Top Picks #53

 

1.Jumper, £45 – Yumi*

I remember Yumi did a very similar jumper a few years ago. I coveted it then and once again I want one. Though I still prefer it without the camera straps.

2. Necklace, £19.50 – Eclectic Eccentricity

Love this so much.

3. Jumper, £38 – Oasis*

Of course it’s another striped jumper but this one has cute little bows on the hips. A fun twist on a classic.

4. Top, £25 – Joanie*

Joanie really need to stop doing this to me. First the dinosaur striped tee I wrote about here and now this.

5. Earrings, £19.42 – Jamber Jewels @ Etsy*

Since a lot of my earring collection is past it’s best – I’m on the hunt for suitable replacements. This pair of mismatched earrings is simple but quirky.

6. Bookends, $69 – Modcloth*

I don’t really have a need for bookends, at least not at the moment but there was just something about these. They remind me of the Golden Gate Bridge and Topher’s and my honeymoon.

7. Necklace, £12.50 – Eclectic Eccentricity

I could stare at this necklace all day; it’s just so pretty. I’ve always had a fascination with the moon so this accessory would definitely fit right into my look.

8. Swimsuit, £60 – Boden*

So first of all, it’s nowhere near swimsuit season. And second of all – I rarely go swimming. Finally third, I’m happy with the swimsuit I have. However you can’t deny how awesome this one is. It looks like something a 1950s bombshell would wear. Plus it comes in loads of patterns and I want them all.

9. T-shirt, £18.67 – Redbubble

I’ve fallen in love with Redbubble over the last couple of months. It’s the perfect place for gifts as you can really niche it to what you’re interested in. Great for my nerdy crew and I. I’ve found loads of Disney, Harry Potter and other stuff but this t-shirt was just so cool. I feel more at home in t-shirts these days so this is ideal.

10. Dress, $89 – Modcloth*

Again, summer is a long way off but this dress looks like the perfect thing to see out those too warm days. Because there were a lot of them last year! I don’t know why everyone is so shocked every time summer eventually arrives – we do get good weather sometimes on our little island.

What’s on your wish list this week?

Items marked with * are affiliate links. This means I get a small commission for every purchase made with no extra cost to you. 

 

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Bake with a Legend – Baking Bread with Paul Jagger

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4625/39911815351_33bc1aba69_o.jpg

I’m a good cook but when it comes to baking and desserts I’m a bit of a jinx.

Nothing seems to go right – the worst thing being the Bailey’s cheesecake that Topher refused to eat after one bite. So when I got the opportunity from Bake with a Legend to attend a cooking class, I jumped at the chance.

bake with a legend - paul

Photo courtesy of Bake with a Legend

Bake with a Legend is a series of cooking class that takes place across the UK and lets you learn from the greats. The class I attended was in Manchester and would be learning to bake bread with Paul Jagger from GBBO 2015.

I didn’t start watching Great British Bakeoff until 2016, the year after Paul’s round, but after immediately falling in love with the show I found the previous seasons online and binged. I was happy to hear that it was both Paul and we’d be making bread as I still remembered his amazing lion he made. If you haven’t seen it, just google “Paul Jagger Bread Lion”. Even Paul Hollywood said it was one of the best things he’s seen in bread ever!

bake with a legend - garlic

Our three hour class (which included a glass of fizz and snacks) was an informal affair where we learned how to make grissini sticks and Asian inspired garlic bread.

bake with a legend - mixing bowl

bake with a legend - paul jagger

I really enjoyed the format of the class.

Paul would show us a few steps and then we would go to our work benches and try it ourselves before going back to him where he would then do the next bit. Being able to do things piece by piece left little room for error and I didn’t feel like I was rushed at all. This was particularly useful being a blogger and having to take a million photos during the whole class.

bake with a legend - rosemary

bake with a legend - prove

Paul was a great teacher and very down to earth. Everything was explained in detail and he took great care in making sure we were all up to speed. This may have included saving my dough when I messed up… Bit of advice, just use one hand to knead a sticky dough – don’t stick both hands in like a pillock!

bake with a legend - dough

bake with a legend - tray

While our bakes were in the oven, we got to sit down with Paul and ask him questions. It was so interesting to find out about the audition process behind GBBO and what really goes on during filming. Luckily during this time, the helpful staff were keeping an eye on all our ovens to make sure nothing burned!

bake with a legend - garlic bread filling

bake with a legend - finished grissini sticks

I was amazed to find that both my grissini sticks and my garlic bread came out looking perfect! We were given bags to take everything home and I felt so proud showing Topher all of it. He was astonished that I had made them and the filled garlic breads made for a delicious lunch.

bake with a legend - filled garlic bread

bake with a legend - me and paul

Bake with a Legend costs £99 for a single person and £175 for a pair and I would definitely say that it is worth the money. It’s great for birthdays, hen & stag parties and couples too. The couple sharing our bench were gifted the class for Christmas from their children and it makes me think about doing the same for my parents. They both enjoy cooking and it would make a change from the same old gifts I get them every year.

It’s something I would bring Topher to in the future too – there was another couple there that day and I think it’s such a good idea for a date day!

bake with a legend

Photo courtesy of Bake with a Legend

I had a brilliant day with Paul, the other bakers and the Bake with a Legend crew and look forward to getting back into the kitchen again. Thanks Bake with a Legend!

*My place in this cooking class was free of charge but as always, my opinions and words are my own. 

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5 Ways To Create Space In A Small Room

It doesn’t take long for a small space to feel cramped. It can be hard to decorate a small room, let alone making it feel more open and spacious. Thanks to the internet, people have been able to come up with some great ideas for transforming their small spaces and making them feel bigger.

Source

Got a space you’d like to transform? Here are five ways you can create space in a small room.

 

1. Find as much light as you can

Small rooms can feel dark, particularly if there’s a lack of natural light coming in. Small rooms mean less space for windows, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t create light in a smaller space. Start by painting your room a light shade – white and pale greys are very popular at the moment. You can add some colour through your home accessories, but having plenty of light areas will create the illusion of space. Instead of using warm light bulbs, opt for those that mimic daylight instead – it will make your room feel much brighter.

 

2. Choose your furniture wisely

The furniture you choose can make all the difference to how your room looks. If you pick pieces that are too large, you’re soon going to find your room cramped. Be clever with your living room furniture pieces. Items that have some space underneath for storage or will fit in the corners of your room will maximise your floor space and give you a much neater looking room. Try not to pick fussy patterns and go for block colours instead.

 

3. Create zones

You can help create more space in your home by creating ‘zones’ that give different parts of your living space a different purpose. If you have a home office, for example, make sure that’s one zone in your living area. You can have zones for storage, zones for things that you like to do such as reading and anything else that will help to keep your home organised. Having zones will help improve your layout and make it easier to keep rooms clutter-free.

 

4. Use shelving

Shelving is a useful tool in small rooms, helping to move things off the floor and making the most of wall space instead. Design your shelving so that you can put storage boxes and other items on them (think lamps and other home accessories), they can be a real space saver and affordable addition to your home.

 

5. Mirror mirror on the wall

Mirrors are ideal for making rooms appear larger than they are, so if you want an easy way of creating space, then you should add some mirrors to your walls. Big wall or leaning mirrors have a better effect than small mirrors, and you can pick up some great bargains online if you know where to look.

 

Creating space in a small room isn’t easy, but if you’re clever about it, you can drastically turn things around. This living room mood board has some great ideas for stylish living room decor that you can adapt to fit the size of your room. They say that the best things come in small packages, so learn to make the most of your smaller living space.

*This is a collaborative post

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Dreaming of Japan

If all goes well with making enough money to save for a trip, I plan on visiting Japan next year. But whether I make it or end up going some time further in the future, it’s definitely somewhere I will get to eventually. The plan is to go to Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Hiroshima. I know there’s so much more but it will only be a two week holiday. Plus, I don’t see myself only going to Japan once in my lifetime.

Anyway, for now, I’ll just dream and tell you all about the things I’m looking forward to the most.

Things I’m most looking forward to

 

Harajuku

japan - harajuku

Source – unknown

I got a book called Fresh Fruits* when I was 16 or 17 all about unusual Japanese street fashion and since then it’s been my quest to go see them in person. I still have that book today and it’s so fun to flip through. I may not be into shopping as much as I was back then but it’s still something that’s very high on my list.

 

Vending Machines

japan - vending machine

Source – Akiodesigns

I hear that the vending machines over there are insane. You won’t find any that have food in (at least not on the street) as it’s considered rude to eat on the go in Japan but you will find a whole lot of drinks! I hear there’s things like peach fanta and coffee flavoured Coca Cola. I think Topher will probably end up drinking the majority of things we get but I love just being able to try things. It’s a running joke that alcoholic or non-alcoholic, I am the slowest drinker ever!

I also look forward to trying the restaurants where they have a vending machine outside where you choose your meal before you go in. Though it looks like I’d definitely need Google Translate on hand!

 

Food

japan - food

Source – Being Erica

It wouldn’t be a Nomad post if I didn’t mention the food. Oh my lord the food. It all looks so interesting. I love trying new things as well as being a big fan of ramen and sushi. I want to try the street foods like okonomiyaki, odango and takoyaki as well as go to a Japanese BBQ place where you cook your own meat, and I really want to try tempura and yakatori. There’s just so many things I don’t know how we’ll fit them all in.

japan - snacks

Source – Haven Turner

And don’t get me started on the snacks. Japanese convenience stores are highly recommended for all of the amazing snacks you can find. There are a ridiculous amount of different flavoured Kit Kats, sweets and so many types of savoury snack. Heaven.

 

Architecture

japan - castle

Source – Nagoya Castle

I love the fact that Japan embraces both the old and the new and it’s reflected in their architecture among other things. I want to see the temples and castles as well as getting myself lost between the city skyscrapers. And also they have a load of mad stuff like below that I am just dying to see in person.

japan - architecture

Source – Lady Iron Chef

 

Disney

japan - disneysea

Source – The Cherry Blossom Girl

Well duh! How could I go to Japan and not pay Tokyo Disney a visit? It’s me.

As well as seeing the park from a whole new different culture angle, there are different rides and Disney Tokyo Sea is a different enchilada (or salmon and avocado hand roll in this case?) entirely.

japan - mochi

Source – Keiko Lynn

Plus their food also looks amazing. There’s mochi shaped like the three eyed alien, unusual flavoured popcorn and steamed buns galore. I cannot wait.

Also, I’m not usually that into merchandise shopping but Japan is known to have by far the best collection out of all the parks. And I’ve definitely confirmed it by watching so many haul videos on Youtube! Those things are addictive.

Of course there are so many more things I’m looking forward to (like all of it) but these were just a few general things that popped to mind.

I plan on visiting Hiroshima to see the peace museum as I think it’s super important – especially right now, we’ll also be paying Universal Studios a visit (for Harry Potter) and I also hope to see a real life geisha.

Have you ever been to Japan? Give me suggestions! And if not, what would you want to see?

 

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My Week – Getting Back On Track 8.1.18 – 19.1.18

*Me and Paul Jagger *My finished Asian garlic bread

*Pickles being clingy *Getting some colouring in

This week’s My Week is more like my fortnight. 

I decided not to do a my week post last week because let’s face it – nothing happened! I was still recovering from my flu. But I’m up and about now and feeling much better for it, despite the odd coughing fit or snuffly nose.

So what did I get up to? The coolest thing I did was go to a baking class with Bake With A Legend to learn how to bake bread with GBBO 2015’s Paul Jagger. I’ll be doing a full post on that tomorrow. Despite not being a good baker, I managed to come away with some delicious goodies that I made myself. So proud!

On the work front, I’ve thankfully been given a fair bit of work to do with clients so I’ve been busy during the day. I’ve also updated Begin.Create to include my Virtual Assisting services so if you know someone in need, get in touch!

When I haven’t been working, I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts – one in particular. Gilmore Guys. It’s been finished for awhile but I only discovered it a couple of months ago so I’ve been catching up. It’s about two guys going through every episode of Gilmore Girls and it’s really funny. One of them is a big fan and the other is watching for the first time. I’m currently on season 5 and can’t wait to see what they think of the Netflix revival. It’s so weird to think that at the beginning of the show, there was no revival on the horizon. If you like Gilmore Girls then I definitely recommend it but give it a bit to get good as the first season or so is a bit clunky.

In other news our wedding was featured on Rock n Roll Bride! I had such a fangirl moment as I’ve been a fan of the site for years.

And finally, I put up the cacti fairy lights I got for Christmas in the bedroom and they make the room look super magical. I think Pickles is just confused by them!

my week - fairy lights

my week - pickles

How was your week?

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