Sunday, 9 December 2018

Sweet Gingersnap Cookies // Recipe


Hey lovelies! Christmas is my favourite time of year for Baking and since we're officially in December now it's time to kick-start the month with a cosy sweet treat to get you through the festive season. These ginger-snap cookies are a recipe that always reminds me of family and Christmas memories. They're packed with warming spices, cinnamon and nutmeg and are soft and chewy while still having that traditional 'snap' that I love. 
In terms of baking, these cookies are super easy just make sure to give them plenty of space on the baking sheet as these little guys spread out like crazy. I've made the mistake of putting them too close together before and they've all baked into each other oops! Hope you enjoy and let me know in the comments below what other recipes you'd like me to try this month? Got lot's planned...and make sure you've entered my Giveaway too for more gifts for the Christmas season. 

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

The Secrets to Christmas on a Budget!


So unless you're a bit of a Grinch at heart, Christmas is one of the most exciting times of the year. Filled with festive food, family traditions, time with loved ones, and treats it's a time we seem to wait all year for to come around...but it's also the most EXPENSIVE time of the year. 
As much as we know it's coming, it's hard to prepare for just how costly Christmas can be sometimes. It's become so commercial and especially for families the pressure at this time of year is immense. Even as a teenager, I find myself working a lot harder in the months leading up to December to earn money through sponsored opportunities or simply babysitting on my weekends ect. because OH BOY does buying presents get expensive. But there are so many little tips that can help with this while still having just as special a Christmas, so I hope this post helps you out this year.

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

BIG CHRISTMAS GIVEAWAY! // Baylis and Harding Christmas Set


Hey lovelies, hope you're all having an amazing week (or at least better than I am!) as I'm currently swamped in revision for my GCSE mocks which have just started this week. And if not? Well I hope this surprise Christmas Giveaway post will brighten it up anyway. 

It's officially "the most wonderful time of the year" now and to kickstart this I'm hosting a giveaway giving you the chance to win this MASSIVE  Baylis and Harding Gift Set , filled with all the best bathing products for the Christmas Season. I actually let you all pick the Giveaway prize over on my Instagram earlier this month, and you guys opted for this gorgeous rose-gold  Jojoba, Silk and Almond Oil Ultimate Bathing Gift Set. Good choice!

The giveaway ends on 20/12/18 giving you all just enough time to receive this as an early present from me to you, or to treat friends or family with this Christmas instead. The rules to enter are below, Good Luck!

TO WIN: 

  • Head over to my Twitter to RT THE TWEET and follow the rules listed there.
  • GIVEAWAY CLOSES:  20/12/18
  • OPEN WORLDWIDE
  • FOR EXTRA ENTRIES: just pop back to this post and enter via Rafflecopter below!







QOTD: WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT CHRISTMAS?

Sunday, 25 November 2018

Balancing Physical Health and Mental Wellness // Long-Term Goals


Hey lovelies! The biggest challenge people face when it comes to health is actually maintaining that lifestyle because being healthy is never just down to one thing. Many of us have tried a healthy diet for a few weeks, swapped out lunch for a salad every day and locked away all the sweet treats in the house...before slipping back into old habits. That's because you need to think about your long-term goals. There's never one answer to becoming healthy - no fad diets or cheat ways sorry - but maintaining physical and mental wellness in the long-term, that's what's important. Balancing these two alongside each other can often be difficult but here are some suggestions to help you out.

Thursday, 22 November 2018

Why it's Important to take a "Digital Detox."



Hey lovelies! If any of you are bloggers too, it's safe to say technology has a huge influence in our lives (even more that most people) and sometimes we don't realise the importance of taking a break. 

With technology now such a necessity in daily life (keeping up with social media, tweeting your latest blog post and replying to DM's...) we're so reliant on it. It's advanced so quickly in the last 10 years that if you left the house in the morning and left your phone behind, it would probably make your day a whole lot more difficult. Not to mention that 'attachment' we all have to it. This is why though, it's important to take a 'Digital Detox' not only for your overall health but so you can enjoy living life in reality and make memories with friends and family that aren't just through a screen. 

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Life Lately // GCSE Mocks, Stress, and Blogging Updates



Hey lovelies. I don't remember the last time I did a chatty 'catch-up' style post and right now, when everything feels so stressful and hectic...I think it's definitely needed. A lot has happened since September started, with beginning 'THE GCSE YEAR,' as well as a few months of feeling really low, unmotivated and lost. Hopefully though, this month should be a turning point for me with all the exciting things I have planned, but let's catch up with what I've missed.

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

No-Bake Nutty Granola Bars // Recipe


Hey lovelies! This week's recipe post calls for a sweet snack but instead of like my Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes from a few weeks ago, I thought we'd go for something healthier and show you my classic recipe for: 'No-Bake Nutty Granola Bars.' This is something I make weekly, perfect for popping in a packed lunch or as a mid-morning snack and compared to the store-bought kind these granola bars contain completely natural ingredients. 

With granola bars you can really add whatever mixture you want, you just need a sticky substance to bind it together (I've found nut butters and honey work best) but over time I've found my personal favourite. These nutty bars are packed with protein and dipped in a thin layer of dark chocolate. There's also no baking required so you needn't worry about burning anything and they're super quick and easy to make a batch of. 


YOU WILL NEED:  (MAKES 8-12 CHUNKY BARS)



  • 2 Cups of Oats
  • 1 Cup of Raw Chopped Nuts (I used almonds, walnuts, brazil nuts and cashews)
  • 1/4 Cup of Raw Honey
  • 1/4 Cup of Peanut Butter
  • 1/4 Cup of Dates (soaked overnight)
  • 1 Tsp of Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Tsp Chia Seeds
  • 100g Dark Chocolate

METHOD:


1. Line an 8x8 square baking pan with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl add all the dry ingredients as well as the chopped dates (which should be soft and sticky after being soaked) and vanilla extract. 
3. Melt the peanut butter and honey in a saucepan over a low heat then pour into the oat mixture, stiring with a wooden spoon to combine. 
4. Spoon the mixture into the baking pan. Flatten out with the back of a spoon and press to the edges until the mixture is compact (this will stop the bars falling apart later. ) Then put in the fridge to chill for 1 hour.
5. Heat the dark chocolate gently until melted, then pour over the set mixture in a thin, even layer. Pop back into the fridge for 1 hour / or until the chocolate layer has hardened. 
6. Remove from the fridge and transfer onto a board. Cut into 8-12 bar-size slices and enjoy. Best stored in an airtight container or (to last even longer) the bars can be frozen. 



QOTD: WHAT FLAVOUR GRANOLA BARS ARE YOUR FAVOURITE?
Anything with peanut butter in and I'm sold!


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Thursday, 25 October 2018

A Period Survival Guide // Self-Care and Tips ft. Betty Box


Hey lovelies! We all know that feeling of wanting to curl up in a ball with a huge tub of Ben & Jerry's ice cream and a Rom-Com movie when it's that time of the month. Period's can be the most draining thing, leaving you irritable, exhausted and whether you get bad PMS and period pains or not... it's just not the best time of the month right? 

For me personally, I'm always left feeling super bloated no matter what I do at this time in the month, plus cramps and breakouts (everyone's favourite...) and cravings for all the most unhealthy sweet things I can find. 
But one thing period's should always give you an excuse for is a bit of self-care and that's exactly what this post is about. Inspired by the cutest subscription box I received from Betty Box, which was filled with feminine hygiene essentials, sweet treats and beauty items, I thought I'd share with you my self-care tips and tricks for that annoying 'time of the month.' Some of these you might do already and some are new little self-care habits you should definitely give a go. But let me know in the comments below if you have any tips or routines to share? Let's help each other out. 



Inside the Box

The first thing I was overwhelmed by in this box was how cute all the sections and packaging were. Alongside the 'For Night' and 'For Later' pads, you also get a mini drawstring back to put your sanitary products in too. I know for me this will be the most useful thing for popping into my handbag or schoolbag for a little pouch of 'emergency pads.'
As well as this though (possibly my favourite part) is the box titled 'For you' which was filled with self-care items to just put a smile on your face. This part is such great value for money as you get a selection of new products to try that are actually worth over £35! In mine I received:
  • Mini Chocolate Bar ('Chocstars.')
  • Body Cleanser ('What's in it for Me?')
  • 'Wipe Out' cloth ('Magnitone.')
  • Highlighting Pencil ('Jelly Pong Pong Bare Necessities.')
  • Bewitched Hair Bands ('Bandzee.')
  • Blueberry Bliss Vegan Sweets ('Candy Kittens.')
  • Drinking Fudge ('Fudge Kitchen.')


Comfort Food + Drinks to cure cramps

Ahh PMS cravings...
Everyone has their own 'comfort foods' but for me I always need a bar of dark chocolate or fruit and nut Dairy Milk (my fave) to hand at this time of the month. Inside the 'for you' section of the box also helps with little treats like this and it's important to just give yourself a break with all those hormones going crazy. 

In terms of cramps the best thing I can recommend without turning straight to painkillers is hot lemon water - which I will literally end up drinking 5 cups a day of sometimes - or any warm drinks or herbal tea with ginger in. May not taste the nicest, but they will always leave your body feeling a while lot better than caffeinated or energy drinks.


Lazy Days and Treating Yourself 

When you're feeling down, often it can be better to get all those emotions out while watching a sad movie or ROM-COM... rather than getting into arguments with your family like I seem to do oops! I have a set list of classic movies for when I'm feeling like this, my favourites being "The Fault in Our Stars," "Moulin Rouge," "Legally Blonde" and "Breakfast at Tiffany's." Let me know in the comments what yours are?

At the same time though, getting out of the house and doing something active can totally improve your mood (even if it feels like the worst idea in the world at that moment!) While I do love a movie day, sometimes a short walk in the park or half an hour at the gym can have the same effect for me. 


Bath Soak and Relaxation 

Take this opportunity to pull out all the bath soaks and beauty bits that you never get round to using usually in the busy month, and pamper yourself - even for just one night! At a time when my skin is also prone to breakouts and at it's worst this is also super important and I loved using the Magnitude Cleansing Cloth I received in my Betty Box to help with this. 
Another thing is hot baths are great for soothing cramps and aches, and I'm obsessed with this Radox 'Rosemary and Eucalyplus' soak which is the nicest scent for relaxing and stress-relief. Not sponsored aha, but just to show you don't have to splurge of expensive products, just your own personal favourites you know will help you relax when you're feeling stressed and low. 



Hope you found this post useful and let's help each other out in the comments... sharing tips, grumbles and advice for this relatable thing all women have to go through but yet no one seems to talk about. Also. be sure to have a look at Betty Box or even just check out their website which is filled with helpful articles and info on everything from your body, to life and teen advice.


QOTD: WHAT'S YOUR USUAL PMS FOOD CRAVING?
- Dairy Milk Fruit and Nut Choc

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Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Vegan Pumpkin Mac 'n' Cheese // Recipe


Hey lovelies! When most people think 'VEGAN' they don't exactly think comfort food. More like green smoothies and tofu really, but in this post I thought I'd show you an easy Vegan meal for the autumn: Mac 'n' Cheese! 

Now when I first tried Vegan Cheese it was in a snack subscription box I was trying out on my blog, let's just say I'm was NOT the biggest fan at all. But after a bit of research I found that most vegan recipes don't include any pre-packaged cheese substitutes, they actually use one secret ingredient of 'nutritional yeast.' These yeast flakes taste like Parmesan when cooked and are what gives the Mac 'n' Cheese it's super cheesy taste, paired with creamy blended cashews for a thick sauce that tastes just like your classic 'Mac 'n' Cheese.' I tried this recipe as a bit of an experiment a few weeks ago (doubting whether it would actually go to plan at all and taste any good) but I was so pleasantly surprised. The perfect autumnal dish for sharing, cosying up on a night in, or if you're in need of some warm comfort-food!


YOU WILL NEED: (Serves 4-5)


  • 1 Cup of Raw Cashews (soaked overnight)
  • 300g of Pasta
  • 1/2 Cup of Pumpkin Puree
  • 1/2 Cup of Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 3 Tbsp of Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 Tbsp of Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Tsp of Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 Tsp of Black Pepper 
  • 1/4 Tsp of Cumin and Paprika 
  • 1/2 Onion Chopped

METHOD:

1. Cook pasta according to the packet instructions, "al dente" (this should only take 8-10mins.)

2. Meanwhile In a food processor or blender, blend together the pumpkin puree and cashews until it forms a creamy orange sauce. Add the rest of the sauce ingredients, including the yeast to give it that super cheesy taste, and blend again.

3. Preheat the oven to 180°c. Empty the cooked pasta into a medium-sized dish and pour over your pumpkin-cheese sauce, stirring to combine. Sprinkle on some extra yeast flakes and seasoning before popping in the oven for 15-20mins until golden brown on top.

4. Remove from the oven and enjoy hot, served with a sprinkle of Vegan Cheese on top!



To read my other VEGAN RECIPES just click the link and let me know in the comments what vegan "re-makes" of your favourite foods you'd like me to make next?

QOTD: WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR HALLOWEEN NIGHT?


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Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Pumpkin-Spice and Pecan Cupcakes // Recipe


Hey lovelies! Welcome back to another autumn post and this week I'm featuing one of my favourite recipes lately: my "Pumpkin-Spice and Pecan Cupcakes." This time of year is my absolute favourite for baking, there are pumpkins all over the supermarkets for crazy-cheap and I love taking advantage of this in all things baking. Pumpkin-Spice seems to be everyone's favourite drink of choice at Starbucks in the autumn, but for me my favourite way to include it will always be in some sweet baking. 

These cupcakes are moist, loaded with spices and topped with a cinnamon buttercream for the perfect cupcake. And unlike most of my other Vegan or Gluten-Free recipes you can read here this one is just a classic cupcake - no healthy substitutes or frills! Because we all need that once in a while right? Hope you enjoy this week's recipe and let me know what else you'd like me to try out this Fall. 



YOU WILL NEED:



FOR THE CUPCAKES

  • 1 Cup of Pumpkin Puree (can always use butternut squash if you can't find it!)
  • 250g Plain Flour
  • 200g Brown Sugar
  • 1Tsp Baking Powder
  • 50g Butter
  • 1Tsp each of Cinnamon and Nutmeg
  • 1Tsp Vanilla Extract 
  • Handful of Chopped Pecans
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
FOR THE ICING 

  • 150g Unsalted Butter
  • 300g Icing Sugar
  • 1Tsp Cinnamon
  • Chopped Pecans to decorate
METHOD:


1. Preheat the oven to 180°c and line a cupcake tray with 12 cases (I went with orange for an extra autumn-feel!)
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and whisk until combined. 
3. Sift into the mixture the flour and baking powder, then add all the remaining ingredients and gently fold into the mixture. Feel free to add more cinnamon and spices to suit your taste. 
4. Divide evenly into the 12 cupcake cases and then bake for 15-20mins  in the oven or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of one of the cupcakes comes out clean. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
5. While the cupcakes are cooling, beat together the butter and icing sugar to make your icing (this is the bit that often gets messy oops) Add cinnamon to taste, and then pop into a piping bag and pipe that classic cupcake 'swirl' on top of each cake. 
6. Sprinkle with Pecans and a final dust of cinnamon and enjoy!


QOTD: FAN OF STARBUCKS PUMPKIN-SPICE LATTES OR NAH?
Don't really get the hype with them myself!

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

An Autumn To-Do List!


You all know I'm a huge lover of 'To-Do' lists. I write everything down, whether it's to get me excited about something like a Bucket List or plainly to GET STUFF DONE... you can never go wrong with them. As Autumn is my favourite season of the year, I thought I would kickstart October with an Autumn To-Do list, filled with all the things I want to do to prepare for the Autumn months and goals and things I'd like to achieve this season. To read more Autumn-themed posts I've put up on Just Morgs just click here, and let me know in the comments what you're most excited for this season. 



1. MAKE AS MANY PUMPKIN-SPICE RECIPES AS POSSIBLE

You'll be seeing these go up a lot on my blog in the next few weeks and I could not be more excited! Autumn baking makes me think of all things cinnamon, pumpkin-spice, apple and toffee and aside from Christmas it's my favourite season for baking. Let me know if there are any special requests you have for recipes coming up in the next few weeks - I'd love to know. *And the picture above is a sneak peek at a recipe coming up next week.


2. CONTINUE WAKING UP AT 5:30AM EACH MORNING

Yep you read that right - but hear me out before you all think I'm crazy! This September (after binge watching UnJaded Jade revision videos) I decided to try something new that she does and try getting up at 5:30am each day. Normally I'm still dragging myself out of bed at 7:30 on a school morning so I doubted how long this would last, but after a month of it I actually love it! Waking up this early each day is not only eerily peaceful but gives me time to do exercise // yoga in the morning, actually enjoy my breakfast and (more importantly for Year 11) get 45mins of Revision done before I even get to school. Overall I'm loving this and it makes me feel so much more productive so I want to make sure to continue this in the Autumn months!


3. BUY A NEW PAIR OF PJ's IN PREP FOR WINTER

Gone are the months of shorts and a bralette like I used to sleep in through Summer and our UK heatwave! This month I definitely need to get myself some cosy PJ's to get me through the winter, and so this is on my To-Do list for sure. Too early to buy Christmas ones oops?


4. GO ON MORE NIGHT RUNS

Out of all the exercise I do, generally I'm 'a runner' and while it may not feel like it at the time when I'm a sweaty mess, I really do love it. The gym will always be there, but one of my favourite things to do as the evenings get darker is to go on night runs. So much more peaceful and I can't be the only one who finds it easier to run during the evening?


5. CARVE A PUMPKIN AND HOST A HALLOWEEN MOVIE NIGHT

I've already seen pumpkins start to pop up in all the Supermarkets near me and I can't wait!  Here in the UK Halloween is still a big thing but not as much of a widely celebrated holiday like in America, but I still love planning things with friends and family (whether that be trick-or-treating like I used to love when I was younger, Halloween parties or horror movie nights.) I also love seeing everyone's carved pumpkin designs each year.


7. ACTUALLY KEEP UP WITH ALL MY FAVOURITE TV PROGRAMS 

I don't know why it is, but this time of the year seems to be when all my favourite series and tv shows start up again. At the moment most of my evenings are already taken up by classics like The Great British Bake Off, Strictly, X-Factor and that's not even until I'm a Celeb and Doctor Who are thrown into the mix! Going to be waving goodbye to most of my free time aha, but hopefully I can keep up with all my favourite programs this Autumn. What are your watching at the moment?


7. GO TO A FIREWORKS DISPLAY // BONFIRE

This time of year just reminds me of all things toffee apples, marshmallows, cosy nights and fireworks. It's a long way off in November that the fireworks displays start but I can't wait to go to this year to the amazing ones around my area with friends.



QOTD: DO YOU CELEBRATE HALLOWEEN?

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Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Purition Natural Protein Powders // Review!



Hey lovelies. So if you know me, you'll know I'm very into exercise and nutrition but there's something about protein powders that always scared me a bit!

Even though I've heard they're great for exercise and workouts, I'd see the words 'meal-replacements' and 'muscle gain' online and panic, and I guess it's just that feeling of not knowing what's in these powders that used to put me off. However when the brand Purition* very kindly sent me over their Discovery Box, filled with 6 different Vegan flavours to try, I decided to give them a go. Purition is a 100% natural brand and unlike most Protein Powders theirs are made mainly from hemp protein and not filled with any of those powdered milk, sugars and chemical nasties like lots of 'health drinks' out there. As a complete newbie to Protein Powders, here's my honest review on these Purition Powders. From how they blend, to how they taste and whether they're actually worth the fitness hype, I hope you enjoy!



The flavours I was sent were:


- VANILLA 
- BLACKCURRANT 
- HEMP CHOCOLATE 
- STRAWBERRY 
- HEMP ORIGINAL 
- COFFEE AND WALNUT

A Discovery Box like this costs £12.99, also coming with free UK delivery and is the perfect way to try out a brand without diving straight in with a large 500g Bag. The first thing I checked was the ingredients list on the back and I was pleasantly surprised to see a super short list. The shake is full of genuine ingredients, free from cheap fillers, artificial flavouring (and those kinds of ingredients you can't even pronounce!) So this 100% put me more at ease when trying them out.



BLENDING IT UP:


The instructions that came with the shakes was that they should be blended up with a milk of your choice (for me I used almond milk) and then enjoyed as a breakfast or pre/post workout snack. It also notes that if left for a few hours the shake with actually become like a porridge thanks to all the fibre which I found really interesting and I'll definitely be trying that next. 

If you're used to normal protein shakes, the texture and flavour of these may come as a bit of a surprise to you. Once blended, all the hemp protein and fibre left my shake with a naturally unsmooth and 'bitty' texture which I wasn't sure of at first but looking back I now think of it as more of a good thing. If you can dissolve something completely then I guess it only shows there's not a whole lot of natural goodness in there and instead it's mainly with artificial ingredients! As for the flavour I tried in this post (Blackcurrant) I loved the gorgeous purple colour of it once blended, and you can see me pouring it out above. 



- VANILLA 
This was the first Powder I tried and although I can't fault it, I'm one of those people who just gets bored of a standard vanilla flavour. Instead, I ended up mixing mine with other ingredients in a blender like banana, cacoa powder and oats and it made for a deliciously creamy post-workout smoothie. 

- HEMP CHOCOLATE
If you're looking to try out just one of these flavours from Purition, this is definitely the one I'd recommend most! Rich, chocolatey and packed with goodness, this was delicious and while I used it simply in a shake, it would even be great for incorporating into healthy baking recipes and other food. I'm a huge chocolate lover so it's no surprise this was a hit. 

- BLACKCURRANT 
Despite the bright purple colour of it which got me so excited at first, I wasn't as big a fan of this flavour. For a subtle taste it's lovely, but in the morning I'm always craving a burst of sweetness or berries and this just wasn't strong enough for me and I ended up giving it to my mum. Next time I'd probably add the powder to a smoothie bowl with frozen berries and banana for a creamier taste. 

- STRAWBERRY 
This is a flavour you'll always see as a Protein Powder staple and if I'm honest I've always thought it tastes super artificial and sickly in any food (yep, that includes ice-cream!) but I actually loved this. Sweet, light and delicious when mixed with oats and yogurt which I had for breakfast one day. If you're used to normal commercial protein powders, the flavour may come across a lot more subtle but it was perfect for me. 

- HEMP ORIGINAL 
This was my least favourite of the flavours, but only because (as you can imagine) it was the most basic of powders and so didn't taste of anything. Disguised in protein pancakes, a baking recipe or smoothie bowl it would be a great way to up your protein for the day, but by itself I can't say I was much of a fan. 

- COFFEE AND WALNUT
Mmm this tasted as good as it sounds! A Coffee and Walnut shake for breakfast was the perfect autumnal drink and if you're an ice-coffee lover I'd say this definitely reminded me of that. Would love to buy a full 500g bag of this in the future. 


Overall I loved trying out the Purition Natural Protein Powders, and knowing they were all-natural made it all the better. If you're used to normal commercial protein powders they make take some getting used to, the bitty texture wasn't my favourite but I loved the more subtle taste of the protein shakes compared to those that are overly creamy and sickly-sweet. After trying these out I also can't wait to incorporate Protein powders into my weekly recipes like overnight-oats, pancakes.or imagine brownies with that delicious 'Hemp Chocolate' flavour...mmm! To view the full range on the Purition website feel free to click here (I'm pretty sure they now have a Pumpkin-Spice range out now for autumn!) and I hope you enjoyed this review. Let me know in the comments if you've ever tried Purition Protein Powders or any Protein Powders for that matter, and what you thought of them?


QOTD: WHAT FLAVOUR POWDER WOULD YOUb MOST LIKE TO TRY?
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