Sunday, 7 June 2015

Olympus Pen EPL7 & Rose and Brown Vintage Fair


Every few months Rose and Brown Vintage hold a vintage fair at Victoria Hall in Saltaire. Even before I moved here I'd been a few times and now its practically on my doorstep I hot footed it along yesterday with one of my besties. 
It was also the perfect opportunity to test out my new camera. This week I bought myself the Olympus Pen EPL 7. The chances are you've already heard of this camera as its really popular with bloggers at the moment. I originally heard about the Olympus Pen camera's back in 2010 when Rumi Neely of Fashion Toast fame had one. 
Although I love my DSLR its not always convenient for toting around, so a couple of years ago I bought a Panasonic GF5 which I also love. When paired with the 20mm f1.8 lens it's an absolutely dream combo. The thing is I've been itching for a camera with wifi for a while now and the Olympus seemed like a sensible choice as I can use my Panasonic lens with the Olympus body. 

So this week I took the plunge and bought myself one. I absolutely agonised over the decision because I was stuck between a few different cameras. Also side note is it just me but as I get older I find it harder and harder to part with money on expensive purchases? I need to really weigh it up and decide if its really REALLY worth it. Back in the day I'd spend my money on indulgent purchases without thinking twice! Lets just say those days are long gone. 
Anyway I digress here are some of the photos from the day. I walked up through the village and met my friend at one of my favourite spots for lunch - The Olive Lounge, a lovely little greek place that serves really delicious food at incredible prices. After a gorgeous meze platter we wandered down to Victoria Hall and feasted our eyes and all of the vintage delights.
When we'd finished looking at the treasures on show we strolled down to Rad Studio - a gorgeous little independent shop on Victoria Road and finished off a lovely afternoon with a cuppa at Salts Mill.




















I'm really happy with how these photos turned out. Most were taken using the 14-42mm pancake kit lens that came with the camera and a couple were taken with my 20mm panasonic lens. 

What do you think of the quality?

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Sunday, 10 May 2015

4 Ingredient Cookies




These cookies are perfect for those occasions when you really cant be bothered baking but still want yummy baked goods in the house. You only need 4 ingredients to whip up a batch of these super simple, speedy and delicious cookies - all of which you will probably already have in.

You will need
1 cup plain flour (150g)
1/2 cup caster sugar (115g)
1 egg
1 cup of Nutella 

1. Line your baking tray with greaseproof paper and preheat your oven to 180 (160 fan assist)

2. Place all ingredients together and mix until they form a dough

3.Roll into 12 or 16 balls depending on how big you want them then squash into a cookie shape

4. Bake for 12 minutes then remove from oven and leave to cool.

And thats it! These take no time at all and are really rather scrummy. They're perfect if you need to bake something in a hurry or just want a quick fix - enjoy! 




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Saturday, 2 May 2015

Recent Reads

Now that I have more time on my hands I seem to always have my nose in a book, whether I'm laid on the sofa or on the train - I just cant get enough! I have always had a deep routed love for reading and have never been without a fully stocked bookcase in my room. From being a nipper right the way through to adulthood - even through those difficult teen years I have always had a bookcase. I sometimes think about buying a kindle but something holds me back. I just love the romance of holding a book in your hands, turning the pages, displaying them after you've read them, passing them on to friends and attaching memories to that book. You may have noticed in the sidebar of my blog there is a image of Eloise. My mum used to read Eloise in Paris to me when I was a little girl and a lifelong love of Paris emerged as a result. I can vividly remember my Mum putting on a french accent when she read it to me and it is truly one of my most precious possessions and memories.


I thought it would be cool to start sharing my recent reads with you (something I've done throughout the years on my blog), what I thought of them without giving too much away and any recommendations from you. I'm currently on a mission not to buy anymore fiction books until I have read all of the unread books sitting on my shelves. There will be good reviews, there will be bad reviews and I'm sure you'll appreciate just because I love/hate something doesn't necessarily mean that you will too, but you may get the odd inspiration from these posts.   

I will read pretty much anything with the exception of a few genre's so you can expect to see a real variety of stuff in these posts. So without further ado here are my recent and current reads.


The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
The Luminaries is an incredibly complex novel set in the New Zealand Goldrush in 1866. This book is not for the faint hearted at 832 pages and it takes some sticking with but it is so worth it. My good friend Kate recommended this to me one afternoon whilst we we're browsing a bookshop months ago. The Luminaries won the Man Booker Prize in 2013 and I can totally see why. This gripping novel tells the story of Walter Moody who arrives in New Zealand to make his fortune and becomes tangled up in "a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely patterned as the night sky". Its a classic Victorian whodunnit with interweaving plots and characters. This book will not be for everyone as it is hard going at times, I however love it so far 360 pages in. (4/5)


Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin
I've had this book for years (since Victoria Beckham was pictured with it) but decided to read it recently after seeing a documentary on where our food actually comes from and some of our questionable food choices (this one if you're interested). I'm not about to become vegan or vegetarian for that matter - I don't really like putting strict labels on myself and how I choose to eat but I am open to educating myself more on food and where my food comes from. This book is a no nonsense approach to Veganism. It's packed with facts, figures and studies and also has some suggested recipes and ingredients at the back. Most of these are American so not really of any use to anyone in the UK. It is definitely thought provoking and has some useful information in there but overall I would say its just ok. (2/5) 


Yes Please by Amy Poelher
I bought this book after seeing several bloggers rave about it. Yes Please is a memoir of sorts with a mix of advice, stories, poems and of course humour. Amy shares stories of her past, parenthood, love, friendship and lots of tales of her career in comedy. I really wanted to love this book but I just didn't. For whatever the reason I just couldn't really connect to it and ended up forcing myself to read it. I know that there are lots of people out there who absolutely loved this book but it just wasn't for me. (1/5)


Calm by Michael Acton Smith
What a beautifully produced book. Craig bought me this as a gift as he knows how much I love the app. I devoured this book in around a day or so. Calm as the title suggests is full of tools, ideas and activities to help you regain that little bit of peace and headspace. Modern living is so stressful, we are constantly wired up to technology, whether it be our phones, laptops, TVs the list goes on. This book helps to guide you towards a more mindful way of living by making little changes. Calm is beautifully crafted and designed to be a pick up and read book, the pages are full of inspiration from art, poetry, proverbs, activities, tips and tricks and all round positive vibes. (5/5)




What are you reading recently? 

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Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Five Things

As I write this I'm laid up on the couch after a slip down the stairs. Thankfully nothing is broken but I've been left hobbling around with a very sore foot. Seeing as though I'm pretty much immobile at the moment I thought I would make the most of this time and share a little update blogpost with you all in the form of my Five Things.


1. Last month I wrote this blogpost telling you all about our decision to move to Saltaire. Well we've been here just over a month and I can safely say its the best thing we ever did. I absolutely love it here and I cant believe how apprehensive I was about the move. If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen a few of the snaps I've taken around the village. We have such a better quality of life here and there is just so much to do. I've been toying with the idea of doing a blog series all about our new home and the best bits on offer if you every fancy a visit? Check out the view of that sunset from our apartment - no editing involved - it was absolutely breathtaking! 




2. Since the move my exercise and activity has increased ten fold! I've ditched the car and now commute to work by train. This involves much more walking than I'm used to - about 5 miles a day which was so hard at first. I've also joined the gym we have in our complex and I'm loving getting back into my routine. Its also so much easier now to get out on our bikes as we live right next to the canal and river - it is absolutely amazing just being able to go out for a ride after work.  



3. With all of this extra activity I've felt inspired to get my eating habits back in order. My diet hasn't been the best for the past couple of months and I'd like to lose a little bit of weight. I've developed some really bad habits like eating junk food every day. Biscuits and chocolate have become an every day occurrence and I've been trying really hard this week to make healthier choices. There seems to be a real shift at the moment in the food/diet industry with everyone moving towards eating natural un processed foods instead of going for fad diets. I ordered a few books this week with an Amazon voucher we had and I'm really enjoying them so far. I've wanted the Hemsley and Hemsley book since seeing the girls on Saturday Kitchen Live yonks ago and I'm excited to start giving some of the recipes a go. I made Madeleine Shaw's Chicken Salad on Saturday with cumin, lemon and toasted pine nuts and it was incredible!



4. We've been having amazing sunny weather in the UK at the moment so on Sunday we headed to one of my favourite places ever for lunch. Haworth is another real gem that I've blogged about before but I will dedicate a full blogpost to it soon. We enjoyed a chilled glass of fruity cider in Haworth Old Hall beer garden before wandering up the cobbled streets to Wharenui for lunch - a gorgeous little eatery that I would highly recommend. It wouldn't be a trip to Haworth without a pitstop to Rose and Co now would it? to my surprise my bestie bought me this adorable kitten make up bag and a little squirrel storage pot after she caught me eyeing them up in the shop. 



5. Last but not least I've been absolutely loving reading Carrie's blog lately - her photos are simply stunning, definitely one to follow. 

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Saturday, 28 March 2015

Getting Started - At Home Yoga Practice


As the title suggests this post is about all things Yoga. More specifically everything you need to know to get you started with home yoga practice. I've been practicing Yoga at home for well over 12 months now and thought I would save you the hours of browsing the internet that I did and pull everything together for you here in one big old blog post.

When you're just starting out with your yoga practice the thought of going along to a class maybe quite daunting, or you may not have a class nearby that you can get to. I love home practice as its just me and my mat. I don't have to worry about what other people are doing and can just focus on what feels good for me. Attending a class also has tons of benefits and its really all about finding what feels good for you.

Clothing and Equipment

The first place to start is finding a space at home where you are going to practice. This can be absolutely anywhere providing there is enough room for you to move around. Clear this space of any clutter and make it your own little place of calm and zen. I practice in my living room mainly, but I will also occasionally practice in my bedroom at the foot of my bed.

Obviously having a Yoga mat is desirable but by no means essential. In terms of equipment when you're getting started you really don't need a great deal. If you don't have a mat you can use a towel or just practise on the floor. To begin with you can just head to TK Maxx who always have a variety of affordable yoga mats for less than £10. Once you get really into your practice maybe you could look at investing in a better mat but to begin with I would recommend keeping it simple and affordable.

Keeping things like a towel or a blanket around is also useful as these can provide extra support on the mat when you're new to the practice. Yoga blocks are also fantastic and help bring the ground closer to you when you maybe can't quite reach but again these are not an essential purchase and you can use a couple of large books as an alternative.

In terms of clothing again wear whatever feels comfortable. This could be your pjs, a loose top and bottoms, or a vest and yoga pants. Primark and H&M both do really good affordable sportswear that is ideal. The only thing I find if I wear a loose top is that it will fall down over your head which can be frustrating. For that reason I would suggest wearing a vest to begin with.

My final suggestion is again by no means an essential purchase but is by far my most used bit of kit that has really enhanced my home yoga practice. A Chromecast is a fancy little gadget that you plug into your TV and it lets you stream your videos from your phone/laptop/computer/tablet straight to your TV. When I first started doing Yoga at home I used my laptop for months. This is ok but many people have said that they can find it difficult following along on a small screen and found that they were straining their head round to look at the screen in certain poses. I found this too to a certain extent but once we got a Chromecast and I could stream the videos to my TV this became a thing of the past.

Websites

For all things Yoga the best place to head is Yoga Journal. This is the ultimate resource and covers everything you could ever want to know about Yoga

YogaGlo is a paid subscription website that offers over 2500 online yoga classes. I am a member and I think it is an incredible resource for when you are ready to progress your practice to the next level.

Do Yoga With Me is much like YogaGlo but is a free website offering tons of free Yoga videos. I haven't used this site much but I have heard lots of great things about it.


Youtube



Youtube is my absolute favourite way of doing Yoga at home. There are so many amazing channels and videos out there - way too many for me to cover in this post but I will share with you some of my favourites and the ones I think are a good place to start. If you have time I would recommend you watch the video through before you actually do it. This way you will have an idea about what poses are coming up and you wont be too thrown half way through the video.

Tara Stiles was the first Youtube Yogi I discovered and she completely inspired me to start doing Yoga. I developed somewhat of an obsession and would spend hours watching her videos. She moves with such ease and makes everything look completely effortless. Some of her videos are quite fast paced but her bedtime yoga routine is my absolute favourite and I do it every single evening in bed.

Erkhart Yoga is another amazing channel with 100s of free yoga videos for all abilities. I haven't done many of Esther's videos but the ones I have done were excellent.

Yoga with Adriene is without a doubt my favourite Youtube Yogi. I could write an entire blogpost about Adriene. Her style of teaching is nothing short of wonderful and the range of videos on her channel is incredible. There really is something for everyone with her Foundations of Yoga videos which take you through each pose step by step, to her 30 Days of Yoga Challenge. If you are brand new to yoga I would highly recommend you start with this channel - particularly with the 30 Days of Yoga challenge. My practice has really developed since I began practicing with Adriene, I even introduced my Mum to her videos and she loves them too!

Music

Its really up to you what kind of music you listen to when you're practicing if you listen to any at all. At first I would suggest you just follow along with the video and listen to the guide and your breath. Once you have established your practice a little bit more then start experimenting with a little yoga playtime to your favourite tunes.

For me personally I listen to different types of music at different times of the day so for bedtime yoga my favourite tracks to unwind with are Coldplay Magic, Ed Sheeran I see Fire, The XX Angels, Massive Attack Teardrop.

During the day I love doing nothing more than a few rounds of Sun Salutations or my favourite morning routine to uplifting songs like OrtoPilot You can Call me Al, Mr Probz Waves, Ben Howard Only Love, Duke Dumont I got You, I also love anything by Haim and Florence and the Machine.

I am working on a Yoga Playlist on Spotify so once I've pulled it together I'll make sure I share the link with you.

Inspiration



I'm always on the look out for new sources of inspiration sometimes on Youtube, sometimes on Tumblr, but my personal favourite place to find inspiration is Instagram. Some of my favourites are Yoga Girl, French Yoga Girl, Yoga Community, Tara Stiles, Beach Yoga Girl, Kino Yoga, My Name is Jessamyn, Laura Skyora and too many more to list here.

Remember Yogi's come in all shapes and sizes, you don't have to look a certain way or act a certain way to enjoy yoga. Do what feels right for you and a little really does go a long way. I can honestly say that my life has changed for the better since I started doing yoga. I'm a lot less stressed and I'm so much more happier and balanced.

I hope this post has been useful and hopefully I've inspired you to start your own yoga practice at home.

Namaste.

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Saturday, 21 March 2015

Trust the timing of your life

Today marks the beginning of a big change for me. If you follow me on Twitter you may already know but if not today I am relocating and saying goodbye to our little cottage in the middle of nowhere and saying hello to our new apartment in Saltaire.

Both Craig and I began working in Leeds back in June which from where we live isn't very easily commutable. This means we face extremely long days leaving the house at 7am and not getting home until 7.15pm. We're constantly tired, with little energy to do the things we want because we're so shattered form the long day. We literally get home, have dinner then go to bed. We knew we wouldn't be able to keep this up long term so began looking for somewhere else to live.

We wanted to move somewhere with good commuter links so we would be able to either get the bus or train into Leeds or only have a short drive. After looking at lots of different locations we finally settled on Saltaire.

If you don't know much about Saltaire it's an amazing little village with a park, woods, river, canal, lots of independent shops and cafes, the famous Salts Mill and is only 12 minutes to Leeds on the train! It's also a World Heritage Site because of the way it's been preserved as an industrial mill village - there's so much on offer there.

We set about looking for a house but we just couldn't find anything that was suitable for us. Everything we looked at just wasn't quite right and involved too many compromises. This went on for months and months. I also kept getting cold feet thinking what if I regret the move and miss our house too much and started talking myself out of it. Next thing I would talk myself back into it. This went on for months and we still couldn't find anywhere.

After over 6 months of searching we almost gave up but for some reason I clicked into an apartment advertised on RightMove. We had always completely written off the idea of an apartment because we thought there wouldn't be enough room but this one seemed to have loads of space and was finished to a really high standard.
We called the agent to view it but it had already been snapped up (typical) but this opened up a whole new wealth of options.

We looked at 3 or 4 more apartments in the complex and eventually decided to go for a gorgeous duplex apartment. Although I was apprehensive at first ( hello red kitchen) as soon as we put in the application I felt so exhilarated and was totally over come with excitement.

I have talked about and thought about nothing else for the last month and I cannot believe that we finally move in tomorrow. Our quality of life is going to be so much better there and it will allow us to save the money we want towards our deposit for our own place.

It's funny how things work out. Now I see why we couldn't find a house in the village - because we weren't meant to find a house we were supposed to find this apartment which ticks all of the boxes with minimal compromises. I'm a firm believer that if its meant to be it will happen and that everything happens for a reason. Moving house even when you're renting is very expensive but it just so happens Craig and I got our bonuses this month which enabled us to be able to pay for the deposit on the new place.

Sometimes you just have to trust the timing of your life and go with it. When we got the keys on Wednesday I had to pinch myself as I couldn't believe that I was going to be living in this gorgeous place. I feel so blessed and lucky to have arrived to this point in my life. I'm beyond excited to see what's around the corner and can't wait to share it with you.


Friday, 30 January 2015

Happy Birthday Kelanjo


Its hard to believe that today marks my blog's 6th Birthday. Six years. Wow. A lot has changed since I sat as a student on my Mum and Dad's sofa and started this little blog. 
As I sit and type this post I have suddenly become overwhelmed with a sense of pride that after 6 whole years I'm still sat (albeit in on my own sofa) typing away on my laptop and writing my blog. What started out as my attempt at having my own little corner of the internet has evolved and grown with me and I am so glad I have kept it going. 
The whole world of blogging and social media has changed so much since those early halcyon days and I for one am glad I was around to experience them. I know in myself that I could have grown this blog to be so much more and taken it down another path but sometimes life chooses a different path for you and you just have to go with the flow. Upon reflection I'm glad I have done just that as I can safely say right at this present moment in time I'm in a really good place and I'm feeling pretty blessed.
I suppose more than anything I just wanted to take a moment to thank you all for sticking with me over the years. It means the world to me that theres a few of you out there who have been here since the early days reading my musings on here. As long as I have my laptop and an internet connection I will keep on blogging - here's to the next 6 years! 

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