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8 February 2016

January Recap and February Goals

UK Scottish lifestyle blogger january recap february life goalsUK Scottish lifestyle blogger january recap february life goals

WHOOPS HOW DID IT GET TO ONE WEEK INTO FEBRUARY ALREADY. Oh my gosh, I am the worst. Although to be fair to me - life has been manic lately. Flat buying is the biggest, most time consuming, slightly soul destroying thing ever. Do not listen to anyone who says it is fun. It is not fun - you will spend hours viewing properties that will fit into two categories either you will hate it and not bid on it and it will still be under offer within weeks, or you will love it and offer on it and it will go for ACTUAL THOUSANDS OF POUNDS out of your budget. Sigh.

Let's not dwell on that more than necessary though, as otherwise I will start sobbing into my cup of tea. Instead, I reckon it's about time to catch up on my little list of January goals and make some new ones for February. 

January Recap

- I did drink more water than I had been i.e. more than none, however I didn't drink quite as much as I wanted to. I will class this as a sort of achieved and aim for more H2O this month. 

- the fitness class thing I smashed out of the park, woo! I signed up for a weekly yoga class which helps you learn to do the splits aka my childhood dream and I LOVE it. I have signed up for the next block of classes already, even if my legs sometimes feel like they might fall off.

- I remembered to pack breakfast and lunch every single day in January, so I'm classing this as a win, however I've fucked it right up this first week of February. Basically, this one is impossible without preparing ahead, so that's a lesson learned.

- I have officially opened up a savings account and I did put some money into it - but only £140. Still, that is better than nothing eh? I'll aim for more this month. 

February Goals

- Turn off any screens at least half an hour before bed and read an actual real life printed book instead or something similar that doesn't involve electronics. I really, really need to learn to switch off from my computer, so this is going to be my attempt to start. It will be difficult - no last minute Instagram scrolling!

- Do some wedding venue research and make a shortlist of ones to go see at some point. This will be our first step into actual real life wedding planning, scary stuff. I know what I'd ideally like but I don't actually know if it's attainable or affordable, so I need to do some research before I get my heart set on anything.

- Limit weekend lie-ins. I love lazing about in bed at the weekend, but I DON'T like getting up at midday and realising I've wasted half of a perfectly good day off. 10am seems like a good time to aim for - it's a few hours extra than a weekday morning but it won't make me feel like I'm hibernating through my weekends.

- Try out a minimum of five new vegetarian recipes. I'm trying to cut down on the amount of meat we eat during the week as it is a) expensive and b) not great for you in huge amounts, so finding some tasty and filling veggie recipes seems like the way to go. Pleeeease give me a shout if you have any recommendations!
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21 January 2016

Potato Pancakes with Smoked Salmon and Lemony Yoghurt.

uk scottish lifestyle blogger healthy brunch recipe potato pancakes smoked salmon weekend
Some days you want a sweet breakfast or brunch recipe, and sometimes you find yourself craving something savoury. After filling up on these yummy chocolate chip pancakes on Saturday last weekend, I had the idea to go for a corresponding savoury pancake recipe for the Sunday. 

Nothing speaks to me in a savoury breakfast recipe more than smoked salmon - I LOVE it. Whether with Eggs Royale, in scrambled egg, in omelettes, with cream cheese on a bagel...I just want it with everything. Not a surprise then, that when I decided on a potato pancake recipe - I immediately followed that up with the decision that it should DEFINITELY be paired with some delicious Scottish smoked salmon. 
uk scottish lifestyle blogger healthy brunch recipe potato pancakes smoked salmon

Serves 2 (would probably serve 3, but Sean went back for seconds. Are you sensing a theme here?)

- 2 medium sized potatoes (boiled, mashed and cooled)
- 75g plain flour
- 2 medium eggs
- 1 tsp baking powder
- a handful of chopped chives
- 120ml almond milk
- good quality smoked salmon (quantity depending on how much you want tbh)
- 4 heaped tablespoons of natural yoghurt
- 1 lemon

First of all you're going to want to make the batter. Mix the flour and baking powder into the mashed potatoes and then whisk in the eggs and the milk. Add about 3/4 of your chives and mix well. You should end up with a runny-ish sort of batter - there'll be lumps from the mashed potato of course, so don't worry about those. 

Heat a large frying pan and either spray with a little oil or dab some oil onto a piece of kitchen roll and swipe over the pan. You're not going for a deep fried effect here. Add 1 tablespoon of batter per pancake and you should be able to cook four at a time. Cook on one side until little bubbles begin to form on the surface - this should take about a minute, minute and a half. Once you see the bubbles, flip over and then cook until golden brown on the other side too. Remove from the pan and put on a plate covered with tin foil to keep warm until you finish the rest.

For the yoghurt dressing, mix the natural yoghurt, the juice of half a lemon, the remaining chives and a good pinch of black pepper together. Serve the pancakes warm with a side of the smoked salmon, a generous dollop of the yoghurt, a little more black pepper and a wedge of the remaining lemon. Perfection! 
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19 January 2016

Healthier Chocolate Chip Pancakes with Raspberry Syrup

uk scottish lifestyle blogger healthy brunch recipe pancakes raspberry syrupuk scottish lifestyle blogger healthy brunch recipe oat banana pancakes
Recently I've been trying to be a little more conscious of what I'm eating on a daily/weekly basis and whether it's something I actually want to be putting in my body on the regular. The post Christmas slump has really hit and to be honest I've been feeling super blah - my skin allergies are playing up, my hair is really dull, I have ZERO energy and I just want to curl up under my duvet and hibernate until Spring. 

So it's been out with the sugary cereal bars, pastries, milky lattes and in with stuff that I've actually made myself, in a kitchen, from recognisable ingredients. I've never been a 'proper' breakfast person (brunch is a whole other story) and much as I've tried to love granola, yoghurt and fruit - it just hasn't happened for me yet. So I've been experimenting - here's one of my current faves, perfect for bringing back to bed with you on a Saturday morning.
uk scottish lifestyle blogger healthy brunch recipe chocolate chip pancakes

Serves 2

- 2 medium, ripe bananas (cut into chunks)
- 2 medium eggs
- 2/3 cup of oats (proper oats, not the instant kind)
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp dark chocolate chips
- teeniest bit of oil to cook the pancakes (I dab a little on a piece of kitchen roll and wipe it all over the pan)
- 2 cups raspberries
- 1 tbsp honey

Throw the banana, eggs, oats, salt, vanilla extract and baking powder into a blender and quickly blitz until the mixture resembles a smooth batter - be careful not to over blend. Stir in the chocolate chips and then leave to one side whilst you heat up a non stick frying pan and start to gently heat 1 1/2 cups of raspberries and the honey in a saucepan. 

Once the pan is hot, start making your pancakes! Dollop a tablespoon of batter per pancake - you should be able to fit four into a regular sized frying pan at a time. Fry for a minute or two until bubbles start forming on the surface of the pancakes then flip. Don't forget about them, they will burn quickly! Leave in the pan until golden brown on both sides and then pop onto a warm plate and cover with tin foil. 

Keep an eye on your raspberry syrup whilst you're doing this - you want to get it bubbling away for a couple of seconds and then stir and reduce the heat whilst you cook the rest of your pancakes - stir every so often to make sure it doesn't burn on the bottom. 

Keep cooking your pancakes in the same way until you've got enough pancakes or you've run out of batter - whichever comes first! (Always the second in our flat). Distribute onto two plates, top with large spoonfuls of the syrupy raspberry mixture and finish off with the remaining fresh raspberries. Delicious! If you want to make it even healthier, take out the chocolate chips!

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