Vegetable Gumbo

Hi guys! As it’s still the beginning of the year and everyone’s conscious about what they’re putting into their bodies, I thought it was a great time to share one of my favourite recipes with you.

Although ‘gumbo’ sounds like it belongs in a certain froggy themed Disney film, I make a batch of this about twice a month to divide up into portions and take to work for a filling lunch. This is also freezer friendly which is a bonus, and it only takes about 25 minutes. It’s really easy to make and it’s a lot healthier than your usual lunch time sandwich – what’s not to like?!


I’m terrible when it comes to measuring and weighing out ingredients – I use different amounts each time. The amounts below are the ones I went with today, but you can honestly chuck in whatever you fancy. Luckily this is one of those recipes where you can’t really go wrong!


1 red or white onion
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 red peppers, deseeded and chopped
4 potatoes, peeled and chopped
400g can cannellini beans
800ml vegetable stock
400g passata
Cajun spice

I always use a heavy bottomed soup pan when making gumbo, but I guess any pan would do. First sweat off the onion with the garlic and a little cooking oil of your choice (I use Fry Light), then add in the cajun spice – the amount of garlic and cajun you use is entirely up to you. The more cajun you use the spicier it will be.

Now add in the carrots, stock and passata and leave to simmer away for about 10 minutes. Add the pepper and cannellini beans in for the last 5 minutes, then either serve, freeze or portion up into lunch containers! I usually eat it as it is, but it’s great served with rice if you want a bulkier dinner option – I’ve even added some leftover pasta!


I was going to point out that this is actually a Slimming World recipe and is syn free… but who cares?! If you’re on SW – great, you can add this to your armoury. If you’re not on SW – great, you’ve discovered another healthy and super easy recipe to help you towards whatever health goals you’ve set yourself for January!


January 2016 Birchbox

Hi guys! Don’t you love it when you’ve had a really shitty day, you get home and there a little box full of delightful samples waiting for you? Nah me either… 😉

The months box is a collab with Pinterest who illustrated some ridiculously cute post cards ‘to help inspire’.


I’ve been subscribed to Birchbox for a few months now, and while some products are a bit hit and miss (no more hand cream please!), I love that I get to test out brands that I’d either never heard of or that are usually out of my price range.


Three Whishes Almond Body Butter – sample

This is one of those products that doesn’t stand out to me. I don’t mind getting facial moisturisers as I haven’t found one I love so it’s good to try a few, but body butter samples aren’t for me. I’ve got a ton of Soap & Glory stuff I’m still trying to get through, so this will probably end up in the bottom of a drawer!

Absolution L’Eau Soir et Matin – Sample

This is a cleansing water, and whilst it doesn’t say it’s safe for use around the eyes I’m assuming it is as it’s a water. Again, I’m not overly enthusiastic about this one, but it’s good to have a little back up if I run out of my usual.


Benefit They’re Real Tinted Primer – Sample

The idea of this is to apply one coat before your mascara to add volume. I’ve used the They’re Real mascara before but never the primer – I hadn’t even heard of it if I’m honest, but I’m excited to give it a go!

Beauty Protector Protect and Detangle – Sample

This is another exciting sample for me!  I’m not the best when it comes to taking care of my hair product wise – I use a good shampoo, brush/comb it and do a hair mask every now and then, but that’s pretty much it. It’s not in bad condition but I know if I regularly used leave in conditioners etc it could look healthier, so I’ll see how I get on with this!

Jelly Pong Pong Lighten Up Brightener & Waterliner – Full Size (£14.95)

I’m really looking forward to trying this! This little pencil is a multi-tasker; it can be used to brighten your waterline or to hightlight your brow brone/cheek bones.


Birchbox Compact Mirror

This is a cute little addition to the box! Mirrors like this are so handy to have laying around or rattling about in the bottom of your bag. It’s really slim so it would also fit in a compact makeup bag without taking up too much room!


There’s often a few bits in each month’s box that I’m too impressed with, but theres always one or two items that I can’t wait to try, and that keep me subscribed. This month those two pieces were the Benefit primer and the multi-tasking pencil – I’ve also just sprayed some of the Beauty Protector spray in my damp hair and it smells AMAZING!

I’m also subscribed to Glossy Box so I’m looking forward to that arriving. I’m hoping to unsubscribe to one of them in the near future as I can’t really afford both, I’m just not sure which one yet!


My eBay watch list – December

Here we go – my first official post of 2016 and after my ‘haitus’ (ha). My last watch list was back in June and the only thing I ended up purchasing from that one was the quilting ruler – which has actually come in quite handy on a few occasions. I’m unable to cut in a straight line, even with rotary cutter and a guided mat! We can’t be perfect all the time, right?



I Like You

Come pay day (end of the month!) this little gem will 100% be mine. It’s just an A4 poster, but I’ll frame it and find a home for it! I’ve ordered a few prints for a gallery wall I’m planning for my living room, so it’s a possibility for that.


Small Playpen

This isn’t as weird as it seems – really. For those of you that don’t know, I have two Chinese Dwarf Hamsters, and this run is definitely not meant for them. I’ve become pretty much obsessed with the idea of guinea pigs and although I’m trying to talk myself out of it I’ve somehow found myself pricing up everything I’d need… I even went to Pets at Home last weekend… yano, just to look. 😉


Double Decker Hutch

Another guinea pig related hurdle I face is where to keep them. I live in a flat so they’ll have to be kept indoors so I need to keep in mind how much space I’m willing to donate to their home. There are plenty of guinea pig houses around but they all look too small to me. We are out of the house for most of the day which obviously means the guinea’s have to stay in their hutch, which wouldn’t really be fair if it’s not very big… but I think this is too big. And everything’s so expensive!


Peppermint Bark Candle

It wouldn’t be a true wish list without a candle! I had a whiff of Peppermint Bark from Yankee Candle a few months ago and loved it. It smelt like candy canes! I usually prefer Village Candles to Yankees as they have two wicks and are a bit cheaper (although they still have the same scent pay-off) so I was thrilled when I spotted this. I hoped Santa might have bought it for me, but it can wait ’til pay day!

weirdDoggie Bow Tie

The last item I want to share with you is hilarious. It just velcros round your dogs neck, and I thought it would be super cute for my Mum’s dog for Christmas. I didn’t buy it in the end, which is a good job really; we also bought him a kind of saddle that fastened around his belly and chest, and then there was a reindeer that sat on top so it looked like it was riding the dog… Charlie’s a chocolate brown labrador who is just over two years old… you can imagine how long that lasted!


Oh it’s been so lovely to just sit down and type! I have quite a few things I’d love to share with you guys such as little pieces of decor and rearranging I’ve done in the flat, but I don’t have any before photos! I’ll work something out I’m sure. I’m going to resume my guinea pig research – have a great weekend!


Return of the Mack (ie Me)

Oh well hi. My mini haitus kinda turned into a big ass failure didn’t it?! There’s been so many times over the past few months that I’ve contemplated sitting down and getting back to things, but that’s as far as it ever went.. just thinking about it.

Call it a break, call it laziness – call it what you will. The point is that I’m making a come back! Hopefully there’s still someone out there reading!

Noting too exciting has happened since my last post but I did land a new job! It’s not something I’ll discuss as much as I did my last job, but it’s still in the ‘care’ sector, and I now get every weekend off! Which also means I have no excuses for not blogging… landed myself in it there.

As for my blog; I’m no longer going to post three times a week. I’m going to cut down to two and post on Tuesdays and Fridays instead. I enjoyed posting three times a week but sometimes it’s challenging if you’re not feeling very creative!

I hope you all had a brilliant Christmas and enjoyed the festive break – it’s always so difficult trying to get back to normal. And by that I mean getting back to work!

I’m off to write my first proper blog post of 2016 – wish me luck!




‘Ello poppet. It feels like ages since my last OOTD post (you can see my date night post here) but in reality it’s only been three weeks… So considering I have one day off a week and only wear pyjama bottoms and a baggy baseball tee at home it’s a wonder I have any outfits to post at all!

Last week I found myself perusing Pinterest (which is already a dangerous past time in itself) but then I somehow transitioned from washi tape crafts to the extensive organisational categories… You can imagine the horror or realising how truly unorganised my kitchen cupboards are and the mad dash to the Range that then ensued.

This outfit was a real favourite of mine last autumn so I thought I’d throw it on to try and encourage all this muggy summer type weather to do one! It didn’t work, but at least I tried.

Skater/Swing Dress – New Look (last year)
Baggy Batwing Cardigan – Primark (5 years ago)
Crochet Shoes – Primark (this season)
Perfume – Katy Perry Killer Queen
Necklace – Stolen from Mum!

This may be TMI – but I really needed to shave my legs but was feeling lazy so I put some tights on instead! 😉 I didn’t take a bag as the cardigans pockets are quite large and I only needed my phone, card and keys.

I kept my makeup super simple as I was only going shopping, but I used theBalm’s bronzer in Balm Desert from my BirchBox on the high points of my face and in my crease as eyeshadow and I really liked it! I’m also really enjoying using the Body Shop concealer pencil, but only under the eyes as it’s a bit thick for places like around the mouth – it creases easily but if you use a generous amount of powder to set it you should be good.


And for those organisational freaks out there – yes, my cupboards are now gloriously organised. I even bought a free standing pantry type contraption to free up a bit of space in the cupboard and make use of otherwise dead space. It all looks lovely! I think I should probably ban myself from Pinterest for a good month or so though… my bank balance can’t take much more! 😉




Hi friends. I’ll warn you right from the start: serious topics will be covered in today’s post. This is very difficult for me to talk about but I know it needs addressing… I just can’t carry on this way.

It all started with a novelty cactus; some of you may remember Kevin. But poor ol’ Kev looked lonely so I bought him a friend… and then another… and another. At this point I was running out of space to keep them and I truly believed I could curb my cacti obsession… and then I moved to a two bed apartment and things got out of hand. Suddenly cacti weren’t enough and I craved succulents, aloe vera and even *gulp*… a dragon plant.

Okay, so maybe I got a bit dramatic back there but I really have got a lot of plants in my house! Ready for the evidence?


How freaking cute is the bowl they’re in though?!


Too adorable to walk away from…


Really this one’s okay since it’s in a recycled candle jar and this poor little house fern had no home otherwise…


I’m trying to save space by repotting my novelty cacti… so they’re allowed too right?! And who doesn’t love a cactus with a moustache?!


In my defence, the hall was looking slightly dull without a whopping dragon plant…


I don’t have a garden, so a terranium is my way of making up for it…


Why wouldn’t you want plants in a shell in your bathroom?!


As well as all of those, I’ve forgotten to take photos of another novelty cactus, a medium sized planter containing succulents, a medium sized spider plant and another medium sized succulent… and I also have two vases of fake flowers, a fake floral garland and one vase of real flowers… Oh and I have a venus fly trap on the way… I need help.




LE3NO red button up shirt
£8.09 –

Frame Denim skinny leg jeans
£145 –

Black stretch boots

Expandable backpack
£32 –

Disney tech accessory
£6.42 –

Black false eyelash
£19 –

Matte finish lipstick
£15 –


Alright love. Remember ages ago how I was saying I’d always wanted to sign up for a monthly subscription box but never did? Well (clearly) now I have! I took a snap of last months goodies and shared on my Instagram (come be my chum!) and I had planned to do the same thing this month, but unbeknown to me not everyone gets exactly the same… I’m new to this okay?!


I’m not going to review any of my products (not right now anyway) or go indepth as I know there are a ton of BirchBox unboxing posts out there – it’s just interesting to see how our boxes differ!


Rituals – Ayurveda Scrub – Sample

(Full size £10) To keep our skin smooth, we often find ourselves choosing between an effective-yet-rough scrub and a smoothing cleanser that does nothing to get rid of dead, dry skin. This formula does the gritty work of an exfoliator in the softening formula of a body wash, both sloughing away dull skin and soothing the fresh skin beneath.

Lord & Berry Blush in Lotus – Sample

(Full size £18) Despite our fine-tuned skincare regime, drinking 8 glasses of water a day (well, sometimes!), and a fairly healthy lifestyle, sometimes we still wake up to find our complexion looking a little lacklustre. Our quick fix? A sweep of this beautifully silky powder blush from Lord & Berry. Available in a rainbow of suits-all-complexion hue, the sheer formulation blends seamlessly into skin for a healthy pop of colour – or build it up for a more impactful appearance.

Huygens Exfoliating Cream – Sample

(Full size £17.90) Packed with skin-friendly ingredients like nourishing sesame oil and antioxidant-boosting green tea, this gentle face scrub from Huygens is perfect for all skin types. Rice powder particles work to purify and lift away dead skin cells without irritation, while the creamy formula leaves skin soft and hydrated. Effectively, its healthy skin in a jar!

Kebelo Clarifying Shampoo – Sample

(Full size £13.95) Let’s face it, sometimes our hair could do with a fresh start, but rather than shaving it off and starting again this clarifying shampoo from Kebelo will help things get back to basics. Wave goodbye to product build-up and stressed strands, this detoxifying formula will leave your tresses feeling super soft, perfectly purified, and ready for whatever you’re going to throw at it next.

theBalm Balm Desert Bronzer – Sample

(Full size £15.00) Lounging poolside in Palm Springs with the cast of Mad Men may be a fantasy, but we can still snag some of that warm desert glow with this silky shimmer powder from theBalm® cosmetics. The fade-resistant formula works as a blush and bronzer in one to give skin that fresh, sun-kissed look – even when our late-night antics leave us feeling otherwise.

Formula 10.0.6 Overnight Success Spot Minimizing Patches – Full Size

(Full size £2.95) Nothing cramps our style like a breakout, so when pesky blemishes show up, we like to banish them – and fast. Packed with natural antibacterial and antiseptic ingredients like tea tree and grape seed, these fast-acting cleansing patches work their magic overnight to reduce redness, irritation, and inflammation. Let’s just say, it definitely hits the spot!


I was quite impressed I must admit! I’ve already tried the bronzer which I looooove – I haven’t tried anything from theBalm before! This is only my second month signed up to BirchBox, and I will confess that last months wasn’t so great… there was nothing that interested me! I was quite disappointed as I wanted to sign up for Boxy Charm but they don’t ship to the UK! Apparently they’re working on it, so I’ll stay subscribed to BirchBox until then! 😉



Hi friends. First off I want to apologise for my distance and skipping of posting days. I don’t really have a valid excuse; I just haven’t wanted to blog. I don’t know why as I used to really love it, but I’m sure I’ll be back here yabbering away in no time. 😉


I made this gorgeous pie a couple of weeks a go, and I can’t believe I’m only just sharing it with you guys – it was love at first bite. I’m sure many of you know that I’m currently following Slimming World (with the exception of the last three days… oops), so I shunned the pastry and instead opted for a nice thick topping of mash so it had more of a cottage pie vibe, but by all means add pastry if you’re little heart desires!

500ml chicken stock
4 skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1.5cm pieces
2 onions, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and cut into small cubes
200g green beans, chopped
200g button mushrooms (halved or quartered if large)
1 level tsp chicken gravy granules
2 tbsp tomato purée
450g can cooked lean ham, cut into small cubes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 egg, lightly beaten

Above is the original list of ingredients. I switched the fresh garlic for dried and added a substantial amount of extra veg – it was one hell of a mixture.
Preheat your oven to 180°C and put the stock, chicken, onions, garlic, carrots, beans and mushrooms (and any other additions) in a pan and cook over a medium heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring often, until the onions have softened and the chicken is cooked.

I used Tulip’s lean canned ham which is about £1.50 a tin – cheaper than I thought lean ham would be!

Add the gravy granules and tomato purée and stir well. Add the ham and tarragon, season and stir again. The original method says to divide the mixture into four individual pie dishes, but if you’re like me and don’t have individual ones just use whatever oven proof dishes you have to hand!

If you’ve opted for pastry: Brush the edges of your dishes with some of the beaten egg. Cut the pastry into long, thin strips and arrange over the pies in a lattice pattern. Brush the pastry with the remaining egg and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the pastry is puffed up and golden. Serve warm.

If you’ve opted for mash: Peel your potatoes, chop up small and boil until they’re nice and soft. Mash and add milk, salt, pepper and a sprinkle of parsley (if you’re on SW make sure to syn the milk if not using as a HEA), spoon over the top of your pie mixture and bake for 18-20 minutes.

The recipe says that it serves four but it clearly makes way more than that… although that could have been due to all the extra veg… It doesn’t really matter either way, as the pies are freezer friendly! My mixture made FIVE meals! Yes, five!
Mmmmm, pie.


“Time is moving too fast. My life is disappearing before my eyes. I’ll be 30 before I know it”  Those are just a few of the things that run through my mind every time I realise it’s time to do a monthly favourites. But let’s try not to think about our mortality and let me show you what I’ve spent one of my limited months on Earth obsessing over.



Village Candle – Warm Buttered Bread

If you’ve been here more than 5 minutes you’ll know I’m one of those annoying people that are heavily into their candles. I feel this ones a bit of a weird one for summer, but its so comforting and fills my whole apartment so I don’t really care. Village candles are pretty good with getting their scents spot on, but this one really is amazing. If you walked into my apartment whilst I was burning this you would genuinly think I’d been baking bread!

Choc Shot

Ohhhh chocolately goodness. I picked this up a couple of weeks ago as I wanted something to drizzle over my french toast and strawberries that I had planned for breakfast, and as this is only 14 calories a teaspoon I couldn’t really go wrong! It’s technically a hot chocolate but it can be drizzled over pretty much anything you like.


This is the cutest movie I’ve seen in a long time. It was slightly frustrating that all the music was by Rihanna, but I guess I should have expected that seeing as how she voices one of the main characters. It’s still a really good film either way, and Oh is so adorable!

Real Techniques Silicone Liner Brush

I’ve lusted after this brush for quite some time, but put it off for ages as I already have the RT angled liner brush. I love that brush for both eyeliner and eyebrows but it was a bit of a pain having to clean it inbetween each step… I was basically just lazy so ordered the silicone brush and I’m so glad I did! It gives me a really smooth line and I find it easier to control than the angled brush, so it’s much easier to get a thinner line if I want to… which I usually don’t but at least the option is there!

Cherry & Cinnamon Fruit Tea

Holy crap this is delicious. I’m a big fan of the Twinings cranberry and blood orange tea, so when I went to order another box I noticed Tesco had a Twinings offer on so I thought I’d take advantage and give this a go. I’m not too keen on fruit tea by itself but it’s reeeeal nice if you add 2/3 sweetener tablets!

PicMonkey Collage


The last things I’ve been loving this month are my succulents! As we don’t have a garden I’ve been trying to bring more plants into the apartment so I took myself off to B&Q and picked up a pack of succulents amongst other things. I wanted to make a terranium but couldn’t find a container/bowl I liked but Mum said she had a big glass bowl, so I took the plants round and left her to it! Isn’t she a clever bean 😉


Every month when I start thinking about the things I want to share I always go blank and can only think of one or two pieces, but then when I start going round collecting the bits and bobs ready for a photo I end up grabbing loads and having to only show my absolute favourites! I’m like a child that wants to show all of their toys. I hope everyone had a great month! 🙂