1 Apr 2020

Indian-Style Beef Burgers Recipe



Usually beef burgers and beef in general is seasoned very simply but when I'm craving something different, I like to make these delicious flavoursome burgers. I really like this recipe because it works every time, is really tasty and juicy and great for all the family. It can also be frozen (when it hasn't been cooked) so it is a good one to make in batches to save for a rainy day or use in times like these, when you are going to the shops as often!



Makes: 4-6 burgers

Ingredients:
1lb beef mince
3 tbsp breadcrumbs (fresh or shop-bought)
1 tsp coriander powder
½ tsp cumin powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ginger and garlic paste
¾ tsp meat tenderiser
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp ketchup
½ tbsp lemon juice
1 small onion, finely chopped
green chillis, finely diced

Make the burgers into patties, place in the fridge (or freezer if you are looking to store them) and fry them in a little oil when ready to serve! We had ours with brioche buns, lettuce, onion relish and grilled halloumi and it was perfect. 

Enjoy!

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29 Mar 2020

Changing My Skincare Going Into Spring



Spring is just around the corner so I thought I'd put together a post about how I'm switching up my skincare going into the new season.

As the seasons change and it starts to get a little warmer here in England, most people switch up their wardrobe but I also like to take a look at my skincare. I'm a skincare junkie but I think it is a good idea to change up your regime, especially as spring is coming along.



One of the first things you can do is spring clean your skincare stash. A switch up is a good opportunity to get rid of old, out of date skincare. All skincare has a lifespan - you just have to make sure your keeping tabs on it.

Here is a rough idea of skincare expiration dates:
Cleansers: 12 months
Toners: 6-12 months
BHA or AHA exfoliants: 12 months
Facial or body moisturizers and serums: 6-12 months
Lip balm: 12 months

It's also a chance to donate or get rid of products that you just haven't been reaching for.



One of the key steps for me in my skincare routine is exfoliation. In winter, I like to use a combination of chemical and physical exfoliants. However, moving into spring I think I'd prefer a chemical exfoliator.

Glycolic Acid is the perfect ingredient for exfoliation. It removes the outermost layer of dead cells from the complexion, making your skin look brighter and fresher. I am currently really enjoying using the Boots Glycolic Acid as it is accessible, affordable (only £5) and works really well so far.



Another change I'll be making as it gets warmer is layering creams, rather than going in with a thick moisturiser straightaway. Adding lighter layers of creams, serums and oils, ensures a more seamless skincare routine. I like the idea of building layers as it ensures that my skin gets the hydration it needs in the right amount of quantities.

This also includes SPF skincare. I think it is important to use a dedicated SPF everyday but if you can also find it in your skincare (like a moisturiser) it is great too!

I actually picked up a face cream with SPF 20 in it from Aldi and so far so good.



Spring calls for lighter make up bases (if I decide to even wear any that day) so I'd like my skin to be on its best behaviour. It is actually one of my focuses all-year-round but thought it was worth mentioning as I'll continue to do regular masks and treatments to look after my skin.

My current favourite face mask is the Kiehl's Turmeric and Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Masque.



How are you changing up your skincare regime going into spring?
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22 Mar 2020

I Tried A Birchbox Beauty Subscription Box



I've previously tried a Glossybox Beauty Box but I thought I'd try the Birchbox Subscription to see if I liked it! This is the March edition so if you are waiting for your box, expect these goodies.

The box itself costs £12.95 for 5 products and at the time they had a code on the website where you could receive an extra free pouch that has 7 products inside! I will share this in this post too. So in terms of money, I think that's really good value.

With Birchbox, you fill out a quiz about what your hair, skin type and goals are so they can tailor your box to your wants and needs.

This months theme was celebrating International Women's Day and busy women balancing career ladder climbing and social lives or school runs and deadlines, hence the packaging!



INSIDE THE BOX

Daily Concepts Exfoliating Dual Texture Scrubber | Worth £6.95
This is an environmentally-friendly sponge for shower exfoliation - I was actually after one of these so this is great!

Balance Me Vitamin C Repair Serum | Full size worth £32
A vitamin c daily use serum for protected, glowy and healthy skin. I love anything skincare so this is so exciting for me!

The Beauty Crop Wing Woman Eyeliner | Worth £14
This eyeliner looks like it has the perfect nib for that perfect wing! So excited to try this.



Forgive Me Suzie Liquid Eyeshadow in Dancing Queen | Worth £8
This is apparently a Birchbox exclusive and looks like a great rose gold liquid eyeshadow. Can't wait to experiment with this.

BOD Mermaid Shimmer Sorbet | Worth £4.99
This is a cream with shimmer in it to make your skin look healthy and glowy. I'm not sure I'll get much use out of this, given the situation, and also the fact that I don't really get my legs out during summer. I might pass this on to a friend!



INSIDE THE FREE POUCH

Baija Body Cream in Rose Lychee | Full size worth £15.90
This is a 96% natural body cream that smells like summer holiday in a tube!

Percy & Reed Totally TLC Hydrating Hair Mask | Full size worth £22
This is a sample of a hydrating hair mask that only needs to be left in for a few minutes. Can't wait to give this a go.

Birchbox Eyeshadow Brush | Worth £4
A little eyeshadow brush to add to my collection - it feels really soft.

Forgive Me Suzie Eyeshadow Palette in Naturally Yours | Worth £9
An exclusive to Birchbox 100% cruelty free and vegan eyeshadow palette with beautiful matte and shimmery tones. It seems like a good palette to experiment with!



Daily Concepts Mother of Pearl Soap Sponge | Worth £6
This is a 2in1 sponge that is an exfoliator as well as a cleanser. All you need to do is wet the sponge, let it lather up and apply to your skin.

Brave.New.Care Twinkle Twinkle Hair and Body Shimmer | Full size worth £11.50
This is a moisturising shimmer cream for your body AND hair. I'd love to see if it looks nice in my hair, otherwise will pass this on too as it is similar to the other product.

Candy Kittens More Than Just A Pretty Taste Sweets
Vegan sweets - yes please! Can't wait to enjoy these.



Overall, I think subscription boxes like these are a great way to experiment, try new brands as well as products and find something new. I really like most of the bits that came through in this box but some of these products will be passed on as I don't really need them! However, overall I think it is a great gift for yourself or for a friend.
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18 Mar 2020

Review: Palmers Coconut Oil Haircare Range



I'm often looking for more natural shampoos and conditioners or products without sulphates in them as I have curly hair (if you read this post, you'll understand why!)

I feel like more natural hair products are often priced higher so when I came across the Palmers Coconut Oil Shampoo, Conditioner and Leave-In Conditioner, I was pleasantly surprised that they were in the £4-£5 price range.



The shampoo and conditioner are sulphate and paraben free (as well as free of several other damaging ingredients) and you can really tell when you use the products.

When I use regular shampoo and conditioners in the shower, they often lather up and feel different. These products have less bubbles (which is usually the effect of the sulphates and parabens) and make my hair feel cleaner and lighter.

Having curly hair means that I should use products that make my hair feel lighter as it is already heavy enough. I really liked how the products felt straight after the shower and once my hair dried. I also LOVE the smell. It obviously has a coconut scent but it also smells clean and fresh.

The leave-in conditioner spray was great for keeping my hair hydrated after the shower. I would apply it when my hair was damp and also like applying it when my hair is dry to add nourishment to the ends.



Overall, I think that the range is great. I feel it is great value for money, works great with my hair and leaves it looking and feeling hydrated and nourished. I'd definitely recommend this to you if you are on the look out for something similar to me!
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15 Mar 2020

Meal Planning 101 // Recipes, Reducing Food Waste + Money Saving Tips



You may have noticed there has been quite a few food-related posts going up on my blog and Instagram lately, and judging by the amount of messages I get every time I post something I knew it is a topic that you'd like to see more of.

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8 Mar 2020

How I Deal With An Eczema Flare Up



I've been getting messages recently from a lot of followers or friends asking for advice on eczema and I thought I'd share the steps I take when I get a flare up. I'm really glad I have a routine when it comes to what to do when this happens as I previously would panic and apply every cream I owned on the affected area!

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26 Feb 2020

Chicken Skewers, Chickpea Couscous with Yoghurt & Mint Sauce | Recipe



I made these delicious chicken skewers and couscous over the weekend for dinner and it looked like a lot of people from Instagram wanted to have the recipe! I got so many messages so here it is for you all. I'd say this would serve about 4 main portions but the skewers would be a great starter too!

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23 Feb 2020

Review: Philips Lumea Prestige IPL Machine



I'm lucky to have been blessed with hairy genes (not) so I've spent most of my late-teens and early twenties finding the best ways to de-hair myself - which is great fun. Shaving, waxing, epilating, laser... I've tried them all!

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16 Feb 2020

A Postcard From Dubai



As you may know if you read this post, we recently went on holiday to Abu Dhabi and Dubai. I blogged about our Abu Dhabi portion of the trip but didn't share what we did when we went to Dubai. So I thought I'd pop up a post about our second part of the holiday.
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12 Feb 2020

The Only Pancake Recipe You Need



With Pancake Day around the corner, I thought I'd share my go-to pancake recipe that makes a perfect batch every time! Mark your calendars (25th February) so you can wow your friends, family or colleagues with delicious pancakes for the big day.

This recipe makes fluffy, American style pancakes but I'm sure it would be totally adaptable to make crepes, if that is what you prefer.
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9 Feb 2020

A Mini Superdrug Beauty Haul & First Impressions



I never really share my purchases on the blog but I thought I'd do a little Superdrug haul today! A couple of weeks back I did an online order to replenish my skincare stash and see what was new in the beauty section. I've been trying them them out and wanted to share what I bought as well as my first impressions on some of the products.
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5 Feb 2020

Recipe: Bang Bang Chicken Pittas With Spiced Yoghurt Sauce



If you are stuck on recipe ideas for tonight, I've got you covered! These spiced chicken pittas with cumin-yoghurt sauce are super easy and quick to put together and taste delicious. They can also be put in burgers, wraps, rice bowls or served on it's own. Without further ado, here is the recipe.

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2 Feb 2020

Thinking About Anti-Ageing Skincare In Your 20s



There are a lot of products in the market at the moment targeted towards anti-ageing and sometimes I feel the pressure to begin using skincare that prevents wrinkles and fine lines. I'm only 23! But I only started to become conscious about my smile lines and forehead wrinkles as soon as I heard about products that could reduce them. So today I thought I'd share a guide with products and recommendations that help with anti-ageing but aren't directly for more older, mature skin.

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26 Jan 2020

The Abu Dhabi Diaries | Travel Guide



If you've been keeping up with my Instagram (@fatimawrites_) you'd know that I started off the year in the UAE! We had the greatest holiday, it was the perfect temperature out there and we also got to spend a few days in Dubai, which was equally as amazing (I'll be sure to blog about this too!)

Anyway, I've spent some time in Abu Dhabi before but never actually shared much about our trip over on the blog. So I thought I'd put together a mini travel guide for those thinking about visiting.


THINGS TO SEE:

Qasr al Watan (The Presidential Palace)
If you are into learning about the culture and history of Abu Dhabi and the UAE, this palace is one to visit. It's not a residential palace, it's a building where leaders can come together for meetings and important occasions.







It's a beautifully designed building and has equally beautiful lands and apparently took 7 years to build! One of the rooms had a chandelier that consisted of 350,000 crystals and a dome lined with 23-carat gold leaf. The palace is separated into several areas such as Presidential Gifts, House of Knowledge and many more - all of which includes interesting info.

I believe the palace also has an evening laser light show, which we sadly didn't get to see but sounded amazing!

The Louvre
So if you are familiar with The Louvre museum in Paris, they have another branch of the museum in Abu Dhabi. You should expect a lot of history, of course, and culture. There's not much I can say about the museum because there was so much to see - you could easily spend an entire day here.







Sheikh Zayed Mosque
This mosque is one of the most famous mosques in the world and is a landmark that many come to visit when they are in the UAE. It's the largest mosque in the country, has the world's largest hand-knotted carpet (took 8 months to design, 12 months to knot and 2 months to transport, weave and trim) and has over 80 domes.

It's a beautiful place to visit and whether you are or aren't religious, you really feel the atmosphere.



THINGS TO DO:

The Corniche
Abu Dhabi has the softest sand! And beautiful beaches too. We spent New Years on the beach where there was an amazing firework show - it really was out of this world. Evening walks on the beach were great too. You can also rent out electrical bikes or scooters and take a ride across the beach.



Umm al Emarat Park
This park has lots of restaurants, cafes, stalls and plenty of other bits going on! We spent a good few hours here (there were kids with us, who were well entertained) and it was great fun.

Yas Waterworld
On our last visit to Abu Dhabi, we spent a day at Yas Waterworld on Yas Island. No matter what age you are, you always have a blast (and feel like a child again) when you go to a waterpark! It's really good fun and makes for a great day out.

Warners Bros World
If yo are a fan of Warners Brothers TV shows and movies, this is a must-visit. It's an indoor amusement park that has rollercoasters, rides and other fun attractions. A great day out for both adults and kids.


Ferrari World
I haven't visited Ferrari World yet but has heard it's really great. Be sure to check it out if you get a chance!

Marina Eye
We didn't go on this either, as it's not really for us, but if you want to get a great view of the city it's a good spot to visit.



WHERE TO EAT:
Here are a few of the spots we went to on our travels but in general, all food is pretty amazing out in Abu Dhabi.







  • Magnolia Bakery | Loaded Fries, Flatbread Pizza and the Milk Cake
  • P F Changs | Mongolian Beef and Dynamite Shrimp
  • Salt | Mint Lemonade and Lotus Affogato (all of the food is tasty here)
  • Last Exit | There are lots of drive-thru vans here - plenty of choice! 
  • Casper and Gambini - Profiteroles 
  • Pizza Express - Tandoori Chicken Pizza and Hawaiian Pizza (there are other regional items on their menu, which sound amazing!)


SHOPPING:
There are plenty of malls to visit in Abu Dhabi but our top favourite was The Galleria - there are just so many stores, entertainment areas and food places. Other malls you can visit are Yas Mall, Marina Mall, WTC Mall and Abu Dhabi Mall.



So there's a little highlight reel of our holiday to Abu Dhabi! Have you visited before? 
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19 Jan 2020

3 Life-Changing Things I've Learnt From An Edited Life by Anna Newton



Over the past few months, I've been reading An Edited Life by Anna Newton (The Anna Edit) on and off (I've never been a good reader!) and I thought I'd share some of the key outcomes I've learnt. The book is about all things organisation, decluttering, being efficient and of course, editing. Split into various chapters about life, work and home, there's something for everyone.



LESSON NO 1 | The 50:30:20 income split

In the Life chapter, Anna talks about money and budgeting. I subconsciously have always done this tip but it was good to get a handle on the topic a bit more and I thought it would be a useful method to share with you all!

Your net income should be split into 3 ways: fixed expenses, variable expenses and savings & debts:

  • FIXED EXPENSES | 50% - Rent / mortgage, bills (water, electric, gas), car expenses, council tax, insurance etc.
  • VARIABLE EXPENSES | 30% - Food shopping, health (gym, healthcare etc), subscriptions, entertainment, gifting etc.
  • SAVINGS & DEBTS | 20% - Savings, pension & loan repayments etc. 

First things first would be to organise your income into these three categories and figure out how your money is usually split. If it is looking similar, great! You are on the right track. If it is looking more like 40:50:10, maybe it is a good time to rethink your outcomes and variable expenses.

This method will hopefully help me save a lot more and hope it helps you if you are looking to organise your earnings and expenses better. 


LESSON NO 2 | Improving your productivity levels

I'm always up for any advice on how to up my productivity, whether it is at work or home. So when Anna talked about the 'one touch' and 'three tasks a day' rule in the Work section of her book, I thought I'd try these tips out. 

  • ONE TOUCH RULE | Avoid starting a task if you can't see it through from start to finish. If you find yourself dipping in and out of tasks, this can actually be unproductive and it might be better to work chunks so you can get one job done at a time. 
  • THREE TASKS A DAY | Set yourself just three main tasks for the day and this will help you balance your day. It's enough to see you through the day but also make you feel like you have done enough without wanting to do more.


LESSON NO 3 | The F.U.L.L. method for decluttering

I admit, I think I am a hoarder in some aspects on my life. When it comes to my make up and skincare, I am really good at keeping my collection concise. However, cleaning products, clothes and other bits and bobs around the home, that's a bit of a touchy subject. 

Anna has invented the F.U.L.L. method (look in the Home chapter) for when you are decluttering each area in your home. 

  • Is it FUNCTIONAL? Have you got use for it?
  • Have you USED it in the last year?
  • Do you LOVE it?
  • Do you like the LOOK of it?

The book contains lists and other tips and advice for if you are looking for more information so be sure to check it out if you are interested. 


And there you go - three life-changing lessons I've learnt from An Edited Life. The book is a great resource for guidance on organising your life, home and work. If you are looking for a book you can dip in and out of for advice on themes, like the above, I highly recommend getting your hands on this. Alternatively, Anna's blog and Youtube channel is full of other tips and advice on similar topics!
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5 Jan 2020

My Go-To Winter Weekend Look






It's been a while since I've done an outfit post on the blog! I really wanted to share this outfit because I am obsessed with this dress at the moment. During the winter months, I feel like it is really easy to get stuck in a rut and wear the same jumpers with jeans but this dress makes me feel a little more glam.
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