Saturday, 30 September 2017

RECIPE: Cheesy butternut squash and sage autumn bake

Autumnal recipe for butternut squash, sage, sausage and cheese pasta bake that can be made vegetarian

Matt started a new job a few weeks ago, and on his first day I wanted to make a special dinner as a treat, because nothing says 'I love you' like ALL THE FOOD, right? Certainly not in my book, anyway.

I had a butternut squash to use up and, because I was feeling all autumnal (yes, this was during the totally non-summery August we had), I decided to make a butternut squash, sage and sausage pasta bake. I very vaguely used this recipe as a guide, but very quickly started to ignore the recipe, so I mostly winged the entire thing. And I have to say, it was awesome. Probably one of the best things I’ve ever made. Make it now, and you will not regret it - it would also be equally delicious without the sausage, so good for vegetarians, too.

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Sunday, 24 September 2017

WEDDING PLANNING: How to not spend a fortune on your wedding dress

How to save money on your wedding dress in the UK

I’ve already done a blog post about choosing my wedding dress, but I wanted to touch on the cost a bit more because in all honesty, it freaked me the heck out. I originally set a budget of about £1500, which I thought was plenty, but when I started to look at dresses online and find out what they cost, a lot of them were £2k+. Panic set in. And then I started to question why the hell I was even willing to spend a grand and a half on a dress. That’s more than my monthly mortgage payment! That’s the booze budget for the wedding! That’s a damn nice holiday! That’s… too much. Too much.

So I started to look around and see what was out there, and I actually found that there are various options if you can’t or don’t want to spend that much. And not all of these are options I’d seen listed elsewhere, either. So let’s get to it, shall we?
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Friday, 22 September 2017

Back to Weight Watchers (9 months on)



I've been pretty candid on my blog in the past about weight loss and body image, I think, including documenting a two stone loss back in 2013 when I did Weight Watchers. I've been struggling for a long time with the implications of wanting to lose weight and not being happy with my shape - being part of the 'oh, women and their diets' trope always makes me feel like a bad feminist, and makes me wonder if it's possible to be truly body positive when you don't feel positive about your own. I don't have the answer. On social media I follow and admire so many awesome, gorgeous plus-size women who look incredible and truly own their size, and try as I might, I've never been able to see myself in the same way that I see them.

All these conflicting emotions is why this year, I decided to give following a diet plan a proper go again and not to talk about it too much on my social channels. For the record, I don't believe that fat means unhealthy. I don't believe that skinny means healthy. BUT I do recognise that, for me, when I weigh more it's the result of an unhealthy lifestyle. I find it easy to slide into the habit of eating lots of fatty food and doing no exercise, and not only do I see the ramifications of that pretty quickly, I feel them too. Prolonged periods of eating unhealthily does nothing good to my IBS. And that's why I wanted to try Weight Watchers again this year, and see what happened.

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Wednesday, 20 September 2017

FASHION: Where are all the nice coats this year?



This here is a rant. A good old fashioned rant. Because I'm cold, and I do not like being cold. I do like autumn, I like the excuse to get cosy, but in order to fully enjoy the drop in temperature, I need to be properly equipped. And as such, I have just one question to ask:

WHERE ARE ALL THE GOOD COATS?

I have scoured the shops. I have scoured the internet. And all the coats are RUBBISH.

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Sunday, 17 September 2017

LIFESTYLE: An Autumnal shopping spree



Lately, I feel like I've been shopping a whole lot. I think when the seasons change, the temptation to buy things is always stronger, isn't it? I just want all the jumpers and all the boots and all the coats, and it's simply inconceivable that I could pop a pair of tights under one of my summery dresses to tide me over.

Anyway, I thought I'd share a few bits that I've bought lately, in the hope that someone reading this will buy them too, and make me feel better about shopping a little too much. I have to stop now, or I'm going to have to start cutting people from the wedding. Does EVERYONE need to eat?

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Wednesday, 13 September 2017

RECIPE: Frozen yogurt with Alpro

Al fresco cooking with Alpro

This is supposed to be a post about eating al fresco with Alpro, but it's not exactly al fresco weather. In fact, it's been super autumnal lately, and I'm kind of delighted about it because I can wear all the stripy jumpers I've been stockpiling all summer. WITH BOOTS. There's something glorious about rediscovering boots after the summer. Wonderful boots.

Anyway. I for one think that ice cream and other hot-weather treats are fine to eat all year round, even if you need to chase them with a hot chocolate to warm your mouth up afterwards. I was challenged to make something summery using Alpro products, so I had a go at this recipe from their website for Alpro frozen fruit yogurt. Alpro sent me a selection of their products to put this post together, so I chose the big pot of vanilla yogurt and got to work.

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Sunday, 10 September 2017

TRAVEL: Holiday and honeymoon planning

Honeymoon planning for blogger essbeevee, California road trip with a stop in Australia!

I'm trying hard not to make my blog tooo much about weddings, but it's occupying a big part of my brain right now, so I hope you'll forgive me. And today I'm not talking about weddings exactly, I'm talking about honeymoons!

I touched on our honeymoon plans a little last year, and since then we've firmed up our plans (although we still haven't booked anything). I airily mentioned it on Twitter a while back and a couple of people asked where we were going, and I thought 'Argh, it's way too complicated to squeeze into a tweet!' So... blog. Long form content for the win.

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