Power Smoothie

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It honestly feels like things are spinning out of control right now. To add to the constant chaos poor Hubby has come down with a serious case of man-flu, which has hit him like a ton of bricks and left him pretty much bed-ridden and unable to go to work… this is a worry when you’re freelance. I’ve pretty much dropped everything to look after him while he recovers, which includes making lots of health filled foods to get him ship shape again (Lord knows what the little blighter would do without me) and the one thing that he’s been craving is smoothies… the greener the better I’ve been told and this one definitely fits that bill and then some. It may seem like a lot of ingredients for one drink but once that fruit and veg gets blended down it renders about two decent-sized portions (or one very large smoothie) that can be enjoyed morning, noon and night – and believe me when I tell you we have. Hopefully Hubby will be properly mended by Monday because my own deadline is drawing ever closer and that pressure-induced writers panic is slowly starting to set in. I suppose I knew writing a book wouldn’t exactly be easy (and I realise half the problem is the impossible standards I set myself) but when you’re desperate to create something that you’ll be proud of it’s difficult to have a laid back attitude about it all. And whilst I’m deciding whether that’s a good thing or not why not make yourself a power smoothie and ponder it out with me…

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what you’ll need

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handful of kale

handful of spinach

1 celery stick

juice of 1 lime

2 apples

1 banana

1 heaped tsp chlorella

1 heaped tsp hemp powder

4 large dates (stones removed!)

3/4 cup coconut water

several ice-cubes

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what you’ll do

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Wash the kale and spinach and remove any hard stalks. Put everything in the blender and blitz until smooth – you may need to scrape down the sides with a spatula every now and then, and/or add a little more coconut water.

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Serve in a tall glass (with or without ice… your call) and a fancy straw (optional but nice)

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Keeping it Real

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what i wore… organic cotton dotty blouse/jackpot clothing… sweater/vintage… beret and jeans/h&m… raincoat and wellies/seasalt cornwall… vegan satchel/nica… socks/tabio

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Could it be? Are we about to experience what is commonly known as the first blooms of Spring? After all this horrendous weather we’ve been enduring I can tell you it is more than a little welcome… and from the crowds in Cornwall today it would seem we weren’t the only ones languishing in the unexpected rays. People were out in their droves, lapping up every second of unbridled sunshine that brought the entire county to life again – sand bags and gales begone, we officially have had enough. This, my friends, is just a tiny glimpse of why we moved here – even though it may have taken until now for us to fully appreciate it. It was enough for me to put my LFW woes to the one side and embrace our ‘not quite new but still getting used to it’ lifestyle with full force.

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Talking of fashion week(s), I’ve been loosely following the shenanigans on and off the catwalk, and whilst there are always a few designers that catch my attention, a lot of it has happily passed me by this season. Margaret Howell, Orla Kiely and Hunter were all fabulously practical, which shows you exactly where my head is at right now in the style stakes. I’m all for embracing our topsy turvy British weather and that definitely means macs, knitwear and wellies… let’s get real here, most of us live less (ha, if ever!) in Louboutins and more in jeans and tees than we care to admit. As a blogger I’m sure I’m not alone in saying we feel under pressure to dress in a certain way for our so-called ‘outfit’ posts – although I’m not even sure if many of mine even fall under that category. I mean, here I am in the same wellies and raincoat you’ve seen before and will probably see again. That’s. Real. Life.

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I want my blog to be more of a reflection of what’s going on in my world than a contrived dressing-up exercise that is neither honest nor ‘me’. I never want to dress myself with the intention of blogging about it – what you see is what I wore that day and occasionally I like to take a photograph (or ten) of said ensemble, even if a few of the items have already made an appearance. Call it lazy, call it predictable but when I like something I have a habit of wearing it to death… just like these wellies and raincoat. That’s. Real. Life.

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Gluten-free (and Vegan) Cranberry & Chocolate Muffins

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HAPPY VALENTINES!

These are my attempt at contributing to the Valentines mayhem that is about to explode all over the internet from tomorrow onwards (chocolate and pink muffin cases qualify, right?), although really it’s just a recipe I’ve been working on getting right for a while now. This batch are, so far (no doubt I will continue to try and better it), the best gluten-free gram flour muffin mix I’ve personally created although I’m sure there are many more out there that match it and more – I say that because I’m not exactly an expert in the ways of gluten-free baking, and I basically just make it up as I go. Just so you know. They did get the Husband seal of approval, however, which totally made my day because that boy is not easy pleased when it comes to anything of the baked variety… and he ain’t afraid to say so either.

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PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT

This kind of leads me on to the issue(s) of baking. You see (and I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before) I’m not the world’s most accomplished baker.  I can bake but it’s definitely not second nature. If you need a savoury dish rustling up, I’m your woman but when it comes to measurements and the ability to restrain oneself from throwing this, that and the other in, well, let’s just say this is where we (I) run into problems. And truthfully that’s pretty much why I prefer ‘cooking’ over ‘baking’ – sod the skill and let me loose with my palette and greed alone!

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Because of that I’ve made a point of practicing (something I continue to dread since my violin playing days) the ‘art of baking’. That is, sticking to the science whilst satisfying my need to ‘add stuff’ by trying out varying different filling combos whether it be in breads, muffins, cookies or cake. My confidence isn’t fully there yet but I do now have an armoury of sweets up my sleeve that I can whip up at a moments notice and know that the results will be consistently good. I will continue to stray off the beaten track from time to time, of course, which is exactly when things like gluten free muffins will duly appear on the blog. What about you, are you a ‘cook’ or a ‘baker’… or (curse you) brilliant at both?

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 3/4 cup gram/chickpea flour

1/2 cup ground almonds

1/4 desiccated coconut

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup almond milk

1/2 banana mashed

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 cup frozen cranberries

1/2 cup dark chocolate drops

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Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius/350 fahrenheit.

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Lightly mix the gram flour, ground almonds, coconut, bicarb and baking powder.

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Mash the banana until it’s a smooth puree before whisking in the almond milk, vanilla extract and syrup.

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Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the almond milk mix. Fold gently until combined – be careful not to overwork the batter.

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Finally fold through the cranberries and chocolate drops, and carefully spoon into your prepared muffin tin. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool completely before eating.

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tip! I was also tempted to added a drop of orange essence, orange zest and a little juice to the mix… will probably try that next time.

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Weekday Wish List

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clockwise from bottom left… white tee/pickwick&weller … vegan heels/bait footwear … kids umbrella/stella mccartney … tess sweater/toast … coral carmen sunglasses/house of harlow … 2 in 1 cleansing milk/lavera … packable poncho/paul by paul smith

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Well hello there friends! I hope you had a terrific weekend and are enjoying a constructive start to the week… or, like me, are just about holding it together. In between my book writing (self-motivation can be a bitch) and sorting through the chaos that is currently my house (we are on a mahoosive decluttering mission here) I decided to take a moment (okay an hour) to make myself a little inspiration board that encompasses my current casual life in Cornwall whilst attempting to maintain some modicum of style – not as easy as it sounds. I was actually in the midst of creating mood boards for the book (yup, I am a mood board nut and make no apologies for it) and suddenly had the uncontrollable urge to share some of my recent fashion and beauty loves. I must admit I only possess one of these items at present (the Lavera cleansing milk), which I can confirm is totally uhmazing. Damn I love cruelty-free beauty, don’t you?

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When I browsed through the Toast March look book this morning my heart actually simultaneously skipped and sank a beat when I first saw this gorgeous Tess sweater. I presumed the worst (I always do) and thought there must be some wool content but no, to my delight, it’s cotton – woohoo! These ‘Happenin’ Home Heel’ Bait shoes have been on my ‘i want, i want, i want’ list for a while now and by golly I shall have them… (or a similar style anyway because hey, guess what, these ones are currently unavailable, ugh). I hear that all their styles will soon be 100% vegan friendly –  music to my ears! The Paul by Paul Smith packable poncho is probably waaaay out of my price range but would be so perfect for our Cornish walks that can start bright and sunny, and end in some ridiculous thunder storm. Also, I could only find a Japanese shopping link for it, so apologies if I got your (my own) hopes up on that one. And yes, the Stella McCartney umbrella is (a) intended for children and (b) currently not in stock – can you blame ’em?! Something tells me there’s not a hoard of uber stylish kids swanning around with these (more like their Mums), and as soon as they’re back online, I shall be making a very swift purchase myself. Oh, and what about these Pickwick & Weller tees, eh? I realise I am so behind the times on this one but my goodness these are great… every style imaginable, I am in t-shirt hea-ven! Slight snag though, they currently do not ship to the UK (insert major sad face here)…. good thing I might be heading to New York in May when I shall endeavour to hunt these suckers down. Do I need to even explain why I adore these incredible House of Harlow coral sunnies? Nuff said.

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Storm’s a Comin’

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I think the weather is totally in tune with my emotions of late – huge swells, moments of calm and in between not really knowing what might come next. Whilst the weatherman (or woman) can often be wrong, they got it spot on this weekend; although on Saturday I was hardly taking heed. Despite storm warnings and the knowledge it may be borderline baltic (oh, and it was!) I ventured into St.Ives in a knitted gettup, that contrary to how it may look, did not keep me protected from the elements. Rookie error. Although, as ever, the light was insanely bright – hence the sunnies… in case you’re thinking they were solely for posing purposes.

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Yep, it looks like I haven’t quite got the hang of this coastal dressing melarkey just yet or maybe a part of me is still in denial – we ain’t in Kansas London anymore. Now that comment may seem as if I’m missing my London lifestyle but the opposite is closer to the truth – I’m bedding in nicely to our new existence, and am slowly getting into the Cornish groove, which namely means lots of long walks and braving the bracing wind on a regularly invigorating basis… bring it baby!

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What I definitely don’t regret about this outfit is the headscarf. A Christmas gift from my Husband, it’s a genuine Mary Quant (isn’t he clever?) and I am officially in love. Scarves and me go back a very long way, and I have a ridiculous collection of them, but this one has superseded any others as my fav…. the print and palette are perfection in my opinion. Too bad I was practically frozen to the bone, which somewhat impaired my nonchalant St.Ives swanning enjoyment that would usually include some imaginary scenario that involves some of those old school St.Ives artists of yore (how I heart thee Barbara Hepworth) – or, more appropriately given my writer status, Daphne Du Maurier. That’ll ruddy teach me to forfeit the raincoat and wellies, won’t it?

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what i wore… cardi/sweater/skirt/shoes (non-leather)/scarf/bag – vintage … sunnies – wildpony (Falmouth) … tights – topshop … knitted scarf (synthetic fibres)/h&m

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Suffice to say the weather took a turn for the worse right after these were taken and we headed back home (via Portreath – well, we had to have a nosy) to hole up whilst the waves did their worst – at times like these I’m kinda glad I don’t live right on the beach, even though that’s my ultimate dream. My mood too went ever so slightly downhill… you know, the usual; feeling inferior, thinking that everything I do is a wee bit crap in comparison to so-and-so and such-and-such. Nothing a good soak in a hot bath and a brisk walk the following day couldn’t fix but those moments of doubt are never too far way. Instead of giving in to those ‘why bother?’ moments I invariably dust myself down and get back on the metaphorical bike, hoping that these ridiculous thoughts will keep getting less and less. Unfortunately though, I fear it’s the price one pays for working in the creative industry (there’s always someone better, smarter, more talented) and so all you can really do is to just keep plodding on in the hope that one day, it will mostly make good or, at the very least, make some sorta sense. In the meantime, I’ll always have St.Ives.

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