Saturday, 24 September 2016

Healthier Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe

My favourite comfort food in the world is Spaghetti Bolognese. I'll usually have it for a meal weekly, luckily for me - my daughter is also a big fan. Which means that I can please everyone; instead of making different meals. I like it with lots of pasta, garlic bread and parmasan cheese so, it is understandable how quickly that the calories AND carbs can add up! Rather than continuing to bloat up on my favourite meal, I figured I could create a less traditional version of the Bolognese... by making swaps such as: beef for lean turkey mince (this is a good way to get leaner meat for cheaper too!), white pasta for wholewheat (I don't notice the difference) and making your own sauce, instead of buying a ready made jar.

The sauce is SO easy to make.

Here is a list of  the ingredients!

  •  450g-500g Turkey Mince
  • Wholewheat spaghetti (as much as you like)
  • Half a teaspoon of garlic puree
  •  A tablespoon of dried mixed herbs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • A level tablespoon of tomato puree
  • 2 tins of plum tomatoes
  •  Pepper
  • 1 Large onion
  • Olive oil 
  • 1 Oxo cube (Beef stock cube)
Optional extras (peppers, mushrooms, celery, glug of red wine.)
To serve (garlic bread, parmesan, fresh basil leaves)

Begin by warming up a little olive oil in a frying pan. Then fry the mince on a medium heat until it is cooked through. Meanwhile chop the onion while the mince is frying.. then once cooked transfer to another pan or bowl while you begin to fry the onions.

You can quickly drain and wash the frying pan prior.

Just as the onions are cooked, drain any excess oil and add half a teaspoon of garlic. Cook for a minute more and then pour in the tinned tomatoes, break them up with a wooden spoon or spatula.

Allow this to come to the boil then simmer. Boil a kettle of water while this is simmering ready for the wholewheat pasta.

Now add the mince back to the sauce once it is warmed through, along with the tablespoon mixed herbs, bay leaf, pepper and crumbled oxo cube.

Let the sauce simmer away and start to boil your pasta on a high high then once it is bubbling away, lower slightly. This would also be a good time to put garlic bread in the oven. Both should take around 15 minutes to cook.

When you are happy that your pasta is cooked well, mix it into the sauce if your pan is big enough and serve. Then WALAH, you are done, bon appetite!


Friday, 23 September 2016

Lush Liverpool - VIP Bloggers Event

Lush is so visually pleasing.
I almost feel that I'm going to spoil this post by writing words along side it. Everything was mega photogenic so.. me and a whole bunch of other bloggers, had a wonderful time photographing the evening!

I attended with my sister Amy who blogs here.
We were greeted by Sarah, who informed us all about the event. Afterwards we had refreshments and a lovely array of canapes, while we proceeded to browse the shop. As well as viewing the Halloween product release, which is now available to buy - in store and online! (For a limited time only, don't miss out on the fun!!)

We were given demos and chats, all about the products and the luxurious spa treatments that are available. I was on Team Confident throughout the evening which was great, considering that I was also wearing my Lush lip tint in Confident!

I managed to network with new and older bloggers during the evening and left buzzing with the excitment. Even though we were given a goodie bag with sample pots and a Boo bath melt, I just had to buy a couple more while we were there.

I even got to make my own Comforter bath bar, which looks pretty messy but was fun to create nonetheless!

Thanks for visiting to check out what we got up to during the event, please subscribe and keep an eye out for my reviews on the products too.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Children's Style - Autumn Ready

 I know that I am not alone in the excitement for Autumn! Most of us enjoy the darker nights closing in, getting cosy in our fluffy pjs and drinking endless hot chocolates. So we are getting ready for the fun to commence.

I bought Mia hunter wellies last year and I really noticed the perks of spending a bit more money, on a stronger boot. Hunter wellies last us throughout the whole year and are still in good enough condition to pass on. So we have given these a big thumbs up and re-bought them this year. I love that they also have high visibility strips on the back; for when the nights get darker, earlier; which adds a bit more safety to our journeys. These were bought on the official website for around £40.

This River Island coat is insulated and waterproof, with double zips on the front. I chose a black coat to tie in with most outfits. This was around £35 on the Very website.

This outfit was from Matalan, I love the knit jumper and think that it is the perfect time to start transitioning from t-shirts to warmer clothing. The jumper is still breathable and will be just right for Autumn. I'm in love with denim at the minute so I thought the denim skirt was also a lovely addition, to Mia's wardrobe.

Skirt and tights set £10
Butterfly jumper £9

Usually, to beat the Primark hustle and bustle, I head to quieter shops; such as Matalan and Peacocks. I prefer to shop at my own leisure and usually find what I am looking for in one of those two. I wasn't looking for anything specific this time but did pick up this 'I love to sparkle top' for £6 and 2 pairs of leggings which also cost £6.

Mia has recently been asking me for a onesie, so I'm assuming that she has noticed the cooler weather and wants to start feeling snuggly warm. This super soft, cat eared onesie was a bargain at £9 from Matalan; because I know that she will get 100% wear out of it this through A/W.

Lastly, I have been itching to get her a pair of light up shoes for when the dark nights begin. I bought this pair off eBay and they have been worn a few times already. They come with a double charging wire and take 2 hours for a complete charge. The port is inside the shoe just tucked under the tongue. It can rub against her feet, so I a premptively apply plasters where needed for extra padding. These are more of a novelty pair and really attract attention too, every time Mia has worn these out we have had good comments on them.

Next I'll be hunting for a couple of cute hat, gloves and scarf sets along with other essentials!

I hope you enjoyed taking a peak at what we have been buying for Autumn. Please subscribe on the right and feel free to leave your blog link below, for me to read too!

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

To lift or not to lift?

 Image: Photographer: Scott Webb

I'm throwing my fitness thoughts out here this evening; partially because I have slacked a little on 'The Feel Good Files' and also because it has been on my mind all week. Recently I have been thinking a lot about starting to weight lift and by that I don't mean the 3kg weights that I frequently use.. I mean actually lift!

However I can't help but feel the social stigma holding me back, I mean to use heavier weights and develop strength, the first port of call would be to go to the gym.. but thinking about how intimidating the weights room could be, I'm definitely not ready for that confidence wise!

My next thought is to purchase slightly heavier weights than I am used to and work myself up while I'm in the comfort of my own home. 

To clarify, I don't want to buff up so to speak and honestly - given that I have a petite frame to begin with, I'm not too worried about that happening. I suppose I just want to be as strong as I can be. Essentially creating my optimal 'me'.

Weighing up the pros and cons so to speak, I believe that lifting will be the next step in my fitness routine. I've read over and over again how you can become leaner much more efficiently by doing so, which is my current aim.

 I will be keeping up with my fitness posts as often as possible along side working towards my business degree, which will be the reason for any gaps in my posts.

Thanks for popping over and remember to subscribe and keep up to date.

Friday, 9 September 2016

Top 10 ways to feel more energetic

Fitness and health is cycle, all of the steps should to be met in order for it to be successful.
If you eat bad but workout good, your results won't be optimal, the same applies if you eat good but never workout. Our bodies run smoothest when the whole cycle is complete.

A crucial part of the cycle is nutrition. If you do not eat right, then you will not be providing your body with the energy it needs. 

Simple as that. 

If you fill it with rubbish don't be surprised if you have a tough time being active. I know this first hand. I haven't always been into health and nutrition, hell I think I even lived off packet noodles for a whole year of my life when I was younger. I can see now how well I can handle life when I am filling my body with what it needs. For the most part.. but I'm real, some days I will eat McDonald's too.. shock horror! However it is a small percentage in comparison with the goodness that I now consume.

So I wanted to share a list of the top 10 changes that I have made in order to become more active and feel less sluggish.

Stop smoking

I picked up smoking again after having my daughter and let me tell you quitting 2 years ago was the best life choice that I have ever made. For me, my daughter, my house, my clothes, every single damn reason! I used to read these quitting smoking stories and would never imagine that it would be me writing them but here we are! I used NiQuitin 24 hour patches. The first few nights I had these amazing dreams, SO vivid that I started enjoying using them. It was a perk of the patches for me. After about a week the dreams stopped but I was really positive about quitting and began exercising in order to remove stress from my body due to cravings and withdrawal.

Since quitting the amount of energy that I have now is very noticeable. Smoking sucked the life out of me so this is high on my list of advise. Try and try until you stop.

Eat a good breakfast

Set yourself up for a good day by eating right. My favorite options are porridge, overnight oats or a homemade smoothie. It's true, breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

Drink lemon water

I love to drink lemon water, I feel that it cleanses my body. I'd fill a jug up each morning and have a few glasses through out the day. Although I don't drink it everyday now I will still make some fruit water a few days each week. 

 The vitamin c will work wonders for you
My advise for the best lemon water is to peel the skin and only submerge the flesh in the water, this stops the flavour getting too sharp.

Love carbs? Switch to whole grain

For me, life without carbs is not worth living.
But my old eating habits where out of control with white carbs, I would eat noodle butties, crisps butties, mounds of pasta and it just had to stop! Now I stick with carbs in moderation, switching to whole grain bread and pasta has provided me with much more energy and leaves me not even urging to pig out anymore because it's so nutritious and filling.

Choose herbal tea

The taste is not for everyone but give it a try, I think I actually acquired the taste by just forcing it down me. Now I love it but can see why others might not. Even if you substitute a few cups of tea or coffee for herbal tea you will reap the benefits. The anti-oxidants will leave you body running smoother in no time.

Get a good nights sleep

This should go without saying, it is the most logical one. Just sleep. So you have a 6am start every morning? Choose to sleep earlier if you must! Your body and mind will be so thankful.

Keep the junk out of the trunk!

Stop buying unhealthy food that you don't need. Sure your mind tells you that a packet of doughnuts will be nice to get in the shopping this week.. but no! Stick with the essentials. I broke this habit and it has worked like a charm. If I'm sad there is no crisps in the house at 11pm then I'm not going to run the shop to get them. If you do run the shop to get them? Well ok, then you just worked for them. 

Less junk will stop you from feeling lathargic. stock up on healthy snacks instead.

Fill up your fruit bowl

Literally go HAM!
Avocados, bananas, melon, apples.. buy those babies and fill up on good stuff.
You will not want it to go to waste, so you'll start eating it. Once you start changing your diet you'll become happier with picking fruit the next time. Your body will start to realise that this energy is actually 100% better for you than a chocolate bar.

Search for recipes

It seems like something that we should know but if you are new to healthy eating which many people are, it can be daunting knowing how to eat. Find awesome healthy eating recipes and try to make most of your meals from scratch to avoid packets and store bought sauces; avoiding unnecessary additives.

Nutrition is your best pal when it comes to feeling more energetic, don't forget that!

A few of my go to recipes websites:

Also I like to search on google for specific recipes, so if I have some chicken breasts in to use up then I will search "Healthy chicken breast recipes"

Switch to dark chocolate

If you are a big chocolate eater then switching to dark chocolate will be much better for you body. Just a piece or two will give you your chocolate fix and it is lower in sugar.

I hope you can utilize these tips, even if you start by putting a few into action then you will be taking little but loving steps to a better, more active you!

The Feel Good Files #8

This morning I got up, had my overnight oats then an hour later opted for a morning workout. Mornings can be tough and if you're not feeling it, it can be a nightmare to get motivated.
I chose a dance style workout because honestly I knew it wouldn't be too hard on me.
I love dance style workouts because there is more of a fun element to them. "I'm not working out, I'm just having a crazy twerk party." I told myself!

20 minutes was nothing out of my day, seriously. Although it was a short one.. 20 minutes can still be enough to get that sweat dripping. 

My motivation comes from many avenues but this mornings workout, was powered by my burning desire to be even half as toned as the dancer in Kanye West's new music video. 'FADE'

I saw this last night and


 She is literally smoking.. and also semi naked so I would advise you not to watch this in the office or around your children!

I think our bodies are amazing things and improving them, even in the slightest is completely worthwhile. Results won't come overnight but with focus and determination, tomorrow can be healthier and happier, mentally and physically.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

The Feel Good Files #7

Hello my lovely visitors! Today is National Fitness day (yes that's a thing) so I figured it would be totes rude not to post today. I am massively interested in everything to do with keeping fit and have been for the past 2 years. I wanted to add a progress picture here because I'm feeling pretty happy with my muscle definition on my stomach right now. I'm glad that with persistence, I have been able to avoid a saggy tum after birthing a beautiful child. My lower belly pooch still needs tightening up and my thighs are a little more jiggly than I'd like - so there's definitely still room for improvement.

I just took these pictures after a spontaneous outdoor, interval workout today. It has been almost a week since I have done a proper workout so it was well needed.

Given that it was so sunny today I just threw anything on and started a sweat session in the back. My daughter was on the trampoline mimicking my moves.

I done a mixture of sprints, high knees, kick backs and star jumps which got my heart rate up then I proceeded onto squats, planks, bicep curls, sit ups etc. 

I probably worked out for around 30 minutes and chugged quite a bit of water through out to keep me going. Also taking 10-20 second breaks when required. Lastly the cool down - which was amazing as always.

I hope you are enjoying this series, please make sure to subscribe on the right. :)
I'm planning a giveaway very soon and I want my followers to be the first to hear about it.