Tag Archives: Yum

#KeepTheSecrets

I’ve just had the most magical weekend and I can’t let it go, which is why I think it’s taken a few days back at home and work for me to sit down and want to write this post as it feels like it’s done then. I know it’s not really, I’m being over-dramatic, but that’s how it feels.

An upfront note – there will be no spoilers in this post. I will talk about how I felt, but no plot or character details will be shared #KeepTheSecrets

In reality this all started in October last year when the tickets went on sale for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and I managed to get in the queue with only around 1000 people in front of my. Compared to friends who got in the queue not long after and it was up in the 6000 range and even more I did really well. It only took about 25 minutes of waiting in the end and I got tickets for myself and my friend Ingrid to see one of the first Saturday double bill previews. I was so happy and so excited to have something new added to the stories I’ve been reading since I was 16! I’m not 31 so it’s been pretty much half my life! It felt exactly the same as a new book coming out – the unknown and the excitement and the trepidation around what could happen. It’s Harry Potter, anyone could die!

Side note – it’s also now totally okay to have a crush on the actors playing Harry, Ron and Draco and a girl crush on Hermione! Amazing actors all round.

I then booked a hotel in Covent Garden, just up the road from The Palace Theatre in Soho. It was a perfect location as it only meant getting the tube to the hotel and then we could wander everywhere. The first thing we did of course was go to the theatre to see it all set up. I took lots of photos of the posters as it was all helping build up the excitement even more than I thought I could contain. Make sure you go and see it during the day before a performance as once we were there for the show it was so busy it was impossible to get the photos I took.

Everything about the set up felt right. It was very much linked to the books, rather the films and I liked that a lot. It was continuing the story for those characters and for the fans who have been there from the beginning, or almost the beginning in my case.

Setting it nineteen years later felt exactly right too. I think this is because I am now an adult and so it would make it easier to relate to them now as adults as well. We grew up together and now we were getting the chance to see who they had become.

I also love that this is in a different format. As a play there is something completely different about it, but at the same time there is something completely familiar. It made it even more excitng for me. It was like the film experience when you are in the cinema with everyone, but with the theatre atmosphere where it’s totally okay to react out loud.

The Palace Theatre is also an amazing building. I recommend walking the whole way round and see the brick structure and take in the architecture that you can then compare to what you see on the inside. It’s like a Tardis!

As we arrived on the Friday we had a day to kill and made the most of it by totally immersing ourselves in our Harry Potter geekness. We went to the House of Minalima, who did all the graphic design work for the films. It is amazing! It’s a combined gallery and shop over multiple floors.

It is a beautiful space, full of colour and fun. It’s mainly Harry Potter, but it also contains other work by the designers, which is just as amazing.

There are some of the original props used in the films as well. The amount of detail and care that went into all this and continues to go into for the new movie is staggering. The love and commitment to the work and the world took my breath away and I could have stayed in there all day.

I want them to come and decorate my house. The floors and stairs especially!

We then went to Cheeky Nails to get our nails turned into Hogwarts House colours ! I never get my nails done so this was exciting. It is attached to a bar as well so is perfect for a Friday night. They ladies there were so fantastic to us and fitted us in and did the details we wanted. I think we entertained them for the night too!

Of course then we had to make sure we got the most value from them by getting them in pretty much every single photo for the rest of the weekend.

We woke up Saturday and could not wait for 2pm. We went for a relaxing breakfast and then we wandered through some bookstores to keep ourselves calm, but get ready for what was coming. We got into the queue just before 1pm to give ourselves plenty of time to get merchandise, drinks and to find our seats. They check your bags on entry and even if the queue is long you’ll be fine as they are quick.

Then we were ready to see Part 1! I took some photos inside before and after the play, but that would give things away so they are just for me as memories. I can’t really say any more as I do not want to make JK Rowling angry by hinting at anything that happens.

All I will say is that I loved it!

We then went to a local sushi restuarant in between the parts. I woudl recommend booking to make sure you get somewhere close as it was super busy being a Saturday and also Pride. To save stress book someone and enjoy discussing (carefully) what happened in Part 1!

Then it was time to join the queue at 6:30pm for Part 2! Everyone was even more excited than before. We were also talking about our theories for what would happen and it was so much fun! Everyone was there as a fan and there was so much love and loyalty in the audience it was amazing. There was also some great discussions, not debates, but people being open for things to go where ever they might go.

Then is was over! It was exactly like finishing one of the books for the first time. Happiness that you now knew what happens and how the story and characters develop. At the same time sadness that it was over and you won’t get to experience it in the same way again. To sum up my reaction without any spoilers is basically me in this photo, taken in the ice cream place opposite right after the we came out of the theatre. It was magic in reality for me!

I am in awe of JK Rowling for creating this world and sharing in so many ways. I totally respect her call for everyone who has seen the play to #KeepTheSecrets to let others see as we had just done. I cannot wait for the script to come out as I will be able to read that while replaying the play in my head. I would say to anyone who has tickets to wait to watch the play first before reading the script as I can tell you it will not be the same and your patience will be worth it.

I treated myself to quite a bit of merchandise and love it all! I’m keeping hold of my tickets as memories too. It was an experience I will never forget and feel lucky to be one of the first people to have seen the play in full in one day. I don’t think I could have waited 24 hours for the second part to be absolutely honest!

I would also say to anyone who is a fan to keep trying to get tickets from the official website. I hope one day they will tour it or do a live showing broadcast to cinemas, but I also hope that will be a few years away to give as many people as possible the chance to see it as it is meant to be seen!

#KeepTheSecrets

Choosing to spend my birthday on my own

I love my birthday, but this year after a Christmas I didn’t really enjoy because I felt so much pressure to be someone I’m not and constrained by family commitments, I decided to spend it on my own.

There is a big different between being alone and deciding to spend time on your own. I treated this like I was taking myself out on a date. It was special and I enjoyed every minute of it. I didn’t feel lonely at all. I felt free-spirited and alive. I came home with a sense of knowing who I am and having had a good day and ready to put my feet up.

This wasn’t the plan originally, but something fell through that would have enabled me to be somewhere else and be with a friend. So instead of trying to arrange something last minute, I decided to do exactly what I wanted to do with no compromising for others. It felt like it took me ages to decide what to do, but it was really only a couple of days and I kept it simple, focusing on two three things I enjoy doing – visiting bookshops, having coffee or tea, and wandering around.

I took myself to London!

I wanted to wander so I got the tube to Covent Garden with the aim of ending up at a couple of bookshops I wanted to visit. Although Christmas is over they still had the sleigh and reindeer and it was a welcome sight as I wandered around in the sunshine.

I meandered around the back streets exploring shops and people watching as I made my way to Forbidden Planet. I had heard good things about the book floor and I was not disappointed. I could have spent a fortune in there on signed copies, but I didn’t. I added to my reading list and will be going back in the future when my favourite authors visit.

I then wandered on to Foyles and spent a lovely amount of time exploring the shelves of a large bookstore. I miss these types of shops and wish there was one closer. It felt so nice to pick up random books and explore titles I wouldn’t otherwise have seen. It felt peaceful to be there.

I bought myself two books. A coffee one because I want to learn more about brewing and one because it’s set in Toyko and I am super excited about going there in October.

I then wandered into Soho and found an amazing Japanese restaurant called Eat Tokyo and enjoyed some green tea and sushi. It was super busy, but the joys of Japanese restaurants is that they often have bar and I was not alone in sitting solo enjoying some lunch.

All the colourful sushi!

I then spent the afternoon wandering the theatre district alone Shaftsbury Avenue and observing the hustle and bustle of London. I wandered through Piccadilly Circus, up Regent’s Street and along Oxford Street, mainly because I knew the way and could wander without thinking. As it got darker I decided to head home, but I knew I wanted to make one last stop – Baker Street!

I took a longer tube journey back to the train station just to make this stop.  I went to 221B Baker Street and found Mr Holmes himself outside the tube station. It was a lovely stop to make as I headed home.

I love passing this tube station, but have not had reason to get off before. It was great to see the Sherlock Holmes silhouette in closer proximity and realise it is made up from lots of mini silhouettes. That made me smile as I headed home, back to the furballs waitng for me to feed them.

Lovely Update of Life Recently

Sometimes I don’t think I take care of myself as well as I need to. Or the ways I think I am taking care of myself aren’t really what I need, but rather done out of habit and ease.

I’ve been following a few lifestyle blogs recently and realised what I love about them is basically they are all about taking care of yourself in the ways that matter to you. They are sometimes about fitness and weight, but most of the time are about what I am striving for – having daily adventures and enjoying life.

I’ve let myself get wound up in recent months and thrown off in a direction I don’t want to continue in. I’m not u-turning and heading backwards to start again, rather re-directing my path to take another course and see what comes my way.

So here is a roundup of some of the things I have been enjoying in life over the last few months.

#Askthequestion

I signed up for Laura’s email series #Askthequestion back in March and loved every week it came into my inbox. It made me leave my desk at work and head out for a coffee and a bit of internal soul searching. I love Laura’s blog too and she has just published an e-book – The Book of Brave – that I devoured in a couple of nights. Laura’s writing makes me laugh, think, cry, and want to push myself beyond the boundaries I have put in place. She is honest and says it as she sees it. She is my girl crush.

Coffee Run

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I’ve been a bit rubbish with keeping stocked up and trying new coffee beans and roasters since I stopped my subscription last year and went to the London Coffee Festival back in March. So last weekend I made a coffee run to Cirencester (about 15 miles away) to go to Rave Coffee and get some new beans to try. I’m currently on the Fudge Blend, which is a lovely smooth blend, perfect for any time of day. I had a lovely hour out and chatted to one of the team about cold brew and different grinders while enjoying a flat white, which is my indulgence coffee of choice. It was fun to do and I appreciated that solo trip just for coffee; it reminded me of why I love doing that.

Rearranging my workspace

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I’ve found my home space has felt a little cluttered and got to the point I was doing everything from the sofa, which was not constructive for me. Also I had turned my space room/office space into a cat room, which was also just a bit silly seeing as they follow me around the house anyway! So I sorted out and tidied up and was left with a space I can keep my laptop, journal, and filing in a usable space. It’s not exactly what I want, but with only using what I already have it is so much better than it was. It is currently where I am writing this post from!

A flyby visit to Plymouth 

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I was down in Cornwall for work and managed to arrange some time to catch up with my friend Ingrid. We caught in a Starbucks and then wandered to find food and jumped at Yo! Sushi, especially as they were offering their special apple gyoza and sesame ice cream cone yumness in the photo above. Ingrid and I share a love of food and geekness without any judgement and I wish we lived closer so we could have that all the time. It was great to stop by and reminded I love her so much and we need to get together more often for our health obviously!

Black Forest Tea

I stocked up on some new tea when I was down in Brighton back in April with the girls for the Brighton Marathon weekend. They had this as their new tea and I only recently got round to opening it and I love it so much! It’s cherry flavour mainly with black tea, which makes it sweet, but not overly so and is great when I come in from work and feeling hungry, but I’m not really.

Lastly, but by no means least,

Kitty Love

 

 

 

 

 

 

My cats are so much fun and I think are coming round to the ideas of cuddles, although I think Pippin draws the line at selfies. They have gradually gotten more affectionate and play with me without using claws more often than not now. They are super spoilt though and below is their latest gift – Poopy Cat Blocks – I plan on switching the their litter boxes once they offer a multi-cat subscription as I think it will make life much easier and the litter boxes themselves look a lot nicer than the plastic ones I have.

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Taking care of ourselves is about the little things we do. Those build up to make something much bigger and make life much more enjoyable. For me the important thing is to make sure I appreciate the smaller things and make them happen while I am waiting for something bigger to arrive.

Candy Japan Subscription

After the free box I was sent for review from Candy Japan and which I loved I decided to sign up for my own subscription (paid for myself) and last month received the first two boxes. I find it great that you get two boxes a month as it means I don’t eat it all at once and it’s something to look forward to. The wrapping tape is always fantastic too!

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This was a do it yourself jelly sweet kit. It was a couple of powers, one of which you added water to and then turned the tree through both. It was weird, but fun to try. I don’t think I got the hang of it as the jelly kept falling off in the water powder.
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I followed the instructions on the back from the pictures 🙂

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These were rose flavoured chewy sweets that I was surprised I liked so much. You get quite a few in the bag and they although they are nice I couldn’t have more than a few at a time as they were quite floral and rich, so the bag lasted a week.IMG_2168

The second box consisted of a mix of things for the cinema or a movie night. I seem to have only taken a group shot of these, so apologies for the lack of photos. First up was so toffee popcorn type sweet, which was super yum. Secondly were some sour cola jelly chews which were also quite good. Lastly was a fake ice cream cone with whipped chocolate inside instead of ice cream.IMG_2429.JPG

This was a fab box that I enjoyed and wasn’t too weird, just different from what you can get in the UK. I hope some matcha stuff gets included soon.

I am currently planning a trip to Japan with my family and am super excited and with each box that arrives I get even more excited!

Adventures in Chocolate… Cocoa Runners

 Cocoa Runners is a subscription box service. I found them a while ago and followed them on Twitter and Instagram before deciding to sign up. They were them on a weekend kitchen show, which made me happy. I really want to make good chocolate a part of my life and want to cut out the crap that is more sugar than real chocolate, so paying a. Bit extra each month to try some new and different chocolates I wouldn’t be able to find at home is the first step in making this change. 

The first box contained these four bars and also came with tasting notes and an brief explanation of where they came from and about the company that produces them. 

 

My favourite was the Original Beans bar as it was smooth and the flavour was nice. The one I had liked least was the Pacari bar as the flavour was very intense. 

I have also received another two boxes I have yet to start, but they look absolutely fantastic.  

 

 

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