Monday 21 July 2014

An Unexpected Long Weekend.

Well wasn’t this weekend a complete surprise? The weather men said it would rain from Friday – Sunday, but no siree! We had beautiful sunshine nearly all weekend long! (Ignore the catastrophic thunderstorm we had on the early hours of Friday morning though).

If you follow me on twitter (if not, come join the party…if you like a really slow, ranty and full of cats type of party – @blessed_by) you will know that I have been working in unbearable heat for the last few weeks. I know that many offices, like my office, do not have air con (which is just cray cray) but for some reason, it has been extra hot in my office, resulting in my company giving us free cold drinks and ice creams every day just to stay cool.

At the beginning of last week, my company decided to have a bit of nosey around our building to find out why our office was so god damn hot and soon found out that our air conditioning unit was broken and actually stuck on blowing out hot air. Fantastic.

They registered the temperature of my office at 38 degrees. 38…degrees. To put it into perspective, we were hotter than Kingston, Jamaica…it was that hot.

So in good will, my company said we could all have Friday off, as we've had to endure horrible temperatures these last few weeks, and as Friday was due to be the hottest day of the year so far, I think they knew it was just going to be awful in our office.

So this weekend was an unexpected, long break which was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. I had many adventures, laughs and amazing food (obviously).

As always, I had to take boatload of photos of everything I did, so here are some pictures I've snapped from throughout the week and weekend.



Here are some homemade oat bars I made with dark chocolate, coconut and apricots. I'm trying to be healthy and lay off the naughty sweets and instead make my own sweet treats, but I'm failing miserably. I love all foods, especially naughty ones. Sweets, cakes, cheese, chocolate, I love it all. I can't help it. I need to get back on the workout schedule again ASAP!

Rocket salad with sweet potatoes, chicken and mushrooms, with a balsamic and olive oil dressing. 

I was lucky enough to win the JustEat twitter competition on Tuesday and got to spend £25 on a takeaway of my choice from my area. I got this amazing deal for £15 (I regret nothing), whilst my mate got a cheeky curry with the rest of the voucher!

I've never used JustEat before, even though I've seen it advertised; I've always just gone direct to the venders to get my food. However, if you want to find out a whole host of new takeaway services in your area, this is the place to be. The service was quick, easy and the site was simple to use. I would happily use it again.

PS: The Garlic bread calzone was just incredible; soft dough, tons of garlic and beautiful mozzarella cheese. This is what heaven is made of.


Wednesday lunch consisted of a rainbow salad, sweet potatoes and chorizo. Um, yum!

I had THEE worst dinner ever on Wednesday evening (it was tasty as heck, just bad for me) but I caved in to my Burger King addiction and got my dinner there. 

(Again, I regret nothing). 

And as if that wasn't enough, I then went to my local Baskin Robbins and got this amazing hot brownie dessert with hot fudge sauce, whipped cream, pistachio ice cream and cookies & cream ice cream. It was just ridiculous. Utterly ridiculous. The brownie was hot and chewy and with the cold ice cream, the hot and cold sensation was perfection. I obviously didn't eat this all to myself (though I could of) I shared it with a friend and had a secret eating session in their car. Oh the shame.


So after being a fat bint for at least the last 3 weeks, I decided to go do a HIIT workout (high intensity interval training) at my local park. I went with my mum, who walked around the park at her own pace, whilst I ran about like a mad woman. I felt so good afterwards and I was so happy I did it. Even if I was dripping with sweat whilst it was 25 degree out...

After my workout, I decided to clean the house and paint my nails. I thought I should try a new design of flowers as I'm still trying my hand at nail art. I think I'm getting a bit better, but I definitely need more practice!

My poor nails are in terrible condition at the moment...oops! Ignore the hang nails and awful cuticles. 


So, Friday was my free day off from work and after having a much needed lie in, I headed off to meet a few friends at my local outdoor pool. 

I was baking riding the bus into town to meet them, so as soon as I arrived, I whipped my clothes off to reveal my bikini and jumped in the ice cold water.


I spent 3 hours swimming around, doing lengths with friends and trying to put them on my back whilst I was swimming around.

Once I decided to get out, my legs were like jelly! 

I absolutely LOVE swimming. It works out your entire body with little impact on your joints and muscles, but you still get a great resistance training session. Perfect for everyone who is trying to get fit. What a fantastic workout.

The boys messing about:

That evening I then went to see Dawn of the Planet of the Apes at my local cinema. I loved the first film and I wasn't disappointed with this one either...even though the people I was with didn't actually enjoy it.

My only quibble would be is that I saw it in 3-D but I strongly suggest not to waste your money doing so. There were no graphics that really required the 3-D glasses and extra five pounds for it. So if you do see this film, just see it at a regular screening and save yourself some dosh.


I had an extra early driving lesson this Saturday, and supposedly it was my best to date. I felt fine driving about, as if it was second nature and for the first time, I had a real confidence in myself.

I'm more than ready to do my driving test (which my driving instructor keeps reminding me off) but I'm just not mentally prepared to join the world of crazy ass drivers just yet. I know I'm capable of driving, it's just there's so many idiots on the road, I don't really want to leave my safe cocoon that is my learner car.

Upon my return I was surprised with the best breakfast of all time; a sausage, egg and cheese bagel from Mc Donalds! Naughty!

This was fuel to set me up for the days adventures that laid ahead...little did I know it was going to be one busy day!

Tom decided that he wanted to take a drive to Oxford after we ate our scrummy breakfast and have a little adventure together. 

I love Oxford, it's quaint, it has stunning architecture, great shops and amazing restaurants; It's a mini London. What more could you want?

These pictures however, do not do justice as to how hot it was there. I was absolutely dying in the heat which wasn't helped by the amount of people that were there. It was packed. Jam packed. So packed that there was not enough room for people to walk on the pavements and instead, turned the road into a massive walk way.

These pictures are of the quieter end of town as I didn't even want to get my phone out in all the madness! 

But trust me, it was rammed!

Tom wanted to go try out Atomic Burgers new restaurant 'Atomic Pizza' on Cowley Road in Oxford. We've been to Atomic Burger in Oxford before and I'll be honest, I wasn't blown away. Don't get me wrong, it's a quirky/cool place to eat, old comic strips on the wall, ska music playing in the background, along with 70's cartoons on the TV, but the food is just...mediocre.

But I thought I would give it the benefit of the doubt and try again, which I'm glad I did as it's just reinstated the fact that it was just a mediocre food joint. Which is a complete shame because we walked about 3 miles just to get to it. Did I mention the heat?? Then plus 3 miles??? I was in HELL!

I get cranky very easily when I'm too hot and trust me, I was hella cranky.

But after some puffing and panting and near breakdowns in the middle of the Cowley Road, we arrived and they had Root beer, so all was well again.

For my meal, I got the 'Stray Dog' hot dog, a German Frankfurter, wrapped in bacon and topped with aged cheddar sauce, tumbleweed onions and served with a free side (I got Sci Fries).

Now, this dog, to me, looks incredible, the cheese, the onions, the dog! But appearances can be deceiving. It did not taste as good as it looks.

The cheese, bun and onions were the only good thing about this hot dog. The bacon wrapped around the dog, was standard bacon, which was full of fat (which you can kinda see on the right hand side of the hot dog below), this meant I had to remove most of the 'bacon' (fat more like) and was left with hardly any bacony goodness that was worth eating.

Personally, I think they should use streaky bacon which more flavour, less fat which means less waste.

The dog itself wasn't even hot, it was warm at most and barely had any taste to it. This was such a huge disappointment. I was starving.

The sci fries on the other hand were delicious. Herby with a slight chili kick to them, I ate more of them then I did my hot dog and I don't even like chips!

Would I recommend this place? If you live in Oxford, yes. If you don't, do not bother at all! There are hundreds of better places on the Cowley Road in Oxford. I wouldn't bother treking this far out of Oxford just for this.

Tom with the Simpsons in Atomic Pizza. 

After catching the bus back from outer Mongolia, I mean, Atomic Pizza, I needed a pick me up, something to make me regain faith in the Oxford food scene again. So I googled Bubbletea joints in Oxford to see if there were any and to my surprise, there was, a place called Formosan.

I was directed to a tiny, cute, traditional tea house on an even tinier side street just 2 minutes from the main strip, I was in awe. There was a small queue inside but it was rammed with Asian tourists and students - this had to be a good sign, right?!

I ordered a Jasmine Green tea with freshly squeezed lemon and tapioca.

Oh my word. I want to bathe in this stuff. It was heavenly.

It was fresh, light, bursting with lemony goodness and those tapioca balls - perfection.

Tom had never had bubble tea before and so didn't order any, which was to his disappointment, because after trying mine, he was hooked. 

If you are ever in the centre of Oxford, I couldn't recommend this place anymore. It's chilled, cool, relaxing and down right pleasant. Go grab yourself a bubble tea and zone out the hustle and bustle of this mini London!

After escaping the asylum that was Oxford, we drove back home to rest for a bit. Tom was getting his tattooed finished off that evening, so whilst he mopped around waiting for his appointment, I found some animal friends to go hang out with.




Reuben and I played football for a while and when he was too busy humping the ball, I would pet Leafy and have a chat with her.

Poor lil Mini, she's getting old now, 18 years I think, hence why she's growing out some dreadlocks and looking a bit of a scruff. She's still a complete diva though, she could not give a flying F what anyone has to say (that's because she's deaf) and doesn't even let the dog annoy her.

After about an hour of animal play time with Tom's pets, I went back to my house where I was met by two fellas who could clearly smell the other animals on me...oops!

Once Tom had finished his tattoo session, he had got it in his head that he wanted Bubbletea. This was about at 7:45pm on Saturday, meaning? Everywhere had shut! Oh, but not one place. A place called Aobaba in Kingston (Odd? That's twice I've mentioned Kingston in this blog...) which shut at 9pm. So surely we had plenty of time to get there right? Wrong!

As we happily driving down the M3 at around 8:20pm, most likely singing Fall Out Boy to one another, we all of a sudden could smell a slight burning smell.

As we were driving near Heathrow, this isn't an uncommon smell to smell around such an industrial place, but the burning smell got stronger and stronger and all of a sudden the car started to shake and make horrible noises (the sound was as if we were doing 100mph over cobbled streets).

I told Tom to pull over so I could have a look and this is what I see...

A completely burnt out, smoking, hot as hell tyre. This is the back of the tyre and would you believe the front was even worse!

But good old Tom got the burning tyre off and the spare on in under ten minutes. Thumbs up, Tom.

After that crisis was over, we carried on our journey to Kingston town to go get us some yummy bubble tea.

Was it worth the trip? 

Sadly no...

After having the best bubble tea of my life, I also had the worst of my life, all in one day.

The flavour of the tea was synthetic, the tapioca balls fell apart and felt as if they had gone off, it was all just totally disappointing.


After ending my Saturday on a bad food/drink note, Sunday was started off much better indeed.

Tom went to our local (not so local) Dunkin Donuts and picked up these beauties.

L-R - Melted chocolate icing with cookie crumbled on top and a melted chocolate inside/caramel and chocolate ring donut/Melted white chocolate icing cookie crumbled on top and white chocolate inside.

If you can try the two cookie ones, do it. They were fabulous and a complete twist on an old classic. I'm not a huge donut fan, but these lot were so delectable. 

More food

I picked this Apple Juice up at Sainsbury's as it was on offer for £2. I love good packaging and a bit of a gimmick so this was well up my street.

Taste? It tastes very similar to any normal clouded apple juice, the difference was that this one was completely clear. The only hangup I have is the smell. For me, it smelt putrid, like rotten cider. So if you do chose to drink it (as I've sold it to you so well), beware of the smell.

We then took the little man out for a walk.

Look at these two buddies.

We also watched Insidious 2, which was amazing! I hate scary films as I'm scared of most things, but this film is just so jumpy it's great. I genuinely screamed out loud about four or five times. Awkward. 

I then went back home at the end of the day to find one of my princes doing this...

I know, I know, I ate terribly this last weekend, but hey, I'll work off those extra thousand or so calories at the gym...soon...sometime...maybe? We'll see.

What a lovely end to a lovely weekend.

How was all your weekends?

I hope you all enjoyed the weather.

Wednesday 16 July 2014

Getting on a bit...

It was my birthday recently. A fun filled blog post will be up shortly, but for now I'm going to depress you lot with these few ramblings.

As each year passes me by (more quickly than I like to think of), I realize that the closer I get to the big 3-0 the more expectations people have for my life and me. I'm no longer considered a carefree, early twenties, bundle of energy and optimism; I'm single, I'm still still living at home, I'm childless and I'm basically the definition of a wannabe spinster. 

Though I’m not on the shelf just yet, family, friends and even society give this overall daunting impression that at this age I need to start thinking about settling down, buying houses and making babies, because that’s what we’re supposed to do, right? I’m getting older, so technically this is my right of passage.

I have to admit, it’s a little bit daunting and depressing.

Like many of you, I still feel like an awkward, shy, odd teenager who has no clue what they want in life. The only difference now is I’m ten years older and I have to pay bills, act responsibly and pretend as if I have a clue what I’m doing. When my mum was my age she was married, had bought a house, owned 2 cars and had a baby on the way! That’s a lot to live up to right? In my mind, I feel like I’m getting on a bit and I don’t really have too much to show for it. I don’t even have a driving license yet!

I’m fully aware that times have changed but when I was a kid I had this idealistic view that when I turned 28 I would have everything my mum had but I’m not even close to that yet. 
Don’t get me wrong, this isn't necessarily a bad thing! I don’t particularly want to get married any time soon and kids? Well, I’m sure I can hold off on those for another few years. But where does that leave me and so many others now? What do we do if we don’t want/have these things just yet or maybe ever? How do we explain to people that we're genuinely just happy on our own? How do we articulate to society that being alone is A-OK?

Don’t get me wrong, if you are in a relationship, married, have or want kids, that’s cool too! They sound like wonderful things! But realistically not all of us want/have them just yet but still are questioned as to why we haven’t succeeded in getting those social milestones.

Say that you’ve been in a long term relationship; people begin to wonder why you’re not living together? Why you haven’t bought a house together? Why are you not engaged yet? Why aren’t you having babies yet? Etc...There's so much pressure for older couples! What happens if they don't want any of those things? What happens if they're happy living by their own dynamic?

Yet if you’re single you’re met with a chorus of ‘Aw, don't worry, you’ll find someone!’.

What happens if I don't want to find somebody?! What happens if I'm happy eating a block of cheese to myself and not having to share it with anyone?! Hey?! Ever thought of that?!

I’ve also been thinking about men (cheeky)...

There are not many times I feel sympathy for the male species but around this age they must feel a lot is expected of them. Say you’ve been with a girl for a few years, yeah, of course you love her, there's no doubting that but all of sudden you hit this age where everyone is questioning why you haven’t popped the question? That must be quite a burden? And surely if these gents feel pressurized into popping the ultimate question, it's all rather forced and not necessarily a organic thought process...  

This is getting rather deep…

Personally, instead of settling down, buying a house in the country, popping out kids and starting a football team, I’d rather travel or buy a house on my own and continue my spinster life contently but that's kind of frowned upon.

I know I’ve rambled a lot, but if you’ve got anything from this splurge of words my conclusion is the following:

Instead of worrying about what other people are doing (or have done) and feeling like you need to compare yourself to everyone around you, you just do you, boo boo. 

Just because you’ve reached a certain age, don’t feel expected to do certain things. Even if you’re in a long term relationship, don’t offer up marriage because you think that’s what you should do. Be true to yourself and your partner! And if you're alone and single, that's fine too! Go on and enjoy the fact that you don't have to share a bed with someone, wash other peoples underwear or give away your last rolo. Being single is fine, normal and most importantly, allowed! Don't feel obliged to go on dating sites or to hunt out your next boyfriend (victim) just because you're the only single gal in your group.  

Whether you want to travel around the world, sit on your arse and be alone, start a family, have kids, adopt or become a mad cat lady (I’m half way there), we’ve just got to live our own lives and ignore the expectations around us! Instead ask yourself, what do I want? 

Age is just a number and even though a lot of people think I should be heading for the alter and the estate agents someday soon, I’d rather just carry on as I am. Maybe sometime in the future once I’ve had some adventures, I might finally find the man of my dreams and pop out a few sprogs. Until then, I don’t want to force a Disney movie ending just yet; I’d rather it happen on its own and in its own time, even if I am getting on a bit…
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