30 November 2013

Protein Apple & Walnut Cake

Whoever said eating healthy had to be boring? This easy protein loaf cake is the perfect thing to whip up in advance & have for breakfast, pre/post-workout or just as a nutritious snack. 

It provides you with slow-release carbs, protein, good fats & contains no added sugar.

This recipe makes two 1lb sized loaf tins, but if you just wanted to make one simply halve the quantities.

125g of wholemeal spelt flour
100g of vanilla/natural protein powder
(I use Sunwarrior vanilla protein & really recommend it for baking)
1 tsp baking powder
100g of stevia
1 banana
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp of cinnamon
100g butter
50g Greek yoghurt
250g sliced apples
50g walnuts

Set oven to 180°C
Blend the half the walnuts, banana, butter, yoghurt, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon & stevia in a food processor.
Add the sieved spelt flour & protein powder.
Line the tin with greaseproof paper (I use these hassel-free cases).
Evenly place half the cake mixture inside the tin.
Place half the sliced apple on top of cake mixture, then add the remaining cake mixture on top.
Top with remaining sliced apple & walnuts.
Place in the oven & bake for 50 minutes - 1 hour.

The cake is really moist & sweet due to all the apple in the center. It will keep for 4-5 days in an airtight container.

Pop a slice into your gym bag to have after a workout, or serve warm with yoghurt as a delicious healthy dessert.

Let me know in the comments if you would like anymore healthy reciepes.

Harriet x

Brunch at M1LK

Last week I made a slightly hungover trip to M1LK in Balham with a couple of friends. 
I'd already been wowed by the breakfast menu back in the summer, after from Suzanne from i make it fashion suggested we try out the new addition to the Hildreth Street Market. 
I've been raving about the place & the vibrant original food ever since so this return visit was long overdue.

The seating inside is quite limited, which combined with the amazing food & artisan coffee on offer can create pretty big queues, especially at busy weekend times. 
The decor is eclectic & a little bit hipster but there's always a really nice mix of people eating there. 
I love that you can see the tiny open kitchen from the dining area, seeing the chefs whipping up all the delicious food just adds to the laid-back friendly environment.

Drinks-wise I went for a hot chocolate (I needed the sugar otherwise I would have got a flat white, as the coffee here is GOOD) whilst the others went for English breakfast tea.

I love how they serve the teapot, cup, saucer & milk in a little stack like this.

The brunch menu reads like my idea of food heaven, I could eat breakfast food all day long! 
This time I opted for the baked eggs with butternut squash & feta, Chris went for the Young Betty (poached eggs, drycure bacon & burnt butter hollandaise) & Christina got the Young Betty with salmon instead of bacon.

As well as an excellent cooked brunch M1LK also have an amazing selection of homemade cakes, which they display along the counter. One day I will try the strawberry milk cake!

The distressed cosy interior is covered in hung artwork, shelves & framed pictures all of which contribute to the happy vibe exuded by the Aussie diner.

The baked eggs were absolutely delicious, they were cooked & seasoned perfectly. 
Butternut squash & feta makes a lovely light addition to the dish that doesn't leave you feeling overly full. 
The toasted sourdough was crispy & tangy, perfect for dipping in the bright orange Burford Brown yolks.

The salmon on Christina's Young Betty looked amazingly fresh & tasty. She said it was incredible.

Even Chris who is pretty hard to impress loved his bacon with poached eggs & hollandaise. 
I appreciated the flowers garnishing his dish even if he didn't pay them much attention. 
Definitely an Instagram worthy plate of food!

We left M1LK happy & full, all traces of a hangover gone.
One of the best brunch spots I've found in London & it only set us back a tenner each.

M1LK are open 8am - 5pm Monday - Friday
            9am - 5pm Sunday

They do not take reservations, first come first served.

Harriet x
Square Meal Square Meal

29 November 2013

Shopping '& Other Stories' and 'Zara'

Seeing as it's payday-week I may have given in to shopping temptations & broken my self-imposed spending ban.

First of all I discovered the amazing store that is & Other Stories. It's just round the corner from Liberty on Regent Street & is the luxury counterpart to H&M.  In keeping with the Scandinavian fashion powerhouse that is H&M & COS, the store is a veritable treasure chest overflowing with beautiful clothes, accessories, lingerie & beauty products. I couldn't justify them on this occasion but I LOVE this black bustier, gold ring, wine coloured tassel sandals & grey mohair beanie.

Instead I treated myself to a couple of staple jewellery pieces that will go with everything & have been adorning my hands & wrists ever since. 

The gold ribcage ring & silver wave bangle came in at just £10 for the ring & £12 for the bangle, for the quality I think the price is amazing. Across the store they have definitely made an effort to keep prices as affordable as possible.

My next purchase was this pair of Zara boots.

I've been on the lookout for a new pair of heeled ankle boots for ages & I actually prefer these to the Ash Jalouse boots I was toying with buying. The fact that they were £29.99 was just an extra bonus!

I wore them to the Grazia event at the Harrods Fashion Lab earlier this week & they are far more comfortable than the four inch heel would suggest. They also come in black & sand but I'm glad I went for the khaki colour. The sludgey green is really versatile & neutral, working well to break up the all-black outfits I gravitate towards during the winter.

Have you made any new purchases? I love seeing what other people have been buying so please leave a link to your shopping posts or a comment below!

Harriet x

Harrods Fashion Lab

On Wednesday evening I was lucky enough to attend the Grazia event in Harrods new Fashion Lab. Stepping off the escalator & into the monochrome chic room of wall-to-wall fashion, the huge new department certainly makes a big visual impact. We were promptly handed a glass of champagne & a welcome pack to explain the evening.

The people from Black Score were in attendance & providing guests with their amazing signature illustrations in the form of temporary tattoos.

Having already eyed up the new Cara Delevingne illustration on a T-Shirt I went for the tattoo equivalent. I may have got a few raised eyebrows in the gym the next day, but I love the simple style of the fashion line drawing!

The girls both went for the Black Score makeover on My Little Pony. 

In the welcome pack we each received a four digit code that was used to try & unlock the padlocks of six caged designer gems. I'd actually spied this beautiful Victoria Beckham jacket on a previous visit to the department & was a little bit excited to see if my code would set it free. Sadly not, but if it goes into the sale I may have to buy it as a Christmas present to myself...

Harrods waiters were constantly circling, handing out treats from each brand. These Ted Baker macarons went down very well amongst us all. 

Our next stop was the Bumble & Bumble pop up salon, we got a mini hair makeover & a bag full of samples to try from the makers of the cult product- Surf Spray.

A quick mirror selfie with our tattoos & newly styled hair.

One of the many items I fell in love with on the night, was this Karen Millen leather jacket, the oversized faux-fur collar works some serious luxe factor into a what is such a staple, classic black biker. They also had some gorgeous dresses for the party season on display. I have my eye on this colour-blocked velvet dress & also this floor-length number.

After sipping some mid-week champagne, the INVO coconut water stand was a welcome (healthier) discovery. I was given a couple to take home which made a lovely pre-workout treat the next day. I'm so impressed with this coconut water- it tastes fantastic, really fresh with a subtle nutty flavour. If you haven't liked coconut water so far, I recommend giving INVO a try as it tastes quite different to other brands I've come across. On a side-note the packaging is lovely too, completely hand-illustrated giving a natural beachy feel to the bottles.

After spending a couple of hours looking round the shiny new Fashion Lab, it really does live up to expectations. If you're are looking for a step-up from the high-street without going high-fashion (& high-spending) then you will find all the best contemporary labels here, fabulously stationed just meters apart. 
To name just a few; The Kooples, Ted Baker, Zadig & Voltaire, Wildfox, J Brand, Pinko, Joseph & Whistles.
So amongst the capsule edit of ball gowns & crystal encrusted shoes, expect to find grungy leather biker jackets, perfect skinny jeans & ankle boots.

The atmosphere itself is very conducive to a happy shopping experience, the layout (being over 30 000 square feet) is very spacious & minimalistic, creating a contemporary, luxurious environment reflected in the style of clothes on offer. 
There is even a very sleek new Salad Kitchen discreetly nestled amongst all the fashion if you fancy a healthy pit stop.

Finally it was time to say goodnight, collect our bulging goody bags & head home.

Thank you for a lovely evening Grazia & Fashion Lab.

Harriet x

*all photos taken by me except the photo of the gold Karen Millen shoes which is the property of Josie at Fashion Mumblr & the #fashionlab T-shirt which was taken by Grazia UK.

17 November 2013

EOS Lip Balm


I'm some-what late to the party in discovering these eye-catching lip balms after seeing them around the blogosphere for several years. Intrigued by the shape & the claims of super-soft lips, when I came across the tubs of coloured EOS eggs in the Selfridges beauty hall I knew that I had to try one.

After a quick sniff of the testers I went for  the 'Sweet Mint' Tiffany-blue option. It's a cooling (slightly lip-tingling) minty balm with a subtle, sweet scent. To me it smells like Christmas. At £5.99 they aren't extortionate & you get heaps of product for your money. The smooth spherical packaging & balm is a different spin on the usual pots/tubes/sticks of lip-balm found on the market.

In terms of lip moisturising abilities they fare pretty well, not the best lip balm I've ever tried but it keeps your lips nicely soft & hydrated for a couple of hours. They contain 100% natural ingredients, paraben-free & packed full of vitamin E & shea butter. The sweet minty flavour is even sweetened with Stevia(a no-nasties natural sweetener)! 

Seeing as Christmas is right round the corner, I think that these would make a fun stocking-filler or secret santa gift for any beauty-junkie you might know. Find them here (with free delivery) or if you're based in London I recommend checking them out in the treasure trove of Selfridges Beauty Halls.

Harriet x

15 November 2013

Healthy Scones at Le Pain Quotidien

You don't normally associate afternoon tea with being healthy. Pastries, cakes & sandwiches with white bread are the usual offerings you expect to find on the menu. However Le Pain Quotidien have turned this typically un-healthy treat on its head with some of their surprisingly clean snacks. 

A few days ago after a blustery outdoors workout I was craving a big mug of mint tea to warm up & headed to LPQ to re-fuel. My workout buddy was going for their spelt toast with homemade jam & whilst I wasn't planning on ordering any food I couldn't resist this gem when I saw it on the menu. 

An organic spelt & quinoa scone with ricotta & rhubarb jam.

A healthy spin on a traditional cream tea without losing any of the delicious taste factor. If anything knowing something isn't so bad for me actually makes me enjoy it more. Spelt is a fantastic wholegrain that provides slow-release complex carbs, quinoa is packed full of protein, ricotta is a lighter alternative to cream without all the saturated fat (around 12% fat versus 60% in clotted cream) & the homemade rhubarb jam is tart rather than sweet. A pretty good post-workout meal with a good mix of the carbs, protein & sugar your body needs to replenish tired muscles & energy supplies. A pot of fresh mint tea made the perfect healthy accompaniment.

Although it is definitely a healthier option, it is pretty filling & I struggled to finish the whole scone. I definitely won't be heading out for one of these every workout(!) but as an occasional treat after a particularly gruelling session it's not bad! It is worth noting that although they aren't entirely gluten-free as they contain spelt flour, some people who are gluten intolerant can eat spelt without digestive issues.

London doesn't have many restaurants & cafes that offer healthy options like baking with spelt & quinoa so it's a great to know such an accessible chain has these cleaner, lower-glycemic options available! The next items crying out to be tried are the organic chia seed coconut milk pudding & raspberry crunola (an uncooked, gluten-free mix of sprouted buckwheat, golden berries & seeds) parfait with cashew butter.

Harriet x
Square Meal

14 November 2013

Loving Winter

Things that are making me happy this November;
1. Flowers

I normally think of flowers as a summer treat, this probably has a lot to do with my obsession with peonies, bluebells and forget-me-nots. Out of my pastel comfort-zone, I have discovered some very pretty winter blooms that have been brightening up my house recentlty. An in-expensive bunch of flowers is one of those simple pleasures that always puts a smile on my face.

2. Dog Walks

Sometimes having such a big energetic dog can be hard work, rain or shine he needs roughly three hours of walks a day. All the crisp, sunny weather we've been having recently has been perfect for lovely long dog walks. I've been really enjoying layering up with lots of knitwear and a cosy scarf, discovering new walks with him. Coming back home with rosy cheeks, slightly numb hands feels satisfying and all the fresh air makes you feel so good in what can be quite a depressing month with the newly shortened days.

3. Cosy Pyjamas 

I love pulling on a pair of pyjama bottoms like these when I'm just around the house or in for the evening. This tartan pair happen to be from Primark and cost just £4! They are so soft and cosy, and for the price I didn't feel guilty buying a few different designs.

4. Red Cups

I don't know why but the red Christmas cups at Starbucks make me so happy! I know I'm not alone either judging by the pictures/tweets flooding my social media ever since the infamous red cups arrived. My winter drink of choice is a peppermint mocha, far from sin-free but less sickly sweet than some of the other seasonal options. I discovered them last year right around Christmas-time so they bring back very festive happy memories. Heaven in a cup.

5. Christmas Lights

In the last couple of weeks most of the Christmas lights have gone up around London and our city looks so pretty. My favourite lights are the ones around Sloane Square where subtle twinkling snowflakes adorn every tree, and Covent Garden, which I mentioned here and is so Christmasy it could be re-named Christmas Town.

6. Berry Nails

I have always preferred darker nail polishes, especially of the deep berry/plum/red variety. La Moss by Butter London has made a welcome appearance on my nails this week, I'm so impressed with the colour pay-off and consistency that I can see it being my go-to shade for the rest of the winter season. The application is so smooth and easy, pretty much opaque after one coat (almost black after two) it is a perfect vampy red. With a Seche Vite topcoat I haven't had a single chip in four days.


Let me know if you're enjoying winter & feeling festive already!
Harriet x