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Book Challenge 2017: Months 4-6

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Every three months, I'm sharing my progress with the Book Challenge, aiming to read a book a month, one from each of the given categories. I already read a lot, but I thought it would get me to widen my net a little. You can read my selected list from way back in January here, and the round-up of months 1-3 here.
Here are my reads from April, May and June.

April: A non-fiction book based on a popular or topical subject The Little Book of Hygge, Meik Wiking

'Hygge' was everywhere in the second half of 2016, and I was given a copy of this book for Christmas. Hygge is an atmosphere or experience, best described as feeling cosy, warm, comfortable, at home and in good company. A concept originally from Denmark, it's easy to see why the idea is such an appealing one. 
In this beautiful little book, Wiking explains what hygge means to him and to Danes in general, and provides tips to add a little more hygge into all aspects of life. I found it a really calming, comforting read,…

The Little Mermaid, NK Theatre Arts

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Last night, I headed back to The Forum Theatre, this time to see the latest offering from NK Theatre Arts' young performers: The Little Mermaid.
Having absolutely loved the adult group's recent production of Made in Dagenham, I was very excited to see the young people who are growing their skills within this tight-knit theatre family.
This show featured over 60 performers aged between 5 and 16, and yet again I was wowed. Having grown up doing musicals with similar groups, I know the time and dedication taken by the young people and also the whole team around them to pull off a show of this standard.
The Little Mermaid was a perfect choice of show, and one I've not seen on stage before. It's packed with great songs, has lots of group numbers, and there are many characters and roles, meaning lots of people get their 'starring moment'.
So much thought had gone into the staging, which immediately transported audiences to the watery depths of the sea, and the use of…

Turning 25

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A lot can change in a year.

Never has that applied more to my life than when comparing my 24th birthday to my 25th.


On 7th July 2016, I realised I really needed to change my life.

I had been temporarily signed off work due to my anxiety and depression, and I couldn't eat, sleep, speak, smile or function in a 'normal', day-to-day fashion.


On 7th July 2017, I realised how much my life has changed.

In fact, this week I'm making one of my biggest, most exciting moves to date, and BIG THINGS are happening that have put a massive smile on my face.

(Well, I've got an exam tomorrow but once that's out the way the smile will be glued back to my face!)


What's changed? You can read a bit of a summary I wrote back in February here, but it's been a year of counselling, meditation, yoga, learning to eat again, working out, learning about myself and learning who I need to be spending my time with.

It's been a challenging year in a lot of ways, as I've been lea…

Hello, July 2017

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So here we are at my favourite month of the year.

It's my birthday month, but that's not the only reason.

It's summer, people are excited about holidays, there's more going on, you can be outdoors more...

I think this year could be one of my very favourite Julys so far.

There's very exciting things to come, all of which will appear on here over time.

For now, let's just say big things are happening.

It's going to be a month of big change.

This time last year, I was trapped in my room, in my mind, in my unhealthy eating patterns...

This year, July brings change of the positive kind.

After a period of limbo and recovery, this month things begin to move forwards again, towards times that are putting a huge smile on my face.

Watch this space...


The Recipe Post #15: Chickpea and coriander curry

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This is one of my favourite go-to dinners.

It's quick to make and can easily be adjusted to use up any veggies that aren't going to be at their best for much longer.

I've made this for friends and family plenty of times, and it's also a great one for leftovers, when the spices have had even longer to combine and sit together.

I originally used a recipe from The Pool (one of my favourite websites ever, hands down), but as mentioned I now sort of throw together different variations based on the same core dish.


Ingredients:


1 chopped onion1tsp ground ginger (or small knob fresh, grated)1tsp ground coriander, plus some fresh1tsp ground cumin400g tin chopped tomatoes1 vegetable stock cube, dissolved in water2 garlic cloves, crushed1 red pepper, chopped1 courgette, chopped1 tin chickpeas, drained Fry the onion in some oil, then add in the garlic and spices for a few minutes.
Next, add in the vegetables (here I've used pepper and courgette, but plenty of other veggies woul…

Happiness Planner - My 100 Days

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I've been eyeing up people's Happiness Planners on Instagram for a while now, and my sister clearly read my mind, presenting me with my own on Christmas Day.
I waited to start until I had finished a couple of other journal-style projects I was working on, and dived into the first pages at the end of February.
I've now completed my '100 days to happy', so thought I'd share my experience with this beautiful little journal.


I haven't planned a structure to this, really, so I'll just put my thoughts under headings as they come to me...

Daily habit
One of the things I've been really working on is adding in little daily habits to my routine. I add one in, get used to it, then throw in an extra. That way, it's a little change at a time but they add up to have a big impact. I've written a post about my habit of reading for 30mins a day, and the rituals now also include meditation, foam rolling, and my pride and gratitude journals.
This was another of…

The Recipe Post #14: Roasted Pesto Salmon

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Today's recipe post has become a firm family favourite.
It's so simple but full of flavour.
The pesto seems to enhance the flavour of the salmon fillet even more, the roasted tomatoes are delicious, and we team it with brown rice and veggies, or simply a roasted vegetable selection as shown here.

You will need:

Pesto Salmon fillets (1 per person, and we usually make extras for lunches)Cherry tomatoes, halvedAccompaniments of your choice - pictured here are roasted sweet potatoes, butternut squash, courgettes and red, green and yellow peppers, and some garlic spinach. In the past we've served it with brown rice, broccoli and peas.


 This couldn't be much more easy if it tried.

Preheat the oven to about 200 degrees Celsius.

Line up the salmon fillets on a baking tray and spread a layer of pesto across the top of each.

Top each fillet with some halved cherry tomatoes for a burst of flavour.

Pop into the over for about 15 minutes.

Serve with sides of your choice!



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