Good things

This time I’ll talk about food and home and the two most important beings in my life: my husband and our dog.

1. Installing doors on the build-in wardrobe. My husband and I pondered for a little over an year if we should install doors on our build-in wardrobe or not. We both liked the way it looked without the doors, but we have a dog and there is dust. As with most furniture in our home, the doors are white and I really love the way they look.

A photo posted by Anca (@ancaslifestyle) on

2. Sorting out the clothes. It’s related to the first point, of installing doors. As I took all the clothes out, I took advantage and I sorted out all the clothes. You might have seen this if you follow me on Instagram. Well, if something doesn’t fit or I don’t like it anymore, I will not keep it any longer. Hubby did the same with his clothes.
Now I have a bag of clothes for charity and a bag of clothes to modify. I’m sure my sewing skills aren’t amazing, but learning how to sew can be done by transforming a piece of garment into something new. At least this is what I think.

3. Spices. I had 30 jars of spices, I blogged about them in Using jars to keep the kitchen tidy. After getting more spices from BBC Good Food Show, I’ve decided to get another shelf and add 15 new spices. It might sound like a lot, but I use most of the spices weekly.

4. Hubby and Festus. They make me happy. The dog makes me laugh at least a couple of times each day, he makes me go out for walks even though I’m busy, he sleeps close to me when we’re watching TV in the evenings. My husband and I laugh and we talk about psychology and politics and food. We also talk a lot about our job.

5. Discovering Smoky Lapsang tea. I got a lot of different types of tea from the Twining shop in London. I loved this, it has such a strong flavour. After taking a sip, I started thinking of desserts and how I can incorporate this amazing flavour into food. Hubby is not keen on the tea and he hopes I will not cook&bake lots of dishes with it. When I wrote this, I had another idea of how I can use the tea in a dish, I can’t help myself.

6. TV. There are great TV shows at the moment. I like Dragon’s Den, Eat well for less, Superfoods, Masterchef, Secrets of Underground Britain, Michael Palin’s New Europe and Panorama. I saw The Great British Sewing Bee and it was very interesting. Of course, there is also F1.

Linking up to jasmincharlotte

Pink Parcel review

I received a Pink Parcel box in the goodie bags from the LPPEvent a few days ago. I was delighted with the parcel, so I’ve decided to review it separately.

Pink parcel

Pink Parcel is a monthly subscription period box. The box has 4 different parts: For you, For now, For later and For down there. All the items are in their cute boxes or pouch. It was a lovely surprise when I opened it and saw how they look, each in its category.

For down there it had a FemFresh freshening cloths, small in size and perfect for travelling or to keep in the handbag.

For later had tampons. I looked on their website and when you subscribe to them, you can choose from tampons or pads and you can even choose the brand. I think this is fab as I tend to stick with a brand I like.

For now is a cute pouch with a couple of tampons and liners. It’s so handy to have those in a black pouch instead of having them everywhere in the handbag. It’s handy and I don’t have to worry if I have to open my purse for one reason or another.

Pink parcel

For you is the most interesting one, obviously.

Every box includes a bag of tea, because “Because a cup of tea solves everything!”. I find that cute. The tea included in this box was Organic Chocolate, rooibos and vanilla from English Tea Shop (£6.6 for 60 bags), something I didn’t try before.

There were two sweet treats. The first one I’ve tried was a Fudge Kitchen white chocolate and raspberry cube. It was delicious, I loved it. The second sweet treat was Rococo mini Bee Bar with honeycomb. I loved the chocolate too.

Badger Sleep Balm has lavender, for a better night sleep. I like the fact that it’s made in USA and it’s organic and cruelty free.

True Brit London Nail Polish was one of the items for pampering. It’s the first time I see this nail polish and so far I like it. It has a grey colour and I love it. I can’t wait to try it these days. The bottle is heavy and it looks lush. It’s made in the UK and that is something I really like.

Cougar perfect pout lip plumper. It should improve hydration and softness of the lips while it plumps them. It’s made in the UK too.

Lottie London make-up brush. I got the Shade&Shadow brush for eye-shadows. I can’t wait to try this one too.

Simple Soothing Facial Toner. I use a couple of products from Simple, a make-up remover and a cleanser and I’m happy with them. When I saw the toner in the box I was delighted, as I wanted to buy it to see how it is.

Pink parcel

The subscription is £6.99 for the first month and £10.99 (including P&P) after that. I really think it’s worth it.

The items in the For you box:
English Tea Shop is £6.6 for 60 bags (1 teabag in the box)
Fudge Kitchen white chocolate and raspberry cube is £10 for 12 (1 in the box)
Rococo mini Bee Bar with honeycomb is £1.5 for 20g
Badger Sleep Balm is £4.99
True Brit London Nail Polish is £12.50
Cougar perfect pout lip plumper is £29
Lottie London make-up brush is £5
Simple Soothing Facial Toner is £1.29 for 50ml

The Pink Parcel box was a PR sample. All opinions are my own.

LPPEvent, blogger event

On Sunday I went to LPPEvent or Liverpool Period Project. The event was organized at the Dough Bar by Alisha at alishavalerie.com and Samantha at sabrebeauty.co.uk. The Dough Bar is really nice and it’s located in the centre, near Lime Station.
Homeless women and also women in shelters don’t receive things to help with their period time. As most of us already know, in the UK, pads and tampons are taxed at 5% because they aren’t considered an essential product. All the bloggers attending this event donated tampons/pads, it was a raffle and an yard sale where all the proceedings went to The Whitechapel Centre, a homeless centre in Liverpool.

LPPEvent

The event was fab, there were a couple of brands who talked about their products, we had a few games. I was rubbish at the quiz, only 5 from 15 questions. I’m not sure if I can blame my low score on a little cold I had. There were more games and they were fun. We had a lot of time to talk and that was nice. It was fab to see Codie (codiekinz.co.uk), Jenny (secretbeautybox.co.uk) and Sarah (salocainwonderland.co.uk).

 LPPEvent yard sale
The yard sale was great. I picked a hard bag with Betty Boop, as I think it will be very helpful to transport my makeup and cosmetics when I’m caravanning, I’m quite excited about that, I might use it this week. The money raised in the yard sale go to charity, so it was another good reason to get something.

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Bank of England

In our last trip to London, my husband and I went to visit the Bank of England. The bank is not open to public as it’s an working institution, with a few exceptions each year, but there is a small museum with lots of interesting things to see. They recommend 1 hour for the visit, but I would suggest allowing yourself a little more time if you plan to visit it. If you are looking at the films and you pay attention to the exhibits, it will take longer to see everything.

Bank of England was founded by a Scotsman in 1694. One year later, an Englishman founded the Bank of Scotland, one of the fun facts I saw in the museum.

01 Bank of England

When the Bank of England was founded in 1694, it was in a different building, not far from the current location. The first building in Threadneedle Street was completed in 1734 and it was the first purpose-building bank in the world. After 30 years additional space was required and work for extension started at the bank. Single storey wings were added. In 1788 Sir John Soane become the Bank of England’s architect and he did extensive works.
During the First World War more space was needed and the buildings Soane built were demolished and replaced by multi-storey buildings.
In the internal garden there are four mulberry trees as reminders of the origin of paper money. Their bark was used for the first paper money made in China in the 10th century.

02 Bank of England

The emblem of the bank is Britannia looking on a bank of money and it was chosen on 30th July 1694. Every printed note has the image of Britannia.

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Pick Your Own

For this month’s farm, my husband and I decided to go for pick your own fruits. We’ve been to Claremont farm. It was the first time I’ve been on a field to pick up fruits and I loved it.
During the weekends they mention on their website that they offer tractor rides and it seemed fun, but we weren’t available in the weekend. We got to the farm one hour and a half before closing and I would say it was just enough.

01 Pick your own from a local farm
This is how many strawberries we’ve picked, around 3kg. We also picked raspberries and tayberries.

02 Pick your own from a local farm
We were directed to the strawberry fields, that were marked with these strawberry flags. There were a few people picking fruits. We picked a row each, took some pictures and we’ve started picking up the strawberries.

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How to prepare a fancy Afternoon tea at home

I bought a cake stand which I thought would be great for an afternoon tea. After cooking I thought it’s a great idea to share how I prepared my fancy afternoon tea at home.

From start to finish it took me two hours and a half. I don’t think it takes long and most of it can be prepped in advance and a couple of things can be made the day before. Nothing is shop-bought, beside the basics, like bread.

Looking at Master Chef I realized how important is to have a plan, so I’ve made the menu a couple of days before preparing the afternoon tea. By having a set menu, it was so much easier to know from where to start and the order in which the food is prepared.
If it’s the first time you are making and afternoon tea, make sure most of the recipes you want to include are easy to make and you’re familiar with them. This will allow you more time to experiment with the new recipes.

How to prepare a fancy Afternoon tea at home

Menu for my afternoon tea at home

– cucumber, cheddar and cream cheese sandwich
– egg and mayo sandwich
– exotic mushrooms and cream cheese sandwich
– scones with raisins and scones with chocolate chips, served with clotted cream, rhubarb and vanilla jam and damson jam
– lime pie
– matcha pie
– chocolate cupcakes with strawberries
– chestnut mousse

03 How to prepare a fancy Afternoon tea at home
Cucumber, cheddar and cream cheese sandwich with wholemeal bread. Spread a thin layer of soft cheese on both slices of bread, add some grated cheddar and thin slices of cucumber. Cut a couple of finger sandwiches.

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East Riddlesden Hall

My husband and I went to West Yorkshire a few days ago and we’ve ended up visiting East Riddlesden Hall. It’s a 17th century manor house in Keighley. The hall was built in 1642 and it had 4 storey. I was surprised to hear that, 4 storey for that time it’s quite impressive.
The house had additions built, like any other old house. It has a walled garden and before the first world war, it was likely to sold to America, dismantled brick by brick and shipped over to the US where they would have reassemble it. The trustees plan wasn’t successful. A part of the land was sold. In 1933 the house was sold and the new owner wanted to dismantle the hall. Two local brothers succeeded in buying the property and they donated the hall to the National Trust in 1934. There are a little bit more details about this on East Riddlesden Hall.

01 East Riddlesden Hall

02  East Riddlesden Hall

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