21 Jun 2018

Spring '18, In Pictures

The shortest night is upon us, marking the start of summer and the close of the pastel-egg and pink-and-white blossom laden months. So as a final goodbye to spring, here are a few snapshots of what the last three months looked like for me.

At the start of spring I started a promotional job for Race For Life. Here's me wearing some war paint at one of our events. 

I got both my mum's birthday and Mother's Day presents in the form of biscuits from Honeywell Bakes.

Anyone in England will know that the beginning of spring was very hot. At this time I often took excursions from the library to enjoy the newly warm weather. 

At the start of the year I vowed that I would see a lot more live music in 2018, and spring saw me continue to keep this promise. At the beginning of spring I attended a very atmospheric Sofar Sounds gig in a studio space at Nottingham High School. And shortly after I saw Gengahr + Low Island at the Rescue Rooms. 

In April I went to a really fun Bumble event, where I got to make my own pizza! Read my about my experience here

This season I grew accustomed to very early mornings due to work, often waking up at or before 5am and getting to see the sun rise.

Spring showed itself fully on campus.

I travelled to many cities for work this season, including Birmingham, Leicester, Loughborough and Bedford. 

In spring I finally finished university! Most notably, I finished my ominous dissertation, after a 30+ hour session in the library on no sleep. 

As a result of finishing uni I finally found to time to be creative again, as well as to catch up on leisurely reading. 

As of May I unofficially moved back to London. (I say unofficially as there will be much to-ing and fro-ing until August, due to work and my accommodation). 

I went to All Points East Festival and had some amazing pink mayonnaise chips. 

Spring also showed itself in Hampstead.

I had way too many Krispie Kremes in spring. I blame it on stress eating due to my uni finals, and the convenient placing of Krispie Kremes stores near work, the library, and my grandma's house. 

In May, Arctic Monkeys new album Tranquillity Base Hotel+ Casino was released. This album meant (and still means) so much to me, and served as a poignant soundtrack to the woes of my dissertation writing. I was also lucky enough to win a ballot to see Arctic Monkeys perform at the Royal Albert Hall. It was a night I'll never forget. On the night I dressed with the theme of the new album in mind, with a black and gold spangled mesh dress to represent space. I got to sit in one of Royal Albert Hall's Loggia Boxes. 

I attended Bedford Kite Festival for work.

A walk through Highgate Woods marked the close of spring and the start of summer. 

How was your spring?

Amani x 

5 Jun 2018

Pizza Academy at Oscar & Rosie's

Despite recently cutting out dairy (for the most part), pizza is one constant that regularly inhabits my weekly cheat day. And for this reason, I was ultra keen to attend a pizza-making event courtesy of Jess Who - who organizes fun and unique events in Nottingham for Bumble - amidst the craziness of my recent final-year deadline season.

The event was to be held at popular Nottingham pizza joint Oscar & Rosie's, who host a Pizza Academy on their top floor. Which me and a few other local bloggers were about to be lucky enough to take part in. Upon entering Oscar & Rosie's I found it to be aesthetically rustic, lightly retro, and with effortless attention to detail, allowing for great vibes and energy to circulate within its walls. After being led up a magazine page adorned staircase I spent some time mingling with fellow bloggers, until we were instructed to sort ourselves into teams, as there was to be a dose of competition inserted into the pizza-making experience.

Before starting we first observed closely as owner Olly took us through a step-by-step demonstration of how to make a pizza, Oscar & Rosie's style. Turns out I could have been paying better attention. As when it came time for us to have a go ourselves I felt unable to correctly manipulate my dough to the perfect consistency (the 'throwing it into the air' step didn't save it).

When it came to toppings, I kept things simple by only adding sauce, cheese (a lot of it), and pepperoni. I figured that this was the perfect opportunity to make pizza exactly how I would like it. And I'm someone who doesn't like the mix of too many different ingredients and textures in one dish. Despite my choices, we were provided with an array of topping options, even including vegan cheese.

Soon came the moment of truth; seeing how our pizzas would fair after surviving the oven. I was slightly disappointed to see that my pizza turned out more 'oval' than circular. But I was reassured by Olly that this was okay; a pizza that's not a perfect circle can simply be passed off as 'rustic.'

After close inspection by the professionals, it was then time for the results of the competition. Unfortunately, we came third (also known as second to last). But I was just happy we didn't come in last place as a result of my non-circular, slightly lumpy pizza.

But as far as the taste test went, my pizza actually turned out to be amazing. And I can only imagine how good Oscar & Rosie's pizzas would taste when actually crafted by a professional. I finished the whole pizza happily, bar a couple of slices which I saved more for my subsequent library session. From this experience I can definitely understand why Oscar and Rosie's is crowned as the 'best pizza in Nottingham'.

A big thanks to both Jess and Oscar & Rosie's for arranging this extremely fun event. You can find Oscar & Rosie's both in Nottingham and in Leicester. I definitely recommend giving them a visit, and especially having a go at their Pizza Academy!

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