3.11.15

Vegan | Homemade Apple Crumble


Tonight I made an apple crumble that was so good I wanted to post about it straight away... I even sent it round to our friends to make sure Dave wasn't just being very polite and biased, haha.

With the colder weather making its way in I have been craving something warm, sweet and full of winter spice.After realising I already had most of the ingredients, I managed to persuade Dave to get some apples from the shop and then I was ready to get started.

Ingredients List:
Filling
4 apples (peeled & sliced)
3 tsps lemon juice
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Crumble
1/2 cup oat flour & ground almond mix**
1/2 jumbo oats
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp nutmeg
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/3 coconut oil (solid)

** this was something I experimented with and it tasted delicious. Just blend up some oats, fill a 1/2 cup with the oat flour then top up the other half up with some ground almonds. Or you could just use 1/2 cup of oat flour/any other flour you have on hand.
Before you get started preheat your oven to 190°c.
First, you want to peel and slice the apples then placed them straight into a roasting dish and cover them in the lemon juice (this is so they don't go brown whilst they wait). Then you just want to add the rest of the filling ingredients to the dish and mix everything together. It's definitely best just to use your hands as you can make sure all the spices coat the apples.
Next, you want to set aside the filling dish and make a start on the crumble...
Gather all your ingredients and then you simply need to mix everything together (in a separate bowl ) until you have a crumble like consistency. Once that is done, crumble the mixture all over the apples making sure most of it is covered.
Then you want to cook them in the oven for 30 minutes (it may take a bit longer if you don't have a fan assisted oven).

This isn't necessary but about half way through I poured some of the liquid out of the dish and then re-poured it over the topping just to get the flavours through again and make sure the very top didn't dry out.

Once your timer is done and it is looking/smelling delicious, serve straight away and enjoy. You could even add some ice cream on top if you wanted to.

Let me know if you try this recipe, or if you have any other 'winter warmer' suggestions..

J x
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17.10.15

The Winter Coat



I don't know about you but I absolutely hate coat shopping..

Every year it seems to get harder and harder. They never seem to fit right, sold out sizes or just not what you're after at all. Thankfully, this year hasn't been too bad. After trying on a few Topshop coats and being ridiculously indecisive I eventually settled on this wooly number and I am so happy I did. It's oversized yet actually quite flattering and it's the cosiest thing I've ever worn. Pretty expensive but I was lucky enough to receive a Topshop gift card for my birthday so it didn't do too much damage and I haven't been able to take it off since I bought it.

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16.10.15

LUSH Salted Coconut


Unlike the majority of the UK I rarely shop at Lush, however, recently I've been wanting to try out more of their products especially as I can rely on them being cruelty free. Typically the day I decided to go it was the release of their Halloween products which meant you could barely move around their Nottingham store as it was absolutely packed. I ended up being in the store for about 2 minutes as it was so busy but on my way out their Salted Coconut scrub caught my attention immediately so I quickly grabbed it, paid and left.

I'm not usually a fan of scrubs as they tend to be too abrasive and thick yet with this one the texture is so fine, soft and super creamy. My hands are always in need of extra attention as they can get quite dry and as soon as I slathered this on it felt absolutely lovely. At the moment I tend to use it on my hands and forearms and once you've rubbed it in for a minute or so then wash it off, my skin has never felt so soft. It's probably because I'm so terrible with remembering to moisturise but don't forget to after using this, as lovely as it is with most scrubs your skin can feel just as dry later on so as long as you remember that you'll have the softest hands ever.

Now that I'm totally obsessed, I'm definitely going to check out the Newcastle store now that I am home and stock up on a few more scrubs and other products.

Have you tried this or are there any other Lush products you can recommend?

JG x
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11.10.15

Everest Review (by David Adamson)



So I haven’t written anything like this for quiet a long time but I used to enjoy writing film reviews for my own blog a few years back. Jess has wanted me to write them for her blog and wanting the get back into it again, I decided to do it. This is my first in a while so it may not be up to scratch but here goes. Ill try to do more as we often go to the cinema but only if I particularly like or hate something of course.

Icelandic director Baltasar Kormakur’s latest movie Everest is based on a disaster that happened in 1996 atop Mt Everest that claimed the lives of eight people. The reference material comes from a book (Into Thin Air) which was written by Jon Krakauer, a journalist who was climbing the mountain in the group which suffered the greatest casualties during the disaster.  

The film follows an expedition led by experienced climber Rob Hall. Rob’s company Adventure Consultants charged huge amounts of money to adrenaline fuelled hikers in order to lead them to the peak of Everest and had never had any accidents while doing it, which they pride themselves on. The film quickly begins and very briefly introduces the characters just before they start their ascent to base camp. Once there it becomes clear that it is not only the physical struggle or the weather that could endanger the group but also the other companies who are all leading expeditions up the mountain. Rob has to balance all these elements along with the personalities of his clients, all of which are dedicated to reaching the summit, when he and his group finally do, disaster strikes in the form of a massive storm.

The movie is very well cast and beautifully acted; Jason Clarke who plays Rob Hall is particularly good. As well as him, his companions on the expedition including Josh Brolin and John Hawkes do a good job of making you care for characters you really know very little about. Some of the best drama however comes from Robs colleagues back at Adventure Consultants HQ at base camp. Emily Watson as Helen was particularly convincing and along with Keira Knightley as Robs wife Jan really help to ground the human element of the catastrophe that unfolds way up the mountain.

The main and possibly only problem with the movie is that fact that these characters are not really explored very extensively, we really know very little about most of them which when times get hard becomes problematic when you are supposed to feel for them. This is because there are so many of them perhaps and the opportunity to get to know them all doesn’t really crop up. We get a brief back story of each but ultimately they feel like almost expendable horror movie fodder. For example, although used a lot in the advertising campaign, for obvious reasons, Jake Gyllenhaal’s character Scott Fischer who led another group of hikers and was also caught in the storm is never explored at all so when he is in his most dramatic scenes it is very difficult to care at all.

However the film looks stunning and although we don’t normally see any movie in 3D because we screwed up our timings we were forced to either buy the glasses or go home. I was pleasantly surprised by the 3D however and it only seemed to enhance the beauty of many helicopter shots and helped with dramatic impact for scenes where we were hanging over the abyss. Some of the movie was shot on Everest itself, around base camp and a little higher and you can tell. It really helps make the film look authentic and enhances the struggle that the climbers put themselves through. For the later parts of the movie, when the expedition gets higher, they were shot on set but real snow was used to make sure the actors were just as cold if not colder than when they were on the mountain, it also looked more authentic as the usual movie substitutes did not cling to their clothes or beards quite like the real thing. The sound in the movie was also fantastic, once the storm comes in it is almost deafening to the point that when it finally stops and you’re down at base camp you feel relieved to no longer be up the mountain.

The film touches upon a subject that was rife at the time about the commercialisation of Everest but primarily is about the struggle which these characters go through and the impact that mother nature has on them. Although at times the drama fails because some characters feel like empty vessels the film is one hell of a ride, has some stunning cinematography and the story is fascinating. I feel like it was particularly good in the cinema so if you get the chance you should see it there before it ends but if not it would be great to watch on a cold night when you’re hiding inside with the heating on.

Words by: David Adamson


I hope you enjoyed this review as it is something I have wanted to feature on this website for a long time as I absolutely love film. Unfortunately, I'm not the best at writing about films but luckily Dave is so we figured this would be a good opportunity for him to write more whilst I get to see more films and feed my Odeon nachos addiction..
- JG x

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25.9.15

Banana, Cacao, Coconut & Almond Porridge



This morning's recipe was thanks to two new delicious discoveries... I managed to find some pure cacao powder that was on offer and noticed a new Alpro flavour which I got a bit too excited about. Plus, I am also trying to increase the amount of vegan meals in my days and this one is super quick and easy so I thought I would share it with you.

You will need:
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup coconut & almond milk (or any other type you prefer)
1/2 cup water
1 ripe banana
1 heaped tsp cacao powder
1/2 tsp desiccated coconut (optional)
1/2 tsp flaked almonds (optional)

- First, add all of your liquids and oats to a pan, and simmer on a low heat
- Add half of the chopped banana and stir until porridge thickens
- Then add the tsp of cacao and stir in
- Once the porridge has thickened, serve in a bowl then top with the rest of the chopped banana along with the almonds and coconut

& Enjoy!

Let me know if you make this or have any other vegan breakfast recommendations..

J x
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2.9.15

Yorkshire Sculpture Park























Yesterday we decided to spend our day off at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and I am so pleased we did. We had a lovely wander around the grounds, unfortunately we couldn't cover it all as it did get very cold and rainy but I absolutely loved what we did get to explore. My favourites were Laura de Santillana and Alessandro Diaz de Santillana who had some glass pieces in the old chapel and Ryan Robb who had tonnes of work displayed inside the main gallery. I'd love to go back and see what else we missed, and I'd love to go when the 'Poppies: Wave' is finished. It also gave me a great chance to fall back in love with the 50mm lens that I've been neglecting recently.

Oh.. And if you ever discover any Himalayan Balsam plants, they have seed pods that explode when you touch them and we ended up spending ages by the river popping them as it was way too fun, ha.

Do you have any favourites from YSP if you've been before?

- JG x
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28.8.15

III. Colmar


The journey from Bruges to Colmar was probably the worst train ride ever.. After a lot of strong Belgium beers we were still drunk on our way to the station at 4am. Luckily, Colmar ended up being the perfect place to be whilst incredibly hungover, as it is just a small city in France we were able to just chill and wander around. We visited the Bartholdi museum which was super interesting as he is the French sculptor who designed the Statue of Liberty and the Lion of Belfort, then we took a stroll around 'Little Venice'. However, the best thing is that Colmar is in the Region of Alsace so we got to enjoy some delicious local Tarte Flambée, which taste amazing and I am so pleased I'm able to get my fix of them at work. This visit was also a nice treat as we actually stayed in an Air BnB apartment which was a nice brief change from hostels.













- JG x
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24.8.15

Snowdon Summit

Last week Dave and I decided to celebrate our 3 year anniversary with a trip to Wales. I have actually never been before and Dave has only ever went with work so we thought it would be nice to go somewhere new and relax in the mountains. I managed to find a lovely campsite just around from Snowdon so we figured we might as well go for a hike around there. We hadn't done any research on getting to the top of Snowdon but we ended up taking the Minors tracks up there and the PYG track on the way back. The walk itself was lovely, there were a few tough bits as you do end up scrambling across rocks on the mountain, but it's definitely worth it when you reach the top. It was such a beautiful place and I thought I would share some of the images from our day. Unfortunately, it was still pretty cloudy once we got to the top but we still managed to see some of the amazing views.









I'd definitely recommend the Minors Track up Snowdon if you haven't done it before, just try not to get too annoyed at all the tourists at the very peak who have just cheated and got the train up, haha. 

Annoyingly, the next morning it was raining so badly that we decided to just pack up and head home early for a nice cosy day in the house with a Sunday roast. It was a short visit, but I can't wait to explore more of Wales sometime soon.

- JG x
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