I’m 25

I’m 25

I’ve been 25 for a few days now
and I have a few things to say about it

No one ever told you how it would be in your twenties. One minute you feel you have all your shit together, you’re on the right path and the next time you wake up everything’s gone wrong?

I’m not sure why, but for as long as I can remember 25 was the age where I saw myself on the right path. I always thought no worries, you’ll know what you want when you’re 25… so what happens when you don’t?

I think my issue is that I don’t really know anyone much older than me, to tell me that everyone over 18 is in the same boat. That no one fully has everything figured out, and some people in their thirties are feeling the exact same way as me, and that’s fine too.

I decided this year that I would pursue a freelance career dream, as I knew if I left it any longer that it might not be possible. But months down the line, I want to buy a house and it’s the first time I’ve slightly doubted my decision. How do I get a mortgage? How can I guarantee that I can pay it? Who would want to sell to someone whose monthly finances rollercoaster so much, I feel sick?

At 25, I was supposed to know what was going on in my life. Where am I going to settle down? Where will I do my regular food shops? What phone will I decide on so I no longer have to keep getting £50+ contracts cos I’m so indecisive?

At 25, I should have known what I wanted to do with my life. I’ve started the dream by going freelance, but what people don’t tell you is how long you need to be on books before you can even THINK about buying a house. That’s been a bit of a bummer.

At 25, I was supposed to be body confident. Loving the skin I’m in, or at least actually done something about it. I’ve spent my whole life hating my body, internally (cheers IBS) and externally. I was supposed to be wearing denim hot pants at a festival drinking prosecco, because at 25 I’m fancy like that.

But I’m 25, and I haven’t achieved any of these things. Is that ok?

I think I’m finally accepting that it is.

I’m 25, and I recently got offered an incredible part-time job, to elevate some of the pressures i’ve had making sure my bills get paid. I will have time to focus on the things I actually went freelance for, and I can’t wait.

I’m 25, and I drank 6 cocktails on a Wednesday by 8pm because I’m an adult, and I don’t have anyone telling me I can’t. Sure, I felt sick when I got home, gave myself braids and made the saddest excuse of a dinner. But I’m a grown-ass woman now, I can do that.

I’m 25, and I’m sure that this year will be my best year yet. Working with more clients, being more creative, finding the perfect shampoo and conditioner combo for my hair, committing to the gym (maybe), being more free and happy, resulting in me giving less of a shit about the little things.

Here’s to being 25, and all it may bring.

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5 days in Seattle, USA

I WENT TO SEATTLE

SPOILER ALERT: I FRICKIN’ LOVED IT

As you can see above, I recently went on a trip to Seattle.

I’d only been to NYC once for work purposes, so I was really excited to explore for myself! We also went to Canada, so that will be my next post as I feel like I have too many pictures as it is!

I’ll apologise that my pictures are not blogger queen standard, they’re not me in a floaty dress on a beautiful beach, or me looking cute eating crab or whatever. This is what I got from my trip when I wasn’t too busy making memories!

Here’s (a condensed) five things I loved about Seattle, and would definitely suggest you check out if you get a chance!

Pike Place Market

This place has a lot of hype, and it lived up to it for sure. The best part of waking up in Seattle was being able to walk around the market every morning! The vibe is electric, and you don’t need to purchase anything to have a good time.

Whilst walking through my nose was filled with scents of beautiful fresh flowers, and I caught a fish throwing show (weird, I know!) and saw countless adorable furry-legged friends. It honestly is the best way to start your day.

We also stopped at Etta’s, which was known for serving up some damn good sea eats, I went for oysters because they are AMAZING and Nat decided to try some salmon. Obviously it was mind blowing, I don’t think i’ve ever had such fresh fish. They actually serve the fish they catch THAT DAY which is so cool.

In Pike Place, you’ll also come across the famous Gum Wall! It was incredible and disgusting all at the same time, so many people were taking selfies and it felt weird not to? I’m still debating starting one on my kitchen wall, because art. P.S I didn’t actually lick the wall, though I have regrets…

Veggie Grill

Lord have Mercy, I have never had better veggie food than Veggie Grill.

Also sorry for how awful this picture is, I hadn’t eaten in over a day and I had the shakes I was so damn excited. My internet parents (Jenna & Julien) spoke often about how amazing Veggie Grill is, and before we got to Seattle I checked whether they were lucky enough to be graced with such delectable beauty. Obviously they were, and we ate here around 3 times over the 5 days. NO RAGRETS. These are two different VEGAN burgers, we split it to taste both because why the hell not? Beyond Meat needs to get to the UK ASAP cos I can’t live without it now.

The Pink Door

This was a place that often came up when searching places to eat in Seattle. It’s incredibly popular, I actually wasn’t able to book in before we got to Seattle which I was gutted about. Luck struck us in the butt, and when we walked past to see if there was availability we got a table!

The Pink Door has incredible cabaret and burlesque acts, giving you an extra dynamic when it comes to dinner. We watched an incredible trapeze artist after the most exquisite bowl of pasta, I would definitely recommend. It looks incredibly secretive, so allow time to find it!

Kerry Park

So I would definitely recommend getting a bus to Kerry Park, especially if you’re based in Downtown and it’s 20 odd degrees. I felt like I was going to fall backwards hiking up the hills, and I’m a lazy git too so I was just moaning and sweating the whole way. But it is definitely a must do. Silly me thought Kerry Park was a huge green area, but it’s actually just a sightseeing point!

Rocco’s

We stumbled across Rocco’s when walking back from Kerry Park; delirious, tired and MARVIN. We couldn’t use our internet much out there, so we felt a bit lost as there was so many choices for food! We popped into Rocco’s and ordered a pizza, seeing it was 20 inches we just decided we would split it (and we were able to choose 2 different halfs, sick). I didn’t think too much about the size to be honest, that was until it reached the table…

THIS THING WAS HUGE!!

We were starving, but we knew there was no chance of this getting eaten. Pretty sure it lasted us 2 days, and we didn’t eat dinner that night! We both managed 2 slices each, but my oh my was is delicious. Why is food so much better in America? I would be the size of a blimp if I lived there.

The picture below shows the size of one slice on a plate, IT’S MAD.

SoOoOo that was a very condensed summary of my trip to Seattle, I absolutely adored it. Something I didn’t expect was the amount of eccentric people we came across. Throughout our 10 days, we had people shouting and screaming in the streets, someone told us (or the couple next to us) to shut the fuck up AND I saw a guy with his johnson out, wiping his bum with a quilt.

So yeah. I CAN’T WAIT TO GO BACK!

But in all seriousness, this trip was incredible. I had no idea what to expect and exceeded the limited expectations I had tenfold, and soon enough I’ll have a post all about my experience of Vancouver too, so don’t forget to check back for that!

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My journey with XLS Medical*

Summer’s coming!

I have so many breaks planned, and I vowed to myself that this summer will be THE SUMMER that I wear shorts.

I’ve been body conscious for as long as I can remember, and have been too scared to wear the sorts of clothes I want because I hate the way I look. I wish I wasn’t, I know in the grand scheme of things I am not that big, but I’m just not happy.

I was always the bigger girl at school, and although people told me carried my weight well. I called bullshit and decided I needed to do something about it.

Over the years my eating habits have changed drastically, being diagnosed with IBS and being lactose intolerant does that to you. But I now swap a KFC bucket for a bowl of bulgur wheat, and I’m proud of the way my diet has changed. But as of late, I have been allowing multiple chocolate bars, biscuits and crisps. Things I would have NEVER done a year or so ago!

back to a bigger time, with awful hair choices

Though I definitely don’t look like this now, I’m always terrified that I’ll keep slipping up until I return to that person. I’m so not here for that. It does sometimes make me laugh though, because the picture on the left shows how furious I was that there wasn’t any chicken nuggets left!

I have decided to embark on a weight loss journey along with XLS-Medical, to see whether it works and I’m hopeful that it will get me into the habit of eating better, and keeping up whatever progress I make in the next few weeks.

I’m up for trying anything once. Slimfast and shake diets have never really been my thing, but this seemed a little different. I love that the shakes include B Vitamins for energy release (because I am so tired ALL THE TIME), 27g of protein (gains) and they’re gluten-free, non-GMO and vegetarian friendly!

 

So 5 months and 1 stone heavier, here I am.

Here’s how I’ve found it so far…

I didn’t to do a post as soon as I started, because it takes 3 weeks to create a habit and I didn’t want to sell something that wasn’t working for me.

The first week I did struggle, mainly because I’m used to stuffing my face whenever I want to and working from home made that even easier. It was hard to not physically chew on something and it showed. Though I had my shake and ate on top of that, (which is essentially adding 500 calories onto whatever I was actually eating!) I did still manage to lose inches even if I didn’t lose pounds.

I didn’t feel happy about it though, it didn’t feel natural. I turned to my Boost Buddies (a facebook page where people can leave tips and show progress) and they were incredibly motivating, I also spoke to Jodie, our nutritionist, and she informed me on what snacks I could have along side my shakes. This definitely helped a lot. I have been LOVING mixing the chocolate shake with hazelnut Alpro, it’s getting to the point where I’m actually craving it!

I am really happy with how it’s going so far, I’ve lost 3lb so far and quite a few inches. But not just that, my bloating has depleted dramatically. I have more energy and keeping myself full on the go has never been easier!

The real challenge is my holiday. Tomorrow, at 7pm, I will be getting the train to London. Preparing for a (half) decent nights sleep before jetting off to the USA and Canada! I’m intrigued how well I will do with my weight loss, and hoping that my step count will counteract all the good grub I’ll be too tempted by… We’ll see eh?

Good luck me!

*I have been gifted XLS-Medical products to aid me on my weight-loss journey for an honest review in return.
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Holidaying with Holiday Gems*

“This year is all about travelling my friend” – Tiffany Frost (2018)

Happy Monday blog fam! How are you? Good? I’m glad, cos I’m going to be talking about allllll things travel in todays post.

I decided that this year would be all about travelling for me. I wanted to go travelling for 6 months, but after deciding to start my own company, it just wasn’t feasible. Instead I decided to plan in lots of little trips to get me through!

One site that I’ve used that not many have heard of is holidaygems.co.uk, I think Holiday Gems is great because it caters for a lot of people. My family tend to travel in a heard of 6 or more, so being able to look at different hotels and villas is IDEAL.

When my family travel, we are also accompanied by my beautiful little 6″3 autistic brother Ben. A lot of the time, we need to check perimeters to make sure he’s safe. When booking at Holiday Gems, the customer service was spot on. They were very accommodating to Ben, what we needed and gave us all the information we needed about our hotels and even found out additional info for peace of mind.

But it’s not all about how well we were treated (though it definitely bloody helped) but the places they have on offer are INCREDIBLE. So here’s a few places on my wish-list, because as I said before. This year is alllll about travelling.

Mediterranean Palace Hotel – Tenerife

source: holidaygems.co.uk

How stunning is this hotel?! I absolutely loved Tenerife, and not just because I got the best tan in my whole existence, but I just loved the white sands and blue sea. Original, I know. If you’ve never been before. I would definitely recommend!

Monte Mar Palace Hotel – Madeira

source: holidaygems.co.uk

I’m a sucker for any hotel that’s near the beach, when you’re floating in the pool looking out over to the watery abyss. This dreamy little place is a bargain too – for only £349pp for a week in June, I want to book my flights now!

Atlantis The Palm – Dubai

source: holidaygems.co.uk

So this wouldn’t be a wish-list if I didn’t add a hotel that is completely out of my price range, would it? This beautiful hotel is a 5 star luxury experience, it has everything from fish swimming around in the walls in your room to a spa within walking distance. Atlantis is an experience of a lifetime. Plus who could turn town access to a private beach? A girl can dream.

Also does anyone else love that they have a section on their site where you can book flights for tomorrow? because I don’t know one person that wouldn’t benefit for a flight to a hot country tomorrow. The possibilities are endless.

So any who, if you’re looking for a low cost holiday with a company that always puts you first, i’d check out their site.

 

This is a sponsored post for holidaygems.co.uk, all words are my own unless specified. I only write sponsored content about products/websites I am able to write my own experiences about.
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Bistrot Pierre – Leicester

I honest to God feel as though I have committed a crime.

I have lived in Leicester ALL MY LIFE and it was only in May 2018 that I experienced Bistrot Pierre for the first time.

I was really looking forward to my first experience. I always saw it as a special occasion place – like something for a wedding anniversary or a graduation meal. We decided to celebrate the fact that the sun had graced us with it’s presence for the first time in what felt like a century. So with that in mind, I skipped to town to meet Nat ready for celebrations!

I was gobsmacked when I pulled back the red velvet curtain. The french decor was stunning, I really didn’t know what to expect – but I didn’t expect this.

We sat down, and was greeted by the lovely Taz, who handed us tons of menus to choose from. We were spoilt for choice! I decided to order from the a la carte menu. It took us both a while to narrow down what we wanted, and decided that sharing two starters was the only way we would be able to try as much as possible! After 2 bread baskets and a gulp of red wine we were ready.

 

Starter

Brioche et champignons
Toasted brioche and fricassée of mushrooms with (or without) Alsace bacon

Crottin de chèvre
Baked goats’ cheese with marinated beetroot, chicory, watercress, toasted walnuts and grain mustard dressing

Man, what a way to start a meal. I adore mushrooms, and Nat loves the fancy ones so we knew that would be our first choice. Nat then saw the crottin de chèvre which was a no-brainer. Warm goats cheese with roasted walnuts? AND beetroot? I bloody love a temperature clash when it comes to food. The pairings were so interesting – it was a taste you couldn’t get bored of, I wish I had 2!

We loved both starters. I think I preferred the Brioche, but it was a close call. All-in-all, we were off to a solid start!

 

Main

Poulet printanier
Pan-fried chicken breast with asparagus, fricassée of wild mushrooms, peas, truffle oil and tarragon

Bouillabaisse maison
Our take on this classic fish stew from Marseille; with sea bass, mussels, king prawns, and smoked haddock served with rouille, cheese and pommes frites only

As soon as we sat down I was sold by the bouillabaisse maison, and when Taz recommended it I was sure my main was going to be incredible.

I had the image above with a side of chips, rouille with cheesy bread and an extra side garlic mushrooms because there’s nothing more romantic than garlic, obviously. Nat also had dauphinoise potatoes and an extra side of french beans toasted with almond flakes (omg?!) so the portion sizes were very generous.

I did find it strange getting a fish stew with chips, but I’m all for it. I also couldn’t believe the size of the king prawns?! Absolutely huge, had to send a picture to my mum. All the fish was cooked to perfection, I was overwhelmed with delight. Definitely a good option if you want something light, minus the chips!

We went a little overboard, but oh my it was worth it! Nat boasted highly about the poulet printanier. By the end of it we were in comatose, but don’t think for a second we weren’t getting dessert. Mama didn’t raise no fool.

 

Dessert

Frangipane
Warm baked pear and raspberry frangipane with vanilla crème fraîche and toasted pistachios

Café gourmand
Berry macaroon, chocolate brownie, caramel profiterole and vanilla ice cream on an almond crumble, with (or without) espresso coffee

I FOUND DESSERT HEAVEN, LOOK NO FURTHER!
I finished off both as Nat couldn’t hack it (though he 100% ate more than me). I mixed the frangipane with the ice-cream and it was SoOoOo dreamy! I am an apple crumble girl through and through, but this frangipane changed the game. café gourmand was beautiful too, I tend to not be a chocolate pudding person but the brownie was so rich and satisfying.

Our overall experience was incredible. Taz was so friendly and helpful, the red wine was flowing, the food was awe inspiring. I cannot wait to return!

 

The amazing guys at Bistrot Pierre have also given me a little somethin’ somethin’ for all my fab readers. A free drink for you the next time you visit! Use code: LBPYQPD9. You’ll find all the Ts&C’s you need here!

I was invited by Bistrot Pierre for a complimentary meal in return for an honest review. All imagery and words are mine unless stated otherwise.
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