Saturday, 13 May 2017

Take Refuge on Mondays

Do you like Mondays? I bet you don't. But isn't that strange? Monday's are after 2 days off so it should be the day we are most well rested - we should feel good on Monday's. Granted most of us are heading back to work, but in a job that the large majority of us chose to take so must not entirely loath the work. So Monday's are the day where we feel good and go back to something we chose - so why are they universally resented?

Well this Monday I broke with that and had the opportunity to enjoy my Monday! A friend was in town for work and therefore we caught up in the evening. I like having the chance to take people round Manchester as it gives me the self indulgence of going to all my favourite places.

So we went to Refuge. I hadn't been to refuge yet but I had heard nothing but good reviews. Plus, I used to live in that part of town and the Palace (recently renamed the Principle) is hands down my favourite building in Manchester. I used to see the red glowing neon PALACE sign on the tower and know that home was in reach. Unfortunately the neon red sign has been replaced with white PRINCIPLE but I might just forgive them because of how much I enjoyed Refuge.

I arrived uncharacteristically early and even though a large group of middle aged women dressed to the nines went into the public bar just before me, there were enough bar staff so that I immediately got served. I took my G&T over to one of the many sofas and tables scattered about the large room and contemplated what on earth the party I followed in was for.

Monica joined me and we had a good chat about life as girls catching up are prone to do. She was tickled pink by the change she got from £10 for two glasses of prosecco and I reminded her that she was not in London and more.

We had intended to just have a drink and then move elsewhere for dinner but we were enjoying ourselves in the aptly palatial setting and found it had gotten rather late. We tentatively wandered round to the dinning room and were immediately seated by the hostess. While en route to our table we walked past an indoor winter garden with actual trees. This place manages to walk the impossible line between impressively extra and sophisticatedly understated with a flare I've not seen anywhere else in Manchester - I was enthralled.

We ate fabulously. Steak, fresh tuna, fries, veggies, and possibly the best dessert I have had in a very long time: Pear and hazelnut tarte tatin with espresso custard. This was recommended by our excellent waiter and while I was apprehensive at first I now am disappointed when eating any other meal. All washed down with a carafe of wine and change out of £50 for the entire bill - is there any surprise that this place is now my favourite?

Afterwards we went to Cloud23 and continued to discuss lives, loves, and laments while surveying what seems like all of Manchester. It was one of those nights that you imagined your 20s would be but have usually been disappointed. So I urge you to take refuge on Mondays.


Sunday, 7 May 2017

NEW SERIES: I'm naff at....

I am all these things

If you're anything like me you're always trying to improve yourself but without much direction, focus, or discipline. For example I am currently I am trying to get into running, restyle my bedroom,  watch my macros, sell off/donate my clothes to get a more modular wardrobe, re-start sweat with kayla, and maintain this blog! And all of that is while still having a full time job, keep a house, and have time for friends and boyfriend. Understandably I am failing. Hard. How on earth can I do all of that at once? I am the cover girl of biting off more than I can chew and have always been. But I tell myself it's ok to find something hard because I will just try another and see if that is easy - surprisingly its not. This means that I chicane between things and generally don't achieve very much.

However, I know many very talented people who seem to have mastered something that I haven't been able to come close to, and I'm actually remarkably naff at. Therefore I have asked them how they do it - why did I not think of this before?! So over the next few months keep a look out for guest writers posting how they manage not to be naff at things and then I will spend the following week trying to copy them. Hopefully if I uni-task these things over that week combined with their case study of how they do it, I might be able to incorporate them into my life.

There will be guests writing about all types of things I would like to be better at; food, life, sport, learning, all sorts! Hopefully be the end I should be a semi functioning adult with a variety of interests and skills. I can't wait. Keep an eye out for them coming soon!


Monday, 1 May 2017

Literally every damn hour - Water Challenge Week 4

This is technically the end of week 5 not week 4 of the water challenge which sets the tone for the post. I got bored of it. Yes, I started to see skin improvements last week and that's great but I have been busier the last fortnight and therefore haven't always been able to log my water consumption. For example, drinking 3 litres a day means drinking 200ml every hour I'm awake. Literally every damn hour. Who has time for that?! If I was in a 2 hour meeting yes I can take a bottle of water and sip my way through but I work in an operational role which means I am not at my desk that much in a day. Anyway, I got bored and more than that I started to resent the full water bottle on my desk at 5pm meaning I failed to consume my target water for the working day. I still think that I have increased my liquids to over 2 litres each day but I truly doubt of I ever hit 3 litres at any point in the last 14 days.

So against my 3 goals:
  • reduced snacking - FAIL. Maybe people who found they weren't stacking as much were just so full of water they were masking hunger? I think I snacked just as much as before.
  • increased energy - INCONCLUSIVE. I don't think I had a huge increase in energy levels. They may have gone up a little but not massively. I think more I was getting up to pee more and therefore while I was up I may as well do x, y, and z. So maybe I was more productive which gave the illusion of more energy? Not sure.
  • improved skin - WIN. I do think my skin is less oily. It has been 5 weeks so I have been through my full hormone cycle and haven't had much of a breakout this month! My pores are the same size but lets not expect miracles. Less oil and dryness has been a very welcome shift.
So in conclusion: more water is good for skin but 3 litres is impractical with my personal lifestyle. Has anyone else tried this? How did you get on?