It’s been while but I’m back – again, ha!
Honestly, I miss my blog so much but I just struggle to give it the love and attention it needs. I’ve been looking at what I want my blog to be, which can be one the most hardest things to decide on. Ultimately, it’s a lifestyle blog which heavily focuses on food!
I really love my blog so I have decided to make an extra effort to spend some time on producing beautiful photos and content – whilst also giving Lauren Ellen a little makeover. It’s going to be work in progress for the next couple of weeks so bare with me!
Although things have been a bit crazy, I have found time to do some nice things over the last few weeks/months, including binge watching new box sets, planning trips for 2017 and trying new recipes!
I will aim to make this a weekly series – with the world not being such a nice place at the moment, we need to hear about some happy moments!
1. Pub roasts
I headed to one my favourite Oxford pubs just before Christmas, ‘The Chester’. It’s the place famous for its insane steak platters (see here) and hearty roast dinners. This was my first roast dinner here and I was not disappointed. I’m a little fussy about eating out for a Sunday roast. I had some bad past experiences with hard potatoes and watery gravy, so figured roasts were just for home. However, my opinion has changed as of late. We got to the pub quite late so they were out of the pork belly with crackling, but we still had a choice between a whole chicken (yes, a whole chicken), or roast beef and nut roast. I went for the beef and oh wow. Cooked to perfection (pink!) and the roasties and veg were really tasty. Plenty of gravy too!
2. Healthy cooking / baking
As most people are at this time of year, I am trying to eat ‘clean’! I could never be a ‘clean eater’ for the rest of my life – it’s just not realistic to me and I enjoy food waaaaay too much! However, moderation is key and avoiding sugar, unnecessary carbs and processed foods isn’t too much of a chore for me – ok, maybe avoiding too many carbs is! I enjoy cooking, so putting together some healthy (but yummy!) recipes is fine with me. I’ve never been a particularly bad eater – I just do that thing where I eat well all week, and then go wild at the weekend (which counteracts eating well in the week!). I sit at a desk all day, so I’ve been making more effort to get moving. I’m totally hooked to yoga and body balance and my new Fitbit Charge 2 keeps me in the know on how I’m performing throughout the day! The photo below is of some healthy oat cookies I made – they were surprisingly nice. Recipe coming soon!
3. Reviving old box sets
There’s always that period where all my fave shows finish at the same time and I’m left wondering what to watch. I used to be obsessed with ‘Lost’ but totally lost track round series 3/4 (university kinda took over!). After talking Joe round to watching it with me (he wasn’t a fan), we started to binge watch from the very beginning! I’ve got to admit it’s not as addictive as it used to be, even though I remember some of it, I don’t remember so many of the main characters annoying me. Anyway, we are half way through series 2 now – Joe isn’t convinced – but I’m happy that after nearly 10 years, I’ll finally get to see how it ends!
4. Eating leftover (and new!) chocolate
Every Christmas I over stock the cupboards with yummy snacks, and every year there is so much leftover! It’s nice knowing my cupboards are full of nice things, but it makes ‘eating sensibly’ that little bit harder. January is always a tough month money-wise so I have been enjoying the odd treat at the weekend. A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to receive some amazing fairtrade, organic chocolate from Chocolate and Love. It was really good quality and genuinely delicious – review is on the way!
5. 2017 travel plans
I’ve already started to make travel plans for 2017 and the thought alone is just too exciting! I’m going to Dubai in March for a family wedding and then in June, me and Joe are planning to travel Italy. The plan is to stay in Florence, whilst venturing out to Rome and Sienna during our stay. Our original idea was to go to Venice and Milan too, but damn, Italy is expensive! Towards the end of the year, we want to go somewhere hot with a beach. We was thinking of visiting Florida and then flying to Cuba / Costa Rica for a week too! Hmm, I wonder if I could fit in a cheeky weekend to Amsterdam too? *hopes of my dream home start to fade*
Any recommendations are greatly appreciated, so feel free to throw them my way, either on here, email, Twitter, etc. I’m always looking for good bargain hotels / trips!