Where Have I Been? 

Oh hi there, I almost didn’t see you there!

I’ve been MIA for a little while on my blog and I’ve missed you!

I’ve just moved house and everything has been all a bit hectic and in all honesty haven’t felt inspiration to write. And I don’t just want to write something for the sake of it.

I love that this blog is my own kind of diary where I can document all manner of things that I will be able to look back on and remember. Be that a particularly good recipe, products I might forget about down the line, healthy habits that I may abandon and want to pick up again, or personal life things that I can read exactly how I felt about them at that time rather than how I remember it in the future.

Because of this, it’s super important me that this blog feels authentic and as much like me as an intangible thing can.

My grandad kept a diary and wrote just a couple of lines every day his whole life. And I know how meaningful those diaries are now that he is no longer physically here.

Of course I’m not going to share the nitty gritty of everyday life with the world, some things are best kept private. But I hope that this blog gives the person reading it a little glimpse into who I am as a person.

So what’s been going on with me?

Well the biggest change is that I’ve just moved house! I’ve gone from living on my own in a 1 bedroom flat (which I loved and am happy I documented here on my blog) to a 3 bedroom house with my wonderful boyfriend.

This home feels so ‘homely’ and I’m so happy we made the move.

I’ve been exercising a bit more too and am feeling so much better for it. I’ve missed that feeling you get from getting hot and sweaty and that satisfying ache the next day. Unlike before though, I’m not going to let exercise consume my life. I’m just trying to keep a good balance between doing a few burpees in a circuits class or shaking my butt in a Zumba class, with eating cake and pasta.

Of course once the house is straight I will share sneak peaks of how we have decorated. Not just for you all to take a nose, but for me to look back on in a few years and be proud of my younger self for documenting these things.

Hopefully I’ll be back soon with some more regular content, but please be patient with me. I’m not going to post things for the sake of it, but I promise that when I do post I will make sure that it’s something that I’m excited to write about!

If you’ve made it this far on this post, congratulations! I’m proud of you and I thank you for taking the time out of your day to read this post. I truly appreciate it.

Until next time

Emily x

Buyer’s Remorse and How to Avoid it

I have a real inner conflict with myself. One side of my brain really wants to save all of the money that I possibly can to save for my future and to create a life with as little financial stress as possible. But the other side is too busy spinning round in circles and finger painting.

That side thinks that the bar or chocolate I add to my shopping trolley is necessary, or that cactus/photo frame/kitchen utensil/dress is something that I desperately need. I buy the item for the immediate gratification, with no regard for my overall goals.

I get so excited to own that item, and then I get home and immediately am filled with guilt, AKA, buyer’s remorse.

Then, every time I look at that item, I feel that guilt over and over again, that twisting feeling in my gut that reminds me each time that that item does not align with my values. That item brings me no joy. In fact it just brings more stress to my life.

And that’s just no fun.

I’m on a journey to train the side of my brain that throws caution to the wind and buys whatever catches its’ fancy. I want to feel good about my purchases, and only buy the things that bring me happiness and add a lot of value to my life.

I want to be more mindful and think longer term happiness rather than succumb to immediate gratification followed by remorse.

I need far less in my life than my irresponsible mind would have me believe.

There are a few things that have helped me be more mindful before purchasing anything and today I wanted to share them with you, hopefully they help you as they do me. I’m absolutely not perfect, but I’m building my smart financial muscles day by day.

  • Do you know your hourly wage? If not, work it out. And then every time you see something that you want in a shop, think of if in terms of hours you would have to work to be able to afford that item. To work this out, divide the cost of the item by your hourly wage to get the cost of your item in hours worked. Remember to work out your hourly wage after tax, as that is the amount you actually get to see. (Click here to quickly work out your hourly wage online and how much tax you pay.) For example if you earn £10 an hour after tax, and the dress that you so love is £40, would you be willing to work 4 hours in exchange for that dress? This is something that helps me a lot as it really puts the item’s value into perspective.
  • If you are shopping online, add the item to your basket and leave the item in there for at least 48 hours (for small purchases. I would suggest trying to go 30 days for more expensive items), but go as long as you can. Likelihood is that you will forget about the item and never actually get around to buying it. If you are still thinking about it after that time is up, you will have had more time to consider the purchase and decide whether it is something that will bring a lot of value to your life and if you think it is worth it.
  • If the supermarket sweets and chocolate aisle is your downfall. DO NOT GO DOWN THE AISLE. Just walk right past it. Just pretend like it’s not there. Not only will it stop you spending money needlessly, but it will also save your waistline! I know that this is not always possible, for example, when you’re paying for petrol you may have to queue up right next to the sweets, but honestly just look the other way. Don’t even let the thought linger in your mind. Another tip for the petrol station is to pay with cash. Bring the exact cash to the station with you, fill up with that amount of petrol. Leave your debit card in the car, and you physically will not be able to buy the sweets or chocolate.

Do you have any tips for being more mindful when you’re around the shops or find yourself browsing online?

I would love for you to share them with me in a comment down below!

Until next time

Emily x

Making Everyday Things Special: Hygge

So you’ve probably heard the word ‘Hygge’ making it’s rounds in the social media world, in fact, like me, you might be sick to death of the word. For this post’s sake, let’s stick with this word for it.

But there’s something to be said for the concept, which is the idea that you can make everyday moments more meaningful and pleasurable by making small changes to the action.

For example; lighting a candle with dinner, drinking water from a wine glass, or having fresh flowers next to your bed.

These are things that don’t necessarily serve a function, and don’t require much additional effort, but make the whole experience much more luxurious.

The phrase hygge could be used interchangeably with the words; contentness, cosiness, happiness, security, homeliness, as well as many other words that evoke a feeling of calm.

So how do I incorporate these small moments of hygge to my own life?

  • I light a candle whenever I have a bath, I also often play relaxing music (pretty much always by Liane La Havas) or I listen to podcasts or audiobooks

  • I wear my expensive perfumes to work. I don’t save them for a special occasion, rather I make every day feel that little bit more special for wearing the perfume

  • I brew my tea properly and drink it out of my favourite mug in the morning
  • As well as just having a candle burning when I have a bath, I also have one burning pretty much constantly when I’m just sitting watching TV, in the evenings I also light fairy lights and have my lamps on a low setting to create a soft and relaxing environment
  • I make sure I feel comfortable at home by having plenty of blankets around to snuggle under

  • I have plants in my home, simply because they brighten my mood when I look at them
  • I will allow myself a couple of digestive biscuits with a cup of tea in the evening. Biscuits are good for the soul

These are just some of the things I do to add more cosiness and relaxation to my life. Not everything needs to be go go go all of the time.

I know that it’s not always possible for everyone to be able to live a life full of ‘hygge’ moments, as you may work very long hours, or have children running around all day. But capturing those moments where you can will add an immense sense of calm to your otherwise hectic day.

I am a naturally anxious person, and often live off my nerves. But l I think adding these little touches of comfort and coziness do a lot for my mental state.

Remember to always look after yourself first. Because if you are full of calm and content, you will be able to pass that on to others far more easily.

Think of oxygen masks on a plane. They tell you to always fit your own one first, and then help others. You would be no good to that person that you’re trying to help if you pass out half way through putting their mask on due to your own lack of oxygen.

Look after yourself, make the small moments special.

Because there are far more of the small, seemingly unimportant moments in our life than there are big ones.

Until next time,

Emily x

 

Fermented Foods and Why You Should Eat Them

Recently I attended a talk that was given by a local nutritionist, Daniela Exley of Beets Pulse and Thyme, where she shared some of her extensive knowledge of healthy eating and diet.

One of the things she spoke about was adding fermented foods to our diet.

Ew I hear you say.

Don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it!

I’ve always been aware that fermented foods are healthy for you, but until recently I had not researched much into just why they are so good for you. I also did not know how exactly I could incorporate it into my diet, as before this talk the full extent of my discovery of fermented foods had only gone as far as buying (pricey) kombucha from my local health food store. (You can make it at home for super cheap… Recipe coming soon!)

So today I thought I would share some of the things I have learnt about fermented foods, as well as some examples of fermented foods that you can add to your diet very easily. (One of which will cost you less than £1 in a supermarket.)

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First of all, what are fermented foods?

Fermented foods are foods that have been through a process called lactofermentation. This is when the natural sugar and starch in the food is fed on by the good natural bacteria, and creates a chemical called lactic acid.

Not only does this process preserve the food, but it also creates beneficial enzymes that help make the food you eat it with more digestible. As well as this, the fermentation process also creates b-vitamins, omega 3 fatty acids, and healthy probiotics which are really beneficial for your gut.

In an everyday modern diet, we consume such a tiny amount of probiotics and beneficial enzymes due to the changes in the processes used in making the foods we buy from the supermarket. Everything is much more sterile and therefore the manufacturing processes kill not only the bad bacteria (which is of course a good thing) but also the good bacteria.

Adding fermented foods into your diet can help you get your boost of probiotics and improve the health of your gut. Which can prevent or alleviate many ailments such as a low immune system,  UTIs, IBS, chronic fatigue, kidney stones, acne, even preventing cavities and gum disease!

Sound good?

Here are a list of fermented foods that you can incorporate into your diet:

  • Sauerkraut (Costs me 90p for a large jar from the Polish food section in ASDA).. looks gross.. tastes like a zingy vinegary coleslaw. I use this as a side to most of my dinners.
  • Kombucha (I’m currently brewing my first batch at home, once it’s ready I’ll be sure to share a blog post on how I made it)
  • Kefir (I have not tried this myself, but I know this is a milk based yoghurt type food.)
  • Kimchi (This is very similar to sauerkraut, but has an Asian twist. This often has varied flavours as things like ginger or red pepper flakes may be added.)
  • Live cultured yoghurt. (mix with fruit for a sweet and super healthy treat!)

 

Have you tried any of the above foods? If so, which is your favourite?

If not, which one are you going to give a try?!

Until next time

Emily

Pom Pom Garlands

Try and say Pom Pom without smiling. 

You can’t do it can you? 

I ruddy love a good Pom Pom and recently made myself a garland of them to hang in my living room. I absolutely love it. People always mention it when they come over, and I’ve had a few people mention that they would like one too. 

Since I really enjoyed making this one in my living room:


I decided that I was going to make more, and offer them to other for them to purchase. 

The first one I made was this peach/coral theme one, which was quickly claimed by my lovely friend Nadine. 


She also wanted one for her son so I made this one for her too, using different shades of blue/green:


This one would be perfect for a little boys bedroom, or any other room for that matter! I love the mermaidy kind of colours I used in that one.

I then felt like making something super bright that reminded me of a Latin fiesta, using bright pink, yellow and green on a hot pink ribbon, I love this garland so much! 


All of the garlands shown are 2 meters in length (apart from the first one which is 4 meters) and all cost £10 each to buy. 

If you would like to proudly hang one of these in your home to add a splash of fun to your home decor, please message me via my Facebook page ‘MulberryGrace’

Prices start from £7.50 for a 1 meter garland. Each additional meter is £2.50 extra. 

I hope to hear from you soon

Emily x

My cuppa tea. The Proper Tea Co 

Anyone who knows me at all knows that I am bloomin’ obsessed with tea. 

Nothing excites me more than the prospect of trying a new tea. (Anyone know where I can get one of those things… I think it’s called ‘a life’?)

But there is one brand of tea that sits head and shoulders above the rest in my opinion. 

Nothing in the supermarket or from higher end tea companies can touch this brand. I love this brand of tea like it was my child. 

And that brand is The Proper Tea Co. They are a local company who manufacture in a town just down the road from where I live called Pett.

And their teas are the bomb. 


They are often found around East Sussex at the town markets, but can also be purchased online. Generally a 100g pouch of their tea costs £4.50, so is a fantastic price for something that is made locally to me, has a fantastic range of flavours as well as being a great quality. 

The man who runs at the market stalls is always really great at helping you find the tea he thinks you will enjoy the most and is so passionate about the products which is so lovely to see. 

My absolute favourite tea from them is actually the first tea I tried, which is their coconut black tea. My favourite type of tea is black tea, and I love coconut flavour anything so I knew right from the get go,that I would enjoy this one, but it knocked my socks off when I tried it. It is the perfect tea. It smells amazing, tastes amazing and is never bitter. 

This tea will legit change yo’ life. 

Their Blood Orange Black Tea tastes and smells just like a Jaffa cake. It’s the perfect tea for when you’re craving that indulgent chocolatey yet fruity taste that only a Jaffa cake will satisfy. No need for milk or sugar. It’s amazing.


The Vanilla Black Tea is a really nice black tea with just that added extra something special. It’s perfect tea that just feels indulgent and luxurious. The perfect accompaniment to a good slice of cake, or on its own to help curb those sweet cravings as it feels like such a treat.


The Turmeric Gold Spiced Herb Tea is the latest addition to my collection and is the only non black tea I have from them. This one first caught my attention when I saw them tweet about it. First off turmeric is a superfood so I knew that it would be something I would want to try, but when I saw the tea man at my local market and asked him about it, he described it as a warming and indulgent blend that super smooth and just downright delicious. Sold.

This tea when I first opened it, I thought smelt a little like liquer chocolates, but once brewed it just turns into something special that I can’t even explain. In all you have to try it. 


I don’t think this company gets the attention it deserves, and if I have introduced just one person to this amazing brand of tea, I’ll reward myself with a cup of tea. Haha. 

Every single flavour I have tried from this company has been a complete hit, and I can’t wait to try more! 

Give The Proper Tea Co a try and thank me later.

Until next time,

Emily x

P.s. If the lovely people at The Proper Tea Co are reading this. I will gladly be chief tea taster should you wish to send some my way 😉

Health Benefits Of Lemons

So it seems that everybody and their cat has been struck down with some sort of cold or flu this winter.

So I’ve been looking about for natural foods that I can use to help boost my immune system so it can fight off any illness that might be coming my way. 

In my research I found one ingredient that just kept on popping up, and that is the simple lemon! 


And it turns out the humble lemon offers a million and one health benefits. Below are just some of the things lemon can help with:

  • Boosting your immune system. Not only does it contain high levels of vitamin C, but it also helps drain your lymphatic system. (For more information on how to drain your lymphatic system, click here)
  • Balancing your PH levels. Although lemons are acidic, once consumed they become alkaline in your body. The more alkaline you can make your body, the healthier you will be as disease thrives in an acidic environment.
  • They help you digest fat. Drinking lemon water before a meal will help support your gall bladder in digesting the fats in your food.
  • Helps reduce inflammation due to the presence of quercetin. This can help with things like arthritis, heart disease, and other inflammation related diseases.
  • Lemons also help nourish the liver, which will help your body become more efficient at detoxifying.
  • Due to the presence of D-limonene, lemons have anti-carcinogenic properties. This chemical has been shown to reduce some tumor growths. (For more info on D-limonene please click here)
  • Helps improve your mood due to the fresh smell.
  • Weight loss. Not only does lemon help you digest the fat in the food you eat, but they also help break down existing body fat. (Even just smelling lemon essential oil before a meal can help reduce hunger cravings.)

How impressive is that?! 

I love to add a couple of slices of lemon to a cup of hot water and drink it like a tea for a refreshing but warm drink. Which is especially nice if you’re cold or feeling a little under the weather. 


Lemon water is great first thing in the morning to help kick start your digestive system, but in all honesty, it’s fantastic any time of day! 

Squeeze it into your water for a refreshing and all natural alternative to plain water, drink warm as a sort of tea, squeeze over salads, however works best for you! 

Lemons are a brilliant way to help detox your body and increase vitality. They can be found in any supermarket, they are affordable, and it’s so easy to incorporate into your lifestyle. 

They’re definitely a winner in my book!

Until next time,

Emily x

Earl Grey Infused Cupcakes With Buttercream Icing Recipe

Is there a better twosome than tea and cake? I think not.

Today I’m going to tell you the story of when Mr Grey (no not Christian, it was his more distinguished uncle, Earl) and Miss Cupcake had a baby and made Earl Grey Cupcakes…

It was a Saturday night like any other, Miss Cupcake had been at a party and was trying to flag a taxi outside the bar, when a Rolls Royce pulled up beside her. 

Down rolled the back window, revealing the passenger, Mr Grey inside. “Well, get in for Christ’s sake. Where can I drop you?”

… Oh no… That’s me getting confused with Big and Carrie. 

Turns out the real story is that I came home from work one night and fancied baking cupcakes. I wanted to do something a little different, so I decided on earl grey cupcakes. I had written down a recipe I found online a while ago but had never tried making… So I made it. The end.

Here’s how I made ’em! 

Ingredients 

  • 125ml of milk (I used coconut and it worked just fine)
  • 4 earl grey teabags
  • 110g unsalted butter 
  • 225g sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 125g self raising flour 
  • 125g plain flour

For the buttercream

  • 115g unsalted butter (left to warm to room temp)
  • 60ml milk 
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • Lilac food colouring if you have it (I didn’t)

How to make:

  1. Bring your milk to the boil in a saucepan on a medium heat. Once boiled, remove from the heat and throw your teabags in, cover the saucepan and leave to brew for about 30 mins. (I was impatient and probably only ended up brewing for about 15 minutes, the earl grey flavour came out quite mild, so next time I’ll definitely wait the full 30 minutes.)
  2. Preheat your oven to about 180 celsius (gas mark 4), or 160 celcius if you have a fan assisted oven.
  3. Cream your butter and sugar together. I did this using my standing mixture and the flat paddle attachment. 
  4. Once they are creamed together, add your eggs in one at a time, mixing after each egg until well combined.
  5. In a separate bowl, sieve your two flours together. Then add 1/3 of the flour to the butter sugar and eggs mixture. Whisk them together (At this point I changed the attachment on my mixer to the whisk to help combine the mixture better.)
  6. Then add 1/3 of your milky tea, and then mix again to combine.
  7. Alternate adding 1/3 of the flour and tea mixture until everything is added. 
  8. Once everything is well mixed and smooth, spoon your mixture into your lined cupcake tray.
  9. Cook the cupcakes in your oven for approximately 25 minutes. 
  10. Keep an eye on them to make sure they aren’t burning. Test to see if they are cooked once they turn a light golden brown by inserting a knife into the middle of a few of the cupcakes and making sure that the knife comes out clean. If it doesn’t, pop them back in the oven for a little while longer.
  11. Whilst the cupcakes are cooling, let’s make our frosting! 
  12. Whisk together the butter, milk, vanilla extract, and half the icing sugar until well combined and smooth.
  13. Slowly add in the rest of the icing sugar until you have a thick buttercream consistency.
  14. Once your cupcakes are cooled, ice them with the buttercream. (This would work even better if you have a piping bag to pipe the frosting on!)

Et voilà!… Oh no.. I mean Eat voilà 😜

    Until next time,

    Emily x

    New Years Resolution? Nah. I’m good thanks. 

    Happy New Year everyone! 

    2017 is here and I am so excited to see how the next 12 months are going to play out. I hope it will be full of health, happiness, and love. 

    I spent my New Year’s Eve snuggled on the sofa with my love and a box of quality street and I wouldn’t have asked for more. 

    I’m excited to leave behind the general crapstorm of 2016 and into a new chapter that comes with the beginning of a year. 

    But there’s one thing I really dislike about the beginning of a new year. 

    I hate New Years Resolutions. Here are the steps people seem to take every year on January the 1st:

    1.  Complete a full character analysis on yourself
    2. Decide what part of you just isn’t good enough 
    3. Post a facebook status or tweet telling all of your friends and followers exactly what you intend to change about yourself
    4. Forget all about it by the end of January and continue as you always have, and be perfectly fine. 

    Now I’m not saying that self improvement is a bad thing. I am all for making changes in your life to enrich it. But my bugbear with New Years resolutions is that they are so false. You are only trying to change this thing about you because of the date. 

    When in reality you can decide to make a more genuine decision to improve a certain aspect of your life at any damn minute of any damn day. 

    You do not need to wait for a brand new year to decide to take up yoga, or to learn to bake, or anything else you might want to do! 

    Don’t force yourself to change simply because it’s the 1st of January, and just allow your brain to decide for you, whenever it chooses to, to make a positive change in your life. 

    Every single second is a chance for a fresh start. Whether that is 8:34am on the 12th of July, or 6.13pm on the 19th of November. It honestly doesn’t matter. 

    So don’t feel bad if you don’t have a New Years resolution! Just do you, and do the best you that you can. 

    And if you do have a New Years resolution? I wish you the best of luck and I sincerely hope that this will be a genuine goal for you that you will work on relentlessly until you achieve it. 

    Here’s to a fabulous 2017!

    Until next time

    Emily x

    Goodbye 2016: A Reflection

    So I think I can speak for all of us when I say that 2016 was probably the biggest rollercoaster of a year that I’ve ever experienced. 

    So many wonderful things happened, as well as sad things. Not just in the media or around the world but also in my personal life. 

    I’m moving into 2017 without my uncle and grandad in my life. They both sadly passed away this year. My uncle after a very short fight against stage 4 lung cancer, and my grandad peacefully in his sleep. I was especially close with my grandad and I had never even thought about him not being around before the day he left this earth. I think about him every single day. 

    My bunny rabbit, Gus, who I had for 10 years passed away.

    There has been so many heartbreaking things happen to the world this year. Including many celebrity deaths, terrorist attacks and natural disasters that have affected millions of people. 

    But in spite of all of these sad things that have happened, this year has also been full of wonderful things happening.

    In my personal life I met my amazing boyfriend, Mike, who makes me so happy and I cannot wait for what future years bring us. I’m also so lucky that he has the most wonderful family too. 

    I’ve had 2 gorgeous and healthy baby cousins born, Parker and Belle.

    I stopped worrying so much about what I look like and just started enjoying things. I don’t restrict myself on my diet anymore and I eat what makes me feel good. I have a much healthier and less obsessive relationship with my body. 

    I’ve started baking a lot which brings me a lot of joy. 

    I moved into my own home and became fully independent. 

    I have the most amazing and supportive family who have really been there for me whenever I needed it and I am so so grateful for that. 

    In the world we have had medical breakthroughs, tiger numbers have risen for the first time in a century, giant pandas are no longer endangered as well as so many other heartwarming stories from every corner of the globe. 

    This year has been full of so many highs and lows, and if there’s one thing 2016 has taught me is that, life goes on. No matter how hard or horrible the situation, time will pass and so will that thing. 

    Time will sew up the cracks in your heart left by sad situations, the stitches will always be there but you learn to live with them. 

    2017, here’s hoping you are full of joy and hope. (And lots and lots of pizza) 

    Happy new year everyone!

    Until next time,

    Emily x