Saturday 29 December 2012


I realise that present posts are not everyone's cup of tea but I personally enjoy reading them and find they provide me with present buying inspiration for future birthdays / Christmases. So here goes...

How amazing are the cupcake wall mounts?! My love of baking is well known amongst family and friends. And it's just not Christmas without festive knitted socks / slippers - how cute are the owl ones?! I also received a Starbucks set from my sis (mug currently being used), some very generous gift vouchers and a couple of magazines like Vogue (which I can't afford on a regular basis - so were a nice treat!)

So excited to try these straighteners! I'd never heard of Cloud Nine before but apparently lots of salons use them and they're a lot healthier for your hair. Reviews hail them a million times better than GHDs so I'm thinking of writing up my own little review for them at some point in the new year - watch this space!

Lots of different coloured nails foils to try out in the new year... I love lace!

Cath Kidston is class. You can't deny it. Loving this lil mug and diary combo!

Cute bird themed stationary from one of my best friends - how cute is the bird clip?!

I can't recommend this cook book highly enough! I will definitely be doing a future post on this

I loved the film Submarine so naturally, I asked for the book for Christmas. One thing you may not know about me.... I love all things Alice in Wonderland. The book "Curiouser and Curiouser" talks about the philosophy behind the tale. Will be an interesting read me thinks!

French cuisine is, hands down, one of my favourite types of food. You cannot beat a plate of boeuf bourguignon with a glass of red wine. I can already cook a few French dishes but I am always striving to improve and to learn more. With these two books in my possession, I am very excited for the new year!

What did you lovely lot get for Christmas?

Monday 24 December 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Cannot believe that Christmas has come around already!

After being inspired by gift wrapping ideas on Tumblr, I decided to use recycled brown paper and twine this year. For a festive touch I added holly and ivy and on some gifts I used candy canes:

I glittered my nails within an inch of their life. Because you can never have too much glitter.

On one of my days off I found time to explore Winter Wonderland:

... indulging in warm cider in one of the many German style huts

... and a venison burger with cranberry and cinnamon chutney

Inspired by this chutney gloriousness, I wanted to make my own over the festive period. I've read a lot about bacon jam on various food blogs and thought this would be a tasty accompaniment for our turkey on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. The proof will be in the tasting but so far, the apples in with the mixture make it smell a little like mulled wine - perfect for the festive season!

Taking some time out from all the Christmas cooking and prep, I went to sample Costa's festive menu. Their gingerbread latte is nice but as I don't drink coffee, I went for a honeycomb hot chocolate instead.

But the taste winner? Their gingerbread muffins. Words cannot describe how good these were. Even the icing was flavoured. The gooey golden syrup centre was a pleasant surprise

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas! 

Sunday 16 December 2012

Barcelona - day six

On day six, too much sugar was consumed over breakfast

We headed back to the market but sadly most of the stalls were closed. But I did spy some novelty sangria:

For lunch we discovered an awesome noodle bar where their cartons weren't just used for the food...

We filled up on noodles sitting on some steps in the town square

As it was the last full day in Barcelona, we had a bit of an easier one. We wandered around the port making the most of the sunshine. Because London can rarely offer such temperatures.

After a quick shower and clothes change back at the hotel, it was time for our last supper in Barcelona. We chose to go back to Pura Brasa (the restaurant from the first night) as when we went before their burgers looked EPIC. And let me tell you now.... they did not disappoint:

I'd never had a cheese burger where cheese is actually piped inside the meat before. Have you? The menu described the chips as "straw chips" and they weren't lying! They were the thinnest, tinniest chips I've ever seen! And so incredibly more ish. And for the last part of the evening? Played around with the manual settings on my camera for night time shots. GEEK.

Me saluting Barcelona. Standard.

So that's it. The concluding chapter to my Barcelona posts. I really hope you've enjoyed them. If you missed out any of the other days, you can find them all in my blog archive or below:

day 1  /  day 2  /  day 3  /  day 4  /  day 5

Barcelona - day five

No matter where in the world I am, I'm always interested in a good museum. When I read about CosmoCaixa (a science museum) in my guide book, it was a no brainer! It was ridiculously cheap, you could go in and out as much as you pleased (useful for lunch purposes) and it kept us occupied for most of the day.

One nice little surprise was an indoor rainforest complete with tropical fish:

There was a disgusting section on where all the bacteria on the underground is located!

And a section with a solid block of ice! With my body temperature, I made my mark:

Afterwards we walked around the port and found an aquarium

Their conveyor belt style bit through the shark tank was the highlight

I'd recommend the science museum over the aquarium though. It was tons cheaper and will keep you entertained for much longer. I did find a tube in the aquarium though that kept me amused for quite a while:

Around the port, there was an outstanding choice of restaurants. I picked out one that was a little more expensive than the others, but it was worth every single euro. This was PROPER paella. And the best sangria I'd ever had. You could taste that they'd used damn good red wine in it

En route back to the hotel, we noticed that the nearby fountains were actually ON and that there was some kind of show with lights and music and such.

I think the next pic sums up perfectly why I shouldn't drink:

Yes, I am conducting. I like to get involved.

Final instalment coming soon: Barcelona - day six!