lifestyle

Appreciating the norm

So to be honest with you this week hasn’t been particularly exciting but I think sometimes it’s important to appreciate the norm.

Work has been fairly steady paced this week and we have new staff! Towards the end of the week I received a letter with my appointment date to see the adult ADHD specialist which was unexpected as I was told it was likely to be June before I would get an appointment, but I won’t complain!

I’ve been using my rowing machine a bit more and I’ve been binge watching one born every minute!

My sister came over Friday night and we went to the local Mexican tapas place and shared some food and sangria! She stayed the night and left early the next day to drive all the way down to Bristol.

This weekend I’ve pretty much been tidying and decorating which mainly means I’ve been to ikea and I’ve put my laundry on!

What has everyone else been up to?

Jessica x

home

My next project… the balcony

My flat comes with a tiny bit of outdoor space in the form of a balcony! When I first moved in I had great plans of decorating but due to the winter weather, and decorating the inside of my flat it’s been put on the back burner.

Now that the weather is starting to improve and hopefully a hot summer is on the cards I really want to be able to enjoy this place and the view ( of the sea but also the car park, keeping it real! )

Currently my plans are to give it a bit of a clean, find a small ( hopefully not to expensive!) table and chairs and maybe a plant pot or two! I’m thinking it might be fun to grow some herbs! My favourite herb being basil!

I’m definitely on the hunt for some inspiration so if anyone has any ideas or tips then I’d be grateful for a message!

lifestyle

Spring has sprung

So this week has been a tad stressful! I’ve been back at work and as I was ill and not able to work the week before I had TONs to catch up on! Thankfully I pretty much feel semi-on top of things by Friday so fingers crossed next week will be a tad less stressful 🤞.

Outside of work I’ve pretty much just been taking some time to rest! I’ve only been to crossfit once, but that’s better than nothing. I’ve brought a new book, the tattooist of auschwitz, and today I’m going to a housewarming barbecue, let me know if anyone would like a blog about vegetarian options ( we also enjoy a good BBQ!)

About a month ago I started on antidepressants for anxiety and this week I’ve had my dose increased, so still getting used to these as they take a little while to start kicking in.

Currently I’m sat in a Starbucks cafe and I’m enjoying a iced coffee in the sun ☀️. What has everyone else been up to this week?

food

An average cook tries… part 1

First up… Strawberry-basil ice cubes and vegetarian jelly.

An average cook tries…

Whilst I have a good sound knowledge of nutrition I would definitely describe my cooking skills as average, some things turn out well and some not so well! Hopefully this will be a bit of fun and a chance to be creative.

This was inspired by YouTuber Lucy Wood’s series Average girl tries, where Lucy tries a range of different makeup brands ( and worth a watch if you enjoy makeup)

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLQDcFS0jDfE8fcxmpFHcZGReYP77kIIDL

Strawberry-basil ice cubes and jelly…

My all time favourite herb is basil! Love the taste and the smell! Sadly I am not good at growing basil but I will try again soon!! Over the last year or so I’ve been introduced to basil containing cocktails and mock-tails which are my favourite!

Today I went to Tesco for the weekly shop and found a few packs of basil on sale and set myself a challenge to use them! I found a recipe for basil and strawberry ice cubes (perfect for spring!) and adapted these slightly.

Inspirational recipes

https://www.tablespoon.com/recipes/strawberry-basil-ice-cubes/c6f457dd-cfe9-4583-8d67-50ccf243c92f

https://www.tablespoon.com/recipes/basil-simple-syrup/4e334549-f07a-4b68-bfe3-3284406eac97

I adapted the basil syrup by using stevia instead of sugar. After making the ice cubes I used three packets (possibly too many) of vege-gel ( a gelatine alternative ) to make a vegetarian jelly. I didn’t want to add more fluid so I heated up the basil and strawberry mixture.

Ingredients

  1. Large pundit of strawberries
  2. 2 packets of basil
  3. 6 stevia tablets
  4. 3 packets vege-gel
  5. 2 cups water

Step-by-step

Basil syrup

  1. Add two packets of basil to two cups of boiling water in a pan
  2. Add stevia to taste ( I added 6 tablets) or sugar/ sugar alternative
  3. Heat mixture on medium whilst stevia dissolves
  4. Turn off heat and allow to steep for at least 15 minutes
  5. Strain syrup

Strawberry and basil mixture

  1. Blend strawberries until smooth
  2. Strain to remove seeds
  3. Add in basil syrup and stir

Jelly

  1. Dissolve one pack of vege-gel to 200ml water, this will set 1 pint of fluid.
  2. Heat mixture to boiling and stir frequently
  3. Add to mounds and allow to set

Pictures

img_2059.jpg

If anyone has any ideas for recipes to try (vegetarian please) then please feel free to leave me a comment 🙂

home

What I’ve learned from furnishing my flat

I wasn’t exactly planning on getting an unfurnished flat, but after moving up North for a job I quickly discovered that whilst incredible useful for a quick move living in hospital accommodation was not for me!

I managed to stay in hospital accommodation for a month before I bit the bullet and organised some flat viewings. I quickly learned that a lot of flats are not furnished especially if you do not live somewhere with a nearby university. I’ve also recently learnt that I was incredibly lucky to get a flat that came with a fridge, freezer, microwave, dishwasher and washing machine! I also learnt that flats go super fast!

What I learnt from furnishing the flat… 

  • My bed, sofa and coffee table came from British Heart Foundation Furniture Charity Shop and I brought them three days before I moved into my flat. Prior to this I’d never been into a charity furniture shop, I was pleasantly surprised to find that they have new furniture as well as donated items and my bed and coffee table were brand new.
  • I’m not exactly sure how I was expecting all my furniture to be put together but I was genuinely surprised with how much flat pact furniture I ended up having to build. Also how much cardboard recycling I would end up with.
  • Invest in a hammer and some good screwdrivers
  • Some of my cheaper flat pack items where very difficult to get all the screws in place properly and I did end up with several blisters to my hands
  • Cardboard boxes containing flat pack beds are massive!
  • Companies that will offer to remove said recycling will cost an arm and a leg! Yet the recycling centre will take everything for free ( will take you multiple trips because you have a tiny car).
  • Next Furniture sales are your friend and where one of my lounge seats, massive rug ( that hides a stain on the floor that I inherited with the flat) and to stand are from
  • Tesco/ Asda sales on home decor are great for fake flowers, and general little bits and bobs that make my flat feel like home as well as a few pictures on the walls
  • I have spent way to much money on cushions and I still want more
  • I thought that as I have an Amazon prime account I would be able to choose when the furniture arrived, I was wrong! You get no choice and they will deliver everything at different times and to different neighbours in your flat. They also won’t necessarily tell you that they’ve delivered your furniture to a mystery person in your flat. On the plus side it is a good way of getting some unique furniture at a cheaper cost.
  • Ikea will naturally run out of the furniture you want so you’ll end up finding alternatives from the pictures on all the aisle
  • After spending £200+ on a table that six can sit at (for when I have the family round) everyone will either sit at the breakfast bar on Ikea high stool chairs or on the sofa
  • You don’t need to buy everything at once
  • I’m still no good at growing plants

Sometimes I still feel a bit shocked at the realisation that I will never again be able to pack up my car and move in one trip! Yet I feel that I’m slightly closer to being able to have my own house! One day I might even finish fully unpacking!

lifestyle

In the search of coffee

I’m one of those people who leaves the house ( or in my case flat) everyday, rain or shine! I just get the need to go outside, even for very little trips. The cabin fever definitely sets in!

When I was younger this definitely led to me eating more sweets and treats then I needed as I would go for a walk to the local shop and just pick something up! Over the years and lots of trial and error I now have more freedom to travel and explore new areas and I’ve developed a keen interest in photography.

Another thing I have developed, which I owe mainly to my time at university is my love for coffee! I’ve always found it difficult to do work at home as I get so easily distracted! My university also had a very limited amount of computers however I was lucky to discover that cardiff has many independent coffee shops where I ended up writing the majority of my dissertation.

Sadly I have been unwell this week and unable to leave my flat for almost a week! Now that I have finally recovered, the cabin fever is real and setting in! So I am in search of coffee down at my nearest coffee shop ( which happens to be a costa) which is in walking distance. I always find a short walk perks me up and helps me think a little bit more clearly!

Now I’m settling in the North of England I am looking forward to finding more independent coffee shops and new places to explore. If anybody has any suggestions please leave me a comment below!