My Favourite Things About Autumn

my-favouritethings-about-autumn

Today has felt really Autumnal so I decided to do a short post on all the things I love about Autumn. It’s definitely my favourite season…only because Christmas isn’t an actual season.

  1. Pumpkin Spice and Ginger Bread lattes – Basically anything pumpkin or gingerbread flavoured to be honest but being a caffeine addict, the coffee always wins!
  2. Cold, misty mornings – I love, love, love cold, misty (sometimes even frosty) mornings. There’s just something magical about them especially in the city or over water.14724622_774569769348635_2165616186075387070_n
  3. Candles…all of the cinnamon, mulled spice candles – I actually got a new spicy candle from Waitrose today that smells amazing! Added bonus, it’s a huge jar candle so will hopefully last through to Christmas.
  4. Snuggly scarves – Look how cute we are! Need I say anything else?untitled-design-8
  5. Saturday nights in watching X Factor with pizza – X Factor is actually really annoying me this year but every Saturday night without fail, we curl up with pizza and wine and watch it.
  6. The colours – orange leaves, blue skies, red (mulled) wine. Autumn colours are so incredibly beautiful. As soon as the leaves start turning a little more, I’ll be out there with my camera. d2cff780d0d69a1642747fee9e94fb06
  7. Rainy days cuddled up under a blanket watching films – there really is nothing nicer than hearing the rain fall against your windows knowing that you don’t need to go outside.
  8. Comfort food – Okay, all the food but I love the switch over from salads to soups and pies. Oh and being able to eat Sunday roasts without overheatinguntitled-design-9
  9. Warm, cosy clothes – onesies and knitted jumpers especially
  10. It’s almost Christmas – which means mulled wine and Christmas markets! Eeeeeee!untitled-design-10

Simple Tips for Staying Healthy

simple-tips-for-staying-healthyStaying healthy can be difficult, especially when you’re busy, busy, busy. Sitting at a desk all day and takeaways at your fingertips when you get home make it really easy to slip into bad, unhealthy habits. But there’s a few little things that can build into your every day life that can help you stay a little bit healthier.

Stick to the 30 Minute Rule

Research says that we should be active for at least 30 minutes a day. So whether it’s walking, running, cycling, swimming or whatever else you fancy, try to work out for at least 30 minutes every single day.

A great way to get you moving more is to track your steps. I’m a big fan of my FitBit but you don’t need an expensive way to track your steps. Here’s some Apps I love for tracking steps:

  • Pacer – Pedometer plus Weight Loss and BMI Tracker*
  • Track My Steps –  Pedometer Activity Tracker*
  • Map My Walk – GPS Walking and Step Tracking Pedometer for Calories and Weight Loss*
  • My Fitness Pal – Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker* – This one does a lot more than track your steps. It’s one of my favourite free Apps as it lets you track your calorie intake, exercise and weight.

Drink More Water

Everyone knows this. There’s not a lot I can say really except “do it!”. Once you get over the need to pee more, you’ll notice the benefits of drinking more water really quickly.

Have a look at this post for some ideas on how to spruce up your water in healthy ways.

Stay Hydrated

Stretch

Stretching is so underrated! It’s not just to ease your muscles after a workout. Stretching is important throughout the day – a little stretch can help boost your mood, increase your energy and relieve aches and pains. Why wouldn’t you want to stretch.

Setting aside some time to get out your yoga mat, stretch and chill out is a great way to end the day but check out this article on stretches you can do without ever leaving your desk (although you really should leave it at some point!)

Sleep More

I know what you’re thinking. Haha, that’s a joke right?! Whether you feel like you sleep enough already, or you struggle to sleep, asking you to sleep more will probably seem impossible. But it will help, trust me. Getting more sleep will help you in so many ways. You’ll have more energy (which means more working out!), your body will have more time to rest and recover and it can help lower your risk of illness. Getting more sleep will also help your mind – a refreshed mind will help you tackle the challenges of the day ahead.

Getting more sleep might sound impossible but check out this post for some handy tips.

Sleep Better

There’s lots and lots of little habits you can get into that will help improve your general health and well-being. Whilst they’re only small changes, it can be easy to forget about them. They say it takes 30 days to change a habit (or introduce a new one) so stick with it and before long, it will be second nature and you’ll wonder how you ever survived before!

*This site uses affiliate links but only for products I have used and enjoyed (and not been paid for). By following the links and purchasing products through those links, I will earn small commission at no extra cost to you.

How to Survive Long Haul Flights

Long haul flight

Long haul flightsHow to survive long haul flights and still feel human.

This week I’ve been thinking about when I might be able to go back out to Australia. The problem for me is the flight; it takes so long to get there, I can’t really justify going for less than 2.5-3 weeks. So then I started thinking about long haul flights generally…

Long haul flights are the worst. I mean, they’re the best because you end up somewhere amazing at the end of it. But the flight itself can be hell and it can take you a couple of days to feel human again.

1. Comfy Clothes

This one is the most obvious. But if you’re going to be confined to one seat for 10+ hours, those high-waisted jeans that dig into your belly when you sit down probably aren’t the best choice.

Personally, I like to wear clothes that are as close to pyjamas as possible. This generally means hareem pants, a loose t-shirt and an over-sized cardigan or hoodie – basically anything that isn’t tight fitted but that will keep me warm even in all that air conditioning.

2. Clever Footwear

I don’t mean in the sense of investing in trainers that have some sort of AI built in. I mean, think about your footwear before you leave the house. The first rule is to pick something that you can take off and put back on again quickly and easily. A lot of airports will ask you to remove your shoes at security and you really don’t want to be that person who holds everyone up because you’re not ready despite having been in the queue for 45 minutes.

Secondly, think about your destination. When you get off the plane at the other end, is it going to be the middle of the day and baking hot or is it going to be chilly and wet? You’ll probably want flip flops for one but not the other.

There is an exception to these two rules though. The one thing that overrides them both is specialised footwear. If you’re heading off for a month long trek in the Himalayas or to climb Kilimanjaro you want to be travelling in your walking boots. This is for two reasons: 1) they probably weigh a ton and will push you over your baggage limit, and 2) you will be screwed if they go in your hold luggage and your bag doesn’t make it to your destination.

Long haul flights3. Socks

No matter what you decide on in respect of your shoes, pack your biggest, warmest, comfiest socks in your hand luggage. You’re going to be on that plane for a while so you might as well kick off your shoes and get comfy. Everyone knows it gets insanely cold on planes and having cold feet is a nightmare. So, even if you board the plane in glorious sunshine and you’re heading towards even more sunshine, don’t forget the socks.

4. Refreshments

Most long haul flights are really good at looking after passengers but it’s just so much easier if you take your own snacks and water. I’m not saying don’t take advantage of the food and drinks offered as part of your in-flight service but there’s nothing worse than taking a nap and waking up to find you missed the midnight snacks.

Also, it’s really important to stay hydrated whilst flying. Even though your flight attendants will happily provide you with water, sometimes you don’t want to get up and wander to the back of the plane half asleep. So keep a bottle of water nearby just to keep you topped up.

Long haul flights5. Toiletries

That mean, old industrial air conditioning will dry your skin out like nothing else. The basics I love having with me on a long flight are a good lip balm, deodorant, toothbrush and toothpaste and a heavy duty moisturiser. I also don’t like to wear much, if any, make up but that’s your own preference.

It’s also nice to have some wet wipes (like a moisturising face wipe or similar), perfume and some make-up for when you get off the plane. Oh, and don’t forget a hairbrush too!

6. Entertainment

As a writer, long haul flights are great for getting some reading and writing done. I always ensure I have my laptop, notebook and some reading materials for research and/or inspiration. I know a lot of people like to have some sort of tablet with movies, books, podcasts etc. on too. Whatever it is that’s going to keep you entertained, make sure you take lots of options so that you can chop and change if you get bored of one!

And that’s basically how I get through long haul flights. Don’t get me wrong, these things aren’t going to stop you from getting jet lag but hopefully they’ll help the time pass by slightly quicker and leave you feeling less gross at the end of the flight.

Sublime Sundays – A Night Out and a Productive Day

Sublime SundaysThis weekend has been B.E.A.UTIFUL!

As you will have gathered from my Friday Thought’s post I headed to Portsmouth straight after work on Friday for a long overdue night out with my best friend. And it did not disappoint. Too much Prosecco was drunk and lot of really bad dancing was done. Not only was it the first night out we’ve had in ages but it was also the first time I’ve been out in Portsmouth since I graduated 6 years ago! 

besties-1So that got me thinking about what I’ve achieved since I graduated. I’m usually really harsh on myself as I don’t feel like I’ve achieved anywhere near as much as I should have. But on the train home, suffering with the worst hangover I’ve had as an adult, I tried to cheer myself up by thinking of awesome things I’ve done since I graduated. My list boiled down to these few things:

  1. Completed the LPC, got a Training Contract and qualified as a Solicitor
  2. I’ve completed 2 half marathons, a full marathon and numerous obstacles courses including Rat Race dirty weekend…twice!
  3. I’ve spent three summers in Ghana working with the wonderful Raising Hope Foundation and the gorgeous kiddies in Santrokofi
  4. Launched two blogs (this one and Flourishing Freelancer)
  5. Completed the Three Peaks Challenge
  6. Climbed Kilimanjaro
  7. I’ve travelled quite a bit – Greece, Turkey, Ghana, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Belgium, Australia, Switzerland, and Denmark
  8. I’ve moved from Portsmouth to Guildford to Manchester to London

So, despite the crippling hangover I managed to cheer myself up a little bit. It also made me feel quite positive about things moving forward.

Today started out quite slowly as I was still exhausted from yesterday (clearly I’m too old to drink now)! But this afternoon has been super productive. I’ve got four blog posts drafted and cleared some of my million unread emails.

Right now I’m sat in bed with a Nandos watching Brooklyn 99…life doesn’t get better than this.

Hope you’ve all had an awesome weekend too 🙂

Moroccan Turkey Meatballs with Citrus Couscous

Turkey Meatballs

Turkey Meatballs
Now that I want to get back into long distance running again, I’ve been on the hunt for some high protein, low fat recipes for dinner. I recently came across this lovely recipe which is super quick, easy and really cheap too on BBC Good Food.

Serves                        Four

Prep Time                 15 minutes

Cooking Time         15 minutes

Calories                     348 per portion

Ingredients

500g turkey mince

2 tsp chilli powder

2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp cinnamon

1 onion chopped finely

Zest of 1 orange. Save the orange segments and chop

250g couscous

250ml hot chicken stock

2 tsp olive oil

Small bunch of coriander, roughly chopped

 

 

 Method

1. Mix the mince, spices, onion and orange zest together with your hands. Roll the mixture into about 20 walnut-sized meatballs.

2. Put the couscous in a bowl, pour over the hot chicken stock, cover with cling film and leave to stand for 10 minutes.

3. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Add the meatballs and fry, turning regularly, for about 12 minutes – until browned all over and cooked through.

4. Fluff the couscous up with a fork, stir in the chopped orange, coriander and some seasoning and serve.

And that’s it! It really is that simple. I’m not a huge fan of couscous with orange in it so sometimes I buy ready flavoured couscous like roasted vegetable flavour just to mix things up a little.