thanksgiving + pizza

2015, December, Family and Friends, Food, Inspiration

it’s been a week since thanksgiving and i have spent much of this past week remembering the many {many} reasons i have to be thankful. as much as i am always working towards something {aren’t we all}, taking time to be grateful for what i already have is as vital for my health as the air i breath.

a special shout out to my mother who has spent so much of herself {physically, emotionally, spiritually} investing in my brother and me. i couldn’t have asked for a better example of what it takes to be a mother.

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the housemates and i wanted to do something to celebrate the day of giving thanks, so my housemate jo came up with the genius idea of thanksgiving pizza.

i.e. putting thanksgiving ingredients on top of a pizza.

hello.

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turkey

bacon

stuffing

cranberry sauce

corn

gravy. GRAVY PEOPLE.

greens

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sides included macaroni cheese, our own take on sweet potato pie, mouth-watering garlic and mozzarella stuffed mushrooms <—— i would eat all day everyday.

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it was so simple and so good.

hope you all enjoyed your thanksgiving celebrations.

next up – CHRISTMAS!!

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life lately according to my iphone + canon 100d

2015, Family and Friends, Food, Inspiration, November

i think i spent much of october baking. from macarons to rainbow birthday cakes… i can’t tell you the amount of eggs/flour/butter i got through!

the bf’s brother and sister turned 18 and 30 {respectively}. with those being milestone birthdays i thought what better way to celebrate than with special birthday cakes?!

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for anna i found a yummy recipe for classic a victoria from the bbc good food gods {check it out here}. you can’t really go wrong with this classic sponge goodness but i needed to give it a bit of a **booom i just turned 30** look. so of course that only means buttercream icing with kit kats and maltesers!

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i strongly believe that this is how you go from “yum” to “get in my belly”.

now, turning 18 is a big deal. so for tobi i wanted to make something a bit more fun. something that screamed **freedom!!! now give me sugar**

if you’ve been following my blog for a while you know i made a rainbow cake for my bff ema back in 2014 here.

now i needed a rainbow cake with a 18 year old twist. hail skittles and more buttercream icing…

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another few months of baking and i just might be great british bake-off good.

ha let’s get real. i wish.

this past summer i invested in a good, what i would call ‘starter’, digital slr camera. after much, much, deliberation and discussions with fellow photography friends i opted for the canon 100d alongside a 50mm lens. i had fallen in love with portrait style photography about 5 years ago and only about 3 weeks ago did i manage to try it out for the first time {with my colleague from work too – she was a great sport!}.

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honestly. this experience made me so happy. i think i found a new favourite hobby.

back to cakes…

earlier in november at work,  our lovely marketing intern turned 21.

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so of course birthday cake.

 

because she has celiac disease i scoured the world wide web for a good gluten free victoria sponge recipe {i’m a bit obsessed} and i found this one. and while it was probably one of the most delicious recipes i’ve tried {seriously delicious}. it crumbled. to pieces. twice.

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**insert violins and tears**

in the end i opted for a gluten free rice krispie chocolate treat/rocky road concoction. thank goodness for friends, pinterest and 24hour shopping at tesco.

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IF YOU KNOW OF A GOOD CRUMBLE FREE GLUTEN FREE SPONGE RECIPE – HOLLA AT YA GIRL. like really. i needed caps to emphasise the seriousness. if you couldn’t already tell.

this quote had me feeling some type-a-way

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never be afraid to fail right? if you don’t ask/try, it will always be a no.

happy thursday. pssst it’s nearly christmas.

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3 courses, 3 days, 3 countries | part II

2015, Culture, Food, June, Travel

happy first day of june. the weeks literally fly by, and i feel especially when

so apparently i started writing this post on june 1st. and 10 days later i’m actually completing it…i promise i wanted to get this up a lot earlier than that but at the moment i seem to posses an inability to post regularly. as in, more than once a month.

and for that i apologise.

to finish my 3 courses, 3 days, 3 countries post i close with brussels.

brussels is beautiful and quaint. and a cobbled streets-kind of charming.

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^^that beautiful, coloured building right there is at grote markt or grand place. it lit up like that at night. i couldn’t believe my eyes. i had this overwhelming feeling that if i twirled i could be a princess.

that’s the only way i can describe what seeing that felt like.

we ate our dinner part of the trip at a sweet pub restaurant called skeivelat. caroline and i opted for the house ribs. and oh my.

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can someone say lip smacking? or finger licking… well there i said it. because that’s what happened.

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and you can’t leave brussles without sampling some kind of chocolate.

you just can’t.

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“Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” – Miriam Beard

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3 courses, 3 countries, 3 days | #comingsoon

2015, April, Blogging, Culture, Food, Travel

it’s 1.18am and i’m still awake. i don’t know whyyyyyy.

anyway.since i am awake…

roughly {and i mean really roughly} two years ago, i had an idea.

it was mostly around the time when i was living in america and was feeling incredibly europe-sick. i missed how easy AND quick it is to get to a different country on this side of the world. as in —> 2 hours and 30mins from london to paris #eurostar

so i thought… 

why not combine my love for food and passion for travelling into one?

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and so the 3 courses, 3 countries, 1 day trip was born.

however. when i moved back home to england last year and i started the planning the trip, i quickly realised that trying to do breakfast, lunch and dinner in 3 countries in one day was going to be a challenge. flights and train times were working against me. i also wanted to make sure i enjoyed and savoured each moment … i mean who wants to rush a meal in paris? #nah

so i decided it would be better to spread it across 3 days. 3 days of glorious food and sight seeing in 3 beautiful cities.

when #wonderlust comes to life.

“Now more than ever do I realize that I will never be content with a sedentary life, that I will always be haunted by thoughts of a sun-drenched elsewhere.”
Isabelle Eberhardt, The Nomad: The Diaries of Isabelle Eberhardt

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of course i will be blogging about it. so watch this space. and catch it real time on my twitter and instagram feeds.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.”
Mark Twain

#lifeisforliving

i’m coining it #3xc

#comingsoon

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twelve days of christmas | day 4: winter date ideas

2014, December, Food, Love
all you need is love | winter date ideas
whether you want to brave the cold or snuggle up, winter is still great for dates! here are 10 date ideas for the winter season:
  • ice skating
  • serve at a soup kitchen
  • visit a winter wonderland
  • cut down/buy a real christmas tree together
  • visit santa’s grotto at your local mall
  • watch a classic film with blankets for a cosy night in
  • make each other a playlist of your favourite christmas music!
  • get a hot chocolate and go see all the christmas lights and festive window displays together
  • go watch a pantomime!

what are your favourite things to do with your significant other during the colder months?

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life lately | and other ramblings

Blogging, Culture, Fashion, Food, Healthy Living, Inspiration, Love, October

23 days.

23 DAYS SINCE MY LAST POST.

who am i?

i keep thinking that i’ll just wait till life slows down then i’ll get into a proper routine.

what i really need to do is to make time for a proper routine.

i’ll get there. but THANK YOU for bearing with me.

remember last month when i told you i was going to quit fizzy drinks? well i’m still going strong. and it’s brilliant. i now crave water. and i never thought i would actually say that. or that i could. let’s keep going shall we?

talking of which….

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  1. walk a lot more
  2. no fizzy drinks!
  3. drink lots of water
  4. use coconut oil … currently for cooking, for conditioning my hair and for my skin! (and i’ve now converted the bf who uses it all the time). i know you’re thinking it’s a little weird right?! using the same product for your body both internally and externally. but it’s fabulous. i promise.
  5. smoothies for days! and soups. and homemade ice cream…

my mum and i recently invested in a vitamix blender. well actually it’s called the vitamix total nutrition center.

life changing.

honestly.

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THE BEST BLENDER IN THE MARKET. well i can’t really make that claim because i haven’t tried them all. however, for someone who loves to blend but loves to have smooth smoothies, this was the best thing we could have invested in.

and yes you can make soup and homemade ice cream too. and your own peanut butter, and houmous. and lots more. if you follow me on instagram check out the two  videos i posted of the vitamix at work @thisismymdot

if you’re interested in watching some videos i highly recommend this one. and this one too.

so hey. tis the season for sequins! don’t you think?

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i found this ^^ sequin skirt at h&m in leeds a few weekends ago.

sequins and glitter. that’s all a girly girl like myself needs.

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i saw this ^^ on pinterest a couple of weeks ago and i laughed real hard. then i thought, but really though?

IMG_4525and this ^^ quote. so so true.

exhibit a. my bf and i. we broke up 5 years ago. 5 years ago. and it wasn’t terrible either. we just weren’t ready to settle down. and now. now things have just, well, worked.

timing. is. everything. 

if you’ve made it to the end of this post and endured my ramblings i salute you.

happy weekend you wonderful people.

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life lately.

2014, Blogging, Culture, Family and Friends, Food, October, Travel

gahhhhhhh

that’s how i feel since it’s been 13 days since my last post.

oops.

anyway, these lovelies make me want to have braids again #hairenvy

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these ladies remind me why i started my natural hair journey…

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which i haven’t really talked about much on this blog of mine. but these are my inspirations. and i’m over a year free of hair chemicals. yay me.

and thank you pinterest.

this past weekend one of my very good friends visited from the states. well he’s actually brazilian but he lives in utah, where we met. it was his first time in the uk so of course, london was a must. on his first morning here i decided what better way to be introduced to british life than a big full english breakfast. after a bit of browsing i stumbled on a cute cafe (thanks tripadvisor). mimo’s cafe is a fabulous italian cafe bar just outside of paddington station. you can’t beat £4.50 for a good breakfast. especially in london. mimo’s gets a huge thumbs up from me!

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oh did i tell you that this happened?

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never in a million years did i think i would see my name on a coke bottle. i celebrated by not drinking it and posting a picture of it on instagram instead. besides, i’m not drinking anything fizzy anymore remember?

while i spent the majority of the weekend in london this past weekend my mum and niece had a fashion show without me. i loved the photos!

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with my fedora and floppy hat they definitely wore it better.

talking of my niece….we caught her watching cartoons on her dad’s phone rather than napping….which is what she was supposed to be doing.

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and this is my favourite quote on pinterest from this week…

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i hope you’ve had a lovely start to october. here’s to autumn days, halloween, nights in, lots of hot chocolate, duvet covers on rainy/windy nights and 5th november. i do love autumn in the uk.

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dear soda

2014, Food, Healthy Living, September

i’m calling it soda because i still have a few americanisms left in me.

also i keep thinking i’m going to get mocked for calling it a fizzy/soft drink.

and i still get confused about which country i’m in and what word i’m supposed to be using. and when i say sometimes i mean like all the time. i’ve been back on british soil for 6 months. 6 WHOLE MONTHS.

i feel like this blog post is going to be one those … rabbit!

aka. all over the place.

as of the 9th september i quit soda.

for good.

i was inspired by my favourite blogger megfee who gave up sugar last may. yes, i know. may 2013 was sometime ago. but i’ve been slowly cutting down since then. and i mean really slowly. last month i just decided that enough was enough. i need to just cut. it. out.

No more Soda!

we all know that soft drinks are bad for us. but after browsing the wonderful world wide web i found even more reasons lose soft drinks for good. thank you emedexpert.com

here are my favourite four. check out the rest here.

1. First of all, there are no nutritionally beneficial components in soft drinks. Soft drinks mostly consist of filtered water and refined sugars. Yet the average American drinks about 57 gallons of soft drinks each year.

2. Many people either forget or don’t realize how many extra calories they consume in what they drink. Drinking a single 330 ml can a day of sugary drinks translates to more than 1lb of weight gain every month.

Several scientific studies have provided experimental evidence that soft drinks are directly related to weight gain. The relationship between soft drink consumption and body weight is so strong that researchers calculate that for each additional soda consumed, the risk of obesity increases 1.6 times.

According to the results of high quality study reducing consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages helped reduce body mass index in the heaviest teenagers.

3. Soda eats up and dissolves the tooth enamel. Researches say that soft drinks are responsible for doubling or tripling the incidence of tooth decay.

The acidity can dissolve the mineral content of the enamel, making the teeth weaker, more sensitive, and more susceptible to decay. Soda’s acidity makes it even worse for teeth than the solid sugar found in candy.

Dental experts continue to urge that people drink less soda pop, especially between meals, to prevent tooth decay and dental erosion.

4. Another problem with sodas is that they act as dehydrating diuretics. Both caffeine and sugar cause dehydration.

Caffeine is a diuretic and causes an increase in urine volume. High concentration of sugar is drawing off water because your kidneys try to expel the excess sugar out of the blood. When you drink a caffeinated soda to quench your thirst, you will actually become thirstier.

it’s actually been a couple of weeks already but i’ll update you in a month!

goodbye soda.

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 ps what do you think of my new signature?

day 28: a british summer | 101 things to do

2014, Blogging, Culture, Food, Inspiration, July, Travel

oh i do love a good british summer. humidity, rain, festivals, complaining about the rain, complaining about the heat, wimbledon. all of it.

stuck on things to do this summer? here’s 101 things to make sure you’re not bored:

  1. pick berries
  2. go to the beach
  3. camp in the back garden
  4. go to the playground
  5. attend a festival
  6. picnic in the park
  7. stroll along a river
  8. midnight film premier
  9. shop at the local farmer’s market
  10. plant a garden
  11. watch a sunrise
  12. watch a sunset
  13. make a slip and slide in your garden
  14. wimbledon
  15. zoo lates {london zoo from 6pm – 10pm}
  16. camp out on the beach
  17. run a marathon
  18. go speed dating
  19. see a west end show
  20. take a road trip
  21. learn a new skill
  22. go to a fun fair
  23. join the punters for a day at the races
  24. customise some old clothes
  25. make your own ice cream sundae
  26. go fishing and bbq your catch
  27. go fly a kite
  28. london walking tour
  29. bike ride
  30. york maze
  31. brick lane music hall {london}
  32. the national gallery
  33. dartmouth regatta
  34. south tyneside summer festival
  35. visit a library
  36. hever castle in kent
  37. summer history trail
  38. visit downton abbey
  39. windsor castle
  40. sandringham house & estate
  41. dinner party
  42. see a play at shakespeare’s globe
  43. take a boat out
  44. fish and chips on the coast – with proper newspaper wrapping
  45. see a ballet
  46. visit a museum
  47. go to a theme park
  48. join a meetup group and do something fun!
  49. attend a carnival {bristol, reading, notting hill or leeds}
  50. play cricket in the park
  51. try a free dance class – find a class near you
  52. see a live show
  53. open top bus tour
  54. hop on / hop off river thames tour
  55. attend the chelsea flower show
  56. bristol balloon festival
  57. summer soltice at stone henge
  58. read a book in the park
  59. drinks at the pub
  60. camden beach
  61. outdoor cinema
  62. open air theatre in regent’s park
  63. visit the olympic village
  64. attend a food festival
  65. go out an outdoor swimming pool
  66. lunch at a cafe
  67. go to a theme park
  68. attend an alternative festival
  69. attend the vintage fair
  70. thames festival
  71. explore an english garden
  72. manchester international festival
  73. a day at the beach
  74. international antiques & collectors fair
  75. #rsd market, london
  76. bestival
  77. go for a long weekend {edinburgh is on my list}
  78. spa treatments
  79. a week at the lake district
  80. holi festival of colours
  81. meatopia
  82. st johns bakery rooms
  83. attend a show at the royal albert hall
  84. british folk art
  85. more london free festival
  86. film4 summer screen
  87. open square gardens weekend
  88. go butterfly spotting
  89. build a bird box
  90. play night games
  91. try a new recipe
  92. make your own beauty treatments
  93. go hiking
  94. pick a book series
  95. get rid of all your unwanted stuff at a car boot sale
  96. collect sea shells at the beach
  97. make ice cream
  98. play ultimate frisbee
  99. make lemonade
  100. go star gazing
  101. have a bbq with friends

have fun!

m.

day 12: it’s my BIRTHDAY!! | birthday memories | 30 things before 30

2014, Blogging, Career, Culture, Family and Friends, Food, Inspiration, July, Travel

first off happy birthday birthday twin!! we made it to 29 girl! i look forward to seeing your birthday post!

**warning** this post is rather long!

i honestly used to think 29 was really old, now i’m here i still feel like i’m a 21 year old trying to figure out life. i hear this figuring out thing lasts for some time.

it’s 10.25am and i’m sat in bed in my jammies, my mum just came over to drop my birthday card and prezzie {i’m house sitting at the moment}, the sun is shininh…i feel as fabulous as i did on my 28th birthday! {read that here}

i do love having a summer birthday, the weather is usually pretty good, and it was always close to the summer holidays.

  • i had a bbq for my 10th birthday. at the time i was ‘best friends’ with a boy who had been my ‘boyfriend’ the previous year. i had invited him and his brother and i remember popping out the front door every half hour or so to see it he was coming down the street. i remember feeling pretty sad when he didn’t come but my parents reminded me to enjoy the party with those who came. that was one of those moments where i learnt a life lesson: to learn to enjoy what’s here and now and not always be wanting for more.
  • my 11th birthday i had a water fight + bbq. my primary school was about a 20min walk from home so after school my friends and i excitedly walked back to my house talking about how much fun the water fight was going to be {i didn’t care too much about food back then}.
  • my 12th birthday was a sleep over at the new house my parents had just bought. i remember when we had house hunting with them my mum and i fell in love with the kitchen because it was the biggest. now it seems tiny, but i just have fond memories of my parents involving my brother and i in that decision. anyway the sleepover was a blast and i shared it with old {primary school} and new {secondary school} friends.
  • my 16th birthday i had a dance party in the hall of my church. it’s a huge hall so we blocked off some of it. i was still pretty shy in front of large groups of people back then and my mum got me to dance in front of my friends on a mini stage to destiny’s child’s ‘bootylicious’. i. was. so. embarrassed.
  • for my 18th birthday i got a trip to rome, by myself! my mum’s friend lived out there so i stayed with her and her family, it was my first time travelling on my own – and i loved it!
  • i think i went out in london for my 21st…is that awful that i don’t quite remember? probably.
  • i’ve only spent a handful of birthdays away from my family {24, 25, 27, 28} but i have ALWAYS felt the love from family and friends, near and far. i am deeply grateful for that.

i can’t quite believe i’m going to be 30 next year. in preparation for this next milestone age since my 21st here is my 30 things to do before i’m 30 list. hippiechickj you’re welcome to join!

  1. write in my journal everyday for 365 days
  2. eat 3 courses in 3 countries in one day. this will happen. thank you continental europe for being so travel easy. breakfast in london, lunch in paris and dinner in brussels. that’s the plan!
  3. try something i wouldn’t normally eat
  4. go travelling for 2 weeks in europe
  5. start a small business
  6. run a 5k {baby steps, baby steps}
  7. splurge on a once-in-a-lifetime meal at one of the world’s best restaurants
  8. learn a new language
  9. splurge on an item that i technically can’t afford, but that will last for years
  10. take a cross country road trip
  11. apply for my dream job {if i haven’t already}
  12. unplug for a full day, or even a week
  13. write a book
  14. kiss someone at midnight on new years eve
  15. regular yoga class attendance, ideally once a week
  16. hug more
  17. research my family tree
  18. buy a meal for a homeless person
  19. develop my online brand {there is a lot to this, i shall elaborate soon}
  20. take more pictures on my dslr {purpose for the dslr was for the blog – i still need to share these with you. promise}
  21. go star gazing
  22. apply for my dream job {if i haven’t already ;)}
  23. redecorate a room
  24. diy something {ali i’m thinking of learning from you! lampshade maybe?}
  25. declutter my bedroom {at the rents house}
  26. lose 2 stones | 12.7 kg | 28 pounds
  27. ask for forgiveness
  28. attend a red carpet movie premier
  29. seriously make a plan and start saving for this villa in greece {or most likely a greek island}
  30. have a morning routine {prayer & relaxation}

there you have it. i don’t want this list to change. and it won’t.

here’s to birthdays, big hair and birthday lists.

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m.