31/10/2016

Lifestyle: October Favs & November Goals

October Goals Overview:

- Take a day/weekend trip to somewhere new in the UK [✓]
We took a lovely afternoon trip down to Oxford, which was our first time and we loved it!
- Attend more blogger events [✓]
We attended our second blogger meet up, also to a blogger event and maybe planning our now ;)
- Reach 1,500 Twitter followers
So close, yet so far.. follow us here
- Organise ALL photos together from THIS YEAR
Didn't even try haha
- Create more veggie friendly recipes [✓]
We did two, here and here, and we look forward to doing more!

Previous Goals Now Achieved:

- Reach 60 subscribers on YouTube [✓]
If you'd like to add to this, you can sub to us here
- Go back to Brighton, for certain ice cream shop [✓]
Didn't get the flavour I wanted, but nevertheless we went and you can read all about it here

October Favs:

FOOD

Restaurant: Gastro MK, Marrakech


I know, I know, you must be so sick of me mentioning this restaurant but honestly. AH-MAZE-ING!!
And I know technically we went end of September but we posted this on the day after in October but it just couldn't be missed out! Defo a top favourite!

Home cooked Meal: Pesto, Spinach and Tomato Quesadilla


This was one of the dishes we created as a part of our attempt of making more veggie friendly dishes and this was so simple to make, so quick but yet so tasty, it deserved to be a fav!


PEOPLE

Twitter to Follow: @KMHVlogs & @Francesca_nels

THESE GIRLS ARE LIFE! If you don't follow them, then you're missing out! We are squad goals and we're so so so excited to meet them in December!

YouTube: Charlie Friend


She's just so easy to watch; fun, bubbly and we had the privilege to meet her and she's super lovely! And hella smart, if you need to know anything about being a blogger and taxes, she's your girl! Go check out her channel, a good mixture of variety!

OTHER

Date Night: At Home Ideas


Recently, we've been such at home people and we believe these are some good ideas for some at home Date Night ideas to share with you!

Activity: Camel Riding


Sorry, holiday talking again, but this excited me so much! This has been on the bucketlist for ages and we're so so happy to have finally done it!

November Goals:

- Start Christmas shopping
- Finalise our Christmas Blogger Meet & Feast event
- Reach 80 subscribers on YouTube
- Create more 'main channel' videos
 - Read and comment on more blogs

Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | YouTube | BlogLovin'

What are your October favourites? Do you have a goal/bucket list? Leave them in the comments below!
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30/10/2016

Date Night: Chocolate Fondue & Heads Up: PlanOurDate


Following our previous date night post, you could also subscribe to date night boxes like this one! We've tried this box before which you can read about here, and now we took to having our last Plan Our Date box before they get taken over by subscription box Date Night - yes it's called Date Night!

This one included a cute little ceramic fondue set, along with a candle to light at the bottom and of course milk chocolate to melt and marshmallows to dip in. We thought this was super cute and just perfect to have after our quick homemade dinner. As well as it being reusable for any time we like.

Following our marshmallow chocolate dipping, we continued on with the rest of what we were given; Heads Up, PlanOurDate version. We were provided with 3 cards each, which we took turns in writing down a special memory or occasion and the other would have to place it on top of their head, while asking questions to guess what has been written.


This was a cute idea as you are reminiscing on good times with your other half, as well as having fun. This could also be done at home yourself, make your own cards and rules.

Being the people we are, we didn't only just write something sweet and romantic things, we wrote completely silly things like "the time you fell on the beach in Spain" which he surprisingly guessed in 3 questions, probably because I couldn't stop laughing and that memory will always be as funny as when it happened.

The idea was the person who asked the least questions would be the winner to take all three tokens, which included: Choice of Movie, Choice of Activity and One Free Massage.

Jessica lost by far with a disgraceful 15 questions, while James held strong with only 7 questions. 



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Lunch @ The Yard, City Road - Chester


As the clocks went back and we all cheer for an extra hour in the day, you'd think we'd still be lying in bed at 11 am. Nope, not us. Even after the long and eventful day before, we were up at 9 am. 

In this time we decided to head over to Cheshire Oaks to do a little shop and browse, before picking Nan to head over to another lunch celebration for Olivia's birthday, this time with the honour of the Grandparent's presence.



Jessica and I both went from the fixed price menu and had starters of mackerel and prawn brioche, and basil and tomato soup. Once I had got Grandma to very kindly peal my prawn, the flavours were subtle and complemented each other perfectly. From the taste of Jessica's soup that I had, it was also strongly flavoured and extra hot - it definitely had some secret ingredients in there because that was no ordinary tomato soup!


We both went for the Chicken supreme as our main course, a dish I think I've had here once before. The meat was stunningly tender and tasty. Of course we had to get a side of hand cut chips each, and these were also up there with the best posh chips we've had. Other than us, everyone else had a different dish and suddenly the table fell silent. Always a good sign!




To top things off, dessert arrived and all were exquisite once again. We cannot fault the food at all!



I, James have been here a couple of times with the family, and it's now on the list of places we will come back to time and time again. The welcome and service has always been impeccable, and the food is outstanding for taste and value. Whilst most of the menu is understandably pricey, the set menu of three courses for £15 is an absolute steal.

The restaurant is bright, light and very aesthetically pleasing, full of quirky features such as the signposts for the bar and toilets - 3 yards away. 




It is a family run business, we were mostly served by the Father of family, whilst also waited on by his two sons. Just knowing that somehow gives it an extra dimension and welcoming feel - especially at the standards which they carried out their jobs with. The head chef has previously worked for Gordon Ramsey, but there was no shouting or swearing here - it's the perfect place for a relaxing lunch, whether it be for an occasion or just because you love good food. 

Food: ★★★
Customer service: ★★
Atmosphere: ★★★
Toilets: 



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29/10/2016

Lunch @ Ginger - Northgate Street, Chester


This weekend we are in Chester, for my, James' sister's birthday. We were up at 6.30am and were in Chester for 10.15am, where we headed straight to the house to give presents and get ready to head out for lunch.

Ginger was new to all of us and I'd been looking forward to trying out one of the newest additions to the City Centre's dining options, having opened just under a year ago. This place came about after the owners desire to open a wine and deli bar in Chester, spotting a gap in the market for a relaxed bar/restaurant where customer's can enjoy nibbles and a drink over a catch up with friends, whilst enjoying a spot of live music which they host from time to time. 

Charcuterie board - Three varieties of chorizo, spreadable, delicate cured tenderloin Lomo Embuchando, & slices of Serrano Ham. Served with a stack toasted ciabatta drizzled with olive oil & leaves.
Continental cheese board - Three spectacular cheeses (6 month aged Manchego; Murcia al Vino, a semi soft goat’s cheese soaked in red wine), with spelt biscuits, quince jelly & figs. Accompanied by a Spanish blue cheese wrapped in maple leaves & matured in caves.

We opted to share 4 half platter's, whilst Olivia had a 'posh' bacon butty. Although it mysteriously took the sandwich 45 mins to arrive, all of the food was scrumptious - so much so, that it wasn't long before we ordered more and followed this with cakes from the deli counter. 


Pate selection board - Stilton & Guinness, and chicken liver & brandy pate, served with a stack of toasted ciabatta & leaves. 
Seafood selection board - Smoked salmon, peppered mackerel, and a prawn cocktail served with leaves & a stack of toasted ciabatta drizzled in olive oil.

Posh bacon butty - Rosemary & rocksalt focaccia toasted with bacon, sautéed mushrooms & cheese. Served with a grilled tomato & ketchup - £3.95

I personally felt like the intimate atmosphere was a tad too intimate - the small tables are very close together and doesn't leave much room to squeeze through the gaps and fit all of the delicious food in front of you. But this didn't take away from the thorough enjoyment of this perfect weekend lunch, topped off with fantastic company.


Keep up to date with our posts this weekend! We are heading to The Yard restaurant tomorrow, not one we've been to together before. But I have had the pleasure a couple of times, and I can tell you that we are in for something special!

And just as we thought we were done, we spotted this frame which made for another "take a picture" moment - we can definitely relate!


Food: ★★★
Customer service: ★★
Atmosphere: ★★★
Toilets: 



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#FBbloggerseries: @V__Gilmore


Welcome to the Food & Baker food blogger series, which every blogger, vlogger, tweeter is welcome because what human being doesn't like food(!?) This is a just a simple, quick and fun series of food related questions to just to get to know each other and meet new bloggers!

We are super grateful to everyone who are involved! Let's get started!

Introduction:

I’m Victoria, I’m 26, from London and I write a food blog (that sounded very Take Me Out…).

Why did you start blogging?

I had previously written a beauty and lifestyle blog and found the posts I most enjoyed writing and sharing were recipe posts; it just seemed logical to start writing a food blog where I could collate all of my recipes and reviews in one easy to find place. I eat out quite a lot and when I’m going somewhere new I do like to read a review or two first before booking, I hoped that by sharing my reviews I could help other people find great restaurants in London.

Three Random Facts

1. I’m a trained makeup artist and spent years freelancing and working on counters.
2. I love reading and can quite easily get through double figures of books during a week’s holiday (on a kindle obviously, imagine carrying all of those books in your suitcase!).
3. I could quite happily live on white carbs.

What is your most favourite meal in the world?

If we’re talking about the best meal I’ve ever had then it is hands down a roast chicken dish I had in Paris last year. If we’re talking a meal in general, then it would have to be my homemade spaghetti bolognese: I make a really rich and slow cooked ragu and it is my ultimate comfort food.

Are you more of a sweet or savoury kind of person?

Both! As I’m getting older I have more of an appreciation for savoury food with a sweet every now and then (this may have something to do with the fact I’m pretty sure my metabolism ground to a halt at 24- sorry kids, it’s all downhill from there…).

Do you have any weird food/eating habits?

I eat with my knife and fork back to front (fork in my right hand) and I’m really weird with eggs: if I have a dippy egg I’ll only eat the yolk, if I have a fried egg I’ll only eat the white and I can’t even deal with poached eggs.

If you could travel anywhere in the world purely for its food, where would you go?

Tough one, it’s a real toss up between Paris and Milan for me. Prior to visiting Paris I’d never considered myself to be a huge fan of French food and maintained the food I’d had in Milan was hands down the best ever; however, the food in Paris was exceptional quality. Beautiful produce and always perfectly cooked. I think it’s got to be Paris.

What is your favourite meal in the day and why?

At weekends, I’m all about brunch. I just love how relaxed and informal it is and also, all the food (I’m also a big advocate of mimosas with breakfast so…). During the week, probably dinner, I love visiting different restaurants and so it’s a winner for me.

If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

This is tough, my instant reaction was chicken but I think in honesty it would be white bread.

What would be the "out of the ordinary" thing you've eaten?

I tried kangaroo in Australia and it was beautiful. I’m slowly becoming less fussy with food and this was the first really bold meal choice I made.

Do you prefer to cook at home or eat out?

I love cooking at home, due to working full-time it’s quite rare that I actually get to regularly cook for myself so when I do it’s a real treat for me, much more so that going out for dinner which I do far more regularly than my bank account and waistline appreciate.

Homemade Crème Eggs

What's your favourite post of ours?

I really enjoy this series but if I can’t pick the whole series then I’m going for the taco pop tart recipe – I must try!

Twitter – twitter.com/V__Gilmore
Insta – Instagram.com/foodieforthoughtblog
Bloglovin - https://www.bloglovin.com/people/foodieforthought-17457537


We would like to continue this series for as long as you all want to participate, so if you would like to take part in our blogger series, please do drop us an email on foodandbaker@gmail.com and we will send you back the details.


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26/10/2016

Event: #TBHXBWB Blogger Meet & Greet - London


On Saturday we had the pleasure of attending a blogger's meet up, organised by The Bloggers Hub, in collaboration with Bloggers Who Brunch. Set back from Oxford Street, it was in prime position for London bloggers and beyond to come together, and get to know the people behind their twitter handles.



Once arriving and finally making our way through the very complicated door (don't ask), we were introduced to the organisers and began to mingle with our fellow bloggers. Jessica was particularly excited to be meeting Charlie Friend, and also close friend Ashlee Moyo was in attendance after recently launching her travel blog and events business.



I was one of just three male bloggers there, which came as no surprise. There must be more lads out there! But I got chatting to James Vincent about his hugely successful fashion blog, and took some tips from him too.


There was prosecco and cupcake aplenty, and for the ladies a nail painting artist in the house. Unfortunately chatting took over and the line was rather hefty by the time it was time for us to leave. But that was no shame as it was amazing to meet so many people with a common interest, and to hear about their inspirations, ideas for the future and all about what they do.

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We have been so inspired to meet more of you lovely bloggers and vloggers, we're hoping to hold our own blogger Christmas event in collab with our friend Ashlee, as mentioned above. So do look out for that and we hope to meet more of you in the future!


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#FBbloggeseries: @thebettystamp


Welcome to the Food & Baker food blogger series, which every blogger, vlogger, tweeter is welcome because what human being doesn't like food(!?) This is a just a simple, quick and fun series of food related questions to just to get to know each other and meet new bloggers!

We are super grateful to everyone who are involved! Let's get started!

Introduction:

Hi folks, I'm Betty and I write a food & lifestyle blog involving quite a lot of cake porn called The Betty Stamp.



Why did you start blogging?

The Betty Stamp began as a bit of a creative outlet for me and through it I've found a huge passion for baking, sharing recipes, exploring food markets, restaurants and general travel adventures to share with others!

Three Random Facts


1. I have an unhealthy obsession with binge watching Take Me Out.
2. I sing professionally around the world in an operatic crossover quartet.
3. I really enjoy bleaching things! Nothing beats donning the marigolds.

Are you allergic to anything?


NUTS! and cats unfortunately.

What is your most favourite meal in the world?


Marmite toast. I'm a simple folk. Or my mum's roast beef and Yorkshire puds.

Are you more of a sweet or savoury kind of person?


Savoury, I'd pick a pack of quavers over a choccie bar anyday. Which is ironic seeing as I write a baking blog...

If you could travel anywhere in the world purely for its food, where would you go?

If I could cure my nut allergy it would be Bali or Thailand. I looove Thai food but have to always be so careful of what I order. 

What is your favourite meal in the day and why?

Brunch, I could eat brunch items ALL day long. Eggs, avocado, cereal, marmite toast, yogurt, bacon sarnie mmmm you name it.

What would be the "out of the ordinary" thing you've eaten?

I tried sea urchin once when I was out in Greece with my Greek godmother...it was still moving it's spines...ew.

Do you prefer to cook at home or eat out?


I absolutely love cooking, but the fact that I'm lacking in a dishwasher in my life takes the edge off a little, so the treat of eating out at a pub and not having to clean up afterwards is bliiiiss.


The biggest cake I ever did make!

A white chocolate and blackberry crumble cake! mmm http://www.thebettystamp.com/2016/05/white-chocolate-blackberry-crumble-cake.html


What's your favourite post of ours?

Date Night : Plan Our Date! I'd never heard of anything like this and think it's a cracking idea!




I love to find new blogs to stalk so please do find me on one or other of these and say hi!


We would like to continue this series for as long as you all want to participate, so if you would like to take part in our blogger series, please do drop us an email on foodandbaker@gmail.com and we will send you back the details.

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23/10/2016

Dinner @ Pizza Union - King's Cross, London

Calabria - tomato sauce, mozzarella, mascarpone, nduja sausage, rocket - £5.95 - James

After an afternoon apart from each other as I, James met up with a uni friend and Jessica was at the Miss and Mr Philippines reunion, we met up in Euston for some dinner. Seeking something fairly quick and cheap, we had remembered this place after visiting the nearby Honest Burgers a little while ago. 

Stagioni - tomato sauce, mozzarella, ham, pepper, mushroom, black olives - £6.50 - Jessica

The only thing you don't have to do yourself here is cook the pizza, so no wonder the pizzas are as cheap as they are. But for what it is, it's hard to criticise as the pizzas were good and there's a great atmosphere - it was Sunday evening and it was more or less full in there.

Dolce classico - warm dough ring with nuteella and mascarpone - £3.25

We ended with this dessert to share - not the most presentable dish in the world but it went down a treat! Practically a nutella pizza, it fulfilled our need for something sweet before heading home for an evening of blog writing and vlog editing.

Fully recommend this place if you're after a quick pizza perhaps before a train journey from nearby King's Cross St Pancras, or are simply in the area with friends. Student budget friendly, and relaxed atmosphere to boot, just don't expect silver service. 

Food: ★★★
Customer service: ★★
Atmosphere: ★★★
Toilets: 

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Date Night: At Home Ideas


You know when you simply just want to snuggle in bed and stay at home? Yeah, that's pretty much been us since we've come back from holiday. Don't get me wrong, we still go out and to be honest, all our weekends for the rest of this year are all booked up. But once during the week, after work, we usually plan to go out for Date Night and we love it, but sometimes, you just want to stay at home, you know?

We had a stay at home Date Night planned for this week, but we felt just staying at home and simply watching The Apprentice is what we wanted to do. So instead of telling you what happened in The Apprentice, which I'm sure you'd already know anyway, we wanted to share with you, some of our 'At Home Date Night' ideas.

1. Homemade Candle Lit Dinner

I know it sounds super cliche, but honestly, it's not the eating and sitting down I'm talking about, we're more about the cooking together part. It's actually so much fun and complete bonding time. It's about making the mess and having a laugh, with the outcome of a romantic dinner.

2. Netflix/Movie Marathon


This one is easy, how could you go wrong with binge watching your favourite TV shows or series of movies. Or maybe this could be the chance to watch what your other half wants to see, watch The Notebook or The Hobit or simply re-watch How I Met Your Mother from the beginning - whatever floast your boat, with some candles, one blanket and unlimited popcorn, you are set!

3. Be Creative


Play some muics in the background or some YouTube videos on a playlist, get your creative juices flowing - paint each other a painting, on a canvas, a mug, anything! If not painting, try some baking - again, same like cooking, it's more of doing it together than eating it - decorate it as you like and have fun with it, it's not the Great British Bake Off.

4. Pampering

Create your own spa at home, throw on our fluffy robes and slippers. Light some scented candles around the room and bathroom, run each other a bath or have one together ;) and if it's not already a regular thing, give each other a back massage, that's always a treat! Oh and face masks, who said they were only for ladies and hey, it's only you two, so why not - go all out!

5. Go Old School

Get out those dusty old board/card games and do it like the good old days. Monopoly, UNO, Jenga, you name it! Pretty self explanatory this one and to top it all off, the 90's music, all the good stuff!

Hope all you lovelies enjoyed this little post. Let us know what are your musts dos for an evening in? 

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22/10/2016

#FBbloggerseries: @rebellexmj


Welcome to the Food & Baker food blogger series, which every blogger, vlogger, tweeter is welcome because what human being doesn't like food(!?) This is a just a simple, quick and fun series of food related questions to just to get to know each other and meet new bloggers!

We are super grateful to everyone who are involved! Let's get started!

Introduction:

Hi, my name is Marikah and I'm 23 years old. I'm finally a "blogger"! I have a “freestyle blog” called keepingupwithMJ.com that I love so much, it's like my little baby. My definition of a freestyle blogger is a person who writes about life(style), education, health, things they love, things that inspire them or basically anything that catches their interest. I also have a lot of different pages I added to my blog recently as time goes by. Check them ouT!
Everything I write comes from the heart and I'm completely proud of it!

Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging simply because I have such a passion and everlasting love for writing. Writing has been my “go to” since I was a child and I will continue until my fingers fall off (lol). It’s my way of expressing myself and I really enjoy it.

Three Random Facts

1. I bake cupcakes (I have a cupcake page on Instagram!)
2. I can sing.
3. I finally got my own room this year (2016) because my sister got married and moved out!

Are you allergic to anything?

I’m not allergic to anything, well not to my knowledge.

What is your most favourite meal in the world?

Well I don’t have a favourite because I have so many, however I love Roti (Trinidadian dish) and I love oxtail (Jamaican food)!

If you could travel anywhere in the world purely for its food, where would you go?

Maybe Paris.

What is your favourite meal in the day and why?

Brunch because I can mix meals!

If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Oh man, this is a tough one! Probably currant rolls (Trinidadian dish)

Do you prefer to cook at home or eat out?

Eat out! I love cooking home, but trying different types of foods at different restaurants…I love!

Recipe: Mango Chow


I was born in Trinidad (Trinidad and Tobago) and I grew up making what we call “Mango Chow” which basically includes:
·      Mango
·      Salt
·      Pepper
·      Cucumbers
·      Cayenne Pepper
·      Water
·      Sugar
·      & many more spices of your choice! (Secret ingredients)
Mangoes are my favourite fruit and I love incorporating it into different foods. This is however my favourite snack!! I continued to to make it when I migrated to the U.S. back in 2003! All my friends love it and my boyfriend is getting around to loving it also.

What's your favourite post of ours?

1.     HOW TO: SEARED PEPPER STEAK SALAD WITH CHIMICHURRI DRESSING
This looks really tasty! You guys did a great job on this.

I’m obsessed with avocados so this is something that I thought looked so yummy and tasty and I have to try it!
 
We would like to continue this series for as long as you all want to participate, so if you would like to take part in our blogger series, please do drop us an email on foodandbaker@gmail.com and we will send you back the details.

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