DIY Uplifting Geranium and Orange Candle

DIY Uplifting Geranium and Orange Candle

I’ve been keeping these little blue glass jars aside for making candles for what must be six months, and I’m proud to say that I finally got my act together and used them, as intended, to make candles! I’ve been such a fan of sleepy scents recently (see my lavender and bergamot sleep spray) but with these candles I wanted to try something a little different, creating an uplifting, reviving aroma rather than a totally calming, bedtime one. I must admit I’ve taken total inspiration from Neal’s Yard here, one of my favourite products of theirs is the geranium and orange shower gel, so I gathered the ingredients (plus the necessary essential oils from my collection) and set to work making a candle that would bring my desired scent to life.

DIY Uplifting Geranium and Orange CandleDIY Uplifting Geranium and Orange Candle


soy wax flakes
soy wax wicks
geranium essential oil
orange essential oil
– small glass jar
– small saucepan
– clothes peg
– scissors


1. Thoroughly clean and dry your glass jar (or other desired candle container) before filling it to the top with wax flakes, pouring the flakes into a saucepan and repeating once. For me, this made the perfect amount of wax.

2. Place the metal base of the wick into the very centre of the base of your jar, securing with a peg, as pictured above. Make sure your wick is standing as straight as possible so that it remains central all the way through your candle.

3. On a low/medium heat, melt the soy wax. Once it’s completely liquid, add the geranium and orange essential oils (I used about 20 drops of each, but this will depend on the size of your container), before swirling the pan gently to mix the wax and oil.

4. Carefully pour the liquid wax into the jar, leaving a small gap between the wax and the rim. Leave to set.

5. Once your candle has completely set, trim the wick if necessary. Enjoy!

DIY Uplifting Geranium and Orange Candle

One-Minute, Emergency Meditation Routine

One-minute, emergency meditation routine

Most of the time I’ll meditate because I feel like meditating. I’ll meditate in the morning before work because I feel like it. I’ll meditate in the evening before bed, again, because I feel like it. The times where I actually need to meditate, where I need to take a few moments to step back, breathe and reset myself are more rare, but I have to say that it’s at those times I find that meditation comes into its own, truly showing me what an indispensable part of my life it’s become. Moments of anger, frustration, confusion or sadness can come at the most inconvenient points in the day, points at which I don’t have instant access to my Headspace app or the time to sit for twenty minutes with my eyes closed. When my brain feels as if it’s about to implode but a full meditation session isn’t possible, I turn to this one-minute, three-step, emergency meditation routine; I’ll slip away for a few moments, carry out the steps, and come back with a clear head and refreshed mindset. 

Before you begin, find a safe, private space where you’re comfortable meditating and know you won’t be disturbed. Sitting or standing, close your eyes and work your way through the routine, spending however long you like on each section – as little as 20 seconds per step can work wonders! 

Step 1, feet – Start by focusing on your feet. Feel the weight of your body pressing down on the floor beneath you. Feel the pull of gravity. If sitting, you can also focus on the weight of your body on the chair or floor, or the weight of your hands resting on your lap. If standing, try shifting your weight onto different areas of the foot, rocking forwards and backwards, side to side, noticing where you feel the weight most. However you choose to approach this step, sitting or standing, you’re simply placing all of your attention, regardless of what’s going on in your mind at the time, onto the points of the body that are keeping you firmly rooted to the ground. 

Step 2, surroundings – Now, open up your focus to your surroundings. Can you hear anything? Can you smell anything? Let sounds and scents come and go. Don’t actively search for them, just allow them to float in and out of your awareness.

Step 3, breathing – Lastly, bring your attention back to the body itself, this time to your breathing. Notice how the air flows in, filling up the lungs and elevating the chest. Notice how the air flows out, emptying the lungs and deflating the chest. Focus on how the air feels as it enters and exits the body, letting each breath come and go. Place a hand gently on the stomach to feel the rise and fall and, if it helps, count the breaths up to ten. In breath, one… out breath, two… in breath, three… out breath four… and so on, up to ten, before starting again and continuing for however long you need. Remember, you’re not trying to breathe in a certain way; just let it happen naturally. 

When you’ve completed each step and are ready to finish up, simply open your eyes, take a deep breath in through your nose and blow out through your mouth. You should now feel a fresh sense of focus, your mind a blank slate to continue with your day.

Almond, Cinnamon and Goji Berry Granola

Almond, cinnamon and goji berry granola

I’ve tried and failed so many times to make my own granola. To be fair, I’ve never taken the process that seriously, quite often simply stirring up a bunch of oats with a few almonds, coconut oil and honey, shoving it all in the oven and hoping for the best. Each time I’d somehow expect a different outcome, but without fail I’d end up with a flavourless, sometimes-burnt mix that’s only destiny was to be thrown directly in the bin. Seeing as my oven-made granola was turning out to be a failure, I thought I’d give making it on the hob a go; turns out, I wildly prefer this method. Here you’re totally in control, able to watch over the mix to prevent it burning and only adding in ingredients exactly when they need to be added. This creates a gloriously nutty, cinnamony mix (the smell while cooking is just heavenly), the addition of goji berries giving the perfect amount of chew. Enjoy!


– 1 cup rolled oats
– ½ tsp salt
– 1 tbsp melted coconut oil
– 2 tbsp agave syrup
– ½ cup flaked almonds
– 1 tsp cinnamon
– ¼ cup goji berries


1. Heat a large pan over a low temperature before adding your oats and letting them start to toast for a couple of minutes.

2. Add the melted coconut oil and salt and stir thoroughly. Continue to toast the oats for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

3. Add the agave syrup and stir to evenly coat the mixture, again toasting/stirring for a further 5 minutes.

4. Once the oats are looking fairly toasted, add the almonds and cinnamon, toasting for yet another 5 minutes, watching carefully and stirring to ensure even cooking/prevent burning.

5. Remove from the pan and mix in the goji berries.

6. Let the granola cool before popping it in a jar and enjoying with your next bowl of yoghurt (if you manage to resist eating it all straight from the pan!). 

Pear and Gruyère Pizza with Homemade Balsamic Glaze

Pear and gruyère wholemeal pizza with homemade balsamic glaze

There are times when only a pizza will do. And, when those times collide with times of complete and utter laziness, it can be almost impossible to resist the temptation to call up your nearest pizza place and put in an order so large that a family of four could comfortably eat from it for a week. For that particular situation, I wanted to create a pizza, an easy yet impressive pizza, one that could be whipped up quick as a flash but that would be sure to impress any pizza-loving guest that might join you for the evening. So, here’s my pear and gruyère pizza, with a three-ingredient wholemeal base, topped with rocket, walnuts and a homemade balsamic glaze. (Side note: I’ve wanted to make something with these ingredients ever since Chuck made a pear and gruyère pie on Pushing Daisies… 7 years later and I’ve finally done it!)

Makes 2 medium pizzas

Ingredients (balsamic glaze)

– 1 cup balsamic vinegar
– ¼ cup brown sugar
– pinch salt

Ingredients (pizza base)

– 2 cups wholemeal flour
– 160g greek yoghurt
– 1 tsp baking powder

Ingredients (pizza toppings)

– 100g grated gruyère cheese
– 2 pears, cored and thinly sliced
– rocket
– chopped walnuts
– black pepper

Pear and gruyère wholemeal pizza with homemade balsamic glaze


1. Heat oven to 200°C.

2. Pour the balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan along with the sugar and salt and stir to combine. Place the pan over a medium heat, let the mixture come to a boil, stir again and turn down to a low heat to simmer. Let sit for a while until the mixture is thick, syrupy and reduced by about half, coating the back of a spoon. Remove the pot from the heat and allow the glaze to cool.

3. Now, combine the flour, yoghurt and baking powder in a bowl and knead until you have a well-mixed dough. Divide the ball into two and roll out each half with a rolling pin to form two thin bases. Place both bases onto a well floured (I’ve tried both greased and floured, for some reason greased still results in my pizzas sticking!) baking sheet.

4. Sprinkle half the cheese onto each pizza before evenly placing the slices of pear on top of the cheese.

5. Put the baking sheet into the heated oven and bake for 15/20 minutes. 

6. When ready, transfer the pizzas to their serving plates. Place half the rocket, a sprinkling of chopped walnuts, black pepper and a good drizzle of the balsamic glaze onto each pizza. Enjoy!

(7.) Any glaze left unused can be stored in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to two weeks.