sponsor spotlight!

Hello all,

As you are all I'm sure very aware - last week we had a super awesome little party, one that wouldn't have been possible without an army of wonderful people!

I've shouted a lot about our goodie bag sponsors, so today I thought I'd focus on our little crafty angels and share how they helped make the event the success that it was!

Harriet and I spent a month contacting companies whom we thought were a good match for the type of event we were hosting, and being small business owners ourselves, we wanted to try and support and promote other small businesses who make and sell some really gorgeous things!

Here's a few of the companies who we owe big thanks to:
Firstly Melissa of The Sweet Hostess - she was our decorations angel and massively helped our party look fantastic! Melissa stocks beautiful Pinterest worthy products that can help make your party or wedding look fantastic. Lots of her stock is extremely hard to find in UK and she ships a lot of the gorgeousness in from the USA!

She sent us those super sweet heart stamped ice cream spoons, polka dot peachy ice cream cups, all of those enormous honeycomb decorations and...most coveted of all - the stunning tassel garland above! Not only that, but she sent a beautiful prize for our draw, glitter tape {!!!} and delicious sweeties for each and every goodie bag.

It was wonderful working with her, as she had some great ideas and suggestions on what decorations would work with our space and colour scheme and she was just super friendly and lovely. 

I will definitely be buying from her again as the items were brilliant quality and really reasonably prices. So if you have a wedding to plan, or a party, a summer BBQ, or just don't even need an excuse to fill your house with pretty things then look no further than The Sweet Hostess!
Secondly we have these WONDERFUL bamboo plates and matching cutlery from the lovelies at Green Tulip who specialise in selling ethical gifts and tableware. The plates and cutlery were great, brilliant quality, and so much better looking than hideous plastic counterparts. Plus - they're completely biodegradable. These would be perfect at a summer garden party or at a wedding. Green Tulip are a small UK based business, so again, buying from them is a great opportunity to support British!

In fact - I'm just a little bit in love with them and the possibilities - watch this space as I have a summer {DIY} tutorial planned shortly using these little beauties!!
We were also lucky enough to be sponsored by Just Bake who sent us some awesome cupcake decorations! They sell those gorgeous Harlequin sprinkles that I used to make my infamous sprinkle cake!

They were also kind enough to send us some cake pop supplies - which we didn't have time to use in the end with all of the baking going on the night before, so - watch this space for a baking {DIY} tutorial very soon!

If you fancy making yourself a glorious sprinkle cake - or some lovely cupcakes, the lovely Jo of Just Bake has created you all a special discount code for 10% off everything on their site, just type 'Etsy' in at the till to take advantage!!
I was super excited when the wonderful team at Cawston Press - my mosttttt favourite apple juice company agreed to sponsor the drinks at the party. I literally don't think a day goes by where I'm not sipping a little carton of apple & rhubarb on my way to work. It's literally mind blowing!!

They were incredibly generous and sent us an enormous selection of flavours, many of which I'd never tried. To say they were a hit is an understatement. I can't stress enough how delicious they are - I've found a new contender for favourite - the apple & elderflower. Yum.

We served them all with ice in vintage glasses {thanks Harriet} complete with super pretty striped paper straws!

Usually I buy their juices from Sainsburys or Ocado - but I know most supermarkets stock them AND you can also buy by the case online direct from them.
Printed helped out by printing lots of lovely stickers for us {designed by me} to pop onto each of our goodie bags, as well as the leaflets that we designed to thank each of the goodie bag sponsors which we popped into every bag!

We also had a whooooole host of lovely people who donated to our prize draw too - the full list of whom you can find here.

Last but not least - I can't go without thanking Etsy who encouraged the whole event AND who sent us a box brimming with little treats!
Watch this space on Friday - where we'll be revealing our super awesome giveaway for those of you that couldn't make it on the day!


eeeep!

xo.





{nom} Parisian eats...

Hello all,

One of the highlights of Paris was definitely the yummy food! So, I thought I'd share a few of the treats and eats we enjoyed during our time there last week!
This croissant was from the boulangerie (bakery) literally on our doorstep and my god was it good! Each morning we bought fresh croissants and pain au raisin. One morning we bought a couple of baguettes - literally the best bread we'd ever had {also still warm} and then headed over to the fromagerie {cheese shop} on Rue du Rochechouart where we bought some traditional french cheese and quince jelly and enjoyed a lovely brunch! 

I definitely miss the freshly baked bread now that I'm back. It's such a shame that we don't have the same tradition over here...the Tesco Express on my road is a palid comparison!
Goodness me, this Ladurée masterpiece was heavenly - fresh sweet raspberries and rose cream. nom. {also...that cheeky little tarte citron in the background wasn't as spectacular looking but my god did it taste amazing!!}.
So, these photos majorly make it look like I have a massive sweet tooth, but I can assure you usually I'm all about the savoury. Starter over dessert any day! However, the sweet treats in Paris are just so beautiful I tended to snap those rather than the baguettes - less impressive but equally tasty!!

There were also some awesome places we ate at whilst in Paris which I would highly recommend you try if you happen to be visiting...
1//. La Classe - 6 Rue de Mauberge:
Classroom styled restaurant with an outstanding menu and gorgeous dishes of the day which sell out fast, so get there nice and early for din dins!
2//. La Crêperie de Josselin - 67 Rue du Montparnasse:
This modest little creperie was highly recommended online - so we literally traipsed over what felt like the entirety of Paris to find it {it was the day we walked 12 miles}! There's actually another 'Josselin Creperie' on the same road - but don't be confused, it's not as good {apparently}. This place was the bee's knees, honestly, the crepes were to die for!
We had a savoury and then a sweet crepe each, accompanied by cider...a tradition!
Definitely worth the trek with a trusty map, check out the reviews on trip advisor!

{eat} pumpkin soup...


Hello all,

It's Halloween - hooray! Now, I had intended to post a picture of my expertly carved pumpkin on this day...however, I came home from work yesterday to find J had used the entire pumpkin to make a soup. Now I must say, initially I was a little disappointed, I had great plans for that little guy, but oh my the soup was literally AMAZING. 

I have never, ever had nicer soup in all my life, so, on this spooky occasion I instead bring you a little recipe - perfect for using your little carved pumpkin after he's done his scaring job!

To make this spooky soup - I discovered that J used a recipe by everyones {second} favourite chef - Gordon Ramsay, you can find the recipe here - but if you fancy mixing it up a little like we did, use sage instead of rosemary and instead of a mushroom garnish, we used the pumpkin seeds, toasted!

So please...don't bin your pumpkin after halloween is over {unless he's a slimy rotten mess - then maybe don't eat that!}, make him into something delicious!

Also, apologies for the less than lovely photo - I intended to take another in daylight and style it nicely, but I totally gobbled down my soup for lunch and only remembered after I'd finished it....ooops.

xo.




{nom} a weekend treat!

Hello all,

I do so hope you had a lovely relaxing weekend? I was working ALL weekend so I must say it wasn't as crafty a weekend as I'd love to have had!

Ask yourself this - why do people {in the UK anyway} only eat pancakes one day a year? 

'Pancake Day' is a super exciting day, and don't get me wrong I'm not trying to make it into just another day...but, pancakes are too good to ration like that!

So, in my house we've embraced a new tradition - 'Pancake Sundays'. I look forward to it throughout the week and each Sunday we try to have something new with our classic pancakes...so on this chilly Monday - I propose to you - ditch the porridge and knock up a cheeky stack of pancakes.

That is all.
Happy Monday :)

xo.

p.s. those pancakes up there made my Sunday!

{nom} Meat & Bread

Hello all,

Last night I was thinking about all the awesome places I ate in Vancouver {there are so many it's unreal!} and I thought I ought to share with you one of my faves. If you ever happen to find yourself in Vancouver - then you need to check out this amazing sandwich shop...Meat & Bread. I'm an absolute sucker for good design and cool packaging and this place had me at hello...

Each day they have a couple of special sandwiches as well as their classics...unfortunately on the day I went the Porchetta sandwich which is apparently the best was sold out {should have had an early rather than late lunch}. Instead Ben, Saaed and I shared the lamb shoulder and meatball sandwiches and oh my they were amazing! {thanks Saeed!}. I certainly didn't feel like I was missing out not getting the Porchetta. They make them and pop them onto a rustic wooden board with a dollop of this AMAZING mustard which they also make and sell {yes it has super cool packaging!} - wish I'd bought some now! 
It's got the coolest decor and a really relaxed atmosphere - I really like that there's pretty much just one long table where everyone pulls up a chair and gets comfy together. It was a pretty hipster place - but I totes love a bit of that!
You can check out their daily menu here.
I'll be begrudgingly tucking into a fairly average homemade sandwich at lunch today..longing to be back at M&B!
Anyway I would highly recommend it for a light lunch if you happen to be in the area.

Have a lovely Tuesday!
xo.


{nom} a perfect picnic pie!

Hello all,

I thought I'd share another recipe with you guys today, it's another from my favourite book 'Plenty' and honestly, it is heavenly!

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Packed with yummy broccoli, cheese, leeks and a little cream - it's divine hot or cold..nom nom nom.

Here's how you can make one:

{p.s. Yotam Ottolenghi uses Gorgonzola - I hate gorgonzola so I use mature cheddar!}

500g all-butter puff pasty

2 broccoli heads (about 700g in total), cut into florets 

25g butter

3-4 leeks, washed, trimmed and sliced thinly

150ml double cream

80ml water

15g each chopped chives and tarragon

3 tbsp grainy mustard

1 tsp salt

Freshly ground black pepper

200g cheddar, cut into chunks

1 egg, beaten

1//. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/ gas mark 6. Roll out two-thirds of the pastry into a 2mm-thick circle large enough to line a 25cm loose-bottomed tart tin. Line the tin and trim off the excess. Roll the remaining pastry into a thinner disc large enough to cover the pie, and lay it on a plate. Place both base and lid in the freezer for 10 minutes.

2//. Line the pastry base with greaseproof paper, fill it with baking beans and bake blind for 15-20 minutes, until light brown. Remove the paper and beans, and return to the oven until the base is golden - about five minutes. Leave to cool down.

3//. While the tart is cooking, prepare the filling. Cook the broccoli in a large pan of boiling water for two minutes, or until tender but still firm. Drain in a colander, refresh in cold water and leave to dry.

4//. Melt the butter in a pan over a low heat and gently fry the leeks for 10-15 minutes, until soft but not coloured. Add the cream, water, chives, tarragon, mustard, salt and pepper. Stir, and remove from the heat.

5//. Spread the leek mixture on the bottom of the cooked pastry base, scatter the broccoli on top - gently press it down into the leek bed - and dot cheddar around and about. Brush the rim of the tart with the beaten egg and lay the lid over the filling. Press down on the edges, discarding any excess that hangs over.

6//. Glaze the lid with beaten egg, then bake for 30 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown. Allow to cool a little before removing from the tin.

Enjoy!

xo.

{nom} a perfect dinner for a sunny day!

Hello all,

Just a little one today to share with you a wonderful recipe that I recently found in my new favourite book {see post here!} - Plenty, by the marvellous Yotam Ottolenghi. It's for vegetarian Quesadillas, and oh my were they good! Jack and I chowed down on them outside on our lovely sunny roof terrace in the gorgeous weather last week, and the good news is, today is set to be LOVELY so you could enjoy an al fresco dinner too tonight!

They are super healthy, light and lovely and fresh..it's totally a win:win situation all round I say!
Anyway, here is how you too can enjoy a little Mexican feast...


{ingredients}

{for the black bean paste}

230g cooked black beans (tinned are fine)

1 tsp ground coriander

½ tsp ground cumin

½ tsp cayenne

1 bunch coriander, chopped, stalks and all

Juice of 1 lime

½ tsp Maldon sea salt

{for the salsa}

½ small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced

½ tbsp white-wine vinegar

3 spring onions, trimmed and thinly sliced

5 medium sweet tomatoes, diced

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 mild red chilli, finely diced

1 bunch coriander, chopped, plus extra leaves to garnish

1½ tsp Maldon sea salt

Juice of ½ a lime

2 ripe medium avocadoes, diced

{for the tortillas}

8 small tortillas (corn look better, but flour are fine)

180ml soured cream

120g good mature cheddar, grated

6 tbsp jalapeño peppers in vinegar, drained and roughly chopped

Drain the beans of their water and place, along with the other paste ingredients, in a food processor bowl. Pulse to a rough paste.

To make the salsa, soak the onion in the vinegar in a large bowl for a few minutes. Add all the other ingredients and stir.

Have ready a hot barbecue or a ridged griddle pan. Take one of the tortillas and spread two tablespoons of bean paste in the centre, leaving a 2cm border around the edge. Spread a tablespoon of soured cream over the paste, then scatter over the cheddar, a tablespoon of salsa and some chopped jalapeños. Fold the tortilla over and carefully transfer to the barbecue or griddle. Cook for two to three minutes on each side, by which time the filling should be warm and the tortilla nicely charred. Transfer to a warm place, and repeat with the remaining tortillas.

To serve, cut each tortilla into two at an angle, place on a serving dish and spoon the remaining salsa alongside, garnished with coriander leaves.

These are AMAZING so get involved!
xo.