18 November 2015

Train travel in twos

Being a passenger is one of the many perks of a road trip. You get to fill your footwell with snacks, kick off your shoes and stare out of the window. "LOOK... BABY COWS!"

The driver, of course, cannot look at the mini moos because they are busy staring at miles of tarmac. I learned a little about the tedium of endless driving during a marathon car journey back from France this summer. Nothing could save my husband from an entire day behind the wheel or the fact that I'd eaten all the snacks.

So when it came to a jaunt down to London for a friend's wedding, we decided to take the train. All aboard!


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11 November 2015

A wet weekend in Northumberland

Autumnal mini breaks are brilliant... Escaping the rat race, sipping wine by a roaring fire and cooing over lush, rural scenes. Just don't forget to pack your umbrella because ohmydays, can rain it!

We loaded up the car with coats and boots before heading to the historical town of Corbridge, in Northumberland, for a very blustery weekend away.

Arriving after dark, we plonked down bags and scurried to the Black Bull in search of food. Thankfully Corbridge is on the miniature side so it took us all of two seconds to reach our destination. Which apparently is just the right amount of time to work up a raging hunger.


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3 November 2015

Lindsey Kelk's A Girl's Best Friend: Blog Tour + Interview

Skipping through rust-coloured leaves and having a legit reason to use the pumpkin emoji... Isn't Autumn the best?

I've been prioritising Getting Cosy and have found THE perfect way to do it. Pour a glass of wine, put some massive socks on and grab a copy of Lindsey Kelk's new book A Girl's Best Friend.

You'll join photographer Tess as she bounces off to a very festive New York and promptly gets herself in a right old tizz over boys. Couple that with work dramaz and being bridesmaid at the wedding of the century, and Crimbo is starting to look a teeny bit stressful for Tess.


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21 October 2015

Veg Noodle Pot Recipe

Slurping a Pot Noodle in the common room became a Friday ritual for my bestie and I when we were at school. We'd rip open the flavour sachet and wait for the hot water to work its magic while devising elaborate ways to get out of Spanish. "Tengo un problema con mi lente de contacto... um... again."

To this day, I cannot walk past a Pot Nozzer without my fingers twitching towards my purse. Chicken and mush for life! Though I haven't actually bought one in ages because, you know, they're actually quite gross when you think about it.

But then some of my favourite foodies started sharing snaps of a much healthier version of the P-Noz on Insta. The chance to eat noodles for lunch and the chance to buy some cute new Kilner jars? Oh go on then.



I grabbed some veggies and whipped up my own version, which is such a tasty lunch and just perfect for these cool, autumnal days. This recipe makes 2 pots, which will keep in the fridge for a couple of days. Simply grab one on your way out, add hot water when you've got the munchies and your healthy noodles will be ready within mins. Happy munching!

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16 October 2015

Berry buckwheat porridge: Recipe

Brilliant breakfast alert! This porridge, using buckwheat groats instead of the usual rolled oats, is perfect if you're looking for something a bit more substantial than a smoothie to start your day.

I found a recipe for raspberry ripple porridge on the wonderful My New Roots.  The following recipe has a couple of tweaks, mostly because of what I had in the cupboard, and it's so creamy and delicious!

There's an amazing zing from the raspberry puree topping, a lovely warmth from the vanilla pod and a boost of sweetness from the maple syrup. Basically, YUM.


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13 September 2015

Where to eat and drink in Stockholm

Stockholm has a saucy reputation for being srsly expensive but there are ways to chomp your way through the city without a telling off from your bank manager.

First up have a rifle through Air B&B, because staying in your own apartment means you can make some meals at home instead of eating out every single night. Then spend your dinner money on lots of other lovely eating opportunities!

Here are my faves...

Bröd & Salt, Gamla Stan
Nestled in a square on the city's oldest island, this bakery is ideal for a little fika after a ramble around the old town. What's fika, you say? Only the best invention ever. You know that after-breakfast lull, when lunch seems like ages away? The Swedes fill it with coffee and pastries, the clever sausages.


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7 September 2015

11 things to do in Gothenburg

Retro trams clattering along the streets, waterways weaving through the city and a huge dose of cosmopolitan culture make Gothenburg a seriously appealing place to visit.

Are you going? Wheeeeee! Here are my top 11 things to do in the beautiful city.


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25 August 2015

Apricot + Coconut Balls: Recipe



It was in the middle of a hen weekend when my bestie handed me a jar of protein balls before breakfast. She'd even stuck a sparkler in there to make it hen appropriate.

I munched away and HELLO, ENERGY LEVELS! Suddenly last night's limitless prosecco drinking, Taylor Swift dance routining, inappropriate photoboothing and general lack of sleeping were long forgotten.

In short, I was ready to get back on it and I've been looking into recipes for the little balls of goodness ever since.


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17 August 2015

What to wear in Copenhagen

Do you ever fall into a mild panic before traveling somewhere new? You know... what will the locals be wearing / what the heck should you pack etc.

I defsies did before a trip to Copenhagen, mostly because CPH is home to some of the chicest people on the entire planet. I finally crammed a few too many things into my suitcase and spent five days people watching in the beautiful city. Now I'm back, I've put together some suggestions on what to pack for your Danish adventure. I hope it helps!

1. Wear flats
Copenhagen girls aren't ones for heels, even at night, so make like the locals and leave yours at home. Trainers and Birkenstocks are the footwear of choice, with low, block-heeled sandals being the only exception to the rule. Most people explore the city on bike or foot and I was super grateful for my comfy New Balance kicks.


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13 August 2015

Kale Apple + Avocado Supergreen Smoothie Recipe

I'm a real fan of smoothies for breakfast, they are so easy to throw together and absolutely packed with amazing nutrients.

Recently I've been using avocado as a base, rather than my go-to banana smoothie recipes, and I'm so pleased with the results! Avocado doesn't just boost the smoothie's health brownie points, it makes it really creamy too. Adding in green powder ramps up the savoury flavour so if you're new to veggie smoothies, maybe try a whole apple to start off with.

Here's my Kale, Apple and Avocado Supergreen Smoothie recipe...


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10 August 2015

The Farmhouse at Mackworth: Restaurant Review

There's only one thing to do when you find that the weather has gone all British Summertime on you... pack yourself off in search of a cosy Sunday lunch.

So with the rain beating down and temperatures reaching not-so-sizzling heights, my husband and I pulled up at The Farmhouse at Mackworth.



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4 August 2015

Daytrippin' to Fjällbacka

Day three on the Swedish west coast and we decided to branch out, hopping in the car and heading north along the coastline.

We accompanied the scenic drive with some music, tuning into NRJ radio station for a heady mix of Eurotrance and Justin Bieber. Nothing was censored and we were merrily belting out the questionable tunes, expletives and all, in no time.

Then we arrived in Fjällbacka and things took a more serene turn.


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27 July 2015

Sunsets in Smögen

After the obligatory three course breakfast, day two in Smögen involved boarding the world's cutest ferry and cruising over to Hållö.

All aboard!


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24 July 2015

Smögen, West Coast of Sweden

It took just two weeks in Scandinavia to make me realise that I am, in fact, secretly Nordic. Or at least I wish I was. The style, the seafood, the landscape... It's an incredible part of the world.

We flew to Copenhagen and spent a few nights in Denmark before travelling up to Gothenburg in Sweden. After Gothenburg (once you learn how the Swedish pronounce this you will NOT be able to stop saying it) we hired a car and drove an hour north for our third stop.

Smögen on Sweden's Bohuslän coast. This babe...



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15 June 2015

Always the Bridesmaid by Lindsey Kelk: Book Review

When a copy of Lindsey Kelk's new novel landed on my desk, I *might* have let out a little squeal of excitement. Because let me tell you, I love that Kelk. Reading one of her books is like the literary version of putting on comfy socks and a cosy knit.

So I sped read my way through the last book I was reading to make way for Always the Bridesmaid. Which turned out to be a superb move.


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26 May 2015

How To Pack Light For a Mini-Break: The Cosmetics Edit



Going on a mini break? YES! Got no space left in your bag thanks to All The Clothes? Yup. 

That capsule holiday wardrobe has always eluded me. Even when I'm packing for one night away my bag will be bursting at the seams as I convince myself that more than one breakfast outfit option is a must (it never is). To compensate, my cosmetics bag is lighter than a feather. So, swings and roundabouts! Here's how I pack light for a mini break. 
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18 May 2015

7 bargain superfoods

Buzzing around the health food store with armfuls of ingredients is my favourite way to spend a lunch break. Then I potter back home, unpack my health haul and tell myself that £20 on coconut oil is definitely worth it. Think of that summer glow!

But in the interest of not going bankrupt while attempting to eat well, I've been looking into some purse friendly superfoods too.



Here are my 7 favourite bargain superfoods…

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11 May 2015

Health kick update



Avocados, bananas, 164 different types of lettuce… My kitchen looks like a mini Whole Foods right now. Side note: wouldn't it be the dream to have a Whole Foods in your own home? Life goals.

Anyway, I've been following my No Candy Before Scandi plans for a while now. I start my days with a spinach smoothie and if I've been for a morning run I'll add in maca powder. Sweet baby jesus, maca is my new favourite health food. It's said to have potent energy and mood-boosting properties and I swear I feel super productive after a maca smoothie.


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27 April 2015

No candy before Scandi

Holler at me, summer! The sun-soaked season is just around the corner and I'm hella keen for more of the good stuff (freckles, flip flops, toes in the sand...)

I've also decided to commit to a pre-season body boost. Mostly because I ate three different types of cheese, a stack of blueberry pancakes and a whole pot of cream atop a tarte tatin this weekend.

It's time to feel fitter and healthier so I've set myself some goals before my summer hols in Scandinavia. That's right, it's NO CANDY BEFORE SCANDI.  (Yeah… soz 'bout that).

^^ Happy summer face ^^ 


Here's the plan...


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23 April 2015

Get the Glow by Madeleine Shaw: Review

Picture your dream summer self and I bet lithe limbs, glowing skin and maybs a coconut water clutched with coral-coloured fingernails come to mind. Which all seems a teeny bit daunting after a winter spent festooned in layers, munching all the chocolate.

But don't panic, because a saviour is swooping in to rescue us and our pasty chops. She's called Madeleine and she's just released Get the Glow, a fabulous new cookbook. Look... isn't it pretty?



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19 April 2015

A weekend in Stratford-upon-Avon

My absolute BFF just got married. Eeep! Her beautiful wedding is not my story to tell, but picture the most glorious day filled with love, sunshine and the biggest smiles you've ever seen and you're just about getting close.

What I will tell you is how much fun we had in Stratford, where the nuptials were based.

I'm averagely keen on celebrating anniversaries. And when I say averagely keen, I mean obsessive. You might have already guessed that from my ramblings herehere and here. Which means it didn't take long to figure out that my husband and I turned eight just before the wedding.

So we got down to Stratford a couple of days early to toast our own mini milestone.

We arrived in the midst of a spring heatwave and made our way down to the river. Swans glided along the water, couples serenaded each other on boats and I became convinced that a barge sold both sushi and ice cream until husb revealed that I'd actually misread the word 'slush'. Which was a relief because who wants to buy a 99 with a flake and sushi from the same establishment?

Anyway, we meandered along the water's edge and saw many pretty things...


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13 April 2015

The things in my home office that make me smile

After five years at a magazine in London, I packed up my desk feeling giddy slash petrified about leaving the office and working for myself. 

And on Day One of my new career as a freelancer, I hit the first self-employment hurdle. YOU HAVE TO CREATE YOUR OWN WORK ENVIRONMENT!!! What the heckers? I stood in my completely empty spare bedroom, twiddling my thumbs while wondering if it would ever feel like a 'proper' office. 

I filled it with the essentials (desk, bin, folders, even a fancy chair which is good for my back) but, 18 months on, it's the little extras in here which really make me smile. Here are some faves… 

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30 March 2015

Over courgetti? Some other veg ideas for yo spiraliser

I've eaten approx 2073 courgettes in courgetti form since I got my spiraliser. And just as I was about about to purchase numbers 2074-5, it dawned on me that maybe it was time to mix things up.

So I got hunting for recipes involving different spiralised veg. Here are my faves...

CUCUMBER makes coodles


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23 March 2015

17 ways Saturday is different when you didn't drink on Friday


1. You'll wake up crazy early and feel smug about 'making the most of the day'.

2. When you leave the house there will be no people on the street, only 7 cats, and you'll briefly wonder if there's been an apocalypse.

3. A Walk of Shamer staggers past and you realise that you're not alone.

4. At least 3 of the 7 cats will be like: "Get out of my grill, human."


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16 March 2015

24 things that will happen at your school reunion



1. The invite arrives and you play it ice cool. You’ve probably got plans for that weekend in five months' time. You bet you’ll be on holiday or, like, working really hard. You’ll defs be washing your hair.

2. You let the idea tumble around for a bit. Maybs you'll decide next week. 

3. Approximately 12 minutes later you’re emailing your besties from school like: "OMG is everybody up for this can you make it shall we all go?"

4. Turns out everybody is up for it.

5.  Suddenly you’ve commandeered a parent’s house ‘back home’ and you’re planning a prosecco pre-party because duh, no one wants to arrive at the reunion sober.


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3 March 2015

Raw Brownie recipe

I've been looking for an alternative to the chocolate bar I munch at night because something that contains 12763 unpronounceable ingredients probs isn't the best way to end a healthy day.

And then oh my days, I saw this recipe for raw brownies by My New Roots and I had to take it out for a spin. It's so simple YOU DON'T EVEN NEED TO PUT THE OVEN ON. All you do is blend the heck out of everything in a food processor and five minutes later… hi there, healthy snack.


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2 March 2015

The 10 essentials in my makeup bag

I've been lugging around the weight-equivalent of a small child thanks to my hefty makeup bag. Do I really need three different blue eyeliners for a weekend away? No, no I don't.

So I decided to streamline and, drums please, I've whittled my makeup bag down to just TEN essential products!

Now I can fit everything into a smaller, travel-friendly bag and I don't spend hours rummaging around trying to find what I actually need each morning. More time for work coffee! 

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23 February 2015

Shopping haul… Purse-friendly fashion

I'm having a lot of aggro chats with myself at the moment which tend to go like this: "No no, you really don't need to pop into Whistles right now." Or: "LOG OFF COS ONLINE BEFORE YOU END UP WITH MORE LOOSE-FITTING GARMS YOU FOOL."

But I'm trying to be a bit more 'sensible' because I've got tonnes of exciting stuff lined up for this year and I'd like to spend more money on maxing those adventures and less money on super expensive dry-clean-only tops made of sequins.

Obviously I'm not going to just stop shopping because WTF? Instead I've been scouting out some bargains and thought I'd share my latest purse-friendly shopping haul...


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16 February 2015

Hen weekend in the Peak District

At the risk of sounding ridiculously girly, it's such a blooming honour when one of your best friends asks you to be her bridesmaid and I couldn't think of anything lovelier than being by my best one's side when she marries her favourite gent later this year.

Em and I have been riding high on dress shopping, prosecco quaffing and wedding chatting ever since. But there's one thing that I couldn't share with the bride-to-be… HER HEN DO!

With brilliant fellow 'maids Roz and Hari, we set about planning a weekend away that Em would hopefully love. Which meant we wanted to find somewhere 'cosy', possibly historical, fill it with her best ladies and make sure not one single peen-shaped item got through the doors.

I'd used Sykes Cottages for a couple of previous staycations so thought I'd have a browse on their website (which, btw, is super easy to use). Sykes came up with the goods once again and we found loads of lovely-looking potentials for our house party.

But it was Winster Hall in the Peak District that nailed it. JUST LOOK AT IT!


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11 February 2015

Boys with diets better than ours

I'm the fussy eater in our house. Normal food is transformed into the devil with alarming regularity and suddenly I can't go near it in my quest to be healthy slash keep up with the pretty people of Instagram.

Fruit's out / veg is in / dairy's out / almond milk is in / carbs are out / dairy's back but only if it's organic / processed meats are out… I hop from one health fad to another. But only from Monday to Friday. By the time the weekend rolls around, the floodgates open without fail. Crisps and wine and actual bread (doesn't even have to be wholemeal!) gravitate my way regardless of my current diet ambitions. 

Thankfully, my husband is a much more contented eater. He'll munch what he wants, when he wants and gamely goes along with me spiralising courgettes and calling it pasta as long as he can eat some biscuits afterwards. 

But what if I lived with a fellow fuss-pot? Like Diet Coke model Andrew Cooper, who laid bare the extent of his precision eating in a Sunday Times' Style mag interview. 


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2 February 2015

5 dairy-free super smoothies to drink this week

Juices are all that. Like the new girl who starts in sixth form and suddenly all. the. boys. 

Well move over newbie… The smoothie is back. (At least, it is in my house). I've been rediscovering this breakfast treat thanks to the shiny new blender I got for Christmas, which I love a bit too much. 

I'm currently cutting down on dairy so I've been trying out combinations with coconut water instead of milk, though you can use actual water if you want. I'm also throwing in more veg than fruit because sugar's such a drama queen. 

Turns out smoothies are a quick, easy breakfast and a great way to take on a shit ton of nutrients at the start of the day. You're welcome, body!


Here are my five current favourites.

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27 January 2015

Adjusting

I've been absent without leave for a while now. Well, that's not strictly true because I did actually give myself the leave. So I've been more A than AWOL.

Sometimes life deals you a difficult hand and mine decided to throw a major spanner in the works at the end of last year.

My family and I lost the brightest star. It was very sudden and very sad.

The next thing we know we're being swept along with a list of Things To Do When Somebody Dies.

We decided to plan a party to celebrate his life.

And what a life! Spent loving, laughing, taking chances, helping, inspiring, doing, seeing, creating, being.

And what a party! Happy memories, new stories, old faces and an overwhelming sense of love and support.

But now the gatherings have been and gone and I can't help wondering, what next? Because we're still reeling, still feeling bruised.

One thing's for sure, our shining star wouldn't have wanted any moping. He'd want happiness and a glass of wine or two.

And so I've put together a new list…

To Do

Be brave
Take chances
Grab life by the blooming balls!
(Dont shirk on apéritifs)




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