Post workout/quick meal smoothie

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One of my favourite things to eat/drink when the weather gets warmer, I’m in a rush or I need an energy boost after a big workout is smoothies. It’s quick, filling and depending on the ingredients can satisfy your sweet or savoury tooth. I have a lot of recipes (which I might be willing to share in the future) but this one here is my favourite. It’s my take on a typical “green smoothie” or “green juice” (I have to omit the pineapple due to allergies).

Ingredients (on a typical 500ml smoothie):

  • 1/2 frozen/fresh ripe mango
  • 1 whole frozen banana (I tend to have the precut into banana pennies but depending on your blender you may be able to throw the whole banana in)
  • kale (just a handleful)
  • 100ml rice milk
  • 150ml cold water

Blend together until smooth then serve.

See what did I say simple and quick. I tend to freeze my ingredients because it makes the smoothie thicker and cold which is just what’s needed after a workout, but feel free to use fresh. Also I use milk substitutes but this cold be done with just water, fresh juices like pineapple or mango, of if you like 250ml of any kind of milk you like be it regular cows milk or a milk substitute such as almond, soy, rice or coconut. Also play about with the amounts, if you like mango more than banana use more mango, if you like the earthy taste of kale add more kale. If you want it to be sweeter perhaps add some blueberries or passionfruit if you like it earthier throw in some spinach. It’s really upto your preference.

So what’s your favourite smoothie/juice flavour?

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Update: A Month On

So about a month ago I wrote a blog post about how I had chosen to cut out toxic habits (mainly energy drinks and fizzy drinks such as soda), starting with a month. If you haven’t seen that blog you can check it out here: My Big Decision: Cutting out toxic habits

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Well then onto the results. The first thing I noticed from giving up these kinds of drinks is the money that I saved,  a single can of energy drink cost me £1 I was drinking 1-2 a day meaning I was spending in total £7-14 a week on energy drinks alone which is ridiculous. Now onto what I’ve noticed about myself.

In the first week I didn’t crave them at all, which was lucky, however I did feel tired all the time. Grabbing coffees and green teas whenever I felt the slump hit or having a nap whichever happened first. The lethargy dissipated in the second week but that’s when the craving for anything and everything sugar hit, and when it hit, it hit HARD. I just wanted to monster everything chocolatey, cakey and sugary, but I stopped myself from falling into that trap which also meant I kept on track. As for the last two weeks I realised I didn’t even think about it. When I went into a shop and was thirsty I aimed for juice or water. Yes I was drinking tea and coffee more often but since I don’t take sugar or milk in either it’s not so bad and I also found myself trying new combinations for juices, waters and smoothies.

Physically and mentally it was hard at first and I didn’t see any results right away, pair that with the first two weeks of tiredness and cravings I was close to giving in. But towards the end I noticed I was more alert in the mornings, my workouts affected me better and I had more energy to do them, I’m not bloated all the time and myself and others have noticed that my stomach is beginning to look flatter/slimmer. I’ve also started drinking at least a litre of water in various forms a day so my skin looks clearer and I no longer need a nap between 3-5pm. So all in all my hard work and determination is paying off. I’ll definitely be keeping up with the no energy drinks/sugary/fizzy drinks, after all I don’t need to add any more sugar to my diet and the results are great.

So what’s your “toxic” habit and do you think you should cut it out/reduce it?

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My Current Obsessions/Favourites

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Everyone has them; those things that you either can’t live without, use everyday or that when you use put a smile on your face.

When I start to obsess over something I obsess hard (ask any of my friends about my Harry Potter obsession). But still when I find something that I do in fact love, I have to share where I found it and why I love it so much. So here are my current five “obsessions” or favourites if you will.

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Starting off my obsession list is my Batman Hand Mirror, since finding this it’s always with me. One side is a regular the other is magnified, it was a perfect find in my eyes as usually I have to use my phone camera. Finding it must of been fate since lately you’ll never find me without a bold matte lip, there is always a tube of matte lipstick in either my bag or pocket. But with a matte lip comes the need to top up during the day especially after a latte or some food. Knowing myself I’ll soon be purchasing more matte lippies probably in some less standoffish colours (I’ve had my eye on some lovely nude shades).

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My next obsession, which I’m glad to have in my life again after missing it for so long is Snapple in raspberry and peach. These are delicious, I must admit though I’ve only drank this flavour although my local store stocks Strawberry and Kiwi too (I’ve stayed clear since I’m allergic to kiwis) but I’m addicted. These were an accidental find which I’m grateful for, having given up sodas and energy drinks this month I was looking for something to quench my thirst and give me energy, when I came across these juices again. I try my best not to clear the shelf of them whenever I’m in the shop, they are so sweet without being overwhelming. The main taste is the peach it overpowers the raspberry but in the best way possible. I don’t feel too guilty drinking two of these in a row because they boast 50 calories per bottle which is about 430ml and not many ingredients:

FILTERED WATER, SUGAR, PEAR JUICE CONCENTRATE, PEACH PUREE, CITRIC ACID, NATURAL FLAVORS, VEGETABLE JUICE CONCENTRATE (FOR COLOR), ACACIA GUM
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Harry Potter Slippers, Angels on Bare Skin Facial Cleanser

Whenever I am walking about my flat I wear these fluffy Harry Potter emblem slippers, I hate climbing into bed at night and feeling like there are bits from the floor in my sheets (perhaps I’m strange or overthinking). But I enjoy slipping my feet into the soft “fur” lining they are warm, cosy and easy to clean. When I’m ready to end the night I slip my slippers on, head to the bathroom and take a long shower. Whilst showering I take a small lump of this facial cleanser from Lush, which becomes a paste in the shower and clean my face. I do it in the shower because there are bits of lavender and the cleanser itself is quite bitty so it can get everywhere, however removing it is easy enough by running your face under the water. I’m obsessed with it because it smells delightful, a mixture of rose, lavender and almonds and it leaves my face feeling fresh, clean and soft. It’s the only facial cleanser I’ve used that doesn’t stop working after a few uses.

  1. Batman Hand Mirror – Primark £1.50
  2. Matte Lipsticks – Various £3-£7
  3. Snapple Peach and Raspberry flavour – £1.50
  4. Harry Potter Slippers – Primark £4
  5. Angels on Bare Skin Facial Cleanser (100g) – LUSH £7.50

What are you current obsessions?

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Teapigs Review

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I love a good cup of tea. Whether it’s on a morning with my breakfast, at night with a good book or just because I need to feel a sense of calm in my chaotic world, tea always makes things better. When I heard about teapigs* I had to try them, they had loads of flavours, too many to choose just one. Luckily for me teapigs offer a pick and mix sample box, where you can pick 12 teas to try for £13.99. So obviously this was what I chose.

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Pictured tea: Mint choc chip, chocolate flake, pure lemongrass, chai tea, spiced winter red and popcorn tea.

Now in the picture above are just some of the teas I have left. Some had duplicates like the spiced red, chai, and chocolate flake, and others myself and my partner drank (roobios creme caramel, superfruit and chilli chai). Each box of tea comes with 2 teabags and the flavours are incredible, there are instructions on the box on whether they taste best with or without milk, I personally drink all without. Out of the 12 boxes of tea that were sampled only two flavours I didn’t enjoy which were caramel and popcorn, however my partner really did. My personal favourites were the pure lemongrass, the superfruits, the chilli chai and the spiced winter red. When drinking them it felt like you were wrapped in a warm blanket, beside an open fireplace listening to the rain trickle down the window. They were comforting, flavourful and aromatic.

I am definitely going to be buying from them again as I found some new favourite teas, but wouldn’t mind trying some new flavours too. So what’s your favourite flavour of tea? Do you have a specific brand?

*find teapigs mix and match here

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Being grateful: 50 things of Happiness

Life has its stresses for some its money, others work, education or even just worries about yourself or those you love. It’s easy for us to focus on the negatives and get in a slump, we get so overwhelmed by the feelings that bring us down that we forget that things wont always feel that way. But it helps to stop for a moment and look at the little things in life that make you happy, content or bring a little smile to your face. So after recently reading a fellow blogger by the name of Charlotte* I was inspired to do the “50 things of Happiness” list:

  1. A good cup of coffee or tea
  2. A rainy day where I can hear the drip drops against the window
  3. A warm blanket
  4. A good book, one where you can just get lost in the pages
  5. Pizza and a movie with my boy
  6. Harry Potter (films, memorabilia, books)
  7. Getting a new funko figure for my collection
  8. Music something I can lose myself to, dance, sing along, or just lay there enjoying it.
  9. Learning a new recipe
  10. Finding a new tv show or anime to binge watch
  11. New tattoos
  12. New piercings
  13. That spark of inspiration and motivation to paint, draw or create
  14. Trips away with my boy
  15. Playing or cuddling with my cat
  16. That rush of endorphins after working out
  17. Reaching my daily/monthly/yearly goals
  18. When I graduated University
  19. When I got accepted for my Masters
  20. When my boy got accepted at University
  21. Spending time with friends
  22. Starbucks Chai Tea Lattes/Frappuccino (with soy milk)
  23. Baking and coming up with new/alternative recipes
  24. A long hot bath/shower after a long day
  25. Using my lush products after a long day
  26. Finding new brands of things I love
  27. Talking to my internet friends
  28. Playing a board/card game
  29. Watching my boy play his video games
  30. Lighting a scented candle
  31. The sky: sunsets, stars, clouds the lot
  32. When the moon is full
  33. Watching tv shows from my “childhood”
  34. Lots of pillows on my bed (I sleep with 4-5)
  35. A nice pair of pajamas
  36. When the house is clean
  37. Putting clean sheets on the bed and they smell so good
  38. Crystals, gems, gemstones
  39. Wearing “odd” coloured lipsticks
  40. Experimenting with my makeup and hair
  41. Platform shoes
  42. Finding a new app I like
  43. Youtube
  44. When my cat comes to me for snuggles instead of the other way around
  45. Nostalgia
  46. Smoothies, Juices and Banana Nice Cream
  47. Making things: painting, drawing, sculpting, sewing
  48. When my boy gets home from work
  49. When I feel productive
  50. This blog. I’ve really enjoyed making this blog a part of my daily routine it makes me smile everyday.

 

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Jen Collins Artwork page 80

So what things are you grateful for, what makes you happy?

Either make a list of your own, blog about it and leave me the link to check out or just think about it.

All images are photographs of pages taken from a book I own called “You are so loved”.

*check out Charlottes list here

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NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick Review

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So I heard a lot of opinions on NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipsticks and when a close friend recommended them I had to try them for myself, however for £6.50 each I wasn’t going to buy every colour that appealed to me (and there were many) so I chose to try one for now. The website I looked at boasts that this lipstick is:

“A waterproof, liquid lipstick infused with Avocado oil and Vitamin E. This super pigmented lipstick goes on opaque, dries to a matte finish and delivers long-wearing, vivid color in one creamy swipe.”

So as you can imagine with that, the fact that they are cruelty free and the recommendation I was quite looking forward to a luscious grey matte lipstick that wouldn’t dry my lips out, my hopes were high. I chose the colour Stone Fox to start with as it was a beautiful soft grey colour which I didn’t own and paired it with Collections Love Bird eyeliner (as I didn’t have a lipliner that matched). To test this lipstick thoroughly and give an honest reliable review, I wore it all day: through eating, drinking, talking etc.

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Colour shown is Stone Fox with Love Bird eyeliner as lipliner

To say I was disappointed is an understatement, I was not only disappointed but also frustrated. I hate lip gloss, the stickiness drives me wild that’s why I tend to opt for matte lipsticks, so to give some back story as to why I said that this is why: I put this lipstick on at 11:30am and by 12:45pm it still wasn’t dry, it in fact didn’t dry all day and by the time I took it off at 6pm it had continued to remain tacky all day. So as you can imagine the “long-wearing” part of the pitch didn’t hold up. This is a shame because the colour payoff is incredible, one stroke across the lips gave full coverage, no streakiness and no need to double dip which is always a plus for me. Some other positive points are the range of colours available and the applicator wand.

Firstly at my local Boots where I purchased this lipstick the selection was incredible, many colours I’ve not seen before which was refreshing. There were many that I would personally wear and some I hadn’t seen in other of my favourite brands. The applicator was an odd shape, rounded and long but for some reason this helped me apply it easier however with that being said the fact that it didn’t dry down to a matte finish bothers me. When I buy a matte lipstick I want a matte lipstick; especially when I’m paying £6.50 for it. I saw no reason why it didn’t mattify, I had no other product on my lips and I gave it ample time to do so. Perhaps it was the colour I chose or the formula I don’t know. I will continue to wear it because it’s a beautiful colour but it will be sporadically as I said I’m not one for the tackiness feeling, but I don’t think I’ll be buying anymore of these products.

So what about you? Have you tried these and how did they fair?

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My Favourite Lunch: Toasted “Sandwich” Recipe

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So I’m quite the picky eater, I have to REALLY fancy something to eat it. However I’ve been experimenting on quick, small meals to make for lunch or as a snack. I came across my now favourite go to completely by accident, I just wanted something small and didn’t have much in the fridge.

So to make it:

  1. Cut a bread bun in half, cover with grated cheddar and mozzarella place under the grill to melt the cheese and toast the bun.
  2. Whilst that is grilling, dice up a small red onion and fry it (I used chilli infused olive oil), wilt some spinach alongside this.
  3. Take toasted bun out from under the grill, top with onions and spinach then sprinkle with chilli flakes.

It’s really that simple and it tastes delicious. And because I’m trying to increase my water intake I pair it either with a blueberry and lime infused water or a lemon water with honey.

What’s your favourite quick go to meal?

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My thoughts on ‘The Cursed Child’

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As someone obsessed with everything Harry Potter it’s safe to say I was excited at the prospect of another book coming out. So imagine my disappointment when I found it was to be made into a play, rather than a film and the book that was to be released would be a play script rather than a novel. However my love for the fandom made me buy the book, it took me two days total to read and complete it, it was a whirlwind of emotions. On one hand I was getting see characters I had grown up with all grown up themselves with families and careers but at the same time I understood that after this it would be the end of Harry, Ron and Hermiones journey which saddened me.

So where do I start?

The play itself is written as a continuation, starting off where Deathly Hallows ended. We meet Albus Severus the middle child of Ginny Weasley and Harry Potter, and discover the burder of being “the odd one out” in the Potter-Weasley clan. The book as we know is written as a screenplay or play script so unlike a traditional novel it jumps about and gives directions as to what each character would be doing or saying in that situation. With that being said it’s obvious that there would be more speech rather than description. Now onto the story.

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Now onto the plot of the story, without giving too much away I can say in all honesty that, yes I did enjoy the story but also it felt more like a fanfiction. Although I could see the story unfold in my mind, it felt as though Rowling had pandered a lot to the fans. Don’t get me wrong I respect her for wanting to make her fans happy they got her to where she is today but on the other hand it made certain parts of the story to me at least seem unrealistic within the Harry Potter world. With that being said though, I really enjoyed the story and I’m glad to have it in my collection, especially since I’m unable to see the play in person.

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Where do I see myself in five years?

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So this is me. 24 years old, more piercings and tattoos than most people would like me to have, addicted to the nostalgia of shows like Buffy, Angel, Charmed etc, obsessed with Studio Ghibli, Disney, Musicals and Horror films and CATS. But is that all there is to me? No. Now I must admit I was inspired to write this blog post by another blogger called Jasmin* but it really got me thinking about how people see me, what I want and if I’m on the right track to getting there.

  1. I will have hopefully set up my own business and be comfortable with my income.
  2. Living in a home that I love (I don’t even have to own it but that would be nice)
  3. Watching my partner (hopefully husband by then) fulfil his dream career
  4. Which leads me onto this one: Married? Kids? We’ve been engaged going on two years, together for going on five and hopefully in five years we’ll have our own family (with more cats of course 😛 )
  5. And lastly: I hope I’m happy. Struggling with mental health issues my entire teen and into adult life has made things difficult but I strive to be optimistic so I wont let the bad times affect my entire outlook.

So there it is. Five goals/hopes/wishes (whatever you wish to call them) to strive for in five years. I usually find it hard to genuinely know what I want but that’s what I want right now. And who knows in a year, two years, five years I may change my mind and want something different or life might take a different turn for me. But as long as I’m happy I’ll get to where I need to be.

So where do you see yourself in five years?

Also head over to Jasmins post and show her some love.

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