Monday, 30 January 2017

A treat of an evening.....

Wow January has passed in a flash, but before we fall into February I am sharing one more post from my activities over the festive season. An annual tradition for me for many years is to see The Nutcracker Ballet, whether in New York of London, I always try to get to see a performance. This year I managed to get tickets for the English National Ballets performance at the London Coliseum, where I booked to take a friend for their 50th birthday. (they had never been to the ballet and I was able to put a big tick against a wish on their bucket list)
To make the evening even more special I surprised them with starting the evening in The Savoy for drinks before moving onto The Ivy Grill Marketplace in Covent Garden for dinner. This was my first time at this restaurant and I loved it, ambience is gorgeous and the food was delicious. It was the perfect prequel to a delightful evening at the ballet.
The Savoy this year was a decorated opulently in pinks and silver and was just beautiful. The tree in the foyer was sponsored by the jewellers Boodles and was very pink but oh so pretty.💗

The interior of The Savoy was as equally as beautiful in greens and silver with a real art deco style and just quite magical.






The Ivy Marketplace was equally as gorgeous in a colourful cacophony of baubles, wreaths and a stunning tree outside in the courtyard which complemented the large baubles and mistletoe decor of Covent Garden.
This did nothing to distract how delicious the food was, a perfect venue for pre-theatre or a special dinner.
After a very lovely supper it was a short stroll to The Coliseum, where we were swept up in the magic and sparkle of a Christmas Ballet.
No matter how many times I have seen The Nutcracker I never grow old of it and it is a delightful treat to watch and see the delight on my friends face. 
The Nutcracker featured lots in my Christmas 2016 - from the fabulous Nutcracker Soldiers outside Liberty's that I walked past most days, to Candles burning on the fireside and tags on the tree I have lots of lovely memories to add to 2016's Christmas album and look back on in future years.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Movie Moments ....

Movie moments were few and far between for me in 2016, for someone who usually has a list of movie musts at the beginning of each year to see, 2016 was definitely a little lack lustre in the cinema world. Two favourites for the year were Bridget Jones Baby which I saw a couple of times at the cinema with the girls and again snuggled on the sofa on New Year’s Day and MeBefore You which I just loved. Two other movies that I saw over the festive season also joined the favourite list was the much anticipated JK Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and where to find them and Sully. 
I saw Fantastic Beasts in 3D at the Imax in London and loved the whole experience. It was my first trip to the Imax and I was super impressed with the service, ambience and space of the cinema. The movie was also in 3D, something I’ve not done in a long time, probably since those early years of 3D when it was all a little bit hit and miss with the visuals, however how much has time changed.
For those not familiar with the synopsis the movie is set in New York in 1926 and in the Harry Potter universe Gellert Grindelward is terrorising the magical community. Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) travels from London to New York with a briefcase full of magical creatures. Unfortunately not all the fantastic beasts want to stay hidden in Newt’s case and escape into the streets of New York. JK’s imagination astounds me and her creation of these magical creatures from her head to paper is just amazing. Set in the early 20’s transports this film back into an era where people lived in fear of satanic influences (references to Salem and its witchcraft’s) creating an underworld within the subways and back streets of New York. Newt meets some loveable witches along with a muggle that joins his adventures. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and it may not have captured my heart as much as Harry but one  little creature sure did!.... the loveable thief of shiny belongings, a Niffler – so cute and very naughty he made me laugh throughout the movie. JK’s genius has done it again and look forward to the next adventure along with seeing her private investigator Comoron Strike come to life on the TV later this year.

My second movie of choice is Sully – Tom Hanks taking the lead and telling the story of the pilot that landed an aeroplane on the Hudson River on the 15th January 2009, saving 155 lives and avoiding an aviation disaster. Most of us can remember the Miracle on the Hudson story and probably think that with 24 hour news coverage and social media that there isn’t much of a story to tell, what Sully does is show the impact that this has on his life and the investigation behind the scenes. It’s a fascinating and thrilling film, where you see a national hero come under immense scrutiny from the aviation companies and insurance corporations for saving 155 lives. Set in New York, this film has definitely ignited the flame to return to this fabulous city later this year.
A great film that will keep you entertained throughout, Tom Hanks is effortless throughout showcasing everything he does well being fantastically directed by Clint Eastwood.

Two great family entertaining films to finish the year off both set in New York but couldn't be any more different in genre and style ….. now off to compile my list for 2017!

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Theatre Nights ......

So I was lucky enough to get to the theatre 3 times over the festive season – twice in the West End and then again at my local theatre and loved every minute.
My first theatre night was early December where I was fortunate enough to have bagged a preview ticket for the much anticipated Dreamgirls staging. Those familiar with the movie (Beyoncé , Jennifer Hudson & Jamie Foxx ) will know that it follows a trio of girls who in the early 60’s embark on a journey which sees them taken from backing vocals to being the star act across the globe, based loosely on the story of Diana Ross and The Supremes, it is not without its back stabbing and jealousy’s and a fantastic soundtrack.
 Taking the lead role of Effie is the extremely talented Amber Riley (formerly Mercedes from Glee and currently part of the judging panel on Let it Shine) who was made for this part. With a ‘Full House’ board displayed outside The Savoy theatre there was much anticipation and excitement in the air before a note was sung on stage.  Staged a little different to the film it is the role of Effie that takes the lead and Amber Riley is just fabulous, having loved her voice in Glee I was interested to see how much of that was ‘real’ or just edited for TV. I can honestly say that this girl has the most amazing voice and belts out the soundtrack – it is the first time that I have been to the theatre and an actress has received a standing ovation as the curtain closed at half time.
With a great supporting cast, this is a fantastic feel good trip to the theatre and as good as the movie. Highly recommend seeing this before the cast move on to other things, I enjoyed it so much I came home and booked tickets for February to take a friend.
My second trip to the bright lights of the West End was to take a friend (M) to see The Bodyguard, and I bagged tickets for it penultimate night before it heads to Toronto. This also happened to fall on 12th night after Christmas and felt like the final festive treat before saying goodbye to Christmas 2016.
 I saw The Bodyguard a couple of years ago when Beverley Knight was playing the lead and was thrilled that she had returned for its final run. Those familiar with the movie will know that the two lead characters played by Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner take on the role of famous singer / movie star and a bodyguard. Ben Lister (Casualty, The Bill / Footballers wives fame) takes up the role as The Bodyguard and plays it brilliantly. Again with a full house, this was a fun packed evening filled with lots of trips down memory lane and a soundtrack that you could sing and dance along to until the final curtain. Beverley Knight is fabulous and really doesn’t get the accolades that she deserves as a female British singer. Sadly The Bodyguard has now finished its run in The West End and I am glad that we caught it before it closed.
My final trip to the theatre was a little closer to home where New Year’s eve eve saw us take in the local pantomime of Cinderella. I haven’t been to the pantomime since I was a little girl, when my nan and gramps used to take all the grandchildren and I had forgotten how much cheesy fun it could be. Annual trip to the pantomime is a tradition of M’s and I am sure that it will become mine now as we laughed lots and got involved in all the banter of “booing” and  “he’s behind you”, I must hasten to say I was a little more reluctant than M! Obviously the Ugly Sisters stole the show with their double entendres which were wasted on the kids but loved by the adults.
For a local show the cast was great and super talented as they all at some point during the show played musical instruments on stage – it’s the first time I’ve ever seen Cinderella playing a trombone! I had a fun filled evening and now look forward to this Christmas delights.

Friday, 27 January 2017

A slice of New York in London

Continuing with catching up on some of my activities during the festive season before we are in February. Lots of you commented on my obvious lack of New York adventure this year, and yes for the first time in a few years the annual trip to the Big Apple didn’t happen.  Rest assured I am already planning a return trip for 2017 along with a huge adventure on a boat!
To compensate for not going, I planned a New York inspired day in London with a friend on a day off in early December. My friend hasn’t been to New York and will be coming with me this year so this gave them a feel of what it would be like.
A perfect relaxed day in New York for me looks like the following:
Pancakes for Breakfast, a little Shopping and taking in the Christmas sights, a Walk through Central Park, Ice Skating, Cupcakes and Coffee and then a great Burger for eats.
So with a bit of a NY bucket list planned we started the day in Jackson & Rye – a cool eatery in Soho offering home cooked American style food, with pancakes on the menu for breakfast this was the perfect place to start. With an indulgent breakfast to walk off we headed along Piccadilly with a stop off at Fortnum’s to admire the Christmas décor and then a foray along Bond Street and a trip to Tiffany’s. Everywhere was beautifully decorated for Christmas – both Fortnum & Mason & Tiffany’s looked stunningly elegant.
Blessed with a beautiful crisp winter day we headed past The Ritz into Green Park and headed down to St James Park. This is my favourite park in the city and I was delighted to see so many of the parks legendary pelicans had left their island in the middle of the lake and were happily waddling around the grounds. We spent some time in park just enjoying the views and wildlife before we headed out past Buckingham Palace and into the side streets of Belgravia. Elegant wreaths festooned the doors of some of the townhouses along with a beautiful display at The Goring hotel. (added to 2017 bucket list for birthday afternoon tea)
When in Belgravia the only place to stop for coffee and cake is the gorgeous Peggy Porschen Parlour – beautifully decorated in her signature pastels, complete with Gingerbread castles, Cookie’s and Meringue kisses drip cakes – an instagrammers dream.
I can’t recommend this little slice of cupcake heaven enough – always a favourite treat.
Rested and fed we continued our travels through Belgravia towards the Kings Road where we walked and talked and took in the sights. What I loved about this area was the number of Christmas tree vendors that had taken up residency on street corners – not in the abundance of New York but certainly creating that feel and sight that you see everywhere there. After a peruse in Anthropologie and a quick stop by The Ivy Chelsea Garden to admire the stunning decorations ( again a Instagram favourite) we then headed to our final destination of the day – The Natural History Museum for a spot of ice-skating, followed by a great Burger at @Honest burgers.(worth the queue). Loved the rink at The Natural History museum – this was my first time to this rink and it had the feel similar to that of the one in Bryant Park.
Having clocked up 11k walk on the Fitbit and feeling a little weary it was time to head home and a relax on the sofa with a christmas movie.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

My SW journey in 2016....

As previously shared with you my Slimming World journey has been a significant part of my lifestyle changes within 2016, and what a journey it has been. I started the year having lost 2 stone on the plan and finished the year with a further 3 stone loss. This brings my total with Slimming world to 5 stone in 16 months and 6 stone since I made the decision to become a better me.  I am now working towards my Target loss with SW of 6 stone and hope to achieve this before I go on holiday in May.
Lots of people ask me how I’ve done it and is it easy; the honest answer is no ‘diet’ is easy, it’s about willpower, planning, motivation and support. I couldn’t have done this without those, but the biggest thing is that you have to do this for yourself and no-one else, otherwise the will is not there.  What I did set out to achieve when I started was that this became part of my life and not consumed it – it wasn’t a race and I am happy that I have taken the loss slow and steady.

This lifestyle change has overhauled me completely and allowed me to take on new challenges in work and life that I never expected to do 18 months ago. I’ve found a whole new network of friends through social media and group that are also on this journey, some of whom have been invaluable in my achievements. I am now probably the fittest that I have been since leaving school and actively exercise at least 2 or 3 times a week and have fallen in love with walking. ( The running is still up there for me in line with Chinese water torture!) and Zumba is my chosen high impact activity weekly.
I am now 4 / 5 sizes smaller than when I started (dependant on brand) and have completely overhauled my wardrobe, it has given me the confidence to change jobs, socialise and date! (hence the slowdown & lack of blogging!)
Along the way I have started to ‘inspire’ others which I’m struggling to get my head round but hope that I can help in any small way once someone makes the decision to change their lifestyle and lose weight. One of my closest friends wrote this on her instagram feed this week. 😊
❤ Things that have helped for me:
  Plan your weeks meals before food shopping.
    Set yourself monthly / 3 monthly goals – this makes the weight loss more manageable
 REWARD your goals & weekly losses. (something I never did to begin but was taught this my someone who lost 7.5stone)
 1lb may not seem much but over a year this = 3.5 stone
  Do something lovely for every 1/2stone loss.
    ❤   Find an exercise that is right for you.
    Walking – I use audible books and would find myself going around the block one more time to finish a chapter.
    Commuting – get off one stop early and walk (tube / bus)
     Escalators – Walk never stand – this is a really easy way to see how far you have come – you will soon be able to climb without stopping / out of breath.
    Take Photographs –
    For Yourself:  however much
    you hate the way you look
     they are a good tool to remind you how far you have come and help you see the loss
    (something that I still struggle with)


     Food: - photograph what you eat – if you have a good week look back on what you ate / not good then look at what you didn’t photograph and why!
    Dont beat yourself up if you have an off day.

        


    So here we are in 2017 and I am a stone away from Target , its time for me to set some new goals as all those that I set in 2016 I’ve achieved …… so here they are:
    Target – get to Target by May and then find a weight that I am happy with.
    • Wear a  pair of size 10 jeans
    •   Complete a 10k race
    • Continue to challenge myself with walking 10,000 steps
    • Buy a Bikini – I have never worn / bought a Bikini and would like to wear one at least once before I am 50!


     Thank-you to everyone who has commented and ❤ on my Sw posts and Instagram feed it really has helped my journey along the way. Here's to the final last push of which I will be updating you along the way.

    Tuesday, 17 January 2017

    London Lights in December ....

    Mid way through January and I'm only just beginning to get organised enough to start blogging about December. Life has been busy, some of which I aim to share with you over the coming weeks, however today I'm going to give you a glimpse of what December was like for me.
    It was my first Fenwick Christmas which really kicked off with Black Friday weekend and then just got busier as the big day approached, late nights and the hustle and bustle of London commute made for some long days. There was still time for some fun, with Christmas lunches, Secret Santa, singing with the Salvation Army and lots of laughter in the corner shop on Bond Street.

    Aside from work I did get out and about and enjoyed lots of the sights and lights that London has to offer during the festive season. When the weather was good I managed to walk from Liverpool Street to Bond Street and loved the trees that sprung up throughout the city.

    One of my favourites this year was definitely the huge tree inside the courtyard at The Rosewood London which was stunningly elegant in gold and green.
    On the day I passed by the car-park was full of Aston Martins 💛which were gorgeous.... this hotel is definitely on my bucket-list.
    Another hotel which is renowned for its Christmas Tree is Claridges, and as its a stones throw from the corner shop, I frequented it often during the festive season. This years tree was designed by the team from Apple and although not the prettiest of trees it was without a doubt the most atmospheric, making you feel like you were entering a magical winter forest. Not the easiest to photograph but stunningly beautiful in its own way.
    This year it felt that everyone embraced Christmas and everywhere that I walked you were met with stunning window displays, beautiful lights and huge trees. A few of my favourites included the feathers and chandeliers of Bond Street. The ribbon wrapped facade of Cartier and the blue boxed trees at Tiffany. Regent street had flying angels which swept through the street. Covent Garden;s huge tree and mistletoe disco ball's dazzled the apple market. Even Charing cross glowed with blue baubles and stars which led to the stunning square and ice rink of Somerset House which again sponsored by Fortnums was a feast for all the senses.This was one of my favourite walks this Christmas, and even in the drizzle some days it was still delightful.
    I loved exploring the lights and sights of London during the festive season, and will share more of my sights and treats later in the week.


    Friday, 6 January 2017

    Hello January and 2017.....

    So after an 8 week hiatus I thought it was time that I dropped into blog land and say hello.
    Life got pretty busy in the few weeks leading into Christmas and I have lots to post about.

    I have some downtime over the next couple of days so hoping to update the blog a little.
    I started 2017 having the most chilled NY day after a busy Christmas with work and life and had the most laziest day watching Bridget Jones and Harry Potter.... perfect....

    I hope that everyone had a fabulous Christmas and Happy New Year to you all.....
    I'm back :-) ... hello 2017

    Monday, 30 January 2017

    A treat of an evening.....

    Wow January has passed in a flash, but before we fall into February I am sharing one more post from my activities over the festive season. An annual tradition for me for many years is to see The Nutcracker Ballet, whether in New York of London, I always try to get to see a performance. This year I managed to get tickets for the English National Ballets performance at the London Coliseum, where I booked to take a friend for their 50th birthday. (they had never been to the ballet and I was able to put a big tick against a wish on their bucket list)
    To make the evening even more special I surprised them with starting the evening in The Savoy for drinks before moving onto The Ivy Grill Marketplace in Covent Garden for dinner. This was my first time at this restaurant and I loved it, ambience is gorgeous and the food was delicious. It was the perfect prequel to a delightful evening at the ballet.
    The Savoy this year was a decorated opulently in pinks and silver and was just beautiful. The tree in the foyer was sponsored by the jewellers Boodles and was very pink but oh so pretty.💗

    The interior of The Savoy was as equally as beautiful in greens and silver with a real art deco style and just quite magical.






    The Ivy Marketplace was equally as gorgeous in a colourful cacophony of baubles, wreaths and a stunning tree outside in the courtyard which complemented the large baubles and mistletoe decor of Covent Garden.
    This did nothing to distract how delicious the food was, a perfect venue for pre-theatre or a special dinner.
    After a very lovely supper it was a short stroll to The Coliseum, where we were swept up in the magic and sparkle of a Christmas Ballet.
    No matter how many times I have seen The Nutcracker I never grow old of it and it is a delightful treat to watch and see the delight on my friends face. 
    The Nutcracker featured lots in my Christmas 2016 - from the fabulous Nutcracker Soldiers outside Liberty's that I walked past most days, to Candles burning on the fireside and tags on the tree I have lots of lovely memories to add to 2016's Christmas album and look back on in future years.

    Sunday, 29 January 2017

    Movie Moments ....

    Movie moments were few and far between for me in 2016, for someone who usually has a list of movie musts at the beginning of each year to see, 2016 was definitely a little lack lustre in the cinema world. Two favourites for the year were Bridget Jones Baby which I saw a couple of times at the cinema with the girls and again snuggled on the sofa on New Year’s Day and MeBefore You which I just loved. Two other movies that I saw over the festive season also joined the favourite list was the much anticipated JK Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and where to find them and Sully. 
    I saw Fantastic Beasts in 3D at the Imax in London and loved the whole experience. It was my first trip to the Imax and I was super impressed with the service, ambience and space of the cinema. The movie was also in 3D, something I’ve not done in a long time, probably since those early years of 3D when it was all a little bit hit and miss with the visuals, however how much has time changed.
    For those not familiar with the synopsis the movie is set in New York in 1926 and in the Harry Potter universe Gellert Grindelward is terrorising the magical community. Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) travels from London to New York with a briefcase full of magical creatures. Unfortunately not all the fantastic beasts want to stay hidden in Newt’s case and escape into the streets of New York. JK’s imagination astounds me and her creation of these magical creatures from her head to paper is just amazing. Set in the early 20’s transports this film back into an era where people lived in fear of satanic influences (references to Salem and its witchcraft’s) creating an underworld within the subways and back streets of New York. Newt meets some loveable witches along with a muggle that joins his adventures. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and it may not have captured my heart as much as Harry but one  little creature sure did!.... the loveable thief of shiny belongings, a Niffler – so cute and very naughty he made me laugh throughout the movie. JK’s genius has done it again and look forward to the next adventure along with seeing her private investigator Comoron Strike come to life on the TV later this year.

    My second movie of choice is Sully – Tom Hanks taking the lead and telling the story of the pilot that landed an aeroplane on the Hudson River on the 15th January 2009, saving 155 lives and avoiding an aviation disaster. Most of us can remember the Miracle on the Hudson story and probably think that with 24 hour news coverage and social media that there isn’t much of a story to tell, what Sully does is show the impact that this has on his life and the investigation behind the scenes. It’s a fascinating and thrilling film, where you see a national hero come under immense scrutiny from the aviation companies and insurance corporations for saving 155 lives. Set in New York, this film has definitely ignited the flame to return to this fabulous city later this year.
    A great film that will keep you entertained throughout, Tom Hanks is effortless throughout showcasing everything he does well being fantastically directed by Clint Eastwood.

    Two great family entertaining films to finish the year off both set in New York but couldn't be any more different in genre and style ….. now off to compile my list for 2017!

    Saturday, 28 January 2017

    Theatre Nights ......

    So I was lucky enough to get to the theatre 3 times over the festive season – twice in the West End and then again at my local theatre and loved every minute.
    My first theatre night was early December where I was fortunate enough to have bagged a preview ticket for the much anticipated Dreamgirls staging. Those familiar with the movie (Beyoncé , Jennifer Hudson & Jamie Foxx ) will know that it follows a trio of girls who in the early 60’s embark on a journey which sees them taken from backing vocals to being the star act across the globe, based loosely on the story of Diana Ross and The Supremes, it is not without its back stabbing and jealousy’s and a fantastic soundtrack.
     Taking the lead role of Effie is the extremely talented Amber Riley (formerly Mercedes from Glee and currently part of the judging panel on Let it Shine) who was made for this part. With a ‘Full House’ board displayed outside The Savoy theatre there was much anticipation and excitement in the air before a note was sung on stage.  Staged a little different to the film it is the role of Effie that takes the lead and Amber Riley is just fabulous, having loved her voice in Glee I was interested to see how much of that was ‘real’ or just edited for TV. I can honestly say that this girl has the most amazing voice and belts out the soundtrack – it is the first time that I have been to the theatre and an actress has received a standing ovation as the curtain closed at half time.
    With a great supporting cast, this is a fantastic feel good trip to the theatre and as good as the movie. Highly recommend seeing this before the cast move on to other things, I enjoyed it so much I came home and booked tickets for February to take a friend.
    My second trip to the bright lights of the West End was to take a friend (M) to see The Bodyguard, and I bagged tickets for it penultimate night before it heads to Toronto. This also happened to fall on 12th night after Christmas and felt like the final festive treat before saying goodbye to Christmas 2016.
     I saw The Bodyguard a couple of years ago when Beverley Knight was playing the lead and was thrilled that she had returned for its final run. Those familiar with the movie will know that the two lead characters played by Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner take on the role of famous singer / movie star and a bodyguard. Ben Lister (Casualty, The Bill / Footballers wives fame) takes up the role as The Bodyguard and plays it brilliantly. Again with a full house, this was a fun packed evening filled with lots of trips down memory lane and a soundtrack that you could sing and dance along to until the final curtain. Beverley Knight is fabulous and really doesn’t get the accolades that she deserves as a female British singer. Sadly The Bodyguard has now finished its run in The West End and I am glad that we caught it before it closed.
    My final trip to the theatre was a little closer to home where New Year’s eve eve saw us take in the local pantomime of Cinderella. I haven’t been to the pantomime since I was a little girl, when my nan and gramps used to take all the grandchildren and I had forgotten how much cheesy fun it could be. Annual trip to the pantomime is a tradition of M’s and I am sure that it will become mine now as we laughed lots and got involved in all the banter of “booing” and  “he’s behind you”, I must hasten to say I was a little more reluctant than M! Obviously the Ugly Sisters stole the show with their double entendres which were wasted on the kids but loved by the adults.
    For a local show the cast was great and super talented as they all at some point during the show played musical instruments on stage – it’s the first time I’ve ever seen Cinderella playing a trombone! I had a fun filled evening and now look forward to this Christmas delights.

    Friday, 27 January 2017

    A slice of New York in London

    Continuing with catching up on some of my activities during the festive season before we are in February. Lots of you commented on my obvious lack of New York adventure this year, and yes for the first time in a few years the annual trip to the Big Apple didn’t happen.  Rest assured I am already planning a return trip for 2017 along with a huge adventure on a boat!
    To compensate for not going, I planned a New York inspired day in London with a friend on a day off in early December. My friend hasn’t been to New York and will be coming with me this year so this gave them a feel of what it would be like.
    A perfect relaxed day in New York for me looks like the following:
    Pancakes for Breakfast, a little Shopping and taking in the Christmas sights, a Walk through Central Park, Ice Skating, Cupcakes and Coffee and then a great Burger for eats.
    So with a bit of a NY bucket list planned we started the day in Jackson & Rye – a cool eatery in Soho offering home cooked American style food, with pancakes on the menu for breakfast this was the perfect place to start. With an indulgent breakfast to walk off we headed along Piccadilly with a stop off at Fortnum’s to admire the Christmas décor and then a foray along Bond Street and a trip to Tiffany’s. Everywhere was beautifully decorated for Christmas – both Fortnum & Mason & Tiffany’s looked stunningly elegant.
    Blessed with a beautiful crisp winter day we headed past The Ritz into Green Park and headed down to St James Park. This is my favourite park in the city and I was delighted to see so many of the parks legendary pelicans had left their island in the middle of the lake and were happily waddling around the grounds. We spent some time in park just enjoying the views and wildlife before we headed out past Buckingham Palace and into the side streets of Belgravia. Elegant wreaths festooned the doors of some of the townhouses along with a beautiful display at The Goring hotel. (added to 2017 bucket list for birthday afternoon tea)
    When in Belgravia the only place to stop for coffee and cake is the gorgeous Peggy Porschen Parlour – beautifully decorated in her signature pastels, complete with Gingerbread castles, Cookie’s and Meringue kisses drip cakes – an instagrammers dream.
    I can’t recommend this little slice of cupcake heaven enough – always a favourite treat.
    Rested and fed we continued our travels through Belgravia towards the Kings Road where we walked and talked and took in the sights. What I loved about this area was the number of Christmas tree vendors that had taken up residency on street corners – not in the abundance of New York but certainly creating that feel and sight that you see everywhere there. After a peruse in Anthropologie and a quick stop by The Ivy Chelsea Garden to admire the stunning decorations ( again a Instagram favourite) we then headed to our final destination of the day – The Natural History Museum for a spot of ice-skating, followed by a great Burger at @Honest burgers.(worth the queue). Loved the rink at The Natural History museum – this was my first time to this rink and it had the feel similar to that of the one in Bryant Park.
    Having clocked up 11k walk on the Fitbit and feeling a little weary it was time to head home and a relax on the sofa with a christmas movie.

    Sunday, 22 January 2017

    My SW journey in 2016....

    As previously shared with you my Slimming World journey has been a significant part of my lifestyle changes within 2016, and what a journey it has been. I started the year having lost 2 stone on the plan and finished the year with a further 3 stone loss. This brings my total with Slimming world to 5 stone in 16 months and 6 stone since I made the decision to become a better me.  I am now working towards my Target loss with SW of 6 stone and hope to achieve this before I go on holiday in May.
    Lots of people ask me how I’ve done it and is it easy; the honest answer is no ‘diet’ is easy, it’s about willpower, planning, motivation and support. I couldn’t have done this without those, but the biggest thing is that you have to do this for yourself and no-one else, otherwise the will is not there.  What I did set out to achieve when I started was that this became part of my life and not consumed it – it wasn’t a race and I am happy that I have taken the loss slow and steady.

    This lifestyle change has overhauled me completely and allowed me to take on new challenges in work and life that I never expected to do 18 months ago. I’ve found a whole new network of friends through social media and group that are also on this journey, some of whom have been invaluable in my achievements. I am now probably the fittest that I have been since leaving school and actively exercise at least 2 or 3 times a week and have fallen in love with walking. ( The running is still up there for me in line with Chinese water torture!) and Zumba is my chosen high impact activity weekly.
    I am now 4 / 5 sizes smaller than when I started (dependant on brand) and have completely overhauled my wardrobe, it has given me the confidence to change jobs, socialise and date! (hence the slowdown & lack of blogging!)
    Along the way I have started to ‘inspire’ others which I’m struggling to get my head round but hope that I can help in any small way once someone makes the decision to change their lifestyle and lose weight. One of my closest friends wrote this on her instagram feed this week. 😊
    ❤ Things that have helped for me:
      Plan your weeks meals before food shopping.
        Set yourself monthly / 3 monthly goals – this makes the weight loss more manageable
     REWARD your goals & weekly losses. (something I never did to begin but was taught this my someone who lost 7.5stone)
     1lb may not seem much but over a year this = 3.5 stone
      Do something lovely for every 1/2stone loss.
      ❤   Find an exercise that is right for you.
      Walking – I use audible books and would find myself going around the block one more time to finish a chapter.
      Commuting – get off one stop early and walk (tube / bus)
       Escalators – Walk never stand – this is a really easy way to see how far you have come – you will soon be able to climb without stopping / out of breath.
      Take Photographs –
      For Yourself:  however much
      you hate the way you look
       they are a good tool to remind you how far you have come and help you see the loss
      (something that I still struggle with)


       Food: - photograph what you eat – if you have a good week look back on what you ate / not good then look at what you didn’t photograph and why!
      Dont beat yourself up if you have an off day.

          


      So here we are in 2017 and I am a stone away from Target , its time for me to set some new goals as all those that I set in 2016 I’ve achieved …… so here they are:
      Target – get to Target by May and then find a weight that I am happy with.
      • Wear a  pair of size 10 jeans
      •   Complete a 10k race
      • Continue to challenge myself with walking 10,000 steps
      • Buy a Bikini – I have never worn / bought a Bikini and would like to wear one at least once before I am 50!


       Thank-you to everyone who has commented and ❤ on my Sw posts and Instagram feed it really has helped my journey along the way. Here's to the final last push of which I will be updating you along the way.

      Tuesday, 17 January 2017

      London Lights in December ....

      Mid way through January and I'm only just beginning to get organised enough to start blogging about December. Life has been busy, some of which I aim to share with you over the coming weeks, however today I'm going to give you a glimpse of what December was like for me.
      It was my first Fenwick Christmas which really kicked off with Black Friday weekend and then just got busier as the big day approached, late nights and the hustle and bustle of London commute made for some long days. There was still time for some fun, with Christmas lunches, Secret Santa, singing with the Salvation Army and lots of laughter in the corner shop on Bond Street.

      Aside from work I did get out and about and enjoyed lots of the sights and lights that London has to offer during the festive season. When the weather was good I managed to walk from Liverpool Street to Bond Street and loved the trees that sprung up throughout the city.

      One of my favourites this year was definitely the huge tree inside the courtyard at The Rosewood London which was stunningly elegant in gold and green.
      On the day I passed by the car-park was full of Aston Martins 💛which were gorgeous.... this hotel is definitely on my bucket-list.
      Another hotel which is renowned for its Christmas Tree is Claridges, and as its a stones throw from the corner shop, I frequented it often during the festive season. This years tree was designed by the team from Apple and although not the prettiest of trees it was without a doubt the most atmospheric, making you feel like you were entering a magical winter forest. Not the easiest to photograph but stunningly beautiful in its own way.
      This year it felt that everyone embraced Christmas and everywhere that I walked you were met with stunning window displays, beautiful lights and huge trees. A few of my favourites included the feathers and chandeliers of Bond Street. The ribbon wrapped facade of Cartier and the blue boxed trees at Tiffany. Regent street had flying angels which swept through the street. Covent Garden;s huge tree and mistletoe disco ball's dazzled the apple market. Even Charing cross glowed with blue baubles and stars which led to the stunning square and ice rink of Somerset House which again sponsored by Fortnums was a feast for all the senses.This was one of my favourite walks this Christmas, and even in the drizzle some days it was still delightful.
      I loved exploring the lights and sights of London during the festive season, and will share more of my sights and treats later in the week.


      Friday, 6 January 2017

      Hello January and 2017.....

      So after an 8 week hiatus I thought it was time that I dropped into blog land and say hello.
      Life got pretty busy in the few weeks leading into Christmas and I have lots to post about.

      I have some downtime over the next couple of days so hoping to update the blog a little.
      I started 2017 having the most chilled NY day after a busy Christmas with work and life and had the most laziest day watching Bridget Jones and Harry Potter.... perfect....

      I hope that everyone had a fabulous Christmas and Happy New Year to you all.....
      I'm back :-) ... hello 2017