Recipe of the Month – August

Recipe Of The Month - August(2)

I wrote recently, that I was trying to be more mindful of the things that I eat and try to make better food choices which have led to me buying a lot more fruit than I used to.  Now, fruit on its own, while really nutritious can sometimes get a bit boring, so I have been looking at ways to enjoy fruit in other forms.  Last month I shared with you some recipes and ideas for fruity ice lollies which are perfect for enjoying on these hot summer days.  Today, I am continuing with the fruity theme and sharing a recipe for a breakfast smoothie that I treat myself to once or twice a week.

Equipment

  • Vegetable knife or vegetable peeler
  • Serrated edge knife
  • Blender
  • Coffee grinder

Ingredients

  • 1/3 fresh pineapple
  • 2 kiwis
  • 1 apple
  • 1 banana
  • 1 orange
  • Fruit Juice
  • Lemon juice (fresh if possible)
  • 4 tablespoons of oats

Method

  • Using the coffee grinder, grind the oats to a fine powder then set aside
  • Prepare the fruit by cutting and peeling.  The serrated edge knife is really handy for preparing the pineapple.
  • Add all fruit to the blender along with the juice of one lemon
  • Start to blend.  As the fruit breaks down add the fruit juice bit by bit until the consistency of the smoothie is pourable.
  • Add the powdered oats and continue to blend for around 2 mins.
  • Pour into glasses and enjoy!

Other Combinations

  • Banana, strawberry and kiwi
  • Strawberry, kiwi, melon and mint
  • Pineapple, coconut and banana
  • Mango, apple and banana
  • Blueberry, raspberry, kiwi and banana

Do you have a favourite smoothie recipe?  Let me know in the comments!

 

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Top 10 Phone Apps

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  • Moodnotes  This little app allows you to log your mood and other notes to go along with how you are feeling (should you feel like it).  I have this app linked to my Apple Watch and get reminders every few hours to log my mood.  I find this really useful to help my stress and anxiety levels as I can jot down my thoughts and feelings about situations which can help to reduce those feelings.  The app also asks questions which can help you to reframe your feelings and thoughts.
  • Flo  I used to track my cycle using an inbuilt app that came as part of my BellaBeat Leaf band and had not really found any other way to record it other than putting it in my diary.  Then Flo got mentioned to me, by a male friend(!), so I thought I would give it ago.  This app is so much more than a period tracker…I can log mood, other symptoms, weight, sleep, reminders for medication,  and other things which get analysed for a better idea of your cycle overall.  So far I have loved this app and have found it really useful and insightful.
  • Star Chart  I have loved the stars and been interested in the night sky for so long and this app enables me to name the stars and planets that I can see.  The app uses augmented reality so you can see the stars even when there is dense cloud cover.  The app has kept me entertained for hours!
  • Pocket  This app is another recent addition to my phone! I had been looking for a way to keep all my saved links tidy on my phone rather than just saving them to my phone screen and then putting into a file.  This app keeps them all tidy and easily accessible whenever I need them!
  • Weather Live  I am not really one for checking the weather much, I live in the UK and much of the time the weather sort of stays the same for the day, but with the recent heatwave and then a cooler spell it has been useful to check so I can dress accordingly, carry an umbrella or cardigan if needed.  And, out of all the weather apps I have used in the past, this one has proved the most accurate.  I also really like that there is a section for you to report what the weather is doing if it is different from the reports too!
  • Moon Calendar  I love this app, not only can you use it as a journal but it provides in-depth information on the moon and the phase it is in.  I don’t use this app much but do like to read about all the different types of the moon that we have and the meanings behind them.
  • Flush  If you have small children, or are visiting an unfamiliar area, or if you are at all human then this app will be useful for you too!  I downloaded this app through a recommendation from my brother as it is always useful to know where the nearest loo may be!
  • AA  I’ve not had to use this app for a while now, but when I do break down (and I’m covered by the AA), this app has proved super useful, from booking a call out, checking on the call out progression to receiving notifications about how far away my recovery person is and has helped me through some pretty stressful times!
  • Spotify  I honestly don’t know where I would be without Spotify!  I don’t listen o a ton of music or anything but it is really nice to have any genre of music available at the touch of a screen!  I don’t really see the need for downloading music to my phone anymore or carrying around a separate music player when there are apps like this one available!
  • Navmii  After owning several different sat-nav systems and them all failing in one way or another I decided to utilise my phone as my sat-nav.  Gone are the days of forgetting my sat nav and having to return home to collect it, my phone is always with me.  Navmii is really easy to use and the directions are spoken clearly and in enough time for you to get into the right place on the road.  It has never let me down and is all I use to get around places I don’t know too well!

Monthly Goals – August

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I decided at the beginning of the year that I would not make any Resolutions or yearly goals but, rather, make monthly ones that were more easily obtainable, you can find all my Monthly Goal posts here.

Today I am looking at the goals I set myself last month and whether I achieved them and setting myself goals for July.

Here are last month’s goals and whether I managed them!

Blog and Social Media

  • Re-design all my header graphics and social media graphics.  I have made a start on this, my header and logo have been re-designed and I am in the process of figuring out what sort of look I want for some of my regular blog feature images.
  • Work on Blog Awards.  I am pretty much up to date with my blog awards, I do have one more that I will be posting this month!
  • Find more bloggers to take part in my Saturday Shout Out slot!  I’ve been working on this but it will, I think, forever be an ongoing process.  If you or anyone you know are interested then check out what the Saturday Shout Out is all about by clicking here.

Home

  • Clean the house and prepare for my Mind Crafternoon.  I ended up not holding the Mind Crafternoon this time round, with the weather being so lovely and the kid’s school holidays coming up, a lot of people were not able to attend.  I will be attempting another Crafternoon in December though!  That said, I did a full clean of the house, including moving furniture around the weekend before my parents and brothers came for food so I’m calling this a win!
  • Take some recycling to the tip.  I did manage this!  I hadn’t realised how much stuff there was to take and my poor little car was pretty much filled to bursting!  Thankfully the tip is only a short drive away!
  • Mow the lawn.  I’d love to be able to tell you all that I actually did this, and it has been done but, it was by my ex.  He came down and mowed it and I cleared up all the grass cuttings!

Arts, Crafts, Hobbies, and Interests

  • Get all the craft things together that I will need for my Mind Crafternoon
  • Get the invites for my Mind Crafternoon sent out.  I’m putting both of these together… neither of these got done for the same reason that I gave above about not holding my Crafternoon.
  • Dig my other flower bed and get my rose bush planted.  I got the rose bush planted!  I also planted out some geraniums that my lovely neighbour gave me too!

Personal

  • Read 2 books this month.  I finished reading Frozen Grave by Lee Weeks earlier this month and am now over halfway through reading The Girls by Lisa Jewell!
  • Drink more water.  I have been more aware of when I need to drink water and have been making a conscious effort to consume more water day to day, especially on the weekends when my water intake seems to be less than when I am in work.
  • Be more mindful of what I’m eating and try to make better food choices.  I have stripped back what I eat day to day and have decreased the amount of processed, sugary foods I was eating and have started to eat more seeds, dried fruits, more veg and fresh fruit as well as cooking a lot more of my own meals rather than rely on pre-packaged shop-bought foods.  I have been eating vegan for the last week and a bit which has really helped with eating more healthy and being more mindful of what I consume.
  • Try to get to bed early at least 2 nights each week.  This has mostly been successful and a few weeks I have managed more than 2 early nights!  I just need to keep this up now and not slip back into old habits.

Goals for August

Blog and Social Media

  • I’ve been reading a lot about e-mail subscriptions and want to research whether this is something I should offer on my blog.
  • Learn how to use Later.  I like the idea of being able to schedule social media posts and think it may be a good thing to start using, my posts on the blog are scheduled each day for 8:00am and currently, once they have gone live I then share to social media manually.  Scheduling social media posts would save me a lot of time in the mornings and help me with my blogging routine while taking away some of the worries of possibly forgetting anything that I wanted to say.

Home

  • Finish painting the kitchen!  I think that this month will be the month to finally get this crossed off my list!
  • Paint the coving in my bedroom gold.
  • Get the rug in my living room shampooed and cleaned.

Arts, Crafts, Hobbies, and Interests

  • Now that I have a Flat Lay kit put together I want to start taking more photos for my blog and social media.
  • I’ve not made any progress on my book for the past month so I’d like to work on that some more this month.
  • Work on my bullet journal and think about what I want in my journal for next year.

Personal

  • Have my parents over for dinner, maybe a barbecue one weekend.
  • I have some ideas for a new business venture, so I need to work out the logistics and research my ideas, set everything up and, hopefully, I shall be in a position to launch it later this month!

All in all, I think this was a pretty productive month and I managed to get most of my goals completed!

What have you completed in July?  I’d love to her in the comments!

This Month On The Blog

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It’s hard to believe we have passed the halfway mark of this year and are now just a few meer months away from Winter!  Before the cold and damp weather hits us, and the evenings start to draw in we should celebrate all that August has to offer us.

On the blog for August, I have the regular weekly features

  • Monday – Saturday Shout Out Ad
  • Wednesday – Words on Wednesday
  • Thursday – Top 10
  • Saturday – Saturday Shout Out share
  • Sunday – Weekly Roundup

Monthly features

  • Recipe of the Month
  • Monthly Goals
  • In Case You Missed

Other posts I have planned for this month are

  • Beauty product review
  • How I plan my blog schedule
  • Blog Award
  • Room Tour
  • Book Review
  • Favourite seasonal outfit
  • Things I am looking forward to

 

 

 

Words On Wednesday

Wednesday (3)

It has dawned on me recently that I am beginning to feel happier in my own skin, less critical of myself and, dare I say it, a lot more comfortable just being me.

It has taken a lot to get to this place, a lot of my younger years I was bullied for being too quiet, for not fitting in, for being weird…the list goes on.  This bullying was not just verbal but physical and mental too, for years I thought that what people were saying about me must be true.  I thought I was really unlikeable and not worthy of having friends, every little thing that got said to me, I believed and, worse than that, I let it affect me.

Once I moved to college and away from my high school, the bullying stopped and I found like-minded friends but that niggling was still there, all those things that had been directed at me, becoming an echo in my own head and I would be forever doubting myself.

As time went on and I moved away, built my own life and began my working life, going to uni, becoming a “grown-up” my confidence started to heal and grow again.

But, I’d still look in the mirror and be very critical of what I saw before me, I worried about the clothes I wore and whether they were “in fashion”, whether I needed to diet, worried about my weight, what hair cut I should have, which make-up I should be using and loads of other things.

I couldn’t really work out where these feelings were coming from, until one day I sat down and was about to read a magazine that I always bought and really, really looked hard at it, at the contents of it and how it made me feel.  This glossy magazine that was aimed at women in their 20’s, that was all about being “positive” was FULL to the brim with diet advice, how to look good in this garment, what to wear to attract the right man, how to look thinner, how to get fuller hair, bigger lips, better cleavage…

All of these, supposedly helpful, articles that were pretending to be something that they weren’t.  The reality was that this magazine wasn’t full of positive vibes but full of ways that you could view yourself in a critical way.

I’d substituted the school bullies for another kind of bully.

And as women, we seem to do this every day.  We constantly seem to compare ourselves to others, are critical of our own appearance, our weight, whether we have exercised or not.  We have been taught to never be happy with what we have, to forever chasing the next version of ourselves, to constantly be aware and working on ways to change.  We are never happy.

When I realised that I had been caught up in this exhausting cycle, I wanted to get out.  I was fed up of beating myself up about this person I could be, heck, I’m here now and this “me” could do with a little love before I even look at making changes.  So I stopped.  I stopped buying those magazines that told me what I should wear, should eat, should look like and I slowly started to appreciate what I have that has been given to me.

I very rarely follow fashion, much preferring to curate my own look, I don’t diet, instead, I have an awareness of what I should be eating and not depriving myself,  I don’t weigh myself very often, I know when I have gained or lost weight by how my clothes feel and adjust what I eat and my exercise levels to accommodate these changes, I no longer spend money on some kind of ideal that I know I won’t be able to obtain and I no longer worry about whether I fit in.

I woke up and I feel happy.

Mystery Blogger Award #3

Copy of Copy of Mystery Blogger Award

I have been gifted the Mystery Blogger Award by Uniquely Cass who runs a brilliant blog about all things she is interested and passionate about.  If you haven’t checked out her blog, please pop over, check out her blog and say hi!

I love receiving awards and am always honoured to have been chosen as a recipient for them.  I love answering the questions posed as I feel that it let you guys get to know me better, it’s a brilliant networking tool and I really enjoy asking questions for others to respond to.  So thank’s Cass for the award and the opportunity to share with others!

What’s the Mystery Blogger Award?

“It’s an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging, and they do it with so much love and passion.”

OKOTO ENIGMA

Rules

  1. Put the award logo/image on your blog
  2. List the rules
  3. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog
  4. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well
  5. Answer the 5 questions you were asked
  6. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
  7. You have to nominate 10 – 20 people
  8. Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog
  9. Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify)
  10. Share a link to your best post(s)

Cass’ Questions

  1. What’s your all-time favourite book?  Creepers by David Morrell
  2. What book series was your favourite growing up?  Mallory Towers by Enid Blyton when I was in Primary School then the Point Horror/Point Romance books.
  3. What is your go-to song right now?  Dare – Gorillaz or Strange Attraction – The Cure
  4. (Funny Question) Who is your celebrity crush?  Samuel L Jackson or Richard E Grant.
  5. If you could travel to once place for the rest of your life, where would you go?  Somewhere quiet, warm, sunny, that had easy access to a beach and had beautiful views.

About Me

  1.  I really love green tea, especially Sencha Kyoto Cherry Rose tea!
  2. I have some really weird fears including pipes and toilet cisterns.
  3. When I was younger I had dreams of becoming a teacher or a card and wallpaper designer.

Best Blog Posts

  1. Blog Maintainance – Routine Checks
  2. I Broke Up…with Facebook
  3. Asperger’s and Me
  4. April Blogging From A – Z Challenge

My Nominations

  1. Beyond the Infinite
  2. Bournemouth Girl
  3. Beckie’s Mental Mess
  4. A Guy Called Boke
  5. Katie’s Sanctuary
  6. A Caricature of Life
  7. Revenge of Eve
  8. Cara’s Corner
  9. Cyranny’s Cove
  10. Bereaved Single Dad

My Questions

  1. What is the weirdest thing that has happened to you?
  2. What is your biggest accomplishment?
  3. What are you most proud of?
  4. (Weird/funny)  If you were to be arrested, what would it be for?
  5. (Shameless self-promotion)  Would you like to be featured as part of my Saturday Shout Out series?

Building My Flat Lay Kit

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I have been thinking a lot about flat lay photography and building my own flat lay kit since I attended the Bloggers Bash a while ago.  Since that day I have been going through my craft stash and really thinking about things I can use to create flat lay images.  I also visited my local Hobbycraft store and bought a few items after deciding how I would like my flat lay images to look.

Before I went searching and shopping I decided to sit down and think about my blog, what it is about and it’s identity.  I have a theme that runs through my blog of colour, being bright and fun.  I try to theme the days using the colours of the rainbow…

  • Monday – Red
  • Tuesday – Orange
  • Wednesday – Yellow
  • Thursday – Green
  • Friday – Blue
  • Saturday – Indigo/Purple
  • Sunday – Violet

and this theme runs through the graphics I create for each blog post.  I knew that I wanted to keep that theme with any flat lay images I would be introducing to the blog and other social media platforms.

Once I had that in mind I then started to think about the kinds of blog posts that I publish, I have several different categories that I post in, from craft things, blog items, personal, fashion, reviews, beauty and food.  While a lot of these posts are not tied to specific days, they are re-occurring posts.  I sat and made a list of items that could be used as photography props for these categories – make-up brushes, stationery, hair clips, anything that I could think of went on the list.

I then narrowed down what I wanted to add to my kit that would be permanent items and separated out those items that were of everyday nature and that I could grab at any point.

I decided that I wanted colourful background papers and had a vast stash from scrapbook and card making projects that I sifted through one afternoon.  I sat and made 7 different piles according to which colours I had assigned to each day.

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I had some Project Life cards and some Smash Book pads (which I can only seem to find now on Amazon) and La-De-Da papers that I also separated out and added to the piles.  I really like that these cards and papers have patterns and quotes on them and think they could come in really useful!

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I bought some wooden letters from Hobbycraft and spent an evening watching 13 Reasons Why on Netflix and painting them with acrylic paint in their assigned colours.

I also bought a background paper from Amazon which was double-sided,

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I ended up with two because the first one came really badly battered, the second one was not much better.  They were really badly packaged, wrapped around a foam strip and then placed in a plastic bag, there was no protection at all.  Lesson learned – cheap is not always good.  I have had them placed under heavy books and some of the creases have become less noticeable.

I added to my kit some foliage and fake grass, all from Hobbycraft, that I can use to add interest to the background of my images.

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I have gathered other items to add to my kit from my craft stash and other places.

I have also added a ring light for my phone and a gooseneck stand to help with actually capturing the image.  I got both from Amazon with a gift certificate that I had been given.

Here’s the full kit so far!  I have it all stored in a plastic box that I had laying around, and each day has been separated out into its own zipped folder ready for me to grab when needed.  I have some things lose that can be used for any day of the week!

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Do you have a flat lay kit?  What items do you use the most?  I’d love to hear about your kit’s in the comments!

Saturday Shout Out

SATURDAY

Saturday Shout Out gives you all a chance to meet some new bloggers, find new blogs to read or get your blog noticed a bit more. It is my way of thanking the blogging community for being so supportive of me and my little blog and introducing new blogs that you may not have seen or read before.

What this means…

Every Saturday I will choose one blog, share a bit about it along with your blog link. I will also share your blog to my Instagram account and my Twitter account.

If you are interested in taking part then drop me an email to my.colourful.life@outlook.com with Saturday Shout Out as the subject line and I will send you a form to fill out!

Weekly Roundup 21/07/19 – 27/07/19

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  • Sunday 21/07/19

I woke early, my room was too hot to lay around in so I got up, made a coffee and had some breakfast while watching an episode of “My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” on Netflix.  I then decided to have a shower and then do a tip run before going to my local B&Q (D.I.Y store).  I had just finished loading up the car and was about to get in and head off when my friend pulled up as he had come to help me as a surprise!  We went to the tip and emptied my car of rubbish then we headed to town.  I bought some wood to cover some of the slats on my bed then we headed to another shop called What? which sells all sorts of things.  I wanted a bag to put my winter duvet in, one of those that you can use the hoover to shrink down, I also picked up some Rose Incense by my favorite brand.  We came home and sorted the bed out then decided to go and get some food.  We came home and I planted out some plants, mopped the floors and then we just sat and relaxed for a bit.  By 7:00pm we were all tired (Roxy included) so my friend headed home, I made lunch for work then went to bed.

  • Monday 22/07/19

Work went ok today, I seemed to get a lot done and managed to clear my desk of all the outstanding paperwork that needed my attention.  After work, I came home and got changed.  My parents and both my brothers came over around 6:45pm for dinner.  We had arranged to have a take-away as my brother was down from London for a few days.  We all went out and walked to the take-away, we had opted to have an Indian meal.  We made our orders and while we were waiting decided to go for a walk around my neighborhood.  We picked up the food and came back to my house.  We had a fab evening full of laughs and conversation and a few beers were drunk too!  It was a  bit of a late-night but thoroughly enjoyable, I can’t remember when it was last just the 5 of us.

  • Tuesday 23/07/19

Today was an ok day work-wise but it was really hot and humid and I struggled to concentrate.  I left work at 4:40pm and got home not long after.  I popped to see my neighbor who had a parcel for me and we ended up sitting in her garden drinking iced lime and mint squash and having a lovely catch up.  My friend text and said they were going to pop by after work.  I left my neighbor’s and came back to my house.  My friend came over and we sat and watched a film while eating icecream.  After they left Roxy and I headed to bed.  Not long after we had settled down a storm started, there were a few rumbles of thunder, then the lightning started, the wind picked up and it started to rain.  I decided to come downstairs and open the back door and watch it for a bit.  The rain got really heavy but cooled down the air.  The storm went on for a few hours but I’d gone back to bed and was asleep by the time it had stopped.

  • Wednesday 24/07/19

Today was another short day, by 4:15pm I had finished all that I needed to do for the day so packed up and headed home.  It had been another hot and sticky day so I had a cool shower and then pottered around for a bit.  My friend called by when they had finished work and we had some food while watching something on Netflix.  After they had gone home I worked on some blog things before heading to bed.

  • Thursday 25/07/19

Another workday and the first part of the day seemed to go ok.  I had a bit of a down afternoon when it transpired that my colleagues had been invited to something by my line manager (outside of the office thing) but no one had invited me.  I just felt really isolated and sad.  I had a parcel to pick up from the sorting office so left work early which was probably a good thing as I really didn’t feel like being around anyone in work for much longer.  I collected my parcel and came home then went to bed.  I slept for a while before my friend called round to see if I was ok.  We spent the evening chatting and watching a film which made me feel a bit better about the whole work thing.  I worked on some blog things after they went home and had an early night.

  • Friday 26/07/19

I was still feeling miserable and upset from work yesterday and decided to just go to work, get my work done and come home again once the day was over.  I wound up working until just gone 5:00pm when my friend came to meet me.  We walked over to the car park together and had a really nice chat.  I headed home and got back around 6:00pm.  I did some housework and then did some blog things before my other friend called round.  We had a nice evening catching up over a few beers.  I didn’t get to bed until the early hours of the morning!

  • Saturday 27/07/19

Today I woke early and had a coffee before going shopping with my ex, he wanted a suit for a wedding he would be going to the following weekend and wanted an honest opinion and help with finding the right one.  We ended up going to Next and looking at suits in there.  I was pretty amazed at all the different types of fit from super skinny through to traditionally styled suits.  It was all a bit complicated.  He wanted to get a jacket, trousers, waistcoat, tie, and shirt.  We found a jacket pretty much straight away but then had to find trousers that matched, sounds easy but there were so many different black trousers and some of them were in a different fabric so didn’t fully match.  Eventually, he settled on a pair then chose a waistcoat, several shirts were tried on until we found one that fit but they didn’t have the size in stock in the fabric that he wanted so had to go and try on a few other shirts.  He found another style that fit and it came with a tie so that was all good!  We came back to my house and had a coffee before going out into the garden.  My lawn had grown a fair bit so my ex got the mower out and blitzed the lawn for me.  After he left Roxy and I decided that we should have a nap so went for a lie-down.  Once we woke up, around 2.5 hours later, we came down and I had a coffee, made some food and then decided to rethink my bed.  The pallets were placed in a way that made it awkward to move around and I figured that I could possibly use just 2 instead of the 4 that I had been using.  I had to move everything around in my room but I managed to get it all done and now my bed base is a lot better to get around!  Since then I have been working on my blog schedule for August and sorting out some housework.

How has your week been?  What have you been up to?  Let me know in the comments!