Lottie Loves: 81

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Instagram of the week: Flat hunting with Jack in the capital. Change is a coming.

1. This past week has felt more like a month. So much has happened (we've found a new home, cleared out part of our old one, spent time with family + just by ourselves. I've written yet more dissertation, Jack's revised, we've both gone to work and just kept swimming). I'm looking forward to a day-long nap at some point...

2. Onto cheerier climes - don't these Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookie Stuffed Campfire Bananas look just DELICIOUS?! Please come back summer so I can pop these on a BBQ and shove them in my face.

3. Sliced melon straight from the fridge. Even if our summers are chilly, melon will always taste delicious. This weeks variety is cantaloupe. I'm hoping to go for watermelon next week.

4. I love these interactive party ideas. Especially the nachos. Mmm nachos. Now I'm gonna' need some nachos.

5. Beach-lovers are the bomb diggity!

6. Need a little summer dinner inspo? Check out Deliciously Ella's favourite summer dinner recipes.

7. We managed to catch Inside Out last week and it really, really is a great film. No wonder it's tipped for next years animated Oscar.

8. I enjoyed Hilary Kerr's 23 things I wish I'd known at 23 list.

9. How to peel a mango in seconds. I'm embarrassingly inept at mango peeling. The shame.

10. Marshmallow chocolate chip cookies. I REPEAT - MARSHMALLOW CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES (!!!) These are practically compulsory for the weekend, right?

Have a happy weekend, friends! x 

Escape to the Country: Brecon Beacons

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

I'm a country girl at heart. As much as I love the bustle of a city and the buzz of busyness, my heart feels truly happy in open green fields, by the sea or in the mountains. Only when I can fill my lungs with crisp, clean air do I feel truly free and on top of the world. I'm a bumpkin, that's for sure.

So when Jack and I decided to escape to the Brecon Beacons in late July, I was so very excited to be in the middle of nowhere with my love, my camera and a good pair of walking boots.

We found the most adorable apartment set by a river through Airbnb. It was just gorgeous and the perfect place to switch off. We breakfasted on the balcony, drank endless cups of fresh ground coffee and Earl Grey, and gorged ourselves on croissants, fruit, granola, prosciutto and brie! It was certainly a treat yo' self getaway. In the days we hiked, we explored and we even tandem-bicycled (and that was quite the experience!), then came back to soak in a huge, freestanding bubble bath followed by a film in front of the wood-burner. It was all sorts of idyllic, and I would've quite liked to move in. If you're ever looking to stay in the area, I can't recommend this place enough. 

I've included a few of my favourite snaps below and I'll have a little film to follow soon, too. 

The river pictured above was the view from our balcony. I've used the word idyllic already, haven't I?
Below is the apartment owner's gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous dog, Albus. He'd greet us every morning and evening as we came in and out and was so affectionate I rather wish I could've taken him home with us! And on the right is just one of the three nights we treated ourselves to a night in front of the woodburner. I know - it's July. But we just couldn't resist!

A rainy morning called for breakfast (and a second breakfast) in bed and a tinkle on the piano.

Evenings spent studying the ordinance survey map, stargazing and snuggling. All the snuggling. 

Such a darling (the both of them!).

 Just another glorious view across the Welsh countryside.

This boy loves to keep me busy! Planning the steepest of hikes and rowing from one end of Llangorse Lake to the other. He has endless energy and skips straight up any mountain like a mountain goat.

I'm hoping we'll escape to the countryside again very soon for more open-air adventures.
Fingers & toes crossed! 

Lottie Loves: 80

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Instagram of the week: My sister graduated! And looked just gorgeous while doing so. You're gonna shake up the world of teaching something fierce, my friend.

1. Hey there, excuse me, July. Would you mind - just for a moment or two - SLOWING THE HECK DOWN? Jheez...

2. Let's all have these Lavender Blueberry Ricotta Turnovers for breakfast, shall we? ALSO - I just cannot get enough of the photography on this blog. Just beautiful.

3. Legendary movie scenes that were improvised.

4. Heaven must be missing an angel - Pistachio Pesto Pizza with Fresh Mozzarella and Honey.

5. Have you read Ruth Reichl's Tender at the Bone? I'm currently reading and loving it and would recommend to anyone obsessed with food.

6. I'm not really a coffee gal, but I feel like a lazy morning on the terrace wouldn't be complete without this Cold Brew Caramel Frappucino. Now just to get a terrace. And some lazy mornings...

7. I'm catching up with Humans on Channel 4 at the moment and ooh is it getting interesting. Are you watching?

8. Joy's Easy Summer Shrimp Boil looks like the kind of thing I need to be eating right now. RIGHT NOW.

9. Question - should Jack and I start watching Fortitude? Bearing in mind once we get hooked on a TV show we are hook line and sinker. AKA - we don't go out and see people for a solid week...

10. Three words - dog photo booth. I die. 

Have a happy weekend, friends! x

Sunshine Swimming

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Last week was a busy one. Jack and I were both working crazy shift hours and kept missing each other. Our only time spent together was catching up on sleep, and I'm sure as you know, that doesn't lead to the best of conversations or funtimes. So when we saw we both had Friday off together we knew we wanted to go out and do something a little bit different. You know, just to celebrate each others company. 

Enter Summer Bucket List 2015! As it was such a beautiful day we decided to tick off the outdoor swimming pool and I can tell ya, it was a decision we did not regret! Just a hop, skip and a jump over to a neighbouring town with a hamper full of goodies and a vat of factor 50 (my skins a liability I'm afraid...) and we were ready to roll! Or swim, in this case.

We thought it would be fun to put the GoPro to use and had such a giggle trying to perfect our underwater shots. Our angling still needs a little work, but we'll get there! So I put together the following little film, just as a sweet memory of our day. Fingers crossed for more lovely British weather so we can go back and splash again.

Oh - I've included this picture just in case your in need of a laugh.
My bobble head gets me every time. Winning look, I say.

Summer Bucket List 2015

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Summertime. Those few magical months where playtime seems a bit more possible. More options are open for frivolity and the longer days mean more time to play. Each summer I like to make a bucket list to keep my hopes for the warmer months on track. So here's a little collection of 15 things I want to do this summer. Do you fancy any of these, too?

1. Unearth my watercolours and spend some time unwinding, creating and making a huge mess.

2. Visit an outdoor swimming pool with a picnic blanket and a hamper of goodies - perhaps (read: definitely) including a chilled bottle of prosecco.

3. Have a BBQ. Halloumi, salmon and marshmallows must feature. Although not in conjunction, of course.

4. Take Jack rock climbing. And if he loves it as much as I do, take it up as a new hobby together.

5. Work on my tennis serve. *Hums Wimbledon theme music and purchases sweat bands*

6. Go to the beach. Dip my toes in the sea. Slather sunscreen on my face. Get sand EVERYWHERE.

7. Take up daily yoga and stick at it.

8. Find and make a wonderful sorbet. I like the look of this Watermelon Sorbet and this slightly naughtier Raspberry Mojito Sorbet.

9. Attend a food festival and eat ALL of the samples. All of them.

10. Geocache my way around Loughborough before we leave. Have you geocached? I'm hooked.

11. Fly kites! And sing let's go fly a kite... Obviously.

12. Watch some live music. With a pimms cup and boho flower chain.

13. Visit the IMAX and watch a film in 3D. I wouldn't say no to Jurassic Park again to see Chris Pratt in 3D... 

14. Picnic in the park. Again a bottle of prosecco wouldn't go amiss and a flask of Earl Grey for the afternoon accompanied by my favourite banana cake would be just lovely.

15. Get a Loughborough sign picture (it's a right of passage around these parts) with Jack to round off our time at Loughborough. This summer is my last of living here, and boy, am I gonna' make it a good'un.

Lottie Loves: 79

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Instagram of the week: What a treat! My lovely friend and I skipped along to see Matilda this week. It was such great fun and we jazz-handed our way through the whole performance.

1. My sister and her lovely boyfriend, Liam came to visit this weekend. We had such a wonderful time and a whole plethora of adventures, including my being introduced to Geocache. Have you heard of it? Do you geocache yourself? I'm addicted after one day... Such fun!

2. This slow cooker pulled pork looks INSANE.

3. Isn't this weather wonderful? I'm craving iced earl grey tea to accompany these hazy days and love the look of this recipe.

4. Here's a list of words you've been saying wrong.

5. No churn ice creams are the way forward for those without ice cream makers. These 5 recipes sound divine, especially the blackberry lavender.

6. Fancy a little food photography? These tips on food photography are a great place to jump off from.

7. I tried Nandos quinoa salad this week with extra halloumi. And my word! Delish. Totally worth an order and it made quite the delightful change from chicken.

8. Jack and I played tennis doubles with Josie and Liam this weekend. It was such a laugh to play together and I've missed playing sport outside in the warm air. I'm looking forward to more.

9. Taza's guide to urban living is super helpful.

10. Can we just have a moment of appreciation for Jurassic World (and Chris Pratt's arms...)? I mean C'MON what a good film. And I love this article on why zoo keepers love Chris Pratt.

Have a happy weekend, friends! x

No-Prove Pizza

Friday, 26 June 2015

This is one of my all time favourite recipes - and that's no exaggeration.

I head for this no-prove pizza recipe pretty much every week. It's my go-to when I'm in the mood for a pizza, partly because it's so damn delicious but mostly because it takes less than an hour to whip up from thought to plate. Hurrah! Speedy pizza makes for happy eaters. And that's a fact, friends. The trick with this recipe is no yeast! So there is no proving and hardly any kneading. All you need is a teaspoon of baking powder in its place and hey presto! You will have yourself a wonderful, thin-crust delight in a fraction of the time. It's the perfect addition to any weekend + best served with sweet potato wedges and a big green salad.

This recipe can also be customised to your choice. Of course you can change up your toppings, but you can also mix up the sauce and try BBQ or pesto if you fancy. And you can even change the base, this recipe also works with spelt flour, just directly swap out for the plain white flour. So you can even make a kinda' healthy pizza, loaded with veggies and with a spelt flour base. And have it on your plate in less than an hour. I mean COME ON. This is living, isn't it?

Let's pizza.

For No-Prove Pizza you will need: 

240g plain flour
120ml water
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp olive oil
1 ball mozzarella 

suggested toppings:
75g sliced chorizo
1/2 pepper green pepper, sliced
handful of mushrooms, sliced

Preheat the oven to 200c. Begin by combining the flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl.

Add in the water and then use your hand like a dough hook to bring the dough into a ball.

You should have something that looks a little like this. If the dough is too dry add a splash more water or knead the dough with wet hands. If the dough is too wet, knead on a heavily floured surface. 

Once the dough is smooth, roll into a round base on a floured surface.

If you don't have a rolling pin you could use a wine bottle to roll your base. 

Whip up a quick tomato base by combining the tomato puree, oregano and 3 tablespoons of water. Set aside.

Put the base on a baking tray and then spread the olive oil over the base.

Followed with the tomato sauce.

Tear up the mozzarella and chuck it on.

Followed by any and all of your toppings. Fold the corners of the pizza over to make a crust and then bake for 20-25 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and the base is cooked through.

Slide your pizza onto a serving platter.

Salivate a little...

Slice up and serve!

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