Citrus Blast Mango Smoothie

Saturday, 31 January 2015 ·

A new year calls for the obligatory new year's resolution of trying to become a little healthier in the coming months. Every year I have the same resolution and every year it only lasts a few months (if that) but hey at least I try. My favourite way to start the day at the moment is a smoothie - quick, easy and super healthy, where can you go wrong? I've been experimenting with different flavours but this is mango one is my current favourite! 


  • 150g mango
  • 100ml apple juice
  • 2 tbsp low fat greek yoghurt
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 5/6 fresh mint leaves
  • drizzle of runny honey

 How to

This doesn't really need much explanation....pop all of the ingredients into your blender (I use the Magimix Le Blender) and blitz up until smooth in consistency. If like mine, your blender has a smoothie setting use this to get perfect results. Add more lime or honey until it's just right for you. 

As I said, this is my go to smoothie at the moment, I absolutely adore mango and the lime juice gives the perfect zingy kick which is just what I need to get me raring to go for the day ahead! 

If you'd like some more smoothie recipes let me know in the comments section as I'd love to do some! 

What's your smoothie of choice? 

5 Pins I'm Loving {3}

Wednesday, 28 January 2015 ·

All too often I manage to spend an entire afternoon getting lost in the depths of Pinterest so it's a good thing that I still manage to regard it as an afternoon well spent! Here's the shortlist of my favourite pins from the past month or so... I hope you don't suffer from Pinterest envy! 

1. Recently lot of friends and family have been commenting on how long my hair has gotten so my attention keeps getting drawn to cute hair styles. I love this knot style with the beachy waves. It's so simple and looks great. All I need now is to learn to style it on my own hair! Pin

2. This time of the year can be so miserable so I'm sure I'm not the only one already dreaming of summer holidays! There's something about Santorini which makes it seem the perfect holiday destination, it may have to be next on my list! Pin

3. This outfit is just perfection. The neutral tones look beautiful against the added scalloped texture of the skirt. Pin

4. Since we've been flat hunting I can't stop decorating our future flat in my head and the bathroom is the most important room in the flat as far as I'm concerned. These tiles are absolutely stunning especially with the plain wooden mirror above. Pin

5. Stacking dainty jewellery adds a little something special to an outift. These gold bracelets would look beautiful with the neutral outfit above especially with a little sunkissed skin! Pin

Do you love Pinterest too? 

Tips For Your First Solo Trip

Monday, 26 January 2015 ·

Going travelling alone for the first time, more often than not, is a terrifying prospect and is something I can very much relate to. Four years ago, more or less to the day, I was planning my first ever solo trip and I was definitely more worried than excited, but I can safely say it was the best thing I’ve ever done. Here are my tips for planning your first solo trip… 

1. Where to go?

Deciding where you go can often be the toughest decision but it’s one you really can’t avoid making. So whether you have one place you’ve always dreamt of exploring or you simply close your eyes and pop a pin into a world map get this done first! 

2. Do your research!

Make sure to look into everything from the currency you’ll need, areas of your destination with  a bad reputation to local traditions and customs. Without this knowledge it’s all too easy to accidentally offend someone or worse, get yourself into a dangerous situation so don't skip it!

3. Get organised. 

We’ve all heard the stories of people simply ‘winging it’ and seeing who they meet and where the wind takes them. Don’t get me wrong, this can be a very fun and spontaneous way of travelling however I would recommend booking at least a few nights in advance. Make sure to check the cancellation policies and if something better comes along or your plans change then you can always cancel your original booking! 

4. Is a group tour/trip right for you? 

A pre-organised group trip with a company such as Real Gap or Frontier can be a great way to easy yourself into solo travelling. You can travel to virtually anywhere in the world and everything at your destination is organised for you taking all of the pressure off you and it will put your parents minds at ease! These can last anywhere from a week to several months so if you do your research I can guarantee you’ll find something suited to you. 

5. Want to do more than just travel?

There are so many other things that you can incorporate into any trip so that the benefits last you long after you return home. Whether purely for your own benefit or as something to add to your university application/CV these are a great thing to look in to. You can incorporate any number of things into your trip, from volunteering or learning a language to martial arts training or mountain trekking, there’s something for everyone.

6. Have the basics at your finger tips

There's nothing more disorienting when travelling than not understanding things around you, be it signs, menus or needing to ask for directions. Download a translation app such as iStone - it'll become your best friend! 

7. Pack light

The prospect of packing for a a trip of a month or more may seem daunting but stick to the basics! You can always pick up extra bits and pieces as you go and don't forget you've got to lug it all around with you everywhere you go! 

My three months of travelling was the best thing I’ve ever done and, as cheesy as it sounds, it really helped me develop as a person! Although I was pretty organised and booked myself onto a volunteering programme to start my trip off and did plenty of research it was still a steep learning curve so I hope that these tips will help you in making the most of your next trip. My final word of warning, be prepared to get the travel bug and spend a considerable amount of time from then on dreaming of your next trip! 

Do you love to travel to? Have you got any tricks to being organised or making the most of your trip?

Homemade Sundried Tomato & Garlic Hummus

Saturday, 17 January 2015 ·

Snacking seems to be that habit that I really struggle to give up but with trying to be healthier as one of my new years resolutions I wanted to find some more quick and easy snacks that I don't need to feel guilty about. This is where hummus comes in, or more precisely sundried tomato and garlic hummus. 

I've read a lot of hummus recipes over the past few months but on this occasion I decided to 'wing it' and see where that got me. This recipe couldn't be easier, no cooking or weighing of ingredients, there really is no excuse not to give this a go!

What You'll Need To Buy...
- 400g tinned chick peas (drained)
- 2 garlic cloves (peeled) 
- 1/2 cup water
- 3/4 large pieces sundried tomato

What You'll Need To Do...
  1. This couldn't be easier, simply pop all of the ingredients except the water into the blender - I would recommend crushing the garlic first. 
  2. Pop about half of the water in to begin with, put the lid on the blender and blitz until smooth. 
  3. If you're struggling to get a smooth texture just add a little more water at a time until you have the result you desire. 
That's it, now you have the perfect homemade hummus which will keep in the fridge for around 4 days if kept in a sealed container. This is the perfect mid-afternoon snack when your starting to flag and need a bit of a pick me up. 

I can't wait to try adding some different things to this to make different 'flavoured' hummus. Next on the list might be lemon and coriander, what do you think? 

Have you ever made your own hummus? What's your favourite 'flavour'?

Top Picks of the London Markets

Monday, 12 January 2015 ·

Ever since I was a child, one of my favourite things to do in London has been to visit some of the many markets dotted about the city. Having lived in London for over a year now (and my my has it flown by) I've visited too many markets to be able to list but here are my top picks... 

With so many markets on offer and often only the weekend to attend them it can be virtually impossible to decide which to actually visit. So, to help you  out, here are my top picks - I'd recommend dragging yourself out of bed to get to them all as early as possible to get the best experience. 

This is the undeniably the ultimate foodie market in London. Getting here early means you can avoid the crowds of tourists and instead mooch about at your own pace and take everything in - it really is a feast for the senses!

You can get everything from fresh local fruit and veggies to produce from further afield, cheese and meats are particularly popular. Not only this but there is also an abundance of stalls cooking up fresh produce which is virtually impossible to resist!

This is my favourite market to head to if I want to spend the entire morning wandering along (or even the whole day). With a mix of food, antiques, crafts, home wares and second hand/vintage clothes there really is something for everyone!

Personally I prefer to stick to the top end of the street where it's predominantly antiques as you never know gem what you might find hidden amongst it all.

I don't tend to venture into East London all that often but Broadway Market is well worth the trip. It is the perfect combination of Borough and Portobello market with everything from French cheese, Moroccan salads and traditional British cakes to handmade lace lingerie, woven baskets and even Scandinavian home wares.

If you like to people watch then it's definitely worth grabbing a coffee outside one of the cafes or restaurants that line the market.

Looking for a unique gift for someone? Look no further than Old Spitalfields Market near Liverpool Street. There are hundreds of stalls here and all of them provide something interesting and unique so you can be guaranteed to find something for everyone!

In addition to this there are some lovely shops that line the covered square of the market including a great gourmet chocolatier! To top it off, if you start to feel peckish then head over to Poppies on Hanbury Street for the best fish and chips!

This is my go to market on a Saturday morning, while the sun is shining, to pick up some fresh fruit and veg for the coming week and maybe a cheeky sweet treat from one of the fantastic bakery stalls. This is the type of market that you can go back to week on week and genuinely do your weekly shop and after a little while you'll start to see familiar faces doing exactly the same thing.

Not only this but there are also some fantastic street food stalls, my personal favourite being a hog roast stand which does the best (and biggest) roast pork baps I've ever had!

Last but not least, something  a little bit different. If you've never been to Columbia Road Market on a Sunday morning then you are seriously missing out. It's a fantastic flower market in Tower Hamlets and is undoubtedly worth getting out of bed early for. Come rain or shine you can guarantee that this market will be absolutely buzzing, plus who needs an excuse to pick up some fresh flowers to brighten up your home??

What's your favourite London market?

Thai Chicken Laksa

Saturday, 10 January 2015 ·

Cooking after a long day at work can seem like the hardest thing in the world, I for one never have the motivation, but this year I want to try and be healthier (original I know) which means cooking more meals from scratch which is where 'Jamie's 15 Minute Meals' comes in!

Having bookmarked my favourite recipes (pretty much the whole book...) I finally settled on his Thai Chicken Laksa as my first recipe. Although it didn't turn out 100% how I wanted it still tasted fantastic so I thought it only fair to share it with you guys. Plus look how lovely my new serving board is that I got for Christmas!

Shopping List for the Laksa
- 1 chicken stock cube
- 1 butternut squash (neck only)
- 2 garlic cloves (peeled)
- 1 thumb sized piece ginger
- 1 red chilli
- 1 tsp tumeric
- 4/5 spring onions (roughly chopped)
- 1 heaped tsp peanut butter
- 4 dried kaffir lime leaves
- 1/2 bunch fresh coriander
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 300g medium rice noodles
- 600g asparagus
- 400g coconut milk
- 3 limes

Shopping List for the Chicken:
- 4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (I used turkey breast)
- 1 heaped tsp Chinese five spice
- salt & pepper
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 red chilli

  1. Toss the chicken in a bowl with the five spice, salt and pepper until evenly coated then place on a sheet of greaseproof paper. Fold over the paper and hammer with a rolling pin to flatten to 1.5cm thick. 
  2. Place the chicken on a hot griddle pan and turn every 3/4 minutes until cooked through and charred. 
  3. Now for the laksa, mix together about 800ml chicken stock and pour into a large lidded pan. 
  4. Trim the neck off the squash and grate the flesh into the pan of stock - you can do this with a food processor if you have the right attachment. 
  5. Using the bowl blade in a food processor blitz together the garlic, ginger, chilli, turmeric, spring onions, peanut butter, kaffir lime leaves, coriander stalks (save the leaves for later), sesame oil, soy sauce and fish sauce into a paste. 
  6. Add the paste and noodles to the stock and replace the lid on the pan. 
  7. Trim the ends off the asparagus and chop in half (or smaller if you prefer) and add to the pan with the coconut milk. Once this boils, season with soy sauce and lime juice as necessary and remove from the heat. 
  8. Drizzle the chicken with honey and sprinkle over the sesame seeds and chilli and serve with the laksa. 
I won't lie, this took me 25 minutes as opposed to 15 but I still think that's pretty good for a delicious dinner like this - I really didn't think this was possible. Plus I'm sure that the more you make it the quicker the process will become. 

As I said at the start this didn't turn out quite the way I had planned... As opposed to a noodle broth I ended up with less of a broth and more just noodles and a thick sauce... I'm pretty sure this was a combination of too many noodles and not enough stock (I did kind of wing it when it came to measurements/weighing things. 

All in all for 25 minutes of pretty easy cooking this turned out great and it went down a treat. If you don't have this recipe book I can't recommend it highly enough, whether you work long hours or simply don'y like to spend hours in the kitchen! 

Have you tried any of Jamie's 15 minute meals? I'd love some recommendations of what to try next

Homemade Salsa & Guacamole

Saturday, 3 January 2015 ·

Snacking is just one habit I don't seem to be able to shake and so recently I've been trying to get into having some healthier options on hand so I feel a little less guilty about it when I snack! One of my favourite things to snack on is tortilla chips with salsa and guacamole and I've finally mastered the perfect recipe for both... 

Salsa and guacamole are both incredibly easy to make, with only  a handful of ingredients for both so there really is very little reason not to make them yourself! Not only this, but you can also tweak the recipe as much or as little as you like to get them exactly to your liking!

First lets start with the guacamole...

- 3 ripe avocados
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 mild chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
- 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
- handful chopped coriander
- juice 1/2 lime

1. In a blender (or pestle and mortar) blitz the chillies, onions, tomatoes and coriander into a paste. 

2. Add in a dash of water and the lime juice to make the paste a little looser and easier to work with. 

3. Mash the avocados and mix with the paste and then season to taste. If, like me, you prefer smooth guacamole then simply add the avocado to the blender and blitz up until you're happy with the consistency. 

4. Pop into a pretty serving bowl and your guacamole is done. 

Now it's time for the salsa... 

- 4 tomatoes, diced
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- handful chopped coriander
- 1 mild chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
- juice 1/2 lime

1. This couldn't be easier, simply pop all of the ingredients into a bowl and give them a thorough mix until all of the ingredients are evenly combined. 

2. Add any seasoning necessary and possibly more chilli if you fancy it a little hotter. 

3. This can be served straight away but I would recommend leaving it to one side for an hour or so to let the flavours mix properly. 

Once you've got everything prepped all you need is a bowl of tortilla chips and maybe some sour cream and you have the perfect snack for pretty much any time of day! Obviously salsa and guacamole are readily available pre-made in shops but I love to make my own when I can as it's completely guilt free. Nowadays pre-made food is often jam packed with preservatives, artificial flavourings and heaps of salt and sugar so it's always better to make your own when you can! 

What's your favourite guilt free snack? 

Office Space Inspiration

Thursday, 1 January 2015 ·

There's something about the idea of having a little desk area in my flat that can serve as my mini office that I just can't get out of my head lately! Unfortunately I don't have room for it in my current apartment but that certainly doesn't stop me gathering inspiration for the day that I do have space...

With my job I get to work from home every now and then and go through times when I have to bring my laptop home a lot to work in the evenings/at weekends so the idea of having a desk is really appealing to me - I find it really difficult to focus when working at our dining table! 

Although space may not allow for it big desks really appeal to me as then there is plenty of room for some knick knacks and flowers and lots of other bits and pieces to make space a little more personal.

A noticeboard is a must have for my dream desk area and this gold framed number is beautiful. This would be great for creating en ever changing mood board or simply pinning up a few pieces of inspiring art.

No desk is complete without somewhere to store all of the more monotonous bits and pieces that go along with having a desk! Having a colour theme is an easy way to pull everything together and incorporating the wall brackets into this is something that never would have occurred to me.

This set up is so beautifully simple and I just can't get enough of it. As much as I love the neutral colours I don't think this would be practical for me so I'd need a few pops of colour here and there! What really stands out to me here is the use of reclaimed wood for the desk which adds some much needed character. 

Have you got your perfect work space set up at home?