Things I’ve learnt from Fringe….

In the words of Staind it has indeed been awhile. I am just back from THE BEST WEDDING in Manchester and a trip to Edinburgh Fringe. I have seen some of the most wonderful comedians bare there hearts, souls and other body parts to an audience and it was heart warming, alittle scary and downright beautiful. 

  Below are just some of things I have learnt from my first fringe fling: 

1: The fringe bible is your friend but an inanimate object can only do so much so get talking to others. The flyerers are fountains of information who you can occasionally bare your soul to (I had got my first cold in seven months up there which coincided nicely with my holiday). My friend Kevin also happens to be an awesome reviewer so I heard things on the fringevine (see what I did there) 

2: Check out the Free Fringe. Fringe can be ludicrously expensive so its worth having a look at some of the free fringe shows. I saw some of my favourite shows due to the free fringe (more about that later) 

3: Get up early- I planned to do all the cultural stuff in the mornings (I only succeeded once)- most shows don’t start until around my midday giving you a chance to explore (saunter) around the shops/caves/museums. 

4: Be prepared to spend those pennies- I managed to do my trip on a teeny budget but still over spent. Next time I will make sure I save a bit so I can spend alittle more. All the pubs put up there drinks prices as well. In other words YOU WILL SPEND MONEY. 

5: Take lots of photos- Edinburgh is a beautiful city and I was lucky enough to be there when the weather was good. Take advantage and explore its deep and dirty history. 

6: Be prepared to queue – Halfway through is when shows really start to make a name for themselves hence bigger queues! If you don’t get into the show you want to see- down a beverage of a choice and there will undoubtedly be another show to see. 

7: Theres always a theme- You’ll find an overall theme each year- 2016 seems to be about mental health. Its great so many comedians tackling an issue that affects us all at some point. 

8: It will direct your comedy taste- Turns out I like comedy that’s slightly surreal, passionate and alittle dark (just like my music). Out of all the shows I saw whilst up there I didn’t enjoy TWO of them. Not everything will be to your taste but this just highlights the kind of comedy you do enjoy!!! 

9: Find a good pub- My favourite venue/ pub was Bannermans, a dive bar gig venue in the caves that felt slightly haunted. I also liked Cabaret Voltaire and the The Blind Poet (they have an amazing selection of beers & ciders). 

10: Be prepared to walk- Edinburgh is very hilly so be prepared to have calves that resemble tree trunks by the end of your visit. Buses are cheap but walking really is the best way of seeing the city. 

Lastly enjoy it!!! Bask in the glory that is fringe and have a wonderful time. 

Advertisements

Wine Time Wednesdays- Why I won’t be dry this January. 

I spent my New Years up in Chester with my friend Claire drinking ALL the rum. Days later its Wednesday, I’m back in the midst of work and life and stuff and suddenly its just alittle depressing after all the fun festivities of Christmas and New Years. 

This is why January is the saddest month of the year- you meet the slump. Its dark, miserable and cold outside. Don’t get me wrong I applaud any one willing to give up anything in the first month of the year but it’s not for me. Though I won’t be painting the town various shades of red this month I will be having the odd tipple, usually on the Wednesday! 

The first wine of the year is one that blisters of memories of my twenties, but more than that its a good wine to start the year with. This wine is as easy on your wallet as it is on your tastebuds and whisks you into a subtle vanilla whipped frenzy. 

The wine in question is Campo Viejo Temperanillo, (www.campoviejo.com) you’ve probably seen it in your local shop. Its definitely worth a try. I paired it with pizza and a night watching Jessica Jones on netflix. 

  

Happy Wednesday! 

Shaziya Niamh xo 

Roasted tomato, basil and quinoa risotto. 

  

Colder days are on here and I for one am very happy! Don’t get me wrong I love summer and the endless days and longer nights that come with it, but theres something comforting about Autumn. Cooler climes mean comfort food and as you may have gathered I love abit of comfort food. 

This recipe stemmed from a craving for roasted tomato soup, a new lust for basil and a need for something healthy. As always I researched and had a vague idea of what I wanted to make before I made it. Personally I like it simple with just a handful of spinach mixed in but you could add alittle something extra if you wanted. 

You will need: 

  • A jar/ carton of passata. 
  • 5/ 6/ 10 vine tomatoes (pending on how much you want to make) 
  • 3-5 cloves of garlic (depends on taste I like my food REALLY garlicy!) 
  • A handful of basil. 
  • One- two cups of quinoa. 
  • Extra virgin olive oil. 
  • A vegetable or chicken stock cube. 
  • A chopped white onion. 

Method. 

Drizzle a roasting tray with olive oil, sea salt and black pepper, add the chopped tomatoes, garlic and basil  roast in the oven on a high heat for about twenty minutes or until they look roasted. In a pot simmer your chopped onions with alittle olive oil (you could also use the one cal spray) add chilli if desired and once golden brown add you stock cube and alittle water. Pour the passata into a bowl and add the roasted tomato and garlic using a blender blitz until smooth, add the mix to the onions and simmer. You could have this as a roasted tomato soup, but if you fancy something with a bit more substance add the quinoa. Add alittle more water and cook until the quinoa goes translucent. 

Enjoy with a glass of wine or warming cup of tea! 

Happy Saturday. 

Shaziya Niamh xo

Thoughts on thirty. 

I turned 30 on Saturday and if I am honest I completely (slightly) freaked out the week before! However with age comes wisdom and with wisdom comes more good stuff. My twenties were a sea of insecurity and for the most part drama. I have entered my 30s in the best way possible surrounded by friends and family. 

Turning thirty means not giving a fuck, surrounding yourself with the ones that love you and not paying attention to the ones who don’t. When I look through the photos from the last few days I finally see someone genuinely happy with who she is and where she’s at. You realise that being sensible isn’t a bad thing and some of the things you did in your twenties you probably won’t do in your thirties and thats ok because really its all okay. 

As a child I remember having far better conversations with the adults than I did with people my age, now that I’m older my skin feels far more settled in to. You finally get to a stage of not wanting to be something you’re not and just being you. Which really truly is all you can be and in this grand sea of souls why would you want to be anything else other than yourself? 

I know most of this post is a rumble of thoughts processed into words but it’s how I’m feeling at the moment, calm, slightly blissful and ready for whatever this decade may bring! 

Love 

Shaziya Niamh xo

Wine time Wednesdays- the rum post. 


Over the last few months I have given up drinking beer simply because drinking it leaves me with a two day headache and makes me feel really sick. This has made drinking socially difficult because whenever I’m out I generally only drink wine or beer as I’m not the biggest fan of spirits (ghostly and otherwise).

However rum is a different story, the first time I drank it was a valentines day many many moons ago, my friend Caerwyn (who’s half Jamaican half Welsh) and I went out for drinks. Now given his genetics the man can drink for Europe and rounds consisted of two rum and cokes to every pint!

Ever since that night I have been a huge rum fan (in smaller quantities!). Rum reminds me of good times, good friends and nights I don’t want to end. 

Last weekend I went over to my friend Michelles for the first bbq of the year- I brought over a bottle of Captain Morgans spiced (thats my go to rum) and she had a bottle of Mount Gay Rum

We had to compare them (obviously) and whilst Captain Morgans is spicier Mount Gay is a simple calm before the storm. As in its mellow and complimented the ginger beer we had with it far too well! 

Over the summer I will be posting cocktail esque ideas so if you have any suggestions feel free to email. 

Happy Thursday! 

Shaziya xo 

Valentines/ schmalentines….

Whilst I don’t see the point in a clinton card day made to make couples feel smug about enforced romance and single people feel VERY single. I am all about celebrating LOVE for all the people I quite like. I even brought in red velvet brownies that turned out as dark as my heart for my work mates!

Anyhow I’ve just found it this band are playing tonight and as I am gutted not to be seeing them here is a link to the video as its really good! Mariachi El Bronx- 48 Roses.

Whether you’ve been struck by Cupids bow or not HAPPY SCHMALINTINES!!! and in the words of Tom Haverford go ahead and ‘treat yo self’ regardless.

Shaziya Niamh xo

I got the blues (as in blueberry muffins)

I love a good muffin. Theres something very comforting about that cakey goodness that just fills my being with glee and matched with a cup of tea its the perfect breakfast treat.

I’ve made blueberry muffins a few times before but this time I wanted to do a vegan, vaguely healthy version that I could bring into work for breakfast. This recipe is very much inspired by different recipes I’ve read over the years and I was pleasantly suprised by how well they turned out!

Ingredients:

  • Freshly squeezed juice of a lime (and the bits) image
  • 3 bananas
  • 2 heaped tablespoons of coconut yoghurt
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder.
  • A cup of spelt flour.
  • Half a cup of brown sugar.
  • Freshly washed blueberries.

Method:

Mash bananas and add lime juice, stir and add baking powder, stir again and add yoghurt. Stir again and add the sugar. Mix all those ingredients together and add spelt flour add more if needed. Add a pinch cinammon if desired then add the blueberries. Mix in the blueberries.

Carefully put the mixture into muffin cups and sprinkle the tops with alittle brown sugar. Put the muffins into the oven on gas mark 5 and bake for about 20 minutes or until are golden brown. Take out of the oven and leave to cool. Then try your best not to eat the whole lot!

Shaziya xo