Simple, authentic Italian pizza

easy pizza recipe
Always a winner, we love having pizzas as a weekend treat. Here's how to create a taste of Italy at home, and some favourite toppings and top tips for awesome pizzas.
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Holiday countdown: One fortnight.

The two week countdown until we go on our honeymoon/first anniversary holiday has begun. Here are the 5 ways I am going to prepare my body for the beach. Though I generally try to eat healthily and exercise, all systems are go this fortnight so I can really enjoy myself whilst we are away. Not that I expect to look like Ellie Goulding in two weeks, but any head start I can get in the next two weeks will help. We are going on an all inclusive holiday so these two weeks are going to be obliterated whilst we are away. My body is going to need as much help as possible on both sides!

I find my results are about 80% nutrition based, so while I step up the exercise, it's what I eat that really makes a difference.

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My easy, hardly any ingredients, totally customisable protein smoothie recipe

I have smoothies or protein shakes for breakfast every day. I use commercial ones when I am working, but when I am off work and have a little more time I like to mix it up with some made smoothies. I do find that lots of the recipes I come across need lots of ingredients that I either don't normally buy, or won't use all of. I also have a bit of a sweet tooth so tried to come up with something more dairy than veggie tasting. This recipe is focused on protein to keep me fuller for longer, and is a base that can be easily customised for what ever I feel like that day.

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Thoughts from this week

This week I have been luck to have a week off work so have been taking time to stop and smell the roses. Work has been really manic so just stopping and thinking about other things... pretty, lovely and beautiful things, has been a real refresher.

So I have been mainly getting to understand the world of lifestyle blogging! It is so much more intricate than I thought when I started, but I love learning new things and have really enjoyed exploring what is out there. As you can see I have been busily adding content so my blog is a bit less bare. This will definitely even out when I establish some routine to my life again (been off work this week). One routine I will be aiming for will be weekly thoughts, inspirations and appreciations. So this is my first!

I have never really got involved in social media before, so a whole new world has opened up through blogging. I am only just getting the hang of how to manage all these streams (I want to follow everyone!), and how to manage the programs themselves! Anyone who has followed will see that I have been accidentally doubling up all over, and posting things with lots of spelling mistakes as I am moving a lot faster than my mobile phone....does it not realise I use the word 'love' a lot more than 'live' yet?

I have been making the most of being off work by finishing up my half finished, or daydream, sewing projects. Over the past few months I have acquired a fair amount of fabric and patterns...recently I haven't had time to make but there is always time to shop to ease my crafty itchings! There are so many things I want to make I get a bit impatient to get them all done, and it's nice to have been able to just do the maxi dress I've been thinking about, and to start my Liberty print pyjamas (inspired by their nightwear range, using a print I bought ages ago). These pyjamas won't be featuring any time soon though as they are proving really tricky. But I have proudly mastered started learning how to sew without a pattern, hacking patterns and working with chiffon.

Being off work has also given me a chance to actually cook something properly for a change - not just because it is quick! Pizza recipe coming up soon...

Next week I am looking forward to

  • Spa time with my good friend Rhea. With afternoon tea.
  • Seeing Elvis. Well, the exhibition in the O2 to be precise with my pops (his Father's Day present).
  • Getting ready for our upcoming holiday/honeymoon/first anniversary.
  • Getting my work face back on and blitzing the to do list.
  • Not being a social media newbie/clutz. Maybe sort out my facebook page?
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Learning to sew - Delphine Skirt

My first solo sewing project - the Delphine skirt with a lining.

Having thoroughly examined Tilly's book Love at First Stitch and the Tilly and the Buttons website I decided to try making a skirt, and ambitiously settled on including a lining. Given this was the first garment I have ever made on my own it really was ambitious - I had never put in a zip before either but decided the step by step guides on line and in the book would be enough.

New skills
  • Transferring a pattern
  • Choosing fabric
  • Inserting an invisible zip
  • Inserting a lining

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Learning to sew - quick and easy shell top

New Look K6217

I saw this peach skin chiffon whilst window shopping on Backstitch and had to have it! I loved the warm coral colour and parrot design, and knew I could make something that was holiday worthy out of it. Being new to working with sheers I wanted as few seams as possible, and altered New Look K6217 into a really simple top!

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Busy girl's bronzing - three ways to self tan fast

express tan reviews

Finding four hours in the week where I can wait for a self-tan to develop without washing my hands, or rubbing off against something, is nearly impossible for me. Yet there are times when I know I’m going to need some artificial help to make my skin a little less pasty and a little more glowing, usually ahead of a wedding or similar on a Saturday. I am never brave enough to try instant tan products as I am usually in pale colours and just don’t trust them not to rub off! I once tried (as suggested by a colleague) to just wear the tan and do what I normally do (shop, cook, work…) and wash it off later. This was disastrous with patches everywhere! Thankfully self-tan producers are now creating more and more express products which I am increasingly addicted to. Here are three I have tried out.

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Christenings - 5 easy reception details

Here are a few details that you can easily and quickly put into place to make your guest reception a little bit special (and affordable too!).

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Beginning dressmaking? Three ways master the basics

Dressmaking class for beginners

If you are considering taking up dressmaking as a hobby have a look at these three ways to learn and get making quickly.

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Trying out...6 piece Discover Laura Geller Collection from QVC

I couldn’t resist the chance to see what this foundation was like and have taken this handy little set of travel sized make up essentials with me on my various family celebrations this month… compliments such as ‘You look really well’ to ‘Your skin looks glowing’ to ‘I thought work was hard; it clearly suits you!’

It really was all down to the make up.

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Welcome to The Petite Passions and your blogger


Welcome to The Petite Passions; a lifestyle blog devoted to the small things that make life a little bit lovelier everyday… that for a short period can become an all encompassing passion… and my journeys through them.
So my first post. I suppose should be a little bit about yours truly as the rest of my blog will definitely make more sense then.

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Welcome to Sewing and Other Stories; my journeys with sewing and knitting; pattern reviews, tips and guides for beginners. I'm also the designer behind West Beach Knits knitting patterns and I host a Knitting and Sewing channel on YouTube where you can see all of this in person. Come have a look!

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