OOTD: April 25 Mermaid vibes 

I’m a big fan of the maxi skirt, especially ones with movement. This green skirt from New Look last summer is really lovely because it is ridged and looks like it is rippling in the breeze when I walk. 

Being a little short person, I have to be careful with the style and length of maxi skirts – many are just too long and create unnecessary tripping hazards! This one sits on the waist and not the hips so it falls around my ankles, and it’s super comfortable too.

Skirt: New Look £18

Sweater: H&M £12

Belt: Oasis (came with dress)


Stilton and chestnut mushroom arancini

Arancini is the complicated type of dish which I wouldn’t usually attempt, but today I had a whole spare afternoon to myself and fancied a bit of a challenge.

I found quite a simple recipe online and changed a few ingredients, swapping pine nuts for mushrooms and mozzarella for Stilton – mainly because they were the things I had in the fridge but also because I once had blue cheese arancini in a restaurant in Rome and they were delightful, melty in the middle balls of flavour.

Mine turned out really tasty too – perhaps more through luck than technique! 

This recipe makes about 8-10 arancini.  


1 cup of risotto rice 

1 pint of chicken stock

Half a cup of Parmesan, grated

A shop size block of Stilton 

2 teaspoons of freshly chopped parsley

4 cups of breadcrumbs

2 big handfuls of chestnut mushrooms, diced 

2 eggs, beaten

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil


Pour the stock into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the rice and turn down the heat, letting it simmer for around 20 mins or until all the liquid has been soaked up and the rice is tender.

Next, spread the rice on a baking sheet lined with grease proof paper and leave to cool.

In a bowl, mix together the beaten eggs, Parmesan, a third of the breadcrumbs and the parsley, and set aside.

Heat a chunk of butter in a frying pan and add the mushrooms, frying off until small and soft. Also set aside. Dice the Stilton in to very small chunks and when the mushrooms have cooled, mix in the Stilton to create a gooey mushroomy filling.


Return to the rice and make sure it is fully cool. Then mix it into the egg and Parmesan mixture. Mould the arancini from this mixture, into mini-satsuma sized spheres. Next, dig out a small hole in each ball and fill with as much of the mushroom mixture as you can squish in, sealing over and moulding back into spheres.

Roll each arancini in the remaining breadcrumbs and then place them in the fridge for at a least an hour.

Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan (I used a wok as it spits less) and then drop the balls carefully into the hot oil, rotating until golden brown. Remove from the oil and leave to rest on kitchen towel to soak up the excess oil.

Serve with ribbons of courgette and spinach fried off in the remaining mushrooms and Stilton mixture. 


OOTD: April 18 💛 Mulberry and spring nails 

Today was a pale palette day. Today was a sunny Saturday and it called for light, floaty fabrics and a fresh manicure. 

I’m wearing: 

Sweater: Marks and Spencer, £29.50

Jeans: Marks and Spencer, £22.50

Scarf: Mulberry, gift. (Lucky me)

Shoes: New Look £18.99

Bag: Lana Del Ray, Mulberry, £795 (when I bought it two years ago) 


And to accompany, a pretty nude manicure.

Ring: Topshop £12


Hay on Wye, a book lover’s paradise

I first visited Hay when I was in the midst of GCSE revision hell. With my six lever arch folders, array of highlighters, flash cards and wall charts in tow, I didn’t have the best time and don’t remember being at all impressed by the lack of internet access in our little hotel or the high proportion of people over 50 compared to anyone my age I could talk to between bursts of Wordsworth and Hardy essays.

However, fast forward ten years and Hay has just offered the most perfect mini break a pair of book lovers could ask for. Two hours or so from Nottingham we were driving through luscious Welsh countryside and only passing the odd other car every ten minutes, when we arrived in the little town all of a sudden after turning a sharp bend.

Hay is known for its book shops, yes, and for its annual literay festival when it’s 2,000 strong population swells to over 11,000 with people travelling from all over the world to visit the many stalls, talks, performances and book signings. We didn’t visit during the festival but still went first and foremost to do some book hunting, and also to take a few days at a slower pace of life and enjoy some of the beautiful countryside surrounding the little town.

We stayed at The Bear, a gorgeous little B&B in the centre of the town, run by David and Andrew, a couple whose attention to detail is impeccable (for example, each day there was a new fresh treat left on our tea stand, from Welsh cakes to ginger snaps) and who gave us much appreciated tips about what to do and see each day.

We ate some delicious, rustic food while in Hay and the surrounding area, particularly at The River Cafe in Glasbury which we arrived at after a stunning walk in the sunshine along the Wye Valley river trail. The walk was about six miles and took us a couple of hours as we stopped several times to take photos and drink in the peace and quiet of the rolling hills and fields. 


But food and books aside, my favourite part of our Welsh adventure was visiting Llanthony Priory, an Augustinian monks’ priory tucked away in the very heart of the Welsh valleys. The priory itself is now in ruins, but having been built in 1108 and having worn the elements, religious turmoils and general wear and tear of the centuries, it still stands proudly as a place of tranquil bliss. There is a little cave-style cafe in the priory alongside a tiny church, and the caretaker told us people are also welcome to stay there in the renovated wing – although there is no wifi, no televisions and no phone signal, so if you do chose to stay be prepared for total and utter isolation. 

To get to the Priory, drive up onto Hay Bluff (a great place to stop and take photos of the view) and then carry on along the road – which at some points does narrow out to a very small track –  for about 10 miles. The silence truly is golden once you’ve arrived and we could have happily spent several hours there wandering around the ruins and the beautiful surrounding hills.

Wales will always hold a special place for me as the country where my family came from, but in Hay I have found a new place now full of new memories which, without the dread of exams hanging over my head, really brought both Dan and I some much needed rest and relaxation in the midst of our busy lives.




Emily’s Easter eggs

I absolutely adore eggs. Particularly poached, but I’m not fussy about the form so long as the yolk is sunshine bright and the white porcelain.

Today has certainly been an egg day. I had brunch at the Larwood and Voce in West Bridgford, well known for its amazing breakfasts but also as purveyors of a stonkingly good selection of wines. I’ve also heard their prawn cocktail knocks the socks off the cliched Marie rose/ cucumber twirl variety.

I chose the field mushrooms and eggs on toast. Delicious and simple, the eggs were perfectly runny and complimented the big earthy mushrooms. Served on a hunk of granary toast, with a swirl of spicy tomato relish, the dish hit all the right notes for a brekkie. 


On an egg roll and totally not egged-out (being such a lover of eggs) I whipped up a mushroom and cheese omelette for supper.

Again, a really simple recipe with a few additions to jazz it up a bit.


2 eggs

Handful of baby button mushrooms

Handful of spinach

Garlic butter

Low fat extra mature cheddar, sliced 


Beat the eggs together while heating the garlic butter in the omelette pan. Toss the mushrooms and spinach into the pan and cook until the mushrooms have browned slightly and the spinach has wilted. Then pour in the eggs and fry for 2-3 mins, adding cheese to taste. When the cheese has melted, serve and eat immediately with a sprinkle of cracked black pepper. Because no one wants a cold omelette. 


OOTD: March 30 – statement necklace to the rescue

This outfit is a very old one – I bought the skirt about five years ago and forgot I had it – so it was feeling very rejected at the back of my wardrobe.

To make an old combo en trend, I think the easiest revamp is a statement jewellery piece. I love a big chunky necklace and you can never lose with a simple blouse and a glittery collar!

Skirt (with belt) – Topshop (forgotten the price it is so old!)

Shirt – another staple Primark buy £8

Collar necklace – Topshop £15