Friday, 28 December 2012

The One Where Bee Went Dog Walking

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Thursday, 6 December 2012

An Afternoon in Exeter

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I thought I'd share these snapshots from our day in Exeter a few weeks back. As you can probably tell, I absolutely adore Gothic architecture and period buildings! Luke and I sat on the green for half an hour whilst I spontaneously created an elaborate macabre tale about the cathedral and its inhabitants. Spoiler: All did not end well!

If you'd like to scroll through all of my adventures then you can do so. 


Friday, 23 November 2012

Frankie Daily Journal

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Thursday, 15 November 2012

Joe Browns

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T-shirt courtesy of Joe Browns

Heavily bribed with chip shop chips and curry sauce, Luke very kindly agreed to make his modelling debut over here on Vivatramp. Didn't he do well?! The autumnal sun was rather kind to us too! This tee, kindly gifted to Luke by Joe Browns, is the epitome of casual comfort and also happens to be really good quality. If you haven't checked Joe Browns in a while, I suggest you do and take a peek at their loud party shirts; I can't imagine I'd have to bribe Luke with more than a portion of chips if I were to ask him to model one but oh my word, they're amazing! They also have some awesome winter warmers for women, like their floral lounge pants; admittedly, I throw them on as soon as they're out of the tumble drier! What do you opt to wear on laid back weekends? Do leave Luke some lovely comments so he cannot forever hold this post against me! I'm off to Nando's with Luke's brother and his girlfriend 




Sunday, 11 November 2012

Casual Saturday

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Jumper, Primark; Skirt, Primark; Snood, Primark; Sunglasses, Primark; Coat, Primark; Tights, No idea!; Shoes, New Look

Seeing as I've only really shown you some of my dressier pieces, I thought I'd snap some photographs of my outfit that I wore yesterday for a wander along the front before lunch at the Barbican. I'd typically wear this for pottering around the city or for popping into university because whilst it's perfectly comfortable, and deliciously warm, it also has some personality! I have no idea what I was doing in the second photograph, I think I was thinking about climbing the tree but then remembered that I'm not an animagus just yet! Boo! As you can see, the autumnal sun has been shining which is wonderful and blinding, in equal measure. Thank the heavens for overly large sunglasses!

I really wanted to make 2012 the year I created my ideal A/W wardrobe but once again, I find myself skint. Instead, I'm recycling pieces from previous seasons and perfecting the art of layering; this is not to say that I'm not dreaming of lace, fur collars and wine-y hues though! I think I may have to pencil in a trip to the local charity shops in an attempt to find a hidden bargain! What are your casual wardrobe staples? What A/W piece could you not live without? I'm spending today going through all of my work whilst tending to the lamb kleftiko in the slow cooker - Eep! How are you spending your Sunday? 



Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Snapshots from Sunday

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Friday, 26 October 2012

Apple Cake

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The nights are drawing in, it's absolutely freezing and all you want is a long soak in the bath, your bed and something comforting to snack on. With this in mind, Claire and I decided to spend our day off baking an autumnal treat, and we are pretty glad we did! This 'recipe' is extremely simple, quick, cheap and fun to do so there are no excuses. With its gooey inside and crisp top, you'll be unable to resist its charms for long. If you'd like to see more of our baking adventures, let me know in the comments below. 

Apple Cake - Adapted from a recipe by the marvellous Mary Berry

. 225g self-raising flour
. 1 tsp baking powder
. 225g caster sugar
. 2 large eggs
. 150g butter, melted
. 250g cooking apples, peeled and cored (We used ones freshly picked from an orchard - swish - but you can use whatever). We used two but you could easily use more for a chunkier filling. 


. 25g flaked almonds
 tsp almond extract
icing sugar (for dusting)

1. Get ready: get your ingredients out, slice your apples, preheat your oven (160c/fan 140c/gas 3) and lightly grease your cake tin - It's probably best to go for a deeper tin as we found ours to be a bit too shallow!
2. Measure your flour, baking powder, sugar, eggs and melted butter into a bowl. Mix well, then beat for a minute! If your mixture is looking a little too heavy, add a spot of milk! 
3. Grab your greased tin and pour half of your cake mixture into it. Spread it accordingly before layering your apple slices on top. Don't be afraid, pile them all on!   
4. Spoon your remaining mixture on top of your apples. 
5. Bake for around 1½  hours until it is golden and your knife/skewer is coming out clear.
6. Serve warm with a dusting of icing sugar and a naughty dollop of clotted/ice cream. 

It's as simple as that! This recipe also gets the Luke seal of approval so it must be pretty yummy! The only thing I would say is to make sure you have a relatively deep tin, ours was quite shallow so we ended up with a bit of a soggy bottom; Mary would not approve! What have you been baking recently? What baked goods would you like to see next time? I'm off to clear as much of my to do list as is physically possible. Wish me luck!  ♥ 


Sunday, 7 October 2012

A Day Off Beside the Sea, Plymouth

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Friday, 5 October 2012

The Most Important Meal of the Day....Apparently!

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- 'Absolute Nut' bars and 'Super Berry Country Crisp' courtesy of Jordan's

Ever since I was a platinum blonde young whippersnapper, it was nailed into me that breakfast was the most important meal of the day. The thing that intrigues me about breakfast is the whole performance side of it; the freshly laid table, the sleepy faces and the tea stained broadsheets masking said faces. My grandparents were all ones for investing great time and care into our shared breakfasts at the table. Mama's parents would lay on bacon sandwiches and unsugared Cornflakes followed by a few rounds of home made jam smothered toast, whilst Dad's parents would serve muesli followed by loaves of toast with bramble and apple jellies. Both breakfast times would be accompanied by varied conversation, from my Grandad's hilariously inappropriate morning singsongs, which I won't repeat here, to the forced recitals of our nine times table. I'm extremely lucky that I have such fond memories to look back on.

However, over the past few years, I've let breakfast fall by the wayside. I've always got other things to do, or I wake up too late or I just don't want a bowl of soggy cereal shoved down my gullet just after I've managed to deal with the trauma of waking up. Furthermore, lets not forget that cereal always tastes better late at night. 'Proper' breakfast is now resigned to birthdays and Christmas: mine is a smoked salmon with scrambled egg, fyi. 

Lately, things have changed around here. Luke and I have swapped our occasional milk soaked Weetabix for Jordan's 'Super Berry Country Crisp', a flavoursome bowl of sweetness that could convince any non-breakfast eater. Granola is always a winner in my eyes and the berries add a refreshing sourness to the bowl. I've been swapping milk for greek yoghurt and it's absolutely delicious! They also very kindly sent us someone of their 'Absolute Nut' bars. Unfortunately, I'm not really meant to eat nuts but Luke willingly took on the challenge of finishing off the pack. His opinion? 'They live up to their name; they're extremely nutty! Therefore, the bars weren't entirely to my taste; but not bad for a little lift if you're in a rush come breakfast time or if you need a little help throughout the day'. I have to say, I really liked the packaging and the branding, in general, eye catching yet appropriate. 

I've decided that I'm definitely going to make more of an effort where breakfast is concerned, in the hope that we will create breakfast memories of our own. Thanks Jordans! Where do you stand when it comes to breakfast: the most important meal of the day or a little bit meh? Leave me some breakfast inspiration in the comments, I need all the help I can get! I'm off to sit down and write this week's creative piece. Have a good weekend! 

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Wednesday, 3 October 2012

50 Things To Do This Autumn/Fall

things to do in autumn blog list uk
- photograph by yours truly

My life is one big assignment at the moment. My second year of university has been pretty good so far but it has also been eating up my blog posting time, along with my sleep time. Thankfully, I've just got an hour of university left this week so I'll be embracing the free time whilst I have it! I'm currently cosied on my bed, watching the rain fall on all the poor souls outside, so I thought it'd be the right time to share my latest list with you all. Today I'm sharing my 50 things to do this autumn/fall period. 

Autumn, for me, is all about attempting to go into hibernation, treating myself to lots of comfort food and embracing time with my loved ones. It's also about abusing our Lovefilm subscription, moaning about university deadlines and braving the buckets of rain! Despite being a summer baby, I have quite an affinity for Autumn, it perfectly illustrates my character: cosy, laidback and a little bit pissy. Luke and I are heading back home next weekend for his 21st birthday and for plenty of cuddles with little Woody bear; it feels so strange to think that Luke will be 21 when I can still remember celebrating his 18th! Life really does fly by! Anyway, enough of my sentimental rambling - here's my list of things to do this autumn. Enjoy!

 Duvet, hot chocolate/tea/coffee/milk, Dexter seasons 1-6
♥ Paint your nails a deep berry tone
♥ Head out for bonfire night: breathe in the bonfire smoke, coo at the fireworks and eat take out food
 Alternatively: hold your own firework show, wrap up warm and serve jacket potatoes from the oven
♥ Bake 
♥ Treat yourself to the ultimate bubble bath 
♥ Take lots of walks in the leaf blanketed woodlands 
 Prepare yourself for the possible outbreak of snow - check your hat, scarf and mitten collection
♥ Make your own fresh face mask  
♥ Go fruit picking amongst the brambles and apple trees
♥ Experiment with different types of tea
 Survey your/the local horse chestnut trees for conkers
 Send out 5 penpal letters noting your plans this autumn
 Go to the theatre and book the good seats, for a change
 Wear your 'big' pants 
♥ Watch a classic film/read a classic book that you've not seen/read before 
 Learn how to make the ultimate roast dinner - keep perfecting it weekly!
 Embrace the produce that Autumn has to offer. Overload on root veggies and fruits.
 Throw out all your holey tights and invest in new ones - heavy derniers very welcome!
 Purchase some good reads and enjoy them by the fire/radiator/under the duvet
 Knit something for someone else. Note to self: learn to knit!
 Learn to knit or crochet!
♥ Make some preserves - these could be little favours for friends
 Make a big batch of soup - pour yourself a big bowl and freeze the rest
♥ Write

 Start an autumnal playlist. Here's one song to start it off: Home

 Feast! Make comforting food, invite friends over and watch it disappear 
 Carve a pumpkin
 Dedicate a couple of autumnal Sundays to country pubs, yorkshire puddings and dog walking
 Surprise someone with a morning coffee and breakfast in bed 
 Get re-aquainted with your blanket and fleecey PJ bottoms
 Watch 'The Nightmare Before Christmas' and sing along, loudly
 Find your perfect backpack 
 Brew something - a mulled wine, warming cider or a coffee with a twist
 Get comfy but don't stagnate. Do something that is out of your comfort zone!
 Prepare an autumnal care package for your cupboard - it must include flu-fighting remedies, the perfect autumnal lipstick and a letter writing set, for those days where you really don't want to leave the house!
 Live in your slippers/slipper boots
 Keep the sweet jar stocked, in case of emergencies/autumn weepies
 Purchase a couple of disposable cameras and document the arrival of autumn
 Dust off your slow cooker/crock pot and fill it with stew-y goodness
 Tend to your veggie patch. Not got one? Start considering one now!
 Lie down and do nothing 
 Brave an early morning car boot sale
 If it's not raining, head to the library, pick a topic you've not researched before and READ!
 Erect (heh) an indoor tent/cosy fort in your living room
 Have a fire on the beach (if it is safe to do so, obvs) and don't forget the marshmallows!
 Making homemade gifts for the festive season? Start them now!
 Do something cultured - visit your local galleries, museums...aquariums!
 Blog photographs of your hometown as it adopts a few autumnal changes 

I hope this has given you lots of inspiration for things to do this autumn. I'm definitely going to be perusing this list when I have a spare moment from university work/sleeping. What things are you looking forward to getting up to this autumn? What list would you like to see next? I'm off to cook tonight's roast chicken with all the trimmings. You have no idea how much I am looking forward to shoving it down my gullet! Classy bird, as ever. Bye!  

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Sunday, 23 September 2012

The Autumnal Princess Dress


Spotty Frill Detail Sleeveless Dress, Dahlia

Tomorrow sees the start of my autumn semester at university. My life concerns have already shifted from what biscuit I want to eat next, to hours spent thumbing page markers onto books, sifting through lecture slides and making note after note on the key features of Romanticism. I'm really excited to get back into the swing of things though as it reminds me of how far I've come since my diagnosis, whilst also reminding me of how much more I've yet to get off my ass and achieve. 

Life, in general, has been pretty nice of late. The beautiful Lyzi came to stay over at our little studio the other night and it was pretty lovely indeed. We ate yummy Thai food before enjoying a lot of laughter at the hands of the disco room. We hit the jackpot and stumbled across a very intense mover; I went with my instinct and enjoyed a dance to Livin' La Vida Loca with him whilst Lyzi pissed herself from the sidelines. We also deployed a few of our own moves to the sound of The Backstreet Boys and B*Witched, to name but a couple. Naturally, we spent the next day slumped in bed eating pastry and watching a few episodes of our beloved Dexter. Perfection, eh?! LOVE YOU, GRANDMA.

This dress, for me, encompasses the perfect blend of autumnal princess yet slumberous Sunday comfort due to its pretty detailing combined with its forgiving netting petticoat. As ever, I'm looking for ways to style this now that the autumn nights are drawing in. What do you think? How would you wear this dress? I'm planning on buying a smaller belt to wear with it but otherwise I am stuck for inspiration! Can we all just take a second to appreciate the last photograph please....LOOK AT HIS LITTLE FACE! JUST LOOK AT IT! I die

I'm off to read 'The Sorrows of Young Werther' and send a few disgruntled emails to the I.T department because the system is still down. Good luck to all of my readers who just so happen to be attending their first day of university/first day of term tomorrow! Let me know how you're spending your Sunday in the comments below! 



Wednesday, 19 September 2012

50 Things To Do When You're Bored

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(photo credit)

We all get bored from time to time. Here are 50 things to do when you're bored. Enjoy!

one. make playlist of your favourite songs and play it loud

two. create a duvet fort or wrap yourself up in blankets
three. have a big cry, if you need to
four. settle down with a book or magazine
five. write someone a letter and send it off
six. do something selfless 
seven. have a nap
eight. write some blackout poetry
nine. make a mixed tape or CD or digital download/playlist complete with cover art
ten. put on something comfy, brush your hair and wash your face

eleven. get outdoors, if possible 
twelve. start a DIY project
thirteen. plan something
fourteen. write your own things that make me happy list
fifteen. do some wreck this journal pages or, if you don't own one, create your own
sixteen. go to a charity shop or car boot sale with a fiver and see what you can buy
seventeen. explore your local area as if you were a tourist
eighteen. set yourself some goals
nineteen. tick something off of your to do list
twenty. create a wishlist

twenty one. check out a new-to-you TV show or film
twenty two.  ...or refer to old favourites
twenty three. make and eat some comforting food
twenty four. play a game of some sort
twenty five. wear your favourite outfit 
twenty six. make plans with someone
twenty seven. write some twitterfiction
twenty eight. write a blog post
twenty nine. bake and try your efforts!
thirty. tidy your room so that you have a space to chill in

thirty one.  soak yourself in the bath or shower

thirty two.  find yourself a pen or email pal
thirty three. marathon some murder mysteries and try and guess who ~dunnit~
thirty four. have a long nourishing lunch
thirty five. learn a new skill 
thirty six.  flip through old photographs
thirty seven.  go to the cinema - snacks are essential 
thirty eight. do something entirely chilled out, be it meditation or cloud watching
thirty nine. make some fancy drinks
forty. as my dad would say, go for a stroll

forty one. order some food in

forty two. plan your next project
forty three. take a trip to the seaside 
forty four. do some virtual window shopping
forty five. start a new notebook 
forty six. take a photo an hour and create your own photo diary of your day
forty seven. recommend things that you love to other people 
forty eight. have a social media clear out 
forty nine. do something to cheer someone up 
fifty. go on an adventure somewhere

If you'd like to scroll through all of my advice posts then you can do so.


Monday, 17 September 2012

Our New Abode & An Update

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As you may know, I am now safe and sound in my adopted county of Devon. We returned to a newly refurbished flat, complete with a new open plan kitchen and delectable storage solutions! It felt a little bit like an episode of 'Changing Rooms' when I walked in expecting to see all the old furnishings - can't say I caught a glimpse of Handy Andy and his MDF though ;) 

We celebrated our first night in Devon with a few rounds of pool with friends, complete with free nachos and coming fifth in the weekly quiz (disappointing!). It's early days but this term is shaping up to be rather lovely indeed. I've got quite a few errands to run today, from booking appointments to skyping my Mamabear to show her the new flat! Tonight sees the start of 'Freshers Week' so I'm sure it'll involve lots of drinking (not on my teetotal behalf), a mass queue of lost looking first years and a chance to display a few of my moves in the disco room. As things are all a bit hectic over here at chez Vivatramp, I thought I'd share a few little snapshots of our new abode. I may show you a little more once we've completely sorted the place! 

I'm off to do a food shop for things for tonight's 'Ham, Leek and Mushroom Fusilli' dish! I'll be back soon with a bumper list
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P.S Don't forget to enter my Max C London giveaway and see my first ever outfit post right here. You've not got long left to enter. Good luck! 

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

The Pretty and Pink Dress

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With its dusky pink hue, dainty pleats and pearl detailling, you'd be forgiven for thinking that I looked like a meadow princess. Ahem! This dress quite possibly works miracles: when it's not out saving the world, it's making me feel like a million pennies. Even though the winter months are drawing in, I'm still planning on getting a lot of wear out of this pastel beauty. I'm picturing suspender tights and a hat of some description or knee high socks and some sort of strappy shoe. I also need to remember to pick up a more colour appropriate belt to wear with it! How would you wear it for A/W? Leave me some styling ideas in the comments section! 

Usually, this sort of style of dress, with a high line above my boobies, doesn't work for me but I'm kind of embracing the silhouette it gives me - interestingly top heavy and hippy but still quite alluring. Unfortunately, I was blessed with a huge back and a wacking great pair of hips. However, I've come to realise that these can be good things and I kinda feel like that when I wear this beauty. It felt so wonderfully strange to take these photographs too. Maybe I should break out of my comfort zone more often?! (Or not, as the case may be....) I'm off to re-cooperate after this weekend's antics 


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