Friday, 13 July 2018

Currently Reading #10

It’s been a hot minute and a half since I put up my recently read run-down! If you’re looking for a little reading club inspiration, here’s my latest completed page turners that might just take your fancy! Also let's celebrate this being the tenth post in my currently reading series! That's a whopping 50 books! I wonder how long it will take me to get through the next 50?

Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine - Gail Honeyman

I feel like I’m a little late to the party (forgive me Eleanor!) when it comes to reading this one! It’s been all over my feed for the last few months so I had to pick up a copy and see what all the fuss was about! I admit, it took me a few chapters to get into, but once I did I was completely hooked! So much so, I’ve been recommending it to everyone - and I’m really looking forward to the film adaptation that’s on it’s way out. Let’s get between those pages - Eleanor is completely fine, thank you very much, and that’s exactly how she likes it. Her life is lived in the exact same way every single day and she see’s no reason to live it otherwise. Until she falls in love. Head over heels, diving in at the deep end love with a man who is clearly Romeo re-born. Braving make-up counters, personal stylists and tip-toeing into the world of hair removal and grooming, she is preening and primping herself for the day he realises she is his Juliet. Love never does run smooth, there’s an eccentric Mummy to deal with, an unexpected friend and her routine starts to go off the rails. Eleanor Oliphant is no longer fine. I found myself so wrapped up in Eleanor and her ways, she brought me to tears on one page then fits of giggles on the next. It’s a fantastic summe read and would be the perfect poolside companion!

Call me by your name - Andre Aciman

I found this book so frustrating in the beginning! Talk about an unreliable narrator. Just when you think everything that’s happening couldn’t possible be happening, something happens that makes you go back and re-read the whole lot to see how you could have missed seeing that coming. When Elio falls passionately in love with Oliver, the families summer lodger, and their friendship turns into something so much more, I couldn’t stop turning the pages (once I finally started trueting everyone!). I actually found this book really heartbreaking, especially the ending. I had to stop and take a minute. Seriously, this one will break your heart. Elio and Olivers relationship was intoxicating, unhealthy, maddening and passionate, all the building blocks of a summer affair that turned into a lifelong mark on both their hearts. Get it read!

Women, food and desire - Alex Jamieson

This is all about listening to your body, fueling it with what it needs and not having to feel one ounce of guilt about it either. I hate the title of this book, and the cover of the copy I had was just awful (chocolate dipped strawberry dripping over the nether region…not exactly one to read on the bus!) but the contents really surprised me. If you’ve ever needed a cravings whisperer Alex is just that! She breaks down why your body craves what it craves and what it really means, not just what your body is physically after, but mentally too. She quotes my favourite Brene Brown a lot too and both women’s ideas really compliment each other and really speak to me and where I’m at right now.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz - Heather Morris

Let me start by saying that this is a true story. I feel like this is a really important fact that I didn’t know until the very end of the book - and just knowing it actually happened makes it all the more powerful. This one was recommended to me by Hollie of Hollie in Wanderlust and she was spot on about how great a read it is. As Auschwitz literature goes, in my experience, it was an easier read (and blimey do I use that term loosely) compared with other Auschwitz stories I’ve read but it was still a kick in the gut at times none the less. Lale was determined to survive Auschwitz, whatever the cost, and he ended up becoming the tattooist who numbered his fellow prisoners. Eventually, Gita is brought into the camp and his survival becomes totally dependant on her surviving too. Their love is so strong and pure, and to think they found each other quite literally in hell on Earth, could any relationship get off to a scarier start? Another one that took me a few chapters to get into, but once I did I couldn’t put it down. 

Surfacing - Margaret Atwood

If you’ve been around for a few of these reading round-ups now, you’ll have seen a few Atwood books popping up! She is one of my favourite authors so whenever I discover something of her’s in the library I’ve not read yet I immediately pick it up. I can’t say she’s ever wrote anything I’ve not enjoyed - until now. Surfacing is the story of a young woman who takes her boyfriend and another couple up to her old family cabin in the remotest woods in Quebec in search of her missing father. This book is choc-a-bloc full of symbolism and metaphors, to the point where they start to lose all meaning. As a piece to study it would be bloody perfect, it’s exactly the kind of text we would have picked up in University - but as a casual read? Nope. I found myself getting as lost in the woods and the main character was in her own mind, twisting and turning, unable to make sense of the world, which was undoubtedly Atwoods intention, but when you just want a book to chill with on a Sunday afternoon, this one gives you far too much to think about. Post finishing it, the more I thought about it in a critical way, the more I started to get out of it. This was Atwoods second publication, and my oh my has she come a long way since then! I’m happy to tick it off my Atwood reading list, but it’s not one I see myself coming back to. 

What have you been reading recently? Any recommendations for me?

Until next time, 

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Vegan Afternoon Tea - Cuthberts - Liverpool

cuthberts bakehouse afternoon tea liverpool

When it comes to finding afternoon tea in Liverpool, this city spoils us. We have so many venues out there offering various takes on afternoon tea, from the traditional to the out of the box that it’s hard to choose which one to go for! This past weekend, I ticked another afternoon tea experience off my bucket list - Cuthbert’s Bakehouse.

Situated on Mount Pleasant, Cuthbert’s is minutes outside of the hustle and bustle of the Liverpool high street. After drooling over the menu for a couple of days, I finally decided to give their vegan afternoon tea a try. I've never had a fully vegan afternoon tea before and the offerings sounded delectable! My friends went for the Vegetarian New Yorker inspired afternoon tea - a combination of state side delights and traditional offerings. We pre-booked a few weeks in advance and eagerly awaited our experience. 

cuthberts bakehouse afternoon tea liverpool

I've walked past Cuthbert’s I don't know how many times, and so many people have told me how amazing the cakes and treats are there, but I think with it being just outside of the main city centre, it's never been high on my radar. It's crazy how we're less likely to explore the places on our own doorstep! So to say I was looking forward to it is an understatement. Be careful when checking Cuthbert’s opening hours, as almost everywhere online says it's closed on Sundays (Google, Trip Advisor etc) but clicking onto their own homepage actually says they're open on Sundays during the Summer, 11am - 4pm. We booked in for 1pm, there was a large baby shower party in at the same time as us, easily 20+ women and the venue is pretty small. That being said we didn't feel on top of the larger group and had no problems getting food, drink top ups and the final bill - the poor girls working that day were run off their feet but they never stopped smiling and chatting to us which was lovely. 

After being seated straight away, we were talked through how the afternoon tea would work, our drinks options and given menus to mooch through. With unlimited tea and filter coffee refills, I went for the tea. You can add a glass of wine, prosecco or bottled beer for an additional charge (they do have vegan beer options too). One thing that did surprise me was that I didn't just have to stick to the same tea, I could mix and match from the menu at no additional cost! I went for a delicate jasmine pearl loose leaf tea - and loved it so much I didn't switch it out to try anything else!

cuthberts bakehouse afternoon tea liverpool

Before we knew it, our afternoon tea was before us, in all it's cream covered, precision cut and baked to perfection glory. For the vegan afternoon tea I had 2 white bread sandwiches, one with avocado and chilli jam, the other falafel and hummus. One pretty little tea cup contained a carrot and walnut slaw, the other a pomegranate and pumpkin quinoa salad. Last but not least, 2 bruschetta slices; one with avocado and chilli jam, the other hummus with peppers and mushroom. The slaw and quinoa salad were by far my favourites on the sandwich tier, they were bursting with flavour, I didn't want either to end (I'm going to try and recreate them at home!) and served in dainty little tea cups was just far too cute for me to handle! The sandwiches where OK but the bread was really dried out and bordering on stale, but with the weather being what it is, I'm not surprised or complaining. Avocado will always be a winner for me and topped with the sweet chilli jam was just perfection! I was stuffed before I even made it to the cakes!

cuthberts bakehouse afternoon tea liverpool

But I was not leaving a crumb behind! For the cakes I had a Victoria sponge, carrot cake, chocolate orange cup cake and of course, the classic scone. The Victoria sponge wasn't great I'll be honest, the 'cream' was really grainy and the middle of the sponge tasted really bitter and almost off? Something just wasn't right with it, but the carrot cake more than made up for it - I'm not sure what it was topped with but it had the taste and consistency of marshmallow fluff and it was just divine! The chocolate orange cup cake was ridiculously rich and moorish, no sweet tooth would be left complaining! And what afternoon tea isn't complete without a scone? Nothing fancy to shout about but it was tasty and it just wouldn't be afternoon tea without one if you ask me!

cuthberts bakehouse afternoon tea liverpool

The Vegetarian New Yorker looked amazing, and got a resounding thumbs ups from my friends. I didn't quite catch everything on there but they couldn't stop gushing about how great the wedges, halloumi, new york cheese cake and cannolis were! I would be up for giving this a try next! There was more than enough food to go round and if it wasn't for the hot weather I'd have been tempted to save some and take it home with me for later! 

Cuthbert’s is such a quaint, lovely little place and I can see why everyone raves about them. They have some great offerings, extremely reasonable prices (£18 for the vegan, £21 for the veggie New Yorker) and the place overall has such a welcoming atmosphere! I really want to go back and try some of their other lunch options and oh, there were so many cake choices behind the counter I could be there all day trying to decide which to try next!

cuthberts bakehouse afternoon tea liverpool

What's your favourite kind of afternoon tea? Traditional or something a little different?

Until next time, 

Monday, 9 July 2018

Moments and Favourites - June 2018

highlights of the month

Another month of 2018 has flown by - I swear, I’ve become one of those people who says time is just flying by but it really, really is! I have no idea to put the breaks on and just have a minute - any and all tips welcome people! Trying to cut the rambling to a minimum, here’s the highlights reel of my June 2018!

highlights of the month

Reusable cotton rounds

June marks the first month of me switching to reusable cotton rounds! I picked up 12 of these lil guys for £10 on Etsy and haven’t looked back! If you caught my switching to a safety razor post, you’ll know I’m trying to ease my way into a more minimal, zero waste beauty routine, replacing things with more sustainable, planet friendly versions as I go along. I’ve got a whole post coming on these soon, but in short, I love them, so go get yourself some!

highlights of the month

White Wolf Yoga

I partnered up with the lovely Antonia of Allure La Vie and we headed to White Wolf Yoga Studio, Liverpool, for our first breath and being workshop! 3 hours of yoga, meditation and chanting - it was a real eye opener for the both of us. Not only have I thrown myself fully into my home yoga practice, but I’m eager to find another workshop this month and continue on this journey!

highlights of the month

Race for Life 5k

I’ve not ran for more than a bus since December, so rocking up to Aintree Racecourse for a very unprepared for 5k with a hangover was probably not my best move BUT I nailed it! My gorgeous Melissa of Just a Slimmer has recently hit the 10stone weight loss milestone and this was her first time running 5k! We crossed that finish line in under 40minutes and I couldn’t be more proud of her!


Another live band ticked off the list! I headed to Wrexham with my work family for a day of gin, toilet antics, face glitter and lots of singing! Stereophonics were amazing, the weather was brilliant and I had the best, best time! I need more live music in my life that’s for sure!

Going veggie

This is something that I feel like has been coming for a while. I’ve done a few vegetarain month long challenges but slowly meat has become less and less prominent in my diet and I’ve now completely cut it out. Health reasons, ethical reasons, personal reasons, I’m sure I’ll do a post on this at some point in the future when I’ve collected my thoughts a bit more! But June seen me make the switch official and I have zero regrets! 

Call the Midwife

I’ve only ever caught the Christmas specials but the last few weeks I have binged watched almost 4 seasons. I bleeding love this show! I cry at nearly every episode and I am totally OK with that, sometimes you just need to let all the feels in and all the emotions out! 

And you’ve been loving…

My most popular post this month by far has been the first in my cooking with confidence series (that I am still working on! There’s more to come!) I love talking all things cooking and getting people in the kitchen in real life, so of course, I’m bringing it here to you lovely lot!

What have been your highlights of the past month?

Until next time, 

Header image: @mr_kuchen