Life Rambles: Game of Thrones

Game of Throne - Life Rambles - This and That Blog

Image Credit: Ryan Pohanic c/o Unsplash

Are you guys watching the latest series of Game of Thrones? I am and I have to say I’m not loving it. Last year I’d watch each episode bang on 9pm on a Monday night. I’d rearrange my night around the show, hell I’d rearrange my week around it. I dreaded missing it as I knew I’d miss out on so much and hear numerous spoilers. And I would be waxing lyrical about how brilliant it was all the bloody time. This year, yeah not so much of that at all. I just don’t seem to be as into it as I was. For example I’m already two episodes behind and yet I’m not rushing to catch up on them. Plus I’ve barely followed any of the goings on on Twitter and don’t seem to be able to get excited about it.

Last week I was nattering to Gwen, of the Foodie Historian Blog, on Twitter and we got to talking about why it’s not so enjoyable this year. There were loads of reasons bandied about between the two of us and they all seem true: the lack of good female characters, how dark everything is, Tyrion not being as cutting as usual, all the good characters being killed off, everything feeling a bit been there done that and let’s tick things off the list. Yet we both agreed that we’d persevere after all the next series might be phenomenal and then what would we do if we’d given up?

So yes, I will continue to give an hour a week to Game of Thrones. It’ll be worth it in the end I’m sure. To round off this blog post I’ve shared my favourite and least favourite things about the current series below – do you agree or disagree?

Things I’m enjoying:

– Jon Snow – his face, his new position of power, his moral dilemmas, his face, the leader he’s become, his face. Oh and I mustn’t forget his face.

– The friendship developing between Brianna and Pod. This whole relationship is brilliant and hilarious in equal measures!

– Tyrion – the best character in the show. He’s always hilarious as a drunkard and I’m intrigued to see what will happen to him now he’s not in King’s Landing.

– Sansa finally acting like something other than a passive and insipid child

– Seeing Cersei getting her comeuppance.

– Bron and Jamie – brilliant, brilliant, brilliant!

 

Things I’m not enjoying:

– Daenerys – I cannot stand this woman and her dragons

– The lack of action. I swear there’s been all of ten minutes in the entirety of the few episodes I’ve seen

– The randomness of Arya’s journey to a building surrounded by water. Would she really have gotten rid of everything she owns including her sword?

– The disappearance of Bran and his merry band of small people (plus Hodor). Where have they gone?!

– Tyrion not being at court and against his family. The cutting remarks and comments between Tyrion, Cersei and Tywin were some of the best scenes of the last series.

Fi x

Thought of the Day: Great Things

Image (minus text) from Unsplash by Leigh Kendell

For this week’s quote of the day I thought I’d share a quote that I stumbled across just the other day. As soon as I read the above I was all like ‘yes! This is so true!’. I really could not have put it better myself. Vincent Van Gogh really was a clever man, as well as you know being a creative genius! I really couldn’t have been more on board with this idea if I tried.

We all know that if you are trying to tackle a giant thing then you’re bound to fail unless you consider it as a bunch of small things. Only by breaking it down into little bits can it be tackled and defeated. Similarly as you’re completing small things you realise that you’re contributing to something bigger, not necessarily a project or a specific tangible thing, but something more important than that. Something that’s important to what you’re doing with your life. Something that makes you who you are. Be it a friendship, a satisfying job or something to be proud of. Only as these small things join up does it become clear that you’re headed for something bigger. So let’s all remember these wise words next time we’re aiming for greatness in work, our personal life or just in general. A bunch of little small things done well will result in greatness.

Life Rambles: Life According to Instagram

Don’t you just love Instagram? I do.

I spend my day working with images and yet Instagram is still the first social media app I open at lunchtime or at the end of the day on my train home. I just love the visual snapshot that it provides. I suppose the truth is that I am just an incredibly nosy person and Instagram definitely feeds my nosiness! On that note I figured I’d show some of my latest Instagram posts, to give you a snapshot of my life recently.

Life according to Instagram - Life Rambles - This and That Blog

5 day UP streak with over 10,00 steps per day / Coffee on the train platform after an early start to vote / dinner with friends at Bill’s

2 ingredient pancakes with strawberries & Nutella / Loving this song so much lately / Thought of the Day #14

Amazing Biscuiteers post from the sisterlings / Rainy view of St Pancras station at a work event / Wine o’clock

Life according to Instagram - Life Rambles - This and That Blog

Chilling in the parentals garden / Rhododendrons discovered during a run in the woods / Homemade Iced Coffee

Twin moment with Mum / Pyford Lock / Tuesday morning commuting music

Work away from my desk / Stormy London skyline / Summer finds in Sainsbury’s

According to Instagram my life is all about food, running, coffee, clothes and fabulous London and Surrey views. I’m totally okay with that! If you fancy seeing more of the above then hop on over to my Instagram for more of the same. Also if you’re on Instagram let me know, I’m always on the lookout for new feeds to follow. Have a lovely Monday.

Laura xx

In the Kitchen: Raw Brownies

I’ve been a follower of Ella’s blog, Deliciously Ella, for a while now and always marveled at the recipes she shares and her amazing food story. I find it awe-inspiring that she’s changed her diet so drastically over a relatively short space of time and has stuck to it. I know that as much as I love the ideas I could never say goodbye completely to some of the things she has done. Although I am attempting to put some of her tips into practice – adding more vegetables to my diet and relying less on unnatural sugars. But it’s most definitely a work in progress. I often look at the posts and think I really should make that it looks so easy, but to date I’ve actually only made three of her recipes – her hummus, sweet potato brownies and now the raw brownies in her recipe book. That one below!

Raw Brownies - In the Kitchen - This and That Blog

I splurged on the book a few weeks ago in Waterstones and brownies seemed the logical first recipe to make from the book. After all I do love a good brownie! To be honest with you I wouldn’t have these if I was craving a brownie as the consistency isn’t quite what I’d want but they are delicious and just perfect for filling that sweet craving mid afternoon. My Dad and I somehow managed to get through a whole tin of them in three days. Oops! And on the plus side, they are full of healthy things.

Raw Brownies - In the Kitchen - This and That Blog

If you want to make your own you’ll simply need to pulse 140g of pecans in a food processor until they’re crumbly. Then add 400g pitted Medjool dates and 3 tbsp of raw cacao powder and blend together. Once you’ve got a really sticky mixture just press the mixture into a parchment lined baking tray and pop in the freezer for one hour. After an hour cut them up and pop into a tin. Store in the fridge for up to a week.

So there we go, a super simple way to enjoy a guilt-free sweet snack (that’s if you can stop at just one…)!

-Fi x

Wishlists: Dreaming about a New House

I’m in serious nesting mode right now. Never mind that I’m still back at my parents’ house, have no wardrobe, chest of drawers or space to keep my stuff and no idea when this will change. Despite all of this I seem unable to stop myself from buying and wanting all the house things I see. It’s really quite insane. But really if you’d seen the two pug pictures below would you have been able to say no? I couldn’t. I blame the killer combo of pug, snort-laughing text and a matching pair. Basically impossible to say no, am I right?! I think this need to buy all the house things is because it’s the only part of this laborious situation that I can control. Everything else is totally out of my hands and not something I can speed up at all.

Dreaming about a New House - Wishlists - This and That Blog

Gemma Correll Prints from Ohh Deer

There are all sorts of awesome things on my I-need-to buy-right-now list and as you can see from the below there’s a bit of a theme: chevron, colours and patterns. Plus a bit of gold thrown in. If I ever do get to move into a new house it’s going to look pretty awesome, am I right?

 

wishlist - new house 1
These blue and white bowls would be perfect in a sparkly new kitchen for all sorts of things. Even when left on the side with leftovers in they’d look awesome wouldn’t they? If we’re lucky enough to get the place we want then this sofa filled with mint and pink cushions would look pretty cool against the wall in the kitchen. Just the ideal place to snuggle up reading on as dinner cooks. Oliver Bonas’ home stuff is always a winner and this chevron frame is no different. It would be ideal in the grey and turquoise themed bedroom I’m planning and for a bookaholic like me (see this book obsessed post for proof) book ends are always a good idea. And this pair are super cute!
wishlist - new home

Black and White Vase / Antelope Head / Chevron Throw / Chevron Baskets / Gold Vase / Butterfly Bedding

Something else that would go perfectly with the cushions on the potential sofa is this chevron throw. Isn’t it just stunning. I’m thinking that might be what my birthday vouchers are spent on. Whilst we’re on the subject of amazing throws and snuggling blankets, just look at this bedding. It’s so gorgeous. I definitely need it. I love the colours and that it looks like a normal circular pattern until you look closer and spot the butterflies.

I love the combo of black, white and gold and think these vases would look perfect arranged on a mantelpiece or windowsill. Perhaps not in the same room as the pink antelope head though. But isn’t that a thing of beauty? Finally these chevron baskets are just perfect for hiding all manner of bits and bobs in, I’m thinking in particular in the bathroom where you don’t want everything on show but need somewhere to keep all the extra bottles of shampoo or rolls of loo roll!

So there we have it, a whole host of things that I am currently stopping myself from buying. To be honest though as soon as we’re lucky enough to complete on a house (fingers and toes crossed) I’m not sure my willpower will hold out much longer! But the real question is, what will be the first of what’s certain to be LOTS of purchases?

Thought of the Day 16: Impossible

 

Impossible - Thought of the Day - This and That Blog

Sometimes it’s hard to remember that nothing is impossible. When things are at their worst or there is ten steps still to complete or when life just gets hard. But as Audrey Hepburn says, nothing it impossible, it’s in the word after all…

 

Out and About: The Hogwarts Express

In my latest Top 10 of Now post I mentioned that I had been back to the Warner Brothers Studio Tour in honour of thirtieth birthday milestones. Our original plan was to visit back in February, but just before booking our tickets it was announced that Platform 9 3/4 and the Hogwarts Express would be coming to the tour. With that in mind we knew that we had to postpone our visit until after the exhibit had opened. An obvious conclusion I think you can all agree?

Hogwarts Express - Out and About - This and That Blog

So platform 9 3/4 and the Hogwarts Express. Guys it’s AMAZING! As soon as I turned the corner I was able to imagine myself arriving at the platform with my ticket and trolley to board the scarlet steam engine. Honestly I felt like a little kid all over again. It was like the first time I read the books, that wonder and awe was back. Everywhere I looked there was something new to discover. 

Hogwarts Express - Out and About - This and That Blog Hogwarts Express - Out and About - This and That Blog Hogwarts Express - Out and About - This and That Blog

Hogwarts Express - Out and About - This and That Blog

Also not only have they added a whole new section of train goodness but there’s also a new indoor cafe and picnic area, so you don’t have to fight over the small number of picnic tables or huddle away from the rain.

Anyone interested in the books, the films or in fact the film industry in general should definitely book themselves in for a visit. There’s just so much to see and do. I’m already hoping to book another trip in soon. Maybe at the end of the year, who knows. I’ll have to wait and see.

Laura x

Life Rambles: Top 10 of Now

So it’s been been awhile since one of these posts. I definitely managed one in March, but not so much for April. Although there was a Top 10 of Deal which was sort of the same thing. Maybe. These last few weeks have been manically busy – do I start every post off with that? Probably! Anywho here’s my Top 10 of May.

1. A fourth trip to the Warner Bros. Harry Potter Studio Tour AKA the heavenly place that is Hogwarts, Diagon Alley and now Platform 9 3/4. Complete with the real life Hogwarts Express. When my oldest friends suggest a trip there to celebrate turning 30 of course I was going to say yes! So much fun! I will be writing a post about that soon, promise.

2. While we’re on the topic of the studio tour we must discuss the shop. Yes it’s over priced and so commercial it’s a little sad. But at the same time you can buy Chudley Cannons t-shirts, a puppet Hedwig and Hogwarts robes in your house colours. Which is just so many kinds of awesome! While I didn’t buy any of those, I did treat myself to a new notebook. Yep I’m a total stationary freak.

Top 10 - Life Rambles - This and That Blog

3. Booking a long weekend visit to Paris for the summer. Fi and I are off to a wedding in Pau, but getting there directly from London is quite a trek. Cue a stopover before and after in Paris. Yay for exciting plans! My one and only previous trip to Paris was in the snow, so I’m excited to visit it in slightly warmer climates.

4. Brunch Club. Friends, check. Good food, check. Scintillating conversation, double check. You just can’t beat brunch club.

Top 10 - Life Rambles - This and That Blog

5. New books. Two for £7.00 in Asda. How can I say no? Obviously I can’t. Especially when there’s a James Patterson title (or two) involved.

Top 10 - Life Rambles - This and That Blog

6. Sunshine days. Yippee for brighter days finally occurring.

7. Unexpected sales shopping. I found myself in Banana Republic yesterday and started perusing the sales rails. The next think I new I was purchasing three skirts and 1 top to bulk up my summer wardrobe. That’s the problem with having things in storage, I have nothing to wear! Anyway once I got home I realised that the full price of all my items came to £170 which was more than fives times the £33 I actually spent. Now that’s the kind of shopping I like.

8. A twin moment clothes-wise with my Mum. Clearly we both have excellent taste in trousers!

Top 10 - Life Rambles - This and That Blog

9. Banana Pancakes. These are a revelation, a healthy pancake made of only two ingredients, one of which is banana and I still like them. AMAZING. These are my favourite Sunday breakfast at the moment. Fi will be posting the recipe for these soon so keep your eyes peeled.

10. Bank Holiday weekends. Three whole days with no plans equals my favourite thing ever.

-Laura x

 

In the Kitchen: Spinach and Chickpea Curry

When it comes to curry I am a fiend. I adore it. If I had to eat it every night for a week I don’t think I’d mind, as long as it was the right kind that is. None of the spiciness of vindaloo for me, I want something tasty with a hint of spice, you know enough that you need to add a bit of mango chutney and not so much that you can’t taste anything for the next week. I have never seen the point of suffering as you eat, like my friend did in the first year of University as he cried his way through his dish as we ate at one of the many places on Manchester’s Curry Mile (aka the place of dreams) – what is the point of that?

Anyway, I’ve gone slightly off topic as per usual, as today I want to share a delicious, cheap and easy curry that I made recently. Isn’t that the meal trifecta right there? Cheap, easy and delicious is what all meals should be! A huge shout out has to go to Dannii at Hungry, Healthy, Happy for this recipe as it’s all her creation. I just discovered it on her blog, made it with minimal changes and devoured it in seconds. {Sidenote: have you visited Dannii’s site before? If not you must! It’s jam-packed with awesome recipes that have minimal guilt. So brilliant!}

Spinach and Chickepea Curry - In the Kitchen - This and That Blog

Here’s the original 10 minute Chickpea and Spinach curry recipe and here’s what I did:

For four people you’ll need:
2 diced onion
2 cloves of crushed garlic
2 cans of chopped tomatoes
2 tins of chickpeas (drained)
300g spinach
1tsp ground coriander
1tsp paprika
1tsp cumin
1tsp turmeric
1tsp cayenne pepper

Fry the onion and garlic in a saucepan for two minutes before adding the spices
Add the chopped tomatoes, chickpeas and season with salt and pepper and simmer for minutes until a lot of the liquid has gone
Add the spinach and cook for a further two minutes
Serve with brown rice and mango chutney

See simple as anything isn’t it? And delicious and something I could eat all day everyday!