Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Wanderlust Wednesdays: Dream Road Trip USA - Part 1

Hello everyone :) Hope you're day is going well!
Welcome to the second installment of Wanderlust Wednesday and the first part of "Road Trip USA". 

Saying that I loved America would be an understatement. Of course, I love living in England, I'm a Yorkshire girl at heart and always will be, but America still holds the notion that you can achieve anything and be anybody for me.
I visited back in 2008 and went to Arizona, saw the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, a lot of scenery and a few malls. Never saw as much as I wanted to, but this was a history trip with school and was fantastic nevertheless. There is so much in America that I want to see, I could stay for a good few years very happily.
When it comes to booking and planning holidays, I know I'm not the only one who loves it. I put in imaginary dates, budgets and check flights. I love it, so today's WW will be the first part of my dream USA Road Trip.

Cardigan Appreciation

I love a good cardigan, in fact, I love almost any cardigan, and I know a lot of you out there do too. They're great any time of the year, hot or cold. They add class, youth, femininity to any outfit and make those rainy days that much brighter.Here is a little collection of some of my faviourites, enjoy!

Above two are Laura Ashley pieces from this summer. 
Such a simple DIY! Love it, must do this. 

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Cauliflower Cheese with a kick

I love Cauliflower Cheese, and I alter the recipe each time, adding different flavours, types of cheeses, etc. Here is my basic recipe, with a few suggestions. 

Cauliflower Cheese

CC is a really simple side dish to complete, takes few ingredients and goes with a lot of different foods, I usually have it with some kind of quorn fillet; a meat alternative for others could be something like steak or pork chops. It's also a staple in christmas and special occasion meals.

- A head of cauliflower
- 150g of grated cheddar cheese
- 50g of grated blue cheese, if you wish
- 50g of Butter
- 80g of Plain white flour
- 550ml of Milk (more depending on how thick you want the sauce)
- 1 tsp of mustard, wholegrain or english (I used honey wholegrain)
- 1/3 of a nutmeg grated (1/2 tsp of ground)
- Salt and pepper to taste
  1. First you want to cook your cauliflower, so chop into florets and place into a pan of salted boiling water and cook for 8-10 minutes until just cooked so that they're still tender. Start checking with a fork at 5 minutes. When its done, drain into a colander and place over the original pan to drain. Preheat your oven to Gas Mark 6/400F/200C. 
  2. Start making your thick, cheesy sauce. To do this you melt the butter on a low, gentle heat in a pan. When melted, add your flour very slowly, mixing with a wooden spoon constantly to prevent lumps. I use a small hand sieve for the flour. Continue to mix until all of your flour has been incorporated and allow to simmer for a minute or so.
  3. Now you have a good base in which to add your milk, again, do this very slowly otherwise you'll end up with lumps, and a sauce isn't good with lumps! Continue to stir until you have the consistency you want. 
  4. You can add the cheese at this point, stirring as you do so, ensuring that all of the cheese melts. Add your seasonings; mustard, nutmeg and S+P. 
  5. Add the cauliflower into the sauce and place into an oven dish, cover with breadcrumbs, some more grated cheese and bake for 20-25 minutes. 


CC lends itself to some great variations, such as adding a tsp of creamed horseradish (instead of mustard), parmesan or gruyere (instead of stilton), even add in some cooked macaroni. 

In need of a good home.

Let me introduce the lovely, Yuki. 

Through some strange circumstances we were left with this cat, no rescue centre can take her as she's not an emergency and no one we know is looking for a cat. 
She's a house cat, unlike mine, and so has never been outside. This is such a strange concept to me, as my cats come in and out as they please, even when it's cold and raining outside, they still go out. However, I'm feeling a little less guilty about having her just in my room for now, she has everything she needs and is used to. 
I feel like she's an orphan, her owner actually went back to Penang in Malaysia and left her with us. Yuki is very timid, she perches on my windowsill (all of 2" wide) and watches everything that is going on, not wanting to get involved. I've been trying to get her confidence by giving her lots of petting; whenever I leave her I feel so bad. I imagine that because she's been on her own for so long that any time I leave, she thinks that I'm never going to come back and starts her delicate meowing, whining for me to stay. How sad is that? :(
We're looking for a home for her; she's about 2 and half years old, a tortoiseshell with a few white markings, very petite and so affectionate, hopefully someone will want her. 

Back To School: The Right Course of Action

  Good Evening, hope you've had a good day :) Tonight I'll be talking about going back to school and what its like for me. 

Two weeks today I'll be heading back to school/college/university. It's actually going to be a new school for me, as I left the school where I had been for the last 7 years back in summer 2010.  I had started a university course in October 2010 in Philosophy and Film, but after illness and difficulties in catching up I dropped out during the Christmas break. It was a good course, but I just hadn't enjoyed the kind of unique environment a university offers and I much preferred a college setting. 

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Easy Pattern Scarf

Hello again! Hope you're having a great day :)

As promised, here are some updates of the scarf that I'm currently knitting, you'll find a brief explanation of the pattern I'm using to, so simple, but great results!

The original pattern recommends using two strands of different wool together, as it calls for 5.5mm needles (us size 9). I however just used a single strand of wool that called for 6mm, you can still see the pattern, but I can imagine it being nicer with the lighter weighted yarn. 
The pattern is actually very simple to do, I've been strongly avoiding any kind of pattern where I don't understand the abbreviations! ha! I had actually looked at this pattern before, but ignored it because of that reason, how wrong was I?! If you know how to knit, and how to purl, then you're good to go!

Update: New Knitting Project

  Good evening, Dolls! 

  Today I've been working on a new scarf for the autumn. It follows this pattern and is a light way pattern for when those days are just getting a little colder and don't quite demand the wearing of a thick scarf. And as I've chosen a wool with a lot of oranges, purples, reds and yellows, it's very autumnal to me, lovely!

  A few pictures to come tomorrow so you can see the pattern and the fantastic colour, and also a few images from the vintage market (I seriously can't wait for this!). 

  As always, I leave you with a few images from my pinterest that caught my eye today, have a good day and make the most of this bank holiday if you're in the UK, hopefully the weather will improve. And for those of you in North Carolina/New York/East Coast, keep safe!

Chicken Quorn Pie from Jamie Oliver

   Another simple and lovely recipe, a little adapted, from Jamie Oliver. As I'm vegetarian, I've changed from Chicken Breast/Fillet to Quorn Pieces, but of course, you can still use the chicken, turkey would work too.

Chicken (Quorn) Pie with Wholegrain Mustard
  - 1 - 11/2 bags of Quorn Chicken Piece Small piece of butter and a dash of oil
  - A bunch of spring onions/scallions
 -  1 heaped tablespoon of flour (additional if you wish to thicken the sauce)
  - 150g Button Mushrooms (optional - I used frozen peas)
  - 2 teaspoons of Wholegrain Mustard (or English)
  - 1 heaped tablespoon of Creme Fraiche
  - 500ml of Vegetable stock (chicken if you're not using Quorn)
  - A few sprigs of Thyme (I used dried)
  - 1/2 tsp of ground nutmeg (I grated about 1/3 of a whole one)
  - 1 sheet of pre-rolled shortcrust pastry (the recipe calls for puff, but it's your choice)
  - 1 egg

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Wholegrain Mustard and Tuna

Marinaded Tuna Steaks

Tuna steaks are a great ingredient which can basically go with anything, today it was a sort of steak grill with oven chips, but you could put them with rice, potatoes, pastas, salads, etc. 
Here is a simple marinade recipe for delicious tangy steaks (can be used for tuna and beef steak).
  • 4 - 6 tbsp Olive oil (I used rapeseed oil here, as it's a locally produced oil with healthier properties, but olive oil is just as good in this case)
  • 2 - 3tsp Wholegrain mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Cumin Powder
  • 1 - 2 tsp lemon juice
  • Salt and Pepper 
  1. Get your tuna steaks out and place them in a tray so they can lay flat, check for membranes/connective tissue, etc and trim it off. This is usually done by the fishmonger, but just incase. 
  2. In a bowl, mix all the ingredients. Add extra oil if necessary to get the right consistency. 
  3. Simply pour the marinade over the steaks, cover in cling film, and refrigerate for 1 - 5 hours. 

I grill mine on a flat plate, but you could use a non stick frying pan, or even a barbecue. 

Friday, 26 August 2011

Furniture Fridays: Side Cabinets of the last century.

Welcome to the first installment of "Furniture Fridays". Today will be all about side cabinets (how exciting!..No, really!). The functionality certainly hasn't changed, but the styling has, and here is a short history. Enjoy!

"Arts and Crafts" 
1880 - 1910
The "arts and crafts" movement originated in England as a revolt against the lack of craftmanship in the mid 19th Century. It was instigated by the artist William Morris, who encouraged the arts and crafts style, and the "Do-It-Yourself" approach. Here we have a cabinet which is the epitome of DIY "Arts and Craft" Furniture of the time, such as the intricate carving, ornate doors and filigree handles. This is a very ornate piece, showing a great amount of skill. 
This is more common of the era, popular in America due to the simple styling and pure functionality, allowing it to be cheap to produce with lesser skill to more ornate pieces and so being more accessible to those setting up life in America at the turn of the century. 

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Tea Party Dress Up

  Today will be a short post as I've not been doing much more than setting up a quarantine tank for my male Ranchu goldfish, Fuji. He's contracted Dropsy yet again, but just on one side. Dropsy is a condition where they cannot regulate internal fluids and it goes in between the layers of skin and scales and makes them bloat out, resembling a pine cone. It puts a lot of pressure on their organs and is a difficult thing to treat. Heartbreaking, but thankfully non-contagious. 

  It is also the second day of my project and today's subject is "What you wore today"; sadly nothing interesting as it was a day of moving tanks about (starting to clear my room a little more), and the plans to head to a Rock night at a local bar was cancelled. However, a simple print is something that I love and today I wore one of my new faviourite shirts.
Update: Here is my Day 2 photograph. 

   I'll update this post a little later with today's picture once flickr and iPhoto decide to co-operate. 

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Wanderlust Wednesdays: Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast

Today is the first installment in a series of posts called "Wanderlust Wednesdays". Travel is something very close to my heart, and I adore learning about different cultures through the art, architecture, history and cuisine. Growing up I was lucky enough to travel all over europe, this is what spurred my love of Photography.
    Every week I'll be bringing you posts of my faviourite places to visit, dream destinations, and little getaways.

This week it is, Sorrento, Italy. One of my most faviourite places in the world, a place that I have visited often, and always want to return to. Hope you enjoy!

   First, a few facts. Sorrento is on the east coast of Italy in the Bay of Naples. The area is built on steep cliffsides and hills, allowing fantastic views across the bay to Mount Vesuvius, with the historic site of Pompeii below. The town is steeped in history, enjoys the great weather of most mediterranean coastal towns and is a 3 hour drive from Rome (The Amalfi coastal road is fantastic, and is the most common way to get between Rome and Sorrento; steep, exciting, winding cliff roads with roadside watermelon venders!). 
    When visiting Sorrento, expect quaint cobbled streets lacing through the old town, surrounded by beautiful 4 story buildings, leading down to the main square, Piazza Tasso, with the cathedral, restaurants, and further streets with boutique shops and famous brands. There is a gorgeous antique store in the main Piazza, selling the famous walnut inlay furniture in various forms; from jewellery boxes (with the tune "Torna A Surriento" - Return to Sorrento, famously sung by both Bocelli and Pavarotti) to large dressers and wardrobes. 


   In less than 3 weeks I'll be starting a BA in Photography, that means 3 years of studying towards a degree in the subject that I have a love/hate relationship with. I love it because it means so much to me, I think it's one of the most important advances in the last hundred years, from 12 hour long exposures to achieve a grainy picture to perfect images of anything, anywhere. Less than seventy years ago, who would have thought we could achieve an image like the one below?

An image of The Trifid Nebula, taken by the Hubble Telescope, is a stellar nursery. 9,000 light years from here, where stars are being born.
    Like seriously? I just think that this is just unbelievable incredible. But until space travel is a regular occurrence and can be funded through goodwill bakes, I will just have to stick to more terrestrial subjects.
    The hate comes from finding it so difficult to get inspired, it just happens, so I've always found working to a brief very hard; this is where I will potentially fail in my degree. But I really hope not. Whenever I think of ideas for a project or shoot, it has always been done before, and if you think of taking a more original angle on it, that has been done! Maybe my approach this year will be technique and getting the lighting, subject and setting right above all else. Argh, scary. 

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Set in stone

      Good evening! Well, over the last few days I've been making final decisions about the design of my room and making a few important purchases. I've got my beautiful Laura Ashley "Lori Floral" wallpaper (seen in the last post) and I made some decisions on paint colours and have my samples. It was so unbelievably difficult trying to make firm decisions on a colour scheme, as I want it to be very retro, 50s in particular, but still colourful and fun without it being too "flouncy". I also was a bit wary of having too many colours, thinking of sticking to a blue theme due to my wallpaper, then again, I really wanted peach involved.

These are the exact two colours I have chosen; Dulux's "Amber Queen 3" and "Lilac Heather 4" (if you're interested!). 

      The colours are a bit different in reality, especially the lilac, but it still shows a good combo above, well, I believe so anyway! They remind me of pastel shaded sugared almonds, and thats always a good thing. Hopefully the softness will allow for the 3 shades, including the blue of the wallpaper from my previous post. In fact, it makes me think of a lovely sunset, which certainly works!

Friday, 19 August 2011

Introduction to Emily Mary Loves.

         Hello Lovelies! And welcome to my little piece of cyberspace.
Emily Mary Loves is a blog dedicated to the next few years of my life, an adventure through my studies, love life, work life, documenting my inspiration, love of vintage and design. If I love it, it will be here.

     I'll start off with a few images that is currently inspiring me in my latest project that is re-decorating my bedroom (:. Enjoy!

Laura Ashley "Lori Floral" Wallpaper

A beautiful Chunky Knit Elsham Bed Blanket, again from Laura Ashley. 

These fantastic Owl Book Ends, again from Laura Ashley! 
(In a bit of a love affair with LA, atm!)