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Recipe – Mushroom and Chickpea Stew

It definitely feels like the end of summer. I usually walk home from my Pilates lesson in the evening sun on Mondays but last night I was wrapped up, running home in the wind and rain. We haven’t caved in and put the heating on yet but I don’t think it will be far off!

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I enjoyed this healthy stew all summer but it would be just as comforting in the coming colder months with a big dollop of sour cream on top.

Ingredients

A glug of olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

3 teaspoons of turmeric

3 teaspoons of cumin

1 teaspoon of dried chili flakes

Salt and pepper

1 red onion, roughly chopped

2 tins of chopped tomatoes

5 tablespoons of tomato puree

Boiling water

1 courgette, halved and sliced

1 tray of mushroom, sliced

1 can of chickpeas, drained

1 small jar of black olives

Fresh coriander

Sour cream (or natural yogurt)

How to make it

  • Begin by heating the olive oil in a deep pan on a medium heat
  • Add the garlic, turmeric, cumin, chili flakes, salt and pepper and gently fry

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  • Add the onion and fry for another few minutes
  • Next, pour in the chopped tomatoes and tomato puree and fill the empty cans with boiling water and add them too, stirring well

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  • Bring to boil then turn it down to a simmer
  • Add the courgettes and mushrooms and cook for about half an hour

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  • Add the chickpeas and olives and cook for another 15-20 minutes

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  • Season to taste then serve with couscous, a generous handful of fresh coriander and good dollop of sour cream

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Sunday Catch-up #34

Well here we go for another academic year! I am shattered after having to set an alarm and get up early again but rewarded myself with a lie-in this weekend to recuperate. I have also been busy booking up weekends to see people and buying tickets to various events so I have some fun days planned in between work.

This week I have been…

Making: a big bonfire in our fire pit which we enjoyed with glasses of Pimms

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Going: back to work

Wearing: my new Kat Von D Tattoo Liner – it’s amazing

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Eating: at a new local pub

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Drinking: a perfect flat white

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Reading: This Book Will Save Your Life

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Watching: Educating Cardiff

Buying: more Essie nail varnishes

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Planning: lessons again and feeling a bit out of practice!

Cooking: a prawn and basil risotto

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Baking: some Bakewell cupcakes

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Writing: healthy shopping lists

Favouriting: Anna’s new kitchen – I’m a big fan of the honeycomb tiles

Working on: time management

Trying to decide: if I should buy the Zara leather jacket I am currently lusting over

Wishing: for more pink sunsets sat outside

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Enjoying: being back at work

Needing: more sleep!

Feeling: the change in seasons

Giggling at: how excited Ian and my brother get whenever we have a bonfire!

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Sunday Catch-up #32

This week I have been…

Making: pie!

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Going: to watch Bristol City play with my bestie

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Wearing: my new winter boots…in August!

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Eating: one of my Spanish omelettes

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Drinking: this Earl Grey Tea Latte

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Reading: To Kill a Mockingbird

Watching: Jurassic World (for the second time!)

Buying: lots of fruit and veg

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Planning: on making the most of my last week off

Cooking: a new Coca Cola chicken recipe

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Baking: white chocolate and chai tea bread

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Writing: my holiday posts and reminiscing

Favouriting: the Dismaland website, then we decided to just try our luck queuing up and we had the best day here!

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Working on: the three essays I need to do

Trying to decide: who my favourite is on GBBO…Tamal maybe?

Wishing: for a few more weeks of light nights and pink sunsets

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Enjoying: our new lawn

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Needing: to remember the words on my new mug (thanks Lu!)

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Feeling: strangely happy at the thought of going back to work

Giggling at: my lovely colleagues (we had a grown-up sleepover and a lot of sangria!)

Home Sweet Home

We’re back! After an incredible 2 weeks away, 5 US states and countless foodie pictures on Instagram, Ian and I are back from our East Coast adventures.

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It’s always strange coming back from a really good holiday – part of me doesn’t want it to end and I wish we were still in our little holiday bubble, eating out and exploring new cities with only each other for company. However, a really good holiday also inspires me to come home and shake things up a bit and I plan on making the most of what is left of this summer.

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Let’s not avoid the obvious though; I am covered in mosquito bites that I am trying my hardest not to scratch, our laundry basket is overflowing, there is ‘stuff’ everywhere around the house, Ian is back at work already, my suitcase broke on the way home and don’t even get me started on jet lag…I’ve been up since 1:30am this morning, watching GBBO and drinking endless cups of tea!!!

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However, there is a part of me that is really happy to be home and back in my own bed. I feel very inspired with my blog again and will obviously be documenting our holiday in detail over the next few weeks as well as introducing some new weekly features. I also feel very determined to get a bit fitter and healthier after a very indulgent fortnight, catch up with as many friends over the next few weeks and complete an essay for a qualification I have worked my arse off for over the past year.

Anyway, I have insect bite cream to apply and another load of washing to do so I will sign off for now…expect our New York post very soon! x

Recipe – Fish Tacos

Phew – it is hot! I have been loving the sunshine so far this week – we are even thinking of an impromptu camping trip at the weekend if it continues. My weekly food shop reflected this today too with lots of lovely fruit and salad ingredients and treats coming in the way of salted caramel ice cream!

One of my favourite summery recipes is fish tacos. They are light, vibrant and full of flavour and don’t take too long to cook either. I serve my fish with a salsa, salad, sour cream and hot sauce. I would usually have guacamole too but my avocado didn’t ripen in time for this recipe!

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Ingredients

Olive oil

2 garlic cloves, crushed

A handful of fresh coriander

The juice of one lime

Salt and pepper

4 small white fish fillets (you can use any firm white fish for this recipe – I picked up haddock this time)

A handful of cherry tomatoes, chopped

About 1/3 of a red onion, finely chopped

A couple of radishes, chopped

Mini tortilla wraps

Salad leaves

Sour cream

Hot sauce

How to make it

  • Begin by making the marinade for the fish. In a bowl, add a glug of olive oil, garlic, coriander and most of the lime juice (save a squeeze for the salsa!)

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  • Add the fish fillets and allow to marinade for at least an hour
  • Next, I made up my salsa by mixing up the tomatoes, red onion, radishes, some more coriander, salt, pepper, olive oil and a squeeze of lime juice

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  • Heat a griddle pan to a medium heat then lay your fish fillets in the pan
  • Cook for a few minutes on either side

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  • Now layer up your tacos! I like to start with salad, then the fish and finally the salsa and sauces…sooooooo good! x

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Sunday Catch-up #26

Hello! I am writing this on the sofa in my pjs, having just had a long soak in the bath and a very lazy day nursing a completely self-induced hangover…I never learn! This week has felt exhausting. It is so warm at night at the moment that I am finding it really hard to sleep and keep coming home from work and nodding off on the sofa meaning I am wide awake for the rest of the evening. It’s a silly pattern to have gotten into so next week I am all about getting a good night’s sleep and laying off the booze for a while!

This week I have been…

Making: an effort to straighten my hair…it just takes so long!

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Going: on an excellent staff night out in Bath with my colleagues (and paying for it today)

Wearing: this gorgeous two-tone metallic shade on my nails

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Eating: meringues with fresh strawberries

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Drinking: far too much this week!

Reading: I’m just about to start Girl on the Train

Watching: the new series of True Detective. We loved the last one and this one seems pretty good so far

Buying: teabags as we had that scenario that every British person dreads where we ran out this week!

Planning: on always having a plentiful supply of teabags (see above!)

Cooking: these ribs from Waitrose – pretty good for a midweek dinner

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Baking: bread with my class

Writing: and filling out our ESTA application forms so we can travel to the States this summer (4 weeks to go!)

Favouriting: James Cordon’s Carpool Karaoke videos – hilarious

Working on: a big shoe and handbag cull – I’m being ruthless

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Trying to decide: whether to buy a spiralizer

Wishing: Ian gets better soon as he is really grumpy when he’s ill!

Enjoying: fresh berries

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Needing: a healthy and alcohol-free week

Feeling: sad that I had to throw my favourite pair of jeans away as I had worn them to death…they are the Rock Stars from Old Navy in America and I am hoping I can repurchase them when we go

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Giggling at: the late night living room dance party I had mid-week with my bestie Lu who may or may not have slipped over whilst dancing to Iggy Azalea!

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Beauty Review – May Birchbox

I’m a bit late reviewing this month’s box but it’s another good’un so better late than never!

My first thought when I opened the box was that it had a really cool design on it but was a bit plain…I soon realised why and how it linked into this month’s creative theme of ‘Free Your Mind’. Here was my first peek inside:

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The ‘little something extra’ in the box this month was a pack of colouring pencils, allowing you to personalise the lid of your box (there’s a mini competition running on this too). Adult colouring books are having a moment so this concept feeds in really well to that idea of making some time for yourself. I am currently into cross stitching to unwind in the evening so I’m not sure I will colour in my box but I do like the idea behind it.

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Right, onto the beauty items! I love a good hair mask and this one from Number 4 looks lovely. The Lumiere d’hiver Reconstructing Masque contains some amazing ingredients and is designed to leave your hair smooth, strengthened and shiny.

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Next a nail varnish from Wah London, a brand I am hearing more and more about after discovering their nail art. There was an option to receive a nail varnish, nail art pen or press on nails and I’m glad I got to try out one of their polishes. I had the shade The Blue Room, a vibrant yet slightly creamy coloured blue. I have just bought a similar shade so kind of wish I had another colour but that’s not their fault so I will give this a go and report back.

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A brand whose skincare I really like, I received a Caudalie tinted moisturiser. I am a big fan of these in the summer when you don’t want to wear too heavy a base on your face and this comes with a good SPF which is always a bonus. Unlike most other formulas, this smells amazing and the coverage isn’t bad either.

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I always welcome a face mask and this one from Absolution looks and smells lovely. It is called the Youth Activator Mask so sounds as though it is aimed at my skin type and aims to add a burst of moisture.

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Next a product that I wasn’t that excited about but Ian will definitely use – Parlor’s Moisturising Sea Salt Spray. I just don’t use anything like salt spray on my hair but Ian is a fan and the fact that this contains almond oils means it shouldn’t be as drying as other formulas are.

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Finally, a make-up item from Jelly Pong Pong (I love this name!) I received the Caribbean Sun Bronzer in the shade Martinique which looks perfect for my pale skin. It is a duo that contains a matt bronzer and a shimmery pink blusher. The palette is a little bit small to get a big brush into but I imagine that swirling the colours together would create a lovely glow too. I like that the compact has a mirror and on first impressions the blusher looks like the real winner – the bronzer is a tad on the chalky side for me.

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Overall, I really like this month’s box. My stand-out product is the Caudelie tinted moisturiser and I am excited to try it out properly this week.