Sunday, 7 September 2014

…Summer Stroll...

(Scheduled post. Am away and will be back to normal posting soon)

Top - my mums, Shorts - Miss Selfridge, Birkenstocks - via Ebay

A simple little post here for you guys. Seeing as I've posted a lot about various parts of the U.K (the Lakes and Wiltshire), I thought I would take the time to snap away at my home town - Worthing. I've already banged on about how much I love living by the coast, so I will spare you my declarations of love, and simply share with you some snaps. We took an impromptu stroll down the sea front to enjoy the last it seems of our Summer days. The chance it seems to wear shorts and sandals. Now it appears we've got be prepared for unexpected showers…


Thursday, 4 September 2014

…Food: Juicing...

(scheduled post - am currently away in Spain. Back soon)

I have heard a great many things about juicing and the benefits it can have for your body. Now, last weekend I was extremely fortunate enough to purchase a juicer for £3. £3!!!!!!! I know right, and it bloody works too. Score in my books. It looks like a fairly old one but it works amazingly. So easy to clean after too. Just scrape the remaining bits of pulp away and then wash the parts. Simple.

So over the past few days I have been testing out some recipes and get a feel of what juices I like best. Of course you can't go wrong a good old glass of greens. My faves being celery, cucumber, spinach, apple and kiwi. Yum and oh so good for me, ha!

This time around I wanted to try something a little different - orange and carrot. I then thought about adding in some red pepper, and seeing how that turned out…

Well, least to say it was delicious. The juice from the orange counter-acts the carrot and pepper. Although seeing as I used a red pepper, it left a sweet after taste. In a previous recipe I used a medium sized tomato and again it was delish.

Here's what you need;

two medium oranges (try to cut as much of the peel off without loosing the white bits)
one medium/large carrot (ends chopped off)
1/3-1/2 a red pepper
and one tomato if you want (in this recipe I haven't)

With my juicer, you only have to cut the ingredients up into large segments (check your instructions, it may differ depending on the make). If they are too small they don't really blend/press/juice down as well (that's what I've found at least).

I first start by juicing the more water based ingredients such as the pepper and tomato then I added in my carrot. Finally adding in the orange segments. Once all has been juiced give your drink a stir. Sometimes it can separate. And viola, a scrummy, healthy drink. Plus with the quantity I used there is no wastage.

It would be great to hear of some other juices that you guys have tried. Let me know in the comments below…


N.B. juicer - Juicing Jack (spanish make I believe and found at a car boot - look on ebay for some great options if you want to try juicing)

Monday, 1 September 2014

…Trips: Ashness Wood...

(scheduled post. Am away and will be back to normal blogging upon my return)

Okay this is the last of my photos from when I spent the summer with my parents. Here we have Ashness Wood where there was another surprise view in store for me. As you make your way through the trees, and into the clearing, you are met with such a picturesque view. A beautiful valley surrounded by mountains and trees galore. I took over 100 images on this one trip, so narrowing them down to put up on here was not particularly easy. I will be putting most of my images up on flickr (soon) so please go and take a look…


Friday, 29 August 2014

…Trips: Coursy Pike...

So, this is my last post before I head of on my jolly's and soak up the last of our Summer. I have scheduled some posts whilst I'm away. Normal blogging will resume when I get in about a weeks time…

Few more snaps from my trip to my dads. The Lakes is such a beautiful part of Britain and well worth a visit. My dad being a big walker, and having taken me and my brother on our fair share of walks as children, I love going up a mountain or two when I visit him. This time round we visited Coursy Pike and took on the challenge of three peaks. A long, tough but great walk. Hard on the legs but well worth it when you see the view on the third peak. Just stunning. 360 views all the way round. Beautiful, truly breathtaking…


Wednesday, 27 August 2014

…August Reads...

N.B. again my reviews of these books have not been sponsored by amazon or any other book seller. I have just used links to amazon as it was easiest. 

Some more books reviews for you here. It’s not my mission to read at least three a month, but it does seem to be a good, round, achievable number. I suppose I just want to read as much as I can before I start my studies (more on that later). And having the luxury to choose what I want to read rather than it being for a particular purpose. Reading for pleasure can be a very hard thing to come by. At the moment I am currently trying to soak up as much literature as I can.

For August I managed to squeeze in another piece of classical literature – Treasure Island – which I wish I had read when I was younger. One of my reviews this month is on a non-fiction book and is about a topic that I am very interested in at the moment.

So, lets get started:

Treasure Island was such a pleasure to read. Really a feast for my imagination; a story full of swash-buckling adventure. Who doesn’t love a story about pirates, buried treasure and some good old sword-fighting, gun-power action? As an adult reading a story written for a younger audience, I found it to be a thrilling and tense story, full of plot twists and turns that kept me wanting more. I sometimes found the language used a little tricky to follow, but I suppose that adds to the feel of the novel and the characters of the pirates. I think what I enjoyed most was that I was reading from an old of copy, and I love old books. I will collect them at random, sometimes snapping up some gems. This book had a wonderful illustration of the island which added to the mystery of the story. A great, fun read if you’ve got a few spare days and are not sure what you fancy.

Now, Summer in Sorrento was an impulse buy for my kindle as they had a few free deals on, and this caught my eye. I thought it looked and sounded like a cute, little summer read to get me through some of my nothing days. Well it truly was a marvelous little story. I didn’t actually realize how short of a story it was. Its hard to tell the length of a book on a kindle but I gathered from the percentage mark it was a fairly compact book. Maybe a hundred pages or so. The story centered around a beautiful holiday home, in the countryside of Sorrento and featured a collection of characters that were searching for something more than their lives currently offered. What I enjoyed most was that it was not a taxing story or required a lot of concentration, which I love and need sometimes when reading. This did not, however, detract from the story, which flowed easily along and finished leaving me wanting more but knew the story had found its resolve.  Again, a perfect read for a nothing kind of day. I read this within two days.

…and finally, The Body Book by Cameron Diaz. I was, and still am pleasantly and happily surprised by this book, as it really is a wonderful, inspiring book about health, wellbeing and nutrition. I was not sure what to expect and thought it was going to be just another celebrity book talking about their lifestyle.  But how wrong I was. Cameron Diaz has gone to a lot of effort, and you can clearly hear her passion, to compile a book that really informs you about our bodies. How they work, what they need and how we can go about achieving the best possible lifestyle. I have taken a great interest in nutrition and understanding about what foods are and what they do to my body. I kind of got in on a whim, and have been dipping in and out of it for the past few months. It really is a helpful and informing book, especially if you want to know more about building a true and healthy, wholesome, nourishing life. She has spilt the book up into four sections and you can dip into any part of it. Everything is clearly explained and there are references to great sources of where she found her knowledge. I highly recommend this book…


Monday, 25 August 2014

…Events: Rhythm and Blues Festival...

Every year I've wanted to go to this festival and every year I've missed it. But for once, I was up at my dad's in time to catch the Maryport Rhythm and Blues festival. And what a treat it was. The whole town is taken over for the weekend. Every pub is open to different bands and music, food stalls fill the streets, as does all the leftover rubbish by the end of the night. Even though it rained, the temps were warm and fosters flowed. It was so lovely to hang out with my dad and watch some cool bands. What is so special about this event is that it is open to every generation from the very young to the very old, and everyone is there to have a good time. Next year I want to go to the Cock 'n' Bull music/food festival up where my mum lives…

We only attended one night of the festival, and at £6 for a ticket that's not too bad. It was more about experience something different and unique. Definitely worth a visit if you find yourself in the North Lakes next July. For the event I wore a simple, easy, no fuss outfit. Pair of denim shorts, bought a size too big as I prefer shorts to hang low on hips…much more comfortable. And this gorgeous cute little top I found in ASDA. So dainty and delicate looking. My trusty Vans, which I picked up in a charity shop for £4, pretty much brand new, kept my feet nice and dry for the evening...


Saturday, 23 August 2014

…Recipe: Espresso Banana Smoothie...

On a roll here it seems with my recipe posts. I just love sharing things I enjoy, I suppose. Now, this smoothie was so yummy I had to share it with you guys. Again really simple and basic but utterly naughty and divine.

What you need:

One banana (6'' long)
Some plain, natural yogurt (I use set yogurt, and about two table spoons)
Chi coconut Espresso milk

I use a hand blender and tall container to mix mine up. Plus the container is the perfect size for a glass quantity, so I know I'm not going to make too much.

So, I blend up the chopped banana, with the two table spoons of yogurt and the espresso milk. For the milk I pour enough that covers the banana and yogurt. It should become level in the container with the other ingredients. Whizz it up and then I add more milk in to thin it out and there you have it…a delicious, healthy treat that tastes like it shouldn't be good for you…


Saturday, 16 August 2014

…Food: Sweet Potato Stew...

Continuing with my living healthy theme, and trying to be mindful of the kinds of food I eat, I thought I would do a little ‘Here’s what I cooked…Recipe’ post.

Now, to be fair, I did take the original idea for this dish from my dear friend, who whipped this meal up from random things in the fridge and cardboard. The two main ingredients though were sweet potato and tin of chopped tomatoes. Other than that feel free to add in whatever you’ve got lying around. I made my version extra hot and spicy. Love having a good kick to my meal. If my nose ain’t running then it ain’t hot enough.

Here’s what you’ll need: (I rarely use measurements apart from in baking and I rarely do that)

One medium to large sweet potato – chopped into cubes
One small onion (red/white) – diced up
Tin of chopped tomatoes – 400grams should do it

I then added in:

Tin of red kidney beans – 400grams again
Handful of tinned sweetcorn (roughly 4/5 large tablespoons)

I used to paprika and chilli powder, chilli flakes, glove of garlic (thinly chopped) and 4/5 drops of Tabasco. Bit of ground black pepper and if you want some salt (I rarely use salt but do whatever floats your boat)

In a large pan heat up your oil (I use olive oil or sometimes coconut oil), then add your onions in. Once they have begun to brown off, add your chopped sweet potato and cook those up for about another 10/15 minutes on a medium to hot heat. If the potato is sticking a little, I add in a bit of water. Not a lot though. Once the potato has softened up. Add your tomatoes, kidney beans and sweetcorn (or what other items you have decided you’d like to use , such as peas, chick peas, peppers, mushrooms – go ahead and get creative). Season the stew/dish to your liking and then allow it to simmer away on a low heat, taking it up a notch if needed. I left mine cooking away for about another 15/20 minutes to really allow for the flavors to develop.  If you find that it is thickening up, add in warm water to get the consistency you like. I prefer mine on the thicker side.

Once ready, serve up either by itself with a nice crunchy bread roll, or in my case, I used one of these pre-cooked spelt dishes that you heat up in the microwave. And there you have it, a simple yet hearty meal. James whipped up some boiled potatoes as spelt doesn’t really float his boat, ha! With these ingredients and the amount used, there will be plenty leftover for you to reuse when you don't have time to make something. 


Wednesday, 13 August 2014

…Trips: Day at the Beach...

Who doesn't love a day at the beach. I feel very blessed that I am able to walk 15 minutes down the road, and have one there waiting for me. Most of my Summer days are spent soaking up the rays, and if I'm brave enough, go for a swim in the sea. This is year I've been in 4/5 times and its so refreshing and invigorating. Usually it's still pretty cold but with the warm temperatures we've been having over the past couple of months, it's been perfect for dipping those feet in.

I love the sea, mostly water in generally. Whether it's at a pool or down at the beach, once I'm in that water, I never want to come back out. Proper water baby. It's relaxing and soothing, plus it's a great form of exercise as you don't realise until you get out how much you've been moving your body. So having such easy access to the beach is perfect for me and James.

So, last week before the storms of Bertha graced us, I made the most of those precious moments in the sun and spent the afternoon down at the beach. The tide was out but that didn't stop me from going for a little paddle. Plus, I also wanted to try out my new bathing suit from Primark. It fits wonderfully, except being a larger chested lady, it can be a bit snug up top. However, I know that if I got a bigger size, it would have been too big everywhere else. The trials and tribulations of having a large chest. What I really liked about this suit was the mesh detail around the tummy area. Very flattering if you want to show a bit of flesh without revealing your bare skin. Perfect for those insecure, feeling bloated, don't want to go full bikini days.

I will miss the beach once Autumn hits us.