Life Rambles: Friday Favourites #89

Morning all! I think that it’s been so long since I’ve written one of these posts that I’ve sort of forgotten how it’s done. Oops! Is that normal? For me it probably is! Before we discuss my favourite things from the week let’s start by congratulating ourselves on making it to Friday. Hooray for that, and for the weekend and all the adventures that it will bring. Sunday is half marathon day for me, so that should be fun! I’m actually not even joking, I’ve really enjoyed the training this year, and I’ve always wanted to run this race, so it should be a good day. FYI – you can sponsor me here if you’re that way inclined (pretty please do, I’m so close to the £600 mark).


Number one on my favourite things list is the fact that my knee is fixed! I had a mild panic at the weekend because I had hideous knee pain. It was so bad that I couldn’t bend my knee without pain. Anyway, I’ve rested it, iced it and elevated it and everything seems to be back in working order. So it’s full steam ahead for Sunday. I’ve not run since last Tuesday (so that’s almost two weeks) but I’m not going to chance it again until race day. It’s not the way I want to finish my race training, but I think it’s probably the most sensible option. I have managed to fit in a couple of swims this week though, so that makes me feel better. And anyway the main thing is that I can run on Sunday, and this way I think I can.

Next up on the list is a book, because I love a good book and I’m having a great reading run at the moment. I’ve just finished Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie and I was totally hooked. I definitely haven’t read enough Agatha Christie in my life, especially not the Poirot books. I’m trying to rectify that, one book at a time. I started with this one as I know that there’s a film version coming up soon and I always like to read the book before watching the film. Anyway the reason that Murder on the Orient Express has made its way onto my favourite things list for the week is because the plot is amazing! The twists and turns and plotting is excellent and I was hooked from the start. I can’t wait to see how it plays out on the big screen.

Point three on the today’s Friday Favourites list is birthday present buying. I love shopping for other people! With the youngest sisterbean celebrating a birthday this weekend Fi and I have been planning and purchasing all the fun things.


Now let’s talk about a very belated Father’s Day on Sunday. The sisterbeans and I treated the Fatherbear to an afternoon of mini golf and lunch at Swingers, in the heart of the city. Of course Dad won, he wins everytime – I think it’s because he plays golf each week. But I came second, with only a couple of points more – yes! Honestly, if I could order a G&T at each hole on a normal golf course I would totally take up the game! Until then I’ll stick to visiting Swingers, playing 9 holes and then feasting on Patty & Bun burgers.

The final item on my favourite things list has to be Autumn. Does anyone else think that Autumn has suddenly hit, out of nowhere, this year? You blink and suddenly the parks are awash with autumnal colours. Again, what is with that? Anyway I’m diving right in and doing my best to embrace the new season. From walks in the fallen leaves, searching for conkers, to lighting candles at home and feasting on pumpkin spice loaf.  I have definitely reached peak Autumn. Hooray for that!

What about you lovely lot, are you embracing the Autumn or are you missing the Summer sunshine?

Laura xx

The Book Corner: September Reads

September Reads - The Book Corner - This and That Blog

So the most mammoth bookish post is now live! Forgive me for the extreme length of this post, but I appear to have read a ridiculous number of books in September – that’ll be the joy of a holiday for you! So read on to see what I thought of all my September reads.

The Whitstable High Tide Swimming Club: Part One by Katherine May

My first September read is set in Whitstable and tells the story of a bunch of people, misfits if you will, who all come together to form a swimming club and help each other through a number of personal issues. It’s the first of a three-part serialisation, released in ebook form over a six-month period. It was a good read – I was intrigued by the characters for one – and I did enjoy it.

However, I think it loses something because of the nature of serialisation. As just as you start to understand the characters and get into the meat of the story – so past the scene setting – the book ends. And you really just want to keep reading! It’s a bit of a mistake to be honest as it’s not the kind of in-depth, really intriguing tale that has me pre-ordering the next book. There was no big cliffhanger or anything and I don’t need to know what happens yet. So all in all I’m a bit meh about this ‘series’ now and probably won’t pick up/download book two.

Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart

We Were Liars is possibly one of my favourite books ever. It’s the sort of book you press into others’ hands to get them to read asap and it has a twist that completely bowls you over. So let’s just say that Genuine Fraud, the next book from E Lockhart, had a lot to live up to. And it kind of does! It’s most definitely a twisty page-turner of a read – I finished it in a day or so. Plus it introduces a really interesting character, a con artist that you don’t really like, but who you’re fascinated by! While it was intense and intriguing and, in parts, gripping it wasn’t as good as We Were Liars. So definitely worth reading if you’re a fan of a good thriller!

Shell by Paula Rawsthorne

This book is incredible and I raced through it in one train journey. It tells the tale of girl dying from cancer, which she’s ready for and has accepted. One day she wakes up in another girl’s body and cancer free, all thanks to a body transplant. Freaky, right? I have to be honest the concept really isn’t something I’d usually read, but it’s a work book so I had to give it a whirl. And I was pleasantly surprised!

Within a chapter I was hooked and needed to know what was going to happen to all involved. I loved how the writing drew you in and you felt like you were in the character’s head – you really did feel like you were in the wrong body. The writing was that good. The only bad point is that I probably didn’t agree completely with how some characters acted, especially towards the end of the book. But that’s a small point, especially as the book itself was so blooming gripping with such an incredible concept.

The Light Jar by Lisa Thompson

The next book on my September reads list is The Light Jar and it is a must-read. It’s an incredibly written book about domestic violence, imaginary friends and how we cope when things get scary. It tells the tale of a young boy who flees his home in the middle of the night with his Mum. Once they arrive he makes friends with a little girl who is on a mission to uncover a mystery from years ago and also has to deal with his Mum going missing too. It’s a tale of friendship and hope, fear and loneliness and you won’t be able to put it down. This is such a good book, and not just a good kids book – a good book full stop.

A Change is Gonna Come by various authors

This is a YA anthology written by BAME authors with each story focused on the theme of change. The book is written by well established authors as well as four debut authors and it’s so good, most definitely a must-read. Unusually, for an anthology, I loved every story included. Plus there was some poetry in there, which I also loved. The authors have written about a wide array of topics, from grief and friendship, to dealing with racism and first love. I defy you not to read this book, love it and find a particular story that resonates with you.

September Reads - The Book Corner - This and That Blog

The Girlfriend by Michelle Frances

This is billed as the best thriller of the year and perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train  and Gone Girl. And while it’s good I think those comparisons go a bit far. Don’t get me wrong it’s twisty and full of flawed characters in the two main female characters, but it’s not as gripping or shocking as those original books, especially not Gone Girl. What it is however is an enthralling and interesting read about how a mother reacts when introduced to her son’s girlfriend for the first time and how small slights or exchanges can be perceived in different ways and escalate into something huge. Definitely a good read – just don’t assume it’ll be as good as some of the big thrillers of the last few years!

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg

This is such a fun mystery book and one I wish I’d read as a child. It follows two children who run away from home to live in a museum and stumble across a mystery that they then decide to solve. It is such a fun premise, both the museum living (bathing in fountains and sleeping in a four-poster bed from hundreds of years ago), and the mysterious statue that the kids try to solve the mystery of. This really should be a classic that every child reads.

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Book one in this fantasy trilogy is incredible – it’s the perfect mix of magic and fantasy, rivalry and love, peril and friendship. The world that Kendare Blake has created is so well described that you feel like you’re living in and experiencing it. As for the story – amazing! Law decreed that each generation the three queens are separated as children and grow up in different areas in the kingdom. There the three sisters – an elemental, who can control fire, a poisoner, who can ingest the deadliest poisons, and a naturalist, who is said to control the fiercest beasts and bloom flowers – learn more about the magical gifts they are born with. Then on their 16th birthday the sisters meet again and so begins a fight to the death, and the crown. Seriously it’s incredible!

American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld

This book has been on my TBR pile for years, and that’s not even a slight exaggeration! I’ve just been waiting for a longish holiday so that I didn’t have to heft all 650 pages around for weeks – I needed concentrated reading time. So thank goodness for Portugal where I was finally able to read it. And it was amazing, I devoured it in about two days and adored it. It’s just so fascinating.

The premise is a fictional version of Laura Bush’s life. So it takes some of the true facts and imagines what could have happened and the circumstances around her life. I had no idea about any of Laura Bush’s life and I’m now fascinated by her – I had no clue she wasn’t born into an American elite family or that she might not have the same political outlook as her husband and his family. It’s truly intriguing. I definitely need to pick up her autobiography now to sort the fact from the fiction.

I Am, I Am, I Am by Maggie O’Farrell

This is a memoir that tells the tale of 17 brushes with death. From childbirth and a horrendous childhood illness to a potential plane crash and drowning, novelist Maggie O’Farrell explores her life with such honesty and beauty. She wrote the book in response to her daughter being diagnosed with a severe immunology disorder, as a way to find sense in it all – by examining how close we all are, throughout our live, to the possibility of death and the realities of pain. It’s beautifully written – in parts harrowing and in parts uplifting. It’s so beautiful and one of my favourite memoirs ever.

Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton

Book two in this Arabian nights style fantasy series is incredible. I raced through it on holiday and this tale of love, secrets, traitors, rebels, revenge, princes and magical powers was the perfect holiday read. It veers from the original desert setting of book one and enters the Sultan’s palace, which was such a welcome change to a lot of other YA books. The characters are intriguing, all with different outlooks and priorities and possibly not quite what you think – all of which makes this a thrilling, page-a-minute read!

You Will Not Have My Hate by Antoine Leiris

Antoine Leiris’ positivity in the face of a horrific event – the loss of his wife during the Bataclan attack in Paris – is so inspiring. The fact that he refuses to let the perpetrators’ hatred turn into hatred that infects his life is such an incredible view. In this long essay he recounts the horror of those initial hours and days and how he handled everything about the attack. From hearing an attack was happening, to discovering his wife was dead, to telling his toddler son his Mummy wasn’t returning, to visiting her body and saying a final goodbye to living each day since that moment without her. It’s beautiful, honest, heartbreaking and, above all, hopeful.

Tower of Dawn by Sarah J Maas

It’s no secret, to anyone, that I adore Sarah J Maas’ Throne of Glass series. I’ve devoured each of the five books in mere days and haven’t wanted to put them down. Book six in the series, Tower of Dawn, was no different. Despite it veering away from Caelena and focusing on Chaol and Nesryn’s story. The new characters and location of the story just meant there was more to discover. More of the world to understand. Plus more characters to be surprised by, to be betrayed by and to fall in love with. It’s just a great fantasy YA book and if you’ve not discovered these books yet you MUST!

So there we go thirteen books in September’s reading pile. All of them so very different and many of them the best books I’ve read for a long while. So if you’re looking for a memoir, a kids book or a new YA read, I’ve got you covered! Tell me though, what have you read recently, what should I read next?

-Fi x

In the Kitchen: Top Five Autumn Recipes

Autumn Recipes - In the Kitchen

I’m back from my holiday and we are well and truly in Autumn now. The temperature has dropped and all I really want to do at the end of the day is snuggle with a blanket and feast on something tasty. I want dinners that will envelope my house in a bubble of warmth and delicious aromas. Quite simply I want comfort food. To satisfy my need for comfort food I’ve been making my favourite autumn recipes on a regular basis. Which is totally putting a smile on my face. So to bring some of that joy to the blog I am going to share my five favourite autumn recipes with you.

Number 1 // Chicken Pilaf

This is a firm favourite in our house. So much so that it’s not just an autumn recipe, for us it’s one that we make all year round. The fact that it’s a slow cooker recipe means that it’s a case of prepping a few things at the start and then leaving it to do it’s thing for the next few hours. Which means more time for napping or reading a book. Or to bake a cake! The slow cooker aspect, plus the delicious flavours is why this recipe has made it’s way onto my list of autumn recipes.

Number 2 // Homemade Baked Beans

Number two on the favourite autumn recipes list is our homemade baked beans. Fi shared this one a few weeks ago, and it’s definitely a firm favourite. Baked beans are a staple in our house, they are the perfect topping for baked potatoes or toast, or they make a great base for a vegetable chilli. And that’s why they are on this list. They are basically the perfect autumnal feasting food. Plus there’s something about making your own beans and knowing what’s in them – as much as I love Heinz these are far superior.

Number 3 // Spinach and Chickpea Curry

This one is a Hungry Healthy Happy recipe that is a firm favourite of ours. It’s simple and delicious and allows us to use up all our store cupboard staples in a quick and simple way. It literally takes 15 minutes, so it’s the perfect recipe for autumn when you want to spend minimal time in the kitchen and still end up with a warm and hearty dish to feast on.

Number 4 // Red Lentil & Cauliflower Korma

Yes, it’s another curry. Sorry not sorry because this vegetarian version of a korma is unbelievably good. If I’m honest I didn’t expect this to be something I would like as I wasn’t always a big cauliflower fan, but this recipe utterly converted me and now cauliflower is one of my favourites. This is the perfect meal for a lazy sunday afternoon, where you can potter in the kitchen and enjoy the wonderful smells of this curry coming together.

Number 5 // Macaroni Cheese

Gooey cheese, lashings of vegetables and salty lardons, what’s not to love? This is an Evans family favourite, and is always a crowd pleaser. This is my ultimate comfort food dish. Every time I cook this it takes me back to evenings when I was growing up, helping in the kitchen and nattering away around the dinner table. The excellent thing about this dish is that you can throw in whatever vegetables you want. We go for mushrooms and artichokes with a topping of tomatoes, but you can bung in whatever. Plus there’s lashings of cheese sauce – did I mention that?

So there you have it, my top five autumn recipes. As you can see I’ve included my favourite slow cooker recipes and Evans family classics. Do you have any favourite autumn recipes? Do share if you do, new recipes are always needed!

Laura xx

Life Rambles: Friday Favourites #88

Happy Friday team! I hope you’ve had a good week and are ready for an epic weekend! We’ve not had a Friday favourites post for three weeks now so it’s high time we got back to celebrating the happy things, big and small, in our lives. First up has to be our Portugal trip. Unsurprisingly we had the BEST time. It was a holiday of sunshine, swimming, sand between our toes, brilliant books, lovely friends, lots of chattering and scrumptious food. Basically perfect. A relaxing time in the sun is always a good idea, am I right?!

FRiday Favourites 88 - Life Rambles - This and That Blog

In other good news from this week, autumn’s arrived. Hooray! As I’ve mentioned a lot in the past it’s my favourite time of year. So I’m over the moon that it’s finally here, although I could do with the temperature diving a bit. What’s with that humidity?! Eurgh. But with pretty autumnal leaves, stunning tress and conkers everywhere it’s hard to complain about the heat. I mean, just look – swoonworthy!

Next up, I’ve had some lovely time with the family this week. From an evening spent eating yummy food at Box Park, to an afternoon of baking and Netflix with the sisters followed by a delicious birthday dinner for the Fatherbear. It’s been quite a week for fun with the family. I’m really so very lucky to have the family I do.

In other Friday favourites news, I’ve booked a holiday! I’m off to Hamburg in December for a long weekend of yummy food and Christmas markets. It’s going to be such fun! Have you ever been to Hamburg, what would you suggest we do?

 Friday Favourites 88 - Life Rambles - This and That Blog

The final thing on today’s Friday favourites post is all the good books I’ve been reading recently. From an incredible memoir, I Am, I Am, I Am, to a fascinating fictionalisation of Laura Bush in American Wife and with the un-putdownable Tower of Dawn topping it off a long list – over 10! – I’ve been enjoying every page. Yeah for good reads!

So tell me, what’s made your week incredible?

-Fi x

Wishlists: Autumn Wardrobe

The days are getting shorter, the leaves are getting crunchier and the temperature is dropping. That means it must be my favourite time of year, autumn. I could spend forever nattering about why autumn is brilliant and what I’ve got planned for the season – in fact I already have done in my recent Autumn bucket list post – but I won’t bore you with that again today. No, today’s post is my autumn wardrobe wishlist. Containing those seasonal pieces that I’ve been lusting over for the last few weeks, which would make my autumn wardrobe complete. Items that I’ve almost bought a bundle of times – somebody stop me! So read on if you want some autumn wardrobe inspiration!

autumn wishlist

Like Lau mentioned in her Autumn wishlist post I’m all about the dresses and black tights when autumn arrives. Partly because, yes, it’s easier early in the morning and partly because it’s a look that can transition from work to evening and into the weekend with minimal additions. As long as the accessories, i.e the jacket and shoes are right, then you’re set. Simple! So therefore my autumn wardrobe wishlist includes no less than five dresses. The great thing about dresses is that they are all so different. So while they’re an easy win they look so interesting. So whether you’re in the mood for stripes or a simple colour block dress, a bookish look or florals you’re sorted! Just don’t make me choose just one of these dresses. I’ll fail abysmally!

autumn wishlist1

Green CoatStriped Shirt / Star Jumper / Navy Blazer / Grey Tweed Blazer / Ankle BootsStriped ‘You’re Smashing It’ Top

Next up on my wishlist we have the jackets and blazers – step two in my perfect autumn uniform. In autumn it’s often warm enough to forego the really warm winter coat with fur lining and opt instead for blazers and jackets. Something lighter and cooler but still some protection from the chill or, let’s be honest, the rain! This year I’m really keen to add a tweed blazer to my wardrobe as I think it’ll move some of my more summery dresses into an autumn appropriate outfit. Same with the navy one and that’s, perhaps, a little less school teacher or professor in look! As for the longer green jacket, that feels like it might be a smarter work option and I’m in love with the colour. Jade is such a good autumn colour!

A new pair of autumn books and a new striped shirt or top are definitely autumn essentials and with a pair of skinny jeans (of which I have plenty of pairs) I’m set for the perfect weekend look. And it wouldn’t be a wishlist post if there wasn’t some form of stripes included! After all my wardrobe is 25% stripes! The final item is the most gorgeous snuggly jumper. I love this pattern, the simplicity of it is everything. And I like the contrast of the simplicity and the neon colour. I think that works really well. And I only have three other grey jumpers so a fourth is allowed, right????

So there we go, my autumn wardrobe wishlist! Does anyone want to make a guess as to how many of these items I’ll end up purchasing? I’m hoping it’s no more than two, but who knows… Wish me luck!

-Fi x

In the Kitchen: Shakshuka

 Shakshuka - In the Kitchen - This and That Blog

It’s no secret that I’m a big brunch fan. Whether it’s a plate of homemade eggs or a stack of pancakes from one of London’s finest establishments I’m always here for a brunch extravaganza. And while trying a new brunch place is awesome, sometimes making brunch at home is just as good. Not least because you can enjoy it while still in your pjs! We’ve shared some of our favourite homemade brunch recipes on the blog in the past. Like these yummy cinnamon buns, my favourite two ingredient pancakes and this breakfast scramble. But today’s post is a new savoury brunch option. One that’s fairly new to me – shakshuka.

I first encountered shakshuka a year or so ago on copious blog posts and Instagram shots and while it looked yummy I had no idea what it was. Well apart from a mash-up of tomatoes and egg, which looked to go perfectly with avocado! But I knew one day I’d try it and I was sure we’d be firm friends from that point. Fast forward to March this year and I finally tried shakshuka at The Rail House Cafe, and I can confirm that it was indeed love at first taste. There’s something about the spicy tomato and pepper combo that goes perfectly with eggs, as you scoop it up with crusty bread. So delicious. Just look!

Shakshuka - In the Kitchen - This and That Blog

So delicious, in fact, that we had to make it ourselves and I can honestly say this is going to become a staple for brunch in our house. While it does take a bit of time, the steps really are super simple without any faff. And the time it takes is so totally worth it. Even better the ingredients are basically store cupboard ones so it’s likely you can make it whenever you fancy it, without any annoying supermarket trips!

Shakshuka: Ingredients

3 tbsp olive oil / 1 onion / 2 peppers (a mix of colours) / 2 garlic cloves / 0.5 tsp cumin seeds / 0.5 tsp caraway seeds / 0.5 tsp cayenne pepper / 1 tbsp tomato puree / 1 tin chopped tomatoes / 4 eggs / 40g feta cheese

Shakshuka - In the Kitchen - This and That Blog

Shakshuka: Method

  • *Thinly slice the onions and peppers and finely chop the garlic
  • *Heat the oil in a lidded pan before adding the onions and peppers, cook until softened
  • *Add the garlic and cook for two minutes before sprinkling in the cumin, caraway seeds and cayenne pepper
  • *Stir in the tomato puree and cook until the paste starts to separate, then add the tomatoes and a tbsp water
  • *Simmer for 10 minutes, uncovered, until reduced a little. Stir in the herbs
  • *Make wells in the sauce for the eggs and drop in each one carefully. Cook until the whites of the egg are just set and the yolks are runny
  • *Sprinkle with feta and serve with fresh bread and avocado

So there we go, super simple right? And super tasty. Basically, you just have to make it. I can guarantee you’ll be as obsessed as I am!

-Fi x

Wishlists: Autumn Wardrobe Update

It’s no surprise that autumn is my favourite time of the year. You all know that I love a cosy jumper on an autumn day. See my Autumn jumper wishlist for more details on that obsession.
Now it’s not only jumpers that I am obsessed with, I’ve also been scouring the shops for other Autumnal pieces. I don’t want too much new stuff as my current wardrobe can easily become my autumn wardrobe. All I need to do is add black tights, a cardigan (or jumper), and some chunky boots. But it is nice to see what’s new in the shops and to possibly treat myself to some new things.
So that’s what I’m sharing today; my picks for an autumn wardrobe update.

autumn wardrobe update

As you can see from the above, a dress is a staple for me at this time of year. It’s an easy way to look put together, while still making minimal effort. I can’t tell you the number of days I’ve just thrown on tights, a dress and a chunky necklace, and then received endless compliments. I’ve had my eye on that navy Oliver Bonas dress for quite some time now. It comes in a couple of other colours too, but navy is my go to colour at all times. I’ve told myself that I have to wait for the sale, so far I’m sticking to that, but it’s tough!

Confession time, I’ve already bought those brogues. I wore the black version of these constantly last year, so when I saw that M&S had them in this wine colour I became obsessed. Anyway I had a voucher so I ended up paying just 50p of my own money for them.

The same time that I bought the brogues I spotted that blazer. I was wearing a navy dress at the time (yes, I have a navy dress problem) and the blazer colour worked really well with it. I like that it’s quite casual, with a relaxed fit, but still looks smart. Plus it’s a good option if I don’t want to wear a cardigan but need another layer.

What is on your Autumn wishlist? Do you do a regular wardrobe update or do you stick to the same pieces each year?

Laura xx

Out and About: Morden Hall Park

Morden Hall Park - Out and About - This and That Blog

We have lived in our home for two years now and yet the area still remains somewhat of a mystery to me. Don’t get me wrong I’ve explored loads of the area, but there’s just still loads more to investigate. Or to experience in a new way, in a new season. For example Streatham Common’s rookery is an entirely different place in the summer than it is in the depths of winter. No less lovely, just different. And that, I’d imagine, is going to be the case for Morden Hall Park too.

Morden Hall Park - Out and About - This and That Blog

Morden Hall Park - Out and About - This and That Blog

We first ventured into the National Trust property of Morden Hall Park over the summer and I’ve only just realised I’ve not shared any of the lovely pictures of the park on here yet. How remiss of me! So before we hit Autumn proper, I wanted to share Morden Hall Park in the summer. That way when I visit (and subsequently) share my autumn visit you’ll see just how different it is in autumn. Just imagine these pictures when everything’s covered in the rich red, brown and orange hues of autumn leaves! *heart eyed emoji*

Morden Hall Park - Out and About - This and That Blog

Morden Hall Park - Out and About - This and That Blog

Morden Hall Park is one of the only remaining estate on the banks of the River Wandle. The house is lovely and you can learn about the snuff mills in one of the two still standing there. But the real joy of Morden Hall Park is in exploring the beautiful grounds. There used to be a deer park around the estate and now those grounds are free for you to explore. They’re beautiful; from the winding river, to the beautiful rose garden and through the spaces hidden behind the trees.

Morden Hall Park - Out and About - This and That Blog

Morden Hall Park - Out and About - This and That Blog

If you’re ever south of the river and fancy a lovely day out, Morden Hall Park must be on your list. As you can see it’s beautiful. Even on a lovely grey summer day!

-Fi x

Life Rambles: An Autumn Bucket List


I think we all feel a kinship for a certain season, there’s just something innate in us that means we’re more suited to one of the seasons more than any other. For me, it’s most definitely autumn. There are so many reasons why it’s the best season ever, but I’m sure that key to this is that it feels like an abrupt change from Summer, my absolute least favourite season. Autumn is epic because it means the return of cooler, darker evenings, but there are still bright and sunny days for us to enjoy, even with a chill in the air. It also means the excuse to wrap up and snuggle down. Simply put it’s bliss.

This year I want to make the most of my favourite season and make sure I experience it properly. With that in mind I’ve made an autumn bucket list featuring all the things I want to do over the next three months. I’m all for a list of things to tick off as I complete them. Isn’t there a complete joy in that?!

Fi’s Autumn Bucket List

*Buy more snuggly jumpers that allow the sleeves to be pulled over my hands
*Spend Sunday afternoon in front of a gorgeous log fire
*Go blackberry picking before making a homemade crumble
*Go pumpkin picking
*Have a pyjamas day and do nothing but knit and eat biscuits
*Embrace mittens attached by string
*Wander along the river marvelling at the city at night with my hands wrapped around a warming drink
*Take a day to watch all of the Harry Potter films
*Bake a proper Pumpkin Spice Loaf
*Go stomping around in the woods with the puppy and kicking the leaves all over the place
*Make a proper steak and ale pie with homemade pastry and an epic warming casserole
*Light candles and read while snuggled under a blanket
*Visit Richmond Park for an early morning walk

What’s on your Autumn bucket list?

Fi xx

In the Kitchen: Chocolate and Vanilla Sandwich Biscuits



I love this time of year, the leaves are falling, there’s a chill in the air and The Great British Bake Off is back on television. I love the GBBO. There’s something so magical about this type of TV, on paper it shouldn’t work, and yet in the great British way of things it totally does. I watched last week’s biscuits week in awe of all the marvelous bakes that were occurring. I was also a little sad, because I hadn’t planned my life well enough to have baked goods with me for viewing.

Well not this week. This week I decided that I would have to make some biscuits ready for the viewing of Bake Off. So that’s what I did, I made sandwich biscuits on Sunday night, and managed to save some for snacking on during Tuesday night’s bread week. I saw the recipes for these biscuits online awhile ago, so they seemed like the perfect choice to bake for biscuit week of bake off blog along.


For the biscuits: 250g soft butter / 50g icing sugar, sifted / 250g plain flour / 50g cornflour / 25g cocoa

For the filling: 50g mascarpone / tsp pure vanilla extract / 110g icing sugar


Preheat the oven to 17oC

For the biscuits: beat the icing sugar and butter together / sift in the flour and cornflour, then beat again / divide the mixture and add the cocoa powder to one of the halves / divide each of the two mixtures into 12 balls and place onto a lined baking tray / press each ball with the back of a fork / bake for 12-15 minutes.

For the vanilla filling: mix the three ingredients together.

Once the biscuits have cooled, sandwich them together with the vanilla flavoured filling. 

This recipe made a total of six vanilla and six chocolate sandwich biscuits.


I feel like Paul Hollywood would be very happy with this bake. The biscuits are quite simple, with a lovely buttery texture, and then the icing comes in with a super sweet kick and the two work well together. I probably could have made each biscuit slightly smaller and then made more than just 12 so that’s one to remember next time I crack out this recipe.

If you want to see what other lovely bloggers are baking then check out the hashtag on twitter or instagram and head on over to Amanda’s blog for the rest of the link up.

*this recipe is from Sainsbury’s magazine, you can find it here.

Laura xx