Category Archives: Instagram

Momentary Happiness…

Hello everyone, it’s that time of the week again for some mid-week wisdom! Today I am sharing the love for instagrammer ‘Charlotte Freeman’ – or better known as @momentaryhappiness because I just adore her instagram feed. It is always filled with beautiful quotes and images of sun, sand and happy moments.

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“Oh my God, what if you wake up some day, and you’re 65, or 75, and you never got your memoir or novel written; or you didn’t go swimming in warm pools and oceans all those years because your thighs were jiggly and you had a nice big comfortable tummy; or you were just so strung out on perfectionism and people-pleasing that you forgot to have a big juicy creative life, of imagination and radical silliness and staring off into space like when you were a kid? It’s going to break your heart. Don’t let this happen. Repent just means to change direction—and NOT to be said by someone who is waggling their forefinger at you. Repentance is a blessing. Pick a new direction, one you wouldn’t mind ending up at, and aim for that. Shoot the moon.”  – Anne Lamott

Such a beautiful quote, right? I agree that we are too hard on ourselves most of the time!

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Make sure you follow @momentaryhappiness on instagram to get your daily fix of great quotes, beach & sunshine. They always make me smile, and secretly wish I was on a tropical island somewhere. Happy Hump Day! I hope you have a wonderful day :)

  
Leave a comment | Posted in Happy Hump Day, Instagram, Quotes

My Time off // Insta-Life-Lately

Happy Monday! Today was actually quite an exciting day for me because I started at my new job. It felt a bit like the first day of school, but it was a good day and it flew by. Lots to learn and information to get my head around, but that’s the fun of a new challenge right? As you know I had a bit of time off in between jobs where I went home to the Netherlands and did some fun stuff with friends in London. So I thought I’d share some of my instagram pics with you all that I took during that time…

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Flying into Netherlands over the coast. Seeing the beach like that always makes me smile and excited to be going home // A visit to the Japanese Garden with all its gorgeous autumn colours – more photos of my visit to these gardens HERE // Zooming home through the forrest in The Hague with my parents // A day of babysitting my little nephew included cooking dinner – I tried a new Ottolenghi recipe; Cauliflower Cake. It was super simple and delicious. Don’t worry recipe to follow!

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“I’ve learned that home isn’t a place, it’s a feeling!” Love that quote and being at home always makes me feel so relaxed, happy and at peace // One day we went for a long (3hr) walk on the beach. It was a pretty windy day and the night before it had stormed so the beach was covered in shells and little crabs // Walks on the beach (no matter what weather really..) is one of my favourite things in the world. It’s totally my happy place – letting the wind blow all the cobwebs away :) // In love with my new snood that I picked up at the HEMA for only €5 (link) – it’s so cosy and love the black and white pattern. A girl can never have too many scarves right?

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Biking around The Hague – it’s just the best and easiest way to get around // Dessert I made one night when having dinner at my brother’s house – Cherry Clafoutis, it’s my fail proof dessert recipe! // A stunning autumn day meant time for an early morning run on the beach with my dad //  Followed by breakfast made by me. These turkish style eggs were so good and something a bit different – I’ll share my easy recipe in the next few days!

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A day in the outdoors. We went hiking in the Meijendel Dunes, which is about a 40min bike ride north of where my parents live in The Hague. It’s a stunning nature reserve coasted area characterised by dynamic water landscapes, pine forests and hundreds of bird species which makes a perfect environment for long walks and bicycle trips // We spotted many wild mushrooms during our walk // After the walk we refuelled with fresh mint tea and real Dutch Apple Pie (appeltaart) A must when in Holland, it’s the best! // Sand sculptures in the city centre of The Hague. Pretty impressive and they’d been there for days too. I was in the city for movie night with my parents. Saw the film ‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’ which I absolutely adored. Such a feel good film. Totally made me smile, warm and fuzzy, want to go to chef’s school and move to France to start a restaurant ;) If you’re, like me, a bit of a foodie then I’d definitely recommend checking out this movie.

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Day trip to Antwerp in Belgium. We drove down (as it’s only about 1 1/2 hour from The Hague) and explored the sights around the city. Antwerp has an old town and a more modern area, lots of amazing shopping and cool bars and restaurants  // I had a delicious lunch at Felix Pakhuis (link) near the Museum Aan de Stroom (link) which is worth a visit when in Antwerp – even if just going up to the roof, for free, to get an amazing view over the city // When in Belgium….enjoying beers in this cool called “Het Elfde Gebod” which is filled with religious nik-naks and has a large selection of beers on offer // Antwerp Market Square at night!

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Last day in Holland and it was a stunning sunny day so meant one last walk on the beach with my parents. Will miss these two again when back in London // Home again in London and out and about in Notting Hill – Wild at Heart on Westbourne Grove is just the most gorgeous flower shop! // Morning walk in autumnal Primrose Hill – a bit rainy but still great to enjoy in the fresh air in such a beautiful royal park.

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Some shopping at Bailey Nelson.  I may or may not now be the owner of some Cat Eye style sunglasses. Watch this space ;) // Brunch Granger Style. Catching up with a friend at a Notting Hill fave; Granger & Co on Westbourne Grove. His scrambled eggs are still the best I’ve ever tasted //A night out with friends in Brixton Village; pizza pizza pizza! // Followed by more fun times at The Social for their weekly Thursday Hip Hop Karaoke Night. We didn’t actually get on the mic ourselves (duh, we didn’t want to scare the crowd) but had a great time.

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It’s been such strange weather in Autumn here in London. The other day it was 23 degrees which is so amazing! I was enjoying it a lot because wasn’t working so the sunshine and being able to dress all summery felt wonderful // Happy Halloween!! Friends of mine hosted a fab Halloween party so I decided to get dressed up as little red riding hood and attempted scary (clawed) makeup. Was (surprisingly) quite happy with the result actually! What did you dress up as for Halloween this year? // The last few days have been a bit colder which meant scarf weather. Picked up this little cosy beauty recently on Portobello Road – it’s a copy of a sold out version from ZARA season ’13 and because I’d always envied anyone that got that ZARA scarf I am stoked that managed to find this one! I love mixing prints at the moment; stripes and tartan, stripes and leopard print – it all goes in my books // Sunday Roast at The Albion in Islington – sharing a roast chicken + girl time.  Ahhh life is good :)

Hope you enjoyed my little insta-life-lately post. For more pics you can follow me on instragram @dutchessroz. Also do leave your instagram account in a comment so I can check yours out, because I love finding new inspiring people to follow :)

  
Leave a comment | Posted in Instagram, Lifestyle, My life, Photography

Tuscany Holiday Photo Diary

Hello! Had my first day back at the office today, after a week off, and was a bit of a shock to the system. Definitely wished I was still on holiday instead of working my way through hundreds of emails. Anyway as promised here a quick post with some snaps from my holiday in Tuscany with my parents last week. All photos were taken on my iPhone because silly me packed the wrong camera charger.Which was rather annoying since I had sacrificed about 2kg for my DSLR + lenses in my 10kg allowed bag and now wasn’t even able to use it all holiday. Anyway still got some good photos on my iPhone and this is a little selection (more can be seen on my Instagram account)

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Arrived in Pisa on Friday evening where my parents collected me from the airport. We walked around the city, saw the famous leaning tower, and grabbed a bite to eat while watching the Netherlands destroy Spain (5-1) in the World Cup. Olé, Olé, Olé!! // The next day we drove to Lucca which is a lovely small city just north of Pisa. Great little boutique shops, squares and the pretty Piazza dell’Anfiteatro.

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In Lucca we also climbed the Torre Guinigi, which is the most famous tower in Lucca because of its small garden on the top // Oh and also the view over Lucca is rather impressive! // From Lucca we drove through the stunning Tuscan country side to our apartment in Montaione // We’d booked a quaint 2 bedroom apartment in an old tuscan farmhouse (link) via AirBnB and when we arrived we celebrated our arrival by having a wine in the sun from their own vineyard!

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Sunday was Father’s day so I cooked breakfast for my dad (and mum) which we enjoyed outside in the terrace. I made italian ‘baked’ eggs – on the stove because the apartment didn’t have an oven – and it was delicious, if I may say so myself ;) Want to see the recipe on the blog? // Then we headed off to Siena and explored this city all day. The Siena Cathedral (Italian: Duomo di Siena) is a medieval church in Siena, and even though I have seen many Cathedrals in my lifetime – this one is rather impressive! // The black & white marble stripes are so striking // We also climbed to the top of the Duomo Nuovo which gives you a breathtaking view over the city. A bit of a climb but very much worth it!

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Loved the mosaic floors in the Piccolomini Library in Siena //  Piazza del Campo is in the historic center of Siena and is regarded as one of Europe’s greatest medieval squares. This photo is looking up at the famous  Torre del Mangia near the square // We feasted on a late lunch of meats and cheese (with wine) at Antica Pizzicheria al Palazzo della Chigiana (Via di Citta 93) which is a super busy atmospheric deli with prosciutto haunches, sausages and hot peppers hanging from the ceiling. There’s no seating but you can order a selection of food and you can stand outside the deli drinking your wine and eating the absolutely delicious cheeses and meats. Definitely a foodie highlight of the trip // Driving past the little towns of Panzano and Greve one day in the Chianti region.

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Day trip to Volterra // Loved the black & white striped walls on the main Piazza  by the Cathedral // If you are a Twilight fan, you probably recognise this town as where the Volturi live. Interesting fact however is that for the film New Moon, the Volterra scenes were actually filmed in Montepulciano, Italy. The biggest problem the people of Volterra had with Stephenie’s book was the fact that Bella ran through a fountain to get to Edward when there isn’t one in the actual main square of city; the producers had to build one in the center of the filming location. // An italian dinner cooked at the apartment, fresh spinach and ricotta ravioli with basil pesto and fresh mozzarella. So simple but so delicious!

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Visiting San Gimignano which is a small walled medieval hill town in the province of Siena. Known as the Town of Fine Towers, San Gimignano is famous for its medieval architecture, unique in the preservation of about a dozen of its tower houses, which, with its hilltop setting and encircling walls form “an unforgettable skyline” // We enjoyed a (must-have) gelato from Gelateria di Piazza” by Sergio Dondoli who is world famous for his award winning ice-cream. And it definitely was tasty and gone in seconds // What do to when sheltering from a massive rain and thunder storm while out exploring San Gimignano? Take a family selfie of course ;) We didn’t let the weather rain on our parade haha! // Another home cooked italian dinner – fresh linguine with sausages in tomato sauce – I will feature this easy recipe on the blog soon! 

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On our second to last days it was a beautiful sunny day so we decided to just have a lazy one and sit in the sun by the pool, read our books and eat delicious food // We had a long lunch in a little town nearby Montaione and cooked anther simple italian dinner at home. Dinner seen here was fresh tortellini with panfried courgette flowers, cherry tomatoes, spinach and lots of pecorino cheese. Yummm. I definitely overloaded on the carbs (and naughty food in general) while in Italy so it’s a bit of a carb and healthy detox for me the next few weeks to try and balance it out a little! // On our last way on way back to Pisa airport we stopped in a little town called San Miniato – how cute are these little umbrellas they had in the streets?

Overall I had such a lovely and relaxing time in Tuscany. The weather wasn’t quite as sunny or hot as I’d hoped but that meant instead of sunbathing by the pool we just did more exploring around the area which was also very fun. Think I can still do with a bit of a beach (tanning) holiday though this summer, so am now looking at booking a week in Turkey in July with one of my best friends. I can’t wait!

Have you been to Tuscany or any of these towns before?

  
1 Comment | Posted in Instagram, Lifestyle, Photography, Travel

Insta-lately

Hello! Did you all have a good weekend? We had a long bank weekend here in London and I stayed put in the city. It was really nice to have a chilled time at home and to be able to catch up with friends. Thought I’d do a little insta-lately post to show you some of the things I’ve been up to in the last few weeks.

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April was a very hectic month for me with a giant office move project I’d been managing and in early May it was finally moving weekend. This photo is me and my assistant ( & now good friend) on moving day in our matching outfits – not on purpose of course! // Brunch at at great cafe close to my new office called ‘The Table’ in Southwark. We had brunch here one morning during the long weekend in early May when we were working all weekend. Loving this cafe, their breakfast and lunch menu is fab, so if you’re ever in the area, check it out (link) // Loving my new lace top that I scored in  a little shop in Amsterdam a while back – was a great bargain at €17! // Me and my mum quite a few years ago – couldn’t be with mum on Mother’s Day but my thoughts were with her!

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Ready for a night out with friends in little black dress from French Connection and one of my favourite MAC red lipsticks – Lady Danger (review here) // Home cooked weekend brunch in the form of good old poached eggs and chilli avocado, nom nom. Recipe here // The weather has been pretty amazing in London some days in May. This was one lovely Friday night catching up with a friend at The Waterway in Maida Vale for some wine and dinner along the canal. Love this place // My dinner at The Waterway - sometimes you can’t beat a simple meal like steak and chips!

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A quick selfie before heading to Love Brunch at Kensington Roof Gardens. Hadn’t worn this Topshop floral dress since last summer (as seen here) and loved wearing it again. Made me feel so summery – which makes me excited about the rest of the summer! But as I write this it is pouring with rain outside, booo // Me and friends at Love Brunch – have you been before? Read about the best rooftop parties in London here // Hangover brunch after Love Brunch at Pizza East Portobello in Notting Hill. Their full breakfast and avocado on toast definitely hit the spot. // Feeling like a little ray of sunshine in yellow on a sunny day in London. Loving yellow this season – are you?

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Weeknight girly catch up dinner at Banana Tree. I hadn’t been to this restaurant chain before but they have one in Maida Vale that’s close to all of us and my friend raved about their laksa so was keen to try it. I had the meatball laksa and she was definitely right – pretty amazeballs ;) Need to find  a good laksa recipe now so I can attempt to recreate this delicious dish at home // A recent CÉLFIE (get it?) with one of my favourite Zara statement necklaces // Friday night – Date night wearing my ‘new’ Zara blue floral dress. This dress is actually from the summer ’13 collection but I only recently bought it second hand on eBay. Think eBay is fab for little fashion finds you missed out on in store! // Dinner at Gogi in Maida Vale, which is a Korean BBQ & grill place. My friend recommended it and I had a great night. Cosy little place, good service and yummy food (note – you must like your meat for this one). Will definitely go back again.

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One of my best friends was back in town after a long stint away so we met up on Saturday for a long catch up breakfast at one of our Notting Hill faves: Granger & Co. Bill’s Ricotta Hotcakes with Maple butter and Banana are just incredible. I added a side of bacon for good measure. My friend found bacon and pancakes a weird combination but I think it’s a salty & sweet match made in heaven. What do you think? // After brunch we browsed Portobello Road markets where I spotted these beautiful peonies. They are my absolute favourite flowers! // Sunday was a lovely sunny day so me and a few friends celebrated it being a long weekend by drinking a few jugs of Pimm’s in the sun and the thought of no work the next day made it even better // Pimm’s in the sun escalated to a mini house party at a friends house with more summery cocktails, BBQ food and silly games like beer-pong. Such a good night. // Now suffering from Monday blues a bit and missing the glorious sunshine. It’s rained all day but at least being a Bank Holiday it meant I had the day to recover at home. Only a four day week ahead, hopefully it will fly by!

PS you can follow me on Instagram @dutchessroz here. Are you hooked on Instagram like me?
Leave me a little comment so I can check out your profile! :)

  
3 Comments | Posted in Food, Instagram, Lifestyle

My Easter weekend in the Cotswolds

Sorry for the radio silence on the blog at the moment. Work is so busy and have been spending a lot of hours at the office this week so unfortunately had no time to update the blog. Here quickly some photos from my long Easter weekend in the Cotswolds. There was 10 of us going so we rented two cars and drove to Thrupp (near Oxford) where we had rented a 5 bedroom cottage in the countryside.

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Pub lunch at the Royal Sun during the road trip. They had the most amazing freshly baked pies and curly fries // On arrival at the cottage we all got a little excited about the horses in the backyard! // Enjoying the spring sunshine in the garden over tea and homemade rocky road. // Tea soon escalated to prosecco and we feasted on lots of cheese into the night, catching up with each other.

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Saturday started with breakfast and a lovely walk along the canal near the house // After the walk it was tea time so I decided to whip up a big batch of my favourite (easy peasy) scones, recipe HERE. As always they went down a treat!

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The afternoon we chilled in the garden and then it was dinner prepping time // I was in charge of cooking a massive Easter Roast for everyone but luckily I had many little helpers in the kitchen which made it all good fun // Dinner was slow (5hrs) roasted leg of lamb (got this massive 3kg piece of meat from Provenance butchers in Notting Hill) – it was incredible with sweet potato gratin, beans and a kale salad. The sweet potato gratin is one of my new holy grail recipes at the moment – recipe to follow on the blog! It’s to die for, trust me! // It was my friend’s birthday on the Tuesday after Easter so we decided to surprise her with a birthday cake. Oh and yes she’s got the cake in her face because she dunked her face in it, why? Someone dared her to! Ha that’s why I love this girl :)

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 After dinner (and cake) we also had dessert which was my Hot Cross Bun Pudding (recipe HERE).  We actually didn’t eat that much of it because we were so full after our massive dinner, but we we re-heated some for breakfast and discovered it also makes a great breakfast pudding :) // After dinner the fun and games really begun with beer pong the boys vs the girls. It got very competitive! Who won? The girls of course…BOOM! That night we had our own little party at the cottage that went into the wee hours of the morning // After a long sleep in and some breakfast on Easter Sunday it was time for the Easter egg hunt. We had a huge amount of eggs and one of us was the Easter bunny and hid them all in the garden. It was such good fun and we all felt like little kids again running around like crazy to find them!

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Comparing our Easter Egg hunt finds!! I definitely ate WAY too much chocolate over this weekend. On a chocolate ban for May I think // I also made some nutella and hazelnut stuffed croissants (super easy cheat recipe here) which were delicious, love croissants fresh from the oven // Easter Sunday was mainly spent indoors (due to rain…and hangovers) and we watched DVD’s and continued to stuff our faces with chocolate. We managed to make it out of the house in the early evening, to the local pub for some drinks, food and a game of scrabble. Pub games are the best!

Monday morning it was time to head back to London and we all wish we could have stayed in the Cotswolds a bit longer. What a perfect Easter weekend. What did you get up to over Easter?

  
2 Comments | Posted in Instagram, Lifestyle, My life, Travel