Sunday, November 2, 2014

Autumnal Clumber Park Adventures.

So I'm back! After a long, old hiatus I have decided to start blogging again, a rest is as good as a change after all. Life has been busy and has bought me many wonderful experiences and challenges, it just meant that some aspects of my life had to be put on hold for a while. It has been an amazing summer and I will be updating you on some of the adventures I have had over the next few weeks. 

For most of the morning I lay in bed reading, listening to the rain patter on the window, so I was really happy when the weather broke and we could hit the road. Doris, Ed and I headed over to Clumber Park for a walk and a picnic, it was lovely being out in the fresh, autumnal air. We visited the walled garden first and were amazed to see the renovation work that had been carried out on the glasshouse. It looks absolutely beautiful, all clean, pristine and white. I'm excited to see what the gardeners have planned for it next year. 

After we finished looking around the walled garden and glasshouse we headed back to Doris to rustle up a spot of lunch, then we went for a walk around the lake. I love exploring woodland this time of year, everything is awash with ochre and amber hues. The light had started to gloam by the time we got back to Doris and Ed and I were ready to say goodbye to Clumber and head back home. 

Hope you have had a beautiful Autumn weekend <3

Much Love,
Kirst xox

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Reto Cookbooks - Are You Hungry Tonight?

A couple of weekends ago I was visiting my folks, I had the ultimate lazy Sunday and stayed in my PJs and glutinously watched The Food Network all day, to watch a Nigella Lawson marathon. I am a huge fan of her kitsch wonderfulness and I was in retro overload when she cracked out a recipe from "Elvis' Favourite Recipes, Are You Hungry Tonight?" The recipe she made was a Fried Banana and Peanut Butter Sandwich. I think it possibly had a gajillion calories in it, but it did look super yummy!  

I love this recipe book! The cheesy pictures of Elvis surpass all the cheese that is needed for the recipes in this book. My favourite picture has to be Elvis with his guitar with the lady covered in bananas, you just don't get entertainment like that anymore. The last recipe in the book takes up 9 pages! And if you follow those 9 pages you will create The Royal Wedding Cake, this was the cake that was created for Elvis and Priscilla when they got hitched. This is apparently the exact recipe that their wedding cake was made to, so if you have a spare 20 pounds of flour and 500 hungry mouths to feed you could try to recreate this 6 tiered beast. 

Inside this book there were some random recipe cards. I thought the first one was funny, how to make a 'Layered Fruit Salad', the recipe instructions basically tell you to chop fruit up and layer it, then serve. The Lasagne recipe card is fabulously dated, I especially love the bottle of wine in its veneered cover. 

I can't wait to try out some of these recipes! 

Happy Retro Cooking!
Much Love

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Rock Pooling at Shell Island.

Mine and Ed's latest adventure was to Shell Island over the bank holiday weekend. And it was the worst camping expedition we have had yet! The camp site on Shell Island boasts that it is the largest in Europe and they do not allocate pitches, but unfortunately that is where the positives end. The facilities were really dirty, it was one of those places where you are hyper-vigilant that no part of your trouser legs sweep the floor when approaching the porcelain thrown! The toilet paper also ran out frequently, the washing up area was strewn with icky food scraps, and the Magnum ice creams cost £1.80 each! It was god awful. Not only that but the camp site seemed to be full of boy racers and wife beater top wearing, scary dog owners (you get my drift). It was one of those camp sites where I felt a little uncomfortable leaving my few valuables, I travel with, stowed away in Doris. 

The weather reflected my mood, and was grey and rainy nearly the whole time we were there. Ed and I had planned to stay for 3 nights, but we decided to cut our losses after 2. On chatting to some other campervaners there are stories of riot vans and shootings at this camp site in the past! So if for some reason you are tempted by camping at Shell Island, just keep in mind that Ed rebranded this place Hell Island. 

The only up side to this whole camping fiasco was that there are some super cool rock pools at this place (if you can try and ignore the litter strewn at the edge of the beech). I haven't been rock pooling for a really long time so I was excited. I had such a fun time it didn't even upset me when Ed broke my net after about 10 minutes of him using it (I think this camping trip was slightly doomed).  

Ed and I caught shrimps mainly, we found a crab trying to hide in the sand, I saved a starfish that had managed to get washed onto the beech upside down and we spotted loads of sea anemones, which are one of my favourite creatures ever! It was Ed's first time seeing them in the wild, so it was a pretty awesome few hours spent amongst the rocks and the sea water. It started to rain again so we headed back to Doris to drink tea and play iPad scrabble. Here is to the next more successful camping trip!

Hope you had enjoyable bank holiday adventures! 

Much Love.
Kirst x  

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Adventures at Powys Castle.

As Ed and I are visiting my folks for the weekend. The sunshine was too good too miss yesterday and so we decided we were well overdue an adventure. All of us trekked out over the Welsh border to Powys Castle, I have wanted to go here for a while so I was super excited to be flexing my National Trust membership for the first time this year. We decided to peruse around the gardens and leave looking around the castle for another time. The gardens are absolutely amazing, there are the wild, unkempt parts flanked with luscious meadows heaving with buttercups which then leads onto the manicured, baroque gardens and terraces. 

As we were heading towards the car park I couldn't resist looking at the plants for sale, and to my surprise there was a peacock in amongst the herbs. He seemed to be rather enjoying all the attention in front of the camera. It is amazing how large and stunning these birds are, and a little scary when they start yelping away. 

I had such an awesome day out in the sunshine, I hope you have had a wonderful summery weekend <3

Much Love
Kirst x 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

How to Keep your Bargain Bucket Flowers Perkier for Longer.

I love cut flowers! I have two designated areas for flowers in the front room and nothing makes me happier than when both vases are full of blooms. Ed usually buys me flowers for the larger vase, so the smaller vase is up to me to fill. I am aware that cut flowers aren't the best when thinking about green choices, so to try and balance this out I make a big effort to buy flowers from the reduced buckets. I like the feeling that I am saving them from just being thrown out and wasted. 

This particular bunch cost me £3.30 and lasted me for a good week and a half, even without any flower food being included. I owe the longevity of these blooms to a crafty little concoction, which is super cheap and easy to make.    

It is really simple to make a homemade substitute for flower food, all you need is sugar. I use regular white granulated sugar, but you can use whatever sugar you have in your cupboards, as long as it dissolves easily in water. 

For a bunch of flowers this size, put about 5 tablespoons of sugar in with clean, cold water and give it a stir until the majority of the sugar has dissolved. Then put your flowers in a vase and enjoy them for a long time. You can also use lemonade, especially if you have some that has gone flat (I think this works mainly because of the sugar content). 

I have found that flowers with thick stems, like tulips, last for up to a week and a half whilst flowers with woodier stems, like roses, are prone to drooping much quicker after being retrieved from the reduced bucket. So keep this in mind when doing your bargain rummaging. 

Happy Perky Flowers.
Much Love,

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Spring Adventure with Chums at Matlock Bath.

Spring has thrown some tempting weekends our way of late, there is still a enough of a nip in the air to threaten winter hasn't quite passed though. My chums and I decided to take a trip out on a lovely sunny Sunday, to have a well overdue adventure, to Matlock Bath. 

The first time I went to Matlock Bath, I thought it was charming and eccentric. It is like being at the seaside, with loads of places to buy nic-nacs, fish and chip shops and arcades. The only difference is that you are inland, with a near-by river instead of the ocean. Matlock Bath also has a chocolate shop which sells possibly the most delicious chocolate I have ever eaten! It is so yummy that Ed will never share this chocolate with me so I always have to make sure that we both have a bag.  

Once we were all fed we decided to head up to the cable cars and take an airborne trip to the Heights of Abraham. On seeing that it was £14 each we decided we would find our own way up. As we all had no idea where we were going, we ended up taking a really long, windy path ascending up to the cable car station. It was a long climb, but totally worth it. The joke was on us when we asked for directions to get back down to the car parks and the decent took us all of 10 minutes!    

I had such a fun day, it was really nice to spend time with my friends whilst exploring the great outdoors in the Spring sunshine. I'm looking forward to the next adventure already.  

Hope you are making the most of the lovely weather <3
Much Love,