Wednesday, 16 April 2014

A Paper Anniversary

This the last anniversary post this year, I promise.
wedding album, milk books


Your first anniversary is your 'paper' anniversary apparently and as we STILL (I know, shame on us) hadn't got a wedding album yet we decided to shell out the cash and get one to ourselves for an anniversary present - in addition to a long weekend away (pt.1 & 2).

wedding-album-milk-books
wedding-album-milk-books

Thanks to an online sale and hefty discount code, I used MILK books to design and order our album.

wedding-album-milk-books
wedding-album-milk-books

Customisable from page layout, captions, labels and cover, I can honestly say I am impressed.

wedding-album-milk-books

I don't know what I was expecting, but a professional looking album was not it. Designing it myself, I expected a more 'DIY' vibe but everything from the paper quality to colour vibrancy is screaming 'pro'.

wedding-album-milk-books

I love it.

Excuse me whilst I go and stroke the linen cover right now.

Lots of print love, L x

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

A Wiltshire Weekend (Anniversary Break pt.2)

Time for part two of our anniversary trip...(you can catch up with part one here)

Sunday morning treated us with even better weather than the day before, and we took the opportunity to get a move on straight after breakfast. Thanks to some local cider (him) and an excellently poured gin and tonic (me) the night before, however, we'd both woken up feeling slightly fragile. Deciding to forgo the 'make your own' Bloody Mary station thoughtfully provided at breakfast, I instead plumped for a couple of paracetamol out of a bountifully filled medicine jar to pair with my 'boil your own' free range eggs.

It wasn't long before the breakfast fuelled our legs though and grabbing a map we set off with camera and hound to explore the Beckford Walk and surrounding areas.

english pointer puppy pointing in woods
english pointer puppy pointing
puppy, walking in wiltshire, wiltshire countryside
wiltshire countryside, sheep in fields, white horse
archway entrance to the fonthill estate

Uphill and down dale took us on a tour of woodland, fields, open grass and muddy lanes. The puppy practised his pointing skills at everything from sheep, to horses and pretty butterflies. The Fonthill estate welcomed us home with its towering archway and grand driveway, and we studied the local flora and fauna in great detail everywhere we went.

bluebells
puppy holding a bone between paws

What turned into a 4 hour long hike led us back to the beer garden, where the dog was treated to a bone for his efforts, and we sat in the sun dreaming of ways we could live in this glorious part of the country.

Dinner this time was again an á la carte affair as we decided we'd prefer a late meal rather than Sunday lunch at 3pm.  Once again, yet to be disappointed, we cleared the plates of a variety of locally sourced produce including guinea-fowl, wild boar, earl grey pannacotta and ewe's curd salad. After perusing the extensive DVD selection on offer, we instead opted for an early-night, our sun-kissed shoulders and noses glowing from our weekend of adventures and the down-filled pillows calling.

Before travelling home on Monday, we filled our boots with the sights and tastes we'd enjoyed so much over the weekend - lingering over a long breakfast and meandering round the lake with the dog prior to filling the car. Keen to make the most of our day, we stalled past Stonehenge, and gawped from afar at the towering stones, whilst disgustedly remarking on the extortionate £15/pp visiting charge (which I should add we didn't pay).

stonehenge

We thoroughly enjoyed our trip this weekend, and soaked up the sun, good food and friendly laid-back atmosphere. I'll be dreaming of a garden with chickens, country walks and muddy runs from here on in. Bring on the second anniversary trip!

Lots of loved love, L x

- Dinner, Bed and Breakfast at The Beckford Arms, Fonthill Gifford - Archway entrance to the Fonthill Estate -  

This write-up and review is 100% my own opinion. No compensation was given by The Beckford Arms or its associates for this review.

Monday, 14 April 2014

A Wiltshire Weekend (Anniversary Break pt.1)

As you know, this weekend was our first anniversary so we decided to take ourselves away for the weekend (plus pooch) to a little hideaway in Wiltshire.

Taking the Friday and Monday off work was an excellent move - on Friday we pootled down the motorway in the sun-shine, fully feeling that holiday vibe. What was a clear and traffic-free run was improved with a bonus M&S food pit-stop and sightings of Stonehenge.

We arrived at our hotel, The Beckford Arms nr Tisbury,  to a beaming manager, empty beer-garden and settled down with a gin & tonic, leaving the unpacking 'til later. A walk before dinner delivered spectacular views on our doorstep, and upon finally moving the case up to our 'dog-friendly' room discovered a clean and comfortable bolt-hole for our weekend.

Beckford arms hotel rooms
dog bowls and biscuits in the beckford arms

Organic locally produced toiletries overflowed the bathroom and the feather bedding was calling me there and then.
beckford arms bathroom, organic Bramley toiletries

A quick shower and change later, we took our seats in the bar for a dinner à deux, snuggled into the book case and watched the local gun-dogs snaffle crumbs from around their owners' feet. I wish I'd photographed the food, but truth is I was inhaling it at a speed which does not befit a lady on her anniversary break. Just trust me when I say I was impressed...we even fed each other forkfuls between gasps of 'oh my goodness try this'. Well, we were on anniversary (did I say that yet?).

Saturday morning dawned as bright as the previous day, and after a muddy run and plateful of bacon and eggs, we decided to don the walking shoes and explore. We found the nearby village of Tisbury bursting with boutique shops and delis, and explored the fields until we found the Fonthill Estate lake and hydro-station.

small waterfall
fonthill estate lake and old pontoon
english pointer puppy trying to swim
fonthill gifford estate walking
fonthill gifford estate hydro power station

Needing to rest our tired bones, we headed back to the hotel to cosy up in front of a roaring log-fire in the sitting room with hazelnut hot chocolate and a stack of magazines left on the coffee table. The dog snored softly at our feet whilst we attempted to keep our eyes open by keeping one eye on the literature on our laps, and the other people-watching as locals enjoyed a pint at the bar or a quick bite to eat.

english pointer puppy

A long soak in a bubble filled bath (and a quick cat-nap if I'm honest) refreshed us for our evening meal back downstairs, venison and sticky toffee pudding straining the button on my skinny jeans. A nightcap by the fire, and we were thankful we had chosen to book dinner, bed and breakfast, and that our bed was merely steps away. 

Stay tuned for part two...
- Dinner, Bed and Breakfast at The Beckford Arms, Fonthill Gifford - Hydro-station at the Fonthill Estate -  
- Locally produced toiletries from Bramley Products -

This write-up and review is 100% my own opinion. No compensation was given by The Beckford Arms or its associates for this review.

Friday, 11 April 2014

One Whole Year. The Story of Team Parker

This weekend (We got married twice, remember? ) we celebrate our 1st wedding anniversary and we shall be enjoying 4 days off to remember that day, even though it feels like yesterday. It feels like someone should fire off a confetti cannon because boy was this a tough year. That means you'll be getting a delayed Monday post I'm afraid, but be sure to stay tuned via Instagram for some visual updates - we've got a small adventure planned!



Now I've never shared this before but for the Mr's wedding gift, I wrote him a book.
The first paragraph went something like this:

This is a story of boy meets girl, and girl meets boy. The thing is, the story isn't finished yet.

Here's to next year, and many more my love.

Laura xxx

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Paleo Treats - Brownies

Last Friday, these bad boys were featured on the wonderful Olive Dragonfly Blog, but now it's their second turn in the sun over here!

For Bex I shared the Pistachio version, but for you I have three different types today!

To recap -
Paleo Pistachio Brownies:



The Mrs Makes: Paleo Treats - Brownies
The Mrs Makes: Paleo Treats - Brownies



Ingredients:
  • 1 cup almond flour/coconut flour
  • 2 very ripe mashed bananas
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 ounces baking chocolate (100% cacao only)
  • 7 Medjool dates (1/2-2/3 cup) pits removed
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup coconut oil, melted
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of pistachio kernels
Method:
  1. In a food processor, combine almond flour, salt and baking soda
  2. Pulse in squares of dark chocolate until the texture of coarse sand
  3. Blitz the dates in until they've broken down and added to the sandy/crumb like texture
  4. Whizz in the eggs and mashed bananas
  5. Finally add in the coconut oil and vanilla until mixture is smooth
  6. Transfer mixture to a greased 8 x 8 inch baking dish
  7. Mixture will be very thick, smooth with a spatula and top with pistachios. You might have to poke them in a little. 
  8. Bake at 180°C for 18-22 minutes
  9. Optional - I like to drizzle mine with honey as soon as they leave the oven to glaze those pistachios a little. Non-processed, natural, organic honey please if you do this. 
  10. Cool for 2 hours, then serve
Birthday Brownies
The Mrs Makes: Paleo Treats - BrowniesThe Mrs Makes: Paleo Treats - Brownies
As above - but remove the pistachios and smear a coating of 100% melted cacao thinned with a teaspoon of maple syrup over the top to glaze. You can, and should, add sprinkles. Birthday sprinkles. (non-paleo, birthday, sprinkles). 

Protein Brownies
As above - Add two scoops of raw chocolate protein powder and an extra egg.

Lots of GOO love, L x

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