Tuesday, September 16, 2014

#travelpost - First thoughts on Valencia, Spain

My posts are starting to become few and far between but after a loonnngg July/August of summer school, home to Manchester and a move to my new city I think I'm back on track.

We've been in Valencia for a little over two weeks now and I'm not missing home just yet.
From the chilly, old, Castille town of Aranda de Duero two years ago and flower-pot filled Cordoba with it's winding Andalucian streets.. Valencia feels the closest to home out of all of our moves so far.

It's home to rows and rows of 6-7-8 floor art deco apartment buildings in the centre of town, nested above supermarkets, health food shops and I'm sure if not more four Zara stores... all within walking distance from each other. On top of this, there are some smaller, more independent shops in the area to the right of Plaza Ayuntamiento and some bigger names in the area around Mercado de Colon... Maje, Sandro, COS, Hoss.
Shopper's paradise.

Money hasn't really allowed me to do any shopping so far so I've been sticking to the coffee bar hangouts in the bohemian labyrinth of El Carmen, 'hip' Ruzafa and a couple of rough and ready cafĂ© filled spots in between.. It's a bustling, energetic, working city... with a beach 20 minutes away.

I still haven't had bags of time (or money) to test out all of the bars and restaurants that I've found just yet and will add some posts accordingly when I get round to them. 

For a quick low down of Ruzafa visit GUIA RUSSAFA



                                        

   
    





Sunday, June 15, 2014

#foodpost - Illustrated Guide to Spanish Coffee


It's currently 40 degrees in Cordoba, a siesta is about to kick in and my milky, English skin is slowly but surely becoming a little darker.

You'd think the last thing that I needed to be writing about right now is coffee and you would be right... 4pm in the heart of June is not the time for coffee but it's hard to go for too long in a Spanish city without it.

Today my parents left back to Manchester and my sister is still here, about to spend her mornings in the windy streets, her afternoons lay under the air conditioning and her evenings doing some extensive people watching. 

Now, I'm no coffee expert but I know there are certain times of the day when a good coffee is necessary and a coffee too strong or weak for your taste can ruin your afternoon laze-about. So, to prepare for my family visit and to fill a slow hour on the balcony, I spent my Sunday afternoon a few weeks ago drawing a little drinks guide to help them with their Spanish. It contains only the basics but there's a drink for every mood.


Looking through my old photos, a quick mention to a favourite coffee spot in Manchester 'North Tea Power' in the Northern Quarter... On a sunny day, try their Affogato!! 



Sunday, May 11, 2014

#musicpost - Brooklyn Based Band 'Wet'


A quick post for a lazy Sunday.

It's 2pm and I'm still lay on my bed (atleast not in my pyjamas) and whilst a fraction of my mind is on my Pinterest feed, another slice is on the chattering of people outside my front door and then there's the part trying to find the perfect Sunday afternoon playlist. 
And then I remember coming across 'Wet', a trio based in Brooklyn, and their unreleased song 'Weak' a few weeks ago and thinking why didn't I look them up sooner?

Two guys and a girl playing melancholic music, a hint of soul and R&B and yes, it can sound a little girl-groupy.. in the best. way. ever.

So, here you have it, a few songs and singles alike from 'Wet'.

FYI. 
If you find the lead female as memorising as I do then look her up.
Kelly Zutrau... She sure knows how to pull off the baggy tee/jeans and messy hair thing.




Wednesday, April 23, 2014

#foodpost - Escabeche de Cebolla Morada Recipe? Let's Taco 'Bout It

(Please mind the pun)




A quick easy to do recipe for Mexican style pickled red onions.
Throw them on top of a corn tortilla (still haven't mastered) topped with seasoned, spicy pork, crunchy guacamole, white beans, a hot hot salsa and a squeeze of lime.

Ok, first off you need a handful of ingredients and a small bowl or cup.

Half a cup of freshly squeezed orange juice
Juice of 2 lemons
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 red onion

With a pan of boiling water, pop your thinly sliced onion in for 20-30 seconds to soften.
Have everything else in a cup, mixed well until the sugar's dissolved and once softened, add your onions (still warm if possible).
Cover or add the lid if you've got one and refrigerate for up to 4 hours.

They're super easy and look incredible!!
(No one will care how secretly simple they were to make once they see how bright and tasty they look on the table)

I will leave you with some taco photos sent from the heavens that I'm currently drooling over on Pinterest. I'm sure they'll give you some ideas for topping!




Wednesday, April 9, 2014

#beautypost - Bicycle friendly updo's

So...

I've made it through the wind, rain, hail and nippy temperatures on my bike the last few Winter months and my hair was a trouper. Those pesky hair bands and hair clips were nowhere to be seen thanks to my (extremely ugly, puffy and oversized) raincoat protecting me from the wind and rain.

Now, I'm usually a fan of having my hair down, mainly because it adheres to my 'more time in bed' motto, and thankfully a Winter on my bike didn't ruin this too much. Although I'm sure the story would have been different if I was still living in Manchester.
Cordoba wind and rain is not Manchester wind and rain.

But now that we're getting stuck into April I thought that there was finally some light at the end of the tunnel... the days of me wondering what state I would be in when I arrived to work were over. But as you've probably guessed, that was until I realised that the heat of Southern Spain might be even crueller than the last few months.

They don't call Cordoba 'the frying pan of Spain' for nothing.

This week has been the first real week of nice weather so far, it's 27 degrees, the sky is clear and there's a perfect breeze... and it's going to get a lot hotter. Therefore, when I arrived at work yesterday afternoon, hopping off of my bike with a rosy red face, flat and frizzy hair and having the feeling that somehow my jeans had melted themselves onto my legs, it was then that I realised that the 'hair flowing in the wind' was not going to work.

I need hairstyles and I need them fast.
So, after a nosy on Pinterest I've found some low maintenance inspiration to keep my hair (and general work look) at bay.

Barettes

Ponies



Twists, Knots & Plaits




Tuesday, March 11, 2014

#stylepost - Margaret Howell Spring Fever

I can guarantee that I'm not the only Spring devotee currently on the hunt for that perfect Breton striped jumper and those shorts that, without any effort whatsoever from the sleepy headed girl wearing them, can pull an outfit together like your day depends on it.

Already having trouble saving, I'd convinced myself that I don't need to be spending a fortune on new clothes this Spring and the money adding up in my bank account will be worth it... that was until I took a nosy into the backlogs of  some Margaret Howell advertisements and realised that I was oh so wrong.

A Surrey-born, British clothes designer, Howell's key pieces usually involve  beloved trench-coats, duffle coats, shirts and lace up gym pumps. Although I usually prefer a little more clean cut, straight edge kind of style, I can't help but gaze lovingly at some of Howell's pieces wishing I had a tennis game to watch (where my outfit might seem a little more appropriate than on the streets on Cordoba).
A girl can dream

I've found a few bits and pieces from the high street that are very Howell-esque and hopefully won't dissolve your entire years savings...


  

  

Left Reiss Link Skirt (135 euros)
Right Zara Long Sleeved Striped Top (29 euros)

Left Mango Dress (25.99 euros)
Right Whistles Shona Stripe Jersey Dress (£95.00)


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

#travelpost - Lisboa, Portugal Feb/March 2014

After a beautiful weekend in Lisbon, I thought that posting some of my favourite photos on here would kill my back to work blues... Oh how wrong I was.

I'm currently craving a Bifana (pork sandwich) topped with mustard and hot sauce and a creamy pastel (an egg custard that dreams are made of) sprinkled with cinnamon and icing sugar.
There's plenty to see and do in the city, in fact I don't think I've ever seen so many museums, and although a lot of people say that Lisbon is quite an expensive city we found as long as you stay off the tourist track and hit some of the smaller (old man) bars then you can get a lot for your money!

If you do go to Lisboa, don't miss out on a cosy corner in a restaurant/bar listening to fado, Barrio Alto for cheap, super sized drinks with a lively atmosphere, shops dedicated to tinned fish all shapes, sizes, flavours and the pastels in Belem....
The steep streets might be merciless but I promise you they're worth it.


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