Wasn’t pancake day good! I mean, I and my mum did not even bother to attempt to make them, we chose the sensible choice and decided to head out for elevenses pancakes. We are not just pretty faces, we knew somewhere else would make them better than we ever could!
Already in the area, we went to my absolute favourite cafe – Chia Naturally Healthy. A cozy plant-based health cafe in the center of Hitchin. So aka, we had healthy pancakes…
Every time I have visited this cafe I have had the most delish food so it is no wonder they have been voted top three of The Sunday Times best plant-based cafes.
For pancake day they were also offering not only 10% off pancakes but also had two exclusive flavour toppings. Pancakes on offer were…
Coconut sugar and lemon
Banana, pecan and maple syrup
Cinnamon and blueberries
Thankfully the words, “shall we get two different and share” come out of my mum’s mouth and I was at the counter ordering one maple and pecan, one blueberry and cinnamon. Coconut sugar and lemon sounded lovely too but I mean if I am going for pancakes, I want all the toppings! We also had an English breakfast tea with oat milk and a matcha latte with coconut milk.
My excitement was building when they arrived and we tucked straight into the three-stack, heavily (thank god) topped pancakes. I was in almond butter heaven and we were switching forks trying to decide which ones we preferred. Both equally as good I reckon and thinking to myself what a great idea this was whilst trying to savour every last bite.
Eyes bigger than my belly, I also ordered a slice of their ginger cake to-go… I mean by the time I am writing this blog post (2:30pm) I have had a sneaky spoonful and I mean it is safe to say the cake will not be there for long!
Once again, Chia Naturally Healthy has wowed my tastebuds and I am itching to go back already!
Not only do they do pancakes but they do a whole range of tasty, wholesome food from burgers to smoothie bowls, to beetroot lattes to protein smoothies.
I am beyond happy that this gem is in Hertfordshire and I highly recommend a visit if you are nearby, even if you are not plant-based.
Monday. Another week has passed and a new one has begun, all set for new goals!
I have started my Monday with fresh bed sheets, a good gym session, and a complete clean-out. Very productive morning I think, for now sitting down at 1pm to write this blog post.
Personally, Monday is my favourite day of the week. I love the weekend but more often than not I find myself on a Sunday night feeling rubbish (normally about what I have eaten) and slightly bored. Followed up by an early night, Monday comes around and you are full of energy – ready to take on the fresh week.
Maybe because I do not currently have a full-time job is the reason why I love a Monday because I do not get the dreaded back to work feeling but even within a full-time job there are ways to improve your Monday.
My Monday rituals;
Change my bed sheets – This little thing can leave you looking forward to getting home and snuggling down surrounded by sweet smelling sheets! A pain at the time, who knew it was such a work-out to fight your duvet into its cover. Nevertheless, I am excited already now I’ve tackled the actual chore of changing the sheets.
Make a yummy breakfast – Pretty much every day, including Saturday and Sunday, I have 40g porridge oats, 10g vegan protein powder, banana, and 10g peanut butter. I am literally obsessed and as sad as it sounds, look forward to breakfast every night before I go to bed…
Write my aims for the week – Just a few things that you would like the week to achieve. Whether that is sticking to healthier meals, go to the gym, see a family member or take time for yourself – write it down and make it happen. This week for me my aims are to apply for jobs (as per) and get back to my blogging.
And be sure, not to forget the previous week. Last week was pretty busy for me with lots of shifts at work and gym sessions in the evening, for the more mundane aspects. But, I also became obsessed with coconut lattes, celebrated my mums birthday, cooked an amazing pie, saw various family members, ate baklava whilst sitting in the gym carpark (all about balance right) and had a lovely hour-long phone call with my bestie. I am so grateful for all the experiences, even if they were not big, life-changing things. They made me happy.
The week ahead is full of more plans with Shrove Tuesday being tomorrow, I and my mum are planning to go out for a coffee. I am on dog duty on Wednesday, Thursday I am meeting up with my cousin and her little one, Friday I am a double shift at the bakery and pub and Saturday I am off out on the town to celebrate my mum’s birthday! And who knows what else will be in between!
So, love Mondays and be excited for what life is bringing you this week.
Do you love Mondays? Or, am I the only strange one?!
2019 is a year of unknowns. Which is what life is – unknown. But at the moment, I wish I knew which path my life was going to take. I know everyone says you should relax and enjoy this time off but I am a person who loves to be busy, outside and having a sense of purpose really and at the moment I am still in the adjusting process. I bet when I finally start to enjoy my time without a career, I will get one! We can all guess that, can’t we?
But the one thing not unknown at the moment is where I am traveling to this year! Now, this is exciting. From camping to cruises, 2019’s travel and holidays are looking like they are set to be extremely fun. And also growing as many places are being added to my list…
We have family friends – Justine and Glen – who live just outside the cool city of Brighton and we are fortunate enough to go down south and visit. However, I have not been since 2017! The last time I went it was a beautifully sunny day, as the pictures show. We went on the I360 and ate fish and chips on the seafront followed by an ice-cream, of course. One thing I love about Brighton is North Laine – packed full of small, quirky and independent stores and cafes – it is easy to spend your whole day mooching around the shops. We then escape the city life, to West Sussex, where our friends own a beautiful house on the front. I am so looking forward to this and revisiting one of my favorite spots.
Also dubbed as the ‘booze cruise’ according to my sister’s boyfriend. This is our annual family holiday and with an extra special treat as we will be away for my birthday. We fly from Stanstead to Corfu, where we will board our ship, before sailing to Slovenia, Venice, Croatia, and Montenegro. All the places I have always wanted to go to! Especially Montenegro. Serenaded on a gondola to bathing in the Krka waterfalls in Spilt, I am already planning outfits and bikinis for each place. But you thought cruises were for old people? Well, you have got it all wrong. I have been on four cruises now, this years being my fifth, and they are full of things to do and an endless list of food and drinks that will keep you busy if there is nothing you fancy doing. On one cruise ship by Royal Caribbean, there was even a full-sized ice-rink, zip wire, and elevating bar?! Having not been back at sea for almost five years, I am excited to get back on board the ‘booze cruise.’
When I was younger, we were always camping. We even spent a whole two weeks in Cornwall, living in our tent (although was cut short due to the endless rain). There is nothing quite like waking up to the sounds of the birds and sitting outside with your morning cup of tea before going to the shower block to get ready. Some people do not like the idea of camping and think that it is basic but not for us Paines. We have carpet, electric and even our hairdryers. We are probably more glamping, than camping. Anyhow, nearby to our home in Stevenage we have a campsite where we are going to. I know it sounds funny to go camping literally 20 minutes down the road but it is just nice to be out in the tent, it does not matter how far or close you are.
Back with my partner in crime, we are off on another trip! After the last one being fueled by Aperol and tiramisu in Italy, we are hopping over to Spain to test the tapas and sangria. Jessamyn called me one night and asked if I wanted to go away? Obviously, my answer was yes and 20 minutes later we had picked Seville and our flights were booked. Our main reason to pick Seville was the warm temperatures in April and the fact I saw an article on Suitcase Magazine saying the streets were lined with lively bars and flamenco dancing. We are there for four days, so plenty of time to explore the city. However, we have booked during their Holy Week when there are some interesting parades going on… wish us luck!
South West Coastal Path?
Now, this is not set in stone as of yet but I have wanted to do this walk for so long. I am thinking about doing a small section for two weeks rather than the whole 600 or so miles, although I would love to do that! But maybe to ease myself into the idea of solo-trekking, a couple of weeks is enough? I am currently reading two books about people who have walking the whole path and it just sounds breathtaking! Have you ever done the South West Coastal Path or know anyone who has because I would love some advice/recommendations.
So far that is where I am off too and possibly (hopefully) a few more!
The 14th Feb. The day all about love! Now, traditionally it is all about showing love to your partner, but for me, I do not have one, so I am going to tell the other three loves of my life, which are year-round, day in, day out…
I can’t express my love for travel. Being able to experience and learn from different cultures is just such an amazing feeling. I am extremely lucky to have travelled where I have been and how often I have been away. From one side of the world in USA to the other side in Australia and many places in between, I have had so many brilliant experiences. The fact that you wander aimlessly around streets you have never seen before, eating food you never thought existed and meeting people from all over the world, these are a few of the things I love about travelling.
I know this is a bit lame to put, basically exercise as one of my life’s love but I can’t genuinely imagine my day to day life without it (lol). I like to see what my body can do, whether that is seeing how much weight I can lift at the gym or seeing what weird stretches I can get into at yoga or whether I can hike to the top of that peak, I am there, loving it. I am not the type of person to spend hours at the gym, I only go for an hour a day but most days of the week. Not only is it good for my body (I defo have a big booty to show for it) but for my mind, it is also amazing.
The simple 5 (and the dogs). I would not be anywhere without them! We are all on the count down to the ‘booze cruise’ in May 2019 for our holiday together. These simpletons do not need many words to show my love for them.
But I have so many more loves… shopping, cooking, food, drink, reading, learning, movies – the list is endless.
Galentines, palentines, (early) valentines – however you want to spend it, today is a day for showing a bit of love to your friends. Or, an excuse to eat some extra chocolate! Which I have successfully achieved.
Imagine a world where you did not have your best friend or your group of friends who you have been through thick and thin with? Who would you share them embarrassing moments with or spending hours texting about boys with or find yourself laughing for hours over nothing with? Life would not be the same. I mean I cannot tag myself in memes on Facebook and that is why we have friends is it not?! Joking. No, my friends are amazing. They hold all my secrets, they nudge me in the right direction, push me out of my comfort zone and pick me up when I am down and I love every single one of them!
For me, I have found that quality over quantity is important when it comes to your friends. I do not have tons of friends but I have four who I hold dear. At various points in your life friends can change, you gain some and you grow apart from some, but three of my friends have stuck with me through it all and one, a later edition in my life, I know will be there for the rest.
I wish I was spending palentines with them all, cooking dinner, drinking gin and tonics and laughing about things we have done! But with everyone here, there and everywhere – sadly, it would be hard. Anyway, they all know I love them so we can get together and have a late celebration (we do not need an excuse or persuasion haha).
Here are my Galentines – Jessamyn, Mollie, Katie and Jess.
I get so so excited to hear when Jessamyn is coming back from university as it always put a smile on my face seeing her and pizza is always a definite. Mollie, also my cousin, I text her constantly. I would go as far as to say she is my rock. From the decision of whether I should go to the gym or in a meltdown about jobs – Mollie is there. Katie, I lived with at university in our final year and we’ve grown up together, shes the pepper to my salt haha. And, finally, Jess, who I only met over a year ago now but shes is a gem! One of life’s lovely people and I am lucky to have her.
Another weekend is done and dusted. How do they go so quick when the week can go so slow… But I have had such a lovely weekend with my parents, spending the weekend exploring the beautiful city of York. The reason for our visit was my dad. It was his birthday last weekend and when we went to Edinburgh last year on the train, he saw a sign for the National Railway Museum and has always wanted to go ever since. So, just to show that dreams do come true we got back on the train and made a special visit to the museum.
To mine and my mums surprise the National Railway Museum was actually really good. From seeing the Mallard to the Royal carriages that Queen Victoria rode in, to the Eurostar – there was so much to see. Personally, I preferred the Royal carriages and I loved seeing how the inside of their carriages looked with opulent lampshades and plush sofas, as well as tiny little baths and narrow double beds.
I just bumped into one of my old school friends in the town today and we got discussing what we are up to in life. She has been to university and studied dance and we were saying about life after uni… What they do not tell you!
You have your degree. And you have worked so hard for that. Late nights in the library fuelled by coffee, endless amounts of reading and learning about certain topics and coming up with your best ideas so you can write your 10,000-word dissertation. But now, you have your certificate and you are set to get a job – a wonderful job too! However what if you don’t? What if three, or even 10 months down the line you are still applying or still figuring out what you want to do for a career? University life is simply cut off. If you are studying away you move back home more commonly, your friends are now dotted around the country, some are in amazing jobs smashing life and no longer do you have that structure in your life of education. Most people go to university straight from school or college and therefore, have spent the majority of their lives within education. It can be tough to finish university and studies have shown that people do suffer from university blues. And it seems silly because university is such a privilege and there are far worse things out there that people are suffering from but I wanted to write about this so people knew they were not alone.
My friends (four in total lol) are either still studying or excelling in their field of work and it makes me so happy to see that the hard work they have put into their education and even the application process of their careers has paid off! But seeing an old friend today made me realise that it is not that simple. It seems there is a misconception around university degrees and work, simply people thinking that people with degrees should go straight into a job. So, when they see graduates working in a shop or being unemployed they tend to make jokes about spending all that money to work where? Yes, people may laugh it off but inside they may be feeling lost and lacking some confidence. Despite 82% of graduates being in employment (yippee!), it does take time to secure a full-time position, according to the Office of National Statistics. So, graduates, have faith in your path and if you are currently unemployed or not yet using your degree – do not worry! Take this time to enjoy life whilst you have the time off and work out about yourself or find a hobby because once you are in a full-time position, it may be a long time until you are out of one.