October Favourites

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Another month bites the dust!  My October was a mix of Autumn excitement followed by two weeks of inevitable coughing and sneezing.  I feel like I’m finally through the worst of it now, and just in time for November – which is always a super busy month in Casa Cwtch; four birthdays (including my own!), Nanowrimo, and then the big Christmas build-up.  Anyway, despite being a snotty, spluttering mess for most of October, it’s still my favourite time of year 🙂

Fashion

I didn’t shop much in October other than picking up a few Christmas and Birthday presents, but it did finally get cold enough to start wearing my new grey coat from Primark.  It was cheap as chips and I love it!  I’m looking forward to wrapping up this month and cracking into my massive scarf collection.

TV

I feel like it’s been a quiet month for TV.  I finally got around to watching Stranger Things and – sorry! – I love all the 80s pop culture, and I kind of like it… but, I don’t get the hype.  I will persevere, but maybe I set my bar too high?  Sunny and I started watching Tin Star with Tim Roth; he hated it (he thought it was too dark and couldn’t stand the music), I LOVED it.  Other TV shows include Outlander (which continues to please – it’s just so beautiful to look at!), Mr Robot, and of course, GBBO.

Food

As well as making Halloween Doooooonuts, Salted Caramel Macarons, and these Pumpkin Traybake Cakes – I also became obsessed with Cadbury Roses Cake Bars which come in Strawberry Cream (my fave!) and Orange Cream.

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Cardiff

I didn’t get out much during October because – like I said – I caught the lurgy, but top of the pops this month of course goes to the new Oliver Bonas store which opened up on The Hayes.  I wanted to buy everything! 🙂

What have you been enjoying this October?  Have a great weekend everyone!  x

September Favourites

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Happy October!  Hope you’ve had a great start to Autumn and you’re one of those people – like me! – who lives for the colder months of the year.  I’m already stomping around in boots and jumpers and loving life!  Autumn’s honestly my favourite time of the year, so I’m happier for the cooler weather, jumpers, scarves and rainy Sundays spent indoors.  Anyway, time for another monthly favourites roundup 🙂

Food

If you haven’t eaten your weight in apple and blackberry crumble yet, then what have you been doing all September?  It’s hot custard season, and I couldn’t be happier about it.  This month I made Bramble Bars with the blackberries I collected in the field near my house, and I also made this Apple Crumble Loaf Cake.


Fashion

I think I spend more on clothes during the onset of Autumn than I do during any other season.  There’s just something exciting about wintery clothes, and this year without that Indian Summer to keep us on our toes it’s been knits and boots ever since September came knocking.  I added this Joyeux T-Shirt to my already towering pile of slogan and band tees, and picked up a couple of new, cosy jumpers.

TV

There’s been so much to watch this September that I’m going to struggle to fit them all in.  First things first though; HAVE YOU BEEN WATCHING DOCTOR FOSTER?  I was completely obsessed with the first season, but had no idea there was going to be a follow up until I turned on the TV and there it was.  If you’ve never heard of it; during Season One, Doctor Gemma Foster finds out that her husband has been having an affair and that all her friends and neighbours knew about it.  And so she schemes to bring him down.  Season Two picks up two years later when her husband moves back to town and intends to get even.  On a similar thread is ITV’s Liar which has kind of served as a pick-me-up in between Doctor Foster episodes.  Other tele-visuals I have been enjoying this month are the second season of Victoria and obviously Great British Bake-Off (even if it’s not quite the same without Bezza).

Cardiff

Barker Tea House wins my September Cardiff Spot; it’s the perfect place to hole up with a hot a drink and a book when the weather is cold.  I can’t recommend the place enough, nor their hot chocolates – particularly the coconut one. 🙂

Online

Whatever your opinion about the Playboy Empire and Hugh Hefner’s values – I think everyone would agree that his death last week marked the end of an era.  I watched the Amazon Documentary all about Playboy not that long ago, which was really interesting – but more recently, I enjoyed reading this article by Stylist Magazine asking whether Hugh Hefner was the feminist icon he claimed to be.  In the BlogosphereJas wrote a couple of really of interesting blog posts about Instagram (everyone’s favourite love to hate app!); 5 Things you need to know about Instagram Stories for anyone who wants to pick up some tips and tricks, and another one about Hashtags with some really handy hashtag clouds.

How was your September?  What are you looking forward to this October? 🙂

August Favourites

Happy September! It’s safe to say to say that I can’t remember a soggier August. Honestly, I gave up on summer ever arriving halfway through the month, moved on and started getting excited for Autumn. Especially when I started seeing bobble hats in the shops. I’m always in a back to school mode at this time of year; even though my days in the classroom are well and truly over, I still get that fresh start feeling. It’s the perfect time of year for a shake-up! Anyway, here’s what I’ve been enjoying this August.

Food

I picked up these grapes in Tesco on a whim after being taken in by the packaging. “Candyfloss-flavoured grapes”. I was sceptical. I mean, come on! True or not, either way it’s a genius bit of marketing, so much so that I had to try them and find out. They’re the sweetest, nicest grapes I’ve ever had, and you know what? They kind of do taste like candy floss.  Also, I tried Baklava this month for the very first time and – oh lord – have I been missing out!

Also: These Bakewell Tarts

Cardiff

This month I didn’t do as much pottering around my hometown as I usually do because the weather was so crap.  But I did get a sneak peek of a swanky pad with beautiful views over Cardiff Bay, had a lovely meal out at the Custom House with Sunny and also surprised my lovely friend Missy with a trip to Cardiff’s first and only Cat Cafe; Feline Good.

Fashion

All my summery clothes have stayed in the cupboard this summer, and I didn’t really feel in the mood to add to them. Over the last couple of weeks though I’ve been getting excited about Autumn fashion and I picked up this lace, high neck top from Zara.

TV

Game of Thrones.  I already mentioned it in my July Favourites, but this season’s been the best season of Thrones BY. A. MILE.   After the Episode Six bombshell I was searching up theories like mad ready for whopping 80 minute finale and was still clawing the arm rests of my sofa as I watched. Also, in the last week of August I binge-watched Top of the Lake: China Girl.  Honestly, looking at it, it’s not really my sort of thing; I hadn’t seen season one and I wasn’t sure whether I’d stick it out (…the tinkering piano music in the background drove me mad by the end of episode one and it was all just a bit depressing) – but I love Gwendoline Christie and Elisabeth Moss and so I stuck with it and by episode three I was hooked.  Worth a look if you love dark, scandi-esque crime drama with tormented detectives.

Online

If you haven’t seen videos of Carl Bradbury pranking people on Facebook with song lyrics then you need to. He’s basically looked up people whose names are featured in songs and then messaged them via Facebook Chat and the results are hilarious. Sunny and I were in hysterics over breakfast one weekend watching both videos. Definitely check it out, but bear in mind that it’s a bit rude and probably NSFW.

What have you been enjoying this August? 🙂

July Favourites

I feel like this might as well be a November Favourites post because honestly? What a wash-out July has been!  I wore my wellies more this month than any other so far this year, have cwtched up on the sofa under blankets with candles burning, and have had some seriously miserable morning walks with Bungle.  I suppose we shouldn’t really be surprised, the good old British Summertime is has well and truly lived up to its reputation this year, and now that we’re into August, it doesn’t seem to be showing any signs of getting better.  So I’ve decided that I’m moving on to Autumn and have started to get well and truly stuck into browsing AW17 fashion – scarves, boots, coats – which I guarantee will spark a heatwave.  😉

FOOD

I ate some seriously great food in July, not limited to Aloo Parantha, Bubble Waffles and these Breaded Halloumi Sticks at Bill’s in Cardiff Bay.  Yum!

BOOKS

This month I picked up Kerry Egan’s ‘On Living’, which not only has the most beautiful cover but was a lovely read during those dismal July evenings (honestly, what the hell happened to summer?!).  On Living is a book about death.  Kerry Egan – for many years – worked as a Hospice Chaplain, working with patients who were close to or about to die.  The book is basically all the lessons, stories and truths Egan learned from her patients – lessons about “Dancing more, working less and other last thoughts”.  A beautiful book.

CARDIFF

Unfortunately I didn’t get around much this month because the weather’s been so rubbish!  But I’ve got a couple of favourite spots this month.  Number one involves some of the best Indian (and Vegetarian) Food I’ve eaten in a while – The Vegetarian Food Studio in Grangetown (watch out for my blog post on Monday), and number two is K9 Plus 1 in Barry – a cafe for dogs and their owners.


FASHION

The summer sales trump the January ones in my opinion; I always seem to pick up so many great bargains this time of year including these spotted, wide leg trousers from Marks and Spencer which were a total bargain at £5.50 (similar ones here).  I’m going to be wearing them all through Autumn and Winter with t shirts and jumpers.  Another fashion fave this month were these tassle earrings from H&M.  I’ve been after a pair for a while but didn’t want the same red and white ones everyone seems to be wearing.  I spotted these ones and fell in love – even if Sunny called them dodgy and said they looked like they belonged on the end of a curtain tie.

TV

“The North remembers…”  When I heard that the new Season of Game of Thrones had been pushed back until July, to say I was miffed is a bit of an understatement.  But day-am, so far it’s been worth the extra wait.  In our house we wait for Game of Thrones all year and then when it arrives we end up whinging that not enough happens quickly enough and the middle of season drags – but so far it’s been my favourite season yet.  🙂

Also, Poldark.  Always stunning to look at, but… this year it feels like every episode has just been a hour of simpering gazes and soft sighs (I’m looking at you Morwenna).  And now that  *SPOILER* Agatha’s gone, I’m a bit… meh about it all.

ONLINE

We bought my Mum an Amazon Echo Dot for her birthday because she’s gadget mad and constantly wondering what’s happening with the news/weather/traffic.  Anyway, it arrived and Sunny and I were so impressed with it when we set it up for her that when Amazon Prime Day swung around and we picked one up for ourselves.  You can do so much more with it than just check out the latest headlines and whether you’ll need an umbrella (It’s Wales, it’s July – the answer as it turns out is; is yes, yes you do).  You can tune into any Radio Station, check out Trump’s latest Tweet, get a random Blackadder Quote, and we’ve synced our Spotify with it so we can play our favourite music through it’s – pretty decent – speaker.  My favourite addition though has to be the game ‘Yes Sire’ – which you basically have to keep balance in your kingdom by answering simple yes or no questions which increase/decrease your wealth and power (it’s a bit Game of Thrones).  If either goes too high or too low then the King either has you exiled or executed.  Great fun while you’re cooking or doing the washing up 🙂

Hello August!  What have you been loving this July?  Obviously not the weather…  😉

June Favourites

June’s been a funny month. Between the build up to the General Election and then all the heartbreak that’s been in the news, we’ve had heatwaves and cold snaps, and whilst June always feels like that gateway month – the doorway into the summer (with final exams, graduations, cup finals and festivals) – is it just me or has June 2017 felt a little under the weather? That being said, it hasn’t been all bad – and here are my monthly favourites for June.

TV

If you haven’t been watching The Handmaid’s Tale then what the hell have you been doing all month? I read the book in my early twenties and was blown away by Atwood’s dystopian vision of an America where fertility is prized and women are categorised based on their use within Gilead society. Then the TV show came along last month and I was blown away all over again. I’m HOOKED. Elisabeth Moss was absolutely perfect as sarcastic Offred and that riot scene soundtracked with Blondie’s Heart of Glass was stunning.

Also: Orange is the New Black (I said I wasn’t going to binge it over a weekend like last year, but whaddya know? Look what happened! Again. It’s just too good.)

FOOD

How ’bout these salted caramel crepes from Bay 5 Coffee in Barry Island?

BOOKS

I picked up Amy Schumer’s Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo at the beginning of the month because I fancied reading something new but didn’t fancy fiction or anything too serious. I spotted the paperback at the supermarket and – on a whim – plonked it in the trolley alongside my 100% essential cinnamon bun (I’m going to turn into one any day now…) and sausage baked beans. Easy to read, hilarious and inspiring, I devoured it from cover to cover (…along with the cinnamon bun). 😉

CARDIFF

In June I was lucky enough to be invited along to the launch party for rewards app Memberoo (watch out for my blog post on it later this week) at Cardiff’s worst-kept secret bar The Dead Canary. I’ve been dying to go for ages and when I finally got my chance to track it’s unassuming front door and infamous doorbell down on Barrack Lane, it didn’t disappoint. Their new cocktail menu is packed full of drinks inspired by the Mabinogion; full of black knights, cauldrons and lakes of bathtubbin’ virgins. That particular night I was driving and since I didn’t fancy skidding back home on the link road I had to stick to the mocktails. I was prepared to spend the evening swigging a boring lemonade but my Blackbird turned out to be absolutely gorgeous (and not just because it came served in a coup with a feather clipped to the side). But if you’re after something stronger I’d definitely recommend the Black Knight, which comes with a generous dollop of sorbet and a sword.

FASHION

I was pretty well-behaved this month where my wardrobe is concerned – but I did pick up another patterned shirt in the H&M sale for a ‘can’t go wrong’ £7. It’s blue with polka dots and I haven’t taken it off yet. I’ve also been wearing this silver horn pendant that I dug out of the bottom of my jewellery box, which is a dead ringer for that gold Missoma one everyone seems to be wearing.

ONLINE

I’ve been rewatching Sex and the City (…again.  I think I’m up to round 50 now) and one night when I was googling Carrie’s pink Chanel blouse from the end of Season 4 (did I mention I like patterned blouses?) I came across @everyoutfitonsatc over on Instagram. Exactly what I needed on my feed to break up the endless stream of food and flatlays.

What have you been loving this June, and what are you looking forward to in July?