Heres to another f@-!ing New Year! 

2014 was horrific, all the bad things in one. 2015 has been the year of….. stuff. Good stuff, bad stuff, middle of the road….stuff. I write this still recovering from the flu thats lingered for the last week, watching Masterchef and I can’t find the words to describe this year because it is what it is. 

This year has been the year I learnt to like myself abit more, got to know myself better and learnt to really   to really love not in the romantic sense as I stopped looking, but my friends and family. I feel stronger, more content and ready for whatever 2016 has in store. 

The Danish have this wonderful term hygge which I absolutely adore, it means taking pleasure it means getting cosy. For myself that means lighting my candles, long walks, cosy mornings and evenings reading books and watching films in bed. I’m using this week to fully recover, indulge, make plans for the year ahead and fully embrace hygge. 

Heres to a healthy, happy 2016 full of utter wonder! 
Shaziya Niamh xo 

                   

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Paris 

  
I haven’t really written anything in months because life and the stuff (new job/vague workout routine) have gotten in the way. Thats the thing though life gets in the way, in the way of the stuff that you need/ want desire to do.  

Friday was a regular Friday night my friend Kirsten was over and we were chatting about stuff over mulled cider with the tele in the background. Then the news happened and reports about the events seeped through and suddenly it wasn’t so normal because although I don’t live in Paris my heart still hurts for all those affected by the events of Friday night and not just Friday night but other events in other places. I watched the news and I cried for the people affected, the lives lost and their loved ones. 

Just because it happened in another country doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect us. These people were out enjoying thier lives, spending time doing what they loved with people they loved and thats why it hits so close. It could have been any of us, it hurts, I want to hold all the people  I love just alittle closer and hug them alittle tighter. 

Last night I lit my candles as I always do and send good vibes out to Paris but not just to Paris but to the world. Send out those good vibes and do the little things because those little things make a big difference. 

Shaziya Niamh xo 

Roasted tomato, basil and quinoa risotto. 

  

Colder days are on here and I for one am very happy! Don’t get me wrong I love summer and the endless days and longer nights that come with it, but theres something comforting about Autumn. Cooler climes mean comfort food and as you may have gathered I love abit of comfort food. 

This recipe stemmed from a craving for roasted tomato soup, a new lust for basil and a need for something healthy. As always I researched and had a vague idea of what I wanted to make before I made it. Personally I like it simple with just a handful of spinach mixed in but you could add alittle something extra if you wanted. 

You will need: 

  • A jar/ carton of passata. 
  • 5/ 6/ 10 vine tomatoes (pending on how much you want to make) 
  • 3-5 cloves of garlic (depends on taste I like my food REALLY garlicy!) 
  • A handful of basil. 
  • One- two cups of quinoa. 
  • Extra virgin olive oil. 
  • A vegetable or chicken stock cube. 
  • A chopped white onion. 

Method. 

Drizzle a roasting tray with olive oil, sea salt and black pepper, add the chopped tomatoes, garlic and basil  roast in the oven on a high heat for about twenty minutes or until they look roasted. In a pot simmer your chopped onions with alittle olive oil (you could also use the one cal spray) add chilli if desired and once golden brown add you stock cube and alittle water. Pour the passata into a bowl and add the roasted tomato and garlic using a blender blitz until smooth, add the mix to the onions and simmer. You could have this as a roasted tomato soup, but if you fancy something with a bit more substance add the quinoa. Add alittle more water and cook until the quinoa goes translucent. 

Enjoy with a glass of wine or warming cup of tea! 

Happy Saturday. 

Shaziya Niamh xo

Alittle piece of lovelyness on Brixton Hill. 

  

Months ago I went for coffee with my friend Shona and you know when you meet up with a friend at a place but you don’t have any idea where to go or really what to do. 

Well thats what happened that day and it led us to stumble upon a really nice cafe on Brixton Hill called KataKata. This place serves up delicious juices and crepes that are both vegan and vegetarian friendly. Given my general lactose intolerance eating out can be a minefield, I find cheese makes me bleed and wheat makes me sleepy, which means I have to think outside the box and makes me adventurous by accident! 

Anyhow, Katakata is a little piece of heaven the staff are really friendly and although I had a delicious juice and hot water with lemon this time next time there will inevitably be a crepe with my name on! 

  
So next time you’re in Brixton be sure to check out this place! 

Happy Monday! 

Shaziya Niamh xo 

Humans of New York. 

Humans of New York was started by a bloke called Brandon way back in 2010 and has become a global phenomenon. If you haven’t heard of him before he takes photos of the people he meets (usually in New York) and asks them A question and the answers can be anything from utterly heartbreaking to completely smile inducing!, either way they tell a stories we can all relate to on some level. 

Brandon’s on his holidays at the moment and (lucky for us) instead of lounging by the pool he is outthere traveling and bringing more stories to our attention. 

He is currently over in Pakistan the Hunza Valley to be exact. I went over (to Pakistan, not the Hunza Valley specifically) when I was 11 going on 12 and though my memories of that time have faded slightly. However, I do remember just how beautiful a country it is and was. Its often depicted as a horrible place but what I love about his photos and stories is that he is really showing the true beauty of Pakistan. 

I don’t know half as much about the Pakistani side of my heritage as I would like to but his photos have made me feel really connected to the place and people. 

Shaziya NIamh xo 

Happy Bithday Sam!!! 

  
Today my not so little sister Sam turns 24, she really is the light of my life and the sound to my song. I was lucky enough to spend ten whole days with her when we went on holiday last month and fantastic times were had. 

We’ll be celebrating this weekend with copious amounts of cake and just alittle wine! 

So raise a glass if you get a chance. 

Happy Thursday! 

Shaziya Niamh xo 

The Tea Post- My everyday tea. 

  Ever since starting this blog- I have wanted to write about tea, however the timing never really felt right. You see I’ve been brought up on tea. As a child I was pretty sure (at one point) my parents only had children to make them copious amounts of tea! I never understood why or how they could drink tea in the summer but now I’m adult regardless of the temperature there will be a pot of tea on the go.  

Now I’ve been drinking green tea since I was about 15 and my earliest memory involves a mug of green tea in Bewleys cafe in Dublin with my Aunt alongside a great hunk of chocolate cake! I usually have a few green teas on the go and and in the next few weeks I will talk more about (mixing between tea & wine posts on a Wednesday) the others. 

Clipper green tea has been my everyday green tea for nearly a decade now. You can get it in most supermarkets and grocery stores and its fairly cheap but great quality. When it comes to green tea I have to admit I am abit of a purist as in I like it in a mug, on its own without any fancy stuff (honey/sugar/milk). Friends  have pointed out it is quite bitter but I am so used to drinking it that I don’t notice! Like a homing pigeon it doesn’t matter what other teas I try I will always come back to it! 

Whats your favourite tea? 

Feel free to leave a comment/ tea anecdote in the comments! 

Shaziya Niamh xo