♥Adventures

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♥ Adventures = friday food fight

17th May 2014

Few weeks ago my good friend Laura, Bertie and I headed to Friday FOOD FiGhT! If you’ve not from MCR, Friday food fight @beatstreetmcr has been running over approx. 13 weeks at Upper Campfield Market in Deansgate and is a market with local Manchester food traders each with own stall!

Here are some photos from our night.

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Boooootiful Laura

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All the stalls pimped out with yummmmmmmy food!

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Me and Bertie

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Mmmmmmmm best food of the night for me Steak Burritos from @LuchaManchester

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Saying hello to Beetham!

We drank Pomegranate Cider from @briskacider mmmmmmmmmmmm nom nom nom!  Will be planning an order for a crate very soon!

If you have a chance to go to the last one Friday 23rd MAY, go get your munch on, you won’t regret it!xxxxxxxxx

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Manchester Print Fair No 7!

5th May 2014

Yaaaay I was able to attend Manchester Print Fair this year In April. A fair with lots of lovely illustrators, makers and printers selling their work.  In addition to the fair was able to have a peep inside Sarah Hardacre ‘s studio where she demonstrated some live screen printing.  For me with no printing experience was lovely to see what its all about!  Here are some pictures from my day!

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On my way I Couldn’t resist a quick look at the new graffiti on the walls outside Fred Aldous in the NQ, this one is my favourite of all the coats this wall has seen. “Reality is a cocktail of Fantasy” Micah Purnell

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Artist mid flow!

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Yaaaay after my detour made it to the fair!

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The fair was at MADLAB a lovely event space within the NQ! http://madlab.org.uk/ All the stands were cozily arranged side by side which made viewing very exciting as my eyes wondered from one illustrators goodies to the next!

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So many lovely items on @Caroline Dowsett stand, loved the ceramic bear painted plates and cute little brooches.

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Lovely Becca Hall Illustration https://www.facebook.com/BeccaHallIllustration.  Couldn’t resist taking home some boat bunting, gulliemot eggs print and a bird print!

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Then onto Sarah Hardacre for a peek at printing!

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Sarah was lovely, she explained the printing process and demonstrated some printing and let me have a good look around her studio.  Sarah offers classes at her studio covering screen printing and photo screen printing, can find out more information here http://www.the-printroom.co.uk , can’t wait to organise a class!

The prints and bunting that came home with me to brighten up my home .

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Party Pants and gardening tools card by @illustratorbeth, Bird print, Gulliemot Eggs, Boat bunting by Becca Hall Illustration

 Can’t wait to pick their final homes and decorate my walls! Thanks @mcrprintfair @theprintroomMCR for organising, had a lovely day xxxxxxxxxx

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Insta Sky!

3 MAy 2014

Recently Ive been doing a lot of travelling as my partner has moved to Aberdeen.  Its hard to leave Bertie and Ive had a few flights recently where the clouds and sky has been looking incredible and Ive really appreciated the views to distract me!  Couldn’t help instagramming a few of the photos and wanted to share them here.

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MCR——->LDN

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ABDN ——–> MCR

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ABDN ——-> MCR

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Definitely worth catching the early flight to see the sun rise.

ABDN ——-> MCR

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Winter Walks and Afternoon Tea

7 March 2014

Nothing better than getting on my wellies, cosy hat and getting out walking in the cold fresh winter air!  Even better when hanging out with one of my good friends Ngozi!  We went exploring and then had afternoon tea.

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IMG_20140128_231043Stunning bright sun on our walk

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mmmmNom we had lovely caramel shortcake, passionfruit curd&merginues and flourless chocolate cake for some afternoon tea.

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Finally and a lovely surprise, Ngozi gave me a calendar she made at home to help and inspire my learning to grow fruit and veg over the 12 months of 2014!   Was super chuffed, such a lovely thoughtful gift, thank you @Ngozi_a I  ♥ ♥ ♥ it! .

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  NYE 2014!

1st January 2014

I went to see Mr Scruff at band on the wall for NYE 2014!I went with the lovely Ngozi_A.  We started the night with fortune cookies for 2014, followed by a spin on the Piccadilly Wheel seeing the whole of Manchester and a quick taxi to band on the wall!

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My fortune cookie top left and Ngozi bottom right!

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Ferris Wheel at Manchester Piccadilly

Mr scruff always attracts a good crowd, love the little illustrations on screen to go with the wide range of music!  Love Love Love the tea shop too, took home a tea mug and Im now an executive beverage consultant!

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Had a fab end to 2013!

2013 has been a year Ive learnt more about my creative side and its been a treat to discover something I truly enjoy.  Looking forward to seeing where that takes me in 2014!  First will be to complete by 12 months of craft with ikea poang chair covers, block print tea towels and making a lanyard for my work badge!.

Then for my New Years Resolution for 2014 will be to do 12 months of growing! Going to pick a vegetable, herb, flower to plant each month.  Need to get my thinking Cap on for January.  Would love to be able to grow ingredients for cooking and baking at home but don’t know where to begin so thought Id start little and try something new each month.

Happy 2014 Everyone! Hope your all treated to what you truly deserve and find true happiness in whatever you do in 2014!

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♥ The house move!

In November I moved to a lovely house! Its amazing how much things you collect over time and so glad Bertie got a van to help me move! Its my first unfurnished house so exciting picking all the new furniture and trying to up cycle wherever possible!  Got Good news in November that Bertie got a new job which means he will be spending 3 weeks in Manchester every 6 weeks! Cant wait for him to get here!

It was a super busy weekend, and now at end of December I finally feel like Im settling in!

IMG_20131123_171722The Van full ! Picked up a lovely upycled table and chairs from gumtree.

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 My New Kitchen, table £40 up cycled from Gumtree, Fridge Freezer £25 for both gumtree, Microwave recycled from Mum who recently got a brand new kitchen 🙂

IMG_20140101_170850Corner of the kitchen where I can see myself spending a lot of time!

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Ikea Java Lighting in Hall and Second bedroom

I’m Looking forward to picking the rest of the furniture and getting all my prints and wall pieces up!

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♥  Manchester Print Fair No 6

13 November 2013

Earlier this month I visited Manchester print fair no6, wow loved it, small cosy venue at 2022NQ , friendly crowd and lovely to meet the designers.  Came home with some exciting prints for my print wall and ideas for more!

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Bethany illustration had cute prints, cards and framed prints.

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Jade Laura Illustration.  Loved her prints ,adorable badges and Ive added to my wish list a freckled girl print. Best find of the fair! Can have a peep at her work here http://jadelauraillustration.tumblr.com/

Other stalls that caught my eye were Jamie Mills and Sophie Heywood!

Hope to attend again next year!

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♥ Adventures – Manchester food swap

27 October 2013

Recently I attended the second Manchester food swap at Nexus Art Cafe in the NQ http://www.manchesterfoodswap.com

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If you have never been or heard of one, they are amazing for foodies! You take along anything you have grown or made at home, make swap cards where you describe your item and leave space for offers then set your items out on display.  Then you have a peek and sometimes a taste of everyone else items and if you like then offer something from your table to swap.

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Pre Swap Preparation

For me making and baking lots at home its easy to make a bit extra when the swap is on and come home with a variety of goodies ive never tried or not experienced making.  Its also great for trying out reciepe and flavour ideas.  Final bonus for me is that I get to have a chat with the other swappers and learn about their growing and making adventures!

The swap is run by Sam, who is lovely and welcoming if you havent attended one before and puts you at ease till you get the hang of it.  The staff at Nexus are also super helpful which all adds to the lovely experience.

So here is the details of my swap 2 sundays ago!

I swapped 4 bags of goji chicken noodle soup all you need on a flu day, cinnamon and clove bread, 3 banana breads and 1 banana cupcake for…………….

Sage plant, cherry tomatos, courgette loaf, sticky cinder toffee, 19th century curry paste, medlar jelly, lemon drizzle cake, pesto pastry pin wheels and chilli hummous.

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Made lovely pasandra and madras curries, looking forward to using the Sage and medlar jelly and all the cakes and treats got me through a week of night shifts at work 🙂

Wondering what to make for the next swap!
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♥ Adventures – Supper Club at Wendys house

September 23rd 2013

Cosy friday night dinner with friends and making new ones!

Vegetarian Supper Club at Wendys House

 I found out about Wendy’s house wendyshousesupperclub.co.uk from Twitter and as soon as I seen her four course vegetarian night I got in touch with my two best veggie friends Ngozi and Laura and arranged to visit.

Wendy was attentive with gathering information before the night and able to accommodate our allergies and strong dislikes – 4 between us so not an easy group to cater for.

As I stood at the door  I noticed Wendys house logo   just to the left of the doorframe which settled me as I always wonder if I have the right house when going somewhere Ive never visited before!

I was greeted with a smile by a very smartly dressed waiter and Wendy who popped through from the kitchen to greet me. Kir royales with polenta chips and dip were served before taking a seat and getting to know the other guests.

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Lovely crispy Polenta Chips

The table was set with attention to detail with lovely candles in tea china cups, and cutterly and wine glasses all evenly spaced around the table .

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I was sitting next to Laura and Ngozi and got to gossip a little 🙂 There were 7 guests in total and there was a range of personalities and varied professionals all which provided for interesting conversation over dinner.  Its so refreshing to meet kind people that share experiences and stories from their lives.  I feel the supper club environment provides this exchange or we were just lucky!

Starter

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Beetroot salad with lovage, radish and creme fraiche

This dish was delicious, the colours and textures of the 4 different beetroots were lovely.

Main

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Pattpan squash stuffed with leek and cheese with roasted cauliflower, green beans and a red wine reduction

The Pattpan squash was soft and I enjoyed the filling.  The dish was dressed with a red wine reduction which was lovely tasting and a smooth consistency.

For the meal we provided our own drinks which was a bonus for most of the guests.  For me it meant I could take my Pepsi Max to enjoy for everyone else at the table it was a treat to be able to pair the wines for the meal in advance.

Cheese

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Stunning Golden Cross ashed goats cheese, red onion marmalade and crisp bread

Dessert

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Little almond cake, baked fig, natural yoghurt and Chorlton honey

For the dessert course I managed to sneak into the kitchen to get a peek of Wendy at work, Wendy was delicately finishing plating the desserts which looked stunning!  I had varied version due to almond allergy so couldn’t taste the cake, despite the other dinners trying to fob me off that I wasn’t missing much it was visible that they were all enjoying the almond cake. The baked fig was lovely and for me the Chorlton honey was delicious!

Next we were given a wide range of choices of teas, coffees and herbal teas and again our waiter was very accommodating to everyones personal taste.  All served with truffles or a lemon drizzle cake = 🙂

During our teas and coffees Wendy came to the table and sincerely answered any of our questions.  It was lovely to be able to chat to the Wendy  to pay compliments directly and get some insight into motivations for starting the supper club.

Just as we were getting ready to get off home with out happy bellies, another treat was presented = A party bag!  It must be a good 20 years since Ive received a party bag and I was rather excited!  Inside was some lovely photos, postcard and jam which was enjoyed next day with a bagel.

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I had a beautiful evening with inventive stunning food, lovely company and service, time with friends and a treat to take home.  The added bonus of this was it was a Friday night, a perfect night to get out but to a cosy, friendly relaxing venue = Wendys house!
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♥Adventures – Creative Stitches

14 September 2013

On Friday I visited creative stitches. I won the tickets which was a bonus, something always feels good about winning something 🙂

Thanks to Charlie at http://ginfuelledbluestocking.co.uk/ for the competition.

Best stall was Frau Green, a independent craft supplier in Manchester.  I met the lovely  Sophie who runs Frau Green and had a good peek at lots of her adorable cute craft items which I didn’t see on any other stalls!  I spotted cute wooden moose which would be perfect to paint and hang for christmas, lovely bird and made with love pendants and a wide variety of vibrant coloured and patterned ribbon.

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Definitely having a good hunt through Frau Greens website and ebay store soon! http://fraugreen.net/

Another Spot was Tea lights by Jack Button.  All individually designed and glowing at the show.

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I love these tea lights I might try and make some in my 12 months of craft.

Was a lovely way to spend a Friday afternoon and looking forward to visiting next year

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Spanish Junkets

10 Sept 2013

I’m finally over my post Spanish blues to be able to post, they were tough!  In August I travelled to Spain with my boyfriend Bertie and had lovely times, first holiday with children present so there was lots of fun and play!  Our adventures =  basking in the sun with cocktails, churros,  hunting spanish bakeries, spending time with friends and playing  with new friends Aden – 7, Callie – 1 year, Keith 18months, Keith 8 months

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Until next Adventures……….

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Love a little Craft Afternoon

29 July 2013

A few days ago a good friend of mine Ngozi came round to craft.  I was inspired and a little jealous of her lovely craft box full of wonderful goodies.

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A new discovery for my for washing machine dye, looking forward to buying some and trying it out!

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We decided to make paper roses, my craft for July in my 12 months of craft.

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Thanks Ngozi for coming round and looking forward to our next craft

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Surprise Dinner at The French, The Midland Manchester

15 July 2013

Ive had a lovely week off work this week and got a super surprise on Tuesday 9th July. Bertie took me for cocktails and then to the French, excited was not the word when we got in the taxi then pulled up to the Midland 🙂

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Bertie and I had been to L’enclume last year and had such an experience when the French opened in February 2013 Manchester Ive been keen to visit and we were not disappointed.

After being greeted by the lovely Kamilla, who looked after us at L’enclume we were shown to our table and a chance to eye up the  accomplished decor and decorations.

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 The green walls, original features, stunning chandelier, simple table decor and unusual flower decorations complemented each other beautifully.  It was lovely to know this was another Simon Rogan dinning room with the same tables, table mats and settings as in L’enclume, bringing back lovely thoughts from out previous visit.

We had a glass of sparkling white wine to start and were greeted with kindness by the staff.

Before going onto the main event, thought could you tell you a bit more about Simon Rogan and The French.  Simon uses local ingredients grown on his farm near L’enclume Cartmel in his dishes and they are creative, seasonal and inventive, all which excite an imaginative eater.  The French opened in Manchester in 1903 and since then has been host to many accomplished chefs.

To start, a selection of snacks, I wish I wrote down what each one was but unfortunetly I was distracted.

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I do remember this snack was covered with onion ash which was delicious!

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Then onto the bread,nom nom nom.

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To start the main meal, Course 1 of 6 was the  boiled soil, onions, truffle and leaks.  This course came with the onion broth in a little pot which was poured at the table.

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The onion broth was stunning.

Ox in coal oil, pumpkin seed, kohlrabi and sunflower shoots

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Asparagus with crevettes,watercress and duck skin

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Pollock fillet with buckwheat, radishes, sea beat and smoked roe butter.  This one was my favourite, the Pollock was beautiful and well complimented with the smoked roe butter. Simple yet stunning.

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Reg’s chicken, kale, turnip and offal

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We opted for the cheese course which was lovely and smelly.

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Pear, meadowsweet and Rye, buttermilk and seeds.  This dessert was beautiful, sweet pear just melted. Mmmmm I could eat this again and again and again.

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After dinner we took a small stroll to a taxi and then home for a lie down with very happy tummies and satisfied imaginations .

With a menu so diverse in terms of techniques of cooking you will always have your favourites and things your not too keen.  This is no diservice to the chef but a reflection on palates and personal taste.  If your like me tasting is all part of the experience and when you taste that combination of ingredients that make you feel warm and gooey inside , you hit the jackpot.  For me the Pollock was that dish, closely followed by the Pear dessert.

Had a trutly lovely evening and compliments to the Staff at the French and to Simon Rogan. Cant wait to try the new menu which Kamilla informed us will be launching this week.

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Manchester Craft and Design Centre

One of favourite places to go in Manchester is the Craft and Design Centre.  Made up of twenty or so little studios with independent designers selling prints, jewellery, greeting cards, textile designs and more set in a stunning two storey victorian building.

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My personal favourite is Studio 23. Calico Angel at Holm where you can find lovely textile designs by Susan Kane.

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Sure over the years my house will fill up with a few more designs from Calico Angel at Holm.!

The Centre is tucked in behind the Nortern Quarter.  Its a lovely relaxing quiet space which is unusual for Manchester city centre.  There is the lovely Oak Street Cafe which does a range of cakes, toasties, flatbreads, pizzas, salads and delicious drinks including some homemade lemonade.

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Would eat here every day if I could.

We got  a lovely table outside to enjoy our homemade lemonade and diet coke.  Then had a feta, rocket, caramelised red onions and mango chutney flatbread and Bert had a cheese and tomato pizza. Delicious, nom nom nom.

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Find more info about the Craft and Design Centre here http://www.craftanddesign.com/

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