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fashion and lifestyle

vegan mash

I am not a massive fan of cow’s milk. I don’t particularly like the taste, the concept of where it comes from and it sometimes leaves me feeling rather sluggish.

I went through a period of only using soya milk – which I still really like. However, I am home in Ireland on holidays for a week (hurrah!) and have been using Alpro Almond Milk which I really rate! I have mainly being using it in tea, cereal and cooking savoury dishes so not sure how successful it wold be in baking – must look for some recipes and try it out.

I recently made a very tasty mash with garlic, spring onions and almond milk which was delicious. Unlike my normal mash, which consists on lots of full fat milk and butter, I didn’t feel any way bloated or sluggish afterwards… or stoop into a food coma for several hours.

mash

           
Ingredients:
6  cloves garlic, roasted
3  pounds new potatoes
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup almond milk
1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper (or to taste)
1 tablespoon scallions, chopped (for garnish)
alpro

They were so tasty and I didn’t even miss the dairy! The full recipe can be found HERE

Kellebelle

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i love poots

I recently saw That Awkward Moment and have got a bit of a girl crush on leading lady Imogen Poots.

Undecided whether I could carry off such a short choppy fringe.

Moet British Independent Film Awards 2013 - Portraits 600full-imogen-poots1 Imogen Poots on the set of Are We Officially Dating imogen-poots-and-miu-miu-gallery imogen-poots-gallery imogen-poots-premiere-of-one-day-03 Imogen Poots: 'There's a lot of big things piled on my face.' that-awkward-moment-imogen-poots-poster tumblr_ljor5xFsfo1qig0ioo1_500

Kellebelle

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curly sue

I love a good curly blow-dry… so much so that I spend way too many Saturdays sat in the hairdressers.

 

…Quite a pricey habit!

 

So I went out and bought some heated rollers so that my hair can look half decent without going to the hairdressers.

rollers

I ordered some BaByliss Thermo-Ceramic Rollers from John Lewis. You get 20 of them – which I thought might not be enough as I have a lot (and I mean A LOT like a horse amount) of hair but it is more than enough. I’ve used them twice so far and they are so easy to use! They take about 10 mins to heat up and then you just pop them in damp or dry hair. The longer you leave them in the better the curl.

curly hair

What do you think? Any other product out there to help hair go from ‘meh’ to ‘ok’?!

Kellebelle

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new books

I got distracted on my lunch break yesterday as there’s an amazing little bookshop near work…

books

I love Raymond Briggs illustrations (the Snowman is genius!) so I had to buy The Bear when I saw it. Yes, I was browsing the children’s books…  I secretly want to buy all the ‘picture books’ that I can carry…

Bought this PG Wodehouse book purely because I love the cover. Look at the dogs!!!

bookdogs

I started reading Alfie yesterday… need to set aside some time to get into it properly as finding myself unable to open my eyes on the tube these days. Lately, instead of reading on my morning commute I am listening to Christmas songs (I know, I know – it’s only November!) and trying to ignore the fact that my face is in someones armpit or that I am wedged against a door.

Close your eyes and think of Christmas! – my new motto.

What’s on your reading list at the moment?

Kellebelle

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dinosaurs

So Dinosaurs are bloody great.

jumperdino

Jumper: Topshop

Necklace: Boticca

Kellebelle

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duck says quack

topshop

This jumper may be the softest item of clothing I own. Ok… so it may look like a pyjama top! It is oh-so-cosy though and makes this stormy weather a bit more bearable.

Necklace and top: Both Topshop

Kellebelle

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october reading

I am counting down the days until the new Bridget Jones book comes out. I can’t remember the last time I was this excited for a book to come out!

In the meantime I wanted to give you a rundown on some books I read lately. Some amazing… and some just ‘meh’!

when-she-woke

When She Woke by Hillary Jordan

Blurb:

Hannah Payne is a RED.

Her crime: MURDER.

And her victim, says the state of Texas, was her unborn child.

Lying on a table in a bare room, covered by only a paper gown, Hannah awakens to a nightmare. Cameras broadcast her every move to millions at home, for whom observing new Chromes – criminals whose skin has been genetically altered to match the class of their crime – is a sinister form of entertainment.

Hannah refuses to reveal the identity of her father. But cast back into a world that has marked her for life, how far will she go to protect the man she loves?

Thoughts:

This book had me gripped from the start. Upon reading the first few pages I was hooked. The story itself of criminals being ‘chromed’ and the future of prisons was of massive interest. The main character Hannah was likable and I was intrigued to find out her story. The opening chapters are beautifully written and engaging but unfortunately the book lost momentum towards the end. The last few chapters felt rushed and the ending was an anti-climax. Such a shame as it had the premise to be so much more.

Stars out of 5: 3/5

BeforeIGoToSleep

Before I Go to Sleep by SJ Watson

Blurb:

Memories define us.

So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep?

Your name, your identity, your past, even the people you love – all forgotten overnight.

And the one person you trust may only be telling you half the story.

Welcome to Christine’s life.

Thoughts:

Another book I couldn’t put down! However unlike When She Woke ,the story was engaging from beginning to end. Really well written, great pacing and a fantastic psychological thriller! Christine has amnesia and wakes up every morning in a bed with a man (her husband) that she has no recollection of. She begins to write about her days and memories in a secret diary and it becomes apparent that not everyone is telling her the truth… Highly recommend this book.

Stars out of 5: 4/5

miss peregrines

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children

Blurb:

A mysterious island.

An abandoned orphanage.

A strange collection of very curious photographs.

It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive. 

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.

Thoughts:

This book is quite misleading in that it looks (on first glance) and the blurb reads like a book for adults, however it it more more teenagers. From reading reviews on Amazon it would seem that many others have the same view. Now, I happily read many books for teen audiences such as Harry Potter, Twilight etc., as I love the magical worlds that you can be transported to. In saying that, Ransom’s writing is not up to the standard of JK Rowling and the writing in this book was not up to the standard to properly engage adults. I felt the language was tiresome and too simple. It started off well but certainly seemed to run out of steam towards to final chapters.  The combination of vintage photos and fiction is a nice touch but doesn’t do enough to hold the readers attention. The book ends with a clear view of book number two which I don’t think I will be buying…

Stars out of 5: 2.5/5

untilyouremine

Until You’re Mine by Samantha Hayes

Blurb:

You’re alone. You’re vulnerable. And you have something that someone else wants. At any cost … If you liked BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP, you’ll love this gripping psychological thriller.

Claudia seems to have the perfect life.

She’s heavily pregnant with a much wanted baby, she has a loving husband, and a beautiful home.

And then Zoe steps into her life. Zoe has come to help Claudia when her baby arrives.

But there’s something about Zoe that Claudia doesn’t like. Or trust.

And when she finds Zoe in her bedroom, Claudia’s anxiety turns to real fear …

Thoughts:

Really loved this book! Having just read Gone Girl I was looking for another gritty thriller and personally I think this is even better than Gone Girl (perhaps because I hated the ending in Gone Girl!). The writing was captivating and I loved that it was told from three characters viewpoints: Zoe, Claudia and detective Lorraine. It’s a real page turner and has a satisfying ending!

Stars out of 5: 4/5

various

Various Pets Alive and Dead

Blurb:

Lentils, free love, radical politics and family truths . . . Various Pets Alive and Dead is the wonderfully funny fourth novel from Marina Lewycka, author of the bestselling A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian.

For twenty years Doro and Marcus lived in a commune, convinced lentils and free love would change the world. They didn’t. What they did do was give their children a terror of radicalism, dirt, cooking rotas and poverty. Their daughter Clara wants nothing less conformist than her own, clean bathroom. Their son Serge hides the awkward fact that he’s a banker earning loadsamoney. So when Doro and Marcus spring a surprise on their kids – just as the world is rocked in ways they always wished for – the family is forced to confront some thorny truths about themselves . . .

Thoughts:

I really didn’t like this book at all. I had to force myself to finish it. I bought it as I was looking for a lighthearted, funny read to compliment the thriller books I had been reading. I don’t think I laughed once while reading this book. The characters weren’t likable or engaging, and as a reader I just didn’t care what happened to them. Very bland and disappointing…. I just wanted a funny book!

Stars out of 5: 1/5

reading

I am now reading Caitlin Moran’s How to Be A Woman. Liking it so far – very witty!

howtobeawoman

I previously wrote about my favourite books of all time so feel free to check that out if you are looking for more recommendations.

What books are you reading at the moment? Would love to know!

 

Kellebelle

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let’s get personal… maybe

bridget_jones_a_l

The first time I read Bridget Jones Diary I was 15/16 years old… ten years ago now! At the time I loved the books – I remember LOLing in studyhall before LOLing was even a thing. (Yes, there was a time before Twitter! *shock* )

Now that the third installment, Mad about the Boy, is almost upon us (10th October to be precise!) I decided to reread the books. bridgetbook3

I am now a 26 year old (as of last month – eee!), living in London and can relate so much more to Bridget than I did ten years ago (duh I hear you say!), although luckily I am still at that stage where most of my friends are single and not ‘Smug Marrieds’. My thirties seemed a lifetime away when reading the books in school – I hadn’t even sat my Leaving Cert let alone been to college or moved to another country by myself.

I have just finished the first book and am now on Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason.  Like Bridget I can relate to single life in London, dating disasters (one recent date ended with the guy starting a debate about incest – yes it was a first date!!!) and drinking too much with your friends! However, I am not too sure how the third book will sit with me given that Bridget will be a 50-something widow.

The Bridget I love is the hopeless-in-love, thirty-something girl who gets pissed, makes blue soup and flees to the pub for crisis talks with her friends. I would love to read about Bridget in her 30′s now, dealing with online dating, Twitter and the likes… I am less interested in her looking after two kiddies and dating a toyboy. Can she not stay in her thirties forever?!

bridgetjones_l

However, I adore the books so am putting these thoughts out of my head. Afterall, the main reason I am hesitant is the fact that I can in no way relate to a widowed woman in her fifties… but then that’s like saying “I don’t like Harry Potter because I can’t relate to being a wizard!”. Books are there to take us on a journey and became engulfed in lives we can’t imagine.

I know and believe this… but I do like reading a book and getting that ‘I do that too!” moment and feeling like I am part of a not-so-secret club. 

typing

While rereading Bridget Jones I did think to myself – wouldn’t it be nice if I did some blogs in a dairy form?

 Lately I am not sure what direction I want this blog to go in. I sometimes wish I had the anonymity to write a ‘warts and all’ depiction of my life (but is my life even that interesting?!). I am going to try be more personal in my posts – without word vomming my entire life on you all! – but I still want to keep this as a space to post lighthearted content. Does anyone really want to read how I dealt with anxiety and panic attacks last year (thank you London!), or what the London dating scene is like? Well… maybe you do! Perhaps I should write more indept posts that are more than just ‘oh look I dyed my hair for the one millionth time’...

flowershoes

I’d be really interested to hear from you guys and what sort of posts you like reading the most. Do you prefer fashion posts? Recipe posts? Personal posts? Let me know below!

Kellebelle

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cookies: take one

cookingoven

I decided to make some cookies the other day.

To be honest the only reason was that I wanted that ‘just out of the oven, melty chocolate chip’ taste. Sticking some Tesco biscuits in the microwave just didn’t suffice!

I remember always making cookies when I was younger and them being pretty easy and quick to make.

bake

(images: top two from weheartit)

The recipe I used:

  • 115g unsalted butter, softened
  • 50g granulated sugar
  • 70g light muscovado sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 medium eggs lightly beaten
  • 160g plain flour
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 100g chocolate chips
  • Pinch of salt

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Lightly grease 2 baking trays. Put the butter and sugars into a large bowl and cream together using an electric hand whisk until pale and fluffy. Gradually beat in the vanilla and egg.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda and a good pinch of salt, then add to the creamed mixture, along with the chocolate chunks. Mix until combined to a softish dough.
  3. Put tablespoonfuls of the dough onto the baking trays, spaced well apart. Bake for 20-30 minutes until golden brown, then remove from the oven.

For next time:

I would double the amount of chocolate chips as I didn’t think they were quite chocolatey enough. I would also use greaseproof paper on the baking trays instead of greasing the trays as the cookies broke apart when I tried to get them out!

flour

dough

cookiedough

cooking

giant

cookies1

As you can see my cookies turned into GIANT monsters!

Do you have any good cookie recipes?

Kellebelle

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back to ombre

large (4)

(image from weheartit)

This has been a year of colour change for my poor hair!

After a rash decision to dye my hair copper at the start of the year (let’s just say it was a break up related hasty decision – we’ve all been there, at least I was talked out of the bob that I told my hairdresser I wanted!) I am now finally back to liking my hair colour again!

“Boys – the reason for bad hair  decisions since the invention of the scissors”

After my dalliance with the aforementioned red hue I decided that I just didn’t feel like me. It wasn’t that I didn’t like the red – it lasted two months – it was more that I felt like none of my clothes looked right and the outfits I wore that previously made me feel ‘sparkly’ left me feeling like dull. So I decided to slowly go back to brown/blonde.

large (3)
(image from weheartit)

Having had my hair ombré for four years I took the dive to copper partly because every girl in London seemed to have dip dyed hair and I was a little sick of it. Having the break from it made me realise that I don’t care if the whole world has the same hair as me – I love ombré hair and it makes me feel good! My clothes look better and I bloody love that when I have my hair in a bun the bun part is blonde!

I went to my lovely hairdresser Carla in GroLondon (Clapham) and last month I got my ombré locks back!

ombreombre1

Yay! Here’s to being a walking clone… And not giving a sh*t!!!

Kellebelle

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