Recipe: Simple Pasta Salad

Pasta Salad

I love putting these kinds of dishes together – either ahead of time as a lunch meal for several working days, or for get-togethers when people want a whole buffet of different kinds of food. About a week back Hana hosted a dinner for the family, a belated moving in celebration, where everyone brought a couple of items to fill the table with tasty treats – this was one of my offerings. It’s super simple to make and doesn’t cost a lot to put together, so is a cheap, large bowl of food that everyone can dig into, and it’s also really tasty and fresh. Here’s how I did it.

Ingredients

  • 300g dried pasta shapes
  • 400g fresh chopped vegetables – I used cucumber, red onion and sweetcorn, but it’s pretty flexible
  • 4 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp whole grain mustard
  1. Cook the pasta according to the packet’s instructions. Bare in mind, that you want it to be cooked, but still firm – anything too soft and it’ll turn to mush when mixed with the other ingredients. I cooked mine for 10 minutes, which seemed perfect.
  2. Once cooked, run the pasta under cold water to cool it and dry it off as best you can.
  3. Put the chopped vegetables in a large bowl and add the cool pasta, stirring to mix.
  4. In a small bowl mix the mayonnaise, oil and mustard together to make a dressing. Pour the dressing over the pasta and vegetable and mix to coat thoroughly. Season with a little salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Place in the fridge, covered, until ready to serve.

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Teen Choice Awards 2014: Fashion Picks

Celebrities were out in force on Sunday at this year’s Teen Choice Awards, and that means we’re all keen to see who’s wearing what. Two-pieces were particularly popular with Nina Dobrev, Taylor Swift and Shay Mitchell all showing off their torsos in figure flattering numbers. Bright colours were present with Lucy Hale standing out in a bright red plunging dress, but monochrome was also a key trend with Jana Kramer, Hilary Duff and Emily Osment all opting for black, white or both.

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DIY: Wedding Inspiration Book

Wedding Inspiration Flip Book

Am I the only one who hates scrolling through a phone desperately trying to find that one picture that captures just the look you’re going for in a certain aspect of your wedding?! I don’t know about you, but I like to actually talk to vendors about the things I want, rather than being glued to a device, giving them (and me) a headache with too much information and too many photos that I’ve found online. I want to have something I can easily pick out of my bag at any given appointment and just give whomever it might be a brief idea of the things that I like, so that they can do their job and run with those ideas to create something perfect. I’ve made this wedding inspiration flip book especially for those occasions, when I want to show someone a few thoughts I’ve had without overwhelming all parties with 2,000 pins. Here’s how to make your own.

Supplies

  • Computer & printer
  • White card, A4 in size
  • Key rings
  • Hole punch
  1. Make your templates on Photoshop. That requires making a document in Photoshop, or similar, to the specifications below and then adding 4 photos on either side of the page, leaving a white border around each. Each 4 photos should have a theme, whether this be Cakes, Dresses, Bridesmaids, or any one of the thousands of possible things you could be considering for your wedding. Pop this title in the middle white space between the rows of photos.
  2. Scale to print your design onto an A4 sheet of card, leaving to dry if you need to.
  3. Cut around the set of 4 photos, so you essentially have two A5 pieces of card.
  4. Continue until you have all the categories you want – I’ve started with 6 pages, but I will be adding a ton more.
  5. An alternative is to have a whole flip book for each category, if you are just starting out and have a ton of more wide ideas on what you want to go with. We’re a bit further on than this, which is why I have more specific ideas about most aspects, but feel free to let your inspiration run wild!
  6. Collect all your pages together and punch a hole in the top left corner, a cm or two from the corner.
  7. Pop your pages onto the key ring using the hole you’ve punched.
  8. Optional: Make a cover and cut out two transparency film pieces to protect the front and back of your flip book.
  9. You’re done – keep it with all your other wedding inspiration when you’re out and about and it’s a super easy thing to grab when you’re making wedding-related decisions.

Category Ideas:

Favours, Hairstyles, Dresses, Bridesmaid Attire, Bouquets, Cakes, Stationery, Centrepieces, Ceremony Ideas, Reception Ideas, Colours.

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Photo Credit: Lucy

Past summer holidays

Me and my boyfriend are on the verge of booking our summer holiday for this year so I thought it would be a good chance to reflect on past holidays I’ve been on over the last few years.

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2013 – La Palma

To be honest, I’d never heard of La Palma before we started looking at last minute deals for our holiday last year. It’s one of the lesser known Canary Islands as it’s less commercialized than the more popular Tenerife or Lanzarote. It was my first experience of all inclusive which was quite exciting as it meant we could eat and drink as much as we wanted without spending a penny. We went on two excursions while we were there, one to the capital of Santa Cruz de La Palma where we bought all of our souvenirs, and another to Roque de Los Muchachos (pictured).

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2012 – Kefalonia

We visited this gorgeous Greek island to celebrate the marriage of our older sister Laura, and made it an excuse to have a big family holiday. We stayed in our own villa, giving us the chance to go out for food each evening, picking whichever restaurant took our fancy. As this was my boyfriend and I’s first visit to Kefalonia we went on an island tour taking in the sights of Fiskardo, the Drogarati Caves and Melissani Lake, to name just a few. The highlight of the holiday was Laura’s wedding that took place on Myrtos beach (pictured) with all her closest family and friends present.

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2011 – Corfu Town

This was my boyfriend and I’s first holiday together and it couldn’t have been better. We stayed in a gorgeous hotel, that was in the quiet area of Ermones, so we spent most days and evenings by the pool, occasionally taking the short trip down to the beach. We do tend to get itchy feet while we’re away so we always like to get out and about, so we went on a couple of excursions, one to the capital where we enjoyed the hustle and bustle of town life, and the other, a stroll to the local vineyard where we picked up bottles of wine and olive oil for ourselves and family members.

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2010 – Turkey

Lucy and I visited Turkey around the same time as our sister Laura and her boyfriend, so we were lucky enough to celebrate with them the night they got engaged. We stayed in Olu Deniz, which was quite commercialized, which was perfect when picking restaurants to visit as we were spoilt for choice. We visited the beautiful Blue Lagoon, taking a trip on the pedalos and getting up close to the turtles.

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2009 – Crete

Lucy and I visited Crete together in 2009 and had a lovely time. Our holiday’s were always fun as we get on so well that we never argued, and we are so similar that we enjoyed doing the same things, so that meant days spent on the beach enjoying the sunshine and evenings eating out and drinking cocktails. Our hotel was located on a quiet residential street so we got to see the real authentic Crete, but we were just a stones-throw away from the bars and restaurants of Stalis.

All photos by Hana.

Gallery Wall: Part Two

Gallery Wall: Part Two

So, I’ve officially changed up and expanded the gallery wall that’s above my desk space in our spare bedroom. It was looking a little bare homing only 5 pictures and I wanted to spruce things up a bit. Most of the artwork now featured have been gifts to us since we’ve moved in, and I’m loving every bit of it. There’s no uniformity to it, no measuring tape was used, I just wanted something fun, colourful and meaningful, and I truly have accomplished everything I set out to when I started back this time last year. I love the mixture of canvases, framed art, photos, scrapbook supplies, metal art, one of the embroidery hoops I made in May and a hanging ornament, it looks random and quirky. I might eventually try and take up the entire wall, but I haven’t quite decided on that one yet, so I’m just enjoying it as it is right now.

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Photo Credit: Lucy