Sunday 29 May 2016

Staring at the ceiling...

Alone in the room, looking up above.
My eyes meeting the white concrete instead of blue sky.
Emotions overpowering, consuming my entire being:
Anger, sadness, disbelief.

This too will pass.

There is two of us, watching the patterns and intricate designs,
This man made canopy holds such beauty.
Not in the wildest dreams have I felt so happy:
Amazement, gratitude, disbelief.

This too will pass.

There are people around, yet I am completely alone.
The prison of solid stone will not let me jump any higher.
The answers that seemed so true, have turned on me:
Grief, despair, disbelief.

This too will pass.

Overwhelmed, tired, constantly questioning my own resolve.
Is it true what I see, is it my thoughts that betray me or is it you?
How can you not see the damage, all this pain?
Acceptance, denial, disbelief.

When will it pass?

Keeping quiet, choosing my words.
This cage I created, will not be reinforced.
What I am looking for, you do not possess.
Strength, determination, belief in myself.

This is my path.

Thursday 26 May 2016

Asparagus and buckwheat risotto

Buckwheat is a very understated pseudograin that is related to rubab. The trick with it is not to overcook it, once buckwheat turns to mush it looses its subtle flavour and texture. Don't worry, it is very easy to cook to perfection. The beauty of this recipe is that you can easily substitute asparagus for other veggies, and it always comes out super tasty.

When you are shopping for buckwheat you want to make sure it is whole, not buckwheat flakes.

Serves 2

2 cups unroasted buckwheat

1 teaspoon coconut oil

7 asparagus spears, trimmed and chopped into 2 cm chunks

750 ml vegetable stock

2 sprigs of parsley finely chopped

1/4 lemon

asparagus buckwheat the peridot

1. Heat the coconut oil in the frying pan and add the buckwheat. Fry on medium heat for between 5-10 minutes, stirring from time to time and making sure it browns evenly. (You could use roasted buckwheat instead, in that case use half the coconut oil and fry for 1-2 minutes instead)

2. Asparagus has a natural breaking point. If you go from the end of the stalk gently bending a long the way, at the point where the tender part meets the tougher end it will just snap. I like to save the harder ends to put them through the juicer, but you only cook the tender stem. Add chopped asparagus to the pan, cook for further 2-3 minutes.

3. Add 2 ladles of stock, wait for it to get completely absorbed. After this add only 1 ladle at a time and wait for it to absorb completely each time, taste it in between until you are happy with the result. I like my risotto a little al dente, so I find that I normally use 4 ladles in total, but you might find that you like it a little softer (after you have added 4 ladles, I would start adding 1/2 a ladle at a time)

4. Dish it up in shallow bowls, garnish with parsley and squeeze the lemon juice on top. Bon appetit!

Wednesday 11 May 2016

Pamper sessions | Isla apothecary

It might have taken an eternity for warm weather to make an appearance, but now the heat is on! For me this means hello shorts and abundance of sunscreen. With all this skin being exposed I am definitely paying a lot more attention to my body routine. It is not about using lots of products, but more about being consistent: using some sort of exfoliant twice a week and a nourishing body oil every time after shower and/or sun exposure. It might not seem that way, but I have always been a little bit lazy about my beauty routines. There are lots of perfectly functional products that will get the job done, but the thing is, if they don't make me feel special in some sort of way I am not going to remember to use them (with the exception of spot treatments, those just need to do the job). I am really fond of beauty products that make me feel like I am in spa, or on an exotic holiday.

Isla apothecary is based in London, and the products are hand blended in small batches, they are rooted in the principles of aromatherapy and it shows. As soon as you open the jar of Blood orange + Vanilla body scrub the amazing scent starts working its magic. Honestly, I am not sure if I should be using it on my body or reaching for a spoon. The gorgeous blend of brown sugar, coconut oil, shea butter, peach kernel oil, vitamin E, blood orange and vanilla smells so delicious and uplifting, that it never fails to put a smile on my face. That is before I even use it! Despite all the oils and butters, the mixture is on the loose side. It is more like sugar with a touch of oil, as opposed to sugar suspended in oil. What this means is that when you are massaging a few handfuls of the scrub (I find that two is enough for my entire body) into wet skin, your bath/shower doesn't turn into a lethal ice rink. Skin is left feeling soft and moisturised yet not greasy. I actually find that I don't need to use a body oil after this treatment, my skin feels perfectly taken care of. The scent doesn't stay on the skin, but if your other half happens to wonder into the bathroom while you are busy scrubbing away, be prepared for them to have a sudden craving for Terry's chocolate orange.

I think my love for neroli is well documented on Instagram. This essential oil is distilled from the flowers of a citrus plant, so has the same mood boosting properties as citrus oils but it is also considered to be an aphrodisiac (this side effect is always welcome in my book). So how could I turn down an opportunity to try Isla's Neroli body oil*? The base of it is made up of safflower, coconut, pumpkin and rosehip oils, making it seriously silky and full of antioxidants. Pumpkin oil in particular is a power house of fatty acids, zinc and antioxidants making it a great addition to a post sun exposure skincare. Rosehip by itself is a dry oil, it sinks in without leaving any residue, when it comes to skincare benefits it seems to be especally helpful with mitigating photo-ageing (sun damage). The overall blend feels wonderfully emollient, leaving my skin super soft and smooth. The essential oils of neroli, patchouli, frankincense, petitgrain and mandarin, make for a very uplifting scent that isn't too sweet or overly floral. The best thing about the scent is that it's both noticeable and yet not at all over powering. I apply this body oil to damp skin after my evening shower. It is nourishing enough that I can see myself using it all year round, but I am especially loving it as part of my after sun routine. About 2 pumps is all it takes since my skin isn't particularly dry. The next morning my skin is still as soft as velvet. 

When I have an hour or two to myself, I really love taking my time with the body scrub and following it up with the body oil (I would use just a little oil as the scrub really is pretty moisturising, and mainly on my legs and arms since these are the areas that tend to be drier). Not only does my skin feel and look pretty darn amazing after, I really feel fabulous overall, in good spirits and very relaxed. This is the best part of combining seriously good skincare ingredients and aromatherapy.

As a very special treat, if you feel like experiencing the wonder of Isla Apothecary for yourself, I have a discount code for my readers: 'rainbowfeet' will save you 15%.

*PR sample, all thoughts are my own based on my personal experience with the product. The whole point of this blog is to introduce you to things that I genuinely think are awesome, so making stuff up would be trully.. well.. pointless!