York, York and some more York















Tomorrow I will move away from home for the first time and join thousands of other Fresher's at York University. I am so excited, but so nervous all at the same time, and I have absolutely no idea what to expect.

I love York, and have visited quite a few times. It is about two hours drive from my home, whilst only being an hours drive from my Grandparents, so I can nip over for a Sunday Roast whenever I have a craving!

Currently my living room and bedroom are piled high with boxes, clothes and books, whilst I try to pack and decide what take. I can't wait to explore York's medival and cobbled streets more, and become an honorary Yorkian (not sure that is even a word...). Yet at the same time, I'm terrified, as I am such a home body, and suffering from anxiety makes going to clubs and parties all the harder.

But I am hoping that for the most part University will help with my anxiety issues, and to grow as a person, and if anyone has any reccomendations on great places to eat/drink/shop in York, then let me know!

Hummingbird Bakery Chocolate Brownies









Summer is drawing to a close, and although a lot of my time will be taken up with reading and writing essays, I still want to make plenty time to bake. So roll up one of the most tastiest brownie recipes I have found to date, from the Hummingbird Bakery.

INGREDIENTS:

  •  200g of Dark Chocolate
  • 175g of Unsalted Butter
  • 325g of Caster Sugar
  • 130g of Plain Flour
  • 3 Eggs
  • Icing Sugar to sprinkle on top
 METHOD:
  1. Line  a large square baking tray with greaseproof paper, and preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas Mark 3.
  2. Melt the chocolate and the butter together over the hob in a heat proof bowl.
  3. Once the chocolate and butter is smooth and glossy, add to the sugar and stir well.
  4. Sieve the flour into the chocolate and sugar mixture slowly, making sure it remains smooth.
  5. Add the eggs one at a time, incorporating fully each time until thick.
  6. Tip the mixture into your lined baking tray, making sure to not over fill, and pop into the oven for 30-35 minutes until browned but still slightly squidgy inside. 
For best results serve with a cup of tea and a binge watch of your favourite tv series. Although this recipe is simple, you can spice things up by adding a douse of chilli, some chopped up walnuts, or even just a selection of chocolate chips to make the ultimate triple chocolate brownies.

A Trip to Lincoln
















Last week I took a trip down to Lincoln to celebrate my boyfriends 22nd Birthday. Lincoln has a beautiful Cathedral and old fashioned streets built up around it, with plenty of cute individual cafes, which provide the perfect excuse for hot chocolate!

One of the things I love about visiting Lincoln, is that all my responsibilities don't matter. I can spend my days lying in, cooking dinner with my boyfriend and playing Monopoly for four hours straight. There is a small moor/park a few minutes walk from Andrew's house, where ponies roam around next to guys playing football, and dogs playing fetch.

Moving to York means I am one hour closer to Lincoln, and have a whole lot more opportunities to visit and explore the city more. Just as I was walking to catch the train I spotted a whole hoard of home interior stores, so more exploring is definitely needed!!

Grief

Grief is something that affects us all at some point in our lives. And the sudden overwhemling feelings of loss, and the realisation that that friend, father, mother, beloved pet or grandparent is gone forever can be crushing.

I have found recently that people have different ways of dealing with their grief. For some, like my father, who go about their daily lives as normal, coping with their feelings of loss by keeping themselves busy and living their lives is the best way. Then there are those among us who vocalise their feelings, talk about them, cry about them, wear them on their face becasue the pain of loss is too much for them to hide. Then there are those like myself, who throw themselves into caring for the people whose loss is the greatest. I never feel as if I can grieve, for someone elses loss is greater than my own, it happens everytime, it was their mother, their father, their only parent, my sister only had my grandmother for 11 years, as opposed to my 17 years.

On Thursday we lost my Uncle suddenly, a middle aged man who just dropped down dead. The shock of it shook all of us, but my first thoughts were of my cousins, who had lost their father, and of my Aunt, who had lost her husband. And as we travelled down to take care of them, to console them and help them in any way they desired, I panicked. For how do you console someone whose loss is that great, is that sudden and all consuming. Then there was the guilt I felt for my fear, they had lost their father, their husband, and yet I was panicking on how to act and behave. But on arrival I learnt, all people need is someone to talk to, they do need your sympathys, but more than anything they do not want your pity. They do not want you to don black, stop everything and enter that all consuming grief they are feeling: that is what funerals are for. I learnt that the best way to help someone is to just be normal, don't treat them differently than you ever would just because they have lost someone. Yes, allow them to break down and cry and feel grief when they need to, but most of the time they need somone there to distract them from themselves and their thoughts. If they allow themselves to be eaten away by their own grief, then they too will fall into darkness.

Maybe one day, hopefully a long way down the road, it will be my turn to grieve and let other people help me, teach me that life can go on, not in the same way, but a new and different way. God forbid I ever loose a husband, and parent or a soul mate, then it will be my turn to grieve, and that is what family are for. But for now I am going to be here for my family, for my cousins who lost a father, my Aunt who lost her husband, and for my cousins Grandmother who lost her only child. That is where I am needed, and that is where I shall be.

Food Love|| Crab and Crayfish Risotto




One of my favourite dishes of all time has to be Risotto, and it is something that I have been cooking since I was 6 years old. We used to own a flat on the West Coast of Scotland, in a beautiful little ol' place called Crinan. We were able to get hold of a lot of fresh fish and seafood, in fact, we could see it being landed from our kitchen window! So in true testimony to our lovely little flat and my happy childhood memories, I recreated my ultimate comfort food, 'Crab and Crayfish Risotto'.

YOU WILL NEED:
  • One large shallot (or two medium sized ones)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Arborio Rice
  • White Wine
  • 600ml or so of chicken stock
  • Mascorpone
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Pot of white or red crab meat
  • Packet of cray fish tails
  • Parsley
METHOD:
  1. Finely cut the shallots and add to olive oil, sweat till golden.
  2. Put your stock in a pan and allow to warm through on a low heat.
  3. Add your crushed garlic cloves and cook for another minute.
  4. Add Arborio Rice (I usually add three handfuls per person).
  5. Coat the rice in the olive oil (add more if neccesary) and leave to cook, stirring occasionally to make sure it doesn't stick to the pan.
  6. After 5-10 minutes turn the heat on high and add the white wine (just enough to cover the rice). Fry off the alcohol, making sure the rice does not stick to the pan.
  7. Turn the heat back down and begin to add the chicken stock, a few ladles at a time.
  8. Watch and stir the rice and stock occasionally, again making sure the rice doesn't stick. Once rice starts to stick, add more stock, and repeat until you've run out of stock.
  9. Your rice should have absorbed the wine and stock and be a lot thicker in consistency. After you have added the last ladle or two of stock, contiue to cook and stir until there is just a little bit of stock left with the rice, which should have a gloopy consistency.
  10. Add around 125g of mascorpone, stirring until it is all incorporated into the rice.
  11. Finely great some parmesan and add 3-4 generous handfuls. You can add more if you want a really cheesy flavour, but this may overpower the crab. 
  12. Finely chop a few handfuls of parsely.
  13. Throw in the parsely, crab meat and crayfish tails and stir until incorporated. It is important not to stir too vigorously at this stage, as you do not want to break the crab meat up too much.
  14. Season to your taste and serve with a sprinkling of parsely.
This recipe generally serves around 4-5 people, and the quantities can be changed easily to cater for more or less people. The great thing about Risotto is that once you have mastered and found a basic recipe you like, you can experiment with flavours. I highly reccomend a Pea and Mint Risotto, just add frozen peas with your last ladle of stock and throw in some mint at the end.

Serve with bread (I have gone with some Rosemary and Sea Salt Focaccia ) and a glass of wine.

Tynemouth and OOTD



























I look after my little sister everyday after school and througout the school holidays, and on Wednesday I took her to the Aquarium. She is keen to become a Marine Biologist someday and I thought it would be a fun and educational day out for her. I also dragged the boyfriend along as I couldn't pass down the opportunity to take some outfit photo at Tynemouth's gorgeous beaches.

After almost two hours in the aquarium, lots of pictures taken of fish, and learning all about stingrays I took everyone out to lunch at The Priory (where of cause I had a huge slice of cake and ice cream).

I love the beach, Tynemouth Village is just gorgeous, and I feel that I don't visit it enough. There are so many cute individual shops, and cafes, and the scenery just takes my breath away every time. I even braved the waves at around 9 o'clock on a cold Wednesday morning!

Now on to the outfit, I bought this dress from Pop Boutique around three years ago, and I feel like I don't wear it enough. I love pairing it with a stripey top to recreate the ultimate 60's vibe, and this roll-neck crop top from Asos is perfect. To complete the look I threw on my trusty Primark pumps and George at Asda coat.

Dress: Pop Boutique
Top: Asos (similar)
Shoes: Primark
Coat: George at Asda (similar)
Earrings: Fat Face

P.S. I got something on my dress and only just realised when I got home, so excuse the white stuff on the front of my dress. Also I thought after a year it was finally time for you guys to meet the boyfriend, so meet Andrew. He has no interest in blogs or fashion what so ever, but I am training him up to be quite the outfit photographer!