I know I talk about food a lot on this here blog. To the point where some people actually describe it as a food blog. But it’s not! I just like eating food quite a lot. Especially vegan food. Especially pizza.
Last Tuesday we decided to risk everything and try two new flavours from the vegan specials at Pizzaface - normally we pretty much always pick the same two options, but this time we went for Pammy – ham, pineapple and sour cream – and the Ozzy – chorizo, sausage, pepperoni, ham, red onion and mushroom. I’m so glad we tried them! I hate pineapple on pizza, so those got plucked off and dropped onto Trout’s slices immediately – but the Pammy was incredible! It was nice change to have a pizza with fewer toppings, and I love the sour cream! The Ozzy was my favourite, though. Slightly spicy, loads of flavour, the onion, the mushroom – oh gosh, it was good! These are the best vegan pizzas we’ve eaten in the UK. Plus the cheesy garlic bread! Swoon.
Have you ordered from Pizzaface before? What are your favourite pizza toppings?
Oh, I’ve been dreaming of a London day for so long! I haven’t been since February, and I’m really craving a return visit. And to stay in a hotel. But that part I can maybe compromise. Here are some of my favourite things to do and places to see in London. There are a hundred more that I could have listed, but let’s be reasonable here.
To view the image larger click here. I don’t know why it makes it so teeny tiny!
I forgot that I hadn’t posted this photo booth picture from when we went to Hamburg for New Years Eve – it really makes me smile whenever I see it. I keep it tucked into the back pocket of my notebook, with a couple of polaroids and sweet notes and important letters. We took it on the first cloudy day in the city, en route to eat burritos. I grabbed everyone’s hands and dragged them into the booth. I don’t think anyone was really super excited to have their picture taken but I couldn’t walk past that amazing booth without stopping, and shoved the necessary euros into the slot and crammed everyone in. We weren’t really sure when any of the pictures were going to be taken, hence why we all look a little confused and surprised – but I think that’s what makes it so perfect. I only wish we had stopped to take more!
This week has absolutely flown by! I seriously cannot believe that it’s Friday again. I swear I was only saying this a couple of days ago! Work has been busy, the day goes so quickly, and we’ve been getting so much sleep and rest which has been wonderful. I love waking up so early and walking to work in the sunshine. Watching the florist on the corner set up each morning, sending deliveries out in their van, arranging their display and all the ordered bouquets. Every morning I want to take a photograph of all the beautiful flowers, but there is always someone arranging the buckets or adding new flowers and I don’t want to interrupt.
Tonight I’m going round to a friend’s house for the first meeting of our Extreme Film Society. I’m so excited! These boys know their horror movies (my favourite horror film will always be the original Chainsaw Massacre) and my knowledge is totally put to shame. I’ve never been to a boys sleepover, but I’m guessing it’s not going to be the same as a girls sleepover? Maybe it will be.
What are your plans for the weekend? Have you ever used one of these old photo booths?
When I realised that my last What I Ate Wednesday post was AUGUST (!!!) I immediately started putting something together. I’m definitely going to (try) to take part more often – maybe alternate between Wednesday Wishes and WIAW. It kind of made me sad looking back on all my old eats, and how dull and salad-filled they were. Hopefully going forward they will be a lot more fun!
These are my meals and snacks from Sunday – a whole day of relaxing, which was amazing! I didn’t have any plans and I was very pleased about this, so I spent the morning relaxing with a little pampering, followed by shopping and coffee, lunch with Trout, an afternoon of blog reading, writing, Dog the Bounty Hunter and Come Dine With Me, napping and ending the day with dinner and cleaning the flat. Not too shabby!
Let’s begin with breakfast. Trout and I were up at 6am (fun!) so by 8am we were pretty hungry. I cracked open a tub of Jus Rol croissants, poured some orange juice and made a big mug of coffee. I enjoyed a couple of croissants with the sun pouring through the window.
Later in the morning I popped out to get a few things in town, and took some photographs. I couldn’t help stopping at my favourite coffee shop for a soy cappuccino and a relaxing read of the newspapers.
I got home and Trout made my favourite lunch; a reuben! With a side of Popchips. Delish! The reuben had russian dressing, saurkraut, vegan pepperoni, garlic sausage, and cheese.
Later in the afternoon I snacked on an apple and a handful of carob raisins – so yummy!
Come dinner time I was totally craving spicy paprika wedges with a big dollop of vegan mayonnaise – so that’s exactly what I made. I didn’t really get much inspiration further than that though, so decided to put together a few of my favourite veggies, as my day had been sadly lacking in any fruit or veg other than that apple! I grilled a pepper on a griddle pan, boiled up some broccoli and sprinkled it with smoked salt, and made a little side salad which I drizzled with lemon and balsamic vinegar. Pretty darn tasty it was, too!
I’m so happy that I’ve finally returned to the fun of WIAW!
What do you think of my choices?
Do you eat differently at the weekend?
On Sunday morning Trout and I were up bright and early, as per usual at the moment. Kind of too early (hello 6am) but I like making the most of the weekends and I’m a bit of an early bird. Trout was catching up on the day before’s F1 qualifying so I caught up with last week’s Made in Chelsea, before we headed downstairs for some breakfast and then got on with our days.
Rasputin came and hung out with us while we had our brekka. I love this shot of him – belly-up, swatting an imaginary enemy, his little bunny feet in the air. This cat sure knows how to be cute, even if he doesn’t realise it.
After that nonsense I popped on a pair of my favourite sandals – their first trip out this year – and they made me happy. I went to town to run a few errands, and bought this beautiful giant coaster from Tiger, it was only £2! I love the drawing.
I stopped to take some photographs of a blossom tree – I walk past this tree everyday and it makes me smile. Everyday I think to myself, I should stop and take a photo – but there is always something that stops me. Other people standing underneath taking photos, I’m rushing to work, I’m not in the mood. But today I finally got around to taking some photos – so I’ve posted most of them here to celebrate that, haha.
When I was finished in town I snuck into my favourite coffee shop for a soy cappuccino, some paper-reading, people-watching and a relaxing half-an-hour. It’s so beautiful inside, with amazing coffee. I love all the special coffee contraptions.
So that was my Sunday! I’ve got a What I Ate Wednesday post lined up this week which will fill in the gaps with my meals, so keep an eye out for that!
How was your weekend? What did you get up to?
HAPPY BIRTHDAY NAT!!
I love you!
I can’t believe you’re 24 – I still remember sitting next to Mum on the hospital bed picking out your name (which you hated for years…!). Have an amazing day xxx
This weekend was super busy, but also super fun! I’m supposed to be resting, upon doctor’s orders, so obviously I spent the whole weekend working… On Saturday I was lucky enough to have a press pass for the Brighton Fringe Festival, so I managed to catch a couple of short theatre pieces and some comedy, as well as enjoying plenty of Alproccinos* and lots of good food. A friend joined me for the day, and we stayed at myhotel - it made the whole weekend feel as though I was on holiday, it was so much fun!
We were up bright and early on Saturday morning and started the day with brekka at my favourite cafe in Brighton; Iydea. I had a bowl of their homemade granola, topped with fresh fruit – so good! Plus a big glass of fresh orange juice and the first of many coffees, before popping over to Tic Toc Cafe to pick up our Alpro bands and indulge in the first of many Alproccinos. I’m normally an americano-with-a-splash-of soya-milk kind of girl, so it felt like a real treat to have a creamy coffee. After we had slurped them down we headed out into the slightly miserable rain to catch some of the children’s parade which was really cute.
We spent the afternoon dashing between shows and nipping into the charity shops on St. James Street, before stopping for a well-earned slice of cake. The weather was not on our side, and I was windswept to say the least!! I was so happy to be greeted by a large slice of mocha cake and a coffee – it was delicious, and really hit the spot.
We met up with our ‘other-halves’ for a lovely meal at Pizza Express before heading back to the hotel and watching Basic Instinct. I’d never seen it before, and LOVED it! It really makes me want to dress more late-80s, early-90s – except with more underwear. There aren’t enough waistcoats and high-neck dresses in my life.
Soon enough it was Sunday morning and we were up bright and early once again. I had to head home and drop off my bags from the weekend, before swinging by Small Batch CC for my favourite coffee and heading off to the cricket ground in Hove to cover an event for work. It was my first match and I’ve got to say, I really enjoyed it! I think the absolutely perfect weather may have had something to do with it, but it was so sweet to see how so many people enjoyed the day in their own way. There were families with blankets and picnics, children in their whites playing their own games around the corner of the grounds, grandparents enjoying the match day catering – fans of all ages. Watching the players sign the kids miniature bats and autograph books was pretty much the cutest thing ever! We also popped into the shop, Newbery, where they make cricket bats and stock clothing etc. I love looking at all of the different tools on the workshop table.
*Thankyou to Alpro for the fabulous weekend!
Will you be going to see any events at the Brighton Fringe Festival?
Have you ever been to a cricket match?
Last Sunday Trout and I decided to make the most of the almost-warm weather and take the bus up to Devil’s Dyke to enjoy the almost-sunshine! It was so nice to get out of the house and spend some time together. The views were incredible, and we ended up at a really lovely pub for lunch afterwards.
I found it really hard to balance on those beams – however show-off pants Trout managed it everytime! Anyway, look how good our lunch was!? Falafel, smashed chickpea dip, pitta bread, olives, sweet potato wedges, warm bread and dipping oil, fries and beer. Perfect! We were determined to sit outside and enjoy one of the warmest days of the year so far, before heading home to pick up the newspapers and have a snooze on the sofa.
Today I’m off to cover the Beer & Ale Festival at the Sussex County Cricket Club for work. I won’t be drinking but I’m looking forward to checking out lots of independent brewers and watching some cricket. I’m so looking forward to a lie-in tomorrow!
How is your bank-holiday weekend going? Any plans for today or tomorrow?
Life lately has involved making the most of the start of some sunshine, and everything that comes with it. The amazing views in the morning, sunshine across my brekka, new shoes, the beach, the pavilion, going to watch the football, bunting across the streets of Brighton. I could go on!
Rasputin has been trying to pretend that he’s not in love with strawberry pencils (yeah right) but he couldn’t keep his cool when it came to Trout’s marmite on toast! Trout made a delicious dahl, which we ate with chapatis and a spelt samosa – yum!
I was recently sent a couple of cartons of soy milk from Vivesoy, and I’m completely in love with their cappuccino flavour! It tastes amazing on its own, but I would also recommend trying it in a regular coffee. It didn’t last long in our office – I think maybe 48hrs? – and part of me is regretting not taking it home immediately and keeping it all to myself!
Also – have you SEEN these Pacman cupcakes!? They were made by the ever-so-talented Carousel Cupcakes and I can’t get over how brilliant they are. They came all mixed up in their box, so we had to piece the puzzle together (which was harder than it sounds…!).
Oh I do love it when the sun starts shining! Doesn’t it just make everything nicer? I’m completely inspired by this week’s sunshine, and have a special summer edition of Wednesday Wishes for you this week! Can you see a bit of a picnic theme emerging here…?
1/This Topshop dress is absolutely adorable! A little short, but I think layered over leggings or footless tights it should be ok. 2/How sweet is this illustration by Amy Holliday! It’s so bright and summery. I want to give the little guy a squidge. 3/I shed a tiny tear every time I remember that there isn’t a Uni-Qlo in Brighton. WHY! Especially when they collaborate with Cabbages & Roses – it just is not fair! 4/This basket is awesome. It’s big enough to bring a decent picnic out with you, but can also be used as a regular day-bag. Perfect! 5/So these are washable napkins that come in a roll and you can tear them off individually. Zara Home, you really are brilliant! And there is a new store opening in Brighton soon, excitamondo! 6/OK so I already own these sandals… but look how peeerty!
What do you think of my wishes this week? Are you itching for a bbq or picnic, too?
Where did April go!? It seemed to shoot past me, but looking back over my blog I have realised that I did manage to squeeze quite a lot into those 30 days. We celebrated Trout’s birthday and Easter, and enjoyed the Brighton Food Festival. I spent the day in Kingston, hanging out with some awesome friends, and the day in Lewes, hanging out with some awesome animals. I watched the marathon (finally!), had an afternoon at Devil’s Dyke (photos to follow later in the week). I baked plenty of recipes from Ms Cupcake’s soon-to-be-released recipe book, have been enjoying making more summery recipes for breakfast and dinner, and received these beautiful flowers which have totally sparked a need for fresh flowers in the house! Oh, and I finally met a friend after five-odd-years of knowing each other online, and we ate super yum ice-cream!
As for my resolutions, how did I do…
Exercise - I’m still going to my dance class once a week – and have enrolled a friend, too! Although I missed last week’s class and yesterday’s class, and there is no class next week – so I think I failed in April! I have been doing daily sets of sit-ups, though.
Blogging - I have been blogging slightly less, but with more photographs. I suppose I’m still trying to find that work/blog balance. I’m considering taking part in a challenge for May – posting up a new blog every day. I’m a little nervous to, though!
Reading & Writing - Still addicted to reading blogs – but haven’t read any new books! Does Red magazine count…?
Eating & Drinking – Less drinking, healthier meals and less snacking. April’s been a good month, food-wise! I’ve been trying out more recipes, and learning to eat more in my main meals to avoid hunger-induced snacking when I get home.
Explore & Inspire - Definitely! This month involved plenty of exploring, mainly thanks to Trout.
Save & Spend – Hmm. I have saved some money, but am also enjoying having an income again…!
How was your April? I hope it was full of fun things!
If you’ve been following my blog for a while you may have some idea at how excited I get whenever VegFest rolls around. A chance to discover new vegan products, try their samples and stuff my face with 100% vegan goodies? Yes please! If you’ve never been to any of their events before (they run in London, Brighton and Bristol, don’t you know?) here’s what you can expect - cupcakes, hot food, soaps, hand creams, free samples, talks, bustling crowds, friendly faces, eco-friendly cleaning products, petitions, shoes, special discounts and more. Phew!
The next festival will be held in one of my favourite cities; Bristol! Running from the 24th-26th May, not only will you find all of the fantastic things I’ve listed above but they’re also hosting an incredible line-up of artists performing in the evening, too. You can check out the line-up here and buy your tickets here - and if you’re just popping along for the day you can pay on the door, simples!
For my lovely readers, I have TWO tickets up for grabs to see the Happy Mondays at the Bristol VegFest! The tickets are for Saturday 25th May, and worth £50.
For a chance to win…
+ Leave a comment below telling me why you would like to see Happy Mondays!
+ Sign up to receive email notifications from paperbagblog, and leave a comment below letting me know you have.
+ Like paperbagblog on Facebook and leave a comment below stating you have done so.
+ Follow me on Twitter and tweet this – ‘Check out @paperbagblog‘s giveaway for the chance to win two tickets to see HAPPY MONDAYS! http://bit.ly/YeKEtQ’ - and leave a comment below stating that you have done so.
Each one counts as a separate entry so make sure you leave separate comments for each one! Remember to leave your name and a contact email address.
The competition is open to UK residents and will end at 12pm on Sunday 5th May. Good luck!
Oh, I have been a bad blogger lately, I’m sorry. I know that yes, it’s my blog and if life gets in the way that’s just how it goes – but I hate blogging so infrequently! Gone are the days when I had something new for you every other day – or even everyday! I suppose that’s just what happens when I spend all day on social media, writing blogs for my clients and generally coming up with creative ideas on their behalf – I have very little energy left for myself! I’m hoping that I can get back into some kind of routine soon. Thank you to everyone that still reads and comments – it really does mean a lot. Weekends are a great time for me to take more photographs, draft up a few ideas and get on top of emails. So here’s what I did last Sunday.
I had the entire day to myself. The whole day! I didn’t quite know what to do with myself.
I started off the day with one of my favourite breakfasts. Diced, fresh tomato mixed with smoked salt, plopped on top of toast with a drizzle of oil. Perfect. I watched some of Sunday Brunch (but it’s not quite the same when I don’t have a Trout keeping me company) and then got ready and headed out into the sunshine. Rasputin was already hanging out in his little section of sunshine!
I wandered around town, picked up The Observer and headed to Infinity to buy my favourite lunch; their sausage, caramelised onion, rocket and mayo sandwich, and a packet of Popchips. I walked past the Pavilion and decided to see what was happening with the protests. I wanted to take some photographs, but was a little apprehensive about taking my camera out and getting told off, so I stood and watched for a while. There were helicopters circling above, riot vans, horses, police, tourists, protestors. The two groups were kept very separate and I think, for the most part, the whole day was fairly peaceful. The protestors outnumbered the March for England group 100:1, and I’m so proud of Brighton for standing up to people like this. You can read a breakdown of the day here.
It took me a while to get down to the seafront – all of the roads had been blocked off at the ends with huge steel barricades, but eventually I walked down to the beach, past a row of riot vans, and pitched up on the pebbles. In the distance I could hear chants and the odd shout and scuffle, but for the most part I looked out on the sea and couldn’t quite believe that this is where I live.
I think it’s partly since I started my new job, but something has shifted in the last few weeks. I finally feel like Brighton really is my home. I don’t know why it’s only just clicked. I suppose it’s because I’m in a job that I really enjoy, in the centre of Brighton (as opposed to a job that I didn’t enjoy) and I feel more connected with this community. More connected with the guy that runs the fruit & veg market on North Road, that says hello when I walk in. More connected with local businesses and events. I can see the sea from my desk. I don’t rush home the minute that my contracted hours end, desperate to do something else. I know that I wouldn’t be in the place that I am now if I hadn’t had the time and space to concentrate on myself and my blog for those two years, and for that I’ll always be grateful for the routine, for the time and for the support.
Wowza, the weather was nice at the weekend! Blue skies, a light breeze – I even went out without a coat on! Around midday I popped down to visit the Brighton Farmers Market. It’s a new market which will be held every 3rd Saturday of the month in a disused bus lane at the Old Steine. It was such a great location, and brilliant to see so many companies being given the opportunity to sell their local produce.
I had a browse around before wondering through the Laines and then heading home for a belated lunch, and to hang out with Ras and Trout. I was a little hungover on Saturday – which wasn’t really fair as I had very little to drink the night before! I put this down to not drinking any water from 5pm-1am and dancing my little socks off with friends. Totally worth it, even though I wanted to nap for most of the day.
After a spot of boy-shopping (not shopping for an actual boy, shopping for boy-clothes…!) we headed down to Boho Gelato to finally meet a friend that I had known for around five years online, but had never met in real-life! We tucked into some amazing vegan ice-cream – they recently collaborated with Small Batch to make some coffee-flavoured ice-cream, and (lucky for me!) they have made a dairy-free flavour! It was so good! Strong, but just delicious.
How was your Saturday? Did you enjoy the sunshine?
Life lately has involved celebrating Trout’s birthday with a bedroom filled with balloons and a burrito for dinner. We had burritos before his main birthday present – we went to see Spamalot, at the Playhouse Theatre near Charing Cross – it was really funny! There was snow at Easter (this weather sure is crazy) and I went to the private view of Fabrica’s newest exhibition. Although I didn’t really like the concept of the work, there was something so important and beautiful about the installation – such a strange, amazing atmosphere. And of course there has been plenty of beer – I love going to different pubs in Brighton, there is so much independently produced beer. Trout and I met a friend at my favourite curry house in Brighton. The food was delicious, but coupled with a lack of sleep the night before, and a generous amount of beer, I could have fallen asleep at the table!
Last Sunday I set the table for some friends coming round for breakfast – we made breakfast burritos, and they were so good. As you can probably tell, we love burritos. Rasputin has been enjoying the sunshine, and I soaked it up whilst watching the Brighton marathon. I bought a bright new nail polish to try and encourage spring to arrive – it hasn’t really worked, but the colour makes me happy. As does a new discovery – fried beancurd cubes! So darn good.
How have you been lately? Do you love burritos, too?
Sunday gave us the kind of hope that can only come in a change of season. Sunday I wrote about that furry belly on that slice of sunshine. With the sunshine came a rush of summer memories – and my first iced soya vanilla latte of the year. Oh gosh, it tasted good. I was so inspired by the sunshine that I spent most of the weekend eating salad!
I whipped up a potato salad – classic summer staple, and a must for all bbqs – and a warm butternut squash salad, which was incredible. I based it on this recipe from Smitten Kitchen, but replaced the tahini (my jar expired in October 2012…) with a few teaspoons of crunchy peanut butter. I saved the seeds from the butternut squash and toasted them, too.
Of course it wasn’t healthy salads all weekend! We had another summer favourite – dawgs! Such a fun dinner. Look how cute this tiny mustard bottle is! So sweet. We had ours topped with onions and sauerkraut. I still love my junk food, but the sunshine has reminded me just how much I love fruit. Trout and I shared a mango for dessert on Sunday evening, and it was so fresh and delicious. I’ve been snacking on fruit during the day and slicing strawberries over a bowl of Alpro vanilla pouring yogurt and sprinkling muesli on top for brekka. Getting my 5-a-day is so much more fun when it includes fresh fruit and fun salads!
On Sunday I stepped out to enjoy the sunshine, and finally managed to catch some of the marathon. Every year I say I’m going to go and watch, cheer on the runners and soak up the atmosphere – but for some reason I’ve never actually managed it. I’m so glad I did! I walked along the seafront, watching the runners near the end of their run. They must have been exhausted by this point! It was so sad to hear that a young runner died during the marathon. And then to hear the reports on the Boston Marathon. It just makes my head spin – I can’t take all of these reminders of how fragile life is. It scares me silly.
This morning the weather started off with such perfect intentions. I woke up with sunshine pouring through the skylight window – it just put the biggest smile on my face. That and the fact that I slept until 9.30am (!!!) and woke up to the sweetest words being spoken to me by my true love. Over coffee and toast and the breakfast news Rasputin stretched out in a sliver of sunshine which divided the rug into warm and cold sections – he rolled over and offered his furry, brown belly up for the taking, and no I am not the kind of person who can resist something like that. In fact he’s been pretty darn adorable all day.
Sure enough the rain started coming – gradually. Spitting as I walked over to a friend’s house to feed her cats in her absence. Raining as we walked to a flat viewing. Heavy rain as I sat in the lounge, listening to Dan Andriano in the Emergency Room, reading Waitrose Kitchen and thinking about writing. Oh, and helping myself to my 2nd (3rd) helping of the Snap Bars that I had whipped up after lunch.
We watched Nigel Slater’s television programme in the morning, and he said the truest words, which echoed how I felt this afternoon. I was grateful for the rain. I often feel like this. It’s like the world telling you that it’s ok for you to stay at home, in your biggest jumper, baking and listening to music. It’s ok to not do the things that you had planned, it’s ok to feel a little melancholic. It’s ok.
If I hadn’t mentioned it enough already, I would like to talk a little more about Ms Cupcake’s soon-to-be-released cookery book. These Snap Bars are another recipe I’ve baked from her book and they were so good. Really simple to put together, and almost instant satisfaction. You do have to wait for them to set – the recipe says around an hour in the fridge, but here’s a tip: after around half an hour they are set but the centre is still slightly warm and a little gooey. Heaven. Definitely not one for the diet – but when it tastes this good it’s so hard to care.
Do you like the rain? Have you listed to Hurricane Season?
Last Sunday we decided to make the most of still having the hire car, and drove up to Lewes for a walk along the Downs, a pub lunch and a trip to Middle Farm. The weather was so nice – not exactly April-expected temperatures but the sun was shining brightly and it felt warm as we walked and hung out with some animals.
It was so much fun to escape Brighton for most of the weekend. I love this city, it totally has my heart, but sometimes we don’t really leave other than to head up to London. Because we don’t have a car, we don’t have the opportunity to spontaneously pop to Lewes or Kingston. I’m sure one day we will have a car, but at the moment we really don’t need one.
I definitely recommend visiting The Snowdrop Inn if you’re ever in the area. It’s such a beautiful pub with really friendly staff and a lovely atmosphere – plus the food is incredible.
Do you ever have days out in the countryside? Have you visited Middle Farm?
Happy Wednesday! We’re half-way to the weekend and I have a special homely edition of Wednesday Wishes for you this week. I spotted Haus recently and instantly fell in love. My bank balance definitely doesn’t agree with this week’s loves but a girl can dream, right?
Do you like my Wednesday Wishes? What are your wishes for this week?
On Saturday we took a spontaneous trip to Kingston, my soulmate city II. I will always have a soft spot for this place – I was born in Kingston, moving away when I was six years old, and came back when I was 21 for University. I’ve met some of my best friends in this city – and learnt so much in such a short amount of time.
Trout hired a car for the weekend, so we drove down on Saturday afternoon so that he could watch football and I could catch up with a sweet friend. We had lunch in one of my favourite cafes – it makes the best.sandwiches.ever. Seriously – if you’re ever anywhere near Kingston, you have to try this place. It’s incredible. Lunch was followed by some window-shopping, time spent at the riverside, and coffee at my favourite coffee shop in the world. This cafe has a huge place in my heart – there is nothing particularly special about it. It sits just enough on the granny-side to be cosy, with the coffee being supplied by Costa to make it really delicious. I came here almost everyday for three years – alone, with friends, to pick up a takeaway. As soon as we walked in, the owner remembered us. He asked if I was still studying, where I was living, and he remembered my order. THIS is why you support local businesses.
Have you ever been to Kingston? Have you eaten at The Terrace?
As you may have gathered, I am a little bit in love with Ms. Cupcake’s treats. I may have mentioned her a couple of times… but come on – these babies are worth gushing over! Perfect cupcakes, a ratio of 50-50 icing vs. cupcake and flavours that make you swoon. When Random House got in touch with me letting me know that the fabulous Ms. Cupcake was having a book published, and kindly sending me a copy, I felt as though I had been given the secret potion! The combination to the safe, the formula to save the world, the answer to all of life’s problem. Sigh.
I’m a sucker for only buying cookery books that have photographs in. There’s just something about a beautifully photographed dish that inspires me to try to recreate the recipe. And Ms. Cupcake’s book certainly ticks all of these boxes! Not only are the cupcakes photographed to perfection – there are also plenty of stunning pin-ups, sneaky peeks of the shop and bright, bold artwork throughout the book.
Instead of buying Easter eggs this year I baked my parents and Grandad something from the book – a chocolate-walnut-banana loaf cake. It was so good! Not too sweet, really moist and really tasty.
The second recipe on my to-do list was Jaffa Cakes – Trout’s favourite in his pre-vegan days, and a very tasty treat indeed. These were so simple to make, I couldn’t believe it! Whip up a batter, bake for a mere matter of minutes, add all of the necessary toppings and bingo! You’ve got yourself a Jaffa Cake! We enjoyed these on Trout’s birthday, on the train with a cup of champagne, as you do.
I accidentally grated the orange peel, rather than zesting it – hence the rather large pieces in these photographs! They still tasted great, but next time I will remember the difference…! And yes, I made a giant Jaffa Cake!
The book is released on May 9th and I can’t gush about these recipes enough. Ms. Cupcake makes the best vegan treats I’ve ever eaten, and the thought that I can whip up something even remotely similar at home is rather dangerous for my waistline! It’s so exciting to see how much her business has grown over the last few years. I remember popping down to Greenwich Market to stock up on her cupcakes, then visiting her lovely shop in Brixton when it opened, and now I’m attempting to re-create these goodies at home!
Have you ever tried Ms. Cupcake’s goodies?
I hope that everyone had a great Easter weekend! It felt strange having so many days off, I didn’t quite know what to do with myself. It mostly involved standing in the bitter cold watching football (we won!), relaxing at home with Trout, visiting the Brighton Food Festival, watching the most incredible movie that I’ve seen in a long time (have you watched Into The Wild? If you haven’t, I highly recommend it. It left me breathless) and spending Easter with my family at my parents house.
Here are some photographs from over the weekend.
The sweetest flowers from the sweetest friend. They’re so beautiful! Just like her.
Trout always tells me – ‘look up’, and he’s right.
When you’re walking around the city, look up and you’ll see things that you’ve never noticed before – like this funny sign. I think it’s above someone’s house!
Brilliant buskers, playing a swing version of an Oasis song.
Brighton Food Festival.
As you can see it was pretty busy!
Easter Sunday lunch with my family – so good! Homemade nut roast, carrots, leeks, greens, mashed swede, roast potatoes, broccoli…yum!
Our dogs were super happy to participate in dressing up as our Easter Bunnies…!
We ended the day with a round of my favourite boardgame – Triominos!
How was your Easter weekend? What were your plans?
Today is Trout’s birthday so it’s just a quick post to say…
Happy Birthday Trouty! I love you!
I woke up bright & early this morning, filled our bedroom with balloons and handed him a pile of presents in bed. I’m busy preparing him a special birthday brekka and he’s got a few cards and things from his family to open, too. I have a few things planned for today which are TOP SECRET and not even Trout knows what they are yet – he’ll find out what they are over the course of the day, and I’ll fill you guys in later on in the week. Hope you are having a great faux-Monday back at work!
Well, March – you were quite some month weren’t you! I love putting these posts together – there are so many little details that I forget, that if I didn’t write about them they would probably be lost forever. Blog-wise I couldn’t have asked for more – thankyou all for your support and comments. It really does mean a lot. I also (finally) found a new job, and I’m really happy there. So, here was my March:
paperbagblog was voted Dorset Cereal’s Little Blog of the Month and Pick of the Day on Bloggers. Pretty crazy!
Lunch with my parents before starting my new job – such a lovely day!
I made Oreo cookie dough ice-cream and it was awesome.
We celebrated Mother’s Day!
We celebrated our eleven year anniversary!
I enjoyed plenty of salads, and roasted chickpeas.
I baked white chocolate chip cookies!
I finally completed a Photo Every Hour day! Check it out here.
How was your March? It went super quick, right?!
Just a little update as I haven’t posted too much this week! It’s been a busy one, but also super fun. It mainly involved getting my boss lost on the way to a client meeting (why would anyone put me in charge of locating directions, and actually directing them?), setting up and attending an event at the Science Museum, having the sweetest friends come over for dinner and cooking them a home-made chinese takeaway, pausing my ipod so that I could listen to the church bells as I walked home in darkness* and the nicest stranger handing me her day-saver bus ticket so that I didn’t have to pay to get home.
*one day I’ll live near church bells again. that was one sweet year in Kingston, and there’s little better than waking up to this sound.
I’m so excited for this weekend – today includes (finally) scanning in some polaroids and photobooth shots we took in Hamburg (remember that trip we took in January? Yeah, that one), picking up a few things for Easter and a certain fishy’s birthday next week. We’re popping down to the Brighton Food Festival in the afternoon which is always so much fun – I love that Brighton celebrates the hundreds of local, independent companies that work so hard to make so much brilliant produce for our city. This evening will involve baking and spending time with my boys. Tomorrow we’re off to my parents to celebrate Easter – it’ll be so nice to see everyone.
I had totally forgotten about the photo above – I took it quite a long time ago. It makes me laugh; I’m not so sure Rasputin was super happy about photo-time, but look at his fuzzy belly!
I hope you’ve all had a great week, and are looking forward to something fun over the long weekend! What are your plans?
I’ve mentioned her a few times, but James’ blog Bleubird never fails to inspire me. Whether it’s her stunning, crisp photography, her oh-so-cute family or her personal style – it’s so perfect. Her series want, need, wear, read is brilliantly simple – I think it’s a great concept to bring to your life. Breaking down what is necessary and what is ‘lust’, especially when it comes to gifts. So this week I’ve put together a special edition of Wednesday Wishes!
I want a new set of Elle Macpherson underwear – it’s the best quality I’ve ever worn and all of her designs are so beautiful.//I need Dream Cream from Lush everyday – it’s fantastic. You can use it on your face and your body, and it’s vegan.//I (wish) I was wearing this dress by Cos. It’s perfect!//I cannot read this book without crying. The illustrated story of love, cancer, death. Devastatingly perfect. *to view the image larger click here
What do you want//need//wear//read?
I know that I’ve been saying this since the beginning of the year, but I finally managed to put together a Photo Every Hour blog post! I was a little worried that this reveals my oh-so boring routine, but at the same time it was a weekend of relaxation, normality and ticking chores off my to-do list. Sometimes it’s awesome just to get back to reality, catch up with housework, sip coffee and breath.
Saturday 23rd March 2013
6am Trout was awake and watching F1 qualifying on his laptop with headphones on, but inevitably it meant that I woke up too. It’s a good thing I’m a morning person! I snoozed on and off through 7am and at 8am decided it was time to get up. Lie in, what is this?
9am Breakfast was a bit of a feasto! We very sensibly had just crisps for dinner on Friday night, so I was in the mood for something more filling than my usual yogurt with a sprinkling of granola for brekka. We inhaled our plates of food whilst watching the end of the F1 qualifying. I made the mushrooms super garlicky, Trout laughed when he came downstairs and the lounge & kitchen stank of garlic, haha. What can I say – I love garlic!
10am Trout headed off to sell some of his old music equipment and I hung out at home with this guy while I responded to emails, caught up with blog-reading and watched the breakfast news and the start of Saturday Kitchen.
11am Dressed and ready to pop out to run a few errands. I went to the post office to send a letter for Trout, browsed the sales and did some food shopping.
12pm I headed home and unpacked the shopping.
1pm Time for a spot of lunch! Toasted pitta bread stuffed with houmous and salad,with a drizzle of sweet chilli sauce, and a bag of Popchips on the side. Delish! I ate my lunch whilst watching Man vs Food, which totally made me miss America even more than I usually do. I flippin’ wish that flights etc. weren’t so expensive to that brilliant place.
2pm I had a hair appointment in town so used the opportunity to wear a new pair of shoes that I picked up in the morning. I had been dreaming of them ever since I spotted them in H&M months ago but wasn’t sure if I wanted to spend £30. After spying them on Nicky’s blog in the morning I remembered just how much I liked them, and was super happy to find only two pairs left (both in my size) and reduced to £7! I do love a good bargain.
3pm I got home and plopped down onto the sofa. I had a to-do list of things that I wanted to get done, but the sofa was far too comfortable and I was in the mood for a movie. Waitress is one of my favourite films, so I settled down to watch it with a fresh mug of coffee. Bliss.
4pm So… this happened. And it was awesome.
5pm With the film finished I had no more excuses left. It was time to get on with my to-do list! First stop – Laundryville. I don’t know about you guys, but my laundry pile is like a monster by the time the weekend comes around. I always try to remember to do a mid-week wash so it doesn’t get quite so out of control, but I’ve missed the last… three. So basically ever since I got a job, the laundry has gotten a bit crazy! The next hour consisted of laundry, washing up, kitchen cleaning, more laundry, changing the bed, bathroom cleaning… I wouldn’t blame you at all if you had taken a little snooze during this blog post – oh what a glamorous life I lead!
6pm Trout is home from the football and chilled to the bone. We bring down one of my favourite possessions to snuggle up under on the sofa. I bought this blanket around five years ago, when I lived in a house with no central heating. It’s the most money I’ve ever spent on any object, other than my car, and I’m still so in love with it. We watch a few episodes of Come Dine With Me, classic!
7pm I get on with making dinner – something wholesome and warming. Sausage casserole with mashed potato, boiled carrots and broccoli. Trout’s not feeling too great so I hope that this meal helps him warm up and feel better.
8pm Relaxing on the sofa, we watch two of our favourite programmes; Sarah Beeney’s Selling Houses and Grand Designs (can you see a theme here?). I enjoy a couple of glasses of red wine.
9pm It’s Breaking Bad time! We crack open a bag of sweet & salty popcorn (the best flavour!) and settle down for a couple of episodes. Before we know it, it’s 10.30pm and time for bed – getting up at 6am makes you sleepy!
So there you have it! I’m really glad that I finally got around to giving the Photo Every Hour challenge a try! Now I’ve got the hang of it I’ll definitely need to try it on a day which is a little busier. I hope you didn’t get too bored!
Sometimes you need to turn a simple breakfast in bed into a party – cue the addition of my favourite straws. ‘Bacon’ rolls, coffee and guava juice. Hello dream brekka!
I hope everyone’s having a great weekend! Mine’s pretty fun so far. Yesterday I finally managed to put together a Photo Every Hour blog and I’m super excited to post it up next week! It wasn’t the most exciting of days, but hopefully it will be the first of many posts like it. We’ve had a lazy morning so far, mostly involving the three of us snuggling in bed, and this afternoon we’re planning on popping into town for a spot of shopping (me and Trout, unfortunately Rasputin can’t make it). I’ve been loving these lazy weekends lately – sometimes we’re so busy that it doesn’t feel like we’ve had a couple of days off, so it’s nice to still be in my jim-jams at midday with my to-do list looking pretty happy!
How is your weekend going? Is breakfast-in-bed not the best way to have breakfast?
Bouncing Souls//Cow Bar
Jake and Trout//Jake and Jasper
Baking squash//Bonsai shopping
This week I’ve been dreaming of accessories, as you can see. I feel like I spend little money on lots of clothes, which inevitably end up not being worn, in a pile for the charity shop or sold on ebay. I really need to spend more time and money investing in quality pieces which will last me for years to come. I fare much better with accessories – especially bags, which will last me until their dying day and even then I take them to my shoe guy to fix.
1//I love this ring – it’s so simple. 2//What a great, smart bag from H&M! I’ve been looking for something similar for a long time now – I think I’ll have to drop by my local store to see if the quality is up to scratch. 3//I’m a total sucker for tapestry print! I have 4 bags, a suitcase, 2 photo frames, a camera case, 3 purses and have owned 2 pairs of tapestry print shoes in the past (sigh, I miss those) but this purse I need! 4//I am in love with storage bags at the moment, and this one is brilliant – such a great simple design, and sweet handles.
This week I have been…
+ reacquainting myself with Fanny’s blog, comme un lait fraise. I read her previous blog, foodbeam, for years before she started like a strawberry milk and her photography, recipes and stories are just so beautiful.
+ if I’m ever having a wobbly day about my blog (content, photography,gifted products gaaah) then I just look at Call me Cupcake and well, actually, feel a hundred times worse. It’s sweet perfection. Sigh
+ for some reason, which is completely beyond me, I had heard the name, clicked on the link, followed on Twitter/Pinterest/Facebook but never, really, properly read the blog. Nat the Fat Rat is brilliant – sit down with a large mug of coffee and read back pages and pages of love.
+ i am such a huge fan of Sarah’s blog, My New Roots. This special blog devoted to travel tips is super useful.
+ pretty pear rum blush on Eat Boutique.
+ dreaming of San Francisco. I want to go back now, thanks to Love Taza’s post!
How is your week going? Do you have any wishes?