Toasty warm drinks!

I don’t know about you all, but I’ve been so put off any type of dairy (even lactose free, as I am lactose intolerant)! I read an article a few weeks ago about dairy and someone wrote that pus is in dairy and quite honestly, true or not it just makes me feel sick every time I think about milk now. I have been veggie my entire life and don’t often opt for dairy as it makes me quite unwell, but over the years lactose-free substitutes have become readily available and made life a little easier. Alongside this there is (at the moment anyway) a huge interest in being vegan, which for me is fantastic! I walk into a supermarket and am met with about ten different types of milks (or mylk) made from all sorts of weird and wonderful items, (I mean cow boob milk is gross the more I think about it).

Anyway, this blog isn’t about my dilemma with dairy, it’s about warm drinks and the fact I have been drinking as many as possible these last few wintry weeks. One of my favourite since Christmas has been mulled (hot) apple juice. As much as I love a warm tipple now and again, I do prefer my drinks alcohol free for the most and this is just heavenly after a long day at work.

Think Cinnamon, cloves, oranges and mixed spice

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Warm Mulling Syrup

My wonderful friend Emma made me a few different yummy treats as a gift. Mulling Syrup being one of them. I like to drink mine with apple juice from Innocent

I found a wonderful recipe on BBC good foods which you can find below:

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  • 250g caster or granulated sugar
  • 2 oranges halved
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 6 whole allspice
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • ¼ nutmeg freshly grated
  • small piece ginger sliced

Mix all in a pan with 1 litre of water and voila! I love to then use it with apple juice instead of wine, but I am told wine is equally as good!

Bubbly chocolate in a cosy little mug 

There is nothing I love more than hot chocolate. Everyone thinks you need to have it with warm milk, but I think its much tastier with coconut milk, soya or even just plain hot water.

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Deliciously Ella 

Another thing you need to watch out for if you want a vegan hot chocolate is the powder (if you use instant). Make sure it doesn’t have lactose / dairy or whey in it and you’ll be good to go. One of the best ones I use is goody coco from Lidl. If you want something a bit more up market that doesn’t contain refined sugars and rubbish is to use raw cacao date syrup and cinnamon.

However, for me I most recently discovered sweet free from choc shot which is full of goodness and yummy, but it does taste a little different from normal hot chocolate which I think is a good thing in many ways. It takes the edge off the sugar cravings so if you’re going refined sugar-free then even better! I also think it’s a fab thing for weight loss as its very low in calories coming in at under 15 calories a tsp!choc

I do love my warm drinks if you hadn’t guessed already and I think they are one of the best ways to beat any situation good or bad. If I am feeling down to sad a hot up of tea, mulled apple juice or hot coco. I remember when I was younger and used to get upset or sad the one thing that I could always make myself feel with was probably tea. So next on the list is the magical and famous tea!

There are so many types of tea, some people argue that there is really only one true type which is English Breakfast / Assam or the type you have with milk. For me there are quite literally hundreds of types. Enough for me to start an entire blog on (or Tea-sta-gram page?)! When I worked for Danone Waters I made friends with a great guy who ended up going to work for Tetley. Thanks to him I have lots of types of tea in my cupboard that I got to try before they went out on sale in shops! It really does pay to be a tea lover and know someone in the tea business.

Tea cures everything, good bad or happy

For this very reason, I have decided to end my blog with a selection of mearlgreyy favourite teas starting with earl grey!

Earl grey is a normal black tea with bergamot orange and citrus fruits mixed in together with a little lemon and grapefruit thrown in. It is floral and delicate which makes it a perfect tea for people who don’t like the strong darkness of a builders tea.  It’s a mixture to me of both herbal tea and normal tea. You can drink it with milk, lemon, straight or if you’re a bit odd cold.

Next on my list is the standard chamomile tea. My mum had an enormous bag of this chamomileteain the tea cupboard at my parents house and she gave me a pot full. I love it. All you need to do is sprinkle a few buds into a cup add hot water and drink. It’s a relaxing tea that is full of goodness. It is an anti-inflammatory for the skin, soften lady pains and induce sleep. A few things I am sure you can relate too!

 

Another favourite of mine is Blackcurrant and Vanilla. You can get these from Lidl. 5201350_31They are super posh, so don’t be fooled by the whole ‘Lidl’ thing. They are so yummy and taste great.

Another type of tea you can try is mixed fruits, Tetley do a huge range of teas which are fantastic. Some are full of vitamin C and for colds and flu, others are fruity and just for flavour so I would recommend going over to their website and checking them out!

 

However, don’t feel like spending lots of money of these teas, as they can get pricey. If you have time and want to know exactly what you’re drinking then you can make your own teas with dried flowers, fruits and all sorts! It’s very easy, you can air dry them over time or on a low heat in the oven if you don’t have a dehydration machine!

Continue reading “Toasty warm drinks!”

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Using my little grey cells

There is nothing better than educating the mind and learning something that has either interested you for some time, or that somehow will help you progress in the career or are of life you are looking to do well in.

 

Recently I took it upon myself to enrol in two online courses:

Psychology and Mental Health from the University of Liverpool

and

The 21st Century and Museums from the University of Leicester

I thought this would give me a greater insight into both mental health and psychology, two things that I think are increasingly important in society and so far I have discussed some remarkable things that I had not considered prior to starting the course. This week my three hour lecture is on mental health and well-being and how our lives are affected by social factors and the events that happen to us.

My second online course started today and I am quite interested to learn more about Museums and the impact the 21st Century has had on them, considering that is my current line of work!

It’s odd and I know for a fact most people get like it after graduating, but I have missed University the last few months more than ever, purely the social side of things and the self-made responsibility of doing something you truly love and enjoy. Perhaps satisfactions we don’t always get out of our day to day jobs as they can often seem tedious and repetitive. Most of us (except for the small minority) spent all day at a computer or doing quite stressful tasks for a very odd reason. I have never quite understood the mind-set of those humourless type who live to work, I believe work should be fun and invigorate us and make us feel like we are achieving something! Today for example, I learnt what a French lyre clock looks like and what it is, I couldn’t have learnt that in a corporate environment, which is why I am forever glad I changed careers when I did.

So, if you’re currently wanting to move your little grey cells (as Poirot would say) I suggest you pick up a book or start an online course just to get yourself motivated and learn something new!

 

 

Feeling all ‘koselige and hygge’

It’s become a huge thing in England to reach out to our Scandinavian friends and steal a little of their lifestyle and make our homes that little bit more cosy and who can blame us! Hygge isn’t a word that translates into English well, but I think it’s a great word relatable to England, a healthy good for the soul word and one we should embrace this Christmas!

Hygge: The art of creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people.

The last two weeks I’ve had my Scandinavian friends visiting and it’s just reminded me how much I love those cosy evenings at home, hot chocolate and blankets, hot water bottles and lots of fresh muffins readily available! Our snowy cinnamon scented friends across the water really have it sussed and make the most of their dark winters by bringing the sunshine indoors and creating a cosy little space for friends and family to soak up!

A few weeks ago I bought myself a book on ‘Hygge’ which is ironic as I had been a bit uppity about them before. How can a book really help you make your house more cosy? I’ve been to Scandinavia countless times and each time I have come away with new ideas, a warm heart, (candles) and recipes to try at home. I love visiting my friends in their home countries, so much I decided to create a koselige and hygge atmosphere in my own home.

To get us into the spirt of autumn and more importantly, Christmas, I have decided to share with you all over the next week some of my own hygge tips and tricks inspired by my extended Scandinavian family. This will include: the most wonderful blueberry muffin recipe, the best candles and where to find them, crafts you can do at home, and how to hygge your house on a budget. I am also very happy to take any suggestions, so if you want to know more about ‘dressing hygge’ or other recipes to try (such as my apple bread), just leave me a comment and I will see what I can do.

To keep up-to-date with me, follow me on Instagram where you will find lots of photos and advice on leading a happy and fulfilling life.

have a wonderful day and I look forward to welcoming you back here soon.

Love Lucy X