Monday, 30 October 2017

New York - (Day 1) - Lots of walking and a surprise...

When I was thinking about putting my holiday posts together, I was going to highlight my favourite parts. After a poll on twitter, most people said they would prefer more of a diary approach, so that's what I'm going to do. If you weren't aware that I went away, I took a trip to America touring New York, New Orleans and Atlanta for two weeks with boyfriend and today's post is about our first full day in New York.

Having already been to New York, this was my second time in the Big Apple. I was very excited to come back and experience it all with Matthew, as I knew it would be somewhere he would enjoy. For our first venture out we walked the High Line which is a disused rail track that has been turned into a public park and walkway on which you can take in the sights of Manhattan.

New York High Line Travel Blog
New York High Line Travel Blog
New York High Line Travel Blog
New York High Line Travel Blog

As much as its a lovely walk to do, I wouldn't say it was my favourite part of New York. It's great to get your bearings and dip your toe into the city, but if you don't have time for it, you aren't missing out on much... but there are lots of water points along the way which is a bonus if you've brought your own water bottle which we did.

Whilst on our walk, we passed the infamous Chelsea Market. I knew that my dreams of having deep fried Oreos were going to be lived in here. When we finished the walk, we ventured back to the building and walked around in awe of all the amazing eateries dotted around the fantastic interior. Chelsea Market has a history dating back to the 1800s when it was used as a biscuit factory making everyone's favourite, the Oreo (...and many other biscuits). Inside it is visually stunning which brick walls, solid steel beams and complementing accents such as the flower adorned clock hanging from the ceiling.
New York Chelsea Market Travel Blog
New York Chelsea Market Travel Blog
New York Chelsea Market Travel Blog
New York Chelsea Market Creamline Deep Fried Oreos Travel Blog
Although there were so many great choices for food here, we were still full from our breakfast and the heat wasn't helping. Of course I had to get my deep fried Oreos from Creamline as it was my destiny. I offered Matt one but he wasn't having it, so I ate all four to myself dipped in whipped cream. This was my first big treat of the holiday and it was well worth it.

When I'd finished these, it was time to hit the road again and start walking. We decided we would head downtown and see the Charging Bull and finish in Battery Park. We walked and walked through numerous neighbourhoods taking in every bit of Manhattan. We even did some shopping on the way which gave us a much needed walking break.

After we had a nosy at the Charging Bull and the Fearless Girl, we headed on down to Battery Park to take in the sights and get a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty. By this point it was getting time for the sun to set, so we decided to stop and see. As we waited around, I felt that Matt's persistence to get the perfect view for the sunset had to mean something... And it did. He asked me to marry him as the sun set in the view of the Lady Liberty and of course I said YES!

New York Battery Park Statue of Liberty Travel Blog
Engagement New York Battery Park Ring
New York Battery Park Statue of Liberty Travel Blog
Engagement New York Ring Urban Outfitters

We ventured back to the Urban Outfitters that we'd been in earlier and got a few cheeky photo booth snaps as a newly-engaged couple on the way back. After this, I'm not going to lie to you, we got the Subway back to the hotel and were asleep shortly after toasting our engagement with a bottle of fizz.

If you're interested in the rest of our trip, make sure to keep checking back, or follow me on Twitter!
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Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Twisted Boo Boo - Halloween Cocktails | 3

For my final Halloween cocktail, I decided to pull out my martini glass and see what I could concoct. I think this looks decadently evil and it's super easy to make with very few ingredients! It is very similar to a Woo Woo, minus the vodka, so I've called it a Twisted Boo Boo!

Twisted Boo Boo - Halloween Cocktails
Twisted Boo Boo - Halloween Cocktails

For this you will need:
1 shot of Peach Snapps
3 shots of Cranberry juice
Violet syrup
optional: orange peel

1. In your martini glass add your shot of Peach Snapps and then your cranberry juice.

2. With your violet syrup, slowly pour this in keeping to the edge of the glass until it settles in a nice layer on the bottom.

3. If you want to decorate, get an orange and peel a small strip from the skin, adding this to your glass.

Twisted Boo Boo - Halloween Cocktails
Twisted Boo Boo - Halloween Cocktails

This drink is super sweet and with one shot of alcohol, not too strong. Its a great one if you get the girls round to watch scary movies and you want to feel a little more prim and proper.

If you try this drink, let me know! This was my last of three Halloween cocktail recipes and it was so fun to make them up. I know I'm no mixologist and these drinks are very simple to put together but I loved the look of them all and had to share. If you missed the last two you can find them here, and here.

I'm thinking about making up some Christmas cocktails, so let me know what your favourite festive flavours are!

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Twisted Boo Boo - Halloween Cocktails

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Saturday, 21 October 2017

Worth the hype? America's Halloween Treats

Now I'm back from my trip to America, I'm enjoying the fruits of our travel, mainly the stash of treats I hauled back in my hand luggage. As we were over in the run up to Halloween, I could not not search out all the pumpkin flavoured treats I'd been seeing all over the internet. Getting these through security was heavy and led to my bag being searched, but it was definitely worth it so I could dig in when I was back on English soil and in the British Autumn weather.

As these products are all not accessible to us in the UK, I thought I'd put you out of your misery and let you know my thoughts on them. If you should be pining over their existence, or simply forgetting about them...
American Halloween Treats Oreo M&Ms Pop Tart Pumpkin Pie Spice
American Halloween Treats Oreo M&Ms Pop Tart Pumpkin Pie Spice
American Halloween Treats Oreo M&Ms Pop Tart Pumpkin Pie Spice

A quick story about how I came to purchase these little Halloween treats. Whilst on a march across Atlanta to find a quirky bohemian type area I noticed we were pretty close to Target. Through my online searching, I found that Target was the place to be if you wanted to indulge in America's hoard of Halloween treats.

The internet was certainly not wrong and when we stumbled across the Halloween section I was so ecstatic. I quickly filled our basket with Oreos and M&Ms. Upon waiting to leave the store I also noticed they had Pumpkin Pie Pop Tarts, so had to rush back in. I was very happy that these guys all survived the Atlanta heat and the excessive walking we had to do to get back!

PUMPKIN SPICE & APPLE PIE OREOS
First up are the Oreos. We all know that America always has the best and newest flavour Oreos - like birthday cake, cinnamon bun & red velvet - and during Autumn they came out with pumpkin spice and apple pie. I decided I obviously needed both in my life...

My favourite out of the two is pumpkin spice, its really light without too much spice and not too sickly. When you have your first bite of the apple pie one, it is so yummy and you can taste apple pie but as you keep eating they start to get very sweet and super sickly. Lovely as a small treat now and then but I don't think I could have more than one at a time!

Pumpkin Spice - 7/10
Apple Pie - 5/10

WHITE PUMPKIN PIE & COOKIES & SCREEEM M&MS
Another one of the items that was on my list to pick up was M&Ms. Again America have some innovative flavours that you can't get easily over here like peanut butter, white chocolate, mint and almond. In the Halloween section I found these two that I'd not tried before - white pumpkin pie and cookies and screeem.

White pumpkin pie was the first flavour to be tried and I can attest to the fact you can definitely taste pumpkin spice. For me its a bit too much and to be honest I'm not a fan of white chocolate so this one isn't a winner for me.

Cookies and screeem doesn't taste much to me like cookies and cream but more of a muddled chocolate that isn't sure what it is. As much as I like what they look like, I'd say to stay clear of these too.

White Pumpkin Pie - 3/10
Cookies and Screeem - 4/10

American Halloween Treats Oreo M&Ms Pop Tart Pumpkin Pie Spice
American Halloween Treats Oreo M&Ms Pop Tart Pumpkin Pie Spice

FROSTED PUMPKIN PIE POP TARTS
Finally the last product to try and thankfully America's saving grace. I'm a real lover of Pop Tarts but I don't get them much as they are far too bad for you, especially as a breakfast. These ones looked too cute and too pumpkin-themed not to pick up and I was glad that when I finally tried them on my first day back at work, they lived up to my hype.

These little heavenly morsels are just pumpkin enough for my liking with the right amount of spice that fills your kitchen with the scent ALL DAY (if you toast them I mean). These are lightly sweet balanced out with the not-so-sweet pumpkin filling. Definitely a perfect ode to the great pumpkin pie.

Frosted Pumpkin Pie Pop Tarts - 9/10

So although my Halloween treat haul was not all I thought it would be, I still got some super tasty treats and it satisfied my curiosity. And to be fair my haul in Target cost a lot less then some of my other spends during my trip - I'm looking at you Bath and Body Works.

Take my thoughts as you please, but it you're a Halloween pumpkin-lover you now know which ones I'd suggest you pick up.

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American Halloween Treats Oreo M&Ms Pop Tart Pumpkin Pie Spice



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Tuesday, 17 October 2017

The Underworld - Halloween Cocktails | 2

When I was in the kitchen making my first Halloween cocktail, I decided to get a few other bottles of alcohol out and try to make a few more. Looking through my flavour thesaurus for some inspiration of what might go well together, I decided to try melon and orange. After I had my base, I decided to make it a little more gruesome adding it to a cauldron looking jar and dropping in a few extras.

When I sat back and looked at my creation I decided that it reminded me of Hercules the film. The jar looks like the cauldron that the witches use and the red and green layer with the speckles of orange zest represent the Underworld which Hercules brought Meg back from. Well that's what I thought anyway, overall its just a lovely drink!

The Underworld - Halloween Cocktails
The Underworld - Halloween Cocktails

For this you will need:
1 shot of Midori
1 shot of Triple Sec
Grenadine
Soda water
optional: orange zest

1. In your glass put in some and then add your Midori and Triple Sec, mix, then top with soda water.

2. To add a red layer to the bottom on your glass, pour a little bit of grenadine in being careful to pour towards the edge to keep the layer.

3. Finally to add the grizzly spirits whirling around in the 'Underworld' grate an orange over the top of the drink.

The Underworld - Halloween Cocktails
The Underworld - Halloween Cocktails

I'm only a real fan of sweet, fruity drinks and that is what this is. The melon and the orange work really well together and the addition of grenadine works well with any drink.

Let me know if you make this or if it inspires any other Halloween creations. I have one more Halloween cocktail recipe left which will be up next Tuesday!

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The Underworld - Halloween Cocktails

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Tuesday, 10 October 2017

The Spiced Pumpkin - Halloween Cocktails | 1

I took a trip to TKMaxx in September when all the Halloween and Autumn homewear was released in early September and came across the most adorable pumpkin copper mug. This inspired me to create a few Halloween-themed cocktails which I'll be posting throughout October! The first one is very comforting and Autumnal, presented in the gorgeous copper pumpkin mug.

The Spiced Pumpkin - Halloween Cocktails
The Spiced Pumpkin - Halloween Cocktails

For this you will need:
300ml Milk
1 shot of Irish cream
1 shot of Triple Sec
1/2 tbsp Pumpkin spice
optional - marshmallows to top

1. Warm your milk in the microwave in a microwave safe mug or jug for 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each until you're happy it's at a good temperature.

2. Add a shot of Irish Cream and Triple Sec to your cup/mug and sprinkle in your pumpkin spice. If you can't find pumpkin spice simply make your own. I made mine with a recipe from Pinterest.

3. Finally add your warm milk, mix all together, then decorate with your marshmallows and enjoy.

The Spiced Pumpkin - Halloween Cocktails
The Spiced Pumpkin - Halloween Cocktails
The Spiced Pumpkin - Halloween Cocktails

This is a very sweet and comforting drink with a subtle orange undertone. It makes a great alternative to hot chocolate and would be a great accompaniment to a night out at the fireworks (just make you're not the designated driver!).

I'd love to know if you try this out and I can't wait to share my other drinks with you! Hope you're excited for Halloween.

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The Spiced Pumpkin - Halloween Cocktails

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