Self Love

We all have a little Samantha, Miranda, Charlotte and Carrie in us. And I don't think that was a mistake on Candace Bushnell's part (such a clever clogs) because it makes all of Sex and the City so bloody relatable! And for this post, Samantha's 'Hello my name is Fabulous' quote is particularly appropriate because I'm going to be talking about self appreciation and self love! I recently made a decision which resulted in someone important to me being cut out of my life because, well... I wasn't getting enough from our relationship and it was getting me down. Potentially I am a little hard to please, I don't know... but there's nothing wrong with that! And there is nothing wrong with prioritising yourself. If you don't, who will?



I'm not claiming to have all the answers or even the slightest bit of wisdom (at the grand old age of 21 haha). However as it is generally recognised that showing yourself some love is beneficial, I wanted to reiterate and emphasise how important I think it is! We should spend more time on ourselves, on self development! Even if that just means mentally acknowledging how great you are. Or realising you deserve to take an hour a week to have a proper bath bomb bath! If you're putting more into a relationship (friendly or romantic) than you're getting back, fix it because you deserve better! Respect yourself, hold yourself in high esteem and others will do the same. Confidence, self appreciation and self love are important. I love Samanthas unabashed confidence, it makes for cracking nineties/noughties TV.  

Two Must Read Books

It has been a while since I posted about a good book! So here are two good'ns for your lovely selves. Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier and One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, complete opposites but equally as captivating. If like me, you studied Rebecca at college or school then I might have a tricky job convincing you to give this a re-read because repetitive scrutinizing can definitely ruin a book. But you should! Take a step back and appreciate the literary smoothness of Du Mauriers writing, especially the description of Manderley in the dream (my favourite part)! Rebecca is about a girl who marries a widow, the secrets she uncovers in his and his late wife's home and the pressure she feels living in the shadow of the memory of the late wife. It is exciting, sad and at times unsettling and almost disturbing. Greeeeaat combination. Very famous book, definite must read!



One Hundred Years of Solitude is another very famous book and a bit of an epic. It spans 100 years, focusing on the Beundia family and, I think is based in Colombia but that is never specified! The story hints with lots and lots of symbolism at general Latin American history so if you've read it let me know your interpretation of the location of Macondo. Anyway, the humour is dark (my favourite kind!) and the story is sad but also enlightening. Marquez incorporates fantasy/magical themes into the story which, alongside the almost historically accurate parts makes for a really interesting combination. Enough that I had to research (well... Wikipedia but still) the history of Colombia and Latin America to find out what actually happened. 

Out of the two books I prefered the latter but loved both and recommend both! And to be totally honest I only picked them up because of the beautiful covers (bet some of you guessed that already!) but aren't they amazing! Here are the links for the correct editions Rebecca One Hundred Years of Solitude

A Rambly Chat About Life

I am sitting on the train back to Falmouth for my final semester of university, quietly contemplating life, half of the time. Quietly moaning about being hungry the other half. But I realise I should probably start focusing on the life bit because, well... it is about to get real and I have no freaking plan. Yet for some reason graduation is not something I am dreading, by any stretch in fact. I am excited to see where the next stage of my life will lead.



I am considering Erasmus work placements in Berlin and Vienna, normal work placements in London, actual paying jobs in London for that matter! I am also thinking about the opportunity I have to meet all my family in New Zealand and work/travel there! I'm pondering over the idea of a masters and whether I could get in to the Royal College of Art or whether I'd like to do a masters abroad, maybe somewhere it is free to study, and save myself some money. And then I start thinking about how this change will bring new people into my life, potentially important people that could help shape it/be in it a long time! I am massively rambling but do you get what I am saying? I feel positive and happy and even though I don't know what is going to happen, I look forward to whatever does. Over and out x

GINGER AND LIME RAINBOW STIR-FRY

Thank god it is (almost) New Years Eve... I hate the week between Christmas and now. I'm constantly in a state of bewilderment and confusion, recovering from food comas and Christmas excitement, with nothing much to do with my day. Anyway, this isn't one of those 'New Year, new me' posts as I vowed not to make any more unrealistic resolutions here. Instead it is about getting back on track after binging on too many mince pies and too much alcohol, when your body is lacking essential vitamins and minerals.. know the feeling? So, the recipe for this ginger and lime rainbow stir-fry which I cooked with my auntie on boxing day. We just about fed nine with this amount of food so I've said serves eight to be safe, perfect for detoxing after Christmas or a dinner party with friends any time of the year!


Ingredients

Coconut oil
7 shallots
7 cloves of garlic
6 chicken thighs or breasts (optional)
1 medium broccoli
225g or one packet green beans
3 large carrots
3 peppers
130g or one packet baby corn
4 heaped tbsp grated ginger

2 limes
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup Maggi 

600g any rice
Unsweetened coconut milk (optional)
1 tsp salt

Serves 8


Method

Boil rice in water or 2:3 parts coconut milk to water. Add salt. Chop up the carrots and broccoli. Par-boil the carrots and steam the broccoli over them. Chop the green beans, peppers and baby corn and steam. I steamed them all together in a large frying pan as you can see above. Dice the shallots and chop the garlic. Brown both in coconut oil in a large pan. I used a paella dish. Dice the chicken and add to the shallots. Add all the veg to the chicken when almost fully cooked then add the grated ginger. Prepare the sauce by mixing the soy sauce, Maggi and juice of the limes. Add to stir-fry and season to taste with salt and pepper. Leave to simmer until the sauce is hot and then serve with rice. 

So basically chuck everything in, cook it and serve with whatever rice you fancy, maybe even noodles. Maggi can be bought in most supermarkets, I got mine in Tesco and it is suitable for vegetarians. You can put any old veg in this, the main flavour comes from the massive amount of garlic, lime and ginger. You could also add some leafiness like pat choy or spinach wilted on top or even some chilli when you add the ginger. If you have leftovers it tastes great cold with the rice so good for lunches! Hope you like my first ever food post!! 

THINGS THAT MAKE ME FEEL CHRISTMASSY

Why the late night post? Christmas Eve dinner and a lack of self control have left me too full to sleep... so I am sitting in front of the fire, with a large glass of wine, relaxing. Perfect blogging conditions! Obviously feeling pretty Christmassy right now so I thought I'd share some little things that get me in the spirit of the holidays. I hope you're all having a thoroughly relaxing break from work/school/general life and Merry Christmas from me and Rue (cat) who is quite innocently trying to sit on my keyboard.



1. Snow... haha.

2. Obviously... unsurprisingly... mince pies. I have spoken previously of my love for a good mince pie and how they just make life/the world a little more bearable.  

3. Watching Strictly Come Dancing. How can you not? The professionals are all beautiful and incredibly fit and can I please have one for myself? I also love the costumes and dancing...

4. Christmas limited editions from Lush, especially Lord Of Misrule bath bomb (reviewed by yours truly here). These little guys, though taking anual affect on my bank balance, really make me feel festive and are therefore totally worth it. 

5. Mulled cider... no explanation needed. 

6. Planning presents. Potentially because of my slight control/organisational freak tendencies I love to plan, in huge detail and advance, perfect presents for each of my family members. 

7. Then of course, wrapping presents. So many people see this part as a chore which I cannot understand. I get super creative with ribbons, strings, bows, washi tape etc and it is so much fun! 

8. Bahama Mama by Essie.

9. Making Christmas cards, honestly not something I do every year because... life. But when I do have the time, like this year, it is something I really enjoy doing and makes me feel super festive!

10. Jumpers, not necessarily Christmas themed but big, chunky, warm knits which you can snuggle up in.

11. Love Actually and The Sound Of Music. Favourite Christmas films everrr!! 

12. Decorating the tree twelve days before Christmas. Close enough to the actual day to start getting excited. Especially enjoyable with a little brother when their excitement becomes uncontainable because tree = Christmas = presents. 


*correction- mulled cider and wine... girl isn't fussy ;)*

Rome in December

Guys, if you take one piece of advice from this post let it be to visit Rome in December. It is perfect... no queuing, no sweating, no crowds just beautiful plentiful sightseeing opportunities! My friend Connie and I booked the spontaneous trip a few weeks ago and despite seriously lacking funds (thanks mum for the early Christmas present flights!) we had a seriously good time. Our adorable Airbnb was in the centre of the historic old town but unbelievably cost £15 per night (December, off-peak, need I say more). From there we explored the tiny streets, Roman ruins and the nightlife as much as a four day break allows!



The Roman Forum is breathtaking, tops the Colosseum by far! Definitely a must see, and you don't really need a ticket as from any vantage point nearby you get a perfect view. This was one of my favourite parts of the trip as I love Roman history and mythology. But prepare yourself... street sellers don't take winter off and tourists spots like these are impossible to navigate without a selfie stick being thrust in your face (upside down smile face emoji). The Colosseum was cool too and obviously unmissable when in Rome.



But you guys already know the famous sights in Rome - Trevi Fountain, Vatican City etc so I won't ramble on about them (other than saying they're well worth the visit and I recomend a guided tour for the Vatican). Potentially more interesting to some, you HAVE to visit Gelateria del Teatro for the best freaking icecream of life... seriously just go, no need to thank me haha. Also for those who enjoy a night out, do it! We had a hilarious and eventful time in the bars around the district of Parione. The locals and bar tenders were very generous leaving me with an ever so slightly patchy memory of one night. As well as a video of me and a lovely Italian man riding around on what I assume was his bicycle, a memory Connie and I will surely cherish for its comic value for years to come! 

Anyway... Rome in December, by far the best month to visit if you want to pack as much in as possible and be able to appreciate the sights to the fullest! It is a beautiful city, something to see on every corner and I can't wait to go back.