Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Photo Diary P1 | Commondale, North Yorkshire Holiday

At the beginning of autumn my family and I went on holiday to a cottage in Commondale. I thought it would be fun to share some of my photos from then as photography is one of my favourite pastimes. So this is part one of a series, there will be another coming soon hopefully. The three categories I will be sharing with you today are animals, landscape and plants.

We were extremely lucky with the weather while we were away and the cottage we stayed in was just lovely. The scenery was one of my highlights – it was so picturesque. There were many opportunities to photograph landscapes, including just by the cottage as well as a boating and fishing lake nearby.

I have a love for animals and there were certainly a few to choose from to take pictures of including cats, rabbits and sheep. I tried to make friends with the cottage cats and although they were a little shy they were still totally cute. There were also lots of sheep in the field by the cottage too. 

We went for a meal in Castleton and they kept enormous rabbits out back, their size was impressive although it’s not obvious from the photo. Also they had a fish tank which I happily stood by taking some snaps. Lastly I took some photos around the cottage and at the Danby Moor Centre of plants – my interest in this sort of thing has increased since getting into gardening.

I would love to know if you have a favourite photo!
Have you gone anywhere on holiday recently? :-) Xx

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Autumnal Baking: Apple Crisp Pudding

Hi - how are you all doing? Today I’m back with another autumnal baking post. So let me first describe the dish I created… Apple crisp pudding is a bit like a crumble, but with a bread topping. I was inspired by the original recipe called peach crisp from The Hungry Student Easy Baking book by Charlotte Pike. (Link to baking book mentioned here). As I didn’t have any peaches and with being lucky with a good batch of apples from our apple tree this year I baked with those.

This dish is so warming and comforting on cold autumnal days and there’s not a great deal of preparation. Cut and prep the apples, place them into a dish then sprinkle a bit of sugar for sweetness. Next layer some bread slices (with the crusts already cut off). Pour a mixture of melted butter, and spices over the top and pop in the oven. Afterwards I baked some apples and placed them on top for decorative purposes. You can use any fruit and type of bread to create something similar. This is a healthy yet lovely bake which can be adapted how you wish.

Let me know if this is something you would try. 
Wishing you all a great Halloween for tomorrow! :-) Xx

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

The Snack Diaries | Part Eleven

Pukka Chamomile, Vanilla & Manuka Honey Tea
(From unknown, price unknown, 20 tea bags)
Pukka can be a little hit and miss for me with flavours but their elderberry & echinacea is one of my all-time favourite teas. Weirdly I’d never previously tried this chamomile variety but my brother kindly gifted me it and I absolutely love it, particularly with the added vanilla and honey for extra sweetness.

Morrison’s The Best Rum & Raisin Dark Chocolate
(From Morrison’s, price £1.34 for 100g)
I loved the sound of this flavour so I treated myself a bar on my birthday. I bought my Dad the cappuccino flavour and we shared it out, it was seriously the nicest chocolate ever but the rum and raisin wasn’t quite as tasty. If you like dark chocolate you might be a fan, and Morrison’s The Best have a large chocolate range if you are interested.

Thornton’s Caramel Crunch Biscuits
(From unknown, price and quantity unknown)
My brother kindly gifted me these on my birthday, they were very sweet and indulgent but I enjoyed sharing them out with my family. They came in a small box, great for trialling them out or sharing them with a friend over coffee.

Galaxy Smooth Milk Chocolate Spread
(From unknown, price and quantity unknown)
I used this spread for baking and made double chocolate butterfly cakes, if you are looking for something for this purpose, I recommend the galaxy brand. Another indulgent item, which is probably best to share out with others.

Do you like to drink specialist tea too? 
What kind of thing do you snack on normally with a cuppa? :-) Xx

Friday, 19 October 2018

Autumnal Baking: Spicy Baked Apple

So recently I’ve been in the kitchen doing some autumnal baking, and just to let you know I have a few related posts lined up. If you are a long time reader of my blog, you probably know I have quite a sweet tooth and since chatting to my dentist I’ve decided to cut sugar out of my diet where I can including thinking a bit differently about snacking.

I absolutely enjoy my baking, and saw this as a new creative challenge, to see what I could come up with which is just a touch more healthy. I think this was my first bake with this in mind and we are lucky enough to have an apple tree in our garden so at the beginning of autumn, I made a few things with the apples.

I used the spicy baked apple recipe from my trusty Easy Peasy baking book by Mary Contini as a guide to create an apple dish. I’ve never done a recipe like this before but there wasn’t really a lot to it, other than chopping up the apples, and putting a bit of spread, spices, sultanas, and nuts on the top with just a slight sprinkle of sugar to sweeten then popping it in the oven.

The result was surprisingly effective, the red in the apples made the dish look pretty and the taste was great too, particularly with adding a bit of spice. It would be a perfect healthy alternative to toffee apple to serve around Halloween/Bonfire time to warm you up, adding natural yogurt or no added sugar custard.

Let me know if you’ve ever made a similar dish 
or if you have some Halloween themed baking planned this month! :-) Xx

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Faith in Nature Lavender Shampoo & Conditioner

Hi to you all and welcome back, today I’m going to be reviewing a shampoo and conditioner by Faith in Nature which I featured in a recent haul. I buy most of my toiletries on the Superdrug website, as they offer free delivery over £10 and have a wide range of cruelty-free products. I went for FIN, a natural, vegan brand on this occasion, as I wanted to give myself a treat. I’ve been eyeing the lavender scent for ages now, I would regard it as an autumn winter fragrance and also I like the calming properties. I paid £5.49 for the shampoo and the same for the conditioner and both are 400ml, though Superdrug do offers sometimes so you can buy cheaper from the brands extensive range.

So how did I get on with these? Wow I was really impressed, and I enjoyed using the products very much. The lavender and geranium scent was so lovely, and the formula of the shampoo and conditioner was spot on, my hair felt nourished, shiny and manageable after each use. I do like the sophisticated packaging too although I’ve spotted the newest FIN brand packaging hitting some of the shops, personally I prefer the old design but the new is more modern. Buy here.

Would I recommend these? Definitely. Either for yourself or even as a gift.

Have you heard of Faith in Nature? 
What scents in toiletries do you gravitate towards in the A/W months? :-) Xx

Thursday, 11 October 2018

October Used Book Haul

I’ve been doing some secondhand book collecting from a variety of places including a café on my holls with a book corner to raise money for charity, and my local free bookshop which sadly has now closed which makes me sad. Jane Blonde and The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole were purchased for approx £1 each going towards charity and all the others are from the free bookshop.

Just for a little update because the free bookshop closed down, my Mum and I have started visiting our local library van and the book selection is pretty good plus you can order in books too. Out of this book haul I’ve already read the Jane Costello book and Laughter Lines by Des O’Connor, I won’t reveal too much because a review will be on its way.

Have you heard of any of these books? 
Are there any that you want to pick up? :-) Xx

Titles I picked up:

Jane Blonde by Jill Marshall
The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13¾ by Sue Townsend
Spectacles Autobiography by Sue Perkins
Here Come the Girls by Milly Johnson
Summer Nights at the Moonlight Hotel by Jane Costello
Laughter Lines by Des O’Connor

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Autumnal Primark Haul

Hi - hope you are all having a good week. I’m back with a Primark haul, I had a nosy in there last month and picked up some lovely pieces. I haven’t been to Primark in so long and it was nice to have a good browse. They were starting to get all the autumn stock in and they also had a few great last season bargains. I did buy some Christmas presents so I won’t be showing those although I did get a few bits for myself.

I saw this red check scarf as soon as I walked in, and the material was so soft too, they did have some other colours but I preferred the classic red. I paid a bit extra for the super soft feel although I was tempted by the £4 scarves in bright coloured check designs. This scarf is huge, really cosy but it’s not been quite cold enough for me to wear it out yet but I can’t wait.

They had a selection of fashion scarfs for £1 in the sale, this peachy nude colour seemed a bit different and for the price I thought I would experiment and try to style it. Moving on my eyes were drawn to this cosy waterfall jacket, the fabric felt more expensive than Primark and the fit was nice. I’ve already worn it quite a bit this month with a scarf.

Lastly as I was walking to the queue I spotted this iridescent notebook, it looked so cool so I put it in my basket. I think the new Primark cosy socks shed a bit so I went for the bobbly cosy socks which are similar and just as snug, the colours seemed lovely too.

What I Bought:

Red check blanket scarf £6.00
Nude fashion scarf SALE £1.00
Cosy waterfall jacket £15.00
Iridescent slay slogan notebook £1.50
Cosy colourful bobble socks £2.00

Have you done any autumnal shopping lately? 
Let me know what shops you visited! :-) Xx

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

The Deli at No. 85 | Café Review

How are you doing today? I’m coming back to you with a review of a café I visited recently with my family. I love cosy cafes in the colder months, there is nothing better than popping in to one for a hot beverage and cheeky slice of cake. Keep on reading if you want to hear my thoughts…

The Deli at No. 85 is a deli and café located in Skelton, North Yorkshire. When we arrived we got a warm welcome and the service was excellent. There was such a lovely atmosphere in the café, it wasn’t too quiet or busy and I enjoyed browsing the deli section.

I went for a very indulgent and unique recipe mocha, and it was pretty incredible. I didn’t have a cake as the drink was very filling (and special!). My only one negative was that everything was a little more expensive that we are used too but we enjoyed our visit as it was a treat and I recommend them.

Do you like cosy cafes too? 
What is your usual drink or cake that you like to order? :-) Xx