Sunday, 14 January 2018

Meals For One: Mushroom Risotto


Risotto is a great comfort meal to make. Once you have the ingredients, they will last you for quite a while, and are great to have in your food cupboard as a just in case! It isn't actually that hard to make either and there is very little that can actually go wrong. You just have to keep stirring!

This recipe serves one, so no need to worry about what to do with the rest. Of course, just double it for two, whatever floats your boat.


You Will Need...
75g Arborio Rice
3-4 Mushrooms
2 Vegetable stock cubes mixed with about 600ml hot water
Butter
1/2 Onion
Parmesan cheese
1 Clove of Garlic

1. Fry the diced onion and cut garlic in butter for about 10 minutes in a non-stick saucepan.

2. Add the rice into the saucepan and let it fry for about 1 minute. Then add the mushrooms. 

3. Pour in the stock bit by bit, waiting for it to be absorbed by the rice before adding any more in. If you run out of stock, either make some more or switch to hot water by the end.You can also add white wine. 

4. It will take up to 20 minutes until the rice is tender. I like mine with a little bite, but keep going if this is not how you like it. Keep adding more stock/water and season with salt and pepper. 

5. Just before the end, add in some parmesan cheese and a little bit of butter and mix in. This is up to you how much to put it, in just makes it a bit more cheesy. I also like some on top. 
The risotto should now be creamy, gloopy and smell lush. 

Serve immediately. I add parmesan on top too because there can never be too much cheese. 

Voila, looks like you made an effort, when really it was just stirring a lot. Whilst not as quick as my previous tortilla wrap pizza, this is perfect for weekends, or mid weeks when you want to treat yourself. 





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Sunday, 7 January 2018

Meals For One: Tortilla Wrap Pizza


I'm all about the quick meals, especially on a week night. I also find it super hard to find recipes that cater for one person. So here is a new blog series, if you like, with some of my favourite week night recipes, for a little inspiration.

My new favourite meal (perfect for dinner, or lunch) at the moment is a tortilla wrap pizza. No, this is nothing new or revolutionary, but it tastes so so good.

All my ingredients were from Lidl, but this is still a super cheap and quick meal that you could have with garlic bread, salad and not feel bad about having dessert later (not that you should ever feel bad about having dessert whatever meal precedes it).

Simply set your oven to 180 degrees and dig out a pizza tray. It's super handy if you have spray oil to grease the tray as you don't want the pizza to stick. 

Lay out the tortilla and add passata to the base leaving a 'crust' around it. I read recipes that use tomato puree, which I find a bit too strong tasting, or even chopped tomatoes.  

Next, add your toppings. This one had tomatoes, peppers and cheddar cheese, but I've also done it with cooked chicken, feta, red onions etc. Whatever you fancy, bung it on top (although I would suggest frying the peppers or onions a little bit before putting them on top so they aren't too crunchy.

Cook in the oven for about 5-10 minutes or until the cheese has melted and voila, instant pizza that tastes miles better than rubbish shop bought.

You can thank me later.

Tortilla Wrap
Passata
Cheddar Cheese
Toppings 



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Thursday, 4 January 2018

Winter Skincare Staples Under £10



Lush Jelly Face Masks - FOMO
I have tried Lush's fresh face masks before (see my review of Cosmetic Warrior) and I did really like using it, but putting it in the fridge and having to use it within a month was not really ideal.

The jelly face masks are so much easier to use, last a lot longer and don't need to be kept in the fridge. Plus, mine is lasting a very long time which is always a bonus. I picked FOMO as it is apparently good for problem skin, but it is very moisturising too which was just what I needed.

Boots Tea Tree &Witch Hazel Shine Control Daily Moisturiser
I used to use the whole range in the warmer months, but having switched things up to combat my dry winter skin, I am still using the moisturiser and I love it. Other moisturisers break me out and feel tacky on my face. This one, which is more like a gel than a cream, makes my face feel moisturised, but also matte and oil free, perfect for my oily t-zone and chin. It is so cheap too, I don't think I'll be switching in a hurry.

Superdrug Naturally Radiant Brightening Hot Cloth Cleanser
To tackle the dryness further, I stopped using a foam face wash and went back to using a creamy cleanser. I was considering trying Liz Earle Cleanse And Polish again, but when I saw this on offer in Superdrug for £3, I knew this would do the trick.

It comes with a cloth, but I prefer to use my own flannel, but it is creamy, easy to use and really does get all my makeup off, whilst not dring out my skin and making it feel tight. For the price (it is really often on offer), you can't really go wrong.

Acnecide 5% Benzoyl Peroxide gel
Last year when I went to my GP for my acne and I was perscribed Acnecide 5% Benzoyl Peroxide Gel. It worked fantastically when I first used it and it cleared up my skin so much, but it did dry it out. It is actually available from Superdrug Pharmacy, so when I ran out of my prescription, I ordered another one.

I think my skin may have got used to it now as my spots have come back - but no where near as bad as it was - so I use this once every two days to clear up my spots and scaring. It's definitely one to try if you are struggling with bad skin.

Vaseline
I have been struggling for weeks now with excema and very dry skin around my eyes and cheeks. I tried Oilatum with not a lot of luck and didn't know what else to try. Someone on twitter recommended Vaseline which I hadn't thought of at all, and my goodness is it a lifesaver.

I slather on a load at night onto the really dry areas like my eye lids and tops of my cheeks, and by the morning it is smooth and moisturised with the redness and soreness gone. Not too bad for a £2 tub.

What are your skincare stapes this winter?


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Monday, 1 January 2018

18 Things For 2018

1. Go on a graphic design / photoshop / photography course
2. Catch up with friends who I haven't seen for a very long time
3. Find an activity to do after work once a week
4. Run a Race For Life
5. Drink more water
6. Stop buying pointless things
7. Actually keep a diary
8. Read 20 books
9. Travel abroad
10. Drive on the motorway for the first time
11. Be more adventurous with cooking
12. Listen to podcasts on the walk to work (recommendations please)
13. Finally invest in a good summer wardrobe
14. Put down my phone more often
15. Write a sponsored blog post
16. Learn how to draw
17. Learn the harmonies in Abba songs
18. Buy a new blog layout


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Thursday, 28 December 2017

Keep Organised At Work In 2018

Before starting a full time 9-5 job, I pretty much had no idea how to be organised. The first 6 months of working was a real shock and I made a lot of mistakes, many by not being organised. Realising that other people needed information in one place and that I couldn't keep things in my head was a struggle for me at first. The plan for 2018 is to be a lot more organised and completely boss it, but here are some tips if you're just starting out in full time work or want to feel a little more in control.

1. Lists, lists, lists

I have a notebook which I write daily lists. The first thing I do when I get in in the morning is check my list from the day before and add to it anything that comes in on e-mail from the evening before. This'll help me plan my day, but also allow me to add anything that comes in during the day to be added.

Then, every evening before I leave, I pick out all the things I didn't do and write them down for the next day.

2. Write everything down

If anyone mentions something in passing or asks me to do something for them, I'll write it down so I have all the information. In meetings, I make a lot of notes which are really useful to look back on.

3. Don't sit on tasks

Writing daily lists also makes sure I don't sit on tasks that I don't want to do. The more times I write it down under the next day, the more I realise that I haven't done it. It's better to get them over and done with as I have been caught a few times by not doing things and getting stressed every day I write it down.

4. Everyone loves a spreadsheet

When I'm doing research for things or writing plans, I use a spreadsheet document. This also links with writing everything down, especially when things easily could get lost. They are really easy to refer back to and depending on what kind of job you have, to plan or share with others so they can easily pick it up if you are away for example.

5. But don't underestimate paper

With the world going digital, it's sometimes hard to forget about good out paper and pen. Whilst I definitely don't print everything, some things are so much easier printed out so I can scribble all over them and make changes.

6. E-mail folders

I have a lot of different projects to work on at multiple times. It is my task for 2018 to make sure all e-mails go into a relevant folder, so I'm not having to search my inbox for a name I can't really remember.

I am now pretty happy with the way that I am working, and learning from other people who you work with is great, especially once you are starting out. Moving to my second job, I have drawn inspiration from those who I thought worked really efficiently in my old job and feeling a lot better for it.

Here's to making 2018 the most efficient and organised yet!
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Saturday, 18 November 2017

Easy Peasy Lemon Drizzle


There's something about Winter and cold whether that makes me want to have cake on the table at all times. We've done pretty well over the last few weeks with an endless supply of cake on the kitchen table made my either myself or my house mate. After my little disaster with trying to make a banana loaf with bananas that weren't really ripe enough, I thought I would just stick to what I know.

Lemon Drizzle is one of my favourite cakes - well, apart from a massive chocolate one but I can't be too picky when the only ingredient I had to pick up was a few lemons at 35p a pop.

This is also super simple to make. I simply measure the weight of two eggs (approx 125g) and then measure out the flour, sugar and butter with that same weight. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.

Then I grated the zest of two lemons and added that it and put it in the oven in a loaf tin at 180 degrees until it was golden and the skewer came out clean which was about 30 / 40 minutes.

To make the sugary crust, I squeezed the juice out both of the lemon and mixed it with a generous amount of sugar - perhaps too much, but I'm not complaining. I would suggest to use icing sugar instead of caster, but that's something for next time I make it.

Make a few holes in the cake and pour over whilst it is still warm.

Scrumptious weekend (or week day) cake.





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Saturday, 4 November 2017

Getting Started With Photoshop


1. Inspiration
I didn't really know what I wanted to actually learn or get out of Photoshop. As I work in marketing, I looked on companies social media accounts. Companies were creating images, text, gifs and graphics and this gave me a good focus of what I wanted to learn and eventually create. I screen shotted things I liked and saved loads of Instagram images to have a look through later. 

2. Hit The Books
I actually bought a book as I thought this would be a good place to start. I bought Photoshop CC In Easy Steps (which you can find here). I didn't work through it like a workbook, but it is handy to know what all the side buttons do and when I need to know how to do something small, the information is easily found in there. 

3. Tutorials
I started with the tutorials made by Adobe themselves. They are a really good way to learn some of the basics like what layers are, adding text and creating shapes. Take a look at them here.

I then moved onto Pinterest and found so many bloggers and creatives offering tutorials along the lines of what I wanted to create. I also found lots of free fonts, backgrounds and general inspiration that are great to get started.

Have a look at some of the tutorials that got me started:

With Youtube, I also found it confusing to find exactly what I wanted, but Teela Cunningham has some great tutorials on loads of Adobe CC products. My personal favourite is this video on how to create a confetti brush. 

 I can't wait to see what else I can find and expand my skills. The next step for me is to treat myself to a camera and eventually move onto some of the other Adobe CC products. Who knows, this could be a great step into a new career. 


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