Writing on the wall

30 September 2013

Although the original meaning of "writing on the wall" is a little ominous, it's something I'm excited for once the paint job for our walls is done in the upcoming week or two. Not literally, of course. I'm talking wordy, or sometimes wordless, prints & quotes to decorate the walls with.

Aside from my love for Anthropologie, something I love when it comes to home decor are characterful, charming framed prints to reflect your unique household.

Predictably, I turned to Etsy for inspiration, and now my only trouble is trying to choose from the abundance of lovely prints to adorn my home with!

In particular, I've stumbled across and now fallen in love with three Etsy shops.

First up is Cosas Minimas, and I dare you not to want every single print in this shop. I'm pretty sure that if I get the thumbs up from E (it is his home too, after all) I will be swiftly putting that Underground print in my shopping basket.

For the kitchen, I'm making a beeline for HappyLetterShop. No home is complete without foodie word play. "Don't go bacon my heart"? Genius.

Last but not least, handz is what retro-lovin' dreams are made of. Each print is like sunshine on a piece of paper. 

My "for the home" wish list is getting out of control. 

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28 September 2013

After our Yauatcha lunch, we walked around the shops and gave ourselves a bit of a break before choosing a spot for dessert. Through some excellent reviews online, we found Gelupo.

I go crazy for ice cream any day or night, so when we discovered this tiny little gelateria, I just knew we were in for a treat. Especially when I heard all the servers speaking beautiful Italian.

I chose the Fresh mint Stracciatella & Salted burnt sugar, and E went for Boneta, Ricotta and sour cherry & Salted burnt sugar.

Oh it was good. The fresh mint just burst with such a true mint taste, all the flavours were of perfect consistency & not too sweet, which I think is brilliant. It was a genuine and delicious taste of Italy, enjoyed on a cloudy Sunday in London.

It's tucked away on a little street in Soho, please promise me you'll look out for it.

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26 September 2013

For Sunday lunch, E took me out for a special lunch. It's not somewhere we get to go often but we love it there.

Dim sum at Yauatcha.

We were seated upstairs, which feels a little more casual and airy than downstairs, where it's darker, slinkier and good for dinnertime.

With out pot of lovely jasmine tea, we ordered a feast.

Scallop siu mai, Chinese chive & prawn dumpling, Char siu bun, Cheung fun with prawns.

Followed by the immense Jasmine tea smoked ribs, pan-fried chicken dumplings & Stir-fried pork belly.

Without a doubt, the ribs were the star of the show. The meat just falls off the bone and the sauce is insanely good. I'm not even a huge ribs person, but this is a whole different story. The pork belly was also delicious, but E enjoyed most of it as I was getting very full at this point!

We wanted to walk around and make a little room for dessert elsewhere, but they have exquisite desserts on display (that taste equally good, from past experience).

As with dim sum anywhere, I think it's always good to go with a group of friends so that you get to try as many different dishes as possible. But it is an equally good spot for a date, or a cheeky weekday lunch with a girlfriend (they have a 28 pounds for 2 deal Mon-Thurs which looks amazing).

Go and try the ribs. You won't regret it.

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24 September 2013

If I could choose just one shop to deck out my forever home with, it would absolutely be Anthropologie. When I popped in on the weekend (the London store on Regent Street), it looked better than ever and I just have to declare my love for it on this blog.

Honestly, this place just breaks my heart (= makes me want to rob a bank).

Although they have a lot of beautiful clothes and other bits and pieces, my favourite section is the downstairs.

All the glorious kitchen and tableware.

I sadly came out empty handed, but once we have all the furniture sorted and remaining boxes unpacked, I will be marching back in there and picking up a few must haves.

Do you have a favourite place to fill your home with? I would love some recommendations!

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These muffins don't exist.

22 September 2013

I said to E, "Today I'm going to bake some healthy chocolate muffins." He replied, "That doesn't even exist."

Look, I'm no fool. I won't pretend that this recipe is super duper healthy, fat free, made out of unicorn calories or whatever. But, they are definitely healthier than your average double choc muffins, which means they won't land on your hips for even a second - they will just make your day brighter, your hair shinier, and your chocolate cravings at bay. Not scientifically proven, but they are packed full of protein and very little "bad" fat, which is always good.

I found this recipe, and tweaked it a little. It was my first time baking in our new flat (fun adventures included the smoke alarm going off multiple times...) so I'm still getting used to the oven, but all in all they turned out pretty good.

The oven was preheated to 220ºC. Then I mixed 1/2 cup raspberry jam (no sugar added), 1/2 cup caster sugar, 1/4 honey, 1/2 cup fat free Greek yogurt, 2 egg whites & 2 tsp vanilla extract in a big bowl.

Onto the dry ingredients. Even though the original recipe asks for half each of white & whole wheat flour, I decided to go with wholewheat spelt flour for the whole cup. I didn't mind if they didn't turn out as fluffy - in my head, the maths went all wholewheat = more chocolate allowed.

With the flour, I mixed 1/2 cup cocoa (Green & Blacks is excellent), a couple of pinches of sea salt, and 1 tsp each of baking powder & bicarbonate of soda.

Then all I did was mix the wet & dry ingredients together. I was careful to not overmix it as that results in tough, dry muffins, and folded in the chocolate chips gently at the end. I put in a 1/2 cup, but of course, a heaped one.

I made the muffins quite large so my recipe only made 10, but you could easily make 12 with the same amount. If you have a squeezy ice cream scooper, that comes in very handy when dividing batter before baking.

As a pretty topping, I melted some smooth peanut butter and swirled it around at the top of each muffin. I completely forgot to photograph this step, but it's pretty self-explanatory.

I popped them in the oven at 220ºC for 5 minutes, and then lowered the temperature to 190ºC for about 10 minutes.

They came out perfectly cooked on the inside - not at all dry. Look at the melty chocolate in there!

The real seal of approval comes from E when it comes to "sneakily healthy" food. Hailing from France where butter is practically a religion, I was unsure of what he would think of this.

He said that he would describe it as moist (hate that word), chocolatey & gourmet. 

Clearly, it's a winner.

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