Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Travel | National Trust Lyme

 Waaaaaaay back in September last year, Tom and I took a trip to Hardwick Hall after my parents sent Tom and I a free pass to go to a National Trust property. After this trip, we decided to buy a young persons membership each as it was around £30 and had we not had the free pass, our trip to Hardwick Hall would have cost about £20 so we knew we'd make our money back in no time.
 Recently we took a trip to visit Lyme - I thought my parents had gone there when they came to look after Tilly whilst we were in London but I found out afterwards it was actually somewhere else lols. Lyme is near to the Manchester area which meant that we got to drive across the north of the peaks to get there which was a wonderful way to go!
 It was a beautiful day, and the garden was especially gorgeous - as a child I always preferred the property side of places like this and used to get bored walking around the garden, but I've found that I've actually really grown to love looking around the garden - especially when it's such a glorious day outside.
 After having had weekends back to myself (and tom will soon will as well!) I love to be able to go to places like this for a day out and to get out of the house and explore somewhere new. I'm quite lucky in that there's so many places to explore nearby - other National Trust places, or going out into the peaks. I'd like to be able to go further afield out to the Yorkshire moors but this might need to be as a weekend away!

Jess x

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Food | Crunchie Fudge

If you have never visited Jane's Patisserie before, then drop everything (once you've read my post lols) and hop on over to have a look and bookmark it straight away. My friend first introduced me to Jane's site a few months ago, and I immediately loved it - there's so many different recipes and they all look SO GOOD. I saw this Crunchie Fudge recipe a while ago, and as an avid crunchie eater (I think it might be my favourite chocolate bar?) I knew that I just had to give this a go as I love fudge, and it didn't look too hard to recreate.

I used a square brownie tin, and this made 25 squares of fudge (obviously this will change depending on how big you want your pieces of fudge to be!). I halved the recipe on Jane's website because I didn't think my tin could take much more fudge, and I'm glad I did because I think double this would have been too much for me personally, but that's up to you!

1/2 tin of condensed milk
200g milk chocolate (I used Dairy Milk as I find this melts well in a saucepan)
13.5g butter (this would be exactly half but near enough is fine)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
62.5g icing sugar (again near enough is fine)
150g crunchie bars

<<To make>>
Line your tin of choice with baking paper - you can rub some butter on the sides so it sticks if that's easier - personally I find that it is!
Chop up your crunchie bars into pieces - there's no need to be neat with it as it's good if the chunks are different sizes.
Chop up your milk chocolate, and put this in a saucepan along with the butter, the condensed milk and the vanilla on a low heat and continuously stir until the ingredients have all melted together. 
Turn the heat off, add in the icing sugar and stir in well! It might seem like the icing sugar isn't combining, but if you keep going you'll find it suddenly all mixes in together.
Jane's recipe says to let the mixture cool, but as I'm impatient (lols) I tipped in 2/3 of the crunchie chunks and I didn't find that the mixture went bad from being warm or anything, so it's up to you and how patient you are as to how long you wait! Stir this through and then pour into your tin.
Sprinkle on the remaining third of the crunchie chunks and press them in to ensure they stick to the mixture. Pop this into the fridge to set.
I found the mixture had set after a few hours. Once it's set you can take it out, chop up your pieces, and dig in!

Because of the high quantity of chocolate I kept my fudge in the fridge, and although it was super tasty when I first cut it up, I actually found I preferred it more the next day as the texture had becomes even more fudgey. 

When I was a student my housemates and I loved it when my dad sent me some fudge he had made as it was SO TASTY and I'm super happy that I've been able to make my own. This will definitely be a recipe that I use again and again, and if you love fudge you should definitely try this out! I'd like to use this as a base recipe and try it out with a different chocolate bar another time. Maybe even a festive one with green and red M&M's (too early?)

Jess x

Monday, 7 August 2017

Life | Cuppa Catch Up July

 One part of me thinks July seemed to go on forever, another part is whaaaat where did July go and how is it time for a cuppa catch up already. So you know the drill; go put the kettle on, make a hot beverage, and let's have a catch up!
 July started with a week off work whilst I moved between departments, which meant that I got to spend my week with Tom and Tilly. This included walks, mini golf (I finally beat Tom at one of the rounds) and having time to relax at home! However, before I knew it, the week had come round, and it was time to start my new job (!!!)

 Below is currently the view from my desk and I love being up high enough to look over Sheffield. I've been settling in for the last few weeks and getting used to being in a different department and walking to a different building in the morning! It was a bit weird in the beginning but I'm getting used to having a new role and the different dynamics of things. Tilly had her haircut this month and I was able to pick up my completed coasters that I made last month - I'm really pleased with how they've turned out and they've come out flat so I can actually use them! 

 You may have seen on my instagram that the 27th July is a special day for me. It's the day where all the way back in 2009 Tom and I spent the day together for the first time, and it was the day where I gained a new best friend. I can't believe it's been eight years since that day - in some ways it seems like a life time ago but in others I can't believe it's been that long already. It's weird when I meet someone new and I tell them how long Tom and I have been together, as it reminds me actually how long it's been, and that it's quite uncommon for someone aged 22. I also like it though because it reminds me how grateful I am, so Tom, if you're reading (which you will at some point as I'll eventually make you) thank you for being my best friend for the last eight years. 

 Since we've come back from our holiday, we've been going to our local pub quiz every week with a few friends, and we had a stint where we won every week which meant free pizza, but a couple of weeks ago our friends were away on holiday, so it was down to Tom and I to hold down the fort. Suffice to say they seem to have made the quiz harder over the last few weeks, but in fairness to us we did pretty well! 

  Although I've been enjoying summer and don't want to wish the year away, there's a part of me that's happy it's coming to autumn as that means cosy jumpers, roast dinners and my favourite limited edition lush bath bomb being in the shops again. 

What did you get up to in July?

Jess x 
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