Hi guys! I am very sorry I’ve been so slack with these posts recently. It’s been a busy time with going away, Christmas and lots of revision. I hope you have all had wonderful Christmasses and now a very happy New Year! I can’t believe it’s now 2017!! It still feels like yesterday that I was writing my first one of this series in August.
Anyway I thought I would do a quick round up of 5 things I have been most grateful for over the last few weeks. This has actually been really hard to collate as I’ve done so many nice things! But here goes…
1. Going to Edinburgh
I had the best time in Edinburgh a couple of weeks ago. It really was one of the best weekends of the year! I had a wonderful reunion with some amazing friends as well as got to explore the city of Edinburgh which I love!
2. Spending time with family
Christmas for me is always about getting to spend quality time with family that you don’t get to do at other times of the year. This year was no different and it was so nice to have a chilled few days.
3. Going to the Royal Albert Hall
Carols by Candlelight is definitely a highlight of my year so going again this Christmas Eve was so exciting! You can read all about my festive trips here…
4. Spending time with friends
I don’t get to see some of my friends very often as we are all so busy so I always appreciate when I see them so much more. Going to the carols with Soorin was no different!
5. My cats!
I’ve been home over the past week which means I’ve had lots of cuddles with the cats. I absolutely love waking up to them, even if it does mean I’m slightly delayed getting up as it seems so much nicer to stay in bed with them!
What have you guys been up to over this Christmas period?
I went to Edinburgh a couple of weeks ago to have a reunion with friends from University and to get into the Christmas spirit! It was honestly one of the best weekends I have had in a very long time (one of those where my jaw hurt from laughing for 3 days afterwards). We did some really Christmassy things as well as having long catch ups, so I thought I’d share what I did whilst I was up there.
If anyone has ever been up to Edinburgh and to the Christmas markets you’ll know what I mean when I say they definitely put you in the festive mood! I went to Winter Wonderland as well in London this year, but I do have to admit Edinburgh topped London. I’m not sure if it was the fact that we won a massive penguin or that we went on the Ferris wheel but I came our feeling so much more festive than before! I also discovered that I am in fact still scared of heights and I won’t be going on another ferris wheel anytime soon.
Virgin Street of Lights
This was recommended to me by a friend who lives in Edinburgh and it was really good! It’s free and there is a light show to music along one street. It was really cool and definitely added to the Christmassy mood! (Plus made for some good photos!)
This was a small whisky bar that one of my friends found on google maps. It was such an amazing find and I really do have to give him credit for it! We drank wine (not whisky as I guess we should have) and chatted all evening and was just one of those evenings I’m going to remember for a long time.
Brunch at Loudons
This was the best brunch I have ever had. So good that we actually went twice. Oops. This place was really good for allergies and catered for me being gluten and dairy free both time really well. I had a coconut latte both mornings (and now I’m completely sold on coconut milk in coffee!) I had French Toast for the first time and I keep dreaming of going back and eating it again!! I’m not sure I can quite re-create it at home as all their bread is home-made including the gluten free bread so it tasted even better! I may have also gotten cake to takeaway both days…
Drinking lots of mulled wine
We basically did a tour of Edinburgh based on where the mulled wine was! We went to the Royal Mile Tavern on the Saturday night which had live music and the BEST mulled wine I’ve had. I would definitely recommend going. The mulled wine was also such good value, especially in comparison to London prices!
Have you guys been to Edinburgh recently? What did you think of it?
I hope you guys have all had fantastic Christmasses! I had a very chilled one this year with lots of family which is exactly what I needed amongst lots of revision.
I went to two Christmassy events this year which I absolutely loved. They really put me in the spirit of Christmas and took my mind away from work before Christmas Day and Boxing Day kicked in.
The first was the light show at Kew Gardens, which I think is called “Christmas at Kew”. Mum booked it as a surprise for me on the 23rd so we both went together. It was really lovely and mulled wine put me right in the mood! We also got some roasted chestnuts for the walk around whilst we explored all the lights.
We also found a toasting marshmallow stall where you bought a flavoured marshmallow and then toasted it over a fire – I thought this was the most amazing idea! We went for the raspberry and champagne flavour which was definitely a good choice as we polished it off very quickly…
The lights themselves were absolutely beautiful. My favourite had to be the set of lights themed around the 12 days of Christmas song. It took us a little while to figure out the theme but we got there eventually!
The last part of the walk around Kew was the light show. This was really amazing and themed to Christmas songs. I loved all the pretty colours but of course had to get a photo when it was the colour pink…
The second Christmassy event I went to was on Christmas Eve with my parents and best friend. Our family has a tradition that we go to Carols by Candlelight at the Royal Albert Hall at some point before Christmas. My favourite time to go has always been Christmas Eve as it makes it extra special.
I absolutely love singing carols and this has been the only time this year I have managed to do it so it definitely put me in the Christmassy spirit!
I also love the Royal Albert Hall as a venue so it was so nice to be back and the of course spending time with my parents and friend who I don’t get to see very often!
I went to Brighton last weekend and I completely fell in love with it. There is something quite calming about walking to the station on a Sunday morning and not seeing anyone – I love that feeling of being up before anyone else! I got to London Bridge and got myself a coffee and hopped on the train to read my book “Spectacles” by Sue Perkins. I don’t normally like train rides but this felt so calming and almost like I was just relaxing at home.
Brighton is so pretty and quaint to walk around it was a lovely way to spend a Sunday. I love little independent shops and Brighton is brimming with them, I bought some little goodies as Christmas presents for some friends. I definitely felt like I could have spent hours in all the shops though so I think I’ll need to make another trip soon!
Brighton also has the highest concentration of vegan and gluten free restaurants and cafes I have ever seen. We had a roast dinner at a place that did vegan roast dinners (as well as meat ones) and all the sides were plant based. I honestly couldn’t believe it!! There are so many cafes that I want to try, there seemed to be such a huge range of places unlike some areas of London!
The Christmas lights were also up and they were so lovely I really began to feel Christmassy!
We had a wander around the Pier and it was so good to look out to the sea and see such a huge open space. I was sad to get back on the train in the evening but I also felt so contented coming back to a warm flat after a chilly walk back from the station.
Perfect Sunday ❤
Hey guys! How are you doing? It’s been quite a busy week work wise so most of my gratitude comments for this week come from this weekend which has been truly lovely!
1. Spending some time at home
I went home for a day and night this week and it was SO nice to spend some chill time at home and of course have cuddles with my baby!
2. Columbia Road Flower Market
I wrote about wanting to go to this flower market in August and after 4 months I finally made it! It was so nice to go this time of year as it is so Christmassy and there were SO many Christmas trees for sale – it took a lot of self control not to come home with a huge one!!
3. Brick Lane Market
This has been a favourite of mine since I went back in August and I’ve been meaning to go back for ages (there’s a theme here I feel…) I found a stall that does vegan and gluten free pancakes – they were absolutely incredible! I honestly can never believe when I find things I can eat in markets that I can eat and this honestly didn’t disappoint!
4. Kahaila Cafe
Scott and I stumbled into this cafe whilst walking down Brick Lane. It is probably the best coffee I have been had and also all profits go to charity. If you’re in Brick Lane then definitely pop in!! They have a great selection of cake as well!
5. This view on our walk home
On our way home from Brick Lane we came out of Rotherhithe tube station and were confronted with this view. Amazing! The sky was so beautiful.
What have you guys been grateful for this week?
Hey gang! How are all we all doing on this lovely morning? Here are some fab links you can get your teeth into on your commute…
- Lauren’s post about dealing with a chronic illness I could totally relate to.
- This idea for a kindness advent calendar.
- I have definitely had all of these thoughts whilst on the tube, especially no 48!
- I also loved this post also about commuting in London….
- Madeleine Shaw’s tips about how to survive the festive season are well worth a read.
- I loved these 50 ideas for how to practice self care.. something I need to remind myself in this festive period!
- Finally, If you have 1 minute it would be amazing if you could sign this petition to fund more research into Ehlers Danlos Syndrome.
I’m loving these sunny winter days we’ve been having and the evenings have been great to catch up with all the blogs I love to follow (and I’m A Celeb of course!)
What have you guys been reading recently?!
On Saturday night I went to Winter Wonderland with one of my best friends. It was such a lovely evening to take a trip to Hyde Park. All the lights from the distance were getting me massively excited from the start, and it definitely didn’t disappoint me!
I was worried I wouldn’t enjoy it as much as everyone had been saying on social media, but the atmosphere was amazing! There were so many different food stalls and drink stalls – my fave was definitely the mulled wine. I basically live for mulled wine, it’s probably one of my favourite parts of Christmas! The moment I walked in I beelined for the wine stall!
I’m not a massive fan of rides so we didn’t go on any of the rides – but if you are a fan I can imagine you would love them!! Even the kids spinning rides were making me feel slightly ill, but they were definitely some bigger rides for people that are… you know… not wimps like me.
The park is so much bigger than it has been in previous years and the organisers have really out done themselves this year with the live music, markets and all the different entertainment there is.
Plus, coming in from a cold evening out and snuggling up in front of the TV with a warm cup of tea is a feeling that I absolutely love. It really makes me appreciate home more!
Here are a few photos from my night – I’m definitely feeling more Christmassy now!!
What have you guys been doing to get into the Christmas spirit?!