After our evening with Jamie, we headed to one of Leeds’ newest restaurants.
It was opening night at Cabana Brasilian Barbecue and while I’d not been able to make the launch the night before, they’d kindly offered to shout me and a friend a meal some other time. So, perfect.
As most people round here know, Leeds already has a Brazilian barbecue restaurant, and Fazenda has a good reputation. I went as part of a group a few weeks ago. Now the meat was varied, plentiful, cooked to perfection and served with aplomb, carved straight from the skewer onto your plate. I could have happily eaten from the salad bar alone for a week without getting bored. Read More →
A few days ago, I was named best friend in the world.
The award-giver was my friend Emma, a pretty huge Jamie Redknapp fan. I’d been invited to an event in Leeds that the Redknapps were attending, and I’d got her along as my plus one.
It was the launch of Pandora‘s winter Pandora Wishes campaign, backed by celebrity pairings Jamie and Louise Redknapp, Marvin and Rochelle Humes, and friends Jameela Jamil and Rick Edwards.
The idea is that you create a Pandora wish list that can be shared with friends and family in the hope that you will get what you want under the Christmas tree.
Making a wish list also puts you in with a chance of winning your favourites, a £500 voucher plus one of the celebrity couples’ ‘ultimate’ wishes – a holiday in the Maldives, VIP tickets to a summer festival or a spa weekend in the south of France. The competition runs until 19 December.
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Earlier in the week I shared our finished kitchen.
Although I had a few reservations about choosing grey – mainly about whether it’s a colour fad – I’m glad I dug my heels in and went for it. It’s a fair responsibility because I knew my husband would be putting in hours and hours of work and I wanted him to like the end result as much as me.
Good news: he loves it. He thinks – and I agree – it’s the best room we’ve ever done, particularly when you consider the big changes that had to come about. I think we make a pretty good renovating team and I’m so proud of what he can do and the care he takes over getting the finish just right.
It’s not completely finished. I’m looking to have a few open, wooden shelves and we’ll have to get a blind up. I’m thinking Laura Ashley Wallace for the fabric, as it has the colours I’d like to bring in, especially red and turquoise blue.
The beauty of grey is that – while it looks great with crisp white and natural wood – it also sits comfortably with bright colour. In fact, I think grey needs splashes of colour around it to make it looks its best.
So that’s what I’ve been thinking with the accessories I’ve added to the kitchen so far.
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Renovating our kitchen has definitely been a labour of love. It’s been seven months of labour, but we’re completely in love with the outcome.
As is invariably the case with DIY and renovation projects, it’s all taken longer than anticipated. Our original estimated finish time was about two months ago, and although I’m calling this a ‘reveal’ there are still some tiny finishing off jobs to do in the kitchen. The dining area bit (behind the camera) is still a chaotic dumping ground and we’ve only just started on the living room this weekend.
But I didn’t want to wait any longer to show you this bit.
Let’s remind ourselves of where we’ve come from. Read More →
After enjoying the blogger walk around Bingley, we decided to make meet-ups a regular thing.
So it was a sunny Sunday that Jen, Fran, Natalie and I got together again, at the Mill Kitchen in Farsley, Leeds. This time we were also joined by Nadine, another Fran and Daisy.
The venue was Jen’s recommendation, and what a good one it was.
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Last week there was bad news again.
The kind that makes you cry, gasp for breath and feel scared and bewildered. The kind that makes you want to run for the hills and hide out for a bit.
Coincidentally, we were due a weekend in the Lake District for the Mr’s birthday (and mine which was a couple of weeks ago), though we felt little like celebrating.
But we talked and walked, wrapped up warm, arm in arm. We took in deep clean breaths. We raced in the hotel pool, whooping like kids.
I stood at the edge of vast expanses of water, feeling tiny, letting the enormity of the world shrink my problems and the stillness of the water calm my soul. I gazed in awe at nature, its huge hills and endless beauty, and reminded myself how miraculous life is.
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You may recall how gushing I was when Trinity Kitchen first opened.
Last month Trinity Leeds’ street food hall celebrated its first birthday and it seemed only right to show up and wish it many happy returns.
Oh, if I must also eat while there and listen to singer and ‘show-woman extraordinaire’ Em Brulée, so be it :)
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For the first time in a long time, this year I’m feeling festive long before the 23rd of December.
I think it must be because, for the first time in ages, we’re having Christmas at home and cooking for 10.
So Christmas has become our absolute deadline for making sure the downstairs renovation is done. Our schedule is slipping slightly (still finishing the dining kitchen, when we should be on to the living room) but my husband reassures me it’s all in hand.
With no presents bought and half the house a building site, I should probably feel mild panic with six-and-a-half weeks to go until the 25th and several weekends accounted for between now and then. But I seem to be still in that blissful, it-will-all-work-out-perfectly-and-look-pretty phase.
If you are too, you might fancy joining in with Matalan‘s #DecktheHalls competition. I always think Matalan is pretty good for well-priced homewares, and Christmas decorations especially. (Not averse to their clothes either, as you’ll have seen in this recent outfit post).
For the competition, you have to create a Pinterest board with your favourite Matalan Christmas items and you can win some of the products you have picked. When your board is done, tweet @Matalan with your board link using the hashtag #DecktheHalls to be entered. There are ways of joining in on Facebook and Twitter too.
My living room is yet to be decorated at all, so I have a completely blank canvas upon which to plan my Christmas style.
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I’m afraid that, on my budget, and with the money we’re ploughing into the house, designer clothes just cannot be justified most of the time. But I always like to look and dream so when Avenue 32 asked me to compile a wish list for autumn winter, I was happy to oblige.
With a good mix of established and emerging brands, Avenue 32 is a good place to look for luxury online. It’s not all at completely-out-of-the-question prices, particularly at this time of year, when I have a bit of birthday money burning a hole in my back pocket, I might want to spend more on a special outfit for an occasion or Christmas party and loved ones might be looking to treat me. I think I’ll just print this off and leave it hanging around the house throughout December :)
// 1 JW Anderson anchor sweatshirt, £215 / 2 Florence Bridge silver tinsel dress, £175 / 3 Cedric Charlier long pink coat, £820 / 4 Alexander Wang black studded rockie bag, £675 / 5 Estelle Dévé gold unison bangle, £375 / 6 Rag and Bone wine wool fedora, £165 / 7 Dominic Jones white gold alopias earrings, £165 / 8 APC tan demi lune bag, £295 / 9 Maria Black rose gold detour ring, £75 / 10 Pamela Love gold lapis telepathy ring, £75 / 11 Chinty and Parker navy lambswool stars jumper, £285 / 12 Petit Bateau stripe top, £60 //
My picks are influenced by my limitless appetite for jewellery, the need for cosy sweaters, coats and hats for the colder seasons and the possibility of a couple of parties round the corner.
What do you think to my choices? Do you like to treat yourself to a designer label from time to time?
1. Work out how you can get to Manchester on 15 November for Home Is In The North. You may recall I was pretty taken with the first such event, hosting independent northern interior designers, in April. I’d be going again but it’s my husband’s birthday and we’re off on a relaxing lakeside getaway. The theme of the show this time is ‘make a house a home’, with the focus on traditional crafts and the use of unusual materials – hence this design by cardboard artist Lottie Smith. If you fancy going along, just email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) – I have five pairs of tickets to give away.
2. Plan to be at Leeds Dock on 6/7 December for the Christmas market. You’ve just missed (last weekend) the first ever Leeds Dock Market. Think stalls, street food, mulled wine, cocktails, live music – and a free water taxi running from Granary Wharf. Getting wrapped up and strolling round markets, stopping every now and again for a warm drink or bite – that for me is one of the best things about this time of year.
3. Think of doing some of your Christmas shopping at the Etsy sellers pop-up shop in Queen’s Arcade, Leeds. It’s a bit of a coup for Leeds: earlier this year, Etsy invited local teams from across the country to apply for sponsorship to open a pop-up shop. Team Leeds, which has more than 200 members, won! The ‘One of a Kind’ store will showcase 26 Yorkshire-based independent makers and sellers. It opens at 9.30am on Saturday 15 November and closes on Tuesday 23 December. Follow on Twitter at @EtsyTeamLeeds. Read More →