A Day in London – V&A, Columbia Road and Liberty

So due to a booking fuck up of mine, I ended up solo in London for the day after Blogtacular. I say fuck up, it’s not much of a fuck up when you get a day to yourself in our nation’s capital is it?

A few years ago I managed to pack in Portobello Road, Old Spitalfields Market & Brick Lane, as well as Neal’s Yard and Covent Garden all in a day so I decided to do it again!

Here’s a little video of my day:

I started off the day with breakfast at The Breakfast Club in Hoxton where I had the most delicious waffles. Though I’m usually a pancake aficionado, the Elvis Waffle was calling my name. Atop a waffle sits caramelised banana, peanut butter, greek yoghurt and maple syrup. Nom.

London - The Breakdast Club waffles

Then it was off to the Columbia Road Flower Market where I may have spotted a celebrity. Check out the video to see who it was. It was my only celeb spotting of the day but a pretty good one, especially for a Potterhead such as myself.

I also finally got to go to the V&A museum which is something I’ve been wanting to do for about a decade. The building itself was gorgeous as was all the exhibits inside. The fashion section in particular reminded me how much I used to love fashion when I was a teen and in my early twenties. How times have changed.

London - V&A

Does my bum look big in this?

London - V&A dress

My final stop was Liberty – another place I’ve never been inside even though I’ve lived in London. What a gorgeous building! And it was fun to window shop too.

London - Liberty

I also paid a visit to Japan Centre to buy some treats. I don’t think we’ll be going to the real Japan until 2019 now so I thought it would be nice to get some snacks. And I finally tried something matcha flavoured. Topher wasn’t a fan but I loved it.

Where would you go if you had only one day in London?

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Blogtacular 2017

I had the best time at Blogtacular 2017. Seriously can’t believe it’s taken me so many years to go.

I decided to document the weekend in video and made a little music video that you can watch right here below. Apologies for some shakiness and spinning in places. I’m still learning!

Now please excuse me while I photobomb you with ALL OF THE PHOTOS. Actually for me, I think I was pretty chilled – I’ve been known for taking 1000 photos in a day.

I only took 150 of Blogtacular itself so I know I was way too busy having fun. That and I was also tweeting, videoing, instagraming and Instagram storying (check me out making up words) simultaneously.

So it all started on Friday at the West Elm party.

After safely making it down to London by train on first class (thank you Virgin sale a few months ago) and eating all the free snacks, I checked into my hotel. After a quick breather, I made my way over to West Elm on Tottenham Court Road.

Blogtacular 2017 - west elm party

Lots of people! I immediately got in line for a unicorn smoothie and chicken slider, then made my way further into the store to get chatting with people.

Blogtacular 2017 - Unicorn smoothie

Blogtacular 2017 - party food

Blogtacular 2017 - west elm

Blogtacular 2017 - flamingo

Since I knew I wouldn’t be go to the video talk the next day, I attended the informal group chat with Xanthe Berkeley to gather some wisdom.

Blogtacular 2017 - party talk

I can’t believe how quickly the two hours went. It was over before I knew it and suddenly I found myself outside following a group of ladies with the promise of tacos!

Blogtacular 2017 - DF Mexico

Did you know Wahaca has a little sibling? I sure didn’t but I was happy to eat a delicious burrito at DF Mexico and chat to more people.

Blogtacular 2017 - Burrito

Then it was back to the hotel and a good nights sleep before the main event…

Blogtacular 2017 - entrance

First things first. As soon as I entered the venue where Blogtacular was held and I saw the decorations all I could think of was “Why didn’t I know about this business a year ago?” The décor was all done by Pop Pop Papier and it is pretty much what I was after for my wedding! Ah well, I’ve done something similar myself (though minus the balloons as my venue won’t allow them). So pretty!

Blogtacular 2017 - decor

Blogtacular 2017 - crowd

Anyway, back to the conference. The event was kicked off by a speech from Kat Molesworth, the organiser with a guest appearance from the fire alarm! There was then a keynote by Natalie Lue before we had to go off to our selected sessions.

Blogtacular 2017 - Kat Molesworth

It was so difficult choosing which talks to go to but in the end I decided on;

Blogtacular 2017 - creative business masterclass

The day ended with a closing keynote from Emma Gannon. Her book has been on my amazon wishlist for a while so since there was a bookstore at the conference I decided to take the plunge and get it. And of course since the author herself was amongst us I had to get it signed!

Blogtacular 2017 - Emma Gannon

Throughout the day we were well fed, watered and the market was amazing to walk around during the breaks. So many pretties!

Blogtacular 2017 - dessert

Overall it was an amazing day.

Highlights of my day definitely included blogger bingo during the creative business masterclass session, discovering Honeywell Bakes’ amazing biscuits, generally meeting so many lovely people and giving doodle note taking a go. So fun and I can actually understand my notes now!

Blogtacular 2017 - notes and cookie

The goody bag was amazing too. In particular I’m trying to figure out what I could bake that would be worthy of Baking Time Club’s awesome sprinkles. Any ideas?

Blogtacular 2017 - goodybag

I’ve come away with so much knowledge and I can’t wait to start implementing it. Though maybe after the wedding – I’m shattered!

Is it time for next year’s Blogtacular yet?

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A tale of three cities

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Once again, I find myself surrounded by boxes asking myself “How did I get here”. True to my name (blog name that is) I have moved again. For the 24th time? I’m not entirely sure – I seem to have misplaced the handy list I had.

So this year has been a bit mad to say the least. I would say that this is the first time I have lived in three different cities in a single year, but I would be lying. But I can finally say I have found my happy place. Manchester. The beautiful north west, rain and all. Yes I’ve come full circle.

London though lovely, was completely not for me. I don’t know whether it was the overcrowded streets (not to mention overcrowded everything else), the people or the fact that it was so expensive that we couldn’t enjoy the fun entertainment but we learned a lesson. London was just too big for us.

Now, to get all Goldilocks on you. The trouble with Peterborough is that it was just too damn small. Though I did like being able to walk into countryside in ten minutes, I didn’t enjoy being able to walk across the city in no time at all. You can’t really consider it as a city – the cathedral makes it one but there just wasn’t enough things to do for us. Not that I was awake long enough to do them. I was being quickly drained from commuting; both physically and financially. Enough was enough.

Topher and I had a list of pros and cons to where we should live and there were plenty of points on each list, but in the end we had to go with our hearts. Manchester is where we belong. He’s born and bred there and I spent 7 years there which is pretty impressive for me!
Manchester is home. It’s a large, but not too large city with plenty to do. Location is ideal for work and it’s close to family and friends. I love it. So that’s us settled I think, at least for now. Next job in 2015 is finding the perfect home to buy! I can never stay still for long, can I?

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Classic Car Boot Sale London

It’s been awhile since I’ve attended a vintage fair – far too long in my books. I’ve been pretty unlucky that I’ve missed the last couple of Classic Car Boot sales in London due to other plans so I’d been waiting for months for last weekends event to come around.

After assuring Topher that it isn’t really a car boot sale (there probably wouldn’t be a fantasy book in sight), he reluctantly agreed to go with me. Mainly on the promise of good food!

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Our bellies grumbling we headed to the food trucks. It was a difficult decision but we decided on Taco Truck which definitely didn’t leave us disappointed. 
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Delicious!
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What a great day! Have you been to a vintage fair recently?
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5 steps to well being #worklifebupa

Last week I was invited by DigitasLBi to attend the #worklifebupa event to learn about achieving a good work life balance. I figured since I spend a lot of time juggling work, commuting, my two blogs (yes, there’s two now – more on that soon!), as well as making time for friends, family and just relaxing, it would be a good learning experience. That and they said there would be food. 

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It was at the DigitasLBi which is just off Brick Lane in London and there was networking with other bloggers, drop in SEO sessions with the experts, as well as talks by people from Bupa, Mindapples & A Lady in London.


 The main aspect of the evening that stuck out for me was during the talks when Amanda from Mindapples discussed the 5 steps to well being.

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The mindapples tree

 

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The idea was to write down your 5 a day things that make you happier


1. Connect
2. Be active
3. Take notice 
4. Keep learning
5. Give

To be interpreted how you wish. It makes sense – things like take notice is a big one to me. Everyday you see so many people not looking up from their chosen electronic device when they’re out and about. It’s a bit sad, but we’re all guilty of it. I read blogs on the train to and from work but recently I make sure to look out the window as well so I’m not just staring at a screen the whole day. The scenery is so beautiful!

I also enjoyed the other two talks. Julie from Lady in London was a very interesting woman who informed us that sometimes you have to say no when it comes to work. I certainly wouldn’t mind doing that! Her lifestyle sounded amazing but terribly tiering as well so it’s even more important to get that work/life balance. 

And Stuart from Bupa made me realise how different Britain is from the rest of Europe in terms of our working day. There are other ways then 9-5. I really agree that a long working day isn’t always the most productive. He also put into perspective that every week is 168 hours long. Weird to think of it that way, right? That makes me want to choose more wisely in future. 

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After the talks I had a wander and tried out some of the delicious food and drink that was on offer. 

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I had a smoothie from Speakeasy which frankly was delicious! It was called the wake-up (which I needed after being up since 5.30am) and had coffee, frozen yoghurt, almond milk, flaxseed and cinnamon in it. I seriously need another one of those. 
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My eyes lit up when these Portuguese tarts were placed on the table. I had to swipe an extra on the way out – and that was me restraining myself!
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Not sure why DigitasLBi have a badger in their offices but I dig it. 


Overall, it was a very informative evening and I met some lovely people too. I wish I could have stayed longer to chat but I had to run to catch my train home. Thanks DigitasLBi, Bupa and the other speakers for a great evening!

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