Friday, 2 March 2012


...I stumbled across the fabulous "Grilled Cheese Social'.. a great site dedicated to delicious cheesy recipes! From Fondue to dumplings to sandwiches to sweet cheesy treats yum!..My fave is 'The sugar daddy' ,  made up of butter, apples, cinnamon sugar and 'caramel-y' cheese sandwiched between two slices of cinnamon raisin bread and grilled....heaven! I have promised myself that I will one day make this!

Warning: Do not visit the site if you are on a diet

xoxo Abi

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Adventure : Oxford

..So Guy and I promised ourselves that this year we would do lots of 'doing' and so far we have stuck to our promise as 2012 has been full of lots of little adventures! As we are mostly busy in the week with university and work we try to make the most of our weekends. In February we were stayed with Jess and Piers in London for the weekend and decided to go to Oxford. Jess studied at Oxford so was able to be our trusty tour guide for the day! It was a chilly February morning and the sun was shining..we wrapped up warm and set off early..grabbed a couple of coffees & had breakfast ( croissants & muffins courtesy of Jess) on the train which was lovely!

When we arrived we walked through the city centre to the University grounds which are not usually open to visitors, but as we were with a former student we were able to sneak in to have a cheeky little peek. The college and it's grounds are stunning and there was definitely a sense of Hogwarts around the place..

After that we wandered around, marvelling at the beautiful buildings, exploring the shops, and sampling the local ales and mulled wine.  The architecture in Oxford is so stunning, my hands were freeeezing because I had to keep taking photos of everything..(Such an embarrassing tourist) are a couple more shots from the day..including one of me, probably laughing at Guy's photo taking skills..

On our travels I spotted 'Sanders of Oxford' a shop with rare prints &  antique maps in the window...both of which are a fascination of mine. Once in the shop you are able to sift through the endless draws and files of maps/ prints / paintings and other bits and bobs! I could of spent hours & a small fortune in that shop! Fortunately for my buddys and my wallet I limited myself & only came away with one purchase..An A3 Complete Atlas Of The British Isles for a mere £2 ! I am absolutely thrilled with it, printed in 1965 it is in great condition, and is a joy to look through, each musty page filled with detailed illustrations and charming facts. There was also a box of ripped prints, half finished maps and broken book binds which you could help yourself to for free, naturally I did just that and found some interesting prints..

It was a lovely lovely day, and I cant believe I have never visited Oxford before, if you have not been I suggest you go! I cant wait for my next new adventure!

xoxo Abi .

Monday, 20 February 2012

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Frosty Skies..

..Oh my! It has been a chilly couple of days has it not? I love winter weather and everything that comes with it; wrapping up warm, cosy food, snuggly sofa time and the way in which it changes our countryside. This cheeky visit from Jack Frost brought with it some beautiful clear skies and delicate frosty scenes. Luckily I was home & near greenery this weekend so could take advantage of the photo opportunities in my garden and the surrounding fields. Here are a couple of shots I took on an evening walk..

xoxo Abi

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Harriets Birthday!x

...It was my sister Harriets 24th birthday on Monday, so I decided to throw a little party tea for her on Sunday. I was only home from University for the weekend, so it was a great excuse to get everyone together for celebrations! I embraced our shared passion for delightfully twee things and tried to channel it into the theme when planning her party-tea! Without fail, each year we get a party-tea for our birthdays and the rules state caterpillar cakes and party rings must be present. I had great fun decorating the table with cake stands, confetti, pretty plates, candles, mini buckets & various other bits & bobs that I have collected over the years for occasions like this! As it has been frosty and cold outside I lit lots of candles to create a cosy atmosphere...

..For party teas I find finger/picky foods are always most appropriate for the menu. Having food that everyone can pick at and share means you dont restrict yourself to a heavy time consuming menu & you can enjoy it altogether. We all have varying tastes too so involving lots of food groups means everyones tastes are accounted for.Laying food out in a 'buffet style' allows a leisurely meal that you can keep snacking on through out the day/evening..

...We ate olives & manchego cheese, sun dried tomatos & mozzarella, mixed leaves salad, spinach & pine nut pasta salad, tuna & sweetcorn pasta salad, pitta breads, hummus, guacamole, salami, chorizo, ham, rosemary roasted potatoes, pepperoni & sweet pepper pizza, caramelised onion garlic bread, samosas, chicken tikka wraps, rustic pork& apple pies, quiche, spinach and tomato goats cheese tarts....

..and for dessert..milk & white chocolate crispy cakes, marshmallow squares, hot cinnamon buns, party rings, yummy lindor chocolate, and for the birthday girl I made a three tiered raspberry sponge cake with a creamy vanilla frosting. Needless to say we all ate way too much and had to retire to the lounge for present opening & horizontal tv watching. It was a lovely day that combined some of my favourite time, pretty decorations, presents and eating! I hope I never grow too old to enjoy a birthday tea & I cant wait until the next one! Unfortunately the caterpillar cake did not make an appearance so it will have to be a post birthday treat sometime this week..

..Couldn't resist posting this cute photo of Harriets dog Lottie the Scottie, such a cutie, she is a little porker & participated in the food binge along with the rest of us!

Hope everyone had a lovely weekend!
xoxo Abi

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Photo diary..December/January

A selection of photos to round up what I have been doing the past couple of months...

1.Winter Sun 2. Yummy Sunday Roasts 3. Merry-go-round at the Christmas markets 4. Baking Christmas spiced cupcakes with brandy butter.
5. Christmas decorations 6. Crisp winter sky 7. Cosy fires 8. Skiing in Tignes. 
9.Writing my dissertaion :( 10. Healthy breakfasts 11. Polaroids from NYE 12. Sending Christmas post.
13. Beautiful New Years Day sunset 14. Watching my boy play rugby 15. Experimenting with hand printing old photos on fabric. 16. Date nights.

Looking at these photos make me miss christmas ( my most favourite time of the year)..oh well.. its only 328 sleeps away! 

xoxo Abi.

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

2012 so far..

 On New Years Eve I made a huge list of things that I wish to accomplish this year, and i am proud to far so good. It has been a rather productive beginning of the year for me, I have been busy with various projects both in university and out! Lots of doing, seeing, talking, thinking, reading, visiting, baking, photo-taking and the list goes on... I have got a feeling the 'Year Of The Dragon' is my year & I am determined to follow through with all of the plans i have made! 

I must admit, I have not been as devoted to my blog as I would have liked and it is on the list as something I must pay more attention to. I am aware my past posts have been heavily based on my photography but I feel the best way ensure consistent posting is to not limit the blog to a specific theme. So Darcy&Luella will become more of a lifestyle blog, where I post about what I am doing/liking/thinking etc. I am in my fourth an final year of studying Fine Art at university, so I will most probably be spending a lot of time talking/moaning about my work. For me the most appealing blogs are those that cover a range of topics so hopefully that will make this a more interesting read!

This year I have had my trusty Moleskine diary and notebook with me at all times! I am a huge stationary  fan, and it is important for me to enjoy what im writing in. Even though pieces from the Moleskine range are fairly pricey, for me its totally worth it. I love the quality of the paper and the format of the diary is perfect for planning and visualising my weeks. They also come in handbag-friendly sizes so you can take them everywhere!I have been having lots of girly chit-chat coffee dates with dates with my flatmate Zoe and we have been treating them as mini conferences where we make plans,discuss our work,future projects etc & I use my little Moleskine to scribble down all my notes !

Well there it is, my first post of the year! I dont want to give too much away as I have lots of exciting future posts lined up! So fingers crossed for Darcy & Luella in 2012, its going to be an exciting and busy year and I promise to keep you updated with all the shenanigans here! 

I know we are already 31 days in but good luck for 2012!

See you here soon..