18.12.15

QUEEN OF HOXTON | TAKE ME TO THE WIG WAM BAM


To add to the festivites in London, a couple of weeks ago I popped down to the Queen Of Hoxton's Wig Wam Bam otherwise known for its famous rooftop and home to the Rooftop Cinema Club in the summer and Wig Wam Bam in the winter. Although I missed last years Tee Pee bonanza, going a year later it has been revamped to a better version i'd say. 

After you have made your way up what seems like 10 flights of stairs to never never land, you enter the space though an oversized keyhole and into a woodland teepee made up of large tree trunks as stools with cute tealight jars placed on each table covered in vintage lace table cloths. In the central part of the teepee and new to this year is a hand made wooden tree with a short and very small winding stair case leading to a higher view space for around 3 people to watch over the happenings of the below level, intimate and slightly claustrophobic I might add. 

On the other side of what is essentially a tent is the rest of the roof top furnished with all things Alice in Wonderland to embellish the idea of an other worldly adventure. I love love love all this experiential stuff, it gets me all excited and child like and all I wanted to do was take pictures of everything to document my little journey. Unfortunately visiting in the dark with the dimmest and yellowest of lightly meant I captured the most awful photos. On a positive: It means you can experience it all for yourself with no teasers #winning.

The best part of it all for me has got to be the fact that they served a veg friendly burger that WASN'T portobello mushroom! Major shock! Instead I was kindly served with what they called a 'Magic Bean Burger' made up of  Sweet potato, peas, fresh herbs and tomato chutney with a side of wintergreens. I'm pretty sure it wasn't the fact I was ravenous and cold becuase it was just beaut! That with an all time classic hot winter cocktail called The Golden Apple. A gingerbread and apple mix with rum! insanely sweet but amazing!

Wig Wam, it was a pleasure!

10.12.15

THE ART OF RUNNING

Having just completed my first ever competition and first ever run of 10k on Sunday in London's Victoria Park, I can honestly say it has been such a (at this point I would love to say mind fuck, but I'll go with the word...) challenging journey. From my training, to my diet, to my secret kitchen binges, to my lack of socialness and most of all the complaining of aches and pains, this past couple of months has been madness. 

Firstly, to the positive people who have supported me and my loved ones who have had to deal with my daily antics - THANK YOU! I have been a nightmare to be around but I am so grateful for everyone's help, support and donations.

Being surrounded by some of the most knowledgeable and inspiring people who take their training seriously, I have learnt an awful lot and in fact doing the runs myself I have learnt enough to shed some light on anyone doing or planing to do a similar challenge.

I have read many articles and spoken to so many people about methods and tricks to help you get through but honestly, it is about leaving yourself enough time to trial and play around with what works for you.

So here are a few lessons I learnt along the way:

1. Don't buy new trainers
If you are going to buy new trainers, make sure you take enough time to wear them in to avoid any rubbing of the feet and to ensure the sole of the trainer moulds to the shape of your feet arches. I actually had an old pair of running trainers that I used for running along side my gym floor trainers that I slightly lighter and thinner. My friend then also lent me a fairly new pair of good running trainers. On my runs I tested all three pairs to see how my feet felts after I had run my distance and it was clear that my oldest shoes that had moulded to my feet were the ones that were most comfortable and caused less pain despite them maybe not being the best shoe type for running long distance.

2. Music is the key
If there is one thing that determines the success of your run, it has got to be the music. On every run, I would try a different genre or playlist to see what types of music help the flow and which songs really put a debbie downer on the run. I have now come up with the perfect playlist and order to help me get the best out of my run.

3. Combined Training
For months now I have been doing a half an hour fasted cardio on the treadmill. I did an outdoor run perhaps twice a week for a month up until the run. I was really struggling at this point to compete my distance and to increase my speed. A friend of mine then suggested to use my time on the treadmill to do interval training using the level and speed of my ideal time per KM. For example: 10 km in 50mins would mean 5mins per KM. So on the treadmill, I would aim for 800m in 4:30mins. My rest would then be around 2mins static.

4. 3 runs a week
Great piece of advice given to me was run and run consistently. It is the only way to get better and increase your pace. I set myself 3 runs a week one long run of about 8km. I have run the full 10k and even managed a 12k, but a week before the run that is it no more long runs. my two other weekly runs are made up of one 5k and one 3k with sometimes can be substituted for my intervals. The aim is to manage the distance with the longer runs and increase speed with the shorter runs

5. Night Regime
It can be really hard waking up in the dark and going to sleep in the dark and having a busy weekend. Finding time to fit in my runs has been really tricky with fitting in my Yoga classes and not missing out on my usual training at the gym so I have seem myself going on late night runs, which can be great sometimes as it is more quiet, but equally even harder as it is difficult to see, difficult to motivate yourself after a long day at work and often colder in the evenings. Coming back from a run can leave you feeling actually really ill but sometimes full of energy. One of my worst runs has got to be when it was raining, below 0 degrees and when I had a sore throat and shin splints. AWFUL I know! Coming home, I took some paracetamol, had a hot shower using a light face wash, applied Tiger Balm over my legs and back, used ibuprofen gel on my feet (cause I have those damn bunions), aloe vera around my eyes, lit up an intense stick and made a turmeric and honey tea for my throat. A few spritzes of This Works, Lavender pillow spray later and just lay there like a mommy before falling asleep.  = AWESOME

6. 1 day before the run
Stick to the same diet of good carbs, veg and protein and you can choose to not run at all or do a short 2/3k at a slow pace.

7. Race Day
Finish your breakfast 3 hours before your race and (good) carb up on oats with fruit and remember to hold back on the water and your body will retain this during the race making you need to use the loo and make you bloated of course. It will also dilute the electrolytes and weaken your muscle during your run.

Hope that helps, but if anyone else has any other tips please share!!


9.12.15

JIMMY'S POP UP | THE LODGE

It's is always the best feeling towards the end of the year where you can get in the festive spirit of Christmas. The phase in between longing for summer and getting festive for Christmas can be the worst. You feel utterly lost and slightly confused with which way the weather is turning. Autumnal fashion may be the best, but only because everyone else's minds are now freed up from holidays but not ready to start thinking about the Christmas chaos, so they turn to Fashion! Jumpers and sunglasses with that all too familier over the shoulder jacket and a peep of ankle. Love it!

Then in Winter, things start to change. Everything is starting run down and in fact your body starts to feel as though it is slowly giving up and we're all just craving for that 1 week off. in Autumn we longed for the early nights snuggled up with a blanket, Christmas movie and hot chocolate in the run up to Christmas but every year it fails and something or someone interrupts that perfectly planned yet so simple night of NOTHINGNESS. You await the first day of advent and the day the Christmas trees goes up at work for that Christmas spirit to just automatically bounce into place, but it doesn't always work like that... Until now! I am past the winter wonderland phase, and almost over the typical Christmas market..I said almost! Now its all about the ski lodge.  There are always lots of things going on in and around London to get into the all too cliche Christmas spirit. 


This year I have so so man chalet slash Lodge type pop ups and food festivals creeping up around the city filled with stalls, hot chocolate, mulled cider, Fondue and just that more natural Aspen type welcome to Christmas than the garish Americanised blow up santa type of thing.


I travelled the full northern line from Edgware to Clapham to visit Jimmy's pop up, The Lodge. Last year it was recreated as a secret garden, this year its another Chalet about the Clapham North pub. As you walk in, it hits you. Not because of the freezing cold temperatures, but more so the other way round with the heat and the feeling of being in a small space with hot food with lots of people - just perfect. 

To describe it, unfortunately cute is the best word that comes to mind - awful I know! Dark and woody, warm and festive are the main vibes and then there's the foooooood. Nothing better that getting the little piece of bread lost in a phat bowel of cheese *drooool* = Fondue, sipping on my mulled cider! 

There are so many more I am hearing about daily, the updated Dinerama, The Nighttales, York and Albany, The South Pole Saloon...

5.12.15

NOTTING HILL | EGG BREAK


I’ve seen a rise in cute little eggy cafes popping up around the city and eggs have just become a bigger deal in people’s lives since its health benefits have been re-exposed. Being a vegetable it can be hard to get in enough protein required per day, so I rely on eggs as my main source. As we all know, over eating of same foods can lead to a semi-permanent rejection from your mind and stomach. I am well and truly over my microwavable eggs (only because I needed to eat them at work) and my 3 boiled eggs with avo and pesto from my local cafĂ© (sorry I don’t come in any more L). So, going to a place like my new found fave Egg Break in Notting hill was a breath of fresh 9slightly eggy) air! With such a cute, quirky and raw design and an amazing menu I can hardly fault it. Hidden away on the back streets of NottingHill in a space that seems like it used to be a basic Thai restaurant has been converted into a little gem! Would I go back 100%. The folded egg with sweetcorn, salsa, red cabbage and sour cream all in a brioche bun was one of my faves, along with the egg, avocado, radish, beetroot, feta & sorral Pesto (obviously if you are vegetarian). 

3.12.15

MONKFEET | WRITING WORKSHOP

Once in a while we have to learn to step out of our comfort zone and into the world of the fearful unknown.  For me at school it used to be the moment when the teacher asked you to read a chapter of a book. At university it was that whole public speaking slash presentation giving we were forced into doing. Now, for me writing seems to be my next nightmare.  Whether it is 140 characters on twitter, an email negotiating prices or a blog posts as I am doing now. It honestly implants a sort of block in my brain, making me procrastinate till I have no choice and question each and every word. And for anyone that is a regular in receiving my wonderful texts, you know how awful my typing and spelling is. I call it the decoding game...

So, with knowledge of my new found fear, I have risen to the challenge of overcoming it - as any empowering, confident and success driven individual would do - yes, that is me, so I keep telling myself. I decided to take the plunge and sign up for a writing workshop with Monkfeet, who host some great workshops and classes for start-ups or for individuals looking to better their skill in areas such as marketing, gaining investors or coding courses.

The space my workshop was hosted in was great as you can see from the images above, a really collaborative and creative environment! I am all work collaborative spaces and work stations that support entrepreneurs, not that I can say I am one of them, but it is always nice to know I am making a change in myself, you know?

So, I cam away maybe not learning as much as I would of liked but I absorbed a lot of information and it made me more aware of the power of words. Whether anything has changed for me, I highly doubt it - but this is the start!