Friday, December 21, 2012

Fiction Friday - Mutton

I love India Knight!  She's witty, bright, clever, funny and she almost always says what I'm thinking, but in a far funnier wittier kind of way!!  In fact, whenever I'm asked my opinion now, I'm thinking of trotting out the line "oh, just ask India, she knows" in a light, airy sort of way.

It's not just her Sunday Times column that I love, or her great after-midnight tweets; or her blatant disregard for 'properness'; I just love her normality, the way she just puts herself out there, opinions and all and you either love it or hate it.  You all know which camp I'm in.  So, I've read all her books (even did the Pig to Twig which was wonderfully successful; I mean a diet that allows you to eat fat, no, encourages it! See, told you she was different) and the thing about IK's books, is that they've all made me snort out loud.  Yes, snort.  Her new book Mutton was no different.  Mutton chronicles the life of forty-something Clara; the pitfalls of growing older and the conundrums that brings, especially when your friends are looking younger and younger.  As Clara deals with her kids, her exes, her thin and gorgeous friends, we're treated to her views on pretty much everything she comes across - very snort-worthy it is too.  If you want to read a review before you read/download then take a peek here; but my advice would be, just get it, read it and don't expect to do anything until you've finished it.  I didn't.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Pinterest Projects

I think most people have come across Pinterest in some shape or you have a board?  I know the pros and cons of it have been mulled over; but one of the questions I've heard asked is 'what do people do with their pinterest images once they've been pinned?'.  Do they just end up like our digital photos, languishing on the laptop?  I can't speak for anyone else, but to me my boards are more than just a digital scrapbook.  I do actually use them, as reference and as inspiration, which I then put to use in my day-to-day life. 

Here's some of the recent 'projects' that were inspired by Pinterest.

 The flourless chocolate torte was amazing as were the lemon salted fries. I made the bacon and baked egg dish for breakfast and the kale and garlicky bean stew for a healthy lunch. Perhaps my most successful pinterest 'steal' was the meal in a jar which has revolutionised my lunchtimes...and now my colleagues have pinched the idea too...

I love clothes. I do; and I've found huge inspiration from outfits put together by diligent sartorially-minded pinteresters (is there such a word?!) Seriously, I often browse the outfits on my boards and put together an ensemble as a result. These are some of the things I've been wearing recently

Books.  Glorious Books. The books below I either re-read or pinned because I'd just read, and loved them. 

What's inspired you on Pinterest?  Have you tackled a new project or baked something new because you saw it on Pinterest first?  Let me know, I'd love to hear...You can see more of my inspiration boards here.

All image sources from here

Monday, December 17, 2012

Pre-Christmas Detox - Garlicky Kale and Bean Stew

It's that time of year when parties are knocking on our doors; there's nibbles, cakes, cocktails and fizz.  We usually eat too much, drink too much, in fact there's probably too much of everything (apart from sleep!).  Anyway, into all this excess comes the saviour Kale!  Yes, really.  I quite like to go cold turkey pre-christmas on the usual excesses, to try and accomodate the inevitable overdose over the festive period and the following recipe is a fab pick-me-up and 'health in the bank' sort of meal.  I promise it'll make you feel could it not?  Kale packs more nutritional punch per calorie than virtually any other veg on the planet.  It is chocka with vitamin K which helps prevent bone fractures, postmenopausal bone density loss, calcification of your arteries and some studies even suggest it protexts against liver and prostate cancer.  In fact, it's one of the top cancer-fighting veggies around as it is one of the richest source of carotenoids.  It helps regulate estrogen and regulates blood pressure too, so what's stopping you - stock up on your kale and try it really is delicious to boot!

Garlicky White Bean & Kale StewServes 3-4

You will need:
Garlic Oil
2 medium onions
6 cloves garlic (I used the garlic oil instead of garlic)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional, but really delicious)
5 bay leaves
Pinch chili flakes
Sea salt
Cracked black pepper
1 tin cooked white beans (lima, butter, navy, cannelini…)
2 large handfuls of packed shredded kale leaves
500ml vegetable stock
1 can chopped tomatoes
Cold-pressed olive oil to garnish

To make:
1. Heat a knob of oil in a large stockpot. Slice onions and add to the pot with a couple pinches sea salt, chili, bay leaves and paprika. Cook for a few minutes until the onions have softened, then add sliced garlic. If the post becomes dry, add a little juice from the tinned tomatoes.
2. Add all other ingredients, bring to a boil, season to taste, and serve with a drizzle of olive oil (since everything is cooked, you don’t need to heat it long). If you are going to let it simmer for a while, add the kale about 5-10 minutes before serving so that it retains more of its nutritional value,

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Thinking Thankful Thoughts

It's easy in the busyness of life to forget how wonderful our lives really are most of the time; yeah it's stressful worrying about work, deadlines, children's health, paying bills and getting the washing done; but how about all those things we take for granted.  Here's some of the things I'm thankful for today:

being able to move around with ease (seriously, don't take this one for granted - I dread the day I can't run/ swim/go for a bike ride)
for my lovely home and treasured bits
for wonderful friends
for family I love, that love right back
for my new kitten Minxy and her soft trusting eyes
for enough pennies to pay for an indulgent manicure
for opportunities
for love 
What are you being thankful for today - let me know...
image source: here

Monday, December 03, 2012

House envy

I'm still apologising for lack of regular posts!  So unbelievably busy both at home and at work (applying for a new job) and there just doesn't seem to be enough time...BUT, I promise after next week that will all improve and posts will be more regular.  But for now, here's a little house envy to keep you going.  It's a Danish home with a very French feel, and of course, it's white!  Enjoy my dream home...

I could...
laze here

find calm here

be oh-so organised here

drift away on dreams here

snooze here

entertain here

image source: Bolig Magasinet