Montreal

Montreal
Cute Houses of Montreal

cocktail

cocktail
A Winter Cocktail

Life changing magic

Life changing magic
The Life Changing Magic

Hopcity Leeds - Hype beers and beards!

At the weekend Jim and I headed to Leeds for Hopcity - a hop lead beer festival hosted by Northern Monk brewery. Oddly their brewery is in the grounds of a building I used to work at in, ooooh, 2007 I think, so walking there was a little blast from the past for me! 

I'll be straight up with you, I'm not the most knowledgeable person about beer, I'm not a hops or a brewing geek but I know what I like (IPA's, sours, fruity beers) and what I don't like (mostly porters and stouts) and I really enjoy trying loads of new beers! Which is why beer festivals are perfect for me. Well, as long as Jim doesn't pick up too many dark beers!  
One of the reasons we were drawn to the festival was the fact that one of the breweries, Alchamist, that we stumbled across in Waterbury, VT last year was going to be there. Last year found their Heady Topper in a small beer shop and picked some up on a whim only to find out about how sought after it was later. So we thought we'd go see what else they had on offer. Because we'd had the Heady Topper before we thought we'd try one of their others - so grabbed a can of the Focal Banger. I'll be honest, it was OK, but not out of this world! 
We've got our beer festival technique down to a t now. We get a bunch of tokens and then have as many beers to share as we can - that way we get to sample loads of different flavours without getting stupidly drunk or spending an absolute fortune, so we got 9 tokens each and got to share 15 thirds of beers. Which i know doesn't add up, but the Heady Topper was 3 tokens a can.....
And completely randomly we popped ourselves down on a table opposite Ellie and Faith who I've recently 'met' on Instagram but love their beers too. It was so nice to put a face to an online account. 
Of course we couldn't drink all those beers and not eat anything. We chose bao from Dim Sum Sue, with the thought that we'd go back for a parmo later, but by the time we thought of moving to get food they'd run out. Gutted! But the bao was delicious!  
And if you want to know what we drank - here is our beer list;
  • The Alchemist - Focal Banger
  • Legitimate Industries - Identity Theft
  • Ridgeside Brewery - Wubalubadubdub
  • North Brewing  - Transmission
  • Northern Monk - Northern Tropics Pineapple and Grapefruit IPA
  • Zapato Brewery - Stereognosis
  • Stigbergets Bryggeri - Amazing Haze
  • Cloudwater Brew Co - Don Citra Southern Passion
  • War Pigs - Less is Never More
  • Siren Craft Brew - White Tips
  • Other Half Brewing - Green Down To The Socks
  • Beaver Town - Bloody El
  • Dry and Bitter - Fat and Fruity
  • Deya Brewery - Sunset Dreaming
  • O/O - Narangi
It's a long list, and so a lot to remember, especially as we didn't make specific notes and drank them all, but I really enjoyed the Northern Tropics, Narangi, and the Fat and Fruity. 


We've got a couple more beer festivals lined up this year, both of which we went to last year - Indy Man in Manchester and Borefts, the reason we went to Amsterdam. Have you got any boozy plans lined up for this year? 

Recipe: Mini Egg, Creme Egg Brownies

Creme egg mini egg brownies
We all know that Easter is about a two very important things - Mini Eggs and Creme Eggs! And these brownies combine them both so you don't need to choose your favourite. They use my go to brownie recipe with a load more chocolate thrown in for good measure. Doesn't that sound like a recipe for happiness? 

I've made them for the last few Easter hols, last year for guests and this year for my WI meeting and I thought it was about time that I shared them with you. Because they are super easy to make and seasonal AF! 

What you'll need;

  • 140g butter
  • 250g sugar
  • 90g cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 large eggs, cold
  • 120g plain flour
  • 1 bag of mini eggs
  • 1 bag of mini creme eggs - chopped in half
  • 8x8 inch baking dish

What you'll need to do; 

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C and line your baking pan with parchment paper so that it over hangs the pan. 
  2. In a microwavable bowl, combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt and pop it in the microwave. Cook the mixture until the butter is melted and with a few stirs the ingredients are fully combined. 
  3. Stir in the vanilla.  
  4. Add in the eggs one by one. Stir each of them until they are fully combined. The batter should look really shiny. 
  5. Stir in the flour until you cant see it any more. 
  6. Add in the bag on mini eggs and stir. Stir until the mini eggs are well combined. 
  7. Pour the mixture into the baking dish so that it's evenly distributed. 
  8. Chop the mini creme eggs in half (do it along the seam as the split easily) and pop them on the top of the brownie batter - egg side up. I try and space them out to create pieces. 
  9. Bake in the centre of the oven for 20-25 minutes until a pick comes out clean from the middle of them. 
  10. Leave to cool completely and then cut into squares around the creme eggs. Or just eat from the pan, with a spoon. Either or. Both are valid decisions! 
What is your go to Easter treat? Hit me up with links to your faves in the comments please! 

House Plans: The Master Bedroom Update

We've made a bit of a leap in out house plans this week - I have booked to have our windows replaced, which means we can start planning the room renovations we've been putting off until they got done! It's a bit of a shame that we have to replace them as we have beautiful sash windows but they're all painted shut, cold and it's so expensive to fix sash windows.......but the replacement means I can crack on redecorating! 

And so, next in my sights is our bedroom.
First things first, our bedroom is massive. Its huge. I think it might be the biggest room in the house by a long way! It's fitted out with some dodgy 80's fitted wardrobes that don't hold many clothes, horrible wallpaper and bad carpeting. And being a Victorian house it has a fireplace that was painted orange when we moved in! But I have my plans. Many plans and I am very excited for them!

For ages I've had me heart set of having a navy blue, coral and aqua bedroom, so that's exactly what I am planning. I see a navy blue wall, with the other colours as accents - paired with some light grey or white, but probably a light grey. Knowing me.

I'll also be ripping out the built in furniture and replacing it with something that gives us more useful space - hopefully a wall of wardrobes, re-plastering, re-carpeting, replacing the wooden fireplace with something more fitting to the room's history. Creating a space that I love. Something a little more grown up but also a bit fun too. Well, that's what I am hoping for any way!

So here is my inspiration board for the space that I want to create - mostly so I can show Jim a little of what's in store for the room! But also mostly so I can get excited about it. 


All the products and images are linked to on my Pinterest board here

What do you think? And got any big house plans coming up?