Smoothie Ideas

Smoothie Ideas

D and I are on a bit of a health kick at the moment and when we are eating healthier I tend to have smoothies a lot for breakfast. I broke my blender making smoothies and now I have a shiny new smoothie maker. I know they’re notorious for being sugary but you can make them less so but adding spinach and using fresh fruit instead of using ready made smoothies. Also in my defence I find that eating fruit earlier on in the day prevents me from craving sweet things made from refined sugars later in the day and it puts me in a happier, more energetic mood and my skin looks better. Generally we try and eat mostly vegetarian and pescatarian meals now so maybe it just fits in with these meals?

I nearly always thicken my smoothies by adding a banana. I also add oats or a nut butter to make it filling enough to see me through until lunch. Then I will add frozen fruit such as mango, blueberries or raspberries or the frozen fruit mixes designed to make smoothies with (like the banana and strawberry mix). Sometimes I use up fruit that isn’t quite at is best (minimise food waste when you can) and I also like to add frozen spinach. It is packed with all sort of nutrients and also because it has anti inflammatory properties so I find it really helpful with stomach pain or aching muscles. I switch between making smoothies with unsweetened almond milk, coconut milk or sometimes normal milk depending on what I have in. (Sometimes I have coconut water too).

I don’t think there is much of a recipe for what is essentially squashed fruit whizzed up in a blender, these are just some ideas to inspire. Maybe I’m just obsessed with fruit?

Things I used to worry about when I was 16

Things I used to worry about when I was 16

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Today I came to the shocking realisation that its 11 whole years since I collected my GCSE results. Congratulations to anyone who has just got theirs (or their A Level results). I’m sure they were excellent and reflect a lot of hard work and application. I clearly remember collecting my GSCE’s with my Dad and then walking around the Millgate Centre in Bury eating toffees after enrolling at my Sixth Form.

Anyway, off the topic of food for a day, I was thinking of what i was like at 16. I was certainly less sure of myself than now and uncertain of trying new things. I think if the last 11 have taught me anything its to throw myself at opportunity when I can, life is too short to look back over past events wishing you’d done things differently. So maybe that’s the most valuable lesson I’ve learned since properly growing up and moving away – nobody cares what you look like half as much as you unless they’ve nothing better to worry about. Possibly the second best thing I’ve learned over time is; if a male you don’t know is talking to you when you’re out with the girls and they won’t take the hint, there’s always the option of hiding in the toilets for a few minutes.

Anyway, onto a few of my teenage concerns.

  1. My hair. Before I discovered styling products and GHDs I felt like i was constantly battling against my hair which was very wavy during a period when it felt like everybody had identical poker straight hair. The slightest spot of rain left my desperately covering my head – woe betide any drops of water that might make my hair frizzy. Mum if you are reading this I sincerely apologise for the mornings I kept you waiting when you gave me a lift to school because I was busy straightening the front two strands of my hair.

    In hindsight these two particular pieces of hair were like straw from overheating.

  2. Never having had a boyfriend. Oh the hours I spent pondering this one! I went through periods of constant angst over my lack of ability to flirt and talk to boys. I think this is a pretty common concern, but really I needn’t have worried. Once I got to college and everyone got a bit more confident and new friendships formed I myself got a boyfriend and I watched as most of my friends did. Now I see my friends happy and settled – some married and some still single and I think of the fun we had. Not just my boyfriend and I, just my friendship group as a whole, and I sort of wish I was less intense about it. Looking back, relationships develop over time and some of my happiest memories are just doing stupid things with my friends and enjoying the last couple of years at home with my mum and dad.
  3. That everyone secretly or not so secretly thought I was weird. This is no longer a worry. Every single boyfriend I have had has confirmed I am weird. I think everyone is and it’s what makes us unique. Embrace how you make up the rich tapestry of life (even I am not sure if I’m typing that with any level of irony!)
  4. Being that one girl in the statistic who mysteriously became pregnant and was in such denial about it that nobody knew until she was giving birth. I can confirm that this did not happen to me. Being busy with so many extracurricular activities, violin lessons and teenage house parties never left much time to miraculously conceive.
  5. Not being one of those cool girls who goes to gigs all the time and knows about all the latest bands. Even at 27 I wonder how I managed to A) meet a music journalist who would invite me into his world B) Maintain this relationship by feeding said music journalist a steady diet of pie, meatballs and cake. Who knew I possessed such charms?

I think these are the worries of most teenage girls in a happy, cosy home. But thinking about all the people I know of collecting results and things I can’t help wonder how their next 11 years will turn out.

Christmas Gift Ideas for the Lady (especially if she is a total magpie!)

So I can’t claim to be a style expert or a representative of what women everywhere might want; everyone is different (variety is the spice of life etc.) but mainly this is a list of things that have caught my eye. Possibly because they are shiny or smell lovely. Anyway, if you’re stuck for ideas there are some things that I hope somebody would find lovely to open on Christmas morning.

1. Shakespeare Literary Quote Art Print

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Basically I think this is incredibly cool. At home I like to think I am in charge and i can be a bit bossy at times. This quote from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” shows that Shakespeare’s words can still fit into a more modern context. (Just look at his Sonnets, for example).

2. Lightening bolt hairband

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This falls safely into the category of “I like this because it’s shiny”. If your hair is anything like as unruly as mine gets then the glitter will distract from the fact that your hair is sticking out in about 6 different directions. Always a winner.

3. L’Eau D’Issey Gift Set

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My parents (in particular my Dad) are absolute legends when it comes to choosing fragrances. Last year I asked for something girly and they surprised me with this. Not only does it smell divine, but I get complimented on it a lot too. It has a spacial place in my heart as I wore it on my first date with D so the smell brings back happy memories.

4. L’Occitane Fabulous Oil

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I can’t remember when it was but I was in L’Occitane Harrogate with my friend ED not too long ago and I was sniffing all of the lotions and potions they sell and this one grabbed me. It’s a bit pricey but if you want to give someone a treat, this is the one for you – perfect for women of all ages. Like I said in my previous post, sometimes with Christmas gifts the real treat is more about buying someone something they long for that they would never buy themself.

5. A throw (I like this one quite a lot)

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Basically my mother and I are both quite partial to snuggling up under cosy things watching tv in the winter. When I shared with 2 other girls we used to sit watching tv under fleece blankets. It’s an enjoyable part of winter, especially on the coldest days. Plus a pretty throw can update a tired old sofa more than you’d think (something I found out when I was renting).

6. Arran jumper

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I love a traditional looking jumper and this red one brightens up any cold january day (plus it is handily baggy so you can hide your post Christmas stomach).

7. Modern Family Box Set

This is genuinely going on my Christmas list this year. It is one of my favourite shows – I think its hilarious and occasionally touches on “issues” but without being patronising.

8. How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran and NW by Zadie Smith

Anyone who knows me even a tiny bit knows I have always got a book on the go and spend a lot of my spare time reading. These are two books I could not put down – I recall stirring absent mindedly while cooking with my Kindle in one hand.

9. This Necklace

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So frigging pretty! It will go with everything and basically class up any outfit. Plus its a bit of a one off, what’s not to like?

10. This ring

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I like cats as much as the next pet affictionado, but I am not one of life’s “crazy cat ladies”. So why can’t I stop looking at this ring? Imagine how happy it would make someone who owned a cat (or 3!)