My SO and I do a lot of cooking at home so being able to afford ingredients and having the right equipment at our disposal means the world to me. In Taiwan I didn't have a kitchen, most people I knew didn't. I didn't eat well either, I had a number of bad experiences with food poisoning due to eating out, so I used an induction cooker and toaster to cook mediocre food. I had a tiny fridge freezer at the end of my bed (which would often turn itself off) and I sometimes look back and can't believe the way I was living. Something as simple as an oven or a washing machine with hot water was deemed unnecessary. It's no wonder I was so ill when I left. For just under a year, I struggled. I knew that once I was back, I would never again take anything for granted here in Europe. We have so much, we waste so much and we want so much. Our standard of living, is generally very high.
Now, based on my experiences, I shouldn't really write a haul post. The whole point is to show off what you have, it's consumerist propaganda and it encourages materialism. However contradictory it seems, the reason I'm posting this is because I want this blog to be personal, I want people to get to know me and I feel as though you can tell a lot about someone by the images and text they choose to share online. I regularly ordered my groceries from Tesco when I lived in the UK, something I wasn't able to do whilst living in Taiwan. When I moved to Poland and discovered that they had Tesco stores here, I ordered a club card and started using their online delivery service (e-zakupy). I was surprised by how cost efficient it was. There are eight flights of stairs to get to my floor (the fourth) and there are no elevators in the building. They always bring everything straight to your door, I mean, everything, it's incredible. I've never seen such perfect customer service.
Sometimes, my SO and I would travel to the Tesco nearest to us, which is still a bit of a journey away. We would eat in the canteen (which reminds me of the UK as most supermarkets at least have a café). We'd always check for any interesting sale items in the clothing department whilst there (it was superb at Christmas) but I missed being able to order clothes in the same way I ordered groceries, digitally. Recently, Tesco opened an online F&F store and there are no words to describe how excited I was. I checked whether or not it would be cheaper to order from the new Polish site or from the UK site and although the items arrive with British price tags, I paid significantly less by ordering them over here; you do need a Polish address though.
So, what did I buy? I bought a pair of beautiful black Chelsea boots, a pair of grey and white leopard print trainers, some underwear, black high waisted jeans and a simple long sleeved black top. I'm not confident enough to take a photograph of myself wearing my purchases but I think this is a good start. I have a rule about buying new clothes, if I buy something new, I give something away. I've put a pair of green shoes and a green dress into a bag for charity along with a pair of black and white pinstripe leggings, a pink top and a pair of my SO's trousers (he no longer wanted them). It feels like a positive thing to do and it's been a long time since I was able to treat myself to clothes.
This is my first Easter in Poland and as I'm home alone (with the dog) I decided not to attempt anything too eggstravagant (extravagant). I did however manage to make żurek in five minutes using a packet of soup and some hard boiled eggs left over from yesterday's eggciting eggsperiment (exciting experiment). It was quite a novelty for me to have something like this for breakfast as I usually eat cereal or toast.
Żurek is a sour rye soup which originated in Poland and is often served at Easter, sometimes people add boiled carrots, potatoes (as more of a meal), white sausage or other kinds of meat. I decided to keep it simple and serve it with bread. If you've ever been to a supermarket here, you may have noticed bottles containing an unusual creamy liquid, this is ryemeal sour (żur or kwas), if you have time, you can use it to make the soup. If you have even more time you can actually ferment the rye flour yourself (this takes about a week).
You will need:
A packet of instant żurek
Boiled eggs, peeled, halved
Cooked sausage, meat, potatoes or carrots (optional)
A roux (flour and fat mix to thicken if necessary)
Water (see back of packet)
Mix the powdered soup in a saucepan with the water. Once mixed, boil the soup, stirring continuously. If you find that the soup has too much water, add a roux. This morning I actually just sieved flour into it, making sure there were no lumps, it worked. Add the boiled eggs and other cooked ingredients, stir, turn off the heat and serve. If you're feeling adventurous you could even try to serve it in a traditional bread bowl!
Be careful not to leave the soup to cool before serving as it may form a rather unappetising skin.
I recently came across an image on Tumblr. I right clicked 'Search Google for this image' and found myself on this ELLE Decoration Instagram Inspiration post. From there I discovered the absolutely stunning, well curated, flawlessly designed work of Homestead Seattle. I highly recommend checking out their Instagram and website. All of the above images have click through links if you're interested. Everything they post is Pinterest worthy.
This is exactly the kind of style I'd like in our apartment but due to limited funds, resources and time I think it'll be a while before we can achieve this look. I've tried my best using the furniture left here by our landlord (or the previous tenants). I painted the walls, window frames and radiator white and then rearranged everything. We then added the plants, IKEA curtains and bookshelf. I even covered the old IKEA chair using light grey fabric (originally a bed sheet).
You will need:
Carefully remove the yellow yolks from the boiled egg halves and place in a bowl. Add a couple of teaspoons of beetroot juice and a couple of tablespoons of mayonnaise making sure to adjust based on how many egg yolks you're using or how pink you want them to be. Mix it all together until it's smooth, then spoon the mixture into the yolkless egg whites.
If you have some mixture left over you can make some cute little sandwiches.
Amongst all of the commonly consumed cruciferous vegetables, broccoli stands out as the most concentrated source of a premiere antioxidant nutrient, vitamin C. This vitamin can provide longer-term support of oxygen metabolism in the body if it is accompanied by flavonoids that allow it to recycle. Broccoli provides many such flavonoids in significant amounts, including the flavonoids kaempferol and quercitin. Also concentrated in broccoli are the carotenoids lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene. All three of these carotenoids function as key antioxidants. In the case of lutein and beta-carotene, broccoli has been shown not only to provide significant amounts of these antioxidants but to significantly increase their blood levels when consumed in the amount of three cups. Other antioxidants provided by broccoli in beneficial amounts include vitamin E and the minerals manganese and zinc.
Broccoli has an unusually strong combination of both vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene) and vitamin K. For people faced with the need to rebuild vitamin D stores through vitamin D supplements, broccoli may be an ideal food to include in the diet.
(WHFoods, Date Unknown)
Yesterday (Friday the 3rd of April 2015), I made broccoli soup. Here’s the recipe:
You will need:
Ok, so the first thing you need to do is add oil to a good sized sauce pan and heat it slightly before adding the chopped vegetables. Once the vegetables have been added, pour in more oil. Stir the vegetables in the oil until they start to soften, don’t let them burn, keep stirring. This is known as sweating.
Mix the water with a stock cube and pour over the sweated vegetables. Keep stirring. I usually add a lid at this point and leave them to boil and then simmer for a few minutes. When the vegetables are soft, you can use a hand blender to blend it all together in the pan or add it to a mixer if you’d prefer. If you think you have too much water, you can drain a little before blending. I would also suggest adding some salt and pepper before blending. I sometimes stir in a tablespoon of cream as well.
After blending, you can pour your soup into a bowl, add some bread and eat it all up.
WHFoods (Date Unknown) 'Broccoli' [Online] Available from:
Tuesday the 31st of March 2015
I just want a hot Vimto, a corned beef sandwich with HP sauce and hugs from my family. I’m not well. Zośka (our dog) isn’t well. My SO is well but has gone back home for Easter and the apartment feels incredibly quiet. I lost my voice last week, after being kindly taken to a laryngologist by my school I was diagnosed with laryngitis (again). My voice hasn’t completely returned yet but it’s steadily improving, I still have a cough, which is frustrating and my entire body aches.
Here are the remedies I was told might help:
I’m not sure if I’ve missed anything but generally it seems to be a lot of immune strengthening vitamins. My skin seems rather blistered at the moment, which makes me wonder whether or not I’m actually allergic to any of the medicines listed above. I’ve showered, put on my pyjamas and applied conditioner to my hair. I decided to leave in the conditioner as since dying my hair, I’ve noticed that it’s very dry. It’s really cold in here at the moment so I think I’m about to fill a hot water bottle. The week long Easter holiday begins on Thursday; I haven’t been in school since Wednesday last week. I hate not being in school, especially when there’s a festival on the horizon, I have so many great Easter crafts and puzzles that I’m going to have to save for next year. The same thing happened at Christmas. I was ill over Christmas and now I’m ill over Easter. What’s next I wonder?
Speaking of health I received a tweet regarding one of my previous posts relating to the health benefits of turmeric. If you’re interested in learning more about turmeric, there’s a thorough and researched version, updated for 2015 here.
Wednesday the 1st of April 2015
The dog is asleep and I finally caught up with reading Frank Quietly and Grant Morrison’s New X-Men Vol. 1-7. We’ve had a lot of torrential rain here recently so I don’t really mind being stuck inside. Having to carry our dog down a number of stairs (fourth floor, high ceilings) to get her to pee outside takes a lot of effort; I should’ve trained her to pee in the shower. Although, she wasn’t as bad as this when we first adopted her, it’s unfortunate that she’s so weak at the moment.
Saturday the 4th of April 2015
I can’t believe today is Saturday. I feel as though I’ve lost an entire week. All I’ve done is lie around in the apartment eating chocolate. I’ve been catching up on a lot of television series too. I hate wasting time and feeling unproductive. I haven’t done any cleaning or general organisational chores.
I’m trying to catch up with some of my assignments for Squared Online but it’s incredibly time consuming when your concentration has been compromised. There’s a great Nathan Guerra video about YouTube Storytelling. It’s interesting. I feel as though I need to start making YouTube videos or at least producing regular content. Episodic content on art, expat life, foreign language learning or travel culture might be an appropriate route for me to go down. I made so many mistakes by removing myself from the internet while at university. My Pinterest account is probably the only platform I use which is consistently updated and therefore doing well.