Roasted Veg with Halloumi Recipe.

Roasted Veg and Halloumi

For those of you who know me well, will know I've recently been following Slimming World. Which is miles apart from the takeaway fulled diet I have been living off for the last two years. Don't get me wrong, I am still a massive takeaway fiend, but I am trying to turn my favourite takeaways into things I can create at home. As well as exploring a whole new world of recipes, I have created some really amazing things as well as learning brand new cooking skills. I was recently contacted by the Bacofoil who asked if I was interested in creating a yummy (and healthy) recipe using some of their foil to cook it on. For those of you on Slimming World probably live with a bottle of fry light in hand, however I've never thought of putting things on foil, until now! So the recipe I am creating today is Roasted Veg with Halloumi which I believe is syn free as long as fry light is used instead of oil and 35g of Halloumi is used for your healthy A choice. For those of you who are not following slimming world you are able to follow the recipe down to a T. I would recommend this recipe for an easy to make dinner, with tons of speed food for us Slimming World guys!

Bacofoil Non-Stick Kitchen Foil
1 x large red onion, peeled and cut into wedges
1 x yellow pepper, cut into chunks
1 x red pepper, cut into chunks
2 x medium courgettes, sliced
1-2tsp olive oil (Or Fry light)
8-10 cherry tomatoes
1 x clove garlic, crushed
1 x pack Halloumi cheese, cut into about 9 slices (35g HEA for Slimming World)
1tbs pine nuts (optional)
Black pepper (optional)

For the dressing:
2tbs passata
1tbs extra virgin olive oil (Leave this out for Slimming world or syn it)
2-3tsp red wine vinegar
Small handful fresh mint leaves
Few fresh parsley or oregano leaves
Crusty bread, to serve (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to 170ºC fan/190ºC conventional/gas mark 5
  2. Loosely line a large shallow oven tray with a large piece of Bacofoil Non-Stick Foil – remember to always place food on the dull side - and place the pieces of onion, pepper and courgette onto it. Drizzle with 1-2 tsp olive oil (fry light for us on Slimming World) and gently toss together using clean hands. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes until the vegetables are just starting to turn brown round the edges.
  3. Meanwhile make the dressing. Mix the passata, extra virgin olive oil (skip this step again for Slimming World) and red wine vinegar in a small bowl. Chop the herbs, reserving a few whole mint leaves for garnish, and stir in to the dressing
  4. Remove the vegetables from the oven and add the cherry tomatoes and garlic. Season with a little pepper and carefully mix in. Scatter over the pine nuts (optional)
  5. Arrange the slices of halloumi over the top and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes. Alternatively place under the grill for a couple of minutes
  6. Drizzle with the dressing and scatter over the remaining mint leaves. Serve with some crusty bread.

I would totally recommend using Bacofoil to create other recipes, nothing stuck to the foil and it was so much easier to clean the trays with virtually no mess on them. Also a create alternative to using fry light on things like trays. Will be creating my chips and this yummy recipe again!

Have you ever created this recipe? 

*Collaborative post 

Shop My Style #11

I am so in love with creating outfit ideas for Autumn, despite doing one of these posts earlier in the month I decided to create another now. Everything about Autumn fashion is just better. I decided to a bit of a twist on this months post, as I know in the Autumn months people get invited to more parties, so I decided to create a day and night outfit. Hopefully you enjoy this post and let me know which your favourite outfit is in the comments. 

Day outfit:
Jeans are from Boohoo.
Tee is from Joanie.
Bag is from Attitude clothing (Alternate Link)
Boots are from Dr Martens.

Evening Outfit:
Party dress is from Quiz 
Heels are from Attitude Clothing
Clutch is from Attitude clothing
Choker is from Quiz (Similar Product Here) 

Which is your favourite outfit? 

*Collaborative post 

An Interview With: A prison officer.

Keys jingle, doors slam shut, doors lock, footsteps can be heard from a distance, on each landing 60 doors look back at you, and behind each door are men who are ready for what today's regime will present to them. After 6 weeks of initial training I am finally here, my fresh uniform hugs my skin. I'm stood ready, nervous yet eager. I remind myself that this, this right here is the beginning of all I have ever wanted to do. I prepare myself for the stories they will share with me about how they got here, for the men who won't talk to me, for those who fear that my uniform is my way of telling them that I am better than them because I am on the other side.

I think of how many times I will have to remind the masses that we all make mistakes, and that despite the fact that they are serving time for theirs it is not the end rather it is their learning curves. The SO (Senior Officer) screams from the landing "unlock 2's and 4's" and at this point, the anxiety kicks in, I don't know if I'll be able to shoot the bolt or if I will be one of the officers with the horror story of being dragged in. Ten doors later I am smiling, each greeting from the men reassures me that unlocking the door is the easy part, and the conversation that will come after that will be harder to digest.
My first conversation is with a young man who openly admits that he is in for attempted murder, the voice in my head reminds me that we are not here to pass judgement. He starts the conversation questioning why I would want to work in the prison, he tells me I am young and can be doing something better with my time. I begin to explain things to him, I grew up in a neighbourhood where gun and knife crime was highly prevalent. I witnessed someone getting killed at 11 years old and since then cannot count how many people I have seen get stabbed, shot or end up in prison. I tell him of the countless number of friends I have seen go in and out of the system, and remind him that I think everyone can change and that I am here to help the men in whatever way I can. He smiles, then challenges me "you'll become like all the officers who stop caring about us, everyone starts off wanting to help, but the job is hard and they get tired and forgot why they started the job in the first place".

He hits a nerve this time and there is a lump in my throat, I swallow and then I remind myself to be a swan. The swan that gracefully moves on a lake is a picture of elegance in motion but what is hidden from the eye is the activity going on beneath the water’s surface. We don’t see the hard work conducted by the swan’s webbed feet which propels the graceful motion we see and admire. I digressed, I smile at him as I say "if I ever find myself losing who I am here, or no longer doing what I came here to do, then that will be my cue to leave" he smiles shakes my hand and says "you're the first officer I have heard say that, I like you, you're going to be an amazing officer, don't let this place change you".
A month later I still remember his words, it stands as the constant reminder that I came here hoping I can help people. As a teen, I remember wondering why the boys around my area were constantly re offending. At the time, I blamed the prison system for failing these young men, I swore I'd grow up and go in there and fix everything. Being on the other side I have only been given a reality check. I see prison officers, limited in numbers on each wing, who work hard every day to ensure the men get what they are entitled to, and where there is room for more they make it happen. I see young men who put their time and effort into working on the servery, in the application office and being painters or cleaners on the landing, to make everyone's life that little bit easier. Of course, I see anger, frustration, tears and even I have shed a few. Being in a prison environment is hard, it is challenging and sometimes having to work as a team to restrain someone is difficult. As is seeing someone with clear mental health issues being held in the confinement of the prison walls.

As a founder of a Mental Health organisation (SAIE – Survive, Achieve, Inspire and Elevate) myself, I must say it brings me joy to see that the prison has a Mental Health Unit where nurses work actively to help inmates with mental health issues. I guess as much as the job is challenging, it is very rewarding and extremely humbling, and I wouldn't change what I do for a living because I simply love it.
I’d encourage any recent grad looking for a challenge to consider applying for the Unlocked Graduates scheme. It is honestly the best thing I have done and it is time well spent. Unlocked has helped give my life more meaning and allowed me to feel like I have a real purpose. Being a prison officer is an incredibly rewarding role and we get the chance to study for a Master’s alongside our two years on the front line. A free master’s degree yay! I know I’ll be able to use this time to make a real difference.

Written by Saida, graduate from the University of Birmingham and Unlocked Graduate in the 2017 cohort.
*Guest post

Fun Pumpkin Biscuits for Halloween!

October basically means one thing right? Halloween! If you're like me and love Halloween you started to plan your content months before it is 'acceptable' and were waiting for the shops to bring in their Halloween goodness and if you're also like me, you'll have purchased a ton of decor from a variety of shops and already put it up and plan to keep it there. (Pls tell me i'm not alone) I am in love with Halloween due to the amount of spooky stuff there is and how it is acceptable to do 'out there' looks and people don't judge. Unless you're me and practise them in August and your neighbours spot you. Then you get judged. So a while back I decided to make some super cute Pumpkin biscuits, last year I did similar, however I feel like this are 10x better. 

You can view last years attempt also if you wish. 

So what you'll need for this recipe is:
  • 125g of butter
  • 55g of caster sugar 
  • 180g of plain flour
  • 50g of icing sugar 
  • Edible eyes, which you can get from Hobbycraft
  • Pumpkin cookie cutter like this one from Amazon.
  • Ready to roll icing either in orange or white.
  • (If you've chosen white, you'll need lots of orange dye too!)
  • Grease proof paper
  • An edible food pen, also from Hobbycraft
  • Any flavouring you wish, I went for plain however you can mix it up.

How to make the biscuits:
So the recipe itself is actually for shortbread, but you can attempt this with any recipe you fancy. So to make the short bread you need to do the following:

  1. Heat your oven to around 190C and then get a bowl as well as an electric whisk (or a hand one if you fancy a bit more a challenge) 
  2. Add the butter and the sugar together and mix until smooth. 
  3. Following this, add the flour and any flavourings/ food colouring you may want. I added orange to my biscuits, however they weren't very bright. (ADD ALL OF THE DYE) 
  4. Then roll out your dough, on a surface covered in flour to stop it sticking and make 12 pumpkins from the amount of dough you have. Then place on to a tray with grease proof paper on. Set aside for 20 minutes in the fridge. 
  5. Then bake them in the oven for 15 minutes or until the sides start to look brown. Once you've taken them out, please let them cool on a cooling rack for 30 mins before trying to decorate them. 

For the decoration:
  1. Sprinkle some flour on to a side and roll out the ready to roll icing, similarly to how you rolled out the dough then cut out the same pumpkins as previously. 
  2. Then make up the icing sugar, you only need a small amount due it just being to stick it better to the biscuit, however with the roll on icing they should stick pretty well anyway. 
  3. Next is on to the decorations, you can do this however you want. I decided to create a variety of emotion biscuits with different faces on. However you can add whatever you want to them with your icing pen. 

I hope you enjoyed this post and I'd love to know your favourite thing about Halloween in the comments! 

Chocolate Apple Recipe for Halloween!

Simple chocolate apples

I'm not even going to lie to you, I made these back in early September ready for a blog post to go up in October, along with a fair few other autumn/halloween treats which will be featured on the blog later, and I'm not even sorry. I am sat in my PJ's on a Thursday evening in September eating chocolate covered apples which by the way taste AMAZING, I did myself proud (probably cos they're one of the simplest things ever to make, buuuut). Although I say this is a recipe post, they're really simple to make and you probably know how to do, however it gives me a chance to show off the ones I made and also if you're stuck for inspiration of how to decorate them, hopefully this helps!

You WILL need:
-500g of chocolate (white, dark, or milk OR all three, completely up to you!)
-6-8 apples
-Lollypop sticks (I got these from the craft section in Asda)

For decoration I used:

-A variety of sprinkles like these.
-Mini marshmallows (You can get them for 39p from B&M)
and white chocolate.

I would advise purchasing some cocktail sticks for doing any of the patterns in the chocolate!

To create the chocolate apples:

Break up the chocolate into squares and pop into a glass bowl over a boiling pan or a plastic tub and pop in the microwave. Whilst this is melting wash your apples, pull the storks out and then pop in a lollypop stick firmly into each. Once the chocolate is melted you need to dip your apple in, I twirled mine around in the chocolate and this seemed to work well. Then covered them in decorations whilst it was still wet, I used a variety of ideas for this. Following this I set them down to dry on a plate. Do not put these in the fridge or it will be impossible eat the chocolate off them. Leave for around 6 hours.

Simple chocolate apples

Simple chocolate apples

Simple chocolate apples

Simple chocolate apples

Which is your favourite chocolate apple? 

Wax melt haul from moonlight melts!

A couple of months ago I noticed a lot of different wax melts popping up all over the place, I am a huge candle person but I haven't really delved into the world of wax melts. I started to search online for different ones, then I saw on Twitter my friend Liz purchased this amazing look box of melts melts and other goodies and I knew I had to get some in my life. So who are this company may you ask? They're called Moonlight Melts and sell adorable, CHEAP and good quality wax melts in all shapes and sizes, they are constantly popping up new melts and usually for around £1.80 you get 4 melts. I usually melt one or two in one go so that's at least two days per pack. However I end up spending so much on there each time so I have a huge stash. The pictures in this post are actually from my first haul I did with them, however I have ordered another since and I type this I am filling up my basket with some of their new beautiful AW scents, including candy cane and Christmas tree.

I ordered my first order on the Saturday and it had come by the Monday, and postage is just normal so it shows the orders go out so quickly. Everything on site I have tried so far I would recommend to you guys. My favourites being the bubblegum, magic potion and fairy dust. Not only do they smell amazing but they look fab too! You can tell a lot of effort has gone into each one, being a variety of shapes, as well as some of having the addition of glitter yay. The only downside to Moonlight melts is as they're so popular, a lot of favourites sell out quickly, and there can be a little wait for them to come back, however this in a plus in itself as it encourages me to try different ones whilst I wait for those to come back into stock. A lot of the time two scents smell good with each other too, so if you want to mix it up a little bit you can great your own creations. P.s. I was not told to promote this company in anyway I am just in love with their fabulous products. 

Have you ever shopped on Moonlight Melts? 

Shop My Style #10

I am far too in love with creating the fashion looks for these posts, and as it is officially October that means Autumn! So I have decided to create an Autumn styled clothing wishlist or also known on my site as shop my style! If you haven't guessed from my other posts I have quite a quirky style, and mostly wear dark colours. So Autumn and Winter are my fave times of the year to get new pieces in my wardrobe, including big fluffy jumpers and all of the ankle boots, woo! Let me know your favourite places to get clothing for AW in the comments below! 

Jumper is from Boohoo (OLD).
Jeans are from Dorothy Perkins 
Shoes are from Schuh (Similar here). 
Bag is from Dollskill

Trousers are from Boohoo.
Tee is from Truffle Shuffle.
Boots are from Attitude Clothing
Jacket is from Topshop. (I know right!?)

Let me know which your favourite outfit is and why!

Haulin' with Truffle Shuffle!

If you are a long time reader of my blog, you will know I am a huge fan of the online store Truffle Shuffle, they sell some of the best merchandise out there, from clothes to stationery and now even homeware they have it all. So recently I teamed up with Truffle Shuffle again, the last time was back in 2015 however they have been featured a few of my shop my style posts. So I wanted to share with you some of the cool items you can purchase from there, as it is now the run up to Christmas and I'd say they have pretty much something for everyone on their site, including Disney, Pusheen and even Mean Girls! YAY. 

So what is in my haul? 
I would have loved to feature some of their beautiful clothing pieces as this retro video tee is one, however, I am currently on a weight loss plan and I don't want to get too many pieces of clothing until I've lost the weight. However, in the future, I do plan on doing a full-blown clothing haul from Truffle Shuffle so you'll see it then. 

Barbie Purse:
Recently I've seen a ton of Barbie merch pop up, and I fell in love with it all. I wanted to purchase the backpack however it doesn't seem to be in stock. However I am glad I purchased this purse, I have become a little attached to my old one but it was time for a new one. It's quite a big purse which has a handle on it and could probably fit a phone in so I would say it could double up for a little clutch bag. It has plenty of storage for cards, receipts and coins (hallelujah) and looks adorable inside too. It's a fun and beautifully coloured purse and definitely bringing back those 90's vibes. Barbie purse is £20.99.

Minnie Mouse Alarm Clock:
As soon as I saw this, I knew I needed to have it in my life. Although I am never going to use it as an alarm clock, it would look adorable on my bedside table. I am a huge fan of Disney merch at the moment and for £10.99 I knew it needed to be mine. I just feel like it is something every blogger needs in their life who is a Disney fan!

Pusheen Mug:
I am in love with everything Pusheen. I am constantly sending my boyfriend the stickers of them on Facebook. When I saw it was a Pusheen eating a doughnut, well it had to be done. It fits into my brand and is such a sweet mug. Perfect for my morning coffees at work!

Trolls Notebook: 
I have now decided this haul is basically just one big throwback to the 90's. I was obsessed with the Trolls growing up and even though looking back on it now, their faces are a little creepy. But they inspired the bright hair and they rock it. This notebook is being used for me to keep track of my syns and each page has an adorable picture on it.  

Have you ever shopped on Truffle Shuffle? 

Lets talk about breakfast!

If you follow me on Twitter you'll know over the last few weeks I've put myself on Slimming World as it's time to make a change. For a person who is extremely fussy and has a phobia of trying unknown foods as well as being a vegetarian creating quick and easy meals most create is pretty challenging. However I never seem to struggle with breakfast, hands down breakfast is my go to. If I could live off beans, toast, hash browns and eggs I would. Recently Milk&More conducted a survey up and down the country to find out the breakfast habits of the nation. As well as finding out which of the 5 breakfast tribes people fell into.

So the 5 tribes on offer are: 
1. Protein Packed – Eggs and traditional fry-ups
2. The Quickie – quick-fix foods such as cereal and toast
3. Healthy – fruit salads, juices and smoothies
4. Long-lasting – slow release foods such as oats and porridge

5. On-the- go – bakery items, yoghurt drinks and biscuits.

I quickly figured out I fell into the protein packed category with eggs on toast or beans on toast being my go to on most days. Plus again being the fussy eater that I am, none of the others really appeal to me. Which tribe are you? 

Some of the findings from the nations favourite breakfast are as below: 

Residents of south-west London are far more likely to have an egg-based breakfast – indicating a penchant for a nutritious protein-filled start to the day. This part of the country purchases four times more eggs than any other. On the other side of the nation, South Wales is the epicentre of the great British fry-up, with the most number of orders for bacon.

The title for the healthiest region of the U.K. goes to Hertfordshire, with the county’s residents stocking up on fruit and veg, we assume this region is keen on smoothies and fruit salads. . This supports the findings by the Family Food Survey 2015 that shows increases in purchases of fruit and vegetables between 2012 and 2015.

Those living on the Isle of Wight are the most likely to consume a sensible energy-boosting breakfast, which provides a steady flow of energy through the morning. The demand for oats are the highest in this region, with traditional oats twice as popular as the flavoured varieties. 

Although the Midlands was not featured in the survey I feel like we are definitely more of number 1 or 2. Toast and cereal are a massive go to for so many on the way out of the door.

What breakfast tribe do you fit into?  

*Collaborative Post 

How to plan a Christmas party!

That's right, it's officially October, which means Christmas is on the way. For most of us bloggers planning for Christmas posts, going to related events starts early. So the first of my Christmas posts is going up today. However it is with good reason, this post is all about Christmas parties and how to plan them and inspired by the fact I was invited to my work Christmas social last week it has prompted me to do this post. As they can involve a lot of planning! So welcome to the first of my Christmas posts and following will a range of gift guides, baking posts and other fun Christmas related content and I am so excited to roll it out to you guys! I also realise how many times I have mentioned Christmas in this one paragraph alone so I will get on with my guide to planning a Christmas party now! 

Think guests: 
It is important to plan in advance how many people you plan on inviting (whether they all turn up is a completely different story!) getting a rough idea of numbers is great for food and drink as well venue. You don't want to hire a massive venue for 10 people. It's a complete waste of money, if you are aiming for a more intimate affair often your house works well. It's cheaper for you and works just as well. Whereas if you are planning on inviting lots of people e.g. a lot of work colleagues and family you may be better at finding a bigger venue. There are a huge variety of London party venues, perfect for hosting a Christmas party. As well as Birmingham and there can even be some great smaller ones in your town dependant on where you live, as mine has zero. It is also important to make sure your venue has disabled access, as it's awful for someone to not be able to come due to this.

Cater to all of your guests:  
It is important in advance to find out the dietary requirements of your guests as you do not want to limit on options. A buffet can be a great idea for this as it has something for everyone, however, if you are thinking a full meal, it may be worth gauging what people like and dislike. As well as any allergies. Another fun idea for a Christmas party could possibly be a Christmas dinner styled meal, similar to a carvery with all of the trimmings. It is also important to remember if you have children attending to find something they will also enjoy to eat and things for them to do. 

Decorations are a MUST: 
I'm sure this is a given, however, it can sometimes slip the mind. Decorations are a huge part of any party, especially if you've got a large venue, you want to fill it. For Christmas there are SO many amazing things you can get, including things like of course a Christmas tree, big decorations Party Pieces have some amazing choices on their website, I would recommend checking them out. With decorations in my opinion, the more the better!

I hope you enjoyed my tips and I would love to know yours in the comments.