Sunday, 19 January 2014

10 things that have made me happy this week...

1) Home. Food, wine, mummy time and relaxing. Its been idyllic and I think that going back to uni today is going to be a bit of a shock to the system!

2) This song ^^. If you haven't heard it, have a listen.

3) Seeing one of my oldest school friends for catch ups, lunch and g&ts. I hand't seen him since the summer for one reason and another which is no way happening again!

4) Driving. Its one of those things that I forget how much I enjoy when I'm at uni but when I come home I truly relish it!

5) Skype with my sisters. Yes, they may both be on a beach in 40 degree heat right now but we won't hold that against them too much! Giggling conversations are always the best ones.

6) Job applications for this term. So very time consuming but when you start to get responses it becomes oh so satisfying. I'm not looking forward to doing it all for real in a couple of months time for graduation but the CV is sorted so at least thats a step in the right direction!

7) My first run since I damaged my wrist last term and had to cancel my gym subscription. It hurt but fingers crossed it will be worth it.

8) Freshly squeezed juice for breakfast. Another home pleasure but incredibly good!

9) Dissertation inspiration. I may still have a long way to go before I even decide on a topic but I picked up my first book this week for one of two 6,000 word essays. Thats definitely progress and I'm actually looking forward to getting on with them and getting them out the way now final exams are done.

10) Supper and cuddles with one of my favourites and her gorgeous baby. I'm not sure who was wetter at bath time but Louis is so incredibly gorgeous! I'm looking forward to seeing him for a London baby day out for a mid term time break soon!

And don't forget you can follow me on Instagram and Twitter for more updates!

Friday, 17 January 2014


This week at home has been a healthy week after my ridiculous exam binging! Fresh juice is one of my favourite things and being at home is a great excuse to make it with mummy's ridiculous incredible juicer!! Despite being told that fresh juice actually contains more fructose than the stuff you get in a carton, I'm pretty sure that the stuff isn't really going to hurt you once in a while.

I kept it simple and went for apple, orange and strawberry. It's a great mix if you want a pure fruit juice but adding in a big lump of ginger does increase the vitamin value- I was going on taste so who cares right?!

Mmm look at that gorgeous colour...

Quick, simple and delicious. You don't even have to peal the fruit and breakfast was ready in less than 5 minutes. It's definitely washing up the machine after that's more of a challenge!!

Serve over a couple of ice cubes, in a martini glass if possible for extra glamour (my sisters trick and it really does seem to add a degree of sophistication to morning juice if that is even possible!!).

If you haven't got a juicer, grab a £5 hand held blender from your local supermarket and make smoothies instead. Frozen berries, a dollop of natural yogurt, a sprinkling of oats and a dash of carton juice and you're good to go. Sarah got us all converted to this recipie in France last summer and it really is a fab alternative to a good juice!


Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Choocywoccydodah: Bar du Chocolat

Tucked away down a little road in Brighton, Middle Street to be exact, is the Choccy Woccy Bar du Chocolat. Choccy Woccy make the most incredible cakes from chocolate, as you'd imagine. These should give you an idea…

Towards the end of last term we all needed a bit of chill out time and some relaxation after essay deadlines. Our place to fulfil an afternoon of relaxation was of course ChoccyWoccyDoDah. Or, to be more exact, the Choccy Woccy Bar du Chocolat. A haven to chocolate, cake and incredible hot chocolates, all in an ethereal, Alice in Wonderland style fairlytale setting. You are immersed in chocolate and it really is an incredible experience.

We surrounded ourselves with huge chunks of cake, tea and hot chocolate until we could no longer see the table. I like cake but I could barely eat a 1/3 of my chocolate indulgence, the slices are ridiculously huge! My advice: visit on a very empty stomach but do make sure you visit, this place is definitely an experience!

Choccy Woccy have bars in both Brighton and London. If you haven't already, be sure to check them out! 

Christmas hampers #1: Chocolate Bark

This little series is the recipes for the components of my Christmas hampers. I made hampers as gifts this year for family and friends and they went down incredibly well! Despite the festive season now having passed, these recipes are perfect for wintery days, weekends in the kitchen and simple gifts throughout the year. Most of the foods do suit the wintery months best and the majority of ingredients have the benefit of already being in the larder. You can check out my Pinterest here for more homemade present inspiration.

The first, and my favourite of the homemade gifts is a delicious chocolate bark! A bag of chocolate bark can be created by even the most novice of cooks and really can be customised for all tastes and purposes!

I used:

2 or 3 bars of good quality dark chocolate
1 cup of almonds
1 cup pistachios
1 tbs cocoa powder
2 tbs coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 cups flaked coconut
1/2 cup sesame seeds 

Begin by popping your pistachios and almonds in a baking tray, with the coconut oil and roast for 10 minutes at about 150 degrees. After 10 minutes remove from the oven and add the sea salt, cocoa and vanilla extract. Roast for a further 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, break your chocolate into small pieces and melt over a bayonet until smooth and silky. Stir the chocolate to ensure that it doesn't burn.

Line a baking tray with cling film and drizzle in your melted chocolate. Try and resist the temptation to eat it at this stage!! Push the chocolate around so that its fairly evenly distributed.

Grab the nuts from the oven and pour into the chocolate. Sprinkle over the sesame seeds, a little more sea salt (to stop the chocolate from being too bitter) and the flaked coconut. Stand back and admire the beautifulness and then pop the tray in the fridge for a couple of hours to allow to fully set. 

Cut up systematically or smash and pop into cellophane. Decorate as desired and its ready to share - do make sure you try some yourself though, it really is delicious! 

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Statement sportswear

So, of course I've jumped on the typical January getting fit bandwagon. I've signed up for yoga classes and am forcing myself to run at least 3 times a week. I feel better when I exercise so its silly not to really, I just need to make time for it. From past experience, gym time becomes a habitual part of day to day life in no time at all. Of course, the added bonus of running is the absolute need to look at lots of shiny new gym clothes. Totally unnecessary but great procrastination none the less!! I thought I'd share some of my favourite finds. None of them are sports luxe, for me its all about comfort!

Run number one attire:

And here are some of my favourite pieces from the current collections. I tend to exercise in jersey tees or oversized tops but good running leggings are an essential. Nike dri are my faves but Adidas and Slinky Feline also have some great options at the moment. 

From left to right, top line then bottom!

And for a little bit of cosiness post run…

The other bits and pieces:

1. Nike Flex trainers // 2. Nike flex trainers in hot pink // 3. Topshop snow headband // 4. Mulberry Henry gym bag // 5. Nike sports bra // 6. Jack Wills headband 

Have you found any must have gym bits? Or have any recommendations of great sports brands? I'd love to hear about them!  

Monday, 13 January 2014

For the love of Cod

When I arrived home on Friday afternoon Mummy asked, as she normally does, if there was anything I'd been craving for dins over the weekend. Being a poor impoverished student coming home is when I get to eat the food I love and I'm very good at making the most of it!!

This is one of my favourite dishes, adaptable from cosy supper to dinner party and everything in-between. Its so so simple but oh so delicious and I guarantee that if you try it you'll love it! Herby cod is adapted from a recipe from Jamie's 30 minute meals and most of the ingredients are things that are likely to be in the cupboard anyway. We served it with tabouleh and some broccoli. Fresh, green and healthy. 

So, here goes…

For the fish:

Ingredients (serves 2, 2 cod fillets or one large piece of cod loin)

1 tsp fennel seeds
2 cod fillets / 1 large piece of cod loin
Some good olive oil - we used flavoured garlic and rosemary oil
200g chunk of white crusty bread (we cheated with Waitrose bread crumbs as we had some in the larder!)
2 gloves of garlic
1/3 of a tin of anchovy fillets in oil
1/2 a jar of sun dried tomatoes
A handful of fresh basil
1/2 a fresh chilli
1/2 a lemon
Splash of balsamic vinegar
Some fresh rosemary or thyme if you have it!

Begin by drizzling some oil, fennel seeds and seasoning in a baking tray. Place the fish skin side down and drizzling a little more oil and seasoning on the top. Place in a preheated oven at about 180 degrees while you prepare the crust.

Pop the sun dried tomatoes, anchovies, along with a little bit of their oil, half a chilli, handful of basil, glug of balsamic and the juice and rind of half a lemon in a food processor. Season well and whizz to a paste. 

Pop the paste in a bowl to the side and add the breadcrumbs, glug of oil and whole peeled garlic to the processor and blend once more. Take the fish out of the oven and spoon on a generous layer of the sun dried tomato paste over the top of the fish, press down slightly as you do so to hold. Place the breadcrumbs on top of the paste and put back into the oven to crisp for another 10 minutes or so, dependent upon the thickness of the fish. If you have fresh rosemary or thyme it can be placed on top of the breadcrumbs at this stage for added flavour!

Open a good bottle of white wine and pour two glasses. This stage is crucial!!

While sipping lovely wine, put the tabouleh in a saucepan, cover with water and boil for ten minutes until tender. Pop the broccoli on in a separate pan and chop your ingredients for the tabouleh. We used a whole red onion, a couple of garlic cloves and some tomatoes, along with a good bunch of fresh parsley, all chopped finely. When the tabouleh is cooked, simply mix in the chopped ingredients along with a good glug of extra virgin olive oil, the juice of a lemon and some seasoning.

The combination of chilli on the fish and herby freshness in the grain is perfect and the broccoli is the perfect veggie to serve along side.