Wednesday, 21 June 2017

HOW TO MAKE ANY DESSERT HEALTHY




Who doesn't love a good cake, some gooey cookies or a creamy cheesecake?

Everyone does, exactly. However, most of us also know that these foods are not exactly the best for our health and body. Pinterest is now flooded with thousands of modern healthy desserts that do look very mouth-watering but sometimes we just want traditional and regular baked goods. This is why I've come up with a way to make your grandma's delicious cookies a bit healthier. It's all about using the right ingredients! 

Stay away from white flour

Switching from white flour to wholemeal flour will barely have any effect on the taste and it's a great way to increase the fibre content and nutritional value of one of the main ingredients in most baked goods. You can start by substituting 25% of the total amount of flour and then go from there! 

Natural sweeteners

Everyone is aware of how bad sugar is for you - no form of sugar is actually that great for you, whether that is white sugar or agave syrup. You should aim to use as little as possible. But what is a cake without any sweetness. Try using coconut sugar, agave syrup or even dates!

Who even needs butter 

Butter is full of saturated fats (which are very bad for you) but so many indulgent cakes and cookies use them - and they use quite a lot. Try using natural yoghurt and some olive or coconut oil instead, it will add moisture without adding all the unnecessary saturated fat.

Add nourishing toppings

By adding toppings like seeds, nuts or any healthy options you like you can pack some more nutrients into a chocolate chip cookie for example whilst also adding a little twist to the regular recipe. I personally love to add chopped up walnuts and chia seeds! 



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Sunday, 18 June 2017

10 THINGS YOU SHOULD DO EVERY DAY




Nowadays, it seems like you haven't made it in life unless you're crazy successful and have a life that's Instagram worthy 24/7. Or at least seemingly Instagram worthy on Instagram.  In all this hunger for success and with so many goals to achieve,  it's easy to forget to just live. 

Taking the time to enjoy your life, even if it's just the little details like that perfectly ripe mango or a beautifully orange and pink sunrise, is not only important for your sanity but funnily enough important to ensure you success. 

It's only been recently that I've realised I was focusing too much on my work and on what I had to get done and that was consuming all my time. I'm not encouraging you to procrastinate but instead to take small breaths and savour the adventure that life is. 

So here are ten things I like to do to make sure I don't forget to live. 

-Wake up half an hour earlier and enjoy the quietness of a usually buzzing city

-Leave my phone on airplane mode during that half an hour and start my day by reading a book or a magazine

-Smile every time I look at myself in the mirror

-Take my time eating my food 

-Try to catch the sunrise and/or sunset (even though this is specially hard during winter)

-Think or write down everything I am grateful for

-Laugh (I love laughing so much that it is incredibly easy to make me laugh!)

-Spend time or talk to someone I care about

-Plan something that excites me (even if it's something as small as going for coffee with a friend)


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Thursday, 15 June 2017

DIY: BEST HOMEMADE MAKE UP REMOVERS

Today's post comes from the hand of Samantha Braddy, one of the authors at highstylife.com. She kindly offered to write a piece for my post which I happily accepted, her writing style is just beautiful. Hope you enjoy the post and let me know if you would love to see ore of her great work! 



Removing makeup at the end of the day is surely one of the most important steps in any woman’s makeup routine. However, many ladies are simply too tired to get it done, which can lead to some serious skin problems later on. In order to prevent that, just stay with us and learn how to pick a proper makeup remover and make one of your own.

Why should I pick beauty products based on natural ingredients?


Beauty products based on natural ingredients have multiple benefits. First of all, each of these is far less harmful than chemicals produced in any brand’s laboratory. Everyone knows that conventional makeup and skincare products often feature a wide range of potentially hazardous substances, such as parabens, phthalates, synthetic colors, mineral oil, and artificially added fragrances. All of these are likely to cause allergic reactions and even some more serious illnesses like cancer. On the other hand, natural ingredients come directly from the Mother Nature, which is exactly why they’re so fantastic for your skin. Many of them are used to slow down the process of aging, as well as to fight swelling and infections. One of these is witch hazel – it’s one of the most effective acne treatments that exist! Jojoba oil is also amazing, since it’s hypoallergenic and successfully removes bacteria from your face.  On the other hand, olive oil is rich in vitamin E which allows it to calm irritation.

 

Cleansing your skin thoroughly before bedtime should be your top priority

  
Removing your makeup before going to bed is of the utmost importance, simply because any makeup residue on your face can lead to potential skin problems. High-quality makeup removers have the most important role here, since these are the only ones that can help you get rid of everything you don’t need on your face before getting your beauty sleep. After removing makeup, you should cleanse your skin thoroughly in order to make sure that there’s no makeup residue left. Of course, there are many brands that have designed all-natural makeup removers free from toxic chemicals, and these are always a good choice. On the other hand, if that’s not good enough for you, there’s an option of making your own natural makeup remover. Here are some amazing recipes, so keep on reading!

How can I make my own makeup remover?


The first version of your DIY makeup remover requires only three ingredients – filtered water, almond oil, and tear-free baby shampoo. Almond oil is particularly great for the skin because it’s rich in vitamins A, B, and E, but the fact is that any skin-safe oil (coconut, olive) will do the trick. This oil also delays signs of aging and reduces the appearance of dark circles! What you should do is to mix equal parts of all these ingredients in a small bottle. Shake well before use, take a cotton pad, and voila – makeup is successfully removed from your face! The second version includes witch hazel, and the truth is that you can use it on its own to remove makeup. If that’s not your cup of tea, you can use it diluted 50:50 with water – just soak the cotton pad and remove makeup in circular motions! Aloe vera is another extremely beneficial ingredient which does a great job as a makeup remover. Take a small container and combine equal parts of aloe vera gel and raw honey. Add a couple of tablespoons of your oil of choice (jojoba is fine) to the mixture, and make sure to keep it in your fridge. Use a small scoop of your cleanser to remove makeup in the following way – just massage it into the skin, let it sit for one or two minutes, and then rinse off with cool water!

As you can see, removing your makeup before bedtime is one of the most important steps in your makeup routine you mustn’t skip at any cost. Of course, there are all-natural removers designed by some prominent beauty brands, but if that’s not your thing – you can always make one of your own. Trust us, you won’t regret it!




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Monday, 12 June 2017

EASY PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES




I know I recently shared with you another cookie recipe post but there is no such thing as too many cookies, so here’s another one. 

My cravings have been pretty weird lately and, after a few days of craving peanut butter (something very odd because I don’t even like PB that much) I decided to bake PB cookies for the first time ever. These are not the healthiest and cleanest cookies but they are not TOO bad and they taste incredible. 

I found a generic recipe online and then from there I kind of made it up a bit and, not to sound cocky, but the outcome was pretty outstanding. Here’s the recipe!

INGREDIENTS


1 cup almond flour
1 egg
3/4 cup PB
1/2 cup sugar or any other sweetener
1/4 tsp baking soda
A dash of cinnamon
Dark chocolate chunks

INSTRUCTIONS


All you have to do is mix the egg, the flour, the sugar and the baking soda; then add in the peanut butter and mix thoroughly. Finally, add the cinnamon and as much chocolate as you want. 

Line a baking sheet and use a tablespoon to make the cookies. Bake at 180˚C for about 10-15min depending on how soft you want them and enjoy! 






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Sunday, 4 June 2017

5 TIPS TO FEEL ENERGISED ALL DAY LONG



Sleep is overrated. Who has time to actually rest for eight hours every single day when we have so much stuff to get done. Deadlines aren't going to move and work won't get done whilst we sleep. 

Jokes aside, whilst sleep is extremely important and you should always try to get about 7-8 hrs of sleep a day, some days this is just not possible. We've all been there and we all know how ridiculously hard it can be to actually sit down and get work done. 

Recently, I'm not proud to say, I've kind of figured out how to be productive even if I am a bit sleep deprived. So here are my tricks, you're welcome. 

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE LIQUIDS

And I'm not talking about just coffee (which is obviously a life saviour), I am talking about water. I know I don't drink enough water on a daily basis and I can really feel it when I haven't had much sleep. If you're dehydrated you're going to feel much more lethargic and just tired in general. So, drink up! 

COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE

This beverage deserves its own section. Caffeine is your best friend if you need to get shit done - just stay away from the sugary versions because they'll make you a bit too hyper and the crash will be real. If you want that extra energy, try Starbucks' new Nitro Cold Brew. It is honestly A-MA-ZING. Taste-wise, it is not my favourite drink but it hits the spot every single time, the caffeine kicks in much faster and I am so awake and productive for the entire day. 

LIGHT EXERCISE

Whilst I wouldn't recommend going crazy at the gym, as this is likely to have the opposite effect, doing some light exercise will give you a burst of energy and will wake you up fast. Follow your workout with a cold shower and you'll be more awake than if you had actually had 8 hrs of sleep.

AVOID HEAVY MEALS

When I have a lack of sleep I usually crave unhealthy and rather heavy food - pizza, burgers, any sort of pasta, you name it. This might seem a good idea because food = energy, right? Well, wrong. You're much better off eating something much lighter like a salad or just have snacks throughout the day instead of big meals. This way you won't have to go through that much dreaded after-lunch slump.

A GOOD PLAYLIST

The right kind of music, the kind that gets you pumped and makes you feel like you're the badass hero in a badass movie, will make all the difference. It's fascinating how much of a difference it makes and how much it can motivate me.


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Thursday, 1 June 2017

HOW TO BUDGET AS A STUDENT


If I have learnt something ever since I moved out is that life is freaking expensive, specially if you live in a city.

As someone who loves eating out and online shopping, not being broke is sometimes a struggle but after years of trying to budget whilst still going out and doing fun stuff as often as possible, I think I sort of have the hang of it.

As I know for a fact that I am not the only person in this world who sometimes struggles with budgeting, I thought I would share some of my tips that have worked for me. 

First and foremost: do not buy your daily coffee. I drink coffee pretty much every day and, as the white girl that I am, I used to get it from Starbucks every morning on my way to class. £2.45 for a latter might not be outrageous (you'll actually struggle to find something significantly cheaper in central London), but it is still some money and it adds up FAST.  Now I try to have my coffee at home as often as possible and  it's saved me so much money! 



Similar to not getting take away coffee every day, try to limit how many times you go out for meals every week. Living in central London makes this ridiculously hard, I found myself going out for lunch, dinner or breakfast about three to four times a week which, in my opinion, is absolutely insane. Each meal is usually between £10 and £20 so that's about £40 a week just on meals out. I try to eat out once or twice a week now - there is no need to spend £15 on avo toast and fresh OJ every weekend even if Instagram  makes it seem like it is a necessity. 

Another important point is to keep track of your expenses. It is easier than you think to forget how much you've already spent that week and I personally tend to underestimate how much I've spent which is not good. 

Finally, STOP.GOING.ON.ASOS 'just to have a look'. We all know you are bound to find something you absolutely love and definitely 'need' in your life.  Which, by the way, you're probably going to wear it about twice in your life and ask yourself why on earth did you ever buy it. So, stop online shopping out of boredom. You'll thank me later. 


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Monday, 29 May 2017

EGGLESS CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES



The other day I was craving Ben's Cookies very very badly. However, I know they're not exactly super healthy for you and I didn't want to spend any money either so I decided to bake my own cookies. I didn't have any eggs or butter, and a trip to the grocery shop didn't sound appealing at the time, so I got a bit creative. And by creative I mean I just used the few random ingredients I had. 

These cookies turned out to be much better than I had anticipated and they literally took me like 20 min overall. They are not super fancy or have any crazy ingredients, just a good old chocolate chip cookie recipe by someone who was too lazy to go to the supermarket. 

INGREDIENTS


1 cup wholemeal flour

1/2 cup oats

1/4 cup almond flour

1/2 cup almond milk

1/2 cup sugar (or a healthier alternative)

2 tbsp of olive oil

2 tsp vanilla extract

A handful of chopped up dates

Chocolate chips (I used Lindt 70% Dark Chocolate)


INSTRUCTIONS


This is honestly going to be the shortest recipe ever but all you have to do is mix all of the ingredients in a bowl, making sure it's evenly mixed. Line your baking tray with some baking paper and use a tablespoon to make the cookies. 

Bake at 180˚C for 10-15 min depending on how soft you like your cookies et voilĂ !


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Friday, 26 May 2017

PUBLIC DESIRE SHOE HAUL







‘Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.’ Marylin Monroe once said, and she couldn't have been any more right. 

As much as I love to drool over beautiful sky-high heels on Instagram (@publicdesire and @egoofficial are my all time favourite accounts), I barely ever buy proper heels just because I am all about comfort. And heels are not exactly the best shoes to walk around London. 


A few days ago I decided to spice things up and break the bank. As I mentioned, I had had my eyes on a few shoes from Public Desire so I decided to finally get them. The excuse behind the purchase was an upcoming dinner I have which is meant to be sort of fancy but, spoiler alert, I decided not to wear these as I feel like they are a bit too high for that occasion. 

Both pairs are quite similar but I absolutely love nude shoes, as someone who was not blessed with long legs nude heels are really a life saviour. Also, if you're like me and don't wear heels very often simple black or nude shoes are definitley a must in your wardrobe. They go with pretty much anything and they don't really go out of style either. So it's a win-win. 

These were each £35, which is not bad at all. The lightest pair are the Valencia Platfrom Heels 
and the other slightly darker model are the Atlas Platform Heels. I personally am in love with them both, and they look even more stunning when they're on. I'm not going to lie and say they are super comfortable because, at the end of the day, they are very high heels. But they are as comfortable as these kind of heels could be. 

The quality seems pretty good and they definitley not look cheap in the slightest - if something, I feel like they look more expensive than they are. They also came in an actual shoe box which, for some reason, made me excited. Probably because I usually shop at ASOS and they don't dispatch shoes in individual boxes. 

Overall, I am really happy with these shoes and with Public Desire in general. Delivery was only £2.99 and I got them in 3 days. It was my first time shopping there and it definitely won't be my last! 





Have you ever shopped at Public Desire?

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Tuesday, 23 May 2017

I WROTE A DISSERTATION AND I AM ALIVE


As you may have noticed I have not been exactly very active recently - well I actually have a legit excuse: I have been a tiny bit busy writing my dissertation.

I am still pretty shocked that I ACTUALLY wrote a real dissertation, regardless of what grade I get I managed to write 50 pages about cells, proteins and chemistry. Call me God. I thought I would share with you what this experience has been like because i) I really wanted to write a post ii) I love reading this kind of posts. 

I am doing a chemistry masters so, obviously, my dissertation was chemistry related. Whilst, I don't want to go into the details of my actual research I basically spent about 6 months working in a research group and then spent about a month writing about my findings. 

Starting the report was the hardest part, there were so many things on my mind I had no idea where to start or how to structure them. So I would definitley recommend writing down a list of topics you want to cover (which i did not do but should have, so learn from my mistakes). I did start my write up very very very early on - probably a bit too early even. No one needs 5 months to write a science dissertation, but I guess it's better to start too early than too late.

However, up until the last few days before my deadline, it didn't really feel like it was that big of a deal. Considering it was almost 40% of my year, I thought I would feel more stressed. The pressure only really kicked in about a week before my submission deadline, when I honestly lived for journal papers and Excel. 

I honestly think that if none of my friends had been going through the same experience as me I would have had several mental breakdowns; but I am a bit weird and I usually end up having the most fun during stressful periods. Exam week? I have the time of my life. So this was no different. (Don't get me wrong, I still had a few minor mental breakdowns but nothing out of the norm).

The night before my deadline I was honestly hysterically laughing with my friends, no one would have been able to tell I was stressed as hell inside. Even though this could also be because I was starting to become a tiny bit delirious. 

If I wasn't the perfectionist stubborn person that I am, I would have probably finished my report about three days before my deadline. But I went over my finished dissertation at least 10 times. I proofread the shit out of that document, I could literally write it all again word by word. This was honestly the worst part of the entire process. It made my brain die a little every time I read the same paragraph over and over again making sure there were no typos.

And would it really be a dissertation without a few panic attacks? My heart stopped in a few occasions, like when I literally deleted my ENTIRE dissertation by accident but thank god I wasn't dumb enough to empty my trash so I was able to recover it; or when my Excel decided to make ALL of my spreadsheets 'corrupt' for some strange reason and I thought I had lost all of my data two days before the submission date. But I survived. 

Was it easy? Absolutely not. Was it hard? Definitely not as hard as the Internet makes it seem. Whilst, obviously, a lot of effort went into that report and I worked hard in a lab for six months, spent endless hours analysing data and reading hundreds of papers, I do think dissertations are a bit negatively hyped up in a way. Yes, they are harder than most uni work, but you are also generally given more time and it is definitley doable if you want to do it. And, in my experience, there are significantly easier than exams. So, don't panic. 


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Friday, 19 May 2017

HOW TO GET NOTICED ON INSTAGRAM




Oh, Instagram - we all love this little app so much. I remember when I posted my first picture, it was a heavily edited photo of a room number: the room I had lived in for two weeks in summer boarding school.  Fast forward six years and now we all have themes, several apps to 'naturally' edit our photos that we have carefully taken making sure we look effortlessly fabulous. 

With so many accounts and great photos, it is hard to get noticed or to grow a following. And let's not even talk about keeping up with a theme. And whilst I am no Instagram expert and I most definitely am not Instagram famous, I have picked up a few tricks that can help you gain some followers and like with minimum effort. 

HOW TO GET FOLLOWERS


Let's start with followers. The easiest and less organic way of getting to the big numbers is buying followers, which I personally am not a fan of as the idea of paying to get your follower count up just sounds dumb to me. But to each their own. Personally I like to find cool people and follow them - this usually triggers some people to follow me back or other people who are in that niche to follow me too. Whilst, this is not going to get you thousands of followers, it takes minimum effort and you can also find some cool accounts! 

Another way of gaining followers is by using hashtags. I love hashtags, honestly. They allow you to be discovered by a lot of people and if you choose the right ones you can easily get featured in the 'top posts' for that hashtags, and therefore easily gaining likes as well as followers. I am planning on doing a separate post on which hashtags I use and all about hashtags basically. 

This is gonna sound very stupid but: follow people you know. If you know someone, either from school or because they're a friend's friend, and you follow them they are very very likely to follow you back. Unlike random people who have no idea about who you are and that are therefore less likely to hit that follow button, if that someone simply knows about you or has met you once I can assure you they'll most likely follow you too. 

HOW TO GET LIKES


Likes are far more easy to get than followers, because no one is going to unlike your photos (usually) but they might unfollow you later on. The most effective way in my experience is to use the right hashtags. They don't necessarily have to be the most popular ones, in fact, unless you're already big you might want to use less well-known hashtags so that your photo is visible for longer. For example, if you use the hashtag #wanderlust your photos is going to disappear from 'recent posts' pretty soon as A LOT of people use this hashtag. Also, because big accounts use it too it is going to be very hard to be featured on the 'top posts' section. 

You've probably heard it before: give and you shall receive. Well, Instagram is no different. If you like other people's photos you will probably also get some likes from them and maybe even a follow! 

Another way to get noticed and get likes is to comment on photos. This is more time consuming but it gets your name out there and if you comment something witty or interesting people are likely to click on your profile and stalk you for a bit - we are all stalkers at heart.

Are you a big fan of Instagram? Let me know in the comments! 


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Tuesday, 9 May 2017

YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE A #GIRLBOSS ALL THE TIME




GIRLBOSSwoman in control, taking charge of her own circumstances in work & life. Someone who knows her worth and won't accept anything less. She is not a "mean girl" in fact, she hates "mean girls." She is empowering and inspiring to those around her. She kicks ass!

This is what a girlboss is according to Urban Dictionary (i.e. the most reliable source of information on the Internet). Let me begin by saying that I love how empowering this word is and that I encourage everyone who wants to be a girlboss to be one. 

Buuuut, today I want to talk about why 1) you don't have to be one and most importantly 2) you don't have to be one ALL the time. I think our generation is a generation of overachievers - we all want to be successful. We see all these incredible people on social media, living a life they love and, most importantly, being happy. They all talk about how they followed their dreams, how they worked their ass off day and night to achieve what they wanted.

I applaud that. I really do. 

I believe it is important to work towards your goals - whatever they are, big or small. But it is as important to have some 'down' time, to have breaks, to not always have your shit together, to be stress-free. We are not machines or robots, we are human beings. And as human beings we cannot expect to always be on top of everything, life gets in the way and a lot of things are out of our control. 

The reason why I am writing this is because I have reached a  point where I feel like, unless I am working on my blog, my part-time job or university assignments, I am wasting my life away. This is probably because I have spent the last three years practically dying doing all my uni assignments and revising for exams. Now that I don't have such a packed and strict schedule I can actually chill some days, but I usually end up feeling too guilty and doing some work. After a few months I have realised that taking a day or an evening off (or even a weekend!), is not the end of the world. 

It may sound obvious to some of you, but I think I am not the only one who is used to being overworked and sometimes all you need is someone else to tell you that it is okay to chill. 

You don't have to be a girlboss all the time, because that's what makes you a real girlboss. 



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Thursday, 4 May 2017

10 THINGS THAT MAKE ME HAPPY



It's incredible how quickly someone's mood can change, and unfortunately it is usually easier to go from happy to sad than the other way around. Today, I thought I would spread some positive vibes and share some things that can easily shift my mood.


  • An unexpected cute message from someone I care about
  • Running that extra mile on the treadmill
  • Waking up to ta sunny and warm day
  • Watching the rain hit the window from my bed
  • Never-ending chats with friends over coffee
  • Being complimented on my work
  • Making someone else happy
  • Planning a new adventure
  • Eating homemade food
  • Seeing a friend I haven't seen in ages


I am going to keep this post short and sweet and finish it off with one of my favourite quotes from the Harry Potter books:

"Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light." -Albus Dumbledore



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