etsy: jewellery gift ideas

30 March 2014

One of my most viewed posts on this blog is the one where I talked about the gifts I gave my bridesmaids.

Since I gave them to my girls last August, I've seen them wear those necklaces quite often, which has made me so happy! Although at the time, I wished I had a bigger budget to spend on their gifts because they deserve the best of the best, I think they turned out to be great picks and they do seem to like them which is the most important thing (or else they are just trying to be nice and wearing them when I'm around…).

There's been a lot of chat amongst my girlfriends about all thing wedding recently - partly because we are at a stage now where we are attending them all at once, but mostly because a lot of them probably have their own weddings coming up around the corner - which is all very exciting.

When I was planning mine, I was completely clueless about pretty much everything - I had never attended a wedding as an adult, and really had no idea about where to even start. The internet was my best friend, and one of the sites I visited constantly to find ideas for personal touches was Etsy, like the printable fortune tellers Q & A that we designed for our dinner menu which went down a treat.

When I was looking for bridesmaids gift ideas on Etsy, so many good ones came up - the printed dressing gowns, personalised clutches, even sneaky flasks in case of nerves - the possibilities are endless.

But when I found the huge selection of beautiful and unique jewellery pieces, I knew that these were the way to go for my gorgeous, elegant bridesmaids. And while I was on the hunt, I fell in love with so many delicate pieces during my search that I bookmarked for future gifts to friends (or for myself…).

So here are some of my very favourites that could be great for bridesmaids if you're wedding planning, or for a special friends you'd like to spoil.

Do you have a favourite pick out of the above? Have you made any good Etsy purchases lately? 

sea salt caramel brownies

28 March 2014

Unfortunately, you read that right.

This is lethal stuff, so proceed at your own peril.

Everyone has a favourite brownie recipe, right? Mine is a special secret family one that I was passed on as an honorary member. 

It's a foolproof recipe, needs nothing extra and it's perfect as is.

But I somehow caught the uncontrollable urge to dirty it up a little. 

You can do this with any brownie recipe of your choosing, if you can handle it…

1. Make salted caramel. I used the recipe from Smitten Kitchen, and let it firm in the fridge overnight.
2. Chop them up into small chunks.
3. Prepare the brownie batter.
4. Spread the caramel pieces on top of the batter (I also mixed a little into the batter, but next time I wouldn't as some of them didn't melt completely).
5. Bake as usual.
6. Unbutton your jeans and go to town.

It's certainly not for the faint-hearted, but who wants to play it safe?

Life's too short. Get to the kitchen!

springtime in hyde park

26 March 2014

Were the last couple of weekends false alarms? Because it's hard to believe that it was this sunny and warm just 10 days ago… but that's England for you.

At least we made the most of it while Spring poked its nose in (I saw a couple of ladies bare legged in mini skirts and flip-flops, which might have been a bit optimistic but I understand the sentiment).

Hyde Park is a favourite of mine, not only for the beauty but also for personal memories, like picnicking after my move back to London, celebrating after our legal marriage ceremony, and countless other times I've enjoyed there with friends.

It's located in the perfect spot - after a bit of shopping and bustling around on High Street Kensington, the park is at your disposal for a rest in the shade or for basking in the sunshine. The lake in the middle of the park has some work going on around it so the fencing wasn't particularly pretty that day, but we had a beautiful walk on the paths along with dogs, babies in prams and couples walking hand in hand.

honest burgers

24 March 2014

I'm more than a little late on the bandwagon, but it was well worth the wait to check out Honest Burgers.

Sundays have become a bit of a "treat day" for me and E, as we always do a run in the morning and are starving by brunch or lunch time. Also, there is that well known fact of calories not counting on Sundays. That works for me.

Anyway, I had felt for a while that our mission to find the best burger in London had been on hold for too long, so it was my request to finally try Honest Burgers.

We went to the one on Portobello Road, just before midday to ensure we didn't have to queue.

After a quick peruse of the menu, E went for the Brewburger (something involving beer and candied bacon. winner all round) and I went for the Honest, basically a classic burger with everything.

So far in my burger adventures around the city, Patty & Bun have kept the top spot (alongside Admiral Codrington, but that is a "higher end" goumet burger). But now... I have to say, Honest Burgers is right up there with them. They are different but equally good - I loved the true medium rare of the beef at HB, something a lot of burger places don't seem to do, and the chips with rosemary salt were some of the best I've had, albeit a little on the salty side. We both agreed that the quality of the meat was fantastic, and really couldn't fault either creation.

I'm so glad we tried HB at long last, I'm pretty sure this will be the beginning of a beautiful friendship. (And now I want to watch Casablanca again.)


22 March 2014

On a personal note, today is a day of remembrance.

On a universal note -

Don't leave important things unsaid.

portobello road

20 March 2014

Sundays on Portobello Road are a lot less hectic and people packed than Saturdays. The market is closed, but there are still plenty of interesting shops selling antique goods and vintage treasures, cocooned by the famously colourful walls.

Although there aren't many street food vendors out on a Sunday, there are plenty of good places to eat and drink in the area (we popped into Honest Burgers, a review will be up shortly!), as well as tempting crêpe stands and the ever popular Hummingbird Bakery.

If you're visiting London or are in the area (particularly on a sunny day, as with all places), it's a must-see spot and great for street photography.