Wednesday, 23 April 2014

52 Lists: my spring to do list

I think I'm 3 weeks behind with this particular list, but while I've been cooped up in bed I've been thinking about what I want to do once I'm better. (If you want to look at some past 52 list posts, please do...). I need some things to re-ignite myself a bit. Once work calm downs, I have more energy, and the temperature rises a few degrees, I will be making my way through this list like no ones business.

This Spring, I plan to enjoy being an independent little lady:

Explore my new area a little more, beyond Balham. A walk around Brixton, Clapham Old Town and Battersea is first on the list
Getting running outside again (not just to the gym)
Apply for a credit card. Eek
Buy fresh flowers from the market stall every weekend
Do the Balham cocktail crawl my flatmate and I have been planning since I moved in
Paint our hallway Mint Macaroon and finish whiting up the doors and skirting boards
Visit some of the hot new exhibitions around at the moment - Vikings ahoy!
Gigs. Gigs gigs gigs.
Also, burgers. More burgers in pub gardens in the sunshine
Book SW4 tickets and Bestival tickets
Book Greek island hopping?!
Have friends round to my flat, and cook for them (like I've been promising for months)
Resist dying my hair

What do you want to get done this Spring?

Ellie | x

Monday, 21 April 2014

LDN bloggers brunch at The Providores

A couple of weeks ago I went along to a bloggers brunch at The Providores in Marylebone. I actually work near there and love the high street, but had never discovered the place before. Glad I have now.

images curtosy of the lovely Angie from SilverSpoon London

It was expertly organised by Catherine from Lux Life who I organised a Surrey brunch with previously (you will also notice a fresh-faced Bess, Emma, Rosie and Tabitha in the picture, so weird to think that was only a year ago!). My mother hen Hannah from Hannah Bee also helped with the organising. It was so fun to see them both again; even if they were a tinsy bit hungover, they were still on top form.

The others I hadn't met before. These included Katie from Desperately Seeking FreedomJessica from Look What I GotKirsty from CrystalSydney, Angie from SilverSpoon London, Andini from Adventures of an AnglophileApril from BeautifaceblogBecky from Shutterbug BlogLisa from Not Quite EnoughSunny in London, and Joelle from February Girl.
The brunch started with a surprise - a taster porridge for us all to try. Delicious.
I had the french toast with banana and walnut, bacon, and a gorgeous sharp lemony sauce. It was a popular choice amongst, and it didn't disappoint. Unusual flavours, but they worked so well together.

I also managed to get a snap of this, the warm smoked salmon topped with eggs and a hollandaise sauce. I hear it was delicious too.

It was so nice to meet all those new blogger girls, and to discover a new brunch place. If you are ever in those parts of London, I'd thoroughly recommend it.

Ellie | x

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Indonesia part 3: Ubud and Jakarta rejuvination

This is the third and final instalment of my Indonesia trip. Want to catch up on what where I was? Here's part 1 and part 2.
We arrived in Ubud in Southern Bali in the pouring rain. There was literally a river running down the street as we got out the van, and we had to leg it with our rucksacks into our guest house. I lost my flip flop in it. I had to run down a hill with only one flip flop left on my foot before it got stopped by a parked moped. Near miss.
The next day, the rain had passed, and we took a good look around Ubud.

The other two felt it had a lot of similarities to Thailand, which I can totally believe. The architecture is beautiful, and creates such a peaceful atmosphere. Spiritual.

We found a little path that led to the rice fields. Fields upon fields upon beautiful green fields.

We also found a hidden lotus garden that transported me right to those scenes in Eat Pray Love. This was where it was set, after all.
Every time we stopped, there was someone wanting photos with us, or by us. These guys were super cool.

We only had one full day in Ubud, and with the next morning came the time to pack up and head back to Jakarta.

After a last minute shopping dash, 2 breakfasts and a crazy taxi ride, we made it to the airpot with 4 hours to spare. To find our flight was delayed. 2 hours. 6 hours in the domestic airport was not that fun.

Eventually... eventually, tired and manic, we made it back to Jakarta and Emma's birthday party...

...arriving back from this club at 6am.

On the day of Emma's actual birthday, we went to the top of this gorgeous bar and got to gaze over the whole city. It was so nice to sit and contemplate the trip looking at this magnificent view, even if I was incredibly exhausted.
This was the final day, and we were on our way home.

I can honestly say Indonesia is the one of my favourite places I've ever visited. I will most definitely be back.

Ellie | x

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Happy Body Diary... the 'slow and steady' edition

I've got the flu. Again. I call it the flu, even though I'm not throwing up, because it's worse than the common sniffles and a sore throat. My sinuses are inflamed inside my skull and and my hands and knees are shaking. But I don't want to bore you with my moaning, I know it gets old. And if this post isn't properly proof read afterwards, I apologise.

The reason I explicitly brought up my illness wasn't actually to complain... it was to chat about my health lately. I have a rubbish immune system, I have since I was 16. I had glandular fever and that bad boy likes to stick around. It turned into a very mild case chronic fatigue system, which I managed to make manageable by the time I went to Uni. I was very lucky, all things considered.

I still tire if I don't sleep 8-9 hours, and being tired lowers my already fragile immune system, and then I get sick. Anyway...

I find that my diet is the one thing that makes any difference to this problem I have with my health.

Today, I have realised that I need to remember this. And, I need to pull everything else into perspective.

I've always been trying to get to a size 10-12. Although my waist is getting there (yay weights) and my arms and legs feel so much more toned than they did 6 months ago, my boobs are never going to go down unless I really stop eating, which I won't do, and my hips are still retaining water. So, I can't see I will ever go much beyond a 12.

And to be honest, I'm starting to think I don't really want to. I like all the size 12-14 clothes I own right now (the boobs and hips are the 14 bit). I like being curvy. My weight goes up, but that's muscle.

image source

This image, it says it all for me.

I kept thinking maybe these Happy Body updates were monotonous, that I was saying the same thing and broadcasting exactly the same results each time. But I realise now the above approach, although perhaps regurgitated over several blog posts in slightly different forms, is exactly the one I live by, and it has been working for me.

Even if I am ill right now, it has been working. I haven't been ill for a while. Generally, my skin is looking better and my waist, as I mentioned before, it's tiny.

Eating clean, day by day, slow and steady, it's a long term invest and it yields reward. Let's hope that by sticking with it in the next week, I can shift this bout of sickness quicker than ever, and not to have moan at you guys any more!

What are your Happy Body health tips?

Ellie | x

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

The Anthologist, a pixie review

There's not much I love more than discovering places to go for dinner after work with my friends in London.

One of my favourites just so happens to work 4 tube stops from my work, so we really enjoy getting a spot to eat somewhere in between the City and Tottenham Court Road.
Louisa had been to another branch of The Anthologist before, but not this one in Bank.

First thing I noticed was The Anthologist's branding! The butterfly theme that is printed on the glass doors and makes the website look all pretty is a winner with me.
It's gorgeous inside too. I love the mix of plates that run across the counter where we sat.
I ordered the special of scallops (my fave), creamy mash, kale and red pepper with a balsamic dressing. It was delicious. Couldn't fault it. And even better was the fact that we could see our food being made in the kitchen area right in front of us, so there was no doubt how fresh it was.

Louisa had the superfood flatbread, which I can also say was delicious (and filling, ergo I hoovered up her leftovers).
Our gin cocktails were also amazing. And contained a lot of yummy fruit.

If you're looking for something different in London - somewhere to enjoy a reasonably priced meal in a cool, sophisticated atmosphere with good service, I couldn't recommend The Anthologist enough. The menu is so varied and the cocktails are superb, and very generous. Perfect for after work catch-ups or a good meal before hitting the bars of the City.
After dinner, we trotted over to Be At One for some more gin. Because we like gin. Isn't she pretty?

Ellie | x

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Free champagne...

A guy I've been dating on and off (mostly off) for a while... (side note, would it interest anyone to hear about my dating experiences? Extra honest and open stylee?). Anyway yes, the guy in question, G man we'll call him, he gave me some champagne. He'd been given it for free, but still. The thought was there.

This weekend, it was my sisters 21st birthday party, and I brought along said champagne. It was a
good one. I mean, I like all bubbly white/pink alcoholic liquid, but this was particularly good. I drank quite a bit of it, but I also had a good pasta meal beforehand, and drank water all through the night. I went to bed at 3am, and I woke feeling not too bad.

I've not been feeling myself this last week. But a weekend with my sister, impromptu cuddles, and plenty of sleep, and I think I'm back to feeling myself. Normal service can resume again.

If only free champagne could happen every weekend.

Ellie | x

Sunday, 6 April 2014

A beautiful wedding in Dorset

Just over a week ago my beautiful friend got married in the New Forest. She's one of my 10 girls, and if you're a regular reader you'll know that we've already have a few weddings amongst us.

I love weddings, and this one was beautiful. However I find it hard to find the words to describe these amazing days. I posted on Tash's and then Nikki's weddings last year, and I hard to let the photos do most of the talking.

I think I'll do the same thing for Bex.

It was an absolutely beautiful day, and Bex looked stunning. I cried my eyes out (I always do).

Ellie | x