Tuesday, 15 August 2017

M&S Healthy(ish) Snacks


I’m not a food expert, a dietician, I have no qualifications or scientific knowledge on what is and isn’t healthy. All I know is, these snacks are probably better for you than eating a family size bar of Dairy Milk and they’re vegetarian and they’re delicious! 

I constantly stand in shops, just hoping a healthy snack is going to jump into my hands. I have tried so many things, including seaweed crisps and kale crisps (bleugh). I used to buy some mini packs of meat - low carb, high protein - but then I turned veggie.

I know nuts are supposed to be a good choice, but I just don’t like them. I’m really jealous of people who keep little tupperware boxes of nuts in the bag to nibble on when they’re out and about. I WANT SOMETHING TRANSPORTABLE, I AM ALWAYS HUNGRY!

So obviously I was a little excited when I stumbled upon these in Marks and Spencers. Alas, healthy snacks that don’t taste like cardboard and are vegetarian!

Crispy Coated Chickpeas With Moroccan Style Spices

I already have a serious hummus addiction, that is supported by a mildly severe falafel addiction. So naturally roasting chickpeas was the next step. 

Lightly Salted Habas Fritas 

These are roasted broad beans that are lightly salted. They’re pretty much as close to nuts as you can get without actually tasting like nuts. It’s beans, so they’re healthy, right?

Jalapeno Giant Corn

Big old balls of spicy corn. Taste sort of like pop corn on the first bite, then the jalapeno flavouring kicks in to give it a more savoury taste

All of these are incredibly moreish, it takes a little willpower not to polish off a bag in one sitting. I’ve been buying them for a snack at work, either to nibble on throughout the day or as part of my lunch. One bag lasts Monday to Friday so at £1/£2 a pop they’re an bargain!

What healthy snack food do you eat?


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Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Netflix Movies: August Round Up


“Didn’t you just do a Netflix post not so long ago?”

Yes, yes I did.

But as I  have said many times, Netflix is my life. So I got a lot to say on the topic! Last time the theme was British shows to binge watch, today’s post is a round up of some of the movies I have watched lately.

Some of them I’ve really liked, other ones not so much.

The Circle

The latest Netflix film with Emma Watson. I found the idea behind this film really interesting. It’s a bit social media gone mad, big brother, watch dog kinda thing. Are we sharing too much in the modern digital age? 

The film follows Emma Watson as she starts a new job at a powerful social media company

The Circle has a brilliant cast and an interesting topic, but it fails to deliver a satisfying ending. I wanted to like it, but I think I was expecting it to end in a more dramatic and meaningful way.

The Lobster

I had heard this film was quite weird beforehand. Well it definitely lived up to that expectation and then some. 

In this dystopian society you need to have a partner, if you don’t then you have 45 days to find one before you get transformed into an animal. At least it’s an animal of your choice.

The film is quirky, yet has some really deep and dark moments, sometimes really uncomfortable moments. It will leave you with a lot to think about.

Sleeping With The Enemy

If you’re looking for a thriller then this one will do the job just nicely.

Julia Roberts stars as a woman who is in an abusive and controlling relationship. Mini spoiler - she plans an escape and carries it out. But what will the husband do when he finds out?

Spy

In the spirit of being honest, I actually watched this on a coach when travelling around Europe. BUT i have just noticed it is now on Netflix and I really liked it so i wanted to put it on the list.

Melissa McCarthy is part of a spy duo with Jude Law. Melissa’s character has all of the spy smarts but lacks the confidence needed to be in the field, until her partner is murdered on the job.

She is called upon to fill his shoes, with a lot of help from her friend (Miranda Hart). I was laughing out loud throughout the film and it is definitely one I will be watching again on a Sunday afternoon.

Before I Fall

The story follows Samantha who wakes up on Cupids Day (must be some American thing?). The day revolves around her talking with her friends about losing her virginity. The students all end up at a guy called Kents party, who potentially has a crush on Samantha. 

Drama breaks out at the party, and when Samantha wakes the next day it turns out it is Cupids Day all over again...

An American teen drama, this film is Groundhog Day meets 13 Reasons Why.

Two Night Stand

Well I’ve just given this film a quick Google, and it doesn’t have the best ratings.

However, I actually quite liked it. It’s a rom-com following two people who meet online to hook up, only to be snowed in the next day. I thought the characters were interesting and somewhat relatable. 

It’s not one of those films that’s gonna make it into your top 10, but if you’re looking for an easy watching modern rom-com then I’d recommend giving it a go.

You Get Me

This is a high school thriller with a touch of romance…sort of. Basically a young couple break up one night, and on that break the guy, Tyler, sleeps with a girl named Holly.

The next day (or in a couple of days time maybe) he gets back together with his girlfriend Alison and decides to forget his little rendezvous with Holly, not telling Alison what happened.

Until Holly starts at their high school, whaaaat? Turns out she’s a bit of a psycho too. Again, this is not an amazing film but is perfect for easy watching.

I hope you found something to watch from this list. You may have noticed already, but I really like watching average films. I actually actively look for bad films to watch sometimes, they’re fun to mock and there’s less pressure when watching them. 

What films have you watched on Netflix lately? Let me know in the comments below please, I’m always on the lookout for something new. 




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Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Happy Scoops || July 2017


So over the past few months I have been sporadically writing a happy scoops post - collecting some of the things/stories that have made me happy lately. I’ve previously talked about some heart warming moments I’ve witnessed and positivity on Twitter. Today I am going to talk about some things that have made me happy in my more immediate life.


Ragged Sham

My sister has just started her new blog and it looks a million times better than mine already. She is a graphic designer now and did art at A-level, so I’m not going to take it too hard. 

She is super creative and gives out lots of good DIY tips that are easy enough for someone as inept as me to follow. She also loves to travel so expect to see a whole bunch of amazing travel posts, I cannot wait!

Weddings Galore

This summer I have been to not one, not two, but three whole weddings! Well, two whole weddings and one wedding reception. Although it has been stressful to find an outfit, I never learned and kept buying my dresses at the last minute, I have enjoyed every one.

The first wedding took place in a beautiful mansion, with someone playing disney songs on the piano. We took a tractor ride over to a freshly decorated barn and drank all of the gin from the gin palace they had provided. The last wedding was in a tipi in the middle of nowhere near Cambridge, with wooden benches and wildflowers everywhere. Both basically looked like Pinterest had thrown up everywhere and it was incredible!

Surprise!

My brother threw his fiancé a surprise 30th birthday meal, with the help of her sister. We were so close to arriving at the same time as the birthday girl, I was so tense! We managed to get inside the restaurant five minutes before she showed up, phew.

It was such a lovely day and a great chance to see so many people in one place. I live in a different city to all of my family so I love it when every one gets together for family events. 

B-A-B-Y, baby

I went on a cinema date with a friend and we watched Baby Driver. I had not seen any trailers before I went, so I didn’t know what to expect.It was ah-mazing! The sound track is incredible, I have been repeatedly listening to the playlist on Spotify.

Thailand Travels

One of my friends has quit her job, packed up and flew off to Thailand to go travelling for the foreseeable future. She has done this solo, which has majorly impressed and motivated me. I am obsessively following her adventures through any social media channel possible, as well as badgering her for travelling tales.

A few of us are going to head out in November to see her and go on a mini adventure and I literally cannot wait, it’s got me through some tough days at work, let me tell ya. It will be my first time visit Asia which is something I’ve been dreaming of since I don’t know when. I also love going on a sunny holiday in the middle of Autumn, I love the cold season but it’’s good to get a little burst of sunshine.


It feels good to write down all of the things that have made me happy lately, I think I’ve been focusing too much on the stressful little moments lately. But really there has been a lot of positivity. What’s been making you happy lately?
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Sunday, 6 August 2017

July Favourites: The Snack Edition



I did my first monthly favourites last month and it was fun, which is why I am here again to share with you some things I have been loving over the past month. 

Last month it was all focused on beauty products so this month I have decided to mix it up. This month it will be a food theme, hope you enjoy it as such as I enjoyed eating it. 

Lindt Lindor Irresistibly Smooth Orange Milk Chocolate Truffles

This is the inspirational and beautiful chocolate that made me decide to dedicate a monthly favourites to food. I am a big fan on Lindor truffles and I’ve tried a few of their flavours, but this one is something else! It was all I could do not to eat the whole box in one night.

Passions Deli Flavoured Pea Snacks

I am always on the hunt for healthy snacks. I am a big snack-aholic, and if it didn’t go straight to my waist line I would eat chocolate 80% of the time. So I was happy when a friend showed me these from Aldi, a great alternative to crisps.

Honeycomb Ice Cream

I usually reach straight for the chocolate ice cream, but the boyfriend brought this home. After sulking for a little bit because it wasn’t chocolate I tried it and instantly fell in love. 

M&S Cheese Twists & Sour Cream

These two are the best duo since Bonnie & Clyde, Ron and Hermione and Jack Donagee and Liz Lemon. The pastry just crumbles in your mouth and the flavour is so rich, once I eat one it’s hard not to eat them all. The M&S Sour cream is my absolute fave and goes with the cheese twists so well!

Classic Hummus

OMG I LOVE HUMMUS. Hummus is my life, I am addicted. I eat it almost every day and I follow a hummus appreciation account on Instagram. I was eating lots of different flavours but for the past month it has been all about the classic hummus

Red Grapes

As you may have noticed I love snacking on unhealthy food. Guilty! But I do try and make healthy substitutions, I promise. When I gave up refined sugar red grapes were my life saver when it came to calming down my sweet tooth. I’ve noticed my chocolate habit has started escalating so I’ve re-introduced these to the regular shop.

So tell me please, what snack food have you been loving lately? Not that I need another addiction….


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Wednesday, 2 August 2017

The Stages of A Monday Run



6pm Sunday

New week, new me, starting tomorrow. I am going to workout every day, even if it’s just a light yoga sesh. I may even work out twice in a day. I am not going to touch anything unhealthy, just fruit, veg and all of the good carbs. 

8pm Sunday

I best eat the ice cream in the freezer now so I am not tempted to next week. And that chocolate bar on top of the cupboard. It’s okay though, the amount I’m going to work out next week I can eat them and get away with it. 

10pm Sunday

My body will be my temple. I’m actually gonna wake up early so I can do one workout before work and one after work. I’m not even going to be able to recognise myself by the end of the week *smug face*.

6.30am Monday

Why is my alarm going off at this time? I want to cry! It’s dark and I’m tired, what fresh hell is this?! Snooze…

6.39am Monday

It’s happening again! Snooze….

6.48am Monday

Okay so clearly I am not getting up. I’m just gonna wait for my normal alarm to go off.

7.15am Monday

Ugh not again. Snooze….

12pm Monday

If I did a workout I could choose a carb-y lunch, but I didn’t, so guess it’ll have to have a stupid salad.

5.30pm Monday

Yay it’s home time, I’m gonna go home, jump in my comfies and binge watch Net-damn it I need to do a run. Ugh, I really don’t want to.

5.45pm Monday

What if I go on a run tomorrow morning instead? Nah that won’t work. Even I don’t believe that one.

6.15pm Monday

Guess I best get ready for this stupid run. I really need to invest in some new workout clothes…

6.45pm Monday

Okay let’s do this shit.

6.50pm Monday 

I’m a fitness goddess, why didn’t I want run to run again?

6.55pm Monday

OMG WHEN WILL THIS BE OVER?!

7.00pm Monday

It’s okay, it’s just 3 more lots of 5 minutes runs, you can do this…

7.01pm Monday

No way was that just one minute!

7.05pm Monday

Remember, you’re running laps around the people sat on the sofa….wish I was sat on the sofa

7.10pm Monday

I want to stop…but…so close…

7.15pm Monday

Yay I’m home! I’m so hot and dizzy and breathless, but I did it!

7.30pm Monday

Okay, I’ll say it. I am glad I went on a run. I can feel the endorphins kicking in, this feels good!

10pm Monday

Zzzzzzzzzzzz

7.15am Tuesday

Oh dear lord I ache so much…

7.30am Tuesday

Meh, still glad I did it! *super smug face*

9am Tuesday

Hey guess what work bff, I went on a run again last night. *super duper smug face*
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Sunday, 23 July 2017

Netflix: 5 British Shows To Binge Watch Right Now


I am actually surprised it has taken me this long to write a post on Netflix.

Netflix is my life. I love Netflix. If I could, I’d probably chuck on a gown and say ‘I do’ in front of a collection of my closest friends and family. 

I am always on the look out for new shows and movies, so I thought I would start writing some posts on things I have loved watching.

I have been watching a lot of British TV shows lately so I’ll start my potential Netflix series of posts on them.

Getting On

I did not know Jo Brand had made a TV show! Probably because I don’t have normal TV, I literally just watch Netflix.

But I am so glad I discovered this show.

It is written by and stars Jo Brand, Vicki Pepperdine and Joanna Scanlan and has a total of three series.

It’s a brilliantly satirical sitcom that follows staff working for the NHS on the extended care unit.

Kim Wilde (Jo Brand) is a return to work nurse and a no-nonsense, don’t beat around the bush kind of woman. She is immediately managed by Denise Flixter (Joanna Scanlan) who is often finding ways to get out of doing the hard work, in between dating the male matron Hilary Loftus (Ricky Grover). Hilary is a confused soul, as well as being an annoying jobs-worth. They are regularly joined by Dr Pippa Moore (Vicki Pepperdine) the consultant on the ward. She’s extremely talented but lacks a lot of social skills and is rather self centred.

The show is very satirical and a bit of a dark comedy, I think one of the opening scenes in the first episode involves Kim and Den eating the sweets of a just deceased patient. 

I showed this show to my mum, who work for the NHS herself, and she’s assured me it’s very real to life. I guess you can expect this given that Jo herself was once a nurse. 

I watched all three seasons within 2 days, I couldn’t stop! 

Big School

I have only just started this but I can tell it’s gonna be one I blast through pretty quickly.

As you can imaging by the title it is set at a school, with a whole bunch of dysfunctional teachers. Amongst them is the socially inept Mr Keith Church (David Walliams) who falls for a self-important Miss Sarah Postern (Katherine Tate), the new French teacher.

Like I said, I am only a few episodes in but I already enjoy the characters and the cringe-worthy story lines.

Luther

I’ve just realised that most of the ones on my list are comedies. This is probably because when I am writing my blogs I like to put on easy-watching shows in the background, ones that I can come in and out of watching.

Luther is not a comedy, although it does have its funny moments.

Basically Idris Elba play Luther, a Detective Chief Inspector for the serious crime unit. Luther is not a truly imaginative and unique character, he is a hardworking cop who sometimes bends the rules to get the best results. We've seen this played before.

But Idris Elba is incredible and the dark storylines are instantly addictive. I am usually shouting at my television and literally sat on the edge of the seat. 

That Mitchell and Webb Look

I used to watch this when it was on television, so I am more than happy it has made the move to Netflix.

It is one of my favourite sketch shows and stars the hilarious duo David Mitchell and Robert Webb. 

There are quite a few regular sketches, as well as some one-offs.

My favourite recurring sketch has to be Number Wang, a seemingly illogical and impossible TV game show, where the contestants have to shout out numbers until the host confirms they have got ‘numberwang’.

Then there’s the behind-the-scenes sketches, where Mitchell and Webb  play themselves, usually on a ‘break’ between filming. It usually ends with them involved in a heated debate.

Cuckoo 

I’m just gonna throw it out there, I think this is my favourite from the whole list. I am addicted.

The series starts with Ken (played by Greg Davis) and his family awaiting the return of their daughter, who has been travelling on her gap year. When they pick her up from the airport they’re surprised to discover she has brought back with her a husband! A zany, far out hippy guy named ‘Cuckoo’ (played by Andy Samberg). 

Lots of hilarity ensues, as I am sure you can imagine, with the dad and Cuckoo regularly disagreeing. 

The cast is amazing, each one bringing their own unique comedy to the table. From series two onwards they are joined by Taylor Lautner (Team Jacob) who plays Cuckoo’s son. I was a bit unsure of his character at first but I actually think I prefer him to Cuckoo now. 

I am left laughing my head off after every episode, many times there are even tears of laughter. 

I’m struggling to think of a box to put it in, as it’s different from other British TV comedies I have watched. please just give it a watch and you will fall in love too!

What have you been watching and loving lately? Please leave some recommendations in the comments below, I'm always on the lookout for something new!


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Wednesday, 19 July 2017

36 Hours In Prague


I only had a fleeting visit in Prague as part of my Europe trip, two nights in total but around 36 hours altogether.

Before I got there I was told that Prague was beautiful, but you also didn’t need to spend more than 2 nights there. As I was trying to see as many places as possible I decided to follow peoples 2-night advice.

First of all, Prague is really beautiful. Like, really beautiful. it’s cultural and historical, there’s something pretty to look at everywhere you turn.

I stayed at an Air BNB, just a short walk away from the old town. The first night there I headed straight for old town to see some sights and soak up the atmosphere.

Prague is known for being fairly cheap, but obviously old town is a little pricier than other areas. There are so many bars and restaurants around, I sat down for pizza just a little walk away from Charles bridge. I swear I ate so much pizza this holiday I vowed to not eat it again for months, in reality I actually only resisted for like 2 weeks.

The next day we tried to fit in as many site seeing as possible. 

The first stop was breakfast. I have already written a post dedicated to the glorious pancakes we ate at De Noc. Seriously, they were so delicious you have to stop by and get some.

After we were full with sugary goodness we walked up to Prague castle, which takes around 30 minutes from the old town. It’s a bit uphill so you may get a bit out of breath if you’re as fit as me. But on the walk you get to see some pretty good views of the city, layered with oranges tiled roofs.

Once you’re up there you can get into the castle grounds for free, but it seems you have to pay to get inside everywhere else. We decided to pay to go up to the top of the bell tower, that way we could get a better view of the city and it was also one of the cheapest things to do.

There was like 280 steps (more climbing!) but the views were pretty breathtaking, definitely worth the climb.

Walking back from the castle to the old town we made a couple of stops, checking in on some sites. My favourite was Lennon’s wall, filled by inspirational graffiti and pieces of lyrics from Beatle’s songs. 

We also stopped as some more historical sites, such as the Infant Statue of Jesus, Charles Bridge and the astronomical clock. 

After a day of sight seeing, and a quick rest and relaxation break at the apartment, we headed out to the new(?) town for food and drink. It’s a lot more affordable than the old town, but it still has lots of lively bars and restaurants. they’re just a bit more scattered around.

So that’s about everything I got up to in my short stay in Prague. It is just one of those cities where it is fun to get lost in.


Have you been to Prague before? Where’s next on your travel list?



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