Monday, 24 December 2018

3 Festive Christmas Drink Recipes! // Ft. Mulled Wine and more



Hey lovelies, can you believe it's Christmas Eve already? As I type this I'm staying in a massive cottage in the countryside with my whole family (all 18 of us in one house for Christmas!) It's going to be hectic but so much fun. 
Anyway, I'm sure we've all had our fair share of Christmassy drinks over the season so far. Whether that's a gingerbread latte from Starbucks or you've tucked into some homemade mulled wine...and while everyone has their own favourite recipes I thought I'd show you 3 Festive Drinks Recipes I love. There's something for everyone in here, sweet and rich hot chocolates, creamy (and vegan!) chai lattes, and of course a simple mulled wine. All of these are so easy to make and so if you're in need of a festive drink this Christmas Eve and for 'the big day' tomorrow just scroll through to your favourite one...


SLOW-COOKER HOT CHOCOLATE


YOU WILL NEED:  (Serves 2)



  • 2 Cups of Milk
  • 1/2 Cup of Double Cream
  • 1/2 Cup Dark Chocolate (chopped)
  • 1/2 Cup of Milk Chocolate (chopped)
  • Marshmallows
  • Whipped Cream
  • 1 Tsp of Cinnamon 

METHOD:


1. Pour the milk and double cream into a Slow Cooker. Add the dark chocolate and milk chocolate, then cover and cooker on a low heat for 2 hours. Remembering to stir it half-way through cooking!
2. After 2 hours, remove the lid and stir again. Ladle into mugs and top with whipped cream, cinnamon and marshmallows, My favourite thing to do too is to top with crumbled candy-cane!


VEGAN CHAI-LATTE 


YOU WILL NEED:  (Serves 2)

  • 2 Cups of Water 
  • 1 Tbsp of Chai Tea
  • 1Tbsp of  ground Chai spice blend 
  • 1 Cup of Dairy-free Milk
  • Sweetener of Choice
  • Coconut whipped cream (to top)
  • Cup of raw Cashews
  • 1Tsp of Sugar (soaked overnight)

METHOD:


1. Brew the Chai Tea by adding water, tea and spics to a saucepan and bringing to a boil. Then remove from the heat and add your milk of choice, sweetener and stir. For an even creamier consistency you can also blend the mix with soaked cashews.  
2. Warm again for 2-3 minutes then pour the drink into 2 Serving mugs using a strainer to filter out any bits. 
3. Top with Coconut whip and a sprinkle of cinnamon for extra warmth and enjoy


SIMPLE MULLED WINE (Alcoholic and Non-Alcoholic)


YOU WILL NEED:  (Serves 6)



  • 750ml Red Wine (or Cranberry Juice ect.)
  • 1 Sliced Clementine 
  • 1 Sliced Apple
  • Star Anise
  • Cinnamon Sticks
  • Dried Figs
  • Cloves

METHOD:


1. Pour the red wine (or Cranberry Juice) into a large saucepan. Add the clementine, apple, cinnamon, star anise, figs and cloves and heat very gently until simmering, then turn off the heat.
2. Fish out the large whole spices with a spoon and ladle into mugs or heatproof glasses (like I did) to serve. Garnish with a slice of clementine and enjoy.


Hope you enjoyed this post, and I guess it will be my last Christmas one of the year! So sad to say goodbye to making these festive posts (which you can read all of here) but wishing you guys the best day tomorrow however you celebrate Christmas. And a merry Christmas-Eve too!

Monday, 17 December 2018

What to buy a Fitness-Lover for Christmas? // Gift-Guide 2018


Hey lovelies! I'm back again with a Christmas gift guide, and although I've done a few of these in recent years this time I thought I'd share what I actually know best... What to buy a fitness lover for Christmas. 
I'm sure we all know at least one person in our life who's like this and if you're clueless about all things fitness and health it can make them so difficult to buy for.  In this post I'm going to share with you some of my favourite gift ideas you can't go wrong with, including new limited edition Christmas products for 2018, stocking fillers and innexpensive treats that will be sure to put a smile on any fitness-lover's face this Christmas. If you're not caught up with the rest of my festive posts this month be sure to click the link here, but otherwise I hope you enjoy. 

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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