Sunday, 23 August 2015

How to Survive Highschool


WHAT TIME IS IT? SUMME- scratch that, it's back-to-school time. Hell yes. School lunches, oversized jumpers that smell like mould, headaches and low energy levels. And although coffee has magical powers that keep you awake during those crummy maths classes, it's just not enough to help you survive. But hey, there has to be some way of going through the next few years of life without collapsing into a pile of books never to be found again, no? 

Well, with a lot of personal experiences, coffee and multiple ingenious moments in the shower, I have managed to gather together the five wonderful bundles of advice I speak about below. You are about to be shown the life changing secrets of a highschool master. Enjoy!


Whether you're up against a life altering exam or just facing into yet another day at the office, you're not going to last the day if you're not packed full of positive thoughts, confidence and energy. To keep my energy levels sky high, I like to start my day with an antioxidant-packed green tea or a scrumptiously healthy breakfast smoothie (like this one here) and if I'm ever in need of a nutritional boost between classes I like to nibble on a TREK bar (preferable peanut flavoured!). These awesome bars are not only gluten, wheat and dairy free, making them 100% vegan, but they also have (wait for it) a grand total of 10g of protein per bar. WHAT?! Perfection.


OK, I know this one's a given, but you can never have too many friends, right? The more the merrier. Smiles all 'round. Whoop-de-whoop. Sadly, however, making friends can be harder for some than it is for others, and that can be really tough if you're heading into a completely new year (let alone a new school). One piece of advice that I have for you, though, is to branch out. Burst from your comfort zone. This may be doing something as simple as saying hi to someone in Physics class or even talking to that girl with the freckles and plump nose who sits beside you in Spanish, but once you do it you will feel 100 times better. 

Don't stick with the same person/ group all of the time. Although they might be the sweetest people you've ever met, they can change. So make friends with lots of different people, spread out, be confident. Smile. And I promise you, everything will be fine.

be organised

This does not mean you have to run around as chairman of each and every club of your school, do everyone else' homework and wake up early every Thursday to bake teacakes for tomorrow's fundraiser (unless, of course, you want to). Being organised and on top of your game is one of the key factors to staying positive and stress free and, overall, happy. You can do this by keeping a sharp eye on time (to hand in projects, go to class, finish assignments) and making lists (this pushes you to be more productive in general, and once you've ticked off all that you've planned to do the satisfaction and relief feel amazing!). I also have a blogpost about being more productive, so why not check that out?

take photos

Purely for good times, memories and the joys of being young!

take time off

Relax. School is not all about study, books and snotty-nosed teachers. Make time in your day to chill out and forget about any stress that comes with the highschool package. Read a book, listen to your favourite toonz, take a break, and come back with a fresh mind, ready to fight again.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Homemade Cinnamon + Walnut Swirls | food

When a spicy chill cuts through the air, and the aroma of warm vanilla wafts from the open kitchen door, enveloping you in a big bear hug, you know that sweater weather has arrived at last and it is finally socially acceptable to snuggle down with a creamy mug of hot cocoa to yet another replay of Friends (not that I haven't spent my whole summer doing just that).

And what could be better than settling down to watch Friends with a mahoosive mug of chocolate in one hand, a blanket in the other?

Answer: settling down to watch Friends with a mahoosive mug of chocolate in one hand, a dish of home baked cinnamon swirls in the other, gazing at the cakes as their warmth teases the butter into tiny golden rivers. Basically heaven, amirite (or amirite)?

Please excuse the ridiculous length of this blogpost, I'm kind of a perfectionist! Enjoy! 


for the pillowy dough
  • 3 1/2 cups of spelt flour
  • 1/5 cup of coconut sugar (let's keep things healthy, ok?)
  • 3/4 block of unsalted butter (because salt and cinnamon just don't work)
  • 1/4oz fresh yeast (this makes things interesting)
  • 2/3 cup of milk (I used full-fat because ha YOLO, but you can use whatever type you like)
  • 4 eggs 
for the sticky, gooey, melt-in-your-mouth filling
  • 1 cup of roughly-chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup of coconut sugar (I'm in love with the coco)
  • As much cinnamon as you desire (aka A LOT)
  • 1/2 a cup of agave nectar (optional)
for the golden topping
  • 1 egg
  • A little bit of milk (go freestyle here)
  • A couple of drops of vanilla extract
  • A few tablespoons of coconut sugar
  • A few tablespoons of cinnamon and allspice

How to make this magical badboy:

  •  Put the flour, sugar and diced butter into a bowl and roll up your sleeves 'cause you're making breadcrumbs
  • Sprinkle a shimmer of sugar (such alliteration, oh my) over the yeast to activate it and whisk it into the milk, followed by the eggs. Dollop that into the dry ingredients
  • Mix well (who needs a gym when you can mix by hand? #gains)
  • Knead the dough well for 10-15 minutes, making sure NOT to add any extra flour. The mixture may resemble something from Shrek's swamp at first but stick at it and soon it will improve, I promise
  • Gently plop the dough into a lightly-buttered bowl, cover it with a tea-towel and leave it sit for 1 hour in a warm, dry place (quite a challenge, as it is autumn)
  • Make the filling by crushing all of the dry ingredients and combining them with the agave nectar (if you have decided to use that)
  • Once the dough is as soft as a baby's stomach (too weird?), cut it in half and roll each piece out well until they form rectangles
  • Dust the filling over each sheet and roll in with a rolling pin 
  • Then tightly roll each slab by hand until they look like cool logs
  • Cut each log into wacky-looking snails and lay them onto a greased baking tray
  • To make the topping, mix all ingredients together. Using a brush, coat the snails with it. Dust with extra cinnamon and crushed nuts of your choice
  • Preheat your oven to a high heat (I set it to gas mark 5) and let your little snails rest for 30 mins before popping them into the oven for yet another 30 mins
  • Eat hot (because who lets baked goodies cool, anyway?)

Friday, 7 August 2015

5 Tips for a Productive Day

Hey everyone,

Long time, no see, aye? Hang on, though, get excited - a sweet surprise (which I am currently working on) awaits! Today I want to sit down and talk to you about something a little less lighthearted than my favorite travel must-haves or how to have the perfect rosy pout or how to dress like a princess (answer: wear whatever you like, whenever you like, wherever you like). Today I want to talk to you about something different. Something mind blowing. Something that could change your life. Today I want to talk to you about productivity.

Productivity is an essential factor in feeling fulfilled, accomplished and, well, overall confident. It may be as simple as trying to drink more water, disconnecting from the big wide Internet world, stretching for ten minutes a day or even giving more love to that scruffy dog of yours who scrambles onto your ready made bed with muddy paws and devours everything in sight, but being productive is yet another achievement to be proud of, another fulfilling moment to cherish, another boost of confidence propelling you forward. 

Here are 5 of my personal favourite ways to change your dreams into plans and your can'ts into cans!

wake up early
Flopping out of bed at 11:00 with groggy eyes and typical Einstein hair is not what I like to call the sexiest feeling in the world. This may take a few consistent mornings of coffee and discipline but once you have it under control, rising and shining at early hours of the morning is totally worth it (do I sound like a l'Oreal ad yet?). Not only do you look and feel better, the day is stretched out too, leaving you with lots more time to be productive!

make a plan
Having a to-do list of all my daily tasks planned out ahead of time sets me in the perfect mindset to put my head in the game and just do it (switching from l'Oreal to Nike now. Wow, I really should be an advertiser!). Whether it's a list of small reminders for the day or a super hardcore study plan, writing down what you have to do really sets it in stone, making you feel much more motivated to do it.

Go for a walk after breakfast, do a rapid session of pilates, hit the gym for an hour, go become active! Even if you are working hard, being sedentary all day long is a brain killer. A gulp or two of sweet fresh air a day is all you need to not only be more active and productive but feel awesome in general.


try something new
It doesn't have to be crazy but do something splendid. Disconnect. Bake a cake. Read a book. A magazine. Breathe. Whatever it is that you do, your future self will thank you greatly for the self-respect and confidence gained from it. Take productivity in baby steps. Step away from your comfort zone. Do something unusual. It doesn't have to be big. But just do it.

be disciplined
OK, this is where the mountain climb begins. But trust me when I say that the view from the top is so magnificent that you won't ever want to clamber back down. I feel that discipline is one of the most important virtues in life. Once you have it, you have the power to tackle anything. Start simply. Put your phone in the other room when you go to sleep. If you plan to do something make sure to go ahead with it. Set deadlines for projects. Don't laze around all day - have the discipline to stand up and do what you have to do. Once the evening settles in and you realise that you've had the discipline to, say, eat healthily all day, you will feel so much happier with yourself than if you'd sat around guzzling junk.