Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Healthy Nutella: Sweet Freedom Choc Shot 3 Ways

On my way back from work last week, I stopped off at Whole Foods, a very expensive habit I've recently gotten into, and one which I can't seem to break. That place is heaven for foodies like me.

I spent a good half an hour browsing the shelves for 'healthier' chocolate goodies and examining so many packages and ingredients that my eyes began to hurt (someone please tell me why I always enter Whole Foods and immediately think I'm a health expert?!?!)...and I came across this little beauty by Sweet Freedom. Choc Shot. 

It's basically liquid chocolate, or to chocoholics like me, liquid gold. It honestly tastes delicious, like sweet melted chocolate. And at 13 calories a teaspoon (and just 0.1 grams of saturated fat), it contains less than half of the calories of a teaspoon of nutella, as well as less than half of the sugar and saturated fat in nutella. 

What's more, the the beautiful little substance is made with natural fruit extracts and natural chocolate flavour. Sweet Freedom brand themselves on this quality. All their products are au natural baby (Or so they say)So when I next try (and fail) at ditching artificial sugars, I won't have to feel guilty about indulging in a bit (or a lot) of this bad boy. 

Here's 3 ways to enjoy it! 

1) Choc Shot with Fruit & Oats 

Add a sprinkle of cinnamon and coconut oil to some porridge oats and toast them off in the oven for 5 minutes. 

Pop a mix of your favourite fruits in a bowl (I chose a mix of raspberries and blueberries as we'd run out of bananas), sprinkle the oats on top and add a generous squirt of choc shot. 

Dig in!

2) Hot Chocolate Shot 

I used almond milk, simply because I'm obsessed with the stuff (I have it every morning with my porridge). I also tried it with hazelnut milk and that was amazing. Imagine one big jug of melted nutella, without the intensity/ sickliness. 

Simply place the milk on the hob, and near boiling, add three teaspoons of choc shot (you can also whack it all in a mug and microwave it, but I always think doing it on the hob is nicer...I don't know why!)

This was probably my favourite. A perfect sweet treat to enjoy on a full tummy after a big dins. 

3) Banana & Choc Shot on Toast 

One of my favourite snacks of all time is banana and nutella on toast, and this healthier alternative is honestly just as tasty, and guilt-free!

I had it on spelt bread as we purchased a fresh loaf from Gails in Barnes that morning (I can't stop raving about this cafe...see this blog post). But any bread will do! However, if you're trying to be healthy, I recommend spelt or rye bread (Biona do a great variety of flavours). Both, I love! 

The way the chocolate melts onto the warm freshly toasted bread is mouth watering. I also like to heat the banana up in the microwave for 10 seconds or so before placing it on the toast. An amazing comfort snack, perfect with a nice cuppa rosy lee! 

My tummy is rumbling just looking at these pictures. 

So go give it a try guys and girls! You won't regret it. 


Sunday, 23 March 2014

The Perfect 'Dinner To Club' Outfit

Happy Sunday everybody!

Yesterday I decided that a quick shopping trip was a must as I'm in need of some new rings (I love rings and wear them every day, causing my current ones to look a bit worse for wear!). After watching a haul by one of my newly discovered bloggers Suzie, writer of HelloOctober, I was convinced that H&M was the place to go. 

And it did not let me down as I returned with four multi-sets of rings and a multi-set of earrings. 

I may have also accidentally slipped into River Island and Topshop on the way to the bus stop and purchased a blazer and top...woopsy daisy. Oh, and tumbled into Boots and bought Maybelline's Colour Sensational Shine Gloss in 'Cashmere Rose' (another one of Suzie's recommendations). And once again bank balance, I am truly sorry. I mean it this time.

Last night I went to dinner on the Kings Road with Mr Irish where I indulged in a massive slab of  baby cow aka veal followed by a chocolate fondant to share (surprise surprise). Then we headed to Infernos to partaaay. This is where I decided it would be a good idea to become besties with half of the club and order them drinks, only for my card to get declined...sozzzz Niall! 

So this is what I purchased in the day time and wore in the eve;

The perfect 'dinner to club' or 'date to party' outfit, in my opinion!

I Am Wearing
Top - Topshop 
Blazer - River Island 
Leggings - Topshop
Shoes - Miss Selfridge
Rings - H&M
Necklace - Ebay
Nails - Models Own in 'Jade Stone'
Lips - Mac's 'Ravishing' and Maybelline's Colour Sensational Shine Gloss in 'Cashmere Rose'

And here are the H&M purchases: 

Midi rings are my new favourite thing! I'm so glad I finally found someone to fit my mini fingers! H&M, you rock. 
Yes, I just bought back the phrase "you rock". And what? 

Hope y'all had a lovely weekend!


Thursday, 20 March 2014

Perfection: Does it Exist?

I often find myself telling people (or myself...yes, I do have conversations with the mirror) that I'm a 'perfectionist', ie. I strive for perfection.

But what is perfection?

Recently, I've been reading bits and bobs here and there (namely Glamour Magazine and Richard Holden's 'How to be Happy’ which we'll discuss more another time!) and have come to a conclusion; Perfection doesn't exist.

There are two main forms of perfection which I believe we as humans look for: 'The Perfect Life' and 'The Perfect Self'. But of course, these ideas of perfectionism mean different things to different people.

Let's start with the idea of 'The Perfect Life'. To some, falling in love with a member of the opposite sex and starting a family may be deemed 'perfect', but to a homosexual, this is probably their worst nightmare!

Similarly, the idea of 'The Perfect Self' differs from person to person, as what is important to one person may not be worthless to another. For example, to one person, perfection is reached by being successful, whilst to another, perfection is achieved through reaching their (ie. society's) ideal body image (I am guilty of this one!).

But what are the boundaries of perfection? When do we reach 'optimum perfection'? Alan Sugar may be one of the most successful business men in the country, but does he see himself as perfect? Probably not. It's human nature to always aspire for more than we have. And as well as this, we all have our flaws. Similarly, Cara Delevingne may be one of the most beautiful and successful models out there right now, and many girls (including me) wouldn't mind looking like her, but I'm sure she doesn't wake up in the morning and think, "oooh, I'm so perfect". Well, let's hope not! After all, there's more to a person than pure aesthetics.

Money is often seen as the answer to achieving perfection. Many take the view that money can buy 'The Perfect Life' or 'The Perfect Self'. And if we assume that these two things equal happiness, then it is understandable why the phrase 'money can buy happiness' is so popular. For example, money can buy a beautiful abode, the latest designer clothes, the Ferrari you've always dreamed of, a holiday home, endless trips abroad...the list is innumerable. And for parents wanting to give their kids 'The Perfect Life' and upbringing, money may seem like the answer; it can buy private school admissions as well as all things aesthetic to seemingly enhance their life. However, these superficial purchases, in my opinion, only bring short-lived happiness/ 'perfection' as we adapt to our surroundings, see them as normal (no longer 'perfect'), and dream of more. Also, what happens when these children grow up to be spoilt, ungrateful brats? How can one's life be perfect when they're the furthest thing from perfect themselves? I'll let ya into a little secret... it can't!

On browsing the Daily Mail yesterday and learning of Neil Trotter, a (probably former) car mechanic and the latest £108 million Euromillions lottery winner, my first thought was "wow, what a lucky guy. He's sorted for life!" Obviously, I immediately linked his new found wealth to a simultaneous inheritance of 'The Perfect Life'. But I can almost guarantee that his life isn't perfect. Money can't buy perfection.

Perfection is not attainable. The mere idea of it is absurd...who can be described as perfect? In the words of Jessie J, ‘nobody’. Wise words Jessie. Boys, that includes Cheryl Cole, and girls, I hate to break it to ya, but Ryan Gosling isn’t perfect either! Nor is the Queen of England. Or Leonard DiCaprio (although his performance in 'The Wolf of Wall Street' was the closest thing to perfect I've seen this year). And although it pains me to admit it...Niall Horan is not the perfect man (that took a lot to admit).

If we are continuously striving for something that doesn't exist, then how are we ever going to be happy? 

Personally, I find myself constantly striving to be thinner, more toned, healthier. And of course this means that when I slip up (everyone has their bad days), then I class myself a 'failure'. I’m slowly but surely realising that I need to give myself a break. I think everyone in society today is guilty of being beating themselves up in their search for perfection. We are our own worst enemy. It is no bad thing to have goals and ambitions...but if it's one thing I urge, it's that we need to stop being so harsh on ourselves!

Every single person has their flaws and imperfections. It's how we choose to deal with them that makes us grow/ helps us to be a better person.  
So take my advice. Stop striving for perfection and live and enjoy each day as it comes.

Salvador Dali had some pretty good advice too - "Have no fear of perfection- you'll never reach it".

Strive for progress, not perfection. 
Aaaaand finally, when life gives you lemons, squeeze the **** outta them and make pints of lemonade!

This post got deeper than I first expected but I hope a few of you can relate!


Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Saturdays at Portobello Market

On Saturday, the besties and I decided to venture on down to Portobello market.

Its vibrant and colourful atmosphere and the enticing smells of incence, Middle Eastern foods, sweet sugary crepes and the spices of Asian cuisines make it irresistible, especially if our senses have anything to do with it!

Not only this, but the market is buzzing with pretty jewellery stands, vintage gems, and clothes stalls selling items which mimick the high street items for half the price...so you'd be a very silly sausage not to spare a visit! (Unintented tongue twister there).  

Jewels, jewels and more jewels...so much gold! Jack Sparrow would be in his element.

Knuckledusters turn fashionable!

I actually really liked this little gold clutch, but knowing me, thought it best to leave it as I could do some considerable damage with this on a night out!! (Accidental damage, of course).

 Flowers + pastels + statement necklaces. What's not to love?

When I have baby Nish's, I am definitely purchasing some of these little booties for them. How adorable are they? I want them all!

Unfortunately, they didn't have my size, but if they did, I can definitely see myself rocking the Winnie the Pooh pair (in the bottom left corner).

I was eyeing up this dress a few months back in Topshop...I particularly loved the fuchsia one (just like below) but couldn't justify the price. This replica was considerably cheaper and almost identical!

These jumpers are also just like Topshop's range of cropped pastel jumpers, so if you can't afford the High Street beauties, then Portobello is the place to go mofos.

Pretty pearl earrings for £3 a pair...apparently you can tell a pearl is real if it feels rough when you rub it against another hard object. Fact.

Also, pearls don't come from oysters (I thought they did up until Sunday). Fact two.

There ya go, you learn something(s) new every day!

My babes are everywhere...

Note the yellow rubber ducky just minding his own business on the side...

OUCH! Poor ducky goes splat...

We also came across INCENSE...and I became obsessed with the 'Gingerbread' stick. It literally smelt of...well, gingerbread, and I wanted to eat it. I never thought I'd say this, but after inhaling the sweet smells at the stall for 15 minutes straight, I probably would eat Gingy the Gingerbread Man from Shrek. To all Gingy/Shrek fans, I'm sorry okay! 

We found this 'local' market man casually busting some moves...

and then he took me to the floor...and literally wiped the floor with me. To conclude, I can't dance.

A man was offering 'Free Healing' sessions. At first I thought we should approach - the word free being the stand out word here. However, it soon became apparent that the man offering these complimentary sessions was nothing more than a drunk drinking a can of K, 'in pure daylight' as Ags pointed out, clearly trying to get in touch with his spiritual side...so we sensibly decided to walk on.

Now these little sticks of potato were everywhere. Essentially, they're nothing more than crisps on a stick and at £4 per one, I think I'd rather stick to a packet of Kettle Chips (sweet chilli & sour cream, the superior flavour) from the newsagent, thanks!


We then went to the cutest little rooftop bar/restaurant called the Garden & Grill, where we drank wine in the sunshine...

Ags couldn't miss a photo opportunity with the multifunctional watering can/plant pot.

Working the pastels!

My Pretty girrrrrls <3 

Not a bad view (okay, if it weren't for the colourful flowers, the picture would be pretty crap. Shhhh).

Clearly, we had a whale of a time...

One last thing. On the way back we walked past a shop where Niall was chosen to dominate the window display out of all the 1D members. So of course I took a photo. Take that Harry. 

All in all, a lovely way to spend a sunny Saturday in London! I highly recommend you all to get off yo asses and do the same some time soon.