Spreading the Love – The Liebster Award

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I have been nominated for a Liebster Award by the very sweet Katie from A Beautiful Little Adventure! The Liebster Award provides a fun and easy way to get to know other new bloggers (you must have under 200 followers).  You then must also nominate 10 other blogs. What a warm welcome into the blogging community, this is a great way to meet new bloggers like yourself as well as get people to learn about you.  – Thanks Katie!

The Liebster Award Rules:

  1. You must link back to the person who nominated you.

  2. You must answer the 10 Liebster questions given to you by the nominee before you.

  3. You must pick 10 bloggers to be nominated for the award with under 200 followers.

  4. You must come up with 10 questions for your nominees to answer.

  5. You must go to their blogs and notify your nominees.

The Questions I Was Asked:

1.  If there was a movie about your life who would play you?

Sienna Miller or Gwyneth Paltrow. Obviously in my dreams though as I’m just not that cool. I adore both of them.

2. What song is currently on “repeat” for you?

Anything from Michael Buble. Fast, slow they all seem to speak to me whatever situation I am currently in.

3. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

To, not be so hard on myself. Close friends and family have often commented that I have very high expectations and when I fall short I punish myself, which I think is true. I need to learn that it’s ok to fail sometimes. Some things are just out of my control.

4. What was the best vacation you’ve ever been on?

My honeymoon, by far. We spent 2 weeks (yes two weeks) in Vegas. We sat by the pool and sunned ourselves by day and got dolled up, wined and dined and saw shows in the evening. I did however get a cold from the stress of the wedding and heat rash from the intense heat but it just didn’t matter. We were treated like royalty and just had the most amazing time.

5. What is the best book that you’ve read in the past year?

Jessica Alba’s –  The Honest Life. It’s not a novel obviously but it has truly changed the way I think about everything, from the cleaning chemicals I am bringing into my home, to the beauty products I use to the food that I buy. A great read, I would recommend it to everyone. A close second is gone girl, but I didn’t like the ending which normally changes my opinion of a book!

6. What is your “go to” recipe for dinner?

Spaghetti Carbonara. Made with fresh egg yolk, creme fraiche, peas, bacon and garlic. I love love love pasta and could live on it 7 days a week!

7. What did you want to be when you were a kid?

A primary school teacher or a make-up artist. I ended up working in HR, go figure!

8. What is the best thing you read on the internet this week?

That revenge, grey’s anatomy and downton abbey are all back on TV soon. One of the many reasons I love autumn is that all of the decent programmes come back on!

9. Favorite place in your home?

My sitting room. I love sitting on my sofa, with some lovely candles, a glass of red wine listening to music or playing board games.

10. What is the story behind your worst scar?

When I was 17 I was hit by a car on my way home from work. I smashed into the car windscreen and ended up laying in the road. I hit my head pretty badly on the pavement and broke my thumb. I had a scar on my forehead which has now thankfully nearly faded but I still have a medium sized scar on my ankle from the accident.

Here are my questions for my nominated bloggers to answer:

1. No.1 place you would like to visit?

2. Program or series you could watch every day on repeat?

3. Three people (dead or alive) you would love to have over for dinner?

4. Favourite season of the year and why?

5. Song that reminds you of your childhood?

6.  Favourite chick flick (or just any movie) of all time?

7. Who has been the most influential person in your life?

8. How do you order your coffee?

9. What is your best asset?

10. If you could only have one last meal, what would it be?

My nominated blogs:

Oh So London

Maybe This Time

HeyMattCameron

The Rain Came Down

What Kate Did

A photographic exploration of London

Your Wild Life

The Positivity Project 

Twenty-One

Jolie Moi Blog

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Birthday Break – Shoreditch House

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Ever wanted to be part of a private members club in London? Well here’s your chance. I recently enjoyed a wonderful break with the hubby at Shoreditch House, and man it didn’t disappoint!
We had stayed at Babington House in Somerset earlier in the year which is also part of the Soho House chain so knew to expect big things. They have private members clubs in Europe and the US, but if you stay at the hotels you get full access to their facilities without needing to be a member.
Tip – If you stay on Sunday and Monday nights the rates are very reasonable!

I love the fact that you would never know the hotel is there when you walk down the street, very understated but beautifully designed. The reception staff are super friendly but not in your face, and really go the extra mile to make you feel at home.

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There is a very strict rule about not taking photos or filming in any of the public areas, unfortunately I only took pics of our room. Their website has great pics, and truly shows how amazing the hotel is. We stayed in a small + room, which turned out much bigger than I was expecting.

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The room amenities are fantastic and you can literally pack just your clothes, they even provide toothbrushes, deodorant and razors.

We had great weather and spent one whole day chilling by the outdoor heated pool and getting treatments in the Cowshed spa, it was my birthday after all!. The moody massage and pedicure were great and definitely some of the best I’ve ever experienced. (You can visit the spa without staying at the hotel).

We ate breakfast in the hotel both mornings and there was great variety and could even grab brekkie by the pool. We even raided the mini bar and sat on the balcony, which for the centre of London is such a treat.

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The hotel also features a gym, games room, spa, ‘lazy lawn’ on the rooftop, restaurants and private rooms. It’s just the most amazing space, very private and secluded in the heart of London. Suits are strictly not allowed which makes for the relaxed feel and atmosphere. It’s 5* but not pretentious like some hotels can be. I have to admit there was lots of people watching, imagining what it would be like to be a member……

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We walked around London and enjoyed taking in the the scenery like tourists instead of commuters like normal. We wandered through Brick Lane, Borough Market, Leadenhall Market, St Pauls and the Shard to name a few. We took some amazing pics of the city which I thought I would share with you all.

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Until next time Shoreditch house……and there definitely will be a next time.

My birthday normally signals the end of summer for me and what a wonderful summer it has been! So happy Autumn everyone (or fall to my american followers)!

P.S This is not a sponsored blog, I really did just enjoy the hotel that much! X

My summer in Pictures

So as we are nearing the end of a glorious English summer, I thought I would re-cap on my summer according to the pictures I’ve taken over the last few months. Enjoy!

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Trying to get the LAX sign as we were driving from the airport!

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San Diego in all it’s finest.

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My first ever american baseball game! Enjoyed every minute and even knew the rules by the end…

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Coronado Beach. What a wonderful place, could have chilled here all day if there wasn’t so much else to see.

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A wonderful view of somewhere between San Diego and Palm Springs, what an amazing country.

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Palm Springs (or Palm Desert to be precise). Wow it was hot hot hot!

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Roy’s. The last place I ever want to stop to go to the toilet again (somewhere between Palm Springs and Las Vegas)

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Vegas. Which is now my ‘most visited American place’. Three times and I’m still in love with it.

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Love this pic, just had to take it.

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Hubby cycling the London to Cambridge bike ride for charity!

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A pic of me and my brother (who continues to grow at an alarming pace!)

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The opening of a dear friends new venture.

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Me and the hubby back where we got married for our 3 year wedding anniversary.

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Hanbury Manor. It will always hold such a special place in my heart. Came as a single woman, left as a very happy married lady!

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Seeing ‘the best show in Vegas’ (well in my opinion anyway!)

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Enjoying my very first upper class experience. Very lucky and fortunate. Take me back!

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The dreaded appendix strikes again! Luckily this time I had it taken out and it’s gone for good.

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Michael Buble concert at the O2 in London. Still obsessed…

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Afternoon tea at the Savoy with the mummy. Best tea in town.

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SushiSamba London, what a view.

What an amazing summer! Very lucky and blessed to have been able to do so much, although my appendix kept me from a whole 6 weeks worth goddammit.

So this has reminded me yet again, that there were plenty of things that I did that weren’t captured on camera. I definitely need to make sure that I take more pics for my Autumn round up…..

In sickness and in health

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Ok, so it’s coming up to my 3 year wedding anniversary (where does the time go eh!) so I thought I would write a post about my husband/marriage.

Where to start! It’s a very long complicated story so ill give you the short version. I’ve known my husband basically since we were born as our families are great friends. We knew each other growing up and have been a couple for 13 years and married for 3. Every anniversary I think about our life together and reflect on the past year of our marriage. Each year I am thankful for all of the things we have achieved and the fact we have done it as a team.
I feel that we have an old fashioned type of love, where I would absolutely do anything for my husband. I would literally save his life over mine, and I think thats hard to find these days. We are such good friends and confide in each other over everything. He can read my mind (most of the time) and we finish each others sentences. I sometimes feel like we have morphed into the same person picking up each others habits and quirks along the way.
Sounds perfect I hear you say! I know others looking in may think we have the perfect marriage but that’s not quite accurate. We may make it look easy sometimes, but we have truely been to hell and back. It’s taken a lot of bloody hard work and tears over the years to get where we are today. We work very hard each and every day to make it work. There have been so many challenges and difficult times over the years, which have brought us closer together. We have experienced the highs and lows that I’m sure every marriage brings, moving house, new jobs, deaths of loved ones, financial difficulties and so much more. If I am being truly honest there have been some very dark days of our marriage that I wish never to repeat, grief being the main culprit. But you learn to dust yourselves off and suddenly you are in a better place than ever before. I read a letter that I wrote to my husband 13 years ago the other day. It really helped to take me back to that place when the relationship was new and remind me what I found so lovely about our relationship.

So what advice would I give to my younger self about the keys to a successful marriage?

  • Don’t sweat the small stuff. The times I sit there and listen to a woman telling her husband what to do, makes me cringe! He was a grown man all by himself before he met you, I’m sure he doesn’t need to be told to put something down in the supermarket! Your his wife, not his mother!
  • Don’t go to bed on an argument (that’s an obvious one!).
  • Be friends! Hubby is my best friend and even when we are arguing we are always friends above all else.
  • Appreciate the small things in life. Nothing makes me happier than a weekend morning, having a frothy coffee and sitting in our PJ’s planning our day.
  • Be honest about your feelings. Don’t let things build up and up and then let it explode into a massive row. (ok I might be guilty of that one sometimes!)
  • Don’t argue in public. Yuk, I hate this. Save it for when you are alone, no-one needs to hear you arguing about how much one of you spent on something etc.
  • Listen to each other. Sounds kind of obvious but if you don’t listen to the small everyday things you won’t be listening to the big ones either.
  • Love each other unconditionally. Remember exactly the reasons you married each other.

Marriage means such a lot to me, it is such a sacred pact. To me it means forever, in for the long haul. For better or for worse! Not ‘see ya’ when things get tough. Obviously I’m no expert after 3 years, but I’m hoping to read this blog back in years to come to remind myself of these key principles. I love being married and the security it brings. I am so lucky to have found such a wonderful husband, and wish that everyone gets to experience the same at some point in their lives.

I am feeling very blessed on my third anniversary and am truly thankful for each day that we get to spend together.

 

When I grow up I want to be…

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Why is it such an easy question under the age of about 12? Princess, ballet dancer, fireman, teacher. I’m coming up to 30 and I still don’t know the answer…..

Maybe it’s because as a child you feel anything is possible. Luckily I was brought up by extremely strong and hard working women, so have learnt from example. My nan taught herself to read and write, but ended up working in Barclays bank in London. A fact of which I will always be proud. My mum gave up her career at an early age when she had me, but has always worked incredibly hard to make sure that I had the best life possible.

The question I have been asking myself recently, is whether I am currently doing what I was meant to do in life.  I really really really like my job, but do I love it?

Working in HR enables me to help people which I like doing but I find myself daydreaming about what other careers I would have been good at. I think I fell into a ‘safe’ job where the benefits are good, the people are lovely and the career span is long. It isn’t however my pride and joy. I don’t jump out of bed eager to start my day at my desk, but how many people do?

I did work experience as a teenager at a magazine in the beauty department, which I loooooved. But I felt the industry was too competitive and after being bullied badly at school I wanted to fade into the background and not have to fight for a career too. Also I just don’t think at 16 I knew what exactly I wanted to do. So what would I have done if I had my time again….

This is the list (although small) that I always seem to come up with; Make-up Artist, Researcher within the film industry, Writer/Editor.

How does anyone know what their passion in life is, unless they are doing it and enjoy it as much as they thought they would. I feel so fortunate in the current economic climate to have a secure well paid job, for which I will continue to be grateful. Starting my blog has enabled me to start writing, which has been so refreshing and an outlet which has been much needed.

I wish I knew what the next steps were. I know people completely move out of their comfort zone and start afresh but I’m just frightened of making mistakes (you can probably tell I’m not much of a risk taker!). A dear friend has recently done just that and the transformation has been amazing. She is doing something with passion, taking risks and enjoying every minute of it (minus the stress).

Hmmm I get the feeling that this will be a recurring thought and daydream of mine until the day I actually decide to do something about it.

Sushi Samba London

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On Friday night my eagerly anticipated booking for Sushi Samba was finally here! Having booked it two months in advance (thanks husband), I really had built it up in my mind. With restaurants in Las Vegas, Miami, New York and Chicago, Sushi Samba London is the first to open in the UK.

Situated on the 38th Floor of the new(ish) Heron Tower near Liverpool Street, the views of London were magnificent. We decided to go slightly early so that we could check out the various bars which are on three different floors, including an outside terrace. The weather was wonderful and we couldn’t have hoped for a clearer view. The full height glass lifts were slightly unnerving, but it was definitely worth the ride. The bars were quite busy, but it was a Friday night in London so to be expected.  The choice of drinks were quite slim but the cocktails were to die for.

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Once we were seated in the restaurant, I realised the space was much smaller than I was expecting hence the need to book in advance. The décor and use of the space was really nice and the staff were very attentive. The drinks list was impressive, with cocktails, spirits, wine and bubbles.

On advice from our waiter we ordered a variety of dishes and shared them all. With a mix of Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian inflences they sure was a lot of choice on the menu! We started with Edamame (can’t go wrong), Yellowtail taquitos, Rock Shrimp Tempura and Wagyu Gyoza. All of which were amazing! (the gyoza was my favourite). Then we had a raw selection including Mixto, samba London and ezo sushi with duck breast and asparagus. We agreed that the duck was a favourite dish for all of us! We then shared Moqueca Mista which was a shrimp, white fish and squid curry like dish. To top it all off we had the Wagyu where you were able to cook your own beef on hot stones (a great experience if you haven’t done it before like me!).

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After this culinary spectacle of a meal, we were all too full for dessert of coffee, but some of the dishes we saw coming out of the kitchen looked fantastic.

During our meal the sun was setting over a very hot London, so it was a great time to go. The lights and music changed a little for the evening which was a nicer mood I thought.

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I had been warned that it would be quite expensive, but you are paying for tip top quality food and breathtaking views which are worth every penny. It wouldn’t be a regular haunt of mine, more of a special occasion kinda place but each to their own. After a great experience, I would highly recommend it. Even if you don’t like seafood, there are plenty of meat and vegetarian dishes to satisfy the majority.

Has anyone else been to any Japanese/Sushi restaurants in London that I should check out? Any recommendations would be much appreciated!

xoxo

Afternoon tea at the Savoy

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Ok so one of my favourite things to do in London is go for afternoon tea. I have been for many tea’s in the afternoon but nothing beats the experience of going to the Savoy. I am fortunate enough that it was my third visit to this wonderful hotel, and it didn’t disappoint. I spent the morning with my mum shopping and then we went onto the Savoy to spend the rest of our day in a little bit of heaven. The sandwiches, scones, cakes and tea (out of 40 different choices I opted for peppermint!) were just amazing. I would highly recommend it to anyone, although it has to be booked in advance due to it’s popularity. It’s worth booking purely to go into the hotel itself which has to be said is the most luxurious and wonderful in the whole of London (in my opinion). Does anyone else have a favourite place to visit?

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