Friday, 27 February 2015

FIVE FOR FRIDAY #16


My own bed - oh my how I've missed my own bed these last couple of weeks. Being away with work has meant hotels and staying with friends which, although really nice of course, has meant I've missed my home comforts. Safe to say my lovely Yankee candles have been lit all week and my fairy lights flicked on.

London Fashion Week - my first time at LFW. Although it wasn't quite as I imagined (most just there to be seen rather than to enjoy what's actually going on...sorry not sorry) It was an experience and something I've wanted to go to for years and years.

Looking on the bright side - if something messes up, what's the point worrying about it? This has been my attempted attitude this week and it's left me feeling less like a weepy mess and more like I can tackle the things that are thrown at me.

Today's sunshine - it's unbelievable what a little bit of sunny weather and blue skies can do for your mood. Today really feels like a Friday.

A weekend of minimal plans - I have a day in London tomorrow planned for the LFWend but, apart from that, COMPLETELY plan-less and that makes me very happy. I can go to the gym, laze in bed with Netflix and ALL the avocado on rye my heart desires.

I hope you all have something lovely planned for the weekend!

xo

Thursday, 26 February 2015

LET'S TALK: Going It Alone

 
I'll warn you before you even start reading this...it's one of those posts. You know, the ones I often write because I have so many thoughts in my head and I just need to get them out...to try and make sense of them, to release them.

I mentioned recently that something kinda big was going on...I was telling myself to take a chance, a chance on the unknown and to go with the flow.

I suppose I'm still trying to get my head around what's gone on since June - after returning from a 10 month backpacking trip, not having a clue where I'm at or what I'm going to do...and then looking at the position I'm in right now. For me, it's mind blowing...

BASICALLY, I've been given an opportunity...to do more, to travel more, to make more of myself. This in itself is a daunting prospect. I still can't divulge much for the next couple of months, but you get the jist, CRAZY changes in my life are about to take off.

If you've read for a while, you'll know I'm a worrier and that the thought of the unknown makes me anxious. I like to plan, I like to know where I stand with people, situations, everything. The one thing about the opportunity I've been given? I hardly feel even a tinge of anxiety about it. I'm trying to decide at the moment whether I'm allowing myself to be relaxed in this false sense of security or whether it's a sign that it's just a bloody good thing that's happening to me.

You see, I'm a pessimist. Not because I don't think good things happen in life, but more because if I expect the worst, then whatever happens isn't a complete disappointment. I know, I know...it's a stupid way to live but try changing that mind set after all of these years. BUT, I actually am...that's the crazy thing. With crazy opportunities, come crazy shifts in how I see things.

I've spent my life feeling like I need somebody. That my own ideas and decisions aren't valid enough without the reassurance from others. I cannot knock my upbringing, not one single bit. I'm an only child, my parents are incredible, I've never had to want for anything...they're the people I've always made my decisions with. This is something I doubt will ever stop. Obviously, I will be the one in control of my own life, but my parents help me stay grounded and it's got me to the point today, that I feel I can make better judgements and decisions on situations.

But right now, I feel like I'm going it alone. Not in a negative way - in a 'I'm a sassy independent single bad ass bitch that is taking charge' - yep, I went there.

I feel like now is MY time. My time to get out there, show the world what I'm made of but, more importantly, show myself what I'm made of. For probably one of the first times in my adult life, I feel like I have the self confidence to be able to tackle problems head on without getting to stifled.

I must admit though, out of every influencing factor on my life right now, the BIGGEST difference I've noticed - not having a significant other is THE BEST thing for me.

My friends all used to joke that 'casual' just doesn't happen to me...and I suppose that's always been true. My first proper boyfriend was my first love, the one that set the bar (the one that still does, although I hate to admit that after all this time), my first uni boyfriend and I had a long but unhealthy relationship, my second uni boyfriend and I moved in together very early on, I dated a few people in between these relationships (all shortlived) - I was always the girl that relied on a guy to feel wanted, needed, relevant.

I look back now and think, 'there's a reason these relationships didn't work out' - and pure and simply, it's because they just weren't enough. I'm not fussy in the general sense of 'oh his hair's too long', 'he's not tall enough' etc...I'm fussy in the sense of I need mental stimulation, somebody to make me laugh, a bit of give and take. I want a person with drive, that's happy for me to look after them when I'm feeling a bit housewife-y and a person that's equally as happy for me as I am for them when the other has something good happen to them. Somebody I can sit in my scruffy clothes with, no makeup, pineapple hair and not be judged when I make my way through a family sized bar of chocolate. Somebody I can go to a gig with, have a night out with and not argue, somebody that'll get up on a cold Sunday morning and go out for a long walk...maybe what I want is far too idealistic? But there's somebody out there, somewhere. 

I don't think, with the exception of my first love, I've had that. And, even then, we were SO young. So, so young to even realise that life got harder, more difficult...that life wasn't just all about waiting for the summer together where nothing else really mattered because we weren't studying, we were just...free, for all of those weeks.

BUT the best thing is. I don't feel I need this. I don't feel like the person that I want to have all these qualities really is a necessity in my life.

So, at the moment, I'm going it alone in numerous ways but by far the biggest difference is - I don't need anybody to tell me who I am, what I should do, whether I can do it...I'm confident in going it alone, I believe I can. And that is a massive deal. HUGE. I don't need to reassurance of a guy in my life to make me think I'm worth something.

The only person I need to make myself feel enough, to feel relevant...is me. If this is what going it alone feels like, I'm excited.

xo

Monday, 23 February 2015

LIFE: London Fashion Week and a lot'a Brunch

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I've been absolutely none stop for the last two weeks now and it's safe to say, I'm absolutely exhausted BUT the show must go on.

I've always been one of those girls during London Fashion Week, that is glued to any form of media (whether print or digital) giving show updates, trends spotted, the who's who of LFW...but this season, I was lucky enough to be invited. As I'm working within the footwear industry, we're fortunate enough to work with the likes of the lovely team at the British Fashion Council.

We had a few of our members there (must check out the wonderful Haava, her range is to die for!) so thought it would be rude not to show our faces!


Unfortunately the weather was absolutely horrendous for the majority of the time - Friday felt like the air was frozen around us and Sunday was torrential rain with frozen air. Not ideal but the turn out was still very positive. I must say though, nothing makes you feel more unfashionable than seeing the uber-fashionable of LFW.

We meandered around the designer showroom, took part in some must-do outfit snooping and got chatting to exhibitors, bloggers, organisers and, anybody ogling over the same 'I MUST HAVE IT' pair of shoes/dress/accessories.

As well as being present at LFW, I was naturally coerced by a rumbling tummy...



I had THE nicest Kale and Butterbean soup at Fernandez and Wells, which I will 100% be trying to recreate. The girls opted for the Spicy Chicken and Bean stew, which looked equally as good (although they assured me I had made the better choice - high fives to me!)



After a very lazy morning on Saturday, which was much needed but didn't exactly leave me feeling refreshed. We headed to Monkey Nuts in Crouch End. Somewhere I'd heard about but never been and we were still pretty dazed from tiredness/a few gins from the previous night, so struggled to make a decision. I ended up with poached eggs, avocado, beans, some reeeally good bread and a slab of gouda - which, I must admit, didn't really appeal to me with this breakfast. R decided a breakfast was simply not enough and, upon completely demolishing this mountain of food (eggs, beans, toast AND a hot dog) was congratulated by the amazed bar staff who couldn't believe quite that much food was possible in one sitting.
  

Sunday was yet another good brunch day. I met up with Michael of The Bearded Bakery for brunch at, my favourite, The Breakfast Club. It's great to meet up with people that can almost 90% speak about food for the entirety of a meal not get fed up with that topic. I'm pretty boring when I go to TBC and have Eggs Florentine (which is amazing, might I add) BUT as I ordered, the words Apple and Cinnamon French Toast came out of my mouth - and a WONDERFUL decision. I always underestimate JUST how well apple and cinnamon go together. Michael had the Huevos El Benny, which looked (and I was told was...) bloody lovely! YAY for brunch!

The rest of my Sunday consisted of a lovely catch up with one of my Aussie friends. I hadn't seen him since I left Melbourne last year so it was so lovely to be reunited for a couple of glasses of red. From there, I headed back over to Somerset House, in the freezing cold and rain, for a few more work-related meets.
 
 
I need to mention as well, this amazing Crayfish sandwich from Pret. Usually if I'm going into a chain café/coffee shop, I tend to opt for the salads - I'm always conscious of the amount of salts/sugars/bad stuff that goes in the fillings and unless I have rye/sourdough, I have a bit of a poorly tum...but, ALL of that said, I was drawn to this sarnie and it was lovely! Props to Pret!

After a manic weekend, manic week prior, little sleep...I can safely say I was VERY glad to get in bed yesterday evening. After a fun weekend, new experiences, amazing brunches and a few catch ups, I think I could sleep for a whole week!

xo

Friday, 13 February 2015

FIVE FOR FRIDAY #15


This week has been so ridiculously busy - I can't even believe 7 days have passed since I was last wishing Happy Friday's out and celebrating the arrival of the weekend.

This week has been nuts because today, I FLY TO MILAN!! 
Although it's for work I am ridiculously excited (and frantically typing this as my taxi arrives in 10 minutes time eek!)

Despite the fact I've had a busy week, honestly, all I've done is work and this week's FFF will be a boring one (maybe?) compared to the usual.

So here goes, this weeks FFF:

MILAN - I can't not mention it really, can I? I'm so excited. I might not get to see much (if any?) of the standard tourist must-sees BUT we're booked into some pretty delicious looking restaurants - and, you know me, I luuuurve my food! It's going to be a crazy few days.

MY EXCITING NEWS - I wrote this week about taking a chance - a chance on life, on the experiences we are fortunate to have and the opportunities that we are met with - whether expected or not. I don't want to say a lot about this news as it isn't finalised but, seriously, if it actually pans out the way I think it will - it's going to bloody amazing.

CHILDISH GAMBINO - I've always been a big fan, but this week I've been flitting between Childish Gambino and Kendrick Lamar on Spotify - not entirely sure how well this has gone down in the office!

SHEFFIELD - This wonderful city is the one that holds my heart. Despite all of the places I've seen around the world - Sheffield is home. I had such a fun weekend with Emily and the others - I told you about it here, and the hungover trip we paid to the lovely Somewhere Else.

A SPONTANEOUS DINNER - there's always that danger when you move into a houseshare of not getting on with the people you live with. Fortunately, the girls I share with are great. This week, we decided on a spontaneous dinner to our local TGI's. I will never get over how good their Jack Daniel's Sesame Chicken is!

xo


Thursday, 12 February 2015

LIFE: A Weekend In Sheffield


I love Sheffield, it's absolutely no secret at all.

Sheffield feels like home and it was a big part of my life for the four years I spent there for uni and in my post-grad year.

It's familiar, it's friendly and it is somewhere I know I can see myself moving back to one day.

This weekend was Emily's pre-birthday weekend. I jumped on the bandwagon a little late as I thought I would be away but HOORAY I was able to make that trip up North and see the ever-decreasing group of friends that are still there..everyone seems to slowly be branching out these days!

Sheffield holds a lot of memories for me and there's just something about it, y'know? Something that puts me at ease, leaves a constant grin on my face and, I'll admit, everytime I drive down Eccy Road I can't help but smile ear to ear, remembering my four years of fun there.


For Em's birthday we had tickets to see Quantic at Night Kitchen (what used to be DLS for all of you ex-Sheffielders).

Pre's were planned at our friends that lives down near Victoria Quays - THE nicest apartments. One beds with the most beautiful bare brick. Exactly the kinda place I want to find for myself in the next couple of years. It reminded me a little of Anne Hathway's place in Love and Other Drugs, but less of the big windows and high ceilings, just so cosy. And naturally we had to have something to eat...



Hummus, tzatziki, balsamic and wholemeal pittas - lining the stomach without bloating it, y'know? And a random addition of muesli Onken yoghurts and juices. Oh and gin, always gin.

We headed down to Riverside, a pub I've spoken about before. The vibe was great - a dj playing chilled out reggae which is always a winner with us. A few others met us before we headed down to Night Kitchen around midnight.



The location of Night Kitchen always blows my mind a little - it's basically a converted warehouse so you're constantly moving onto different levels, little rooms, big rooms, gardens...it's pretty cool but very basic, as you'd imagine.



We saw a few othe DJ sets before Quantic who, I must admit, played a bit of a mixed bag set-wise.

As we were COMPLETE dirty stop outs, finally getting to bed around 7am...we had a little lie in. By little, I mean around 4 hours of sleep - when the sun's up, we're up unfortunately.



We ventured out for a spot of breakfast, meeting a couple of other friends at the lovely Somewhere Else Coffee house and Bakery at Banner Cross (further up the hill of Eccy Road from Endcliffe Park)

Somewhere Else is a lovely family run business - by mother and daughter - with such a nice atmosphere. I absolutely love the décor and the staff are so lovely! We turned up about half an hour before they closed (GREAT planning as always!) but they were pleased to still accommodate for us, despite staying open longer than they had intended. And, as you can see above, a lovely place AND has toilet door pep-talks.



As always, when I'm with Emily, we go a bit crazy with our food orders. I opted for scrambled eggs, avocado, tomatoes and mushrooms on homemade bread. The mushrooms were cooked so nicely and the bread was delicious. The eggs were a little hard for my liking - I pretty much like them to touch the pan and be served up!



We also all decided on a mixed berry smoothie - which went down a treat - and a peanut butter slab.

Now, I am a huge advocate of peanut butter...but, my god, the peanut butter slab was OUT OF THIS WORLD. Like, incredible. I won't lie, taking a photo of it didn't even cross my mind. I cut it up a tiny bit at a time to try and kid myself into thinking I wouldn't eat before my actual breakfast had arrived...but in around 5 minutes, half of it had already been demolished. 

And, I can't not give it a mention - this tea strainer. I need it in my life.

Oh, there he is in the background - that cheeky little peanut butter slab. It may not look like a lot but it is genuinely a taste sensation. Yep, it really is!

I would definitely recommend a visit there - the girls said their coffees were great too and, as an ex-barista -  a good barista gets a cafe a long way!

We had a slow wander back to the house (via the shop for coconut water) in the lovely sunshine and decided needs must - we all jumped in bed, shut the curtains, put Frozen on and had a little nap.

What a wonderful weekend!

xo

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

LET'S TALK: Taking A Chance

 
Stepping out of our comfort zones is always kind of a big deal.

What if I fail? What if it doesn't work out? What if I'm not happy?
Well, what if you love it. What if it does work out. What if you're the happiest you've ever been.

All these 'what if's?' aren't worth leaving unanswered. If you spend life thinking 'what if' you'll have very limited experiences and, if you're like me, won't necessarily find those things that make you tick.

I felt like I spent too much time thinking 'what if' when I was in my teens - a time when most are out there just going for it and giving life a go, I was a little more reserved. Maybe I'm wrong, because it's not like I stayed at home and sat on the computer all the time...I just feel like it took me longer to really become a 'Yes Woman'. I suppose, the first time I properly stepped out of my comfort zone (aside from my first admin job at 15!) was when I moved out and went to Uni. It wasn't always easy - the first year was as you would expect; minimal work and a lot of drinking and late nights but I suffered quite badly anxiety during my final two years. Despite all of this, being fortunate enough to be very well travelled during my almost twenty three years (at that point), I wanted to see more of the world. This really dragged me out of my comfort but I truly loved every moment of it. It's really crazy how being away from 'real life' and experiencing new cultures, meeting different people and just generally having time to reassess can make you feel. This was a real turning point for me.

I took a chance on travelling. I also took a chance on my own strength as person and my ability to deal with whatever life as a backpacker threw at me. While I was away, I met somebody; it moved quickly and before I knew it I was back home after the trip of a lifetime and back in the UK planning to move away from my hometown for somebody I hardly knew in the real world. Naturally, this all fell through but it, again, was the break up was the best decision I could have made. Rather than fighting through every day and just 'putting up with it', I was pretty cut throat about the whole situation. Even now, I'm surprised by how I was and how I just didn't let it phase me. I still to this day feel like, even though it was my decision, I should have been more upset. Was this me toughening up as a person? Another real turning point  for me after a step back and usually being a person to just wait it out and allow myself to not be in control of my own happiness.

I guess what I'm trying to say is - we shouldn't live our lives playing it safe. We have to take chances, do something a bit risky, keep ourselves feeling alive. Obviously nobody would choose to learn the hard way but our mistakes aren't mistakes, just experiences. We have to learn somehow. We have to know what makes us tick, what doesn't, who and what are worth spending our time on. If we reach the point of not being content about something, we move along and take on the next idea, no matter how big or small. There's no book of life to determine what is or isn't worth taking a chance on.

The reason behind this post? Something has happened with me recently that was completely unexpected after such a short amount of time. I can't really divulge too much at the moment as it's early days with some figuring out to do but it's EXCITING! I suppose, it's also what I really wanted for myself - to prove myself, to really make something of myself and to have all of the experiences that are now on offer to me.

I've been back and forth in my head about whether it's the right decision; what if I screw it up? What if it doesn't make me happy? what if I should just plod along where I am and not chance it? - I've thrown the what if's away. They've gone. I said in 2013 I would become a Yes Woman. I said in 2014 I would step it up a notch. For 2015 I said I would keep living by that mentality, and that's what I am doing. Right here, right now, I'm taking this chance I'm being offered - that chance for good things, positive things and I am tackling it head on.

The truth of the matter is - nobody knows what the hell we're doing. We're all winging life. And we will never know what we are capable of unless we try. Not just a little bit, I mean really really try.

If we wait until we're ready, we'll be waiting all our lives. There's never a right time, you never know what's around the corner. So next time you're met with something that leaves you thinking 'what if', take that bull by the horns, do your thing and show everybody what you're made of. But most importantly, show yourself. You're made of way more than you think.

xo

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

VISITED: London Fun, Catch Ups and Camden


I love my weekends in London. 

I have the luxury of living nearby with fairly cheap rail fare and a number of friends that live there and are always up for doing something new!

A couple of weekends ago I spent Saturday and Sunday there with my fellow sass queen Emily (which will make more sense if you read this post) We went to Fare Healthy, a health food event located at Paradise by Way of Kensal Green. We had a great time and learned so much. I wrote about it here.


That evening we grabbed D and the three of us went to Burgers & Cocktails for, you guessed it, a burger and cocktails! 

I ended up with 'The American'  - a beef patty with American cheese, bacon, fried mushrooms and their house salsa - teamed with a side of sweet potato fries and a Cosmo Daisy (bombay gin, raspberry syrup, cranberry juice and lemon)

I can't say this is the best burger I've ever had (we'd been told it was a 45 minute wait for Meat Liquor and it was nearly 10pm at this point) but it's a fairly decent burger with reasonable prices. Warning: the staff are a little crazy though!


Sunday was another great day for food. Ems and I headed to The Riding House Cafe for breakfast - but you'll probably already know that (I let you in on their too-good-to-resist menu last week!)

After breakfast we were in DESPERATE need of a walk round - at this point we were both waddling after going a tad crazy with the breakfast menu.
 
I am a big lover of Camden - anywhere that's got a market where you can get a load of random things for decent prices is right up my street (just make sure you apply the same tactics you'd apply if you were bartering in Asia, or any other holiday destination where that kinda thing is acceptable - they won't rip you off then!)


As well as buying all sorts of things (that I probably didn't need but HAD to have!) we managed to see two of our friends that lived nearby. It was amazing to have a catch up after nearly two years - I lived with them in Sheffield and after going travelling and them moving to London, catch ups tend to be few and far between these days!

 
I always have a lot of fun when I see Emily but this one really topped the lot! Jam packed with food, funny tube journeys and constant chatter/giggling - I can't wait for the next weekend she joins me in the Capital!

xo

Friday, 6 February 2015

FIVE FOR FRIDAY #14

 
I say it every single week but, seriously, the days fly.
 
This week has been a lot of fun. I had a day out of the office in London on Monday attending SCOOP International at The Saatchi Gallery and PLFM at The Westbury - both great events and a lot of fun. It's really nice to get out of the office and do something a little bit different during the day. This week has also been one for a couple of catch ups, again, always welcome and a nice distraction from going to the gym in the evenings.
 
I'm so excited for the weekend; tonight I'm catching up with two friends for a few drinks and tomorrow I head up to Sheffield for another friends birthday night out, which is set to be a lot of fun.
 
So, here goes, this week's FFF:


This meal - Oh my goodness, I enjoyed this meal so much. Not even just the meal infact, the whole evening. I had so much fun and filled my tum with lots of yummy food and drinks. I seriously recommend you get yourselves to Cay Tre in Soho whenever you can!
 
A shift in focus - This is going to sound so vague...I feel like this week I've realised, more than ever, the things that are important and that there truly is no point in overthinking the things you can't control. I feel like 2015 really could be a year for a lot of change, not only with work but with life in general. I'm hoping certain things pan out the way I would like, but I'm quite enjoying going with the flow and having this shift in focus that I've adopted this week.
 

Deliciously Ella - I got into Ella's take on food quite some time ago but after seeing her at Fare Healthy last month, I've become even more into her way of thinking. As well as regularly visiting her website, I'm now finally the proud owner of her cookbook too. I've been living off these this week, so delicious and keep you full of energy! Please go and check out her tips and recipes, it really is an eye opener!


New workouts - Over the past month I've tried a few different things workout-wise. First there was FRAME's Dance Like Beyoncé class; without a doubt the most fun thing I've ever done that involved shredding calories. I had since tried a pole dancing lesson with my bestie. This is by far the hardest thing I think I have EVER done and my body has ached in places I didn't know muscles existed but seriously, SUCH a good overall body workout.
 
The winter sunshine - Although it's been driving me CRAZY that I've had to de-ice my car every morning AND I had some drama on Monday night (NOTE: do not go to London dressed like it's spring in winter because there's a high chance you may get off the train to a hell of a lot of snow and have to drive home in the early hours of the morning in an ACTUAL BLIZZARD!)...I have been loving this sunshine at all moment. There really is nothing more beautiful than a crisp morning, blue sky and watching the frost shimmer in the sunshine.

Have you got anything lovely planned for the coming week? Tell me in the comments what have been your favourite things this week!

xo

Thursday, 5 February 2015

ATE AT: Cay Tre, Soho

 
Just lately it feels like I've been catching up with friends from over the years that I lost contact with after leaving for uni and then going off gallivanting around the world. Obviously, me being me, a catch up isn't a catch up without food and a G&T or two (and a few cocktails, just for good measure, y'know?)

This catch up kinda caught me off guard, not because it was unexpected, quite the opposite but because I'm normally the one with the plan and the one that's chosen the place, done the research. What was so nice about this, was I had minimal input and my company for the night had really surprised me in taking the decision making out of my hands.

We started off with a few drinks at the Soho Theatre. I'd had a long day attending PLFM and SCOOP International for work so was ready for a little bit'a gin in my life. Plus, I hadn't got a train booked home so I was in absolutely no rush at all.

Having travelled Vietnam in 2013, I already had a liking for Vietnamese food, so when I was told about this brilliant Vietnamese place in Soho, I was excited by this suggestion. I'm oddly impressed when non-foodies think outside the box (not in a patronising way!) but mostly because it was such a simple decision. I can be a bit of a planner, so it's nice when somebody else takes charge and doesn't just suggest going for a burger or pizza somewhere.

We went to Cay Tre, a place I can 100% say you need to try if you're in Soho (or London in general really). It's just on Dean Street so fairly central and there's allsorts around it.



Going with the 'I'm not in charge of the decisions' theme of the evening. I picked my main and let the sharers be picked for us. Two mains - Spring Bowl (mine had crab and prawns in) and Hanger Steak Bun Sa with sides of water spinach (which was amazing!) and crispy Vietnamese spring rolls. We definitely ordered too much, especially after having a few drinks to start with...but the food was amazing.

The mains were full of different textures but each component was made up of so much flavour, but not just any flavour, authentic flavour!


The water spinach sautéed in garlic was so flavoursome that even a spinach-hater would appreciate it. I know, I know, it might not look a lot in the photo above, but trust me!


The spring rolls were perfectly crisp with a tasty filling. And both noodle bowls were full of texture and great flavour.

The prices really are reasonable for the quality of the food, and I can honestly say it won't be the last time I venture there. Their menu is pretty big so I would definitely suggest going as a big group and order, well...everything! It could be a great spot for a date as there are quite a few sharing options too!

For more information on Cay Tre or to call up and book a table, click here.



Oh, and a little tip, head to Chotto Matte on Frith Street afterwards for a Pisco cocktail - Pisco Sours are Peru’s signature drink, deserving of 'Pisco Sour Week' which is taking place in London, you guessed it, this week. We had the nicest barman serve us (I unfortunately didn't catch his name!) but he taught us allsorts and was so interesting. He also gave us a heads up to try their food next time as apparently it's top notch. AND you need to make sure you go down to the toilets - the graffiti is amazing!

xo

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

DRINKING: Mr Sherick's Shakes



When I was approached by Mr Sherick's Shakes and educated about delicious range - milkshakes made up of British milk and ethically sourced ingredients; I couldn't wait to get stuck in!

Made with fresh milks and the finest ingredients - something they boldly promote - I was keen to see whether or not they lived up to their reputation.


Tuesday, 3 February 2015

MONTHLY GOALS: February



Drink at least 2 litres of water per day - I've managed this and it's amazing how much 'clearer' I feel. Which sounds weird I know but it's the only way I can describe it.

Read a new book - I read Gone Girl, a book everybody had been raving about but I was late to the party.
 

A sun salutation per day - I unfortunately didn't manage one each day. I was still ill well into week two of January so mostly bed or sofa bound so it's knocked me out of sync for most of January. I have managed at least 2 yoga classes each week though, which I'm pleased with - sometimes things just get in the way, don't they?

Bed by 10.30pm in the week - this has happened about 70% of the time but I've found I've remembered about half 9/10 that I need to do something for the following day quite often. I do feel SO much better if I get myself to bed earlier before work though!

Routine - I've definitely got back into a routine. I'm on top of going to the gym again, healthy eating, being back at work and the unpredictable weekends have left me feeling refreshed and a tad giddy.


February Goals:

Get back into daily blogging (six days a week) - I loved being able to post something everyday during December. I've decided I was to post daily Monday-Saturday and have Sundays as a post free day - also giving people chance to catch up on my posts throughout the week.

Prioritise my time better - I used the idea of Self Magazine's 21 Day Time Makeover to try and analyse how I spend my time and how I could turn myself from the Time Magician the quiz deemed me into a Time Queen, doing all the things I would like to do and not feeling overwhelmed. I need enough time for work, blogging, gyming, relaxing and all of the other things in between - more on this to come!

Food prep and cut down on snacking on the bad stuff - In the build up to Christmas I was snacking SO MUCH. The amount of biscuit and chocolate tins, not just in the office but also at home, meant I couldn't leave it alone. I've been better from Boxing Day until mid January with being poorly but I want to make sure I'm preparing my food and my snacks. After all, if I do insist on snacking, I'd rather be on the stuff that's better for me so a treat remains a treat.

Watching my spending - I've always been frivolous with money - ALWAYS! I've got better over time and now question when I'm stood in [insert store name here] whether or not it's worth spending 'x' amount on something but, still, I have days/weekends where I go a little crazy (last weekend was one of them!) so now I'm trying to give this whole adult thing a go, I want to try and budget. After all, if I'm wanting to travel again at some point, I really need to save.

Embrace all of the excitement - I am so excited about February. Yesterday I headed down to London for work for a couple of events which was great fun. I go to Milan next week for 6 days with work (EEEEEE!!!!) and my diary is jam packed until March now. I feel like my life is crazy different to how it was 6 months ago - and I don't want to jinx things, but seriously, I'm having an absolute ball right now!

Have you set yourself any goals for this month?

xo

Monday, 2 February 2015

VISITED: Fare Healthy, Paradise by Way of Kensal Green


When I saw a tweet about Fare Healthy, I couldn't help but have a snoop.

Over the last 18 months (probably even longer now!) I've been intrigued by the recipes, health tips and general advice given by Honestly Healthy and the Hemsley Sisters. In the last 12 months, I had discovered Ella of Deliciously Ella and fallen in love with her recipes, her advice and, if I'm honest, pretty much everything she posts. Her diet is absolutely spot on for the kind of diet I am tailoring for herself and I really trust the tips she gives.

Fare Healthy was a one day event held at Paradise by Way of Kensal Green (a place I definitely need to go to at some points for a few drinks - I imagine the vibe at night is great!) The venue was lovely - a quirky decorated building, one several different levels with something new to explore in every room.



With unlimited green teas on offer, it was easy to spend a whole day getting lost in the talks, demonstrations and classes that were on offer.

Unfortunately we turned up a little too late to slot into our yoga class, so ended up in one of the Frame: Dance Like Beyonce classes - by far one of the most fun things I have EVER done! Get yourself to Shoreditch and have a go - and don't feel embarrassed. I spent the first ten minutes giggling away like a teenager but soon got into sass-mode and loved every minute of it. Over a week later and I'm still on a high from the whole experience (note: life motto - what would Beyonce do?)

Now, I have no coordination and probably looked like I was dad-dancing but Emily and I came out with Sasha Fierce alter egos! (and a want for 'Beyonce is my Spirit Animal' tshirts!)


During our first few hours there, we spent an hour or two upstairs in the conservatory. A beautiful light space that we could have stayed in for the whole day!


We joined in with one of the wonderful chats by the team at LuluLemon.

It was all about goal setting, where we see ourselves in 10 years and generally just an open and positive discussion about life and where we are at right now.

It was so interesting and gave all of us a lot to think about - but I must say, it was so comfortable and positive to be surrounded by a group of honest people, being able to discuss the difficulties are being where we are right now and the uncertainties of getting where we want to be.

It's not about the planning, it's about being present - sometimes than can be such a difficult thing to remember in day to day life. I can't wait to learn more about LuluLemon and hope to pop by at some point in the near future for another chat with the lovely ladies there!


After an hour of 'oh my god I'm thinking about my future right now and it is SCARY!', we had a wander around.

I began reminiscing after popping my head into a Vietnamese raw spring roll class.
The girls and I took part in something similar on our boat trip in Halong Bay - it's such an easy thing to make and so tasty!


All this thinking about our goals, peaking into food workshops and walking around had really made us hungry! And the smell of food coming from The Good Life Eatery made us need food there and then.


We headed into the main room for a wander over to Peardrop - who I've followed on Instagram for a while now and they constantly make me feel very hungry!



LUNCHTIME! I decided on Quinoa burgers, buttermilk chicken for Ems. With a side of avocado, of course!



The kale, spirulina and almond pesto was absolutely delicious and I 100% have to recreate those incredible quinoa burgers!


There was just so much on offer - including the Hemsley & Hemsley spiralizer that was an absolute bargain! Unfortunately, I hadn't taken a bag quite big enough AND I'm not sure my housemates would be too impressed with another inclusion to our pantry - already full of my baking equipment, nutribullet and masses of food! The joys of living with a self-confessed foodie, hey!


Aside from my Dance Like Beyonce workshop, my favourite part of the day was Ella's talk.

I made a ridiculous amount of notes in my phone - despite being an avid follower of her recipes and advice! She gave some invaluable advice and I can't wait to put it into action in my day to day diet.


This day was 100% a day of eating - but when it's healthy food that's not only nutritional but absolutely delicious, it's even better.

The Good Life Eatery do the most amazing juices - and this one was top of my list!


I still couldn't get enough of the venue - we finally had a little bit of piece mid-late afternoon and sat out in the garden, chatting about the day and thoroughly enjoying our green juices!



Another treat of the day were the superfood truffles from Sweet Virtues...



Full of good-for-you ingredients and still tasting satisfyingly sweet - you NEED these in your life!


Another cup of green tea later, and we were getting our game face on for our dance class (I can't help but giggle every time I start thinking about it - seeing Emily doing her signature Beyonce moves that we will definitely drunkenly re-create in Sheffield next weekend!)


I can't wait for the next Fare Healthy event - the atmosphere was great, filled with lovely people, interesting talks and amazing food. I learned so much from the event and really feel like it will benefit  not only my diet but the way I approach my day to day life - which sounds a little extreme to some, I'm sure, but it's great to go to an event like this and be surrounded with like minded people!

Oh, and I got to meet Melissa Hemsley - who was so bloody lovely and SO beautiful!


A wonderful end to a wonderful day!

xo