Macbook user? Here’s an airpod trick

I found TikTok during the first lockdown and what started off as aimlessly scrolling through people dancing has now become quite useful. Because I’ve found the useful life hacks side of TikTok. And I just had to share this one – if you have a MacBook and AirPods then here is a handy trick that can make sure you never lose them again.

Your MacBook has a magnet in the left-hand corner of the screen which allows the airpods to stick to them. So if you’re getting up from your computer and just need somewhere for them to hang for a while, that’s it. In fact, the AirPods case will also stick to the screen too.

Now, I feel I should add a quick warning. Reading some of the comments on the original post people are concerned that doing this will result in a cracked screen should you close it whilst the pods are attached. SO, if you do this, please do remove the pods before closing the lid.

International Women’s Day

I have a ton of deadlines so I’ll repost this from 2019 as it I still relevant.

A short and sweet post.

Why IWD? IWD isn’t just about #bossbabe and #gogirl. Women still don’t have equal pay. We are still responsible for the majority of domestic chores. We are judged on whether we have children or if we don’t. We are still the large majority of victims of domestic and sexual violence. And that’s just the icing on the cake – International Women’s Day is still relevant and still needed.

Do something positive. Like, lend to a woman who can make a difference in her community but can’t get access to the funding she needs. I make micro-loans via Kiva.

When it international men’s day. Because it comes up every year, international men’s day is the 19th of November.

Give me some praise for not making a snarky comment regarding IMD. Also, see Richard Herring handle the men who continually wonder when men’s day is (aka every bloody day!)

Read up on some interesting women. Bessie Coleman / Joan Beauchamp Procter / Elizabeth Cowell / Hedy Lamarr / Noor Inayat Khan / Baroness Trumpington / Edith Summerskill / Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Be kind. Online and in real life.

Leftover turkey? Try this Turkey and Chorizo Paella

If you’re still mulling over what to do with that leftover turkey and you’re sick of the usual turkey curry or sandwiches, why not try this turkey and chorizo paella. It’s quick, easy and full of flavour.

Plus do you know what I love most about paella? It’s that there are no real rules when it comes to creating a good one. Sure you may think that paella has to be seafood based but in truth, you can bung anything in there – including left over veg (which is what makes it the perfect post Christmas dish).

So here is the recipe for my super quick turkey and chorizo paella.

This recipe serves 4

You will need:

  • Left over turkey (I used breast but you can use any part of the meat you enjoy and if it’s outside of christmas, I usually use about 500g for 4 people)
  • 100g chorizo
  • 15g flat leaf parsley
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 large red pepper
  • 250g paella rice
  • 115g frozen peas
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato puree
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 1 tsp of smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric


Peel and crush the garlic, crushing the garlic will give off a slightly sweeter flavour. Next roughly chop the chorizo and turkey breasts and add to a heated pan. You may want to add a bit of olive oil but I prefer to use the oils that are extracted from the chorizo when cooking. Next add the onion, pepper, garlic, parsley, paprika and turmeric  and cook for a couple of minutes.

Next mix in the tomato puree with the chicken stock and add this to the pan along with the paella rice. Bring to the boil and add salt to taste.

Cook on a medium heat for around 15 minutes.

Add your frozen peas and cook for a further 10 minutes (or until the rice has absorbed the stock).

It’s really that simple. 

McHive: The world’s smallest McDonald’s for bees

Granted this is somewhat old news, but since I’ve only just stumbled across the story of the McHive, it’s only right that I share.

I’ve had a bit of a thing for bees for a while so this story of how McDonald’s in Sweden are expanding their sustainability practices, and providing this place for bees has brought me a lot of joy.

The McHive is a miniature replica of a McDonald’s restaurant which exists as a fully-functioning hive. 

Designed and built by award-winning set designer Nicklas Nilisson, the McHive was developed for a charity fundraiser for Ronald McDonald House Charities: a non-profit organisation affiliated with McDonald’s that exists to support children and young people. 

And it’s not the first time that McDonald’s in Sweden have made an effort to save the bees. Some restaurants have installed beehives on their roofs in a bid to create a more sustainable environment in their local community.

In September they started adding “bee hotels” into the side of billboard advertisements. Go McDonald’s!

Ideas for your left over pumpkins

A post from last year. But since it’s Halloween and I’ve seen plenty of pumpkins around – here are some top tips on what you can do with your pumpkin after tonight…

I’ve got to admit that I don’t enjoy Halloween. I find it all so over the top and wasteful. But since so many pumpkins are going to find themselves in the landfill this weekend, I thought I’d share with you some of my favourite finds to help you dispose of your pumpkin.

Foodie Ideas

Scroll down to the bottom for my Pumpkin and Chilli Soup

First up, Jamie Oliver’s recipe for roasted pumpkin seeds.

Turn your pumpkin seeds into protein-rich salt via The Guardian

Maple Cardamom Pumpkin Seed Butter via TasteMade.

This chicken, lentil & pumpkin curry.


Did you know squirrels really love pumpkin?

Continue reading “Ideas for your left over pumpkins”

Pea and Leek Arancini

Happy St David’s Day!

Of course, it wouldn’t be St David’s Day without tons of Welsh Cakes and a dish made out of leeks.

You’ll be glad to know that I’ve pretty much covered all bases today, I’ve had more Welsh cakes than is healthy and I’m serving up these delicious Arancini balls for dinner.

If you don’t know what Arancini is, it’s an Italian dish (I know it’s not very Welsh for St David’s day the weather has been way too nice to make cawl) that’s essentially fried rice balls. They’re typically made from leftover risotto and you can experiment with them by adding different flavours or stuffing them with tomatoes or cheese.

Now, let me tell why I love this arancini so much.

  • It’s delicious
  • It has peas in it
  • It’s a cook once, eat twice meal so perfect for busy lives
  • It’s kind of fancy without being too fancy
  • It is delicious the next day when cold (just like good pizza)

When it comes to arancini you need to make the risotto first, leave the leftovers in the fridge overnight so that it gets all sticky and firm and THEN you’re ready to make your arancini balls. If you try to do it whilst the risotto is freshly cooked or still warm, it’ll fall to pieces.

When it comes to the size, that’s up to you. Personally, I make mine Maltese style and go big. But if you’re having them as a starter or as a snack, a golf ball size works well.

So first your risotto – what you’ll need:
(Serves 2)

• 300g arborio rice

• 1 leek, finely chopped

• 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

• A little olive oil

• A hearty glug of white wine

• 500ml vegetable stock

• A large handful of garden peas, frozen are fine

A large handful of parmesan cheese, grated

What to do…

Begin by frying the leek and garlic together in a little olive oil. Once the leek is translucent add the rice and stir until it has been coated with oil. At this point add the wine and cook until it has been absorbed. Repeat this process with the vegetable stock.

Once the rice has become soft but retains a little bite, add the peas and cook for a few minutes longer. Stir a little oil and parmesan and remove from the heat. Pop a lid on and allow it to stand for 2-3 minutes – this is the most critical part of the risotto making process. Serve immediately.

Then part two! Your arancini balls (how many you make depends on how much risotto you’ve left and also how big you roll your balls)

What you’ll need…

  • Leftover Leek and Pea risotto (about 300g)
  • 150g breadcrumbs
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 3 tbsp flour


Preheat the oven to 180ºC

Place the breadcrumbs evenly on a baking tray and bake for around 5 minutes to toast

Place the flour and oat milk into separate dishes in preparation

Roll the leftover risotto into balls just smaller than a golf ball

Coat them one by one in the flour, then the egg then roll them in the toasted breadcrumbs

Repeat this until all your balls are made then add them to a non stick pan with 3tbsp rapeseed oil on a high heat

Keep an eye on the arancini in the pan, turning when golden brown

Once cooked add them to a place on top of kitchen roll to soak up any excess oil

I served with a salad and some fresh out of the oven garlic bread (because carbs are life).

The one thing I love about this food is that you can experiment with it, add a bit of extra wine or some different herbs – it’s so versatile. The balls also last a couple of days in the fridge and are delicious cold.

A big thanks to the British Leek Growers Association for providing me with all the ingredients to create this dish.

Vitamins for busy people – V.Good Vitamins

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been trying out V.Good Vitamins. They kindly gifted me one of their monthly boxes so that I could improve my gut health, boost my energy, strengthen my immune system and much more with absolute ease.

When starting out on any supplement regime, it can be really hard to decide what to buy. Just trying to navigate the sheer number of vitamins available at the supermarket or chemist can be a mammoth task.

And if you’re anything like me, you have a medicine cabinet full of supplements that you’ve purchased after reading all about the benefits but you’ve forgotten to take them and then they just sit there gathering dust.

Well, that’s why I’m LOVING v.good vitamins.

For a start, there’s no clutter, all your daily capsules are in handy sachets so you can just grab and go. And the sachets also happen to be plastic free and totally recyclable.

The company has also consulted with specialists to find out the best mix of vitamins and minerals that provide a solution to what most of us are suffering from; poor sleep, joint pain, muscle aches and a weakened immune system resulting in endless colds and sniffles.

Continue reading “Vitamins for busy people – V.Good Vitamins”

Meet Maggie

I wrote a ridiculously long draft for this post.

Then realised that about 1000 words in, it was all about the grief of losing Georgie (which was fucking tough!) and nothing about the dog I was introducing you to.

So, in the spirit of keeping things brief, I have someone I’d like you to meet.

Maggie has been with the family for quite some time now. In fact, she’s been with us for 13 months. Those who follow me on Instagram will already know that, because I post pictures of her ALL THE TIME (if you don’t and you’d like to, I’m here @rachaelphillips).

But for those who only catch my blog updates, here she is. Maggie Moo. The latest addition to our 4-legged family.

Why am I introducing her to you?

Well, I love dogs and I know many of my followers do too. If I go off for the day or a weekend break in the UK, it’s likely that Maggie is with me. So, I wanted to set up a new category where I can share dog-friendly places (especially in South Wales, where we live), as well as any dog related items that Maggie has tried and I think, are worth sharing.

Plus, it’s an excuse to share some cute pictures of Maggie.

Ps: RIP Georgie 2006 – 2017

Pps: We also still have Scooby, although he’s quite ill at the moment so his adventure days are over 🙁

Things I’ve Found Online This Week

I thought I’d mix up my weekly weekend reading post. Instead of just links to articles, I want to share stories. I often get stuck down a rabbit hole of internet goodness (me + Reddit + sofa + tea = my perfect Sunday) so it’s only right I share (ha!).

Netflix: Abducted in Plain Sight

It’s no secret that I love my crime documentaries. But have you seen Abducted in plain sight yet? OMG. I do not know, one person who has seen this documentary and not had the same WTF moment(s). If you haven’t seen it, get it on your list this weekend!

Oh, and when you’re done, Hadley Freeman wrote this brilliant piece in The Guardian about it.

The Perfect Rent Controlled Apartment in New York

Pic courtesy Katherine Marks for The New York Times

I love to know how people live. And this piece in the New York Times about retired actor Albert S. Bennett and his perfect rent-controlled apartment is wonderful. 

He first moved into the Greenwich Village apartment in 1955 and his rent was just $90. Go here to read his story. It’s a fabulous insight into real New York life. 


Ghosting. Why people do it and how to get over it.

Another one from the New York Times. But have you ever been ghosted? I have, I think it was because I’d never been to Nandos – or at least that’s what I’m telling myself.

But this piece by Adam Popescu investigates why people ghost and just what you can do to get over it.

Ghosting — when someone cuts off all communication without explanation

It’s funny because I kind of think of ghosting as a modern thing, but remember before we had mobile phones, email and social media? If you broke up with someone or fell out with someone, you just didn’t ever get in touch again. It was kind of easier to get over then wasn’t it? You were forced to have that time apart rather than having to access to what the other person (the ghost) was up to at all hours of the day.

Anyway, have a read, and let me know if you’ve ever been ghosted and did you ever see that person again?

A reminder that flying was once quite glam

The worst part of travelling is being squeezed on to an uncomfortable plane with little room until you reach your destination. I found these pictures from the 1970’s

Continental Airlines coach lounge in the 1970s
American Airlines economy class piano bar – you read that right, economy class!!

Amazing right?

River of 11,000 Glowing Books Flows Down City Street

I found this on Web Urbanist.

Thousands of books flooded the street in Ann Arbor’s Literature vs Traffic installation. It was designed to create a space for quiet reflection on the value of pedestrian-friendly public spaces and the absence of noise pollution.

The Reddit Forum That Guesses Who You Are Based on What’s in Your Fridge

I told you that I often fall down the rabbit hole of reddit but seriously, this subreddit which allows posters to post a picture of their fridge so other users can determine who they are, how old they are and what they do.

Fess up, who else enjoys a good nose in to other people’s fridges?

And finally, how to say no when you’re a people pleaser

ARGH, people pleasing, it’s hard to say no, especially if it’s deep rooted in your core. A brilliant piece from the Stylist on how to say NO if you’re a people pleaser.

This is probably my favourite take away from the article:

How other people think and feel is beyond your control. 

YES, influencers should declare paid for or gifted posts

I’m super late posting this. I have no excuses other than I’ve been channeling my inner Marie Kondo and decluttering like a maniac.

But I wanted to do a short post on the competition and markets authority (CMA) clamping down on influencers and micro-influencers not disclosing whether they’ve been paid for a post or received a product as a gift when mentioning it on social media, their blogs, vlogs, podcasts etc.

If you want to hear my opinions along with a panel of influencers, you can listen to me talking all about the new CMA regulations on 5Live – link here. Fast forward to approx 2 hours 35 mins to hear the segment.

But as a brief summary of what I said, I’m pleased that the CMA are going to clamp down. New rules could see fines or even a spell in prison.

Continue reading “YES, influencers should declare paid for or gifted posts”