My easy peazy spiced lentils! 

I wanted to start off a simple meals series on this blog to just share some of my favourite easy recipes with you guys. Hopefully it will come in handy for any of you guys starting university soon or moving away from home, or even people in search of some inspiration for a quick weekday meal!

I’ll just apologise in advance for the fact that I haven’t included pictures for the step-by-steps like I usually would. I genuinely made this meal in a hurry because it is one of my go-to dishes on a weeknight and I wanted to share it with you guys and keep posting (semi) regularly rather than have to wait until next time and do it again! 

This is such a cheap and tasty meal which makes it so satisfying to prepare. Also I am pretty sure it is vegan as well (?) Anyway, I hope you enjoy it and also let me know any other recipes you guys know that contain lentils because I’m determined to try more ideas!


Ingredients

1/2 mug of red lentils 

1/2 a large onion

1 tomato

1 can of chopped tomatoes/passata

Spices:

Garam masala (1 tsp)

Garlic and coriander powder (1 tsp)

Turmeric (1/2 tsp)

Hot madras powder (1 tbsp)

Chilli powder (to taste)

Step One: Preparation 

Finely chop the onion and tomato and rinse the lentils through thoroughly with cold water.

Step Two: Create spice paste

Heat oil of preference (I use coconut oil) and add the onions and tomatoes. Coat these in all of the spices (apart from the chilli powder) and one tsp of tomato passata. Cook the onions for around 2 minutes.

Step Three: Add the lentils 

Pour in the rinsed lentils and coat gently in the spice mix. Following this, add the rest of the passata/chopped tomatoes.

Step Four: Leave to simmer

Add a splash of water to add liquidity to the mixture; this will provide enough liquid to be absorbed by the lentils and make a tasty sauce. Cover the saucepan and make sure to stir every few minutes so the lentils don’t stick. 

Step Five: Final stage 

Keep the lentils fully covered until they are cooked. For the last 5 minutes partially remove the lid and keep half covered so the liquid partially evaporates and the dish isn’t too runny. When satisfied, serve as desired. Some serving suggestions include:

– A filling for a jacket potato 

– With a hearty side salad

– With rice 

– With creamy mashed potato (my personal favourite, if not slightly random, comfort food option!)

Thanks guys! ❤ 

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February Favourites!

So we are definitely heading towards spring guys and I for one could not be more excited for the sun to start shining! Even this week it has been gradually starting to get warmer and I’ve definitely seen an improvement in my mood because of it! 

As you can probably tell from the title, today’s post is going to be another favourites post, just because I managed to try a bunch of new things out in February that I’d love to recommend to you all. So here goes!

Beauty 

This month the beauty category is probably the biggest as I’ve tried a few new products which I have been really  impressed with. 


1. Zara Twilight Mauve fragrance 

In all honesty, I would never have thought to put Zara and fragrance together as a good match, but this stuff is AMAZING. I initially bought this as an everyday perfume to stop me from using my more high end fragrances up too quickly, but I really have fallen in love with it. It’s just £7.99 and smells incredible. I’ve received so many compliments on this fragrance which i tend to just wear day-to-day to uni or when meeting a friend and it’s so light and airy and actually perfect for spring. Zara have so many low priced fragrances so it’s definitely worth checking them out  and finding one to suit you. 


2. L’Oréal Paris Infallible Total Cover Matte Foundation 

I have never really used a matte foundation before, definitely not in recent years anyway, but adverts for this have been popping up all over my social media and it claims to be a ‘camouflaging’ effect on all spots and blemishes etc. My skin was looking quite bad at the end of last month so I decided to give it a go and it definitely does what it claims to! It is quite a thick foundation but it doesn’t look cakey at all, it lasts all day long and genuinely does cover blemishes and even out your skin. I usually prefer a light and silky foundation (L’Oréal true match is my favourite),but if I have to go out anywhere on a bad skin day this will 100% be a go-to. 


3. Collection 7 Day Wear Nail Polish in Soft Rose

I genuinely own so many nail polishes already, but I couldn’t resist picking this one up when I saw it. It was only £1.99 and the peachy pink shade is so lovely for spring! It also seems to genuinely last longer than other cheaper brand nail polishes. Generally my nails start chipping after 2 days (sometimes sooner) but I painted my nails with this polish the night before I flew to Munich and it managed to stay intact for a good 5 days and considering that I was travelling I was very impressed! 


4. Carmex Moisturising Lip Balm

This next item was gifted to me by my sister so I am not too sure about the pricing of it, but it is genuinely the best lip balm I have ever used! It lives up to its name in that it is incredibly moisturising and the cherry flavour smells so good and makes your lips tingle which I find so cool! I have previously purchased the solid form of this lip balm but I would definitely say the squeezed form works better for me. My lips had been so dry because of the cold, windy weather but they feel so much nicer now! 

Books


1. The Girl on the Train- Paula Hawkins 

If any of you read my New Years resolutions post you will know that one thing I wanted to do this year is read more. Throughout February I was trying to get through this book every day during my commute into uni and I finally finished it yesterday! In all honesty I has already seen the film so I knew how it was going to end, but it somehow still remained as tense and as gripping as for someone reading it for the first time. The book itself differs slightly from the film so I loved getting the author’s perspective on the story and seeing it in a different light. The plot twist is so huge that (if you’re like me) it will leave you with your mouth open. So please read this if you haven’t already! 


2. Gone Girl- Gillian Flynn

This book I started when I was travelling to Munich a few weeks ago and again, I have already seen the film (I need to stop with this!!) but I am loving every page so far. I feel like this book goes into so much detail about what the characters are thinking and I love how the author switches perspectives between the two main characters. Although I know the ending, I still find myself doubting it because her writing is full of suspicion and tension that it almost feels impossible to predict what is going on. I’m only part way through so far but I’m very excited to get to the end!

Television 


1. Reign 

Ok so I normally do not enjoy period drama whatsoever, but this is literally so good! For those of you who don’t already know, it is basically about a young Mary Queen of Scots and her ascent to power and her relationships along the way. I think the writers of this show have managed to put this together in a way that it is historical and informative but also has an exciting twist to keep viewers hooked. I’m currently mid way trough the first season, I started it at the end of last month after finishing breaking bad and having nothing to do with my life and I am loving it. The love triangle between Mary, Francis and Bash is the kind of storyline which keeps you watching and the subplots based around her ladies in waiting are also scandalous and make the show what it is. If you’re stuck on something to watch, this is on Netflix!


2. Riverdale 

Part of me feels like this almost goes without saying, because literally so many people are raving about this right now, but if you aren’t already, you need to get watching riverdale! It has a kind of pretty little liars vibe and is basically a murder mystery set around a high school in a small town. All the actresses are literal goals, they all look so good all the time and the boys aren’t all that bad too! It stars Cole Sprouse of The Suite Life fame and then a bunch of new up and coming actors. It also tackles themes like ‘slut shaming’ and female empowerment which is great to see coming up in modern mainstream shows. Check it out on Netflix guys!

Music 


1. Something Just Like This- The Chainsmokers and Coldplay

The first time I actually heard this song was when it was performed at the Brit Awards last month but ever since I have been listening to it so much! I love the Chainsmokers because they are so different to a lot of pop music in that they have always got their own take on a song and have a unique style and then Coldplay are just legendary as it is. These two together are a match made in heaven and this is such a catchy track!


2. Chantaje- Shakira ft Maluma 

This is a bit of a random one but this last month I have been loving this new track from Shakira. I genuinely feel like she can’t go wrong, her music is always so catchy and in particular I find this track is great for working out to! The only downside is that I can’t sing along, as I don’t speak a word of Spanish *cries* maybe one day!

Miscellaneous 


1. Haribo strawbs 

Ok I know these aren’t new or anything like that, but as I’ve mentioned before, I’m trying to seriously cut down my meat intake and adjust to a vegetarian diet and one of the hardest things is sweets! So when a friend informed me that Haribo strawbs are gelatine-free I was so excited and they have been my go to seeet treat ever since. If any of you happen to know anymore UK sweets which are suitable for vegetarians then please let me know, as I am fed up of having to read the back of every packet in the shop! 

That’s it for this month’s favourites. I hope you guys take some inspiration from what I’ve been loving this month and feel free to share your favourites with me if you have any suggestions of things I should try next! 

International Women’s Day 2017: My most inspiring women!

I’d just like to kick off this post by wishing you all a happy international women’s day! I really wanted to commemorate this on my blog, as I think it’s very important to celebrate the achievements of women of all backgrounds, as where would we be if we weren’t supporting one another? Share the love guys ❤️

Today I’m just going to share with you some of the great women of today who personally inspire me to be better and achieve more. Let me know in the comments who your icons are guys!

Dina Tokio 


Dina is one of my absolute favourite bloggers today and in a world FULL of prejudice, she does an amazing job of kicking stereotypes to the kerb and purely just showing other women that they can be themselves and not have to worry. I love Dina’s style and her confidence to try new looks while still showing the world that her culture and religion take first place. She’s an inspiration for not just young muslims, but any young people seeking the confidence to truly express themselves without having to conform to societal expectations. You go girl!

Michelle Obama 


The former First Lady of the USA has done an enormous amount for women’s rights and gender equality over the years. To me it was so inspiring to see her perform her role so actively in not only speaking out about important social issues, but also in showing the world that you can be a wife and a strong woman at the same time. The love and respect which exists between Barack and Michelle is clear for anyone to see and the fact he is proud to admit that he wholeheartedly depends on her support shows that women are so important in so many ways. She once said  “no country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contributions of half its citizens”. Thank you Michelle for being a role model for hundreds of thousands of young girls and women across the globe. 

Meryl Streep 


Not only an incredibly gifted actress, but also a passionately driven woman who is ready to speak out when confronted with injustices. Just a few months ago we all saw Meryl condemn Donald Trump, one of the world’s most powerful men, for his derogatory words and insulting views. As someone in the public eye, it is expected that she needs to be cautious when sharing personal opinions as not to provoke too much of a reaction. Nevertheless, she stood up for what she believed in and was not afraid to challenge a man who has gone so long without being challenged. We salute you Meryl! 

Ellen Degeneres 


Despite fame, fortune and international success, Ellen always manages to find a way to give back. No matter what the issue is, she always finds a way of standing up for what’s right and what is fair. Her charitable work is an inspiration to all women to do more for the people around them, no matter how small the act. At the same time as being a real life superhero, Ellen also shows young girls that they should be proud of who they are and who they love and her success is a lesson to us all that we do not need to change or hide ourselves to get where we want to go. 

Angela Merkel


I’d like to finish this post with a small ode to Angela Merkel. Politics aside, to see a woman hold one of the most powerful positions in the world and be the chief of one of the strongest and most prosperous economies is quite something. Young girls can now aspire to lead and to have an impact on society. They can decide to create their own future according to their own ideas of what is right. I admired Merkel throughout the refugee crisis. In spite of contest and criticism, she did not stand by when people were in need, she carried out her duty as a world leader and showed humanity and empathy in a difficult time and for me that is truly an inspiration. If only more politicians were so committed to helping those in need. 

Thank you to all women worldwide for all you do to inspire us to be better. 

Munich city break 

I’m currently sitting on a Thameslink on my way back home from Gatwick Airport after a lovely week away in Augsburg/Munich, Bavaria. 

I had many reasons for taking this trip; I wanted a break from uni during reading week, a chance to brush up on my German skills and meet up with friends, exploring what will soon be by local area and of course seeing my lovely partner again! 

I just wanted to share with you some of the sights I managed to see during a brief overnight stay in Munich. 

We stayed in Hotel Stachus, which is just a stone’s throw away from the central train station. We have stayed here before and it is always great value for money, especially considering the location! From the hotel it is only a 10 minute walk to Marienplatz, where the incredible Rathaus (town hall) is. This is providing that you don’t get distracted on the way by the endless shops, cafes and restaurants in Munich’s Altstadt (old town) district. 


One cafe which we did stop in is actually a favourite of ours due to the delicious cakes. Germany are renowned for their bakeries and Cafe Rischart does not disappoint. Being so close to Austria as well it is definitely worth indulging in the cafe culture once in a while. This time I went for the classic Apfelstrudel but I can also highly recommend the Kirschroyale which I have had previously!


The whole atmosphere of the Altstadt district is generally exciting. In some ways I can compare it to London because of the fact there is always something going on. I am used to city living to some extent, but big cities like this always have their own vibe. Munich is unique in having such traditional Bavarian culture mixed in with elements of so many others (Turkish being one predominant aspect). Yesterday evening we enjoyed Turkish bourek in our hotel room purchased from one of many Dönerläden in Munich (Germany in general). 


All in all, if anyone is planning to visit Germany or interrail through Europe, make sure that Munich is in your list! It is home to Oktoberfest, BMW Welt (which I saw last year and is also with a visit) Bayern Munich and many more staples of the German culture.