Madrid the food and the City and the drinking girlsu

food, Travel

So day 1 was awesome. Day two I woke up fine, dreaming of a breakfast of dreams. So I hopped in the shower and got ready.

We hopped in a cab and headed to our breakfast place which was truely amazing. Only it was there that the hang over hit me. I was doing well until this point. I ordered my coffee and a fresh juice and then my food arrived.

Federal Cafe

Hangover

Whenever I am hungover I feel like avocados and smoked salmon are my best friends. I normally ask for the hollandaise on the side but I didn’t.

I wish I did.

They had added garlic in it which didn’t settle well with me. I wasnt sick but I felt horrible and just needed to be quiet. But my friends were worried so they asked a lot of questions and I withdrew into my hangover dreaming of my bed!

I just wanted to be alone.

Segways

This is were Becky informed me we were on Segways for the next section of the day! I couldn’t think of anything worse. Little did I know this would clear my hangover right up!

So we walked over to the Segway area the temperature had cooled to a 30 degree heat so although it was super hot still it had nothing on yesterday.

We all got water and hydrated but I wasn’t thirsty I was just tired. I sat in a slightly shady street with my wedding attire on and slowly died by the side.

Our instructor was brilliant he was super funny and patient. He had to be, we were awful! Becky went first and was so scared she screamed the street down and I could stop laughing. We all laughed at Becky as she awkwardly used the Segway. Tears streamed down my face of pure joy and I forgot my hangover and cane alive again!

It turned out none of us were much good. Two were okay and the rest of us hated it and swore we would never get on one again. He gave us ten minutes to feel it out for ourselves and one by one we dutifully got back on.

City tour

Whizzing around Madrid on the Segways were amazing. It was a great way to see the city and it was so safe. Madrid laws state that cars must wait for the Segways so we were allowed in the road not on the pavements.

It was so much fun, the driving helped cleared all our

Then we went do the market place! Yes it’s touristy but the bustle of all the food stalls and all the choice wow I loved it!

I bought an octopus skewer which was so tasty and massive!

Then we went to the main square for beer and ice cream. The bar where really sweet although they didn’t know what a shandy was but they looked after us.

Nap time

I was still exhausted. A few of the group had already left and now it was my time to put my head down and catch up on sleep.

So I went back to the hotel and caught up on some sleep. When I woke up we headed back upstairs to the roof top bar!

I needed the pool! Everyone ended up coming up for a glass of cold wine, gin and a dip in the plunge poool again.

Today was 34 degrees so it was still super hot! Then we all headed downstairs to get ready again. Becky had planned everything so well. Even down time was accounted for! We had a great day and it was about to be followed by an amazing meal!

Barata

jiminy cricket batman that starter was heaven on a plate. The mozzarella was soft and creamy the pesto was injected by me served with bread oh my word. I would actually fly back to Madrid for this meal right now.

The fish and pudding were also great but starter was out of this world.

The sangria was flowing the laughter was constant and the games were fun.

It was such a great night but we had an early flight and we were all aware of it! So we finished the hen how we started!

On the rooftop drinking gin!

My favourite healthy lunch I prepare at work

body confidence, Fitness, food, health, Personal Experience, weight loss

So I am training, toning and eating healthier. I am a stone (14lbs) over weight. I thought I would share with you some of my favourite healthy lunches that I prepare at work.

I get 30 minutes for lunch so I don’t have a lot of time. This Asian salad I saw on a website and have adapted it to suit me.

You will need:

  • Shredded carrots
  • Cabbage medley
  • Asian slaw
  • Roasted sesame seeds
  • Prawns ( I chose chilli and coriander)
  • Soy ( I am using Tamara less salt)
  • Sriracha ( I don’t like heat but I love this sauce)
  • A lime

This will make 2 lunches with enough salad to make 2/3 more.

I would love not to buy things with so much plastic however everything I bought was prepacked. Plus I only get 30 minutes so I have time constraints.

So Tesco is my local supermarket to work. I tend to do a shop for the weeks lunches! This isn’t a cheap lunch but I get 4 lunches out of it so it works out at about 2.50 a lunch and 250 calories per portion. I colour make this a lot cheaper by pre preparing everything at home but I would have to buy a lot of ingredients that I would have to eat all week.

Eating habits

I don’t know about you but I hate eating the same thing every day. When you are single this is the worse part of cooking!

I decided to prepare lunch for my work colleagues who only eats fish.

This Asian slaw is literally pickled cabbage and it takes so yummy. It adds an acid and freshness to this salad and I love it!

Now you want to give it a good mix

Now you add more flavour. Tamari has less salt than normal soy and it gluten free ( not that this effects me)

Hot source

sriracha is my new best friend when it comes to cooking. The level of heat is just yummy. Even for people who don’t like heat I would recommend using this! Just add a little at a time! I always find I need just a wee bit more!

Everything tastes better with sesame seeds. These roasted ones last for ages in your cupboard and they can make pretty much any dish tasty.

Fresh lime. I love like with the sweet salty chilli dressing you have put in this just helps sharpen it all up!

Perfect quick lunch

Yum, add as little or as less as you like. If I don’t add it does feel like I am missing something.

So that’s it!

I have more healthy lunches coming but for under 300 calories this is a great lunch and if there are left overs that get to marinate over night, so tastes even better.

What’s your favourite lunches.

Healthy habits, does chocolate count?

body confidence, food, health, Personal Experience

Day 14, 3 healthy habits, 30 day blog challenge.

I am slightly over weight, a sugar addict and lazy! So writing about 3 healthy habits seems a bit hypocritical however. I am trying to tone up and loose weight so I have change 3 things which is definitely a healthy habit.

Farewell Diet Coke

Like most people when they start dieting you give up the heavenly full fat drinks and swap them with diet drinks.

I became addicted we are talking 8 cans a day of Diet Coke. If I was hungry I would have one, every meal including breakfast I would have one. I felt like the fact that it had no calories meant that I could have it all the time.

Wrong

I started cutting back after Christmas when I ordered 3 crates of coke and Gav said it wasn’t healthy. When you rely on something too much then it’s a bad habit. It need to be kicked so I stopped.

I cut it down to two cans a day. Which was still a lot but at least it was something. This year I decided to cut out plastic water bottles. So cans of coke are harder to find.

Cutting back

When I went on holiday to Bulgaria I failed with my plastic bottles and diet coke wasn’t as everywhere so I treated myself to full fat coke!

But when I returned from holiday I didn’t buy any coke. At work I swapped my coke for squash because for some reason I wasn’t drinking enough water. I know squash isn’t that great. But I am drinking 4 litres of water everyday.

Swapping coke for water and squash is definitely a step in the right direction.

As you saw from my fridge yesterday there is no coke for either me or Gav. We both have a can but I still haven’t drunk it yet! If will be my Sunday treat!

Aurevoir chocolate

I had a lot of twix o’clock at work. Basically I now understand that I am an emotional eater. If I am upset then or annoyed then I want chocolate. Twix O’clock became a 2pm habit. I like to reward myself for everything!!!

It had to end. I am not going to deny myself chocolate but I definitely do not need it everyday. But a few times a week is fine. My skin doesn’t appreciate too much sugar so it better to cut right down. Plus I love celery so I cut it up and pop it in Tupperware. When I want to eat I something I can tuck into my cut up veg.

How good does that twix look!

Getting my arse into gear

So my last healthy habit is walking home. I get the bus to and from work. Living and working in London means that public transport is super cheap.

We now have lighter evening so roads and pathways don’t look so scary. So far I have walked home 3-4 times every week for the past 2 weeks . The weather hasn’t been great but it hasn’t stopped me.

My body is grateful for the exercise and fresh air. Plus it’s spring, so all the blossoms are out and my Instagram and a few of my blogs have had spring themes and lots of blossoms on them.

When I get home Gav meets me at the door with Frank and we go and walk him in the park. I have a wee bit more energy and my skin looks better.

Even though I should not reward myself I don’t feel so bad for eating a piece ( a whole bar, I am a compulsive eater) of chocolate.

But walking isn’t just about physical health. My 45 minute walk home clears my head. I listen to music and zone out. Walking has left me in a meditative state. I come home happy. The weather hasn’t bothered me.

I have given myself a task of 70000 steps a week and so far I have smashed it. I just need to keep going!

In summary

When I was photographing this I wanted to hurry up so I could drink the Diet Coke, it’s 10am so I will make myself wait! I also ate the celery, yum and will eat the chocolate later.

I am trying to be healthy, getting fit for the wedding. I have saved money walking home. I am saving roughly £24 a month so… I am going back to the gym. It’s only £36 a month and I miss it. I can go before work, my work mates go every day.

It about changing your mindset and creating a habit that you stick too. I am drinking more water (squash) walking home and cutting out my chocolate snacks for fruit and veg!

Things are getting better and I am feeling better!

Watch this space!

What’s in my Fridge, is a weird one

food, health

Day 13, what’s in your fridge, 30 day blog challenge

Okay do you really care?

Do you really want to know?

Before we go into what is in my fridge. You need to know about the amount of cheese in my fridge.

There is a lot of cheese.

My fridge is divided into shelves top shelf is cheese and dairy!

Manchego, Parmesan, cheddar, Camembert, Stilton, Port Salut and many many more.

For the love of booze

Second shelf is a bit more boozy! We have a bottle of Prosecco two Marks and spencer cocktails which we need to crack open. Limes because what is a G&T without fruit. Plums that may end up in a crumble and raspberry’s which are my favourite fruit and Frank loves them too!

We have a few alcohol Pops in the background. You put them into your drinks, I like them in Prosecco! Chestnut purée which I have no idea what to do with but Gav got it for me because I love chestnuts so much! Oh and a family sized Tiramisu which we don’t actually like that much. And a low fat yogurt which again I don’t like so Frank may end up having it for his breakfast!

I hate wasting food.

Looking healthy

Mid shelf is reserved for anything! We generally put cooked meat, so this is where my Chorizo lived. When I was looking at my fridge I found 3 chorizo all opened so I need to use them up. Hard times!

I have okra, fresh curry leaves and aubergine so I am really looking forward to having a yummy curry and maybe making an aubergine dip.

Gravalax, I love fish, me and Gav don’t eat it enough. Tomorrow I plan on having salmon, avocado with poached eggs. Yummy!

We have a massive bowl of mushrooms, scotch bonnets and a little tub of baked beans. I bought these glass Tupperware from Amazon and seriously they are my absolute favourite buy for my house this year. You can pop them in the oven, microwave and fridge. I am making more lunches and they are healthier too!

Bottom shelf is where I keep the meat. We have belly pork for the roast and some local sausages. Carrots and fresh pasta that I used in tonight’s dinner.

More veg

Yup fresh tomatoes, courgettes, red peppers, celery, onions and a cauliflower.

So I think that’s everything. What’s in my fridge is a weird one! Most of the time my fridge doesn’t look this good or full. Today was my day off, so we went to the market and bought a lot of fresh produce. I will spend tomorrow dinner planning and I am already excited.

Before it got tidied.

Confessions

In all honesty I had to clean out my fridge to take these photos. I tidied them up and threw out all the cheese and bits that I found that had gone past there sell by date.

Gav has an obscene amount of bbq sauces. He loves them but he is not allowed to get any more until he has used them all up. The fridge door hold back all his sauces, tonic water, milk and some fruit juices!

It needed a clean up so I didn’t mind giving it a spruce!

My favourite dishes

food, Uncategorised

Day 11, 10 favourite dishes, 30 day blog challenge

I am only allowed 10 so this may be tricky. I love lots of food my food is going to be super country specific rather than food specific.

This is a hard one because food is maybe my favourite thing… yes I think it is. I love textures and flavour and feel like a meal can transport you some where!

  • creole dinner
  • French Food
  • Turkish
  • Vietnamese
  • Buffalo Orange Chicken wings
  • Rare steak and chips
  • Japanese
  • Mexican
  • Phillipino Food
  • Spanish
  • Gin

I do love to cook. I like to think I can try my hand at anything.

Both my parents are great cooks. I used to sit and watch them cook. They both cooked from scratch and I picked it all up. My mum was a good baker and made us healthy hearty British meals. I learned a lot from her.

Creole food

My dad cooked meals from home, fried fish, salt fish , rice lentils and chicken soup. My dad loved everything about British food . Roast dinners, stews and good food.

Friday night dinners were the best. He cooked fried parrot fish with a gorgeous tomato sauce. His chicken or octopus curry with potatoes is the best thing in the world! His lentil soup is beyond gorgeous especially when he puts chorizo in it! The fourth part of the dinner I a cucumber salad. Simple and delicious!

French Food

Oh lala. Tartiflette, Crab mimosas, tomto salads, Rare beef, octopus salad. The french can cook and to top it off they know how to add a gorgeous glass of red wine to help it all go down.

Mum mum has been living I france for over 14 years now and has picked up a few recipes. Her baking and traditional British food is yummy. But France has such good local produce that makes even a salad ( you don’t make friend a with salad) taste yummy.

Steak and chips in France is maybe the best in the world…. with Hawksmoor also do an amazing steak.

Turkish food

Ummm Turkish breads, onion salads, hummus oh yes. Then there is marinated meats!

Turkish food is completely associated with kebabs, and traditionally are beyond yummy. But there is so much more to Turkish cuisine than just meet and bread. I love it all, seafood, gozleme and pide. I love it all.

Vietnamese

When I lived in Australia I didn’t have the greatest experience but the food, jeez the food. I used to go to a Vietnamese restaurant and had roast quails with sour sauce. I loved this starter so much that when ever I went to this restaurant I would order it as a starter and a main.

This opened my eyes to Vietnamese food which on the whole I feel like there is a freshness and pure deliciousness that I have never tasted before.

Orange buffalo

They deserve there own section. Me and Gav live chicken wings. My dad does great ones and has always loved them too. We were excited to introduce him and his partner to these tasty wings that have won awards in the states.

I do dream of going to Texas and going to the chicken wing festivals they have there. Last year London hosted one too and it was brilliant. It was a hot dry day and we had so much beer and chicken wings it was wonderful.

Hopefully we will be free for it this year.

Japanese

Part of the reason I want to Honeymoon in Japan is the food. Sushi, ramen, the lists goes on. Again there is a cleanness to Japanese food that I love. I could eat sushi every day.

I have a list of places I want to eat in Japan but if you have any recommendations I would love to here. My friends Sam and Jon just went to Japan so they have a few recommendations that I can’t wait to try!

Mexican

Oh boy! I told you love food, meat cheese and bread are you sensing a theme. Pulse Mexican food is all about fresh tomatoes, onions and guacamole.

My friend is Mexican and cooks food that I have never had in a Mexican restaurant. I can’t tell you what a good cook she is! Beyond tasty and again freshness.

Filipino food

This is a new one for me. We had it recently and I can’t stop dreaming about their noodle salad.

Stuff of foody dreams. This is all down to one restaurant food vendor BBQ Dreams. Amazing dishes like I have never tasted. Crispy cauliflower and marinated hearts. All perfectly yummy.

Spanish, German and the rest of the world.

Are you sensing a theme? I just love food all of it. British everything, German sausages and pickled cabbage. Tapas and Rioja… seriously.

I have had pulled pork encased in a mash potato pig and traditional borscht soup in Russia. BBQ lobster on the beach in Seychelles, peroge next to nuns and priests in Krakow, chips in Belgium ( truly are the best in the world) neaps and tatties in Scotland. And roast dinners in my homes.

Food need to come from the heart. So I don’t really have a favourite dish. I love the all.

That and gin, is gin a food? It should be.

Low energy, no motivation is the couch my new best friend?

body confidence, Fitness, health, weight loss

It may be the holiday blues. I may just be being hard on myself but at the moment when I come home from work I don’t want to do anything. We eat dinner and then the couch gives me a hug and then I hop into bed.

I have lost my mojo.

Low energy

I wake up at 5am every morning. I stretch, do yoga, shower, eat a nutritious breakfast and head to work!

Nope

I do wake up at 5am give or take 20minutes. Only because the dog gets lonely and starts barking. As we don’t want grumpy neighbours or a grumpy Gav! I go downstairs and bring Frank upstairs for morning cuddles and a lie in.

I am not a faffer. I like to get up ( for the second time) shower. Have a cup of tea.

Mmm tea

Then I take Frank for his morning walk to stretch his little legs. Give him his breakfast. Then me and Gav walk to the station together which is my favourite part of the day!

I hop on a bus, get to work and have my breakfast. I can’t eat first thing in the morning so I get to work early so I can have my last cup of tea and get ready for work. I have food at work so it’s easy to prepare.

Sorry for the boring bit!

No motivation

When I get home I don’t want to do anything. Cooking and cleaning are the last thing I want to do. I am not motivated at all. The couch is calling me, along with Netflix and YouTube.

It is hard to start exercising when you don’t want to get your arse off up the couch.

I know what I have to do. I need to change my eating habits, I need more healthy foods and to exercise. Which is easy to say but not execute when you have no motivation.

None

Action

My whinging is boring me. So today I walked home. The sky threatened to rain the whole way but didn’t. And I found the most beautiful Magnolia blossoms which I would not have seen or smelt this incredible tree if I had got the bus!

I stood under it in awe.

I am planning on walking again tomorrow and go for a run at the weekend.

This is the plan.

Plan

  1. Swap unhealthy for healthier snacks
  2. Meal plan
  3. Meal prep for lunches
  4. Walk home 2-4 times a week
  5. Run 2-3 times a week

That’s the plan. I needed to be held accountable for my actions and my weight. After a week of exercise my body isn’t in bad shape, my stomach got a bit of a toning but now is not the time to back track.

I have to push myself. I don’t want regrets, I want to be proud of myself.

My body has been good to me so far. My health is good and it has got me through a lot!

So I will still be having my nightly hug with my gorgeous couch!

I want to look good for the wedding and then keep up the fitness up afterwards. My walk was unplanned so I didn’t have headphones but I enjoyed it, it’s a solid 50minute walk through nice streets.

I just have to push myself and stop making excuses!

Wish me luck!

Productive Week wedding Planning

Advice, Organising, Planning, Wedding

Its very rare that I have a brilliant week in one go. But this week has been super productive already.

We have we have ticked off

  • Booked food vendor
  • Chosen menu
  • Booked our cake tasting
  • Closer to booking the entertainment
  • I purchased some wonderful Drunk Elephant skincare to try
  • Found a local hair salon to help me get rid of my weird blond streaks
  • Arranged a space for myself ( blog to follow
Monthly spread for Bullet journal

Here is a truth universally acknowledged in the world of wedding vendors…

Sometimes they don’t get back to you.

Because they are super busy and have a million weddings before you.

You will physically have to chase them. We have done it with both the entertainment and the food. Now just to reassure you reader, I don’t mean stalk and harass. I just mean email them, call them follow it up with another email… all over the space of a few months. We really want our guests to have an amazing time, so food and music is really important to us.

And they still don’t get back…. honestly the food was worth the wait and I think our guests from all over will be super happy with the food.

The entertainment are reluctant to book with us until 6 months before but they pencilled us in. This scares us only because if they turn around and cant work our wedding we will have to search for someone else, and the first one I wanted were already booked! This band is Gavs first choice and we both agree they suit us perfectly and they already do an amazing version of our song! ( hence the reason why I let him pick his over mine).

Our food vendors where just busy, thy are getting more and more popular but honestly I could eat there food everyday and be happy.

It can just be frustrating when your to do list is a million miles long and you just want to tick them all off.

Soho Bun House

A good week

The week started off on Sunday with a gorgeous meal at the Soho Bun House, where in the restaurant they don’t serve buns but the food was so good we didn’t care! My uni friends like to meet up monthlyish to catch up. We all love eating and drinking (slight understatement we get super excited about trying new places)

The boys went off to a gig and we decide to stay out for one more and visit Basement Sate which Gav had been raving about for months. It didn’t disappoint. Even though i am a huge gin drinker I just love a gin and tonic I don’t need a gin cocktail. I like to taste the gin. My taste buds always head toward whiskey cocktails, Old-fashions etc. The After Slate was beyond yummy.

Being Grateful

Last week I wrote a post about being grateful and pre-thanking people. I think it is so easy to forget the person you are marrying.

Gav loves to tease me constantly. Most of our conversation are spoken with a grin on his face because he is about to take the piss out of me. Its all in good humour but sometimes it gets a bit much.

Then I remember how thoughtful and kind he is. How wonderful he can be. We had a bit of personal good news this week and so to celebrate he picked up some Chinese pork buns from Soho Bun House ( which we missed out on last time). had a feast at home.

We don’t celebrate Valentines Day, ever.

It just doesn’t interest me or him so we don’t we just like to spend it together.

Goals for Feb in Bullet Journal

Round Up

I can’t tell you happy I am that I can tick these things of the list. It just feels so productive. What we realised after such a good week is that we have all the major elements complete. We now need to focus on the detailed bits.

Wedding planning can be stressful not like other things in life but still stressful. Lack of communication from everyone! Difference of opinion on details. I think when people say its not stressful they have already forgotten how much effort they put into a wedding.

There is also a massive difference when your venue is all inclusive and not like ours where we just have the space and have to bring in everything we want.

But it will be wonderful and we cant wait.

Thank you for joining me on our wedding journey.