There are theee weekends where you have nothing big planned and you just want to enjoy a lazy morning at home and watch movies all day. This was one of these weekend but I’m also the type of person who always wants to do something, even if it’s going out for a walk so I don’t feel like I’ve wasted the day. I never regret that in London because I always end up discovering a street, a coffee shop, a park or a restaurant that I wouldn’t have come across otherwise.
Recently we have ended up in Kensington Gardens and it’s crazy to say that I have never been there before. I lived in west London for 3 years but I had Holland Park round the corner so it was always my go to park. It was actually a bit of a tradition for me and my best friend to grab a coffee and then walk around the park. Once we got tired we would sit on our favourite bench and talk for hours- it was always the same bench.
Anyway, I could not be happier that we ended up in Kensington Gardens – it was absolutely magical! We were quite lucky with the weather because although it was quite chilly the sky was clear blue. And the best part of all – animals! There were beautiful green parrots (that I spent way too much time with), swans, ducks and other birds.
Kensington Park looks like the perfect place for running, walking and I can’t wait to be back in the summer for a picnic. I thought it was stunning now, I’m sure it’s even more beautiful when the flowers and plants are blooming. Regrettably, be didn’t have a chance to visit the Kensington Palace so it’s just another excuse to go back! 🙂
I have been obsessed with Harry Potter every since I have read the first book years and years ago.
This is why when my friend asked me whether I wanted to go with her to the Dark Arts special tour at Warner Bros Studio, I must have given her my fastest ‘yes’ ever.
I have been to the studio for the first time ever last year in September, but I’ve been thinking of returning for a while. The Dark Arts special was a perfect excuse to go and experience the magic all over again.
We bought our tickets well in advance as the tour gets booked up quite quickly. Last year my tour was booked for 1pm and it was absolutely packed inside. If you are looking to book a tour I would recommend booking the earliest time slot available. This time we booked the 9am tickets and it was much less crowded and you could wander around without bumping into people and queuing up to see the exhibitions. Your time when you start the tour is unlimited so you can be there all day, although in my experience it takes about 3h to see everything. If you’re with kids or would like to stop for lunch, then it may take you slightly longer.
Sorry in advance for the long post but my friend takes amazing pictures so we took plenty.
The tour starts with a quick introductory video and then then visitors enter the Great Hall. This time it was beautifully laid out for the Halloween feast. The inspiration for the Great Hall comes from the Great Hall at Christ Church College in Oxford which I have visited a while ago. Please see link here.
Next you enter huge room with plenty of movie props, costumes and different movie sets.
The Gryffindor common room
Take your pick!
I had to take a dip into his pensieve!
Ministry of Magic
Entrance to the Forbidden Forest
My new pet
On board the Hogwarts Express
Last year I didn’t have the chance to try Butterbeer as the queue was extremely long and I thought there may be another cafe later on. This is the only one so when you get to this point make sure to join the queue. In all honesty, it was not my favourite thing however, the Butterbeer ice cream was heavenly!
Wishing I was Hermione…
The next part of the tour was the animatronic department. The attention to detail was incredible.
At last we strolled down Diagon Alley
And at last, Hogwarts in all its glory!
Our last stop was Ollivander’s so I could pick my wand (or should I say so the wand could pick me!)
Hope you guys enjoyed this and are booking your tickets asap. I had the most amazing day, I feel like a little child every time I’m there and get to experience the magic.
I have recently moved in to a new apartment and I love it deeply! I feel sooo, so happy in my new place. Can you imagine that I have been sharing a flat with people ever since I moved to London 4 years ago? It feels so good to finally have my own kitchen, my own bathroom, my own sofa and all the things in the flat where I want them to be. After sharing the communal areas with people for so many years you appreciate the silliest things like walking around naked without scarring anyone for life or waking up, going to the living room and staring at the wall trying to wake up without people thinking you’re a weirdo. Or am I? hahah
One of the things that really attracted me to the flat is the massive terrace. You don’t really get a huge amount of outside space in London so our terrace is a real treat. I can’t wait for spring to invite our friends over to do barbecues or just sit outside in the evenings with a glass of rose. Not to mention the views, I’m completely in love with the views from there… I rush home from work every day just to watch the sunset. I don’t think I will ever get used to the view.
A few years ago I was browsing the internet for some dessert ideas and I came across ‘slutty brownies’. I thought the name was quite funny, the recipe was fairly simple so I decided to give it a go. And oh loooord, it was the best decision ever because they truly are heavenly! No, really.. They are.
They consist of three delicious layers: chocolate chip cookie dough layer, oreo layer and brownie layer.
It probably takes up to 45 minutes to make them including baking time. I like to serve them warm and gooey with vanilla ice cream on the side (my mouth is literally watering while I type this).
I don’t do a lot of cooking at home as I usually eat simple things like salads during the week and if we do cook at home my boyfriend does most of the cooking as (yes, I admit) he’s much better at cooking than I am.
However, I am pretty good at baking and this recipe really can’t go wrong so I recommend it to everyone. Even those of you who don’t feel too confident in the kitchen.
Let’s get started then!
This is what you’ll need:
1 box of chocolate chip cookie mix
1 box of brownie mix
2 packs of Oreos
Yes, I know I could make my own cookie dough and my own brownie mix but come on… Ain’t nobody got time for that! And this is just as delicious.
Before you start with the cookie dough, preheat your oven to 180C.
Follow the instructions on the chocolate chip cookie mix box. All you do is add water, oil and an egg.
Layer the cookie dough on the bottom of a baking pan. I forgot we just moved into a new flat and I didn’t have the baking tray I usually use so I used the dish we make our lasagna in. It worked just fine.
Press it down firmly so it covers the whole baking tray as this will be the base for your brownies.
Layer the Oreos on top of the cookie dough. I just use the whole cookies, I don’t break them in half to fit as many as possible but I know that other people do that. It will be sweet enough as it is, trust me!
I also use the double cream Oreos because I like my brownies as creamy as possible.
Now it’s time for the brownie batter. And yet again simply follow the instructions on the box and stir to get rid of as many lumps as possible. The batter will not be completely smooth so don’t worry if it’s not perfectly smooth, it shouldn’t be!
Once your batter looks more or less like this, pour it over your Oreos.
Voilà! Now it’s ready to go into the oven!
I bake it in the oven for thirty minutes but if you don’t want yours to be as gooey as mine then keep them in the oven for an extra 5 minutes.
Let me know if you tried making it yourself and if you enjoyed them.
Happy (fat) Friday!
London is beautiful and I absolutely love this city but whenever I get a chance I like to escape the city rush and explore other beautiful places England has to offer.
This doesn’t happen very often as recently I have been working quite a bit on Saturdays. If I am working on a Saturday then I like to use my Sunday just to relax, do a few things at home and simply be lazy. However, I will not be working for the next three Saturdays so watch this space – who knows where I’ll be going to next!
This weekend we have decided to go to Oxford which is just one hour outside of London. My boyfriend has been there before and told me beforehand that I will fall in love with it and he was right. The city is jaw-dropping gorgeous! I could stroll around the beautiful streets for hours, there’s something to discover and admire round every corner.
One thing that had to happen whilst we were in Oxford was the Harry Potter tour. I am the biggest Potterhead and it was so exciting to visit the filming locations from the movies. I took as many pictures as I could – apologies for the quality of some, I am not the best photographer but I did my best!
This is the library where Hermione told Ron and Harry about who Nicholas Flamel was. And most of the Hogwarts library scenes were shot here. Unfortunately we couldn’t go inside as you need to be a student to access it.
Remember the room where Professor McGonagall was teaching the Gryffindors how to dance? It was shot here! They also used the room above as Hospital Wing.
This is where Mad-Eye Moody turned Malfoy into a ferret before McGonagall told him off.
After the tour we walked a bit more around the city and finally went to see the Christ Church’s Cathedral and the dining hall which were absolutely spectacular.
This dining hall and the paintings were JK Rowling’s inspiration for the Great Hall at Hogwarts.
After all this walking we felt a little peckish so we stopped for a quick lunch and cocktails at a Thai place. We didn’t do any research on the restaurant and although it satisfied our hunger, I don’t think I’d go back there. We enjoyed the food but it wasn’t the best thai place I’ve been to.
Rested and fed we have decided to make our way back to London as it started raining as we walked out of the restaurant. All too soon in my opinion but I promise I will be back! 🙂
Woke up feeling so sick today, can’t wait for the weekend! :S
When I was in Tenerife I met a 45 year old man who was there organizing a stag for his nephew. This was a man who has been happily married for many years. I had a conversation with about relationships which really opened my eyes to something. He asked me why nowadays young people settle for partners who they know are not good for them for the sake of being in a relationship.
This made me think as I know many people who are miserable in their relationships but still stand by their partner. Why are we ok with this? Why do we remain in less-than-satisfying relationships with people who we know are not good for us? Why do we cling onto something which is less than we deserve.
I had a conversation about this with a few of my friends and these are the reasons I came up with.
Fear of being alone
There are people who can’t stand being alone. The idea of doing the things they’re used to doing with their partner alone petrifies them. We are dependent on the other person and going shopping alone makes us feel anxious.
You want to change your partner
We all like a challenge. I’ve done this far too many times. You are in love and you want it to work, but if you have a list of things you’d like to fix about your partner it might be time to move on.
Loss of security
We’re scared of the unknown and a relationship brings stability and security.
Fear of dating again…
… and being afraid there’s no one better out there.
Sometime we’re not happy, but we don’t want to hurt the other person. Every excuse is good and we end up postponing it and hoping for the best. The truth is, there is never a good time to break up.
Ending a long-lasting relationship is something that requires a lot of courage, but letting go means putting yourself and your happiness first. It means finding the joy and happiness we all crave.
Many people are in relationships, but their partner has no idea how you actually feel. Maybe it’s worth taking a stand for yourself, speaking to them and telling them what you really want?
We are all worthy of happiness and life is too short to be miserable!
Do you agree on the above? Have you ever been in such a relationship?
Let me start by saying that despite the title of this post, I am definitely NOT a morning person. I have learnt though that the way you start your day has a huge effect on the rest of the day.
I’m sure most of you are guilty of waking up with lots of plans and theoretically nothing in the way to realize them. However, time passes and at the end of the day we realize that the only thing we actually did do is stalk Gigi Hadid’sInstagram feed all day. ( soooo guilty!) A properly organized morning, helps to start the day positively and avoid wasting time. I have certain morning rituals which help me to avoid lack of productivity. It is not easy and it is a small battle I have to fight every morning. Today, I’d like to tell you a few words about a routine which I started implementing a few weeks ago and it works very well for me.
1. Make plans the day before
If you can get something ready for the following day – do it! I try to go to the gym at least 3 times during the week. To not waste time in the morning I get my work clothes and gym bag ready the day before. Whatever it is, it will certainly save you time the following morning. The less things you have to do in the morning, the better. I also make a list of things I want to do the following day and a timeframe of how long each of the things will take me to complete. Time management is very important because you don’t want to give yourself a list of 10 things to do and end up doing 3 because you ran out of time. A list also helps you prioritize.
2. Happy thoughts
I struggle with this part of my routine the most but it’s certainly worth trying. Instead of starting the day with “fuuuu*k not again” try to think of a positive thing that’ll happen that day. Maybe you’ll be having lunch with your best friend? Maybe a new episode of Game of Thrones comes out today? Maybe your favourite football team is playing a game tonight?
There are many little things which can improve your morning mood. 🙂
Bad mood doesn’t just come from nowhere. Some people say you need at least 6 hours of sleep and some people say you need 8. I only need 6 but I believe this is personal and depends on your body. Make sure you have enough sleep, how many hours it may be, to help your body fully recover from the previous day and wake up full of energy otherwise your concentration will suffer.
No, I don’t mean going to the gym every morning because only very few of us have time for that. Try to do 10 squats, sit-ups or push-ups. I try to go to the gym before work 3 times a week. Otherwise, I do a couple of sit-ups before I get dressed. Boost those endorphins and smile at strangers! 🙂
Huuuuge part of my morning routine. I’ve actually got a morning playlist on my phone. There are a few songs which just make me want to get up and dance so staying in bed is not an option. A song which is recently my favourite is Better Place by Rachel Platten.
For some reason it makes me feel positive, beautiful and full of energy! Hope you like it.
6. Find a drink which will give you an energy boost.
Only a few months ago I thought I wouldn’t be able to start my day without coffee. Once I realised I was drinking 3 coffees a day I decided I needed a substitute and I needed it now! I then started drinking water with lemon and let me tell you, I am never going back. It’s not only a huge energy boost, it helps to increase your metabolic rate and it’s better for your skin. Green tea would work well as well, but I know coffee is usually the first choice for most of you and there’s nothing wrong with that. Whatever floats your boat. 🙂
Not all the above will work for you, you need to create your own routine which will mean trying many different things and picking the ones that work for you. Once you find it, I guarantee it will be worth it!
I love reading about other people’s rituals and I always look for new things which may work for me.
If you have a morning routine that works, I’d love to hear about it! 🙂
I’m back at work sipping coffee reminiscing about my week in Playa de las Americas, Tenerife.
For the first time in a long time I went away for a 6 day long holiday which had nothing to do with work or sorting something out. 6 days of pure laziness, enjoying the sun, the food, the people and nature.
It started off as a disaster. I was supposed to go with a friend of mine who turned out to be not the great friend I thought he was ( men, eh?). So I had plane tickets, hotel booked and room for one more person. Thankfully, my sister was more than happy to join me. Unfortunately, she had an accident 2 days before the flight so we weren’t even sure if she would be allowed to go. She was and let me tell you… we had the perfect week!
I’ve been to Spain several times before, but never to the Canary Islands. I could go on and on about how amazing it was but we don’t have time for this so I will write a short summary of the key points.
Weather – 23° every day, sunny but windy. First thing in the morning, it may seem like the wind is a bit much, but trust me, around 1 pm you’ll be thankful for it. Be careful with the sun – even if it’s a little cloudy in the morning the sun is still strong. I got really sunburnt myself (pictures below) on the first day! :S We had one cloudy and very windy day, but it was fine for going for a walk to the city centre. Food – Exquisite! We went for the all inclusive option but ate out several times. I’m a huge fan of seafood so I was in my own little heaven. Anyone who enjoys fish and seafood surely won’t complain. I could eat their paella every day! Hotel – Decent. We stayed at the 4* Hotel Troya. Moments away from the beach, extremely friendly staff, big rooms and amazing room service. There are also many little restaurants, shops and a really fancy beach club close by. Would definitely recommend!
All in all, we had a magical week away and I will definitely go back. Due to my sister’s accident, we didn’t get to go to Siam Park – the best water park in the world according to Tripadvisor.
If you’ve ever been to Tenerife and loved it as much as I did then let me know in the comments!
Need to plan my new trip to have something to look forward to so if you have any recommendations, let me know.
(apologies for the quality of the pics but I took all of them with my phone :S)
I have been thinking about this for a long time and am so excited to finally be back and running!
As some of you may know I used to have a blog under a different name but I decided to start this one from scratch.
Blogging has always been my hobby and I’ve always been very passionate about sharing experiences. We can learn so much from one another and inspire each other so please get involved!
I will do my best to post as often as can and I will be writing about everything. I might record an occasional video for you guys (although I haven’t got the hang of the technical side of things in terms of videos just yet :S).
Anyway, thanks for stopping by. I really hope you enjoy my new blog.