pick six: tapas to try in spain

Another instalment from Aspiring Kennedy, tapping in further to the wealth of Lauren's travelling experience. Her 10 month old baby is the most well travelled teeny tot I've ever met! So well travelled that they'll pretty much be out of the country until April. Here she gives us some tips for tucking into tapas. You can't go to Spain without it! Oh and do check out her blog...

I hadn't been to Barcelona in a long time- in almost 10 years, actually. When I got the chance to meet up with some of my best friends from high school there for a girls weekend, I couldn't' book my RyanAir flight fast enough. Eventually, the girls weekend expanded into my husband + baby coming, too. Three nights in Spain was enough to wet my appetite for spending more time there in the future. The combination of the relaxed culture, the great style, the affordable prices won me over…. and, of course, the food! I could eat tapas all day long. And with the affordability of traveling to Spain, that dream can become a reality!

If (and when!) you find yourself in Spain, here are the six tapas items you need to fully embrace. Not only will they get you the best taste of Spanish cuisine… but they'll just give you the best taste in Spain period.

1. Pan Con Tomate

This is a basic staple for any Spanish tapas spread. Simple bread rubbed with a juicy tomato and lightly salted. Mmm. The combination leaves a tasty (and toasty) combo.

2. Croquetas

This is the tater tot's classy cousin. Mashed potatoes mixed with delicious accompaniments like manchego cheese, tasty local meats like jamon or spiced chicken, are then rolled in bread crumbs and pan fried. The best part- most restaurants sell them for about €1.50 each. Yum.

3. Patatas Bravas

I'm a potato girl… if you saw my butt, you'd agree. I like my starches. I'm a universal starchie. Wherever carbs & potatoes may be across the world, I'll seek them out and befriend them. In Spain, there is no exception to this affection. Lightly roasted (ok, maybe fried) potatoes with delicious spicy & creamy aoili on top. Si, seƱor.

4. Peppers Padron

Just because these are low in calories doesn't mean they skimp on flavour. I could pop these like chips. Oh man. Apparently, 1 in 100 is spicy, but don't let those odds make you sweat. Padron peppers have a fantastic (and not too spicy) flavor that makes them easy to inhale, err, eat.

5. Tortilla
I think of the Spanish tortilla as the love child of a quiche & potatoes dauphinoise. To us Texans, it's a bit confusing as we conjure the corn or flour variation upon hearing this word. However, the tortilla of spain involves potatoes, eggs & various additions cooked in a skillet… and the result, well, it's really delicious.

6. Chorizo
Maybe this is an obvious choice, but how could a meal be complete without Spain's beloved chorizo? I'm not a huge pork eater, but this spicy delight will make me a believer.

something for your screen

It's Friday (yay) and I feel a freebie coming on! Here's a new downloadable wallpaper to brighten up your screen. Get downloading here, enjoy and I'll think up a new batch for next month. 

Have a great weekend. I plan to!

winter fiesta

bridesmaids // aztec rug // dreamy sky //  floral card // malgudi bookcover // berry ice pops
A hint of summer vibrance brought back down to earth with with a deep navy. This colour combo is the definition of striking and choosing a navy instead of black keeps it classy. Hope it inspires!  

little mini

A bit slow off the mark but here’s my next guest recipe post over at the lovely Aspiring Kennedy. This time you can have a go at making mini cheesecakes because desserts look so much more appealing in miniature. Or is that just me? Find the full recipe here and there isn’t even any baking involved so there’s no room for over-enthusiastic ovens to ruin this treat. 


a winter wedding

Hello friends! Happy New Year to you all! To start 2014 I thought I'd share with you one of my ongoing projects from 2013. This lovely couple commissioned me to design the whole stationery shabang for their winter wedding, straddled in between Christmas and New Year. Yes you heard right! While everyone was winding down into post Christmas lethargy and nursing their swollen bellies, this couple was skipping down the aisle. 
This was a lovely project to work on, one of my faves in fact. The brief was loose but I loved their enthusiasm for simplicity. Black print and recycled board runs all the way through and works really well for this winter wedding. I also loved their idea to have a staggered invitation booklet and sweet personal touches like the recipe card with the RSVP.