Friday, 30 October 2015

*Gruesome Gruyere Dip with Florette

gruyere dip

For those of you throwing a monster bash this weekend for Halloween, you’re going to want to fill your table with terrifyingly tasty spectre-cals for you ghouls and guests to feed on - lest they start feeding on each other. Look no further than this gruesome gruyere dip that is sure to cleanse the palettes of even the most sinful souls.


1 bag of Florette baby kale
250g frozen peas
50g Gruyere cheese
1/2 clove of garlic
1/2 lemon, juiced
Sea Salt
Cracked black pepper

Kale, pea & gruyere party dip

Bring a kettle of water to the boil then pour it over the frozen peas. Let them sit for a minute then drain. Into a blender, add the peas and the rest of your ingredients then blitz until very smooth. If the mixture goes too thick, add a splash of extra virgin olive oil. Serve with my homemade cracker thins

For more devilishly delightful Halloween salad recipes, check out Florettes fiendishly good recommendations that are sure to go down horrifyingly well this Halloween. 

Until next time foolish mortals,

*This post was written on behalf of Florette who provided me with the salad. All thoughts, opinions and ramblings are 100% my own. For more information, see my disclaimer policy here

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Quick and Easy Homemade Cracker Thins

homemade cracker thins

Cracker thins. Crisp bread. Cracker crisp. These have been the new thing to hit the supermarkets since the summer and I can’t stop munching on them. Perfect with houmous, cheese, dips, or just general munching, I couldn’t believe how easy it was to actually make your own cracker thins! 

Like seriously, this couldn’t be any easier. I discovered the homemade cracker thins by complete accident, which never happens. But it did. So here you go. It’s ok, you can thank me later.


1 large wrap

How to make homemade cracker thins;

homemade cracker thins

Slice your wrap up into 1inch strips, then cut these in half. Pop them onto a baking tray and into the oven at 200°C for 5 minutes, or until the edges start to go golden brown. Whip them out and serve.

See? I told you it was easy! I love using Mediterranean herb wraps but making these with sweet chilli wraps make some seriously tasty cracker thins too. If you only have plain wraps to hand, season them with a little sea salt and cracked black pepper or a sprinkling of chilli flakes. The possibilities are endless!

Quick, easy and a cheap alternative to the store bought ones. You can thank me now, go on, you’re welcome.

Until next time,

Monday, 26 October 2015

Affordable Womens Halloween Costumes

cheap womens halloween fancy dress costumes

With just a week to go, have you decided what you're going to dress up as for Halloween? I don't know about you but I usually plan a costume ages in advance, forget all about it, and suddenly have to pick out a really quick, last minute costume or else I'm stuck with the old bin bag and a 50p plastic mask get up - a look you can only really get away with before your age hits double digits. 

Looking for something quick and easy? Here are my choices for affordable last minute Halloween costumes.

Harlequin £20

Maybe I've been watching too many Comic Book shows but as soon as I seen this Harlequin costume I knew it would be a winner! Even down to the mismatched converse! It comes with the gloves, headband and leggings too. It's fun, cute and not too sexy like some comic character costumes tend to be which just isn't for me at all!You could have some real fun with the hair and make up for this one too and I have seen the blow up hammers online for only a few quid!

Miss Scissorhands £33

This is about as much as I'm willing to pay for a Halloween costume but I love this one and have been eyeing it up for the last couple of years! It's the included scissored gloves that really sell it to me; they'd look brilliant wrapped about a goblet of gin! You also get the sleeves, wig and choker which I think is fantastic value! I'd cut up some Primark leggings to go underneath and job done! I think even my minimal make-up skills could pull off those spooky smokey eyes too!

Caribbean Pirate £15

Look familiar? This was the costume I wore for Halloween 2013 and it was amazing. It fit well, was very comfortable, I didn't feel all exposed and it went down a real hit! I put my own fishnet tights and knee high boots with it, put little braids through my hair and wore huge Jack Sparrow would be proud earrings and an arm full of bangles. I even had temporary tattoos and purposefully chipped nails. It was simple, effective and loads of fun to accessorise!

What will you be dressing up as this Halloween? Do you prefer to buy all your costume in one or DIY?

Until next time, 

Friday, 23 October 2015

Understated Halloween Home Decor

halloween decor uk

I love dressing the house for the holidays. Decorations are not jus for Christmas you know, and there’s nothing quite as fun or as creepy as decorating your home for Halloween. Decorating your house by the season is something that’s seen as quite an American thing, but it’s becoming bigger by the year over here in the UK. Personally, I prefer a more selectively spooky touch for Halloween, something understated with just a hint of ghoulishness about it. 

1. Witches Cauldron £2.49
I always keep sweet treats out on the coffee table, so switching our my regular jar for a witches cauldron is an inexpensive, fun way to serve them. If you’re watching some scary movies over Halloween it also makes a really cute popcorn bucket.

2. Terracotta Pumpkin £15
Can you believe I have never carved a pumpkin? As much as I want to, I know it will end up looking rubbish and in the bin so, with that in mind, this perfectly carved terracotta pumpkin will not only always look freakishly handsome, but it will last through the season and for years to come. It can hold a tea light too so it will give off that spooky glow you’re looking for.

3. Halloween coloured tea towels 3pack £10
Remember I said this was going to be understated decor? One of the easiest ways to throw in a little seasonal decor is in the kitchen with some cute themed tea towels. Mine are always on display over the oven handle so this is a fun and subtle way to take the festivities into the kitchen.  

4. Yankee Candle - Candy Corn £18.99
I have a confession to make…I am addicted to candy corn! I tried it in America for the first time a few years back and now I ask anyone and everyone who goes to bring me some back. This candle is a little sickly sweet but it smells good enough to eat and makes a change from pumpkin spice. As it’s only burned over the Halloween season, you should get a couple of years out of one candle too with proper storage.

5. Yankee Candle Spiders Web Candle Jar Holder £12
This freaky little holder is perfect for holding your Halloween Yankee in and it has the cutest little spider dangling off the side. It’s a touch gothic but nothing too over the top and looks great on the window sill surrounded by little tea lights. Note, you can never have too many candles for Halloween.

6. Skull-y side up £10
I am a sucker for things like this! Bring a little scream to breakfast with some skull-y side up eggs on toast for breakfast. I love novelties like this you can bring out year after year. It’s eggs-ellent. Yes. I went there.

7. Happy Halloween Tea Towel
I think I have a thing for tea towels. But just look at how cute it is! It would go great with any of the tea towels from the 3 pack and just incase hitchhiking ghosts didn’t realise what time of year it was in your kitchen, they’re sure to get the message now!

8. Hotel Chocolat - Yikes! £2.50
I love the seasonal offerings from Hotel Chocolat! These milk chocolate ghouls and ghosties are perfect for trick or treating yourself with on the couch, with the lights off, candles burning, and a scary movie or two. 

Do you decorate seasonally? Do you go all our or prefer a few understated touches?

Until next time,

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Lancome Visionnaire - The Problem with High End Beauty

lancome visionnaire review

Cast your mind back, or click this link, to January last year. I had in my possession a sample size of the holy grail beauty serum that is Lancome Visionnaire. And boy did I cling onto that precious sample for every last slither of serum it contained.

I compared it with the claimed dupe L’Oreals Youth Code Luminizer and Visionnaire won, hands down. Since then I have been trialling serums left right and centre and as great as some have been - I’m looking at you, Origins Skin Renewal Serum, nothing has quite had the same effect that Visionnaire did.

When holidaying in Fuerteventura last month and finding myself in a cosmetics store, I actually let out an audible squeal when, in my hands, I held Visionnaire with a price tag of €40. It didn’t take me long to dip into my spending money and come out clutching my prize. 18 months down the line and finally I had a much more substantial amount of the famed serum to play with. 

lancome visionnaire review

Visionnaire is one of those all rounder beauty products that does all the washing, cooks the food, cleans the house and still has time for yoga all before 9 am. All singing, all dancing, does what it says on the tin. You get the idea.

The ultra lightweight, lightly fragrant formula just sinks into the skin, leaving no tacky residue or grease behind. Pores look more refined and skin tone appears more even overall. I have read so many mixed reviews for Visionnaire but for me, it really does work well with my skin. I have oily/combination skin and it doesn’t cause excess oil production and wears well under other products. 

I’ve noticed a marked improvement in the overall appearance of my pores and my skin does feel silky smooth to the touch. It does something that no other serum has managed to achieve so far, it just ticks all the right boxes for me and that kills me. Coming in at £60 for 30ml, it is in no way purse friendly and once this bottle runs out, who knows when I will get hold of another one.

lancome visionnaire review

I will savour it, I will enjoy it and make the most out of every last pump - but I will use it. The problem with higher end cosmetics when you have bills to pay is that you’re always more inclined to save them, use them sparingly and only on special occasions. but by doing so, you will never reap the full benefits of the product, you’re skin won’t have time to make the most of all those skin loving super powers - and you’ll probably keep it so long it will go well past the use-by date and you’ll end up throwing half of it away. True story.

More often than not, a higher end product can’t justify its price point, but, when something like Visionnaire, in my opinion, does justify that price point, it doesn’t mean we can always afford it. Alternatives are out there, but rarely does a dupe live up to the master, however, lipstick and eyeshadows are a different story! 

So, the point of my rambling today? If you’ve got a product you love but are too scared to use because it was expensive - use it or lose it. Enjoy it whilst you can, look back on it fondly like your favourite holiday and maybe, just maybe, you will cross paths again. 

What’s the fancy pants product you’re hiding in your beauty drawer? 

Until next time,

Monday, 19 October 2015

No7 Early Defence Night Cream

no7 early defence night cream review

Let’s think about the benefits of a night cream for a moment - there you are getting your beauty sleep, there your night cream is working away at keeping your skin looking smoother, younger, brighter and more youthful whilst you quite literally lay back and do nothing but catch some zzz’s. How could you not have a night cream in your routine?

The No7 Early Defence Night Cream (£19.50) has been the latest weapon in my skincare arsenal. Packed with lipopeptides for their antibacterial properties, and vital vitamin A to help reduce the early appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, this is a gem of a product for anyone like me still clinging hopelessly onto their twenties like a deflating life raft.

no7 early defence night cream review

The cream itself has a pretty thin, watery consistency that is quickly absorbed into freshly cleansed skin and dries without leaving any residue or grease. Even after a full night of tossing and turning my face is still pretty matte and oil free come morning. It’s ideal for when the weather is a little warmer or you're on a winter sun getaway as it’s so cooling and refreshing to the skin. The lighter formulae means I don’t have to worry about it clogging up my pores and causing breakouts, and being hypo-allergenic means when my skin decides to have a moment, this won’t irritate it further.

No7 prides themselves on their double defence technology - protecting and repairing your skin from environmental damage and pollution, something I’m keen to look more into since I live in the city centre. I don’t even want to think about all the bus fumes and tourist grime that’s burrowing into my pores! 

no7 early defence night cream review

Even when I have struggled to get my 8 hours sleep, No7 Early Defence Night Cream has ensured I wake up at least looking like I’ve got my beauty sleep. My skin feels smoother, and not only looks but feels more hydrated too. I’ve found it to be great for oily skin, but probably not moisturising enough for dryer skin. If your prefer a lighter night cream year round then this is ideal, but with winter coming, I’m starting to reach for thicker products in order to repair my weather beaten-like-eggs face. 

What’s your go-to night cream? Do you even use one?

Until next time,

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

*Fashion Confidence

fashion confidence

I’m no fashionista, never have been, never will be. I lived in nothing but jeans and graphic tees up until about 2 years ago when I did a complete 180 in the fashion department and ditched denim for dresses. I wear what I like and what makes me feel comfortable, and I’ve never really felt like much of it is share worthy but hey, everyone loves a trier…right?

Luxemme is Parisian chic meets Manchester street style, clean cut, on-trend and a realistic price tag. Their aim is to bring sophisticated looks from past, present and future trends straight to your wardrobe. 

luxemme tailored blazer
Silk-esq lining and chunky cuffs on the 3/4 sleeves.

For me, their offerings are pretty out there. Don’t get me wrong, they’re gorgeous and if I had the confidence to pull off a lacy high neck or a two piece I would..but I’m a tea dress and brogues kinda girl. However, one piece that did catch my eye was this *tailored blazer (£36). Dresses and blazers, easily two of my favourite, most wearable pieces. 

luxemme tailored blazer

Blazer - *Luxemme // Dress - Monsoon (old) // Shoes - New Look // Bag - Kate Spade 

This fitted blazer comes in a pinkish shell colour with 3/4 sleeves and is really thick with a good weight to it, perfect for Autumn and ideal for both daytime and evening wear. In my oh so not so Instagram-worthy OOTD pictures (check those awkward feet out *dies*) I paired it with my Monsoon waterfall dress from about 5 years ago for a night on the town with friends. The nights are cooler but not quite frosty yet and this was ideal to wear over a sleeveless dress without any extra layers. The 3/4 sleeves are perfect for showing off a bracelet or bangle and never end up accidentally dipped in your cosmo. 

luxemme tailored blazer

OK, so my first step into a fashion hasn’t been all that successful, I just can’t do fashion pose (again, look at the feet!) but the whole experience wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be. It’s amazing how confident you can feel when you’re wearing something that makes you want to walk a little taller if only to show it off better. 

Until next time,

This post was written on behalf of Luxemme who allowed me to pick an item from their collection to review. All thoughts, opinions and ramblings are 100% my own. For more information, see my disclaimer policy here

Monday, 12 October 2015

28 Things On My 28th Birthday

28 things on my 28th birthday

Another year older, another list of lessons I’ve learnt in the 28 years I’ve now been present on this planet we call Earth. This is the third one of these lists I’ve done on the blog (see 26 and 27) …have I really been blogging for three years? Wow.

1) Find a way to deal with stress healthily. Maybe it comes from getting older but stress is something that’s becoming more and more prevalent in my life. And I don’t like it. It’s time to find a way to deal with this healthily - exercise, reading, walking, meditation. 

2) Be open to change in yourself and others. We’re changing constantly, who we are, what we wear. I used to be terrified of change, but now it excites me, it opens new doors and creates exciting opportunities, with being open to change in mind…

3) People grow apart and that’s ok. Your friends yesterday might not be your friends this time next week and sometimes, that really isn’t anyone's fault. We grow up, we go down different paths and we simply drift apart. It’s not a bad thing - you’ll find people on your own path.

4) Be part of a community online or offline. One of the best things I have discovered about blogging is the amazing community I have found myself in. I have met some amazing people thanks to this blog. So start a blog, join a team, get a hobby and get involved with like-minded enthusiasts.

5) Get you head around your financial situation sooner rather than later. Be it debt, credit scores, savings, budgeting, be onto of what you're bringing in each month and realistic about how many new mascaras your can buy this month. The sooner you start saving the easier it is to live within a budget, and the sooner you start saving the more pennies you’ll have to play with in the long run.

6) There isn’t enough time in the day so accept this and do the rest tomorrow! Since moving out I have really struggled with my time management, between work, blogging, family, cleaning, cooking, and general me time, I could do with splitting myself in two and that's before I start a family! There’s no point stressing about the things you didn’t tick off your to-do list today. Get the important things done first, everything else can wait.

7) Quality over quantity in everything you do. From your day job to how many cakes you bake over the weekend. I would rather do 10 quality, perfect form squats than a 100 badly formed one just because. I would rather have a killer pair of jeans that cost me £200 that will last until I’m too old to wear skinnies than go through 20 pairs of £10 because the knees stretch out after one wear. Get me?

8) It’s not about my way or the highway and just because someone might approach something different to me does not mean their way is better than mine. However, that doesn’t mean I can’t learn from them and adapt they way of doing things to suit how I like to do something.

9) Planning doesn’t mean you can’t be spontaneous, sometimes something better comes along that goes against the plan but if you find yourself drawn towards it then be spontaneous and go for it, the plan will always be there to fall back on.

10) Give people a chance they might not be as bad as you initially thought. But if they are…

11) Don’t be afraid to walk away from toxic relationships, some people are just bad for your health and you don’t need them in your life. Letting go isn’t always easy but in the long run we’re better off surrounding ourselves with people who make things fun and easy, not hard.

12) Coming home from a holiday without a tan is not a bad thing. I tried to get a tan on my last holiday, but it wasn’t for me, it was for everyone else I was coming home to, a badge of tan-our. I burnt on the second day and hid indoors for the rest of the trip. I went for fun and relaxation not to become a piece of toast.

13) Speak more highly of yourself it’s too easier to put yourself down and nobody likes being around the person who needs constant coddling and bigging up. Give yourself some credit, you’re pretty awesome and you know it. It’s not big headedness - it’s fact. If your a good listener say that, instead of saying you’re not just so other people tell you that you are and groom your ego.

14) A job CAN be just a job it doesn’t have to be your calling or your purpose, sometimes a job can literally be just something that lines your pockets and funds the things you’re really passionate about. Why is this a bad thing? My day job is ok, it pays well and I generally work with some lovely people that make those 40+ hours a week a pinch easier. It means I can blog, go on holiday, spoil family and friends and buy gin. 

15) Binge drinking is never a good idea the next day. Maybe I am getting old but I just don’t see the point in binge drinking until I puke, can’t remember a thing and can’t function for two days afterwards. I would rather go out and have a couple of really nice drinks in nice places with nice people than just throw a bottle of wine down my neck even if it tastes like cat piss. With this in mind…

16) Know your limits when it comes to drinking. Urgh, I sound like a right old lady now but seriously, if beer gives you heart burn or red wines goes straight to your head and makes you cry why do you drink it? There're so many drinks out there to try, there is going to be a tipple of choice for everyone!

17) Dance if the mood takes you! Don’t sit miserable in the corner thinking about it but being too worried about what people might think. Get up on that dance floor and bust a move.

18) Go outside more even if it’s getting chillier out. It’s amazing what a good walk can do for you. I love going for a quick 15 minute walk on my lunch break. it clears my head, especially when work is kicking my ass and it breaks up my day. It’s also great for the waistline.

19) Sometimes you just need to change your attitude to the situation to make things better. I.e me thinking my job is absolute balls - I accept that it is balls, but if I look for the good in it, the things I enjoy about it, it seems less bally. 

20) But if you're really, truly unhappy then it’s time to change your situation. There’s only so far an attitude adjustment can take you and if that doesn’t improve things, then it’s time to move on to new pastures and get a fresh start. This doesn’t mean you’ve failed, it means you’ve been smart enough and brave enough to do what had to done. 

21) Don’t be a self-help junkie. I used to read a lot of self help, productive living blogs and articles without really taking any of it in. Sure, it all sounded like a good idea, but what’s the point in thinking it’s good advice without acting upon it and finding out for yourself?

22) Don’t shy away from the tough conversations. Just because talking to someone about something might seem hard and scary, maybe it will even hurt them, you can’t shy away from it and bottle it up. When you don’t have these conversations so many important things never get said and you could find yourself in a situation that could have been avoided just from having a conversation. 

23) Stop trying to change who you are and just be you. I spent years trying to be something I wasn’t and when I finally stopped trying to be that other person and just be myself it was so freeing. Some people liked the new me, some didn’t. Don’t let others hold you back and stop trying to be someone for other people. Be you for you. 

24) Simplify your life. Clean out the clutter, have a Facebook cull, work closer to home. Simplify the things you have control over, this in turn gives you more energy and power to deal with the things you can’t control.

25) Be kind to others not because they are nice and deserve it, but because you are a nice person. 

26) You don’t need to apologise for everything somethings are out of your control and that doesn’t make it your fault. I am the worst in the world for this - if it rains when I’m out with the Mr and he gets soaked, I apologise because it was my idea to go out. I cannot control the weather. he is wet, not dead, and it’s certainly not my fault. 

27) It’s not about failure it’s about learning from your mistakes. I’m too quick to say I’ve failed at something when really, I should be looking at it as a learning exercise. If something goes wrong, find out why, learn from it and move on

28) Social media is not the be all and end all. I took a social media detox and it was amazing. The world kept turning, my blog didn’t fall into the dusty corners of the internet and I had a much-needed break from having to update faceless numbers with what I was currently eating. It’s fun to share, but take a break every once in a while!

Reading this post back it makes me sound really old and wise - I’m certainly not the latter that’s for sure but I am getting older. Thoughts, feelings and attitudes change with every extra candle on the cake and each year brings more adventures, excitement and lessons to learn. I can’t wait to see what I write on the list next year!

Until next time,

Friday, 9 October 2015

Look Fantastic Limited Edition Christmas Beauty Box

look fantastic limited edition christmas 2015 beauty box

This past weekend I was lucky enough to attend the #BloggersBlogAwards and unlucky enough to not win a single prize when the raffle came around! Talk about unlucky! However I was lucky enough in that Jemma (Dorkface) who is simply the nicest human on the planet, was winning left, right and centre and generously donated one of her raffle prizes to my empty hands!

My prize…the Look Fantastic Beauty Box  from their Limited Edition Christmas Beauty Box line. 

I have a love/hate relationship with beauty subscription boxes. Back in the earlier days of the blog I was addicted to them, I used to have a couple popping through the letterbox every month but eventually they all got very samey. I ended up with too many samples rolling around in the back of drawers never to see the surface of my skin. So I cancelled and never really looked back.

I’ve been looking to have my mind changed about beauty subscription boxes…and I think Look Fantastic just did that.

What’s in the Limited Edition Christmas Look Fantastic Box?

The first thing that caught my eye was the Look Good Feel Better Eye Shading brush. Handmade, cruelty-free, and supporting the visible side effects of cancer treatment that women and teenagers are suffering. This brush is super soft and gives you all the good feels for helping out the charity as well as a perfect blend.

look fantastic limited edition christmas 2015 beauty box

Next up, Monu Firming Moisturiser. Heavy on the fragrance but so light and refreshing on the skin, it’s designed to refresh, tone, tighten, smooth and soften all in one. I really love Monu skincare, everything I’ve tried by them has been a joy and it’s been a while since I used anything by them! 

I’m also really excited by the Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser, enriched with jojoba beads and a trio of gentle exfoliating acids (sounds scarier than it is!) that is sure to leave skin perfectly polished and soft. 

Percy & Reid pop up in the box too with their Smoothed, Sealed & Sensational Volumising No Oil Oil really had my scratching my head trying to figure out what the heck it is. An oil that isn’t an oil? Are you confused too? Good, not just me then! It smells like bubbles and is almost water-like in texture so very not oily - I will be reporting back on this one!

look fantastic limited edition christmas 2015 beauty box

The Balance Me Radiance Face Mask is a very welcome addition to the box as I’m due a new face mask and have been wanting to try more from Balance Me for a while now! Made with 98% natural ingredients, this triple-action face mask is made with kaolin clay, fruit acids and walnut shells (that was a new one one me!). Suitable for all skin types and only takes 5 minutes to set - there’s no excuse not to try this one!

Almost at the bottom of the box we find the Nuxe Reve De Miel, an intensely nourishing hand a nail cream, that is light, absorbent, none greasy and just all kinds of divine! I’ve been lusting after Nuxe for a while now and though I’m more keen to try their body oil, who doesn’t need a purse friendly hand cream, especially with the cold weather coming in! 

Last but certainly not least is the Elemis Hydra Balance Day Cream for combination skin. Oh, Elemis, how I covet thee. I’ve been an Elemis fan for years and this day cream is sure to be a winner for me - ultra light formula packed with antioxidants and meadowsweet extract is perfect for moisturising the skin but keeping oil and shine at bay too. 

look fantastic limited edition christmas 2015 beauty box

If you’re struggling for a gift idea for a beauty loving gal like me you really can’t go wrong by gifting someone the Look Fantastic Christmas Box. It has everything they need for a home spa pampering session, just pair it with some bubble bath and maybe even a bottle of bubbly or a candle and you’ll have the perfect gift to put under their (or your!) tree this Christmas! 
Coming in a budget-friendly £15, with an estimated value of over £50, it will certainly be bringing the new you into the new year!

How do you feel about beauty subscription boxes? Do they still have the lure they once had or is it time to try something different?

Until next time,

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

*The Mindful Eating Challenge

mindful eating challenge

I love food, anyone who's been around the blog long enough knows just how true this is. But when I was asked about how mindfully I eat, I was stumped. Mindful eating is all about being present and conscious of not only your food choices but they hows and the whys of eating. What am I eating? Why am I eating it? How am I eating it? Yes, I’m shovelling it in my cake hole but what else am I doing at the same time?

When I first heard of mindful eating, I thought it was some new diet fad, think about your food, long and hard before you put it in your mouth - well by then it will have gone cold because the hamster on the wheel will have passed out from hunger - no thank you! Turns out, it's not about that at all. Mindful eating is not so much about thinking of the food, but being aware. The whole point of mindful eating is less about getting as much food down your gullet until you pop and more about listening to what your body wants. What are you really hungry for?

So, armed with some helpful tips and tricks for mindful eating for better living, I decided to eat mindfully for 24 hours. Here’s how it went.


What I usually do - Kettle on, the latest episode of Arrow downloaded on the Sky+ box, some cereal in a bowl, splash of soy milk, pour myself a smoothie, make my cup of tea and get comfy on the sofa. 

What I did mindfully - Kettle on, tv off. I looked through every cupboard and weighed up all the possible breakfast options. What I really wanted was scrambled eggs, mushrooms and a slice of whole grain toast - so I made it. I took my time, sipping my brew as I went. When everything was cooked I sat at the table instead of on the couch and I ate with no distractions. No phone, no book, no tv, nothing. Just me and my eggs. 


What I usually do - Kettle on in the break room, lunch box out the fridge. I then read my book whilst I eat my lunch and scroll through Twitter, Instagram and Facebook whilst I drink my tea. In between all of this I will usually sit and have a chat with my colleagues too, all the while putting every crumb from my lunch box into my mouth.

What I did mindfully - I took a later lunch, knowing the break room would be much quieter. Kettle on (some habits just don’t die!), lunch box out the freezer. My lunch for work is pretty healthy; sale wrap, soy yoghurt with seeds, nuts and raisins, a bag of grapes and some chocolate. With no-one to talk to, my phone in my bag and my book closed, I ate my lunch. Surprisingly I was starting to feel really full after my wrap and yoghurt so I saved the grapes and chocolate for later. After eating, I drank my tea slowly, with no distractions


What I usually do - Scrounge around the freezer, my trusty Ministry of Food in hand, seeing what I can pull together to eat. I’m a meal planner so I usually have a rough idea of what I’m having for my tea most nights, but this can feel restrictive and with very few options for change. Whatever I pull together, the Mr and I usually sit down in front of the tv - currently working our way through Flash!

What I did mindfully - With the challenge in mind I bought a couple more random bits in the weekly shop and only loosely meal planned - there was enough in the cupboards to make meals outside of the planned ones, just in case we fancied something different. Funny how when you don’t have a plan you can let you just let your stomach guide you. Once we had some stomach approved food we both sat down at the table, popped on a little music and enjoyed our meal and each others company, minus The Flash.

The result?

I couldn’t believe how full I felt through most of my meals. I’m a clean the plate kinda girl but when I was only focusing on the food, the taste, texture, smells, the memories certain meals evoked, I was full long before my plate was cleared - which meant more awesome food for leftovers. I also found that when I really thought about what I wanted to eat, I picked out healthier options. Example - I wanted a snack, so instead of reaching for a packet of crisp to munch my way through, I went and made myself some avocado on toast - nothing complicated but because I had to put some effort into it, I took my time, and damn was that some good avocado on toast - which kept me full right up until dinner time!

There were times when I thought I was hungry, peckish, needing something to nibble on - so I drank a glass of water instead and told myself if I was still feeling the munchies twenty minutes later, I would go on the hunt. Turned out I was only looking to snack out of boredom. Once I distracted myself with something fun to do (FYI my Enchanted Garden colouring book!) those ‘hungry’ feels disappeared. 

After just 24 hours of eating mindfully I’m keen to embrace it for the long term. Listening to what my body wants and fuelling it with the energy it's asking for not only means I’m eating healthier, but I have the peace of mind knowing that I’m getting exactly what I need and enjoying it in the process. 

Have you ever tried eating mindfully, even just for one day? What did your body really want?

This post was written on behalf of Legal and General who set me the mindful eating challenge. All thoughts, opinions and ramblings are 100% my own. For more information, see my disclaimer policy here.

Monday, 5 October 2015

#BloggersBlogAwards Leeds 2015


This past weekend I was unbelievably lucky enough to be able to attend the Bloggers Blog Awards, organised by the yes-she-is-as-amazing-in-real-life-as-she-is-on-her-blog Hayley of Tea Party Beauty. Bloggers from near and far descended upon Leeds for the event and what an event it was!

The fabulously talented and all around amazing lady that is Jemma of Dorkface and I took the coach over to Leeds - 2+ hours of none stop talking, laughing, gin drinking (shhh!), Periscoping (did you see us?) and selfie-taking and we arrived in Leeds, to be given the biggest hug from Dee of Prompts by Dee who had been waiting in the station for us! Our excitement could not be contained and it only grew the more bloggers we found on our adventure through Leeds city centre!

The petite pink bombshell that is Claire of Fine and Dandy quite literally threw herself at us on the high street - she is such a ball of energy! And if there was an award for the best laugh and biggest smile it would, hands down, go to her! We also managed to find the gorgeous lady that is Lauren of Britton Loves - she is such a lovely lady and with her in tow the somewhat lost bloggers had assembled!


We found the venue, Lamberts Yard, dropped off our bags and said a few quick hellos then ran back out into Leeds in search of food! Hungry bloggers ain’t happy bloggers! We had an hour or so before the event officially started and when Claire started to scream and shout and jump up and down like a kid who just got a Nintendo 64 for Christmas - we followed her and found ourselves in Five Guys - seriously, could this day get any better?! I am a total convert, the peanut oil cooked fries? Hell yes!

Bellies full, butterflies dancing and phones fully charged we headed back to Lamberts Yard and got ready to get this blogger party started! Lamberts Yard greeted us with prosecco and goodie bags as we had a look around the shop - they have some amazing pieces, I was totally taken by the furry clutch bags that looked like multi-coloured Monster Book of Monsters! 


Prosecco downed, we headed upstairs to the event space which was very Pinterest/Insta worthy with its exposed brick walls, art prints and amazing light - of course none of which I managed to snap shots of *bad blogger*. One minute there was just a few of us hanging around, having a chat, the next minute it was like the stampede scene from The Lion King - the floor rumbled, the stairs screeched and the next thing you know the room was full from wall to wall with bloggers. I’ve been to a couple of events but I have never seen so many bloggers in one place before - and not just any old bloggers, but some of my favourite big-time bloggers - talk about nerve wracking! 


Now, here’s where I owe an apology - I think I was somewhat overwhelmed by the number of people in the room, the familiar but not so familiar faces, the noise and how hard it was to hear anyone speaking and the overall intimidation of actually speaking to some people whose blogs I have loved for so long! So if I didn’t speak to you, babbled incoherently, or turned tail and ran - I am so sorry! I swear I’m not usually like that, but I usually attend much smaller events!


But the people I did get to speak to where amazing! From Megan of Thumbelina Lillie to Jordan of Hello Miss Jordan, Becky of Becky Bedbug, Jenna of Hepcat Blogs, Carrieanne of Beauties Unlocked, Amy of Amynmore, Kayleigh of Very Berry Cosmo and I know there are probably countless others but do you have any idea how hard it is to try and match real human faces to their twitter avatars/handles? It’s bloody difficult!


The awards themselves were amazing! I was so so happy for all the winners on the day, but a HUGE shoutout has to go to my girl Jemma who not only cleaned up by winning both her categories, but also for taking home about half of the raffle prizes - I swear she should have bought a lottery ticket on the way home, her numbers had been coming up all day! She also kindly gifted me one of her raffle prizes as my numbers were complete pants and I didn’t win a thing on my own! 

About 30+ of us continued on to The Black Swan for an after party/stuff our faces session where I had a really scrumptious chorizo pizza! After much playing with selfie sticks, twitter stalking across the room and more squealing and talking a final few of us went on the driest bar crawl I’ve ever been on - it was a Saturday night and everywhere was rammed! By the time we’d found somewhere with a bit of room, it was time for Jemma and I to head off back home to Liverpool!


Now I have to give a huge shout out to Hayley and Corrine of SkinnedCarTree - I freaking love their blogs and have done for a long time and have stalked them for as long as I can remember online (they know this, they’re ok with this. We all stalk each other.) Of everyone who was there on the day, these were the two ladies I went all the way to Leeds to meet and they are seriously amazing ladies! You know when you try to imagine what someone online might be like in real life - and then you meet them and they are exactly how you imagined? That’s these two! They’re real, they’re awesome, I got to squish their faces and I cannot wait until we’re reunited (I’m working on this ladies!) again! So many feels!

Bloody hell, if you’ve stuck with the post this long then well done you, have a cookie! I can’t thank everyone enough for being so awesome on the day, for everyone I met and got to speak to, to the event sponsors, including the lovely folks from Talented Talkers who sponsored the entire day. Erica and Shaun were absolutely lovely (and I really wanted to pin Erica down and run away with her entire outfit because she looked like a princess!). They also took on the task of selling all the raffle tickets and managed to raise over £300 for Alzheimer's Research! JewelleryBox gifted me the cutest little earring and bracelet set, I'm now lusting after about 90% of their website! Jemma was the best coach buddy I could ask for, and of course,  Hayley, without all her handwork none of this would have happened! Girl, you did a thing - and it was amazing!

Until next time,