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Feel Good Friday: De-Stress your Weekend with these Happy Songs

Published October 4, 2013 by The Feminist

It’s almost weekend: A time usually associated with peaceful tranquility, joyful bliss and the –what I like to call- “art of doing nothing”. It is a truth so damn evident that we often seem to take it for granted. Tell me something, dear readers: when was the last time you actually had a relaxing weekend?

thinking

Hu? Hu? Hu?

i don't know

My guess is that it was a very long time ago. Instead you probably always end up with a hectic frenzy, trying to cram as many chores as possible into those two days and sabotaging your mental health with a ridiculously long to-do list. Don’t get me wrong, organizing one or two weekend endeavors can indeed be quite beneficial for your social life, but you have to make sure that between all the social activities, you still have some time left for the most important person on the planet: yourself.

This is where the following song list comes in, because what better way to de-stress your weekend than with a soundtrack of happy music? Promise me something: when you come home from the office or school this evening, take off your shoes, open up a bottle of Pinot Noir (or something stronger, I don’t care as long as it makes you happy)and put on a couple of happy tunes. I can assure you that –all of a sudden- you will be in a spiritual state of blissful happiness!

feelgood friday

1) I just wanna make love to you- Etta James


No comment. This is just the BEST.SONG.EVER! Forget Coca Cola Light! With this song, you won’t need caffeine to get absurdly happy!

2) Age- Lianne La Havas


Doesn’t this song just make you giggle? The music video is super cute, the melody is superbly cheerful and the lyrics are spot on: “Is it such a problem if he’s old? As long as he does whatever he is told!” So in the very hypothetical situation that Hugh Jackman, George Clooney or Johnny Depp would stand on my doorstep, I at least have some very appropriate lyrics to fall back on 😉

3) Treasure- Bruno Mars


I really can’t see why you wouldn’t looove this song! It has all the right elements to make you smile: sweet lyrics, good funky beat, crazy-ass dance moves and a ridiculously hot singer.
“Pretty girl, you should be smiling!” Oh Bruno, I most certainly am!

4) L-O-V-E – Nat King Cole


If there ever was such a thing as “My life: the Movie” this would so be the soundtrack. This is by far the best cheer-up song on the planet!

5) Talk Dirty- Jason Derulo feat. 2 Chainz


Admittedly, after a couple of glasses of Pinot Noir all social restraints seem to have left my body and all I want to do is shake my booty in a very Miley Cyrus-like way. *Blush* But hey, it’s Friday night, the weekend has just begun and it is after all supposed to be “me-time”, right? So go ahead, girl! Shake what ya mamma gave ya!

Two Chill Days, Two Chilli Dishes

Published July 5, 2013 by The Feminist

It must be some strange and relatively weak form of masochism. How else could you possibly explain my love for chillies? They burn your tongue (sometimes even your entire throat), make your eyes water like the Niagara falls and they can break you out into a sweat so intense, you’d think you were sitting in a Scandinavian sauna.

Yes, a lot of my friends declare me utterly crazy for adding so many chillies to my food. “Do you like torturing yourself?”, they keep asking.

Let me tell you something, dear readers. Those people who truly think chillies only bring pain are wrong, and they have definitely not tasted the chilli dishes I like cooking for myself. Yes, they are hot. Yes, they make your tongue sing with a fiery passion. But they are aromatic and fragrant as well! They boost your spirit and lift you up to a foodie heaven!

Now that my exams are finished (and I can proudly call myself “Master in Multilingual Communications”, fancy huh?) I finally have some time for me, myself and I.

Meaning: I snuggled in front of the TV with Mad Men and Game of Thrones and my best friends Ben&Jerry. For the first time in weeks, I was completely relaxed.

However, to spice up the comforting coziness of two days at home in front of the TV, I thought it was suitable to conjure up some ultimate spicy dishes. A chilli overload to contrast the mellow mood I was in! (And also because I was coming down with something, and I had high hopes that large quantities of chilli would tackle a lurking influenza 😉 )

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Sticky marinated Tofu with Spicy noodle stir-fry

Spicy like hell. Fragrant like heaven. Comforting like home. What more could you possibly desire?

Ingredients (serves 4)
• 500gr of firm tofu
• 250gr of rice noodles
• Mix of vegetables
• 2 cloves of garlic, minced
• 3cm piece of ginger, grated
• 1 large chilli, finely chopped
• 2 tbsp honey
• 1 tbsp fish sauce
• 5 tbsp soy sauce
• 2 tbsp tropical fruit juice
• 1 tbsp peanut butter
• 1 tbsp ketchup

For the tofu marinade:
• 5 cloves of garlic, minced
• 5cm piece of fresh ginger, grated
• 1 large chilli, finely chopped
• 3 tbsp mirin
• 3 tbsp honey
• 5 tbsp soy sauce

Method:
1. Mix all the ingredients for the marinade together in a bowl. Cut the tofu in 0,5cm slices and add them to the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours. (This way, your tofu will never ever ever taste bland!)
2. Heat a non-stick frying pan on medium heat and add the tofu slices. Let them caramelize for 3 minutes on each side.
3. Cook your noodles according to packet instructions. Drain and put the cooked noodles in a bowl of ice cold water to stop the cooking process and to stop the noodles from clinging together.
4. Add all the other ingredients (except the vegetables) together to create a lovely sauce.
5. Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large wok and add the vegetables. Stir fry them on high heat for a couple of minutes.
6. Stir through the cooked noodles and add the fragrant and spicy sauce. Season to taste if necessary.
7. Serve your spicy noodles with your sticky, sweet and spicy tofu slices.

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Sweet and Sour Chickpea Curry soup

It may not be the right time of year to enjoy a good bowl of steaming soup, but I was feeling a bit under the weather the other day, so what better way to kill all those nasty bacteria than be drinking some healthy soup? (and it’s a much tastier and vegan alternative for your ordinary chicken soup!) Besides, the lovely combination of sweet and sour will make you want to serve this soup all year round, even when there’s a heat wave coming!

Ingredients (serves 1)
• One hand of dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
• 1 onion, sliced
• ½ red pepper, finely chopped
• 3cm piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped
• ½ larg chilli, finely chopped
• Handful of raisins and sultanas
• 1,5dl tropical fruit juice
• 1 dl water
• 1 tsp turmeric
• 2tbsp garam massala
• ½ tsp asafetida
• ½ tsp ground cumin
• ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
• Fresh cheese (I used feta cheese, which sounds strange because it’s an Asian dish, but it worked really well and it’s what I had lying around in the fridge 😉 always try to use up those left-overs!)
• Fresh mint

Method:
1. Heat a teaspoon of oil in a small sauce pan and add the onion, ginger and chilli. Sauté until the onions become slightly translucent. Add all the spices and stir well.
2. Stir in the chickpeas and cover with tropical juice and water. Bring to the boil.
3. Put the lid on and let it simmer for half an hour.
4. Add the raisins and red pepper and season to taste. Let it simmer for another half an hour until the chickpeas are cooked through.
5. Serve your soup with some salty fresh cheese to cool down the zingy heat of the soup.

How to get rid of stress in 3 easy steps: lots of Chocolate, lots of Malibu and lots of Gossip

Published November 28, 2012 by The Feminist


Stress. We all know what it feels like. Just hearing this word sends chills down my spine. We have so much to do and so little time that we simply forget to sit back and relax. When was the last time you took a half an hour bath? Or spent a day doing nothing but lying in the couch, eating cake and watching Grey’s Anatomy?

I guess it has been way too long. Luckily for all of you, I am here to do something about that! (modesty-again- is not my strongest suit 😉 ) Take some time for yourself and finally make “me-time” a reality. Just enjoy, we all know it’s one of the most important things in life.

It doesn’t really matter what stress relief methods you implement into your busy life, as long as you’re having fun!

Here are some of my favorites:
• Cook: a great person like yourself deserves great food!
• Go outside: fill your lungs with fresh air!
• Use body oil: literally soak your stress away!

However, if you don’t want to do this all on your own, you can always spend some time with your friends and have a girls night! I held one yesterday evening and it really lifted my spirits! Lots of chocolate, lots of Malibu and lots of gossip: what more could a girl ask for? 😉