lashesoflifestyle

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London – You can be so spontaneous!

This week I took my first trip to the O2.

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I’ve lived in London almost a year now, and there’s so much I haven’t done. I have done more since new year, but I still really need to get out and explore more.

It was during the afternoon at work this week, and one of my friends wasn’t having the best of days, and to be honest I had been feeling a bit stressed and could do with a good girls evening so I decided we should go out for dinner.

Two Options – Carvery or Harvester (Both great home comforts which are a little more rare in london).

I found out there was a Harvester in the O2, so after work we jumped on the DLR and headed to greenwich. It only took 30mins to get there. We had a great meal (The unlimited salad obviously playing a huge part!), and a lovely chat and laugh! We both felt atleast a bit better after. When you’re feeling low, nothing beats a good giggle and catchup with a friend!

But it wasn’t just about the meal or how it made me feel better. This trip made me realise just how close everything is in London. How we can just decide mid-afternoon we’re going to go to the O2 for dinner, or last Saturday we went to West london for the Lounge, and then East London to the Street Feast. You can just decide you want to do something, and go.

You don’t even have to look online for food places because there’s great places everywhere, and you always find the little wonders when you stumble across them.

There are also little events all the time over London. I now keep updated with TimeOut to make sure I don’t miss out on something fantastic. And if I see it last minute, it doesn’t matter because I’ll never be too far away!

It opened my eyes to how close everything is, how spontaneous you can really be, and how much more I should be!

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Saturdays Adventure (part two) – Street Feast

Saturday evening played the second part to our adventure day. I did a quick bit of research in the week to find out what was on at the weekend in London, and stumbled across the street feast. Excited by the idea of doing something completely different, I decided this would be a great new experience.

Street Feast is in Hawker House near Hoxton. We went to Bethnal Green station and walked from there. It only took about 10 minutes.

When we got to the street my iphone maps said the Street Feast was on, I didn’t think we were in the right place, but we saw the Hawker House sign on the side of the building and what looked like bouncers stood on the door (I felt a little more at ease seeing the bouncers! I know, silly paranoid female – I think I got it from my mum!).

We went inside, and didn’t have to pay to get in as we got there before 7pm – It’s £3 to get in after.

As you walk in, the atmosphere is great! Even at 6.30pm everyone is having a great time. It looks a bit like a warehouse, it’s just a big building with everything pretty much on one floor.

The first thing you see are the food stands down the right hand side – Burgers, Doughnuts, Indian, Greek and more. There are lots of long tables in the middle of the building where groups of people were sat. There are also tables around the edge for perching against, just so you can pop your drink or nibbles down. There were 4 bars altogether, and we headed to a bar down the far end.

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They had a number of cocktails on the menu, beer, ale and wine. As we were celebrating we obviously went for a cocktail.

The Hurricane – Aged Rum (Apparently 57%), Pineapple Juice and Blood Orange Juice. 

We had a wander, and found another little room with a taco stall – Breddos Tacos, and another couple food stands doing steamed buns and rolls, plus the other two bars (they had balconies where people could sit on the sofas and chill out).

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The first food we tried was a crunchy nut fried chicken taco (Wow that’s a mouthful when saying out loud) from Breddo’s Tacos. They put salsa and sourcream on each taco and let you put your own chillies on from the jar on the bar where you ordered. They did warn me about putting too many chillies on top, but they didnt’t know I can handle the heat. The Tacos were delicious (and no, not too hot!). I really am hoping they make a permanent take-away place in London!

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We then went to find a seat. Luckily we managed to find a couple free seats on the end of a long table and sat chatting and having a laugh.

Alex even said it was great to do something different! Again I must have done well.

Once we finished our cocktails, Alex went off to get us another drink and came back with a glass of rose for me and a pint for himself. We then took it in turns to go and pick a dish from a different food stand – all dishes were reasonably small so you could manage to try food from everywhere – my favourite kind of eating.

We shared some noodles with spicy pulled pork, had an indian bread with some sort of curry on top and scorpion chilli powder (Apparently the hottest chilli you can get in the UK – Still wasn’t to hot!), and another taco from Breddo’s Tacos, this time with slow cooked beef rib – I think this place was our favourite, but all the food was delicious!

After exploring and indulging on our little dishes, we finished our drinks and decided we would head back so we had some time to relax at mine.

It was easy to find the station again, and I still didn’t feel uneasy in the area!

This was such a great experience. I am very pleased with myself, if I do say so myself, for thinking of something different and exciting for us to do. I would recommend going along if you’re in London – it is open every weekend until March 22nd.

I will definitely be going to another food festival after this experience. Any recommendations would be very welcome!

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A peek into my personal library: the hunger games

Before Christmas I went to see the second film of the hunger games…it was amazing! I decided I couldn’t wait for the next film so I wanted to turn back into the book worm I used to be and read the book.

However, I couldn’t just read the third book. I’d heard the books were so great, that I wanted to read from the beginning. So I started with the first book :

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My mum and dad bought me the books as part of my Christmas present, and as January was so busy with starting my new job, I didn’t have enough time to read until late January. Even then though, the main time I get to read is on the way to work, and when on the tube in the morning I always feel guilty having a book out, as it takes up more space. I did go through a short phase of preferring the bus, and this gave me more time (and less guilt) to sit and read. But I would occasionally read a little before bed if I had the time, as I didn’t really want to put the book down.

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This is a photo of me before bed..please don’t judge! I know I don’t have make up on…it’s bad for your skin to go to sleep with it on.

Brief description of story (no spoilers!) :

Set in a dark vision of the near future – in a place called panem where there are 12 districts and the Capitol. Each year twelve boys and twelve girls are chosen (one boy and one girl from each district) and are forced to appear in a live event called The Hunger Games. There is only one rule: kill or be killed. When sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen steps forward to take her younger sister’s place in the games, she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.

My review:

I didn’t want to put this book down. It’s a shame sometimes life gets in the way of you finishing a book quickly, but that meant I could enjoy it for longer!

There’s so much in the book you just don’t learn watching the film. I feel like I know so much more about katniss’ life and why she did what she did or acted the ways she did. I also found out more about the districts and what had happened previously.

I learnt more about the people of the Capitol and their weird and wonderful fashions – I don’t think I’d ever want to tint my skin colour fuchsia!

This is such a fantastic story line, and is truly gripping! A must read!

I would write so much more, but I don’t want to give it away for people who haven’t read the book, and want to.

I’ve already started the second – verdict to come!

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Saturdays Adventure (part one) – The Lounge at Bayswater

Yesterday was amazing.

Having organised the whole day during the week before ( quite stressful – I don’t normally leave things to the last minute) I was so excited for Saturday to arrive. Alex didn’t have a clue as to what we were doing which made it all the more exciting. I almost did spill the beans on Friday night though, I think I get more excited than him sometimes.

So for the first part of Saturday, in the afternoon (we both needed our lie in!) I had organised for us to go to the Lounge at Bayswater to see American Hustle.

We turned up at Bayswater underground station and found the shopping centre very easily. The lounge is on the top floor, and I still managed to keep Alex baffled even as we headed down to the Odeon – I told him we had to go back down the escalators…sneaky!

But we still headed to The Lounge desk at the front of Odeon.

He seemed pretty happy with the choice at this point, but he still didn’t know what to expect, I could tell. I think he may have thought “Chloe’s brought me to the cinema for our day out…hmpphh” haha.

The receptionist was very helpful and I picked my tickets up and then headed up the stairs which were sign posted to the lounge. I did not know what to expect either.

We were greeted by a smiley face who checked our ticket and told us we could wait in the bar – being super early is a habit of mine, but the lounge booking confirmation had advised us to turn up half hour before.

We sat at the bar and took a look at the menus. There were lots of choices, including some delicious looking cocktails. Starting on a rosé spritzer and Alex with his corona (everything is added to a bill on your seat number) we sat chatting and feeling very sophisticated.

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We soon realised we hadn’t chosen the best spot…looking around there were some fantastic looking sofas around the edge, and we moved to be a bit more comfortable.

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When it came to moving into our screen, we took all of our things with us and took our seats. I wished we had sat on the seats on the sides rather than the middle parts of the rows – they had sofas so could cuddle up which seems like an awesome idea for a cinema. But still our seats were amazing and I was lucky to get the seats…they were filling up quickly when I booked earlier in the week.

The seats were leather and they had controls to put the foot rest up, as well as a control to adjust the back of the seat. You had a table attached to one arm rest, which could be moved round to be over your lap if you wanted to order food. In the arms of the seats there were also buttons to call for service!

Finally comfortable and very much enjoying our surroundings, we called for service and ordered another drink for the film, Alex a fifty dollar shake (whiskey cocktail made with icecream) and I had another rosé, and Alex also ordered a bowl of popcorn – yes they don’t come in cardboard cartons in the lounge!

The film was pretty good. The experience definitely made it even better!

Towards the end of the film one of the waitresses brought us the bill and about 10mins later came back for payment. You don’t even have to queue to pay at the end!

Overall this is a fantastic experience. Yes it’s more expensive than a normal trip to the cinema. But it’s worth it for the experience. You should definitely experience this at least once. I already want to go back for my birthday, and want to order food next time as I was suffering from a lot of food envy during the film – the food looks amazing and can be served at the beginning or you can get them to bring out out halfway through the film which I think is fantastic!

Alex was also very impressed with my choice, and really enjoyed the afternoon – YES I DID WELL!

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Valentines Day 2014

All day I’ve been reading soppy Facebook statuses and tweets, and seeing gifts come through the office for others – eughhhh.

It’s not that I hate valentines day. I just think it’s overrated… A bit of a rip off, and I don’t understand why you’ve got one day a year where you’re told to show how much you mean to each other.

Well today is the third valentines day I’ve been with Alex. I can’t believe it. Our normal valentines day would be just a standard night in, cooking together, but probably get on the wii and have a drink. Wii nights are some of my faves with Alex.

This year we’re doing it a bit different. Tonight is a night in – curry’s cooking as I write. But tomorrow we are having a day doing something new in London. I can’t say too much as I’ve organised it all without Alex knowing..but I will obviously tell all after!

Now, I’m not doing it different because it’s the most valentines days I’ve had with anyone, or because we’re going overboard for today.

Only last month did I start my permanent full time job, with the end of January being my payday. This is the first weekend we’re both free and I want to celebrate my new job and have a fantastic Saturday with Alex (after having a few months on a tight budget and not getting to do lots).

I can’t wait for tomorrow! I will fill you all in soon…

But on the topic I started with… HAPPY VALENTINES DAY everyone!

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