Food for One

Lifestyle

Something I have really struggled with since moving to London is food; I didn’t realise how difficult it would be to go to the supermarket, buy groceries and think of meals everyday. I definitely took home-made meals for granted – for the past 4 months I have eaten Sainsbury’s meal deals, soup and occasionally treated myself to pasta every now and again.

For quite a while I have had an issue with food, in the past I have really struggled with starving myself, then binge eating which is a major reason as to why I get down. I love the way healthy food makes me feel and I know that by having a more positive lifestyle I would feel far better in myself but chocolate has and probably always will be my vice when I’m in need of comfort.

Last night I finally realised that my bad habits needed to stop. As good as the oreo, nutella and banana waffle I ordered from Deliveroo was, it definitely wasn’t the epitome of a nutritious dinner.

One of my biggest problems when it comes to making meals is that after being at work and spending 12 hours out of the house, I just can’t be bothered. It’s far easier to order a Dominos, chill for 20 minutes, then have it on my doorstep. But honestly, I think my flatmates are getting fed up of hearing the intercom buzzer going off at the same time every evening, so something needs to change.

Tips:

  • Plan meals week by week so you know what you have to do as soon as you get home. Personally, I don’t really like the idea of ‘meal prepping’ as such. I can barely make one meal at a time let alone a weeks worth. Instead, I like the idea of just knowing what I am going to eat when I get home from work, so I can have the ingredients ready and plan my evening around cooking it. By doing this, I can psych myself up for the process so it’s slightly less painful.

 

  • Don’t go food shopping on the way home. By the end of the day, I am usually moody, hungry and exhausted. As you can imagine, that isn’t the best state to go food shopping in because I pretty much want to buy the whole supermarket. Whenever I go shopping after work, I always end up getting the quickest/most unhealthy option (hence the reason I have been eating so many Sainsbury’s meal deals).

 

  • Limit yourself to a certain amount of meals out a week. It’s understandably difficult to eat well when your entire life revolves around going to different interesting places to eat, especially in a big city. There are so many food choices in London, I want to try them all. But for the sake of my bank account and my health, I have decided to limit myself to 2 ‘meals out’ a week; it’s going to be tough considering brunch and afternoon tea are my favourite pastimes.

 

  • Don’t make things too complex. Unbelievably, despite all the fitness blogs and Instagram’s out there that portray otherwise, healthy food doesn’t have to be fancy, photogenic and pretty, and you don’t have to take out a mortgage every time you go to the whole foods supermarket. Simple, quick and easy meals can be good for you too – pizza isn’t the only answer!

 

Anyway, that’s about all the motivation I can give myself today. Please let me know if you have any more tips.

Now I’m off to have a hot chocolate.

Hugs and wishes,

Abbie x

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The London Underground Cooking School

Lifestyle

 

So last night was my first ever Kudos Christmas party. I felt so lucky to be celebrating with such amazing and talented people.

We began our evening by drinking prosecco at precisely 4 o clock in the afternoon, because don’t all good parties start with unnecessarily early alcohol consumption? Whilst sipping on bubbles, a bag was handed out filled with pink and white carnations. We each had to take a flower from the bag in order to allocate us to a team. Once we had got into two separate teams we were given some questions that when answered, would give us a clue as to where we were spending the rest of night (I know this seems super long-winded but it was fun, honest!) The clue was a postcode that we had to walk to.

After what was meant to be a 15 minute walk, we finally arrived at the location – the London Underground Cooking School. We started by drinking more bubbles (champagne this time) and eating posh canapés before being split into groups and assigned to a professional chef who taught us how to make the key elements of our dishes.

First, we had to prepare the fish for our crispy sea bass with roasted beetroot and celeriac remoulade starter. Me being the girly girl I am was not happy about having to cut a whole fish into pieces but I did it anyway… with gritted teeth of course.

I then had to prepare my vegetarian main course which was goats cheese stuffed artichoke, vegetarian scotch egg and stuffed onion. I like to think I was doing pretty well until I dropped my artichoke down a hole in the worktop so the pro had to start again for me – it was probably for the best anyway.

For dessert we were taught to make chocolate torte which is basically a dream come true for me. It’s a good job I was useless at preparing it because otherwise I would never eat a proper meal again.

Afterwards we sat at a huge table laid out with crackers, presents and enough wine for all of London, to do a quiz. Unfortunately because almost everyone at Kudos has at least 6 years on me, I had no bloody idea what any of the questions meant let alone what the answers were (reminder for me to learn something, anything) so our team did indeed come last. Oops?

Shortly after everyone had calmed down from their competitive rage we sat and had our 3 course meal. It was SO good and probably one of the best meals I have had in the past 3 months – not that it had much competition. I can’t say that I had anything to do with the Michelin standards but I did give it my best and it’s the taking part that counts right?

So after countless glasses of wine, a heck of a lot of food and about 50 pictures in the photobooth we decided not to call it a night and to instead go into Shoreditch. We went to a couple of bars and the club Cargo – a very strange situation to be in with new work colleagues but nevertheless, I danced until 2 in the morning.

Overall, I had a really wonderful night. Partly because of the amazing Kudos team but also because of all the guys at the Underground Cookery School. They were so lovely and most importantly they kept my glass full all night! It’s fair to say we have all struggled at work this morning. But our boss did buy us all breakfast to soften the 9AM start so we’re all just about still going.

Hugs and wishes,

Abbie x

 

 

Update: I’m Alive

Lifestyle

Hello strangers! This is just a quick update as to where I am at in my life at the moment. I have been totally missing in action for the past month which I feel awful about as I happened to start a small following on my blog (I can’t believe you lovely lot are actually interested!) Although I am still beginning, I have felt so welcomed and already I have met some wonderful, interesting and inspiring people so I am determined to update you all on my antics at least twice a week from now on.

There isn’t a specific reason as to why I haven’t posted in a while – I guess i’m just lazy and parks and recreation/napping takes up most of my free time. ​But despite going off the grid for the past month, I have actually managed to drag myself out of the house (a miracle I know) to do some pretty cool things.

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Loose Women

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Borough Market

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The Golden Hinde

So I had an actual dream come true last month when I went down to London to see Loose Women filmed live. Loose Women is a magazine gossip show aimed primarily at adult women (not 17 year old girls) so if you know what this show is, please don’t judge me. It was such an amazing experience to be in the studio and to see what happens as the show is filmed live. It has made me even more determined to get my dream job in television and the added bonus was that the tickets are free! Whilst in London, we took a trip to Borough market where we had fresh bread, doughnuts and juice and looked round quaint flower shops. We also happened to walk past The Golden Hinde – Sir Francis Drake’s ship. Honestly I have no idea what it was, I was thouroughly confused as to why there was a huge boat in the street and quite honestly I’m only talking about it because my Mum took a cute candid of my outfit with it in the background and it makes me look kind of educated…

 

As if London wasn’t being ‘touristy’ enough, we also took a trip to Stratford upon Avon to see Shakespeare’s crib. Stratford is literally 20 minutes down the road from us so I’ve never seen it as a cool destination to explore, but our family from New Zealand thought it would be interesting to see so we thought we’d show them around. It turns out there’s actually some really good things to see there – who knew!

 

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Warwick Castle

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Lyme Regis

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Coombe Abbey

Due to the delightful weather we’ve been getting recently I managed to fight my vampire-like tendencies and actually get out into the sun for once without feeling like dying. My best friend Sam and I have taken some super cute trips to some super cute places.  Our first adventure was on a rowing boat on the River Avon in Warwick; despite always saying how much I dislike my town, the view of Warwick Castle by the water never fails to amaze me. Although, Sam’s ability to row a boat may have made the experience a little less relaxing than it could have been. Next, we decided to take a spontaneous trip to Devon for the night. It was about 3PM when we decided to take a 3 hour drive to the beach (crazy or cute? Hm) but even though we only had a short stay, I had the best time ever. We ate dinner on the beach and watched the sun set, played mini golf, ate cheesy chips and won a toy elephant on the amusements – it was basically your dream weekend. Lastly, I went to Coombe Abbey with my friends for a picnic. I honestly didn’t realise how many pretty places there are close to me; Coombe Abbey is a lakeside country house and park with the most amazing views. We sat drinking our copious amount of cider and our Lidl picnic (very classily may I add) for a good 4 hours before we realised that the nature was too much and we needed to get back to Netflix.

​After not seeing the majority of my friends for a good 6 months, I finally decided to make my debut by surprising one of my best friends at her 18th birthday party. Above is a super cute gif of us all being drunk, weird and very very happy.

Lastly, here is a gif of me petting my dearest friend and pup Dexter. He fell down the stairs this morning and has felt very sorry for himself since so I thought I would give him some lovin’ too.

So that’s it for the update. I promise to improve my time management so nobody will have to send out a search party for me for the forseable future. I already have multiple posts lined up and there is also quite a few exciting things happening in the next month which I can’t wait to share with all 29 of you!

Hugs and wishes,

Abbie

XO

I Love: London

World

So i’m not one for big days out. After being somewhere for approximately two hours I am exhausted and ready to get back to the comfort of my bed. But London is always an exception. I love the individual shops, the fashion, the fresh flowers and the general buzz.

Fancy Food: As a surprise for my Mum’s birthday, we booked to go to The Ivy for lunch. This was my first fine dining experience and it’s safe to say I could get used to it. The service was incredible and they made us feel so welcome – as if we didn’t look out of place. I had ‘Spaghettini’ – pasta with crab, chilli, wild garlic and bottarga. Stupidly I didn’t expect ‘Spaghettini’ to be spaghetti (I should have stayed in school). Despite managing to order the most ungraceful dish to eat in a fancy restaurant, I enjoyed it. I think it’s fair to say i’ll have to marry into money to be able to go to places like The Ivy regularly. Here’s hoping.

Theatre: In the evening we went to see Dreamgirls. We booked the tickets about 5 hours beforehand and managed to bag central seats five rows from the stage for £25 each (so if you’re going to see a show I recommend going to Leicester Square and booking from one of the agents on the day). I can honestly say it was one of the best musicals I have ever seen, the vocals were incredible and the costumes were a dream. We were also lucky enough to see Amber Riley from Glee in it who was absolutely phenominal.

Outfit: What I love about London is how fashion forward everything is – anything goes. There’s something about that city that makes everything seem so effortlessly chic. I layered a frilly high neck top with another floral frilly top. To make it look a little less girly I wore ripped straight leg jeans – my go to jeans at the moment because they’re so comfortable but still look cute. Tragically, I ended up walking round in fluffy sliders – not exactly the epitome of fashion – but I was in so much pain with the heels i’d been wearing I didn’t care. Anyway, in the end I kind of came to love them, it was like walking round London in slippers.

All in all I had a wonderful day. Even though I felt aggitated and anxious with all the people, I had my family around me, laughing and making memories. We spent quality time together which we rarely do. I love days like these.