Fellow tea lovers, will understand how excited I was to hear about Whittard’s new tea tasting subscription box – The Tea Club. One of the joys of my tea obsession is getting to try lots of new flavours and varieties, but I don’t always want to buy a big box of every tea I want to try. If you could see my tea shelf right now, you’d know why! So getting a generous sample size of different teas is a great option for me.

Whittard Tea Club - Tea Subscription BoxA while ago, I was sent the first tea subscription box to try and I’ve been a bad blogger and not got round to writing about it for a while! In the meantime I’ve been happily trying the included teas a few times. I thought it was high time I let you know what I thought.

Whittard Tea Club - Tea Subscription BoxThe box is small enough to fit through the letter box, which is super handy if you won’t be at home when it’s delivered.

Whittard Tea Club - Tea Subscription BoxEach box has a theme and this one was ‘A Very British Summer’, It’s nice trying seasonal flavours and brewing them in different ways.

Whats in the box?

Whittard Tea Club - Tea Subscription BoxSo what was inside the box? Basically the box comes with three gorgeous loose leaf teas, a scoop to measure out just the right portion and some loose leaf tea bags if you need them. There is also an information card for each tea. The cards give you some back ground on each tea, explain how to brew it and give recommendations of different ways to serve. For tea geeks like me, this is the perfect little extra.

Whittard Tea Club - Tea Subscription BoxThe sachets of tea are quite generous and you can quite a few helpings out of each one. This gives you the chance to try different preparations. It’s also a to get an impression of whether this is a tea you’d buy again in the future.

Robert Fortune Blend:

Whittard Tea Club - Tea Subscription BoxThe first tea in my box is the Robert Fortune Blend. Named after the 19th entury botanist who brought Chinese tea producing techniques to India. This is a beautifully blended black tea from both China and India. Whittard Tea Club - Tea Subscription BoxThis one can be enjoyed with or without milk. I’ve tried both and as usual I prefer it with a little dash of milk.

Strawberry Mint:

Whittard Tea Club - Tea Subscription BoxThe next tea I tried was the delicious Strawberry Mint. Nothing pleases be more than attractive tea leaves and this one is just so beautiful. With spearmint and sweet strawberries, this is every but as refreshing and tasty as it looks. Whittard Tea Club - Tea Subscription BoxI drank it hot, but I also think this would make a delicious iced tea. The taste card also includes a recipe for strawberry mint ice cubes. I really want to try them in a glass of Pimms.

Summer Pudding:

Whittard Tea Club - Tea Subscription BoxThe final tea in the box was the delicious Summer Pudding. This one is a black tea blended with summer fruits, including juniper berries, strawberries, blackcurrants and redcurrants.

Whittard Tea Club - Tea Subscription BoxThis has a rich and fruity flavour and can be served with or without milk. I liked it black. On the tasting card they recommend cold brewing this one, which I would love to try.

How to get your Tea Club subscription box:

Whittard Tea Club - Tea Subscription BoxThe tea club box costs £12.95 a month with free delivery. This is a similar cost to other types of subscription box, so I think it’s about right for what you get. I always really love boxes like these, as it feels like getting a little present from yourself each month and there’s that extra element of surprise.

Sign up to The Tea Club on the Whittard website.

Check out the tea section of my blog, for more delicious recommendations.

*Thank you to Whittard for sending me this box to review. All opinions are my own. 

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It was hard to miss the launch of the new Disney x Cath Kidston collaboration a couple of weeks ago. I have to confess to being a little bit obsessed with their collaborations. As it is I’m a huge Disney fan and also very partial to Cath Kidson dresses. They may be well over my usual budget, but I always find a way! Having picked up two new dresses from the latest collection, I thought it would be fun to take pictures of all the dresses so far and put them all together.

Winnie The Pooh:

Disney x Cath Kidston Winnie the Pooh DressThe first offering from Disney x Cath Kidston was British favourite Winnie the Pooh. This is one of my favourite dresses, I really love the shape and fit of this one. They currently have a few other dresses in this shape including the lovely pets party dress, which I have and love. My only complaint with this dress was the length and I’ve noticed their recent dresses are a but longer. I loved the print from this collaboration, this will always be one of my favourite books, stories and Disney films. See how I styled it in my post from last year.

Mickey in London:

Disney x Cath Kidston Mickey in London DressGetting my hands on the dresses from this collection was so tricky, but eventually I got lucky and got both. I love the print of this dress so much and wore this all summer. Again the length is much shorter than I’d usually wear, but I just don’t care! I really love that Cath Kidston used their London print and kept this collaboration so British.

Minnie Mouse:

Disney x Cath Kidston Minnie Mouse DressThe spot print is such a Cath Kidston classic. I’ve mentioned before that I used to work at CK when it was a much smaller company about 13 years ago now. The spot print was as much a key pattern for them then as it is now. I love the simplicity of this dress design and it’s one I wore a lot last winter and will wear again this winter too. I like to put a top underneath this one and wear it like a pinafore dress, as I did in my post last year.

101 Dalmatians:

Disney x Cath Kidston 101 Dalmatians DressThis is one of my favourite Disney films, so I was really excited about this range. Although I love the print they chose for the dress I would have done anything for one in the town houses print, which in my opinion was just nicer. I know this dress was a bit unpopular due to the choice of fabric and although I would have preferred cotton, I didn’t mind it too much. For more detail, check out my blog post on this dress.

Tinker Bell:

Disney x Cath Kidston Tinker Bell Peter Pan DressThe first dress from the new Peter Pan, the Tinker Bell shirt dress collaboration is absolutely perfect for this time of year. I really like the shirt dress style which fastens with the cutest star shaped buttons. The print is so pretty and I love the colour. I’m looking forward to experimenting with this one over the coming months. I like the idea of different coloured tights and working into looks inspired by different eras. Watch this space!

Peter Pan in London:

Disney x Cath Kidston Peter Pan London DressThis dress is such a classic easy to wear piece. The print mixes the classic Disney characters with the popular Cath Kidston London Print. This is such an easy dress to wear and the fabric is a lovely and heavy, so it hangs really well. This is the sort of dress I wear all the time, as they’re so easy to throw on with a card and some flats for everyday.

I am so excited to know which Disney x Cath Kidston collaboration will  come next and how many more there will be. I really hope the next range keeps up with the amazing quality of the Peter Pan range. The great fabrics, lovely details and decent skirt lengths, really made this range stand out.

What did you think of the Disney x Cath Kidston ranges, have you tried any of the dresses? What did you think?

Find the items that are still available in the Peter Pan range here.

Find the items that are still available in the 101 Dalmatians range here.

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I recently blogged about my Laura Ashley Autumn soup bowls, and I thought it would be lovely to make a lovely seasonal soup to serve in them. I collaborated on this with my lovely friend Fay, and we had a lot of fun creating this one together. This is a super simple soup that makes a nice big batch, perfect to freeze and warm up when you need a quick meal. With all the beautiful squashes and pumpkins gracing the super market shelves at the moment, now is the perfect time to experiment with different varieties and flavours.

Pumpkin Soup RecipeYou will need:

3 pint of vegetable stock

1 medium butternut squash

2 medium squashes or pumpkins

4 carrots

2 potatoes

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp cinnamon

salt and pepper

pumpkin seeds and croutons

Pumpkin Autumn Soup Bowl RecipeHow to Make:

Peel and chop the vegetables

Bring to the boil and simmer for 1 hour

Season with nutmeg, cinnamon salt and pepper and blend or mash.

Pour into bowls and garnish with croutons and pumpkin seeds.

I’m so happy with how delicious this tasted, we served it with some lovely cranberry bread which went perfectly with it. I’m hoping to share some more tasty seasonal soups with you very soon. I’ve found a few vintage soup recipes that I’d like to work with, so watch this space! Do you have any autumn soup recipes that you’d recommend? As always let me know if you try this recipe and tell me what you think.

The soup bowls are available on the Laura Ashley website and are currently reduced, so get them while you can.

For more delicious recipes check out my Baking section or my Other Writing section which links back to some of my published recipe articles.

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One of my favourite things about blogging, is the ability to create something beautiful. Although I love writing, photography will always be my favourite part of the process. As I’ve recently started a little series of blogging tips posts, I thought it was high time I talked a bit about taking blog photographs. When Panasonic asked me to create a post about blog photography I jumped at the chance. Their Panasonic Compact System Camera is ideal for bloggers, looking for an all round camera.

How to take blog photographsIn recent years blog photography has really stepped up a gear, especially with the rise of Instagram. Everything is very visual these days. This blog has three main types of photographs; they are photographs of items and products, outfit photos and photos of places. I wanted to focus on the first type of blog photographs in this post.

Backgrounds: Having lovely back drops for your photos is a great place to start. For my photos I use anything from furniture in my house to nice floors and often pretty pieces of wallpaper work well. Many bloggers opt for a simple white background. If have a nice supply of papers and locations I use and always have something to hand for when I need to get a job done in a hurry.

How to take blog photographsLighting: Good lighting will always be your friend when taking good blog photos. Natural light without too many shadows will always work best. If theres a bright but overcast day, the diffused light is perfect for getting those snaps. I also use a soft box light when I absolutely need to. Its also nice to add a little depth to pictures using light boxes, candles of fairy lights.

How to take blog photographsProps: As my blog has a vintage theme, I usually find nice things to include in my photos at car boot sales and charity shops. I love using vintage books, kitchen bits, china and jewellery to make my pictures interesting. I also love using fresh flowers. You can choose nice things that go well with the look and feel of your blog.

How to take blog photographsFind your own style: At the moment flat lays are everywhere. They look great, work across all social platforms and are a great way top show off products, bakes or whatever it is you want to show. As well as flat lays I like to take photographs from lots of different angles. It’s all about finding your own style and what works well for you and your blog. For each post I usually take about 50 pictures and choose 3 or 4 perfect ones for the finished piece. The more you work at it, the more you’ll find your own style.

How to take blog photographsTake inspiration from others: One of the best ways to find inspiration is to read lots of other blogs, look at Pinterest and look at pictures in magazines. Obviously do this without directly copying someone else ideas. I often get ideas for composition and layout from elsewhere and then do my own thing from there. Blogging is all about learning as you go.

How to take blog photographsEquipment: Depending on what you can afford, a good camera does make a big difference. I started off using my phone to take my pictures, as time has gone on I’ve upgraded my camera several times. I still take outdoor shots on my phone sometimes. For my flat lays and food shots or anything taken indoors I use my SLR camera with a macro lens.

How to take blog photographsEditing: This is a really important part of the photography process for me. Once I’ve taken and chosen my blog photographs I like to crop, edit and watermark them before adding them to the blog. I used to use photoshop for this. I now use Pic Monkey as its very quick, straightforward and easy to use. There is lots of free editing software online as well as more advances options that you pay to use. It’s worth shopping around and trying different things to see what works best for you. As I’ve got better at taking pictures, I’ve needed to edit less, but it can be a great way to improve pictures when the light wasn’t perfect or the colours aren’t quite right.

I hope these tips have been helpful when taking your own blog photographs. If you have any questions or have any blog tips you’d like me to include in a later post, please let me know and I’ll get to work on that for you. Be sure to check out my Blogging Tips section for more blogging advice.

* Thank you to Panasonic for working with me on this post. All opinions and images are my own. 

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Last week I wrote a post for the Laura Ashley blog, all about getting cosy and ready for Autumn entertaining. I absolutely love their Autumn themed range, it has everything from cute fox mugs to leaf shaped coasters to really get you in the mood for snuggling up with warm treats as the nights draw in.

Autumn Home wareOne of my favourite things throughout the year are delicious hot drinks like tea and coffee, and I know I’ll be using my fox mugs a lot over the coming months.

Autumn Home wareFor my Laura Ashley post I created a spiced apple juice recipe. This is a lovely warming drink for cold days and the recipe can also be used for a spiced cider.

Autumn Home wareThe pumpkin soup bowl is perfect for not only a lovely warming bowl of soup, but I thought it worked really well as a mini punch bowl for my spiced apple juice.

Autumn Home wareI also used it too store this lovely autumnal pot pourri. This has a gorgeous spice and orange scent and contains lots of pretty things in colours that really capture the season. Alongside the autumn burnt amber and orange scented candle, my house was smelling all spicy and warm in no time.

Autumn Home wareOne of my favourite autumn treats would have to be toffee apples. they are such a traditional classic and no bonfire night celebration would be complete with out one. I’ve also shared my Toffee apple recipe on the Laura Ashley blog.

Autumn Home wareThese are all the things I used to create these gorgeous pictures:

Autumn Home ware

Top Row: Autumn Wreath – Pumpkin Soup Bowl – Leaf Coasters

Middle Row: Leaf PlacematsAutumn CandlePumpkin Pie Dish

Bottom Row: Fox MugAutumn Tea TowelsPot Pourri

Autumn Home wareWhat are your favourite things about autumn? Which are your favourite pieces from the Laura Ashley range?

*Thank you to Laura Ashley for sending me all the lovely things I used to create these blog posts. All opinions as always are my own. 

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