Wedding series, 2: The planning begins…

Happy Sunday! I hope you’re all enjoying this cold but gloriously sunny day, how rubbish is it that it’s meant to become virtually arctic next week – I am SO ready for spring to rear it’s beautiful head already.

Anyway, this isn’t the BBC Weather website, I’m back with the second instalment of my wedding series.  I hoped you enjoyed reading about my engagement – now is where it starts to get serious and the seemingly enormous task of planning the damn thing begins!

It is so hard to know where to begin when planning a wedding, there are a million and one things to take into consideration and knowing which order to do them in isn’t obvious. With the logistics of it all, the colour scheme, the budget, the timeline – it can all get a bit much and you do have to be super organised. My best friend Lauren has just bought me one of those cute wedding planner books and I feel it will super seed her in the best friend stakes and not leave my side! I’ve left a few links to ones which I like below (all Insta worthy of course!) Continue reading

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Vegan pancakes

You’ve stopped drinking milk, eating beef, wearing leather and cooking with eggs. But shit, now it’s Shrove Tuesday and you’re really regretting announcing to the world you are now #EatingPlantsNotAnimals

Don’t panic! I have the best ever (probably) vegan pancake recipe which taste JUST like normal pancakes – the thin, crepe kind, not American fluffies.

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You need:

  • 1 cup oat milk (probably would work with other non dairy milks, I just drink Oatly)
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp veg oil (or any other liquid oil you usually use)
  • 1tsp egg replacer (I use Free and Easy)

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A love letter to Amsterdam

Amsterdam I love youuuu, oh yes I doooo.

This week I was lucky enough to have my day job fly myself and around one hundred colleagues out to the Integrated Systems Event at the RAI, Amsterdam. (I work in the professional AV industry). Whilst this doesn’t immediately sound riveting, it did allow me to pop my Amsterdam cherry so to speak and I reallyyy liked it there.

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If you’ve ever been to the ‘dam I’m sure you will agree with me that it’s easy to fall in love with; Tall beautiful buildings, canals with picturesque bridges around every corner and leggy sophisticated women on bikes gliding effortlessly on every road. The tulips, the boutiques, the coffee shops (and I mean the legit coffee shops where you drink actual coffee, I’m not into the green stuff!), the glowing red streets at night and more food than you can shake a stick at.  Continue reading

Urban Jungle, Suffolk

Have you ever wondered what heaven looks like? All pearly white clouds, angels and cherubs right? Nope! To me it looks like Urban Jungle Suffolk, London Road, Beccles.

If you haven’t been to either branch of Urban Jungle (the Norfolk one is located in Costessey, Norwich) and you are King/Queen of the ‘gram, I would whip over there right this minute! Obviously I wouldn’t go somewhere JUST so I could Instagram it (heavens, no…) but this really is a budding photographers haven. Not to mention the delicious food, relaxing vibe and plants which are crying out to be bought (and if you’re anything like me, killed *sad face*). The Suffolk branch opened this summer after the success of it’s Norfolk big sister and I’m so glad it did considering it is 10 minutes from my house.

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Myself and Dan popped into this little slice of heaven today to have lunch and the menu really is mouth watering. I had sweet potato and coconut curry which was the only totally vegan option, but seeing as I love curry this was music to my ears! Daniel had the most scrummy looking plate of hummus and lamb, accompanied by home made flat bread. Needless to say everything was just as tasty as it looked, Dan even accompanied his lunch with an Aperol Spritz, how very modern man of him, ey!? I opted for a far less flamboyant Earl Grey which was good all the same. Continue reading

Wedding series, 1: I said yes…!

Now I don’t know if you’ve noticed but I’ve been leaving hints here and there that I’m currently a bride to be. By hints I mean I’ve literally added ‘Bride to be’ into my twitter bio, changed my cover photo to my engagement ring and generally spoke about it at every possible opportunity since coming back to blogging. Subtly does it.
So I have decided to put you out of your misery and announce to the world that I AM GETTING MARRIEDD! WOOP!

Since I was M.I.A last year and didn’t get a chance to tell you about the most magical evening of my life to date, I thought I would do it now. And actually, I am going to document the whole planning process in my new wedding series – I plan to update you around once a month (don’t worry, I won’t bore you with it all of the time).

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So, back to the proposal. It was special, personal, unique and everything I had always hoped it would be. Boy.Done.Good.

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2017; A year of brunching, reviewed

Who invented the word brunch, does anyone know? Also, did they invent the action of brunching along with the word, or was someone continually having a late breakfast and thought sod it, I’m going to make this a thing that everyone does?

Whoever it was and whatever the answer is, I would like to meet them and possible hug and/or kiss them because I f’ing love brunch. So much so that last year, it became an obsession.
I would now like to share this information with you so that I can say ‘I did it for the blog’ rather than ‘I did it because I’m a habitual and borderline addicted brunch attendee’ and someone invents some sort of brunch rehab and makes me attend. (I’ll say noooo, noooo, no).

First of all, I’ll keep it local – Earsham Street Cafe.

I have posted about the cosy cafe in my hometown of Bungay before in this post, so I won’t bore you too much BUT I would like to mention polenta (not something I write everyday!).
As many of you know, I stopped eating meat and dairy recently so when visiting this cafe back in the autumn, I ordered the veggie breakfast. I knew it would be lovely as their food is always top notch, myself and Daniel visit regularly, but never in my life had I had polenta before until now. What.A.Game.Changer. It was in the form of a fried/baked ‘polenta cake’ and was heaven on the palate. Sometimes you do worry that when you order a vegetarian or vegan option of a breakfast they will literally just take the meat and eggs off and not put much thought into it but I really would recommend this one to all fellow non meat eaters. I am going to start replicating this at home occasionally; if you’re interested I will post a step-by-step recipe?

http://www.earshamstreetcafe.co.uk/

Earsham street breakfast

I’m taking you slightly further afield now to Stokes High Bridge Cafe, Lincoln.

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New Year, New Resolution? Hell yeah!

We’ve all seen it when January 1st comes around – everyone and their cat (sometimes literally, why do people make their pets accounts?!) posting a ‘New Year, New Me’ status on Facebook or uploading an inspirational picture to Instagram listing everything they want to change about themselves or their lives. Then what follows that? The negative Nancy’s of the world announcing how they hate all of the new year posts and how resolutions always fail, how they are nonsensical and to be discouraged.
The latter makes me mad. I want to go on record and say I am officially a New Years Resolution maker, and sometimes breaker. I enjoy the beginning of a new year and the feeling that you can start a fresh and have a ‘clean slate’.

If Not Now Then When Pictures, Photos, and Images for Facebook ...
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I’m back in business, baby.

Please do not adjust your screen, yes this is a new Just Hollie post. I’M BACK BITCHES!

As you are aware, it’s the beginning of the new year and everyone is going all ‘new year, new me’. Well, I know you thought I was clearly above such things but newsflash I’m just as basic as everyone else and have been taking a long hard look in the mirror as one tends to do at this time of year. And do you know what I saw? Someone who, through no real fault of their own, lost their way and gave up the hobby they loved because well, ‘real life’ got in the way.

Below are a couple pictures of me recently, just in case you’ve forgotten the mug behind what you’re reading!

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My gym bag wishlist

If you follow me on Twitter (@JustHollieBlog) you will have seen me gushing about the fact I joined my local gym this week *yayy*! I have joined gyms before but always the cheapest one I could find and this meant not really enjoying it and inevitably stopping going. So this time I have joined one which includes classes in my membership and I really feel this has given me a boost – they’re so much more fun than just slogging it out on a treadmill for 45 minutes on your own. I also go with some friends from work and we really spur each other on and give each other ideas of new things to try. As you can probably tell, I’m feeling real motivated and positive about exercise at the moment, long may it last is all I can say! I know it isn’t a huge amount but I have lost 4 pounds in the week since joining and that is just the kick up the bum I need to keep going. I am also hoping to enter a local 10k run next week when entries open, Run Norwich. This will be the third time the city has put on the event, I ran in the first one in 2015 and it’s such a fab one to do. The route goes all throughout the centre of the city and looking at the sights distracts from the torture of the run haha! The 10k is in August so I have got a while to get my running groove back (read come out of hibernation) but with that and the gym, hopefully I’m gonna boss this fitness thing this year! Eeeepp!

But here’s the thing, with going to the gym 4/5 times a week and running too – I haven’t got enough gym clothes to wear! Excuse to buy new sassy kit? I think so!! There are so many bits I want to buy over the next few months (money tree anyone? Would be gratefully received) I thought I would share my wishlist with you all so you can too drool over it!

At the top of my wishlist is literally every piece from Charlotte Crosby’s activewear range with InTheStyle.com. I am an unashamed fan of Geordie Shore – I know it’s trash but it’s addictive trash – and I think Charlotte has done really well to transform herself from ladette to gym bunny and her designs are lush! I have only recently discovered In The Style and their prices are great, so it would be rude not to treat myself, right? This range is selling out fast so I’m going to buy these asap!

You can’t squat with us vest – £12.99

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Scarlett & Mustard

Every now and then you come across something which excites you and makes you feel like you want to tell everyone you know about your little find. This is how I felt when I first came across Suffolk company Scarlett & Mustard. I was walking around a local food fayre in 2015 when I saw a stall advertising dressings and sauces with really jazzy packaging which made me gravitate toward their wares. After many a taste test (we all know the drill at a food fayre, aren’t they just the best places in the world) I decided I was going to purchase some truffle oil and a lime and mint curd from a company which was new to me called ‘Scarlett and Mustard’. Oh.My.Gosh is all I have to say – the truffle oil was packed full of amazing truffle flavour and was great value for money and the curd was absolutely to die for. If you haven’t ever tried either of the latter I would suggest popping on over to the Scarlett and Mustard online shop and buying asap because words cannot describe how delicious they were.

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So bearing that in mind, can you imagine how giddy I was when I arrived home one day to find new Scarlett and Mustard products to get my sticky little paws on! They kindly sent me one of their rapeseed oils infused with dill and also a peppery chilli rapeseed oil to test and share. I quickly got to work (oh what a hard life) and knocked up some food so I have some recipes to share with you lovely lot!

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The first oil I tried was the ‘Peppery Chilli Rapeseed Oil’ which is made with spicy piquant chilli and is right up my street! I am totally the sort of person who puts chilli sauce on everything and anything, I love spice, so I was extra excited to try this. It is fairly hot so if you can’t take too much heat maybe use sparingly but aside from that, drizzle away! I used it like this… Continue reading