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Sunday, 30 March 2014

Super Spinach Pesto || Recipe


Hello Lovelies,


I am a massive pesto fan, and although I love knocking up some classic basil pesto, I do like to experiment.  So this trusty little recipe is for spinach pesto, now don't run away in disgust, it is super scrumptious and nice and healthy, the best of both worlds.

Ingredients:

1   cup of soaked cashews (1 hour)
2   large handfuls of spinach
2   cloves of garlic
1   glug of good olive oil
1/2 a cup of fresh parmesan 
1/2 a lemon squeezed   


This is seriously easy to do and can be used in so many ways, I love it in sandwiches but it is also fab with pasta or on a pizza.

After soaking you cashews for an hour in water throw them in a food processor and give them a good blitz.  I like my pesto slightly coarse so I don't blend the cashews to a paste.



Next you want to throw your spinach in and get blitzing, until it turns lovely and green. 


After you have blitzed the spinach and cashews you want to add your parmesan, lemon and garlic.  Give it another quick whiz then put it in a mason jar.




 To keep your pesto nice and fresh flatten your pesto with a spoon then grab your olive oil and pour a layer over the top, close it up then find a place for it in your fridge.

Bon App├ętit!



Are you a Pesto fan too?
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Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Fresh Mint Breakfast Ice Cream


Hello Lovelies,


If you read my blog regularly, you may know that I recently went to Dubai for a bit of sun, and after catching some rays and getting a little tan I returned to the Uk to grey skies and drizzle.  However I am not giving up on Spring, and am just willing those sunny days to come, but in the meantime I am experimenting with some Spring/Summer recipes.

My first is breakfast Ice Cream, something that feels like a treat but really needn't be.  It is made with fresh mint, which makes it really lovely and fresh tasting and is full of all sorts of goodness, so lets get cracking and give you the recipe. 

Ingredients:

2   frozen bananas
3/4 almond/rice milk
2   large handfuls of frozen spinach
1/4 cup mint leaves
1   cup of Greek yogurt



I'm not however even really sure you can call this a recipe as it is so ridiculously easy, but here we go.

You really only need to throw all your ingredients in a food processor to blend, so it is super easy, no harder than making toast! 


(I do tend to break up my frozen banana as my food processor is rather old!)  


Once all the ingredients are blended it will be an almost soft scope consistency, I tend to eat it like this, as I am very impatient!  


However if you want more of an ice cream consistency then you need to pop it in an ice cream maker, as this freezes it quickly so large ice crystals don't form which makes it almost crunchy.  




Once you have spooned out your ice cream you can garnish with a sprig of fresh mint or your favourite berries, before you start enjoying the minty goodness.  

With this recipe you can be super naughty and eat ice cream for breakfast but be completely guilt free, my idea of heaven! 




Does anyone else like to experiment with breakfast, or are you strictly cereal and toast?

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Monday, 24 March 2014

Bountiful Breakfasts and Sumptuous Lunches


 Hello Lovelies,


The saying you should eat breakfast like a King, lunch like a Queen and supper like a pauper is very true, and eating breakfast like a King is most definitely possibly here.  The buffet style breakfast is insane, there is anything and everything, from pastries to mountains of fresh fruit, cheese and cold meats to curry if that's your thing. 



I have to admit to not being incredibly adventurous with my breakfast, for the last few days I have eaten exactly the same thing.

I have started each day with a cup of black tea, then filled my glass with some fresh flavoured water, (the cranberry and raspberry is amazing). I've then piled my plate with various kinds of melon, and a bowl of Greek yogurt.  Although not the most adventurous of breakfasts it is light but still fills me up for that very strenuous morning of sunbathing and swimming. 




I've been eating lunch by the beach everyday, snaffling Greek salads and Shish Taouk Wraps (which are super yummy) it is chicken, hummus, beefsteak tomatoes, lettuce and a few cheeky french fries all inside a wrap, a pretty naughty lunch, but you've got to treat yourself now and again.  







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Sunday, 23 March 2014

A Little Walk Around the Hotel || Sofitel The Palm Dubai



Hello Lovelies,

My mummy loves the sun, so when she suggested a little winter break in Dubai I jumped at the chance.  Although I love winter and every year ooh and aah at all the boots and snugly cashmere jumpers in the shops I get to March and start yearning for sandals and pretty floral dresses.  So I was delighted to be able to start my summer shopping early.  I started with a shopping spree on ASOS picking up a couple of bikinis and a few dresses before heading to Topshop before yes you've guessed it, more bikinis!!!

After reigning in my spending I packed my suitcase, throwing in every Summer dress and bikini I could find and jumped on a plane to Dubai, ok well I might have stopped at Duty Free, and purchased a sneaky MAC lipstick and a pair of Fendi sunnies!!!

After a rather sleepless overnight flight we arrived in Dubai and were driven to the hotel.  We checked in then scampered upstairs to our room, pulled on our swimwear and headed in search of the sun.

For the first two days the shutterbug in me has been to occupied with soaking up the rays, so my lovely camera has lain all forlorn in the hotel safe.  However my mojo has returned and I have got snapping, so here is a little Hotel tour to get you started.   


Sofitel Dubai The Palm is a French Polynesian hotel, so I got to use a bit of that GCSE French.  I have to admit that the main lobby and downstairs corridors were my favourite part of the hotel they kind of outdid the outside.


As lobby's go the two story marble one at The Sofitel was pretty spectacular.  They had a big wooden table right in the middle, that had beautiful floral displays on, although the flowers were super pretty the table full of scrummy nuts and dried fruits, may have just peaked my interest a little more! 





All the walls of the corridors on the ground floor were covered in plants so it was like walking through a jungle, a massive difference to the desert outside.  

The busy bees that worked there spent hours everyday watering the little pots on the wall that held each draping plant.



Update: The wifi was horrific (I think due to large business meetings), so these posts are going up quite a few days after being written. 
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Thursday, 13 March 2014

What's In My Hand Luggage


Hello Lovelies,


This lucky duck is popping to Dubai for six days of sun, so I thought before I went I would put up my hand luggage essentials.  I take great satisfaction in packing my hand luggage so everything is easily accessible and safe. 


As it's an overnight flight and relatively long, I will be taking my makeup off when I board the plane with my Simple Facial Wipes, then giving my skin a good moisturise so it doesn't dry out.

After a sleepless uncomfortable night I will slap a little makeup and lip balm on, so I look vaguely human when I go through immigration.

Rather than taking massive tubs of product or decanting my own into travel pots, I asked my lovely Clinique lady if she could possibly give me a tester of my favourite tinted moisturiser and Clinique Superdefense SPF 20 Daily Defense Moisturizer, they are my go to products and are just perfect for traveling.  As well my little pots of magic  I am taking my Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder by The Body Shop £13.00 and of coarse a travel size deodorant.

As I find planes are normally rather chilly I always take a scarf or Pashmina, this time I'm taking a lemon yellow one that is super warm and snugly. 

Sunglasses are a must once you leave the airport so mine are coming with me, although I do want to buy a new pair at the airport.


Having some good headphones is pretty essential on a plane, especially if you have a crying baby in the seat behind you.  My headphones are the Philips SHL5205WT 10 CitiScape,and are perfect for listening to music or audio books, I'm currently loving Christina Perri.


As we are getting an overnight flight and can't book into our rooms until two I needed to pack my bikini, flip flops and a cover-up, as sitting in the sun in a pair of leggings and a t-shirt just wouldn't be fun.  

The perfect thing for separating clothes from other bits and pieces is the fab eagle creek pack it cube £11.00, I have used them for a few years now and they are great when you want to pack clothes among other items in hand luggage or just want to compartmentalize your packing.  


Inside I packed a pair of silver Havaianas, some ASOS High Waisted Bikini Bottoms £5.50  a Topshop Floral Print Shelf Bikini £16.00 and a Topshop cover-up that's about four years old. 



I can't wait to eat some lovely food and do a bit of sun worshiping, where would you lovelies go for some Winter sun.





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Tuesday, 11 March 2014

The Body Shop Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder || Review



Hello Lovelies,


I went through a big The Body Shop phase when I was younger, but for the last few years I don't think I have even stepped over the threshold, but last month I was drawn in by a rather snazzy Overnight Vitamin E Serum, and then got lost in the array of lovely products, after spending much more than I should I retreated home along with a handful of lovely goodies, one of which being their Vitamin E Cleanser.  Today I went back to purchase the full size cleanser, but a bronzer somehow jumped into my hand.   


TBS has bought out four new bronzer shades, catering for all skin types, which is pretty fab. So after giving the lightest two a swatch I settled on #02 fair matte.  It looks super pale in the pan but on the skin it is a lovely natural tanned shade, and could also be used as a really nice contour colour.


It is a matte shade so it looks natural and is perfect for everyday wear.  I love the packaging, as I am a sucker for anything that is remotely tortoiseshell, and the big mirror is also a massive plus.

I am seriously impressed with this product, and can't wait to do some more exploring of TBS's makeup collection.  


Are you a The Body Shop fan?
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Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Clinique Chubby Stick in Super Strawberry || Review


Hello Lovelies,


Clinique Chubby Sticks are essentially chunky crayons of tinted lip balm that both nourish and moisturise the lips due to a blend of oils, butters and antioxidants such as Shea Butter.

They are super convenient sticks of colour and are fab if you are partial to a pigmented tinted lip balm.  The pencil concept means that you can apply it with precision, rather than wiping it around with your finger, and as the silver bottom of the pencil turns up there is no need to sharpen.  


Super Strawberry is a muted red with light brown undertones which will give most lips a light berry red flush, it is one of those colours that (on the majority of lips) gives a my lips but better look.  


I love the formula of this lip product, it is harder than a lipstick but is still soft and nourishing on the lips.  It lasts for about three hours which I think is pretty good and doesn't feather which is also a massive plus.  

This is my go to lip product when I am running out the door, and is something that is always in my handbag.  




Do you lovelies like tinted lip balms?
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It's Confession Time


Hello Lovelies,



I have a confession to make.

I have an obsession with stripes!


Whether it's on clothes, bags, shoes or home decor.  I literally have to be dragged away from anything striped, they can be blue, red or black, thick or then, the chances are if its striped I want it in my life.


Don't even get me started on children's clothes, let's just say my little goddaughter has had lots of striped outfits from her god mommy.



I blame my mother for my nautical stripe obsession, there were far too many striped clothes in my wadrobe as a child.  This pic is a classic, a definite nautical theme going on (excluding the dingy) but just look at those fashionable red summer sandals, what a cool kid!!!




My name is Sophie and I have an obsession with stripes!



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Monday, 3 March 2014

Holiday Nails || Essie 'Fiji' and 'A Cut Above'


Hello Lovelies,


I am a bit nail varnish obsessed and have a collection that is far to big, but for the last six months I haven't worn anything on my nails, as I wanted to give them a little break as they were rather flaky and brittle.  But as of yesterday the hiatus ended and my nails received a bit of colour.


These are rather summery nails for March but I am popping to Dubai for a bit of Winter sun and wanted something a little lighter and brighter.  So I grabbed my favourite summer colour out of my nail varnish rack, but to my complete horror I had completely finished it last summer, so out I ran to Boots to pick up a new bottle of Figi.

After giving them a couple of licks of nails. inc Save The Nail Repair Rescue Base Coat (the perfect base coat for unhealthy nails like mine) I next used Essie Fiji and applied two coats to get a lovely creamy opaque pale pink, just perfect for the sun.  Once the Figi had dried I grabbed my favourite glitter polish Essie Luxe Nail Polish in A Cut Above and painted the tips to give my nails a little pizzazz!

I think I have rediscovered my nail varnish love, and cant wait for Spring to arrive so I can crack out all those pastel shades.      


Does anyone else give their nails a break now and then?
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Sunday, 2 March 2014

Shrove Tuesday || Yipee It's Pancake Time!


Hello Lovelies,


As most of you will probably know, I am a massive pancake fan, so Shrove Tuesday, is a pretty darn good day in my house!

I'm sure the majority of you have a favourite pancake recipe, but these scotch pancakes are a family fave and are fabulous as you can cook them straight on the boiling plate of the Aga.  

Ingredients:

1 cup plain flour

1 cup of milk

1 egg

pinch of salt

You basically want to shove it all in a bowl then whisk it with a hand whisk.

If you don't have an Aga, you can just use a frying pan with a smidgen of oil to stop them from sticking.

You want your pancakes to start bubbling before you start to flip them or you will have a bit of a mess on your hands, once the first patch are done pop them in a folded tea towel to keep them warm, while you cook the next batch.

You then want to decide what you are going to have on them, I personally love strawberries and honey/natural maple syrup or just plain blueberry pancakes with Greek yogurt (If you want blueberry pancakes then sprinkle a few on your batter before you flip them).

Hope you all have a lovely Shrove Tuesday and scoff lots of pancakes!
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Pre-Holiday Tanning


Hello Lovelies,



I don't know about you but I always feel better with a tan, I'm not talking about an orange Oompa Loompa tan, rather a nice golden glow.  I am jetting off for a bit of Winter sun this month and don't want to be the pasty Susan surrounded by all the golden goddesses, so I have cracked out the fake tan.  The best way I've found of achieving this natural glow is with the St. Tropez Everyday Gradual Tan Body Medium/Dark, it is by far my favourite tan and I definitely cant survive a summer without it.  However even though this is a gradual tan it is still easy to get a little pesky streak down your leg (which may or may not have happened last week!)  To try and stop this from happening I follow a little tanning regime.

  • The first thing you want to do is exfoliate so your not rubbing your tan onto dry skin.
  • Next you want to prep your skin, grab your favourite moisturiser and slather it on so you  have nice soft skin.
  • After the moisturiser has soaked into your skin you can get cracker lacking with your tan.
I love the St. Tropez gradual tan as it's really smooth to apply, and because of the sheen you can normally tell if you have missed a bit.

This tan gives a lovely natural colour, and is great as you can layer it up and choose how dark you want to go, it is also super nourishing, which is great for dry skin.  It also always fades evenly, which is a massive plus as the last thing you want is a blotchy tan.

If however you do wake up with a streak it is supper easy to rectify, I get a cotton pad and dab a little bit of the tan on to the pale streak, and within a couple of hours I am completely bronzed.

Do you crack out the fake tan before you jet off on holiday, or do you embrace your pale skin?


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Saturday, 1 March 2014

Chocolate Gluttony For The Gluten-Free


Hello Lovelies,




A couple of months ago I gave you all my favourite brownie recipe, but as this gal is gluten free I thought I would also pop up my gluten-free version, as lets be honest you cant beat a good brownie.

Ingredients:

1     cup gluten-free flour

1/4   teaspoon of baking powder

1/3   cup cocoa powder

1 1/4 cups of caster sugar

2     eggs lightly beaten

150g  butter (melted)




First you want to weigh your butter, then pop it in a bain-marie to melt gently, (stirring occasionally).  While your butter is melting measure your dry ingredients, mix them in a bowel then make a well.     


In the well pour in your melted butter and two lightly beaten eggs, then use a metal spoon, mix until smooth.


 Spread mixture into a 9x9" brownie pan and bake in the oven for 20 mins (or until the skewer comes out clean).


After you take your tray out let it cool for 5-10 mins then cut into squares/rectangles. 


Then all you need to do is scoff them!





Are you a baking fanatic, or do you tend to head towards shop bought cakes?

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