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Recipe – White Chocolate and Chai Tea Bread

After root canal treatment this week, I am feeling very sore and very sorry for myself. Ian has been lovely, making me a huge pile of cheesy mashed potato when I asked for ‘soft food’ for dinner. I’m hoping I will be back to my old self soon as I’m not used to feeling so glum!

I’m not a regular bread baker but add white chocolate and chai tea to the mix and I will give it a go! I love chai tea to drink and it adds a very delicate layer of spices to this bread.




275g of self-raising flour

A 7g sachet of yeast

50g of caster sugar

200g of white chocolate, broken into chunks

25g of butter

150ml of boiling water with 2 chai teabags steeped in it and left to cool

How to make it

  • Being by putting the flour, yeast, caster sugar and white chocolate chunks into a large bowl


  • Add the butter and cooled tea then mix with a wooden spoon until it has turned into a sticky dough


  • Tip out onto a floured surface and begin to knead. This is a very sticky mixture at first but keep going and after 10 minutes or so, it will all come together


  • Next, leave the dough under a clean tea towel for 20 minutes to rise
  • After it has risen, place in a lightly greased loaf tin and leave to prove in a warm place (I always use the airing cupboard!) for about half an hour


  • While it proves, preheat the oven to 180°C, Gas Mark 4
  • Pop the dough into the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown and your kitchen is filled with the delicious smell of warm bread!


Mani Monday – Geometric Nail Wraps

I have been looking forward to using these Sally Hansen nail wraps since I bought them in America this summer. I have heard that the staying power of these is great and I love the cool geometric black and white print.


The design is actually called Pitter Pattern and the box comes with 16 strips, a cuticle stick and mini nail file. My nails are short enough that I can make one strip cover two nails so I get double my money’s worth with most sets of nail wraps!

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These were really simple to apply and tidy up using the nail file. I like the fact these little extras were included in the box.

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I decided to do a bit of a test and see if a layer of clear nail varnish would make these nail wraps last any longer. I applied a topcoat to my left hand and although it didn’t make a huge amount of difference, it was right hand that experienced a chip and a bit of peeling first but not until 6 days after application.


The staying power of these Sally Hansen wraps are amazing and I am already eyeing up my next design to try out!

Sunday Catch-up #38

It has been another full-on week at work coupled with a lovely chilled-out weekend. We’ve spent this morning wandering around our favourite monthly market in Frome (an amazing mix of local food and vintage furniture) and enjoyed some football and lunch with my brother and his girlfriend. Now it’s time to breathe and reboot before another manic week starting with two hours of root canal work for me tomorrow!

This week I have been…

Making: the most of the warmer weather with some impromptu BBQs

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Going: to Frome Market


Wearing: these cool nail wraps


Eating: Curly Fries which remind me so much of being a student!

Drinking: white wine

Reading: In the Kitchen


Watching: Doctor Foster – gripping stuff!

Buying: new candles


Planning: birthday presents for Ian’s Mum!

Cooking: my chickpea stew

Baking: nothing this week

Writing: in my journal

Favouriting: my Apple music account – Ian and I have been reminiscing with music from our college years!

Working on: finally hanging some art around the house


Trying to decide: when it’s OK to put the heating on

Wishing: this rugby world cup would hurry up and finish!

Enjoying: the beautiful pink sunrises and sunsets


Needing: a less stressful week

Feeling: very proud of my plants in the front garden

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Giggling at: my husband’s choice of soap


Latest Purchases #90 – Dotcomgiftshop

Happy Saturday! Ian is working today so I snuck back to bed this morning with brioche and tea to read a few chapters of my new book and plan to spend the day baking, blogging, pottering and doing a little bit of marking.

A little while ago, I made another order at Dotcomgiftshop (which does the most amazing sales!) Here are a few things I picked up…

First up a fun new print for the kitchen. I like the retro style of this picture and of course the celebration of all things pudding! I was going to ask Ian to hang it this weekend but after almost falling out hanging some other prints midweek I think I may need to butter him up first!


I have phases where I find cross stitching really relaxing to do as I watch TV (it stops me constantly checking my phone too!) and this ‘Home Sweet Home’ print is a very sweet project to have lined up.


This metal sign made me giggle. I plan on hanging this in our utility room by the washing machine when we finally decorate it.


I really like this next item – a pastel green herb house. I saw a similar style in IKEA recently and almost bought it but thought this was a little more unique. It comes with six plant pots with blackboard-painted signs for you to add the name of your herbs on. We always have fresh herbs on the go so this will be a lovely way to grow and display them.

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I can never have too many notebooks and this pretty pink and gold design is a happy addition to the collection.


I also picked up this pencil box to try and keep my desk tidier at work.


I love making my baking efforts look a little bit better by using pretty cupcake cases.


I had to bin my old flask recently as it was leaking so this is a good replacement…perfect for filling with hot chocolate when we go on an autumnal country walk!


We always need tea towels and I thought these apples and pears designs looked very Orla Kiely-esque.


Clearly influenced by the same designer, I bought a new jar for storing our teabags.




Despite Ian telling me we don’t need any more tins, I couldn’t resist these pretty ones and they all fit inside the big one so they aren’t taking up too much room!

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Some washi tape in pretty gingham designs.


Some metal candle holders that I plan on hanging in the garden next summer.


Finally, my most middle-aged purchase (which I am secretly really excited about) is this little gardening set as my knees really hurt when I have to kneel down to dig and plant stuff!


Book Corner – My Latest Reads

I’m really trying to read more of a variety of books now and recently I’ve got through a horror, a classic and a reflective, more emotional life story.

First up is one that I am so ashamed to admit that I had not read by the age of 30 – To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I didn’t study it at school but I’m still not too sure how this one managed to pass me by. I bought this on my Kindle and sat and read over half of it one afternoon while lying on the grass in Central Park before finishing it on the plane home. It’s always tricky reading a critically acclaimed book as you have a feeling that you are meant to love it which can jade your view.


I understand the history behind the book and although it wasn’t gripping, I did find it intriguing. I loved the characters although I remember saying to Ian at one point that I was about two-thirds through the book and nothing had really happened. The plot isn’t its strong point but the court case and event at the end of the book really brought the whole thing together and made me glad I finally ticked this one off my to-read list.

Next, a really trashy read that I managed to finish within two days – I just couldn’t put it down! The sequel to Eeny Meeny, Pop Goes the Weasel is the second instalment in the Helen Grace series and I think I am hooked. Gripping and gruesome, this book follows a fascinating lead character on the hunt for a serial killer in the unprincipled world of prostitution. I don’t think I could read this type of book all the time but every now and then, I do enjoy a good page-turner.


Finally, I picked up This Book Will Save Your Life by A.M Homes at a summer fete this year when I was on a sugar-free diet. The story revolves around a man who lives a completely controlled, extremely healthy lifestyle until a series of strange events sees his life begin to unravel but almost for the better. This was a strange book which moved from the deadpan and mundane to the unrealistic and extreme very quickly. There is not a strong plot; the chapters seem to move from event to event and the protagonist is someone you pity rather than like. One thing I found really odd was that this book is written entirely in the present tense. I couldnt work out why it felt strange to read until I was about halfway through but when I realised this, I found it very hard to really get into. I have to say I wouldn’t recommend this one although I’m glad it was something different to what I would usually pick.


I’ve got so many books lined up for the next few months that I can see myself posting more book reviews soon! x

Sunday Catch-up #37

Hello! I was MIA this week as I spent three days away with my school on a residential trip. It was very fun but extremely tiring so this weekend has been very easy-going. We headed out to Bath Chilli Festival yesterday which probably wasn’t the best idea for me (I am a bit of a wimp with spicy food!) but Ian was a lot more adventurous and had the tears rolling down his face to prove it!

This week I have been…

Making: a blue cheese dipping sauce

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Going: to Bath Chilli Festival

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Wearing: my Hunter wellies again

Eating: Beef brisket and lamb wraps


Drinking: Chilli beer


Reading: In the Kitchen by Monica Ali


Watching: Gogglebox – so glad it’s back!

Buying: some hot sauce

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Planning: a healthy week of no-effort meals

Cooking: more BBQ food

Baking: nothing this week

Writing: to-do lists

Favouriting: this beautiful new glitter from Essie


Working on: running again (I’ve been a bit lazy lately)

Trying to decide: if it’s cold enough to put the heating on yet

Wishing: for more late summer sun

Enjoying: the great company of my colleagues

Needing: a three day weekend to catch up on life

Feeling: very tired


Giggling at: Ian trying the ridiculously spicy hot wings from the wings-eating competition


Travel Guide – Washington DC

We spent 5 days in Washington DC this summer which felt just right to visit the various iconic monuments and museums dotted around the capital city. Whilst this wasn’t my favourite US city, it is definitely worth a visit and was a lovely ending to our most recent trip.



Luke’s Lobster


I became a little bit obsessed with lobster rolls on our two weeks away and we had a great early evening dinner at Luke’s Lobster where we had crab, prawn and lobster rolls with a few sides.

Shake Shack


We had an awesome burger here that definitely lived up to the hype.



We ate at this Mexican restaurant and had an amazing meal. I am used to Mexican street food-style places like Wahaca but this was a much more refined version of my favourite dishes. We had fresh guacamole made at our tables, margaritas and some great fish tacos.


Visit the Newseum


Probably my favourite museum of our whole trip, the Newseum is just fascinating. I love the ins and outs of the media and seeing how different events are reported around the world and this place had such interesting exhibits. My favourites were the Vietnam War, 9/11 and the Pulitzer Prize winners gallery. I even had a go at some news reporting in the interactive gallery!

Walk through the Sculpture Garden


We stumbled upon this quite by accident on our way to a museum but it is a lovely little park to have a wander through. The Roy Lichtenstein ‘House 1’ is very cool to view from different angles.

Go and watch The Nationals

We’ve been to see a couple of baseball games in America now and although I’m a little fuzzy on some of the rules, the atmosphere is always great! It also feels like you are doing something non-touristy and on certain nights, there’s a fireworks display after the game and who doesn’t love some fireworks?!

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Take a Bus Tour

We found that Washington DC was very spread out so trying to do everything by foot in the August heat was impractical. We bought tickets for a 2-day hop-on/ hop-off bus tour which took us all over the place.

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Hang out in Georgetown

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My favourite district in DC, this place is so cool and doesn’t feel like a city at all. Im just annoyed we found this on our last day as I would have loved to come back. I did quite a bit of damage in Sephora here!


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We stayed at the Hyatt Place Hotel and had a bit of a mixed experience. The hotel itself was amazing; probably the best we stayed in during our two weeks away. The room was modern and had a cool lounge area, the staff were ridiculously helpful and there was a really tasty free breakfast option which we took advantage of. If I could pick the hotel up and drop it in a slightly more central location, it would have been perfect. Unfortunately, it wasn’t in the nicest area, especially after dark, which just took the shine off our stay.


Watch House of Cards before you go!

This brilliant political drama on Netflix gives a great insight into the inner workings of Washington DC and meant we knew quite a few of the famous landmarks before we went.


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