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Wednesday, 20 June 2018

One Student at Nigella's Table

I don't want to alarm anyone... but I'm writing a blog post!

Long time no speak. So yeah, the blogging schedule kind of went to pot over the last month or so. I lost my writing energy and just really wanted to focus on my last few weeks in America. Not going to apologise for it either because I believe blogs should be written because people want to and not as a chore.

So anyway, today I want to launch a little project on my blog. But before I get into it, I need to drop on the back story. 

I recently watched a movie called Julie and Julia which is based on the real-life blog of Julie Powell. Over the space of a year, she cooked her way through Julia Child's book Mastering the Art of French Cooking. The movie was excellent and really heartwarming. I felt really inspired to cook after watching it. 

Cooking and I have a complicated relationship. I love to cook really but... I'm not always the best at it. I'm not a bad cook per se but I'm easily demotivated and one bad meal can put me in a real sour slump. So I've decided to challenge myself by cooking my way through a cookbook this summer, although certainly not one as big or as challenging as Julia Child's! 



Nigella Lawson is one of my favourites for recipes and so I've decided that this summer I'm going to cook my way through her most recent book, At My Table, over the course of the summer. The book has 109 recipes and I have 91 days until the first day of my next semester. So it's definitely going to be a challenge, but I want to push myself to try new things and follow through. 

And the rule is that I'm not allowed to make substitutions because I don't like something, only because of lack of availability/cost.

I've already made my first dish which was...
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Sunday, 6 May 2018

6 NYC Instagram Foodie Hotspots (And Their Closest Attraction!)

Posting photos of your food on social media. 

It's something that people either love or hate. Personally, I am a fan of the quick food photo, but you won't catch me letting my food go cold to get the perfect shot either. I just love to eat too much. Living near New York, there's no shortness of Instagram foodie accounts. There are so many restaurants/cafes/food stalls that say their secret to success is the 'gram. I've visited a fair few spots in NYC because of what I've seen on Instagram so today I'm sharing their location, what they serve and what tourist attractions are close by so that you can maximise your time in the big apple. 


Dominique Ansel Bakery
What: Cronuts, cookie-milk shots, frozen smores, blooming hot chocolates. 
Where: 189 Spring Street.
What next?: Shop until you drop around Soho. 

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Wednesday, 2 May 2018

The April Edit

Woweee April has been a busy month. With a visit to Boston to visit Leda and my mum/sister visiting for 10 days, the month flew by. The weather has finally brightened up a little bit which has given me that little burst of energy that I really needed to get through a busy month. One thing, that I didn't realise is that the US gets less daylight hours than the UK during the summer so if the days are really bright and sunny, that helps make up the difference. It was so nice having my family here to visit. Taking them to New York was fun of course but I really enjoyed showing them around Stamford. Showing them where I go grocery shopping, our favourite restaurants, them meeting my friends etc. The 10 days flew by and whilst I'm sad to see them go, I'm also ready to power through my remaining 7 weeks in the US.


What I've Been Reading

My favourite books of the month were Eat Up! by Ruby Tandoh and Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. In Eat Up, Ruby Tandoh explores our relationship with food whilst adding in some beautifully descriptive pieces and scrummy recipes. In Little Fires Everywhere, we go back in time and follow two families in the events that lead to a house burning down. 

Both books, in their own right, were gripping, unique and addictive. I'd fully recommend! 

Honestly, with how busy my month has been I haven't really kept up to date on any of the blogs that I read so I don't have any great list of posts to recommend in this department. Apart from this post by Jasmin called 'I Want to do EVERYTHING but Also Spend Time on the Couch' which really summarised a lot of things I also feel. 
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Sunday, 29 April 2018

April Reading Wrap Up

In April I tend to swap reading books for hitting the books in preparation for exams but this year I don't have any so I've been reading to my little heart's content. I'm actually really sad that I only have 6 weeks left with my local library as it's such a good one. I'm on a mission to read as many good books between now and my return to Edinburgh. I read some really interesting books this month and most of them I'd really recommend.


Ghost World by Daniel Clowes
This is the famous graphic novel that the hit movie is based on. I loved the movie so was excited about reading it. The story follows two obnoxiously 'individual' teenage girls as they negotiate boys/men in the summer between high school and college. It was ok. The plot was different to the movie and I think I actually prefer the movie plot. I found them a little irritating at the time but it was a nice easy read. I gave it 3/5 stars. 

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Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Giving Thanks

  • I am thankful for blue skies, crisp cold weather and golden hour sunshine. 
  • I am thankful for friends that despite being spread across a globe, will always be there for the Facebook group chat or a silly, drunken snap chat. 
  • I am thankful for American Netflix having a much wider range of shows, to brighten dull Connecticut evenings. 
  • I am thankful for the 10:25am express train to Grand Central. 
  • I am thankful for all the dogs I get to pet.
  • I am thankful for the realisation that just because something is a fantastic opportunity, that doesn't mean it's the right opportunity and that's ok.
  • I am thankful for developing a taste for wine because not being a wine or beer drinker is just awkward in most situations.
  • I am thankful for ice hockey stadiums that let in dogs.
  • I am thankful for bread and fast rising yeast.
  • I am thankful for the spare bed in Leda's attic that is always there to welcome me. 
  • I am thankful for coconut gelato.
  • I am thankful for $1 slices of pizza.
  • I am thankful for Ruby Tandoh, Nigella Lawson and Mary Berry.
  • I am thankful for elastic cuffed lab coats. 
  • I am thankful for Skype and phone calls and all those things that connect me to the other side of the pond.
  • I am thankful for organising trips to distract my mind. 
  • I am thankful for the woman who empties the bins at work because one time I heard her audibly hiss at a man I don't like. 
  • I am thankful for discovering how great scouring bleach powder is for cleaning out a bathtub. 
  • I am thankful for Sunday dinners at Leda's house. 
  • I am thankful for being able to renew library books online.
  • I am thankful for poetry. 
  • I am thankful for the scratch-off maps.
  • I am thankful for postcards from Scotland. 
  • I am thankful for the end being in sight.
  • I am thankful for Rebecca, who is always there for a chat. 
  • I am thankful for my past self, who spent so much time with her grandparents.
  • I am thankful for the NHS.
  • I am thankful for the one, disgustingly greasy English fish and chips shop in Stamford CT, even if its chips are really fries. 
  • I am thankful for dancing around the lab to Rihanna.
  • I am thankful for blogging. 
  • I am thankful for writing. 
  • I am thankful for reading. 
Twitter @honestlyrussell // Instagram  @honestlyrussell // Pinterest @honestlyrussell
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Sunday, 22 April 2018

Postcards from Maine

What a way to round up New England. This month, I finally visited my last New England state: Maine. This tiny little state (roughly the size of Scotland actually) is located right up in the northeast corner of the US and is famous for it's coastal beauties and LOBSTER. I visited this state as I did my first, with the lovely Leda


I'd arrived in Boston the night before and after a night of Chinese food and sangria, we drove up to Portland on Saturday morning. And by we drove I mean Leda drove. So shout out to her for being a fantastic chauffeur for the day. It's about a 2-hour drive from  Boston and we arrived around noon.
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