• BLOG,  COMMUNITY,  LIFESTYLE

    How to survive January blues

    Feeling blue?

    via GIPHY

    January is appears to be the most feared month of the year. For some it’s a time of new beginnings, new jobs, new home, new relationships. For others is a about making it through the month financially, and saving pennies wherever possible to get you through that extra week.

    For me it’s been a combination of both, with the added value of experiencing the longest cold in history. It seems London is a great place for germs to linger.

    In fact my first tip for surviving January in London is stock up on vitamin C and anti-bacteria gel immediately. Use both daily. I am literally holding back the tears from sneezing as I write this.

    Oh, and ginger and lemon tea is great for reducing sickness, and aiding a sore through! Excercise where possible. Don’t stay cooped up in work for 10 hours a day without taking a walk, or go for a run. It really is good to those endorphins up. Also, a great buffer when battling a cold and you need increase your calorie intake.

    Budget well. Buy coffee and make it at home. This will save you serious pennies if you are prone to stop by a coffee shop everyday – and I mean hundreds of pounds. I nearly fell of my seat when I worked out how much I would potentially spend on coffee per year. I didn’t even drink coffee more than once every few months, until I moved to London!

    Actually, there were a lot of things I didn’t do before I moved to London. One for another blog post I think…

    Plan something fun to do. Be deliberate about resting. Don’t just sit at home and fret over your circumstances. Remember Rome wasn’t built in a day. Take up an interest, or start one. I’m in the process of starting up an interest group. It could be a movie night, colouring group, or I learn a musical instrument. Something fun, and just for you. It doesn’t need to be costly, or take up that much time. Take regular breaks from conquering the world, and have a Kit Kat.

    Make lunch at home. The average lunch in London (in my experience) can cost on average £7. That’s if you want to eat some decent, and upgrade from a sandwich to a wrap. There’s only so many sandwiches and burgers one can eat. If you’re looking for some cheap, tasty and easy recipes then check out my post on cheap and tasty treats.

    Make a list. I’ve been doing this for a few years, but I like to make a list either just before New Year, or after that includes at least 3 things I’d like to see change in 2016. These can be as little or as big as you desire. Once you have them down, create action points. This was the part I used to struggle with – making sure they are realistic. There is nothing more fulfilling than setting a goal, and achieving it, but you have to have a plan. A vision without a plan is just a dream, and a dream without vision is just a wish.

    Plan for good days, bad days, and set yourself reasonable targets. I had the most unproductive day on Monday, (and I know we all have days like these) but after writing a list of the spaghetti strands that were jumbled up in my head, I went to bed! Sometimes we need to write the day off and come back fresh the next day. When I woke on Tuesday morning, I was focused and energised, and got to work on breaking down my list into manageable chunks.

    So those are a few of my top tips for surviving January blues. Do you have any top tips for making this year great? Have I missed any?

  • FOOD,  Uncategorized

    Smoked salmon love

    I have recently discovered the joy of poached eggs and salmon! It’s incredible, and despite years of turning down the cured fish for its raw appearance and texture. I am in love! ? 

    I don’t imagine this is news to anyone, but I was rather excited at discovering news ways to eat my favourite ingredients, and found a bunch of greens, with a slice of lemon brought a fresh and delightful lunch to the table. 
     

    P.S I find using the cling film technique to making poached eggs much more effective than the silicon cups I bought from Robert Dyas. If you’re not familiar with this technique, then get a cup and wrap some cling film over the cup and pour the egg into the cup. Add some salt and pepper to season, and wrap the clingflim into a nott before popping into simmering hot water (not boiling). This creates the perfect shaped poached egg in 4 mins (depends how you like the). I used to make them without, and got frustrated with some bad attempts that left me scrapping the egg off the bottom of the pan. 

    As January diets and resolutions kick in, I thought I’d share two other light but deliciously tasty, and fairly cheap dishes that will keep you fuller for longer. Did I just quote a cereal advert?

    Anyway this meal costs £5 and would make 4 meals (if you portion the cheese and beetroot).

     

    This tasty salad comprises of cous cous, beetroot and feta cheese, with spinach leaves. Masterchef eat your heart out. ?

    And one of my favourite ingredients (but not so healthy) Chorizo and mediterranean veg, sprinkled with parmesan. Ingredients for this meal cost me £6 including the parmesan, which lasts for weeks. This will stretch a few dishes too. 

    Hope you enjoyed my very quick cheap eats blog. If you have any quick and cheap eats then please do share, or if you try any of these let me know what you think below.  

     

  • Uncategorized

    Hello from the other side

    It’s a new year and another new day! I am in love with the title for this post, and want you to picture me standing on top of my desk chair singing Adele from the top of my voice. I made it! 2016 baby!! Move over 2015. 

    There is a time when we must turn down distractions, fear, doubt, and let the dream inside us sing loud and proud. Take a minute, stop and celebrate the fact that you at here! I am. 4th of January!! I am currently embarking on a complete re-write of my novel, and it’s teaching me a lot. For months, maybe years I had been hacking away at a beaten version of my novel (due to technical trouble and the small matter of losing 3/4 of the book). After another set back last year, I decided to roll up my sleeves and begin to get involved on a deeper level than before. Sometimes life and circumstances call us to do that. However, I have learnt something even more important than having the tenacity to not give up. Learn to celebrate the moments along the way. I love what Steven Furtick says, “You can’t move past your struggles unless you appreciate the spoils.” 

    So whatever you have in mind for this year, let’s not forget to celebrate along the way. And make sure it’s off the chart. Who wants to settle for a cheeseburger when the fillet steak is for free?  

        

    We made it! If you can celebrate nothing else, celebrate the fact that you made it! Another day, another year! Last year didn’t take you out. There is still time, so do something. Sow a seed today, and check the soil. Healthy soil plus healthy seed equals fruit in season. 

    How do you climb a staircase? One step or two? 

  • BLOG,  LIFESTYLE,  Uncategorized

    Christmas 2015 throwback

    Happy New Year everyone!! We are now into day 3 of 2016, and I hope you are full of excitement and expectation for the year ahead. I’ve eaten way too much over the last few weeks, and had the best time celebrating the season of Christmas (despite catching a really bad cold in Scotland).

    Here are just a few highlights from my time back home.

       
    This would be day one of catching a cold – thanks for that Scotland! I’m still not sure it’s gone and hearing in my left ear has returned yet either! This place has a pretty good view, and I love that despite being cold and blowing a gale, the city pulled out the blue sky leaving a pleasant memory of our day trip to the burg. 

    Case note: To anyone thinking of visiting the capital before June, make sure you take 3 extra layers with you, just incase. Oh and don’t by tablet or sweet souvenirs  from the main strip. There’s at least a 50% mark up. I found Tilly’s tablet for half the price in Asda, and it’s way better too – so do shop around. 

     This would be Christmas Eve in Ediburgh… I have loads more pictures but of course I chose this one because it has haggis is in. This is not as good as Stravagen’s in Glasgow (it was a little too grainy for me), but it wasn’t Weatherspoons bad so if you are in Edinburgh do check The Arcade. It’s on route to the old town, and the pub itself is really cute and cosy, with friendly staff. 

     
    My beautiful friend Esabel came to Scotland with me for first time. Christmas Day with family – always great!  
     My cousin and partner in crime Jonathan, and his grandad Davey. 

      
    My family (well some of them). We ain’t perfect but I wouldn’t change them from the world. 

    I hope you had a good Christmas and embraced the chaos this season often brings. I am excited and ready to get back to work tomorrow as I embark on what is set to be a big year for me. More on that tomorrow’s post as I drop by to say Hello from the other side. 
    Have a great Sunday everyone!