Tag Archives: Travel

Candy Japan July 2015

In my desire to start travelling again I have decided to stop a few subscriptions to save money. I love getting things each month, but at the same time I actually want to visit places and not just dream of them from afar. As there is a lag between paying for this subscription and receiving the packages I have one more month to go with my Candy Japan boxes!

I have loved these and although I’m not a big fan of sweets (Chocolate yes, jelly sweets not so much). This month was two packages containing so interesting stuff. The first package contained Plum Seed ‘soft’ Candy (LOVED), Shige Kicks Evolution Soda Gummies (Also loved, but have no idea what flavour they were), and Lotte Yokai Bubblegum (okay and haven’t had bubblegum in ages!). I took most to the cinema with me as snacks.

The second parcel contained Meiji Caramel (not sure about these), Lotte Ume and Lemon (liked these simple dummies), and Ultrman Battle Gummies (like normal gummy sweets). I didn’t have anyone to battle with the last ones, but it looked as those it would be fun, but I was again at the cinema with these, so not the best location to battle it out.

I would really recommend this subscription as it is different and fun. I love that it comes in two parcels a month as it means I can spread out my sweet consumption and really enjoy the ones that I have each time. Even though I am sad to stop this subscription I will make up for it when I finally get to visit Japan myself in the next couple of years!

What’s Missing?

In my previous post I spoke about the reasons I had for not blogging. I didn’t feel I needed to justify anything, it was rather just for me to unblock myself and write something. I enjoy writing and although I do not think of myself as a writer I have found it to be a beneficial outlet for my thoughts; especially those thought I previously have had trouble articulating.

I’ve been taking a look at myself and my loves this last week. I want to understand what makes me tick and drives me forward. I think that understanding myself is the most important thing I can do in times where I feel out of kilter. It helps re-focus my priorities and really look at what makes me me. I have definitely felt like something has been missing from my life. This is surprising for at the same time as I am really good at the moment generally. I am enjoying work, loving my home, and doing most of the things I love. But that is just it – ‘most’ – not everything.

I have found that they haven’t changed in essence; I still love the same things, I just don’t prioritise them like I used to and that is what causing my unease with life I think. There are things I love and do daily, such as enjoy good coffee, read, and play with my cats. There are things I do often, but not daily such as, swimming, walking, blogging, socialising. Then there are the things I do less often, which is where things have slipped out of the top priorities and that really comes down to travel and creating new experiences.

I really miss travelling. I have realised it is the one thing I have had to fully sacrifice for to help myself by changing jobs a few years ago and the associated reduction in salary. Don’t get me wrong I have been away and have explored new places, but I haven’t travelled in a 5 years. Acknowledging I miss it is the first step in to bringing it back into my life. There are places I want to go and trips I want to be part of and in order to make sure this is important to me I have to prioritise it and create ways of working towards them.

So I’ve reviewed my list and have Japan and Mt Blanc at the top and plan to do both in the next two years. Saving for something important to me is easier as it is something to look forward to. I can research and plan and do all the things associated with going travelling and get excited. I’ve not had that for 5 years and that is throwing me off kilter so I am taking action.

While I am doing all my researching and planning I am going to focus on creating daily rituals for myself. I read a Marc and Angel post today about creating rituals, rather than focusing on overall goals and it hit me hard:

“Nothing will change unless you make a daily ritual that reinforces your goal.”

This is how I want to look after my self, both mentally and physically going forward. It is all the small things that add up to the whole, so rather than thinking I need to lose weight and putting a total figure on it, I’m going to focus on making each meal what I need. It’s also how I want to make sure I am prorating the things I love by making them a ritual to savour and appreciate.

Wandering up Snowdon 2015

I didn’t want write this post. I had a lovely time going to Snowdon for the weekend with the girls from running club, but I didn’t enjoy the walking as much as I wanted and had a really big reality check afterwards.

So this is a photo post as I still can’t believe it was completely clear all the way up, with only some clouds right at the top. This is the first time I have ever had a view from the highest point and the café!

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Adventures in Swimmming… Open Water Wishlist

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Since switching my focus to swimming and getting chatting to people in the Cotswold Open Water Swimmers group I have built up a wishlist of swims I want to do in the next few years.

I’m sure this list will build as I get to know more people and hear their stories and experiences. Also there are many swim and places I don’t know about so they will be added to the list. My goal will probably be to do one big one each year, but if the timing works out I might be able to do more.

Adventures in Coffee… London Coffee Festival 2015

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This last weekend my friend Ingrid and I went to London for the weekend for the London Coffee Festival. I like London for all the events that are on, but a weekend is enough for me. It was super busy! We gave up on the tube pretty soon and wandered from Covent Garden to the Tower of London, via Borough Market and Tower Bridge. It was great to just wander and catch up. We also spotted two Shaun the Sheep art works!

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We also found The Hummingbird Bakery and had the most amazing cake! Mine was the lemon raspberry three layer cake and Ingrid had the raspberry cheesecake brownie. Both were amazing!IMG_0712

We went to the coffee festival on the Sunday. It’s held at The Old Truman Brewery near Brick Lane. Ingrid and I stayed near Liverpool Street Station for easy access to transport and easy walking distance to the Coffee Festival. I could not believe have busy it was. The queue went around the street and although it moved quickly it was a bit crazy.  

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Once we were in it was great to wander round. We decided to buy nothing on the first lap to make sure we didn’t spend too much. We tried lots of samples from lots of different vendors – Union, Grumpy Mule, Freehand, Costa, Starbucks, and a few others I’ve forgotten I’m sure.

I was really impressed with the Starbucks stand. They focused on their reserve blends . We tried a cold brew and mint sparkling coffee, both of which were lovely. I loved all the coffee cup art. They also gave us both free samples of each of the 4 coffees they had to try. Thanks to Dan for sorting that out for us.

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We wandered around more and looked at the different cups, teas, machines, and people around the place. It was hard to spend that long at any stand as it was so busy. I would have liked to learn more about brewing techniques, but we didn’t get to the demo area until we had finished. I was surprised that a few stands where we asked about the some of the brewing techniques the people there couldn’t explain how it impacted on the coffee. I felt a few people there were just sales people who hadn’t even read up on what they were selling.

I did like the art and displays around the place though. It definitely had a quirky atmosphere.
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If I went again I would probably go in twice to have some more time to talk to the vendors about the farms they buy from and the different brewing techniques.

The last thing we did was go to the martini bar for an espresso martini. The guy on the bar was fun and chatty as he made our cocktails.

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We really liked the cocktails. Neither of us had tried one before and although I do like martini and have all the ingredient required to make this, I have never done so. I think I might in the summer if we are drinking in the afternoon, but I wouldn’t want this as an evening drink due to the espresso required.

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I came home with the free Starbucks testers and a bag of Freehand coffee the guys on the stall kindly let me buy although they were only using for drinks at the festival. I went over especially at the end of the session to buy from them and almost wasn’t able to, but they were super nice and let me have a bag of the Peru beans to take home. I can’t wait to try it out!

I do love coffee, but I will say we were over caffeinated after 3 hours in the festival. All I wanted was water for the rest of the day. So many samples in so little time was a bit rough on the body. However it was super nice to try from small scale roasters and now I have a list of them to find online to allow me to try different beans and blends. Also I can find them on my wanderings too!
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