recipe | korean kimbap

Friday, 31 May 2013

Recently, my friend has introduced me to a plethora of amazing Korean food. When I was in London last month, my friend showed me kimbap at Camden Market and I chowed down on some of the most delicious snack ever! But what is kimbap I hear you cry? It is sometimes referred to as 'Gimbap' and it looks like sushi but it's made with steamed/boiled rice rather than sushi rice and rolled in a sheet of dried seaweed. You can fill it with anything you like and is great for lunch or a snack. 

I've been making my own lately and experimenting with different fillings so here is how you can make your own Korean delights...

1 cup of white boiled/steamed long grain rice (you can also use brown rice if you want)
Sushi nori (dried seaweed sheets)
Rolling mat
Your fillings: I'm using lettuce, seafood sticks and ham but you can use anything you like...bacon, cucumber, carrot, salmon, avocado etc.)
Sesame oil

1. Lay your dried seaweed sheet shiny side down on your rolling mat which has been wrapped in cling film. Layer the rice on top and try and make it as even as possible leaving a small gap at the top and bottom. 
2. Layer your fillings at the bottom of the sheet and pop a little mayo along the fillings.
3. Here's the tricky bit; slowly start to roll the seaweed sheet using the mat to keep it tight. Practice makes perfect so don't be down hearted if it doesn't work the first time. 
4. Using some cooked rice grains, squash them into the end of the seaweed sheet to make the end of the roll stick or you can use water.
5. Brush on a small amount of sesame oil on the roll to keep it shiny and tasty.
6. Cut into eights and serve with soy sauce for dipping or wasabi if you're feeling a little adventurous!

I watched this YouTube video to get a rough idea of how to do it first and they explain kimbap really well.

This is a little different from my traditional baking recipes but if you're a big fan of sushi then you'll love this. So healthy, filling, quick and easy to make! You can make this the night before and store in the fridge for the next day but I would cut it on the day of eating and the seaweed gets a little soggy but it's still tasty nonetheless!

Bon app├ętit!



the sadness of too many things.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Everyone feels pressure on a day to day basis whether it be at work, school or in our personal lives. The amount of pressure and expectations piled on top of each other is enough to question; 

What am I doing?
Where am I going?
How do I fix this?

I have been feeling a lot of pressure lately as I think know that I'm going through a quarter life crisis of sorts. Graduate life hasn't turned out quite the way I expected it to, my plans for the rest of 2013 have been postponed indefinitely and I still haven't found that significant other half.

Whilst the pressure of job hunting is enough to get me rocking back and forth in a dark corner, my current work colleagues decide to ask me on a regular basis 'Is there anyone special in your life?'. I should just tell them no until further notice so it saves me the embarrassment of actually trying to come up with excuses as to why I'm still single. Have I entered a time warp whereby a female is not allowed to be single or doesn't have to be late night texting a male? If that's the case, I'm certainly not a 21st Century female. I have my feet firmly planted in the 19th Century. 

Also, what do you do when you've spent 5 years of your life studying for something and then deciding that it's not what you want to do? A career change at this age is not unheard of but the trouble is actually finding a new career. I have no idea what I'm good at, I have no experience in any of the fields that I have a small interest in and there are literally no jobs out there for a lass like me. It's a dog eat dog world out there. 

Looking at this objectively, pressure only becomes pressure if we allow it to become that way. Writing lists, prioritising and knowing that the sun always shines brighter on the other side. I guess life is all about the journey and not necessarily about the destination but once you get there, I bet the view is breathtaking.



products i've used up #4

Monday, 27 May 2013

Having looked back over my posts, I haven't done an empties post since October last year! October!! That was a LONG time ago! Well, better late than never, here are some (probably not all) of the products I have been using up.

001. Simple Kind to Skin Facewipes: These literally need no introduction. I think I've gone through about 6 packets. Still a favourite and my fail safe facewipes. Repurchase? Yes!

002. Caudalie Beauty Elixir: I had actually finished this MONTHS ago but I've been keeping it in my bathroom as the metal cap provides a nice stand for my hair bobble. I loved using this! Great product but it's a little pricey. Repurchase? I'll probably consider it for the summer months as it's a great refresher for the mornings.

003. Origins Checks and Balances Cleanser: This lasted me forever! You only need a small pea sized amount for each use so it took me ages to finally finish it and get a new cleanser. Great product but feels weird on the face after using it. Repurchase? Hmmm, probably not. I think there are far more better products out there although I still love Origins.

004. Origins Make a Difference Treatment Lotion: I'm feeling pretty neutral about this lotion. I liked the smell of it because it was very refreshing and I felt my skin was very clean after using it. Repurchase? Probably not. It's a great product but I felt bored of it after a while.

005. Avene Moisturiser: Great for the colder months. It was thick and luxurious and kept my skin feeling protected from the harsh Scottish weather when I was out and about. Repurchase? I think I would. Great for the Winter months!

006. Tresemme Iron Style and Hold Spray: I've always gone back to using Tresemme products when I want something safe. As I use heat styling tools quite regularly, I always use a protectant and this was great at doing just that. Repurchase? Yes!

Now that I've finally got this post written up, I can throw away all my empties *grins ecstatically*

What have you been using up and loving lately?



stationery haul

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Put me in the stationery department of any shop and I will be there for ages picking up various stationery items and mulling over my head whether my notebook drawer really needs a new addition (trust me, I actually have a drawer just for notebooks and stationery).

As my plaster cast came off the other day (yay!), I had the privilege of being able to drive my car again (double yay!). I headed down to my nearest retail park and had a nosey around Home Bargains with the intent of buying some snacks for the cinema. I came out with more than that... 

I bought this set of 3 vintage-esque notebooks for 99p. I thought they'd be good for popping one in my bag for those 'eureka' moments. Plus, how Cath Kidson do they look? I love looking a recipes online and always have my laptop next to me when baking/cooking with a recipe but a white Macbook and messy Vanessa does not look like a good mix so I bought this recipe book at £1.29 to store all my lovely baking recipes I have discovered!

A bit nonsensical but I love tissue paper. These tissue paper packs will come in useful when I want to wrap gifts or such like. If you bought anything from my blog sale, you'd know I like to make anything look pretty with tissue paper! I bought a pink and blue one at 49p each.

Lastly, my brother bought me a map of the world about 2 years ago for my birthday and I have yet to pin it up in my room because I didn't have any coloured pins to pin where I had travelled. Home Bargains didn't have any coloured pins on their own so this 126pc desk essentials had to be bought for 99p. Can't complain. My map is finally in its rightful place on my wall!

Random haul but it's the best £4.25 I have spent so far! I do love a little Home Bargains spree from time to time! 

Do you love stationery as much as I do? 



feather hair extension.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Remember that feather hair extension trend about 3 years ago? Well I definitely bought into that but I quickly got fed up of it and pushed it to the back of my drawer. Last week I was clearing out some old bits and pieces and found it again so I popped it back in my hair and it hasn't left it since.

I bought this feather hair extension from Ahead of Hair a few years back and they have a wonderful selection of feather extensions in different colours and lengths. My one is the fushia one and you can buy a starter kit that comes with everything you need to pop that flash of colour in your hair. 

In the starter kit, you get micro loops, pliers and a loop threader and that's all you need. I placed the extension behind my ear (or wherever you want, it's up to yourself where you want to place it) and used the micro loops and loop threader to gather a small piece of my hair. Once I like the positioning of the extension, I clamp the micro loop down with the pliers.

It's so easy and you can even wash your hair with it in and style it with heat tools. You can also take it in and out as often as you like and with good care, the feather can last for around 6 months. With me having such dark hair, it's so difficult to dye it with outrageous colours so this is such a great alternative to adding something a little different.

I'm already eyeing up some different colours as I want to bring this trend back! It came and went so quickly!

Did you have a feather extension in your hair when it was a huge trend?



healthy living for a healthy life

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

I haven't really talked about my healthy eating and exercise on my blog. One of the reasons being that I don't want to glorify fad diets and I believe each person is beautiful inside and out and being confident isn't all about what dress size you are. Ok, cheesiness aside, I thought I would do a little blog post about my healthy lifestyle that I've been doing for the past few months.

Disclaimer: I am not a diet expert by all stretches of the imagination. I'm actually quite the opposite. I'm merely outlining what has worked for me and my own lifestyle. Please consult a medical profession if you're worried about entering any kind of exercise of diet routine.

We've all been there. Buy a gym membership with the good intentions of going every day. Last summer I did exactly that but I found it was only good for my running training and I wasn't seeing the results that I wanted. Ever since starting my full time job, I've found it difficult to fit a gym lifestyle in with working shifts.

Then I discovered Blogilates. Cassey has amazing online workouts and you can tailor your workout to what areas you want to concentrate on. I've been loving the squat challenge and do it 6 days a week and I've noticed such a big difference in my thighs and tush. So worth the pain. You can do these workouts at home and it suits my varied work pattern.

I'll be the first to admit that I do not have a healthy relationship with food but I'm honestly trying my best. I love food so I seriously don't know where I'm getting this irrational fear from. I eat healthy meals and have my Blogilates approved YOLO meal once a week. For dinner, I've been having smaller portions of the same thing my family makes so there is no extra effort. 

I've been cutting down my sugar intake too. Before I'd have about 5 cups of tea a day with one sugar in each one. Now, I have no sugar in my tea and I feel so much better. No more sugar crashes in the middle of the afternoon and opting for a banana to keep my energies up in the morning. Bananas are nature's chocolate dontcha know?

Be Happy
The best thing about having a healthy lifestyle is being happy. 

Be happy that you are feeding your body with the energy that it needs to run an efficient engine. 
Be happy with what you eat whether it be a piece of fruit or a bag of delicious cheese puffs *favourite*
Be happy that when you reach your goal, it's because you didn't give up.

I've still got a long way to go with my healthy lifestyle so this is definitely not a quick fix solution!

Life isn't what makes you, it's what you make of life.

What's your favourite health tip? Have you been changing your diet around to eat more healthily?



adventures | RBS Museum Lates

Sunday, 19 May 2013

I'm kinda a museum geek. Put me in a museum and I can be there for hours! When my friend suggested attending the RBS Museum Lates at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, I pretty much cancelled all my plans and booked a train ticket down. The Museum Lates theme was DINO NIGHT! For £10, the museum gallery put on special activities and exhibits for over 18's only. I think the pictures pretty much explain everything...

We signed up for Animal Handling. Amongst holding the cutest tortoise ever, I also held a python. That's right, a PYTHON! I had to hold it with my friends though because with one broken wrist, I don't think holding a python by myself would have been a good idea!

We queued up for just over an hour to get our faces painted. No regrets though. Sparkly bones for the win!

The night was such good fun, amazing atmosphere and brilliant exhibits. I would definitely keep my eye for the next Museum Lates in the Autumn time. 

Do you love museums as much as I do?



blog sale: may 2013

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Roll up! Roll up! Here we have ourselves a blog sale or as known as 'Vanessa is having a clearout and need monies for her travels' sale :)

1. UK only sales. If you are international and would like to purchase something, please email me and we can come to a compromise.
2. £2.20 P&P plus 20p per additional item up to 5. Will be sent second class as soon as payment is made.
3. First come first served. Payment to be made via PayPal within 24 hours of enquiry.
4. Items sold as seen, I will not be responsible for any damage en route. Your beef will be with Royal Mail if so.

I hope you manage to find something you like.

 MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural - Medium - 70% remaining: £15.00
MAC Paint Pot - Bare Study - Usage as shown: £5.00 SOLD

 NARS Eyeshadow Duo - Habanera - Used Once: £8.00 SOLD
Cover Girl Single Eyeshadow (shade name unknown) - used once - £1.00
Clinique Color Surge Quad - Never Used: £1.00 SOLD
Hello Kitty Eyeshadow Compact - 2 shades used once: £4.00

 Vivo Baked Blush - Peaches & Cream: £2.00

 Sleek Storm Palette - 2 shades used twice: £2.00 SOLD
No7 Eyeshadow Compact - never used: £4.00

 Marc Jacobs Lola Perfume 30ml - used twice (not keen on the scent): £5.00 SOLD
Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray - 75% remaining: £7.00 SOLD

 MAC 116 Brush - will be cleaned before postage: £10.00 SOLD
MAC Eye Khol - Teddy - Bought in a blog sale, lid slightly cracked: £4.00
Urban Decay 24/7 Eye Pencil - Gun Metal - Used a few times: £3.00 SOLD

 OPI Nail Polish - Mad As A Hatter - Used three times: £2.50 SOLD

 Revlon - Cherries in the Snow - Bought from blog sale
Ciate - My Fair Lady - Used twice
Barry M: Black, Red Glitter, Mint Green - All used once
£1.00 each

Sephora Nail Polish - Deep in her eyes - Never used
H&M Nail Polish - Rust - Used once
Various OPI minis - Unknown names but from the Katy Pery Collection 
50p each

Please leave me a comment below stating which item(s) you would like and your PayPal email address so that I may invoice you. If your PayPal email address is different from your actual email, please let me know! If you don't have a blogger account then please email me with what you would like.

Happy Shopping!



recent (essential) purchases

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Yes, for once, these purchases we actually necessary! Would you like to see what I bought? I'm sure you do...

La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Eyes £14.50: I never realised how puffy and dark my under eyes where until my friend took a really ghoulish picture of me in London. I decided to take action and incorporate an under eye product into my skincare routine. I'm interested to see how this will fare.

B Pure Micellar Water £3.99: This product is akin to that of Bioderma and I had heard so much about it. As I have only one functioning arm that can touch water, I've been using this to cleanse my face in the morning before applying my makeup. So far so good I think! This is currently on offer for £3.99 from £4.99.

Models Own Fruit Pastel Nail Polish - Apple Pie £5.00: Right now I'm not wearing much nail polish but I saw this a while ago with my friend and I knew I had to have it. Mint green is pretty much my favourite colour right now and a nail polish that smells delicious? Yes please! I've read a lot of good things from other bloggers so I can't wait to try!

Collection Extreme 24 Hour Eyeliner £2.99: You may have already heard of my eyeliner demise and disappointment with S&G's Supercat Eyeliner so I decided to purchase a new one seeing as my matching eyelids are making me so happy right now! I wore this out today for lunch and the cinema and it lasted throughout the entire day with little smudging. I'm so impressed with this so far, especially at the price!

Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch Concealer £6.99: I bought this to use in conjunction with the under eye cream and so far I really like it. Believe it or not, I don't use concealer. I thought it might be time to start expanding my makeup routine. I've been using this with my RT pointed foundation brush and it blends really easy. Love it!

Usually I come home regretting my purchases but this time I have loved each and every one of them. Well, that's no more spending for a while now!

Don't you just love buying all the essentials and having no purchase regrets?



review | soap & glory supercat eyeliner

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Since I've been doing blogilates and eating a healthy diet, suddenly my eyelids have started matching. I used to have one monolid and one double eyelid making me look like I have a wonky face. Now, I can actually wear winged eyeliner and I manage to make myself look semi-decent. I bought the Soap & Glory Supercat eyeliner because I had heard such great things about it and I like the idea of easy application with a pen nib. Here are my thoughts...

The packaging itself is nice and sleek. The cardboard box in came in however is a bit of a waste. The pen is really dark and a true black shade and the nib itself is so easy to use and perfect for liquid eyeliner beginners. However, I found that i was extremely smudgy. I CANNOT rub my eyes, cry or even get slightly teary eyed because it will smudge and then disappear. I'm not quite sure if it's because my eyes are just naturally oily but when swatching the above picture, it did not budge when I tried to swipe it. So errrr, I'm not sure what is happening here.

I spend a long time perfecting that winged look and then it doesn't even last. This makes me angry, especially as it takes me 4 times longer to apply with a plaster cast on  -_-

As you can see, I came home from a hospital appointment with smudged lids. Have you ever had this problem before with this eyeliner or is it just me?

You can buy Soap & Glory Supercat Eyeliner from Boots and it is priced at £6.00



the things i can't wait to do when i get my cast off.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

The things I can't wait to do when I get my cast off...

Bake cakes
Put a temporary tattoo on my right wrist
Drive my car
Shower with both hands
Go back to work
Clean up after myself
Do my makeup properly

...snowboarding again?



adventures | london edition

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Last time I went to London, I did nothing that I had planned. Me and my friend did the Harry Potter Studios then we didn't do anything else that we wanted to. Last month, we decided to complete our mission and booked tickets for London again! We spent a total of 3 days there last weekend and had so much fun and laughs! Here is a little run-down of what happened...

Train journey went by really fast and I was pretty impressed by the accommodation. The day we got there, we walked to Oxford Street and then stumbled across a little Korean restaurant in the Carnaby area. I've been really into Korean culture and food and I've been wanting to try everything! We had a little Korean barbecue and I had Korean Bibimbap which is rice in a very hot stone bowl with lots of veg in it. SO TASTY!

The next day we did Covent Garden and Laudree. We also met up with my friend's brother and his friend for dim sum in Chinatown which was alright...but obviously food always tastes better with a 15% discount attached to it! Obviously we had to go shopping on Oxford Street and I made a few cheeky purchases!

We had booked afternoon tea at the Kensington Hotel in South Kensington on the Monday. Holy moly, it was sooooo posh! Felt a bit out of place! The sandwiches were really good but the deserts were such a let down despite them looking fantastic. Bland cheesecake anyone?

On our last day, we had a few hours to kill before getting our train so we went back Camden Town to buy some things we had our eye on. We also got a quick bite to eat at a food stall. The Korean guy at the stall was so friendly and chatty and even recognised us from the day before! He made us some Korean Kimbab which is like sushi but made with regular long grain rice. On the way back to the train station, we went to the Hummingbird Bakery and I bought a red velvet cake. Along with a cappuccino, it was the perfect ending to a brilliant trip!

We have finally accomplished everything we have wanted to do in London! Our next adventures will hopefully take us a little further afield...