Tuesday, October 31

Growing Up in Fancy Dress Costumes

It sort of feels like Halloween has passed me by this year without getting the chance to celebrate but I think that always happens when things are mid-week. I plan on spending my evening watching the bake off final but before then I thought I'd share some past fancy dress costumes. Two years ago I shared 'Growing Up in Halloween Costumes' so this year I picked out some photos from other parties.

I love dressing up more than most people but fancy dress parties seem few and far between when you're an adult. I went to a lot when I was in high school though - I love the creativity with coming up with them and DIYing them myself is all part of the fun.

This first party had a 'Peter Pan' theme so I choose to go as a mermaid. Instead of attempting the tail I made a beachy outfit using blue rags and some iridescent blue material to imitate the sea. This isn't the best photo of this costume but I don't think I have any better ones.

This 'Alice in Wonderland' Jack of Hearts costume I was really proud of. Made from a cheap white T-shirt my mum helped me do a jester style collar on it and flaps on the bottom too. All that was left was a band for around the middle and hearts sewn onto the front. 

I'm sure this 'Alice in Wonderland' party was just a few month after the first but this time I decided to be 'clever' and go as a rose bush half painted red. I spent ages making these flowers from fabric and sewing them into a green top. Again it is another costume I don't have many photos of.

Toy Story is one of my favourite films so when going to a 'Disney & Pixar' themed party it seemed an obvious choice. I painted the shirt myself with ordinary paint and I think it is a pretty good copy. My mum helped with the chaps and we ironed them onto a pair of jeans with hemming tape. Of course we already had multiple pairs of cowboy boots in the house...

Annoying my main memory from this night was feeling so out of place. Everyone else I knew had gone for more 'sexy' costumes and I just didn't feel right in jeans and cowboy boots. It annoys me because I know I wouldn't care now! It is a damn fine costume after all.

I shared this 'Merida' costume on my blog when I originally wore it but unfortunately I can't take the credit. I was so busy with exams at the time that my mum helped with sewing the gold neck, elbow and wrist details on a dress I bought very cheaply on ebay.

I totally intended to wear this costume again but the moment hasn't arrived yet - plus I want to buy a bow and arrow.

A whole year later I needed another costume before my final leavers party but again I was so busy with exams I decided to buy my first costume. To this day I'm not totally sure who I was supposed to be and there is photos of me wearing both Woody's (from ToyStory) hat and a mexican hat that night.

All that's left to say is can someone please have a fancy dress party and invite me?

Monday, October 30

My week in pictures #242

(From top left) Monday was the dreaded day when we got our mapping projects back but it is good news. In the afternoon I made some halloween cake pops and shared the recipe on my blog. We binge watched Gotham over the past few weeks - I love that show so much. I made sausage gnocchi from Jamie's 15 minute meals for tea and it was delicious. 
I've been dreading Monday ever since we handed in our mapping projects at the start of September. My heart was racing when I was waiting outside the room but it was all okay and I'm on track to get a good grade. It makes seven weeks of stress this summer almost worth it. In the afternoon I decided to do some baking to destress. 

The rest of the week was spent in the library apart from Zumba on Wednesday then swimming with Scott in the evening. I also cooked plenty of delicious food this week - I shared a recipe for Creamy Pumpkin & Chilli Risotto and I also made sausage gnocchi from Jamie's 15 minute meals in over 15 minutes.

I even up in the library on a Saturday but at least it was productive and on Sunday I got to hang out with Scott. After I'd done housework we took a super romantic trip to Costco where I got the softest jumper and enough washing liquid to last me until graduation. We then got a chippy for tea and ended up in bed early. The clocks changing always knocks me off...

This coming week I've got lots of work to do to finish my portfolio but once it is handed in I get to go home for the weekend. I can't wait!

This week on G is for Gingers: Halloween Cake Pops | Creamy Pumpkin and Chilli Risotto

Friday, October 27

Creamy Pumpkin and Chilli Risotto

This week I was in the mood to share some seasonally appropriate recipes so on Tuesday I posted a recipe for 'halloween cake pops' and today I have a savory pumpkin recipe for you. This is my favourite risotto recipe because it always turns out so well but to make it perfect for autumn I have added roasted pumpkin.

You will need:

1/2 a pumpkin
an onion
a red chilli
a clove of garlic
2 bacon rashers
40g of parmesan cheese
a vegetable stock cube
30g of butter
175g of arborio (risotto) rice

First of all prep the veggies - chop the pumpkin, scoop out the seeds and cut into cubes. Place the chunks on a baking tray and bake for 30 minutes at 180°C.

Then finely chop the onion, chilli, garlic and cut the bacon into 1cm slices. You should also grate the parmesan at this point and set aside for the end.

In a large jug measure out 750ml of boiling water, add the stock cube and give it a stir. In a pan melt half the butter and fry the onion and bacon until both cooked through then add the garlic and chilli and cook for another minute.

Mix the rice in the pan until it is all coated in the butter then gradually add the stock. Stirring all the time and waiting until each spoonful is absorbed before adding the next. Once all the water is added - this will take about 25 minutes - the rice will be cooked.

While the rice is cooking start to remove the skin from the pumpkin with a knife. Remove the plan from the heat and mix in the pumpkin and the majority of the cheese leaving the rest to sprinkle over the top.

Making risotto might be a bit fiddly and time consuming but this recipe is more than worth it. If you can't get your hands on pumpkin butternut squash will work equally well. This recipe will serve two but you can put the leftovers in the fridge and reheat them for lunch tomorrow like I will.

Catch the last recipe I posted here - Spinach and Feta Tarts

Tuesday, October 24

Halloween Cake Pops

Yesterday I was in the mood for some halloween inspired baking so after some thought I remember I had a cake pop I'd never tried which led me to create these. I'm pretty happy with how they turned out too - definitely halloween party ready. 

You will need:

75g of caster sugar
75g of butter 
75g of plain flour
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Beat the butter and sugar together until light and creamy then beat in the egg and vanilla extract until it is all combined. Then sieve the flour and fold it in carefully so you don't knock any air out.

Carefully spoon the mixture into the bottom half of the mould making then a little bit full and pop the top on. I then baked them at 180° for ten minutes (although this might depend on how big your moulds are) waiting a few minutes for them to cool before popping them out and repeating the process.  

All the recipes I've seen advise using candy melts but I was limited to what I could buy within walking distance so I used chocolate buttons instead. I melted these in a bowl over boiling water and carefully coated each ball with chocolate. As you can see they weren't going to come out smooth so I made them artfully messy instead. 

I bought the sprinkles in poundland and I love how cute they are (and you can't go wrong for £1). As I don't have a cake pop stand so I filled a glass with rice so they could stand up nicely. We will see how long they last now...

My last baking post - Butternut Squash Muffins

Monday, October 23

My week in pictures #241

(From top left) On Monday I went down to Union Square to check out their Style Seeker launch event. I finished The OA this week but I'm honestly not sure what I thought of the ending.  On Saturday I got my first eye test which was an interesting experience. A proper Sunday dinner with chicken stuffed with black pudding and wrapped in bacon.
Monday started with a trip to Union Square to check out their new Style Seeker app - I think it is such a cool idea and something I would use myself. Check out their website for more information. In the afternoon I had something to do at uni but when I was walking back at 2:30 it was like the apocalypse had started - the sky was red and it was already so dark. 

My week basically followed on from there with me trying to do as much work as possible so I could go to my boyfriends on Friday afternoon. Uni work progressed slowly (as it seems to be doing at the moment) and I managed a couple of trips to the gym too. 

After my lecture finished on Friday I had a couple of hours to have lunch, pack my bag then tidy up a little before Scott came to pick me up. We then had a chilled evening in, made salmon wellingtons and continued watching Hell's Kitchen.

Saturday was good because I finally got my eye tested and got any major problems ruled out for the migraines I've been getting (probably stress related). Meanwhile my boyfriend was giving the carpets in the house a clean so in the afternoon he fancied a trip to the pub. We met his parents there and it was nice to catch up.

I didn't feel 100% on Sunday - not all related to alcohol - so it was a slow start then my boyfriend suggested we go to the Designer Outlet at livingston which was fun. To be honest I always enjoy going out driving with him evening though we got back slightly later than planned. We made dinner then settled down to watch the final of Hell's Kitchen before getting an early night.

Nothing makes me happier than spending the whole weekend with Scott and I can't help but count down the days until I live there too.

This week on G is for Gingers: A Postcard from Caithness

Wednesday, October 18

A Postcard from Caithness

Last week I was away in Caithness the last residential field trip of my undergrad career but thankfully this time it was only four days long. After a hiccup getting there and the hard work we had to put in during the day and late into the evening we had a really good time.  

The top north east corner of Scotland is very beautiful and the rocks are really interesting. All our work was long the coast so you're missing the scenic hills we saw from the windows of the coach. I only wish we had more time to explore and take photos but we were there to work...

Our base was a hotel in Thurso which was really nice - only I wouldn't recommend getting the train there. It was a very very long four hours! However when I wasn't glued to my iPad (did I mention I was bored?) the views were pretty good.

Sandstone cliffs at Sarclet

Coastline at Brough
Flagstone at Castlehill

Coastline at Scarfskerry

Sandstone at Auckengill

Coastline at Scarfskerry (I think!)
Enjoy my photos from Scotland? Why not check out:

Monday, October 16

My week in pictures #240

(From top left) McDonald's breakfast before our field trip to Caithness. We didn't make it further than the Land Rover garage in Inverness though. John O' Groats - the most northerly point of the Scottish mainland. I read Eleanor & Park in double quick time and cried at the end. A pizza reward for surviving my last residential field trip. Sunday breakfasts in bed - delicious!   
I was up early on Monday morning to travel back to Aberdeen then on to Thurso with my friends - our journey started well until we noticed a problem with the car when we were almost at Inverness. After a stressful and slow half hour we got to the Land Rover dealership in Inverness to find out they couldn't fix it until the next day so we had the get the train. It took four hours so we ended up being late and I had been traveling for 12 hours door to door. 

The field trip was intense, late nights working and confusing during the day. I've rarely felt so stupid during field trips but we got through and by 5pm on Thursday I was home again for a well deserved pizza. Friday was a well deserved lazy day but I still dragged myself out of the flat to go to Zumba.

On Saturday I went down to check out the new Home Sense which was every bit as good as I thought it would be then in the evening I made Jamie Oliver's Easy Sausage Carbonara for my flatmate and I. Then on Sunday my boyfriend and I went to Costco - it was my first visit and I loved it! I know where we will be going if you want to waste a weekend afternoon.

There was no new posts this week but stay tune for new ones this coming week!

Sunday, October 8

My week in pictures #239

(From top left) On Thursday I finally got around to watching The Girl on the Train after loving the book last year. I popped into lush to see the new halloween/Christmas collection but I decided not to treat myself just yet. On Friday I made chocolatey chia seed puddings. Sunday game of monopoly with my boyfriend (and I won!).
I'm afraid starting these posts with 'I spent the majority of the week in the library' is going to be a theme for the rest of the year. My asthma has been the worst it has been in ages this week but despite this I've pushed myself to go to the gym twice and zumba on Wednesday. 

Scott was late home from work on Wednesday so we had a paella from M&S for dinner and it was delicious. On Thursday my flatmate and I watched 'The Girl on the Train' which was really good but I don't think the twist was as shocking as it was in the book... at least to me!

Friday was the day I was really excited about this week because I was getting the train home in the morning. In the afternoon my mum and I went into town then she made a delicious lunch. The afternoon was spent relaxing in the fire, taking the dogs out for a walk then after dinner we watched 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them' for the first time since it came out in the cinema.

Sadly Saturday was a complete write off - I woke up with the start of a migraine and spent the morning throwing up thanks to the pain. Definitely the worst I've ever had! However, my parents were going on holiday so I had to get to my boyfriends where I lay on the sofa all afternoon with my eyes shut. When I was finally feeling better I took a long bath then we had steak pie for dinner which I guess kind of makes up for it!

Sunday has been a much better day. I'm currently writing this while my boyfriend watches the football. I've been packing for my trip to Thurso next week and we've prepared a curry for after the football - hopefully we are celebrating but at the moment who knows!?

This week on G is for Gingers: 5 Things My Boyfriend and I Will Never Agree On

Wednesday, October 4

5 Things My Boyfriend and I Will Never Agree On

I asked on twitter at the end of last week what sort of posts you guys would like to see because I've been thinking about doing some more chatty lifestyle posts on my blog. Relationships got the top vote so I thought I would kick off with a lighthearted 5 things my boyfriend and I will never agree on.

I've been going out with Scott for three and a half years now and I think we are the perfect team. We agree on a lot of what is important in life and have the same values. However, there are something we just can't see to see eye to eye on... 

#1. Game of Thrones. 

Scott doesn't like it and I can't understand why because like 90% of the population I'm hooked week after week. His stubbornness extends to most of the TV shows I like but that's okay I like having time to myself.

#2. Pajama Days.

Every so often I love a jammie day without having a shower or going outside at all. Scott just doesn't understand and wants to have a shower which just spoils the enjoyment of a pajama day.

#3. Gambling. 

Nothing serious here but Scott likes a flutter on the football at the weekend and I just don't understand it. Maybe it is the way I've been brought up but I thought it always wrong. His dad does it too so it must be the way he was brought up too. As long as he is making money I'll roll my eyes and continue to not understand.

#4. Music.

Scott isn't the biggest fan of the type of music I listen to when I'm on my own. I've always liked bands like You Me At Six, Twin Atlantic and the Arctic Monkeys. While he likes to call it 'emo music' - it is lucky that there are bands we both like!

#5. Living Abroad. 

Scott would love to stay in the sunshine, Florida maybe, but I'm not so keen. I'm such a home bird and I just don't see the appeal plus I'd get homesick from Scotland and my family. At the moment it is just a dream and who knows my opinion might change as I get older.

Is there anything you and your other half will never agree on? I'd love to know so leave me a comment.

The prints above I bought from La La Lab to decorate my new ikea frame. If you sign up and use the referral code PGUQQ4D4 we will both get 5 credits in our account.

Monday, October 2

My week in pictures #239

(From top left) Rainy Monday mornings in the university library. The first meal I've made from Jamie Oliver's new 5 Ingredients. Early mornings in Old Aberdeen are so quiet. Drunk selfie with my favourite person.
I've spent more time in the library than anything else this week. I suddenly realised the deadline for my portfolio was getting closer and I would have to get a move on. At least it has been productive and I actually don't mind working in the morning.

I've also pushed myself to go to the gym a couple of times even though my asthma has been pretty bad this week. It is frustrating having to take it easy though when I want to push myself. As always Scott came round on Wednesday and after a trip to Asda we made salmon and chorizo for dinner from my new Jamie Oliver book. It was really tasty and I used the book again on Friday to make an equally tasty super green spaghetti.

I had been excited for Saturday for weeks because we were off to a birthday party. First though I went swimming and walked into town for a birthday present while my boyfriend was at the football. Then it was a quick turn around so we could make it to the beach ballroom. The party was partly a ceilidh which I love and the band (who my boyfriend works with) were really fab. 

After the party ended we were ready to go home so we headed into town for more drinks (oops!) then found ourselves walking home after the club closed. Safe to say that Sunday was a very lazy day but it was raining so we didn't feel guilty. I think we were asleep by 9pm too!

Popular this week on G is for Gingers: Saving Money as a Student with Love The Sales