July Favourites | 2017

July is my favourite month of the year- there’s a marginally more optimistic chance of some sunshine and I have lots of birthdays to celebrate, including my own!

Birthdays 

I had a very relaxed birthday at home with my family and Craig. We went to Loudons for brunch then Craig and I spent a rainy afternoon  at the Jacobites exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland. We had homemade currywurst and Tesco’s GF and LF Carl the Caterpillar cake for dinner. My sister, my nana and two of my best friends have also had their birthdays in July too so it’s been a busy month! 

Graduation 2.0

I graduated again, hooray! This time was to celebrate the completion of my PGDE. I’m lucky to have met such lovely people along the way and I’m excited to see what comes next for us all! 

Summer Reading 

I’ve been on holiday in Portugal and have enjoyed lazing by the pool reading. It feels like such a luxury! I’ve read quite a few books I really enjoyed, but in particular I loved How to Stop Time by Matt Haig and This Must Be the Place by Maggie O’Farrell. 

Disneyland Paris (and Paris Paris) 

My sister and I went to the happiest place in France because it’s Disneyland’s 25th birthday and we just couldn’t resist a trip! We also spent some time in Paris, the city where I spent my Erasmus year and absolutely fell in love with, which is as beautiful as always. 

Family holiday to Portugal 

I’m just back from a sunny holiday to Vilamoura in Portugal where I’ve read on a sun lounger and done very little else. So relaxing. 

Amorino

My friend Sasha introduced me to Amorino and I’m so glad she did! It has delicious ice cream and sorbet. I can eat all of the sorbets on my (modified) low-fodmap diet as they don’t contain any lactose. I’ve eaten a fair amount of it in July between Paris and Portugal! 

Despicable Me 3

I’ve not seen Despicable Me 1 or 2, but I enjoyed this film so much more than I expected to! It was also advertised everywhere in Paris and it was very funny to see the minions hiding along the Champs-Élysées. 

Learning how to drive again (and getting a car)

I passed my test almost four years ago and then never drove again. Living in the city centre, I just didn’t need to. However, I’ll need to drive to work in August so I’ve had some refresher lessons and I’m back behind the wheel of my very first car. I was very nervous but it’s been less painful than I’d thought! 

Catching up with friends

It’s always so lovely to spend time with friends I haven’t seen for a while. 

Rimmel London 60 Seconds Super Shine Nail Polish in Ethereal  

I’ve been borrowing my sister’s nail polish (and have now bought my own, don’t worry, Megan) since I went on holiday to Croatia- she said that since it was a pale, pearly colour it wouldn’t be too noticeable when it started to chip. She’s right and I’ve literally not worn another colour since. It’s perfect for summer!

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January Update

This is a fairly quick post from me, as this month has flown by! In January I…

  • Cooked more 
    This was one of my goals for 2017 and so I’ve been spending more time in the kitchen. Cooking is not my thing at all, so I’ve got plenty of room for improvement! I’ve tried out a couple of new recipes this month. I made a lowfodmap version of these delicious chocolate and raspberry brownies and they were fantastic. The recipe in the BBC Good Food Gluten-Free cookbook is identical to this but with GF flour, and then you can use a fodmap friendly spread instead of butter and all dark chocolate. Definitely not something to make if you’re trying to keep healthy but they were absolutely delicious. They did take ages to cook (like an hour instead of the recommended 35 minutes) and they were better enjoyed with a spoon as they were super gooey, but honestly these might be the tastiest chocolate brownies I’ve ever had. No bias from me whatsoever 😉 
    I also tried Karljin’s healthy strawberry crumble recipe. She recommends it as a breakfast but I made it as a quick dessert. It was super easy to make and I thought it was really tasty, but had to eat it solo over two days myself as the cooked strawberry wasn’t for Craig (all the more for me!).

    chocolate and raspberry brownies, strawberry crumble, courgette pizza


    My absolute favourite meal is pizza, and I’ve been exploring various gluten free pizza bases. One of my uni friends mentioned courgette base pizza to me, and so I gave it a go! Pre courgette-crisis, this is a fairly simple alternative base. I can’t remember what recipe I used but there are loads if you have a google. Mine turned out to be a fail because I didn’t make it thick enough and it totally stuck to the tinfoil and had to be scraped off by Craig (he stepped in at this point to save the day), who then rolled it so it was like a courgette burrito instead. The photo above makes it look quite revolting but it was delicious, I promise! It was a bit of a faff squeezing the water out of the grated courgette but it was so tasty that I think it was worth it. A lot tastier that some of the GF pizza bases I’ve tried!
    I tried yet another pizza base alternative, from Emma Hatcher’s The Fodmap Friendly Cookbook. I was so so excited for this to arrive because I love the recipes on her blog. She has included a recipe for a buckwheat flour pizza base which was another success. I’m excited to try more recipes from her cookbook!

  • Went to Paris!
    Paris! My favourite! We had a (last minute for us) weekend trip to Paris to celebrate my Dad’s 50th birthday.

    Opera Palais Garnier, chocolate mousse at Chez Janou (for two!), the Pantheon, Place des Vosges


    I spent my Erasmus year in Paris and absolutely fell in love with it- I’ve been back once but this is the first time my family have. Paris is wonderful any time of year, winter included, which I feel isn’t necessarily the case for everywhere. There are countless museums to visit, but this time we did a guided tour of the Opera Palais Garnier and went up the Tour Montparnasse again (I think this is a fantastic alternative view of Paris- you can see everything and miss out on nothing!). We also ate a lot. I tried to at least stick to being wheat free as I knew it was going to be tricky to be totally fodmap friendly. I thought I might as well enjoy myself for the weekend and suffer the consequences armed with peppermint tea and peppermint oil capsules. This was manageable but uncomfortable for the weekend but I arrived home on the Sunday with an incredibly bloated and painful tummy. Was all the delicious food worth it? Definitely! And if nothing else, I suppose it serves a reminder of why I’m bothering with this super restrictive low-fodmap diet: it really does make my life so much more pain free.

  • Fodmapped fairly successfully
    I’ve been doing well on the low-fodmap diet, apart from the weekend I was in Paris. Over the next few months I want to try a more systematic reintroduction of foods, in the hope that I’ll have better success. The basic idea is that you have a little bit of something that only contains one kind of fodmap on the Monday, see what your symptoms are, a little bit more on the Wednesday if you can, see what your symptoms are, then if you’re fine have a larger portion on the Friday and see how you manage. So there’s a reintroduction week for each fodmap type. I’m reluctant to try this while I’m on placement so I think it will probably be March until I do so properly.

Until next time, all the best from me!

 

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