Tacos, Burritos and Bloggers

Tacos, Burritos and Bloggers

This was one of those experiences that I flat out couldn't say 'no' to. A bunch of my favourite bloggers and I were invited to do our bit for not only the environment but also for Tortilla, who brough the beach to London for one night only. We were tasked with simply drinking as many coronas as we could to help them make more of their chandeleirs for new branch opening across the UK. Obviously this wasn't an endorsement to binge drink but hey, we were doing out bit for the planet. RECYCLE PEOPLE.

I have never been one to turn down mexican food since Charlie, Distracted first introduced me to it via her Wahaca cookbook and burritos are my favourite lunchtime thang... when I feel like all the carbs. As a reward for us helping them drink all the beer, Tortilla made sure we were well fed throughout the evening. Some might say 'eating is cheating' but when mexican food is so readily available, those people need to reasses their priorities. While stuffing our faces we were constantly entertained by Bloody Hell Brennan insisting on eating the spicest stuff (much to the amusement of one of the waiters) and were surpised with Margaritas.

All in all, Tortilla put on an amazing evening of food, booze and frivolity that could have only been made better by some of my favourite people in the world.

From left to right:
Erica, Charley, Vikki. Katie, Charlie and the other Katie in the middle

We all went home with very full bellies and smiles plastered to our faces. Thank you Tortilla for giving us a much needed amazing evening. We love you.

Bugsy Malone at the Lyric Theatre

Bugsy Malone at the Lyric Theatre

Image source

"Everybody loves that man, Bugsy Malone..."

Earlier this week, I told you all about my family adventures in London. One of the reasons this happened was because my brother and I bought the family tickets to go at see Bugsy Malone at the Lyric for my mum's birthday. Not only because it's had five star reviews all over the joint but also because it's something my brother and I have grown up with and whenever I watch it with my mum, we always sing along to all the songs.

The Lyric Theatre has undergone a massive redevelopment, starting in 2004 with the final phase being unveiled earlier in 2015, and Bugsy Malone is one of the first plays to grace the 120 year old stage in a bloody long time.

The theatre looks very unassuming from the outside, when we arrived my mum turned to me and said 'ooh, I don't think I have ever been to a mondern theatre in London before' and I had to admit, I couldn't help but feel a tad disappointed. I'm so used to the grandeur of London theatres that the sad, grey exterior made my heart sink a little bit. Inside it's entirely different. The odd mix of modern architecture with the original 1895 theatre nestled deep inside made it truly wonderful.

Writer's block and broken Lenses
Theatre = difficult lighting

Back to the play.

If you haven't seen the Bugsy Malone movie before you really need to. Even if you're not a musical lover like I am, you'll love it because it's funny AF. Full of tongue in cheek jokes that you probably wouldn't have noticed as a child.

Set in prohibition era New York, Bugsy Malone  is the story of part-time gangster Bugsy in the middle of a cross gang power war - with cream pies and splurge guns. Yes, it's as ridiculous as it sounds, yes it's awesome because of it.

During the days counting down to seeing it, I was a tad worried that it wouldn't live up to my expectations and, despite the amazing reviews it had receieved, it would be far from on parr with the film. As I seem to be with these things I was proven wrong.

Bugsy Malone really deserved it's five star reviews. The young cast were so amazing that I always started to question who my favourite was, they didn't tarnish my favourites from the film and I couldn't get over the talent of those kids. Kind of made me question what I have achieved with my life... not really, but you get my point.

One thing I didn't know was that the Lyric Theatre supports young people through drama, helping to take kids off the streets and express themselves through performances rather than getting tangled up in nasty things. Not only does the price of your ticket (actually really cheap) contribute to funding this but there are also collections around the theatre. For this reason alone, I will definitely be returning to the Lyric. You can see where all the money is being used and how happy it makes those kids. By giving such a flawless performance of one of my favourite films, it was worth every penny.

Annoyingly the run of Bugsy Malone has now ended but you can see all the current and upcoming shows on the Lyric website, Tippint the Velvet is actually next on my list.

*Listens to Bugsy Malone soundtrack for the rest of the day*

What plays have you seen recently?

Being a tourist in London

Being a tourist in London

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View of the Tower Bridge FROM A BOAT!
I know I've mentioned it before but I have lived in London for eight years now, very nearly nine! (oh God, I'm aging...) There are times when I take this wonderful city for granted and still haven't explored most of it. Sometimes it's surprising how many things you'll find even if you just take a slightly different way to work, I recently just found out there's a little vintage market near Angel station!

Just like most people who live in London, I get really annoyed by tourists. I hate how they just stop in the street to take pictures of something as mediocre as a post box because it's SLIGHTLY different from at home, how they walk reeeeally slowly then suddently turn around and get really annoyed with you when you end up face-planting their chest. MOST IMPORTANTLY! I hate how they wear huge backpacks on the tube which not only take up the space of a small child (or someone my size) but also get stuck in the tube doors as they rush on at the last minute because, heaven forbid, there isn't another one in three minutes. God, I'm bitter.

Last month Gary and I had our relatives visit from Scotland and we got to be tourists TWICE. I hope I wasn't one of the annoying tourists I have just bitched and moaned about. That would be awkward.

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On both occasions we started off our tourist activities at Westminster Pier, this was particularly important for my mum's boyfriend as he's Scottish and very into his politics, I don't believe he has ever been to Westminster before and he looked so happy. On the other occasion we got on a boat and started boozing as soon as we sat down... so different.

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Drinking wine on a boat!

Both tourist days involved a lot of walking, one from Westminster to Leicester Square with lots of landmark spotting along the way with an oppotunity to get a new family photo taken outside Buckingham Palace.

From left to right:
Emily (brother's girlfriend), ME, Abby (mini step sister), Jarrad (brother), Gary (my boyfriend)

During our adventures across this wonderful city, I got to see and visit a bunch of places that I obviously knew existed but have never been to. I had never been past Downing Street before (THE POLICE HAVE MASSIVE GUNS), never been to the Maritime Museum at Greenwich and I don't think I have been to St James' Park, dude, there are Pelicans.

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Playing dress up at the Maritime Museum
One of my favourite things to do wherever I go is spot and chuckle at interesting graffiti, here are two classics from the South Bank and Greenwich

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Moment of pure genius on a public toilet door

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Another moment of pure genius in another public toilet
Despite all my typical Londoner complaining, being a tourist in London is actually loads of fun. There's obviously so much more I need to see and do but I'm pretty sure it's impossible to do it all. BUT I CAN TRY.

Do you have any favourite places in London I should see?

Doing something that frightens you

Doing something that frightens you

writer's block and broken lenses

Everyone has that one thing that they will never get over and feel like they will always be held back in some way. This is obviously something emotional, there's absolutely no physical barrier stopping you from doing anything (unless you want to get into Buckingham Palace and sit on the throne, you might get shot for that) but if you've convinced yourself you can't do something, then you probably never will.

I don't have a maths GCSE.

There we go, I said it.

It's something I have been so ashamed of that even my best friend didn't know. The idea of having to do any difficult maths that Excel can't do for me makes breathing difficult and I feel like crying. Because I don't have a certificate saying I can do a thing just makes me feel that I will never be able to do that thing and therefore I stop trying. If I need anything calculated, I'll more often than not just ask my boyfriend.

A few months ago I decided to do something that Gary has said is 'brave' and signed up to do a course to finally get this weight lifted off my shoulders, get rid of that goblin that mocks me every day. And it's terrifying. Numbers shouldn't be frightening, they're just little squiggles on a piece of paper, right? To me they're worse than spiders and I fucking hate spiders.

Now, some people might think about the basic elements of my job and how I use data to formulate a strategy BUT I CAN DO THAT! It's actually relatively easy even for someone who's so terrified of numbers, I mean it's not like working out the area of a triangle (a skill I have never needed in my life) or knowing ALL the prime numbers.

Not only do numbers scare me, they also confuse me. Give me a phone number? Unless you put it in a pattern I know, I will put the numbers the wrong way round. Times tables? The only one I honestly know comfortably is my seven times table purely because I watched A Little Princess a lot as a child - that Lavinia was a right bitch.

I can also tell you what 13 x 379 is but that's only because of Matilda... it's 4927 if you need to know.

With these, I can only do them because of a set pattern, like how I know Iambic Pentameter or remembering the lines to a song because you know the beat. I feel like maths doesn't have a clear system, everything is different and even though there are correct answers, there are too many different ways of getting to them and I get very lost even thinking about it. Maybe it's just me.

Over the past few weeks there have been tantrums and general upset. Only the other day I broke down into tears because I couldn't understand why I had to flip a fraction upside down. WHAT IS THE REASON?? WHERE'S THE PATTERN?? Rachel Riley makes it look so easy...


Maybe not...

HOWEVER! As much as it terrifies me and how I spent years living off excuses and reasons why I can't do maths. I am doing it now. I'm not exactly enjoying it but I am doing it. Like ripping off a plaster in a way or getting a tattoo... you know you'll go through pain but there will be something wonderful at the end of it. Eventually I will know for a fact that I can do something, I won't be too frightened to try and maybe I'll be able to do the numbers section on Countdown without having to pause the TV and counting out loud. 

Have you ever done something that truly frightens you?

What I wore to one of my best friends' wedding

What I wore to one of my best friends' wedding

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Personalised spoon with my favourite tea as a wedding favour

Oh 2015, the year of weddings!

I've been to quite a few weddings over the past two years but this time it was the first of MY friends to get married. One of my oldest friends in fact.

It seems that I have now reached that age where I am going to all the weddings and that they're the only opportunity for me to get dressed up these days. So much so that I pretty much avoided shopping for it because everything I even thought about it, I went into a mild panic. I mean, there are rules about wedding outfits and I'm always paranoid about breaking one of them. I know it would never happen but that's just how my silly little brain works.

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In the end, it was all organised at the very last minute courtesy of the internet. The day I finally bought them all I had spent ages sending various links to my bestie. I couldn't even decide on a colour, let alone a style!

I finally got everything sorted, the dress is from House of Fraser and my gold shoes and clutch (a colour I never go for because I'm so pale) came from the wonderful Debenhams.

I think the dress might be a little too tight but overall I love the look, the shoes in particular. I love them so much that I'm keeping them separate from my other shoes because I'm scared all the glitter will get knocked off!

writer's block and broken lenses

writer's block and broken lenses

writer's block and broken lenses

What do you think of my last wedding look of 2015?

Vegetarian BBQ with Quorn and the London BBQ School

Vegetarian BBQ with Quorn and the London BBQ School

London BBQ School

I was a vegetarian for years until I finally caved. During my time as a veggie, I pretty much lived off Quorn. Not just because it made my mum feel better about me losing protein but also because it tastes amazing. This hasn't really changed as when Charlie, Distracted and I lived together, we used to cook with it regularly. Quorn in a chili? AMAZING!

A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to a barbecue at the London BBQ School hosted by Quorn to show off the versatility of their products, more than just burgers dontcha know! It turns out there are a lot more products than I knew about as the brand has grown so much since I started eating it.

Cooking is one of my favourite things but when we have barbecues, my boyfriend generally does the cooking because he man and man cook meat over fire. This time it was my turn and I got to play with one of the biggest barbecues I have ever seen. Other than just cooking on them we were also taught the fundamentals barbecues and how to do them properly rather than just starting a fire with a piece of paper over some coals with a firelighter...

JUST LOOK AT THE SIZE OF THIS BEAST! It was more complicated than your standard grill from Argos.


vegetarian bbq

Splitting into teams we had a couple of recipes to choose from and we all got to have a go at each one to make sure there was enough food to go around. We mostly stuck to the Quorn chicken wraps and I could have happily ate my weight in them. There were also burgers and skewers that I'm sure even the most carnivorous person wouldn't be able to resist. The were just too good.

Quorn Skewers

I can't believe how much I ate and I was so surprised to see how much you can really do with what some may consider a 'dull' product. It's really not and it's beyond delicious. I think I might need to introduce Gary to some of these!

If you're also a Quorn lover and want to try these out for yourself (even if you've never had Quorn!) you can find a bunch of wonderful recipes here. It turns out that a very small percentage of their consumers are actually vegetarian so I'm pretty sure you'll be surprised by the sheer deliciousness of it all.

Have you ever tried Quorn?

*I was invited to attend this event for free but if I didn't have fun/enjoy it/love and eat ALL THE FOOD, I wouldn't be telling you about it.

How I cope with stress

How I cope with stress

I don't know about you guys but it's seems like my life doesn't stop right now. With family visits, events and work as a whole, I feel like I'm in my own little personal whirlwind. It sounds fun, and trust me it is, but there are times when I get home and struggle to relax. Even if it's on my sofa in my PJs. I just keep thinking 'I haven't really had a free weekend since July and the next one isn't until October. SOMEONE HELP ME'.


I have now decided that moaning about it isn't going to make me feel better and have started to work on a few methods I could use to deal with my stress.

1. Angry music playlist

Now, this sounds like something that shouldn't work but it does. This was an idea that was introduced to me by Charlie, Distracted and I can't believe I didn't think of it before. It's like, all my negative energy is sucked out by Trent Reznor screaming (as weird as that sounds) and I end up a little dancing ball of joy instead of a ticking time bomb.

If you're into a weird collection of music for moments like this, here's my playlist!

2. Eat well

A few months ago, I treated myself to a lunch bag in the Paperchase sale. It's very exciting and has an owl on it. This has actually encouraged me to actually take lunch in to work and not just run for a burrito or even Maccy Ds. Having a proper lunch always makes me feel better over the course of the day and I find going home to cook a meal is very therapeutic with the reward of a full belly afterwards. All the win.

3. Play games

This is something I haven't done for a while but since Gary came home with a new XBox One it's all I want to do now. 

4. Read

This is one of my favourite ways to unwind even if it's just for 10 minutes on the tube. One of my favourite things to do in the whole world is to just curl up under a blanket somewhere and read for hours. Generally my go-to for really stressful days would be Harry Potter, there's just something about it that will always make me feel better.

5. Get out of the office

Yes, I like my job but sometimes it just make sense to go out at lunch time. I don't think having lunch at your desk everyday is healthy for anyone's frame of mind, let alone my own, so even just going for a walk around the block or out for a quick coffee always makes me feel better.

6. Breathe, have a cup of tea and wait for all this to blow over

How do you deal with stress?