Here we are again, another month has passed us by. A quiet few weeks for me and not much to say about it. I'm undecided if that is good or bad, I suppose it is better to have not a whole lot happen than something terrible. In between those days I have been sketching a little, it has been a while since I last picked up a pencil and let my talentless hands create. Spring was here for a few days until recently, I even had to de-ice my car window on Monday morning. I have been in love with smoothies, I've always liked them but lately I've been craving them all the time. On the milder days I have enjoyed going for a walk around parks, it's nice to breathe in the fresh air and feel the sun on your face.

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March Days

27.3.14



Here we are again, another month has passed us by. A quiet few weeks for me and not much to say about it. I'm undecided if that is good or bad, I suppose it is better to have not a whole lot happen than something terrible. In between those days I have been sketching a little, it has been a while since I last picked up a pencil and let my talentless hands create. Spring was here for a few days until recently, I even had to de-ice my car window on Monday morning. I have been in love with smoothies, I've always liked them but lately I've been craving them all the time. On the milder days I have enjoyed going for a walk around parks, it's nice to breathe in the fresh air and feel the sun on your face.

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As much as I love fruit and veg, along with my aim to try and eat enough each day to get all of the vital nutrients, I find it is not always possible as they are perishable. I try to avoid throwing out food, it's wasteful and it angers me a little. Yesterday as I looked in the fridge I discovered quite a lot of blueberries. I had bought some over a week ago, had a portion or two and my Mum also bought some a day later without realising we already had plenty. Last week I felt a little unwell and had a strange 12 hour fever, this led to a loss of appetite for the rest of the week and I completely forgot about the blueberries. They were over 5 days past the 'best before' date, half of them looked fine but the others were wrinkly. Instead of forcing myself to eat them all at once or throw them out I decided to bake something with them.


A blueberry loaf cake came to mind. I'm always nervous trying out something new in case it taste terrible, however I was pleased with how it turned out and most importantly the taste of it. I would say this is perfect for an afternoon break with a cup of tea or coffee. Something sweet to keep you going and the fruit ingredient to make you feel a little less guilty.

You will need...
250 grams plain flour, 1 and a half teaspoons baking powder, 100 grams unsalted butter, 200 grams caster sugar, 2 eggs, around 300 to 300 grams blueberries, 2 teaspoons orange (or lemon) zest and half a cup of plain yoghurt (I used organic vanilla flavour).

Preheat your oven to 170C degrees. Grease the inside of the tin and leave to the side. Next in a bowl, mix together the flour and baking powder. Add the blueberries and orange zest, combine together. In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugar to make it light and fluffy. Then add the eggs separately, beating well after each one. Add the yoghurt and mix in. After add the dry ingredients, mix it gently to avoid crushing the blueberries. Scoop the mix into the loaf tin and bake for 1 hour, or until golden brown. Leave to cool and enjoy.

Please let me know if you have any recipes that use blueberries or share one of your current favourite bakes.

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Blueberry Loaf Cake

18.3.14

As much as I love fruit and veg, along with my aim to try and eat enough each day to get all of the vital nutrients, I find it is not always possible as they are perishable. I try to avoid throwing out food, it's wasteful and it angers me a little. Yesterday as I looked in the fridge I discovered quite a lot of blueberries. I had bought some over a week ago, had a portion or two and my Mum also bought some a day later without realising we already had plenty. Last week I felt a little unwell and had a strange 12 hour fever, this led to a loss of appetite for the rest of the week and I completely forgot about the blueberries. They were over 5 days past the 'best before' date, half of them looked fine but the others were wrinkly. Instead of forcing myself to eat them all at once or throw them out I decided to bake something with them.


A blueberry loaf cake came to mind. I'm always nervous trying out something new in case it taste terrible, however I was pleased with how it turned out and most importantly the taste of it. I would say this is perfect for an afternoon break with a cup of tea or coffee. Something sweet to keep you going and the fruit ingredient to make you feel a little less guilty.

You will need...
250 grams plain flour, 1 and a half teaspoons baking powder, 100 grams unsalted butter, 200 grams caster sugar, 2 eggs, around 300 to 300 grams blueberries, 2 teaspoons orange (or lemon) zest and half a cup of plain yoghurt (I used organic vanilla flavour).

Preheat your oven to 170C degrees. Grease the inside of the tin and leave to the side. Next in a bowl, mix together the flour and baking powder. Add the blueberries and orange zest, combine together. In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugar to make it light and fluffy. Then add the eggs separately, beating well after each one. Add the yoghurt and mix in. After add the dry ingredients, mix it gently to avoid crushing the blueberries. Scoop the mix into the loaf tin and bake for 1 hour, or until golden brown. Leave to cool and enjoy.

Please let me know if you have any recipes that use blueberries or share one of your current favourite bakes.

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Despite the two protagonists of this book have the exact same name I don't think you could find two different characters who are connected by (in my opinion) the real star of the story, Tiny Cooper. I found this to be quite similar to how I imagined it would be, I've had this book for a really long time but it always got pushed back. It is a typical young adult novel. I expected this as I have read books from both Green and Levithan, it is always interesting to see authors and creators collaborate together to make something great. One of my favourite style of novels is when there is more than one (typically 2) perspectives from the lead characters. So when I got around to reading it I was pleased that I enjoyed it, more than I actually thought I would.


As the title suggests, it is about two teenagers who are both named Will Grayson and by chance meet in an unlikely place. Both very different types of people, dealing with their separate issues, in the same way most 17 year olds would. A large part of their lives revolve around another significant person. Classic teenagers, trying to work it out but with life that way it is there is always a battle to be fought. The two Will's are linked together from their friendship with Tiny as they continue to learn more about themselves and help each other find their way.

I did not anticipate that I would like one Will more than the other but I found myself doing just that. The first was quite typical, dull and was a character I felt like I've read many times before. I could not identify with him and that does make a huge difference to how I feel about a character. Whereas the second Will was far more interesting, complex and personally relatable in certain ways. That made me feel empathetic towards them and overall I understood him better. For others it may be the opposite and that's what I think is fascinating about different voices and minds to dive into. There will be something for everyone to take from compared to a one voice book.

It left me with mixed emotions, I cried at one point, laughed out loud (literally) and yet it was thought provoking. There are a lot of feelings to be felt, always a good quality in a book if they can master that. It was raw and different, it reflects the Will's and Tiny so well. I think you will fall into every emotion not matter who you are.

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Book Review: Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan

15.3.14

Despite the two protagonists of this book have the exact same name I don't think you could find two different characters who are connected by (in my opinion) the real star of the story, Tiny Cooper. I found this to be quite similar to how I imagined it would be, I've had this book for a really long time but it always got pushed back. It is a typical young adult novel. I expected this as I have read books from both Green and Levithan, it is always interesting to see authors and creators collaborate together to make something great. One of my favourite style of novels is when there is more than one (typically 2) perspectives from the lead characters. So when I got around to reading it I was pleased that I enjoyed it, more than I actually thought I would.


As the title suggests, it is about two teenagers who are both named Will Grayson and by chance meet in an unlikely place. Both very different types of people, dealing with their separate issues, in the same way most 17 year olds would. A large part of their lives revolve around another significant person. Classic teenagers, trying to work it out but with life that way it is there is always a battle to be fought. The two Will's are linked together from their friendship with Tiny as they continue to learn more about themselves and help each other find their way.

I did not anticipate that I would like one Will more than the other but I found myself doing just that. The first was quite typical, dull and was a character I felt like I've read many times before. I could not identify with him and that does make a huge difference to how I feel about a character. Whereas the second Will was far more interesting, complex and personally relatable in certain ways. That made me feel empathetic towards them and overall I understood him better. For others it may be the opposite and that's what I think is fascinating about different voices and minds to dive into. There will be something for everyone to take from compared to a one voice book.

It left me with mixed emotions, I cried at one point, laughed out loud (literally) and yet it was thought provoking. There are a lot of feelings to be felt, always a good quality in a book if they can master that. It was raw and different, it reflects the Will's and Tiny so well. I think you will fall into every emotion not matter who you are.

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One of my favourite things I like to do is create playlists, when I make them they are usually of songs I can't stop listening to at the time but they also have some sort of story behind them all. It might be that they reflect my mood or they have been created to change it and inspire. I think this is what this month's playlist is. I identify with some of the lyrics and the music created also wraps itself around my emotions. It's the power of music. The musician/writer make sense of something that we can't quite express ourselves sometimes. Every morning lately I have put on these songs and it sets me for the rest of the day. Enjoy.

March Morning Music by Natasha Chan on Grooveshark

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March Morning Music

8.3.14


One of my favourite things I like to do is create playlists, when I make them they are usually of songs I can't stop listening to at the time but they also have some sort of story behind them all. It might be that they reflect my mood or they have been created to change it and inspire. I think this is what this month's playlist is. I identify with some of the lyrics and the music created also wraps itself around my emotions. It's the power of music. The musician/writer make sense of something that we can't quite express ourselves sometimes. Every morning lately I have put on these songs and it sets me for the rest of the day. Enjoy.

March Morning Music by Natasha Chan on Grooveshark

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When I decided to stop eating meat, it was then that I started to become a little more creative with my meals that would normally feature meat. Something substantial enough for dinner as well as tasting good. After sharing my thoughts on being pescatarian/vegetarian I thought I would share some recipes that I cook, so I'm starting with one of my favourites.

You can ask any vegetarian and they will tell you that mushrooms are as common as chicken in their diet. Spinach is a great way of consuming iron, something that vegetarians tend to lack in, I also love it. This features both ingredients and is relatively inexpensive and simple to make.



You will need..
Large mushrooms (portobello)
Soft cheese or goats cheese
A handful of spinach
Garlic
Black pepper
Herbs of your choice
Grated cheddar, seeds or breadcrumbs (optional)

First prepare the spinach and chop it up into smaller pieces. Then mix it with the cheese, garlic, a sprinkle of pepper and herbs. Spread the mix into the mushrooms. Place on a tray and put in the oven at 180C degrees for 20 minutes. If you want to, around 2 to 3 minutes before they are finished you can add grated cheese, seeds or breadcrumbs to the mushrooms by covering the top, put back in the oven and allow to melt and crisp. Finally take them out of the oven, serve and enjoy.


I hope that you liked seeing this. Let me know if you have any vegetarian recipes, I'm always happy to try something new.
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Spinach & Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

4.3.14

When I decided to stop eating meat, it was then that I started to become a little more creative with my meals that would normally feature meat. Something substantial enough for dinner as well as tasting good. After sharing my thoughts on being pescatarian/vegetarian I thought I would share some recipes that I cook, so I'm starting with one of my favourites.

You can ask any vegetarian and they will tell you that mushrooms are as common as chicken in their diet. Spinach is a great way of consuming iron, something that vegetarians tend to lack in, I also love it. This features both ingredients and is relatively inexpensive and simple to make.



You will need..
Large mushrooms (portobello)
Soft cheese or goats cheese
A handful of spinach
Garlic
Black pepper
Herbs of your choice
Grated cheddar, seeds or breadcrumbs (optional)

First prepare the spinach and chop it up into smaller pieces. Then mix it with the cheese, garlic, a sprinkle of pepper and herbs. Spread the mix into the mushrooms. Place on a tray and put in the oven at 180C degrees for 20 minutes. If you want to, around 2 to 3 minutes before they are finished you can add grated cheese, seeds or breadcrumbs to the mushrooms by covering the top, put back in the oven and allow to melt and crisp. Finally take them out of the oven, serve and enjoy.


I hope that you liked seeing this. Let me know if you have any vegetarian recipes, I'm always happy to try something new.
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