Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Cardigan Creativity

Jeans - Dorothy Perkins, T-shirt - Aubin & Wills, Cardigan - Noa Noa,
Necklace - Alex Monroe, Watch - Fossil

{6th August}

I have lost 3 stone in the last 3 or 4 years and I've gone from being a size 18-20 to 14-16.  I'm definitely not where I want to be yet and I am still not happy with how I look, but sometimes I find outfits that I'm happy in and I feel confident in.

As a bigger person I don't really every truly feel comfortable going out and I never feel like outfits really sit as well as they would if I was smaller, but sometimes an outfit comes together that makes me happy when I go out.  (I don't know about you but if an outfit is wrong it can make me feel so uncomfortable that it will pretty much ruin almost any occasion).

It tends to be the plain outfits that actually end up looking the best.  This was a new cardigan that I saw and loved in Noa Noa and as it was in the sale I had to snap it up.  I love the neutral colours and the plain front and the back is just so different with the silk polka dot panel at the back.

I have found that plain tees work really well in hiding a multitude of sins that lie underneath.  Pair this with the right jeans that are right for your body shape, and this can be a really flattering look.

I paired these with some classic shoes and some delicate jewellery and it was a good outfit day.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Langoustine in Parsley and Garlic Oil

10 Langoustine or King Prawns (enough to cover the bottom of your frying pan)
Sea Salt
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tbsp Fresh Chopped Parsley
1 Clove Garlic
Lime Juice

  • Cover the bottom of the frying pan with sea salt.
  • Lay the langoustine on top and let the heat conduct into them
  • Let the prawns cook on top of the salt
  • Mix the garlic, parsley, olive oil and lime juice together
  • Once the langoustine and cooked through chuck in the oil and make sure all of the langoustine are covered.
  • Serve!
Top tip: we decided langoustine are a bit much effort and this would be just as tasty with king prawns that have already been shelled.

Patatas Bravas

New Potatoes - boiled with skin on and then chopped into small 2cm pieces
Sea Salt
Ground Pepper
Red Chilli
1 Garlic Clove
1/2 Lime Juice

Ground Pepper
1 tsp Smoked Paprika
Red Chilli

  • In a small pan started to cook down the passata, paprika, pepper, salt and red chilli.
  • Use as much chilli as you want depending on how spicy you like it.  I used about a tsp.
  • You want a thick sauce.

  • Heat some oil in a frying pan until it is really hot.
  • Throw in the cooked potatoes with the chopped garlic, and red chilli.
  • Tip on the lime juice and fry everything together.
  • Cook through until browned on all sides and slightly crispy.
  • Add the salt and pepper to taste.
  • Tip into serving dish and pour the tomato sauce on the top.
Top Tip: This will be really nice served with a grilled chicken breast or with the chorizo and cider tapas dish.

Chorizo in Cider

3 Sainsbury's Chorizo Style Pork Sausages
Good Quality Cider (flat or fizzy)
1 tsp Smoked Paprika
Freshly Ground Pepper
Sea Salt
Olive Oil

  • Pour cider into the saucepan - enough to cover the sausages.  Bring to a simmer.
  • Place 3 sausages into the cider.
  • Cook sausages for about 20mins, or until cooked all the way through.
  • Take out the sausages and bring sauce to the boil to reduce.
  • Add paprika, salt, pepper, and olive oil to taste.
  • Cut up the sauces and the pour over the sauce.  It will be almost syrupy once the cider has reduced.
Top Tip: Make loads and eat loads! Soooo tasty!  Mix up what you add to the sauce and try some different flavours.

Sunday Brunch

{5th August}

We like to spend a Sunday morning watching Sunday Brunch on Channel 4.  This is quite often accompanied by pancakes, scrambled eggs, bacon and maple syrup - true American style. 

However this Sunday I was completely inspired by one of the cooking sections on Sunday Brunch with Omar Allibhoy.  Very sexy spanish accent on a Sunday morning! Lovely!

I popped over to Sainsbury's to buy all the fresh ingredients to cook our own Tapas for lunch.  On the menu we had: Crusty bread, spanish black and green olives, manchego cheese and palma ham, grilled langoustine cooked in garlic and parsley oil, chorizo in cider, meatballs in tomato and paprika sauce, and patatas bravas.

To be honest I have never cooked any of these before and I don't tend to cook to recipes.  My mum used to get cross with me for never reading a recipe properly, and now I just don't really bother.  I like to make it up as I go along.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.  For the langoustine and chorizo I listened to the ingredients that Omar put into his dishes and elaborated, and for the meatballs and patatas bravas I just sort of made it up!

I'm pleased to say that all worked very well and I will definitely be cooking them again.

Recipes to follow.

Langoustine in parsley and garlic oil

Chorizo in Cider

Patatas Bravas

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Life as a Wife...

Photobooth from MCH Photobooths was perfect.
They provided double copies so the guests could take one, and we could keep one. Such a wonderful idea.  We have a lovely album full of memories.

{4th August}

It was 3 months ago that I walked down the aisle in St Mary's Church towards G to become his wife.  It most definitely still feels very strange when I call him my husband - it feels a bit like I'm telling a lie!  But it does feel nice.  

There is something about having a husband that makes you feel more secure.  I think we actually see each other less now than before we got married, but I have heard a lot of my newly wed friends say this.  I think it is because you know that the other person is going to be there when you come home, no matter what.  And you know what you will be spending the rest of your life with this person, so what does it matter if you spend a few days apart.

I am desperately missing planning the wedding.  We were engaged for nearly 2 years and I loved every minute of planning our wedding.  I can definitely say that I feel a bit lost now that it's all over.

We had a very DIY wedding.  Not necessarily to cut costs, but just because we wanted to put everything we were into it and really make it feel like 'us', rather than just a wedding.  We made bunting, designed the invitations, packed up 100 bags of confetti, made the table plan, and favours.  It was so lovely seeing all of our hard work put into place on the day.

Here are some of my favourite pictures on the day...

In the Wedding Ceremony just after we had been pronounced husband and wife.

We used this ampersand which normally hangs on our living room wall.
Props are a really good idea for the photographs if you don't want that formal, stuffy look.

G noticed this old red phone box across the green from the church and it adds a fun element to the pictures.
Our photographer was a fine artist before she started on weddings, which meant she took the most beautiful, inspired, unique pictures.
Love this one that she took through my veil.

We had our guests create two lines down either side of the drive, meaning we could walk through the confetti, giving people a chance to throw loads and we got some really lovely shots.
This was one of my most favourite things of the day.

We decanted confetti from its original containers into these sweetie bags and placed them in a picnic basket - keeping everything on the seaside theme.

This one is one of my favourites.  It's so different and in an age where iphones play such a big part in our lives it seemed very appropriate.