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.

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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! 

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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!

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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!)

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DIY Lavender and Bergamot Sleep Spray

DIY lavender and bergamot sleep spray (with printable labels)

Towards the end of last year I realised that, in order to fully embrace life and appreciate every moment, I needed to sort out my sleeping pattern; for too long I’d been sleeping late and rising early, spending my days in this permanent zombified state, constantly wishing I was back in bed. I’ve already written a post on my quest to create a healthy bedtime routine, at one point mentioning how I love to use lavender, primarily via a sleep spray/pillow mist, to prep me for bed and send me into a calm, relaxing night of sleep.

I’ve used and loved a number of pillow mists in the past, most containing lavender as one of the primary ingredients but, though these are certainly lovely and I’m not ruling out using them again, on closer inspection they also tend to contain a whole array of other random, synthetic stuff. Though I’m sure these ingredients aren’t going to be harmful, it struck me how easy it would be to create a pillow mist myself from scratch, using only essential oils and water. Making my own mist would mean that I knew exactly what I was spraying onto my pillow each night, also allowing me to experiment with my own scent combinations. Lavender was of course my starting point, but I’ve also incorporated bergamot essential oil into my personal sleep spray; it’s an uplifting scent that blends so well with the lavender to help you feel calm and content as you fall asleep.

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4 Time-Saving Kitchen Essentials

4 time-saving kitchen essentials

There is little I find more relaxing, exciting and inspiring than a couple of hours spent in the kitchen. I love experimenting with new flavours and ingredients, conjuring up ideas for my next blog post, and I could quite happily spend all my days surrounded by pots and pans, only stopping to eat/photograph my latest creation.

Despite my love of preparing food, I will admit that I’m absolutely more than willing to take a few shortcuts here and there. Nothing that’ll impair the taste or nourishment of a dish, but I can appreciate any tool or trick that’ll make my life easier and/or spare a bit of time. Here are my top 4 time-saving kitchen essentials.

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