Couch Talk - Leaving the past alone

This is us. Me and V. Having a chat whilst we're thousands of miles apart.

Vanisha had the awesome idea to host a Couch Talk series. A little like a coffee date and a little like vino with friends. 

Then she asked me to co-host, I was honoured and of course said yes!

So it begins, what we hope will be the start of something big, and something you will all join in with. Think hot drink/cold wine, friends, laughter, and life. There maybe a little weirdness in there too, but what the heck, we're friends!

(If you're taken aback by the length of this post, we've put the questions in bold, if you want to contribute)

Vanisha: Hey lovely, I recently read The Alchemy of Desire by Tarun J Tejpal, It was an interesting book, I thought it could have been simpler – but this isn’t a book review…The story was about a man that comes across a trunk full of old journals. When the trunk is unearthed, one man is adamant that it should be left alone: “I am telling you a lot. I am saying leave what is buried well alone. The world needs living men not ghosts” He kept saying he knew nothing except that the past should not be stirred. It’s only a few lines but they are the ones that gripped me the most. And got me thinking. Do you think we should let the past alone? 

Helen: I don't think we should leave the past alone. Our past shapes us and influences who we are. I do think that you shouldn't let the past define who you are now though. There is a very fine line between letting it influence you and letting it define you. It's important to know who you are and where you come from. I've been through some tough times and when I need to find strength I look back. I'm living proof of the "I've gotten through it once I can do it again mentality". The past can be a comfort too. When I'm old nearing the end of my life I WANT to look back, I want to see that the past (my life) was a wonderful experience and I made the most of it. We are only human, and have 1 life. It's made up of our past's, present's and future's, why would you want to forgo one of them?  The book sounds really interesting V, I'm going to have to read it. I could only have this conversation with you! What is your opinion on the subject? What if you found a trunk of old journals, would you open it, read them?

Vanisha: I don't know really. If I found a trunk of old journals, I guess I would read them if they belonged to someone I didn't know personally. If I ever came across, for instance, a bunch of Patrick's journals or my mum's I don't think I would read them. Mostly because I'd obviously be reading without understanding the context in which they were written, leaving so much room for misinterpretation. I mean, sometimes I want to know everything, and other times, maybe not knowing is better. But there's always a flip side isn't there. Lately we were in a situation where something about his past that I didn't know in detail came up, a third party mentioned it, and I was upset that I didn't know (don't worry nothing serious!). That could suck, being caught off guard like that. I think the danger is getting caught up in the past and not focusing on the 'now'. I'm all for looking back on my life, but I personally don't read old journal entries I've written...maybe it scares me? I don't know. If you put it in the context of a relationship, would you like to know everything about your partner's past?

Helen: No way! I think I'd go crazy. Every little detail I read I'd want to know more and more. If he wanted to share something with me then of course I'd listen, but I wouldn't take it upon myself to read them. Enough talk about the past, how do you look to the future? I struggle sometimes with seeing the bigger picture. I find it hard to focus on where I want to be and what I can do to get me there. What are you goals for the next 6 months? I've loved having a proper convo with you V, we have to do it again soon. 

Vanisha: I think the future is so much more exciting! Especially when it holds the possibility of us meeting up somewhere! I've got a ton of writing to get through in the next few months. But you already know about all my other fun goals! One of the great things about having a blog is you have friends that you feel a little accountable to, and often that's a great motivation to attain your goals! 

From Us to You: What about all of you? You've been sitting in on our chat. What are your opinions? Past, present or future, which do you focus on most? Do you let everything every aspect of your life influence where you are now? How do you plan for the future? If you found a box of your partners journals, would you read them? That's a lot of questions, but we know you can handle it!

We're thinking about hosting a monthly couch talk series, let us know if there's something you think would be fun to talk about! 

Do you think this would work as a link up? We'd love to know!

If have any ideas just leave a comment, we'd love to hear from you.

Much love, 
Helen & Vanisha

YOLO - "You Only Live Once"

I'm back from what has been a mind changing holiday. 
I don't mean I've been brainwashed, but long talks with a good friend, wine, and a view like this

puts life into perspective.

Whilst I was away a friend introduced me to the phrase YOLO; You Only Live Once.
I'm going to start embracing everything I do with that phrase.

After an evening of wine, cards, and lots of talking, Gem and I decided we should write our bucket lists.
I never really thought about updating the one I wrote when I was 14. It's strange how much has changed, hardly anything original is on my new list.

In the spirit of YOLO I thought I'd share my bucket list with you, updating you as I cross things off.

Bucket List
Keep writing.
Parasail. DONE! Pictures/details in a future post.
Walk the Great Wall of China.
Bungee jump.
Parachute jump.
Jump off a cliff into the sea.
Help build a school and wells in Africa.
See Pompeii.
See the Taj Mahal.
See the Terracotta Army.
Be financially independent.
Be 100% happy being alone.
Move the the USA.
Be true to my religion.
Find the one who will make me fall in love again.
Adopt a baby.
Act, just for acting sake.
Learn a language.
Run a marathon.
Get to my goal weight.

We also decided it would be a good idea to write a 'I will never' list. I don't think this will change throughout my life.

I will never....
Be taken for granted.
Doubt myself.
Not appreciate what I've got.
Take friends for granted.
Have an affair.
Tolerate cheating.
Get married because I feel like it's my only chance.
Regret the fact that I'm alive.
Forget I was born for a very important reason, even if it feels like I haven't figured out what yet.

Do you have a bucket list? If so what's on it?
What about an I will never list? What would be on yours?

Super Healthy Pizza

I mean hand-made from scratch, 120 calorie a slice pizza.

Remember this post, about me not being good at making bread based products?
I think I've broken the curse! This pizza base turned out great too.

Even when you consider you're making the pizza dough from the beginning this pizza still only take 30 mins to make and bake.
Why is it super healthy?

The dough is half white and half whole wheat bread flour, which massively ups the fibre content.
Its packed with veggies.
It hardly uses any cheese and what it does use is the light variety.
It doesn't go over board on the fatty toppings i.e. salami. Using the turkey varitety as well cuts the calories; only 18 a slice!

Perfect for family pizza/movie night.
No guilt required!

Super Healthy Pizza

Serves - 2-8 depending on how many slices you want.

100g each strong white and wholewheat flour
7g sachet easy-blend dried yeast
125ml warm water
200g can shopped tomatoes, drained
Handful cherry tomatoes, halved
1 large courgette, thinly sliced
4 slice of salami, preferably turkey
25g Mozzarella, torn into pieces
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper

1. Mix the flours and yeast with a pinch of salt in a mixer fitted with a dough blade. Pour in the water and mix to a soft dough, then work for 1 min. Remove the dough and roll out on a lightly floured surface to a round about 30cm across. Lift onto an oiled baking sheet.

2. Spread the canned tomatoes over the dough to within 2cm of the edges. Arrange cherry tomatoes, courgette slices and salami over the top. Scatter with mozzarella. Drizzle evenly with oil. Leave to rise for 20 mins. Heat oven to 240 degrees/gas mark 9 of the highest setting.

3. Bake the pizza for 10-12 mins until crisp and golden around the edges.

Wanna join my gang?

How about joining my gang for September?

The answer to the above question is YES. Who wouldn't want to sponsor that delightful looking human being!?

She has grown, and by she I mean this cute little blog, since I've been accepting sponsors.
She's still only small but packs a powerful punch!

All the money I get from you sponsoring me goes into me sponsoring others. I get traffic so you get traffic, its a win win situation.

Here are some stats:

Pageviews per day: 200+
Pageviews last month: 3,804
All time page views - 19,695
Average number of posts per week - 6
GFC followers: 177
Social network followers (Bloglovin', Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram): 700+

I would love to have you. I'd have so much fun promoting your blog, and getting to know you.

For all medium and large ads in September you'll get another month free! That's 2 months for the price of 1!

Meet the Ladies in Navy

I'd like to introduce two awesome Ladies to you today.
CP and KW are friends, neighbours, colleagues and now bloggers.
They put great outfits together using their same sense of style and individual elements.
Think vintage elegance and you're just about there.

Wanna get to know them better read on.

So, tell me a little about yourselves....

We’re shy about describing ourselves so we thought we’d each describe each other briefly to give you a look into who we are!

CP is petite (unlike me!) and her style ranges from classy to librarian-chic (not that those are mutually exclusive). She starts grad school in the fall in Library Sciences and is over the moon about it. CP got me started on genealogy research, made me obsessed with family heirloom jewelry, and generally inspires me to be a happier, fitter, more productive human (to steal some apropos Radiohead lyrics).

With her long chestnut locks and elegant height, KW could truly be a model. But she would be the kind of model that was also incredibly smart, witty and a lovely friend. I knew she was a kindred spirit immediately, but couldn’t launch into a full friendship until she graduated and stopped being my work study student. Knowing her as her boss was a joy, but having her as a co-blogger and friend is just the very best! Her style is professional and crisp with a fun, trendy flair and everyone who reads our blog loves her on sight. I’m lucky to have such a sweet and pretty friend!

Why did you start blogging?
We’re colleagues, close friends, and neighbors and decided to embark on this blogging adventure together after falling in love with a particularly nautical and classy fashion blog. We also felt like we could benefit from following the trends a bit more closely and dressing well at work and on the weekends – without any inspiration around us at work and no reason to dress well, we kept sliding into jeans and hoodie ruts!

Designer or thrifted?

We’d love to fall on the designer side of the spectrum, but that’s not a personal or financial reality for both of us, so we fall somewhere between the two. If you follow our blog you can see a few thrifted designer items (to make this more complicated), a few gifted designer items, some sparse representation from local boutiques, and a whole bunch of chain store purchases (fabulous staples from the Gap, bold wardrobe pieces from Forever 21, and some representation from the Limited, Nordstrom, Old Navy, and Macys).

When I say perfect outfit, you say....
It depends. We’re pretty partial to layered dress and top and cardi combos (just browse through the blog – I bet you’ll get bored of it). For KW, the perfect outfit would definitely be a high waisted skirt, chiffon blouse, and tall patent heels. For CP, a pencil skirt, ¾ sleeve sweater,  a pair of patterned tights, oxford heels, and vintage jewelry with a fascinating family story.

Describe your blog in 5 words.
Inspired, growing, and ever-evolving.

Aren't they just the sweetest?

You can find them at....

Ciera's Tuna Fish Crackers

Have you met Ciera yet?
You should!
As well as being an amazing graphic designer. Her blog is divine too.
She's moving back to New Orleans too. A place I would love to go.
For now though she's sharing a recipe for tuna fish crackers.

Hello y'all, I'm so excited to be guest posting here on Eat Enjoy Live today! I’m Ciera, a graphic designer, blogger and Etsy shop owner.

On my blog, Ciera Design I love to share my adventures as a freelance graphic designer and everything that exhilarates me as an artist. I love posting DIY projects, photography, recipes and all things graphic design! I'm not the best cook so usually my recipes are pretty simple and today I'd like to share an easy TUNA FISH CRACKER snack recipe with you guys!
solid white albacore tuna fish
stone ground wheat cracker
parmesan cheese
fresh basil
salt & pepper
Mix solid white albacore tuna fish with a small amount of mayonnaise. Place a spoonful of mixed tuna onto a stone ground wheat cracker. Top with a wedge of tomato, grated parmesan cheese, fresh chopped basil, salt & pepper and you have yourself a yummy afternoon snack!

Afternoon Snack

Afternoon Snack

Thank you so much for having me Helen! I'd love for you guys to stop by my blog and say hello! You can also find me here: twitter || facebook || pinterest || instagram

Meet Paige from Eloping Stethoscope

Today I have the wonderful Paige from Eloping Stethoscope to introduce to you. She's one of my large sponsors and has been a delight to get to know.
Plus she make the most beautiful jewellry!
Over to you Paige.

Hey everyone! I'm Paige and I blog at Eloping Stethoscope! I used to be "The Eloping Stethoscope" but like Facebook, I dropped the, the. Isn't that the way it always goes?

I thought I'd start by introducing myself with a couple of random facts.

First, I love pot roast with carrots and potatoes. Seriously, I could eat it everyday of the week and not get tired of it. 

Second, I'm probably the biggest slacker of a nursing student ever. Nursing students are supposed to be analytical, attentive and super focused. If I sit in a four hour lecture class, I will start pretending I'm a seal and balancing pencils on my nose. I've also been known to spin in my chair. They really shouldn't have spinny chairs in classes.

Third, my husband is a full foot taller than me. It makes for some pretty funny kisses, pictures and hugs.
Can you tell he just LOVES to take pictures? Haha

Fourth, to contrast the slacker nursing student part of me, I'm in charge of the mentor program for my school. Figure that one out will ya?

Fifth, since starting nursing school, I've discovered that mentoring people is in my blood. Any ideas how to use my nursing degree for that one? Hah.

Another thing I wanted to talk about in this introduction is my new jewelry shop called Eloping Designs!

I started making jewelry a couple of years ago as a creative outlet. It really is a destressor for me. With all the analytical thinking in nursing school that makes me want to tear my brain out, I really need to exercise my right side of the brain!

I decided on jewelry making because I was always having a hard time to find bracelets that fit right with my tiny wrists, earrings that didn't hurt my ears, and necklaces that were perfect without spending a ton of money.

Then I found out my great grandmother also made jewelry and before she died, she passed on a box of the jewelry supplies she had. (She kept them in a metal tin! Typical Grandma!) It's been a joy for both me and my mom to feel like we carry a piece of my great grandmother with us when we wear the jewelry I make from her supplies!

Now, through the entire month of August, every jewelry customer is going to play the lottery! Each order is going to contain a scratch off lottery ticket that will have either no gift card or a five, ten or fifteen dollar gift card!

Also, keep a watch on my facebook because before I list items, I put a picture on my facebook. When I do that, if you are the first person you can get them at a discounted price PLUS free shipping!

So order some jewelry and try your luck!

Want to get updates from my blog? Follow me on Twitter!
Want to see all the pretty blog planners/printables and jewelry I've been making lately? 
Visit my shop!
Eloping Designs

Mini Peanut Butter Cheesecakes

This is actually half a recipe. You can find the full one here and make two different cheesecake batters!

Cheesecake is my ultimate dessert. Like my final meal on this earth will be cheesecake.

In my book peanut butter + cheesecake = heaven.

I may or may not have eaten all these myself, in one day. I did feel sick, but it was sooo worth it.

Make these for a party, or just eat them all yourself like I did!

Mini Peanut Butter Cheesecakes
Adapted from 20 going on 80.

3/4 cup ginger biscuit crumbs
2 tbsp sugar
1/8 cup butter, melted
Pinch of salt
4oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1/8 cup peanut butter
3/4 tbsp flour

1. Mix the biscuit crumbs, sugar and melted butter until combined. Spoon a heaping tablespoon into the bottom of each mini muffin case. Press down the bottom and set aside. Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Beat the cream cheese, vanilla, and 1/2 cup of sugar together. Add the egg, peanut butter and flour. Mix until well blended.
3. Spoon the batter into each mini muffin tin. Bake for 20 mins. Allow to cool at room temperature. Serve at room temperature, or refrigerate and serve later.

Would you make these for or party? Or maybe a quick snack for the kids.

Let me know if you do!

A little creativity

As you all know I am in Spain at the moment, partially relaxing, partially celebrating Gem's birthday.

I love giving presents, I mean who seriously doesn't? Money has been tight though, so this time around I had to get a little creative with my gift giving.

I planned 5 surprises, some were gifts, some gestures.
I placed 5 clues in 5 different envelopes and presented her with them at different destinations on our journey to Spain.

1. When she got to my house.
2. Just before bed.
3. At the airport.
4. On the plane.
5. At the apartment in Spain.

I'm writing this post ahead of time and scheduling it so I don't have some of the photos. Check Instagram for updates though.

For envelope 1 I cooked a meal of tapas and birthday cake. Recipes to follow. The cake was chocolate and vanilla layers with pink frosting - yum!

Envelope two was the first present of the set. A little bit of make-up and some miniature flight essentials.

3? Well getting to the airport at 6am called for a coffee and breakfast date of course!

Another present for envelope number 4. A top I knew she would love, from a charity shop, washed and ironed of course. Plus two pairs of earrings I found at a craft market.

Envelope 5 was my personal favourite. Gem loves cosmopolitans, and this girl is with her all the way. What did I do as the final surprise? Phoned up the hotel of course and got them to make up and place 2 cosmopolitans in our fridge before we got there. What girl doesn't need a drink after a morning of travelling?

I spent, even with the food and coffee, around £20 in total, and we both created memories we'll never forget. It just goes to show you don't have to be the last of the big spenders to show you care.

Here I go again

I'm leaving you again.
Only for a week this time, and the blog will keep going without me; she's good like that.
I'm going to Benalmedena with one of my best friends.

This time I'm hoping my phone will work so I can keep you up-to-date.
In the mean time you can look forward to these posts over the next week:
How to buy presents on a budget.
Mini peanut butter cheesecakes.
Intro's from 2 of my lovely sponsors.
A simple tuna afternoon snack.
Sponsor info.
Super healthy pizza.

I'm on a plane right now - wooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

Lets get this thing launched!

It's shop 'official' launch day!!

Glassy Bands has been open for a couple of weeks now, but today is its official opening and I'm so excited to share it with you guys.

I make bookmarks.
I know most of you will have an e-reader, but I'm one of the paper novel girl gang, if you are too your going to love these!

Glassy Bands are elastic bookmarks that will NEVER fall out or your book, we've all had the annoying bookmark falling out and loosing your place moment, right?
Not only that but they are beautifully decorated with high quality glass beads and charms.
Glassy Bands are also 100% customisable.

I provide some basic pre-made designs, but if you want something original and just you, you're best to message me and I'll give you a list of the beads I have available.

Until the end of September I'm offering 10% off and free shipping on pre-made orders, use code PRE10.
As well as 5% off and free shipping on custom orders, use code CUSTOM5.





Sunshine On A Rainy Day

I'm excited for this new project to get properly under way.

In fact let's play a game....

The first person to leave me a comment saying which Glassy Band is their favourite gets it for free. Make sure you leave your Twitter handle.
The first person to tweet me (@eatenjoylive) "I love @eatenjoylive's new shop, Glassy Bands", gets their favourite product for free!

The same person can't win both.

Wanna play?


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