Sunday, 30 June 2013

Recipe: Leek And Potato Soup

Ok, so it's summer. But I'm still making soup every week and taking it to work with me for lunch. I'm  not a massive veggie person(it's bad, I know) so soup is a good way for me to sneak in some veggies. My personal favourite is leek and potato with carrot and coriander coming a close second. I was making some for my lunch on Friday and I decided I'd do a recipe post. This recipe will make a lot of soup, which you can then freeze for using when you can't be bothered to cook. Even if it's not the most seasonal thing, this still tastes really great. And if you want to spoil the party you can always save the recipe for winter.

4 reasonably large potatos, peeled and chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 leeks, chopped
2 stock cubes(my personal favourite combo is 1 chicken and 1 vegetable but ham ones are also nice)
Salt and pepper to taste

Step one: Add the onions to a pot and lightly fry them in the bottom of the pan for a few minutes. Not quite sure what this does but my gran gets pretty annoyed if you don't do it so...

Step 2: Remove from the heat, then add the other vegetables and stock cubes. Cover with water and then turn the heat back on. It will take about half an hour to cook and all the vegetables will have gone soft.

Step 3: Liquidise. I prefer my soup to be really smooth but you can leave it a bit chunky if that's your personal taste. Then season it to how you like it, I like a lot of pepper with mine as you can see but not salt. If my mum makes this she adds salt when she's cooking it but I don't like to add unnecessary salt to my food. 

Step 4: Enjoy with some lovely bread and an episode of your favourite tv show.

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Saturday, 29 June 2013

A Photo An Hour - 28/6/13

 Even though it's the school holidays, I don't like to sleep in too late. I don't really deviate from my normal sleeping pattern so if I need to get up early then it's not too painful. I decided to spend some time in bed this morning reading Carrie by Stephen King. I'm totally captured in it. I only started reading it yesterday and I'll probably end up finishing it today.


By 9am I was starting to feel quite hungry so I got up and got myself a yoghurt and some strawberries for breakfast. I also had some orange juice but I never photographed it. For some reason I have so many YouTube videos to get through so I was watching the latest ItsJudysLife video as I ate. Horror story: I actually found a slug on one of those strawberries, so gross!


I then decided to go through my news feed and comment on a load of blog posts. I also replied to comments left on my own blog. I'm so close to 700 followers on GFC at the moment. So exciting. I know there is a lot of hoo-haa surrounding GFC at the moment. Google Reader and GFC are two different things and I think people are getting a little bit confused. Hope GFC doesn't disappear because I'm not a huge fan of BlogLovin'.


By this point I've gone for a shower and am now drying my hair. I honestly hate drying my hair so much, total chore.


Really not a massive fan of my appearance in this photo. But it was my little sister's last day at primary school and her and all of her friends were getting a 'boogie bus' to a bowling alley so my mum and I went to see her off. She looks so grown up.


I started making myself some leek and potato soup for my lunch. I know it's summer but I just love soup so I'll eat it all year round, leek and potato being my particular favourite. Would you like to see a recipe post? 

I got a bit distracted whilst making the soup ie playing with the dog so it took me longer than the usual half an hour to make my soup. I think it's best served with some French bread and I love it when it has seeds on it too, preferably sesame seeds or poppy seeds.


I decided to head down to the living room to read for a bit. I finished Carrie by Stephen King which I really enjoyed and am now halfway through Death Of A Salesman by Arthur Miller. I was hoping to finish this as it's very short and get started on The Crucible but I guess I'll just get on that tomorrow.

Sam decided he'd join me on the sofa for some cuddles. Officially my new favourite selfie, look at that nose! Poor numb nutts here has hurt his paw so we aren't allowed to walk him for a week. I feel so horrible. He's not even allowed out in the garden if he's not on a leash. He's so confused and keeps crying and bringing people their shoes.


Dinner time! Steak with bread and butter because I've kind of gone off chips. I'm obsessed with this French bread stick I got at the Co-op today, it's so good. Couldn't wait before taking a photo, there's something so good about Lurpak. 


Out of interest I decided to go through the blogs I follow and see how many of them were unactive. I ended up unfollowing about 150 blogs because they hadn't posted in months/had deleted. So sad! At the same time it means I can find blogs easier. I don't want to end up using BlogLovin but if I do then at least I have it all organised.


Extremely long phone call with the bestie. She doesn't live near me and I'm hopefully getting to see her next week, yay!


Ok so I'm starting to get bored now so I'm doing a few sudoku puzzles. I'm actually impressed with how much of this book I've done, it has 201 puzzles so I'm nearly finished.


My mum was out so I snuck Sam upstairs for some cuddles, he was too engrossed by my candle though!

What did you think of this post? I really enjoyed doing it and would like to do more if you all enjoyed reading it.

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Friday, 28 June 2013

Summer To Do List

So today my school broke up for summer break and I am very excited. I'm determined to have the best summer ever so there are lots of things I want to do. It wasn't until I started working every Saturday and Sunday that I realised the worth of a day off, definitely going to make the most of all the ones I'll have.
1. Have plans 3/4 days of the week. I really want to see my friends loads through out the summer. A few of them will be moving away soon for university so I want to see as much of them as possible before they go away. Whether it's a full blown shopping spree or just a little walk around with a friend, I want to get up to lots!

2. Start making YouTube videos. I've been making videos for Paperbacks And Beauty Facts for a while now and I've really been enjoying it. Even though I have a beauty blog I think my videos will mostly be about books as I find it easier to talk about them at length than I do beauty products. Hopefully a few of you will subscribe! If you want to do so now in anticipation of this my channel is TheHayleyyRussell.

3. Bake something off my food board every week. A lot of free time also means a lot of free time to bake. I'd like to make at least one thing from my ever growing food board on Pinterest every week. I think I'll aim for two but I'll put one as a safety net. I really love baking/cooking but I don't do it enough.

4. Stay at both of my Granparent's houses. I don't spend as much time with my grandparents as I'd like to. So this summer I'm going to go visit them and stay over at least once.

5. Blog, blog, blog. I really want to get lots of exciting new blog posts up for you all. I've been wanting to do DIY posts for ages so I'll finally get crafty and show you how to make something. I also want to so more outfits and just generally improve my content.

6. Get a new bookshelf. My bookshelf is very nearly full so I need to take a road trip to IKEA and get myself a new one. I have a smaller bookshelf so stack my books horizontally which I think looks really nice. I want to get one that's identical to my own and then place them side by side to create one very long bookshelf.

7. Try out my local library. I haven't been to my local library since I got a new card a few weeks ago. I haven't actually taken books out  for years. Last time I went they had a really poor selection of books and the staff were really rude and kept on ushering me to the children's section(I was 14). I normally just use my school library because it's easier to get too but I'd like to see what my local library has to offer now. Hopefully it's a lot nicer.

8. Go to events at the Edinburgh Book Festival. I always say that I'm going to go to something at this but can never find someone to go with me so I never end up going. I was speaking to my friend Sarah and she really wants to go so hopefully I'll get to go this year! We also want to go to Paperchase and get lots of cute stationary for our final year at school(how scary).

9. Visit Forever 21 in Glasgow. A few weeks ago a Forever 21 opened in Glasgow and I really want to go. My blogging friend, Charlotte, is always talking about it and it sounds amazing. From what I can tell the clothes are very stylish but similar to Primark prices, what's not to love?

10. Finally finish watching Grey's Anatomy and House with Stuart. Think we started watching the both of these around October, it's taking us too long as we've both been busy this year. We'll have plenty of free time this summer though so we should get them finished. We only have a few seasons of each one left.

11. Spend a whole day cleaning my room. Hoovering, dusting, polishing etc etc. The lot. Also want to go through all my stuff and throw things out or give them to charity.

12.  Go to a blogging meet up/event. I was going to try and organise my own but honestly I don't think I'm up to the challenge. I love meeting other bloggers and have hundreds(literally) of business cards to give out so if you are organising one then I'd love to attend.

13. Spend a whole day cleaning the house. I know my mum would really appreciate this so I think it would be a really nice thing to do.

14. Decide what university courses I want to apply to. Yes it's not the most exciting thing, but I'll be applying to university after summer so it would be a good idea to get everything sorted so I can focus on my personal statement come August. If anyone has any tips that would be much appreciated.

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Thursday, 27 June 2013

Things That Make Me Happy #37

1. These vanilla waffles look so tasty. I really want a waffle iron.


2. Such a great DIY idea!


3. I love this book case made from an old door, so cool.


4. Greece is so pretty.


5. This eye make up is so lovely!


6. Inspirational quote of the week.


7. Love a cute photo of a bunny.


8. I really want to make a blanket fort.


9. This lavender and chocolate ice cream looks so nice!


10. Hahahaha.


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Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Robyn Makes Things Jewellery

Platypus Necklace - £6
 See that little illustration in the side bar of me where I look about 10x more attractive than I do in real life? That was drawn by the lovely Robyn for me a few months a go. I really really really like it, and a lot of you do too because I've been getting so many compliments on it. When I saw on Instagram that Robyn was moving on to making jewellery with her illustrations on shrink plastic, I knew I'd be right in there when they went up for sale. I literally was the first customer. At the moment Robyn is selling a selection of necklaces, stickers and cards with a wide range of animals to choose from and scrabble jewellery. I sat for ages trying to decide what animal I wanted before I just eenie meenie minie mo'ed it and ended up with a little platypus, how cute is this little fellow? All of the animals are so cute I honestly would buy them all if I could(I'd also be really happy if you made an octopus Robyn, hint hint). To say thank you for me being the first customer she also sent me a free pair of scrabble earrings. It's things like that that are just lovely touches. I feel so grateful.

On to the actual jewellery itself. Both the earrings and the necklace are really well made. The cutting around the platypus is really well executed, no rough edges and you can tell how much time went into the illustration. Another major plus for me is that it has a proper clasp rather than those stupid little circle things that make it impossible to put a necklace on yourself, thank god for that! The earrings are obviously not real scrabble pieces otherwise they'd be too big, but they look really realistic and feel pretty sturdy. Safe to say I'm really impressed with Robyn's jewellery making skills. A lot better than crappy, factory produced things! Had so many compliments on the jewellery pieces so far, all my friends think they're super cute. Delivery was £1.50 which is pretty good and Robyn dispatched my parcel on Friday and it came on Saturday, score! I really recommend that you visit her Etsy store here and make yourself a cheeky little purchase.

Scrabble Earrings - £3

Also look at this lovely little note she sent me, what a cutie.

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Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Review: Lush Bubblegum Lip Scrub

One of my favourite products from Lush is this: the Bubblegum Lip Scrub. I wear a lot of lip products and this means that my lips aren't always left in the best condition. I've been using this lip scrub for about two years and I've only used one full tub and a little bit of this one, so it lasts a long time. The best part of this is the smell/taste. It's such a realistic bubblegum flavour and you can eat this off your lips when you are done. This can be a little bit messy so I recommend doing this over a sink so you can just wash away and little sugar granules that fall away. There are a lot of debates out there about whether this is worth the money, at £5.25 it isn't actually cheap. However, it will last you months and is a nice little treat. Far more exciting than mixing olive oil with sugar at home. Overall, I love this product and will continue to repurchase it although I'm interested in trying the popcorn one.

If you want to buy it you can find it here on the Lush website or in store. They also have ones that are mint and popcorn flavoured but my personal favourite is the bubble gum one.

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Monday, 24 June 2013

Barratts Lace Up Brogues

Shoes - c/o Barratts 

I'm not very adventurous when it comes to shoes. Brogues in the summer and boots in the winter, almost always black. I have big feet and normally size at either a 7 or an 8 and have trouble finding ballet shoes that will stay on my feet. I decided to try out these tan brogues as I wanted a lighter pair of shoes for summer but they are still enclosed. I was a little bit apprehensive about ordering online as I usually have sizing problems; I decided to go with a 7 and they're actually a pretty good fit. If anything they're a little bit too wide so they slip a little when I walk but I'm sure that could easily be rectified with a pair of insoles and I do have pretty narrow feet to begin with. These arrived in the post last week and I am glad to report that I have no blisters, now that's a bonus! I'm quite surprised by how much I like wearing tan shoes compared to black. They just lighten everything up and make everything look a lot more casual, these look great with cute little dresses. These shoes are £30 which I think is a pretty good price to pay for them; they are very well made, look great and I know that I'll get a lot of wear out of them. These shoes have made me want to branch out with buying shoes online and I definitely think I'll be going back to Barratts, I was pretty gutted when the Livingston store closed. If you want to you can buy these shoes here, they are also available in black.

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Sunday, 23 June 2013

Week In Photos #46

Crafty Creatives kit / FINALLY / Prizegiving
Loving these / Samstagram / My boys
45000 pageviews!!! / DS date / Straight hair

Had quite a busy week this week. I had my head girl interview, I was unsuccessful. Although I was pretty gutted when I found out, the team this year is great and I'm sure they'll do an amazing job. I got the dux award at the school's prize giving ceremony this year and that really cheered me up. At the moment I'm just wanting it to be summer so badly. One week left at school and then 7 weeks off!

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Saturday, 22 June 2013

June Wishlist

June Wishlist

Dress / Shirt / Necklace / Jeans / Satchel

1. I saw this dress on Rosie's blog and I absolutely loved it. It's definitely a lot more adventurous than I usually am but maybe I'll pluck up the courage for this. Not sure if I have the chest for it though. What do you think(about the dress not my boobs)?

2. This floral shirt from River Island is so lovely. I love the black detailing on the top. I think this would be quite versatile for the whole year round. I also love the colours within the floral print itself.

3. I love collar necklaces but sometimes I feel a little bit consticted by them, as if they're literally choking me. I love this curved necklace as it's a similar style but it looks like you have a lot more space.

4. After getting my first pair of Joni jeans from Topshop I fell in love. My pair are a light blue but I'm lusting over these acid wash ones. Preferably I'd just have the lot of them.

5. I think satchels look so classic and timeless, the best thing about them is that they're almost always big enough for all my school stuff. I fell in love with this one as it has a print of old maps which is so unique!

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Friday, 21 June 2013

Mini Fragrance Direct Haul

Fragrance Direct is pretty infamous amongst the blogging world for selling Essie polishes at £1.99 instead of £7.99, which I'm sure we can all agree is a massive discount. I'm not exactly sure why they can get them so cheap but I'm pretty sure it's because these have the 'older' packaging. But as far as I can tell the polishes are still the same formula and aren't all old and icky.

I decided to get a Dainty Doll blusher in Money Talks, this is a browny-mauve colour that I've heard a lot of bloggers talking about. Apparently it's a great contour on pale skin but I'm yet to try it out. I'll get back to you all on that one, would you like to see a full review? It's also £1.99. Then the Essie Polishes I ordered were Mojito Madness and Cascade Cool. When Essie first launched in the UK I wanted Mojito Madness but couldn't find Essie in a shop near me so I was delighted to see it on sale. It's a lovely green colour, I've been wearing this on my nails all week and the wear has been pretty good. Cascade Cool is a lovely pink that sometimes looks purple. I'm trying to pick out more summery shades and I think this will be great for summer.

The delivery was also £1.99 which is really great and it came pretty quickly. I also picked up another blusher and nail polish for when I(hopefully) hit 750 followers and do my next giveaway. I thought it would be a good idea to start collecting and then the giveaway can be quite big! Have you ever ordered from Fragrance Direct?

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Thursday, 20 June 2013

Things That Make Me Happy #36

1.  These cookies look absolutely delicious!


2. I love these bracelets made with rubber bands.


3. Love, love, love fairy lights.


4. Love me some trees.


5. Prettiest bra ever.


6.  Inspirational quote of the week.


7. Classic beachwear.


8. This nail art is gorgeous.


9. I love the selection of mirrors over the bath.


10. Standard.


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