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Friday, 6 January 2017

Out with the old, in with the new


Helloooo 2017! Despite the general lack of love for 2016, I had a great year personally, achieving the exam results I wanted, travelling to new places and making loads of new friends. Although I'm still recovering from a food coma that I slipped into over Christmas, I decided to get back to my blog after a couple of months of neglecting it. 



Change is something I crave, I've always got bored very easily so I'm hoping to make this a year of new places, new experiences and just general newness because life can be a bit boring without it. 



I am extremely excited for what 2017 will bring and even more excited now that I've booked tickets to Paris in February! 



I didn't want to do a huge blog post because I don't really have that much to say except that I hope you all have a great new year! 




Dress - Missguided
Shoes - Dr Martens

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Sunday, 30 October 2016

....and breathe.

Recently I’ve found myself so busy, with schoolwork piling up into a mountain on my desk, organising various events and just generally trying to squeeze in time for myself to read a book, exercise or just relax in front of the TV, and gradually I’ve been getting more and more tired. So now half term is finally here I’ve decided to turn things around again and get back to being motivated and productive.


At the moment I’m in Portugal for a week away and it’s so nice just to get away from all the stress and chaos of this last month and be able to sit down and breathe, without feeling guilty for not doing homework or going to the gym.


I also want some time to re-focus myself on my blog because I love writing on here, even if I am just rambling away like this, and I’m determined to get in the habit of posting more often.


Today for lunch we went to this new superfood café called Zest, which I had my doubts about because I’m usually a pizza/burger and chips/ ice cream/anything UNhealthy kind of girl. But I was actually really pleasantly surprised with my chicken, halloumi and quinoa bowl so I’m sure I’ll be trying to re-create it soon!



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Saturday, 17 September 2016

Shades of Summer


Blues and yellows have always been my favourite colours, probably because they remind me of the ocean and sunshine. The ombré sapphire sea fading into the pearly haze of the sky on the horizon with the sparkling golden sands and electrifyingly bright yellow sunlight is a perfect combination; elegance and boldness, serenity and energy.


Living in England, you don’t get much blue or yellow…it’s mostly grey. And while that makes warm sunny days all the nicer, you can’t help wishing for a few more of them. As summer is gradually fading I’m very starting to get very excited for winter and I think part of me is already in winter. I’m wearing fluffy socks around the house; my mum has already made her first batch of soup and it no longer looks like the middle of the day at 4 in the morning!


I don’t really like this in-between phase; too warm for jeans and boots, too cool for shorts and flip-flops. So I’ve been psychologically convincing myself that autumn/winter has arrived. I’m sure once its actually here I’ll be complaining about the bitter cold but the magical aura of summer has finally started to wear off and I’m definitely ready to break out the big fluffy coats.



Thankfully, sixth form has been fairly nice to me so far, and I’m very glad to have a weekend of lying in bed! My dad bought a pasta maker a couple of years ago after going on an Italian cooking course in Italy (duh), and I’ve wanted to make pasta ever since but never got round to it. Anyway, I’ve decided this is going to be a season of ‘doing stuff’ so I’m making ravioli today! My mum laughs at me because she doesn’t understand why I would want to make “something that is so simple and cheap to buy but really hard to make.” I guess we’ll see how it turns out…she’ll probably be the one who eats it all!

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Saturday, 10 September 2016

The Island Cow





I wish I had enough time to make those fancy breakfasts you see on pinterest every morning but if I’m honest, I barely have time to get out of bed most mornings. So usually I go for some kind of bread product, (carbs, yum :)) with peanut butter- partly because I have a severe addiction to peanut butter, partly because I’m too lazy. 





However since I’ve got back from America, the land of amazing breakfasts, I’ve been determined to be more adventurous. So far all I’ve managed is fried (turned out more scrambled) eggs on toast, but that’s early mornings in the first week back of term for you. Times like this have me wishing of my stay on Sanibel Island and eating breakfast at The Island Cow, where muffins are only the start of your meal.





Only in America would they serve you muffins before you’ve even picked up a menu, but hey, I’m definitely not complaining. I loved the tropical, island vibe of this café and the food was just as good. I don’t remember what I had (it probably involved waffles), but I do remember staring at every option on the menu and going “yes…yes…yes…YES!” It was definitely in my top 10 favourite places I ate at during that holiday. Also, how cute is this tiki hut?!






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Thursday, 1 September 2016

Effortless White


Recently I’ve just got home from Florida and, whilst it was such an amazing trip, I missed England a lot. I don’t really know what it is that I miss about it but maybe its more the routine and sense of normality that I miss. After an anxious wait for my GCSE results, although the nerves only kicked in the day before really, I went to collect them on the 25th August and I am more than pleased with them. And then as if I wasn’t busy enough already, it was a week of rushing around trying to find uniform and supplies for sixth form- you would not believe how hard it is to find a simple black pencil skirt in high street shops!

 I also went to Brighton for a couple of days with my family on the bank holiday weekend and thankfully the weather was beautiful. So that hasn’t left much time to write blog posts but I’m finally doing one...the day before I go back to school. How typically last minute of me. I decided to do a quick fashion post because I like spending more time and thought on travel posts and, if I’m being honest, I just want to catch up on Great British Bake Off and time is short, so superficial fashion post it is!



Nothing says “summer!” quite like the colour white. 

I’ve always had an obsession with white clothes; they match 99.9% of the rest of my wardrobe, can be styled casually or formally and can pull any outfit up from the depths of ‘mediocre’ to the heights of glowing brilliance.


This beautiful white jumpsuit from Topshop screams elegance and style and, despite the impracticality of an all-white outfit, is extremely versatile. 


Paired with simply a tan and a pair of classic white converse I can imagine wondering aimlessly around the vibrant streets of an Italian town in it, (oh how I’d love to go back there soon), or simply out for a day in the city. 




For a more celebratory occasion, a pair of heels or wedges and a simple clutch bag would be ideal. I wore it out to dinner in Florida with a pair of black sandals and a simple lilac scallop hem clutch. 



I kept the accessories uncomplicated with my favourite Daniel Wellington watch, (I’ve had it for over a year and I’m still just as in love with it as I was when I first bought it), and a simple brown bracelet that I picked up as a souvenir from a market stall in Barcelona.




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Thursday, 25 August 2016

Parmesan Baked Avocado Dippers!


Parmesan and avocado…two of my favourite foods, so how could I not make these parmesan baked avocado dippers when my friend tagged me in a picture of them on Facebook? What I originally thought would be a fairly simple recipe proved to be an extremely messy one- eggs and breadcrumbs are not the cleanest combo- but it was definitely worth it! Scroll right down to the bottom if you just want a quick description of the method…


Time: approx. 30 mins
Level: easy
Makes: I forgot to count, but it was about 20
Serves: 2 (it actually only served 1 – me! – because I ate the whole lot in one go)

Ingredients:

·      2 avocados
·      1 egg
·      1 tbsp water
·      6 slices of any bread  (or store bought breadcrumbs)
·      Grated parmesan
·      Salt
·      1 tsp garlic powder (optional)


I used leftover, slightly stale, granary bread because it makes crispier breadcrumbs, but normal bread will work just as well. To make the breadcrumbs, simply put the bread into a mixer and blend until you have fine (but not powdery) crumbs. Or you can just use store bought breadcrumbs, but I like to make things difficult for myself J. You need to make enough to coat all the avocados so I suggest about a bowl full. I’m not very precise with measurements but the bowl in the picture was more than enough to coat 2 avocados.

Add a couple of pinches of salt, the garlic powder (to taste) and the Parmesan. Naturally, I forget at least one vital ingredient when I’m baking and this time it was the Parmesan, so I decided to sprinkle it over the top of them before baking instead. Originally I had planned to add it to the breadcrumbs, and I would have grated half the amount of Parmesan that there was breadcrumbs and mixed them together.


 It was harder than I anticipated to slice the avocados neatly…unfortunately I don’t have an avocado slicer Lhowever I did managed to get a few slices into a good “dipper” shape. Make sure you use avocados that are just ripe enough to eat. If they are too ripe they will fall apart, but if not ripe enough it will be hard to peel them.

Once you have sliced your avocados, you need to coat them in breadcrumbs. I decided the best way to coat them was to first dip them in the egg then one side in the breadcrumb mixture. Put it on a baking tray (sprayed with cooking oil) and then sprinkle the breadcrumbs on the upper side of the avocado when the tray is full.



Finish with a bit of salt all over then put in the oven at 180o (fan) for 15-20 minutes until the breadcrumbs are golden.
           
I couldn't decide on a dip for these and I know lots of recipes suggest a Greek yoghurt kind of sauce but I find it a bit bland, so I decided to taste-test several! Out of sweet chili sauce, ranch dressing, mayonnaise and BBQ sauce, the BBQ was my favourite.


Quick Method:

1.   Pre heat oven to 180 (fan) and lightly spray a large baking tray with cooking oil
2.     Make breadcrumbs using a blender
3.     Grate parmesan into the breadcrumbs
4.     Slice the avocado
5.     Crack the egg into a bowl and whisk with a fork until the yolk and white are no longer separated
6.     Dip avocado into the egg and make sure it is coated on both sides
7.      Dip the egged avocado into breadcrumbs
8.     Place on baking tray and when it is full sprinkle the remaining breadcrumbs over the upper side of the avocado
9.     Sprinkle with salt
10. Put in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the breadcrumbs are golden!
11. Eat them all at once and don’t share them with anybody

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Thursday, 18 August 2016

Sanibel and Captiva Islands



Sanibel and Captiva, two idyllic islands, just a bridge’s distance away from the bay of Fort Myers, both beautifully capture what is essentially the ‘spirit’ of Florida. Sanibel, playful and tropical, is like the younger sister of sophisticated Captiva with its luxurious mansions in serene pastel shades. Although each island is slightly different to the other, both have the same distinctive Floridian vibe, created by the golden beaches, abundance of coconut shrimp and the sense that you’re still in 1970s ‘Jimmy Buffett’ era. Island escapism at its best. 


Ding Darling Nature Park
When you're there don't miss the chance to visit the beautiful beach of Captiva where the water is a lot cleaner than in Sanibel or Fort Myers. A drive around Ding-Darling nature reserve was also stunning (even if you're not the "outdoorsy" type!) but make sure you go in the morning or evening when you are more likely to see the animals as it is cooler and this is when they feed. Food-wise, (don't worry I didn't forget!) there are plenty of fun, laid back restaurants which serve amazing food, such as Doc Fords and The Island Cow, where they serve muffins before you even start your meal (more on that in another post)!!



In the eye of the storm!
Sanibel Lighthouse
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