Wednesday, 31 July 2013

What I Wore: Warehouse pink dress

This is a new dress I got for my Great Aunt's ninetieth birthday party, which we attended last weekend down in Kent. Unfortunately I was far too busy to think about getting a decent photo of me wearing it! But it's the kind of dress I love wearing and so I'll show you a picture of it hanging up instead. This was on sale at Warehouse, a shop where I quite often find pretty, feminine dresses perfect for special occasions. They usually have a good sale and I think this dress was down from £75 to £40. It's very well made so I think I got a bargain. What are your go-to shops for party dresses?

I'm linking up with Transatlantic Blonde's What I Wore Wednesday.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Tasty Tuesdays: Tasty Benefits

Apologies on the lack of cooking today but, as we have been away from home for most of the last week, I haven't been cooking and have nothing to post! So instead I decided to show you the pudding I had this evening, and share with you some happy food facts. I have been enjoying lots of lovely summer fruits recently and some of my favourites are nectarines, watermelon and of course all the wonderful berries that we can pick locally during the warm months. Recently I found out that strawberries are a potent anti-ageing food due to their high vitamin and antioxidant content, plus strong anti-inflammatory properties. They can really help prevent wrinkles! I was also pleased to discover studies have proved that eating low-fat dairy, particularly yoghurt, helps you lose body fat. It especially helps you stay trim around the tummy area. So this is a great summer dessert packed with health and beauty benefits. I may just eat it every day!

I'm linking up with Honest Mum's 'Tasty Tuesdays'. I'm really enjoying this fantastic linky and it looks like there are some great recipes to check out this week. Do click on the link below to have a look!

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

What I Wore Wednesday

Today's outfit is one from a rare Saturday night out! We had a girls' night at the comedy club Jongleurs thanks to my little sis who had won tickets. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and had a good laugh, particularly at the headline act Janey Godley who is a great Glasgow comedienne. My new favourite thing is this Kimono jacket from River Island - good for dressing up a pair of jeans!

Kimono jacket from River Island, top from Warehouse, jeans from New Look, sandals from New Look, bag from Marc by Marc Jacobs.

As per my usual Wednesday outfit post, I am linking up with Transatlantic Blonde. Check out the other links there for some outfit inspiration.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Days out: Inchcailloch

Inchcailloch is a little island on Loch Lomond which we have been visiting since my childhood. On Saturday we took a big family excursion to picnic and bathe at the lovely beach there. From Balmaha, it's a short ferry ride then about a mile of walking through woods to the side of the island where the beach is found. The children loved the experience of travelling on the boat then playing in the Loch all day. It's our tradition to have a barbecue on the beach so we had our sausages and burgers for lunch. It really was an idyllic day out on one of the warmest and sunniest days we have had this year.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Make! Spicy prawns with artichoke salad

When I have prawns in my fridge, I usually can't resist using them to make a classic linguine involving loads of chilli, garlic and olive oil. However, during the amazing heatwave we are currently experiencing, my cravings are for something much lighter but equally tasty.

Today I concocted this simple and delicious prawn dish which took just a few minutes to put together. The salad is artichoke hearts (from a jar), baby plum tomatoes and cucumber all diced and tossed together. The prawns were pan fried in chilli-infused olive oil. Then I dressed everything with a liberal drizzling of garlic-infused olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice, salt and black pepper. Yum - it was such a perfect, fresh and light meal for a day like this.

What kind of thing do you like to eat on hot days?

I'm linking up this recipe with Honest Mum's lovely new feature 'Tasty Tuesdays'. Do check out her amazing baklava recipe and all the other linkers' :)

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Novel & Nails

This pretty blue polish is 'Lapis of Luxury' by Essie. I can't quite believe it took me until now to discover the novels of rather classic author Molly Keane (better known by her pen name M.J. Farrell). I recently enjoyed the wit and romance of 'The Rising Tide' and now I'm getting stuck into 'Good Behaviour'. What are you reading or wearing on your nails just now?

Friday, 19 July 2013

Make! Cheat's pizza

Unexpected lunch guests? Nothing in the fridge? I keep these pre-rolled pizza bases in the freezer for moments like these. You can top them with anything, stick them in the oven for 15 minutes, and there you have a pretty tasty lunch that everyone will enjoy! Try topping with a bit of passata, frozen veg and grated cheddar - your kids will love this. This post is not endorsed by Asda, I simply love these pizza bases for their ease of use. They are even rolled onto a sheet of baking parchment which you can just slap straight onto a baking tray. I love minimum time expenditure in my everyday meal prep!

Thursday, 18 July 2013

A day in Edinburgh

Today V and I travelled on the train to visit a great friend of ours in Edinburgh. We went to the meadows and enjoyed the wonderful sunshine. Lunch was delicious sushi at Koyama and we had frozen yoghurt from Frisky. Both places highly recommended! Thanks to our friend A for the loveliest day :) xxx

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

What I Wore Wednesday

Keeping up the Wednesday outfit posts although it's hot so I'm in very simple clothes!
Top from Warehouse, shorts from New Look, sandals from Forever 21.

I'm linking up with Transatlantic Blonde's What I Wore Wednesday. Please have a look at some of the other posts as there are always some smashing outfits to have a look at!

I hope you're all having a beautiful sunny Wednesday like we are!
Hannah x

Monday, 15 July 2013

Make! Green pesto potato salad

Despite this salad being almost too simple to post about, I made it today to take to a BBQ and thought I'd show it on the blog as it's a side dish that people always enjoy and ask for the recipe. The magic of this is simply green pesto from a jar. The one time this didn't go down so well was when I served it to a friend with a cashew nut allergy - eek! - it was a mild allergic reaction and she was okay but do remember to check the ingredients of your pesto if you're serving it to people with nut sensitivities!!! Pesto is meant to contain just pine nuts but most of the supermarket brands substitute cheaper cashews. A bit naughty but it still tastes good if you are ok with cashew nuts.

Ingredients: 750g new potatoes, 6 spring onions (chopped) , 1 tbsp green pesto, 1 tbsp mayonnaise (I use light mayo), olive oil.

Chop your potatoes into bite-sized chunks (leaving skin on) and cook by boiling. You can either let your potatoes cool or you can serve this as a warm dish with the freshly cooked potatoes. Add the chopped spring onions, pesto, mayo and a glug of olive oil. Stir and serve.

Obviously this is an easy-peasy dish but always surprisingly a huge crowd pleaser at buffets and BBQs. Try it and see!

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Easy summer beauty picks

Here are some products that I've bought recently and are ideal for an easy summer beauty routine.

Vo5 Plump it up dry back comb spray. My hair can get a bit limp in the hot weather and this spray is just the thing to inject a bit of life and volume. My hair tends to be generally quite messy and undone anyway, but a bit of this rubbed into roots makes it messy in a better way! This is very quick and easy for me as I'm not one to spend any time on styling. It feels a bit like dry shampoo but not so powdery.

Mac mineralize skinfinish in soft and gentle. I only normally use a highlighter for evening makeup, and I recently picked up soft and gentle which is a lovely champagne-y/peachy shade just right for my skin tone. But for day I've also discovered that this works as a nice subtle eyeshadow to brighten up my eyes. I can see myself getting lots of use out of this.

Collection eyebrow definer in blonde is very cheap (only around £3) and it's the best eyebrow pencil I've found so far. The blonde shade is the best match for my brows and it's very quick and easy to use in my typical slap-dash manner, plus it's difficult to overdo it as this light shade seems just right. It's a retractable pencil so no sharpening required. I'm actually amazed by this bargain product!

Do you have any summer beauty recommendations for me? Please share!
Hannah x

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

What I Wore Wednesday: The sun is out!

How could I almost forget? It's What I Wore Wednesday! Courtesy of the lovely Transatlantic Blonde.

It has been proper hot, glorious summer weather. So arms and legs are out. This post is sponsored by St Moritz fake tan mousse (not really!)
V joined the party. I'm in a Topshop dress and Debenhams wedges. He wears a Hatley T-shirt (via TK Maxx) and M&Co shorts.
I also got to wear my shorts and T-shirt for more practical running about in the park purposes.
Gap T-shirt, New Look shorts.
See what all the other gorgeous linker-uppers wore at Melaina's blog.

I hope you have all been basking in the sun like we have!
Hannah xxx

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Make! Beef cheeks 3 ways #2: Beef barbacoa tacos

Yes, I have been cooking beef cheeks again! As promised this is the 2nd way I dreamed up of cooking this cut of beef. In fact, we discovered that Mexican 'barbacoa' or barbecue style beef is often made using the cheeks of the cow.

To feed 6 people generously (this was a feast!) I'd recommend cooking 4 beef cheeks. I preheated my fan oven to 130 degrees C (150 might be better for a non-fan oven) and placed the meat in a deep baking tray. Then I poured over a sauce which consisted of the following:

1 pint beef stock
juice of 3 limes
2 tbspn cider vinegar
1 jar Asda chipotle chilli paste (100g)
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp cumin
2 tspn smoked paprika
1 tbspn garlic infused olive oil (or just use some crushed garlic/garlic powder)

Then I covered this with foil and cooked it in the oven for just about the whole day! It was in for about 7 hours. Once it was cooked to the point of almost falling apart, I took it out and let it rest for 20 minutes. I then shredded the meat using two forks and mixed it into the sauce, returning it to the oven for 30 minutes minus the foil. Voila, it was ready to serve!

I served the beef and tacos with guacamole, salsa (with lots of fresh coriander!), soured cream and cheese. Don't forget lime wedges and hot sauce to really elevate the flavours!

This went down very well as our Sunday dinner! I will be back soon (just one last time) with another beef cheeks recipe. 

Sunday, 7 July 2013

The cute and cheeky world of toddlers

In the last few days, V has become very attached to this cute lamp we found in a lovely local shop, Pierrot et Coco, which I've mentioned before (it's a favourite of ours!) He calls his bunny lamp 'Peter Rabbit', but in his language this comes out sounding more like 'Peter Radish'.

Something else our dear boy has been doing is sneaking off quietly with his toothbrush and rubbing it all over the blackboard in our kitchen. He manages to do this every few days. The shop assistants in our local Superdrug must wonder why I'm bulk buying little toothbrushes every other week. Good thing they are cheap!

What have your little rascals been up to lately?

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

What I Wore Wednesday

It's Wednesday again! So I'm linking up with Transatlantic Blonde for What I Wore Wednesday. This is what I wore to my little sister's graduation lunch. We had a fab time and I am so pleased for my sis and her wonderful achievement! It looks as if more good things are coming her way. Our lunch was at Ingram Wynd in Glasgow - a lovely looking restaurant with classic Scottish food. The day was a bit cold and damp hence my tights and cardigan in the middle of summer!

Cardigan from Primark, dress from Louche at Joy, tights from Topshop (always!), shoes from Deichmann.

Check out what all the other lovely linkers wore at Melaina's blog.

I also had to share what my son wore to the lunch as he looks much cuter than me! Top from Polarn O Pyret, trousers from Next, socks from Happy Socks.

I am not getting any better at photographing myself!!!

Happy Wednesday everyone xxx

Monday, 1 July 2013

Make: Butternut squash and feta lentil salad

The Internet is a great thing for food inspiration and I am constantly seeing things on blogs and food websites that I want to recreate. A Pinterest image inspired this latest offering - I knew when I saw some of these ingredients put together it would be a great combination of flavours and textures. It's pretty simple and makes a healthy and hearty salad that will fill you up!

I cut up a butternut squash into bite size chunks, drizzled in olive oil and roasted in the oven until lightly caramelised around the edges (180 degrees C, around 40 minutes). I cooked some green lentils until soft but still a little firm. Once cooked and left to cool from hot to warm, I put some of the lentils and squash on a bed of rocket salad (from a bag!) then I crumbled some feta cheese on top. I drizzled all this with a dressing composed of 1 part olive oil, 1 part pomegranate paste/molasses.

This was delicious and I will definitely be scouring Pinterest for more inspiring salad images!