Recently – I say recently, but I actually mean a couple of months ago… please forgive me on how LATE this post is and the lack of content at the moment but life has been very busy these past months (Maybe I’ll do a chatty post to update you all on my whereabouts), meaning I haven’t had a proper chance to just chill with a cup of tea and write. I have however had plenty of time to nurture my thoughts for future posts and with the Christmas months creeping closer (eeeeeeek) I am beyond eager for all the festivity to come.
So, enough excuses…
Recently (winky face), I was lucky enough to visit the beautiful Greek island of Rhodes to spend a week doing absolutely nothing and eating absolutely everything. My family and I escaped away to the town of Akti Kanari; a beachfront town only a few miles outside of the historical Old Rhodes Town. Although it was a bit on the windy side and the sea had quite angry tendencies (claiming a few pairs of sunglasses on one occasion), it was the perfect destination for a relaxing, care-free holiday.
The week away allowed us to unwind from the world and spend time together as a family. It was a week of ‘treat yourself your on holiday’‘s and a week of reading and tanning. And as a lover of travelling, it’s these special moments and opportunities that you treasure forever; ending the summer on a high before we all begin our hibernation again. Looking back through all the photos doesn’t fail to make me smile or long to relive the feeling of waking up to sunshine; breezing down to the beach and setting up a towel for the day, maybe occasionally walking to the beach bar to grab an ice cream when I fancied some exercise. It was everything you could imagine of a week away on a sunny island – we even ventured out of the comforts of the hotel to become typical tourists for the day and explored some of the beautiful Greek culture.
Of course we were all sad when it had to end and wished we could lie beneath the sun on a palm tree print towel forever, but our batteries had been sufficiently recharged and our skin had soaked up enough vitamin D so we were ready to face the world again.
Here is a collection of photos captured from my time in Rhodes, the beautiful island (Prepare for an overload of blue seas and skies!)
Open your eyes and see the world,
If your’re as passionate about stationary as I am then do gather around for this blog post and deeply inhale the smell of freshly lined notebook pages… (seriously someone needs to create a perfume/candle of this scent)
Much like many other forms of my shopping addictions, once I’ve laid my eyes on something, I just have to buy it – no questions asked. This same policy can be applied to almost everything and it certainly doesn’t stop me from signing up to a stationary subscription box, which is essentially a well deserved monthly gift to yourself (you don’t need a reason).
Summer is made for spontaneous and cute outings with friends or family; exploring new places or just visiting old favourites, praying for the sun to make its well awaited appearance. Whether you live in the countryside or not, beautiful areas lie just around the corner; harnessing perfect sunny memories. As I have been blessed with two months of glorified: exam free, school free, stress free summer holidays, I’m taking it upon myself to make this THE best summer yet. With July already down (…I think we all must have blinked and missed that one) and a few exciting memories made, I’m grabbing every opportunity that comes my way and saying yes to much more.
Whilst exploring London (check out what I got up to here) I googled “Top Breakfast Cafe’s in West London” and it brought me here. I was hunting for somewhere with a healthy but delicious menu which would offer a good selection of dishes for me to choose from, whilst still being purse-friendly and having a unique feel to it; I mean Pret is great but with a shop around every corner I was, honestly, sick of seeing it and its banana & cashew almond shakes (sorry). Farm Girl, Portbello Road, seemed like the perfect place to spend a quiet morning tucking into something nutritious – and only a short walk from where I was staying, I rose early one Wednesday morning with this cafe in my sights.
London is such an iconic city filled with the hustle and bustle of thousands of people living their lives. It is very different to the quiet open countryside where I’ve lived all my life (for one there is less pollution and no black residue when you sneeze – ew) however I was eager to discover what this city had to offer and planned an exciting few days in the capital itself; exploring every inch I possible could. It’s safe to say I’ve come back with extremely sore feet, walking over 20,000 steps each day, and will be spending the next week in bed recovering but wishing I could relive it again never the less.
The trip itself was a birthday treat from my sister (thank you lots and lots it was amazing xxx) and although we spent only 3 days there, we managed to cram in so much each day from sight seeing to shopping – and of course we had to tune in for the Love Island final on ITV 2. I would highly recommend anyone who has the chance to visit London to do so as it holds so many opportunities for each and everyone. Here is my little post containing all the truly inspiring things I got up to during my stay which I wish to share with you – Sorry in advance for the photos, I didn’t want to haul around my Camera so you will have to make do with the iPhone qual
With all this spare time on my hands I find myself regularly browsing online shopping websites, casually adding various different items in my wishlist for later purchase. I am honestly trying to save money for my trip to London this week (I picture myself as Blair Waldorf with arm fulls of designer brands, waltzing down Oxford Street) but we could all do with a bit of retail therapy every now and again – and I promise I’m not maliciously trying to trick you or your bank cards into departing with that hard earned cash, I just felt an urge to share my favourite pieces that ASOS have to offer.
I think that ASOS is the perfect, ease free, online shopping experience: they feature so many brands, small and big, all in one space for efficient browsing – picking out the best items for their customers. And although it may seem like there is just too much to choose from on the website, with their brilliant free delivery (0ver £20) and free returns you can fill your basket with all your hearts desires – without that daunting added cost at the checkout! Their new ASOS A-List club enables you to earn points as you spend, with extra rewards the more times you shop. I love these kinds of perks as it makes the guilt of spending a little more bearable; all you have to do is place and order and create an account and you’re signed up for this brilliant service.
As summer is just around the corner (she says as she opens her curtains to view another spell of rain…) and there’s nothing more fun than collecting and creating a new summer wardrobe – bursting with floral patterns, white lace detailing and fluorescent fabrics, I have chosen a few items from the ASOS website that I have fallen in love with and I hope that you do too!
You cannot go wrong with a classic white dress, perfect to throw on and pair with some tan strappy sandals for the effortless style. I can picture this dress in a Grecian Town, sun beating down, with an illuminating tan.
Culottes are a very marmite piece, but (unlike marmite) I love them! The would be perfect for an evening meal with some classic heels. These tie waist pair of trousers look so simple in the sophisticated grey shade – if you’re sceptical just try them and see!
ASOS provide and amazing variety of jeans and I think their slim mom jeans are super flattering. Extreme rips are really fashionable at the moment and create that edgier vibe which I really like. For a casual outfit you can pair these with some white trainers.
I’m never really a huge colour lover, but a great way to add those bright hues into your wardrobe is through a neon bikini like this one. The style is so flattering and the colour would suit every skin tone.
I saw these espadrilles and I immediately saved them… they are just so cute and different but the black and white colour still contributes to the minimalist style. These are those easy beach shoes you can just slip on before you go out, and the canvas material provides great comfort.
Similar to the culottes, these shorts have a flattering tie to the waist to really sinch in and accentuate your figure. I have a pair of shorts similar and they can be so versatile for daytime or nighttime. This pastel blue colour is very spring/summer and would look stylish with a floppy hat.
I love ASOS for the variety of brands and I have recently discovered Quay sunglasses. These shades are so funky and unique to really complete an outfit. Rose gold is such a trend currently and the lenses on these sunglasses provide that girly touch to an outfit.
Pinafores have been all the range for a while, and when customised with this beautiful floral embroidery it really become a staple piece. This design is brilliant as it is available in tall and petite, which is great as it tailors for everyone.
I promised myself that this summer I would expand my baking encyclopedia and explore different recipes and combinations of ingredients. I have always loved creating and making yummy dishes for people to try: an elaborate birthday cake or some flavour filled curries, and I have recently been very interested in vegan and plant based cooking. Not only is it guilt free as it contains much healthier ingredients, but it also enables you to enjoy the food knowing no animals were unwillingly harmed to provide the ingredients for the dish.
I know not everyone prefers the vegan lifestyle, and I totally respect everyone’s lifestyle choices, but I just wanted to share with you one of my midnight mind waves to create strawberry and banana oat bites. These energising squares are tastily soft and chewy, with a sugary (all natural) fruit glazing – they’re a light snack to eat on the go and are so quick and easy to make, using a lot of ingredients in your cupboard!
SIDE NOTE: You could totally swap out the strawberries for other berries of your choice, or really play around with the flavours adding chopped nuts or seeds or nuts butters.
for the stewed strawberries…
- 2 Cups Finely Chopped Strawberries
- 2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
- 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
for the oat base…
- 2 Cups Rolled Oats
- 2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
- 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 Tsp Baking Powder
- 1/4 Cup Dates
- 2 Ripe Bananas
- Sprinkle of Cinnamon
- To create the stewed strawberries, place the chopped strawberries and maple syrup over a medium heated saucepan. Allow this to stew for about 10 minutes. Once stewed add the vanilla extract and bring to the boil for a few minutes before taking off the heat and allowing to cool.* (You could place this in the fridge if you’re in a hurry)
- Pre-heat the oven to 190º and line a square baking tray with parchment paper (I used an 8×8)
- Meanwhile, start the base by prepping the oats. Place 1 cup of the oats into a food processor or blender and mix until it resembles a flour texture. Add this, alongside the baking powder, to the other half of the oats and transfer into a large mixing bowl.
- In your clean food processor/blender add the 2 bananas (roughly broken into small chunks), the dates, cinnamon and vanilla extract and mix until a smooth batter-like consistency is formed.
- Combine the oat mix with the banana mix together in the mixing bowl, adding the maple syrup between stirs. Once a thick dough is formed, evenly spread this into the baking tray, packing it down with a spatula to create an even surface.
- Poke small holes all over the oatie base and spoon the jammy strawberries over the top, leaving a few mm around the edge to preven burning.
- Place in the warm oven for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Once baking is complete, take out of the oven and allow to cool before cutting (I chose to cut them quite small but you do you)
*You could prepare this in advanced or the night before to really allow it to thicken.
Share any of your creations in the comments