and hollandaise sauce, sprinkled with pumpkins seeds. We’ve ordered this from Bill’s and made it ourselves many times. Every time we order it, it’s perfect, just perfect.
5. Last but not least its another corker from The Breakfast Club – Virgin Bloody Mary. I can’t do hair of the dog but with this little number you don’t need it. It’s perfectly hot and spicy and really gives you a kick. Last time I ordered one from here I couldn’t quite finish it so they put it in a little to-go cup for me! Perfect!
So whenever you’re feeling a little delicate or just want some absolutely amazing comfort food give these a go. They’re perfect for the bank holiday weekend and are definitely our safety choices! Give them a try if you haven’t already!
Another great episode of The Great British Bake Off! Thank goodness I’m not being judged by Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry!
So this week was Desert Week – how amazing did those meringue’s look?! Also the cheesecakes looked so delicious it made me crave one just watching it!
Anyway, I thought I would look to our very own Mary Berry for inspiration this week. I’ve got one of her many cookbooks but this particular one has many of my personal favourites crammed in! There are lots of recipes which are not always on the healthier side of eating but they do look good!
From Mary’s treasure trove of goodies I decided to make her Chocolate Pots in cute individual glasses. They already look good enough to eat right off the page!
All of the ingredients you need are pretty easy to find and there aren’t that many which is always helpful. I actually had almost everything in my cupboards already. I obviously didn’t have the chocolate though, as there would never be any just lying around in our kitchen…it’s pretty much eaten immediately after purchase.
The first step is to melt the chocolate and coffee in a bowl over a pan of boiling water. Heat until the chocolate has completely melted and is nice and smooth.
Put it aside to cool slightly, then add the butter, egg yolk and vanilla, mix until smooth. In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites until stiff but not dry.
Last step is to slowly fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture until it’s all mixed in and smooth. Once you’ve done this you can go ahead and divide them up into glasses or ramekins or whatever you want to eat this chocolaty goodness from.
Mary says to store them in the fridge for eight hours before decorating with whipping cream. This seems like a painful amount of time to wait but this lady knows what she’s talking about so I trust her.
This is how mine turned out and I was pretty pleased with them!
Let me tell you the wait was worth it, as these chocolate pots are amazing! I will definitely be serving them for desert at my next dinner party! I hope you made something amazing for desert after being inspired by Bake Off!
It’s Tuesday evening, which means it’s time for my Tuesday Challenge!
This week I wanted to make something to do with gifts. In my family we all feel as if there are about a million birthdays in the summer (except for me who has a birthday in January – boring!)
As I’ve spent many years buying and wrapping gifts I was wondering if there was an easy way to make them look extra special. I don’t know about you, but I always seem to receive one thats deliciously wrapped, making all the others look mediocre!
Cue a long and lengthy search on Pinterest!
I found lots of beautiful ideas but these bows really caught my eye! Here is the original image I found that I wanted to replicate:
Don’t they look beautiful?! I love the different types of paper they’ve used. This type of wrapping instantly makes gifts look unique and professional (even if the gift itself isn’t that expensive) Here is the PDF to download if you want to cut out the shapes.
I cannot wait to put these on all the gifts I give this year. I’d love to know what you do to make your gifts extra special. Please let me know your creative ideas!
My very capable Dad has recently built me a lovely desk. I’m very much enjoying my new work space and have already been so much more productive. There’s no doubt that your work environment has a real effect on productivity.
After several busy weeks I’m now concentrating on doing it justice by making it look its very best!
The desk and the surrounding area needs to make me feel as creative and motivational as possible. Naturally I’ve looked just about everywhere for inspiration and here are a few ideas I love:
After some serious online hunting I managed to find some pretty good alternatives, as well as the actual pieces themselves.
Have a little look and see if there is anything you need in your office to make it more upbeat and inspirational!
- Paperchase clipboard
- Metal Board
- Etsy lights
- Dunelm jars
- colourful boxes
- Etsy print
- Esty print
- Shallow shelves
- Desk lamp