BREAKFAST ON THE GO
Sunday, August 14, 2016

BREAKFAST ON THE GO

Homemade



When I first bought my collection of Mason and preserving jars, I only ever intended for them to be a container for beautifully storing my starchy staples of rice, oats, pulses and pasta on my kitchen shelves, but with their clip-closure design and aroma-tight seal, I’ve found them increasingly useful for my homemade breakfasts on the go.

There are many reasons why people tend to grab breakfast on the go: the mornings can be hectic for some and so they may not have the time or inclination to eat breakfast at home; if you have to wake up ridiculously early for work or to get a train, for example, you may not have an appetite for breakfast at that time of the morning and therefore choose to eat a little later; some people prefer to eat a light breakfast such as fruit or fast before their morning workout and then fuel up after their exercise session. Whatever your reason, sometimes breakfast on the go can be an advantageous option.

When you hear the statement ‘breakfast on the go’, it can conjure up thoughts of a sugary breakfast bar, a powdery meal replacement drink or a shop bought fat-filled pastry but my favourite breakfasts on the go are homemade. It’s rare that I don’t have breakfast at home, however, for me personally I can’t eat too early, so the mornings when I have to get up at silly o’clock, I tend to quickly throw all my usual favourite breakfast ingredients into my jar and take it with me, then I’ll either have it later at my desk at work or on the train – in today’s jar I have Greek yoghurt, sugar-free muesli, fresh berries, dried goji berries, mixed seeds and almond butter . This certainly helps me to refrain from dipping into my purse to purchase a chocolate-filled croissant, although I do succumb sometimes!

What would you throw into your jar?






Later x
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RIO 2016
Sunday, August 07, 2016

RIO 2016

Olympic Inspiration



If you already feel like you have been dosed up with Olympic fever then here’s another spoonful, sorry, not sorry! The Olympics has to be my favourite event of the sporting calendar, and I don’t know about you, but I always find those 16 days of blood, sweat and tears (on the competitors part, of course) inspires me as a spectator to get out and shed a bit more sweat of my own . The excuses to avoid a workout tend to be few and far between, and I seem to have much more of a can-do attitude when it comes to exercising, during the Olympic period. What about you?

Out of all the events, I’m most looking forward to the track athletics; it’s quite nostalgic for me to watch having spent most of my teenage years as a young competing athlete for my local athletics club, Birchfield Harriers, running the 100m and 200m, and, on occasion the 400m and hurdles. Regrettably, I gave it all up when I went to university and never looked back, much to my parent's disappointment, I think.

For this week’s post, I paid a little homage to Rio 2016 by visiting my old track at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium where I used to run - and where the professional athletes competed in June this year (at the British Athletics Championships) for a place on the British Athletics team for the Olympic Games – and donned my new Stella McCartney x Adidas kicks, which are the most comfortable trainers I’ve ever owned, albeit the most expensive!







What I wore: Trainers, Stella McCartney x Adidas Pure Boost;    Leggings, Forever 21;  Top, Forever 21

Later x
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THE LAUNCH OF ENESS
Sunday, July 31, 2016

THE LAUNCH OF ENESS

In Birmingham



“You smell like coconuts……….”.  I’ve had the aforementioned sentence uttered to me on a few occasions. Of course, it’s not my natural bodily scent unfortunately; most mornings I slather on mixes of cocoa butters and creams to moisturise my skin. My bathroom cabinet is filled with cocoa-fragranced skin products that I’ve bought from various shops, and now there’s a new place for me to indulge my love of cocoa-smelling cosmetics: Eness.

Eness open its first UK store in Birmingham this weekend and I was invited to their launch. I was like a kid in a candy sweetie shop when I saw the shelves adorned with cocoa-scented luxurious body care products, from vitamin E-rich body butters and creams, to deodorants and body washes and even candles, although, of course, consumers are able to choose from a dazzling array of products and scents from the Eness range including magnolia, lavender and wild rose, as well as a Men’s product range.

Sustainable, ethical and ‘beauty without cruelty’ (to animals) is the ethos of Eness cosmetics, which have been developed to fill what they believe to be a gap in the market for ethical products which are premium quality but affordable and great value. My favourite of all the products has to be the body butters, in particular the Cocoa Heaven: it feels rich and indulgent and rubs in easily without a greasy feel, and those subtle but divine notes of sweet vanilla and candied fruits are enough to send your mind wondering to tropical climates where coconuts litter the ground; the Cocoa Heaven candles will feature nicely in my new home too.

I’m always keen to support Birmingham-based businesses and although their plan is to eventually progress to becoming a chain of stores throughout the UK, they’ve chosen Birmingham’s Canon Street to launch their brand, and I’m embracing it.













Wearing: Sandals, Dune;  Skirt, Warehouse;  Bag, Sophie Hulme; Scarf, Oasis; Jacket, Old

Later x

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CHICKPEA & CORIANDER BURGERS
Sunday, July 24, 2016

CHICKPEA & CORIANDER BURGERS

a meat free alternative.....


The UK has welcomed 7 consecutive days (and counting) of soaring summer temperatures, and I think the majority of us are truly grateful as we have been waiting very patiently for days like this. With the weather performing at its best, our thoughts naturally turn to eating  - and cooking – al fresco, well mine do anyway. The traditional method for this would probably be a BBQ but there’s only so many charred sausages and burgers we can and should eat, and also where does that leave those who don’t like or eat meat.

I personally don’t like burgers; people have suggested home-cooking some of my own, but I’ve never really entertained this, however, I stumbled upon the idea of chickpea burgers the other day and thought this would be a nice alternative to try. So, after a few Google recipe searches, I got my hands on some ingredients and gave it a go -  let's just say I'm feeling smug!

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WHAT I USED
For the Burgers (makes 6 burgers)
400g can drained chickpeas
Juice of half a lemon
Half of a small bunch of coriander
1 egg
1 teaspoon mixed herbs
2 crushed oatcakes
1/4 fienly chopped red onion
1 tbsp of oil
Wholemeal buns – try wholemeal rolls for a nutritious boost in preference to the traditional white rolls

For the caramelised onions (the chickpea burgers can be a little dry on their own because they have a low fat content, but the onions add moisture as well as a delicious subtle sweetness
¼ sliced red onion
2 tbsp balsalmic vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons of Olive oil


WHAT I DID
*In a food processor. whizz the chickpeas, lemon, coriander, egg, and mixed herbs

*Scrape the mixture into a bowl and mix with the crushed oatcakes and onions and then put the mixture in the fridge to firm up for 20 minutes

*Whilst the mixture is firming up make your caramelised onions and toast your buns

*To caramelise the onions, heat the oil in a frying pan over a low heat. Add the onions and a pinch of salt and cook slowly for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent them from catching

*When the onions are softened, add the honey and balsalmic vinegar and cook and caramelise for a further 10-15 minutes on a low heat

*Take your mixture out of the fridge and on a flour-dusted surface, divide and shape into equally sized patties

*Add the patties to a medium heat frying pan and cook for 10 minutes, or until golden and cooked through, turning halfway

*Enjoy the burgers on your toasted buns with the caramelised onions  or on their own with a salad








Later x
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MY FAVOURITE WEBSITES/APPS
Sunday, July 17, 2016

MY FAVOURITE WEBSITES/APPS

that I've recently stumbled upon


Research by the British Communications agency, Ofcom, has reported that Britons spend more time watching TV, gaming and using their mobile phones and computers than sleeping. If I’m honest this comes as no surprise to me, especially since, through a quick analysis of my day, I have worked out that I am one of those statistics: spending roughly 6 hours using technology for work purposes and 3 hours for pleasure each day.

Like many, I have quite a few phone apps, bookmarked web pages, and recorded TV programmes to keep me entertained each day, perhaps too many, which is why when a new online application or TV series is brought to my attention, I am reluctant to indulge them in trepidation that it will be more like 15 hours I spend using technology rather than 9! Alas, every now and again I succumb to the effects of technological advancements;  I’ve recently engaged with Snapchat, which I said I’d never do, I’ve only just downloaded Pinterest, which has been going for years, and I’m yet, if ever, still to try the Uber app. One app I’m quite confident I won’t be indulging is the new Pokemon Go application, but never say never……..

There are 5 apps/websites that I’m loving right now and have been using for a few months; I can’t believe I didn’t know about them sooner so I thought I would share them here -  they’re not particularly health/fashion related and apologies if these are not available outside the UK.

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1.  Deezer


At least 3 times a week I work out at home on the treadmill and/or in the garden. I’ve created a great music playlist using this music-on-demand app to work up a sweat to.

2. My Voucher Code


I’m literally kicking myself that I have not chosen to use this website before. It offers you a voucher code or discount, which you can redeem against online purchases and at restaurants. I got 25% of my meal at ASK Italian restaurant last weekend and a decent percentage off an online purchase this week to name a couple -  that’ll do nicely thank you!

3. Free Prints


Have you got photos on your camera and your Facebook and Instagram albums that you love and want as a print? This app will do just that. Once the app is downloaded, you simply select the camera/album photo you want to print, decide on the size and press order -  your free quality 6x4  prints are sent to you in the post. Note, you do pay for additional larger prints but only a small amount.

4. Top Cash Back 


I probably spend more time purchasing online than in store, which is why I am frustrated I didn’t entertain this website before now. When you shop with a selected merchant, Top Cash Back gives you back a percentage of your spend once your purchase is confirmed. As a self-proclaimed shopaholic, my Top Cash Back account is well on the way to funding my next designer bag purchase.

5. Shpock


I’m not a fan of the traditional boot sale, but the Shpock app is a boot sale with a difference. You simply take a photo of the item you want to sell, upload it, write a title and short description, set a fair price and wait for potential customers to get in touch. You then deliver the item by hand or post once you have received payment. The nice thing about this is that you can buy and sell things from people locally in your neighbourhood by filtering by distance.


What websites/apps are you loving right now?

Later x
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10 WAYS TO AVOID A SEDENTARY LIFESTYLE
Sunday, July 10, 2016

10 WAYS TO AVOID A SEDENTARY LIFESTYLE

without the need for a gym or lycra



I love working out: it wakes me up if I choose to exercise in the morning; it gives my skin a radiant glow; it benefits my health in more ways than one; and it makes my body feel toned and look better in my clothes. I wish I had more opportunities/time to don my activewear and get my sweat on, but alas, life sometimes just gets in the way and other things have to take priority. Nonetheless, I do try to fulfil the government’s recommendations for physical activity as outlined below:

*Adults should aim to be active daily. Over a week, activity should add up to at least 150 minutes (2½ hours) of moderate intensity activity in bouts of 10 minutes or more – one way to approach this is to do 30 minutes on at least 5 days a week

 *Alternatively, comparable benefits can be achieved through 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity spread across the week or a combination of moderate and vigorous intensity activity

*Adults should also undertake physical activity to improve muscle strength on at least two days a week

*All adults should minimise the amount of time spent being sedentary (sitting) for extended periods

Unfortunately, I’m not sure how many people take note of the fourth recommendation; often people think that because they have done a 30 minute workout in the morning, they can get away with being sedentary - perhaps sitting at their office desk from 9-5pm – for the rest of the day, but this is just not the case. Research has suggested that remaining seated for too long is bad for your health, regardless of how much exercise you do. Studies have linked excessive sitting with being overweight and obese, type 2 diabetes, some types of cancer, and premature death, so we really need to look at ways to spend less time on our a$$!

Here are 10 ways to minimise your sedentary time throughout the day -  I refer to them as ‘Activities of Daily Living’:
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1. Wherever possible, walk up the stairs or escalator instead of jumping in the lift or standing on the elevator

2. Try parking your car a little further from your destination and walk the rest of the way

3. Get off the bus, tube or train one stop earlier and walk the rest of the way

4. Use advert breaks on the TV as an excuse to get up and do something, whether it be going to the toilet or fetching something from upstairs or simply going to get a glass of water from the kitchen

5. Encourage staff in the workplace to plan a standing or walking meeting instead of sitting around a table for 1- 2 hours – it might only be for part of the meeting that you choose to do this

6. Take advantage of your breaks at work and instead of working through them, take a 5-10 minute walk

7. Swap some TV or computer time for more active tasks or hobbies such as gardening, walking, DIY

8. Stand or walk around while talking on the phone

9. If you are travelling short distances, consider standing on the train and bus

10. Take opportunities to find a slightly longer route to get to your destination, whether that be a shop, someone else’s office or a friend’s house

You don’t have to wear activewear for these activities, but I do love an excuse to wear my Forever 21 kit!
Wearing Forever 21 top and leggings





Later x
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