Getting into the Gym…

Okay so this is something completely different and doesn’t fit with my blog genre so far, but I thought it’d be a good idea to just write about the things I’m passionate about – because these are the topics I have something that might be worth saying!

For the past few years at university and after graduating I’ve been going to the gym. When I say this, it’s very much an on and off process… but towards the end of 2016 and start of this year I really tried and was going about 4 times a week for about 8 months. During that time I didn’t really change physically (snacks are seriously my downfall) but mentally I felt so much better, stronger and happier! Plus I love the feeling of being strong, so obviously regular trips to the gym helped this too.

But since moving back to London in the summer, I’ve seriously let slip the gym life… And now, wanting to get back to it (having felt and seen my muscles melting) I’ve found it really difficult to build up enough courage to go.

I’m not generally an anxious person, and usually am up for giving things a go, so this feeling was quite a shock for me, especially as it’s lasted for a few months and has stopped me from being able to do things as freely as I would like.

However, today, after about two months of wanting to, but feeling too nervous to go, I went back to the gym. Although it doesn’t seem like much, I feel so good and so pleased with myself. Instantly I feel stronger and more able to face each day, that’s the main feeling that I had been missing.

Building up to it has been so hard, and I’m likely to not want to go tomorrow – but this feeling of strength is what I need to hold onto, because for me, it’s about feeling like I can conquer things, and feeling able to tackle anything I feel like.

I am literally so unqualified to offer advice to anyone, but if anyone else is struggling with the thought of it, either going for the first time, or going back after a break, my main tip is to just set yourself a small goal first. Only aim for a short workout, start with the exercises you like the most, allow yourself lots of breaks, and don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling. I think the thought of going is so much scarier than the actual activity, so perhaps take a trusty friend, but honestly I would recommend because you can do it! Just take your time and build yourself up!

If anyone knows the feeling or something similar please leave a comment about your experiences and tips! Every little step helps!

Our Halloween Experience at PYO Pumpkins!

I love love love getting into the festive spirit, whatever the occasion I am down for the joy, so when I spotted a pick your own pumpkin farm, I had to jump on board the bandwagon.

We went to Riverside Farmers at Beluncle Farm, and visited their annual celebration to pick our pumpkins!

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We went on the Saturday just before Halloween, so it was super busy and there were loads of families and friends enjoying themselves and choosing their favourite pumpkins. It was such a nice time out, and was free to enter, only having to pay for the pumpkins you take home.

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The pumpkins were super instagrammable, and we spent a few hours choosing which were the least blemished… we filled the wheelbarrow, only to end up choosing one tiny pumpkin that cost us a single pound.

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I was so impressed with this day out, and would definitely recommend to anyone, but especially children and families as it was a lot of fun and something nice to do altogether in the Halloweenie spirit!

What did you do to get involved in the spooks this Halloween or Bonfire Night? If you have any recommendations, leave a comment and let me know!

Love, Maddie x

Oxford Street Christmas Light Switch On

So last night was the annual switching on of Oxford Street Christmas lights, and as I was in town anyway, I decided to hang around and have a watch!

Rita Ora was the guest this year who pressed the button, and the streets lit up with the baubles and icy tree lights.

Seeing London like this always brings extra joy, and the majority of Oxford Street was pedestrianised to allow spectators the best possible view, and for safety too! It was extra busy along the usually packed street, and everyone was happily snapping away pics of the fresh lights.

The festivities were in full swing, and many shops now have their Christmas displays in their windows, notably Selfridges which always has amazing windows (worth a trip just for a window shop for sure!)

Although I have lived in London my whole life – apart from the uni years – this was the first time I have been to see the lights being switched on! I would recommend it to people, as it’s a nice way to begin the Christmas joy, however I think it is best to arrive early and get as close to the stage as possible. We were quite far along the street and it seemed there were some technical mares, as the sound wasn’t great and it was hard to hear what Rita and the Capital Radio presenters was saying. However, I’m never one to turn down Christmas cheer and so would definitely visit again, even if it is still slightly early to begin celebrating…

So what do you think, is it a waste of a trip? Or would you like to get involved next year? Don’t forget there’s plenty of other areas with lights to be celebrated, for more info on their dates, see here!

Love, Maddie x

Honeydale Farm

Fancying a Sunday morning breakkie, my boyfriend and I headed out to Honeydale Farm today. The location of this little farm café is perfect, with great links to the local area, but also a lovely view out onto the surrounding farmland in Kent.

Whenever I visit Honeydale Farm, I am always surprised at how busy it is. The little café is always full, with lovely countryside chic furniture and two outdoor areas. We luckily sneaked a seat and ordered our food.

We did have to wait about half an hour for the food, but were informed of this and so it made the wait not seem so long. Plus, the food was SO worth the wait.

We ordered an Eggs Royale, and their new(ish) addition to the menu, Sunshine Eggs. The Sunshine eggs consisted of two poached eggs with Hollandaise sauce on sliced avocado and an English muffin.

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Eggs Royale and Sunshine Eggs From Honeydale Farm

It was beautifully served, and seasoned very well. These delicate touches really enhanced the simple breakfast and we were seriously pleased!

I would rate this meal a 6/10 for value for money, as it is slightly on the more pricey side for a simple dish, however the setting and the thought of giving to a local farm business means every once in a while this delicious treat is definitely worth the trip!

For treat inspiration, check out the Honeydale Farm Instagram, full of homemade snacks!

If you know of any local farms and little cute cafés that are worth the trip, please let me know in the comments!!!

Love, Maddie x

Bella Italia – Bexleyheath

So tonight my mum fancied a cute night out for dinner, somewhere local and with a deal, of course.

We headed to our nearest Bella Italia as they currently have a 50% off mains deal!!! How insane is that! We were pleased and headed out for a bargain dinner.

I think that this place is actually reasonable without a discount, but with 50% off, it’s such good value for money.

Knowing we had the deal, we both opted for cocktails, a classic Aperol Spritz for Mum and an Orange and Spice Spritz for me. At first after ordering I thought, actually is this going to be gross… orange prosecco and spice? It actually didn’t sound appealing after all – however, after taking the first sip my mouth literally dropped. It was insanely good. The balance of the fruit and spice was perfect and it just tasted like a fizzy juice. As you can tell, I was a big fan.

We then opted to go straight in for mains, choosing a classic base Cotto pizza, and a Ripiena base Barbecue Chicken one. The Ripiena crust is stuffed with ‘melting mozzarella, Provolone cheeses and garlic butter’

The pizza was delicious, and I was so pleased to have chosen the stuffed crust option! Feeling a little greedy, it seriously filled me up. I actually didn’t manage to finish and brought the last few slices home with me for breakfast! Couldn’t resist!

The meal, with three cocktails and two mains came to just over £30. Which, considering the drinks were £6.99 each, this was quite a cheap one! If you take off the drinks, this would have been such a bargain of an evening, but as it’s Friday we decided to treat ourselves and I don’t regret it at all!

For more info about the menu at Bella Italia please see here!

To get that insane deal we used VoucherCodes; in order to get this deal and many others, see their website here!

If you’ve got a favourite local restaurant, leave a comment and let me know!!!

Love, Maddie x

Rasa Malaysia

Okay so people that know me know I visited Malaysia this summer on holiday with my family (and haven’t stopped banging on about it since), and I am positively obsessed with Malaysian cuisine. So, when I was out with my dad at Westfield Shopping Centre and we wandered past Rasa Malaysia, we had to pop in for some food.

The cozy fast food restaurant has quirky seating areas, allowing customers to relax while they eat, and then are easily able to get on with their shopping.

The food itself is delicious! We were positively surprised at the dishes being whipped up so quickly and still retaining that authentic taste.

I opted for a Chicken Mee Goreng Mamak, which is a ‘Fried yellow egg noodles cooked with our special blend of chili paste, bean sprouts, tofu and selected vegetables’. As previously mentioned, I love spicy food, so this was right up my street. The freshness of the food was paramount, having been cooked in front of me I could tell it would be delicious.

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My dad chose the Roti Canai with a chicken curry. This honestly was one of the nicest Roti’s I have ever eaten. The fresh taste was amazing, and dipped in the curry it was a proper delight. The sweet and spicy flavours in that chicken curry were to die for and I would definitely recommend!

This place was great as it allowed customers to speed in and out, but still get that authentic and amazing taste, at a reasonable price. I would give it an 8/10 for value, as this restaurant is a ‘fast food’ outlet, however, the actual taste and quality is amazing, and I definitely think it is worth the money you pay!

For more info about the Westfield Rasa, please see their webpage!

Prezzo – Glasshouse Street

A group of friends and I visited Prezzo for an evening meal in London. We were seated in the window of the classy restaurant and took a look at the menu. I opted for an Amaretto Sour cocktail, something that definitely went down a treat!

We then ordered our food, choosing a garlic pizza bread for starter, which was covered in caramelised onion and honestly was insanely delicious! I then chose the Spicy Carne Calzone and my friend opted for the Pappardelle Gorgonzola.

The calzone was called spicy on the menu, and usually I’m very good at handling my spices, however on this occasion, the spicy calzone was the spiciest pizza I have ever eaten! It was so tasty and the service was really good, but for me there was just a touch too much chilli (never thought I’d say that!)

The starter was insane and the tastiest part of the meal! The main meals were also delicious and really enjoyable, I would definitely recommend the calzone as it was super filling and full of flavour, just make sure you’ve got some water if you’re not keen on the spice!

The main reason for choosing Prezzo was due to the amazing deal that they had on offer. It was 50% off of mains!!! How incredible is that! It’s such a great deal and makes the meal actually more enjoyable!! I would rate the value of this meal 9/10, my whole meal, with a cocktail, shared starter and main came to less than £15, which in central London right next to Piccadilly Circus is an absolute bargain!!!!

I would definitely recommend and as you can see we managed to polish it off!

For more info about the deal and other great offers please see here!!