It’s that time of year again.
Exams in the next month. Dissertation deadline in six weeks. Then final exams. AND THEN THE REAL WORLD
apparently. So of course I’ve found lots of things to do that don’t involve libraries and remembering 29 different tenses in two different languages and research and panicking about life, the universe and everything and so on and so forth…
Some (long overdue) t-shirt surgery, for starters
Band t-shirts are very precious to me. Not least because they tend to be stupidly overpriced. More importantly, they’re normally mementos from special gigs or merch for my favourite bands; but they VERY rarely come in sizes small enough to fit me nicely. However, I FINALLY plucked up the courage to take a pair of scissors to a couple that have been lurking in the back of my wardrobe, using a fitted t-shirt as a template, and now I can actually wear them without being swamped by fabric!
I’ve also discovered…
… Guilt free baking!
OK, so maybe not guilt free, but certainly less naughty (in my mind). As they are made with ground almonds and no processed sugar, they are lower-carb than your average choc chip cookie, and although they are less sweet, the lovely delicate nutty flavour makes up for it.
150g almond flour
3 tbsp melted butter
2 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
50g chocolate chips
A splash of water
Mix together. Form into balls and flatten to around 1cm thick. Bake at 150ºC for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly golden. Makes between 15-20, depending of course on how big you make them.
Aaand the jar itself is a neat little segway into my final picture…
My mum told me about washi tape. So I bought her a lot of tape. And then I bought myself a lot of tape too. A LOT. And although there are a bajillion brilliant ideas on Pinterest for using it, I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH IT ALL. It’s too pretty to use. I just like to look at it.
I have also been knitting, crocheting, and planning my life (ish) but that’s for next time.
I knew it. I knitted one hat and now I can’t stop.
Can you tell that I’ve had exams recently…? And that I’ve been avoiding having to read all this…?
All available on Etsy. Speaking of Etsy, my friend Paris has been crocheting Red Noses in support of Red Nose Day on 15th March. £2.50 from the sale of each Red Nose will go to Comic Relief – a fantastic cause!
This past month has been all about quick, practical knitting.
First was this ridiculously chunky scarf. I had about two days to do this before the “Snowpocalypse” arrived (about 4 inches of snow, but in Britain, it may as well have been 40) and ready I was. I’ve had some Mystery Yarn in my stash for years – I’m guessing aran/chunky acrylic, and a LOT of it. Anyway, I wanted the chunkiest yarn I had to knit up as quickly as possible, and this fit the bill. Job done.
Next was this Super Simple Beret knit in the same yarn. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t have the energy or mental acuity to do anything with any sort of pattern. I just needed something that didn’t keep falling off my head (the ribbing on my Star-Crossed Slouchy Beret had become very sorry-looking) and that I could make up as I went along. Again, fits the bill; job done.
My first FOs of the year!
First, was another Ishbel – intended as a favour, then a Christmas gift, and finally it ended up being a late Christmas gift…
Second was a Cerus Scarf – also intended originally as a favour, before ending up a very belated Christmas gift. Whoops.
Apparently the country is going to come to a standstill because we’re due a couple of centimetres of snow this weekend. I sell knitwear and I’ve found myself without a scarf to my name. Wut. I’m back to commuting on Monday so I’d better have a rummage in my stash and get knitting pronto.
Happy New Year! What a year 2012 has been!
For me personally, the first, oh, three-quarters of it was pretty rubbish (bar the Olympics. The Olympics were AMAZING), but the last three months have been so hectic and demanding (hence my appalling lack of posts) but also incredibly rewarding and satisfying. Although my life since September has been little more than lectures, essays, presentations, meetings and exams, it’s been wonderful to be back at uni, and I’m really looking forward to the next semester and beyond.
1. CAEK, 2. Interrailing, 3. Obligatory plane photo, 4. Orange/lemon cupcakes, 5. Blue Mittens, 6. Red Arrows, 7. Wedding cupcakes, 8. Mittens, 9. Red Arrows, 10. Moon, 11. Citron Mittens, 12. Merry Christmas
With regards to last year’s resolutions, I’ve actually pretty much fulfilled them all!
- I’ve been eating much more healthily, and I feel all the better for it.
- I reached 39 books read on my list – whopped my target!
- I only visited one country, but I went twice, so that counts, right?
My resolutions for 2013?
- Graduate with a BA - only one semester left…!
- Blog once a month - no, really. Five posts in the whole of 2012 is just embarrassing.
- Reach 50 books read on my book list – currently on #40.
- Reach 20 sales on Etsy – this one actually seems the hardest of the lot…!
What about you, any resolutions for the new year?
I mentioned it in my last post, but I thought I’d elaborate a bit on my time in Granada, Spain.
A friend and I decided to go Interrailing in May; we’d both spent an awful long time organising the trip and deciding where to go, and we decided to fly to Málaga and work our way up Europe. Unfortunately, the plan all went south after a week, but we did spend a great week in southern Spain, and I wanted to share a bit about our trip
So after arriving in Málaga, we got the coach to Granada (where I’d spent a couple of weeks back in February) and basically drank lots of wine and ate lots of tapas (when in Rome…). I’ve put together a Google Map of some of the places I liked – we didn’t do as much as I’d hoped; we didn’t get tickets for the world-famous Alhambra, for example, but it was nice to just spend some more time in a beautiful place and have enough time there not to feel rushed.
We did get to Sevilla, but sadly that’s where the trip ended for me – long story short, I don’t handle heat well (it was over 40°c, and I AM British, after all). Some day I’ll recommence the journey there – Sevilla is an absolutely beautiful city, with lots to explore, just maybe not in the summer months!
One of my favourite places in Granada has to be Heladería Los Italianos on the Gran Via, with their delicious helados (ice creams) – open well into the early hours, it seemed very popular with locals as well as tourists, which is always a good sign. My favourite tapas bar had to be…
- Bar Poë – with only a handful of tables, it was very cosy, and the English owner was very accommodating both of my bad Spanish and me giving up and reverting to English! The Portuguese bacalao was so good; we visited 3 times in a week.
Other notable mentions have to go to…
- Sabika, a tapas bar on the south-east end of Calle Elvira. It doesn’t seem to be online, and it doesn’t even appear to be there on Google Street view, but it definitely was one of my favourite tapas bars in Granada. A dedicated vegetarian menu made it easy to choose great tapas that I could enjoy too
- Babel, another tapas bar on Calle Elvira; “world fusion tapas” led to some interesting dishes (sushi, fajitas, risotto…), and at €2 a pop, it was great value.
My favourite non-foodie place would be the Mirador de San Nicolas, a great viewpoint up in Albaycín, in the north-east of the city. The views of the Sierra Nevada mountains, topped with snow even when it was 40°c, behind the Alhambra, along with the mountains going southwest towards Málaga were really special. At night, the Alhambra is lit up, and you can see the stars, which is novel in a city.
I really enjoyed my time in Granada – it did at times feel somewhat like we’d run out of things to do, as it is quite a small city. However, when we felt like that, we went and found a new tapas bar to try, or found a park in which to sit with a good helado and it didn’t matter so much. The whole atmosphere of the city is nice – not hectic, like some bigger cities, and there’s plenty of opportunities to just sit and watch the world go by. The only “chaotic” thing about Granada is the CRAZY Spanish drivers! And you need to arm yourself with a polite but firm “No, graçias” for the seemingly endless stream of men trying to sell you roses, lighters, watches and sunglasses in the bars…
You can easily fly to Málaga from the UK, for under £100; Granada is a 2 hour, €10 coach journey from Málaga airport. And there’s also plenty of accommodation options – from €10 hostel beds to paradores to upmarket hotels. Well worth it.
Time for a new(ish) start…
In the last FIVE MONTHS (how ridiculous) I’ve been up to a few things…
I went to Spain* (and took some photos this time…!)
In the next couple of weeks, I’ll be moving house (yaaay!), I’ve got plenty of knitting and sewing ideas to work on (and some shop shenanigans afoot…) but most importantly I’ll be returning to university for my final year. It’s a long time coming, and I can’t wait to get back to London and get back to work I think it’ll be a little bittersweet, and I’ll be devastated to say goodbye to all my friends and lecturers at the end of it, but at the moment I’m just focusing on getting back to the good times and enjoying myself (and getting down to some hard work too!).
*I realise this is very déja vu, looking at my previous post…!