2 September 2016

The houseplant that tugs on your heart strings

Did you know that there is a houseplant that tugs on your heart strings?
According to thejoyofplants.co.uk, the houseplant of the month for September is hanging plants, and one of them is Ceropegia Woodii which also goes under the nickname of String of Hearts - very suitable thinking about the appearance of it.
The simple but beautiful heart shaped leaves are intertwined with each other, and each vine can grow really long - perfect for covering a bookcase or placing on a floating shelf on the wall where the plant can hang freely and drape your room in a stunning way.

The plant is one that I always used to see at my parents' house, and therefore it makes me think of my mum and her love for plants and home decoration. It's quite lovely when you think about it really... that this heart shaped plant makes me think of loved ones. It's like it brings family together, and it symbolises it with its hundreds of hearts tied together with string. 

I didn't just want to place this plant on its own in my window and just let it sit there... I wanted to let it symbolise the fact that love is the key to everything, as well as the feelings I have for near and dear ones. Since I'm living in a different country to my family it's important for me to have them around in other ways, and I collect photos, cards and other memorabilia that remind me of them. Therefore, I decided to style up this plant of the month in the loveliest way I could think of; tying together friends and family, and memories of love. 

Love is happy summer memories with friends, and being asked by a dear friend to be a bridesmaid at her wedding.

Love is cherishing your childhood friend's big wedding day, and seeing her genuinely happy face every day.

 Love is a beautiful handwritten letter from your soulmate.

 Love is sisters. The best friend and the closest person you will ever have in your life. The one you shared everything with whilst growing up, and the only one who knows all your secrets.

 Love is a piece of memorabilia that reminds you of a very special occasion.

Love is the announcement of a new family member, and a birthday card that has been carefully chosen based on your personality.

 Love is a good luck wish for a new job.

 Love is a wedding invitation, and a box full of happy memories.

Ceropegia Woodii, or String or Hearts, is native to the southern countries of Africa, but was actually named by a Swede when it was discovered. No one else than Carl Linnaeus to be precise. Back in school in Sweden we had to study his world of flowers when we were very young, and it's something I'll always remember.

Apart from reminding me of loved ones, what I really like about this hanging plant is its bizarre shape. I've never seen another plant quite like it. The colour and patterns of the leaves are quite mysterious looking, and the shape almost looks alien!
But the best thing about it is that it's a plant that is hard to kill - even for someone like me who have a tendency to forget to water plants for weeks!

I hope that you got inspired by my little DIY project, and that it tugged on your heart strings a little bit.
I would love to know how you tend to decorate with plants, and especially hanging plants, which just happens to be the houseplant of the month.

15 June 2016

Unusual brunch at Ox Club in Leeds

Ox Club at Headrow House
A friend recently asked if I wanted to try Ox Club at Headrow House in Leeds for brunch, and after having browsed the menu online, it didn't take me long to take her up on her offer.

Despite being a bit on the pricy side, Ox Club is very well-known for their amazing steaks, and the brunch menu promised exciting combinations that I hadn't even heard of before. Therefore, I decided that it was definitely going to be worth every penny.

smoked avocado on sourdough bread
I opted for the smoked avocado and poached egg on sourdough bread, with something called za'atar, sumac oil, and oven roasted tomatoes.
I was even greedy enough to add a side of well-done streaky bacon, which worked as the cherry on top, and was the perfect finishing touch to this dish.

The restaurant itself was decorated in a very simple way, playing on the fact that it was a steakhouse grill. The napkins were like kitchen towels, the tables and chairs were of simple wood and metal, and there were bags of charcoal decorating the corners. Very hipster, like so many on trend places at the moment, but it does really work for this type of restaurant.

7 May 2016

DIY hen party invitation for the bride

hen party invitation for the bride
If you, like me, have been spending the last couple of months planning a hen party, and it's time to send a save the date invitation to the lucky bride-to-be, why not make her something special.
After all, it's a once in a lifetime event (hopefully) and it's something lovely to remember the day by.

Having browsed Pinterest for inspiration on DIY hen party invitation cards, I found a gorgeous one that looked like a corset, and decided to make my own version of it - wedding dress style.

DIY hen party invitation
 I started by folding a card into one that would open as a double, then cut out the sides to create the waist, as well as the top to create a heart shaped bust. Make sure the folds of the card are still intact at the hips and the ribs to make it work.

I then decorated it with with pressed patterned paper, mini pearls (with flat backs to make them stick to the paper), as well as a coloured ribbon as a waistband.

corset card invitation
As for the back, I wanted it to resemble a corset, and therefore made 4 holes on each side in which I added a very thin piece of ribbon and criss crossed it, finishing with a simple bow.
Just don't forget to add your message inside the card before you close it up!

wedding dress hen party invitation
 The last step of the DIY hen party invitation was to add the skirt to really make it look like a wedding dress. I put a few stitches in a piece of tulle to make it scrunch up and fall the right way, and then simply glued it to the inside of the card.

champagne bow
As for the presentation, I decorated a small white box with a champagne coloured bow, and carefully laid the wedding dress card inside.

And that's it, folks. It was a bit tricky at points (threading the corset ribbon!) but the end result really makes it worth it.
Now I just can't wait to see the bride-to-be's face when she opens it!

DIY hen party

23 March 2016

Introducing a new food and cocktail menu at Roxy Ball Room

Roxy Ball Room Leeds
Do you like good, simple food and fun games?
I mean, who doesn't?!
Roxy Ball Room opened up in Leeds a while back and is the go-to place when you want some casual fun with friends in the form of pool, ping pong, mini golf, or even beer pong. They just updated their food and drinks menu, and invited me to trial it all along with some fellow Leeds bloggers.

Roxy Ball Room menu
 When we arrived and had downed our first drink (a fresh and delicious Bellini) they set up an absolute feast for us.
We couldn't believe our eyes!

Roxy Ball Room food
 There were pesto chicken and parma ham burgers, beef burgers a few different pizzas, mac & cheese balls, onion rings, garlic dough balls, and accompanying dips. 
Basically, classic party food with a twist - just perfect when you're out for a laugh with friends, either for a night out or a quiet(ish) game session.

Roxy Ball Room
 I had to try a little bit of almost everything, but my favourite was the pesto chicken burger topped with crispy parma ham.
It was super tasty!

Roxy Ball Room drinks
 When we had munched on several goodies, it was time to test the new cocktail menu. 
Hello, yes please! 
Roxy Ball Room has been really creative with their new menu, and they were serving drinks such as 'A perfect serve', 'A right racket', and 'Match point'.
The first one mentioned consists of Amaretto, Chambord liqueur, cranberry and lemon juice, fresh raspberries and rosemary - it was like heaven!
I love it when bars use fresh herbs in drinks - it really takes the drink to the next level.

Roxy Ball Room pool
A few drinks later, and a couple of games of pool, and we were pretty satisfied with our evening.
I'm a big fan of playing pool, so Roxy Ball Room is really a place for me.
Thank you so much for inviting me to this new menu lunch event of yours!

11 February 2016

How to make delicious savoury scones

scones recipe
There's nothing more mouth watering than the smell of freshly baked bread, but most types of bread take absolutely ages to bake as they need to rise, then rise again, and then bake on a low temperature for about an hour. So if you want to quickly throw something together for the family scones are a great alternative. Now, you may automatically think about jam and clotted cream when you hear the word scones, but here comees the twist - these scones are savoury!
The secret ingredient is chorizo, and once you've tried these you won't want to go back t your sweet scones again... believe me!

baking scones
What you'll need:
 450 g (7½ dl) plain white flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
100 g cold butter
300 ml (3 dl) milk 
Finely chopped chorizo

fried chorizo
 Start by frying the chopped chorizo and get rid of the excess fat.
Put it to the side to cool a bit.

 Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl, add the butter and work it into the mix evenly, then add milk and quickly knead into a dough.
Add the fried chorizo, mix it well into the dough, and then divide the dough into 3-4 parts.
Shape each part into a round, flat cake that is 1½-2 cm thick.

baking scones
 Place the scones on a baking tray covered with baking paper, cut where you want them to break once baked, and then bake in the centre of the oven for 10-12 minutes at 250 degrees Celsius.

savoury chorizo scones
 Let the scones cool down a little bit, then serve with salty butter and your favourite cheese.
A glass of ice cold milk with that, and you can't go wrong!

scones with cheese
These savoury chorizo scones are perfect as an evening or a weekend snack, or to compliment your soup lunch.
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