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February 2017

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PSA: It is nearly pancake day. Yes. February 28th sees that most glorious of all days celebrating all things sweet and pan-fried. Pancakes don’t end there, though. It seems like most countries have some kind of food involving similar ingredients, and it’s really interesting to see how relatively little variation can result in such a huge range of dishes. I needed to kill time between meals, so I looked up some of the best pancake-y recipes you could try.

Good old-fashioned pancake day pancakes

I mean, it wouldn’t be pancake day if we didn’t briefly touch on the reason that we’re all here. Like most people probably are, I am very picky about my pancake toppings. Please do not speak to me if you have anything other than lemon and sugar or golden syrup on yours. We won’t be friends.

Polish apple pancakes

Known in Poland as Placki z Jabłkami, these pancakes involve using yeast. That probably means they are even thicker and more delightful. Just be warned that you need to half-fill the pan with oil, so for the love of god no flipping these bad boys.

American-style pancakes

American pancakes are one of those foods that will always be better if someone else makes them for you, so try to pass this recipe on to somebody who owes you a favour. They would be the perfect breakfast on a Pancake Day extravaganza. Or, indeed, any other day that ends in “day”.

Crepes Suzette

If you want to feel fancy, these are probably the closest to Pancake Day pancakes but with extra steps and a very specific sauce that will announce your cooking expertise to the world without you needing to say anything. Slightly off topic, but does anybody else hear ‘Little Red Corvette’ when they think about these?

Korean scallion pancakes

Amazing Pancake Day idea: Make these as a main course and then have another kind for dessert. These are a great option for people who aren’t so into the sweet stuff. Allegedly it’s for sharing, but serving suggestions are only suggestions, right?

Custard-filled pancakes

On the subject of dreams coming true, these are pancakes of the Pancake Day persuasion, but with added alcohol. They are then filled with custard. If you need any further proof that life is wonderful I’m probably not going to be able to provide.

Roti

Yes, this is technically a bread and not a pancake. But since it basically uses all of the same ingredients minus eggs, and we like to be inclusive of people who can’t eat eggs, and we also just really like roti at HowNow Towers, I’m probably going to let it slide.

Injera

Yes, technically another bread. But it’s still made in a pan, and it’s also great so it’s staying in. This one needs a little bit of forward planning because it involves a couple of days of fermentation. However, if a job’s worth doing it’s worth doing right. And this is definitely worth doing.

Arepas

Fun story – Back in the day, I lived in the USA for a little over a year. I discovered arepas early on, and then I ate them at least once every week for the entire time. Now, I swear there’s not a day that goes by when I don’t think about them. Guess which one of these recipes I’m making first?

Dutch Baby

Far from being tiny like the name would imply, this is a gigantic delicious monster of a pancake. It can serve several people on a normal day, or one on a particularly hungover day. It’s also cooked on the oven rather than the hob, which is just helpful if all of your pans are engaged in a Pancake Day spectacular.

Blinis

The perfect way to add a sophisticated touch to the pancake day feast I am insisting you have, blinis can most commonly be found in Waitrose going home with people who are also buying cream cheese and smoked salmon. But there’s so much more you can do with them.

So what pancake recipes will you be trying next week? The old faithfuls, or will you be adding something else to the mix?

‘Business’ and ‘inspiration’ are often not words that people would expect to see together. Oh, how wrong they are. It takes a lot to build something from scratch and develop it to the point where you’re not only living, but living comfortably while doing something you love. Below, you’ll find a list of resources which we think could help you to build your business into something truly special.

XOSarah

Sarah’s blog is specifically aimed at people who want to make money out of their blogs. It might seem like the lessons don’t apply to people with a very different business idea. However, blogs are a great thing to have for pretty much any business, so Sarah’s super-informative site is a great place to start. We especially love this post about how best to handle a really busy day.

Two Scots Abroad

While Two Scots abroad is a travel blog, we came across this post and we love it. It gives some great info that works for people who are just starting out, or for those who want to step up their game. Fine, you might not be promoting your own travel blog, but if you’re trying to sell anything online the tips they offer would be a great way to start.

Adore Creative Studio

Chloe is a freelance designer. She runs a beautiful website, as you would expect from a designer. However, we want to talk about her blog. It’s a fantastic example of how a business can use a blog to showcase their work, as well as creating a ton of business-related content which people will want to share. If people share your content, they spread the word about you. This post gives some great ideas for what to post on social media when you get stuck. And you will get stuck eventually. It happens to us all.

Living For Naptime

Living for Naptime is designed for mums who want to start a blog in their free time. But if you’re starting a business while dealing with something else that takes up a lot of time and attention (ie. that full time job you want to get rid of some day) we think there’s a lot to be learned from the brilliant time-saving tips on there. We particularly love this post about growing your Instagram. Give it a try!

Snap Creativity

Tauni Everett has an amazing ‘Blogging + Entrepreneur Tips’ section on her website, which is packed full of information which is really useful whatever your business. For those looking to increase their social media following, we particularly love this post about organically upping your Facebook likes. But, really, the whole blog is a treasure trove.

Nesha Woolery

Once you’ve got yourself set up and your website looking great, you’re on the right track. But it’s not enough to just sit there and wait for your clients to roll in. This post on Nesha’s blog is especially great. It provides a run-down of loads of ways you can go about attracting clients. It’s all about putting yourself out there, and that post will show you how.

Now. Real talk time. Did we miss any amazing sources of business inpiration that you think we should know about? Where do you turn when you need a kick up the backside? If you take away one tip from all of this, what will it be?

 

Valentines day is fast approaching and, yes, it’s a fake holiday invented by corporations to sell extra pink stuff. However, there’s generally still an expectation that if you’re coupled up you’re going to get involved. Luckily, there’s a load of gift ideas floating around on the internet, so we picked some of our favourites because our Valentines gift to you is to save you time shopping for presents. You’re welcome.

Bacon hearts

We could really just stop this whole post here. As everybody no doubt knows, the purest expression of any emotion is through bacon. So if’s only natural that on Valentines day that bacon wold be moulded int hearts, isn’t it?

Candy Heart Bracelet

A little bit like those crappy candy bracelets you used to have as a kid, except this one uses sweets people actually like. On top of that it will have obviously taken time and care to make. And, on top of that, there are sweets out there these days that actually look super cool. You never know, your partner may never remove their Valentines gift. Watch out for the ants, though.

Caramel Heart Brownies

You know how cake is the answer to everything? Oh, you don’t? OK, well, cake is the answer to everything. Therefore, brownies are almost inevitable. There’s a lot of food involved with Valentines day so it’s best to just lean in to it. Plus, at least this way you probably get to help in the eating process.

Sharpie Mug

We mentioned the sharpie mug idea in our Christmas gifts post, but for the time-poor and uninspired it really can’t be beaten, so it’s worth repeating. You can recreate the designs from this Valentines day-specific tutorial, or you could do your own thing. A thousand points if you use it to propose to someone. Also, you have to invite us all to be bridesmaids. We’re a 75% male team, but we’ll make it work.

Valentines Day Jenga

What better way to let someone know that you love them than by letting them win something? Or than by reminding them that you’re still better than them at the childhood games of your youth. Luckily, with this DIY version of jenga you can charm your other half as you play until they completely forget the fact that they just got pwned.

Heart-Shaped Bath Bombs

A fun gift that includes a little bit of science, and will probably make you look super-impressive. If you need to subtly hint to your loved one that they need to be a bit more vigilant with the personal hygiene, this is also an excellent way to go about it. Who said Valentines gifts couldn’t multitask?

Printables

Printables are amazing. There’s an awesome selection to be found on Landeelu in particular, but they’re all over places like Pinterest these days. Forgot to buy a card? Printable. Need to make a crappy gift look a bit more polished? Printable. Forgot to get anything at all and need to fake your way through it? Printable. Honestly, whatever’s going awry, printables can save the day.

A Year of Dates

If, for whatever reason, you need to in on ths year’s Valentines gift, you could try a years-worth of dates. The idea is, you book an activity every month for a year, and hand over a selection of tickets and entry passes for all kinds of fun stuff. Slightly less organised people could also probably get away with vague promises of days out. It has the potential to get expensive, but it’ll make you look like the thoughtful person you always wished you were.

So what will you be doing this Valentines day? Something thoughtful? Something last-minute? We really don’t have a lot going on in our personal lives, so feel free to share all.