“When we’re together, darling, every night is Halloween…”

Hey guys! Long time, no speak!! I know it’s been a long time since I posted, but I’ve really missed you all, so I wanted to make sure that when I came back to blogging it was with a post that is really meaningful and special to me.

Naturally, I couldn’t think of a better or more… “on-brand” date than Halloween! Since I got married TWO YEARS AGO today, this is probably going to be quite a mushy ‘open letter’ type of post, so if you’re not into that type of thing, please feel free to check out some of my older Halloween content, such as this last minute “vampire” make-up tutorial! That being said, to my readers: I thought for this post I could formally introduce my husband to you, along with our love story so far. I hope you enjoy it, or at least find some comfort or joy from it in some way! To my closer friends and family who have probably heard lame renditions of this story a thousand times, I’m sorry!! 


Dear Austin,

Growing up, as a chubby, bespectacled girl with THICK, frizzy Hermione-esque hair, a massive beauty mark, no top lip, and eyebrows the size of the sun… I got bullied a lot. I never felt like I was much to look at. Even as I hit puberty, got some contacts and discovered tweezers- the effects were lasting. As I grew into a young woman, I put up with a lot from boys, because I was grateful and flattered that anyone could see me as attractive at all. Some of them treated me abysmally, and totally skewed my opinion of love. Until, as I hit 18, I had a very real doubt that it existed at all.

In actuality, I liked being single. Naturally fiercely stubborn, wildly independent, and a true introvert- being alone was familiar, and comforting. No one to disagree with me, smother me, control me… or hurt me. By 21, I had almost completely absolved any expectations of finding “the one”, or realistically, any kind of long-term romantic partner.

The day I first talked to you (I think) was the 2nd March 2016. Shortly after you sent me the first tinder message, I’d just walked into the theatre to see the film “How to be single” in the cinema with a group of girls I was close with at university. The film basically is about a girl who was so “in love with the idea of love” that when she leaves her long term partner she doesn’t know how to function alone. I related to her a lot in the way that she actually found solace and adventure in being alone. Overall, the film left me feeling fulfilled, and confident in my singledom. As I left the theatre, you had hunted me down and messaged me on all my social medias, panicking, thinking that I had gotten bored of talking to you. Luckily for you- that wasn’t the case, and I found your pursuit endearing as a pose to creepy… (haha!).

Soon, I found we were talking all day, almost every day. I remember finding out you were American, and worrying that I’d find you obnoxious, loud, or that your accent would annoy me to tears. The first phone call we had, being the romantic I am, I said “Oh, your accent doesn’t actually piss me off”. Instead of finding my frankness rude, you found it hilarious, and I felt comfortable talking to you almost instantaneously, which is extremely uncommon for me. I remember thinking, “I could actually really be friends with this guy!” every time you hung up the phone.

The next week, returning from a night out early, as one of my girlfriends was too drunk to get into the club- I was complaining to you when I accidentally dropped my location pin on messenger. I had no idea that from that, you would get the idea in your head to spontaneously drive over to see me in the middle of the night. You arrived at 4am, I was still a touch under the influence and had no makeup on but the remnants of alien themed fancy dress, my hair was in a messy bun, and I was wearing my PJs under a big coat so that you wouldn’t get lost in the city. I told you “you shouldn’t have come”, and that I looked like a toe. You said I looked beautiful. I didn’t believe you, but then you came back, and you said the same thing every weekend thereafter.

I told you I didn’t want a boyfriend. That I didn’t have time while I was finishing my Bachelors. I was too career-oriented. Too perpetually single and selfish. You knew I was lying. I remember the way you refused to take my crap “You’ve been hurt before, I get it, but I won’t stop trying”. I thought you’d looked right through my soul to pull that out of the bag.

Within a month, you told me you loved me for the first time. I thought I’d misheard you because you were drunk, and laughed it off awkwardly. The week after, you left a post-it note on my ceiling saying the same thing- only this time, I couldn’t ‘mishear’ it. I slipped a similar note into your pocket as you left my flat the next weekend.

Loving you was easy. It wasn’t scary, intense, suffocating or anxiety inducing like it was with other guys. It was natural, easy, free. Like coming home after a long day. You never let me doubt you, never let me feel insecure, and never gave up on me when I was difficult. Most amazingly of all, you made me believe in love again when I was so adamant that wasn’t on the cards for me. You made me realise how much I DESERVED to be loved.

Finishing my degree, moving back home and becoming your girlfriend felt like a whirlwind. You were spending all your free time staying with me, until my grandma’s tenant moved out and she offered to let us stay at her empty property until it was filled. Deep down, after our first weekend there, I think we both knew that this was how things were meant to be. After about a mere month of staying together, we talked about how we would love having this house to be a reality. Tentatively, with the threat of you being deployed/stationed back in the US, or someone else moving into this house, you suggested that if we got married, the military would make things easier for us to make that happen. Again, I laughed it off. In the grand scheme of things, we’d been dating roughly half a year. “He must be crazy!” I confided in my Grandma. But after talking to her, she suggested that I was afraid of the wedding, and what people would say, and not the commitment. We soon realised that while this was true, I was never afraid of a marriage with you. Living with you and being with you felt so natural and normal- and I just knew.

Not long after, we were discussing moving in together more objectively. I was upstairs in front a mirror next to our mattress on the ground, dying my hair “boring poo brown” for a job interview, and you suggested it again, this time a bit more certainly. “We could get married?” I laughed… “Yeah, we could”.  There was a lot of “WAIT WHAT?” and “Oh my god are we engaged?” before you immediately ran downstairs to ring your parents and let them know. My hair hadn’t even finished developing.

At the tender age of 21, despite our parents knowing us well enough to understand, and though they wished we’d had a longer engagement, they understood why we were rushing. Other people however, besides a select few, thought we were insane, or that I was pregnant. (Two years on and still no unplanned offspring, just a healthy relationship and too many cakes thank you very much lol!). It’s really uncommon to get married so young in the U.K, outside of religious groups and cults- so I can understand why, but I became hyper-aware of people discussing my relationship, doubting our sincerity, and being pretty negative. I’ve always been way too concerned with what people thought about me, but you helped me to realise that nothing mattered outside of our happiness. If anything, it became “me and you against the world” very quickly. It made us stronger where a lot of couples might have waivered. I knew then, that your loyalty would almost be able to rival mine, and that we would be able to tackle anything together.

We knew what we were signing up for. We knew we were young. We knew we were stupid and giddy and in love. But we also knew we would be able to grow together, to change together, to choose to love one another even when it was hardest. We’ve had times like those. But in a much greater quantity, we’ve had the best time of our lives.

We brought a fur baby into the house, and argued a great deal about parenting the most obnoxious kitten ever, but we managed so well that we have the most confident, affectionate and dog-like feline dude I’ve ever known. We’ve struggled through finances, through my battles with employment and career stability, through arguments about washing up and even Mental Health.

Through it all, I’ve never doubted your love for me. You’re my rock, my team, my player 2, my support, my lover, my best friend and my biggest fan. We are so vastly different, and yet, you compliment me in ways I never knew possible. Your extroversion, your confidence and your Labrador-like zest for life makes me smile every day. You know when I’m too shy or uncomfortable in social situations and take the focus easily and subtly (or not, as the case may sometimes be). You lift me up and try tirelessly to lift me up when I’m low. You cry enough for the both of us. You put up with me when I’m feeling sick and sorry for myself. You think I’m pretty even when I look like I’ve been sleeping in a bin for a week and a day.

But most of all, you love me for my truest, most vulnerable and natural states. I used to worry about marriage, because I thought I’d never be able to truly be myself around someone else. But the fact is, I’m more myself with you than I was before, and I don’t know how that’s possible. So that I don’t ramble on any further, I just wanted to say that I love you. It’s been two years and I’m still not over the novelty of calling you “my husband”. I don’t even mind being that 1% gross statistic that actually married someone from Tinder anymore! 😂 This piece is a testament for you, the incredible man that I’ve come to know and love on a level I never knew possible. I’m so damn grateful that it’s you that I get to grow old with. I can’t wait to annoy you for the rest of my days!

Happy Two Year Anniversary!

I love you always.

Francesca.

X


morticia addams quotes

Dear Readers,

I hope that If you’re reading this and you’re feeling lost, un-loveable or down about love, the best advice I can ever give you is to love yourself. Appreciate yourself. Meditate, look inwards and learn about what you need or desire from a romantic partner. Remember you deserve happiness, and until you find someone worthwhile, don’t give up your singlehood, because actually, it can be great. You’ll know when you find ‘your person’, because it will make your life even more fun. I promise. xx

Mum’s Pear and Chocolate Crumble

I thought I’d share this recipe on here as a few people asked me about it after I commented on a Twitter thread about people’s favourite foods. This is a dessert that will immediately transport me into our old house, in the winter, sat at a small dining table under the stairs, holding the bowl to warm my hands.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m the queen of cooking without measuring ingredients, but I’ve tried to explain my process as best I could. The recipe my mother used was originally this one by Waitrose (click the link here if you’d like to see the original), but I’ve made some adaptations that I think improve the dish, while also making it more cost effective. Winner, right? Serve with vanilla ice cream or custard and you have a winner all winter long- or in my case, all year round…


  • Preparation time:20 minutes
  • Cooking time:30 minutes
  • Total time: 50 minutes 

Serves: 8

Ingredients

  • 8 pears, peeled, cored and cubed
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 50g golden caster sugar
  • 100g your favourite chocolate (dark is best IMO)
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 can/small bottle of ginger beer

For the crumble

  • 175g butter, chilled and diced
  • 200g plain flour
  • 50g Roasted Hazelnuts
  • 50g Porridge Oats
  • 125g Demerara sugar
  • 2 Tsp Cinnamon, 1/2 Tsp nutmeg

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4.
  2. Chop your Pears into cubes, sizing of your preference, but remember, the bigger you chop them the longer they will need in the pan.
  3. Place the pears, lemon zest and juice, sugar, and 100ml of Ginger Beer in a large pan and heat gently for 10 minutes or so until the pears are tender.
  4. Meanwhile, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.
  5. Stir through the hazelnuts, oats, spices, and sugar. If you want to chop and speed this process up again, I like to pop mine in a blender and pulse it until I have the desired consistency.
  6. Spoon the pear with a little juice into an ovenproof dish. (not too much, else it will bubble over, which isn’t terrible, but for special events it looks unsightly). Scatter over the chocolate, then the crumble mixture, making sure it is relatively flat and evenly distributed.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden.

Frankii’s tips

More often than not, I frankly don’t have the time or patience to make my own crumble topping. Yes, for special occasions it adds a little something extra, but if you want to cut down on time don’t feel guilty for grabbing a bag of Aunt Bessie’s. Makro also do huge bags- sometimes Grandma will get a large one and we will split it and keep it in Kilner jar’s for freshness.

The New Years Resolution that changed my life…

What’s up guys? Now Christmas is over, It’s safe to say that New Years Day is officially creeping up on us, and so I’m sure many of you are thinking about setting a New Years Resolution, or if you’re anything like me, just bracing yourself for the tsunami of inspiring “new year new me” status updates from those Facebook friends you just haven’t got round to un-friending yet.

In my adult life I never really believed in New Years Resolutions, and Quite Franklii (😉 she said it!!!) Every year without fail I would become increasingly tired of everyone indulging in some new ridiculous fad diet, and of middle aged women exclaiming how “naughty” they’ve been for eating all the mince pies. (Just so you know, every time you punish yourself for indulging in a tasty treat you deserve at Christmas, a piece of Santa’s soul wilts.) But, if you’re looking to try something realistic, meaningful and achievable this year, put down that Gym Membership you’ll use once this year and keep on reading to find out the one New Years Resolution that actually did change my life.

 


 

You reap what you sow…

Growing up, I was always a confident child. Then I got bullied, had abusive relationships and shitty/toxic friends. As an INFP, my thoughts have always been fairly altruistic and kind, so I struggled a great deal growing up and realising this was not inside everyone. I found myself listening to girls tearing each other down and speaking behind each other’s backs, often saying things I would never even think, let alone say. Though these experiences didn’t necessarily affect my thought patterns- they definitely did impact the way in which I viewed the world, I became more cynical and much much more ‘shy’ and ‘reserved’ with my opinions- mostly for fear of standing out, looking odd or weird.

In 2015, a friend made an innocent comment that really stuck with me. He said “I love it when you give compliments, because it happens so rarely I know when you approve of something you really mean it.” At the time, I was in a major depressive episode, and was on a really serious spiritual journey to find out more about who I really was. Naturally, this involved a great deal of self-reflection.

I’d always known I wasn’t the most demonstrative person, I’ve always been a little reserved, and consequently accused of being “cold-hearted” and detached. As I mentioned previously, though I would laugh and play into that stereotype, this was never because I didn’t have love to give, more that I was very guarded and careful with who I shared it with. (Now, actually, this is a trait that I’ve accepted and actually like about myself, as it provides an extra ‘security check’- My empathetic nature often means that people will take advantage of me and drain my energy.)

But- I didn’t realise I was withholding admiration for those closest to me.

This really got me thinking, when was the last time I complimented my mother? My grandmother? My closest friends? A stranger? The truth was, I’d become so paranoid about coming across as creepy, or weird, that I had begun to come across as cynical and cold.

Now, I don’t necessarily totally believe in ‘the law of attraction’, but I definitely do believe in karma. I try hard nowadays to be as kind as possible to people, because regardless of how much someone dislikes me, I never want people to be able to say that I was unkind. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” if you will. Thinking about this, It was then, that I made my New Years Resolution.

If you have nice thoughts, be kind and give compliments freely, (and the hard part) even if your anxiety tells you it makes you look weird.
This is about reconditioning your mind, and reminding yourself that no matter what your anxiety or your insecurities say, it doesn’t. By reaching out to say something kind, what is the worst that can happen? Perhaps the recipient does think you’re a little odd, or a little creepy- but at least you’ve maybe made them feel good and boosted their ego even the slightest bit.

I think so often in this world of social media, it can be so tempting to just give stuff a “like” and move on with your day. But what makes this Resolution so achievable is that you can even ease into it by exercising it on social media. Instead of just leaving a like- tell someone you love the way they do their makeup, their writing style, their work ethic.

The more you do this, the more you will be encouraged to continue doing it. It’s honestly so rewarding. 9 times out of 10, people will generally be so grateful, especially for the more thought out kind gestures, that it will really boost your confidence, ease your anxiety and actually make you feel good yourself.

So, if you don’t have a Resolution yet, you never usually stick to them, you don’t believe in them, or you think they’re all meaningless- think again, and maybe consider making a simple vow to work on yourself and try to give compliments and give love freely. You’ll be surprised by how instantly your own life will become more positive and light.

really hope you guys enjoyed this post, and that perhaps it’s inspired you to give kindness a little more freely in 2018. With the amount of hatred and the global political climate we’ve been left with after 2017, it’s more apparent than ever that there can never be too much love and kindness in the world. Pick up the phone and tell someone they are awesome today.

Happy New Year everyone!

Love from,

Frankii. X

My Perfect Roast Turkey & Christmas Day Recipes!

Hi guys! Another quick little recipe selection for you all today, here is my Christmas day agenda, including how I make the perfect (not-as-dry-as-ghandi’s-flipflop) roasted turkey! 

Turkey:

(Did you know that the traditional British Christmas bird was goose?)

  1. Set your oven to 180 degrees C. Oil a deep roasting tin.
  1. Remove the neck, giblets, and packet near the front shoulders, rinse thoroughly and pat dry. Place the turkey in the tin and loosely stuff the cavity loosely. Brush it with oil and insert the meat thermometer into the thigh, making sure not to touch bone as this gives and inaccurate reading. Salt and pepper to taste.
  1. Make a foil tent for the turkey, leaving about an inch of space to allow heat to circulate. Crimp the tent to the sides of the pan.
  1. Roast the turkey until the thermometer reads 180 degrees C. For turkeys from Tesco (UK), it usually has a calculated time on the bag based on the weight. We got a large – 5.3-6.9 kgs or 11.6-15.2 lbs. This would typically take between 3 hrs 15 mins – 3 hrs 50 mins, with an additional 30 mins for the stuffing. To ensure browning and perfect crispy stuffing, remove the foil tent after an hour or so of roasting.

Roasted veg:

Carrots, parsnips, squash, potatoes, and sweet potatoes. Cut into similar shapes and sizes, peel and half the roots. Toss in a ½ cup of sage, a ½ cup of thyme, and several sprigs of rosemary (fresh is best!) and one whole bulb of garlic. (My family- especially my sister! love to eat it roasted by just squeezing the garlic out of the clove… though I don’t recommend this if you are planning any mistletoe related activities later on!!) Salt and pepper to taste. Chuck them in around the turkey about an hour before pulling the turkey out. I usually separate half of my veg because my mum is vegetarian/pescatarian  –  and cook separately.

Gravy:

My famous gravy is always made in the bottom of the meat dish (with separate gravy granules and water mix for my veggie mum). I usually make it by pouring a majority of the loose oil out, leaving a few tablespoons worth. I then mix cornflour and water in a small glass and whisk the slurry into the hot oil until no excess oil remains. This should thicken, and the slurry substance should mix with the meat juices and become a brown, thick-ish substance. Pour boiling water and pop a stock cube in, then whisk to the desired volume and thickness. Pop in chopped onions and gravy granules/herbs of your choice for extra flavour (if you desire) and boil adding water until desired quality.

Brie and Cranberry Puff Pastry Snowflake

My next recipe I wanted to share with you lovely lot is one that I created myself during a phase where I was obsessed with puff pastry and its versatility, and concocted some experiments with the left over cranberry sauce I had from last Thanksgiving- (I made too much and I hate wasting delicious food). I loved it so much, and it’s so festive and easy to make that that this year I made it as an an appetiser… and my friends loved it. One so much that she actually asked for this recipe so that she could recreate it- so Ellie, this one’s for you kid! If you do decide to recreate this, or any variation of it, do make sure you show me your pictures, you can find me on basically any social media @quitefranklii!

Ingredients

  • 1 wheel of brie of camembert if you prefer
  • 2 pre rolled sheets puff pastry
  • about a cup of cranberry sauce
  • 1 sachet of bacon lardons
  • 1 tbsp thyme
  • Approx 1 tbsp fresh rosemary + one whole sprig
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 egg whisked
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. (The pastry I use comes rolled in its own)
  2. Pop your cheese wheel In the centre, (I like to put mine in a ramekin so that it doesn’t ooze out all over). Break up the sprig of rosemary into a few bits and stab it through the cheese. Push the garlic cloves in in a similar manner- you don’t have to be neat with this!
  3. In a pan, on a medium to high heat, pop in a bit of olive oil, about one clove of garlic, and remaining herbs to fry off your bacon lardons. If you want your bacon crispier, make sure to add your garlic and herbs later so that it doesn’t burn.
  4. When this is done, add in the cranberry sauce, and turn the heat down to low. Stir for a minute or so while it cools just to combine the flavours
  5. Cut each sheet of pastry into about six even, vertical strips.
  6. With a spoon, spoon on the cranberry mix, and with the back of the spoon try to evenly distribute the mixture across all twelve of your strips. (But don’t overload them, as this can make the pastry soggy.)
  7. Simply twist your strips, then bend them in half so they form little triangles. Arrange them around the cheese as per my image so that it creates a kind of “snowflake”
  8. Brush pastry with egg wash. Make slits in the cheese and then drizzle cheese with olive oil and season both cheese and pastry with salt and pepper. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes. Pull it out when the pastry is risen and golden, but sometimes the cheese needs a little longer to get the gooey, dipping consistency that is desired for this meal- so (with your oven gloves on!) feel free to grab it in the ramekin and pop it back in for 10 more minutes.
  9. Tear off your strips, dip, and enjoy!!

 

Super Easy Christmas Stuffing Recipe

Hey guys, I know I promised some festive recipes that I love a while back, so here’s one of my staples that I also use throughout the year when I do big roast dinners, I hope you’ll love it as much as I do.

I’m a much better chef than I am a baker, because I’m never one to really measure my flavourings. I’m one of those people who can never create a recipe twice! But it’s been suggested to me by my friends a few times that I should try and write down some basic guides, so I’ve really tried to record some.

Ingredients 
Serves: 10 

  • About 200-250g of cubed bread, as rough as you like. Sometimes I just tear mine. I usually do about a 2:3 ratio of White to Wholemeal, but thats my preference.
  • One tube of sausage meat, or a few sausages with the skin removed. (if you are vegetarian, at the first blender stage I would add a couple of slices of bread and an egg. This makes a sticky breadcrumb mix that tastes great and will hold its shape in a similar way.)
  • 1 medium onion
  • a generous helping (about 3 Teaspoons or more depending on preference) of dried sage
  • a generous helping of dried rosemary
  • a generous helping of dried thyme
  • a generous helping of parsley, fresh is best but dry is fine too!
  • 1 apple, cored and sliced
  • a handful of dried cranberries, I’ve also used a Cranberry jelly before when in a pinch.
  • Lazy Garlic, 1 teaspoon.
  • 1 Stock cube
  • 50g (2 oz) unsalted butter, melted

 

 

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas mark 4.
  2. What I like to do next may be a little naughty, but there’s always room to cheat at this stressful time of year! What I do, is simply bung the apple. the onion, the herbs, a stock cube, and the cranberry’s into my Nutribullet (any blender/processor would work). That wicked little device isn’t just for smoothies you know! I only really pulse it until it is a rough paste, but if you prefer finer flavours then go ahead and let it go a little longer.
  3. Pop in a little bit of water, perhaps about a cup- to activate your stock cube, along with a teaspoon of lazy garlic and your melted butter (I do this in the microwave) and pulse it again until you have a peculiar slurry.
  4. Lightly toast your bread cubes, this can be done by popping them on a baking tray for 5 or so minutes.
  5. In a large bowl, mix in your paste/slurry mix with the sausage meat and bread cubes, (Disclaimer: some people like to cook their sausage meat before hand, however I’ve never found that I needed to, I’ll leave this down to you. If you choose to do so, I would imagine you could knock off a significant amount of cooking time. Say, 30 or so minutes. I prefer to leave mine to cook inside the bird or a baking tray so that it comes out at a similar time.)
  6. Spoon into turkey to loosely fill and cook along with your bird. (if you pack it too tightly, it may cause your turkey and stuffing to cook slightly unevenly, as it will prevent air from circulating.) Or of course, if you prefer or have left overs, pop it into a greased baking tray or pyrex dish for about 40 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.

My thanksgiving to-do list!

Hey Guys!
Believe it or not I am one of the few bloggers out there with the worst organisation skills ever. Therefore, as promised this morning, I thought I would share with you the to-do list I created to assist me with the lead up to Thanksgiving! Let me know in the comments if I’ve forgotten anything or if you’d like to see any recipes from my menu! I really hope you enjoy!! 

My To-Do List Includes:

3-4 Weeks Before:

Write a guest list

Invite family and friends you are genuinely thankful for. In my case this involves missing out toxic individuals, or those who I know or suspect would disrespect the house and the beautiful environment I’m working hard to put together (especially if there is alcohol involved). After all, this is my home.
Don’t feel pressured to invite people who you or other guests may not feel comfortable around. Drama free evening please!! (I divided my thanksgiving in two, not to prevent drama, but because my family isn’t very social, and I don’t want to force them into an uncomfortable situation with strangers- a.k.a. my potentially very drunk friends.)

Purchase an outfit

If you’re planning on wearing something a bit special, like a new dress or possibly something a bit Autumnal, think about ordering this a few weeks in advance in order to avoid heartbreak and paying next-day delivery.

Read magazines/browse for inspiration

Find recipes and decor ideas either online or in magazines. Even in the UK magazines this is possible, because most places will already have released Christmas magazines that probably contain a lot of recipes that can translate for Thanksgiving as well. This year I loved reading the Tesco 2017 Christmas mag because it had some amazing recipes and visual stimuli. As usual, for decor, I was obsessed with Pintrest. I spend way too much of my life on Pintrest.

Order decor/other

Order or craft any decor you’ve seen on Pintrest that you just ‘need’. Also, consider whether you need extra cutlery or plastic cups. For example, I ordered an ash-tray to put outside, and a drinks dispenser for the punch.  

Write your menu

 Of course, this is the most important one of all! and needs to be done ahead of time so you don’t waste money on food that won’t be used, or forget to order certain items.
Consider any guests with dietary requirements or allergies; for example, my mother is what I like to call a sh*tatarian. She is technically a pescatarian, meaning that the only meat she eats is fish- but she can be very fussy with vegetarian options. I worry about her nutrition often, as she has a tendency to cook for her omni family and forget about herself. Normally with a roast we would cook a bit of salmon, but for this occasion I bought her a Linda McCartney pie, because even as a meat eater I think they are absolutely delicious. Mine includes:
***
Starters:
Frozen Hors d’oeuvres (cheating I know),
Bacon and Cranberry Puff Pastry Snowflake, with Melted Brie
Main:
Roast Turkey,
Roast Pork,
One Linda McCartney vegetarian pie,
Green Bean Casserole,
Cranberry Sauce (both smooth and whole berry),
Roast Veg with Seasonal Roots,
Asparagus Tips,
Pigs in Blankets,
Mashed Potatoes,
Carrot and Swede Mash,
Roasted Sprouts with Bacon,
Broccoli & Cauliflower,
Cauliflower Cheese,
Homemade Yorkshire Puddings (Just try serving a bunch of Brits a roast with no Yorkshires, & their faces contort in disgust!),
Stuffing (meat inside and vegetarian outside the bird),
Meat Gravy (Plus vegetarian one separate)
Dessert:
Sweet Potato Pie,
Chocolate Tart,
Pear and Chocolate Crumble with ice cream.
Drinks:
‘Apple Pie’ Punch
“Open Bar”

***


1-2 Weeks Before:

Write a shopping list & Order Non Perishables

Make a list based on your menu, then divide into 2 by frozen/non perishables, and food you need/want to order fresh. Order frozen and non perishables such as alcohol, then put your other list somewhere for safekeeping. That way, later on you can grab fresh food such as veggies + add any thing you forgot onto the new list.

Think about a punch that would be widely enjoyed– for example I held off on the Malibu as I know many people dislike/have allergies to coconuts. I love to watch Tipsy Bartender on YouTube- even though I rarely drink outside of big events/Christmas nowadays.

Think about areas where it may be possible to cheat! It doesn’t make you a bad person to cut corners in some places. For example, I realized my life would be made substantially easier if I purchased a pre-made shortcrust pastry for my sweet potato pie. No- it’s not that difficult to make- but it saves time and energy later on when I will be rushed off my feet.

Make Placeholders

This is especially useful if there are attendees who don’t get always along. In my case, Due to being extremely picky with my invites, I hope they will just serve as whimsical keepsakes.

1-2 Days Before:

Clean/tidy house

This may seem obvious, but make sure your home is guest ready. For me, I had to make  a list including chores I would normally put off- for example things such as bleaching skirting board and treating my bathroom for limescale. (Norfolk is an area that has very hard water, which causes a frequent build up). Austin and I also had a small domestic regarding whose duty it was to catch the unwanted guest in the bathroom… he is terrified of spiders! Make sure all your dishes are clean, or else you might find yourself scrambling on the day looking for something that is in the dishwasher!

Entertainment!

Bring your speakers downstairs, make a playlist. Consider games/activities for when it gets quiet. Cards against humanity is a must- but as massive nerds we actually are planning to introduce D&D to our friends for the first time. Not to mention probably some drinking games later on. My favourite is the nomination game!

Pamper yourself

 Pick an outfit, do your nails, shave, pamper yourself for the long day ahead. Speaking from the experience of last year, you won’t have much time to do this on the day- even despite the precautions you have taken. It is probable that you will still be standing in the kitchen until the very last minute!

Prepare your veg

Clean, peel, chop and vacuum pack vegetables so all you have to do is cook them the day after.
To do this, place your vegetables into a ziplock bag, and pop a straw into the outside corner. Do the zip up all the way to the edge of the straw, then use it to suck out all the excess air. Seal the bag, and pop in the fridge!

Cook the desserts

Hot ones such as crumble that can be refrigerated and then warmed up on the day. The day before Thanksgiving I’m setting some allocated time to make all three of the desserts on the menu. Luckily, the crumble is a fairly easy one, as the temperature required doesn’t necessarily matter-  so it can go in at the same time!

Put up decorations

Set and lay the table, as well as placing any center pieces and pretty bits where you would like them to go. I added an autumnal wreath, some themed balloons and candles for ambiance.


On the Big Day:

Consider roping off areas

Yes, they are guests, and you shouldn’t make the night feel too artificial by enforcing a 2 page list of rules. However, they should respect your boundaries, especially if there is alcohol and or children involved. Don’t feel bad for roping off a certain area of your house if you think it may cause issues or unwanted mess.

Cook

Obvious, I know (as though you need to be reminded). Cook the foods you have planned out in your menu. This should be much easier with your squeaky clean kitchen and ready-to-go vegetables. However, if you find yourself extremely stressed or short of time be sure not to push yourself too hard. There will almost definitely be enough food regardless of whether or not you miss out or forget one or two dishes, as it’s the custom for guests to bring something along.

Get Ready!

Lay out all the beautiful food on the table, get yourself dressed and ready and have a glass of wine while you wait for your guests to arrive! You’ve earned it!

QuiteFranklii’s Thanksgiving Guide

Hi guys! I’m back!! (Apologies, I’ve had some health issues recently, and then my Macbook decided to give up on me, and so my little one week break from intense social media and blogging became more like a month). To make up for lost time, I felt like it would be fun to catch you guys up with what I’ve been up to.

As you may or may not know, we are a multi-cultural household, as my husband is in fact American! (I am British). As such, over the past few years I’ve found myself embracing a new holiday, Thanksgiving!  Of course, as a lifelong foodie I didn’t take much convincing, after all- what kind of maniac would be adverse to a huge meal surrounded by loved ones? Since one of my greatest passions in life is cooking, and hosting parties, (not to mention the fact I always want to try my best to stop Austin from feeling homesick)-  I decided that this year I would introduce a few of my favourite people to Thanksgiving, and invite them all round for an evening of food, festive fun and cocktails.

Over the next few weeks, I hope to share with you some of the things that helped me to prepare for this holiday (I’m definitely still learning) including recipes that can also be wonderful at Christmas time- so don’t think you won’t enjoy it if you don’t celebrate thanksgiving!

First up will be my To-Do list, I really hope you enjoy it!

All my love,

Frankii x

Gifts for Geeks | Christmas 2017

Whats up guys? I know what you’re all thinking, but yes, with Halloween done and out of the way, whether we like it or not Christmas is fast approaching!

As you may know, I’m a total media junkie. I love TV/film/gaming, so when EMP got in contact with me and asked me to do a post I was super excited because I knew it was time to do my first ever Christmas gift guide! So down below I’m going to talk about some of the things that caught my eye from their website.


Harry Potter/Fantastic Beasts

Of course, if you know me at all or keep up with my posts such as The Harry Potter Tag, you’ll know I am obsessed with Harry Potter and the entire universe that J.K Rowling has gifted the world. So of course, this was the first section of the website I headed for. I was totally pleasantly surprised at the amount of merchandise to choose from, so it was really tough for me to narrow down this little selection, but here are the items I chose to share with you- either because I love them, or its something I’ve never seen before!

Dark Arts Notebook – £17.99

Although personally I am a Gryffindor, I always find myself attracted to the dark objects. They are always so beautiful, and I particularly love the metallic green finish on this piece. I think this would be an amazing gift for any Potter fan who needs a nifty little notebook. But really, especially is there such a thing as too many notebooks?

Gryffindor Pyjamas – £24.99

I picked out these because I know several families who have traditions of opening a set of cosy PJ’s on Christmas eve, to open open presents in the next day- which is a tradition I fully intend to get behind now I have my own household. I am a Pyjama fanatic, and I love nothing more than changing into my cosiest PJ’s as soon as I set foot in my house.  Of course if you’re from a different house, they have others available in this style!

Earring Set – £9.99 – £6.99

My favourite kind of wearable merchandise is always subtle merchandise, which is why I loved these so much. I love to be able to sneak cute accents like this into my everyday outfits. Earrings always make for a great stocking filler, and this set is super cute and affordable.

Wax Seal Kit – £29.99 – £24.99

I had a kit very similar to this one a few years back that I purchased from the Harry Potter studios. I love the design on the stamp piece here though, It looks like a lot more care went into the creation of this one. This gift is ideal for stationary lovers, I really enjoyed the process of using wax seals, it just makes your post look so much more exciting- I don’t know why people ever stopped using them!

Niffler/Dumbledore Funko – £9.99 

Now I personally don’t collect Funko’s, but I know so many people that do. I have to say though, despite me not being a collector, I totally fell in love with these two pieces. Dumbledore especially. From his lilac robes to his sparkly looking hat, I just think he’s the cutest. I also couldn’t get away without posting at least one piece of Niffler merch, he is one of my favourite characters in the J.K universe. I too, am obsessed with shiny things, little guy!

Wizard Chess Set – £45.99

Ok, I have always wanted a Wizard Chess set to sit on my coffee table from the first time I visited the Harry Potter studios in London and saw a very expensive glass set. I just think it’s such a clever, fun and beautiful tribute to Harry Potter, and I personally would love to receive a gift like this!


Jewellery

As I mentioned before, I am a bit of a Niffler- enter jewellery obsession. I adore fun and unique costume jewellery, and am constantly struggling not to purchase items just like these pieces below. There was so much choice for some great and thoughtful stocking fillers available on EMP’s site, it was hard for me to pick just a few- BUT here they are!

Ohana Necklace – £12.99

People who know me know that I am extremely family orientated and come from an incredibly close knit immediate family. I chose this piece not only because I love Lilo and Stitch, but because I think it would be a super cute gift for any family member. I might actually purchase this myself for my little sister, to remind her I love her (even when she’s being a bratty teen!)

Alice Ear-Cuff – £12.99

As I said before, odd jewellery. I love ear cuffs, I think they look so unique and stunning, and this piece really caught my eye! I love the bronzed effect and the detail is just adorable… I really want this for myself!

The One Ring – £55.99

Now, the pricing of this one is a little steep, (depending on how much you love LOTR of course), but there are some other colours/options. I like this one in particular because the details really appeal to me, and I think anyone who adores Lord of the Rings as much as we do would love this one- if you love them enough to splash out on it of course!

PlayStation Controller Necklace – £16.99

A great homage to any PS gaming fanatics in your life, I thought this piece was cute and something I’d never seen before!


Miscellaneous

Admittedly, at this stage I felt like I had to narrow down my choices because I had a collection of mugs that I loved that would have taken me all night alone-  (there are so many- go check them out!). Because my post was already at risk of becoming too long here are some miscellaneous bits and bobs I felt like I couldn’t end this Christmas Guide without bringing to your attention.

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Fallout Nuka Cola – Gift Set – £19.99

First of all, if you’re feeling a bit unimaginative with your gifts, EMP have a couple of sets literally titled “gift sets” (I also really liked this Playstation one), but since my husband and I are great fans of Fallout, I loved seeing this one, because it looks like it could have been ripped straight from the game!

Stark Christmas Jumper – £41.99

I loved this jumper so much! I thought it was a super clever and inventive way to incorporate GOT fandom into the Christmas spirit. It’s so festive and yet so nerdy at the same time. Brilliant! I would have purchased this in a heartbeat, but the price is a little steep for me. *sad face* That being said- it’s a welcome gift if anyone likes me that much!

Tarot Cards – £14.99

As you may or may not know, I am a bit of a spiritualist and a closet witch, so I love to see things like this in more mainstream shops- even if they are sold as more of a novelty item. I loved the packaging for this set, as the little cat reminded me of Binx from Hocus Pocus! (yes, you’re right, I’m probably not entirely over Halloween yet).

Gift Card

Finally, if my guide has been too long and overwhelming, or you’ve visited the site and simply cannot choose, if you’re not sure what their favourite movie is, or if you’re simply feeling lazy and unimaginative, you could always play it safe and purchase a gift card!


Thank you!

I know I don’t say this enough but if you read my content thank you so much, it honestly means the world to me and really keeps me going. If you enjoyed this post or fancy any of the items below do feel free to share this with Santa… (or just comment below) what you’re loving too, and be sure to visit their site >> here << or by following any of the other links I’ve used above!

I really hope you’ve enjoyed this post and that maybe it’s helped you to feel even the slightest bit more festive!

Love Frankii x

The Autumn Tag!

THE AUTUMN TAG 2017!

A huge should out to Becca over at Becxblogs who created this tag based on a blog post by Naomi over at roomtoglow.co.uk and Simply_Kenna’s YouTube video. Thank you for thinking of me for this tag!

I love Autumn SO much, it’s always been my favourite season. I can’t wait to get started and to see other peoples answers!!

 

My Answers!

 

  1. What signifies Autumn to you?

Oranges, Browns, Red tones. Falling leaves, dark lipstick, cinnamon scented candles, hot tomato soup, jumpers, gloves, hats and scarves you’ve waited to wear all year, and cosy nights in with a blanket beside the fire.

  1. What is the best way to spend a rainy day?

In PJs, wrapped in a blanket maybe cooking/baking or making something pretty.

  1. What is your most fond Autumn memory?

One of my earliest memories is getting pulled through a muddy puddle by my dog when I was about four- we were walking through a forest, I can still picture the orange ground and trees and laughing with my mum. Obviously, getting married on Halloween is right up there too, but it doesn’t seem like the most “autumnal” memory I have!

  1. What is your favourite Autumn scent?

I have always loved the way the ground smells when it rains, which might sound weird to some! I also love the smell of apple pies, cinnamon, and coffee.

  1. What are you most excited for this Autumn?

Its our first ever wedding anniversary on Halloween, we were initially going to throw a party because I am obsessed with hosting parties, I love doing the house up and such. But as it drew closer Austin and I decided to cancel it as its our first, and we want to spend it together and do something just the two of us. I’m excited to see what Halloween has in store for us!

  1. What is your favourite Autumn song?

Because of our anniversary, for Christmas last year I bought Austin the soundtrack to Nightmare before Christmas on vinyl, I love putting that on as I clean the house, it really gets me excited for Halloween!

  1. What is your favourite Autumn movie?

I love all the Tim Burton ones, but I always look forward to watching Hocus Pocus!

  1. What TV shows are you most looking forward to this Autumn?

I always look forward to The Great British Bake Off, although this year I’m taking a bit of adjusting to life without Mary Berry, Mel and Sue! Besides that I don’t actually watch that much TV! I’m more of a Netflix girl!

  1. What is your favourite Autumn colour?

That’s such a hard question! I love the whole autumnal palette… I’d probably say like a deep red orange, the colour of pumpkin pie!

  1. What is your most loved outdoor Autumn activity?

Gosh, a few years ago I would have always said galloping down the stubble fields. I miss horse riding so much! I also like to stroll in the brisk air and look at the leaves. What a little romantic I am!

  1. What is your favourite Autumn fashion trend?

I love skirts with tights, and of course JUMPERS! I have never been one for tight fitting clothes, so autumn is my favourite season for fashion 100%.

  1. If you could have a familiar/ spirit animal, what would it be?

I actually mentioned this on my Harry Potter tag (see here), but I think my familiar would be a wolf. When I meditate I often see a wolf, and I’ve always felt very connected to canines in general.

  1. Name one place you wish you could visit during Autumn?

I’d love to visit the house they filmed “Pemberley” for Pride and Prejudice (the 1995 version not the awful Kiera Knightly one). It’s so beautiful and I’ve always wanted to go, I think with the leaves falling and the additional colour it would be spectacular.

  1. What is your favourite photo you took last Autumn?

Probably this one we took on the way to elope… I can’t help but remember how giddy and excited we both were in that moment.

 

  1. What are you being this Halloween?

Oh god, what am I not being this halloween!? I’m obsessed with halloween, halloween makeup especially. I can’t wait to share loads of different makeup looks with you over the next month on my instagram! find me over at instagram.com/quitefranklii !

 


I Tag…

  1. Britt @ alternativelyspeaking
  2. Natalie @ gorgeousandgeeky
  3. Zara @ itsallzara
  4. Emily @ thatweirdgirllife
  5. Savana @ officialsavanarae
  6. Meg @ mysticmogwai
  7. Meggan @ cardiganjezebel
  8. Kaelin @ livinginsaturn
  9. Emma @ canuckersem
  10. Hannah @ rand0mg4l

 


The Questions

  1. What signifies Autumn to you?

  2. What is the best way to spend a rainy day?

  3. What is your most fond Autumn memory?

  4. What is your favourite Autumn scent?

  5. What are you most excited for this Autumn?

  6. What is your favourite Autumn song?

  7. What is your favourite Autumn movie?

  8. What TV shows are you most looking forward to this Autumn?

  9. What is your favourite Autumn colour?

  10. What is your most loved outdoor Autumn activity?

  11. What is your favourite Autumn fashion trend?

  1. If you could have a familiar/ spirit animal, what would it be?

  1. Name one place you wish you could visit during Autumn?

  2. What is your favourite photo you took last Autumn?

  3. What are you being this Halloween?