Foraging

· Do it in LON


I do enjoy a good forage and Portobello Road is absolutely one of the best places to pick up one-off pieces from very interesting stalls.  But yesterday Portobello Road was an absolute nightmare!!  It felt like the whole of Europe had descended on London – more specifically, Portobello Road – and walking was reduced to a shuffle!  Somehow I spotted some treasure hidden on the floor amongst peoples feet, discarded food and trash – this amazing clock!  Isn’t it a beauty?!  It doesn’t work… BUT we’re going to take it over to New York so Mike’s Pop can fix it (he’s a dab-hand at these things).  When it’s fixed, this double faced clock, with barometer and copper surround, will be hung from some silk twisted rope in a very special place (to be revealed in good time…).

To get away from all the crowds Mike and I dove into Montgomery Place for a cheeky cocktail.  Whilst I cooed over my clock and jotted down NYLON thoughts, Mike practiced his drawing skills!  Last weekend we went into Cass Art on Kensington High Street to stock up on drawing materials for the artist!  Mike’s a real natural at drawing – he’s got an excellent eye for detail – *gush!*

Soon enough our tummies started rumbling, so we popped next door to this amazing Italian restaurant.  I was craving pasta and their clam linguini really hit the spot!  Like with most of my foodie posts, there’s no actual pictures of food – which is completely because I inhale leaving no time to take pictures!  And I’m pretty sure no one wants to see a picture of an empty plate!  Osteria Basilico is a true authentic Italian – and the gesturing waiters aren’t of the ‘customer always knows best’ camp – when I asked for parmesan cheese the waiter shook his head “no, taste it first” he said.  I was firmly put in my place, and he was right – it was perfect just as it was!

Osteria Basilico was chockablock with hungry regulars, so come eight o’clock we were asked to vacate our table for the next customers.  This was fine as we had already been there for two hours and were pre-warned.  We just didn’t want to budge as we were relaxing into date night!  So we decided to take our party for two back to Montgomery Place for a night-cap…

And then things started getting silly….

With full tummies and slightly tiddly heads we headed off to the Coronet cinema to see The Conjuring…  I love a good horror movie!  Being scared witless makes me laugh – cheap thrills!


And Relax…

· Do it in LON


There’s no denying it – yoga has to be the most soulful and cleansing of exercise activities you can do.  I have been going to hot yoga for a couple of months now and am a complete convert.  Regular yoga is wonderful, but there’s something about sweating it out that makes me feel like I’m ridding my body of toxins.

I’m far from being good at yoga – if I can make it through a class without turning a wobble into a complete fall I see that as an accomplishment!  But yoga isn’t about competing against anyone else in the room.  You have to turn off any desire to compare yourself with the lady standing on her head, or the uber toned, perfectly aligned ones – I see them as something I can aspire to!  Although I’d be far too scared to attempt a headstand!

I go to Yoga Haven in Clapham Common - the instructors are excellent and so encouraging.  The studio itself is modern, clean and from the moment you step in you’re welcomed like an old friend.

Usually when I’ve finished a class I flop across the courtyard to Del’Aziz for a cleansing cup of tea, and then swing by the veg shop to stock up for the juicer.  Believe me, after you’ve put your body through an hour of 40 degree flow yoga, the last thing you want to do is undo the wonderful light feeling you have!

Give it a go!

Yoga Haven

63 Wingate Square

Clapham Old Town

Clapham

SW4 0AF

020 8617 0027

*Photo



Date Night

· Life


Date night was wonderful – we sipped birthday champagne, giggled together and danced around the living room to the record player…  Click the vine video below some cheesy boogying!


 


Bloated

· Life


“No, I’m not pregnant – I’m bloated…”

Is what I should have said when I was offered a seat [by another woman] on the tube today!  But I was so embarrassed and surprised that all I could say was “no, thanks… I’m fine”.  Oh dear – I wanted to disappear into myself, but my tummy had other ideas and had developed a life of it’s own.  There it was, sticking out, all hard and round, protruding in such a way that it really did look like I was at least 6 months pregnant (sadly, I’m not exaggerating).

Of course it’s very nice that someone would offer a seat up to a ‘pregnant’ woman – but when that woman isn’t pregnant?  Ouch.  I bloat up very easily – coriander, garlic, wheat, celery, peppers, some salad leaves, any carbs, beans, dairy… pretty much everything is not a friend of my tummy!

Today I decided to branch away from my usual tummy friendly safe lunch choice – salmon sushi – and opted instead for an Itsu ’7 Veg Mini Rice Pot’.  Oh.my.god.  What a mistake that was.  I’m so careful all the time – juice for breakfast, salmon sushi for lunch and a salad for dinner – no snacking, no fun stuff – just good healthy food.  But that silly mini veg pot must’ve had some hidden coriander in it because it caused a very recognisable pain in my stomach which I can actually taste.

The reason I’m sharing this is because I’ve realised it’s a very common problem amongst women.  It’s pretty embarrassing – no one wants to feel bloated and uncomfortable.  When I bloat up it makes me tired, irritable and sad – my clothes fit everywhere except round my tummy, I know I look ridiculous and it just makes me want to hide!  This is also very embarrassing when you have a boyfriend – Mike is very sensitive to my feelings but of course I want to look hot for him.

Thankfully for me I can manage the bloat if I’m super careful, but there are people who have far more chronic issues.

I’ve been dealing with this bloat for many years now, so I’m not overly negatively effected by a woman thinking I was pregnant.  Saying that, I really want to get a handle on this extreme bloating because it’s very embarrassing and genuinely makes me feel quite rubbish.  Back to my juice, fish and salads… and trying not to get stressed out, to do more yoga and generally listen to my body.

I’m determined not to resort to plain rice cakes – this bloating will not win!


Pizza Pilgrims Open First Pizzeria

· Bon Appetit


As I write this I am drinking my second juice of the day (carrot, apple and ginger – rather yummy), which is a tell tale sign of a weekend of over-indulgence!  So this week I’m trying to be good, but don’t get me wrong, I’m no saint – I’m a juicing tart.  I can only go so long without having to chew on a solid!  Besides, Mike’s sallow eyes give me the guilts for depriving him of manly nourishment.  He says he likes the smoothies I make him in the mornings and the juices I prepare when I get home – but I wasn’t surprised when the American in him popped out this weekend…  Pizza, burgers and sour cream pancakes were requested and honestly, I was totally on board!

First up, Pizza Pilgrims.  It was Friday night – their second day of trading from their first restaurant – and as we quickly bagged some prime viewing seats in the window a queue was rapidly forming out the door…

The brothers, James and Thom, behind Pizza Pilgrims are Escape the City heroes (read their story here), so we felt particularly excited for them.  After the success of their street food van (check out the van here – so cute!), the next natural progression was of course a pizzeria, and what an amazing location – on Dean Street in the heart of Soho.

Pizza Pilgrims have kept their menu short and sweet – a carefully created selection of the best pizzas in class each prepared in front of you by brothers James and Thom, and their pizzaioli Pilgrims.  I’m a firm believer that the service you receive when dining out is underrated and essential for creating a lasting impression – whether you’re picking something up from a street food truck or sitting down in a restaurant.  Top marks to our server whose genuine enthusiasm was dangerous – I could easily have gone for round two with another delicious pizza but instead succumbed to the salt & olive oil over vanilla ice-cream and another glass of prosecco… being a good girl for 5 days is quite enough!


Who, What, Where

· Life


It doesn’t matter how old I am, Mum has always and will always say ‘Mum’ things to me like “mind the road”, “keep a clear head”, “look both ways”, “remember cars come from the other way” (this was a new addition when I moved to NY) … most of these last lines before the end of a phone call or when we say cheerio to each other are ones of caution, but I love her for caring about me so much.  After 30 years it’s quite easy to pre-empt these lines, but last week Mum said something to me that really stuck.  She’s probably said it to me before, but I guess last week I really needed to hear it.  We were having one of those phone calls where you just really need your Mum and no-one else will do, when she said to me “remember who you are and what you want”.  I suppose this stuck because realising who I am and what I want has been a progressive journey of self discovery and only recently have I had the courage to listen and follow my heart.

Over the last year I’ve been agonising over the who I am and what I want – I’ve tried writing it down, drawing diagrams, looking at clouds, yoga, throwing wishes in waterfalls and even praying.  I’ve flown 3470 miles back and forth from London to New York twelve times in three years, staring out of the window wondering what my purpose is and I’m only just starting to get a clearer picture.

I think we’re always changing – growing and developing as people.  With each new experience, adventure and encounter our lives will be impacted and the way we process these external forces determines how they will effect us.  I am very aware of these external forces – firmly believing that it’s important to make the most of life and that you need to look to yourself to create opportunities for yourself.  The downside to this mindset can lead to frustration and anxiety – I often get so caught up in my own thoughts and desires to make the most of life that I end up faffing to the highest degree!  Uselessly worrying on a Sunday is not uncommon.  Actually recognising that this happens has to be a positive sign, right?!

Here’s how I keep myself in a good and positive frame of mind:

  • Carry a little note pad with me to jot down thoughts / plan how to make my dreams a reality
  • Listen to tunes that I just can’t help but move to (Get Lucky is my current favourite!)
  • Watch a feel-good film – curling up with Mikey & ice cream is a bonus!
  • Watch a silly YouTube video my brother has sent me
  • Ask myself “what would Dean do…”
  • Call my Grandad, Dad, Mum, Jakey, Mikey … my favourite people in the world!

It’s all good :)

Image


Shhhh…

· Life


Ahh peace and quiet….

As I sit and write all I can hear is the hum of the fan… bliss!  On Friday the boys went off to a music festival, pitching their tents in the only available space which unfortunately for them was right beside a porta loo!  When I got home after work the place was silent, which is strange when it’s usually filled with Escape the City worker bees.  It always takes me a little while to get used to being alone but I purposely didn’t plan anything on Saturday (besides a haircut) because I knew I needed some quiet head space.

Today I resisted turning over when my body clock work me up at 7:30am, and decided to crack on with some personal admin.  I’ve paid for a premium package with Lynda.com and as yet have only completed a few hours of Illustrator tuition.  It’s quite daunting for a beginner and to be honest, I can only listen to the Californian accent one-on-one in short bursts!  Don’t get me wrong, I love the American accent (my boyfriend is American!!), but after a few hours of being plugged into it I start to get disorientated!

So this morning is admin and then this afternoon my parents are coming round to sample my new juicy concoctions from my new juicer!  I picked up the Jason Vale 7lbs in 7 days book a few weeks ago and have been making my own juices by adapting his recipes.  The irritating thing is that I bought a juicer thinking that would be the only appliance I would need to make juices – a no-brainer, right?  Well when reading the recipes in Jason Vale’s book he actually mentions the word ‘blender’ as much as, if not more than, juicer!  So in actual fact, I need a blender too.  My kitchen is quickly running out of surface space, especially now the boys have bought a lovely Nespresso machine!

My favourite juice so far is apple, carrot, ginger and mint – delicious!!  I’ll also be making some kale chips today – they’re so easy to make – turn on the oven to 180 degrees, pop the chopped kale on a baking tray, spritz with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, slide into the oven for a couple of minutes until they are almost dry but far from flakey, and voila!

Have a lovely Sunday and make some time for yourself today!


Nice!

· Sleep Around


It’s been 4 years since my last proper beach holiday – which was blindingly obvious by the colour of my legs a week ago…!  So when Dad organised for all of us to go away to the Cote d’Azur for a week, my white pins couldn’t have been more thrilled!  I have to say, Dad’s expert holiday planning put my PA day-job to shame – he executed the most perfect get-away and all we had to do was turn up – well done Pop!

Family holidays mean so much nowadays – we’re all grown-up, have left home and therefore the time we spend together is precious and refreshing.  Having Mike and Jake’s girlfriend, Hannah, along made it all the more fun!

We took stacks of photos which we’ll treasure forever… here’s a little Instagram round-up of an unforgettable holiday!

We ate… and we ate and we ate….  Over the years Mum and Dad have honed quite a list of favourite restaurants in Nice – the problem for us was deciding which to choose!

Sun-cream of choice: Hawaiian Tropic!  It smells delicious and kept even the fairest of us burn-free!  Their aftersun is fresh and light and their SPF lip-glosses are so tasty I can’t help but lick it off!

On Neptune Plage, the beach belonging to The Negresco Hotel

This lemonade was Pschttitt

Mikey turns into a negative after a short while in the sun…!

The man who pulled the whole holiday together!

Mike and I dragged ourselves away from the beach for a day trip up to Eze, and it was so worth the effort!  Eze is beautiful – perched above the clouds with exotic gardens and breathtaking views…

A very disgruntled donkey in Eze – he really didn’t like being cooped up – poor thing

Rather than buy tickets to the Nice Jazz Festival, we listened from the rooftop bar of Le Meridien

We stayed in an apartment on Place Massena, moments from the beach, the Old Town and right next to the Nice Jazz Festival.  Each day we tarted with the private beaches, ate far too much ice-cream, and emptied our minds.  It was exactly what we all needed!


It’s so pretty!

· Life


The other day I was just getting home from work and bumped into one of my neighbours.  We hadn’t met before so had a very brief “hi – I live just here” and “oh hi, I live above you” (then me thinking, so you’re the lady who has the stiletto-wearing pet elephant).  Turns out, she’s moving to Europe with her husband.  Shame – she seems very nice and even though we’ve lived here since last October, I haven’t really met anyone in the whole school.  Anyway, I said I loved her Nissan Figaro and she said that since she’s moving it’ll be up for sale….  You can see where I’m going with this, right?

The thing is, I’m umming and ahhing because, after all, we live in London & so do my family – there’s no need for a car, really.  Also, it’s an expense and a responsibility.  But….

This is not the car but it is very similar…  I remember a Uni friend had one a few years ago and I thought it was really cool!  Ever since I sold my Mini I’ve missed it, and now this little beauty sits outside my window whimpering at me – wanting me to be it’s new owner!

Maybe I’ll just make some enquiries…

 

*Images: Google

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