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Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Travel: Beautiful Scotland

I am so lucky to call Scotland home. I arrived over a decade ago as a graduate student and immediately felt as I belonged.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Beauty: My favourite Caudalie Products

The brand of the year for me is definitely Caudalie. Every product that I've tried has been so good and I can definitely see a difference in the condition of my skin. I normally switch up products when I run out but have actually repurchased a few Caudalie products in recent months. These are my favourites:

Friday, 26 September 2014

Food: Whole Grain Salad

In my attempt to eat my 5-a-day I've increasingly been turning to salads for lunch as this is a quick and easy way of packing in the fruit and vegetables. This is also a lunch that can be made with whatever you find left over in your fridge, and while being healthy, is also very tasty.

For the whole grains I tend to buy pre-packed grains that can be heated in the microwave oven in a minute or cold rice from the fridge. My favourites are the Merchant Gourmet Red and White Quinoa or Mixed Grains.

1 cup/packet grains (I used a mix of red and white quinoa and mixed grains)
1 tomatoes, chopped roughly
1 avocado, chopped roughly
1 handful roasted artichokes, chopped roughly
1 handful green olives
1 cup of cooked chicken (cheese, tofu or meat of your choice)
2 tablespoons soured cream
1 teaspoon pesto
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

1. Cook grains according to packet instructions. If using cooked rice from the fridge DO NOT REHEAT!
2. Add vegetables and  meat.
3. Add olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
3. Toss the salad.
4. Mix the soured cream and pesto together and use to top the salad.
5. Tuck in!


Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Travel: Travel writing - Food Memoirs

My two great passions in life are travel and food and as a result, I love reading food memoirs, especially those with an element of travel. I often feel that I can understand a person more if I know what they like to eat. My holiday reading always includes  a book set in the place I will be visiting, and if that book includes food, all the better. Here are a few recommendations:

Monday, 22 September 2014

Beauty: My Toners, Serums and Moisturisers of the Moment

My skin has become a bit more sensitive (fussy) as I've gotten older and I find that some products, particularly those that are heavily scented, tend to break me out in a rash. Not pretty. The following list are the moisturisers and serums that I've been using for while and which are working pretty well for me. I have combination type skin which has a tendency to be oilier in the summer and drier in the winter.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Food: Spicy Chicken Curry and Mint Yoghurt Wrap - Haste's Kitchen

It's so easy to get caught in a rut when it comes to weekday meal planning. I try really hard, though, to try at least a few new recipes each week so that the littlies can continue to try new flavours. Sometimes my new meal attempt will raise no more than a lick and a suspicious sniff (they can be cruel) but often we hit on a winner and I get told that "this is the best dinner, ever!"

Haste's Kitchen's Chicken Curry and Mint Yoghurt Wrap was one of these successes. I served these on corn tortillas, with avocado to add some creaminess and rocket for a hit of pepperiness. The minty yoghurt was delicious, though the littlies opted for natural yoghurt instead. Empty plates and a request for a second helping! Very pleased!


Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Life: Keeping my Head in a Good Place

It's so easy to feel overwhelmed when life throws something unexpected at you. I am guilty of this and have been finding it increasingly hard to stay on an even keel when I am stressed. I've realised just how much I was relying on running to keep my stress at bay. My injury is slowly healing but running is still vetoed by my physiotherapist, so I've had to turn to other methods to keep my head in a good place.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Beauty: My Favourite Undereye Concealers

Dark undereye circles are the bane of my life. I try to use good eyecreams to keep the blackened eye look at bay but there is always a bit of residual darkness that need to be covered up. I have a few fine lines so need concealers that do not settle into any crevices and are easily blendable so that I am not tugging on the delicate undereye skin too much.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Food: Mary Berry's Chocolate Chip Cookies with a Gluten-Free Twist

I'm quite keen for the littlies to develop a love of cooking and we often spend our afternoons baking. Mary Berry's Chocolate Chip Cookies are a favourite as they take about 10 minutes to knock up and another 10 to bake. I used the Dove Farm gluten-free flour to which I'd aaded 7.5g of baking powder, and dark chocolate chips. I also added a few chocolate beans to the top about 2 minutes before the end of baking.

Enjoyed still warm with a glass of milk. Yum!


Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Travel: My Favourite Travel Blogs

I love travelling but wouldn't like to live a nomadic life. My internet browser history however betrays the fact that I am a bit of a virtual nomad. Some of our most exotic holidays have been booked on a whim and although I've slowed down a wee bit since the littlies have arrived, this doesn't stop me from living vicariously through the travel blogs that I follow. These are a few of my favourites: