Monday, 30 December 2013

MIMM # Number I've Lost Track...

I woke up today, late, and I realised after a wonder downstairs that it was in fact Monday. I haven't partaken in MIMM for so long that I thought it was about time to get back on that horse!

Nothing that crazy happened this weekend! It was mainly spent driving back to my Uni town to do a shift at work on Saturday and then driving back. The trip usually isn't that bad and on a good day I can get there within the hour. But on Friday it was a nightmare! I go motorway and am only normally on there for 35 minutes, but on Friday I found myself at a standstill and it ended up taking me 2.15 hours! I couldn't believe it. But I was lucky enough to have good tunes on all the way to help time go faster.

Here are some of my favourite tunes at the moment!

Pitbull ft Kesha - Timber

Sam Smith - Money on my Mind

Arctic Monkeys - One for the road

Jake Bugg - Slumville Sunrise

Tinie Tempah ft Labrinth - Lover not a Fighter

...and that's just to name a few. There are plenty more that I am loving at the moment, after the Crimbo tunes got unticked and taken off my ipod on Saturday.

These are definitely making my new workout playlist :-D

Speaking of working out. I really need to get back into the swing of things and set myself some new goals for the month of January.

I am definitely not one of those people who set goals at the beginning of the year. Instead I am someone who is constantly writing down goals, sometimes daily because that's the easiest way I find to get stuff done. But when it comes to fitness I like to make my goals monthly as they feel more achievable. So there will be a post coming on those very soon!

Here are some of my favourite photos taken over the month of December.

From Boxing Day, which I spent with my mommy!

I have been loving candles lately :-D Here's my windowsill display.

Is it a bit vain that I made a Instapicframe of my favourite Selfies from the month of December? Probably.

And I obviously couldn't make a Selfie collage without making one for my favourite eats and drinks of the month!

Left to Right, and down.

Left - A Mixed Berries, Greek Yoghurt and Milk concoction. It was so good and really filling!

Right - Scrambled Cheese and Egg on a Buttered Cheese and Chilli infused Roll. Sounds fancy but was actually a pretty cheap meal to cook! And I always have eggs in the fridge.

Left - My Crimbo Roast Dinner. It was scrumptious.

Right - My new favourite Orange and Chocolate Pancakes, inspired from the pancake queen herself Heather! Definitely my favourite new recipe of the month. And I've made them a total of four times now...I'm a little addicted I would say.

Left - I finally got to try a Christmas cup from Costa...and I now can't remember the name. I know I instagramed it, so maybe the names there?! Something Caramel I think...

And on the Right we have an old classic...banana and peanut butter on toast. You just can't go wrong with it!

Well so much for a short post?! Thank you to Katie for hosting :-D

What was your favourite "new to you" recipe of the month? Leave me the links below if you can 

Anybody else been taking a lot of Selfies over the Christmas period? I always feel a little self concious when I do and oh so vain. 

xoThanks for Readingxo

What I Want To Make that's "on Pinterest"!

I've had this post saved in my drafts for nearly two months now! And I figured if I am going to start blogging regularly again I may as well start with this baby.

I don't know about you, but I am forever pinning recipes on Pinterest, in the hopes that one day the stars will align and I will actually get around to making them.

I want to begin the new year as I mean to go on and that means making more meals from scratch. That means freshly brought ingredients and since I want to do some saving at the beginning of the year that also means on a budget. Something which I neglected in 2013!

Let's get this show on the road! Oh and admittedly some pins aren't the healthiest of meals/snacks/deserts. But I figured its all about balance...

  1. I present to you Nutella Cheesecake.Nutella Cheesecake
  2. Pizzadillas = healthy pizza The Pizzadilla. This is something that I have been wanting to try for ages now. It is just such a good idea, and an easy, quick meal.
  3. Gluten-Free and Vegan Coffee Cake, yes please. Anything Coffee and Cake and I am all about it!Gluten Free Vegan Coffee Cake - Ask Anna
  4. banana coconut pecan protein baked donuts Banana Coconut Pecan Protein Baked Doughnuts. If that doesn't sound good, I don't know what does.
  5. Time for something savoury and I've got just the thing. A Hearty Curry Lentil Soup curry lentil soup
  6. Vegetable Chickpea Stew {new one!} moroccan-style vegetable + chickpea stew // This looks like something you could batch cook in the Winter months and be completely content.
  7. Cauliflower Pizza Cauliflower Pizza Crust #healthy  #vegan friendly, plant based
I have been hearing magical things about cauliflower pizza's in the blogging world and can't wait to experience it for myself.

     8. Over the next few cold months I want to test out some one-pot wonders, and this one is definitely on my list! I'd add in some veggies, whatever was going spare, maybe some red onion and bob's your uncle.
Taco Pasta Bake

     9. healthy Four-Cheese Pasta With Cauliflower (totally sub out cauliflower for broccoli..bc i hate cauliflower)  One cup of this creamy comfort food can pack 530 calories and 15 grams of saturated fat—and that's only a side portion. We dish out the same gooey goodness for less than half the calories.

Who knew Healthy Cauliflower Cheese existed. But it has definitely made my "to make real soon list"!

    10. I thought that I may as well end this off with something sweet, and have you ever heard anything as good as Butterscotch Mascarpone Cream Layer Cake in your life! I have had a love affair with butterscotch all my life, and when I was little every Saturday afternoon my nan would treat me to a butterscotch ice cream...hmmm....oh so good.
Butterscotch Mascarpone Cream Layer Cake

And that's it folks. It already feels good to be back :-D

xoThanks for Readingxo

Monday, 2 December 2013

Catching Up...

Or should I say Catching Fire. I've got to say after seeing the latest installment of The Hunger Games last Tuesday, this one was actually good! I have read all three books and thought they were really good - bar the ending of the last. But that first film was a pile of you know what!

Anyway, let's get down to business. It's been a while since I sat down and wrote a post. And that's not from one thing but multiple things. Lately has just generally been busy. If I am not stressing over Uni work, I am at work and if I am not there I am doing other stuff - just life in general is happening. It's mainly just that time of year. Which I love so I shouldn't complain. But honestly there just aren't enough hours in the day.

I have a few photos to share from over the past couple of weeks. I really want to start writing again, so hopefully I get a chance to write a post every now and then.

Here's to catching up!

I tried Porridge and Jam. It's good but it doesn't meet beat Nuttella.

I tried out the latest trend of bold dark lips and mascara only. Please, ignore the split ends.

I've been working.
 (Re-used Photo)

I tried Caramel coffee using the freebie I got in the post, and it's so good! So good I had to go buy a jar :-D If your drink of choice is a caramel latte from Starbucks or Costa or wherever then I've got you covered.

Oh, and I drank more coffee. It was deadline week, and I spent an insane amount of money on...yeah, you guessed it - Caramel Latte's.

I rediscovered my love for beetroot.

And M&M peanuts!

Oh yeah I had an endoscopy. A procedure where a camera goes down your throat and into your stomach...yeah it is as bad as it sounds!

Lookily I could wear my clothes under my gown but it wasn't the best pattern let's admit it. Why do hospital gowns get designed in this way?

I finally got to go see the Arctic Monkeys!

With my sister.

All I needed was a tiny dog with this bad boy of a headband ;-D

And I made my best pancakes to date on Sunday...which was yesterday...but I forgot because I am getting my dates mixed up :-D

These were my best friends. And she asked me to photograph the pancakes I did!

And that is it. For now...

Hope you have a great start to the week!

xoThanks for Readingxo

Friday, 15 November 2013

Please Don't Let Me Be Ill....Again

So as I type I am in fact a little under the weather. I made a big batch of Chilli last night, and ate a bowl with rice and topped in with cheese. And then I had a late night snack around 10 pm of 3 biscuits and a small glass of milk. Ever since then I have felt off. I feel nauseous, with a fever and a bad stomach.

Those three words pretty much sum it up - nauseous, fever, bad stomach.

I seriously hope I am feeling better tomorrow morning for my shift at work.

At the moment I am feeling so tired and ill, but it's just not going away! And I want to return to the gym and begin eating better soon.

I've got to say I can't wait for the first of December to arrive. Last night we watched a Christmas movie I hadn't actually seen called 'Jack Frost', anyone else heard of it. It has Michael Keaton in...sounding familiar. Well I watched it and it was good but it wasn't amazing I'll be honest and I am someone who loves their Christmas films. I am after all these years starting to build up my collection. It started last year when I purchased most of my favourites and I think it's only right that I expand the collection this year also.

Over the years what Christmas means to me has definitely changed. As expected it's no longer receiving the gifts that's the most exciting, but for me it's the build up. The playing of Christmas films and songs and eating delicious food, or drinking your way through a bottle of Bailey's. All these things become appropriate and I take full advantage of that fact.

Can't wait to tick the boxes next to my Crimbo songs on Itunes! How lame is that?

I am now on countdown....16 days, well 15 and a half really since I am writing this post at half past six!

Anybody else already getting excited about Christmas?

xoThanks for Readingxo

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

WIAW: Tuesdays Eats

Happy WIAW :-D And thanks to Jenn as always for Hosting!

As this post is published I am currently in the library stressing over an essay that is due in today.

Thought I was prepared for the first essay of the semester and indeed the year, but apparently I am second guessing everything I write at the moment.

This means I am getting straight to the main event today and showing you the goods foods I ate yesterday. That's one confusing sentence but there's not even time to change that.

I made this before I went to the library. I have a serious hankering for fried eggs lately and I am definitely filling that gap.

Then I packaged it up, and added a banana and coffee! My standard accompaniment for my morning sleepiness.

Caramel Latte - I can't get enough of these babies lately. But I am determined to branch out and try as many Christmas drinks as I can in the run up to the holidays. Unfortunately my uni doesn't do the Christmas cups so I am going to have to do my own visits to coffee shops off campus. 

Then I went shopping and solved my hankering for salad and southern fried chicken. So so good.

And I finally remembered I had sliced beetroot in my cupboard.

And then I had the other half of this packet. Hit another spot.

As you can tell lately I have been eating based on cravings, and I've had a lot. It must be something to do with the cold weather and deadlines.

Has anybody tried a Christmas Cup/Drink yet? What did you get?

Anybody else been hit with cravings lately?

xoThanks for Readingxo

Monday, 11 November 2013

My Sleepy Weekend Highlights

Happy MIMM everyone :-D And thanks to Katie as always.

My weekend involved a lot of naps, a blanket and a laptop. I literally hibernated this weekend.

I had to leave to go to work on Saturday morning and on Sunday I left to go to the library. But that was all. I had no plans and for once I was grateful of that fact. But I woke up this morning even more tired than I went into it, so I guess I sort of lost a battle there.

Since I have a lot to get on with this morning I will just show you the photos of my Sunday.

Here's breakfast I tried my porridge with some Strawberry Jam yesterday and it was delicious. Don't get me wrong it doesn't beat Nutella in my opinion.

And then I got ready. I decided to do my hair and put on some make-up because all week I had been in sweats with matching sweaty hair and skin. I love the gym, but I hate constantly being in sweats. Though I'm kind-of-loving the excuse haha

And then this was my view for the next few hours!

I actually left earlier than intended and this was the reason for my departure. I was getting really hungry and decided to go home and make a pasta dish full of everything in my fridge - minus milk and eggs. But I am now getting sick of Pasta. I need meat and soon.

I tried this, and the verdict is - it was good but not good enough to repurchase.

And now I am sipping on this sample I got through the post, and the verdict is this is super gooood! Definitely want to repurchase this baby. When I get take-out coffee I usually have a caramel latte and this definitely hits that spot.

How was your weekend? Was it busy or sleepy like mine?

Can anyone reccommend any good autumn/winter lipsticks? I love the one I am wearing in the above picture but I want another. Because you can never have too many lipsticks right?

xoThanks for Readingxo

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Let's Set Some Goals Shall We?!

I feel as though this time of year is the time of year that I am always setting goals. The Christmas season is fast approaching and I always figure trying to eat healthier and more balanced now can only be better for you once the holidays and festivities are over.

Damn that was a long sentence... but since there are no take backs, I guess I'll just have to carry on.

So like I was saying it's that time of year, and as I am currently sitting here feeling a little too bloated for my liking, now's a good enough time than any to put fingers to keyboard and type.

I haven't really planned any goals out so I am just living in the moment and writing what comes to my head. My goals for once aren't going to be number based. In regards to weight I want to lose anyways. They will be targeted at the food I am eating and the exercise I want to get in.

Enough with the babbling so here goes.

I think there should be some main goals and habits that I focus on.

One - Portion Control. This has been a hit and miss lately. Some days I am not hungry at all and I have to force myself to eat something to keep my energy levels up. But then some days I can eat for England, and it's not always like I'm wolfing down chocolate - sometimes it's fruit too.

Two - Eat Less Carbs and More Meat and Veggies for Main Meals. My main meals have been getting more carby later and I need to go food shopping to ensure this doesn't become a habit. Being uncomfortably bloated is not something I want to become a common thing.

Three - Start doing more Weight and Strength Training. This just needs to become a thing. I have become so complacent when it comes to strength training like sit-ups etc and training with weights also. My cardio exercise has improved through the gym, but my strength isn't exactly at an all time high at the moment.

I think that's a good number of goals to be getting of with for now, and maybe I'll give weekly updates etc on how I've been getting on when it comes to achieving these things. These are the main things I feel that if and when I improve on them that I'll be feeling much better. More physically than anything because I have been feeling quite lethargic recently.

Anyways, there are my goals.

Do you have any current goals?

xoThanks for Readingxo

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Snacking, Snacking, Cereal and Oh, more Snacking...

That has literally been my diet of the past few days. I just don't seem to want big meals or meal-type meals at all. If that makes any sense?

It's 18:51 on a Saturday night and I am exhausted.

It's not like I can't stay a wake at all like last week, but I am very unmotivated and just feeling damn right groggy. Yes, I think that about sums it up. I took a nap earlier but I am already ready for my next or my bed.

Bare with me I think I have a point I am coming to...

Oh yes. So over the past few days I have become a serial snacker. All I want is snacks. Fruit, Crisps and small bowls of Cereal. The idea of eating a big meal just makes me feel nauseous and at the moment I am just going with it. Eating what I am craving and letting it be.

I think forcing it will just make myself bad. Just like last night. I had a baked potato and tuna with salad but afterwards I just felt so sick and haven't felt right since. So I shall continue to just go with it. Still trying to get my fruits and veggies in but just not trying to force food down, which lately I have had the weird habit of trying to do.

Which is crazy right?

Hopefully it subsides soon, but if not I will just have to stock up on all my snacking faves and so be it.

Well, that's me. Hopefully tomorrow I will get a chance to blog down my goals!

Maybe I could do with remembering this also! Just for good measure etc.

Snack attack!

This one too probably?


Anybody else being fuzzy/funny with their eating habits lately?

Is it the change in weather? Does your diet change dramatically during the colder months?

xoThanks for Readingxo

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Lately I have been writing posts and not posting. I must have started and left twelve posts by now! Some are saved as drafts and some have already been deleted - even link-up posts.

I don't like the fact that I am withholding posts for one reason or another is right, and so I am going to set myself the task of posting once a day for the next week. These posts will be about whatever springs to mind at the time of writing the post and I will publish without edits. Scary for someone who re-reads their posts and edits every time, but a goal I am willing to succeed at.

I haven't weighed in in a couple of weeks, deliberately? Yes and No.

I have been wanting to know, but I feel I am going through one of those times in life where the scale can do no good - no matter what the number back flashes!

So instead I have just being trying to work on my eating and workouts. As for me they often go hand in hand things haven't been going too badly. But there's always room for improvement in and that's what I intend to do over the next few weeks, and hopefully right up until Christmas. Small changes only.

Things like more fluids, more exercise, more fresh air, less sugar and saturated fats. The basics that everyone is always trying to change and improve. But I could do with cutting down before Christmas happens.

I love this time of year, and I like to enjoy myself. There's more treats and more alcohol etc, which means I should attempt to tackle and challenge myself now.

So that's it for me. Enjoy your Thursday night.


xoThanks for Readingxo

Monday, 4 November 2013

#FMM: Food Matters

It's that time of the week again and I decided to make ten minutes to sit down and right a post for FMM. I haven't got long since I have an essay due in next week and I am still in the prepping/drafting stages, but I love answering these questions created by Kenlie and I'll carve out some time later in the week where I read everyone else's posts!

Let's get a cracking lacking...

Food Matters

1. Are you familiar with GMO’s?  Is it an issue that matters to you?  

I've heard about them before, but until this question came up to tell you the truth I had forgotten about them. Not intentionally my brain can just be a bit scatty. I try to eat the best I can on a daily and eat lots of fresh veggies and fruits. But I do know and I re-searched it to remind myself what they were. And even if you eat what you think is a healthy meal, snack, etc there are still hidden things and things unknown to "us" the consumer and so I think they should label everything and let us know what's what. Isn't that our right as the consumer? That way it is then our choice whether we decide to purchase something or not, based on all the information we have.

2.  List a few items that are typically on your grocery list

Bananas are always on my list, followed by milk and some kind of cereal. 

3.  What is your favourite place to shop for produce?

I usually shop around and go to my local supermarkets, trying to price up before hand who's going to be the cheapest on what.

4. Do you eat processed foods?

Yes I do. Everything in moderation is what I believe. 

5.  Do you look for the “organic” label when you shop?

No, to be honest, produce being organic or not really doesn't bother me, and after watching a documentary a few years ago on whether organic is really better on every single thing, it just really reaffirmed things for me. Although I prefer my eggs to be free ranged!

6. What did you eat for breakfast this morning? 

I had some Wheaties with almond flakes and milk, with a banana and cup of tea of course. But my stomach really wasn't feeling food this morning!

7.  How many meals per week do you cook at home? 

I cook nearly all my meals with my best friend. We are students and so batch cooking is the easiest and cheapest method for our meals!

8. Do you think that foods that have been genetically engineered should be labeled?

Definitely, that way we can all make a choice based around all the answers not some of them.

9. What matters most to you when you’re choosing a restaurant?

I usually just go with what I am fancying. I have no allergies that I know of and I am not on any special diet so I just eat wherever (within reason of course).

10.  What is your favourite meal to cook at home?

Something hearty like a Chilli or a Curry or a Spag Bol.

Thanks to Kenlie for hosting as always :-D


xoThanks for Readingxo

It's Been a Fast-Paced Sort of Weekend...

and week in general for that matter. A lot seemed to be going on. A quick run down is I went for an interview for a part-time job and got it. Yay. In the mist of the job interview, training and indeed starting on Saturday, I drove home. I was meant to go home on the Wednesday and go back to my mom's home made stew, but because the training was the following day after the interview I couldn't leave until Thursday afternoon.

Looking back and writing this it's no wonder I felt tired this weekend haha.

The reason for my driving back home was because of the Birmingham Arctic Monkeys gig, which for those who don't know or don't care it got cancelled, and then finally rescheduled for later this month. Damn I was fuming there was a bit of controversy surrounding the bands cancellation. Since they were out at a music awards ceremony the night before and there were still photos of them out partying at 4am it was a little suspect to tell the truth. But when they finally released a statement they said that the lead singer Alex Turner had got laryngitis. Now having had Laryngitis a few years ago on my first week of College I am aware that it isn't something that is just sprung on you, and in fact you feel it coming on in the days if not week prior. The usual symptoms are fevers, cold sweats, feeling like you have the flu etc.

Anyways, (can you tell I'm finally over the unnecessary trip home, not?) what a waste of petrol! I wouldn't have minded if they had told everyone that the gig was being cancelled at 2pm in the afternoon when people were just leaving to get there, but an hour before when the doors are open is just ridiculous! Luckily, since my mom was paying £60 for a taxi there and back for me and my little sister, we received the message just as we were getting into the taxi.

That's right when I got the message I was actually checking the postcode with my driver.

Crazy stuff.

Well that's not where I want MIMM to go, so I shall rein my tangent of a rant in and show you all the marvellous that made a frequent appearance in my weekend. Happy MIMM guys!

thehealthydiva1  First Marvelous in My Monday {yay}

After my first shift on Saturday morning, which didn't go too bad, I treated myself to a Costa coffee *unpictured* (mainly because I drank it so fast!) and a bath bomb from Lush. I ended up getting my usual and favourite coffee, which is a medium latte with a pump of caramel. I really need to branch out when it comes to coffee, I am terrible when it comes to getting in a coffee rut!


From Lush I got the Cinder bath bomb, which basically smells like Christmas in a ball of greatness.

*sorry about the chipped nail varnish*

Then on the evening we went to a firework display, since it was Bonfire/Firework here the UK. This is the holiday I prefer before Christmas since I am not a fan of Halloween #sorryi'mnotsorry. I was just living in the moment and only took a couple and very poor photos.

When we got back I had a shower to feel human again and then we made Pizza and wedges, which you may have seen on my instagram. It was delicious and so good we had leftovers the next day. Along side the pizza I enjoy a glass or two of red wine, which was such a nice treat after a stressful week.

Of course this is how my Sunday began, and I had to have a dollop of Nutella. But now looking at it, it looks huge?! Hmm..I guess my excuse is it's been a long week?

My Sunday consisted of tidying the house starting with my bedroom and then doing some team work to get the rest of the house and shared rooms in tiptop shape. This basically took all day and I also caught up on the Rugby and some other shows. Then on the night I had a bath using my bomb. It smelt good, but not strong enough for my liking.

It turned my bath YELLOW. At one point I was worried it was going to stain! And it did ever so slightly...whoops.

And then I ended the weekend like all weekends should be ended; watching episode 4 of Masters of Sex (not as bad as it sounds, promise haha) and eating a slice of New York Cheese, whilst sipping on a glass of red. Oh and also using a face mask, and doing my nails.

And now I am ready to tackle another week.

Have you ever tried anything from Lush? If so what?

What's your favourite Pizza topping?

Katie thank you for being a great hostess as always :-D

xoThanks for Readingxo