Sunday, 17 November 2019

Winter Baking: Special Baked Granola

Hope you are all well. Today I’m back with a simple, delicious recipe that’s perfect for this time of year. It’s a recipe I’ve adapted slightly from one I found in my Easy, Peasy Sweetie Pie baking book by Mary Contini.

The original recipe is called crunchy munchies, with includes rolled oats, desiccated coconut, nuts, seeds, sultanas, sunflower oil and honey. I added all of these except the honey, and felt it was not necessarily needed if you didn’t have it in the cupboard, or wanted something less sweet. I added a few choc chips instead.

Basically mix all the ingredients together in a bowl except the sultanas, and then spread the mixture evenly onto a lined baking tray and place in a preheated oven. Add the sultanas afterwards, and voila!

We had this with yogurt, which worked nicely. It can also be used as a crumble topping, which I’m keen to try as I think the desiccated coconut would add something different to the taste. It keeps well in an airtight container, so you can have a bit at a time too.

A copy of the recipe is here, if you want to know the specifics for making it yourself. You can also buy the Easy, Peasy Sweetie Pie baking book here.

Have you been baking recently?
Is this a recipe you might like to try for yourself? :-) Xx

Monday, 11 November 2019

Photo Diary | Autumnal Day Out

Hope you are all well. Recently my family and I went to a local museum called Kirkleatham for a morning out. They do all sorts of events, exhibitions and so on throughout the year but we tend to go when it’s quiet, often this time of year or even later. When we got there we were struck by the beautiful colourful, fallen leaves everywhere. It was really scenic, and autumnal; I spent a good while just walking around with my camera. I hope you like my photos from the day. They have a lovely café too, which we visited and a review will up quite soon if you are interested.

Have you been enjoying the autumn scenery near you?
What are your favourite places to visit this time of year? :-) Xx

Sunday, 10 November 2019

Photo Diary P2 | Helmsley, North Yorkshire Holiday

Today I’m back with part two of my holiday photo diary. View part one here. In part one I chatted about the things we did on holiday such as going to the national centre for birds of prey. In this post I have a few photos I took of the birds of prey, as well as general arty shots back at the cottage and some ethereal plant shots from the forest which we visited most days.

While at the bird of prey centre, we decided to sign up for the demonstration where we were shown what the birds were like close up, we got to see them fly and how they were trained for the demos. My brother and dad particularly enjoyed this aspect.

In the cottage grounds, there was quite a bit to explore, for example the owner kept horses. There was an old telephone box just next to the cottage, which I found interesting, and I took a few photos of that. I hope you enjoyed this series.

Do you take lots of photographs on holiday too?
Does the national bird of prey centre seem like somewhere you might like to visit? :-) Xx

Thursday, 7 November 2019

Recent Reads Reviewed #18

The Chocolate Lovers' Christmas by Carole Matthews - 4/5

This book is perfect to devour over the festive season! The writing was wonderful, and the author really captured the ups and downs of friendship and romance. There were parts of the book that showed some grit and others which were warm and fuzzy so it was unpredictable in that sense.

My few reservations were there were too many characters to keep track of and I felt the number of pages could have been condensed a little too. I’ve never read anything by this author before, although this is actually the third book in a series and therefore I missed a few minor plot elements.

Children played a big part in the story, and this aspect was done in an endearing way. I could see this book being popular with young Mum’s as the family themes throughout were done well. Despite imperfections, I enjoyed this book very much.

The Suitcase Kid by Jacqueline Wilson - 5/5

Jacqueline Wilson, is an acclaimed British children’s author, and has always been one of my favourites. We follow Andy, a girl who is struggling with her parents’ divorce, and the disruption with living one week with her Mum’s new family, and one week with her Dad’s. The author really captures family dynamics in a realistic way. After rereading a childhood favourite, I found the story just as moving all these years later. Would recommend this book to all.

Trouble According to Humphrey by Betty G. Birney - 3/5

Recently, I’ve been interested in reading books about animals, both fiction and non-fiction. I kept a few hamsters as a child; so the cover of this book intrigued me to pick it up. We follow Humphrey, the friendly hamster, who while has a big heart, gets himself into a pickle sometimes. This series I imagine would be great for children, and there’s a strong moral message in this particular book. I did find myself bored with it dragging in places, but otherwise, it was quite readable.

Christmas at the Comfort Food Cafe by Debbie Johnson - 5/5

I had so much fun reading this book, and I resonated with Becca’s point of view. The humour was absolutely excellent, really quirky and witty, I had a big smile plastered across my face while reading her jokes. The author touched on some really important subjects too such as mental health, and the difficulties of losing a family member in a very considered way. I thought the story would be fluffy chick lit, but this book was so much more than that. It’s about hope, redemption and the importance of family. This book truly captured my heart.

The Heir by Kiera Cass (The Selection #4) - 4/5

I completed The Selection series earlier this year, and this is the second to last book in the trilogy. While I have been thoroughly enjoying reading The Selection, I felt the last two books didn’t quite live up to the first three.

We follow America, in the first few books, as she enters a competition to become a princess in a dystopian world. I would most definitely recommend the series, and you can buy the complete set discounted in The Works if you are interested.

Paper Girls (Paper Girls #1) by Brian K. Vaughan - 5/5

The Paper Girls series has ignited my passion for graphic novels and the first episode did not disappoint. The vivid, ombre colour palette, and graphic illustrations are simply superb. The story of a dystopian world offers lots of twists and turns. A read I can’t recommend enough.

Dewey: The True Story of a World Famous Library Cat by Vicki Myron - 5/5

I picked this up thinking it would be one of those ‘filler’ type books for me. You know the one in between more intense, exciting reads where you want something a bit light-weight. Going into this with those expectations, I soon realised, this was an incredible, engaging and emotional read about a stray cat who found a new home in a library.

The relationship between Vicki, the cat owner and Dewey the cat touched my heart. The love for Dewey, at the library, was beautifully written. I’m definitely an animal person, and this is one of my all-time favourite animal themed reads. Maybe one of my top reads from 2019.

Have you read any festive reads recently?
Do you enjoy animal related books too? :-) Xx

Friday, 1 November 2019

Photo Diary P1 | Helmsley, North Yorkshire Holiday

It’s been a while, welcome back! Today I have part one of my holiday photo diary from earlier in the year. We went to Helmsley, in North Yorkshire which was my first time visiting. We went for one week for a relaxing, laid back time.

We did go on a few outings such as a visit to the Rievaulx temple, which we had a tour of, and later a picnic. We went to the national centre for birds of prey, which was one of the highlights of our trip, and photos of the birds will be in the next part of this post series. I took some photos of a rose garden, I found in the national centre for birds of prey which are featured in this post.

I thoroughly enjoyed having a potter around Helmsley centre, my Mum and I went in some interesting shops. I bought a military jacket from Age UK, which is featured in this haul post. There was a beautiful book shop, but it was a bit overpriced, although they had a fabulous young adult section.

We stumbled across an unusual shop selling wool, and secondhand books. The books were in a room in the back, and they had an array of chick-lit and thriller books. I ended up getting one book on holiday, it was called The Mona Lisa Mystery by Pat Hutchins, which I found second-hand in Oxfam.

We found a beautiful forest which we visited most days, to get phone reception and a coffee in the campervan. I got some interesting ethereal shots of the foliage while visiting there. We went for a meal in a pub in Helmsley centre one day too, and I had a gorgeously presented salad.

The cottage was stunning, particularly my bedroom, it had traditional beams, and a hygge, cosy feel. Most days I had a wander around the grounds with my camera; as there was a large pond, horses, and so on.

Do cottage holidays appeal to you too?
What things do you like to get up to while on a break? :-) Xx