27 things I’m looking forward to

Today’s my 27th birthday.

And for the first time in literally forever, I’m not sure how I feel about it.

Birthday wishes • Cake + Whisky

Not because I don’t want to be old or any of this nonsense, but I’m going through a rough patch at the moment, with lots of things to work through and sort out and I somehow wish my birthday wasn’t caught in the middle of it all.

So yeah, not the happiest of birthday this time ’round.

But it doesn’t stop me looking forward to the year ahead and all the good things it will bring, including all of the below…

  1. Going to Cuba
  2. FINALLY eating at El Pastor (muuuuuuch excited for dinner tonight!!)
  3. Wearing my new blue suede ballerinas
  4. Christmas – family gatherings, Christmas cocktail parties, glittery lights, wrapping presents, over-eating, all of it!
  5. Seeing Wicked in the theatre
  6. And Les Miserables too (hopefully)
  7. Watching the new Crime of the Orient Express movie
  8. Reading the upcoming new Dan Brown book
  9. Catching up with friends in Paris
  10. Finally seeing the Royal Opera House’s production of Alice in Wonderland (after all, it did take me 5 years to get tickets…)
  11. Finding prints for our bedroom (I love this one but it wouldn’t really work…)
  12. Getting to wear my signature perfume once again (an early birthday present from me to myself)
  13. Hosting more house parties
  14. Perfecting my skillet cookie recipe (it’s coming people, it’s coming!)
  15. Exploring more of London, always
  16. Visiting my baby bro’ first proper appartment
  17. Teaching myself how to make puff pastry
  18. Buying new underwear (some like shoes, some like bags, I like underwear. Deal with it.)
  19. Visiting the Barbican conservatory
  20. Taking too many pictures (obv)
  21. Seeing Sheldon marry Amy #teamshamy
  22. Lighting up this candle (it smells divine)
  23. Doing more crafty things – be it embroidery, hand lettering or just colouring
  24. Getting a new laptop (fingers crossed)
  25. Finally getting around to watching some classic movies (can you believe I’ve never seen E.T. or Titanic?)
  26. Learning new things
  27. And, most importantly, finding my way back to a happy, peaceful me (hopefully)
27 things I’m looking forward to

Two times too many.

{Day 9219 – Heartbroken but still determined to make love & kindness win}

I’ve spent most of this weekend staring at screens trying to make sense of the tragic news that were sent my way. Not that there was any point. It doesn’t make any sense.

I went to bed on Friday hoping that the shootings I had been spending the evening reading about were just a horrible nightmare I could wake up from. But it wasn’t.

It’s the second time this year that Paris has been the target of terrorist attacks. Two times too many.

Paris has never been my home, but I have lived there and many of my friends still do.

Most importantly, Paris is the capital of the country I’m from, this douce France I love so very much even though I left it.

It angers me that these attacks so obviously targeted civilians. Bars, restaurants, football stadiums, concert halls… It was an attack towards Paris’ heart and soul, its very spirit.

But on that point, I know terrorists can not win.

No matter how hard they try, Paris will always be the best place on Earth to enjoy life at its fullest, and this has well been proven through the immediate reactions to the atrocious events of this past Friday. The #PorteOuverte mouvement was such a beautiful initiative and restored part of my faith in humanity.

I still worry about the aftermath of these attacks. The finger pointing. The advantage taking. The political consequences.

Which is why there are two things we mustn’t forget.

1. Terrorism has no religion. The only group terrorists can be linked to are the terrorist organisations that they claim to belong to. There is no reason we should blame other people for the crimes those individuals committed, simply because they worship the same god.

2. The only way forward is love. There will always be people to try and take advantage of terrible events like this one to drive their own political, religious or social agendas. Those people have no interest whatsoever in doing what’s best for humanity and protect it against crimes. Don’t be fooled into their traps. Be kind instead and the world will be a better place.

All there is for me and us all to do is to stand strong and not give up to fear.

Instead let’s live and be kind, laught and be happy, to keep the spirit of Paris alive and help it remain the indestructible City of Love & Light.

Two times too many.

7 Silver Linings to Being in a Long Distance Relationship

Last week was a bit tough on me as I had to say goodbye to my boyfriend who is going away for a few months.

Let’s get this right: being in a long distance relationship SUCKS. Unfortunately, I know far too much about that already.

Long Distance Silver Linings | Cake + Whisky

It sucks that you can’t go out for dinner together, that you don’t get to see each other every day, that you might not even be able to talk as often as you might want to. It sucks that you no longer get to do all the little things.

But there definitely are some silver linings as well…

1. Goodbyes usually come with a side of really, really good food.

Long distance relationship silver lining #1: goodbyes usually include really really good food.

Best bread I’ve had in a long time. Well played @mobalondon!

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Dinner in your favourite restaurant(s) and enough chocolate to last you until Christmas are only the beginning. But more on that later this week…

2. All the presents!  Goodbye presents, Welcome back presents… Basically like Christmas but better!

Working from home with this little fellow by my side. And by working, I totally mean trying to find the perfect name for him… What do you reckon? ?

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I mean just look at him, isn’t he just the CUTEST?

Found my cryptonite. Somebody please take those away from me. ??

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Also, those! ❤❤❤

3. Not going to the restaurant that often anymore might actually be a good thing for your ongoing “healthy eating” plans.

Cake + Whisky | Bahn-Mi inspired Vietnamese Prawn Salad

Sure, I’ll probably miss having fries three times a week but it probably is better that way. Vegetable and nice home-cooked meals FTW!

4. Nobody’s judging your poor TV-choices.

Gossip Girl GIF

Gossip Girl marathon? Disney movie sing-along? America’s Next Top Model binge-watching? Yes, yes and YES!

5. Sleeping in the middle of the bed.

‘No sleep. I go days without sleep.’ #whoamikidding #sleepyhead #disneyquotes

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Guest who doesn’t have to keep pulling on the blanket all night?

6. You can eat whatever YOU want for dinner.

My favourite squash soup recipe | Cake + Whisky

Helloooooooo pumpkin soup and bread roll! I know I probably shouldn’t be that excited but that’s what living with someone who doesn’t consider soup an acceptable dinner will do to you!

7. Buying Christmas presents is MUCH easier when you’re not together 24/7.

Somebody get me these socks!! #Christmas @johnlewisretail

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So maybe this year I WON’T give away too many clues and it will ACTUALLY be a surprise!

8. Making plans for when you next see each other is simply THE BEST.

Yes the best thing about not being together is definitely seing the light at the end of the tunnel and making plans for when you’ll next get to spend time together. #duh

Speaking of which… any absolute musts besides Champagne and chocolates? 

7 Silver Linings to Being in a Long Distance Relationship

The Anti Diet Project

You probably remember from my 2015 bucket-list article that one of my objectives for this year is to lose a bit of weight. I’ve had a bit of time to reflect on this since I wrote it and have come to the conclusion that what truly matters to me is not quite the numbers, rather the image I have and project of myself. It’s not as much about dropping a few pounds as it is about having a thinner-looking, stronger body. But I have no intention of giving up chocolate, thank you very much.

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Now, if you’re looking for the next fad diet, walk away now. I really believe those no-sugar-no-grain-only-meat-and-protein-shakes things are nothing but unhealthy, dangerous and a loss of time. I don’t think either sugar or fat are my enemies. I am however interested in building healthier living and eating habits. You know what they say… Anti-diet one day… And as far as changes go:

  1. Motivation: Even if I’m not one for drastic, quick changes, it is still important to me to be able to measure what is working and what isn’t. I don’t have weighting scales at home, nor am I really interested in investing in one. Instead, I’ll click before pics to compare myself towards, and take my measurement up. And then compare those up with the real me as time goes by.
  2. Plan ahead! I found out recently that if I write a list of ideas for meals over the weekend, and have all ingredients at hand before said week actually begins, it actually makes a difference in how motivated I am to cook healthy meals. The truth is, most of the time, I am too tired to improvise something when I come back from work, and even the idea of having to go to the supermarket on my way back home makes me craze burgers almost immediately. Same thing goes for lunch, if I don’t pack anything, I’ll either go hungry and eat everything I find when I get home, or grab something from the closest supermarket….
  3. Portion control. For months, my boyfriend and I had regularly eaten dinner from the same plate. It’s very romantic and all, but the trouble is, I eat faster than he does, so more often than not, I ended up eating too much. So we’re changing back to eating from two separate plates so that I’m no longer a griddy little piggy winning about being stuffed at the end of each meal!
  4. Swap grains for fruit & veggies. Just basic common sense, really. If you swap grains for fruit & veggies, you’re immediately eating healthier food. Easy peasy. When I’m at it, switch to healthier snacks. Basically, putting down the biscuits and sweets and replace them by something far, far more nutritious. I’m the kind of person who tends to eat little and often, so snacks are playing an important role in my eating habits. So expect kale crisps, roasted nuts and fruit salads on this blog 😉
  5. Drink more water. I used to be really bad at this. I think I’ve finally cracked it. Will write about it soon.
  6. Create an exercise habit. Now, working out’s really not my thing. But I want to get into the habit of exercising 5 times a week. I’m currently trying a few things out and will let you know how they’re all working (and more importantly, if I miraculously managed to keep up with the habit!) in my next update.

What are you doing to become/stay fit? I’d love to hear your tips! 

The Anti Diet Project