weekend link love #12

29th March 2015

Georgie ready for summer

YAY for British Summer Time! Although the weather suggests we’re still in winter.

How’s your week been? I’ve been busy trying to get everything done and dusted before the end of the month. I also passed my health coach course – if you follow me on Instagram you’d have seen the pics – so all in all, march has been a good month.

Anyhoo, here are some interesting tidbits from across the web…

Well, first up I have to tell you about my two friends who’ve both released new books this week…first up is Tanya whose release her new e-book “Sweet Vegan Treats” and the other is my lovely friend Adele whose book “The Garden Forager: Edible Delights in your Own Back Yard” is also out. Both women are amazing and you should definitely buy both books!

Apparently, a bowl of Quinoa can save your life. However, I was reading an equally interesting article about how the demand for quinoa in the western world has meant that Bolivians can no longer afford their national dish.

Enjoy a ready meal every now and again? Well you may want to read about the murky world of connivence meals.

As you know I’m a huge Take That fan and back in the 90’s I couldn’t believe when Robbie left. And then of course just a few months later TT decided to call it a day. SO I totally get the angst teenage girls are going through at the news that Zayn has quit One D. Of course they’re going to feel emotional – they’re fucking teenagers!! And one thing that teenage girls are is a ball of frazzled emotions. Quite a few interesting reads on this subject…1. This cut for Zayn business is scary!! YES OK, so take that had a special hotline dedicated to the split but cutting yourself? Time to start looking in to why kids are taking it to the extreme these days. 2. EMPLOYED people asking for compassionate leave is just crazy!!! 3. Good piece in The Independent about how Zayn’s departure shows the perils of social media. 

Do you suffer from a big ol’ case of FOMO (fear of missing out) if you unplug for a while. Read this NYT piece about unplugging without the FOMO.

How amazing is this vertical greenhouse that will grow 100,000lbs pounds of veggies a year

Fed up of hearing how an early start could make you more successful and an all round better person? Well the New Yorker turns that on its head and explains why early mornings don’t make you moral. 
I posted a recipe for black garlic tofu earlier this week but   has knocked it out of the park with this Baked Camembert with Black Garlic & Sundried Tomatoes 

 

Totally love this piece from Amy Liz about what she knows for sure! Especially point one ;)

I wrote about the benefits of sugarcane juice this week and also the 7 habits of calmness.

I can’t believe that Sarah Jessica Parker is 50! She certainly doesn’t look it. Love this little piece by Lisa about SJP.

AND FINALLY…

This is fascinating. Since I’ve spent all week looking in to my own family history thanks to a DNA kit I was sent (more info on this soon) I loved reading about how this family delved deeper in to the history of their house after a builders made some interesting discoveries.

 

foodie friday: black garlic tofu

27th March 2015

O.M.G – have you tried black garlic? The fabulous guys at Sainsbury sent me some to try and I have to say, I’m converted.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It may look gross, after all, there’s not many black foods that we are encouraged to eat…but it’s so weird that it’s good – if you know what I mean?

Black garlic is just your regular white garlic that’s been preserved by being exposed to heat and moisture for more than a month.

The garlic then comes out like jelly, it tastes almost like balsamic vinegar. Its fragrance free too so you can enjoy without the dreaded garlic breath.

I thought I’d make Black Garlic Tofu. It’s a REALLY easy dish, you can serve with noodles, courgette noodles, salad, brown rice – whatever you feel like really. I like dishes that can be served with a variety of things, that way if you change your mind about what you fancy you don’t have to write the whole meal off.

IMG_3958

The other good thing about this dish is that it’s really quick. If you’re not a big fan of tofu then you could use chicken, beef or prawns but I don’t think you’ll get the same crispy joy. If you want to know how to cook some good tofu then let me know below and I can do a separate post.

You will need:

5/6 cloves of black garlic
light soy sauce
a good stir fry oil
tofu
salt/pepper/crushed chilli

To start with make sure you take all the moisture out of your tofu and then cut in to cubes. Once you’ve cubed it, give it another dab to make sure that you really have got all the moisture out. There is nothing good about soggy tofu.

Then you need to make a little sauce. To do that, pop your garlic, oil and soy sauce in to a processor and whizz.

Pop some oil in to your pan and make sure it’s hot  before adding the salt, pepper and crushed chilli to the oil. Next throw in your tofu and keep turning for at least 10 minutes to make sure that your tofu is crispy all round.

Next pop your black garlic sauce in and mix it in to your tofu. It will look “burnt” but it’s not, it’s just the way the sauce clings on to the tofu and trust me those black, crispy bits are so good.

And you’re done. A healthy meal in around 20 minutes.

please share on pinterest…

black garlic tofu

 

Forget happy – be whole

20th March 2015

It’s the UN’s International Day Of Happiness so there’s no better time for this quote…

This is my happy place taken in Sardinia

This is my happy place taken in Sardinia

I actually attack the concept of happiness. The idea that—I don’t mind people being happy—but the idea that everything we do is part of the pursuit of happiness seems to me a really dangerous idea and has led to a contemporary disease in Western society, which is fear of sadness. It’s a really odd thing that we’re now seeing people saying “write down three things that made you happy today before you go to sleep” and “cheer up” and “happiness is our birthright” and so on. We’re kind of teaching our kids that happiness is the default position. It’s rubbish. Wholeness is what we ought to be striving for and part of that is sadness, disappointment, frustration, failure; all of those things which make us who we are. Happiness and victory and fulfilment are nice little things that also happen to us, but they don’t teach us much. Everyone says we grow through pain and then as soon as they experience pain they say, “Quick! Move on! Cheer up!” I’d like just for a year to have a moratorium on the word “happiness” and to replace it with the word “wholeness.” Ask yourself, “Is this contributing to my wholeness?” and if you’re having a bad day, it is.

—Hugh MacKay, author of The Good Life

I like the idea of working towards feeling whole instead of happy. And it’s OK not to feel happy all the time.

p.s since it’s International Happiness Day – Please share with me what makes you happy…

 

French Food Rules…

19th March 2015

I saw this great image after reading an article on BonAppetite.com about Karen Le Billon and how a move to France stopped her kids being picky eaters.

d02fe9e1e153c7e40da323507eb2689e
image credit

Can I just say that I bloody love France and friends will tell you that I often have “French” days (I mean I drive a French car, look good in black, love champagne and can do moody and mysterious just fine)…

But seriously, I think this is so good. I don’t know about you but it’s kind of how I was brought up, for a start the “kids eat what adults eat rule” was especially prevalent in our household. My parents didn’t have time (or the funds) to cook separate meals so if it was a case of fussy eating then you just didn’t eat that night. Simple. I also like the idea that the French teach their kids how to eat – we could all do with lessons on how to eat.

Continue reading

tuesday link love

17th March 2015

I’ve not had chance to do live, work and eat better on a weekend for a few weeks but this week I seem to have stumbled upon LOADS of interesting and kooky pieces across the web that I’ve wanted to share.  So here’s a cheeky Tuesday edition of some link love … p.s any fab links you think I’ll like then leave them in the comment section below. 

32 Of The Most Beautiful Words In The English Language by Buzz Feed

The Ultimate Food Guide – it says you’re not going to use it in the title but I beg to differ. A handy way of remembering your portion sizes.

My dad has just returned from New York where my one tip was go to Grand Central station! Last May was the first time I ventured in to  Grand Central (I don’t know why I hadn’t visited before) and I was astounded. Such an amazing building especially the ceilings  If you’re not a New Yorker or you’ve not visited NYC before – how amazing is this…

Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times The stars shining down from the Grand Central ceiling on Monday.

Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times The stars shining down from the Grand Central ceiling on Monday.

http://a-poem-a-day-project.blogspot.co.uk

http://a-poem-a-day-project.blogspot.co.uk

http://untappedcities.com/

http://untappedcities.com/

One for the dog lovers…dogs of the world  (I’ve got two Scottish dogs)

dogs-of-the-world-posters_24094_16

I LOVE this…stories for your screen. Short stories that are honestly so good. Last one I read was “annie96 is typing” check it out.

Hate stickers on your food? So does the NYT.

Another NYT piece about how efficiency in the kitchen can help reduce food waste.

Some Spring Beauty Do’s and Don’t over on MaisonDuVann

The top 5 things that you should never eat or drink.

On Not Liking the Way One Looks – great stuff from The School of Life

Fit for 40! LOVING my friend Lisa’s motivation (maybe she can share?)

Biodegradable Coffee Cups Embedded With Seeds Grow Into Trees When Thrown Away.

Being exhausted is NOT a status symbol

and finally…

Could you go a year without makeup? I could as I barely wear any anyway. But this is interesting.

A Gorgeous Print by Jilly Barr

16th March 2015

I’m a bit late in saying a HUGE public thank you to the amazing Jilly Barr. I’ve had a piece of her artwork hanging in my home for the last 6 (maybe more?) years and she was lovely enough to send me this gorgeous print when we moved in to our new house.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

How could I not show it off? It’s been sent off to be framed today and will be proudly hanging in my office from next week. I LOVE it. If you haven’t checked out Jilly’s work then get yourself to her website pronto…loads of lovely artwork to brighten up any space.

Visit her website http://jillybarr.com and give her a LIKE on Facebook.

How To Cure Someday Syndrome

5th March 2015

Someday Syndrome is defined as: not doing what you want to because you don’t know what it is, because you’re procrastinating about it, or because you have too much stuff getting in your way.

Underwater, Michael Leis

Underwater, Michael Leis

This is me at the moment. I still haven’t got my new website complete. I’m holding off sending a pitch because I’m not sure its perfect enough. And my podcast? Well, I’ve just not had chance to breathe so how can I possibly record a podcast. 

Thing is, we ALL suffer from a hearty dose of someday syndrome from time to time. It’s life. And life often gets in the way.  But then you clear the blockage and you just get down to work. But if you’re stuck in the middle of a someday funk then here are some ways to get yourself out of it…

Ask yourself this important question – Is it because you’re busy that you’re putting things off or because the project in hand isn’t really you? The Happiness Project number one Happiness Commandment is to BE YOU. If you’re doing something that doesn’t really fit in with who you are then it’s better you realise that right now and ditch the idea so you can find something that suits you and your skills.

Get rid of clutter. I had a mammoth decluttering session last week. I got rid of 80% of my clothes – I was so sick of seeing loads of stuff clogging my space that I just had no need for anymore. And oh. my. god. did it help. When your space is cluttered then usually your mind is too.

And it’s not just physical stuff that counts as clutter. Negative thoughts also count as clutter. Work on getting rid of any negative attitude you have surrounding a project or task.

Actually get clear on what you want. Yep, you’ve got an amazeballs idea but until you get super clear on what it is you want then you may as well forget about progressing. My favourite trick is to move away from the computer, get a notebook, a cup of tea and a colourful pen and sit down and just write notes. I can’t function as well when I’m sat in front of a screen.

And make a plan. Planning can feel like action, but really it’s not really any different than talking about things so set a time limit on your planning. Because until you actually do something, you’re still procrastinating.

Do one thing at a time. I’ve mentioned before that I’m a “scanner” so doing one thing at a time – for me – seems an impossible task. However, when there’s too much going on at once it’s overwhelming and what happens when we get overwhelmed? We don’t get anything done. So ignore other tasks and just concentrate on one thing at a time.

Outsource. If you’re a control freak then its time to let go of the reigns a little. Get help, if you think there’s something that you can pay someone for to do things a little quicker then do it.

Be uncomfortable. Judith Sills in her book Comfort Trap, or What If You’re Riding a Dead Horse? talks about how we might be terribly unhappy, but we’re comfortable so we don’t do anything about the unhappiness.

So you have a choice… Comfortably in pain and unhappy or uncomfortably blissful?

Don’t just look at the end. Celebrate your progress. If you’ve done that blog post or sent out a marketing tweet – that’s cool. Celebrate it. It’s not always just about the end goal but rather the steps we take to get there.

and finally…

Keep going. 

 

just a thought: are we finally getting bored of choice?

23rd February 2015

Untitled
I hate too much choice. Especially when it comes to restaurants. On Saturday it took me at least half an hour and 5 waitress visits before I chose what I wanted to order (which was of course an impulse decision and actually not very nice).

I know i’m not the only one. I know others hate a vast amount of choice as much as I do. I recently did the myers briggs personality test and come out as an enfp of which one of the traits is…

“They also enjoy its sense of adventure, expectancy, and wonderment toward life’s mysteries. But Ne also has its challenges, such as making it difficult for ENFPs to draw firm conclusions or feel confident about their decisions.”

Big decisions I can make but whether I want lasagne or pizza – that’s the kind of decision I get stuck on.

Which is why I find it interesting that there seems to be an fad of restaurants only selling one thing popping up. First there was the cereal cafe, then the crisp sandwich cafe (< love this idea) and now a joint that only sells porridge. OK so there’s still an element of choice involved (i.e the topping or the flavour) but essentially, you’re going in and you’re faced with one choice.

There’s an interesting article from the New York Times which suggests we’re a generation suffering from decision fatigue.  Choice is of course good but too much choice is making more of us indecisive and making us bloody miserable and I agree! Being faced with too much choice just puts me in a spin and especially when it’s something that doesn’t really matter.

What do you think? Are we shunning choice and paring down our decisions or are we more overwhelmed than ever?

Live, work & eat better link love #12

1st February 2015

#cornwall #beach #staustell #sun #sea #england #uk

I’m planning some BIG changes for this blog. February for me is all about getting centred, getting organised and moving forward with some pretty big plans. Does anyone else use January to mess around a bit before really throwing themselves in to the new year?

Here are some interesting bits and pieces from across the web…

If you like BUTTERED TOAST then you should try a California Chardonnay for more amazing tips for choosing wine then checkout Joanna’s post.

Want to eat less meat? It’s easy with these 16 great vegan recipes from Cookie & Kate.

Homemade pizza, yoga and failure…this girl is right up my street.

The Cosmedic Coach is my hero. She’s working hard to campaign for safety in beauty. Check out her latest post on the great vitamin IV debate.

I have SO much time for Beth Reacher, you ALL need her wise words in your life. This post  on how things have to fall apart so that better things can fall taught is just so spot on at the moment.

Chickens are closely related to dinosaurs, and other insights from the new bird family tree > OK so I was initially drawn to this because of the flamingo pic (I <3 flamingoes) but turns out its a great read too.

There’s been LOADS of talk about Vaginal Steaming lately…Gwyneth suggests on goop.com that women steam-clean their vaginas for extra energy, to rebalance female hormones and for a squeaky clean uterus. This writer in The Guardian explains why that’s a BAD idea.

Meet Mr. Money Mustache, the Personal-Finance Blogger Who Wants You to Spend Like You’re Poor.

and FINALLY…if you’re stuck or procrastinating then you need to read this article by Gary Vaynerchuck. Stop Asking Me About Your Personal Brand, and Start Doing Some Work.

I was having a little look through my flickr photo stream the other day and found this from my visit to New York in May. That squirrel kept going back and back and back for nuts. Clever.

Have a fabulous week x

 

image from my trip to Cornwall last summer.