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Monday, 30 June 2014

HoloHolo

So I'm already planning for my holiday in August, and thought it was best to replace my slightly green tinged bikini with something a bit more wow. In the interests of pleasure, and treating myself and my body right now (and not when I've lost those few extra pounds) I knew I needed it to be special. 
For those of us who are a bit insecure with their figures, making a statement on the beach when we feel our most vulnerable seems to be the last thing we'd want to do... giant windbreak, jumper and sarong all the way right? Wrong. Sarah Jenks' theory is to love who you are today, and stop waiting for the scales to dictate when you start living your life. For me, this meant purchasing an AMAZING yellow one-piece from my friend's new collection. Anything that can make me feel like this while splashing around on the Costa Del Sol is a winner in my book. 



HoloHolo is all about taking in life's pleasure - perfect for those of us looking to lose weight. The more joyful our lives are and the kinder we are to ourselves, the less we will eat emotionally to self soothe. Obviously we can't all frolic in Hawaii when we've got emails to write, flats to clean and bills to pay, but we can give ourselves little pieces of pleasure to feed us instead of grabbing a pizza or muffin. 



Putting an end to emotional eating means being aware when our bodies/inner selves are asking for a break, or when we are feeling lonely or need reassurance. It means truly giving ourselves time, patience and understanding while we figure out how to meet those needs. It also means living today like we are already as slim as we want to be. For some this might be calling a friend after a long day, or a hot bath. It could be a weekly massage after a stressful day or not spending too much time home alone if you hate it. Whatever makes you feel peaceful and your skin tingle at the thought of doing it is where you want to be. 




Treating myself to something as small as a new swimsuit has given me something to look forward to, it's given me pleasure and a treat. Not because I've lost weight, not two sizes too small as an incentive to starve myself, but a gorgeous thing for me right now, because I'm worth it. The excitement I'm feeling while I wait for my little tropical gift is insane... and yet there it is. Is it shallow? Perhaps. Am I happy? Hell yes, so who really cares? Now where did I put my giant yellow flower...


You can find out more about the lovely HoloHolo right here: www.letsgoholoholo.com


Saturday, 28 June 2014

Prawn Tom Yum


I found some little Chinese bowls in Oxfam yesterday, and it inspired me to make something to go in them for dinner. OK, so Tom Yum is Thai... but sod it. This soup is hot and sour and really easy to make, but it's technically my variation of it, because SPAR didn't have all the ingredients. 
They did have these delicious little wasabi crackers though to munch on in the meantime. 


To make I used:

King prawns
Chicken stock
Coriander
Mushrooms
Mini corn & mange tout 
Lime
Fresh Chillies
Chilli paste
Ginger
Garlic
Peppers
Soy sauce
Sesame oil
Soba noodles


First chop up the mushrooms, coriander, chilli, garlic, peppers and ginger and set your prawns in a bowl to defrost if they need it. 

 

Heat up the sesame oil and gently fry everything you've chopped up plus the chilli paste to make your base. Save half of your coriander, the mini corn and the mange tout to add in later. You could probably use dried herbs here too, but the fresh option really adds a bit of extra vibrancy at the end.


Once it's all nice and soft, tip into a deep pan and pour in the chicken stock, another glug of sesame oil and a dash of soy sauce. Tasting here is important - depending on how much water you add, you might need to increase the strength of your stock with another cube. If it's a bit salty or strong, don't worry - the noodles will counteract this a bit. Squeeze your limes up and add them into the pot too and leave it to bubble for a while.



To go with the soup, I decided to make some sundried tomato and Parmesan bread. It's not as difficult as it sounds! I just took a baton of french bread, added slices all the way down and melted a stick of sundried tomato and Parmesan butter (ha - told you it was easy!)
Brush the bread with the butter, and pop in the oven for 10 minutes before serving. 


Check back in on your soup, and if it tastes flavoursome enough, add in your mini corn and mange tout, and let it simmer for 5-10 minutes until it's soft but with a bit of a crunch. If not, leave for a bit longer or add in a bit more stock/soy etc. 


Tip in your noodles and prawns for the last 5 minutes and at the last second, stir in the other half of your coriander leaving a few sprinkles for garnish. 


Whip out your bread, and serve in big bowls with lots of kitchen roll for the prawns!



In the end, the soup was just too big for my little bowls. Oh well, we found a use for them!




Wednesday, 25 June 2014

The Beach Boys


There's only one thing to do on a Tuesday night when Summer is threatening to leave. Shuffle on down to a Beach Boys concert for a bop, and pray for the Californian sun. Formed in the sixties, these guys were the original hipster beach dudes, and let's face it - their songs are damn catchy. 


The concert was held at Hampton Court Palace right by the river. Perhaps not the most obvious link - British monarchy meets surf boards and Hawaiian shirts... but a stunning location none the less. We had a quick pizza watching the sunset (and a bottle of wine obviously), then crunched our way up to the palace gates singing a terrible version of Wouldn't It Be Nice.



I absolutely love love love anything to do with the Tudors (and ancient Egyptians, but that's less relevant here). So the place where the court plots, intrigues and events of this era took place is pretty special for me. I kept wanting to explore all the little nooks and crannies, but we were a bit late and people in red shits were hurrying us along. The boys wouldn't wait, but I vowed to return and have a proper guided tour another time.







The show was fantastic. For blokes in their late 60's/early 70's?? they sounded great and could still hit all the high notes. Perhaps the dancing wasn't quite what it used to be, but they made up for it with a good sense of humour. They're doing a pretty extensive tour, and tickets are still on sale here if you fancy some chart topping tunes and a blast from the past.






As the sun went down, the crowd was in full swing - lots of manic dancing and arm waving ensued from everyone (including a lot of the fans who were clearly lifelong followers).







I absolutely love their old posters. Great examples of retro advertising and brand logo. 


We left with hoarse voices and silly smiles on our faces. 



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