Saturday, 6 December 2014

Butternut Squash Cake || My favourite recipes || Foodie Friday

My Favourite Delicious Butternut Squash Cake Bread Recipe Best Festive Baking

As the weather gets cooler, I am always looking for reasons to use my oven. Warmth AND good food? Yes please.

As a child and up until recently I HATED pumpkins, it was one of those foods that no matter how much my parents tried, I just couldn't stomach it. All until I started baking with them.

After a quick internet search I came across a recipe on "My baking addiction" and Oh. My. Gourd (ha ha) it turned out to be amazing!

Friday, 7 November 2014

Sweet Potato and Orange salad || My Favourite Recipes | Foodie Friday

 This recipe is a family favourite in my house. My Mum passed it down to me, and she got it from my Aunt. In New Zealand we tend to use "kūmara" which is a New Zealand variety of sweet potato, but your average "sweet potato" will work just as well. This salad is perfect on the side or on its own. A mixture of sweet, sour and crunch, this salad recipe is always a crowd pleaser, and is super simple.
Sweet Potato and Orange Salad Recipe, Recipe, Dairy free, delicious, favourite, best

Incredible Bonfire night in Lewes || The Brighton side of life

Lewes is the Bonfire capital, boasting the worlds largest Bonfire Night celebration on the 5th of November, with 3,000 participants and 80,000 expected spectators. This small town of 16,000 locals, grows immensely for this annual tradition.

"Imagine a head-on collision of Halloween and Mardi Gras and you're well on your way to picturing Bonfire Night, Lewes style – barrels of burning tar, processions of thousands of fiery torch-bearing crowds, massive bonfires and firework displays" —Rough Guides, Daily Telegraph

We left Brighton at 4:30pm to catch the train to Lewes. The trains were crowded but running regularly to accommodate the mass influx of people. We arrived early and trekked our way up to our chosen vantage point, where conveniently, the Pelham Arms Pub was right across the road.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Happy Halloween: Pumpkin carving and sugar skulls || The Brighton side of life

Pumpkin, dark nail polish, nail polish, vamp nails, halloween, october, autumn, fall

The festive season is upon us as soon as the leaves start to change, and it is noticeably more infectious living in the Northern hemisphere, where pumpkins are actually in season, (as opposed to in New Zealand where Spring has sprung) the weather gets noticeably cooler and the leaves scatter the footpath. I have found myself  "falling" for the season, with all its orange hues, the excuse to drink lots of warm comforting tea and the opportunity to expand my winter wardrobe. Cute cozy hats, come at me!

Who doesn't love a good bear or fox hat?

With pumpkins in almost every shop window, we made an event of it with our fellow Kiwi Brighton-ites, by having an evening carving pumpkins and muling over cider. An activity thoroughly enjoyed by all, at very little expense.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Lemon Drizzle Cake || My favourite Recipes | Foodie Friday

I originally searched for this recipe after getting Game of Thrones withdrawals in between season. For those of you that don't know, a main character in the book/TV series is Sansa Stark, and she has a soft spot for lemon cakes. So here is my version of it. I have made this recipe many times for my friends and have received great praise.


Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Vienna: Horse Ballet and the Hapsburgs || Travel Diary

Imperial Hofburg Palace
(Travel Day 22)
The German name for Vienna is "Wien" so "Wienerschnitzel" literally translates to Vienna-Schnitzel.
Wien wein = Vienna wine.

Day 1:

When we arrived in Vienna we had to hurriedly check-in to our hostel before heading out again for the evening local "Walk and Fork" of Vienna. This process proved a little more awkward for us than most, as we were staying at a different hostel than the drop-off point. Chris volunteered to (literally) run up to our hostel and check us in, while I waited with the rest of the group.

On the "Walk and Fork tour" we saw the inner city sights with a local Austrian man called Holst (who has a great accent, but this also meant that he was a little hard to understand.) The architecture around Vienna is gorgeous! Lots of large grand buildings and statues scattered all over the city.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Prague: Pub crawl, John Lennon Wall and Trdelník || Travel Diary

It has been a while since I have posted anything about my travels in Europe, so to refresh your memory click this link to see where else we visited before Prague.

Day 1: (Friday)

(Travel Day 17)
We arrived in Prague and walked to our hotel, which was different from the Busabout assigned hostels. Honestly, we got there and thought we were in the wrong place. The lobby looked far too fancy for what we were paying, surely we must be in the wrong place? Nope. Our money went a long way in the Czech Republic, getting us a nice hotel room for the price of a hostel. Complete with apples on our pillows, much healthier than the usual chocolates or mints.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Dresden: Eastern Germany without all the tourists || Travel diary

(Travel Day 15)
Dresden was our second German city we visited, and was quite different to Berlin. Dresden also suffered heavily from bombing during WWII and still shows a lot of the damage. 90% of the city centre was  destroyed in 1945.

The day we arrived Chris was feeling quite sick, probably with the same cold I had in Amsterdam. So our first half day was quiet. I took a walk around by myself, did laundry and all those other necessary chores while he took some time to rest.

Our second day in Dresden was much more eventful. We hired cute mint coloured vintage bikes with baskets for €8 each. Totes worth the extra cuteness in my opinion. We took them for a spin along the banks of the River Elbe.

River Elbe, Dresden, Germany, Cycling, Vintage bikes

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Berlin: Ampelman and Currywurst at the Wall || Travel Diary


(Travel Day 12)
Welcome to Germany - a new country, with a new language to master (or decipher in our case)

On our way to Berlin, we stopped in at Check Point Alpha (AKA the Helmstedt–Marienborn border crossing). This was the first but not the last remnant we would see of the Soviet influence on this country. We were able to walk around the interrogation and inspection rooms, and see uniforms and memorabilia of those who experienced it first hand.

This was one of our longest busrides we took through Europe. To mix it up between the on bus movies and handy information about Germany and travels, we were treated to a Busabout Bus Pub Quiz. Chris and I paired up and together won the quiz. Our victory prize was a large bag of Gummy Bears, which we promptly shared around the rest of our bus mates.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Amsterdam: I Amsodam Sick || Travel Diary

I amsterdam sign

(Travel Day 9)
My first impressions of Amsterdam were that it was wet. Wet, wet, wet. We arrived at the Busabout drop off point at 8pm, 3 hours late due to unusually dense traffic. As we were staying at a different hotel, we then had a long and cold trek across town, first visiting the wrong hostel with the same name then finally arriving at our hotel half an hour later, soaked to the bone and exhausted from the day. Needless to say we didn't do much sight seeing that evening.

The next morning we went out and got ourselves an "I Amsterdam" card which included lots of free entries and public transport around the city.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Bruges: It's a fairy tale town || Travel Diary

(Travel Day 7)
Welcome to Belgium. A land best known for two of my favourite things: chocolate and beer. This was our first official Busabout stop and it's still my favourite historic town we saw.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Paris: Getting an Eiffel of the city || Travel diary

(Travel Day 5)
I absolutely loved Paris, but getting there was another story. I can't honestly say that our bus ride from London to Paris was a pleasant one. Yes, it was cheaper than the Eurostar but man were we under prepared. A casual 9 hour bus ride with NO stops. Yes, they had a toilet on board but we had expected at least one food and water break along the way. Nope! Not this time honey.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

London: An introduction to England || Travel diary

(Travel Day 2)
Jet lag? What jet lag?

I woke up at 6.15am the first morning of being in London, not half bad considering I had done a 180° on my body clock, day switched into night and vice versa. This suited me perfectly, as we were having an early start on the commuter train to central London.
This particular train was comically crowded. I'm talking, squished right up against perfect strangers, definitely breathing the same air.... awkward. Luckily it was the most congested train we experienced, so it set the bar high.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

A tale of two long haul flights || Travel diary

Hi friends,
I have so much to tell you about our two months travelling around Europe. It was such an incredible experience, one that will stay with me for a lifetime. We travelled to so many places; each with their own history, culture, and lets not forget the food. All the while, meeting new friends and making memories. As I sit down to write of our travels, I am listening to the seagulls call and bask in the summer sun, on the south coast of England in Brighton.

Every good story has a beginning, so lets start there....

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Beginning a new adventure: Our Honeymoon!! Travel Blog

A year down the the line and I have finally summed up the details of planning our wedding. But what next?
You may have noticed that I hadn't mentioned our honeymoon. That is because we are yet to experience it.

I am really excited to announce that "Erin's Ever After" is switching hemispheres and travelling around EUROPE!!

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Thank you cards

Being the bride and groom at a wedding can be a very enjoyable but sometimes overwhelming experience. You may not get to spend as much time with everyone, or say all the things you hoped to. Whether your guests were able to contribute to your special day financially or just came to help celebrate, either of which is fine, a simple thank you and memento is nice to receive.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

1 year married, 10 years together

Chris and I started dating while I was still in school, he was that older guy who had finished and was working full time. We had been very close friends for at least a year before we officially became a couple. With the simple but scary question of "So..... do you want to be my girlfriend?"
Here we are 10 years down the track, newly married. We have been living together since 2008 and he is the best friend, favourite flat mate and life partner I could ask for.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

First Wedding Anniversary

We started our anniversary weekend with a day hike at Patuna Chasm (see here for my blog post about it).
which meant we were due for a drink and some good food.

 After a quick change and freshen up we drove back to Martinborough Memorial Square and took our "official" anniversary photo. I am hoping to make this a tradition and take a photo every anniversary with our previous anniversary photo in the frame.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Patuna Chasm Farm Adventure

This weekend we took an afternoon to explore a different part of the country we call home. We decided to do a day trip away, and drove from Wellington to Martinborough. Not to far out of Martinborough is Patuna Farm Adventures, (Visit their website here) which harbours an absolutely awe inspiring treasure, the Patuna Chasm.

Not your typical first year wedding anniversary event, but then we don't consider ourselves as your "typical" couple. It turned out the be a very worthwhile and memorable experience.

Friday, 28 February 2014

30 before 30

It seems like a far off thought, to be considering what I will have accomplished by the time I'm 30. Yet I have somehow found myself at a mere (*cough*) age of 25, wondering where the years have gone. The last 5 years have flown by, and from what everybody likes to tell me, the next 5 will be the same (if not quicker). I think it's healthy to look forward and set goals, both short and long term.

Since there is no time like the present, here is MY list of the 30 things I want to do in life before I turn 30 years old. (It's not a Bucket list, Life doesn't end at 30)

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

10 Final Things To Remember Before Your Wedding

I had previously written a very wordy, drawn out explanation of what the two weeks leading up to my wedding day was like. In short, it read like a "Stress-fest" of all the things that didn't go to plan, and wasn't very enjoyable to write or to read. Therefore I have decided to take a different approach. You will already know how you handle stress, and yes, no matter how organised you THINK you are, there will probably be something to contend with in the last few days of your non-married life.

We spend so much time planning for that one special day, so much that it's easy to neglect thinking about the days prior.  

So from my experience, some which helped me, others which I wish I had known, here are 10 EXTRA things to remember.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

The greatest gift we can give - Reading (a message from the guests)

When a couple gets married, the wedding is not about two people. It is also about their friends and families participating to support their union. We wanted to capture this with our wedding ceremony, so our good friend Laura (our emcee) did this reading. This was one of the times our ceremony included our guests making them involved and not just spectators. A wedding is not just about the couple up the front, but the joining of two families into one.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

How to be a bridesmaid - Guest Post Tiffany

There is no set instruction manual on how to do this, but here are a few jumbly thoughts!

You’re a bridesmaid, congratulations! Be grateful and honoured. Chances are your bride selected you from a lot of her closest friends (or family), and wants you with her on her day.  Use this knowledge to squash any and all nerves.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Today is a day you will always remember - Ceremony Reading

Today is a day you will always remember
The greatest in anyone’s life
You’ll start off the day just two people in love
And end it as husband and wife

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Burlesque Boudoir Hen's Night

Any excuse for a good time with my friends, I'll take it. My Hen's Night was one of those times.

After months of me planning a wedding, with all the organising, details, stress and expense, my girls decided it was time for me to take a break and let them have a go. And why not, one of the best things about having a pre-wedding bachelorette/hen's night is stress relief for the bride-to-be, bonding time and fun with just the girls and creating memories.