Lifestyle: London Bucket List

We’ve lived in London for nearly three months (I know, I couldn’t quite believe it either!), and my “to-do” list is getting longer and longer. Disappointingly we’ve hardly ticked off anything, yet it grows at a seemingly exponential rate. There’s no rush to complete it (I have no plans to move out of London anytime soon, if anything I’m here to stay!) but I do have some bits I really want to try and do over the next few months.

 photo London Bucket List_zps0yvwb18w.jpgSome are perhaps a bit weirder than others. Rather more than a couple involve food. Some are big and fancy, others are small. Some may take longer to tick off.

    1. Go up the Shard. Even if just for cocktails.
    2. Visit a flower market. Think of the Instagram shots!
    3. Visit all the tube stations. This was inspired by my first trip to Mornington Crescent a few weeks back – it’s quite honestly is the strangest tube station I’ve visited! In an ideal geek world I’d take a selfie at each and put a film together with Jay Foreman backing it….
    4. Explore Greenwich. Looks like a lovely place – and the observatory is somewhere I’ve always wanted to go.
    5. Wander around Portobello Market. Because who wouldn’t want to?!
    6. Eat brunch at Duck & Waffle. I’ve been dying to go for ageeesssssss.
    7. Buy and devour a Cronut. Though I’m waiting until the hype (and queues) die down a little.

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  • Go to Richmond Park in the frost and/or snow. Just imagine how pretty it would be!
  • Go on a stay-cation.
  • Eat a LOT of street food. I’ve finally visited KERB but there’s so many more vendors I want to try…

 

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  • Find my “London’s Best Burger.” I ate the 2015 winner at the beginning of October and now feel I need to do more research. Send over recommendations!
  • Visit Kew Gardens. I also really want to experience their Bee Hive!
  • Watch The Lion King. I’m so excited to finally tick this one off in December with my besties!
  • Fly over the city in a helicopter. A girl can dream!
  • Make use of the gorgeous streets for outfit photos.

 

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  • Eat at The Grain Store. We got engaged in Granary Square so it’s natural to try the nearest restaurant, right…?!
  • Explore more hidden areas. I love the canal walk between Kings Cross and Camden.
  • Have Afternoon Tea in a posh hotel. Because British.

 

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  • Go “metal-detecting” on the Thames Shoreline. We can see the river from the flat (it’s just 50 yards away!) and I’d love to give this a go!
  • Row along the Thames. I’ve always wanted to give rowing a go, and there’s so many rowing clubs nearby in Putney…this is my goal for summer 2017!

What’s on your bucket list? What would you love to do in London?

 

Lifestyle: Happy Fortnightly Things #8

These last few weeks have been super busy – during the first week of November I had one evening where I wasn’t socialising after work. Coupled with the fact I ended up having to book onto tutorials for my professional exams TWO MONTHS earlier than anticipated, craming reading in alongside everything else has left me shattered. That said it has been super fun – I just know I need to tone it down a little.

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Here’s what’s been making me happy recently…

  1. Tacos and tequila. Me and W headed down to Wahaca to celebrate Day of the Dead. We stuffed ourselves with Pork Pilbil, Chicken Tacquitos and, of course, Churros. The perfect mid-week treat.
  2. Talking of mid-week treats, meeting up with some of my closest friends for burgers and catch-ups after work features rather highly. However thought of putting Camembert AND truffle mayo into a burger deserves a medal.
  3. Studying again. Sure, I moan about it, but at the same time I’m loving having something to work towards. The small amount of time pressure is actually making me get on with it, there’s been no procrastination here. Yet!
  4. S’mores brownies. Buttery biscuit base, gooey rich brownie, melted and slightly charred marshmallows. N’uff said.
  5. Autumn clothes. I’ve been loving mixing up skirts with jumpers and ankle boots. So comfy, so cosy.
  6. Writing my birthday/Christmas wishlist.
  7. Enjoying an Indian for the first time since leaving Redhill and my placement. Still not quite as good as Bombay Mela, but I’ve discovered Spiced Fried Okra is yum!
  8. W’s parents visiting. So nice to catch up properly!
  9. Our new little nephew being born. This actually happened in the previous fortnight but clearly I had Aunty-baby-brain. Looking forward to having cuddles in hopefully not too long.
  10. Getting a seat from the start of my morning commute two days in a row. I hate the tube in the morning, it makes me feel so sick, so this made my day! It also means I got 30 minutes of course-note reading done, which means more time in the day for fun things…

What little things have you been loving recently?

Lifestyle: October Favourites

Woah, this month has been weird. In the blink of an eye we’ve gone from a glorious Indian summer to grey skies, short days and cosy evenings. I’m getting home in the dark (which I find deeply depressing) although the upside is the stunning sunrises I see most mornings.
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Celebrating 6 Years Gone & 2 To Go

I still can’t believe myself and W have been together for six years – it’s gone so quickly, but equally it feels like a lifetime. I definitely can’t imagine a time without him now! We celebrated on our anniversary with a gorgeous meal at Mac & Wild (review to come, it was insanely, struggled-to-walk-cos-so-full delicious). We also toasted that it’s now officially less than two years to go until the wedding. It almost feels as though we can begin to plan a bit more now, though I do wish it would hurry up!

A Good Haircut

I got pretty disillusioned with my hair over the summer. I’d grown it quite long during my final year of university (vainly wanting it to sit well under my graduation hat!) and once I’d had it chopped back into shape I decided I was bored. Typical, right?! Well I’ve gone for an itsy-bit of a change now, ditching the choppy-ness and going for longer layers. It’s a work in progress but I’m reassured that it will only get better. And at least longer layers means more choice for bridal styles…
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New Shelves

Since moving in I’ve been a little bit frustrated with our bedroom. It’s not small, but with a king-size bed there’s not a huge amount of spare space. And with only 25cm between the bed and the wall on ‘my’ side I was unable to have a bedside table. Which during spider season was not ideal. Fortunately, W came to the rescue and BUILT these gorgeous ladder-shelves. Sure, he made a bit of mess in the process and I’m not convinced the neighbours would have appreciated the noise, but I love them. I’ve added Primark fairy lights, pretty books and candles and now the whole room feels a lot cosier.

Escape Rooms

For my teams away day right at the end of the month we spent the afternoon in an Escape Room right in the heart of the city – next door to our office in fact! I’d never done one before, now I’m trying to round up a gang to do another. Logic puzzles, physical challenges and a whole load of laughs, it was such a good way to spend the afternoon. It was great to meet more of my wider department in a social setting too – I’d been pretty much thrown into work and some of them, I’m ashamed to say, I hadn’t spoken to before.
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All The Burgers

You know me, I love a burger! Over the past few weeks I tried London’s Best Burger of 2015 (post coming soon, I promise) and sampled some of GBK’s newest additions to their menu. Next on my list is Honest – they are right next to my office!

Baking with Co-Op

The Co-Operative Food sent me a hamper filled with all kinds of exciting goodies last week, designed to get me in the spirit of Halloween, to get me into the kitchen. I have to admit I haven’t quite followed the spooky theme, but W did make some amazing S’mores Brownies with the ingredients. They also have some super-yummy recipes on their site, which I’d never actually visited before. These Chorizo Bean Burgers are going on our menu plan very soon!
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New ‘Pets’!

So, we live right next to a park, taking the entire top floor of our (admittedly small) block. We’re pretty much right in the trees, and our super-wide window ledges have turned into a bit of a squirrel run. We’ve had Stuart (as we’ve christened him) nibble on his breakfast, have a scratch and even a nap right outside our window, just next to our sofa. And then there was the Sunday he, erm, brought a friend to visit. Which was interesting. And slightly embarrassing as they were ‘getting to know each other’ as two AO delivery men dropped my freezer off. Ahem…

Dark mornings mean pretty sunrises.

A photo posted by Chloe Ellen (@ninegrandstudent) on

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Oh you Mother Clucker 😍

A photo posted by Chloe Ellen (@ninegrandstudent) on

And then there’s all the little things that I’ve loved this month. Finding a new favourite fruit tea (Blackcurrant & Blueberry, SO good). Sunday morning snuggles with Saturday’s papers. Yummy dinners. Discovering a new favourite cocktail, with a name so filthy I can’t bear to repeat it here (mine and W’s parents probably will read it!). Kicking through Autumn leaves. Kerb at Camden (though not the upset stomach that followed for us both!). Playing tourist and going on a riverboat – and learning an embarrassing amount of fact about London. I have to say I’m loving living in the capital, and I’m so excited to spend my first winter here.

What was your favourite thing about October? Are you loving the Autumnal weather or hating the colder days?

Lifestyle: Happy Fortnightly Things #7

Wow, it’s the end of October already! This month has definitely gone from being summery (I was wandering around in t-shirts only a few weeks ago!) to being properly cold and Autumnal – I need scarves and gloves on pretty much a daily basis now. And, dare I say it, it’s not long until Christmas. I’m starting to feel a bit excited…

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Here’s what’s been making me smile lately…

  1. Meal-prepping. Things have definitely gotten hectic but I’ve loved getting organised and prepping things at the weekend. Plus my fridge looks super neat and tidy.
  2. M&S released my favourite work style dress in burgundy. I saw it and bought it within around 3 minutes one lunch-break!
  3. On a related note, I found my Christmas day dress!
  4. And on a Christmas theme, I’ve managed to convince W to let me buy a new Christmas tree for the pair of us. No more £10 trees from Tesco, I’ve got my eye on a ‘pencil’ one from John Lewis.
  5. Starting to study again. I was torn between dreading it and looking forward to it, but it turns out I’m hugely enjoying getting my teeth stuck into new material.
  6. Heading home to be spoilt for a couple of nights. My mummy cooked all my favourite treats!
  7. Having a good haircut and managing to get it dyed at the same time. It’s been a while since my haircare was so in sync!
  8. Mushroom risotto. W was working late on a project, I couldn’t resist…
  9. Narrowing down our wedding photographer search. Quite possibly the most important element for me and despite the time we’ve got I found it stressful. Some were booked on 2019 dates!?!
  10. Wandering around London. I can’t quite explain how much I love living here!

Hope your fortnight has been as lovely as mine! What’s been making you smile lately?

Lifestyle: Recently Read #2

I read a lot over summer; I was rarely seen without a book. I regularly had to beg a lift from W to pick up something else to read. I managed to get through virtually a whole bookcase of books I hadn’t read, ones I’d been saving to read for the last four years.

 photo Recently Read_zps3vat7q15.pngOver summer I stuck to actual, physical books. My Kindle was hugely neglected, I even lost it at one point, but it meant I was able to get through the vast amount of books accumulated since I started university. I read anything and everything. Chic-lit. Crime. Psychological thrillers. Murder mysteries. Historical novels. Teen novels. You name it, if it was on my bookcase, it got read. Here’s just some of the highlights….

Behind Closed Doors (B.A Paris). One of the best thriller books I’ve read, infinitely better than Gone Girl in my opinion. The first time I read this I literally had no clue where the book was going for a good half of it, and even in the last chapter I was still guessing the final ended. The writing is excellent, the storyline complex but so believable. A must read.

 photo Recently Read Post Two 9_zpsbg7zj5z4.jpg photo Recently Read Post Two 6_zpsz8f3uool.jpgMe Before You, and After You (Jojo Moyes). The books to read in 2016 it would seem! I definitely enjoyed Me Before You, it’s on the verge of being more chic-litty than I would usually go for, but it was definitely gritty enough to keep me gripped – and of course I cried towards the end! However I absolute HATED After You. I found the story hugely ‘fake’ and the writing seemed as though the book was rushed out. That said, I’d never thoroughly enjoyed a Jojo Moyes until Me Before You, so maybe her writing style just isn’t for me. Oh, and the film was good too, though I preferred the book. The film made me cry was too much.

The Beachcomber (Josephine Cox). One of the older books I read, this is a romantic novel cross murder mystery set in, I believe, the fifties. I find romantic novels from this era so lovely to read, it’s all about the relationship without any smut! Difficult to say much about this one without giving it all away, but if you like romance with a bit of ‘grit’ then this is worth picking up.

Coming Home (Rosamunde Pilcher). Ah, this is one of my all-time favourite books. I have this in hardback and at around 800 pages it’s not exactly a comfortable one to sit and read. That said, the story is so, so lovely. Set in wartime Britain, down in Cornwall, it follows the life of a girl called Judith as she grows into a young woman. It’s not got an overly strong storyline, but rather each character has their own plots. It’s a book I can really lose myself in on a rainy day.

 photo Recently Read Post Two 7_zps7e94bxcu.jpgAn Absolute Scandal (Penny Vincenzi). I treated this a little like prep for worth, perhaps not the best idea! It’s based on Lloyd’s of London collapsing and when I read it a few years ago I loved it. Now, having worked in insurance, it irritates me slightly as it’s inaccurate. Guess I’ve spoilt this book for myself!

The Girl From Nowhere (Dorothy Koomson). I love love LOVE Dorothy Koomson’s books, in fact a good amount of them would feature in my ‘favouritest ever book list’ if I were to write one. I’ve felt some of her later reads were a little flat but I really enjoyed this one. A couple of plot turns, interesting characters and something a bit different from her usual storylines.

 photo Recently Read Post Two 13_zpse1u2khkx.jpgReading an actual book, as opposed to a Kindle, was at first a delight. I loved the more physical feel, it felt as though it slowed my reading pace down and I really appreciated the book. Then it became annoying. Trying to fit a book into my bag although with everything else was both tight and resulted in a sore shoulder. Not having anything to read immediately having finished a book. The wrist ache from trying to read in bed. Now fully reunited with my Kindle (though with it being four years old, it seems to need replacing sooner rather than later) I’m still reading at a ferocious pace. I’m making the most of my commute before I start studying and revising on the tube!

Are you a reader? What books do you recommend?

Lifestyle: Happy Fortnightly Things #6

Happy Monday everyone! These last two weeks have been pretty hectic. Will’s now started his Master’s course so we’ve been having to get into an actual proper routine. It’s been pretty tiring – I announced I was going to bed last week before realising it was only 9.30pm, whoops! I’m also properly working now, rather than just being on the graduate training programme, so I’m getting used to new processes, seeing everything in Excel spreadsheets and trying to remember allllll the things. Super interesting, but my brain feels a little like mush once it gets past 5pm everyday!

 photo Happy Things 2_zpstx894dal.pngHere’s the best bits from my fortnight…

  1. A welcome lunch with my team. Not only did I have some delicious food (bread and balsamic, squid salad, stone bass with cannellini ragu), it was great to get to know them a bit more. Not feeling so intimidated now!
  2. Cooking a delicious butternut squash risotto, with goat’s cheese. I’ve avoided this veg as last time I tried it I hated it, but I could definitely eat this again!
  3. Doing a bit more wedding planning. We’re looking into photographers now and I’ve got a short-list, hoping to get that booked in the next few weeks.
  4. On that note, the wedding is less than two years away! Safe to say I’m excited…
  5. Celebrating our anniversary. It’s been six years since we got together – whilst I didn’t plan to meet my future husband at 16, it’s meant we’ve been able to grow up together. I can’t wait for all of our future adventures!
  6. “London’s Best Burger” at Mac & Wild. I feel I need to do more research to verify the ‘best’ claim, but it was damn yummy!
  7. The nice man in Waitrose fetching me a trolley and helping me transfer my shopping after the wheel feel off mid-shop. The fact that he didn’t laugh was greatly appreciated!
  8. Receiving a pretty good Bake Box in the post. I have to admit I wasn’t too impressed with the last few, but I’m looking forward to getting into the kitchen with my new bits and bobs…
  9. New bed clothes. Enough said.
  10. Finding the perfect copper fairy lights to hang by my bed. My cosy corner is nearly complete!

What’s been making you smile recently?

Lifestyle: Hygge

Hygge is perhaps the biggest buzz word of Autumn 2016 within the blogging community. Ignoring the hype, it’s a concept I’ve been both familiar with and actively trying to incorporate it into my life for a while now. Hygge means creating a nice, cosy atmosphere, enjoying the good things in life, making the most of the people around you. The warm glow of candlelight is hygge. Friends and family – yes, hygge too. A good plate of your favouite dinner. Snuggling into bed. All hygge.

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Hygge (pronounced ‘hue-gah’) is a quality of presence and an experience of togetherness. It is a feeling of being warm, safe, comforted and sheltered. (source). 

And what better way to really ‘practise’ hygge that create a cosy bedroom sanctuary, just perfect for Sunday evening pamper sessions, lazy Saturday mornings and for just hiding away from the world.

Whilst we have settled into our flat, it’s not quite ready to show off to the world yet. Whilst most things have found their place, I’m still waiting on my bedside shelves to be completely finished off, I’m still waiting on finding the perfect lamp (because hello adulting). I’d normally have done a ‘room tour’ by now after moving in, but I’m just not quite up to sharing it yet. These snaps are a bit of a sneak peek, if you like!

 photo Hygge 4_zpsxaecnrr1.jpg photo Hygge 6_zps5xq4rny8.jpg photo Hygge 7_zpsvqdmbzmx.jpgRight from our move-in date, SleepyPeople helped us feel completely at home by providing us with a Silentnight Complete Bedding Set*. Having a good night’s sleep and feeling settled go hands in hand for both me and W, so it  says a lot that our bed was cosy enough to settle into pretty quickly. Good bedding is so important for a decent bit of kip, and this duvet is just the right balance of thick and comforting, without being heavy and hot – a godsend for weirdos like me who can’t sleep without a duvet even on the hottest of nights!

We’re also doubly thankful – after fifteen minutes of attempting to make the bed on move-in day, we sadly concluded that our new bed was in-fact a king-size. This collaboration email came literally about ten minutes later, saving both us and our bank balances from having to buy yet more bedding!

 photo Hygge 1_zpsqxscdzgj.jpgFor me, fitting hygge into my daily life is about making time for me, whether it’s leaving five minutes earlier so I can really enjoy the walk to the tube station (I cross the river on a footbridge and the view is gorgeous), or taking the time to cook a particularly nice dinner (courgette risotto has been a highlight recently). It’s about taking ten minutespost evening workout to do a spot of yoga and a few breathing exercises. It’s sitting with a facemask, deep conditioner and book. It’s taking an hour to eat a single bar of Dairy Milk (a rare but much-loved treat). For me, it’s enjoying the little things in life.

Do you try to fit hygge into your life?

Lifestyle: September Favourites

Only three more months of 2016, how weird is that?! It doesn’t feel that long ago that I was seeing in the New Year, just recently engaged and having picked up my re-size ring that day. Now I’m having to think about Christmas, plan presents, work out when I’m heading home and genuinely kick my butt in gear already!

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September was exhausting for me, pretty predictable really. I remember when I first start placement in 2014 how tired I was, how difficult it was to adjust to working rather than studying. This wasn’t any different, and coupled with moving, sorting bills, fixing the mess the council made of our council tax application, it was all a bit stressful! That said I have an okay-ish commute and I’m now managing to stay awake past 10pm again, so I guess things are good! Favourites have been…
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The Lake District

Work arranged for the whole 18-strong graduate cohort to head up to the Lake District for team-building in our first week; I had a blast. I was initially worried about whether it would be too ‘outdoorsy’ for me, whether I’d have to sleep in a dorm (I hate sleeping in front of people!). It worked out fine, the place we stayed in was right on the edge of Lake Windemere and absolutely gorgeous, and I even managed to kaykak in a reasonable fashion. It definitely helped that the Lake District is a beautiful part of the UK too…

Pizza

I’ve mentioned my love for white pizzas a few times, and thanks to a new favourite restaurant it’s definitely growing. The Dynamo is dangerously close at only 3-minutes away from our flat and serves gorgeous sourdough pizzas. The base isn’t quite as good as Franco Manca but the toppings are excellent. Three (3!) tomato-free pizzas are on the menu, but on our visit it was a special that caught my eye. Smoked chicken, pancetta, mushrooms, mascapone, smoked mozzarella, garlic, herb oil and Parmesan. Sounds like an overload but everything worked so, so well together. One of the best pizzas I’ve had for sure!

Dynamo also do an amazing sounding brunch menu (Eggs Benedict, with black pudding instead of ham?!) so I’m sure at some point you’ll see more of the place on here…

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Great British Bake Off

The best thing about this time of year, right?! I’ve been loving this series, I think they’ve gone back to basics a bit which is SO much better. It annoyed me last year how contestents would be baking macarons for ‘decoration’ – this year it’s very much about good baking, good flavours and the recipes seem so much yummier!

Me and W are also trying to ‘bake along’ as best we can. We missed the first week, but so far have pretty much kept up. I’ll be blogging about what we’ve made from next week – but the spiced chocolate hazelnut tea bread was a huge hit! Even if my kitchen did look a bit sticky and doughy…

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That ‘New Year’ Feeling

September is definitely the month for new starts, and that definitely was the case for me this year – new home, new job, new study plans. I celebrated with ensuring I had a fresh clear diary in my Filofax, organising my time and setting myself some goals. It scares me to think that starting in a few short weeks I’ll be back to studying again, but I’ve set myself a challenge to try and complete all my exams in 2.5 years (including skipping a sitting for the wedding!). Nothing like a bit of pressure!

First day at work “selfie” – good luck to all the grads starting their new jobs today!

A photo posted by Chloe Ellen (@ninegrandstudent) on

Workwear

I might be a bit of an odd one, but I love formal clothes. I think that they can look so lovely and feminine, and I’d like to think I’ve managed to hit the right balance of formal and personality in my work outfits. Typically I’ve not get photography my favourite outfit – a lovely lace skirt, duck-egg blue, midi-length, pleated. I love it!

Now I’ve got to work on the shoe front. I bought so many lovely pairs of shoes and all of them need a ridiculous amount of breaking in so I’ve shied away from wearing them. Whoops!

What have your September highlights been? Anyone else looking forward to Autumn?! Oh, and congrats to all grads who started their new jobs this month, hope it’s going well!

Lifestyle: Happy Fortnightly Things #5

It’s really hard to believe that 10 weeks have passed since I started doing these posts. I’ve loved doing a more regular update into my life, and I’ve found these quick-fire posts great for making me think about the really positive things that have happened recently.

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Here’s what’s been making me smile lately…

  1. The Lake District. I mentioned it in my previous post that I was heading up for some team building – it was a great few days!
  2. “Rock” climbing up a (bloody tall) tree. I hate rock climbing having pretty much zero strength, I also hate heights. This was a massive achievement for me!
  3. Managing to do 50 sit-ups in a row. Just call me superwoman…
  4. Watching W’s mum getting licensed at Peterborough Cathedral. I know she’s worked really hard to get there, so it was a proud moment. Also very lovely to see his parents and rest of his family for the day!
  5. We also got treated to lunch at Prezzo. Whilst I was never a fan when I could eat tomatoes (never had a good tomato-based meal there!) there is one dish I can’t get enough of. It had been around a year since I’d enjoyed a Pollo Carbonara but it was just as good as remembered. Rich, creamy, insanely cheesy…
  6. Forgetting to shave my legs, then realising it’s cold enough for thicker tights. I love Autumn!
  7. Watching W settle into his Masters course. I’m unbelievably proud of how far he’s come.
  8. Catching up with my girls. We’re trying to make a date to see each other every month, and this month involved a bit of a shopping spree.
  9. Finally kicking my cold out of my system. I picked it up just before heading to the Lakes and it lingered a bit. I’d sure W is glad not to have a constantly coughing person all night!
  10. My family visiting. Including the dog. It’d been SO long since I had doggy cuddles.

What’s made you smile these past few weeks?

Lifestyle: Happy Fortnightly Things #4

Happy Monday everyone! Well, I’m all settled into my job. We’re being broken in quite gently, including a global programme set-up over the first month. It’s been great meeting colleagues from our offices in America, Asia and even Australia. Tomorrow we’re all off to the Lake District for a team-building trip – I’m definitely nervous as I’m not the typical outdoors-y type. Give me a dog and some walking boots and I’ll be happy, anything involving too much water/mud/speed/height isn’t really within my comfort zone. That said, I’m really looking forward to it! Other than working I guess it’s been a quiet fortnight whilst I get into a routine…

 photo Happy Things 2_zpstx894dal.pngHere’s the best bits from my fortnight…

  1. Not crashing any work computers within the first two weeks of my employment. I’ll call that a success!
  2. Coming home to W. The most difficult part of being in an LDR was not being able to have a proper daily catch-up, so I’m loving being able to do this. The fact that his Masters course hasn’t started, leaving him free to bake and cook, it’s too bad either!
  3. Catching up with old housemates. It’s been ages since I saw them, so it was nice to travel out to Brighton for a BBQ. I’m definitely missing my girls!
  4. Baking! We’re attempting a bit of a bake-along with GBBO and have spent most Sunday’s in the kitchen. Biscuits, a spiced chocolate bread…safe to say I’m glad there was a bit of room in all my work clothes!
  5. Getting back into exercise. I had a few days off during my first week of work, but now I’m back at my Results with Lucy programme. It’s hard work, but I’m really enjoying it and I’ve definitely noticed a difference in my fitness levels. I hate, hate, HATE leg day though…
  6. Stews and casseroles. Despite still hitting the high-twenties in London last week, I’m craving comforting food. Luckily Debenhams sent me over one of their pressure cookers for me to try, now I can whip up a beef stew in just half an hour after work!
  7. My commute. Possibly the best thing about our flat is that my walk to the tube is 10 minutes, through a leafy street and over one of the Thames footbridges. Not looking forward to it in the rain, but it’s gorgeous on sunny mornings. I’ve seen some spectacular sunsets too.
  8. White wine spritzers. Plenty of ice, made with lemonade. My favourite lunchtime/after-work drink…
  9. Finally getting a decent phone case. I have a rather unusual phone (Huawei P8 – I highly recommend the brand!) and really struggle finding cases for it. Luckily GoCustomized offers personalised phone cases that fit, so I now have a rather bloggeresque marble back*. Just need to stop having a mini heart-attack when I catch sight of it as it does look like I’ve cracked my phone!
  10. Playing tourist in London. We spent this Saturday wandering around, I even saw Big Ben properly for the first time!

What’s been making you smile recently? Any team-building experiences to share?