Love

What I Ate Wednesday No.34 – Rather Delicious.

Yep, you guessed it! It’s time for another round of WIAW…

As always a massive thank you to the lovely Jenn for creating this link-up! If you’re new to this, go check out her blog to see what it’s all about :-)

Rather than share a typical day of food with you, I want to show you some photos of the rather fantastic food that I’ve been eating with Tom this week. You are definitely in for an absolute treat!

Breakfast here is my usual staple, bowl upon bowl of weetabix… I thought you wouldn’t be interested so I’ll go straight to lunch:

A rather tasty tomato chicken pasta salad bought from Boots (along with a couple of lipsticks I just couldn’t resist!)

Along with pretty nice lunches I’ve also been enjoying several cups of this stuff:

Caramel lattes are the best way to warm up when the rain is falling heavily outside. As you may have guessed, Tom and I have spent many hours sat by cafe windows watching the world (and the rain) go by.

However, the real treat I’ve been eating this week has definitely been dinner. On Monday night a group of Tom’s friends decided to go watch the football in a pub and then take a trip to the cinema to watch Men In Black 3. We thought the time in between would be a perfect opportunity to grab some dinner ;-)

Scampi and chips from a local fish n’ chip restaurant. The scampi was lovely and fresh and the portion was perfect – I ate the entire plate. Well we wouldn’t want it going to waste would we? ;-)

I was a little apathetic about the film beforehand but it actually turned out to be pretty funny, I enjoyed it and it was fun to go out with Tom’s friends.

Now, I have definitely saved the best till last!

Last night Tom booked us a table at a really lovely restaurant and we dressed up for our three course meal together, to celebrate the end of exams and the start of our summer together. It was easily the best meal I’ve eaten in ages. Tom wore his gorgeous new blazer from Zara and I wore my favourite maxi from FCUK, I think we make a pretty smart couple…

To start with I went for a dish of spicy aubergine crostini which was fantastic.

Tom decided to have an avocado and prawn starter which looked really good too, it would have been my second choice!

For the main course the choice was clear and we both went for the same thing. A dish of fresh trout served with gorgeous greens and a special potato mash. It was just wonderful, the butter sauce was absolutely delicious!

Finally, what could better complete a beautiful dinner than an amazing chocolate pavlova (mine) and the perfect crème brûlée (Tom’s)…

It was such a brilliant evening, we strolled back home around 10pm when it was still light and settled down with full and happy stomachs. I only have a couple of days left here with Tom before I head back home for a week. I have been having the most amazing time and I am so lucky to have Tom, he makes me feel like one very lucky girl!

I hope you are all having a lovely week and that it has been raining less where you are than here!

What is the best thing you’ve eaten this week?
Have you eaten out recently?

Time Off.

I simply cannot explain how amazing it feels to have finished with this year and to enjoy a few days of relaxing with zero responsibilities. Seriously, I feel as though a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders and I can finally fall asleep at night without feeling anxious about everything I have to do.

So on Friday morning I jumped on the train for the 4 hour journey up to stay with Tom. I was impatient practically the entire time but luckily had the seemingly endless story that is Vanity Fair. I’m still only about 60% of the way there!

Getting to Tom’s and finally being able to collapse into his arms (almost literally!) was so needed and we’ve spent the last few days just really enjoying each other’s company.

Saturday involved a trip into town where I bought myself a couple of beauty products I needed (and wanted) and we spent time catching up in a cafe by the river. The drink I had is one of my favourites, on the sugary side and pretty unhealthy but just so delicious. I can’t get it anywhere else so when I spend time here I always get it.

Raspberry mocha frappe. It really is delicious.

I also decided to go for an almond and raspberry slice which is something I adore. If there’s a treat I can almost never say no to it’s a slice of cake or tray bake ;-)

Today was equally lovely, we took a trip to the cinema to watch The Avengers. I’ve already seen it but Tom hadn’t been able to and it’s definitely his type of film so I was perfectly happy to see it again. It was just as funny the second time around! I have to say I love Iron Man’s character, he has some brilliant one-liners.

Other than that we stayed in and played some computer games, I think we both needed some mind-numbing entertainment. Our choices of computer games are rather different, I like to design houses on the Sims, Tom likes a bit more action :-P I’d forgotten quite how much fun the Sims could be, it definitely reminds me of being about 12 years old!

Dinner was really tasty this evening, spicy chicken fajitas with salad.

It’s just so nice to spend time at Tom’s, as he remarked yesterday, it’s sort of like living on your own but better. We don’t get in each other’s way, both of us still do our own things, but you have the lovely company.

I hope you have all had a fantastic weekend!

What have you been up to this weekend?
If you’re in Britain have you been doing anything for the Jubilee?
I love the bunting everywhere!
Do you prefer living on your own, with family, with your other half, or with friends?

I Wish I Could be There.

Today is an incredibly special day.

Twenty-two years ago today someone who has come to mean the world to me was born.

This guy:

For over four years now, Tom has played a very special part in my life and I just couldn’t have the day go past without writing a post to celebrate his birthday.

I feel like the luckiest girl alive to have such a wonderful boyfriend and with all that I’ve had to deal with this year, I don’t think I would have made it through my first year at university without his support.

No one in the world can make me laugh like Tom, no one in the world makes me happier.

Tom, thank you for always being there for me, thank you for making my life so much richer, exciting and happy. I hope you have a brilliant day despite your finals approaching!

I know that I am going to be hugely proud of you next month at your graduation. I’m so glad that I’ve been able to spend the four years of your time at university with you, I know that being apart for weeks at a time has all been worth it. I love you with all of my heart.

So, although we’re over 200 miles apart right now and I wish I could be there with him, I am still celebrating the day that my best friend and the man I love came into the world.

Happy birthday my love, see you in two and a half weeks! :-)

Newness.

So what do you think of my new header?

Isn’t it beautiful? A couple of days ago this lovely lady tweeted about designing blog headers and I immediately jumped at the chance.

I’ve been reading Jenny’s blog for a long time and I love both her stunning photography and her brilliant designs so I knew I’d enjoy working with her. I couldn’t be happier, she worked quickly and professionally and gave me complete artistic control (although I mostly left it to her as she knows better than me!). She was an absolute pleasure to work with and I absolute love finished product!.

Plus one of the best things is that Jenny is really affordable to work with which is fantastic for poor students like me.

So thank you ever so much Jenny! I’d recommend her 100% and when if I make the move to being self-hosted I am definitely going to be calling on her services again.

With the end of the academic year in site I’ve started making lots of plans for the summer.

My summer is almost four months long.

Four months…

That is an incredibly long time to have off and usually I’d be a little worried about getting bored. But after the incredibly challenging year that I have had I can’t say I’m worried at all. All I can think about is how wonderful it will be to be able relax completely, not have to stress about work, essays and exams. To be able to take the time to get better.

It just sounds like bliss to me.

I won’t be idle though. Like I said I’ve been making lots of plans.

I’m sure I will be sharing them with soon :-)

Today has been another day of revision and sitting at my desk working all day has started to take it’s toll on me. Lunch was sweet because I really needed a bit of a lift, nothing beats a bagel with nutella and sliced banana!

I think tonight I will do my physio and curl up in bed with my new book.

I saw it recommended on a blog (can’t remember which one!) and when I checked it out on Amazon I found that I could buy it second hand (but like new) for just £3 so I couldn’t resist. After reading Wide Sargasso Sea and whilst in the middle of Vanity Fair it’s nice to have something a little more contemporary.

What do you think of the new header? Hasn’t Jenny done a fabulous job!
Any fantastic plans for the summer?
What are you reading right now? 

A Last Meal Out.

Yesterday was the last evening that Tom and I will have together for the next 5 or 6 weeks. Naturally we wanted to relax and just enjoy the time we had together.

We haven’t been for a meal together in a while, it’s been a busy Easter and we’re both trying to economize, so we thought it would be a nice way to end the holidays.

Although I’ve been physically quite weak lately, I’m fortunate enough that we’ve actually got a Bella Italia just 5 minutes walk away from my house so we decided to go sample some pasta (well at least for me :-P). Bella Italia isn’t necessarily the most stylish of places and it’s not the best food around but I like eating there for several reasons. Firstly the staff are always friendly, secondly I love pasta (duh) and thirdly it brings back childhood memories as my parents used to take us there when we were younger as we were both so fussy.

I know I should be adventurous with food at the restaurant. I know I should probably branch out.

But well, I just love pasta ;-)

Tom is a little more adventurous than me:

He chose the “butterflied seabass fillet with a warm salad of roasted new potatoes and red onions, green beans, black olives and plum tomatoes, with a fresh herb & garlic salsa verde” and it really was a gorgeous dish. Perfectly light.

I went with one of my more typical choices:

A pasta dish of “eight succulent king prawns sautéed with garlic and chilli in a spicy pomodoro sauce, with bucatini lunghi”. Delicious. Just the right balance of spice and freshness. The prawns were impressively flavoured too.

We had a lovely evening chatting away and enjoying good food. Like the typically bad blogger that I am I completely forgot to take a photo of my dessert but I can assure you that I tucked into a trio of ice creams with gusto :-P I chose honeycomb, strawberry and vanilla and it was some of the best strawberry ice cream I’ve had in a long time! Whole pieces of strawberry were mixed in and went really well with the honey flavour and crunch of the honeycomb ice cream.

I can’t quite believe that it is already time for Tom and I to say our goodbyes, it feels like it was only last week that we saw each other again. I hate this time of the holidays, it’s always hard knowing that we won’t see each other for quite some time, and it’s always worst at Easter as we both have exams coming up.

It’s been lovely to spend the last few weeks together. I’m so glad that we have this time. Thank you Tom, I’m lucky to have you :-)

Have you eaten out anywhere lately?
What’s your favourite thing to have at the restaurant?

Are you any good at saying goodbye? I’m one of the worst, I cry buckets every time!

Birthday Spoils.

Here is, as promised earlier this week, a post detailing all of the wonderful presents I was given for my birthday.

This year, for my 19th birthday, I was a very lucky girl.

I had asked for a few things but didn’t know what I was being treated to. It’s always a nice surprise when you return from uni, shattered, completely ready for the holidays and you find this waiting for you on the kitchen table:

Doesn’t this look a treat?

My mother, being the wonderfully thoughtful person she is, had picked out the most adorable wrapping paper for me: black and white illustrations of books with teeny details of pages, titles, and bindings. Perfect for me really.

Before I share the main bulk of my presents, here is what one of my lovely friends from home turned up with at the restaurant on Wednesday:

Doesn’t it all look amazing? (Yes I am going to continue captioning my photos with rhetorical questions, thank you for asking).

Inside this cardboard box of edible delights is: a huge bag of Bombay mix; two cartons of coconut water; a carton of Halva; two food doctor bars; a massive packet of flax seeds, brazil nuts and walnuts; a bottle of old-fashioned lemonade and a load of sugar-free chews.

Some of this (like the coconut water) is health food stuff (technical term I swear!) that I have been wanting to try for ages, and have probably blabbered on about to friends for a loooong time. Other things (like the Bombay mix) are more indulgent items of food that I secretly adore but rarely buy.

I was very pleased with my box of treats :-)

On a further food-related note:

I received three cookbooks for my birthday. It’s a standard practice for me really :-P

My lovely uni friend Kathryn bought me the pasta book and the veggie cookbook, it was the only present I actually got on my birthday so it was a nice surprise. I have  earmarked several recipes to try out in each!

I also got the beautiful Primrose Bakery cookbook. I’ve wanted it for ages as it’s full of gorgeous photos and absolutely delicious sounding recipes. I have already tried my hand at the flourless chocolate cake and the lemon drizzle cake, both of which were fantastic!

Clockwise from the top left: Virginia Woolf by Alexandra Harris, The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter, cupcake wrappers and cake doilies, Sweaty Betty yoga mat, locket pendant, Benefit Speed Brow, Clarins – Joli Rouge in Poppy Red, Optimum – Overnight Skin Renewal Serum, The Body Shop – watermelon body lotion, and Postcards from Penguin.

Isn’t it just the best haul? I’ve been thoroughly spoiled this year by my parents and my sister. I loved everything I was given and I’ve already worn and tried everything out.

I love my family!

And last but definitely not least…

My amazing boyfriend bought me the most beautiful pendant I’ve ever seen. An aquamarine heart set into white gold with two sparkling diamonds.

As I said, completely spoiled.

I love you Tom :-)

Aquamarine is my birth stone so it’s particularly special and the first present Tom ever bought me was a pendant so I’ve been wearing one for nearly the entire time we’ve been together. I love this pendant even more though and I’ve worn it everyday since he gave it to me!

So there you have it. All of the simply lovely things I’ve been given this year for my birthday. I’m a lucky lucky girl.

What do you want for your next birthday (or Christmas if that comes first)?
What was the best present you got for your last birthday?

What has been the best present you were ever given? 

And Then it was Four.

Yesterday was a very special day for me.

It marked four years of being in the most wonderful relationship with the most amazing person.

Thank you Tom, for everything you have given me, and happy anniversary my love.

You have made my life so much richer and I cannot say how much I am glad I met you.

I love you Tom.