Stories of adventure #42

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…

Travel

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.

Fitness

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.

Family

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.

What do you love?

Stories of 2019 #35

What an incredible trip I have recently had to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. It was truly MAGICAL! And yes, it deserves to be in capital letters because it was the most unbelievable week.

I have been to Walt Disney World before back in 2005 when I was only eight but I only remember a few things such as breakfast with Minnie and going on Splash Mountain and it being an amazing trip. However, going back as an adult, I found it so much more special. Previously we stayed in a villa just outside of Disney World but for this trip, I stayed in the Animal Kingdom Lodge and it was so special. I mean it was a dream waking up in the morning, stepping out onto your balcony and spotting giraffes!!

Here are some gems from my previous trip to Walt Disney World. Look how young we look!! These beauties are scanned in from the Florida photo album ha ha.

My friend Jess took me on her trip and we had such a lovely time. We flew out of Gatwick airport last Monday at 11:40am. Both very excited we bounded into the airport early in the morning, met the others who were also on the trip and got all set for our 9-hour flight to Orlando!

The time flew by (literally), especially with good films and food. Afternoon tea miles high in the sky was a particular highlight for me, with Rodda’s clotted cream too… Virgin knows how to do a proper scone.

Once we had arrived at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, we were greeted by Zoe and Dave – the amazing Disney PR’s that took care of us – in the grand lobby of the hotel with our magic bands and hotel packs. They took us to our rooms and that is when the excited screams began…

Towels, pillowcase, Minnie ears, personalised hats and tons of sweet goodies – Thank you, Mickey! We were completely spoilt from the word go. The room was wonderful, all African inspired with wooden interiors and quirky wallpaper with animals and mountains on.

It was quite late by the time we had reached the hotel and settled in but around 7pm we all met for dinner. The first meal was within a restaurant at the hotel called Jiko – the African cooking place. Food that was vibrant, spicy and packed full of flavours paired with South African wines set for a lovely evening.

To start, me and Jess shared the Inguday Tibs in Brik which was a samosa-like dish. Mushroom and spinach in a crispy Tunisian filo pastry with apple and curry vinaigrette. Following this for main I had the West African Koki Corn. Mushrooms and avocado on a poblano-tomatillo puree with roasted red pepper sauce matched with a smooth, rich red wine.

But jet-lag hit the group and everyone headed to bed as some stayed behind and had a slice of white chocolate cake – the first signs that I would not feel hunger for the next five days. Not long after we headed back to the room, excited for what was to come the next day when we were off for breakfast with the characters and a day in the Magic Kingdom!

Stories of 2019 #17

I confess. I am a smoothie bowl addict. I do not care if they contain hundreds of hidden calories, they look and they taste bloody delicious! Pink, purple, blue, Halloween themed, topped with heaps of peanut butter, fruit, granola (best part), flowers, who knows you may even find a mermaid in the depths of a smoothie bowl. I mean there are even Instagram accounts dedicated to the smoothie bowl… How can you resist when they look THAT good.

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Yummy Blue Smoothie Bowl by @isiaaak

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You do have to go out and source a smoothie bowl if you want them to look good, unless you are just a domestic goddess and can blend up something as good as this. I know I can’t, so I go on the global smoothie bowl hunt.

They became popular in 2016 and was a huge Instagram trend due to their drool-worthy look. But what really is a smoothie bowl I hear you ask? Well, it is a mix of frozen fruit, vegetables and other so-called superfoods such as yogurt, avocado and oats. This forms a ice-cream like texture, so instead of putting your smoothie in a cup and drinking with a straw, you pour it into a bowl and eat it with a spoon. Then it is time for the crown jewels – the beautiful toppings that are carefully placed sometimes in lines on top of your smoothie, which can be pretty much anything. The aim of the smoothie bowl is supposedly to make you eat more mindfully as you cannot gulp it down – unless you want brain freeze…

However, they are said to be very high in sugar so maybe consume in moderation.

I have to say, not to blow my own trumpet, but I like to now call myself the global smoothie bowl connoisseur. Ubud, Canguu, Byron Bay, London, Townsville, Hitchin, I mean do I need to convince your further? Joking, when I am making smoothie bowls good enough to go on the smoothie bowl accounts, I know then I am the connoisseur.

Anyway, here are where I have had the delicious smoothie bowl.

The Avocado Factory, Canguu // Avo Island Smoothie Bowl
Watercress, Ubud // Acai Superfood Smoothie Bowl
Puri Garden Hotel and Hostel, Ubud // Smoothie Bowl
NUUT Nutrition Bar, Fremantel WA // Nourishing Glow Bowl
Acai Brother, Byron Bay // Ain’t Nothin’ Butter Bowl
The Beet Bar, Townsville // Peanut Butter Swirl
Pluk, Amsterdam // Unicorn Acai Bowl
Feya, London // Pastel Rainbow Smoothie Bowl
Chia Cafe, Hitchin // Acai Smoothie Bowl

By the looks of things I need to take my own advice and think about moderation ha ha. Now make sure you share your smoothie bowls with me and I can go and try too!

Stories of 2019 #1

“The New Year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written.” – Melody Beattie.

Masters Graduation // 13th December 2018

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2019. I hope you are all waking up with clear heads after celebrating your way into the New Year with friends, family and of course, a little tipple. I am waking up up north in Manchester (with most probably a headache as I get way too excited when I am out which results in mixed drink choices and I am not one of those sensible people who have one drink and one glass of water) with my friend Jess after dancing our socks off in the Northern Quarter. If I am honest, after all the Christmas and New Year festivities I am looking forward to 1, a drier January and 2, having a bit of a routine back with less food and drink!

But alongside a new fresh year, comes the tradition of the New Years resolution. 2018 was full of change for myself, some big and some small, but I am now officially an ‘adult’… well, some would say anyway, I am not sure I agree. I am no longer a university student (very VERY sad news) and I have moved back home to Stevenage and have the joyous task of finding myself a job in 2019 or just figuring out what I want to do with my year ahead.

As most people, I also start the year with a list of New Year resolutions and only keep to one or two and loosing sight of the other 50 after a months. Ok, that is ambitions, a few weeks ha ha. Has anyone actually ever stuck to a New Years resolution? If you have, hats off to you, you amazing human being! Any tips do not be afraid to leave them below in a comment. Learning from previous years, I plan to set two!

So, here are my 2019 goals:

Find a new hobby // I am really into fitness and going to the gym, so my new hobby I would like to be physical. The gym I currently go to also have a boxing gym and I would really like to try my hand at this after having a few goes on some pads (I think that is what they are called). Also in addition to boxing, hiking is on my list but I would not have as much access to this hobby. Watch this space, I could be either the next female Evander Holyfield or Bear Grylls!

Worry less about life // I am a constant worrier. Considering I am quite outgoing and have even been travelling on my own, I worry over the smallest of things. Especially now I am home from travelling and from university, as I have a sense of feeling lost in this big world. I do not know what job I want or whether I want to save up to go away again or what else is running through my head! I feel like I should be out working, starting a career like all my friends and with people constantly asking me, “have you got a job yet?” I find myself feeling guilty when I say no. But like my wise mother has said to me, there is no rush to get a job as once you are in a full time job the next time you will get this time off is when you are retired. She also adds the only people you need to worry about, about making you get a job is her and my dad and they are not bothered as long as I am happy. I currently have two little part time jobs I am enjoying so for the time being I am trying to worry less about the future! I think I will struggle with this one the most.

With these set for 2019, who knows where I will end up a year from now writing my 2020 resolutions. Wouldn’t life be boring if we knew where it was going to take us.

What are your 2018 resolutions? Comment below and let me know! We can support each other.

Pluk Amsterdam

Pluk Amsterdam

If you are forever looking for pretty cafes around the world you have probably no doubt seen this gem! Especially their unicorn smoothie bowls. Located amongst some very cool independent cafes and boutique shops on 9 Streets, Pluk serves up not only healthy but delicious food.

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Luxury Amsterdam Airbnb

Luxury Amsterdam Airbnb

For mine and Jess’s trip to Amsterdam we decided not to stay in a hotel but an Airbnb. I had stayed in several Airbnb’s before and I personally have had a great experience and all houses I have stayed in have been amazing. And this gem was no different.

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Where did I eat and drink in Amsterdam?

Where did I eat and drink in Amsterdam?

Amsterdam is a foodies heaven! I think everywhere I looked there was yummy food from chips covered in sauces, waffles coated in chocolate, to big ice cream cones. But also nestled away there are healthier cafes and amazing coffee shops (and I mean coffee shops that sell coffee beans). I had seen some places online and had kept them in mind when on my little city break and I loved each and every one of the places we went too. Even my three euro pizza slice was INCREDIBLE!

Warning: This post may make you extremely hungry… Like I am now writing it!

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