Saturday, 25 June 2016

lovely links


I don't know about you but I'm feeling thoroughly depressed and can't read anymore of the news. If you're also feeling in need of a break, here are some lovely links to provide a bit of a distraction.

Courage, my friend: 20 quotes to get you through if you're freaking out about the future

Your "Ideal Partner" Will Always Create Problems

24 hours with Thyme in the Cotswolds

Because Life Doesn't Give Do-Overs

10 Extremely Precise Words for Emotions You Didnt Even Know You Had

'Clean' eating trends are creating culture of fear, warns top chef


Thursday, 23 June 2016

happy things



In case you're looking for a little light relief from all this Brexit talk, here's what's been making me happy lately. I will be voting by the way (to remain in), just a little sick of hearing about nothing else and wishing for it all to be over. Anyway on to the happy things!

1. I've probably mentioned this in previous ramblings but after a recent clear out I have to say it again, I love love love decluttering. I'm instinctively a hoarder at heart, after all who knows when that random shoe box (or 10) will come in useful? The answer to this, by the way, is always right after you throw the damn thing out. Still there's nothing more therapeutic and soul cleansing than a good clear out. I'll skip over the part where I sold an old camera on eBay and the person who bought it seems to be playing silly beggars. *Think zen thoughts, think zen thoughts*.

2. P and I cooked up a storm in the kitchen last weekend. We've achieved mixed results in our culinary attempts so far, to be fair it probably wasn't the wisest of ideas to start our baking ventures with a gluten free chocolate cake, but the steak and tartiflette we rustled up last weekend was delicious. Admittedly not the most summery of dinners but the weather's hardly behaving seasonally so why should we?

3. I managed to hammer out a 10k run, not quite sure how, because I haven't run that distance in ages. Someone probably pissed me off, I reckon I could run across America if someone annoyed me enough, stress is like rocket fuel for me when it comes to running.

4. Another food related one, my life does seems to revolve around food doesn't it, but there's probably worse things it could revolve around. Anyway I recreated Pret's Chef Italian Salad at home and it was goood. Chicken? Gooood. Cheese? Gooood. Olives? Good. Roasted Peppers? Goood.

5. I have to give a shout out to the very cute ducklings that are currently waddling around my village.

6. It looks like we're going to the Lake District for my birthday! Yay for exciting plans! Yay for going somewhere I've been meaning to visit for ages! Yay for countryside and walking and (hopefully) good food! I'm not going to mention the weather because that would be tempting fate.

7. Did you see my post on Broadway Market? I've definitely rambled about this before but nothing makes my soul happier than exploring markets, people watching, tasting delicious food and annoying  people/raising their suspicion by taking lots of photos and getting in their way.

8. I love Tesco's Tropical Granola but it's not good when sugar is second on the ingredient list, so I got all inventive and created my own non-refined sugar version. A recipe could be winging it's way here very soon.

9. I have a shiny new laptop. I know the little things are important and money can't buy you happiness, but I've been faffing about with my six year old laptop which has a broken USB port, is deadly slow and keeps shutting itself off randomly for far too long and this has made me happy so it's going on the list. 

10. And just to prove that I'm not all about the money and also that I'm not about to die from scurvy after all the steak, tartiflette and salted caramel brownies I've been scarfing recently, I've also been very much enjoying the first peaches of the season. I like them cut in half, drizzled with honey, sprinkled with a little bit of cinnamon, grilled and then served  with yoghurt - yum!

I think the world could always do with more happiness, so I've love to hear what's been making you happy recently - let me know!

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Broadway Market, London



Every Saturday a street tucked away in East London called Broadway Market comes to life with food, jewellery, art and flower stalls.




It may not be the easiest place to get to but it's well worth the effort, definitely one of my favourite places in London. I love the walk across the park from London Fields station, where there's a beautiful meadow of wildflowers in summer. 


It's the perfect place to grab a coffee and people watch. The market seems to attract quite a diverse mix of young families, couples, foodies, locals, hipsters and a few in-the-know tourists. 




It's worth exploring the streets nearby to see what hidden gems of street art you can find.




There's always a couple of incredibly talented musicians playing music that makes you want to throw caution to the wind and start dancing in the street.


And of course the food!  As you wander round, the most delightful smells of delicious food fill the air. 




I can highly recommend a Banh Mi from Banh Mi 11. 



And for dessert? You can't beat a chocolate salted caramel brownie from Bad Brownie. They haven't been voted London's best brownie for nothing (I'm drooling at my desk right now).




What are your favourite places/things to do in London? I'd love to hear your recommendations!

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

happy things


In an attempt to brighten up a bit of a grey Wednesday, here's what's been making me happy recently:

1. I had the loveliest dinner at Twist last weekend. It's a cosy, little, candlelit place in between Edgeware Road and Marylebone, not really somewhere you'd stumble across, you have to know it's there but perfect for a date. The waiter was super friendly, he made us feel genuinely welcome and was clearly passionate about the food he was serving, Good customer service makes such a difference! The food was delicious, we had wagyu beef, jamon, courgette flowers with ricotta, mint, lemon and honey, octopus with chorizo, scallops and cheesecake, all washed down with way too much wine. 

2. My boyfriend has finished his maths degree so we had our first weekend of being a normal (ish) couple. We've been dating nearly 8 months and had never stepped foot in a supermarket together before last weekend! I know it sounds super dull and this is going to make me sound like such a loser but it was kind of fun.

3. I tried out a new recipe (this Asparagus and Ricotta Lasagne) which is always a bit of a risk but I'm pleased to say it was a winner. 

4. I went for a swim for the first time in ages and it feels good to switch things up fitness wise.

5. My skin is looking pretty clear at the moment. I never really had any problems with it up until September last year, when I started getting breakouts of really red spots around my nose and mouth. Whilst I know it could have been a lot worse, it really dented my self-confidence. Nothing seemed to help, I tried giving certain foods up and using different products. I honestly have no idea why it's been better recently but I'm just enjoying it whilst it lasts in case it starts playing up again. No-one should be having to fight wrinkles AND spots - it seems so unfair!

6. My friend got engaged and I'm so happy for her because I know she's wanted it for a while. In fact this was the case with quite a few of my friends, where the girl wanted to get married and the guy put it off, what's up with that?

7. First Dates is back. Yay! Love this show!

8. We went to Fork to Fork food festival, whilst not quite up to Taste of London, it had some pretty impressive restaurants for what is effectively a school fundraiser.

9. I've been ticking lots of things off my to-do list recently and there's nothing more satisfying than watching your to-do list shrink.

10. I said no to going to something and despite someone trying to guilt trip me into going, after the initial guilt wore off, I felt great. As an introvert I'm starting to realise it's really important I get enough time to recharge and I should totally do this more often!

So that's what's been making me happy. I'd love to hear what's been making you smile!




Monday, 13 June 2016

My favourite online workouts

When I'm not able to get to the gym these free, at-home, online workouts are a total life-saver and most of them (apart from the last) don't require any equipment.

HIIT

I'm a bit obsessed with HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) at the moment. It's quick and I definitely notice the results more quickly than with any other type of workout. I always feel amazing once I'm done, dripping with sweat but ready to take on the world!


Yoga

I love, love, love Yoga with Adriene! She has a very funny, sweet and encouraging style of teaching and her positivity is infectious, I defy you to remain in a bad mood after doing one of her videos!


Pilates

This is a great introduction to the basics of Pilates, I can't wait to try out some of the harder workouts.


Ballet

This doesn't look that hard but it's a killer! If it gives me legs anything like Mary Helen Bowers it will be totally worth it though.


Strength Training

If you have dumbells, this strength training workout is great.


If you have any recommendations for online workouts, I'd love to hear them!

Friday, 3 June 2016

happy things



Here are a few things that have been making me happy lately, to try and brighten up a bit of a grey and dull Friday morning!

1. The most beautiful new bed linen, not cheap but completely worth it! And totally justifiable when you think about how many hours use you get out of it (right? right? please say yes!). I love going to bed anyway because I'm about 90 years old at heart but these gorgeous new sheets are making me even happier about snuggling up at the end of the day. SO pretty :)

2. Porridge with a few slabs of dark chocolate melted through it topped with chopped banana and honey *drool*. How have I only just discovered this? Leon aren't lying when they say it's the porridge of the gods. And yes I know it's summer but have you seen the weather recently? Definitely still porridge weather.

3. Borough Market. I paid a visit (or should I say made a pilgrimage) last Saturday. Need I say anymore? I swear it's like my spiritual home.

4. Getting back into photography. I've been posting a photo to instagram every day and I'd forgotten how much I love it. It feels good to have a creative outlet.

5. Quiet by Susan Cain. I'm only about half way through but this book has already been life changing. It truly is a must read for everyone, introverts and extroverts alike. I genuinely think it should be on the school curriculum.

6. The sporting circuits class at my gym. There's no better feeling than endorphins buzzing around your body.

7. This Jamie Oliver Salmon and Couscous recipe. Healthy, quick and tasty - a winner all round!

8. Long walks in the country. With the weather getting (slightly) better I've been venturing back out into the beautiful Cotswold countryside. So good for the soul!

9. My boyfriend finishes his exams today which means I'm no longer a revision/study widow! Yay!

10. Day trips. I'm itching to get away somewhere but as I've only just got back from a week in Jordan earlier this month I couldn't really justify it so I visited Stratford-Upon-Avon last weekend for a day trip. I love wandering around and exploring new places.