a day that I'll always remember

Saint Mark's Basilica

Two years ago today, I was in one of the most romantic and gorgeous cities, Venice, where James proposed. It was snowing when we arrived and everything just seemed perfect and magical. December the 18th will always be a day that gives me butterflies in the stomach. 

I love you, James! xo


English countryside

Autumn is a great time of year to get outside and get active. What better way to enjoy the great outdoors than taking your family or dogs to discover some beautiful English countryside. 

These pictures were taken during our walk around Flauden, a short 15 minutes drive from Rickmansworth or Amersham. The route follows mainly field side boundaries with some stunning views over the rolling hills of the Chess Valley, cutting across the minor roads that link the area together. The area is pleasantly rural, with crops or horses occupying the fields. 

We often reward ourselves with a good old Sunday roast after the walk. One of the two local pubs, The Bricklayers Arms definitely makes the walk all worthwhile! It is located in the hamlet of Hogpits Bottom, just outside of Flaunden; it's a 200 year old multi award wining gastro-pub. If you don't fancy a roast, their menu offers plenty of other equally delicious options. The food has made it irresistible for us to keep returning, it is also a bonus that they are dog friendly and the owner is ever so welcoming and helpful. 


springtime colour

After a rather long Winter with short days and cold weather, the burst of vibrant Spring colours finally took over! Here are a couple of pictures from a recent visit to rapeseed fields that will hopefully brighten the home, body and spirit.

If you happen to be in Hemel Hempstead or Berkhamstead area, you must visit the Three Horseshoes. It is a charming English pub that's tucked away down a narrow lane and offers tranquil al fresco dining next to the Grand Union canal. The most important thing is their food has never failed to impress every time we have been there. One of the best Sunday roasts I have had for a while and they even have Japanese Kirin beer on tap!


childhood love affair

love what you do now
love what you do forever

What was your favourite toy or a hobby that you had as a child? Barbie, plush toys or tea sets were never on my wish list but I have always enjoyed taking photographs for as long as I can remember. Apart from the occasional shots taken with my dad's Nikon FE slr, I had lots of fun using the Kodak 35mm self-wind camera that my uncle gave me back in the 80s.

I love the accessibility and convenience of a digital camera, however film has always been my first love. There are many fond memories from using the Kodak, whether it was a a double exposure by accident or the anticipation of waiting for my films to be processed at the 1 hour photo shop.

Three years ago, I splashed out and spent £70 on a Holga. A camera that is made of plastic! It is the most fun toy ever and it got me back into film again. My collection now consists a mini Diana and Lubitel 2 that I received as gifts,  I have since then also bought a couple of Kodak brownies from a vintage shop for a tenner, a Nikon F5 and a Mamiya 645. The pictures above are from the very first roll of film that I shot recently with the Mamiya and I am on cloud nine!

There are so many other temptations these days that we easily take things or people for granted. Why not just slow down and spend sometime doing what you love but have not done for a while.



help me not to be like be the rest of them
help me let my past make me better not bitter
help me not to let a negative comment kill a dream
help me forget shit and move on

Who needs a camera to take picture?! Today, I discovered the world of scanography on Flickr and wasted no time in trying it out. I converted the scanned image to black and white plus adding some texture for some dramas. A bit of fun was exactly what I needed on a rainy day.


birthday month

April is my favourite time of the year, it's the month that my husband and I celebrate our birthdays! James arranged a surprise burlesques lesson for me, followed by a show and dinner at the Cafe de Paris in London. It was totally my cup of tea and thoroughly enjoyed it! James even got some extra attention from lead dancer Lady Alex, made it a very unforgettable night.

You have probably gathered by now that I spend half my time in the kitchen. My new cookbook The Little Paris Kitchen by Rachel Khoo gave me some wonderful ideas for a 4 course dinner that I prepared for James' birthday. I was over the moon when the cheese soufflĂ© (soufflĂ© au fromage) rose to the occasion since it was my very first attempt!

To honour his birthday, here is a picture of my lovely husband during a walk around the Ranelagh Gardens by the Royal Chelsea Hospital on Sunday. 


happy weekend

What did you get up to this weekend? Anything fun? We had a quiet and relaxing Saturday. James happily mowed the lawn when it was sunny and helped me with some groceries shopping. Then it was date night at the cinema after dinner.

I was hoping to get the barbecue out today but had a super yummy Sunday roast at the Three Horseshoes Pub at Winkwell instead. It is a traditional pub right by a picturesque canalside and food is always good there. They even have the Japanese Kirin beer on tap!

I was given two great cookbooks for my birthday recently so feeling pretty inspired. Here's what I baked today - a Lemon Drizzle Cake with Poppy Seeds. I think I will make some camomile tea to have with the cake later. 


easter fun

Today we had family over and enjoyed some lovely Spring sunshine and home baking in the garden. It's that time of the year, so I thought I would share this easy and super yummy recipe. 

hot cross buns

1 cup               water
1/4 cup             butter                                                                 
1/4 cup             sugar                                                   
1                     egg                                                
1 teaspoon        salt                                                    
3/4 cups          strong white bread flour                                                   
1 teaspoon        fast action yeast                                                   
2 teaspoons      cinnamon                                                               
1/4 teaspoon      nutmeg                                                    
1 cup               raisins
1/2 cup             plain flour                                                             
1/4 cup             water              
1 tablespoon    sugar
2 tablespoons    water      

Put all the dough ingredients (except for the raisins) in the mixer, let it knead for a few minutes until the dough stops sticking. Cover and leave it in a warm place to rise. The dough setting on a bread maker would also do the job and it will allow about an hour for the dough to rise in the bread maker.

The dough should take about an hour to double in size. Place the dough on a well floured surface. Mix in the raisins and lightly knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic. 

Divide the mixture into 15 pieces. Shape them into round smooth balls and flatten slightly. Cover and allow to rise for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 190°C. Prepare the crosses mixture in the mean time. Combine the flour and water, then pipe crosses on top of the buns.

Bake the buns for about 15-18 minutes until they are golden brown. For the glaze, melt the sugar with water over medium heat. Glaze the hot cross buns and enjoy them whilst they are still hot!


beautiful Croatia

We had a camping vacation in Croatia back in Summer 2009 but I somehow never shared the pictures on my blog. The gorgeous warm weather today reminded me the lovely time we had in Croatia. We visited a few cities during the 10 day visit, the trip started at Pula with a hired car. Pula is the biggest town in Istria with the Roman amphitheater, which commonly known as the Roman Arena.  

We only stayed at hotels for the first and final night but camped at some truly beautiful areas we stopped along the way. Croatia's main tourist attraction is its beaches. The Adriatic coast and islands are lined with amazing beaches, with countless bays, ports and marinas. It was there we experienced the naturist beach for the first time. There are normally signs around marked as "FKK". 

The other cities we visited were Split and Zadar. The former is an ancient port city with Roman ruins and where Zadar attracts a large amount of yachting tourism with its charming beaches and promenades. My favourite place was the Plitvice Lakes National Park. It is the oldest national park in Southeast Europe and the largest in Croatia, also well known for its turquoise lakes arranged in cascades. There are apparently 16 lakes can be seen from the surface. I love it simply because it is a paradise for walkers and nature lovers. The lakes are so clean and luminous that you would want to jump right in but unfortunately swimming is strictly forbidden!

It was such a long time ago that we visited Croatia but I do remember the food was rather delicious and I couldn't help visiting the local fruit stall daily. I think early September is the best time to visit as there will be less tourists, temperature is between 25 and 20 degrees Celsius during the day and much cooler in the evening. 


even the ordinary can be extraordinary

even the ordinary can be extraordinary

My husband and I adore our little girl beyond measure. She is capable of giving so much but only ask for very little in return. This month posts will be dedicated to beauty in life, in detail and in the ordinary.
Fe xo


Christmas Shoot 2011

Hello 2012! Hope you all had a nice Crimbo and enjoyed your break over the New Year. December just slipped away under my nose whilst I was busy baking mince pies, buying pressies, decorating the house and preparing a few dishes that I was in charge of for Christmas lunch.

Anyhow, I just wanted to share a few pictures that I picked for our 2011 Christmas cards. I hope you like them as much as we do! P is such a darling on every shoot. Well, there are normally some treats involved afterwards. :)

As you know, James and I got hitched last September but we never had a chance to go on our honeymoon. We took the plunge and booked our dream honeymoon 3 days before we left just before New Year's Eve. I can't wait to share some of the pictures with you!

Stay fabulous till next time! xo