Lottie Loves: 42

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Instagram of the week: Sunflowers are my favourite. I think they look like happiness grown from scratch.

1. How you eat on instagram vs. how you eat in real life. REAL.

2. I've been keeping big bunches of fresh herbs in mason jars full of water this week and it's been just lovely. It's like having extra little bunches of flowers filling my flat with greenery and a sense of the outdoors.

3. What's wrong with marriage in movies. I enjoyed Jo's précis of Seth Rogen and Lauren Miller's thoughts on the representation of relationships in film. Interesting reading.

4. My lovely friend Jess came to stay this week. We mainly drank tea, caught up on a years worth of gossip and sunbathed with snowman hats on. It was awesome.

5. The Beyoncelogues. So good! I'm hypnotised by this lady. 

6. I had a free morning this week so decided to edit some footage together from a recent trip to London and put up a vlog! Did you get a chance to see it?

7. 21 hospital foods from around the world. This is a weird one.

8. 10 totally inspiring truth bombs dropped by Mindy Kaling. 'Be kind' always. 

9. 10 tricks to appear smarter during meetings. Sound, sound advice.

10. Joy has challenged the internet to another Baking Bootcamp! This time to make crazy-good looking Apple Pie Biscuits. Whilst I'm not eligible to win any prizes (curse my UK citizenship) I'll be having a crack at the challenge this afternoon. I'll let you know how I get on!

Have a happy weekend, friends! x

Baked Sweet Potato Falafel with Herbed Tomato Couscous

Thursday, 11 September 2014


Well September is treating to us of a bit of an Indian summer, isn't it? Whilst I'm all ready to pull on my boots, wrap up in scarves and drink spiced lattes until I'm fit to burst, I'm not one to complain at a little extra sunshine and some more vitamin d lovin'. These little baked falafel are just perfect for a warm, golden September and I know I'm going to be making them over and over again. They are a my version of an autumn salad and create balance with the endless yorkshire puddings I will undoubtedly consume over the winter. This falafel is delicious hot and cold, and will happily sit in the fridge for a few days for you to snack on. They are definitely going in my lunchbox and with me onto campus this year. As you might be able to tell - I'm a fan. I think you will be too.
I've loved falafel ever since I posted my go-to recipe on the blog and as I'm harbouring a liiiiittle obsession with sweet potatoes at the moment, this recipe was a winner. Its light yet filling and packed with flavour and healthy goodness. Serve it with hummus (extra points for making your own) and a leafy salad for my absolute meal of the month! Enjoy falafel friends!

For Baked Sweet Potato Falafel with Herbed Tomato Couscous you will need (serves 4):

1 large sweet potato (about 350g)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small red onion
200g cherry tomatoes
150g couscous
400g tinned chickpeas
1 tsp ground cumin
handful fresh parsley
handful fresh mint

Begin by preheating the oven to 220c. Then peel and cube the sweet potatoes then toss them in a roasting tin with 1tbsp of the olive oil and a little salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes, shaking halfway through until soft.


Whilst the potato is roasting away thinly slice the red onion and heat the rest of the olive oil in a pan. Fry the onion on a medium heat for about five minutes.


Slice the cherry tomatoes and then chuck them in too and continue to cook for five minutes more. 


Stir in the couscous and add in just enough water to cover the couscous. Remove from the heat, cover with clingfilm and set aside. 


While the couscous is soaking up the water, chop the parsley and mint.


Add half of the parsley and mint to a bowl along with the chickpeas, cumin and roasted sweet potato. You can use a potato masher or food processor to combine the ingredients, but I always like to get stuck in with my hands. 


Shape into 12 patties and space evenly on a baking tray lined with foil. Pop them into the oven (still on from roasting the sweet potato) for 15 minutes. 


Just before the falafel is done, add the rest of the herbs to the couscous. 


Stir them through!


Portion onto plates with hummus and salad. 


Happy falafelling!
That should totally be a verb, right?

Lottie Loves: 41

Friday, 5 September 2014

Instagram of the week: The view from above the clouds always blows my mind. Wonder overdrive.

1. Hello out there! *waves*
It's been a long ol' time hasn't it? I'm sorry I've been absent but I've been gallivanting. On the plus side, I have loads of adventures to share with you. But first, let's celebrate the weekend with a list of internet goodness!

2. I want to high five these 29 parents who are way better at texting than their kids.

3. Chocolate and Toasted Hazelnut Milk. WHAT IS LIFE?!

4. Disposable camera pictures are just the best. I took a waterproof disposable with us to Spain and the surprise and hilarity of flicking through memories that you can't instantly delete, take again or edit makes the developing cost well worth it. Old school is sometimes the best kinda school.

5. Whenever you are doing a crappy job, just remember this and always keep dreaming big.

6. The only good thing about coming back from an adventure is catching up on all the TV you missed. OMG GBBO BAKED ALASKA. Need I say more?

7. On the subject of the Great British Bake Off, is anyone else thoroughly heart broken that Norman is out? Thanks to these 19 other people I know I'm not alone.

8. I'm so ready for Autumn now. Rosie's Autumn wishlist has sent me over the autumnal edge! AUTUMN!!

9. I'm a mild introvert. What are you?

10. My sister showed me this LIFE CHANGING video of a Red Panda a couple of weeks ago. It's a game changer - you have to watch.

Have a happy weekend, friends! x

Lottie Loves: 40

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Instagram of the week: Enjoying a clear night at Somerset House watching a classic. 

1. Film 4's Summer Screening at Somerset House! It's been on my bucket list for a few years and this summer J and I finally got around to booking our tickets to see E.T. in the courtyard of Somerset House. We were all given kinda creepy (read: TOTALLY TERRIFYING) E.T. masks upon arrival and then 2,000 of us posed for a phone home picture - as seen on the Somerset House instagram - slightly unsettling right? I think the sight would've made my sister cry, who wasn't E.T.'s biggest fan as a child. But an incredible night in a gorgeous setting!

2. Can you believe that J had never seen The King's Speech? (I'm not sure if this deserved my aghast reaction, but I was pretty sure it was a great, not-to-be-missed film). Anyway, we watched it last weekend and I was reminded how wonderful Geoffrey rush and Colin Firth's performance is in the film. 

3. Do you follow Bev on instagram? What a witty, witty lady. And the most adorable little bebes!

4. Because I'm an old person I went to bed at 9pm on Thursday night. I took a cup of camomile tea and my blog reading list and I can inform you IT WAS THE BEST DECISION I HAVE EVER MADE. Early nights and Werther's Originals for the win.

5. I've downloaded two new books to my kindle for holiday reading. We have a couple of flights and train journeys on our Spanish adventure so I'm excited to get stuck into my books. Along with enjoying my holiday too, of course...

6. How wonderful is the new series of The Great British Bake Off?! I'm loving it so far (as I do every year). I was so impressed with the show stopper biscuit challenge. Such skill! 

7. I feel pretty proud to have stuck out an intensive insanity work out regime for a month straight. After J and I get back from our Spanish adventure I'll definitely get back to working with Shaun T. Dig deeper!

8. Following that - J introduced me to Krispy Kreme doughnuts today. Balance, you know. It was goood, oh my god it was good. Can I get a hallelujah for peanut butter cream? HALLELUJAH!

9. Sweet potato falafel! Oh my this is good. Recipe coming your way very soon. It's a game changer.

10. Please can I have an Australian Shepherd puppy now?

Have a happy weekend, friends! x

Feasting @ Herman Ze German

Wednesday, 20 August 2014


Yesterday J and I spent a beautiful day in London. The subtle change in the weather suits us down to the ground. We like our air a little crisper and our vigorous touristy walks a little less sweaty than your average summer loving kid. We had a good few activities lined up for our day in the city so for such an action packed day we needed some hearty fuel to keep us going. I've been wanting to try out Herman ze German for aaaaages especially as they claim their 'wurst is ze best'. It's the kind of thing a food blogger can't resist. Naturally we rocked up to Soho around 1.30 to see if Herman ze German could live up to their bold wurst claims...
  

The floor was packed with happy lunchers when we arrive and quickly hopped into the queue. The place has an almost masculine feel to it and is packed with metal cages holding bottles, dark wood and simple decor.


The menu is fairly short, but quite varied including a variety of free range wurst(s?), curry wurst, schnitzel and salads. Their chips are also baked not fried so they are SUPER tempting to order too. Just as we placed our order a window seat freed up and I made a beeline for it.


What a handsome lunching companion I have. 


We had only been sipping on our Hamburg Fritz drinks for about 5 minutes before our food was wending it's way towards us. Speedy service makes such a difference when you're dribbling slightly and scaring fellow eaters. 


I went for the Bockwurst, a smokey pork sausage with crispy onions and chips (because I have zero will power). It was good but I got a liiiiittle bit of order envy...



J had plumped for the Chilli beef and pork sausage and it was just delicious. DE-LISH-OSH. Smokey, a little spicy and perfect with those crispy and crunchy onions. At least it gives me an excuse to go back and order one for myself.


(If someone is standing up taking a picture of their food, they are probably a blogger).


Even J is on the instagram-your-food hype. It's needless to say, we always eat our food slightly cold...


Always.


 But eventually we got down to it! Stuffing it all in there, chap?


Yup, you've been caught red handed. 


We took our time over these delicious German treats, but city workers were popping in and out as we ate. Some talking business others reading the paper. The buzzy, busy atmosphere is exciting and it makes the perfect spot for a little people watching.


Business started to wind down by the time we'd finished, so I explored the place taking photographs as I went. Oh and FYI, if you are walking past and it looks packed check downstairs. There is buckets more room for wurst lovers.


With full bellies we upped and left our empty baskets with happy smiles.
See - German food = big grin.
You can find Herman ze German in Soho and Charing Cross and contact them here


Then we spent the rest of the day exploring London before heading over to Somerset House for their Film 4 Summer Screening of E.T.
I'm hoping a vlog of the whole day will be coming your way soon. So keep your eyes peeled!

Lottie Loves: 39

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Instagram of the week: Taking a selfie on the Prudential Freecycle route in London with my Mum. Dad is way too speedy to grab for a selfie. 

1. Robin Williams. What a bright, bright light.

2. You may well be wondering what on earth the Prudential Freecycle is - well let me tell you. It's an annual event that sees a 10 mile circuit of central London closed down to regular traffic and cyclists young and old are let loose on it. A brilliant, healthy day out that will leave a huge smile on your face. You can already check out the details for next year!

3. S'more Cupcakes! WHAT!!!!

4. J and I shared a rare breakfast in bed this week. As we're often both working at weekends we never have time for a lazy Sunday wake up routine. Well last Tuesday acted as our Sunday and it was bliss!

5. I miss having a gym membership but I don't miss ANY of these things. Especially number 9. I mean just tie your hair up and wear sensible shoes, God dammit!!

6. Stocking up my freezer with Summer harvest is one of my favourite things in August. I love being able to use up Summer fruit and vegetables over Autumn and Winter without having to shell out and buy out of season. Also - no waste! Hurrah.

7. Joesph Gordon Levitt on why he is absolutely a feminist. Simple reasons, that's all it is really.

8. If you saw my last post you'll know that Costa sent me over a selection of Essie nail polishes for their #HelloSummerMoments challenge. I'd never tried Essie before but now I'm a complete convert! For a regular at-home manicure, the staying power of 3 coats of Essie was uh-mazing. Loving it. (It felt slightly weird writing about a beauty product, here's a brownie recipe to make up for it).

9. I've taken up knitting. Make of that what you will, but I'm so excited to create! I'm dreaming of patchwork blankets and bobble hats and jumpers.

10. I can't believe it was A Level results this week. It makes me feel so very old to have completed my undergraduate degree. On the plus side, I get to buy new stationary for the start of my masters degree soon and who doesn't LOVE new stationary?! (If the answer is you, please let yourself quietly out the back door).

Have a happy weekend, friends! x

#HelloSummerMoments with Costa

Saturday, 16 August 2014


If you follow me on instagram, you'll know that recently I've gone a liiiiiittle bit Costa crazy. I may have spent more time in there recently than I have in my own home. I'm not complaining though - I mean have you seen their cake range... Anyway I should probably start at the beginning of this story, as that's always a good place to begin. So the lovely ladies over at Costa got in touch with me and asked if I'd like to take part in their #HelloSummerMoments challenge. As you might've guessed, I said hell yes! They kindly sent me over a gorgeous hamper to get started with, filled with nail polishes, a clutch bag and a frisbee that I've perhaps used far too much for someone of my age. The hamper also included a low down of the challenges, which were simple and as follows: take a selfie, introduce someone to the summer range, match a pedicure or manicure to your Costa and plan an outfit around a drink. I'm pretty sure the idea was to do them in some kind of chronological order, but I'm haphazard and a bit overexcited when it comes to ordering from an exciting new range. So I'll just talk you through my weekend with Costa and tick off the challenges as we go.

The weekend of the #HelloSummerMoments challenge happily coincided with a trip home and a couple of exciting adventures. I kicked off my weekend with a little retail therapy with Josie (read: I followed Josie round hanging up discarded items. Life of a little sister, hey!). We stopped to recharge our batteries in a Costa with an adjoining Waterstones. Jo grabbed some books whilst I grabbed the drinks. I plumped for a Peach Iced Tea - soo refreshing and nabbed a quick selfie too (selfie challenge - tick!).


Josie went for the zingy Green Tea, Lime and Mint cooler that was the ultimate accessory to her green bean outfit - matching loom bracelet and everything! Without even trying, Jo had completed one of the #HelloSummerMoments challenges. Congrats, Jo - hurrah to you!


We grabbed a selfie together with an unwitting photobomber, shared a slice of cherry tart (would've been rude not to, right?) and feeling refreshed we got back to the shopping grind.


The following day saw my parents and I taking part in the Prudential Freecycle. An incredible annual event that sees a 10 mile circuit of central London closed down and open to cyclists. We completed the loop a couple of times and then cycled another 20 miles around London. A glorious sunny day that left us with sore feet and sore butts but big, big grins. I thought it was the perfect opportunity to complete the challenge of introducing someone to the Summer range. So at the end of the cycle we stopped off at Costa my parents enjoyed iced coffees on the edge of buzzy Trafalgar Square.


Whilst my parents sipped and people watched I got down to my outfit challenge. Now you guys know I'm not a fashion blogger, I'm more cookies than crop tops. Definitely more pastries than platforms. So I had pondered over the outfit challenge for a while - what ensemble could I create where an item off the Costa menu was the ultimate accessory...? Well, and I think you'll all agree, my chosen outfit of the day is really cutting edge. Details below in true fashion blogger style:

Prudential Ride London vest
Asos sunglasses similar here
Plaits straight from Pippi Longstocking

I think my helmet just out of sight really set off the whole look. A trend waiting to happen, I reckon. And my tall, frosty ginger beer certainly was the ultimate accessory, not to mention an essential accessory after 40 miles of cycling! Sluuurrrpp!


On Sunday I had a big drive home ahead of me, but on the way back I visited one of my lovely friends with a little Sunday pick-me-up. My Essie Tea and Crumpets manicure is inspired by the icy, caramel latte below. Whilst the polish is called Tea and Crumpets I think it's the perfect iced coffee colour, don't you think? We caught up on our weekend and boys (read: also loads of chat about cats and knitting #coolkids) and then it was time for me to wave goodbye and get on the road. I had such a lovely weekend completing the #HelloSummerMoments challenge and really loved every summer moment I shared with my family and friends.
Thank you to Costa for putting me up to the challenge, I had a blast!

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