Top Social

Image Slider

So I live in France now...

30 Aug 2014
So some of you may have noticed my absence for the past few weeks online. This has been down to the fact that I've been running around like a headless chicken organising my year abroad, photocopying every identity document that's ever existed on this planet and making sure I say goodbye to pretty much everyone I know as if I won't be back for years.
On Wednesday the 27th I hopped on a flight to Montpellier with my life packed into two suitcases, and I left England. 

My family came out with me for a 'holiday', which has predictably ended up being a holiday for them and a sort of holiday/stressful introduction to the city for me, but I'm becoming quite attached to the place already and cannot wait to live here for the next 9 months.

As I haven't even moved in yet, let alone had the chance to meet any other students (I will be studying at Montpellier 3 until June), I doubt I'll manage a proper blog post for another few days, but I promise you that when they do appear they will be more regular and probably a lot more interesting than when I was in England! You see, Montpellier is a beautiful, beautiful city. The buildings are just so different to in England that I find myself wanting to take pictures of every single one. There is also an abundance of independent cafes and shops and I literally feel like I'm going to use up all my savings living here for too long. 

Rest assured, I will be sharing my photos with you guys, along with little snippets of my days here, and the quite possibly amusing things I get up to. I want this blog to act not only as something for you to find interesting, but something that I can look back on!
Wish me luck for my first week at Uni, and see you soon with some exciting new posts!
post signature

Visiting Brighton: The Lanes, Chocolate Shops & Dainty Cafes

17 Aug 2014

It's less than two weeks from now until I move to France for the year, so right now I'm trying to prioritise relaxing and catching up with friends as much as possible before I leave. This does mean that once again blogging has been pushed further and further down in my to do list! 

Having said this, I recently took my boyfriend to Brighton for his 21st birthday present and have a few photos from the incredible city to show you all. Brighton is quite possibly my favourite city to be in, it's where I lived for the first few years of my life so I guess I feel like I have some kind of a nostalgic connection to it, even though I don't actually remember living there! Brighton has it all for me - it has creativity, beauty, bustling streets and the sea. Oh and as I recently found out on this trip it also has an abundance of amazing cafes!

So let's begin with a few snaps of The Lanes and North Laine which are undoubtedly the best part of Brighton. Seriously if you ever find yourself nearby then go! They're also a bloggers dream!

Along with the adorable lanes, Brighton is also known for its cool and artistic tendencies. This Pie Shop looked so cool I had to take a picture of it! I can never understand why more places don't do this... surely it must be brilliant for business?

Admist all the beautiful, quirky shops were endless cafes. I was seriously in my element, and was allowed to choose everywhere we went for lunch pretty much because Dafydd knew how excited it made me! I picked the Blackbird Tea Rooms because who doesn't love a good tea rooms? We sat outside in the cute little garden and I ordered my usual Chai Latte and a large slice of Cinnamon Toast.

Yes, it was just as good as it looks. Perfectly crispy, beautifully sweet and wonderously thick. What more could you ask for?

I was too engrossed in The Lanes to take many pictures, but I did get a few in Choccywoccydodah...

How have I never seen this place before? I'm in love with all the incredible chocolate statues and figures created!

post signature

This Week's Links: Outside The World of Bloggers

10 Aug 2014
Source (Oh, how I wish it was my desk)

I see a lot of favourite links of the week posts flying about on Bloglovin', and although I love being pointed in the right direction when it comes to blog posts, I thought it'd be nice to change it up a little and share my favourites that weren't blogger related.

  • These pictures from the finalists of The Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition are absolutely incredible. I can't believe some of them aren't photo shopped!

  • Here you can see what some of today's most popular websites (such as Twitter and Amazon) looked like when they first surfaced on the web. Some of the previous designs are shockingly bad!

  • I'm a sucker for a feel-good video, and this one is no exception. A photographer surprises a boy he inspired with his work - I love a good surprise.

  • If you're looking for a new TV series to watch, then I've been absolutely loving Suburgatory, Orange is the New Black and Community. Of course I am also watching The Great British Bake Off, but that's a given.

  • If you haven't seen Out of the Blue's charity cover of Hips Don't Lie circling the web then where on earth have you been? I've been entertaining myself for quite a while watching their other A Cappella covers on YouTube and my favourites are Lady Marmalade and I Wanna Dance with Somebody - probably because they are two of my favourite songs, and these boys certainly do them justice. 

  • This is a short little creative video that I was first introduced to on Immy's blog, and it's about the self-doubt that those who want to enter into a creative career face. As a future graduate in a few years time I found it quite sweet and reassuring.

  • Okay, now for my little cheat link. This one is actually from a blogger, but it's such a great article that I just had to include it. You can find 'My 8 Steps for feeling Confident' on Cupcake and Cashmere HERE, and I found it so, so helpful and motivating!

post signature

Beach Huts, Hot Air Balloons & Bournemouth Pier

4 Aug 2014

I just need some time in a beautiful place to clear my head...

I usually associate this sentence with clear blue skies, scorching hot weather and a view of the beautiful blue sea; an image which is not primarily associated with the UK, but Bournemouth charms me every Summer I visit.

My short trip seemed to come at the perfect time, when I was in a miserable rut having barely been able to enjoy the sunshine so far in England. It's not a city that most British people would immediately assume to be beautiful, but it sure fit the bill for clearing my mind and making me smile.

I've already spoken about my first day here, but I thought I'd write another post for my photos of the beach and our hot air balloon ride.

I just love beach huts and how colourful they are! I think if I lived by the coast but not within walking distance of the beach then I would definitely consider renting out one of these. 

A lovely view of the wonderful Lower Gardens, which were happily busy and thriving in the sunshine! 

Bournemouth have a Hot Air Balloon in the middle of their Lower Gardens which doesn't fly away (that kind of ride is definitely going on my Bucket List), but does lift you up above Bournemouth for a lovely birds eye view. 

Okay so it wasn't the most beautiful of views, but seeing the blue sea and the pier from this far was quite mesmerising! I'm one of those people who loves heights, and any kind of activity which involves a view from up top is my kind of activity. 

This is a photo from the front of our boat on our boat ride. Bournemouth Pier has rides every 15 minutes on a fast 'Shockwave' boat which speeds along the sea. Although it was incredibly fun and entertaining (quite a few bumps so not for the faint hearted!), at £10 per person I doubt I will be going on it again.

After our 'Shockwave Boat Ride' we sat on the pier for lunch, and I ordered (surprise, surprise) a Pulled Pork Bagel. In all honesty the shoestring fries were absolutely delicious, but the bagel was far, far too spicy. The tomato relish had so much potential but the flavour was ruined by the sheer hotness of it! In the background of this (sub par) photo you can spot Tash's BLT bagel which she said was seriously yummy! Maybe I'll get that next time.

post signature

Toffee Apple & Pecan Loaf Cake

1 Aug 2014
I've probably mentioned this many, many times before, but Toffee and Apple is my absolute favourite combination. I made these delicious Banoffee Cupcakes a while ago which combined banana and toffee, but toffee and apple really steals the top spot for me. So I went about searching for a recipe, and found this one which has rave reviews, so I figured why not give it a try? I made one or two additions and switched up the measurements to make a loaf cake, but overall I can barely fault this recipe!

I spent my Saturday afternoon peeling, measuring, baking and finally decorating the cake so it would be ready for my brother before he went away for a few weeks and before I myself had to hop on a train. I ran out of time and had to rush to the station, telling my family that I would be looking forward to my slice the next day. 
Now for the sad, sad part of this baking story...

24 hours later and I arrived home mouth-watering, very hungry and incredibly excited about tasting my cake, only to find that it was pretty much all gone. They had literally left me half a slice, if even that. To say I was annoyed would be a massive understatement, and if I'm honest, I am still mourning the loss of that beautiful cake. Have any of you ever had this problem? I will definitely be more careful in the future!

You will need:
2 eggs
140g sugar
180ml vegetable oil (I used Sunflower)
250g plain flour
2 tsp vanilla extract
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 medium apples - peeled and chopped
80g pecans (give or take)

For the topping:
80g butter
150g brown Sugar
40ml milk
1 apple - peeled and sliced
a handful of chopped pecans

Step 1: Beat your egg until frothy; mix in the sugar followed gradually by the vegetable oil and vanilla extract.

Step 2: Add the flour, salt and bicarb into your mixture and combine. Stir in the apples and pecans.

Step 3: Take your last apple (you should have used two for the inside of the cake) and slice it. Layer the slices on top of your cake mixture so they overlap slightly (see picture below.)

Step 4: Pour your mixture into a baking tin and bake in a preheated oven at 170°c (fan). Bake for approximately 1 hour - 1 hour 15 mins until a skewer comes out clean. If the apples look like they're burning on top then cover the top in tin foil.

Step 5: Whilst the cake is cooling, mix the milk, brown sugar and butter into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Once boiling stir constantly for 3 - 4 minutes and then remove from the heat. Leave to thicken and cool for approximately 5 minutes (depending on how thick it is already), and pour onto the cake. Add pecans and whatever else you fancy!

Have you ever baked something that's included toffee/caramel? I'm on the lookout for lots of new recipes now that I've realised how simple the sauce is to make!

post signature