Sunday, 31 March 2013

Blooming Bakery #4 Tsoureki (Greek Easter bread)

Happy Easter Petals!

Sorry I've been M.I.A the past two weeks, but I've had a few coursework deadlines. I'm now (finally) back down in London visiting my dad for half term :-) Over the past few days, I've been lusting over all the Easter inspired recipes bloggers have been sharing... anything including Cadbury's creme eggs is an instant bookmark!

Since Greek Easter falls a little later this year, on May 5th, we thought we'd bake our traditional 'Tsoureki' a little early.

Tsoureki is a sweet bread that's baked during Pasxa and is famous for its red egg center. The tradition is that two people play a game called 'tsougrisma', by tapping each others. The person who successfully cracks their opponents egg fist, has good fortune for the rest of the year.

As we couldn't find any 'mahlab' spice this year, we followed Jamie Oliver's recipe - found in his 'Recipe Yearbook 2012/13' magazine...

Ingredients list:
- 300ml milk
- 20g of yeast
- 80g butter
- 625g flour
- 1 tsp salt
- Grated zest of 1 orange
- 110g sugar
- 3 tbsp orange juice
- 2 eggs
- 1 hard-boiled red-dyed egg

Before we get crackalackin on the recipe, you need to dye the eggs. My grandma usually sends over the dye, but the other week I found Lidl's equivalent which was just £1.50. I'm sure red food colouring works just as good :-) 

 First things first, heat the milk in a small pan until tepid. Spoon 2 tablespoons into a cup and stir in the yeast.

Add the butter to the milk, and stir as it melts. Set aside and leave to cool.

In the meantime, place 125g of the flour in a bowl add salt, zest and 1 teaspoon of sugar.

Now stir in the yeast and then the milk mix. Beat until you make a batter.

 Cover the batter and leave for 20 minutes, until the mixture is bubbly.

Whist your waiting, squeeze the oranges.

 After 20 minutes, add the remaining flour, sugar, orange juice and eggs, and mix into a soft dough. Knead the dough on a floured surface for a few minutes.

Place in a bowl, cover and leave for 1 - 1 1/2 hours, until the dough has doubled in size.

 Divide the dough into three long ropes, pinch them together at one end, then braid into a plaited loaf. Sit the egg in the middle. Preheat the oven to 180C (gas 4). Line a baking sheet with baking paper, sit the bread on it and leave out for 30 minutes, until it's doubled in size. Pop in the oven to bake for 20 minutes.

Whilst the loaf is baking, make your orange glaze by heating 2 tbsp of sugar and 3 tbsp of freshly squeezed orange juice. Brush the bread with the glaze, then return to the oven for another 20 minutes, until golden.

I hope you've had a wonderful day with your families & eaten far too much :-)

Xronia Polla

Happy Easter!

Here are some photographs from Tim Walker's whimsical March 2009 Vogue UK shoot, The Snow Queen.

Big love,

Monday, 18 March 2013

Monday blues #5

Hi Petals,
As this Wednesday is the International day of Happiness, I thought I'd share a bunch of feel good websites you can bookmark for whenever you have a wobble... 1) The Nicest Place On The Internet  2) Things We Forget  3) Ted  4) Zen Tips  5) Rainy Mood. When all else fails, have a peak at strangers happiness boards on Pinterest - an endless source of joy!

 Do you know any feel good websites? Or positive affirmations?

Sunday, 17 March 2013


Happy St. Patrick's day!

Guinness hats break light bulbs.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

The Liebster Award

"The Liebster Award is for bloggers with under 200 followers and the rules of the award is that the nominee must link back to whoever awarded them, write 11 random facts about themselves, answer the 11 questions from the award giver, and then nominate another 11 bloggers and make up 11 questions for them to answer. It's a great way for new and undiscovered bloggers to meet new people, get more followers and find some blogs that they want to follow."

Hi Petals! It's been a while since I was first nominated for a Liebster award by the lovely Isobel but as I was in London at the time and have had a busy few weeks, I've only just got round to it. I think the whole idea behind it is fantastic as it's a great platform for newbies (like myself) and also a great way to get to know each other a little better! I guess it's lucky I've been a busybee as I've since had two further nominations from the wonderful Becky and Katie, so I'll get to answer everyone's questions in one go :-)

Here are the rules of the award: 
- List 11 random facts about yourself
- Answer the 11 questions which are given to you by your nominator
- Ask 11 questions for all the bloggers that you nominate to win the award
- Nominate 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers to win the award
- Go to each of the nominees' pages to inform them about their nomination

As I've only recently posted my '50 random facts about me tag', instead of listing 11 more random facts (and boring you), I'll post the link here.

Isobel's questions:

1. Who is your favourite Youtuber?
Hmm... I'd have to say 'MyGreekBurlesque'! Watching her videos is a fun way for me to brush up on my Greek & it's interesting seeing the latest beauty products in the Mediterranean.

2. What inspired you to start your blog and when did you start blogging?
I only started blogging late December but I've always loved reading them and I love writing... so I guess creating my own little corner of the internet was the next step.

3. What is/was your favourite subject at school and why?
I'm currently in my last few months of Sixth form studying English Language, English Literature and Media Studies. I genuinely enjoy all my classes, but I'd have to say English Literature! I love reading a novel to the bone and hearing everyone's perspective on a character or the authors motives.

4.What do you want to achieve by blogging?
Just to progress as a writer & hopefully create a place lovely people can come to with a cup of tea and zone out for a minute or two. I think it's a great way to connect and share tips with fellow bloggers around the world!  

5.What is your best beauty buy which was under £5?
This pot of gold from Waitrose is perfect for dry skin and is only £2.89! It's a natural formulation with olive oil, chamomile, vanilla & lavender... did I mention it smells of white chocolate? 

Another great (and cheap) moistriser if you, like me, have dry skin is Boots own multi-usage 'Aqueous Cream' which is just £4 a tub.

6.What is your favourite meal?
Hands down my Dad's homemade Pastistio (basically Greek lasagna).

7.Do you know/have any makeup dupes?
If you've had a late night, wear a slick of red lipstick which will distract people from your eyes. Also, keep two spoons in your fridge... the perfect cure to puffy eyes!

8. Which book are you currently reading or what was the last book you read?
The Jacobean play 'Volpone' in my English Lit class.

9. What's an essential item everyone should have in their wardrobe?
The perfect pair of jeans and some chucks.

10. What is a film that you have seen loads of times but still love it?
West side story. I know every song by heart (even the instrumentals!)

11. What is your favourite quote?
"It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice"

Becky's questions:

1. Who is your favourite blogger?
Bohemiandaydream I love all the photo-shoots and basically every item of clothing Esmé owns!

2. How long have you been blogging?
Almost three months :-)

3. If you had $100 to spend on either clothing, makeup or food which would you choose and why?
OK, I've just googled it and $100 is equivalent to £67. Hmm... I think I'd spend an entire weekend eating to my hearts content at my favourite cafes and restaurants!

4. What is your most embarrassing moment?
When I was about 7, I used to do ballet and one summer our production was The Little Mermaid. Long story short, I was cast as seaweed...
 I'm in front of Ursula (the girl in purple) - 
Greece, lowering children's self-esteem since 2001

5. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
It changes from day to day. Either London, Corfu or Paris.

6. Who is your favourite musician / band?
 Beyonce as an all round performer but it's always Fleetwood Mac I listen to on long train journeys.

7. What is one thing you want to do/achieve before you die?
There are far too many to list!

8. Girl name and boy name for future children?
See above.

9. Is your blog a secret to your family and friends? 
I understand why a lot of people like to keep their blog private, but most of my friends and family know :-)

10. What is a must have beauty product every girl (and guy) should have?
A good moisturiser!!!

11. Through your blog, what would you like to achieve in the future?
(See Isobel's 4th question)

Katie's questions:

1. If you were a Disney character, who would you be and why?
Pocahontas...  I love her attitude to life and nature.

2. When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A mermaid. It's not happened so far, but I live in hope...

3. What's your favourite book?
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier.

4. If you could live in another time/decade when would you live and why?
Woodstock 1969, the year Jimi Hendrix headlined. I'd also make sure I catch Janis Joplin's set.

5. What's your favourite quote?
"It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice"

6. Do you like your steak medium/rare/well done?
The only time I've had steak was in Paris and since the waiter didn't speak English nor I French, I have no idea how I like my steak...

7. How would you sum up your blog in three words?
Quaint. Positive. Honest. 

8. What's your favourite beauty product?
I use coconut oil for EVERYTHING - for my hair, my cuticles, as a moistriser - I even use it when I'm baking! 

9. If a song had to be played to sum you up, what would it be?
Gypsy - Fleetwood Mac

10. Who would be at your dream dinner party?
There's a bunch of people, a list probably as long as my arm, but they say you should never meet your idols...

11. What does your blog mean to you?

My nominees:

Questions for my nominees:
1. What was the inspiration behind your blogs name?
2. What would be your ultimate dinner party menu?
3. Do you prefer to read or write?
4. What is your current Holy Grail beauty product?
5. What's your favourite magazine and why?
6. If you could only listen to one genre of music for the rest of your life, which would it be?
7. What's your go-to happy song?
8. Do you have any tried & tested home remedies?
9. What's the best advice you've ever been given?
10. Which coffee house do you go to and what's your regular?
11. What was your favourite book as a child?

I'm really looking forward to reading everyone's responses & a big THANK YOU once again to everyone who nominated me! 

Monday, 11 March 2013

Monday blues #4

Hi lovelies!
Congratulations... Monday's almost over! I hope you've had a fun & productive day - and a better one than me. I somehow managed to crack my tooth whilst eating cottage pie? Yup, I'm as confused as you! Anyway, hopefully my weekly dose of happy quotes, music and nonsense will make your day a little brighter!

♪ boom bang boom bang bang boom bang boom bang bang... 

Life's all about making a decision as ultimately the path your day takes is up to you. Every morning, every minute is a choice. Choose to be calm. Choose to be happy.

 I once read that every night before you go to sleep you should think of five things you like about yourself. They don't have to be about your appearance, it can be how you can keep your cool in tough situations or have a wicked sense of humour. It helps you learn to love and accept yourself, in the words of Diane von Fürstenberg, "The most important relationship in your life is the relationship you have with yourself. Because no matter what happens, you will always be with yourself."

Do you have any happiness tips? 

Sunday, 10 March 2013

London Haul

Hi Petals!
I thought I'd do a little London Haul post since I had far too many photographs already on my day-to-day posts! As you can probably tell by the H&M mint pastel jumper (£15) & red shades (£8), I'm eagerly awaiting Spring! I also picked up a metallic peter pan collar necklace from H&M (£6) which helps add a bit of texture and jazz to any lazy Sunday outfit.

These are just some odd bits & bob I picked up here and there:
 L - R:  Simple replenishing rich moisturiser £3.89, Johnsons 24 hour moisture hand cream £2.19, Blondie 'parallel lines' LP 99p (thrift), Radox herbal bath relax (a blend of lavender & waterlily) £1, cinnamon cakes bath crème £1.49 (waitrose), Raspberry & papaya candle £2 (primark), 'Daisy duck' makeup bag £4 (primark)

I also picked up these nail polishes in Boots as part of the '3 for £5' offer on their Natural Collection range.

 Lunar Haze

Winter Moon 

Cosmic Crush

The Lush staff are renowned for being bubbly, like I've said, entering the shop is literally like entering a party! The sales assistant told us the story behind 'Phoenix': apparently, the cinnamon symbolises the legend of them building their nests from cinnamon sticks & the bath ballistic sinks to the bottom and eventually rises - just like the mythical creature! This product made my bath SO purple I was worried I'd get out looking like Violet Beauregarde... thankfully I didn't! I think it was worth buying for the smell alone as it left my bathroom smelling of spiced apples! 

The second treat I picked up was their 'Spacegirl' bayh bomb. Less bells and whistles than phoenix, but it smells just like parma violets and turns the bath violet! The bomb is infused with bergamot, grapefruit oil and almond oil, which left my skin feeling so soft! It's also slightly cheaper than phoenix (£3.20) at just £2.10 and is perfect for a Sunday night, as the lavender helps you unwind and relax. I'll definitely be repurchasing!

Have you ever used any Lush bath products? Which are your favourite?