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Monday, 31 March 2014

Butternut Squash & Sweet Potato Soup

When the weather is a bit cold and miserable I find it harder to make healthy choices with food and I don't think I'm alone in that...or I hope I'm not. What ever the reason, when it's rubbish outside I always want something warm and comforting to eat, the type of food that feels as if it's giving you a big warm hug, but, these types of food when eaten all the time can be not so great for your waist line.

When I feel like this I always turn to soup, soup can be so good for you and can give you that "comfort food" feeling you are looking for. Just in case anyone else out there has the same problems as me I thought I would share my newest, and super simple soup recipe that is warm, comforting, a little sweet and very filling!

This recipe makes around 10-12 servings so feel free to half the amount, or make it all and freeze it. It keeps very well in the freezer.

You will need:

2 white onions
1kg each of sweet potato and butternut squash - approx
1.5l of vegetable stock
Tablespoon of oil
Herbs of your choice, I like parsley and rosemary
Dried chillies - for garnish if you like some heat

~Warm your oil in a large pan and dice up your onions, fry them off for 5-10 minutes until they are a little     brown.
~Cut up your butternut squash and sweet potato into small cubes, everything is going to be blended at the end so the size is up to you but the bigger the cubes the longer it will take to cook through.
~Add them to the pan and then make up your vegetable stock, pour this over all of your vegetables and boil until everything is soft.
~You can now leave this to cool slightly and then either use a hand or stand blender to puree everything.
~I add my herbs at the end and always a little less than I think I need, because the soup is still hot it will continue to heat the herbs releasing more flavour and you don't want to over power the vegetables

That is it! You can add a pinch or two of salt if you feel it needs it but I would always check after cooking as stock can sometimes be very salty. I like mine to be quiet thick, which this is, but if you would prefer a thinner consistency just add more stock or water. 

I like to enjoy a big bowl with lots of crushed chillies on top, I love the slight sweetness from the soup and the heat from the chilli together. Best of's healthy comfort food!

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Spring Polish: Mint Candy Apple

According to Google, and some friends who have mentioned it, today is the start of Spring! To look outside my window right now you may be inclined to disagree but it is indeed true.

Deciding to ignore the weather I thought I would paint my nails in a season appropriate colour. I picked up Essies Mint Candy Apple a few days ago but today was my first day using it, it is a colour I have wanted for a while now but just never got around to buying it. It is fare to say I am in love with the shade, so much more than I thought I would be. It is the most perfect shade of pastel mint green and is Spring in a nail polish. As with other Essie polishes I have used the quality is excellent, it goes on very smoothly and gives you a beautiful even finish.

{Sorry for the messy nails, I was in a hurry!}

Have you seen the Beach Glass converse? I am still trying to hunt down a pair but the colour is pretty much the same, your nails could match your shoes. Now that is coordination!

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Bohemian Bags

One thing I think we can all agree on is when it is summer and the temperature is up, the best way to go with clothes is easy to wear casual. Laid back denim, floaty dresses, flip flops and sandals are the perfect uniform for the hot days. One of the best ways to finish off a summer look is with a Bohemian bag. Sometimes called ethnic, hippy, gypsy or boho, what ever you like to call them they are the perfect summer accessories and can add some needed colour to a plain pair of shorts and a simple t-shirt. They look great with most summer outfits and can take you from shopping to festivals and they also make great beach bags.

I had an amazing one for quite a few years until I lost it, still not sure how! I think this year I really need to pick up another and these are some of my favourites so far.

What do you think about Boho Bags?


Thursday, 13 March 2014

Soap & Glory: Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Sticks

While in Boots a couple of weeks ago, picking up a new concealer, I found my new go-to lip product. Since trying it out on the way home I have pretty much worn it exclusively...apart from lip balm. And it is all thanks to Boots and their 3 for 2 offer! After grabbing my concealer and an eye shadow I wanted to try, I had to look for a 3rd item.

I had never looked at the Soap & Glory make up before, I'd only ever tried their body product so thought I would give them ago and lip products always seems like a safe bet. I picked up one of the Sexy Mother Pucker (careful how you say that!) Gloss Stick in Bashful. I can't say it any better than this so here it is just the most perfect shade of neutral pink I have ever found. It suits my skin tone very well, goes with pretty much any day-to-day make up look because it isn't a bright or an in your face colour.

{Swatches: Left-Bashful, Right-Fuchiaristic in both pictures}
{The other mark is a baking scar lol}

Since then I have been back to pick up a second in the shade Fuchsiaristic. This shade looked absolutely terrifying before I swatched it on my hand, it goes on very different to how it looks. In the stick it looks almost neon orange but on it goes a very pretty light but bright pink.

There isn't a colour in the collection I don't like, the next one I would like to try I think, is called Plumful, it is a very pretty plumy red shade. The nice thing about these lip products is that they give you a very glossy finish with a good amount of colour, but no wear near what you would get with a lipstick. They are much more comfortable to wear than a lipstick, I can sometimes find them to be very drying but these are very comfortable to wear all day.

Oh...and they smell like vanilla cupcakes!

I can't wait to try some some! Have you tried these, or any other Soap and Glory make up??


Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Jo Malone: Wisteria and Violet

This past week has been incredibly busy so I am very sorry for my disappearance from the blog world, I would love to be able to be more organised and consistent with my blog. It really bothers me at times, I am working on it I promise!

On Thursday night, last week, I was invited along to a Jo Malone event evening for drinks, nibbles hand massages and to hear a little bit more on the new London Rain collection (here). So I wasn't all by my self I took along my friend C to join me.

The evening was lovely, we were greeted with a glass of champagne as we walked in the store and a very helpful lady took our bags to put away so we could actually move -we did a little shopping before it...oops. Unfortunately apart from one little Instagram picture (here), I didn't manage to get others. I didn't have a camera with me and my phone was nearly out of battery and I didn't want it to die completely!

After nibbling on a few yummy little marshmallow bites and fancy chocolate button type things, we sat down to have a very relaxing hand massage. The girls were very sweet and very knowledgeable about the products, she asked me a few questions before deciding what cream she wanted to use. She settled on Peony and Blush Suede, which I love, so I was very pleased. When she had finished she very lightly sprayed the back of them with a scent from the new collection.

The one she chose was Wisteria and Violet, the purple bottle, not a scent I would have normally gone for but I love it, and with the Peony and Blush Suede it is stunning! It is a gorgeous mix of floral and sweet that just works so well together. She explained that as with all Jo Malone fragrances, the scents are created for you to combine and make your own, unique to you.

The packaging of the new collection is beautiful, maybe one of my favourites. The bottles are the standard classic shape but each one of the four has its own colour and has an ombre effect. As suggested by the name of the collection, each scent is inspired by a type of rain you have Rain and Angelica (blue bottle), Wisteria and Violet (purple bottle), White Jasmine and Mint (green/yellow bottle) and Black Cedarwood and Juniper (black/grey bottle).

After trying them all out and having our wonderful hand massages we had fallen for the Wisteria and Violet scent, I already own Peony and Blush Suede so can continue to mix them at home for that beautiful sweet smell...even though if I am being honest I don't want to use it up!

Have you tried the new collection?

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