My Favourite Podcasts

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I take the tube to work every day and travel quite a lot, so to help pass away this mundane time commuting I love to listen to a good podcast. I find a good podcast much easier to listen to then an audiobook, because the episodes are more conversational and they come in a shorter more digestible format. They can be a great friend on any journey from driving in a car, commuting to work, to waiting in airport lounge. They truly help make travelling feel quicker and more pleasant.

Today, I thought I would share with you a few podcasts I have been loving, as I know I am not the only podcast lover out there!

Missing Richard Simmons

Do you remember Richard Simmons? The workout guy? Well he ‘disappeared’ in 2014, and this podcast does a deep dive into what happened to him and what they think   happened. Even if you do not know Richard Simmons and his story, it is absolutely fascinating to hear about what happened to him and the theories behind why he went in hiding.

How I Built This

This is such an inspirational podcast! Every time I listen to this podcast I want to go off and start a business and take on the world! This podcast is about innovators and entrepreneurs and the stories behind the movements they built. Each episode Guy Roz interviews the founders of great companies and ideas (Kate Spade, Warby Parker, Airbnb, Zumba…etc) and you get the inside scoop into the journey they took to get to where they are today.

At Home with

A new podcast, by two Youtubers I really love, Lily Pebbles and Anna Newton. For the girly girl (like me!) this is a great podcast. Each episode, has the girls going to the home of people they admire, typically people who work in the beauty/fashion industry, and chat to them about their life, success and style.

This American Life

An oldie, but a goodie. Probably, my all-time favourite podcast. Each week’s episode features a different theme that is explored in several ‘acts’. Often the themes are related to current events. The themes can range greatly from ‘Death & Taxes’, ‘Good Guys’ to ‘Batman’, there is bound to be something to spark your fancy!

Do you have any favourite podcasts? I would love it if you shared any that you enjoy, I am always looking for more to add to my list!

Steph xo

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Cambridge College Touring

Over the early May bank holiday, Mike and I decided we wanted a day out of London to do a bit of an explore.

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After a bit of debate (Mike is an Oxford man), we landed on Cambridge as our destination of choice, as it is an easy hour train ride from London, with enough going on to keep us entertained for the day. We were also thinking about going to the coast, but with the English weather playing up, as usual, we thought we would play it safe and save the coast for a sunny day. Stay tuned!

Cambridge is a very charming small city, quite a bit smaller than Oxford, so not much of an itinerary is needed for a trip. In a day, you will have easily walked around the centre and most of the colleges. It would be very hard to miss anything out!

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Cambridge, like Oxford, has some stunning colleges, and most are open to the public to have a look around, so we spent most of the day doing just that!

Our favourites included:

St John’s College, probably the grandest College of them all. You get a lovely view of from the meadow behind the College.

Jesus College, which was lovely and quiet being set a bit further out than some of the others.

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Sidney Sussex College, which had the lost amazing wisterias on display. Sorry, still can’t get over these beauties!

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The River Cam runs through the heart of Cambridge and you are bound to come across punters. It is possible to hire a boat for an hour to see the city and get an upfront look at Cambridge College ‘Backs’.

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The city is also lovely to walk around, although a bit on the small side, it is very picturesque! We had a lovely late lunch at Trinity, before heading back to London.

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Steph xo

Watermelon G&Ts!

This watermelon gin and tonic cocktail is so refreshing and so easy to make and is the perfect summer sundowner!

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You will need:

  • 2 oz of good quality gin
  • Tonic water
  • A handful of chopped watermelon
  • A couple of limes
  • Sprig of mint

To make:

  1. Remove the watermelon seeds and puree the fruit. Pour the puree through a sieve to remove any large pieces.
  2. Add the gin and 1/4 cup of the watermelon juice over some ice in a tall glass.
  3. Squeeze the juice of half a lime and leave the limes inside the drink for garnish.
  4. Top up the drink with tonic and garnish with a sprig of mint.

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The perfect twist to an old classic! I can’t wait to make these at my next summer BBQ.

Steph xo

 

 

Holland Park Wisteria Hysteria

Holland Park is by far my favourite Park in London due to a combination of is history and absolutely beautiful gardens.

I love how Holland Park feels more like a neighbourhood park than some of the others in London. Although you will find some tourists in Holland Park, it just doesn’t get the same attention that Regent’s Park or Hyde Park do, so you can properly escape from the London hustle and bustle and relax among the beautiful manicured gardens.

This past weekend, with wisteria season was in full swing in London, so I was extra keen to make the trip over to Holland Park to hunt down the purple beauties before they disappeared.

First stop before the park, however, was a cupcake at Primrose Hill Bakery!

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Primrose Hill Bakery, which is just opened a branch in Holland Park, is not to be missed if you are a cupcake lover like myself.

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They have beautifully decorated, light and fluffy cupcakes and cakes. The bakery prides itself on using only high quality ingredients to make proper old fashioned bakes in unique and mouth-watering flavours.

There were so many options to choose from, including gluten free ones!

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I picked up a classic vanilla gluten free cupcake, while Mike went for a Snickers flavoured number. Although the shop is absolutely beautifully designed, we decided to take our treats to the park to enjoy the sunshine.

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Holland Park surrounds a mansion, Holland House, named after its second owner, the Earl of Holland. In the 18th and 19th centuries, Holland House was  a hub of political and literary activity, but was largely destroyed by bombing in WWII.

Today only the east wing and some ruins of the ground floor still remain and they form an atmospheric backdrop for the open air Holland Park Theatre.

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We enjoyed our cupcakes while people watching in the manicured tulip garden.

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Holland Park did not disappoint on the wisteria front either. The flowers were in full bloom, showering the park in pastel purple.

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Holland Park, has more to offer then manicured gardens, woodland and mass amounts of wisteria. At the centre of the park there is a Japanese-style Kyoto Garden with a koi carp pond, waterfall and terrific selection of rhododendrons, azaleas and hydrangeas.

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It was opened thanks to the support of the Chamber of Commerce of Kyoto in 1991.

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We spent the afternoon checking out the flowers, inspiring us to get planning at home.

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Trench Coat, Navy Floral Blouse, Blush Scalloped Flats, Blush Cross-body Bag

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There were also some great animals to spot!

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Even after leaving the park the wisteria didn’t seem to leave us behind. The beautiful homes of the well-heeled denizens of the neighbouring streets were also covered in a pastel purple haze.

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Do you have wisteria hysteria? I just can’t get over these beauties, I am going to be sad when they disappear in a few weeks’ time!

Steph xo

Easy Peasy Guacamole

In the summer time there is nothing better than a big bowl of guacamole! It goes great as a side at a BBQ,  makes a delicious topping on tacos and we all know it goes great on toast for lunch. Not only is guacamole so easy to make, but it is a big hit with friends and family too!

This recipe makes quite a large bowl of guacamole, as I firmly believe you can never have too much!

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 You will need:

  • 4 ripe avocados
  • 3 shallots or half a red onion
  • 2 gloves of garlic
  • 2 tablesoons of good quality olive oil
  • A large handful of cherry tomatoes or 1 large tomato
  • 1 teaspoon of hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of Tabasco sauce
  • 1 lime
  • Salt and pepper

 To make: 

Peel and de-stone the avocados and place the green flesh in a big bowl. Using a potato masher or a fork mash the avocados, making sure to leave it a bit chunky in texture.

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Chop the shallots, garlic and tomatoes and combine them with the mashed avocado.

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Add in the juice from one lime, along with the olive oil.

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Next, add in the Tabasco, hot sauce and some salt and pepper to taste.

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Give is all a big stir, and you are done!

Easy peasy!

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Serve straight away with some tortilla chips or pop the guacamole in the fridge tightly covered in cling film to serve later. Your friends and family with thank you!

Do you have any favourite summer time recipes?

Steph xo

Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo

There is a great art gallery, just over the border from Canada, in Buffalo, called the Albright Knox. It makes the perfect excuse for a day trip from Toronto, being just a couple hours drive away and close to both Niagara Falls and the outlet malls.

Although it was a very rainy day, Mum and I decided to make the journey over the border to visit this lovely modern and contemporary art gallery, as they had a very interesting exhibition on, Menagerie: Animals on View. Mum and I are both massive animal lovers and we didn’t want to miss out!

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This furry friend exhibition was assembled from Albright-Knox’s expansive collection, bringing together more than 50 paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs and videos.

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It features creatures as agents of storytelling, humorous personifications, and echoes of the human spirit.

After touring the exhibition, we made sure to check out the permanent collection, which we have seen many times, but is always worth another visit. The permanent collection features work by well known artists such as Pablo Picasso, Francis Bacon, Roy Lichtenstein, Georgia O’Keeffe and Andy Warhol.

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My favourite piece is a massive mural made of scribbles by Sol LeWitt! Wall Drawing # 1268: Scribbles: Staircase, holds the distinction of being the artist’s last and largest scribble drawing.

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The mural was made by 16 artists scribbling directly onto the gallery’s walls for seven hours a day, over 54 days, using a total of 1,717 graphite pencils. The end result is pretty spectacular! It doesn’t look like scribbles at all!

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Outside the gallery, there is nearly 20 different sculptures to explore as well.

But, we could only stay and play a little while, as the rain started up again!

Looking forward to another visit to the Alright Knox Gallery soon!

Steph xo

Vintage Shopping at the St Lawrence Antique Market, Toronto

When I was home in Toronto over the Easter break, my mum and I decided to head over to the St Lawrence Antique Market. This is a bit of a Sunday tradition for us, for as long as I can remember we have been going to this antique market to pick up rare finds and special pieces. We have found some real gems over the years!

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The St Lawrence Antique Market attracts a variety of people, you will find urban hipsters rubbing elbows with collectors and interior designers. They all know that this is the place to come for one of a kind pieces for your home or wardrobe.

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You just have to do a bit of digging first to find the good stuff!

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And make sure to arrive early, before all the good stuff has been snatched up!

At the market, you can find anything from antique books, vintage jewellery, exceptional home ware and beautiful clothing. Pieces you just won’t find anywhere else.

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Mike and I spent many Sundays at the market collecting UK and Canadian postcards, which people wrote on instead of a guest book at our wedding. It was such a nice touch for our special day, and we had such a great time looking at all the lovely old images!

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Luckily our trip was a successful one! We ended up with a great stash to take home.

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On our trip we picked up a wicker bag, a green glass fruit bowl, two mint vases, some beautiful fabric (Mum was going to use it to make a tablecloth!) and two beaded necklaces.

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The St Lawrence Antique Market is open every Sunday 7 am to 5 pm. If you live in Toronto or are in the area I strongly recommend checking it out!

Steph xoxo