31 December 2014

150 Followers Giveaway | New Years Resolutions & Looking Back

(This looks half empty, but it's not! Body butter always shifts to one side whenever you want it to just stay flat, urgh!)

Full Bloom Lavender Round Essential Body Kit (inc. flannel, bath cream, bath crystals) |
Soap and Glory 250ml The Righteous Butter |
Boots Extracts 50ml Cocoa Butter Body Butter |
LUSH Think Pink Bath Ballistic Bomb |

So as I've reached 150 followers, I've decided to offer you guys the chance to win these goodies as a token of my gratitude! I've really enjoyed creating and improving this blog over the past four or five months and am so looking forward to the next year of more improvements and blogging! Scroll down and you'll see how to enter - UK ONLY, sorry. I will be checking to make sure that you've actually done them!

I created this blog because I believe that what you eat, and the way you treat your body has an incredible impact on your mentality. I find that on days, or weeks, when I eat junk food and don't exercise I lose motivation for uni work, looking good, socialising, and focusing on general life admin (ugh) which I really ought to keep up with. Hence "Nourish ME": to nourish oneself, in my opinion, is to give your body the ability to perform well both physically and mentally. Thus, when I started clean eating I also developed a good skincare regime (which I will get round to blogging about one day, I swear!), regularly moisturising, and switching to products that were a lot less harsh for my skin and hair. Since then, my nails have been growing like crazy, and everyone keeps commenting on how long and thick my hair has gotten! 

So, this year I really want it to get bigger and better, and to keep the goals I set up when I started blogging. I think this is the first time that I've ever made any New Years resolutions, so here goes:

1.) Keep up with regular blogging, and make a list of new recipes!
2.) Go to the gym two times a week, and exercise at home on my new yoga mat on the other days - it really gives you a lot more energy to get on with other week.
3.) Actually keep up with the reading for the final half of the final year of my English Lit degree (this one makes me chuckle thinking about it)
4.) Tackle my problems rather than avoiding them. Work on my experience and endeavour to secure a job in publishing by Summer.
5.) Avoid dairy! Being intolerant to it helps, but boy do I let myself in for it sometimes out of lack of willpower/negligence for what's good for me.
6.) Meal prep - I am so bad at this, so at the end of a long uni day I always end up on the junk trail, but NO MORE. 

What are your New Years Resolutions?

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29 December 2014

Winter Favourites

So, this post is a bit overdue, but hey, it's still winter, and these are still my favourites, despite any new bits and bobs I got for Christmas. 

A friend recommended cranberry green tea to me at the beginning of the Autumn uni term, and since then I've been hooked. This and my Carmex lip balm have seen me through about three bouts of colds/coughs and a myriad of uni stress over the last couple of months. 

Over the past month or two my hair has gotten super long, almost to an "I-don't-know-how-to-cope-with-the-amount-of-time-it-takes-to-wash" length. V05's Revive Me Daily shampoo has been a godsend. Keeps away the split ends and has ensured my hair hasn't gotten too dry during the windswept days of standing waiting for the unibus.

Finally, my Yankee candle. I always have this on whilst I'm doing a spot of reading for a seminar, or writing a blog post. It's really made my rather sparse uni room feel a bit more like home. Plus, any Yankee candle is a win, right? I'm going sales shopping in London tomorrow and am so excited to grab a new scent at the Yankee candle store. Any suggestions?

Love and Light

**All photos are property of Sophie Hartley**

26 December 2014

Festive Healthy(ish) Mini Apple Tarts

This post may seem a tad late, BUT Christmas is not over yet (at least the holiday season isn't!). So, these are the perfect nifty little snack for a buffet table or light pudding - you could even add a dab of natural yogurt if you feel like it.

Ingredients (makes 12 tarts):

2 cooking apples (should weigh roughly 1lb)
75g demerara sugar
100g wholemeal flour
50g butter 
Pinch of salt
250ml water

1.) Peel and chop the cooking apples. 

2.) Put the apples in a pan. Add the sugar and the water. Put on to stew for 25 minutes.

(This is not the prettiest of pictures, but trust me when I say it tastes nice!)

3.) Cut the butter up into chunks. Rub into the flour with your fingers in a bowl until it reaches a breadcrumb consistency.

4.) Add a little bit of water, and with the blade of a knife mix it in. Continue to do so until you have created a dough. Tip: add in small chunks so it doesn't get too wet too quickly!

5.) Leave dough to chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.

6.) Roll out the dough - use a cookie cutter to make 12 circles. Press into a cupcake tin.

7.) Put a teaspoon full of apple in each tartlet.

8.) Cut out a small shape from pastry to place on top of each one - I chose holly leaves, but anything works!

9.) Place one on top of each tartlet.

10.) Cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Enjoy!

Hope you all had wonderful Christmasses!

Love and Light,

**All photos are property of Sophie Hartley**

Check out my new Facebook page here

24 December 2014

Simple Spinach and Goat's Cheese Salad

So, we all know Christmas is a time for indulgence, but this really easy salad could make the perfect starter, or simple Christmas evening meal when you want to reduce the roast-induced bloating. This salad is a great winter one as it's warm and very filling, for the simple ingredients it contains. 

Ingredients (makes 1 serving): 

30g Goat's cheese
7 Baby plum tomatoes
30g Spinach
Balsamic Vinegar

1.) Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

2.) Cut the baby plum tomatoes in half lengthways. Sprinkle a little bit of balsamic vinegar over them - it's easiest to do this by first pouring a bit into the cap of the bottle, otherwise it often ends up splashing out. 

3.) Place on an oven tray and cook for 20 minutes. This may not look like the neatest thing, but believe me, it tastes divine!

4.) Whilst this is cooking, place the spinach leaves on your plate. Cut up the goat's cheese into small squares and sprinkle over the spinach.

5.) Once the tomatoes are cooked, place them on top. Enjoy!

Any comments are always welcome :)

Love and Light,

14 December 2014

Classic Healthy Dish Twist | Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Lasagne

As I mentioned in my recipe for healthy garlic bread, I LOVE Italian food, but going dairy-free has put a number of obstacles in my way. However, this recipe means that I get to eat my favourite dish: glorious lasagne. This guilt free meal is really filling, and great for a winter night when you get bored of having the same old routine meals (I always end up eating lots of fish and veggies because it's simple and winter makes me lazier). 

Ingredients (makes 2 servings):

125g turkey mince
1 small carrot
1 small onion
1 clove garlic
1/2 tin chopped tomatoes
Dried basil
Dried rosemary
Dried parsley
Extra virgin olive oil/coconut oil
Dried Chili
Ground black pepper
Sea Salt

1.) Peel and finely chop the carrot, onion and garlic. Chop up the turkey mine (unlike normal mince, it can be really really hard to de-clump once it starts cooking). 

2.) Put a tablespoon of oil in a saucepan. Add the carrot, onion and garlic. Cook until the onion is soft and a bit transparent.

3.) Add the chopped tomatoes, a pinch of each herb and a little bit of dried chili (or more, if you want more of a kick!). Season with black pepper and sea salt. Allow to simmer for 15 minutes

4.) Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. 

5.) After the sauce has been simmering for 5 minutes or so, put a tablespoon oil in a frying pan. After it has heated, add the turkey mince and brown.

6.) Whilst this is browning, take the courgette and start making the sheets to replace normal pasta ones. Do this by first peeling the courgette and then using the peeler to create strips. 

7.) Add the turkey mince to the sauce.

8.) Get your lasagne dish and start layering! Meat - courgette - meat - courgette - a little left voer meat for the top. 

9.) Cook for 20 minutes


Love and Light

Any comments/questions are always welcome! :) 

11 December 2014

Dealing with Final Year at University

So I thought I'd do a little bit of a different post today as I'm thinking of making the blog a little more personal! These pictures effectively sum up my first term as a final year English lit student at the University of Warwick. Having had a bit of a rocky first two years in terms of grades and overall happiness, I'm determined to make the most of this year. So, I joined the gym, have actually done nearly all of my prescribed reading (utter madness) and attended more social events than I ever have before in a term. 

As it's my last chance really to do a lot of things, I've been cramming in as much as possible. And if my sleep pattern is skewed, who cares! It's going to be an incredibly hectic time of my life and as long as every moment isn't crammed to the max, then I shouldn't get burned out. 

So, I achieved some pretty awesome goals, and had so many great experiences. The first of which, really, was celebrating being two years with my lovely boyfriend. But, aside from that, my achievements have largely been academia and work based. I secured two part time jobs at uni - the first of which was being a Fresher's Helper. If you get the chance to do this I would highly recommend it! It was so lovely telling all the little freshers and their parents information about the uni and making sure that the freshers fairs and society fairs were memorable and efficient. I'm now a Student Ambassador (again, something I would highly recommend),which means I'll get to do the same to prospective students and their parents on open days. I'm also the proud sub-editor of the Warwick Uncanny Journal, which you can check out here. Foolishly, I didn't really join any societies as a first year or second year, so haven't had much of a chance to be in an exec or really be socially involved in many clubs. Although it hasn't added to my social life, being part of this team actually makes me feel as though I'm making use of the opportunities we have at Warwick.

My final advice for final year would be to work hard and party hard. Don't hold back, because soon you'll be out in the "real" world, and everything will seem a lot harder to cram in!

Love and Light

7 December 2014

Healthier Garlic Bread Alternative

I think everybody has a favourite cuisine, and, as much as admittedly I do like a bit of fish and chips, Italian is the one for me. It's a tad hard going dairy free here, but it is doable both in your own home and eating out.Anyway, I'm a great lover of garlic bread in all forms - baguettes, pizza dough, naans: you name it, I've probably tried it (and loved it). But, this little recipe is a great simple thing to do when you don't want to buy a calorie- and grease-laden lot of garlic bread. It takes less than 5 minutes from start to finish, so is handy for a little pick-me-up or as an accompaniment to a meal.


Butter (or dairy free alternative)
1 garlic clove
Granary bread
Dried Basil
Dried Parsley
Dried Rosemary
Sea Salt

1.) Finely chop or crush the garlic. 

2.) Put the garlic in a small tub. Add about 50g butter.

3.) Sprinkle a large pinch of parsley, and a small one of basil and rosemary on top. Add a little bit of salt. 

4.) Toast some bread and top with the mixture. You now have your own ready-made nasties-free garlic bread!

(garlic bread feat. my home-made dairy and gluten free lasagne!

If you want something a bit more heavy duty, why not top with some grated mozzarella?

Love and Light


Any comments/queries are always very welcome

30 November 2014

The Body Shop's Shea Beauty Bag

Shea beauty bag - get it here

So I recently celebrated my two year anniversary with my boyfriend, and I was quite impressed that this was part of the present. I mean, he remembered my favourite skincare shop and actually went into it! Shea butter isn't normally a scent I'd choose myself, but hey ho, he tried (n'awww)

Having said that, I actually love this scent, and it's become one of my favourites. The scent is quite light, so, unlike some moisturisers, it doesn't have the sickly sweet aspect to it. The body butter itself isn't too greasy, so perfect for those of you that are prone to greasy skin. And, in my opinion at least, nothing compares to The Body Shop's crinkle bath lilies! They're so thick and not scratchy in the slightest (so many painful Savers memories).

Admittedly, for someone who has very dry hands, especially in Winter, I'm awful at keeping them moisturised. I hate having greasy hands that I can't use after putting hand cream on, ugh. However, this again proved light with a pleasant, fresh smell - brilliant for this dreary British weather!

it all comes in a cute little package - perfect for Christmas gifts!

Love and Light
Steph x

23 November 2014

A Burst of Happiness Smoothie (dairy free)

As I've reached my third and final year at University (cue a fair amount of nostalgia and terror at the thought of getting a full time job), stress levels and time restrictions are reaching an all time high. This means that this smoothie has been my go-to breakfast for about the last four weeks. Every day. Anything else seems too carbilious - think "carb-filled" (if Shakespeare could invent new words so can I!) - or far too effort filled at quarter to eight in the morning. Now, as to why I've called it my "burst of happiness" smoothie, Bananas contain a great deal of Vitamin B6, which is something which allows your body to create serotonin (a chemical that, if your body lacks you may develop depression. This is a very simplistic definition of it, but let's not get too bogged down). Flaxseeds help increase serotonin as well. Thus, this smoothie really can help increase happiness! I usually end up sitting with mine whilst I start my uni work for the day if I have nowhere pressing to go to.

Ingredients (makes 1 smoothie):

2 apples (or three small ones)
a handful of raspberries
150ml rice/almond milk
small handful of flaxseeds
Honey (optional)

1.) Slice up the banana. Peel and chop the apples.

(yes, this is something that cuts up your apples and cores them in one fell swoop. And yes, it is my favourite tool I have in the kitchen)

2.) Put them in a blender/food processor. Add the raspberries, flax seeds and rice milk.

3.) Blend for roughly two minutes.

Finally, pour it into a glass. I like to top mine up with a swirl of honey to add a little bit of sweetness when you get to the bottom (assuming you use a straw!). It's a fab way to get a whole load of vitamins in, and is great for keeping those sweet food cravings away. 

Love and Light