6 Cookbooks I Just Keep Reaching For

6 Cookbooks I Just Keep Reaching For // Amy Elizabeth

I have a pretty sizeable cookbook collection but, like most people I imagine, there are definitely quite a few that are gathering dust. Whether it’s because they’re a specific cuisine, a little bit complex or just not the kind of food that we usually make, the majority only get brought out on special occasions. On the flip side, there are those cookbooks that I am constantly reaching for, week after week, whether it’s for a bit of guidance or inspiration, or to draw on an old favourite recipe time and time again. 

6 Cookbooks I Just Keep Reaching For // Amy Elizabeth

5 Ingredients by Jamie Oliver

This is a very new addition to my cookbook shelf, but it’s been pulled down pretty much every other day since its arrival. Say what you will about Jamie Oliver, but the man knows how to publish a good cookbook. The recipes are simple, tasty and exactly the kind of food that we like to eat at home – which is all I want in an everyday cookbook, really. I’ve made quite a few recipes from this already, including creamy mustard chicken, banging beef stew and the soft-boiled eggs with home-made flatbreads and mango chutney and have bookmarked tonnes more. My only qualm is that despite all the dishes only containing five ingredients, they don’t all make up a meal so you do have to throw some sides in if you want to get your five a day. 

The Savvy Cook by Izy Hossack 

The book arrived just before Ben did, so I haven’t had a chance to explore it properly but when I’m after a little bit of inspiration that orange spine just calls to me. I love Izy’s style of cooking, which is big on flavour but little on fuss and every recipe I’ve ever made of hers has become an instant favourite. Case in point: the ‘chorizo’ dip (a veggie bean dip that has the delicious smoky flavour of chorizo) and pitta chips are already my go-to if people are coming round for drinks. There’s lots of variations on a theme in this book and plenty of ideas for using up leftovers, so it really is a great one if you want to reduce your shopping bill and your food waste. 

Fress by Emma Spitzer 

From the moment this dropped onto my desk, I was obsessed. Not only is it a beautiful cookbook, it’s full of delicious recipes and the combination of world foods is an unusual and inspiring one. Emma acknowledges the many influences on her home cooking, from the Jewish recipes passed down from her mother to the Algerian ones shared by her mother-in-law. The recipes are bold and full of spice, but simple enough for this home cook to recreate without too much faff. If I’m feeling a little flat about our usual repertoire, this is my first port of call for something that I know both Paul and I, and any guests we may have, are going to love. Our favourites so far are the crispy baked chicken wings, the za’atar crusted halloumi and baharat spiced chicken. 

Homemade Memories by Kate Doran

This book is basically a warm hug. If you think of your favourite childhood treats then you’ll likely find a recipe to recreate them in this delightful cookbook, from home-made jaffa cakes and bourbon biscuits to recreating your very own caterpillar cake. This is a total nostalgia trip and is perfect for this time of year when eating delicious puddings whilst snuggling under a blanket is really the only way to go. My favourites are the boozy puddle puddings, the honeycomb biscuit cake and the roasted cherry & white chocolate brownies – but honestly, if you served me any of the recipes in this book then I would be in heaven. 

Brilliant Bread by James Morton 

There is something so immensely satisfying about freshly baked bread, but in the past I have found it the most daunting part of baking at home. James Morton’s brilliant book changed all of that and now I regularly knock up a loaf to go with dinner. I’ve mostly stuck with his no-knead white loaf (simply because it’s so damn delicious) but have recently started exploring the rest of the book to expand my bread repertoire and I’m very excited to get stuck in. 

Smitten Kitchen by Deb Perelman 

If you’ve spent any time on the Internet, you’ve probably heard of Smitten Kitchen. One of the original and best food blogs out there, Smitten Kitchen is an absolute treasure trove of delicious recipes – and the book is just the same but you can splash ingredients on it without fear of ruining your laptop… I’ll often turn to this book if I want a recipe I know won’t fail – Deb is renowned for being obsessive about getting things just right and it really shows. This book has a little bit of everything, from brunch dishes and salads to sandwiches and cookies. I love the apricot breakfast crumble (crumble? for breakfast? yes, please!) and the peach dumplings with bourbon sauce, as well as all of her dinner party tricks and recipes in the final chapter. 

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14 Blog Posts You Need to Read Right Now

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Way back when, I used to do a weekly round up of my favourite blog posts but that has rather fallen by the wayside. However, I still read blogs like they’re going out of fashion (which people say they are, but I don’t believe them) so I’ve amassed quite a few favourite posts over the past few weeks and months. Here’s fourteen great ones that I’m sure you’re going to love: 

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How Having a Baby Has Helped My Anxiety

Before I start this post, I want to make it clear that I have never had clinically diagnosed anxiety. I have been lucky that my anxiousness has, for the most part, mostly manifested itself in being highly strung, hard on myself, and very un-spontaneous rather than stopping me from going about my daily life, so it’s never been something that I’ve sought treatment for and, to be honest, I don’t think doing so was necessary. I appreciate that for people who suffer from more extreme anxiety than me might not have the same experience and I don’t want to suggest that having a baby is some kind of cure for what is a serious mental health condition. Far from it, in fact. 

However, that said, I *have* always been an anxious person. I’m a Type A perfectionist who doesn’t really know how to relax and *hates* when plans are changed or things don’t go as intended. I panic when going to new places (especially if I have to drive there on my own) and worry about every little thing it’s possible to worry about. Whilst my anxiety has only very rarely seen me refuse to leave the house, it has regularly sent me into paroxysms of stress before I’ve been able to do so. 

So I assumed that having a baby would only add to my anxiety. There’s a lot to worry about when it comes to babies; their health, their development, their safety, whether they’re too hot or cold, whether they’re eating enough or too much, whether they’re sleeping enough or too much (and whether when they’re sleeping is the right time to be sleeping). You can worry about them in their current state and entertain yourself with all sorts of nightmares about the months and years to come. 

But, despite all the potential for worry and anxiety that comes with parenting, I have found myself a lot more relaxed than I ever expected to be. Whilst being a parent is hard, each individual task is relatively easy (at this stage) but all-consuming, so I have found it easier than ever to let worries slip to the back of my mind. It helps that Ben has, so far (touch wood), been a healthy and chilled out baby. He is teaching me to be a mother every day, and he is so relaxed and happy that it makes me that way. 

I think part of it is just that you have no choice but to get things done. The first time we left the house with Benjamin, I was practically beside myself with worry, but after Paul had gone back to work and it was just on me to get us up, dressed and off to an appointment, I found it much less anxiety-inducing. There was no option to panic, because we had to be there, so I had to just get everything done. Ben is relying on me, and so I can rally myself to do the things I am worried about a lot more easily. 

Being a mother is many things, but once you have a child it is no longer optional. My mantra over the past few weeks has very much been ‘you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do’, which has a dual meaning. Sometimes it means that you’ve just got to do what you need to get by, whether that’s eating cake for breakfast, pouring yourself a glass of wine or binging on Netflix and ignoring the chores list. But it also means that you’ve got to get done what needs to be done, even when it feels like an insurmountable task. There’s no hiding under the duvet when you’re solo parenting a newborn (unfortunately) but it turns out that’s the very best thing for me. 

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My Favourite Etsy Shops for Cute Gifts & Homeware 

I hate to say it, but Christmas will be here before we know it (#sorrynotsorry) and with so much time on my hands at the moment, I’ve already been browsing for a few gifts. Where possible, I always like to buy from independent makers and business owners and Etsy makes that so much simpler to do. As luck would have it, a good few of the shops I’ve stumbled across that have become firm favourites are also local to us in Yorkshire – which makes me even happier to spend my pennies with them. 

Modo Creative

If you’re looking for a personal touch, this is the place to find it. Modo Creative have a beautiful range of gifts and homewares that can be personalised with names, dates and other details to make them extra special. I discovered them when looking for bits and pieces for Ben’s nursery (we bought this Wild Thing cushion from them) and it turns out that they’re based in Yorkshire, which is a very happy coincidence. They currently have some beautiful Christmas stockings that I am very tempted by for Benjamin’s first Christmas, as well as a personalised oak letter that would look perfect on the gallery wall above his crib. I could go on, because they have so many gorgeous things that make me squee with joy, but I urge you to check it out for yourselves! 

The Lovely Drawer

You may recognise Teri from her blog of the same name, but she also turns her talented hand towards pretty paper goods, from invites and notebooks to prints and adorable baby milestone cards. Her style is sweet and simple, with hand-drawn lettering and simple ink drawings. I have my eye on a couple of her prints (this one and this one, in particular) for our spare room and I know they’ll really brighten up the place! 

Zeal and Heart

I recently bought this necklace from Zeal and Heart, their collaboration with blogger and author Laura Jane Williams (who you need to be following on Instagram Stories, by the way…) and I’ve barely taken it off since. The message is a great daily reminder, and the minimalist style is simple enough to go with pretty much everything I own. They have plenty of great phrases, so you’re bound to find one to suit you (or the person you’re buying a gift for). I’ve got my eye on ‘Courage dear heart‘ and I think we could all do with ‘I choose happy‘, don’t you? 

Joy Jenna Made

You may recognise Jenna from the beautiful wedding photos that she took for us, but she’s talented at more than one creative pursuit! She sells cards and prints with beautiful calligraphy and watercolours, and I absolutely love her style; it’s so bright and fun. The colours on her Find the Joy print bring me, well, all the joy and this flamingo print is just too cute. Plus 10% of all her profits go to charity, so buying a card from her is the perfect way to spread the love in more ways than one. 

AsSeenOnApparel

This shop is every TV nerd’s dream, with t-shirts and sweatshirts featuring logos from all your favourite shows. Grab your Sunnydale High jacket, your Luke’s Diner sweatshirt, your Rydell High hoodie or your Knope 2012 t-shirt and find your tribe. I literally want all of the above, and that’s just the beginning. Whichever cult TV show is your favourite, I suspect you’ll find something to suit you here. They have a little shop near me, but it’s not always open so this is the best way to let your geek flag fly! (P.S. If you get all of those references, slide into my DMs because we should be friends!). 

What are your favourite Etsy shops?

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How (and Why) I Make a Five Year Plan

How (And Why) I Make a Five Year Plan // Amy Elizabeth

 

Cathryn Lavery

Why Make a Plan? 

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that no one can predict the future. You cannot make a concrete plan for the next year, let alone the next five years. Five years is such a long time, and even if life doesn’t throw you any major curveballs, you have no idea what you will want and feel or even who you will be in five years time. 

However, I find having a five year plan to be useful for helping to make decisions and put in place the foundations for where I’d like to be in the future. This isn’t a concrete plan; for the reasons cited above, it has to be a flexible one but if you want to make things happen then you need to start today, and it’s a whole lot easier to start when you know what you want the end goal to be. Five years is a long enough time that you can make some serious progress, but also not so long that you don’t need to start looking at working on those dreams right now. 

Our First Five Year Plan

Paul and I are just coming to the end of the first five year plan that we made together; the basic tenets of which were to get married, buy a house and have a baby, all of which we’ve managed to achieve. This isn’t a humble brag, it’s just an acknowledgement that it was only by setting those goals and then working towards them that we got to where we are today. We’ve also been lucky, don’t get me wrong, but having some concrete aims definitely contributed massively. 

I don’t believe that things happen by accident; you need to make them happen. If you want to buy a house, you need to start saving. If you want to have a baby, well, you know what you need to do. It helped to have those goals in mind when we were faced with decisions; for example, it wouldn’t have been a good idea for me to switch jobs last year when I was contacted by a recruiter, mostly because I love my current job but also because I knew that it would be easier to take maternity leave when I’ve been working somewhere for years than it would at a new position. 

So now we’re ready to make a new five year plan, and this one is a little trickier. Getting married, buying a house and having a baby are all obvious milestones for your twenties and thirties; they’re hardly out of the ordinary. But what’s next? Well, that’s what we’re working on now. 

How We Make a Five Year Plan

To make our plan, we mostly just do a lot of talking. It’s not one big, regimented sit down discussion, but a series of chats about various areas of our life and where we’d like to be. We start with the things we *know* are going to happen (as far as you can ever know anything). That’s going to be different for everyone, and some people might have nothing concrete. For us, that looks like my going back to work after maternity leave and Ben starting nursery, some landmark birthdays (30 for me, 40 for Paul) and Ben eventually starting school. All being well, those things will definitely happen within the next five years, and in various ways they impact the kind of plans we want to make.

Then we go through all of the areas of our life where we want to make goals. Some of the areas are individual (career, in particular) and some are joint or family goals. Some are goals for right now and some are for in a few years time. But after all of our discussion, we usually come to an agreement on what we want to work towards in each area, from travel and other fun plans to financial and career goals. That’s when the fun starts. Once we have our goals down on paper (or just in our heads), we start thinking about what steps we can take today / this week / this month / this year in order to make them happen.

This isn’t a one-time process; it’s constantly being revised over the course of those five years as circumstances change and *we* change. We’re not working on all the goals all the time, but we bear them in mind in the course of our life and let them guide us. 

What’s On Our Next Five Year Plan (So Far)

A lot of our goals are financial ones right now; we’ve had an expensive few years due to weddings / house buying / baby so now we’re looking to channel our efforts into savings and, potentially, investments instead. We’re not fully set on exactly what this looks like, as it’s so dependent on other factors, but to start with we need to build back up that three-month-salary buffer that everyone in the know says you need. This is going to be a lot easier when I’m no longer on maternity leave, so it’s on the back burner for now. 

We’re also looking at improving our house and getting it fit for the next ten years of family life. Depending on finances, we’re hoping to extend into the roof to make a master suite, so we can convert one of the bigger bedrooms into a bedroom-slash-playroom for Ben, leaving the downstairs as a bit more of an adult-friendly space (basically, I just want somewhere to shove all the inevitable plastic tat each evening!). We also need to get the back garden sorted, and renovate the rather sad family bathroom at the very least. We have some bigger plans for if we get all of that done, too, but I think that’s enough to be getting on with in the next five years! 

It’s not all serious, though. We’re also planning a big first birthday party for Ben; as we’re not religious we aren’t going to be having any sort of christening or baptism but we’d like to celebrate him properly with our family and friends at some point. We’re also thinking ahead to our big birthdays in 2020; chances are that’s going to be a big party and a trip to Las Vegas. We’d also like to visit a few more European cities with Benjamin, and get back to New York at least once over the next five years. 

Do you have a five year plan? If so, what’s on it? (Tell me, I’m nosy!) 

How (And Why) I Make a Five Year Plan // Amy Elizabeth

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Melt in the Middle Chocolate Puddings

Chocolate Melt in the Middle Pudding // Amy Elizabeth

I have a real sweet tooth, and a good meal for me is not complete without a treat at the end – preferably a chocolate-based one. It’s not my best habit, that’s for sure – but life is for living, and denying yourself pudding is definitely no way to live if you ask me. I’ll always pick up some Gu puddings when they’re on offer, and their melt-in-the-middle chocolate puddings with a drizzle of cream are some of my favourites. So when I stumbled across this recipe in Kate Doran’s Homemade Memories when looking for some dessert inspiration, I couldn’t resist making my very own version. Hers are made with amaretto, but I having experimented with a few different alcohol options, I actually prefer them without booze at all. Which is not something I usually say, believe me, but I’m such a chocoholic that I don’t want anything to detract from the chocolate taste. Basically just give me a big pile of molten chocolate and I’m happy. As always, use the best quality chocolate that you can afford, and enjoy every bite. This is the good stuff.

Chocolate Melt in the Middle Pudding // Amy Elizabeth  

Chocolate Puddle Puddings
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 180g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  2. 40g butter, softened
  3. 80g caster sugar
  4. 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  5. 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  6. pinch of salt
  7. 30g plain flour
Instructions
  1. Place a baking tray in the oven and preheat to 200°C. Lightly grease four small ramekins with butter and place a circle of baking parchment into the bottom of each.
  2. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
  3. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs until fully incorporated, then add the vanilla and salt.
  4. Sift in the flour and fold to combine. Gently mix in the melted chocolate until you have a smooth, thick batter.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between the ramekins. Remove the baking tray from the hot oven and place your puddings on it. Bake for 8–10 minutes until the puddings have risen slightly, and are firm to the touch.
  6. Turn out onto individual plates, removing the baking parchment and serve immediately.
Notes
  1. If you want to make them boozy, increase the flour by 30g and stir in 2 tbsp. of your chosen alcohol right at the end before pouring into the ramekin.
Adapted from Homemade Memories
Adapted from Homemade Memories
Amy Elizabeth http://amyliz.co.uk/
Chocolate Melt in the Middle Pudding // Amy Elizabeth

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Ben’s First Trip to the Seaside

Ben's First Trip to the Seaside // Amy Elizabeth

It was on my summer bucket list to go to the beach, but what with one thing and another we didn’t get to the seaside this year. It’s just that little bit far from our part of Yorkshire, which means it needs some forward planning – especially with a new baby in tow. But, whilst in Newcastle for the weekend it was just a short jaunt over to Tynemouth beach, so we decided to spend an afternoon soaking up some sea air (which, given the high wind speeds on the day, we definitely got a lot of!) and feasting on proper fish & chips. So Ben’s first trip to the seaside came sooner than I thought it would, although he spent most of it fast asleep in the Ergobaby on Paul. I swear that thing is a baby sedative… Luckily, it also protected him from the whipping winds and from getting sand in his eyes – something the rest of us could have done with! 

Ben's First Trip to the Seaside // Amy Elizabeth

Ben's First Trip to the Seaside // Amy Elizabeth

We only had a couple of hours in Tynemouth, so we dashed down to the shore almost immediately. As someone who has never lived by the sea, I always find it a bit strange to be fully dressed and booted when paddling, but there was no way we were getting our kit off in the cold to go for a dip (unlike to two brave men we spied doing so – bravo, fellas!). The wind was whipping up the sand something fierce, so we unfortunately had to actually ditch the beach pretty sharp-ish, but that brought us to the other reason for our visit… fish and chips! 

We decided against Riley’s Fish Shack for lunch as we wanted a bit more space to spread out with two babies (although if it’d just been us then I would have definitely gone there!), so we opted for more traditional fish & chips at Longsands Fish Kitchen instead. It was the full works with mushy peas, a stottie and a mug of tea – exactly what you want when you visit the seaside. We then took a little stroll up to Tynemouth Castle and Priory, but with our parking running out, we decided to head back to our cottage for a spot of champagne (as you do) and relaxing with our babes. That sea air really does take it out of you! 

Ben's First Trip to the Seaside // Amy Elizabeth

Ben's First Trip to the Seaside // Amy Elizabeth

I remember as a teenager, I hated days out like this one. We were often heading to National Trust properties or doing something equally wholesome and I’m sure I complained constantly like the delightful daughter I am. I was determined to have a more exciting and glamorous life as an adult, but now that it’s come to it, I actually enjoy doing all of those things that I decried as dull many years ago. It turns out that happiness really does look like a little walk on the beach, a trip to a castle and a big pile of fish & chips soaked in salt and vinegar. If only I had embraced it sooner! 

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A Quick Trip to Hadrian’s Wall

A Quick Visit to Hadrian's Wall // Amy Elizabeth

I studied Classics as an undergraduate, and it’s still one of my true loves. Give me some Greek myths or a bit of Roman history and I’m happy. My focus has always been on the literature and history, rather than architecture and archaeology, but I do love me a good ruin. So when we happened to be just minutes away from Hadrian’s Wall when staying in Newcastle this weekend, I couldn’t resist the chance to check it out. 

Roman Britain has never captured my imagination the way that Ancient Rome and Ancient Greece have; it always seemed a bit bleak and cold (which I think it probably was) and rather than poison rooms, incest and intrigue, the history we learnt about our more direct ancient ancestors was mostly just warring with the Scots and painting ourselves blue. So far, so very British, right? That said, there are some impressive ruins and landmarks in the UK; the Roman Palace at Fishbourne was one of my favourite ever school trips.

I wouldn’t say that Hadrian’s Wall joins the ranks of the most exciting day trips you can take; what was once probably a pretty impressive wall is now more of a pile of old stones (or at least, it was in the section that we saw). That said, there is always a bit of a thrill knowing that people have been standing where you stood for almost 2000 years. It’s no mean feat to build something that lasts that long, so it does deserve a bit of reverence. It’s supposed to be an amazing walk to follow the whole thing, although at 174 miles it was a bit much to contemplate on a slight post-wedding hangover

After the obligatory posed photo, we wandered back to Heddon-on-the-Wall for a drink and eventually back to our cottage for a slap up roast dinner cooked by yours truly – so all in all, it was a rather cosy and wholesome day. And that’s one more thing ticked off the bucket list! Are there any places that you’d really like to see in the UK? I’m still yet to visit the Roman Baths in, well, Bath, and I’d love to do the Harry Potter train journey

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Making Pasta at Leeds Cookery School

Pasta Making at Leeds Cookery School // Amy Elizabeth

I am a self-taught cook, for the most part. I have occasionally been shown a trick or two by someone with more skills than myself, but mostly I have worked out from trial and error how to make the meals in my repertoire. I like to think I’m pretty good, but there is always room for improvement – and that’s where cookery classes and courses come in. It’s been on my wish list to go to a cookery school for a long time, but they are often prohibitively expensive and so it’s always been relegated down the list in favour of other pursuits, but I suspect that is all about to change with the opening of Leeds Cookery School. 

Pasta Making at Leeds Cookery School // Amy Elizabeth

Based just outside of the city centre at The Old Fire Station, Leeds Cookery School is part of the charity Zest – Health for Life, who support vulnerable people and those living in disadvantaged areas of the city and 100% of their profits will be going towards making the charity sustainable and helping them carry out their work in Leeds. There’s a real mix of classes from beginner’s introductions to more specialised lessons from expert chefs, from cooking the perfect steak to how to run a supper club (both relevant to my interests, FYI), bread-making to making the perfect roast dinner. And with prices starting at just £45.00 for an after-work class, it’s an accessible way to improve your skills that also makes you feel a bit smug for basically donating to charity. 

They very kindly invited me down to try out their pasta making class and I, of course, jumped at the opportunity. In a little over two hours, we were given all the basics to make tagliatelle with a creamy mushroom sauce and it was the perfect primer to trying it at home (as soon as I buy that pasta maker I’ve had my eye on!). We went from flour and eggs to perfectly al dente pasta, with almost no incidents. Other than when my pasta strips all got a little stuck together… but I know how to fix that next time! Everyone was super friendly (this is Yorkshire, after all) and the class was pitched perfectly; you only needed a very basic knowledge of cooking to understand what was going on (no fancy chef’s terms here!) and there were plenty of opportunities to ask questions about everything from pasta making to which knives you need in your kitchen arsenal. 

Pasta Making at Leeds Cookery School // Amy Elizabeth

It turns out that pasta making is a very satisfying way to spend an evening; anything cooked from scratch always tastes better than the ready-made counterpart but that’s even more true for pasta. I was a little smug as I devoured my homemade pasta at the end of the evening, and I am definitely going to give it a go on my own now that I have a little bit of knowledge behind me (although they do say a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing – come back to me when both me and my kitchen are covered in flour and pasta dough…). I can’t imagine this will be the only time I will be a student at the Leeds Cookery School, either; I’ve already got my eye on some of the classes they are currently running and I know there will be some more exciting ones around the corner, for sure! 

Pasta Making at Leeds Cookery School // Amy Elizabeth

 

Pasta Making at Leeds Cookery School // Amy Elizabeth

Disclaimer: I attended the Leeds Cookery School for free but I was already checking out their classes before the invite very handily dropped into my inbox as they seemed like such a bargain – and I was right! 

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What We Wore to a Wedding

This past weekend, we attended the wedding of our sweet friends Joe and Cheryl in Newcastle. It was a fantastic do at Wylam Brewery (which is a great wedding venue if you’re in the market for one), and our first with Benjamin, who was an absolute champ all day and basically just slept throughout. 

It was extra fun picking out an outfit for Benjamin to wear, rather than just focusing on my own glad rags (he wore a matching outfit with his best friend Walter, who is a few months older – the cuteness was almost too much to handle). One day he’ll have his own opinions about clothes, so I’m making the most of being able to dress him up how I like – and I like to think that he’s quite a stylish baby as a result! I could have bought all of the tiny suits in Mamas & Papas but since he’ll grow out of it in a hot second, I saved a few pennies and just went for this adorable polka dot shirt and flat cap combination. He already had a little pair of navy trousers from John Lewis, too, and so the outfit was complete! 

Just a few weeks after having a baby is not the best time to be searching for an outfit to wear for a wedding and I found it a little traumatic to try and dress my new shape. It’s not so much that I’m hating my post-partum body (although I also wouldn’t say that I *love* it, either) but just that it is new to me, so I’m not sure how to dress it to its best. A little extra softness around the stomach is all well and good when you’re wearing loose fitting tops and jumpers, but all of my previous wedding outfits were bodycon so I had to search for something new. I have always thought of myself as someone who can’t wear yellow, but it is my favourite colour – so whilst it’s maybe not the most flattering ever, it makes me happy so I decided to just go for it and I’m so glad that I did. This ASOS dress was super fun to wear and dance in, and helped me feel confident when I could easily have gone the other way! 

I’ll admit it was a little stressful to have a baby with us all day; although he was super well-behaved, it meant that you couldn’t just flit off to the dance floor or to grab another drink without checking someone was watching him. It was also rather stressful getting out of the house in time (although we then got lost and missed most of the ceremony – much to my dismay!) when you’re not only dressing yourself but also a tiny person. But, as always, it was lovely to be at a wedding with so many of our friends; weddings are where I have made some of my happiest memories and I am sad that we are coming to the end of a run of them. But… not before I am a bridesmaid for the first time at the end of October! 

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