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Mustafa Kemal Ataturk’s home in Antalya ❤️🇹🇷 a must see Museum

We are in sunny Antalya for the half term holidays! It was such a wonderful treat waking up late and seeing blue skies and sunshine. The sun just lifts your spirits, making the world look so sparkling and fabulous!

I took a long walk by the sea this morning. Breathing in the fresh sea air, it was so invigorating!

Every time I come to Antalya there are places I love to visit. Ataturk’s home in Antalya is one of my favourites, and a must see for anyone visiting Antalya!

The Museum –

Atatürk’s House (Atatürk Evi ve Müzesi) is a museum that displays the visits the first president of the Turkish Republic Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, made to Antalya in the 1930s.

The current building is an exact replica of the original house where Atatürk stayed and the exhibitions inside are very interesting. Displays include original items of Ataturk’s clothing, books, furniture.

The museum is located in the center of Antalya right beside the ‘Kale Ici’ area by the port.

It is open daily and entrance is free.

A Must See –

The importance of Ataturk to Turks cannot be put into words. He is not only the founder of the Turkish republic, he continues to be an inspiration to Turks of all ages.

This museum is small but must be seen to just get a feel for what type of person this great leader was.

There is no oppulence in his residence. No glittering gold furniture or antiques that would be seen in the Ottoman palaces. The rooms are well furnished but sparce. Elegant and understated.

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was a man of the people. He was well groomed and took pride in his appearance.

A must see when in Antalya.

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Homemade Super Simple Bircher Muesli with fruits & seeds ❤️😋

I have always loved breakfast! As soon as Im up, dressed, the dishwasher is emptied its time to get everyone fed.

At the weekends we love our family breakfasts with eggs, toasted breads, fresh pastries and jams. But during the week we are all in such a rush and to get to school and work, its the quick breakfasts which are the best.

My boys love cereals and porridge, I tend to go for bran flakes, but lately its been getting a bit monotonous and Ive been exploring other quick healthy breakfast ideas.

There’s been a lot of talk about ‘Bircher Muesli’ in the press lately, Deliciously Ella has brought out her own ‘ready made’ variety which has had mixed reviews, but I always like to make things at home before I reach for the ‘ready made’ variety. Im not a big fan of dried up fruits which are hard and get stuck in your teeth in cereals. Why not use fresh fruits instead?

So here is my super simple ‘Bircher Muesli’ recipe. Muesli is a breakfast dish based on raw oats, and other ingredients like grains, fresh or dried fruits and milk of any kind. Bircher adds freshly grated apple into the mixture making it less dry, and more fresh and crunchy. Whats great is about this is it can be made the night before, like overnight oats, and so all you need to do in the morning is enjoy!

Ingredients – (makes enough for 2 jars)

  • 1 large eating apple peeled and coarsely grated
  • 50 grams rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon Chai seeds
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
  • 100grams Full fat natural bio-yogurt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 100ml cold water
  • To top with  – sliced bananas, a drizzle of honey, berries – anything really!

Method –

In a bowl add the grated apple, seeds, oats, cinnamon. Give the dry ingredients a good mix. Then add the yogurt and water. Mix until all the wet and dry ingredients are incorporated.

I then spooned the mixture into two glass jars with lids. These jars can be kept in the fridge for 1-2 days. And voila! Ready made yummy Bircher Muesli!

In the morning all you have to do is open the jar, top with slices of banana, add berries and a drizzle of honey! I add more cinnamon too. Its gooey, creamy and crunchy! Yum!

Who needs dried ready made cereals, homemade always tastes much better!

Enjoy! xxx

The Post 🎬 a movie review 💙

I have never been hugely into politics, but I do like to keep up to date with this complex world that we live in. I like to know who is in charge of ruling our country and other if only to figure out why they make the decisions they make.

Politicians are very interesting indeed, they have very difficult jobs, and so much responsibility.

The same can be said about journalists. Without journalists, newspapers, news channels, how would we know anything about politics and the world we live it. In many ways I feel the journalists have the tougest job of all. Conveying the ‘correct’ news to us all so that we know the truth.

There are some instances however when the politicians do not want the public to know about the truth, thats when the problems arise.

The Post is based exactly on this, a newspaper tries to expose the wrong doing of the politicians, and the politicians try their best to stop it from being published.

The Movie –

Katharine Graham is the first female publisher of a major American newspaper — The Washington Post. With help from editor Ben Bradlee, Graham races to catch up with The New York Times to expose a massive cover-up of government secrets that spans three decades and four U.S. presidents. Together, they must overcome their differences as they risk their careers — and very freedom — to help bring long-buried truths to light.

Verdict-

This movie is based on a true story. The cast is top class – Tom Hanks & Meryl Streep.

It is very political though. The first hour was quite difficult to comprehend at times. But make sure you sit it through to the end when things get clearer. A good movie.

Lets see if The Post gets an Oscar! I think it deserves one for sure.

It can be seen on the big screen now at cinemas Nationwide.

Papiliones by Jonathan Bradley 📚 a book of poems 🦋

Ever since I lived and studied in Amherst, Massachusetts I have been interested in poetry.

My love of sonnets and poems actually goes way back to when I studied A-level English Literature. Then my time in Amherst, and visiting the home of Emily Dickinson reawakened my love yet again.

Poems are the most wonderful, romantic, selection of words and phrases. So beautifully put together.

So when I was asked to review a book of poems about butterflies I just had to find out more.

The Book –

Papiliones by Jonathan Bradley is a collection of poems inspired by butterflies, as well as the stories behind their often unusual and exotic names, and colour photographs.

In this charming collection, the poems evoke both the colourful lives of these lovely insects and the emotions that they arouse in us.

Each poem is unique, frequently inspired by the unusual scientific names given to them, which are often poetic in themselves. The poems lead the reader on a journey of discovery of these delicate creatures, each poem and each butterfly a new delight.

Profit from the sale of this edition of Papiliones will be donated to the Butterfly Conservation charity.

Verdict –

I have always loved butterflies. I love all wildlife, but the ones that visit my garden are extra special, they are my friends. Robins, ladybirds and butterflies.

This book is not only filled with beautiful poetry, it is very educational.

It is a breathe of fresh air. It isn’t a novel, it’s not a biography, but it is filled with wonderful facts about the most wonderous beautiful insects. The poetry is lovely and totally understandable.

I look forward to spotting the various species of butterflies that will visit my garden in the Springtime.

A lovely gift for anyone who likes poetry & nature.

Available on Anazon uk now.

Chia seeds & Royal Quinoa in super handy pouches! ❤️😊

I am a self proclaimed seed-a-holic! I have always loved seeds – pumpkin, sunflower, chia. Way before the whole seed fashion came about, I would choose pumpkin seeds as my go to snack at anytime of the day.

My addiction continues to this day, I can honestly get through packets and packets of pumpkin seeds. My favourites are the ones with the shell on, and I love snacking on them.

The nutritional benefits of seeds and grains are endless. Filled with fibre and vitamins, they are essential for our bodies.

The only thing which I find so annoying with seed and grains is getting them from the packet to my bowl or in to the pot without spilling them everywhere. But one of my favourite brands ‘Andean Sol’ who is a specialist in healthy eating, has come up with the perfect solution.

The Products –

Andean Sol Chia Seeds range

Available in two variants – Organic Black Chia and Organic White Chia. Like our Organic Royal Quinoa range, they are also available in resealable spout pouches.

  • High in Omega-3
  • High in Fibre
  • High in Plant Protein
  • High in Iron
  • Gluten Free
  • Non GMO

Andean Sol Royal Quinoa range

Available in two variants – Organic White Royal Quinoa and Organic Tricolour Royal Quinoa in handy resealable spout pouches.

  • High in fibre
  • Source of Plant Protein
  • Low GI
  • High in Iron
  • Gluten Free
  • Non GMO

Verdict – 

I loved both these products immensely! Not only because of the super handy pouch that they come in, but that is a very added bonus, but because the quality of the seeds is 100%.

So easy to store, so easy to dispense. Thank you Andean Sol!

The benefits of Chia & Quinoa are endless.

I add Chia seeds to my porridge, granola, salads, pasta salads and I love adding a sprinkle to my smoothies! They are tasteless but add so much goodness. Watch my blog and Instagram accounts for lots of fun recipes coming soon using these cute seeds.

Quinoa is such a versatile grain. As a side dish with fish, meats. Perfectly filling and light as a replacement for oats in porridge. Royal Quinoa is a premium, larger variety of quinoa that cooks up fluffier and tastes nuttier.

Watch this space for some super yummy, healthy and easy recipes using these lovely seeds! xxx

In the meantime get hold of these cool punches via the Andean Sol website below or on Ocado!

https://www.andeansol.com

Howards End by E.M Forster 📚 a book review

One of my New Years resolutions this year was to read more classics. I think its mainly because I am so in love with watching period dramas lately, I wish I was born in the late 1800’s. But as we all know, the book is always better than the movie, so I just had to read these amazing classic books which have made such a name for themselves in modern society.

The first of my reads had to be ‘Howards End,’ ever since it was aired on television just before Christmas it has been my favourite programme, so much so that I bought the series of iTunes and have been watching it over and over again.

It’s just such a wonderful story.  Each time I watch it I discover something new about the characters, the story or the scenery.

So I was very excited to read the book itself.

The Book –

When a brief romance between Helen Schlegel and Paul Wilcox ends badly, their two very different families are brought into collision. The liberal, intellectual Schlegels, who had hoped never to see the capitalist, pragmatic Wilcoxes again, learn that Paul’s family are moving from their country estate – Howards End – to a flat just across the road.

As the lives of the Schlegels and the Wilcoxes become increasingly entangled, Helen befriends Leonard Bast, a man of lower social status. His presence further inflames the families’ political and cultural differences, which are brought to a head in a fatal confrontation at Howards End.

Considered by some to be E. M. Forster’s finest work Howard’s End blends humour and lyricism in this classic exploration of British class and character.

Edward Morgan Forster was an English novelist and short story writer. Many of his novels examined class difference and hypocrisy in early 20th-century British society, notably A Room with a View(1908), Howards End (1910), and A Passage to India (1924), which brought him his greatest success.

Howards Ends was first published in 1910, about social interactions and relationships in turn-of-the-century England. Howards End is considered by some to be Forster’s masterpiece and in 1998, the Modern Library ranked Howards End 38th on its list of the 100 best English language novels of the 20th Century.

Verdict –

I read the book over one wintery cold weekend. Tucked cosily under my favourite cashmere blanket with temperatures outside well under zero, I couldn’t imagine anything more enjoyable.

The first thing I have to say is the book is just as good as the mini series, I loved the mini series and the book just as much. There are so many similarities between the two. The script is almost identical.

I am looking forward to reading the other great classics by E M Forster, and I plan to watch Howards End the movie starring Antony Hopkins and Helena Bonham Carter.

So many things to look forward to… xxx

Balenciaga 💛

There are a few designers of fashion who touch you deep within. You see their clothes on the pages of a fashion magazine worn by celebrities, or in advertisements, and you just stop and think, how beautiful.

Balenciaga has always made me feel this way. The dresses, skirts, bags by the iconic brand have always made me stop and take a closer look at the cut, the shape and the style.

So when I found out the Victoria & Albert was holding a Balenciaga exhibition I had to find out more.

The man behind the brand –

Cristóbal Balenciaga opened his first boutique in San Sebastian Spain, in 1919, which expanded to include branches in Madrid and Barcelona. The Spanish royal family and the aristocracy wore his designs, but when the Spanish Civil War forced him to close his stores, Balenciaga moved to Paris.

Balenciaga opened his Paris couture house on Avenue George V in August 1937, and his first fashion show featured designs heavily influenced by the Spanish Renaissance.

Balenciaga’s success in Paris was nearly immediate. In the period of two years, the French press lauded him as a revolutionary, and his designs were highly sought-after.

Customers risked their safety to travel to Europe during World War 2 to see Balenciaga’s clothing. During this period, he was noted for his “square coat,” with sleeves cut in a single piece with the yoke, and for his designs with black (or black and brown) lace over bright pink.

However, it was not until the post-war years that the full scale of the inventiveness of this highly original designer became evident. His lines became more linear and sleek, diverging from the hourglass shape popularized by Christian Dior.

Christian Dior once said,

Haute couture is like an orchestra, for which only Balenciaga is the conductor. The rest of us are just musicians, following the directions he gives us.

The Exhibition –

It was wonderful to see the designs up close. To wonder at how a person could fold and drape fabrics so intricately and almost magically.

The exhibition is perfect in that it gives you a wonderful glimpse into the world of this very talented man, and shows us how ahead of his time he was, and how mostly all the pieces on display could still be worn today.

The exhibition is still on at the Victoria & Albert Museum until February 18th, you must book tickets in advance.

https://www.vam.ac.uk/exhibitions/balenciaga-shaping-fashion

The Greatest Showman 🎬 a movie review 🎩

The first movie review of the year is a fun one!

I have always loved musicals on the stage but have not really enjoyed them on the screen, apart from Scrooge which is a classic.

But since La La Land Ive found musicals extremely enjoyable. I think it may be because they have such a magical effect on me. They take you away to musical lands where songs speak so much louder than words. Music has that unexplainable effect on me.

The Movie –

Inspired by the imagination of P. T. Barnum, The Greatest Showman is an original musical that celebrates the birth of show business & tells of a visionary who rose from nothing to create a spectacle that became a worldwide sensation.

Verdict-

The fantastic cast has a lot to do with the success of this movie in my opinion.

Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron lead the cast of performers.

The movie is based on a real story. The real P T Barnum was an American businessman, showman and entrepreneur, remembered for promoting celebrated hoaxes and for founding the Barnum & Bailey Circus.

The real life Barnum was a very clever businessman. Barnum used the museum as a platform to promote hoaxes and human curiosities such as the Feejee Mermaid amd the General Tom Thumb.

All in all a fun movie, the music is uplifting and memorable.

Its still on at the cinemas and will be out on dvd soon.

Enjoy! xxx

Easy peasy Shepherds Pie 😋 the ultimate winter warmer ☃️❄️

In London it is still freezing cold! After a wonderful Christmas and New Year break in sunny Antalya with my family, coming back to the winter freeze has definitely been a wake up call that we are still in the dark freezing months.

After a long day outdoors, be it at school or work or shopping, what we want most is a warming dish of deliciousness to warm us inside and out.

Comfort foods have always been a favourite of mine, they are potatoes, meat, veggies, and made even yummier with some butter.

Shepherds Pie has always been a favourite of mine since I was little. My mother is the ultimate cook and she makes an amazing Shepherds Pie. Here is my version of her delicious delight. I just prepared it and Ive put it in the fridge. So when my boys get home from school all I need to do is pop it in the oven. Not only will it be a homemade nutritious meal but it will warm them up in this freezing weather. Its a win-win situation!

Easy peasy Shepherds Pie 

Ingredients –

  • 500grams 10% fat minced beef
  • 1 tablespoon Olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 large carrots chopped
  • 3 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcester sauce
  • 500ml beef stock (I use Knorr stock pots)
  • 1 kg Maris Piper potatoes – peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 5 tablespoons warm full fat milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

Method –

  • In a heavy bottomed pot heat the olive oil, add the chopped onions and chopped carrots. Fry over a medium heat until tender.
  • Add the minced beef, and cook with the veggies.
  • Add the Worcester sauce, sugar and tomato puree. Mix until cooked through.
  • Add 500ml of beef stock, mix well and leave to simmer over a low heat for 30mins.
  • Meanwhile peel, cut into chunks and boil the potatoes until tender. Drain the water, mash with a fork or potato masher. Add butter and warm milk until it is soft, smooth and creamy.

  • Gently spoon the beef mixture into a deep overproof dish. Spoon over the mashed potatoes until all the meat is evenly covered. With a fork ruffle the mashed potato.
  • Bake in the oven for 20-25minutes at 180 degrees Celsius under the mash starts to colour and the meat is bubbling.

Mmmmmmmm so yummy, serve piping hot! Enjoy!

Start the year with fresh Smoothies & Juices 😋🍏🍐🍊🍎🍑🍒🍓🍇

Happy New Year everyone!

I still cannot believe a whole week of the new year is over already. Lets hope it will be a healthy, happy and fantastically fun year for us all.

These are a few of my New Year resolutions for this year, and I plan to write lots on these topics and share them with you over the coming months. They all focus around finding inner happiness, being satisfied with what you are already lucky enough to have and to be healthy –

  • Practice more yoga, regularly, everyday
  • Drink a homemade fresh smoothie or fresh juice everyday

  • Eat less processed food
  • Eat more fermented foods such as pickles
  • Be more patient with my kids

The Book –

So to kick off the new year on a healthy start, and to fulfil one of my resolutions, the book I want to share with you all this week is one by my favourite Deliciously Ella.

30 new recipes for nourishing smoothies and amazing mouth-watering juices

Bursting with simple, plant-based ingredients that are full of flavour and goodness – start the day well with a Blueberry and Pear Breakfast Blend, energise with a Green Dream or treat yourself to a heavenly Minty Coconut Shake.

Be inspired by Ella’s life-changing, healthy eating philosophy and get blending and juicing, to keep you happy and balanced all day long.

Verdict –

I love cookbooks in dinky little sizes, they are so easy to take away with you, keep in the kitchen for those go to moments. This little book filled with recipes for fresh juices and smoothies has been a real inspiration to kick start my healthy new year.

I find Deliciously Ella’s recipes can be a bit far fetched at times. Using 10 dates in a recipe can be very costly, but her juices and smoothies are very doable.

I follow her Instagram account and have noticed how she starts each day with a fresh juice or smoothy, and this is what I have been doing to. Ive started with fresh juices, as my I haven’t got my smoothie maker as yet.

My favourite is carrot, I just find it so detoxing and refreshing. Carrots are not too sweet so they are perfect to start the day with.

Over the New Year we were lucky enough to stay at our favourite hotel in Antalya – Akra Barut. Which houses the LifeCo. chain of detox centres. On the 1st January 2018, after a sim in their indoor pool I enjoyed a wonderful fresh juice. Apple, Cucumber and Spinach. It was scrumptious!

So watch this space! Over the coming months I will be filling my blog with even more healthy recipes, fun beauty tips and tricks. For us all to have a wonderful New Year!

xxxxxxx