Sunday, August 30, 2020

Lunch Out with Sarah

Towards the end of July I went to Pot House Hamlet which is near my house to meet my friend Sarah for lunch. I haven't seen her since, like, February, and I've really missed her. We've been texting of course, and we video chatted once in lockdown, but it was nice to see her in person. 

I went to Pot House Hamlet a few weeks previously for ice cream, and was impressed how well it was set out inside. It felt like things were really sensibly laid out and I said I wouldn't mind going inside. I said this to Sarah, but we could also have sat outside too as the weather was nice. The table we ended up at wasn't surrounded by others so we were pretty okay. 

The menu at Pot House isn't huge, and they've got rid of my favourite thing off it, which is a shame. But I had spiced beans on toast, with a soya yoghurt dressing, with tomatoes and salad. It was vegan, and very delicious. I would have it again and would love to recreate it at home. With that I had twice cooked chips with truffle oil and parmesan. 

The service was a bit slow, and I'm not sure if that was being of staffing numbers or new measures in place or what. But we each got a millionaire's shortbread and a coffee for dessert. I also got a slice of chocolate cake to take home for Lee. 

I was wearing my blue dress with a pattern like a china plate on it, I love it and pulled it out of the wardrobe. It's from George at Asda originally, but a fair few years ago now. I like to pair it with a wide belt from Evans. It's a nice summer outfit. 

I hadn't slept very well the night before for a few reasons, so I went to bed for a nap when I got home!

I've never had this flavour of Belvoir presse before, and I really liked it. Sweet, cucumbery, crisp and delicious

Fancy beans on toast!

And delicious chips

Millionaire's shortbread. All the cakes are homemade

And here's my outfit!

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Trip Out

We had to go on a fairly long drive in mid-July, which is something we haven't done in months thanks to lockdown. I like driving places with Lee - he drives and I'm the DJ - so it was really nice to do something normal. We had planned to pop in to see our friends Lou and Si in Lincoln on the way back, but we needed lunch before that, so we went to Pizza Hut and got a takeaway.

I'd heard people rave about the fake pepperoni Pizza Hut does now, so I thought I'd try it. It's available in a totally vegan pizza, but I had mine with dairy cheese and a stuffed crust (cos I bloody love a stuff crust!). It is SO good. It doesn't quite have the texture of meat pepperoni, but it does have the flavour, and it's delicious. The whole pizza was really nice.

We called in to Lou and Si and sat in their garden. The sun was out and it was lovely - we didn't stay long but it was nice to chat for an hour or so. We set off back about 3pm and as it was so hot I got Lee to get us an ice lolly each when we stopped for petrol. You don't often see cola flavoured Calippos in this country so we both got one and they were great.

Pizza! So good!

And a delicious fizzy ice lolly on the way home

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Family Day in July

In the middle of July my aunt, uncle, and younger cousin came up to stay with my grandma. They hadn't seen her since February and neither had Lee and I. We all decided to go on Saturday to my mum's, to sit in their garden. There were eight of us altogether. If that was breaking the lockdown rules/easing rules then I'm sorry - the rules were absolutely baffling and unclear.

We had homemade bread and sandwich fillings for lunch, and then I had made an apple crumble. Lee doesn't like crumble so I wouldn't do it at home, and I really fancied one. I had to use Granny Smith apples because there were no cooking apples in two shops, but that was fine. I made it on Friday night and took it with us. My mum needed to cook it because she was making chilli in the oven for tea and didn't have space to do the pudding too, so we ended up eating it for pudding after lunch. I don't think I got a photo but it was sweet and squidgy and delicious! I'm really glad I made it.

It started to rain so we sat in the garage, still trying to keep everyone apart, but it was really cold so we did eventually move inside, but sat in our households instead of moving around. All eight of us haven't really been anywhere, so it felt safe enough. I really have no idea, though.

As I said my mum had made chilli - veggie mince for Lee and I - and jacket potatoes. It was perfect - nicely spicy, really hearty and delicious. We usually make our veggie chilli with carrots and beans in which makes it brighter orange and sweeter, so it was nice to have my mum's recipe for a change.

My aunt and everyone left just before 9pm because my grandma wanted to watch something on TV, so my mum and stepdad fired up their fire pit and Lee and I sat outside with them in front of that for a bit. It was lovely - I love a real fire outside, like when we're camping, and it wasn't raining and was nice and warm in front of the fire. We didn't leave until about 10.30pm!

I was wearing a new dress from JD Williams which I bought on Crazy Clearance a few weeks ago. It's sleeveless and has a hanky hem that hangs really nicely. I love the pattern on it, I think it's quite striking. Plus I like the deep V neck! I put leggings on underneath as I hadn't realised quite how long the dress is! I would wear it without anything underneath. It's a perfect holiday dress, here's hoping for that to happen at some point!

It was photo an hour too which explains some of these photos!

Just post shower

On our way to my mum's - this weird sculpture lives on a roundabout near our house

Socially distanced garden party, before it started properly raining

Me and my lovely cousin Peter

There was a bee on one of my mum's sunflowers!

Lee and I

Panorama of the garage. My grandma was asleep in the conservatory

My mum's cat Ruben ate every crumb on the table, because he never gets fed, obviously

I made a pitcher of Pimms - not quite the weather for it though

Delicious chilli. I swear this is vegetarian! It looks really meaty, every time I looked at it I was surprised

My mum had bought this huge chocolate and caramel cake for dessert

Fire pit getting going 

This lovely new dress! I love it, I love the pattern and the colours and how long it is. I'll definitely be wearing this again soon!

The fire pit when my stepdad got it going really quite a lot!


Thursday, August 20, 2020

The Vegan Kind Subscription Box Review

I saw a code for a discount on a subscription box from The Vegan Kind back in April so I thought I'd give it a go. I've bought things from the Vegan Kind supermarket before, and been impressed with their service, so I had high hopes. In my first box I also ordered a bamboo toothbrush. I know that plastic toothbrushes are bad environmentally so I had been wanting to try something else. I haven't tried it yet, we've had other toothbrushes to use up!

The box itself that I chose is the Lifestyle box, meaning that it's not just food - each box has something else in it like a vegan beauty product or something. I find that really nice, it elevates the box a little more I think. They also have dedicated beauty boxes but I haven't tried one of those.

I'm really impressed with the calibre of the vegan snacks on offer in the boxes. Some of the products are brands I've heard of, and some of them aren't. It's been nice to try new things. I've enjoyed a lot of the snacks. Some that I knew I wouldn't like, like the chocolate hazelnut bar, I've sent on to other people.

My friend Amy got a couple of boxes too. She is vegan, and she enjoyed the boxes she got. I'm not vegan, I'm vegetarian and have been for the last eighteen months, but I like to eat vegan a lot, and vegan snacks are ideal. I'm impressed with the boxes for the cost, so I've kept the subscription going and will for a few months yet I think. Due to lockdown I've been in far fewer shops as Lee's been doing the grocery shopping, I've missed being able to choose things for myself, so receiving a box like this is lovely currently.

This is not an ad, I wasn't paid for this post or anything, I just liked the box and wanted to share it. You can still get £5 off your first box on the website here.

April's box. That bar on the top left is a vegan creme egg bar! Amy said the chocolate milk needs to be drunk very cold. The lifestyle items is cocoa butter soap and it smells DIVINE

May's box. I haven't used the tofu yet but I might make something crispy. The lifestyle product is a deodorant. I have sensitive skin so I'm looking forward to using this

June's box. Each one arrives quickly after dispatch. I wonder if Lee likes granola because I'm sure I don't! This month's lifestyle product is a soap - Lee and I prefer solid soap over liquid ones, so this is perfect

July's box was my favourite so far! The lifestyle product is an alcohol hand sanitiser! Really useful for using currently, I'll chuck this in my handbag to use when on the go. I'm really looking forward to the hummus!

Monday, August 17, 2020

Tea Out in Huddersfield

In the middle of July I was feeling a bit stir crazy, sitting in the house for so long just wasn't good for me, so I asked Sam if she'd like to meet up near her house in Huddersfield. She is working as normal, so she said it would have to be teatime, so I said I'd take Lee along too. We arranged to meet at a takeaway near Greenhead Park in order to buy food first.

It was a burger takeaway, so I went for the veggie burger with gherkins and cheese, and halloumi sticks. We didn't have to wait very long, and then we went along to the park and walked through to the grass, where we sat. Sam and I had some wine and we all ate our tea and chatted for a bit. It was really lovely to talk to someone new and to see Sam of course! We didn't stay really late, as it was cloudy and a bit chilly.

I had bought some macarons online which had arrived earlier that day. I love them and haven't been able to get any locally for ages, so I'd bought 24 online. This one was the classic selection from Madamoiselle Macaron, and I got the pink selection too. I had a lemon one and a strawberry one and they were both delicious, but I was saving the rest for later in the week. I would recommend the company though, I ordered about 1pm on Wednesday and they arrived the same time on Thursday!

I was wearing this Scarlett & Jo skirt which started off as a dress and which I've worn lots, but the top was always a bit short on me. I decided to just chop it off and let the skirt have a new life. It's much better like this! I wore it with a plain black top from Simply Be. I discovered last month that Scarlett & Jo went into administration earlier this year, which surprised me. I always liked their stuff and what I have of it I wear a lot and love.

On our way home Lee went into Sainsburys in Huddersfield as we needed some bits for the weekend. You can't just "pop" into a shop these days can you? It takes forever. I sat in the car. Lee bought me this Beefeater blood orange gin. I'm not much a gin fan but I like it with lemonade, and I recently finished a bottle of Whitley Neil blackcurrant gin which I had tasted way back in February with my friend Katie. I've had orange gin at my mum's so I thought I'd try this and it turns out, it's great, I love it!

Me and Sam and Lee in the park, eating a socially distant way away from each other, of course!


My outfit

And some gin!

Thursday, August 13, 2020

What I Wore 12th July

Recently we've been to Yummy Yorkshire a few times for ice cream. Their restaurant and parlour were still shut, but they have a little takeaway stand and it's been open since the middle of June, and we've been a few times to get ice cream. They've got portaloos and a marquee thing you can sit in, if those are things you want/need, but I didn't feel like they were safe enough, so we just sat in the car. It's about a fifteen minute drive from our house, meaning this activity took less than an hour, cost less than a tenner, and was good fun and got us both out of the house for a bit.

We decided we'd go one Sunday lunchtime in July. We had had a late brunch (poached eggs and smashed avocado on toast, and orange juice!) and then popped out. However, when we got there it was really busy. There were long queues for the takeaway stand, cars parked everywhere, kids running all over, and even their market was open again. I understand that they want to make money, and I'm not blaming anyone else if they did go, but it didn't feel safe enough for me, so we left. We went instead to Pot House Hamlet, which is nearer to our house. They have a cafe that is usually packed full, and also a takeaway ice cream stall. The stall wasn't open, but they have ice cream inside too. Inside, the tables were set well apart and everything was very clean and ordered, so it felt a lot safer. I would even have gone in and had something to eat had we not just had brunch, because it wasn't busy at all even though it was Sunday. I've said we should go back one day for lunch.

Everyone has different lines and limits in the current climate and I think we just all need to let each other get on with what they want to and let them set their own limits. I am very much going on "feeling" and often that's due to density of people and also how many (if any) of them are wearing masks. We're wearing masks in the shop, although I'm avoiding going into many shops and definitely not the supermarkets. We went into a record shop in Barnsley the other day and that felt fine and pretty clean. Plus it was nice to browse records, it felt really normal!

Anyway, I had a double cone of chocolate and strawberry and Lee had a tub of mint choc chip and chocolate. We sat on a wall in the sunshine to eat them.

I was wearing my blue and purple Scarlett & Jo skirt that I really love, and a plain black top from Simply Be. A simple outfit but a nice one!

Yummy ice cream, I think it's local

My outfit!

Monday, August 10, 2020

Films of the Month - June

I didn't watch many films in June at all, and I don't really have much reason as to why, except that I was watching a lot of TV. Oh, I did give up on Emmerdale though. I've watched Emmerdale faithfully for around four years, but I was getting fed up of it. Then the lockdown episodes really annoyed me and I just decided to not go back to it. It's the only soap I watch but I seem to have switched my allegiance to new franchises of Real Housewives instead. I'm faithful to Cheshire, Dallas, Potomac, and Melbourne, but Netflix persuaded me to try Beverly Hills and well, those women are on another scale... It's weird how TV tastes change.

Anyway, the films. Here's what I watched:

Sam and I watched Lion right at the beginning of June. We saw it at the cinema when it came out, but neither of us had seen it since then. It's really good and Dev is a babe, so it was great

After Ivy died Sam said if I wanted to watch something easy over that weekend, so we watched The Devil Wears Prada which I really like. I love Anne Hathaway, she's a babe too

Then next we watched Trainspotting, which neither of us had seen in forever. It's iconic, isn't it. I love it. I first saw it aged fourteen and I swear it put me off hard drugs for life

The following week Sam and I watched The Krays, starring Martin and Gary Kemp as the Kray twins. I have seen it before, but not for years. It's pretty good, I like it. Martin is really good especially

I'd never seen Juno and thought it was about time I did. I liked it, and the soundtrack is great

Lee and I watched Clueless, a film we both love and have seen a million times. I love it, I have started to watch the new Babysitters Club on Netflix where Alicia Silverstone plays Kristy's mom

Finally Sam and I watched this documentary about Adam Lambert singing with Queen. We're both big fans of Adam and Queen, so we were pleased when he started singing with them. We saw them in 2017 in Leeds, which I wrote about here. The documentary is really good, it goes through every thing that happened to Queen since Freddie died, up to and including Adam. We both enjoyed it

Friday, August 7, 2020

Lockdown Holiday Day 5

On day five of our lockdown holiday it was our fifteenth wedding anniversary! We were also celebrating being together for twenty years! Yep, a sixteen year old me asked out a 17 year old Lee way back in 2000. We had met online throught Lee's friend D, and then had met in person at a festival called Deconstruction in Manchester. We watched Mighty Mighty Bosstones and NoFX together and then a couple of weeks later I asked him out. We got engaged six months later and then got married just when I had finished uni. It feels like a lifetime - it is over half my lifetime! It's ridiculous. Anyway, clearly we couldn't celebrate in the way we wanted to - especially as we were supposed to be on holiday with family - but we managed to have a nice day anyway.

We swapped gifts first thing. I had bought Lee a copy of the Manic Street Preachers album Gold Against the Soul on vinyl as we didn't have it and he likes it. They're only just reissued it so I preordered it as soon as I heard. Lee bought me some nail polish that I had asked for - the shade is called Ivy so I wanted it! I'll have to get round to wearing it. My mum bought us some crystal hi-ball glasses which are the same as our nice wine glasses, and also it turns out that the 15th wedding anniversary gift is crystal, so that was appropriate! They're really nice.

We had to go to the post office so popped out. I've been selling SO many zines in lockdown (link to my Etsy shop if you're interested!) which is great for revenue but does mean we've have to take special trips to the post office as the one in our village shut down a couple of years ago. We had heard a concession was opening in our co-op but it hasn't happened yet. We also went to an independent coffee shop in Barnsley and got a drink each. I'm into a decaf iced caramel latte currently, theirs is delicious. We went to the flower shop in our village because I had ordered myself some peonies. Aren't they just absolutely gorgeous flowers? The woman who owns the shop is really nice too and I like supporting her small business. I said I wasn't bothered what else she put in the bouquet. Lee went in to get it and paid for it, ha. I love the white roses that are in the bouquet, it is so beautiful.

We came home and had leftovers for lunch and then did some more work on the flooring in our attic room. It's getting there! I'm not sure if I'll remember to post photos of it, but I'll try!

We sat outside for a bit in the early evening but it was really too hot even for me. Then we went to pick up food from a pub in a village nearby. I have been to the pub before and kept meaning to take Lee, and then I had their takeaway food recommended so I looked online at their menu on Thursday and rang up to order. Their choice wasn't huge, but enough. We ordered three courses each and it was about £35, which I thought was good value. We drove to the car park and there was a table outside which the pub staff put the food on when it was our turn. We brought it home and everything was really hot, which was good. It was delicious! I really enjoyed it and am glad we did it. I couldn't finish all my chocolate fudge cake but it'll save!

After that it had cooled down a lot so we went outside to do some work in the garden. Our planters are in a bad way and really need ripping up and starting again, but we had bought some bedding plants so needed to plant them, so we used a bunch of the pots we had hanging around. It was a nice temperature by this point, but still too hot to go to bed!

I was wearing another new dress. I got it from Crazy Clearance a few weeks prior, but I think it's a Simply Be one originally. I love the tie dye effect on it and I like the layered top. It's very cool for the summer and I like it!

Ivy nail polish

Lee looking pleased with his vinyl

New fancy glasses!

Some shots of my lovely flowers. I really like this one, all still curled up ready to open

They are selling this in our co op now so I bought some as it's my favourite. I put the glass in the freezer first to chill it down

Absolutely delicious homemade chocolate fudge cake with cream

And my lovely tie dye dress!