Monday, 28 April 2014

Doughnuts Ahead

Last month I blogged about the sweet treats that had fallen into my basket for March. Aside from Easter chocolate treats there has only been one contender in April for me. This month its all been about the Doughnut.
Late in March I spent a glorious morning browsing the stalls of Borough Market and whilst there I picked up some treats at a fabulous artisan bread stall, Bread Ahead. Purchases included a slab of Bread pudding and an amazing Doughnut filled with salted caramel creme pat, finished off with a chunk of honeycomb. The doughnut was sublime, light & fluffy in texture with the most amazing filling.  It was like eating a salted caramel fluffy cloud... delicious. I have learnt over the years that great doughnuts are an art, and worth every £ spent.
Researching Bread Ahead on my return home, I discovered that this fabulous little stall is the business of artisan baker and the connoisseur of doughnuts Justin Gellatly (previous of St John's bakery fame - parting in 2013) Justin now runs this bakery stall in Borough along with a bakery school ( now added to wish list of things to do).
The day following my trip to Borough this article appeared in the evening standard, giving Justin the lead in the current Doughnut wars in London. Having sampled both St John's, Cocomaya's and Bread aheads in recent weeks, I can heartily agree that JG is Doughnuts ahead of his rivals.
I have been back to Borough at least twice over the month of April and the queues forming around the stall are considerable. With a prime location near the entrance to the market Bread ahead is a must stop. My advice would be to go there first and as early as you can.... then head to Monmouth for a legendary coffee and savour 2 of the best things currently that Borough can offer!... Doughnuts & Coffee the perfect combination.
Justin is soon to release a new book  Bread, Doughnut, Cake, Pudding which has already fallen into my "to Bake" basket.

This book, along with a visit to Bread Ahead is a must for an 'foodie' in 2014.... delicious.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

breaking from routine

I am a planning kinda girl... my friends & work family would probably describe it more along the lines of 'control freak'. I would like to think there's a bit more flexibility on the control now than a few years ago.
Sometimes all the planning in the world can't prepare for things out of your control, that just about sums up my week. I didn't return to work straight after the Easter Monday as I was still feeling out of sorts. Returning to work a couple of days later than originally planned had already got my week on the back foot which was compounded by Florence throwing a strop on the drive Thursday morning and refusing to budge! At 6am I had no option other than walk to the station, thankfully it was dry and the half hour walk was brightened by a shortcut through the park. I was determined to see the positives and snapped some pictures from my walk and I am determined to walk on days when its dry and I don't have an early meeting.
 With the Central line not stopping at Bond Street until early June my walking exercise was extended at the other end of my commute, and I needed a mini nap when I got to my desk!... 5 days work was then needed to be squeezed into 2 days which has been trying!
Saturday was planned for a day filled with Rugby, however with Florence refusing still to start, priority was taken over by trying to get her fixed. Whilst waiting for the Green Flag man, the Kits took the time to explore the car. This was their first time inside outside of a cat box!... as you can see they explored every inch there was to be sniffed, climbed and sat on.
Fortunately Florence only needed an new battery so that was quickly fixed once she was charged enough to get to the garage.
Afternoon was spent with brother watching the Rugby, fabulous result from Saracens... Cardiff for the cup final, here we come!

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Easter feast & treats

This Easter I made a conscious decision not to do lots, normally I spend the weekend making & baking lots and then working for the Easter Bunny delivering to friends and family. I am glad that I made this decision as Easter passed me by under a duvet feeling very under the weather.
Maundy Thursday was spent in the office, where all my team were treated to Easter goodies and mini egg cupcakes. With the sun shining and the thought of a 4 day weekend there was much frivolity and fun had.
Good Friday was spent baking, this gave me an opportunity to try out some of my tips picked up at me recent photography day.

Good Friday is a favourite of mine and holds many special family memories. From toasting Hot Cross Buns on the fire ( yes we had gas, but we still did it!) to a family fish supper, I still try to keep some of these traditions. I grew up with a family that had a faith, we didn't go to church every week, but it was part of our life. Although now I don't share that faith ( I think majoring in the sciences and a career steeped in investigations and logic throw some doubt onto my belief in a faith) I do still believe that Easter is a time for reflection, and looking forward, also any holiday that gives you free reign to eat unlimited amounts of chocolate is fine with me!
Easter is all about food in my house and my menus must include Haddock, Eggs, Hot Cross Buns and Roast Lamb.
One of my Easter favourites this year were the very cute Easter Bunny crumpets from Asda which were perfect for an Easter Sunday breakfast version of ham and eggs.
 With a leg of lamb roasting in the oven, I soon snuck back under my duvet. I'm not sure what hit me over the weekend, but spent the best part of it freezing cold, raging headache and a lethargy that came from nowhere. Dinner was dished up and left and I haven't managed a full meal since. I feel like I am in a perpetual state of jet lag and everything seems to be taking me twice as long to do. The Dr seems to think it may be a virus but if persists past the weekend I am to go to the surgery.  I hope that you all had a lovely Easter and the Easter bunny was good for you. I have yet to start on my chocolate treats , but look forward to them soon... especially the meringue carrot kisses from peggy porschen... here are what the cupcake bunny made for delivery.


Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Totes Amaze Tuesday

Its that time in the blogging calendar to share my handbag heaven for this month. With blossom in the trees my capsule wardrobe for the month has featured lots of berry & pink hues, leading to handbag styling from mulberry. This months picks feature a Berry Dorset Tote and a fabulous little dark maroon/purple Daria clutch bag.
 I picked the Dorset tote up in the sale a couple of years ago before Mulberry hiked their prices up and the Daria clutch was a steal sale purchase a few years ago.
I love this clutch bag, its big enough to hold all the necessities, with some great security features, including a great fold over flap, inside pocket and zipped enclosure. I use this bag lots, more often in a casual environment, perfect with jeans, heels and a good jacket. I have a berry spotted mulberry scarf which matches perfectly... making my supermarket jeans look fabulous! Its one of my most envied bags by my friends and all have dibs on it in my will!
The tote is a great carry all, I was a little nervous that the handles wouldn't take the weight of my crap, but its perfect for throwing a book, lunch and make-up bag into for my commute. My only bug bear with it is that its not lined, but unlined leather bags are on trend and its not uncommon now, regardless of the price for a bag not to be lined.
Accessorised with one of my mulberry notebooks, a Michael Kors berry phone holder my Berry capsule collection is complete. I did have a little help when styling this post, Darcy loves a handbag and jumps in any if left on the floor!... this time he settled for just photo bombing the picture.
What's been your arm candy of late?....
Previous Totes Amaze Tuesday posts have featured Mulberry Effie Tote, Kate Spade Melinda and Victoria Beckham Liberty.

Monday, 21 April 2014

5 New York loves - chocolate

It's that time in the blog calendar month for me to share my New York loves for this fortnight. I couldn't pass up the opportunity  to talk New York and chocolate as its Easter time.
The US is more renowned for its Candy over Chocolate, however 2 of the biggest brands house huge chocolate shops in Times Square, Hershey & M&M's. Over the past few years some serious chocolatiers have been putting New York on the map for confection and I will share 2 of my favourites from these, along with a frozen chocolate must!....
Here's my 5 favourite chocolate haunts for many different reasons in New York, some are because they create great theatre and others because they taste amazing, but ultimately because they epitomise  everything chocolate in New York.
Hershey's - home for Kisses and Reece's pieces this is a treat for all the family. From the amazing shop front, which could have been lifted directly out of the Willy Wonka factory, it houses every flavour of Hershey's possible, along with some New York exclusives.
M&M world - situated opposite Hershey's and spanning a block of Times Square the M&M world store houses chocolate over 6 floors. From designing your own candy to every flavour possible this really is a feast for all senses.
NuNu - this fabulous little company has won many accolades over recent years and has made the top 10 chocolatiers in New York repeatedly for the last couple of years. Nunu started as a small independent selling her homemade chocolates at food markets in Brooklyn. She know has a cute little stand alone boutique in Brooklyn, which is on my "to go to" list this year. On previous visits Ive always tried to grab a couple of bars to bring home as a chocolate treat as Nunu chocolates are available from these locations in Manhattan if a schlep over to Brooklyn is too much for you.
Jacques Torres - known in New York as Mr Chocolate this man knows his chocolate. Originally a pastry chef, he built a reputation by baking the most devine chocolate chip cookies, this has led to a host of chocolate confections. With 5 locations in Manhattan, its a must to pop in for a bar of chocolate or his equally legendary hot chocolate. The fabulous New York Easter egg featured in my blog picture is created by Jacques and is up for auction, current bid price is $3200 for worthy causes in NY... gorgeous.
Serendipity - the home of the original frozen hot chocolate, this tiny little parlour is a must whether its summer or winter. The Frozen hot chocolate is indescribably delicious. If planning a visit to Serendipity then be prepared to either book ahead or to join a queue. It is world famous having been featured in several movies & TV shows. ... any wait is worth it!... its usually my first evening in New York treat.

My Chocolate top tips in New York....
SAVE: don't spend your holiday $ in the big brand stores, visit for the theatre and fun. When I visit New York I always plan a trip to the local Target (our supermarket equivalent) and stock up on multipack & chocolate favourites. Alternatively check out the Duane Reades / CS pharmacy - one sited on nearly every block, for picking up American branded candy; snickers, M&M's, Hershey's & Reece's... at least 50% less of the home store costs. 
SPLURGE: on the special stuff.... treats from Jacques Torres & NuNu are worth the extra $'s.
SAVOUR: a frozen hot chocolate from Serendipity, alternatives are no comparison!
Here are some of my hauls from recent trips... as you can see Target gets a visit every time!... not sure what the custom man would say if I was every stopped!

If you have enjoyed my New York loves, then check out previous posts featuring Heights, Books, & Cupcakes

Shooting Snaps & Styling with Emily

Earlier this year I discovered a fabulous blog which I started to follow that was beautifully photographed and styled. The blog belonged to Emily Quinton at The Start Up Wife. Emily is a photographer who now specialises in lifestyle and styling, previously having been a wedding photographer, all this and a mum of 4 small children!.. I'm not sure how she does it. Last month I featured Emily's blog on my Social Media Sunday post as one of my favourites from March.
Having seen that Emily runs photography workshops, I booked myself onto one. A couple of years ago I bought a bridge camera, the in-between digital SLR. As with most cameras's the accompanying book is just jargon to me, and have up until now only really used the auto settings on it. I really hoped that by going to a day like this, I would learn to love my camera more, make greater use of its functions and understand the jargon in a language that made sense to me. I can say that Emily met all these expectations and more!
The workshop was held in a warehouse in east London, easily accessible from both Liverpool Street station and Old Street. Along with myself, 4 other ladies spent our Saturday together with Emily, all with different reasons of being there.
The day was split into practical sessions, tip sharing, formats for social media and blogging. I learnt lots about light, styling and can now confidently turn the auto button off my camera!... Emily also shared lots of tips on making the most of your i-phone and the best Apps for picture formatting etc. The whole day was relaxed, informal, Emily is incredibly patient asking all our questions and sharing lots of practical advise along the way.
Along with lots of styling props and beautiful spring flowers I made use of my Kate Spade mug & notebook to add a little bit of 'me' to the finished article... here's some of my snaps from the day.

I thoroughly enjoyed my day and look forward to following my fellow photo buds on Instagram and other social medias as they utilise the tips they learnt.
Mary Ellen - Hop Interiors - Blog & Instagram
Katie - My Style Diary - Instagram
Karina from PlastiKotes - Facebook page
and Emily herself - Blog, Instagram & Pinterest.
If this has wetted your appetite for a fun Saturday styling & shooting great pictures then check out Emily's blog for her Makelight workshops.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Mr S's Easter Treats....

Over the last few months the confectionery hall in the big yellow store has undergone a huge transformation, this was unveiled just in time for the Easter holiday's. The confectionery hall now houses a chocolate & candy confection that would give Willy Wonka a challenge in the sweet stakes.
The hall houses several chocolatier boutiques including Godiva, L'Artisan du Chocolat, Pierre Marcolini, Melt & Pierre Herme amongst many. Sweets are a plenty from Hope & Greenwood, It's Sugar and a huge American section complete with Hershey's and Reece's .
Along with these the room now houses a Chocolate Library ... arranged alphabetically the library houses over 200 chocolate bars with 30 exclusive brands.... a chocolate lovers dream!
With the build up to Easter, this space along with the foodhall completely transformed into Easter foodie heaven.
Here are some of my favourites:
A colourful confection of Easter eggs to meet every Easter bunnies needs!.
The Pierre Herme chocolate & macaron boutique is just delicious... even the big man himself seemed to like it on his recent visit.
It seemed everyone this year produced giant Eggs to showcase their brands & style ... I completely fell in love with this one from the team at Melt. The iced sugar flowers were stunning and completely epitomised Spring & Easter.
CocoMaya's boutique is new, showcasing their Jackson Pollock inspired confections and Glitzy & glamorous Eggs, this egg was tweeted and instagramed  lots.
Moving into the Foodhall, the bakery housed a host of treats from many bakers, including Kookybakes, Fiona Cairns and new this year Peggy Porschen. Peggy launched a range for Mother's Day which I blogged about recently. The Easter collection was delightful, from iced cookie lollipops, to mini egg cupcakes to some fabulous bags of carrot meringues.... perfect for any Easter bunny.
Lola's firmly put the glitz & chicks into their Easter collection... with confections awash with pastel icing, glitter & fluffy chicks.
Finally no Easter is complete without flowers .... The Real Flower company's boutique was filled with glorious spring flowers & foliage which just smelt gorgeous...
I hope that you have enjoyed my whistle stop tour of the Easter sweets & treats in the big yellow store... Mr S would be as proud as Willy Wonka himself!.... if you are not sick of chocolate after this weekend, then I urge you to pop in the doors of 400 Oxford Street browse the confectioners delights.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Words Wednesday - April reads

This months Wednesday Words are a mixture across the book genre's. Here's whats been keeping me entertained on my daily commute around London.

  • Take Mum Out - Fiona Gibson  Alice is rapidly approaching her 40th birthday, plodding along with her life being a single mum to 2 teenage boys and managing a small meringue business.  Alice is quite content, however her 3 best friends have other ideas and embark on setting her up on 3 blind dates - this is met by mixed reviews from her 2 sons, ex-partner and difficult to please mum, but with much glee from her friends. This book was much fun, some very laugh out loud moments along with some very heartwarming moments of juggling life on the rapid approach to 40. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, perfect way to de-stress on the tube.
  • A Hundred Pieces of Me - Lucy Dillon  Gina Bellamy finds herself evaluating her life, when suddenly having overcome many obstacles she finds herself living a single life after many years of marriage. Dealing with a divorce and moving into a small flat, her possessions don't seem to fit into her new life, so she decides to keep 100 special things and let the rest go. On her journey she becomes a foster mum to a rescued greyhound, collectively they begin to mend each others hearts. As she works through her things she learns to deal with her past and look forward to the future. This book is beautiful, it touched parts of me that have been locked away for a long time, it is funny, heartbreaking and wonderful all in one read. I loved Gina as a character, brave, courageous and forgiving... on finishing this book it made me evaluate so much, things may be things, but the special things filled with so many memories are pieces of you... gorgeous.
  • Soldiers Wives - Fiona Field This book follows the lives of 3 women in the military. Chrissie, Maddy & Jenna. Chrissie is a medic in the regiment, orphaned at a young age, she finds herself falling in love with a married man. Young, glamorous and very naughty Jenna, married to a up and coming soldier she has little regard for the rules of military life. Maddy, Oxford graduate, now mum to a colicky baby finds herself married to an newly appointed ambitious Officer.  You can tell instantly that Fiona has a military background to write in the detail that she does, taking you from the daily life of army housing to the war torn life of Camp Bastion in Afghanistan. If you loved Soldier Soldier in the 90's or the US Army wives, then this is the read for you, an enjoyable book that brings it home what living life with a soldier of life on the front line is like....
  • Mark Billingham - the Dying Hours.  This is Mark Billingham's 11th novel in his Tom Thorne series, and one of his best. Having found himself back in uniform and being stationed south of the river,  Inspector Thorne is finding life in the police a little challenging. With a series of apparent suicides across the elderly generation, no one will take his claims seriously that fowl play is involved. Embarking on a covert investigation, Thorne finds himself in danger from many sides from the off. A fabulous read from start to finish, not for the faint hearted or squeamish! Glad to see Thorne back on form, filled with suspense, and some very funny & ironic observations of the police force and its politics.  
  • Jenny Colgan - Little Beach Street Bakery  Polly finds herself moving into a flat above an old bakery shop on a small mount just off the coast of cornwall. Polly's move is the result of both her business and relationship failing at the same time, with little money and limited options this is all Polly can afford. To cope with daily life she starts to bake bread, word soon gets out and a covert baking business begins on the island. Over time she slowly begins to overcome the deep ingrained traditions and politics of the island and feel part of the community. Befriending an injured baby puffin named Neil helps her overcome some of the barriers on the island.  I loved this book, it took me back to many a holiday on the cornish coast with my grandparents as a child, walking across the inlet to St Michaels mount. This story captures what seaside village is all about, from community to sacrifice and the bleakness and joy of the seasons. I completely fell in love with Neil the puffin; this book bought a tear to my eye on many occasion, catching me out twice on the tube!... a great read.
I hope that you have enjoyed my Wednesday Words.... Here  are previous months posts of what I've been reading in 2014. What have you been reading this month?... would love to hear what has been grabbing your attention. Enjoy x

Monday, 14 April 2014

5 London Loves - London Heights

This year I have been sharing my New York Loves over bi-weekly posts, a number of you have asked for the London equivalent. Last week I shared my favourite ways to view New York from above so this week I am sharing my London equivalents.
 The London skyline has changed dramatically over the last 20 years from the build of Canary Wharf, to the London eye and the newest height The Shard, London manages to mix the old with the new effortlessly.
London Eye - opened in 2000 to celebrate the turn of the millennium, this London landmark has become one of the most visited and recognised attractions of the London skyline. Reaching a height of 135m the Eye offers 360' views of a city in comfortable style and  at a leisurely pace. I circled London on the Eye several times and have always enjoyed the journey and the changing landscape of the London skyline.
Duck & Waffle - sited 40 floors on the top of Heron Tower in the heart of the City of London, this cool 24 hour eatery provides some spectacular views over the East of the city and old London, including the adjacent buildings of The Gherkin, Tower 42 ( which reminds me so much of the original World Trade Centre Towers in New York) and the new 'Walkie Talkie' building being built.
Thames Cable Car - opening in 2012, this cool air tramway links the Greenwich peninsula and the Royal Docks. Reaching heights of 90m, this London height offers very cool views over the river and the East of London which has seen a huge re-generation in the last couple of decades. This fab little service is all accessible via the London Oyster card and is a great family outing at really affordable prices.
The Monument - This is the original London height, built in 1671 & 1677 to commemorate the Great Fire of London and to celebrate the rebuilding of the city.  Designed by Christopher Wren it is built a stones throw from where the Great Fire started in a bakery in Pudding Lane, 160ft to be precise, the exact height of the monument. The fire started on Sunday 2nd September 1666 and raged for 3 days until finally being extinguished on Wednesday 5th September, desolating much of the city. The viewing platform is accessible by a 311 step spiral staircase which offers resting posts and viewing slots on the ascent. Another fun family climb, all for the bargain price of £3 per person.
The Shard - opening in 2013 this is the newest London height, reaching a height of 305m the panoramic views of the London landscapes and suburbs in the distance are beautiful.  This  height is my New York "Top of the Rock" equivalent.... from the supersonic lift ascent to the feel of the viewing platforms it is the perfect way to see the sunrise and set over the city.
I hope that you have enjoyed my whistle-stop tour of London heights... pop back in a couple of weeks for another London loves.

please note all views are my own and I have received no payments / offers  for these.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Master of Macarons

Last Friday the Master of Macarons; Pierre Herme visited the big yellow store on Oxford Street to see his new chocolate & macaron boutique in the Confectionery hall. Whilst there he caused a confectionery queue of epic proportions for macaron box & book signings...
......the new space opened in Selfridges last Friday and is a feast on the eye and the taste buds, nestled alongside Pierre Marcolini, and L'artisan du Chocolat it really is a chocolate lovers paradise.
Pierre was delightful, in his unassuming style, modest and a little shy.  I am sure he is the polar opposite in the kitchen, when he is developing and creating his confections, but completely made my Friday.... another Food hero met :-)
So next time, if you are passing through the confectionery hall of the home of Mr Selfridge stop and gaze at the chocolatiers confections.... gorgeous and decadent treats galore.

Monday, 7 April 2014

5 New York Loves - New York Heights

Its that time again for me to share some of my New York Loves.... This week is all about heights. New York is the metropolis city of skyscrapers, and unique ways to see the city, this posts shares my favourite ways to make the most of the views that they give.
So in no particular order, lets visit New York!.....
Top of the Rock situated at the top of the Rockefeller Centre this view spanning a block in the heart of Manhattan between 5th & 6th (avenue of america's) The centre is the home of NBC TV, Radio City musical centre and the NY christmas tree & ice rink in the holiday season. The observation deck is open between 8am and 11pm , a perfect place for watching the sunrise and set over the city, something I've tried to do every time I visit.
Why do I love this space, because to get to it you ride in an elevator that is lifted straight out of a Roald Dahl novel, climbing 102 floors in seconds and when you reach the top the views downtown over the Empire State Building and uptown to Central Park are breathtaking.
Empire State Building this is the most iconic height in New York, featured in countless movies my favourites being "An Affair to Remember" and "Sleepless in Seattle", it is synonymous with romance and glamour. If you time your visit, queuing can be minimal, however be prepared to Q when visiting this beautiful old building. Its steeped in history and a must if you are lucky to visit NY at least once. The ESB website has pages featuring all the films the statue has appeared in, along with a lighting schedule of what colour the top will be for weekly occasions.
Roosevelt Island Tram   - over on the East Side nestled between 2nd avenue & 60th street is the fabulous little cable car service which carries commuters and tourists over the East River to Roosevelt island where 16,000 people live & work. This little commuting secret was shared with the rest of the world world when it featured in a climatic scene in the 2002 Spiderman movie, when Spiderman rescues Mary-jane from the clutches of evil. The open space on the island gives you great views onto the east skyline of the city.... a fun, unique way of seeing the city... a must for movie buffs!
Helicopter ride above the city is one of the most magical ways to see the city. It is a special treat, but worth every penny if you get the chance to go. A trip by day or by night offer up 2 very different snapshots of the city, both spectacular in their own way. There are a number of heliports doted along the riverside and all offer packages to explore this fabulous city. If you don't get the chance to live this experience, then follow this fabulous team in instagram, who share some amazing shots of the city from up above. Here are a few of my favourites.
Lady Liberty - The Statue of Liberty is another height that you can climb to get panoramic views of the New York City skyline. The crown of the statue can only be accessed if pre-booked. (booking details in the link) Its not for people who don't like enclosed spaces buts it a cool & fun thing to do, especially if visiting with children.
The Statue of Liberty, along with the Top of the Rock & Empire State Building all have airport type security screenings prior to accessing the attractions, factor this in when planning times.
Next year I look forward to adding One World Trade centre to my heights list once the visitors observation decks open. I have watched this space grow and build over the years and look forward to honouring the lives lost in this amazing space.
I hope that you have enjoyed by whirlwind tour of New York heights.... next week I plan to share my London equivalents.
If you missed the previous posts of my New York loves, then here they are... Cupcakes & Literary Loves.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Social Media Sunday - March

Following on from both January's and February's Social Media Sunday posts, here's what has kept me  entertained across social medias in March.
Blogland

The Start up Wife - I discovered this beautiful blog last month and I am now hooked on both Emily's blog and her Instagram. A mum to 4 children Emily's photography tips and styling are stunning. She runs workshops as well and I am looking forward to attending one in April.
Kayture - another new blog for me, this a blog written by a young girl evolving around fashion.  I loved her New York guide post and have bookmarked a few places noted ready for my trip later this year. A fun and
At Home with Mrs M - how this book has evaded my bookshelf is beyond me, but I thank Mrs M for the fab post and look forward to cooking New York style soon. I enjoy Mrs M's menu monday planning and her adventures in New York later this year... I'm planning on sending her some tips from  my blog.
Sudden Lunch - another relatively new blog for me but tripped over this post when searching for chorizo recipes... having cooked with it last month in things other than pizza!... this is a fab food blog and if ever stumped with what to do with the remnants of a fridge would recommend
Rachel Phipps - I have followed Rachels blog for some time now and enjoy the diversity of the posts. We share a mutual love of food, London and travel, New York toping the list. Looking at the places she visits, food eateries and wandering London we have probably been at the same places on more than one occasion without realising. A very cool blog and many posts were favourited during March.
Instagram
Loving Instagram more and more lately ...
Metropolitan Police helicopter team have made my favourites for the 3rd month with this fabulous picture above the foggy skyline of London (can be found at @mpsasu) The Blue London eye and Thames was taken by my book buddie Ali Mcnamara from here hotel room on a recent stay in the city... The beautiful CK inspired pillowcases were made by Kate from the Homemakery.  This a new adventure for Kate and I look forward to meeting her in May at a craft day, having been blog buddies with her or many years. The cool coffee shop is by A guy named Patrick a guy about town in New York. I have started bookmarking some of the places he photographs for my trip later this year.
and finally... 2 pictures from the gorgeous Dan Carter (NZ all blacks No 10) who posted a photo of him with the lovely Mark Webber at the Malaysian Grand Prix and then training on a Watt bike!... both brightened my day for many reasons!
Twitter
Twitter has entertained me lots and I have favourited much this month to either go back and read; lots of articles on London eats and treats. Kooky Bakes Easter egg brownies are on my To eat list!
Many of my tweets proved popular this month and I have learnt that if you are tweeting about books, NY, cakes or cats there is a huge audience out there to like!.

Thankyou to all that have posted me comments, messages or 'likes' on twitter, Instagram or my blog. ... what have you been tweeting, 'liking' following lately?

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Teresa's Tv Treats

Due to trying to have a life I haven't spent too much time in front of the television in March... however I have caught up with some series that I had got behind of and started to enjoy some box-sets either on DVD or Netflix.
So what has been keeping me entertained during the madness of March.
  • An hour to Save a Life - a fabulous docu-drama which followed a number of trauma teams across the UK either on road or air doing their utmost to save a life in the Golden Hour (the 1st hour post incident). I admire any one who works in the medical profession especially the NHS... this programme highlighted what an amazing service they provide and the life and death situations they deal with daily. Remarkable TV and a fantastic showcase of how valuable our NHS service is.. 
  • Line of Duty - series 2 - I missed this completely first time round, but was hooked from the off from the 1st episode. We all predicted the outcome at work from the 1st episode and i'm pleased to say that my 3 detective moments were true on completion!.... this was thrilling from the start, internal police investigations, witness protection, murder and bent police officers, made for gripping viewing. Keely Hawes was fabulous and story & acting kept you on a pendulum of guessing wether she was involved in the deaths of police officers and a protected witness... 
  • The Arrow - series 1  - very behind with this, but now get what the fuss is about, sheer escapism from the start, filled with intrigue, glamour and very sexy men!...Perfect way to de-stress and unwind.
  • Good Wife & Nashville - Thursday night TV treats for T... loving that they are back to back and completely hooked on both.... 
  • and finally my guilty pleasure of Gogglebox. This programme is wrong on so many levels but sheer genius. The premise of filming people in their home watching TV with them discussing what they think, its what every critic, reviewer and presenter wishes they could say but can't. The families are diverse and incredibly entertaining.
What have you been watching lately....would love to hear...

Monday, 28 April 2014

Doughnuts Ahead

Last month I blogged about the sweet treats that had fallen into my basket for March. Aside from Easter chocolate treats there has only been one contender in April for me. This month its all been about the Doughnut.
Late in March I spent a glorious morning browsing the stalls of Borough Market and whilst there I picked up some treats at a fabulous artisan bread stall, Bread Ahead. Purchases included a slab of Bread pudding and an amazing Doughnut filled with salted caramel creme pat, finished off with a chunk of honeycomb. The doughnut was sublime, light & fluffy in texture with the most amazing filling.  It was like eating a salted caramel fluffy cloud... delicious. I have learnt over the years that great doughnuts are an art, and worth every £ spent.
Researching Bread Ahead on my return home, I discovered that this fabulous little stall is the business of artisan baker and the connoisseur of doughnuts Justin Gellatly (previous of St John's bakery fame - parting in 2013) Justin now runs this bakery stall in Borough along with a bakery school ( now added to wish list of things to do).
The day following my trip to Borough this article appeared in the evening standard, giving Justin the lead in the current Doughnut wars in London. Having sampled both St John's, Cocomaya's and Bread aheads in recent weeks, I can heartily agree that JG is Doughnuts ahead of his rivals.
I have been back to Borough at least twice over the month of April and the queues forming around the stall are considerable. With a prime location near the entrance to the market Bread ahead is a must stop. My advice would be to go there first and as early as you can.... then head to Monmouth for a legendary coffee and savour 2 of the best things currently that Borough can offer!... Doughnuts & Coffee the perfect combination.
Justin is soon to release a new book  Bread, Doughnut, Cake, Pudding which has already fallen into my "to Bake" basket.

This book, along with a visit to Bread Ahead is a must for an 'foodie' in 2014.... delicious.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

breaking from routine

I am a planning kinda girl... my friends & work family would probably describe it more along the lines of 'control freak'. I would like to think there's a bit more flexibility on the control now than a few years ago.
Sometimes all the planning in the world can't prepare for things out of your control, that just about sums up my week. I didn't return to work straight after the Easter Monday as I was still feeling out of sorts. Returning to work a couple of days later than originally planned had already got my week on the back foot which was compounded by Florence throwing a strop on the drive Thursday morning and refusing to budge! At 6am I had no option other than walk to the station, thankfully it was dry and the half hour walk was brightened by a shortcut through the park. I was determined to see the positives and snapped some pictures from my walk and I am determined to walk on days when its dry and I don't have an early meeting.
 With the Central line not stopping at Bond Street until early June my walking exercise was extended at the other end of my commute, and I needed a mini nap when I got to my desk!... 5 days work was then needed to be squeezed into 2 days which has been trying!
Saturday was planned for a day filled with Rugby, however with Florence refusing still to start, priority was taken over by trying to get her fixed. Whilst waiting for the Green Flag man, the Kits took the time to explore the car. This was their first time inside outside of a cat box!... as you can see they explored every inch there was to be sniffed, climbed and sat on.
Fortunately Florence only needed an new battery so that was quickly fixed once she was charged enough to get to the garage.
Afternoon was spent with brother watching the Rugby, fabulous result from Saracens... Cardiff for the cup final, here we come!

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Easter feast & treats

This Easter I made a conscious decision not to do lots, normally I spend the weekend making & baking lots and then working for the Easter Bunny delivering to friends and family. I am glad that I made this decision as Easter passed me by under a duvet feeling very under the weather.
Maundy Thursday was spent in the office, where all my team were treated to Easter goodies and mini egg cupcakes. With the sun shining and the thought of a 4 day weekend there was much frivolity and fun had.
Good Friday was spent baking, this gave me an opportunity to try out some of my tips picked up at me recent photography day.

Good Friday is a favourite of mine and holds many special family memories. From toasting Hot Cross Buns on the fire ( yes we had gas, but we still did it!) to a family fish supper, I still try to keep some of these traditions. I grew up with a family that had a faith, we didn't go to church every week, but it was part of our life. Although now I don't share that faith ( I think majoring in the sciences and a career steeped in investigations and logic throw some doubt onto my belief in a faith) I do still believe that Easter is a time for reflection, and looking forward, also any holiday that gives you free reign to eat unlimited amounts of chocolate is fine with me!
Easter is all about food in my house and my menus must include Haddock, Eggs, Hot Cross Buns and Roast Lamb.
One of my Easter favourites this year were the very cute Easter Bunny crumpets from Asda which were perfect for an Easter Sunday breakfast version of ham and eggs.
 With a leg of lamb roasting in the oven, I soon snuck back under my duvet. I'm not sure what hit me over the weekend, but spent the best part of it freezing cold, raging headache and a lethargy that came from nowhere. Dinner was dished up and left and I haven't managed a full meal since. I feel like I am in a perpetual state of jet lag and everything seems to be taking me twice as long to do. The Dr seems to think it may be a virus but if persists past the weekend I am to go to the surgery.  I hope that you all had a lovely Easter and the Easter bunny was good for you. I have yet to start on my chocolate treats , but look forward to them soon... especially the meringue carrot kisses from peggy porschen... here are what the cupcake bunny made for delivery.


Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Totes Amaze Tuesday

Its that time in the blogging calendar to share my handbag heaven for this month. With blossom in the trees my capsule wardrobe for the month has featured lots of berry & pink hues, leading to handbag styling from mulberry. This months picks feature a Berry Dorset Tote and a fabulous little dark maroon/purple Daria clutch bag.
 I picked the Dorset tote up in the sale a couple of years ago before Mulberry hiked their prices up and the Daria clutch was a steal sale purchase a few years ago.
I love this clutch bag, its big enough to hold all the necessities, with some great security features, including a great fold over flap, inside pocket and zipped enclosure. I use this bag lots, more often in a casual environment, perfect with jeans, heels and a good jacket. I have a berry spotted mulberry scarf which matches perfectly... making my supermarket jeans look fabulous! Its one of my most envied bags by my friends and all have dibs on it in my will!
The tote is a great carry all, I was a little nervous that the handles wouldn't take the weight of my crap, but its perfect for throwing a book, lunch and make-up bag into for my commute. My only bug bear with it is that its not lined, but unlined leather bags are on trend and its not uncommon now, regardless of the price for a bag not to be lined.
Accessorised with one of my mulberry notebooks, a Michael Kors berry phone holder my Berry capsule collection is complete. I did have a little help when styling this post, Darcy loves a handbag and jumps in any if left on the floor!... this time he settled for just photo bombing the picture.
What's been your arm candy of late?....
Previous Totes Amaze Tuesday posts have featured Mulberry Effie Tote, Kate Spade Melinda and Victoria Beckham Liberty.

Monday, 21 April 2014

5 New York loves - chocolate

It's that time in the blog calendar month for me to share my New York loves for this fortnight. I couldn't pass up the opportunity  to talk New York and chocolate as its Easter time.
The US is more renowned for its Candy over Chocolate, however 2 of the biggest brands house huge chocolate shops in Times Square, Hershey & M&M's. Over the past few years some serious chocolatiers have been putting New York on the map for confection and I will share 2 of my favourites from these, along with a frozen chocolate must!....
Here's my 5 favourite chocolate haunts for many different reasons in New York, some are because they create great theatre and others because they taste amazing, but ultimately because they epitomise  everything chocolate in New York.
Hershey's - home for Kisses and Reece's pieces this is a treat for all the family. From the amazing shop front, which could have been lifted directly out of the Willy Wonka factory, it houses every flavour of Hershey's possible, along with some New York exclusives.
M&M world - situated opposite Hershey's and spanning a block of Times Square the M&M world store houses chocolate over 6 floors. From designing your own candy to every flavour possible this really is a feast for all senses.
NuNu - this fabulous little company has won many accolades over recent years and has made the top 10 chocolatiers in New York repeatedly for the last couple of years. Nunu started as a small independent selling her homemade chocolates at food markets in Brooklyn. She know has a cute little stand alone boutique in Brooklyn, which is on my "to go to" list this year. On previous visits Ive always tried to grab a couple of bars to bring home as a chocolate treat as Nunu chocolates are available from these locations in Manhattan if a schlep over to Brooklyn is too much for you.
Jacques Torres - known in New York as Mr Chocolate this man knows his chocolate. Originally a pastry chef, he built a reputation by baking the most devine chocolate chip cookies, this has led to a host of chocolate confections. With 5 locations in Manhattan, its a must to pop in for a bar of chocolate or his equally legendary hot chocolate. The fabulous New York Easter egg featured in my blog picture is created by Jacques and is up for auction, current bid price is $3200 for worthy causes in NY... gorgeous.
Serendipity - the home of the original frozen hot chocolate, this tiny little parlour is a must whether its summer or winter. The Frozen hot chocolate is indescribably delicious. If planning a visit to Serendipity then be prepared to either book ahead or to join a queue. It is world famous having been featured in several movies & TV shows. ... any wait is worth it!... its usually my first evening in New York treat.

My Chocolate top tips in New York....
SAVE: don't spend your holiday $ in the big brand stores, visit for the theatre and fun. When I visit New York I always plan a trip to the local Target (our supermarket equivalent) and stock up on multipack & chocolate favourites. Alternatively check out the Duane Reades / CS pharmacy - one sited on nearly every block, for picking up American branded candy; snickers, M&M's, Hershey's & Reece's... at least 50% less of the home store costs. 
SPLURGE: on the special stuff.... treats from Jacques Torres & NuNu are worth the extra $'s.
SAVOUR: a frozen hot chocolate from Serendipity, alternatives are no comparison!
Here are some of my hauls from recent trips... as you can see Target gets a visit every time!... not sure what the custom man would say if I was every stopped!

If you have enjoyed my New York loves, then check out previous posts featuring Heights, Books, & Cupcakes

Shooting Snaps & Styling with Emily

Earlier this year I discovered a fabulous blog which I started to follow that was beautifully photographed and styled. The blog belonged to Emily Quinton at The Start Up Wife. Emily is a photographer who now specialises in lifestyle and styling, previously having been a wedding photographer, all this and a mum of 4 small children!.. I'm not sure how she does it. Last month I featured Emily's blog on my Social Media Sunday post as one of my favourites from March.
Having seen that Emily runs photography workshops, I booked myself onto one. A couple of years ago I bought a bridge camera, the in-between digital SLR. As with most cameras's the accompanying book is just jargon to me, and have up until now only really used the auto settings on it. I really hoped that by going to a day like this, I would learn to love my camera more, make greater use of its functions and understand the jargon in a language that made sense to me. I can say that Emily met all these expectations and more!
The workshop was held in a warehouse in east London, easily accessible from both Liverpool Street station and Old Street. Along with myself, 4 other ladies spent our Saturday together with Emily, all with different reasons of being there.
The day was split into practical sessions, tip sharing, formats for social media and blogging. I learnt lots about light, styling and can now confidently turn the auto button off my camera!... Emily also shared lots of tips on making the most of your i-phone and the best Apps for picture formatting etc. The whole day was relaxed, informal, Emily is incredibly patient asking all our questions and sharing lots of practical advise along the way.
Along with lots of styling props and beautiful spring flowers I made use of my Kate Spade mug & notebook to add a little bit of 'me' to the finished article... here's some of my snaps from the day.

I thoroughly enjoyed my day and look forward to following my fellow photo buds on Instagram and other social medias as they utilise the tips they learnt.
Mary Ellen - Hop Interiors - Blog & Instagram
Katie - My Style Diary - Instagram
Karina from PlastiKotes - Facebook page
and Emily herself - Blog, Instagram & Pinterest.
If this has wetted your appetite for a fun Saturday styling & shooting great pictures then check out Emily's blog for her Makelight workshops.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Mr S's Easter Treats....

Over the last few months the confectionery hall in the big yellow store has undergone a huge transformation, this was unveiled just in time for the Easter holiday's. The confectionery hall now houses a chocolate & candy confection that would give Willy Wonka a challenge in the sweet stakes.
The hall houses several chocolatier boutiques including Godiva, L'Artisan du Chocolat, Pierre Marcolini, Melt & Pierre Herme amongst many. Sweets are a plenty from Hope & Greenwood, It's Sugar and a huge American section complete with Hershey's and Reece's .
Along with these the room now houses a Chocolate Library ... arranged alphabetically the library houses over 200 chocolate bars with 30 exclusive brands.... a chocolate lovers dream!
With the build up to Easter, this space along with the foodhall completely transformed into Easter foodie heaven.
Here are some of my favourites:
A colourful confection of Easter eggs to meet every Easter bunnies needs!.
The Pierre Herme chocolate & macaron boutique is just delicious... even the big man himself seemed to like it on his recent visit.
It seemed everyone this year produced giant Eggs to showcase their brands & style ... I completely fell in love with this one from the team at Melt. The iced sugar flowers were stunning and completely epitomised Spring & Easter.
CocoMaya's boutique is new, showcasing their Jackson Pollock inspired confections and Glitzy & glamorous Eggs, this egg was tweeted and instagramed  lots.
Moving into the Foodhall, the bakery housed a host of treats from many bakers, including Kookybakes, Fiona Cairns and new this year Peggy Porschen. Peggy launched a range for Mother's Day which I blogged about recently. The Easter collection was delightful, from iced cookie lollipops, to mini egg cupcakes to some fabulous bags of carrot meringues.... perfect for any Easter bunny.
Lola's firmly put the glitz & chicks into their Easter collection... with confections awash with pastel icing, glitter & fluffy chicks.
Finally no Easter is complete without flowers .... The Real Flower company's boutique was filled with glorious spring flowers & foliage which just smelt gorgeous...
I hope that you have enjoyed my whistle stop tour of the Easter sweets & treats in the big yellow store... Mr S would be as proud as Willy Wonka himself!.... if you are not sick of chocolate after this weekend, then I urge you to pop in the doors of 400 Oxford Street browse the confectioners delights.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Words Wednesday - April reads

This months Wednesday Words are a mixture across the book genre's. Here's whats been keeping me entertained on my daily commute around London.

  • Take Mum Out - Fiona Gibson  Alice is rapidly approaching her 40th birthday, plodding along with her life being a single mum to 2 teenage boys and managing a small meringue business.  Alice is quite content, however her 3 best friends have other ideas and embark on setting her up on 3 blind dates - this is met by mixed reviews from her 2 sons, ex-partner and difficult to please mum, but with much glee from her friends. This book was much fun, some very laugh out loud moments along with some very heartwarming moments of juggling life on the rapid approach to 40. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, perfect way to de-stress on the tube.
  • A Hundred Pieces of Me - Lucy Dillon  Gina Bellamy finds herself evaluating her life, when suddenly having overcome many obstacles she finds herself living a single life after many years of marriage. Dealing with a divorce and moving into a small flat, her possessions don't seem to fit into her new life, so she decides to keep 100 special things and let the rest go. On her journey she becomes a foster mum to a rescued greyhound, collectively they begin to mend each others hearts. As she works through her things she learns to deal with her past and look forward to the future. This book is beautiful, it touched parts of me that have been locked away for a long time, it is funny, heartbreaking and wonderful all in one read. I loved Gina as a character, brave, courageous and forgiving... on finishing this book it made me evaluate so much, things may be things, but the special things filled with so many memories are pieces of you... gorgeous.
  • Soldiers Wives - Fiona Field This book follows the lives of 3 women in the military. Chrissie, Maddy & Jenna. Chrissie is a medic in the regiment, orphaned at a young age, she finds herself falling in love with a married man. Young, glamorous and very naughty Jenna, married to a up and coming soldier she has little regard for the rules of military life. Maddy, Oxford graduate, now mum to a colicky baby finds herself married to an newly appointed ambitious Officer.  You can tell instantly that Fiona has a military background to write in the detail that she does, taking you from the daily life of army housing to the war torn life of Camp Bastion in Afghanistan. If you loved Soldier Soldier in the 90's or the US Army wives, then this is the read for you, an enjoyable book that brings it home what living life with a soldier of life on the front line is like....
  • Mark Billingham - the Dying Hours.  This is Mark Billingham's 11th novel in his Tom Thorne series, and one of his best. Having found himself back in uniform and being stationed south of the river,  Inspector Thorne is finding life in the police a little challenging. With a series of apparent suicides across the elderly generation, no one will take his claims seriously that fowl play is involved. Embarking on a covert investigation, Thorne finds himself in danger from many sides from the off. A fabulous read from start to finish, not for the faint hearted or squeamish! Glad to see Thorne back on form, filled with suspense, and some very funny & ironic observations of the police force and its politics.  
  • Jenny Colgan - Little Beach Street Bakery  Polly finds herself moving into a flat above an old bakery shop on a small mount just off the coast of cornwall. Polly's move is the result of both her business and relationship failing at the same time, with little money and limited options this is all Polly can afford. To cope with daily life she starts to bake bread, word soon gets out and a covert baking business begins on the island. Over time she slowly begins to overcome the deep ingrained traditions and politics of the island and feel part of the community. Befriending an injured baby puffin named Neil helps her overcome some of the barriers on the island.  I loved this book, it took me back to many a holiday on the cornish coast with my grandparents as a child, walking across the inlet to St Michaels mount. This story captures what seaside village is all about, from community to sacrifice and the bleakness and joy of the seasons. I completely fell in love with Neil the puffin; this book bought a tear to my eye on many occasion, catching me out twice on the tube!... a great read.
I hope that you have enjoyed my Wednesday Words.... Here  are previous months posts of what I've been reading in 2014. What have you been reading this month?... would love to hear what has been grabbing your attention. Enjoy x

Monday, 14 April 2014

5 London Loves - London Heights

This year I have been sharing my New York Loves over bi-weekly posts, a number of you have asked for the London equivalent. Last week I shared my favourite ways to view New York from above so this week I am sharing my London equivalents.
 The London skyline has changed dramatically over the last 20 years from the build of Canary Wharf, to the London eye and the newest height The Shard, London manages to mix the old with the new effortlessly.
London Eye - opened in 2000 to celebrate the turn of the millennium, this London landmark has become one of the most visited and recognised attractions of the London skyline. Reaching a height of 135m the Eye offers 360' views of a city in comfortable style and  at a leisurely pace. I circled London on the Eye several times and have always enjoyed the journey and the changing landscape of the London skyline.
Duck & Waffle - sited 40 floors on the top of Heron Tower in the heart of the City of London, this cool 24 hour eatery provides some spectacular views over the East of the city and old London, including the adjacent buildings of The Gherkin, Tower 42 ( which reminds me so much of the original World Trade Centre Towers in New York) and the new 'Walkie Talkie' building being built.
Thames Cable Car - opening in 2012, this cool air tramway links the Greenwich peninsula and the Royal Docks. Reaching heights of 90m, this London height offers very cool views over the river and the East of London which has seen a huge re-generation in the last couple of decades. This fab little service is all accessible via the London Oyster card and is a great family outing at really affordable prices.
The Monument - This is the original London height, built in 1671 & 1677 to commemorate the Great Fire of London and to celebrate the rebuilding of the city.  Designed by Christopher Wren it is built a stones throw from where the Great Fire started in a bakery in Pudding Lane, 160ft to be precise, the exact height of the monument. The fire started on Sunday 2nd September 1666 and raged for 3 days until finally being extinguished on Wednesday 5th September, desolating much of the city. The viewing platform is accessible by a 311 step spiral staircase which offers resting posts and viewing slots on the ascent. Another fun family climb, all for the bargain price of £3 per person.
The Shard - opening in 2013 this is the newest London height, reaching a height of 305m the panoramic views of the London landscapes and suburbs in the distance are beautiful.  This  height is my New York "Top of the Rock" equivalent.... from the supersonic lift ascent to the feel of the viewing platforms it is the perfect way to see the sunrise and set over the city.
I hope that you have enjoyed my whistle-stop tour of London heights... pop back in a couple of weeks for another London loves.

please note all views are my own and I have received no payments / offers  for these.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Master of Macarons

Last Friday the Master of Macarons; Pierre Herme visited the big yellow store on Oxford Street to see his new chocolate & macaron boutique in the Confectionery hall. Whilst there he caused a confectionery queue of epic proportions for macaron box & book signings...
......the new space opened in Selfridges last Friday and is a feast on the eye and the taste buds, nestled alongside Pierre Marcolini, and L'artisan du Chocolat it really is a chocolate lovers paradise.
Pierre was delightful, in his unassuming style, modest and a little shy.  I am sure he is the polar opposite in the kitchen, when he is developing and creating his confections, but completely made my Friday.... another Food hero met :-)
So next time, if you are passing through the confectionery hall of the home of Mr Selfridge stop and gaze at the chocolatiers confections.... gorgeous and decadent treats galore.

Monday, 7 April 2014

5 New York Loves - New York Heights

Its that time again for me to share some of my New York Loves.... This week is all about heights. New York is the metropolis city of skyscrapers, and unique ways to see the city, this posts shares my favourite ways to make the most of the views that they give.
So in no particular order, lets visit New York!.....
Top of the Rock situated at the top of the Rockefeller Centre this view spanning a block in the heart of Manhattan between 5th & 6th (avenue of america's) The centre is the home of NBC TV, Radio City musical centre and the NY christmas tree & ice rink in the holiday season. The observation deck is open between 8am and 11pm , a perfect place for watching the sunrise and set over the city, something I've tried to do every time I visit.
Why do I love this space, because to get to it you ride in an elevator that is lifted straight out of a Roald Dahl novel, climbing 102 floors in seconds and when you reach the top the views downtown over the Empire State Building and uptown to Central Park are breathtaking.
Empire State Building this is the most iconic height in New York, featured in countless movies my favourites being "An Affair to Remember" and "Sleepless in Seattle", it is synonymous with romance and glamour. If you time your visit, queuing can be minimal, however be prepared to Q when visiting this beautiful old building. Its steeped in history and a must if you are lucky to visit NY at least once. The ESB website has pages featuring all the films the statue has appeared in, along with a lighting schedule of what colour the top will be for weekly occasions.
Roosevelt Island Tram   - over on the East Side nestled between 2nd avenue & 60th street is the fabulous little cable car service which carries commuters and tourists over the East River to Roosevelt island where 16,000 people live & work. This little commuting secret was shared with the rest of the world world when it featured in a climatic scene in the 2002 Spiderman movie, when Spiderman rescues Mary-jane from the clutches of evil. The open space on the island gives you great views onto the east skyline of the city.... a fun, unique way of seeing the city... a must for movie buffs!
Helicopter ride above the city is one of the most magical ways to see the city. It is a special treat, but worth every penny if you get the chance to go. A trip by day or by night offer up 2 very different snapshots of the city, both spectacular in their own way. There are a number of heliports doted along the riverside and all offer packages to explore this fabulous city. If you don't get the chance to live this experience, then follow this fabulous team in instagram, who share some amazing shots of the city from up above. Here are a few of my favourites.
Lady Liberty - The Statue of Liberty is another height that you can climb to get panoramic views of the New York City skyline. The crown of the statue can only be accessed if pre-booked. (booking details in the link) Its not for people who don't like enclosed spaces buts it a cool & fun thing to do, especially if visiting with children.
The Statue of Liberty, along with the Top of the Rock & Empire State Building all have airport type security screenings prior to accessing the attractions, factor this in when planning times.
Next year I look forward to adding One World Trade centre to my heights list once the visitors observation decks open. I have watched this space grow and build over the years and look forward to honouring the lives lost in this amazing space.
I hope that you have enjoyed by whirlwind tour of New York heights.... next week I plan to share my London equivalents.
If you missed the previous posts of my New York loves, then here they are... Cupcakes & Literary Loves.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Social Media Sunday - March

Following on from both January's and February's Social Media Sunday posts, here's what has kept me  entertained across social medias in March.
Blogland

The Start up Wife - I discovered this beautiful blog last month and I am now hooked on both Emily's blog and her Instagram. A mum to 4 children Emily's photography tips and styling are stunning. She runs workshops as well and I am looking forward to attending one in April.
Kayture - another new blog for me, this a blog written by a young girl evolving around fashion.  I loved her New York guide post and have bookmarked a few places noted ready for my trip later this year. A fun and
At Home with Mrs M - how this book has evaded my bookshelf is beyond me, but I thank Mrs M for the fab post and look forward to cooking New York style soon. I enjoy Mrs M's menu monday planning and her adventures in New York later this year... I'm planning on sending her some tips from  my blog.
Sudden Lunch - another relatively new blog for me but tripped over this post when searching for chorizo recipes... having cooked with it last month in things other than pizza!... this is a fab food blog and if ever stumped with what to do with the remnants of a fridge would recommend
Rachel Phipps - I have followed Rachels blog for some time now and enjoy the diversity of the posts. We share a mutual love of food, London and travel, New York toping the list. Looking at the places she visits, food eateries and wandering London we have probably been at the same places on more than one occasion without realising. A very cool blog and many posts were favourited during March.
Instagram
Loving Instagram more and more lately ...
Metropolitan Police helicopter team have made my favourites for the 3rd month with this fabulous picture above the foggy skyline of London (can be found at @mpsasu) The Blue London eye and Thames was taken by my book buddie Ali Mcnamara from here hotel room on a recent stay in the city... The beautiful CK inspired pillowcases were made by Kate from the Homemakery.  This a new adventure for Kate and I look forward to meeting her in May at a craft day, having been blog buddies with her or many years. The cool coffee shop is by A guy named Patrick a guy about town in New York. I have started bookmarking some of the places he photographs for my trip later this year.
and finally... 2 pictures from the gorgeous Dan Carter (NZ all blacks No 10) who posted a photo of him with the lovely Mark Webber at the Malaysian Grand Prix and then training on a Watt bike!... both brightened my day for many reasons!
Twitter
Twitter has entertained me lots and I have favourited much this month to either go back and read; lots of articles on London eats and treats. Kooky Bakes Easter egg brownies are on my To eat list!
Many of my tweets proved popular this month and I have learnt that if you are tweeting about books, NY, cakes or cats there is a huge audience out there to like!.

Thankyou to all that have posted me comments, messages or 'likes' on twitter, Instagram or my blog. ... what have you been tweeting, 'liking' following lately?

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Teresa's Tv Treats

Due to trying to have a life I haven't spent too much time in front of the television in March... however I have caught up with some series that I had got behind of and started to enjoy some box-sets either on DVD or Netflix.
So what has been keeping me entertained during the madness of March.
  • An hour to Save a Life - a fabulous docu-drama which followed a number of trauma teams across the UK either on road or air doing their utmost to save a life in the Golden Hour (the 1st hour post incident). I admire any one who works in the medical profession especially the NHS... this programme highlighted what an amazing service they provide and the life and death situations they deal with daily. Remarkable TV and a fantastic showcase of how valuable our NHS service is.. 
  • Line of Duty - series 2 - I missed this completely first time round, but was hooked from the off from the 1st episode. We all predicted the outcome at work from the 1st episode and i'm pleased to say that my 3 detective moments were true on completion!.... this was thrilling from the start, internal police investigations, witness protection, murder and bent police officers, made for gripping viewing. Keely Hawes was fabulous and story & acting kept you on a pendulum of guessing wether she was involved in the deaths of police officers and a protected witness... 
  • The Arrow - series 1  - very behind with this, but now get what the fuss is about, sheer escapism from the start, filled with intrigue, glamour and very sexy men!...Perfect way to de-stress and unwind.
  • Good Wife & Nashville - Thursday night TV treats for T... loving that they are back to back and completely hooked on both.... 
  • and finally my guilty pleasure of Gogglebox. This programme is wrong on so many levels but sheer genius. The premise of filming people in their home watching TV with them discussing what they think, its what every critic, reviewer and presenter wishes they could say but can't. The families are diverse and incredibly entertaining.
What have you been watching lately....would love to hear...