Wednesday, 30 April 2014

May Goals

Hello May! I am SO excited that April is finally over - it was seriously one of the most boring months of my life, spending it revising everyday, going to the gym and eating healthily! In 5 days my post-university life will begin... as well as SUMMER! Just 5 more days of hell left - who invented jurisprudence anyway?!?

Roll on May!!... Super pumped to find out where we're going!! ✈️☀️⛄️ who knows?!!!

My Goals for this month are to sort out some things that I have neglected during this revision-frenzy!

1. Spring Clean
My room is... not nice. There is a huge pile of washing mounting up and my clothes definitely no longer fit the slightly nicer weather we are having! I am going to do a major clean out of my room when I finish, including taking ALL of my law books and notes and putting them out of sight! :) 

2. Yoga/Blogilates every morning 
I posted about the 30-day Doyouyoga challenge (completed!) and since finishing it, I have definitely missed waking up and doing something unrelated to work before I start off the day. I found some Blogilates videos on youtube and they are so much fun to do! Casey is a really good teacher - I will try and do these everyday :) 

4. Gym and Healthy Eating
Just because summer is finally here, doesn't mean I can stop being healthy. I have hardly drunk alcohol for over two months and feel a lot better for it (although I doubt there won't be a celebration when everyone finishes!) and actually do feel a lot happier and healthier after eating healthily for that time and working out. Hopefully I will start the job that this has all been for next week, fingers crossed!
For my daughter, who just graduated from nursing school, while raising five kids and still working!
5. Sort out my foot
I am pretty sure I have achillies tendonitis and it is not fun. Typically, after upping my exercise and forcing myself to run I have managed to injure myself! I have a doctors appointment tomorrow so will hopefully sort it out before it gets any worse. 

6. Drive! 
It is so bad that I have had the chance to drive for 4 years now and haven't managed to even take my test yet, despite over 80 hours! I am going to try and do an intensive course this month in automatic (hate manual!) so hopefully I will be able to pass quickly! I hate driving lessons and driving in London generally, there are so many hidden rules and people running out infront of you!
Follow Andrew Sharpe he is amazing, hansom, stylish and modest  "Shelby Cobra. One of the very few American muscle cars that I would love to own." but it can be a girl's car too! and I even like the color too.

7. Sort out my life plan 
I need to apply for training contracts, internships, everything really! Modeling this year is going to be great and I'm really excited for it but it is definitely not a long term plan. 

Have a great month! Hopefully the sun comes back and stays out! 

Friday, 25 April 2014

Food phase of the moment.. turkey?

When I think of turkey, I instantly think of the giant bird that has been cooked to perfection for the Christmas roast. So when Dima decided last week to buy some turkey breasts I was all like 'is this a cheap version of chicken yo' but it was actually really ridiculously good. Then I found out a turkey breast has 90 calories with 10 from fat (as opposed to chicken which is 165 with 35 from fat) - low carb and low fat!


Generally I have been making the above - a mix of rocket, cherry tomatoes, sweetcorn, avocado, turkey and a spritz of lime = so good! You won't even realise it's salad ;) 

Or another really good way of eating it is with a poached egg (and avocado on the side, because avocado is just awesome.)

How I make it is just:
- spray a little low calorie oil into a pan, let it get nice and hot
- throw some seasoning over the turkey breast and pop it in the pan. Cook for 3 minutes per side until it's no longer pink in the middle - careful not to overcook! 
- take off and eat away!

Poached egg is easy: just boil up some water in a frying pan and crack your egg in. Leave it to cook for 3 minutes then take out and eat! :)  My kind of food - ridiculously easy, fast and good! 

I have also got really into snacking on frozen fruit lately...

At 30 calories per two handfuls of frozen berries, you can afford to eat as much as you want! I also freeze grapes and chopped bananas in a food-bag, they taste like sorbet/ice cream and in great bitesize pieces to keep you going throughout the day! Also if you blend them all up with a bit of milk you are left with 'ice cream' :) 

I leave you with an awesome piece of work by David Chihuly.

Chiluly glass ceiling in the Bellagio hotel.

Exams finish in 11 days! Literally never been more excited!  

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Honest Box

Revision = hours of procrastination on the internet reading random blogs. Every so often, you find something that is just like AFAHOKKLSAD how did this bit of the internet exist and I didn't know?!?
THIS 'webhouse' super lured me in with it's promise of 'Send me something cool' / adorably cute website/ concept of sending snacks to offices to fill in the 'awkward gaps' of the day. Their 'Snackorium' is filled with cute goodies from British producers which are for the most part, pretty healthy and all amazing.

My box came a few days after ordering (£10 including delivery - it was my revision treat) and fit nicely through my (tiny) letterbox whilst still being stuffed chock-full of goodies!
THE BOX WAS ALSO TOO CUTE. IT HAD EASTER GAMES ON IT. (apologies for background easter eggs sneaking in on the snack-fun). 

^ free game of the day xo 

The box also came with a nice quote of things that they are more British than - 'saying sorry even though we have done nothing wrong'. On to the FOOD. 

1. Super Seedy Sustain Squares - Whole Plus

These are basically the result of recipes all over the internet which require you to blend up dates and a variety of nuts etc, but in cute calorie controlled bite-size portions which taste really ridiculously good. I am proud to say that a couple are still there, I've been trying to eat them as an 11am snack.

2. Furniss Dark Chocolate Ginger Mini Biscuits 

These unfortunately didn't make it through the night because I ATE THEM ALL BECAUSE THEY WERE PRETTY AMAZING. I think they were healthy-ish so it's fine. They were fab and there was a lot of them. 

3. Giant Roasted Corn Nuts 

These are ridiculous. They taste like barbecued chicken put into crunchy bitesize corn snacks (although I am pretty sure that there is no meat at all in there!) They were really, really good even though I'm not generally into savoury-ish foods and prefer more of the... 

4. Perkier Gluten Free Rocky Road

This was my favourite thing in the box. It was literally ordained from the rocky road god - although I am probably biased because I am obsessed with anything chocolate. Marshmallows is an added bonus. Gluten Free is there to kid yourself that it is actually probably good for you and part of a healthy post-Easter diet. My 'legs bums and tums' teacher today used a nice phrase, 'carving out easter eggs from your waist'. Anyway - this was literally so so so good, but unfortunately quite moreish and depletes itself very quickly. But leaves you happy. 

5. Braw Gluten Free Apple and Pear Bar 

This made me happy because I felt like I was eating a cereal bar which tasted really good and was not packed with lies about how it's healthy when it is actually packed with more calories and sugar than a kitkat. Cereal bars, though fabulously delicious and decievingly-cute are actually generally quite high in sugar and fat. This bar is gluten free with no added sugar/wheat/dairy etc so I really hope it isn't lying :'( It also isn't too moreish so I have actually made it last for quite a few days by eating small bites at a time. 

6 - Cheeky Chunk Chocolate 

This chocolate was very good. I gobbled it up sraight away after opening the box, it was too cute and easter-appropriate to last for long! It is also organic so I hope sort of healthier than normal? (definitely cuter anyway!)

7. Uncle Joe's Mint Balls

There was about 10 of these in the box, and at first I thought they were a pretty random addition but I slowly realised the master-plan behind them. They are quite typical mints (pretty guurd) but they are there to be eaten after you eat for example, a bite of delicious Rocky Road, to take away the temptation to EAT EVERYTHING IN THE BOX. Quite a good idea. 

A very cute addition is this teensy leaflet telling you where all your snacks were made. 

On the other side a popularity leaflet, if you do decide to order a box - which I mainly decided to get because it was a one-off payment (Graze and the like's cancellation policies seem a lot of effort) - mention my name (Leanne Maskell! :) ) and you will get it for £5! SNACKS FOR £5 YAY!! I would definitely recommend this if you are:
1. gluten free - everything is gluten free whoo 
2. An Anglophile - they seem to really love Britain and all it has to offer in the way of tasty treats! 
3. A student revising for your exams - they are fab to break up the monotony 
4. Sad and need happiness - everything in this box exudes happiness. There is no negativity (except snacks potentially ending but then you can replace it with the games on your box)
5. Happy and would like to get even happier - I LOVE MAIL. and I love snacks. 
6. Like food - and especially snacks. 

Also they are generally geared towards offices so I suppose if you are a 'real adult' with a 'job' then you could get them and take them to work and be super popular that day in particular :) 

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Park Run

Hello! Hope you all had a lovely Easter - I definitely overindulged a bit too much so I'm now paying the price! Lots of exercise and salad! 
AMAZING hotel chocolat easter egg - Thanks Dima!

These are incredible.

A general idea of my Easter diet 

My boyfriend took me out for a run yesterday - I went along very begrudgingly as it was raining and miserable outside! Also the treadmill is so much easier to run on, and I've also started reading my notes whilst running (multitasking!) But it was actually the cutest park (Acton Park) I've been to in London, and the rain made everything so pretty! (see the goblins in the tree above?)

I'm so annoyed all the pretty blossom is rapidly leaving the trees! But at least this gave me good opportunities to 'take pictures' aka stop running because I couldn't breathe/was dying. 

getting in some jumping exercise...

Wearing a very fetching anorak - at least I was dry! 

Such a cool marble tree! 

Hawaii flowers?

I've recently had to up my running game because I finish my exams in... TWO WEEKS and need to start working straight away! I'm very proud to say I managed to run 30 minutes this week, and that's my new goal every day :) Summer is coming!

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Bob Bob Ricard

HAPPY EASTER! This is one of my FAVOURITE holidays, because I love chocolate a lot. Last night I went for an Easter meal with my family, and I have to say - I have found my new favourite restaurant. That is quite a big thing for me because I am really spoiled for choice in London, there are so many with amazing quality (Hawksmoor, Patty and Bun, Sapori Sardi are some favourites) yet Wagmama's somehow continues to lure me in for its Chicken Katsu curry time and time again. 

Anyway. If the first thing you see when you sit down in a restaurant is this, you know it is going to be good. 

We were at Bob Bob Ricard - the place I had wanted to come to for a long time but lacked necessary funds. Luckily my dad was in town and was ready to make up for lost time! The ambiance as you walk in hits you straight away - the waiters are impeccably dressed in pink waistcoats and bow ties and the entire place looks like a 1920s French first class steam carriage!

We ordered some incredible warm, crusty bread to begin with as we pursued our menus.. I decided to opt out of my alcohol-ban for the Easter weekend and order a salted chocolate martini.

If you get one thing (ok drink) here make sure it is this. It was INCREDIBLE, like chocolate milk with a hint of alcohol and salty deliciousness. So, so worth breaking my chocolate/diet/alcohol ban for... but it started me on a slippery slope. 
This was my dad's rhubarb gin and tonic - amazing. 

The menu was full of amazing-sounding food, but in the end I opted for 'Brezhnev' Oysters - baked with parmesan and black truffle. They were without a doubt, the best oysters and are probably one of the best things I have ever eaten. 

I lasted a full five minutes before greedily pressing the champagne button, where upon a waiter immediately popped up and offered me PINK CHAMPAGNE which was amazing. 

my dad went for Crab Salad with Chilli Avocado Mayonnaise

For mains I opted for lobster mash (naturally), creamed spinach and salmon tartare (healthy.. sort of?)

The tartare was incredibly fresh and there was a strong presence of dill (as in all the dishes) which reminds me so much of Russia! I should probably mention that Bob Bob Ricard is a Russian/English restaurant, and my dad lives in Russia. Also my best friend and boyfriend are Russian - surrounded! Russian food is realllllly good. 

Not quite sure how Russian this lobster mash was but it was decadently amazing. 

My brother's chips came in this cute box! They were also AMAZING (told you the martini started me on a slippery slope.. coupled with the wine I completely forgot that I was on a diet ;) ) 

a brief 'person' picture to break up the FOOD AMAZINGNESS - me and my brother. 
Then it was dessert time. I have impressively managed to resist desserts for the past two months, but as I said, the excellent food, company and alcohol had got to my head. Plus, when there is such a thing as 'BBR Signature Chocolate Glory - Chocolate Jivara Mousse, chocolate brownie, merginue and passionfruit jelly - served with fresh raspberries and a hot chocolate sauce' would I really be able to say no? It would be plain rude. So naturally I got that and forced my dad to get chocolate fondant so we could share! 

The chocolate fondant (my favourite dessert!) which was incredible. My brother decided to get one after seeing mine. 

and now for the glory... 

A large gold sphere, questionably awaiting the hot chocolate sauce which is promptly poured over it, causing the sphere to MELT AWAY and revealing the chocolate innards. Probably the most incredible dessert I have ever eaten. (and I have eaten a lot!) 


After this insane haze of luxurious food, we attempted to calm our stomachs with fresh mint tea.. and more chocolate (truffles). 

They had everything down to a T here. The service was impeccable - waiters hovered close by without being obvious, but so lovely and welcoming despite the very high prices and luxury-feel of the place - it wasn't really stuck up at all, only in a good way of 'we serve oysters, champagne and lobster and they are all FAB come try!'. The place also smelled amazing because of these giant flower arrangements everywhere. A definite new (luxury) favourite - for very special occasions only, as it is very pricey! I would say it is SO worth it though.

Happy Easter! Indulge freely - today is a day for chocolate, happiness and love!