Sunday, 28 July 2013

Chew Valley Lake

Chew Valley Lake is the largest artificial lake in the South West, created in the early 50's and opened by the Queen. The Lake provides the majority of Bristol and the surrounding area with drinking water, the supply of which comes from the Mendip Hills. Not only does Chew Valley Lake provide acclaimed trout fishing it's also overrun with all sorts of birds and wildlife. I went with my parents and my niece this afternoon for a wander around the banks with my camera.

Chew Valley is somewhere I always used to visit with my Grandparents, so it was nice for Mum and Dad to take Amelia. We grabbed some Marshfield Farm ice cream from the tea shop (Succulent Strawberry, so good!), strolled around spotting birds (mostly seagulls, though) and trekked up to the viewing platform which looks right out over the lake.

We left just before those dark clouds started to break. On Saturday, I'm shooting a wedding which has the lake as a back drop, and I'm very excited about that. I'm just holding out for the weather!
Rosie x

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Summer So Far

We're nearly in August, and I feel like Summer had whizzed by in a flash although I've been quite busy. We went to Dublin for a long weekend with my parents in June, we've enjoyed some gorgeous sunshine in the garden and had a lot of BBQs and cocktails with friends, I went to London with Mum to see Robbie Williams at Wembley Stadium and I've spent many a night chilling out at home with Ash enjoying the weather. But the best part is that we still have Reading Festival in less than 4 weeks!

What have you been up to this Summer? Rosie x

PS. You can follow me on Instagram: @ohsorosie

Friday, 26 July 2013

One Year Ago

Can you believe it's been a whole year since I started this blog? My first post feels like a lifetime ago. I've learnt so much about blogging as a hobby, and I really enjoy having this little corner of the internet to share my world.

Thank you to everyone who takes time to read, comment, Tweet, follow... it's so cool to have this new network of friends.

Here's to the next year! Have a wonderful weekend. Rosie x

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Kamikaze: An Easy Organic Cocktail Recipe

The weather has been seriously beautiful for the past few weekends, and my Saturday's have been filled with cocktail making. Ecomarket* have brought to my attention the importance of using organic produce, but do we ever think further than fruit and veg? I know I probably don't. I'd definitely never considered organic alcohol before! Rustling up an organic cocktail is all about getting the right ingredients - in this case, a good organic vodka like Utkins UK 5.

Before I had some friends round last Saturday for a BBQ, I shook myself up a Kamikaze. Truth be told, this probably wasn't my smartest move as I then merrily made about 4 other cocktails before the majority of people even arrived. Needless to say, I was a very jolly hostess on Saturday night. Kamikaze in Japan means 'divine wind' and this concoction is guaranteed to blow your socks off. But it's also fresh and tangy enough to sip in the sunshine - slowly, whilst eating burgers and hot dogs to soak up the effects...

To make a Kamikaze, simply shake 50ml Organic Vodka, 50ml Triple Sec or Cointreau and 50ml Organic Lime Juice with ice and strain in to a martini glass. To make a funky peel twist, take a slice of lime and cut all the flesh away from the rind. Then just twist it around your finger and pop it over the edge of the glass!


Some other simple but classic cocktails you could make using Organic Vodka are:

Cosmopolitan - Looks like pink lemonade, tastes like heaven! One of my faves.
3 parts Organic Vodka, 2 parts Cranberry Juice, 25ml Lime Juice and 25ml Triple Sec

White Russian - A grown up milkshake!
5 parts Organic Vodka, 3 parts Fresh Cream (or milk if you prefer it thinner), 2 parts Organic Coffee Liqueur

Bloody Mary - Supposedly a hangover cure, although I've never managed to stomach it!
6 parts Tomato Juice, 3 parts Organic Vodka and 1 part Lemon Juice.

What's your favourite vodka based cocktail? Have you ever bought organic alcohol?
You can see more of my cocktail recipes by clicking here.
Rosie x

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Jade Bakes

I want to introduce you to one of my best friends, Jade. As well as being an amazing artist, Jade is also an amazing cook and incredible baker. She started her blog to share her recipes with colleagues and friends, but I can't not share these with you. Caramel Pretzel Brownies? Ok! Popcorn flapjacks? Yes please! Banoffee cupcakes? Oh, go on then ;)

Jade's recipes aren't just for those of us with a sweet tooth. There's also Sweet Chilli and Onion Bread and a good old Chicken and Stuffing Pie. Yum.

You can find more amazing recipes and baking inspiration over at Jade Bakes, including 3 amazing cocktail cupcakes which she baked for her parents 25th wedding anniversary party.

What are your favourite things to bake? Do you have any incredibly talented friends?!
Rosie x 

Monday, 22 July 2013

Freedom on Four Wheels

Dress: New Look (last summer)
Shoes: Fred Perry

Learning to drive was the best decision I made. Days after my 17th birthday I was driving around a local trading estate, learning how to reverse around corners and do three point turns. (Note: has anyone actually ever had to reverse around a corner like you're taught too?) Unfortunately, I failed my driving test twice, due to silly mistakes which I probably do all the time. But I was seriously heartbroken and told my parents I was giving up. My Mum went ahead and booked my next test, told me I was doing it, and I passed with no problems. I'm so grateful for her for pushing me further because she knew I could do it. My first car was a cute little 2000 plate Volkswagen Polo, Little Red, bought with money left to me from my Grandad. I drove us and our friends to Newquay for a week in Summer, we made it to Cardiff and back a few times, plus I had a whole new found freedom. I could book gig tickets without having to ask my parents if they could pick me up after. I could go to the cinema or go shopping whenever I wanted. I could put 'Full UK Driving License' on my CV and knew it meant something to future employers. Little Red was amazing, but after nearly 4 years with me as a driver, she started to fail. A few things went wrong which I paid to get repaired, but I knew I needed to move on to something more reliable for the future.

A few weeks before my 21st birthday, I put my first car up for sale in local newspapers and headed into my nearest Volkswagen garage to dream about my next car. Because my first VW had been so brilliant, I knew I'd look for another one. An hour or so later, I walked out with my name down on a deposit of a brand new Volkswagen Polo Match. On the 1st March 2012, I picked up Little Red v2 and we've already had so many adventures.

We've driven to Old Trafford to watch Manchester United beat Norwich. We've road tripped to Southend-on-Sea to surprise Ash's Mum a few days before Christmas. We headed to Thorpe Park, twice, to ride The Swarm and the Saw ride. We went to 3 different Blink-182 gigs last Summer - Birmingham, Cardiff and Bournemouth. We've taken impromptu drives to the beach. I've driven to wedding venues to take photographs. I drive myself to work every day. Having my car is the closest thing I've felt to freedom my whole life. There's no better feeling that getting out of bed one day with nothing planned and knowing you could drive almost anywhere you wanted. In the wonderful words of Blink-182 - "a tank of gas is a treasure to me."

If you're packing up your car (or bike!) and travelling away from home, you might want to speak to Footman James who offer classic bike insurance* and classic car insurance at competitive rates, including breakdown cover in the EU. I wonder if I'll take my car out of the UK one day?

The best part of this story? I still see the girl I sold my first car too driving her around town. It's actually slightly comforting to know it's still going. It's crazy how attached I got!

Do you drive? What car do you have? Do you feel the freedom too?
Rosie x

All these photos were taken by Ash using my Canon 550D.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Summer Snapshots

I've had such a great weekend with friends in the sun. I'm so happy to have a great bunch of people in my life that I love a lot and can always rely on. Hope you've had a good weekend too :) Rosie x

Monday, 15 July 2013

The Flip Side : The Horrible Crowes - Elsie

Artist: The Horrible Crowes
Album Title: Elsie
Release Year: 2011
Label: Side One Dummy Records
Bought From: Raves It From The Grave, Frome (March 2013)
Price: £18.99
Special Features: Red vinyl
Favourite Song: Crush

I first downloaded Elsie to my iPhone when Ash was in hospital for a night after a shoulder operation. I was feeling a bit low (not half as low as Ash must have been feeling though...) and needed some new music. I already had a big love for The Gaslight Anthem and had heard murmurings about The Horrible Crowes, but only watched a couple of YouTube videos. It's not often that I'll take the plunge on iTunes, but I'm seriously glad I did as Elsie shortly became one of my favourite albums of that time. Brian Fallon's lyrics are just as beautiful as every Gaslight song, but the music is so different - so much sadder, darker and calmer.

I picked up this record only at the beginning of this year. It was more than I would have liked to pay for an album which I already owned on my iTunes, but I had to have it. It's not very often that we'll pay out that much for something brand new. My favourite song is Crush - "Pour yourself a drink, I'll sing you a song, don't worry 'bout the money, honey, I got a tab a mile long."  Following that, I love the lyrics of Ladykiller and the ballsiness of Behold The Hurricane.

Although the sleeve itself is nothing too special, the record is a gorgeous blood red which looks amazing with the black and white artwork.

If you like music with guitars but find yourself pining for something a little quieter sometimes, then have a listen to Elsie. I've linked to Ladykiller below. Let me know what you think!

The Horrible Crowes - Ladykiller

To see more from The Flip Side series, click the link in the left sidebar! Rosie x

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Coconut Lime Breeze Cocktail Recipe

Coconuts are alien to me. Before today, I'd never broken one open and looked at the flesh, drank the water and realised how hairy they are. Maybe I live a sheltered life? Or maybe I've just never had the urge to buy a coconut before. At only 78p each in Asda, I picked up some hairy babies and brought them home, imagining up what I could make them in too. Naturally, my first thought was cocktail related, and thus - Coconut Lime Breeze is born.

Ash helped me get in to the coconut by bashing it with the blunt end of a meat knife... my female strength was really lacking today, but he got in to it with a few hits and drained the water out in to a jug. I strained the water through a tea strainer a few times to get out some hairs which had fallen in.

To make a Coconut Lime Breeze, you will need:

50ml coconut water (fresh!)
50ml vodka
525ml lime juice
Lemonade to top

Combine all the ingredients except the lemonade in a shaker and shake! Strain over lots of ice, top with lemonade and serve with an cocktail umbrella (obviously...)

It's the perfect drink to help you cool down in this crazy English heat, hence why I named it breeze - because it's exactly what I need right now! There's still some coconut water left so check back in the week to see what else I make from it! Rosie x

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Long Awaited Sunshine

This sunshine is beautiful. It means long evenings, gorgeous flowers, juicy fruit and silly dogs. We shut the gate so they can run around on the grass rather than bothering us on the patio when we're BBQing. They stare lovingly through the fencing, quietly eyeing up the grilled meat...

There's nothing better than coming home from work in the gorgeous sunshine, having a light dinner and soaking up the final rays of the day whilst sipping on Pimms.

How are you enjoying the sunshine?
Rosie x

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Pimm's Jelly

On Sunday morning I got up early to prepare some food for our afternoon BBQ. Dad came in to the kitchen with one of his magazines and showed this recipe for Pimm's jelly. I knew we had some gelatine leaves in the cupboard and I'd bought a bottle of Pimm's the day before - I had to make it! I don't think I've made jelly since I was in primary school so I was pretty excited...

You will need:
150ml Pimm's No 1
350ml lemonade
1 lemon, rind and juice
3 gelatine leaves
Selection of chopped fruit
A couple of mint leaves

Simply heat up the Pimm's, lemonade, lemon juice and rind in a saucepan until it's just off boiling, then remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Whilst it's cooling, dampen the gelatine leaves in cold water to soften for 5 minutes. Then pour out excess water and stir them in to the Pimm's mixture until they're dissolved. Prepare half of your fruit and shredded mint in 4 small glasses. I used strawberries, blueberries, apple and orange. (In hindsight, I would change the orange for raspberries so we didn't have to mess with the skin when eating it.) Slowly pour the Pimm's mixture into the glasses, just enough to cover the fruit. This used about half of my mixture. Allow the jelly to set in the fridge, and when it has do another layer of fruit and pour more mixture over. Let it set in the fridge overnight.

I will definitely be serving mine with vanilla ice cream tonight. Grown up jelly and ice cream, perfect for a working weeknight!

PS. My last post must have helped Andy Murray become Wimbledon champion!!

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Frozen Strawberry and Elderflower Daiquiri Cocktail Recipe

The UK is currently being spoilt with 25 degrees and above of sunshine! I've spent all morning prepping food for a BBQ later on (lamb burgers and Pimms jelly) and thought I'd settle down to watch the Wimbledon mens singles final. But something was missing - a cocktail! Wimbledon means strawberries, so I rustled up this daiquiri as a good luck charm for Andy Murray. Lets hope it works!

You will need:
50ml white rum (Bacardi)
25ml elderflower cordial
6 ice cubes, crushed
5 strawberries, chopped

Add all the ingredients into a blender/food processor and blend until smooth (or you can't hear the ice hitting against the blades!) Pour into a margarita glass and garnish with a strawberry.

Simple and delicious! If you don't have elderflower cordial (I made my own last week so now I'm thinking of ways to use up 1.5ltrs!) you could squeeze in some lime juice or sugar syrup - be imaginative!

Now, to the tennis... Come on Andy!

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Lately I've Been

...a busy bee!
Travelling home from Dublin - you can see all the posts from our trip here.
Visiting Southend-on-Sea. We had a couple nights to ourself and enjoyed the time together. Didn't enjoy the hangover the next day so much though...
Watching Ash's band, Montrose. Big things coming up for them this year.
Trying a new diet with Slimming World! Does anyone else do it?

Enjoying cocktails, as always. That doesn't work so much with the previous one does it..?
Loving the sunshine. It's going to hit 26 degrees on Sunday. In England. #cray
Seeing Robbie Williams in Wembley Stadium! Not exactly my sort of concert, but I went with Mum and we had a really good time. The day after we spent a bit of time in London and wandered down The Mall to see Buckingham Palace.
 Loving the ABM photo app, and I've preordered their book. There's nothing those girls can't do.