Soup, Spray Tans & Procrastination

it's formal season. and let's be honest, that can only mean one thing. spray tans. 

whilst i myself will not be engaging in formal shenanigans this year or having a facebook photo album called formalities (read: my school doesn't have a year 10 formal as legend has it all people did was make out), my view has shifted from a sea of exhausted year 11's and 12's to a collection of orange spray-tanned, skinny-arm-pose-practicing teenage girls. is there a plural for "group of spray tans"? you know, how you have a flock of birds, a murder of crows, a school of fish, a herd of sheep, a pride of lions....what's the suitable term here? perhaps it's a flurry. yes, a flurry of pre-formal girls. they flurry about, flourish their curling wands and are avoiding all mcdonald's mcflurries in order to fit into their well thought over (and no doubt gorgeous) dresses. thoughts? 

now aside from all cynical thoughts about teenage girls pretending to be able to walk in skyscraper high heels (the higher the heels the closer to jesus is not a healthy footwear philosophy ladies) i want to talk about the 3 pm thump. which is mind you, different from the 3 pm munchies/slump/hormonal dip and an entirely different thing from the weather's apparent obsession with raining right on 3:30 when schools finish (i mean seriously, you couldn't wait 10 minutes???). no, it is the "no work will happen from this point until another surge of energy at about 5 pm" thump. recently in my pre-exam mania, which you are all no doubt sick of hearing about, i realised that the most productive periods occurred from 10 am - 2:30 pm, 5 pm - 7 pm and finally from 8 pm - 9:30 pm (please note that the always reliable 1 am cramming sessions are also suuuper productive but the consequences the next day are only rarely worth it. but i digress.)

the point is, that any work that happens  between the hours of 3-5 feels forced, annoying and plain dull. i could be writing my essay on very interesting and no doubt enthralling humorous cat videos on youtube and i'd still be bored. the only cure for this sudden two-hour long need to hide in bed and procrastinate, i've found, is taylor swift circa 2010, early 2000 s rap songs (think gold digger by kanye) and oh-so-cheesy-key-change-filled disney music.

but whatever you find to be your remedy for this loss of motivation, i warn you against participating in activities like randomly opening the pantry because "oh i could do with a snack". i think we all know you'll just end up eating anything and everything and falling victim to the viscious and never ending hand-mouth-packet cycle.

i also advise against opening youtube. wait no, make that the internet in general. i know, i know, it's harsh and drastic, but if you do you'll fall into the void and all of a sudden three hours will have passed and you're watching/reading about tap dancing dogs. internet + procrastination + boredom = hours of entertainment that's as dangerous as it is addictive. "oh just ONE more video surely can't hurt can it???" yes. yes it can. the same goes for netflix, although one can argue that netflix, our ever-present friend, is the most dangerous medium of procrastination. because you don't need to press "next episode" THEY JUST ROLL ON ONE AFTER THE OTHER. you can literally watch a whole season in a sitting WITHOUT LIFTING A FINGER. if that isn't a recipe for disaster, i don't know what is.    

now i could pretend to be a wholesome role model sitting here on my high-horse and give you jess' top tips on staying motivated and beating procrastination  but i'm not going to lie to you all. in fact, my procrastination skills are so good, that i have, in a moment of weakness, considered adding them to my resume. what i do recommend however (aside from musical therapy), is something i like to call "the channel method". you're in the mood to procrastinate? okay, let's procrastinate. look around you - no not at the packet of biscuits next to you or your phone, that's it keep going. there. see that? it's a closet waiting to be organised, it's a kitchen in need of cleaning, it's a mirror showing an not-so-cleansed face, it's your nails that need painting, it's your bed that needs to be made and your bedroom that needs vacuuming,

channel your procrastination into something productive, but the trick is, lie to yourself. tell yourself you're not being productive, when really you are. cleaning is very productive. but you don't need to remind yourself of that. if cleaning won't do it for you, find something that will. now believe it or not, i'm writing this at 3:30 pm on a prolonged "study-break". i've hit my 3 pm thump. it sucks. but keep in mind that we all have it and it only means that you're human, welcome to the club, - there's about 7 billion of us.         


notes: this soup has a slightly sweet flavour to it, thanks to the carrot, unlike the traditional pumpkin soup. just be careful when using the stick blender not to destroy the bottom of your pot (trust me, i learnt the hard way!!!!). if you don't have a stick blender, you can either push the whole thing through a really fine sieve and kind of mash it, or pour small batches into a normal blender and liquefy!  


{serves 6 hungry people}


1 tablespoon olive oil

2 carrots

1/2 medium sized pumpkin

2 spring onion sticks

2 celery sticks

1L stock of choice (vegetable or chicken)

5 garlic cloves, crushed

salt and pepper to taste

coconut milk to serve (optional)


chop all your vegetables into small pieces and place them inside a large, lightly oiled, pot. add your stock, garlic, salt and pepper. 

bring to a gentle simmer over a medium heat, before reducing the heat to low. leave to cook with the lid on, stirring occasionally, until carrot is soft and pumpkin falling apart. it should take around 30-60 minutes. 

using a stick blender (and keeping the heat on as low as possible) blend your soup into a lump-free liquid.

leave your soup on the stove over a low heat for another 10-15 minutes, before serving with a dash of coconut cream and a garnish of choice ( i used more spring onion). 

store in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 7 days or freeze for later use.

- jess x