Thursday, 30 October 2014

RECIPE: Crispy Kale Chips (Baked)

A note from Joelle... 
Following on from my Cinnamon Apple Crisps, I bring you a new super-simple vegan snack recipe!

I had had kale chips before, but my friend Elsh got me hooked again with her really delicious recipe.
My East African friends are very fond of kale and even Oscar-winning actress, Lupita Nyong'o shared her love of kale on a talk show last year.
Kale is a new type of veg that has been taking the UK by storm due to it's nutritional benefits. Very rich in antioxidants and known to lower cholesterol, people are mashing it up and slapping it on their faces, while others are blending it in a smoothie.

This recipe literally takes 6 minutes and it tastes amazing on it's own as a snack, so on the side of a larger meal. It's funny because lots of my friends were sceptical about this, but when I made it for them and they tried it, their opinion totally changed (and the kale was eaten up in minutes!)

You Will Need:
 - Chopped and Washed Curly Kale - I picked a fresh packet of chopped kale in ASDA for 95p!
 - A lashing of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
 - A sprinkle of Garlic Salt (or separate garlic powder and salt)

Method:
 - Wash the kale and place on a baking tray
 - Sprinkle on the garlic salt and drizzle on the olive oil
 - Bake at 200 for 3-5mins or until it's turning slightly brown and crisp
RECIPE: Crispy Kale Chips (Baked)
Let me know if you give this a try!

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Wednesday, 29 October 2014

"Whistle Down The Wind, Let Your Voices Carry"

A note from Joelle... 

♫ ♪ 'Whistle Down The Wind' - Tina Arena ♫ ♪

It's that time of the year - my favourite season. The trees have shimmied off their leaves and have graciously littered the streets with their crunchy, golden leaves.
I love the sound of the leaves as they get swept up and whisked by the wind into a whimsical whirlwind - the little things!
My university is exceptionally stunning at this time of the year, so I decided to do this outfit post on campus after class!
febgirl, george at asda knitwear, autumn fashion
I guess I have bucked the trend a wee bit this season with this block colour cropped jumper. Can't you believe it's from George at ASDA?
More specifically, it is designed by Thea Rose Saunders, a designer from Graduate Fashion Week.
As soon as I put it on, I let out a loud 'ooooh' sound. Why? Well, not only does it fit like a glove, the fabric is ridiculously soft! 
If you're like me and often shy away from knitwear due to possible 'wierd fabric feeling', then have no fear, because this is the one!
febgirl, george at asda knitwear, autumn fashion
That's a lot of leather I'm packing into one outfit, but it's just so lovely (and waterproof!)
Jumper - ASDA *
Leather Skirt - ASOS
Boots - Primark
Necklace - Topshop
Jacket - H&M
febgirl, george at asda knitwear, autumn fashion
I the jumper was also showered with lots of compliments today! Looks like people appreciate a 'pop of colour' during the Autumn season!
febgirl, george at asda knitwear, autumn fashion
Both my rucksack (£8.00) and boots (£20.00) are from Primark! I only got them two days ago and they've had a lot of use already!

What do you think of my outfit and the George at ASDA jumper? Too daring for Autumn, or an interesting change? :)
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Saturday, 25 October 2014

Day Trip To Palma - Thomson Dreamliner 787

A note from Joelle... 

♫ ♪ 'Volare' - The Gipsy Kings ♫ ♪

I've been stuck in cold, grey Aberdeen for so long now, I had forgotten what the sun looked like. So when Thomson Airways invited me on a trip to Palma, Mallorca on the new Dreamliner 787 I couldn't help but squeal and do a little happy-dance!
Here's a photo diary and some info about Thomson Airline's exciting new plans for #FutureFlying!
 This was definitely the lightest I had ever travelled out of the country!
Clutch - Primark (I know, right?!)
Sunglasses - ASOS
I arrived bright 'n' early and met up with with the blogging crew (Katie, DaisyXanthePoppy and Alison) as well as some other journalists. We whizzed through security and headed straight for the departure gate.
Goodbye grizzly, grey England!
We were greeted in lovely smiles from the staff, which was really nice. I notice these things as I am used to travelling on other airlines where staff do not even look at you!
When we took our seats in Premium Economy, it was hard not to play around with the super-cool mood lighting feature. It's something I had never heard of on planes, but is a really cool feature! Personalising your view to suit your mood? Thomson have you covered!
Windows on the Dreamliner 787 are 30% bigger than regular plane windows, allowing passengers in the aisle to also be able to admire the view!
 - Bigger, padded seats with foot rests
 - More leg room!!!!
 - TV set and headphones to use on the journey (Film playlist is updated every month)
As soon as we set off, I put my feet up, sipped some bubbly and admired the beautiful sky view. It's hard to imagine we were in 3 degree thunderstorms just minutes ago.
Here are a few of Thomson's exciting #FutureFlying plans as outlined by Carl Gissing (Director of Customer Service at Thomson), David Burling (MD of TUI UK & Ireland) and Cpt. John Murphy: 
 - Beach Snack Bar on the 787 MAX
 - Duo Seating for couples on the 787 MAX
 - Family booth (four seats around a table) on the 787 MAX
 - Complimentary drinks in Premium and Economy 
 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Now THIS is what plane food should be like!
Spanish-themed warm breads, sweet capsicum and onion tortilla, roared vine tomatoes, baked portobello mushrooms with sautéed peppers and a balsamic glaze!

Seasonal fruit skewers with strawberries, dragonfruit (my favourite!), melon, kiwi, pineapple and pomegranate.
Thomson are ahead of all other British Airlines when it comes to air cuisine. There was nothing left on the plate within the space of ten minutes!
Okay, just one last look...
Hello Mallorca! Ain't she pretty?
Here is the wonderful Cpt. John Murphy (our Pilot) giving us a wee tour of the cockpit. So many buttons to press look at!


John outlined some pretty cool features of the Dreamliner 787:
 - At 43,000 feet, the Dreamliner flies higher, quieter and smoother than any other aircraft
 - Staff are gifted iPads to use onboard to help customers with questions and queries, quickly
 - More fuel efficient too!
787 Dreamliner cockpit

Co-Pilot Joelle, ready to take off! 
I met a lovely Air Stewardess named Vicky. She has been with Thomson for more than twelve years and hearing her speak so highly about her job and her travels was truly special.
We stepped off the plane and into 27 degree heat - no one was complaining!
Hi, Daisy! 
Thomson even gave their loyal customers the chance to name the Dreamliner 787, and this is what won!
 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
We were greeted by the Thomson Palma crew and headed into Ca'n Eduardo - a seafood restaurant with a stunning terrace area.

We mingled with journalists and holiday reps about the trip so far and also about the new Ipad scheme, which all reps and air staff are given to personalise customer service.
Classic, crispy calamari, and spinach croquettes and cava were on the menu first.
The main course arrived, much to everyone's delight. I went for a beef steak (well done), with hasselback potatoes, chunky chips and a roasted vegetable skewer!
Next up was this dessert platter of Spanish pastries and meringue treats - they really did spoil us, didn't they?
 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
After the meal, we all headed out to enjoy a few hours in Palma. The blogger girls perused around Palma Harbour, soaking in the marine and city atmosphere!
Daisy and I lapping up the sun!
Palma Harbour is ideal for after-meal walks, romantic strolls and sightseeing!
La Seu, Palma Cathedral stands tall above the aromatic lime trees.
Stuffed to the brim with delicious food and slight tans, we piled back on to the coach and waved goodbye to beautiful Palma.
 Back on board, we were all surprised with our favourite drinks (soft or alcoholic), all personalised to our taste! We were asked about our favourite drinks over lunch, but I didn't think much of it at the time. I was served a J2O, which I luuuuuuurve! What a wonderful perk!
Passengers on nighttime flights can receive hot drinks, warm cookies  and a (very cosy) duvet that I was reluctant to give back! This fabulous scheme launches in February 2015.
Thomson truly believes that the holiday experience starts with the flight and their holiday-makers come first.
After meeting the genii behind the press, business and hospitality sectors, it's safe to say that Thomson's services are second-to-none.
Being a student, who studies in another country, I am so used to Airlines that genuinely do not care about their customers. And as I am sometimes quite nervous about flying, it was lovely to feel well looked-after and safe on these Thomson flights.

I can't thank the team enough for inviting me! I now have to convince my family to book a Thomson holiday to Costa Rica next year (available from November 2015) - I am sure they won't be able to resist after reading this!

I did not really know much about Thomson before I came on this trip. However, seeing with my own eyes the passion of the staff (both on ground-level and air-level), it's clear that they are really revolutionising holiday travel. Any customer who chooses to fly with Thomson are making a great decision!

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Thursday, 23 October 2014

The Skin I'm In

A note from Joelle... 
* please note, as of Jan 2013, I do not edit/alter/enhance pictures of myself in any way
I think about my skin all the time. As it's our body armour, it is definitely natural to take care of it and want it looking as good as possible.
I have had this post sitting in my draft folder since August because I didn't know where I was going with it. It was only until E45 contacted me when I realised how much their moisturising lotion has helped me with my dry skin on my legs and elbows. And finally this post came together!

Over the years, various people have asked how my skin is so 'clear', spotless and even 'flawless'. I didn't really know if they were being serious or taking the mick to be honest, because every time I looked in the mirror I saw imperfection-after-imperfection. As a teen, I didn't have acne, but I got these huge zits and whiteheads on my nose, forehead and around my eyebrows around my time of the month, and then they would just vanish a week later.
It confused me and confused other girls even more, as some thought I had this 'secret trick' I used to get rid of spots almost overnight (which, of course, I didn't).
Some girls (okay, it was just one girl) even called my 'up myself' because I said I didn't wear foundation, concealer, etc to school. I was REALLY offended because she believed that I was vain just because I chose not to plaster my face with pointless makeup! But around that time, I started to really get into skincare, because I didn't want to rely on caking my face in makeup as a confidence boost as I got older.

I take skincare very seriously because if you get it right, then you don't have to spend £££ covering up your 'imperfections' with pricey makeup. You also feel loads better when you let your skin breathe without it being suffocated with layers of chemicals!

***QUICK DISCLAIMER***
I am not a doctor or dermatologist (obvs). This stuff worked for me and I just want to share it with you so that you know more about what's out there.

So, here is my non-bullsh*t guide to my skincare routine. And when I say routine, I mean when I remember to do this...

No Touching - I try not to touch my face during the day, especially after eating with my hands. The amount of dirt and invisible grime on your fingers can easily affect your skin! This also goes for using dirty towels/flannels - wash them as often as you can!

Know your skin type and get the right products for it - It's so easy to see an advert on TV, buy it and then stop using it because it's not right for your skin! If you are really unsure, a dermatologist can help you out.

Cleanse - I apply my cleanser when my face is wet with warm water. I gently massage it into my skin with my fingers in a circular motion, avoiding my eye and mouth area and then wait for about a minute for it to seep in. I then rinse it off with warm water and pat my skin dry. Right now, I am using the Boots Simply Sensitive Deep Cleansing Mask.

Tone - I use Tropic Skincare Vitamin Toner and my review of it can be found HERE or in the Winter, I use Dickinson's Original Witch Hazel Pore Perfecting Toner, which is a lot more powerful. I pour some onto a cotton pad and wipe my T Zone first, and then other areas. I pay extra attention to my nose and neck, because those are real problem areas for me. When you look back at the cotton pad, you'd be surprised how much dirt was still on your face even after the cleanse!

Exfoliate -  I only do this once a week because the coarse grains in the product affect sensitive skin if overused or put on too aggressively. 

Moisturise!!!! - The secret to smooth, healthy skin is moisturising when you get out of the shower and before you put your clothes on. I thought that everyone did this after showers and stuff, but it turns out that most don't! I think it's really important as it prevent your skin for drying out during the day and it can prevent skin irritation when wearing knitwear.
There's a misconception that if you have oily or combination skin types, you shouldn't moisturise, but this is false!
As I said before, I use a huuuuge bottle of E45 Moisturising Lotion, which has lasted from the beginning of 2013 till now. This lotion has no scent/shimmer/diamond dust nonsense - it does what it does, moisturises the skin and make it all nice and soft.
On my 'rough' areas like my elbows, I have to use the Intense Recovery lotion, as they seem to be so dry all the time. These lotions may seem thick on your fingers, but you'll soon realise how light and airy it is once it's on your skin!
They really do have the best skin care products and do exactly what it says on the label - no scents or gimmicks! 

Water, water, water!! - You thought I wouldn't mention this badboy?? This is the most important thing to get better skin and we all know it.
Lots of people hate drinking water and/or forget to do it because they are too busy to remember. Just get rid of the excuses, buy a quirky water bottle and get on with it! A good tip is to draw water levels and times on your bottle, to force yourself to drink a certain amount by the end of the day. Basically, you should aim for your pee to be clear in colour. If it's yellow, you're dehydrated and neeeed more water!
I sometimes add a squeeze of lemon to mine or drink it when it's lukewarm. It doesn't matter how to drink it as long as you DRINK IT!

At the end of the day, our skin will be with us for a very long time, and if you start to look after it now, you can' just sit back and glow as others around you ask "what's her secret?"

*This is a sponsored post, but most was written before E45 contacted me. The big lotion bottle, was not gifted to me, but the other two were.

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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Get Ready With Me (Honest Version)

A note from Joelle... 

♫ ♪ 'She Moves In Her Own Way' - The Kooks ♫ ♪

Mornings:
 I get up at around 7am to prepare myself for a long day of socialising and studying at university...
Get Ready With Me (Honest Version)

I whip out my phone and check my university email. It is vital so that I know in advance of last-minute room changes or, even better further reading!
Get Ready With Me (Honest Version)
  I then float into the bathroom to start my rigorous morning skincare routine. Cleanse, tone and exfoliate always...
Get Ready With Me (Honest Version)
Toothpaste gets rid of zits right? Bliss Mag told me in 2005, so imma stick to that!
I then get into my gym gear, whip out my yoga mat and do a full hour of intensive yoga and/or pilates.... 
Get Ready With Me (Honest Version)
The Haagen-Dazs position is actually very effective!
When it comes to breakfast, I am really into eating clean and getting lots of energy through things such as porridge, chia seeds, almond milk and berries...
Get Ready With Me (Honest Version)
All major food groups covered here...
I'm quite well-organised and pick out an outfit for uni the day before from my colour-coordinated wardrobe...
I prefer an aerial view of my clothes
After a quick shower and cleaning my teeth, I wear natural or no makeup as I'm all about that natural Autumnal glow...
Get Ready With Me (Honest Version)
# nofilter #flawless 
Having done all of my further reading, it's time to get organised before lectures...
Get Ready With Me (Honest Version)
Didn't even realise I was doing this course????
Going Out with friends... 
Get Ready With Me (Honest Version)
HA! What friends?
After uni, I hit the books straight away and study for at least five hours. Going out and socialising isn't really a priority this year...
Get Ready With Me (Honest Version)
This is sacred water from the Fountain of Knowledge.... promise!
I then like to unwind by getting into my jammies, lighting some candles get all cosy before bed...
Get Ready With Me (Honest Version)
The candles are my only source of heat...
#PrayForJoelle
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