Sunday, 25 February 2018

4 Podcasts I Have Listened To In February


Podcasts have definitely replaced reading this month. After feeling uninspired with my walk to work playlist, I decided to get back into podcasts, and I turn up to work feeling so inspired every time. I love the idea of women, talking about things that concern them, having interesting conversations, and realising that you can't all agree on everything.

There are also some brilliant ones out there for blogging and generally business and careers. Working in a creative industry, I feel so inspired by super creative people talking about their experiences. Here are a few I have been listening to this month:

1. The Fringe Of It

Hosted by Liv Purvis and Charlotte Jacklin, they're on podcast chemistry is so great, it's like listening to two friends having a lovely conversation over a cup of tea, nattering about what TV they are watching and what they have bought recently. I think I also loved it so much because the first episode was all about Friendship and being lonely as an adult, ideas of what to do and how to get out there. Of course, this is highly relevant to my life right now. The second episode was equally as good and I can't wait for more!

2. Blogtacular

This one is more career focused, not only to bloggers but also for people in creative industries. Hosted by Kat Molesworth, the podcast covers things from branding, creativity, careers and interviews with bloggers. This is the perfect podcast if you're feeling uninspired creatively and to hear about the amazing things that people are doing and achieving. The most recent episode I listened to was one about GDPR which was so helpful and useful, especially in my job as I work with customer data on a regular basis.


3. Get It Off Your Breasts

I have been a fan of Emma Gannon's for a while - I love her writing style and her own podcast Ctrl Alt Delete. Co-hosted by Lliana Bird, the first series of this podcast has amazing interviews with brilliant women about issues that are 'on their breasts' with topics relevant in the media, online and general feminism. I can't wait for the next series, that is apparently coming soon! I loved the episode with Konnie Huq, talking parenthood, millennials and sleep(!). It felt like a proper conversation, with each having their own views and experiences which made it very interesting listening.

4. Courage Makers

I have listened to a few of these episodes and it is so positive and inspiring. Hosted by Meg Kissack, I've also been exploring her site thathummingbirdlife which is also equally as positivity filled. The latest one I listened to was with Amy Parker where they talked about her word of the year, 'Joy', and documenting your life. It was just wonderful to listen to, and Meg seems equally as lovely and gave me a lovely tweet back when I let her know how much I loved the podcast.







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Wednesday, 21 February 2018

2 No Lettuce Salad Lunches




Let's just take a moment to look at my new insanely cute lunch box. If this doesn't scream 'adult' in the fridge at work, I don't know what does.

In an attempt to switch up my lunch away from boring sandwiches, I've taken to the internet to find some healthy alternatives that pack in some fruit and veg (which I was seriously lacking). And the best part is, they don't require any watery iceberg lettuce or dark leaves, which I find too strong, making them actually enjoyable to eat and will fill you up.

Chickpea & Feta

This first one was a result of a Pinterest search after looking for a use for a tin of chickpeas I picked up and didn't know what to do with them.

I usually have a third or half a tin per serving, and mix with cucumber cubes, plum tomatoes and feta (lots!). I then added some Caesar dressing and some salt and pepper and left it in the fridge overnight to let it soak in some juices as it definitely tastes better after being left overnight. Sometimes I will add avacado if I have one or I have been also taking a flatbread so that it keeps me fuller.



Tuna & Greek Yogurt

This one is a little more creamy and filling than the last. To a tin of tuna, I'll add cucumber, plum tomatoes and - my housemates find this quite controversial - chopped apple and raisins. I then add a few spoonfuls of low fat greek yoghurt, which I bought in this massive tub from Lidl, just enough to make it stick together.

I have been having this in wraps, but I have also taken it to work by itself. The apples and raisins give it a sweetness which I love, and the greek yogurt is a great alternative for mayo, which I would usually have with tuna.



I have been rotating the two since January, and I feel so damn good knowing that I have got quite a few of my five a day out of the way. Yes, it requires a little more effort than chucking a piece of ham on some bread and cutting it in half, but I look forward to lunch times now - aka the best part of the working day other than home time. The key is definitely taking 10 minutes to make them the night before, making your mornings a dream.







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Saturday, 17 February 2018

Meals For One: Spaghetti Carbonara


I am actually pretty happy with how things are going, food wise that is, this year. I love making things from scratch whenever I can find the time and knowing exactly what is going into the food I am eating. Of course, this definitely does not happen all the time, but trying little things like making my own bolognase sauce rather than grabbing a jar from the cupboard or making my own sweet potato fries is making my food times a little more enjoyable.

This recipe is perfect if, like me, you've run out of food and only have a few things in the fridge. Instead of having to come in from work and then go back out again to the shops, I whipped this up with only a few ingredients.

1 beaten egg
Salt & Pepper
2/3 tbsp Double Cream / milk (optional)
Grated Parmesan
Bacon (optional)
1 Clove of Garlic - crushed

Okay, so not everyone may have Parmesan, but I had some left over from my latest risotto (check out the recipe here). I also don't use fresh garlic, but use Lidl's equivalent of Lazy Garlic which my dad encouraged me to always have in my cupboard. It is so useful and you don't have to faff around with a garlic crusher. It is also very quick to make, perfect for a midweek dinner.

1. Mix the beaten egg and double cream together with a bit of salt and pepper. Add as much Parmesan as you feel, and mix.
2. Put your pasta on to cook.
3. Meanwhile, fry the bacon and once cooked, chop into smaller pieces. Add garlic to the frying pan, as well as the chopped bacon back in and fry until the garlic has cooked - a few minutes will do the trick.
4. Add the drained pasta to the frying pan and stir into the garlic and that the bacon is distributed evenly. If you manage it, grab a tbsp of the pasta water and add to the frying pan.
5. Take off the hob and pour the egg mixture and stir.
6. Keep stirring until the egg turns into a somewhat silky sauce. Top with parmesan and you're ready. 

The Parmesan combined with the egg mixture can make it look lumpy or that the egg has scrambled. It is completely fine and I don't really mind, as long as the egg doesn't fry completely, you're good to go, but I'm not very fussy, just more amazed that I managed to make a pasta dish with only a few ingredients that tastes pretty good.

I've also made this with mushrooms instead of bacon (which I only had because my house mate was going to throw it away!) and can also be used with just an egg instead of double cream or milk. And there definitely isn't enough for anyone else! 
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Saturday, 10 February 2018

F.R.I.E.N.D.S Gave Me Unrealistic Expectations Of Adult Life


So no one told you life was gonna be this way.

I am starting to feel pretty lonely. I've always been a homebody, when I am very rarely out, I desperately want to make my excuses to get back home. But then when I'm home I want to be around people again.

This isn't always the case. I love being by myself, doing things for me, and not having to deal with other people, but sometimes, I wish I had my support network with me. In my post about the life lessons my friends taught me, it made me realise how much I value, cherish and love my friends. But living miles away from them is pretty tough.

And that's where Friends comes into all of this. Watching it as a 13/14 year old who definitely didn't understand a lot of the jokes, I couldn't wait for adult life. Living out your twenties with a group of friends who hung around in coffee shops, had dinner together, who went out on new dates every week and gossiping about it afterwards was what I always wanted.

I'm at a point now where I have come to terms with life definitely not being like that. And sometimes, actually most of the time, I'm okay with it, but sometimes I'm not.

Whilst I have great and lovely housemates, we rarely spend a weekend together. We value each other's alone time, and many of them have partners or work colleagues they see. I don't have those other people outside the house to hang out with. That's the problem with moving somewhere new, or even moving home after university.

And how do you even make friends as an adult anyway? I tried going into the staff room at work today in the hope to meet some new people. It was a total fail. There wasn't many people coming in or out, and if they did, we sat, in silence on our phones. I'm desperately looking for an activity to get involved with, hopefully things will get easier when it stops being so dark after work.

Yes, my life's a joke, I'm broke, and my love life's DOA, but I'm finding adult life to be a little lonely.

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Sunday, 4 February 2018

What I Read In January


In my 18 things for 2018, I said that I wanted to read 20 books. It doesn't sound like a lot, but for someone who hasn't read books for pleasure for quite a while, it seemed like a mammoth task. However, 1 month in, I am on book 4, and absolutely loving having a little bit of time each day (well I try) to get lost in a book.

The first book I read, actually on the train journey back from a New Years Eve with my university pals, was The Note by Zoe Folbigg. This was the perfect book to start with, it was light, cheesy, romantic and easy to read. Unfortunately, there was no 'train guy' on my way home, but hey, one can only wish. I also loved that it was based loosely on Zoe's own experience giving her 'train man' a note with her e-mail address. Spoiler alert, Zoe ended up marrying the guy and they now have two children. Cute.


I only got into reading some of the classic books last year when a production of Pride And Prejudice came to the theatre I was working in. And let's say I have been hooked ever since. I received a beautiful copy of North And South by Elizabeth Gaskell was a secret santa present and having watched the adaptation on Netflix on a period drama binge, this was the perfect read. It look a little longer and a lot more concentration than the last one, but I made it through and fell in love with Margaret Hale and John Thornton all over again.

How To Stop Time by Matt Haig was a supermarket purchase one Sunday morning. I had read Reasons To Stay Alive, which I think is a beautiful book, so was intrigued at Haig's fiction work. This was quite a nice, light and easy read, but nevertheless it was a lovely read. It tells the story of Tom, a man who has lived for centuries and ages incredibly slowly. With slight Age Of Adeline vibes, I loved how it interwove Tom's modern day life into events that happened in earlier time periods.

Next on my list to read is Emma, by Jane Austen, Jane Eyre and Big Little Lies. I'm loving carving out time to read and get lost in another world for a little while.

Any book recommendations for me?

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