July (and June) Favourites 2017!

It has been a while since I’ve written one of these posts, but in all honesty I didn’t have any new favourites until the very end of July. Now I have some, its time to share them…

Food

Woods Brownie Co. – These are the MOST AMAZING brownies I have EVER had the privilege to eat. They are super-fudgy, and intensely chocolate-y. My favourite is the Belgium Chocolate straight up. The others I have tried are the Valencian Orange, and the Maple & Pecan. Other flavours I hope to get hold of soon are the Salted Caramel, and Morello Cherry. Once they’re back in stock at the shop I buy them from, I shall have a proper review up!

Chaophraya, Newcastle – I’m praying the restaurant in Leeds is just as good, because this is my favourite place to eat at the moment. Chaophraya is Thai food done really well, and so good I chose to eat here after my graduation. I recommend the Tofu Pad Thai, or the Steamed Sea Bass.

Henderson’s Salad Table, Edinburgh – This place serves the most amazing vegan and vegetarian food I have ever come across. When I headed to Edinburgh at the end of July I ate here both the Saturday and the Sunday. I can highly recommend the Vegan Shakshuka, and the Porridge. Henderson’s make amazing porridge.

 

Drinks

Kale-ing Me Softly Mocktail, The Alchemist – My family ripped into me for ordering this when we went for drinks. Its a mixture of lime, apple, and kale, all blended up into a smoothie texture. Super-cold and refreshing if you aren’t feeling the alcohol, or are designated driver.

 

Entertainment & Travel

The Handmaid’s Tale- I know this is a TV show now, but I haven’t watched that yet. The book is amazing, and so I probably will end up watching it this next month. For a full review see here.

Northanger Abbey– This was one of the only Jane Austen novels I hadn’t read before. Overall, really entertaining. I always say Austen is like the comfort food of the book world, and this novel lived up to that.

Edinburgh- July was the first time I have ever visited Edinburgh, and I fell in love with this city. There were so many art galleries, museums and places to explore that I easily filled two days and could’ve stayed longer.

Scottish National Portrait Gallery – This was one of the highlights of my trip to Edinburgh. The Portrait Gallery is well worth a trip if you happen to be visiting the city. For other recommendations of where to head check out my 48 Hours in Edinburgh post.

 

Online

YouTube channel: Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell. – This reminds me of TEDTalks, but in a much, much shorter video. I’m a bit of a science nerd at heart, and so this allows me access to science (and philosophy, sociology, psychology etc) without having to pay for it, accompanied by colourful videos, and to-the-point explanations which are easy to follow.

YouTube channel: Jen Bretty – I’m sure that Jen has been a favourite before, and she is again now. I get very excited when I see a video from Jen on my YouTube subscriptions.

Instagram: emmasfood- I have loved this account for quite some time now, because Emma always has beautiful looking food, using everyday ingredients. I’ve recently been grabbing some meal ideas from this account, and one of the best things I was persuaded to try was “cakey oats” (picture at the top of the post). Think porridge with a fluffier, more cake-like texture. I could eat them every day.

 

 

 

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February Favourites 2017

Food

Rawreos– I was send these by Embrace the Cake down in London, and oh my lord they werewp-1487157855190.jpg delicious! You can check these out in my full review right here. Possibly a good thing I don’t live in London, because I’d be there all of the time…

Omelettes– I recently wrote a post all about omelettes, giving you guys a whopping 21 omelette combinations to try out. They’re cheap, fast, and once you learn to make one then you can pretty much feed yourself if there’s not a lot of money left at the end of the week.

Almond Butter & Blackcurrant Jam Bars– This is a quick and easy (no bake!) recipe I like to make on a weekend, so that I have snacks prepared for the week ahead. They’re gooey and nutty, which pretty much spells out just plain delicious.wp-1488111400372.jpg

Pizza Storm– Think Subway, but pizzas. You basically craft your own, and then they bake it in their 900*c pizza oven in just 3 minutes.

Pancakes– It was pancake day this month. Need I say more? You can find the recipe for my Banana & Nutella Pancakes right here (if the picture to the left is tempting you). Continue reading

January Favourites 2017

Food

Crunchy Almond Butter, Meridian- Okay, so I never knew this came in “crunchy”, but thank god I found it. Same great taste, even better texture.

Crunchy Maple Peanut Butter, Pip & Nut- This is my other current favourite nut butter; slightly sweet maple taste, beautifully proportioned chunks of peanut. The best on porridge-  even better if you mix frozen berries and yoghurt, add chunks of hot apple, and then drizzle this on…wp-1485446375046.jpg

Ephesus- This is a Turkish restaurant near where I live; the staff are incredibly friendly, the food is excellent, and it’s really good value for money. I had a veggie kebab served with warm tomato sauce, rice, salad, spicy ezme, and cacik. Absolutely beautiful.

Jacket potatoes- I have had a major craving for these thing month. I think it’s the cold weather.

Giant Crumpets- Toasted. With Butter. And scrambled eggs.

Drinks

Smart Tea MutliTea (Lemon & Peach)- This is a green tea enriched with vitamins and minerals, and wakes me up first thing.

SuperVitality Bwp-1485446375045.jpglueberry Protein Powder Smoothie- I’m disappointed to say that I can’t seem to pin down a website or stockist for this company, but this protein powder is possibly one of the BEST I have gotten my hands on. Tastes like a blueberry muffin when blended with frozen banana and unsweetened almond milk, plus a pinch of cinnamon. I think some health food shops still stock this though it seems to be out of production, so if you can grab some, then do.

Continue reading

November Favourites 2016…

Food

Canned mackerel– I cannot emphasise enough how much I am loving this right now. Fresh fish is a little pricey on a student budget- but cans of mackerel are 66p down at Tesco, they go well in packed lunches, and you can get them in a sweet chilli sauce. I see no downside.

Jim Jam’s Hazelnut Spread– If you look at my instasnap now and again, then you’d have realised that on my overnight oats I have been loving this healthier nutella alternative. It’s creamy, its nutty, its chocolate-y- and its really good on top of ice cream as well. And on rice cakes with banana, on porridge, or just off of the spoon.

Health & Fitness

HIIT Workouts- We all know I’ve gone through the following workout stages: Pilates, weights, at-home, various classes… Now I’ve moved into the realms of HIIT training. I still train with weights, but only once a week. I feel I need some guidance to progress further in that area, and right now I can’t afford to pay for that guidance. PTs don’t come cheap at my uni gym. So weighted HIIT training it is! More so, I find it fun. I was becoming bored with my old routine, and this had allowed me to switch it up a bit. The best routines I have found are from Joe Wicks (aka The Body Coach), and Clean Eating Alice (her facebook page has regular videos posts about them, so you can see the moves clearly)

Nuffield Health Gym- So, speaking of gyms, my mum recently signed up with one, and couldn’t go with good old Pure Gym, oh no. She signed up to the most expensive gym in my home town and got herself a PT. But she also took me with her on a guest pass when I visited home. This was like the Mount Olympus of all gyms. All the equipment worked, it had a friendly atmosphere, the showers had temperature controls, and the café was amazing and had food that was reasonably priced. It had a swimming pool, several gym rooms, a steam room, sauna, Jacuzzi- it even had a frigging machine for wringing out wet swimsuits. I’m trying to figure out which of my organs I can sell to buy a membership.

Entertainment

Human Hungry Hippos- Okay, we played this at my friend’s 21st mid-month, and it’s actually better than ring of fire. You lie on your stomach on a board with wheels, and your team push you forward towards a ball-pool. You have to grab as many balls as you can before switching team members. Team with the most balls at the end wins.

Grease (the movie)- One of my flatmates was assigned this film for a module she takes on the Spielberg generation (80’s films). The third time she had to watch it, I was the one putting it in the DVD player. Nostalgia on a disc, and we now know the words to pretty much all of the songs. Continue reading

October Favourites 2016

Food

Arlo’s Banana & Hazelnut Porridge- Arlo’s has changed up their breakfast menu now that it’s autumn, and the blueberries topping the porridge have been swapped for banana and whole hazelnuts, with bee pollen and honey. This is the single best porridge I have evwp-1477655469260.jpger eaten out. Recommend it over all of the other porridges available in Newcastle.

Quorn & Vegetable Chilli Con Carne- When I stopped eating red meat, and then chicken, I swapped my beef or turkey chilli for straight up bean chilli. Bean chilli is lovely, but not the same somehow. Sometimes I just want an old fashioned chilli con carne, and I finally got to make one when I tried Quorn mince for the first time. I’ll  link to the recipe right here.wp-1477341637912.jpg

Proper Nutty Peanut Butter, in Smunchy – This is one of my favourite nut butter brands (it’s up there with Meridian), and it has the single best texture I’ve ever come across: smunchy. In-between smooth and crunchy. Which genius came up with that, and why did it take so long?! The PB has nothing but nuts and some salt in it, and has won a permanent place in my cupboard. I believe Proper Nutty only make PB, but I pray that some day they expand their range.

Random

Pumpkin Carving- Can’t not include this around Halloween time.

Hot Water Bottle- Because I get cold feet at night, and a hot wattle bottle is a must for someone who sleeps with the window open, regardless of how far below 0 the temperature falls.

FRINGE Stationary- I was recently bought a new journal, because I’d filled my last one, and my new writing material is from this fabulous stationers. If you’re in Newcastle then there’s a massive display of their wares on Fenwick’s Christmas Floor, which is where I got mine. Perfect paper thickness, perfect line strength and spacing, perfect size of pages, and a beautiful cover reading ‘Be Brave With Your Life’. Paperchase just got beaten hands down, and I never thought I’d say that.

Fenwick’s Newcastle’s Christmas Floor- Leading on from the above… I know this is Newcastle specific, but if you’re in that neck of the woods then check it out. Another major draw was the Beatrix Potter themed display up here, and Miss Tiggywinkle’s Restaurant (though I wish it was called “Tearoom” in the interests of alliteration). I grew up with Beatrix Potter being read at bedtime, and this was a massive walk down memory lane- plus the food there is beautiful. My prediction is that the Fenwick’s window will be a Beatrix Potter scene. Continue reading

September Favourites 2016

Food img_20160911_181120.jpg

Arlo Jesmond- This is one of the best spots for brunch in Newcastle. And it’s not too far from where I live this year, which is good for my appetite, but bad for my purse. Try the hens eggs on toast and get a side of smoked salmon, or their mashed avocado on ciabatta with chilli jam. They also make a wicked cappuccino, and the staff are incredibly friendly. Full review coming soon.

Reflex Bars- When I buy a protein product, it is usually one of three things: a packet of The Protein Ball Co. balls, a Bounce ball, or a Reflex Bar. These are the best high protein bars (excluding the aforementioned balls) I have managed to get hold of. They aren’t chalky, they don’t glue my teeth together, and the flavours I have gotten hold of are great. Full review right here.

Pip & Nut Cinnamon & Honey Cashew Butter- This month I tried the Pip & Nut nut butters for the very first time, and you guys let me know on IG that this is actually a favourite brand with you all. I can see why. They make the most amazing flavour combinations, such as cashew with honey and cinnamon. I also read an article on Pippa, the lady who started the company and found it incredibly inspiring. Did you know she started off from her mum’s garden shed? Made me love the nut butter even more.img_20160918_174839.jpg

Healthy Corn Fritters- You can get the recipe here. These are a great fast, cheap, and tasty alternative when you’re sick of rice/pasta/potato/sweet potato etc. Great with smoked salmon, or with something spicy and Mexican inspired.

 

Drink

Rebel Chocolate Mylk- Holland & Barratt’s have just gotten these in, and they’re the perfect library drink when I want something that’s a bit more of a luxury and nixes my chocolate craving.

Emmi Caffe Latte Iced Strong Macchiato, Unsweetened – I have issues finding strong enough iced coffee, as many places tell me “I’m sorry, we only do iced lattes”. I also have issues with having to ask for sweetener to be left out (surely it should be the other way around- and I should have to ask for sweetener if I want it?). My SU started stocking these coffees recently, and now I have stronger, cheaper coffee, within two minutes of my uni work on a computer. My coffee run before lectures just got a lot shorter.

Entertainment & Other Bits That Don’t Fit Anywhere

Bridget Jones- The first film. I had never before seen it, until my flatmate talked me into watching it with her. It was hilarious. I can’t wait to watch the next one, and then get myself to the cinema to see how it all ends.img_20160914_171222.jpg

Bleak House- Don’t let the size of the book put you off. This was an amazing read. All of the characters are somehow interconnected, and Dickens weaves an intricate and fascinating plotline. I was literally on the edge of my seat the whole time- 0nce the fairly dull introductory paragraphs were complete- and even though I did see most of the twists and turns coming, for each plot twist I anticipated, there was once I didn’t.  Full review coming soon.

Bullet Journalling- I mentioned this on IntaSnap; it is how I organise my life, alongside my regular old planner. I’ll be writing a post on how to bullet journal/ how I bullet journal soon, but if you can’t wait there is a wealth of videos telling you how on YouTube. You can even flick down to “Online” to see my favourite journaling channel of the month.

Dance Moms- Really crap American TV that somehow hits the spot some nights, when I don’t want to concentrate but need something mildly entertaining to watch. Slightly ashamed to admit I like it- but I do.img_20160912_192352.jpg

Ikea Lamps & Fairy Lights– This is one of my contributions to the décor of our third year house. These lamps are from Ikea, I filled them with fairy lights, and put them in the fire place. Boom. I’m an interior designer. I also have one of these in my room, and it acts as a great reading light. Continue reading

August 2016 Monthly Favourites

Food

Chocolate-Chip Chickpea Cookie Dough– this is a brand new recipe on the blog, and I could quite easily become addicted to this (recipe right here:https://ecstaticallyem.wordpress.com/2016/08/31/healthy-chocolate-chip-chickpea-cookie-dough/ ). Good thing it’s relatively healthy…

French Toast- I’ve made a couple of French toasts this month, and it could be a phase, but I think I’m a little bit in love. Simply type “French Toast” into the side bar, and enjoy some of the recipes on offer here.

‘Pot Kettle Black’ Asian Style Scrambled Tofu on Sourdough– I have eaten a lot of scrambled tofu in my time, but for some reason I’ve never thought to make a scramble with Asian inspired ingredients. This contained mushrooms, spring onions, chilli, ginger, coriander…and I just couldn’t fault it. Pot Kettle Black Café in Manchester also make incredible coffee and energy balls, and their staff are super-friendly and charming. Check it out if you get a chance.

Drink

Ugot Chocolate – Mint Smoothie– I will definitely be recreating this at home. It combined cacao, mint, almond milk, and banana into a cup of creamy, chocolatey, minty goodness.

Random

The Great British Bake Off– I don’t need to explain myself any further.

The Simpsons- I used to watch this show every night when I was younger, and recently its found its way back into my life, because I like a good laugh at the end of the day

David Guetta’s ‘Titanium’– I have no idea why I love this song so much, but I do. Any time I’m sat in the car, this song is on. It’s also a great pre-gym/in the gym track

Black Swan– I remember saying I would watch this film when it first came out, and as I’m not usually one for sitting still long enough to watch a film, surprise surprise: I didn’t. But when I finally sat down to watch this, I really enjoyed it. Its creepy, and thrilling and beautiful. Really recommend it.

Manchester Art Gallery– I visited Manchester part way through the month, and this was the first place I wanted to go. At the moment they have a “Vogue through the ages” exhibition on, but their collections are well worth going to see even without this added bonus.

Bleak House, by Charles Dickens– This is a uni read for third year, and although its a little hard to get into at first, and difficult to keep track of who every one is, it has a very intricate plot, humour, and although I have to read it in small bursts (its very dense), I can’t put it down.

Health & Beauty

Earth kiss facepacks– Face packs are a bit hit and miss with me: I hate the ones that leave colour residue on my face, which I always notice when I cleanse afterwards. These masks don’t do that, and they leave my skin feeling amazing. I highly recommend the exfoliating one, as its super gentle but gets the job done.

Garnier Moisture Bomb Tissue masks– another face pack. This one is more moisturising than the above, as it leaves a serum on your face. If I’m looking to brighten my skin, rather than deep clean it, I’d go for this.

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water– I recently switched up my facial cleanser and this was on offer in SuperDrug. I have a full review coming soon, so don’t want to say too much, but it is fantastic. It cleans my skin really well, and I can honestly say my skin hasn’t looked this good in a long while.

Online & Technology

Tally Rye, IG & YouTube– I adore Tally’s down to earth attitude, and though I know you shouldn’t compare, I feel that she’s a realistic inspiration for myself when it comes to getting stronger and working out- more so than other YouTubers. She’s upbeat and makes informative health and fitness related videos- plus, check out her vlogs, you wont regret it!