FOOD & DRINK | Enzo's Blogger Event

Monday, July 24, 2017

Last week I was invited to a blogger event at Enzo's Manchester branch which is on Fountain Street in the city centre. (down the side of Primark) 

I hadn't heard of them before but looking at the website and seeing Pizza and Coffee I was excited. What I also liked was the story of how Enzo's came to be. I will leave you to read that for yourself on their website if you're interested. 

There is a fairly decent sized outside seating area at the front which would be lovely on a sunny day and a bright modern but with a bit of a retro vibe interior.

I did walk past a couple of times as it didn't look like an event, event. I went and found another blogger I knew who was going and we walked in together. I'm glad I didn't go in alone as I would have ended up sitting on my own until someone else I knew arrived.  

Luckily Rachel did know some of the others who were already seated so we joined them and then the lovely Claire arrived and joined us. I love meeting new bloggers and catching up with people I've not seen for a while.

I think we were all very taken with this sign and you'll be seeing it across most peoples posts, It's already on my Instagram account.

We were welcomed with a glass of Prosecco and then we got to try a few different slices of pizza and a bowl of pasta. The pasta wasn't for me, I can't put my finger on what it was I wasn't keen on but I'm a much bigger fan of pizza than pasta anyway.

The first two slices were Vegi Deluxe and one I didn't catch the name of but it has onions and chillies and that was amazing. I could have happily eaten more of it. Looking at the menu I suspect it may be the Enzo Royale which also has bolognese base and pepperoni.

We also had the chance to try some bread twists which I didn't take pictures of them7, they had chilli flakes and tasted extra nice when dunked in a balsamic and oil mix. 

As well as regular and cheese garlic bread I also tried Schia Bread, which is flat bread with red onions, rosemary and sea salt and I will be ordering another one od these. I did also try a piece of the vegan garlic bread which I think I preferred to the regular garlic bread (which was very nice) 

They brought round quite a lot of food and it was very had to resist, as you can see I had quite a lot of food. All in the name of research. 

Two of the pizzas I did resist were the Lasagne pizza and Nduja which has dolcelatte, nduja, toasted walnuts and rocket. I opted for the Enzo Royale instead and the Nduja just didn't do anything for me but it looks pretty impressive.

I had fully decided I was full and happy and ready to leave when they brought round slices of the Pesto Deluxe. I was happy to resist. I've never been a huge fan of pesto and it was covered in Rocket which I really dislike. (It tastes like fish to me - I've been told I'm wrong but each to their own)

When they said feta, I knew I had to try it. I've recently discovered how insanely good feta is on pizza and the rocket was just garnishing so I shook off the rocket and this has to be my pizza of the night.

The pesto and feta just work, I always ask for a very light covering of tomato sauce on pizza if I know they are being freshly made and if I'm honest it's all about the cheese for me.

I think I might have just had bad pesto before as I really did enjoy this and now all pizza's should be topped with it.

Looking through the menu there is an extensive drinks menu from coffee, teas and the usual soft drinks to a range of ice teas and a whole hot chocolate section. They are also licenced if you fancy a pizza and a tipple.

On the way out I noticed these flapjacks and they looked exactly like the ones at my old high school. You might think that's a bad thing but my school's flapjacks were amazing and I'm not just saying that becasue my best friends mum was the dinner lady in charge of making them.

Tram and weather dependent (they've been suspended again at the time of writing) I might be popping back into Enzo today for a coffee and a cake in the outside area.

I've also noticed they do vegan nights which look like could be a good night out and I noticed a poster for live entertainment on Fridays after work.

I was invited to Enzo and received the food and drink in exchange for a blog post, as always all views and opinion's are my own. I would recommend trying Enzo's and I will be back as I need to try a breakfast pizza and I want a square of that flapjack!


PLANNING | The Ginger Cat co Haul and Comp Win

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of the Ginger Cat Company's stickers. I've been buying them on and off for the past few months, I'm not as good at using them in my planners but I do keep buying them. 

The ginger cat co - sticker shop haul

In June they celebrated their birthday by holding a number of giveaways and I was lucky enough to win one of the prizes.

I'd also placed an order using the very generous birthday discount code so my prize and purchase all came in one package. It was like Christmas.

My prize was a pencil case, a set of coloured pencils and a cat greetings card colouring in pack. I'm excited to get colouring in and send some to my friends.

The ginger cat co - sticker shop haul

I bought a mix of bullet journal functional stickers as well as days of the weeks stickers, monthly calendars and date boxes.

The ginger cat co - sticker shop haul

As well as the stickers I bought I also got a free birthday sheet which I'm going to save for my birthday week next year.

As well as this kit I also grabbed a few more colourful sheets including a Cinema boxes set, I don't go often but I love this style of box to record my trips.

My current planner is undated so the bow date stickers will come in handy and the birthday balloons will be a nice way to records friends special days. The first time I saw these was on a sample sheet and I wasn't keen but I decided to use it and loved how it looked in my planner.

The ginger cat co - sticker shop haul

The final set is a mix of cute stickers including the book lover stickers which are adorable, but first coffee and other coffee saying which might be an ill timed purchase as I have been thinking about cutting out caffeine but I'm going to cut down not cut out and I couldn't resist the cat stickers.

The small sample sheets from a couple of other shops that provided stickers to the first x number of people who bought in the birthday sale. I'm not sure if people got full sheets as well but I placed my order at the very last minute so I didn't expect any birthday extras the discount was enough.

I have bought from a few other shops but in my experience the Ginger Cat Co have always arrived very quickly, There is also a facebook group which has a nice mix of people in it and I'm sure other shops have that as well, but I've found somewhere I love and I'm a little afraid of shopping else where. I know I should try other shops but for now, I'm really happy and I need to get sticking and planning with these and the many other stickers I own!


Lifestyle | Mindfulness and Me

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Earlier this week I went on a work course which was all about health, lifestyle and energy. I really didn't know what it was about but it has to be one of the best course I've been on through work.

Now I don't really talk about work on the blog and I guess this isn't really about work as it was an external company that ran the course and work just paid for it.

I realised by battery levels are more like a 2 out of 5. I spend my work day in the wrong "zone" and I need to do things about it.

Throughout the session, we had a sheet with traffic light signals and after each part of the session we wrote down thing we were going to start doing, anything we wanted to continued doing and things we were going to stop doing.

If you've read my last post about why I haven't been blogging much you will see that I've been ill and run down and stressed for a while now.

The course was on Tuesday and as I write this it's now Thursday and I've already made a few changed. I'm hoping these are sustainable and after only 2 days I managed to sleep almost a full night, minus a 3 am wee break but I didn't fall asleep on the loo and I did get right back to sleep.

Changes I'm planning:

Eat breakfast within 2 hours of waking. The course recommended this for me it will have to be within 3 hours due to commute but I have had some form of breakfast before 9 am all week. I just  need to make sure I do it at weekend as well

I've been taking in Skyr Icelandic Style yogurts and having one before 9 am where I can. I really enjoy these as they are not as sweet as many yogurts and they are high in protein and help to keep me fuller.

Use an app such as Headspace - I have downloaded it and done the first two meditations. I'm going to look into some other apps before I buy a year subscription so if you have any recommendations let me know.

Start a positivity / Gratitude Journal-  for a while I have noticed people posting their three positives for the day on Facebook and we talked about this, it was agreed putting pen to paper makes us connect with what we are saying more. I have dug out the journal I won from Beth a while ago and started it. My plan is to write my three positives for the day and a quote. I used to keep a quote journal but it's been lost/packed away and I have no idea where it is. This way if it does turn up I can transfer the quotes to it/I'm kind of keeping a new one.

Make Gin Fridays a more regular thing - Myself and a colleague have an odd gin Friday when we need it / special occasions and we both really need it. It might have been a bit of a joke but we do need to spend regular time out of the office. I'm not sure I can afford a Gin and lunch out every week but I'm going to see if she wants to do the odd Starbucks lunch / other places and make sure we book it in. Even if it's once a month plus special occasions.

We've made a good start and had a Gin Friday this week, we also had lunch out as it's been a tough old week so food and gin were essential.

Stop eating my lunch at my desk -  I kinda like eating at my desk. I get to do a bit of blogging / I can watch Love Island. I am trying to spend half my lunch away from my desk and on days where I have watched LI I will move away from my desk!

These are a few of the things that I'm starting to work on. There are a few other things on the list but I haven't really look at them yet.

Watch this space, I'm aiming to do updates on changes I'm making and how I'm feeling over the coming months.

Life Style

LIFESTYLE | Why I Haven't Been Blogging as Much

Monday, July 10, 2017

I was I looking for a snappier title the "Why I Haven't Been Blogging as Much"  but let's call a spade a spade.

Over the past few months, I've felt ill. Nothing I can put my finger on. Ongoing cold, chest infections, ear infections with a few days of feeling ok. Only for the cycle to start again.

I feel miserable and I'm sick of turning down social occasions but what is worse a lot of the time I've felt ok but by the weekend I'm so run down I have to cancel last minute and I'm always the one who plays hell when people flake at the last minute. I've taken to telling people to plan without me and if I'm up to it I'll let them know last minute. Which I also hate but I just can't commit to anything at the moment.

Just before I went on holiday I finally gave in and went to the doctors, only because 1. I was due to fly and I knew it was a full on ear infections and 2. It was a bit of a cry for help. Sadly as I can't
explain how I feel any more than I feel ill. It isn't much help.

That doctor gave me a course of antibiotics but all the time on holiday I was poorly. I keep randomly falling asleep. When I wake up I have no idea where I am or what day it is and it's very scary. On one occasion I fell asleep walking down a set of stairs from the roof terrace to the main living area. Luckily I had my parents either side of me shouting to wake me up. I safely made it downstairs and slept in a bed for 6 hours. I found if we had a bit of a trip out in the morning I'd sleep all afternoon.

Now I'm home the random sleeping has abated a little but I've fallen asleep at work, on the tram and missed my stop. Luckily I was on a tram where the last stop was only 2 stops down the line but it meant tea was ruined and I got shouted at. I got told to buck my ideas up by my dad. I didn't do it on purpose. I don't know how to make it stop. I'm now setting alarms at 5 min intervals to keep me awake all the way home but I need to change the alarm tone as I think I'm becoming immune to it.

I did go back to the doctors the day after I came back and saw the practice nurse. I don't feel like he took me very seriously and said there was no sign of infection. He was assuming I don't go to bed early enough for the sleep thing, but I go to bed between 6 pm and 9 pm most nights, occasionally it will be about 11 pm but I don't really consider that all that late. No antibiotics needed but he did give me a nasal spray as I was bunged up.

He agreed to send me for a blood test to see if there was anything else they could see but I've been back for the results and all he said was my sugar levels were too high but not indicating diabetes. I need to get my sugar levels down (AKA Diet) and there was a slight abnormality a liver enzyme but nothing to cause concern or need medication for. I then had a coughing fit and he sent me on my way with another prescription for antibiotics and said he wants to repeat the blood work in September.

What I have noticed is my sleeping is getting worse, last night I went to bed at 9 pm Started to watch Love Island and I fell asleep within 30 mins. I woke up within 90 mins I know this as I'd put my TV on a timer and my tv turned off a couple on mins after I'd woken up. More sleep but awake at midnight - too hot, sleep wake up 1 am - too cold, sleep, wake up 2.30am no idea where I am. Sit on the edge of the bed knowing I need the loo but not being able to get up. 3 am. Go to the loo.  3.30am Get woken up by dad. You're asleep on the loo go back to bed. Sleep, wake 4 am - too hot again. Do i  get up, sit on the edge of bed not being able to get out of bed. sleep repeate a mix of previous till 9 am when I gave up and get up. 12 pm arrives and i'm asleep on the sofa! Is this pattern happening all the time and I just don't remember it? What is wrong with me.

If I go out on a Saturday and I mean just a walk around town, I can't get up on a Sunday and I do nothing. I feel like I have no life. I get home from work, have tea, read blogs, watch TV then sleep. I can't risk going out after work in case it wipes me out at work the next day.

With all the going on I haven't had time for blogging. My YouTube channel has been ticking along as I filmed lots in advance and I managed to film while I was away.

Safe to say I'm feeling very sorry for myself. I now have a barking cough and I'm annoying everyone around me with the sounds I'm making!!!

As well as all this we've been having wifi issues. We have virgin super fast which only works when it wants to on one device at a time!

Apologies for this being so whiney but sometimes it's cathartic to pour it all out.

I do want to try and improve my health and I'm a member of a gym but I haven't felt up to going. I went back last Wednesday and did  Zumba class and it was great and I'm hoping to keep going to that. I just need to make sure I've had a quiet Tuesday and Thursdays planned. I'm also going back to Slimming World. Don't worry this isn't going to be a SW blog and I know this may lose me a number of friends but I wanted to mention it. I'm not a diet bore and I don't want to talk about it 247. I want to crack on and do it. I want my all come back normal in September and I want to be able to go to events again and no be wiped out. They are exhausting enough when you are well. I've got tickets to CFF and accommodation booked. I want to be able to play out on Saturday night and not take to my bed and think I could have done this at home! Someone remind me to book a train ticket and I've got a holiday booked for November and I want to not sleep through that one!!

I want to feel more like me even if I have no idea what I feel like. I want my blood tests to come back "normal" I don't care about losing weight. I admit I'm a couple of stone above where I tend to sit and those plane seats were more uncomfortable than normal but I won't be letting it take over my life.

Other than mirror IG selfies these are then only photos of me from holiday and I hate them, I feel that I look really sad and if i'm honest a bit poorly so I guess they are a true reflection of the time. 



Monday, July 03, 2017

I've recently returned from a trip to Spain and one of the many things we did was to visit Cartagena. I have been to this city around 7 years ago but last time we stayed around the large El Corte Ingles which is a large department store.

This time we entered from the different side of the city and parked in an underground carpark which was along the sea front. 

While I didn't spend very long in the city these are my three recommendations. If you've been recently let me know what you would recommend as I really want to go back for a long weekend. 

Number One - Visit the Port Area

Cartagena is also a stop for cruise ships so for a lot of visitors they don't get a choice but to visit this area. 

I love to look at boats and while I was there I was lucky enough to see the new superyacht, that is on its final fit out alongside its sister ship the much smaller but no less swanky yacht.

There are also a number of sculptures along the port side and I really like this about Spain and I know a lot of other cities do it but as I visit Spain the most I associate it with them.  

The port side isn't the only place for art with this amazing tail poking out of the water. The is also the Naval museum which we didn't do this time but it is on my list for my next visit. Near our car park was a few bars and we had a drink looking out over the water picking out our imaginary yacht.

Number Two- Go To The Roman Theatre Museum 

This is the closest I came to visit this museum and it might seem strange to recommend it, it was one of the reasons we went to Cartagena, sadly we decided it was just too warm to visit and we decided to spend out time elsewhere. It's said to have seated 6000 people and as you can expect it isn't a place for someone with mobility issues as there are a lot of steps. There is also an interactive element to the museum with a lot of buttons to press and displays are in English and Spanish. 

Number Three and a sneaky Four - Shop & Drink Cortado

As I mentioned at the beginning of the post there is a large department store but we explored the side streets and discovered a number of shops that I was familiar with. 

I found Sephora, but it was closed and not open for a few weeks which was a little bit heartbreaking but I'm guessing this saved me at least 100 euros. We spotted a lot of the usual store we'd previously seen in the shopping malls but we did find a Sfera which we hadn't found before (I did see a concession in El Corte Ingles in Alicante a few days later) 

After a hard day of sightseeing and shopping, we stopped for a cortado which is an espresso with hot milk and my favourite way to drink coffee but I have it with milk as they sometimes make it with hot condensed milk and that way really isn't for me! 

I may have only spent a couple of hours in the city but it has left a lasting impression on me. It felt like a smaller, calmer, safer Barcelona and I'm longing to spend more time in the city.


STATIONERY | Tiger Store - My First Visit

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Some peoples idea of heaven might be a trip to Disney Land, others a million pounds, mine to be given untamed access to stationery. Pens, pencils, rulers, washi tape, pads, pens, binders. It’s my heaven.

STATIONERY | Tiger Store - My First Visit

I’ve come across Tiger from planning groups on facebook and a seeing them in Vlogs. When I arrived on holiday and stopped a store I was excited. I knew I couldn’t get too excited as we only had 22kg luggage allowance and I was in the market for new clothes.

If you like pineapples, and light bulbs, random things you didn’t know you didn’t need then Tiger is the place for you. 

The main thing I was on the look out for was the fauxdori travellers notebook binder thing (the blue and white stripped folder in the pictures)

STATIONERY | Tiger Store - My First Visit

I'm in a number of planner groups and their was a bit of a buzz about these when they first appeared. I have no idea why I'll use it for but it's so pretty. I also got another note book with blank but coloured pages, again I have no need or use for it but it's cute.

I also grabbed a small colouring in book but I've only coloured in one of the pictures.

Some things I will use are the pens, I couldn't pick between the two and for a euro each why not get both, I also bought the 2 sticky tapes for a euro and I plan to use this in my planner and will use the sticky notes in the same way

STATIONERY | Tiger Store - My First Visit

I also bought 2 chocolate bars, one was very much like a mars bar and the other was similar but was more nougat-y and a bag of apple chips. The chocolate was nice but I wouldn't be in a rush to re-buy it. I did love the apple chips. They were the nicest ones I've tried.

My last purchase was the tub of chuddy (anyone still call it that?) Chewing gum, I'm impressed with this. I don't use gum very often but I wish I'd bought more. The pieces are a bit chunkier than other brands and it has a nice bite to it as you start to chew it. I don't know how to describe it but it's enjoyable 

STATIONERY | Tiger Store - My First Visit