2014......

So, i feel that 2014 has been a good year - for other people.

For me it has been challenging (not in the best way) both professionally and personally....that's not to say there haven't been good times, but i ended this year thinking things could have been/progressed better. Even my blog has suffered under this challenging year. I have seen those around me celebrate weddings, experience new relationships, new jobs, promotions and the like, whereas I have predominantly been a witness to these good fortunes rather than experience them for myself. It makes wonder whether I have done or am doing enough to achieve my goals....... That said, i'm grateful for being alive, when so many are not. I'm grateful for my relative good health, my family, my old & gold friends, the new people I have met & started new friendships with! 

As the final hours of 2014 beckon, I don't dare to be too optimistic for the New Year (i'm not down for the "New Year New Me movement"), however I look forward to 2015 and pray for faith, love, strength & progression. I thank you all who have taken the time to read and/or follow my blog; have a Happy New Year I wish you all the best for 2015!

Barry’s Bootcamp London

Exercise has been a consistent part of my life for the last 4 years, having started with power-walking for ladies with Elite Evolution and progressing to Nike Training Club and running. But it’s easy for the body to become used to particular way of training and the early benefits of regular training become harder to see & experience.

Barry’s Bootcamp (“BBC”) has its roots in America and like most concepts (Diners, Man v Food Challenges, Halloween) it has made its way across the pond to the UK. It claims to be the toughest workout in the world (this claim is even trademarked!)

BBC is currently based in Euston; however they are going to open another branch in East London (actually it will be based in the City/Square Mile area) in the next couple of months and new trainers have been getting to grips with the drills and classes; I offered to be a guinea pig for the trial classes!


Acciuga - Kensington, London

I recently attended Acciuga as part of a #ZomatoMeetup where I and other food bloggers sampled Italian Cuisine – no, not pizza or lasagne!


True Colour Lipstick - Sleep MakeUP

I wanted to show off my latest make-up purchase; readers/followers of this blog will be aware of my relationship with make-up!

I bought Sleep MakeUP True Colour Lipstick in Smother. I was looking for a shade for Autumn/Winter that I thought would be bold but not too bright. I was drawn to Smother, which I thought would suit me. 


Miyako at Andaz – City of London

I had recently won a twitter competition hosted by the Food Connoisseur and Zomato. The prize? Dinner at Miyako at Andaz, part of Andaz Dining at Liverpool Street, London.
Andaz Hotel, 40 Liverpool Street, City of London, London EC2M 7QN

Cave of Plunder – Clapton, London

"Hangry" – when one is so hungry, one gets angry.

And that could describe the collective feeling of me and my friends when last week we attended the launch of a new food residency at a local pub in Hackney Downs. We were informed that there would sliders and 20% off food. The kitchen made good on the sliders (though it took a while), but we were dismayed to find that the kitchen wasn’t going to take and make proper meal orders. That was the whole point of being there! And what made it worse was that the sliders actually tasted nice and most of us knew we were going to order that particular burger.

Alcohol was not going to solve the ‘hangry’ problem so some of us decided to leave the pub in search of somewhere to eat. The thought of going home on an empty stomach was too much for some if not most of our group to bear! Being an East Londoner I knew a place or two where we could catch some much needed food…..

201 Lower Clapton Road, London, E5 8EG

Street Feast - Dalston Yard, London

My sister and I spent last Friday evening at Street Feast, which is night food market, showcasing the best of street food. Dining in London is not just about sitting in restaurants under artificial or dimmed lights....sometimes it's about congregating in random places (like disused car parks, warehouse and open spaces) and eating under the stars with great (or tolerable lol!) people. Provided the weather is good of course; and luckily for London we have had a late injection of Summer!

#ZomatoMeetUp

I was recently invited by Zomato for a #ZomatoMeetUp at Looking Glass, a cocktail club in East London. I had actually won a twitter competition hosted by Le Binh of The Food Connoisseur and Zomato (dinner at Miyako) and was subsequently invited to the Meet Up to collect my prize.


Loving Right Now: Skinny Burgers

As you can tell from my previous posts, I’m a bit of a foodie…. I especially love my burgers. Whoever invented the concept of the burger was a genius!

Whenever I casually meet with friends, simple & affordable food is usually on the agenda. Burgers often fits that criteria. Even with the rise of the ‘gourmet burger’ there are many places to eat a burger that won’t burn a hole in your purse.

Skinny Burger at Byron Burger

Summer Skin

London has been experiencing a proper summer as of late, which means legs and arms out, sunnies and sandals!

It also means that a lot of us step up on our skincare regime; not just for our face, but for our body too. I share some of the products I’m using to ensure my skin is ready for summer:




Exfoliation is an essential for smooth skin; I exfoliate all year round, but I pay extra attention in the Summer. Avon body scrubs are my go to when I want my skin at its best. Their scrubs are abrasive enough to do the job without damaging my skin. I tend to use my body scrub twice a week.



I also use gel oil by Vaseline on my skin. I typically use Hollywood Cocoa Butter, but in the Summer this tends to be too heavy for my skin. Vaseline’s gel oil keeps my skin supple and gives it a nice sheen, while being light – you only need a little for it to go far.


When it comes to my face, I have to say that I can be quite lazy! My face care regime is typically very simple; I might switch it up if I get a free sample with one of my monthly magazines!

However for the last few months, I have paid more attention to what I put on my face. I’ve been using The Body Shop’s Vitamin E range, in particular the face mist and moisture lotion with SPF15. The face mist is really light and refreshing; apparently it's also ideal for setting make-up. I chose this moisture as it had SPF protection which is crucial for summer. Sunscreen regardless of skin complexion or age or location should be used by everyone. I’m not an OAP yet but I’m aware that as I get older my skin will too….it’s good to protect it now!

Got any essential products to achieve your optimum Summer Skin? Let me know!

Rita’s Bar and Dining – Hackney, London

I did not even know about this eatery until this year; I had been making a conscious effort to avoid places that attract (pretentious and “genuine”) hipsters, but being in East London, it is getting harder and harder each week! I would have dismissed Rita’s were it not for a friend recommending it for a post run brunch…..

Rita’s originally started as a pop up restaurant in 2012 Dalston (heh – where else), residing at Birthdays and eventually found a permanent home at the quieter stretch of Mare Street. To note, despite its name, I don’t believe that there’s anyone by the name of Rita who works there or owns it……


#RiskEverything

The World Cup well under way….for the next 3 ½ weeks international football will dominate conversation, the media, and the emotions of many men and women, praying and hoping that their country will win!

In the build up to the World Cup, there has been a lot controversy – the people of Brazil have expressed their discontent at the amount of money that the Government has spent of the international football tournament by hosting several protests and strikes. Qatar continues to be scrutinised amidst allegations of bribery of FIFA officials and corruption. This has given food for thought as to who the actual winners and losers are of the World Cup…..

There has also been a lot of hype too. Nike recently hosted a week of football related events at the Old Sorting Office in Holborn. Their campaign? #RiskEverything:


Duck & Waffle - Bishopgate, London

It’s been a busy few weekends for me, catching up with friends and family, celebrating birthdays and weddings……

I recently got the chance to have a late dinner at the Duck & Waffle, situated on the 40th floor of the Heron Tower in the City of London.

The night was supposed to be spent celebrating a friend’s birthday in Shoreditch, but circumstance led me and a few of my friends to celebrate this guy’s birthday another way……

Meeting Dorothy Koomson

Now, I could faff about ‘apologising’ about my lack of posts, but what’s the point?!

So, I’m going to press ahead with my post which I find more exciting….I met one of my favourite authors, Dorothy Koomson!

My love for Dorothy’s work started in September 2011 on a sandy beach in the Dominican Republic; I picked a book from the hotel’s beach library, namely The Ice Cream Girls (which was made into a drama by ITV). I spent 6 hours working on my tan while engrossed in the novel – a drama/thriller with a great twist.

I was interested in her other books and on my return to the UK I started checking out her other books…… 3 ½ years and 9 books later, I have read all her novels!

A late night scroll of twitter lead me to a retweet by her (yep, I’m on twitter now). She was going to be at Woolwich Library in celebrations of World Book Night which was on 23 April 2014. It must have been fate – I was due at Greenwich in the afternoon and Woolwich was a mere 10 minutes away!

 

Charity Pot

NTC Week

HAPPY NEW YEAR!.......33 days later!

Yes, I know I’m a whole month (and a bit) late in sharing the New Year Love and yes, it has been almost 3 months since I blogged…..soz. 


However I’m back and hopefully ready to blog on a (somewhat) regular basis!

Now, on to business:

Nike recently hosted a global event called NTC Week; a series of fitness classes and workshops on skincare, beauty, fashion and motivation designed to give women a strong start to 2014. After all, January is notorious for many resolutions/goals especially when it comes to fitness!

For London, NTC Week was from 20 January 2014 to 26 January 2014. There were 20 events in total; I was lucky enough to attend 5 events.


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