going out

What I Ate Wednesday No.30

Hey there!

Well today is Wednesday so that means one thing and one thing only:

It’s time for some weekly eats courtesy of the lovely Jenn over at Peas and Crayons! If you have no idea what I’m on about a) where have you been all this time? and b) head on over to this week’s WIAW to find out how it all works :-)

I have to say, I’m probably not doing too well on the whole “serve up an extra cup of veggies” thing… But it’s okay because I’m going to share with you two of the most delicious meals, both eaten out in town. I know, two meals out in two days… Get me and my energy!

In all honesty, I have almost no energy and spent the majority of the past two days on my bed but I’m just pleased that I’ve managed to leave the house each day. Small steps here people :-P

Before I share these two culinary marvels (I may be exaggerating just the tiniest bit there) I want to show you a photo of breakfast:

This is what I have eaten for breakfast pretty much everyday since getting back home. I just adore fresh blueberries. And cinnamon. It’s probably too much cinnamon but meh, I love the stuff.

Lunch today was just leftovers but I thought instead I would share the most amazing lunch I’ve had in a long long time:

This, my friends, is a chorizo burger in a brioche bun, stuffed with chorizo sausage, spicy hummus, red pepper and rocket along with a side of skin-on chips. From Bill’s cafe. So so SO good. I definitely recommend a visit to Bill’s if you’ve never been, it’s such a cute little place :-)

I don’t always finish meals at the restaurant (I swear the portions are HUGE and in the UK it’s not common practice to take the leftovers home) but there was no way I was leaving any of this.

This brings me to today’s dinner.

I went out for a meal to Pizza Express with a group of friends, most of whom I haven’t seen in weeks and it was a lovely lovely evening (it’s also why I’m going to bed later than usual :-P).

I know the place is called Pizza Express, but when I saw this on the menu I forgot all about pizza…

The ‘Bosco Salad’ - Which is made up of garlic mushrooms, baby mozzarella, avocado, roasted tomatoes, spinach, rocket with a honey & mustard dressing and warm dough sticks. (Only without the mozzarella, I’m not a fan of the stuff.)

The dough sticks are so tasty and we all know how much I love mushrooms and avocado!

It’s always fun going out to the restaurant with friends, we have such hysterical conversations. And they remind me how lucky I am to have the support of brilliant friends. Relationships are something so special, they’re what I treasure the most in life :-)

Anyway, I’m shattered, it’s at least two hours later than I planned on going to bed (yes I am 19 years old going on elderly, although that might even offend many elderly people!) so I’ll say goodnight.

What’s the best thing you’ve eaten recently?
What is your favourite type of food to eat in a restaurant?
Are you an early bird or a night owl? 

A Birthday Dinner.

Hello lovelies!

I’m sorry I didn’t post yesterday, I was exhausted when I got in!

Before I talk about my birthday can I just say an enormous thank you for all of your wonderful, supportive comments on my Sunday post. All of the comments were thoughtful, caring and really quite complimentary and I am so so grateful for all of the support you give! You are such wonderful people :-) Blogging has brought so much joy to my life and a huge part of that is down to the people who read and especially the people who take the time to comment, email and continuously support me!! I will reply to all of them tomorrow when I have a little more energy!

Now, as you probably all know, yesterday was my birthday.

At 9.31pm I turned nineteen ;-)

I had a really good day despite having two lectures and a physio appointment. I started out my day opening the cards that arrived on Saturday (so hard to resist opening them early!):

In the middle of those cards sits a nutella and banana cookie that I made on Sunday, topped with nutella and sugar sprinkles. Perfect alongside my weetabix mush!

Also aren’t my cards lovely? All of my cards this year either involve flowers or cupcakes which made me smile. I’m somewhat predictable it would seem. I hope you’ve spotted the lovely handmade card from my sister, I thought it was absolutely lovely :-)

My physio appointment actually went really well, she said she was extremely impressed by the progress I’ve made so things are looking up!

Anyway, on to the fun part of my day. To celebrate my birthday, as I was away from home and didn’t have Tom with me, I thought it would be nice to go for a meal. My friends and I decided on Bella Italia which was great for two main reasons: I love Italian food and we had a voucher so saved money!

I had a really lovely time and the food was fantastic. I had a delicious main course:

I went with the Bucatini Gamberoni which they describe ‘eight succulent king prawns sautéed with garlic and chilli in a spicy pomodoro sauce with bucatini lunghi’. Bucatini lunghi is basically fat spaghetti and I actually think I prefer it to regular spaghetti because it twirls around the fork more easily! The spicy tomato sauce was delicious and it’s so nice to have prawns because they are fairly pricey so I never buy or cook them for myself.

The group, who didn’t all know each other previously, all gelled really well and we spent most of meal in laughter. It was nice to have a time to relax and recharge without having to think about work or stress.

We decided, as it was a special occasion, to get dessert for the celebration. I shared this delicious looking creation with Kathryn and it was just too tasty!

Doesn’t it look amazing? It’s called the Godfather Fragola – ‘vanilla and strawberry ice cream, crushed meringue, strawberry coulis, fresh strawberries, whipped cream and dark chocolate sprinkles’.

So good.

I just wish I could do more than talk to my loved ones on the phone (and I’m getting impatient for my presents!). We’ve decided we’ll celebrate my birthday as a family when I get back home (3 days!!!).

Anyway, it’s getting late so I’m off to bed. I hope you’re all having a fantastic week :-)

Do you like to make/receive handmade cards?
How do like to celebrate your own birthday?
Best dessert you’ve eaten lately?

 

In Which Baiba Visits.

Well my lovely readers, I have had a really fantastic weekend so far!

First of all, thank you so so much for all of your really supportive and caring comments on my last post. It took a lot to write it and then post it so it meant lots to me that you all offered your own experiences and your words of comfort! It’s receiving all of this wonderful support that makes writing posts like that completely worth it :-)

Yesterday afternoon, after I’d finished with my seminars, I hopped on the bus into town to meet my wonderful friend Baiba from the train station. It was so nice to see her again, we haven’t seen each other in about 7 weeks so we had a lot to catch up on!

I booked us a table at Jamie’s Italian which is a restaurant I love. The food is fresh, well presented, and pretty reasonably priced plus the restaurant itself is in a lovely building with a really relaxed atmosphere, perfect for a meal out with an old friend :-)

We decided, in the interests of preserving both our student budgets and our waistlines, to go for a shared starter and dessert. This way we got an affordable three course meal, pretty nifty if you ask me.

We started off with some ‘Mike the Woodman’s Mushroom Frittiour own-grown crispy fried mushrooms served with really garlicky mayo’. Seriously, this is one of the best starters ever. If you live anywhere near a Jamie’s Italian, I urge you to visit just for this starter, the mushrooms are fresh, the crumbly batter surrounding them is light and crunchy and the garlic mayonnaise is just delicious, so indulgent. A light squeeze of lemon over the mushrooms just tops of the fresh taste. I’m pretty sure I could have had a portion to myself ;-)

‘Prawn Linguine – Pan fried garlicky prawns with shaved fennel, tomatoes, chilli & rocket.’ There’s nothing quite like catching up with each other’s lives over bowls of delicious linguine. This is one of my favourite dishes to eat when out because I rarely get the chance to eat seafood at uni. Somewhat of a luxury really! It was delicious, I love the thin spicy tomato sauce that coats the linguine and the rocket adds a little bite to the dish.

We decided that we needed dessert. I mean really, who doesn’t?

Unfortunately, in my eagerness to devour my half of dessert, I completely forgot to take a photo of it! But, because I know you are probably desperate to hear about it (just pretend, okay?) I’ll describe it for you. ‘Peach & Almond Tart – Frangipane tart with preserved peaches, whipped yoghurt & honey’ Doesn’t that just sound divine? The frangipane was thick, in fact actually quite dense, but it had a lovely taste and serving it with yogurt and honey was genius, it was such a tasty dessert. At any rate, we thoroughly enjoyed it.

Instead of a photo of the tart you can have a photo of the beautiful Baiba.

I absolutely love her scarf!

We then went on to a bar for a drink and headed back home to chat late into the night. I’m not surprised we didn’t end up going to sleep till after 2am, we had so much to talk about. It’s so nice to have friends that you have endless amounts of stuff to talk about, it’s comforting to know that even after weeks apart, you can just slot back into the friendship as if no time has passed. Having said that, it’s also really exciting to see how much friends are changing and growing from their time at uni, we’re becoming different people, we’re developing new passions and instead of making us grow apart, it adds a new element to our relationships :-)

Today we went for coffee with the gorgeous Natalie, our mutual friend from home.

Lattes never fail to lift my mood, especially with a shot of vanilla syrup. Sugar-free mind you ;-)

Don’t I have such pretty friends?

It was so nice to be the three of us and we chatted for a good pair of hours. It really helps to see them when I’m feeling a bit low from being ill.

I’m so glad I got the opportunity to see both of them again, I’m lucky to have such wonderful friends!

Anyway I’m quite tired and I want to get an early night so I’m off. I hope you are all having a fabulous weekend :-)

What are your plans this weekend?
Do you still meet with all friends? Friends from your childhood?
What is the nicest meal you’ve had at a restaurant lately?

The Student Life

Well!

For one of the first times since I’ve been at uni I actually feel a bit like a stereotypical student.

Before I go into the details I just want to say that the last week and a half of my term are going to be ridiculously busy so I apologise ahead of time if I don’t manage to post every day! I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to being home for a whole month at Christmas, I really need the time to relax and enjoy myself.

But anyway back to the story…

Last night was my hall of residence’s Christmas party. So we all got dressed up and went off for a three course meal and some dancing.

I had a few drinks, as is required by students on a night out :-P

Here is a photo of me and one of my new friends, she’s absolutely lovely and not to mention hilariously good fun!

 (I think you can sort of tell that I’m on my medication and that the dose is getting quite high as I really just look exhausted even with all of my make-up on!)

It was great fun though, I do love getting dressed up :-) And I was pleased that my dress was suitably Christmassy!

The meal was actually surprisingly good, I have to say I didn’t expect much because we didn’t pay much for the event. Now I’m afraid the following photos are from an old and

pretty rubbish point-and-shoot camera and were taking in the semi-dark with the flash on so they’re pretty awful!

I opted for the vegetarian options because I’m becoming less and less interested in eating meat and I’m glad I did, it looked better than the meat option!

Starter was a roasted tomato and pepper soup with croutons (albeit quite soggy croutons!). The soup actually had quite a nice flavour and I like light starters because it means I have plenty of room for my main course.

Main course was a mushroom Wellington along with a sort of potato cake and salad. I love pastry and mushrooms so this was always going to be good for me, even if the pastry was somewhat lacklustre.

Dessert was a chocolate cheesecake and a cute little pot of ice cream. The ice cream was lovely, by this point I was a little tipsy so I have no idea what kind of ice cream it was but it was nice anyway :-P

We then went back to the girls’ flat and stayed up chatting until I fell asleep! Apparently, according to my research this morning, mixing my medicine with alcohol tends to lead to increased drowsiness and dizziness…

All in all it was a really fun night!

Today I had two quite important meetings and in time with them I had two naps. So a little less like the “stereotypical student”.

I leave you tonight with a photo of my dinner:

Spicy couscous and pan-fried courgette with garlic. Delicious, I needed the veg!

Anyway I’m off to bed, despite my naps I’m absolutely exhausted still :-P

Have you got any Christmas parties coming up?
Were/are you a stereotypical student?
What’s your favourite thing about the Christmas build-up?

Sophie x

What I Ate Wednesday No.17

Hello lovelies :-)

I am in quite a cheery mood which is amazing considering I only had about 5 hours sleep last night!

I put it down to a mixture of things all of which I will reveal in this post, never fear.

But first, it’s that wonderful time of the week again…

… It’s WIAW! Time to indulge my nosey nature and scope out everybody’s eats :-). Thank you Jenn for giving me such a great excuse to do so!

Breakfast was so so good this morning.

Chocolate overnight oats with frozen raspberries. So indulgent, it tasted like a dessert! Definitely a good way to make up for a lack of sleep – I recommend it :-)

I had a 9am lecture this morning so I was up bright and early and off to that and when I came back and worked like a daemon! It was the most productive day workwise I’ve had since being at uni so I was pretty pleased with myself. What, you might ask, was the motivation behind this hard work? I decided to take an impromptu visit up to see my boyfriend this weekend! Basically I’ve been feeling a bit oppressed here at uni this week, the small space really doesn’t suit me, I need to get out of the uni bubble and I just really miss Tom so I knew I need to work really hard for the remainder of the week so that my weekend is free. Nothing like love to make you work hard ;-)

Lunch was a repeat of yesterday’s:

It really is a lovely mix of veg.

This afternoon was more work and then my bi-weekly doctors appointment. It didn’t go how I expected and I’d rather not dwell so I won’t talk about it now. Anyway I was soon cheered up by my evening fun.

Trelawney and I decided we needed to get out so we went for another Orange Wednesday meal out at Pizza Express :-)

I’m afraid I was not in the slightest bit adventurous with my food choices and pretty much went for exactly the same thing as last time! But you know what, I really enjoyed it last time and it was just as good this time so I don’t even care :-P

The only slight variation to the meal from last time was dessert. After our light pizzas we decided we were still a little hungry so we decided to share a mini chocolate fudge cake which I had alongside another Baileys latte :-)

What do you think of the classy christmas decorations on the cake? :-P Despite its appearance it was actually really tasty so all’s well that ends well!

I’m really pleased with myself, I’ve managed to nearly finish my essay today so I’m feeling a lot more relaxed about my work this week. I have a manically busy day tomorrow though so apologies in advance if I don’t manage to post!

Best thing you’ve eaten today?
Tell me something uplifting about your week so far, I like hearing positive stories
:-)

Sophie x

To Drink or Not to Drink?

Hello there my lovely lovely readers!

I don’t know why the chirpy greeting, I’m not even feeling that up beat but hey, sometimes we need chirpy hellos :-P

Breakfast today, the usual. Getting bored of seeing it? I’ll try to vary it tomorrow!

Although I’m still feeling a little bit sad today I had a really productive day. This morning I read some more of my texts for this week and then got in Level 1 of the 30 Day Shred. I was sweaty and exhausted but I was happy with myself, I feel like I’m on the way to getting back on track. Finally!

Lunch was somewhat pitiful because I had almost no food left in the fridge:

A cinnamon raisin bagel with melted butter. Maybe simple and a bit lacking but still one of my favourite foods!

In the afternoon I finally made it into town to visit my favourite little local farm shop (as well as Sainsburys) :-) I got a full shop which was great so I now have a fridge full of fresh veg, dairy products and a cupboard stocked up again. As such I ate some crackers topped with taramasalata. I haven’t had any in ages and I love the stuff. It may be fatty but it’s also tasty :-)

After my shop I ran off to my afternoon Shakespeare lecture – she was fantastic although it went on for almost an hour and 45 minutes so I was aching to stretch my legs by the time it was finished!

I then rushed back to get changed and go off to the gym with Trelawney. As I’d got in a workout in the morning it was only a quick one but I actually prefer short, high intensity workouts to longer ones.

Dinner was nice, quick, healthy and tasty:

Ok ok so I cheated and bought a packet of mixed stir fry veggies so all I had to do was actually stir fry them in soy sauce but you know what, I don’t care. I need some quick and healthy meals and this lets me have all of that. And I really liked the veggies in this mix, I wouldn’t be able to afford (or have the space) to buy all of the different vegetables in there!

Now to the subject of my title. Tessa over at Amazing Asset did a post recently which touches on some of the same issues, I’d definitely recommend you head over and read it. And whilst you’re there, read the rest of her blog, I love it and I love her! <3

Since being at uni I have obviously been going out some evenings and enjoying a few drinks. But a lot of the people around me don’t enjoy a few drinks…they enjoy litres of drink. And I’m often surrounded by very drunk people. There are hoards of them going past my window at this very moment, quite a few dressed in very little and all of them looking pretty trashy. (Sorry that sounds bitchy but it’s kinda true!)

I know this makes me sound both a) like an old lady and b) a bit snooty but the thing is I just don’t understand why people do it!

To me getting really really drunk in some club surrounded by people I don’t know, with random guys trying to dance with you, disgusting toilets, over-priced drinks, sweat and everything else just sounds awful. And I have done it before, albeit it not that many times.

The thing is I can’t join in, even if I wanted to. I can’t stand up for that long, I definitely can’t dance for that long and if I drink a little bit too much, I don’t notice the pain so much and then I spend the next day in agony.

Don’t get me wrong, I have absolutely nothing against other people going out clubbing and drinking. I think everyone at uni should be able to go out and do what they enjoy. It’s just that sometimes I do feel left out. I feel like I should want to be getting drunk and partying the night away. I should want to go out clubbing with all of the others. I feel like by not enjoying it, that I’m being boring, unadventurous and not of the right age. And it does mean I miss out on a lot of the ‘uni experience’.

The thing is, I wish that I could find some people who were up for doing something else. Something more subdued, like going for a meal or just going to a bar for a few drinks and a relaxing time among friends.

Anyway in the spirit of being like an old person I’m going to get ready for bed and relax with a good book :-)

What did you enjoy doing at uni?
Do you enjoy drinking lots and going out to clubs?
Any advice on how to feel a bit less left out?

Hope you all had a great start to the week and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!
(I’m probably the only blogger not writing anything about Halloween today :-P)

Sophie x

Fitness Friday + A Weird Feeling

Going home for just one night and hardly any daytime felt a bit strange.

If I’m completely honest with myself I know I really miss it.

I miss my family (we’re very close), I miss my house and my room, I miss my cat, I miss the comforts and I miss the support.

But I know I need to do this. It’s time to move on and find my own way!

(But it does still give me a weird feeling, even if that does make me a bit of a baby…)

Anyway I’m afraid I have very few photos for you, I just wanted to enjoy my time with my mum and sister (my dad is away for work).

This evening one of my flatmates offered to share some spaghetti bolognese if I provided the tomatoes and the garlic and herbs. I love spag bol so was definitely ok with that idea :-)

Now as the title suggests, it’s Fitness Friday!

This week I have to admit, I didn’t do very well with my workouts. I’ve been exhausted and quite frankly often in too much pain to find the motivation. However, I have now joined the gym and this if nothing else is plenty of motivation to get going!

Saturday – 30 Day Shred + a nice cycle. I’ve got my cycle map and I want to find a good route :-)
Sunday – Full on Upper Body Strength Workout (my arms are way too weak at the moment, I need to build things back up)
Monday – Might go to the gym! If not another 30 Day Shred
Tuesday – Lower Body Strength Workout + Abs
Wednesday – There may be a fitness class that appeals… more about that nearer the time.
Thursday – This is my busiest day next week so I think it’ll probably be a quick workout.
Friday – Upper Body Strength Workout

So there you have it :-)

I’m sure you’ve noticed, there is no rest day. This doesn’t mean I’m going to workout every single day! I just know that on at least one day I won’t be able to workout and therefore I always have to plan ahead. We shall see…

Tonight my flatmates want to go out clubbing. I’d rather go to a bar but obviously I’m not going to isolate myself so I’ll go. I know that makes me sound pretty boring but I just don’t enjoy clubbing, it’s too painful and I won’t be able to leave early because I can’t afford a taxi by myself!

So with that little moan it’s off to get ready :-P

And for those of you that are wondering what these changes I hinted at are, I’m planning to write a long and revealing post tomorrow :-)

I hope you had a good Friday!

Sophie x