Sunday, 24 August 2014

Pickled Beetroot Recipe

My mum has been supplying me with lots of home grown courgettes and cucumbers the last few weeks from her allotment and this week she gave me some beetroot. James and I are big fans of beetroot so we decided to have a go at pickling some ourselves. 

We boiled the beetroot until it was tender, then drained it (keeping some of the water) and let it cool. We then peeled it and put it in a jar with some whole cloves. I then put the brine, 220ml of cider vinegar, 100g of caster sugar and 1 tsp of natural rock salt in a pan and quickly brought it to the boil. 

I then poured it over the beetroot, sealed the jar and voila! Pickled beetroot. The recipe said you should submerge the jar in boiling water to properly seal it so it preserves longer, but beetroot never lasts long around us so we decided not to. I'll let you know how they taste later! 

Bryony :)

Seven Things Sunday #004

How could this week not have been good? James came back! I could easily write that as all my seven happy things, but I won't.

1. I got to spend some time with a good friend of mine, I don't get to see him very often so it was nice to catch up.

2. I finished a crossword! Without cheating, and with minimal help from friends. I'm so proud of myself, it's a little sad.

3. I went to see Guardians of the Galaxy in IMAX 3D and it was awesome, the soundtrack is so good (and I got to go for free ha).

4. I got my hair done, conquered one of my biggest fears and got to hang out with my best friend, all in one day. 

5. My replacement A Level certificates arrived, which means my Uni stress is finally over (ish).

6. James came home! It was so nice to see him, he brought me back some cute little gifts. My favourite was this little fortune charm, he brought a few back and I picked one at random and got the safety frog. It holds a lot of meaning for me, so I hope it brings me luck.

7. Finally, it was mine and James' six month 'anniversary' on Friday. I'm so lucky to have him and I can't believe how quickly the time has gone by. I hope the next six months are just as fun. 

Bryony :)

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Six Months!

Yesterday was mine and James' six months 'anniversary'. Seeing as he only got back from Japan at midnight the night before, we didn't do much. We mostly watched Friends (after James bought me the box set for my birthday we've slowly been making our way through it) and we made a nice salad. It was really nice to just relax and hang out. 

It's been a great six months and I can't wait to see what the next six months bring. 

Bryony :)

Thursday, 21 August 2014

The Cutest Cream Tea at Mustard Coffee Bar

Yesterday my housemate and I decided to pop in to Mustard Coffee Bar on Bridewell Alley in Norwich for a spot of lunch. They have such a great range of food to choose from that it took us a while to decide what we wanted, everything looked and sounded delicious! Eventually we decided to have a cream tea each. When they brought our scones to us I couldn't get over how adorable the presentation was, they were on miniature park benches! I thought it was such a lovely and unique touch. 

The staff were also absolutely lovely, really friendly and helpful and it was great value for money. Altogether the cream teas were £7 between us. The scones were so big we couldn't finish them but they were absolutely delicious. I definitely need to remember to visit Mustard more often as I think it's really important to support local businesses like them, and they don't disappoint! 

Bryony :)

Dip Dye and Days Out

I get my hair done at Code Hair in Oulton Broad as my best friend is a hairdresser there and no one else is trusted with my hair. I took a train down yesterday to get my hair done. Back when I was younger I was one of those people who changed their hair all the time, I was never happy with it. I'd dye it blonde, brown, red, I'd grow it long and then chop it all off again. However, for the last three years I have been growing my hair out of a pixie crop and somehow I have resisted temptation to chop it all off and have kept it blonde. Recently, as my hair has gotten quite long now, it's becoming harder to manage and I've been considering chopping it all off again. But I know I'll regret it so instead of chopping it I decided to try out a lavender dip dye to satisfy my desire for something different.

It's quite subtle, and it'll wash out fairly soon, but I love it. I think next time I'll be braver and ask for it a bit brighter and maybe higher up on my hair too. I also just love having my hair straightened, I never use heat on it myself because I'm lazy and I want to try and keep it as healthy as possible (which is getting harder and harder as it gets longer), so whenever I go to the hairdresser's it's a nice treat to have it all silky smooth and straight.

My best friend wanted to hang out with me after she finished work so once my hair was done I had to kill about three hours in Oulton Broad. I wandered around a nearby park for a little while, called my mum up and had a chat, and then I decided to face one of my biggest fears: eating alone. I popped into a nearby patisserie called Fancy Cakes. The staff were really lovely, I ordered some broccoli soup and a tea and sat down, absolutely terrified of being on my own. But after a little while I got over my fears and started to enjoy myself. The soup was delicious, and I sat and read my book whilst I drank my tea. I ordered some of their amazing banana and toffee cake after I'd had my soup and it was the most enormous slice of cake I've ever had in my life! It tasted amazing, but I just couldn't finish it. It may not seem like much to some people, but to me this was a huge victory. A year ago my anxiety meant I wouldn't have been able to do that, so I'm really proud of myself.

Bryony :)

Monday, 18 August 2014

New Cable Knit Blanket

I've been after a cable knit blanket for absolutely ages, so I was really excited when I saw some in Wilko's a few days ago. When I returned the next day, some of them were on sale, so I quickly snapped one up. My bedroom is getting more and more awesome by the day.

I'm almost excited for the nights to start getting colder so I can snuggle up under it. They had matching pillows too, I'm tempted to go back and get some for the lounge!

Bryony :)

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Seven Things Sunday #003

Here we are again already! Things are getting better this week, I've been missing James a lot but it's only four more sleeps until he's home now so the worst is over. I'm also now off work for over a week which was definitely needed! Let's recap seven things that have made me happy this week...

1. I saw my dad for the first time in absolutely ages. I think I often forget how wonderful his company can be, and telling him all about my recent troubles felt like a huge weight off my shoulders. He's always so accepting and supportive of who I am and what I choose to do.

2. I also got to spend some time with my mum, younger brother and his girlfriend. This included my brother's girlfriend telling us that he once woke her up in the middle of the night, yelled "Make way for Noddy!" in her face and went back to sleep. I will cherish this information forever. Also my mum made me dauphinoise potatoes, the king of potato dishes.

3. On Friday I got to have a girls night with my housemate and an old colleague of ours who moved away. It was so much fun to see her, we ended up at the Waterfront dancing like idiots and having a laugh.

4. On Saturday I went to the Blueberry to watch a very old friend of mine play a gig. He moved to Leeds for Uni and started a band there, this was the first time they've played in Norwich. There were so many people there who I hadn't seen in years, it was amazing to dance to some awesome ska music with old friends. My friend's band (The Indecision) were absolutely amazing, so definitely check them out.

5. Today my housemate and I went to Bill's for breakfast. We both had the blueberry and buttermilk pancakes, which were pretty tasty. We then spent the day doing a spot of shopping (I bought an awesome new throw) and built ourselves a cupboard for our bathroom, which is super cute.

6. I managed to go to the gym three times this week, running a total of just over 13k. I also managed to do some yoga every day (except Saturday because I was very hungover) and am still totally loving it.

7. I've bought and wrapped all of James' birthday presents. His birthday isn't for another month yet, and I may add a few extras but I'm pleased with myself for getting it all ready so early. Now I just have to resist the urge to tell him what everything is!

Bryony :)

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Yoga Goddess In Training

I mentioned in my last 'Seven Things Sunday' post that I've started doing yoga every day. I have officially managed to keep it up for a week! So far I've been doing Adriene's 'Yoga for Complete Beginners' every morning, but now I've moved on to 'Yoga for Beginners', which is definitely a step up from the complete beginners video. If you are a complete beginner like me, I'd really recommend starting with that video as it does help to ease you into the beginners video.

I thought I'd share this photo to show my progress so far. The thing I liked most about Adriene's videos is that she puts an emphasis on just enjoying the moment and doing the best you can at the time, not worrying too much about getting the perfect pose. As you can see from the photo, my Downward Dog is not perfect by any means! But it's improving every day and I'm still proud of myself for how far I've already come.

Hopefully in time I'll be a yoga goddess, but I'm just happy I'm doing something every day for now. If anyone has recommendations for more good yoga videos/sites, let me know. I'd also love to hear about other people's experiences with starting yoga.

Bryony :)

Monday, 11 August 2014

Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil Review

I've been wanting to find a proper cleanser for ages, my current routine involves using a facewipe to remove make up... and that's pretty much it. It wasn't doing wonders for my skin, let me tell you. I was browsing the Body Shop website a while ago when I came across the Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil, I was intrigued. It had plenty of good reviews so I made a mental note to buy some. Earlier this week I finally remembered to.

I've only been using this for the past three days, but I'm in love already. It really feels like my skin is completely clean after I use this. I thought it might leave me feeling greasy, but it doesn't at all. It smells lovely, and even after just three days my skin looks so much healthier and fresher than it did before. You don't need a huge amount either, so it seems like it'll last a fairly long time. I'll definitely be buying this again.

Bryony :)

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Seven Things Sunday #002

Another week has flown by, and again I can't seem to catch a break! Hopefully next week will improve for me. Here are my seven happy things to try and make me feel a bit more cheery!

1. I had a lovely couple of days with James before he left for Japan. We had a really nice breakfast at Café Rouge and lounged around watching Friends.

2. I've started doing some yoga every morning. I found a wonderful channel on YouTube called Yoga with Adriene and have been doing the complete beginners video. It's a really nice way to start the day.

3. Despite all the bad luck I seem to have lately, I think I've handled it pretty well. Even though I've been upset about it all, I've not fallen into a pit of despair and I'm still keeping positive that everything will work itself out eventually.

4. I got some new clothes in the post, they're a bit different to what I'd usually wear (I'm not usually this brave, I've only just dared try on crop tops!) but I think I look pretty good in them. 

5. I had a lovely evening on Saturday with a couple of my girl friends. Helena made a lovely veggie spaghetti bolognaise and we watched Moulin Rouge, which I haven't seen in years.

6. I got to do some modelling for my best friend today. She's entering some hair competitions and I agreed to help her out. It was a good laugh and nice to do something different. I'll write a full post about it once the proper pictures are ready.

7. James managed to call me from Japan today. The time difference makes things hard, so it was nice to speak to him. I've really missed him. It feels like forever until he comes back but I've got plenty to keep me busy. 

Bryony :)

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Seven Things Sunday #001

I thought I'd start a new thing, every Sunday I'll try and round up my week with seven things that have made me happy. It's all too easy to focus on all the negative things in life so this should help me to remember to stay positive. One of my favourite quotes is 'Count your blessings, not your troubles' but I think I forget occasionally. 

I feel like it's a good time to start doing this as this hasn't been a very good week for me. I've been pretty bummed out by some bad news and a tough decision I had to make. But here's seven good things that made me happy this week. 

1. I got to meet Barbara, my friend's teeny tiny kitten. We tired her out playing with her and when she fell asleep we tucked her up with a teddy, it was bloody adorable.

2. I went for a delicious breakfast at Street Cafe on Magdalen Street. They let you create your own breakfast, which is great for me because I don't like tomatoes, beans or mushrooms so I got to pick exactly what I wanted. It was really tasty and such a lovely little place. 

3. I put some pictures on my wall and put up a banner, I made my room feel more like home.

4. James and I went to see Guardians of the Galaxy and it was really good! I absolutely loved it, I think Groot was my favourite character. Even though he didn't say much, he was so lovely and gentle.

5. I bought an awesome new comic, meaning I am now collecting three comics. For some reason I find that really exciting.

6. James and I had a great date night, even though we ony went to Nandos it was nice to go for dinner together.

7. Tonight was a really quiet shift, I got to get on with stuff and finished early. Now I get to enjoy my evening before my three days off. 

Bryony :)

Saturday, 2 August 2014


Last Wednesday I was perusing the selections of new comics on the wall of my local comic book shop whilst James picked up his pull list and I spotted 'Bodies'. The cover grabbed my attention immediately, it has a 1950's pin-up vibe going on. After we left I googled it and read up on the storyline; four murders, four time periods, four detectives. It seemed interesting, so the next day I made James return to the shop with me to buy it.

Boy am I glad I did. This comic is awesome! As I mentioned, it's set over four different time periods, 1890, 1940, 2014 and 2050. Each time period is drawn by a different artist and they encapsulate the feeling of each era perfectly. But that's not the best part.

The best part is that two of the four detectives are female, and not only that but they're real women. By that I mean that they're not dressed in skimpy outfits with skyscraper heels that would make their jobs impossible in real life. It was so refreshing to read something that I felt I could actually relate to, I wasn't looking at this thinking about how implausible it was that these women could actually manage to do their jobs, I was reading and thinking how I could do these jobs too.

On top of that, the modern day female detective is also a Muslim. In a society where The Sun is trying to tell us every day how all the Muslims are apparently out to destroy our heritage, it's great to see a normal Muslim woman being represented in a positive way.

If the awesome art and great characters aren't enough to make you want to pick this up, the storyline should seal the deal. The twist in this mini series is that although there are four murders over four time periods, there's only one body. I really can't wait to see how this plays out!

As always, recommendations for more comics like this would be greatly appreciated.

Bryony :)