A Thirty-Something Hipster

Foodie, Mum-To-Be, Wifey, Modern Lady

My Minimalist Maternity Wardrobe — February 16, 2018

My Minimalist Maternity Wardrobe

I’ve been lucky, my bump has been small enough that I’ve managed to wear most of my normal non-maternity clothes right into my third trimester. It’s only now in the final 3 weeks that I’m struggling, but at this point the only thing comfortable is my husband’s PJ bottoms and that holey sweater that I’ve had for years. Why is it so difficult to be chic when heavily pregnant?

At the start, I was thinking “How can I still keep my wardrobe below 35 items?” Well, I couldn’t. I wasn’t going to get rid of my non-maternity clothes because I’m not going to be pregnant forever.

I don’t have a work uniform, so that meant I had to buy things suitable for work and out of work.

1. Little Black Dress


Can’t get wrong with the classic LBD. I got this one from HappyMama that also doubles as a nursing dress.

At work, I’d wear it with a cardigan and ballet flats. To make it casual I pair it with an open plaid shirt, tights and ankle boots or a cropped sweatshirt and trainers. I’ve also worn a t-shirt on top and tied it up above the bump to crop it, if I don’t want to go sleeveless that day.

2. Black Leggings

I got a pair of soft Jersey ones from Amazon for less than a tenner. Seriously, these have been a godsend in my third trimester.

At work I wore them with my non-maternity longline, flowy blouses and a pair of flats or ankle. To be fair you can wear leggings with any top or sweater (that covers the arse and camel toe… Let’s not sacrifice class for comfort!)

3. Jeans

I opted for a pair of over the bump (great support when I had pelvic pain) skinnies in blue denim.

This is probably the most expensive item I’ve bought for my maternity wardrobe, probably because I had to specifically hunt down Petite size. ASOS seems to be the only place you can buy Petite Maternity wear.

4. 2 Plain T-Shirts

One in black and one in white. I got these in the sale at H&M. Pretty versatile wardrobe items.

5. Knitted Dress


My hubby got this for me from JoJo Maman Bebe. Their clothes are a bit expensive and I find you have to go down a size, regardless of how big your bump is.

I’ve been pregnant throughout Autumn and Winter. So, this has been nice for when we’ve gone out or had dates on those super cold days.

6. Long-Sleeved Dress


I got one in charcoal grey in a thick Jersey material, again from HappyMama to wear at work. I style this with printed scarves and/or accessories.

7. Going-Out/Party Top

I got a black lace party top from New Look. Being pregnant over winter meant lots of Christmas parties, my birthday and baby showers – so, I felt I needed at least one glitzy item.

8. Black Trousers

I went for under the bump, and probably didn’t need to get these but they’ve been really comfy.

9. Bras.

Needed a bigger size since the back end of the first trimester! Expensive and frumpy, but so comfortable. Your back will thank you.


Things I got but didn’t need:

1. Maternity PJ Bottom’s

As I mentioned, I’ve been wearing Hubby’s as they’re much more comfortable than the maternity ones I bought. It might be because my bump has been small, but despite ordering my normal size they have been too loose. I have been wearing them when Hubby’s are in the wash though.

2. Christmas T-Shirt

One of those novelty ones that say ‘Bumps First Christmas’. Wore it twice. Novelty wore off. Waste of money.

3. Maternity Tights

I got them from Mothercare. Despite going UP a size, they were snug and ripped after one wear. So, I bought normal L-XL ones from Primark for a fraction of the price, and they’ve fit like a dream and lasted!

Conclusion: Maternity clothes are ugly. Haha. Accessories and layering up make all the difference! 

Batata Vada (Potato Fritters) — February 9, 2018

Batata Vada (Potato Fritters)

Indian street food at it’s simplest.

These are so moreish! If they weren’t deep fried I’d make them often. Best thing – you can make them from leftover mash! If you somehow have leftover fritters, throw them in a salad with dollops of Greek Yogurt and cucumbers.


Fritter Filling

  • 250g Cooled Mashed Potatoes ( Not instant! They need to have a firmness to be able to shape into balls.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon tumeric
  • Salt to taste (I put in 1/2 teaspoon…)
  • 1/4 lemon. (Juice only)
  • Handful of chopped Coriander


  • Gram Flour or All Purpose (I usually play by ear but I’d say 100g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon medium curry powder.
  • Water
  • Oil for frying.


Put all the fritter filling ingredients in a bowl and mix until combined.

Form into 2 inch balls and set aside.

In a separate bowl combine flour and curry powder. Gradually add water until a batter like consistency is reached.

Heat oil in a wok.

Once the oil is ready, dip fritters into the batter and carefully drop into the oil. I did batches of four.

Fry until golden.

Serve with your favourite chutney or ketchup!



Cutting Down on Single Use Plastics —

Cutting Down on Single Use Plastics

I’ve been on a mission to cut down on the use of plastic products and generally be more eco-friendly, well before Blue Planet 2 came out, but the documentary was a real eye opener and I’m glad it’s got people taking about the environment.

Here’s a few small steps I took in 2017:

1. Solid Shampoo Bars and Solid Soaps


I buy mine from LUSH. They smell amazing, they last for months and don’t dry out your skin/hair at all. Added bonus, their products are all cruelty free.

No plastic bottles or tubs.

2. Reusable Water Bottle


Gone are the days of hideous sports bottles! There are so many beautiful designs out there and a lot of them don’t break the bank at all. They come in plastic, glass or steel. I got a steel, millennial pink one from TK Maxx for £7.99 and it keeps the water ice cold for hours.

If you’re one of those people who won’t drink free tap water, try investing in a water filter jug. Again, works out cheaper in the long run and you cut down on the disposable plastic.

3. Laundry Egg


A colleague at work told me about this. Amazing! Not only are they eco friendly, you save so much money by not having to buy laundry detergent at all.  You can buy enough, pellets for 210 washes (approx. a year’s worth of washing) or 720 (approx. 3 year’s worth).

The egg shaped cages are filled with laundry pellets and ceramic pellets, you chuck it in the drum – no gels, powder or tablets needed. Clothes come out clean and smelling fresh. When the laundry pellets run out, you just buy the refills. No need to throw away the egg.

I bought the 210 washes EcoEgg in Fresh Linen for £9.99. A tenner for a year’s worth of washing… https://www.ecoegg.co.uk

4. Reusable Shopping Bag


A charge on plastic bags have pushed people into investing in reusable shopping bags. Since, we invested in a few of these we no longer have an infinite build up of carrier bags under the kitchen sink.

You can get really cute designs these days. I have one I got off eBay for a couple of quid, that folds into a tiny cactus that is small enough to fit inside my smallest handbag.

5. Coffee/Straws

I say no to plastic straws in drinks when I go out – what am I, 6?

I stopped buying takeaway coffee. If I have the urge for a coffee from Starbucks or Nero, I will make sure I have time to sit down inside and drink it in a coffee cup. But if you can’t resist a Starbucks – they do reusable coffee mugs 🙂

Things I hope to do in 2018:

Cut down on Pre-Packaged Fruit & Veg


This seems almost impossible lately. Supermarkets seem to want to waste money in wrapping things that don’t wrapping! I thought I could avoid this by shopping for fruit and veg at the market, but alas even they have started to pre-package their produce (which makes me dubious on wether it’s local or not).

If the option is there, I will opt for the loose fruit and veg but whilst on Mat Leave I plan to see if I can find places that sell most, if not all their produce without packaging.

Cloth Nappies


With a baby on the way, I’ve become very conscious on how it may be difficult to be eco-friendly and stay on a budget.

Biodegradable nappies and wipes whilst readily available, are expensive! I’ve got a few packs for the first few sleep-deprived weeks, but after that I want to try cloth nappies. Both eco and wallet friendly – seems like a win win.

I know a lot of people struggle with them but I’m hoping I can perservere… I got 12 months off to learn how!


How did you cut down on single-use plastics? I’m always open to new ideas 🙂 I feel like there’s more I could do!

Indian Roast Chicken — September 11, 2017

Indian Roast Chicken

A little bit different to your standard roast dinner. Don’t be terrified by the amount of ingredients, they literally go into 1 bowl before being slathered all over the chicken.


  • 1 small whole chicken


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of Greek Yogurt
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of Butter
  • 1/2 a Lime (juice)
  • 1 tablespoon of Tomato Puree
  • 1 teaspoon Chilli Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Tumeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground Coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 4 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 Birds Eye Chillie
  • Thumb sized piece of Ginger


  • Greek Yogurt
  • Naan, Pittas or Chapatti’s
  • Wedges of Lime



Blitz ginger, garlic and birds eye chillies in a food processor.

Add all of the marinade ingredients in a bowl and mix until combined.

For the next part you might want to put gloves on because if you have fair skin, it may stain your hands a bit.

Score the leg meat and then coat the entire chicken in the marinade. Get the marinade beneath the skin too!

Let the chicken marinate for a couple of hours, bringing it up to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 180/ Gas Mark 5. Roast for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Check the juices are running clear at the thickest part of the meat.

Let the bird rest on a chopping/carving board for a few minutes.

Squeeze lime juice over the chicken before carving it up.

Serve inside Nanns or Pittas with, salad and dollops of Greek Yogurt!

Lamb & Spinach Burgers —

Lamb & Spinach Burgers

Whenever I’m craving burgers and chips, I’ll make ’em myself. Not only is it cheaper, but I’m not left with food guilt afterward.

A chef friend once told me; if you’re making meatballs or burgers, don’t use lean mince. Because of the lack of fat, the burgers or meatballs end up dry.

This recipe makes 2 large patties or 3 medium. I’ll usually make 3. 1 for me and 2 for the hubby, just because I can’t manage a large patty.


  • 250g Minced Lamb (Take out of the fridge when you’re ready to cook. Needs to be cold.)
  • 1 small Tomato (diced)
  • 1 small Onion (diced)
  • Handful of Baby Spinach (Stalks off and shredded)
  • 1 clove of Garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried basil
  • Small handful of parsley (chopped) or 1/2 teaspoon of dried.
  • Large pinch of Salt & Pepper
  • Teaspoon of Flour


  • Burger Buns
  • Grated Cheese (or Burger Melts.. Aldi do really tasty ones!)
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Tomato Relish


Put the mince lamb in a big bowl and keep aside.

In a frying pan, heat a tiny bit of oil on medium to low, and fry the onions until soft. Pour most of them in the same bowl as the lamb, keep some aside for topping.

Next fry up the minced garlic and diced tomatoes, until fragrant and soft. Don’t Brown! Turn off the heat and stir in half of the shredded spinach. Stir until the spinach has slightly wilted, we don’t want it to wilt completely otherwise it’ll release water.

Add to the bowl of mince.

Add the flour, herbs and spices to the bowl and stir until combined. Form into equal sized patties.

If you didn’t use lean mince, you won’t need oil, the fat in the meat will release during cooking. On a medium heat fry the burger patties, making sure you flip them over a couple of times on each side.

It should only take 5-10 minutes. I cooked mine for a bit longer, just because I’m not allowed pink meat while I’m pregnant.

Open up the buns, and on the bottom piece spread a dollop of tomatoes relish, the remaining fried onions, the remaining baby spinach and the cheese. I put these on the bottom, so when the hot burger patties go on top the cheese melts nicely and everything else doesn’t fall out.

Place the burger patties on top and finish with a dollop of Greek Yogurt, and the top half of the bun.



Green Lentil Curry (Muhg) w/ Spicy Potato Chips and Rice — September 8, 2017

Green Lentil Curry (Muhg) w/ Spicy Potato Chips and Rice

Like most old school Indians, my mother thinks it’s blasphemy to use tinned lentils – they must be the dried kind and cooked in a pressure cooker.

Ain’t nobody got time for that… I always hated pressure cookers. They’re shrill and messy.

So, if you wish you can do it the old school way but I use tinned lentils.


Ingredients for Lentil Curry…

  • 1 tin of Green Lentils (approx 400g)
  • 4 cloves of Garlic
  • Thumb sized knob of Ginger
  • 2 Birdseye Green Chillies (de-seeded)
  • 1 Tomato
  • 1/2 teaspoon Tumeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 3 Kaffir Lime Leaves
  • Tablespoon of Oil
  • Water



Mince garlic very finely. Set aside.

In a food processor blitz ginger, chillies and tomato until a paste.

Heat oil in a pan and the add Kaffir lime leaves and garlic. Fry until fragrant (do not brown) before adding the paste.

Stir and fry for a further minute and then add the spices and lentils.

Sir and add 200mls of water. Simmer on low heat for 10-15 minutes.


Ingredients for Spicy Potato Chips…

  • 1 Large Potato
  • 1/4 teaspoon Tumeric
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon (depending on how spicy you want them) Hot Chilli Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 a Lemon (juice)
  • Oil



Slice potato into discs on a mandolin at 2-3mm thickness.

In a bowl coat potatoes in spices and lemon juice.

Heat oil in a pan.

Shallow fry the potato discs. Don’t have the heat too high or the spices will burn!

Serve lentils over rice with the potatoes on the side.

Red Bean Tacos w/ Raw Salsa — August 31, 2017

Red Bean Tacos w/ Raw Salsa

This is no way authentic Mexican cooking. It’s a recipe I’ve adapted and added to from the tacos my mother and aunt used to make while I was growing up. It will win over even the staunchest carnivore.

It may look daunting because of all the ingredients but it is essentially a one pot dish and ever so moreish. Also, it takes very little time to make.

This recipe makes about 7-8 tacos. They are very filling.

Taco Filling…

  • 1 tin of Kidney Beans (cooked per instructions, drained and roughly mashed)
  • 1 tin of refried beans (I use El Paso)
  • 1 Red or Orange Bell Pepper (diced)
  • 1 large Onion (diced)
  • 2 cloves of Garlic (minced)
  • 1/4 a Lime (juice only)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon Oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 TABLEspoons of Tomato Relish (you can get jars from most supermarkets)
  • A few dashes of Worcestershire sauce (Hendo’s for us Northerners!)


  • Hard taco shells (I use El Paso)
  • Guacamole and/or Sour Cream
  • Grated cheese
  • Salad
  • (optional) Jalapeños



In a large pan heat a tablespoon of oil and fry the onions and bell pepper until the onions are soft. Don’t worry about the peppers being soft, it’ll add texture.

Add the garlic and fry for a further minute.

Next add the kidney beans and refried beans and stir everything until combined.

Once the refried beans have loosened up in texture, add the remaining spices, herbs, lime juice and tomato relish.

Stir everything again until combined. Simmer on a low to medium heat for about 5-10 minutes.

Serve in heated Taco shells with cheese, salad, guacamole/ sour cream and salsa.

Raw Salsa

  • 1/2 an Onion (diced)
  • 1 Tomato (diced)
  • (optional) 3-4 Jalapeños from a Jar (diced) OR 1/4 teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
  • Coriander leaves
  • Wedge of Lime (juice)
  • Salt to taste

Combine everything in a bowl and serve on top of Tacos.

Coconut Prawn Curry — August 30, 2017

Coconut Prawn Curry

This is a really quick and easy curry, that’s mild and sweet. My husband loves crushed peanuts or cashews sprinkled on top of his portion.


  • 300g Tiger Prawns (deveined and shells removed)
  • 160g Sugar Snap Peas
  • 1 Small Onion (diced)
  • Tin of Light Coconut Milk (I use Blue Dragon)
  • 100ml Fish Stock (I use a Knorr cube dissolved in water.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Tumeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chilli Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 2 Garlic Gloves (minced)
  • Thumb sized piece of Ginger (minced)
  • Salt to taste (Some stock cubes are saltier than others. I’d try the curry first before adding any.)
  • Coriander
  • 1 teaspoon oil.


In a pan heat the oil and fry onions until soft. Add garlic and ginger and fry until fragrant.

(Optional: If you want it look more aesthetic, then blitz the fried onions, garlic and ginger into a paste in a food processor before return to the pan.)

Add the spices and a drop of coconut milk, to loosen the mixture and ensuring the spices don’t burn. Cook for a minute.

Add rest of coconut milk, fish stock, prawns and sugar snaps. Stir and cover with a lid.

Simmer the curry until the prawns have changed colour completely and the sugar snaps are giving off a sweet fragrance.

Season if necessary.

If you prefer a thicker consistency, then just add a bit of cornstarch 🙂

Finally add the coriander and serve with a big bowl of rice. Yummy!

Smoked Aubergine Curry — August 28, 2017

Smoked Aubergine Curry

I LOVE this dish. I loved it as a child and i love it now. Even my husband, a carnivore, loves this curry. It’s something a little different than the usual Indian. I usually serve it as a side dish, alongside a vegetable curry and/or dhal.

I’m not going to lie, it’s not a pretty looking dish, but it’s delicious.



  • 2 Large Aubergines
  • Oil
  • 1 Yellow Onion (chopped finely)
  • 3 Garlic Cloves (minced)
  • 1 small Green Chilli (omit if not a fan of very spicy food)
  • 1 level teaspoon of Red Chilli Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Tumeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Salt
  • Coriander (optional)
  • Piece of Charcoal



Preheat oven to 180c/Gas Mark 5/350f.

Stab the aubergines several times with a knife and rub oil over them, until coated. (Don’t worry, you won’t be eating the skin.)

Place the aubergines on a roasting tray and roast in the oven for 45 mins. If they haven’t softened, you can leave ’em in for a bit longer.

Set aside.

In a pan, heat a couple teaspoons of oil and fry onions until soft.

Add garlic, chilli (if used) and dry spices and fry for a minute. Turn heat off and take off hob.

By now the aubergines will have cooled a bit so they’re easier to handle. Holding the stalk, cut down length ways and scoop out the flesh with a spoon or fork.

Discard the skin.

It doesn’t look pretty but don’t be turned off!

Add the aubergine to the pan and mix it all up, until its evenly coated.

Place a small piece of foil inside and in the centre of the pan.

Light the charcoal (I do it on my gas burner) and place it on the foil. Immediately put a lid on the pan and let it sit for 5-10 mins.

Try a bit and if it’s not smokey enough for your liking, repeat the last step.

Take the charcoal and foil out. Heat up the curry and garnish with coriander leaves.

Best eaten with chapatti’s or nan!


Earthy Beetroot Soup — August 17, 2015

Earthy Beetroot Soup

  • 2 large pre-cooked beetroots (chopped)
  • half a punnet of white or chestnut mushrooms (destalked and chopped)
  • 2 medium tomatoes (halved)
  • 3 cloves of garlic (skin on)
  • 1 small red onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 200ml vegetable or chicken stock (I used a Knorr’s chicken stock cube dissolved in hot water)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • handful of feta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice


Preheat oven to 190c/374f.

Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil over tomatoes and garlic cloves and wrap in foil. Roast these for about 35-40 minutes until soft. Once done and slightly cooled rub and peel the skin off the tomatoes and garlic.

In a saucepan with the remaining olive oil, sauté the red onion, dried thyme and mushrooms until soft.

Then add the pre-cooked beetroot, salt, pepper and cayenne. Stir for a further minute before adding the chicken stock and lemon juice. Stir all of this and let it cool.

Transfer it all into a blender with the tomatoes and garlic, and blend until smooth.

This can be eaten hot or cold. To eat cold, chill it in a fridge. To eat hot, just reheat in a saucepan on a medium heat.

Serve with crumbled feta on top.

Additional Notes…

(For a deeper red colour you can also add a tablespoon of  juice the beetroots usually come in. Here in the UK, they usually come in vacuum packs of 3 or 4)

This can be served as a starter for 4 people, or be served as part of a main meal for 2 people.