30 June 2014

Timberyard – Old Street, London

I am currently recovering from a week of very early starts. Monday to Friday I yawned my way through work, dragging myself out of bed at 6 o'clock every morning, then on Saturday I faced an even earlier start to catch my 6am train to London to meet Ellen. I was not begrudging that, though. A friend, good food and sights were waiting for me at the other end, and my 21 hour day was so worth the sore feet I am faced with now.

First stop was Timberyard – a coffee shop that boasts runner up of London Coffee Shop of the Year. We stepped inside and, like typical bloggers, whipped out our phones and snapped everything in sight.  

Timberyard is artfully crammed with food and drink and everywhere I looked there was something new, something else to consider, and choosing what to order was very hard. 
I don't think I have ever been to a coffee shop where choosing what to order is such an overwhelmingly difficult process. All the cakes, pastries and sandwiches looked incredible, and the drinks too. 
The barista let us try the two iced teas on offe – Earl Grey and Hibiscus berry. I wasn't keen on the Earl Grey, but the berry one was lovely. I decided I needed a strong coffee, however, and picked the peanut butter chocolate brownie to go with it.

We were told to take a seat, and within a few minutes our food and drink were brought over to us on a wooden tray, along with a large bottle of water which we hadn't asked for, but it was appreciated all the same.

The brownie was fudgey, chewy and full of chocolatey-peanutty goodness. It wasn't too sweet, or too nutty, but had a perfect balance of salty peanut butter with rich chocolate flavour.

Ellen ordered a rhubarb and custard pastry which she polished off in no time. We were so impressed with Timberyard's sweet treats. Some of their other original creations included salted caramel brownie cakes, peanut butter and banana loaf, double chocolate doughnuts, blueberry doughnuts and lemon curd doughnuts, to name but a few.

But what about the drinks? Taking the safe option after my uncertainty over the unsweetened iced teas, I opted for an Americano, served in a little black tea cup with a delicious caramel coloured crema sitting on the surface. It was good coffee – admittedly it could have been hotter, but I'm a bit weird about beverage temperatures.
Ellen's orange juice was vibrant in colour and she described just how good it tasted over on her blog, Devilishly Destructive Delights. (Go follow her, she writes good stuff!)

Ok, so Timberyard may look like every other hipster cafe in London, but it's genuine, I promise. Just look at that glass panel on the floor. Stuff like that amazes me, and those suitcases make such cute coffee tables. The staff were lovely, attentive and made the whole experience one worth raving about on WNW. We decided even before we left that Timberyard was a winner, and we would be visiting again. If only more coffee shops like this existed instead of the hard, plastic and cold chains that bombard every town in the UK, but I guess the rarity of places like Timberyard is part of their charm.

Have you been to Timberyard before? If you live in or near London, it's worth the tube journey to catch up with a friend or spend time with your thoughts while sipping a matcha green tea latte(!) Check out their website here and take a peek at their Instagram – the photos are gorgeous.


26 June 2014

The Salsa That Will Change Your Life

Salsa's alright... I could live without it.
Ok, it's a must with doritos, or 'chips' as Americans call them, but every salsa I have ever tried has always been a bit... meh. Too salty, too bland, too tomato-ey, too... whatever.
But one day, my sister produced a bowl of this special salsa. A salsa made with mangoes and nectarines(!?).

Now, don't be as alarmed as I was – the fruit makes this salsa. It balances out the savoury flavours perfectly and makes the chips taste even better. I could eat it on it's own. This stuff is the bomb.com and tastes spot on – it's how every salsa should be. 

Not only does this stuff taste incredible, it's good for you too. The person who invented this recipe deserves a medal. Check out the recipe here on Brooke's blog, Cheeky Kitchen and let me know what you think. You won't regret it. 


24 June 2014

I got Instagram!

http://scontent-a-lhr.cdninstagram.com/hphotos-xap1/l/t51.2885-15/10424481_1493233417578140_907049180_n.jpgI resisted downloading Instagram for a VERY long time. I did not seeing the point of it when I have and use Twitter, but I finally succumbed last night after realising every blogger and their mother has the app, and felt I was seriously missing out.

Also, last weekend I left my camera in Cheltenham and won't be getting it back until mid July(!) I was (still am) distraught about this as I had taken some gorgeous photos, but they will not be appearing on WNW until next month I'm afraid :( so for now, I'll be using my phone with the Instagram app and a digital camera my Dad is lending me. Let's see if I can get any decent shots without DSLR quality.

Have you got Instagram? Leave your handle below and I'll check out your page. I'll be using my account for blog purposes mainly - a little like how I use Pinterest. You can follow me on Instagram here @wnwrote

23 June 2014

Vans Dupes

I've had my eye on a pair of Vans trainers for a while, but couldn't decide on what colour I wanted. I don't know why grey didn't come to mind sooner – it's probably my favourite colour, but it was only after I saw someone else wearing a pair that I knew they were the ones I wanted.
I wasn't keen on the idea of spending £45 on some trainers (that's like two or three meals out don't you know) so I decided I'd wait until my birthday. But a few weeks later I spotted these Vans 'dupes' in the Cwmbran branch of Primark for £6 and I had to get them. 

They look almost identical to the Vans trainers, except of course these don't have the Vans logo, but that doesn't bother me in the slightest. I like them because I like them, not because of the brand. They are super comfy, sturdy and fit well. I'm so happy I found these, and I'm thinking I might get a pair in navy blue too.

What do you think? Would you splash out on a pair of the original Vans or save yourself £40 and pick up a pair from Primark? I'm really impressed with the quality of these trainers, Primark have done good!

22 June 2014

Word of the Week

It has been too long since I wrote a word of the week post. I have an ever-growing list of words in a note on my phone, and I haven't written about any of them in weeks. As much as I love to be busy, I definitely believe a three day weekend rule should be implemented so I can do more of what I love – writing this blog.

Anyway, it's Sunday morning and my body clock has told me it's time to wake up, despite having had six hours of sleep, and five the night before. I'll have a nap later, in the hammock, in the sunshine... :)
But for now, I have a word to share with you. 

In my head, I cannot figure out how to say this word. It comes out slowly when I try to say it – there's so much going on there, and I've probably got the pronunciation all wrong. But it's a word I like to look at, and reading the definition, has the potential to be used every day. So why don't I see or hear it very often?

Have you got a word of the week? What do you think of indefatigable – too much of a tongue twister or a word we should try and incorporate into every day conversation?

18 June 2014

Sweet & Salty Chocolate Cake - The Hummingbird Bakery

I cannot take any of the credit for this incredible creation. My talented mother followed a (very tricky) recipe from Cake Days - the Hummingbird Bakery's second cookbook - and decorated it to absolute perfection for my sister's birthday. Yes, those are chocolate caramel curls on the top.

After the craze of salted caramel a few years ago, it is a flavour known by all now, some even say it's been overdone, but it will always be a favourite of mine - especially when paired with chocolate and a whole lot of butter.

This is a very special cake and we make it for special celebrations. (I say we, I helped by licking the icing bowl). This is by no means an easy cake to make, (trust me, I tried and failed a few years ago for my brother-in-law's birthday) so if you're a beginner in the kitchen my advice would be to stick with the Victoria sponge for now. But if you're looking for a challenge, and a decadent masterpiece at the end of it, try your hand at this. It looks even better in real life and tastes out of this world.

Have you tried this recipe before? You can find it here and the Cake Days book here. The Hummingbird Bakery recipe books are my favourite for sweet treats, as are their bakeries (check out my visit to their Islington branch here) and I can't recommend their products enough.

16 June 2014

Summer Loving: Jelly Shoes

JuJu Babe Glitter Heeled Jelly Sandals - £25 - ASOS
'High' heeled jelly shoes were the it shoes of the late 90s and everyone, everyone had a pair. Everyone except me, of course. My mum thought they were tarty, so I had to make do with the more practical flat version, much to my dismay. Sad story, I know. But I got over it. Kind of.

Tapered trousers - £14 - Matalan
When I saw these heeled jelly shoes on the Topshop website a few years ago I was SO happy. Obsessed, in fact. Just as much as I was when I was a child. But this time was different. 

As many problems and difficulties that being an adult brings, there is the wonderful freedom of being able to do whatever you want, wear whatever you want, whenever you want. And having a pair of heeled jelly shoes of my own was a brilliant reminder of that.

My ex boyfriend got me these for my 21st Birthday and I'll be honest, I have found these quite difficult to style, having only worn them a couple of times in the past year. Most people I know absolutely hate these shoes, but I adore them. They are the perfect reminder of my childhood, and this summer I'm embracing them 100%.

Wear them with:
  • Denim shorts and a plain t-shirt
  • A denim skater dress and frilly socks
  • Loose fitting trousers and a tight tank top
  • A bikini at the beach 
What do you think – are jelly shoes one 90s comeback too far or a nostalgic gem of the past? I know I'll treasure these forever, no matter what anyone says.

13 June 2014

The Best Journals & Notebooks

Of course I have lots of notebooks. In my parents' attic there is a box crammed with my childhood and teen diaries. The number lies somewhere in the 30s, and, despite them being filled with cringey garbage about boys and how hard my life was, I sort of love how well documented my life has been. Since the internet came along (...and full time work, and an adult social life), I find it harder and harder to find the time to sit down and write, but my collection of notebooks and journals continues to grow. 

The truth is, even though it's unlikely I'll ever fill these books like I did when I was younger, the possibility is always there. It's a source of comfort, knowing I always have paper to turn to. 
My favourite notebooks range from prayer diaries, 'blog-spiration', to creative writing ideas and a journal I have kept for more than two years. 

My mum gave me this book for Christmas. I use it to write notes on sermons at church. I'm not sure where she got it from, but the pattern and colours are brilliant.

I was given this journal by a lovely family from church for my 21st Birthday. The quality of the paper is excellent and the journal itself is beautiful, even just to hold. I use it as my prayer diary and it's my favourite of the favourites. I'm sure this can be found online, but this was bought from a shop in town called Fortysix. It opened last spring and it sells all sorts of things from stationery and clothes to jewellery and interior decorations and furniture. I love it.

My 'diary' since 2012. I'm not sure how I should feel about the fact that in 2005 I could fill two or three diaries, but I haven't finished this in more than two years. Life is busy. There's less time to dwell on it, but I still manage to stuff cinema tickets from dates in the past years, reminding me of the people who made me happy and gave me memories to keep. Available to buy here. 

My mum got me this journal from Italy about two years ago. The colours are some of my favourites, and, again, the quality is impeccable. I use this book to write in when I am feeling anxious or down. I turned to this book when I felt the first pangs of depression. The pattern on the cover seems fitting to how I feel when going through a bout of depression. Strange, unrecognisable, stretched, swirly, unusual, new, unique...

Battered and stained by hot chocolate from three years spent writing in bed, this Krispy Kreme notebook was a gift from my brother-in-law which I used for all my creative writing notes throughout uni. I love krispy kreme doughnuts and this was my favourite notebook throughout uni – it is a little bit past it's best now, though.

This soft black book is from Paperchase. I got it in the sale and what I love about it is it has three sections of paper – plain, grid and lined. I knew straight away it would be used for What Naomi Wrote, and when I go out to review somewhere, I take this with me so I can make those all important notes. The bunny rabbit postcard is from Le Pain Quotidien.

And this is one of the latest additions to my collection, which has a number of fantastic quotes inside:

This book is great for when I need to rant (which is a lot of the time), and can be bought here. There are lots of 'trigger' journals out there which I love – one of which was featured on Emma's blog, Reverie Lane, yesterday, and is now on my Amazon wishlist.

Do you love journals and notebooks as much as I do? What are your recommendations? Come September I know I'll be shopping for stationery... I may have finished education but I just can't get over that back to school feeling, and new notebooks are a must. A writer can never have too many.

11 June 2014

Cosy Coffee #1 – Abergavenny

Most weekends I am lucky enough to get the chance to visit a coffee shop or two. I love coffee, and I love drinking it while out in town or during a day spent shopping. My sister Emily came over on Saturday and we took a trip into town with baby OH for a walk. It began to rain so we took cover in the ever so cosy Coffee #1.

Emily got a deluxe hot chocolate. The best thing about Coffee #1's hot chocolate is that it isn't too sweet. They make it with green & black's drinking chocolate which is very rich and luxurious.
I love how much there is to choose from at Coffee #1 – I was so tempted by the Bounty hot chocolate, but I really needed my coffee fix and the lemon tart looked like the perfect partner...

Mm mm mmmm. Lemon flavoured things can be a bit hit or miss. I love the zesty, sweet but not too sweet kind of lemon and this tart was exactly that – so creamy and melt in the mouth.

Olivia slept for the whole time, and it was no wonder – the rain outside and the warm, homely feel inside Coffee #1 was so relaxing. It is one of my favourite coffee shops (the one in Monmouth is also gorgeous) and I highly recommend it if you want a change from the other chains. It is definitely one of the homeliest coffee shops in town and the quality, quantity and cost of their products are all fantastic. Have you ever been to Coffee #1? What's your go-to coffee shop when you need your coffee/hot chocolate fix?

9 June 2014

Summer Make Up for Pale Skin

For all pale skinned gals – I have managed to create a 'look' for the summer months with a few make up items reserved for when everyone else is glowing.

I'm not a fan of fake tan and I'm never in the sun long enough to get the real thing, but with the right bronzer, highlighter and colours for your cheeks, lip and eyes, the illusion of that much sought after healthy sun-kissed glow can be achieved with very little effort.

Base & eyes
A light base is a must during summer. The Bourjois 123 Perfect cc cream – full review here – is my number one favourite because it's so light but corrects and conceals all imperfections. 
The Rimmel wake me up concealer in ivory brightens up the under eye area, and I add a little bit of the Bobbi Brown creamy concealer kit in porcelain and white for extra coverage. 
I use the Soap & Glory one heck of a blot translucent powder to set my base – again, it's light, but takes away all shine. 
The Rimmel scanadaleyes eyeliner in 005 nude helps to open up the eyes and create the illusion of bigger, brighter eyes. 
I used a very small amount of the Wet n Wild color icon eyeshadow palette in 738 comfort zone and the Maybelline great lash mascara in very black to give my eyes some definition. The colours in the eyeshadow palette are neutral and subtle on pale skin.


Bourjois cream blush in nude velvet. 
This cream to powder blush amazes me every time I use it. Like a lot of Bourjois products, it smells beautiful – like sweets and flowers – and the colour is a perfect peach which looks so natural on the skin. I use the Real Techniques buffing brush to apply this on the apples of my cheeks and it's no fuss at all.

The Body Shop honey bronzer in 01 light matte
I bought this on Essiebutton's recommendation and I can't praise it enough. I am so bored of seeing orange, dark bronzers in the shops which look ridiculous on pale skin, but this one works so well, and it blends in to make it look very natural. I use the Lola kabuki brush to apply this on my cheek bones.

Hard Candy so baked bronzer in 129 tiki
I got this bronzer in the prize package of a huuuuge giveaway on Essiebutton's YouTube channel last year (still can't believe I won) and it is the prettiest highlighting bronzer I have ever used. The gold and peach colours make it perfect for when it's sunny, and when applied on top of the honey bronzer it looks lovely. I apply this at the top of my cheek bones, to the sides of my face and on my brow bones with the Bobbi Brown face blender brush.


Rimmel apocalips liquid lipstick in luna
This is another product I received in the giveaway prize and I love it. The apocalips range got a lot of hype last year and the year before, and although the formula isn't brilliant for staying power, it's moisturising and glossy but not sticky at all – like a pigmented, high shine lip balm. The colour matches the cream blush and it's my favourite lip colour for the summer.

What are your top summer make up products for pale skin? As you can probably tell, Essiebutton has been my main inspiration for this post – it was her blog and YouTube channel that helped me choose the right products for my skin tone and, in fact, inspired me to start this blog. Check out her site for more pale skin suitable product reviews and tutorials : )
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