Recipe: leftover turkey Vietnamese-style broth with Brita

Brita got in touch and asked me to put together a soup recipe using their snazzy Russell Hobbs Purity Glass Kettle. During the winter months soup is my go-to. It's healthy, filling and really doesn't take too long to rustle in the kitchen. I love a spicy Vietnamese inspired broth. This won't win any awards for authenticity but it's great way to use up the leftover turkey hogging your fridge.

Feeds 2

1 litre of vegetable stock
2 crushed garlic cloves
1/2 bag of beansprouts
1 chilli, deseeded
1 tbsp Fish sauce
3 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp of Chinese 5 spice
Leftover cooked turkey
150g dried wholewheat noodles
A handful of fresh coriander
1/2 pack of baby sweetcorn
1 lime, cut into wedges for decoration
4 spring onions and one chopped chilli for decoration


1. Pour the stock into a large saucepan, stir in the fish sauce, soy sauce and garlic before popping in the finely chopped chilli. Leave to simmer for 5 minutes.

2. Pop the baby sweetcorn, Chinese five spice and pepper in the stock. Leave to cook for around 15 minutes - keep stirring. I prefer the vegetables to still have a crunch to them.

3. Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions.

4. Pop the turkey into the broth to warm through. Add the beansprouts too.

5. Divide the noodles equally and poor over the ready made broth.

6. Garnish with the chopped spring onions, a sprinkling of coriander, chopped chilli and a wedge of lime.

As with all my recipes, I'd love to know if you attempt them so please drop me a tweet!


OOTD: Ombre coat

Burgundy and grey ombre coat: ASOS (similar)
Black skinny jeans: New Look
Black vest tunic: ASOS (similar)
Burgundy heeled leather ankle boots: Next (similar)
Blue plastic glasses: Julian MacDonald via Vision Express*

So the last week of 2015 eh? I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. I certainly did! It will full of lots of family bonding, incredible food, too many bubbles and lots of films. I feel utterly exhausted and not quite sure how I'm going to get back into a decent routine. Does anyone struggle with knowing what day it is between Christmas and New Year? It just feels like a fun-filled blur!

I was very kindly gifted this gorgeous coat and these boots from my parents for Christmas. I think the coat was actually bought around October time so I was patiently binding my time until I could finally wear it. Talk about a slow torture! It was well worth the long wait. I have such a soft spot for statement coats. Spending the last 26 years living in the UK - also known as the Arctic during the winter - had given me a deep appreciation for a decent coat so they're always worth the investment. After all, you wear them for nine months of the year!

I also just wanted to say thank you so much for your kind comments on the last post. You guys are pretty darn cool!


Looking back at 2015

So 2015 is done and dusted eh? It's been a funny old year. The first half was full steam ahead but then the second half? It's been trying. Bad news seems to be a reoccurring theme. But you know what's life without a few bumps in the road?

Friendships have fallen apart at the seams this year, leaving me still scratching my head at what happened in that department. I suppose some relationships are just not for the long haul. It has however made me so thankful for the people who have stuck around. Who are just as rubbish as me at keeping in touch and don't take offence when I disappear of the radar for a while. Which has been more times than I care to remember this year. Those who are always there when I do finally get my head in gear. Those who get in touch with me just as I'm feeling low and say the right words without even realising it.

I am currently unemployed and desperately trying to carve out a career in freelancing. Freelancing has been more difficult that I ever thought it would be. I ended this year on a high in my work life, having spent just under 6 weeks at a publication I've really enjoyed. Learning new skills and working in a great environment. I lost my job in July and it's been a whirlwind of emotions since. I've worked at a few publications but it's not been a steady flow and I've been down the job centre a few times with my tail between my legs signing on. I don't have anything set in stone for the new year which is slightly worrying but what will be, will be. I'll just be holding on as tight as I can to see where the job roller coaster takes me next year. The unknown can be exciting right?!

I've struggled a lot with self-confidence this year. Confidence in the career I've chosen, confidence in my looks and confidence at not sucking in life. It's so easy to compare ourselves to others and once you start, it can be a downhill spiral to a one-woman pity party. I hardly ever think I'm good enough and usually I can brush it off with a wise crack or a self-deprecating joke. But this year I've found myself wallowing more than usual. I've taken more than a few hits and struggled to get back on the horse.

But this year I have felt I've grown. I'm slowly getting better in believing in myself. I've grown in confidence in my ability to things done, grown in confidence in making the right decision for me and grown in learning to brush things off with my head held high. I'm going into 2016 knowing that I'm just plodding along, not really having any direction in life but feeling pretty content that the life I'm currently leading really isn't too bad at all. I've got a family who adore me, a boyfriend who always has my back and friends who accept me for being me. Those good moments? They've been the bloody best!

Show me what you've got 2016. I'm ready.

2015: A year in travel

Last year one of my main aims was to travel. It more than exceeded my expections - I never thought I'd be lucky enough to visit so many different places. Nothing gets my heart beating faster or my eyes widening in delight than travelling to other countries to embrace different cultures. I'm so eager to soak up everything the beautiful world has to offer.

So where did I go?


In August I spent a long, lazy week in the Spanish city of Barcelona and fell head over heels for the Catalan capital. It felt rebellious, intense and fierce. Full of stunning sights, interesting history and incredible food, it's a city that's so much more than a city break. Thanks to the endless beaches, you can easily do a few days soaking up the Gaudi buildings before heading to the sea and forgetting all your troubles. We rented a cool apartment with its own private terrace just off Las Ramblas that provided the perfect base. It was the first relaxing  holiday in two years and was just what I needed after a tough month. Sometimes going with the flow is the makings of a perfect holiday.


This picturesque city had been on my list of places to visit in the UK to visit for a long time - it's only just under 90 minutes away from my house. So for my birthday this year my boyfriend surprised me with a trip in February. And what a bloody lovely weekend it was. We stayed in the most luxurious hotel I've been to - in a converted prison -, had afternoon tea at the poshest hotel in town, wandered around the colleges pretending we were in Harry Potter, stalked the dinosaurs at the museum of natural history and trekked to the top of a church to be rewarded with stunning views of the city. I fell in love with the history, food scene and cobbled streets - definitely worth a cheeky weekend away.


I was lucky enough to go on a press trip to the state of Illinois in March. It still feels like a bit like a dream! One of the stops on the road trip was a picturesque small town named Galena. This quaint American town was like something out of a film. The charming main street was full of independent shops, colourful brick buildings and delicious restaurants. The Bed and Breakfast, Farmers Guesthouse, was one of my highlights. I have never felt more welcomed and the daily cheese and wine evening went down an absolute treat. I tried my first moonshine, learnt about the former US president Ulysses Grant, tasted the best popcorn of my life and widen my eyes at scary ghost stories. After a hectic time in Chicago, the slow pace was very much welcomed.


Chicago was a city I always wanted to go but never thought I would. America is full of enticing cities that were higher on my life. But after going? It's my favourite city in the States and I'm dying to go back. It's the one city I'd recommend to anyone and I've kind of become an unofficial cheerleader for it. I think the fact I went without any expectations and hardly any prior knowledge meant that I could discover it with new eyes. I admired the sun setting behind the skyline on a lake cruise, had jelly legs whilst standing in a box over the city, took a tasty culinary tour of the city, wandered around Millennium Park and pathetically attempted a Man v Food dish of fried chicken. I am absolutely dying to go back as I feel I only just scratched the surface and I'd love to show my boyfriend everything the city has to offer.

Starved Rock State Park

After three days in Chicago we packed up our belongings and drove three hours to a state park. It was literally like being in the Dirty Dancing holiday camp. It felt so American! The lodge we stayed was in was nestled in 2630 acres of lush, thick forests, 18 canyons and gorgeous waterfalls - Americans always know how to do big eh? Soaking up the fresh air, it was one of those moments where you just feel in awe of Mother Nature. We went on a historic trolley tour with an hilarious guide, tasted the most delicious wines in the town next door and had a private tour of the beautiful Hegler Carus Mansion.


The final part of our road trip in Illinois was Rockford, the third largest city in the state.  The city has a very large Swedish population so of course we took advantage and scoffed some delicious Swedish pancakes. Only right to honour it's heritage right?! We were given an insight into the fascinating world of dinosaurs at the Burpee Museum of Natural History, taken back in time to the roaring twenties with a tour of the stunning Coronado atmospheric theatre and given a tour of a brewery. I was sad to come home after eight days in Illinois - it really was a trip of a lifetime.


June saw me head to Liverpool with my best friend. After a nightmare ten hour journey we finally arrived and made it our mission to discover what the city had to offer. We spent a lazy afternoon soaking up the history of the Cavern Club, danced until our feet were sore, wandered around Albert Dock and hunted down burgers. Liverpool is such a cool, vibrant city with fantastic northern hospitality. It's the perfect place to escape for the weekend.

The Highlands

After promising for two years, I finally made it up to visit my friend in The Highlands in the autumn and was left wondering why I'd left it so long. It really is such a beautiful part of the world - I was often left speechless that this was in the UK. Great Britain really is a pretty special place. We breathed in the Scottish fresh air, tried to sneak a peek at the Loch Ness Monster, chased waterfalls, wandered around a whisky distillery, spotted seals, trekked to a lighthouse and ate in the finest seafood restaurant I've had the pleasure of stuffing my face in. It was the perfect few days away and I'm already planning to return when the sun shines a little brighter.


In June I was off on another press trip but this time to Luxembourg. Luxembourg city was a lovely compact place with a gorgeous old town and delicious places to eat. I loved the slower pace of life and we were there during the annual free music festival so it was a very happening place! The country has been occupied for a long time so the history really is an electric mix. So much to take in! It's the perfect place to spend a weekend away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. 

Is there anywhere I should add on my list for 2016? So far I only have a weekend in Cologne booked!

An Italian feast with Napolina

Napolina got in touch to see if I wanted a break from all the festive food and have a little Italian feast before Christmas. How could I say no to an offer like that?

The kind folks sent me over an extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, passata, pesto and pasta to rustle up a Sunday night dinner. I've been a fan of Napolina for a while so was looking forward to cooking up a storm.

I opted for some trusty homemade pizzas with a cheeky stuffed crustready made base. Go big or go home I say. It was Sunday ok? And I was nursing an hangover. Pesto makes the world go round so I opted for sweet peppers, mushrooms and onions with a drizzle of the good stuff. Perfection! For the meat eater, chorizo, mozzarella pearls and peppers always go down well.

What are your favourite pizza toppings? Always after some inspiration!

Paired with some crusty bread with balsamic vinegar and oil alongside a basic dish of pesto pasta and sundried tomatoes, it was a feast set for a King. Thanks for such a cosy night in Napolina!


10 things I'll be doing Christmas Day

Christmas is nearly upon us. I've got my presents wrapped, Lindt Chocolate Lovers bag to munch on* and the Christmas playlist on Spotify is getting all the love. Everyone has their own traditions and customs that make their Christmas so special. These are the things that happen every year without fail.

1. Spending Christmas eve in the local Wetherspoons with old Sixth Form friends. Christmas was always that time of year that everyone came home no matter where they were in the country. Now eight years on that's still the same. I have friends settled all over the country and this is always an drunken catch up.

2. Rushing downstairs in my dressing gown and pyjamas despite the almighty hangover to hand out all the presents from under the tree. It's always been my job to make sure everyone gets the right ones and every year there's always one present that's been forgotten at the back.

3. Drinking bucks fizz at 9am because it's Christmas. Obviously.

4.  Watching endless films and reliving my childhood with After Eights in one hand and Celebrations in the other.

5. Sitting in front of the telly watching the Queen's speech with a tub of Quality Street because we clearly haven't enough food.

6. Declaring you can't eat for days yet jumping out of your seat when someone suggests cheese. It's always about the cheese. Mostly endless slabs of wensleydale and cranberry.

7. Instantly regretting my outfit choice because a pretty dress just doesn't have the stamina to deal with a whole day of gorging.

8. Listening to my dad snore as I lay on the sofa religiously browsing the internet trying to find some bargains and buy clothes that I really don't need.

9.  Sulking because I've had to share the sausage meat with the rest of the table. Don't they know it's my favourite thing in the world?

10. Getting too drunk on bubbles and feeling so thankful with my family. Then arguing with my nan. Well it can't all be happy families on the big day eh?

OOTD: Orange floral dress

Orange floral maxi dress: Zara (similar)
Nude patent court shoes: Topshop
Nude patent clutch bag: Accessorize (similar)

I snapped this on my phone and loved the outfit so much that I thought it had to be shared! It feels like a throw back to 2010 posting phone outfit photos! Last week I fell head first into Zara and came out the proud owner of three new dresses. I blame the sudden recklessness on having my first wage packet for six weeks. It does strange things for this girl. This maxi dress was brought completely on a whim on the way to the till but it's my favourite of the bunch. I love the seventies vibe, the gorgeous orange tones and the floaty sheer sleeves. It makes me feel sassy which is exactly what every dress should do.

But I'm in the market for some new nude shoes. I seem to be wearing these ones to death. On my list  - perhaps as an early Christmas present - are these stunning Lady Dragons from Spartoo to add to my collection. I've been dying to treat myself to a new pair - there's just something about those shoes that draw me in. Give me the encouragement I need please.  I wouldn't say no to these ones found here either....


Review: Tap On The Line, Kew

Nothing quite beats a cosy pub dinner right? Located next door to Kew Gardens tube station is thepub Tap On The Line. Looking a little bit like an old aunt's eccentric house, the pub is a mix match of interiors which only encourages to make it more charming. I love a pub that you can spend hours in and feel at home. Tap on The Line is one of those pubs.

We had just finished viewing the amazing Christmas at Kew and wanted somewhere quick for a bite to eat before starting our 90 minute journey home. So we only picked a main course. The location made this pub fantastic. The service wasn't the greatest - I think it took nearly 40 minutes for our food to arrive. But luckily the dinner made up for the slow service!

I opted for the goats cheese and roasted walnut tagliatelle. The goats cheese was little sparse but overall the pasta was delicious. The walnuts added much needed crunch and generous garlic sauce gave it something special. It wasn't too heavy but totally hit the spot.

My mum and nan opted for the sausage and mash with caramelised onion gravy and root vegetable crisps. The mash was out of this world! So rich and creamy, I may or may not have finished my nan's leftovers... The root vegetable crisps were a great extra and helped to add something a little bit different to a classic dish.


Beauty review: a Kerestraight treatment

Hair can take a battering. Thanks to the intense heat of hairdryers and straighteners paired with the extreme weather conditions and the busy days and nights, your hair can be one of the last things you think of. But like everything else, it needs some TLC once in a while. So enter Kerestraight.

My hair was in desperate need of some loving so I was very kindly treated to an intense boost treatment at Salon International, Excel centre. The treatment helps to rebuild what the hair lacks and locks in moisture for up to 30 days. Sounds like a miracle? That's because it certainly is! My hair had never looked so shiny and glossy - I felt like I was in a hair advert. It can be done in a Kerestraight salon and only takes around 30 minutes to complete. A special solution is added to your washed, wet hair. Once it's washed off, your hair is blowdried, straighteners are run through and it's all done. It's really as simple as that!

There's not hassle of having to wait a few days to wash your hair. After this treatment you can wash your hair in as little as 30 minutes and it still looks just as good as new after it's dried. It's a fantastic treatment if you have a special occasion like a wedding or simply because you've decided your locks need to be treated. It's something I'd definitely recommend if you're looking to treat your mane to help keep it in tip top condition. Visit the website to find your nearest salon.


Video: Banana and nut chocolate fudge

Another baking video for you to feast your eyes on! This time I've gone for a really simple fudge recipe. Nothing fussy but delicious all the same. Banana and chocolate have always been a winning combination and nuts just make everything tasty right? Nothing like a satisfying crunch when you bite into something sweet.

They make great stocking filings or even little presents for the neighbours or work colleagues. Wrap in a cute cellophane bag, tie with a pretty ribbons and you've got a thoughtful gift. Have a little look at the video below and let me know what you think.

As always please do subscribe to the channel if you're enjoying these videos. I'd love to know if you're enjoying them!

5 festive things I've done in December

I'm usually a bit of a scrooge at Christmas. I blame the working in retail and hospitality for eight years - it drained every ounce of festive spirit I once had. But this year I am LOVING December. It helps that so much has happened already this month. Have a read at why I'm basically Father Christmas this year.

1. Christmas lights in London
Every year I absolutely adore seeing the Christmas lights in the city. There's just something about walking down a manic Oxford Street, bundled up in a scarf and gloves in the pitch black staring at the twinkling lights above. This year, as always, a personal highlight were the Carnaby Street - they are incredible. Always unique each year and so bright and colourful. This year seems like they followed a slight Japanese theme and the bright pink disco balls are delightfully tacky. As every good Christmas decoration should be.

2. Early Christmas dinners
Back in November, very kindly gave me my first Christmas themed dinner of the year alongside GBBO Flora Snedden to help up create our own canapés. We had an absolutely delicious three course meal consisting with the most incredible meringues for dessert. The table had the perfect festive theme and was a fantastic way to see in the holiday season. At the weekend I went out with my friends for our annual Christmas dinner gathering so it was lots of turkey and prosecco for me! I can never have too many mince pies or pigs in blankets at this time of year!

3. Christmas with Thorntons
One of the best things about Christmas is the abundance of chocolate that appears and tends to last until February. If you're stuck for ideas this year for some stocking fillers or last minute gifts, try the Thorntons Gift Finder. Fill out a few questions and voila you'll have so many ideas for that special person and you'll be in their good books all year round. Perfect!

4. Christmas Flowers
Blossoming Gifts got in touch and asked if I fancied an early Christmas present. Who could resist an offer like that? I absolutely love fresh flowers in the house and fancied something with a festive theme. If you can't go all out at Christmas, then when can you?! I struck gold with this pretty Cinnamon Spice bouquet. Featuring gorgeous smelling cinnamon sticks, perfectly festive berries and stunning grand prixred roses mixed together in a bunch, they have cheered up my bedroom in these gloomy days. When it comes to dark nights, you need all the help you can get! And they match our Christmas tree this year so winners all round. Nothing quite like waking up to a beautiful floral scent every morning. I always find their bouquets last well over a week too so they're well worth the money. If cinnamon isn't your thing, there's plenty of other bouquets to choose from that feel just as festive. Red always looks so classy during the festive season.

Fancy your own bunch? Enter BGIFTS33 at the check out to get a special 33% discount off all flowers apart from Flowers By Post. Go on, treat yourself! Next day delivery is until 23rd December so you have plenty of time to treat someone or yourself to something special.

5. Festive baking
I've been really enjoying getting my bake on this month. My December hasn't been as busy as it normally is - maybe I'm losing friends - so it's meant I could really get stuck into being in kitchen. So far I've rustled up some sticky toffee puddings and some mince pie cupcakes with lots more on the horizon! I've got a delicious new fudge recipe on my Youtube channel too. It makes perfect stocking fillers.

Christmas gift guide: bath time gift sets

Christmas shopping is in full swing now we're nearing the middle of December. Eeeeek! But with the gifting season comes re-gifting. Hands up if you have a drawer in your house that you pop the toiletries sets in that aren't quite your taste. Then pass them over to some other poor soul or the raffle. I know I'm guilty of this! I already have the Peppermint duo and can confirm it smells absolutely delicious.

I've put together a gift guide full of bath time gift sets that no one will ever think twice of passing on to someone else! Everything is £30 and under too. BARGAIN!

1. Ren Skincare - £18
2. Cowshed Mixed Trio - £24
3. Philosophy Peppermint Stick Duo - £18.50
4. Cath Kidston Rose Wash Bag Gift Set - £20
5. Neals Yard Remedies Revitalise Organic Shower Collection - £12.50
6. Jo Malone London English Pear and Freesia Bath Salts - £30
7. Orla Kiely Mini Geranium Travel Set - £15
8. Cath Kidston Flora Indulgent Bathing Set - £19.80
9. L'Occitane Delicate Cherry Blossom Bath & Body collection - £30
10. Benefit 'Maybe Baby' Darling Duo Bodycare Gift Set - £25.65

Post written in collaboration with Mira Showers.

Video: Festive Flapjacks with Whitworths

After over five years of blogging, I decided it was about time I dipped my toe into Youtube when Whitworths asked me to create a festive recipe. The result was some amazing, fruity flapjacks filled with all the best Christmas spices.

It was a little shaky and I know exactly how I'm going to improve next time but I'm really proud of it. It was a lot of trail and error but a whole lot of fun. Have a look at the video and let me know what you think!

I would be over the moon if you gave my channel a little subscribe, I've got lots more videos planned in the future - including a vlog at Kew Gardens and another baking recipe within the next week.

Cath Kidston S/S '16 preview

Spring/Summer in December? What a rebel I am! A good few weeks ago now I popped along to the Cath Kidston press preview. Boy are we in for a treat when it hits the stores next year! As always the new collection was full of stunning florals, pretty homeware, gorgeous pastels and quirky crockery. I didn't expect anything less.

Apart from wanting to get my hands on every single baking related product - I've been warned to take control of my addiction by the boyfriend - what really stood out for me were the things against the norm. Cath Kinston is, of course, famous for it's florals, none more so than on it's handbags. I personally prefer a block colour in a bag to help keep it neutral. So I was very happy to see the plain cross body bags on display above. I may have to treat myself to one. Just one.

Are you a fan of Cath Kidston? Anything in particular you want to snap up?


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A Essex based lifestyle blogger who lives a champagne life on a lemonade purse!

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