lashesoflifestyle

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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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The day after a night out you always wake up a bit worse for wear.

I didn’t get too drunk – I even stayed awake on the bus on the way home, but the morning after my last night out was no different…perhaps amplified by the fact that I’d mixed drinks and drank wine too (I always seem to suffer after wine, but never learn – it just makes such a difference to the purse and how much money I get to bring back if I drink wine). Note to self: I really need to learn to drink water before bed too!

So after finally dragging ourselves out of bed and showering we had to decide on where to eat. Heading Central as Heather had a Saturday night shift we chose Gourmet Burger Kitchen in Soho.

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Inside it was so nice. Brick walls, wooden floors, a big black board up on the wall with the specials, and the tables along the walls were pretty cool – you were sat in like a zig zag. The staff were also so friendly!

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Sorry about the mess, I only remembered to take a photo after- getting my priorities right…filling my hungover tummy first!

We got to sit on the tables down the side and were given a menu. For people who hadn’t been before (like us) they even explained how everything worked!

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There were so many burger options, and you could even have naked burgers where they change the bun for salad and coleslaw, which is great to have the option for gluten free people! Once decided on food and drink (this didn’t take too long – we were both starving and wanting to feel more human again) I went to the bar to order.

They gave me glasses once ordered and told me to help ourselves to the nuts whilst waiting.

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Drinks were brought to our table – strawberry and elderflower fizz. They were so tasty. Perhaps a little sweet for some- but there are a number of options on flavours for the fizz. It was definitely helping me get a bit more hydrated. And it was refillable which is perfect when you know you want to drink lots but not spend an extortionate amount.

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Food came pretty quick. Heather had the cajun blue chicken burger and I had a delicious ‘billy the kid’ – goats cheese and aubergine’. I’m not a vegetarian but I love a good veggie option! We both also had sweet potato fries which came in some cute tea cups.

Our food looked amazing!

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It obviously didn’t stay like that for long. I have to say though, when I’m eating out I never really know the proper etiquette of eating a burger, so I cut mine into 6 and ate the little parts as not to have the whole thing in my hands. This seemed to work well.

All the food was delicious, and definitely helped with the hangover! Goats cheese and aubergine is fantastic combination, and such a nice option compared to the normal bean patty a lot of places serve. The sweet potato fries were crunchy but delicious and soft in the middle – it’s making my mouth water now remembering them! Heather loved her burger too. It’s no surprise that plates were left empty.

Heather was debating dessert before we got there, but we were definitely unable to manage this now. We carried on drinking our fizzes.

It was pretty busy and people were constantly coming in and out, but we didn’t feel rushed to leave – although we did leave not too long after to head to the shops.

Such a great restaurant, and hangover cure. I recommend this place to anyone indecisive on where to go in Central to eat. At only £15 each for our meal out, it’s definitely worth a trip!

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My review from dinner, last weekend with the sister.

Saturday night whilst debating on the oh so many options London has to offer for dinner, we managed to decide we wanted MEXICAN! I had heard so many good reviews about Desperados in Angel, and never actually been for a meal, so we decided to give it a whirl.

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When we got there, the place was buzzing with atmosphere, people celebrating birthdays, couples on dates, friends on nights out – everyone appeared to be having a great night, and even though we were so drained and tired from our long day shopping, we soon caught on to everyone else’s vibes.

The restaurant was pretty cool. The restaurant was all wooden inside, the bar had a vw campervan on the end (Facing the entrance to Desperados), the tables were quite close together making people get a bit cosy – giving the new European feeling, which I actually do quite like, and the lamp shades were pretty awesome too! Almost made me feel like I was on holiday….hmmmm…let’s not get carried away.

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It was very busy, and we did start to worry we wouldn’t get a seat very quickly, but the waiter asked us to wait by the bar and within 5 minutes we were sat down on a lovely little table for two. The waiters were very friendly and as two tables came available at about the same time, we were given an option (Brownie points gained!). Opting for the table nearest the wall, to escape the draft of ice cold air which would come in through the door (unfortunately we didn’t manage to escape it all , but were very much better off than the people on the table we didn’t choose) we took our seats and gazed at the menus.

They were HUGE. And this is only the one side!

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First up for decision time – cocktails. Two sides of an A4 menu . I wanted to try them all! But one in particular caught my eye, and Emma even agreed with me for once and ordered the same – No 7. Mexican Sunset.

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The cocktails were amazing! It was almost a shame we weren’t making a night of it, as I wanted to order so many more. They do frozen martinis too which caught my eye – a must try for next time!

Next Up – Food. There were so many choices, and we were so hungry, we gave into our eyes being too big for our tummys and decided on starters too! With Calamari on the menu, Emma jumped at that, so I picked the BBQ chicken wings so then both were easy to share.

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The chicken on the chicken wings fell off the bone, and was so juicy and succulent. The calamari were delicious too. Perfectly cooked, not too much coating (I really have had some awful ones in the past) and they weren’t greasy either. We sat there sipping our cocktails and eating our starters, having such a laugh about life, and knowing we’d made the right choice in coming out for dinner.

Next comes Mains – Fajitas … No Brainer, but even when you know you want fajitas there are still so many options under the fajita menu! I went for chicken and prawn, and Emma Chicken and Steak. Mains didn’t take too long either, and for how busy it was, it was good – although we didn’t mind too much as it gave time for our starters to make space for our dinner. Our Fajitas were brought to our table  like this –

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chicken and prawns sizzling away on the skillet, tortillas nice and warm, and all the extras nicely on a separate plate – it looked amazing and tasted even better! The prawns were huge and so delicious too. I love going to restaurants where you can make your own fajitas, just the way you like them. No one knows how you like your food better than yourself!

As you can see I was very much enjoying my fajitas –

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Once stuffed, we slowly finished our cocktails, not feeling at all rushed by the waiters, and asked for our bill. The service charge gets added on anyway (but they really did deserve it!) and it still only came to £25 each!

Overall: Desperados is a fantastic Mexican I would highly recommend for anyone with a fajita craving. I will definitely be going back for a cocktail evening – I feel the need to try more off their list, with a frozen martini being first choice for next time!

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Last weekend whilst my sister was visiting we managed to fit in a trip to the theatre to see the musical ‘Wicked’. My sisters verdict = WICKED!

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Key tip for visiting the theatre in London: Book early and check the little ticket booths for good deals – Leicester Square are full of them.

Saturday morning I think we actually jumped out of bed with excitement. Me for finally having a whole weekend off and having my sister to visit, and Emma for having a weekend in London. We had a number of ideas for what we wanted to do over the weekend, but top of the list was going to the theatre – something I had promised Emma for her Birthday back in December.

We headed straight for Leicester Square, where I had actually been earlier in the week – On Monday, I tried all the ticket booths for good deals for Wicked on the Saturday, but everything was full price and only the more expensive seats were available at the time. Very kindly they did advise me to go back saturday morning when tickets would be at a good price. Back at 10.45 saturday morning, eager to get tickets before they all sell out, we queued with the other impatient people (Yes I could tell they were impatient as they were all complaining about the time it was taking. I clearly remember one particularly annoying couple behind us, you always get one). Whilst we were queuing we heard a number of shows had sold out already, and started considering other options – Hot Yoga? Shopping and Dinner?

When we got to the booth, we were in luck! Two tickets were available for the matinee performance, £18.50 each. They didn’t have two of the lower priced seats in the evening, but matinee worked better for us anyway. The seats were at the back which at first I thought might not be as good especially as was a birthday present, but once we  got there and got seated, they were actually some of the best seats. If you were looking at the seats/audience, we were far back right, on the furthest row. But our view was clear, and as we were back row we didn’t feel guilty about moving forward or shifting about if needed to. It was great!

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(You’re not allowed to take photos of the performance, or I would have just to show how clear the view was, as this photo doesn’t do it as much justice as the seats deserve)

The show was (in my sister’s words) ‘Wicked’ ! The singing was amazing and the way the story is put together is fantastic. You are completely drawn in, and really makes you see a completely different side to the traditional story of ‘The Wizard of Oz’.

We even came out singing the catchy songs from the show – perhaps we could have looked a little weird when we still had them in our heads, humming along, walking down Oxford Street!

I would tell you my favourite bit, but I don’t want to spoil it or the storyline for anyone who wants to go and see it!

I would very much recommend this to people of all ages! And for the price we got our tickets, it’s a bargain for a great afternoon or evening out.

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The weekend just gone was my first proper weekend off in a while. Having worked part time alongside work experience and during December, and then keeping my Saturday shifts until the 3rd weekend in January, I was very excited for the weekend as you can imagine!

What made it even more exciting was that my sister, Emma, was coming down to visit. She had only been down once since I’ve moved to London (last April) but this does have something to do with me being unavailable at weekends – it always made it difficult to make plans with people in Monday to Friday jobs (Emma’s a full time nursery nurse). Even though I did go home for the weekend before Christmas, I felt like I hadn’t seen her in ages!

Emma’s ticket booked, me finished work for the weekend, and a number of ideas for what we can do for the weekend…all was left was for Emma to finish work and make her way to London. This seemed to take forever! Almost as slow as when you are actually watching the clock.

I went to meet Emma off her train at Paddington – train delayed…becoming a standard thing. I saw Emma walking down the platform towards me, in her own little world, watching everyone around her. And then I noticed her light packing for the weekend –

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2 nights at mine and she packed a mini suitcase! She didn’t even have to bring any female essentials like a hairdryer or hair straighteners. This made me smile!

Heading back to mine and she got excited about the tube – yes Emma loves going on the tube. She doesn’t know why – you’re probably thinking she’s weird, but we haven’t been during rush hour like on the way to work or way home in the week. So she’s only seen the speedy service!

We had a mini Christmas – I still had a few little gifts to receive and got her a couple little one direction gifts to aid her obsession. We won’t go into that, could be here all day! A huge catch up was needed after such a long time apart. I felt like so much had happened – Emma had had a promotion, me starting my new job, Emma planning her holidays… And we always have a great laugh when we have our catch-ups. There’s always something silly one of us has done.

We got an early-ish night to start the weekend. Lots planned- not that we would manage to fit it all in but we wanted plenty of energy to enjoy the weekend. And we sure did! we filled our weekend with seeing ‘Wicked’ in theatre, shopping, dinner in angel (more to come on this) and even more shopping! I even found I was quite a good little personal shopper this weekend (not normally my strong point), but I got Emma to try on these high waisted leggings in Miss Selffridge, something she said she wouldn’t have picked out herself. They were gorgeous! She helped me pick my ipad mini in the apple store in return – Being sisters we know we have to do things fairly.

It was such an amazing weekend and has made me look forward even more to the weekends to come. So many things I want to do this year – Best get planning. (I have my new ipad to help with this too now, so no excuses)

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