28 Mar 2013

Instafood round-up #1

Ever since I've had an iPhone and Instagram, I have posted a LOT of food photos. I would apologise but EY WHY WOULD I?! Still, I think it's a shame they fall into oblivion in the depths of the #instafood tag, and thought I'd try and share them on here if they're original recipes; especially since I've been too busy to make real recipe posts lately!

So here we go with the first of a long series, hopefully...



1. Grilled red vegs and cajun chicken pasta salad.
Grill the peppers and tomatoes on a griddle pan. Slice up some chicken breast, season in salt, pepper + cajun mix and grill on the pan. Mix with cooked pasta and feta crumbs.

2. Grilled salmon and kale salad.
Marinate a piece of salmon in soy sauce. While it's soaking, mix together kale, spinach and fennel with a food processor. Grill the salmon on a griddle pan, mix everything and drown in soy sauce. There is no such thing as too much soy sauce.

3. Veggie egg noodles.
Easy-peasy: chop some mushrooms, pak choi and tender stem broccoli, cook on high heat with some olive oil and soy sauce for 2-3min. Add the egg noodles and cook for a couple more minutes. Serve with a good handful of fresh coriander and more soy sauce.

4. Salmon and avocado salad.
Grill some salmon in a griddle pan. Once done, mix with an avocado, some spinach and feta crumbs in a normal pan and cook until the spinach is wilted and the avocado is golden. Eat fast because it cools down quickly!

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4 Mar 2013

face fear, defeat fear

It feels really silly thinking this and writing it out even more, using words and letters to say it, but here we go, soppy as hell: I think this is the happiest I have ever been.

This is such a funny thing to say, because I write this after having had a crap week. I feel exhausted and incredibly sleep-deprived, I had a good deal of bad news last week, I got into fights with my friends, several of my mates are really upset about things and cheering them up isn't easy, and I've given biscuits + cake again for Lent this year which I can confirm is the WORST thing to do.

But life is capital-f Fine.

My v. smart + talented friend Nicole wrote a blog post last week titled 'Endure/Overcome.' For those of you who won't click on the link and go read it, I'll sum it up for you. Nicole compares her life ten years/five years ago to her current life and says: 'I didn't know then how much I could handle.' And she says it's silly. And she says it's obvious. And it is. But taking the time to sit down and think about it makes a difference because, woah, look how far we've come.

Ten years ago I was a fat kid with a bob that was much too short and a terrifying love for light blue clothing, so let's leave that time out. Five years ago, I was about to turn 14 and had just decided my one big dream in life was to study in London. My hair was blonde. I had next to no self confidence. I was just starting to believe in friendship again. It was my final year of collège (age 12-15 in France), which felt like so much work and effort at the time. This is the year I discovered I could actually do things, and be under pressure and make it through; although I had no idea just how much worse it would get.

Mostly, what I remember from being 14 is a bitter feeling of not really knowing where I stood. I was happy, school was good, I had made great friends (who I'm surprisingly still friends with, something I did not think would happen), I was working towards a goal I felt passionate about, but...  I felt small and restricted by my youth and the lack of possibilities/opportunities, and most of all, I was so incredibly scared of EVERYTHING.

Five years on, I still am, but I just don't care anymore (in most cases.) Nicole wrote another absolute killer in her blog post which is striking by its simplicity + bang on-ess. Describing what adulthood is, she says: "Face fear, defeat fear."

Why is life so exhausting and so fine? Because I've faced all the fears. ALL OF THE FEARS! (Untrue, but ey, I'm getting there.) A lot of 'the fears' have recently been talking to people. Whether it's because of my journalism work on my course, or at my job in the restaurant industry, or talking about our issues with friends, and especially last week when I was campaigning around campus for Students' Union elections; lately I've used my words a lot. I personally believe this is one of the scariest things to do. What's the worse that can happen if you skydive? You die. Well, you're dead then, big deal. Point is, you won't be there to live with the consequences, which is what I feel is the source of fear. In talking to people, you can fear the aftermath: what if I humiliate myself? What if people take things the wrong way and insult me/hit me/throw their drink at me?

Here's what happens: you get over it. Fear faced, fear defeated. I think the reason I've been in such good spirits since the beginning of this year is that I know that I can handle things. And YOU CAN TOO. Facing one's fears is horrible, and sometimes it sucks and actually ends badly and for a moment it feels like life has never been this bad. But that's not true. Doing these scary things is good, so actually, life has never been this good (is a really twisted idea but you know what I mean. Maybe.)

Onto the next fear. Skydiving anyone?