Make Do Mend: Beef & Squash Chili

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Food is one of my favourite things in all of the land. I spend most of my time thinking about what I am going to eat next. Particularly whenever I am broke, and can only afford to 2 minute noodles, I spend the most time trawling through endless recipes, via every social media platform imaginable, and make grand (meal) plans for when all(!?) the money comes in on payday!

I came across this recipe one poor, hungry night and man am I glad I did. A bowl chockas full of flavour with all of the best things in it. Beef, butternut squash, chilis, beer, avocado, pumpkin seeds. Seriously, how can that not taste good?

You’re going to just have to try for yourself and see. It takes a good amount of time to do so give yourself 2 hours, the beef is good and tender then. I added a chipotle to the mix to make the holy trinity of chilis (ancho, pasilla, chipotle)!

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Re-hydrated chilis are my favourite!

Get the recipe on Bon Appetit.  We served it with homemade sourdough pita. Yikes!

Happy eating!


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Valentine’s Tunes & Doodles

I love Valentine’s Day and will take any excuse to pull out some cheesy, grin giving music!

Here are a few Valentine’s themed favourites & doodles for your enjoyment, whether you have someone to kiss on the mouth or not, hopefully they’ll bring a smile to your face!

Get these tunes spotified, you tubed, ituned?

Barry WhiteDon’t Go Changing’ – This man’s music can brighten the gloomiest of days.

Stevie WonderSigned, Sealed, Delivered’ – Perhaps better for a wedding?

Fleetwood MacEverywhere’ – Romantic or needy? I want to be with you everywhere, or just some places?

Elvis ‘A Little Less Conversation a Little More Action Please’ – Catering for all Valentine’s eventuations.                                                                                                                     (We’ve all been there.)

The Cure ‘Friday I’m in Love’ – Except that it’s Saturday

The Beach Boys ‘God only knows’ – How could you not love this song?

R Kelly ‘Bump n Grind‘ – There are no words. Best song.


Not much goes together as well as these two.


Remember when a mixed tape meant ‘true love’?




Niche? But not as niche as ‘We go together like Na + Cl.

Happy Valentine’s Day.


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Found things: Introducing Analogue


So, you won’t need to know much about us to know that two of our great loves are music and books, and so when one of the foxes and her husband paired up to create a little book and album pairing club, we gave it a big thumbs up and thought we’d share the idea with you. You can join in physically if you live in Belfast, but alternatively this will operate as an online club – where you can nominate on the pairing, vote, listen and read along and contribute to some online discussion… So, without further ado, ladies and gentlemen we present Analogue: an experiment in books and music – pop along to find our more, to vote for february’s pairings and to join the club!

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Penny for your thoughts: How do you unwind?


After a long silence from my part I thought the most appropriate way to re-enter this space would be to talk about relaxing. After starting a career in teaching this has been on the forefront of my thoughts. It seems to be a challenge to find a balance between working and relaxing – especially with a job where you’re never done and could always do more. So, I’m curious, how do you manage it? What makes you relax after a long day in the office / school / university / workplace?

In the last year or so I’ve realised that these small things make me unwind:


Lighting a candle while having a bath or a shower and leaving the lights off. Amazing what a bit of ambience can do to calm your busy head.


Comfy slippers (or woolly socks) that keep your feet toasty.


Reading a good book (thank you Sarah for this one – making my way through it!)


Going out for a walk. I can’t wait for the afternoons/evenings to get brighter to be able to do this more!

Like I said these are very small things but help me to keep find some kind of balance between home and work. Although it’s definitely a constant area for improvement.

Have a relaxing week :)

– Hanna 

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Found: Anna Rifle Bond Illustrated Classics

One book that has remained a small obsession for me since I was a little girl is the canadian classic, ‘Anne of Green Gables’ by Lucy Maud Montgomery. 

Some of my earliest memories are laughing hysterically at the shenanigans she and Diana got up to, feeling enraged at Mrs. Lynde’s cruelty, heart all a flutter with Gilbert & being utterly inconsolable at Matthews death.

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So when, on Christmas morning, I found this little beauty in my stocking I was more than a little excited. The cover was beautifully illustrated by, Anna Rifle Bond of Rifle Paper Co. Swoon!


Gather a little gang of these beautifully illustrated girly classics to hang out together and look all lovely! ‘Heidi’, ‘Little Women’ & ‘A Little Princess’ are also available if you want to complete the  ‘In Bloom Book Collection’ published by Puffin. It is the perfect gift for someone who is little and loves to read or someone big that loves a bit of nostalgia.


If you already own most of the Rifle paraphernalia & you still can’t get enough then you can also get these sweet tattoos from Tattly, for a little bit of temporary fun!

– Celeste

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Make, Do, Mend: DIY Milk Bath

Milk Bath

Milk Bath


This year i bought Karen Gilbert’s lovely and accessible book ‘Natural Beauty’ to inspire me with Christmas gift ideas.  I made this little bath recipe for a bunch of people and thought I would share it with you if you are in need of something luxurious and warm in these freezing nights or for a gift idea

If you are a vegan, you could make the same recipe with more sodium bicarbonate, or use kaolin (white clay) instead, but I love the luxuriousness that the milk powder gives.


  • vanilla pod (optional)
  • 50g goats’ milk powder
  • 100g sodium bicarbonate
  • 20 drops essential oils


  • 10g cocoa butter
  • Handful dried red rose petals
  • (optional)
  • Equipment
  • Mixing bowl
  • Metal spoon
  • Cheese grater
  • An airtight 350ml jar

1) Place the vanilla-scented goats’ milk powder and the sodium bicarbonate in the mixing bowl. Add the essential oils at this stage, if using, and mix thoroughly with the spoon.

2) Grate the cocoa butter into the bowl, stirring in gently.

3) Stir through most of the rose petals. Sprinkle a few spoonfuls of the mixture into a running bath yourself (if you don’t have any handmaidens to do it for you!).

4) Spoon the remaining mixture into the jar. Sprinkle a few more petals on top for decoration.

Suggested essential oils – This recipe calls for all-out luxury, so choose sensual woods or heady floral oils that work with the milky scent of the goats’ milk powder, such as ylang-ylang, cedarwood, sandalwood, rose, geranium, patchouli and vetiver.

Grating cocoa butter – Place the cocoa butter in the freezer before grating. Use the finest side of the grater so you get a powder, rather than chunks, and use either a pastry brush or a paintbrush to dust off any cocoa butter that sticks to the grater in the bowl.

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Weekend in Pictures

It’s blue Monday and we’re thinking of the fun we had at the weekend…

IMG_2746Sarah & her 1 yr old, Elliot had an early morning front room disco to Head & the Heart videos.


Wandering through cobbled streets with good ones.


“It’s great!” to spend some quality time with the beautiful niece. Sarah & Eve.

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Hot buttered popcorn, m&m peanuts & binge watching ‘Borgen’. Perfect.


Celeste has been tucking into ‘Fifteens’, a Northern Irish delicacy, in an attempt at assimilation.

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But not forgetting where she comes from, getting some Aussie grog in celebration of Australia Day.

Happy last week of January! (Yikes!!) 

– Tracks of Foxes 

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