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Sunday, 27 March 2016

Breaking Up With Booze - An Open Letter

Writing A Break Up Letter To Alcohol

Dear Booze,

By the time you read this I'll be sober! There's no easy way to say this so I'll just come straight out with it. It's over.

It's not me, it's you!

Don't try and talk me out of it. My minds made up.


Sunday, 20 March 2016

Bloom&Wild Flowers Through Your Letterbox

Bloom & Wild Letterbox Flowers
Bloom & Wild Fresh Flower Display

I turned 32 yesterday. Traditionally I should still be wallowing in my pit this morning with a raging hangover after a wild night of celebrations ... But as I hurtle deeper into the wrong side of 30, I am changing. Instead of panda eyed and gasping for water the morning after, I am up with the lark (and using the phrase up with the lark) merrily posting about the most beautiful flowers I received for my birthday. Who am I?

Friday, 11 March 2016

Learning To Ski Part Two: Proof I Can Be Outdoorsy

Real Snow Indoors At The Chill Factore
Today has been a day of firsts. The first time I've been to the Chill Factore without needing someone to chaperone me in. The first time I've skied 'fluidly' without shaking like a shitting dog and most importantly the first time I've treated myself to a snazzy bobble hat. (If you're thinking that sounds like a compulsive purchase made on the back of a high after a successful ski lesson then you're wrong, I'm going to wear it allllll the time. I really neeeeed it, ok).

A few weeks ago I went to the Chill Factore for a Beginners Day Lesson. To say I was nervous is the understatement of the year. If you haven't already, you can read why I had a meltdown and why I pushed through it here.

Monday, 7 March 2016

Deliciously Ella Blueberry Muffins

Deliciously Ella Blueberry Muffins
 
My Deliciously Ella recipe book has become my culinary bible. This isn't an exaggeration.
 
Unlike some sugar free cookbooks this one is easy to follow and packed with nourishing 'real' foods, most of which you can find at your usual supermarket. Scrap the endless hours spent tripping from supermarkets to over priced health food stores, scouring for speciality powders, sweeteners and other obscure ingredients I've never heard of ... and bring on natural wholesome foods and natural sugars only!
 
There is the odd item that you can't pick up at your supermarket but don't stress. The best places to pick these items up are included in the book.
 
If you're a fan of Deliciously Ella already, and there are a gazillion of you out there, you might have spotted that I'm a book behind. Her second and newest book, Deliciously Ella Everyday is on my want list, but for now I'm still gradually working my way through and loving the recipes from book number one.
Know the story of the tortoise and the hare? Life isn't a race. Relax, chill the hell out and work towards the end goal at your own pace. (I'm writing that mainly for myself because I REALLY want the second book NOW but it's my birthday soon so I should wait and see). *stamps feet and crosses arms
 
I could rave about this book for a lot longer but I'll cut to the chase. I had a bash at the Blueberry Muffins recently and after modestly sharing a photo of how they turned out on Instagram (OY WORLD COME AND LOOK AT MY MUFFINS!!) I've decided to share Deliciously Ella's recipe with you after public demand (two of my friends asked for it).
 
What You'll Need for 12 muffins
 
- 400g buckwheat or brown rice flour
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 300ml almond milk (Don't accidentally buy 3 litres...It's a long story. Well actually it's not but it is a stupid one so we'll leave it there)
- 300ml maple syrup (make sure it's 100% maple syrup and NOT maple flavour syrup)
- 120g ground almonds
- 600g fresh blueberries
- coconut oil, for greasing
 
Method
 
Preheat the oven to 180c (160c fan)
 
Add the brown rice, cinnamon, almond milk, maple syrup and almonds into a bowl, stirring as you go to form a smooth batter before adding the blueberries.
 
Grease a 12 hole muffin tin with coconut oil and scoop the mixture into it. Bake for about 45 minutes until the tops begin to turn golden brown.
***********

That's it!! So easy to make and great to have in as an easy to grab snack during those times when you fancy a treat (most of the time). It's not about depriving yourself of any treats or foods that you love, but finding new ways of making healthy foods delicious. All hale Deliciously Ella!
 
On a separate note are you allowed to share someone else's recipe on your blog? I've noticed other bloggers doing it and there doesn't appear to be any ongoing court cases. I'd be gutted if my culinary idol sued me.

I may have tried a different sort of cake in Amsterdam last week. It wasn't sugar free I'm afraid, but that was the least of my worries (sorry Mum). Can I personally recommend that you stick with blueberries in your muffins.
 
Thanks so much for reading. Not Your Nine To Five is on Twitter here and Instagram here x x

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Amsterdam: A Photo Diary

Canal Side Houses In Amsterdam
 
I'm fresh off the plane from a 3 night mini break to Amsterdam. I jetted off with my other half, for a long weekend of exploring the sights and sounds of a city steeped in history and culture. Before anyone jumps the gun, I can neither confirm or deny if we tried space cakes.
 
Is there anything better than strolling around a new city, with good company and all the time in the world? We set out each day with warm coats, a map, and took in whatever exhibitions/museums/bars took our fancy.
 
I can't do justice to how beautiful a place Amsterdam is. It's packed with stylish and quirky coffee shops and bars that line its maze of canals. I'm so pleased we wandered to the Jordaan district, which is like stepping back in time (in a good way). Walking into the bars was like being on the set of 'Allo' Allo!, for those of you that can remember the TV series. If the stolen Madonna with the big boobies means nothing to you then nah you never watched it... but you really should.
 
Cosy and traditional with candles on each intimate table, as you sip your drinks and gaze into each others eyes. Or discuss the novelty clog slippers that you're adamant are a bad idea!! I promise you, you'll step out into the night feeling all dreamy and inspired.
 
I've put together this little photo diary for you of the city that is now a firm contender for my favourite place.
 
* 'Photo diary' also known as 'a few holiday snaps.'...bicycles ARE included.
 
Love Lock Bridge Amsterdam
Tulips At Amsterdam Flower Market


I've gone all dreamy eyed looking back through these photos. Have you ever been to Amsterdam? What are your must see recommendations?
 
Hope you all had great weekends whatever you got up to and thanks so much for reading x x
 
Not Your Nine To Five is on Twitter here and Instagram here!