Friday, February 28, 2014

52 Lists // Nine

Just a quick note to say that we should all be much more vocal about what we like about one another and ourselves because this exercise was way harder than it should have been. Yikes! What are YOUR best qualities? 


This is list #9 in the 52 Lists project, run by Ema over at Made in Hunters

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

What makes you miss somebody?

In your head, hearing their exact voice or idiosyncratic tone in which they'd deliver a line. Like they've giggled next to you, rolled their eyes candidly or lifted their cheeks to be kissed by the creases of their eyes. Or you've spotted a face with the crinkles in the bridge of their nose when they're pulling faces, or the gaze of another has reminded you of their pondering. Sang or spoken softly, raised their head to check you're well and cried and hugged you all at once. All in the comfort and tangled abyss of your head.

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Monday, February 24, 2014

Guest Post by Ellie: Moving Out of the Family Home

8 things I realised upon moving out of my family home

I’ve lived in the suburbs of South West London for all my life (very close to lovely Beeta, actually). But in the last few days of December, I broke free.
I am now all settled in my new place. It’s been a bit of a learning curve, and so thought I’d share some things I have realised since I flew the nest.

1. You think you’re an adult when you leave university. You’re not an adult until you are in a flat with a leaking washing machine and freezer that won’t defrost, and you are on your hands and knees with wet towels, having to book in engineers.
2. My mum really did do a hell of a lot for me. The washing basket never stays empty for long, food takes on average 45 mins to prepare per day, emergency lift-giving is not at all close at hand…
3. Food costs money. Eating out costs even more money. You can’t win.
4. I owned a lot of crap that I should have got rid of 5 years ago.
5. I still own a lot of crap. You should see my ring collection! And the pyjama drawer… jeez.
6. A double bed should have been bought years ago. I should have insisted. I never want to have to share it.
7. I am actually quite good at making the right decisions about things. My gut instinct is a good one, and I should keep trusting it.
8. Even the most grown up of people need a phone call with their mummy to make them feel better sometimes.

Ellie | x


A huge thank you to Ellie from mantrapixie for this. I told you I had some good'uns lined up for you all, lucky readers! Nice to know what lies ahead for me when I too fly the nest later this year. Gulp! Any further words of wisdom would be greatly welcomed. Leave us your thoughts below and make sure you have a stroll through Ellie's beautiful blog too. I particularly like her recent post on things which remind her of home, also part of the 52 Lists project :)
- B.

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Friday, February 21, 2014

52 Lists // Eight

Most of these appear to be related to getting away from my town...I've made it sound like a less pleasant place than it actually is. The red buses are something I always needed re-adjusting to when I used to come back from university which was in another city with BLUE buses. So red buses remind me of home, as do black cabs. Libraries are pretty good, wherever they are, so it makes me happy that there are quite a few within walking distance from my house. The main library in my town, however, is huge. I've been going there since I was pretty tiny, first with my parents, then with friends to revise, then by myself to ACTUALLY revise, then with colleagues to work and now with a littl'un I babysit for and sometimes alone to make sure I devote some time to uninterrupted reading. 

Tell me a little bit about where you live?


This is list #8 in the 52 Lists project, run by Ema over at Made in Hunters

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

2014 Blogger Challenge // Four

Topic 4: High-end vs high-street

Source unknown

Why are we so concerned with what other people think? Do we buy names and brands because we KNOW them to be good, or because we have heard someone else say they are good or cool or the hip thing these days in those circles, and wish to impress the people who said they were good or cool or the hip thing to know that we also think these things to be hip, cool and/or good? Why do we buy things we cannot afford, yet are conditioned to believe we need? High-end or high-street, I wish we felt more empowered as consumers to buy the things we WANT without compromising our morals, ethics and/or succumbing to societal pressures. Neither market caters to everybody yet we feel like we have to be pigeon-holed. More charity shops please. I may be talking in code here...but let me know if you deciphered any of it. My brain is clogged with legal jargon for the moment. Either way, I like the photo above.


This post is part of the 2014 Blogger Challenge, hosted here. I aim to post in response to each topic released every fortnight. Hopefully, you'll enjoy my take on them.  If you're also taking part, please let me know as I would love to see your interpretations of these challenges. You can see my other posts here.

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Sunday, February 16, 2014

Living inside your own head

From here

Sometimes I fail to grasp that my eyes look outwards and not in.

My head gets so riled up with emotions, thoughts, predicaments, analysis, that I can feel them all scurrying around, causing havoc, doing whatever the hell they want. My eyes are sucked in, swirled around like revolving doors and on every rotation scoop two armfuls of mind-sludge.

I see squiggles of worry, dots of hope, lines of exhaustion. I see the twisted butterflies, the vat of blank, the pit of discomfort and waves of unease.

It can be soothed by photographs, tamed by music. It can be comforted by tea and softened by breathing. I can rein it in and feed it peace. But if only I looked out rather than in.

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Friday, February 14, 2014

52 Lists // Seven

This was my to do list this week. I know, I know, so exciting you can't contain your happiness for me. I know! Just a little glimpse into how completely unglamorous a week I am having. I am, however, hoping to deliver another Kitchen Party post for you in the near future...depending on how well the dinner party mentioned above goes!

What was the most exciting thing you did this week?


This is list #7 in the 52 Lists project, run by Ema over at Made in Hunters

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Iranian Kebabs and Patisserie Valerie Cake

No words needed.

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Sunday, February 09, 2014

Strangers on a train

Original source unknown

Whenever we sit in a public place, within close quarters of a handful of strangers, on a train perhaps, a bus stop, what is it that connects us all? Sure, a common situation of being wherever we are at that precise moment, where we're going maybe, a physical equality between us all. All moving at the same pace (or not at all), doing the same thing or have the same opportunity to do so in transit. Same sheep or cattle in the same boat.

But I can't help but think we all feel we are secretly in possession of some knowledge which we think makes us better than somebody else. That the guy reading a book about God knows something we don't, that the girl in her late teens puts what she's done with her face today above the choices of everyone else, that I believe the music I'm listening to is a grade above anything else being played in the carriage today. We all look around and without even wanting to, we form a judgement about a person's attitude or lifestyle based on their wonky tie, scruffy shoes, the bags under their eyes, the volume of their music, their tone with their companions, whether they smiled back at you.

When we look, when we see these things which make up these strangers, as human and as damaged as you are yourself, what is it within us which feels compelled to draw comparisons? Comparisons which we know are futile, unfair on one or both of us, and a waste of precious energy.

Worst of all, we sit in silence. We ignore the common ground, the exchange of glances, the hour's gift we've been given and instead spend it in solitude with pointless thoughts about seemingly irrelevant people, strangers on a train.

We could embrace that time, that opportunity, and form real opinions on real substance, or as much as you can get from a short period of time, and discover the preponderancy of lessons we can learn from people we don't know, instead of choosing to mull over the lives we have created for these strangers on the train.

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Friday, February 07, 2014

52 Lists // Six

It was pretty interesting trying to simplify the good things in life down to a little list like this. There are others, of course, but this is a good start.


This is list #6 in the 52 Lists project, run by Ema over at Made in Hunters

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Wednesday, February 05, 2014

2014 Blogger Challenge // Three

From here

I have a good friend, S, who always makes excellent recommendations. She said Alain de Botton's book "Essays in Love" was a perspective-changing read. I started reading that one on my iPad but need to get hold of a physical copy of it to really soak it in, I think. I did find "Status Anxiety" in a charity shop, however, and must say de Botton's writing style is quite exquisite. He has this ability to make you see the world through completely altered eyes and blows your mind in the most satisfying of fashions.

On an aside, isn't it a lovely thing when you find a special book in a charity shop? Sure, it's easy to let go of books that you thought were average and didn't love, and even easier to give away books that you despised or which sent you to sleep. But to give away a book that means something to you, that awakens your soul and causes you to think, now that must be an act of love and a desire to share something so excellent you feel compelled for somebody else to have a magical moment discovering it. Either that or an attempt to get rid of clutter. One or the other...

Anyhow, this fortnight's 2014 Blogger Challenge post is about books and I would like to share with you a passage from it which I wrote out last summer in my notebook of special words, when I first read this book. I hope you can connect with it on some level.

"There may be no better way to clear the diary of engagements than to wonder who among our acquaintances would make the trip to the hospital bed.

As conditional love starts to seem less interesting, so too may many of the things we pursue in order to secure it. If wealth, esteem and power buy us the kind of love that will last only so long as our status holds, and yet if we are destined to end our lives defenceless and dishevelled, longing to be comforted like a small child, then we have an unusually clear reason to concentrate our energies on those relationships which will best withstand the erosion of our standing."

- From "Status Anxiety" by Alain de Botton


This post is part of the 2014 Blogger Challenge, hosted here. I aim to post in response to each topic released every fortnight.. I hope you enjoy it. If you're also taking part, please let me know as I would love to see your take on each challenge. You can see my other posts here.

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Monday, February 03, 2014

Taking Stock #5

Found here

Exam season is here so whilst I drink a million cups of tea, have the Harry Potter soundtrack on for productivity as I eat legal knowledge, and tab my folders to the point of obtuseness (trust me, it starts out as an enjoyable process but the novelty will wear off I'm sure), I have a variety of posts lined up for you. I've scheduled a bunch of exciting pieces for you, including some more recipes (any of you had a Kitchen Party yet?) and a few very special guest posts... I'm looking forward to hearing what you all think of them when normal life resumes. In the meantime, here is my Taking Stock post for February, and if you have any tips for the revision/exam period, please do send them my way. This should be my last year of studying so I've only been through this process, oooh I don't know, about twenty times or something....but yet they're still stressful every time!

Back to Taking Stock (originally found here), I'm so pleased to see that so many of you are also taking part. How have you all found it? Some months I find it hard but maybe that's just a reflection on the type of month it has been. It's tricky to engage with and accept how you really feel sometimes.


Making: peace
Cooking: with my Mum and M (separately) more often.
Drinking: mojitos to say bye, flasks of tea to get me through long days, green tea with mint in the evenings
Reading: White Teeth - Zadie Smith (I decided that The Hobbit wasn't for me this time...I'm sorry)
Wanting: to do well in exams
Looking: exhausted most of the time!
Playing: with Cosmo
Wasting: studying time resting, resting time studying...but neither of those are really wasting time are they?
Fixing: the break I had in exercise
Deciding: very little
Wishing: for time
Enjoying: productive hours
Waiting: for mock exam results
Liking: that I finally feel like I understand what is going on in Pilates classes
Wondering: what will come out of all of this
Loving: talking to friends about writers and concepts
Pondering: the best approach
Considering: what is important to me
Watching: Tough Young Teachers on BBC
Hoping: days in the next few weeks slow down a little
Marvelling: medicine
Needing: some attention
Smelling: Coco Mademoiselle, as ever
Wearing: five layers on occasion (six including a coat, seven including a scarf)
Following: plans to get the blog organised
Noticing: that I actually really like school!
Knowing: more than yesterday, less than tomorrow
Thinking: too much, as ever
Feeling: unsettled
Admiring: a red sky one evening last week
Buying: time
Getting: agitated
Bookmarking: more recipes, one a week from Pinterest to make with Mummy
Opening: up. "Always speak your mind, even if your voice shakes" (Maggie Kuhn)
Giggling: every school day!

You can find the rest of my Taking Stock series here.

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Saturday, February 01, 2014

Brunch with Beeta

I spend many an hour of my life scrolling through Pinterest, taking inspiration from the photography, style, interior design and words of wisdom on there. There's something therapeutic about it, I find. Perhaps it's the leisurely scrolling itself, the time I've taken out for myself, or the way it feeds my insatiable thirst for knowledge and beautiful things. I try to act on the motivation it gives me and recently that has manifested in the category of food.

Now, all too often any attempt to replicate something in those beautiful pictures is little short of a disaster. They look much messier than the picture and taste less appetising than the picture's colours ever gave away. So it was a real surprise when my attempt at making these egg and bacon cups was actually a success!

Look at them smiling in their little muffin tray homes. I haven't been able to stop telling people about them since!

To make six of these beauties, you will need the following:

- 6 slices of bacon
- sliced bread
- cheddar cheese
- 6 eggs
- salt & pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
2. Drizzle a tiny amount of oil into the holes of a muffin tray, or spray some cooking spray.
3. Fry the bacon until it is partially cooked and not too crispy.
4. Cut circles out of the sliced bread, using a biscuit cutter or a cup, ensuring that they are the right size for the muffin tray holes.
5. Press the bread circles into the muffin tray holes.
6. Curl pieces of bacon around the edge of the bread circles, so that they are touching the tray as well as the bread. You might find it helpful to cut the bacon lengthways before this stage if the pieces aren't quite long enough to curl the whole way around the perimeter of the circle. If you do this, just curl the other half around from where the first piece ends, so that the whole perimeter is covered.
7. Grate a little bit of cheese on top of the bread circles.
8. Crack an egg over each cheese-topped bread circle. You may find that all of the egg-white is too much, so exercise your own judgement here.
9. Pop them into the oven for around 15 minutes or so.
10. When they're done, very carefully cut them free from the muffin tray, gently using a knife and with the help of a spatula.
11. Serve with salt and pepper, a side of mushrooms (unless you have sense and don't like them) and a cup of tea.
12. Impress and tell everyone you know!

Even the kitten thought he was getting one. Sorry kitty!

You can find the original recipe here.

Have you ever tried making anything from Pinterest? Please show me if you have and you were triumphant! 

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