December Favourites

Food
Cacao (Choc Chicks)- I have been using this in porridge with pears and almond butter, mixed into Greek yoghurt with frozen banana and berries, and even in my recipe for Snickers Balls (link a couple of items below)
Booja-Booja Truffle Collection No.2- This was one of my favourite Christmas presents. Banoffee, Rhubarb and Vanilla, Hazelnut, and Almond Sea Salt. Each and every one was delicious, and no there aren’t many left.
Meridian Coconut & Almond + Coconut & Peanut Butter- Meridian kindly sent me a jar of each ahead of their launch in January, and the peanut butter features in my Snickers Balls (You can always use regular peanut butter if you can’t wait, but the coconut one is amazing in these. Recipe here: http://ecstaticallyem.blogspot.co.uk/2015/12/snickers-balls.html ). There’ll be a full review of these up in the next week, so keep your eyes peeled…
Dried Apple Rings- These are a great snack on the go. Naturally sweet, and with an almost mashmallow-y texture. I divide up a big bag into small sealable bags and take them on the go.
Covent Garden Tomato and Lentil Soup- ‘Tis the season for soup after all…
Frozen Berries- These are still up there in my favourites. It’s better value than buying fresh, and they are amazing with ice cream or Greek yoghurt.

Drink
Loose Leaf Teas- My brother bought me a loose leaf tea infuser shaped like a pug and I have never enjoyed my afternoon cuppa more.
Lemon Water- Great all year round to drink first thing in the morning, but especially during the festive season to prime the digestive tract for all that yummy food.
 

Random
Grey Primark Coat- This is my new favourite item of clothing, but unfortunately I can only wear it on occasions where a hood isn’t required. Living between Yorkshire and Newcastle, this isn’t very often.
The Reluctant Fundamentalist- I had to read this novel for my Fictions of Migrations module at uni, and have ended up writing my second essay of the year on it. It engages with the idea of stereotypes and prejudices surrounding Muslims following the 9/11. It’s a powerful read that plays with your preconceptions, and I would recommend reading it alongside a couple of  pieces of criticism called ‘Muslims in the Frame’, and ‘The Other Question: Stereotype’.
Frozen- Yes, I have been watching this film in my pjs on occasion.
Pandora Fairytale Ring- Snicker Balls and Pandora ring captured in one shot over to the top left. This ring pretty much hasn’t left my hand since Christmas day.

 

 
Beauty
V05 Smoothly Does It Conditioner- My hair has suffered with the dry and cold, but this conditioner is cheap-ish alternative to products like Aussie, and it still does well at keeping my split ends and frizz under control.
Lush Stardust Bath Bomb- Shimmery, but doesn’t make you look like you stepped out of Twilight (shudders at the thought). Inside it’s blue with tiny dissolving stars, it smells like vanilla and chamomile to me, and left my skin silky smooth. 
Soap & Glory The Smoothie Body Butter
 – Smells like almonds, pistachios, and vanilla. This did a great job at soothing my extra-dry skin, and wasn’t too highly perfumed- which I find is an issue with most Soap and Glory products.

 

Online
Blog: Maddy Moon- I subscribed to the emails from Maddy, and also watch her YouTube videos. Each email challenges the way you think of the pressure you put on your body and diet to be “perfect”. If you have any fears surrounding food or body image, then her posts are a great read. She has her head screwed on right, and I find her blog posts particularly helpful as she speaks from experience. Candid and informative, read her posts here: http://maddymoon.com/blog/
App: Calm – I was given the Calm book for Christmas and after a few days went and found their app. The app has a free 7 days mindfulness meditation on it, and also a variety of background noises and music to help you meditate.
You Tube: Melanie Murphy – I recently unsubscribed from a number of You Tubers and IG accounts because, to tell the truth, they made me feel inadequate. But Melanie’s channel is such a mood booster that I watched every single one of her vlogmas videos, and added practically her entire channel to my Watch Later playlist. Melanie is down to earth, funny, honest, and has become my favourite YouTuber. The Irish accent really won me over as well. Melanie is amazing for boosting your confidence, having had the strength to deal with acne issues, mental health problems, and disordered eating- and come out the other side stronger. My new go-to channel, and I wish there was a meet up in Yorkshire so I could finally talk to her! Link to Melanie’s videos here: https://www.youtube.com/user/MelaNiieVideos

 
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