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    Friday, 29 January 2016

    THANKFUL FRIDAY #9

    1. GIRL TIME
    My step dad's been away skiing in Austria this last week so I've been staying over at my mums to keep her company! So nice spending some girly time with her - plus she lives literally 5 minutes down the road from my new office...I'm starting to wonder why I ever moved out!

    2. AFTERNOON TEA AT SKETCH 
    I'm such a sucker for an afternoon tea and they don't come more gorgeous than the afternoon tea at Sketch! The dining room is candy pink and covered in David Shrigley artwork all over the walls - plus there's a sandwich with a miniature egg on top - i'm sold! I love the fact that Sketch definitely aren't stingy with their sandwich cakes or scones and each one is as beautifully crafted as the next. One tip if you ever go to Sketch, make sure you check out the toilets - I won't ruin the surprise but I guarantee it's worth it!
    3.  POTATO!
    I've discovered a little cafe round the corner from my work this week so my go-to lunch of choice has been a jacket potato with tuna and salad. SO GOOD.

    4. NEW BAKEWARE
    My mum bought me some gorgeous new measuring cups for the kitchen which I'm in love with! The first set are for small liquid measurements (e.g 15ml) and the others are for American measuring quantise. I've forever been guessing what 1 cup looks like and I've been wayyyy off!

    5. 2017 - WEDDING SEASON
    1 engagement party and 2 save the dates in the past week. 2016 is going to be a busy year for weddings!
    6. FASHION POSTS
    I posted my first 'fashion' style post this week and had a lovely response from you beautiful lot. I'm SO unnatural in front of the camera so thank you for your lovely comments and giving me a little more confidence to persevere with it!

    7. SILENT WITNESS
    I'm so sad to find out next week is the last episode of the current series of Silent Witness. It's so gripping! This week's episode was my favourite of the series so far - watch it on iPlayer if you missed it!

    8. BARBIE GOT BACK
    Massive amount of love for the new fuller figure Barbies which launched this week! So much sass!


    9. ALL THE LEOPARD!
    I firmly believe that you can never have too much leopard print. I got some gorgeous trousers this week in the Zara sale which cost me a whole £9.99! They might be my third pair of leopard print trousers but like I said, you can never have too much.....

    10. 24 PICTURES THAT SHOW 2016 IS OFF TO A TERRIBLE START
    I'll leave you with this - enjoy the weekend people!

    sketch Gallery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

    Wednesday, 27 January 2016

    MY FIRST OUTFIT POST: DAPHNE VIBES

    So a while ago I said I was going to start branching out into some wider content - away from just food posts - so I thought I'd try my hand at an outfit post.

    Well I have a new found respect for all you fashion bloggers because this is hard-work! I'm such an awkward person so it was incredibly hard to act natural in front of the camera. What the hell do people do with their arms?!

    Anyway, I wore this outfit to my friend's engagement party at the weekend and felt like I was channelling vibes from Daphne from Scooby Doo! I've got a real thing for over-the-knee boots and while they might not be to everyone's tastes I fell in love when I saw these!

    Hopefully you like the look - details of where to find all these bits are at the bottom!

    Outfit Details:
    Bag: River Island

    Monday, 25 January 2016

    MEGAN'S CAFE, ST JOHN'S WOOD

    Last Friday night was date night. Tom and I hadn't been out for dinner in ages so when I was invited by the team at Megan's to come down and try out their menu, we decided to make a night of it.

    I got myself dolled up in my favourite red trouser suit (from In the Style) and we headed to St John's Wood in search of live music and steak...
    You can find Megan's on St Johns Wood high street (they also have a branch on the Kings Road in Chelsea). It's a cute little cafe-style restaurant with a gorgeous shabby chic interior.
    On arrival, we were greeted with a glass of Prosecco while we inspected the menu. The food at Megan's has strong Mediterranean influence with plenty of grilled meats, fish and vegetables to chose from.
    We ordered an antipasti board (£12.50) to share which came heaped with a selection of Italian meats, baby mozerella balls, pickled artichokes and the most incredible olive tapinade and plenty of soft granary bread.
    The olive tapenade  was incredible - packed with salty flavour but not too overpowering for the charcuterie. A good spread on the soft bread was delicious topped with artichokes and a slice of parma ham - all washed down with a glass of crispy, fruity Picpoul.
    For our main courses we went for rib-eye steak (£21) freshly grilled on lava coals which added a real charred taste to the meat. My steak was cooked perfectly rare and came with a bearnaise sauce (£1.50) which was nice, if slightly underseasoned.  All the items on the grill menu are served with skinny fries which were a real highlight - crispy with just the right amount of salt making them incredibly moreish!
    We also ordered a round of sauteed spinach (£3.70) to go with our steaks, taken up a notch with large studs of garlic.
    For pudding, Tom went for the warm chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream which was delicious..
    while I went for the decadently rich Nutella cheesecake - made with a thick creamy Nutella spread on top of amaretti biscuits and strawberries.
    We were really impressed with the food at Megan's. The restaurant itself was fairly quiet on the night we were in there but there must have been about 8 Deliveroo drivers pull up to collect takeaway which just goes to show how popular it actually is! 

    If you decide to head down, make sure you go on a Friday or Saturday evening so you can enjoy the live music! Or if mid-week dinners are your thing - you can bring your own bottle on a Monday for just £5 corkage!

    St John's Wood High St, London, United Kingdom NW8 7SG
    Megan's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
    Square Meal
    *We were invited to Megan's for the purpose of this review.

    Friday, 22 January 2016

    THANKFUL FRIDAY #8

    It's been far too long since my last Thankful Friday and there's plenty that's happened in the last few weeks which I've been thankful for!

    1. HELLO NEW JOB!
    I don't stop talking about this.  I know I've been banging on about it for weeks but I finally started my new job on the 4th January and I've been loving every second of it. Lovely modern offices. Even lovelier people and I can work from home on Fridays. Winner Winner Chicken Dinner.

    2. GOODBYE LONDON COMMUTE
    Want to know one of the best things about my new job? The fact I never have to use TfL to get to work again. No more commuter rage. No more men elbow barging me for the nearest seat. Just me in my little Smart car singing to One Direction on the way to work. Perfect.

    3. SOMEONE ACTUALLY TURNED THEM-SELF PINK
    So using too many Lush bath bombs is a thing. It turns you pink. Oompa Lumpa Pink. I can't stop laughing...
    (Picture: Abi Shenton/Lush)

    4. LEO & TOM HARDY DOUBLE BILL
    So much beauty in one movie. Even with the scraggly beards. It might have been a touch too long for me but the Revenant is definitely well worth a watch - especially because it's based on a true story. Fingers crossed Leo finally gets that Oscar nod...

    5. GLORY GLORY TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR
    I'm not sure if I've revealed on here before that I'm a massive Spurs fan. I had a season ticket for about 8 years which I sadly gave up last season - right about the time that we decided to go on to have one of the best starts to a season in my lifetime. Big 2-0 win on Wednesday night and details of the new Northumberland Road ground has got me excited for the future....
    6. HEALTHY EATING
    Back to healthy eating started this week. (I was ill for the first few weeks on Jan so let me off) but it feels so good to be eating some goodness again. May actually fit in my new leather trousers soon...

    7. TOM
    My incredibly supportive boyfriend Tom deserves a little shout out in this week's thankful Friday post. He put up with while I was stressing about starting my new job, reassured me that everything would be fine and then looked after to me when I got ridiculously ill earlier this month! He never reads my blog so he probably won't see it but you never know...

    8. TWITTER MILESTONE
    I'm edging ever closer to my 2000 follower milestone on Twitter which is getting very exciting. If you don't already follow me - come on and help a sister out!
    9. MARBELLA 2016
    Flights are all booked for one of my best friends hen do's to Marbella later this year! This year is already shaping up to be a good one for travel with Rome, Cyprus and Spain already on the cards...

    10. THIS SONG ON REPEAT.
    So Good. So Cheesey. So Catchy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbfpW0pbvaU  

    Thursday, 21 January 2016

    A LITTLE UPDATE & A WISHLIST

    Guys I have to apologise! Where have I been lately?! I was SO organised at the end of December, churning out 3 blog posts a week, all according to schedule then come the new year - boom - I disappeared.

    I just wanted to explain that I haven't gone anywhere - no - I've just been manic busy the last few weeks so it's taken me a while to find my groove again. If you read my blog regularly you'll know I started my new job on Monday 4th and I've been a busy bee knuckling down and getting in the swing of work so the blog has dropped off a bit but I promise I'll be back now I'm starting to find my way again.

    As it's been a while since I last got a post up - and based on the success of this type of post before - I've put together a little wish-list of bits from around the internet which I'm going to be spending my hard-earned cash on. There's some really fab bits from Apparel Candy - a great site which does wholesale clothing and wholesale perfumes and of course there's some lovely wintery bits from the usual suspects Topshop, River Island and Reiss. Take a look at my picks and let me know what you think...



    Jumper - Reiss / Jeans - Citizents of Humanity UK / Trainers - Miss Pap / Nail Polish - Apparel Candy / Leather Trousers - Zara / Utility Skirt - River Island / Contour Kit - Beauty Bay / Pinafore Dress - Topshop / / Bracelet - Apparel Candy/  Leopard Pumps - MandM Direct  

    *This post contains sponsored links

    Monday, 11 January 2016

    MY GUIDE TO THE MOON PALACE, MEXICO

    So I figure it's January so people are starting to think about booking holidays. As I haven't really featured that much travel on here recently, I thought I would do a few posts about some of my favourite places which might inspire your travels - starting off with one of the BEST holiday I've been on - Mexico.
    I went to Mexico back in July with Tom on our first holiday as a couple and I loved it. I'll be real - I was a little nervous about our first holiday. It's that sort of breaking point - you either come back really loved up or thinking that you NEVER want to be near that person again. Luckily for us, it was the first one so I wanted to let you in on what we did.
    I’m going to start off by saying that this post is in no way sponsored. I just had a really good holiday and wanted to let you guys know about it in case you’re planning any upcoming travels! So here we go...

    Tell us a bit about where you stayed 
    We stayed at the Moon Palace resort in Cancun. It's an all-inclusive resort, relatively close to the airport. If you go further up the coast towards Kukulkan Boulavard, there's loads of hotels including the Hard Rock and Secrets The Vine. The area are here is a much busier & lively but we wanted to stay somewhere a little more secluded so the Moon Palace was perfect for us.

    What are the rooms like? 
    Incredible. I was really impressed with our room. It was HUGE and we were in a standard room so I can only imagine what the suites are like. All the rooms have a hot-tub in the middle of the bedroom – ideal for chilling in with a drink after a long-day of sunbathing. The rooms also have their own mini-bar with four bottles of spirits (whisky, tequila, rum and vodka) and endless mixers which are free as part of your inclusive package
    Okay most importantly, what is the food like? 
    Ultimately the food is one of the most important factors for me. All-inclusive resorts seem to have a bad name when it comes to the quality of the food & drink but everything at Moon Palace was incredible. There’s 14 restaurants as part of the hotel. Most are self-service buffet style but there are a few al-a-carte options which you need to book, I definitely recommend the Mayan!

    In terms of the other restaurants, the choice is unlimited. You can have anything from fresh grilled fish, huge steaks, salads, pizza, BBQ meats through to my favourite fish tacos.

    ALL alcohol was included with our wristbands too INCLUDING cava, cocktails and the better quality spirits. You often get offered cheap spirits at all-include resorts so we were really impressed that nothing was off-limit.

    I heard you get given resort credits, what are these?
    This is one of the main perks of the Moon Palace. When you arrive they give you $1600 of ‘resort credits’ to use on your stay. You can put these towards things like trips to the water-park, treatments in the spa and even a romantic couples dinner on the beach. Each activity is about $100-300 credits so you just pay the tax on top which is usually about $10-30.
    Did you just stay on the resort is there anything else to do?
    There is so much you can do while you’re in Cancun but it really depends what type of holiday you’re after! As I mentioned above, you have $1600 to spend on activities so during our stay we booked a massage each, a couple romantic dinner on the beach, a trip to the water park, a trip to Cocobongos and a trip to Isla Mujules.

    There is also a trip up to Chichen Itza which we really wanted to do but the coach trip takes a full day there and back so I’d suggest doing this if you’re there for 10 days or more.

    I definitely recommend a visit to Coco Bongo’s while you’re there. Have you seen the Mask? If you haven’t - who the hell are you? and if you have you might recognise the name as the club out of the movie. It’s a nightclub-come-interactive show and it’s bloody brilliant. I won't give too much away but it's definitely an experience you'll want to enjoy!
    Another highlight was our trip to Isla Mujules, an island just off the coast of Mexico in the Caribbean sea. We took a boat over and spent the day snorkelling, zip-wiring over the Caribbean sea and spotting dolphins and sea turtles.

    Back on the resort there’s tons of activities like crazy golf, snooker tables and diving to keep you occupied and there’s even a fully equipped (and air-conditioned) gym if keeping fit on holiday is your thing.
    Tell me more about the spa! 
    The spa is over in the golf club part of the resort and they offer all your normal spa treatments like massages, facials, pedicures etc. which you can buy using those credits I told you about. The massages were incredible to the extent that I fell asleep on the bed and started snoring...

    What’s the pool like? 
    The Moon Palace has three large pool areas: Nizuc, Sunrise and the Grande. The Nizuc is the more family-friendly area with slides and afternoon games, music and entertainment. The Grande is the grown-up area with a beautiful infinity pool where you can just sit and relax and our favourite, the Sunrise is somewhere in-between. There’s bars in each of the pools so you can swim up and grab a cocktail or just chill on the sun-loungers.

    What about the beach? 
    I won’t lie to you the beach wasn’t great. It was FULL of seaweed when were there but there are a few little areas with beds and umbrellas where you can hang out if you want to. I’m not a big beach fan so I was happy spending most my time by the pool anyway.
    Any other words of advice?
    The first one is to make sure you arrange your own transfer from the airport – they aren’t included in your package with the hotel. If you don’t book one in advance you’ll be hounded by people at the airport trying to fleece you.

    Another tip would be to take lots of small notes. We tipped all of our waiters when we were out there so it’s a good idea to have plenty of dollars so you can easily leave a tip.

    I would definitely recommend the Moon Palace if you're thinking about heading out to Cancun, the service was brilliant - all the staff were super friendly and couldn't do enough to help us and the quality of the food and drink far surpassed our expectation! If you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them below!

    Carretera Cancun-Tulum

    Wednesday, 6 January 2016

    DAY TWO OF OUR TRIP TO BERLIN

    So on Monday, I showed you around my first day in Berlin. There was beer. There was Christmas markets. There was a lot of food and today is all about the museums...

    Day two kicked off with a walk down to the DDR museum on the banks of the river Spree. Overlooked by the Berlin Cathedral, the DDR is one of Berlin's most interactive museums, giving you a look at what life was like in the GDR when Berlin was divided in two by the Berlin Wall. It's a real hands-on learning experience so I won't ruin it & I'll let you head there yourself to find out more....
    Of all the sights in Berlin - the cathedral was my favourite. Also known as the Berlin Dom, the original church was built in 1465 and has seen constant redevelopments over the years. The cathedral sadly suffered extensive damage during WWII and wasn't fully restored until 2002 - which I think adds to the pained beauty of the architecture. 
    No trip to Berlin would have complete without trying to catch a glimpse of the infamous wall which separated the city until 1989. Sadly there only very few signs of the Berlin Wall still left. If you walk towards Checkpoint Charlie, you can still see the original markings on the the road which once separated East and West Berlin and you'll find the only remaining sections of the wall - now elaborately adorned with graffiti. 
    Checkpoint Charlie is the best known crossing point which separated the sides of the city before the Berlin Wall fell in 1989. It was manned by the allied forces to control people trying to cross the borders of the city, it now houses a museum where tourists can pose for pictures with 'american soldiers but also provides a great vantage point to see down into East Berlin. 
    If you find yourself in Berlin, make sure you hunt out one of the retro photoautomat booths. There are 21 dotted around the city and for €2 you can take your own black & white snaps. Be warned though - the camera starts flashing as soon as you put your money in so be ready!
    Another museum worth a visit is the Topography of Terror. The Topography sits on the sight of the former Gestapo/SS headquarters and documents the horrors inflicted by the Nazi regime between 1933 and 1945. 

    It's fascinating, horrifying and truly outrageous to hear about the horrors which were inflicted and to the extent that those involved got away with it (the majority of the nazi officers/doctors were found either unfit to stand trial or escaped prosecution through pay-offs).   
    We took the train just a little South of the city so we could have a look at Templehof airport. Templehof was a huge Nazi airbase used by Hitler during the war but it's since been disbanded and is now a huge open-park. It's so big, it's bigger than Central Park in New York! Beautiful but still very eery way with all the landing stripes and tarmac.


    For dinner there was only one place to head and that was into the trendy East-side for some of the best burgers in Berlin.
    ...but you'll have to check back in next time to hear about those....