Sunday, 16 June 2013

Happy Father's Day!

Just in from a long night at work, plus it's nearly over, but I just wanted to make a quick post to say Happy Father's Day to my amazing Daddy. My dad is one of the hardest working, funniest, most generous & honest men I know & I love him so much.

Happy Father's Day Daddy. I love you x

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Recipe: Mexican Bean Dip

If you're anything like me, you always have a tub of houmous & a bag of carrot batons in your fridge. I am fanatical about houmous. In fact any kind of yummy dip that I can munch my way through a bag of raw veggies with is basically my dream food. One thing I've never done though, is made my own houmous before. I have my guacamole recipe perfected to a tee (another thing I always have in my kitchen- avocados) but houmous is not really the kind of thing you can just pull out of the stuff you have in your cupboard, because one thing I never think to buy is tahini.

I was considering taking a trip to the deli to see if I could get some houmous ingredients together when I spotted a tin of cannellini beans at the back of my cupboard & thought I'd have a go at making a bean dip instead. I had a quick Google around for a basic method & then sort of winged it from there, and this is what I came up with.

 You will need:

  • 1 tin of cannellini beans (these are so handy to have lying around because they make a great mash potato substitute if you can't be bothered with all the fuss)
  • 100mls olive oil
  • 1 lime
  • a good handful of coriander (cilantro for you Americans!)
  • 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika (I always have this to hand it's so good I put it in everything)
  • 2-3 garlic cloves depending on how big they are/how much you like garlic.
  • a pinch of dried chilli flakes (or more if you want more heat but I didn't want too much)
  • sea salt flakes, to taste. 
  • a food processor or blender
First, drain & rinse your beans in a colander, (this is the hardest part of the whole process, seriously, this dip is so easy a child could make it). Then, basically, add everything (except the salt) to a food processor & whiz up until it's as smooth as you like it. Add the salt until it's to your taste. Et voila! The easiest thing to prepare ever.

Serve with chopped raw veggies like carrots, sugar snap peas or sweet mini peppers, or with tortilla chips. Or both!

And that's all there is to it! It's SOO GOOD too. The best part is that I normally have all this stuff in my kitchen anyway- it's a real store cupboard recipe that you can just pull out whenever you need to. I'm also going to try adding other combinations of herbs & spices to my bean dips too! If you want to keep it for a while it will probably last for about 4 days in the fridge in a jar or similar airtight container. I dare say that this little jar of bean dip is even better than my beloved houmous...

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Etsy Treasuries: Totes Amaze

I've always been pretty good at remembering to bring my own bags when I go grocery shopping. With my sister being a marine-life conservation obsessive, and my mum being a responsible recycler & shopper who has always made a habit of keeping bags in her car boot for trips to the supermarket, it's kind of been drummed into me that taking reusable bags to the supermarket = good. Now though, Northern Ireland has a bag fee for every carrier bag given out at shops & supermarkets, and I have realised that when it comes to other shopping trips (clothes, etc) I never have a bag to hand.

But I don't want to go down the shops with some boring old blue Tesco bag for life, obv! Cue Etsy, a treasure (lol, soz) trove of cute & affordable, handmade tote bags that you can easily stuff in your handbag, to produce when parting with your hard earned cash at Topshop (or most likely Primark in my case).

Find these amazing tote bags (all under a tenner!) @ Totes Cute: Etsy Treasury by me!

My top three are the bags above. I love (3) because of its simplicity- I love a geographic print, and the gold & black in this are perfect & would pretty much match everything in my wardrobe. Number (2) ticks all my girly boxes: tea, florals & cute hand drawings. Lastly, and MOST IMPORTANTLY (1) is basically the most amazing thing I have seen in my life. A rabbit singing the lyrics of R Kelly's Ignition (Remix) to woo himself a lady rabbit. And it's only SIX QUID. I am 100% going to buy this when I get paid tomorrow, I must own it for when I make a spontaneous detour after work to buy wine & magazines and find myself in need of a bag. Not that that happens often... cough.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Hairspiration: Game of Thrones

So I have found myself, like everyone else on the planet, completely obsessed with Game of Thrones. I mean, it's brilliant on another level, RIGHT?!

It took me a while to get into it, at first I was put off watching it because it all seemed a bit naff to me- dragons, made up languages & weird medieval clothes? Not my cup of tea. Everyone was talking about it though so I gave the first episode a go but didn't see the fuss. It wasn't until my sister, who is the last person on this planet I ever thought would be watching Game of Thrones, told me I would love it that I finally sat down & gave it another chance. It still took me a while to get into it, but when I cried after the big shock death at the end of Season 1 I realised I was forever hooked on it. Now the dragons, made up languages & weird medieval clothes are all AMAZING to me. Like, what was I ever thinking that it would ever be anything but totally the best thing on the face of the Earth?

There are so many amazing things about this show; swords, wolves as pets, attractive people, freaky magic smoke demons, people with ridiculous names like Daenerys, Cersei & Theon, and (MY FAVOURITE) intricately braided & insanely long hair. I love the hair SO MUCH.


Agh all so amazing- plus there are other upsides to braids/plaits too, not only does it look amazing but if you braid clean hair then it keeps it cleaner for longer, which means you don't have to wash your hair! I hate washing my hair more than anything else- it's the biggest beauty chore I can think of UGH. It's also good for formal occasions, or work when you want to look a bit fancy/professional but keep your hair out of your face at the same time. And lastly, when the weather gets warmer (hello two weeks of British summer) and you can't be bothered with all that frizz flapping about your face then a braid'll keep you cool.

So start watching Game of Thrones if you haven't already because it's going to be really good for your hair.