31.12

Lisa-Not-Quite-Enough-Cider-with-Rosie-COVER 

I’ve fallen clean in love with Lisa’s blog, over the past month. It’s such a wonderful read- beautifully written and so very personable, with a variety of posts that’ll get just about anyone reading back through the archives! What I love most about Not Quite Enough are Lisa’s travel posts- in the past year alone she’s traveled to Spain, Tokyo, Brussels, and so many cities within the UK too! It’s enough to give you wanderlust! There’s something so refreshingly honest about Lisa’s writing, that made me warm to her the very first time I clicked through to her blog. And I’m so excited to be hosting her and her lovely blog here today! So, without further ado, let me introduce the lovely Lisa, and Not Quite Enough

1. You describe your blog as being about ‘getting off the sofa’! What’s been the best change blogging has brought about in your life?

I do! Documenting and sharing posts about things I’ve done and place I’ve been is great motivation for me to actually get up and do things. When I first moved to London I got into a routine of working long hours and then just using the weekends to do nothing but relax a bit and that’s all very well and good sometimes. However, when people would ask me how London was and what I was up to and my only answer was work, I knew I had to make a change and make more of my life. I’ve definitely done that in the year that I’ve been writing my blog and I’m a much happier person for that. So that’s probably the best change blogging has brought about in my life – a happier, more dynamic and (hopefully) more interesting me.

2. What three words would you use to describe Not Quite Enough?

Motivational (for me anyway), varied and *mine*.

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3. What do you find inspires you most to create content for your blog? And do you find that it’s the photographs or the words that come easier? 

The posts on Not Quite Enough are very much led by and are secondary to me going out and doing something. Although blogging started off being my motivation for getting out and about, I won’t go out and do something for the sake of blogging about it, so I suppose London inspires me the most as I’m surrounded by it – the things I do and see, the restaurants and bars I visit and the events that I attend. However, having said that, I love getting out of London and seeing a bit more of not only other countries but also places closer to home in England.  As I blog about the things that I do the photography naturally comes first and then the story tends to come later as I try and find the right balance between being a bit of a diary and maybe being of use and interest to others.

4. Do you have any goals you’d like your lovely blog to achieve during 2015? Or are you just happy to see where it takes you? :)

I’m really just happy to see where it takes me. I would love to continue to improve my photography skills and I want to continue to use my blog to push me to be and do more in life. The blogging community is so amazing for inspiration and although at times I definitely get a little jealous and feel a little inadequate looking at the lives of so many phenomenal people, it challenges me to be better and to work harder at what I do in life and at what I’m putting out there.

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5. What’re the best things about living in London? Will you share with us your three favourite places to visit at the weekend? Any secret haunts we should know about?

I think the best thing for me has to be the ability to really pursue my career. Although it frustrates me at times, I genuinely love my job and I feel so fortunate to be able to say that. Outside of work, one of the best things has to be the fact that London has pretty much everything you could ever want or need. For a girl who comes from a relatively large town which doesn’t even have a bookshop, it’s amazing to just be able to nip out and buy anything you need without having to either travel miles or order it online. Another thing I love is that I’m so close to all the events that are going on, so there’s really no excuse for not getting out and doing more.

At the weekend I love visiting the various street food markets around the city and often wander down to Wapping Market on a Sunday to buy both produce and a spot of lunch. Another weekend favourite is Old Spitalfields Market where I’ve found a great book stall which has a great selection of new books which sell for only a few pounds each, plus, my favourite bakery – Flavourtown Bakery – have a stall there and I always end up with a cupcake or brownie to take home.

My favourite secret haunt though is in the city and is St Dunstan in the East which is a church that was bombed in the Second World War and has now been turned into a beautiful public garden. It’s a tiny little oasis in the City and makes a wonderful little lunch spot for the surrounding office workers during the week (myself included as luckily it’s not too far from my office).

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6. What advice would you give to anyone thinking about starting a blog? :) Any top tips you’ve learnt so far along the way?

Ooh, tricky, I’m not sure I’m really the best person to give advice but I suppose I’d have to tell people to know and understand their priorities and to maintain perspective. For a lot of people (me included) blogging is a hobby rather than being a stepping stone to a career or as a way of making money and yet I sometimes see those same people stressing about finding time to post or apologising for not blogging more when actually they shouldn’t be feeling that level of guilt over something that should be fun!

7. Will you tell us a little about your Christmas plans? :) Where’re you spending the Big Day? And anything fun on your Christmas list this year? {Can you tell I sent my nosy old questions over to Lisa just before Xmas? ;)}

I always go back home for the Christmas period (or at least as much of it as I manage to get off work) but it’s going to be a bit of an odd Christmas this year for a few reasons, firstly my mum is undergoing cancer treatment at the moment and so we’ll be spending a lot of time at various hospital appointments and secondly, I am doing a part-time postgraduate course and have an awful lot of studying to do in my time off work.

For the day itself we tend to just have a quiet day at home, we wake up early and have bacon sandwiches before my nan and grandad join us for the morning to unwrap presents before cooking a big traditional turkey lunch. In the afternoon we end up playing board games before settling down in front of the TV (often for a bit of a nap). Nothing big or glamorous but it’s family time, which is the most important thing in the world.

As for presents, there’s nothing fun on my Christmas list this year! I think I’ve reached that point where there’s nothing that’s really caught my eye lately and I don’t need anything for the house, so I think it’ll be experiences and classes for me this year. I love things like that as gifts though as I love learning new things and acquiring new skills.

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8. And lastly, let’s play a round of ‘desert island discs’! If you were stranded on a desert island, what would you bring with you? You can bring two albums/CDs, two books, ingredients to make two meals, and one luxury item!

I must admit that I am not a big music person at all and so I could probably forego the CDs, particularly if it meant I could have two more books instead.

Just picking two books is so tricky though, I’m not really into music but I definitely am a book person. If I had to only pick two, I would have to pick the Gormenghast Trilogy by Mervyn Peake (all in one volume so it only counts as one!) and then maybe Scouting for Boys by Robert Baden-Powell (the founder of Scouting), in the hope that it might be helpful on the island! Although, depending on who I was stranded with, Lord of the Flies might be a good cautionary tale.

As for ingredients for two meals – pizza would definitely have to be one of them, it has everything – bread, cheese, meat, vegetables, basically the perfect desert island meal.  If I had someone who could make it in a properly, I think my second meal ingredients would have to be for Kung Po Chicken, it’s a dish I loved when I went to China a few years ago and have since tried to find the dish done the same way over here in England but it’s not that easy as you have go to proper Szechuan restaurants to find it done the way I liked in China but I could eat it all day.

** Huge thanks to Lisa for taking time out for the interview! Don’t forget to click through to Not Quite Enough and have a read of Lisa’s posts, and follow along via Bloglovin‘ too! **

p.s. If you’d like to see your own blog featured here on Cider with Rosie, click through to the Sponsor page and book up an advert!

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29.12

Cider-with-Rosie-Notting-Hill-brunch

A few days back (before the madness of Christmas descended upon us), Freya, Tania and I were happily united as a trio for the first time in an entire year! The last time we were together was right around Christmas 2013, when we (and Lizzie, Tania’s sister, too!) went out for cocktails (lethal ones, if I remember right!) and burgers on the South Bank. Since then, Miss Tania’s lived in Australia for 10 odd months, visited Bali, India, and now made her way back to us in good old England! And in amongst all those many months of being apart, Freya went off to Bermuda and got herself married to the darling Adam, I gained my very own soon-to-be husband, and so really, we had one hell of a lot to catch up on!

Our reunion itself (right outside Notting Hill Gate tube station, amongst the crowds of Londoners heading across town with armfuls of presents) was as full of joyful squealing and hugging and crying as you’d imagine! But then, in an instant, it felt as though we’d never been apart! The four of us (Tania, Lizzie, Freya and I) moseyed over to Westbourne Grove in search of some brunch, and found ourselves a little table at Tom’s right opposite Wild at Heart.

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We met late so ate one of those funny brunch/lunch meals, where eggs and hot chocolates get combined with heartier platefuls. Like that polenta/fried chicken combo in the photo below. It was as tasty as it looked, let me tell you! Lizzie promised that she’d make me a batch of her famous cheese and bacon polenta to make up for the fact that I can’t cook it at home (Jason hates corn in all forms!), and Lizzie? I’m going to hold you to that! ;)

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Brunch/lunch was spent discussing Tania’s adventures over the past year, Freya’s wedding in Bermuda (during a hurricane, no less!), Lizzie’s upcoming trip to Dublin, and my progress through the wonderful world of wedding planning. Honeymoon ideas and road trip plans and stories from the year floated around the table between us all like clouds, and the hours slipped away quicker than we’d have liked.

I can’t even tell you how happy it made me, to be all together again. There’s nothing making my heart so glad right now than knowing all of my closest friends are in the same time zone, and to have the luxury of impromptu trips to London for brunch and laughter and photo-taking any time we like. So three cheers for adventures! And one extra cheer for adventures that deliver your friends right back home to you safe and sound once they’re over, after you’ve spent a whole year worrying that those far off lands might prove so tempting that they won’t ever come back! ;)

Colourful-Notting-Hill-housesNotting-Hill-Cider-with-RosieCider-with-Rosie-Notting-Hill-brunch-Freya-Tania

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Posted in BRUNCH, CHRISTMAS, FRIENDS, LONDON, WINTER

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27.12

Rosie-Sponsor-round-up

Today, I’m so excited to be sharing with you a round up of all the amazing blogs and bloggers who’ve been linked in my sidebar throughout December! There’s such a wide range of blogs here, each one creative and brilliant in its own unique way. And what better time to get reading, than in this lazy lull between Christmas and New Year’s Eve! So, here’s my suggestion- put on a new pair of PJs, go and grab a blanket and a mug of hot chocolate, and then spend a little time browsing through each of these wonderful blogs in turn. I can’t think of a nicer way to spend a sleepy festive Saturday…

Not Quite Enough
It’s been so lovely getting to know Lisa and her lovely blog throughout December. Lisa lives in London, and describes her blog as being about making the most of life. ‘Getting off the sofa’ to quote Lisa herself! Don’t you just love that?! Posts on Not Quite Enough range from restaurant reviews, recipes, photos from Lisa’s travels, and posts about her home city of London! I absolutely love how detailed all Lisa’s posts are- they have that magic quality of feeling like a catch up with a friend! The sort of blog you’ll find yourself returning to time and again.
Favourite post of the past month? A very wet Sunday at Dalston Market.

A Simple Elegance
Oh, I just adore Arielle! She’s the sweetest lady, and her blog is equally as delightful! I love how sweetly honest and simple the posts are that she shares on her blog- I find them so very engaging. Arielle’s blog centres around her life on a Caribbean island with her husband Mitch, and this month has featured happy lists, beautifully seasonal recipes, gift guides, and reflective posts about thankfulness and the simple things in life. If charming lifestyle blogs set against stunning Caribbean backdrops are your cup of tea, then A Simple Elegance is one for you!
Favourite post of the past month? Putting up the tree.

Mel Bakes Things
I really could not love Mel’s blog more! It’s such a brilliant read- full of the sort of inspiring recipes that make you want to go tearing into the kitchen brandishing your laptop and keen-bean enthusiasm even before you’ve read to the end of the ingredients list! I love how clean and neatly laid out Mel Bakes Things is too- the focus really is all on beautiful food! And my, is it beautiful! This month, Mel’s been making vanilla-rum caramels, pistachio and black sesame snowballs, and sharing her techniques for beautiful festive gift wrapping too! You’re going to just love this one, I know!
Favourite post of the past month? Vanilla-rum caramels.

Silverspoon London
Oh, Angie’s blog is such a fun one to follow! Silverspoon London was new to me in December, and I’ve so enjoyed reading back through her archives and getting to know it better. Angie’s blog is a lifestyle one, and a fabulous lifestyle it is! Angie specialises in trialling and reviewing the finest restaurants, hotels, and events both in London and internationally- and documents her experiences on her blog! You can imagine how much fun it is to read! Best go and get cracking with Angie’s most recent posts from NYC- they’re a treat for the eyes! :)
Favourite post of the past month? Silverspoon takes a Bite Out of the Big Apple: Hakkasan, New York.

Uncia + Tigris
I’ve been reading Clare’s blog for a good few months now, and whether it’s linked in my sidebar or not, it’s one I return to time and time again. It’s just such a lovely read! Simple and charming and intelligently written- I just can’t get enough of Clare’s engaging tone of voice. This month on Uncia + Tigris, Clare’s shared a round up of her top finds from round the web, photos of her beautifully colourful Christmas decorations, and a quote that stole my heart. It’s such a lovely blog to have in your reading list, and one I’m sure you’re going to be so happy you got to know :)
Favourite post of the past month? Q#31.

Rhyme and Ribbons
It’s always such a pleasure having the Rhyme and Ribbons linked in my sidebar- not least because  it makes it just the bit easier to click through to Amanda’s latest (and always brilliant) post! Amanda’s blog seems to be going from strength to strength, and I just love reading it. She shares a whole range of things, from posts about her travels and adventures around the UK, to wish lists (Amanda currently would like a puppy, and I’m with her on that), to recipes and restaurant reviews! Rhyme and Ribbons is just such a happy online space, and one I think you’ll so enjoy getting to know :)
Favourite post of the past month? Friday Facts.

Jemima Jane blog
Jemima’s darling blog is another new find for me this month, and I LOVE IT! So incredibly fun to read, really well written, and full of gorgeous photographs to boot! Jemima lives in London with her other half Blake (don’t they both have the greatest names?) and on her blog she shares snippets of their journeys and adventures both in London and beyond. I love the way Jemima captures the spirit of wherever she’s visited in the photos and stories she shares on her blog, and keep finding myself whiling away spare time reading through her archives. I can’t recommend it highly enough!
Favourite post of the past month? 24!

Cocktails & Caroline
I really think it’s only fair that Caroline start sharing out some of her amazing holidays, and taking people along with her in her suitcase, don’t you? I mean, it’s just not right otherwise! ;) Caroline’s blog is so fun to read (and live vicariously though!), since she seems always to be jetting off to the most exciting places! In December, Caroline went on a jaunt to Las Vegas, and shared a the most wanderlist-inducing series of posts from her time there! For anyone looking for the lowdown on where to travel in the coming year- Cocktails and Caroline is the place to go for advice!
Favourite post of the past month? Vegas in December – Part 2.

Miranda’s Notebook
New to me during the past few weeks, and pretty new in itself, Miranda’s Notebook has been such a pleasure to get acquainted with. Described as ‘Your guide to a stylish life’, Miranda’s blog is a happy mixture of lifestyle posts, recipes, guides, and style posts- truly something for everyone! During December, Miranda’s shared her favourite winter outfit, decorated her Christmas tree (the cutest one you ever did see!) and posted a recipe for the most divine looking smoked salmon and wheat berry salad. Such a lovely one to add to your reading list!
Favourite post of the past month? Christmas at Strawberry Hill House.

Jennifer Polly
Jennifer Polly is lifestyle blog, and a delightful one it is too! In her About page, Jennifer describes herself as loving ‘visiting new cities and nights in at home with equal measure’- a girl after my own heart if ever there was one! On her blog, Jennifer shares sweet recipes, lifestyle posts, and ‘lists of loveliness’ that capture all the things that make her life a beautiful one. It’s exactly the sort of charming lifestyle blog I love to read the most- a wonderfully simple exaltation of the beautiful things in life. I just love it, and am certain you will too!
Favourite post of the past month? Dark chocolate & mint hot chocolate recipe.

As a Blonde
I’ve been so glad of the chance to get to know Sophie’s beautiful blog. It’s such a wonderful read, and I could not be more excited to share it with you! As a Blonde is another of my favourite kind of lifestyle blogs- all beautifully photographed days out and fun ‘life lately’ snippets! In fact, it’s Sophie’s photography that I think I love best. Her photos really tell a story, and are so gorgeously taken and edited. In fact, there’s not a single thing I don’t love about As a Blonde! One to add to your reading list right away- it’s the most wonderful read!
Favourite post of the past month? Four years…

This Particular
I’ve got to know Ala’s blog well over the past few months, and it really is such a lovely one. Ala’s writing is so friendly and personable- you’ll feel like you’re making a friend as your read your way through her posts! This Particular features posts that range from restaurant reviews to recipes, from catch up posts to ‘day out’ round ups! I just adore the way Ala puts her content together, and find myself reading through post after post every time I click through to This Particular. Make sure you’ve a coffee to hand when you start reading it, because once you start you’ll be in for the long haul, I’m sure! :)
Favourite post of the past month? This Last Week #6.

A few more blogs to read and fall in love with ::
Living for the Now || Favourite post? Winter Warmers
Get the Skinny || Favourite post? Shoreditch Vibing.
Coffee Sugar Lemonade || Favourite post? Inside Antwerp. 
Little Pieces || Favourite post? Inspired :: Rustic Christmas
Cecilia in the Rain || Favourite post? Norwegian Christmas Market in Aberdeen 2014
The Peppermint Pencil || Favourite post? The Birds (& a Squirrel)
Thursday Afternoons || Favourite post? 12 Days of Baking: Day 5

To see you own blog featured here, head over to the Sponsor page and take up an advert! It’d be a pleasure to get to know you and your blog better :)

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24.12

Cider-with-Rosie-Christmas-card-2014

Very Merry Christmas, from Jason, Teddy and I!

We hope you have a wonderful few days celebrating with the most special people in your life! And that you manage to eat as much chocolate and roast potatoes and turkey and blue cheese as is humanly possible…

A kiss to each and every one of you, and I’ll catch you in a few days time!

Happy Christmas!

x x x

p.s. I’m still chuckling at Teddy in last year’s Christmas card! Also, our (accidentally!) matching jackets are from here and here :)

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Posted in CHRISTMAS, FAMILY

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