How to make a Healthy Couscous Salad

If you’re like me and you’re starting 2020 on a healthier note, you may be interested in this healthy couscous salad. Up to now I have been afraid to mess with grains. However having recently tasted a Pearl Couscous salad in a local restaurant, I had to have more!

Couscous Grain

 

What you need:

  • 125g of Pearl Couscous
  • 1 litre of lightly salted water
  • 1 cup of cucumber (cut into cubes)
  • 1 cup of spinach
  • Half a cup of beetroot (cut into cubes)
  • 1 wedge of lemon juice
  • Multi-seed mix

Method:

  1. Bring the salted water to the boil.
  2. Add 125g couscous and reduce to simmer for 12 minutes.
  3. While the couscous is simmering, cut up your veggies. I used all organic produce. Chop the cucumber, and beetroot into small cubes. Was and tear up the spinach leaves (no need for a knife, just tear with your hands as it’s better).
  4. Drain the couscous. If anyone has a better way of doing this, please tell me!! I took the excess water out of the pot with a ladle. I then poured the couscous from the pot into a bowl and used another bowl to cover the couscous and left a small gap for the water to pour out.
  5. Let the couscous cool.
  6. Add the veggies to the couscous and mix through.
  7. Add the seeds and finish with a squeeze of lemon juice for added freshness.
  8. Enjoy

Result

Then end result was delicious. The cucumber mixed with the beetroot and lemon juice give this salad a tasty bite. Why not give it a try !

 

 

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How to make Healthy Organic Vegetable Soup

This weather calls for some hearty meals. With sub zero temperatures and cold and flu viruses a plenty, you have to try stay as healthy as possible. Therefore, I jumped on the health buzz wagon and made this fantastic soup. The one thing I love about soup is that it’s a one pot wonder and you can cut up all sorts of vegetables and use them. This fabulous soup is sweet to taste because of the sweet potatoes.

What you need:

  • 2 Organic Onions
  • 4 Organic Carrots
  • 2 Sweet Potatoes
  • 5 Medium sized leaves of Organic Kale
  • Medium sized bowl of frozen Broccoli
  • Small bowl of Cauliflower
  • 1 cup of Soup Mix (extra healthy)
  • 1 chicken stock cube

Chopped Veg

Chop all the veg up as above.

Pop it into a pot and fill the pot with water, just nearly covering the veg.

Veg in pot

Break up the stock cube and throw it in as well.

Bring to the boil and let simmer for about 20 minutes.

Blend the soup.

Serve and enjoy !

Remember to cut up the veg into small pieces. Vegetables such as the sweet potato and carrots should be sliced thinly and halved in order to cook quickly. If you wanted you could add celery or any other vegetable that you like really.

The sweet potato makes the soup that bit sweeter – literally !

Stay healthy people !!

 

3 Fashion Trends for Autumn 2019

The air has turned cooler and that can only mean one thing – Autumn ! So long summer days, hello icy air cyclones and low winter sun. I have to admit, I’m not a fan of Autumn, but I do like Autumn clothes. Lets take a look at what trends are predicted for this years autumnal season.

#1 Floral Patterns

I would have associated floral with Summer, maybe even Spring, but not Autumn. But the catwalks say different for the upcoming season.

€84.99 Misguided

This floral cupped maxi beauty from Misguided is just stunning. For a dressy event this baby would be perfect. There’s a lot going on, the slit, lace hem and the pattern itself which is a mix between floral and leopard ! What’s not to like about it? Maybe the price but if you’re dressing to impress this would work.

€75 Pelino Leather

 

 

On trend accessories are also important. Sometimes a bag, scarf or hat is all you need to jazz up an outfit.

This bag is perfect for Autumn, it’s on point in terms of colour and design.

 

 

 

#2 Asymmetrical Necklines

I’m so happy this look is back in, to be honest I’ve never really stopped wearing this look whether it was in or not! But I find the asymmetrical neckline very flattering. It goes without saying that a neat, thin neck is necessary for this look.

Buy Phase Eight Rosaline Asymmetric Button Neck Knit Jumper, Black, 16 Online at johnlewis.com
€56.50 (sale price) John Lewis

The above Phase Eight Rosaline Asymmetrical Button Neck Knit Jumper is very sophisticated. I particularly love the gold buttons along the neckline. This jumper is definitely in my online basket.

€897.79 Forward by Elyse Walker

 

 

If you have a little more money to splash, this Caroline Constas Ancel Gown comes in at a pretty penny!

We all know blue isn’t a great colour for warm-toned skin, and when we’re going out out most people wear extra make-up or tan. So this rule applies for most of us.

However, teal is great for a lot of skin tones.

 

 

 

 

 

#3 The Cape

I’ve routed around online and here’s what I found.

 

VINTAGE ONE SIZE GREY CAPE
€19.08 on ASOS Marketplace

 

 

Now I’m not a tall person so I have to be careful here. Otherwise I’d look like a walking couch throw and that’s never a good look.

What I love about this Vintage cape is that it’s short at this front. Hence I still have a body and I’m not trying to imitate a ghost. 

The buttons on this cape are really simple and break up the grey.

Sold by MELLINAVINTAGE on ASOS Marketplace.

 

 

Or this Black Check Print Clara Roll Neck Cape (what a mouthful) is another lovely piece for anyone’s wardrobe. Really easy to throw this one over a pair of jeans, black trousers or skirt. This cape looks super cosy and will keep out those bitter winter winds.

River Island Black Check Print Clara Roll Neck Cape
€44 River Island

Does Social Media Put Pressure on You?

Image result for social media influencers not copyright

 

It hit me today that we hear a lot about celebrities and how much money they are making – and it’s nothing but annoying.

I turn on my laptop to see Dwanye (the Rock) Johnson is the highest paid actor in the last year. That is the 1st of June 2018 – 1 June 2019. He raked in an impressive $89.4 million according to Forbes. Now Dwayne entered the acting world once an injury forced him to retire from his college football career. He started ‘acting’ (I suppose) when he wrestled in the WWF/WWE. Who remembers those awful shows?! The fast and Furious franchise really kick started his acting career.

Image result for dwayne johnson images not copyright

But $89.4 million? For anyone who isn’t happy in their job or subjected to bloggers or influencers on social media platforms, this news is just depressing! Or is that just me? I have to work for a wage and I know these guys do too but there job seems a whole lot cooler.

Out of curiosity recently, I contacted Pippa O’Connors marketing agent – iZest Marketing. It turns out that for Pippa to post 3-4 posts on instagram promoting a companys product, she earns approx €5,000. I know in her own right Pippa works hard and she’s “made” it and I enjoy following her. It’s not that I’d try take it from her, it just grinds my gears that I don’t get paid to post a Costa coffee cup on Instagram ! Not that Pippa promotes Costa, maybe she does but I don’t know.

As you’ll see from my last post, I recently stayed in the Penthouse Suite in the g Hotel (the closest I’ll ever be to tasting how the other half live!). Two days later a famous influencer Joanne Larby stayed in the same Penthouse. Again, I’m not trying to take from Joanne’s fame, she deserves all of it. But I got to thinking, there we were delighted to be upgraded to a Penthouse Suite and influencers get PAID to go stay there !!!! There’s so many things influencers don’t have to pay for anymore! I feel like there’s a lot of pressure to be successful, to be Insta famous.

Image result for social media influencers not copyright

So what about the younger generation who see these people getting paid to post on Instagram? I think is has to be damaging for their self-esteem and confidence. When I was growing up my peers used to say they wanted to be a singer, a professional footballer or an actor but over time they realised that was a dream. nobody they knew was any of those things so maybe it was a bit of a dream. Nowadays, people who are prepared to open up their lives and let the public in are becoming famous. Some influencers hold down ‘normal’ jobs and influence on the side because social media platforms are making this ‘new’ form of fame readily accessible. And lets face it, an ordinary person can ‘make it’ on Instagram if they really invest in it. There isn’t really any great skill involved.

I’m not sure exactly what questions I’m trying to ask here but is it healthy for children to say ‘when I grow up I want to be an influencer’ and mean it? What happens when people on social media reject them? Maybe I’m being ridiculous because what happens when a child doesn’t become a footballer or singer? But at least a whole society of people online didn’t crush that dream.

 

 

Great g Hotel Getaway in Glorious Galway

G Reception room

Recently my other half brought me on a surprise trip to Galway (one of our favourite cities). He booked us into the five start g Hotel on the Dublin road. We got into the car and got there in two hours.

Upon check-in we were surprised when the receptionist disappeared on us into the back office. We didn’t anticipate the news she was going to give us on her return – we were upgraded to the Penthouse Suite !!! Not just any suite, the Penthouse Suite ! After booking a Deluxe room, we were shocked with our luck. We had planned to go into the hotel, check-in and go straight to the bar for food because we were starving, but no way ! Straight up we went to see this room and it didn’t disappoint.

The Penthouse had it’s own private bar area in the entrance hall, along with a bathroom and kitchen area. Then we walked into the room above and OMG, decor ! Shezlongs, glass tables, hard wood floor and wall mounted televisions – there was nothing to dislike.  The doors were mirrors and I have to admit, we walked into them many times ! They were confusing !!! But they looked great and in this Penthouse, that’s all that matters.

Speaking of mirrors, the bathroom had wall and ceiling mirrors and was an amazing room to be in. There was a stand alone bathtub, which I spent way too long in as I looked like a wrinkled prune after! And a double rain forest shower in the wet room which I want in my own house.

We booked into the hotel restaurant for dinner and it didn’t disappoint. I had the goats cheese in honey and pistachio pastry roll to start. The other half had lobster in a bisque.

We had the steak and the seabass – both delicious. And the desserts were equally delicious –

Lemon & Raspberry Parfait
Toffee Popcorn Bomb (cooked to order)

The hotel has a signature Pink room and a Blue room. I’m not going to ruin the surprise by posting pictures of these rooms – save the surprise. I’m so glad I hadn’t seen them myself before we arrived because no picture will do them justice. Sitting back with a mojito in these rooms is like sitting in Alice in Wonderlands front room ! You’ll be waiting on The Mad Hatter to appear any moment down the pink corridor.

Because we had the Penthouse we decided to order breakfast to the room and eat in our beautiful reception room. The g Hotel Special Smoothie was a full breakfast in itself, I’m not sure what they had in it but WOW. It made me feel healthy as I drank it.

Once we checked out we went to Salthill and walked the prom. Every time I’m in Galway I have to visit the prom in Salthill.

All in all our trip to Galway was great. The g Hotel is a fantastic hotel and the main reason I say that is because the staff were brilliant and they all appeared to love their job. It makes a difference being in a hotel where the staff value their guests and their jobs. I think this filters down from management and it really influences a guest’s overall experience. Thank you g Hotel, it’s 5 stars from us.

Insta: lorraine_maher

Glam Suits – Ditch the Dull !

After seeing Molly Mae’s suit on ‘This Morning’ recently, I’ve definitely been influenced to purchase ! After scouring the internet I’ve found it difficult to find brightly coloured, show stopping suits. Then I landed on ASOS! With colours, sizes and categories to fit all body types, it has something for everyone. Here’s some of what I found.

#1 Petite Trouser Suit

ASOS DESIGN Petite pop slim suit trousers
ASOS (PC: 1509554)

This trouser suit is very similar to Molly Mae’s. But enough about the 19 year old from Love Island !! I love the colour of this suit – pop blue. Wearing this would make you literally ‘pop’ out of the crowd ! I also like that it’s not skin tight either, I think everything being slim tight is slowly but surely going out of fashion. Overall this is a clean, crisp suit in a vibrant colour and I love it.

#2 ASOS Design split front slim

ASOS DESIGN split front slim suit trousers
ASOS (PC: 1515319)

My favourite detail of this suit, well actually I have two! The first one is the sleeveless jacket, I think this is perfect for a glam, effortless night out. A perfect option for dinner/drinks after work.

My second favourite detail is the split front trouser. I know I just said I’m no longer a fan of skin tight clothing, especially trousers, but the slight split is very much on trend as you’ll see in #3.

 

 

 

 

#3 Front Split Skinny Trousers

So I may not be a fan of skinnys and here I am again – in the skinny section! And I’m wearing skinnys as I type, it’s a love/hate relationship. So last September, Victoria Beckham unleashed her new front split trousers down the catwalk .. she didn’t personally strut her stuff on the catwalk ! She’s been seen sporting these front split trousers herself in all colours. The idea behind them is that you can show off your expense shoes when wearing these bad boys. A pair of VB’s front split trousers only cost about €630 ! Oh and hurry up because that’s the sale price, they were €1,260 !! Just so you can show off your expensive shoes?? I think the trousers would be enough to show off at that price.

Front Split Skinny Trousers
Victoria Beckham 

#4 ASOS Design vinyl track suit pant

Track suit pant – it even sounds comfortable ! I have a pair of these pants and they are so comfortable.

ASOS DESIGN vinyl track suit pant
ASOS (PC: 1473114)

 

 

 

It’s basically a formal pair of trackies ! With the perfect heels you’re set to go and they’re not figure hugging – win.

I love the line detail running down the front of the pants (I don’t know the technical name). But I think it give a lovely shape to the trousers.

 

 

 

#5 ASOS Design extreme high waist trouser suit

Love love love this casual suit. Again its a vibrat colour with a wide leg trouser – hallelujah !! I have blonde hair and I always thought yellow would be the wrong colour to wear but clearly I’m wrong.

ASOS DESIGN extreme high waist suit trouser
ASOS (PC: 1472740)

I love the bow tie detail on the jacket and the trousers are breathable, but on trend. This suit is a winner for me.

Thanks for reading my fav suit options.

Easy Zesty Lemon Bars

I love lemon and I love lemon drizzle cake. When I was gifted this recipe for Lemon Bars I had to try it. So last weekend I took out the mixing bowl and got to work.

When I do get baking, I like to use easy-to-follow recipes and items that are already in the cupboard.

Ingredients

For the base:

  • 1 cup of whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup of butter (for a healthy option, make sure the butter is unsalted or substitute coconut oil)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup

For the healthy lemon filling:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup of plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 1/3 cup of fresh lemon juice (use organic lemon for that extra burst)
  • 2 tablespoons of whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • powdered sugar for dusting

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Grease a tin with coconut oil or olive oil spray – so handy for greasing cake tins.
  3. In a bowl, combine the flour, butter and maple syrup/honey.
  4. Spoon the flour, butter and maple syrup/honey mixture into the prepared baking tin. Flatten the mixture down with the back of the spoon. Cover the dish in a thin layer of the mixture.
  5. Bake the crust for 20 minutes and let it cool for ten minutes. Make sure to bake the base first and it’ll turn into a mess if the filling is poured in over the unbaked base.
  6. Combine all of the lemon filling ingredients into a bowl and mix until you get a smooth texture. Make sure there’s no lumps.
  7. Pour the lemon filling over the cooled base and spread evenly. Lightly shake the tin to eliminate any air bubbles.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes.
  9. Let cool. Cut into squares, sprinkle the powered sugar over them, and enjoy!

These are so easy to make – even I can do it! Give them a try because you won’t be sorry.

Image result for lemon bars pinterest

3 Moisturizing Beauty Products

I’m always looking for the latest skincare product. There are so many products on the market now and a lot of them seem to do the same thing, but which ones are the best? It’s so hard to know and keep up with everything. Here’s some of the products I’ve been using lately and they’re working well for me. I have sensitive skin, especially around my nose and forehead, so I need products to add moisture to these areas. The first product I’ve been using to combat this dryness is:

#1 Clinique Moisture Surge

This serum really does hydrate the skin and it feels lovely as it works it’s magic.

Also part of this collection is the ‘All About Eyes Serum’ and the ‘Moisture Surge Face Spray’. This two products are so refreshing and don’t leave the face feeling sticky at all.

Overall, this trio from Clinique do exactly as they say on the tin!

#2 Eau Thermale Avène Rich Skin Recovery Cream

Crème pour peaux intolérantes riche

This product is gold! This product is so good for the most sensitive skin. It is highly moisturizing and you can feel the effects of the cream for hours after. There is no smell from the cream and I think that just makes it feel more natural and soothing. This is a winner for me.

#3 Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream

Image result for charlotte tilbury magic cream

Firstly the packaging of the this cream screams chic. But does it work? Hell yes! It really is magic. seemingly this cream was used on catwalk models just before they hit the catwalk to give their skin a moisture boost. Honestly, you will feel like a catwalk model yourself after using it! There is hyaluronic acid in this pot of wonder and it almost instantly gives the skin a glow. Genius! Oh and there’s SPF 15 – what’s not to like?

 

These are my three most loved beauty products for sensitive skin (at the moment) ! Always on the scout for the next best thing but for now, these three products are doing the job nicely.

 

 

6 Short Haircut Ideas

Image result for cutting your hair

With Summer upon us, a new hair style is a tempting option for many. A heatwave in Europe and nice weather here in Ireland (finally!), swapping those long tresses for a cool neck sounds like just the job. Long hair has been fashionable for quite some time now so is it a time for change with a stylish bob or trendy lob? Lets see what some of the celebrities have gone for before we make any harsh decisions!

First lets have a look a few bobs. Bobs have come a long way from the bowl and scissors look. A bob is a short to medium length haircut that hangs around the jawline.

#1 The Kardashian’s Blonde Bob

Who even made the Kardashian’s famous? I’d never usually turn to these ladies for inspo but, regardless of my thoughts on the Kardashians as people, their hair looks good !

Image result for khloe kardashian bob

 

Khloe’s waves are fabulous, they make her hair look fuller and I think the waves make her face look softer. In fact, I think waves have that effect on most of us.

As her t-shirt states ‘happy’, I think she’s giving off happy vibes and her hair is helping her achieve this new attitude. On an Instagram post, where she shared a picture of her new look, she told the world that she loved her new look and felt she was getting her “mojo back” after giving birth. Go you Khloe!

 

 

Anything you can do I can do better….

Image result for kim kardashian hair bob

Kim Kardashian West’s new sleek bob is a standout hairstyle too! The side parting is something I’m not sure about with a bob but in fairness, Kim’s hairdresser has nailed this – of course. Can this family do anything wrong?!!

Enough about the Kardashians!

#2 Dua Lipa Rockin’ the Bob

Image result for dua lipa hairImage result for dua lipa bob 2019

Before and after pictures of Dua Lipa have me in two minds if she made the right decision to go short. The bob definitely makes her look older, as it usually does to most. It does suit her the more I look at it, but it’s a bit too short for me. However, she seems to be rocking this cool new cut Dua Lipa style!

#3 Vanessa Hudgens Full Bob with Fringe

Image result for vanessa hudgens bob

 

Love it !

This casual snap of Vanessa shows how ordinary folk (aka me!) might look when we’re not red carpet ready doing the grocery shop! A simple clip and away you go!

I really like this bob, her hair looks really full and I think it suits her with a side fringe (not the full fringe, yikes).

 

Image result for vanessa hudgens bob 2019

That’s enough of the bobs, lets look at the lobs! But what is a lob? Basically a lob is a long bob. This haircut is cut just above the shoulders, so it’s slightly longer than the standard bob. Seriously, you’d need a degree before a trip to the hairdressers!

#4 Margot Robbie Stay Classy

Image result for margot robbie lob 2019

One of my favourite celebrities. Margot Robbie tends to stick to this length and why wouldn’t she? It’s hard to beat a good thing and this look is fantastic on Robbie, it really suits her.

#5 Mila Kunis Dark Lob

Image result for mila kunis lob haircut 2019

It shocked me to see Kunis’s hair so dark. The cut is great, this lob really suits her – I think is opens her face up.

This is probably the perfect length as Mila is still able to tie her hair up and get it out of her face. No haircut would make this stunner look ugly!

 

#6 Christina Milian Wavy Success

Image result for christina milian lob

If curly hair is your thing, Christina is your guide! Bouncy curls and high humidity can create a curly mess. This lob is the perfect solution for a those hot summer days.

Personally, I think the lob is more fashionable and gives you more options with regards to having your hair up and down. I love being able to tie up my hair, especially if cooking. The bob would leave it’s owner with a eyelash for a ponytail, if like me your hair is fairly thin.

I hope this provides some inspiration for you to go out and chop that mop!!