Friday, 27 February 2015

Foodie Friday #5 : Deliciously Ella's Chocolate Chia Cookies

OK, OK...I realise these don't look all that appetising but these Chocolate Chia Cookies are super quick and easy to make, totally guilt free and really do satisfy that sweet tooth! I stole the recipe from Deliciously Ella's Cookbook (which I cannot recommend enough) and whipped them up in less than 30 minutes this morning. 

To make these cookies you will need a couple of slightly unusual ingredients along with a couple of readily available ones too. I thought it might be useful to directly link to where you can by the more  'out there' ingredients at reasonable prices. 

I bought my chia seeds (link here) from Goodness Direct and if I'd known about this website sooner I probably would've bought all of these health food ingredients from there. Its a well priced website with good, quick delivery and I would highly recommend it. 

The cacao powder I bought is from The Raw Chocolate Company which actually I think may be a bit overpriced, so if you are just testing out the waters when it comes to cacao I would probably opt for this smaller pack from Goodness Direct

I bought my medjool dates - which I have started to eat regularly by themselves, they taste just like caramel! - from Ocado although I have it under good authority that many market stalls do them for much cheaper so I am going to have to go and have a root around I think!

I also bought my Buckwheat Flour from Ocado as it is on offer at the moment. I had never tried this flour before making these cookies but it seems like a goodn to me!

So now down to the actual recipe...starting with what you will need:

-200g almonds
-190g hazelnuts
-200g buckwheat flour
-100 ml maple syrup
-5 pitted Medjool dates
-3 tbsp raw cacao powder 
-3 tbsp chia seeds 
-2 tbsp coconut oil 

Make sure your oven is preheated to 200 degrees celcius and then whizz up the nuts in a blender. Deliciously Ella then blends all the ingredients together but as I only have a mini-blender at uni I had to mix the rest of my ingredients by hand. This wasn't an issue but just meant my cookies were a little bit bumpy. I personally like a bit of texture anyway! 

After mixing together, add about 75ml of water to make the mixture a little stickier and then roll the mixture into little balls and press down onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Pop in the oven and leave to bake for 20 minutes and then ta-da! Just like that they are finished and you can tuck in and enjoy with a lovely cuppa! 

Let me know if any of you bake these cookies! Thanks for reading! 

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Comfy Traveller

Jumper - ASOS (similar here and here), Trousers - Missguided , Shoes - Converse, Silver Ring - Thomas Sabo, Gold Rings - ASOS, Bracelet - Links of London

Super quick post today (and yes I realise how grumpy I look...but I promise I wasn't!) as it literally is just an OOTD from a day where I needed to be comfortable. Myself and Owen were driving to London and back last sunday (2.5 hours each way) so I decided that skinny jeans were not an option. These trousers from Missguided are sooo comfy and have been featured on the blog before (over on this post). I always forget I have them and never think to wear them but for days where I'm travelling for a long time they are perfect as they are loose and made from quite a lightweight material. This also makes them perfect for days where I eat a lot (which, to be honest, is most days so I really should wear them more often)!

If you read my previous post you will know that I went to a festival themed party on Friday night so I thought I would take a photo of my henna/accessories. Floz, who is featured in the last post, bought some henna from eBay and kindly drew my henna for me! Myself and the other festival go-ers all scoured Pinterest and Instagram for henna inspiration and then Floz copied it. She did a great job (I love it) and saved me from ruining my own hands with my awful attempts at being arty! My infinity ring is from Thomas Sabo and was a Christmas present from my mum. I love it but have never had a precious ring before so am very conscious of losing it all the time (I tend to lose my Primark/Asos rings on a fairly regular basis...) but so far, so good!

Sorry for the lack of posts recently. I wish I could say I think they are going to become more regularly but with my current work load, followed by my dissertation project and then exams I am not totally sure that it is going to! I will try my very, very hardest though to get at least two posts up each week. Make sure you don't miss any posts by following me over on Bloglovin'!
Thanks for reading! xx

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Kirstenbury 2015

I'm sure you have all heard of Kirstenbury before right? No? Well, think Glastonbury but in a student house in the middle of February! Last night we all gathered to celebrate my friend Kirsten's birthday in true festival style so I thought I would take a few photos and share with you some of the festival outfits of myself and my pals!

Top - Topshop, Jeans - ASOS (in the sale!), Shoes - Converse

May as well start with my outfit eh? Having tried on about 8 outfits before the party, and with my ASOS order not arriving in time, I realised I didn't own many festival-esque clothes. Or I didn't have many in my uni wardrobe in the middle of winter anyway so I had to improvise. I wore this super sparkly top with a great open back (worn before in this post) with some ripped "mom"-ish jeans and ready-muddied converse. I reckon I could get away with this at a festival right?!

Dress - Joules, Shoes - Vagabond

Emily showing us how festival fashion should be done. Her dress, borrowed from Floz, is from Joules and is really beautiful. I never really think to shop at Joules but this dress is fab and I love these classic Breton t-shirts. Em also picked up some gold temporary tattoos (look at her right wrist!) from Primark - we all had a go at them and they looked really cool and were only £1.50 (I think) for a pack of 6 designs. Can't really go wrong! 

 Jen (left): Top - Missguided, Shorts - Topshop (similar here), Wellies - Hunter, Sunglasses - Primark
Robyn (middle): Kimono - ASOS, Shorts - Levis, Necklace - ASOS

Robyn and Jen also have festival fashion down to a tee complete with sunglasses and lanyards. Vintage Levis shorts are always a hit in festival season, and paired with a fringed kimono the look is a sure fire winner. 

Top - Topshop (out of stock unfortunately, similar here), Dungarees - Topshop (similar here and here), Shoes - Converse

Katherine always looks like a babe and last night was no exception. Dungarees, shorts or full length, are a great shout for a festival look and the addition of a Tikka headpiece adds to the hippy feel. Having been to Delhi in the summer Katherine picked up a tip from the pros at keeping these headpieces in place - use eyelash glue to keep them in position on your forehead. Genius!

Top - ASOS, Hairband - Primark (similar here), Shoes - Topshop

Ella looked just like a fairy princess in her outfit. Can you believe her headband was from Primark?! Looks way more expensive! A big floral crown is an essential festival accessory - along with a trilby of course. 

Kaftan - Primark

The beaudiful birthday girl herself looked amaaaaazing in this kaftan (with an H&M skirt underneath). Accessorised with gold tattoos, plenty of jewellery and very happy boyfriend.

Top - Topshop, Disco Pants - American Apparel, Headband - Primark

I didn't manage to get a proper picture of Floz's outfit but I found this photo of her looking like a rose between two (or should that be three?) thorns on my phone. Floz always manages to find the best sale bargains and this top is a great example of her sale shopping skills! Why can I never find good things in the sale?!

So, there we go! Aren't my friends gorgeous?! If this post doesn't get you excited for summer and for actual, real life festivals then I don't know what will! Thank you so much Kirsten for the party, and thank you to everyone I managed to coax into having outfit photos taken! 

I will be announcing the winner of my giveaway in my next post and if you fancy it don't forget to follow me over on Bloglovin' (I'm on 99 followers and the OCD in me really wants to reach 100 haha). Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

My Gym Wardrobe

Aloha! Now, I am not a gym or fitness expert or anything of the sort but I thought today I would delve into my fitness clothes. There are a couple of reasons I thought this might be interesting and maybe even a bit useful for some of you:

1. If you are a gym newbie I thought it would be useful to get an idea of what kind of basics you need for the gym. Obviously you don't want to go out and spend ridiculous amounts of cash on loads and loads of new gear, so I thought a bit of a rundown on the essentials might be useful. 

2. I mainly shop in quite affordable places for gym clothes (with a couple of exceptions) so I thought it would be useful for those of you trying to save a bit of dollar to find out about them!

3. I'm nosey and like to see what other people have in their wardrobe so maybe you are curious like me and just fancy a bit of a nose around my wardrobe 

So lets get started, with the simplest of things...

Blue Tshirt - Owen's old one, Black Tshirt - Gift from Sri Lanka from my brother, White Tshirt - Leaving gift when my Mum left Next

TShirts I thought I would open with this item of clothing as I am sure every single one of you reading this owns an oversized/old/comfy/novelty t-shirt hanging around somewhere. These are the types of t-shirts that you sleep in when you can't be bothered with proper pyjamas/its too cold for just underwear. They are perfect for the gym. They're easy to wash, easy to pull on (no tricky straps etc) and good for moving in. So, no excuses!

(Left to Right): Black Vest - Missguided, Pink Vest - Primark, Pink Tshirt - Kalenji, Purple Vest & Blue Vest - Sweaty Betty, Black Vest - Primark

Sports Tops So, if you want to feel a bit more 'pro' when you're at the gym then you need a few purposely designed fitness vests or tshirts. All of mine (with the exception of the Sweaty Betty ones) are very, very affordable. The Kalenji one, for instance, is a measly £2.50! I picked this exact one up in Decathlon a few years ago having never heard of the brand before and it has faired me well. The two Primark vests are great too although slightly thinner material they still do the job. If you don't mind spending a couple of extra pounds then the new Missguided sportswear collection is fantastic. On the other end of the price scale is Sweaty Betty. I received these two vests (along with some shorts featured later in the post) for Christmas from my mum. The quality is definitely better - the material is more comfortable and thicker and the shapes are perfect - but the price is obviously a fair amount more. I personally love them but know that I wouldn't be able to afford them myself and the other ones I have mentioned are fine for casual gym sessions. 

(Left to Right): Shorts - Sweaty Betty, Full Length Grey Leggings - Missguided, Capri Leggings - RX sport, Capri Leggings - Kalenji 

Bottoms Buying bottoms for the gym is a bit of a tricky one. A lot of the cheaper outlets (e.g. Primark) do sell gym leggings but they tend to be a little bit see through and, lets be honest, you don't want anybody seeing your pants while you're working out. Another problem is whether you want to opt for shorts, 3/4 length leggings, full length leggings, tracksuit bottoms etc - this is one that you can only really figure out for yourself. As I do a lot of cardio myself I tend to stay clear of tracksuit/jogger bottoms as they are heavy and quite restrictive. My personal favourite are leggings, they keep you covered so you don't have to worry about wobbly thighs etc but are also very comfortable and allow you to be flexible (not that I am). The Missguided ones are completely opaque and they stock them in a range of colours. The Kalenji ones are good too although made from a shinier material which I am actually not a big fan of. The Sweaty Betty shorts are fantastic and, just like the vests, are of a better quality than the others. However, I tend to wear shorts more when I am doing an at-home workout or in the summer as it's a bit chilly at the moment to wear them to the gym!

(Left to Right): Pink - Primark, White - Nike, Grey - Missguided

Sports Bra If you are a man reading this then you should probably skip this section. Sports bras are an essential piece of any woman's sports wardrobes no matter how much you think you may not need one. Being fairly small chested myself I have wondered on occasion (mainly whilst trying to squeeze into the tiny Nike one) whether they are really necessary but I have been informed that they are so there! The Missguided and Primark ones featured here are really only for low-impact sport as they aren't particularly supportive (but they are pretty - especially the Missguided one). If you do a lot of jumping around or are blessed in the chest department then you should probably invest in a proper sports-brand bra which is for higher impact exercise.

Nike Free Runs - Nike, Nike Roshe Runs - Nike

Trainers Trainers are perhaps the most important component of your gym kit. You need to make sure they fit correctly and have the right kind of support for what you are going to be doing. I clearly have a favourite brand when it comes to trainers (Nike, if you haven't guessed) because I really think they know what they are doing. My Nike Free Runs are about 2 years old now which is why they look a little battered but I absolutely love them. I think the design has slightly changed since I bought mine but they really are just so light it almost feels as though you are running/exercising in bare feet. I tend to still wear these when I am going to be doing a lot of cardio as my Roshe Runs don't seem to be as good. However, for activities like spinning or weight lifting they work well for me. Also, you can't go wrong with a classy black colour. Both of these designs are available in loads of different colours and patterns and you can even personalise them with NIKEiD which is super cool. 

Other bits which obviously I haven't mentioned are trainer socks or ankle socks, and don't forget to get a good water bottle which you can always take with you! I hope this post was interesting for some of you and that if you were thinking about starting working out then this has spurred you on to do so! 

Let me know if you would like to read anything else to do with my gym/fitness regime and also leave me a comment if you know of any good sportswear brands! 

Sunday, 1 February 2015

January Favourites

I haven't done a monthly favourites since October so we have a lot to catch up on! Lets crack on...

Those of you who have been reading the blog for a month or so will realise that there has been one fairly consistent item of clothing in my outfit posts...yep, you've guessed it (or, more likely, looked at the photo) the OVER THE KNEE BOOTS! Ah man, if you didn't already know, I love these babies. Before I bought them I was unsure of how much wear I would get out of them but after their first outing I couldn't get enough. Warm, flat, comfy, stylish, black...whats not to love?! Although these specific ones from Next are no longer available I have picked out some others that you may like - here, here and here. If you are more of a fan of heeled boots then these or these may be more up your street.

I have become obsessed with these Itsu Noodle Cups. I eat them for lunch whenever I can, adding a bit of spinach and whatever else I have in the fridge as well as maybe a sprinkling of peanuts. I know what you're thinking, "ew, pot noodle" but you are so wrong. These are all natural, gluten free pots of goodness - especially when you add your own veggies (or cooked meat) into the mix. They're super quick and simple to heat, and obviously a major bonus is - no washing up afterwards! I cannot recommend these enough, I have tried all the flavours and love them all although have to say that the Duck cup is my least favourite.

I go through stages with coffee and I am currently having a bit of a love affair with it. I used to only be able to drink milky, sweet coffees (with gingerbread lattes being a frequent fave) but recently these have been making me feel a bit queasy and all I really want is the proper stuff. I now love a black americano with no sugar (I never thought I would see the day that this would be the case), and my all time favourite is a Flat White. My first ever taste of a flat white was in Australia (it was 'invented' over that side of the world) and now that Costa and Starbucks are serving them I can't get enough. Anyway, when I am not near a cafĂ© I have to make do with my own concoction and atm I am loving this Kenco Smooth Blend, but my all time favourite is Kenco Millicano.

A bit different this month because my favourite book isn't a novel, but more a genre. Healthy cookbooks. I can't get enough of them, the three pictured here (Honestly HealthyDeliciously Ella and I Quit Sugar) along with Hemsley & Hemsley are my most read. Well, thats a bit of a fib as I actually only received Deliciously Ella's book today (a surprise gift from my mum!) but I am sure it is going to be very well used as I have been a fan of Ella's blog for a long time and just know I will love the book just as much. When I can't get my hands on a recipe book (i.e. when I am in lectures) I tend to head over to Pinterest to search out healthy recipes.

I first came across this song after reading about some controversy with the video (read here) but I absolutely love it. It's a really emotive song and I think the video reflects that. I'm sure you have all heard this song before (I am not great at introducing new music into peoples lives lets be honest), but if you haven't then make sure you give it a listen.

My favourite beauty item of January are these Eylure Individual False Eyelashes. I usually just add three or four to each eye if I am going out and find they're great at giving your lashes an extra oomph without being too 'in your face' if you know what I mean. They're relatively inexpensive considering the amount you get in a pack and are often included in a deal at Boots and Superdrug so I really recommend picking some up!

Bit of a boring miscellaneous favourite this month as it is simply my diary. It isn't necessarily this particular diary (from Paperchase) but more the act of having everything organised in one place. I look at my diary every day to check plans, deadlines and lecture theatres and it really does help me feel more 'sorted' for the day ahead. If you're feeling a bit all over the place after the first month of 2015 then head to your local stationers and pick up a week-to-view diary and suddenly everything will be so much clearer...maybe!

I hope you have enjoyed this months favourites post and have maybe picked up a bit of inspiration for some new things to try or buy. Let me know in the comments if there is anything you think I should try for February!

On a side note, I gained a few new twitter and Instagram followers after my Giveaway post (thanks!) which were some of the criteria for entering. However, many of you still didn't actually click the button which said 'I'm following' in the rafflecopter screen which means that you have not actually entered. The giveaway is still open for another week or so, so if you forgot to click the button to enter then make sure you go back and do so! I wouldn't want you to miss out!